Knowing that I didn’t simply cease to exist for a little while and then spontaneously come back into existence, it became clear that there is a difference between consciousness and the ‘I Am.’
I had a similar realisation when I had surgery a few years ago. I was there, on the table, trying to make a feeble joke about something or other (making jokes is one of the ways I cope with nervousness), and the next thing, I was waking up and I heard myself saying, "Ow... ow... ow...." (that is, I was speaking - complaining, actually! - before I even regained consciousness fully).
My thought on that is that it's very clear that I was fully without consciousness for several hours, and yet, I still exist, in whatever sense we think of existing. My brain, which is physical, was disconnected from my mind, which is material, although not physical (hope that makes sense!), but, well, here I am, and there I was, complaining about the pain... Obviously, existence is NOT dependent on consciousness.
I have also had a couple of experiences of being "out like a light" in meditation. I was present one minute, and the next, just gone. No conscious memory of what happened or where I went (if, indeed, anything happened or I went anywhere at all). In one of those experiences, I was in the presence of Christ (well, that's my background, so that's the form "the master" takes in my imagination), and he reached out his hand to me, and I understood I was to go somewhere with him. I took his hand and, boom. Out like a light. No memory, no consciousness. I am absolutely certain that there was more to it, but my conscious self has no recollection of it (in later years, bits of understanding did unfold, but that's another story and another topic).
That all being said, I had to stop and write a journal entry of my own. I'm kind of surprised that reading this article had this immediate effect, but perhaps I'm just open to it enough that it was the nudge that was needed. Or something. Doesn't matter. The core of my being is Nothing, and how wonderful it is to experience this.... (I normally don't flog my blog on here or anywhere else, but I don't want to write it all down again or copy and paste it: http://spiritualadventures.blogspot.com ... gness.html