Eckhart Tolle says that if we feel like dying, we might allow our self to die, by surrendering that "ego" of our mind to reality as it is. Such surrender is found in all the world's religions and mystical traditions, including Christianity.
If this "self" is the source of our Fall, of our problems, of our separation from God, of our illusions of reality, of errors, sins, and delusions, then it can become very easy to begin to dislike this "self." It can turn into forms of self-hatred.
There are many benefits to meditation: spiritual, religious, practical, psychological, emotional, etc. Psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman talks through some of them in this video.
Bill Wilson, the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), had a spiritual awakening that involved bright light, sometimes referred to as his “hot flash” or “white light transformation.”