from a very small, pocket size book:
"Sufism - The Alchemy of the Heart"
published by Chronicle Books - San Francisco
"The Discourse of the Birds" is a Persian allegorical poem describing how a group of birds (representing various human types of souls) embark upon a great pilgramige in search of the "Simurgh", the mythical bird which represents the Supreme Being. Along the way of their journey they pass through many valleys, with names such as Quest, Love, Understanding, Detachment, Unity, Bewilderment and Extinction.
Upon finding and worshiping and meditating upon the majestic and beautiful Simurgh, the pilgrim birds achieve their essential and eternal life and identity by annihilating their individual selves and identities into Him (the Simurgh).
Annihilation or Extinction in God (al fana fi LLah) is followed by the Divine Gift of Eternal Being THROUGH God (al-baqa bi LLah).