If you are a seeker of the truth then you still identify with a separate self. That is, you think of yourself as an individual body/mind with independent thought and free will. In this case, you might as well identify with the highest form of thought possible, that of being consciousness itself.
Referring to metaphors, as consciousness you are the ocean, not the wave, the sun, not the clouds, the screen, not the images on the screen. As a separate individual you identify with the wave, cloud, and image.
It’s all a matter of perspective, a shift in perspective. If you know your thoughts, then you are not your thoughts. Your thoughts arise in you. You don’t arise in a thought.
If you know you know your thoughts, then you are ultimately prior to knowing, before or beyond consciousness itself – consciousness being just a high concept.
You don’t have to make any effort to be. You know you are. That is enough. The biggest mistake, the true original sin, is that we mistake ourselves to be the thought ‘I am.’ But this is only a thought.
The thought ‘I am’ is the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning. A thought is no more real than a shadow. Nisargadatta Maharaj says, ‘The shadow cannot be there without the substance – but the shadow is not the substance.’
All thoughts are shadows and therefore we cannot be a thought. If you observe your thoughts, even casually, you find that one thought replaces another in an endless parade – ‘I am this, I am not this, I want this, I don’t want this, they are this, they are not this,’ etcetera. So ignore the thoughts and be that which you truly are – identify with that which knows all thought.
You think ‘I am.’ What is that? Exactly where is the ‘I’ that we cling to so dearly, that we stake our body-mind identity on? Where is it now?