We're out looking FOR something in the spiritual search. We're reading a book or a blog, hoping a phrase will suddenly transport us into Enlightenment, which will be what? An experience. A new "state". We're not searching for what we are, we're searching for a better "state", one that isn't like the current one, or the one's we dread, like suffering or grief or worry or sadness or depression. This "new" state will be permanent happiness, which is what we conceptualize "bliss" as. This "new" state will be permanent something, but whatever that something is, it will be better than the ones we presently don't like.
Isn't that what the spiritual search is for you?
And this idea of spirituality or enlightenment or whatever label you like to use, as long as this is the idea of what it's all about, frustration will continue. Confusion will continue. Because it's not a new "state". It's not permanent happiness for you, the individual. It has nothing at all to do with any individual. The individual who will get this new state IS the veil itself, the obscuring factor to seeing what this is all about.
We must stop looking FOR something, for some new state, for something achieved by proper seeking, for something received anew. We must directly question and investigate this idea of an individual, a separate self, an independent entity which was born separate of the world.
The most certain thing you know is that you ARE, you exist. We confirm this when we say "I AM". "I AM"-ness isn't conceptual, you didn't have to make it up, you didn't have to learn it, you didn't have to be TAUGHT that you exist. You don't have to rely on any memory to know that you ARE. You don't have to project a future to know that you ARE. Right here and now, you know without any supporting evidence, that you ARE. THAT YOU ARE is self-evident.
Why is it self-evident? What is it, that makes your existence self-evident? What is it BECAUSE OF WHICH you can claim with certainty - "I AM"?
Is it because there are thoughts? Is it "I think, therefore I am"? If thoughts pause, what remains to be aware of the pause? If there is a brain injury or a stroke and thoughts stop, what remains to know of this absence of thought? If no thought comes to claim - "I AM" - do you cease to exist? Is that certainty of existence gone? No.
Is it because there is a body? There are hands appearing now. Does that provide that certainty of "I AM"? There is breathing being felt. Does that provide that certainty of "I AM"? No. There is something which is aware of the breathing and body-form.
Isn't that "something" which is aware of the thoughts, the breathing, the body-form, isn't THAT why you know you exist? Isn't that what is referred to with the words "I AM"? Isn't that actually what we mean when we say "I"? But due to inattention and lack of precise discernment between the body-mind and that PURE "I" or "I AM"-ness, that sense of existence is wrapped up with this objective content, this body-mind, and then the idea is created of a person, an individual, a separate entity, someone who came into existence and will eventually pass out of existence. Cease to exist.
It is simply a confusion of that already-present "I AM"-ness with the objective qualities of appearance or awareness which creates the identification AS a person, as ME.
That "something" is always-here - always the basis or foundation or background or principle upon which or in which these passing or temporary objects come. That "something" isn't an achievement, not a product of seeking. It's not found anew. It's recognized. It's revealed to have always been there, only overlooked in focus on the objective, in identification WITH the objective, in conceptualization or belief/assumption that the objective IS what you are. It's overlooked due to taking yourself TO BE a body, with a mind.
And this idea IS the false limitation, believing yourself to be a body IS the prison itself, the bondage from which we seek freedom. This idea IS the very core of suffering.
You know that you are always-here - THAT is the reason you're certain of your existence, that always-here-ness is self-evident, nonconceptual. Discern between the mind's translation of "I AM", which means "I AM" this and that, and the true "I AM", which is pure always-here-ness, pure background of knowing, the present SEEING or condition of awakeness. THAT isn't in need of a search. THAT isn't hidden and requiring a search. It's just a mix-up - a simple confusion of ephemeral "thingness" with the obvious and rock-solid being/knowing that you are.