Your true essence is formlessness, limitless being which is indescribable. In this you do not even know that you ARE.
Upon that changeless being comes the first spark of imagination - I AM. It is the most certain knowledge of being, yet to know that you ARE requires the assumption of opposite - for anything to BE requires relativity - a particular state. That state is the I AM-ness. That is the sense of being, the feeling or knowledge of yourself.
This seed of duality is innocent, inadvertent. The pure love of being naturally expresses itself - that primary expression is the love to BE. Yet accompanied with that love comes duality. Therefore this seed takes root, from a certainty of Being to an appearance of duality.
From there, the establishment of this I AM as some "thing" seemingly becomes a certainty - it's a habitual thought-pattern, a foundation which requires a world opposite. This is the very definition of limitation. From that foundation the supposed entity - the "I"-thought - weaves in story along various paths, finally culminating in spirituality. The physical and material gains are too obviously impermanent - so the search for some better "state", some permanent thought-pattern comes.
That foundation IS the individual, the person - a thought-story so compelling because it sits at the center of all activity, thinking, feeling... there must be "someone" doing it, someone feeling it, someone thinking, someone seeking.
Yet the proper investigation turns that activity upon itself - driving the thoughts to deconstruct, to look beyond their limited stance, to be open to any possibility, no matter how far-out or paradoxical. The suggestion comes that you are not an individual at all - the thought-stories have been like a spell, a trance, a wandering into a dream only to take it as real.
The word "body" and "mind" have taken on a reality, such as a mirage appears to be water in the road. As long as the thought-story comes about "body", then that "thing" is taken to be real, to be a solid and separately-existing "thing". The mind is thought to be an actual place, a location in the head, a little control-center inside which a little "person" sits, peering out the eyes, wired to the senses like an astronaut awaiting launch.
Words, when left uninvestigated and relied upon for reality, provide a dreamscape, a false sense of Self, a picture of a world of "things", with you as a small and insignificant, limited "piece".
Remain with the thought "I". Watch as it does it's acrobatics, as it rises to greet the activity - "I am thinking", "I am hungry", "I am seeking". Watch this "I"-thought intently, discover it's methods, it's patterns. Watch as it asserts itself to create and sustain an image, that image of self which is like a storefront, a facade, a structure so shaky it must be propped up through constant re-assertion.
Once the "I"-thought is firmly within view, consider - WHAT IS IT that KNOWS the "I"-thought. What is it that is aware of the playful "I", the cynical "I", the self-doubting or self-ish "I"?
That "I" is only known due to this Consciousness, the light which illuminates the world of appearance. In fact that world has no existence outside of Consciousness itself, just like a dream, where buildings and people come and go, situations and activities present themselves with reality while only to end without a trace.
What is it that KNOWS this Consciousness - that SEED of I AM, that initial sense of beingness? What is present and unchanged, with no form or substance whatsoever, to know the play of Consciousness, as it dances for a while and then ends?
That pure Self that you are has no location, no duration, no shape, no size, no color, no characteristics, no attributes, and no conditions. It is pure formless BEING which cannot be found through thinking, cannot be located in the world of "things", yet cannot ever be negated.
Right now - that pure Self is present. We "call" it awareness, although that word has received as many conceptual ornaments as the word "God". That pristine, natural "state" is your own state - only not the "you" described by any story, not the "you" appearing in the dream of Consciousness.
That "you" is itself the totality, the Oneness or so-called Enlightenment. It isn't reached. It doesn't come anew. It IS - while all else is imagined to BE.