To ease the movement through the stages that shift perception, an understanding of the composite unity often facilitates the process.
It must be understood that all of the things that one took himself / herself to be in the past - including any and all personalized and individualized ego-states, roles, selves, identities, stage characters, personas, personalities, etc. - were nothing more than misperceptions.
Specifically, this must be seen: that which is nothing more than a composite of elements, breath, and conscious-energy was mistakenly assumed to be something "personal." Of those three, which part could be considered "personal"? No part. Not the elements. Not the breath. Not the conscious-energy.
Additionally, to be free of feeling offended or threatened or hurt, see that none of those three could ever possibly take anything "personally" (or "persona-ly").
Having transcended the I-Amness, in fact, no part of the composite unity can know itself (some will prefer "ItSelf") as "I am." Even that Am-ness has been left behind, having been recognized as just another concept to be discarded on the final leg of the "path."
Maharaj: "The 'state' of 'beingness' is clearly an incomplete, provisional state of understanding. The sages and prophets recognized the sense of 'being' initially. Then they meditated and abided in it and finally transitioned it, resulting in their Ultimate Realization."
After the Final Understanding manifests, then abidance happens spontaneously, not as the "I am" but as the Absolute Awareness - awareness that is not aware of - and there is no registration even of the "I am" anymore.
There is in the Absolute (or as the Absolute) no "one" to know or to recognize beingness or Am-ness. Most assuredly, therefore, there is no "one" abiding in the Nothingness (or as nothing ... as no thing) that can register any sense of "I Am." All happens spontaneously with no sense that there is some "one" making it happen or some "one" doing anything.
All of that was filtered out when the "veil" was passed through when the movement from the illusory "here" and the misperceived "this" to the Reality of the nothingness happened. Wherefore any sense of a "prior Me" if not even a sense of a "present Me" is registering?
To speak of a "prior Me," you must have missed the point of the talk on the Presence and the composite unity in the post you referenced. Now, the invitation is to consider both. Then the case with you can be the same as the case here: the I-Amness state has been transcended, and You too can transcend the state if you but understand.
Maharaj taught that the Presence (the I-Amness) should not even be here: "The non-'I-Am-ness' only can meet that nothingness."
Does the deer sit in the cool blue shade and mentally repeat, "I Am, I Am, I Am"? Practice that mantra in the early steps along the "path" in order to end once and for all the habit of following "I am" with any personifying noun or adjective, but at some point, please! Stop it. Stop the mental machinations and sink into the bliss of nothingness.
Maharaj advised seekers to move "up to the precipice of consciousness" and to then fall "into the abysmal depth." Everything experienced, he said, is non-eternal. His invitation was to "experience" the eternal and to "experience" the Void, even as it is understood that there is no "experiencer" at all.
Transcend the I-Amness and only then will you know total independence and total freedom, and only with the manifestation of total independence and total freedom can the complete bliss then manifest; yet even the bliss can only happen now, not "later," not post-manifestation. Bliss is now or never, and bliss is only available consistently when abidance happens naturally.
To delusionally try to live "supernaturally" - in either a super-spiritual or super-religious style that stops the movement along the seven-step "path" at the third step - will actually result in living unnaturally (knelling, rising, pleading, attending, chanting, dunking, sprinkling, burning this, ringing that, etc.).
Maharaj reflected on a visit to the loft by two college students and how he advised them to "forget spirituality." He invited them to follow "their normal inclinations" - that is, their natural tendencies - and to "do your normal duties" and "just give up spirituality."
That advice was rooted in his own experience that had bogged him down. He was trying to spare them years or decades of being similarly bogged down. He said:
"I got involved in spirituality, in the business of spirituality, [but] finally I lost that love of the Self also. I have no more love for the Self."
What an otherwise-warped manner of thinking, as if loving the Self is less selfish and less self-centered than loving the self (or selves). To be preoccupied with Self as opposed to being preoccupied with self still results in preoccupation and in the busy-ness of occupation with Self.
Only those who ...
... love the doingness of religion and
... love the going and the doing and zooming involved with spiritual exercises and
... who are too bored to be able to sit quietly in the solitude and
... who unconsciously prefer chaos over calm and
... who find natural living to be "less noble" and
... who think that they require love from the masses or admiration from the crowds in order to feel full inside
would take a busy religious life or a busy spiritual life over a simple, relaxing, quiet, natural existence. And that option is not a "no-brainer." It is a "no-minder."
Maharaj: "So long as one depends on the mind, the mind will always make us unhappy. What is suffering really? Suffering is only something which has been engendered by a thought or a word - [by] the mind."
Nothingness. Mindlessness. Doing-less-ness. Ahhhh.
Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)