The knowledge “I am” is the first ignorance and whatever knowledge you acquire with it is ignorance. Go back to the source of your ignorance.
To understand more clearly take the example of the dream world. You are in deep sleep and suddenly you feel ‘I am’ and that ‘I amness’ creates a dream world. Similarly this manifest world is created by that ‘I amness’. You will realize this later in the search for truth. The last progress will be for you to transcend this ‘I amness’ and get stabilized in the ultimate.
This knowledge ‘I am’ comes to you after your body is born, after that the body of childhood grows on its own and becomes old. What remains in the end is only one thing ‘I am’. So all through life you have to remember to investigate who is this ‘I am’. Otherwise birth and death will have no meaning for your beingness, because that beingness will also be dissolved after the death of the body.
To start with you have to be in that beingness or ‘I am’ without the body sense. You feel that you are the body now but when you abide in that beingness you will know then how you are without the body sense.. But don’t forget, at the same time; that body and the vital breath are very necessary. Once you understand these three entities correctly (body, vital breath and the message ‘I am’), then you are apart.
That state in which you were before you acquired this knowledge ‘I am’ is the real state. Only after you got this knowledge you identified with the body-mind. Whatever you have acquired, including the body-mind, that will go, and it is useless, and that is that. But your original state, before you acquired the body, is the Truth, is the Real state, and it will remain.
Deal with the knowledge ‘I am’. This ‘I amness’ is there first, isn’t it? – primary. That ‘I’ must be there before you receive this sickness of ‘samskara’ (obstacles). Initially you have to understand that the knowledge ‘I am’ is a product of the food essence. When you know that you are, the world also is.