All happening(three states) are part of the illusion created out of consciousness. Just by saying ' I AM that' no one becomes realized. It is easy to say say intellectually but thorough intellectual understanding the happening(duality)will not disappear. By saying I Am that will not transport the seeker to the ultimate end. Every angle has to be verified. Since every one has having inborn conditioning(samskara)it is difficult to realize the truth because 'I' or 'I AM' itself is samskara. This 'I' 'I AM samskara has to be mentally destroyed. It is no use arguing with those who think what they say is right and others are wrong. Because we have to respect their view ignore them after verifying the facts and continue with our inner (mental) journey.
That is why Sri, Sankara says in VivekaChudamani :-
61. For one who has been bitten by the serpent of Ignorance, the only remedy is the knowledge of Brahman. Of what avail are the Vedas and (other) Scriptures, Mantras (sacred formulae) and medicines to such a one?
62. A disease does not leave off if one simply utter the name of the medicine, without taking it; (similarly) without direct realization one cannot be liberated by the mere utterance of the word Brahman.
63. Without causing the objective universe to vanish and without knowing the truth of the Self, how is one to achieve Liberation by the mere utterance of the word Brahman ? — It would result merely in an effort of speech.
64. Without killing one’s enemies, and possessing oneself of the splendour of the entire surrounding region, one cannot claim to be an emperor by merely saying, ‘I am an emperor’.
65. As a treasure hidden underground requires (for its extraction) competent instruction, excavation, the removal of stones and other such things lying above it and (finally) grasping, but never comes out by being (merely) called out by name, so the transparent Truth of the self, which is hidden by Maya and its effects, is to be attained through the instructions of a knower of Brahman, followed by reflection, meditation and so forth, but not through perverted arguments.
There is nothing as sacred of Self-Knowledge. Realization of self-drives way the ignorance.
Self-Awareness frees ‘Self’ from the burden and bondage of illusory duality. It is the self that is in illusion. When it becomes aware of its true nature the universe is mere mirage to the self which is formless and non-dual in its nature. Thus the thoughts and words are part of the illusory existence.
Many spiritual masters say that sticking to "I am" is way out from the physical shackles. But that"I" or "I am" itself creates the physical prison. The one, which expresses itself as 'I', is not 'I' but it is formless consciousness. Therefore the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is not the self. Considering the ‘I’ or ‘I AM as self is erroneous. The self, which is in the form of consciousness cannot be called anything nor approached because it is prior to anything that exists. When the consciousness is the substance of the whole universe and its contents thoughts and words and it is not a thing or entity or identity within the physical existence but it pervades the whole physical existence than it is erroneous to limit the ‘I’ to the physical entity alone.
One has to grasp mentally the existence of the formless witness.' I or 'I' am is mere expression. all expression are part of duality.
The whole physical existence or universe is an expression. Thus physical existence or universe is mere illusion. The man and his experience of the world and his belief of god are within the illusory expression. The diversity is created out of single substance and knowing that single substance brings unity in diversity in consciousness.
Thus the universe (duality) is mere illusion. That is mind is an illusion. The one that has this illusion is the consciousness, which is the innermost self.
Therefore it is erroneous to seek truth on the base of 'I' because 'I' is not self. It very much necessary to rectify the seeking base by proper understanding of the fact that ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is not the self before indulging in the pursuit of truth.
As long as a person has a firm conviction that 'I' is self, he will not be able to understand ,assimilate and realize the non-dual truth, Because whatever knowledge one assimilate he assimilates as a person, which adds to his existing accumulated information. Therefore, seeker has to discover the fact that, 'I' is not the self but 'I' is the whole universe, which appears in the form of mind. Universe is mere mirage. The duality is experienced only when the universe is present. Thus universe is duality. Consciousness is formless substance and witness of the universe. Thus consciousness is the true self and cause of the universe but it itself is uncaused because no second thing exist other than it.
It is necessary to have firm conviction 'I' is not self but the formless substance and witness(consciousness). of the I or I AM is the true self. To understand, assimilate and realize the non-dual truth. I or I AM is the physical shackle one has to get rid of it to realize the happening or seen( three states) are mere illusion to the formless seer. In reality the seer and the seen are one in essence. there is neither seen nor seer in reality. it is wrong interpretation of the Scriptures they are stuck to I AM. It is the self is Brahman not I AM. thus one has to know what self is first. self is not individual It pervades in everything and everywhere in all the three states. I or I AM refers to individuality. Until the inner urge is satisfied and all the cobwebs of doubts and confusion is cleared no one will get realization.