The illusion of ‘I’ is that you think you are ‘I’ while you are only ‘am’; ‘am’ is the first person singular of the verb ‘to be’, and since, for ‘to be’ you don’t need to say ‘I’, but for to say ‘I’ you need ‘to be’, thus you are prior to ‘I’ as ‘am’, and that ‘am’ is ‘to be’; therefore, to that note, on the ocean of ‘am’ alone, ‘I’ is only a wave.
~Sw. Chidananda Tirtha