Below in a 1992 talk, Robert makes the distinction between the loss of of the concept of I, the illusory I that you think you are before self-investigation, and the real I, which is a feeling combined with knowingness of your existence as a sentient being fully engaged in life and which includes everything that is manifest.
However here Robert also seems to equate the false I with the term "ego," which you (The real I?) is trying to destroy.
But the real I never tries to destroy anything. It just knows itself and can't take its attention off of itself. The false I of ideas is replaced by intense knowingness of the Self, a constant realization of the Self.
This clearly demonstrates that words are an ineffective way of conveying spiritual knowledge, and Robert knew that, but was trapped in a role of being a teacher using words until his Parkinson's made that impossible.
"When you're practicing Self-Inquiry forget about the real 'I'.
"What you're doing is you're going backwards, you're trying to destroy the 'I' ego. And by destroying the 'I' ego what you call the real I will be self evident.
"The real 'I' is what you really are, that is your real nature. So you don't have to feel that some place there is a real 'I'. For what you're doing is you're making it sound as if there is you and the real 'I'. There can never be you and the real 'I'. There is only the real 'I', but because you don't really understand this fully the practice the Self-Inquiry has been given to you to get rid of the false 'I'."
~ Robert Adams
What Robert could have said was that your real nature is so vast, so powerful so full and blissful, and it is always there shining forth, but we are so full of words, concepts, shoulds, should nots, ideas of purification, perfection, as well as a lot of turbulent memories and emotions, that we lack the space to clearly see ourselves through the clutter.
Many years of self-inquiry meditation, or sitting in silence, can create an emptiness inside through which the True I can begin to be seen, somewhat like the sky clears of clouds after a storm and the blue sky can be seen.
Then one day, if you are lucky, the Self reveals itself to You, the Self who now truly sees one's inner world as more real than the clutter, and sees emptiness even within the clutter. And from that emptiness the Self shows itself to your Self rather than to the imaginary I you thought you were.
Then everything is transformed and turned upside down.
You directly apprehend yourself as the Center of the Known Universe, as well as the power or Life Force that courses through your body and also which makes the apparent world go round.
Robert then goes further and says:
"The answer you are looking for is within yourself. Everything you are looking for is within yourself. When I say within yourself I don't mean your physical self. I mean within the Self. The Self is not within you. You are in the Self. So when I say everything you're looking for is in the Self it includes your physical body and everything else. Everything is the Self."
You see, the acknowledges that we are everything, and as such, responsible for everything. Looking outside at the world is still the Self looking at the Self, feeling the Self, acting within the Self.