As Richard Alpert tells it in his now famous book Be Here Now, he went to India as a late–almost last–ditch effort after he realized that taking psychedelics, even heroic amounts, always left you down, always left you more or less where you were before. Such was–is–the nature of samsara.
In India, Alpert met a young American sannyasin named Bhagavan Das, and Bhagavan Das told him, quite simply, “Be here now.” This is excellent, albeit not yet complete, spiritual instruction. Excellent why?
Because the mind cannot rise outside or, or independent of, space-time. In pure presence, there is no thought. There is only pure “I Am.” Michael James thus:
Thus our experience that the present moment is a point in time is an illusion, just as our experience that the present place is a point in space is an illusion. As we saw above, if we set aside all thoughts of any place other than this precise present place, ‘here’, and keenly scrutinise only this precise present place in order to discover what the truth or reality of it is, we will discover that it is truly not a point in physical space, but is just our own self-conscious being. Similarly, if we set aside all thoughts of any moment other than this precise present moment, ‘now’, and keenly scrutinise only this precise present moment in order to discover what the truth or reality of it is, we will discover that it is truly not a point in the passage of time, but is just our own self-conscious being. When we thus discover that there is no such thing as a precise present point in time, and that our experience of the present moment in time is therefore merely an illusion, an imaginary apparition, we will discover that the passage of time, which we always experience only in this illusory present moment, is likewise merely an imaginary apparition.
Since all points in time and all points in space are experienced only in this present point in time and this present point in space, they depend for their seeming existence upon these present points, the ever-present ‘now’ and ‘here’, which in reality are nothing but the presence of our ever-present consciousness of our own being, ‘I am’. Therefore, our ever-present self-conscious being, ‘I am’, is the sole substance or reality not only of this present moment, ‘now’, and this present place, ‘here’, but also of the entire appearance of time and space.Happiness and the Art of Being, p. 308.
Hence, “Be here now” essentially and elegantly means: “I am” or “I-Eternal Now-Infinite Here.”
One cautionary note to sound, though: simply sinking into “be here now” may not, on its own, destroy the illusion of the ego. For the mind could, in many cases, rise again in the form of “I am the body.”
For this reason, one may need to do Self-inquiry rather actively to discover that the apparent ego does not, in fact, exist. The only thing that truly exists is “I am.” That is, looking for the ego each time only reveals Pure Consciousness.
In a similar vein and as Atmananda states while citing the famous snake-rope analogy, we can’t just see that the snake is an illusion. Necessary yet not sufficient, since that alone may allow for us to mistakenly believe that it’s some other entity. Instead, we must also, and directly, see what it really is: it is, and has only ever been, a rope.