During the search, I looked at those who expressed the message clearly as celebrities to be imitated. I saw my friend Charlie sharing on youtube and thought: "I wanna be just like him!" I went to a residential with Tony Parsons in Germany, and followed him around to try to absorb his enlightenment energy. It felt like being part of the advaita paparazzi, talking with others about how great this teacher was, telling tales of wonder about being with these people and trying to get a piece of their apparent "success."
When the spiritual search got started, all the previous conditioning went into it. So even when the message that "there is no one" came through, I turned that to mean, "I know there is no one, therefore I am enlightened." Those non-selves seemed so much happier than me, and overall just better, so I pretended to be like "them." I tried imitating the mannerisms of my favourite teachers, thinking about how they would react in certain situations. "How can I act enlightened in this scenario?" I sucked up to those that shared this message, trying to gain approval and encouragement on my path. "Please, Mr. Advaita Man, give me something I can call my own."
Those that were honest would have none of this crap. There were no celebrities to be made special by my paparazzi act, just honest expressions dedicated to dispelling my illusions. I thank them for their unwillingess to budge, and for not buying into my fanciful advaita stories.