Here is my own truth
I had my first two awakenings in 1995 wherein I saw the emptiness and illusion of self, and that the world was a creation of mind. I identified with the emptiness, the space that contained all. There was nothing left to do so far as seeking was concerned. I also saw that what I was in the deepest sense was even beyond consciousness, that it was the movement of the "I Am" sense that created the manifest world.
In retrospect I see that there was some movement to return to the marketplace that began in 2003. Before that, I realized I had nothing to say, there was no truth, all knowledge was empty and illusory, including even this knowledge.
Nisargadatta said in I Am That:
You are giving a certain date to your realization. ... What happened?
Maharaj: The mind ceased producing events. The ancient and ceaseless search stopped - I wanted nothing, expected nothing - accepted nothing as my own. There was no `me' left to strive for. Even the bare `I am' faded away. The other thing that I noticed was that I lost all my habitual certainties. Earlier I was sure of so many things, now I am sure of nothing. But I feel that I have lost nothing by not knowing, because all my knowledge was false. My not knowing was in itself knowledge of the fact that all knowledge is ignorance, that `I do not know' is the only true statement the mind can make.--Nisargadatta
So, what to say about nothingness and not knowing? For ten years I couldn't say anything. Now I have something to say about it. Give up all concepts and dive within the emptiness one finds inside. Stay there, as dumb as a rock, and it becomes illumined by the light of consciousness. It took me 15 years to learn to say this.
But you see, this realization, for most, requires a final return to the marketplace wherein one’s inner mess, one’s inner brokenness is released over and over until our humanness is as empty as the Void we received upon first realization.
Soen Sah Nim called it the path from emptiness back to ordinary mind, from 180 degrees back to 0, or 360 degrees. It is filled with drama and magic he said. In my own experience, it is a movement of love and acceptance, both of my own inner brokenness and mess, and of others. But the problem is finding that driver that will make it happen: Love! Only intense love for another and for one’s own self will automatically cause you to go deep. Once this intense love grabs you, you are helpless. However, at some point most find a way to jump off this path because it is so painful and intense. But a few, with great courage remain on it to the end, where their personal inner emptiness now matches the great Void revealed to them many years before.
The way of the Bhakti is entirely devoted to exploring this level of puking one’s guts out so to speak in order to reach emptiness with many milestones along the way, and in the end, they arrive at the same truth as Advaita, being empty and receptive to everything and everyone, completely humbled. Those who seek the advaita way, or neo advaita really don’t want to hear this, but this path is so much easier after becoming established in the Void first, because you know where you are going then on a human level.
The path of the Bhakti, difficult as it is, also reveals experiences of love, bliss, ecstasy and surrender that make the path itself its own end. All along the way after the first awakening, even in the midst of tremendous upheavals from the unconsciousness, there is a growing sense of rightness and happiness, with increasing love and bliss that makes the journey tolerable.
Life, in the end, becomes service to others in the way he or she feels most compelled to give.
One of the most dramatic accounts of this journey to No-Self is given by Bernadette Roberts in her three books. She talks of moving from being an ordinary person, consumed by love of Christ, to experiences of oneness and ecstasy, then the movement towards complete emptiness, nothingness, or as she called it, the Void of Voids. The first part of her journey was purely Bhakti, the second, Adaita or Zen-like, and as she put it, hell. Her pain came from the loss of the love and bliss she had so loved.