Avatar Adi Da plays off the book title, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, by Albert Schweitzer, to propose that all human lives are a quest for the historical "self".
In this video excerpt from a discourse given on November 6, 2004 (and broadcast live over the Internet to all His devotees worldwide), Avatar Adi Da explains that, in Reality, there never is nor was any separate "self".
When the "self"-contraction — or the activity of egoity that presumes separate mind, body, and world — is transcended, "there is nobody there". "Reality is Self-Evident when there is no 'I'-thought."
It could be said that all human lifetimes are a "quest for the historical 'self'" — their own indisputable, defined, real existence.
What is "self"-contraction — if not an effort, a quest, or a search for "self"-existence? It is a use of that body-mind, the fundamental purpose of which is to generate the sense of separate existence over against everything and everyone.