"'LET yourself go' now has a whole new meaning, but there are fewer things harder to let go of. Our concept of ourselves as individuals in control of our destinies underpins much of our existence...
So it is a shock to discover that our deeply felt truths are in fact smoke and mirrors of the highest order. What are we... to do?
First of all, keep it in perspective. Much of what we take for granted about our inner lives... is little more than a construct of the mind. The self is just another part of this illusion.
And it seems to serve us well. In that respect, the self is similar to free will, another fundamental feature of the human experience now regarded by many as an illusion. Even as the objective possibility of free will erodes... we continue to feel and act as though we have it.
The same will surely be true of the self. The illusion is so entrenched and so useful, that it is impossible to shake off."
For anyone who read (or reads) it and remains unconvinced, Jack Huber's new account of The Future of the Mind(Triarchy Press, forthcoming) adds a lot more flesh to the bare bones of this no-self thinking.
A starting point is to see ourselves as Complex Adaptive Systems. These CAS exist at every level from the molecular to the galactic. A human being, a forest ecosytem, your intestinal flora, a human society... these are all examples. All are complex, dynamic, opportunistic, self-organising systems characterised by the property of emergence, living on the edge of chaos and always moving into adjacent possibilities.
If you're persuaded that you haven't got a 'self', it may be easier to recognise that a rainforest or Ursa Major haven't got one.
Lots more in the Idioticon here.