Tough question . The illusion is that you have this person inside you. I think I have used the image of a little man inside my head. That this person/self is concrete-as concrete as this keyboard. That this self can be hurt -that when another person criticises an action-it hurts the illusion. How can an illusion be hurt-because the thoughts are corralled into this self. What I mean by corralled is they are stored in a kinda of mind file under "self" .Explain in detail, please, what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.
When I say mind file -i mean no more than a collection of thoughts called self but now Im thinking as I wrote that-that its complete nonsense. It just seems that way. I tell myself a lie when I say that Is it for protective purposes? Obviously lies are told for protection. I obviously get something from it? A sense of control that does not exist and anyway causes more harm than good because life/reality can be terribly random
So the self works by illusion. By taking part in it. An illusion of thought and preservation. Without it reality would be there in a purer form-I think.
I was looking at a group of students today and all I saw was heads. They were heads capable of talking to me. Have temperaments of one sort or another. Tend to act in certain patterns . But these patterns are only habits.
Im rambling here.