Curious, how preoccupied we tend to be with ourselves, so self-centered, and yet how little we actually know about it. We spend our life defining and defending it, trying to please its every wish, agreeing with its opinions, obeying its orders, and yet... what is it?
When a sense of self arises, turn with curiosity and kindness and look deeply -- look into what you call self. What is it? What is it made of?
What sensations arise with this self?
What feelings and emotions?
What stories does this self tell?
What impulses and behaviors follow the arising of a self?
When this self appears, how does it affect how the world looks?
Look and look again until you know its true nature, lest you become, in the words of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, "the slave of a ghost."
Whatever the phenomena through which we think of seeking our self identity, it turns out to be transitory. It becomes false, for what lasts for a moment is deceptive...
~ Buddha Shakyamuni, The Origin and Cessation of Suffering (Dvayatanupassana Sutta)