Is the self a convincing fiction?
Our sense of self is constantly shifting based on what we are attributing it to.
On Monday, if we are feeling grateful, we may think “I’m so happy!” But if those feelings are replaced by anxiety or depression the next day, our thoughts might become “Oh no, I’m so sad and anxious.”
We also tend to look at our current situation in a broader context, such as “I’m always so sad lately. It’s been like this for a long time and I don’t see any hope for the future.”
But these are fictions. There is no self at all beyond our thoughts or version of that self.
The self is not an independent entity, but rather a product of thought. It is more like an action than a thing, and without thought, the self ceases to exist.
In other words, the self only exists in the moment, just like walking only happens while one is in the act of walking.