There are numerous theories of the self. In the West, for instance, the predominant theory seems to be that the self is an eternal and individual soul. Consequently, many — perhaps most — Westerners expect to survive more or less as themselves for eternity. An interesting idea.
You get a very different take on the self from Japan, where some people speculate the self is like an onion. That’s to say, when you delve into yourself — when you explore your self — you encounter layer upon layer as you go deeper into you self. But in the end, what is there?
Nothing. Just like an onion has nothing at its core, so the self is in the end nothing. And, of course, that means there is no immortal soul in this theory.
I tend to favor the onion theory because it comes closest to matching up with my experiences. But what about you? What’s your theory of the self?