Understand the meaning of the word, i.e. notion of ‘self ’
The New Oxford Dictionary (i.e. the NOD) defines the word:
1. ‘Self’, as noun or substantive: a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others; a person’s particular nature or personality especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action. (Note: the colours indicate a notional (hence meaning) shift.
2. ‘Self’ with adj.: a person’s particular nature or personality; the qualities that make a person individual or unique.
3. ‘Self’ as pronoun: oneself; in particular.
4. ‘Self as adjective (attrib.): as the same material or colouring as the rest of the item. (Note, if you compress out the particulars of this definition, you arrive at the definition of Brahman = atman = prajpati, namely: ‘… same as the rest’ , i.e. not different, hence @ rest = nirvana)
5. ‘Self’: of or directed towards oneself or itself.
6. ‘Self’: own (German: eigen) difference, i.e. the difference (i.e. as random instruction) that identifies an individual.
The term ‘self’ (1 to 4) is assumed to be of Germanic origin, related to Dutch zelf or German selbst (possibly meaning ‘of one’s own’, synonymous with German, ‘eigen’). The early use of ‘self’ was emphatic, meaning ‘I myself’. The term ‘self’ (5) is derived from the German ‘sich’ (i.e. action towards the ‘I’).
Closer inspection of the NOD’s definition of the word ‘self’ reveals ‘self’ to be a classic fuzz word, i.e. fuzzy because of the many extremely different meanings, indeed meaning suggestions it presents. In fact, the multiple meanings given to the word indicate that the compilers of the NOD were extremely uncertain as to what the term ‘self’ actually meant when first used, or what it means now, or what it should or could mean. So they did what the Tathagata (indeed his successors, and the competitors busy inventing the Upanishads) did a couple of millennia ago. They simply stacked together a variety of different possible meanings so as to cover all ‘bets’ (or opinions), thereby letting the reader choose the one she prefers.
Offering multiple-choice interpretation options for word amounts to cheating. The affect of offering a palette of possible solutions (all uncertain) may result in three affects:
1. The preferred meaning is chosen and stress reduction (if to zero, then to nirvana = @rest) ensues, i.e. because the unresolved problem has been resolved.
2. A definition cannot be chosen. In this case the individual fails to resolve the problem, and, by continuing to try (via endless computation), eventually sinks into trance, i.e. he or she becomes enchanted or gives up (i.e. stores the unresolved problem and which ‘waits’ as residual action, hence as low level stress). During enchantment her stress level is reduced, her resistance to instruction is lowered and a self-activating stress reduction program (or any other program) can be installed. The deliberate use of words whose meaning cannot be defined (thereby preventing computation ending) serves as a ‘smoke and mirrors’ tactic designed to disable the opponent (and permit brainwashing and/or colouring).
3. A definition (possibly a politically correct one) is unwillingly accepted. That eliminates stressing in the short run.