‘Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.‘ So chided Robert Frost.
Self-Deception is complete because there is no deception at all.
That’s The Joke. The great big one. The priceless howler. An artlessly honest Joke, not a clever play of words.
But there’s a big difference between reading it and realizing it. Same as between hearing it and getting it.
The claim to an ‘Independent and Separated ‘Self” is a preposterous presumption, a comic conceit, a sanctioned vanity. Happily for you, there is no such vain ‘Self’ making any such conceited claim outside your fecund and fevered imagination.
There is no ‘Self’ in torment at its own absence. Nor one feverishly seeking to affirm its presence. There is no ‘Self’ writhing in Ignorance [Avidyā], nor one awakened in ecstatic Realization [Mukthi].
Like Silence, like Poetry, like Prayer, a Joke is not to be explained. If you explain the Joke, by that very act, you destroy the Joke. And what you have explained is not the Joke. But if you understand, you laugh. And just as often, weep.
A Joke is not always in the mood to make you laugh. And Absurdity, it’s kid-sister Irony, and it’s kid-brother Paradox, are not always funny. They can just as well make you wail, bring you to your knees. Especially if you didn’t get the Joke.