This idea of ‘Joke’ is deceptively facile. 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 weep, bring you to your knees.
‘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.
There is no ‘Self’ in torment at its own absence. Nor one feverishly seeking to affirm its presence. There is no ‘Self’ writhing in Error [Avidyā], nor one awakened in ecstatic Realization [Mukthi].
There is no Independent and Separated ‘Self’. And no ‘Self’ realizing [or needs to realize] that there is no ‘Self’. And no ‘Self’…Ad Infinitum. All the way back to Shūnyam.
Note the ‘Catch myself catching myself’ sequence in ‘Vishnu’s Dream’.