‘Thus Have I Heard’ is the ritual opening of a primary Sūtra.
The Sūtra asks:
‘Is there anywhere to be found, either by observation or by inference, and outside of an unexamined, inherited authority and unquestioned convention, an ‘Independent and Separate Observer, Self, Subject’?
In contemporary take, is there a separated ‘Self’ in the guise of:
A Physical Body, a Cell, a DNA Code, a Thought, a Mind, an Awareness, a Consciousness, a Totality, a Nullity, an Unity, an Entity, an Ego, an Energy, a Life-Force, an Intelligence, a Thinker, an Inquirer, a Speaker, an Actor, an Enforcer of Will, a Receiver of Experience, a Vehicle of Emotion, a Receptacle of Sensation, a Presence, an Existence, an ‘Organizing Principle’, a ‘Hidden Abstraction’, an ‘Inner Being’, a Spirit, a ‘Soul’…
[Go ahead and add any I may have missed. Don’t be shy.]
No ‘Enforcer of Will’ or ‘Receiver of Experience’ doesn’t mean there is no enforcement of will or reception of experience. What’s up for questioning is the implicit presumption that there is an ‘Independent and Separated Presence’ doing it.