Well put, Lochlan.
I agree, calling the self an ‘illusion’ is dicey terrain, linguistically. In this context, I think ‘illusion’ is too often confused with ‘delusion’. Where delusion would imply my self is entirely a make-believe construct — a difficult pill to swallow and seemingly contrary to experience, as ‘I’ am definitely something — self as illusion implies self is a misapprehension of what’s there.
I do believe there’s something there, that the conventionally perceived ‘self’ refers to real mental processes and a particular, and common, conscious perspective. I’m just not sure this self is the only conscious perspective (meditative & psychedelic experience suggest otherwise). I also suspect there’s a more open, unfiltered subjectivity available to us that’s just as much a ‘self’, in that there’s a locus of experience, or an experiencer, present then as well (though according to serious practitioners, beyond this there’s the non-dual state where what is experienced and who does the experiencing dissolve into a single fabric…so that complicates things).
I guess I’m saying I find the experience of self to be a fluid, changing, porous thing. Talking about the self implies a single, fixed entity, and I find that inaccurate and constricting.
Or, there is an experience of a self, but that self isn’t necessarily me, that self isn’t a total representation of my subjectivity/awareness, if that makes any sense.
…Looks like I’ve confused myself. Thanks for engaging, enjoyed reading your comment.