The Chess Game
The mind is only capable of dealing with "objects". Complex and multi-layered ideas must be reduced to symbolic representations of themselves before the mind can relate them to other objects.
For instance, the pieces on a chess board each represent complex and multi-layered relationships to the other pieces, but the player does not have to be conscious of ALL of the relationships all of the time. He or she can use them as "objects" and avoid being overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities they present.
Each piece on the chess board has its own identity (pawn, rook, king, queen, etc.), but its identity is dependent on its relationship to the game. Without the game, the pieces are meaningless.
Similarly, the many elements that go into making up the "self" are meaningless if taken out of the context of interrelationship to the Whole. What we call the "self" has no existence as a separate entity, but it is EVERYTHING in terms of relationship.
If we take the chess pieces off of the board and pile them into a box, they cease to have any meaning. Even sitting in their proper places on the board, they still do not have any meaning. It is only in the process of the action of the game that they take on their identity. The only "real" thing is the game, the interrelationships of the various pieces and the action they are thrown into.
These concepts are not easy for the mind to grasp, because the mind can only recognize "objects". Even the "action" is reduced to an object in the form of the patterns of movement assigned to each piece.
Whenever a player sees through the individual pieces and their patterns of movement, and he or she glimpses the game directly as though it were a living thing, that player becomes a master and no longer needs to be "told" how to play. The game itself dictates the moves. The player, in effect, becomes the game and no longer has a "self" that can be identified as separate and apart.
What CAN you identify with? You can identify yourSelf with the "will to play".
For more about understanding the self, see the article VORTEX.