Can You See the Real Me?
Heraclitus plus Hume plus Neuroscience. Everything flows. There is no abiding core of self, no real essence. The self is no illusion, but it has no permanent essence. "Wise people fashion themselves" (Buddha)—a liberating notion.
Though we easily overestimate our ability for self-fashioning, I dare say... once we stop underestimating it.
Antonio Damasio ("The Quest to Understand Consciousness") would rather place our sense of self, and our map of consciousness for personal continuity, in the inside of our body. And that map flows, but rather slowly. And you can’t see it either—except on the outside.
Damasio speaks of three levels of the self, based on cerebral functions. Besides the proto self and the core self, some higher animals have an autobiographical self, a sense of identity associated to plans and memories. This notion is highly relevant for narrative studies and narrative psychology. Narrative as such, not in the sense of an internal narrative self but in the sense of cultural narratives, stories, literature, films... would have to do with the sociocultural regulation of the self as understood by Damasio.