Astus wrote:songhill wrote:Looking for the self using the nets of the five aggregates is an impossible task. It isn't a particular shape or a pleasant feeling. It isn't a percept. It isn't a formation or consciousness. In addition, the five aggregates are produced by worldlings (S. iii. 152). The aggregates also belong to Mara the Buddhist devil (S.iii.189). From passage after passage, for example in the Khandhavagga of the Samyutta-Nikaya we learn that aggregates are not the self or not my self (na meso attâ). From this we can surmise that the self is most intrinsic. It doesn't have to be made or produced. In a manner of speaking it finds itself by putting away desire for what is not itself (S.iii.78). But as we know, worldlings produce and crave the five aggregates which are suffering; which are not the self.
You think that because it is taught that the five aggregates are not self that there must be a self somewhere else. However, if there were a self outside of the five aggregates that self would be without any sensory ability or even consciousness. Who believes in an unconscious, inactive self, and what would be the point of such a self anyway? On the other hand, the Buddha teaches that people think something to be a self or a possession of the self among the five aggregates, and that's why he teaches again and again that the five aggregates are not the self. But imagining a self beyond the five aggregates makes no sense even in everyday terms, not to mention Buddhism. Nevertheless, if you find a self appealing that is without thoughts, feelings and sense faculties, go on. It's just I don't see what Buddhism has to do with that idea of a non-functional self.
Well, yes I do Astus and the Pali Nikayas support me. And I don't see this self as being on the radar screen of the five aggregates. Basically, the aggregates, besides being produced by worldlings (puthujjana), are pretty much illusory as we can see from this passage.
Rupa is like foam, vedanâ is like a bubble, sañña is like a mirage, sankhâra is like a plantain-tree, viññâna is like a magician's creation, so explained the Kinsman of the Sun” (S .iii. 142).
(edit) Full teaching S.iii. 142 for context and correct translation.
This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate
One, the Teacher, further said this:
"Form is like a lump of foam,
Feeling like a water bubble;
Perception is like a mirage,
Volitions like a plantain trunk,
And consciousness like an illusion,
So explained the Kinsman of the Sun.
"However one may ponder it
And carefully investigate it,
It appears but hollow and void
When one views it carefully. 
"With reference to this body
The One of Broad Wisdom has taught
That with the abandoning of three things
One sees this form discarded.
"When vitality, heat, and consciousness
Depart from this physical body,
Then it lies there cast away:
Food for others, without volition.
"Such is this continuum,
This illusion, beguiler of fools.
It is taught to be a murderer;
Here no substance can be found.!
"A bhikkhu with energy aroused
Should look upon the aggregates thus,
Whether by day or at night,
Comprehending, ever mindful.
"He should discard all the fetters
And make a refuge for himself;
Let him fare as with head ablaze,
Yearning for the imperishable state."
Some people might enjoy playing in this illusory world, believing that it is really real. But as for the Buddha, the canon is pretty clear that he taught the aggregates are suffering, we are to abandon them, and the self and dharma are the refuge (the aggregates are sure not a refuge).