"Bhikkhus [monks, the Buddha said, holding a fleck of cow dung in his hand], if even if that much of permanent, everlasting, eternal selfhood/metaphysical being (attabhava), not inseparable from the idea of change, could be found, then this living the holy life could not be taught by me."
Thanks for that interesting quote there. However, it applies to the material, formative world -- which everyone agrees is not permament.
“There is no materiality whatever, O monks, no feelings no perception, no formations, no consciousness whatever that is permanent, everlasting, eternal, changeless, identically abiding for ever.” Then the Blessed One took a bit of cow-dung in his hand and he spoke to the monks. ”Monks if even that much of permanent, everlasting, eternal, changeless individual Selfhood [attabhaava], identically abiding for ever, could be found, then this living of a life of purity [brahmacariya] for the complete eradication of ill [dukkhakkhaya] would not be feasible.” (SN 22:96)
How would you resolve the following with your interpretation>What about this oft quoted passage from the Udana which posits that Nirvana is something which is not fabricated and unformed:
Khuddaka Nikaya: "There is, O monks, an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. Were there not, O monks, this Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, there would be no escape from the world of the born, originated, created, formed. Since, O monks, there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, therefore is there an escape from the born, originated, created, formed. What is dependant, that also moves; what is independent does not move" (Udana 8:3).
Self is the master of self;
who else could be the master?
With self well-controlled
a person finds a master such as few can find. (Dhammapada)
Here our refuge itself -- Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are TERMED "ATMA":
“Attadipa, bhikkhave, viharatha attasarana anaññasarana, dhammadipa dhammasarana anaññasarana. Attadipena, bhikkhave, viharata attasarana anaññasarana, dhammadipena dhammasarana anaññasarana yoni upaparikkhitabba. Kijtik sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupayasa, kimpahotika”ti?
At S±vatthi. “Monks, abide as an island of yourselves, as a refuge of yourselves - without another refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge - without another refuge. Monks, abiding as an island of yourselves, as a refuge of yourselves - without another refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge - without another refuge; the foundation of your analysis should be such: ‘Born of what, is sorrow, weeping, affliction and mental distress, and from what has it arisen from?
Similarly the Dhamma' characteristic is that it is eternal -- unchanging and outside of time -- it is called akalikam -- timeless.
The question is -- DO ALL THE UPANISHADS SAY WHAT BUDDHA IS SAYING???? NOT! The Upanishads are contradictory.
Neti, neti is very, very cursory -- that's like saying all children know calculus because they can add.
Hindus in no way have the detailed teaching of not self.