He says quite plainly "don't ask". On his anatta retreat in 2009 he was pressed by a few of the participants "who is my real self", and he said that it is a worthless inquiry, and that you get tangled up in debates etc. So to suggest that he doesn't support the Buddhist teaching is not founded. I am not trying to place my views on him. I am, however, impressed by his balance and lack of fear. Common sense says we have a separate self, as stated in the Tricycle article "... the teaching on egolessness posits a fundamental error of perception: that despite our sense of a lasting, separate self, no such self really exists." How do we go beyond this common sense? Dropping self all together is just unhealthy, and I truly doubt anyone who does this has any substantial progress in insight. While Christians can be accused of grasping too hard at the self, Buddhists can be accused of letting go too quickly. And his article hits the nail on the head. If we were to place Western society in two camps of extremes, we have the prideful and the nihilistic. Try the case of John Lennon who went through Tim Leary's ego-death rituals. Now granted that the whole thing is drug related, and Tim Leary is no Buddhist sage. But John Lennon said it was one of the most destructive periods of his life. Our sick society has way too much baggage to be playing around like this. Think about all the unskillful behavior out there, and we say to those people to drop the ego. There is a lot of self-hatred in our society (not conscious, of course, for many), and our societies in general can be classified as on an auto-destructive path. This is why I support Thanissaro Bhikkhu's view. Not to somehow wrangle people into believing my strict position, but because he is countering a unique piece of baggage from our society that people bring to the practice. The only thing I would add to his thoughts are that we actually have these ideas native to us. Westerners are dysfunctional because they've all but dropped their own spiritual traditions, or perverted them so much that they are shadows of their former selves, literally. Just talk to the average Christian about their practice, and it is very ephemeral. I am not attempting to judge, just reading what I am seeing. The basic core of not-self is that as you ascend the ladder, you let go of one rung for another. You only let go of the ladder when you reach the top. If you refuse to hang on to the rungs of the ladder, or to climb, you're going nowhere. The ladder is the path. The rungs are the skills in development. You are the one ascending. Once you get to the top, the job is done, and there is no need to attend to a "you". Dropping that sense before the goal is spiritual suicide. But as you ascend, you focus more on the ladder, and not the self, and really the job at the end is not an ego battle, but just as simply as releasing from the ladder.