Our reality-maps or belief systems may look very similar to other people’s, but they are never identical because they are based on experience. And as we know, we all have different life experiences. Our reality-maps are actually the world internalized, which means conversely they are ourselves externalized. Without reality maps, we would not be able to take any action. The only people who do not have functioning reality maps are those that are in deep sleep, in a coma or dead and even in these cases it is still possible that an internal reality-map is still functioning for the inner realms. So the claim that I often hear to try to have no separate self is just not correct for anyone who is not dead, in a coma or in deep sleep. Without a reality-map we could not even locate different rooms in our own home.
The self is also made up of energetic bodies or structures. Do these bodies suddenly disappear or become irrelevant when we deny the self? Do any blocks in them suddenly disappear? The physical body is part of the energetic body, but when we deny the ego, does our body suddenly get a different face or lose its face? And if we had a disease before awakening, does it suddenly disappear? If we are obese, do we suddenly find biological balance? All these are part of the self, so the fact they remain after the ego is denied indicates that aspects of self still persists.
And beyond these are unconscious processes such as the shadow, those parts of ourselves we deny because they contradict our concept of self/ego and these extend into the collective unconscious. Given that these unconscious patterns also define the self, can we ever really be so sure that self is no longer present, when all we have to rely on is our consciousness which by definition is not aware of those aspects of ourselves that are unconscious? The alternative is to believe that when we awaken, everything becomes conscious. But that is just a belief, the mind can never really know.