Suppose a king might hear the sound of a lute and say “What is that sound – so delightful, so tantalizing, so intoxicating, so ravishing, so enthralling?” They would say “That, sire is called a lute…” Then he would say “Go and fetch me the lute” They would fetch the lute but he then said “Enough of the lute. Fetch me just the sound”.
They had to explain that the sound could not exist independently, but was created by the separate strings, box and arch, all elements working simultaneously.
Just as the king could not find the sound of the lute, so we cannot find our self. When we investigate, any thoughts of ‘me’ or ‘mine’ or ‘I am’ do not occur.
Based on the Buddha, Vina Sutta