We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Some psychoanalysts like Kohut and Kernberg have theoretical ideas about it. Sometimes I think that the word, and whatever idea exists behind the idea, is a sociocultural construct more than anything else.
That is not to say that we are not individuals with our own personality tendencies.
The Self exists because it is the privilege of human nature to so conform itself over the course of a lifetime. "Human nature" is the larger issue, then. The following 500-worder will definitely hold your attention...
At its most basic and profound level, the Self is awareness of existence. It is the name the Hebrew God: I Am or I Am that I Am or I Am that I Will Be. The same concept is core to Vedanta and some other religions.
The purpose of modern life with all its electronic distractions is to insulate oneself from One's Self.