“It is held that absence of self is the true nature of every sort of every sort of entity — abstract or material, animate or inanimate — without exception,” wrote John Blofeld.
“Just as there is no part of a teapot, for example, which can be described as the real self of that pot, no essence of teapot independent of its substance, shape, color, age, condition and function, so do gods, men and animals have nothing which can be divorced from the constantly shifting physical and mental characteristics of their beings. The seeming individuality of each is a bundle of transient qualities, all ephemeral and unstable, all dependent for their fleeting existence on innumerable interlocking factors to which billions of causes, prior and concurrent, have contributed.”
Logical and strange as it is, this Buddhist concept echoes an 1899 poem by William Hughes Mearns:
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he'd go away...