Just as with the noun spirit, there are many meanings, usages, and connotations associated with the noun self. The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that it is the realization or embodiment of an abstraction; the entire person of an individual. The Oxford dictionary states that it is a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others. But whatever meaning is attributed to our sense of self, it all represents a person's subjective conscious ego which is an aspect of the individual mind or psyche.
This self we refer to is a point of consciousness that in the occidental tradition represents an individual (unique and distinct) persisting entity, separate from God. In contrast, in the oriental (Indian, Chinese and Japanese) tradition it represents a temporal aspect of universal consciousness--or immortal Void--perceived by the brain as the illusion of human ego, separation, duality, identity, and personality. Accordingly, the key to self-realization lies in the recognition that our true self is beyond subjective individuality.