I had left you with a difficult puzzle or two in the previous lessons. Who is watching the "screen" of the cortex when the thalamus "pops up" a data packet? How does the brain become the mind?
This may all seem rather "heady," esoteric or philosophical but some of our common phrases wrestle with these issues all the time.
If you want to convince someone to do something, I am sure you have resorted to the "Who's gonna make me?" argument. "ME, MYSELF and I" you have replied.
We intuitively make a distinction between ourselves and the perception of ourselves. Where is and what is the self? A clue may be found in the earlier discussion of diffusely organized systems and "mental" function.
Further help can be had in this exercise. The next time you are brushing your teeth pay close attention. Your visual world is the most encompassing, close your eyes and help it disappear. Now you can focus on the sound of the water running, turn it off and find the silence. You are now acutely conscious of the tactile sensation of the toothbrush, stop moving. What is left once we trim the bodily sensations? There are probably plenty of thoughts bouncing through your attention now! They are like "the monkeys on the roof" always active and noisy! Try to glimpse a moment between this chatter and there is an awareness that remains. This is your sense of self, alone. It is constituted by the "subconscious" inputs from your organs, body position and internal chemical balance. Your conscious self, the "watcher" is still separate from even this basic "hum" of being.
Sometimes the "watcher" will be lost. Of course when you sleep, all the "hardware" of the brain is intact but the "watcher" is absent. On some occasions you will daydream and you "lose yourself" in thoughts or images. You can become intensely involved in an activity and there is no "screen" and "watcher". In sports this is sometimes called "being in the zone." There is no separation between the inputs, the perception and the self. Very efficient performance is associated with "in the zone" events.
I don't think I can tell you much more about the self. It is a lifelong quest to define and refine your self.
If you still think this is too much for you, I leave you with this. Remember the toothbrush exercise? Well, there you are in front of the mirror. Your reflection is in the mirror. You are looking at your reflection. Is this what is meant by "Me, myself and I"?