At one extreme, the self is a made-up construct arising from our complex brains. At the other, the self is a soul or spirit that can survive death.
Robert Lawrence Kuhn is the creator, writer, host and executive producer of the PBS television series "Closer to Truth" (produced and directed by Peter Getzels) and he has published more than 30 books including The Mystery of Existence: Why is there Anything At All? (2013, with philosopher John Leslie), "Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning and the Future" (2007) and "The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin" (China’s best-selling book in 2005). Kuhn is a commentator for the BBC, CNN, CCTV, and Bloomberg, and a featured columnist in the South China Morning Post and China Daily. His Ph.D. is in anatomy/brain research (UCLA).
You may not really be a "self," some philosophers say. Rather, you could be just a mix of experiences and "stuff" that happens in the universe.