Self is the need for Love; the need for Love manifests itself.

Nothing is an illusion and everything is real. The answer to the question as to what is everything is self (in the understanding that there is only one self which exists at different densities and that each of these densities are at their own stage of self-realization; realizing oneness/selfness). The answer to the question as to what is self is consciousness. And, vice versa; the answer to the question as to what is consciousness is self. The only question that thus remains to be answered is on the nature of consciousness, i.e., 'what is the purpose of consciousness and why did consciousness evolve?' The answer is LOVE. The need to love and be loved is the purpose of consciousness, the purpose of self. In other words; Self/Love is the need for warmth and togetherness that (it it)self is. Existence is the need for love; it is this need that self-exists as existence. We can replace the word consciousness or self with God at any time if it feels more comfortable for it is one and the same. Not only is the need for love the very foundation of existence; existence is this very need itself. External references here, here and here.
~ Wald Wassermann