Can one realize there is no self while still pursuing a life that keeps the (non-existing) self happy? Can one have their cake and eat it too?
As long as one prefered pleasure to pain and happiness to sadness wouldn't this perpetuate a belief in the self? Wouldn't this feed the ego?
I don't see it as black and white - but more of a range with total selfish narcissism at one end and total altruism at the other. Is this why zen monks give up so many pleasures? Because they have realized there is no self, or because they hope that by doing so they will have a better chance of realizing there is no self? (What a selfish thing to do! - as Alan Watts said "getting rid of your ego is the biggest ego trip going")
These are the problems that loom large for me.