I propose that the self (personally I prefer the word soul) is the active ingredient in all situations. Self knowledge is not required for optimal functioning, … degree of self awareness only flavours our experience … our experience of, our tasting through, and the associated enjoyments of the mind and bodily senses (both favourable and unfavourable).
There exists a potentially confusing situation for the self, … we find ourselves simultaneously integrated with our body, our mind, and our bodily senses, yet at the same time we feel our self to be somehow separate from all of these.
It may not be clear how we function in the standalone situation (of course people have their faith-based convictions … that’s another thing), but it is clear that all manner and variety of physical and/or emotional experience are facilitated by the soul-body-mind-senses arrangement, and indeed the soul seems to have a special talent or propensity to readily identify with them. This is a type of false ego, but rather than a flaw, this tendency may be our biggest asset (perhaps we are made that way? :)) … for while such identification is not necessary for delivering our experience per se, I believe it serves to render our experiences all the more thorough and intense. In as much as fully entering into a role play game, or suspending disbelief while watching a movie, delivers a more enjoyable experience by comparison to that of the aloof onlooker. I propose that absorption, and the resultant illusion and forgetfulness, is therefore something not to be too quickly judged or dismissed, because those things may well serve to facilitate the aspirations of the self rather than hinder them. A higher principle, if you will.
And because we do not know the aspiration of others, how can we be sure the delusions they sometimes seem to embrace are not perfectly delivering their dreams?
I believe the soul remains the active ingredient in all circumstances, is never compromised, and is always perfectly situated. Be the choice of the soul in the direction of darkness or light / ignorance or self awareness.
Or do you think your goal in life is determined by another?