"And why not? Subhuti, a bodhisattva who creates the perception of a being cannot be called a 'bodhisattva'. And why not? Subhuti, no one can be called a bodhisattva who creates the perception of a self or who creates the perception of a being, a life, or a soul."
~Diamond Sutra, Ch.3
I've skimmed through a lot of this stuff before, but never made a serious effort to learn what these sutras are actually going on about. At first glance, the wording can seem somewhat ridiculous. I'm only halfway through this one now, but one thing that stands out to me is the way no-self and compassion are staked out as essentially the basis of the entire religion. I've long understood that to be the case, but wasn't sure. I wasn't aware of exactly how and where it's spelled out.
I've also enjoyed the way it goes into the contradiction therein. If there is no self, then what is it that the bodhisattva should be concerned with liberating? The idea is that to awaken from delusion, one must be motivated by a pure compassion for all beings, while realizing no-self; no being has a self. There are no beings to liberate. Not to then give up on the whole idea, but to transcend the cognitive dissonance. Or something.