This is something that used to bother me for a long time. I finally made peace with it not too long ago, but it is still a wonderful topic of discussion.
Buddhism teaches that there is no self, no soul.
I can buy that. After all, there cannot be a permanent soul if everything is impermanent. Some people have an issue with this belief, but for me, it fits.
However, if there is no such thing as a soul or self, then how does reincarnation work? Reincarnation indicates that something is getting reborn. What is this something that is getting reincarnated? The easiest answer would be to say that its the soul.
Ah, but wait, I don't believe in the concept of a soul.
The concept of reincarnation was something I wrestled with for a while. The concept of a soul never seemed quite right to me, and impermanence makes sense. But I have trouble rejecting reincarnation all together because so many Buddhists have adopted it. We follow Buddha's teachings to break free from the cycle of suffering and, according to some, the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
One day, while I was thinking about this, another thought occurred.
"Why do I even care? Why not just live this life as well as I can, with all the compassion and mistakes and humor that comes with it? To me, people die, and then...
That's part of what death is. The unknown.
I don't know when I'll die and (possibly) be reincarnated.
So why worry?
Some would see this as kind of a cop-out, but it satisfied me.
6 hours ago