Reincarnation without the soul…OSHO
Hindus believe in God and the soul. Jainas don't believe in God at all but only in the soul. And Buddhists don't believe in the soul or God either. But about reincarnation all three agree — even Buddhists agree, who don't believe in the soul. A very strange thing…then who reincarnates?
Even THEY could not deny the phenomenon of reincarnation, although they could deny the existence of the soul; they say the soul does not exist but reincarnation exists. And it was very difficult for them to prove reincarnation without the soul; it seems almost impossible. But they found a way — of course it is very subtle and very difficult to comprehend, but they seem to be closer, the closest to the truth.
It is easy to understand that there is a soul and when you die the body is left on the earth and the soul enters into another body, into another womb; it is a simple, logical, mathematical thing. But Buddha says there is no soul but only a continuum.
It is like when you kindle a candle in the evening and in the morning when you are blowing it out a question can be asked of you: Are you blowing out the same light that you started in the evening? No, it is not the same light, and yet a continuity is there.
In the night when you lit the candle… that flame is no more there, that flame is continuously disappearing; it is being replaced by another flame. The replacement is so quick that you can't see the gaps, but with sophisticated scientific instruments it is possible to see the gaps: one flame going out, another coming up, that going out, another coming up. There are bound to be small intervals, but you can't see them with bare eyes.
Buddha says that just as the candle flame is not the same — it is changing constantly, although in another sense it is the same because it is the same continuum — exactly like that, there is no soul entity in you like a thing but one like a flame. It is continuously changing, it is a river.
Buddha does not believe in nouns, he only believes in verbs, and I perfectly agree with him. He has come closest to the truth; at least in his expression he is the most profound.