reply to post by Bodhi7
Let's draw some fine shades here.
Hindus think the atman (soul) is eternal until it is mixed back with the Godhead (Shiva or Vishnu or Mataji any other aspect of God, or the Advaita
abstract). Buddha spread the doctrine of anatta - anatman. He pointed to the insubstantiality or the illusionary nature of the human ego and probably
wanted to discourage his followers to wait for external salvation (which would go nicely with the Hindu soul idea). He never explicitly denied that
there is something that reincarnates. When directly questioned "What happens to the soul after death?" he stayed in silence.
As a result there are Buddhist schools which deny the existence of a separate soul. Others use the concept but add that as everything composite, it is
also impermanent. Still others talk and write as if the Buddha had not made this anatman doctrine at all.
In Western philosophy, you call that a "hard" interpretation of the soul and a "soft "interpretation.
Most Tibetan Buddhism is simple: you reincarnate - no question if it is the same you. They also make a pantheon of boddhisattvas much like the Hindu
Zen is more straightforward: when asked this question, a teacher asked back: if a candle blows all night and goes off then the same candle is lit in
the morning, is it the same candlelight as the night one or not?
No verbal answer, but you should realize something at his point. (I did.) Nagarjuna would answer it would be wrong to say it is the same, it would be
wrong to say it is not the same, it would be wrong to say it is neither, and it would be wrong to say it is both.
I am a Buddhist, but in this I side more with the Hindus. However, not everything gets reincarnated as Western Occultists deem... Some are simply
absorbed by the theocratic spirits hovering on the other side... Actually, reincarnating again is probably your best bet after death instead of going
into the theme parks of the theocrats. For it's difficult to get out, just like it is rare for the chicken factory birds to rise up in rebellion and
breach the factory.