What is reincarnation?
The Buddhists talk about reincarnation, but they deny the transmigration of a soul because they say there is no center of being. They have been looking for it for 2500 years and have not found it.
There is a roach living in my compost pile and its name is jimmy. When jimmy dies can he expect to be reincarnated as jimmy the roach again or jimmy the snail or Jimmy the beetle?
Or does reincarnation apply to roaches at all?
Are we special because our enhanced intellect and memory allows us to project a future, construct a center of being or ego, if you will, and surmise a continuation of this being or individual personality ?
Or is reincarnation about the survival of a personality at all? Could it possibly be about an extension of our identity to include all life ? Life is born, life dies, life appears again, not individual personalities, but plants die, animals die, life dies and life is reborn. Or is there more to it than that?
What do you say?
I have studied Buddhism for over 20 years.
You are right about there being no soul. There isn't even a self so why would there be a soul?
See the initial problem is we are under the impression that we have a self that persists. However the underline reality is the persistence of mind and it's karma.
At every moment you are led and restricted by your karma. When the body perishes the mind will enter the bardo realm and based on the karma at the time of death will determine which realm you are reborn in.
Cockroaches can eventually be reborn as humans but it's not that clean. Typically they are reborn as another cockroach and move up or down the status based on karmic debt.
There are even esoteric mantras called the rebirth mantra when recited before eating meat or killing insects will cause the being to be reborn as a human based on the merit of your affinity with the Buddhas. This mantra only works if you have the proper empowerment.
Its ignorance of absolute reality that causes you and beings to be continuously reborn over and over. Its already happened to you but you don't remember it but you can unlock those memories.
If your mind is purified you can see and experience past life memories while in samadhi.
A lot of people think of it in terms of punishment or rewards but it's neither. Samsara itself is nothing but punishment.
The point of Buddhism is to awaken to ultimate reality and help others want to awaken. No need to.push or advertise it. Eventually when a being is tired of samsara they will seek a solution which is the Buddha Dharma.