If there is no soul, what is being reincarnated?
What “I” do you have? Again, are you “YOU” from an embryo? Of course not. We all know that we are not the people we were 5, 10, 30 years ago. So what is this “I”?
Reincarnation: A process not a continuation
The same is true in many aspects of our lives. Just as we give birth to children, who are from us, but not a part of us— we give rebirth to the process that is created by us but not us. Our dukkha and khamma are continued.
To give another example, think of your finger. When you were an embryo your finger looked very different than it does now. Is that the same finger? The cells are all new. The finger is a different size and shape. There is nothing of the original material, shape, or form to that finger– but there is a continuity between that finger and the one that was there in the beginning. It has changed and yet it has a history.
This too is also a consideration of who rebirth works.
The mental shift we must make is this— we are the five aggregates. Our personality is bound and limited by them. When we die and decay so does the illusion convention of “I” as a personality and person. Nevertheless, realizing this, we can see that we are not an “I” person but a “process of dukkha driven by khamma and awareness.”
Like the seed, good conditions and choices create the future conditions of our lives and our rebirths. Like the finger, the body (as well as its personality) end, but the process your life is participating in continues until complete liberation is achieved.