Is There Such a Thing as a Soul?
J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
So to understand this question of death, we must be rid of fear, which invents the various theories of afterlife or immortality or reincarnation. So we say, those in the East say, that there is reincarnation, there is a rebirth, a constant renewal going on and on and on the soul, the so-called soul. Now please listen carefully.
Is there such a thing? We like to think there is such a thing, because it gives us pleasure, because that is something that we have set beyond thought, beyond words, beyond; it is something eternal, spiritual, that can never die, and so thought clings to it. But is there such a thing, as a soul, which is something beyond time, something beyond thought, something which is not invented by man, something which is beyond the nature of man, something that is not put together by the cunning mind? Because the mind sees such enormous uncertainty, confusion, nothing permanent in life, nothing. Your relationship to your wife, your husband, your job, nothing is permanent. And so the mind invents a something which is permanent, which it calls the soul. But since the mind can think about it, thought can think about it; as thought can think about it, it is still within the field of time, naturally. If I can think about something, it is part of my thought. And my thought is the result of time, of experience, of knowledge. So, the soul is still within the field of time.
So the idea of a continuity of a soul that will be reborn over and over and over again has no meaning because it is the invention of a mind that is frightened, of a mind that wants, that seeks a duration through permanency, that wants certainty, because in that there is hope.