BuddhaSoup wrote:Now if only someone could tell me that, with no-self/anatta/anatman in mind, what survives death to occasion rebirth? A consciousness? A cosmic bit of dust? A semi-soul? A wisp of smoke that follows an extinguished candle?
It's not a 'what'! It is more like information propagating through a medium than a being going from place to place. So nothing 'survives' death, there is no 'carrier' of that wave of info. It propagates the same way that all of life propagates, albeit on a more subtle level than what is discernible by purely physical means.
I think the meaning of 'samsaric existence' is that insofar as you're attracted or attached to impermanent/changing/suffering things, so you are also 'the kind of thing that is subject to birth-and-death' because
of your identification/attachment. However, if you realize you are not any of this (=realizing emptiness) then you are free of that cycle. Not that there is a 'you' to be free!
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas