A. A new aggregation of Skandhas, or personality caused by the last generative thought of the dying person.
 Upon reflection, I have substituted "personality" for "individuality" as written in the first edition. The successive appearances upon one or many earths, or "descents into generation," of the tanhaically-coherent parts (Skandhas) of a certain being are a succession of personalities. In each birth the personality differs from that of the previous, or next succeeding birth. Karma the deus ex machina, masks (or shall we say reflects?) itself, now in the personality of a sage, again as an artisan, and so on throughout the string of births. But though personalities ever shift, the one line of life along which they are strung like beads, runs unbroken, it is ever that particular line, never any other. It is therefore individual--an individual vital undulation--which is careering through the objective side of Nature, under the impulse of Karma and the creative direction of Tanha and persists through many cyclic changes. Professor Rhys-Davids calls that which passes from personality to personality along the individual chain, "character" or "doing". Since "character" is not a mere metaphysical abstraction, but the sum of one's mental qualities and moral propensities, would it not help to dispel what Professor Rhys-Davids calls "the desperate expedient of a mystery" (Buddhism, p. 101), if we regarded the life-undulation as individuality and each of its series of natal manifestations as a separate personality? We must have two words to distinguish between the concepts, and I find none so clear and expressive as the two I have chosen. The perfected individual, Buddhistically speaking, is a Buddha, I should say; for a Buddha is but the rare flower of humanity, without the least supernatural admixture. And, as countless generations--"four asankhyyas and a hundred thousand cycles" (Fausboll and Rhys-David's Buddhist Birth Stories, No. 13)--are required to develop a man into a Buddha, and the iron will to become one runs throughout all the successive births, what shall we call that which thus wills and perseveres? Character, or individuality? An individuality, but partly manifested in any one birth, built up of fragments from all the births.
The denial of "Soul" by Buddha (see Sanyutta Nikaya, the Sutta Pitaka) points to the prevalent delusive belief in an independent personality; an entity, which after one birth would go to a fixed place or state where, as a perfect entity, it could eternally enjoy or suffer. And what he shows is that the "I am I" consciousness is, as regards permanency, logically impossible, since its elementary constituents constantly change and the "I" of one birth differs from the "I" of every other birth. But everything that I have found in Buddhism accords with the theory of a gradual evolution of the perfected man--viz., a Buddha--through numberless natal experiences. And in the consciousness of that individual who, at the end of a given chain of births, attains Buddhahood, or who succeeds in attaining the fourth stage of Dhyana, or mystic self-development, in any of his births anterior to the final one, the scenes of all these serial births are perceptible. In the Jatakat-thavannana--so well translated by Professor Rhys-Davids--an expression continually recurs which, I think, rather supports such an idea, viz.: "Then the Blessed One made manifest an occurrence hidden by change of birth," or "that which had been hidden by," etc. Early Buddhism then clearly held to a permanency of records in the Akasha, and the potential capacity of man to read the same when he has evolved to the stage of true individual enlightenment. At death, and in convulsions and trance, the javana chitta is transferred to the object last created by the desires. The will to live brings all thoughts into objectivity.