Questions such as: Why was I born? What is my life for? What will happen to me when I die? are based on the premise of a solid, permanent entity living in a body and moving through time from day to day and year to year. With this ‘self’ in mind we then inquire into its past, its future and its purpose. It is in relation to this premise of ‘self’ that many of us need guidance. It is imperative, if we want to understand Buddhism, to investigate this particular premise.
When we investigate this concept of a solid self, our questions will alter from: Why was I born? etc, to: What is the ‘I’? What is the foundation of this idea of self? Is there an ‘I’ that has been born? Is there a ‘me’ that lives life? Is there a ‘me’ that will die? We begin to question right down to our very roots, as it were, with a mind that is fresh, open, and willing to look. We just want to know!
The unborn does not come within the realm of time, so ‘forever’ is meaningless in relation to the unborn.
From Karma and Rebirth A Buddhist Perspective by Diana St Ruth