In the yoga tradition, whether you believe in a soul or not does not arise. Why? Because the question doesn’t make sense: “Do you believe in consciousness?” Believing is a function of a conscious entity. Without consciousness there is no believing or disbelieving.
The dominant scientific and philosophical thought today proposes a magical theory about consciousness. Materialism, naturalism, and physicalism—which are more or less the same thing with different names—submit that somehow, through a combination of unconscious ingredients they will produce consciousness.
This is rather magical thinking, since we have no experience of anything inert beginning to talk to us. Isn’t it ironic that the yoga schools, religious schools, and mystical traditions are thought by that community to be magical in our thinking?
From the yogic perspective we have overwhelming experience of the supernatural—consciousness—and it’s us.
Experiential reality does not arise out of non-experiential reality. All the schools of yoga are driven by the possibility of experiencing that there is a self that is independent of the brain and body and he or she doesn’t need anything. The view states that nonmaterial particles of consciousness inhabit combinations of psychic and physical (inert) matter that we call the body which we erroneously think is ourselves. The AI community doesn’t believe in consciousness or mind only brains. They propose a flatland: there’s no you, no self, apples are not red, dandelions are not yellow. There is no yellow, there is no blue. These things are illusion and a naive reality. The yoga school has a different worldview and it’s a reasonable one.