I say he spoke in parables as in not to be taken literally. An enlightened master only speaks with the purpose of getting people to be aware of themselves. Buddha probably saw the main obstacle in monks that wanted to get a taste of blisfulness, but could´t get in touch with their "souls", so Buddha said: "There is no soul", in order for them to vanish their idea of what a "soul" really is. If you have an idea of what your soul is, and you try to reach it, you won´t be able. Because in order to get in touch with your soul, you need to get rid of every thought, including the though that your brain say its your soul. You cannot reach your soul with your brain, but with non-thinking. This is my understanding of this statement.