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Quotes #1: Trail of Diamonds in Sand: Famous Quotes on Reincarnation

We All Have Been Here Before

The truth is that more people in the world believe in reincarnation than do not. Sadly, for those of us who live here, most people in the United States of America do not.

Yet, just in case, you believe that the only people who believe in the principles of karma and reincarnation live in the East, below are quotes from famous Westerners to show that "you are not alone".

Of course, to balance my karma, there are quotes from famous Easterners. For after all, most Easterners believe very firmly in the concepts of karma and reincarnation.

Trail of Diamonds in the Sand

Like a trail of diamonds in the sand, these quotes reveal the truth of our existence.

For as we journey through life, we learn tolerance. For we have been and will be all things... If you have any quotes to share about reincarnation, karma, or past lives, I invite you to send them to me so that I can share them here.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Reincarnation:

Wisdom of the West: The Bible & Teachings of Jesus
Wisdom of the West: The Bible & Teachings of Prophets
Wisdom of the East: The Bhagavad Gita and Buddha
Wisdom of the East: The Upanishads and Others
Wisdom of the New Age: Modern Wisdom for Modern Times

From the Great: "You'll Be Back... Again"
From the Great: "It's is a Cultural Viewpoint"
From the Great: "I Remember Me... From Before"

From the Great: "Evidence You Have Been Here Before"
From the Great: "You are a Soul, You Have a Body"
From the Great: "As Soul, You Are Eternal"

Wisdom of the West: The Bible - New Testament & the Teachings of Jesus

"As Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from his birth. So his disciples asked him, saying, 'Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but the works of God should be made manifest in him."
   -
Bible: John (9:1-3) (implying the man had to have lived before to be born blind)

"The Jews unto him, 'Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? ' Jesus said unto them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.'"
   -
Bible: John (8:58) (implying that Jesus was eternal having lived before)

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears, let him hear."
   -
Bible: Matthew (11:12-14) (implying John the Baptist was the reincarnation of the prophet Elias)

"No honest theologian therefore can deny that his acceptance of Jesus as Christ logically binds every Christian to a belief in reincarnation - in Elias case (who was later John the Baptist) at least."
   -
Robert Graves

"For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have hated."
   -
Bible: Romans (9:13) (implying that God must have hated Esau for what Esau did in a past life)

"Behold, I shew you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up... O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
   -
Bible: 1 Corinthians (15:51-55) (stating the immortality of Soul)

"Souls are poured from one into another of different kinds of bodies of the world."
   -
Jesus Christ: Gnostic Gospels: Pistis (Knowledge) Sophia (Wisdom)

"'I shall give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, and what has never arisen in a human mind." So the disciples said to Jesus, 'Tell us about the end.' Jesus said, 'Have you already discovered the beginning that now you can seek after the end? For where the beginning is, the end will be. Blessed is the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death. Blessed is the one who came to life before coming to life.'"
   -
Jesus Christ: Gnostic Gospels: Gospel of Thomas (Saying 18-19)

"Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf in springtime… In our sad condition our only consolation is the expectancy of another life."
   -
Martin Luther

"In the midst of life we are in death. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection into eternal life... "
   -
Book of Common Prayer (The Burial of the Dead (1662))

Wisdom of the West: The Bible - Old Testament & Teachings of Prophets

"Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 'Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations'…"
   -
Bible: Jeremiah (1:4-5) (implying that God knew Jeremiah in a past life)

"And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said 'The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha'. And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him."
   -
Bible: 2 Kings(2:15) (implying that Elisha was the reincarnation of Elijah)

"For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up."
   -
Bible: Psalms (90:2-5) (implying the cycle of reincarnation)

"For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
   -
Bible: Moses (1:39) (stating the immortality of Soul)

"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."
   -
Bible: Isaiah (26:19) (stating the immortality of Soul)

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
   -
Bible: Daniel (12:2) (stating the immortality of Soul)

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out."
   -
Bible: Revelations (3:12) ("out" implying out into the world of birth & death)

"The souls must reenter the absolute from where they have emerged. They must develop all the perfections; the germ of which is planted in them; and if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life; they must commence another… until they have acquired the condition that fits them for reunion with God."
   -
Kabbalah (Zohar)

"The 'soul' is the bridge between the spirit and the personality. Pure spiritual energy is individualized through the soul before it enters the personality. This is partly to protect the personality from too great an influx of undiluted spiritual energy which could 'blow it out'. This is partly to individualize the energy for the lessons of the incarnation of that particular Soul."
   -
The New Living Qabalah (Kabbalah as arranged by Will Parfitt)

"Reincarnation is assumed in the Bible teaching..."
   -
Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths

Wisdom of the East: The Bhagavad Gita and Buddha

"Reincarnation is not an exclusively Hindu or Buddhist concept, but it is part of the history of human origin. It is proof of the mindstream's capacity to retain knowledge of physical and mental activities. It is related to the theory of interdependent origination and to the law of cause and effect."
   -
The Dalai Lama (Preface to "The Case for Reincarnation")

Krishna says: "I produce myself among creatures whenever there is a decline in virtue and an insurrection of vice and injustice in the world ; and thus I incarnate from age to age, for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of righteousness."
   -
Bhagavad Gita (Song Celestial: 6)

"Learn thou! the Life is, spreading life through all;
It cannot anywhere, by any means,
Be anywise diminished, stayed, or changed.
But for these fleeting frames which it informs with spirit deathless, endless, infinite,
They perish. Let them perish, Prince! and fight!
He who shall say, "Lo! I have slain a man!" He who shall think, "Lo! I am slain!"
Those both know naught! Life cannot slay. Life is not slain!
   -
Bhagavad Gita (The Song Celestial: 2)

"Impenetrable, unentered, unassailed, unharmed, untouched, immortal,
all-arriving, stable, sure, invisible, ineffable, by word and thought uncompassed,
ever all itself, Thus is the Soul declared!
How wilt thou, then,- Knowing it so,- grieve when thou shouldst not grieve?
How, if thou hearest that the man new-dead is,
like the man new-born, still living man-
One same, existent Spirit- wilt thou weep?
The end of birth is death; the end of death is birth:
this is ordained! and mournest thou,
Chief of the stalwart arm! for what befalls which could not otherwise befall…
What is there sorrowful herein, dear Prince?"
   -
Bhagavad Gita (The Song Celestial: 2)

"To be born here and to die here, to die here and to be born elsewhere,
To be born there and to die there, to die there and to be born elsewhere -
That is the round of existence."
   -
Buddhist Text: Milinda's Questions 77

"Samsara-the Wheel of Existence, literally, the "Perpetual Wandering"-is the name by which is designated the sea of life ever restlessly heaving up and down, the symbol of this continuous process of ever again and again being born, growing old, suffering, and dying. (It) is constantly changing from moment to moment, (as lives) follow continuously one upon the other through inconceivable periods of time. Of this Samsara, a single lifetime constitutes only a vanishingly tiny fraction."
   -
Gautama Buddha

"Whenever I am born in every life to come, may I meet again my Guardian Angel of this life! Speaking and understanding the moment I am born, may I… remember my former lives!"
   -
The Tibetan Book of the Dead

"Birth and death are doors through which you pass from one dream to another. Someone is born on Earth in France as a powerful king, rules for a time, then dies. He may be reborn in India, and travel in a bullock cart into the forest to meditate. He may next find rebirth in America as a successful businessman. When he dreams death again, reincarnates perhaps in Tibet as a devotee of Buddha and spends his entire life in a lamasery. Therefore hate none and be attached to no nationality, for sometimes you are a Hindu, sometimes a Frenchman, sometimes an Englishman, or an American or a Tibetan... Each existence is a dream within a dream, is it not?"
   -
Paramhansa Yogananda (Divine Romance)

Wisdom of the East: The Upanishads and Others

"Ignorant ones, due to their own attachment toward wealth and enjoyment, get deluded and blinded… Such foolish ones come under my Rod again and again by revolving in the birth-death cycle… For the Self… does not die when the body dies. Concealed in the heart of all beings lies the 'atma', the Spirit, the Self; smaller than the smallest atom, greatest that the greatest spaces."
   -
Katha Upanishad

"The soul is not born; it does not die; it was not produced from anyone... Unborn, eternal, it is not slain, though the body is slain."
   - Katha Upanisad (as quoted by Emerson)

"To attain to the human form must always be a source of joy. And then to undergo continuous transitions, with only the infinite to look forward to: what incomparable bliss is that!"
   -
Lao Tse (Tao Te Ch'ing)

"The transformation toward eternal life is gradual. The heavy gross energy of body, mind, and spirit must first be purified and uplifted. When the energy ascends… then self mastery can be sought."
   -
Lao Tse (Hua Hu Ch'ing: 71)

"And Allah hath caused you to spring forth from the Earth like a plant;
Hereafter will He turn you back into it again, and bring you forth anew."
   -
Koran (Sura 71:17-18)

"And you were dead, and He brought you back to life. And He shall cause you to die, and shall bring you back to life, and in the end shall gather you unto Himself."
   -
Koran (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:28)

"God generates beings, and sends them back over and over again, till they return to Him."
   -
Koran

Wisdom of the New Age: Modern Wisdom for Modern Times

"…the individual Soul is constantly reborn into the world, rising or falling in fortune according to Its deed and their consequences, which is karma… Until it awakens to full self knowledge, Soul may undergo reincarnations for long periods of time, touching the highest possibilities of pleasure and the lowest depths of pain…"
   -
Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad (Eckankar: Book 2)

Those in India "will never speak of bodily wants as theirs: they say 'My body is hungry', 'My body is tired', not 'I am hungry' or 'I am tired'… It is truer to the facts than our self-identification with our body. If we were in the habit of identifying ourselves in thought, not with the habitation we live in but with the Human self, that dwells therein, life would become a greater and serener thing. We should brush off troubles as we brush the dust from garments, and we should realize the measure of all things happening to us is not the pain or pleasure they bring to our bodies, but the progress or retardation they bring to the Human within us. And since all things are matters of experience and lessons may be learned from each, we should take the sting out of griefs by searching in each for the wisdom enwrapped in it as the petals are folded within the bud."
   -
Annie Besant

"All life changes its aspect when reincarnation becomes a settled conviction, beyond all argument, raised above all dispute. Each day of life but one page in the great drama of existence; each sorrow but a fleeting shadow cast by a passing cloud; each joy but a gleam of sunshine reflected from a swinging mirror; each death but the moving from a worn-out house. The strength of an eternal youth begins slowly to pass into the awakening life; the calmness of a vast serenity broods over the tossing waves of human thought. The radiant glory of the immortal Intelligence pierces the thick dusky clouds of matter, and the imperishable Peace that nought can ruffle sheds its pure whiteness over the triumphant spirit."
   -
Annie Besant

"That which is part of our souls is eternal... Those lives are countless, but the soul or spirit that animates us throughout these myriads of existences is the same; and though "the book and volume" of the physical brain may forget events within the scope of one life, the bulk of collective recollections can never desert the divine soul within us. Its whispers may be too soft, the sound of its words too far off the plane perceived by our physical senses; yet the shadow of events that were, just as much as the shadow of the events that are to come, is within its perceptive powers, and is ever present before its mind's eye."
   -
Helena Blavatsky (Theosophy: Secret Doctrine)

From the Great and Near Great: "You'll Be Back... Again"

"A list of brilliant thinkers, who intuited and taught the doctrine of rebirth is virtually endless. Let us name a few: Plato, Pythagoras, Origen, Augustine, Philo Judaeus, Paracelsus, Boehme, Spinoza, Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Goethe, Leonardo da Vinci, Bruno, Kant, Blake, Schiller, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Browning, Flaubert, Wagner, Tolstoy, Kipling, Sibelius, McTaggart, Gandhi", and Franklin.
   -
Felicity Eliot, "What Reincarnation could have Done for History")

"The choice of souls was in most cases based on their own experience of a previous life… Knowledge easily acquired is that which the enduing self had in an earlier life, so that it flows back easily."
   -
Plato

"Souls never die, but always on quitting one abode pass to another. All things change, nothing perishes. The soul passes hither and thither, occupying now this body, now that... As a wax is stamped with certain figures, then melted, then stamped anew with others, yet it is always the same wax. So, the Soul being always the same, yet wears at different times different forms."
   -
Pythagoras

"It can be shown that an incorporeal and reasonable being has life in itself independently of the body... then it is beyond a doubt bodies are only of secondary importance and arise from time to time to meet the varying conditions of reasonable creatures. Those who require bodies are clothed with them, and contrariwise, when fallen souls have lifted themselves up to better things their bodies are once more annihilated. They are ever vanishing and ever reappearing."
   -
Origen

"Did my infancy succeed another age of mine that dies before it? Was it that which I spent within my mother's womb?... And what before that life again, O God of my joy, was I anywhere or in any body?"
   -
Augustine (Confessions)

"The air is full of souls those who are nearest to earth descending to be tied to mortal bodies return to other bodies, desiring to live in them."
   -
Philo Judaeus

"Some children are born from heaven and others are born from hell, because each human being has his inherent tendencies, and these tendencies belong to his spirit, and indicate the state in which he existed before he was born."
   -
Paracelsus

"What kind of spiritual triumph it was I can neither write nor speak; it can only be compared with that where life is born in the midst of death, and is like the resurrection of the dead."
   -
Jacob Boehme

"We feel and know that we are eternal."
   -
Benedict De Spinoza

"Of what use would it be to you, sir, to become King of China on condition that you forgot what you have been? Would it not be the same as if God, at the same time he destroyed you, created a King in China?"
   -
Gottfried Leibniz

"Were an Asiatic to ask me for a definition of Europe, I should be forced to answer him: It is that part of the world which is haunted by the incredible delusion that man was created out of nothing, and that his present birth is his first entrance into life."
   -
Arthur Schopenhauer

"The soul of man is like to water; from Heaven it cometh, to Heaven it riseth…
And then returning to earth, forever alternating."
   -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Our life is made by the death of others."
   -
Leonardo da Vinci

"By birth and growth the spirit-architect expands into this mass of which we consist, spreading outwards from the heart. Thither again it withdraws, winding up the threads of its web, returning by the same path along which it advanced, passed out by the same gate through which it entered. Birth is expansion of the center... death contraction to the center. It is the soul that gathers about it, groups and vivifies the mass. The soul is not the body and it may be in one body or in another, and pass from body to body."
   -
Giordano Bruno

"No one can be called friendless with God at his side. Sooner or later we have to take those bricks we have thrown through windows and use them to build arches over eternity."
   -
Anonymous

"If we could see ourselves... as we really are, we should see ourselves in a world of spiritual natures, our community which neither began at birth nor will end with the death of the body."
   -
Immanuel Kant

"I see the Past, Present, and Future existing all at once before me..."
   -
William Blake

"Full of wisdom are the ordinations of fate."
   -
Friedrich Schiller

"The soul comes from without into the human body, as into a temporary abode, and it goes out of it anew... it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal."
   -
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"As far back as I can remember I have unconsciously referred to the experiences of a previous state of existence."
   -
Henry David Thoreau

"I know I am deathless. No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before. I laugh at what you call dissolution, and I know the amplitude of time."
   -
Walt Whitman

"Rejoice that man is hurled, From change to change unceasingly, His soul's wings never furled!"
   -
Robert Browning

"It seems to me... that I have always lived! I possess memories that go back to the Pharoahs. I see myself very clearly at different ages of history, practicing different professions... My present personality is the result of my lost [past] personalities."
   -
Gustave Flaubert

"In contrast to reincarnation and karma, all other views appear petty and narrow."
   -
Richard Wagner

"The soul is immortal- well then, if I shall always live, I must have lived before, lived for a whole eternity."
   -
Leo Tolstoy

"As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race... and the hearts of the meanest were humbled."
   -
Rudyard Kipling

"Millions of years ago, in my previous incarnations, I must have been related to swans... because I can still feel that affinity."
   -
Jean Sibelius

"There are so many things that are incompatible with a single life. No one can learn fully in one life the lessons of unbroken health and of bodily sickness, of riches and of poverty, of study and action, of comradeship and isolation, of defiance and of obedience, of virtue and of vice."
   -
John McTaggart

"I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man, and believing as I do in the theory of reincarnation, I live in the hope that if not in this birth, in some other birth I shall be able to hug all of humanity in friendly embrace."
   -
Mohandas K. Gandhi

"When I see nothing annihilated, and not even a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls… Thus finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist; with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine; hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected."
   -
Benjamin Franklin

From the Great and Near Great: "It is a Cultural Viewpoint"

"The idea of a succession of lives for each human creature would be no more debatable to the average Hindu than a Westerner's fixed belief that the continuity from childhood to adulthood exists in a single life."
   -
Nancy Ross

"I am no Hindu, but I hold the doctrine of the Hindus concerning a future state (rebirth) to be incomparably more rational, more pious, and more likely to deter men from vice than the horrid opinions inculcated by Christians on punishments without end." [Like eternal Hell for example! - EM]
   -
William Jones

"The theory of Reincarnation, which originated in India, has been welcomed in other countries. Without doubt, it is one of the most sensible and satisfying of all religions that mankind has conceived. This, like the others, comes from the best qualities of human nature, even if in this, as in the others, its adherents sometimes fail to carry out the principles in their lives."
   -
Luther Burbank

"You see that who you are isn't moving in time. Time is describing the incarnations, the packing changes."
   -
Ram Dass

"This doctrine of transmigration or reincarnation of the soul is found among many tribes of savages…"
   -
James George Frazer

The Celts were fearless warriors because "they wish to inculcate this as one of their leading tenets, that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another..."
   - Julius Caesar

"Rebirth is an affirmation that must be counted among the primordial affirmations of mankind. The concept of rebirth necessarily implies the continuity of personality. Here the human personality is regarded as continuous and accessible to memory, so that, when one is incarnated or born, one is able, potentially, to remember that one has lived through previous existences, and that these existences were one's own, ie, they had the same ego form as the present life. As a rule, reincarnation means rebirth in a human body."
   -
Carl G. Jung

"The origin of the philosophy of reincarnation is prehistoric. It antedates antiquity all over the world."
   -
E. D. Walker

"If I were reincarnated, I'd want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything."
   -
William Faulkner (Writers at Work)

"It is conceivable that I might well be reborn as a Chinese coolie. In such case I should lodge a protest."
   -
Winston Churchill

"The little babies are missing their families from their past lives. The babies have old souls and the old souls have to shrink to become little babies. The tears loosen their memories so they can slide away. They cry at the life they have lost, and then they cry at everything they'll forget."
   -
Akhil Sharma (An Obedient Father)

"Know, therefore, that from the greater silence I shall return… Forget not that I shall come back to you… A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me."
   -
Kahlil Gibran

"Who says the eternal being does not exist? Who says the sun has gone out? Someone who climbs up on the roof and closes his eyes tight, and says, I don't see anything."
   -
Jalalu'l-din Rumi

"A person whose life's vision is limited to this one fleeting incarnation is like the plow horse which views it's life's work as a single furrow. Not able to appreciate how one furrow blends with the many others. Not able to understand why there are rocks in the furrow. Not able to why the furrow is so hard to plow."
   -
Bryan Jameison

"I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things. Man was a form of life that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer. So a man of such faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors."
   -
William Orville Douglas

"Iím a great believer in the hereafter, in karma, in reincarnation. It does make sense. I believe that God is not just a law-giver, but a creative artist. The greatest of all. And what characterises artists is that they want to redo their work. Maybe it didnít come off perfectly, so they want to see it done again, and improved. Reincarnation is a way for God to improve his earlier works."
   -
Norman Mailer

"I think immortality is the passing of a soul through many lives... such as are truly lived, used, and learned, help on to the next, each growing richer, happier, and higher, carrying with it only the real memories that have gone before."
   -
Louisa May Alcott

"We all have some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been said and done before, in a remote time - of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects, and circumstances."
   -
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)

"Has it occurred to you that transmigration is at once an explanation and a justification of the evil of the world? If the evils we suffer are the result of sins committed in our past lives, we can bear them with resignation and hope that if in this one we strive toward virtue our future lives will be less afflicted."
   -
W Somerset Maugham

"Friends are all souls that we've known in other lives. We're drawn to each other. That's how I feel about friends. Even if I have only known them a day, it doesn't matter. I'm not going to wait till I have known them for two years, because anyway, we must have met somewhere before, you know."
   - George Harrison

"Reincarnation is making a comeback."
   -
British Slogan

From the Great and Near Great: "I Remember Me... From Before"

"I have been born more times than anybody except Krishna."
   -
Mark Twain

"So as through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see,
Where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me."
   -
George S. Patton

"I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence."
   - Socrates

"I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before, and I hope to return a thousand times."
   -
Thomas Huxley

"... I am the same personal being who in old times upon the Earth had those experiences."
   - William James (Human Immortality)

"Even such is Time which takes all in trust: Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with age and dust. Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways, shuts up the story of our days.
But from this Earth, this grave, this dust, The Lord shall raise me up, I trust."
   -
Walter Raleigh (written on the night before his execution)

"It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals… and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange new disguise."
   -
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"As the stars looked to me when I was a shepherd in Assyria, they look to me now as a New-Englander."
   -
Henry David Thoreau

"I am by nature the most intolerant and insular Englishman... If you happen to be a person like that and you learn from evidence (which you are prepared to accept) that in the past you have been a Chinese, an Egyptian, a Persian, a Red Indian... you begin to assume a somewhat less exclusive view of these our fellow men."
   -
Hugh Dowding

"This life is only one of a series of lives which our incarnated part has lived. I have little doubt of our having pre-existed; and that also in the time of our pre-existence we were actively employed. So, therefore, I believe in our active employment in a future life, and I like the thought."
   -
Charles "Chinese" Gordon

"I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums... All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me... Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born."
   -
Jack London (Star Rover)

"Reincarnation is implicit in the manifested universe and is a basic and fundamental."
   -
Alice A. Bailey

"It is no more surprising to be born once than to be born twice: everything in nature is resurrection."
   -
Francois Voltaire

"The virtuous shall have the power to revive and live again. All pure and holy spirits live on in heavenly places, and in course of time they are again sent down to inhabit righteous bodies"
   -
Josephus

"The bodies of all men are, indeed, mortal, and are created out of corruptible matter; but the soul is ever immortal, and is a portion of the divinity that inhabits our bodies... Do you not know, that those who depart out of this life according to the laws of nature... enjoy eternal fame; that their houses and posterity are sure; that their souls are pure and obedient, and obtain a most holy place in heaven, from whence, in the revolution of ages, they are again sent... into bodies; while the souls of those whose hands have acted madly against themselves are received by the darkest place in Hades?"
   -
Josephus

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The Soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar, not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God who is our home. Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
   -
William Wordsworth

"I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before, and I hope to return a thousand times."
   -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

From the Great and Near Great: Evidence You Have Been Here Before

"The most promising evidence bearing on reincarnation seems to come from the spontaneous cases, especially among children."
   -
Ian Stevenson

"It is a strong proof of men knowing most things before birth, that when mere children they grasp innumerable facts with such speed as to show that they are not then taking them in for the first time, but are remembering and recalling them."
   -
Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Have you never observed that children will sometimes, of a sudden, give utterance to ideas which makes us wonder how they got possession of them? Which presuppose a long series of other ideas and secret self-communings? Which break forth like a full stream out of the earth, an infallible sign that the stream was not produced in a moment from a few raindrops, but had long been flowing concealed beneath the ground?"
   -
J. G. Herder

"I have been here before, but when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell, the sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
You have been mine before - How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow's soar, your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall, - I knew it all of yore."
   -
Dante Gabriel Rossetti

"Live so that thou mayest desire to live again - that is thy duty - for in any case thou wilt live again!"
   -
Freidrich Nietzsche

"As death, when we come to consider it closely, is the true goal of our existence. I have formed during the last few years such close relations with this best and truest friend of mankind, that his image is not only no longer terrifying to me, but is very soothing and consoling! I thank my God for graciously granting me the opportunity of learning that death is the key which unlocks the door to our true happiness."
   -
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
 (a child prodigy who believed his genius came from past lives -EM)

"The soul, still a dragged captive, will tell of all the man did and felt; but upon death there will appear, as time passes, memories of the lives lived before, some of the events of the most recent life being dismissed as trivial. As it grows away from the body, it will revive things forgotten in the corporeal state. And if it passes in and out of one body after another, it will tell over the events of the discarded life. It will treat as present that which it has just left, and it will remember much from the former existence. But with lapse of time it will come to forgetfulness of many things that were mere accretion. "
   -
Plotinus

"Reincarnation contains a most comforting explanation of reality by means of which Indian thought surmounts difficulties which baffle the thinkers of Europe."
   -
Albert Schweitzer

"You would know the hidden realm where all souls dwell.
The journey's way lies through death's misty fell.
Within this timeless passage, a guiding light does dance.
Lost from conscious memory but visible in trance."
   -
Michael Newton (Journey of Souls)

"He saw all these forms and faces in a thousand relationships... become newly born. Each one was mortal, a passionate, painful example of all that is transitory. Yet none of them died, they only changed, were always reborn, continually had a new face: only time stood between one face and another."
   -
Herman Hesse (Siddhartha)

"As we live through thousands of dreams in our present life, so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life... and then return after death. Our life is but one of the dreams of that more real life, and so it is endlessly, until the very last one, the very real life of God."
   -
Leo Tolstoy

"'Do you have any idea how many lives we must have gone through before we even got the first idea that there is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the Flock? A thousand lives, Jon, ten thousand!... We choose our next world though what we learn in this one... But you, Jon, learned so much at one time that you didn't have to go through a thousand lives to reach this one.'"
   -
Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull)

"Let us face it: 'deep down' nobody in his right mind can visualize his own existence without assuming that he has always lived and will live hereafter."
   -
Erik Erikson

Bede writes: "a man from the province of Northumbria returns from the dead... 'A handsome man in a shining robe was my guide... He said to me... 'You must now return to your body and live among men once more; but, if you will weigh your actions with greater care and study to keep your words and ways virtuous and simple, then when you die you too will win a home among these happy spirits that you see'... I was most reluctant to return to my body ...but I did not dare to question my guide. Meanwhile, I know not how, I suddenly found myself alive among men once more.' ...inspired by an insatiable longing for the blessings of heaven, and by his words and by his life, he helped many people to salvation."
   -
Bede (History of the English Church and People)
...(The earliest recorded instance of the
Near Death Phenomenon: 731 AD -EM)

From the Great and Near Great: You are a Soul, You Have a Body

"Every new born being indeed comes fresh and blithe into the new existence, and enjoys it as a free gift: but there is, and can be, nothing freely given. It's fresh existence is paid for by the old age and death of a worn out existence which has perished, but which contained the indestructible seed out of which the new existence has arisen: they are one being."
   -
Arthur Schopenhauer

"Why should it be thought incredible that the same soul should inhabit in succession an indefinite number of moral bodies? Even during this one life our bodies are perpetually changing, through a process of decay and restoration; which is so gradual that it escapes our notice. Every human being thus dwells successively in many bodies, even during one short life."
   -
Francis Bowen (Christian Metempsychosis)

"As long as you are not aware of the continual law of Die and Be Again, you are merely a vague guest on a dark Earth."
   -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"There is no death. How can there be death if everything is part of the Godhead? The soul never dies and the body is never really alive."
   -
Isaac Bashevis Singer

"He who fears death either fears the loss of sensation or a different kind of sensation. But if thou shalt have no sensation, neither wilt thou feel any harm; and if thou shalt acquire another kind of sensation, thou wilt be a different kind of living being and thou wilt not cease to live."
   -
Marcus Aurelius

"I hold that when a person dies, his Soul returns again to earth;
Arrayed in some new flesh-disguise, another mother gives him birth.
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain, the old Soul takes the road again."
   -
John Masefield

"My whole belief system is that our paths are drawn for us. I believe in reincarnation. I believe we're here to learn and grow. We choose how we come into this life based on what it is we have to learn. Some people have harder lessons than others."
   -
Gillian Anderson

"It appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless spirit, equally alive to joy and sorrow, should be only organized dust -- ready to fly abroad the moment the spring snaps, or the spark goes out, which kept it together. Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable -- and life is more than a dream."
   -
Mary Wollstonecraft

"Though I may not be a king in my future life, so much the better: I shall nevertheless live an active life and, on top of it, earn less ingratitude."
   -
Frederick the Great

"I am in exact accord with the belief of Thomas Edison that spirit is immortal, that there is a continuing center of character in each personality. But I donít know what spirit is, nor matter either. I suspect they are forms of the same thing. I never could see anything in this reputed antagonism between spirit and matter. To me this is the most beautiful, the most satisfactory from a scientific standpoint, the most logical theory of life."
   -
Henry Ford

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."
   -
Anatole France

"All human beings go through a previous life... Who knows how many fleshly forms the heir of heaven occupies before he can be brought to understand the value of silence and solitude whose starry plains are but the vestibule of spiritual worlds?"
   -
Honore Balzac

"Every incarnation that we remember must increase our comprehension of ourselves as who we are."
   -
Aleister Crowley

"The doctrine of transmigration... was a means of constructing a plausible vindication of the ways of the cosmos to man; ...none but very hasty thinkers will reject it on the grounds of inherent absurdity."
   -
Thomas Huxley

"The soul is not the body and it may be in one body or in another, and pass from body to body."
   -
Giordano Bruno

"I have a body and I am more than my body.
I have emotions and I am more than my emotions.
I have a mind and I am more than my mind.
I am a center of pure consciousnessness and energy."
   -
The New Living Qabalah (Kabbalah arranged by Will Parfitt)

From the Great and Near Great: As Soul, You Are Eternal

"I feel my immortality over sweep all pains, all tears, all time, all fears, - and peal, like the eternal thunders of the deep, into my ears, this truth, - thou livest forever!"
   -
George Gordon, Byron

"I adopted the theory of reincarnation when I was 26 [years old]. Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many [past] lives."
   -
Henry Ford

"Many cultures have independently developed a belief system in reincarnation that includes return of the unit of consciousness to another physical lifetime on Earth. Whether or not we believe in survival of consciousness after death, reincarnation, and karma, it has very serious implications for our behavior."
   -
Stanislav Grof

"Why should we be startled by death? Life is a constant putting off of the mortal coil - coat, cuticle, flesh and bones, all old clothes."
   -
Henry David Thoreau

"I know I am deathless... We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers, There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them."
   -
Walt Whitman

"Everything science has taught me strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death. I believe in an immortal soul. Science has proved that nothing disintegrates into nothingness. Life and soul, therefore, cannot disintegrate into nothingness, and so are immortal."    - Werner Von Braun

"George Sand believed very firmly in the immortality of the soul. On losing any of her family, the certainty of going to them some day was her great consolation. 'I see future and eternal life before me as a certainty,' she said; 'it is like a light, and, thanks to its brilliancy, other things cannot be seen; but the light is there, and that is all I need.' Her belief was in the existence of God, the goodness of Providence and the immortality of the soul. George Sand was an adept in natural religion."
   -
Rene Doumic

"When the physical organism breaks up, the soul survives. It then takes on another body."
   -
Paul Gauguin

"My life often seemed to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling that I was an historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding text was missing. I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had been born again because I had not fulfilled the task given to me."
   -
Carl Jung

"It's so silly. All you do is get the heck out of your body when you die. My gosh, everybody's done it thousands of times. Just because they don't remember, it doesn't mean they haven't done it."
   -
J D Salinger

"For thirty years I have leaned toward the theory of Reincarnation. It seems a most reasonable philosophy and explains many things. No, I have no desire to know what, or who I was once; or what, or who, I shall be in the ages to come. This belief in immortality makes present living the more attractive. It gives you all the time there is. You will always be able to finish what you start. There is no fever or strain in such an outlook. We are here in life for one purpose: to get experience. We are all getting it, and we shall all use it somewhere."
   -
Henry Ford

"Some people believe that we go on living in another body after death, that we lived before. They call it reincarnation. That we all lived before on the earth thousands of years ago or on some other planet. They say we have forgotten it. Some say they remember their past lives."
   -
James Joyce

"I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning."
   -
Benjamin Franklin

"The tomb is not a blind alley: it is a thoroughfare. It closes on the twilight. It opens on the dawn."
   -
Victor Hugo

"We do not believe in immortality because we can prove it, but we try to prove it because we cannot help believing it."
   -
Harriet Martineau

"Life is eternal, and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight."
   -
Anonymous

"The Body of B. Franklin Printer, Like the Cover of an Old Book,
Its Contents Torn Out, And Stripped of its Lettering and Gilding,
Lies Here Food for Worms, But the Work shall not be Lost,
For it Will as He Believed, Appear Once More,
In a New and more Elegant Edition, Revised and Corrected, By the Author."
   
Benjamin Franklin (wrote this "never used" epitaph at age 22)


 

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