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"We begin believing in God because we are
taught to do so."
Hindu Scriptures Rig-Veda (Hymn of Prajapati)
. . . Whence, whence this manifold creation
spring? The gods themselves came later into being . . .
Po Chu-I Peaceful Old Age (Trans: Lionel Giles)
If I depart, I cast no look behind
Still wed to life, I still am free from care.
Since life and death in cycles come and go,
Of little moment are the days to spare.
Thus strong in faith want, and long to be
One with the pulsings of Eternity.
From one Soul of the universe are all souls
derived . . . Human souls that lay hold of immortality are change into
holy powers. And so they go on into the sphere of the Gods . . .
And this is the most pefect glory of the soul . . .
. . . I cannot suspect the annihilation
of souls, or believer that [God] will suffer the daily waste of millions
of minds ready made that now exist, and put himself to the continual trouble
of making new ones . . .
Sallustius The Neoplatonists
It is not unlikely that the rejection of
God is a kind of punishment: we may well believe that those who knew the
gods and neglected them in one life may in another be deprived of the knowledge
of them altogether.
Giordano Bruno De Rerum Principiis
. . . deity and the cosmos may be likened
to a circle or sphere whose circumference is nowhere --hence boundless--
but whose center is everywhere. And that each monad is such a divine,
immortal, preexistent center.
Voltaire Philosophical Dictionary
. . . To dare say that He [God] created
all the successive generations of mankind only to subject them to eternal
punishment under the pretext that their earliest ancestor ate of a particular
fruit in a garden is to accuse Him of the most absurd barbarity.
J. W. Von Goethe
Man is the dialogue between nature and God.
Plato The Works of Plato by Thomas Taylor
. . . the soul, while an inhabitant of earth,
is in a fallen condition, an apostate from deity, an exile from the or
b of light.
Paul Gauguin Gauguin's Religion
. . . it is the soul which formed its organism;
. . . it is the soul which has produced the evolution of living organisms
constituting species . . . God . . . as a symbol of the pure eternal spirit,
the general spirit of the universe . . . becomes the principle of all harmonies,
the end to be attained, presented by Christ, and before him by Buddha .
H. P. Blavatsky Isis Unveiled
. . . Evil acts will produce evil consequences, good acts will produce good consequences . . . This is strict and impartial justice. This is the idea of a Supreme Power which cannot fail, and therefore, can have neither wrath or mercy.
The Secret Doctrine
Karma . . . is a highly philosophical truth, a most divine noble expression of the primitive intuition of man concerning Deity. It . . . explains the origin of Evil, and ennobles our conceptions of what divine immutable Justice ought to be, instead of degrading the unknown and unknowable Deity by making it the whimsical, cruel tyrant which we call Providence . . .
The poor . . . cry aloud to God who makes no reply . . . Turning to the teacher of religion, they meet the reply to their quesioning of the justice which will permit such misery to those who did nothing requiring them to be born with no means, no opportunities for education, no capacity to overcome social, racial, or circumstantial obstacles, "It is the will of God."
Book of Golden Precepts
Soar beyond allusions. Search the eternal and the changeless SELF, mistrusting fancy's false suggestions. The unwary Soul that fails to grapple with the mocking demon of illusion will return to earth the slave of Mara. The Self of Matter and the Self of Spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place for both.
"In order to become the knower of [the Universal] Self, thou hast first of Self to be the knower." Then thou canst repose between the wings of the GREAT BIRD, which is not born, nor dies throughout eternal ages. Bestride the Bird of Life if thou would'st know. Give up thy life if thou would'st live.
All is impermanent in man except the pure
bright essence of Alaya -the Universal Self. Man is its crystal ray;
a beam of light immaculate within, a form of clay material upon the lower
surface. Thy shadows [or bodies] live and vanish, that which is in
thee shall live forever, that which is in thee KNOWS, for it is knowledge,
is not of fleeting life; it is the Man that was, that is, and will be,
for whom the hour shall never strike.
It is not reasonable to suppose that either
God or nature projects us into a body simply to fill us with bitterness
because we can have no other opportunity here . . .
Buddha Undana (viii-iii)
Monks, there is a not-born, a not-become,
a not-made, a not compounded. Monks, if that not-born, not-become,
not-made, not compounded were not, there would be apparent no escape from
this here that is born, become, made, compounded.
Henrik Ibsen The Emperor Julian
There is One who ever reappears, at certain
intervals, in the course of human history. He is like a rider taming
a wild horse in the arena. Again and yet again it throws him.
A moment, and he is in the saddle again, each time more secure and more
expert; but off he has had to go, in all his varying incarnations, until
this day. Who knows how often he has wandered among us when none
have recognized him?
Ralph Waldo Emerson Nominalist and Realist
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 mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out
of the window, sound and well, in some new strange disguise. Jesus
is not dead; he is very well alive: nor John, nor Paul, nor Mahomet, nor
Aristotle; at times we believe we have seen them all, and could easily
tell their names under which they go.
Henry David Thoreau Letters and Journals
As far back as I can remember I have unconsciously
referred to the experiences of a previous state of existence. I lived
in Judea eighteen hundred years ago, but I never knew that there was such
a one as Christ among my contemporaries. As the stars looked to me
when I was a shepherd in Assyria, they look to me now as a New-Englander.
Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass
I know I am deathless. No doubt I
have died myself ten thousand times before. I laught at what you
call dissolution, and I know the amplitude of time. This day before
dawn I ascended a hill and looked at the crowded heaven. And I said
to my spirit, When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the pleasure
and knowledge of everything in them, shall we be filled and satisfied?
And my spirit said, No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond.
Benjamin Franklin Letters
Finding myself to exist in the world, I
believe I shall in some shape or other always exist; and, 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.
Goethe Conversation with Johannas Falk
I am certain that I have been here as I
am now a thousand times before, and I hope to return a thousand times.
When one reflects upon the eternity of the universe, one can conceive of
no other destiny than that the Monads or Souls should eventually participate
in the bliss of the Gods as joyfully cooperating forces. The work
of creation will be entrusted to them. Man is the dialogue between
nature and God. On other planets this dialogue will doubtless be
of a higher and profounder character.
Thomas Huxley Evolution and Ethics
The doctrine of transmigration, whatever
its origin, Brahmanical and Buddhist speculation found, ready to hand,
the means of constructing a plausible vindication of the ways of the Cosmos
to man. None but very hasty thinkers will reject it on the ground
of inherent absurdity. Like the doctrine of evolution itself, that
of transmigration has its roots in the world of reality.
Albert Schweitzer Indian Thought and its Development
By reason of the idea of reincarnation,
Indian thought can be reconciled to the fact that so many people in their
minds and actions are still so engrossed in the world. If we assume
that we have but one existence, there arises the insoluble problem of what
becomes of the spiritual ego which has lost all contact with the Eternal.
Those who hold the dictrine of reincarnation are faced by no such problem.
For them that non-spiritual attitude only means that those men and women
have not yet attained to the purified form of existence in which they are
capable of knowing the truth and translating it into action. So the
idea of reincarnation contains a most comforting explanation of reality
by means of which Indian thought surmounts difficulties which baffle the
thinkers of Europe.
Carl Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections
My life as I lived it had often seemed to
me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling
that I was a historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and
succeeding text was missing. I could well imagine that I mst have
lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet
able to answer; that I had to be born again because I had not fulfilled
the task that was given to me. When I die, my deeds will follow along
with me --that is how I imagine it. I will bring with me what I have
done. In the meantime, it is important to insure that I do not stand
at the end with empty hands.
William Butler Yeats Under Ben Bulben
Many times man lives and dies. Whether
man dies in his bed or the rifle knocks him dead, a brief parting from
those dear is the worst man has to fear. Though grave-diggers' toil
is long, sharp their blades, their muscles strong, they but thrust their
buried men back in the human mind again.
Tolstoy Diary and Other Writings
How interesting it would be to write the
story of the experiences in this life of a man who killed himself in a
previous life; how he now stumbles against the very demands which had offered
themselves before, until he arrives at the realization that he must fulfill
those demands. The deeds of the preceding life give direction to
the present life. This is what the Hindus call karma.
Matthew Arnold Empedocles on Etna
And then we shall unwillingly return back
to this meadow of calamity, this uncongenial place, this human life; and
in our individual human state go through the sad probation all again, to
see if we will poise our life at last, to see if we will now at last be
true to our only true, deep-buried selves, being one with which we are
one with the whole world; or whether we will once more fall away into some
bondage of the flesh or mind, some slough of sense, or fantastic maze forged
by the imperious lonely thinking-power.
Nietzche Eternal Recurrence
My doctrine is: Live so thou mayest desire
to live again -that is thy duty- for in any case thou wilt live again!
This doctrine is lenient towards those who do not believe in it.
It speaks of no hells and it contains no threats. He who does not
believe in it has but a fleeting life in his consciousness. Let us
guard against teaching such a doctrine as if it were a suddenly discovered
religion! It must percolate through slowly, and whole generations must
build on it and become fruitful through it -in order that it may grow into
a large tree which will shelter all posterity.
Rev. Leslie Weatherhead The Case for Reincarnation
The intelligent Christian asks not only
that life should be just, but that it should make sense. Does the
idea of reincarnation help here? If I fail to pass those examinations
in life which can only be taken while I dwell in a physical body, shall
I not have to come back and take them again? If every birth in the
world is the birth of a new soul, I don't see how progress can ever be
consummated. Each has to begin at scratch. Each child is born a selfish
little animal, not able in character to begin where the most saintly parent
left off. How can a world progress in inner things -which are the
most important- if the birth of every new generation fills the world with
unregenerate souls full of original sin? There can never be a perfect
world unless gradually those born in it can take advantage of lessons learned
in earlier lives instead of starting at scratch.
Gandhi from Indian periodials
If for mastering the physical sciences you
have to devote a whole lifetime, how many lifetimes may be needed for mastering
the greatest spiritual force that mankind has known? [Ahimsa - harmlessness,
universal compassion.] Having flung aside the sword, there is nothing except
the cup of love which I can offer to those who oppose me. It is by offering
that cup I expect to draw them close to me. I cannot think of permanent
enmity between man and man, and believing as I do in the theory of rebirth,
I live in the hope that if not in this birth, in some other birth, I shall
be able to hug all humanity in friendly embrace.
Jane Roberts Seth Speaks
All That Is speaks to all its parts, not
with sounds, trumpets and fanfare from without, but communicates its messages
through the living soul stuff of each consciousness.