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. . . What man remembers every day of this
life? And lost memories, as the psychologists will tell you, are
recoverable. For the memory appears to be a palimpsest, from which
nothing is ever obliterated. If we have forgotten most days and incidents
of our present lives, it is natural that memories of previous lives should
C. J. Ducasse Nature, Mind and Death
. . . continuousness of memory, rather than
preservation of a comprehensive span of memories, is what is significant
for consciousness of one's identity.
Sholem Asch The Nazarene
Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition of existence.
. . . it sometimes happens that the Angel
of Forgetfulness himself forgets to remove from our memories the records
of the former world; and then our senses are haunted by fragmentary recollections
of another life . . . . They assert themselves, clothed in reality, in
the form of nightmares which visit our beds . . .
Our Lethe of what we beheld in our previous
lives is only a temporary interruption and obscuration of our memories
and of the continuity of our consciousness.
Benedict Spinoza Ethics
. . . the mind is sensible no less of what it understands than of what it remembers . . . . Although . . . we do not remember that we existed before the body, yet we perceive that our mind is eternal . . .
It is impossible for us to remember that
we had existences prior to the body, since the body can have no vestige
of it, and eternity cannot be defined in terms of time or have any relation
Sir Walter Scott Guy Mannering
How often do we find ourselves in society
which we have never before met, and yet feel impressed with a mysterious
and ill-defined consciousness that neither the scene nor the speakers nor
the subject are entirely new; nay, feel as if we could anticipate that
part of the conversation which has not yet taken place?
Charles Fourier The Passions of the Human Soul
Some exceptional individuals . . . remember
their past existences.
Arthur Schopenhaur The World as Will and Idea
What sleep is for the individual, Death
is for the will . . . . It would not endure to continue the same actions
and sufferings throughout an eternity without true gain, if memory and
individuality remained to it.
A. Bronson Alcott Tablets
Vast systems of sympathies . . . absorb
us within their sphere . . . . Memory sometimes dispels the oblivious slumber,
and recovers for the mind recollections of its descent and destiny.
Some relics of the ancient consciousness survive, recalling our previous
history and experiences.
Charles Kelsey Gaines Gorgo
. . . some care only for their bodies, and that, perhaps, is why people
do not remember all at once, but very slowly and not clearly, just as one
would see things through a thick veil . . . [or
a glass, darkly]
J. B. Priestly I have Been Here Before
. . . Certain men, at the moment when they
find themselves on the threshold of their drama, remember confusedly their
previous misfortunes and find in this memory the strength to thwart destiny
by a free action which breaks the fatal chain.
Gustaf Strömberg The Searchers
Our real selves, our souls, belong before
our birth, during our organic life and after our death to the non-physical
world . . . . All the memories of our . . . previous lives can be reviewed
Gustave Geley From the Unconscious to the Conscious
The permanent subconscious individuality
retains the indelible remembrance of all the state so consciousness which
have built it up. From these states . . . which it has assimilated
it constructs new capacities.
G. Lowes Dickinson Is Immortality Desirable?
. . . suppose that in none of these repetitions
is there any memory of the previous cycles, for everyone . . . would agree
that the repetition of a life, every episode of which is remembered to
have occurred before is a prospect of appalling tediousness.
John Ellis MacTaggart Some Dogmas of Religion
. . . the mere accumulation of knowledge, if memory never ceased, would soon become overwhelming, and worse than useless . . .
. . . If memory does not survive Death,
it will be impossible for love to occur in any life in which people do
Mohandas K. Gandhi Letters
It is Nature's kindness that we do not remember
past births. Where is the good either of knowing in detail the numberless
births we have gone through? . . . A wise man deliberately forgets many
things. . . .
H. P. Blavatsky The Secret Doctrine
. . . the book and volume of the physical
brain may forget events within the scope of one terrestrial life, but the
bulk of collective recollections can never desert the divine soul within
us . . . The shadow of events that were, just as much as the shadow of
the events that are to come, is within its perspective powers, and is ever
present before its mind's eye
W. R. Alger A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life
. . . if absence of memory of having existed
at a certain time proved that we did not exist at that time, it would then
prove far too much; for it would prove that we did not exist during the
first few years of life of our present body, nor on most of the days since.
Aristotle History of His Development by Werner Jaeger
When men fall ill they sometimes lose their
memories, even to the extent of forgetting how to read and write; while
on the other hand those who have been restored from illness to health do
not forget what they suffered while they were ill. In the same way
the soul that has descended into a body forgets the impressions received
during its former existence, while the soul which death has restored to
its home in the other world remembers its experiences and suffering here.
G. Bruno The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast
We depart, and do not return the same; and
since we have no recollection of what we were before we were in this being,
so we cannot have a sample of that which we shall be afterward . . . .
G. E. Lessing Education of the Human Race
. . . is it that I forget my former life?
Well for me that I forget. The recollection of my former state would
enable me to turn my present condition to but poor account . . .
J. W. Von Goethe Letter to a Friend
How well it it that men should die, if only to erase their impressions and return clean washed.
. . . human genius in a lightning flash
of recollection can discover the laws involved in producing the universe,
because it was present when those laws were established . . .
Gustave Mahler Personal Diary
We all return; it is this certainty that
gives meaning to life and it does not make the slightest difference whether
or not in a later incarnation we remember the former life. What counts
is not the individual and his comfort, but the great aspiration to the
perfect and pure which goes on in each incarnation.
Gustaf Stromberg The Searchers
. . . The memories of the cruel acts we
have committed against men and animals follow us through eternity.
The victims of a tyrant are all there, and the memories of their suffering
haunt their oppressor. . .
Gustave Geley From the Unconscious to the Conscious
Remembrance but plays a secondary part in normal psychology; forgetfulness is habitual and is the rule . . .
On the other hand, . . . the subconscious
memory --the infallible memory of the true and complete individuality,
. . . is indestructible as the being itself. In this essential memory
there are engraved permanently all the events of the present life, and
all the remembrances and conscious acquisitions of the vast series of antecedent
Herbert Fingarette The Self in Transformation
. . . one eventually achieves the power
of remembering past lives . . . . The greater the spiritual progress, the
greater the ability and the easier the task. Knowledge of one's former
lives is [in Buddhism] one of the "five kinds of superknowledge." . . .
Spiritual knowledge and spiritual freedom are born as one. . .
Many children, the Burmese will tell you,
remember their former lives. As they grow older the memories die
away and they forget . . .
Sir Edwin Arnold The Light of Asia
. . . In the third watch . . . our Lord attained Samma-Sambuddh;
He saw by light which shines beyond our mortal ken
The line of all his lives in all the worlds,
Far back and farther back and farthest yet,
Five hundred lives and fifty.
The disguised leader was wearing a rosary
round his neck . . . . Promised to give it to the boy-child if he could
guess who he [the leader] was. . . . He proceeded to name them all correctly
. . .
Ethel Beswick Jataka Tales
. . . .It is not a new idea that some people
can recall their past lives on earth (though much so-called memory is wishful
thinking or imagination) for Pythagoras, whom no one could accuse of wishful
thinking or embroidery, gave instances of a few of his own past lives.
Edna Ferber A Peculiar Treasure
I can only venture to say, at the risk of
being hooted, that somewere in Egypt a couple of thousand years ago I probably
had a very tough time of it . . . . Perhaps, centuries and centuries ago,
I was a little Jewish slave girl on the Nile . . .
Diogenes Laertius Life of Pythagoras
. . . . he knew the former lives he had
lived [a gift from Mercury, the god of wisdom]. And . . . [thenceforth]
he commenced his providential attention to others, reminding them of their
Philostratus Life of Appollonius of Tyana Trans: F. C. Conybeare
[Iarchus] asked Appollonius the question:
"Will you tell us . . . about your earlier incarnations, and who you were
before the present life? " And he replied: "Since it was an ignoble episode,
I do not remember much about it."
J. G. Herder Dialogues on Metempsychosis
Have you never had remembrances of a former
state, which you could find no place for in this life? . . . Have you not
seen persons, been in places, of which you were ready to swear that you
had seen those persons, or had been in those places before? . . . we .
. . have sunk so deep and are so wedded to matter, that but few remembrances
of so pure a character remain to us.
William Blake Letter to John Flaxman, the Sculptor
. . . . You, O dear Flaxman, are a sublime
archangel, my friend and companion from eternity. I look back into
the regions of reminiscence, and behold our ancient days before this earth
appeared and its vegetative mortality to my mortal vegetated eyes . . .
Charles Emerson Notes from the Journal of a Scholar
. . . when a lively chord in the soul is
struck, when the windows for a moment are unbarred, the long and varied
past is recovered. We recognize it all. We are no more brief,
ignoble creatures, we seize our immortality, and bind together the related
parts of our secular being.
Henry David Thoreau From His Journals
July 16, 1851: As far back as I can
remember I have unconsciously referred to the experiences of a previous
state of existence.
Edgar Allen Poe Eureka
We walk about, amid the destinies of our
world-existence, encompassed by dim but ever present Memories of a Destiny
more vast -- very distant in the bygone time, and infinitely awful . .
. . We live out a Youth peculiarly haunted by such dreams; yet never mistaking
them for dreams . . .
Charles Dickens Through Bologna and Ferrara
. . . . If I had been murdered there, in
some former life, I could not have seemed to remember the place more thorougly,
or with more emphatic chilling of the blood; and the real remembrance of
it acquired in that one minute is so strengthened by the imaginary recollection
that I hardly think I could forget it.
Gustave Flaubert Letters
. . . . And I possess memories which go
back to the Pharaohs. I see myself very clearly at different ages
of history, practising different professions and in many sorts of fortune
. . .
Dante Gabriel Rossetti Sudden Light --Collected Works
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 your.
. . . . To every ripple of melody, to every billow of harmony, there answers within him [soul], out of the Sea of Death and Birth, some eddying immeasurable of ancient pleasure and pain.
Gleanings in the Buddha-Fields
Hopeless . . . any attempt to tell the real
pain of seeing my former births. I can say only that no combination
of suffering possible to individual being could be likened to such pain
--the pain of countless lives interwoven.
Jean Sibelius An Article in the New York Times by Howard Taubman
Millions of years ago, in my previous incarnations,
I must have been related to swans or wild geese, because I can still feel
George Russell The Candle of Vision
. . . . Endlessly the procession of varying forms goes back into remote yesterdays of the world . . . . Are they not . . . memories of the spirit incarnated many times.?
Merely Players by Claude Bragdon
. . . he found recorded . . . those very
stories which he thought he had invented --even the names of the characters
were the same. This forced him to the conclusion that his imaginings
were recovered memories of things learned or experienced in some antecedent
life . . .
Arnold Bennett The Glimpse
. . . I saw the endless series of my lives,
recurring and recurring . . . . These lives flashed up before me one anterior
to another, mere moments between the vast periods that separated them .
. . . And one life was not more important to me than another . . .
Jack London The Star Rover
. . . . I . . . remembered that once I had been a slave and a son of a slave, and worn an iron collar round my neck.
. . . . I am man born of woman . . . . I
have been woman born of woman. I have been a woman and borne my children.
Dr. Arthur Guirdham the Cathars and Reincarnation
The pain was maddening . . . . I didn't
know when you were burnt to death you'd bleed. I thought the blood
would all dry up in the terrible heat. But I was bleeding heavily
. . . . The worse part was my eyes. I hate the thought of going blind.
Jalalu L-Din Rumi Mathnawi
I am but one soul but I have a hundred thousand
bodies. Yet I am helpless, since Shariat (exoteric religion) holds
my lips sealed. Two thousand men have I seen who were I; but none
as good as I am now.
Jane Roberts Seth Speaks
Your beliefs and feelings support and structure
your perceptions about what you experience with your past-life memories,
and will help you understand both the process and purpose of reincarnation
and the immortality of your soul.
Gloria Chadwich Discovering Your Past Lives
There could be a few terrible things lurking in the shadows from the past just waiting to haunt you . . . . It is of utmost importance that you protect yourself from past-life pain or trauma.