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Memory of Past Lives

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.

Sholem Asch           The Nazarene

. . . 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 . . .

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 . . . .

Benedict Spinoza           Ethics

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 to time.

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 lives.

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. . .

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