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In an infinite universe there should be
infinite possibilities for growth in wisdom, self realization, and expansion
of consciousness, and for the development of compassion and the power to
sacrifice --provided, of course, one is around to develop all those precious
Krishna The Bhagavad-Gita
. . . the devotee, who, striving with all his might, obtaineth perfection because of efforts continued through many births, goeth to the supreme goal . . .
. . . When the embodied self surpasseth these three qualities of goodness, action, and indifference . . . it is released from rebirth and death . . .
All the worlds, and even
the heavenly realm of Brahmâ, are subject to the laws
of rebirth . . .
. . . an ideal human body [is] . . . totally
endowed with the eight favorable qualities, which are ripened fruits of
previously committed virtuous actions . . . . You should practice those
virtuous actions which will cause you to be reborn with this ideal form
. . .
Philo Judaeus De Somniis
. . . Some souls choose confinements in
mortal bodies because they are corporeally inclined . . . But those possessed
of a diviner structure are absolved from all local bonds of earth . . .
Rabbi Moses de Leon The Zohar
. . . souls must re-enter the absolute substance
whence they have emerged . . . . To accomplish this . . . they must develop
. . . the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them; and if they
have not fulfilled this . . . during one life, they must commence another,
a third, and so forth, until they have acquired the condition which fits
them for reunion with God.
King James Bible Ecclesiastes 41:11-12
Woe be unto you, ungodly men, which have
forsaken the law of the most high God! for if you increase, it shall
be your destruction; and if you be born, ye shall be born to a curse; and
if ye die, a curse shall be your portion.
Rev. William R. Inge The Gifford Lectures
. . . Greek [stoic] philosophy could admit
no prospect except a perpetual repetition of the same alternate evolution
and involution, a never-ending systole and diastole of the cosmic life
. . . . The education of Souls is continued in successive worlds.
Origen De Principiis
. . . [as] to those souls which, on account
of their excessive mental defects, stood in need of bodies of a grosser
and more solid nature . . . this visible world was also called into being
. . . . The hope of freedom is entertained . . . when they shall have fulfilled
their . . . duties in this world.
Shea & Troyer The Dabistan
When the souls not yet come forth from the
pit of the natural darkness of bodily matter, are nevertheless in a state
of increasing improvement, then, in an ascending way, they migrate from
body to body, each purer than the former one, until the time of climbing
up to the steps on the wished-for perfection of mankind . . .
Leslie D. Weatherhead The Case for Reincarnation
There can never be a perfect world unless
gradually those born into it can take advantage of lessons learned in earlier
lives instead of starting at scratch.
. . . . Life was considered as a time of
trial: If its initiation was successfully past, the spirit rested after
death until the moment came for another return to earth. This continued
until, after many lives, some attained the state of spiritual perfection
that admitted them to Gwenved, the "White" heaven where they became fully
conscious of God. They chose . . . to return as teachers . . .
. . . . Attached to a mortal envelope, [our
soul] . . . is sent by the gods now into one body, now into another, in
view of the universal harmony, in order that the union of the mortal and
immortal elements in human nature may contribute to the unity of the Whole
. . . .
G. E. Lessing Education of the Human Race
. . . . Why should I not return as often
as I am capable of acquiring fresh knowledge and further power? Do
I achieve so much in one sojourning as to make it not worth my while to
Jean Paul Richter On the Immortality of the Soul
. . . . Let the soul return as often as
it wishes. Certainly the earth is rich enough to bestow ever new
gifts, new centuries, new countries, new minds, new discoveries and hopes.
George Sand Consuelo
Cast into this life . . . where, after a
previous existence . . . we are . . . remade, renewed, tempered by suffering,
by strife, by passion, by doubt, by disease, by death . . . for our purification
. . . to make us perfect . . .
Guissepe Mazzini The Life of Mazzini by Bolton King
. . . . The individual soul, he though,
progresses through a series of reincarnations, each leading it to a more
perfect development, and the rapidity of its advance depends on its own
purification . . .
Louisa May Alcott Letter to a Friend
I think immortality is the passing of a
soul through many lives or experiences, and such as are truly lived, used
and learned, help on to the next, each growing richer, happier and higher
. . .
Aldous Huxley The perennial Philosophy
. . . There is . . . the possibility (indeed
for most individuals, the necessity) of returning to some form of embodied
life, in which the advance towards complete beautification, or deliverance
through enlightenment, can be continued . . .
Carl Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections
. . . . 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 to be born again because I had not fulfilled
the task that was given to me . . .
G. Lowes Dickinson Is Immortality Desirable?
. . . What I do maintain is that life here
would have infinitely more value if we knew that beyond death we should
pursue, and ultimately to a successful issue, the elusive idea of which
we are always in quest.
John Ellis McTaggart Human Immortality and Pre-Existence
. . . No man 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 . . .
H. P. Blavatsky Isis Unveiled
Thus, like the revolutions of a wheel, there
is a regular succession of death and birth, the moral cause of which is
the cleaving to existing objects, while the instrumental cause is karma,
. . . merit and demerit.
William Q. Judge The Ocean of Theosophy
The passions and desires are not produced
by the body, but, on the contrary, the body is caused to be by the former.
It is desire and passion which caused us to be born, and will bring us
to birth again and again in some body on this earth or another globe.
It is by passion and desire we are made to evolve through the mansions
of death called lives on earth . . .
W. Macneile Dixon The Gifford Lectures
. . . and before we can attain to that final harmony between the universe and ourselves, to which we look forward as the consummation of existence, how much we have to learn about both!