Famous people who believed in reincarnation.
Benjamin Franklin (Founding Father of the United States, 1706-1970)
“When I see nothing annihilated (in the works of God) and not a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls, or believe that He 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. Thus, 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.”
Carl Gustav Jung ( founder of analytical psychology 1875-1961)
“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.”
Mahatma Gandhi (Indian activist 1869 -1948)
“I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man, believing as I do in the theory of rebirth, I shall 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.”
Henry Ford (Founder of the Ford Motor Company 1863-1947)
“I adopted the theory of Reincarnation when I was twenty six. Religion offered nothing to the point. Even work could not give me complete satisfaction. Work is futile if we cannot utilize the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered Reincarnation it was as if I had found a universal plan I realized that there was a chance to work out my ideas. Time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock. Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives. Some are older souls than others, and so they know more. The discovery of Reincarnation put my mind at ease. If you preserve a record of this conversation, write it so that it puts mens minds at ease. I would like to communicate to others the calmness that the long view of life gives to us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (US philosopher & poet, 1803-1882)
“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."
Dr. Ian Stevenson (Psychiatrist, reincarnation researcher and author, 1918-2007)
“Reincarnation, at least as I conceive it, does not nullify what we know about evolution and genetics. It suggests, however, that there may be two streams of evolution - the biological one and a personal one - and that during terrestrial lives these streams may interact.”
David Lloyd George (British Prime Minister, 1863-1945)
"The conventional heaven with its angels perpetually singing etc. nearly drove me mad in my youth and made me an atheist for ten years. My opinion is that we shall be reincarnated."
François Voltaire (French philosopher, 1694-1778)
"It is no more surprising to be born once than to be born twice: everything in nature is resurrection."
General George S. Patton (WWII US Tank Corps commander, 1885-1945).
Patton claimed to remember many past lives as a soldier, one of which was in Ancient Rome - “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 Harrison (English musician member of the Beatles, 1943 - 2001)
"Friends are all souls that we've known in other lives. We're drawn to each other. 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."
Honoré de Balzac (French novelist and playwright, 1799 – 1850)
"The virtues we acquire, which develop slowly within us, are the invisible links that bind each one of our existences to the others - existences which the spirit alone remembers, for Matter has no memory for spiritual things."
Herman Hesse (German born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, 1877 - 1962)
"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.”
William Wordsworth (English Romantic poet, 1770 –1850)
“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting. And cometh from afar.”
General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (British army officer 1833 – 1885)
"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.”
Origen, or Origen Adamantius (scholar and early Christian theologian, 184 – 253)
"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.”
Kahlil Gibran (Lebanese artist, poet, and writer, 1883-1931)
“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.”
Robert Browning (English poet, 1812-1889)
“At times I almost dream I too have spent a life the sages way, And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance I perished in an arrogant self-reliance an age ago; and in that act, a prayer for one more chance went up so earnest, so Instinct with better light let in by Death, That life was blotted out - not so completely But scattered wrecks enough of it remain, Dim memories; as now, when seems once more, The goal in sight again.”
Pythagoras of Samos (Ionian Greek philosopher 570 – c. 495 BC)
"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.”
Paramhansa Yogananda Paramahansa. (Indian yogi and guru 1893 –1952).
“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?”
Arthur Schopenhauer. (German philosopher, 1788-1860)
“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. Its 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.”
Freidrich Nietzsche (German philosopher, poet and composer, (1844-1900)
"Live so that thou mayest desire to live again - that is thy duty - for in any case thou wilt live again!
Thanks to Bruce E Kaloski for compiling most of the list here.
I highly suggest reading his excellent book - Your Journey Was Never Meant to End: A Compelling Case for Reincarnation