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Quotations about Old Souls



A singular soul was Vivian's. All old souls have a special leaning toward the inner realm. ~Alwyn M. Thurber, Nothing Ever Happens, 1899


Being an old soul myself, reincarnated many more times than any other member of my family, I knew the truth of spiritual things not revealed to them. I could not formulate what I knew, but I felt myself the spiritual parent of my elders... ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox, The Worlds and I,  1918


We come here as Old Souls — many of us. I am a very old soul... so old that this is my Last Time. ~Katherine Metcalf Roof, "The Reincarnate Greatness of the Walter Smiths," 1918


I sometimes feel so old, so very old, as if I had lived for generations. It makes me realize how often I have failed in past incarnations and that I have had to go through my span on this earth so many times. Haven't you noticed little children, how old they are? And how some children only become young as they grow older? It is the old, old soul, Lorna. The soul that has had to return again and again to this world... I sometimes look into a child's eyes, and I know its sub-conscious mind has seen so much. In a child's eyes is the concentrated misery of a thousand years... and the eyes know it all, but the brain and body are new, and old souls despise new bodies... I always think that children and sunsets should go hand in hand. They are two of the saddest things I know. And I, Lorna, am an old, old soul — so tired of it all! But I feel my end is near. I feel I am on the road to freedom. ~Martin Hussingtree, Konyetz, c.1924  [Hussingtree presumed to be pseudonym of Oliver Baldwin (1899–1958) —tg]


An old, old soul was Vivian's. Whether she had lived in supernal splendor as a seraph of light or as a creeping insect, that wisdom which is too deep to find expression in words showed itself in her movements of grace or in her glances, beneath which shone a mysteriously radiant spirit. As she sat bathed in the moonbeams, memories without number crowded in upon her for recognition. Her inner life seemed lifted... ~Alwyn M. Thurber, Nothing Ever Happens, 1899


The body is, of course, but the new physical instrument of the old soul — an instrument, as certainly as the violin is an instrument and a vehicle for the musician's expression... It is because we think of the body as being actually the person, that it seems improbable that an old soul has entered the infant body. ~L. W. Rogers, Elementary Theosophy, 1923


The reason old souls enjoy spending time alone is because they never really are. ~Author unknown


She has moments of most mature wisdom — a wisdom of the heart, to be sure — which one can but reverence. She is an old soul, and her work may be one of great moment to mankind. ~Alwyn M. Thurber, Zelma, the Mystic, 1897


At each birth in a new body the old soul brings into action, as rapidly as the new infant brain becomes seasoned to higher vibrations, the skill and wisdom acquired in previous lives.... We must remember that the old soul is now "breaking in" a new physical instrument with which to express itself... The child is an old soul with a young body. ~L. W. Rogers, Elementary Theosophy, 1923


Each old soul brings back and expresses through the new physical body the accumulated harvests of past lives. ~L. W. Rogers, Elementary Theosophy, 1923


May Allison is what might be considered "an old soul," having been born with more wisdom than the average mortal acquires after years of experience. ~Evangeline Adams, "Horoscope of Stars as read for Photoplay," Photoplay, November 1924  [a little altered —tg]


      "If not with your reason, how then do you get it?"
      "From the inner, diviner self, — that self which is hidden from human eyes."
      "I see — yes," and Quaint grew suddenly thoughtful. "Do you know, that confirms my pet notions about self-made men and women. They get to the front — you can't shut them out — because it's in them; and, first you know, they are on top in spite of poverty or opposition. They  get their power from within, I presume."
      "Never from without. The suggestion of what they are to be is born with them. Their simple wills move along the path of destiny without antagonism to the great Will. But such as they are old souls, who have learned the secret of existence through many previous lives." ~Alwyn M. Thurber, Quaint Crippen: Commercial Traveler, 1896


Timothy Dexter of Newburyport
Was a gay old soul of a rare old sort...
~George S. Bryan, "A Rime of an Ancient Gentleman," 1923


"A very interesting personality," the seer Mrs. Everleth observed. "An old soul, a very old soul... I make a specialty of prenatal and cosmic astrology. That to me is the big real thing — to trace the hidden relationships, the karma of other lives. It makes everything at once so — so vast... so infinite." ~Katherine Metcalf Roof, "The Reincarnate Greatness of the Walter Smiths," 1918  [a little altered —tg]


I entreat you to make him welcome while he stays, for his mission is only to bring you light of the inner soul. To me he is a living protest against the world's unkindness to animals; aye, more than that, his exterior covers an old, old soul having a much truer vision than either you or I. ~Alwyn M. Thurber, The Hidden Faith: An Occult Story of the Period, 1895


An old soul is one that has been licked into shape by numerous previous lives, a new soul, one that is raw and crude. ~A. L. Benedict, "Modern Changes in Superstition," 1917


Once in a century, perhaps, is a man born with great powers already developed... Such beings are old souls, who have obtained diplomas in former lives... ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "Self Conquest," The Heart of The New Thought, 1902


It seems to me I was born wise and have become a romantic. ~Anaïs Nin, 1933


There is no such thing as an old soul in the universe, but there are a great many diseased or depressed souls — diseased or depressed by a great variety of causes, prominent among which is the decay of the bodies which they inhabit. ~Timothy Titcomb (Josiah Gilbert Holland), "The Way to grow old," Gold-Foil: Hammered from Popular Proverbs, 1859


I hold that when a person dies
      His soul returns again to earth;
Arrayed in some new flesh-disguise
      Another mother gives him birth.
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain
The old soul takes the roads again.
Such is my own belief and trust;
      This hand, this hand that holds the pen,
Has many a hundred times been dust
      And turned, as dust, to dust again;
These eyes of mine have blinked and shone
In Thebes, in Troy, in Babylon...
~John Masefield, "A Creed," 1907


      There is a legend in Wales of an Undine-like woman who rose from the waters and wedded a human husband... During the funeral service for a little child, she suddenly burst into loud and unseemly laughter, which shocked all the mourners present. When her distressed husband questioned her, she replied that it was so ridiculous to beweep the infant, whose soul she had seen ascending from this drear earth in a golden light of happiness and joy.
      The Indians speak of the souls of the animate and of the inanimate. A new man-soul is yet an old soul, for it may have stood as a mountain or rock for innumerable years and ages. ~Regina Miriam Bloch, "The Wonders of Death," 1915  [a little altered —tg]


I have seen many things;
My soul is an old soul now;
My soul is tired.
Rulers of Life and Death,
I have lived many lives;
I should be fast asleep...
~Margaret Widdemer, "The Estray," The Factories, with Other Lyrics, 1915


TORTOISE:  I've been told I have an old soul.
SNOW:  Is there a part of you that isn't old?
~T. Shepherd, Snow Sez, comic strip, 2016, gocomics.com/snow-sez


I don't follow current events past the Industrial Revolution. ~Bones, "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole," 2010, written by Hanson, Reichs, Lin, Lopata, and Peterson  [S5, E16, Temperance Brennan]


I never read anything modern. ~Chasing Yesterday, 1935 film based on Le crime de Sylvestre Bonnard by Anatole France, 1881, written by Francis Edward Faragoh


The desire for flight burned in her, as it burns in every winged soul; but it was flight from the captivity of time rather than from the captivity of space. "One day when I am free," she wrote in the Boston Library period, "I am going to emigrate to some hamlet which smells strongly of the Middle Ages, and put cotton wool in my ears, and swing out clear from this very smart century." ~Agnes Repplier, of Louise Imogen Guiney, 1926


Old books, with musty covers, and time-worn pages. I like the words and expressions of "olden-day" writers... ~Helen Rose Anne Milman Crofton, My Kalendar of Country Delights, 1903


At times, I feel like a remnant of Victoriana, living in a time warp... if I were living a hundred years ago, I would have it made! I often wonder if the stories of Andersen and Grahame and Milne were submitted today, would they be accepted? Would they be considered too harsh or demanding of their young readers? They did not compromise with reality. They did not condescend. They used big words. They made no fuss over death. And their teddy bears and badgers and brave tin soldiers talked!  I am at home and comfortable with them. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), quoted in Something about the Author, Volume 76, edited by Diane Telgen, 1994


I don't belong in this century — who does? ~Thomas McGrath (1916–1990), "Poem," The Movie at the End of the World: Collected Poems, 1972





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published 2014 Jul 29
revised 2023 Dec 12
last saved 2024 May 2
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