"One day I said to him: 'You, who are so liberal, who know the world, who've read so much, science, philosophy, literature—do you in your heart of hearts believe in reincarnation?'(from The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham)
"His whole face changed. It became the face of a visionary.
" 'My dear friend,' he said, 'if I didn't believe in it life would have no meaning for me.' "
"And do you believe in it, Larry?" I asked.
"That's a very difficult question to answer. I don't think it's possible for us Occidentals to believe in it as implicitly as these Orientals do. It's in their blood and bones. With us it can only be an opinion. I neither believe in it nor disbelieve in it."
That latter paragraph has been my ‘rap’ for a while and whether I learned it from this source or not I don’t know. I would never approach a teacher with firewood saying 'I am tired of the endless transmigration’. Because I’m not and because the simple knowledge of continuity without a felt identity is an abstraction without living force. What is certain is the practice of the presence. ‘Everything shall perish save his face’ (Koran 28:88)