Benjamin Franklin was a Walk-in, and like all such advanced souls he brought in with him Awareness. Because of this special quality, he perfectly understood the illusion of what we term "living," and the reality of the greater life that we call "death." His Awareness is exemplified in the letter that he wrote to Miss Hubbard on the occasion of the death of his brother , Franklin:
Philadelphia, 23rd February, 1756.
I condole with you. We have lost a most dear and valuable relation. But it is the will of God and nature that these mortals bodies be laid aside when the soul is to enter into real life. This is rather an embryo state, a preparation for living . A man is not completely born until he be dead. Why, then, should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to their happy society?
We are spirits. That bodies should he lent us while they can afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge, or in doing good to our fellow-creatures, is a kind and benevolent act of God. When they become unfit for these purposes and afford us pain instead of pleasure, instead of an aid become an encumbrance, and answer none of the intentions for which they were given, it is equally kind and benevolent that a way is pro- vided by which we may get rid of them. Death is that way. We ourselves, in some cases, prudently choose a partial death. A mangled, painful limb which cannot be restored we willingly cut off. He who plucks out a tooth parts with it freely, since the pain goes with it; and he who quits the whole body parts at once with all pains and possibilities of pains and diseases which it was liable to or capable of making him suffer.
Our friend and we were invited abroad on a party of pleasure which is to last forever. His chair was ready first and he is gone before us. We could not all conveniently start together, and why should you and I be grieved at this, since we are soon to follow and know where to find him? Adieu,
Dr. Franklin, a scientist of international renown, also believed in Reincarnation, of which he wrote: "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."
At the age of twenty-two, having already be- come a Walk-in, he wrote his own epitaph, which Carl Van Doren has called "the most famous of American epitaphs."
The Body of B. Franklin, Printer, Like the Cover of an Old Book, Its Contents Torn Out And Stripped of its Lettering and Gilding, Lies Here Food for Worms, But the Work shall not be Lost, For it Will as He Believed Appear Once More In a New and more Elegant Edition Revised and Corrected By the Author.
And at the seasoned age of seventy-four, taking a long look into the as-yet-unturned pages of history, Ben Franklin wrote to Joseph Priestley, the Discoverer of oxygen, as follows:
"It is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter. We may perhaps learn to deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute levity, for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish its labour and double its produce; all diseases may by sure means be prevented or cured, not excepting even that of old age, and our lives lengthened at pleasure even beyond the antediluvian standard. 0 that moral science were in as fair a way of improvement, that men would cease to be wolves to one another, and that human beings would at length learn what they now improperly call humanity."