A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.
(George Gurdjieff (c. 1877-1949), Greek-Armenian religious teacher, mystic. Quoted in P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, ch. 11 (1949).
Gurdjieff continued: "If a man dies without having been awakened he cannot be born. If a man is born without having died he may become an 'immortal thing.' Thus the fact that he has not 'died' prevents a man from being 'born'; the fact of his not having awakened prevents him from 'dying'; and should he be born without having died he is prevented from 'being.'...")
It is strange that they will make ado when a man's body is buried, but not when he thus really and tragically dies, or seems to die.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, December 29, 1847, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 146, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)