The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

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Innumerable souls die without ever coming to this experience; they never even think about it. At the same time there are fine souls who may be quite young and yet have that perception; and wherever this perception is there is the living spirit, even if one finds it in a little child. That child is then as old as its grandfather; it is an "old soul," as a child which shows wisdom, depth, and subtlety is called in the East. By "old" is meant that it shows more experience; it does not take a long time to make a person old in this sense. Many become old in a very short time. There are people who from their childhood show that they are old souls; they make utterances of great wisdom, as if they had experience on earth for hundreds of years. And sometimes people of a very advanced age may think and feel and say and do things just like a child. This shows that the age of the soul does not correspond with the time since the birth of the person on this plane.