“Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on it’s way to become you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of atoms – up to a billion for each of us, it had been suggested – probably once belonged to Shakespeare.
A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name.
So we are all reincarnations – though short-lived ones. When we die our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere – as part of a leaf or human being or drop of dew.”
-Bill Bryson- A Short History of Nearly Everything