If it were true that men gained nothing from self-earned suffering and learned nothing from it, that they went on making the same errors and committing the same sins again and again, then they would not be men but the lowest of the lower animals. The capacity to think distinguishes men from these creatures. It may be very feebly and most imperfectly used, but this capacity is still being used in some way. Such mental activity may lead to wrong results or to little results, but it cannot lead to no result at all. The conclusion is that if men do not learn from experience today--that is, in one lifetime--they will inevitably do so tomorrow--that is, in another and a later lifetime.
-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 1: Situation > # 239