Incarnation (from the Latin: incarnatio), embodiment, corporealisation or earthly life means that a spiritual being becomes flesh as a bodily physical being. In this process, the I, his spiritual core, step by step completely permeates all the members (astral body, etheric body, physical body) that serve him for embodiment. Spirit and soul are then no longer to be understood as entities separate from the body, but appear directly as a moving physical form and are not mere "inhabitants" of the body, as suggested, for example, by the Cartesian dualism of res extensa and res cogitans. This also invalidates the body-soul problem still discussed in the philosophy of mind, which has its roots in the Platonism of Greek antiquity. The nature of the earthly embodied human being can only be understood through a natural and at the same time spiritual view, such as Goethe initially cultivated in his scientific studies, which Rudolf Steiner took up as a young man and later deepened more and more through spiritual science.
The spiritual core of man, his I, does not live only once on earth, but reincarnates again and again as long as it can find suitable conditions for development on earth. His destiny (karma) in later incarnations is thus essentially determined by his deeds in earlier lives on earth. On the other hand he creates fruitful germs for the future out of full freedom. Karma and freedom complement each other in order to enable man to develop his individuality in a self-responsible and self-determined way in the course of repeated earthly lives. The sequence of reincarnations began in Lemurian times and will end at the beginning of the sixth main age. Man will then pass into a more spiritual existence and will no longer be directly bound to a physical body (Lit.:GA 93, p. 25).
- Frits Wilmar: Vorgeburtliche Menschwerdung: Eine Betrachtung über die menschliche frühembryonale Entwicklung, 2. Auflage, J. Ch. Mellinger Verlag 1991, ISBN 978-3880690011
- Max Hoffmeister: Die übersinnliche Vorbereitung der Inkarnation. Erkenntnisgrundlagen zur Frage der Wesenheit des Ich und der Regelung der Empfängnis, Vlg. Die Pforte, Basel 1991
- Dietrich Bauer, Max Hoffmeister, Hartmut Görg: Gespräche mit Ungeborenen: Kinder kündigen sich an, 6. Auflage, Urachhaus Verlag, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 978-3878384656
- Rudolf Steiner: Menschheitsentwickelung und Christus-Erkenntnis, GA 100 (1981), ISBN 3-7274-1000-0 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Alte und neue Einweihungsmethoden. Drama und Dichtung im Bewußtseins-Umschwung der Neuzeit, GA 210 (2001), ISBN 3-7274-2102-9 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Initiations-Erkenntnis, GA 227 (2000), ISBN 3-7274-2271-8 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English (by Steiner Online Library).
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.