This is an excerpt from "Theosophy" by Rudolf Steiner
As physical man I spring from other physical men,
for I have the same shape as the whole human species.
The qualities of the species, accordingly, could be
bequeathed to me within the genus. As spiritual man
I have my own shape as I have my own biography.
I therefore can have obtained this shape from no
one but myself. Since I entered the world not with
undefined but with defined predispositions; and
since the course of my life as it comes to expression
in my biography is determined by these predispositions,
my work on myself cannot have begun with my birth.
I must, as spiritual man, have existed before my
birth. In my forefathers I have certainly not been
existent, for they as spiritual human beings are
different from me. My biography is not explainable
through theirs. On the contrary, I must, as spiritual
being, be the repetition of one through whose
biography mine can be explained. The physical
form which Schiller bore he inherited from his
forefathers. But just as little as Schiller's physical
form can have grown out of the earth, so little can
his spiritual being have done so. It must be the
repetition of another spiritual being through
whose biography his will be explainable as his
physical human form is explainable through human
propagation. In the same way, therefore, that the
physical human form is ever again and again a
repetition, a reincarnation of the distinctively
human species, the spiritual human being must be
a reincarnation of the SAME spiritual human being.
For as spiritual human being, each one is in
fact his own species.
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