Introduction | Planning for the Incarnation |
Uniting with the Physical Body | From Conception to Birth

From Conception to Birth



Question 351 of "The Spirits' Book" asks, "During the time between conception and birth, does a spirit have the use of all its faculties?"  The spirits replied, "To some degree. It depends on the stage of gestation at which the physical body has arrived.  As yet, the spirit still has not fully incarnated in the new body; it is only attached to it.  From the moment of conception, however, a change takes place in the spirit  ̶  a state of confusion, signaling that the time has come for it to enter a new life.  This condition becomes more and more pronounced until the time of birth.  Between the two periods, that is, while its new body is in the womb, the spirit's state is similar to that of a sleeping person.  As the moment of birth approaches, its thoughts and ideas fade away.  So do memories of the past; once incarnated, the spirit will no longer be conscious of those memories.  Once it returns to the spirit-world, though, this memory will come back to it, little by little."¹ 


Kardec writes, in "Genesis":

 "From the moment [the spirit] is caught up in the fluidic tie that holds it to the fetus, it enters a state of perturbation that increases as the the attachment tightens, and the spirit, in the last moments, loses all consciousness of itself, with such luck that it never 'witnesses' its own birth.  When the child breathes, the spirit begins to recover its faculties, which develop in proportion to the formation and consolidation of the organs that will serve it in its manifestations [of its faculties]." 

At this point, we would not say, strictly speaking, that the developing fetus has a soul, but rather that the incarnation is in process, and that the fetus is linked to the spirit that will inhabit it.  Regarding the nature of life in the womb, the spirits said that "it is akin to vegetative  ̶  that is, unconscious functioning  ̶  though it already has a biological life.  Its union with the spirit at birth adds a spiritual one."

¹ You can read more about this temporary forgetfulness of the past in the equally titled segment found in the section on Life in the Material World.  (see menu bar at left).


Kardec, Allan. "Return to the Body." The Spirits' Book.  Trans. Allan Kardec Educational Society (translated from 2nd edition in French). Philadelphia, PA. Allan Kardec Educational Society. 1996. 23-141.

Kardec, Allan. "Solution to Some Problems by the Spiritist Doctrine." Christian Spiritism (a compilation of two Kardec books: Spiritism Reduced to Its Simplest Expression and What is Spiritism).  Trans. Allan Kardec Educational Society (translated from original French editions, published 1860 and 1859, respectively). Philadelphia, PA. Allan Kardec Educational Society. 1985. 166.

Simonetti, Richard "Chapter." Quem Tem Medo Dos Espíritos? [Who's Afraid of Spirits]. 11th ed. Baru-SP, Brazil: Centro Espírita Amor e Cardidade [Love and Charity Spiritist Center]. 1992. 101-106.

Kardec, Allan. "Genese Espiritual" [Spiritual Genesis]. A Genese [Genesis]. 37th ed. Trans. Guillon Ribeiro (translated from 5th edition in French). Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil: Federação Espírita Brasileira [Brazilian Spiritist Federation].1987. 214-215.

Luiz, André (Spirit Author) / Xavier, Francisco Cândido (Medium). "Reencarnação" [Reincarnation]. Missionarios Da Luz [Missionaries of Light]. 26 ed. Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil. Brazilian Spiritist Federation. 1995 206-207. 

Estudo Sistematizado da FEB, Programa II, roteiro N 15.
Systematized Study Published by the Brazilian Spiritist Federation)