Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature (generally a human) who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial. In its religious context the word is used to mean the descent from Heaven of a god, or divine being in human/animal form on Earth.
Famous quotes containing the word incarnation:
“They have their belief, these poor Tibet people, that Providence sends down always an Incarnation of Himself into every generation. At bottom some belief in a kind of pope! At bottom still better, a belief that there is a Greatest Man; that he is discoverable; that, once discovered, we ought to treat him with an obedience which knows no bounds. This is the truth of Grand Lamaism; the discoverability is the only error here.”
—Thomas Carlyle (17951881)
“All men, in the abstract, are just and good; what hinders them, in the particular, is, the momentary predominance of the finite and individual over the general truth. The condition of our incarnation in a private self, seems to be, a perpetual tendency to prefer the private law, to obey the private impulse, to the exclusion of the law of the universal being.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Service ... is love in action, love made flesh; service is the body, the incarnation of love. Love is the impetus, service the act, and creativity the result with many by-products.”
—Sarah Patton Boyle, U.S. civil rights activist and author. The Desegregated Heart, part 3, ch. 3 (1962)