All the great Founders of religions have been possessed of clairvoyant sight. They are the spiritual Guides of mankind, and their precepts are precepts of the moral life based on astral and spiritual truths. This explains the similarities in all the religions. There is a certain similarity, for instance, between the Eight-fold Path of the Buddha and the Eight Beatitudes of Christ. The same underlying truth is that whenever man develops one of the virtues, he unfolds a new faculty of perception. Why are eight stages mentioned? Because the seer knows that the faculties which may be transmuted into organs of perception are eight in number.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – Lecture X: The Astral World – Paris, 6th June 1906