The age of intellectualism dulled the sight of what lay in man’s inner being, but it was unable to do away with the fear. Thus it came about that man was and still is influenced by this unconscious fear to the degree of saying, “There is nothing at all in the human being that transcends birth and death.” He is afraid of penetrating deeper than this life of memory, this ordinary life of thought which maintains its course, after all, only between birth and death. He is afraid to look down into that which is eternal in the human soul, and from out of this fear he postulates the doctrine that there is nothing at all outside this life between birth and death. Modern materialism has arisen out of fear, without men having the slightest idea of this. The modern materialistic world-conception is a product of fear and anxiety.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 207 – Evil and the Power of Thought – At the Center of Man’s Being: I – Dornach, 23rd September 1921