What comes into consideration here is too often overlooked, that is, the immense differences in human nature. The people of ancient India were inwardly organized differently from modern people. This difference in the higher members is apparent to spiritual research, though not to the external science of physiology or anatomy. It is thanks to this fact that we have preserved up to our own time a wonderful spiritual knowledge, and also the method whereby initiation was achieved — the path of yoga. This path leads those who are constituted like the people of ancient India to the summit of knowledge. For today’s European it is as senseless to seek that path as it would be to first walk to the opposite side of the mountain and use the path there rather than the path available where one stands. The nature of today’s European is completely different from that of the Oriental. A few centuries before the Christian era began, human nature was different from what it was to become a few centuries later. And today it is different again.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – Supersensible Knowledge: Lecture XI: Who are the Rosicrucians? – Berlin, 14th March 1907