Thought will gradually have to be known as a concretely real power of the soul, not merely as the miserable abstraction produced so proudly by the modern age. Men living in earlier times were still linked, by an ancient heritage, with the spiritual world. Although for many centuries now, atavistic clairvoyance has almost entirely ebbed away, this heritage still lives in the feeling and in the will. But the time has come when everything that is conscious must become a real power — hence the Spirits of Darkness strive to counter really effective thoughts by abstract thoughts in the form of all kinds of programmes for the world. This connection must be realised and understood. Thoughts must be imbued with greater and greater reality.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 178 – Behind the Scenes of External Happenings – Lecture 2 – Zurich, 13th November 1917
Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield