Many spiritualists are much more materialistic than the ordinary materialist! The average materialist states: ‘ there is no spirit ‘, and calls matter ‘matter ‘. But a large number of spiritualists want to, in that they make the spirit visible, see the spirit physically – either because it manifests as light (thus in a material way) or because it becomes tangible in some other way. Contact with the spirits can manifest in various ways. This is a materialistic approach to the whole spiritual world.
We have to acquire the ability to embrace a deeper reality than that which is mediated by the senses. It becomes quite absurd when the spiritualist, the materialistic spiritualist, wants to see the deceased with physical eyes while he can’t assume that he will be able to see the dead with physical eyes after death; because at death the physical eyes are laid down. When one wants to see the dead one should try to see as one would perceive him or her when one has died oneself, that means without physical eyes, obviously.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 163 – Zufall, Notwendigkeit und Vorsehung – Dornach, September 6, 1915 (page 130)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger