Sometimes people present themselves outwardly as quite robust – but in the depths of their souls they are cowards. Because of the fear they experience for the spiritual world, they look for various ways to stun themselves. Many believe they lose the ground beneath their feet when they penetrate the spiritual world, that is why there is fear. But they try to drown this fear out – mostly from fear of the serious and earnest strength they must use to reach the spiritual world.
One has often seen those who believed to have reached the spiritual world within four weeks, but then it turns out, o worst of all horrors, that based on the spiritual knowledge they gain, they will not become famous in this incarnation! Many lose the pleasure in searching for spiritual knowledge because they fear what they might learn. That is why they would rather be stunned, and therefore they invent the antipathy penetrated with hate and vanity against this spiritual science.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Okkulte Untersuchungen über das Leben zwischen Tod und neuer Geburt – Stuttgart, February 20, 1913 (page 224-225)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger