To be born means to proceed from an embryo to a stage at which one perceives the outer world with the senses. If one does not pass through an embryonic stage one can never be ready to be born. Those who know this stage also know that ordinary life is an embryonic stage for the higher life. This leads us deep into the meaning of ordinary life.
It could be quite easy for someone who directs his gaze towards the spiritual world to become convinced that there is such a world and that man is a citizen of it. He could then proceed to disregard the physical world and to believe that one cannot depart from it quickly enough, and that one should mortify the flesh, the sooner to reach the spiritual world. This shows ignorance. It is as senseless as if one would not allow the human embryo to mature but would bring it into the world at two months, and expect it to live there.
Likewise for the higher world, one has to develop to become mature. Such is he who has developed his higher self. The physical world is the school. He who has developed his ego here is ready to enter the kingdom of heaven, which means to be born again.
To be continued
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – The Gospel of St. John – Third Lecture – Berlin, 5th March 1906
Previously posted on October 27, 2014