This feeling that the human being is a mere mechanism would mean the collapse of earthly civilization 

The time is now ripe for man to extract what is necessary for education from his knowledge of the relation of man to the cosmos. We must permeate our whole education with this feeling: the growing being stands before us, but he is the continuation of what has taken place in the super-sensible before he was born or conceived. […]

This feeling must permeate us. And only when, in actual fact, this feeling permeates us, shall we really be able to distinguish rightly. For do not imagine that this feeling is unfruitful! Man is so organized that with rightly directed feeling he can himself from these feelings derive his own guiding forces.

If you do not achieve this vision in which every human being is a cosmic mystery, you can alternatively only get the feeling that each human being is a mere mechanism, and the cultivation of this feeling that the human being is a mere mechanism would, of course, mean the collapse of earthly civilization. The rise of this civilization, on the contrary, can only be sought in the permeation of our impulse for education by the experience of the cosmic significance of the whole being. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 294 – Practical Course for Teachers – Stuttgart, 22nd August, 1919

Translated by Harry Collison