Many people will ask themselves, “Am I really mad?”

We are now approaching a time when, in addition to the already evolved self-consciousness, certain clairvoyant faculties will again evolve quite naturally. Human beings will have the strange and remarkable experience of not knowing what is really happening to them! They will begin to receive premonitions that will become reality, and they will be able to foresee events that will actually take place. Indeed, people everywhere will gradually begin actually to see, although only in shadowy outline and in its first elements, what we call man’s etheric body. The human being of today sees only the physical body; the capacity to see the etheric body will gradually be added. People will have learned that this etheric body is a reality, or they will think it is an illusion of their senses, since such a thing, so they will say, does not exist. Things will come to a point at which many people who have such experiences will ask themselves, “Am I really mad?”

Although it will be only a small number of people who will develop these faculties during the next few decades, spiritual science is something that will spread, because the responsibility one feels is for something that in reality is taking place; it must take place in accordance with the natural course of events. Why do we teach spiritual science? Because phenomena will appear in the near future that only spiritual science will be able to grasp and that will remain misunderstood if spiritual science is not there.

These faculties will develop relatively quickly in the case of a small number of human beings. It is quite true, to be sure, that through an esoteric training man may ascend, even today, far beyond what is preparing itself on a small scale for humanity. At the same time, that to which man can ascend in our day by his own efforts, through appropriate training, is already being slightly prepared in small beginnings for all of humanity. It is something about which it will be necessary to speak, whether one understands it or not, during the years 1930 to 1940. Only a few decades separate us from that moment in time when such phenomena will have begun to be more frequent.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 118 – Reappearance/Christ: Lecture II: Spiritual Science as Preparation for a New Etheric Vision – Heidelberg, January 27, 1910