It is a complete misconception when one inclines towards ascetical behaviour during earthly physical development if one considers the latter as the enemy of the higher human being. It is an untruth because earthly experience gives something to the human being that he could not obtain in any other way. It is wrong to despise life in the physical body, to view the body as something low. It is particularly important and the most meaningful thing in the whole of human life. 

And spiritual science cannot at all agree with the kind of mysticism or wrong direction of Christianity – not the right direction, but the wrong one – that despises the earthly world. Between death and a new birth, man experiences the world from a different perspective; he experiences it so that now, not only the beings who worked in him during the time he was within the physical and etheric bodies but the Creator Beings themselves are working in him as well. There he has a different experience. That is why, during our earthly life, we have the task of getting to know not only the sensory but also the supersensory world.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 184 – Die Polarität von Dauer und Entwickelung im Menschenleben – Dornach, September 8, 1918 (page 64)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger