Another means of temptation connected with his incarnation — he also works in co-operation with the Luciferic forces — another of his endeavours is to preserve the already widespread attitude that for the public welfare it is sufficient if the economic and material needs of men are provided for. Here we come to a point that is not willingly faced in modern life. Official science nowadays contributes nothing to real knowledge of the soul and spirit, for the methods adopted in the orthodox sciences are of value only for apprehending external nature, including the external constitution of man.
Just think with what contempt the average citizen to-day regards anything that seems to him idealistic, anything that seems to be a path leading in any way to the spiritual. At heart he is always asking: What is the good of it? How will it help me to acquire this world’s goods? He sends his sons to a public school, having perhaps been to one himself; he sends them on to a university or institute of advanced studies. But all this is done merely in order to provide the foundations for a career, in other words, to provide the material means of livelihood.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 191 – Lucifer and Ahriman – Man’s Responsibility for the Earth – Lecture 1 – Dornach, 1st November, 1919
Translated by D. S. Osmond