Spiritual knowledge must bring about an actual renewal of language

Whoever hears a word today applies it to what it represents in the sense world, and no longer thinks of relating it to the Spiritual World. Among the manifold reasons for the founding of this spiritual movement is one that is connected with the transmutation of the word. If this spiritual movement, this spiritual stream, did not find entry into the world before the end of this century, such a movement would probably be quite impossible in a hundred years’ time. We have just been able to catch at the favourable conditions. Why so? In a hundred years’ time it would be no longer possible at all to express in the words of ordinary language the ideas of super-sensible facts in their true nature. We should no longer understand them, for the words are more and more assuming the character where they can only be applied to material things and conditions. 

So it would gradually have come about that people would no longer understand the spiritual teachings at all, because everything would at once be applied to the material world. Spiritual knowledge must bring about an actual renewal of language. The words must be given a new stamp; new values must be lent to the words once more. Men must once more gain the feeling that there is something inherent in these words, that certain words intend something that points to higher worlds. It is the task of this spiritual movement to carry up into the higher worlds not only deeds, but words. In former ages this was done; and we must try to find again the feelings of those human beings who were far more directed to the non-material ideas — far more attracted to the Spiritual World than the feelings of our time.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 284 – ON CHAOS AND COSMOS – Berlin, 19 October, 1907