[…] we must bear in mind that present-day humanity is shortsighted in its vision of the world — and this is justified, to be sure, because it forms part of the universal plan — at the same time, it really is more shortsighted than it needs to be. For, you see, when a materialistic person of the present day forms his ideas, his conceptions of the world, he thinks that these are the universally-accepted human ideas and conceptions. You know how difficult it is to convince a materialistically-minded person that there are also other ways of thinking than his own. The standpoint taken by the materialist causes him to say that anyone who does not think as he does is a fool. There is no greater inward intolerance than that of a materialist.
Hence, a materialistic person actually thinks, generally speaking: — “Oh, of course, in the past, men thought all manner of things as to the existence of the spiritual; they could hardly move a step, in their daily life, without suspecting the presence of spirits everywhere, or indeed without seeing them. But all this was sheer fancy — now, at last, we have progressed so far that we have discarded this childish play of the human race.”
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 168 – RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE LIVING AND THE DEAD – Hamburg, 16 February 1916
Art of Carol Herzer