People find it very easy to say: When I get you to tell me of the supersensible worlds how can I know that all these ideas are really correct?’ Let us imagine someone was spreading ideas about the supersensible worlds, ideas accepted by a number of people, and these were in fact wrong, or one-sided, or did not turn out to be correct in the sense we speak of things being correct in the outer physical world. In such a case it would still have been better for people to have taken up the wrong ideas than to have taken up no ideas at all concerning the supersensible world. Why? It would have been better because the soul has to make an effort in accepting any kind of idea about the supersensible world. You may take up correct ideas or incorrect ideas but you have to make an effort, and it is this effort which counts in the spiritual world when we go through the gate of death. It is this effort that will benefit us after death or, indeed, benefits us altogether when we enter into the spiritual world.
Let us assume we had made our own what is a completely wrong view of the spiritual world. By taking it up we have developed our soul forces just as a gymnast develops his limbs. And whatever we have developed will be ours and we carry it with us into the spiritual world. By taking it with us into the spiritual world we then have something there that is similar to our having eyes here on earth. We shall no longer be blind in the spiritual world. Even if it were to be the case that everything we have taken up was wrong and the only thing we have done is to make an effort, this means we shall have developed the eye of the soul so that we are now able to see what is there in the spiritual world.
To be continued
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157 – Destinies of Individuals and Nations: Lecture 6: Spiritual Perception Essential at the Present Time – Berlin, January 26, 1915