Rudolph Steiner perceived how the division of the soul was reflected universally in the tragic duality between science and religion. Natural Science regarded the material world as the only reality, conceiving the whole process of creation and evolution in purely physical terms. Religion, secretly considering itself wholly discredited by science, had fallen back on unquestioning faith and dogma, hitching a hypothetical three dimensional heaven on to the end of life to house the faithful after death. In neither case was there any recognition of the existence of a Macrocosm from which creative powers fashioned, informed and sustained the world of Nature. Steiner felt that it was his personal destiny to find a bridge between the world of spirit and the world of nature.

It appeared to Steiner as deeply significant that the Greek philosophers had considered that ideas understood by thinking were more real than the phenomenal world itself. He discovered that the very history of Western philosophy traced the gradual steps in contraction of consciousness and the way in which all knowledge of the Macrocosm had been lost.
Steiner saw the critical deed which brought about man's scepticism regarding the spiritual validity of thinking to have taken place in the Grail age in the ninth century when the Roman Church erased the Individual Human Spirit from the former trichotomy of man. From then forward, because Spirit had been relegated to a mere shadowy intellectual quality in the soul, thinking was no longer trusted as a means to truth. It was inevitable that mankind should turn to evidence of the senses as the only reality.
The reappearance of Greek learning did not revive a longing for the knowledge of the spirit but, instead, only quickened man's thirst to unveil the secrets of the physical world. And in this battle to gain mastery over nature the despiritualised intellect reigned supreme with it's effective inductive method based entirely on the evidence of the senses. The seed of a materialistic age had been planted and with it came an ever widening gap between the spirit and the three dimensional world.

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