“People who’s mode of thought tends to fancifulness and superstition can never make progress on the path to higher knowledge. it is indeed a precious treasure that the student is to acquire. All doubt requiring the higher worlds is removed from him. with all their laws they reveal themselves to his gaze. But he cannot acquire this treasure so long as he is the prey of fancies and illusions. It would indeed be fatal if his imagination and his prejudices ran away with his intellect. Dreamers and fantastical people are as unfit for the path to higher knowledge as superstitious people. This cannot be overemphasized. For the most dangerous enemies on the way to knowledge of the higher worlds lurk in such fantastical reveries and superstitions.” ~Rudolf Steiner
If you told someone they were living in a world of fantasy ans superstition, they would almost certainly deny it. They might point out that they are not fans of those fantasy movies full of dragons or vampires, and they are not afraid of black cats. But that is the obvious type of fantasy. Most of us live trapped in fantasies that are less obvious.
If you think that attending a football, basketball, or soccer game is about the most important thing in the world, you are trapped in a fantasy world. If you think it is sensible to use us a vacation day (or two) standing in line to get the latest tech-toy, you are definitely trapped in a world of fantasy and illusion. If you seriously believe that eating artificial foods, then taking lots of drugs to counter the side effects, is a healthy and smart way to live, you are trapped in a fantasy world. If you believe drugs, technology, or other man-made things are going to fix the environment and stop global warming and the growing extinction of animal and plant species, you are deeply caught in illusion.
One of the greatest weapons Satan and the demons have to control us is this illusion. By getting us trapped in such meaningless things, we make little effort to improve, especially
spiritually. In 1985, the group A-Ha made a groundbreaking video in which they are trapped in a comic book, but the handsome lead singer manages to break free at the end. Like him, we all need to break free of the fantasy worlds we get trapped in if we are to make spiritual progress. Does this mean that we can’t be artistic, that we can’t express ourselves with fiction in writing and poetry? No, of course not. What it means is that we have to recognize that those are fantasies and that the world of consumerism, materialism, and prescription drugs is also a world of fantasy. We can enjoy a football game, as long as we understand that it is just a game, not a world-shattering event. We can enjoy a space opera movie, as long as we remind ourselves that it is not real.
What we need to do first is develop an open mind. When you close you mind to new idea, new concepts, new ways of doing things, you close out spiritual progress. When you accept literally the teachings of a particular church and the words in the Bible (or other scripture) when they were intended to be allegory, you can’t make spiritual progress. So open up to new ways of thinking. Evaluate your self. Find where you have become close-minded on certain subjects, and try to open up to new one. Read more, and not just the books that you agree with, but also the ones you will probably not agree with. Travel more. Talk to people from other countries, other religions, other philosophies. Take classes, learn new things. It can be formal classes at a college, or more informal ones like those art and wine places that are popping up where you learn to paint a scene while sipping wine (optional).
The next step is to awaken our spiritual faculties. But here again, we must avoid being caught in fantasies, false beliefs, and preconceived notions of what God and spirituality is all about. W must be open to whatever presents itself, because they truth is very different from what is taught in conventional churches.
Illustration: The famous fantasy of Plato’s Cave.