“There are people who will not hear anything about occult science, because they think they discern something unhealthy in what has been said. These people are quite right as regards the surface and outer aspect of life, in its so-called reality, offers. They see weakness in man’s turning away from reality and seeking his welfare in an unseen world which to them is synonymous with what is chimerical and visionary. If as occult scientists we do not desire to fall into morbid dreaming and weakness, we must admit that such objections are partially justified. For they are founded upon sound judgment, which leads to a half truth instead of a whole truth merely because it does not penetrate to the root of things.” ~Rudolf Steiner
Spiritual science,which Steiner calls “occult,” is not perfect and is not for everyone. That is something you won’t see many schools, teachers, or gurus admitting. Many of the newer schools seem to be more interested in having a large number of students than in actually healing those students develop their spiritual faculties. You can see this on social media where the answers many give to any spiritual question is, “Go meditate”. A real spiritual school goes way beyond meditation to advanced techniques that actually awaken and develop the spiritual part of us, and don’t just relax the mind.
Some people certainly will see something unhealthy in concentrating on spiritual growth. A couch potato will see something unhealthy in going to a fitness center several times a week, but they are wrong. Yes, the guy at the gym is more likely to get injured than the guy watching Wheel of Fortune, but he is also likely to live longer and happier. Likewise, the person taking the time to care for their spiritual self (along with the physical and mental) will have a happier and more productive life. Physically, she may not live longer, but she will have an immortal life ahead in spirit form. To enjoy that immortal life, however, you must awaken, and become one with, the spirit and soul while still physically alive. Continued life is in spirit, not matter.
So the idea that spending time on spiritual development is unhealthy can only be true if you accept that the physical world is all that is real. In actual fact, it is the temporary world of matter that is unreal. Unfortunately, it does do a good job of hiding the real world of spirit from those who don’t make an effort to find it.
Surface and Below
When you look only at the surface layers of life, you are only seeing a small part of what is really there. When all your decisions are based on that shallow view, you rarely make good decisions. And when you laugh at those who look beyond that surface to what is beyond, you block yourself from learning about those deeper truths. Those deeper truths is what spiritual science is all about.
It’s like the difference between a person who only drives a car and the mechanic who repairs it. The first one has to get help when anything goes wrong. He doesn’t understand the inner workings of the thing. A recent insurance commercial shows two teenage boys stuck with a flat tire. They don’t have any idea how to change it. That same kind of helplessness is what the materialist faces every time he is affected by something happening at the spiritual level of reality that he refuses to believe in.
The more we know, the better off we are. The wise person investigates all without prejudice. He doesn’t just assume something is bunk and ignore it. In that way, he constantly expands his knowledge.
Some people think that knowing half of the truth is enough. While it may be better than knowing nothing at all, half-truths can be misleading. In fact all good lairs know that mixing some truth with the lies make them more believable. But making them believable doesn’t make them true.
If there is a dead man laying on the ground, we know that he is dead, but we don’t know what killed him. We have a half-truth in the knowledge that he is dead. He may have died of a heart attack. But he might have died of a highly contagious disease. In this case, knowing the rest of the truth could save your life. Knowing the truth about spiritual realms is just as important, and for much the same reason. That is why the study of spiritual science is important for all of us.