Man has the task of penetrating thinking with the will, of developing reason, of enlivening his thoughts, giving them substance and then carrying individually-willed thinking as the substance of his 'I' across the threshold of the supersensible world (on the path of initiation or after death). But Ahriman wishes to prevent this. He would like the will to remain separate, and thoughts to be especially formed only in us (in the way he wishes; July 3, 1921, GA 205). In this case we would lose our individuality. We would arrive at the moment of death with an altogether exaggerated, instinctively-formed thought. But we humans would not be able to retain this thought, and Ahriman would be able to take hold of it and integrate it into the rest of the world ... (Ibid.). Humanity faces this danger if it continues in present-day materialism (however broadly its concepts may be interpreted) with the result that the ahrimanic powers so gain in strength that Ahriman can steal thoughts from the human being and incorporate them in their effective working into the earth (i.e. the abstractions become reality) so that the earth, which is actually (in time) supposed to pass away (spiritualize) will be consolidated ... Ahriman works counter to the word: 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will not pass away'. He wants the words to be thrown away and that heaven and earth should remain (materially). This can only be accomplished when human beings are robbed of their thoughts, when human beings are de-individualized (Ibid.).
In the lecture quoted above Rudolf Steiner goes on to speak about the human brain, and says that it will grow ever harder if the ahrimanic influence persists, and that human beings would have to live with materialistic, obsessive ideas. The whole approach to pedagogy and education would be structured in such a way that the human being would no longer be able to have flexible thoughts, that even children from a certain age on would only have very rigid thoughts. And all this has virtually been accomplished today. In time means will be found to teach the human being instantaneously, outside school and at a certain age, everything he needs to know, so that he becomes an extremely clever automaton. Through injection with certain substances it will be accomplished (in such a case) that the ether-body is loosened in the physical body ... (and in that case) the interplay between cosmos and ether-body will be extremely lively, [but] man will become an automaton if his physical body is not educated through spiritual will here on earth (Ibid.). The reader who follows the latest achievements of science will say that this has already been done in individual cases. People will therefore have all the more reason to be concerned about their future, and not only the earthly one.
Manifold are the influences upon man, of Lucifer and Ahriman, who are antipodes in the cosmos. They reveal themselves as such also within us. Where, for instance, Lucifer hates any kind of law, Ahriman would like everything to comply with law: statutes, regulations, programmes and so on. Their polar opposite characteristics and influences can be shown in a table.
Bondarev on Steiner
We must struggle against this.