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In ancient times people had a natural spiritual vision and were able to communed with the spirits of nature. Nature spirits — also referred to as “elemental beings” — became known as fairies, salamanders, undines, sylphs, elves, and gnomes, immortalized in myth, legend, and children’s stories. Steiner contends that this aspect of traditional wisdom is based on spiritual reality — that the instinctive understanding we once had for these elemental beings should be transformed into a clear, scientific knowledge. Without developing a new relationship to these beings, human beings will be unable to bridge the gulf between themselves and the spiritual world.