Mechanization of Nature
"So far at all events as the macroscopic universe is concerned," Barfield writes in "Science and Quality," "the world itself on the one hand and the way we perceive and think on the other hand are inseparable. It must follow from that that, if enough people go on long enough perceiving and thinking about the world as mechanism only, the macroscopic world will eventually become mechanism only" (RM 185). The reductionism of modern idolatry has made Barfield's syllogism much more than a mere "as if."

Though the mechanization of nature is, in a sense, lamentable (Barfield never hesitates to expose the fallaciousness of mechanistic thinking1), it is nevertheless instrumental to the evolution of consciousness. For the mechanism of the modern world view, Anthroposophy teaches,

does indeed reflect the death-principle in the universe, but the death-principle is itself indistinguishable to life, and particularly to human life. It is to this death-principle that we owe the existence of a conscious mind in addition to that unconscious mind which is hardly distinguishable from life itself and is one in us with the life and instinctive intelligence present in nature. (RM 185)
See in particular "Science and Quality" (RM 176-86), "The Time-Philosophy of Rudolf Steiner" (RCA 184-204).
1One example will suffice (from Saving the Appearances):
    The new theory of inertia (in its early form of 'impetus') assumed, for the first time in the history of the world, that bodies can go on moving indefinitely without an animate or psychic 'mover.' It was soon to be stamped indelibly on men's imaginations by the circumstances of their being ever more and more surrounded by actual artificial machinery on earth. The whole point of a machine is, that, for as long as it goes on moving, it 'goes on by itself' without man's participation. To the extent therefore that the phenomena are experienced as machines, they are believed to exist independently of man, not to be participated and therefore not to be in the nature of representations. . . . all these beliefs are fallacious. (51)