"EVERY step of progress is a step more spiritual." Who said that? Does it matter who said it? Could there be a more pristine statement, assuming that death is not our goal in life? Surely it would be progress to get to know our Maker better, to more ably fulfill what He made us for?! A step more spiritual - would it be safe to say, more in line with Spirit, God? - more universal in one's love? less enamored by material, temporal things?
Our opening quote is followed by: “The great element of reform is not born of human wisdom; it draws not its life from human organizations; rather is it the crumbling away of material elements from reason.”* Material elements? All that planning for financial security, that striving for social recognition of achievement and certification by educational institutions, that belonging to a religious institution - is it God or mammon that is being served? Mammon is the material reasoning, the looking to others for love and acceptance, which must crumble away in order to make room for the individual's growing reliance upon God who is, essentially, Life, the only life there is.
In Bible language (flesh, mammon, same difference): “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8)
* from “The People’s Idea of God” by Mary Baker Eddy