Submitted by Tom Last on Sun, 08/09/2009 - 9:08am.
Research Project Suggestion: Otto Palmer looked through books and lectures by Steiner to collect his comments on The Philosophy of Freedom. This was published as Rudolf Steiner on His Book The Philosophy of Freedom and is helpful for students of the book. A start was made with this group. Volunteer researchers are needed to:
Type the quotes found by Palmer so they can be put online with a search engine for students.
Search the Steiner online archive to find more quotes to expand the material.
Reorganize the quotes. (Palmer's comments may not be needed)
"Freedom lives in human thinking. The will itself is not directly free; what is free is the thought that energizes will. That is why I had to lay such stress on freedom as an attribute of thought when I discussed the moral nature of the will in my Philosophy of Freedom."
RS, The Course of my Life
Submitted by John Ralph on Fri, 08/07/2009 - 2:59am.
From a lecture to the Goetheanum workmen -
"Concepts fall apart in the physical body, and yet human beings do not want to learn to think with the etheric body. They do not want to think independently. Now you see why, in the year 1893, it became necessary for me to write the book The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. It is not the contents of this book that are so important, although obviously at that time one wished to tell the world what was said in it, but the most important thing is that independent thinking appeared in this book for the first time. No-one can possibly understand this book who does not think independently. From the beginning, page by page, a reader must become accustomed to using his etheric body if he would think these thoughts at all. Hence this book is a means of education - a very important means - and must be taken up as such.
recently I thought I read here some quotation or reference to Steiner himself commenting upon the difficulty he had being able to speak out of the consciousness soul. He was "forced" (?) to mostly speak to the intellectual soul (or some such idea). Can anyone reading this provide a quote and a reference to where he said this?
Submitted by taxmanatx on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 8:13pm.
In the movie, The Matrix, the character ‘Neo’ wakes up to a world that is much different from the one he formerly knew. Prior to his awakening the world seemed to consist of individuals going about their daily lives – working, playing, and ‘paying their taxes’ in a manner essentially identical to the world that we live in. Now, after having been ‘woken up’ by the character Morpheus, Neo sees that what he formerly thought about reality has turned out to be a complete lie – an illusion foisted upon him by an inhuman race of beings (the machines) for there own ends.
Submitted by Jeffrey on Mon, 08/03/2009 - 11:55pm.
"The strong cannot grieve when an action goes wrong, when the result does not accord with his intentions. But he does not blame himself. For he does not measure his way of acting by supernatural yardsticks. He knows that he has acted thus in accord with his natural impulses, and at most he can regret that these are not better. It is the same with his judgment regarding the actions of others. A moral evaluation of actions he does not grant. He is an amoralist." --Rudolf Steiner (1895)
Submitted by Tom Last on Sat, 08/01/2009 - 9:44pm.
I am experimenting with presenting the Philosophy of Freedom in cartoon form with Barack Obama as the guide. I believe Obama's philosophy is very close to POF so I think the cartoon would also explain Obama. This strip is the opening of chapter 13, The Value of Life.
Submitted by Tom Last on Sat, 08/01/2009 - 2:33pm.
"It is important that we at least have the good will and make the effort to advance to the kind of thinking that is free of emotion—to begin with, free of the emotions we know so well in ordinary life. If the content of The Philosophy of Freedom appeals to people because their feelings incline them to a more spiritual way of looking at things, they have not yet achieved pure thinking. Only those people who take it in because of the thoughts logical sequence and the way they support each other are relating to the book in the right way."
"When you have come so far as to be able to gradually rid your emotion-filled thinking of its subjective content so that it contains only pure concepts, then divine content, the content that comes from above, can flow in."
Community life, inner development, sexuality, and the spiritual teacher ...p.75
By Rudolf Steiner
Steiner was amazing. His philosophical insight beyond profound. As a young man he worked hard to state his brilliant insight in a language system that simply could not hold it up for long.
a fun exercise for those open to questioning the current anthropop construct called "experience"
ok, look at the experience that young Steiner said MUST be the starting point. That means: conjure up in your mind an imagination of a landscape that has one side a buzzing blooming confusion of sounds/sights/touch......and then on the other side you can turn your head and see a land of concepts (I know it's silly but this is really a naked statement of the conventional and unjusified articulations).
Ok, now look at some aspect of the supposed pure percept and then pick out some other aspect. Now go back and forth between them. Ok, I hope you see my point. Because if you do that exercise you are very likely to then become sensitive to the primary reason we need not start with a conceptual construct of experience, as if "experience" must start with the distinctions that our great leaders claim it does.
Submitted by Dr. Speculation on Wed, 07/29/2009 - 10:12am.
Is this Pschulek?
Pschulek was a dog with an attachment to Rudolf Steiner. Or perhaps the opposite was true: Rudolf Steiner was a human being with an attachment to a dog named Pschulek. Pschulek is said to have been the owner of a human being who apparently was a follower of anthroposophy. Possibly, Pschulek was the first known Caninosophist in history.
‘Et voici encore une gentille anecdote du ‘Docteur-Chien’, comme on avait surnommé le fidèle Pschulek , le chien d’un des membres, car il accompagnait toujours le ‘Docteur’ et n’acceptait de monter en voiture qu’après s’être assuré que Rudolf Steiner lui-même y eût pris place. Un jour Rudolf Steiner déclara à ce compagnon fidèle: ‘Pas vrai, Pschulek , qu’un jour tu fonderas une caninosophie?’. (Fred Poeppig, à l’endroit cité précédemment p. 79)”
Computer translation of the French
And here is another nice anecdote of the 'Doctor-dog', as they had nicknamed the loyal supporter Pschulek, the dog of one of the members, because he always accompanied the 'Doctor' and agreed to go up by car only having been sure that Rudolf Steiner should have set up there himself. One day Rudolf Steiner declared to this faithful companion: "Isn’t it true, Pschulek, that you will one day found a Caninosophy?”
Who was Pschulek? We don’t know anything more about him, except this anecdote. I know of only one photo were Steiner is seen posing with a dog present.
Steiner clearly had a sense of humor about dogs. (Even though he also believed non-human animals cannot think.) Rudolf Steiner said:
“That is why our sense of smell is inferior to the dog’s. And so you can imagine that when a dog runs over the fields, he finds everything terribly interesting; so many smells come to him that if he were able to describe it, he would say the world is all smell. If among dogs there were a thinker like Schopenhauer, he would write interesting books! Schopenhauer wrote a book called “The World as Will and Idea” — but he was a man and his organ of smell had become an organ of thinking. The dog could write a book called “The World as Will and Smell.” In the dog’s book there would be a great deal beyond the discernment of a human being, because while a human being forms an idea, a mental image of things, a dog smells them. And it is my private opinion that the dog’s book — if the dog were a Schopenhauer — would actually be more interesting than the book that Schopenhauer himself wrote!”
post from zooey wordpress blog, Sweden
Submitted by Tom Last on Tue, 07/28/2009 - 9:13am.
Today all opinions pass through the internet. It is todays vehicle for communication. Each day I am on the internet listening to what people are saying. Waldorf schools are increasing coming under attack for its association with the "wacky" spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner. If you want to scare people with Steiner quotes about Lemuria, two devils, two Jesus children etc. it is easy to do. The opponents point to the religious cult of the Anthroposophical Society and the foolish faith-based belief system called anthroposophy to attack the public funding of Waldorf schools in the USA, UK, and Australia.
I advocate emphasizing that the core of anthroposophy and Waldorf is The Philosophy of Freedom which is independent of any group, dogma, or faith-based belief system. While Steiner's far out sounding clairvoyant readings are the focal point of a world wide attack on Steiner and Waldorf education the Philosophy of Freedom remains untouched by public criticism and instead finds even respect in the general public discussion.
When I warn anthroposophists of these growing attacks they are first usually surprised because they don't spend much time online so are uninformed. Then they say, "who cares". It is a smugness that implies that in the future the public will be turning back to the language of theosophy and ancient Eastern spiritual theory with its astral and etheric bodies and realize the anthroposophists were right all along.
Why would history move backward into the past? The medium of theosophy and its language was an appropriate vehicle in Germany 100 years ago. Steiner's work will be confirmed in the future, but likely using a new language appropriate for the culture. In contrast, the language of The Philosophy of Freedom is accepted today and should be for a long time.
Steiner recognized the limited life of his other books and lectures while he said the Philosophy of Freedom, which is about the fundamentals of knowing intended to make us all spiritual scientists rather than merely Steiner devotees, would endure.
Steve Sagarin of Barrington Waldorf high school in Massachusetts posted these thoughts on his blog about understanding a term like "spiritual science".
We may swoon with delight or crinkle our noses in disgust at the term "spiritual science," but we should know its origins before we embrace or discount it.
If your daughter told you she was studying humanities in college could you imagine having the same reactions? "Geisteswissenschaft," literally, "spiritual science," refers in German universities to what we call the humanities. It's that simple.
Some claim that Husserl and Steiner, among others, use the term in a "new way," but I would argue that, if anything, they're actually reclaiming its older sense. That is, they aim to understand literature, philosophy, history--the humanities--as clearly and objectively as natural scientists aim to understand the natural world.
Whether or not they succeed, whether or not we agree with their method or findings, this was their project. Owen Barfield sometimes described his work in history and philosophy as aiming at a "science of meaning." I believe this is exactly what Steiner meant by spiritual science, and what we (used to) mean when we studied the humanities.
What are the alternatives to a science of meaning ("science" derives from Latin for "knowledge")? Accept the universe as meaningless? Teach that we each "create our own meaning"? I know it's wimpy not to accept these hard "truths," but, of course, they're not truths, they're assumptions. And I will hold them as such--possibilities not demonstrated--while I pursue the humanities.
Submitted by Tom Last on Mon, 07/27/2009 - 1:59pm.
I got a reprint of a rare copy of the 1922 edition of Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (Philosophy of Freedom) bound with Truth and Knowledge at Kessinger Books (buy book here). It is the early Hoernle English translation before the later translators started messing with it replacing words like "mind" with "spirit" making the book more confusing.
Kessinger Publishing utilizes advanced technology to publish and preserve thousands of rare, scarce, and out-of-print books. They search worldwide for hard-to-find books and publish them in affordable editions. Located near Glacier National Park in Montana, Kessinger Publishing is dedicated toward publishing and digitally preserving important literature for future generations.
Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion provoked many discussions. Typically, the praises came from materialists, that is, people who consider that there are only physical matter and processes in the universe and in living beings.
I am not a materialist, but I do not belong to any instituted religion either. I admit, as a working hypothesis, that there are non-physical processes in the universe and in all living beings, that is, processes that cannot be reduced to physical ones.
I have to comment on the phrase: "Human thoughts and emotions emerge from exceedingly complex interconnections of physical entities within the brain." (p. 34). Richard Dawkins expresses it as truth. Unfortunately, this is not a scientific fact, it is at most a scientific speculation, because we don’t know how our thinking ‘emerges’ from our brain, and much less our emotions. We don’t even know where and how our memories are stored. For instance, neuroscience cannot point to the ‘place’ in the brain where a simple symbol as the following, 2, is ‘stored’, much less how it is stored and retrieved. Now take the concept of 2, what is common to all representations of this number, such as 2, II, ii, ||, .., ‘dois’, ‘two’, ‘dva’, ‘shtaim’, etc. This is a pure concept and has absolutely no symbolic representation, so how can it be physically stored in the brain or elsewhere in a human organism? Or take the concept of a perfect circle. Nobody has seen it, and it has no physical geometrical representation – we only see and draw approximations thereof. How can it be physically stored in the brain?
Richard Dawkins cannot point out where in our brain we accommodate mental models. This is pure speculation. The number 2, and of a perfect circle are pure concepts, which have no symbolic representation, thus impossible to be ‘stored’ in the brain. Other examples are the geometrical concepts of point, line and plane: they only exist as abstract concepts; how can they be physically represented and ‘stored’ in the brain? How is it possible that we surpass the necessary circular definitions in a dictionary?
It seems to me much more reasonable to get rid of Richard Dawkins’ prejudice against ‘supernatural’ entities, and suppose that these concepts do not reside in our brain, but in a non-physical Platonic world of ideas, and we are able to reach and observe it with our thinking. Rudolf Steiner wrote:
"... the content of a concept, which is added to the percept by means of thinking, is not subjective. This content is not taken from the subject, but from reality. It is that part of the reality that cannot be reached by the act of perceiving. It is experience, but not experience gained through perceiving. If someone cannot see that the concept is something real, he is thinking of it only in the abstract form in which he holds it in his mind. But only through our organization is it present in such isolation, just as in the case of the percept." Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom, The Consequences of Monism
excerpt from AN EXTENSIVE REVIEW OF RICHARD DAWKINS’ THE GOD DELUSION
Valdemar W. Setzer
Submitted by Tom Last on Mon, 07/27/2009 - 10:07am.
POF 12-3 Moral Technique
Moral imagination, in order to realize its mental picture, must set to work in a definite sphere of percepts. Human action does not create percepts, but transforms already existing percepts and gives them a new form. In order to be able to transform a definite object of perception, or a sum of such objects, in accordance with a moral mental picture, one must have grasped the principle at work within the percept picture, that is, the way it has hitherto worked, to which one wants to give a new form or a new direction.
Further, it is necessary to discover the procedure by which it is possible to change the given principle into a new one. This part of effective moral activity depends on knowledge of the particular world of phenomena with which one is concerned. We shall, therefore, look for it in some branch of learning in general.
Moral action, then, presupposes, in addition to the faculty of having moral ideas (moral intuition) and moral imagination, the ability to transform the world of percepts without violating the natural laws by which these are connected. This ability is moral technique. It can be learnt in the same sense in which any kind of knowledge can be learnt.
Submitted by Feeling Mystic on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 4:35pm.
Can you find the Waldorf School influence?
Kid Italy and Clark Steiner both grew up and enjoyed educational backgrounds in an environment based on a common philosophy of the Austrian scientist and educator Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and his "Waldorf" schools around the world; a philosophy also known as Anthroposophy (i.e. wisdom of the human being), in which the heightened capacities of thinking, feeling and willing are seen as key to unlocking enormous potential.
They both meet in the mid 90s in Italy and formed a band. Hence the name Waldorf. Inspired by Rudolf Steiner's philosophy, the Milan-based duo create perpetually unique performances with specially designed costumes and custom-built electronic instruments, where the two "disco knights follow their quest to find the Disghost", accompanied by other characters (fairies and goblins) of their imagination on stage. -music catalog
Submitted by Dr. Speculation on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 11:28am.
Is anthroposophy moving science forward or backward into speculative superstition with the way many in anthroposophy have reacted to the recent solar eclipse?
In Happy Birthday Ahriman we recently reported that anthroposophists and astrologers Robert Powell and Kevin Dan are warning us that the July 22 solar eclipse sets conditions that will allow for the maximum power of evil (the beast) to arise up from the interior of the Earth and speculated that Ahriman could incarnate at this time.
Below is an excerpt from a prominent leader in Waldorf and anthroposophy education sent out to friends and members of the Anthroposophical Society a few days before the July 22 solar eclipse that heeds the warning of astrologers that the blocking of the sun is significant and that we should take action to counter this event. He urgently suggests we gather together and recite a verse that he selected to counter the disruption of this eclipse.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Dear Members and Friends of the Anthroposophical Society, General Council, Collegium, CAO and Branch Leaders,
As many of you know, the 22nd of July this coming Wednesday will bring a total solar eclipse visible over many cities in China and the Far East. A wide variety of people have spoken of this event as being particularly significant for the months ahead. The blocking of the sun by the moon will cast a lunar shadow over the earth, perhaps in more ways than one when considered in light of anthroposophical insights. Even mainstream commentators have noted the potential for unusual disruption in world affairs. Therefore, I am taking this personal initiative of writing to you in order to suggest a way of meeting this event with greater consciousness, and I invite you to do the same.
Early Wednesday morning I will gather with colleagues and friends here in New Hampshire to recite the fourth panel of the Foundation Stone Meditation given by Rudolf Steiner. Quoted in my winter letter in Evolving News for Members and Friends, these potent lines might be of particular help this week. How would it be if those aligned with the intentions of Light Divine, Christ-Sun were to speak back to the Cosmos, so to say, on the 22nd of July? If these lines were to be spoken repeatedly across North America at different times during the day, by individuals and groups, we could be assured that a moment of unified human striving would also become a reality.
Please forward this to your email list of friends and groups you feel might be before Wednesday!