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Materialist Personality In TPOF

THE MATERIALIST (Physical World)

By listing the thinking and acting characteristics of the Materialist worldview in The Philosophy Of Freedom, a personality type unfolds. Materialists who think seek to explain everything with thoughts of the physical world and physical processes. Even thinking is explained as a result of material processes. However, the significant characteristic of the true Materialist is that he does not examine his thoughts, does not think about thinking. While appearing to be awake and active, the Materialist is asleep. Life is a mental picture dream without the awakened state of thinking. They lack any real individuality, as their character and thoughts are determined by corporate advertising, their family, ethnic tribe, or their social group. To know them you just have to know the tribe they are a member of. Since they don't know what to do they may seek a God to guide them. They are happy in this immature state as their tribe or God is on the side of Good while Evil is found in the “other”.

Materialism: They stick to what makes the crudest impression on them, the physical world. Materialism seeks to explain everything with thoughts of the physical world and physical processes.

Materialism worldview in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom
1.1 Materialist in action: Determinism: A Reason Always Compels Action
“Freedom cannot consist in choosing, at one's pleasure, one or other of two possible courses of action. There is always a perfectly definite reason why, out of several possible actions, we carry out just one and no other.”

2.1 Materialist pursuit of knowledge: Physical World
Materialism seeks to explain everything with thoughts of the physical world and physical processes.

3.1 Materialist thinking: Unaware Of Own Thought Processes
Does not observe his own thinking processes.“I observe the table, and I carry out my thinking about the table, but I do not observe that thinking.'

4.1 Materialist perception: Generalize Experience
Walking through the fields a partridge is discovered to be the source of a rustling noise. The mental process used was to generalize experience. “Because we have experienced countless times in life that a disturbance of the stationary position of small bodies is accompanied by the movement of other bodies existing among them, and because we have therefore generalized the relation between such disturbances and such movements, we consider this particular disturbance explained as soon as we find it to be an example of just this relationship.”

5.1 Materialist knowing: Mental Picture Dream State
“If the things of our experience were mental pictures, then our everyday life would be like a dream and knowledge of the true state of affairs would be like waking up.”

6.1 Materialist individual representation of reality: Perception Of Motion
“Every change in an object is perceived by us as a process of motion. This physiological fact can throw no light on the relation of percepts to ideas. We must find our way by some other means.”

7.1 Materialist cognition: Hypothetical World Principle
“The dualistic thinker cannot find the connection between his hypothetically assumed world principle and what is given in experience. A content for his hypothetical world principle can be gained only if one borrows it from the world of experience and deceives oneself about so doing.”

8.1 Materialist personality: Feeling Personality
“The naive realist sees in the life of feeling a life of the personality more real than in the purely ideal element of knowing.”

9.1 Materialist idea to act: Draw Ideas From Physical And Psychological Organization
“The conceptual system which corresponds to the external world is conditioned by this external world. The percept thus conditions directly its concept and, thereby, indirectly also its place in the conceptual system of my world.” This physical and psychological organization can bring about nothing with respect to the essential nature of thinking.

10.1 Materialist moral authority: Mechanical Necessity
“If the thing-in-itself is unthinking and acts according to purely mechanical laws, as modern Materialism conceives that it does, then it must also produce out of itself, by purely mechanical necessity, the human individual and all that belongs to him.”

11.1 Materialist purpose: Percept Cause And Effect
“In the process which we can analyze into cause and effect, we must distinguish percept from concept. The percept of the cause precedes the percept of the effect.”

12.1 Materialist moral idea: Find Concrete Idea
“Whenever the impulse for an action is present in a general conceptual form (for example, Thou shalt do good to thy fellow men! Thou shalt live so that thou best promotest thy welfare!) then for each particular case the concrete mental picture of the action must first be found.”

13.1 Materialist value of life: Find Out What To Do
“The world is the best of all possible worlds. A better world is impossible for God is good and wise. All that man need do is find out the counsels of God and to act in accordance with them. If he knows what God's purposes are concerning the world and the human race he will be able, for his part, to do what is right. From this optimistic standpoint, then, life is worth living. It must stimulate us to co-operative participation.”

14.1 Materialist individuality: Tribe Member
Lacks individuality. “A tribe is a whole, and all members of the tribe exhibit the peculiar characteristics which are conditioned by the nature of the tribe. The character and activity of the individual member are determined by the character of the tribe. If we ask why some particular thing about a person is like this or like that, we are referred back from the individual to the type.”

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Pneumatist Personality In TPOF

THE PNEUMATIST

By listing the thinking and acting characteristics of the Pneumatism worldview in The Philosophy Of Freedom, a personality type unfolds. The Pneumatist accepts the Spirit of the world, a doctrine of the Spirit. To act freely is to be spontaneous. She feels united with the rhythms of Nature, for the world is Spirit. By going within she enters the realm of pure thought, the place of universal concepts and universal thinking. Moral action is to act out of love, while moral order issues from a higher power. She accepts supernatural influences upon the creation and to guide human beings. We can only know someone when we discover their individual Spirit. 

Pneumatism: Interested in the spirit in the world and the expression of individual spirit.

Pneumatism worldview in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom
1.8 Pneumatist spirit in action: Spontaneous Will
“Our will is the cause of our movement, but the willing itself is “unconditioned”; it is an absolute beginning (a first cause and not a link in a chain of events).”

2.8 Pneumatist spirit in the pursuit of knowledge: Feeling Impulse
“Desires to feel we belong to nature. We feel we are in her and belong to her. It can be only her own life which pulses also in us.”

3.8 Pneumatist spirit in thinking: Realm Of Pure Thought
“When we reflect upon thinking itself we enter the realm of thought and add to the number of objects of observation. We then add nothing to our thought that is foreign to it, and therefore have no need to justify any such addition.”

4.8 Pneumatist spirit in perception: World Is Spirit
“For Berkeley nothing is real except God and human spirits. What we call the "world" exists only in spirits. This theory is confronted by the now predominant Kantian which instead of spirits speaks of unknowable things-in-themselves.”

5.8 Pneumatist spirit in knowing: Universal Concept
“The concept of the triangle grasped by me is the same as that grasped by my neighbor. The single, unitary concept of the triangle does not become many by being thought by many thinkers. In so far as we think, we are the All-One Being which pervades everything.”

6.8 Pneumatist spirit in individual representation of reality: Universal Thinking
“The farther we ascend into the universal nature of thought, the more the character of unique personality becomes lost in us. There are those whose concepts come before us as devoid of any trace of individual coloring as if they had not been produced by a being of flesh and blood at all. True individuality belongs to him whose feelings reach up to the farthest possible extent into the region of the ideal.”

7.8 Pneumatist spirit in cognition: Imperceptible Reality
“Metaphysical Realism constructs, beside the perceptible reality, an imperceptible one which it conceives on the analogy of the former.”

8.8 Pneumatist spirit in personality: Mystic
“Wants to raise feeling, which is individual, into a universal principle.”

9.8 Pneumatist spirit in idea to act: Love For The Objective
“I do not ask whether my action is good or bad; I perform it because I am in love with it.”

10.8 Pneumatist spirit in moral authority: Moral Laws From A Higher Power
“The moral commandments, which the merely inference-drawing metaphysician has to regard as flowing from a higher power, are, for the believer in monism, the thoughts of men; the moral world order is the free work of man.”

11.8 Pneumatist spirit in world purpose: Spiritual World Order
“Ideas are realized purposefully only by human beings. Consequently, it is illegitimate to speak of history or a moral world-order as the embodiment of ideas.”

12.8 Pneumatist spirit in moral idea: Supernatural Influence
“Just as Monism has no use for supernatural creative ideas in explaining living organisms, it cannot admit any continuous supernatural influence upon moral life (divine government of the world from the outside), nor an influence through a particular act of revelation at a particular moment in history (giving of the ten commandments), or through God's appearance on the earth (divinity of Christ). Moral processes are, for Monism, natural products like everything else that exists, and their causes must be looked for in nature, i.e., in man, because man is the bearer of morality.”

13.8 Pneumatist spirit in the value of life: “Value” Of Pleasure (satisfaction of needs)
“This amount of enjoyment would have the greatest conceivable value when no need remained unsatisfied, and when along with the enjoyment a certain amount of pain did not have to be taken into the bargain at the same time.”

14.8 Pneumatist spirit in individuality: Individual Views And Action
“And every science that concerns itself with abstract thoughts and generic concepts is only a preparation for that knowledge which is afforded us when a human individuality communicates to us his way of viewing the world, and for that other knowledge which we gain from the content of his willing.”

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Dynamist Personality In TPOF

THE DYNAMIST
By listing the thinking and acting characteristics of the Dynamism worldview in The Philosophy Of Freedom, a personality type unfolds. The dynamist characteristics are those of the one who stands out as the dynamic free spirit in the group. They include acting on emotions and heart-felt sensibility, seeking something more than themselves, standing on their own thoughts, projecting their own soul characteristics into what they perceive, relying on intuition for knowledge, intense feelings, considers the "will" as the most important factor of life. They seek harmony in working with others and value amusement by striving for intense pleasures.

Dynamism: Looks for “forces” behind phenomena.

Dynamism worldview in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom
1.10 Dynamist force in action: Emotions
“Love, pity, and patriotism are motives of action which cannot be analysed away into cold concepts of the understanding. It is said that here the heart, the soul, hold sway.”

2.10 Dynamist force in the pursuit of knowledge: Non-“I”
“The solution to the problem of the separation of the world and “I” is to find something within where we can say, This is something that is more than ' I.'”

3.10 Dynamist force in thinking: Self-supporting, self-subsisting thought
“Archimedes thought he could lift the whole cosmos out of its hinges, if only he could find a point of support for his instrument. He needed a point which was self-supporting. In thought we have a principle which is self-subsisting.'

4.10 Dynamist force in perception: Soul
“What the naive man regards as existing outside of him, is really a product of my soul.”

5.10 Dynamist force in knowing: Intuition
“The form in which thought first appears in consciousness we will call Intuition. An external object remains unintelligible to us, until the corresponding intuition arises within us which adds to the reality those sides of it which are lacking in the percept.”

6.10 Dynamist force in individual representation of reality: Intensity Of Feelings
“Each of us combines special feelings, and these in the most varying degrees of intensity, with his percepts.”

7.10 Dynamist force in cognition: Subject
“Monism holds that percepts are determined by the subject. But in thought the subject has, at the same time, the instrument for transcending this determination of which it is itself the author.”

8.10 Dynamist force as factor of life: Will
“He sees in the will an element in which he is immediately aware of an activity, a causation. The will within himself becomes for him the fundamental reality of the universe.”

9.10 Dynamist force in idea to act: Harmony Of Intentions
“If we both draw our intuitions really from the world of ideas, and do not obey mere external impulses (physical or moral), then we can not but meet one another in striving for the same aims, in having the same intentions.”

10.10 Dynamist force in moral authority: Find Self
“Monism knows that Nature does not send forth man ready-made as a free spirit, but that she leads him up to a certain stage, from which he continues to develop still as an unfree being, until he reaches the point where he finds his own self.”

11.10 Dynamist force in world purpose: Teleology
“Teleology maintains only that, in spite of the thousand misfits and miseries of this natural life, there is a high degree of adaptation to purpose and plan unmistakable in the formations and developments of Nature.”

12.10 Dynamist force in moral idea: Freedom
“Observation yields freedom as the characteristic quality of the perfect form of human action.”

13.10 Dynamist force in the value of life: Magnitude Of Pleasure (intensity and duration)
If it is only a question whether, after the day's work, I am to amuse myself by a game or by light conversation, and if I am totally indifferent to what I do as long as it serves the purpose, then I simply ask myself: What gives me the greatest surplus of pleasure?

14.10 Dynamist force in individuality: Free Spirit
“Only to the extent that a man has emancipated himself in this way from all that is generic, does he count as a free spirit within a human community.

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Rudolf Steiner: What Religion Calls God, We Call The Idea


GOD RESTS
The loftiest idea of God is the one which assumes that God, after His creation of the human being, withdrew and gave man completely over to himself. Rudolf Steiner, Goethean Science VI Goethe's Way of Knowledge

God led His creation only to a certain point. From there He let the human being arise, and the human being, by knowing himself and looking about him, sets himself the task of working on and completing what the primal power began. Rudolf Steiner, Goethean Science IX Goethe's Epistemology

HUMAN FREEDOM
So it is not the human beings business to realize God's will in the world, but his own. He carries out his own decisions and intentions, not those of another being.
Rudolf Steiner, Chapter 10.8 (Hoernle) Philosophy Of Freedom

The moral world order is through and through the free work of human beings. The moral laws which the Metaphysician regards as flowing from a higher power, are the thoughts of human beings. Rudolf Steiner, Chapter 10.8 (Lindeman) Philosophy Of Freedom

We reject any metaphysical influence beyond the reach of the intellect that cannot be experienced conceptually. Rudolf Steiner, Chapter 12.8 (1988 stebbing) Philosophy Of Freedom

LAWS OF NATURE
The divinity has merged with the world. In order to know God, human knowing must penetrate into the world. The laws that our mind recognizes in nature are therefore God in His very being. Rudolf Steiner, Goethean Science XI Relationship of the Goethean Way of Thinking to Other Views

Everyone, in so far as he thinks, lays hold of the universal Reality. To fill one's life with such thought-content is to live in Reality, and at the same time to live in God. The world is God. The thought of a Beyond owes its origin to the misconception of those who believe that this world does not have the ground of its existence in itself. Rudolf Steiner, The Consequences Of Monism (Hoernle) Philosophy Of Freedom

THE IDEA
When we speak of the essential being of a thing or of the world altogether, we cannot mean anything else than the grasping of reality as thought, as idea. In the idea we recognize that from which we must derive everything else: the principle of things. What philosophers call the absolute, the eternal being, the ground of the world, what the religions call God, this we call: the idea.

Everything in the world that does not appear directly as idea will still ultimately be recognized as going forth from the idea. What seems, on superficial examination, to have no part at all in the idea is found by a deeper thinking to stem from it. No other form of existence can satisfy us except one stemming from the idea. Nothing may remain away from it; everything must become a part of the great whole that the idea encompasses. Rudolf Steiner, Goethean Science IX Goethe's Epistemology

By taking possession of the idea, thinking fuses with the primal ground of world existence; what is at work outside enters into the mind of man: he becomes one with objective reality in its highest potency. Becoming aware of the idea within reality is the true communion of man. Rudolf Steiner, Goethean Science VI Goethe's Way of Knowledge

WORLD UNITY
It is futile to seek any common element in the separate things of the world other than the conceptual content gained by thinking. All attempts to find world unity, other than the coherent conceptual content gained by the conceptual analysis of our perceptions, must fail. Rudolf Steiner, Chapter 5.9 (Hoernle) Philosophy Of Freedom

No personal God can unify the world, because we experience our limited personality only in ourselves. Rudolf Steiner, Chapter 5.9 (Hoernle) Philosophy Of Freedom

A personal God is nothing but a human being transplanted into a Beyond.
Rudolf Steiner, The Consequences Of Monism (Hoernle) Philosophy Of Freedom

THE END OF RELIGION
Only this is worthy of man: that he seek truth himself, without being led by revelation. When that has been thoroughly recognized once and for all, then the religions based on revelation will be finished. The human being will then no longer want God to reveal Himself or bestow blessings upon him. He will want to know through his own thinking and to establish his happiness through his own strength. Whether some higher power or other guides our fate to the good or to the bad, this does not concern us at all; we ourselves must determine the path we have to travel. Rudolf Steiner, Goethean Science VI Goethe's Way of Knowledge

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What We Believe

The Cosmic religion of the future - Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein claimed God can be conceived only through the “rationality or intelligibility of the world which lies behind all scientific work of a higher order.”

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.”

Cosmic religious feeling
“It is very difficult to elucidate this [cosmic religious] feeling to anyone who is entirely without it... The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it.”

“I am of the opinion that all the finer speculations in the realm of science spring from a deep religious feeling, and that without such feeling they would not be fruitful. I also believe that, this kind of religiousness, which makes itself felt today in scientific investigations, is the only creative religious activity of our time.”

“I maintain that cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.”

Scientific workers are the profoundly religious people
“Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends [scientific research] can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.” (Albert Einstein, Religion and Science)

Unity attained with the deepening of scientific research - Rudolf Steiner
“The history of our spiritual life is a continuous seeking after union between ourselves and the world.”

“Only when we have made the world-content into our thought-content do we rediscover the connection from which we have detached ourselves. We will see later that this goal can only be reached when the task of the research scientist is understood much more deeply than is usually the case.” (Rudolf Steiner, The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 2.0)

 

COSMIC RELIGION
The Philosophy Of Freedom's Religious Elements

GOD

What the religions call God, we call the idea
To investigate the essential being of a thing means to begin at the center of the thought-world and to work from there until a thought-configuration appears before our soul that seems to us to be identical to the thing we are experiencing.

When we speak of the essential being of a thing or of the world altogether, we cannot therefore mean anything else at all than the grasping of reality as thought, as idea.

In the idea we recognize that from which we must derive everything else: the principle of things. What philosophers call the absolute, the eternal being, the ground of the world, what the religions call God, this we call, on the basis of our epistemological studies: the idea.

Everything in the world that does not appear directly as idea will still ultimately be recognized as going forth from the idea. What seems, on superficial examination, to have no part at all in the idea is found by a deeper thinking to stem from it. No other form of existence can satisfy us except one stemming from the idea. Nothing may remain away from it; everything must become a part of the great whole that the idea encompasses.

By taking possession of the idea, we arrive at the core of the world. What we grasp there is that from which everything goes forth. We become united with this principle; therefore the idea, which is most objective, appears to us at the same time as most subjective. (Goethean Science IX Goethe's Epistemology)

In thinking we are the All-One Being
There is only one single concept of "triangle." It is quite immaterial for the content of this concept whether it is in A's consciousness or in B's. It will however be grasped by each of the two minds in its own individual way.

This thought conflicts with a common prejudice which is very hard to overcome. The victims of this prejudice are unable to see that the concept of a triangle which my mind grasps is the same as the concept which my neighbor's mind grasps. The naive man believes himself to be the creator of his concepts. Hence he believes that each person has his private concepts. One of the first things which philosophic thought requires of us is to overcome this prejudice. The one single concept of "triangle" does not split up into many concepts because it is thought by many minds. For the thought of the many is itself a unity.

In thought we have the element which welds each man's special individuality into one whole with the cosmos. In so far as we sense and feel (perceive), we are isolated individuals; in so far as we think, we are the All-One Being which pervades everything. This is the deeper meaning of our two-sided nature. We are conscious of an absolute principle revealing itself in us, a principle which is universal. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 5.8)

COMMUNION

Becoming aware of the idea within reality
The objects of thinking are ideas. Inasmuch as thinking takes possession of the idea, thinking fuses with the primal ground of world existence; what is at work outside enters into the mind of man: he becomes one with objective reality in its highest potency. Becoming aware of the idea within reality is the true communion of man. (Goethean Science VI Goethe's Way of Knowledge)

World unity
The preceding discussion shows clearly that it is futile to seek for any other common element in the separate things of the world, than the ideal content which thinking supplies. All attempts to discover any other principle of unity in the world than this internally coherent ideal content, which we gain for ourselves by the conceptual analysis of our percepts, are bound to fail. Neither a personal God, nor force, nor matter, nor the blind will (of Schopenhauer and Hartmann), can be accepted by us as the universal principle of unity in the world. These principles all belong only to a limited sphere of our experience. Personality we experience only in ourselves, force and matter only in external things. The will can be regarded only as the expression of the activity of our finite personalities. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 5.9)

CREED

written by Rudolf Steiner in 1888 and titled “Credo” which means, “What I believe”.
(the idea is the spirit, immortality in this life, divine voice of the idea,
eternal deeds, devotion, spiritual love, entering the divine life)

1. The world of ideas is the primary source
The world of ideas is the primary source and sustaining principle of all existence. Within it is never-ending harmony and joyous tranquility. Existence not enlightened by it, would be dead and lifeless, and would have no part in the wholeness of the world. Only that which stems from the idea has meaning as part of the universal tree of creation.
2. The idea is the spirit
The idea is the spirit, which is clear and lucid in itself and independently sufficient in itself. The individual must have the spirit within, otherwise he will drop from the tree like a withered leaf, and would have existed for no good reason, and without purpose.
3. Longing for the idea
The human being feels and recognizes himself as an individual when he becomes fully conscious. In the individualization process there is implanted within him a longing for the idea. This longing drives him to overcome his separateness and to let the spirit come to life within him, and to be in accord with it.
4. The divine voice of the idea
Everything that is selfish, that makes him a separated being, this he must shed and cast away, for it is this that darkens the light of the spirit. The egotistic self desires only to follow his sensual lust, instinctive drives, greed, and passions. He must root out this selfish will, and instead, as an individual, seek what the idea wants, the spirit within. Let the individuality move there, and follow the voice of the idea within, because only the idea is divine.
5. Eternal deeds
What one wills as a separate-being, is an insignificant point in the circumference of the universe as a whole. It is without value, and therefore worthless, fast disappearing within the flow of time. Whatever one wills in the spirit is in the center, because the central light of the universe lights up within us. Such a deed is independent of time.
6. Living in world harmony
When we act selfishly in isolation, we lock ourselves out from the closed chain of creation, and separate ourselves off. When a human being acts in the spirit, he lives ever more into the universal working of the world. The banning from oneself of all self-centeredness is the foundation for the higher life.
7. Immortality in this life
Whoever deadens the egotistical within himself, lives in eternal existence. To the extent to which we can let the selfishness within us die, to that extent we are immortal. That which is mortal in us is selfishness. This is the true meaning of the saying: “he who does not die before he dies finds extinction when he dies.” This means, whoever does not end egotism during his lifetime, plays no part in the universal life, which is immortal. A person who has never existed within this greater life, has never experienced true existence.
8. The search for knowledge is devotion to the universal in thought
There are four fields of human activity in which the human being devotes himself to the spirit, while giving up selfish activity: science, art, religion and the loving devotion, spiritually, to a personality. Whoever does not live within one of these four activities, does not live at all. The search for knowledge is devotion to the universal in thought, art is devotion to the universe in beholding, religion in the depths and breadths of the soul, and dedicated love is devotion with all ones’ spiritual forces directed to something, someone that appears to us as a treasured member of the universal whole.
9. Spiritual love; love of knowledge, ennobles our being
Knowledge is the most spiritual form of selfless devotion, love is the most beautiful form. For love is truly a heavenly radiance shining into ordinary daily life. Sacred, truly spiritual love ennobles our being to its inmost core; it uplifts all that lives within us. This pure and holy love transforms our whole being into something that is in touch with the world spirit.
10. Spiritual love carries the breath of divine life to the most repulsive regions
To love, in this most exalted sense means to carry the breath of divine life into regions where only the most repulsive egotism and the most disrespectful passions are found. One has to know something of the holiness of love before one can speak of spirituality.
11. Freedom is to enter the divine life of the ideal
If a human being has made his way out of the separated condition, through one of these four fields, and entered into the divine life of the ideal, then he has reached that for which the seed of longing was placed in his heart; the union with the spirit. This is the true destination of the human being. Whoever lives in the spirit lives freely, for they have removed themselves from subordination. Nothing can compel him or her to act, other than what he wishes to be freely compelled by because he recognizes it as the highest calling.
12. Let truth be lived
Let truth be lived: lose yourself to find yourself once again in the spirit of the world!

RELIGIOUS FEELING

Desire for knowledge
However abundant the gifts which we have received, still more abundant are our desires. We seem born to dissatisfaction. And our desire for knowledge is but a special instance of this unsatisfied striving. Suppose we look twice at a tree. The first time we see its branches at rest, the second time in motion. We are not satisfied with this observation. Why, we ask, does the tree appear to us now at rest, then in motion? Every glance at nature evokes in us a multitude of questions. Every phenomenon we meet presents a new problem to be solved. Every experience is to us a riddle. We observe that from the egg there emerges a creature like the mother animal, and we ask for the reason of the likeness. We observe a living being grow and develop to a determinate degree of perfection, and we seek the conditions of this experience. Nowhere are we satisfied with the facts which nature spreads out before our senses. Everywhere we seek what we call the explanation of these facts. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 2.0)

Love of knowledge (reach feelings up to the region of the ideal)
Our life is a continual oscillation between our share in the universal world-process and our own individual existence. The farther we ascend into the universal nature of thought where the individual, at last, interests us only as an example, an instance, of the concept, the more the character of something individual, of the quite determinate, unique personality, becomes lost in us. The farther we descend into the depths of our own private life and allow the vibrations of our feelings to accompany all our experiences of the outer world, the more we cut ourselves off from the universal life. True individuality belongs to him whose feelings reach up to the farthest possible extent into the region of the ideal. There are men in whom even the most general ideas still bear that peculiar personal tinge which shows unmistakably their connection with their author. There are others whose concepts come before us as devoid of any trace of individual coloring as if they had not been produced by a being of flesh and blood at all. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 6.8)

THE GOSPEL

Strive to live according to the principles of human flourishing: a science of freedom
(found in The Philosophy Of Freedom and elsewhere)
[8] I am under no illusion concerning the characteristics of the present age. I know how many flaunt a manner of life which lacks all individuality and follows only the prevailing fashion. But I know also that many of my contemporaries strive to order their lives in the direction of the principles I have indicated. To them I would dedicate this book. It does not pretend to offer the "only possible" way to Truth, it only describes the path chosen by one whose heart is set upon Truth. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 0.6)

RELIGIOUS PRACTICE

Thought training in the realm of pure thought
The reader will be led at first into somewhat abstract regions, where thought must draw sharp outlines if it is to reach secure conclusions. But he will also be led out of these arid concepts into concrete life. I am fully convinced that one cannot do without soaring into the ethereal realm of abstraction, if one's experience is to penetrate life in all directions. He who is limited to the pleasures of the senses misses the sweetest enjoyments of life. The Oriental sages make their disciples live for years a life of resignation and asceticism before they impart to them their own wisdom. The Western world no longer demands pious exercises and ascetic practices as a preparation for science, but it does require a sincere willingness to withdraw oneself awhile from the immediate impressions of life, and to betake oneself into the realm of pure thought. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 0.7)

Study of The Philosophy Of Freedom is thought training
The primary purpose of my book is to serve as thought training, training in the sense that the special way of both thinking and entertaining these thoughts is such as to bring the soul life of the reader into motion in somewhat the way that gymnasts exercise their limbs.” (Rudolf Steiner on His Book "The Philosophy of Freedom")

Catharsis of the emotions
Catharsis is an ancient term for the purification of the emotions by means of meditation and concentration exercises. If a reader takes this book as it was meant and relates to it in the way a virtuoso playing a composition on the piano relates to its composer, reproducing the whole piece out of herself, the books organically evolved thought sequence will bring about a high degree of catharsis. (Steiner's lectures on the Gospel Of St. John)

ETHICS

Humanism
The human individual is the source of all morality and the center of all life. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 9.12)

The knowing doer
The doer is distinguished from the knower, but the one that matters most is lost sight of—the knowing doer—the one who acts out of knowledge. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 1.5)

Ethical evolution
Monism cannot admit any continuous supernatural influence upon moral life (divine government of the world from the outside), nor an influence through a particular act of revelation at a particular moment in history (giving of the ten commandments), or through God's appearance on the earth (divinity of Christ). Moral processes are, for Monism, natural products like everything else that exists, and their causes must be looked for in nature, i.e., in man, because man is the bearer of morality.

Ethical Individualism is the crown of the edifice that Darwin and Haeckel have erected for Natural Science. It is the theory of evolution applied to the moral life. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 12.8)

Ethical Choice
There is a higher conduct that sees a value in all ethical principles and in each particular situation asks whether one or the other ethical principle is more important. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 9.4)

Ethical Individualism
To let our moral content express itself in life is the moral principle of the human being who regards all other moral principles as subordinate. We may call this point of view Ethical Individualism. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 9.7)

CONFESSION OF FAITH

Moral Life Of Humanity
This is his contribution to the already existing total of moral ideas. In such ethical intuitions all moral activity of men has its root. To put this differently: the moral life of humanity is the sum-total of the products of the moral imagination of free human individuals. This is Monism's confession of faith. Monism looks upon the history of the moral life, not as the education of the human race by a transcendent God, but as the gradual living out in practice of all concepts and ideas which spring from the moral imagination. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 14.12)

COMMUNITY

Harmony of Intentions
But how about the possibility of social life for men, if each aims only at asserting his own individuality? This question expresses yet another objection on the part of Moralism. The Moralist believes that a social community is possible only if all men are held together by a common moral order. This shows that the Moralist does not understand the community of the world of ideas. He does not realize that the world of ideas which inspires me is no other than that which inspires my fellow-men. I differ from my neighbor, not at all because we are living in two entirely different mental worlds, but because from our common world of ideas we receive different intuitions. He desires to live out his intuitions, I mine. If we both draw our intuitions really from the world of ideas, and do not obey mere external impulses (physical or moral), then we can not but meet one another in striving for the same aims, in having the same intentions. A moral misunderstanding, a clash of aims, is impossible between men who are free. Only the morally unfree who blindly follow their natural instincts or the commands of duty, turn their backs on their neighbors, if these do not obey the same instincts and the same laws as themselves. Live and let live is the fundamental principle of the free man. He knows no "ought." How he shall will in any given case will be determined for him by his faculty of ideas. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 9.10)

DESTINY

Human Destiny
Human life has only the purpose and destiny that a human being gives it. If the question be asked: What is man's purpose in life? Monism has but one answer: The purpose which he gives to himself. I have no predestined mission; my mission, at any one moment, is the one I choose for myself. I do not enter upon life's voyage with a fixed route mapped out for me. (The Philosophy Of Freedom ch. 11.7)

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The Theory Of Evolution Advances To Evolutionary Ethics

The Philosophy Of Freedom (POF) answers the question of today's thinkers seeking evolutionary ethics that extends from the theory of evolution.

“The same Ethical Individualism which I have developed on the basis of the preceding principles, might be equally well developed on the basis of the theory of evolution.” Rudolf Steiner, Philosophy Of Freedom 12.7

Morality is human flourishing
Popular Atheist and islamophobe Sam Harris gave a Ted talk about a science of ethics based on the "facts" of human flourishing. What was missing is that Sam didn't have these facts. 

Science of freedom
The highest human flourishing is freedom, unique to humans. A science of ethics must be a science of freedom. 

Atheists should embrace a science of freedom (The Philosophy Of Freedom), from there a new ethics can grow to include everyone else.

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Should We Trust Our Gut Feelings?

Gut feelings
Sometimes we make decisions after careful deliberation, but often we make decisions simply because it feels right. Call it a hunch, a gut feeling, or an instinct—what they all have in common is that we don’t know why we feel the way we do, yet the feeling can be so compelling, it moves us to act.

Should we listen to our gut feelings and make decisions based on feelings we don't understand or should we stop to think and make a deliberate decision?

Feeling tells us about ourselves, thinking tells us about the world
The relationship between thinking and feeling is complicated. We begin with how we react to a life event. While passively facing a life situation we are immediately hit with a feeling response of like or don't like. When we think about the situation it is different, it is not passive but requires conscious activity that takes effort. Our immediate feeling reaction tells us about ourselves. To objectively learn about the actual life situation requires that we think. Philosophy Of Freedom (POF) 3.2

Fear that something isn’t right
Our gut feeling can tell us that we don't like something, that “something isn’t right”. This sense of foreboding can irrationally warn us of something that threatens our survival like a roller-coaster ride, or it can be the unconscious bias of our cultural conditioning that warns us of gay marriage or of different races, or the fear can reflect the unconscious bias of our narrow-minded ideology.

Selective memory
We tend to overestimate the reliability of gut feelings. The best example is a gambler who is absolutely certain he will win based on nothing but a feeling. His selective memory quickly forgets the ninety percent of the time he loses, but vividly remembers the one time it worked.

Understanding feelings
Sometimes a gut feeling is subconsciously recognizing a conflicting pattern within our environment that we should be aware of, or sorting out a complex situation. But until we have a conscious understanding and test our assumptions we cannot be sure.

Feeling can alert us to something, but as it first appears feeling is an incomplete reality until it is understood. POF 8.3  Unless we think, or observe more closely to understand the reasons behind a feeling, it is more of a nuisance that can mislead us. There are lots of people who are constantly making wrong decisions about everything in their life because they have a gut feeling.

Education Of Feeling
The feelings of experts in a particular field are fundamentally different from ordinary gut feelings and are more reliable. As we gain knowledge in a field, we develop an immediate feeling sense for truth that reflects that knowledge. POF 6.11

Can we distinguish trustworthy intuitions from irrational feelings and biases?
Gut feeling, hunch, sixth sense, instinct, intuition—we use a number of terms to denote the fuzzy sense when we know something without being able to explicitly state how or why. Is there a way to distinguish trustworthy intuitions from irrational feelings and biases?

Old Eastern clairvoyance
By intuition we do not mean the old Eastern all-knowing clairvoyance. If you go to parts of India you will find people who will look at your face and tell you everything about yourself, what has happened to you and what will happen to you. Perhaps they have the remnants of a long lost clairvoyance from before the Age Of Reason, or perhaps they are frauds?

Intellectual intuition
Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom defines intuition not as a feeling, but as a thought. “The form in which thought first appears in consciousness we will call 'Intuition'.” POF 5.10  This is why we call it “intellectual intuition”, it is found in the experience of thinking, but only when pure concepts are produced in that experience.

Concepts are not vague like feelings, but clear and fully comprehensible. When our intuition gives us the concept that corresponds to what we are observing, we have the essential nature of that thing in full clarity. Rather than a hunch, with intellectual intuition we act out of knowledge.
Cognitive satisfaction
The goal of knowledge is cognitive satisfaction. POF 7.2  We pose questions based on a feeling of “dissatisfaction” with what we observe in the world. We observe that our child is upset and seek the cause by asking, “Why is the child upset?” We experience a feeling of “satisfaction” only when our questions are sufficiently answered. In this way our pursuit of knowledge is guided by our individual feelings. The feeling of disharmony, that “something isn’t right” is the beginning of the pursuit of knowledge.

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© Tom Last 2017