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philosophy of freedom (105)

Comparing Feminism And Humanism

Humanists oppose sexism on principle
As an ethical individualist and humanist I “affirm the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom.” 2002 Amsterdam Declaration of the World Humanist Congress

So certainly I oppose sexism since it is another form of prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, only this time based on ones gender. Both men and women can be victims of sexism. Men are expected to be the aggressive, rational, and dominant provider while women are the passive, intuitive, supportive nurturer.

It is impossible to really understand a human being if we judge them according to gender. But men see in woman, woman in men, too much of the others gender characteristics, and too little of what is individual. Gender stereotyping is a barrier to getting to know a unique individual. POF 14.3

Feminists oppose sexism on practical grounds
In practical life sexism does less harm to men than to women. Empirical studies have found widely shared cultural beliefs that men are more socially valued and more competent than women in a number of activities.

Feminists advocate for the rights of the underprivileged gender. The feminist movement fights for more opportunities for women because they are considered to be in the inferior position and need to be raised up to equality. Gender equality will be achieved in practical life by demanding change that improves the life of women.

Comparing feminism and humanism
A humanist will oppose all sexism on principle while a feminist opposes female inequality on practical grounds. Both sides would surely agree in principle that they support eliminating all forms of male or female gender bias. Each person, male or female, has the right to freely determine their activity in life according to their own individual abilities and inclinations. 

On the practical side of gender rights, more social changes need to be made for woman, but this shouldn't prevent supporting the rights of men in areas where men face gender discrimination. Otherwise feminism would contradict itself by seeming to be a gender biased movement.


Gender identity

While there are real biological differences between the sexes, gender is generally considered to be a social construction. Gender socialization begins at birth and occurs through family, education, peer groups, and mass media. Repeated socialization over time leads men and women into a false sense that they are acting "naturally", rather than following a socially constructed role.

Each human nature is unique. Human beings must be allowed to decide for themselves what social roles are suited to their particular nature, and not be judged if these roles do not fit what others consider appropriate gender behavior. POF 14.4

Only an individual knows what lies within their own "natural disposition". Nonconforming gender people face discrimination, oppression, and violence for not adhering to society's traditional gender roles. That is why LGBT rights is a human rights issue.

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Who Ruined Rudolf Steiner's Good Name?

Rudolf Steiner branding
A skull, spider, and dice matched with a portrait of Rudolf Steiner on the label of an alcohol intoxicant (wine) called “The Supernatural”. A winery in New Zealand is using the image of Rudolf Steiner with other occult images as a gimmick to sell brain dulling booze. Will the Rudolf Steiner portrait next appear as a spooky icon on Halloween paraphernalia with ghosts, goblins and witches?

Alcohol will cure one of clairvoyance
What's with “biodynamic” wine anyway? Are the mystics of Anthroposophy unaware of what alcohol does to their clairvoyant perception of the spiritual worlds? Rudolf Steiner recommended wine as a "cure" for clairvoyance. Steiner told a story of a German pilot in World War I who began to know in advance which of his companions would be killed on missions. This knowledge thoroughly unnerved him. Steiner advised him to drink wine; when he followed this prescription, the clairvoyant insights vanished.

Is the "biodynamic" erection enhancement product available yet, focusing supernatural forces where its really needed? 

From respected scholar to pseudo-scientist of the occult
What happened over the last century for the name of “Rudolf Steiner” to fall from respected scholar to mocked pseudo-scientist of the occult? When he wrote the Philosophy Of Freedom at the end of the 20th century his name was highly respected as an up and coming philosopher. A few years later he turned to spiritual science. Since his death in 1925 the Anthroposophical Society has claimed to be the bearers of the Rudolf Steiner name and works.

Blame it on the outsiders
When I have talked to Anthroposophists about what has happened to Steiner's reputation they blamed it on outsiders for being unable to recognize his genius. They also believe it doesn't matter as Anthroposophy is for those of a certain destiny anyways. When I suggested a renewal of Anthroposophy to meet today's human being who is much different than a German of the 1920's I was treated as a threat to the establishment. 

Barrier to learning about The Philosophy Of Freedom
My problem is that the damage done to Rudolf Steiner's reputation has formed a barrier to presenting The Philosophy Of Freedom to the world. This has required making a distinction between Steiner the respected scholar who wrote The Philosophy Of Freedom and the Steiner of today's Anthroposophy. I believe it was not inevitable that just because Steiner turned to spiritual science that he would necessarily become known as a kook.

The science remains in the science of freedom
It could have been done differently if the “science” in spiritual science had not been replaced by “faith” bordering on religious commitment. See “Who is an Anthroposophist?”

The problem has its roots in disregarding the science principles in The Philosophy Of Freedom that confirm science as a way of knowing. The Anthroposophist tends to always be looking for Theosophy confirmation instead:

“The members read it, but reading is not the same as understanding. They took what I offered, not as something issuing from my mouth or written in my books, but rather as what this one thought ‘mystical,’ that one ‘theosophical,’ another something else again”. RS

The best example of misreading The Philosophy Of Freedom is Sergei O. Prokofieff's “Anthroposophy and the Philosophy of Freedom”.

Without science you have pseudo-science
Without the science in spiritual science you have pseudo-science, which results in the Anthroposophical Society dragging down the other Steiner initiatives. Steiner warned of this:

"The trouble is The Philosophy of Freedom has not been read in the different way I have been describing. That is the point, and a point that must be sharply stressed if the development of the Anthroposophical Society is not to fall far behind anthroposophy itself. If it does fall behind, anthroposophy's conveyance through the society will result in its being completely misunderstood, and its only fruit will be endless conflict!" RS

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Global Footprint
Since the dawn of civilization, the planet replenished its resources faster than humans consumed them. Starting around 1970 that changed, we began to take more from the planet each year than it could restore. Since then, the gap between our rate of consumption and the planet's rate of regeneration has widened.

Its only mid-August but we have already used an entire year’s worth of the Earth’s natural resources according to the Global Footprint Network. For the rest of the year we will consume more than the Earth can replenish. This natural resource debt is not sustainable, how can we change?

Individual versus collective action
There is a continuing debate within the environmental movement about the relative merits of individual versus collective action. We are autonomous individuals as well as members of a local and global collective. I thought I would compare various possibilities of collective and individual action.

To act we need an “idea” of what to do and a “desire” to do it.

1. Collective idea and collective desire
Example: A democratic collective (State) agrees on an idea (environmental law) and the collective (citizens) desire to obey to avoid penalties (fines, jail).
Result: The planet is saved but individual freedom is lost due to threat of force.

2. Collective idea and individual desire
Example: A collective (NGO) agrees on an idea (recycling) and individuals who desire to act do so on a voluntary basis.
Result: Individual freedom is saved but the planet is lost due to lack of participation.

3. Individual idea and collective desire
Example: Individual eco-friendly inventions and marketing (solar powered toothbrush) and the collective desires it because of mass marketing.
Result: The planet is saved but individual freedom is lost due to mind control.

4. Individual idea and individual desire
Example: Individual accepts eco-friendly ideas that she desires to act upon. Taking the global and her individual situation into consideration the necessary changes are made.
Result: Individual freedom empowers diverse individual action and the planet is saved.

Mature free individuals
To meet the challenges of our time will take fully functioning mature individuals we are capable of unbiased scientific understanding of life situations (free thinking) and have a desire to live a life that expresses their highest ideals (free action). Nothing can stop you if you think universally and act individually.

Impossible dream?
Is their really any other solution than the need for human development? Is this an impossible dream? Not if we start with ourselves. The global footprint is the total of individual footprints.

Ethical individualism
Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom presents a way of life called Ethical Individualism. It is about being inspired by your ideals, setting real goals, and realizing them without doing harm.

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How Do We Move Beyond Social Tribalism?

Feeling of commonality
One of the essential elements of friendship and of a healthy society is a feeling of commonality. Our commonality with others splits us into groups according to race, ethnicity, nation, family, gender, church and spiritual group.


Separation into tribal circles

When we feel many differences with others our social connections fracture and we retreat into smaller and smaller circles. The separation into tribal circles is a major problem around the world. Look what it has done to American politics. Traditional and contemporary tribalism keep us divided and creates competition and conflict.

Still, we all need friendship and we all need human connections. We can't survive or thrive as individuals without friends. What do we all have in common that allows us to connect with everyone, even those outside our own tribe?

Community of the world of ideas
Social community between all human beings is possible because of the community of the world of ideas. What makes human beings unique is what we all have in common –thinking. As thinking human beings we all have access to the universal world of ideas.

Our thinking reaches out beyond our separate existence and relates itself to the universal world-order, according to Rudolf Steiner in his Philosophy Of Freedom. There is no other common element in the separate things of the world, no personal God, force or matter, other than the ideal content which thinking supplies.

Unity of absolute principle
“In so far as we think, we are the All-One Being which pervades everything. We are conscious of an absolute principle revealing itself in us, a principle which is universal.” POF 5.8

Unity of mind
“There is only one single concept of 'triangle'. The concept of a triangle which my mind grasps is the same as the concept which my neighbor’s mind grasps.” POF 5.8

Unity of world
“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, can be accepted by us as the universal principle of unity in the world.” POF 5.9

True individuality
"By means of thinking we take part in the universal process of the cosmos. By means of feeling we withdraw into the narrow confines of our own being." "True individuality belongs to the one who reaches up with their feelings to the farthest possible extent into the region of the ideal." POF 6.8

reference: John Seed

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Top 5 Reasons To Study The Philosophy Of Freedom

Top 5 Reasons To Study The Philosophy Of Freedom

1. It is Science
Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom is the result of introspective observation of the human mind following the methods of science. The subtitle is “A Modern Philosophy Of Life Developed By Scientific Methods”.

The Philosophy Of Freedom is not philosophy as such, but rather a description of Rudolf Steiner's experiences on the way to freedom. It does not give a definition of freedom that we merely memorize, but points to a place where freedom originates --the conceptual realm of universal concepts-- where free thinking, pure and unbiased, can be experienced.

“What I was really trying to do in The Philosophy of Freedom, was to locate freedom empirically, and thus put it on a solidly scientific basis.”

2. It is Freedom
Steiner divides the question of freedom into free thinking and free morality. Intellectual freedom is achieved when we bridge the gap between our perception (the outer appearance of the world) and our conception (the inner working of the world) with knowledge.

Moral freedom is achieved when we bridge the gap between our perceptible unfree nature (built up by nature, society and religion) and the concept of free individuality (ethical individualism) through the course of one's development with the expression of our ideals in life. To become a free individuality we need to have a clear understanding of what free individuality is. POF 9-11

True freedom is only achieved when knowledge and morality are united. (morality informed by knowledge) POF 10-1918 Addition

3. It is Thought Training
Incomprehensible!…. Baffles the experts!….. You’ll never finish it!….. It’s a tangle of thought!….
These are the comments on the disappointing experience of readers when Rudolf Steiner first published The Philosophy of Freedom in 1894.

The book is intentionally composed in a certain way to broaden and deepen the readers thinking. Each chapter expresses a variety of views leaving the reader free to arrive at their own conclusions. It is independent thinking so we cannot rely on familiar terms and images but must instead make an effort to “intuitively” grasp the universal concepts pointed to by the words. This training in the realm of universal thought is the thought training required to attain freedom.

“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.”
4. It is Humanism
Rudolf Steiner's philosophy of life recognizes the "human individual as the source of all morality and the center of all life" POF 9.12 and that “if we all really draw from the world of ideas, and do not follow physical or spiritual impulses” we find that we all share the same ideals and can get along within a harmony of intentions. POF 9.10

“A personal God is nothing but a human being transplanted into a Beyond.”
POF The Consequences Of Monism

5. It is not Anthroposophy
The Philosophy Of Freedom is independent of the speculations of Anthroposophy. It is a Science Of Mind that is verifiable to any normal person who can recall their thinking processes and think about thinking. Anthroposophy is different. It is a Science Of Spirit that requires extremely rare clairvoyant thinking capacities to verify its findings.

Near the end of his life, Steiner suggested that The Philosophy of Freedom would outlive all his other works. It stands on its own completely independent of his later spiritual research and organizations,

“You will find nothing at all in The Philosophy of Freedom that is derived from clairvoyant communications of spiritual science.”

“this book occupies a position completely independent of my writings on actual spiritual scientific matters... What I have said in this book may be acceptable even to some who, for reasons of their own, refuse to have anything to do with the results of my researches into the spiritual realm.” POF, 1918 Preface to the Revised Edition

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Review of Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom Chapter 11 
WORLD PURPOSE AND LIFE PURPOSE (The Destiny Of Man)

Purposeless Universe
The universe is ruled by a harmony of laws that we can discover. But there is no purpose to the universe because cause and effect is neutral and without purpose. Purpose is only possible when we have an idea and envision the action before we act.

Only human action is purposeful
Everything is formed causally and lawfully, including the stars, plants, animals and machines. Because something is formed according to law does not make it purposeful. Only human action is purposeful when the human being sets the laws of operation, the idea, the motive, of the action. We envision the result, as an idea (law), before we act. Only we can determine the law of our action, while everything else is merely determined by law.

How Do You Find Meaning In A Purposeless Universe?

13.1 Believe in a God
You can believe in a wise God who knows what is best, then all you need to do is find out what God intends for the world and act accordingly. Or you can give up childish superstitions that supernatural beings are looking over you and will take care of you, deal with reality as it is, find meaning and live a purposeful life.

11.4 Avoid Imagining Purpose In Nature
It is very easy to invent imaginary purposes in nature. The naive mind knows how we bring about an event, and from this he concludes that nature must do it in the same way.

11.5 Laws Of Nature
Purpose is only found in human action. Look for laws of nature, but not for purposes of nature.

11.6 Purposes Of Life
Life purposes which are not set by humans for themselves, are not legitimate. Nothing is purposeful except what the human being has first made so, for there is purposefulness only through the realization of an idea.

11.7 Human Destiny
Human life has only the purpose and the destination that the human being gives it. To the question: What is my task in life? The only answer is: the task we set for ourselves. My mission in the world is not predetermined, but at every moment is the one I choose. I do not enter upon life's voyage with a fixed route mapped out for me.

11.8 Only Human Beings Realize Purposeful Ideas
Ideas are realized only by human agents. Consequently, it is illegitimate to speak of the embodiment of ideas by history. All such statements as "History is the evolution of human beings towards freedom," or "the realization of the moral world-order," etc., and so forth, are untenable.

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Hot Social Media Trend: Be Authentic

Presenting the raw unfiltered self
Authenticity is in short supply online, says video maker Casey Neistat. His answer is a new social media network named Beme. This is a tool that allows social media users to access—and exhibit—our “real selves.” According to Neistat the app works like this: instead of the “highly sculpted, calculated, calibrated” forms of self-presentation fostered by Facebook, Instagram, and the like, Beme allows users to show themselves as they “really” are—unsculpted, unfiltered selfies. It’s about being “raw.”


Experience what that other person is experiencing

Beme lets people share four-second video clips with no option to edit, delete, or even watch onscreen as they film. By placing the phone on your chest, it automatically records and immediately posts online whatever you are seeing without the distraction of having to look through the phone. This allows you to keep your eyes on a sunset while still being able to share.

The premise is that the more purely we communicate the raw, unproduced and unpolished content of what we are experiencing the more authentically we are sharing experience.

A fan said, “It’s almost living vicariously through someone else. Not like you want to be that person, but being able to experience what that other person is experiencing, it’s fascinating, I guess.”

What is raw unthinking experience?
This is saying that if we merely observe the same thing that someone else is observing, we are sharing the same experience. How is this authentic? If we observed truly raw experience without our mind adding any meaning we wouldn't be able to even recognize a tree or any other object. The raw content of unthinking perception is described in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom as a chaotic aggregate of sense-data, colors, sounds and feelings of pleasure and pain. POF 4.3

Authentic individuality thinks and feels
By removing the thoughts and feelings of the observer we know nothing of how they experience the event. It is what we add to the event that reveals our authentic individuality. This is like saying we should consider paint samples on a canvas to be authentic art.

source: Kyle Vanhemert, Alex Kantrowitz

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Call to ban autonomous killer robots
A few weeks ago the Future of Life Institute released a letter signed by more than 1,500 artificial intelligence, robotics and technology researchers calling for a ban on 'killer robots' which are only a few years away from becoming a reality. Among them were physicist Stephen Hawking, technologist Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and philosopher Noam Chomsky.

Autonomous weapons target and fire weapons without human intervention. They might include, for example, armed quadcopters that can search for and eliminate people meeting certain pre-defined criteria. They do not include cruise missiles or remotely piloted drones for which humans make all targeting decisions.

Global killer robot arms race
The concern is that unless these autonomous weapons are banned now a global killer robot arms race is virtually inevitable, or may already have begone. The United States is a leader in this technological development. Several other countries – including China, Germany, Israel, South Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom – have also been involved.

Brings up ethical questions
What value are we putting on human life if we delegate the responsibility for deciding who lives and who dies to machines? Do we want to give robots the means and authority to inflict violent force on us? Yikes!


Ban killer humans and killing humans

I can't imagine the US agreeing to give up a technological advantage it has in developing killer robots. Why not encourage the development of killer robots and instead ban killer humans? Then ban the killing of humans. Let the robots battle it out. Sport has done well to divert the male primitive survival need for fighting to games.

There are currently robotic competitions held around the world where robots have to defeat other robots in order to win.

Value the human above all else
Rudolf Steiner's The Philosophy Of Freedom is humanistic and places the human individual at the “center of all life”. POF 9.12  We go to war and kill humans because we place something else above humans, whether it be God, nation, politics, ideology, and now technology. By valuing humans more than technology an ethical solution is possible.

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Donald Trump's winning message of bigotry
Donald Trump has soared in the Republican Party polls since it was discovered he is a bigot. The more bigoted his comments about Mexican immigrants, the higher he rises. When it comes to the defamation of 54 million Latinos in the United States we are dealing with hate speech.

Trump: “When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”

The Republican Party stands for individualism
The Republican Party claims to be built around the principle of “individualism”. Its political positions are supposedly derived from their adherence to individualism. But there is a contradiction in being a party that tolerates bigots and a party of individualism. Bigotry denies individuality.

Bigotry Is Incompatible With Individuality
Bigotry is only possible from a collective viewpoint that sees people as thinking and acting all alike. It sees people as merely stereotypical members of a group based on race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, etc. Intolerance and prejudice of a group and each member of that group is narrow-minded and simplistic lacking any sense of unique individuality.

Individualists are interested in diversity, not conformity
Someone who values individualism knows that no one person completely fits any stereotypical label. True individualists are more interested in what distinguishes someone as a unique individual, not the characteristics held in common with others, and certainly not the criminal actions of a few.

The only way to understand a single individual is to ask them how they view the world and to observe how they act. The point where free individuality begins, group conformity ends. POF 14.8

Emancipation Of Knowing
To know someone as an individual we cannot define them according to our own preconceptions. Instead, we have to grasp the ideas by which the individuality determines itself. Those who always mix their own ideas into their judgment of another person can never understand an individuality. It requires that we emancipate our knowing from the simplistic generalizations we use to characterize groups. POF 14.9

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Be The Change

Action that has ethical value
The part of our nature that is still unfree remains a member of the organism of nature and of spirit. This part of our nature lives by imitating others or in obedience to their command. Only the part of our action that springs from our insight has ethical value in a true sense. POF 14.11

Be the change
Your life has ethical value when you live a life as an example of your ideals, then you are the change. This is Ethical Individualism. Gandhi rightly said "Be the change you want to see in the world" some years ago. Barrack Obama put it this way in Chicago, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek”.

We all face our own individual life situations and each day have an opportunity to “be the change” by 
originating out of our imaginations creative actions, even actions that until now never existed.

Add to the ethical life of humanity
All the ethical ideas of humanity originated at one time in single individuals. The ethical life of humanity is the sum-total of the imaginative ideas of free individuals. A collective cannot produce a single new idea. The innovative solutions to realize our ideals in life is our contribution to the already existing total of ethical ideas in the world.

“The history of moral life is not as the education of the human race by a transcendent God, but the gradual living out in practice of all concepts and ideas which spring from the moral imagination.” POF 14.12

Share your success
There are many social media opportunities, including this website, to share your success and inspire others. Your success can raise the aspirations of others towards a higher ideal, for what they feel strongly about.

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Top story is the death of Cecil the Lion
Last week a hunter illegally killed a protected lion in Zimbabwe. The global media universe blew up with an outpouring of emotions, ranging from sympathy to outrage over the killing of a prized African Lion named Cecil. The amount of rage, distress, and sadness on social media and in the news over Cecil the Lion the past few days is almost unparalleled.

Do we love animals more than humans?
Recent research suggests that people are twice as likely to give money to save a dog than help a dying child. Why does the outpouring of emotion over the killing of a lion far surpass the series of killings of human beings over the past month? The outrage over Cecil's killing has trumped the black victims of violence, starving Syrian refugees and the shooting of children in Gaza.

Why do we love?
A characteristic of romantic love is over idealizing the loved one to the point of becoming blind to any faults. "Love depends on the thoughts we form of the loved one. The more we idealize the loved one in our thoughts, the more blissful is our love." POF 1.11

Why do we love lions? A lion is a very idealized figure. The lion is the "king of the jungle" or "king of the beasts", hence lions are popular symbols of royalty, stateliness, bravery and power. Imposing statues of lions were placed at the gates of imperial palaces, official residences, temples and tombs.

Lions call up ideals of courage, dignity and strength in overcoming difficulties. One of the best examples of this symbolism is C. S. Lewis's Aslan, the beloved lion of Narnia, a lion who expresses the highest of human ideals.

This also explains why we love celebrities and "lionize" people as heroes when we tag them with ideal characteristics even though they may not be accurate representations.

Forming negative image
If we are Islamophobic we think terrorism when we see a Muslim. If we are racist we think ghetto when we see a Black person. These are not “ideal” images that we are forming so we lack the love.

Noticing good qualities
"There dwells something noble within each human being." POF 0.0 If you cannot see that each human being has value and are plagued by the negative images you have formed of other people you can change your self by making an effort to notice their good qualities,

“Many pass by the good qualities without notice. One, however, perceives them, and just because he does, love awakens. What else has he done except perceive what hundreds have failed to see?” POF 1.12

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Its Time For Leaderless Community

A community consists of followers and a few leaders
Communities do not have ideas, only human individuals have ideas. As free individuals, we each carry out our own decisions and intentions, not those of someone else. In a community, what emerges as the common goal is usually the intentions of a few select individuals whom the others obey as authorities. POF 10.8 The followers put their faith in the leaders, but the leaders are pursuing their own individual freedom to carry out their intentions now with the help of others.

To gain support leaders make promises
A leader can grow a community by drawing like-minded people. This growth is limited to those who share their ideals and intentions. If you want to expand your group for more power as politicians do, you have to promise freedom to the people by saying you share their intentions even though you never will.

A classic example today is the Koch brothers.

Koch brothers lead massive political machine
Even though the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch fund and control a massive political network that is so powerful and influential it rivals the two main political parties, it is not enough to win control of the presidency. To expand support Charles Koch called the efforts of his political network a “freedom movement”.

Freedom from taxes and regulations to increase profits
The true “injustice” for the Kochs is taxes and government regulations that are restricting the profits of Koch Industries. Koch Industries is the second-largest private company in the United States with over $100 billion in sales. Their numerous companies have produced a long list of environmental crimes, violations, and contamination.

The common thread of all their political efforts is to promote a right-wing ant-itax, anti-regulatory ideology that's good for profits. They even are trying to undermine the science behind climate change.

Time to rebrand
Last week at a Koch conference of 450 network officials, politicians and like-minded wealthy donors they said they are going to rebrand the movement for wider appeal. Charles Koch announced that just like Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks and other "freedom movements" before them, the noble Koch Brothers and their followers are "seeking to right injustices" to create "a truly free society" that will no longer "enrich the haves at the expense of the have nots”.

Ha ha, good one Koch brothers. It reminds me of Charlie Chaplins' Great Dictator Speech:

"Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! By promising a better life for the people, “brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil there promises. They never will!”


Only solution is leaderless communities

At some point it always dawns on the followers that the leaders are liers or merely humans just as weak as themselves. POF 10.0

We will never free ourselves from the control of leaders until leaderless communities of free individuals begin to form. The social structure as to how such a community will work is still in the experimental stage.

The Philosophy Of Freedom and Group Conversation techniques give us the tools but practical experience is needed. If it is obvious who the leaders are in a group, which is usually the case, it is not a free community.

reference: Abby Zimet

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Next stop after Waldorf graduation –the military
“We were born in war and we will probably die in war” – words which have not left me since I heard them in November 2014 from a Waldorf pupil in the Harduf kibbutz in Israel.

The conversation took place on occasion of a meeting of the international forum for Steiner/Waldorf education, the “Hague Circle” with class 11 pupils from the oldest of the 18 Israeli Waldorf schools. As all Israeli pupils, they knew that they would soon be called for military service which directly follows school. --Henning Kullak-Ublick

After graduation the aspiring Waldorf students will be forced to join the Israeli military and carry out the governments policy of “collective punishment” upon Palestinian women and children. In the 2014 Israeli military bombing of the Gaze Strip twenty-two schools were completely destroyed and 118 schools damaged.This Israeli policy of revenge is condemned by the United Nations as a serious war crime. 

Suppose they gave a war and nobody came 
In Israel, about 50% of Israeli males have found ways to avoid military service. In Charlie Chaplins “Greatest Speech Ever Made” he encourages men to avoid the military. 

“Soldiers – don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you – who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel.”

“Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate – only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers – don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.” Charlie Chaplin speech, The Great Dictator (1940)


Refuseniks unwilling to serve in the occupation army 

“If necessary, I will go to jail.” These are the words of 17-year-old refusenik Dafna Landman, one of over 60 Israeli high school 12th graders who signed an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring their refusal of compulsory service in the Israeli military as an act of protest against Israel’s 47-year old military occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

Moral courage
The student's letter spoke in the voice of Ethical Individualism by declaring, “We refuse to forsake our principles as a condition to being accepted in our society.”

The meaning of Ethical Individualism is not only to have ideals, but to act on ideals. POF 9.7 This means having the moral courage to speak out and break the code of silence demanded by a social collective.

An Ethical Individualist takes a stand on social and political issues
How a person views social issues says so much about who they are as a person. An Ethical Individualist is thoughtful enough, and confident enough, to take a stand on social and political issues according to what one considers to be right. POF 12.11 The essence of what it means to be human and not "machine men" is individual freedom, not social conformity. This knowledge informs our views concerning human well-being and what we should stand up for.

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Ethical Individualists have no ethical obligation to obey the laws of the State, though they usually do. POF 9.12  If they were to end up in prison, to pass the time they would likely want to start a Philosophy Of Freedom study group. Would they have that right?

Religious right to study
Inmates of a prison approved “religion” have special rights such as the right to have weekly classroom/study time, access to study materials and the right to congregate with other members of their group. Simply put, if you said you were religious, you got a number of perks not afforded to non-religious groups.

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Humanist denied right to study
Prisoner Jason Holden was prohibited from starting a Humanist study group because Humanism was not on the list of accepted religions, so he sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Ruling favors rights of Humanist
The Federal Bureau of Prisons agreed to give inmates who identify as Humanists the same type of accommodations it provides to those who practice a religion. A settlement was reached and Humanism was added to the prison manual broadening the meaning of religion to include other inmate beliefs and practices.

In his 2014 ruling the judge wrote, “the Supreme Court said that the government must not aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs…Therefore, the court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes.”

While it is unfortunate that the only manner in which these rights can be protected is under the umbrella of “religion,” this is nonetheless a significant victory for science, reason, and non-religious ethics.

Ethical Individualism is a humanist philosophy of life
The ruling was a victory for Ethical Individualism since it is a philosophy of life that fits in the Humanist designation. The source of its ethics is human thought, not the supernatural or God,

“A moral act is never explained by tracing it back to some continuous supernatural influence (a divine government), or to historical revelation (the giving of the ten commandments) or to the appearance of God (Christ) on earth. Moral causes must be looked for in the human being, who is the bearer of morality.” POF 12.8

"The ethical laws which the Metaphysician regards as issuing from a higher power are human thoughts; the ethical world order is the free creation of human beings.” POF 10.8

Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population
An extensive 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center shows the Christian share of the US population is sharply declining while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing. As theistic religion is replaced by an ethics whose source is the free human being, society will need to recognize the rights of a broader range of worldviews and philosophies.

Reference: Rachel Ford

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Intelligence continues to decline
Now we finally know why we struggle so much to comprehend The Philosophy Of Freedom. Since the time of its writing in 1894 Western IQ's have dropped a staggering 14 points. Researchers looked at intelligence studies going back to the late Victorian Era (1884) and find that the Victorians were substantially more intelligent than modern Western populations.

The Victorian era, measured on a per capita basis, was the height of innovations in science and technology with the highest number of scientific geniuses (Rudolf Steiner).

Our brains are actually becoming smaller. IQ studies show people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have become less intelligent in the past decade. You don't need science to verify that Americans are becoming stupider.

What is the cause? Modern life has become easy without the need to ever think. Casual entertainment like video games and television impede our development by keeping us away from skill-building activities.

True? Science disagrees about the video games. (video)

Video games for cognitive development
While television is passive entertainment, video games are not. Good video gamers require intense concentration, keen perception, brilliant strategy and quick reactions. Scientific studies have shown that the challenge posed by action video games improves cognitive functions, motor control, overall perception, increases grey matter and our ability to learn new things. (I enjoy rattling the cage of Waldorf dogmatists)

Multitasking and cognitive development
Does modern multitasking develop cognitive skills? A neuroscientist and expert on attention at MIT says: “When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly.” Multitasking prevents deep, creative thought as we switch back and forth. As a result, thoughts are more superficial.

Just spotting an email is enough distraction to reduce your IQ by 10 points as your mind wanders from your task.

Exercise body and mind
We all have recognized that modern life requires regular exercise for a healthy body. People are only beginning to realize life also requires regular thinking exercise for a healthy mind.

Knowledge of cognitive processes and thought training
For a healthy body we learn about how our body works by studying its processes like nutrition, digestion etc. and we exercise. It is the same with thinking, we learn how it works by studying the cognitive processes like perception, knowing etc. and exercise with thought training. We can increase our intelligence these two ways: thought training and learning about the cognitive processes. This is what Rudolf Steiner's path to freedom is about, as described in The Philosophy Of Freedom. By studying the cognitive processes and applying what is learned along with disciplining thinking we can improve our ability to know.

The Philosophy Of Freedom is the result of "independent" thinking meaning we do not have the comfort of immediately relating familiar terms to what is being discussed. After we struggle to the meaning of the terms we find it all makes perfect sense. This is because the terms used point to experience rather than merely abstract philosophy.

We discipline our thinking with thought training which deepens our knowing. This is practiced by “withdrawing awhile to enter into the conceptual realm of pure thought.” POF 0.7 The study of The Philosophy Of Freedom is to enter the "conceptual world of pure thought". Keeping our thinking sharp is a requirement for a healthy mind and is achieved with the challenging study of this book. 

“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

Study Of The Philosophy Of Freedom
Both of theses practices of learning about thinking and deepening it can be done at the same time by studying the book! You learn what it means to "know" and discipline your thinking at the same time when you study The Philosophy Of Freedom (without multitasking). It will require effort just like physical exercise does, but you will soon notice you are getting more “insights” into things than before.

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The Thought Structure Of The Philosophy Of Freedom

Thought Structure
By understanding the thought-structure of The Philosophy Of Freedom the book makes more sense. This discovery of the thought structure of The Philosophy Of Freedom has been verified by those qualified to do so and it can be verified by you if you work with the book and the worldviews. The thought-structure consists of 12 worldviews that Steiner is writing out of at that point in the book. If you know the worldview being expressed at that point in the text and you know when he shifts from one view to the next the book makes more sense, otherwise it gets very confusing. The numbered topic headings that appear in the translations (Hoernle) on this website tell you what the viewpoint being expressed is and when it shifts to the next view. (Video)

7 World Outlook Moods
Each chapter begins with an introduction (0). This opening introduction is 1 of 7 world-outlook moods (described below). It begins with Occultism in chapter 1, then Transcendentalism in chapter 2, then Mysticism 3, Empiricism 4, Volunteerism 5, Logicism 6, and Gnosis 7. Part II of the book beginning with chapter 8 is Gnosis again as the order reverses itself to chapter 14 Occultism. 

12 World Outlooks
After the introduction, 12 views are presented of the introduction. They follow the same order in each chapter and are numbered in the translations that appear on this website as topic headings. They begin with the view of Materialism (1), then Spiritism 2, Realism 3, Idealism 4, Mathematism 5, Rationalism 6, Psychism 7, Pneumatism 8, Monadism 9, Dynamism 10, Phenomenalism 11, and Sensationalism 12.

12 World-Outlooks

The above diagram shows the thought structure of The Philosophy Of Freedom. It is not based on planetary astrology or have anything to do with one's sign. It is a science of the mind that describes the relationship between worldviews that is using Zodiac symbols because they likely have some meaning in understanding 12 perspectives. Within this diagram is every possible world view. So you see the book integrates every possible viewpoint into one wholistic philosophy. What it means is that every view has value within its particular domain of application.

Human and Cosmic Thought by Rudolf Steiner
Twelve World-Outlooks

For further descriptions of the 12 outooks and 7 moods go here to the permanent link in the Study Guide.

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Boycott Israel march in France

Pro-Israel billionaires combat anti-apartheid boycott of Israel
Human rights organizations condemned Sheldon Adelson's anti-BDS meeting of pro-Israel billionaires to combat the growing anti-apartheid boycott of the Jewish state of Israel. The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is a nonviolent method to promote the Palestinian struggle for independence modeled after the successful boycott of apartheid South Africa.


Anti-aparteid movement gaining momentum

The BDS movement is gaining momentum each day. Norwegian and Dutch corporations sold off shares from companies involved in the Palestinian Territories, student groups in Britain, the United States and Canada have thrown their support behind it, scientists like Stephen Hawking are refusing to attend academic conferences in Israel and South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu called on churches to turn their backs on companies that profit from the occupation.

The membership of the Association for Humanist Sociology, an organization dedicated to scholarship and action in the service of justice and peace, voted to support the boycott of Israel.


Apartheid Israel

For nearly half a century, Palestinians have lived under a form of apartheid in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, denied the most basic freedoms and rights. They have been ethnically cleansed, imprisoned en masse, walled up in ghettoes, and had their lands stolen and their homes and agricultural crops destroyed. Palestinian citizens of Israel, who comprise approximately 20% of Israel’s population, have endured systematic discrimination in a state that explicitly privileges Jewish citizens over all others.

 

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson seeks a permanent Jewish apartheid state
Adelson is a vocal supporter of a single state in which Israel annexes the occupied territories and denies equal rights to Palestinians who he has derided as “an invented people”.

The Forward, which first reported the summit, said that the billionaire Jewish mega-donors include the Hollywood entertainment mogul Haim Saban and an Israeli-born property developer, Adam Milstein.


Anti-boycott billionaire Haim Saban mega-donor to Hillary campaign

US Presidential candidates for sale
Adelson spent a staggering 150 million to influence the 2012 US elections and may spend more in 2016. He declared, “We can use our influence with anybody we know in the administration and in Congress.”

Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, denounced the boycott movement at a dinner with Adelson. Cruz, like other Republican candidates, is seeking financial backing from Adelson.

In a letter written to billionaire Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton pledges to not put pressure on Israel. Her condemnation of the anti-apartheid movement sounded like it came from the Netanyahu government itself. Haim Saban is a mega-donor to the Clinton presidential campaign.


Rudolf Steiner criticized any ethnically determined state
A Jewish state is required to be an apartheid state otherwise it risks being taken over by the "other". Ethnicity is certainly an outmoded basis for social life and civic identity. This is why Rudolf Steiner was a critic of his contemporary Theodor Herzl's goal of a Zionist state, as well as of any other ethnically determined state.

"The social order is formed, so that it can react favorably on the individual." (all individuals) POF 9.12

How do you overcome your own culturally conditioned bias of ethnic tribalism or nationalism? It is possible to free your self from being determined by “characteristics that are conditioned by the nature of one's ethnic group” and “develop qualities and functions of one's own, whose source can only be sought within one self.” POF 14.2 

We can rise above personal bias and prejudice and make ethical decisions that places a value on each human being with the development of what Steiner calls "pure thinking" or "practical reason"POF 9.5

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Who is an Anthroposophist?


If you are interested in Rudolf Steiner but don't really fit in with the Anthroposophist crowd you may be an Ethical Individualist. Lets compare an Anthroposophist with an Ethical Individualist.

First lets give a little background of the two phases of Steiner's life. Rudolf Steiner was a respected scholar and Humanist before he turned to spiritual science, known today as Anthroposophy. In 1894 Steiner presented a humanist philosophy of life called Ethical Individualism. As late as 1918 Steiner affirmed"The purpose of The Philosophy Of Freedom is to lay the foundations of ethical individualism and of a social and political life."

Throughout his life Steiner continued to recommend The Philosophy Of Freedom, and said it would outlive all his other work and be the book for which he will be remembered.


Who is an Anthroposophist?
This article is not a satire of Anthroposophists but is real. A highly respected and widely referenced site about Anthroposophy asks the question, “Who, exactly, qualifies for the label 'Anthroposophist'?” The article presents several possible definitions of an Anthroposophist and then tells you if it will suffice.

Broad definition: Anyone who finds value in Steiner's work.
No: This is an overly broad definition because it might include people who “disagree” with Steiner.

Consumer definition: Anyone who consumes the practical results from Steiner's insights such as Weleda beauty products, biodynamics or Waldorf education.
No: Such consumers can hardly be called “followers” of Rudolf Steiner.

Student definition: Someone who studies Steiner's works.
No: A number of hostile critics study Steiner's works.

Warm enthusiasm definition: Someone who feels a warm enthusiasm as they study Steiner's work.
Yes, almost: If they feel a warm enthusiasm, then they are part of the way to being an Anthroposophist.

 

The anthroposophy site poses another question in the effort to define an Anthroposophist by asking, “Who would Anthroposophists recognize as their own?”

Who would Anthroposophists recognize as their own?

Qualified: A true Anthroposophist accepts the whole of Steiner's teaching and not just portions of it. (over 30 books and 6000 lectures)
Disqualified: Those who pick and choose bits and pieces of Steiner's work to make a part of their own philosophy. (like only the principles of Waldorf education)

Qualified: A true Anthroposophist has a continuing life long enthusiastic support for Anthroposophy.
Disqualified: Those whose enthusiastic support was merely an anthroposophy phase of their life.

The anthroposophy site now comes to their concluding definition as to who an Anthroposophist is.

The True Anthroposophist

Definition of the True Anthroposophist: Those who have a continuing life long enthusiastic acceptance of the whole of Anthroposophy.

From my experience of Anthroposophists, I would have to agree that this is a very fair and honest definition of who a true Anthroposophist is.

 

Now I will pose a question. Under this definition of who an Anthroposophist is, does the True Anthroposophist qualify to be an Ethical Individualist?

Does the True Anthroposophist qualify to be an Ethical Individualist?

Qualified: Ethical Individualists do not follow a leader as they know one must make their own way on the final ascent to freedom. POF 0.0
Disqualified: True Anthroposophists are “followers” of Rudolf Steiner.

Qualified: Ethical Individualists do not accept a truth until they fully comprehend it. They no longer want to believe; they want to know. POF 0.3
Disqualified: True Anthroposophists must accept the whole of Steiner's mostly incomprehensible teachings (over 30 books and 6000 lectures).

Qualified: Ethical Individualists start with their own personal experience and from there ascend to a knowledge of the whole universe each in his or her own way. POF 0.4
Disqualified: True Anthroposophists have categorized and preserved Steiner's work to be continuously studied and uncritically revered as valid for all time.

Are you an Anthroposophist or an Ethical Individualist?

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