The ideal human
What makes an ideal human being? Does the ideal human have a rightly proportioned athletic body and a disciplined mind? Or are they compassionate and kind, good and decent, showing unconditional love for others?
Do we know someone who we consider to represent the human ideal?
Friends call young mother “Ideal Human”
A small town community in Michigan mourned the tragic death of a 21-year-old college student and mother of a young child. “She’d hang out with everyone. She brought groups of kids together,” said a friend. “There wasn’t anyone that she didn’t make feel wonderful, said a former teacher. “She’s the 'ideal' of a what a human being should be.”
Since the dawn of civilization, human beings have striven to perfect themselves, emulating those who have achieved greatness. Every culture has their celebrities and super heroes of people everyone wishes to be like.
There are historical superhumans such as the enlightened Buddha looked to as an ideal human being. The prophet Moses possessed supernatural powers to part the Red Sea. Islamic tradition is full of written descriptions of Mohammed and his qualities — describing him as the ideal human being. Ayn Rand's modern hero is a self-serving individualist, in contrast to the superhuman Christian ideal of the gospels Jesus. Jesus Christ, according to legend, lives to use his super powers to selflessly serve others.
We learn from our heroes only up to a point where we must then continue on the journey without them.
To be human is to be free
An ideal is an idea of something in its perfect form or essence. The essence of being human is found without the “need to discard our human nature” and become superhuman. Inner development removes the barriers that prevent our human nature from expressing its essence. The purest expression of human nature is freedom. We are only fully human when we are free.
“Our life is made up of free and unfree actions. We cannot, however, form a final and adequate concept of human nature without coming upon the free spirit as its purest expression. After all, we are human in the fullest sense only in so far as we are free.” POF 9.11
What is human freedom?
Philosophers have debated the question of freedom for over two millennia, and just about every great thinker has a different opinion. This is a problem as we can only strive for freedom if we know what it is. POF 9.11 In science everyone is not entitled to their own opinion. Science is based on facts, not opinion or preferences. What is needed is a science of freedom.
Science of freedom
Rudolf Steiner understood the need for a science of freedom. The Philosophy Of Freedom is the "result of introspective observation following the methods of science".
“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.”
The evolution of the free ethical human
Nature makes us merely natural creatures, social community develops us further, but only the human individual can finish the process and make themselves free ethical human beings. The human evolves from his ancestors into an ethical individual without the need of some sort of supernatural intervention. Rudolf Steiner's ethical human follows directly from the theory of evolution.
“The same ethical individualism that I have developed on the basis of the preceding principles could also be derived from the theory of evolution.” POF 12.7
A science of freedom informs our ethical decisions concerned with human well-being
A science of freedom contributes to human evolution by providing a map to freedom. Having knowledge of what freedom is will inform our ethical decisions concerned with human well-being. The more this science is clarified and presented to the world the greater influence it will have throughout social and political life.