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Both Scientology and the Philosophy Of Freedom claim to offer paths to freedom. On what scientific principle do they base this claim?

Reactive mind
For Scientology the barrier to freedom is the Reactive Mind. It is defined in Scientology as that part of the mind that works on a totally stimulus-response basis. It is not under a persons control and exerts force and the power of command over our awareness, purposes, thoughts, and actions.

In the Philosophy Of Freedom (POF) we find something similar at the lowest level of individual life called simply “drive” when our will is immediately triggered by the senses without intervening reflection or having a special feeling for what is perceived. This immediacy originally belonged to the lower instinctive life necessary for survival. POF 9.4


Mental images

Scientology and POF speak of mental images that can insert themselves between us and the outer world resulting in cognitive bias distorting our grasp of reality and creating unreasonable fears, upsets and insecurities. POF Chp5 Addition to the revised edition (1918)

How do we free ourselves from compulsions, obsessions, and neuroses that spring from what Scientology calls the Reactive Mind and what POF calls in a broader term our Psyche-Physical Organization?


The battle between stimulus-response and deliberate reflection

There are two sides that fight for control of the human being, the immediate stimulus-response Reactive Mind and the Analytical Mind that one consciously uses and is aware of. This is the portion of the mind that observes, thinks, and resolves problems.

There are two ways that this battle can be tilted in the favor of reason. One way is to weaken the stimulus-response reactions while the other way is to strengthen thinking.

The level of Clear in Scientology
The scientific principle used in Scientology is that you can weaken the Reactive Mind by bringing unwanted motives into consciousness where they lose their power, so the ill effects they cause end. POF 1.3  A state of clear is reached through a long period of auditing therapy until the Reactive Mind is eliminated.

Once the Reactive Mind is eliminated we will be happier and return to a more childlike simplicity having removed the pain of past traumatic experiences.


The level of Clear in The Philosophy Of Freedom

The Philosophy Of Freedom takes the other approach by strengthening thinking, then the power of thinking suspends the control over us by the organization of our body and mind, the Psyche-Physical Organization. This state of clear is called pure thinking or reason. It takes place in the sphere of universal concepts. It is developed by learning how the mind works (study of the Philosophy Of Freedom) and then applying this knowledge to unfold free thinking. It is also necessary to practice the kind of thought discipline that is necessary in the fields of science.

When we enter the pure conceptual sphere the Psyche-Physical Organization which holds our past experiences, natural urges, and biases  “suspends its own activity—it makes room—and, in the space that has been made free, thinking appears. First, thinking represses the human organization’s own activity and, second, it replaces that activity with itself.” POF 9.1 found only in revised 1918 edition

With empowered thinking we become fully mature human beings, and fulfill our human potential.

Pure thinking is the most important part of The Philosophy Of Freedom. That there is a power within thinking that can suspend our Psyche-Physical Organization is the scientific principle that can be used to free ourselves of the habitual ruts and cognitive biases that enslaves us.

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Lofty Ideals Are Not Enough


Another historic chance for change
After an idealistic campaign calling for justice and sovereignty, Greek newspapers carried dramatic headlines of the Syriza parties stunning victory last January. The anti-austerity Syriza party is defined by their youthful idealism and determination to smash the mold of practical politics and business as usual.

Many pro-leftist newspapers hailed the win as a historic chance for the people of Greece to take charge of their own future with the emergence of these young, anti-establishment members of government.

Can they make their ideals a reality, which is the objective of what The Philosophy Of Freedom calls “Ethical Individualism”?


Youthful idealism without a plan of action

It doesn't look like the Syriza government will realize any ideals. Now a historic betrayal has consumed Greece as the new government has agreed to many repressive, impoverishing measures in return for a “bailout” that means sinister foreign control and a warning to the rest of the world.

It turned out the Syriza government had no plan. The day after the January election a truly democratic and radical government would have begone taking action, but there was no plan.

Preaching ideals is not enough
In order to change anything you need more than the oratory skills to preach idealism, as we learned with Obama. Ideals can inspire and unite people but these ideals have little value if they are never realized. To realize ideals and change the world, imagination and technique is needed.

The Syriza party has ideals but appear to lack imagination and technique. Or they could even have been phony idealists from the start.

Bernie Sanders is a US presidential candidate who has ideas, but what are the chances he could implement any of them if elected? He is 73 years old, yet he can still sound like an innocent idealist. In my view Gov. Jerry Brown of Ca. has the right balance of idealism and realism --he gets things done and has returned California to being a great state again. 

Freedom and imagination
Lofty ideals such as social justice are universal and are applicable to all cultures. To apply social justice to a particular situation like Greece, you need imagination. The ideal principle needs to be imaginatively translated into a specific plan of action that meets the Greek situation directly.

Our creative and imaginative capacity depends on how free we are as individuals. The biases we receive from our family, nation, ethnic group and religion and all that we inherit from the past restrict our creativity. Imagination is a characteristic of free individuality. Free individuality is attained through an inner striving for freedom.


Science and technique

The Greece crisis is highly complex. The idealist has to work with an already existing set of conditions, to which he wants to give a new form. In order to transform the situation one has to have knowledge of the rules and laws of how it works. This is the kind of knowledge taught at universities in the different branches of general scientific knowledge. By acquiring this knowledge or surrounding your self with experts in the fields needed the world can be transformed without major disruptions and you are more likely to gain the support of others.

Changing the world, according to The Philosophy Of Freedom, involves three abilities. We select ideal principles with Moral Intuition, we imagine creative goals with Moral Imagination and we implement those goals with the knowledge of science or Moral Technique. POF 12.2

Greece reference: John Pilger, Andrew Flood

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Steiner's most important work
The Wilson translation of The Philosophy Of Freedom is being published by Wilder Publications (SMK Books). The interesting thing is the ebook image cover, which says in bold type, “STEINER'S MOST IMPORTANT WORK”.

I think this website can take some credit for the bold text pronouncement as we have been broadcasting this message since 2005. Before that, the standard repeated message was that The Philosophy Of Freedom was one of 4 basic books of Anthroposophy that also included Theosophy, Knowledge Of The Higher Worlds, and Occult Science.

Wilder Publications is a rogue publisher that is not controlled or associated with Anthroposophy. For them to proclaim The Philosophy Of Freedom to be "Steiner's most important work" means that this has become part of main stream public knowledge established outside of the PR outlets of Anthroposophy. Mission accomplished!

 

Why is it Steiner's most important work?
The next point that needs to enter the public domain is why it is Steiner's most important work? Anthroposophy's talking points always direct the attention away from the freedom philosophy, and directs it toward Steiner's later clairvoyant spiritual science, Anthroposophy. Whenever the philosophy is mentioned the talking point is,

"The Philosophy of Freedom forms the philosophical basis for his later writings." (later writings are Anthroposophy) wiki link

This statement is the death of any interest in The Philosophy Of Freedom. Nobody wants to read an abstract philosophy that gives you nothing other than philosophical support for something else.

The title was even changed to Intuitive Thinking As A Spiritual Path to make it sound more spiritualistic.


It is about science, ethics and how to change the world

If you read the book you find that it is about science, attaining certainty in knowledge rather than belief in doctrines, groups or spiritual leaders. It is about ethical individualism and how to change the world. It is not abstract philosophy but gives descriptions of cognitive processes and life experiences that lead one to free thinking and free action. Rather than being told what to think by an organization, it shows how to stand on your own feet and think for yourself.

The Philosophy Of Freedom is written in an individualist anarchist mood that emphasizes the individual and their will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems. This is obvious in the original first chapter, "The Goal Of Knowledge" that Steiner considered the preface. Is this why any institution or leadership would surely have little interest in this book?


Its not about clairvoyance

There is nothing to be found in it to directly support the clairvoyant ability to perceive spiritual worlds, and certainly nothing to support the content of Anthroposophy. You can make a stretch by calling the intuition commonly involved in acquiring knowledge "clairvoyance".

The link that is commonly made to relate it to Anthroposophy is the recognition of a non-physical universal world of ideas that could open the possibility of some kind of higher knowledge. This is true. True, just as the discovery of quantum randomness opens the possibility of free will. My point is that its support of Anthroposophy is not why The Philosophy Of Freedom is Steiner's most important work.


It is a philosophy of life

Most people (99.999%?) will never have an interest in understanding the philosophical basis of Anthroposophy, but each of us have a life and we want a better world. In 1918, while immersed in Anthroposophy, Steiner gives the intended purpose,

"The purpose of The Philosophy Of Freedom is to lay the foundations of ethical individualism and of a social and political life." link

This is the point that this website (philosophyoffreedom.com) will be declaring to the world until it becomes part of the public domain of knowledge. This is something that will bring The Philosophy Of Freedom the interest it deserves.

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Principles Of Individual Life

This short video is based on the first paragraph in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom. It describes the early drive toward freedom as it expresses itself in the forming of a unique individuality.

SCRIPT
In order to survive the animal is driven by natural instincts for food, water, and shelter. Social learning gives an evolutionary advantage to those who join and conform to the group.
Yet, if society is to continue evolving it needs something more than social conformity, it needs the innovation and creativity of free individuals.
The social order is only formed so it can react in favor of the individual, but society cannot produce even one free individual.
Only the individual himself can complete the final stage of evolution and realize freedom.
The pursuit of individuality is the modern struggle for survival.
To be true to yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something less, requires great effort.

There is a natural conflict between individualism and authority.
When challenged by authority, typically individualism cannot be sustained without paying a harsh price.

No matter what anyone else asserts, an individualist will think for himself.
Nothing is accepted as valid until he fits it into his own context of knowledge.
Knowing that human perfection cannot be found by following in the footsteps of another, the individualist finds his own way in the difficult ascent to freedom.
Why adoringly serve leaders who will turn out to be just as weak as yourself?

No ideals will be forced upon him.
He will select his own ideals and strive for their realization, which is his highest pleasure.

We no longer believe that there is a norm of human life to which we must all strive to conform.
We are convinced that in each of us, if only we probe deep enough into the very heart of our being, there dwells something noble, something worthy of development.
We regard the perfection of the whole as depending on the unique perfection of each single individual.
We do not want to do what anyone else can do equally well.
No, our contribution to the development of the world, however trifling, must be something which, by reason of the uniqueness of our nature, we alone can offer.

Never have artists been less concerned about rules and norms in art than today. Each of them asserts his right to express what is unique in him.
The structure of a language can affect how we conceptualize the world, our world-view, so there are writers who do not conform to the standard selection of words and arrangement that grammar demands.

We do not want to be dependent in any respect, and where dependence must be, we tolerate it only on condition that it coincides with a vital interest of our individuality.
Individuality is one of the fundamental characteristics of our age.
There is no better expression of this phenomena than striving towards freedom with the greatest intensity.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM

0. THE GOAL OF KNOWLEDGE (Preface)

0.0 Impulse Of Freedom
[1] I BELIEVE I am indicating correctly one of the fundamental characteristics of our age when I say that, at the present day, all human interests tend to center in the culture of human individuality. An energetic effort is being made to shake off every kind of authority. Nothing is accepted as valid, unless it springs from the roots of individuality. Everything which hinders the individual in the full development of his powers is thrust aside. The saying “Each one of us must choose his hero in whose footsteps he toils up to Olympus” no longer holds for us. We allow no ideals to be forced upon us. We are convinced that in each of us, if only we probe deep enough into the very heart of our being, there dwells something noble, something worthy of development. We no longer believe that there is a norm of human life to which we must all strive to conform. We regard the perfection of the whole as depending on the unique perfection of each single individual. We do not want to do what anyone else can do equally well. No, our contribution to the development of the world, however trifling, must be something that, by reason of the uniqueness of our nature, we alone can offer. Never have artists been less concerned about rules and norms in art than today. Each of them asserts their right to express, in the creations of their art, what is unique in them. There are dramatists who write in dialect rather than conform to the standard diction which grammar demands.

[2] No better expression for these phenomena can be found than this, that they result from the individual’s striving towards freedom, developed to its highest pitch. We do not want to be dependent in any respect, and where dependence must be, we tolerate it only on condition that it coincides with a vital interest of our individuality.

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Misrepresentation of the Philosophy Of Freedom

I found this image on a blog. I see the above quote being repeated everywhere on the Internet. It tells us that freedom “is the sense of being capable of actions motivated solely by love.” It claims to quote Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom (POF). This simplistic feel good conclusion has done much harm by misrepresenting Steiner's meaning of freedom. It is being repeated by leaders in Anthroposophy, Waldorf, and by personal bloggers who have never read the book.

The Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon, the guy who claimed to be the return of Christ, quoted “actions motivated solely by love” to show how close Steiner was to their views. I found it in a university dissertation about Camphill, in book reviews of Steiner books, in religious articles equating this love with doing God's will, equating it with anything we love to do like kayaking, and using it to describe Steiner study groups.


All You Need Is Love
If you want a large audience of followers, tell people what they want to hear. All you need is love!

After all, if love solves everything, then why bother with all the other hard stuff, especially disciplined thinking.


What is the source of the quote?
Why is this simplistic misrepresentation being promoted with such certainty? I decided to investigate and tracked it back to the Rudolf Steiner page on Wikipedia that is closely monitored by authoritarian anthroposophists. It is found under the heading Spiritual Research and directly after another often repeated misunderstanding of POF, that “The Philosophy Of Freedom forms the philosophical basis for Steiner's later writings”. Anthroposophy's talking point is incorrect when, as is often the case, it is taken to mean it validates Steiner's later writings. It does not at all. It would be more accurate to say POF brings these writings into question. While there are anthroposophists who are also ethical individualists that gain knowledge and then act on it, many anthroposophists are merely believers in spiritualistic theory, not knowers. Ethical individualists say, "We no longer want to believe; we want to know." POF 0.3 To keep repeating that POF is merely a philosophical basis for anthroposophy hides its true purpose which is to lay the foundations of ethical individualism and of a social and political life”. (1918 lecture)

The alleged POF quote that “freedom is the sense of being capable of actions motivated solely by love.” was found in this Rudolf Steiner Wiki paragraph:

“Steiner aimed to apply his training in mathematics, science, and philosophy to produce rigorous, verifiable presentations of those (spiritual) experiences. He believed that through freely chosen ethical disciplines and meditative training, anyone could develop the ability to experience the spiritual world, including the higher nature of oneself and others. Steiner believed that such discipline and training would help a person to become a more moral, creative and free individual – free in the sense of being capable of actions motivated solely by love.[46] His philosophical ideas were affected by Franz Brentano, with whom he had studied, as well as by Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, and Goethe's phenomenological approach to science.” -Rudolf Steiner Wikipedia

It is surrounded by philosophy statements giving the impression that it is from POF. The Wiki reference for this statement [46] is Peter Schneider, Einführung in die Waldorfpädagogik. I could not find an English translation of this book or any further information to support Schneider's statement. Shouldn't there be a POF or other Steiner source for this grand conclusion?


Levels of morality

There is no such POF quote because an action that is “motivated solely by love” is not considered freedom. Chapter 9 (POF 9.4) lists the levels of morality. There are 4 levels of individual motivation, with the motive “love” listed at level 2. Freedom occurs at level 4.

Level 1 Instinctive reaction
Level 2 Feelings which include love (examples given: modesty, pride, sense of honor, humility, remorse, pity, revenge, gratitude, piety, loyalty, love, and duty)
Level 3 Practical experience (remembered thoughts and ideas of how to act)
Level 4 Conceptual thinking (free thinking or reason)

Freedom occurs in the conceptual sphere where free thinking is possible. “Human” motives will always contain thought. This thought will originate within the individual for there to be a free action. An ethical individualist tries to become more conscious of the whole free will process that certainly includes love.


The heart can be a motive, but it can not create a motive

The heart, though, is not capable of creating ideas of action. The heart accepts or rejects thinking’s ideas for action before allowing it to enter its sphere of passion. This is explained here,

“Love, pity, and patriotism are driving forces of action that cannot be reduced to cold rational concepts. It is said that here the heart, the life of feeling comes into its own. No doubt; but the heart and the life of feeling do not create the motives for action. They presuppose them and receive them into their own sphere.” POF 1.10

Of course we can not be thinking about principles while we are energetically acting. But still the action is not free if the motive is love alone, that is a Level 2 motivation. At Level 2 we do not know the origin of our love. It could be from cult brainwashing! The confusion likely occurs from the following POF quotes that are referring to a specific moment in the free deed process --while we are engaged in the action itself.


Love for the idealistic objective (goal)

Reading POF will not show freedom to mean “motivated solely by love” but it will find “motivated solely by love of the objective (goal)” or “my love of the action”.

“When I, or another, subsequently review my action we may discover what moral principles came into play in it. But so long as I am acting, I am influenced not by these moral principles but by my love for the objective, that I want to realize through my action.”

“It is only when I follow solely my love for the objective, that it is I, myself, who act. At this level of morality, I acknowledge no lord over me, neither an external authority, nor the so-called voice of my conscience. I acknowledge no external principle of my action, because I have found in myself the ground for my action, viz., my love of the action.” POF 9.8

So yes, free action is motivated by love, but to clarify, it is our love for the goal that originated in free thinking as an ethical principle (moral intuition) and was then translated into a specific goal of action (moral imagination). We love it because our greatest joy is to bring our highest ideals into reality. The ethical individualism video, How To Make Better Decisions shows the whole conscious process. Love enters at the 4:15 mark. 


Two paths: The Philosophy Of Freedom and How To Know Higher Worlds

Another major point is that a closer look at the definition of freedom found in Wiki clearly proves it is not from The Philosophy Of Freedom. Again, the complete sentence we are discussing is,

“Steiner believed that such discipline and training would help a person to become a more moral, creative and free individual – free in the sense of being capable of actions motivated solely by love.”

The “discipline and training” here is mentioned earlier in the wiki paragraph as being “ethical disciplines and meditative training”. This has nothing to do with the path of the Philosophy Of Freedom. This refers to the renewal of the old Eastern path described in How To Know Higher Worlds (HTKHW).

The How To Know Higher Worlds path begins with assurance that when you are ready your master will appear. The next step is developing devout feelings of reverence and devotion. Ethical disciplines are a requirement for this path "for every step in spiritual perception, three steps are to be taken in moral development." This is not necessary for the POF path because a free act will always be an ethical act. The Philosophy Of Freedom distinguishes itself from Eastern influences here,

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. POF 0.7 original Chp1 or Preface.

Steiner clarified the difference between the two paths; The Philosophy Of Freedom path for our modern age of science, the path that Steiner himself took, and the Eastern path Steiner attempted to renew that is commonly recommended by Anthroposophists as described in How To Know Higher Worlds

The Philosophy Of Freedom path is for those interested in science.         

The How To Know Higher Worlds path
is for those without much interest in science.
(see The Boundaries of Natural Science VIII)

If you go to an Anthroposophy book publisher like SteinerBooks it will be a walk into the past of old spiritual paths and ideas.

Best thought training is the study of The Philosophy Of Freedom
The recommended practice to become an ethical individualist is to apply the principles of freedom to your life and set aside time for pure conceptual thinking. POF 0.6 - 0.7 The demanding university programs in mathematics, computer science, engineering, and philosophy do an excellent job to discipline thinking. Though the best thought training to fulfill this requirement is the rigorous study of the Philosophy Of Freedom.

Read more…


Amish schools embrace education technology

It’s pretty common knowledge that the farm folk known as the Amish actively shun the modern world. Although they still use horse-drawn buggies for transportation and use gas lanterns to light their homes the Amish will adapt to a changing world when necessary. They now use the Internet to sell their products with great success and in the last few years the Amish schools have embraced computer technology.

While Amish families continue to live a traditional lifestyle without modern devices, Amish parents want their children to have computer skills to prepare for jobs and future careers. Teacher Sarah Meenan said. “Amish kids really want to learn, they catch on quick because they want to be up to speed with everybody else.”

Waldorf schools shun education technology
But not everyone thinks laptops belong in the classroom. While everyone else is findings ways to use technology to serve their purposes Waldorf Schools deliberately shun it. Educators at the Waldorf School in Seattle take a lot of pride in showing off just how handy, athletic and artistic their students are. The students Waldorf experience was 12 years of education almost entirely free of television, video games, computers and smartphones.

While other schools brag about their wired classrooms, Waldorf schools have yesterdays Amish look, — chalk blackboards, bookshelves with encyclopedias, wooden desks filled with workbooks and No. 2 pencils. Waldorf Amish education subscribes to a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks.

Computers aren't television
What began earlier as a justifiable Waldorf attack on the passive non-creative activity of television watching was transferred to computers. Computers are much different. They give immediate access to the worlds knowledge and new programs are being released daily to encourage creative and attentive activity. It is possible to collaborate with other people and schools on a global scale.

Is it the teachers?
The anti-technology attitude varies from school to school. Former student Pippi Groving said, “I went to a Waldorf School where the teachers were old wrinkled hippies very much against anything new. I had to write everything by hand even to the last day in 12th grade. My friends from Waldorf Schools in the other big cities in Denmark were encouraged to use computers.”

Is it the leaders of Anthroposophy?
Waldorf schools are based on the teachings of Anthroposophy. Renowned anthroposophist Sergei Prokofieff wrote a remarkable article entitled “The Being of the Internet,” in which he argued that digital media is a carrier of such darkness that it is unredeemable.

Is it Rudolf Steiner?
Rudolf Steiner followed and was educated in the most current advances in science of his day. He did not fear technology. He encouraged the type of clear thought training required in the technology field received by computer scientists, engineers, researchers, and mathematicians that discipline the mind. Education technology is a tool and introduction to the thought training that is a prerequisite to attain human freedom described in his Philosophy Of Freedom.

Waldorf answer
Waldorf considers the appropriate time for computer use in the classroom and by students is in high school. They believe the students interact with one another and with teachers better without education technology. Students can develop their knowledge, skills, abilities, and inner qualities better without it.

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Picture of homeless boy goes viral
A picture of a 9 year old homeless boy forced to do his homework on a pavement in the Philippines has gone viral with many saying he has inspired them. The boy is often seen begging with his mother in the same area, but shows a determination to get an education.

A medical student said it gave her inspiration to work harder. “I'm fortunate my parents were able to send me to school,” she told a reporter. “You really don't need much, you just have to be determined and focused on the things that you want to achieve."

All you need is a can-do attitude
The conclusion many draw from these stories is that all you need for success is determination, willpower and the right can-do attitude. One newspaper has recommended parents show the picture of the hardworking boy to their children next time they are moaning. Someone has turned the picture into an inspirational postcard with the caption: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”



The picture is used to suggest that there are no excuses for failure or poverty. Even if you are poor and live in a makeshift home, you have the choice to work yourself out of that predicament.

All you need is government services and a life coach
US Republican politician Paul Ryan's idea is that we can all rise above our circumstances – however difficult – through a program of government services and self-improvement. Inspired by the writer Ayn Rand, he recently presented an anti-poverty plan in which he proposed poor people should sit down with a life coach and develop an “opportunity plan”.

Sweden tried a similar plan spending $550 million on job coaches with modest results. The methods used by these coaches, including healing and therapeutic touching, have been called into question.

A life coach needs a philosophy of life
A life coach helps you create your own individual life. To do this you need a program based on some sort of philosophy of life. You would want a philosophy of life developed using scientific methods. The program would require a knowledge of what human freedom is as you can't just tell someone how to live. It would also need a practical understanding of how a human being works; what does it mean to think, how do I become self-empowered, and how do I set my own goals to strive for. It would need self-improvement exercises to practice applying the program to life.


The Philosophy Of Freedom is a philosophy of life

Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom is a philosophy of life that can provide the core of a life coaching program. The video produced here “How To Make Better Decisions” was created from The Philosophy Of Freedom and is an example of presenting this book in a life coaching manner. Success depends on knowing the world around you (concept of knowing) and knowing who you are (concept of the free human being). Its all in The Philosophy Of Freedom.

“Once we know what to make of the world, it will be an easy task to adapt ourselves to it. We can only put our full strength into our actions when we know what it is we are devoting our activity to.” POF 5.12

“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 beings in the fullest sense only in so far as we are free.” POF 9-11


This video presents 4 steps to make better decisions using the skills of scientific inquiry, idealistic inspiration, creative imagination and technical research. They are based on Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom which describes his philosophy of life: Ethical Individualism.

Homeless boy reference: Carl Cederström, The guardian

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1893 photo of Rudolf Steiner

Two 1895 Reviews Of Rudolf Steiner's Die Philosophie der Freiheit
(The Philosophy Of Freedom)


THE MONIST QUARTERLY MAGAZINE VOLUME V
CHICAGO
THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING CO.
1894-95
COPYRIGHT BY THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING Co 1895.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME V.

p. 150 Die Philosophie der Freiheit. By Dr. Rudolf Steiner

URL: http://archive.org/stream/monistquart05hegeuoft/monistquart05hegeuoft_djvu.txt

DIE PHILOSOPHIE DER FREIHEIT. Grundzuge einer modernen Weltanschauung.
By Dr. Rudolf Steiner. Berlin: Emil Felber. 1894. Pp. 242.

The essential characteristic of the present age the author finds in the evident striving of individual culture to make itself the centre of all the interests of life. To bear the stamp of validity, a thing must have its origin deep in the roots of individuality. This, in a certain form, is the gospel of the development from within outwards which Goethe championed. Between heredity, tradition, iron-clad custom, and the independent mind filled with new ideas, a constant battle is fought the battle of knowledge against belief. Man, however, must not bow to the new idea lest he be what he was before, but must make himself master of it. The ground or reason for the translation of an idea into actual reality by the agency of the individual man can be found only in the man himself. For an idea to become an act, a man must will its transformation. But such a volition can spring solely from man himself. Man is the ultimate mover of his acts; he is free. /IK/IK.



Source: The Philosophical Review, Vol. 4, No. 5 (Sep., 1895) pp. 573-574
Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2176164

Die Philosophie der Freiheit. Von DR. RUDOLF STEINER.
Berlin, Emil Felber, 1894.-pp. 242.

Freedom, the author asserts, is a fact that stares us in the face, and those who deny it do so through misunderstanding. It is obvious that an action is not free if the agent does not know why he does it, but how does the matter stand with reference to an action which is performed after the reasons for and against it have been considered? This involves an inquiry into the nature of Thought, for only when we know what Thought is can we tell what part it plays in human action. Thought is a principle which exists for itself, and from it arise Notions which are applied to the given element of experience. The latter element is the necessary consequence of individuality, and the function of Thought is to restore the unity of the Ego with the world which particularity has broken. Freedom can be understood by means of this analysis. In action, as in knowledge, there is a given element to which the mind adds conceptions of its own. Only, in this case, the given does not determine in any way the conceptions which the mind applies, and, as these conceptions constitute our motives to action, this means that our motives are not determined.

Monism is the doctrine that the world is given as a duality of subject and object, but becomes a unity through knowledge. Thought unites what sensation has separated. The distinction between subject and object is therefore not absolute and there is no thing-in-itself. Further, Monism means that experience cannot be transcended at all, and it therefore excludes the notions of End, World-Ruler, etc. All that exists is a multitude of particular persons and things forming somehow a unity. It is not made very clear why "Monism " should involve this, and no attempt is made to show how one can get at the notion of a multitude of individuals, if one is to keep entirely to experience on its phenomenal side. Yet the views thus assumed determine to a large extent the author's results. Since Monism excludes everything beyond experience, man's being is not dependent on any first principle or ground of all existence. He is therefore thrown upon himself; makes his own ends; and determines his own actions. " Monism," in short, necessarily involves freedom.

It is difficult to find out exactly what Dr. Steiner understands by ' freedom.' He defines it differently in different places, and involves himself in contradictions in attempting to answer objections. The best part of the book is the chapter on " The Worth of Life," which contains a thorough and suggestive criticism of Pessimism. It is a remarkable piece of writing, and Hartmann refers to it in his noteworthy article1 in the Zeitschrift fur Philosophie und Philosophische Kritik (Band 106, Heft. I). In other parts of the work there are passages of value, but the book is too uncritical and dogmatic to be satisfactory as a whole. There is throughout a lack of thoroughness and cohesion.

DAVID IRONS.

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Cognitive research by Benjamin Libet and others have shown that our brains generate decisions before we’re even aware of them, which suggests there is no free will because our decisions are made unconsciously.

Scientist locates free will in the brain
Paul Bisceglio writes about a new study with unexpected results. Free will may sneak its way into our decision making through a surprising source: brain static. This neural noise is simply that the brain is always firing even in the absence of input or responses.

Researchers at the University of California-Davis measured the brain activity of a handful of undergraduates as each made choices to look left or right when prompted by images on a screen.

The study's result: Fluctuations in brain static actually predicted the direction in which students chose to look.

These constant fluctuations exist apart from our normal unconsciously determined thought, so they seem to allow for “spontaneous” thought. “Neural noise might be how we can generate novel responses to new situational demands,” says Jesse Bengson, the study’s lead author.

Others have criticized the short time frames between action and movement used in this kind of research that were likely creating distortions in the data.

Rudolf Steiner's locates free will in the mind
Rudolf Steiner's theory of free will is dependent on finding the region of the mind where free will can originate. 1918 Preface to the revised Philosophy Of Freedom

Conceptual sphere of universal concepts
This region is the conceptual sphere of universal concepts. It is the sphere where mathematical, philosophical, logical and analytical scientific thinking takes place when one is immersed in pure universal concepts.

Universal concepts are an all inclusive ideal just as the concept triangle includes all triangles and the concept tree includes all trees. Universals do not include sense perceptible content such as a particular triangle (right triangle) or a particular tree (oak tree). Thinking in universals is non-sensory, non-empirical, and non-physical pure thinking.

Free thinking is possible in the conceptual sphere
To think in pure concepts is free thinking, free of bias, where thought is linked with thought according to the ideal content. This is also known in philosophy as reason. Pure concepts are not sense perceptible, they are perceived intuitively in the mind, making reason an intuitive process. POF 9.4

If free thinking is possible, then free will is possible
An action determined by free thinking means that our conduct is not influenced by an established character disposition, or an external moral principle accepted on authority. The action is not a stereotypical one that follows a set of norms, or is it an automatic response to external stimuli. Free action is guided by an idea consciously originating in free thinking. POF 9.5

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The Philosophy Of Freedom is the result of applying the methods of science to introspection observation. For us Rudolf Steiner is not some mystical clairvoyant master with psychic powers authoritatively handing down deep truths we can only accept on faith. For us who study The Philosophy Of Freedom he is a fellow scientist of the mind who describes inner experiences that are within our capacity to recognize. The Philosophy Of Freedom is written for us, normal people with normal abilities. It is not even really a philosophy book, philosophy is merely used by Steiner to describe human experience. 

We have the level of competence to evaluate what he called a science of freedom as peers when we turn within to observe our thoughts, feelings and willing. A "science" of freedom requires peer review. That is something we can do. You can see how you are qualified to be a peer of Rudolf Steiner by going to the "Thought Exercises" page where you will find over 70 exercises related to the descriptions found in The Philosophy Of Freedom

Here is a new exercise that has been added called "An Exploration Of Motives" by Tim Nadelle. You can see it is not hard to create your own exercises if you want to fully experience what is being discussed in the book. 

An Exploration of Motives

The following exercise and its sequel were inspired by the content of the first chapter of the Philosophy of Freedom. Pertinent quotes from chapter one are as follows:

“If there is a difference between a conscious motive of action and an unconscious urge, then the conscious motive will result in an action which must be judged differently from one that springs from blind impulse. Hence our first question will concern this difference, and on the result of this enquiry will depend what attitude we shall have to take towards the question of freedom proper.” POF 1.5

“The question is not whether I can carry out a decision once made, but how the decision comes about within me.” POF 1.7

An Exploration of Motives
1. Look into your recent past and identify two different actions which you took…
- one which resulted more from impulse
- one in which you were, to a greater extent, conscious of the motive for your action
2. In each case, how did the decision to act unfold within you?
3. How did the character of the motive behind the two actions differ?

Sequel:
Over the course of the day, make an effort to become aware at times when you are about to take action arising from an unexamined motive. Pause before acting and recognize the motive. Consider whether a different motive might more appropriately meet the needs of the situation.

By Tim Nadelle
http://www.philosophyfreedom.ca/

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Problem is millionaires and billionaires
Humanity is now using nature’s resources 50 percent faster than what Earth can renew. Actually, it is not humanity, but rather a specific small population of humanity that is consuming 80% of the world's resources. The higher the income the higher the consumption of the earth's limited resources. Our survival is being threatened by the population explosion of millionaires and billionaires in the world. Since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires in the world has more than doubled. Millionaires will increase 50% by 2018.


Unsustainable population growth of the rich

The unsustainable population growth of the rich threatens the environment, our health, and happiness. While the poor make up most of the world population, they consume little of the earth's resources as 50% of the worlds population live on less than $2/day.

What can be done?
The children from the richest families receive on average $2.7 million in inheritance and become instant high consuming millionaires causing many social and environmental problems. The population growth of wealthy heirs is a choice, not an unstoppable force of nature. Rational, responsible and rigorously monitored mandatory birth control of the rich is the only logical, mature and ethical answer to this unprecedented over consumption.

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Ethical Individualism
Lets look at the Greek debt crisis from an ethical perspective. We will examine two principles from extremely different sources, one from the insurance industry and another from Muslim Shari’a Law. An Ethical Individualist is not restricted to a fixed set of given ethical principles but is open-minded and,

“sees a certain value in all ethical principles, always asking whether this or that is more important in a particular case.” (POF 9.4)

Greek debt crisis
Greece owes European countries and banks €340 billion borrowed over the past five years. To afford the debt repayments, Greece made huge cuts leaving many impoverished. As Greece lagged on repayments, they were told to make more cuts. Greece refused. The big problem now is that Greek banks are running out of money.

Two principles that could be applied in this case are moral hazard (suffer the consequences) and forgiveness (debt relief).

Principle Of Moral Hazard (suffer the consequences)
Moral Hazard originated as an insurance company principle. It occurs when all the risks shift to one party after a financial transaction has taken place due to the removal of the severe consequences that force the other party to act appropriately. In this case, Greece will lose the incentive to pay back the huge debt if it is granted debt relief.

The thrifty Germans, the biggest opponent of debt relief, insist on more harsh austerity measures, even though that makes it even less likely that Greece can pay its debts. By ignoring the Greeks terrible economic plight along with the disparaging language that is routinely used about Greeks, the Germans seem more interested in inflicting punishment rather than any genuine reform.

Principle Of Forgiveness (debt relief)
To explain the principle of forgiveness I will turn to Islamic financial principles guided by Shari’a Law. Islamic finance must contribute to the development and good of the community. Not surprising, then, the fundamental feature of Islamic finance is socio-economic and distributive justice. Islamic finance principles state clearly that individuals who have trouble repaying their debts should have their obligations made easier for them and not more difficult. It is immoral for a lender to harass or pressure a person who has borrowed money and is unable to repay the loan, if that person has fallen on hard times. Instead, such individuals are deserving of charity.

Do you agree with the finance principles of Shari’a Law or the finance principles of the insurance industry?

sources: Frances Coppola and Dr. Kara Tan Bhala

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*The first chapter in the original Philosophy Of Freedom was entitled The Goal Of Knowledge. In 1918, in later editions it was removed as the first chapter and placed at the back of the book as an appendix.

Shake off every kind of authority
Chapter 1, The Goal Of Knowledge (in the original 1894 edition* of Rudolf Steiner's The Philosophy Of Freedom) begins with these two sentences:

“I BELIEVE I am indicating correctly one of the fundamental characteristics of our age when I say that all human interests tend to center in the culture of human individuality. An energetic effort is being made to shake off every kind of authority." POF 0.0

The path to freedom begins with a struggle to be free of oppression, an energetic effort to shake off every kind of authority. While the Philosophy Of Freedom is considered a path to "inner" freedom, the long journey to inner freedom begins in the second sentence of Steiner's freedom philosophy, with the struggle for "outer" freedom. From the earliest age when a toddler first shouts “No!” to authority, the human being strives to be free.

The violent outer suppression of people disrupts the long path to inner freedom, that at a later stage of development can no longer be suppressed. The support of inner freedom of the mind involves also the support of the outer freedom of action to allow the space for personal development and individual expression. It is interesting to see that mainstream churches are joining in the struggle to end the oppression of the Palestinian people.


Will the churches end the oppression of the Palestinian people?
This week the United Church of Christ (UCC) voted by an overwhelming 80% majority to divest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and to boycott all Israeli settlement goods. Joining the UCC in showing support to end Palestinian oppression are the Presbyterian Church, World Council of Churches United Methodist Church, the Church of England synod. Other churches are considering joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“In approving this resolution, the UCC has demonstrated its commitment to justice and equality,” said Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Christian Palestinian. “For Palestinians living under occupation or facing systematic discrimination as citizens of Israel, enduring the destruction of their homes and businesses, the theft of their land for settlements, and living under blockade and siege in Gaza, this action sends a strong signal that they are not alone, and that there are churches who still dare to speak truth to power and stand with the oppressed.”

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The Ethical Principle Of Dignity

Equal dignity in the eyes of the law
The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled that same-sex couples who want to be married have a constitutional right to "equal dignity in the eyes of the law."

But Justice Clarence Thomas, one of four dissenting judges who each wrote separate opinions in the case, took issue with the majority's use of the word "dignity."

"The majority goes to great lengths to assert that its decision will advance the 'dignity' of same-sex couples," Thomas wrote. "The flaw in that reasoning, of course, is that the Constitution contains no 'dignity' Clause, and even if it did, the government would be incapable of bestowing dignity. Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate."

Government cannot bestow dignity
Justice Thomas took issue with the notion that marriage equality restores dignity to gay people, and insisted that enslaved people kept their dignity. “Slaves did not lose their dignity because the government allowed them to be enslaved. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away,” Thomas wrote in his dissent.

Dignity Is An Ideal That Is Applied
As an ethical individualist I agree that the government cannot bestow “inherent” dignity and it cannot take it away. The inherent worth and dignity of every person is an ideal principle that we can affirm. But for an ethical principle to matter it needs to be applied to life. When an ethical principle lives in the core of our being it becomes a call to action to apply it. We become empowered and motivated to support and protect the dignity of our self and of others. A proper reading of the U.S. Constitution would suggest that it is the state’s obligation to protect and affirm the dignity of every citizen.


Attitude Toward Others
Human dignity is expressed daily in the attitude we have for others. This is why we are outraged when those on top demonize poor people with less social advantage by unjustly calling them “parasites”, “spongers”, and “loafers”.

"...the attitude, the state of the soul, with which a human being, experiencing himself or herself amidst esteemed fellow human beings, can best do justice to human dignity." POF 9.10 (1918 addition)

"We are convinced that in each of us, if only we probe deep enough into the very heart of our being, there dwells something noble, something worthy of development." POF 0.0

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"To let our moral substance (our moral ideas) express itself in our 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." POF 9-7

The highest principle of an Ethical Individualist is to express one's moral ideas in life. That is, to take ethical action. We were all grieved over the Israeli bombing of the Gaze Strip in 2014 which killed 1473 civilians, but how many of us did anything about it?

Over 500 children were killed, 3374 injured with 1500 orphaned, twenty-two schools were completely destroyed and 118 schools damaged.

You can be sure that the widespread Israeli campaign of violence to weaken and terrorize the Palestinian people has successfully left the soul of every surviving Palestinian child with deep wounds and traumatizing memories. Even after years have passed, such unresolved trauma can trigger symptoms that profoundly disturb the development of children and adolescents.

We all know that what is being done to the Palestinian children is not right. Thankfully, there are some who are taking direct action. The Friends of Waldorf Education sent a crisis intervention team to Gaza to help the traumatized children.

By providing stabilizing actions on the basis of Waldorf education emergency pedagogy, they are aiding the traumatized Palestinian children by providing ways to process the traumatizing experiences. These emergency pedagogic interventions help prevent potential long-term post-traumatic stress disorders. The Ethical Individualist is an ethical activist.

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String theory is progress, but it is far from the theory of "everything". It is limited to force and matter in the external world. String theory implies that the particles that comprise all the matter that you see in the universe—and all the forces that allow matter to interact—are made of tiny vibrating strands of energy. These vibrating strings are the fundamental building blocks of nature.

The theory of everything does not include everything, it just finds a common unifying element --tiny vibrating strings-- in force and matter.

To meet our human need for knowledge we must find the common element of truly “everything”. By everything I mean all that we experience in life, what we experience within and without. This includes everything that we observe; all sensations, all perceptions, contemplations, feelings, acts of will, dreams and fantasy images, memories, concepts, ideas, all illusions and hallucinations. Inner and outer observation gives us a multiplicity of separate objects. We are not satisfied until we place each thing within a harmonious whole.

What is the common element in all the separate things we experience? What is the common element in literally everything? Everything has an ideal content, or pure concept that is the principle or rule that governs the object. This conceptual content becomes connected with all other conceptual content within a unified system of concepts within our mind.

“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 perceptions, are bound to fail.” POF 5.9

The mere appearance of a snail and a lion does not tell me why the lion is a higher developed creature than the snail. Thinking contributes the ideal content to the snail and lion from the world of concepts and ideas to make them intelligible and place them within the whole. All the separate objects that we observe gradually become unified into one whole by adding this ideal content. POF 5.10

All progress in knowledge depends upon incorporating all observed phenomena into the harmony of the conceptual world.

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© Tom Last 2017