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Conceptual World Of Ideals

An important concept in The Philosophy Of Freedom is the existence of a universal world of ideals. Mathematics shows that there is a universal conceptual world of ideals we can perceive within and a particularized world that expresses those ideals without. Because we gain knowledge in two ways, thinking and observation, we face a duality. But thinking reconciles the separation when it adds the conceptual ideal, such as circle, to a particularized circle in the world. It is easy to see this in mathematics, but this also applies to everything else.

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The Values We All Stand For

Society consists of a wide variety of individuals. How can we get along if each is asserting their own individual aims? Moralists believe unity is possible only if we are held together by a common moral code. This leads to the belief in a higher authority, a God, to bestow upon us a moral code that will unite us. (such as Moses and the 10 commandments)

The moralist does not understand that we all share a common world of ideals. The ideals that inspire me are the same that inspire others. We differ because we select different ideals from our common world of ideals. We each desire to live out our chosen ideals. POF 9.10

The America we love welcomes a diversity of individuals striving to express their highest ideals. During the cold war a fearful America retreated more to the Moralist authoritarian view “In God We Trust” as the source of morality, leaving out many humanists --ethical individualists who have a deeper understanding that the human being is the source of morality. This video explains:

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Human drive to be free

The fundamental characteristic of our times is the growing interest around the world to express one's unique individuality. This need for individual expression is the result of an intense striving towards freedom, for we are only human to the extent that we are free.

Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom describes what freedom is so we can determine whether we are free or not, and if not, how to acquire it.


What is freedom?
The question of “What is freedom?” has been debated since the times of the Greeks by the greatest minds. Many offer the key to freedom which may end up leading to deeper enslavement or may be a step forward.

Technology, social and political ideologies, and spiritual theories promise various forms of inner and outer freedom. How do we know what to trust?


Science of freedom
What is needed to end the speculation is an empirical science of freedom. Through introspective research into how the mind works and its relation to the world, Rudolf Steiner located freedom empirically.

With thought training anyone of good will can enter the realm of universal concepts where unbiased free thinking is possible. In this place “pure” reasoning proceeds only on the basis of its own ideal universal content.


Intuitive insight
Pure reasoning is intuitive and leads to intuitive insight free from the determinants of one's characterological make-up or the demands of authority.

Intuitive thinking uncovers the lawful order of things making science possible and when applied to ethics makes free morality possible.


Concept of the free spirit
Through the determined study of The Philosophy Of Freedom the concept of the free spirit is won. Now you know what freedom is; freely forming ideas to be realized in free ethical action.

Not all of our actions are free. The task of self-development is to transform the actions that are unfree into actions that are free. This is possible when you know what freedom is. It requires the emancipation of the cognitive processes, and to obey only yourself.


Proper study
The book was written to be a thought training exercise to awaken the readers intellectual intuition, a requirement for freedom. Steiner wrote it intentionally out of independent thinking so the terms and phrasing are not familiar and not easily understood. To work your way through it takes great effort. Everything in the book must be won. The study should not be a mere reading, it should be an experiencing with inner shocks, tensions and resolutions.

Global humanism
We learn in The Philosophy Of Freedom a personal God will never unite the world because we will have different experiences of it. POF 5.9 The universal ideal content which thinking supplies is the only common element in the separate things of the world.

A free spirit thinks universally and acts individually. She is described in The Philosophy Of Freedom as an ethical individualist and a humanist who “affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom.” 2002 World Humanist Congress

Science and ethics
An ethics informed by a science of human well-being is possible with a shared objective knowledge of human freedom as the basis of collaborative support for its unfoldment. A science of freedom lays the foundation of ethical individualism and of a social and political life.

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Is Waldorf Education Really Occult Education?

Waldorf education
I was looking for something different. I found traditional academic education horribly lacking in fantasy, imagination, and storytelling. So I was excited to hear that a new alternative school had just opened in my area that taught in innovative ways and instilled a great reverence for the forces of nature.

I visited the school admissions office and was delighted to see that all classroom supplies are made of natural materials such as wood, silk, wool and cotton with rich, natural colors that stimulated my senses. Following my gut feeling I eagerly enrolled my children into Seven Rays Waldorf School.

When I arrived back home I looked up the school on the internet and found some disturbing information. I read that the curriculum is riddled with alchemy, magic, astrology and all the bizarre and weird ideas of the occult. It made me wonder if Waldorf Education is really Occult Education!




Nature table
My fears of occult practice in the school quickly vanished when I visited my children's Waldorf classroom.

An important part of the classroom is the festive Nature Table where I listened to the children joyfully recite their daily incantations about spirits and rhythms in nature.





Handwork
There were many adorable knitting, crocheting, and hand sewing projects on display. Handwork develops hand-eye coordination, counting skills and creativity.




Puppetry
My children participated in a puppet show. The puppets draw the children into the story and enliven it with colorful fun characters.




Story book list

The school librarian did a wonderful job in supplying us with an appropriate Waldorf fairy tale book list. Every evening the children look forward to their uncle's story time.




Lesson book
Students create their own lesson books – valuable learning tools that record progress through the grades. The books include their own verse compositions with ancient symbols that the student illustrates.


Class play

At the end of the year the class presented a dramatic stage performance. I was so proud that my children had leading roles. These presentations complement the subject matter of the grades.


Definitely not occult education

I don't know who is spreading the misinformation online that Waldorf Education has anything occult in its program. This is absurd!

I am so pleased with how Waldorf education is cultivating a great reverence for nature in my children. They are learning how to live within the rhythms and cycles of nature so they can conjure up the powers of the fairies, gnomes, and elves to bound life's trolls.

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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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revised 9/8/15

INTRODUCTION

What the religions call God, we call the idea – Rudolf Steiner
“When we speak of the essential being of a thing or of the world altogether, we cannot therefore mean anything else at all than the grasping of reality as thought, as idea. In the idea we recognize that from which we must derive everything else: the principle of things. What philosophers call the absolute, the eternal being, the ground of the world, what the religions call God, this we call, on the basis of our epistemological studies: the idea.” (Rudolf Steiner, 1883 Goethean Science IX Goethe's Epistemology)

Science is to awaken religious feeling - Albert Einstein
“It is very difficult to elucidate this [cosmic religious] feeling to anyone who is entirely without it... The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it... In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.” (Albert Einstein, The Expanded Quotable Einstein)

Credo
In 1944 a document written by Rudolf Steiner in his early years was found. He had titled it “Credo” which in this context means, “What I believe”. It was written in 1888 when he was 27 years old. This was after he wrote Goethean Science (1883) and Science of Knowing (1886) and a few years before he wrote Truth and Science (1892) and The Philosophy Of Freedom (1894).

The Creed expresses Steiner's humanist worldview in a devotion to science and in the divinity of the universal “idea” realized in thinking. Universal ideas exist as “divine ideals” in that they cannot be perfectly represented in the world. For example, there is only one inclusive idea of triangle that contains all possible triangles. This “ideal triangle” that my mind grasps is the same as that which my neighbor’s mind grasps. But only particular triangles can be represented in the world of varying 3 sided shapes.

Albert Einstein's cosmic religion
Based on what humanist Albert Einstein has written, I'm sure he could relate to the religious experience of science described in Steiner's Creed. Einstein referred to his belief system as a "cosmic religion" that recognized a "miraculous order which manifests itself in all of nature as well as in the world of ideas."

The thoughts in the Creed are very profound for a one time reading. They are a fountainhead for inspiring insights with further deep reflection.

CREED

1. The world of ideas is the primary source
The world of ideas is the primary source and sustaining principle of all existence. Within it is never-ending harmony and joyous tranquility. Existence not enlightened by it, would be dead and lifeless, and would have no part in the wholeness of the world. Only that which stems from the idea has meaning as part of the universal tree of creation.

2. The idea is the spirit
The idea is the spirit, which is clear and lucid in itself and independently sufficient in itself. The individual must have the spirit within, otherwise he will drop from the tree like a withered leaf, and would have existed for no good reason, and without purpose.

3. Longing for the idea
The human being feels and recognizes himself as an individual when he becomes fully conscious. In the individualization process there is implanted within him a longing for the idea. This longing drives him to overcome his separateness and to let the spirit come to life within him, and to be in accord with it.

4. The divine voice of the idea
Everything that is selfish, that makes him a separated being, this he must shed and cast away, for it is this that darkens the light of the spirit. The egotistic self desires only to follow his sensual lust, instinctive drives, greed, and passions. He must root out this selfish will, and instead, as an individual, seek what the idea wants, the spirit within. Let the individuality move there, and follow the voice of the idea within, because only the idea is divine.

5. Eternal deeds
What one wills as a separate-being, is an insignificant point in the circumference of the universe as a whole. It is without value, and therefore worthless, fast disappearing within the flow of time. Whatever one wills in the spirit is in the center, because the central light of the universe lights up within us. Such a deed is independent of time.

6. Living in world harmony
When we act selfishly in isolation, we lock ourselves out from the closed chain of creation, and separate ourselves off. When a human being acts in the spirit, he lives ever more into the universal working of the world. The banning from oneself of all self-centeredness is the foundation for the higher life.

7. Immortality in this life
Whoever deadens the egotistical within himself, lives in eternal existence. To the extent to which we can let the selfishness within us die, to that extent we are immortal. That which is mortal in us is selfishness. This is the true meaning of the saying: “he who does not die before he dies finds extinction when he dies.” This means, whoever does not end egotism during his lifetime, plays no part in the universal life, which is immortal. A person who has never existed within this greater life, has never experienced true existence.

8. The search for knowledge is devotion to the universal in thought
There are four fields of human activity in which the human being devotes himself to the spirit, while giving up selfish activity: science, art, religion and the loving devotion, spiritually, to a personality. Whoever does not live within one of these four activities, does not live at all. The search for knowledge is devotion to the universal in thought, art is devotion to the universe in beholding, religion in the depths and breadths of the soul, and dedicated love is devotion with all ones’ spiritual forces directed to something, someone that appears to us as a treasured member of the universal whole.

9. Spiritual love; love of knowledge, ennobles our being
Knowledge is the most spiritual form of selfless devotion, love is the most beautiful form. For love is truly a heavenly radiance shining into ordinary daily life. Sacred, truly spiritual love ennobles our being to its inmost core; it uplifts all that lives within us. This pure and holy love transforms our whole being into something that is in touch with the world spirit.

10. Spiritual love carries the breath of divine life to the most repulsive regions
To love, in this most exalted sense means to carry the breath of divine life into regions where only the most repulsive egotism and the most disrespectful passions are found. One has to know something of the holiness of love before one can speak of spirituality.

11. Freedom is to enter the divine life of the ideal
If a human being has made his way out of the separated condition, through one of these four fields, and entered into the divine life of the ideal, then he has reached that for which the seed of longing was placed in his heart; the union with the spirit. This is the true destination of the human being. Whoever lives in the spirit lives freely, for they have removed themselves from subordination. Nothing can compel him or her to act, other than what he wishes to be freely compelled by because he recognizes it as the highest calling.

12. Let truth be lived
Let truth be lived: lose yourself to find yourself once again in the spirit of the world!

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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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