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By Robert Jan Kelder

(Robert Jan Kelder)
Members of this site might be interested in my partial online translation link of  "The Philosophy of Freedom as a Basis for Artistic Creation" by Herbert Witzenman, a personal student of Rudolf Steiner,  with whom I worked and studied in Dornach. See also his work on the basis of soul observation or introspection  entiteld "The Virtues - Seasons of the Soul". He has also coined the term "Social Organics" as an abbreviation for Rudolf Steiners idea of the threefold social organism, which is the necessary organizational form for a society of free spirits.

Of his various writings on that topic, I have introduced and translated two booklets: "The Just Price - World Economy as Social Organics" and "Charter of Humanity - The Principles of the General Antroposophical...". My abstract for that theme entitled "Rudolf Steiner's Idea of Social Organics - A New Constitutional Principle of Civilization", tracing the four phases in the development of that idea from 1917 to 1923/24 by Rudolf Steiner has been accepted for a conference in Moscow organized by the Telos Institute in New York  in the beginning of September. Robert Jan Kelder website:

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168 Steps To Freedom

 The Philosophy Of Freedom describes the path of Rudolf Steiner. How is that? It describes his introspective observations of the cognitive and ethical processes. The path is one that seeks inner truth.

Why? Watch this prezi for an answer.

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Preview Of Next Video

In the next video I am going to use the scientific research method of comparative study to go through chapter 8, The Factors Of Life, to draw conclusions from comparing two self observations and then follow the logic in the chapter. Here is a sample diagram.


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Revised to improve readability
The Philosophy Of Freedom
Chapter 8 The Factors Of Life

8.0 Knowing Personality
[1] LET us briefly review the results gained in the previous chapters. The world appears to me as a multiplicity, a sum of separate details. As a human being, I am myself one of these details, a thing among other things. We call this form of the world simply the given. Insofar as we just encounter it and do not explain it through our conscious activity, we call it percept. Within the world of percepts we perceive our Self. This perception of Self would simply remain as one percept among the many others, if something did not emerge out of this self-perception capable of connecting all percepts, and also the sum total of all percepts with the percept of our own Self. This something that emerges is not mere perception. Neither is it, like percepts, simply given. It is produced by our activity. It seems at first to be bound up with what each of us perceives as his Self. But its inner meaning reaches beyond the self. It adds conceptual definitions to the single percepts. These conceptual factors relate to each other and form a whole. This something conceptually defines what we gain in self-perception in the same way as it defines all other perceptions, and places it as subject, or “I,” over against the objects. This “something” is thinking, and the conceptual factors are concepts and Ideas.

Thought, therefore, first manifests itself in connection with the percept of self. But thought is not merely subjective, for it is only with the help of thought that the Self can define itself as subject. How the Self relates to itself in thought determines our personality. Through it, we lead a purely conceptual existence. Through it, we are aware of ourselves as thinking beings. This determination of our lives would remain a purely conceptual (logical) one, if it were not supplemented by other determining factors of our Selves. Our lives would be spent in establishing purely conceptual relationships between percepts themselves, and between them and ourselves. If we call the establishment of a conceptual relationship an "act of cognition," and the resulting change achieved in the self “knowledge,” then, according to the above assumption, we would have to consider ourselves as only cognizing or knowing beings.

8.1 Feeling Personality
[2] However, this assumption does not hold up to the facts. We do not relate percepts to ourselves only through concepts, but also through feeling, as we have already seen. Therefore we are not beings with solely a conceptual content. The Naive Realist sees in the emotions more real life of the personality than in the purely conceptual activity of knowledge. From his viewpoint he is entirely right to describe it in this way.

8.2 Reality Of Personality
The way a feeling first appears on the subjective side, is exactly the same as the percept on the objective side. Therefore, according to the basic principle of naive realism — that everything that can be perceived is real — it follows that feelings guarantee the reality of one's own personality.

8.3 Knowledge Of Feeling
Monism, however, recognizes that if it is to be present in its full reality, a feeling requires the same addition as do all percepts. A feeling as it first wells up is an incomplete reality that lacks its second factor, the concept or Idea. This is why in life feelings, like percepts, always appears before knowledge.

8.4 Knowledge Of Self
At first, we merely feel ourselves as existing. It is only in the course of our gradual development that we struggle through to the point where the concept of Self emerges from within the blind mass of feelings that fill our existence. What emerges later, however, is from the beginning inseparably bound up with our feelings.

8.5 Knowledge Of The World
This is why the naive person is led to believe that in the feeling of existence he immediately relates himself to what is there, what exists. While in thought, he relates to what exists indirectly only after it is mediated through knowledge.

8.6 World-Connections
The connection between things in the world must be felt before he will believe he has grasped it. He attempts to make feeling the instrument of knowledge rather than thought.

8.7 World-Principles
Now a feeling is something entirely individual, something equivalent to a perception. So the Philosopher of Feeling makes a principle that has significance only within his personality into a world principle. He tries to inject himself into everything. What the Monist strives to grasp by means of concepts, the Philosopher of Feeling tries to attain through feeling. He looks on his own felt union with objects as more direct, with nothing else coming in between.

8.8 Universal-Principles
[3] The tendency just described, the Philosophy of Feeling, is Mysticism. The error in the mystical form of intuition is that it wants to experience in feeling what should be attained as knowledge. The Mystic tries to elevate feeling, which is individual, into a universal principle.
[4] A feeling is a purely individual activity. It is the effect of the external world on the subject, insofar as this effect is expressed in a purely subjective experience.

8.9 Willing Personality
[5] There is another expression of human personality: willing. The Self, through thought, lives within the universal world-life. By means of thinking, in a purely conceptual way, it relates the percepts to itself, and itself to the percepts. In feeling, the Self experiences the immediate effect of objects on itself as subject. In willing, the opposite is the case. In willing, too, we have a perception before us, namely, the personal relation of the Self to the objective world. And whatever is not a conceptual factor in our act of will, is just as much a mere object of perception as is any other object in the external world.

8.10 Voluntarism
[6] From this point of view, what the Self accomplishes through this willing is a process that is experienced immediately. The adherent of this philosophy believes that, in the will, he has really got hold of one end of the world process. While all other events can only be followed from the outside by means of perception, he is confident that in his willing he directly experiences a real process. He makes the form of existence in which the will appears within the Self into the fundamental reality of the universe. His own will appears to him as a special case of the universal world process. The universal world process, then, is considered to be universal will. The will becomes the principle of reality just as, in Mysticism, feeling becomes the principle of knowledge. This way of viewing things is Voluntarism (Thelism). It makes something that can only be experienced individually into the dominant factor of the world.

8.11 Naive Experience Of Mysticism And Voluntarism
[7] Voluntarism cannot be called a science anymore than can Mysticism. For both maintain that a conceptual interpretation of the world is inadequate. In addition to a conceptual principle, both demand a real principle as well. But since perception is the only way to comprehend these so-called real principles, it follows that what Mysticism and Voluntarism are both saying is that we have two sources of knowledge: thought and perception, with perception appearing here as an individual experience of feeling and will. Since the immediate experiences that flow from one source cannot be taken up directly into the thoughts that flow from the other, perception (immediate experience) and thought remain side by side without higher mediation. Beside the conceptual principle that we attain by means of knowledge, there is supposed to exist a real principle that cannot be grasped by thought, but can be immediately experienced. In other words, Mysticism and Voluntarism are both forms of Naive Realism, because they embrace the doctrine: What is immediately perceived (experienced) is real. Compared with Naive Realism in its primitive form, they are guilty of the further inconsistency of making a particular instance of perception (feeling or willing) into the exclusive means of knowing reality. Since they can do this only if they cling to the general principle that everything perceived is real, they would also have to attribute an equal value of knowledge to external perceptions.

8.12 Universal Will
[8] Voluntarism turns into Metaphysical Realism when it asserts the existence of will in realms where it is not possible to experience it immediately in the same way as it is in one’s own subject. A hypothetical principle is assumed outside the subject, for which the sole criteria for its existence is subjective experience. As a form of Metaphysical Realism, Voluntarism is open to the criticism made in the previous chapter, namely, it has to overcome the contradictory element in every form of Metaphysical Realism, and recognize that the will is a universal world-process only to the extent it is conceptually related to the rest of the world.

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Revised 3/18/2017. Finished voice-over and editing.

Spectator Watches
Observer: As a spectator, I remain completely without influence over the course of an observed event. The event takes place independent of me. As long as I remain a mere spectator, I cannot tell in advance what will happen. I must wait to see what will happen, and can only follow it with my eyes.
Thinker Predicts
Thinker: The situation is different when I begin to reflect on my observation. The purpose of my reflection is to establish concepts of the event. The conceptual process depends on me. It requires my active involvement for it to take place. After I discover the concepts that correspond to the event, I can predict what will happen.
Inner Truth: Our desire for inner truth, compels us to seek for concepts that relate to the events we observe.
Everyday State
Observer: In the everyday state, we observe a tree and think about it. While we are looking at something, our thoughts, opinions, and views are stirred up in the background. I remain passive in the everyday state. My thought activity happens without any participation on my part.
Exceptional State
Thinker: If I want to directly observe my thought, I must become active and enter the exceptional state by directing my attention within. By means of introspective observation, I am able to observe my thoughts and examine them. While we study many things in the world, we do not normally study our thoughts.
Inner Truth: When we enter the exceptional state and observe inner truth, we find that it is different than all other things.
Feeling Passively Happens
Observer: While observing an object, such as a rose, a feeling of pleasure is kindled. We remain passive as the feeling just happens to us. When I know the feeling an event arouses in me, I learn about my personality.
Concept Actively Formed
Thinker: To form thoughts about the table, I must be active. I am definitely aware that forming concepts requires my activity. Concepts and ideas are brought forth by our thinking effort. By knowing the concepts that correspond to an event, I learn about the event.
Inner Truth: We must be actively involved in the thinking process, if we are to produce inner truth.
Confront Object

Observer: The object appears before me, as something that is ‘objectively there’ in my field of observation. I see myself before something that is not of my doing. I confront it. I must accept it before I begin my thinking process.
Contemplate Object
Thinker: While I am reflecting on an object, I am absorbed in it. My full attention is immersed in the object. This is thinking contemplation. What is peculiar about thinking is that I forget my thoughts while I am thinking about the object. When I think, I do not look at the thinking I am producing, because I am focused on the object I am thinking about.
Inner Truth: We immerse ourselves in thinking contemplation to produce inner truth.
Confront Thought
Observer: To confront thought we must enter the exceptional state by directing our attention within. As we have discussed, we cannot observe our present thinking while it is taking place. Because for thinking to take place, my full attention must remain on the object I am thinking about. So to reflect on my thoughts, I must recall to mind what is now a past thought. It is the same whether I observe my own earlier thoughts, or follow the thought-process of another person, or set up an imaginary thought-process in the conceptual sphere.
Contemplate Thought
Thinker: We use thinking contemplation to study thought, just as we use it to study objects in the world. To think about our thinking requires two steps. First, I have to create a thought-process. Next, I become immersed in it with my full attention. The reason it requires two steps is because it is not possible to create, and contemplate what we have created, at the same time.
Inner Truth: We must create inner truth, before we can contemplate it.
Observed Event Unknown
Observer: When we outwardly observe an event in the world, we do not know the surrounding context and the connections between the parts of the event. Without going beyond the observed phenomena, we cannot know why thunder follows lightning.
Thought Known
Thinker: When I observe a thought-process, I observe something I create out of my own activity. This is why I know it more directly, and more intimately than any other process in the world. I know the characteristic features of its course, and the details of how it takes place. And I know immediately, from the content of the two concepts, why my thought connects the concept of thunder with the concept of lightning. This does not necessarily mean I have the correct concepts of thunder and lightning, but I do know why I connect them.
Inner Truth: Because I create inner truth, I known it more directly and more intimately than anything else in the world.
Thinking Brain
Observer: The transparent clarity of thinking becomes known to us by observing our thought. It does not require any knowledge of the physiological basis of thought. How one physical process in my brain causes or influences another while I am carrying on a thought-process is irrelevant. In our Materialistic age, it is necessary to point out that we can discuss thinking without entering the field of brain physiology.
Pure Thinking
Thinker: Most people find it difficult to grasp the concept of pure thinking, such as occurs in mathematics. What I observe in studying a thought-process is not what process in my brain connects the concept lightning with the concept thunder. What I observe is my "reason" for bringing these two concepts into a certain relationship. Observation shows that in linking thought with thought, I am guided by the content of my thoughts.
Inner Truth: When thinking produces inner truth, the linking of thoughts is guided by the content of my thoughts.
Certain Of Thought
Observer: Every normal person, if they are willing, has the ability to observe thought. This observation is the most important that can be made. What I observe is my own creation. All other things and events are there independent of me and are, at first, unfamiliar. With thought I know how it comes about and clearly see its conditions and relationships. My thought is the only thing I know with absolute certainty, for I myself bring it into existence. This firm point gives us reasonable hope that we can successfully understand the world.
Certain Of Existence
Thinker: It is only in thinking that I grasp myself, standing within the world-whole. As a thinker, I define my reason for existence with the self-supporting content of my thought activity. From this firm point of knowing why I exist, I can ask: "Do other things exist in the same, or in some other way?
Inner Truth: I know inner truth with absolute certainty. This establishes a firm point to know myself, to know the world, and to know my reason for existence.
Remain Within Observation
Observer: To experience pure observation, we try to remain passive while the object makes an impression on us. But what goes unnoticed is that our thoughts mingle with what we see, and even intermix with the observation process itself. When I weave a web of thoughts around an object, I go beyond the observation. This raises the question, "What right do I have to do this?” “Do my thoughts relate to my observation?”
Remain Within Thought
Thinker: When we observe our thought, we do not have this problem of relating our thought to the outer world. Even though thoughts hover in the background while we observe thought, we add nothing unfamiliar. The relationships between thoughts are clear. When we think about our thoughts, we remain within the transparency of pure thinking.
Inner Truth: When we think about inner truth, we remain within the same familiar element, the realm of thought.
Know Nature, Then Create Nature
Observer: Nature already exists. If we want to create it again, we first have to know the principles of Nature. We have to observe the Nature that already exists to gain the knowledge needed to create it a second time. We copy the conditions of Nature’s existence in order to produce it again.
Create Thought, Then Know Thought
Thinker: What is impossible with nature—creating before knowing—we achieve with an act of thinking. We first create thought, then gain knowledge of it. If we wait to think until we already have knowledge, we would never think at all. We must resolutely dive straight into thinking and only afterward, by observing our new insight, gain knowledge of what we have done.
Inner Truth: We first create inner truth, then we gain knowledge of it.
Dependent Thinker
Observer: When we perceive an object or event, the observation-process unconsciously weaves our thoughts into it. When the dependent thinker thinks about the event, he merely extracts the thoughts he has already projected into it. His thinking produces nothing new. The dependent thinker must depend on others for ideas. He looks to others to explain his view of the world.
Independent Thinker
Thinker: An independent thinker is not dependent on others. He originates his own view of the world. Others are not able to explain his views in a truer way than he can. While thoughts are, at first, unconsciously projected into what we observe causing perception bias, the independent thinker consciously analyzes the object to produce different thoughts. In thought, we also have a principle of self-subsistence. When we observe a horse, the idea we form alters it, because we all have differently functioning senses and intelligence. But when we observe our own thought, it is not altered. The independent thinker is able to form a self-supporting and self-subsisting worldview. Thought can be grasped by thought. The only question is whether we can grasp anything else by means of thought.
Inner Truth: Inner truth is self-supporting and self-subsisting, it is not dependent on anything else.
Start With Observation
Observer: The researcher turns immediately to the objects he wishes to understand. Certainly we need to consciously observe the object of our study before thoughts about it arise. But what good does it do to start with the object and subject it to our thinking, without first knowing whether thoughtful contemplation can offer insight into things?
Start With Thinking
Thinker: What is the starting-point for understanding the world? We must first examine thinking in a completely impartial way, without reference to a thinking subject or a thought object. There is no denying that we must understand what it means to think, and what it means to know, before anything else can be understood.
Inner Truth: The starting point for a human being to understand the world, is to understand the meaning of inner truth.
Correctness Of Thought
Observer: Some say the problem with knowing the world by means of thinking is that we cannot be sure whether our thought is right or wrong. They argue over what is the correct thought.
Application Of Thought
Thinker: It is understandable that some will have doubts whether we can know the world by means of thought. But it does not make sense to doubt the rightness of thought, when the thought is considered by itself. Thought is a fact and it is meaningless to speak of a fact as being right or wrong. At most I can have doubts about whether thought is rightly applied. It is the task of The Philosophy Of Freedom to show how far the application of thought to the world is a right application or a wrong one.
Inner Truth: When considered by itself, inner truth is a certain fact. But we can have doubts about whether it is correctly applied to the world.

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© Tom Last 2017