Tom Last's Posts (247)



The Missing First Edition Of Rudolf Steiner’s Philosophy Of Freedom

Welcome to The Philosophy Of Freedom Study Course that I have named Steps To Freedom.

This video will help prepare you for the study course.
In it I will talk about the missing first edition of Rudolf Steiner’s Philosophy Of Freedom, and what I had to do to find it.

But first, here is how to sub-scribe to the free study course on YouTube.

The study course is the result of my 30 years of independent study and research into Rudolf Steiner and his Philosophy Of Freedom.
I did my own independent research because I sensed something was missing in the available editions, literature and teachings that were being given about Steiner’s Philosophy Of Freedom.
This may sound odd but they seemed to lack the spirit of freedom.

There are many editions of The Philosophy Of Freedom avail-able in German and English under various titles.
But none of these editions are the original.
Parts of the original text have been completely removed in the popular editions.
Other parts are revised, and new sections have been added.
This includes even the avail-able German editions.
I have found many alterations to the text.
Some very small edits that changes the meaning in a big way.
It is no longer clear who made the alterations and when they were made.
The book has also been translated and then re-translated by various people guided by a variety of intentions.

When Steiner wrote the book he was immersed in the spirit of freedom.
His creative impulse formed a written work of art that is alive and speaks to us and transforms us as great art will do.
You just can’t touch up great art years later to give it another meaning without dimming its light.

If I was to be a serious student of The Philosophy Of Freedom I needed to have the original unrevised German edition of --Die Philosophie der Freiheit--
written in 1894.

Surprisingly I could not find the original text from the usual Steiner book sources.
They had plenty of altered editions but not the first edition.
I finally found a copy from the Harvard College Library that google had scanned and placed online.

You can identify the original Philosophy Of Freedom by looking at the content page.
The content page will show an additional chapter called The Goal Of Knowledge.
Here is what it looks like in English.

The original German edition is great for reference but I also needed it translated to English.
All the existing English translations were made from altered and revised German editions.
Again I was surprised the established Steiner publishers and translators seemed to have no interest in offering an English edition of the original Philosophy Of Freedom.

While looking over a list of known editions of The Philosophy Of Freedom at the Rudolf Steiner Archive I was shocked to discover the existence of an English translation of the original German first edition!
It was published in 1916 and the translator was Alfred Hornel.
I was aware of many English translations of the book but I never heard of this translation.
You would think it would be well known.

Alfred Hornel was a highly qualified and experienced translator who did the very first English translation.
He was himself a philosopher and was familiar with the questions that Steiner discusses in The Philosophy Of Freedom.
His English translation was made while Rudolf Steiner was still alive.
The Hornel translation is the only one that was sanctioned by Rudolf Steiner himself.
The later translators were mainly known for being anthroposophists which may explain why the Hornel edition has been ignored.

The 1916 Hoernlé edition only existed as a very rare old book.
It was never re-published or digitized.
It took awhile but I did track down a rare 1916 Hornel first edition.
Its pages were yellowing.
I carefully scanned it and placed it on the website.
Then I re-published it as a paperback and put it on Amazon at a price that only covers the publication cost.
Beware of the Kindle and hardcover adver-tise-ments on Amazon as they are not the Hornel.

Now I had the original text as it flowed from Steiner’s pen inspired by the unfettered free spirit of Steiner’s youth.

The Hornel English edition begins with the missing Chapter called The Goal Of Knowledge.
You may find an incomplete version of this chapter in the back of other translations.
Steiner said that this chapter expresses the “mood of thought” that inspired his writing Of The Philosophy Of Freedom.
I would call this “mood of thought” the spirit of freedom out of which Steiner wrote.
By reading the opening sentences of this missing chapter you can experience the spirit of the book yourself.
It is a clarion call to reach your full potential as an independent self-determined individual.
Beside setting the mood of the book The Goal Of Knowledge also gives the key to understanding the book, which is to recognize the difference between outer truth and inner truth.
The Philosophy Of Freedom is about striving for inner truth.
And then expressing inner truth in life.
Inner truth guides us and empowers us with the conviction to reach our goals.
It is a philosophy of life that is meant to be applied.
The Steps To Freedom study course is not abstract philosophy.
It is about applying The Philosophy Of Freedom to life as a free spirit.

I will be posting another video soon for the study course.
To be sure and not miss any of the videos, subscribe to the youtube channel and click the notification bell.

Thanks for watching.

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If you are supporting social justice and cheering on the censorship of free speech to remove "hate speech" you are also cheering on the removal of anthroposophy from the internet. In this video done 6 months ago I warn of the coming censorship purge of alternative news and medicine and mention Natural News as an example. That day has arrived. The largest alternative health site, Natural News, has now been censored and deleted from YouTube along with its 1700 videos. Anthroposophy is considered pseudoscience by the establishment. It will soon face massive censorship. This video explains why.

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© Tom Last 2017