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How is Rudolf Steiner trending on the web? The Google trend chart below shows him sinking from year to year faster than the Anthroposophical Society. I came to the conclusion in 1989 that unless Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom was presented to the world in a contemporary way it would disappear, but I didn't go as far as predicting the disappearance of Rudolf Steiner. Steiner's work needs a rebirth from outside the Anthroposophical Society as this graph has disqualified them as the rightful heirs of Steiner.* If The Philosophy Of Freedom can be renewed all of his work has a chance, as freedom is the core understanding of his work.

 Movements like Waldorf education may continue but they will become merely another institutionalization of the original living impulse as long as freedom is not understood. A few Waldorf self-appointed authorities already have seized the name "Waldorf" and made themselves its owner to enforce Waldorf dogma.

I have an important message for you if you are waiting for someone else to stand up for freedom. Not enough people are involved at this time to make much difference. Most anthroposophists are better at driving people away with narrow-minded Steiner doctrine than broadening his work. And his work hasn't been presented in a way to make it relevant to daily life.

The good news is that a few dedicated people could make a difference. Dedicated means that the first time you get your feelings hurt you don't quit. It means that the first time you realize how ignorant you are to think you can explain Steiner's principles you have enough courage to keep trying. It means that when you realize nobody else seems to give a damn and you yourself are no guru who can enlighten anybody you keep going. I suppose you have to be the kind of fool who says give me and others freedom or give me nothing.

*The Anthroposophical Society in America has appointed a new position of Director of Development to move the society forward.

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  • "sound bite culture" could always take up reading Leading Thoughts! Very sound sound bites!
  • Philosophy can be relevant if it meets the current human need. There has been a huge rise in the interest in Ayn Rand's philosophy because it suited the right wing's Tea Party interest and rise to power. I think Steiner's philosophy would suit today's ethical progressive who doesn't really have such an encompassing philosophy. A real human need exists for it today.

  • Obviously I believe Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom is the thing that will connect with people today as people no longer have an interest in mysticism. We can see how Ayn Rand's dubious 'philosophy of freedom' or 'philosophy of selfishness' has had a tremendous influence politically and socially in shaping and justifying many peoples world-outlook. Steiner's philosophy could have a greater social impact except it remains unknown. 

    I wish Steiner had worked with it more to make it more presentable to the public but he didn't, so someone else has to. If I was more talented I would have accomplished this many years ago but I am not. Each day of study I take a step forward but usually get lost in abstraction, which is easy to do in the book. 

    Any volunteers are always welcome. Name your interest and that position is open for you. My websites have always been intended as a place to support and feature anybodies work on the Philosophy Of Freedom, so anybody with ideas or projects is welcome to organize and work here.

    I would like to see a free online study course that could reach millions around the world. You can't live Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom if you don't know what it is, and few do today.

    Even so I remain excited about whatever my current project is. Now I am working on a new study course that comes more from myself. It will consist of many short videos centered around an "ability" to be developed in each chapter. In chapter 1, Conscious Human Action, the ability is to "know why you act". Here is the latest revision of the script for the first short video. This will be followed by 12 videos on each motive of action.

    Are we free?
    Most people think they are free, at least some of the time.
    Is our freedom real or is it merely an illusion?

    An illusion of freedom comes about when the real cause of action is hidden and unknown.
    Being controlled by unknown causes leads to a delusion of freedom.
    Then life is merely a performance directed by hidden strings that manipulate our movements.
    We believe we are free only because we are not aware of the strings that control us.

    If we don't know why we act it is obvious we are not free.
    Lets begin our search for freedom by examining why people act.
    There are 12 typical causes or motives for why people act.
    By learning these typical motives for action it will be easier to find them in ourselves.
    We will know what to look for.
    By finding them we bring them into consciousness.
    Once a hidden motive is brought into consciousness and understood, it loses its power over us.

    Having the ability to know why you act is an essential part of freedom.

  • Tom, how do we fix this? how can we help? I am sure that you have thought of a solution. Can you please share? All my best to you.
  • I have recently discovered Rudolf Steiner. By recent i mean within the last 3 weeks.

    How did i discover Mr Steiner? via video on initiation into Rosicrucian Order. The person making video hinted at works Rudolf Stiener so my interest was sparked. I did afew searches on Google and almost instantly totally over whelmed with all material and countless books.

    The biggest challenge i faced was trying to find a path into this material. I think this website offers that. I know now that you have link on wiki page "Philosophy of freedom" but i can tell you as beginner i didnt know about the "Philosophy of Freedom" All i knew was Rudolf Steiner so i visited wiki page on him.

    I was looking (in external links at bottom of Rudolfs wiki page) for something like offical website for rudolf steiner or study course or even better a beginner course or overview. There wasnt anything like that.

    Then i just jumped in and started reading any book and listen to audio books at random, soon became frustrated at this approach. So as a finial attempt i did a google search "path into works of rudolf steiner" i found this website.

    Im sharing my experience as total new person trying to find a way into this material and problems and things i was looking for.

    From what i understand The P.O.F seem to be pivotal work of steiner. I think this site offers a clear path into material.

    James.

  • I like the idea of this: " We would have the old Society on the one side, and on the other a loose but closely related confederation of free communities. The two societies could work out ways of living together."

    This is certainly the picture I have of what is required.  What we need here in Australia, is the unifying component for the otherwise disconnected little Anthroposophical groups and initiatives. As you said in your Opening thread, there's no use waiting for someone else to make a stand. That's what my little group sees as our task, to link the disparate groups and to create a welcoming (no-dogmatic, non-weird) bridge to newcomers.

    It's been a while since I've visited this site, and my wife and I used alot of the materials to study poF. It's good to be back, thanks for the links to the awakening community page, Tom. 

  • Throughout the history of the Anthroposophical Society there have always been people wanting to be part of a free'er community inspired by Rudolf Steiner's ideas. At one point even Steiner suggested the society split into two groups, one group to continue on with society traditions and another to set up  loosely affiliated free communities. But as is often the case the free community individualists have a more difficult time organizing a community than the traditionalists who welcome group conformity and authoritarian leadership (the ones who know). Even though, according to Steiner's theory of knowledge, "the ones who know" isn't important. Its about each person learning how to think, rather than a group being bedazzled with the thinking of someone else. 

    See this illustrated lecture from Steiner's Awakening To Community where Steiner recommends starting free communities as an alternative to the Anthroposophical Society, (click here).

  • Someone sent me the link to this page...I must say I feel like within the broader Anthroposophical community the tide must be turning, because Tom, your rant above, sums it all up for me. I'm hearing these stirrings from people outside of, or on the fringes of the Society, about making a fresh stand for Anthroposophy. 

    I agree also, that we need to have a concerted effort from outside the society, and I'm preparing to play a part here in Australia. Would love to be in touch with other Anthropops of a similar attitude world wide...where do they hang out?

  • Looking for more evidence as to the interest trend in Rudolf Steiner I came across these membership numbers from the Anthroposophical Society which shows a net increase of 37 members in 2012. Not indicating growth for a national organization but not a decline either, more like stagnation. 

    Special Report from US General Secretary Torin Finser
    March 31, 2013
    One a more mundane level, the General Secretaries were once again given the annual statistics for 2012 in terms of membership. The interesting picture that emerges from studying these numbers is that on a superficial level the situation seems static: membership worldwide grew by 37 last year. But when one looks more carefully, one sees that in the large membership countries closest to Dornach, the numbers have declined significantly, mostly due to deaths: Germany -356, Holland -100, Switzerland -84. But in virtually all other countries around the world, membership has grown, such as Brazil +38, Australia +28, Italy +55, Japan +26, Romania +97, Russia +108, USA +98. In some countries, resignations exceed deaths, thus provoking questions about retention and some of the above mentioned initiatives regarding member activity. Also, there were reports of an increasing number of members who are celebrating 100 year birthdays!

  • Good points made here. But graph may not show trend in interest in RS correctly. E.g. once someone discovers say www.rsarchive.org or other sites they can explore further there without the need to Google RS again, and can pass on these links to others via facebook etc so others can do the same. Also many related searches can occur without mentioning RS by name as knowledge of the subject increases.

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