Science Breakthrough Verifies Rudolf Steiner’s Impulse Of Freedom


Science Breakthrough Verifies Rudolf Steiner’s Impulse Of Freedom

Since the time of the ancient Greeks the greatest thinkers have debated the question of free will without reaching any general agreement. And the social and political activists who support individual Liberty also have different views of the meaning of freedom which divides them into various factions. Up until now what has been missing is a verifiable science of freedom. But is a science of human freedom even possible? A recent breakthrough in science has provided real evidence to support Rudolf Steiner's theory of free will. This breakthrough may have turned philosophy into scientific fact.

In 1894 in his Philosophy Of Freedom Rudolf Steiner takes a scientific approach to the question of freedom by using introspective observation to study the mind. Steiner does not give an abstract answer to the question of freedom that can be learned and memorized. Instead he points to a region of the mind.

"In The Philosophy Of Freedom I attempt to present a view of the human being that fully justifies the idea of freedom of the will provided one finds the region of the mind where free will can unfold itself."
Rudolf Steiner, 1918 preface to the revised Philosophy Of Freedom

Steiner claims that free will is only possible if one is able to find the region of the mind where freedom originates.

"The book points to a region of the mind where the minds activity supplies a living answer, always anew, to the questions whenever a person needs it."
Rudolf Steiner, 1918 preface to the revised Philosophy Of Freedom

This region is a state of mind that one enters to experience intuitive ideas. Steiner says intuitive ideas that spring from within are the source of truth and inspired deeds. In 2015 "The Eureka Factor" was published by two cognitive neuroscientists. This was an important breakthrough in brain research. They used brain imaging to locate the region of the brain where creative insights appear. This discovery in the brain mirrors what Steiner discovered in the mind a century earlier. In this video I will compare the neuroscientists external observations of the brain with Steiners inner observations of the mind. Together they are a very good guide to show us how to increase our inner freedom by increasing those moments of creative insight.

"What happens in your brain when you have a creative insight? Mark Beeman and I decided we wanted to try to find out what this is so we scanned people's brains as they solve problems. We gave them a series of little verbal puzzles and we noted each time that they solved a problem with a flash of insight and each time they solved it in a more deliberate analytical fashion. And we measured their brain activity and this is what we found. There was a moment of insight where there was a burst of activity right in the right hemisphere of the brain. That was the 'aha!' moment itself. It was in the right hemisphere." John Kounios, cognitive scientist

The scientists discovered that intuitive insight takes place in the right temporal lobe of the brain located just above the ear. This is the region in the brain of conceptual knowledge. Steiner also said that individual intuitions spring from the conceptual realm which he naturally calls "conceptual intuitions'. Conceptual activity gives meaning to words and gives meaning to things we see in the world. This is the place where we connect concepts in new creative ways. We enter this level when we conceptualize a life situation and then contemplate it in universal concepts. For example, scientists conceptualize the world into laws and psychologists conceptualize their clients situation into therapy principles. Steiner calls this kind of discipline conceptual thinking, pure thinking.

The scientists found that the intuitive insight that occurs in the conceptual region is recorded as a burst of gamma brainwave energy. Gamma waves indicate,

enhanced thinking
increased intelligence
improved focus
increased energy

This higher experience results in
more tolerance
more compassion

Steiner calls this bursts of higher energy the impulse of freedom.

"I wrote The Philosophy Of Freedom in order to give humanity a clear picture of the idea of freedom, of the impulse of freedom. To this end it was necessary first of all to establish the impulse of freedom on a firm scientific basis.""
Rudolf Steiner, 1918 Brief Reflections on the new edition of TPOF

The main idea in The Philosophy Of Freedom is Steiner's idea of freedom. This idea of freedom is not a dry intellectual concept that defines free will, instead it is an impulse that is full of life, what neuroscience describes as an energizing flash of insight. This impulse of freedom is more than just a good idea. It's experienced as a moment of intuitive insight that inspires the heart and empowers the will.

The scientists also found that the intuitive experience is a two-step process. The brain prepares itself before the insight happens. A moment before the gamma bursts have enhanced thinking there is an alpha brainwave burst. Alpha waves restrict visual inputs. The alpha wave burst prepares the brain to receive the insight by restricting external information and allowing space for the new thought to appear.

We find the same two-step intuition process described in The Philosophy Of Freedom.

"The psychological and physical organization withdraws whenever the activity of thinking takes place. It suspends its own activity, it makes room. And the space that has been set free is occupied by thought. The essential activity at work in thinking has a two-fold function: first it represses the activity of the human organization; next, it steps into its place."
Chapter 9.1, 1918 revised edition of TPOF

The power of intuitive thinking to repress the human organization is what makes freedom of thought possible. What normally restricts thinking,

the physical senses
established beliefs
personal bias
and habits of thought

are suspended to free a space for a new idea.

Neuroscience has verified Rudolf Steiner's most important discovery. The discovery that can free humanity.

"When we look at the present times and the new trends we perceive that what is lacking is precisely what The Philosophy Of Freedom seeks to achieve. On a basis of freedom of thought The Philosophy Of Freedom establishes a science of freedom."
Rudolf Steiner, 1918 Brief Reflections on the new edition of TPOF

What Steiner was trying to do was to locate freedom empirically in order to establish a science of freedom. Free thought produces the intuitive idea which then fires the need in the individual to freely express oneself. This intuitive impulse, the impulse of freedom, is now a scientific fact having been externally observed in brain imaging and internally observed by anyone willing to observe thought. By placing freedom on a solid scientific basis we can move beyond the question of freedom and toward developing freedom. Knowledge of freedom will guide individual self-development and inform us in how to build social and political structures that are not regressive but instead support human evolution.

To learn more read The Philosophy Of Freedom and visit the website. A free PDF of The Philosophy Of Freedom is available on the website. The website itself is a kind of study guide for the book.

There are two parts of The Philosophy Of Freedom. The first part is called Knowledge of Freedom and has 7 chapters. These chapters are a guide for developing free thought. It's a study of the cognitive processes to learn how to emancipate knowing. We experience inner truth when free thought rises to the intuitive idea.

There are also 7 chapters in the second part called Reality of Freedom. The inner truth attained in part one is expressed in part two as free deeds. Part two begins with the impulse of freedom. The impulse of freedom contains the intuitive ideal that empowers the deeds of the ethical individualist.