OLD DISCONTINUED WORK
PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM MODULES
INTRODUCTION to the Science Of Freedom Study Course
0. THE GOAL OF KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 0 Modules (preface) - From collective conformity, to the cultivation of individuality.
1. CONSCIOUS HUMAN ACTION
Chapter 1 Modules - From the illusion of freedom, to questioning freedom.
2. THE FUNDAMENTAL DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 2 Modules - From separation of Self and World, to striving for unity.
3. THINKING AS THE INSTRUMENT OF KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 3 Modules - From spectator who watches, to thinker who predicts.
see article: Revolutionary Breakthrough Validates Rudolf Steiner’s Theory Of Free Will
NOTES ON THE STUDY COURSE DESIGN
The Path Of All-Around Development
"The Philosophy Of Freedom sees in the all-around development of the human being, a true individuality who is his own master and the assessor of his own value." TPOF
The distinctivness of "The Philosophy Of Freedom" that makes it a unique path lies in its comprehensive approach to freedom, aiming to free the intellect, emotions, and will. "The Philosophy Of Freedom" outlines Steiner's own journey to freedom, providing a roadmap for others to follow. It presents the universal nature of freedom in all its aspects forming a vision of the human ideal as an Ethical Individualist. Reaching our highest potential becomes possible when we have the concept of our true self and know what we are striving toward.
This course is crafted according to Rudolf Steiner's guidelines for utilizing "The Philosophy Of Freedom." It is focused on a clear understanding of the principles in the book which is necessary before we can apply them to life. This aligns with Steiner's dedication of the book to those who earnestly endeavor to shape their lives around these guiding principles.
"I also know that many of my contemporaries strive to conduct their lives in the direction of the principles I have suggested. To them I dedicate this book." TPOF
If you follow this path Steiner says to expect the following results:
"If you follow the path indicated here, you will attain what you seek to achieve by your imperfect means, and much else besides (and I am convinced that, if one is imbued with The Philosophy of Freedom, one dares to say that) — then light would dawn."
"Humankind must realize how the world would be transformed if the meaning of freedom were understood, freedom not in the sense of license, but freedom born of a free spirit and a firmly disciplined mind. If people understood what freedom and its establishment would signify for the world, then the light which many seek today would lighten the prevailing darkness of our time." Rudolf Steiner
An in-depth study course can't avoid containing personal opinions of its author. Readers are expected to think for themselves, as they would hearing the opinions of others in a study group. As Goethe says, "To venture an opinion is like moving a piece at chess: it may be taken, but it forms the beginning of a game that is won."
What Is Freedom?
"To carry out a deed in obedience to a law external to the person who acts, is to be unfree. To carry out a deed in obedience to the person’s own law, is to be free. Thus, the process of cognition is the process for the development of freedom." Rudolf Steiner, Truth And Science
This quote captures the essence of Steiner's concept of freedom: the difference between following external laws and adhering to one's own internalized principles. Steiner differentiates between external laws that are dictated by society, culture, or physical realities, and an individual's "own law" — the set of values and principles that one has consciously developed. Acting in accordance with external laws is termed by Steiner as a state of 'unfreedom.' Conversely, the ability to act based on one's own principles epitomizes true freedom.
The Task Of Self-Development
"To transform the unfree realm into the realm of free activity is the task of self-development for every individual, as well as the task of humanity as a whole."
The task of self-development is to transform the unfree realm to the free realm. Each study course module features a 'Step To Freedom' describing an unfree state that is to be transformed to a free state. This presents a step by step path to freedom accessible to anyone willing to make the effort. There is a general step to freedom for each chapter followed by 12 specific steps to freedom.
Science Of Freedom
"The Philosophy Of Freedom" adopts scientific methodologies, specifically Descriptive Science and Comparative Science, to explore human cognitive processes. It offers detailed descriptions of the mind that readers can validate through introspective observation. Each topic in the book compares and contrasts two states of being: the common, everyday state and a more advanced, developed state. The core of this study is the 'Step To Freedom,' which involves progressing from the ordinary state to a heightened, evolved state of consciousness.
The Role of Cognition in Freedom
The path to freedom is a path of cognitive development. This is because cognition – the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses – is what enables an individual to know; critically analyze external laws, form personal convictions, and consciously decide to act in accordance with their "own law". The intention is to act out of knowledge. Steiner notes,
"Once we know what to make of the world, it will be an easy task to orient ourselves within it. We can act with our full strength and conviction only when we understand the things to which we direct our activity." TPOF
The first seven chapters of "The Philosophy of Freedom" delve into cognitive processes to elucidate their significance in the attainment of freedom. Steiner explores aspects of human cognition such as willing, feeling, thinking, perception, conception, and ideation, offering insights into how each can be emancipated to enable a truer understanding of the world.
Developing an Ethical Individualist
The underlying objective of this in-depth cognitive inquiry is to pave the way for the development of an Ethical Individualist. It is a journey that requires a profound understanding of both the external world and oneself — a prerequisite for achieving the state of freedom that Steiner advocates for. By engaging with the 'Steps To Freedom', participants in this study course are doing more than just reading philosophy; they are actively transforming themselves into free spirits.
Chapter Structure Of The Philosophy Of Freedom
The seven main components of human consciousness are willing, feeling, thinking, perception, conception, ideation, and cognition. These components represent different aspects of the mind and how we interact with the world:
1. Willing: This involves the initiation of actions. It's the aspect of consciousness that translates thoughts and feelings into actions.
2. Feeling: This encompasses the emotional aspects of consciousness. It's how we experience and respond emotionally to our environment and thoughts.
3. Thinking: This is the cognitive process of forming thoughts, understanding, reasoning, and making judgments. It's a fundamental aspect of consciousness that allows for problem-solving and conceptual understanding.
4. Perception: This is the sensory process of receiving and interpreting information from the external world. It's how we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, and then process these sensory inputs.
5. Conception: This involves forming abstract ideas and generalizations. It's a higher-level cognitive process where we synthesize information to understand broader concepts beyond immediate sensory experience.
6. Ideation: This is the creative aspect of the mind, involving the generation of new ideas, innovations, and imaginative constructs.
7. Cognition: This is an overarching term that includes various mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and understanding.
Together, these components form a comprehensive framework for understanding consciousness and the various cognitive functions of the human mind. In Part I, The Philosophy Of freedom assigns a chapter to each one for the study of cognitive freedom.
Willing: 1. CONSCIOUS HUMAN ACTION
This chapter explores how our will is not merely reactive but is a cognitive process that involves conscious choice and intention. It examines the cognitive aspect of why and how we decide to act.
Feeling: 2. THE FUNDAMENTAL DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE
This chapter addresses how feelings influence our cognitive pursuit of knowledge. It explores the idea that our desires play a significant role in motivating our quest for understanding, suggesting that cognition is not just a rational process but is also deeply intertwined with our emotional landscape.
Thinking: 3. THINKING AS THE INSTRUMENT OF KNOWLEDGE
This chapter explores thinking as the primary tool we use to make sense of the world, highlighting its role in creating concepts, and allowing us to understand and interpret our experiences and the world around us.
Perception: 4. THE WORLD AS PERCEPT
This chapter focuses on how we cognitively process the information our senses provide, and how this perception forms the basis of our understanding of the external world.
Conception: 5. OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD
This chapter examines this cognitive process in terms of how we conceptualize our perceptions to form coherent understandings and knowledge about the world.
Ideation: 6. HUMAN INDIVIDUALITY
This chapter explores how our individual cognitive processes — our personal way of forming and relating ideas — contribute to our unique identities, demonstrating the deeply personal nature of cognition.
Cognition: 7. ARE THERE ANY LIMITS TO KNOWLEDGE?
This chapter examines the extent to which cognition can grasp reality, and whether there are boundaries to what we can know, thus addressing the potential and limitations of our cognitive capacities.
Methods of cognitive development:
1. Known Action
2. Guided Curiosity
3. Focused Thinking
4. Purified Perception
5. Accurate Conception
6. Authentic Ideation
7. Unifying Cognition
These seven concepts are focused on the various aspects of understanding, developing, and actualizing the self. They represent a comprehensive approach to personal development, emphasizing the importance of knowing oneself, realizing one's potential, and living authentically.
8. Self-Knowledge: Knowing oneself deeply.
9. Self-Realized: Knowing one's true self.
10. Self-Actualized: Fulfilling one's potential.
11. Self-Transcendent: Going beyond the self to connect with a greater purpose.
12. Self-Creative: Emphasizing the imaginative aspect of oneself.
13. Self-Motivated: Exploring motivation and inspiration.
14. Self-Expressive: Encouraging authentic self-expression.
In Part II, The Philosophy Of freedom assigns a chapter to each one presenting a path of self development to realize one's true self as a free spirit.
Self-Knowledge: 8. THE FACTORS OF LIFE
This chapter pertains to understanding the various elements that make up one's life, such as personal experiences, emotions, thoughts, and relationships, and how they contribute to the formation of the individual self.
Self-Realized: 9. THE IDEA OF FREEDOM
This chapter relates to recognizing and living in accordance with one's true nature, facilitated by an understanding of personal freedom and autonomy.
Self-Actualized: 10. FREEDOM PHILOSOPHY AND MONISM
This chapter involves harmonizing one's personal freedom with a monistic (unified) view of the world, understanding oneself as an integral part of a larger whole.
Self-Transcendent: 11. WORLD PURPOSE AND LIFE PURPOSE (Human Destiny)
This chapter involves understanding one's place and purpose within the broader context of human destiny and the world.
Self-Creative: 12. MORAL IMAGINATION (Darwinism And Ethics)
This chapter is connected to the ability to creatively envision and implement ethical principles in life, using moral imagination to guide actions in accordance with one's evolving ethical understanding.
Self-Motivated: 13. THE VALUE OF LIFE (Optimism And Pessimism)
This chapter relates to recognizing the inherent value of one's life, regardless of external circumstances, and maintaining a positive, optimistic outlook.
Self-Expressive: 14. INDIVIDUALITY AND TYPE
This chapter involves overcoming types by understanding and expressing one's unique individuality.
Each of these concepts is integral to a comprehensive understanding of personal development, as explored in Rudolf Steiner's "The Philosophy of Freedom." They emphasize different facets of self-awareness and growth, guiding individuals toward a more complete and authentic realization of their true selves.