Thinking and Freedom
- From: DRStarman2001@...
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Thinking and Freedom
>Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 02:48:21Bradford comments;
Crisp; brisk and really something you are very good at. Nice work, only
don't scare the kids with the idea that mystic feelings fully destroy
things.. "Heavens Gate" and thousands of other mere fundamentalist
thinking-feelers, you are right, give a bad name to Initiation and the study
of Spiritual Science. Likewise one can be faulted for a kind of coldness,
but I prefer certain dishes served cold, for it is dangerous to approach
this Religious force in the emotional sphere without feeling like a
>>*******Perhaps this is a good place to start to clear away the errors, as_________________________________________________________________
>philosophical judgments give rise to psychological and political ones. The
>misunderstanding of the philosophical base of Steiner's work perhaps is
>leads to all the others.
> We could start with the clear definitions of Steiner instead of the
>above, to wit: if I think about a species of plant, understanding how it
>into the entire plant world, I am using the human spirit. If I merely
>(or rather, "have thought images") about how I like or don't like the
>that is merely feeling, having sympathy or antipathy for a thing. That
>me nothing about the thing, but only about MYSELF, that I like or don't
>this or that. That's only the level of the soul, not the spirit. That's the
>difference between thinking and feeling: we think with the human spirit but
>feel with the soul, which animals also have.
> (One can also have feelings about thinking and ideas, which is
>than merely having feelings about what is perceived. That has both spirit
>soul. But one must first have ascended to the sphere of thinking to have
> This is all found in the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, in
>other philosophical works, and in the elementary anthroposophical books
> Feelings thus are not tools of cognition. They are also not what is
>meant in Anthroposophy by "Intuition". The ordinary everyday "intuitions"
>described are mislabeled--they are actually "feelings". Spiritual science
>not based on mere intuitions in this sense, which means "'knowing'
>without knowing how you know"; those are just feelings, which all too many
>people tend to remember only when they turn out to be right, as in the
>example of feeling beforehand that a car was going to make a turn.
>by the many times a person had some feeling but nothing happened.
> Mere feelings are just as easily wrong as right. Many truths are
>counter-intuitive, which is the reason why science was developed instead of
>all of us just going by feelings. Going by mere feeling and not by logical
>thinking is the "feeling mysticism" of Nietzsche and others, which Steiner
>flatly opposed and which no science can be based on, because it's not
> This is why Anthroposophists have long resisted allowing Steiner to be
>called a "mystic". Anything based on unclear, emotional and irrational
>feelings can arrive at no scientific truths. It may hit on a truth
>occasionally by the law of averages, but will just as easily be way off.
>has nothing to do with occult development of a kind which can tell how
>mistletoe berries can be made into a cure for cancer or come up with the
>entire set of gestures for speech sounds. Nothing of that kind has ever
>out of subconscious feeling.
> As Steiner wrote in his day, many people prefer paths that let them
>the effort of thinking, because it's hard work--- but such paths will never
>arrive at genuine spiritual science. The reason why Steiner attracted so
>pupils is that they could tell he was the real thing, as opposed to people
>dabbling in occultism without strictly controlling their thinking.
> Irrational feeling is not "a form of intelligence just like
>Whatever you may feel, you will have to use your thinking to put it into
>words and communicate it, for instance here on the Internet. These words
>placed here about what Dr. Steiner has taught us regarding thinking and
>feeling, for instance, must be responded to with thinking, or else there is
>no real conversation. To simply reply that you like or don't like them, is
>remain on the soul level, not using the human spirit which is what we think
> Since the body exercises an equal influence on the soul as does the
>spirit, remaining on the soul level keeps one under the influence of the
>with its hormones, subconscious drives etc.. Responses originating under
>those compulsions cannot be free. Only what is directed by conscious
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- Hi Lee,
> This brings up something I have often encountered in Steiner'sworks and the writings of proponents. The divisions of human
>experience into thinking, feeling and willing seems simplistic.Of course it's simplistic, Lee. Divisions of the human being are made
for the purposes of scientific study. We pull apart the butterfly to
see how it works. There are always flaws in this approach to study in
that each part works in with the other.
When do we ever purely think, purely feel or purely will? It is
always a matter of cooperation between faculties.
I do believe that viewing the human being as a lot of fragmented
parts is fundamentally wrong to begin with- an unhealthy soul
conception. We are (or should be) after all, a functioning whole.
> I am driving a car without "thinking" but am perfectly aware in mySome have already had a go at answering your questions, so I won't go
>driving of the distance between cars, my speed, and the need to
>maintain safe distance.
over that again. Steiner uses the work "thinking" in a specific way.
What is spoken of colloquially as "thinking" is not thinking but a
parade of ideas.
The statement by Dr. Steiner that animals don't think is considered
controversial by some. Steiner did admit that animals deliberate.
Even a wasp deliberates or a beetle which really doesn't have much
that you could call a brain, deliberates. The great wisdom that a
beaver displays in constructing dams, lodges and canals to transport
logs, is something that the beast "sucks in" from outside of itself-
from the Cosmos according to Steiner. But still this must also
require some deliberation by the animal itself.
The difference between the animal and the human being is that the
human reasons in full waking consciousness. The human being is not
stuck in one area of reasoned thought that goes around and around-
like a beaver building dams season after season. Of course,
some_are_stuck on this merry-go-round. It really is just a matter of
semantics though, and I quite understand if most people want to
believe that animals think.
So the conditions of driving a manual car and "automatically"
changing gears, or "automatically" touch typing as you read a text
don't really come under the heading of "thinking". In fact if you
become conscious of your fingers moving to each key one by one you
slow right down- so thinking about the process doesn't help.
> Someone isin nature and has a sudden burst of energy coming to himYes there are other ways of knowing besides thinking. In fact human
>or her from the mountains around. They "feel" an energetic
>connection to the geology around me.
beings in the ancient past had an instinctual knowing that enabled
them to build civilisations that rivalled own in technological
In the realm of thinking we can become conscious, in the feeling life
we live in a dream and in willing we are in a deep sleep. That is why
we have the capacity for freedom in thinking. We are also vunerable
to attack as well, something we are protected from in the feeling
realm. This attack comes from Satan/Ahriman and its result is
intellectuallism- divorced from real life.
Thanx for the questions,