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core concept of PoF

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  • Joel Wendt
    Dear Steve H., you originally wrote: Steiner chose instead, at his critical juncture in 1898, to invest the core concept of his Philosophy of Freedom into the
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 30, 2005
      Dear Steve H.,

      you originally wrote: 

      "Steiner chose instead, at his critical juncture in 1898, to invest
      the core concept of his Philosophy of Freedom into the realm of pure
      spiritual activity, and thus was able to rewrite it for his new
      audience in 1904, as "Theosophy: An Introduction to the
      Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man." 
      And from this point forward, the character of all of his
      epistemological work was of the nature of the workings of spiritual
      realities into the world and mankind."

      which I suggested was dangerously false. After a couple of exchanges which included these additional words by you:

      "As for POF into Theosophy, this should be common knowledge.  Steiner got a
      new group of listeners when the old intellectuals refused to take
      him seriously.  You should know that.  Theosophy was a metamorphosis."

      You then eventually answered my question thus: suggesting "ethical individualism" as the core "value" of PoF.  The first quote above uses the term "concept", and then finally we have "value".

      My concern in this exchange is also with the term "rewrite" in the first quote, and then the phrase "PoF into Theosophy" as well as the term "metamorphosis" in the second quote.

      Now the archetypal form of metamorphosis is that of catapiller into butterfly. These terms then: "metamorphosis", "rewrite", and "into" suggest to me that you see PoF as dying and becoming Theosophy.  Your use of the terms "concept" and "value" also suggest that, in spite of pointing to "ethical individualism", that you don't understand PoF at all, since PoF is never to be understood as either concepts or values but is rather a process which educates the will.  In learning to think PoF we have to become acquainted with ourselves in a very special way, and also we have to bring into activity our conscious will in the etheric body.  The will learns to bring about a gesture in the etheric which leads to a direct thinking perception of the Good.  From the outside we might call this "ethical individualism" but from the inside such would never be the case - one can only speak of the education of the will, and how this transforms thinking into perception.

      Theosophy is also a process which educates, but it is not the same process as PoF.  Theosophy does not lead to a change in the nature of thinking, but rather to a reorientation of the soul, preparing it for higher knowledge.

      So I remain with my earlier characterization, which is that your view of PoF in this context is dangerously false.  Someone who intimately knew PoF could not use, in speaking of the results of working with this text,  the terms above to which I have pointed.

      The truer relationship between the epistemologies and the later works of spiritual science, such as Theosophy, is the relationship between how something is done (the moral artistry of the will) and the product that results (the concepts produced) - that is between a method and the content the method produces, or conscious thinking perception.

      Understanding this then enables us to appreciate a great deal about the failures in the A. Society and its present state of being (what happened because people hadn't so educated their wills).  More crucially, this understanding shows us quite exactly how to move forward, and how to reconnect our modern spiritual activity with the fundamental nature of Anthroposophy (a path of cognition from the spiritual in man to the Spiritual in the Universe).

      One of the things which many on this list, and many other anthroposophists as well, fail to appreciate is something that is taught in recovery work.  There is a great deal of difference between being able to talk the talk of PoF and Theory of Knowledge, and walking the walk - knowing in the will how to do it.  Those who know the latter - how to walk the walk, easily see the bullshit of those who pretend via the former - only how to talk the talk.

      warm regards,

      p.s. there was, by the way, no need for this ad hoc characterization:
      "quaint Joelian style of discoursing". I simply disagreed with something you wrote, and in order not to assume you meant what you seemed to be saying, I asked questions in order to clarify whether or not I had properly understood you.
    • Steve Hale
      Well Joel, I suggest again you read those two posts I recommended concerning thinking and the path to modern exact clairvoyance. Then we ll compare our notes,
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 30, 2005
        Well Joel, I suggest again you read those two posts I recommended
        concerning thinking and the path to modern exact clairvoyance. Then
        we'll compare our notes, okay? You may find that there's more to POF
        than you have previously considered. And please don't jump to
        conclusions so quickly about someone you hardly know, or even read.


        ps-and try to check out the original context for the ethical
        individualism remark, i.e., Steiner's autobiography, c.1898.
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