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1269Re: [steiner] Re: to experience thinking

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    Oct 18, 2002
      softabyss@... writes:
      From my reading of your post I would conclude that you find Kuhliwind's fundamental distinctions to be a bunch of crap. Is that the case? 
      Best Wishes,
      P.S. please resond to me offline if you feel that others are
      not interested in this topic. I only post it in the group
      because I am tweeking it a bit, and, perhaps, it is moving in
      a direction of more interest.

      *******Well, let's say that I didn't feel in him any great insight into Steiner's philosophical works, or sense him experiencing pure thinking as Steiner did and many other anthroposophists I've met did (like Bill Lindemann of Spring Valley). I heard him lecture and read his main book years ago, and found both the book and man were 'flat' and did nothing for me, quite unlike Steiner. But perhaps he's someone who others would appreciate, and it was just my temperament that didn't respond to his (one disappointed hearer remarked that he was like his name, a 'cool wind').

         Why not say what 'distinctions' you're speaking of? Remember, this list has not been working with the Philosophie der Freiheit for ten months. Are you on the list 'Sister' Joanne started to study it? I assume you know the Waldorf education technique: you only really know something when you can do something creative with it, like present it in some form to others. So here is your audience! If the members can't relate to it or are not interested I'm sure they'll tell us so.

         Also, please be sure to tell me what of my writing about the PoF you find unclear. If it's of little interest to the group we can take it offlist.

      Dr. Starman

      Steiner himself says NOT to to take a piece of the
      >book here and there separated from the whole and think about it, so I'm not
      >going to do so with you anymore. We would have to take up the book as a whole
      >again to answer your questions properly.
      >   Second, this is undoubtedly far too pedantic for the other people on this
      >list to have any interest in.  In order to TRY to make it relevant to them, I
      >ought to explain that before Steiner began his "spiritual science", he worked
      >and wrote as a philosopher for almost 20 years, and the Philosophie der
      >Freiheit (sometimes translated as the Philosophy of Freedom, although Steiner
      >was quite definite that the title in English should be the Philosophy of
      >Spiritual Activity) was his major work. We read it together here last
      >Christmas, but many people now on the list were not here then. Steiner many
      >times spoke about it as a path whereby one could become aware of the spirit
      >through your thinking, but a path that most people in our time cannot walk.
      >Many of the older generation of anthroposophists used it, and so have I. Lutz
      >is asking some questions he had left over from last Christmas, when we read
      >it here.
      >   And now third and finally, I'll address the specifics.
      >In the third chapter of the book, Steiner has led anyone working with it
      >to the point of observing his or her own thinking. As the book is a
      >dynamic, of course anyone working with it will be continuing to do so through all the later chapters.The effect the book can have on the student is dependent
      >upon this.  You will find no new or radically different description of
      >thinking in later chapters, but rather the thoughts given their are
      >experienced differently when you observe your own thinking of them.  Chapter 8 is
      >merely a 5-page recapitulation of the first seven chapters, the first half
      >of the book.  In the addition (actually just like a large footnote) tochapter 8 which you referred to, Steiner mentions "life in thinking". You asserted yesterday that
      >this is some new thinking different from the self-conscious thinking one
      >experiences from chapter 3 onwards.  I answered that this is not so. What you
      >were doing there was taking a striking phrase in a footnote and making it
      >sound as if it were the enunciation of a whole new doctrine. It is not.
      >Steiner is not saying that the thinking one experiences from chapter 3
      >onwards is deficient, nor is he describing the fact that one can only observe
      >the thinking one has already done as a problem one must try
      >to surmount. You will find nowhere in the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity
      >the idea that we have to try to observe our thinking as we think, in order
      >to get somewhere.
      >When he speaks in the footnote you quote from about "failing to grasp the
      >essential nature of thinking" and "having only the corpse of living thinking", he is not referring to this fact that we can only observe thinking we've already done, but that people do not observe the living activity of their thinking and see themselves as thinker but ONLY the finished thought, and hence conclude that feeling or will is more "alive". "Living in thinking" refers to spiritually alive thinking, conscious of itself
      >(what Aristotle called the "actuality of thinking"), not to the impossible condition of
      >observing thinking one hasn't yet finished doing. It's not that thinking is
      >not "alive" to many people because you can only observe thinking you've
      >already done, as you're attempting to argue, nor is he saying that the true
      >nature of thinking is "elusive" to many people because of this fact, but for
      >quite other reasons. You're taking a few phrases from chapters 8 and 9 and
      >contrasting them with chapter 3 (or more accurately, with what one can
      >experience after working with the first three chapters), but going through the chapters sequentially and developing one's thinking as the book is  intended to do would not lead to this narrow viewpoint based on a few snippets of text here and there.
      >  I recommend reading the excellent book "Rudolf Steiner on his Book The
      >Philosophy of Freedom" by Otto Palmer, available from the Rudolf Steiner
      >library. If you would like to discuss the book with me any further though,
      >I'd suggest you do so off list, because the group as a whole isn't working
      >with it and would not be able to participate. It's not a path appropriate for
      >many people. Hope this is of some help.
      >Dr. Starman
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