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778Re: [steiner] Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, Ch. 7

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  • D F
    Dec 30, 2001
      Chap 7: Are there Limits to Human Knowledge
      The fallacy of Inferred Reality


      Hi everybody, sorry I'm chiming in late, but the
      reality of my life blah blah blah.......

      So here we go; This chapter is an attack on basically
      the heart of any form of Dualism. I think I'll avoid
      the details because they are right there in Steiner's
      words and I'll probably get bogged down in them, but I
      think I can express my take on the general attack (I
      don't like that metaphor, so from here on it is a

      Steiner says up front that anytime we separate the
      unified reality of percept/concept into two distinct
      spears our philosophizing becomes silly. In other
      words, when we lose sight of the fact that reality is
      the unified concept/percept through knowledge, we
      begin to generate thoughts which no longer relate to
      Nothing exists outside the realm of percept and
      concept- except for fantastic theories.

      Dualism can't find the bridge because it's far from
      the abyss. The abyss, the knowledge-drama, confronts
      the human soul the moment it recognizes its role in
      creating reality. Dualism is too busy imagining a
      non-existent reality (the thing-in-itself)to face the
      true riddle. From one perspective Steiner is saying,
      "There is no need for a bridge because there is no
      division" The separation is an illusion which our
      daily consciousness almost tricks us into. But if
      we've been reading the book with our hearts open and
      active, we can begin to experience the self-supporting
      nature of Active thinking and how it relates to the
      humanly constituted realm of passive perception AND we
      experience the Fact that they are not two separate
      realms in reality, only in our dreamy state of normal

      We also get to read Steiner taking what could be
      considered shots at the faith in the incarnation of
      the Word and the belief in physical miracles.
      Actually, he is doing no such thing- he's merely
      pointing out that our NEED for reality to be PROVEN by
      the senses could lead one to rely on such stories.

      And in this chapter Steiner shows us how reality
      should never be induced. Induction is fine as a tool,
      but as as statement of fact it is misplaced. We
      induce only after we leave the realm of percept and
      concept. True reality must be experienced as the act
      of unification. It can not be held onto as a mental
      picture or set of beliefs. True reality is the Human
      drama of knowing and this has as much to do with the
      letting go of facts as the accumulation of them. In
      this chapter Steiner is setting the stage to
      demonstrate that Reality is an activity which is our
      essence and should not be conceived as something
      outside of this creative activity, this individual

      And to anybody who can't get it through their thick
      head that percepts only stimulate the process of
      knowledge- they don't determine reality- just think of
      Helen Keller. She was grasping reality much more
      deeply that your average joe, yet she had four times,
      less access to sense percepts...

      I'd love to hear other expressions of this chapter.

      Good day,


      He then shows how the essence of dualism evolves from
      a mistaken naive realism.

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