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to experience thinking

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  • Lutz Baar
    Hi Dr Starman! You asked for new issues to discuss here. Instead of a new one, I suggest an old one I found on this list. Discussing chapter 9 of the
    Message 1 of 20 , Oct 16, 2002
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      Hi Dr Starman!

      You asked for new issues to discuss here. Instead of a new one, I
      suggest an old one I found on this list. Discussing chapter 9 of the
      Philosophy of Freedom, Carol asked about how to experience the
      experience of thinking. To me your answer does not deal with Carol's
      (and my) question, since Steiner at this stage of the PoF does not
      mean mere experience but "having live in thinking" - quite a higher
      experience than you refer to.

      Beside, could you point me to the quote in "Theosophy" wich supports
      your view of "no other experience to seek for"?

      Lutz
      _______

      Earlier discussion:

      "In fact, I don't think I can honestly say I've experienced my
      thinking directly in this way, yet the thoughts, as Steiner
      expresses them, I have taken in and they feel very strong to
      me. Strong, but meaningless if I don't let go of them and
      jump into the experience."

      Carol >>

      *******But there's no "other experience" to seek for. Steiner's
      philosophical
      works were all written to argue that when we think in concepts it is
      the
      human spirit that is acting and that we are experiencing directly.
      He makes this exact same point again in the first chapter of
      Theosophy,
      which we'll be taking up next on the RudolfSteiner101 list (and not
      at this
      quick pace over just12 days!).

      Starman
    • DRStarman2001@aol.com
      ... *******Well that was ten months ago, but OK, we can take it up again! But then we were in the middle of working with the Philosophie der Freiheit, so we d
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 16, 2002
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        info@... writes:
        Hi Dr Starman!
        You asked for new issues to discuss here. Instead of a new one, I
        suggest an old one I found on this list. Discussing chapter 9 of the
        Philosophy of Freedom, Carol asked about how to experience the
        experience of thinking. To me your answer does not deal with Carol's
        (and my) question, since Steiner at this stage of the PoF does not
        mean mere experience but "having live in thinking" - quite a higher
        experience than you refer to.
        Beside, could you point me to the quote in "Theosophy" wich supports
        your view of "no other experience to seek for"?
        Lutz



        *******Well that was ten months ago, but OK, we can take it up again!  But then we were in the middle of working with the Philosophie der Freiheit, so we'd have to get back into it again. Discussing a single point of it separated from the book as a whole is not the same thing.
            As far as the reference I made to the first chapter of Theosophy, it was to the 'meadow' example and the elaboration of it, within which Steiner makes the point that we THINK with the human SPIRIT...  not when we think in this way or that way, but ANY real thinking, in concepts. When we think in concepts -- -- -- for instance mathematical, geometrical concepts -- -- -- and observe ourselves thinking, that IS the human spirit we're experiencing. The spirit knows itself through and through. That was the whole point of Steiner's early philosophical works. There were not many who could experience what he was trying to point to in his time, and there aren't many now, but it's not because the human being is unable to, as Kant declared, but simply because we do not realize or do not believe in the validity of what we're already experiencing, we mischaracterize it. All the theories that say we think with the brain are that.

            Remember always the fundamental beginning of Knowledge of the Higher Worlds: in our ordinary world of thinking and feeling there slumber great powers, that we have but do not recognize.  The task is to awaken them. The philosophical path in the Philosophie der Freiheit is specifically concerned with waking up to what we actually do when we think. When we do this, we are actually living in thinking.
        -starman

        Earlier discussion:
        "In fact, I don't think I can honestly say I've experienced my
        thinking directly in this way, yet the thoughts, as Steiner
        expresses them, I have taken in and they feel very strong to
        me. Strong, but meaningless if I don't let go of them and
        jump into the experience."
        Carol >>

        *******But there's no "other experience" to seek for. Steiner's
        philosophical works were all written to argue that when we think in concepts it is
        the human spirit that is acting and that we are experiencing directly.
        He makes this exact same point again in the first chapter of  Theosophy....



        http://www.DrStarman.net
      • Lutz Baar
        Hi Dr Starman! You wrote: When we think in concepts -- for instance mathematical, geometrical concepts -- and observe ourselves thinking, that IS the human
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 17, 2002
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          Hi Dr Starman! You wrote:

          "When we think in concepts -- for instance mathematical,
          geometrical concepts -- and observe ourselves thinking, that IS the
          human spirit we're experiencing."

          This kind of observation is only possible *after* a thinking process
          is completed, according to chapter 3, PoF, meaning I am observing
          former experiences. What Carol and I am talking about is the
          *direct* experience, meaning having live in thinking, as requiered
          in chapter 9.

          Exercises with "the exeptional state" as suggested in ch.3 can bring
          the insight of the validity of thinking. No problem. But then one
          has to awake to the different usage of the term "observation" in the
          second part of the PoF. Here it is no longer a question of standing
          over against but to experience (erleben) directly. Surely this kind
          of experience is something else - living thinking. At least, this is
          what Steiner promises in the extention of chapter 8.

          Lutz

          ______

          > The spirit knows itself through and through. That was the whole
          point of
          > Steiner's early philosophical works. There were not many who could
          experience
          > what he was trying to point to in his time, and there aren't many
          now, but
          > it's not because the human being is unable to, as Kant declared,
          but simply
          > because we do not realize or do not believe in the validity of
          what we're
          > already experiencing, we mischaracterize it. All the theories that
          say we
          > think with the brain are that.
          Starman
        • DRStarman2001@aol.com
          ... *******Well, in the first place, your English is not very clear, and I m not sure what having live in thinking means. Presumably you mean to live in
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 17, 2002
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            info@... writes:

            Hi Dr Starman! You wrote:
            "When we think in concepts -- for instance mathematical,
            geometrical concepts -- and observe ourselves thinking, that IS the
            human spirit we're experiencing."
            This kind of observation is only possible *after* a thinking process
            is completed, according to chapter 3, PoF, meaning I am observing
            former experiences. What Carol and I am talking about is the
            *direct* experience, meaning having live in thinking, as requiered
            in chapter 9...



            *******Well, in the first place, your English is not very clear, and I'm not sure what
            "
            having live in thinking" means. Presumably you mean "to live in thinking." However, you are somehow drawing the conclusion that doing so is different then a thinking been observing his own thinking.
                A
            s I said before, it's not a good idea to take one piece of the PoF apart from the whole and talk about it-- -- -- but I can say with a great amount of certainty that you would be chasing a "chimera" to believe that you're required to observe the thinking you're doing simultaneously with doing it in order to "live in thinking". That's impossible and can't be done, as you can read in Ch. 3 (as well as common sense telling you so).  What Steiner means in chapter 9 (or rather in the rewritten 1918 beginning of chapter 9, because the bulk of the chapter has to do with will and motives, not thinking) by "the self-sustaining activity of thinking" is exactly the fact that thinking can make itself the object of itself. I don't know where you got the idea that there is something else required, but you did not get it from chapter 9.

            >>Exercises with "the exeptional state" as suggested in ch.3 can bring
            the insight of the validity of thinking. No problem. But then one
            has to awake to the different usage of the term "observation" in the
            second part of the PoF. Here it is no longer a question of standing
            over against but to experience (erleben) directly. Surely this kind
            of experience is something else - living thinking. At least, this is
            what Steiner promises in the extention of chapter 8.
            Lutz


            *******Well once again, it seems like you're imposing an idea from somewhere else on the book itself. I see nowhere any notation by Steiner that he will be using the word "observation" to mean something different in the second half of the book then the first; in fact, chapter 8 is a short recapitulation of the first half, and once again uses "observation" to mean the acquiring of percepts.

               The addendum to chapter 8 refers to experiencing thinking intuitively, which becomes an experience when one works with the first part of the book, from chapter 3 onward. Then one has an intuitive experience, through intuition, of the true nature of thinking itself. There is no new level of thinking suddenly being introduced in the addition to chapter 8 or the first few pages of chapter 9.

               I've noticed before that some people working with the 'Philosophy of Freedom' like to make it sound as if what a thinking student of the book is experiencing is not what Steiner was speaking of, but always imply that it must be 'something else'. I've already run into a supposed 'expert' on the book, who liked to constantly make his students think they hadn't "got it" yet, simply because he did not want to meet them as equals-- -- -- and have to face the fact that he had indeed gotten the message of the book years before, but hadn't done very much with it, or with his life. It sounds like you may have been taking 'lessons' from someone similar!

                But anyone who can think in concepts can experience what is described in the book, and in pure thinking understand his experience. That's the whole point of the book, that thinking can understand itself -- -- --and it can, regardless of all naysayers who throw stumbling stones in your way. Pure thinking IS "living in thinking."

            Dr. Starman

            ______



            >The spirit knows itself through and through. That was the whole
            point of
            >Steiner's early philosophical works. There were not many who could
            experience
            >what he was trying to point to in his time, and there aren't many
            now, but
            >it's not because the human being is unable to, as Kant declared,
            but simply
            >because we do not realize or do not believe in the validity of
            what we're
            >already experiencing, we mischaracterize it. All the theories that
            say we
            >think with the brain are that.
            Starman



            http://www.DrStarman.net
          • Lutz Baar
            Hi Dr Starman! You wrote: Well, in the first place, your English is not very clear, and I m not sure what having live in thinking means. Presumably you mean
            Message 5 of 20 , Oct 18, 2002
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              Hi Dr Starman! You wrote:

              "Well, in the first place, your English is not very clear, and I'm
              not sure what "having live in thinking" means. Presumably you
              mean "to live in thinking."
              However, you are somehow drawing the conclusion that doing so is
              different then a thinking been observing his own thinking.
              As I said before, it's not a good idea to take one piece of the PoF
              apart from the whole and talk about it-- -- -- but I can say with a
              great amount of certainty that you would be chasing a "chimera" to
              believe that you're required to observe the thinking you're doing
              simultaneously with doing it in order to "live in thinking". That's
              impossible and can't be done, as you can read in Ch. 3 (as well as
              common sense telling you so)."

              I got your view, Dr Starman, but in my opinion the addendum of
              chapter 8 opens up for something different:

              "The difficulty of grasping the essential nature of thinking by
              observation lies in this, that it has all too easily eluded the
              introspecting soul by the time the soul tries to bring it into the
              focus of attention."

              (note: all too easy eluding - in contrast to impossible)

              "Nothing then remains to be inspected but the lifeless abstraction,
              the corpse of the living thinking. If we look only at this
              abstraction, we may easily find ourselves compelled to enter into
              the mysticism of feeling or perhaps the metaphysics of will, which
              by contrast appear so "full of life". We should then find it strange
              that anyone should expect to grasp the essence of reality in "mere
              thoughts". But if we once succeed in really finding life in
              thinking, we shall know that swimming in mere feelings, or being
              intuitively aware of the will element, cannot even be compared with
              the inner wealth and the self-sustaining yet ever moving experience
              of this life of thinking, let alone be ranked above it."

              (note: once succeded in really finding life in thinking - in
              contrast to the observation results of chapter 3)

              I have no intention to "convince" you of this point of view, Dr
              Starman, I simply asked wether you have any own description of
              this "life in thinking" to share, beside what the PoF already
              states.

              Lutz
            • DRStarman2001@aol.com
              ... *******Three responses and there will not be any more. First, for the third time, Steiner himself says NOT to to take a piece of the book here and there
              Message 6 of 20 , Oct 18, 2002
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                info@... writes:
                Hi Dr Starman! You wrote:
                "Well, in the first place, your English is not very clear, and I'm
                not sure what "having live in thinking" means. Presumably you
                mean "to live in thinking."
                However, you are somehow drawing the conclusion that doing so is
                different then a thinking being observing his own thinking.
                As I said before, it's not a good idea to take one piece of the PoF
                apart from the whole and talk about it-- -- -- but I can say with a
                great amount of certainty that you would be chasing a "chimera" to
                believe that you're required to observe the thinking you're doing
                simultaneously with doing it in order to "live in thinking". That's
                impossible and can't be done, as you can read in Ch. 3 (as well as
                common sense telling you so)."....
                 


                I got your view, Dr Starman, but in my opinion the addendum of
                chapter 8 opens up for something different:
                "The difficulty of grasping the essential nature of thinking by
                observation lies in this, that it has all too easily eluded the
                introspecting soul by the time the soul tries to bring it into the
                focus of attention."
                (note: all too easy eluding - in contrast to impossible)
                "Nothing then remains to be inspected but the lifeless abstraction,
                the corpse of the living thinking. If we look only at this
                abstraction, we may easily find ourselves compelled to enter into
                the mysticism of feeling or perhaps the metaphysics of will, which
                by contrast appear so "full of life". We should then find it strange
                that anyone should expect to grasp the essence of reality in "mere
                thoughts". But if we once succeed in really finding life in
                thinking, we shall know that swimming in mere feelings, or being
                intuitively aware of the will element, cannot even be compared with
                the inner wealth and the self-sustaining yet ever moving experience
                of this life of thinking, let alone be ranked above it."
                (note: once succeded in really finding life in thinking - in
                contrast to the observation results of chapter 3)
                I have no intention to "convince" you of this point of view, Dr
                Starman, I simply asked wether you have any own description of
                this "life in thinking" to share, beside what the PoF already
                states.
                Lutz

                *******Three responses and there will not be any more.  First, for the third time, 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) to chapter 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

                http://www.DrStarman.net
              • Lutz Baar
                Well, thank you for your time, Dr Starman! Lutz http://www.antropos.org
                Message 7 of 20 , Oct 18, 2002
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                  Well, thank you for your time, Dr Starman!

                  Lutz

                  http://www.antropos.org
                • Carol
                  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, Carol
                  Message 8 of 20 , Oct 18, 2002
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                    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,

                    Carol

                    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.


                    Starman wrote:
                    >
                    > *******Three responses and there will not be any more.
                    > First, for the third
                    > time, 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 chapter
                    > s.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) to
                    > chapter 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
                    >
                    > http://www.DrStarman.net
                    >


                    __________________________________________________
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                  • LilOleMiss
                    Hi, Carol, Dr. Starman, Forgive my interruption here. Kuhliwind [sp?] has lectured quite a bit in my area [California] and personally, in my own
                    Message 9 of 20 , Oct 18, 2002
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                      Hi, Carol, Dr. Starman,
                       
                      Forgive my interruption here. Kuhliwind [sp?] has lectured quite a bit in my area [California] and personally, in my own short-sightedness, I feel safe only with Steiner's interpretations. Some of you have far more experience and knowledge than I, so I'll "err" on the safe side. :)  Besides, I'm familiar with Steiner's style and see no reason to go on to someone else. Gee, I can't even keep up with Steiner!
                       
                      Cheers,
                       
                      Sheila
                       

                      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,

                      Carol

                      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.


                      Starman wrote:
                      >
                      > *******Three responses and there will not be any more.
                      > First, for the third
                      > time, 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 chapter
                      > s.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) to
                      > chapter 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
                      >
                      > http://www.DrStarman.net
                      >


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                    • DRStarman2001@aol.com
                      ... *******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
                      Message 10 of 20 , Oct 18, 2002
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                        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,
                        Carol
                        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
                        >
                        >http://www.DrStarman.net
                      • DRStarman2001@aol.com
                        ... And I d like to point out that anyone who is doing an exposition based on Steiner s work is not fundamental . Steiner s work was. They re commentators,
                        Message 11 of 20 , Oct 18, 2002
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                          lilolemiss@... writes:
                          Hi, Carol, Dr. Starman,

                          Forgive my interruption here. Kuhliwind [sp?] has lectured quite a bit in my area [California] and personally, in my own short-sightedness, I feel safe only with Steiner's interpretations. Some of you have far more experience and knowledge than I, so I'll "err" on the safe side. :)  Besides, I'm familiar with Steiner's style and see no reason to go on to someone else. Gee, I can't even keep up with Steiner!
                          Cheers,
                          Sheila

                          *******I do also, Sheila---- and usually read him or other authors that add to my understanding of anthroposophy, like Carl Unger, Guenther Wachsmuth, Elizabeth Vreede, Eugen Kolisko,  George Adams, and many others. Kuhlwind did not do so for me.

                             And I'd like to point out that anyone who is doing an exposition based on Steiner's work is not 'fundamental'. Steiner's work was. They're commentators, secondary. They can have their own independent insight but it's for everyone to judge what anthroposophists make anthroposophy clear to them, just as the movement started because people saw that Steiner understood Blavatsky and could make Theosophy clear where other people made it murkier.
                          -starman

                          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? 


                          http://www.DrStarman.net
                        • Carol
                          Hi Starman, Tonight or tomorrow I will make a post on this thread. I m glad you re interested...more soon. Carol -- but I can ...
                          Message 12 of 20 , Oct 19, 2002
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                            Hi Starman,

                            Tonight or tomorrow I will make a post on this thread. I'm
                            glad you're interested...more soon.

                            Carol






                            -- but I can
                            > say with a
                            > > great amount of certainty that you would be chasing a
                            > "chimera" to
                            > > believe that you're required to observe the thinking
                            > you're doing
                            > > simultaneously with doing it in order to "live in
                            > thinking". That's
                            > > impossible and can't be done, as you can read in Ch. 3
                            > (as well as
                            > > common sense telling you so)."....
                            > >
                            >
                            > 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 chapter
                            > s.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) to
                            > chapter 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
                            >
                            > http://www.DrStarman.net
                            >


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                          • Carol
                            Dr. Starman said: Living in thinking refers to spiritually alive thinking, conscious of itself (what Aristotle called the actuality of thinking ), not to
                            Message 13 of 20 , Oct 22, 2002
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                              Dr. Starman said:

                              "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."

                              and

                              "You will find no new or radically different description of
                              thinking in later chapters"

                              Hi Dr. Starman and all other who are interested in this
                              topic,

                              I'll be gone for a few days, but when I get back I will post
                              up my take on these issues. I do happen to agree with
                              Khulewind, in this regard, that there is an important change
                              in how Steiner uses the word 'thinking' later in the book. I
                              would agree with you that it might not be considered a
                              'radically different discription', but it appears to me to be
                              a 'fundamentall different discription'. I think it was
                              because Steiner was not interested in stirring up our
                              feelings that he avoided sounding too radical. But, an
                              important shift in meaning none the less.

                              Also, I will try to make a case that along with other things,
                              Steiner is definitely pointing to an experience of the
                              activity of thought without other percepts. I'm not sure
                              what your take on this is, Dr. Starman, and one of the
                              reasons I writing this 'preface' to my actual post is because
                              I would ask that you mean by "not to the impossible condition
                              of observing thinking one hasn't yet finished doing." I
                              think I'm with you on that, but I'm not exactly sure what you
                              mean. So my request is that in the next few days you might
                              state explicitly, with different words maybe, what kind of
                              experience you are suggesting that Steiner is NOT making.
                              After reading your response, I will put out my first post.

                              I look forward to this discussion for two reasons: First, I
                              do highly respect your comprehension of POF- Last year you
                              demonstrated quite remarkably that you have an intimate
                              relationship to it, and I learned new things in that
                              discussion. Second, I have a strong feeling (and desire)
                              that no matter how much we do not agree, no matter how many
                              ways we misunderstand each other's simplest points and no
                              matter how "RIGHT" we know that we are, we can also
                              demonstrate a conversation in which respect and curiosity
                              lead the way. I am going to go out of my way to couch my
                              understanding with modal operators of possibility like
                              "might", "perhaps", "maybe" and such.

                              So, I'll be checking my email over the next 3 or 4 days, but
                              I won't be able to respond until I get home. Thanks

                              Carol

                              P.S. I will be drawing form primarily three sources:
                              POF, Otto Palmer's book, "Rudolf Steiner On His Book The
                              POF",
                              and Khulewind's "Stages of Consciousness". I do agree with
                              you Dr. Starman that there is nowhere else to find POF than
                              in the pages of POF, so I will only use the other sources to
                              give richer descriptions of various points I might be
                              stammering to make.



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                            • Lutz Baar
                              Hi Carol! I am looking foreward to your contributions to this thread. To Dr Starman I would like to put the following question: Why do you keep calling
                              Message 14 of 20 , Oct 23, 2002
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                                Hi Carol!

                                I am looking foreward to your contributions to this thread.

                                To Dr Starman I would like to put the following question: Why do you
                                keep calling Steiner's addendum to the PoF "footnotes"? It is not
                                like you to correct Steiner's own terms with subjective
                                interpretations of your own.

                                Lutz

                                PS. I remember that I already reached the limmit of tree answers you
                                decided to give me concerning this topic - so you could adress the
                                list instead.
                              • DRStarman2001@aol.com
                                ... *******That s no onterpretation but a proper academic term. They are basically footnotes, little additions Steiner added when the PoF was reissued in 1918.
                                Message 15 of 20 , Oct 23, 2002
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                                  info@... writes:
                                  Why do you keep calling Steiner's addendum to the PoF "footnotes"? It is not
                                  like you to correct Steiner's own terms with subjective interpretations of your own.
                                  Lutz


                                  *******That's no onterpretation but a proper academic term. They are basically footnotes, little additions Steiner added when the PoF was reissued in 1918. They are brief comments that do not add substantially to the gist of the book, that were added over twenty years after it was first published, as Steiner reflected on how he would put certain things in that day for contemporary audiences. I could also justifiably term them 'glosses' or just 'additions'. But I'm making the point by the use of that word that nothing integral to the book could possibly be in them, since the book was a whole for 20 years without them. Therefore anyone claiming to find anything essential to the entire book in them cannot be right, since the book as it was originally published did not have these side comments or reflections. I assume from the reaction that the fellow whose thinking appears to stand behind your thinking, although you will not say so, contains this obvious error.

                                  Dr. Starman

                                  http://www.DrStarman.net
                                • Lutz Baar
                                  ... I assume from the reaction that the fellow whose thinking appears to stand behind your thinking, although you will not say so, contains this obvious
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Oct 23, 2002
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                                    --- In steiner@y..., DRStarman2001@a... wrote:

                                    "I assume from the reaction that the fellow whose thinking appears
                                    to stand behind your thinking, although you will not say so,
                                    contains this obvious error."

                                    No need to drag in fellows standing behind....

                                    This discussion is about asking your second opinion on your earlier
                                    statement:
                                    "*******But there's no "other experience" to seek for. Steiner's
                                    philosophical works were all written to argue that when we think in
                                    concepts it is the human spirit that is acting and that we are
                                    experiencing directly."

                                    It looks like you are keeping this point of view. Fair enough. You
                                    stand to what you experience yourself. It is the right thing to do.
                                    But from your way to put it, I get the impression you believe there
                                    is such a thing like "this is what Steiner wrote". I prefer to
                                    say "this is what I read". Words cannot grasp concepts. They can
                                    only make one aware of having those wordless concepts. There is no
                                    content of importance in the PoF which lies *in* the words, there is
                                    no information to argue about. It is *through* the words the
                                    wordless experience they point at is to be found for oneselve. That
                                    goes for his "non-philosophical" books as well. If one "find
                                    something" and "how much" is up to the reader. What is the point of
                                    limiting this possible experience to ones own level, Dr Starman?
                                    What makes it an "obvious error"??

                                    Lutz
                                  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
                                    info@antropos.org writes: I get the impression you believe there ... *******I see I made an obvious error in responding again! Well, there s no one but
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Oct 23, 2002
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                                      info@... writes:
                                      >>> I get the impression you believe there
                                      is such a thing like "this is what Steiner wrote". I prefer to
                                      say "this is what I read". Words cannot grasp concepts. They can
                                      only make one aware of having those wordless concepts. There is no
                                      content of importance in the PoF which lies *in* the words, there is
                                      no information to argue about. It is *through* the words the
                                      wordless experience they point at is to be found for oneselve. That
                                      goes for his "non-philosophical" books as well. If one "find
                                      something" and "how much" is up to the reader. What is the point of
                                      limiting this possible experience to ones own level, Dr Starman?
                                      What makes it an "obvious error"??
                                      Lutz

                                      *******I see I made an 'obvious error' in responding again! Well, there's no one but you and Carol currently showing interest on the list, but if you'd like to write about the PoF and Kuhlwind's interpretation of it that you find value in, go ahead and tell people whjat you think.  I don't see this pattern of thinking leading anywhere productive for myself. By your criteria, anthroposophy would be whatever you say it is. For that matter, anything is whatever anyone says it is. I disagree: words describe definite concepts. When a person uses a word, he means it to point to a concept, and if two people don't have the same concept when the word that stands for it is used, there's no communication possible. When I write 'triangle', if you say "Well, I read 'square'", you can forget communication. This is so elementary it's silly. I don't know where you're trying to go with all that. It sounds like Derrida, not Steiner.

                                      -starman

                                      http://www.DrStarman.net
                                    • LilOleMiss
                                      info@antropos.org writes: Dr. Starman wrote: *******I see I made an obvious error in responding again! Well, there s no one but you and Carol currently
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Oct 23, 2002
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                                        info@... writes:
                                        Dr. Starman wrote:
                                        *******I see I made an 'obvious error' in responding again! Well, there's no one but you and Carol currently showing interest on the list, but if you'd like to write about the PoF and Kuhlwind's interpretation of it that you find value in, go ahead and tell people whjat you think. 
                                         
                                        Dear Dr. Starman, Lutz, et al,
                                         
                                        I'm taking an interest in POF, quietly sitting here. I have my own opinions of Kuhlwind, whom I've not only heard speak but with whom I've learned not to pay attention to. Just my $0.02 worth, which isn't much.
                                         
                                        Cheers,
                                         
                                        Sheila
                                        ____________________________________________________
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                                      • Lutz Baar
                                        ... When a person uses a word, he means it to point to a concept, and if two people don t have the same concept when the word that stands for it is used,
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Oct 24, 2002
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                                          --- In steiner@y..., DRStarman2001@a... wrote:

                                          "When a person uses a word, he means it to point to a concept, and
                                          if two people don't have the same concept when the word that stands
                                          for it is used, there's no communication possible."

                                          I agree fully. A good exaple would be: 'intuitive thinking'.

                                          Dr Starman continues:
                                          "When I write 'triangle', if you say "Well, I read 'square'", you
                                          can forget communication. This is so elementary it's silly. I don't
                                          know where you're trying to go with all that."

                                          I agree again. It would indeed be silly to read 'square' when you
                                          write 'triangle'.

                                          However, I believe that you very well know where I am trying to
                                          go 'with all that', because I already explained it in my limited
                                          english. Otherwise you wouldn't choose to make my last letter
                                          look 'silly'. What I do not understand is why you find it neccessary
                                          to build up such a 'hostile' athmosphere, like finding it a "mistake
                                          to answer" to a contribution on this list??

                                          Lutz
                                        • DRStarman2001@aol.com
                                          ... *******I don t know why you perceive things that aren t there, but first, I really don t have any idea what point you re trying to make; second, no one is
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Oct 24, 2002
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                                            info@... writes:
                                            >>> I believe that you very well know where I am trying to go 'with all that', because I already explained it in my limited english. Otherwise you wouldn't choose to make my last letter look 'silly'. What I do not understand is why you find it neccessary
                                            to build up such a 'hostile' athmosphere, like finding it a "mistake to answer" to a contribution on this list??


                                            *******I don't know why you perceive things that aren't there, but first, I really don't have any idea what point you're trying to make;  second, no one is trying to make you look silly;  and third, I don't perceive any hostility here. If you want to assert your understanding of the PoF, you have every opportunity to do so to the group. I didn't want to continue this personal exchange about it because whatever you're so intense about might not have interested the list, and also because, as I'm now saying for the 4th time, there's no point in picking up a piece of the Philosophie der Freiheit and discussing it separate from the book as a whole. If the list would like to take it up, you'll have the time to say all you want to.

                                            Dr. Starman

                                            http://www.DrStarman.net
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