Steiner's Philosophical Path [was: to experience thinking]
- softabyss@... writes:
Dr. Starman said (concerning the 'Philosophie der Freiheit' of Dr. Steiner):
"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."
>>> I will postup 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...
*******Well, once again we're talking about things that most people on the list might not be able to follow. To help you all out----- Carol is asking questions about the path of developing pure thinking as Steiner created it in his philosophical works, especially his main work The Philosophie der Freiheit (Philosophy of Spiritual Activity). It's a path to becoming aware of the spirit based entirely on thinking, different from anthroposophy: he said it's safer but difficult for most people today.
Actually, Carol, the book is divided into two parts, deliberately. The first half is about conscious thinking. The second half is about freedom of the will. And it's trying to show how the will is free and not shackled, from the standpoint of conscious thinking developed right from the start in the FIRST half of the book. Someone who is looking for new definitions of thinking in the second half is off track; there are some new little bits put in as footnotes in 1918, that's all. The first half is the 'Organum', or assembling the tools: the second half is applying them. The definitions are thus, of course, at the start. The first half is saying "Ye shall know the truth" and the second half is "...and the truth shall make you free." The point of the second half of the book is how to lead one who works with it to realize how to ACT out of the spirit. It's not concerned with definitions of thinking, but with living out of the spirit that one contacts in conscious thinking in the first half.
One thing that might help put things in perspective, and hopefully keep them there, is perhaps to read Steiner's other philosophical works, because he makes the same points he makes in the PoF in his commentaries on Goethe's scientific works, his Theory of Knowledge Implicit In Goethe's World-Conception, Truth and Knowledge, etc. It's not like there are things in a few lines of the PoF he didn't say similarly elsewhere. --- In fact, it would also be good to read the other philosophers he refers to so often (e.g., Goethe, Lessing, Hegel, Fichte etc.). As is often the case with things we in the US first hear from Steiner, things one could easily suppose are some occult knowledge known only to him are actually common ideas of his time. The two world wars have erased the teaching of German philosophical Idealism in the West. Thinking that is conscious of itself is found in so many of the German greats he was born amongst--- as well as in Emerson, Plato, and on and on.
>>>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...
*******Not sure either. Since thinking makes itself into a percept, it can never have 'no percepts'. But starting a discussion of the PoF in the middle of the book is absurd.
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.
*******I was responding to Lutz, who asserted that a footnote in Ch. 8 meant that we have to go beyond thinking about thinking we've just finished doing, and instead somehow be observing our thinking simultaneously with doing it. (The former comes from the experience Steiner leads the reader to in Ch. 3, of observing his own thinking.) I gather Kuhlewind is saying that's not good enough, and there's some magic something-or-other required that Steiner's hinting at in footnotes, and Lutz was following him on that. I said Steiner nowhere says the goal is to observe your thinking as you do it, but rather says flatly that's quite impossible, as does common sense.
i>>> 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.
*******Gladly, if you'd tell me what "what kind of experience you are suggesting that Steiner is NOT making" means!
I'd really like to suggest that if you want to talk about the PoF, you set aside some time to run thru it from the beginning. The answers to your questions would then become clear to you, I'm sure, and others would be able to follow and join in.
My impression so far is I think this all is symptomatic of getting lost in the book.