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Emancipation in Cognition

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  • juancompostella
    Sorry if this comes twice. Trouble come double ;) This was then the nature of my loneliness in Weimar, where I had such an extensive social relationship.
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 5, 2012
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      Sorry if this comes twice.  Trouble come double  ;)

      "This was then the nature of my loneliness in Weimar, where I had such an extensive social relationship. But I did not ascribe to these persons the fact that they condemned me to such loneliness. Indeed, I perceived that unconsciously striving in many people was the impulse toward a world-concept which would penetrate to the very roots of existence. I perceived how a manner of thinking which could move securely while it had to do only with that which lies immediately at hand yet weighed heavily upon their souls. "Nature is the whole world" – such was that manner of thinking. In regard to this way of thinking men believed that they must find it to be correct, and they suppressed in their souls everything which seemed to say one could not find this to be correct. It was in this light that much revealed itself to me in my spiritual surroundings at that time. It was the time in which my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, whose essential content I had long borne within me, was receiving its final form.

      As soon as it was off the press, I sent a copy to Eduard von Hartmann. He read it with close attention, for I soon received back his copy of the book with his detailed marginal comments from beginning to end. Besides, he wrote me, among other things, that the book ought to bear the title: Erkenntnistheoretischer Phänomenalismus und ethischer Individualismus(1). I He had utterly misunderstood the sources of the ideas and my objective. He thought of the sense-world after the Kantian fashion even though he modified this. He considered this world to be the effect produced by reality upon the soul through the senses. This reality, according to his view, can never enter into the field of perception which the soul embraces through consciousness. It must remain beyond consciousness. Only by means of logical inferences can man form hypothetical conceptions regarding it. The sense-world, therefore, does not constitute in itself an objective existence, but is merely a subjective phenomenon existing in the soul only so long as this embraces the phenomenon within consciousness.

      I had sought to prove in my book that no unknown lies behind the sense-world, but that within it lies the spiritual. And concerning the world of human ideas, I sought to show that these have their existence in that spiritual world. Therefore the reality of the sense-world is hidden from human consciousness only so long as the soul perceives by means of the senses alone. When, in addition to the sense-perceptions, the ideas are also experienced, then the sense-world in its objective reality is embraced within consciousness. Knowing does not consist in a copying of a real but the soul's living entrance into that real. Within the consciousness occurs that advance from the still unreal sense-world to the reality of this world.

      In truth is the sense-world also a spiritual world; and the soul lives together with this known spiritual world while it extends its consciousness over it. The goal of the process of consciousness is the conscious experience of the spiritual world, in the visible presence of which everything is resolved into spirit. I placed the world of spiritual reality over against phenomenalism. Eduard von Hartmann thought that I intended to remain within the phenomena and abandon the thought of arriving from these at any sort of objective reality. He conceived the thing as if by my way of thinking I were condemning the human mind to permanent incapacity to reach any sort of reality, to the necessity of moving always within a world of appearances having existence only in the conception of the mind (as a phenomenon).

      Thus my endeavour to reach the spirit through the expansion of consciousness was set over against the view that "spirit" exists solely in the human conception and apart from this can only be "thought." This was fundamentally the view of the age to which I had to introduce my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The experience of the spiritual had in this view of the matter shriveled up to a mere experience of human conceptions, and from these no way could be discovered to a real (objective) spiritual world. I desired to show how in that which is subjectively experienced the objective spiritual shines and becomes the true content of consciousness; Eduard von Hartmann opposed me with the opinion that whoever maintains this view remains fixed in the sensibly apparent and is not dealing at all with an objective reality. It was inevitable, therefore, that Eduard von Hartmann must consider my "ethical individualism" dubious.

      For what was this based upon in my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity? I saw at the centre of the soul's life its complete union with the spiritual world. I sought so to express this fact that an imaginary difficulty which disturbed many persons might resolve itself into nothing. That is, it is supposed that, in order to know, the soul – or the ego – must differentiate itself from that which is known, and therefore must not merge itself with this. But this differentiation is also possible when the soul swings, like a pendulum, as it were, between the union of itself with the spiritual real on the one hand and the sense of itself on the other. The soul becomes "unconscious" in sinking down into the objective spirit, but with the sense of itself it brings the completely spiritual into consciousness. If, now, it is possible that the personal individuality of men can sink down into the spiritual reality of the world, then in this reality it is possible to experience also the world of moral impulses. Morality becomes a content which reveals itself out of the spiritual world within the human individuality; and the consciousness expanded into the spiritual presses forward to the perception of this revelation. What impels man to moral behaviour is a revelation of the spiritual world in the experiencing of the spiritual world through the soul. And this experience takes place within the individuality of man. If man perceives himself in moral behaviour as acting in reciprocal relation with the spiritual world, he is then experiencing his freedom. For the spiritual world works within the soul, not by way of compulsion, but in such a way that man must develop freely the activity which enables him to receive the spiritual.

      In pointing out that the sense-world is in reality a world of spiritual being and that man, as a soul, by means of a true knowledge of the sense-world is weaving and living in a world of spirit – herein lies the first objective of my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. In characterizing the moral world as one whose being shines into the world of spirit experienced by the soul and thereby enables man to arrive at this moral world freely – herein lies the second objective. The moral being of man is thus sought in its completely individual unity with the ethical impulses of the spiritual world. I had the feeling that the first part of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and the second part form a spiritual organism, a genuine unity. Eduard von Hartmann was forced, however, to feel that they were coupled together quite arbitrarily as phenomenalism in the theory of knowledge and individualism in ethics.

      The form taken by the ideas of the book was determined by my own state of soul at that time. Through my experience of the spiritual world in direct perception, nature revealed itself to me as spirit; I desired to create a spiritual natural science. In the self-knowledge of the human soul through direct perception, the moral world entered into the soul as its entirely individual experience.

      In the experience of spirit lay the source of the form which I gave to my book. It is, first of all, the presentation of an anthroposophy which receives its direction from nature and from the place of man in nature with his own individual moral being.

      In a certain sense The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity released from me and introduced into the external world that which the first period of my life had brought before me in the form of ideas through the destiny which led me to experience the natural-scientific riddles of existence. The further way could now consist in nothing else than a struggle to arrive at ideal forms for the spiritual world itself. The forms of knowledge which man receives through sense-perception I represented as inner anthroposophical experience of the spirit on the part of the human soul. The fact that I had not yet used the term anthroposophic was done to the circumstance that my mind was always striving first to attain perception and scarcely at all after a terminology, My task was to form ideas which could express the human soul's experience of the spiritual world.

      An inner wrestling after the formation of such ideas comprises the content of that episode of my life which I passed through between my thirtieth and fortieth years of age. At that time fate placed me usually in an outer life-activity which did not so correspond with my inner life that it could have served to bring this to expression.

      Notes:

      Phenomenalism in the Theory of Knowledge and Individualism in Ethics.

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA028/TSoML/GA028_c17.html

       

    • be23566
      Steiner wrote according to his audience. What you posted is written for theosophists. Thus my endeavour to reach the spirit through the expansion of
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 6, 2012
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        Steiner wrote according to his audience. What you posted is written for theosophists.

        "Thus my endeavour to reach the spirit through the expansion of consciousness was set over against the view that "spirit" exists solely in the human conception and apart from this can only be "thought." This was fundamentally the view of the age to which I had to introduce my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The experience of the spiritual had in this view of the matter shriveled up to a mere experience of human conceptions, and from these no way could be discovered to a real (objective) spiritual world."

        In his POF work he speaks of "objective idealism" which for theosophists becomes an "objective spiritual world". He explains how thoughts do not just exist in our heads. With intuition we can grasp the corresponding concept of the thing which is its essential nature. Now theosophists can go further to some deeper clairvoyance of "spiritual worlds" but that is not a concern. In POF spiritual perception is irrelevant, no different than a sense perception, its just another perception that needs its corresponding concept.

        "For what was this based upon in my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity? I saw at the centre of the soul's life its complete union with the spiritual world. I sought so to express this fact that an imaginary difficulty which disturbed many persons might resolve itself into nothing. That is, it is supposed that, in order to know, the soul – or the ego – must differentiate itself from that which is known, and therefore must not merge itself with this. But this differentiation is also possible when the soul swings, like a pendulum, as it were, between the union of itself with the spiritual real on the one hand and the sense of itself on the other."

        In his POF work he explains how the ego merges with thinking. For theosophists he speaks of merging with the spiritual world. POF was not written for theosophists, though his 1918 revisions and additions tried to help theosophists understand it. To understand POF you need to know who it was written for. Theosophists don't really need POF. POF is a different path.

        In my book, "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment", I have described an entirely safe path leading to the supersensible, but I describe it in such a way that it applies for everybody, above all for those who have not devoted their lives to science. Today I shall describe a path (POF) into the supersensible that is much more for the scientist." The Boundaries of Natural Science VIII

        POF is to develop pure thinking, the basis of science. Successful study will lead to: "One should be able to say to oneself: now I know, as a result of the inner thought activity I myself have expended, what pure thinking actually is." Pure thinking is not really a big deal and is not considered as such by theosophists as they seek something more. But it is a precondition of science work. Theosophist want to find something more, which is great, if they do I hope they will tell the rest of us as Steiner did.

        POF is the result of independent thinking and is complete within itself  (I include his 3 preceding books). To refer to later sources to explain POF just doesn't hold up. I had an advantage in that I was not filled with preconceptions from anthroposophy before I studied POF but have studied it as it is. Interestingly, many of the sections that I had difficulty with were the 1918 revisions. After returning to the original POF the source of these difficulties were identified as the revisions. It is like going back to a great piece of art and revising it 25 years later as a different person, that is impossible. He should have just added the additions without tampering with the art. I agree with Steiner that the revisions are truthful, but that doesn't mean they are appropriate because now the reader needs a background in theosophy before the revisions can make sense which is fine for theosophists but tough luck for everybody else.

        My investigating this issue is that Steiner doesn't go beyond the world of ideas in POF itself. In his Goethe writing he went with Goethe's view that God is the "Idea". All ideas go forth from this Idea and thinking can discover this unity. If a persons investigations takes him to clairvoyant perceptions of Atlantis well good for you, but POF makes no claims of an objective spiritual world, just claims of an objective idea world. Now theosophists can giggle about having special knowledge that this is what Steiner is actually implying, but that is irrelevant to non-theosophists who aren't filled with the conceptions of theosophy.

        Tom Last 
        philosophyoffreedom.com


        --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "juancompostella" <juancompostella@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Sorry if this comes twice. Trouble come double ;)
        >
        > "This was then the nature of my loneliness in Weimar, where I had such
        > an extensive social relationship. But I did not ascribe to these persons
        > the fact that they condemned me to such loneliness. Indeed, I perceived
        > that unconsciously striving in many people was the impulse toward a
        > world-concept which would penetrate to the very roots of existence. I
        > perceived how a manner of thinking which could move securely while it
        > had to do only with that which lies immediately at hand yet weighed
        > heavily upon their souls. "Nature is the whole world" – such was
        > that manner of thinking. In regard to this way of thinking men believed
        > that they must find it to be correct, and they suppressed in their souls
        > everything which seemed to say one could not find this to be correct. It
        > was in this light that much revealed itself to me in my spiritual
        > surroundings at that time. It was the time in which my Philosophy of
        > Spiritual Activity, whose essential content I had long borne within me,
        > was receiving its final form.
        >
        > As soon as it was off the press, I sent a copy to Eduard von Hartmann.
        > He read it with close attention, for I soon received back his copy of
        > the book with his detailed marginal comments from beginning to end.
        > Besides, he wrote me, among other things, that the book ought to bear
        > the title: Erkenntnistheoretischer Phänomenalismus und ethischer
        > Individualismus(1). <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/steiner/l%20_notes>
        > I He had utterly misunderstood the sources of the ideas and my
        > objective. He thought of the sense-world after the Kantian fashion even
        > though he modified this. He considered this world to be the effect
        > produced by reality upon the soul through the senses. This reality,
        > according to his view, can never enter into the field of perception
        > which the soul embraces through consciousness. It must remain beyond
        > consciousness. Only by means of logical inferences can man form
        > hypothetical conceptions regarding it. The sense-world, therefore, does
        > not constitute in itself an objective existence, but is merely a
        > subjective phenomenon existing in the soul only so long as this embraces
        > the phenomenon within consciousness.
        >
        > I had sought to prove in my book that no unknown lies behind the
        > sense-world, but that within it lies the spiritual. And concerning the
        > world of human ideas, I sought to show that these have their existence
        > in that spiritual world. Therefore the reality of the sense-world is
        > hidden from human consciousness only so long as the soul perceives by
        > means of the senses alone. When, in addition to the sense-perceptions,
        > the ideas are also experienced, then the sense-world in its objective
        > reality is embraced within consciousness. Knowing does not consist in a
        > copying of a real but the soul's living entrance into that real. Within
        > the consciousness occurs that advance from the still unreal sense-world
        > to the reality of this world.
        >
        > In truth is the sense-world also a spiritual world; and the soul lives
        > together with this known spiritual world while it extends its
        > consciousness over it. The goal of the process of consciousness is the
        > conscious experience of the spiritual world, in the visible presence of
        > which everything is resolved into spirit. I placed the world of
        > spiritual reality over against phenomenalism. Eduard von Hartmann
        > thought that I intended to remain within the phenomena and abandon the
        > thought of arriving from these at any sort of objective reality. He
        > conceived the thing as if by my way of thinking I were condemning the
        > human mind to permanent incapacity to reach any sort of reality, to the
        > necessity of moving always within a world of appearances having
        > existence only in the conception of the mind (as a phenomenon).
        >
        > Thus my endeavour to reach the spirit through the expansion of
        > consciousness was set over against the view that "spirit" exists solely
        > in the human conception and apart from this can only be "thought." This
        > was fundamentally the view of the age to which I had to introduce my
        > Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The experience of the spiritual had in
        > this view of the matter shriveled up to a mere experience of human
        > conceptions, and from these no way could be discovered to a real
        > (objective) spiritual world. I desired to show how in that which is
        > subjectively experienced the objective spiritual shines and becomes the
        > true content of consciousness; Eduard von Hartmann opposed me with the
        > opinion that whoever maintains this view remains fixed in the sensibly
        > apparent and is not dealing at all with an objective reality. It was
        > inevitable, therefore, that Eduard von Hartmann must consider my
        > "ethical individualism" dubious.
        >
        > For what was this based upon in my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity? I
        > saw at the centre of the soul's life its complete union with the
        > spiritual world. I sought so to express this fact that an imaginary
        > difficulty which disturbed many persons might resolve itself into
        > nothing. That is, it is supposed that, in order to know, the soul –
        > or the ego – must differentiate itself from that which is known, and
        > therefore must not merge itself with this. But this differentiation is
        > also possible when the soul swings, like a pendulum, as it were, between
        > the union of itself with the spiritual real on the one hand and the
        > sense of itself on the other. The soul becomes "unconscious" in sinking
        > down into the objective spirit, but with the sense of itself it brings
        > the completely spiritual into consciousness. If, now, it is possible
        > that the personal individuality of men can sink down into the spiritual
        > reality of the world, then in this reality it is possible to experience
        > also the world of moral impulses. Morality becomes a content which
        > reveals itself out of the spiritual world within the human
        > individuality; and the consciousness expanded into the spiritual presses
        > forward to the perception of this revelation. What impels man to moral
        > behaviour is a revelation of the spiritual world in the experiencing of
        > the spiritual world through the soul. And this experience takes place
        > within the individuality of man. If man perceives himself in moral
        > behaviour as acting in reciprocal relation with the spiritual world, he
        > is then experiencing his freedom. For the spiritual world works within
        > the soul, not by way of compulsion, but in such a way that man must
        > develop freely the activity which enables him to receive the spiritual.
        >
        > In pointing out that the sense-world is in reality a world of spiritual
        > being and that man, as a soul, by means of a true knowledge of the
        > sense-world is weaving and living in a world of spirit – herein lies
        > the first objective of my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. In
        > characterizing the moral world as one whose being shines into the world
        > of spirit experienced by the soul and thereby enables man to arrive at
        > this moral world freely – herein lies the second objective. The
        > moral being of man is thus sought in its completely individual unity
        > with the ethical impulses of the spiritual world. I had the feeling that
        > the first part of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and the second
        > part form a spiritual organism, a genuine unity. Eduard von Hartmann was
        > forced, however, to feel that they were coupled together quite
        > arbitrarily as phenomenalism in the theory of knowledge and
        > individualism in ethics.
        >
        > The form taken by the ideas of the book was determined by my own state
        > of soul at that time. Through my experience of the spiritual world in
        > direct perception, nature revealed itself to me as spirit; I desired to
        > create a spiritual natural science. In the self-knowledge of the human
        > soul through direct perception, the moral world entered into the soul as
        > its entirely individual experience.
        >
        > In the experience of spirit lay the source of the form which I gave to
        > my book. It is, first of all, the presentation of an anthroposophy which
        > receives its direction from nature and from the place of man in nature
        > with his own individual moral being.
        >
        > In a certain sense The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity released from me
        > and introduced into the external world that which the first period of my
        > life had brought before me in the form of ideas through the destiny
        > which led me to experience the natural-scientific riddles of existence.
        > The further way could now consist in nothing else than a struggle to
        > arrive at ideal forms for the spiritual world itself. The forms of
        > knowledge which man receives through sense-perception I represented as
        > inner anthroposophical experience of the spirit on the part of the human
        > soul. The fact that I had not yet used the term anthroposophic was done
        > to the circumstance that my mind was always striving first to attain
        > perception and scarcely at all after a terminology, My task was to form
        > ideas which could express the human soul's experience of the spiritual
        > world.
        >
        > An inner wrestling after the formation of such ideas comprises the
        > content of that episode of my life which I passed through between my
        > thirtieth and fortieth years of age. At that time fate placed me usually
        > in an outer life-activity which did not so correspond with my inner life
        > that it could have served to bring this to expression.
        >
        > Notes:
        >
        > Phenomenalism in the Theory of Knowledge and Individualism in Ethics.
        >
        > http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA028/TSoML/GA028_c17.html
        > <http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA028/TSoML/GA028_c17.html>
        >
      • juancompostella
        ... for ... solely ... This ... in ... grasp ... just ... with ... imaginary ... – ... and ... between ... not ... tried ... but ... for ... study ... pure
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 6, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Steiner wrote according to his audience. What you posted is written
          for
          > theosophists.
          >
          > "Thus my endeavour to reach the spirit through the expansion of
          > consciousness was set over against the view that "spirit" exists
          solely
          > in the human conception and apart from this can only be "thought."
          This
          > was fundamentally the view of the age to which I had to introduce my
          > Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The experience of the spiritual had
          in
          > this view of the matter shriveled up to a mere experience of human
          > conceptions, and from these no way could be discovered to a real
          > (objective) spiritual world."
          >
          > In his POF work he speaks of "objective idealism" which for
          > theosophists becomes an "objective spiritual world". He explains
          > how thoughts do not just exist in our heads. With intuition we can
          grasp
          > the corresponding concept of the thing which is its essential nature.
          > Now theosophists can go further to some deeper clairvoyance of
          > "spiritual worlds" but that is not a concern. In POF spiritual
          > perception is irrelevant, no different than a sense perception, its
          just
          > another perception that needs its corresponding concept.
          >
          > "For what was this based upon in my Philosophy of Spiritual
          > Activity? I saw at the centre of the soul's life its complete union
          with
          > the spiritual world. I sought so to express this fact that an
          imaginary
          > difficulty which disturbed many persons might resolve itself into
          > nothing. That is, it is supposed that, in order to know, the soul
          –
          > or the ego – must differentiate itself from that which is known,
          and
          > therefore must not merge itself with this. But this differentiation is
          > also possible when the soul swings, like a pendulum, as it were,
          between
          > the union of itself with the spiritual real on the one hand and the
          > sense of itself on the other."
          >
          > In his POF work he explains how the ego merges with thinking. For
          > theosophists he speaks of merging with the spiritual world. POF was
          not
          > written for theosophists, though his 1918 revisions and additions
          tried
          > to help theosophists understand it. To understand POF you need to know
          > who it was written for. Theosophists don't really need POF. POF is a
          > different path.
          >
          > In my book, "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment",
          > I have described an entirely safe path leading to the supersensible,
          but
          > I describe it in such a way that it applies for everybody, above all
          for
          > those who have not devoted their lives to science. Today I shall
          > describe a path (POF) into the supersensible that is much more for the
          > scientist." The Boundaries of Natural Science VIII
          >
          > POF is to develop pure thinking, the basis of science. Successful
          study
          > will lead to: "One should be able to say to oneself: now I know, as
          > a result of the inner thought activity I myself have expended, what
          pure
          > thinking actually is." Pure thinking is not really a big deal and is
          > not considered as such by theosophists as they seek something more.
          But
          > it is a precondition of science work. Theosophist want to find
          something
          > more, which is great, if they do I hope they will tell the rest of us
          as
          > Steiner did.
          > POF is the result of independent thinking and is complete within
          itself
          > (I include his 3 preceding books). To refer to later sources to
          explain
          > POF just doesn't hold up. I had an advantage in that I was not filled
          > with preconceptions from anthroposophy before I studied POF but have
          > studied it as it is. Interestingly, many of the sections that I had
          > difficulty with were the 1918 revisions. After returning to the
          original
          > POF the source of these difficulties were identified as the revisions.
          > It is like going back to a great piece of art and revising it 25 years
          > later as a different person, that is impossible. He should have just
          > added the additions without tampering with the art. I agree with
          Steiner
          > that the revisions are truthful, but that doesn't mean they are
          > appropriate because now the reader needs a background in theosophy
          > before the revisions can make sense which is fine for theosophists but
          > tough luck for everybody else.
          >
          > My investigating this issue is that Steiner doesn't go beyond the
          world
          > of ideas in POF itself. In his Goethe writing he went with Goethe's
          view
          > that God is the "Idea". All ideas go forth from this Idea and thinking
          > can discover this unity. If a persons investigations takes him to
          > clairvoyant perceptions of Atlantis well good for you, but POF makes
          no
          > claims of an objective spiritual world, just claims of an objective
          idea
          > world. Now theosophists can giggle about having special knowledge that
          > this is what Steiner is actually implying, but that is irrelevant to
          > non-theosophists who aren't filled with the conceptions of theosophy.
          >
          > Tom Last
          > philosophyoffreedom.com


          Steiner was writing his autobiography in 1924, wherein he recollects how
          POF came into being. He was not necessarily writing to a theosophical
          audience, but reflecting on his life because someone had suggested it
          would be a good idea for him to tell his own story.

          And theosophy had become anthroposophy some twelve years before when
          Annie Besant expelled the German Section of the Theosophical Society,
          which Steiner presided over. My experience is that anthroposophists are
          highly involved with POF thinking, and actually see it as the
          foundational thought-model and philosophy for what accrues as
          "sense-free thinkiing", which advances under its own power into the
          domain of spiritual science.

          POF certainly has its own exclusive merits outside the field of
          spiritual science, but Steiner advanced every year of his life. In the
          1880's and 90's he was looking to clarify what he found in editing
          Goethe's scientific writings, wherein a unique form of thinking existed
          and had largely been replaced with a more mechanistic look at nature. He
          discovered that Goethe's thinking embraced the living reality of etheric
          formative forces, which has a Greek origin. And he sought to further
          elaborate thinking and being in a form that he felt would culminate
          German Idealism in its most complete and objective culmination.

          All of it harkens back to the Platonism and Aristotelianism of Greek
          times. This is essentially what POF is, and updated for the modern way
          of life and thinking with complete independence of the individual soul
          and spirit.

          Steiner fully intended to advance the principles of POF into his
          spiritual-scientific researches as a matter of destiny, beginning in
          1900, as he approached the age of forty, wherein the initiate is allowed
          to come forth openly. His "Outline of Occult Science" in 1909 fully
          contains the principles of POF as extending into the spiritual domain in
          its very first chapter. This chapter is clearly an effort to retain the
          free thinking inherent in POF as the foundation for further explorations
          into the science of the spirit.

          It seems to me that to remain rather exclusive to studying POF is
          imposing a voluntary limitation to existence, which would actually be a
          reduction of freedom. But, again, the choice would be a free one to do
          so.

          Juan
        • be23566
          I don t recall etheric formative forces in POF. I don t want to get unnecessarily side tracked by anthroposophy. My interest is POF for all. By inserting
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 6, 2012
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            I don't recall "etheric formative forces" in POF. I don't want to get unnecessarily side tracked by anthroposophy. My interest is POF for all. By inserting anthroposophy into POF the book will no longer be acceptable to the bulk of humanity. Of course this is an anthroposophy website so I should best be respectful and just not respond when others view POF through anthroposophy. I apologize.

            "this book occupies a position completely independent of my writings on actual spiritual scientific matters... What I have said in this book may be acceptable even to some who, for reasons of their own,
            refuse to have anything to do with the results of my researches into the spiritual realm." Rudolf Steiner,
            The Philosophy of Freedom, 1918 Preface to the Revised Edition

            Tom Last


            --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "juancompostella" <juancompostella@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@> wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > Steiner wrote according to his audience. What you posted is written
            > for
            > > theosophists.
            > >
            > > "Thus my endeavour to reach the spirit through the expansion of
            > > consciousness was set over against the view that "spirit" exists
            > solely
            > > in the human conception and apart from this can only be "thought."
            > This
            > > was fundamentally the view of the age to which I had to introduce my
            > > Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The experience of the spiritual had
            > in
            > > this view of the matter shriveled up to a mere experience of human
            > > conceptions, and from these no way could be discovered to a real
            > > (objective) spiritual world."
            > >
            > > In his POF work he speaks of "objective idealism" which for
            > > theosophists becomes an "objective spiritual world". He explains
            > > how thoughts do not just exist in our heads. With intuition we can
            > grasp
            > > the corresponding concept of the thing which is its essential nature.
            > > Now theosophists can go further to some deeper clairvoyance of
            > > "spiritual worlds" but that is not a concern. In POF spiritual
            > > perception is irrelevant, no different than a sense perception, its
            > just
            > > another perception that needs its corresponding concept.
            > >
            > > "For what was this based upon in my Philosophy of Spiritual
            > > Activity? I saw at the centre of the soul's life its complete union
            > with
            > > the spiritual world. I sought so to express this fact that an
            > imaginary
            > > difficulty which disturbed many persons might resolve itself into
            > > nothing. That is, it is supposed that, in order to know, the soul
            > –
            > > or the ego – must differentiate itself from that which is known,
            > and
            > > therefore must not merge itself with this. But this differentiation is
            > > also possible when the soul swings, like a pendulum, as it were,
            > between
            > > the union of itself with the spiritual real on the one hand and the
            > > sense of itself on the other."
            > >
            > > In his POF work he explains how the ego merges with thinking. For
            > > theosophists he speaks of merging with the spiritual world. POF was
            > not
            > > written for theosophists, though his 1918 revisions and additions
            > tried
            > > to help theosophists understand it. To understand POF you need to know
            > > who it was written for. Theosophists don't really need POF. POF is a
            > > different path.
            > >
            > > In my book, "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment",
            > > I have described an entirely safe path leading to the supersensible,
            > but
            > > I describe it in such a way that it applies for everybody, above all
            > for
            > > those who have not devoted their lives to science. Today I shall
            > > describe a path (POF) into the supersensible that is much more for the
            > > scientist." The Boundaries of Natural Science VIII
            > >
            > > POF is to develop pure thinking, the basis of science. Successful
            > study
            > > will lead to: "One should be able to say to oneself: now I know, as
            > > a result of the inner thought activity I myself have expended, what
            > pure
            > > thinking actually is." Pure thinking is not really a big deal and is
            > > not considered as such by theosophists as they seek something more.
            > But
            > > it is a precondition of science work. Theosophist want to find
            > something
            > > more, which is great, if they do I hope they will tell the rest of us
            > as
            > > Steiner did.
            > > POF is the result of independent thinking and is complete within
            > itself
            > > (I include his 3 preceding books). To refer to later sources to
            > explain
            > > POF just doesn't hold up. I had an advantage in that I was not filled
            > > with preconceptions from anthroposophy before I studied POF but have
            > > studied it as it is. Interestingly, many of the sections that I had
            > > difficulty with were the 1918 revisions. After returning to the
            > original
            > > POF the source of these difficulties were identified as the revisions.
            > > It is like going back to a great piece of art and revising it 25 years
            > > later as a different person, that is impossible. He should have just
            > > added the additions without tampering with the art. I agree with
            > Steiner
            > > that the revisions are truthful, but that doesn't mean they are
            > > appropriate because now the reader needs a background in theosophy
            > > before the revisions can make sense which is fine for theosophists but
            > > tough luck for everybody else.
            > >
            > > My investigating this issue is that Steiner doesn't go beyond the
            > world
            > > of ideas in POF itself. In his Goethe writing he went with Goethe's
            > view
            > > that God is the "Idea". All ideas go forth from this Idea and thinking
            > > can discover this unity. If a persons investigations takes him to
            > > clairvoyant perceptions of Atlantis well good for you, but POF makes
            > no
            > > claims of an objective spiritual world, just claims of an objective
            > idea
            > > world. Now theosophists can giggle about having special knowledge that
            > > this is what Steiner is actually implying, but that is irrelevant to
            > > non-theosophists who aren't filled with the conceptions of theosophy.
            > >
            > > Tom Last
            > > philosophyoffreedom.com
            >
            >
            > Steiner was writing his autobiography in 1924, wherein he recollects how
            > POF came into being. He was not necessarily writing to a theosophical
            > audience, but reflecting on his life because someone had suggested it
            > would be a good idea for him to tell his own story.
            >
            > And theosophy had become anthroposophy some twelve years before when
            > Annie Besant expelled the German Section of the Theosophical Society,
            > which Steiner presided over. My experience is that anthroposophists are
            > highly involved with POF thinking, and actually see it as the
            > foundational thought-model and philosophy for what accrues as
            > "sense-free thinkiing", which advances under its own power into the
            > domain of spiritual science.
            >
            > POF certainly has its own exclusive merits outside the field of
            > spiritual science, but Steiner advanced every year of his life. In the
            > 1880's and 90's he was looking to clarify what he found in editing
            > Goethe's scientific writings, wherein a unique form of thinking existed
            > and had largely been replaced with a more mechanistic look at nature. He
            > discovered that Goethe's thinking embraced the living reality of etheric
            > formative forces, which has a Greek origin. And he sought to further
            > elaborate thinking and being in a form that he felt would culminate
            > German Idealism in its most complete and objective culmination.
            >
            > All of it harkens back to the Platonism and Aristotelianism of Greek
            > times. This is essentially what POF is, and updated for the modern way
            > of life and thinking with complete independence of the individual soul
            > and spirit.
            >
            > Steiner fully intended to advance the principles of POF into his
            > spiritual-scientific researches as a matter of destiny, beginning in
            > 1900, as he approached the age of forty, wherein the initiate is allowed
            > to come forth openly. His "Outline of Occult Science" in 1909 fully
            > contains the principles of POF as extending into the spiritual domain in
            > its very first chapter. This chapter is clearly an effort to retain the
            > free thinking inherent in POF as the foundation for further explorations
            > into the science of the spirit.
            >
            > It seems to me that to remain rather exclusive to studying POF is
            > imposing a voluntary limitation to existence, which would actually be a
            > reduction of freedom. But, again, the choice would be a free one to do
            > so.
            >
            > Juan
            >
          • dalelute@gmail.com
            It seems to me that to remain rather exclusive to studying POF is imposing a voluntary limitation to existence, which would actually be a reduction of
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 6, 2012
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              "It seems to me that to remain rather exclusive to studying POF is
              imposing a voluntary limitation to existence, which would actually be a reduction of freedom. But, again, the choice would be a free one to do so."

              Good point Juan.

              The work of Steiner is so vast! It's amazing to see how many paths people take. The only thing I would ever disagree with is restriction or subscribing to a single concept and not exploring others because of anticipated reaction.
              Allowing yourself and others to do what they do.
              This is true freedom. Freedom from judgement and fear while allowing all to be who they are.

              Here's some excerpts from The way of initiation: or, How to attain knowledge of the higher worlds. I printed this in April and keep it in my back pocket:

              No teacher wishes to establish an ascendancy over other persons. He would not tamper with individual independence.

              Keep watch over each of your actions and each of your words, in order that you may not hinder the free-will of any human being.

              Provide for yourself moments of inward calm, and in these moments learn to distinguish between the real and the unreal.
              Our aim in these moments of meditation must be to contemplate and judge our own experiences and actions as though it were not ourselves but some other person to whom they applied. Contemplate oneself and others with the inward calm of the critic. When this is attained, our own experiences present themselves in a new light.

              Gradually this Higher Life will make its influence felt on the ordinary life. The calm of the moments set apart will influence the ordinary existence as well. The whole self will grow calmer, will attain serenity in all his actions, and will cease to be perturbed by all manner of incidents.

              This calm should not interfere with our responsibilities:
              "I will summon up all my strength so as to do my work as well as I possibly can." And he suppresses the thought which encourages timidity; for he knows that this very timidity might spoil his undertaking, and that at any rate it can contribute nothing to the improvement of his labor.

              I am only a link in the whole of humanity, and consequently I, too, in part, bear the responsibility for everything that happens.

              One must know that thoughts and feelings produce an effect as much as the action of one's hand.

              political agitators know well what can be demanded of other people, but they say little of demands on themselves.
              bring forth the will for sincere and devoted work and not the desire to criticise and destroy.

              Those who have arrived at a somewhat advanced stage of knowledge are aware that they owe everything to a quiet attention and assimilation, and not to a stubborn personal judgment. One should always remember that one does not need to learn what one is already able to understand. Therefore, if one only desires to judge, one cannot learn any more.
            • juancompostella
              ... Exactly. And I more than inferred that POF stands on its own as a system of study designed to get to pure thinking and the perception that goes with it.
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 6, 2012
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                --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@...> wrote:
                >
                > I don't recall "etheric formative forces" in POF. I don't want to get unnecessarily side tracked by anthroposophy. My interest is POF for all. By inserting anthroposophy into POF the book will no longer be acceptable to the bulk of humanity. Of course this is an anthroposophy website so I should best be respectful and just not respond when others view POF through anthroposophy. I apologize.
                >
                > "this book occupies a position completely independent of my writings on actual spiritual scientific matters... What I have said in this book may be acceptable even to some who, for reasons of their own,
                > refuse to have anything to do with the results of my researches into the spiritual realm." Rudolf Steiner,
                > The Philosophy of Freedom, 1918 Preface to the Revised Edition
                >
                > Tom Last

                Exactly. And I more than inferred that POF stands on its own as a system of study designed to get to pure thinking and the perception that goes with it. Goethe was perceived by Steiner as having a close relation to "etheric formative forces", which indeed, is nowhere to be found in POF.

                Tom, my sole intent in giving these offerings from Steiner's own bio was simply to reflect his thoughts on his fundamental work some thirty years after it was written. I find that he still reveres it as his magnum opus with great regard.

                And nowhere does he ever indicate that it was superceded in its importance by anthroposophy. Anthroposophy was simply the stage that began in 1900. POF always held its high place as the benchmark of philosophy.

                Juan
              • juancompostella
                I wonder why Tom feels that anthroposophy somehow degrades from the purity of POF? It doesn t. It can only help to expand his own initiative. Juan
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 6, 2012
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                  I wonder why Tom feels that anthroposophy somehow degrades from the purity of POF? It doesn't.

                  It can only help to expand his own initiative.

                  Juan

                  --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, dalelute@... wrote:
                  >
                  > "It seems to me that to remain rather exclusive to studying POF is
                  > imposing a voluntary limitation to existence, which would actually be a reduction of freedom. But, again, the choice would be a free one to do so."
                  >
                  > Good point Juan.
                  >
                  > The work of Steiner is so vast! It's amazing to see how many paths people take. The only thing I would ever disagree with is restriction or subscribing to a single concept and not exploring others because of anticipated reaction.
                  > Allowing yourself and others to do what they do.
                  > This is true freedom. Freedom from judgement and fear while allowing all to be who they are.
                  >
                  > Here's some excerpts from The way of initiation: or, How to attain knowledge of the higher worlds. I printed this in April and keep it in my back pocket:
                  >
                  > No teacher wishes to establish an ascendancy over other persons. He would not tamper with individual independence.
                  >
                  > Keep watch over each of your actions and each of your words, in order that you may not hinder the free-will of any human being.
                  >
                  > Provide for yourself moments of inward calm, and in these moments learn to distinguish between the real and the unreal.
                  > Our aim in these moments of meditation must be to contemplate and judge our own experiences and actions as though it were not ourselves but some other person to whom they applied. Contemplate oneself and others with the inward calm of the critic. When this is attained, our own experiences present themselves in a new light.
                  >
                  > Gradually this Higher Life will make its influence felt on the ordinary life. The calm of the moments set apart will influence the ordinary existence as well. The whole self will grow calmer, will attain serenity in all his actions, and will cease to be perturbed by all manner of incidents.
                  >
                  > This calm should not interfere with our responsibilities:
                  > "I will summon up all my strength so as to do my work as well as I possibly can." And he suppresses the thought which encourages timidity; for he knows that this very timidity might spoil his undertaking, and that at any rate it can contribute nothing to the improvement of his labor.
                  >
                  > I am only a link in the whole of humanity, and consequently I, too, in part, bear the responsibility for everything that happens.
                  >
                  > One must know that thoughts and feelings produce an effect as much as the action of one's hand.
                  >
                  > political agitators know well what can be demanded of other people, but they say little of demands on themselves.
                  > bring forth the will for sincere and devoted work and not the desire to criticise and destroy.
                  >
                  > Those who have arrived at a somewhat advanced stage of knowledge are aware that they owe everything to a quiet attention and assimilation, and not to a stubborn personal judgment. One should always remember that one does not need to learn what one is already able to understand. Therefore, if one only desires to judge, one cannot learn any more.
                  >
                • Durward Starman
                  Thank you for posting this nice summary of Knowledge of the Higher Worlds first chapter. We re taking that up in our study group and I m going to print it our
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 13, 2012
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                    Thank you for posting this nice summary of Knowledge of the Higher Worlds' first chapter. We're taking that up in our study group and I'm going to print it our for everyone.

                    -Starman


                    The work of Steiner is so vast! It's amazing to see how many paths people take. The only thing I would ever disagree with is restriction or subscribing to a single concept and not exploring others because of anticipated reaction.
                    Allowing yourself and others to do what they do.
                    This is true freedom. Freedom from judgement and fear while allowing all to be who they are.

                    Here's some excerpts from The way of initiation: or, How to attain knowledge of the higher worlds. I printed this in April and keep it in my back pocket:

                    No teacher wishes to establish an ascendancy over other persons. He would not tamper with individual independence.

                    Keep watch over each of your actions and each of your words, in order that you may not hinder the free-will of any human being.

                    Provide for yourself moments of inward calm, and in these moments learn to distinguish between the real and the unreal.
                    Our aim in these moments of meditation must be to contemplate and judge our own experiences and actions as though it were not ourselves but some other person to whom they applied. Contemplate oneself and others with the inward calm of the critic. When this is attained, our own experiences present themselves in a new light.

                    Gradually this Higher Life will make its influence felt on the ordinary life. The calm of the moments set apart will influence the ordinary existence as well. The whole self will grow calmer, will attain serenity in all his actions, and will cease to be perturbed by all manner of incidents.

                    This calm should not interfere with our responsibilities:
                    "I will summon up all my strength so as to do my work as well as I possibly can." And he suppresses the thought which encourages timidity; for he knows that this very timidity might spoil his undertaking, and that at any rate it can contribute nothing to the improvement of his labor.

                    I am only a link in the whole of humanity, and consequently I, too, in part, bear the responsibility for everything that happens.

                    One must know that thoughts and feelings produce an effect as much as the action of one's hand.

                    political agitators know well what can be demanded of other people, but they say little of demands on themselves.
                    bring forth the will for sincere and devoted work and not the desire to criticise and destroy.

                    Those who have arrived at a somewhat advanced stage of knowledge are aware that they owe everything to a quiet attention and assimilation, and not to a stubborn personal judgment. One should always remember that one does not need to learn what one is already able to understand. Therefore, if one only desires to judge, one cannot learn any more.


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