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Re: Emancipation in Cognition

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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