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The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity Ch. 10

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and Monism The naive man who regards as real only what he can see with his eyes and grasp with his hands, also needs to have
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 2, 2002
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      Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and Monism

      The naive man who regards as real only what he can see with his eyes and
      grasp with his hands, also needs to have motives for his moral life that are
      perceptible to the senses. He needs someone who will impart these motives to
      him in a way that he can understand by means of his senses. He will let them
      be dictated to him as commands by a person whom he considers wiser and more
      powerful than himself, or whom he acknowledges, for some other reason, to be
      a power standing above him. In this way the moral principles already
      mentioned come about through being prescribed by authority of family, state,
      society, church, or the Divinity. An undeveloped person still trusts in the
      authority of a single individual; a somewhat more advanced person lets his
      moral conduct be dictated by a majority (state, society). But it is always
      perceptible powers upon which he relies. When at last the conviction dawns
      upon him that fundamentally all these are weak human beings just like
      himself, then he will seek guidance from a higher power, from a divine Being,
      whom, however, he endows with sense-perceptible qualities. He lets the
      conceptual content of his moral life be dictated to him by this Being, again
      in a perceptible way, for example when God appears in the burning bush, or
      moves among men in bodily human form and in a manner perceptible to their
      ears tells them what to do and what not to do.
      The highest level of development of naive realism in the moral sphere is
      reached when the moral command (moral idea) has been separated from every
      foreign entity, and is hypothetically thought of as an absolute force in
      one's own inner being. What at first is sensed as the external voice of God,
      is now sensed as an independent power within man, and is spoken of in a way
      that shows the inner power to be identified with the voice of conscience.
      When this happens, the level of naive consciousness has been abandoned and we
      enter the region where moral laws become independent rules. They no longer
      have a bearer, but have become metaphysical entities, existing by themselves.
      They are similar to the invisible-visible forces of the metaphysical realist
      who does not look for the reality of things in the human soul's participation
      in this reality through thinking, but who hypothetically imagines reality as
      an addition to actual experience. Extra-human moral rules, therefore, always
      accompany metaphysical realism. Metaphysical realism cannot do otherwise than
      seek the origin of morality too in a sphere beyond human reach. And here
      there are several possibilities. If the presupposed Being is thought of as in
      itself unthinking, acting according to purely mechanical laws, as materialism
      thinks of it, then out of itself it must also produce, by purely mechanical
      necessity, the human individual and all that belongs to him. The
      consciousness of freedom can then be only an illusion. For while I believe
      myself to be the creator of my deeds, it is the material substances of which
      I am composed, together with their processes, that are at work within me. I
      believe myself to be free, whereas in reality all my actions are but results
      of the material processes which are the foundation of my bodily and spiritual
      organism. According to this point of view, it is simply because we do not
      know the motives compelling us, that we have the feeling of freedom. "We must
      emphasize that the feeling of freedom is due to the absence of external
      compelling motives." "Our actions as well as our thinking are subject to
      necessity."
      Another possibility is that the extra-human absolute is seen as a spiritual
      Being behind the world of phenomena. Then the impulse to action will also be
      sought in such a spiritual power. The moral principles to be found in man's
      reason will be regarded as issuing from this Being-in-itself, which has its
      own particular intentions with regard to man. Moral laws appear to such a
      dualist as dictated by the Absolute, and through his reason, man simply has
      to discover and carry out these decisions of the Absolute Being. The moral
      world-order appears to the dualist as the perceptible reflection of a higher
      order that stands behind it. Earthly morality is the manifestation of the
      extra-human world order. It is not man that matters in this moral order, but
      the Being-in-itself, the extra-human Being. Man ought to do what this Being
      wills. Eduard von Hartmann, who sees the Being-in-itself as the Godhead whose
      very existence is suffering, believes that this divine Being has created the
      world in order that through the world he will be redeemed from his infinitely
      great pain. This philosopher therefore regards the moral development of
      mankind as a process which exists for the purpose of redeeming the Godhead.
      "Only through the building up of a moral world-order by sensible, responsible
      individuals can the aim of the world process be carried through...."
      "Existence in its reality is the incarnation of the Godhead-the world process
      is the Passion of the God becoming flesh, and at the same time the path of
      redemption of Him who was crucified in the flesh; and morality is the co-opera
      tion in the shortening of this path of suffering and redemption."
      Here man does not act because he wills, but he ought to act because it is
      God's will to be redeemed. Just as the materialistic dualist makes man into
      an automaton whose conduct is merely the result of purely mechanical laws, so
      the spiritualistic dualist (that is, he who sees the Absolute, the
      Being-in-itself, as a spiritual entity in which man has no conscious share)
      makes him into a slave of the will of the Absolute. Freedom is out of the
      question in materialism as well as in one-sided spiritualism, in fact in any
      kind of metaphysical realism which does not experience, but infers something
      extra-human as the true reality.
      Naive as well as metaphysical realism, in order to be consistent, must deny
      freedom for one and the same reason, since they regard man as being simply
      the agent or executor of principles which are forced upon him by necessity.
      Naive realism kills freedom through subjection to the authority either of a
      perceptible being or of an entity thought of as similar to a perceptible
      being, or else through submission to the authority of the abstract inner
      voice which is interpreted as "conscience;" the metaphysical realist, who
      merely infers something extra-human, cannot acknowledge freedom because he
      lets man be determined, mechanically or morally, by a "Being-in-itself."
      Monism must acknowledge the partial justification of naive realism because it
      acknowledges the justification of the world of perceptions. Someone who is
      incapable of bringing forth moral ideas through intuition, will have to
      receive them from others. Insofar as a man receives his moral principles from
      outside, he is positively unfree. But monism ascribes equal significance to
      the idea compared with perception. And the idea can come to manifestation in
      the human individual. Insofar as man follows the impulses coming from this
      side, he feels free. But monism denies all justification to a metaphysics
      which merely draws inferences, and consequently also to impulses of action
      stemming from a so-called "Being-in-itself." According to the monistic view,
      man's action is unfree when he obeys some perceptible external compulsion; it
      is free when he obeys himself. Monism cannot acknowledge any kind of
      unconscious compulsion hidden behind perception and concept. When someone
      maintains that a fellow man was not free when he performed an action, it must
      be possible to prove the existence within the perceptible world of the thing,
      the person, or the institution that made the man act; but if an appeal is
      made to causes for the action lying outside the sphere of physical and
      spiritual reality, then monism cannot enter the discussion.
      According to monism, in his activity man is partly unfree, partly free. He is
      unfree in the world of perceptions, but brings the free spirit to realization
      in himself.
      The moral commands which the metaphysical realist merely infers and cannot
      but consider as issuing from a higher power, for the monist are thoughts of
      men; for the monist the moral world order is neither a copy of a purely
      mechanical natural order, nor of an extra-human world order, but entirely a
      free undertaking of man. Man does not have to carry out the will of some
      Being existing beyond his reach; he carries out his own will; he does not
      bring to realization the decisions and intentions of another Being, but
      brings his own to realization. Monism does not see the purpose of a foreign
      rulership behind man, determining him from outside, but rather that insofar
      as they bring intuitive ideas to realization, human beings pursue solely
      their own human purposes. And indeed, each individual pursues his own
      particular purpose. For the world of ideas expresses itself not in a
      community of men, but only in the individual man. The common goal of a group
      of men is nothing but the result of the separate will-activities of the
      individual persons, and usually of a few outstanding ones whom the rest
      follow as their authorities. Each one of us is destined to become a free
      spirit, just as every rose seed is destined to become a rose.
      The monistic view, in the sphere of truly moral conduct, is a philosophy of
      freedom. And as it is also a philosophy of reality, it rejects metaphysical
      and unreal restrictions of man's free spirit just as it acknowledges physical
      and historical (naively real) restrictions of the naive man. Since monism
      does not regard man as a finished product, as a being who at every moment of
      his life unfolds his full nature, it seems futile to discuss whether man, as
      such, is free or not. Man is seen as a being in the process of self
      development, and one may ask whether, in the course of this development the
      stage of the free spirit can be attained.
      Monism knows that nature does not release man from its care complete and
      finished as a free spirit, but it leads him up to a certain level from which,
      still unfree. he continues to develop until he reaches the point where he
      finds his own self.
      To monism it is obvious that a being acting under physical or moral
      compulsion cannot be moral in a real sense. It regards the level of
      transition through automatic conduct (according to natural urges and
      instincts) and through obedient conduct (according to moral rules) as
      necessary preliminary stages of morality, but it also recognizes the
      possibility for man to overcome both transitory levels through his free
      spirit. A truly moral world view is released by monism, both from the fetters
      of naive moral principles in man's inner world, and from the moral principles
      of the speculating metaphysicist in the external world. The naive principles
      of morality can be eliminated from the world as little as can perceptions.
      The metaphysical view is rejected because monism seeks all the factors for
      explaining world-phenomena within the world, and none outside it. Just as
      monism finds it unnecessary to entertain thoughts of principles of knowledge
      other than those inherent in man, (p. 140) so it also definitely finds it
      unnecessary to entertain thoughts of principles of morality other than those
      inherent in man. Human morality, like human knowledge, is determined through
      human nature. And just as knowledge would mean something quite different to
      beings other than man, so other beings would also have a different morality.
      Morality for the monist is a specifically human quality, and freedom is the
      form in which human morality finds expression.
      First Addition to the Revised Edition, 1918. Difficulty in judging what is
      presented in the two preceding chapters may arise because one believes
      oneself to be confronted by a contradiction. On the one hand, the experience
      of thinking is spoken of as having a general significance of equal value for
      every human consciousness; on the other hand, it is shown that though the
      ideas realized in moral life are of the same kind as those worked out by
      thinking, they come to expression in each human consciousness in an
      individual way. If one cannot overcome seeing a "contradiction," in this, and
      cannot recognize that it is just in a living experience of this actually
      present contrast that a glimpse into man's true being is revealed, then it is
      also impossible to see either the idea of knowledge or the idea of freedom in
      their true light. For those who think of concepts as merely drawn
      (abstracted) from the sense-world, and who do not give full recognition to
      intuitions, the thought presented here as the reality must seem a "mere
      contradiction." For an insight that recognizes how ideas are intuitively
      experienced as a self-sustaining reality, it is clear that in the sphere of
      the world of ideas man penetrates in cognition into something which is
      universal for all men, but when he derives from that same idea world the
      intuitions for his acts of will, then he individualizes a member of this idea
      world by means of the same activity which, as a general human one, he unfolds
      in the spiritual ideal process of cognition. For this reason what appears as
      a logical contradiction, namely the universal character of cognitive ideas
      and the individual character of moral ideas, when experienced in its true
      reality, becomes a living concept. A characteristic feature of human nature
      consists in the fact that what can be intuitively grasped oscillates in man
      like a living pendulum between knowledge which is universally valid, and the
      individual experience of this universal element. For the man who cannot
      recognize one swing of the pendulum in its reality, thinking will remain
      merely a subjective human activity; for the one who cannot recognize the
      other swing, all individual life appears to cease in man's activity of
      thinking. To the first person, cognition is unintelligible, to the second,
      moral life is unintelligible. Both will call in all sorts of representations
      in order to explain the one or the other, all of which miss the point,
      because both persons, fundamentally, either do not recognize that thinking
      can be experienced, or take it to be an activity which merely abstracts.
      Second Addition to the Revised Edition, 1918. On page 34, materialism was
      referred to. I am well aware that there are thinkers like the above-mentioned
      Th. Ziehen, who do not in the least consider themselves materialists, but who
      must nevertheless be described as such from the point of view expressed in
      this book. It is not a matter that someone says that for him the world is not
      restricted to merely material existence and therefore he is not a
      materialist. It is a matter of whether or not he develops concepts which are
      applicable only to a material existence. One who says: "Our conduct, like our
      thinking, is necessitated," expresses a concept applicable only to material
      processes, but applicable neither to actions nor to existence; and if he
      thinks his concepts through, he will have to think materialistically. That he
      does not do this is only the outcome of that inconsistency which is so often
      the result of a thinking not carried through. -One often hears it said
      nowadays that the materialism of the nineteenth century no longer plays a
      part in science. But in reality this is not so at all. It is only that at
      present it is often not noticed that no other ideas are available than those
      which can be applied only to something material. This veils present day
      materialism, whereas in the second half of the nineteenth century it was
      plain for all to see. And present day veiled materialism is no less
      intolerant of a view that grasps the world spiritually than was the
      openly-admitted materialism of the last century. However, it deceives many
      who believe they must reject a comprehension of the world which includes
      spirit, because after all, the natural scientific comprehension of the world
      "has long ago abandoned materialism."
    • DRStarman2001@aol.com
      In my New Year s enthusiasm I posted a running commentary on Ch. 9, which I now see I kept calling Ch. 8. ;- Anyone care to do Ch.10? Starman
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 2, 2002
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        In my New Year's enthusiasm I posted a running commentary on Ch. 9, which I
        now see I kept calling Ch. 8. ;->
        Anyone care to do Ch.10?

        Starman
      • Carol
        Steiner said: for the monist the moral world order is neither a copy of a purely mechanical natural order, nor of an extra-human world order, but entirely a
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 2, 2002
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          Steiner said:

          "for the monist the moral world order is neither a copy of a
          purely mechanical natural order, nor of an extra-human world
          order, but entirely a free undertaking of man"


          to see what this ideas looks like artistically, look at the
          Steiner's sculpture "The Representative of Humanity"



          what does he mean in the second to last paragraph when he
          says, "Monism can no more eliminate {naive moral maxims} from
          the world than it can eliminate percepts"??????


          It seems like Steiner uses this chapter to make as clear as
          humanly possible that we must not leave the realm of human
          experience and thought if we are to comprehend free moral
          action.

          I'm tired, so I don't think I can formulate a very specific
          question, but I would really like to read somebodies
          understanding of the first section of the author's
          additions...It seems pretty important.

          As for the second part- I'm a big fan of this articulation
          because I so often read thinkers who would reject the label
          of materialist, yet who can only think in thoughts which are
          tied to sense observations and analytic thought processes...

          Carol



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        • DRStarman2001@aol.com
          Dr. Steiner in Ch. 10 writes:
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 3, 2002
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            Dr. Steiner in Ch. 10 writes:

            << The naive man who regards as real only what he can see with his eyes and
            grasp with his hands, also needs to have motives for his moral life that are
            perceptible to the senses. He needs someone who will impart these motives to
            him in a way that he can understand by means of his senses. He will let them
            be dictated to him as commands by a person whom he considers wiser and more
            powerful than himself, or whom he acknowledges, for some other reason, to be
            a power standing above him. In this way the moral principles already
            mentioned come about through being prescribed by authority of family, state,
            society, church, or the Divinity. An undeveloped person still trusts in the
            authority of a single individual; a somewhat more advanced person lets his
            moral conduct be dictated by a majority (state, society). But it is always
            perceptible powers upon which he relies. When at last the conviction dawns
            upon him that fundamentally all these are weak human beings just like
            himself, then he will seek guidance from a higher power, from a divine Being,
            whom, however, he endows with sense-perceptible qualities. He lets the
            conceptual content of his moral life be dictated to him by this Being, again
            in a perceptible way, for example when God appears in the burning bush, or
            moves among men in bodily human form and in a manner perceptible to their
            ears tells them what to do and what not to do.
            The highest level of development of naive realism in the moral sphere is
            reached when the moral command (moral idea) has been separated from every
            foreign entity, and is hypothetically thought of as an absolute force in
            one's own inner being. What at first is sensed as the external voice of God,
            is now sensed as an independent power within man, and is spoken of in a way
            that shows the inner power to be identified with the voice of conscience.
            When this happens, the level of naive consciousness has been abandoned and we
            enter the region where moral laws become independent rules. They no longer
            have a bearer, but have become metaphysical entities, existing by themselves.
            They are similar to the invisible-visible forces of the metaphysical realist
            who does not look for the reality of things in the human soul's participation
            in this reality through thinking, but who hypothetically imagines reality as
            an addition to actual experience. Extra-human moral rules, therefore, always
            accompany metaphysical realism. Metaphysical realism cannot do otherwise than
            seek the origin of morality too in a sphere beyond human reach. And here
            there are several possibilities. If the presupposed Being is thought of as in
            itself unthinking, acting according to purely mechanical laws, as materialism
            thinks of it, then out of itself it must also produce, by purely mechanical
            necessity, the human individual and all that belongs to him. The
            consciousness of freedom can then be only an illusion. For while I believe
            myself to be the creator of my deeds, it is the material substances of which
            I am composed, together with their processes, that are at work within me. I
            believe myself to be free, whereas in reality all my actions are but results
            of the material processes which are the foundation of my bodily and spiritual
            organism. According to this point of view, it is simply because we do not
            know the motives compelling us, that we have the feeling of freedom. "We must
            emphasize that the feeling of freedom is due to the absence of external
            compelling motives." "Our actions as well as our thinking are subject to
            necessity."
            Another possibility is that the extra-human absolute is seen as a spiritual
            Being behind the world of phenomena. Then the impulse to action will also be
            sought in such a spiritual power. The moral principles to be found in man's
            reason will be regarded as issuing from this Being-in-itself, which has its
            own particular intentions with regard to man. Moral laws appear to such a
            dualist as dictated by the Absolute, and through his reason, man simply has
            to discover and carry out these decisions of the Absolute Being. The moral
            world-order appears to the dualist as the perceptible reflection of a higher
            order that stands behind it. Earthly morality is the manifestation of the
            extra-human world order. It is not man that matters in this moral order, but
            the Being-in-itself, the extra-human Being. Man ought to do what this Being
            wills. Eduard von Hartmann, who sees the Being-in-itself as the Godhead whose
            very existence is suffering, believes that this divine Being has created the
            world in order that through the world he will be redeemed from his infinitely
            great pain. This philosopher therefore regards the moral development of
            mankind as a process which exists for the purpose of redeeming the Godhead.
            "Only through the building up of a moral world-order by sensible, responsible
            individuals can the aim of the world process be carried through...."
            "Existence in its reality is the incarnation of the Godhead-the world process
            is the Passion of the God becoming flesh, and at the same time the path of
            redemption of Him who was crucified in the flesh; and morality is the co-opera
            tion in the shortening of this path of suffering and redemption."
            Here man does not act because he wills, but he ought to act because it is
            God's will to be redeemed. Just as the materialistic dualist makes man into
            an automaton whose conduct is merely the result of purely mechanical laws, so
            the spiritualistic dualist (that is, he who sees the Absolute, the
            Being-in-itself, as a spiritual entity in which man has no conscious share)
            makes him into a slave of the will of the Absolute. Freedom is out of the
            question in materialism as well as in one-sided spiritualism, in fact in any
            kind of metaphysical realism which does not experience, but infers something
            extra-human as the true reality.
            Naive as well as metaphysical realism, in order to be consistent, must deny
            freedom for one and the same reason, since they regard man as being simply
            the agent or executor of principles which are forced upon him by necessity.
            Naive realism kills freedom through subjection to the authority either of a
            perceptible being or of an entity thought of as similar to a perceptible
            being, or else through submission to the authority of the abstract inner
            voice which is interpreted as "conscience;" the metaphysical realist, who
            merely infers something extra-human, cannot acknowledge freedom because he
            lets man be determined, mechanically or morally, by a "Being-in-itself."
            Monism must acknowledge the partial justification of naive realism because it
            acknowledges the justification of the world of perceptions. Someone who is
            incapable of bringing forth moral ideas through intuition, will have to
            receive them from others. Insofar as a man receives his moral principles from
            outside, he is positively unfree. But monism ascribes equal significance to
            the idea compared with perception. And the idea can come to manifestation in
            the human individual. Insofar as man follows the impulses coming from this
            side, he feels free. But monism denies all justification to a metaphysics
            which merely draws inferences, and consequently also to impulses of action
            stemming from a so-called "Being-in-itself." According to the monistic view,
            man's action is unfree when he obeys some perceptible external compulsion; it
            is free when he obeys himself. Monism cannot acknowledge any kind of
            unconscious compulsion hidden behind perception and concept. When someone
            maintains that a fellow man was not free when he performed an action, it must
            be possible to prove the existence within the perceptible world of the thing,
            the person, or the institution that made the man act; but if an appeal is
            made to causes for the action lying outside the sphere of physical and
            spiritual reality, then monism cannot enter the discussion.
            According to monism, in his activity man is partly unfree, partly free. He is
            unfree in the world of perceptions, but brings the free spirit to realization
            in himself. >>

            *******So it's just as Steiner says in Christianity As Mystical Fact:
            religions were given out to those undeveloped enough to have direct moral
            intuition. The exoteric form of religions, the external moral codes, are for
            people as they develop up to the point of seeing where the moral ideas
            originate for themselves: then they no longer follow either the outer
            compulsion of a code nor the inner compulsion of a "voice of conscience", but
            seek through thinking to penetrate to the source of both. We lived under the
            Law of Moses once; but then Mankind graduated to freedom. Christ freed us
            from the Law. But all too often it's as Pete Townshend wrote in the song "I'm
            Free" from Tommy: "No one had the guts to leave the temple."

            Starman
          • Carol
            I ll chime in here on today s chapter in a few hours...sorry... carol __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Send your FREE holiday
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 3, 2002
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              I'll chime in here on today's chapter in a few
              hours...sorry...

              carol

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            • DRStarman2001@aol.com
              In a message dated 1/3/2002 9:42:23 PM, softabyss@yahoo.com writes: Nothing to be
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 3, 2002
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                In a message dated 1/3/2002 9:42:23 PM, softabyss@... writes:

                << I'll chime in here on today's chapter in a few
                hours...sorry...

                carol >>

                Nothing to be sorry about---you've been doing plenty!

                Aren't there any others here who would like to take a shot at one?
              • Carol
                Dr. Starman, I hope you are still online because I ve got an earlybird question: In the first paragraph of Chap 11 what does Steiner mean when he says, One
                Message 7 of 9 , Jan 3, 2002
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                  Dr. Starman, I hope you are still online because I've got an
                  earlybird question:

                  In the first paragraph of Chap 11 what does Steiner mean when
                  he says, "One performs an action of which one has previously
                  made a mental picture, and one allows this mental picture to
                  determine one's action. Thusthe later (the deed) influences
                  the earlier (the doer) with the help of the mental picture."

                  If I form a mental picture of running around the room and
                  then do it, is he saying that my running around the room
                  generated the metal picture which I used as my motive? Don't
                  think so, but hard to read it another way...

                  Carol

                  --- DRStarman2001@... wrote:
                  >
                  > In a message dated 1/3/2002 9:42:23 PM, softabyss@...
                  > writes:
                  >
                  > << I'll chime in here on today's chapter in a few
                  > hours...sorry...
                  >
                  > carol >>
                  >
                  > Nothing to be sorry about---you've been doing plenty!
                  >
                  > Aren't there any others here who would like to take a shot
                  > at one?
                  >


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                  Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
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                • Carol
                  Oh wait....am I a chapter ahead??????? __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jan 3, 2002
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                    Oh wait....am I a chapter ahead???????

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                    Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
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                  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
                    In a message dated 1/3/2002 1:44:56 AM, softabyss@yahoo.com writes:
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jan 3, 2002
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                      In a message dated 1/3/2002 1:44:56 AM, softabyss@... writes:

                      << I would really like to read somebodies
                      understanding of the first section of the author's
                      additions...It seems pretty important.

                      *******What Carol's referring to is this:
                      <<First Addition to the Revised Edition, 1918. Difficulty in judging what is
                      presented in the two preceding chapters may arise because one believes
                      oneself to be confronted by a contradiction. On the one hand, the experience
                      of thinking is spoken of as having a general significance of equal value for
                      every human consciousness; on the other hand, it is shown that though the
                      ideas realized in moral life are of the same kind as those worked out by
                      thinking, they come to expression in each human consciousness in an
                      individual way. If one cannot overcome seeing a "contradiction," in this, and
                      cannot recognize that it is just in a living experience of this actually
                      present contrast that a glimpse into man's true being is revealed, then it is
                      also impossible to see either the idea of knowledge or the idea of freedom in
                      their true light. For those who think of concepts as merely drawn
                      (abstracted) from the sense-world, and who do not give full recognition to
                      intuitions, the thought presented here as the reality must seem a "mere
                      contradiction." For an insight that recognizes how ideas are intuitively
                      experienced as a self-sustaining reality, it is clear that in the sphere of
                      the world of ideas man penetrates in cognition into something which is
                      universal for all men, but when he derives from that same idea world the
                      intuitions for his acts of will, then he individualizes a member of this idea
                      world by means of the same activity which, as a general human one, he unfolds
                      in the spiritual ideal process of cognition. For this reason what appears as
                      a logical contradiction, namely the universal character of cognitive ideas
                      and the individual character of moral ideas, when experienced in its true
                      reality, becomes a living concept. A characteristic feature of human nature
                      consists in the fact that what can be intuitively grasped oscillates in man
                      like a living pendulum between knowledge which is universally valid, and the
                      individual experience of this universal element. For the man who cannot
                      recognize one swing of the pendulum in its reality, thinking will remain
                      merely a subjective human activity; for the one who cannot recognize the
                      other swing, all individual life appears to cease in man's activity of
                      thinking. To the first person, cognition is unintelligible, to the second,
                      moral life is unintelligible. Both will call in all sorts of representations
                      in order to explain the one or the other, all of which miss the point,
                      because both persons, fundamentally, either do not recognize that thinking
                      can be experienced, or take it to be an activity which merely abstracts. >>>


                      ********Because many do not recognize that thinking is universal---i.e., the
                      concept "triangle" thought by you is the same as every other thinker---they
                      think all thought is mere opinion, individual. Scientists who do recognize
                      the universality of ideas often regard all moral ideas the same way, as mere
                      opinion. Steiner is saying we grasp the universal reality in thinking, but
                      when we make it into a moral intuition of what to do we make it individual.
                      Gandhi, for instance, tuned in to the same ancient truth of 'ahimsa' or
                      non-violence as the Rishis---but then made it into a motive for action
                      against the lovely British in his time and place.

                      >>>As for the second part- I'm a big fan of this articulation
                      because I so often read thinkers who would reject the label
                      of materialist, yet who can only think in thoughts which are
                      tied to sense observations and analytic thought processes...
                      Carol >>

                      *******Yes, and what Steiner is saying there....

                      <<<One who says: "Our conduct, like our thinking, is necessitated," expresses
                      a concept applicable only to material processes, but applicable neither to
                      actions nor to existence; and if he thinks his concepts through, he will have
                      to think materialistically. That he does not do this is only the outcome of
                      that inconsistency which is so often the result of a thinking not carried
                      through..... it is often not noticed that no other ideas are available than
                      those which can be applied only to something material. This veils present day
                      materialism, whereas in the second half of the nineteenth century it was
                      plain for all to see. And present day veiled materialism is no less
                      intolerant of a view that grasps the world spiritually than was the
                      openly-admitted materialism of the last century.">>>

                      .... is that anyone who thinks we're forced to be as our bodies make us be is
                      thinking materialistically. Why? Because the Spirit is the sphere of thinking
                      and acting out of that is doing free deeds--- and all such anti-freedom
                      thought patterns do not recognize the spiritual.

                      Starman
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