Philosophy of Freedom Online study group:

The idea is to "zoom" once a month for a meeting on a chapter. "Lite synopses" and much work alone are required. The goal is to "know" a chapter well so our discussion remain at a high level. In other words be able to present a whole chapter freely. EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji

We can also continue our informal in-between-meetings for those who want to prepare for the monthly meeting.
Let know what you think! Does August 18th work as a start date for the Philosophy of Freedom group?

 

Philosophy of Freedom Study Group Schedule:

 

First Meeting August 18th, 2019 (8am Hawaii time)

 Share recording with viewers: Preface 1918 presentation and discussion on how we will prepare future assignments.
https://zoom.us/recording/share/VT61-Zscx4jSu-6tl2VM52EB1itVDSV9WZPJatL19E6wIumekTziMw

 

 

Second Meeting:

(September 8th for the In-between-meeting)

September 15th Meeting: Chapter One of the Philosophy of Freedom 

Make catchwords and synopses for the Sept. 15th meeting.

 

 

October 13th Meeting: Chapter Two of the Philosophy of Freedom 

 

 

November 3rd Meeting: Chapter Three of the Philosophy of Freedom

 

December 1st Meeting: Chapter Four of the Philosophy of Freedom

I.

 

 

 

Conscious Human Action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/14

 

1. Is the human being in his thought and action a spiritually free being, or is he compelled by the iron necessity of purely natural law?

 

2. Upon few questions has so much acute thought been brought to bear as upon this one.

 

3. The idea of the freehood of the human will has found warm supporters and stubborn opponents in large numbers.

 

4. There are people who, in their moral fervor, label anyone a man of limited intelligence who dares deny so obvious a fact as freehood.

 

5. Opposed to them are others who regard it as the height of unscientific thinking for anyone to believe that the lawfulness of nature is broken in the sphere of human action and thinking.

 

6. One and the same thing is thus proclaimed, once as the most precious possession of humanity, and again as its most fatal illusion.

 

7. Infinite subtlety has been employed to explain how human freehood can be consistent with the laws working in nature, of which the human being, after all, is a part.

 

8. No less is the trouble to which the other side has gone to make understandable how such a delusional idea as this could have arisen.

 

9. That we are dealing here with one of the most important questions for life, religion, praxis and science, must be felt by anyone who possesses any degree of thoroughness at all in his character.

 

10. It is one of the sad signs of the superficiality of present-day thought that a book which attempts to develop a “new faith” out of the results of recent scientific research (David Friedrich Strauss, The Old and the New Belief), has nothing more to say on this question than these words: "With the question of the freehood of the human will we are not concerned.

 

11. The alleged freehood of indifferent choice has been recognized as an empty illusion by every philosophy worthy of the name; the moral evaluation of human actions and attitudes, however, remains untouched by this problem.”

 

12. Not because I consider that the book in which it occurs has any special importance do I quote this passage, but because it seems to me to express the view to which the thinking of most of our contemporaries manages to rise in this matter.

 

13. Today, everyone who claims to have grown beyond the elementary school level of science appears to know that freehood cannot consist in choosing, at one's pleasure, one or the other of two possible courses of action.

 

14. There is always, so we are told, a perfectly definite reason why one carries out just one particular action from a number of possible actions.

 

 

 

2/10

 

1. This seems obvious.

 

2. Nevertheless, down to the present day, the main attacks of the opponents of freehood direct themselves only against ‘freedom of choice.’

 

3. Even Herbert Spencer, who lives in opinions which are gaining ground daily, says (Principles of Psychology): "The fact that everyone is at liberty to desire or not to desire, which is the real proposition involved in the dogma of free will, is negated as much by the analysis of consciousness, as by the contents of the preceding chapter (of Principles…).”

 

4. Others, too, start from the same point of view in combating the concept of free will.

 

5. The seeds of all the relevant arguments are to be found as early as Spinoza.

 

6. All that he brought forward in clear and simple language against the idea of freehood has since been repeated innumerable times, but as a rule shrouded in the most hair-splitting theoretical doctrines, so that it is difficult to recognize the straightforward train of thought - which is all that matters anyway.

 

7. Spinoza writes in a letter of October or November, 1674: "I call a thing free namely which exists and acts from the pure necessity of its nature, and compelled I call a thing which is determined in its being and action in a fixed and precise manner by something else.

 

8. Thus, for example, God exists freely, although with necessity, because he exists only through the necessity of his nature alone.

 

9. Similarly, God knows himself and all else freely, because it follows solely from the necessity of his nature that he knows all things.

 

10. You see, therefore, that I place freehood not in free decision, but in free necessity.

 

 

 

3/5

 

1. "But let us come down to created things which are all determined by external causes to exist and to act in a fixed and definite way.

 

2. In order to see this more clearly, let us imagine a perfectly simple case.

 

3. A stone, for example, receives from an external cause, after striking it, a certain quantity of motion, by reason of which, after the impact of the external cause has ceased, it necessarily continues to move.

 

4. The perseverance of the stone in its motion is due to compulsion, not to inner necessity, because it must be defined by the contact of an external cause.

 

5. What is true here for the stone is true also for every other particular thing, however complicated and multi-talented it may be, namely, that everything is necessarily determined by external causes to exist and to act in a fixed and definite manner.

 

 

 

4/6 

 

1. "Now, I ask you to suppose that this stone, while moving, thinks and knows that it is striving, as best as it can, to continue in motion.

 

2. This stone, which is conscious only of its striving and is by no means indifferent, will believe that it is absolutely free, and that it continues in motion for no other reason than because it wants to.

 

3. But this is precisely the human freehood that everybody claims to possess and which consists only in the fact that people are conscious of their desires, but do not know the causes by which they are determined.

 

4. Thus the child believes that he desires milk freely, the angry boy that he desires vengeance freely, and the coward flight.

 

5. Further, the drunken man believes that he speaks of his own free will what, sober again, he would have rather left unsaid, and as this prejudice is innate in all people, one is not lightly freed from it.

 

6. For, although experience teaches us often enough that people are barely able to temper their desires, and that, moved by conflicting passions, they see the better and pursue the worse; yet they consider themselves free because there are some things which they desire less strongly, and some desires which they can easily inhibit through the recollection of something else which it is often possible to recall."

 

 

 

5/16 

 

1. Because here a view is so clearly and definitely expressed, it is easy to detect the fundamental error that it contains.

 

2. Just as a stone carries out a particular movement in response to an impact, so does the human being, with the same necessity, carry out an action if he is driven by some reason or motive.

 

3. Only because a person is consciousness of his action, does he consider himself to be its originator.

 

4. But in so doing, he overlooks the fact that a cause drives him that he must follow unconditionally.

 

5. The error in this train of thought is soon discovered.

 

6. Spinoza, and all who think like him, overlooks the fact that the human being not only is conscious of his action, but also can be conscious of the causes by which he is led.

 

7. Nobody will argue that the child is unfree when he desires milk, or the drunken man when he says things which he later regrets.

 

8. Neither are aware of the causes, which are active in the depths of their organism, and which exercise irresistible control over them.

 

9. But is it justifiable to lump together actions of this kind with those in which a person is conscious not only of his actions but also of the reasons which cause him to act?

 

10. Are the actions of human beings really all of one kind?

 

11. Should the act of a soldier on the battlefield, of the scientific researcher in his laboratory, of the statesman in the most complicated diplomatic negotiations, be placed scientifically on the same level with that of the child when he desires milk?

 

12. It is no doubt true that it is best to seek the solution of a problem where the conditions are simplest.

 

13. But the inability to discriminate has before now caused endless confusion.

 

14. There is, after all, a far reaching difference whether I know why I do something, or whether that is not the case.

 

15. At first sight this seems to be a self-evident truth.

 

16. And yet the opponents of freehood never ask themselves whether a motive of my action which I recognize and see through, is to be regarded as compulsory for me in the same sense as the organic process which causes the child to cry for milk.

 

 

 

6/6   

 

1. Eduard von Hartmann asserts in his Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness that the human will is dependent on two chief factors: motives and character.

 

2. If one regards human beings as all alike, or at least the differences between them as negligible, then their will appears as determined from without, namely, by the circumstances which come to meet them.

 

3. But if one bears in mind that various people make a mental picture into a motive of action, only if their character is such that through this mental picture a desire is aroused in them, then the human being appears to be determined from within and not from without.

 

4. Now a person believes - because, in accordance with his character, he must first adopt as a motive, a mental picture forced upon him from without, - that he is free, that is, independent of outside impulses.

 

5. The truth, however, according to Eduard von Hartmann, is that: "even though we ourselves first adopt a mental picture as a motive, we do so not arbitrarily, but according to the necessity of our characterological disposition, that is, we are anything but free."

 

6. Here again the difference remains absolutely ignored between motives which I allow to influence me only after I have permeated them with my consciousness, and those which I follow without possessing any clear knowledge of them.

 

 

 

7/3 

 

1. This leads us directly to the standpoint from which the subject shall be considered here on.

 

2. May the question of freehood of will be posed at all by itself, in a one-sided way?

 

3. And if not: with what other question must it necessarily be connected?

 

 

 

8/3

 

1. If there is a difference between a conscious motive of my action and an unconscious urge, then the conscious motive will result in an action which must be judged differently from one that springs from blind impulse.

 

2. The first question will concern this difference.

 

3. And what this question yields will then determine what position we have to take with respect to the actual question of freehood.

 

 

 

9/3

 

1. What does it mean to have knowledge of the reasons of one's actions?

 

2. One has paid too little attention to this question because, unfortunately, we have torn into two what is really an inseparable whole: the human being.

 

3. One has distinguished between the knower and the doer and has left out of account precisely the factor which comes before all other things: the one who acts out of knowledge.

 

 

 

10/2

 

1. It is said: the human being is free when he is solely under the dominion of his reason, and not of his animal passions.

 

2. Or again, that to be free means to be able to determine one's life and action according to purposes and deliberate decisions.

 

 

 

11/3

 

1. Nothing is gained by assertions of this type.

 

2. For the question is just whether reason, purposes, and decisions exercise the same kind of compulsion over a human being as his animal passions.

 

3. If without my co-operation, a rational decision emerges in me with the same necessity with which hunger and thirst arise, then I must by necessity obey it, and my freehood is an illusion.

 

 

 

12/2

 

1. Another form of expression runs: to be free does not mean to be able to will as one wills, but to be able to do as one wills.

 

2. The poet-philosopher Robert Hamerling expressed this thought with great clarity in his Atomistic Theory Of The Will: “the human being can certainly do as he wills, but he cannot will as he wills, because his will is determined by motives.

 

 

 

12a/10. -

 

1. He cannot will what he wills?

 

2. Let us consider these words more closely.

 

3. Have they any reasonable meaning?

 

4. Freehood of will would then mean being able to will without having a reason, without motive.

 

5. But what does willing mean if not to have a reason for doing, or trying to do, this rather than that?

 

6. To will something without reason or motive would be to will something without willing it.

 

7. The concept of will cannot be divorced from the concept of motive.

 

8. Without a determining motive the will is an empty faculty: only through the motive does it become active and real.

 

9. It is, therefore, quite true that the human will is not "free" inasmuch as its direction is always determined by the strongest motive.

 

10. But on the other hand it must be admitted that it is absurd, in contrast with this “unfreehood,” to speak of a conceivable “freehood” of the will which would consist in being able to will what one does not will.

 

 

 

13/6

 

1. Here again, only motives in general are mentioned, without taking into account the differences between unconscious and conscious ones.

 

2. If a motive affects me, and I am compelled to follow it because it proves to be the "strongest" of its kind, then the thought of freehood ceases to have any meaning.

 

3. How should it matter to me whether I can do a thing or not, if I am forced by the motive to do it?

 

4. The primary question is not whether, when a motive has affected me, I can act upon it or not; but whether there are only such motives which impel with absolute necessity.

 

5. If I must want something, then I may well be absolutely indifferent as to whether I can also do it.

 

6. And if, through my character, or through circumstances prevailing in my environment, a motive is forced on me which to my thinking is unreasonable, then I should even have to be glad if I could not do what I will.

 

 

 

14/1

 

1. The question is not whether I can carry out a decision once made, but how the decision comes about within me.

 

 

 

15/13

 

1. What distinguishes man from all other organic beings arises from his rational thinking.

 

2. Activity he has in common with other organisms.

 

3. Nothing is gained by seeking analogies in the animal kingdom to elucidate the concept of freehood for the actions of human beings.

 

4. Modern science loves such analogies.

 

5. When scientists have succeeded in finding among animals something similar to human behavior, they believe they have touched on the most important question of the science of humankind.

 

6. To what misunderstandings this view leads is shown, for example, in the book Die Illusion der Willensfreiheit, 1885 by P. Rée, where the following remark on freehood appears: "It is easy to explain why the movement of a stone seems to us necessary, while the volition of a donkey does not.

 

7. The causes which set the stone in motion are external and visible.

 

8. But the causes which determine the donkey's volition are internal and invisible: between us and the place of their activity there is the skull of the ass. . . .

 

9. One cannot see the determining causes and therefore we judge that they are non-existent.

 

10. The will, it is explained, is, indeed, the cause of the donkey's turning round, but is itself independent; it is an absolute beginning."

 

11. Here again human actions in which there is a consciousness of the motives are simply ignored, for Rée declares that "between us and the place of their activity there is the skull of the ass."

 

12. Rée has not the slightest clue, judging from his words on this topic, that there are actions, not indeed of the ass, but of human beings, in which between us and the action lies the motive that has become conscious.

 

13. And he proves it again a few pages further on, with these words: "We do not perceive the causes by which our will is determined, hence we think it is not causally determined at all.”

 

 

 

16/1

 

1. But enough of examples which prove that many argue against freehood without knowing in the least what freehood is.

 

 

 

17/6

 

1. It is completely obvious that an action which the agent does, without knowing why he does it, cannot be free.

 

2. But what about an action for which the reasons are known?

 

3. This leads us to the question of the origin and meaning of thinking.

 

4. For without the recognition of the thinking activity of the soul, it is impossible to form a concept of knowledge about anything, and certainly about an action.

 

5. When we know what thinking in general means, it will be easy to get clear about the role that thinking plays in human action.

 

6. "Thinking transforms the soul, with which animals are also endowed, into spirit," says Hegel correctly, "and hence it will also be thinking that gives to human action its characteristic stamp.”

 

 

 

18/20

 

1. On no account should it be maintained that all our action springs only from the sober deliberations of our reason.

 

2. To call human in the highest sense only those actions that proceed from abstract judgment is far from my intention.

 

3. But as soon as our conduct rises above the sphere of the satisfying of purely animal desires, our motives are always permeated by thoughts.

 

4. Love, pity, and patriotism are mainsprings for actions which cannot be analyzed away into cold concepts of the intellect.

 

5. It is said: here the heart, the Gemüt hold sway. 

 

6. Without question.

 

7. But the heart and the Gemüt do not create the motives of action.

 

8. They presuppose them and let them enter into their inner domain.

 

9. Pity enters my heart when the mental picture of a person who arouses pity appears in my consciousness.

 

10. The way to the heart is through the head.

 

11. Love is no exception.

 

12. Whenever it is not merely the expression of bare sexual instinct, it depends on the mental picture which we form of the loved one.

 

13. And the more idealistic these mental pictures are, just so much the more blessed is our love.

 

14. Here too, thought is the father of feeling.

 

15. One says: love makes us blind to the failings of the loved one.

 

16. But this can be considered the other way round and expressed: love opens the eyes just for these good qualities.

 

17. Many pass by these good qualities without noticing them.

 

18. One, however, perceives them, and thereby love awakens in his soul.

 

19. What else has he done but made a mental picture of what hundreds have failed to see?

 

20. Love is not theirs, because they lack the mental picture.

 

 

 

19/2

 

1. We may grasp the matter as we wish: it becomes more and more clear that the question of the nature of human action presupposes that of the origin of thinking.

 

2. I will turn next, therefore, to this question.

 

Chapter I, Conscious Human Action

 

 

 

 

 

1/14 What? Freedom question: Is the man free? Supports and detractors: D. Strauss freedom of choice is empty; Steiner there is a reason why one choses an action.

 

 

 

2/10 How? Freedom opponents: Against freedom of choice: Spencer freedom of choice is negated; Spinoza: necessity of our nature and God’s nature is free necessity.

 

 

 

3/5 Why? Created beings determined: Spinoza: the stone is determined to roll by external cause.

 

 

 

4/6 Who? Spinoza’s definition of freedom: Human know he is striving and therefore thinks he is free: conscious of his desires but not causes: child and milk, knows the better and does the worst.

 

 

 

5/16 Why? Spinoza’s Error:  Spinoza has a lack of power of discernment: motive of actions which I understand are not equal to organic process of desiring milk.

 

 

 

6/6 How? Hartmann’s character-disposition: will is determined by circumstances: or mental picture is made into motive based on character disposition. Spinoza’s error.

 

 

 

7/3 What? Additional questions: freedom of the will one-sided? Connected to other questions?

 

 

 

8/3 How? Question of conscious action: The question of the difference between a conscious and unconscious motive will be next.

 

 

 

9/3 Why? Knowledge of the reasons?:  man divided into two parts the doer and the knower, but never the one acting out of knowledge.

 

 

 

10/2 Who? Kant’s definition of freedom: freedom is the dominion of reason, or life according to goals and decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

11/3 Why? Kant’s error: is reason determining too? Then freedom is an illusion!

 

 

 

12/2 How? Hamerling’s motive determines volition: man can do what he wills, but he cannot want what he wills, because his volition is determined by motives.

 

 

 

13/6 What? Are motives only compelling? Hamerling does not differentiate between conscious and unconscious motives. No freedom!

 

 

 

14/1 How? How decisions are made: not whether I can carry them out.

 

 

 

15/13 Why? Rational thinking: no animal analogies, and Paul Ree: the stone and the donkey – causality is invisible. Conscious motives?

 

 

 

16/1 Who? No notion of freedom: enough examples.

 

 

 

17/6 Why? Significance of thinking and Hegel: thinking gives man’s actions their unique character.

 

 

 

18/20 How? Actions arise from thinking, MP’s, motives, Gemuet, and love: The more idealistic the mental picture the more blessed is the  love.

 

 

 

19/2 What? Final question: essence of human action must be preceded by the question of the origin of thinking.

 

First Assignment: Make synopses of the Preface to the 1918 Edition to the Philosophy of Freehood:

 

Preface to the Revised 1918 Edition

 

1/9

 

1. Two root-questions of the human soul-life are the focal point, toward which everything is directed that will be discussed in this book.

 

2. The first question is whether it is possible to view the human being in such a way

that this view proves itself to be the support for everything else which comes to meet the human being, through experience or science, and which gives him the feeling that it could not support itself.

 

3. Thereby one could easily be driven by doubt and critical judgment into the realm of uncertainty.

 

4. The other question is this: can the human being as a being of will claim free will for himself, or is such freehood a mere illusion, which arises in him because he is not aware of the workings of necessity on which, as any other natural event, his will depends?

 

5. No artificial spinning of thoughts calls this question forth.

 

6. It comes to the soul quite naturally in a particular state of the soul.

 

7. And one can feel that something in the soul would decline, from what it should be,

 

if it did not for once confront with the mightiest possible earnest questioning the two possibilities: freehood or necessity of will.

 

8. In this book it will be shown that the soul-experiences, which the human being must discover through the second question, depend upon which point of view he is able to take toward the first.

 

9. The attempt is made to prove that there is a certain view of the human being which can support his other knowledge; and furthermore, to point out that with this view a justification is won for the idea of freehood of will, if only that soul-region is first found in which free will can unfold itself.

 

 

 

2/5 

 

1. The view, which is under discussion here in reference to these two questions, presents itself as one that, once attained, can be integrated as a member of the truly living soul life.  

 

2. There is no theoretical answer given that, once acquired, can be carried about as a conviction merely preserved in the memory. 

 

3. This kind of answer would be only an illusory one for the type of thinking, which is the foundation of this book. 

 

4. Not such a finished, fixed answer is given, rather a definite region of soul-experience is referred to, in which one may, through the inner activity of the soul itself, answer the question livingly anew at any moment he requires. 

 

5. The true view of this region will give the one who eventually finds the soul-sphere where these questions unfold that which he needs for these two riddles of life, so that he may, so empowered, enter further into the widths and depths of this enigmatic human life, into which need and destiny impel him to wander.

 

 

 

3/1

 

1.  - A kind of knowledge seems thereby to be pointed to which, through its own inner life and by the connectedness of this inner life to the whole life of the human soul, proves its validity and usefulness.

 

 

 

4/10   

 

1. This is what I thought about the content of the book when I wrote it down twenty-five years ago. 

 

2. Today, too, I have to write down such sentences if I want to characterize the purpose of the thoughts of this book. 

 

3. At the original writing I limited myself to say no more than that, which in the utmost closest sense is connected with the two basic questions, referred to here. 

 

4. If someone should be amazed that he finds in the book no reference to that region of the world of spiritual experience which came to expression in my later writings, he should bear in mind that in those days I did not however want to give a description of results of spiritual research but I wanted to build first the foundation on which such results could rest. 

 

5. This Philosophy of Freehood does not contain any such specific spiritual results any more than it contains specific results of other fields of knowledge; but he who strives to attain certainty for such cognition cannot, in my view, ignore that which it does indeed contain. 

 

6. What is said in the book can be acceptable to anyone who, for whatever reasons of his own, does not want anything to do with the results of my spiritual scientific research. 

 

7. To the one, however, who can regard these spiritual scientific results, as something toward which he is attracted, what has been attempted here will also be important. 

 

8. It is this: to prove how an open-minded consideration of these two questions which are fundamental for all knowing, leads to the view that the human being lives in a true spiritual world. 

 

9. In this book the attempt is made to justify cognition of the spiritual world before entering into actual spiritual experience. 

 

10. And this justification is so undertaken that in these chapters one need not look at my later valid experiences in order to find acceptable what is said here, if one is able or wants to enter into the particular style of the writing itself.

 

 

 

5/5 

 

1. Thus it seems to me that this book on the one hand assumes a position completely independent of my actual spiritual scientific writings; yet on the other hand it also stands in the closest possible connection to them. 

 

2. These considerations brought me now, after twenty-five years, to republish the content of the text almost completely unchanged in all essentials. 

 

3. I have only made somewhat longer additions to a number of sections. 

 

4. The experiences I made with the incorrect interpretations of what I said caused me to publish comprehensive commentaries.

 

5. I changed only those places where what I said a quarter of a century ago seemed to me inappropriately formulated for the present time. 

 

(Only a person wanting to discredit me could find occasion on the basis of the changes made in this way, to say that I have changed my fundamental conviction.)

 

 

 

6/6  

 

1. The book has been sold out for many years. 

 

2. I nevertheless hesitated for a long time with the completion of this new edition and it seems to me, in following the line of thought in the previous section, that today the same should be expressed which I asserted twenty-five years ago in reference to these questions. 

 

3. I have asked myself again and again whether I might not discuss several topics of the numerous contemporary philosophical views put forward since the publication of the first edition. 

 

4. To do this in a way acceptable to me was impossible in recent times because of the demands of my pure spiritual scientific research. 

 

5. Yet I have convinced myself now after a most intense review of present day philosophical work that as tempting as such a discussion in itself would be, it is for what should be said through my book, not to be included in the same.

 

6. What seemed to me necessary to say, from the point of view of the Philosophy of Freehood about the most recent philosophical directions can be found in the second volume of my Riddles of Philosophy.

 

 

 

            April 1918                                                Rudolf Steiner

 

 

 

Preface to the Revised 1918 Edition

 

 

1/9 What?

 

1. Two root-questions of the human soul-life are the focal point, toward which everything is directed that will be discussed in this book.

 

2. The first question is whether it is possible to view the human being in such a way

 

that this view proves itself to be the support for everything else which comes to meet the human being, through experience or science, and which gives him the feeling that it could not support itself.

 

3. Thereby one could easily be driven by doubt and critical judgment into the realm of uncertainty.

 

4. The other question is this: can the human being as a being of will claim free will for himself, or is such freehood a mere illusion, which arises in him because he is not aware of the workings of necessity on which, as any other natural event, his will depends?

 

5. No artificial spinning of thoughts calls this question forth.

 

6. It comes to the soul quite naturally in a particular state of the soul.

 

7. And one can feel that something in the soul would decline, from what it should be,

 

if it did not for once confront with the mightiest possible earnest questioning the two possibilities: freehood or necessity of will.

 

8. In this book it will be shown that the soul-experiences, which the human being must discover through the second question, depend upon which point of view he is able to take toward the first.

 

9. The attempt is made to prove that there is a certain view of the human being which can support his other knowledge; and furthermore, to point out that with this view a justification is won for the idea of freehood of will, if only that soul-region is first found in which free will can unfold itself.

 

 

 

2/5  How?

 

1. The view, which is under discussion here in reference to these two questions, presents itself as one that, once attained, can be integrated as a member of the truly living soul life.  

 

2. There is no theoretical answer given that, once acquired, can be carried about as a conviction merely preserved in the memory. 

 

3. This kind of answer would be only an illusory one for the type of thinking, which is the foundation of this book. 

 

4. Not such a finished, fixed answer is given, rather a definite region of soul-experience is referred to, in which one may, through the inner activity of the soul itself, answer the question livingly anew at any moment he requires. 

 

5. The true view of this region will give the one who eventually finds the soul-sphere where these questions unfold that which he needs for these two riddles of life, so that he may, so empowered, enter further into the widths and depths of this enigmatic human life, into which need and destiny impel him to wander.

 

 

 

3/1 Why?

 

1.  - A kind of knowledge seems thereby to be pointed to which, through its own inner life and by the connectedness of this inner life to the whole life of the human soul, proves its validity and usefulness.

 

 

 

4/10    Why?

 

1. This is what I thought about the content of the book when I wrote it down twenty-five years ago. 

 

2. Today, too, I have to write down such sentences if I want to characterize the purpose of the thoughts of this book. 

 

3. At the original writing I limited myself to say no more than that, which in the utmost closest sense is connected with the two basic questions, referred to here. 

 

4. If someone should be amazed that he finds in the book no reference to that region of the world of spiritual experience which came to expression in my later writings, he should bear in mind that in those days I did not however want to give a description of results of spiritual research but I wanted to build first the foundation on which such results could rest. 

 

5. This Philosophy of Freehood does not contain any such specific spiritual results any more than it contains specific results of other fields of knowledge; but he who strives to attain certainty for such cognition cannot, in my view, ignore that which it does indeed contain. 

 

6. What is said in the book can be acceptable to anyone who, for whatever reasons of his own, does not want anything to do with the results of my spiritual scientific research. 

 

7. To the one, however, who can regard these spiritual scientific results, as something toward which he is attracted, what has been attempted here will also be important. 

 

8. It is this: to prove how an open-minded consideration of these two questions which are fundamental for all knowing, leads to the view that the human being lives in a true spiritual world. 

 

9. In this book the attempt is made to justify cognition of the spiritual world before entering into actual spiritual experience. 

 

10. And this justification is so undertaken that in these chapters one need not look at my later valid experiences in order to find acceptable what is said here, if one is able or wants to enter into the particular style of the writing itself.

 

 

 

5/5  How?

 

1. Thus it seems to me that this book on the one hand assumes a position completely independent of my actual spiritual scientific writings; yet on the other hand it also stands in the closest possible connection to them. 

 

2. These considerations brought me now, after twenty-five years, to republish the content of the text almost completely unchanged in all essentials. 

 

3. I have only made somewhat longer additions to a number of sections. 

 

4. The experiences I made with the incorrect interpretations of what I said caused me to publish comprehensive commentaries.

 

5. I changed only those places where what I said a quarter of a century ago seemed to me inappropriately formulated for the present time. 

 

(Only a person wanting to discredit me could find occasion on the basis of the changes made in this way, to say that I have changed my fundamental conviction.)

 

 

 

6/6   What?

 

1. The book has been sold out for many years. 

 

2. I nevertheless hesitated for a long time with the completion of this new edition and it seems to me, in following the line of thought in the previous section, that today the same should be expressed which I asserted twenty-five years ago in reference to these questions. 

 

3. I have asked myself again and again whether I might not discuss several topics of the numerous contemporary philosophical views put forward since the publication of the first edition. 

 

4. To do this in a way acceptable to me was impossible in recent times because of the demands of my pure spiritual scientific research. 

 

5. Yet I have convinced myself now after a most intense review of present day philosophical work that as tempting as such a discussion in itself would be, it is for what should be said through my book, not to be included in the same.

 

6. What seemed to me necessary to say, from the point of view of the Philosophy of Freehood about the most recent philosophical directions can be found in the second volume of my Riddles of Philosophy.

 

 

 

            April 1918                                                Rudolf Steiner

 

Hi Everyone,

I will start posting our work on the Second Appendix. We are working on mastering the content and form of the text with George O'Neil's notes on meditation as our guide. In our Symposium we will be sharing about our insights and experiences with this text.

Discussion of paragraph 7/5 and 9/16 of the Second Appendix: https://zoom.us/recording/share/uZ1yz3CpoZwL-eG32fD9JqcJctg-CDFD9Rj42d124B2wIumekTziMw

The Second Appendix to the Philosophy of Freedom

 

 

 

1/3

1. In what follows will be reproduced in all its essentials that which stood as a kind of “preface” in the first edition of this book.

2. I placed it here as an “appendix,” since it reflects the type of thinking in which I wrote it twenty-five years ago, and not because it adds to the content of the book.

3. I did not want to leave it out completely for the simple reason, that time and again the opinion surfaces that I have something to suppress of my earlier writings because of my later spiritual writings.

 

 

2/4

1. Our age can only want to draw truth out of the depths of man’s being. *

2. Of Schiller’s well-known two paths:

          Truth seek we both, you in outer life, I within

In the heart, and each will find it for sure.

Is the eye healthy so it meets the Creator outside;

Is the heart healthy then it reflects inwardly the World

the present age will benefit more from the second.

3. A truth that comes to us from the outside always carries the stamp of uncertainty.

4. Only what appears as truth to each and every one of us in his own inner being is what we want to believe.

* Footnote: Only the first introductory paragraphs have been completely omitted from this work, which today appear to me totally unessential. What is said in the remaining paragraphs, however, seems to me necessary to say in the present because of and in spite of the natural scientific manner of thinking of our contemporaries.

 

 

3/3

1. Only truth can bring us certainty in the development of our individual powers. 

2. Whoever is tormented by doubt his powers are lamed.

3. In a world that is puzzling to him he can find no goal for his creativity.

 

 

4/4

1. We no longer want merely to believe; we want to know.

2. Belief requires the accepting of truths, which we cannot fully grasp.

3. However, what we do not fully grasp undermines our individuality, which wants to experience everything with its deepest inner being.

4. Only that knowing satisfies us that subjects itself to no external norms, but springs instead out of the inner life of the personality.

 

 

5/3

1. We also do not want a form of knowing, which is fixed for all eternity in rigid academic rules and is kept in compendia valid for all time.

2. We hold that each of us is justified in starting from firsthand experiences, from immediate life conditions, and from there climbing to a knowledge of the whole universe.

3. We strive for certainty in knowing, but each in his own unique way.

 

 

6/6

1. Our scientific theories should also no longer take the position that our acceptance of them was a matter of absolute coercion.

2. None of us would give a title to an academic work such as Fichte once did: “A Crystal-Clear Report to the Public at Large on the Actual Nature of Modern Philosophy.

3. An Attempt to Compel Readers to Understand.”

4. Today nobody should be compelled to understand.

5. We are not asking for acceptance or agreement from anyone who is not driven by a specific need to form his own personal worldview.

6. Nowadays we also do not want to cram knowledge into the unripe human being, the child, instead we try to develop his faculties so that he will not have to be compelled to understand but will want to understand.

 

 

7/5

1. I am under no illusion in regard to this characteristic of my time.

2. I know that generic mass-ified culture [individualitaetloses Schablonentum] lives and spreads itself throughout society.

3. But I know just as well that many of my contemporaries seek to set up their lives according to the direction indicated here.

4. To them I want to dedicate this work.

5. It should not lead down “the only possible” path to truth, but it should tell about the path one has taken, for whom truth is what it is all about.

 

 

8/6

1. The book leads at first into more abstract spheres where thought must take on sharp contours in order to come to certain points.

2. However, the reader will be led out of these dry concepts and into concrete life.

3. I am certainly of the opinion that one must lift oneself into the ether world of concepts, if one wants to penetrate existence in all directions.

4. He who only knows how to have pleasure through his senses, doesn’t know life’s finest pleasures.

5. The eastern masters have their disciples spend years in a life of renunciation and asceticism before they disclose to them what they themselves know.

6. The West no longer requires pious practices and ascetic exercises for scientific knowledge, but what is needed instead is the good will that leads to withdrawing oneself for short periods of time from the firsthand impressions of life and entering into the spheres of the pure thought world.

 

 

9/16

1. There are many realms of life.

2. Every single one has developed a particular science for itself.

3. Life itself, however, is a unity and the more the sciences* are striving to research in their own specialized areas the more they distance themselves from the view of the living unity of the world.

4. There must be a type of knowing that seeks in the specialized ‘sciences’ that which is necessary to lead us back once more to the wholeness of life.

5. The specialized researcher wants through his own knowledge to gain an understanding of the world and its workings; in this book the goal is a philosophical one: science shall itself become organic-living.

6. The specialized sciences are preliminary stages of the science striven for here.

7. A similar relationship predominates in the arts.

8. The composer works on the basis of the theory of composition.

9. The latter is the sum of knowledge whose possession is a necessary precondition of composing.

10. In composing, the laws of the theory of composition serve life itself, serve actual reality.

11. In exactly the same sense, philosophy is a creative art.

12. All genuine philosophers are concept-artists.

13. Through them, human ideas have become artistic materials and the scientific method have become artistic technique. 

14. Thereby, abstract thinking gains concrete, individual life.

15. Ideas become life-powers.

16. We have then not just a knowing about things, but we have made Knowing instead into an actual, self-governing organism; our authentic, active consciousness has placed itself above a mere passive receiving of truths.

 

 

10/3

1. How philosophy as art relates to the freehood of the human being, what freehood is, and whether we are active in our freehood or able to become active: this is the main question of my book.

2. All other scientific explanations are included here only because they provide an explanation, in my opinion, about those things that are of importance to human beings.

3. A “Philosophy of Freehood” shall be given in these pages.

 

 

11/4

1. All scientific endeavors would be only a satisfying of idle curiosity, if they did not strive toward uplifting the existential worth of the human personality.

2. The sciences attain their true value only by demonstrating the human significance of their results.

3. Not the refinement of any single capacity of soul can be the final goal of individuality, but rather the development of all the faculties slumbering within us.

 

4. Knowledge only has value when it contributes to the all-sided unfolding of the whole human nature.

 

 

 

12/1

1. This book, therefore, conceives the relationship between scientific knowledge and life not in such a way that man has to bow down before the idea and consecrate his forces to its service, but rather in the sense that the human being masters the world of ideas in order to make use of it for his human goals, which transcend the mere scientific.

 

13/1

1. One must be able to experience and place oneself consciously above the idea; otherwise one falls into its servitude.

 

 

 

 Zweiter Anhang (Die Philosophie Der Freiheit)

 

 Absatz 1/3

 

1.      In dem Folgenden wird in allem Wesentlichen wiedergegeben, was als eine Art «Vorrede» in der ersten Auflage dieses Buches stand.

2.      2. Da es mehr die Gedankenstimmung gibt, aus der ich vor fünfundzwanzig Jahren das Buch niederschrieb, als daß es mit dem Inhalte desselben unmittelbar etwas zu tun hätte, setze ich es hier als «Anhang» her.

3.      Ganz weglassen möchte ich es aus dem Grunde nicht, weil immer wieder die Ansicht auftaucht, ich habe wegen meiner späteren geisteswissenschaftlichen Schriften etwas von meinen früheren Schriften zu unterdrücken.

 

 

 

Absatz 2/4

 

1.      Unser Zeitalter kann die Wahrheit nur aus der Tiefe des menschlichen Wesens schöpfen wollen.*

2.      Von Schillers bekannten zwei Wegen:

 

«Wahrheit suchen wir beide, du außen im Leben, ich innen
In dem Herzen, und so findet sie jeder gewiß.
Ist das Auge gesund, so begegnet es außen dem Schöpfer;
Ist es das Herz, dann gewiß spiegelt es innen die Welt»

 

wird der Gegenwart vorzüglich der zweite frommen.

 

3.      Eine Wahrheit, die uns von außen kommt, trägt immer den Stempel der Unsicherheit an sich.

4.      Nur was einem jeden von uns in seinem eigenen Innern als Wahrheit erscheint, daran mögen wir glauben.

 

 

 

Absatz 3/3

 

1.      Nur die Wahrheit kann uns Sicherheit bringen im Entwickeln unserer individuellen Kräfte.

2.      Wer von Zweifeln gequält ist, dessen Kräfte sind gelähmt.

3.      In einer Welt, die ihm rätselhaft ist, kann er kein Ziel seines Schaffens finden.

 

 

 

Absatz 4/4

 

1.      Wir wollen nicht mehr bloß glauben; wir wollen wissen.

2.      Der Glaube fordert Anerkennung von Wahrheiten, die wir nicht ganz durchschauen.

3.      Was wir aber nicht ganz durchschauen, widerstrebt dem Individuellen, das alles mit seinem tiefsten Innern durchleben will.

4.      Nur das Wissen befriedigt uns, das keiner äußeren Norm sich unterwirft, sondern aus dem Innenleben der Persönlichkeit entspringt.

 

 

 

Absatz 5/3

 

1.      Wir wollen auch kein solches Wissen, das in eingefrorenen Schulregeln sich ein für allemal ausgestaltet hat, und in für alle Zeiten gültigen Kompendien aufbewahrt ist.

2.      Wir halten uns jeder berechtigt, von seinen nächsten Erfahrungen, seinen unmittelbaren Erlebnissen auszugehen, und von da aus zur Erkenntnis des ganzen Universums aufzusteigen.

3.      Wir erstreben ein sicheres Wissen, aber jeder auf seine eigene Art.

 

 

 

Absatz 6/6

 

1.      Unsere wissenschaftlichen Lehren sollen auch nicht mehr eine solche Gestalt annehmen, als wenn ihre Anerkennung Sache eines unbedingten Zwanges wäre.

2.      Keiner von uns möchte einer wissenschaftlichen Schrift einen Titel geben, wie einst Fichte: «Sonnenklarer Bericht an das größere Publikum über das eigentliche Wesen der neuesten Philosophie. Ein Versuch, die Leser zum Verstehen zu zwingen

3.      Heute soll niemand zum Verstehen gezwungen werden.

4.      Wen nicht ein besonderes, individuelles Bedürfnis zu einer Anschauung treibt, von dem fordern wir keine Anerkennung, noch Zustimmung.

5.      Auch dem noch unreifen Menschen, dem Kinde, wollen wir gegenwärtig keine Erkenntnisse eintrichtern, sondern wir suchen seine Fähigkeiten zu entwickeln, damit es nicht mehr zum Verstehen gezwungen zu werden braucht, sondern verstehen will.

 

 

 

Absatz 7/5

 

1.      Ich gebe mich keiner Illusion hin in bezug auf diese Charakteristik meines Zeitalters.

 

2.      Ich weiß, wie viel individualitätloses Schablonentum lebt und sich breit macht.

 

3.      Aber ich weiß ebenso gut, daß viele meiner Zeitgenossen im Sinne der angedeuteten Richtung ihr Leben einzurichten suchen.

 

4.      Ihnen möchte ich diese Schrift widmen.

 

5.      Sie soll nicht «den einzig möglichen» Weg zur Wahrheit führen, aber sie soll von demjenigen erzählen, den einer eingeschlagen hat, dem es um Wahrheit zu tun ist.

 

 

 

Absatz 8/6

 

1.      Die Schrift führt zuerst in abstraktere Gebiete, wo der Gedanke scharfe Konturen ziehen muß, um zu sichern Punkten zu kommen.

2.      Aber der Leser wird aus den dürren Begriffen heraus auch in das konkrete Leben geführt.

3.      Ich bin eben durchaus der Ansicht, daß man auch in das Ätherreich der Begriffe sich erheben muß, wenn man das Dasein nach allen Richtungen durchleben will.

4.      Wer nur mit den Sinnen zu genießen versteht, der kennt die Leckerbissen des Lebens nicht.

5.      Die orientalischen Gelehrten lassen die Lernenden erst Jahre eines entsagenden und asketischen Lebens verbringen, bevor sie ihnen mitteilen, was sie selbst wissen.

6.      Das Abendland fordert zur Wissenschaft keine frommen Übungen und keine Askese mehr, aber es verlangt dafür den guten Willen, kurze Zeit sich den unmittelbaren Eindrücken des Lebens zu entziehen, und in das Gebiet der reinen Gedankenwelt sich zu begeben.

 

 

 

 

 

Absatz 9/16

 

1.      Der Gebiete des Lebens sind viele.

2.      Für jedes einzelne entwickeln sich besondere Wissenschaften.

3.      Das Leben selbst aber ist eine Einheit, und je mehr die Wissenschaften be strebt sind, sich in die einzelnen Gebiete zu vertiefen, desto mehr entfernen sie sich von der Anschauung des lebendigen Weltganzen.

4.      Es muß ein Wissen geben, das in den einzelnen Wissenschaften die Elemente sucht, um den Menschen zum vollen Leben wieder zurückzuführen.

5.      Der wissenschaftliche Spezialforscher will sich durch seine Erkenntnisse ein Bewußtsein von der Welt und ihren Wirkungen erwerben; in dieser Schrift ist das Ziel ein philosophisches: die Wissenschaft soll selbst organisch-lebendig werden.

6.      Die Einzelwissenschaften sind Vorstufen der hier angestrebten Wissenschaft.

7.      Ein ähnliches Verhältnis herrscht in den Künsten.

8.      Der Komponist arbeitet auf Grund der Kompositionslehre.

9.      Die letztere ist eine Summe von Kenntnissen, deren Besitz eine notwendige Vorbedingung des Komponierens ist.

10.  Im Komponieren dienen die Gesetze der Kompositionslehre dem Leben, der realen Wirklichkeit.

11.  Genau in demselben Sinne ist die Philosophie eine Kunst.

12.  Alle wirklichen Philosophen waren Begriffskünstler.

13.  Für sie wurden die menschlichen Ideen zum Kunstmateriale und die wissenschaftliche Methode zur künstlerischen Technik.

14.  Das abstrakte Denken gewinnt dadurch konkretes, individuelles Leben.

15.  Die Ideen werden Lebensmächte.

16.  Wir haben dann nicht bloß ein Wissen von den Dingen, sondern wir haben das Wissen zum realen, sich selbst beherrschenden Organismus gemacht; unser wirkliches, tätiges Bewußtsein hat sich über ein bloß passives Aufnehmen von Wahrheiten gestellt.

 

 

 

 

 

Absatz 10/3

 

1.      Wie sich die Philosophie als Kunst zur Freiheit des Menschen verhält, was die letztere ist, und ob wir ihrer teilhaftig sind oder es werden können: das ist die Hauptfrage meiner Schrift.

2.      Alle anderen wissenschaftlichen Ausführungen stehen hier nur, weil sie zuletzt Aufklärung geben über jene, meiner Meinung nach, den Menschen am nächsten liegenden Fragen.

3.      Eine «Philosophie der Freiheit» soll in diesen Blättern gegeben werden.

 

 

Absatz 11/4

 

1.      Alle Wissenschaft wäre nur Befriedigung müßiger Neugierde, wenn sie nicht auf die Erhöhung des Daseinswertes der menschlichen Persönlichkeit hinstrebte.

2.      Den wahren Wert erhalten die Wissenschaften erst durch eine Darstellung der menschlichen Bedeutung ihrer Resultate.

3.      Nicht die Veredlung eines einzelnen Seelenvermögens kann Endzweck des Individuums sein, sondern die Entwickelung aller in uns schlummernden Fähigkeiten.

4.      Das Wissen hat nur dadurch Wert, daß es einen Beitrag liefert zur allseitigen Entfaltung der ganzen Menschennatur.

 

 

 

Absatz 12/1

 

1.      Diese Schrift faßt deshalb die Beziehung zwischen Wissenschaft und Leben nicht so auf, daß der Mensch sich der Idee zu beugen hat und seine Kräfte ihrem Dienst weihen soll, sondern in dem Sinne, daß er sich der Ideenwelt bemächtigt, um sie zu seinen menschlichen Zielen, die über die bloß wissenschaftlichen hinausgehen, zu gebrauchen.

 

 

 

Absatz 13/1

 

1.      Man muß sich der Idee erlebend gegenüberstellen können; sonst gerät man unter ihre Knechtschaft.

 

 

 



 

* Ganz weggelassen sind hier nur die allerersten Eingangssätze (der ersten Auflage) dieser Ausführungen, die mir heute ganz unwesentlich erscheinen. Was aber des weiteren darin gesagt ist, scheint mir auch gegenwärtig trotz der naturwissenschaftlichen Denkart unserer Zeitgenossen, ja gerade wegen derselben, zu sagen notwendig.

 

 

 

 

The original two paragraphs from the first edition that Steiner omitted from the original Appendix text entitled The Goals of all Knowledge:

1.      I believe one of the fundamental characteristics of our age is that human interest centers in the cultus of individuality.

 

2.      An energetic effort is being made to shake off every kind of authority.

 

3.      Nothing is accepted as valid, unless it springs from the roots of individuality.

 

4.      Everything that hinders the individual from fully developing his powers is thrust aside.

 

5.      The saying ‘Each one of us must choose his hero in whose footsteps he toils up to Mount Olympus’ no longer holds true for us.

 

6.      We allow no ideals to be forced upon us, we are convinced that in each of us, if only we probe deep enough into the very heart of our being, there dwells something noble, something worthy of development.

 

7.      We no longer believe there is a norm of human life to which we must all strive to conform.

 

8.      We regard the perfection of the whole as depending on the unique perfection of each single individual. We do not want to do what anyone else can do equally well.

 

9.  No, our contribution to the development of the world, however trifling, must be something that, by reason of the uniqueness of our nature, we alone can offer.

 

10.  Never have artists been less concerned about rules and norms in art than today.

 

11.  Each one asserts the right to express, in the creations of his art, what is unique in him.

 

12.  Just as there are playwrights who write in slang rather than conform to the standard diction grammar demands.

 

 

 

1.      No better expression for these phenomena can be found than this, they result from the individual’s striving towards freedom, developed to its highest pitch.

 

2.      We do not want to be dependent in any respect, and where dependence must be, we tolerate it only on condition it coincides with a vital interest of our individuality.”