Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom

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SteinerBooks, 1995 - Religion - 281 pages
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Of all of his works, Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path is the one that Steiner himself believed would have the longest life and the greatest spiritual and cultural consequences. It was written as a phenomenological account of the results of observing the human soul according to the methods of natural science.

This seminal work asserts that free spiritual activity--understood as the human ability to think and act independently of physical nature--is the suitable path for human beings today to gain true knowledge of themselves and of the universe. This is not merely a philosophical volume, but rather a warm, heart-oriented guide to the practice and experience of living thinking.

Readers will not find abstract philosophy here, but a step-by-step account of how a person may come to experience living, intuitive thinking-- the conscious experience of a purely spiritual content.

During the past hundred years since it was written, many have tried to discover this new thinking that could help us understand the various spiritual, ecological, social, political, and philosophical issues facing us. But only Rudolf Steiner laid out a path that leads from ordinary thinking to the level of pure spiritual activity--intuitive thinking--in which we become co-creators and co-redeemers of the world.

When, with the help of Steiner s book, we recognize that thinking is an essentially spiritual activity, we discover that it can school us. In that sense--Steiner s sense--thinking is a spiritual path (Gertrude Reif Hughes).

  • Translator s Introduction
  • Introduction by Gertrude Reif Hughes
  • Preface to the Revised Edition, 1918
  • Part 1: Theory: The Knowledge of Freedom
  • Conscious Human Action
  • The Fundamental Urge for Knowledge
  • Thinking in the Service of Understanding the World
  • The World as Percept
  • Knowing the World
  • Human Individuality
  • Are There Limits to Cognition?
  • Part 2: Practice: The Reality of Freedom
  • The Factors of Life
  • The Idea of Freedom
  • Freedom Philosophy and Monism
  • World Purpose and Life Purpose (Human Destiny)
  • Moral Imagination (Darwinism and Ethics)
  • The Value of Life (Pessimism and Optimism)
  • Individuality and Genus
  • Final Questions: The Consequences of Monism
  • Appendixes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

This volume is arguably the most essential of Steiner s works. The thoughts in this book establish the foundation for all of Anthroposophy.

Other translations: The Philosophy of Freedom and The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. German edition: Die Philosophie der Freiheit"

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THEORY The Knowledge of Freedom
The Fundamental Urge for Knowledge
Thinking in the Service of Understanding the World
The World as Percept
Knowing the World
Human Individuality
Are There Limits to Cognition?
PRACTICE The Reality of Freedom
World Purpose and Life Purpose Human Destiny
Moral Imagination Darwinism and Ethics
The Value of Life Pessimism and Optimism
Individuality and Genus
The Consequences of Monism
Appendices 1918

The Idea of Freedom
FreedomPhilosophy and Monsim

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Page 8 - ... of its nature ; and I call that constrained which is determined to exist and to act in a certain definite way by something external to itself. Thus God, though existing necessarily, exists freely, because he exists by the necessity of his nature alone. So also God understands himself and all things freely, because it follows from the necessity of his nature alone that he understands himself and all things else. You see, therefore, that I place freedom not in any free decree of the will, but in...

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About the author (1995)

Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner was a noted Goethe (see Vol. 2) scholar and private student of the occult who became involved with Theosophy in Germany in 1902, when he met Annie Besant (1847--1933), a devoted follower of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (1831--1891). In 1912 he broke with the Theosophists because of what he regarded as their oriental bias and established a system of his own, which he called Anthroposophy (anthro meaning "man"; sophia sophia meaning "wisdom"), a "spiritual science" he hoped would restore humanism to a materialistic world. In 1923 he set up headquarters for the Society of Anthroposophy in New York City. Steiner believed that human beings had evolved to the point where material existence had obscured spiritual capacities and that Christ had come to reverse that trend and to inaugurate an age of spiritual reintegration. He advocated that education, art, agriculture, and science be based on spiritual principles and infused with the psychic powers he believed were latent in everyone. The world center of the Anhthroposophical Society today is in Dornach, Switzerland, in a building designed by Steiner. The nonproselytizing society is noted for its schools.

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