Pursuit Of Individuality

Submitted by Tom Last on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 2:20pm.

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The sentences in the above video were at the beginning of the original 1894 first edition of The Philosophy of Freedom. They were removed by Rudolf Steiner in the 1918 revised edition.

Original Philosophy of Freedom (1894)

Chapter 1
The Goal of Knowledge

I believe I am indicating correctly one of the fundamental characteristics of our age when I say that, at the present day, all human interests tend to centre in the cult of human individuality.

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

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

Everything which hinders the individual in the full development of his powers is thrust aside.

The saying “Each one of us must choose his hero in whose footsteps he toils up to Olympus” no longer holds for us.

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.

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

We regard the perfection of the whole depending on the unique perfection of each single individual.

We do not want to do what anyone else can do equally well.

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

Never have artists been less concerned about rules and norms in art than to-day.

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

There are dramatists who write in dialect rather than conform to the standard diction which grammar demands.

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

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

Truth too will be sought in an age such as ours only in the depths of human nature.


yes! by Joel
Tom by Jeffrey