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.


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superb, Tom, remarkable and outstanding...


Wow, I don't know I missed

Wow, I don't know how I missed this one, Tom. I think it was beautiful. And I think it points towards where this site may very well step:

If the centerpiece of this site could be what that video points to and all other models, theories and schemas could be far over on other shelves, I could see this being a context where all sorts of people plunge in and explore.

I even think it "needs" to be expressed in the layout of the site itself. Let the spirit (and SPACIOUSNESS) of that video be the analog that guides your decisions. Visual-spacial sorting is not my strong suit, but my guts tell me there is a new way to layout this website that would emphasize the primary gesture of personal expression, experimentation and exploration (like the video sings) and would also make clear that all models, theories and conceptualizations- while massively important to whatever clusters and groups find them useful- are way secondary and provisional.

People could visit this site and get that energetic "hit" of the Human that comes with raw expression and exploration...and....if they want...they could reach to the side of the site and read about so and so's theory that in order to see the etheric Christ you just.....or how the 16 senses relate to PoF....or how threefolding has failed because PoF......

If those other expressions were clicked on the side and clearly marked by some kind of boundary, I could see the site reflecting the spirit of that video. In a way you have this already. I see how there are independent groups having their own conversations.....But, so far, there isn't yet that strong, bold welcoming space that can only excite the human impulse.....Other people will be much stronger at making the type of distinction I'm trying to point towards....

But your creation of that video reminded me how exciting it is! Thanks.

The spirit of freedom in

The spirit of freedom in The Philosophy of Freedom is very exciting and "free". It will take openmindedness and rethinking to see how the website could facilitate that.


that's about as true as it gets!

6 videos have been posted

6 videos have been posted on youtube over the past month about Rudolf Steiner's freedom philosophy. They all rank in the top 10 in a "Rudolf Steiner" search and have received over 2000 views with over 60 views a day. I haven't found much interest in todays modern world for Steiner the "theosophist" or Steiner the "Buddhist" or Steiner the "psychic" or Steiner as "super intellectual". But in the Philosophy of Freedom you find Steiner as "Steiner", as it covers the modern path he walked of self-observation and contemplation of those observations. The videos present an introduction to his freedom philosophy which relates to the experiences we are having today and it can be immediately applied to life if worked through to its simplicity.