Paths to Pure Thinking

Return to Rudolf Steiner Video Playlist

 
The Development of Pure Thinking

Pure thinking leads to the discovery of freedom and leads us to the realm of spirit.

The moment pure thinking is experienced as will, man's attitude becomes that of an artist.

Pure Thinking

When is an action free?

When it has its origin in pure thinking.

These pure thoughts are ones that don't refer to perceptible things.

We think, but in our thinking there is nothing but will.

Out of pure thinking there can flow impulses to moral action that are no longer determined by anything but pure spirit.

The deed is determined purely and simply by its own ideal content.

We must purify our thinking and mold it, into will.

To this end we must make our individuality stronger and stronger, and this happens when we work our way through to pure thinking.

Try for once really to think actively and you will see how the heart is engaged.

For through active thinking we are able to bring force into our thinking – the force of a stout heart.

Study of Mathematics

Countless philosophers have expounded the view that pure thinking does not exist.

Philosophers who maintain this have never really studied mathematics.

Pure thinking is a fact demonstrated in the inner experience of mathematics.

Mathematical thought is thought detached from the sense world, and as it is entirely based upon rules of reason that are universal it offers a union with reality.

Mathematical thinking streams up entirely from our inner being.

Mathematics is training in pure thinking.

Study of Spiritual Science

A sure way to attain sense-free thinking is to let one’s thinking lay hold of the facts of the higher world, communicated in spiritual science.

Pure thoughts are ones that don't refer to perceptible things, such as basic theosophical teachings about man's make-up, existence between death and life, earth evolution, etc.

These facts cannot be observed with the physical senses.

The path that leads to sense-free thinking by way of the communications of spiritual science is thoroughly reliable and sure.

But someone may ask: How can I trust what spiritual researcher’s say, when I cannot see it for myself?

There is, however, another path that is even more sure, and above all more exact; at the same time, it is for many people also more difficult.

This path in is set forth in The Philosophy of Freedom.

In The Philosophy of Freedom you will find nothing at all that is derived from communications of spiritual science.

It testifies to the fact that pure thinking, working within itself alone, can throw light on the great questions of life — questions concerning the universe and man.

Within this book thinking is experienced in a way that makes it impossible for a person involved in it to have any other impression, when he is living in thought, he is living in the cosmos.

This relatedness to cosmic mysteries is the red thread running through the book.

Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment

Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment describes a safe path leading to the supersensible.

But the path outlined in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds is above all for those who are not dedicated to science.

The content of The Philosophy of Freedom is not contrived or the results of mystical superstition, but rather in the strictest sense the result of introspective observation according to the scientific method.

“I was not setting forth a doctrine, but simply recording inner experiences through which I had actually passed. And I reported them just as I experienced them.”

The path into the supersensible presented in The Philosophy of Freedom is a kind of precondition for the cognitional striving of science.

It is a path for all those who would strive to fulfill the social and cognitional needs of our age and to become active in those realms.


The Philosophy of Freedom

“The primary purpose of my book (The Philosophy of Freedom) is to serve as thought training, training in the sense that the special way of both thinking and entertaining these thoughts is such as to bring the soul life of the reader into motion in somewhat the way that gymnastics exercise their limbs.”

Rudolf Steiner declares, “The intention in my Philosophy of Freedom is that the reader must lay hold --with his own thinking activity-- page by page,…

…that the book itself is only a sort of musical score, and that one must read this score through inner thinking activity in order to progress continually, out of his own resources, from thought to thought.

In this book, the reader’s cooperative effort is counted upon; and, furthermore, what the soul becomes when it shares in such thinking activity is also taken into account.

One who does not avow to himself, when he has completed the study of this book, that, through the thinking effort of his own mind, he laid hold of himself in an element of the life of the soul in which he had never before grasped himself,…

…who does not sense that he was in a manner been lifted above his ordinary way of thinking into a thinking free of the sensible…

…and that he moves altogether in this, so that he feels that he has become ‘free’ in his thinking from the limitations of the corporeal nature,…

--such a person has not really read in the true sense of the word this Philosophy of Freedom.

One who cannot make this avowal has not understood it in its essence.

It must be possible to say to oneself: ‘Now I know, through this effort of my mind in thinking, what pure thinking really is.’”