Are Anthroposophists Monists or are Monists Anthroposophists?

Submitted by Tom Last on Sat, 03/05/2011 - 3:13pm.

I have observed that anthroposophists tend not to strive for the freedom philosophy as described in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom, but prefer the traditionalism of the Anthroposophical Society rather than free individuality. These are named Anthroposophists, but there is no name for those who pursue the Philosophy of Freedom, so I wondered if they could appropriately be called Monists?

Monists may or may not have anything to do with Steiner's post 1900 work, they may even oppose it on the grounds it is too speculative. The primary rule for the Anthroposophical Society is that you are not allowed to oppose the work at the Goetheanum, which in effect is a submission to a higher authority imposed from without. A Monist is free to oppose whatever they want, according to their own need. This "freedom", whether it was exercised or not, could be the fundamental difference between an Anthroposophist and a Monist.

According to the Monistic view, man's action is unfree when he obeys some perceptible external compulsion, it is free when he obeys none but himself. chapter 10 POF

Of course many oppose any labels because they consider themselves so "unique". But there are people who strive "to orient their lives in the direction of the principles" within the Philosophy of Freedom and are proud to say that and wouldn't mind letting people know this is their aim.

I know how widespread the tendency is to be stereotypical, lacking all individuality. But I also know that many of my contemporaries are striving to orient their lives in the direction of the principles I have suggested here. To them I would dedicate this book. Rudolf Steiner, first preface POF

Monist isn't that exciting sounding.

Another unique feature of The Philosophy of Freedom is that it is the path to freedom of Rudolf Steiner that is best suited for our scientific age.. The Anthropo0sophical Society doesn't promote this path, but promotes other more Eastern paths given by Steiner for those attacked to such. The Anthroposophical Society is also based on a more old fashioned authoritarian religious model than the free communities of the Philosophy of freedom.