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Philosophy of Freedom Commentary

By Tom Last
Created 07/07/2011 - 2:23pm


Philosophy of Freedom Commentary

Rudolf Steiner describes his path to freedom in The Philosophy of Freedom. In order to sort out individual freedom from the many other determinants of knowledge and action the book examines both freedom and determinism. Progress toward freedom can be made from both sides. We can strengthen our powers of self-determination by learning about what freedom is, and we can weaken the inner and outer determinants that enslave us by becoming conscious of their influence.

We act freely when we obey ourselves, we act unfreely when we obey some other compulsion. The influences that control us are part of the perceptible world and can be identified. For every unfree act there is a thing, or person or institution that has caused the person to act and it can be identified. (10-6 [0])

These natural and social determinants have value in playing a part in our development. Nature makes us a natural being, society makes us a law-abiding being, but it is up to each one of us to make ourselves a free being. (9-11 [0])

While justified at an early stage of human development, these controlling determinants will eventually become barriers to freedom in the way that is similar to the overly possessive parent who smothers the free spirit of the maturing offspring. Nothing in nature, nothing in society, nothing in religion, and nothing in heaven can give us freedom. This is something we can only give to ourselves.

This commentary makes no attempt to meet any academic standards, or to broadly characterize anything or anybody beyond the specific example, or to claim that the information is accurate, or that it is even the writers own writing. The commentary includes text and illustrations that have been found on the internet without usually citing sources. These can be found by doing a Google search of the sentences or pictures (picture search is possible now).


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