Project Based Study Of The Philosophy Of Freedom



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Rudolf Steiner may have been born a clairvoyant, but he had to train to become an Ethical Individualist. Each step of this self-directed Project Based Study program focuses on one of the abilities discussed in The Philosophy of Freedom needed to turn one's ideals into completed action. The abilities practiced are scientific inquiry, pure reasoning, imagination, technical skills and collaboration. You are also welcome to take a "just do it" approach and forget the program structure. Your finished project will be shared with others by becoming part of the permanent archive. Questions? Post comment or "contact". More to come....
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imagination, intuition confusion

The below quote is from the Wilson introduction. He points out Steiner's later definitions, in this case imagination and intuition, are not always the same as his POF definitions. To bring his later work into POF can be a barrior to understanding POF. His later work is about his clairvoyant perception that he was born with, POF is about intuitive thinking.

IMAGINATION means the faculty and process of creating mental pictures. The word is the same as the German Imagination, but I have also used it for the German Phantasie, because the word “fantasy” suggests something altogether too far from reality, whereas “imagination” can mean something not only the product of our own consciousness, but also a step towards the realization of something new. Thus the title given to Chapter 12, Moral Imagination (for Moralische Phantasie), seemed to me to be correct, and I have kept it. It describes the process of taking an abstract idea, or concept, and creating a vivid mental picture of how it can be applied in a particular circumstance, so that it may become the motive for a moral deed.
In later writings Steiner describes how this ordinary faculty of imagining, or making mental pictures, can be developed to the point where it becomes the faculty of actually perceiving the creative ideas behind the phenomena of nature. In these later writings “Imagination” becomes a special term to indicate this level of perception, but in this book the meaning remains near to the ordinary usage. However, the gateway to such higher levels of perception is opened through the path of experience here set forth.

INTUITION is again the same as the German word, and means the faculty and process of grasping concepts, in particular the immediate apprehension of a thought without reasoning. This is the normal English usage, though Steiner uses the term in an exact way, as follows (see Chapter 5):
In contrast to the content of the percept which is given to us from without, the content of thinking appears inwardly. The form in which this first makes its appearance we will call intuition. Intuition is for thinking what observation is for the percept.
Later in the book he gives another definition (see Chapter 9):
The following was added in 1918 and confuses POF--
Intuition is the conscious experience — in pure spirit — of a purely spiritual content. Only through an intuition can the essence of thinking be grasped.
From this it is not difficult to see how again, in later writings, Steiner could describe a stage of perception still higher than that called “Imagination”, the stage of “Intuition” in which one immediately apprehends the reality of other spiritual beings. Although this book deals only with the spiritual content of pure thinking, intuition at this level is also a step towards a higher level of perceiving reality.