#3 Preface - Path To Freedom

Submitted by Tom Last on Tue, 10/29/2013 - 4:53pm.

Many lack any individuality at all.
The widespread tendency is to conform to the stereotype of one's group.
We are all socialized and conditioned to behave like robots.
But if we are willing to make the effort we can become something more.

True freedom is found by applying the principles of individuality to your life.
Rudolf Steiner discovered the principles of individuality while on his own journy to freedom.
He divided individuality into two parts: free thinking and free morality
and published these principles in the “Philosophy Of Freedom”.
His book maps the territory to be traveled on the quest for freedom.
Steiner dedicated the Philosophy Of Freedom to those who apply it to their life.
Applying the principles of individuality places you on the same path taken by Rudolf Steiner.
It is not the only path mentioned by Steiner, but it is the path he himself took.

Success on the path to freedom depends on two requirements.
The first requirement is to apply the principles of individuality to your life.
To apply them you will first need to know what they are.
You can learn these principles by reading the Philosophy Of Freedom.
The second requirement is thought training.
What is appropriate thought training?
If studied properly the "Philosophy Of Freedom" is thought training.

The scientific age no longer requires pious exercises or self-denial to attain knowledge.
but it does require the regular practice of withdrawing into thought.
One must lift oneself into pure thought if life is to be fully experienced.
To be limited to the pleasures of the senses is to miss out on the sweetest enjoyments of life.
The sweetest joys of life are experienced in pure thought.

Reading the Philosophy Of Freedom is one way to enter into pure thought.
Pure thinking is universal and takes place in the conceptual realm.
In our scientific age, the practice of pure conceptual thinking is the thought training required on the path to freedom.
It is the thinking practiced by the scientist, the philosopher and the mathematician.
Pure thinking frees us to gain knowledge of the world and empowers us to act ethically.

The study of The Philosophy Of Freedom takes effort.
Wthout effort there is no thought training.
While reading you can decide to read attentively and struggle to understand, judge, and apply the material,
or you can let your attention wander.
You may half get some points,
awaken again with effort,
then lapse into partial focus.
At each moment you are deciding whether to think or not.



0.6 Strive To Live According To Individualistic Principles
[8] I am under no illusion concerning the characteristics of the present age. I know how many flaunt a manner of life which lacks all individuality and follows only the prevailing fashion. But I know also that many of my contemporaries strive to order their lives in the direction of the principles I have indicated. To them I would dedicate this book. It does not pretend to offer the "only possible" way to Truth, it only describes the path chosen by one whose heart is set upon Truth.

0.7 Thought Training In Pure Thinking
[9] The reader will be led at first into somewhat abstract regions, where thought must draw sharp outlines if it is to reach secure conclusions. But he will also be led out of these arid concepts into concrete life. I am fully convinced that one cannot do without soaring into the ethereal realm of abstraction, if one's experience is to penetrate life in all directions. He who is limited to the pleasures of the senses misses the sweetest enjoyments of life. The Oriental sages make their disciples live for years a life of resignation and asceticism before they impart to them their own wisdom. The Western world no longer demands pious exercises and ascetic practices as a preparation for science, but it does require a sincere willingness to withdraw oneself awhile from the immediate impressions of life, and to betake oneself into the realm of pure thought.