Bernie Thinks Alot

Submitted by Admin on Fri, 11/05/2010 - 1:26pm.
The least honest are those who read The Philosophy of Freedom as they would any other book and then flatter themselves that they have really taken in the thoughts it contains. They’ve kept on reading strings of words without anything coming out of it that might be likened to the striking of steel on flint. -Rudolf Steiner

Don't Try To Suppress My Impure Thoughts

Submitted by Tom Last on Thu, 11/04/2010 - 1:46pm.
(POF 12-12) The Church makes me unfree if, for her, all those motives she has not herself enunciated seem impure. A Church or other community produces unfreedom when its priests or teachers make themselves into keepers of consciences, that is, when the faithful are obliged to go to them (to the confessional) for the motives of their actions.

Beware any person or institution that accuses you of having impure thoughts. They are attempting to enslave your spirit. Conservatives have a new ideological purity test. Rights groups  --ethnic, women, gay, etc. demand purity of any thoughts they find to be insensitive. Motivational speakers and Eastern gurus expect devotes to be free from negative thoughts; they are such a downer. Anthoposophists maintain the purity of Steinerism doctrine (Steiner in accordance with their opinion).

The suppression can take the form of an independent power within, the inner voice of conscience. They all attempt to drive your own thoughts from your head and replace them with their own.

The ultimate offender is the church confession where you must kneel and confess, not only your wrong actions, but also your impure thoughts.

Self Observation, Charles Tart

Submitted by Admin on Wed, 11/03/2010 - 11:00am.

POF 3-1 While the observation of things and events, and thinking about them are everyday occurrences filling my ongoing life, observation of the thought itself is a kind of exceptional state.

POF 3-7 For everyone who has the ability to observe thinking --and with good will every normally constituted person has this ability -- the observation of thinking is the most important observation that can be made.

You can't have a gestalt therapist or someone following you around all day and all night. You have to learn to be your own observer, to understand yourself.

Sometimes people will do limited self observation. They know something's wrong. Their life isn't going right, or there are obvious problems, or it's empty. So they observe themselves for awhile, and they see a part of what's wrong, but they want to change so badly that as soon as they get one or two ideas of how they're not living right, they become converted to some religion that claims to save you from that particular thing, or to some particular growth thing, and they concentrate exclusively on changing that, without having gotten a good idea of what the rest of their mind is like.

You should start self observation not with the idea that there are certain truths that somebody else has already figured out that you've got to observe for yourself and then you've arrived, but with a much more open-ended idea that I want to know for myself, I want to see things the way they are.

Herculean Individualism

Submitted by Tom Last on Mon, 11/01/2010 - 9:23am.
An energetic effort is being made to shake off every kind of authority. Nothing is accepted as valid, unless it springs from the roots of individuality. Everything which hinders the individual in the full development of his or her powers is thrust aside. The saying “Each one of us must choose his hero in whose footsteps he toils up to Olympus” no longer holds for us. We allow no ideals to be forced upon us. We are convinced that in each of us, if only we probe deep enough into the very heart of our being, there dwells something noble, something worthy of development. -Rudolf Steiner, Preface to the Philosophy of Freedom

Artist Markus Lupertz is resting after completing this astonishing epic task - creating a 30 ton statue of the ancient Greek hero Hercules. The 60ft high sculpture - crafted entirely from aluminum - is being placed on top of the Oberbilk Gallery in Dusseldorf, Germany.

To be more precise, it will be Mr. Lüpertz’s abstract interpretation of Hercules. In this case, the strongman will have just one arm, with a large head, bulbous nose, exaggerated torso and stunted legs that appear incapable of holding up such a body.

“Chaos is the basis for the individual,” he says.

"It’s not about their genius, it’s about my genius.”

“HERCULES is a troubleshooter,” he said of his subject. “He has impossible things to settle, but he has a solution for the problems.” He said that Hercules was a good symbol for a region with high unemployment, trying to reinvent itself as a cultural center.

The statue is, like his other works, a personal expression. He leaves interpretation to others and he knows, for sure, that his one-armed Hercules is going to inspire some, probably many, to complain. But this time, that is exactly what his patrons say they want, to promote discussion, even controversy.

Result of Introspective Observation

Submitted by Tom Last on Sun, 10/31/2010 - 9:13pm.

(1:30) Tom and Joel talk about title page of the Philosophy of Freedom. If you would like to be part of an informal podcast contact Tom.

Harmony of Intentions

Submitted by Tom Last on Sun, 10/31/2010 - 8:55am.

Harmony of Intentions (POF 9-10): The world of ideas exists as a unity. We all draw our ideas from the same world of ideas. If we both really conceive out of the idea, and do not obey any external impulses (physical or spiritual), then we cannot but meet one another in like striving, in common intent.

Civility has collapsed in American politics meaning government is no longer able to seriously face the problems of the country and world. The country is polarized by the morally unfree who follow their natural instincts to dislike anyone different than themselves, hoard personal wealth, cling to guns and religious fundamentalism, or find security in a kind of white tribal nationalism by obeying their political party.

Can we work together only if we are united by a fixed set of ideas? The Tea Party movement has united under just three principles it says are based on freedom of the individual:
* Fiscal Responsibility
* Constitutionally Limited Government
* Free Markets

Anyone not pledging allegiance to this handful of principles is the enemy and must be removed from government office.

What is not understood is the unity of the world of ideas within each of us. We are different in that we may be excited about different ideas, but those ideas are drawn from a common world of ideas. Because of this we can be confident that our intentions will harmonize, but on one condition; we really conceive out of the idea, and do not obey any external impulses (physical or spiritual). Opposition can be overcome without compromising your principles and a common intention achieved only between truly free individuals. Which raises the question of how you work with people (including perhaps even yourself) who are not free, or unable to rise to the conceptual level to achieve thinking intuitions in a resolution process?

President Obama continues to hold to this idealistic principle of achieving harmony with his opponents through open discussion, even as his enemies publicly declare they will not compromise their narrow-mindedness. Is he a naive fool who should abandon his idealism and accept the real world of fixed beliefs and instinctive behavior? We all likely face this ethical dilemma in our own marriages and working relationships.

A painful but necessary exercise

Submitted by Admin on Mon, 10/25/2010 - 7:08pm.

Senior Fellow/Director, IKIM

Self-reflect we must, if we are ever serious about remaining truly human, and to question whether the way our nation is being built truly reflects what we have acknowledged.

TO MANY followers of the world’s major religions, the idea of self-examination is by no means novel. Among those who are philosophically and historically more alert, Socrates is best known for having said: “Life unexamined is not worth living.”

Muslims, by and large, have so often heard the dictum “Examine yourselves before you are examined” (Haasibuu anfusakum qabla an tuhaasabuu) that it has almost become a cliché and, to the ears of some, has unfortunately lost its initial force as a reminder.

Wibke Reinstein Kicking Steiner's Butt --- Yeeaaahhhh!!!

Submitted by Tmasthenes on Sat, 10/23/2010 - 4:42pm.

I was all set to write Wibke Reinstein off as just another Steiner reincarnation wannabee --- with a flair for self-promotion and semi-New Age vagueness --- but then I happened to see a new entry on her Facebook discussion page

PoF for a Captive Audience

Submitted by Tmasthenes on Mon, 10/11/2010 - 12:24pm.

The Anthroposophical Prison Outreach Program has been flourishing for at least the last 8 years.  Here is their homepage

Here is the PDF copy of their latest newsletter with dozens of responses from prisoners all across the USA writing in about the positive effects anthroposophy is having on and in their lives.

On page 8 of the 12 page newsletter, I came across this Illinois prisoner’s short book review of PoF.

Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path – wow! Not what I expected. This was the most purely philosophical study I have ever encountered. It’s the book I’ve been searching for since I discovered philosophy of any kind. The ideas developed in this study (I don’t know what else to call it) about freedom of will, monism and pure thought were extremely fascinating and reached far beyond what I have ever considered. The book was one of the most difficult I have ever read and required of me rereading of some paragraphs and chapters as I progressed – but was so very worth it. It opened me to an entirely new school of thought. Don’t be surprised if I request this book again in the future for further study.” --- Joseph, Galesburg, IL

I have long maintained --- for linguistic reasons alone --- that the correct translation for PoF should be The Philosophy of Inner Freedom.  Now reading that review from someone who is literally a “captive audience” for the book, someone whose external freedom is curtailed, helps to validate my translation.