Saturday, October 26, 2013

Foreword in Progress by the Translator, Prefaces by the Author, List of Contents, Part I and Part II

From the German Original Entitled
“Die Philosophie der Freiheit als
Grundlage künstlerischen Schaffens “

(Dornach, 1988; ISBN-3-85704-152-8)


Herbert Witzenmann

Translation in Progress


Robert J. Kelder

Willehalm Institute
Amsterdam 2013

* * *

List of Contents

Foreword by the Translator
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition

Part I

The Philosophy of Freedom
As a Conceptional Work of Art


The Rank of Conscious Awareness/ Concerning Two Possible Objections Against This Publication/ On the Mode of Presentation/ A Further Objection


The Unity of Form and Content as Meditative Soul Guidance/ The Compositional Basis of the Two Main Parts/ The “Word” Character of "The Philosophy of Freedom”/ The Merit and Nature of Psychical Observation or Introspection/ The Compositional Arrangement of the Two Main Parts of the Work


“The Philosophy of Freedom” as a Universal Study of Man/ The Ontological Levels of Creatures/ The Ontological Levels of Man/ The Anthropological Outcome


Thinking Volition and Volitional Thinking, Their Different Unfoldment/ The Stages of Volitional Unfoldment as Compositional Forms of the First and Fourteenth Chapter/ The Stages of Volitional Unfoldment in the Fourteenth Chapter/ On the Community-building Function of Individual Judgements


The Composition of Both parts in Relation to the Stages of Volitional Unfoldment/ The Anthropological Composition  of the First Part/ The Anthropological Composition  of the Second Part/  Schematic Summary/ On the Mode of Presentation


The Basic Character of the Work, Its Demand on the Reader and the Riches It Has in Store for Him/ The Third Main Part


Consonant and Vowel Qualities in “The Philosophy of Freedom”, Man as Word, “The Philosophy of Freedom” as Book of the Human Word, Its Middle Part/ Surface Structure and In-depth Structure/  The Anthropological and Cosmological Points of View/ Body, Soul and Spirit/ Cognition and Corporeality, Freedom and Spirituality, Speech and Soul Life

Part II

The Philosophy of Freedom
As a Path of Schooling for the Artist

1. Renewed Objection Against Conscious Awareness

2. Necessity of Discarding the Accustomed Mindset

3. Historical Contemplation and Contemporary Course of Action

4. Exchange-of-Being, Self-awareness/ Prayer/ The Christian Creative Mood

5. The New Artistic Era/ Protection/ The Exceptional Waking State of Mind

6. The Prejudices Concerning the Subjectivity and Objectivity of Thinking/  The Irrepresentability of Concepts/ The Review Exercise/  The Irrepresentability of Percepts/ Transparency Exercise/ Veiling and Unveiling/ Matter and Form/ The Path to the Upper and Lower Gods

7. The Representation as Helper and Teacher/ The Human Form as Cosmic Form/ The Cosmogenic Meditation as the Higher School of Form/ Beautiful Semblance as Higher Reality/ The Metamorphosis of the Particular and the Whole in One Another

8. The Individual Above Us, the Universal Within Us: the Highest Knowledge and the Greatest Experience/ Form as the Universal Human Being, Matter as the World Bewitched/ The Experience of Freedom

9. Schiller’s Aesthetic Anthropology and Social Aesthetics/ The Social Mission of Art/ The Dissolution of the Alloy King

10. The Experience of Form and Humanness as Experience of Destiny/ The Experience of Matter and Freedom as Experience of Re-embodiment of the Spirit

11. Light and Love as the Essence of Matter and Form

12. The Stages in the Path of Schooling of the Artist

First Appendix
The Composition of the Preface to the First Edition of The Philosophy of Freedom

Second Appendix
List of Contents of The Philosophy of Freedom

Epilogue to the 1st edition

Overview of the Work of Herbert Witzenmann

* * * 

Foreword by the Translator

This Foreword describes how this translation began in Dornach, Switzerland back in 1981 and then goes into some of the reasons why it has taken so long to take it up again, reasons that also concern internal problems of the Anthroposophical Society, refounded by Rudolf Steiner, his associates and followers in 1923, and of which the German anthroposophist/philosopher, poet and playwright Herbert Witzenmann became an executive-member and leader of the Youth Section of the Goetheanum, Free School for Spiritual Science in 1963 and of its Social Science Section in 1965, until his forced leave of absence around 1970, after which he founded in 1973 the Seminar for Young People, which I attended from 1974-1978. Readers not interested in this subject, are kindly advised to turn to the First Preface by the author, directly following this Foreword.

The first attempt at translating the title, list of contents, the first and last chapter of this book goes back to 1981, when after an initial period of some three months’ work on the first edition, I handed my translation to the American poetess Daisy Aldan living and working at that time in Dornach, Switzerland,  where I had previously assisted her in her translation and publication of the first edition of Herbert Witzenmann’s work “The Virtues” (Folder Editions, New York). Her comment on my translation was that it was impossible to translate this exposition of Rudolf Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom. Rather than take this as a final answer, I subsequently labored another three months on it and, after submitting it to her a second time, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from her that I had apparently done the impossible! 

But conditions in Dornach at that time were not sufficiently conducive enough to lead to a complete translation.  Herbert Witzenmann, as a member of the executive-council of the General Anthroposophical Society and leader of the Section for Social Science and the Youth Section, had been forced, due to an apparently insurmountable internal conflict to take a leave of absence from the regular meetings of the executive-council and no longer received any structural or financial support from the Society (he and his colleagues were barred from using the facilities of the Goetheanum and had to set up a new infra-structure to facilitate the continued work and teaching of Herbert Witzenmann in Dornach and nearby Arlesheim). This inner conflict concerned the in essence still unresolved and largely misunderstood "book question" dealing with the proper way to represent and publish the work of Rudolf Steiner on the basis of his spiritual testament (for more on this subject see Herbert Witzenmann’s social-aesthetic study “Charter of Humanity – The Principles of the General Anthroposophical Society as a Basis of Life and Path of Training”).

I mention these internal difficulties to give some explanation for the fact that it has lasted almost 33 years for this (updated) partial working translation to see the light of day and to venture the view that, had the conditions been more favorable for furthering the valuable work of Herbert Witzenmann - the only professional philosopher and experienced industrialist on the executive - the situation of the General Anthroposophical Society and indeed that of the world at large might have been in a better state than they are in now. For in spite of the above-described conflict situation, he did follow up in an admirable way the personal advice given to him by Rudolf Steiner to represent and defend his anthroposophy in a philosophical manner by writing a number of outstanding volumes, only very few of which (such as Intuition and Observation, Idea and Reality of a Spiritual Schooling of Man, Pupilship  in the Sign of the Rose-Cross (all sold-out) and more recently The Just Price – World Economy as Social Organics and The Virtues - Seasons of the Soul have been translated, but without the necessary support and full backing of the General Anthroposophical Society and its affiliated national societies in the English- speaking world, whose only justification for existence (as can be gathered from its origical statutes) consists in nurturing the soul life of the innividal and that of society at large and in furthering results of spiritual research, such as that of Herbert Witzenmann, done at the (Spiritual) Goetheanum.  

After being forced to leave Dornach in 1986 due to the lack of support and moving to Amsterdam, the situation within the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands that I came across was in this respect no better than the one I had just left. (Interesting in this respect is something that I heard just recently, namely that the well-known Dutch anthroposophist Bernard Lievegoed, at that time the president of the Dutch Society, was asked by the executive–council in Dornach to mediate in their internal conflict between Herbert Witzenmann and the rest of his colleagues concerning the book question. The choice for assigning Lievegoed for this task is questionable, because of the completely different traits of character between him and Witzenmann. The former is known, among other things, for his development of a path of schooling he called in his book The Eye of the Needle - Life and Working Encounter with Anthroposophy the Path of Saturn, a path not based on thinking but on the will, i.e. on first doing things and then later seeing what had become of them, in which he claimed to be in accordance with God, who also first created the word and only afterwards saw that it was good. However, according my reading and some of his critics such as Walter Heijder in Waarheid en werking (Truth and Effect, not translated), Arnold Sandhaus Antroposofie willen denken (Willing to Think Anthroposophy, not translated) as well as the late well known anthroposophist, Rudolf Steiner chool teacher and writer Willem Frederik Veltman in his autobiography Licht en Duisternis (Light and Darkness) this Path of Saturn has nothing to do with anthroposophy, which again others, such as the philosopher and medical doctor Ida-Marie Hoek deny, while others have written whole mainly uncritical books on the subject. Herbert Witzenmann disqualifies this path of doing, the priority of action over knowledge and thinking, as can be read here in the first chapter, in paragraph 7: “When it is maintained that abilities arise in the doing (after having paid one’s dues or having slaved away under that imitation misnamed 'practice'), then this only signifies that that presence of mind which lies in acting out of knowledge is gradually being supplanted by a mechanical and schematic busyness.” Without maintaining that this disqualification of the path of the will applies completely to the path of schooling as advocated by Bernard Lievegoed, it may at least become apparent that he was not exactly suited to mediate in this book conflict with its spiritual roots in the nature of anthroposophy as a being that needs our moral protection. It is therefore not so surprising that, as relayed to me by one of the insiders, that this "man of action" found Herbert Witzenmann to be “hysterical”, a description that is neither supported by this work nor by my own personal observation of the author, with whom I had the pleasure and honor to work for a number of years after having attended his Seminar For Young People, Art and Social Organics in Arlesheim, nearby Dornach for four years in the late seventies.)

Again, I only mention these internal, sad karmic difficulties as an explanation for the fact that since my move to Amsterdam in 1986 no support from the society in this country for translating Herbert Witzenmann’s work into Dutch, in spite of several requests over the last 22 years, was given either. This was of course no reason not to attempt to undertake this work and so, with very limited resources, a small number of his works were (partially) translated and published in Dutch. Next to the ones already mentioned, these are: "Geldordening als bewustzijnskwestie - Een nieuw financieel stelsel vereist een nieuw beschavingsprincipe" (Currency as Consciousness - A New Financial System Demands a New Principle of Civilization), "Een nieuwe economische orde – Rudolf Steiners social organica” (A New Economic Order – Rudolf Steiner’s Social Organics) and “De onvooringenomenheid van de antroposofie – een inleiding op Rudolf Steiners geesteswetenschap” (The Unbiasedness of Anthroposophy – An Introduction to Rudolf Steiner’s Spiritual Science).

My latest proposal to translate and publish the work of Herbert Witzenmann on social organics (his term for the extended idea of the threefold social organism) to the so-called coordinator of the Social Science Section of the School for Spiritual Science in The Netherlands (where it obviously belongs) was made during a meeting on October 5 (2013), but (privately and flatly) rejected for reasons that remain unclear or not given, but that may be due to the influence that Lievegoed still enjoys within the Society and the relatively bad name of Witzenmann as being simply too difficult to read. I had submitted this request along with two other initiatives for working groups in a paper “Werken aan de ziel van de Antroposofische Vereniging – De Vrije Hogeschool voor Geesteswetenschappen” (Working on the Soul of the Anthroposophical Society – The Free School for Spiritual Science”). 

Other efforts to further and enhance the development of the School for Spiritual Science in The Netherlands by making the profound writing by Herbert Witzenmann on this subject available are e.g. the three essays in the Dutch version of his “Charter of Humanity and "To Create or to Adminstrate - Rudolf Steiner's Social Organics/ A New Principle of Civilization", which have been partially translated and made into a study blogs. All in the (idle?) hope that it will someday finally be appreciated and supported to some extent. An additional reason to do so is found in the noteworthy publication in 2017 of Vol. III of the Trilogy "On the Activity of Herbert Witzenmann on the Council at the Goetheaum (1963-1988)"  entitled "The Spiritual Personality of Herbert Witzenmann - A Contribution to Understanding European Cultural History" by Reto Andrea Savoldelli (in German),  in which he establishes a remarkable psychic-spiritual affinity between the life and work of Witzenmann and that of Alanus ab Insulis, the great medieval teacher of the School of Chartres, of which Rudolf Steiner had foretold that Alalnus would return at the end of the 20te century in order, together with him, to bring anthroposophy to its culmination in to ward of the imminent threat of barbarism and decay of civilization as we know it. This will be elucidated in a later version of this Foreword in progress.  

Someone who has already expressed his support and participation in a possible conference on the work of Herbert Witzenmann in English and/or Dutch is the well-known Australian professor of philosophy Wayne Hudson, who also taught at the University of Utrecht for years and who has 19 books to his name, whom I hereby want to extend my thanks. On this further support will depend on whether I will work on completing this work or devote my energies and time to other current projects undertaken by the Willehalm Institute.

Update on November 29, 2017: Encouraged by the further support given by Tom Last on his site Philosophy of Freeom, Scott Fielding, editor of the Journal "Deeping Antroposophy" and Reto Savoldelli (the former close co-worker of Herbert Witzenmann and former manager of the Gideon Spicker Verlag in Dornach, who typed up the original manuscript of this book) I have continued working on this translation. 

Amsterdam, October 26, 2013; last updated June 21, 2019                        Robert J. Kelder

* * *

Preface to the Second Edition

The new edition contains, next to numerous corrections, a series of elaborations and supplements that bring the train of thought more graphically to the fore.
The main, unchanged purpose of the book is threefold: The high degree of conceptual art accuracy and inventiveness in Rudolf Steiner‘s mode of presentation, which characterizes  his "Philosophy of Freedom" is not only to be delineated in terms of form and content, but also the nature of conceptional art shall be gleaned from the chosen example more vitally than can be done by general deliberations. The artistic path of schooling is furthermore to be developed as a meditative and practical autodidactive aid by following how this path of grasping the form-content-unity is transformed into a process of self-discovery.  And finally, the correspondence between free and artistic conscious awareness and its significance for social life as well as for the renewal and strengthening of civilizational energies in general shall be put forward.
The demonstrated correspondence between the conscious awareness of freedom and that of art as well its characteristic significance for Rudolf Steiner’s work as a whole is the main content of this work. With his reference to a hitherto unknown mode of consciousness, the author believes to make a contribution to the pressing demands of our times and thereby to justify the publication of his work. For upon observing the unsettling symptoms of our public state of affairs, it seems to him that above all two things need to be seriously considered. On the one hand (and herewith there is a fairly general agreement), our problems and our steadily growing self-embroilment therein through our mitigating attempts to solve them demand new insights and in general a new scientific paradigm. On the other hand (and here there is hardly any consensus), the starting-point for a new conflict-resolution awareness calls for a new appraisal or conceptional evaluation of consciousness as such. The author is convinced that only herewith a promising new begin, a truly orientating knowledge and technique can be found.  For the crisis of our times consists of the transition from an application-bound conscious awareness to one that through self-apprehension secures its own autonomy and intrinsic value. Herein the difficulties of our situation, but also its inherent possibilities, fatalities are determined yet also its hopes.

This book takes a stance in this crisis situation in as much as it delineates a new type of consciousness (in its mode of application as well as in the path of schooling leading to its possession). In this preface, only some wide and far-reaching indications about the turning point in which, as many among us will agree, we find ourselves, can be made. The evolution of humankind is hitherto, independent of its extra-ordinary epochal differences, one of the application of the human soul forces towards their usefulness. The driving force active hereby in the depth of the development of consciousness furthered its progress into the largely unconscious and unintentional realm on the basis of an inner orientation acquired from the apprehension of the succeeding turn of events. Nevertheless, the application of the human soul forces led with an unnoticed progressive intensity in clarity to the growing characteristic and diffusion of their self-apprehension. To recognize that the task of our civilization consists in a fully conscious understanding of the intrinsic value and meaning of the psychic-spiritual existence of the human being, and that its goal lies in the solution and realization thereof, that is the opportunity and the danger we must face up to. By designating our situation as post-industrial, only one of the manifold modes of appearance of the process of disengagement moving from the application to the self-apprehension of our psychic-spiritual forces is apprehended.
Here the following clarification may be added. In contradiction to the afore-mentioned task, our civilization is turning with aggressive intolerance and self-deluded arrogance the operationalistic obsession and superstition into its main distinguishing feature and interest. Every procedure and conduct not certified by the utilitarian stamp of approval guaranteeing success in their application for the sole sake of survival is considered to be fraudulent or mad. If besides that, the annual fairs and auction of useless glittering virtuosities are still tolerated, then only so because the eye-popping, fanatical and snobbish discharge of the dissatisfied crowd is of service to the refreshment of the urges for gratification exclusively considered to be value bearers. The significance of this materialistic world religion lies in the fact that just through the disintegration of all superior attitudinal and sentimental contents proceeding from it, it strengthens the faculty of autonomous self-apprehension, thus cooperating in the formation of a soul attitude that gets into an ever growing tension with its own materialistic depersonalizing dogma.

An initial understanding for the significance of our entrance into a post-operationalistic era can be secured by convincing oneself in the sense of this publication through psychical observation (introspection) of the consciousness-form of reality. The materialistic mode of appearance of reality as something made conscious only through our sense organs is after all a delusion. All true progress can therefore only be described in terms of a change in mental attitude, in development of consciousness. This of course has, be it for other reasons than today, always been the case. Emerging from the depths of consciousness and embracing members of language communities, powerful heralds brought these impulses of expression, which through their swimming action only brought the crest height of their enormous waves to foam up, to ever new shorelines that they covered with their epoch-making deeds. The cultural and psychic-spiritual life was never an epiphenomenon of an economic line of existential self-defense. Not Darwinist adaption to the supremacy of impressions, but the superiority of – albeit hitherto not master of itself – expression has been from time immemorial the driving force in the history of humankind.

Through the materialistic mortification of the instinctive geniality and its naive confidence in productivity, present-day humanity has manoeuvred itself into a position of duress, but thereby also in the possibility of searching for the origin and cultivation of new creative sources in its cleared consciousness. To understand and strengthen the ground in which expression can take root (in the double sense of the ground for knowledge and that of action) is its main task and the condition for its survival. There can after all be no other instance of decisive importance, for the human being is the extent of his expressed existence (namely the forwards pressing permeation of the formless perceptible with the formative concepts) and the human being itself is the expression out of this self-creating expression. Therefore the questions concerning the world and humanity are in similar ways questions of expression, the all-encompassing question of consciousness. The ebb and flood of consciousness-raising broke until now into the therefore receptive human waves of consciousness, - but as of today the human being can and must itself determine its new course. Hence it is necessary to realize above and beyond all else the priority of a new evaluation of conscious awareness. A new phase of consciousness must be reached - and this time not driven by the overwhelming force of events, but with its own inherent powers. This is the case, because the meaning of our existence lies not in depleting its strength for the maintenance of its bodily basis, but to incorporate them into the one and only valid context of developing a new epoch of expression. Not in slavish submission to the conditions of human existence, but through free apprehension and confirmation creatively scaling them and grasping the possibilities being offered, that is how the human being finds and secures itself its destination. 

That which is shaped most by consciousness, thus by expression, that which is the least forced into the duress of impressions is the most (even though in this way unknown and unrecognized) contemporary of all things. Such an attitude of consciousness and its practical application, neither determined by its origin nor its goal, but freely floating in itself, that is what art is.  It transforms consciousness in (in so far present) the material expression and attains from and in that expression new consciousness as well as therein new human selfhood.  In the same way, artistically created is the free state of consciousness and the conduct originating from it, which have no other significance than that which they themselves attribute to it – whereby they are the most creative and in the true sense of the word furthering growth, namely progressive.

This is where one becomes aware of the correspondence between the free and artistic modes of consciousness and their path of performance. At the same time, however, one also becomes aware of the emergencies, demands and hopes of the cultural creative energies, whose vitalization we require by connecting with their sources yet at the same time by elevating them to new heights by a spiral screw-like movement. The new evaluation of conscious awareness  corresponds with and arises from the insight that what in our time is considered least useful is needed the most, what in its intrinsic value is considered the least useful is the most inspiring and invigorating, thus coming closest to, and most of all serving that which is generally termed “practical”.

That which is brought forward here in a more programmatic than a substantiating manner, yet based on a careful treatment of the subject matter, is what this book wants to develop in detail through its reference to a great example as well as through its assistance in the attempt to create a truly contemporary mind-set and its practical applications.

Garmish-Partenkirche, September 1987                                            Herbert Witzenmann

* * *

Preface to the First Edition

This publication is the result of having lived over a period of many years with Rudolf Steiner’s “The Philosophy of Freedom”. It is part of a much more embracing work planned already some time ago and from which the author still hopes to present several further instalments. The present volume is primarily devoted to the artistic undercurrent of the work, but gives, nevertheless, or just for that reason, an introduction to its entire thought content and thereby as well to Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science in general. For as he himself formulated: “The Philosophy of Freedom” answers those questions fundamental to all knowledge.

The larger work mentioned, to which this publication belongs, is conceived as a kind of commentary on “The Philosophy of Freedom”. To present such a commentary in terms of pedantic explanations or by quoting parallel passages from other parts of the author’s work is not the aim here. Such an undertaking would only amount to a collection of material. Such a compilation would require a similar effort of disclosing its content as was attempted here. These deliberations want to be productive within the work of Rudolf Steiner by participating in the completion of the interior of its mighty architecture, of which only first drafts are available. Therefore, it is not the purpose of this “commentary” to convey knowledge, but to stimulate exercises in the observation of thinking.  That is what present-day humanity requires if it is to find other basic modes of cognition and conduct from the ones dominating it today. That something of a different nature must take their place is beginning to be understood. Yet for want of an overall orientation, one relapses time and again into the position of improving particular institutions and measures without having changed the way of thinking and the situation as a whole. It is impossible to discover new points of view or creative and inventive solutions for specific instances without gaining an entirely new access to the realm of what is real and human.

For that purpose neither observing the world without first gaining new perspectives nor assembling items of knowledge will suffice. What is needed, rather, is an exertion of the kind that changes one’s own being. The path and goal of such a metamorphosis can only be found by way of psychical observation, which develops an untapped wealth in the depths of one’s soul. In relation to the overall task, the author would like to ask only a small amount of this effort from his reader, whom he does not wish to see as the recipient of a ready-made theory, but much rather as a colleague forging a newly emerging type of consciousness. He believes to convey, however, to those willing to undertake such an effort, an artistic experience almost second to none.

Pforzheim, December 1979                                                              Herbert Witzenmann

* * *  

Part I

The Philosophy of Freedom
As a Conceptional Work of Art


The Rank of Conscious Awareness/ Concerning Two Possible Objections Against this Publication/ On the Mode of Presentation/ A Further Objection

Artistic creation and scientific cognition seem to repel each other. After all, the latter arises from a mode of consciousness attributed to the comprehension of reality, whereas the former seeks to foreshadow the compelling shape of things to come.  Granted, there are significant examples of artists drawing insight and gaining inspiration for their creative work from the store of scientific knowledge of their day; e.g. Hebbel gained from Hegel, and Wagner received decisive material for sight and song from Schopenhauer, naturalism is inconceivable without the more recent findings of natural science and the surrealists were influenced by Stirner and Nietzsche, dialectical materialism and psychoanalysis. Yet the sources of their productivity they all drew from shafts, which according to them, lay beyond contemplation and description. Indeed, the view that artistic creation and conscious awareness do not tolerate each other is still to this day widely prevalent.  One fails to recognize, however, that thereby more is asserted that can be represented. Two main reasons make this clear. First, no account is given for the fact that there are different forms and degrees of consciousness, modes of appearance and emanation. And secondly, it is forgotten that the criterion of artistry must be found within its own realm and that only from there the question as to the part played by the state of consciousness in the production of a work of art can be asked. Any prejudgement on the role of conscious awareness, before having put it to the test by examining an artwork, is therefore out of place.

The leading conviction of this book concerns cognition as a creative human faculty that is not only derived from an external reality.  The theory that productive cognition plays a formative role in the processes of reality was basically developed by Rudolf Steiner in his “Philosophy of Freedom” and constitutes the starting-point for a universal science of expression. Although he himself has drawn its outline in bold new strokes, this science is in its diversity and diffusion far from being completed.

This publication intends to present a contribution toward this elaboration. The new science of expression marks also the decision on the hitherto unresolved controversy about art and conscious awareness. The idea of a universal science of expression is the effect and at the same time the retrograde foundation of a science of man that does not consider the human being to be merely a receptive and afflicted creature.  Modern natural science, however,   does not even entitle him to the faculty of perception, but only that of affliction through the imperceptible. Productive cognisant, fully conscious man, however, is not only a recipient, but a designer capable of hearkening and speech, perceiving and professing and in the act of self-expression knowing himself and shaping the world surrounding him as an extension of this self-research. As an expressionist not only the producer of ideological epiphenomena, he steers the origins of reality in directions, which without his intervention would not be revealed in the life of soul.


This basic idea of Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science spreads the greatest possible influence on all possible areas of human interest. Man as a being capable of perception and understanding, in command of language by speaking, forming his own word and shaping the world in the way it was indeed prepared for him in the course of evolution, yet remaining mute until he loosened the tongue from his sense, this being is the beneficiary of a heritage accumulated over a long period of time.  Attaining this in order to possess it, however, is something that he has become capable of only in modern times and the capacity for this attainment is the conscious awareness revealing and having revealed itself from its own source. Faced with this task, which as long as it remained dormant or even unknown, posed the heaviest of burdens, man today  stands in the course of an ancient tradition.  Its earliest spark of self-understanding (not its origin) lit up in the Aristotelian ( nus poiätikos): cognition apprehending and illuminating itself through its own power (as the highest conscious awareness) is doing and knowing, the archetypal art from which all other arts are derived. As such, it is also the calling of man to fulfill his evolutionary task to become a responsible producer of expression, in short to become an artist.  This means not only a radical refoundation of aesthetics, but much more so entails the demand for an aestheticization of all sciences and in general all things human. All sciences must be understood as fields of a universal study of man and therewith a knowledge of man having become speech, of the Word of Man creating itself in the co-creation of the Word.

Here the bridge must be built to span the gap between science, art and social life, here the outlook for recovering their lost unity brightens up: a universal linguistics has the task and the capability of pointing the way for science to art, for art the way to science and by means of a social-aesthetic cognition and craft the way for social life to become a social work of art embracing all other arts. No doubt, whoever knows conscious awareness only as ephemeral shadow play will treasure the blood rush of the unconscious as a creative stimulus.  In contradiction, this publication as a living testimony to the work to which it is dedicated will set forth that the true nature of cognition is not the conceptually pale but rather creative spirit warmly entering world phenomena, that there does exists a conscious awareness, which in comparison to such incitements surfacing from the darkness of the bodily organism is in the brilliance of its formative force second to none.


Such words may well sound unworldly enthusiastic or even outrageous in the face of the desolation brought on by the desire and enjoyment of welfare on the one hand, and the stupefaction of those starving under the most pitiful conditions of poverty on the other. This all the more so since the profiteers and peddlers of so-called “quality of life” are only aware of saturation.  To the concerned observer of these signs of our times such self-delusions lifted by their own melodious sounds of the present into clouds of bliss, appear understandably deaf and dumb to humanity’s utter misery. For who could deny that without clearly recognizing it, humanity staggers from desire to delight and is even deemed happy when, instead of sinking into the bliss of habit, it languishes in delight before desire, - or that it, while perishing under the most abject deprivation (without deciding which is the greater misery), it craves to be rescued, only to lose therein its last foothold. People today forget that they do not live by bread alone (the satisfaction of their needs), even though it remains certain that they cannot do without. The addiction to this forgetfulness demonstrates that upon becoming aware of their condition its representatives throw themselves in the narcosis of enterprise. Through this step they believe to procure themselves a good conscience, since that carries after all the honorable stamp of service to society. Yet only a small dose of introspection is required to notice that this self-sedation is nothing more than the flight from one’s inner voice, because it avoids the basic question. After all, no matter how puffing and panting this industriousness is, when it does not know the answer to the soul’s hunger, it only contributes to the vicious circle of desires, to the demand for the do-it-yourself, forget-your-self saturation, to that worldwide covetous piety, which makes people - however much it may reflect the impression of happiness – though increasing claims and demands, only more and more unhappy. Yet their true desire, even though in a false state of mind they may deny it, is not satisfaction, but creative discontent, the ultimate, the only true happiness of giving oneself away in doing, for the increase of which one’s efforts are never enough. Already the slightest accomplishment turns thereby into that feast whose most able judges are the children.  For we are born for its celebration and no one, who is not totally confused and lost his bearings, can deny that he has at least occasionally partaken in it – and in doing so became his true self. This festival of giving is true love that loves both its produce as well as its process and finds its satisfaction in the accord between the creative forces of expression and their feed-back. The supreme goal is not “service to society”, but the unconditional giving of oneself for no other sake than the giving itself. But this is just the power and mission of art and that is why it is the healer of all crime. This is what the following deliberations in their way want to address.

These introductory remarks are not meant to solve the problem which lies before them and which present itself in the negative silhouette of the two cases of prejudice brought forward: the supposed incompatibility between artistic creativity and cognitional awareness as well as the supposed priority of the useful over the deed done for its own sake, the preference thus for the satisfaction of bodily-bound needs over the free unfoldment of human expressiveness.  Those artists dabbling in dullness may, if need be, attach some importance to the cognitive mode of consciousness, if it serves them to stimulate their unconscious driving-force, thus if it adds something of use to their “artistic” creativity, which they consider to be the superior of the two.  These busy-bodies leading a life of luxury are now and then prepared  - provided of course that it not destroy their own concept – to acknowledge socially engaged, critical art and when, although originally non-utilitarian, it is an accountable entry in the debts and credits of a group or class. Both attitudes, utilitarian in different ways, are thoroughly capable of joining forces against the case for creative cognition.


By means of the previous remarks the author wanted only to reach an understanding with his reader concerning the obligation he has taken up by devoting his work to the subject of artistic creation and at the same time locating his point of departure in the cognitive faculties of man: he thereby commits himself in two ways, since admittedly his purpose is to refute the two above-mentioned objections. Yet he has no intention to do so by conceptional refutation only. Rather, by way of an example he consider unique, he endeavors to show that conscious cognition and artistic creation originate from the same root, ascend to begin with in divergent directions and finally intertwine again at the crown.  What the one receives from the other, how they are mutually indebted – this must become understood in view of the necessity of establishing a new culture on the ruins of the old.

That “The Philosophy of Freedom” does not convey this insight as dead knowledge but as a living power, not to confirm this but to activate it, this is what this publication has in mind. Crucial thereby is that the morphological  character of the human and the real that form the content of “The Philosophy of Freedom” constitutes at the same time also the compositional principle of its text. A just understanding of this correspondence is not gained when one expects it to be forced upon the text as a schematic division in the usual sense of summarizing similar elements and combining them piecemeal in mere logical sequence.  Instead, the constructional principle is the presentation of an incisive idea, which identical with its literary appearance, unified but not uniform, becomes active  in various stages of metamorphosis according to the content of textual segments. It establishes the framework of the material presented and is in turn rendered understandable by the content of the material. As with every real work of art, matter and form (in this case: thought content and the idea of its development) also condition each other. Neither one occupies a superior position, neither one advances in front of the other in the delineating consciousness, rather they condition each other in such a way that they mutually create each other and simultaneously develop out of each other. This general characteristic will only become fully comprehensible through the detailed examination of the composition of “The Philosophy of Freedom. Then the special feature of Rudolf Steiner’s literary conceptional style will come to the fore in the sense that it always, although in alternating reciprocal elucidation, brings forth the same thing twice, in one case as matter, in the other as form.


Once it is recognized that “The Philosophy of Freedom” is in fact and fashion a conceptional art work in great style, one is then also prepared for the second part of this publication. This aims to create an understanding of the significance that the path of knowledge in “The Philosophy” has for the artist, who desires a modern schooling of his creative potential. Thereby it will become evident what mode of consciousness hitherto unrevealed in this manner can revitalize the human creative powers, whose depletion we are becoming aware of with increasing consternation and fear. In this regard, it is the main purpose of the second part to develop the conceptual stages for the development of a free aesthetic awareness in a series of reviving steps. ”The Philosophy of Freedom”, far removed from conveying reproducible knowledge, moulds these sequential stages in unity of form and content into an experiential event. Not only an account concerning the real and the human, but a textbook for conscious participation, not only representation, but an inner summoning of a procedure such that it leads those following it into a guided current of events that continues as the activity of the self-taught man.


This publication proceeds as much on the basis of the method applied by Rudolf Steiner as on his own comments on the essential nature of his work as a work of conceptional art. 

His newly developed line of approach is psychic observation or introspection according to the method of natural science. This method will be applied here to "The Philosophy of Freedom" and thereby also to the inner movements made in following its train of thought.

In the first chapter of the original edition “The Aim of All Knowledge”, which served as a kind of preface and which was placed in the appendix of the second edition, Rudolf Steiner wrote the following about his work, “The composer works on the basis of a theory of composition. This is a sum of knowledge that is a prerequisite for composing. Here the laws of composition are used to serve life, true reality. In exactly the same sense, philosophy is an art. All true composers were conceptional artists. Human ideas became the material for their work and the scientific method their artistic technique. Abstract thinking thereby gains concrete, individual life. Ideas become living powers. We then have not merely knowledge about things, but have turned knowledge into a real, self-governing organism; our actuated consciousness has risen above the level of mere passive reception of truth.
How philosophy as an art relates to human freedom, what the latter is and whether we partake or can partake of it, that is the main question of my book.

The method of psychic observation or introspection will be elucidated in its application during the course of this presentation. What can be said here about it so far is that it assumes one of the main tasks in the contemporary redevelopment of the productive sources of consciousness and that the rise of a new cultural era depends on their fertility. For only the method of self-exploration can help bring the stagnating and apparently depleted human resources to a breakthrough again and raise the riches hidden in the subconscious to the surface. As the key to the driving-forces of a new mode of consciousness, psychical observation becomes a matter of epochal significance.

With what measure of seriousness and mastery Rudolf Steiner undertook this momentous mission and carried it through as evidenced in his sense of responsibility and enthusiasm for language, that is what the following presentation endeavors to bring to the experiential understanding of the reader. Its aim can therefore not consist in the zealous juxtaposition of things Rudolf Steiner said. The nature of a work of art lies in the unfolding of its inherent reality, which can only be grasped by actively following its thread; hence the goal of this presentation can only be to convey an insight into the technique of conceptional art. It aims to provide a stimulus for its co-execution, towards learning the language it speaks by carefully tuning in to it. Then it will dawn on the willing reader that conceptional art in the light of his meditative practice appears as the conscious mode of freedom. Some indications concerning the social significance of this type of consciousness were already made and shall continue to be made in the course of this publication.

The herewith indicated plan of presentation, the sense and value of which can of course only be ascertained through its implementation, aspires to show that "The Philosophy of Freedom” is a training and meditation manual primarily through its artistic structure and rank. It wants to make evident that the value of that work is misjudged and its purpose misunderstood when its contents are construed to be the conceptual derivation of an abstractly conceived result. Rudolf Steiner himself strongly emphasizes that in his preface to the second edition, “The view discussed here is of such a nature that, once attained, it can become an integral part of the soul. A theoretical answer, which once acquired is merely carried about as a memorized conviction, is not given. To the way of thinking on which this book is based such an answer would only be a plausible one. A finished, ready-made reply of that sort will not be provided, but an experiential field of the soul will be pointed to, where in each instance or moment that the human being needs it, the question is vitally answered anew through the inner activity of the soul itself…. A knowledge that proves its justification and validity through its own existence and the relationship of this existence proper to the whole realm of human soul life appears thereby to be formulated."

That The Philosophy of Freedom is a textbook by virtue of both its content in artistic values and its form as a conceptional work of art is none the less made clear in that previously quoted passage, which in later editions was placed in the appendices. The science of freedom introduces, like no other work of Rudolf Steiner, its reader to the practice of meditation. It accompanies him to the heights and depths of meditative experience. The path of schooling is demonstrated in the second part of this publication.


Numerous objections besides the ones already mentioned could be raised against this outline. Only one of these, which takes its starting-point in the strong emphasis given here to the meditative aspect of "The Philosophy of Freedom", shall still be considered here. This objection is especially typical of our time. Many people, it is true, are attracted to training courses of the sort that, while stemming mostly from the East, promise salvation from the distress of conscious awareness. Yet the path indicated here, which draws from the depth of consciousness and leads to its heights, will be rejected by them as misleading; it offers, after all, not a retreat, but rather demands effort and risk. Others meanwhile, who have in mind only their own material welfare and that of others only for their own sake, will reject our aspirations no less vehemently. For (so it is often said) our situation (which to others is so attractive) demands in the face of its pressing needs and threats coming from all directions, quick and decisive action. It leaves us no time for withdrawn aspirations for self-perfection. In action, only in action can the abilities demanded by the tasks awaiting us (beyond the initial and perennial unavoidable mistakes) be acquired: as the saying goes, only in the water do we learn how to swim.

This objection lacks the concepts of activity and community. We are active only in the sphere where we ourselves are acting. Productive as autonomous beings – this we are only in and by virtue of thinking. This is not the case within the dull and dim desires of the will; there, thoughts previously one’s own continue to have their effect as formless creatures of habit or are seized by the designs of others. When it is maintained that abilities arise in the doing  (after having paid one’s dues or having slaved away under that imitation misnamed “practice”), this then only signifies that that presence of mind which lies in acting out of knowledge is gradually being supplanted by a mechanical and schematic busyness. Acting out of knowledge, however, however, does not acquire spirit and value through reproduction but through production. And the latter requires the tapping and channelling of creative sources which can only be found within the aesthetic realm of free consciousness. There is no meaningful action without ability, no ability without training. Whoever believes, therefore, to lack the time necessary for creativity training and with a sneering grin doubts that this can be spread as the principle of civilization, has missed once and for all the fruitful moment of destiny, whose auspiciousness cannot be gauged by the dull and dimwitted, but only by the clear-cut vision of the trained eye.

But also the concept of community is failing by those who deem it necessary to be stingy with their time. For it is a prejudice to believe that by taking care of one’s own lot, one shies away from helping the poor and needy. Certainly, those dying of thirst need water to be handed them without a moment’s hesitation. The well-being of a community at large, however, is not improved thereby. For this depends, on the one hand, on the communicative processes of the development of consciousness and, on the other hand, on the so-to-speak underground communication of humanity (the rough comparison may be allowed). Humanity constitutes a unity. This may be stated as a result of observation, since the inner unity of concepts (their subjective and objective generality) is evident from the fact that there are no other interconnections than those shown to psychical observation or introspection as self-definition of thinking. This spiritual tapestry of being is the universal mind, the all-consciousness, out of which the individual human beings draw their individual consciousness according to the extent of their inner power. Even without external contact they thereby convey the modifications arising from the process of the development of human self-consciousness to the universal consciousness. What the individual gain or spoils thereby in his spiritual being can therefore not remain without significance for the human community (its spiritual unity) as a whole. The faint-at-heart, who deny the social value of this work at one’s own nature, damage the human community and fail to see the responsibility they owe to it.

Yet enough of the examination of modes of representation that deny the true nature of man. After all, nothing more is needed than the evidence that there exists a reality-based consciousness which is different from such shortsightedness. This will be done in this publication. Left up to the reader is to decide which one of these paths of knowledge and experience he gives preference to.


The unity of form and content as meditative soul guidance/ The compositional basis of the two parts/ The “Word” character of the “Philosophy of Freedom”/ The merit and nature of psychical observation or introspection/ The compositional arrangement of the two main parts of the work

First a summary will be given of the foregoing indications that are now to be substantiated in detail. The composition of "The Philosophy of Freedom” does not follow the rules normally applied to literary constructions. The value of such rules is not to be denied and for this work they are of secondary importance as well. Compositionally of essence for the subject of this study, however, is the coincidence of its form and its content in a third factor, which does not appear through the means of expression but only in the experience of the reader. This factor, which is not representable by letters but only to be evoked, receives its living strength from the correspondence between the structure of what is presented and its content. The content of this book is on the one hand the nature of reality, and on the other hand the nature of the human being, whose calling it is to become free. It describes the emergence of freedom and reality from the same root.

From this embracing compositional principle proceed also the individual parts of the presentation. Though this formal attribute is not explicitly indicated as such in the expositions of the content, it ensues from the content itself, the arrangement of which it determines. The formal characteristic of the chapters emerges all the more clearer from their conceptional interrelationship. This is therefore not just a logical one; the mere logical train of thought could also take another course. Instead, logical and aesthetic principle intersect each other in the composition of the work, since both are subservient to the superior principle of its reality- and spirit-based organization. By virtue of the fact that the author, through this art of presentation, offers the reader the possibility to participate in the gradual unfoldment of the text as a happening that does not only belong to the subjective representations of the author, but that represents reality itself through its structural-compositional correspondence  with it, all factors of the soul life of the one thus approached (next to mentally representing also his feeling and willing) are addressed and set in motion. The reader is being confronted in the totality of his humanity with the natural as well as his own reality and invited to enter into their realm. The reading thereby becomes an exercise in meditation, and this all the more so as the inexpressibility of the expression in its inner reenactment becomes conscious. The thus experientially achieved reunion with reality that in the mentally representing faculty of the present-day human being has faded into a schema, is the eye-opener for the higher spiritual world above which the world of the senses spreads its veil. In which way the “Philosophy of Freedom” as aesthetic-meditative soul guidance, as a conceptional work of art is the most reliable and trustworthy guide to the threshold where essence and appearance part, that is what now shall be gradually developed.


This contemplation first turns to the two main parts of "The Philosophy of Freedom”. The compositional significance of the other parts shall be viewed later.

Information about the viewpoints under which the main content of the work in both main parts “The Science of Freedom” and “The Reality of Freedom” are arranged is given above all by the Preface to the New Edition (1918) and the First Addition to its third part, “The Consequences of Monism”, in the new edition, i.e. remarks placed at the beginning and at the end of the whole text.

The preface to the new edition points to the two “basic questions of the life of the human soul”, towards which everything is directed what is to be addressed by this book. One of these basic questions concerns the search for a fixed point within the human being; the other concerns that most essential of the manifestations coming forth from such a point, if the latter exists. “One is: Is it possible to find a view of the essential nature of man such as will give us a foundation for everything else that comes to meet us — whether through life experience or through science — which we feel is otherwise not self-supporting and therefore liable to be driven by doubt and criticism into the realm of uncertainty? The other question is this: Is man entitled to claim for himself freedom of will, or is freedom a mere illusion begotten of his inability to recognize the threads of necessity on which his will, like any natural event, depends? […]This book is intended to show that the experiences which the second problem causes man's soul to undergo depend upon the position he is able to take up towards the first problem. An attempt is made to prove that there is a view of the nature of man's being which can support the rest of knowledge; and further, that this view completely justifies the idea of free will, provided only that we have first discovered that region of the soul in which free will can unfold itself.”

In the first addition to the third part of the book “The Consequences of Monism” the following words are found: “The second part of this book (“The Reality of Freedom”) finds its natural support in the first part. This presents intuitive thinking as man's inwardly experienced spiritual activity. To understand this nature of thinking by experiencing it amounts to a knowledge of the freedom of intuitive thinking. And once we know that this thinking is free, we can also see to what region of the will freedom may be ascribed. We shall regard man as a free agent if, on the basis of inner experience, we may attribute a self-sustaining essence to the life of intuitive thinking. Whoever cannot do this will never be able to discover a path to the acceptance of freedom that cannot be challenged in any way. This experience, to which we have attached such importance, discovers intuitive thinking within consciousness, although the reality of this thinking is not confined to consciousness. And with this it discovers freedom as the distinguishing feature of all actions proceeding from the intuitions of consciousness.”

These two indications characterize the relation between both main parts of the work. The first main part describes how the human being emerges from reality and what sort of relation he can assume with regard to it. The second main part describes how the human being can produce out of himself a self-induced reality and what significance this has for the evolution of the world.

There is thus an inverse relationship between both parts; the first part describing the emergence of the human being from existing reality, the second part a new reality arising out of the human being.

From a knowledge of the text and also in view of the aforeaforementioned, it may be objected that the theme of the emergence of reality out of the human being, namely its origin in the human act of knowledge, is already to be found in the first part. This objection is only justified, however, in so far as it concerns the ideational-functional intertwining of both parts; it concerns furthermore two different sorts of reality. The cognitional reenactment of the real through the union of percept and concept becomes conscious of reality with the knowledge of each thing or being. In this way, however, the human being also becomes conscious of his own emergence from reality. For cognition gives insight into the natural foundations of human existence, the origin of his physical organism out of matter and processes derived from the kingdoms of nature. Knowledge in its acts, however, is at the same time self-realization. For in the co-formation of reality the human being forms himself as a spiritual being, thus experiencing also the spiritual part of his being in its emergence from the real. This genesis is at the same time, however, also the origin of his faculty for ideational intuitions, from which the new reality sphere of his freedom arises. In that realm the human being moreover also experiences the continuing influence of the original nature-like reality-forming powers. For it is from them that he creates his libertarian being, yet in such a way that he reshapes them in his own being and thereby imparting them a new form-of-being. Thus the formation of reality and freedom interpenetrate each other in both main parts of the work, yet in a different manner.  By the characterization of these parts, it is therefore good to turn one’s gaze, on the one hand, upon  the emergence of the human being from reality, and on the other hand upon the emergence of reality from the human being.

Even though both parts of the “Philosophy of Freedom” unfold their presentational task in a manner that every time, although from different points of view, blends the whole realm of human existence, it is nevertheless in both cases another mode of expression of the total human being that determines the basic character of its remarks. The conceptional development about the “Science of Freedom” in the first part is directed towards the willing human being, that about the “Reality of Freedom” in the second part of the book towards the knowing human being. Both ideations therefore run absolutely counter to a literal superficial understanding of the text. The basic stance of the first part is very clearly marked by the passages already cited: that a “complete justification” for the idea of the freedom of the will can be attained, “if only first the realm of the soul is found, on which the free will can be unfolded”, and that the first part of the work describes “intuitive thinking as inward spiritual activity of the human being.” The basic thought that runs through these deliberations is one of productive-coproductive cognition that is not confronted with a ready-made pre-given reality (either reproducing or even only affected), but that lets this emerge in its process under its own co-emergence. This presentation appeals to the willingness to observe and think and is therefore a schooling of the will, suited to a modern mode of consciousness, a path of training on the meditative culture of spiritual activity. The second part of the work dedicated to “The Reality of Freedom” turns on the other hand to the cognizant human being.  It gives an overview about the motivational structure of volition and how a new cultural impulse arising out of free deeds can be integrated into the old nature-like and nature-based world. Such a situational knowledge is required by the human being, who is developing  his cognitional practice, if he does not wish to wind up on detours or false paths.

That the chapter about “The Idea of Freedom” belongs to the second part of the work is consistent with this characteristic. The chapter about “The Human Individuality” that corresponds with it (according to the symmetry of the textual construction developed in the following pages) is found on the other hand in the first part of the work. The through his cognitional practice self-realizing human individuality becomes fully conscious of the essential features and significance of its deeds when it apprehends the idea of freedom in a world and man overlapping overview.

What is noteworthy by both aforementioned cited attributes, which Rudolf Steiner himself has given about the relation between both main parts, is the symmetry of his remarks. The statement in the preface to the new edition at the beginning of the text  corresponds with the second addition that Rudolf Steiner added to the third part of his work. After the remarks in the preface to the new edition about the two fundamental questions  that determine the arrangement of the content and composition of his work, he proceeds to indicate its relation to the spiritual world of experience. He designates the task that he gave himself as the proof “to show that open-minded consideration simply of the two questions I have indicated and which are fundamental for every kind of knowledge, leads to the view that man lives in the midst of a genuine spiritual world.” He who strives for certainty in the realm of the spiritual world of experience will not be able to do without this justification.

In the second addition that Rudolf Steiner placed at the end of his book, this remark corresponds to the following, “In intuitively experienced thinking man is carried into a spiritual world also as perceiver. Within this spiritual world, whatever confronts him as percept in the same way that the spiritual world of his own thinking does will be recognized by him as a world of spiritual perception. This world of spiritual perception could be seen as having the same relationship to thinking that the world of sense perception has on the side of the senses. Once experienced, the world of spiritual perception cannot appear to man as something foreign to him, because in his intuitive thinking he already has an experience which is purely spiritual in character. Such a world of spiritual perception is discussed in a number of writings which I have published since this book first appeared. The Philosophy of Freedom forms the philosophical foundation for these later writings. For it tries to show that the experience of thinking, when rightly understood, is in fact an experience of spirit.” 



This means that whoever recognizes and senses the connection between reality experience and freedom, becomes conscious of the spirituality of reality and that of his own being as well as his spiritual task. An inward spiritual perception is disclosed to him, in which at the same time he himself is pronounced. If this perception, which is at the same time a pronunciation, is to be called “word”, then the following statement is valid: In the cognition of the natural world the human being perceives its spiritual essence, by knowingly  pronouncing it, man perceives and speaks the “word” that in him longs to be pronounced, but that cannot pronounce itself. It is the word of reality. In the apprehension of the spiritual world in his intuitive thinking, man perceives how this spiritual world pronounces itself in him by virtue of him pronouncing it: again, he perceives and speaks the “word”  that wants to give itself to him, but that he can only make his own by his own activity. It is the word of freedom. By virtue of the fact that man perceives and speaks the “word” of reality and the “word” of freedom, he perceives the “word” of his own true being and begins to give it the individual configuration that can only be attained by individuals. He begins to speaks his own word. Between both parts of “The Philosophy of Freedom” sounds as its secret middle that Word which cannot be written down, but only done and experienced, the unifying word of reality and freedom sounding together in the human word-in-essence [or Logos] that is perceived and at the same time spoken.

Rudolf Steiner himself referred to this word character of “The Philosophy of Freedom”: its first part has a consonantal, its second part a vowel or vocal  character. This can be understood when one considers that all linguistic sounds arise from a combination of articulation and aspiration. The characteristic of the single sounds, however, is determined by the predominance in expression of either one of these components. By the consonants the articulative aspect is predominant, by the vowels the aspirational. Within the characteristic realms, the mixing ratios of both components are, independent of the predominant basic characters, again different. The setting of the articulative organs corresponds in their gesticulational character  to the human metabolism in its relation to the external world, especially the grasping, grabbing movements. The stream of breath coming from within the human organism is unfolded corresponding to the psycho-spiritual experiences of the human being, corresponding to its experiential attitude. Accordingly, the consonants take on predominantly sound imitating, phonetic functions, the vowels predominantly interjectional, experiential ones. This corresponds to the fact that the first part of the work, which deals with the apprehension of reality, has a consonantal basic character, whereas the content of its second part, which deals with the expression of the true human being as a breathing- out in freedom while at the same time a breathing-in of one’s own spirituality, is ascribed a basic vowel character. The true, the synchronically perceived and spoken word-in-essence [Logos] is the harmony of the consonantal and vowel basic character of the state of being. 


The aforementioned indications give insight into important compositional attributes of the work.

In a true work of art, form and matter mutually determine, even create each other. The form is not imprinted on matter from outside, but taken from it itself, it is visualization of its inner contexts, its spiritual fabric. The form reacts in turn also to the matter by determining in what way it is ordered and arranged. On the other hand, the matter can only be perceived and observed in detail in a certain formal or presentational frame of mind. This disposition may obviously not be fixed by certain results that are pre-determined, it must instead be capable of assuming pure readiness and many modifications. Then its encounter with the matter reacts again to itself, progressively leading the formative process to its final configuration. In this way, the material process and the formative process in a true work of art permeate each other.

These general features of every true work of art would have to be demonstrated in “The Philosophy of Freedom”, if the designation “Conceptional work of art” is applicable to it. Yet these features must receive their specific mode of appearance through the content of “The Philosophy of Freedom”. The basic characteristics of this content were indicated in the foregoing. From the point of view of conceptional art creation they can be designated as follows:

Since the content and matter of both main parts are in a way inversely related to each other, this would result in the formal principle of an arrangement of its separate chapters integrated in reciprocal relations. This correspondence, however, could not be a mirror-image, but much rather in the sense of an inversion a counter-image. The content would thereby come, on the one hand, again in the form of the arrangement to expression and, on the other hand, the formal principle would determine the structure or layout of the presented content. Hereby attention is drawn to the expected arrangement of the separate parts of the texts. Since it is furthermore understood that the course of progression in both main parts runs in different directions, something similar  may be expected from the course of the presentation, thus the succession of the chapters. For the cognitional process traces how the human being comes forth out of reality. The libertarian process, on the other hand, calls forth a new reality from the human being. Thus with respect to the human being, these processes have different directions. A third content and matter related and at the same time formal attribute follows therefrom that “The Philosophy of Freedom” is an anthropology. For it describes in which way the human being stands in reality, and which new reality he can call forth through his self-formation. From this it follows  that the presentational principle would have to be the nature of the human being in a twofold manner resulting from the  twofold relationship of the human being to reality. Yet it would be wrong and contradictory to the nature of the process of conceptional art to assume that Rudolf Steiner would have made a certain representation of the nature of the human being into a formal presupposition and to have used its schema for the lay-out of his material.  Rather, in the sense of the true artistic mutually permeation of matter and form, it may be assumed that the different relationship  of the human being to reality and to freedom does not only come to the fore in the content but also in the manner of presentation in each single case from the matter itself.

Herewith three attributes of the art of presentation  are referred to: arrangement, sequence and principle, in which matter and form in mutual permeation are functionalized. By means of the method of psychic observation of the text it can be ascertained whether it does really exhibit these attributes.


This is the place to insert a note on the nature of psychic observation or introspection. [1] The subtitle of The Philosophy of Freedom is, as can be read on the title page, “Results of Introspection According to the Method of Natural Science“. These observations pertain to the unobserved part of our normal spiritual or mental life. They raise our continually subconscious participation in the construction of reality into consciousness. There is no object, no matter how insignificant, of which the shape is not determined by spiritual formative  forces. We  continually participate in executing this formative process with the formative forces of our thinking. Yet it is only by psychically observing or introspection of the cognitional process that we become fully conscious of our share in reality. In the co-formation of the reality surrounding us,  we construct at the same time the reality of our own spiritual being. Psychic observation  therefore illuminates a twofold unconscious awareness, namely that of our surrounding reality as well as that of our own reality. Just as in the case of every configuration (Gestalt) of our outer or inner world, we also partake subconsciously in the formative construction of a conceptional work of art. If we make ourselves conscious of this construction through psychic observation, we then participate in the creative, thus free work of a thought-constructor or conceptionalist. We do not only hear explanations about freedom, but we are co-executors of a free deed in great style. The often expressed demand  that the presentation of “The Philosophy of Freedom” should be  clarified by examples is fulfilled in a most generous manner through the conceptional artistic organization of “The Philosophy of Freedom”.  Whoever desires an example of the nature of freedom and of free deeds need only partake in the observation of the conceptional formative process through which “The Philosophy of Freedom” came about.  He then acquires much more than just an indirect elucidating example, for he turns himself into a co-executor of a free deed and is cognizant of it.

Who thereupon with a tone of disappointment asks whether  this freedom is “only” of an aesthetic nature, must concern himself with the answer that conversely everything truly free is aesthetic.  Because only those deeds are free that are done for their own sake out of creative (moral) intuitions. Who subsequently now asks of what use these deeds then are, must face a possibly even more disappointing answer. “Useful” in a higher sense is namely only what occurs for no other external use, thus in this sense “useless”.  Or conversely: what is done for reasons of carrying out something useful (for example out of obedience to some sort of moral maxim) thus not free, is in a higher sense “useless”.  For the meaning of freedom is the development of hitherto completely unknown new faculties of thinking and willing, of a new type of consciousness and humanity, the genesis of a new hominid. There can be no other meaning of human life than this spiritual, the natural superelevating generational succession, the self-generation in the true sense of the word. For the repetition of something already present would be absurd, the servitude under a natural or moral necessity unworthy. Modern natural science has released an irreversible, steadily enhancing  conscious awareness. This conscious awareness can no longer tolerate an organization of the life of society, whose basic principle is not the answering down to the latest details of the question of the meaning of human existence. This answer can ascribe this meaning not to putting the creative faculties of the human being into the service of his material needs, rather only to their service towards his free creative power. Whoever in the future does not envisage with every measure within the social sphere the free unfoldment of the human faculties as the highest and solely valid goal,
does not serve the march of progress, but the relentless catastrophe’s, which must emerge from the growing indignation of forces that, although undeveloped, seek to violently discharge themselves. They sense the inhumanity of every sort of unfreedom, be it instinctively yet with unrelenting violence. 

Let no one object that this line of approach is then rigidly determined after all and that “freedom” is therefore just another word for the categorical imperative for a certain mode of action. Whoever judges in this way has completely misunderstood these deliberations. For the principle of creative, thus not utilitarian unfoldment has no objective content, but solely that of sharpening psychic observation for the individual nature of the human being, and therefore does not in the least concern a general principle. To create institutions which, in a positive sense, give room to the most possible all-round unfoldment of free  human beings through enhancing the gaze for their uniqueness, through the trust in their productivity and the provision of all necessary basics, and which, in a negative sense, deters them from  everything that goes against this, only such institution can be considered progressive, worthy of human dignity and social. Only when along with each measure the question is answered correctly how thereby the needs of human beings are put in the service of the development of free faculties and not, the other way around,  the latter enslaved in the service for the production of their needs, only then can there exists any hope for the future of humanity. Everything else must necessarily lead to always greater evils and incidents, to the loss of all security and the disappearance of trustworthiness. Only the knowledge of freedom, the love for the unfoldment of free spirits and the trust in the spirit of freedom, which wants to spread among humanity, gives in the face of the volcanic seething harm’s way any prospect for the survival of the world. Fateful beyond all measures would be the collaboration with the forces of evil through all sorts of stop-gap solutions for the improvement of mere details. They will only prolong the evil and thereby increase it. The end would have to be the war of all against all or the enslavement of all through the violence of the very few.

These remarks wanted to show what unique significance can be ascribed to psychic observation. It has after all the task through opening the mind’s eye for reality and humanity to convey the answer to the basic question of our times, the question about the meaning of our existence.

However, one will not only expect information about the effect or merit of psychic observation but also about its nature.  This answer can best be given in a generic form. In the observation of thinking, the human being becomes conscious of his faculty to bring forth something based on its own laws (namely the thought-contents).  This bringing forth is at the same time a form of gazing, for it is an exchange-of-being, a knowing of oneself in what is known. The known (the thought-content) is, however, at the same time also the connection with all world phenomena. If thought activity is aroused, but only for it to be held back, thus withholding itself from the transition into the thought-contents and thereby into the world of percepts, which it is capable of permeating, then comes about what is called a thinking gaze, observation or attention, thus a self-reflecting consciousness. Psychic observation is a form of gazing or contemplation, not communicative thinking. Because it keeps the gap between itself and its objectivities open, it is by stemming the forces called upon to bridge that gap the faculty of becoming conscious of the unconnected, incoherent  that nevertheless in its enigmatic nature announces itself, thus the pure perceptual. One is left with a considerably deceptive mistake by maintaining that a pure percept is only capable of being perceived in exceptional states of mind or by a never definitely operational reduction process of eliminating all conceptional correlations (which only has an interpretational significance). The pure percept is rather a given that is in each case exposed to the thinking gaze and as such always capable of being observed.  It is always the as yet unconnected  within the complex of the already connected. Without this unconnected element there would be no starting point for thinking, no cognitional progress.  One can therefore conversely also designate the pure percept as the in each case sensed starting point in the connective process. It is therefore, just as the exchange-of-being in thinking and the formative construction through thinking, a permanent on-going experience, yet one that is sunk into the subconscious and only to be raised from the consciousness underground through psychic observation.

Psychical observation therefore appears for one’s own gaze in a twofold manner. It conveys, on the one hand, the answer to the most pressing riddle, the question of  meaning. It is, on the other hand, the gaze on the numerous riddles continually surrounding us, the pure percepts.

To unearth the meaning of the addition “According to the methods of natural science” on the title page of “The Philosophy of Freedom” would require extensive deliberations.[2] It concerns the way judgements are formed, thus ascertaining the truth. The complete epistemological basic work of Rudolf Steiner is devoted to this difficult problem. Here only this much can be said about it, that this addition states that the connection of concepts  with the observed percepts in the formation of judgments may not proceed on the basis of presuppositions, may thus not lead to hypotheses. Instead, the formation of representations or mental images that is expressed in the formation of judgments would have to be determined only by that which in each case is perceived. The formation of representations may therefore not proceed from the judging subject but only from the perceived object – it would therefore have to be the result of a judgmental experiment, the decision of which is not made by the “judge”, but by the percept in the form of the acceptance, i.e. the individualization of the concept offered to it.


Let us now put “The Philosophy of Freedom” to the test with regard to the conceptional art feature of the arrangement. For this purpose we turn to the two main parts “The Science of Freedom ” and “The Reality of Freedom”. The third part “The Final Questions”, which summarizes the work, shall later on become the object of this examination.

Both main parts are divided into seven chapters. The method of arrangement, which in the fore-going was already demonstrated for the later added parts of the text, can also be demonstrated to be the case for both main parts. In the fore-going, attention was drawn to the correspondence between the contents of both parts in the form of an inversion of the objective references in their relation to the human being. A conceptional art procedure would cause the content related correspondences to appear as formal attributes in the lay-out of the text. That this is indeed the case shall now be explicated.

Chapter I, the first chapter of the first part, corresponds in the sense indicated to chapter XIV. The titles of the two chapters read: “Conscious Human Action” and “Individuality and Species”. Though his conscious action, the human being  raises himself above the instincts and drives that are generically active within him and above the collective desires and aspirations of the social groups that he belongs to. The line of gaze thereby turns, starting from the natural and social conditions in which the individual human being lives, to the latter itself. This corresponds to the questioning central to the first part of the text as to the bedding of the human being in the general reality and his emergence therefrom. In his conscious action the human being releases himself, however, not only from the reality surrounding him that forms a part of his own nature, thereby determining his position within its realm. He also reacts to his environment and above all to the social sphere which envelops him and in which he himself is an active producer of reality. This is the leading point of view of the second part and comes to expression in chapter XIV. As may be recognized, the formal arrangement of the first and last chapter of both main parts correspond to the content related correspondence in the polarity of what they express. Form and content mutually determine one another, the formal representational decisions are derived from the essential nature of the contents,  and the formal arrangement reacts at the same time to the latter itself, in that they are displayed  in a certain progression – from which, on their part, certain compositionally determined suggestions arise as a result for the participatory understanding of the reader.

The same correspondences can be demonstrated for the following chapters.

Chapter III (“Thinking in the Service of World Conceptions”) corresponds according to the arrangement under consideration to Chapter XII (“Moral Imagination [Darwinism and Morality]”). The human being can only become aware of the significance that his thinking in the service of forming world conceptions has, when he becomes fully conscious of the conceptional share of his experiences. This is, however, during the normal soul life of the present-day human being absolutely not the case. It is true, with some reflection he can at any time make the omnipresence of his thinking in every one of his observations and activities clear to himself. Notwithstanding, it is due to the spiritual lethargy, which is no doubt the most outstanding trait of character of present-day humanity, the forgotten part of normal soul life. The observation of thinking, the application of thinking to the latter itself, the self-awakening of the sleeper sunk in thought, is in contrast an exceptional state of mind. In this mindset, it becomes clear that each living moment owes its content to that ne’er resting conceptional weaving that adopts all things in its meshwork. Our waking state of consciousness does indeed originate through the slumping of this consciousness-forming factor into the subconscious. It is only to the exceptional state of super-wakefulness  that it displays its significance: there is no reality without connectedness, thus without the participation of spiritual formative forces. However, these cannot be perceived but only to begin with become semi-conscious through our co-operating them: our daily-active share in them, our everyday bread, appears in the effect of their activity as the formative character of the contents of our consciousness, of our corporeality in the latter. But only in their super-wakeful self-apprehension do we become aware of these formative forces as fully conscious processes.

The viewpoint here is again the relationship of the human being to the supposedly pre-given reality surrounding him. In this chapter it becomes especially clear that the human being takes a step in his development when he makes this relationship clear to himself. He acquires thereby a state of consciousness over which he does not have command without effort,  but that instead he must actively bring about through his own exertion.

Chapter XII does not deal with an exceptional state of cognition with respect to the surrounding reality, but, in line with the inverted relation of the parts, with an exceptional state of action. Such a state, like its preparation, is “moral imagination”. The latter draws the driving forces and motives of action not from representations and normality’s  that are under the influence of the organism of the human being, and neither from the conditions of his natural and social environment, but from the inventive faculty of his intuitive thinking. The latter determines solely out of itself the source and goal of our action. The exceptional state of cognition places us in a relationship to the world, which has become what it is and out of which we come forth. In accordance with the inverted relation, the exceptional state of action concerns the relation we as free human beings have to a world that came forth out of us. Just as the exceptional state of cognition the one of action brings about a progression in human development. Human morality is therefore a continuation of natural law by constituting a higher state of development then can be attained trough the forces of natural and social-collective evolution. This continuation, however, is not linear  but an inversion of the original relation of Man to nature. Yet this free morality is a continuation of a natural development, since the latter forms its base. Natural development is in this sense active, because it gives rise out of its domain to a human organism, which in its present state initially secludes all spirituality, but that, just by virtue of the fact that this organism is repressible, makes a free, progressive reunion with the spiritual world possible. A complete or holistic theory of evolution must therefore also include the continuation of the natural development into human morality. That is why this chapter has the subtitle “Darwinism and Morality”. The opposition of both corresponding chapters thereby makes the noteworthy perspective relation (that is valid for both main parts of the work) especially clear: during the exceptional state of cognition  a (psychic-spiritual) action comes to the fore, while the characterizing of the exceptional state of action turns to cognition.

The influence of compositional considerations on Rudolf Steiner’s presentation becomes especially clear from the way Chapter XII is positioned within the overall context. One would after all much rather expect its content in the place of Chapter X, since it is a logical continuation of Chapter IX (“The Idea of Freedom”). However, the conceptional contexts in a conceptional work of art in the sense of logical conclusions are not decisive, but as formative forces that become active through the reciprocal reaction of matter and form.

Chapter IV (“The World as Percept”) corresponds to Chapter XI (“World Purpose and Life Purpose”) . The relation between both chapters can at best be designated by distilling the theory of representationalism from it (that is only completely developed in Chapter V “Knowing the World”). The best understanding can thereby be attained of the compositional context of the complete work that is worth noting. Phenomenological representationalism is one of the most significant results of Rudolf Steiner’s epistemology; however, it requires considerable research efforts in order for it to be fully completed. In connection with the deliberations concerning the perceptual realm, the question must arise as to the transition between concept and percept. The transitional question, i.e. the question how and in which way percept and concept are connected is in fact the most important question of cognition, a pivotal point around which all other cognitional questions revolve. Because of this central position it warrants the greatest attention.

Since percept (devoid of context and coherence) and concept (the logical world of connections) initially confront each other as incompatible contradictions, and since knowledge is only possible when they are capable of being connected, there must be a link between them conveying the transition from one to the other. This link is the representation in the manner it appears to psychic observation. Rudolf Steiner’s genetic representationalism stands in coarse contrast  to the illusionistic views of present-day science. One knows today in general only representative representations, representing the past (as memory-related representations), the future (as related to goals, expectations etc.) and (as imaginative representations) themselves only representing what is represented. Rudolf Steiner has on the contrary demonstrated that the representational representations are only forms derived from the actual representation-forming  process. This is one of the most admirable findings of his science of cognition. The original representation-forming process constitutes the transition between percept and concept that is central to all cognition. General concepts are namely not abstract silhouettes but formative forces of formless perceptual matter. Form can be incorporated in the latter from their vital fluidity, because they can adapt themselves to the formless matter due to their ductility, and while forming the latter can at the same time be formed by it, without forfeiting their typical character. This formative ductility or morphological plasticity of general concepts conveys their transition to the percepts and leads to the formation of representations within that which is perceived. After the connection of the concept apple with the percepts that we receive from a certain apple, we not only have the general concept, which is capable of countless objectified forms of appearance (or objective imaginations) at our disposal, but, as determined by a certain perceptual realm, also its transitional form.  The latter is indeed the representation of the apple and can, after the transition was made to its representational form, be reproduced, remembered. The representational representation, however, is preceded by the inherent representation within the perceptual correlate that retains it. The inherent representation does not represent an object, but constructs it in the first place, is structured with it and in it. The many questions connected with the transitional problem  (e.g. the one whether a transition is made in accordance with reality, the “criterion of the truth”) cannot be touched upon here, since the task of this publication is not primarily one of cognitional science, but to demonstrate attributes of cognitional aesthetics. Yet it is only by viewing the great epistemological problems developed here in this context that it is made entirely clear why the chapters under consideration occupy the compositional center of both main parts.

For this reason the merely indicated epistemological problems must be pursued a little further. Without turning psychical observation to the process of forming representations, it cannot be understood what role the percept plays within the cognitional process. The representation-forming process, however, makes this apparent: the percept is, in contrast to the universalizing, contextualizing concept, the individualizing element of reality. For it ties the fluid concept down to a single case. The process of forming representations is therefore not only characterized as the transition between percept and concept, but also as both of these elements that are connected in it.

Another remark must, however, be added here that first succeeds in clarifying the central compositional function of both these chapters to a sufficient degree. The individualization that takes place through the formation of representations is also the formation of the human being’s own spiritual nature. For the human being does not receive the conceptional part of cognition as is the case with the perceptual share without his own doing. Instead, the human being fulfills this conceptional part while concurrently the human being’s spiritual nature is fulfilled within it. Through the observation of this concurrence the human being becomes conscious of the fact that his spiritual nature rests in the bosom of the spiritual world. Through the observation of the formation of representations, the human being further more becomes conscious of the fact that he can and must himself fashion his own spiritual predisposition through interaction with the physical world. Observing the representation therefore imparts information about the most important questions of cognition and experience – and in fact not only as indirect knowledge merely indicating its object, but as direct experience proving itself. These questions concern the meaning of human life in the physical world, thus the meaning of incarnation and the way it is integrated in the general course of world events. As is made apparent through psychic observation of the formation of inherent representations, the meaning of incarnation is the autogenesis or self-forming emergence of an individual yet universal I-being, spread out in the spiritual world. Since spiritual processes do not come forth from “material” processes, but the latter from spiritual processes (for all contexts are of a spiritual nature), individualization originates (as confirmed by psychic observation) in contact with the physical-material world, but not through the latter. That is why an individualization already present at the birth of a human being cannot be explained by the material components of heredity. Instead, it must indeed be attained in a previous life on earth in contact with the material that the hereditary stream provides, but it cannot have been formed by the latter. Moreover, further progress of individualization must be acquired by means of further connections with the physical world, thus through further incarnations. This is what psychic observation of the formation of inherences reveals as one’s own view.

From here on, one now also acquires an understanding of what is covered by Chapter XI. And only now does the compositional context of both corresponding chapters because of their mutual share in the representational theory become fully apparent. For the eleventh chapter also deals with a representational problem.

Chapter XI proceeds from an analysis of the teleological concept of purpose. In a causal natural context previous events determine successive ones, while in a purposeful action its goal (thus something lying ahead) gives the direction for the measures relevant to it. Even though it might be objected that purposeful representations precede purposeful actions (which incidentally is only the case for schematic, not for creative actions, in the course of which the formative impulses are only gradually formed) this objection disregards the formation of the purposeful representation. For the latter, it is characteristic that the human being can direct  his action contrary to the course of nature. That is why the application of the concept of purpose to natural processes is on the one hand anthropomorphically wrong, on the other hand a blurring of the basic differences which distinguish natural events from human actions. When Rudolf Steiner was writing this chapter he was able to ascertain that the wrong concept of purpose was gradually disappearing in the scientific world. In modern biology, however, the teleological notion is emerging again in a peculiar new form. For present-day science wants to make itself and the rest of mankind believe that only those forms of organisms can survive that have adapted themselves to the environment, i.e. that have been equipped with a purposeful (physical) organization. This purposefulness, as is maintained, is indeed not planned, but originated in a lottery of chance through blind forces. But what is not the result of planning is, cannot be called teleological – and nothing is gained for the merely factually ascertained correspondence of the organisms with their environment by pinning a label on them with a wrong word.
Therefore one can neither ask what task a human being has to fulfil on the basis of any sort of goal conveyed to him, no matter whether one regards a natural or a spiritual world occurrence as its progenitor. The task that corresponds to his spiritual nature he can only set himself. The full significance of human self-determination can only be understood against the background of the theory of representationalism  drawn up in the fourth chapter. By living in the physical world the human being learns to individualize. This life is the school of individualization preparing  him for free individualization, for the forming of representations fashioned by his moral fantasy and through which he creatively determines the technical execution of his actions. They do not have representative but prospective character and, although neither derived from inherent representations, they do presuppose the practical experience gained from the forming of inherences. In the process of learning, the procedure of which is the formation of inherences (shapes), the human being obtains the periphery of his life’s experiences (representationals), whose significance is not repetitive routine, but the growing faculty for free design (project design).

Henceforth the correspondence between both chapters under their simultaneous reversal of direction of their described sequence of events becomes readily apparent. Reality is the school of inherences and representationals that the human being can only acquire through self-schooling efforts, when he compiles the material offered to him by the school of life in psychic observation. In this way he leads himself through the educational grades of his incarnation. Thereby he acquires the abilty to design his own lot. Representational and projective representations characterize the content related directions of both inversely corresponding chapters. Man cannot derive  the purpose of his life (his destination) from a purpose of the world prior to his action. Instead, through the free determination of his life’s aims he gives the world a new purpose. From mentally witnessing the representational execution Rudolf Steiner turns the direction of his presentation to an evaluation of the projection procedure in its significance for the world.

Chapter V (“Knowing the World”) corresponds to Chapter X (“Freedom Philosophy”). The states of consciousness that are conveyed through our physical organism are radically different from the state of consciousness that we acquire in cognition. For the percepts  conveyed by our nervous-sense system follow one another in an unconnected succession. They come about by the fact that our organism suppresses the spiritual content of the world phenomena. They do not originate (as is maintained by the present-day, illusionistic-phenomenological psychology and epistemology) through affecting the subject but through decomposition of the object. Under the influence of this decompositional effect are also our percepts that we perceive by ourselves, they also appear in the same conceptional disconnectedness as the others. As soon however as within the percepts of ourselves thinking appears (as something that at first is also observed), it causes that difference through which we confront all other precepts in their intrinsic existence. For it equips us as the creator of connections initially with the need to look for context, of which we become conscious by the raising of our questions. To the extent that we become aware of the aptitude of this in our emergent thinking for making transitions, we attain the faculty to apply it in order to find the sought-after connections, to cognize. Cognition is possible, because we suppress in thinking the despiritualizing effects of our organism and because we can furthermore use the transitional aptitude of its concepts to return the spiritual content to the percepts. In that way we place instead of our physically determined existence our spiritually shaped existence, whose art of construction we do indeed have to learn in the school of embodiment, but which we can only bestow on ourselves. This sort of human being is not a physically enchained but a spiritually liberated one, not a physical humanity, but a spiritual humanity.

The faculty of thinking appears according to psychical observation to have a double function. On the one hand it separates us from world phenomena, on the other hand it connects us with them. Since it can only establish the context of what is unconnected because it is an intrinsic closed context, we integrate ourselves in cognition in the context of the universe. We attain through thinking not only our fully conscious individual existence, which is conveyed physically since it can only appear within the percepts from which it sets itself apart. We attain through thinking in knowing the world also a total existence in the universe that is bodily independent, since it comes about through the suppression of the despiritualizing effects of our bodily organization.

Chapter X is once again the correspondence in contrast. The total existence in cognition is the great expansion of human consciousness. It is an all-encompassing unified consciousness: the world is a spiritual unity, therefore the world view that emerges from true cognition is monism. Monism, however, is also freedom philosophy. Because the human being experiences thinking not as something effecting him, but as something that he effects. And this something that he effects is at the same time independent from all outer influences, only existent through itself. It gives the cognitional human being not only the greatest expansion of his consciousness, but also grant him its most condensed concentration. This is the case, because  thinking comes forth, as from a radiation point, from the intrinsic activity of the human being. This radiation point is the idea of freedom. Because when it is realized, the human being is not under the influence of external formative forces, such as is the case in those parts of his being through which he belongs to nature. Instead, the human being causes these formative forces to emerge from the acts of his freedom. Freedom is the faculty for moral intuitions, i.e. for generating conceptional formative forces and beyond that their individualization through moral phantasy or imagination. Freedom is therefore the most content-rich idea, because as the conceptional productivity per se it encompasses all ideas, it is the center that harbors them and out of which  they come forth. It is, as it were, the inversion of spiritual humanity as human spirituality. As such, both compositional related chapters again correspond to each other in contrast. To designate these cognitional experiences that appear to psychic observation, it may be permitted to use the following graphic images.  The cognitional human being sees his true nature, his total existence spread out above him as a firmament, it is the starry heaven above him. As a being acting out of freedom, he becomes aware of how the stars of the spiritual world light up in his own soul. Their light is lit from his freedom spirit, it is the celestial heaven concentrated in the freedom center in him.

In view of the state of present-day humanity it seems to be a much too mild judgment by naming such images idealistic intoxications. They seem to deserve to be discarded as irresponsible self-delusions and wicked deceptions. They are after all difficult to protect from the objection that they divert stringent self-knowledge and no-nonsense  activity to the flagged marveling at a fata morgana.

Yet he who so judges forgets that such images do not say anything about a single person and neither about the humanity of a period, They merely indicate the dimensions within which the seeker for himself must orientate himself and within its field his development lies. They  reject at the same time, however, the other images of inhumanity (the destructiveness of the world and the animalism of people) that form the yoke under which the present-day materialistic science wants to force humanity – under the pretext to lead them for the price of inward desolation to a state of perfected material happiness.

Chapter VI (“The Human Individuality”) corresponds with Chapter IX (“The Idea of Freedom”). In the sixth chapter it is described how the individual spiritual life of human beings moves as a pendulum to and fro between two poles that in the fore-going were already designated as the existential modes of the human being. His individual spiritual experience expands in witnessing the general course of world events and concentrates itself in his own existence gathered around the focal point of freedom. This experience could also be called a spiritual breathing.  “A true individuality shall be one who with his feelings reaches furthest into the ideational realm,”  who therefore also harbors the ideational sphere most intimately within his own soul life.
Herewith the human individuality is described in the way it appears to psychically observant cognition. Chapter IX is in this respect again the correspondence in the reversal of the direction of the object-related presentation. It does not describe how the human individuality emerges from the general state of the world, but how it positions itself in it. It is not de meditative direction towards the process of individualization in its valid social an general meaning. Both chapters, however, have the same leading points of view, namely the unification of two polarities in human experience and behavior. The polarity of total and individual existence in the sixth chapter corresponds to the polarity of motive and driving force in the ninth chapter. These are polarities because they designate the goals (motives) and origins (driving forces) of human action. Through his motives the human being connects himself to general world events, his driving forces belong to his own nature from which they emerge.  Yet it is only in unfree action that motive and driving force face each other as two intrinsically different elements. In free action, however, both of them are connected in a process which corresponds to the unification of individual and universal experience within the attitude and unfoldment of consciousness. For characteristic of a free action is a related exchange, namely that of motive and driving force, a transition of both in one another. Also this interplay can be compared to a swinging or breathing. Unfree action, however, is split; on the one hand motives are imposed on it from the outside,  while on the other hand its driving forces are under the influence of the human organism.  In free action, however, both elements share the same composition of the idea. They both belong to the realm of intuition, invention. What is truly new is surfaced from the hidden shafts of the idea to the light of day – and what has its origin there is also the ultimate goal to be realized. A true individuality reaches in its individual cognitive experiences the heights of the wholly self-determined ideational sphere, i.e. it experiences thereby a sphere that while, repelling all subjective prejudices, sympathies and antipathies as well as schemes, participates in it with the strongest of emotions. Free impulses are in the same way the most intimate expression of the actions of a personality that at the same attain the pure, in no way subjectively restricted height of the spiritual world. This vital breathing stream of freedom bridges the gap between the coercion of commandments and the compulsion of the human organism. The idea of freedom experienced and lived, not only adopted as an item of knowledge, is itself the greatest example of this state of mind. For as the freedom of cognition, it has as content the emergence of an individual human being from the general world of ideas. As the freedom of action, it has as content the emergence of the ideational world from the individual human being and thereby not only the formation of the natural but also of the ideational world itself. Formative impulses after all arise through human freedom that, apart from their effect on the natural world, are intrinsically significant because through them appears a principle of evolution on the stage of creation that would not become manifest without the human being. An example of the sort of consciousness and mode of action of freedom is the forming of a knowledge community, whose members set themselves this goal by nurturing their soul life through the psychic observation of their volitional thinking,  thereby developing in themselves the sources of this community-building. Here too the driving force becomes the motive, while the motive arouses the original forces flowing to it. And the use of a road map too can be the freely chosen motive of completely individual impulses – a form of action that from the knowledge of the contexts obtains the possibility of individual intervention, while the cognitional blind or visionless will to act fetters itself through the entanglements that it conjures up itself in the first place.

Chapter VII (”Are There Limits to Cognition?” corresponds to Chapter VIII (“The Factors of Life”). The notion of cognitional limits is in principle a contradiction in itself. For cognition is precisely the overcoming of the limits that are based on the nature of the percept. A limit to cognition is after all nothing more than a lack of context. The absence of contexts is part of the nature of percepts, and the creation of contexts is part of the nature of cognition, hence is limitation an attribute of perception and not of cognition and the cognized. One can speak sensibly about limits to percepts, yet not about limits to cognition. For knowledge is the overcoming of the limitations that impose themselves in the percepts. Since the means for overcoming this are concepts that are themselves part of a closed, uninterrupted context and that can only on the basis of their embedment in a continuum perform their service at all, it follows that every real item of knowledge integrates the known in the spiritual unity of the world.  Since that knowledge does not come about because the necessary information from the perceptual side in the specific case at hand is lacking, or because the seeker for information does not possess the necessary cognitional faculty, it cannot be blamed on the knowledge as such and the way it is generated, but is to be explained by the special conditions under which a human being faces the as yet unrecognized percepts.

As a perceiver the human being possess  a consciousness of unconnected singularities, he knows himself only to be such an unconnected singularity among other singularities. Since he becomes conscious of this fact through the emergent thinking in himself, he possess a bodily based self-consciousness. Through his cognition he attains, however, a spiritually based self-consciousness. For he is conscious of the fact that he brings forth his knowledge himself and that within it at the same time he brings himself forth.

In overcoming the limits to the percepts through his cognition the human being emerges from the global context as a spiritual self-conscious individuality. He bestows this mode of existence on himself by reestablishing the interrupted global context in the precepts.

 In Chapter VIII, the first chapter of the second part of the work, after a recapitulation of what is developed in the first part, is to begin with substantiated the distinction between the forces of the human psyche (going back to Tetens) in thinking, feeling and willing.  This recently challenged distinction is confirmed with surprising simplicity by psychic observation. All contents of consciousness are relationships: where these are lacking, consciousness is extinguished. Therefore it is possible to gain an overview about the contents of consciousness  by bringing to mind their logically possible and at the same time observable sorts. On doing so it turns out the human being can refer the percepts to himself, himself to the percepts and within the percepts himself to them, them to himself. The first sort of these relationships we call feeling, the second willing, the third thinking. If one examines furthermore what the relation is between these three relationships, then an unmistakable priority of thinking becomes apparent. Because thinking as activity is volitional and the in the outer world active will is the mobility of the human limb system driven by thinking volition. And only then can the human being refer the world phenomena to himself, i.e. develop emotional experiences, if he has beforehand immersed in them through his thinking, has formed the inherences  through which they gain stature. Feeling is the relationship between his thinking inherent in world phenomena and the existential consciousness that he gives to himself precisely through this thinking. Self-comprehensive thinking is one that becomes conscious of its faculty of auto-genesis and unification that embraces the relationship to the objects permeated by it as well as the latter to itself. Man is not a feeling nor a willing but a thinking creature, i.e. a being that gives itself a spiritual self-consciousness.

In getting to know the world as the overcoming of the limitations it poses, the human being becomes aware that he comes forth as a spiritually conscious being from reality.

In the cognition of his own being, the “factors of life”, his psychic forces, the human being becomes aware that he enters the world stage as a conscious, thinking being, because his feeling and willing are modes of appearance of his thinking. Thinking and representing (in the sense developed here) may not be confused with one another. What is valid for thinking,  may not be transferred to representing, which is rather a mode of appearance of thinking as well.

The lastly viewed opposition of both compositionally corresponding chapters confirms once more the conceptional artistic method of arrangement of the correspondence between both parts in the inversion of the relationship in each case between Man and the world. This type of arrangement is hence demonstrated to be valid for both parts of the work and strictly followed by them from the beginning to the end. 

[1] See H. Witzenmann, “Intuition and Observation” in the work with the same title. Spicker Books, Ca. 1986 (out of print). A partial translation of  “Intuition und Beobachtung” (Part I)  and other essays by H. Witzenmann.
[2] See H. Witzenmann “Ein Weg zur Wirklichkeit – Bemerkungen zum Wahrheitsproblem“ ("A Way to Reality - Comments on the Problem of Truth"), in „Intuition und Beobachtung“, Part II, Stuttgart 1978. 


“The Philosophy Of Freedom” As A Universal Study Of Man/ The Ontological Levels Of Creatures/ The Ontological Levels Of Man/ The Anthropological Outcome

In the fore-going reflections devoted to the basic features of Rudolf Steiner’s conceptional artistry three characteristic features were differentiated: the (static) arrangement, the holistic principle that determines the latter, and the succession, the apprehensive movement of the reader that with respect to the arrangement follows the dynamically progressing train of thought in the individual parts (chapters). The theme of the preceding chapter was the conceptional art arrangement that for the total overview appears to be static (albeit only understood  in succession). Here must now follow the proof what holistic principle determines this arrangement.

The assumption is obvious that this principle is the nature of the human being. For “The Philosophy of Freedom” as a science of the nature of human cognition, experience and action is an anthropology in great style. It could be called “A General Anthropology of the Science of Reality and Freedom”. Yet it would be erroneous to maintain that certain anthropological views were presupposed by Rudolf Steiner and transferred to his material as a disposition-schema conveniently keeping everything together. Such a procedure would in no way be artistic. It contradicts the artistic archetypal experience of the formative exchangeability of material and form in a process of mutual production that the conceptional artist indeed executes, but in which he at the same time experiences himself as being brought forth by his work.

Therefore it will initially be attempted to sketch an outline of the anthropology contained in “The Philosophy of Freedom”. In the Preface to the New Edition (1918) of the book, Rudolf Steiner accentuates the priority and the basic significance of the anthropological question. He describes it with the following, already quoted  words, “Whether there is a possibility to view the human being in such a way that this view proves to be a support for everything that comes on to the human being through experience or science, but from which he has the feeling that it cannot be self-supporting.” And he designates as one of the main purposes of his work to provide proof, “that there is a view of the human being that can support the remaining knowledge.” He continues that on this basis “a full justification for the idea of the freedom of the will can be attained.” With that, "The Philosophy of Freedom" is explained as a general anthropology, the idea of the human being as its basis and anthropological knowledge as the supporting ground for all cognition.

Rudolf Steiner develops his area of research through psychical observation according to the method of natural science. If this method is applied to the cognitional process, it then appears that the human being is not only the practitioner of his cognition and that the latter thus, as may be assumed, displays the features of his own being, but that humaneness constitutes the general characteristic, the substantial basis-of-being. Not only does the human being in his cognition cause reality to emerge from himself as its human origin by repeating and at the same time transforming it, but he also recognizes how his individual humaneness emerges from the universal human being permeating the world. His universal humaneness is the source and the latter, on its part, the source of a new universe of humanity.


That this can be gleaned from the process of cognition through psychical observation may be indicated in the following way.

If the over-all context is now to become apparent, a few preceding remarks must be repeated. The cognitional process is the unification of percept and concept. For psychic observation both elements differentiate themselves as the disconnectedness and therefore formless and, on the other hand, the connectedness and therefore capable of creating form. Their unification can only come about because the conceptional transition, the forming of inherences is possible. This is based on the fact that concepts are types or sorts that can adapt themselves in numerous metamorphoses to the perceptual conditions of cognition. Inherence is proof of the resultant transition, i.e. the constitution of reality (realization) formed in cognition. Inherence is therefore the attribute of the transition out of which shaped being emerges from the perceptual void of reality. In common usage this is called the forming of an inherent judgement. The German [as well as English] speech-form of a judgement also expressly emphasizes the formation-of-being by the so-called copula (link), “The horse is a mammal.” The transition, the connective inherence is formation-of-being, realization in a form-of-being.

Inherences are the copulation of an individualizing and a universalizing component of reality. With that the basic features of two layers of Being are already becoming apparent. Forms in the inorganic world only originate through the fact that their individualizing components (singularities or peculiarities) are determined by the contexts (“forces”) of the field to which they belong. The contexts of this field, which for their part are modifications of the general when-then-context (causality), possess the character of unlimited adaptable types. The metamorphosis of the specific conceptional type is in the inorganic world the adaption of the forces of their total field to the particular inorganic form and thereby at the same time their generic classification in the latter. The metamorphosis, the adaption of the general concepts to their perceptual correspondences is thus on this level a formative occurrence that is peculiar to the process of realization in general, but not peculiar to the specific inorganic structure. It is a different story in the world of organisms. Here the metamorphoses of the formative conceptional types are not, as is the case in the inorganic world, relations between the latter in their totality and their individual forms. Instead, the metamorphoses of the organic realm are specific peculiarities of the individual organisms. The changes of inorganic forms  are therefore are not related to each other in a form-like manner, but are produced at the inorganic structures by “external” forces. This means that they are metamorphoses of the formative types of the whole inorganic field that manifest themselves at their individual forms. The organic metamorphoses are in contrast themselves parts of a formative design. The super-temporal and super-spatial type therefore constructs here its emergent forms in a succession of temporal-spatial metamorphoses. These are thus with regard to the individual structures not, as in the inorganic world, only form-changing but also form-constructing.

Already here it must be pointed out (what remains important for the sequence) that the afore-mentioned observations display three differentiated dimensions of something of a homogenous nature. These three dimensions are world, knowledge and Man (meant as an individual single being). For one recognizes immediately that the displayed attributional contexts as well as those of the objects of cognition are similar to cognition itself. This cannot be otherwise, if cognition is a true awareness of the known and does not only possess the character of a representation or a symbolic setting of the latter. Accordingly, the individualized inherence of types of a total cognitive field (inorganic world) and the typological context of inherences in the construction of individual forms (organic world) as well as the respective attribute-of-being of the cognitional objects in question is similar to the respective attribute-of-execution of the cognitional process in question. By becoming aware through observation of the structural correspondence between knowledge and the known, one becomes however also cognitively  transparent for oneself. For it appears before the eye of the knower that inorganic materiality as well as its organic transformation belong to his own total nature. The psychic observation initially focused on the cognitive process is thus structured in three dimensions.

The forming of inherences or mental representations is only possible on the basis of the typical variability of the concepts, i.e. their universality. These are therefore not identical to their representable metamorphoses, they are irrepresentable. They are formative and at the same time formable, while with regard to the inherences the perceptual shows itself to be unformed and at the same time formative. Everything with regard to an apple is of an unformed-formative nature, while all concepts relevant to it (the concept of the apple itself, that of the skin, of the color, of the smell etc. as well as their reciprocal relationships are of a formative-formable nature. However, in order for inherences to come about not only the transition (transformationality, the ability of concepts to metamorphosize and their solidification in the respective metamorphosis), but also preceding the transition yet another process is necessary. This has its starting-point in a further attribute of the concepts, namely to intrinsically transcend themselves, i.e. to possess the predisposition for metamorphosis. This becomes clear from the fact that concepts are perspectives or viewpoints, and perspectives on what is initially not yet represented (thus in this sense the not yet conceived), on the pure perceptual. For where concepts are lacking, nothing either of a perceptual nature is observed, even though (like for instance in a moment of shock) a vague momentary feeling can foreshadow itself that as an uncertain sense of context is part of the always potential presence of thinking, yet that only with the already further developed perspectives of general concepts (it, something) becomes observationally clear.  General concepts (formative types devoid of images) are thus perspectives, possible viewpoints for the incomprehensible that straight through their transparency is sighted as a not yet attained conceivable. In that way we test on unknown objects (e.g. a machine seen for the first time) our concepts for their perspectible aptitude. Only in the course of such try-outs do the singularities become apparent that through a later understanding can be interpreted by the forming of inherences. This use of concepts with regard to their perspectible aptitude can be called intentionalization. The scholastic concept of intentionality (the self-transcending orientation on an object) was recognized by [the German psychologist] Franz Brentano as the essential attribute of the psychical. Before the conceptional types (general concepts) on the basis of their transformationality in the cognitional process can be inhered (affixed to formative representations), they must be made into perspectives for the as yet unknown perceptual, their intentionability must be used. They must be intentionalized, ensouled. The ensoulment of concepts is for cognition a universally valid procedure and is in every cognitive process just as necessary as their experienceability in the transitional forms of their metamorphoses.  But with regard to the essential structure of singular beings, this ensoulment of the conceptional types appertains only to animals, while with regard to plants and minerals it appears to psychic observation on the one hand as one of its stages, on the other hand as a general objective-structural condition of the process of realization (the realization within certain realms). For as soon as one liberates oneself from the prejudgment that general concepts (formative types) are abstractions (which to be sure is valid for certain areas of representations, but which is with respect to types disproved by psychic observation) one recognizes that reality itself as well as its co-execution in cognition display structurally necessary transitional stages. To these appertain also the internal modes of judging and sighting of concepts, their intentionalities (either specific to the realms of the singular beings). The intentional ensoulments of concepts (the environmental relations of the intraworldly realm) appertain with regard to animals admittedly to the individual example, but they are not specific to the individual but to the genus.

It is only in human consciousness that concepts assume this individual nature, because the human being himself brings them forth.  The concepts thus produced by the human being are not, as is the case with creatures of nature, innate to him: he inspirits them through his own activity. Therefore they are neither group ensouled, but acquire their ensoulment through individual acts, they are individually ensouled.

Psychical observation of the cognitive process shows a fourfold transitional occurrence that can also be designated as a cognitive structure. The four structural stages can be explained by the concepts inherence, metamorphosis, intentionality and actuality. The cognitive stages are at the same time structural stages of the objects of cognition, and indeed partly of the individual recognized shapes, partly of the realms to which they appertain. With Man all four formative stages are united in the individual human being. Again it is apparent that the gaze upon the cognitional structure is divided into three dimensions.


The human being shares the structural peculiarities of the creatures of the mineral, plant and animal kingdom, albeit in a manner modified by his humanness. As a producer of his concepts Man towers above the creatures of nature and their realms. Only by becoming aware of this do we direct our attention to our humanness: we recognize ourselves as thinking beings. Yet the observations that we can make of the cognitional process are thereby not finished and therefore neither those that we can make of our own nature.

Our ability to bring forth concepts conveys us our sense of self, of the “I” (Ichgefühl). What only unclearly announces itself in our sense of self, becomes apparent in that state of exception through which we turn our thinking activity into an object of observation. Then we do not observe something alien to us, but of our own making, we do not develop alien but self-consciousness. When psychic observation becomes aware of it as self-apprehension, then it confirms the justification of the sense of self.

Yet psychical observation also shows us that our thinking activity cannot proceed arbitrarily,  but is, in turn, directed by what it brought forth itself. We do indeed bring forth the concepts, but in such a way that it corresponds to their own nature, their reciprocal contexts, the general logicality of thinking. The laws of thinking, the spiritually living organism of the archetypes of all structural design, are in the face of our arbitrariness inviolable. Thinking does indeed not impose itself on us, it leaves us free, for we can call it forth or refrain from it. But it appears in the element of our activity as an intrinsic declining, interweaving tapestry-of-being.  In order to clarify this process one could bring up a comparison that, as all other comparisons, does not apply completely, because it attempts to explain a purely spiritual through a bodily dependent process. When we sing a certain tone, we are the ones bringing it forth. But at the same time we enter into an understanding with a self-explanatory realm. This tone assumes within the acoustic phenomena through its pitch and flank contact a ranking that places it in a certain relation to other tones and the general extensions and conditions of the tonality. The experiencing singer does therefore not feel himself only to be the producer of a mechanically conveyed stream of breath, but more intimately also as the recipient of an inflow, which is why artistic singing is a mutually self-supporting act of both streams. A similar yet bodily independent exchange occurs in thinking. This is, however, a much more embracing process, for it apprehends the whole nature of the human being.  In thinking, the whole human being becomes a song. He sings his own melody that is however one of thinking. Hence the most intimate, essential affinity, spiritual communion, an exchange-of-being not constrained by any divider is experienced in thinking.

As a producer of his concepts, the human being raises himself above the creatures of nature. The self-related condition of consciousness, however, is at this level still corporeal, bodily determined. For the human being becomes aware of his ability to actualize concepts through their application to the sense percepts conveyed to him by his organism. By observing the exchange-of-being with thinking, however, he becomes aware of himself as a purely spiritual being. For in becoming aware of this exchange-of-being the despiritualizing effects of his bodily organization are repressed. In so far as he is capable of raising himself to this state of consciousness through inner activity (taking place indeed not without his body, but against the latter) and observing it, he apprehends himself not as a corporeal self but as a spirit self. He now no longer only intentionalizes his concepts as is the case by their application to the percepts conveyed to him by his bodily sense organs. Instead he is in his own self intentionalized toward something of the nature of a super self.

Proceeding  from this awareness-raising process further perspectives arise on parts or yet to be fulfilled prospects of human nature.  As a spirit self, the human being receives the influx out of which he constructs his nature, not from the physical realm on which his bodily vital functions are dependent.  In the exchange-of-being with thinking, he experiences the influx of the spiritual world that gives of itself in his free deeds by transforming itself in him. He undergoes thus as life spirit the spiritual world expanding around him and at the same time gathering in himself.

Only then does the perspective arise for him on his true nature, on his spiritual humanity. For in his true being, he has a total existence in the universe, in the spiritual one as well as in the natural one permeated by the latter. The spiritual world entered and observed in his thinking is after all a self-contained, completely uninterrupted context. That is why the spiritual exchange-of-being is one that does not attain a total existence, but conversely one that emerges from the latter. How much of this total existence, which psychic observation is shown in its unmistakable nature, can be apprehended is of course a question of personal development.
         Once again, the result of psychical observation is divided into the three dimensions of cognition, the known and human nature.


From the psychical observation of the cognitive process pursued according to the method of "The Philosophy of Freedom"  and based on its contents, now results the following anthropological finding (that could also be proven philologically with passages from epistemological works of Rudolf Steiner):

The human sevenfold structure of his being corresponds with that of cognition and the objects. For also the classification of the creatures of nature in the general context of the world proceeds through formative forces that are on their part determined out of the spiritual holistic context. The latter, however, is identical to the true nature of the human being, for the latter apprehends himself in the psychic observation of the cognitional process  as the being that becomes aware of himself in the active exchange-of-being with the spirit and world phenomena.

The sevenfold human nature can be characterized through the following concepts that in the fore-going were developed:

         1. Physical body     - Inherence of the concept: individualization
         2. Etheric body      - Metamorphosis of the concept
         3. Astral body        - Intentionalization of the concept
         4. I (Self)               - Actualization of the concept
         5. Spirit self           - Exchange-of-being with the spirit
         6. Life spirit           - Construction-of-being from the spirit
         7. Spirit man          - Total existence in the universe: universalization

All levels of the reality-structure, thus of the essential nature of Man have a share in each being; the world everywhere is thus holistic, but embraced by the individual being only to the extent of its own ability, yet the latter (i.e. the being) embraced by it (i.e. the world).  This follows from the fact that also the inherences giving shape to the mineral structures are part of the uniform spiritual world, from which they emerge and in which they are embedded in reverse connections.

From the preceding sketch might emerge in which way human nature is the supporting basis for all cognition, to what extent, according to the remarks by Rudolf Steiner with regard to the two “basic questions of human soul life”, there is “a view about human nature that can support all remaining knowledge.” Human nature forms this basis, because, as already mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, it is the basic substance of the world, because the creation of the world is the creation of Man, for Man only emerges from the world to the extent that this is the universal human basis of his individual human nature and the latter is therefore the basis for a new creation of the world.

The view of Man of the anthropology of the science of freedom is at the same time a world view. For psychic observation of the cognitive process apprehends the primordial source of reality in its moment of origin from the self-creative spirit. This is in the element of thinking the human being’s own activity and therein the originality per se in its emergence from the self-induced begin. The psychic observation of the cognitional process, however, does not only apprehend the origin, but also the basis-of-being in the universal, individualizing and from the individualization in a new form remerging human being. Psychic observation leads to the sources of thinking and the grounds of existence in the human being itself. For he is the conception and destination of the world, the archetype that attains, permeates and eclipses all dimensions of being.  [The German philosopher] Schelling said it in this way: “Nature is visible spirit, spirit is invisible nature.” Psychic observation culminates in the experiential knowledge expressed by Rudolf Steiner in one of his “Truth Wrought Words”:

                            If Man knows himself,
                            His self becomes the world.
                            If Man knows the world,

                            The world becomes his self.


Thinking Volition And Volitional Thinking, Their Different Unfoldment/ The Stages Of Volitional Unfoldment As Compositional Forms Of The First And Fourteenth Chapter/ The Stages Of Volitional Unfoldment In The Fourteenth Chapter/ On The Community-Building Function Of Individual Judgments

Before proving the result of the preceding anthropological examination with respect to its suitability for clarifying the conceptional artistry of The Philosophy of Freedom, another train of thought is to be inserted here that may be helpful.

In the fourth lecture of The Study of Man (1919) Rudolf Steiner points to the seven stages of human volitional development. There the following schema can be found:

                   Spirit man                      Resolution
                   Life spirit                       Intention
                   Spirit self                       Wish

                   Consciousness soul                  
                   Rational soul                  Motive
                   Sentient soul                 

                   Sentient body                 Desire
                   Etheric body                   Urge
                   Physical body                  Instinct[1]      

The far-reaching contexts of this schema cannot be pursued here. Yet one viewpoint is to be highlighted, because of its importance for the task at hand.

The adduced schema offers a compendium-like overview about the sphere of the human will. However, it does not say anything about how volitional development proceeds in specific cases. If one poses this question, two basic different modes of appearance of volition immediately come to the fore. For the human being sets as thinker and agent his will in quite different ways into motion. The purest expression of his will is the active bringing forth of thinking, thinking volition (Denkwille). After all, the latter merges without alien supplements completely with its result. The activation of the will in external action is, on the other hand, directed by thinking and subdued by the resistance of the body and the material dealt with. It only implements the thought and is therefore volitional thinking (Willensdenken). Both these processes, the thinking volition and volitional thinking, proceed in different directions through the spheres of the human being, thinking volition in the direction from willing to thinking and volitional thinking in the direction from thinking to willing.

Let us begin by observing the development of thinking volition. One can note that the latter is interpreted in a certain way by the preceding schema. The thinking volition does not only strive to produce concepts but also to permeate the percept with the latter. It proceeds therefore from individual motives (aims) to the percepts in which its goals can be realized. On its way to the percept thinking volition moves through different stages of development. It passes thereby also through different spheres of the human being. For the particular modes of its development can only manifest in certain spheres of the human being. Since it develops in the direction from motive to percept, it begins in the "I"-ish or ego-related essential sphere of the willing agent. It then desires to reach its goal and enters thereby that human essential sphere designated as sentient body. It finds access to the desired goal by its urge adapted to the latter, through which it enters the human essential sphere of the versatile, adaptable vital forces.  And finally it fuses with the attained goal in the instinctivity of the inherence, that dull consciousness which we have of our physical body when not in state of arousal. For the execution of a willful action corresponds with an extension of our physical corporeality and its dull inherence consciousness.[2] Inherences have the character of instinctivity, since with regard to their origin and nature they only become conscious through psychic observation; for normal consciousness they are only existent in the form of a certain sense of naïve reality.

This sequence of steps of thinking volition, which is at least dimly illuminated by normal conscious, albeit under increasing overshadowment, can only run because it is intertwined with the process of the creation of concepts, conceptualization. To be sure, this process sinks for normal consciousness even deeper into the subconscious, so that it can only afterwards be brought to light by superwakeful  psychic observation  Only with the use of concepts, however, can thinking volition attain its perceptual goal. This goal is for the cognizant thinking volition the structural design permeated by an inherence. The hereby developed, above-mentioned volitional steps of cognition (motive, desire, urge and instinct) originate indeed only in the course of the connection of a concept to a percept. However, from that it may not be concluded that the exchange-of-being with the spirit, thus the connection between thinking volition and the thought-content, without which no substantive thinking is possible, would have to precede the connection between percept and concept. Rather, it concerns an interrelated occurrence. For only when in the course of a formative process, in which observation and conceptualization constantly stimulate each other, the final concept, summarizing all other conceptional links, is individualized, only then is also the process of conceptualization concluded.

Conceptualization, however, can only arrive at its results because Man is a being connected to the allness of the spiritual world and hence from there acquires his intuitions. These are on the one hand associations (Zusammenschlüsse) with the spiritual world, they are on the other hand receptive (aufgeschlossen), they are resolutions (Entschlüsse) to associate with the physical world. Conclusions (Schlüsse)[3] as associations of cognition with the spiritual and physical reality require that common spiritual basis that transcends subject and object, Man and the world. That is why in spiritual experience the special conceptional structure, which does not arise until its adaption to the percept, originates from the general accordance of the spiritual world with itself as well with the perceptual world – and not the other way around. Conclusions therefore precede judgements and concepts, just as the resolutions pertaining to the forming of conclusions (not to actions) precede the intentions and wishes of cognition. For those conclusions and resolutions are the real supports required by them for their unfoldment. Indeed, the desire of the human being wills to overcome in conceptional exchange-of-being the limitation of his bodily organization, to bring himself into spirit man-like accordance with the allness of the spiritual web-of-being. His buoyancy, however, flows to him from the intuitive resolutions that he makes in the spiritual world, from his exchange-of-being with it (as Spirit man) and from the way that he (as Life spirit) living in the spirit grasps the intentions that are in accord with his own essential condition or soul mood. And it is these in turn which render his Spirit self-like wish the power to wrest himself from the obstructive influence of his corporeality. The emergence of particular conceptional structures from the general spiritual world is thus a process intertwined with the individualization of the concepts towards inherences, their formation neither preceding nor succeeding it. Since it is, however, even more withdrawn from conscious awareness than the process of individualization, it is not accessible to psychical observation, in spite of its being intertwined with this process, until afterwards  by the disclosure of the already gained object consciousness.

The motivic element of thinking volition unfolds according to the afore-going from its "I"-ish origin in the direction of the physically perceptual realm of instinctive inherences. The driving forces of thinking volition originate in the Spirit man-like cognitive resolutions that direct their power to the Spirit self-like desire in order to override the bodily obstructions.

The steps in the unfoldment of thinking volition, which is cognitively engaged in object structure, can now be indicated as follows: Motive – Desire – Urge– Instinct – Resolution – Intention – Wish (see the schema from The Study of Man by Rudolf Steiner). The same holds true for the involvement of the spheres of the human being.

The observation of volitional thinking, the will expressed in external actions, shows another course of volitional unfoldment. For these, in so far as it concerns modes of conduct that deserve to be called human because they originate from conscious awareness, a process is characteristic that runs contrary to thinking volition. Here the difference becomes apparent that distinguishes both spheres, cognition and action, in every respect. In the preceding deliberations it was articulated that in cognition Man recognizes himself as a being emerging from the world – that conversely he as an agent not only conveys the existing world a new impulse, but beyond that lays the foundation for a new state of the world, the emergence of a new world out of Man.  Therefore, not the contents of knowledge, which pertain to what is already present, are decisive for acting out of knowledge, but the special ability that is developed through the cognition of that which is already present. This is the inventive-creative commitment of the conceptional productivity developed in cognition and its further schooling in free, morally imaginative individualization. Thinking volition grasps itself in the exchange-of-being with the general spiritual world: the conceptional intuition is therefore one that manifests a part of the general spiritual world in the individual human being. Through volitional thinking, moral intuition, on the other hand, the individual human being manifests himself with his own unique new impulses in the spiritual world (and proceeding from there also in the physical world). Thus, conceptional and moral intuitions do not only differ in the sense that the former strives for an existentiality, the latter for a futurality, but also in that through the former the knower individualizes himself, while through the latter the agent conveys his own individualization impulse to the spiritual as well as to the physical world. From the source of the desire to unite with the spirit the moral intuitive formative impulses arise, which out of moral imagination continue developing themselves towards intentions leading thereby to such resolutions, which on the basis of their spiritual substance are not only creative, but also capable of compliance, i.e. viable, because they build on the transformational ability of the matter on hand.

The volitional direction of the conceptional driving forces of action therefore runs opposite to that of cognition. The same is valid for the way in which the volitional goals (motives) are attained and formed. Here it is not a question, as is the case with cognition, of becoming aware of the feature of the perceptually displayed reality with regard to its given nature. Instead, the individual characteristic is to be imprinted on it that only comes about anew through free, inventive action. Productive action therefore proceeds indeed from a given situation with which it is initially connected in an instinctive consciousness of reality, but develops the urge to transform the given in accordance with the moral intuition and the desire to impart it the shape of the freely chosen motive in which it finally is reshaped.

As with thinking volition, the spiritual driving forces can be differentiated with regard to volition thinking in their conceptional development and motives in their gradual volitional formation. This difference, however, does not signify with regard to free actions one of a temporal succession. For in free actions the motives and driving forces coincide with regard to their conceptional nature. Just as is the case with thinking volition both elements are therefore interconnected and mutually stimulate each other.

Accordingly, the course of unfoldment of volition thinking that reaches its goal in the transformation of existentiality can be listed as follows: Wish – Intention – Resolution – Instinct – Urge – Desire – Motive (see the schema again). The same can be said for the involved essential parts of the human being.


It may be of great interest to note that both of these successive courses of human volitional unfoldment are found in The Philosophy of Freedom as formal elements. They determine the composition of the first and fourteenth chapters.

The first chapter (“Conscious Human Action”) is devoted to clearing the view on the problem. Because the latter is covered by the prevailing prejudgments (back then and basically today as well). That is why a series of examples are given “proving that many fight against freedom without really knowing what freedom is.” The views brought to bear have a peculiar mistake in common. For all these thinkers surprisingly fail to notice the most obvious thing. None of them differentiate namely between those actions of which the agent does not know why he does them, and those of which the reasons are clear to him.
Yet Rudolf Steiner does not content himself with introducing the reader to the state of the scientific discussion at that time. Instead, he introduces representatives of those views that, in the way that they are brought forward, correspond to the stages of human volitional development. His presentation thereby obtains, in spite of its time-conditioned context, a significance that is not effaced by the passage of time.

Here three things are noteworthy: 1. Rudolf Steiner does not limit himself to criticism, but uses it, already at the begin of his work to positively introduce its basic theme, namely the structure of human nature as a mirror-image of its volitional unfoldment; 2. since this is at the beginning of his deliberations not yet possible through relating its contents, it happens through the form by introducing the human essential structure as the compositional principle of the first chapter; the conceptional art unity of form and content thereby becomes a mood-enhancing cognitive overture; 3. the from the viewpoint of human volitional unfoldment compositionally arranged contents appear in such a sequence that, on the one hand, corresponds to the character of the chapter that it obtains through its integration in the over-all composition of the book, on the other hand, however, the composition of the first chapter is also, as will appear, of great importance for the composition of the whole book.

Seven writers are brought forward who “fight against freedom, without really knowing what freedom is.” The report about their viewpoints is made in a sequence such that it corresponds to the unfoldment of thinking volition. From the perspective of conceptional art this cannot be otherwise, for the first part of The Philosophy of Freedom is devoted to the nature of cognition and therefore constitutes the scientific basis for its second part about “The Reality of Freedom”.

As the first of those fighters against something unknown to them David Friedrich Strauss is quoted, at that time an in general (albeit not by his contemporary Nietzsche) highly praised representative of superficiality, who still up to this day belongs to those who by thrashing truisms or untruisms to death achieve resounding glory. In The Old and New Faith he believes to say something of obvious validity concerning the question of freedom by pointing to the always present reason that causes the agent to perform one of many possible actions. He fails to see that he thereby merely states that freedom cannot simply be freedom of choice proceeding as one sees fit. – He focusses on that element of human volitional development that asserts itself in every action as its motive. That there are different sort of motives and that their significance for human action could thus be quite different, is not taken into consideration.

The guideline for the citation of the following opponents of freedom follows from the step by step development of thinking volition.

Herbert Spencer (in The Principles of Psychology) maintains that the sentence that lays at the basis for the “dogma of free will” is “that … everyone can desire as he sees fit or not.” Since this sentence is senseless, it must also be the case for the “dogma of free will”. – Spencer points justifiably to the desiring, intentional part of an action. He fails to see, however, that this in no way must be the sole leading motive for an action and that it itself requires a conceptional origin, which only then, if present, can be intentionalized (as articulated above) and without which the intentionalization would hang in the air.

Spinoza voices (in a letter) the view that people consider themselves to be free because  stronger desires suppress the weaker ones. The so-called freedom consists in nothing else than “that people are aware of their desires but do not know the reasons by which they are determined.” Examples verifying his view are the behavior of children that desire milk or drunks who say things that they later regret. – Neither Spinoza differentiates between actions caused  by urges arising from the depths of the organism and those of which the agent is conscious. Yet he also draws attention to a part that indeed belongs to the course of volitional development. The element of desire indicates in itself the transcendental intentional condition of the desiring agent, while the urges are more characterized by their willingness to transform themselves into their object (to undergo a metamorphosis).

Eduard von Hartmann represents (in his Phenomenology of the Moral Consciousness) also with reference to the questions of freedom and the will the view that is central for his whole work. According to Hartmann’s conviction true being remains unknown to the knower, he experiences of it only through the modifications of his own conditions that spring from transcendent sources. The only possibility left therefore is to develop conclusions about that which remains unconscious. Hence, for him the following sentence is valid with regard to the problem of freedom. “When we however also initially raise the mental representations to motives, we after all do not do so arbitrarily, but according to the necessity of our characterological disposition, thus no less free.” The characterological disposition is determined by the intrinsically existing human nature that, like everything else, is not directly knowable and therefor remains unconscious – Here too the difference between motives permeated by consciousness and those that effect the agent without his clear knowledge remains unconsidered. The naively sensed certainty of reality, without which there is no correspondence between subject and object, is an instinctive one, as long as its origin is not revealed though psychical observation. This element comes in Hartmann’s Philosophy of the Unconscious to the fore. Also for superwakeful observation conscious awareness there remains an impact of this subconscious coalescence with something unattainable through thinking, with individualness that initially presents itself as a riddle, but that nevertheless is unlimitedly fathomable and just therein revealing its mysteriousness. Eduard von Hartmann devoted his research work to this revealing mysteriousness and mysterious revelation, whereby he was admittedly distracted through his tendency to make abstract conclusions from the path to psychical observation that would have led him to The Philosophy of Freedom.

Robert Hammerling describes (in his Atomism of Will) his conviction with the following words: “The human being can … do what he is willing to do – but he cannot be willing to do what he is willing, because his will is determined by motives." Rudolf Steiner answers him, “It is not a question as to whether I can carry out a resolution I made, but how the resolution arose in me.” – Once again an element of volitional development, the resolution comes to the fore, yet again without the knowledge of its function in the process it belongs to. However, for Hammerling’s vitality, his sense of life is characteristic that he brings this feature to the fore. For, as was articulated in the afore-going, the human being makes his resolutions from his essential connection with the spirit. It is this that enables us to offer resistance against our bodily organization, assures us superiority over its imprisoning frailties and limitations.

Paul Rée (in The Illusion of Freedom of the Will) believes to be able to substantiate his rejection of freedom through the fact that the causal determinations of our actions are not perceivable, from which the mistake arises that we are free. – The volitional function intoned hereby is the intention that is active in action, its underlying mental representation. The mental representations that constitute the intentions of our action, can indeed be causally determined, but they can also be attained from freely formed intuitions through moral imagination.

The last thinker that appears in this row is Hegel. His statement is cited, “Only thinking makes the soul, with which animals are also endowed, into spirit.” It is clear that once again a mode of unfoldment of thinking volition is intoned. It is desire that leads the human being beyond his own momentary condition as well as beyond the world surrounding him. As a thinker, the human being is a constant wisher, he continually aspires to attain more than his senses, his bodily organization can give him. The thinking human being, who through his thinking comes into action, is a wisher beyond himself and the world. – Even though Hegel’s whole philosophy reflects this experience, he does not, however, arrive at a true philosophy of freedom. Granted, statements can be found in his work (next to many similar ones) such as: “The idea of right is freedom” (The Philosophy of Right) and “The substance, the essence of the spirit is freedom” (Philosophy of History). Yet he misses the view for the unique significance of free individualizing (moral imagination), without which the idea of freedom cannot be conceived. This deficient insight is related to Hegel’s basic attitude that prompts him to turn his whole and sole interest to the metamorphosis of the concept and to let the perceptual world slip away from his attention.

The conceptional art structure of The Philosophy of Freedom can be indicated by the following schema:

                   D. F. Strauss          - Motive
                   H. Spencer            - Desire
                   B. de Spinoza        - Urge
                   E. v. Hartmann      - Instinct
                   R. Hammerling      - Resolution
                   P. Rée                   - Intention
                   G. W. F. Hegel       - Wish

One recognizes that  the composition of this chapter is based on the unfoldment of thinking volition in connection with the structure of human nature. This connection however does not exist because the text was squeezed into a rigid, previously present schema. Instead, that special form of volitional movement was chosen as a model of composition that corresponds to the special epistemological task of the first part of the work.[4]


The previously presented arrangement of both parts, their correspondence in the direction of representation suggests that the same form of composition, yet in a metamorphosis corresponding to the representational field, can be rediscovered in the fourteenth (and last) chapter  of the second part. That this is indeed the case, shall now be demonstrated.

The fourteenth chapter (“Individuality and Species”) begins with the question whether, in view of the overlapping influences that make the individual into a whole, individual integrity, self-contained free individuality is still possible. This question, pertaining to the desire of the human being who properly understands himself, to be a Spirit self in his sphere of freedom independent of natural and social influences is posed in the first two paragraphs.

In the third paragraph the question is put if there can be Life spirit intentions. For the physiognomy and action of individual human beings assume through their affiliation to a nation, a folk something of a generic nature. His attributes, his modes of behavior are insofar not bio-spiritually determined (through his free integration in a social and knowledge community context) but by way of group souls. For Life spirit action, however, these are characterological predeterminations of the transformational material that, by grasping and forming the latter, brings its individual characteristic to expression.

The content of the fourth paragraph is human sovereignty. Man throws the uniformity of the species away, he applies the attributes given to him by nature as the basis for his disposal over himself and gives them the shape peculiar to his own nature. He is able to break the spell of his corporeal humanness and to make his Spirit man resolutions the basis of his selfhood and the content of his action. From this source the desirous upsurge of his Spirit self is fed, as are the Life spirit resolutions, for which the characterological predetermination is only the transformation material that his individual characteristic grasps and forms.

The fifth paragraph brings to light a tendency of public and scientific opinion cultivated by natural science. Judging the human being by the features of his male or female organism renders it blind for the human being proper. It should be conscious of the fact that it only comes to an understanding of instinctivity. In views of this sort, the course that the prevailing materialistic-naturalistic mentality has taken comes to the fore. For this mindset Man is a natural being: it lacks the view that he does not bring his true nature through his physically determined instincts to expression but through their spiritualized transformation.

The sixth paragraph is devoted to a basic question of personal and social life, which before Rudolf Steiner’s time had never been conceived of in this manner. It belongs to those misjudged and underestimated issues, the clarification of which, as soon as it is put in perspective, immediately appears simply and directly convincing. Yet the formulation of the so urgently necessary insight has hitherto been lacking and the foray against it remains furthermore notoriously apparent. It concerns nothing less than the constant willingness to disregard human dignity. After all, nothing seems more justified and substantiated than to judge a human being by means of the concepts of one’s own reflection and accepting as true with respect to the person to be judged. No proof is needed for the frequency of such  (positive or negative) censorial judgments. Whoever judges in that manner overlooks completely that his thinking moves in a direction prescribed by force of habit. He does not bear in mind thereby that this mode of judgment is only permissible in case of creatures of nature. With creatures of nature and everything that has object character, “the observer must obtain the concepts through his intuitions; in the case of understanding a free individuality it is only a matter of carrying over their concepts, according to which it determines itself, purely (without mingling with his own thought content) into our spirit. Persons who in every judgment of another immediately mix in their own concepts, can never reach an understanding of an individuality. Just as in the way that a free individuality liberates itself from the peculiarities of the species, cognition has to liberate itself from the way how the generic is understood.” It is easy to realize that here the cure for social conflicts is not only named but even given. Yet it is also no less easy to realize how difficult it is to apply.

In the case of human beings it is not a question of regarding the vital drives that are inborn in the structure of a living being and that permeate it. Rather, attention should be paid as to how it gives itself a spiritual life form and how it develops the driving forces of its action in such a way that they correspond to the structure of its own nature that it itself erected. The truly human incentives of a human being (this is said in this passage of the chapter) can only be understood from its own spiritual life, its transformation of natural into spiritual vital forces.

In the seventh chapter it is acknowledged that Man is just as little wholly individuality as wholly species. But striving for individuality is the goal and nobility of his soul life. Only in this pursuit can a truly human soul life be developed, it is the noblest desire, the desire for humanness.

To the main thought of the seventh paragraph, the ennoblement of our intentional essence, the eight and last paragraphs add the one of free motivation. Through the unification of the motives of free human beings generic and group-based communities are transformed into knowledge communities. Only in the latter do human beings live out their lives as bearers of an individual spirit, as "I"-beings, and only therein are they appreciated by the members of such a community with regard to their "I"-related cast of mind (Geistesart) and spiritual stature. The chapter ends with the words, “The moral life of humanity is the total sum of the moral imaginations produced by free human individualities. This is the result of monism.”

If one summarizes the first, both content related paragraphs of the chapter, then the resultant overview shows a sevenfold structure. This corresponds in the expected reversal to the first chapter. Both chapters are based on the structural principle of human volitional unfoldment, yet in one case in the continuous form of thinking volition, in the other in that of volitional thinking (externally directed action). Thus, Chapter I points out how Man originates out of his own spiritual activity, his thinking volition, while Chapter XIV draws the attention of the critic to the unique manner in which human volitional thinking integrates itself in the social and general reality.


The main content of the work culminates in a declaration of human dignity. This is human self-creation from self-comprehension requiring no other reason than that of freedom. One considers oneself modest when upon passing a judgment one’s own subjective limitation and its need for amendment is flaunted in beautiful humility. From this “humbleness” follows the willingness to reach consensus, to fall in line with public opinion. Granted, among free human beings the interest for the mindset of the other will always be an unlimited one. Just now, the elusiveness of the essential nature of one’s fellow human being through external attachment of concepts was spoken of and emphasized that the tendency for forming censorial judgments signifies a lack of respect for the inviolable nature in every human being. Just for that reason, however, the courage for the validity of one’s own carefully considered judgment is also a demand of self-respect. For free communities do not arise through the blurred mixture of average, run of the mill opinions, but through the unified concord of many-colored cognizant aspirations for that communal consciousness generated by the unison of free insights. The thoroughly individual nature of a judgment is not its weakness but its strength. For genuine community does not require collectivity but individuality. The less individually pronounced a judgment, the less it can lay claim to be heard by an audience armed with the faculty of discrimination, the more so, to each higher degree, when it shows its true countenance. A judgment steeped in cognizance requires no amendment, because it is precisely that in which others holding different views can concur. It defies amending, because it is a variation of the whole, befriending other variants. A judgment is fully valid  in so far as it is thoroughly individual, while a merely repetitive accordance does not exclude doubt as to its validity, since it begs the question whether it is individually wrought or just a trainbearer of the rumor of public opinion. An individual judgment does not amend judgments formed from other perspectives, provided it is derived from real knowledge, but rather strengthens it and therefore the variety of individual judgments is even a community building factor. For the diversity of individual judgments includes the respect for and the forming of every other real contribution to the community spirit, and the insight that the community attains nothing from a “levelling” consensus, but only by offering each and every one the widest possible scope of individual unfoldment. The deviation of a judgment from public opinion is a yardstick for the probability of its truth and a building block for a true communal consciousness. A community building judgment is not servile but proud, - proud not in the reflex of vanity of oneself, but in confidence of oneself without becoming presumptuous, in confidence of the spiritual gaze transcending the merely personal. The generic nature of public opinion is the lack of interest of its members for each other and the seeking of protection of those in anonymity who do not dare to be themselves The public confession to one’s own insight in the awareness to thereby turn oneself into the receiving end of collective resentment is in contrast the manifestation of the highest respect for the ability of the addressee to bust the templates of habitual ways of thinking. Here too the words of Goethe are valid: “What is the general? The individual case. What is the particular? Millions of cases.”

Since a true anthropology can only be a manifesto of human dignity, it is not surprising that its structural design is humanness.

The first chapter of the first main part and the last chapter of the second main part are based, as emerges from what was presented, on the same structural principle, - yet in different metamorphosis. This is an important observation, for it presents the key to the structure of the whole work. The next chapter shall enter into this.     

[1] The psychic realm normally designated as self or “I” is split up in a threefold manner. The concept etheric body (identical with the vital or formative body) refers to the forces context of the living organism divided in originating and functional stages.
[2] The designation “body” or “corporeality” is applied to all parts of our nature that we find in us as a given, which we therefore do not bring forth though our spiritual formative power, which we do not bestow on us, but that are bestowed on us.
[3] All these German words between brackets contain in one form of another the word Grund, meaning ground or reason.  This cognitive “word game” is lost in translation. (Note by tr.)
[4] These relations were already worked out a long time ago by the author and were occasionally seized without considering the wider context to which they belong. This led to a totally wrong  schematism in strict contrast to the conceptional art purpose. One does not approach Rudolf Steiner’s conceptional art technique by distilling a sterile skeleton from the living organism of his work and possibly even using it as part of one’s own construction. One senses the living breath of his work only by participating in the mutual permeation of matter and form, of content and shape, their intertransformation,  that constitutes the living stream of his presentation. One then becomes aware of something individual peculiar to him and only to him and just therefore valid in general. 


The Composition Of Both Parts In Relation To The Stages Of Volitional Enfoldment/ The Anthropological Composition Of The First Part/ The Anthropological Composition  Of The Second Part/  Schematic Summary/ On The Mode Of Presentation

In the third chapter of this book the sevenfold structure of human nature was presented as it appears on the basis of the results of psychical observations of The Philosophy of Freedom. This presentation was undertaken with the expectation to thereby discover the structural principle of the work, i.e. to let the form emerge out of the material and the material out of the form. But the essential structure of the human being developed in the third chapter of this work cannot be discovered in the composition of the text when one suspects it brought as a ready-made schema from the outside into its structure. Since it much rather concerns specifically designed shapes, the deliberations about the metamorphoses of human volition development and its compositional significance for the first and fourteenth chapter were necessary. For hereby one is prepared for the overview of the total structure of the text. It appears that both metamorphoses of volitional attitude indeed determine the artistic design of the whole book.

This can now easily be demonstrated. From the psychical observation of the cognitive process resulted (in Ch. III of this book) the following series of concepts in their three dimensional (subjective, objective and cognitive scientific) significance: inherence of the concept, metamorphosis of the concept, intentionality (intentionalization) of the concept, actuality (actualization) of the concept, exchange-of-being with the spirit, essential structure from the spirit and total existence in the universe. If one remembers what was developed in the afore-going, a look at the list of contents of The Philosophy of Freedom suffices to ascertain the correspondences.


The first chapter of the first part is entitled “Conscious Human Action”. It is clear that this chapter deals with the volitional stage of the motive. For only motives, and not desires, urges, and instincts can be regarded as fully conscious representational or conceptional contents of action. From this it is also becomes apparent that the "I"-related essential part of Man, which constitutes the source of the actualization of concepts, is the compositional support of these deliberations.

In the second chapter (“The Basic Urge for Knowledge”) the term “urge” is chosen in accordance with usage, whereas it actually concerns in accordance with its meaning “desire”. For it is the urge to attain through the rising formative force of thinking something more than is given by the pure precept, as is also clearly in line with the presentational tendency of the text. The basic urge (the basic desire) for knowledge originates through the fact that the same process that brings the question to the surface of consciousness is already its initial answer. Only he who desires more that he perceives can ask, and again only he can ask who experiences something leading beyond the percepts, beyond their isolation. It is the intentionability of concepts, their transformational indigence and ability that leads to knowledge, i.e. from disconnectedness to the unification with things. The desirous volitional condition in its connection with the psychic (or astral) essential part of the human being is the theme here.[1]

It is only in the third chapter (“Thinking in the Service of World Conception”) that the actual compulsive and impelling mode of volition is brought forward. For the ability to adapt to the percept, the metamorphic ability of the concept is the service that thinking renders us continuously, albeit usually unobserved and disregarded, with regard to the forming of world views. This protean adaptive urge of concepts, their adaptability that secures themselves and thereby ourselves the percepts, without which the abyss would open beneath us, is the subconscious-unobserved but nevertheless indispensable element of our life. Here it is thus a question of that volitional stage that can be designated with “urge” and of that part of our nature conjoined with it that by virtue of its transformative and adaptive ability bears witness to itself in architectural achievements, in metamorphoses of itself as well as of the matter permeated by it, be it in the structural design of our thinking observing cognition or in the structure of our vitalized body originating and maintained by assimilation.

The fourth chapter (“The World as Percept”) takes, after having hitherto traced the origin of the concepts in the inner realm of conscious awareness, the step into the outside world. We are situated in the middle of the first part, as corresponds to the weight of the subject-matter. Now, after all, the basic concept of cognition is beginning to clarify itself, the basic question of knowledge is disclosing itself. For central to all cognition is the question of transition, how do I come, lost in the sea of uncertainty, ashore in the land of reality. The most important question is therefore the transition, the forming of the inherences merging with the objects. Not only the whole of science is based on the accuracy with regard to the inhering of concepts, rather we owe our naïve feeling of self and the world to the numerous instinctive inherences of everyday life. It is these inherences that embed us in an unquestioned, ununderstood, thoughtless and unthankful sense of existence. We feel wedded to things, therefore we seek ever anew refuge in this feeling of security, however much we may doubt theoretically that they are there, and only this permanently renewing existential confidence renders doubt as to its precondition possible to begin with. The forming of inherences is connected with our volitional instincts and with the function of our physical body that through their derealization does the preliminary work for the realization.

The fifth chapter (“Knowing the World”) develops the most encompassing idea, that of the total existence of Man in the universe. This is not a belief or suspicion but insight based on psychical observation. For knowledge is on the one had the connection with the spiritual world, on the other hand with the physical world and, overarching this difference, insight into the spiritual world. This is what Man raises in the partial acts of his cognition to self-agglutinating consciousness. Even though these partial acts are limited as to content, they are nevertheless only possible through the connection of percept and concept, thus through the connection of unlimitedness and individualizationism. Items of knowledge are therefore representationals of totality. These originate as human self-realizations. For by bringing forth the spiritual contents of his knowledge, Man brings forth himself in his spiritual being and indeed in a representational of his totality. He recognizes himself in his objective cognition as the representative of his total existence. This the greatest possible conclusion, the total conclusion as the complete fusion of reality, in relation to which all judgments and concepts are only parts. In so far as this total conclusion is a resolution of thinking volition, it belongs to that stage of volitional development peculiar to the total human being, the Spirit man.

The sixth chapter (“The Human Individuality”) points to the spiritual life context in which the human being experiences himself, his self-formation from the creative forces of the spiritual universe. He is a true individuality through raising his individual forces up into the heights of the general spiritual world, through experiencing the universal spirit as the core, the depth of his own nature. It is in this process of self-formation, in his essential nature erected from the spirit that the intentions of his Life spirit unfold. Here this stage of volitional unfoldment and its corresponding part of human nature are addressed.

The seventh chapter (“Are There Limits to Cognition?”) removes a paradoxical prejudgment, for cognition is by its very nature the overcoming of boundaries. Cognition is the pure and incessant desire prompted by no subjective need to cross boundaries. It has its origin in the fact that the human being bestows his own true nature on himself, his spiritual being that crosses the boundaries and borderlines of his physical self through the repression of his organism. The stage of volitional unfoldment, which can be designated as the desire for exchange-of-being with the spirit, and the therewith connected essential part of the human being, his Spirit self are the compositional formative forces of this chapter.

Upon reviewing the herewith closed first part of the book, one recognizes that its compositional principle as well as the compositional sequence of its chapters correspond to the structure of its first chapter. The sequence of the chapters corresponds to that of thinking volition. This is in terms of conceptional art based on the fact that this part of the work (“The Science of Freedom”) deals with the problem of the emergence of Man out of the world as his volitional action and purpose. The solution of this problem appears through the observation of the connection of the spiritual nature of Man to the world of the senses. For out of this connection begun by nature and continued by Man himself he emerges as an individual being. The conceptional dynamic of the presentation in both of their approaches in the first and fifth chapter (as well as in the one proceeding from the human "I"-nature and in the other proceeding from the essential Spirit man nature) is therefore orientated towards the contraction points of individualization. The reason for this approach was already pointed out in Chapter III of this book.


The content of the eight chapter (“The Factors of Life”) presents, after a summary of the fore-going, proof for the spirituality of Man. Man is not a feeling nor a willing but a thinking being, something that Rudolf Steiner indicates with great emphasis in his book Theosophy. For the other spheres of his nature and the experiences emanating therefrom must first be raised to their full reality through thinking. Therein Man apprehends himself by comprehending and apprehending the world.  In contrast, the mysticism of feeling and the philosophy of the will want to attain knowledge through principles that are not apprehended in thinking, but that in the sense of the percept are regarded as real. Both world conceptions render homage to the statement: “The directly perceived given is real.” But since thinking among the human soul faculties, the “Factors of Life” thinking (representing), feeling and willing, through its apprehension and comprehension of reality stands out, it also harbors the other soul faculties in the depths of their reality. The surficial feeling, which only succumbs to its perceptual part, loses itself therein, because it loses the latter itself. The compositional leading viewpoints are derived here in the same way as in the seventh chapter: the Spirit self and the therewith connected volitional attitude, which strives for the exchange-of-being with the spirit and that can be designated as desire, form the correspondences. However, when viewing the equivalents the simultaneous reversal may not be overlooked. For the volitional direction that runs through the whole second main part of The Philosophy of Freedom is not that of thinking volition, but the other one of volitional thinking, externally directed action. Hence the seventh chapter is reality orientated: the Spirit self-like cognitive desire to cross the perceptual boundaries leads upon becoming aware of reality to the experience of the therefrom emerging humanness. The Spirit self-like desire for spiritualization, active in the sense of the basic direction of the second part, leads by contrast to the transformation of reality, to the emergence of a new reality out of Man.

The ninth chapter (“The Idea of Freedom”) assumes in accordance with its task a special position in the whole work. That is why it is characterized by a specially artistic composition. This presentation however cannot enter into this aspect, because it is devoted to the total structure of the text. Only the integration of this chapter into the compositional line of the second main part can be pursued here. The correspondence to the sixth chapter (“The Human Individuality”) is immediately evident. For only in freedom and through freedom can true individuality be reached and fulfilled. And since free individuality can only come into being through self-realization, it is in the life within the spiritual realm out of which it creates also self-development from the forces with which it corresponds. The viewpoint in both cases  is that of the Life spirit and the therewith connected intentional volitional attitude. However, both chapters have according to their opposite basic directions different points of departure and objectives. In one case the question concerns the emergence of an individuality out of the world, in the other the emergence of a new shape of the world out of a self-shaping individuality.

The tenth chapter (“Freedom Philosophy and Monism”) is like the fifth (“Knowing the World”) determined by the total existence viewpoint of Spirit man that belongs to the volitional attitude of the conclusion, the fusion and resolution. Once again however the reversal in the correspondence is to be observed. Granted, for both chapters the spiritual unity of the world is the world view on which they are based, the all-embracing horizon. Yet once again the perspectives extend in the characteristically divergent directions.  In knowing the world Man attains his total existence out of the former by cognitively repeating its origin. In free action, Man consorts with the community of those who paint a new firmament with the frescoes of their freedom. While the intuitive impulses in the epistemic part are focused out of totality into individuality, they radiate in the presentation of the work of freedom from individuality out to totality. Both chapters of the second part, compositionally characterized in terms of their conceptional dynamics, are therefore not, like the ones of the first part, points of departure and contraction, but passages of the embracement of the fore-going and the charisma of human vigor.

The eleventh chapter (“World Purpose and Life Purpose”) also reveals already at first glance its correspondence to the fourth chapter (“The World as Percept”). Both chapters deal with the realization problem, the cognitive part with the cognitive realization of that what has become, and the freedom part with that what is becoming. In both cases the question is posed how the perceptual world obtains shape: in one case out of the original coming-into-being, in the other case in the new coming-into-being. In both cases it therefore concerns the percept and its formative inherences which are in one respect reconstructive, and in the other respect projective. In both reversely corresponding cases an instinctive or instinct-like fusion of the concept with the percept takes place – instinct-like, because a concept is wedded with an element not dissolvable in it. The physical body of the human being as the mediator of the cognitive or active relation to the perceptual world and the therewith connected volitional attitude provide the viewpoints from which the conceptional artist here derives his formative motives. While Man masters the art of self-determination in the school of cognitive individualization from the percept, he gives the latter from the autonomy of his free individualization a new destination.

The twelfth chapter (“Moral Imagination. Darwinism and  Morality”) presents on the one hand the mode of implementation of the idea developed in the ninth chapter, on the other hand the compositional correspondence of the third (“Thinking in the Service of World Conceptions”). In the service of world conception, thinking unfolds the form-changing vital forces of its types in the direction of the apprehension of that what has become, while through moral imagination it gives its formative forces the direction of a new apprehension of that what is becoming. The living part of human nature capable of constructive metamorphoses and the volitional attitude connected with it, compulsive (yet not serving subjective needs, but engaged in the structure of objects), the urge for structural design, provide here the compositional outline.

The thirteenth chapter (“The Value of Life. Pessimism and Optimism”) like the second chapter (“The Basic Urge for Knowledge”) covers a mode of appearance of desirous human nature turned away from subjective interest towards objective purpose. Percepts only become observable through the perspectives of intentionalized concepts. Through his conceptional sight Man develops the basic urge for knowledge, creative dissatisfaction. Satisfaction he finds in his urge for free activity, only through the latter he determines the value of his life that cannot be given or robbed from him from the outside. The psychic part of human nature and the therewith connected desirous volitional attitude, intentionality are here in each different function the bearers of meaning.

That the fourteenth chapter corresponds to the first chapter (as always in reversal), was already demonstrated from the compositional viewpoint of volitional unfoldment. The conscious awareness of cognition (the theme from Ch. I “Conscious Human Action”), the psychical observation of the processes of structural design, which is usually conscious only with regard to its results, but with regard to the process remains mostly subconscious, is the condition for the conscious awareness of action. Only actions undertaken out of fully conscious knowledge can be free. The fourteenth chapter (“Individuality and Species”) describes how Man can only grasp independent, thus "I"-related motives in fully conscious awareness, how he can only first therein come to himself and manifest himself as such. The human I-nature and the therewith connected volitional stage of motivation, actuality, determine the composition in both cases, yet in a differently directed train of thought and in different reaction to the receptivity of the reader.  


From the fore-going presented overview it can be clearly recognized that both main parts are metamorphoses of the same basic principle composed in the strictest line of thought and yet with an ease free of any superimposed schema’s. In both cases volitional unfoldment in human nature, however in both opposite directions is compositionally performed. They correspond thereby as greater totalities of the composition to both chapters that enframe them and to which they belong as parts. That is why the first part of the work is a school of the will about Man’s origin from an existing world, and its second part an orientation about the judgmental principles concerning the integration of a newly emerging world into an existing one.

The schema below illustrates once more the compositional correspondence and inversion of both main parts, whereby for clarification the relations of both main parts in reverse order of the sequence of each second part are juxtaposed.


The presentation given here of the conceptional art structure of The Philosophy of Freedom, its fabric of forces in a conceptional organism made it necessary to repeatedly wander through the content of the work. This resulted from the fact that three conceptional formative forces permeate its text. These are not the only ones but the most important ones. That is why these three basic forces are active and intertwined in every part of the work, in every sentence. Each passage of the text and every part in the whole as well as the whole itself must therefore be observed from these three main viewpoints. But since it would be too difficult and too untransparent to begin by presenting these permeating forces, another procedure was chosen, namely to separate the three elements and trace how each one of them permeates the whole spiritual structure that Rudolf Steiner has created. This exhibits admittedly not a partitional but a functional threefoldness. This is to be observed when one adopts the present analytical orientation as one’s own. This orientation in no way wants to dissect the living organism of the work, but in contrast to offer an aid in surveying the current of forces flowing through it and to cooperate in permeating [i.e. comprehending] them.

The analytical procedure, which in respect to the understanding with the reader was to be applied, brings along that the same essential passages of the text, albeit each time from another viewpoint, had to be examined three times. It is to be hoped that the reader in following them with understanding does not find this tiresome or even superfluous. Granted, if The Philosophy of Freedom was only written in order to be acquired as information [Wissensstoff] (something that Rudolf Steiner expressly rejected), then such an impatient judgment would be understandable. Since it is a book of exercises in psychical observation, however, it always demands new efforts to fathom its true content. This cannot be received, but only experienced in meditation. This is possibly even more so the case for those who want to come to an understanding of the artistic characteristic of the work. It was therefore the full intention of the author to stimulate his readers to repeatedly think through and experience the same passages in their different compositional contexts. He thereby wanted precisely to make provisions for an analytical approach and point in the direction of a holistic view.

This harmony of motives, their coming and going, their emergence out of each other and their submergence in each other, expects a careful listening, an ideational singing from the reader. This book is devoted to this hearkening and singing. The Philosophy of Freedom, composed with an wondrous conceptional art technique, is a creation of greatest sensibility and greatest precision. Only dilettantism could lead one to believe that it could lack any of these attributes. The reader must feel it as a challenge in his re-enactment and re-enlivenment to approach both of these high features.       

[1] Also the intentionalities of the concepts are initially experienced by the human being as something arising from the basis of his disposition, not yet as something free-willed. As such they only appear later as [real] figments of moral imagination.


The Basic Character Of The Work, Its Demand On The Reader 
And The Riches It Has In Store For Him/ The Third Main Part


The fore-going has examined the structure of The Philosophy of Freedom in its three main compositional directions (the corresponding arrangement of the chapters, their sequence and the anthropological design principle). The thematic symmetrical arrangement of the chapters with simultaneous reversal or inversion of their contentual basic direction in both main parts, the sequence of the chapters in both different directions of volitional unfoldment, the two volitional streams  that permeate the human being, and the implementation of the anthropological principle as the holistic stature of the work – these three morphological conceptional art features have clearly become apparent for psychical observation in their mutual condition and intertwining. This functional threefoldness of the formal elements corresponds to the threefoldness of Man in body, soul and spirit (mind). If one looks at the threefoldness of the textual formation, much information about the nature of Man can be gleaned from the presentation that goes beyond what is expressed content-wise.

No less impressive than this formal richness however is the complete correspondence between form and content: created from the content is the form, its aesthetic dimension, its ideational sculpture and dynamics, but likewise as well, reacting to the latter its aesthetic logic creates the content out of the form, determining the manner in which it assumes literary appearance. Whoever does not shy away from the observant perseverance needed for pursuing this conceptual web created by an artist has a unique aesthetic experience. The Philosophy of Freedom appears to him among the masterpieces of world literature of a characteristic quality second to none. For the mere receptive reader it certainly remains pallid, dumb and formless. In order for it to reveal color, sound and spiritual stature, it must be lived, enlivened, done in the imitation of the conscious awareness whose creation it is.

That the aesthetic analysis  demanded quite a considerable effort of cognitive scientific explanation is conditioned by the merging and meshing of the formal and material contents. If it were otherwise, the artistic unity would be lacking. However, this artistically active energy as well as, in general, weaving thinking in its everyday diligence belongs to the unobserved and unconsidered elements of our normal mental life. Only in the superwakefulness of psychical observation can be brought to light what creative performance was achieved here. Once one becomes aware of this, this aesthetic experience is transformed into a religious one. After all, what was equally described in form and content here signifies nothing less than the communion of the human spiritual forces with the creative forces of the world, with the archetype of humanness in the divine and the primordial disposition of a new divinity in the human being. If this religious experience of beauty is spread over a greater number of people, then its purifying power, through which it elevates the individual soul, irradiates a community of knowers with its peacefulness. This experience is conveyed by the inquisitive mindset to those willpowers that refuse to be crippled by any “naturalness” or “matter of course”, but, departing from the seclusion of the monologue, enter into dialogue with the spirit. It fructifies however also social life, not only through the spirit of tolerance that it implants in the latter, but also through the fulfillment of meaning that it gives to a working life. This obtains its dignity through the certainty inferred from the thinking gaze that its meaning lies on a much higher plane than merely the saturation of material needs, namely there where the overcoming of a resistant outwardness gives rise to a new inwardness. In order to achieve this, not only for one’s own soul but for the world, we go to the “School of Duress” so that from an anti-spirit a new spirit may emerge: this is the consolation given by the epistemic-aesthetic experiences of The Philosophy of Freedom.

The greatest experience that one owes to The Philosophy of Freedom is not only an artistic one, it is the unification of scientific, religious and social experience. In this experience, the letters are transformed into spoken words, the lines into the breathing of the spirit, the chapters into a strengthening of vital forces. A feeling of liberating happiness can be gained from living with this book, since it is after all valid proof for the fact that Man is allowed to play the freest game also with the highest of things and that this beautiful passion is aware in all seriousness of its greatest responsibility, because the game converts into destiny, destiny into freedom. Through this conscious awareness discarding all coercion, its aesthetic self-sufficiency and its free pace the idea’s become vital forces. The sentence that was already cited at the beginning of this book can be vindicated in the process of reaching an aesthetic understanding of this work: “We then have not merely knowledge about things, but have turned knowledge into a real, self-governing organism; our actuated consciousness has risen above the level of mere passive reception of truth.”

The Philosophy of Freedom can become a living power, the beginning of a new life, when one raises its hidden conceptional life, which for a mere receptive mindset sinks into the subconscious even though a dull instinctivity concurs in it, into a superwakefulness. The dead form of the text is then transformed into an ideational formative force, into an insight in the indefatigable work of the creative powers enlivening the smallest and greatest of all things. When, on the contrary, one looks at the many examples of how honest-minded people come together only on the basis of sympathetic feelings or impulsive willpower without the efficacy of the idea, and sees how they work together, one cannot fend off a (often confirmed) prescient sadness. For how could it be in accord with and sufficient for Man, characterized among all other creatures as a thinking being, to tie himself down to a part of his humanness, and how could he hope thereby to gain from the purpose of life entrusted to him for himself and others something more than temporary satisfaction? Many a good start must end up in routine, degeneration or even complete collapse, no fewer initiatives start to already flag from the outset  or their goodwill taken in tow by foreign interests. The reason for such mistakes and failures is always the arrogant underestimation of the idea, whereas it would be all too easy to see that only a thorough pre-schooling of the conceptional formative forces of the area or sector in question to be developed makes a free action possible. If such a preparation and its unceasingly continued wakefulness is lacking, it is inevitable that the deficient overview causes the individual measure, even though it may initially appear to be useful, to slide into completely alienating contexts and that the best-willed endeavors can become a victim of practical constraints and personal controversies. Only an overview can help, yet also when it is not merely desired for the sake of its usefulness, but duly mindful of its meaningful spirituality.

If one in esteem for spiritual work and the quest for the artistic value and stature of The Philosophy of Freedom has acquired an overview of its protean richness, then yet another experience arises that can only be spoken of with the greatest possible reserve. Granted, we are used to the tactless statements about creative people; all the more so do the aberrations to be avoided frighten us. In the meditative participation in the spiritual architecture of the work, yet not in its finished structure but its emergence that one senses upon attempting with each detail of the text to follow the whole, when one in the sentient awareness of the whole tries to feel out the details anticipated therein, then one is imbued with an awe to reveal a mystery, but also with the reassurance to be able to hide it. One becomes aware of how an exceedingly careful and gentle, yet at the same time also bold and decisive hand is at work that from the ensouled life of the spiritual world gains its creations, which envelop the harmonies of the idea’s with sounds. One meets the spiritual-artistic creator of the work whose name, whose being is inextricably connected with it. One knows with fulfilled insight that the work can only be what it is in the way it is presented, however at the same time the wholly individual, unrepeatable creation of an individuality and yet given to every other human being to be unrepeatably adopted. With this meeting is also connected the one with the spirit of our times. For from that which is wholly individual and at the same time wholly general, we understand what our times demand from us.


The presentation that was undertaken here endeavored to convey and encourage an overview of the whole work in its creative beauty, a feeling of its formal unity and a pursuit of its extensions. The structure of the individual chapters was thereby, with two exceptions, left out of consideration, only their integration into the whole was shown. To develop the always impressive, sometimes absolute artistic arrangement of the individual chapters is a task to be carried out elsewhere. Yet this presentation cannot pass by the third main part of the book (“The Final Questions. The Consequences of Monism”). If it were only a summary or logical derivation, it would sensitively defy the artistic demand that the author raised through his own beginning. Therefore a short study must still be devoted to this part of the work. Another part, the introduction to the first edition that was moved to the new edition to the appendix, forms the subject-matter of the first appendix of this book.

The third main part of the book is divided into four parts that are clearly offset against each other by the print. The two first paragraphs speak about the reality and the relationship of Man to it, about cognition.  The two last paragraphs speak about Man and his relationship to reality, about freedom. Both halves of this part correspond thus to both preceding main parts. In that way the third part is integrated in terms of conceptional art into the whole.

Both halves are in turn divided into two again. The first paragraph  emphasizes the result of the science of freedom by way of a summary: all separation is only an illusion of perception, in the only true spiritual world unity each detail is therefore at the same time a whole. This can therefore be no different for Man: in his spiritual essential unity the factors of his life, representing, feeling and willing have their common origin in the living experience of thinking. ”The monism characterized here shows that the independence (of a part of reality) can only be believed as long the perceptual is not inserted through thinking into the web of the conceptional world. If this occurs, then the partial existence turns out to be a mere illusion of perception. The human being can only find his hermeneutic total existence in the universe through an intuitive thinking experience. Thinking destroys the semblance of perception and integrates our individual existence into the life of the cosmos.” The view in the first paragraph is focused on the percept, its illusory nature, the shadowcast of which is only recognized by the light of thinking.

In the second paragraph the narrative turns from perception to thinking. Thinking, in everyday consciousness used and forgotten as the servant of material needs in abusive disregard of its permanent readiness, the leading truth, is revealed to superwakeful psychical observation in its dignity. Monism shows “that thinking is neither subjective nor objective but a principle encompassing both sides of reality. When we observe thinkingly, we perform a process that itself belongs in the course of real events. We overcome through thinking within experience itself the one-sidedness of mere perception.” Thereto belongs also the one-sidedness of subjective consciousness. “From the viewpoint of monism the conceptual content of the world is the same for all human individuals. According to monistic principles a human individual considers another as his equal, because it is the same world content that lives out in him… As long as Man  merely apprehends himself through self-perception, he regards himself as a special human being; as soon he views the word of idea’s lighting up in him, embracing all particularities, he sees the absolute reality lighting up in himself… The common primordial being that imbues all human beings, is apprehended by Man in his thinking. The with conceptional content fulfilled life in reality, is at the same time the life in God.”

In accordance with the polarity of perception and thinking, from which the first main part of The Philosophy of Freedom  has cognition emerge and from the latter the spiritual being of Man, the first half of its third part deals with the same problem. This part of the text describes how the human being, wresting himself from the grasp of the illusory world, attains the highest knowledge, the life in God, the begottenment from the Divine.

The last two paragraphs of the third main part correspond to the second main part, they turn to the human being in action and his experience of freedom. Man does not need a transcendent factor beyond his grasp to determine his being and life, such as hypothetical metaphysics assumes. “Self-comprehensive thinking does not call for such a transcendence (a reality attainable beyond cognition), since a conceptional content must find a perceptual content only within and not without the world, with which it together forms a reality.” That is why Man finds the goals through the conceptional permeation of the perceptual world and in himself the driving forces for his action.

The fourth paragraph brings the closing thoughts of the work. It emphasizes in summary that driving forces garnered from the idea are at the same time motives. In free action, driving force and motive form a unity, since they are the origin and the goal of the same intuitive process. Just as little as the driving forces of our action, just as little can according to monistic principles the goals (motives) be gathered from an extra-human afterworld. They must, in so far as they are thought, originate from human intuitions. ”Man is referred back to himself”. He does not follow the advice of a world ruler or the compulsion of the material world of cause-and-effect. He liberates himself from both notions in a thinkingly active unity with the unifying world of idea’s. “He himself must give a content to his action…He must act out of an impulse produced by himself and determined by nothing else. This impetus is indeed determined in the unifying world of idea’s, but it can in fact only be derived by Man from that world and translated into reality. The reason for the actual translation of an idea into reality through Man, monism can only find in Man himself. For an idea to become an action, Man must first be willing, before it can happen. Such willing thus has its foundation only in Man himself. Man is then the ultimate determinant of his action. He is free.”

The first half of the third main part is in both paragraphs, as mentioned, devoted to the main subject-matter of the first main part. The second half of the third main part is in both of its parts devoted to the main subject-matters, driving force and motive, of the second main part. The first half of the third main part speaks about the highest knowledge, the life in God and the begottenment of Man out of the Divine. The second half of the third main part speaks about the greatest experience, acting out of freedom and the re-divinization of the de-divinized world by means of the latter. Man reaches both heights of his essential unfoldment through the synthesis of the polarities that form their basis.       

Neither the third main part leaves any room for doubt about the conceptional artistry of the work. It strengthens anew the growing impression from an advancing understanding that only an aesthetic mindset can find access to the nature of freedom as well as understand the experience of freedom. The Philosophy of Freedom is the aesthetic worldview of the modern human being, the social aesthetics of the meaning gained of human existence.  



Consonant and Vowel Qualities In The Philosophy Of Freedom, Man As Word, The Philosophy Of Freedom as Book of The Human Word, Its Middle Part/ Surface Structure And In-Depth Structure/ The Anthropological and Cosmological Point of View/ Body, Soul and Spirit/ Cognition and Corporeality/ Freedom and Spirituality/ Speech (Language) and Soul Life


An overview of what has hitherto been developed can present two images, the content of which with regard to their occurrence illustrate different modes of appearance of one single movement unfolding in contraction and expansion. The pre-recognized reality can be imagined as a uniform stream of evolution that contains the archetype of Man, encompassing all being, and also the disposition of his individualized appearance, but not yet the individual human being. This homogeneous stream is split (expands) at the reef of the human organism, which it  brings forth itself, in perception and thinking. In the course of cognition of the individual human being, after both branches have engulfed the previously single stream of the reef, their reconsolidation (contraction), the unification of the split parts occurs, which is at the same time multiplication (individualization): for the many individual knowers are one archetypally yet now multi-uniformly appearing human being.  Individual Man has come into being. With that, the drama of evolution in its expansion and contraction has reached a new phase. The multi-unity of free Man is the seed for a new world, which from this point in return radiates into its unfoldment: It is the blossom of freedom that unfolds from the grain of the individually cognizant human being. Contraction and expansion have remained, but the imagination that follows their metamorphoses must pass over into quite different styles of visualization.  

This intertransition of contraction and expansion can reach a further phase of development. For the interplay of contraction and expansion is the basic mode of expression, the making and shaping of an appearance in general that is capable of numerous variations. The most familiar and endearing to us amongst them is speech. Its basic forms, the vocalic and consonantal sounds, are modes of appearance of expansive and contractive basic modes of expression. For both of them come into existence through the fact that the different kinds of articulation for the exhaling breath form a consonantal narrowing (contraction), while the latter widens by overcoming the opposition offered to it or by using it as the basis of its vocalic fade-out. A separating-individualizing element can be recognized in articulation, a unifying-universalizing one in the stream of breath.

Upon visualizing this, one understands that Rudolf Steiner attributed a consonantal character to the first main part of The Philosophy of Freedom and a vocalic character to the second. For the first part of his work was tasked with discovering the basis of freedom in reality (in the universal, all-supporting and -carrying reality nature of the human being). To this end, it is necessary to consolidate the articulating consonantal element of reality, the percept through thinking. In the percepts, organized through thinking into an encompassing unity, Man beholds the consonants and consonances of his own world constellation. The latter he permeates with the vocalic pneuma of the idea streaming out of his soul and letting his freedom flow into the world, as was developed in the second main part of this work.

Yet this would hardly be more than an ingenious play of analogy, were it to contain nothing more than a mere statement of accordance. However, this indication by Rudolf Steiner too, quite like all others that we know, is not a simple message but a task that is to be solved. Imparting knowledge would only be a burden, a strain emanating from the influence of the conveyed item. Yet Rudolf Steiner wants not to obstruct but to construct, to solve, he wants to remind the receptor to transform the adopted item into a self-expressed one. Then it is attained and not only possessed.

The consonantal element of cognition is the begottenment of Man from the divinely-real. The vocalic element of freedom is the divinization of the world from the human essential state-of-becoming. Man however is both, he is the word in which the consonantal and vocalic elements sound together, in which he pronounces himself as the being that was there from the primordial beginning and that will be there far into the very distant future. Rudolf Steiner’s indication about the phonetic characteristic of both parts of his work would entail little, were it not a riddle remaining to be solved by us. The solution is: The Philosophy of Freedom is the book of the word of Man, the book that speaks about the word in which Man pronounces himself. The consonantal and vocalic elements of both parts are united in its middle that only seems to leave a split open between them, but that instead is filled by a public-secret statement. It is the self-expression of Man to which everyone is led who shares the anthropological self-awareness of the highest knowledge and the greatest experience. Since this self-expression cannot be read, but only performed, it sounds, indeed not recorded in letters, yet all the more audible to the speaker in his own ear.


These preliminary remarks are useful for further enquiry into the compositional secrets of the work. What until now has been shown is in comparison surface structure. For it can be gleaned from the arrangement of the chapters. This was no doubt also the intention; the titles and their sequence reveal it. Intended here is not construction according to a schema, but conscious awareness of the dialogue of matter (material) and form, in which the performing listener himself is pronounced and furthermore speaks himself with two voices, that of matter and that of form. Not in the same sense intended are other structures that follow from the nature of the conceptional main structure intertwined in numerous connections. They are for that reason no less obvious and neither less significant.

One of these more in-depth structures is now to be studied, because it presents an important supplement to the others that can be gleaned more easily from the surface structure. A question that can raised from the fore-going has hitherto not yet been considered. For the explanation is still lacking as to why the sevenfold principle, thus the view proceeding from Man, albeit in two variations, has been given a formative priority. This seems to be contradicted by the fact that for the first part the viewpoint related to the world (the origin of reality), albeit with a view of Man, is central and that only for the second part the viewpoint related to Man (the origin of freedom), albeit with a view on reality, is dominant. Even though these differences are considered through the differently directed arrangement of the chapters, as regards the dynamics of the exposition, it is nevertheless required to motivate why a greater significance was attributed to the anthropological principle. Granted, this decision regarding an anthropological text was obvious. But it is only not one-sided, if it also inclusively consignifies a cosmological orientation. That this is indeed the case, shall now be demonstrated.

From an anthropological viewpoint Man appears as a being capable of cognition, speech and action. That The Philosophy of Freedom has Man in this spiritual threefold stature as its content was developed here. That it in no way overlooks speech, the speaking faculty of Man either was articulated at the begin of this chapter. From a cosmological point of view the question concerning this aspect is raised: On the basis of what states (modes of being) connecting Man to the world does he develop these activities?

Let us examine these ontological modes. Man would not be capable of cognition, if his bodily organism would not be part of his total being. For it is the latter that splits the uniform (monistic) world into the components of percepts and thinking, thereby enabling him to reestablish the unity of the world. This reestablishment is cognition. Man would not act in the true sense of the word, if he would not have to attain his spiritual self-formation by himself and would not be able to do so. For his action in the proper sense of the word is only possible through self-formation. Every sort of action not originating from free self-determination is the continuation of external influences for the appearance of which Man only provide the platform, it is not his own deed. Man would not be capable of speaking, if the total extent of his being would not include a psychic member. For his speech develops on the one hand through the fact that the effects of his bodily organism supply his connection with the universal spirit with an individual impulse, and on the other hand that in turn his active connection with the spirit through his body supplies his natural and social environment with a universal impulse, thereby transforming his body itself. It is through this permeation that the middle, psychic member of the human being originates. For psychic or soul experience is the individual part of the spiritual and sensible world in the self-apprehension of this participation. And this is expressed in speech, as speech, for it is speech itself.

Body, soul and spirit can be addressed as the three relevant states of Man, through which, aligned in reality, he is a being affiliated with the world and which therefore constitute the basis for his actively unfolding abilities.


Let us look to begin with at the bodily organism of Man that forms the basis for his cognition. It is clear that we thereby turn to the first part of The Philosophy of Freedom. After the fore-going, the misunderstanding cannot arise that the body could be addressed as the basis of cognition on the grounds that the faculty to create knowledge can be attributed to it. Instead, as already mentioned, it is this basis due to the opposite reason. For cognition is necessary and possible on the grounds that the body exercises an influence directed against the awareness of reality, its realization in cognition. Knowledge is not a product of the body, but rather the overcoming of the cognitive suppression proceeding from it. Cognition is indeed not practiced without the body, but certainly in opposition to the body. Because it is the reverse formation, transformation and higher formation of the bodily effects and for that reason independent of the body, it requires the body as its basis, proceeding from the state that the latter brings about, yet detaching itself therefrom and putting something of a quite different nature in its place.

When in this way the question is posed not about the function of cognition, but about its constitutional integration in reality, then the view is focused initially on the constitutionally conditioned polarity between percept and concept. This polarity is the result of the disembodiment of Man from the natural mode of appearance of reality through its own involvement in the structure of the human organism. That is why the re-embodiment of Man in reality corresponds to the synthesis of both separated elements. This synthesis, however, has two different aspects and therefore appears polarized itself. For, on the one hand, the synthesis of percept and concept is conditioned by the percept. From this point of view the individualization of the concept is located inside the perceptual realm with which the concept is connected. It is thus the formation of inherence already mentioned here. This, however, is tantamount to the formation of being, for this is understood to be the inclusion of contexts (conceptional formative elements) in a perceptually defined realm, within which they fill up a holistically enclosed interior yet equipped with certain external connections. On the other hand, the synthesis of percept and concept is conditioned by the concept. From this point of view it is the universalization of the percept into a realm lying beyond it, with which it is connected through the connections knotted in a main concept. This conjunction, which in contrast to the inherent irradiation extents into ever greater scopes, is the formation of attributes. For attributes are connections to other perceptually described totalities and their properties. One could call them transgredience in contrast to inherence. Corresponding to their individualizing and universalizing characteristic they face each other as the formation of being and the formation of attributes.

From the viewpoint of the corporeal integration of Man into reality, a polarity and two syntheses are shown as their determinants. Graphically the polarity can be arranged polarically through the juxtaposition of its opposites, the syntheses in relation thereto in a middle area and inside the latter again corresponding to their characteristic.
This fourfold structure forms a compositionally quasi deeper shaft in contrast to the sevenfold structural design coming to the surface. The former can be described as orientated to the world, the latter orientated to Man. Just as the cosmological structure is included in the anthropological one, the converse correlate is likewise true for the relation of the anthropological structure to the cosmological one.  Each one belongs to the sphere of the other. By entering the numbers of the chapters of the first part of The Philosophy of Freedom in the previous schema (in the sequence to be observed) results an illustration of the universalizing, attributes-forming process that, proceeding from the percept (Ch. IV) extents to general conscious awareness (that is also decisive for conscious action) (Ch. I), and of the individualizing, ontological process that, proceeding from general conscious awareness (Ch. V), contracts into the percept (Ch. VII). The attributes-forming transgredience confers the percept a universalized single existence in thinking. Through the ontological inherence of thinking Man attains an individualized total existence in the universe.

The illustrated tetrad can also be explained from the viewpoint of the structure of human nature as follows. The percept in its initial not yet conceptionally permeated form corresponds as its causation to the physical body of Man. The concept as a result of the activity of thinking initially not yet connected to the percept corresponds to the individual human “I”. The transgredience of the percept is raised to consciousness in psychic experiences, since it originates through the conceptional intentionalities always seeking and finding new perspectives and horizons. The inherence of the concept is experienced as an expansion of personal vitality into the structure of the object, since it originates through the formative urge of the concept adaptable in ever new metamorphoses to the percepts (until their submergence therein). Here lies thus a relation to the human life-body.   


The spirituality of Man is that realm of his being that he gives himself and must give to himself, which therefore originates through self-formation. The cosmological point of view does not regard this self-formation as a function, but as a constitutional mode of integration of Man into the world. The question to be answered in this context concerns therefore the origin of this realm of the total human being and the mode of its connection to the world, thus the properties of the structure of this essential realm in which its connection to the world becomes apparent. The disposition for self-formation is attained by Man, as was developed here from various points of view, through his cognizant co-formation of reality.  The thus dispositional formative ability evolves to accomplished self-formation when it develops figments in its own intuitive inner being for which there are no examples. These are, due to their originality, practical energies. For really practical (primarily active and effective), and not only effects conveyed into the human realm from an origin lying beyond it, are only those new creations that arose in original thinking. Man is only capable thereof, on the one hand, by being conscious of his individual “I”, and, on the other hand, by being able through the activities (acts) of this individual “I” to carry out the exchange-of-being with the spiritual world, thus with his own universal “I”.  Thus in the intuitive self-formation a unification of the individual with the universal “I” of Man takes place. From the individual acts are derived the impulses (driving forces) of this formational process that find their goal (motives) within the formational possibilities of the spiritual world. Motive and driving force are elements of free actions, but appear in the latter separately and under external influence. Self-formational and thus practical-innovative action originates from the unification with the spirit, driving force and motive are therefore situated in the same element, and are united as phases of the same course of effect, since the latter has its origin where it also finds its motive. Nevertheless, the beginning and end of this process, its intuitive origin and its practical effect remain distinguishable.

For that reason, two syntheses of the individual-universal polarity are observable. Through thinking acts, which are spiritual acts of unification, aptitudes are formed, neoformations appearing in one’s inner being. The concept “aptitude” is used in contrast to “attribute”. Natural creatures have attributes too, yet not on the basis of self-formation, but because of their integration in general reality. In contrast, only Man possesses aptitudes as a result of self-formation. His aptitudes, however, are at the same time operational abilities that appear through the fact that archetypal contents are united with the human being living in the spiritual realm, which it can take as a basis  for the technical realization of its actions as aptitudes of its own through acquisition.

Just as in the bodily sphere of the human being, a polarity and two syntheses can also be differentiated in its spiritual sphere. The interrelationship of these attributes can in turn be illustrated in a schema that suggests a structural similarity between both spheres.

Similar to the inherences (ontological formations) and transgrediances (characteristic formations), the aptitudes and abilities are also characterized through individualizing and universalizing processes. In human aptitudes, elements of the spiritual world are individualized. Through human abilities, transformed effects are brought to reality, thus introducing new formations of attributes with their own intrinsic universalizing character. From this follows in which way the structure that arises from the cosmological aspect includes the other structure that presents the anthropological aspect.

For the spiritual realm of the human being there emerges a similar inclusive relation of the anthropological in the cosmological structure as could be established for the bodily sphere of the human being. Since these relationships belong to the second main part of The Philosophy of Freedom, they must be indicated (in the sequence to be observed here) by the numbers of its chapters.

Just as the bodily mediated cognition expands to a total existence of Man in the universe,  so does the self-formational and self-formulated (free) action originate from a freedom related existence of the idea in Man.
Similar to the case of the bodily sphere of the human being, the tetrad demonstrated for the spiritual sphere can also be explained from the viewpoint of the structure of the human being. The driving forces of human action in free deeds originating from human self-formation as independent attributes are certainly not different from the motives. Yet they are, although belonging to the same ongoing process, distinguishable phases within its course. Therefore they are indeed not distinct components, but characteristic impacts of a process. In this sense, the driving force-like impact belongs to the independent human “I’’-being and the motive-like impact that sets and forms objectives on the contrary to the universal being of Man, his spirit humanness. Both syntheses of this polarity (albeit only appearing in the form of phases) are related to the human Spirit self and the Life spirit: the aptitudes to Spirit self through their individual creation from the spiritual world, and the abilities to the Life Spirit through their introduction of new formative forces into reality on the basis of their connection to living forms of the spiritual world.


The psychic realm of the human being situated between the bodily and spiritual realm cannot, like both other realms, be assigned to certain parts of The Philosophy of Freedom that appear in print. It is located functionally between both main parts, overlapping and permeating them. One recognizes how this middle realm is interwoven with the other two by paying attention to the relations that connect the seventh and eight chapter. In the seventh chapter it was described that it is nonsensical to speak about limits of knowledge, since the latter is in principle the overcoming of the boundaries drawn by unrecognized (uncontexted) percepts and the human organism involved in their conveyance. Thinking is also the only unifying band of its own being: it contains within itself the factors of life (the soul or psychic faculties) that are modes of expression and inner determinants of the encompassing faculty of thinking. The unity of its own nature connects it to the world and the unity of the world combines itself with its own nature. The experience of this interrelationship, which is at the same time one of knowledge of the world and of the free source of activity flowing in one’s own human nature, fulfills the psychic realm. This imbuing activity develops into the factors of life or psychic powers.

If one observes the structure of this psychic realm, one notices again an organic division into a polarity and two syntheses. Thinking as a universal psychic power in its connection to world phenomena is opposed to the wholly individual experience of one’s own personality in feeling. The syntheses in opposition to this polarity are the faculties of representing (the forming of mental pictures) and willing. In the forming of mental pictures, thinking is individualized; in willing, individual experience is connected to the universal world context. This is indicated in the following schema:

If one asks about the relations of this realm to the essential parts or members of the human being, one recognizes that here the functional relations blend with what could be ascertained in the two other realms. For the feeling and thinking of the psychic realm correspond to the polarity of percept and thinking of the bodily conditioned cognitive realm. Yet attention must be drawn to the fact that thinking, which in both realms appears seemingly congruent, has in both cases a different function. In one case it appears as a component of reality, in the other as the experience of the universal connection of Man to the world.  The feeling and thinking of the psychic realm, however, are also related to the motives and driving forces of the spiritual realm. For the driving forces are individualized experiences of the spiritual realm, the motives are drawn from the general spiritual context. Similarly, representing is on the one hand related to the inherences as their representation, on the other hand it shows an affinity with the aptitudes that as intuitive connections to the spiritual world are free individualizations (acquisitions), for it is individualization as well, admittedly not free but conditioned and supported by the percept. And in the same way the soul force of willing is through its relation to the outer world similar to the transgrediances and free abilities On the basis of these relationships one could also ascertain a blending of the corresponding essential members of the human being in the psychic realm.

It is characteristic for the psychic realm that it amounts to nothing more than expression, e.g. speech. This was already pointed out in the fore-going. The psychic state of mind can through itself become enslaved to ones-sidedness or illusions, it can through external coercions and inner seducements become estranged from itself. In essence it is self-expression, the “Word” of Man that describes his origin and future in the factors of life. These factors, the psychic powers, speak indeed mostly about the contents of the experiences that the soul has undergone in  contact with world phenomena. They can exhaust themselves in this self-enjoyment. Their most intrinsic faculty, however, is not inner retreat, the separation of the soul from the world, but her turnabout to the outside in devotion, the connection of the soul to the world. This commitment can be threefold. It can pertain to knowledge and action.  But it can also be speech, expression of the human being in a material suitable for that purpose by recasting the latter in human form. This happens in the arts.[1] But it also happens in speech itself and indeed even before it was formed poetically. For true poetry is, like every true art, only the further development of linguistic archetypal art. The latter through its basic character extends into all its details (and every one of them metamorphosed articulative-aspirative) “I”-shaped, egomorphic. And thereby it is in turn the most original mode of appearance of the human soul being; the soul is speech and speech is soul. This is the case by virtue of the fact that the soul is not only part of the cognitive human being and its relation to human corporeality, but also as a speaking act related to the acting human being that reveals itself in its truth as spiritual self-formation.[2] For as an expression of the complete human being, every psychic experience is one in which the subject in question becomes aware of his emergence from an original world, but also at the same time of his emergence from his intrinsic inner origins. From the adversary of the past world the subject becomes aware of the future streaming from intrinsic inner origins. With this futuristic power he lures something from the past that has never sprung up from it before, thereby introducing his own manner of experience to himself in such a way that he has hitherto not yet manifested himself before. Speech speaks in the same way: it speaks about the past, as soon as its speaks, in a new way (for only what has already happened, be it but self-experience, becomes speech) that impacts the future abiding in it (then only thereby does it after all come to speak) by transforming the latter. Hereby it gains the mirror in which it beholds itself. And just this speaking beholdment and beholding speech is soul, for the latter is expression that it is through the combination of both components connecting their powers, on the one hand, with existentiality, the world that has become, in cognition, and on the other hand with the world coming into being in action. Thus it is the expression of human completeness, not through the content of its statement, but through the morphological expression of its experiences. It is all the more so when it raises its inherent form to a conscious formation in artistic design. Experiences are the harmony of the powers active in knowledge and doings. It concerns hereby (to emphasize it once more) above all the formative character of the experiences. And the more conscious its formative shape is brought to bear and formed into a harmonious creation, the more truthful the soul has expressed herself and brought the human form to expression in the beautiful semblance of art.

From the overview of the three realms, which in the present context naturally could only be presented in the form of a sketch, it follows that The Philosophy of Freedom has as its subject-matter a threefold humanness. It speaks, 1. about how Man emerges from a past world of creation as a knower, 2. how Man out of his freedom causes a new world to emerge, 3. how he, living and experiencing his state of human being between both forms pronounces himself in an image, in the semblance of expression. This is the meaning of the word “experience”: Man experiences himself as a knower and an agent and pronounces his completeness by making it the form of his experiences. In the triality of begottenment, experience and cosmogenesis (for so far one is prepared to accept this word for the designation of the new state of the world originating from human freedom) he becomes aware of himself.

The following schema presents a summary of the three realms of the human being in the way they were characterized from the cosmological point of view. The intertwining of the middle realm with the other two is indicated by the intersection of the circles.

The structure of The Philosophy of Freedom developed from the anthropological viewpoint that comes more to the fore shows two septuaries metamorphosized from a basic principle. They determine the structure of both main parts of The Philosophy of Freedom. They represent two polarities that intertwine and mutually interpret themselves. In a fourfold third part, existing of two double sections, this polarity is demonstrated once more and at the same time connected to a higher unity.

From the cosmological viewpoint another sort in-depth structure can be recognized in The Philosophy of Freedom This is formed out of three polarities and six syntheses of three mutually conditioning tetrads.

The deeper one probes into the structure of The Philosophy of Freedom, the more one becomes convinced that it is not consolidated by static components, but by a web of living relations. Since these relations draw upon reality, i.e. the unifying spirit permeating it and not upon random whims, they accept, in accordance with the nature of the idea, ever new discoveries of their diversity, but also their becoming intertwined in every single nodal point of their fabric. This observational participation in the weaving nature of the spirit, which cannot be supplanted by any transfer of knowledge nor attained through any accumulation of the same, is part of the most impressive experiences that can be gained through this great work.

The presentation of this chapter was made in a less explicit way than the previous ones. In its more summarizing and indicative form it leaves the reader a greater amount of personal involvement than this may usually be the case. This was striven for consciously by the author, for one can only catch sight of the subject-matter of this chapter by exerting some of one’s own power of observation. 

[1] See H. Witzenmann, “Matter and Form” in the Monography about the work of the painter Beppe Assenza (First English edition by Rudolf Steiner Press in 1979; sold-out) as well as Intuition and Observation (Spicker Books, Ca. 1986; sold-out). In German: Goethe’s universalästhetischer Impuls in the book with the same title (Dornach 1987).
[2] See H. Witzenmann,  „Die Egomorphose der Sprache“ ("The Egomorphosis of Speech"), in Intuition und Observation, Part 2 (Stuttgart 1978).


The Philosophy of Freedom as 

A Training Manual for the Artist

Chapter 1

Renewed Objection Against Conscious Awareness

The following attempt to demonstrate the hitherto unrecognized great significance of the aesthetic dimension of The Philosophy of Freedom – not only as is the case in the first part of this work, in its own structure, but also as an orientational and awakening impulse - will raise anew and to an increased extent the objections already made at the beginning of this work. In no way is the artist willing to be educated by the thinker, for in the latter’s concepts he sees after all nothing but dry scrub, in conscious awareness only arid wasteland in which his creativity cannot strike roots, from which he cannot draw nourishment. In no way does the artist need to follow those wrong tracks that enclose themselves in desperate circles, he is rather called upon to show the “philosopher” the ripe fruits of art that, instead of dried-op thoughts offer the extended hand of anyone entering the blooming garden, which the most care giving nurses order to refresh those betrayed and exhausted by abstraction.

Chapter 2

The Necessity Of Shedding The Accustomed Mindset

What has earlier been conducted in this respect shall not be repeated. Yet the question concerning consciousness, which is posed anew and more urgently, cannot be circumvented. This second part can in general not avoid overlaps between the first one, since it deals with the same subject-matter and under similar viewpoints, albeit directed from different concerns. For the structure of the book is, as this presentation has attempted to make clear, no rigid framework but a happening, a living event. And it is just this aspect, which far beyond a temporary stimulus is suited to become a constant companion of the artist, a guide of his wakefulness over himself, an adviser of his tutorial aspirations towards the increase and enhancement of his know-how.

Some preliminary reflections are therefore necessary, before this path of schooling can be developed with regard to its underlying structure. For a preparation is after all required for that type of mindset that can alone gain the aptitude to confer the tutorial content of this book its public esteem.

Since this book is to be recommended to the artist as a training manual for his best powers, as a book of meditation, it is necessary to once again deal with the reserve, even revulsion many artists have with regard to thought. A historical study and some consequent considerations could be suited to do away with the prejudice that blocks the entrance to the experiential realm of The Philosophy of Freedom. Even when one is familiar with this prejudice and has understood its fallacy, one is merely by virtue of that understanding  not yet prepared for the realm of the aesthetics of freedom. For this preparation amounts to something more than knowledge stored in one’s memory. It requires an inwardly cultivated attitude, to which only execution can lead, in the sense that also a virtuoso must cultivate the permanent readiness of his ability by daily basic exercises in order not to lose his edgeThe author therefore asks for forgiveness and understanding, if he now brings something forward that to some may appear to be known, all too well-known, and that he even seems to already have addressed in another context. He is after all less concerned about contents, without which simply no understanding is possible, rather than going through a series of psychic-spiritual observations and movements. Inwardly carrying them out and becoming aware of their sequence within an organic context is what the exercise consists of. What actually constitutes progress is precisely the progression in a series of mutually supporting and demanding efforts. The significance lies in the spiritual organic construction of the overall exercise. This meditative construction, which is the subject of the following description, stands out clearly before the gaze directed on the ideas covered by The Philosophy of Freedom. If one does follow the suggestion given here, then one will recognize the whole that constitutes its substance, perhaps as no less obvious that the contents that have only a mediating role. This requires however also the passing through of something that is apparently known. This passage itself is not known, for it must always be done anew. And the result of this permanent effort is unassumably far removed from the contents that only serve as their stimulus. Without the effort to at least partly shed the normal mindset, one does not attain a proper view at all of what is meant and aspired here.

Chapter 3

Historical Study and Contemporary Path

The origins of the Greek civilization lie in a world native to man. Granted, its light hovers over the darkness of Erebos[1] and thunderclouds of destiny hang from its sky. But nature and supernature are filled with and permeated by divine spiritual beingness. Evidence of this is not only given by the Greek myths with their divine characters and elemental spirits, but no less by Greek art, for which the beautiful human body is at the same time a divine one.

The great Greek poet brings us tidings of this divinized world that still moves us today when he gleans his song from the lips of a living spirit being: “Sing, oh goddess…”, “Sing to me, muse…”, thus begin the Homeric poems.

Strife and division between world and soul, such as is the case for modern man, did not yet exist at that time. Aristoteles too, who overtowers and oversees this early period, confirms this. He sees the main feature of the earliest Greek philosophy in the fact that it does not distinguish between percept and thinking. Inwardness and outwardness coalesced for the pre-Socratics. Hence the elements water, air fire were regarded by them as cosmic principles. Thought stuck like color to things. Proof lay in the fact that something could be thought. One can form a representation today of such a mode of experience by contemplating the starting up from a deep sleep by a noise. By the sudden awakening one has at first difficulties in the powerful, in unity flowing fulfillment in designating oneself and the experience. A previous state of mind reverberates here.

This mode of consciousness, which still lacks to a great extent the division between subject and object, is opposed to that of ours, which awakens from the hardship of this division. The reserve of many artists with regard to the rootlessness of this mindset as well as their tendency to portray this exposure to mercilessness is a longing (perhaps not fully conscious) to return to that old state of powerful matriarchal feelings of fulfillment. From these experiences originated the magnificent creative impulses, of which the artistic monuments of that period give testimony. “Pure” and “engaged” art (to use a currently favorite word) are equally nostalgic.

At that time, people were not yet stranded on the cliffs of reality, the lighting of ownness had not yet struck their being. Yet this artistic and general human unconscious awareness was simply still perfused by spiritual-psychic powers that suffused the whole world. This was the sea in which the Greek swam and from which he did not need to emerge in order to find himself. Rather, he experienced the spiritual content of his soul all the more stronger and richer, the less he developed subjective conscious awareness.

Whoever today desires to submerge himself into an all-round state of creative flow forms should not deny that he cannot withdraw himself from the change in consciousness that the later cultural epochs have brought about. The longing to return is deceptive, because regression is after all only the application of forces upskilled in another direction that thereby manifest their otherness. These forces remain as a falsifying impact in the supposed rearrival zone, which is neither past nor future and not to mention present, thus quite properly nontime. For that desire does not attain the original stream of experience, but its abated memorial residue that remained in the sublayers of its longing. There the human being meets the no longer divinized, but demonized world of instinct. We know more than enough examples of that.

A complete understanding for the indicated paradigm shift however is only obtained  when attention is focused on the decisive event of the history of humanity. With the foundation of Christianity (as is testified to us by the documents) the former extrahuman-divine has revealed itself as human-divine. God became man.  If this is not only a dream but reality, then this means that we cannot find the divine as something natural, that it at the height of its nature is not connected to the unconscious realms of our being that we by nature carry on us. Rather, we must find it there where we are fully conscious of our selfhood. Self-conscious, however, we are only at that stage where we screen our experience with the accumulated charisma of our attentiveness. Human beings have required a long time to understand this. Even today they have not yet fully understood it: a new era of creativity has begun, its great promise must become conscious and reckoned with. But people are staggering, bedazzled by the great event and trace their loss of balance to misrecognized reasons. For many still seek creativity not in the light but in the dusk or darkness.

But is the incarnation of God perhaps not a poignant fairy-tale? Can the results of psychical observation (introspection), which are the only statements on we can rely with certainty, inform us about this matter?

It can. The simplest examples suffice here. When with regard to a corresponding event of nature we form the judgement: “Lighting is followed by thunder”, we have put two percepts in a conceptional context, have connected them to the concept “chronological sequence”. We have put two percepts, the occurrence of which we must await, in a context through a copula, which we must not wait for, but must do or refrain from doing. It is necessary to create full clarity about the fact that the merely perceptual itself does not display any context whatsoever, neither a causal nor a merely chronological one, indeed not even that of the particular fact in its difference or connection to other facts. The context, whatever sort it may ever be, cannot be seen or heard, nor perceived in any way, but only thought. “Thought” is tantamount to “brought fort”. Yet no margin for limited discretion remains here however, rather the thoughts are shaped and co-shaped as determined by their own intrinsic laws. The thoughts “earlier” and “later” belong to an order subordinate to the thought “time” and by the latter are inserted into the general composite structure of logic. These thoughts we can and must bring forth, yet without us being able to modify them. Even though we are normally used to a modifying action, we are here faced with the peculiar, mostly unnoticed but nevertheless completely evident fact that the object of our thinking action itself leads us by the hand. Not we are the modifying ones here, but it is we who are modified. We do something that differs from all other doings in the sense that it does not change de deed but the agent of the deed. Even though we sense in the initial course of thinking to begin with that we are in a mist, we nevertheless also feel at the same time that behind the greyness there are hands everywhere waiting for us to grasp them. If we do this, we are grasped ourselves, our movement is directed and, following this direction and guidance, we banish the haze. In this thereby opened realm of insight there appears a luminous figure shedding light, namely context, on all sides. This is the thought that grasps us, while we grasp it. The thought is being grasped.

It would be not be very practical to decline the further readiness to follow this up, because it is about something that is known. To theoretically impress oneself with the differences and processes we are speaking about does not lead to that essential change that is attained through practice. That percept and thought can be distinguished from each thing, is learned quickly. It is however something else to take this fact seriously by always asking oneself in each concrete case what is percept and what is thought, what one observes as a non-doing and what one thinks as a doing. To realize down to the most subtle details and much more meticulously than what was possible here from the only briefly indicated example is a worthwhile effort. For it is the starting point of a very far-reaching path. If one pursues it, then it will soon become apparent that psychical observation (introspection) confirms the Christian heritage.     

[1] In Greek mythology, Erebus /ˈɛrɪbəs, -əb-/,[1] also Erebos (Ancient Greek: Ἔρεβος, Érebos, "deep darkness, shadow"[2] or "covered"[3]), was often conceived as a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness; for instance, Hesiod's Theogony identifies him as one of the first five beings in existence, born of Chaos. (Wikipedia)

Chapter 4

Exchange-of-Being, Self-Awareness/ Prayer/ The Christian Creative Mood

This brings us to the start of the training course that will be described here.

In the act of thinking, we are being thought. Thinking is devotion in devotion[1], it is unification without any trace of reserve, but yet not self-abandonment, it is self-fulfilment in being fulfilled, it is exchange-of-being. Each one of the hands that grasps itself in this exchange, grasps itself in the others. For we attain, without losing our individual existence, an new existence in the universal world of thinking, with the latter, without forfeiting its universal existence, attaining a new existence in our individual consciousness. This interpenetration of two modes of consciousness and their transition into one another can be observed, and there can be no talk of practice unless there is observation.

Thus let us try to inform ourselves more meticulously about the nature of the hands that mutually grasp themselves in thought.

The hand that we grasp is our own hand, even though it is stretched out to us, for we grasp grasping nothing that is not our own activity. And yet the grasped hand is not the small hand of our limited self-being, but the big hand of our spirit-man nature that is stretched out to us from the cosmos. But once again, it is also our own activity that is rooted in ourselves, grasps beyond us and towards us. In grasping oneself, in thought the hands are therefore co-essential, even though they come from different realms. Since this is so, an experience is paired with this observed thought that lets us understand what otherwise would be a vague feeling. This experience only occurs by physically observing the process of conceptionalization. It is absent during the unconscious use of thoughts, which we normally continuously make use of, yet without observing or in general taking note of them.

It is not difficult to inform oneself about the difference that matters here. When we direct our thinking activity to something different from it, a tree, a stone, we then have an awareness of something initially foreign. Such is the general character of our consciousness that to the greatest extent it is foreign consciousness. For also our hand as an object of our thinking observation is something foreign that we must investigate. However, when our observation is directed to a thought, to the apprehension resulting from the exchange-of-being, then it is not awareness of something foreign that arises, but of something of one’s own: self-consciousness comes about. Like apprehends like and equality comes about through transubstantiation. It is only by virtue of this observation that we get the explanation for this otherwise ununderstood self-sensation. Our hand is now no longer foreign to us, it has only now become one’s own.

Self-consciousness therefore arises in thought. It is the exchange-of-being of the individual and the universal self, the religion (connection, unification) of man with the divine. Self-consciousness that apprehends itself is religion. That is why the hands are folded in prayer: it is the image of thought, of self-consciousness in the apprehensive process of being apprehended. The hands that in thought are united in prayer-like fashion say the most intimate and supreme of all prayers: the content of which is that the cosmic self dies into the earthly self and that the earthly self resurrects in the cosmic self. This prayer is the observation of thinking in thought resulting from the exchange-of-being. It is not a petitionary prayer, but a testimonial prayer. For it is the always present verification of the Christian tradition. It could be incessant prayer.

This verification does not require any external confirmation, neither the “sola scriptura’ nor the dogma’s. For it is the opening of the doorway to the spiritual world that does not open up to us as in the time of Hellenism in sensuality but in morality that ennobles sensuality into sensual-morality. That is why Christ Jesus, according to the tradition of the Gospels, says, ”I am the Door”. The “I am”, which is experienced in the spiritual exchange-of-being, is the entrance to the spiritual world in the way it is portrayed to us since the Mystery of Golgotha, the crossing of the threshold into the spiritual world.

The spiritual world has itself gone through a development. It is no longer the element flowing around that as in the days of the Greek dawn conveyed its creative impulses to the people that swam in it. Humanity has passed psychic-spiritually from gill to lung breathing. Man does no longer swim like a fish in the water. The element that fills him with life is not at the same time also the element that nestles around and supports him. Instead, he stands on harder ground that through the harsh collision of subject and object in the exposure to foreign consciousness lets him experience his independence. Admittedly, the living breath of thinking, which fills the whole world with its donating virtue and maintains all creatures (they would all perish without the creative spirit to which they owe their shape and habitat, bestows us our existence, and indeed even nourishes the self-forgetful what he unconsciously consumes. Yet he can only release the living-conceptional element from its uplifting spirit in de spiritual breathing exchange of full conscious awareness. Only the knowledge that is wrung from the non-spiritual unfolds the wings to fly in the spiritual world. The spiritual element of air does not lend support like the unconscious spirit, it demands the power that spreads and moves its wings.

A contemporary light is thereby cast on the question of conscious awareness. The foregoing study has shown that the creative powers have connected themselves in a hitherto unknown way to the human inside. Conscious awareness therefore assumes in its creative rank a completely new significance. One understands this paradigm shift only when one recognizes its historical cause. Whoever misunderstands the foundation of Christianity and its salvation gains no insight. Yet the historical tradition of the event and its continuing influence would remain a foreign dialect to us, if it would not be translated and confirmed by psychical observation. That the greatest event in world history and that of thought is at the same time the greatest inner event of humanity, that past and future can in the process of psychical observation be changed at any moment into a living presence, lend artistic creation new confidence and new conscience. The certainty that the documents cannot provide, can be given by one’s own experience. Rudolf Steiner has in this sense placed his Philosophy of Freedom according to his own words on a “Paulinian basis”. It leads to the Christian deed of salvation not through belief but through becoming aware of it. This expresses not a belief content but a cognitive  content when it designates what it has beheld: “Not I but the Being of Truth in me”. This observing knowledge streams forth into the new belief, the beholding belief in the immeasurability of the spiritual world.

This is the basic experience of the artist who follows the training course of The Philosophy of Freedom. It is the experience about the actuality of the streaming sources of artistic creation and the untimeliness of all other impulses. Truly modern artistic creation can only be a Christian one. This does not mean a confession in the sense of the denominations that adhere to the pre-Christian, receptive faithfulness. It is rather testimony of active attachment to the spirit that is irradiated by the brightest light of conscious awareness. This is the new creative mood.

[1] Several translations are possible here, b.v. surrender, commitment, dedication.

Chapter 5

 The New Artistic Era/ Protection/ The Exceptional Waking State of Mind

The Paulinian certainty confirmed by one’s own experience is the starting point of the training course that the Philosophy of Freedom shows the artist. It is the conviction inherent to Christendom and this signifies the conscious awareness of creativity, the experience gained by activity of the universal super conscious awareness in fully individual conscious awareness. Christian is not the content and object of a work of art. The choice of such a reproach can according to the mode of consciousness be completely unchristian and therefore inartistic. Christian is only the mindset of the artist, the full conscious awareness of the exchange-of-being. This has only in our time been fully explored in its reassessing significance through the work of Rudolf Steiner. Not only a new artistic era was thereby inaugurated but also a new era of Christianity. This will be covered by what follows.

Other experiences are connected to the indicated  basic experience of the modern artist. Since they are further stages of the training course under consideration they will now be described.

The experience that to begin with is connected to the experience of exchange-of-being is the one of protection. Its nature too will be developed in psychical observation. The pre-Christian artist, the pre-Christian human being is only familiar with the triumphant divine, the glorified spirit. Capable of suffering, passible are only the semi-divine heroes, who after accomplishing their feats are carried away into a world without suffering. Christian on the other hand is the experience of the descending (one sometimes speaks also of meek), the self-sacrificing spirit. The spirit is no longer an external, but an internal Lord of man,  its free Lordship over his own lower nature. That is why the spirit in the sense of its surrender to human freedom has become a “servant”, it has, as expressed by the tradition, assumed “servitude”, in which nothing else comes to expression than that it does not withhold its plenitude of essence to man, but exchanges being in being.

Man is no longer a recipient of the gifts of a spirit dwelling outside his consciousness: he has become the agent of the spirit. But thereby arises in him also a responsibility of the highest and most inward sort: as an agent he has assumed the protection of the spirit in his soul. He must guard the threshold, of which he must be conscious, before he has the spirit stride within him. He cannot forego this responsibility, for it is resolved in his doing, it is synonymous with the latter. It also continues to be active (then of course as the unknown urge to him of his wrong doings), in case he is not willing to know it and believes it cannot be known. For the operative relation to the spirit can be enticed. For how easy it is for the human being to put thinking in the service of his needs and at the same time to forget and deny its spiritual substantiality. He can think of the world as being unspiritual, material, for which he indeed requires the spirit, thinking. It is true, in ancient Greece there were already materialistic thinkers. But they were individual appearances within a culture above which lay the luster of the spirit. This world was not yet like ours in all its fibers permeated by materialism. For the Greek atomists the representation of the world as a composition of material particles under the dominion of a soulless necessity is a discovery. This conceptional exploration corresponds to the nature of the Greek philosophy that attempts all possibilities of thinking. The materialistic mode of representation is one among the many other means of probing and discovering, the wealth of which extends in front of our amazing eyes. In its core the Hellenistic culture remained untouched by it. Today however we live in a civilization that has taken up materialism in its creative volition, for which the world is an enormous, self-destructive machine and the human mechanism a complicated matter of chance within the cosmic process of destruction – the habit of thought of which is the belief that in the human inside only the shadows of reality can appear, but in which its living source cannot emerge – for which all attributes of reality are quantities and all qualitativeness is only self-deception determined through our organism. This disqualification of the world is self-betrayal of the human being – not surprising that he in the demand for quality of life, without knowing it, seeks himself, surprising however that one speaks of quality of life without knowing the origin of the disqualification and therefore the nature of qualitativeness. The true deficiency in the quality of life is the intellectual fall of today’s humanity, the denial of “Not I but the Being of Truth in me”, that certainty which is precisely so, because the human being is not a recipient but an agent of the spirit. This luminous experience, which for the human being who has inwardly awakened forms the center of his psychical observation, must be defended by today’s human being against the dragon of materialism and intellectualism in his own soul, against that dark brood that seeks to extinguish all clarifying incandescence that is not consumed by garishness. In the exchange-of-being the protector on his part receives protection by the protégé.

But how is this protection afforded? Materialism is forgetfulness, it forgets the thinking to which it owes its origin, it is dumbness, disorientation. It uses thinking, which only through its thoughts determines materiality as such, in order to represent it itself as material (thus the determinant as that what is determined by it). It confuses the thought with its object, materializes immateriality and immaterializes materiality, without knowing this, anew while it turns its thoughts to it. This materialistic self-forgetfulness  would not have been possible, if those processes are not developed in the human organism that suppress thinking. This suppressing activity of our organism is at the same time the conveyance of our percepts. For the latter are without context, thus spiritless. Even if we could look at a globe from the outside into its whole surface and at the same time look through from its center to its surface, we would not perceive a globe but only innumerous incoherent details. And even if we would be able create a shape-like percept of what is perceptible from a globe, the percepts of the other senses would be lacking.  We cannot perceive a globe, but only think, or more precisely think it through, penetrate it with thoughts by imbuing all perceptible details with the sensorily imperceptible shape of the globe.

This imperceptible spiritual form is suppressed by our organism, insofar as the latter conveys us our percepts. Through this suppression the spiritual band is broken that connects us to the external world. We need this separation from the spiritual unity of the world in order to attain our autonomy. As soon as the human being does not feel himself to be swimming anymore in surrounding spirituality, that activity of his organism comes increasingly to the fore. Only after having found the solid ground of dead materiality under his feet, can he proceed to psychic-spiritual lung breathing. But he can now much more ruthlessly also forget the spirit of the world, even though he is staying in it, since it is after all his life element. The awakening in his isolated subjectivity is at the same time a falling asleep with regard to the spiritual world. That is why the human being is now faced with the task of extending the wakefulness that he attained under the influence of his subjectivity to the other realms of his nature that have fallen into dullness. He needs an awakening experience, an enhancement of his subjective wakefulness to a super-wakefulness. Only the fully awake observant thinking volition that has awakened to itself is capable of that twofold upswing to a deed: the repression of his organism and the exchange-of-being with the spirit. That is why one of the warnings of the Christian religion is to stay awake, to be vigilant and not to abandon oneself to the influences of the flesh, the unjustified activity of the organism. To wakefulness the Christian tradition adds prayer. This is the overcoming of the despiritualization that we need on the path to autonomy, that folding of hands and the exchange-of-being with the spirit, both the same self-awakening act of will leading in two directions. The wakefulness is the protection that the spirit in the human soul needs, and the unification with it the integrity that the protector receives. Without this wakefulness, the modern human being and the artist (who is under a greater threat) cannot stand up against the influences of the materialistic seduction that wants to extinguish the luminosity of the exchange-of-being. The awakening to thinking can be a permanent prayer that, while it protects, receives protection, yet does not protect in order to receive protection. In naturalism, materialistic thinking has taken possession of art. And it is only one of the many infatuations that proceed from this endarkening, if one believes that the development of art has long since left naturalism behind. Rather, it continues in a practice of “art” such that patches perceptual shreds or perceptual irritations together instead of making creations formed from the powers of spirit-awakening and exchange-of-being. Psychical observation, wakefulness is protection, active connection to the spirit, prayer is exchange-of-being.

The experiences of awakening, the super-awake exceptional state and protection denote the second section of the training course that The Philosophy of Freedom shows the artist.        


The Prejudices Concerning the Subjectivity And Objectivity
of Thinking/  The Irrepresentability of Concepts/ The Review Exercise/  The Irrepresentability of Percepts/ Transparency Exercise/ Veiling and Unveiling/ Matter And Form/ The Path to the Upper And Lower Gods

It is just at this point that the aversion against thinking on the part of many readers, not just among active artists, will be stirred up anew. The representative of the view indicated here must be aware that the more emphatically he stands up for his conviction, the more this aversion will only be reinforced. And must he then not ask himself, whether thoughts are in fact nothing else than ghostlike schema’s that have indeed proved their ability and permanently do so anew to dig the grave of our civilization, but not the power to infuse it with the strong life that rises up from the subterranean richness of the subconscious? Has the thought of war then ever killed a soldier and has the thought of bread ever satisfied a hungry man?

This objection can lead to a new attempt to direct attention to where it is not willing to turn to. It is after all based on the confusion between a mental representation and a living thought. And the solution to this misunderstanding must be seen as a further step on the path of training.

Rudolf Steiner has in his Philosophy of Freedom as spiritual activity taken great care to clarify this distinction. His remarks on this question are unique within the research done into cognitive science or epistemology. To merely store them in one’s memory however does not lead beyond the intellectual, abstract mindset. A change of consciousness, a genuine advance in consciousness is only attained when one clarifies again and again by means of introspection in one’s own mind what is real, which is necessary to be seen here and to which words can only refer. Therefore some remarks must be made to stimulate the willingness to observe. They are required in order to indicate certain inner movements that must be made at the right place within the training course, whereby it comes down to the movements of thought as such and not the contents apprehended by them.

One of the many pre-judgments concerning thinking alleges that it is subjective in the sense of a mode of expression triggered by our bodily organism. The reflection on the origin of the thoughts “subjective” and “subjective” is already sufficient to rebut this bias. For thoughts are structures derived from thinking, they are therefore determined by the latter and can therefore not conversely determine the former.  Thinking is supersubjective and superobjective.

This pre-judgement however was already much more substantially refuted through the observation of the exchange-of-being. In experiential (not in only representational)  thinking we overcome our subjectivity through the exchange with our own universal beingness. Therefore we do manage to meet one another (as is shown by experience in spite of all the trials and tribulations of representational thinking) ever and again, as soon as we succeed in contemplating our common thinking. We cannot agree with one another simply because our bodily organization is built according to a pattern common to all people. For it is just this common element that is after all through the suppression by our bodily organization of thinking responsible for the wholesale breakdown of all understanding between people. That we can indeed come to an understanding is because we draw our thinking from a universal spiritual entity that is common to all of us. For this reason, the thinking of many is a unity. The concepts are not only general with respect to the objects (they are such, because every one of them is capable of assuming countless modes of appearance), but because they are also general with respect to the subjects (they are such, because they form a universal unity, with which every human being can individually identify himself, which is however for all the same). Concepts are objectively and subjectively speaking common ground.

Another prejudice that seems almost impossible to eliminate clings with the  obstinacy of superstition to the belief that thinking is abstract, that concepts are schema’s.

The abstraction theory maintains that concepts originate from the act of summarizing similar attributes of the perceptible things. Subsequent modifications of this theory also have the same basis. For they all presume that concepts merely represent something belonging to a reality that is different from them, but not capable of something representing belonging to reality in their own mode of being (albeit neither in the direct consciousness that the human being has of them in the process of forming mental pictures.) The abstraction theory, however, can easily be refuted. For in the perceptible realm there are not only no similarities, but neither any contexts at all, whatever sort the latter may be.[1] The nature of thinking is coherence. That is why it cannot extract anything from the perceptible world or merely represent something referring to it. If it did not possess a reference to reality emanating from itself, it would be a freely floating illusion, from which we would not be able to gather any clue for our life of action. Neither should one be blind for the mixing of attributes prevailing here. For all that we perceive is based on incommensurateness. Where nothing can be differentiated, nothing can be perceived either. Two cubes with sides of similar length do not have equal sides. Each one rather has its own sides that are different from the other cube. Nothing that is perceptible from the sides is similar to the cubes. Nothing that can be perceived from them has a relation through itself with other perceptible things. Nothing that is perceptible from them is therefore conceivable. If however one maintains something inconceivable (that is inconceivable, because it is represented as something perceptible) and at the same time something imperceptible (that is imperceptible, because it is represented as conceivable) that this is something real, then one forbids oneself to make any statement at all, which can only contain something perceptible and conceivable, since we would otherwise not know of anything. In fact, one only feigns however to maintain something, for when one maintains that something would neither be perceptible nor conceivable, then one maintains nothing.

Let us return to the cubes. Identical to them is solely the concept of length (identical are not the representations of their sides, these rather are different). The concept length, however, cannot appear similar to that which is based on color, hardness, warmth, cold as something perceptible (as everything that is conveyed through the senses) without our own effort and in that way be taken up by us. Instead, the concept of length  must be added to the percepts of the sides (just as also the concept of sides) by our own efforts. This concept is for all the sides the same, indeed it is also the same for sides of different lengths, just as the concept of the different lengths of all the sides is the same. The concept of length is thus general. It is specialized or individualized with regard to the percepts of that side to which it is connected according to the perceptual conditions belonging to this side and only to the latter. In this way, the different representations arise of the different sides.  They are different individualizations of the same and general concept. As such individualized concepts they can be remembered. They are then subjective memory representations of the real matter without its reality content. In that sense, they may be designated as schematic, as abstract, namely concepts in the form of representations. But one cannot conclude from that that all concepts, nor even all representations are abstract. For the general concepts that in individualized form have flowed into the complexes of percepts are in no way abstract, but constitutional inhering elements of their real structuralization.

One recognizes also (and to retain that is of great significance) that the representations do not arise from the precepts but from the concepts. The representations of the lengths of the sides  are different, identical to them is only the fact that they emerge from the same concept. In this sense they are derived, abstracted, deducted, but from the concept not the precept. For the more precise observation the abstractions, which can rightly be designated as such, are summaries of similarities of different representations formed with regard to concrete percepts. Similar to them is only their emergence from the same concept. Their dissimilarities  refer back to the same concept and disappear therein. In the confused representations that are characteristic for the mental imagery of most people, only their indications to the same origin are sensed. Here the theory of abstraction that claims a skimming from similarity can indeed be applied, because similarity, namely the emergence from the same concept, exists here, while it finds no starting point there, because there is nothing similar among percepts. The abstractions, which can really be called such, are therefore derivatives of representation-like derivatives from a concept. They could also be designated as abstractions from abstractions. The abstract “concept” tree has, in the way that it is present in the mind of many people, neither needles nor leaves. Many people claiming to be quite “practical” live in such abstractions of abstractions, because their pride is to miss out thinking by sleeping through it.

It might thus be clear in one’s mind that it is incorrect to equate abstractions with the concepts from which they are derived. They are fixed to a certain case, within the perceptible realm of the fixation of constitutional elements, in the memory that it in the contour of this fixation loosens, lamed, died out. The living, the universal concept possesses on the contrary the mobility to be manifested in many metamorphoses. In the way that the plant in the metamorphoses of its formation unfolds its life, so the concept its representations. From this viewpoint, concepts are ideational plants, representations on the contrary dried-up forms of particular stages of the plant’s development such as they are conserved in a herbarium.

The particular and the whole do not therefore relate to each other such that the whole can be derived from the details (as assemblage), but rather such that the isolated details emerge from their wholeness as abstractions. Concrete observation proves the opposite of the theory of abstraction.

This contemplation had to linger somewhat longer with the prejudices about the subjectivity and abstractness of thinking than many a reader may have deemed appropriate. But these prejudices are, on the one hand, so persistent that it appears doubtful whether the method to eradicate them would suffice that Heracles applied to the Lernaean Hydra. It must, on the other hand, be repeatedly pointed out that it is not sufficient to know that those mistakes are refuted, but rather, when one not only wants to attain knowledge but also know-how, that it is necessary in carrying out movements of thought to refute oneself in these mistakes.

From what is said, it emerges that concepts are not representable. It emerges moreover that they are the formative forces of our representations. These formative forces are the same in the real things and in our consciousness. Just because of that we cannot have them at our command through our mental representations. That they are everywhere the structural forces becomes evident from the fact that in the perceptible realm there is nothing structural and that besides percept and concept nothing is given to us. It would be desirable to know that henceforth the confusion between concept and representation, ingrained with such obstinacy, has been clarified.

Now if the living general concepts, which one can also call archetypes or universals, are not representable, how are we then to become conscious of them?

It is right that this consciousness does not fall into our lap and that we must rather obtain it with some effort. For this purpose several exercises are suitable. One of these exercises that Rudolf Steiner recommends because of its suitability to develop consciousness of the universals is the review exercise. What it suggests is to run through the memories at the end of the day of that day’s events. One of the observations that we can make with these exercises is the following: The representations, the sequence of which we turn around, are in a certain objective context. For this context it is indifferent in which direction we run through the representations which it determines. It is each time the same. From this introspection, it becomes in an especially satisfactory manner evident that the context is something different from the individual representations, that it has a different nature than the latter.  When one runs through the review exercise, one then not only knows this but observes it, becoming clearly in one’s  feelings aware of the different mode-of-being of the observed (the individual representations and their irrepresentable context). One does not only represent the difference but encounters it. In the normal course of the day we are drawn by the impressions that we receive like a wagon harnessed to the horses. The wagon also moves when we are sleeping. In a like manner do the events of the day also move, even when we sleep through their context, as is often the case. We do not become aware of the fact that the context of the events does not appear in the same way in our consciousness than the one that we perceive and represent them. If we, on the other hand, turn the course of the day around at its end in the review exercise, then we become aware that we must create the context of the remembered images ourselves. In forward memory the outward dynamic of the day still continues to have an effect. To remember backward requires far greater effort. And it is this that that makes us aware of the context in its characteristic quality. For a greater exertion is required for remembering the days’ events in their reverse direction. We shape the regulating context ourselves, it is however also objectively active in the representations, and both of them, regulating and regulated ones, are clearly contrasted in their different mode-of-being. We experience the mobility of the day universal, but also its coalescence in the representational-perceptible elements of the day. The living concept of the course of the day belongs to the things of the day, yet it is connected to them for our cognition only through our own activity. It is however also connected to them during the forwards elapsing day, yet it is during this time in most cases missed, slept through. In the review, however, we awaken to it. It is therefore suitable to usher our consciousness into sleep.

That it is a public secret of the course of the day to be an awakener of spiritual clairvoyance has indeed, without giving an account of it to himself, sensed the young Tolstoy when he wrote A History of Yesterday. He begins and ends this story in the same noteworthy fashion: “I am writing a history of yesterday not because yesterday was extraordinary in any way, for it might rather be called ordinary, but because I have long wished to trace the intimate side of life through an entire day.” He ends with the following sentences: “ During the night you wake up several times (almost always), but only the two lower degrees of consciousness – body and feeling – are awakened. After this, feeling and body go to sleep again – and the impressions which were received at the time of this awakening join the general impression of the dream without any order or consistency. If the third, higher consciousness of understanding awoke also and afterwards went to sleep again, the dream would be divided into two parts.”[2] Both these notes are merely connected by the fact that Tolstoy’s narrative extends over the experiences of waking and sleeping. The twenty-three year old already has a sovereign command over his genial talent of presentation, that mixture of irony and naïve inwardness which  marks the real storyteller and immediately gains our confidence. For what is storytelling? Nothing else than artistic formation in general, namely the detachment of the general concepts, the archetypal from the particular case in which they are entranced, and the expressive reclaiming of the artistic superreality enhanced beyond the real from its redeemed formative power. Here too is true that the particular case is the general. The artist is a liberator of form, because he liberates himself from his organism (therefore he is superior, yet not arrogant), he is the winner of archetypal affection, because he, while shifting his being, plunges into universality out of which all form is derived (therefore he is humble and sincere, yet not servile).  With instinctive geniality Tolstoy senses that the course of the day is the lifelong school, to whose teaching we should owe the solution of the universals from their sense-bound lameness and the experience of being formed by them, by forming them. The mobility thereby gained extends however beyond the threshold of dream and sleep.

The living concept of the course of day is irrepresentably the basis of the representations that we continually form out of its occurrences. Merely to know this is of no avail. However, one can witness and observe in practice the conceptional life of the course of the day. One can master it, to once more experience in retrospect the growth of the plant of the day that withers in the course of the day until its morning formation beginning and to give its newly unfolded blossom to the sleep.

The last introspection carried out resulted in the fact that introspection looks through the mental representations, their in each case typically determined sequence and circles, as through a veil and then becomes aware of the living concepts. These appear as mobile-primordial types determining the style of a structural circle [Gestaltkreis]. The mere representational consciousness covers, as has been shown, the living universal nature of the concepts through a twofold prejudgment. The prejudice about the subjectivity of the concepts loses, behind the concealment of representing, sight of their subjective generality, the prejudice about their abstractness their objective generality.

The living concepts are however not the only irrepresentability that introspection can become aware of. Another irrepresentability may not be forgotten in a presentation about this subject in general. This other likewise irrepresentable element are the percepts. They are irrepresentable, because  representation only come about when concepts and percepts are connected to each other.

Once more the question is raised how we can gain an observant awareness of the pure percepts, even though they are irrepresentable. If one wants to enlighten oneself about this it is worthwhile to clarify what we become aware of when our ever ready-for-use conceptualization cannot intervene in its own lightning activity. In such cases of delay, it can occur that the pure concept, i.e. not yet connected to the representation, announces itself, albeit in an inkling that quickly disappears. This happens with experiences in moments of shock or of high fever, also by being suddenly aroused from sleep. Yet these experiences are exceptions that we cannot create at will. However, there are other means that, albeit without such a powerful impression, serve the same purpose. To the latter belong the puzzle pictures, the teasingly deception of which leads in the directions that we are seeking. “Where is the rabbit?” could be the caption below such an ironic picture that shows a hunter sitting on a tree trunk with a shot-gun laid across his knee. The rabbit hidden through the deceptive strokes in the trunk teases the hunter with its mocking gestures. Yet who is being taunted and what is ironized? Ironized is the laming sensoriality. For the sense world is not the truth and teased are those whose thinking is too sluggish in order to bring themselves to the mobility of concepts. The puzzle pictures stem, like so much that we know as riddles, jokes, folklore and also as folk wisdom, from secretly flowing sources that with unnoticed caringness direct salubrity towards the biased everyday consciousness of humanity as a remedy for its materialistic sclerosis. Care is being taken today to block out this salubrity through  all sorts of hideous and scurrilous things. Whoever practices introspection could develop from only such an array of symptoms a whole cultural history.

Back to our example. One says for instance that the task is to “look out” for the rabbit, indicated by the question as to his whereabouts in the puzzle picture. Yet the point quite on the contrary is to properly think the figure of the rabbit into the holistically grasped picture. One must find the percepts that seize the general concept rabbit and individualize it towards the quite definite representation of the rabbit one is looking for. When one follows what happens with this seek and find, one can make two highly interesting observations.  It is on the one hand the flashing light of the representation being formed in the individualization of the concept, on the other hand the darkness of the pure, as yet unrepresented, unformed percept. Percept and representation are contrasted like darkness and light. The percept becomes visible behind the transparency of the concept as the darkness that becomes transposed and illuminated by the flashing representation. Having once observed what valuable cognitive and development aids such puzzle pictures can be, then one will, in spite of their apparent insignificance, learn to think differently about other supporting measures put forward with much greater efforts. Such insignificances nurture more than many others our psychic-spiritual nature that even from eating the best whole wheat bread can die away. For they can convey the insight that our whole surrounding world displays to begin with the form of a puzzle picture, albeit with the difference that it does not preset the concept for us, leaving us thus not only without the representation, but also to seek the latter itself. The task is bigger here, the gain from its solution greater.

We should not let ourselves be fooled by this upon being presented with the question as to whether in the future we should rather be served puzzle pictures for breakfast than whole wheat bread. For we doubt whether puzzle pictures can be solved with whole wheat bread. We are however not in any doubt whether solving the puzzle pictures can be useful for those wanting to make whole wheat bread. For this is a quality question and quality questions are concept questions. For qualitativeness is not the result from the composition of the parts, but from the activity of the holistic processuality. That this in general does exist and how it intervenes in perceptible materiality can only be decided by the right conceptual consciousness. This however can nowhere be found as a given, but must be acquired by practice.

Since this is so, we must closely pursue the train of thought and path of observation through to the end. We see at once that it is not enough with regard to the puzzle pictures of life to become aware of both irrepresentabilities, the pure percept and the pure concept. Instead, the decisive step here is to initially bring the concept in a successful connection to the percept. Hereby we are dependent on our conceptional fantasy or imagination, but also on the conscious diligence in the forming of judgments. (With the forming of judgments is meant here the connection of concept to percept, thus the formation of perceptual judgments, in contrast to the connection of concepts by which conceptual judgments are generated). Conceptional imagination may not be representational, for the representation must, if it is to be commensurate to reality, not be formed by us but by the percept. Reality-based judgements are therefore not subjective but objective processes.[3] Through premature formation of judgments prejudices are generated. Reality-based judgements can only come about when representational free, fully kept mobile concepts are offered to the percept and with the acceptance of this offer by it are objectively (thus not by the thinking subject) framed as a representation. It is a good exercise to self-critically test within the framework of the evening review how many reality-based judgments and how many prejudices one has formed in the course of the day.

Of great importance within the context under discussion is the following observation. Finding the appropriate concept namely does not only depend on the conceptual but also on the perceptible part of the judgment. Because when concepts are lacking, nothing is perceived either and it is only through the concepts that the percept can be observed. The concepts are to begin with the veils, through the transparency of which the percept can be observed in its unconceptual purity. It is only after these veils, gradually attached to the percept, transfixed by it and included in its realm as object-forming individualizations (inherencies), that the percepts are unveiled and illuminated in their intrinsic nature through the absorbed conceptual element.

This was already pointed to at another place in this publication. In this present context, however, it is necessary to still focus on the following processes and the observations pertaining to them. What is to be considered here, is of great significance for the general life of knowledge as well as for artistic creation and experience. It concerns the already mentioned processes of veiling and unveiling, covering and uncovering. The forming of judgments and the creation of knowledge takes place, the forming of objects is generated in a rhythm of closure and disclosure. The pure concepts cover to begin with the pure percepts that at the same time are beheld, observed through them. The percepts are unveiled in the process of the connection of the individualizing concepts. The hereby originated representations cover in turn the pure concepts, the mobility of which just experienced through their capability to form representations, is unclosed in the latter. The concepts are beheld through the forming of representations, explored in their aptitude for blending with the percept, connected according to this aptitude to other concepts and in the thereby created richer ideational configuration, in their complexity anew applied to the percept. This is beheld through the modified conceptional sheath forming in new pure perceptible characteristics, after which the previously described process occurs anew. After the return of the observational and cognitive process to conceptional formation, follows its renewed attention to the percept. It is therefore underlined that the irrepresentable general concepts (that are not subjective but subjectively general) are beheld through the representational veil, while through the conceptional veil the pure percepts are beheld (in comparison to which the concepts are not abstract, but objectively general, yet individualizable formative forces) and that the formation of objects, is a process that proceeds in the rhythmic change of closure and disclosure.

Just as the ability to observe concepts can be schooled through the review exercise, so the ability to observe pure percepts through the transparency exercises, i.e. through such exercises that can be carried out with regard to random objects by means of which we can become aware what element from a certain shape is percept and what is concept and how we only become conscious of the perceptible particulars in question through the transparency of the progressively applied concepts, but then to begin with still in complete nondisclosure, whereby the undisclosed perceptible only is revealed and fulfilled to the degree that it absorbs the conceptional veil.

The two elements that underlie reality can be summarily characterized in the following manner:

1. The pure archetypal concepts are the generalities that precede the particularities and do not originate in advance through abstraction out of the latter. They are the holistic hulls or sheaths that we slip over the percepts, through the detachment of which the particulars gradually begin to come forward out of the indeterminateness. When we focus our attention on a tree, we gain the perceptible basis of the object-formation striven for in the judgment through a gradually progressive application of concepts. Not only the percepts are thereby progressively beheld and shaped, but the concepts are progressively individualized as well as ideationally enriched by each preceding one continually drawing in new ones, into itself and at the same time in the perceptible realm. The process can be indicated roughly by the following conceptual steps: It, something, thing, lengthy object, tree, conifer, fir, this certain fir tree characterized by numerous particulars and numerous relationships to its surroundings. The shape of the fir tree gradually arises through the attachment of these concepts and their individualization in the rhythm of closure and disclosure. A twofold form construction is thereby developed: The single, unformed percepts are shaped through the archetypal formative force of the general concepts into an objective whole. At the same time, however, the concepts are also formed, they are individualized. The general concepts form and are formed: they are forming formability.

2. The pure percepts void of concepts and representations are individualized with the concepts that are connected to them, but are themselves universalized by the latter, since they are by the latter directed out of their isolation, ever more manifoldly connected to other percepts and only thereby brought out of the indeterminateness  toward a formed appearance. The percepts represent what is incomparably and irrepresentably distinct and unique about things and beings. These peculiarities extend their influence in two directions toward the unforeseeable. For each perceptible peculiarity designates in its relations, which extend  into the unforeseeable and ensue within a thing or being, that part or member of the thing or being in question.  Part of this inner unforeseeable nature is also an outer one. For every inner peculiarity of a thing or being is characterized by its relations to the peculiarities of other things or beings extending out toward the unforeseeable. A daisy is characterized in its narrow realm of being by numerous inner peculiarities, which distinguish it from a rose or thistle. It is, however, characterized as well by numerous relations extending beyond its own realm of being which cannot likewise be replaced by the relations of the rose or the thistle.  Every peculiarity is therefore inwardly and outwardly universalized through the unforeseeable nature of its relations. Just as the concepts in the formation of objects are enriched with other concepts that they gather and absorb, so too the peculiarities are enriched by other peculiarities that are accessed in them or drawn up to them. Two universalities of morphogenesis can therefore be distinguished, an inner one that can be called formation of being and an outer one called formation of qualities. Qualities are only recognizable through the relations to other qualities, beingness is on the contrary a realm of peculiarity that has assumed an independent existence.
Forming formability and individualizing universalibility are correlated. Beings originate out of percepts through the formability or individualizability of concepts, percepts are evolved into qualities through the formative vitality of concepts. The percepts give the concepts the objective imprint of the representation, the weaving beingness of the spiritual world edging in its universalibility beyond all limits of representation becomes vivid.

One can also characterize these differences and relatedness with the concepts “form” and “matter”. The forming formability of concepts gives things and beings shape and form. The individualizing universalibility of the percept is matter that acquires its imprint through the form and at the same time forms it.

The forming formability is obscured from introspection by the double prejudice of the subjectivity and abstractness of concepts. Another likewise double prejudice obscures the  individualizing universalizable. For the perceptible is under the influence of the present natural scientific thinking habits on the one hand not represented as something objective, but only as modification of our own states, as affixations of our organism through external stimuli represented as remaining imperceptible. The objectivity underlying this is, on the other hand, represented as a causal realm of uniformity. The notion of this realm has admittedly changed in the course of the evolution that the natural scientific thinking habits have undergone. Today, this uniformity is represented as electromagnetic field. Everything real, all reality is part of this electromagnetic field. That this is a paradigm of prejudice should be easily evident. For the purely perceptible can neither be characterized conceptually nor representation-wise, is thus neither subjective affixation nor objective uniformity. The purely perceptible must for every judgment initially be beheld in its complete indeterminateness while nevertheless revealing to the original cognitive attempt its untenable peculiarity. The following remarks in the next section about the forming of reality will cast more light on this subject.

The task of this  section was, by means of summarizing a sequence of elaborate observations, to describe a third step of the experiential path that the modern artist guided by The Philosophy of Freedom can pursue. These remarks concerned the looking through, attaching and lifting of the veils that are significant in the process of forming objects. With the gaze through the veil drawn by representations one becomes aware of the form, with the gaze through the veil drawn by the concepts one becomes aware of matter. During the course of object-forming the veil drawn by the concepts is lifted, representations are formed that after their detachment from the percepts veil the concepts, are then resolved in the latter and from them formed anew through their connections to percepts.

This interplay of drawing and lifting of the veils belongs to the most important experiences that an artist can have, and in the manner of his involvement in it he presents the most valid proof of his know-how. For, on the one hand, the penetration of matter through form, but likewise the disengagement of the formative forces from matter in becoming conscious of their unexploited scope for design, and, on the other hand, the penetration of form with the peculiarities of matter, but also the disengagement of matter from form in the unfathomableness of its peculiarity are archetypal experiences of the artist. Catching sight of matter and form in the drawing, lifting and looking through the veils are part of the most challenging demands posed to his prowess.

In the mysteries of antiquity this twofold catching sight was called the path to the Upper and the Lower Gods. Today too, every true artist must tread this path to the twofold divine-spiritual. The archetypes are part of an upper divine-spiritual realm above the sense-world. In the inborn concepts, in the inherences one catches sight of the activity of the divine-spiritual in the sense-world, thus of a lower divine that has connected itself to the sense-world. The upper divine is beheld through the veil of the representations  that stem from the sense-world, the lower divine through the veil of the concepts that stem from the world of the archetypes. Every region of the divine is veiled and unveiled in its own way. The experiences of form and matter undergone by the artist are experiences of veiling and unveiling that he makes with the upper and lower divine.

A somewhat more elaborate contribution had to be dedicated to this section of the path of schooling because of the quite stubborn prejudice hampering that mode of introspection which is required by the meditation on the processes of form and matter.     

[1] Concerning the claim that something non-identical  could be “similar” is to be said that it, for so far it has any meaning at all, is tantamount to the rejection of the abstraction theory. For similar with respect to two structures can only be the concept, while their non-identity is a perceptible dissimilarity. Any two analogous triangles do not show any measure of perceptible similarity. The similarity of something non-identical is thus of a conceptual nature and the proof that concepts cannot be abstracted
[2] These lines can be read in WikiSource.
[3] See H. Witzenmann, ”Ein Weg zur Wirklichkeit” (“A Path to Reality”) in Intuition and Observation, (Intuition and Observation),  Part II, 1978 (Not translated)

Chapter 7

The Representation as Helper and Teacher/ The Human Form As Cosmic Form/ The Cosmogenic Meditation as the Higher School Of Form/ Beautiful Semblance as Higher Reality/ The Metamorphosis of the Particular and the Whole in One Another

The aforementioned described results of introspection comprise a further experience that is especially of great significance for the artist.

As fully conscious beings, practicing intropsection, we are not – this was developed – part of a finished world. We experiences ourselves in a world that only  comes into being through our participation in its spiritual formation. The naïve human being believes that things and processes are “freely” door-to-door delivered (e.g. without demanding his own effort), that they do not require any completion through his involvement by their creation. This belief or rather superstition presupposes that everything that we come across is completely perceptible, that the perceptual is something complete,  thus that the whole reality is perceptible. The perceptual does indeed approach us without our own doing. The opinion that thereby reality is given to us, must however after some reflection lead to the opposite supposition, namely that our sense organs do not convey reality to us, that we therefore cannot know anything about the “things-in-themselves”.  The consequence of naïve realism is illusionism: we only know something about the modification of our own states through imperceptible causes (“thing-in-itself”). For we can only be informed about a ready-made reality that is present without our involvement through its effect on our organism. These effects, however, are only we themselves in our affixations, they are not the things. According to this notion, we are but biased captives in the cage of our organism, incapable of breaking out of it into reality. On the walls of this prison appears a sort of television spook that bewitches us into believing it to be reality, even though it bears no reproductive relation to its origin. It is rather the subtle redaction according to a manifold code, of which we indeed do know all the preceding extinguishing transmissions (sense organ – nerve – central organ – psyche), but not the key to the original text. From the latter, the staggered sequence of this chopper lets no undistorted fraction through to us.

Unprejudiced introspection shows something entirely different. It makes us recognize that reality is an omni-vital web that we continually weave together, on top of which, however, we at the same time spin a second web that like a veil disguises the reality web from us. These veils are our representations. They conceal from us, as we have seen, the concepts, they conceal from us, however, also the things, when we insert them as prejudgments between ourselves and reality. Yet we are not banished from reality itself to this spooky world, we rather bewitch only ourselves with its spook and condemn ourselves into an exile in which, lacking the nourishing reality, we would have to psychically starve to death. For the forming of representations is not meant to fool and exhaust us.  Instead it is, if properly understood and used, the versatile helper and teacher guiding us to the sense and the spiritual world as well as to self-formation and self-knowledge. For the threads of the reality web are the concepts. Living concepts, however, are not the illusions of our organism, they rather form the spiritual band between us and the things. But they are neither laws imposed upon us from above that we must bow to. They are rather the products of an unrestrained devotion, the measure of which cannot be surpassed. They are manifestation of cosmic love whose highest goal is human freedom. Because for us and in us the concepts are the purest and most valid producers of ourselves, we are united with them through exchange-of-being, their spiritual organism is our own universal being, which is dedicated to our individual being in death and resurrection. Our universal nature is total existential cohesion. We impress our individual existence through introspection, cognition and action onto this total existence. The true nature of our individual existence is thus a part of our total existence. Since this total existence permeates the whole cosmos, introspection recognizes our individual existence as a being above us, as a being incorporated into the cosmic weaving-of-beingness. The representation can teach us that, whoever withstands the trials and tribulation of the perceptible world, is admitted like the heroes of antiquity into the heavenly world.

If one realizes this, then one obtains a new aspect concerning form. The human total existence is the cosmic form: the human form is the comic form. The total human form is the spirit figure of all formative forces. It is the form of all forms. For the artist, this perspective on humanity is the primal experience of form. This primal experience is the catharsis that he lives through as the fellow player in the primal drama. The primal drama is the continual emergence of reality as the conquest of semblance. For the soul observer it is experienced in the pious mood of exchange-of-being and the wakeful responsibility as spiritualization behind the veils of representing. In the exchange-of-being with the universals, the representations are recognized as their forms of appearance that  emerge from them and are resolved in them. In the spiritualization of the sense percepts, the prejudging representations are transformed into formative powers that form the beheld sensoriality and is formed by the latter.

Let us look at a blooming branch. The representations that we soon form of it on the basis of our thinking habits even before we are in accordance with reality legitimized to do so, conceal the reality of the lovely creation, exclude us in an illusionary dungeon from participating in it becoming a reality. Let us therefore ask with the due diligence of an observer, what do we perceive from the branch, what do we therefore passively take in from it and what do we add to it through our own thinking activity? What from it is percept, what concept, what representation? None of these three elements is the real branch. For the real branch cannot be grasped in anything objective that in any sense is static, it is an event that we together with the world are weaving, a part of the world in which we weave ourselves , the world in one of its parts, our total existence in its individualization within one of the parts of the world. It can also be expressed differently thus, by partaking in weaving the world we weave our individual humanity into our universal humanity, does our universal humanity weave our individual one.

The emergence of the cosmic form from the human form and the emergence of one’s own individual form in the universal human form is the primal experience of form in the way that it results for the artist on the path of The Philosophy of Freedom. This ought not to be understood in the sense of naturalism.  What already has been formed does not need to be repeated by the artist: that cannot be his task, particularly since he can neither surpass nor even approach the cosmic artist. However, the permanent cognitive involvement in the natural-cosmic formative process imparts the artist the inexhaustible sources from which emerge the creatures of nature.  This experience in its creative richness is only revealed by the introspection of the cognitive process. It is the continual fructification and rejuvenation of the creative powers of the artist, because it is the beholdment of how in each being the creative powers of the world shoot up, how these creative powers are the source for the artist’s own creative powers, how in his creative power the cosmic creative powers are flowing in a rejuvenated and rejuvenating revelation. No truly modern artist can do without this meditative experience, no one truly seeking it will be withheld from its life-giving support. The introspection of the cognitive process is the high schooling of form.

The formative powers  that are revealed in this experience are the archetypes, the universals that are united in the archetypal human form toward the form of all forms, the source of all formative powers. The artist can release from them and hence from his own primal being the richness of new individualizations, since the universals are capable of unlimited individualization. These individualizations are ennobling-disenchanting individualizations of the beings of the sense world, they are individualizing imprintings in his universal being, they are individualized gifts of his universal to his individual being. Creatively prepared by this manifold experience of individualization, the artist can also bestow the nobility of individually formed humanity to those form levels of being that are only part of the human form  through their natural innate insertion in reality – namely the form of his own unique and at the same time universally gifted individuality. He can give them the beautiful semblance of humaneness by elevating his own humanity in his artistry to spirituality to which he is called. This semblance is not deceptive arbitrariness, but free necessity, it is a higher reality for which unspiritualized and unhumanized sensoriality fades into deceptive semblance. As the realizer of this beautiful semblance, the true artist knows that by accomplishing his work, he is at the same time being accomplished by it. That is why Goethe could say about his poems: “I didn’t make them, they made me.”

But what means does he have at his disposal when he composes himself to envelop the objects of his creation in the beautiful semblance of humanity, to have them radiated by the latter. He only succeeds in doing so when he moves individualness and universalness in the dynamics of his formative artistry as well as in its formative work in such a way as this is the case with the primal experiences of the exchange-of-being with the spirit and with the thinking-observing structuralization of the perceptible beings.    
       Both of these experiences are after all the artistic primal experiences of form and matter. His work must therefore be a self-enclosed whole, in which no detail can appear that is not motivated from the whole, in which this whole is not imposed however by something external to its parts, but in turn is motivated by the details. These do not harmonize in a true work of art, because they are squeezed into an external schema, but because the pre-disposed whole in it gives it the phenomenal form from the inside, the harmonic completeness that is active in each of the details and presses it towards unfoldment.

With respect to a lyrical poem (to give at least an indication of sort), one can designate its wholeness as its mood. This mood spread out over the whole poem must correspond to each detail, but it must also emerge from each detail, it must be a plurality that shines in and out, all observable attributes must reveal their artistic content in this twofold manner: the harmony of the speech sounds, the music of the vowels, the sculpture of the consonants, the balance or also intended imbalance of its sound, the placement of caesura, the rhythmic flow, the accelerando and ritardando, the relationship between the images, representations and concepts, the flexibility and intended bending of the complex sentence, the beginning, ending and the middle in between and (much more) what was unsaid and cannot be said that can only free itself indirectly from what was said, the enveloping silence in which the word only then begins to sound. The real, but not in representational terms solidifying expression in all this however is the inward mobile disposition of the artist in its manifold yet holistically tempered transformations, which is imparted to the art enjoyer as the exhilarating changeover of his own inward mobility (quite apart from the sort of content which gives rise to it). All this must be a free play between the center and the periphery, the emergence of the work of art from a point of particularity, representing it individuality, and the condensation of its expansive fullness in its point, representing its universality.  The individualness must be experienced towards the periphery as an expansiveness in every part of the whole, just as the condensation of the universalness in the knotting of the particularity. That is why the following expressions by Goethe are true in the same way and complement each other in the sense indicated here: “I seek in everything a point from which many things can be developed” (that central point also called “apercu” by him). But also: “Everything that we invent, discover and call in a higher sense, is the most significant practice, activity of an original feeling of truth, which in silence developed long ago, leads in a flash to a fruitful insight. It is a revelation developed out of the  inside  from the outside that gives the human being a presentiment of his divinity. It is a synthesis of the world and the spirit that presents the most blessed assurance of the eternal harmony of existence.”
            A true work of art is a penetration of the world and man in an act of creation, it cannot be produced according to an abstract rule, it is in general not makeable. For its basic elements and powers, the particularity and the wholeness, the materiality and the formativeness, the individualness and the universalness are not representable, but can only be meditatively experienced. The meditation of the reality process, the dramatic reality event causes the inner dispositions to develop in the artist that in the moment of creation form his work, and him through the latter. He cannot proceed according to a rule, but only prepare and nurture through the intimate experience of the reality-forming forces his own creative powers that then, when he gown to work, are directly at his disposal. He develops them further in the practice of these abilities by observing in a wakeful state of conscious awareness whether they are true to the artistic ideal or deviate from it, which is just as much one of his work as one of his nature.

            The described reality experience represents a fourth stage in the course of The Philosophy of Freedom.

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Chapter 8

The Individuality Above Us, the Universality Within Us: The Highest Knowledge and the Greatest Experience/ Form as the Universal Human Being, Matter as The Enchanted World / The Experience of Freedom

The previous examination requires an essential supplement. For with the introspection of the total existence of the human being in the universe is connected another one that is demanded by itself. Only the mutual illumination of the supplementary observations and experiences makes them understandable and causes the artistic process of creation to appear in a clear light.

The realization experience and the total existence enclosed in it is, as has become apparent, only possible because the relation of today’s human being to the spiritual world is not one of a recipient but that of an agent. With this is connected, however, the further insight that the idea of creation, and to be sure individual creation is the most encompassing idea, the basis of the spiritual world from which all other ideas are generated. For an act of creation must always be an act of self-creation, since otherwise a real act of creation would be something else that only serves the apparent creator as its instrument. The idea of freedom can therefore not be realized in man by a someone or something possessing power over him, he can, in so far it is at all part of his nature only generate it himself. That he is capable of doing this is confirmed by introspection. The latter renders it certain that the human being, if he but becomes aware of his true nature, is not under the compulsion of an external lawfulness, but a lawfulness in which he blends in and that he also creates himself. This individually created lawfulness is superindividual, since it encompasses the whole world. For this individual creation of  superindividualness we have an exalted name: that of freedom. Because freedom cannot be arbitrary, but only in accord with reality. Since this accord cannot be imposed, it can only be done. That it is being done, is confirmed by introspection. Freedom is freely creating and freely created lawfulness. That is why freedom as the source of ideational lawfulness is the most encompassing idea from which all other ideas emerge. It lights up in the human being, who through introspection of his own true nature and in concert therewith becomes aware of the nature of the world. It is the lightning up of the world of ideas within the human soul, the inward firmament of the cosmic love given to man. Freedom is the universality in us, the unravelling of all beings in the unravelling of our own being.

Introspection therefore not only allows us to say “the individual above us”, but also “the universal in us”. The former is the highest knowledge, the latter the greatest experience. Universalness in us streams out from the center of freedom, spreading beyond all limits. This streaming out of universalness from the center of human freedom, this lightning up of a firmament radiating outwardly is that form of beingness which the world (whose nature is spiritual) in us assumes by lovingly uniting us with the very own characteristic of our being. It has become apparent that also the characteristic of every other being whose distribution in the universe is such that it unfolds in the expansion of the ideational relationships through which the cognitive human being links each percept up with all other percepts, each characteristic up with all other characteristics. The  creatures of nature, however, are not capable of this linkage through themselves. In their case, the embedding in reality only comes about through the general context of the world. The creatures of nature are integrated in the latter by forming a hierarchical structure in which all beings are subordinated to the emergence of the highest stage of the process of nature, namely the human organism. The nature of freedom that slumbers inside them (the individual comprehension of the universalness to which they belong) is therefore unevolved, and thus all creatures are groaning for freedom and liberation. And that is why the cognitive human being is the liberator of the world. For he gives in his cognition each creature the ideational completion, i.e. humanity. Cognition is humanization. Since creatures of nature are, however,  not capable of liberation by themselves, they are endarkened. They do bear the spiritual spark in themselves, but it is enchanted light. Spirit is light, because it conceals nothing, because it is intrinsic context and thus transparent in itself, because it illuminates through its own light the darkness of incoherence. One’s own light is the endarkened spark of light, the isolation sunk from the unity into the darkness. For there is no other coming-into-being as that from itself supporting, spiritual luminous beingness.  But there is neither any other light as that of unitary beingness. Wherever this unity is broken, there must be darkness. The world takes this endarkenment again up in its luminous context. Capable of reconnecting with the spiritual world under one’s own steam, however, is only a being of the sort with whom the highest cosmic love has connected itself in an exchange-of-being. This sort is the human being. His own light is freed, disenchanted through love. Freedom is love having become light, is love. The light transformed in love can free the endarkened light of the other beings.

The nature of materiality is enchanted light. In artistic creation this enchantment  is given the appearance of disenchantment, the appearance of freedom.

Form and matter can on the basis of the lastly made observation be determined even more precisely:

Form is the universal human being who longs for individualization. This individualization occurs in cognition.

Matter is the enchanted world that longs for universalization. The latter is irradiated by the experience of freedom.

The experience of freedom is the fifth step on the path of The Philosophy of Freedom.

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Chapter 9

Schiller’s Aesthetic Anthropology and Social Aesthetics/
The Social Mission of Art/ The Dissolution of the Alloy King

An further examination shall be added here which is connected to Friedrich Schiller’s aesthetic anthropology.

Schiller’s differentiation of three human basic drives, the sense, form and play drive has, except from Rudolf Steiner, attracted little attention. Schiller’s intellectual creation has hardly been recognized. It fits perfectly, however, in the introspections developed here.

As long as man is controlled by the sense drive or the form drive (the natural laws of his organism or the forms of an external lawfulness to which he subjects himself) he is not free. For there are forces active in these drives that do not stem from his true nature. Man is only free through the development of his play drive, i.e. only in an element of play unfolding in itself and following itself.

The human being cannot play when he is under the necessity of his organism nor under the coercion of commands, laws or norms. Man is an individual, single being due to his organism. This isolation, which is founded in his organism, is determined by the laws of nature. In his thinking he absorbs the general context of the world. He can fail to recognize himself therein and not take into consideration that he himself creates this context. If this escapes his attention and if he sells the right of primogeniture of his freedom for the mess of potage of norms, then he is determined by the latter, which he turns into a law of itself and in self-misrecognition of its authorship places it as controlling forces above himself. When he plays, he determines, on the other hand, a part of the general context according to his own decision. He individualizes it by individualizing himself in the manner that he plays. In that way he is free. In the course of this double individualizing he does not let himself be led by the drives of his organism, but integrates his conduct into a general context. Neither does he let himself be led by the latter, but apprehends it as individual singularity, thus in the experiential mode that he gains through his organism. He has at the same time the individual and the universal at his command by imparting each one the characteristic of the other. He is free, because he does not live in a reality imposed upon him, but in a reality, the coming into being of which he determines himself.

The one who plays, plays himself, yet not in order to enclose himself in himself, but rather to find the entrance to a world whose horizon he can extend indefinitely. For he has the magic power that casts off all fetters, he has achieved the free state of consciousness. The conduct emerging from the latter, the doing that emerges from the play of the imaginative, creative forces is free as well. It is at the same time also beautiful, for it carries the beauty of play into an unfree world. For beauty is in itself resting, self-sustaining completeness. Completeness however is the unity and interpenetration of both elements from which the world is built, the individual and the universal. This however is beingness, humanity, the origin, the meaning and the goal of the world, its substance. The beautiful is completeness, the intrinsic human is freeness.

The way in which Schiller makes the realization experience understandable corresponds with the results of the introspections developed here.

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Chapter 10

The Experience of Form and Humanity as Experience of Destiny/ The Experience of Matter and Freedom as Experience of Re-Embodiment of the Spirit

The impression gained on the path of experience indicated here are combined into an encompassing experience.

Humanity, this has become apparent, is the original being of all beingness. Man is not the chance and waste product of a destructive process that whirls his parts around. He is the structural principle [Aufbauprinzip] of the world. Reality is constructed from universal humanity, it causes the emergence of the organic foundation of human independence, it offers Man, however, also the spiritual substance, through the transformation of which into his individual human being he can find the return to his original being and in the latter itself can gain in the community of free spirits the life spirit that is preparing itself for its new manifestation. Out of the reality, Man encounters his own higher humanity, the gift and at the same time the task to endow his individual existence with an enhanced form-of-being. The reality is Man’s destiny, it is the origin, meaning and goal, the design given to him and the consummation assigned to him of his existence. For in all of life’s experiences he encounters himself as the founder of reality. He receives himself from this reality humanity, finds himself in himself, imprinting himself in the substance of his destiny in order, according to the scope of his imprint, to again receive himself from it in his reality humanity. It is not a belief, a dogma that maintains this, the introspection of the structural design of a grain of sand provides the evidence for it. We hear Angelus Silesius saying, “In a tiny grain of sand, if you care to understand it, all things of above and below is image.” The reality is man’s destiny, because its form is humanity, because it is the calling of the individual human being to give the universal humanity substance through himself new form and the form in itself new substance. The experience of form is therefore for the artist and art-enjoyer at the same time experience of destiny: it is self-encounter in all of life’s experiences.

Man can only have the experience of destiny, because he is connected through freedom, e.g. through his self-engendered thinking with reality. The experience of freedom he can only have,  because he is initially separated through his organism from the all-permeating spiritual world, from the uniform reality, and because he can reunite with the latter through overcoming the separating influence in the independence of his cognition. This reunion is at the same time the imprinting of his individual  being into his universal being.

From what is said emerges that the experience of destiny requires a basis in the human organism, thus the incarnation of the spiritual being of Man in a corporeality. Introspection gleans from the incarnation the following facts: As already was explained, the incarnation indicates that Man stands in a destiny. For his incarnation is the basis for the co-creation of reality in cognition. This co-creating is the self-formation of his individual existence from his universal one and the integration of his individual existence into his universal one (since through his individual consciousness a new form of appearance the universal consciousness is brought forth). Destiny shows itself to introspection not as fate or doom, but as a task. The solution of this task in a single incarnation makes itself out to be incomplete, because it alludes to unmatched possibilities. The context of destiny of an incarnation therefore demands further incarnations. The consciousness of destiny connected with that of incarnation points in this respect to the future.

But it also points to the past. For knowledge does not arise through the incarnation, not through the human organism, but against it, through its repression. The human organism does not determine the knowledge, but only its scope, the position of the cut between percept and concept. The task and act of knowledge is on, the other hand, the combination, the cure of this incision. Not only individualized concepts are formed during this combination, but also the capabilities of intuition (the exchange-of-being with the spirit) and of free individualization are thereby developed. These are in contrast to the receptive, active capabilities of man. They can only arise in connection with an incarnation (thus in an incarnation), yet not from the latter (thus not from the current incarnation), but only against the latter. Since Man by birth enters his organism, his corporeality with already individualized active capabilities and since these capabilities can only be developed in connection with an organism, yet not from the later (thus also not from the current incarnation) but only against the latter, it follows that the current incarnation must have been preceded by at least another one. The consciousness of destiny developed from the consciousness of incarnation points in that respect back to the past. The attribute of the pre-incarnation of the present active capabilities is therefore proof for the fact that the demand is fulfilled, which emerges for the forwards directed consciousness of destiny: Man is a being that reincarnates. His humanity approaches him portentously as a task from his own universal being. Its solution is prepared by an organism donated to him by nature and gradually completed or failed through the deeds  and their effects of his incarnation (continually to be executed also within the course of a life).

If one reminds oneself in what way form and matter are characterized as universal and individual, one will agree with the following formulation:

The experience of form and humanity is in essence experience of destiny.

The experience of matter and freedom is in its essence experience of reincarnation.

True art and real artistic creation lead  the human being to both of these experiences. In them he becomes conscious of his spiritual humanity.

The foregoing experiences on the path of The Philosophy of Freedom are combined in the experience of reincarnation and destiny towards the experience of spiritual humanity.  

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Chapter 11

Light and Love as the Essence of Matter and Form

The preceding must be reconsidered, because only then will the experience of reincarnation and destiny but also the further foregoing appear fully significant.

The luminous character of all materiality was already denoted. Natural particularity (individual being) is enchanted light longing for revelation and redemption. Freedom is self-revelation of the luminous origin of an individual. But freedom is only possible through the exchange-of-being. Freedom is the devotion of the most unselfish love of the world, is purest love of the free man, is radiating one’s own experience of love into the world.

The essence of matter is light, the essence of form is love. The loving devotion of the universal man as the highest form of all being, so that its enchanting light shines in the dark and shines out of it, is the formative force that permeates the universe. The being that has united itself with the individual bearer of the universal form of man is there addressed in the Christian tradition  as  “a Son of Man”.

Love of incarnation and light of destiny are conveyed by the true artist in his work. For light and love are the essence of form and matter.

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Chapter 12


All stages in the path of schooling of The Philosophy of Freedom give rise to experiences which accompany the creative work of the artist. They reveal themselves in constantly new configurations and confront him with one riddle after the other. Each time he becomes in different ways consciously aware of matter and form.

The stages of the path which the artist, guided by the experiences of psychic observation according to the The Philosophy of Freedom, can embark on, are given once more in the following summary:

Experience of Exchange-of-Being (Folding of Hands)
Experience of Awakening and Protection (Waking and Praying)
Experience of Veiling and Unveiling (Upper and Lower Divinity)
Experience of Reality (The Individual above Us)
Experience of Freedom (The Universal in Us)
Social Experience (Dissolution of the Alloy Soul King)
Experiences of Re-embodiment of the Spirit and Destiny (Light and Love)

The foregoing expositions were designed in such a way that those following them traverse a path of training and schooling in the sense and spirit of Rudolf Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom, the goal of which is the experience of re-embodiment of the spirit and that of destiny in light and love. This presentation is therefore also meant as a contribution towards understanding Rudolf Steiner’s indication that real, truly modern art is a way towards knowledge of re-embodiment of the spirit and of destiny in living experience. At this point the question (here only parenthetically answered) must be raised as to what extent the training course in psychic observation leads to the development of such organs capable of supersensory perception. A thorough answer to this question shall remain reserved for a publication devoted to that theme. 

(This is the end of Part II of this book, leaving two appendices still to be translated.)