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Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path - A Philosophy of Freedom - by Rudolf SteinerIntuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path
A Philosophy of Freedom
by Rudolf Steiner
(also published as
The Philosophy of Freedom)

Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path, written by Rudolf Steiner in 1894, is offered as a catalyst to the development of human thought and self-awareness.  The reading of it and the effort dedicated to the comprehension of its precepts acts as an alchemical process which takes place by virtue of the soul's own heightened spiritual activity. Through negotiating the concepts, the soul becomes aware of it's own spiritual activity independent of bodily mediation or environmental influence.

The concepts involved are not derived from anything personal to Steiner or anything outside the soul's own immediate purview, if it is willing to make the effort - which it must do in order to adequately heighten its conceptual activity. Ultimately, said Steiner in a lecture many years later, the material in the book should be able to be written independently by any soul who has developed the strength and focus to do so.

What is little understood about this book is that it represents a particular stage in human consciousness - it is the unfolding in full consciousness, the ego's own activity in thought, i.e. the full flowering of the Consciousness Soul.  Earlier stages of consciousness development  (Sentient Soul Age and Intellectual Soul Age) did not have this unique feature. In this respect it is also the phase where, if the human being is willing to develop these forces, thought itself becomes transformed into the first shades of true spiritual perception (in the modern sense). The following is quoted from Lecture 5 of the Lecture Series: The Human Soul in Relation to World Evolution:

"But people do not recognize that what is described in the Philosophy of Freedom is the very first degree of the new clairvoyance. This is not recognized because people still think that clairvoyance means plunging into something obscure and unfamiliar. Here it is just the familiar that is sought; here one goes out with a thinking that has become independent of matter. It is a thinking that sustains itself, so that, through this self-sustaining thinking, the world is grasped for the first time purely spiritually. Indeed, the world is grasped through the very purest spirituality."                           - Rudolf Steiner

Trans: M. Lipson (Written 1894, GA4)
Anthroposophic Press
288pp: paperback
ISBN: 0 88010 385 X
ISBN: 9780880103855

See also: The Redemption of Thinking


Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', which he defined as 'the consciousness of one's humanity', and the disciplined methods of studying this he termed ‘spiritual science’.  As a highly developed clairvoyant and spiritual initiate, he spoke from his direct cognition of the spiritual world. However, he did not see his work as religious or sectarian, but rather sought to found a universal 'science of the spirit'.

His many published works (written books and lectures) - which include his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development - invite readers to develop their own spiritual faculties.  He also provided indications for the renewal of many human activities, including education - both general and special - agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. He wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6000 lectures across Europe, and in 1924 founded the General Anthroposophical Society which today has branches throughout the world.

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