epistimelogical arts and crafts

Rudolf Steiner often referred to his work as similar in nature to what Natural scientists do. As I wondered over this for a few decades, I become of the view that the best any scientist can do is offer “understanding”

Fundamentals of Anthroposophy

So we go to school, and study physics, for example, … not do physics. Our understanding is aided by study of concepts, in lieu of a personal examination of the phenomena.

Both Knowledge of Higher Worlds, and Occult Science, in their introductions, frequently use the term “understanding”, but not “knowledge”, a term all over GA-1 to GA-4.

In response to this riddle, I began to self-observe my mind for whether or not my relationship to a concept (an “idea” being a “complex of concepts” GA-2) … whether this relationship was belief, understanding, or knowledge. These variations of “relationship” led me to important knowledge of my own mind.

All three qualitative states had room in my soul. Each had a function.

On many occasions, this concept, that we gain from understanding what the spiritual scientist gives, is used in our circles to accidentally confuse those to whom PoF has not been rightly studied … confuse them to not being self-observant enough to become awake to these different qualitative states.

The key is to appreciate why Steiner in GA-2 conceptually separates thinking and experience, and in GA-4 comes at the problem again with his distinction between concept (thinking) and percept (experience).

Which comes first in order is also crucial, for in Geotheanism the thought, or cognitive act, needs to follow the perceptual act – percept gives birth to concept.

Then we have all the books we read, that Steiner intends for our understanding, given that only Steiner enjoys the percept, which is not present to us.. So reading delivers a perceptless concept, which would be fine if we appreciated the significance of this fact.

The cultural habit, practiced now for a century, is to treat this isolated from its percept concept as knowledge, when it is not. Yes, we are helped, via the understanding, to appreciate the invisible details, but we do not “know” them.

When the soul lives, in perceptless concepts derived from reading Steiner, she lames her potential by not realizing the further work possible. Why? Because it is not modeled for them by our leading personalities, which leads to a religious connection that begs to be called Steinerism.

To someone a bit more “knowledgeable”, reading someone make a statement quoting Steiner as fact, … this feels (the world of ideas is filled with aesthetic connections) to me as a “wrong” note, something disharmonious and out of place.

We can understand that our car needs to get looked at, and believe that the mechanic can fix it, but even when the mechanic explains for our understanding what is happening, only he has “knowledge.

Stephen Clarke points out that when Steiner uses the word “indication”, we should take him at his word, and look at that toward which he points.

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