Page 18 - The Philosophy of Freedom By Rudolf Steiner
P. 18

The Philosophy of Freedom does not contain any results of this sort, any more than it contains special 

results of the natural sciences. But what it does contain is in my judgment absolutely necessary for 

anyone who seeks a secure foundation for such knowledge. What I have said in this book may be 

acceptable even to some who, for reasons of their own, refuse to have anything to do with the results 

of my researches into the spiritual realm. But anyone who feels drawn towards the results of these 

spiritual researches may well appreciate the importance of what I was here trying to do. It is this: 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.

In this book the attempt is made to show that a knowledge of the spirit realm before entering upon 

actual spiritual experience is fully justified. The course of this demonstration is so conducted that for 

anyone who is able and willing to enter into these arguments it is never necessary, in order to accept 

them, to cast furtive glances at the experiences which my later writings have shown to be relevant.

Thus it seems to me that in one sense this book occupies a position completely independent of my 

writings on actual spiritual scientific matters. Yet in another sense it is most intimately connected with 

them. These considerations have moved me now, after a lapse of twenty-five years, to republish the 

contents of this book practically unaltered in all essentials. I have, however, made additions of some 

length to a number of chapters.

The misunderstandings of my argument which I have met seemed to make these more detailed 

elaborations necessary. Changes of text have been made only where it appeared to me that I had said 

clumsily what I meant to say a quarter of a century ago. (Only ill will could find in these changes 

occasion to suggest that I have changed my fundamental conviction.)

For many years my book has been out of print. In spite of the fact, which is apparent from what I have 

just said, that my utterances of twenty-five years ago about these problems still seem to me just as 

relevant today, I hesitated a long time about the completion of this revised edition. Again and again I 

have asked myself whether I ought not, at this point or that, to define my position towards the 

numerous philosophical views which have been put forward since the publication of the first edition. 

Yet my preoccupation in recent years with researches into the purely spiritual realm prevented me 

from doing this in the way I could have wished.

However, a survey of the philosophical literature of the present day, as thorough as I could make it, 

has convinced me that such a critical discussion, tempting though it would be in itself, would be out of 

place in the context of this book. All that it seemed to me necessary to say about recent philosophical 

tendencies, from the point of view of the Philosophy of Freedom, may be found in the second volume 

of my Riddles of Philosophy.

Rudolf Steiner 

April 1918.

2. Preface to the first edition, 1894; revised, 1918

   16   17   18   19   20