link: freedom                      

                 HOLISTIC EDUCATION AS EDUCATION FOR TRUE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

                    AND FREEDOM OF INQUIRY: 'INNER FREEDOM'  OR 'MATURE FREEDOM'

                                            (Mature freedom is responsible freedom)      

theme: Freedom is not licence. Freedom as license is immature freedom. Mature freedom is a function of moral responsibility or 'inner freedom'. Inner freedom as freedom of conscience is a 'meta-value' like  beauty, justice, wisdom, love and so on. 'True freedom' emerges when inner freedom translated into 'outer freedom'. This is authentic political freedom.

 "'Freedom' is one of the most frequently used words in our time and should be defined. There are two kinds of freedom corresponding to the inner and outer aspects of life. Outer freedom is freedom of action, political or social freedom. Inner freedom is freedom of the mind, freedom from the bondage of ignorance of human nature and its potentialities. Ignorance breeds fear, suspicion, hatred, and confusion. As a result the individual lives in the prison of his own limitations, restricted understanding, emotions and activities... In American culture the emphasis is on freedom of the outer aspect of life, freedom of choice and action. The individual is not allowed the inner freedom to act from conviction and internal harmony. The individual does not know what he wants, what he thinks or what he feels. He is not free according to his own will, acting from inner harmony and conviction. In order to function in the society, he must give up his identity, conform to anonymous authorities and adopt successful roles. The more he escapes from his inner freedom to act according to his will, the more powerless he feels and the more meaningless his life seems to be... If life loses its meaning because it is not lived, man becomes desperate." (Erich Fromm Man For Himself p. 256) 

(photo: Krishnamurti author of Total Freedom)                                                                         home

 Western concept of freedom as 'freedom of choice'...   freedom and capitalism... 

Eastern concept of freedom as 'freedom of the mind'... 

freedom as expression of human nature...

 freedom as 'inner freedom' or 'freedom of conscience'...   inner freedom as a function of maturity...

 freedom as 'outer freedom'...

 'free morality' as inner freedom translated into outer freedom...  'ethical individualism'... 

 authentic political freedom as 'true freedom'... 

 freedom and 'self-actualisation'...   implications for education...

 "The ideas of freedom and democracy deteriorate into nothing but irrational faith once they are not based upon the productive experience of each individual but are presented to him by parties and states which force him to believe in these ideas" (Fromm Man For Himself 210)

What is freedom? Freedom is not licence. Freedom and the 'meaning of life'... The word 'freedom' has many different meanings depending on the context. Each person's construction of meaning for their own life... depends on freedom. What is freedom? There are two kinds of freedom: The first is 'freedom of thought', 'freedom of mind' or 'freedom of conscience'  i.e. 'inner freedom'  a function of maturite growth... 'maturity' or 'self-actualisation'. The second is 'freedom of choice'...  'freedom of action' i.e. 'outer freedom'. The two are interrelated. 'True freedom' emerges when true inner freedom translates into authentic outer freedom. 

  The definition of freedom varies with the 'cultural context'.  

 The principles of freedom and democracy are based on responsible freedom which is freedom of thinking and feeling derived from the activity of the human conscience. Inner freedom is a function of morality... means maturation of personality integration of conscience. Conscience is the biological mechanism for maintenance of integration of the human personality in a complex social environment ...the human conscience is a free conscience... ...development of the human conscience depends on fulfillment of human needs for unconditional love, work etc.

 Morality is a function of moral development. ..the development of morality ...moral development is a function of the development of the human 'conscience'. The human conscience is the human 'spirit'. The human conscience is the guardian of the integration of the human personality. The human conscience is the core of human values which have evolved through natural selection as a result of its survival value to the human organism's need to adapt to a complex social environment. The human conscience is a biologically based intrinsic valuing system which is developed as a protection for the integrated human organism. The human conscience is the result of evolutionary processes. The human organism depends on the conscience - the 'spirit - for survival of the individual organism and survival of the species.  Development of the human conscience results in humanistic morality or 'free' morality as opposed to authoritarian morality or moralism... Free morality is morality based on inner freedom. Development of free morality is a result of development with inner freedom. ...biological basis of the so-called higher values... human nature as the mature mind.

 Western concept of freedom as 'freedom of choice' In the Western world freedom is perceived in terms of the ability to satisfy personal desires and impulses for self-expression in the absence of obstructions and restraining influences of 'authoritarianism'.  Emphasis is on external factors of freedom as they relate to the outer aspects of life or 'politics' - freedom of expression, autonomy, self-determination, self-dependence, self-regulation, democracy i.e. 'political freedom' or 'outer freedom' as  'freedom of action'... etc. The concept of 'freedom' is usually considered in terms of 'free will' as 'freedom of choice' i.e. 'political freedom', 'social freedom' or 'liberty'

"The ideas of freedom and democracy deteriorate into nothing but irrational faith once they are not based upon the productive experience of each individual but are resented to him by parties and states which force him to believe in these ideas." (Man For Himself p. 210)

 Freedom and capitalism: denigration of the value of 'true freedom' in American capitalist society In American culture the ideals of political freedom are used by the propaganda machine in the interests of capitalism  to divert people's attention to the choice of products which they as 'consumers' can buy. In the consumer society people are kept ignorant of the real meaning of freedom and conditioned to think that they enjoy the 'freedom to choose'.  Freedom of choice as outer freedom is not the translation of freedom of thought... the inner freedom to to act from conviction and internal harmony according to one's own will or conscience. Freedom of conscience is not encouraged or even allowed.

Freedom of capitalist society is the 'outer freedom' which emphasizes the outer aspect of life and is often confused with political and social freedom i.e. 'freedom of action', 'freedom of choice' and 'free will' in the context of freedom of choice.

As a result of suppression of inner freedom, the individual does not know what he wants, what he thinks or what he feels. He is not free according to his own will, acting from inner harmony and conviction. In order to function in the society, he must give up his identity, conform to anonymous authorities and adopt successful roles. The more he escapes from his inner freedom to act according to his will... his own conscience.. the more powerless he feels and the more meaningless his life seems to be.

 "If life loses its meaning because it is not lived, man becomes desperate." (Fromm 256)

Lack of freedom results in ignorance which breeds fear. Fear distorts the individual's perception of reality and results in restricted understanding.The individual lives in the prison of his own limited emotional and psychological scope ... encouraging suspicion, hatred, and confusion

 FEAR DISTORTS THE INDIVIDUAL'S PERCEPTION OF REALITY ... Peace is possible only between individuals who are free of fear. Fear comes to an end with  self-awareness or ‘self-knowledge’. Self-knowledge is knowledge…understanding of human nature…then we are free of it… free of conflict… free of fear. This is 'true freedom’. To be free we must be aware of who we are we must stop struggling to become something which we are not.

It is important to clarify the meaning of the word in terms of the origin or 'etymology' of the word. The modern word ‘free’ comes from the Old English word 'freo' which is connected with 'freon'to love’ as well as a person one loves i.e. 'friend'. The word 'freedom' implies 'love as 'brotherhood' - a 'state of awareness' or 'conscousness state'.

 True freedom of thought is not a question of will but of observation and contemplation. Used in the context of education, 'freedom' means freedom of thought. In American schools, freedom of thought is not encouraged. People are given choices and made to think they are 'free' to choose. Freedom of thought... inner freedom... is necessary for growth and development of personality and intelligence.

 Freedom as 'inner freedom' The true meaning of 'freedom'... 'inner freedom' emphasizes the inner aspect of life and can be likened to the German word for freedom - 'freiheit'. in which The root 'heit' refers to the inner condition... state of mind or 'consciousness state'. The closest English equivalent would be 'freedomhood' meaning 'freedom of one's consciousness state'... the conscious inner struggle for inner freedom for which all human beings strive... striving for understanding... knowledge... of one's connectedness with the world and other beings in the world i.e. 'enlightenment'.  Enlightenment is the mental condition of inner freedom. Inner freedom is freedom from the ignorance of human nature and human potentiality... 'freedom of thought', freedom of mind, freedom of conscience...

 Inner freedom as a function of mature growth... 'maturity'... or 'self-actualisation'

In accordance with biological theory and the evolutionary process, human growth and development results in the person's autonomy and independence of the environment which defines full individuality and 'true freedom' of maturity or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualisation is self-initiated development of personal integrity... the full-grown way of growing or 'mature growth'. 

The need for self-actualisation is the driving force behind meaningful learning.  

Freedom as accurate perception of reality... perception free from distortion... optimal mental health or 'wellness' - result of  full self-realization or 'self-actualisation' - a level of consciousness

"Man can become free by being himself. In this context 'freedom' means self-realization....The realization of the self is accomplished not only by an act of thinking, but also by the realization of man's total personality, by the active expression of his emotional and intellectual potentialities. These potentialities are present in everybody; they become real only to the extent to which they are expressed. In other words, positive freedom consists in the spontaneous activity of the total, integrated personality."(Fromm Man For Himself 258)

"Positive freedom ...is identical with the full realization of the individual's potentialities, together with his ability to live actively and spontaneously." (Fromm Man For Himself 270

Freedom is a function of the unfolding of human-potential i.e. 'self-actualisation' "As long as the mind does not function with its full potential and is not in position to use all the faculties it has, its freedom is restricted. Therefore the first important step in making the mind really free is the full unfoldment of its potentialites." (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi "The Science of Being and Art of Living." International SRM Publications, l966, chapter 9 234-235)

Inner freedom is translated into 'outer freedom' or 'freedom of action' or so-called 'freedom of choice'.  

 (The 'paradise' of the Old Testament is the condition of man's unity with the world and other beings in it.)

 True freedom is the 'deep freedom' of ultimate realisation of human potential... a characteristic of mature growth or 'self-actualisation'. Education for self-actualisation ... 'holistic education'... is education for freedom as 'freedom of conscience' or 'true freedom'.  

Inner freedom is a function of the mature mind and the wholistic perception of reality... a perception of reality which is free from distortion and the result of full self-realization and optimal mental health.

Inner freedom is a function of the degree of accuracy in the individual's perception of reality. Degree of accuracy in perception is a function of degree of distortion of reality. Complete freedom from distorting influences of fear etc. is a characteristic of optimal mental health. Inner freedom is the construction of character and personality, reached by one's own effort and experiences... the long preparation to reach maturity... Development cannot be taught it must be fostered... aided by the 'right education'. True inner freedom is is moral freedom or 'morality'... 'free morality'..a consequence of moral development in the context of freedom....real freedom is the consequence of latent guides of mature conscience. Complete human development leads to inner freedom and the accurate perception of reality which is free from distortion.

Freedom and human nature... the 'free spirit' - the moral being - is the purest expression of human nature..We are men in the true sense only in so far as we are free. Knowledge of oneself - self-knowledge - overcomes the division between the subjective self and the objective world... overcomes fear. During normal growth and development - with self-knowledge- the individual brings the concept of himself to expression in his outer existence... REALITY AND PERCEPTION FREE FROM DISTORTION - OPTIMAL MENTAL HEALTH... 'wellness' and full self-realization HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND PERCEPTION OF REALITY NORMALIZATION THROUGH WORK

True freedom is a matter of translating the inner freedom of maturity into the outer freedom of responsibility... authentic 'political freedom' and 'social justice'.

Eastern concept of freedom as 'freedom of the mind'  In the Eastern world freedom is perceived in terms of the ability to act according to those convictions which result from internal harmony and freedom of conscience or 'free will'. Emphasis is on internal factors of freedom as they relate to the inner aspects of life or the 'inner life' - freedom from conditioning, freedom from fear, freedom from desire, freedom from sorrow... so 'psychological freedom', 'personal freedom',  'freedom of the mind', 'freedom of thought' i.e. 'inner freedom'. Inner freedom is not a question of will but of observation and contemplation. Inner freedom is based on the ability to see reality as it is... with a sense a of responsibility or 'caring' i.e. 'love' in the sense of 'lovingkindness', 'wisdom of compassion' i.e. 'creative intelligence'. Creative intelligence is functional in normal growth and development of social personality i.e. 'socialintelligence' ("Your thoughts make the world" Buddha).

 "Freedom is thinking and feeling which arises from the activity of the human spirit.... Man is free in so far as he is able to obey himself in every moment of his life." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some Results of Introspective Observation Following the Methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolph Steiner Press, 1970. 138)

 'Inner freedom' translates into 'outer freedom' of moral behaviour or 'morality' as 'free morality'  Freedom as 'inner freedom' is freedom of the inner aspect of life - a state and quality of mind... 'freedom of the mind'... 'freedom of conscience'. Inner freedom is freedom of 'moral consciousness' or 'conscience'. Conscience is the source of guiding values for living which are defined by 'moral values' or 'spiritual values' i.e. 'human values'. Human values are a function of 'moral development'. The different stages of moral development - 'socio-cognitive stages' - represent stages of 'moral intelligence' or 'morality'. Morality is freedo. The free individual acts morally. Living in freedom is living by natural moral laws or 'natural ethics'. Natural ethics is a function of full development of the 'human personality' i.e. 'human nature'. Human nature as human conscience - the human 'soul' - is the source of all morality.  'Human' in the true sense means 'morally free'. The knowledge of human nature is knowledge of one's intrinsic morality or 'goodness'  i.e. 'self-knowledge'. Self-knowledge overcomes the division between the subjective 'self' or 'ego' and the objective world i.e. 'self-transcendance'. In the realm of self-transcendance the individual lives in 'complete freedom' or 'true freedom'. True freedom implies responsibility of 'moral conciousness' or 'morality' of developed  'conscience'... 'responsibility of freedom'... 'moral freedom'. Freedom without responsibility is 'license'. True freedom with guidance of developed conscience is required for meaningful life.

The morality of complete inner freedom - 'moral freedom'. or 'free morality' - translates into responsibility of complete outer freedom.  

"Man is free in so far as he is able to obey himself in every moment of his life." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some Results of Introspective Observation Following the Methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolph Steiner Press, 1970. p.138)

 Freedom as 'free morality'... morality based on inner freedom: 'ethical individualism'  

 'Ethical individualism'  "Acting out of freedom does not exclude the moral laws; it includes them, but shows itself to be on a higher level than those actions which are merely dictated by such laws. Why should my action be of less service to the public good when I have done it out of love than when I have done it only because I consider serving the public good to be my duty? The mere concept of duty excludes freedom because it does not acknowledge the individual element but demands that this be subject to a general standard. Freedom of action is conceivable only from the standpoint of ethical individualism." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: 138)

"The free man acts morally because he has a moral idea; he does not act in order that morality may come into being. Human individuals, with the moral ideas belonging to their nature, are the prerequisites of a moral world order. The human individual is the source of all morality. State and society exist only because they have arisen as a necessary consequence of the life of the individuals. ...the social order arises so that it in turn may react favorably upon the individual." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some results of introspective observation following the methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1970, 144)

Freedom as 'outer freedom... Outer freedom or 'political freedom' depends on inner freedom  Freedom as 'outer freedom' is the freedom of the outer aspect of life - 'freedom of action' and 'freedom of choice' i.e. 'social freedom' or 'political freedom' otherwise known as 'liberty'. Outer freedom results from the translation of free conscience of inner freedom into the outer expression of life i.e. 'choiceless awareness' or 'choicelessness' (Krishnamurti). Choicelessness is  'having no choice' in the sense of 'singularity of mind' which results from 'being-cognition' - understanding the 'what is' ...'reality' or 'truth' - and having to act in accordance with that understanding as 'conscience'. Development of conscience gives rise to convictions of responsible political and social decisions, choices and actions. The outer expression of political freedom and democracratic societies are translated from the 'true values' of inner freedom - open-minded attitudes to learning as 'free thinking'. Free thought depends on education which encourages growth through learning in conditions of freedom of expression in terms of creativity and productivity or 'work' i.e. 'holistic education'. (In the absence of inner freedom, the content of learning is imposed and the individual becomes enslaved by beliefs conceived in terms of borrowed or 'introjected' cultural values. Even though they may be false, the so-called 'conceived values' are taught through the 'hiddden curriculum' of a traditional education for social control i.e. 'banking education'.)

Authentic political freedom is a not a matter of choice but of true understanding which depends on the inner freedom of personality integration and the internal harmony of a developed conscience.

 "The ideas of freedom and democracy deteriorate into nothing but irrational faith once they are not based upon the productive experience of each individual but are presented to him by parties and states which force him to believe in these ideas" (Fromm Man For Himself 210)

 Authentic political freedom or 'true' freedom True political and social freedom is a natural product of inner freedom which translates into outer freedom. Political and social decisions, choices and actions which are responsible are the result of the convictions and internal harmony of an integrated and developed conscience.  Full development of the conscience depends on the realization of the self or 'self-realization' - the realization of one's total personality, through the active expression of one's emotional and intellectual potentialities. These potentialities are present in each individual and they only become real to the extent to which they are expressed. Self-realization depends on self-expression.

(see Krishnamurti... true freedom is a matter of 'having no choice' in the sense of 'there being no choice' ...'choiceless awareness'  or 'choicelessness'.)  

  Freedom and self-actualisation... Freedom as inner freedom or 'positive freedom' is identical with the full realization of the individual's potentialities, together with the ability to live actively and spontaneously.

The mind is free with the full unfolding of its potentialites. This is inner freedom of 'self-knowledge'. Inner freedom is the freedom to know oneself... to be oneself. True freedom manifests itself as the spontaneous activity of the total integrated personality. The fully realized individual has perceptual sensitivity and clarity of wholistic perception of reality which is independent of distortion - able to see things as they are, free from the distorting influences of personal drama or personal desires and wishes... free from ignorance which breeds  fear, suspicion, confusion, personal hatred, prejudice. Inner freedom is freedom from the bondage of ignorance in which the individual lives in the prison of the limitations of an immature mind and its restricted understanding.

As long as the mind does not function with its full potential and is not in the position to use all the faculties it has, its freedom is restricted.

...results from the unfolding of human potentialities or 'self-actualisation' Human societies - the 'social order' or 'state' - arise naturally as a necessary consequence of the lives of human individuals. The existence of free societies - a 'moral world order' - depends on individuals who are inwardly free and therefore naturally moral. The morality of freedom - 'responsible freedom' or 'true freedom' - depends on education for the development of human potential. True freedom as 'inner freedom' or 'positive freedom' results from the full realisation of human potentialities which become real only to the extent to which they are expressed or 'actualised'. During normal growth and development each individual experiences their own inner struggle of personality development and intellectual or 'spiritual' growth i.e. the realisation or 'actualisation' of the self i.e. 'self-realisation' or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualisation is the active integration and expression of the individual's emotional and intellectual potential of their total personality. As 'personality integration' self-actualisation is the natural or 'normal' process of growth according to  biological laws and the evolutionary process i.e. 'normalisation'. Normal growth increases the individual's autonomy and independence of the environment which defines true freedom of full individuality or 'individuation'. The process of individuation involves the long preparation to reach maturity of self-actualisationi.e. 'education'. Education under conditions of free expression allows for freedom of growth through learning. In a climate which fosters the freedom of expression of individuality and self-determination reached by one's own efforts and experiences, the mind is freed with the full unfolding of its potentialites and becomes functional in the construction of conscience of character and personality - the basis for morality of true freedom.

The self-actualised individual manifests their self-concept in their outer existence as 'free thinker' or 'free spirit'.  

 Self-actualisation is the expression of optimal mental health characterised by a perception of reality which is free from distortion of conditioning i.e. 'holistic perception'. The holistic perception of reality is a function of the freedom of conscience or 'inner freedom' which is required for adaptation to changing social conditions i.e. 'adaptability'.

The self-actualised individual is 'self-actualising' The fully realised or 'self-actualised' individual is the totally integrated 'self-actualising' personality whose basic psychological needs have been gratified. The self-actualising individual is growth motivated and psychologically independent; they are self-sufficient and self-contained preferring privacy and detachment for observation and contemplation or 'meditation'. Meditation is required for activity of spontaneus living which depends on development and maturity of 'free conscience'. Development of conscience is required for accurate perception of the social environment or 'reality' - 'perceptual sensitivity' or 'clarity of perception'. Others beings are perceived in terms of their objective intrinsic qualities rather than in terms of their usefulness to gratify the needs of 'deficiency motivation'. (The deficiency motivated individual who depends on others as sources of supply for their gratification needs must constantly change to fit a non-reliable environment and this contributes to their general anxiety, hostility and lack of freedom).The self-actualising individual is able to see things as they are, to see the 'what is' as 'what is true'  - free from the distorting influences of personal drama, personal desires and wishes, fear and suspicion, hatred and prejudice, confusion and conflict all of which originate in the restricted understanding of immaturity i.e. 'ignorance'.  Ignorance is a matter of restricted freedom. The restriction of inner freedom results in enslavement by the limitations of a restricted mind  which does not function to its full potential and so is unable to use all its faculties. The result is restricted understanding or 'incomplete freedom'. The limitations of the restricted mind produce an inaccurate perception of reality in terms of opposites or 'polarities', contradictions and incompatibles or 'dichotomies' ... such as individual versus 'society', good versus 'evil' and so on. So-called dichotomies can be reconciled with education based on knowledge of the human personality or 'human nature' i.e. 'self-knowledge'. Self-knowledge is the knowledge of one's connectedness or unity with the world as in the 'paradise' of the Old Testament. Freedom of self-knowledge integrates the dichotomies of limited understanding arising from incomplete freedom and incomplete development i.e. 'immaturity'

True freedom as inner freedom translated into outer freedom is required for human ability to adapt to changing social conditions i.e. 'adaptability'.

"The 'paradise' of the Old Testament is the condition of man's unity with the world and other beings in the world. Erich Fromm. Escape From Freedom. p. 255

True freedom is connectedness or 'wholeness': necessary for development of ability to adapt to changing social conditions i.e. 'adaptabilityTrue freedom is responsible freedom and depends on obedience to oneself i.e. to one's intrinsic conscience as the source of human values i.e. 'self-discipline'. Self-discipline as freedom of conscience is a function of personality development and integration defined by 'spiritual autonomy', 'independence' or 'self-determination'  Freedom to self-determine - intrinsic to all life - is freedom of responsibility for one's own life and one's own problems and a function of development of the total personality or 'personal development'. Personality development is natural growth which depends on latent guides intrinsic to the organism - the intrinsic motives for learning i.e. 'human needs'. Human needs include 'basic psychological needs' for self-esteem - the 'ego needs' - and the 'higher psychological needs'  for spiritual growth - the 'spiritual needs' or 'metaneeds'. Metaneeds are functional in 'intrinsic motivation' for personal development and growth through learning.

 FREEDOM AND HUMAN NATURE "...the 'free spirit' - the moral being - is the purest expression of human nature." "We are men in the true sense only in so far as we are free. Knowledge of oneself - self-knowledge - overcomes the division between the subjective self and the objective world. During normal growth and development - with self-knowledge- the individual "brings the concept of himself to expression in his outer existence." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some results of introspective observation following the methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1970, page 141)

Human adaptability depends on perception of the whole or 'holistic perception'  Human adaptability is a function of the degree of accuracy of the individual's perception and evaluation of reality. Perception of reality is a function of level of awareness or consciousness i.e. 'consciousness state'. The individual's consciousness state is a function of their awareness of error i.e. 'critical consciousness'...  product of freedom to learn and freedom to make mistakes (value of 'error' in process of 'self-evaluation'). Accurate  evaluation depends on perception of reality in terms of interrelationships between parts and wholes i.e. 'holistic perception'. Holistic perception of reality is a function of complete intellectual and moral development to maturity as self-actulisation. Holistic perception depends on knowledge of human values which are adaptive for thinking and decision-making which leads to behaviour adaptive to changing social conditions.  Holistic perception is based on observation and contemplation of the free thinking mature mind - 'intuition' of a mature developed conscience i.e. 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence is a function of optimal 'mental health' i.e. 'wellness'. Education for social intelligence is education for cultivation of the total human being  i.e. 'holistic education'. Holistic education is responsible education which allows for freedom to learn from experience 'experiential learning'.   

"For too long the inner world of children has been suppressed or denied, and this is a serious flaw in our educational thinking that holistic educators seek to remedy. In our enthusiasm to nurture the subjectivities of children, I hope that we don't forget that it is in the intermediate world of symbols and shared mutual dialogue that genuine cultural transformation will occur...The potential of wholistic education is to develop the capacity to reason critically and compassionately, incorporating and transcending dualistic and suppressed forms of consciousness to achieve a more fully developed mode of awareness.. (Kathleen Kesson. "Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 109)

"There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education functions either as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the 'practice of freedom,' the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. The development of an educational methodology that facilitates this process will inevitably lead to tension and conflict within our society. But it could also contribute to the formation of a new man and mark the beginning of a new era in Western history. (Richard Schaull in the introduction: Paulo Freire, 1970. Pedagogy iof the Oppressed 15)

 "Ignorance, poverty and crime in society will not be solved by more of the same 'old education' - forcing children to learn under the systematic repression of adult-controlled instruction. Despite the billions of dollars and lip service efforts at 'reform' this type of traditional education remains as ever a part of the problem - not the solution. Instead, we must create a 'new education' to free the human spirit - true education which is based entirely on fundamental principles of nature." (Illich Deschooling Society) 

"Real freedom is a consequence of development; it is the consequence of latent guides, aided by education. It is the construction of the personality, reached by effort and one's own experiences; it is the long road which every child must take to reach maturity... Development cannot be taught." (Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind)

 

Freedom does not consist in keeping up an uninterrupted and unimpeded external activity, but is something achieved through conquering, by personal reflection, the difficulties that prevent immediate overflow into action and spontaneous success... Genuine freedom is intellectual. It rests on the power of thought. To cultivate unhindered, unreflective, external activity is to foster enslavement, for it leaves the person at the mercy of appetite, sense and circumstance." (John Dewey. How We Think pp. 88- 90)  

   Implications for educationEducation as the practice of freedom for growth through learning.... 'holistic perception'... 'holistic education'   Freedom is the most important condition necessary to insure the cultivation of natural development - not freedom as licence- but freedom with control and responsibility. If learning is the goal of the educational process, then child interest is the most effective orienting center for any educational method. Learning is a natural function of the brain and the healthy 'mind'.

  The term 'freedom' in education is often misunderstood to imply that the teacher have a passive attitude and that direction and supervision be abandoned. This is a mistaken view.  The teacher's role is to direct and supervise the dynamic aspect of freedom. The methods of the new education imply direct involvement of the educator in its organization and expansion i.e. in lesson planning and curriculum design. The significant aspect of the new education is the use of freedom. The methods of the new education are effective because they depend on the initiative and the responsible use of freedom. The direction and supervision of education implies the responsible role of the educator as facilitator in the accomplishment of goals which children set for themselves in problem-soving activities.

The aim of education is inward freedom i.e. freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry.... the freedom to learn and the freedom to work. The direction and supervision of education implies the responsible role of the educator as facilitator in the accomplishment of goals which children set for themselves in problem-soving activities

   Experiential learning is learning for adaptability to a life of freedom and depends on 'self-empowerment'. Self-empowerment is the attainment of inner freedom of conscience which translates into outer freedom of morality. Morality of true freedom is the basis for social intelligence for adaptability. Education for freedom - 'holistic education' - is based on trust and respect for human nature. The methods of holistic education are effective because they depend on the responsible use of freedom - learner initiative and responsibility for learning. It is mistaken to assume that the term 'freedom in education' implies that teacher direction and supervision be abandoned. Contrary to this passive role, the teacher's role is an actve one involving the preparation of  rich supportive learning environments for effective facilitation of growth through learning. Teacher direction and supervision are required in order to put the dynamics of freedom to proper use. The correct use of freedom is the most significant aspect of the 'new education' as 'holistic education' i.e. 'libratory pedagogy'. Libratory pedagogy ... 'freedom in education' ... involves the direct involvement of the educator in the organization and expansion of curricula and the design of learning experiences or 'lessons' planned with a view to facilitating learning and accomplishing goals which learners set for themselves in problem-solving activities i.e. 'lesson plans'. The teacher's role is defined as 'facilitator of learning'. The facilitative teacher provides a growth-promoting learning environment... provides conditions for the facilitation of growth through learning...conditions for the 'freedom to learn'  as 'freedom to work'. Meaningful work depends on freedom of expression, freedom of common sense inquiry or 'curiosity'scientific activity' i.e. 'science'.

The scientific basis for holistic education - the nature of 'human nature' - makes it a 'natural education'.

"...It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiostiy of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to rack and ruin without fail." (Einstein)

 Holistic education is education for mature freedom... inner freedom... which is translated into outer freedom to become 'true freedom'... freedom of responsibility or 'responsible freedom' . Freedom of inquiry and contemplation... freedom for development of the mind or 'soul'... 'Socratic tradition'... Socrates...

Freedom is "the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion."(Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed 31)

  "...the organization of human communities and the establishment of freedom and peace are not only intellectual achievements but spiritual and moral achievements as well, demanding a cherishing of the wholeness of the human personality.." (Ivan Ilich. Deschoolong Society. 3)

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References:

 Erich Fromm. Escape from Freedom 257

Steiner, Rudolph. Philosophy of Freedom

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi "The Science of Being and Art of Living." International SRM Publications, l966

CONCERNING THE SUPPOSED DICHOTOMY BETWEEN FREEOM AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY  "How is a social life possible for man if each one is only striving to assert his own individuality? This objection is characteristic of a false understanding in moralism. Such a moralist believes that a social community is possible only if all men are united by a communally fixed moral order. What this kind of moralist does not understand is just the unity of the world of ideas. He does not see that the world of ideas working in me is no other than the one working in my fellow man....A moral misunderstanding, a clash, is impossible between men who are morally free...To live in love towards our actions, and to let live in the understanding of the other person's will, is the fundamental maxim of free men."( Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. (Some results of introspective observation following the methods of Natural Science). London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1970 page 139)

 To resolve the so-called 'dichotomy' individual freedom / social responsibility depends on the use of the word 'freedom'.

Persons who are free in this sense only obey themselves. Persons who are not free in this sense are 'unfree' - they submit themselves to control. ( Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. (Some results of introspective observation following the methods of Natural Science). London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1970 140)

Steiner: "...thinking and feeling which arises from the activity of the human spirit".

freedom from dogmatic beliefs ...alleviates the obligation of taking those beliefs for granted... with the courage to proceed along the lines which one considers...

 inner freedom is a function of the mature mind and the wholistic perception of reality... a perception of reality which is free from distortion and the result of full self-realization and optimal mental health. In accordance with biological theory and the evolutionary process, full individuality of the human organism is the product of self-actualization or 'self-realization' which is defined by the individual's autonomy and spiritual independence i.e. 'true' freedom.

 'Freedom' is a frequently used word which needs to be defined in context. The concept of freedom varies with respect to the aspect of life which is under discussion. The two kinds of freedom which correspond to the outer and inner aspects of life are 'inner freedom' and 'outer freedom'. 'Inner freedom' emphasizes the inner aspect of life and can be likened to the German word for freedom which is 'freiheit'. The root 'heit' refers to the inner condition or the consciousness state. Inner freedom is freedom of mind, freedom of thought and freedom of conscience. The closest English equivalent would be the non-existent 'freedomhood' meaning 'freedom of one's inner state'. 'Outer freedom' emphasizes the outer aspect of life and is often confused with political and social freedom i.e. 'freedom of action', 'freedom of choice' and 'free will' in the context of freedom of choice. True political and social freedom is a natural product of inner freedom which translates into outer freedom. The principles of freedom and democracy are based on responsible freedom which is freedom of thinking and feeling derived from the activity of the human conscience. Inner freedom means maturation of personality integration of conscience. Political and social decisions, choices and actions which are responsible are the result of the convictions and internal harmony of an integrated and developed conscience.

 Full development of the conscience depends on the realization of the self or 'self-realization' - the realization of one's total personality, through the active expression of one's emotional and intellectual potentialities. These potentialities are present in each individual and they only become real to the extent to which they are expressed. Self - realization depends on self-expression. True freedom as inner freedom or 'positive freedom' is identical with the full realization of the individual's potentialities, together with the ability to live actively and spontaneously. Inner freedom is the freedom to know oneself... to be oneself. True freedom manifests itself as the spontaneous activity of the total integrated personality. The fully realized individual has perceptual sensitivity and clarity of wholistic perception of reality which is independent of distortion - able to see things as they are, free from the distorting influences of personal drama or personal desires and wishes, or personal hatred, ignorance, fear and prejudice. Wholistic perception of reality is a function of maturity - of self-realization and of complete intellectual and moral development. In the wholistic perspective, the dichotomies of limited understanding of immaturity are integrated. Wholistic thinking is based on observation and contemplation - seeing connections between the parts and how they relate to the whole. With observation and contemplation... from a wholistic perspective, the mature 'mind' 'sees' connections and relationships. Observation and contemplation constitute free thinking and true 'freedom'. Freedom of thought comes from observation, contemplation, intuition of a mature developed conscience which is the source of guiding values and knowledge for adaptive thought, decision-making and action. Inner freedom means freedom from the bondage of ignorance. In ignorance, the individual lives in the prison of the limitations of an immature mind and its restricted understanding and limited understanding breeds fear, suspicion, hatred, and confusion. As long as the mind does not function with its full potential and is not in the position to use all the faculties it has, its freedom is restricted. The mind is free with the full unfolding of its potentialites. This is self-knowledge for inner freedom. Inner freedom is a function of the degree of accuracy in the individual's perception of reality. Degree of accuracy in perception is a function of degree of distortion of reality. Complete freedom from distorting influences of fear etc. is a characteristic of optimal mental health. Inner freedom is the construction of character and personality, reached by one's own effort and experiences... the long preparation to reach maturity... Development cannot be taught. Moral development and intellectual development take place together... morality is a function of intelligence... True inner freedom is morality.

Real freedom is moral freedom ... morality...a consequence of moral development...real freedom is the consequence of latent guides, aided by education. Complete human development leads to inner freedom and the accurate perception of reality which is free from distortion. The inner state of consciousness translates into the outer structure and expression of life. This has been stated by many great thinkers throughout human history - the Buddha expressed it thus: 'Your thoughts make the world'. True inner freedom as morality translates into true outer freedom and moral actions. Human nature as moral nature and 'human' in the true sense is the morally free human being... the truly free individual acts morally because he has a moral idea... human nature is the source of all morality ... a moral world order depends on individuals who are inwardly free and have moral ideas as part of their nature. State and society exist only because they have arisen as a necessary consequence of the life of the individuals. ...the social order arises so that it in turn may react favorably upon the individual. Knowledge of human nature- self-knowledge - overcomes the division between the subjective self and the objective world. During normal growth and development - with self-knowledge- the individual brings the concept of himself to expression in his outer existence. For each individual it is the inner struggle of personality development and intellectual growth. Inner freedom comes from the knowledge that one is connected with the world and other beings in the world. (The 'paradise' of the Old Testament is the condition of man's unity with the world and other beings in the world.)

 ...human development and perception of reality as level of consciousness... is a function of the individual's level of consciousness... level of awareness... awareness of error or 'critical consciousness'... product of freedom to learn and freedom to make mistakes. True freedom means obedience to oneself ....i.e. to one's intrinsic conscience as the source of human values. No one is more enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free but their values are 'borrowed' introjected values conceived on the basis of cultural beliefs... Learning and thinking are valuable and necessary assets of citizens of a 'truly' free and democratic society. Attainment of inner freedom depends on growth through learning through work.

 The aim of education is inward freedom i.e. freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry.... the freedom to learn and the freedom to work. For many parents and educators the term 'freedom' in education implies that the teacher have a passive attitude and that direction and supervision be abandoned. This is a mistaken view of the teacher's role. It is the dynamic aspect of freedom which requires direction and supervision. The methods of the new education imply direct involvement of the educator in its organization and expansion i.e. in lesson planning and curriculum design. The significant aspect of the new education is the use of freedom. The methods of the new education are effective because they depend on the initiative and the responsible use of freedom. The direction and supervision of education implies the responsible role of the educator as facilitator in the accomplishment of goals which children set for themselves in problem-soving activities.

In accordance with biological theory and the evolutionary process, full individuality of the human organism is the product of self-actualization or 'self-realization' which is defined by the individual's autonomy and spiritual independence i.e. 'true' freedom. 'Outer freedom' emphasizes the outer aspect of life and is often confused with political and social freedom i.e. 'freedom of action', 'freedom of choice' and 'free will' in the context of freedom of choice. Political and social decisions, choices and actions which are responsible are the result of the convictions and internal harmony of an integrated and developed conscience. The direction and supervision of education implies the responsible role of the educator as facilitator in the accomplishment of goals which children set for themselves in problem-soving activities.

 

Maharishi Art and Science of Living chapter 9 Carl Rogers "Freedom to Learn" Charles Merrill Publishing Company, Columbus Ohio l969

"...It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiostiy of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to rack and ruin without fail." (Einstein)

'Freedom' is one of the most frequently used words in our time and should be defined. There are two kinds of freedom which correspond ... corresponding to the inner and outer aspects of life. 'inner freedom' and 'outer freedom'. 'Outer freedom' is freedom of action and so-called 'political' or 'social' freedom. 'Inner freedom' is freedom of the mind... freedom from the bondage of ignorance of human nature and its potentialities. Ignorance breeds fear, suspicion, hatred, and confusion. As a result the individual lives in the prison of his own limitations, restricted understanding, emotions and activities. ...freedom of thinking and feeling which arises from the activity of the human spirit. Inner freedom can be likened to the German word for freedom - 'freiheit in which the root 'heit' refers to an inner condition. The closest equivalent in English would be 'hood'. A word which would represent more closely the inner struggle for inner freedom for which all human beings strive is 'freedomhood'. It is hard work to attain inner freedom. It is the inner struggle of each individual. Inner freedom comes from the knowledge that we are connected with the world and other beings in the world.

(The 'paradise' of the Old Testament is the condition of man's unity with the world and other beings in the world. Man is free in so far as he is able to obey himself in every moment of his life.)

In American culture the emphasis is on freedom of the outer aspect of life, freedom of choice and action. The individual is not allowed the inner freedom to act from conviction and internal harmony. Not allowed to act from conviction, the individual does not know what he wants, what he thinks or what he feels. He is not free according to his own will. In order to function in the society, he must give up his identity, conform to anonymous authorities and adopt successful roles. The more he escapes from his inner freedom to act according to his will, the more powerless he feels and the more meaningless his life seems to be... life loses its meaning because it is not lived and he becomes desperate." (Fromm Man For Himself 255-256)

Man can become free by being himself (257) In this context 'freedom' means self-realization. "The realizaion of the self is accomplished not only by an act of thinking, but also by the realization of man's total personality, by the active expression of his emotional and intellectual potentialities. These potentialities are present in everybody; they become real only to the extent which they are expressed. In other words, positive freedom consists in the spontaneous activity of the total, integrated personality."(258)

"The ideas of freedom and democracy deteriorate into nothing but irrational faith once they are not based upon the productive experience of each individual but are presented to him by parties and states which force him to believe in these ideas" (Fromm Man For Himself 210)

 The concept of 'freedom' is usually considered in terms of 'freedom of choice', 'free will' etc. True freedom of thought is not a question of will but of observation and contemplation. Used in the context of education, 'freedom' means freedom of thought

 In American schools, freedom of thought is not encouraged. People are given choices and made to think they are 'free' to choose. Freedom to think is necessary for growth and development of personality and intelligence.

 "...thinking and feeling which arises from the activity of the human spirit" the conscience .

 "Man is free in so far as he is able to obey himself in every moment of his life." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some Results of Introspective Observation Following the Methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolph Steiner Press, 1970. 138)

 Man can become free by being himself (257) In this context 'freedom' means self-realization. "The realizaion of the self is accomplished not only by an act of thinking, but also by the realization of man's total personality, by the active expression of his emotional and intellectual potentialities. These potentialities are present in everybody; they become real only to the extent which they are expressed. In other words, positive freedom consists in the spontaneous activity of the total, integrated personality."(258) (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi "The Science of Being and Art of Living." International SRM Publications, l966, chapter 9 l88-200)

The concept of 'freedom' is usually considered in terms of 'freedom of choice', 'free will' etc. True freedom of thought is not a question of will but of observation and contemplation. Used in the context of education, 'freedom' means freedom of thought

. In American schools, freedom of thought is not encouraged. People are given choices and made to think they are 'free' to choose. Freedom to think is necessary for growth and development of personality and intelligence. Definition of 'freedom' according to Steiner: "...thinking and feeling which arises from the activity of the human spirit". "Man is free in so far as he is able to obey himself in every moment of his life." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some Results of Introspective Observation Following the Methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolph Steiner Press, 1970. 138)

 FREEDOM German for freedom is 'freiheit'. The root 'heit' refers to an inner condition. The closest in English would be 'hood' such that the word 'freedomhood' would represent more closely the inner struggle for inner freedom for which all human beings strive. It is hard work to attain inner freedom. It is the inner struggle of each individual. Inner freedom comes from the knowledge that we are connected with the world and other beings in the world. (The 'paradise' of the Old Testament is the condition of man's unity with the world and other beings in the world.

Values According to Daisetz Teitoro Suzuki 'Human Values in Zen' Ed. Abraham Maslow. New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper Brothers 1959. For science of values: "...a value is valueless when it is not subjectively free from an egoistic impulse."(95) "In terms of Taoism, or Mahayana Buddhism, the value is a value when it is a no-value. Psychologically when all the values are shut up in the depths of the the unconscious or in the limbo of obivion, we have the values in their genuine form. Lao-tze said that what can be designated as this or that is not Tao. Tao is nameless. Every moment you say, "it is good", the good loses its goodness. The really good is just so, and no more no less. The good is just-so-ness. So with the rest of human values...The human and the divine are one, for what is humanly valuable is so only because it is divine." (95)

"The Chinese philosophers saw reality, whose ultimate essence they called Tao, as a process of continual flow and change. In their view all phenomena we observe participate in this cosmic process and are thus intrinsically dynamic. The principal characteristic of the Tao is the cyclical nature of its ceaseless motion; all developments in nature-those in the physical world as well as those in the psychological and social realms-show cyclical patterns. The Chinese gave this idea of cyclical patterns a definite structure by introducing the polar opposites 'yin' and 'yang', the two poles that set the limits for the cycles of change: 'The yang, having reached its climax retreats in favor of the yin; the yin having reached its climax retreats in favor of the yang.' In the Chinese view, all manifestations of the Tao are generated by the dynamic interplay of these two archetypal poles, which are associated with many images of opposites taken from nature and from social life. It is important, and very difficult for us Westerners, to understand that these opposites do not belong to different categories but are extreme poles of a single whole. Nothing is only yin or only yang. All natural phenomena are manifestations of a continuous oscillation between the two poles, all transitions taking place gradually and in unbroken progression. The natural order is one of dynamic balance between yin and yang." (Capra 35)  

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND PERCEPTION OF REALITY Perception of reality as level consciousness Walter Weisskopf. 'Existence and Values' in (Ed) A. Maslow. New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper Brothers 1959

The polar opposites 'yin' and 'yang' are the extreme poles of a single whole cycle; they are not two separate categories. "Walter Weisskopf. 'Existence and Values' in (Ed) A. Maslow. New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper Brothers 1959.

REALITY AND SIGN OF THE Tao in Chinese philosophy: 108-110  "The existential structure is found in human experience. Man experiences everything in terms of a dialectical unity, consisting of a basic antimony, a polarity of the two antinomic poles, and an ultimate unity of the two. The basic split or antimony is derived from the dichotomy of subject and object, of 'myself' and the world. Whatever we experience is split into two: a subject which experiences and an object which is experienced. This applies not only to thought but to all human remembering, imagining, feeling, willing and acting. The polarity of the two branches of the antimony implies that they are interdependent; one cannot be without the other. Self and world determine each other; subject and object cannot exist, do not exist in isolation from each other. This polarity is an intermediate link betweeen the antimony and the ultimate unity of the two poles. They are only different aspects of something which is ontologically one. This trinity is most lucidly symbolized by the sign of the Tao in Chinese philosophy, by the two intertwined halves in black and white, included in the union of the circle. The basic source of the split in human existence is consciousness. Man can transcend any given situation because he is aware of it. Man 'is' and at the same time he is conscious of his being. This establishes a cleavage between himelf as conscious subject and the objective situation of which he is conscious.

Transcendance through consciousness is the basis of human freedom. By transcending the given situation through his consciousness man frees himself within certain limits from the necessities of this situation. This opens up alternatives; the dimension of actuality is left behind and the realm of potentiality is entered, creating the possibility of choice and the necessity of decision based on guiding values. The entire sequence of transcendance through consciousness, grasping of potential alternatives and the exercise of choice based on values, constitutes man's freedom. Values are a concomitant of freedom.... The ultimate ground of values is rooted in the ultimate of being...The universl content of ultimate values stems from the basic existential trinity of antimony, polarity, and the union of opposites. This union is the essence of ultimate values. Ontologically, the ground of being is that dimension in which all antimonies are united and harmonized. It is the all-inclusive essence in which conflicts are dissolved in unity. ...One can easily detect in all of man's deepest strivings the attempt to negate, to cancel, to overcome the basic split of his existential situation. This split, caused by consciousness, estranges man from himself and from nature and imposes the burden of freedom. It is the ultimate source of human anxiety and suffering.

Union downwards and union upwards The union of opposites and the harmonization of the basic existential split are the goals of human striving and form the essential content of ultimate human values." (Walter Weisskopf. 'Existence and Values' in (Ed) Abraham Maslow New KLnowledge in Human Values  New York: Harper Brothers 1959. pp.108-110)

There are two avenues towards this union which I call 'union upwards' and 'union downwards'. These two avenues stem from two basic tendencies of all living matter: a regressive tendency towards the dissolution of the existing state and the restoration of a previous, less complicated state on the one hand, and a tendency toward 'individuation' on the other hand. (110) The evolution towards the awareness of the existential split starts with a state of primeval unity between self and world, individual and group, conscious and unconscious. (see E. Neumann. The Origins of Consciousness, Pantheon Books 1954) ...In this state..psychic events are dominated by the unconscious....The tendency to revert to this state has been called the 'death drive' (Freud) an unfortunate term because the drive does not aim at death. 'Death drive' refers to the tendency towards inertia of living matter which leads to the restoration of a previous less complicated, less tension-filled state of life....without dichotomy and without the burden of consciousness and freedom." Escape behaviors are manifestations of union downwards - death drive - possible avenue toward elimination of the dichotomies of existence. Union upwards and individuation - striving towards the harmonization of the existential antinomies without resistence to individuation. "Union in general and union upwards in particular are the goals of human striving." (Walter Weisskopf. 'Existence and Values' in (Ed)  Abraham Maslow New Knowledge in Human Values  New York: Harper Brothers 1959 p.112)

"Love in the highest sense is union upwards which preserves and accepts the individuality of the 'thou'".(112) "Because of our overemphasis on intellect, we have divorced reason from emotion." (118)

"Man has a tendency to realize himself" (131)  See Maslow's study of self-actualizing people

 Motivation andf Personality Harper 1954