The Annual Training
The Annual Training
With the Annual Training we want to do justice to The Philosophy of Freedom as a path of spiritual training. It is based on the fact that the fundamental thoughts of The Philosophy of Freedom are practiced daily, chapter by chapter, over a certain period of time. For this purpose, the main thoughts of The Philosophy of Freedom – as they unfold in the course of its content – are written on A6 cards. Due to this separation from the main text, these thoughts take on a special significance. Card by card, you can now follow the course of thoughts and, depending on complexity, decide how long you want to dwell on a thought. This approach to practice is thereby completely individualised, while we go collectively through a certain section, and thereby our will process is supported. The importance of such thought-meditative engagement with The Philosophy of Freedom for inner development was once expressed by Rudolf Steiner in his lectures on the Gospel of John thus:
"A person can already come very far in relation to this catharsis if, for example, they have gone through and experienced inwardly all that is in my Philosophy of Freedom in such a way that they feel: The book was a stimulus for me, but I can now actually reproduce the thoughts myself exactly as they are written."
At the heart of the Annual Training is the commitment to spend at least a ¼ hour a day with The Philosophy of Freedom cards. These lead us, thought by thought, through the book. With this daily meditative-thought work, a beautiful deepening develops over time. The Philosophy of Freedom begins to come alive in the soul. Such a "life in thought" can be experienced like an inner happiness, because one becomes active from one's innermost being. The training of this individual and life-giving spiritual activity is the focus of the Annual Training. The possibilities of the Annual Training for one's own growth are thus independent of previous experiences one has had with The Philosophy of Freedom or Anthroposophy. If one already brings rich experiences, these can be deepened and enlivened in an individual way; if one is still quite inexperienced with this kind of spiritual activity, a new area of life can be opened up.
"I saw that many felt a contrast between experience and thinking. To me, thinking itself was experience, but such an experience in which one lives, not such an experience which comes to a person from outside."
This new cycle – the fourth – begins on September 25, 2022 at 19:15 with a group Zoom conference and ends on April 16, 2023 with a group closing conference. From September 25, 2022 until shortly before Christmas we will have worked through – in 12 weeks – the first part of The Philosophy of Freedom. After a two-week break, we will begin in the New Year with the second part of The Philosophy of Freedom, which will also occupy us for 12 weeks until the beginning of spring. This will be followed by the third part, which is shorter and which we will finish by the final Zoom conference after Easter. In between each part there will be an opportunity for a review.
Thought-cards and Journal
The Annual Training is location independent. During the last cycle, for example, this enabled us to have participants from all over Germany – even a participant from Hawaii – and to travel a common path independently of the Corona measures. At the beginning of the training, each participant receives two boxes with the approximately 600 Philosophy of Freedom thought-cards. In addition, everyone receives a journal. We work through between 15 and a maximum of 30 cards per week. The materials including postage/packaging are included in the participant fee and make up a significant part of the fixed costs.
Support Letters and Zoom Conferences
Week by week – every Monday – you will receive an email support letter. This letter introduces the respective topic, presents further aspects and connects the thoughts of The Philosophy of Freedom with current events. Approximately every four weeks – on Sundays at 7:15 p.m. – there is a group Zoom conference. In this we deepen the topics, do exercises together and have conversations with each other.
Buddies and Regional Groups
In the first Zoom conference, we encourage a buddy process, so that each participant who wants to can have a link with another participant with whom they can exchange ideas and freely support each other. We also support the formation of regional groups, which can also network with each other in a self-responsible and free way. It is recommended, for example, to meet physically once a week, to do simple exercises together and to discuss, deepen and developed thoughts together.
The Annual Training lives essentially from the fact that we are people traveling together on a spiritual path. We have had the experience that through this common intensive process, beautiful friendships and connections can develop, even if one initially only sees each other during the Zoom conferences. To support mutual awareness, we have developed profile cards that can be displayed on an interactive map in the login area and viewed by all participants. We encourage you to fill out such a profile card about yourself, so that we can have the opportunity to get to know each other better.
We want to make the annual training available to everyone who wants to participate. This is what we are committed to, and it is our top priority. For this purpose, we have developed a pricing model that allows us to work economically, and at the same time you can feel free to support our work according to your means.
These prices include all costs including the boxes with the thought-cards, postage, internet platform, Zoom conferences, letters, personal accompaniment, etc., regardless of where you live, worldwide. There are four price categories. Each participant is free to choose one of these categories. We do not require any proof for this.
The *Basic-fee is composed of 55$ for the boxes with the thought cards and 25$/month for the annual training. Including 35$ for shipping.
We have deliberately set the * Reduced-fee quite low. It consists of 55$ for the thought cards/ shipping and 5$ per month for the annual training. It covers the external costs like material, printing, shipping (from Germany) and internet platform, but not the further development of the yearly training or the release of people for this work.
The annual training is a free impulse. With the *Contribution-contract you support our work, so that it can continue to grow throughout the world. You help create financial compensations for people with low income and support the annual training.
Maybe you are not comfortable with either of these price plans because you have so little money that even the reduced fee is too high for you, or you would like to give something more than the reduced contribution, but cannot afford the basic contribution, then the *Self-selected contribution, which allows you to choose a contribution that suits you, would be the most suitable. Then feel free to choose a contribution that fits your current inner and outer life situation.
Write to us if you have questions or are unsure how to proceed. Otherwise just choose one of the contributions and look forward to an exciting journey and intensive work with The Philosophy of Freedom and the adventure of thinking!
Registration for the current cycle of the annual Philosophy of Freedom training is no longer possible.
If you are interested in the next course, please contact us via the contact form or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will notify you as soon as registration for the 2023/24 cycle is possible. You are also welcome to sign up for our newsletter, then you will stay informed about the latest developments.
Our own work is so far purely voluntary. Especially in view of the challenges of our time, it is a central concern of ours to promote a discussion of the ideas of freedom and the development of living, free thinking. To give this important work a legal and economic basis, we have founded an association. We are happy to accept donations if you are interested in our work and would like to support us.
The Advanced Course takes about three months after the Basic Course. Its content is not fixed from the beginning, but develops out of the Basic Course.
The basic text for the Annual Training – according to which the cards are also numbered – is Rudolf Steiner‘s Die Philosophie der Freiheit, Grundzüge einer modernen Weltanschauung. Paperback edition no. 627, 11th edition, Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Basel, 2016.
Questions & Answers
The Annual Training consists of the Basic Course and the Advanced Course. We have deliberately chosen a shorter period than one year for the Basic Course. The daily work with the cards is very intensive, and involves a certain process of will. To what extent this is possible over a whole year and what tools are needed for this, we do not yet know. We are in an open development process and very excited about sharing experiences with you. For those who want to deepen the work after the 30 weeks of the Basic Course with The Philosophy of Freedom, there is the possibility of an Advanced Course. The content of this course is derived from the Basic Course, but it is possible that it will focus on a completely different area of spiritual development than the thinking of The Philosophy of Freedom. For example, the Advanced Course of the 2nd cycle includes work with feeling and a beginning with How to Attain Knowledge of Higher Worlds by Rudolf Steiner. We think that over time, with you and other participants, various possibilities for deepening The Philosophy of Freedom will develop and we look forward to this process.
The only prerequisite is the joy and commitment to spend ¼ hour each day with The Philosophy of Freedom cards. The more concentrated and consistent this is, the more effective the training will be. In addition, it is worthwhile to read the book, to exchange ideas and to make The Philosophy of Freedom a main occupation during the time of the training. But this is entirely up to your freedom and possibilities.
A commitment is a pledge that you make to yourself, to another person or to a cause when something is truly close to your heart. It is a free will decision. It is good to start the Basic Course with an inner commitment for the training period.
The training is divided into three parts. The first one lasts 12 weeks and includes the first part of The Philosophy of Freedom. The second part is also 12 weeks and includes the second part of The Philosophy of Freedom. Over Christmas, after the second part, there is a two weeks break. The third part goes for three weeks and ends with the final conference.
Each participant will receive a box with The Philosophy of Freedom cards at the beginning of the training. Each week you will receive a supportive email letter from us that frames the content of the training. About every 4 weeks there will be a group Zoom conference. We will support you in forming regional or digital groups and in finding a buddy (practice partner).
That depends entirely on your concerns. If you find that you are simply having difficulty getting into the willed process, then we are happy to support you in that. If you find that this approach is not for you, and you need something else, then you can simply tell us. Apart from your own inner commitment, there is no obligation to do anything.
Yes, absolutely. This is what we have designed the Annual Training for. The Basic Course is structured in such a way that it is not mandatory to have read the book beforehand. One will still be able to get into the thoughts and benefit from the training and its developmental process. Through the daily immersion in the thought process with the help of the cards, a power is created which later makes it easier to work on The Philosophy of Freedom as a whole by reading it. Some things, however, can only be understood in the context of the whole text.
There are about 15 to 30 cards per week. This sounds a lot at first, but it is mitigated by the fact that several cards illuminate a topic from different angles. From our experience with the past two cycles, this number is quite doable and also allows for a meditative deepening of specific thoughts. Some chapters are divided into several sections and weeks.
We are not concerned with perfection, but with the joy of practice. It is important to us that The Philosophy of Freedom appears as a whole before the inner eye. We would be happy if, after the Basic Course, you have the impulse to deal intensively with The Philosophy of Freedom for the next few years and if this makes it easier for you to get started. You are also welcome to help develop the Annual Training further.
The Philosophy of Freedom calls itself a philosophy because it takes its starting point philosophically and ties in with what was thought in our Western culture about the cognitive process and the world until the end of the 19th century. But by making thinking itself the object of observation, it aims at discovering the reality of thinking, not mere thoughts about thinking. It does not want to be a doctrine; it wants to be experience.
Diving into the reality of thinking is an exciting process that challenges our whole person, not just intellectually. In our western educational culture, we often learn a kind of mechanical thinking that lives in definitions and does not lead to experience. In our science, and also for example in medicine, it is almost an ideal not to let our own individual feelings and sensations flow in. We live in a time in which what we think intellectually, what we feel in our heart and what we finally do, are sometimes far apart. The approach of The Philosophy of Freedom is different. Here are some quotes: "The knowledge of things will go hand in hand with the formation and development of the emotional life in one who is oriented toward totality." "This immersion takes place with a power flowing in the thinking activity itself, which is the power of love in a spiritual form." "For he who turns to the essential in thinking finds in it both feeling and will in the depths of their reality."
Just as an example, Sadhguru, a contemporary teacher from India who has great significance meditatively as well as socially and societally, says: "What people believe as God is essentially the source of creation. We must understand that the most significant quality about the source of creation is intelligence. If you find access to this dimension of intelligence, which is the very source of creation, your life shall become magical" (Sadhguru-App, on August 22, 2020). Rudolf Steiner, in keeping with his time and culture, put it this way in the last chapter of The Philosophy of Freedom: "Life in reality, filled with the content of thought, is at the same time life in God."
What Participants Say About the Annual Training....
"I really enjoyed the last six months, it was fun, it also gave me a lot of strength in being there with it, also to deal with The Philosophy of Freedom every day, to come to meditation regularly every day."
"Thank you very much for this wonderful training path [...] At first I was a little reluctant – the idea of this clear commitment was very difficult for me – but something very beautiful has developed and The Philosophy of Freedom has become very important to me."
"I am very grateful to be able to experience The Philosophy of Freedom in this way, I am also grateful that the cards, and the Zoom meetings, have found a place in my life [...]."
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