In 'Truth and knowledge' Rudolf Steiner said:
'The fact that the I can turn to activity in free-ness, makes it possible, through determination of itself by itself, to realise the category of cognition; in the rest of the world on the other hand, the categories show themselves to be connected to the corresponding given through objective necessity.'
This sentence can be found in the beginning of the work of Rudolf Steiner as a foundation of his work, but could also have been given as the germ of the whole of Rudolf Steiner’s work into the future, at the end of his work. For Rudolf Steiner himself, the metamorphosis of this germ into anthroposophy took place in his life on earth as Rudolf Steiner. For the pupils who want to follow him, this germ still has to be sown in fertile ground and has to be cultivated by understanding meditation.
What is this force of metamorphosis to a spiritualised intelligence exactly? Which secret lies in this sentence?
Thoughts are the elements of the etheric world; the human being thinks with the astral body in its different levels. But the I has the power to control thinking. The young Rudolf Steiner wanted to unfold his thoughts in a way that there were no unknown elements that spoke unconsciously while thinking. Every thought had to be crystal clear and fully understood. Thoughts come from the etheric world, thinking from the soul, but the I gives the power to think in this way, it is the guide of thinking. If thoughts come and go without the guidance of the I, there is no free act of thinking. It is this free initiative of the I that forms the basis of all human free-ness. This is the 'turning to activity in free-ness’ of the I.
But it can go farther still. It can realise its own free act, it can know that it is acting freely. It can burst out in joy because it can! But it can also know how it guides knowledge, and in this way it determinates itself by itself. There is no other instance that plays a role here. The I initiates thinking itself and understands what it does itself, but it understands it in another way as with other things and processes. Here the understanding is a self-determination. The I originates the notion of itself and what is this: It is the determination that the I is the knowing instance itself, that the notion of the I is knowledge. So the category of cognition emerges, in full free activity, without any other influence, as only coming from the I itself.
This is a true initiation. Just a point but, like a germ, it bears in it the full force of intelligence. But this intelligence is will and thought together, it is also contemplated and experienced intelligence. It can be thought in activity, it can be felt as the ultimate free act, it can be determined as the true being of the I by raising the category of cognition. This threefold being of the I is the origin of anthroposophy in the I, it becomes its own way of spiritualising of thinking, of intelligence. In its threefoldness it is the source of the Foundation Stone.
The Foundation Stone 1913