participate

Linked Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless indicated. See concordance for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance is in pdf format.)

sharing NC II, 564 (sharing in the fulness of meaning of the cosmos in Christ)
participate I, 11 (deel hebben), 14, 54, 64, 77
II, 407, 410 (in totality), 491, 496 ( In order to have insight into the full horizon of our experience, we must participate in Christ as the New Root).NC I, 8 (in my central selfhood I must participate in the totality of meaning), 11-12 (ego must participate in totality), 99 (have part)
NC II, 524 (‘deelhebben’ inadequately translated as ‘sharing’); 560 (partakes), 593 (partakes in the transcendent root of this cosmos)

“Het transcendentale critiek van het wijsgeerig denken,” Philosophia Reformata 6 (1941), 1-20 at 11.The Archimedean point is supra-individual, since is is not only the concentration point of individual human existence, but of the whole temporal cosmos in its diversity of modal aspects. But our individual thinking selfhood must participate in this supra-individual point of concentration.

participation II, 420 (in Christ), 496

Dooyeweerd makes many references to our participation in the religious root. He says that our ego must participate in the totality transcending all modal diversity if it is to have any idea of it (NC I, 12). It is only because we participate in this totality that we can have an idea of it (NC I, 8).

He says that our transcendent unity of self-consciousness either partakes in the religious root of the creation directed to God, or, in the case of apostasy, directed away from God (NC II, 560) Dooyeweerd speaks of our “having part” in the new root of mankind in Christ.

The Archimedean point of philosophy is chosen in the new root of mankind in Christ, in which by regeneration we have part in our reborn selfhood. (NC I, 99).

Dooyeweerd speaks of a “sharing in” the religious root in which the creation finds its totality of meaning (II, 474). By regeneration we participate in this new root in our reborn selfhood (NC I, 99).

This idea of participation, or “sharing in” [deelhebben] is also related to our standing in the truth. “Standing in the Truth” is the sharing in the fullness of meaning of the cosmos in Christ, and this is the indispensable pre-requisite for the insight into the full horizon of our experience (NC II, 562).

Baader also speaks of our participation. Our knowledge does not come from ourselves, as the rationalists believe, but through participation (but not being part of) and entering into a relation with a complete and perfect intuition and knowing [Schauen and Wissen] that stands a priori above us. (Zwiespalt 60). Humanity is not just a postscript to the rest of creation (Werke 4, 432; Susini 283). Our mission is to participate in the glory of God; humans have the potential to be Son of God (Sohnschaft Gottes). (Susini 320) pagans considered man as image of nature and nature as image of God; but only Man is the image of God; nature is a work of his hands (Werke 11, 94; Susini 163).

The Idea of participation is an old Idea in philosophy, but it has fallen into disuse as we have become more individualistic in our views of ourselves and our relation to the world. But I believe that it is important in how we conceive of our spirituality today. Jorge Ferrer argues for a participatory vision as opposed to the subjective experientialism where a subject has experiences of transpersonal or spiritual objects.

“Briefly, the kernel of this participatory vision is a turn from intra-subjective experiences to participatory events in our understanding of transpersonal and spiritual phenomena. Transpersonal phenomena, I argue, can be more adequately conceived not as individual inner experiences, but as participatory events that can emerge in the locus of an individual, a relationship, a collective identity, or a place. The intrasubjective dimension of transpersonal phenomena, then, should be regarded as the participation of an individual consciousness in a multilocal transpersonal event, and not as their essential nature. This participation engages human beings in the activity I call participatory knowing, that is, a multidimensional access to reality that can involve not only the creative power of the mind, but also of the body, the heart, and the soul.” (Revisioning Transpersonal Theory: A Participatory Vision of Human Spirituality , 2-3).

The Idea of participation can help us move beyond an emphasis on individualistic religious experience. I believe that this is what Dooyeweerd is also emphasizing by relating everything temporal to our supratemporal supra-individual religious root. Dooyeweerd objects to the term ‘transpersonal,’ but there are many similarities that need to be explored further.

Van Eeden says that there are levels of participation in the permanent and absolute (Redekunstige grondslag van verstandhouding, Utrecht, Spectrum, 1975, originally published 1895, at 105).

In a video interview of Dooyeweerd, he mentions the impact made on him when he first read Kuyper’s “Pentecost Mediations” (“Dagen van goede boodschap: op den Pinksterdag”). In this Pentecost meditation, Kuyper speaks our participating in Christ, and how He has Head governs the body. At p 68, Kuyper says we participate in Christ’s body.

Want laat het dan zoo zijn, dat wij aan dat lichaam deel hebben en dat dit wondere lichaam uit Jezus bezield wordt, zoo is toch ook hiermee het eigenlijke mysterie nog niet verklaard; dit mysterie namelijke, hoe uw ik, hoe uw ziele, hoe uw inwendige verborgen persoon met dien Middelaar en Goël in deze zielsinnige gemeenschap staan en jubelen kan…

But allow that this is so, that we participate in that body, and that this miraculous body is animated by Jesus, the real mystery is still not explained, namely this mystery, how your selfhood, how your soul, how your inner hidden person can stand and celebrate with your Mediator and Avenger of Blood in this community of the inner soul.

Where did Kuyper get this idea? It must not be forgotten that Kuyper had extensive knowledge and appreciation for Franz von Baader.

Revised May 6/06