resistance

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.)

resistance II, 400-402;

NC I, 40 (aspects made into a Gegenstand continue to express their coherence with aspects not chosen as the field of enquiry)

NC II, 39 [Widerstand]

We experience a resistance as we move out of our experience of the fullness of reality (II, 402; NC II, 467). When in the dis-stasis we split apart the aspects from their temporal coherence by the Gegenstand-relation, we experience a resistance. The separation of aspects into logical and non-logical causes this resistance, because the separated aspect continues to express its coherence with the remaining aspects. The resistance therefore occurs because of sphere universality–the referring within each modal aspect to the other aspects. The Gegenstand is an opposition in the sense of a resistance or ‘Widerstand.’ (NC I, 39). It is interesting that Dooyeweerd uses the German word here. The ‘Gegenstand’ is a ‘tegenstand’ or resistance (I, 401; not in NC).

The non-logical aspects are set over-against the logical aspect. Any attempt to understand these non-logical aspects in a concept is met with resistance (NC I, 39).

There is no resistance in naive experience. As soon as any resistance appears, we have left the systatic, merely enstatic pre-theoretical experience (II, 402; not in NC).

Baader also speaks of a resistance when we move into the temporal world:

Wenn also der Mensch, der seinem Ursprunge nach bestimmt war, über dieser Zeit oder in dem Zentrum selbst dieser zeitlichen Hülle zu sein, indem er sich in ihrer Peripherie befindet, einen Widerstand und einen Widerspruch oder ein unaufhörliches Widerstreben in jedem Akte seines wahren Seins fühlt, wie groß muß also dieser Widerstand für ein Wesen sein, welches, dazu bestimmt, in der wahren Zeit zu leben, sich sogar unter der Schein-Zeit oder in der falschen Zeit befindet (Zeit 25, ft. 5)

[When therefore Man–whose original end was to be beyond this time or to be in the center itself of this temporal sheath–feels an opposition and a contradiction or a ceaseless resistance in each act of his true being, because he finds himself in the periphery, how much greater must this resistance be for a being who, also destined to live in the true time, finds himself in the appearance-time or the false-time.]

In a difficult passage Baader says that the resistance itself creates the Gegenstand. In theoretical thought, our thinking nature [Verstand] enters the temporal and this movement creates resistance. Just like a bird creates resistance by beating its wings in the air, so we create resistance by spreading our concepts. The resistance creates an other or Gegenstand for our thought. Baader calls it a ‘mechanical Thou’ (because we relate as Thou only to objects to which we are opposite or gegenüber). Our thinking function becomes aware of itself in this Gegenstand. The Gegenstand therefore supports our temporal thinking function. If [in apostate thought] we have lost our inner Ground Principle, we actually require such a Gegenstand for support. If we lose this supporting Gegenstand, this ‘Thou’ that supports and carries us, we then ‘lose’ our Self [unser Ich]. Losing ourselves in the colours and strange shapes, we are not aware of ourselves until we find something that mirrors our self-consciousness. That is why we are so overjoyed when such spontaneity shines through the Gegenstand–for example, in observing a scene of nature (Philosophische Schriften I, 56, 57). But it is possible to remain lost, and this is the temptation of theory.

In supporting the self even in our apostate thinking, the resistance is there for our own good–to help us withstand the temptation to remain in the merely temporal. The resistance is a weapon against this ‘outer embodiment’ of ourselves. In setting up the polarity in apostate thought, it acts as a kind of common grace (Zeit 35-37).

Revised May 6/06

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