silberblick

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.)

infernal eye
eternal moment
Silberblick

Baader speaks of a similar experience that he calls the ‘Silberblick’ [Silver Vision]. In this experience, there is a reintegration of feeling and knowledge in self-transcendence; it is an unreflective reaching out (übergreifenden), an anticipation that manifests itself as a transient Silberblick (Werke 4,114). It is achieved when our intuition (Anschauen) moves in the anticipatory direction (Zeit p. 58, ft. 14; Fermenta I, 23). We then can see with a “double light”–from out of the Center but also into the periphery. There is a coherence of inner and outer seeing. Ecstasy is an anticipation of this integrity.

In der Ekstase als Antizipation jener Integrität blickt darum (wenn shon nur momentan) das himmlische Auge als Silberblick durch das bloß äußere Sehen, oder es blickt das infernale Auge durch. Shakespeare nennt diese Momente bedeutend: “Eternal moments.” Zeit 58, ft. 14).

[In ecstasy as anticipation this integrity is seen by the heavenly eye (if only momentarily) through the purely outer seeing, or it is seen through the infernal eye. Shakespeare calls these moments “Eternal moments.”]

It is when we are in the temporal mode of Ekstasis, and only in the direction of anticipation that we get this ‘Silberblick.’ Baader speaks of a “seeing with double light.” ( Fermenta I, 23, p. 54). The double light is a seeing from out of the Center but also into the periphery. There is a coherence of inner and outer seeing. Ecstasy is an anticipation of this integrity. He relates this our extasis in Love (“Sätze aus der erotischen Philosophie”). He refers to Boehme for this idea. Boehme speaks of this in Boehme: The Way to Christ: The Supersensuous Life:

It is right, I confess, so to do. And it is indeed a Treasure above all earthly Treasures, to be possessed of the Light of God and Nature, operating in their Spheres; and to have both the Eye of Time and Eternity at once open together, and yet not to interfere with each other.
[http://www.ccel.org/b/boehme/way/supersensual_life.html]

Baader also cites Boehme, “Paradise is born wherever eternity is seen in time in an image (in an immediate manner in man and mediately outside of him).” (Fermenta V, 27, p. 197). Baader cites Meister Eckhart as to what happens. “It is not different things that you see, but the same things that you see differently.” (Lichtstrahlen 322).

I believe that the ‘Silberblick’ is what Baader refers to when he speaks of the mirroring of the Self in certain moments. But our glimpse of the supratemporal can also be a horror; this is when we see hell through our “infernal eye.” In both kinds of seeing, we are anticipating the final state to which we are evolving–either with God or apart from God. Kuyper refers to Baader’s idea of the horrible as an anticipation of our final state.

I also believe that Dooyeweerd is referring to this same experience of ‘Silberblick’ when he says,

In the Biblical attitude of naïve experience the transcendent, religious dimension of its horizon is opened. The light of eternity radiates perspectively through all the temporal dimensions of this horizon and even illuminates seemingly trivial things and events in our sinful world.

In this attitude the experiencing I-ness is necessarily in the I-we relation of the Christian community and in the we-Thou-relation with God, Who has revealed Himself in Christ Jesus.” (NC III, 29)

If this experience occurs in naïve experience, it must be a naïve experience that has been opened up by theory and subsequent synthesis, since there are no anticipations in pre-theoretical experience. Dooyeweerd rejects any mysticism that divorces itself from the temporal world. He is opposed to any idea of a ‘supernatural’ cognition (NC II, 561-563). He also rejects any mysticism that fancies itself above God’s law (NC I, 522). Mysticism is not something other than nature, but rather an insight into the true nature of reality. In the true religious attitude, we experience things and events as they really are, pointing beyond themselves to the true religious centre of meaning and to the true Origin (NC III, 30). I believe that this ‘true religious attitude’ is itself a kind of mysticism, especially when we consider how it relates to the experience of our supratemporal heart to which we are related in our intuition.

Dooyeweerd’s emphasis on the importance of experience is also evident in an eschatological sense: true Christian faith finds its fulfillment in the religious ‘vision face to face’ (NC II, 298). Van Peursen comments on the mystical background to Dooyeweerd’s thought, especially in connection with his references to our religious choice ‘in the face of the Origin of meaning,’ the face of God, the hidden Present One (Dooyeweerd Herdacht, 93).

Revised Oct 7/05

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