Dooyeweerd’s Comparison with Hinduism

Notes regarding Dooyeweerd’s own Comparison with Hinduism

I have compared Dooyeweerd’s nondualism and the advaitic nondualism that was explored in Abhishiktananda’sHindu-Christian dialogue. My comparison may surprise those followers of Dooyeweerd who regard Dooyeweerd’s Christian philosophy as the antithesis to any other philosophies, particularly non-Christian philosophies. But Dooyeweerd himself makes some comparisons to Hindu thought. To be sure, he distinguishes his ideas from his understanding of Hinduism. But he may not have fully understood the other philosophies.

Dooyeweerd had an interest in comparative religion while still a student at the Free University. This is evident in his article on Frederik van Eeden, written when Dooyeweerd was a 20 year old student. The article is entitled “Neo-mysticism and Frederik van Eeden.” It refers to several Hindu ideas, as well as some Buddhist and Islamic ideas. Dooyeweerd also shows some knowledge of Henri Borel, a friend of Van Eeden’s who wrote in the area of comparative religion.

In his articles in the journal Opbouw, Dooyeweerd shows more than a casual interest in Hinduism and Buddhism. Dooyeweerd uses the word ‘maya’ in some early articles that he wrote as a student in the journal Opbouw. In Vol. II (1915), there is an article by H. Dooyewaard [Sic]: “De Troosteloosheid van Het Wagnerianisme” [The Comfortlessness of Wagnerianism]. He says at p.100:

Wagner’s hoofdgedachte dan is deze: de mensch leeft een leven, jammerlijk verblind door de maya der verschijning. Dat maakt dat leven toonloos en dof, zonder muzikale verdieping, zonder doel ook. Daarom zoeke hij de wedergeboorte.

Wagner’s primary idea is then this: man lives his life, piteously blinded by the maya of appearance. That makes life toneless and dull, without musical depth, and also without a goal. That is why he seeks rebirth.

In the same article, Dooyeweerd says at p. 103:

Maar den fijngeaarden zachtmoedigen Indiër moest een dergelijke passietaal vreemd in de ooren klinken. In zijn ziel werd het pessimisme tot een subtiel vreugde, het zich losweten van de schijnwereld, verheven boven de hartstochten, die den sluier van maya weven, het ware leven onder den glans der eeuwigheid.

[But such passionate language would sound strange to the sensitive gentle Indian. In his soul, pessimism becomes a subtle joy, a knowledge that frees him from the world of appearance, elevating him above the passions that weave the veil of maya to true life in the brilliance of eternity.]

Dooyeweerd wrote another article in Opbouw about music. It concerns Richard Strauss, entitled, “Een oude schuld aan een paria” [An old debt to a pariah]. He says at p. 165,

De Indieërs, die met hun aanleg tot contemplatie, de berustung als summum bonum stelden waren van zelf vreemd aan de worsteling, die zijn oorsrpong name in het weersteven [sic] van den goddelijken wil; een tragedie in den zin waarin wij haar verstaan, hebben ze uit zich zelven nooit kuunen ontwikkelen; zelf zijn er schrijvers, die het theater der Hindoes kortweg een navolging van het Grieksche noemen.

[The Indians, with their disposition for meditation, regarded resignation as the highest good, were themselves not familiar with the wrestling [of tragedy], which finds its origin in the resistance to the divine will; they could not have themselves developed tragedy in the sense that we understand it; but there are writers, who summarily name Hindu theater as an imitation of the Greek.]

He says that Indian theater has its own stamp in that it spreads the philosophical contemplation of the Vedas. The work often opens with a prayer. The Hindus did not see theater as a work of darkness; rather, it was said to have been invented by Bharata, a muni, whom Dooyeweerd describes as “an inspired sage [een bezielde wijze].

De god Brahme namelijk name deze kunst uit de Vedas en gaf ze dezen Muni, die weer de Gandharver en Asparas [sic] (geesten en Nymphen in India’s hemel) daarin onderrechtte, welke de wereld van den God Indra, dien men zich als beheerscher van den lagen hemel van den luchtkring dacht, met muziek en dans verblijden.

[It was the god Brahma who took this art from from the Vedas and gave it to this sage, who in turns taught the Gandharvas and Apsaras (spirits and nymphs in India’s heavens). They then With music and dance, they then made glad the world of the God Indra, whom they thought was the ruler of the lower heavens or the atmosphere.]

Dooyeweerd refers to Heinrich Alt: Theater und Kirche (Berlin, 1846). But he did further research, as shown by his citation of Wilson: Das Theater der Hindu.

He refers on p. 169 to the Buddhist monks who were opposed to Indian theater, and he says that they had “torn open the veil of maya” [“zich der sluier van maya hadden uiteengescheurd”]. This is in the context of high mysticism, which views the “Diesseits” [this temporal side] of this world as of only temporary importance.

Although Dooyeweerd had some knowledge of nondual traditions like Hinduism, he certainly did not explore them as intensely as Abhishiktananda. In any event, the use of comparative philosophy to compare Dooyeweerd’s philosophy to other nondual philosophies is fruitful in understanding what it means to reject dualistic views of the world.

Vollenhoven also had some interest in Eastern religions, as is evident from his review in Opbouw of Van Eeden’s book Sirius en Siderius. (Vollenhoven wrote the review under the pseudonym ‘J.W.’).

Comparisons regarding cosmic order
We may compare Dooyeweerd’s idea of law-order with the Hindu cosmological idea of rita. Dooyeweerd refers Cassirer in this regard:

The same moral motive is found in the Iranian belief about the dead, and in the Vedic conception of the gods Varouna and Mitra, as the guardians of the rita, the astronomical world-order, which is at the same time the moral and the juridical order. In comparison with the earlier, magical view of Vedic polytheism, this conception strikes a fundamentally new note (NC II, 324).

Dooyeweerd says that this Vedic idea of rita, which relates the “astronomical” world order to the moral and the juridical order, derived from the Chaldeans. He cites Berthelot. R. Berthelot: “L’Astrobiologie et la pensée de l”Asie” Revue de Metaphysique et de la Morale 1934, 41, 3; page 378 ff. It is unclear to me whether Berthelot is correct in seeing rita as astronomical order. If so, it is an absolutization of the phsyical aspect in its relation to our study of astronomy. But if we regard rita as a cosmic world order, the idea that it also includes moral and juridical order may not be that different from Dooyeweerd’s own idea of God’s law as the foundation of all aspects, including the moral and the juridical.

In any event, Dooyeweerd regards this new idea of rita an opening-up in the historical development of Hinduism. Although Dooyeweerd regards this as an apostate view of world-order, he nevertheless regards it as an improvement over earlier conceptions. There has been an anticipation of the normative spheres of the moral and the juridical. It is an example of how our increased self-knowledge (and knowledge of the cosmos) is linked with our knowledge of God, even when that is an absolutization of aspects of the temporal–in this case, the physical aspect in its relation to astronomy. Dooyeweerd refers to Cassirer’s The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms (Yale, 1955, first published 1925) for support of this idea of increased knowledge through what Cassirer refers to as mythology: faith has freed itself from the primitive deification of natural forces. Cassirer looks at the ideas of world order in other cultures. For example, he refers to Chinese religion of following the Tao. He says that Chinese religion is rooted in what De Groot has called ‘universism’:

“the conviction that all norms of human activity are grounded in the original law of the world and the heavens and can be directly derived from it. Only he who knows the course of the heavens and of time and who orders his activity accordingly–only he who has learned how to center his doings around fixed dates, months, and days–can properly accomplish his human career. (Cassirer II, 114-115).

Thus Cassirer also sees the Chinese view of world order as related to astronomical calculations, the calendarial regulation of our acts. And yet there is in Cassirer a recognition that these and similar views are not just a deification of the physical (astronomical). Speaking of the Chaldeans (Babylonian-Assyrian), Cassirer says that astronomy is only the clearest manifestation of a more general order:

The individual heavenly body is not conceived and worshiped as a godhead in its immediate corporeity; it is rather apprehended as a partial revelation of the universal divine power which acts according to constant norms in the whole as in the particular, in the greatest as in the smallest sphere of events. From the heavens, which are its clearest manifestation, this divine order may be followed in constant gradations down to the order of earthly, specifically human (political and social) reality as one and the same fundamental forms which realizes itself in the most diverse spheres of existence. (Cassirer II, 113)

Note here Cassirer’s phrase “diverse spheres of existence.” It may be one of the influences for Dooyeweerd’s use of ‘spheres’ in referring to aspects. Such ‘spheres’ for Cassirer clearly include the political and social.

It is also important to look at what Cassirer says about the Hindu idea of rita. In the same volume cited by Dooyeweerd, Cassirer says,

The same characteristic development can be followed in the religious intuitions of the Indo-Germanic peoples; here again the particularization of the divine, prevailing in the polytheistic religion of nature, is replaced by the idea of a universal order of nature, which appears at the same time as a spiritual and ethical order. And again, it is the intuition of time which acts as an intermediary between these two basic meanings and ultimately brings about their conjunction. In the Vedas this process of religious development is represented by the concept of the Rita […] a cosmic order which is at the same time an order of justice.” (Cassirer II, 115)

According to Cassirer, in Hinduism, the cosmic order is at the same time an order of justice. Cassirer says that the Hindu idea of time (kala) has a struggle between two religious motifs: destiny and creation. Between them there is a dialectical opposition. One passage from the Vedas says that Prajapati, the creator of the worlds, created time. Another passage says that time brought forth Prajapati. (Cassirer II, 116).

It is interesting to note Cassirer’s use of the term ‘religious motif.’ There seems to be a relation to the Idea of Ground-Motives in Dooyeweerd and Baader, although Dooyeweerd has said that he did not intend by ‘motive’ the notion of ‘motif.’ Cassirer also says there is a dialectical opposition between two religious motifs. This idea of a dialectical opposition  between two absolutized aspects of reality is also found in Baader and Dooyeweerd. It is also interesting that Cassirer relates this dialectic to views of time. In fact, this whole discussion occurs in a section of Cassirer’s work entitled “the mythical Concept of Time.” This is followed by a section entitled “The Formation of Time in the Mythical and Religious Consciousness.” He refers to Schelling’s Philosophy of Mythology regarding “absolutely prehistoric time.” (Cassirer, II, 106). As we know, Schelling was profoundly influenced by Baader. Dooyeweerd’s reading of Cassirer may be an indirect way in which he was influenced by Baader.

Comparisons regarding the Self

Dooyeweerd emphasizes the importance of knowing our self by way of a process he calls “self-reflection.” This self-reflection is the only way that leads to the discovery of the true starting-point of theoretical thought (NC I, 51).

There has been very little discussion by followers of Dooyeweerd of the nature of this self-reflection. And yet it is very important to Dooyeweerd’s philosophy. He says that there has been a “dogmatic rejection” of this idea of religious self-reflection (NC II, 491). Dooyeweerd’s idea of self-reflection is not that of meditation, at least not in the sense of seeking a pure consciousness that is totally psychic and non-conceptual in nature. It is an experiential knowledge of our selfhood. But I have suggested that we can compare it to Ramana Maharshi’s method of “Self-Inquiry,” referred to in my book on Abhishiktananda. And Dooyeweerd’s idea of the selfhood has many similarities to the Hindu idea of the Self or atman. Van Eeden, who was one of the early influences on Dooyeweerd, specifically links his idea of the Selfhood to the Hindu Idea of the Self in the Upanishads. Jung’s concept of the Self has a similar basis in the Upanishads, although Jung arrived at this idea later than did van Eeden. Jung’s first use of the term “Self” appears in 1921 in his book Psychological Types. He there says that he chose the term ‘Self’ in accordance with Eastern ideas, and the Upanishads in particular

This is a remarkable passage in the New Critique where Dooyeweerd compares selfhood to atman. He refers to Cassirer’s idea of the development from mythical to critical consciousness:

In the development of the speculation of the Indian Upanishads about the selfhood we even find a more elevated conception of I-ness (atman). This is now conceived of as an absolutely abstract supra-temporal, actual centre of the contemplative intuition of essences. It transcends all that has the shape of a thing or bears a name, and it participates in the Brahman, the spirit of the world. But even this mystical speculative conception of I-ness in the Upanishads remains caught within the boundaries of the ‘mythical-religious consciousness.’

In Cassirer’s opinion it remains separated by an unbridgeable cleft from the theoretical-I- of transcendental apperception, from Kant’s transcendental-theoretical cogito. The method by means of which religious mysticism penetrates to its conception of the selfhood, the unity in the personality, is entirely different from that of the critical analysis in the theoretical cognitive attitude of mind (NC II, 324).

Dooyeweerd is here summarizing a passage from Cassirer’s The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms. (Cassirer II, 173-174)The similarity with some of Dooyeweerd’s ideas needs to be pointed out. The Upanishadic Self (atman) is supratemporal. As I have remarked elsewhere, Dooyeweerd believes that the supratemporal selfhood is the mark of any truly Christian philosophy.

Cassirer refers to the “mystical method” of reaching the selfhood. Dooyeweerd says that we reach our supratemporal selfhood by a process of self-reflection. Ramana Maharshi speaks of “Self-enquiry.” One similarity in these methods is that the selfhood that is reached is beyond all that has shape or form. Cassirer says that the atman is conceived as transcending all that has the shape of a thing or bears a name. As Dooyeweerd says, “It transcends all that has the shape of a thing or bears a name.” This is the Hindu idea of namarupa—that all temporal things have names and forms. Because the Self is beyond time, it cannot be grasped in any name and form, and it especially cannot be grasped by theoretical thought. In rejecting all images of the self as inadequate, there is a kind of apophaticism within Upanishadic thought. Cassirer says,

In the speculation of the Upanishads the separate stages of the road that had to be traveled are most clearly distinguished. We see here how religious thought seeks ever new images for the self, for the intangible and incomprehensible subject, and how in the end it can only define this self by dropping all these images as inadequate and unsuitable. The I is what is smallest and what is largest: the atman in the heart is smaller than a grain of rice or millet and yet greater than the air, greater than the heaven, greater than all these worlds. It is bound neither to spatial barriers, to a “here” and ‘”there,” nor to the law of temporality, to a coming into being and passing away, to an acting and being acted upon; it is all-embracing and all-governing. For to everything that is and everything that happens it stands as a mere onlooker, who is himself not involved in what he sees. In this act of pure contemplation it differs form everything that has objective form, that has “shape and name.” To it applies only the simple determination “it is,” without any closer specification and qualification. Thus, the self is opposed to everything that is intelligible and yet at the same time it is the heart of the intelligible world. (Cassirer II, 173).

The Upanishads say that the self cannot be identified with any namarupa [names and forms] within time. Dooyeweerd says that the self cannot be identified with anything temporal; such wrong identification with the temporal is what gives rise to all dualisms. Using Hindu words, we may say that the self is “not this, neither this” (neti neti) (Cassirer II, 245). Dooyeweerd also says that it is time that gives form and individuality to things. And just as the Upanishadic atman participates in Brahman, so Dooyeweerd says that our selfhood participates in the new root, Christ.

Cassirer also refers to “the law of temporality, to a coming into being and passing away.” Dooyeweerd also refers to the “law of time” [WdW I, 57]. And he also sees cosmic time as founding that which comes into being and passes away.

In Upanishadic thought, the self cannot be thought; it is rather the source of all thought. The self is not caught by anything intelligible. It is the source of all intelligibility. Just as Upanishadic thought speaks of the “unthought thinker.” Dooyeweerd speaks of the self as the “hidden player” on the instrument of thought (Twilight, 194). Dooyeweerd says that the heart or selfhood cannot be conceptualized. It is beyond theory. The religious centre of our existence expresses itself in all modal aspects of time but can never be exhausted by these.

Cassirer contrasts the Upanishadic view of the Self with what he calls ‘critical theoretical consciousness.’ Cassirer says that the view of atman is still caught in the boundaries of the ‘mythical-religious consciousness.” But Dooyeweerd rejects Cassirer’s distinction between mythical and critical consciousness, and any distinction between ‘pure experience’ and ‘pure logos.’ Dooyeweerd says that science itself is an atheistic myth (“mythos atheos”). Dooyeweerd says,

Theoretical self-consciousness, however is also guided in the transcendental direction of time by pistis [faith] as the terminal function. It finds its super-temporal concentration-point in the religious root of human existence. As soon as this insight is gained, the contrast made by Cassirer becomes very questionable […]

If the conception of atman in the Upanishads is to be qualified as mythical, it is certainly not a primitive magical form of mythical thought. And if Cassirer’s qualification of this conception is justified, it should also be applied to the idea of the transcendental-logical subject in Kant’s epistemology (NC II, 325).

Thus, Kant’s idea of the ego is also based on a “mythical faith.” For Dooyeweerd, theory itself is ultimately based in the religious root of human existence, which is our supratemporal heart. And Dooyeweerd says that the Upanishadic view of the self is certainly not a primitive magical form of mythical thought. Because it refers to the Origin, it is a deepened experience. The very idea of selfhood only occurs when we consider the Idea of Origin. Whether the Upanishads consider the selfhood from an apostate direction or not must still be considered.

Dooyeweerd rejects any mythological view of the self. But is that because myth is based on non-Christian ideas? Or is there a mythical consciousness in Christian thought that should also be rejected? There are some suggestions that Dooyeweerd believes that mythical thinking can occur in Christian thought, too. He says that mythical thinking is dualistic (NC II, 327). It appears then that any time that there is a fundamental dualism in our thought, there is mythological thinking. Dooyeweerd says that there are mythological aberrations when the transcendent religious dimension is shut out (NC III 29). This transcendent religious dimension is that of the supratemporal self. We have seen that for Dooyeweerd, the idea of the supratemporal self is fundamental to any Christian philosophy.

Dooyeweerd sees myth as the result of an apostate faith, or faith directed away from God. Dooyeweerd discusses Cassirer’s view of mythological consciousness as involving projecting images of the Deity. Dooyeweerd compares this to the apostate absolutization of the temporal (NC II, 323). Dooyeweerd says that every real myth is not the same as a tale or legend, but expresses a religious truth related to the modal function of faith. It is related to an autonomous faith, interpreting the experience of the ‘deus absconditus’ in the apostate root of human existence. Thus, mythological consciousness involves absolutizing the temporal and projecting it as an image of God. He says that all myths give expression to religious motives (NC II, 325). I believe that Dooyeweerd is referring to any dualistic Ground Motive. Thus, any philosophy (even any Christian philosophy) that denies the supratemporal self, or any philosophy that sets up dualistic thinking (such as that between nature and the supernatural) is dualistic and mythological. For Dooyeweerd, mythological consciousness is only broken by the power of God’s Word-revelation.

What then does Dooyeweerd conclude about the Upanishadic view of the supratemporal self or atman? He says,

The mystical conception of the Upanishads separates the brahman-atman from maya. They are the counterparts to the dualistic separation in the cosmic meaning-coherence between noumenon and phenomenon in western metaphysical immanence-philosophy. All these dualistic views of reality in the last analysis originate in mythical consciousness (NC II, 327).

Why does Dooyeweerd believe that these ideas are dualistic? The Upanishadic ideas of Brahman, atman and maya are based on nondualism or advaita. In comparing them to the Western ideas of noumenon and phenomenon, Dooyeweerd seems to think that Brahman and atman are to be thought of as substances, or things in themselves. This is confirmed by his comparison to Plato’s idea of the Nous, which Dooyeweerd says is the absolutized ‘thinking part of the soul.’ But this ignores the previous discussion about atman being different from our thinking faculty, but the source of all intelligibility. The atman, unlike the Nous, is not reached by a process of rational abstraction, nor by theory.

It is true that some Hindu philosophers have regarded the Self or atman in this hypostasized way, just as Christian philosophers have often interpreted the soul in terms of intellect. But Dooyeweerd himself says that there is a proper Biblical use of the word soul, as the religious center of human existence (NC II, 111). Similarly, there is an idea of atman that has the same central sense; the atman is not to be conceived dualistically in opposition to this world. Furthermore, the idea of maya should not be seen as mere phenomenon or illusion but rather as the power of Brahman in creating the world. See my book on Abhishiktananda.

Abhishiktananda also refers to the many Hindu references to the heart as this religious center of the selfhood. He refers to the “cave of the heart,” our truest self. It is beyond the reach of sense or thought. And in our heart we experience both the relative and the limitless. The Hindu Ramana Maharshi spoke of this same sense of the heart. In the centre of the cave of the Heart, Brahman shines alone. It is the form of the Self that we experience directly as the I-I. We enter the Heart through self-enquiry and become rooted in it.

The idea of the Self in “the heart” is certainly common in Hindu thought. The Brahmasutrabhasya I.2. 1-8 talks about a self “in the heart.” Other references are in the Chandogya Upanishad III.14 and the Katha Upanishad I.2.11-12. The philosopher Shankara says that Brahman “in the heart” is a form in which we are to meditate upon Brahman.

If we experience difficulty relating Western Christian philosophers to each other, the problem is even more pronounced when we compare philosophies in different cultures. J.L. Mehta emphasizes that our Western ways of classification may not apply to the dialogue with Eastern thought. He points out that sometimes the questions that we ask are themselves questionable, and bring with them certain unacknowledged assumptions. For example, the question, “Is Vedanta a mystical philosophy?” cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Apart from the assumption of what constitutes mysticism, the question brings with it our assumption of the nature of ‘philosophy.’ Many Western philosophers, such as Hegel, have denied that India had any real philosophy. Interestingly, Dooyeweerd comments on this view of Hegel, that excludes Africa and India from history (NC II, 280).

In true dialogue we put at risk some of our most cherished theological and philosophical ideas, confident that God will continue to sustain us and our faith in this dialogue. We are not abandoning our faith commitment of the heart. But we are putting at risk every theoretical formulation of it (or as Dooyeweerd calls it, our ex-plication of our central religious experience). I find this “method” of dialogue exemplified most beautifully in the life of Abhishiktananda. He placed his theological beliefs in tension with his experience, confident that his relationship with God was prior to any theorizing, and that God would carry him in his dialogue. Panikkar makes an interesting comment about true religious dialogue, that it is “not a neutral dialectical arena that leaves both of us untouched, but a self that besides being myself is also shared by the other.” (The Intrareligious Dialogue (Paulist Press, 1978), p. 40.

This placing of our theological beliefs in tension is not to be misunderstood as Husserl’s epoché. Both Dooyeweerd and Abhishiktananda reject that. And Panikkar explores several reasons why Husserl’s kind of epoché is inappropriate. ( The Intrareligious Dialogue, pp. 40-55). Nor am I advocating a hermeneutic model. Mehta’s primary criticism of the hermeneutic model is that it does not adequately explain our sense of mystery and enchantment, our need for the transcendent. Jackson, the editor of J.L. Mehta on Heidegger, Hermeneutics and Indian Tradition, refers to Mehta’s “refusal to relinquish a hold on or concern for the transcendent.” He asks, “Is Mehta out of synch with the deconstructionist fashions of postmodernism which embrace multiplicity but abandon traditional unity, meaning, center, and are suspicious of the transcendent of specialists in the sacred? His view of postmodern consciousness included the concern for regaining an enchanting world.” I believe that these are points that must be considered, especially by those Reformed thinkers who are attempting to dialogue with postmodernism.

As an example of someone from the West who experienced transcendence, Mehta points to Thomas Aquinas, who fell into total silence after he had a direct experience, unmediated by language or concepts, of the supreme vision. He said, “All that I have written seems to me nothing but straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” Mehta does not hesitate to use the word ‘transcendence’: “All times are times of crisis (that is life), to which the creative thinker, poet and saint respond by lifting themselves above time’s ever-present immediacies, liberating themselves from them, focusing in a direction away from them–call it transcendence or inwardness–and only so saving people from being sucked up in the morass of the historical situation’s contingent particularities. (“Postmodern Problems East/West”, J.L. Mehta on Heidegger, Hermeneutics and Indian Tradition, p. 244).

I believe that Dooyeweerd’s philosophy is not only useful for dialogue between various kinds of Western philosophy, but that it can also be very powerful for dialogue with Eastern philosophical and religious traditions.

Dooyeweerd uses the word ‘maya’ in some early articles that he wrote as a student in the journal Opbouw. In Vol. II. 1915 , there is an article by H. Dooyewaard [Sic]: “De Troosteloosheid van Het Wagnerianisme” [The Comfortlessness of Wagnerianism]. He says at p.100:

Wagner’s hoofdgedachte dan is deze: de mensch leeft een leven, jammerlijk verblind door de maya der verschijning. Dat maakt dat leven toonloos en dof, zonder muzikale verdieping, zonder doel ook. Daarom zoeke hij de wedergeboorte.

Wagner’s primary idea is then this: man lives his life, piteously blinded by the maya of appearance. That makes life toneless and dull, without musical depth, and also without a goal. That is why he seeks rebirth.

In the same article, Dooyeweerd says at p. 103:

Maar den fijngeaarden zachtmoedigen Indiër moest een dergelijke passietaal vreemd in de ooren klinken. In zijn ziel werd het pessimisme tot een subtiel vreugde, het zich losweten van de schijnwereld, verheven boven de hartstochten, die den sluier van maya weven, het ware leven onder den glans der eeuwigheid.

But such passionate language would sound strange to the sensitive gentle Indian. In his soul, pessimism becomes a subtle joy, a knowledge that frees him from the world of appearance, elevating him above the passions that weave the veil of maya to true life in the brilliance of eternity.

Dooyeweerd wrote another article in Opbouw about music. It concerns Richard Strauss, entitled, “Een oude schuld aan een paria” [An old debt to a pariah]. He refers on p. 169 to the Buddhist monks who were opposed to Indian theater, and he says that they had “torn open the veil of maya” [“zich der sluier van maya hadden uiteengescheurd”]. This is in the context of high mysticism, which views the “Diesseits” [this temporal side] of this world as of only temporary importance.

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