The identity of participation is an identity in the power of being. In this sense the power of being of the individual self is partly identical with the power of being of his world, and conversely. For the concepts of self-affirmation and courage this means that the self-affirmation of the self as an individual self always includes the affirmation of the power of being in which the self participates. The self affirms itself as participant in the power of a group, of a movement, of essences, of the power of being as such. Self-affirmation, if it is done in spite of the threat of nonbeing, is the courage to be. But it is not the courage to be as oneself, it is the “courage to be as a part.” The phrase “courage to be as a part” presents a difficulty. While it obviously demands courage to be as oneself, the will to be as a part seems to express the lack of courage, namely the desire to live under the protection of a larger whole. Not courage but weakness seems to induce us to affirm ourselves as a part. But being as a part points to the fact that self-affirmation necessarily includes the affirmation of oneself as “participant,” and that this side of our self-affirmation is threatened by nonbeing as much as the other side, the affirmation of the self as an individual self. We are threatened not only with losing our individual selves but also with losing participation in our world.

Therefore self-affirmation as a part requires courage as much as does self-affirmation as oneself. It is one courage which takes a double threat of nonbeing into itself. The courage to be is essentially always the courage to be as a part and the courage to be as oneself, in interdependence. The courage to be as a part is an integral element of the courage to be as oneself, and the courage to be as oneself is an integral element of the courage to be as a part. But under the conditions of human finitude and estrangement that which is essentially united becomes existentially split. The courage to be as a part separates itself from unity with the courage to be as oneself, and conversely; and both disintegrate in their isolation. The anxiety they had taken into themselves is unloosed and becomes destructive. This situation determines our further procedure: we shall deal first with manifestations of the courage to be as a part, then with manifestations of the courage to be as oneself, and in the third place we shall consider a courage in which the two sides are reunited.