cosmic time

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.)

cosmic time I, 37-38, 51, 55, 67-71, 71-72, 78
II, 402-403, 407-409, 414, 421, 482, 491

NC I, 16 (totality is broken up by the medium of time), 28 (the basis of Dooyeweerd’s philosophical theory of reality) [not in WdW], 28 (cosmic time has both a cosmonomic (order) side and a factual (duration) side), 29 (determines entire empirical reality), 29 (its cosmic side is disclosed in coherence of meaning into which it fits the modal aspects; its temporal character is disclosed in the opening process), 30 (cannot be comprehended in a concept, because time makes concepts possible), 32 (rejects idea of central trans-cosmic time for the supratemporal).

NC II, 472-473, 479 (intuition enters into cosmic stream of time), 516 (universality of cosmic time, overarching all the modal functions), 517, 529 (continuity of cosmic time); 531 (Heidegger’s existential time is not cosmic time), 535 (transcendence of the religious selfhood above cosmic time); 535 (Kant did not start from the real meaning-systasis in cosmic time)

“De Structuur der rechtsbeginselen en de methode der rechtswetenschap in het licht der wetsidee,”(1930)

De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie (1931), 103 (self-consciousness both transcends cosmic time and is immanent within it)

law of time I, 57
order of time I, 70
II, 414

NC I, 24 (time-order is necessarily related to factual time-duration), 28 (time-order is the cosmonomic side of time in its cosmic sense), 47 (cosmic time-order), 101 (cosmic order of time).

NC II, 527 (Heidegger eliminates the cosmic order of time)

De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie (1931),106 (cosmic order of time).

Last article:“De Kentheoretische Gegenstandsrelatie en de Logische Subject-Objectrelatie,” Philosophia Reformata 40 (1975), 83, 87 (cosmic order of time); 86, 93(continuity of cosmic time); 88 (coherence within cosmic time); 91 (systatic coherence and relatedness within cosmic time)

sense of time
NC I, 32 (Only because we have a supratemporal concentration point are we in a position to gain a veritable notion of time. Beings that are entirely lost in time lack a notion of time)
time duration
NC I, 28 (is the factual side of cosmic time; it further discloses itself in the subject-object relation)
time I, 30, 33, 37, 38 (true time), 65
II, 420, 484, 491, 493

NC I, 25 (inter-modal character of time), 27 (Einstein’s view of time as fourth dimension; Bergson’s absolute time, phenomenology’s true time as Erlebnisstrom),
NC II, 532 (time cannot contain the totality of meaning).

Dooyeweerd says that the idea of cosmic time is the basis of his philosophical theory of reality (NC I, 28; not in WdW]. Here are some of the roles played by cosmic time:

1. The religious dimension of our experience is not within cosmic time. It is the supratemporal, the aevum, the state of our selfhood and heart, the root of temporal reality, and the fullness of meaning.

2. The temporal dimension, or the dimension of cosmic time, is a lower level of reality than the religious. We descend to this level. It comprehends two temporal dimensions: the modal and the dimension of individuality structures.

3. Cosmic time is the “prism” that differentiates the religious fullness of meaning into the temporal diversity of meaning. (I, 70). The differentiation is of both the central law and the individual subjectivity. Both law and individual subjectivity have religious unity and temporal diversity (NC I, 507). This temporal diversity includes the modal dimension and the dimension of individuality structures. Vollenhoven rejected the Idea of time order as a prism. (“College systematiek-het probleem van de tijd,” p. 6; cited by Steen, 24).

4. Cosmic time maintains the coherence of the temporal aspects (I, 24, 25). It also guarantees the sovereignty of the aspects (NC I, 105).

5. Cosmic time orders the aspects in a continuity and a succession of earlier and later. This gives rise to the analogies of retrocipations and anticipations in our experience. Vollenhoven rejected this idea of temporal succession. (See Steen, 24). Cosmic time is the “denominator” by which the various law spheres can be compared But Dooyeweerd says that this time-order must be viewed in its relation to the religious fulness of meaning. (NC II, 8).

6. Cosmic time gives duration to things in their individuality structure.

7.Dooyeweerd speaks of cosmic time as the result of the Fall. In the Fall, the human selfhood ‘fell away into the temporal horizon’ (NC II, 564). Dooyeweerd also refers to the restlessness of temporal reality (NC I, 11).We now are beings that have a supratemporal center and a temporal mantle of functions [‘functiemantel’]. The rest of temporal reality fell with humanity, and needs to be redeemed.

8. At death, the entire mantle of functions is given up. The supratemporal self remains.

9. Temporal reality is restless. It has its existence only in its religious root, and humanity as this religious root has no existence except in God, its Origin.

10. Our acts come out of our supratemporal center and are expressed in our temporal functions.

11. The bottom layer of time is our intuition which allows us to relate our temporal functions and our experience (both pre-theoretical and theoretical) to our supratemporal selfhood.

12. Time cannot be comprehended in a concept; it makes concepts possible (NC I, 30). We know cosmic time only in a limiting concept (I, 55)

13. Cosmic time will end. The temporal cosmos is only our situation in this “earthly dispensation” (NC II, 560-61). There is an eschatological fulfillment of meaning.

14. For Dooyeweerd the cosmos includes only that part of creation that finds its root in humanity. Dooyeweerd says that the cosmic law does not include God and the angels (NC I, 144). This view of the law was one of the key differences with Vollenhoven. Cosmic time is the limit to our ‘earthly’ temporal cosmos (NC II, 3). Vollenhoven says that for Dooyeweerd, the cosmos is that part of creation that was concentrated in humanity as the root (See NC 1, 100).

15. The idea of cosmic time is required to analyze the modal functions:

It is not possible to carry out a structural analysis of the modal aspects of experience, unless the universality of cosmic time, overarching all the modal functions, has been discovered. (NC II, 517)

Vollenhoven does not want to limit time to the cosmos:

“Tijd is niet te beperken tot het lichaam, tot de kosmos, zoals Dooyeweerd dat doet. De kosmos is in de tijd, [dus tijd] is breder…

[Time is not to be limited to the body, to the cosmos, as does Dooyeweerd. The cosmos is in time, [therefore time] is broader…] (“Problemen Rondom de Tijd” (Student lecture notes, College systematiek, 1963, Compiled by J.C. Vanderstelt./63b179).

16. Dooyeweerd rejects the view that God Himself or the angels have to think in a cosmic temporal fashion. He did not believe it was philosophically fruitful to try to imagine what angels’ existence is like, nor what our existence will be like when our “soul” is divided from our body. But our state will be similar to the angels (“Het tijdsprobleem en zijn antinomieën, ” 4-5). That indicates a difference in the quality of time for angels and earthly beings. He also indicates it applies to humanity after we shed the cloak of temporal functions. Dooyeweerd also speaks of eschatological time, and of the supratemporal as the central sphere of occurrence (NC I, 32, 33).

The Development of the Idea of Cosmic Time

Dooyeweerd does not the use the term ‘cosmic time’ until around 1930 (Marcel Verburg: Herman Dooyeweerd: Leven en werk van een Nederlands christen-wijsgeer(Baarn: Ten Have, 1989) , 122). In his 1923 article “Roomsch-katholieke en Anti-revolutionaire Staatkunde,” Dooyeweerd refers to time along with number, space and reality as forms of intuition (Verburg, 53). In his 1926 Inaugural Address he speaks of time, although probably as a law-sphere (Verburg, 122). In 1928, Dooyeweerd wrote the article “Het juridisch causaliteitsprobleem.” In it he refers to juridical-validity-time, physical space time, psychical time and historical time. But he says that the cosmic unity of these orders of time is not itself an order of time. But in 1930, Dooyeweerd writes about a temporal cosmos, a temporal refraction of meaning, cosmic time, and a cosmic order of time. Verburg comments that Dooyeweerd does not really signal that this is a new term, but immediately binds it to the Calvinistic law-Idea:

De Calvinistische wetsidee doet heel onzen tijdelijken kosmos zien als een organischen samenhang van in eigen kring souvereine wets- en subjectsfuncties, die vanaf de getalsfunctie tot de meest gecompliceerde geestesfunctie, de geloofsfunctie, een zinbreking zijn in den kosmischen tijd van den onvergankelijken, religieuzen, all tijdelijkheid transcendeerenden wortel van het menschengeslacht in zijn onder-worpenheid aan den eeuwigen religieuzen zin der wet: den dienst van God. (“De Structuur der rechtsbeginselen en de methode der rechtswetenschap in het licht der wetsidee,”p. 232, cited by Verburg 123).

[The Calvinistic law-Idea sees our whole temporal cosmos as an organic coherence of law-functions and subject-functions, sovereign in their own sphere, from the arithmetical function to the most complicated normative [spiritual] function, the function of faith; they are a refraction of meaning in cosmic time from the unchanging, religious, time-transcending root of the human race in its sub-jectedness to the eternal religious meaning of the law: the service of God.]

He says that all law-spheres including the Logos are temporal. The law-spheres possess sovereignty in their own sphere, but cannot be understood in their sovereign meaning outside the cosmic coherence of meaning, and outside of their dependence on the religious root. The law-spheres are founded in cosmic time. It is the prism by which the supratemporal religious meaning is refracted in the functions of meaning.

In 1932, in his article “De Theorie van de Bronnen van het Stellig Recht in het licht der Wetsidee,” he says,

“In de kosmische tijdsorde ligt de kosmische wetsorde besloten, welke zowel de volgorde der wetskringen als de individueele ding-structuur der werkelijkheid bepaalt. Wie echter in de logos zijn Archimedisch punt zoekt als een instantie “quae nulla re indiget ad existendum”, moet noodzakelijk die kosmische wetsorde uit het oog verliezen, de tijdelijke werkelijkheid uiteenscheuren en daarmede ook de individueele zin-structuur der werkelijkheid uit zijn wetenschappelijk denken elimineren.”

[In the cosmic order of time the cosmic law-order lies enclosed, which determines both the succession order of the law-spheres as well as the individual thing-structures of reality. Whoever seeks his Archimedean point in the Logos as an example of “quae nulla re indiget ad existendum”–that which needs no res in order to be–must necessarily lose sight of the cosmic order of time, must tear apart the temporal reality and therewith must also eliminate from scientific thought the individual structures of meaning of reality].

Heidegger speaks of being in this sense of absolutely given and needing no reality in his The History of the Concept of Time, trans. by Theodore Kisiel, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1985, 103.

I believe that Dooyeweerd relied on Baader for the idea of cosmic time, as well as for many other ideas. Why then did it take until 1930 for Dooyeweerd to use the Idea? For one thing, Baader’s Ideas cannot be assimilated quickly; they are not systematic. Furthermore, new information on Baader appeared between 1921 and 1930. In 1921, Max Pulver edited some of Baader’s writings under the title Schriften (Leipzig, 1921). In 1925, Joh. Sauter edited a collection of Baader’s works on social philosophy under the title Franz von Baaders Schriften zur Gesellschaftsphilosophie. This collection also included parts of Fermenta Cognitionis and the whole of Baader’s work on time,Elementarbegriffe über die Zeit (Jena: Fischer, 1925). Baumgardt’s book Franz von Baader und die Philosophische Romantik also was published (Halle: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1927). And Sauter published Baader und Kant (Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1928).

I began reading Baader because of my interest in time. Mike Sandbothe in his The Temporalization of Time says,

The first basic tendency in contemporary philosophy of time may be described as the tendency to unify and to universalize our understanding of time. The protagonists of this tendency are convinced that the aspect of time is to be considered a new Archimedean point, unifying our everyday experience of self and the world with scientific theories about humankind and nature. This point of unity, they contend further, has been highlighted over and over again in philosophy (for instance by von Baader, Schelling, Bergson, Whitehead or Heidegger), but has been ignored for far too long by science and technology. (p. 1)

Other philosophers view time in a similar way to Baader–as a uniform universal base structure. See Griffin’s discussion of David Bohm and Ilya Prigogine in Physics and the Ultimate Significance of Time (SUNY, 1986). Sandbothe opts for seeing time in an de-centered or temporalized way. He shows how this temporalization of time is related to Rorty, Levinas, Heidegger, and to Ricoeur’s idea of narrative.

Sandbothe himself therefore takes a different and non-unified approach than Baader. But his description sounded so much like Dooyeweerd that I began reading Baader. That is when I was astonished to see the many other similarities between Baader and Dooyeweerd. Although some similarities can also be found with the other philosophers, there are not as many; nor are they so closely inter-connected in a system as are the similar ideas of Baader and Dooyeweerd. As a result I have written the article “‘The Mystical Dooyeweerd: The Relation of His Thought to Franz von Baader,” Ars Disputandi Vol. 3 (2003).

Ferdinand Schumacher has written an entire book about Baader’s view of time: Der Begriff der Zeit bei Franz von Baader (München: Karl Alber, 1983). A brief summary might be as follows: God did not have to create humans, but freely chose to do so. Humanity was created in God’s image, with a task to perform as the root of the rest of creation. Humanity failed to do this task, necessitating the incarnation of Christ as the new root of creation. Cosmic time, and the entire temporal cosmos are a result of the Fall. The temporal cosmos is therefore an evil, but it is also a blessing; it prevents the possibility of a total fall into nothingness, and it offers the possibility of redemption. This redemption is in cosmic time, which permits humanity to recover what was lost, although in fragmented and successive stages.

Baader’s writings about time are scattered through his Collected Works. These Werke include the following volumes that refer specifically to time, and which were published separately as well:

Über der Begriff der Zeit [Concerning the Concept of Time] (1818) [Zeit]
Sur la Notion du Tem[p]s
[Concerning the Notion of Time] (1818) [Temps] (included in Volume I of Philosophische Schriften)
Elementarbegriffe über die Zeit
[Elementary Concepts about Time] (1831) [Elementarbegriffe] published separately in 1927, but excerpts included in Die Weltalter (1868)

When we examine these books, we see that they are very wide-ranging. It is evident that time played a key role for Baader’s philosophy, too.

Let us look at the book by Baader that was republished shortly before Dooyeweerd began to write about cosmic time: Elementarbegriffe über die Zeit. These Ideas about time are not systematically ordered. Here are some brief comments, together with notes of some comparisons to Elementarbegriffe über die Zeit, as well as to Dooyeweerd’s philosophy. Unless otherwise indicated, the references are to Elementarbegriffe:

(1) Baader wants to show the relation between ideas of time and eternity. We ought not to confuse the Inexistenz of things in God with an identity with God. The latter idea is pantheistic.

(2) In Zeit, he says that in addition to our region of time, there are two other regions: one above and one below. Elsewhere he describes these as the eternal and the infernal. Within time we are preparing ourselves for one or the other final destination. [I have written about  Kuyper’s appropriation of this Idea; it is also evident in Dooyeweerd].

(3) According to Baader, God has a different relationship to each region of time. In eternity, there is an indwelling (Inwohnung) by God, as love. In cosmic time, there is a bydwelling (Beiwohnung), when the intelligent agent cooperates with God, and acts as God’s organ. And finally, where God has been rejected, God still has a presence, but only as a ‘throughdwelling’ (Durchwohnung). This is God’s presence through His power alone; God treats beings in this region as mere instruments. This last category includes inanimate nature and those free agents who resist God (Werke I, 283 ff; II, 38; IV, 348; V, 355; VIII, 317; IX, 171 ff; X, 294; XIV, 71ff, 120; Betanzos 90; Weltalter163, 344).

(4) Movement within time is movement in a periphery from out of the rest of a central unity. Both center and periphery work together in an organic system. All movement comes from out of this unmoving center by its opening (for free movement in the periphery) or by its closing. To close the center means to open another forbidden center within one’s self– a loss of our true Center requires us to search for another. Our present time is characterized by a movement in the periphery that has not yet been ultimately determined by either the true Center or the false “outer” center. To choose the false center is what the Scriptures refer to as the spirit of lies. [Dooyeweerd also uses organic symbols to express a relation between center and periphery; the finding of a center within our self is what Baader elsewhere refers to as autonomy; it is absolutizing the periphery. Both Baader and Dooyeweerd refer to this as the first lie, the proton pseudos].(from Zeit).

(5) Whoever wants to build the center, must also build its periphery.(Zeit 38 ft.)

(6) The eternal has been misunderstood as an unmoving and static present. It should rather be seen as always resting in its movement and always moving in its Rest, as always new and always the same. It is a completed or fulfilled Existenz. Besides the present, it includes the past and future. It is the true time. But our [cosmic] time has no real present. He calls it appearance-time [Schein-Zeit]. And the infernal region has only a past.

(7) These three kinds of time are also referred to in Zeit (19) Baader obtained the idea of these three levels of time from St. Martin (Fermenta VI, 17). ‘True time’ is the eternal or the supratemporal (überzeitliche); it encompasses a past, present and future

(8) Eternity should instead be seen as always resting in its movement and always moving in its Rest, as always new and always the same. There is a dynamism even within God, in the generation of the persons of the Trinity. God is eternal Life, eternal Being and eternal Becoming at the same time, an eternally proceeding Process (Schriften I, 149; Weltalter 139).

(9) Our mistaken view of eternity is caused by our abstraction, which views rest [Ruhe] as static and lifeless (Elementarbegriffe 535).

(10) The supratemporal must not be seen as permanent in a static sense:

Irriger Weise hat man also bisher die Ewigkeit als eine unbewegliche und starre Gegenwart vorgestellt, indem man nicht einsah, dass in dieser Gegenwart die zwei anderen Zeiten, die Vergangenheit und die Zukunft, mit einbegriffen werden müssen…(Zeit 21).

[Eternity has previously been mistakenly represented as an unmoving and static present; this mistake was because it was not seen that this present must also include two other times, the past and the future]

(11) Dooyeweerd also emphasizes that the supratemporality of the heart must not be understood in this Greek metaphysical sense:

This, however, is not to say that the religious centre of human existence is found in a rigid and static immobility. That is a metaphysical-Greek idea of supra-temporality. It found, for example, sharp expression in Parmenides’ conception of the eternal divine form of being and in Plato’s original conception of the transcendental world of the eide and of the immortal soul, enclosed entirely in the pure form of theoretical thought (cf. Plato’s Phaedo) (NC I, 31 ft. 1)

(12) Dooyeweerd says that not even God’s eternity, which he distinguishes from the aevum, can be considered in this way.

(13) We should not confuse “fulfilled” being with “infinite” being. Our fulfilled being is absolute and integral, unmoving and unchanging, but also always changing and always being renewed. There is a going within a center and a moving from out of this center. The “Rest” of the Center should not be seen in a static way. There are three moments of this reciprocal movement: a descent and production, a preservation and conservation of what has been produced in the descent, and a re-ascent or reintegration. For God [infinite Being], the production has always been, the preservation is always, and the reintegration will always be.

(14) Everything has its time, and after that it must return into “eternity.” This is the reintegration of a being in its Principle. The alchemists referred to this as a “Becoming young” [Verjüngung], because whatever stays close to its Origin [Ursprung] is young. This is also a freeing from the bonds of time.

(15) We cause confusion when we speak of “eternal time” or “temporal eternity.” Eternity is not infinitely protracted time. Time always has beginning and end; there is no eternal time. [Dooyeweerd sees an end to cosmic time; he rejected a view of “trans-cosmic time” as being a doubling of the temporal. (NC I, 32, 33)].

(16) Kuyper also rejects a view of a succession of moments in the eternal, at least insofar as it applies to God’s eternity:

There must be a Word of God, one coherent utterance of His Divine thought. Not in that anthropomorphic sense in which we men string word to word, but, in such a sense as becomes the Eternal One, who is not subject to a succession of moments, in the rich and full unity of the conception.(Principles of Sacred Theology (Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1980), 476)

(17) Each here and now can only be seen in the always and everywhere.[This is similar to Dooyeweerd’s view that it is only because we have a supratemporal heart that we can have a sense of time at all. We express our selfhood in time in the mantle of functions [functiemantel]] (“Het tijdsprobleem en zijn antinomieën”; See also Tijdsprobleem).

(18) Time duration [Dauer] is a suspension of eternity [das Immer]; time has the relation of a part to a whole.[Dooyeweerd’s view of the epoché in theoretical thought is of a suspension or a refraining from the continuity of time and from our (supratemporal) selfhood itself].

(19) Time is a “suspension of the eternal.” This suspension of eternity is related to Christ’s suspension of His power and glory in his kenosis (Phil. 2: 6,7). Time involves a sacrifice, and that is why the Scriptures speak of a Lamb that offers itself since the beginning of time. (Elementarbegriffe 561; Werke IV, 53) Cosmic time begins with the cessation of the true present, and it ceases with the cessation of this cessation (Susini 417). The continuation of cosmic time is only the appearance of a continual renewal moment by moment (Weltalter 217).

(20) In cosmic time, there is a suspension of our full and integral existence. Time is a suspension of our normal placement under the law [Gesetztheit]. As a result, we became displaced [‘versetzt’–a play on the word Gesetz for law] beings. We are displaced innerly in time and outerly in space. Weltalter 318

(21) The idea of Gesetztheit requires a giver of the law[Gesetzgeber].

(22) Time and space are not original qualities of being. Time is non-totality, incompleteness, restless movement, brokenness, a circle fallen apart [auseinandergefallener Kreis]. It is unwhole, and not understandable unless directed to eternity (Werke VIII, 72). Space and depth are absolute dislocation (Werke XIV, 414 f). Antinomies arise when we regard space and time as absolute (Philosophische Schriften II, 44).

(23) He says that this view of time and space, as caused by the Fall, is in contrast to Kant’s view that time and space are unexplainable apriori forms of intuition. Spinoza and Schelling also saw time and space as eternal modes of existence of an eternal absolute substance. And they proclaimed God to be the eternal substance. But this is where the non-concept of an eternal time became elevated to a dogma of philosophy. It makes all theory of the temporal and eternal impossible.

(24) Natural philosophers falsely assume that temporality, materiality and change are primitive and constitutive. But cosmic time was not intended from the beginning of creation; it is a result of the Fall. The origin of cosmic time is in a pre-worldly Ereignis; our existence within time is that of Dasein (Elementarbegriffe 541, 543). The Ereignis is again achieved at the end of cosmic time (Zeit 39, ft 19).

(25) There is an organic-cosmic coherence [Zusammenhang] of all that exists in space and occurs in time. (Philosophische Schriften II, 45).

(26) One’s Gesetz is one’s own home region.(Zeit, 32). Again, he is making a play on words between law and being placed.

(27) Time was not an immediate production of God. A displacement [Versetztes] cannot come from the giver of the law [Gesetzgeber]. We see here the emphasis on God as giver of the law, and the central place that the law has in Baader’s philosophy, as in Dooyeweerd’s.

(28) Cosmic time is a result of the Fall.[Dooyeweerd says that the fall is in the undifferentiated reality; that would suggest it was before cosmic time, which causes the differentiation. For Dooyeweerd, cosmic time is not integral, either].

(29) Our present [cosmic] time was not original, but is a result of the Fall. Time is the result of the descent of a being into a lower and more limited region. (Zeit)[Dooyeweerd says that we “fell into the temporal.”]

(30) Time is not normal, nor is the fact of death. In Zeit, he cites the Wisdom of Solomon 1:13. It reads:

For God did not make death, and takes no pleasure in the destruction of any living thing; he created all things that they might have being. the creative forces of the world make for life.

(31) Fichte and Hegel begin with a primitive and unexplainable dualism, where darkness is even within God. [Baader expands on this Idea elsewhere;this is related to dualistic Ground-motives].

(32) Everything in space-time is put together [zusammengesetzt]. It is a non-unity [Nicht-Einheit], non-whole [Nichtganzen]. The temporal is not integral as opposed to Fullness. [Dooyeweerd contrasts the brokenness of time to the fullness of the supratemporal. I understand Dooyeweerd’s individuality structures as this kind of being put-together. This is evident in the way our own body is a mantle of functions, an intertwining of different individuality structures that have duration only in time. Baader says that we ourselves became ‘earthly.’].

(33) Everything temporal is not integral; it is restless [Unruhe] and moves to the beyond that is integral, fullness, the enjoyment of being. [Dooyeweerd says that the temporal world is restless in that it has no existence except in its religious root (NC I, 100; II, 53)]

(34) Everything has its time. Its continuation is just the appearance of a continual moment by moment renewal. What begins outside of time does not stop beginning. Only in the eternal (the supratemporal) do Beginning and End coincide, Father and Son, Age and Youth; only in their separation , their suspension is the temporal; when beginning and end again coincide, time is no more. Return of the individual into its zeugende Unity. In collection, synthesis, the dispersed strives for fulfillment. Compared to breathing in and out. It is only the mechanical conception of this idea that leads to a crass pantheism and Spoinozism., where the Creator is swallowed up in His creation, like the mothers of some insects. God and Creature then fight for their existence against each other. (Philosophische Schriften I, 49, ft.)

(35) There is not just one mode of creation or production by God; nor is there just one mode of Inexistenz. There are created, formed and made worlds. The reference to “created, formed and made” is from Isaiah 43:7, as expounded in Kabbalah. The created, formed and made worlds all have their spiritual root [geistige Wurzel] in the archetypal world, God’s Shekinah. The Absolute (En Soph) has four products or emanations:

archetypal world; shekinah; Aziloth; these are ideas, powers, Sophia; doxa, shekinah
angelic world, the created Briah; this is really the first emanation
mundum siderium, the formed world, Perirah
mundum elementarem, the made world Asiah Is. 43:7

(36) Dooyeweerd does not refer to Kabbalah or to emanations. But he does speak of the expression of God in a way that is hard to distinguish from the Idea of emanation. Dooyeweerd speaks of the angelic world. And Dooyeweerd distinguishes the creation of our own supratemporal selfhood from the subsequent forming of our body or mantle of temporal functions. And he says that wholly temporal beings do not have a supratemporal center at all. They would correspond to the ‘made’ world. Other Kabbalistic ideas appear in the idea of sparks of God within the temporal world].

(37) The created intelligences became divided, in that some fell away from God and became demons. A third group chose to be neither for nor against God, but without God. This gave rise to cosmic time. This event [Ereignis] occurred “prior” to the Fall of man. It is in this way that the “material” world came about. [It is the Fall of Lucifer; Kuyper refers to this double creation].

(38) Man–the highest manifestation of God–was originally created in the integral state [not in cosmic time]. Man’s purpose was to be at the same time over and within time in order to lead and protect these created intelligences. Man was given “the power of the keys” to keep open the supratemporal realm and to keep closed the infernal realm. Man was given powers for the reintegration of temporal beings. Instead, man opened the infernal region,himself fell into the temporal.

(39) In Zeit, he says that man was originally destined to be in the region above time, the true time, or the center of this “temporal mantle” [zeitliche Hülle]. In the Fall, man was displaced [versetzt] and now finds himself in the periphery. [Dooyeweerd speaks of our present mantle of temporal functions [functiemantel], as distinct from our supratemporal center. See body.

(40) Animals are not displaced beings. In Zeit, he says that animals live only in lower region. They have no boredom.(Zeit 27, ft. 7) [Dooyeweerd is clear that animals do not have a supratemporal center].

(41) A further differentiation of these intelligences was done by cosmic time. Time performs a “separation and setting out” [Ausscheidung und Heraussetzung] of these intelligences. They seem to be what he has referred to as the first production of God–the archetypes or powers. They do not have a selfhood. They each have their own proper nature, but they also have together a coherence among themselves.

(42) In Elementarbegriffe, Baader does not use the word ‘prism’ for the differentiation of the powers. He does use the symbol elsewhere to show diversity coming out of the unity of white light. But Baader does have a diagram in Elementarbegriffe that is like a prism. There is a central point and several peripheral points coming from it. He says that the peripheral points do not have to move through the intervening peripheral points, but can move from their resting center point outwards into another point in the periphery. This gives it a greater power of manifestation in the temporal world. [Is this the same as the opening up process which relies on Ideas referring to the Center where the meaning of all aspects coincides??]

(43) Our position in the original state was not permanent; it was ‘labile.’ We chose to leave it. This was the Fall. Other temporal beings are bound up with our existence. Just as our initial existence was not permanent, so the existence of other temporal beings after the Fall needs to be confirmed by us. We need to win their permanence of ‘illability’ [the state where it cannot fall again]. Before the Fall we were unified with temporal beings, but unaware of this unity. We now have to gain a conscious unity. [We participate in the redemption and reintegration of the world]

(44) Baader refers to Tauler’s statement about our heart being a center in which no creature can penetrate. [Dooyeweerd regarded the central and supratemporal heart as key to his philosophy].

(45) We work from out of our immediate mode of being [the supratemporal] into a mediated mode [the temporal]. We can use this freedom either for or against God. When we use it against God, we are denying our creation as God’s image, and we are setting up our own image in its place. [This is the Idea of religious antithesis, and autonomy].

(46) Baader refers to the anomie [lack of all laws] that someone has who tries to be law for himself in autonomy or ‘Selbstgesetzgebung’. (In Zeit, 31 )

(49) When we are separated from our center, this lack of power is shown in our elements or factors in their respective centers Even in the atom there is the desire to separate from the center, in [chemical] explosions.(In Zeit, 32 )

(50) When we choose against God, we flee the true Center. This fleeing the true center can be either a falling away [entsinken] from the Center, or a flying past the center. Flying past the center is when we have not made a final choice for or against God. This is the situation in time. Our eternal [or infernal] state is not yet fully revealed. But we are proceeding to our final goal. Not to progress is to regress.

(51) Baader says that cosmic time is a half-reality. It has an ambiguity (Zweideutigkeit) and an undecided nature (Unenschiedenheit). Time allows a creature to be initially neither for nor against God, but to choose. We have the freedom to build our own heaven or hell. We have been given the power of the keys to open the supratemporal and to keep the subtemporal closed (Elementarbegriffe 546-549).

(52) The temporal cosmos is therefore an evil, but it is also a blessing. Time is ‘a gift as well as a punishment’ (Werke XII, 417; cited Betanzos 286). Time prevents the possibility of a total fall into nothingness, and it offers the possibility of redemption. ‘Time has been given us so that we will become free of time’ (Werke XII, 419; cited by Betanzos 280). Redemption is in cosmic time, which permits humanity to recover what was lost, although in fragmented and successive stages. Our evolution (towards or away from God) must continue in time, and time gives us the opportunity to develop to our completed being. But not to progress is to regress (Begründung 7; Werke I, 27). At the end of cosmic time, we will find ourselves in our completed state either for or against God. In between the two extremes of being grounded in one’s supratemporal Center or finding oneself in the temporal periphery with a total loss of center, is the third situation, which Baader calls ‘movement in the periphery’ (Zeit 25). In this situation, one is not grounded in one’s true Center, nor has one’s Center totally disappeared; instead, there is a movement in the periphery, and that is the appearance-time (Schein-Zeit). Time is given to man in order to save his soul, if he makes use of it as a sacrifice (Zeit 38).

(53) In our evolution towards our final state, we can look back to the past or we can anticipate the future. Anticipations are a shortening of time. [I believe that this relates to retrocipations and anticipations].

(54) We need to be helped by a higher being who in kenosis descends to us sacrificially in love [this is Christ].

(55) Cosmic time breaks up unity into nonunity, and into the elements of one’s being. Everything temporal is therefore not whole and not integral. Only Man was not originally destined for this brokenness within cosmic time (Zeit 28, ft.9). This is why Man longs for the integration of wholeness or ‘holyness’ (Begründung 105). Everything proceeding out of eternity, ‘has its time,’ and must make its way through time in order to return to eternity. The return to eternity is the reintegration of a being in its Principle. Our experience of temporal reality is therefore restless (Unruhe); there is a movement towards the other side, towards integrity, fullness and the enjoyment of being (Elementarbegriffe 537-539).

(56) Time also offers the possibility of a reintegration. The love of God is shown in a mediated way through temporal beings. The mediated communion [Gemeinschaft] is contrasted with the immediate communion from out of the Center. But before the way to the divine region was opened [by Christ], no one could see God and live. This required the humbling or kenosis (Phil. 2:6-7) of the Center in a descent of love, but in which the Center remained Center or Principle.(Zeit)

(57) There can be no proofs for the existence of God nor true worship of God, unless a movement out of time is effected.(Zeit)

From these references to Baader’s works on time, it is clear how important it is to his philosophy. There are also many clear connections to Dooyeweerd’s philosophy.

These connections also show why some of the criticism of Dooyeweerd’s Idea of cosmic time has missed what he really says, and has missed the significance of cosmic time for Dooyeweerd’s other ideas. For example, Smith for example asks, if time is created, why would the creature seek to overcome its temporality? Is this not a desire to overcome creaturehood? Do not creation and original sin then coincide? (The Fall of Interpretation, 144, 146). Baader helps us to show why we would want to overcome temporality and why this is not a desire to overcome creaturehood. And although the fall may coincide with cosmic time, it does not coincide with creation.

Dooyeweerd emphasizes that the idea of cosmic time is the basis of his philosophical theory of reality (NC I, 28), and that the idea of the supratemporal selfhood must be the presupposition of any truly Christian view. De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer (Amsterdam: W. Ten Have, 1931), p. 113. Baader helps us to see the connections of these ideas to the rest of dooyeweerd’s philosophy, and why the supratemporal selfhood as the root of creation is really the “key of knowledge.”

More research is needed.

Revised Sept 21/07; Dec 23/16