fear

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.)

fear III, 11 (dread)

NC III, 30 (dread)

Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Dread refers to ‘the customary power and validity of Baader’s ideas.’ (Baumgardt, 7 and 398).

Baader himself speaks of Angst or fear [dread]. Baader contrasts our natural movement from out of the Center with a state of restlessness [Nicht-Ruhe] of the Center, which causes our torment and the hindering of free movement in the Periphery. This state is a loss of Center, that results in one being not grounded [Entgrundung]. Each creature that has lost its center feels a loss of ground. He says that this is by opening a Center that ought to remain closed. It is the opening of the consuming fire of Fear [Angst] and of the Abyss [Abgrundes]. (Zeit 24 ft 4). In this state, the law is not felt as freeing, but as a burden.Our morality should not be through fear, but rather by bringing us into relation with the Being that fills us and holds us through love (Zeit, 44).

Our movement out of our self is caused by wonder and admiration. Admiration comes from love. It is different from astonishment, which is not true knowledge. It represents not love but fear (Susini 60).

I believe that Baader’s ideas here are relevant in showing how the feeling of “numinousness” spoken of by Otto may not point to religion that is properly directed to its Center. A similar criticism can be made of Jung’s fascination with occult phenomena.

Dooyeweerd speaks of the emptiness when the world seems to be shut up in itself, and of the dread of nothingness. This occurs even for Christians, because we are all affected by the fall:

Because he is not exempt from the solidarity of the fall into sin, every Christian knows the emptiness of an experience of the temporal world which seems to be shut up in itself. He knows the impersonal attitude of a “man” in the routine of common life and the dread of nothingness, the meaningless, if he tries to find himself again in ‘existential isolation.’ (NC III, 30; III, 11).

Revised Oct 7/05; Dec 24/16