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.)

rigid NC I, 31 ft. 1;
NC II, 183, 184 (rigid, closed structure), 190, 245 (rigid group-tradition in primitive culture), 485 (phenomenology seeks a rigid eidos), 558 rigid-static (contrasted to plastic motive of dimension of human experience). 581 (rigid system of conceptual forms)
rigidity II, 484, 490

NC II, 338 (internal rigidiy in the Idea of the mathesis universalis)

‘Starres’ WdW II, 129 (starre primaire gestalte; daarentegen verdiepte gestalte), 207 (verstarring), 270 (verstarring)
Vorhandenes I, 79

The rigid is the static, in contrast to the dynamic. Dooyeweerd opposes a rigid view of either eternity or of temporal reality. In particular, Dooyeweerd does not take a rigid atomistic view of temporal reality (II, 490). Instead, Dooyeweerd sees temporal reality as dynamic (I, 79). Temporal reality is dynamic in the inter-relatedness of its temporal aspects, and in its relatedness to its religious root.

Dooyeweerd rejects the idea of supratemporality and eternity as being rigid, static and unchanging. This is a Greek view of eternity. Dooyeweerd says,

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 (NC I, 31 fn.).

We cannot ascribe even to God any such Greek-metaphysical sense of supratemporality (NC I, 106).

But Dooyeweerd also uses ‘rigid’ in another sense: to refer to the primary, closed form of the law-sphere–the coherence of the modal nucleus and its retrocipations (NC II, 181). For example, he says,

In the psychical law-sphere the modal meaning-structure of feeling still manifests itself in the primary, rigid form in animals.[…] But an animal’s subjective psychical feeling remains in a closed state with regard to the meaning of the normative law-spheres. It is not susceptible of aniticipation in the axiologtical sense of the word; it is not capable of a deepening of meaning under the direction of normative funcitons of consciousness (NC II, 183-84)

These aspects cease to be rigid (starre) when opened up or deepened (verdiepte). (WdW II, 129). Dooyeweerd also says this elsewhere:

In other words, the retrocipatory direction of time offers to theoretical thinking, at least provisionally, some resting-points in the original meaning-nuclei. It is true that these resting-points are again done away with by the transcendental direction of time without which they would become rigid and meaningless. […] The only reserve to be made is that the pont of comparative rest in this way offered to philosophic reflection on the possibility of the modal meaning-opening is only a provisional resting-point. In the transcendental direction of thought it must necessarily be resolved into the essential unrest of meaning. (NC II, 190).

Baader wrote about the difference between static and dynamic in “Über Starres und Fliessendes.” Philosophische Schriften, 113. Baader refers to the relation between continuity and discontinuity of time. This is also the relation between the rigid of the fixed reality and the flowing reality. The fixed shows continuity but no penetrating [eindringende] power. The flowing shows a penetrating power,but no continuity. Both the fixed and the flowing must be raised up [synthesized, sublated] in a third. This third is neither fixed nor flowing, but it is that which alone gives existence to the fixed and flowing. (“Über Starres und Fliessendes,” Begründung p. 13-15).

We can compare this to Dooyeweerd’s view of enstasis as an experience of the continuity of cosmic time. Theory, which breaks this continuity apart by dis-stasis, has a penetrating power.

An example of a totally fixed view of reality is that of Parmenides (Eleatic philosophy), who declared all becoming and change to be a sensory phenomenon that does not correspond to true Being. For Parmenides, the real origin of this Being is theoretical thought: “for thinking and being is one and the same.” (NC III, 5).

Revised Aug 21/06; dec. 24/16