© J. Glenn Friesen 2003-2006
Glossary of Terms
Dooyeweerd sometimes refers to temporal reality as the 'earth.' Genesis chapter I distinguishes the 'earthly' from the 'heavens.' The 'heavens' means the "temporal world concentrated in man" (NC II, 53 fn1).
The temporal is concentrated in man as the supratemporal root. That is why the earth fell with humanity in the fall. The earthly is imperfect, and seeks redemption and fulfillment:
There are levels or apriori horizons of our human experience, and we “descend” into cosmic time (NC II, 552). In this temporal life or dispensation [bedeeling], we are bound to this perspective horizon.(NC II, 561)
The cosmic order of time is "the limit to our 'earthly' temporal cosmos" (NC II, 3). Cosmic time determines the structure of reality in its diversity of meaning, both as regards its modal and typical laws and its subjectivity, including its subject-object-relations."
The earthly cosmos does not allow a fully unhampered influence of sin. The law has a restraining effect. Dooyeweerd does not speculate on what the full effect of unrestrained sin would be like. But it will be meaning "in the absolute subjective apostasy under the curse of God's wrath" (NC II, 33).
With respect to human existence, our body, which we give up at death, is the whole earthly existence of man in all temporal spheres of life, as this existence has been interwoven in individuality structures. Bodily death is in fact the unbinding ('losmaking') of all earthly bonds. It is not just a material body that is given up, a body that is conceived as being closed up in the physical-chemical aspects of temporal reality. And the soul, which Scriptures assure us continues after death, must not be understood as any part of this temporal earthly existence, nor as the theoretical abstraction of a substance that has only psychical and normative functions. The soul is rather the full human selfhood, one's heart, in the sense of the center of one's whole existence, of which the body is only the temporal organ. (March 19/1938 response to Curators; cited Verburg 226-227).
In this Pentecost meditation, Kuyper speaks of the difference between our temporal world and our true home, which is a created eternity. He calls this created eternity "heaven" in contrast to the temporal 'earth.'
The heavens, the world above, is the real world, whereas the temporal world is a drably lit cellar (p. 14).Earth is a lower creation (p. 21). Things on earth are led from heaven (“Van boven, niet van de aarde, gaat het word uit, dat over den loop der dingen beslist”)(p.32). This created heaven is not merely spiritual, but is more real than this world in which we live (p. 124).
From where did Kuyper get these ideas? I would suggest from Franz von Baader, although Dooyeweerd is a more faithful follower of Baader. Whereas Kuyper believes that we cross over to this created eternity only at death, Dooyeweerd recognizes that even now we simultaneously live both in the aevum as well as in the temporal world.
Revised May 6/06