DOOYEWEERD: The daily struggle in the heart of our selfhood.

GealachBeinne4“The [Dooyeweerdian] philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea does not judge about matters over which no judgment belongs to man, but leads to fundamental self-criticism of the thinker.

As one sees, the referring of a philosophic system to its transcendental ground-Idea leads to a radical sharpening of the anti-thesis in philosophic thought and to the discovery of really stern truths. But [humanist] immanence-philosophy may not complain about this, for it too requires of philosophic thought to seek the truth and nothing but the truth. On its part, it offers sharp opposition to every attack upon the self-sufficiency of theoretical thought.

Moreover, it should be kept in mind, that the radical criticism which the [Dooyeweerdian] philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea exercises may in no part be understood as a judgment as to the personal religious condition of a thinker. Such a judgment does not belong to man and lies entirely outside the intention of our philosophy. We know, after all, that in the heart of the Christian himself the apostate selfhood and the selfhood redirected to God wage a daily warfare.

But this full truth will be impressed by the radical self-criticism which the [Dooyeweerdian] philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea requires of the thinker: The proclamation of the self-sufficiency of philosophic thought signifies the withdrawal of that thought from Christ as the new religious root of our cosmos. This cannot proceed from Him, but necessarily issues from the root of existence which has fallen away from God.”

(Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Vol I, p 137)

“In the Biblical attitude of naive [(non-pejorative) = everyday] experience the transcendent, religious dimension of its horizon is opened. The light of eternity radiates perspectively through all the temporal dimensions of this horizon and even illuminates seemingly trivial things and events in our sinful world. In this attitude the experiencing I-ness is necessarily in the I-we relation of the Christian community and in the we-Thou relation with God, Who has revealed Himself in Christ Jesus. This is why this naive [everyday] experiential attitude cannot be uninterested and impersonal.

This should not be misunderstood. It would be an illusion to suppose that a true Christian always displays this Biblical attitude in his naive [everyday] experience. Far from it. 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 a so-called existential isolation. He is acquainted with all this from personal experience, though he does not understand the philosophical analysis of this state of spiritual uprooting in Humanistic existentialism.

But the Christian whose heart is opened to the Divine Word-revelation knows that in this apostate experiential attitude he does not experience temporal things and events as they really are, i.e. as meaning pointing beyond and above itself to the true religious centre of meaning and to the true Origin.”

(Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, III, p29)