THE PRISMATIC CHARACTER OF THE TIME ORDER OF THE ASPECTS AS LAW OF REFRACTION.
“As horizon of the modal aspect structures, the order of time truly is a law of refraction. The meaning-totality of our temporal cosmos, which constitutes the essential unity and fullness of the meaning of all aspects of creation, cannot be given within time. It has a transcendent, supra-temporal character. […] Just as unbroken sunlight is refracted through a prism into the multicolored richness of the spectrum, so the religious fullness of meaning of the creation is refracted in the wealth of modal aspects which do not find their transcendent root-unity within time itself. […] If the modal aspects are intrinsically time aspects, then their orderly succession in time, too, must be a real time-order, an order that comes to expression within the modal structure of each aspect.” (Herman Dooyeweerd: ‘Time, Law, and History: Selected Essays’, pp 73-75)
FMF writes: No law-sphere (modal aspect) can be reduced to another. Infringements of ‘irreducibility’ are behind all ‘isms’. These ‘idolatries’ show the human heart attempting to integrate entire reality around a single aspect (or ‘law-sphere’). There is a plausibility to this because each aspect is present as an analogy in every other aspect (see ‘Historical Aspect’ diagram below). This gives each aspect an omnipresence, which Dooyeweerd designates ‘sphere-universality’.
Crucially, since no aspect can be reduced to another, none can be reduced even to the ‘Logical / Analytical Aspect’. In other words, the above panoply of aspects is not a theoretical product of “logic”. Rather, it is “experiential”. It arises from “intuitive consciousness”. This must be particularly and continually emphasised. Failure to bear this in mind makes a ‘logicism’ out of Dooyeweerd’s philosophy, whereas it is primarily against logicism that he is arguing (Dooyeweerd’s ‘A New Critique of Theoretical Thought’ is essentially a critique of Kant). A moment’s reflection will observe that the aspects correspond pretty closely to standard academic disciplines.
Dooyeweerd calls the irreducibility feature of each aspect ‘sphere-sovereignty’. With reference to mutual irreducibility, Dooyeweerd draws attention to Genesis 1 where animals are created “according to their kinds”. Without getting a handle on the terms ‘sphere-sovereignty’ and ‘sphere-universality’ it will be impossible to fathom Dooyeweerd’s explanations on just about anything!
Interestingly, the absolutization of any given aspect of reality invariably throws up its ‘counter-idol’, leading to a dualism. Something like an after-image. Hence the historic Western dualistic ground-motives.