Concerning the Concept of Time
[Über den Begriff der Zeit]
by Franz von Baader
Translation and Notes by J. Glenn Friesen ©2004
The originals can be found in Baader's Werke 2, 47-94
Baader’s style of German is notoriously difficult.
I have broken up his very long sentences into many shorter sentences.
Words in round brackets are Baader’s own parenthetical remarks.
Those portions of the text in square brackets are either the original
untranslated text, or additional words that I have inserted to make sense
of the text. In translating this article, I have made use of Baader’s
own translation of it into French entitled Sur le Tem[p]s (1818).
In my own endnotes (which are distinguished from Baader’s) I have
also made comparisons to the neo-Calvinism of Abraham
Kuyper (1837-1920) and to the Christian philosophy of Herman
Dooyeweerd (1894-1977). Baader influenced both Kuyper and Dooyeweerd.
Baader’s emphasis on our access to a direct, unmediated Presence
of the Center is in contrast to postmodernism’s denial of any unmediated
experience or Presence. Based on Baader’s article on time, we can
see how postmodernism is only an extreme modernism.
The sensory action of the Spirit, more or less breaking through the boundaries of time and space, has manifested and proved itself in several somnambulists  in Germany. At this same moment, our philosophy begins to see the light and to approach that most complete insight–that in addition to this temporal region, there are two other regions and classes of beings. The one region is above, and the other region is below this time. Their existence and effective influence, that is, their active interrelations both within and with this temporal region can and should form again the field of enquiry [Gegenstand] of our observations (and even our experiments), just as these were observed by our ancestors. These observations and experiments are just as convincing in their order as those that take place in the purely temporal order. This is the subject of the following work, which I hope will give us a clearer understanding of the most fundamental problem of philosophy, that of giving to us a complete theory of time. And I hope that it will also facilitate the finding of a solution to this problem, and in this way contribute to the well-being of the Spirit of man by a lessening of the pain and the humiliation of his ignorance.
Schwabing by Munich, August 1818.
The complete movement or transformation accomplished by life encloses itself; it circles in the three moments of origin, existence and the return within. Or in other words, of production (descent), preservation (conservation) and of reintegration (as a re-ascent). It is in this sense that God is described in the Scriptures as the Being who is, who was and who ever shall be.
Until now, eternity has mistakenly been understood as an unmoving and static Presence; this mistake was made because it was not seen that this Presence must contain within itself two other times, the past and the future, in order to bring about a completed existence [Existenz] or permanence within all three of these dimensions. Therefore everything that is in eternity, that is everything that is received into the completed (perfect or absolute) life–for that is the meaning of ‘eternal life’–must be regarded as always existing, as always having been, and as always becoming to be. What is in eternity is thus regarded as always resting in its movement, and always moving itself in its Rest, or as always new and yet always the same. 
We may with St. Martin refer to this eternal time as the “true time.” Until now, this true time has been opposed to ‘time’ in its narrower sense, which always lacks a present. In this [narrower] time are found only two dimensions of the complete Ternar  of Time–the past and the future, which proceed from it. And in this [narrower] time, the emptiness of the Presence is filled by an apparent presence  (Praesentia Phaenomenon). This appearance is an ‘apparition’ in the full sense of the word. Therefore we may call this time the ‘appearance-time,’ in an even deeper sense than one usually uses this expression.
But it is by no means an apparent presence that is directly opposed to the true Presence; on the contrary, it is the absolute negation of all true Presence. And the opposition between true time and appearance-time is itself therefore only apparent. Or at the very least, this opposition to true time is not direct, since a direct opposition exists only between the first time [Eternity] and a third time, which we must call ‘false time.’ In false time, all beings exist only in the past [they lack both the present and the future].
Appearance time is in fact dualistic; it rushes on in haste without rest. In the final analysis, this dualism displays itself as the consequence of a negative reaction, which opposes itself to the perfect revelation of true Presence. But this reaction always finds itself suppressed anew, so that it can never itself escape [from true Presence] by its own means.  Its own presence can only reveal itself in this negative way, that is, by the non-revelation of this true Presence or true time.
The fire which here tries to open and to explode, is therefore not a generating or nourishing fire  but a destroying one. In the Scriptures it is referred to as the gnawing worm that never dies. And the fact that this fire can be ignited constitutes the danger, or what we may call the earnestness for each life that is created or that proceeds from God  (Periculum vitae). 
The comparison that is frequently made is not incorrect, comparing the movement of life in appearance-time with movement in the periphery. As one knows, this movement in the periphery only arises because neither the power that affirms or fixes [setzt] the Center (Oneness), nor the opposing power that annuls the Center, is in a position to make itself exclusively valid. This comparison [with the Idea of Center and periphery] must be understood in an organic and not just a mechanical sense. The comparison is much more instructive when the concepts of Center and periphery are understood in their reciprocal relation in one and the same organic system. For in just such an [organic] system, it is only by means of the Rest, the “being-placed”  (le posement) of the Center that the free motion in its periphery (its outer nature) is effected. For each motion proceeds from the Immovable. And it is only by the non-resting of the Center (i.e. either its opening, or its disappearance) that the torment of restraint of such free movement is effected. 
In between these two extremes is found a third state, the “movement in the periphery,” which proceeds from a center  external to this being, which moves the being in this way in the periphery. Such movement is not supported [begründet, appuyé] in the being’s inner or proper center; therefore such movement is not free. But neither is this movement restrained by the opening of its other [infernal] center. And it is precisely this movement in the periphery that characterizes appearance-time.
The Scriptures themselves refer us to such a theory of time (the temporal world) in that they call the denying Spirit the liar and the murderer from the beginning.  By ‘beginning’ is meant the beginning of the appearance-time. The beginning of this time is nothing but the ending (cessation or suspension ) of true time. And that which has in this way begun to pass away would not any longer be capable–at least by means of its own power–of ending this passing away. 
Suppose that in the middle of a being’s system there arises an action that opposes and threatens the unity and effective harmony of this system. We can understand that the rapport (or the relation) of the center of such a system with this action can no longer remain the same, and that it must change in the same instant. If in the instant that this opposing action arises, the effective being (Agens) finds itself in a direct or total relationship with this Center, then this Center, in its Totality, will either react directly upon and against this being in order to stop and to destroy the action, or it will distance itself from that being. Such distancing would certainly not be absolute, since an absolute distancing would be an absolute annihilation, but rather relative, in other words so that the rebellious being will no longer find itself in an active, unmediated relation to the creative Center.  This being will then be only externally supported and fulfilled by the Center, so that the duration of such an agent or being will also be found to be grounded in nothing but his external nature. In his inner nature, this being will find himself in a continuing atrophy and will be able to nothing except to continue to pass away or to sink lower. It is an unrestrained inner passing away, corresponding to an unmoved rigidity of being fixed in his outer nature, which is space.  (Immanently understood, the sinking lower is only a circling).
In contrast, a being who, at the instant of such an action against the unity of a system, does not find himself in a direct or total relation to this unity at the moment of exercising such a [rebellious] action, or an agent whose opposing action does not directly attack the Center, but only indirectly, will not experience the whole weight of the suppressing reaction of the Center. Similarly, his distancing from the Center, and the destruction in his innerness–the natural effect of this distancing–will then only be indirect or partial.
It is precisely in this second situation that man finds himself in the appearance-time, either face to face or below Divinity. And it is instructive for us to develop certain characteristic qualities of this [appearance] time. These qualities would otherwise be very dark and incomprehensible, but when regarded from this standpoint, they are very naturally explained.
First, if man can never find the total action of the Center in this appearance-time, it follows that he can never totally find his God insofar as he remains only in this time. Everything that presents itself to him in this time and space tempts him to move from out of this temporal region (either to his glorification or to his damnation). For as one knows perfectly well in theory, although one always forgets it in practice, it is always a delusion if man who is always abused by time nevertheless believes in it–in other words if, when he cannot find something in one point or portion of time of space, he continually hopes to find it in another point or portion.
All so-called proofs for the existence of God, and in fact even all worship that does not effectively move you out of time , will never reveal to you this total God of Whom you feel the need.
Finally, since the nature of each fraction of Oneness is to diminish in value in proportion to its increase in power, and by this progression or growth to approach towards nothingness, we can also see why each temporal being, since it is only a fraction of Oneness and not a Totality in its being ordered (on account of which it is in essence put-together and capable of disintegration), can only elevate itself to its potential insofar as it separates itself more and more from this Central Unity. In its growth it more and more de-creates  itself, which means “grows old.” And its (temporal) life must itself lead it to death. 
Another more comforting consequence of this way of looking at things is the following: namely, that in the concept of appearance-time itself is included the concept of a possible redemption or reintegration. Therefore, temporal nature displays itself as the first religion. It is compassionate Love that temporalizes with its erring children. And elemental water, named by Steffens “the tears of nature,” can on this basis also be called “the first tears of Love.” The indirect communion of beings who are shut up within time displays itself as a mediated communion. In the same way, like the thread of Ariadne, the Idea of a Mediator is offered to us from the moment in which we first enter this time.
This mediated communion is more external–more humiliated or weighed down–than unmediated communion. It follows from this that the Center itself, insofar as it maintains an active communion with the degraded being, also finds Itself in a kind of humiliation or degradation. We would be wrong to say that this humiliation is anything but a descending emanation from this Center (amor descendit). By this emanation or descent, the Center makes forms itself into an organ, yet without ceasing to remain as Center or Principle. 
This emanation, by holding within (suspending) His developed Powers, and His Glory (Philippians 2: 6,7) , by leaving (expatriating Himself) from His Home, reduces Himself to the humble state of a germ or root , in order to seed Himself in the fallen beings, so that in their reascent or growth they [the fallen beings] may again unite and lift up those Powers–in and through Himself–into the true time , like the seed of a tree, which in its collective-unity unites the scattered vegetative powers that were dispersed and suppressed when they were scattered on the earth, and which then carries them on high above the earth. Consider here the concern and care of Love! 
For when this Center that has brought forth again brings forth–that is, when it goes deeper within its own being, in order to draw forth this regenerating emanation, it finds that it is able in this way to enter more deeply into the beings that are to be restored again. After their restoration or reintegration, these beings will then be more innerly united and elevated higher into their generative Center than they were before their Fall or Falling-away. From then on these beings will be inseparable [illabiles], incapable of falling from their life in the Center. This is similar to how we see organizing Nature always strengthen a damaged part of the organism, making it less vulnerable to being wounded in the future! Felix culpa! 
From this point of view we can see that the atheist–or the one who can be called the murderer of God because he sets himself against the complete revelation of God within him –only denies the inner revelation (which he calls the moral), but he does not deny God’s outer revelation, which he calls natural law, fate, destiny. Such a person who denies God can only be refuted by demonstrating to him his own anomie (lawlessness or inner lack of all laws). In vain such a person sets himself against such lawlessness by his own deceitful autonomy–setting himself up as giver of the law. Or in other words, by demonstrating to him that his inner separation from God is only his own work and the consequence of his own fault.
The concept of time is closely related to that of weight. In the most general sense, we call something ‘heavy’ that is inwardly separated from its generating Principle and abandoned to itself. It finds itself incapable of maintaining itself in existence [Dasein]. It therefore needs external help, or an external carrier, in order to obtain and to maintain a mediated communion with this Principle. For without such communion, no preservation or permanence can exist. And it seems important to hold fast to the identity of these two concepts: the preservation of such a being and of its being carried externally (or so to say, its being fulfilled).
The temporal being who is separated from his Center has nothing more in himself.  Since this being is no longer (inwardly) fulfilled, it therefore must find within his own region the same powerlessness to support (or to fulfill) his elements or factors in their respective centers. And it will be shown later how this constitution of temporal beings has given rise to the theory of atoms, which was taken by the Greek philosophers in a much deeper sense than in our modern mechanistic philosophers since Descartes. In fact, this striving, or the desire to separate itself from its Center, whether by an explosion , or whether by dissolution, continues in the same fallen beings. This takes place either through the rebellious will to fly over the Center, or in the abject will of subjecting oneself to a subordinate center . Such a person will feel either the same refractory [will] or abject will arise in all moments of his particular region [‘Sphäre’]. For the superior, carrying or elevating and founding Principle (the center of gravity or ascent) is at the same time the unifying, essence-giving or embodying Principle for each being. 
For each being that has been separated from its creative Center, and who has now fallen into a more outward (therefore more narrow) region, we can establish the following steps in the ladder for its possible reascent or reintegration:
1. Subordination or dissolution of the true coherence or the superior embodiment, which also shows itself relatively in this lower region as an embodiment in the order of the periphery. This situation of disorder can be called the situation of ‘abymation’ or loss of ground.]
2. Immediately following this situation there is a powerful collection, or an inferior or outward embodiment, which also serves to fix on it a spirit of comprehension. This embodiment is only possible by a sensitive, sensory and painful displacement of its elements, because the being that embodies itself in this inferior way has itself been displaced [‘versetzt,’ transposé’]. This lower embodiment serves:
3. After the goal of this lower embodiment is fulfilled, that is, after the superior and now indissoluble embodiment is completed, the lower embodiment must encounter death or dissolution, just like the scaffolding collapses after a house is built. 
In a very true sense the proverb also tells us, that each being here below has its time, which must end for it, whether it has made good use of this passage through time for its higher embodiment or whether it has done the opposite. This same time, that is, this corruptible matter that is given to man in order to save his true soul–if he makes use of it as a sacrifice (Lev. 17:11) –exercises a very distinct effect on a being that (or insofar as it) finds itself already below time [in the infernal region]. St. Martin says correctly that this external nature performs the function of maintaining such a corrupt being in a continual dissolution, so that evil can never take on nature or body. 
This inner inclination to fall and to pass away, will therefore make itself noticeable in all temporal beings, although in different ways depending on their original destination. These beings may by their origin be destined only for an indirect communion  with the creative Principle (which applies to all truly temporally created beings). Or these beings, like Man, may by their origin be destined for a direct and complete communion with God.  This is a distinction that gives us insight that gives us the light to distinguish between creation and emanation. For a created being is really that which, if it proceeds from out of its generating Principle, finds itself inwardly separated from it [that Principle] in its action, which shows that it did not proceed in an unmediated way from this Principle. As against this, the emanated being is that which proceeds directly from its Principle, and which enters or can enter into a direct relation with it.
The first being [the created] is heavy in its original state, but not the second [the emanated]. In its original state, the emanated being finds its foundation within its own region [Sphäre], although it does not found itself (that is the prerogative of God alone, who is the only one who founds Himself). Therefore the emanated being does not know the need to proceed from out of himself, to seek his foundation outside of himself. According to Genesis, man was given the breath of Life, and is therefore not a creation but an emanation. And this emanation was supposed to support and to elevate to the height of uncreated beings all the rest that was created of man  (and through man, all of creation. See Rom. 8:19 ). Now as a consequence of the Fall, man has buried this divine Breath (divinae particulam aurae  ) under the ruins of that part of him that was created. And thereby making himself completely into a creature, he thereby made retrograde the ascent and resurrection that God had intended and expected. This Breath had to be awakened in him anew, so that the whole man could be elevated from a natural and created human to a spiritual man and finally to a Child of God (1 Cor. 15:45) . For emanation stands in the same relation to generation as does the manufacture of a work to its creation. 
Our modern philosophers have also misunderstood this heaviness, which they take in the most general sense, in that they confuse it with the force of attraction. For surely each being that falls must find itself outside of and below its own law, therefore in the absolute darkness; and in its inner-ness, it does not in any way comprehend the direction (the goal or the guide) of his movement in a Present way. A Presence, which in on the contrary exactly characterizes the movement of attraction, and which gives us the basis for the clairvoyance of love, just like it gives the blinding of each passion. For the one who is taken away by his passion finds himself, as Christ says, in the darkness, and does not know whereto he goes. 
I have already shown elsewhere this essential difference between weight and attraction in all regions.  And in my forthcoming work on religion it will be shown how this false way of regarding heaviness or appearance-time must contribute to a darkening of our insight into both scientific knowledge of external nature as well as that of humans. And in fact, when one takes this word ‘weight’ in its active sense, as a weight that presses down on a being, then it is clear, that just like the atmosphere presses down on only on bodies that are empty of it, or which are not fulfilled by this atmosphere, so also the Spirit , the divine atmosphere or the Word, presses down on our souls only when they are empty of it, or when they have closed the access to this Spirit or to these Words, Atmosphere or Breath. It is in this sense St. Paul says that we only stand under this law, and only experience its weight, when the Spirit of this law does not fulfill us and does not support us. 
It was an even greater error of several of our modern moralists, whose head was the famous Kant, to base their morality only on the imperative of the law, and to exclude the optative–that is to identify our being as that which could only be held down by fear, and without bringing us into relation or contact with the Being who fulfills and contains through love. 
Therefore the moral philosophy of these moderns, like their teaching about nature, can interest us only as much as reports of a dissection of a corpse, for these moderns have applied their attention and analyzing dismemberment ['Zergliederung’] not less to souls empty of life than to a nature without life.
 JGF: The effect of suggestion on sleepwalkers, the use of hypnotism or ‘mesmerism’ made a huge impact throughout the 19th century. This continued into the 20th century, Dooyeweerd refers to it in his student article from 1914, “Neo-Mysticism and Frederik van Eeden.” He refers to van Eeden’s Studies, which include essays on hypnotism and the experiments of the London Psychical Society.
 JGF: ‘Hervorbringung (des Herabsteigens), der Erhaltung (Konservation) und der Wiederausgleichung (als Wideraufsteigens). There is a similarity here to the Hindu idea of Creation by Brahma, preservation by Vishnu and return by Shiva. But Baader is very careful to avoid any pantheistic ideas of his philosophy. He says that God alone founds himself. In other articles, he is more explicit in his opposition to pantheism. For Baader, our generation, preservation and return do not correspond to God’s own dynamic movement within the Persons of the Trinity, although the powers themselves may be the same [See note 32 for an analogy to the orthodox view of uncreated powers]
 Baader's note 1: In the divine region, the production has always been, the preservation is always, and the reunification (reintegration) will always be. Oeuvres posthumes de St. Martin, Vol. II, p. 203. If we regard the essence of the spiritual man [See note 56 below] as having sprung in an unmediated way from the Godhead, then we must acknowledge it to be eternal, both in the sense of a parte ante [an eternity which is past] as well as a parte post [an eternity which is to come].
JGF: As will be seen, Baader distinguishes the divine region from the eternal insofar as it applies to humans. Dooyeweerd does the same. Dooyeweerd uses the medieval word ‘aevum’ to differentiate the human supratemporal from the divine Eternal.
JGF: Baader thus has three regions of time: the Eternal, the temporal and the infernal (the realm of demons who have opposed God’s Eternity in a final way).
 JGF: This is the dualism: the opposition is itself opposed. There is a religious dialectic of opposites that cannot come to any resolution. Baader speaks of this elsewhere. It is also helpful in understanding Dooyeweerd’s view of the religious dialectic in dualistic Ground-Motives.
 Baader's note 3: Many of our modern philosophers seem to have no concept of this danger of life, for they in fact seek the beginning of life in this cessation or death (which should, as a dangerous mystery, have always remained or rested in its latent state). Unlike Prometheus, these modern philosophers do not want to ignite their torch of life from the heavenly (higher, generating) Fire. Instead, they want to ignite it from the infernal and destroying fire. From this basic error–the deification or eternalization of appearance-time–comes their idea that the proof of the immortality of the soul is based on its own capability for infinite improvement. So this poor soul, pursued by its perfectibility throughout all eternity, like the eternal wandering Jew, must suffer the punishment of Tantalus of not ever being able to rejoice in a completed existence and blessedness. Kant did not escape from this thought in his proofs for the immortality of the soul. Moreover, there is no other way to demonstrate the immortality of man’s integral being [Dasein, être intégral] except to develop true life within him. For from the moment that the driving force of this Life is gained within him, there can no longer be any doubt for him as to his immortality. That is, this [driving force] brings with it the full realization of this Life. It is just as impossible to doubt this as it would be for a tension-spring (assuming it had consciousness) to doubt its elastic nature.
JGF: Baader’s use of the word ‘Triebkracht’ or ‘driving force’ is echoed in Dooyeweerd’s use of the word ‘drijfkracht’ in referring to the ‘motive’ power of religious Ground Motives.
 JGF: The meaning of periculum vitae is “life’s peril,” but is here used in the sense of ‘Angst’ or ‘dread.’ We associate ‘dread’ with Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Dread. But in that book he makes explicit acknowledgement of Baader’s influence. See also Friedrich Kümmel’s article on Angst, where he discusses periculum vitae. http://www.friedrich-kuemmel.de/doc/Angst.pdf
 JGF: Baader’s view of our temporal world is that we have not finally decided one way or the other whether we accept God’s law or whether we will oppose it. The temporal is an in-between time, preparing us for the end of time when that choice is fixed one way or the other.
 JGF: ‘Gesetztsein’ from ‘Gesetz’ or law. “Gestetztsein’ is being placed under law, a “being-fitted” into the temporal. The Center “sets” or “fits” the being in time, and there is movement within the periphery of time. ‘Versetztsein’ is being displaced into the temporal. See below.
 Baader's note 4: This idea should be carefully considered: the disappearance [Verschwinden] of the Center occurs by the opening of a center that ought to have remained closed (because each manifestation is limited by a corresponding occultation). For this opening of that fire that destroys all substantiation, of which we have just spoken, a fire which one also calls the consuming fire of Angst and of the abyss, shows itself to be without a foundation [entgründet, abimé]. Moreover, as we shall show in the sequel to this article, especially in the note, “Vorgetragene ganz verständlich machen,” why this loss of foundation occurs through the opening of his center. For the opening of this Center that ought to have remained closed is only possible by the closing of that which should remain open, that is by the closing of another Center, the Center of Life of this being. The first center is called by Jacob Boehme “the center of nature”; and we have him to thank for the complete knowledge of the double center in each and every being.
 JGF: what is an “outer center?” I believe that it is a center set up by the creature in presumed autonomy; it is a presumed center that results in a dualistic dialectic. This presumed center is neither eternal nor yet fully infernal. As we shall see, Baader speaks of ‘autonomy’ in this way.
Baader uses the expression protos pseudon. So does Dooyeweerd. See protos pseudon.
 Baader's note 5: The famous antinomies of Kant or the contradictions that entangle every being that finds itself in this time and in this space, can of course be explained by the Fall and by the displacement [Versetzung] of such a being (from out of the Center of a region into its periphery). When therefore man, who was originally destined to be supratemporal [über dieser Zeit], or in the Center itself of this temporal mantle [zeitlichen Hülle], but now finds himself in its periphery, feels a resistance, a contradiction, a continual opposition in each act of his true being, how great must this resistance be for a being who was destined to live in the true time, and who now finds himself below even appearance-time, and in false time. In the second and third volumes of his Judas Ischariot, Professor Daub gives us valuable glimpses into the terrible situation of such a being.
JGF: The term ‘zeitliche hülle’ can be found in Dooyeweerd as ‘tijdelijk mantel’ [temporal mantle]. The French translation uses the words ‘cette envelope temporelle.’
 Baader's note 7: Both time and space are explainable only by the descent of a superior Being into a more limited region. That is why an animal does not experience time. Although it lives in this time (in our region), it did not descend into this region. The animal is therefore not a displaced [versetztes, transposé] being. And that is why the animal does not experience boredom.
 Baader's note 8: The imperishable need of our soul to wonder is only its need to go from out of time. For true wonder is that which raises us from out of this time and which, in ecstasy, transports [entzückt] us. ‘To wonder’ also means to practice religious worship [Kultus].
 Baader's note 10: We are therefore correct to regard death as natural for each being, which through its birth does not find itself capable of placing himself in, or of retaining, complete communion with Oneness. But it is not correct to regard death as natural for a being, which in its origin was in no way destined to remain in the region of fractions. See Wisdom of Solomon 1:13:
The assertion is also correct that before the way was opened for us from this time to the divine region, no one could see God and live. This is not the place to develop another major truth, namely the truth that it was originally man who was to maintain this indirect communion between external nature and its creative Principle. But in the Fall of man, when this thread was broken, external nature was separated even more from its Principle. Therefore it can be said that man again took the life from this nature, or that he made it a widow.
 JGF: The mediation is from the temporal to the Central and then to the temporal. This is the same idea of Baader's (although in a different work by him), that Dooyeweerd marked and cross-referenced where it was quoted by Othmar Spann and Theodor Litt. See my article, "Doooyeweerd, Spann and the Philosophy of Totality, 70 Philosophia REformata, (2005), 1-22.
Moreover, we should notice that only two faculties descended with fallen Man: the faculties of willing and of acting. However immutable Thought (the Power of setting Laws, or Wisdom) did not descend with him.
JGF: Baader is not here saying that our reason was not fallen. Rather, the immutable laws that govern the temporal are not themselves fallen.
 JGF: Philippians 2:6,7 is the text that speaks of Christ’s kenosis:
 JGF: Cf. Dooyeweerd: Christ as the New Root.
 JGF: The French translation here is unclear. It omits the reference to the powers within the beings. The idea in the German original is that Christ, in His kenosis, suspends His powers to enter time. But these powers are then dispersed in time. In their reascent or growth, the dispersed powers are reunited. And this reuniting is both in Christ (who suspended the powers in the first place) and through Christ (who enables this to happen). This idea may be compared to the orthodox idea of the “uncreated powers” within temporal reality. Michael Morbey has brilliantly compared this idea of uncreated powers to Dooyeweerd’s temporal aspects. The modal scale, which is known only in the dis-stasis or scattering of theoretical thought, is also a ladder of ascent back to unity and Totality, but in a deepened sense.
 JGF: ‘Felix culpa’ [happy sin, or fortunate fall]. The phrase comes from the “Exultet” of the Easter Vigil. It is traditionally ascribed to Augustine, but many scholars believe it was written earlier by St. Ambrose of Milan:
An interesting article showing the impact of this idea in art is by Victor Y. Haines: “The Iconography of the Felix Culpa” http://www.uwo.ca/english/florilegium/vol1/haines.html
 Baader's note 11: In my work Über den Blitz als Vater des Lichts [Concerning Lightning as the Father of Light] I have shown that the one who denies God, in stopping the generation of the divine Light within him, really denies only the Son and not the Father. Real atheism is the denial of the truth of Christianity.
 Baader's note 12: Non datur pax (subsistentia) impiis [peace–a common essence–is impossible for the impious]. JGF: I am not sure where Baader derives this quotation. The idea seems to relate peace or rest with one’s universal essence or law.
 Baader's note 13: We say that something weighs down on another being or burdens it when that being is contained (or comprehended) in the former in a way that it finds itself at the same time suppressed in the development, or in the ascent of, its powers. But we say that a being is heavy in itself when it lacks the necessary powers to preserve itself in its native region (in its law), and in this way cannot unfold itself [de s’expandre]. It is in this passive sense that we will use the meaning of this word ‘weight.’ Our modern physicists have not always made this distinction, so that they understand the center of gravity to refer both to the collection of lack of power [Unmacht] of a heavy being as well as the opposite meaning–the collection of powers of the supporting center that carries and supports this lack of power. If in this way one confuses the active Center of gravitation with the passive center of gravitation in both physical and moral beings, then one cannot see clearly in either one region or the other.
 Baader's note 14: It would be better to distinguish between the so-called expanding [unfolding] powers and the contracting (condensing or attracting) powers. St. Martin names the [former] ‘powers’ and [the latter] ‘resistance.’ St. Martin thus distinguishes between the supporting or fulfilling Power from the containing Power [the resistance]. For whatever fulfills, carries on high, and whatever empties, contains.
The perfect existence [Dasein] of each finite being supposes that this being is contained or comprehended in its generating Principle, and that this same Principle fulfills it. So this Principle is its Law (its Circumscription, Umschreibung), which fulfills it. The first action [the generating] must always precede the finite being (as its true a priori). It must show itself as superior to and independent from the action of the finite being. For every law is characterized by this independence, priority and superiority. But the fulfillment of this Law cannot take place without the action or the cooperation of the finite being itself. And only through this latter act [of fulfillment], through which the containing, generating Principle also reveals itself as fulfilling or unfolding [Ausbreitung] itself in the finite being, does the infinite Principle [the law] comprehend itself by the mediation of these finite beings. For only by means of the (organic) differentiation and uniting of the containing power and the fulfilling power, which completes itself by the mediation of these finite beings (creatures), is there then repeated in this creature the differentiation and original unification of the same powers which, as we know, produce the circular movement and the sensation [Empfindung] of eternal Life in the holy and original Ternar. Moreover, each finite being may be regarded as a limitation [‘Begrenzung,’ ‘abscission’] of the All-present, and it only occurs through the self-denial of the infinite being, which creates or sets out–affirms or places [setzt]–each finite being. The infinite affirms or places [setzt] the finite being, just as the giving of love is, at its basis, nothing other than an affirmation of the beloved opposite [Gegenstandes] through a denial of one’s self.
There is therefore a holding within [Innehalten] (or renunciation) [‘Verleugnung,’ ‘suspension’] by the infinite Being–as this producing and generating Love. This Love awaits an answer from the side of the generated being, the denial of his own finite self, and by this negation the reaffirmation of the producing Being. And it is only by this denial [of himself] by the produced being can he reveal his own creative essence, in realizing and propagating the image [of God]. If he does the opposite, then he will only reveal or reproduce himself. John 1:13 [“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man…”]
In this true sense, my friend von Meyer says in his Blättern für höhere Wahrheit, (Frankfurt: Brönner 1818 I, p. 76) that the fulfillment of the existence of a created being (its Blessedness) can only occur through the mutual and reciprocal sacrifice of the Creator and the creature. If we look closely, we can see from this remark that original sin was the misuse of this divine ability to reproduce.
As to the theory of the containing power and the fulfilling power, of which I have given the first elements, I must add, first: the containing power is at the same time the representing and the reflecting power. It gives the basis for what we call the mirror of a being.
Second, several of our modern philosophers have noticed the hostility between the containing power and the fulfilling power in matter or in temporal beings. But these philosophers (e.g. Fichte) have fallen into the error of seeing this hostility as original and constitutive, instead of seeking the cause of this disorder and hostile discord in the root of this temporal being. For a double center forms the basis of each being, and reveals itself as a double desire: (1) the longing of the being to remain within its own center and (2) the desire to develop all of his powers therein, that is to unfold himself or to go from out of itself. I say that this double desire was in no way originally in a hostile opposition. On the contrary, the one power seeks the other, because it needs the other power in order to realize itself. That is, the containing power needs the unfolding or comprehending power as its Gegenstand to be unfolded. Without it there would be nothing that could be contained or comprehended. And the unfolding power needs the containing power as its Gegenstand to be unfolded. But when these two powers mutually deny this service to each other, instead of each developing the other, they then mutually restrict each other. Such a being–the temporal universe–then displays the expressive image of the staff of Hermes, with its separation of the two snakes fighting each other. Or one may observe a third force (that named after the ancient Hermes), maintaining the equilibrium between water and fire for the preservation of the body. The symbol of the staff of Mercury is therefore, as St. Martin says, an inexhaustible field of knowledge and instruction. And our philosophers, if they want to direct their attention anew to the dualism of temporal beings, should strive to fathom the meaning of this symbol
 JGF: This is a very important footnote and deserves close study. Additions were made in the French translation, some of which have been incorporated here. Other additions, such as the French use of ‘l’espace infini’ for ‘All-Gegenwart’ seem to miss the point of the text, and have not been incorporated. ‘Gegenstand’ means “that which is over-against.” The French translation, ‘son sujet,’ does not adequately give this meaning.
See the next note for specific comments. For Baader the a priori is ontical. See also Dooyeweerd's use of a priori.
The symbol on the staff of Hermes, with two serpents, should not be confused with the Aesculapii staff, with only one snake, which is a symbol for the art of healing or medicine.
The idea of discord in the Root is also essential to understanding Dooyeweerd. Baader, following Boehme, speaks of this root as a double Center, which can be directed either towards or against God. Dooyeweerd speaks of it as a religious antithesis within the Root.
 JGF: ‘elements’ or ‘factors’ are what Dooyeweerd calls temporal ‘aspects.’ The autonomous person tries to find a center for the diversity of the temporal within his or her own selfhood and not in the true Totality or Unity. This attempt is the ‘absolutization’ of the temporal, the attempt to find a false center.
 Baader's note 15: Therefore the separation from the center makes itself known to the rebellious being as an oppressive force, and for the being (man) who has fallen by temptation or attraction to an inferior center, it is experienced as an inability or a weakness. For the rebellious one has misused his power, and the abject one has erred in weakness.
 Baader's note 16: The Sun is that which supports the earth, and fulfills it with life, just as it supports all the planets in their distances from her in a manner proportionate to the reflexion of her solar powers. For this reflexion each planet is fixed by the Sun as its fulcrum, and proceeds from the Sun. The opinion accepted by our astronomers that the sun by its enormous mass seeks to devour and to destroy the earth and planets, and that this is only prevented by a blind centrifugal force (which no one knows what it is or where it comes from)–this opinion or manner of viewing the solar system is the most unworthy that one could invent of its grandeur and living harmony.
 Baader's note 17: Once evil has arisen, it is impossible to overthrow it so long as it remains in the condition of partiality or division, just as an illness must reach its acme so that it can be radically destroyed. One must therefore commence by allowing evil to come out of its state of division so that is collects itself or that it shows itself with uncovered head, so that one may capture it. But this artificial embodiment proceeds only through the outward embodiment I have spoken of in this text, and this ray of light will suffice in order to make comprehensible how the good Principle itself makes use of this outward embodiment, in order to attract it to its opposite pole. That is, the head of the serpent, which must be trampled upon by the Central Man, so that on their side other humans can annihilate the limbs of this serpent.
JGF: The reference to trampling on the head of the serpent echoes Genesis 3:15:
JGF: The reference to the good Principle making use of evil by directing it to the opposite pole seems to refer to the back and forth dialectic that characterizes theoretical thought that seeks its center within the temporal; this dialectic is itself a gift of God’s grace.
We should notice, that this universal law for all embodiment repeated itself for the Jews in their national embodiment and the subsequent dissolution of this outward embodiment, after its [the Jewish nation’s] goal (the unifying of the dispersed pieces of the human soul) had been accomplished, or after this embodiment could no longer serve the collecting. Solutio corporis fit cum coagulatione spiritus, et coagulatio spiritus fit cum solutione corporis [the dissolution of the body causes the coagulation of the spirit, and the coagulation of the spirit causes the dissolution of the body].
By the words “Spirit and Body,” we should not mean to designate two elements of a being, but rather two beings from two different regions, each one of whom has taken form in its region and shows itself as embodied in this region. For ‘embodiment,’ if taken in its true and general meaning, means the fulfillment of the development of a being. That which forms the Center of a thing must also succeed in building its periphery. Vis ejus integra, si conversus fuerit in terram [from Kunrath’s Latin version of the Hermetic Emerald Table: “Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.”]
JGF: The anti-Semitic remarks cannot be excused, but perhaps explained by the fact that there was at this time no Jewish state.
 Baader's note 19: Rather we can say, in the whole of appearance-time it is only man who may open himself to perverse being, that is, insofar as he opens himself to it. And external nature can therefore be considered as a formidable and powerful shield, by means of which the Creator keeps closed the mouth of the father of lies, so that he cannot speak out his blasphemy against God. And so that this dead and mortifying word, reverts and returns to its creative center, which constitutes its perpetual punishment. For each being must be nourished by and live from that which it has itself generated. If nevertheless this corrupted being by means of man enters into appearance time, the Scriptures then speak of its complete judgment, as an Event [Ereignis] which will enter in only at the end of this appearance time. The concept of a cleansing fire [Purgatory] therefore includes the continuance of the earthly dead man in his temporal mantle. And the Orthodox Church is correct to make no strong separation between Purgatory and Hell during the continuation of this temporal world. For on one side, external nature in its integrity opposes the perfect embodiment of evil. And this forces, so to say, on the other side, a mediating action, such as we have discussed in an earlier note, which draws evil out from its divided moments or its organs, to let it work its plunder, in trying to drive it out from its estate.
 Baader's note 20: The direct or complete, total action is here the Central action, which is more often referred to as the Word. The original temporal work of primal Man was to gradually unite within his being all rays of this central action (of the Word), and therefore to let the Word become human within himself. A becoming human which, as we know, God Himself undertook, after man neglected his duty. Attempt therefore to understand this original temporal work of man, letting the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word approach you.
 Baader's note 21: Such a being is inwardly empty of Life (the Central Action); that is, it lacks the Word. This being, heavy by its nature, is also dumb and dark by its nature, or not able to speak or to shine from out of itself. Such a being speaks (shines) only insofar as man makes it to speak (shine) or to act. But we must distinguish this passive dumbness and darkness from an active dumbness and darkness, for there is a distinction between a non-mirror and a refractory mirror. Moreover the philosophers have continually incorrectly understood the words ‘external world.’ They take this expression in the general sense in which one says, that each thing must have an exterior as well as an interior.
For it is just the distinguishing and puzzling character of this outer or external world that it is only that–only external–or that it lacks an inner fulfillment and foundation (a futility and an emptiness, which constitutes the dumbness of this world). Therefore, if man completely gives himself over to this external world, then it does not only not nourish him inwardly, or leaves him empty, but it also unceasingly draws man outwards, and empties him ever more, like a true blood-sucker, or if the use of a new word is permitted, like a ‘heart-sucker.’ Therefore I said on p. 19 of my little work Über das heil. Abendmahl [Concerning Holy Communion], that we find ourselves in this world to be under the power of a being “who does not cease to eat our body and to drink our blood (our soul).’
Finally, the person who completely identifies with or confuses himself with this external world comes in the end to believe that he himself has the same futile (empty or inwardly nothing) nature. Unhappily, this is a belief that is only too common among our modern philosophers who call themselves nature-philosophers. It is the proton pseudos (the first and most basic error) of their philosophy.
 JGF: According to Baader, part of man was emanated, part created. Dooyeweerd also has a view of double creation of humanity.
 Baader's note 22: The Son is generated, the Spirit–the Being that stands in an unmediated way under Divinity–is breathed out or emanated, and nature is created. That is why it is only through the Son that man can participate in the divine generation so that in turn the emanated Spirit may itself emanate and [man’s] created nature may itself create.
There is not one human who cannot convince himself of the truth of our theory of heaviness every day and in each moment of his life. For does he not feel himself freed from the relationship of heaviness exactly to the extent that he again obtains a direct communion with his Principle, that is, when he goes out from time and elevates himself above it? If man rescues an illuminating truth from out of the darkness of error and lies, if he rescues a living and expansive power from out of the murdering power of egoism, or if he frees a power in the ordering of active nature from out of the chains of its physically inert and passive nature (a freeing that is observed and carried out in magnetic operations), then he feels his Root-Being elevate and unfold itself. But each opposing act only oppresses and compresses him more, and makes him more material, or so to say, oxidizes him.
Similar words are attributed to Christ in John 10:35:
 Baader's note 24: Insofar as this Spirit or this Word is only over us or only outside of us, it is not in its place, and this displacement (Metastasis) which reveals itself in a tension, causes illness everywhere, as one knows. And it is this tension which makes itself felt as the heaviness of which I have spoken. Electrical tension gives us a very instructive example of this, for such a tension can only be explained by a displacement or disorder in the poles, although this concept has not yet been accepted by our physicists. Moreover this electrical tension is only finished with a shock or an impulse and with a spark or a flash, so it allows us to prophesy at all times that the universal disorder will also end in a flash, which is the completion of justice, or the universal restoration of the poles.
 Baader's note 25: In the final analysis, the act of founding or of embodiment for each being resolves itself into two steps: in a subordination and in an elevation. For a being can only find itself founded insofar as it has obtained domination over what is natural to it, which is comprehended in him and from him (Matt. 23:12) [“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”] A being that has not made lawful use of the power given to him since his origin–a being who has not held within that innerness that should be held and remain held in his inwardness–has therefore opened that which should have remained closed, and has also closed what should have remained open for him. To such a being it would be futile for the imperative to say that he should have kept this within, unless Love had not itself come and again given to him this power necessary for self-control, a power that was lost in the Fall. (Cf. J. Boehme: Drei Prinzip. chapter 21, sections 20-21).
Moreover it is essential to note that this closing or sinking [Vertiefung] takes place in the successive unfolding of the life of a being (an unfolding, which constitutes his history). This unfolding implies that what in a previous epoch constituted the higher (the peak) of this being, in the following epoch must constitute the lower or the basis. All the revolutions noted in the history of being are therefore, as the expression says, only an overturning of this order, or a new elevation of that which ought no longer to be elevated. For example, the forming powers of the earth, if they elevate themselves in a new epoch over and against the organizations of which they should only form the foundation; or the animal powers in humans, if they are elevated over the powers of the Spirit. See Gügler: Darstellung der heiligen Schriften I. section 112.
Revised Sept 20/08