© J. Glenn Friesen 2003-2006
Glossary of Terms
Dooyeweerd says that love is the central command of the law. The modal ethical law sphere is a temporal refraction of this central command:
Central love is love in its ‘religious fullness.’ It is different from love in its temporal modal meaning (NC II, 152). This radical love can be found only in the imago Dei (NC III, 71). God’s law is refracted by cosmic time into the rich diversity of cosmic law spheres. But love finds its religious root-unity in the central love-commandment that is directed to our heart. ( Dooyeweerd's Introduction The Idea of a Christian Philosophy: Essays in Honour of D. H. Th. Vollenhoven, Toronto: Wedge, 1973, p. 9; also NC I, 11; II, 552).
Love is central law before it is differentiated into the various law-spheres. The meaning of the differentiated law-spheres coincides in a radical unity in the supratemporal.
He says that this love has nothing to do with Kant's "categorical imperative" which means nothing other than respect for the "Idea of Mankind" in the sense of the Humanist personality-idea.
Love must be experience within us, and not externally. It must penetrate our "inner selves." Our inner self is our Center, our supratemporal heart. Veritable religion is absolute self-surrender (NC I, 58). Love is self-surrender (NC II, 149).
Although love is the central commandment, and is the very totality of meaning, Dooyeweerd also says that love is also the kernel of the modal ethical aspect (NC II, 144).
Our love for others is based on the love of the image of God expressed in others:
What does Dooyeweerd mean by saying that the second commandment is implied in the first? I think he means that in loving our neighbour, we are also loving our real and true selfhood, the image of God. See tat tvam asi.
Baader's Idea of Love
For Baader, Christianity is the foundation of all love (Fermenta V, 311). Baader cites St. Therese: love is the general law of every manifestation of a superior in or by an inferior (Philosophische Schriften II, 396).
Baader frequently uses the phrase "amor descendit ut elevet "or "Love descends in order to raise up" (Zeit p. 30). Christ’s kenosis is a demonstration of this love. In the kenosis, the Center, the inner One, descends to the level of Organism or periphery without ceasing to be the Center or Principle. There are three levels: God is the principle of revelation, man is organ; nature is instrument (Werke IV, 81; VII, 90 ff). All three of these ideas are also found in Dooyeweerd.
Love descends from God to humans, it extends from ourselves to fellow humans [horizontally], and it descends from man to nature (Susini II, 560, citing Fermenta V). The downward aspect of love from humans to nature is expressed in our theoretical thought.
Baader devotes a great deal of attention to how love is expressed between humans. Betanzos gives an excellent summary of this horizontal aspect of love. Love is expressed by our ‘cohabitation’ with others; such cohabitation is ‘mutual subordination’ (Werke II, 227). Like Dooyeweerd, Baader emphasizes that mutual subordination is a very different basis for ethics than that given by Kant. Kant defines love as inclination to that which gives an advantage. Baader says that Kant’s reasoning about love is like a blind person speaking of colour (Susini II, 525).
The redemption or reintegration of creation is within time itself. The Mediator is in this world. Love becomes temporal with her erring children (Zeit 29). And from the moment that we enter into time, this Mediator’s presence can be seen, like the Thread of Ariadne. You just have to open your eyes (Weltalter 33).
Love is a giving of one's self to the other:
Love is a reciprocal embrace–of me in your embrace, and you in mine (Begründung, 83 ft. 14). But what I give up in my union with others is only my incompleteness and the lack of truth in my existence alone (Vorlesungen über speculative Dogmatik, Book 5, number 17, Werke IX, 261; cited by Betanzos 273).
Just as God is able to be immanent in temporal reality, so we are to penetrate cosmic time. This penetration does not involve a mixture of identities–Baader refers to Böhme’s saying that Spirit can penetrate nature just as light penetrates fire (Fermenta IV, 14). There are different ways of penetrating the animal, plant and mineral realms (Fermenta I, 13; note m). All understanding or knowledge is a penetration [durchdringung] of a perception (Werke XII, 84).
Love is related to knowledge. Baader quotes St. Martin:
Man wants in love to have the same essential unity with diversity of persons as God. "That they may be one as you and I (Father) are one." (Philosophische Schriften II, 80).
Admiration comes from love; astonishment is not true knowledge; represents not love but fear. (Werke I, 54 s.19; Susini 60 ) this is perhabitation without inhabitation (external knowledge) astonishment is servility. Admiration is adoration (Fermenta VIII, 23 note).Where there is love, no law is given (Weltalter 251).
Our understanding is an act of creativity and this is also an act of love. In our creativity, we produce finite beings in their completed state. This producing love requires a denial of self; but there is an answer back to this love by the reaffirmation of the producing being. (Zeit 34 ft. 14). Fulfillment of the existence of a created thing can only be done through the reciprocal sacrifice of Creator and the created. But Baader says that this power of creation can also be misused; this misuse of power is the original sin. The power of maintaining is also that of conceiving and the returned radiance [zurückstrahlende Kraft].
In creation, we transform nature and so reveal ourselves. Baader says that each self-revelation of Spirit only occurs through a transformation of nature (Werke 4,367 Sauer 37).
Boehme's Idea of Love
Baader was very much influenced by the mystic Jakob Boehme. Baader is in fact responsible for making Boehme known to many philosophers, such as Schelling. It is therefore of great interest to examine boehme's view of love. Here is an excerpt from The Supersensuous Life:
Note the references to "root," egoity," "principle."
Revised Aug 21/06