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Reality Rejoicing

(This page expands on, and is summarised by, the section of 'Five Rs' called Reality Rejoicing.)

Yahweh God created. But what does this mean, why is it important, why did Yahweh create? Is not the answer to that infinite, or at least as long and complex as the entire story of created reality from beginning to end? However, one central thing is: joy. The entire Creation rejoices, insofar as it relates to its Creator.

Rejoicing means occur and exist by its own functioning rather being driven always by its Creator, but always finding fulfilment, meaning and dignity in relation to the Creator. Are we just pawns on God's chess board?

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A Philosophical View of Reality Rejoicing

There is one philosophy that might help us understand all this, above all others. The philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd suggested that we may distinguish a number of aspects in created reality, but that aspects are not mere subjective views nor mere categories, but are spheres of law that enable created reality to be and occur. He also emphasised Meaning, as that which refers beyond, ultimately to the Creator. Dooyeweerd was different from most philosophers of the past 2500 years in trying to work out what being-created implies, philosophically (rather than theologically), and this is why he was free to take aspects seriously. (Most philosophers have always been steered towards reducing their diversity to one or two key ones but Dooyeweerd resisted this.) That is perhaps why Dooyeweerd claimed his philosophy to be a truly 'Christian' philosophy (in distinction from the Scholastic philosophies of the middle of the past 2000 years; see Ground Motives).

My interpretation of Dooyeweerd is that the aspects,

This covers all things - inanimate, plants, animals, humans. It also affirms the reality of numbers, space, movement, forces and energy, life, feelings, mental states, concepts, achievements, languages, social phenomena, economy, harmony, delight, justice, goodness, faith and commitment. (That list is an expression of Dooyeweerd's fifteen aspects.) In all but the first few of those, we can function either positively or negatively (good or evil); for example doing justice or injustice.

I think this means that the aspects are provided by Yahweh in order that Reality can exist and occur in a way that has a certain type of independence from the Creator. Rejoicing may be understood as involving two things:

This has been used as a key to understanding goodness in creation, and in particular progress in the history of the cosmos.

So, Dooyeweerd's aspects are recommended as a way understanding and thinking about what 'Reality Rejoicing' means, and a way to help bring it about. For the latter, see the growing collection of applications of Dooyeweerd's Philosophy.

What about other philosophy? Why Dooyeweerd? Briefly, because his suite of aspects has many advantages over others, including Maslow's hierarchy of needs or philosophical ontologies; see comparison of aspects, because they are more philosophically grounded, because they are geared to everyday experience rather than philosophical or scientific theory, yet are aligned with the sciences. And because they are a direct emergence from trying to understand Creation.

This page is offered to God as on-going work in developing a 'New View' in theology that is appropriate to the days that are coming upon us. Comments, queries welcome.

Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2012, but you may use this material subject to certain conditions.

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Created: 15 January 2012. Last updated: