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The psalmist:"You are totally miraculously made!"

Theoretical Anthropology


This anthropology aims at an eclectic structuralism through objective subjectivity. Objective insofar as science is known to us and subjective insofar as it was necessary to bring order into such a complex world as the human being is. Subjective also, because worldview science (according to our terminology), by its very nature, is a form of knowledge that researches things at the fringes of science.

We have tried to make an anthropological and structural representation at once of the human being, apart from sex, faith, race, religion, or whatever orientation in sexuality, politics, or ideology. The human being here is seen as a mere vessel in which all other, indeed more important, matters take shape. One might conclude that this 'rendition' is prenatal and even could be called the universal basis on which we are formed. Only in different people different aspects gain the upper hand.

It can be readily inferred therefore that I do not view homo sapiens as being born as a tabula rasa on which anything can be written by the circumstances; but again rather like a precast vessel in which the individual's history is formed and with which it interacts. This may be seen from the fact that almost all humans somehow assimilate any language they are confronted with in their infancy. Language is a very complex matter and precisely because we are born 'ready' we can learn it. Animals not only lack the necessary vocal chords, but also this prenatal readiness.

In this representation we concentrate on this basic universality and therefore will bypass the nature versus nurture debate or the complex questions surrounded by genetic disposition as acted upon by society. It was our intent to bring together the most important aspects of the human being as in a kind of map or picture. This schema does not pretend to comprehensive completeness. We do realize that this kind of schema can give a modern thinker the impression that one shares the ambition of old philosophers like Hegel, about whose philosophy his students claimed that he had written the philosophy to end all philosophies. So do some pupils view Dooyeweerd. But history shows that every philosopher chooses his own problems and searches for his own solutions.

One might discriminate against our schema as mere structuralism, but we look at it as a picture, as one way of many to look at the human being.

We have borrowed from the Dutch jurist Dooyeweerd and a little from the German thinker Jung and have combined some of their ideas into a basic pattern and have elaborated on that; and so we have come up with the 32 aspects schema.

Proposal for an anthropology: A. Interactions of Human Aspects: One Way of Looking at Homo Sapiens

A. The thesis is proposed that anthropologically or philosophically the human being consists of four basic "essences, (forms of "being,") or "principles," if you like and three personality "essences," namely 1. "body," 2. "mind," 3. "soul," 4. "spirit" and a. "conscience," b. "will," c. "heart."

B. The Basic Essences

The body is comprised solely of matter; the mind is the thinking part or intellect; the soul is the "feeling" part; and the spirit is the "religious" part.

It is argued that these four basic principles can be traced in philosophies and theologies throughout history. Their isolated theories are known as materialistic atheism / naturalism; rationalism / deism / mechanicism; pantheism/ mysticism / holism / New Age; polytheism / parapsychology / the supernatural / magic / spiritualism.

(I found some affinity to Jung's 4 basic types and 32 personality types. But one should be careful to put a label on somebody. Life is very complex and every personality is unique. Therefore there is arbitrariness in the idea of personality types. I am afraid that, no matter how plausible and interesting such theories may sound, that one can be misled by them.)

C1. The four basic essences interact with each other so that sixteen interactions result, each of which has an introverted and extraverted aspect:



(material/logical --objective/particular--)

(symbolical/spiritual --subjective/universal--)






fine matter


spiritual substance

















literal/ concrete






value like



















spirit health




spirit energy







emotive awareness




emotive response





emotive ideas










paranorm. faculties




paran. manifestations

C2. In addition every aspect functions as a microcosm of the entire human being. For instance within the logical aspect the perceptional becomes pragmatism (in the technical sense; other forms of pragmatism are to be derived from the perceptional under the worldview aspect for example; or under the juridical in a case where one argues that the majority must be served by necessity at the expense of the minority), the kinetic becomes the mechanical under the empirical law sphere, and so forth.


Fine Matter

Fine matter could also be called physical super matter; as the mind is the best 'computer', consisting of very highly organized neurons and interacting neurotransmitters.

Matter and fine matter are forms of energy and the area of body and mind. The immaterial or astral non-matter or supra matter and spiritual substances, super matter, are forms of the "breath of life" that God breathed into Adam and of which the angels are made. Therefore the human being stands in between animal and angel (a continuous conflict!) and overlaps both matter and the immaterial.

The human being is said to have been created; animals and vegetation are said to have been made or formed (except for the great sea creatures); obviously of previously created material for it says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth".


With "vitality" I mean the immaterial power of the soul to impart life to one's body.


The nutritional is the process that quickens the soul through food. When Jonathan, in the bible, had taken a little honey, he revived after a day of fasting.


Pharmaceutic denotes the material, chemical processes of the brain from neurotransmitters in the synapses to the production and dying of all cerebral cells.


Empirical is the experimental area of trial and error.

Emotive Ideas

These are holistic ideas like 'father', 'virgin', 'teacher', 'leader', etc.


Kinesia denotes physical movement, also of substances in a chemical reaction.


Hedonic refers to our sensitivity to pleasure and pain.


Esthetic refers to our ability to appreciate beauty, harmony and order.


The direction of one's spirit towards the divine or towards idols and one's fellowmen in trust.

Paranormal/ -psychol.

The difference between paranormal and parapsychological is that the former denotes the faculties of the spirit and the latter the visible activity of these. These powers are on the average absent or dormant in the humanistic/atheistic West, but very active in Asia and Africa; as well as under Indians in North and South America. A phenomenon like (subconsciously) turning your head, when somebody behind you looks or stares at you, is certainly a good example of a simple paranormal faculty and the turning of one's head and the confirmation of one's suspicion is the manifestation of it. That is why spies are taught not to look people in the neck when shadowing them.

The other terms including the headings should be self-explanatory.

It is argued that each of the 32 aspects in the basic anthropological structure, has its own right of existence. One must not try to reduce say perception to the physical level. However, it is maintained that somehow all the aspects result from the interplay of the four basic "essences."

A peculiarity that arises here is what I call focusing: that is to say, within the various aspects of the entire human being subaspects and subdisciplines must be reckoned with, each of which has also its own functionality. For instance within the physical element there are the electromagnetic, weak and strong forces; or fields like anthropology, psychology, pedagogics and sociology within the aspects of respectively philosophy, emotional awareness and response, emotive ideas and the social aspect. (These latter disciplines will never become exact sciences). Focusing can theoretically start with an aspect and subsequently be analyzed to be a subaspect of its microcosm and then as a sub-subaspect of the deriving microcosm and this ad infinitum. (The mathematics of astrophysics is made up of a combination of logical philosophy ((logical things discovered through the observation of creation)) and mathematics ((itself a higher form of logical reasoning under the logical subaspect under the physical aspect)). This shows that focusing can occur across various aspects and subaspects).

It will be supposed that Dooyeweerd's arithmetical aspect and mathematics is to be derived from the logical aspect and that language is an integral capacity of the ego (the bible states that God's word is close by in our heart and in our mouth; thus associating language with the conscious personality). It is, among others, in the logical aspect and subaspects that the human creates and perceives subjective order in a world that appears to him as chaotic in a positive sense where the vast complex of creation is concerned as being something transcendent and negative also as far as it is experienced as something contrary to one's will and desire. A Dooyeweerdian will frown on this of course as a reduction of the arithmetical to the logical. But I think that the arithmetical is rather something that belongs to the material world and in the second place to the human being. A logically thinking human sees that two of the exact same material things can never be in exactly the same spot; except in the case of minute particles, according to quantum mechanics: but even then it is the same particle that is concerned, not two different particles. (The exact sciences will never be able to satisfy the higher longings of the human being. But they can be made subservient). That arithmetics, algebra, geometry and mathematics is best understood as being part of the sphere of logic, can be seen by studies that show that mathematics ultimately is arbitrary, much like a novel that, though consistent, is an arbitrary choice of the author. Modern mathematics is the arbitrary interplay of axioms that are pictured as a consistent story. Also, as every human is unique, everybody goes his own way with God, Who alone is absolute. Yet, the Bible teaches us that it is not a question of everybody his own kick. The to each his own finds its end in the Work of Salvation that exacts obedience from us all.

That logic cannot explain everything can be seen in the case of things like incest and pedophilia. We intuitively feel that such behavior is very wrong. But we cannot really get a logical grip on it, if we attempt to argue a case against it. In the end we are forced to conclude that "It is just sick and criminal!"

The arithmetical resides in the logical microcosm of which the binary system is the most basic, possibly to be located in the body-body subsection of that microcosm (a second degree kinetical subaspect [for it all seems to be a movement of subsequent digits that do not fit in the same place (logical physics)]). Mathematical (such as used in applied physics) sciences are scattered throughout the mind-body, body-mind and body-body subsections. Formal sciences are to be located under the logical aspect and then under the empirical subaspect of that microcosm. For, though they are a kind of formal logic, these sciences are mental experiments. (The logical subaspect under the logical aspect is the field of pure logic and is based on apriori axioms [absolute logical givens that must be assumed to be true without any proof and that cannot be deducted from any theory or idea; in other words, they are self-evident. For example one does not need any proof that A & B implies A, or simply stated: 1 + 1 = 2]).

The 32 aspects better described:






spiritual health




spirit's capacity to listen to the body

subconscious activity (only noticed during sleep, but always there)

mysterium tremendum

trust in divinity

spirit power




spirit's capacity to strengthen the body

flight of reason through spiritual strength

imaginative sublimity

beseeching of divinity




emotional awareness


life force

awareness of time

pure feelings




emotional response




expression of feelings

adherence to laws


neurochemical/ biophysical


emotional ideas


phrenal chemistry

analysis, deductive reason

holistic ideas ('father', 'teacher', 'leader')

theoretical awareness of divinity


empiric/ experimental


worldview science

medicinal (drugs, alcohol, coffee)

synthesis, inductive reason, combining observations

solidarity and gregarious feelings (herd instincts)

theorizing about creation(al aspects)







basic awareness

pleasure & pain

prophetic quality






bodily perceptors


supernatural manifestations


Spirit Power

(Cf. Prov. 18. 14): "A man's spirit sustains his illness, but a broken spirit, who will lift it up!? [or 'who will bear it?']"


Concerning the human spirit, 'pneuma [new-ma]' in Greek. Pistic= concerning the faith.


Concerning prayer, 'precari' means 'to pray' in Latin.

Mysterium Tremendum

The elevated experience of the mystery of life that makes one tremble. The word mystery occurs 22 times in the N.T. Study these with an open heart and receptible mind and you will experience the mysterium tremendum, the initiation into very deep and wonderful truths. This applies also to the experience of certain natural phenomena, which do not only make you stand in awe; but that call up the deepest respect for the Creator.


The capacity to register feelings of pleasure and pain. These have as yet never been located in the body or even in the brain and it must be assumed that the body passes them on to the soul. If a pleasure and pain center will ever be localized in the brain, even then it is ultimately the soul that feels. For it should be obvious that a dead body, in which this center is also present, does not experience either pleasure or pain senses. (Rather than it being a localized center, the Creator has taken care--for instance in the case of very serious head injury, where physically part of the brain is gone--that throughout the brain there is an interplay between receptor cells and neurotransmitters [fine matter that acts as go-between between cells] that results in feelings of pleasure and/or pain. Protracted use of say methamphetamines' thoroughly destroys this interplay, with the result that a person cannot experience feelings of well-being anymore and never feels normal anymore). The consciousness that a person experiences, with all his/or her pain and pleasure, has left the body and has gone on to either heaven or hell; that is to say, upon death.


The soul possesses true vitality and it is this vitality that keeps the body with its nutritional processes going. Descartes localized the connection between body and soul in one point, the pituitary gland. This must be wrong. The astral body with the spirit and soul, that is the immaterial body that leaves upon death (also with the mind, conscience, will and I), probably connects everywhere with the material body (and not as some occult philosophies preach in supposed areas such as 'chakra's' or other ideas found in say cabbalism. Hebrews 4.12 seems to point to some kind of connection between soul and spirit and the joints and bone marrow). For in the resurrection we all will be called to life with whole bodies that will be totally complete. Even when a person's DNA has been destroyed through cremation, then the soul's 'DNA', so to speak, will regenerate the entire body. In the case of the saved souls that will be a glorified body, as their souls will be transformed at that event. Therefore the blesseds also yearn for their deliverance.


Of the brain, from the Greek 'fren', i.e. 'brain'. The difference between phrenal and pharmaceutical might be termed as a difference between structure and content, wiring and wattage or even as hardware and software.

Worldview Science

The term worldview science is an alternative for 'philosophy' in the widest sense.

Again, the other terms should be self-explanatory; if not use a dictionary and think.

Anthropology of Personality.

Integration of my theoretical anthropology and my theological ethics.

The apostle Paul: "Let nobody deceive himself, if somebody thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise (1 Cor. 3.18)!"

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