This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

I have often played with man, God says. But what a game, it is a game which makes me tremble yet.

I have often played with man but, by God, it was in order to save him, and I have trembled enough because I might not be able to save him…

I often play against man, God says, but it is he who wants to lose, the idiot, and it is I who want him to win.

And I succeed sometimes

In making him win.

~ Charles Péguy

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1. The Purpose and Use of this Manual

The reason for writing / Organization of the workPreliminary warning / The use of the aphoristic form / The use of discourse / Avoidance of apologetics / Against political programs / Athanasius contra mundum / What to include

1.2. Tradition and Its Basic Principles

What is meant by ‘tradition’ / The traditional-modern distinction, its use, and its limits / Tradition and convention / Principles and preferences / Principles are causes / Written and oral transmission / Traditional and Western civilization / Tradition and the principle of a rightly-ordered civilization / Vestiges of tradition in the West / The problem with contrasting East and West / The centrifugal force of becoming / The centripetal force of tradition / A vitalizing knowledge / Traditional principles / Transcendence / Truth / Order / Hierarchy / Unity / Truth is not the invention of the formulator / What is necessary in order to understand doctrine / Credo ut intelligam / Practice of the method / Literalists and figurative speech

1.3. An Overview of Present Conditions

The importance of understanding your environment / The doctrine of Progress / Progress makes knowledge of history unnecessary / The quadripartite division of time / Judeo-Christian tradition / Greek tradition / Hindu tradition / Other traditions / Inseparability of the physical and spiritual / Escapism and religion / The Dark Age / Characteristics of the Kali Yuga / The use of the term “generation” in the Gospels / Sins of the fathers / A historical difficulty / Barriers separating this age from the previous / Cleansing waters / Genesis of the modern period / The extinction of certain types / The disbandment of the warriors / Chivalric orders of medieval Europe / The Samurai of Japan / When and where / The long night / Signs of the Times / Reduction / Quantity / Materialization / Unity and uniformity / Inversion / The supra-individual nature of the thing / Ambient disorder / Avoidance of romanticism / The science of history and the historical sense / The origin of society / The regression of the castes / The spiritual barbarian / The banality of the end / Scientific causality and the life of cultures / Dissolution and inversion

1.4. The Confrontation between Man and Evil (I)

General remarks / The scope of this discussion / When the traditional precepts are not apt / Allowing for the diversity of spiritual vocations / The absurdity of non-resistance as a general principle / We can resist inner evil even when overcome by it / Request for tolerance, demand for approval / Humanism and the conscience / Shame as betrayal / Non-resistance to evil is not strength / Where is evil situated? / Moral evil is always personal / The body as participation in the material order / We all participate in evil / The concept of inducement / Parenting and inducement / Coercion and compulsion as types of inducement / When does inducement become violence? / The dual criteria of love and spiritual insight / The greater the spiritual insight, the greater the prerogative / Violence is always wrong / Secular powers and just war / The line between healthy and abusive inducement / The question of external assistance / Reciprocal moral education is inescapable / The difference between childhood and adulthood / Individualism and socialization / The externalization of the spiritual life / Physical compulsion and restraint / For the sake of free will and not against it / This is not a defense for current forms of compulsion / Some apparent difficulties involved in the use of physical force / Man against himself / We cannot wait for consent / False equivalence between the villain and the just / Free speech as mental coercion / Evil proliferates through tolerance / Private acts have social consequences / Conditions for the use of physical force / Physical compulsion cannot force a mental result / The nature of spiritual love / Errors of compassion / The limit of love / Communion is inescapable / To ignore this is not to avoid it / There is no purely private good or evil / Conclusions based on the communal nature of good and evil / Moral education is a public duty / The importance of a shared vision of the good / Worship of liberty ends up justifying abuse / There is no neutrality / Evil is by nature aggressive / Evil makes use of all means / The tragic encounter / Inherited victory and squandered social capital / Persuasion and inducement

1.5. The Confrontation between Man and Evil (II)

The warrior and the teacher / Great spiritual teachers demonstrate the exception / The problem of the idealist / Different worlds of meaning / The religious view and the humanist view / The warrior sacrifices himself both physically and morally / The example of the executioner / The warrior does not possess righteousness / The paralysis of the perfectionist / Righteous killing is a fantasy / The humility of the fighter is what saves him / War spiritually distorts everyone involved / Moral heroism cannot be the norm / Military service is not a direct road to heroism/ The perks of military service / The problem of the idealization of the military / Anything less than perfect is distasteful / The immediately feasible or the impossible perfect / Justice and morality are not coextensive / The spiritual compromise / The spiritual compromise is inherent in the human experience / The doctrine of the fall and ritual absolution / The monk also makes the spiritual compromise / The danger of absolute justifications for the use of force / The sword is a duty not a prerogative / Those who live by the sword die by the sword / To hide from the sword is to invite evil / Only the strong / The conscience is not deadened but sharpened / Legitimate departures from moral perfection / The necessary spiritual cleansing / We must be very careful adapting traditional teachings in the present / Heroism as an opportunity for transcendance / Caste regression and the evolution of war / The samurai and the Way beyond righteousness / Holy War and the Crusades / Only the lesser war remains / The real enemy and the real victory

4. The Catholic Adaptation

4.1. Introduction

Abbreviations for Magisterial Documents / The universality and relativity of social teachings / Reservations about the doctrine and its use / The legitimacy of the synthesis / The doctrine of the Jubilee as a summary / Remarks on sources used

4.2. Justifications for the Social Doctrine

General remarks / Grace presupposes nature / The “soul” of the social body / Faith and morals / When the worldly undermines the eternal / Interpreting the signs of the times / Continuity and renewal / Remarks on Vatican II / The example of Dignitatis Humanae / Catholic Social Teaching, systems, and ideology / Authority of the Doctrine

4.3. The Catholic View of Man

His social nature / Aquinas on the social nature of man / The consensus of the pagans / The Enlightenment and the social contract / Personal development / Sin in its social aspect / The law of descent—the law of ascent / Rights and Duties / Rights imply relation / Rights presuppose duties / Rights are not absolute / Family Life / Male and female “from the beginning” / The cell of society, the cradle of life / The domestic Church / Two-fold purpose of the family / The needs of the family are central to CST

4.4. Basic Principles

General remarks / Common good / Universal destination of goods / Private property / Justifications for private property according to Aquinas / The right of private property is to support the family / The right of private property is not absolute / The preferential option for the poor / Solidarity and subsidiarity / Solidarity—working for the common good / Subsidiarity—enabling responsibility / Subsidiarity as a response to doctrinaire individualism / Subsidiarity defined / Subsidiarity enables the State to act in its proper sphere / Geared toward the family and intermediate associations / Freedom / Purposive freedom / Freedom of the will depends on intelligence / Freedom and truth / Freedom and morality / Freedom and society / Freedom, natural law, and the body / Freedom and conscience / Slavery / Justice / Commutative justice / Distributive justice / Legal justice / Social justice / Ideology and the oversimplification of justice

4.5. Morality

General remarks / Natural Law–Which law? What nature? / Eternal law / Natural law / Human law / The precepts of the natural law / Not everything in nature is natural / Conscience / What is a ‘good conscience’? / Conscience is not infallible / The problem with ‘primacy of conscience’ / Act, intention, and the problem of subjective morality / Doing evil that good may come of it / The exercise of prudence / Memory / Docility / Diligence / Foresight / Circumspection / Participation and obedience / The problem with ‘prudential judgment’ / Ignorance / Two kinds of ignorance / Invincible ignorance / Vincible ignorance / Specific issues and applications / Lying / Abortion / Homosexuality / Torture / Homicide / Suicide / The question of culpability

4.6. Economic Life

General remarks / Four phases of economic activity / The three false commodities—land, labor, money / Land / Labor / Money / The essence of capitalism / The separation of ownership from work / Forces of concentration unleashed / Capitalism as economic liberalism / Socialism as the child of capitalism / Capitalism and socialism as two ideologies to be avoided / Against forms of materialistic ‘economism’ / The doctrine of diffused property / Work and the human person / Subjective and objective purposes of work / Direct and indirect employers / Agreements between employer and employee / Stakeholders over shareholders / Competition or cooperation? / Self-interest and the profit motive / An expression of consequentialism / Self-interest fuels the growth of the State / Profit motive as the engine of economic growth / Market autonomy and the “free” market / Morality and economic theory / Consumerism / Intermediate Organizations—Unions / The just price / The living wage / The example of the guild system / The Catholic call for a return to the guild principle / On adaptation

4.7. Political Society

The problem of ideology / Liberalism and the Social Teaching / Liberalism is not an American political party / The true purpose of the State / The end of the State must coincide with the end of man / The relations between Church and State / Leo XIII on the separation of Church and State / Martin Luther on the separation of Church and State / Confession versus coercion / Peace or strife? / True peace is harmony of wills / On obedience and revolution / State as protector of rights / Free of speech and the press / Self-ownership / The rights of God / Wealth as a ‘necessary occasion of sin’ / The distinction between ownership and use / Private charity vs government action / Justice before charity / “You didn’t build that” / The velocity of money / Proper attitudes toward poverty / Both the individual and the State have roles to play / Against stigmatizing the poor with stereotypes / Poverty does not imply laziness or disdain for work / “Hunger is a great motivator” / “He who will not work, neither shall he eat” / Taxes / The justice of a progressive tax system / The poor should not pay income tax / Inequality and redistribution / A problem of distributive justice / Removing structural causes of inequality / Redistribution

4.8. The Natural Environment

A long-standing concern / A legitimate concern / Proper attitudes toward the environment / A crisis of selfishness / Disproportionate responsibilities / Against economism and short-sightedness / Value of resources as capital / Value as beauty / Value as truth / Respect for creation cannot coincide with present lifestyle / Human ecology / Population control is not the answer / Disregard for nature will provoke a response

4.9. War and Catholic Social Teaching

General remarks / Jus ad bellum, or “the right to go to war” / Righteous anger vs. wrath / Strict conditions / Lasting, grave, and certain / All other means exhausted / Prospects of success / Must not produce greater evils / Competent authority / Jus in bello, or “right conduct in war” / Non-combatants / The law of double-effect / Disarmament / Terrorism

5. The Study of Doctrine

5.1. Language and Translation

The idea of translation / Languages are not arbitrary / Traditional language and magic / Languages are not equivalent / Translation, interpretation, commentary / Translation is for the most part impossible / Trust the translator and not the translation / Linguistic aptitudes match mental aptitudes / Vernacular and official language / The advantage of co-existing vernacular and official languages / Theory of meaning in literature / Dante’s use of the vernacular

5.2. Master and Disciple

Means of transmission / The role of the guru / Traditional teaching and Western education / The upaguru as a prolongation of the guru / Initiatic transmission and the qualities of the guru / The Buddha’s encounter with the Devas / The necessity of the guru / Islamic initiation in the absence of a living guru / A note on qualifications of the guru / The guru and the practice of exoterism / True and false spiritual teachers / Self-initiation and affiliation with dead forms / The function of the upaguru and the question of qualifications / Superiority and inferiority in the occasional teacher / Attacks on the teaching office based on moral grounds / The futility of moral comparisons / The office of the guru / A framework for imparting counsel / General allowances for emotional strain / The task of re-framing questions / Traditional norms over personal experience / Due concern for emotional investment during correction / Show sympathy without delving into personal histories / The role of a traditional framework / Two types of corruption / Finding a guru in the modern context

5.3. Distinctions Regarding Metaphysics

The character of metaphysics / Intellectual intuition / Aristotle and Aquinas / Experimental science and metaphysics / There are no discoveries in metaphysics / All formulations are limited / Modern predispositions and metaphysics / The difficulty of imagination / Metaphysics and theology / Confusion of metaphysics and theology / Proofs for God’s existence / Hindu deliverance vs. Christian salvation / The consolatory principle / Metaphysical realization / Philosophy and metaphysics / Logic and mathematics / The exposition of metaphysics / Moralism and metaphysics/ Originality / Systematization mania / Dualism / Monism / The identity of spiritualism and materialism / Non-dualism / Being is a determination

5.4. Esoterism and Exoterism

General remarks / The line of demarcation between exoteric and esoteric / Esoteric doctrine is often oral / Esoterism, exoterism, and religion / Three modes of thought / Knowing and believing / Metaphysics opens a door—philosophy closes one / Unity unrealizable externally / The rule of secrecy in the modern world / Exoterism and salvation / The meaning of dogma / Necessitated by the diversity of human types / When esoterism becomes problematic / Exoterism and the futility of apologetics / Passive and active participation / The exoteric treatment of history / The diversity of humanity / The Gospel is for the world, but which world? / The denial of other religious forms by Prophets / The Islamic rejection of the Trinity / Did Christ speak of esoterism? / The subjectivized absolute

5.5. Principles of Esoterism

Initiatic orders and esoterism / Contemporary disequilibrium / The mode of spiritual expression in contemporary Protestantism / Sensus fidelium / The people and the development of method and doctrine / The superiority of a religion / Questions ignored by exoterism / The graduated order of reality / The relativity of Being or God / The presence of the Intellect in all beings / Knowledge and morality / Beyond paradise / Beware accusations of pantheism / Being as essence and as substance / Divine impersonality / Contradictions between exoterism and esoterism that result / Sin and moral wrong / Definition of exoterism / Evil in the esoteric view / Virtue and morality / The danger of moralism / The law of reduced culpability / Why evil exists / The esoteric explanation for the existence of evil / Predestination / The distinction between beings in terms of Intelligence and Existence / An anecdote on the relativity of religious forms

5.6. Cautions Regarding Esoterism

General remarks / The presence of esoterism as criterion of truth in religions / What esoterism is not / Eliphas Levi on occultism / Etymology and meaning / The legitimacy of the exoteric-esoteric distinction / Exoteric and esoteric teachings / The universal and the general with regard to esoterism / The relativity of the esoteric / Esoterism is not a standalone archetypal doctrine / Who has seen me has seen the Father / Esoterism and exoterism are hermeneutic perspectives / We are all exoterists to a degree / Esoterism as a shifting frontier

5.7. Proselytism and Religious Expansion

Christian fundamentalism and contemporary evangelicalism / Modern life obscures the limits of religious expansion / One sun among many stars / Christ’s world / Uniqueness within the chain of being / Is America part of Christ’s providential sphere of expansion? / Is missionary activity valid? / The specificity of the Great Commission / Legitimate missionary activity in the modern world is extremely rare / St. Paul as the Christian model for missionary activity / Evangelism in East and West / The superficiality of conversions / Alienation and exoterism in a global world / Decadence around the world / Conversion and apostasy / Then the end will come / The limits of Islamic law / Hinduism and the serenity of age / Mleccha Avatara / The decay of Hindu social structures and the balance of Islam / The dissolution of the Hindu castes / The flames of hell grow cold / The duality of Divine manifestations / The barriers set for the Apostles

5.8. Schism and Adaptation

The nature and necessity of schism / The difference between necessary schism and heresy / Schism in the universal sense / The Judaic-Christian schism / The possibility of adaptation within the Old Testament / The introduction of the Messianic idea with the Mosaic Tradition / A summary of the monotheistic cycle / The trinity and the three monotheistic revelations / The political impotence of Christianity / Islam in an egalitarian age / On points of view, physical and spiritual / Points of view within a single religion / Correspondences and external comparisons are not enough / The scriptures as an example of the difference between points of view in the great religions / Further distinctions between Islam and Christianity / The sublimation and the norm / Religion as organism / A basis in fact as another reason for differences in religion / The Koran and Christ, the Prophet and the Virgin / Mary, Mohammed, Prakriti / God’s reason for creating

5.9. Art and Doctrine

General remarks / Art as exaltation /Beauty and novelty / Basic principles of traditional art / The beauty of naturalistic art / The value of icons / The Hindu ‘darshan’ or ‘viewing’ / Renaissance art as imbalance / The loss of the metaphysical ends in a purely sentimental art / Surrealism

6. Christianity

6.1. Characteristics of Christian Doctrine

Christianity and esoterism / Esoterism of structure and content / Restrictive nature of exoterism / Citations from the early church regarding universality / Difficulties that result from intermingling of levels / Providential limitations / The spirit and the letter / The distinction of levels reconciles contradictions / Divergences good and bad / Christ did not condemn the Old Law / Christian mysteries / Christian mingling of levels and the Islamic response / The revelation is perfect even if problematic / Christianity as a bhaktic way / The ambiguity of providence / To be man is to know / Debates on primacy of intellect and will / Intelligence and sincerity / The weakness of Thomism and Western epistemology in general

6.2. The Way of Mystery

The errors of certain esoterists / Primary esoterism and secondary esoterism / Christianity the mystery religion / The significance of the title ‘Christian’ / The anointed, Christians as Christs / Sacramentalism / Sacramental character / The Eucharist is the Mystery / The term mysterion / St. Paul and the mysterion / Gnosis proceeds from revelation / The gnosis of the apostles transmitted orally / The meaning of the prohibition against casting pearls before swine / Mystery and mysticism / The difficulty of the great mystics / The confusion of the psychic and spiritual / Mystery as a pointer to the Absolute / The sensus mysticus should not be limited to certain of its expressions / Mystical theology and the way of gnosis / How to understand the Revelation / The Church is One

6.3. Mysticism

The narrowness of contemporary Christian mysticism / Karma, bhakti, jnana / Mysticism integrates both love and knowledge / Doctrine and method / Theosis and the Logos / The three stages of the spiritual life / Art without science is nothing / The temperaments and their corresponding weaknesses / The invocation of the Divine Name as a universal method / Invocation and its appropriateness to the Dark Age / The example of Hesychasm / The Jesus Prayer in the West, and the Rosary

6.4. The Eucharist

Remarks on sacrifice / The Mass as sacrifice / The Mass in continuity with the Jewish tradition / The Passover as the context for the institution of the Eucharist / The origin and purpose of sacrifice / The essential goal of sacrifice / The legitimacy of a substitute / All sacrifice is human sacrifice / The necessity of bloody sacrifice / The Mass and the ‘worship service’ / Contemporary misappropriation of religion concepts / The sacrifice of the holocaust / The eternal sacrifice of God / The death of the victim / The doctrine of ‘faith alone’ as it pertains to religious activity / The efficacy of ritual action / Anamnesis and the concept of ritual remembrance / The universality of anamnesis / Transubstantiation according to Aquinas

6.5. The Virgin Mary

General remarks / The Marian mystery / What sources may we use to formulate the doctrine? / The weakness of the Western theological approach in the face of the mysteries / Theotokos—Mother of God / Symbolic overlap / Mary as matron of vegetable life / Mary as virgin earth / Mary as the marriage of heaven and earth / Mary as the Garden of Eden / Mary as the tree and the tree of life itself / Mary as the Burning Bush / Mary as the door of paradise / The four Marian dogmas / Monotheism and polytheism as two doctrinal languages / Mary as fulfullment of the Great Mother goddesses / Hyperdulia and the possibility of a Marian vocabulary / The importance of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption / The metaphysics of the Marian Mystery / Mary as avatar of universal substance / Jesus and Mary, Purusha and Prakriti / Parallelism in the names of the Virgin / Mary as the eternal feminine / Mary as Wisdom / Creation as divine play / The symbolism of the Black Virgin / The gift of perfect blackness / The subterranean divine / The doctrinal significance of her name / Further citations on the Virgin

7. Islam

7.1. Introductory Remarks

Cartoon theology and Western prejudice / Disingenuous approaches to Islamic doctrine / Learn Islam from Islam

7.2. The Prophet

Concerning the name Islam / Allah and Elohim / Ancestry and origins of the Semitic religions / The Seal of the Prophets / The hanifs and the name Allah / The Night of Power / Early followers and opposition / Miracles in the Islamic tradition / The Migration to Yathrib / Three holy cities / Islam encompasses every aspect of human life / Two types of spiritual leaders

7.3. The Koran

The miracle of Islam / The Koran in translation / Sacred language / Emphasis on spoken form / Levels of meaning and interpretation

7.4. Basic Concepts

Koran, hadith, Sunnah, Shariah / Monotheism in the Arabic world / Respect for Jesus as prophet / Original sin / The Five Pillars / Pillar One—Shahadah, or the confession / Pillar Two—Salat, or canonical prayer / Pillar Three—Zakat, or almsgiving / Pillar Four—Sawm, or fasting during Ramadan / Pillar Five—Hajj, or pilgrimage / Respect shown toward other religions / Religious tolerance and religious violence / Tawhid—the One God / Orthodoxy and authority for the believer / Human nature and the ‘fall’ / All authentic revelations are Islamic / The absence of theodicy and the Islamic conscience / Salvation through knowledge and the purpose of creation / The temptation of Adam and Eve / Islam and the multiplicity of revelations / Umm al-kitab—the Mother Book / A prophet is beholden to no one but God

7.5. Branches, Sects, and Movements

The geographical range of the Islamic world / Underlying unity / Islamic community and the Abode of Islam / Faithfulness to the Koran / The doctrine of Tawhid / The Sunnah and Hadith / Shariah Law / The unifying presence of the Sufi orders / Apostolic succession and initiatic continuity / The wheel as the hierarchical representation of Islam / The capacity to embrace diversity / Sunni and Shia / On the title Imam as used in Shiism / Reverence for the members of the family of the Prophet / Divisions within Sunnism / Wahhabism and difficulties with labels and overlap / Divisions within Shiism / Mahdiism in Sunni and Shiite eschatology / Isma’ili Shiism and the Fatimid Caliphate / Zaydi Shiism / The question of theology, or kalam, in the Islamic world / Two extremes of the spectrum / Remnants of pre-Islamic religions in the Islamic world / Political groups and local situations / Movements as opposed to branches and sects / Asharism and Salafism / Islamic responses to Western imperialism

7.6. Sharia Law and the Social Order

Conceptual difficulties / Reiteration of the Abrahamic cycle according to Islam / In the Sharia, God determines society / Sharia law and its levels / The transfiguration of everyday life

8. Hinduism

8.1. Introductory Remarks

What is a Hindu? / Mazdaism / The ‘Aryan’ race / Hindu unity / The Veda / Vedism, Brahmanism, Hinduism / Dating of the Veda / The perpetuity of the Veda / Coherence of the Veda / Orthodoxy and heterodoxy / The example of atomism / Personal attributions of the darshanas / Upanishads and Brahma Sutras / Shruti and smriti / Inverse analogy / God in Hinduism and in the Vedanta in particular / Buddhism and Hinduism / Which Buddism? / The attitude of Hindus to Buddhism / Ambulatory adaptations / Attempts to translate the term ‘dharma’ / Dharma and karma / The meaning of dharma / Dharma and moral duty / Adharma / Prajapati and Manu / Terms used to describe caste / Nama and rupa / Diversity of natures / Symbolic meaning behind the origin of the castes / The superiority of the Brahmanas / Direct and indirect participation in the tradition

8.2. Points of View Within The Doctrine

The Divine Personality / Brahma and Ishwara / Polytheism and Pratika / The Triple Manifestation of Ishwara / Shivaism and Vishnuism / Shakti and Shaktas / Symbolical filiation / Further remarks on points of view within Hinduism / The six Vedangas / The four Upavedas / Enumeration of the six darshanas

8.3. Nyaya

Nyaya as logic / Nyaya argument and the five avayavas / The identity of subject and object

8.4. Vaisheshika

Vaisheshika / Vaisheshika as cosmology / The six padarthas of Vaisheshika / Existence and non-existence / Subdivisions of dravya / Naturalism and atomism

8.5. Sankhya

Sankhya / Universal Substance, or Prakriti / Pure Intellect, or Buddhi / Individual consciousness, or ahamkara / Subtle and gross elements / Eleven faculties / Purusha / Dualism / The three gunas / Atheism and materialism in Sankhya

8.6. Yoga

The meaning of Yoga / The introduction of Ishwara / The point of view of realization / The centrality of concentration / Raja-yoga / The Yogi / Yoga as preparation for realization

8.7. Mimansa

Mimansa / The justifications of dharma / Jnana and karma / Pramanas / Brahmana and mantra / Infallibility / The Vedangas / Mimansa and law / Apurva / Apurva, karma, dharma

8.8. Vedanta

The meaning of Vedanta / The Brahma-sutras / Advaita-vada, or non-duality / Pantheism / Moksha or Deliverance / Deliverance as knowledge

8.9. Caste

Caste and modern India / Presence and absence of caste in the traditional world / Christianity and caste / Humanist egalitarianism is not traditional egalitarianism / Exceptions and exclusions / Ascending development vs. descending elaboration / To what do the castes correspond? / Our world is determined what is real to us / What is real for the Brahmana? / What is real for the Kshatriya? / What is real for the Vaishya? / The twice-born and the shudra / Similarities and confusions / Characterization of the modern West / Impurity and the outcast / Racism and slavery in the theory of caste / The rights of society and the rights of the individual / Bhakti and the effacement of caste / Exclusion from temples / Uniqueness of each nature / Three gunas, three tendencies / Caste is natural / Justice of caste / Four principal castes / Vertical interdependence / Knowledge over power / Hamsa, primordial unity, and the problem of indistinction / The law of heredity in the modern world / Contemporary values that nullify heredity / Technology and heredity / The position of the proletariat / Machine, class, caste / The machine world, cunning, and spiritual blindness / Could the Hindu world abandon caste? / Positive aspects of casteless traditions / Celibacy in the absence of caste / Caste and contemporary humanitarianism / Poverty in the machine age / On judging the happiness of distant peoples / Theocratic equality and profane equality

10. The Doctrine of Man

10.1. Spiritual Temperament

General remarks / Inward and outward equilibrium / Orthodoxy and universality / Intellect and will / All things participate in the Intellect / Masculine and feminine / Intellect and reason / The jnana cannot neglect charity / Intrinsic virtue and the moral law / The ego-other distinction / The necessity of charity for all types / We receive and we are the Truth / Apophasis and negative virtue / Law and orthodoxy / Two perfections

10.2. Greco-Catholic Spiritual Anthropology

The presence of teleology / An overview of tripartite cosmology / The corporeal state / The subtle or ‘psychic’ state / The spiritual or ‘pneumatic’ state / The tripartite constition of man / Adam and the descent of man / The accusation of trichotomism / St. Paul and multiple dualisms / Plato’s doctrine of the soul / Aristotle and the intellect / Christiantiy does not require Aristotle in order to speak about man / Tripartite anthropology in Christian history / The significance of St. Thomas Aquinas

10.3. Hindu Autology

General remarks / The distinction between Self and ego / Personality and individuality / The Self and Atma / Essential distinctions related to the Universal and the individual / Universal: unmanifested and formless manifestation / Individual or formal manifestation: subtle and gross state / Asymmetry between orders / Degrees of existence / The Supreme Identity / Seat of Brahma / Potentiality vs possibility

10.4. Purusha and Prakriti

Purusha, prakriti, and the human person / Purusha, Prajapati, and Manu / Microcosm, Macrocosm, and Universal Man / Prakriti, mother of forms / Prakriti and the three gunas / Purusha is unaffected by individual modifications / Prakriti and the symbol of waters / Four worlds

10.5. Degrees of Individual Manifestation

Buddhi or ‘higher intellect’ as first degree of manifestation / Buddhi and the Trimurti / Ahankara or the individual consciousness / Subtle and gross elements / The ten external faculties of action and sensation / The indryas or faculties of sensation and action / Manas / The collaboration of the indriyas, ahankara, and transference through Buddhi / Five koshas or ‘envelopes’ of the Self / All organic beings possess these eleven faculties

10.6. Human States and Conditions of Atma

Brahma is distinct from that which It pervades / The Unity of the Self / Four states of the living being–four conditions of Atma / The sacred monosyllable / The waking state or Vaishvanara / Seven members and nineteen mouths / Inverse analogy / Dream state or Taijasa / The fiery vehicle / The soul as light unto itself / Ideal and real / Faculties of the dream state / Deep sleep or Prajna / The unconditioned state / Additional remarks on the sacred monosyllable

10.7. Death and Afterlife

General remarks / The identity of birth and death / The persistence of the individual in the principial state / Two paths, and the prolongation of the individual / Reabsorption of the individual faculties / Differences in posthumous conditions / Different paths to Deliverance / Coronal artery and solar ray / The path of liberation / The path of the ancestors / The path of the gods / Generation and corruption / Final Deliverance / Videha-Mukti and Jivan-Mukta / The yogi and supreme identity

10.8. Satan, Hell, and Damnation

Satan as theological postulate / The kingdom of heaven is within you / Common difficulties / The necessary admittance of dualism / Why does God permit evil? / Two souls at war in my breast / The threefold composition of man / Where is the devil in man? / Ambiguity of the term ‘soul’ / The immorality of the soul / The soul as devil / The personality of the devil / The sundering of soul and spirit / Devils and damnation / Fundamental psychomachy / The meaning and identity of Satan / Further distinctions / The meaning of traditional anonymity / Cogito ergo sum / Theotokos and the erotic element in religion and myth / The immortality of Satan and damnation / The question of demon possession / Death and the need to die before we die

10.9. Reincarnation and Transmigration

The importance of this discussion / Reincarnation as commonly understood / Metempsychosis / Metempsychosis further distinguished from reincarnation / Metempsychosis and heredity / Psychics, séances, and hauntings / The legitimacy of burial rights / Transmigration / Transmigration and the doctrine of samsara / Samsara and the multiple states of the being / Modern ideology as a possible explanation for reincarnationist confusions / Confusions and clarity / Simultaneity / Passing through all stages

10.10. Evolution and Original Differentiation

The need for cosmology / Myth and the loss of the symbolical mind / Quantity cannot explain quality / Traditional hylomorphism / Multiple states of being / Archetype and species / The transformist illusion / On the absence of intermediate forms / The futility of the debate / The ascending presentation of animal forms / A mimic is not a missing link / The traditional theory of emanation / Hierarchy and progressive solidification / Consciousness rather than chemical distinction / The mythological account and correspondences / The emergence of man / Conclusion

10.11. Human Sexuality

General remarks / Eros and sex / Limits of the concept of love / On looking to women to learn about sex / Psychoanalysis and sex / The significance of the modern obsession / Exhibitionism and vicarious sexuality / Enslavement to woman in the Kali Yuga / Stages of regression / D.H. Lawrence / Nature and what is natural / Reversing the instinctual view of sex / The instinct for reproduction / Asexual reproduction / Sexual desire in higher and lower beings / Pleasure as the basis of sex / The complexity of sexual desire / The magnetic theory of love / The Far Eastern doctrine of tsing and its ramifications / Proportional attraction / Jack London’s subtle atmosphere / Human pheromones / The kiss / Mauclair on the supra-rational nature of magnetic love / Magnetism and magic / Magnetic love and the institution of marriage / Degrees of sexual development / Theory of attraction based on Plato’s complementarism / Sex as vocation and destiny / Inferiority and superiority between the sexes / Inner sex and outer sex / The values of modern civilization lead to the pursuit ‘equality’ between the sexes / The ambitions of the feminists / The soul of a woman in the body of a man / A citation from the Hagakure / The primacy of the spiritual / Medical manipulations and sex changes / Indifference and specificity of sexual desire / Spiritual depth and stability of the sexual force / The mythological union of the sexes / Results of the rejection of complementarism

11. Counsels

11.1. The Challenge of the Dark Age

This section in relation to the whole / Acceptance of our historical situation has consequences / Beneficial aspects of the situation / The deviant / Counterfeit traditions / The fate of the modern heretic / Life anesthetized / Awakening / One way ticket / The generosity of the master at the end of the day / Things are always changing / Further justification for dwelling on Apocalypse / Do not exempt yourself from the catastrophe / The question you must answer / Resist not evil, the purifying function of the Antichrist / What does this mean for the conduct of one’s life?

11.2. Contemporary Obstacles

Agnostic by birth / Shame / The silver spoon / The American dream / Tradition and convention / The experience of freedom / Self-consciousness / Denizens of the verbal universe / Thought is work / Dealing with the ignorant / You can tell a lot about someone by the questions they ask / Relationships / Safe sex / Marriage as an alien institution / Unisex society / What is an adult? / Children as accessories / The mockery of the modern church / The politics of whatever / Toxic patriotism / War as old news / Vacancies in the tower of babel / The environment / Inebriation and anesthesia / Homo economicus / Automatism and free will / Breaking the vicious circle / Spiritual fathers / Franz Kafka / Fyodor Dostoyevsky / Albert Camus / Henry Miller / Friedrich Nietzsche / The plunge of being into becoming

11.3. Coming to Know God

Awareness of the inexpressible / Beyond thought and prior to it / Seeing beyond the familiar / All objects are significant / False-obviousness and expectation / Rational objections are futile / The necessity of understanding the limits of rationalism / The role of doubt / Thoughts are memories / We are not our concepts / The contemplative is maladjusted / Gnosis is immediate / A universal capacity / Asking questions about meaning / From wonder to reverence, and the roots of religion / The inexpressible and the spiritual / Intimacy and secrecy / Accusations of emotionalism / To sense meaning is not to create it / Scientific knowledge is not opposed to gnosis / We have a responsibility to our symbols / The benefits of stillness and activity / Experience is necessary to man / Man as conqueror or as steward of the world / The adequacy of the question determines the adequacy of the answer / The false honesty of agnosticism / Who am I? / Disguised transcendence / Man as object / Philosophical proofs / Security is not to be had—the error of the apologetic approach / Questions mean more than they say / The question is the enunciation of a spiritual need / Awareness of a spiritual presence as the primary thing / The vertical dimension / Awareness of the transcendent is not an awareness of God / The answer to the question is us / God is more real to us than we are to ourselves / Attempts to reason to God / Reverence, not reasoning, precedes faith / Apologetics serves the purpose of clearing away debris / The reason apologetics is more important for protestants / We are coerced temporarily, and then abandoned to doubts / The implications of the free will

11.4. Knowing Thyself

Admitting to differentiation / Being differentiated from your contemporaries does not require that you despise them / Discover the Self / Christian contemplation in relation to metaphysical realization / What contemplation is / Contemplation outruns faith / Contemplation is not visions or locutions / The Cloud of Unknowing / Contemplation is the realization of what all Christians believe but do not experience / Neither physical nor even psychic phenomena are ‘proof’ of contemplation / Symbolism in contemplation / Do not cling to conceptual certainty / Do not expect lasting peace / To identify with the false self is to avoid encountering God / Receptivity / To be oneself is to conform to God’s will and to know it / The problem with dualism / The false self, the superficial ego / Our improper use of things makes them evil / Avoid trying to Christianize everything you do / Becoming like God, or becoming God? / Slavery is identification with the false self / Do not disparage things / Man is body and soul / Be yourself, but which self? / To find oneself is to become a saint / To refuse God’s will is to refuse to exist / The life of sin is a cult of the shadow-self / The self made man / Remarks on unity and division / Warning against moralism / Various related problems / The myth of equilibrium / The ultimate vice / The war of ends and means / Temperament / You are needy / Uses for the fall / Recognition through familiarity / Goal of the alcoholic / Be careful with reflection and do not dwell too long on yourself / Actaeon’s lesson / Reciprocal transfiguration / You cannot truly escape the effects of your environment / Be comfortable with your mortality, but recognize your immortality / The impotence of knowledge / Do not pit faith against works / The Middle Way / Forget your good deeds / Do not argue with the willfully ignorant

11.5. Advice on Political Participation

Apoliteia / The advice of Pythagoras/ The mature approach to politics / What is worth saving? / Voting is the expenditure of valuable political energies in futility / Young people as scapegoats / Democracy and the founders / Voting as superstition / The non-voters win / The example of Henry David Thoreau / Voters are the ones who can’t complain / Does voting prevent tyranny? / “It’s your Christian duty” / Voting as diversion / The true opium of the people / Effective representation / The founders on political parties / Where freedom goes to die / Voting for Hitler / The lesser evil is still an evil / You don’t know much, and that’s okay / Masses do not reason / What’s your sphere of competence? / The myth of common sense / Words without meaning / Economic power and political power / Investment theory and party politics / Corporations and the personification of money / Institutionalized bribery / Rediscovering communication / Alternatives to the vote / Beyond optimism and pessimism