This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
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

Adam and the descent of man

Adam, as described in the book of Genesis, represents principial man, and the narrative that describes his becoming includes at the same time an illustration of what it means to ‘descend’ into nature and become ‘embodied’, and here again we can say that this process corresponds to the coming into being of the universe itself and all things within it.

In the first account of man’s creation, what we find is the creation of man in his primordial and unified state, which is why he is made in the ‘image and likeness’ of his Creator. The second account is somewhat different and signifies a kind of descent from that in which the spiritual is primary and in which it envelops the psychic and corporeal (the latter not yet separately actualized). Here it is said that God forms Adam from the stuff of nature and ‘breathes into his nostrils’ the breath of life, which is to say, the spirit, making of him a ‘living soul’. At this point we see the psychic actualized and as a separate state, no longer enveloped by the spirit as a pure potentiality.

The final stage of descent, which brings us to the condition in which man finds himself today, occurs after Adam and Eve eat of the forbidden fruit, at which point two additional symbolic actions take place:

First, Adam and Even realize they are naked and close themselves with fig leaves sewn together. This symbolizes the taking possession of a vegetal soul, to borrow the Aristotlean-Thomistic terminology. God takes notice of this and since separation from the Creator cannot but end in complete dissolution, he contrives a means of saving man by putting in place a kind of barrier between him and total dissolution, and this is the corporeal body signified by the garments fashioned by God for man: “And God made for Adam and his wife tunics of skin and He clothed them with them.”

This creation narrative is in fact a description of an inversion wherein principial man goes from a spiritual being containing within himself the psychic and corporeal spheres to fallen man in whom the order of things is reversed and ‘separated’ such that the corporeal envelopes the psychic and the spiritual recedes to his innermost depths where it remains always as a window and lifeline to the Creator, since any total absence of this spiritual presence would result in immediate obliteration into nothingness.

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