Please don’t mistake this manual for a set of instructions on how to rebuild the world. The world cannot be saved except by completing its course, which is to say, its descent. Such is the doctrine of the apocalypse and it is a good teaching. Anyone who tells you we are not involved in a process of decomposition, anyone who promises you that thanks to Progress we are actually better off, more wise, and more moral, than any heathen society before us, is selling you the antithesis of what every religion in the world has stated since the beginning of time: the doctrine of the religions is that things get worse, not better, and then it all ends. The only thing we cannot know is when things end, since this could be tomorrow or in a million years.
As sojourners, we are at best fighting nobly for an already lost position, and our civilization, like any other, will have its day and then pass away. Anything else is utopia. Let go of that pleasant dream as soon as you can and waste no more energy and passion on it. The point here is not to depress you, but to drive home the fact that you cannot ‘share the truth’ with your society in any comprehensive sense. The writing contained here is for you, not ‘mankind’ and not ‘the world’; it is to help and to guide you as you try to learn about yourself and the created order, which in turn will help you pursue the only thing that really matters—the Truth, the Absolute Truth. Therefore, if I spend hundreds of pages talking about the world, about political ideas, or about the economy, know that this is not to encourage you to become politician. It is conceivable that you might be called to such a vocation, but it is only barely conceivable, since by and large it is impossible to go near what is today called ‘politics’ without being poisoned on contact. I might explain the proper constitution of governments, but it is not because I want someone to develop a political program based on what I have written. If I offer suggestions that sound like they could be implemented in your present social context, it is not my intent that you should implement them, and if a person were to form a political party based on what is taught here, I would probably die of disgust, or, if already dead, roll over in my grave.
I want to convey knowledge to you and at the same time prepare you to endure the suffering that comes with that knowledge, and that means that I need to talk about every aspect of worldly life, how it can best be lived, how to understand the things you will encounter, what psychological and spiritual pitfalls to avoid, and how to interpret certain mysteries. It does not mean that I wish for you to change the prevailing order, because in most respects it is what it must be and cannot be ‘saved’, only contemplated and endured.