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).

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Against speculation and eschatology

We should also point out that the Buddha lists speculation as one of the taints, and emphatically refuses to discuss eschatology. When questioned on these matters, Gautama responded:

“I have not revealed that the Arahat exists after death, I have not revealed that he does not exist; I have not revealed that he at once exists and does not exist after death, nor that he neither exists nor does not exist after death. And why, Malunkyaputta, have I not revealed these things? Because, O Malunkyaputta, they are not edifying, nor connected with the essence of the Norm, nor tend to turning of the will, to the absence of passion, to cessation, rest, to the higher faculties, to supreme wisdom, nor to Nibbana; therefore have I not revealed it.”[1]

Again:

“As a flame blown to and fro by the wind goes out and cannot be registered, even so a Sage, set free from name and form, has disappeared, and cannot be registered…that by which they say ‘He is’ exists for him no more; when all conditions are cut off, all matter for discussion is also cut off.”[2]

On these points the Buddhists might have agreed with Emerson (barring, of course, the idea of the soul) when he said: “Of immortality the soul, when well employed, is incurious. It is so well that it is sure that it will be well.”

[1] Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta 63.

[2] Sutta-nipata, 1073-5.

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