This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

All formulations are limited

Another way we can come to understand the diversity of exposition that exists from one tradition to another, and even within traditions themselves, is by acknowledging that when the knowledge of principles passes into discursive knowledge, it is necessarily limited and so something is immediately lost. We mentioned this above with regard to the hesitancy of contemplatives to share what they have come to know. When it comes to doctrinal exposition, what is lost and what is retained usually depends on the mentality of the individual, and in turn will determine the particular emphasis of any doctrine they take it upon themselves to enunciate. For example, it is undeniable that Christian mystics have attained to the universal, but their formulations are inevitably of a very different order than those of a Hindu contemplative. The former will be concerned with consolations or even ecstasies to the end of salvation, while the latter will be concerned with the assimilation of knowledge for the sake of spiritual realization.

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