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

Awakening

The re-orientation that must take place in order to move from the modern mentality to a traditional outlook is much like an ‘awakening’. Perhaps you have been waking up for some time, or perhaps you are just now coming around. I do not know when it began for you, but I think that you yourself can mark it out with some precision, perhaps even to the day that it happened, although it is most likely that it occurred slowly over a period of time such that by the time you realized you were fully uprooted from your previous life, it was finished. Many spiritual journeys are only identifiable in retrospect, because in the moment all appears to be chaos. At any rate, even if it came much later, there is always a moment when you become aware of what has happened. When did you first recognize yourself as differentiated from the world around you? We might be tempted to call it a moment of a “moment of clarity,” but, as you well know, the moment of awakening was not accompanied by anything like those feelings of peace and understanding which “clarity” calls to mind. In truth, for those who “awake” in our Age, the first moment of clarity may be the most horrifying vision of chaos. Rather than the comfort which one feels when discovering a straight path, it feels more like having been swept off the road of one’s previous life by tidal wave and then, upon regaining consciousness, the world is not longer the one you knew. Were you walking in the sun without a care in the world? Then you certainly awoke in the black depths of a forest, like Dante:

Midway along the journey of our life
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
for I had wandered off from the straight path.

How hard it is to tell what it was like,
This wood of wilderness, savage and stubborn
(the thought of it brings back all my old fears),
A bitter place! Death could scarce be bitterer.

It is not peace that accompanies the newly conscious man—the man who is taking his first steps in awareness. In the contemporary Christian way of speaking, we could say that this was the spirit moving within you for the first time. Strange how when we first meet ‘the comforter’ of whom the scriptures speak, he seems to have no concern whatsoever with ‘comfort.’ Discomfort is his art!—Discomfort, confusion, and fear. Mark that moment in your mind (I’m sure it is already indelibly marked there), because in that first moment of fear, you understood for the first time what the old traditions meant by “fear of the Lord.” If you were religious, you probably lost your “faith” (and by this I refer to the superficial and unthinking sort of faith which is all that you could have had before that moment). If you were not a believer, you probably lost your “agnosticism” (and by this I refer to that superficial and unthinking sort of agnosticism which is all that you could have had until then).

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