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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Awareness of the inexpressible

Throughout this manual, especially in those sections devoted to spiritual anthropology and metaphysical doctrine, we have made refence to a kind of direct knowledge of metaphysical principles, often deploying Rene Guenon’s term, ‘intellectual intuition’, and setting this in opposition to knowledge gained on the basis of discursive thought, the latter belonging to the rational faculty. This intellectual intuition is presented as a kind of supra-rational knowledge, also called gnosis, or in Hinduism, jnana. It is the knowledge of God which exceeds the powers of reason.

Intellectual intuition is the source of true spiritual insight. Brought to perfection it is responsible for gnosis. It occurs in those moments when, above and beyond rational activity, the intellect makes direct contact with transcendence: St. Thomas Aquinas preferred to depict this scenario as a special infusion of grace, which is to say, an exceptional and in a way ‘supernatural’ intervention in order to impart wisdom; the Hindus, on the other hand, would make the capacity for gnosis a normal, although rarely accessed, power of the human being. But regardless of the view taken, gnosis is acknowledged as a real ‘coming into possession’ of supra-rational knowledge that, because it is superior to the rational, cannot be expressed via its machinery.

This last remark will become central in our discussion below. We wish here to discuss, not a theory of epistemology, but the path to spiritual realization as experienced by the individual who strives to know God. In this context, it is more meaningful to speak of an awareness of the inexpressible, since that is a more comprehensible starting point.

Our desire is to help the reader understand that what has elsewhere seemed to be a lofty aspect of doctrine is actually a matter of everyday experience for many people throughout history, and the problem is not so much its absence, but rather our inability to recognize it for what it is when we encounter it, what it signifies, and what it means to pursue it and develop it. It comes to us, but we do not know it; it knocks, but we do not think to open the door—we do not even realize there is a door to open.

Once we understand what we are dealing with, new horizons of contemplation open before us, and our self-understanding begins to come into its own.

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