This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Cleansing waters

Although we have said that the genesis of our Age could be no nearer than the Greek period around the 6th century before Christ, we should be careful not to draw the conclusion that it is therefore no further that this point. In fact, it seems most likely this moment signifies not the beginning of the Dark Age, but, more accurately, the beginning of its final phase, and this would imply that the Dark Age itself has been in progress for some time previously. The precise beginning, however, begins to melt into myth as we move into the past, and so it is precisely into myth we must go to find it, as techniques like scientific dating and archeology are now categorically useless to us.

To reinforce the point, we will say again: once we move beyond the reach of modern science, our primary sources become myth, and myth becomes, in a sense, the best history we have. Here things become delicate, since once we enter into the interpretation of myth we must adopt a radically different way of thinking if we are to draw any meaning from the data provided to us.

The book of Genesis is a reasonable example and starting point, since it is familiar territory. Genesis recounts the narrative of a great flood, which is mythological (and this does not mean unhistorical) in character. Although this is not the place to expand on its significance, we find that all peoples around the world speak of this same flood, usually elaborating on it by describing profound changes in the world and the life of man that took place afterward. In traditional symbolism water represents cosmic substance and it was from ‘the waters’ that creation was originally brought forth. We can take the flood as a kind of secondary ‘substantial reorganization’ of man and of the earth. It is here, after the global cataclysmic geographical and ecological shifts, even resulting in a dramatic decrease human lifespan, that we must look to find the true beginning of our present era.

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