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

Conclusion

The transformist thesis is based on an absurdity: that the higher can be produced out of the lower, that quality (life) can be produced spontaneously from quantity (matter). This is enough to condemn it, but it does not stop there and proceeds into outright dishonesty and delusions of grandeur. It establishes itself as authoritative based on indecisive data that is only convincing if one adopts a certain reductionistic and wholly superficial framework of analysis where only matter has reality and immaterial realities like consciousness are excluded from consideration. Even if we were to grant this view (a generous act required much imagination), we are offered as ‘proof’ a few skeletons, or fragments of skeletons, which prove nothing except that something with a skeleton lived at some point. Nor does the existence of apes who are similar to many in many respects except that of his reason prove that one emerged from the other: because the anthropoid form can exist without the addition of reason, it does: this is the law of the necessary manifestation of the possible.

While it is necessary to deny unequivocally the emergence of the human species (or any species) from a lower form, it is also necessary to point out that certain specimens of ‘ape-like men,’ if they be found, would represent either a human race that is now extinct and that is not necessarily an ancestor of the present humanity, and that it is possible to come upon types of a ‘degenerate humanity’ the racial development of which proceeded in a negative direction and eventually died out. In these cases, even if the specimen appears ‘ape-like,’ we are not dealing with an ancestor but rather a ‘branch’ of tree of which we are a part, and on this tree there are lower and higher branches, some dead, some alive, but without any of the main branches springing forth from one another or from some other kind of tree.

One of the problems with materialism is that it can influence one’s mentality without entering one’s awareness, with the result that even when we speak of spiritual things and engage in spiritual work, we wind up transposing our materialism into that order. When a powerful and sensitive mind falls victim to this ‘sublimated materialism,’ the result is sometimes very convincing to those who want to escape scientific materialism but can’t escape the materialist mentality.

Teilhard de Chardin is one such example of this problem. He attempted to integrate the knowledge of paleontology into a spiritual view of man, but because he accepted all of the false premises we have been discussing, his attempt to reconcile the profane and sacred really amounted to profaning the sacred. In essence, he simply extended the mania for a progressive evolution beyond the material order and into the spiritual, such that man is no longer the center but is merely a step along the way to a kind of cosmic entity that will be united to God. Here we see the same failures to distinguish between orders, and for Teilhard the mind seems to be nothing but a metamorphosis of matter. An unfortunate result of the Teilhardian imagination is that it fosters the same historical condescension that characterizes all modern disciples of Progress. Here we are the wisest and most intelligent men ever to walk the earth, and the prophets and sages of old stand humbly below. As always, the traditional relationship of Eden and Apocalypse is inverted, and we are not headed toward an age of chaos and an end, but rather a peak and a Paradise.

It is precisely this kind of pseudo-spiritualism that Guenon had in mind when he spoke of fissures that open up in the mental life of a solidified humanity: closed to what is above, and yet weary of the dead world of matter, it opens the only direction it can, toward the below, and takes for spirituality what is actually a kind of plunge into imagination.

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