This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

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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Coronal artery and solar ray

We will put off further discussion of Deliverance during life or immediately at death, returning now to the path of ‘Deliverance by degrees,’ which pertains to the vast majority. The nature of this path is conveyed symbolically as a journey through so many states, each of them approaching the final objective. This journey begins at the ‘coronal artery,’ described as follows:

The ‘living soul’ [jivatma], with the vital faculties reabsorbed into it [and remaining there as possibilities], having withdrawn into its own dwelling place [the center of the individuality, symbolically represented as ‘the heart,’ identical with Purusha, from which it is separated only in an illusory way], the apex of this subtle organ [pictured as an eight-petalled lotus] shines and illuminates the passage through which the soul must pass [in order to attain the various states about to be described], namely, the crown of the head, if the individual is a Sage [vidvan], and another region if he is ignorant [avidvan]. A hundred and one arteries [nadis, likewise subtle and luminous] issue from the vital center,[1] and one of these arteries passes through the crown of the head [a region corresponding to the higher states of the being]; it is called sushumna.

Sushumna is the coronal artery that marks the beginning of the divine journey of the being, but there are two other nadis that warrant mention because they play an important role in practices such as Hatha-Yoga by their correspondence, in the subtle order, with the activity of respiration. The first is called pingala and is situated on the right. On the left is ida. The two correspond to the sun and moon, respectively, and are closely related to the two eyes of Vaishvanara. Sushumna, sitting in the center, is the ‘third eye,’ or the frontal eye of Shiva.

The significance of the crown of the head. We should also note that this region places a significant spiritual role in other traditions. In Catholicism, there is the well-known tonsure of the religious orders, with similar attention given to this area in Islam.

By this passage [sushumna and the crown of the head where it terminates], as a result of knowledge acquired and of consciousness of the meditated path [consciousness belonging essentially to an extra-temporal order, as a reflection of higher states], the soul of the Sage, endowed [by virtue of the psychical regeneration which has made of him a man twice born, dvija] with the spiritual Grace [Prasada] of Brahma, which resides in this vital center [relatively to the human individual concerned], escapes [frees itself of every link with the bodily condition] and enters a solar ray [that is to say, symbolically, an emanation from the spiritual Sun, which is Brahma Itself]; it is along this route [the path of the ‘solar ray’ which picks up where the coronal artery ends], that it travels by night or by day, in winter or in summer. The contact of a ray of the Sun with the sushumna is constant, so long as the body lasts: the rays of the Light, emitted from this Sun, reach this artery, and, reciprocally, extend from the artery to the Sun [establishing a connection, either virtual or effective, between this individuality and the Universal].[2]

Although these processes are independent of temporal circumstances, these circumstances may, in certain cases, influence the posthumous condition of the being. Thus:

The preference for summer, as an example of which the case of Bhishma is cited, who waited for the return of this favorable season for his death, does not concern the Sage who, in the contemplation of Brahma, has accomplished the rites [relative to ‘incantation’] as prescribed by the Veda, and who has consequently acquired the perfection of Divine Knowledge [even if only virtually]; but it concerns those who have followed the observances taught by the Sankhya or the Yoga-Shastra in accordance with which the time of day and the season of the year are not matters of indifference, but have [for the liberation of the being leaving the bodily state after a preparation carried out in conformity with the methods referred to] an effective action as elements inherent to the rite [in which they intervene as conditions upon which the effects to be obtained depend.[3]

As suggested in the text, this situation only applies to being who have not attained anything beyond the degrees of realization corresponding to the prolongation of the human individuality, since beyond that the means employed at the starting point could not have any influence whatsoever.

[1] These nerve centers are pictures as ‘wheels’ and called chakras, or as lotuses (padmas or kamalas), and the luminous arteries issue from the center like spokes from the hub of a wheel.

[2] Chhandogya Upanishad, VIII.6.2.

[3] Brahma-Sutras, IV.2.17-21.

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