This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Credo ut intelligam

The second requirement is belief in the message. This is epitomized by Augustine when he says, ‘I believe so that I may understand.” This maxim is of great consequence for the study of any Revelation, be it the Gospel of Christ or the Koran: faith unlocks the mysteries and one cannot proceed beyond a certain point without faith. The obvious implication here is that if one does not believe one will never understand. If one does not approach Hinduism or any other faith on the assumption that what it says about itself is true, then one will fail to comprehend what it says. In our own experience we have found this to be true, and that it is impossible to derive useful information from a writer who does not believe in the religion about which he writes. The best spokesman for a religion is that religion itself, and it is a hard truth that the reason for this is that it can only be comprehended from the inside, which is to say, by becoming in some sense a believer.

We can add here that to believe in the truth of a spiritual teaching, one need not actually practice it, although this is necessary to advance upon its path. What we mean, rather, is that one can accept the truth that is present in an alien tradition and only by doing this can one understand it properly, and to insist instead that it has no value and that all who belong to it are ignorant or evil, is to resign oneself to ignorance.

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