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

Death and the need to die before we die

The nature of hell, and of salvation for that matter, can be further clarified by meditating on death and its meaning. When we approach the subject of death and of life after death, we are immediately confronted by the questions: What death? We are concerned initially with physical death, the cessation of biological function. Let us leave it at that for now. Then the questions follow: If ‘my’ survival is possible ‘after death,’ then what am I and what part of me dies with the body and what survives? The ‘I’ which is simply a long string of instants of consciousness but never the same for more than that instant, this ‘I’ who is always ‘becoming,’ cannot be more than mortal, for it is always changing and change is a kind of death. This ‘I’ is the ‘stream of consciousness’ which, having a beginning, also has an end. But all tradition attests that this is need not be the end of the story and we are told that the alternative to death is to ‘Know thy Self’ and that this begins in the knowledge that ‘this is not my self.’ We must discover that we have confused our consciousness-of-being-So-and-so with our true Self that stands apart and above, and so we have mistaken for the Self what is just the superficial personality. What dies at death? Whatever is capable of perishing. What can be broken must be broken. If we only know ourselves as ‘So-and-so,’ then the only immortality we can claim is whatever part of us passes on to our descendants. Yet if, before we die, we have ‘recollected’ the Self, and ‘realized’ the Self, and if we have put the lesser self to death as Christ demanded, then we may survive; but this survival is no longer ‘I,’ but Christ in us, and this is why our survival is predicated on our ‘dying before we die, that we may live.’ This is why it is said: “No man hath ascended into heaven save he which came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, which is in heaven.” And in regard to the ego, Meister Eckhart said truly that “The kingdom of God is for none but the thoroughly dead.”

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