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).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

Evil in the esoteric view

Most people who’ve explored esoteric or metaphysical teachings without actually getting beyond the exoteric point of view come away with the impression that esoteric doctrines deny the existence of evil. The truth is that, first of all, if in metaphysics we do not speak much of “evil,” it is because evil is a theological and even moral concept, and that is not the focus of the metaphysician. Secondly, however, to refuse to emphasize a concept does not amount to its denial, and in fact esoteric doctrine subsumes evil within itself, as should be expected, through the doctrine of the three gunas. I’ll talk about these in depth elsewhere, but at the moment we need only say that tamas, the third guna, refers to the tendency toward oblivion and dissolution or dissipation. It is the “downward” tendency in all beings and affects man at every level, physical as well as moral. Thus, tamas accounts for what on the theological level is personalized and named Satan. Satan is tamas personified, and it makes sense that this is how exoteric doctrine deals with things, because it is concerned with cosmology only in its relation to man.

And so it is not that esoterism denies evil, but that, when one arrives at pure metaphysical doctrine, it is seen from an aspect that transcends the purely human, and is “depersonalized” and becomes one element in a larger structure that is what it must be and could not be anything other than what it is; and it is from this point of view that good and evil cease to oppose one another. Or, to put it another way, all that God created is good.

To further illustrate this point, we need only say that once we cease to consider tamas only as it effects the human individual, we see that it is also tamas that causes the condensation of material bodies and keeps them from volatilizing. Thus, all physical things depend on this tendency and participate in it, even the Eucharist.

The terror displayed by the exoterist at such this “nonmoral” (although he will call it amoral or even immoral) understanding of life is another example of why it is truly better than exoterists maintain their view and not be disturbed with concepts that are not appropriate to their nature. But if we are to answer this, we need only acknowledge that while an amoral view of life would, presumably, rob the exoterist of his motivation for upright conduct and his pursuit of the salvation, we cannot say the same for the esoterist whose desire is not salvation (an essentially moral concept) but union, and so is in fact better served by the supramoral view which places human conduct within a context, not of good vs. evil, but of concentration vs. dissipation, which is to say.

A religious morality is never made for contemplatives, but for the generality of men. What is “wrong” for the generality, which is to say, that which obstructs their path to salvation, may in fact be necessary for the contemplative, since his path is different and what obstructs theirs may facilitate his. The opposite is also true, in that certain actions that are good and necessary for the exoterist, or the common “believer,” may obstruct the path of the contemplative.

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