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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Hierarchy and progressive solidification

Here we will emphasize that between all states there is a hierarchical existence, just as the entire created order presents itself as a hierarchy: the great chain of being. The higher not only ‘precedes’ the lower but also determines it entirely. Thus, it is important to acknowledge that although we have described the ‘solidification’ of the corporeal state as a progressive process it is also true that no corporeal thing can ever become fully disconnected from its subtle form, since it is determined by that form. To say otherwise would amount to saying that the body becomes, once developed, entirely disconnected from the soul, which is its subtle form.

Another analogy is helpful: the solidification in question, particular with respect to the relationship between the matter we see and the form we don’t, can be likened to a fruit which, in its early development is attached to a vine a receives life and sustenance from that vine, and is at this stage tender and vulnerable but also vivified and protected directly by a superior principle. At a certain point, however, this fruit developed an outer husk and seals itself off from the vine. Again, the analogy is weak because the matter of our bodies is never truly sealed off from the subtle forms by which they are determined, but the image of outer solidification and loss of support from the superior principle is apt.

To describe this in a Biblical terminology, the cosmos had to undergo several levels of preparation before it was ready to receive the animal forms in the corporeal state. First the spatial condition was needed, and this is outline clearly enough in the Genesis narrative. And because the higher forms of life depend for their existence on the lower, and since ‘what is below reflects that which is above as in a mirror,’ then once the basic conditions were prepared, the corporeal state could begin to receive the beings into itself beginning with the lowest and proceeding upward until it reached the apex, which is man. First in order was the mineral world, then vegetable life, then animal, then human: each of these depending on the previous.

It is also important to observe that this order follows the degrees of consciousness present in each type of being. For example, rational thought belongs to the subtle state, and so those beings who participate in this activity and are characterized by it would be the last to emerge and take on corporeal bodies, whereas the mineral order is furthest from consciousness and would be the first to emerge, simply as a matter of the qualities it possess.

The corporeal world received each animal kind as soon as it was ready for them and no sooner. This is why they tend to appear in groups, since what is decisive is the level of consciousness: it is no more surprising that single cell organisms appeared first than it is surprising that bare earth emerged first: it is not due to chance but to the nature of the things themselves.

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