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

Karma modified

The doctrine of karma (Pali: kamma) of early Buddhism now calls for modification: instead of being presented in terms of an accumulation of cause and effect in a linear sense, following a series of previous lives of a single being and leading up to the present life of that same individual, the Mahayana presents a view of all the world as a shared life and therefore a shared karma, such that no one acts by and for himself alone, but either for the benefit or detriment of the world.

Karma is deterministic if we look backward but empowering if we look forward: where I am is the necessary result of a causality, but what we do with our situation hinges on the turning of the will, and for good or ill this will affect the future of all being.

We have drawn certain parallels between the Buddhist conception of merit and the various Christian interpretations, but the contrasts should not be forgotten: it should also be noted that for Buddhism there can be no sudden ‘forgiveness of sins’ by which the world is saved. Any such thing would have to be accomplished in terms of a causality stretching back into the indeterminate history of the world. Our situation and predisposition are the work of the ancestors who came before and who contributed to our present life, which becomes our starting point that we accept with grace.

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