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

Knowledge over power

Notice also another corollary of the functional hierarchy which seems strange to the modern perspective: we tend to imagine those at the top of the social hierarchy as the “ruling class,” but in the traditional arrangement, the “ruling class” was a subordinate class, and the superior class did not rule, but simply preserved knowledge and taught what it preserved. This is simply due to natural necessity: the type or caste whose aptitudes are suited toward action is best vested with the tasks of government and warfare. Yet this caste is not the one best suited for the highest types of knowledge, and so for this it must remain dependent on another caste, which is therefore superior. Knowledge always precedes action, or else the action is aimless and absurd. This is why the priests sat at the top, although they did not rule. Their relationship with the nobility was one between spiritual authority and temporal power. Invisible truth informed and guided temporal work, as should always be the case. This relationship between priesthood and royalty can be envisioned in the legend between King Arthur and Merlin. Merlin does not rule, but it is obvious that King Arthur could not rule without the advice of Merlin. The two are equally important, for they are interdependent, but the action must be subordinate to thought. Another traditional fable of this relationship is the tale of the lame man who rides on the shoulders of the blind man. The blind man depends on the lame man in order to do anything, and although the lame man depends also on the blind man for action, it is he who discerns and guides what action is to be taken. He is the guide. This hierarchical role is also embodied in the gospel story of Mary and Martha, in which Christ identifies the contemplation of Mary as “the better part.” Martha was a woman of action—Mary of contemplation. Neither was sinning, but one was still the better part. We will return to the relationship between Mary and Martha later, as it has significant spiritual implications.

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