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

Languages are not arbitrary

The formation of a language is not an accidental or haphazard process where, after the fashion of evolutionist theory, a language comes into being purely based on chance and whether or not it is advantageous to the species, and where its content and structure are either arbitrary or determined by environmental factors and could easily have been something else very different. If this fictitious narrative is commonly believed, it can only be because in the modern world it has almost become the reality, because in the modern world words really are arbitrary. The narrative, therefore, seems to explain the English language as currently found. But if we step outside of our present content, we find that this way of seeing language is quite the contrary of reality, and that in their origins words are not simply assigned definitions at whim without respect to any objective correlations. Yes, it is true that the West has abused language in this way, particularly in the naming of children. Here names are chosen, not for meaning, but for a pleasing sound, or for ‘uniqueness.’ Some do adopt the names of parents, but this is rare and not usually done with the same motivations that compel the practice elsewhere. Others even go so far as inventing their own names for their children, which usually amount to gibberish plain and simple. But that is, in the end, how Westerners seem to view language from the developmental point of view: as a few sounds capriciously grouped together and then attached to a meaning. Compare this with the Hebraic custom of pausing when the name of God appeared in a manuscript. Or the scriptural story of Adam being given the responsibility of naming the animals. For the traditional mentality, it would be absurd to imagine that he simply ‘made up sounds’ and attached them to the animals as he saw them, one by one. He could only have been given the privilege of the naming if he had actually ‘known’ what to name them–that is to say, he had to have known, intuitively, their real names, the names that were appropriate to them and not to some other entity. In other words, the process of naming is not one of invention but of ‘recognition’ of what a thing is, and the name is part of the actuality of that being. In this view, the name of a thing is in a real sense the same as the thing itself. Hence, to speak the name of God is to actually invoke Him, to encounter Him; hence the great offense of invoking Him ‘in vain.’ And what is true of names and their correspondence with objective reality can also be said of sacred languages (Hebrew, Sanskrit, Latin) in their entirety.

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