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

Our improper use of things makes them evil

Remember: things are not evil. Wine does not tempt the alcoholic. Only persons can tempt. The alcoholic perverts the wine and destroys part of creation through his abuse. This is why, although Eve blamed the Serpent in the Garden, it was not the Serpent who was banished and not the Garden that was destroyed.

The power of detachment as a spiritual practice is not that it trains us to despise things, but rather breaks us of our ego-centric mentality that seems unable to use things without abusing them. Detachment creates the space necessary for things to be appreciated properly and in the proper order.

A hatred of the created things, and of the world in general, is incompatible with a love for God, since all of those things are His creations.

Beware that kind of obsession with what is sinful and what is not, which masquerades as ‘Christian morality’ but is really just a perverse obsession with guilt. This is the kind of thinking that would demand an act of contrition of someone for taking a drink to satisfy a legitimate thirst, as if that wholesome kind of pleasure were somehow an offense.

True saints are gentle people, not rigid moralists, and if we are presented with accounts of their lives as constant duels with the devil, as perpetual wars of endurance against temptation, then this is evidence of a fixation on our part.

Just as we make things unholy, so the hands of the saint consecrate that which they touch. The eyes of the saint make all things beautiful. This is why actions that for one person would be inappropriate and even sinful are not so for another man: because in some cases (but not all) the goodness or badness of an act depends on the inward disposition of the person acting. Hence, the story of two priests who passed a prostitute, and one averted his eyes to flee from temptation to lust, and the other watched her closely. The first priest warned the second that it was dangerous to look at a prostitute in that way, but then saw that the second priest had tears in his eyes, and when the second priest spoke he explained that he was heartbroken that such beauty would be wasted. He saw the beauty that God had created and mourned at its destruction, and lust clearly had no part in his vision.

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