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).

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Potentiality and possibility

When speaking of the presence of the Self in the individual being, we say that the self is ‘potentially’ present in each, until the moment of Union. This is why it is compared to a seed or germ, and this is true until the ‘Union’ is realized. Again, this is accurate only because we are speaking from the point of view of the individual, where all possibilities which transcend him are appear as ‘potential.’ And this is the difference between ‘potentiality’ and ‘possibility’: the first term refers to an aptitude for development, presupposing a possible actualization; the second cannot in any way be regarded as potential, but should instead be considered as belonging to the principal order, which necessarily excludes all ‘becoming.’ But again, all possibilities viewed from the point of view of manifestation, which is the point of view of the individual, will appear as potentialities, when in reality this is a reflection of the individual being’s own capacity for realization–a projected potentiality, if you will.

Brahma in man is Purusha. Let us return again to the notion of the vital center, which was depicted as filled with Ether, and establish the levels of meaning to be drawn from this imagery. In the realm of the individual, there is the physical and psychic orders. On the physical level, it is ether; at the psychic, it is the living soul, or jivatma. Finally, transcending the physical order, the vital center is the unconditioned Self, or Atma, and, ultimately, nothing less than Brahma Itself. But Brahma, considered in this way ‘within’ man, is called here Purusha. Again, so many points of view, so many names. Such is the precision of a metaphysical doctrine, which must not deny any point of view its rightful place.

Returning to the Katha Upanishad:

In the vital center, dwelling of Purusha, the sun shines not, nor the moon, nor the stars; still less this visible fire [the igneous sensible element, or Tejas, of which visibility is the peculiar quality]. All shines by the radiance of Purusha [by reflecting its brightness]; it is by its splendor that this whole [the integral individuality regarded as ‘microcosm’] is illuminated.[1]

And in the Bhagavad-Gita:

One must seek the place [symbolizing a state] whence there is no return [to manifestation] and take refuge in the primordial Purusha from whom hath issued the original impulse [of universal manifestation]…This place neither sun, nor moon, nor fire illumines; it is there I have my supreme abode.[2]

One cannot help but notice the correspondence between the foregoing passage and the ‘Heavenly Jerusalem’ of the bible: ‘And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.’ Here we should point out that pura in Sanskrit signifies ‘city,’ and puru ‘plenitude.’ Thus, even at the level of the meaning of words, there is curious similitude.

This Purusha, of the size of a thumb [angushtha-matra, an expression which must not be taken literally as denoting a spatial dimension, but which refers to the same idea as the comparison which a grain], is of a clear luminosity like a smokeless fire [without any admixture of obscurity or ignorance]; it is the Lord of the past and of the future [being eternal, therefore omnipresent, in such wise that it contains in its permanent actuality all that appears as past or future relatively to any given moment of manifestation, a relationship that is, moreover, capable of transference beyond that particular mode of succession which is time proper]; it is today [in the actual state which constitutes human individuality] and it will be tomorrow [and in all cycles or states of existence] such as it is [in itself, principially, to all eternity].[3]

[1] Katha Upanishad VI.14.

[2] Bhagavad-Gita XV.4 and 6.

[3] Katha Upanishad II.4.12-13.

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