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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Prajapati and Manu

Dharma can be see as the expression of a ‘cosmic will’ that has the character of law, in some sense like the Scholastic notion of the divine law which is the principles of the natural law human law when properly formulated. This ‘cosmic will’ is expressed at corresponding levels in Hindu doctrine through names which should not be taken as individuals but as principles. Prajapati, ‘lord of produced beings,’ expresses dharma in each state of manifested existence, and corresponds very roughly to the Divine Law of the Scholastics; for each cosmic cycle this same will is expressed by a Manu, resulting in the ‘Law of Manu,’ and while we could analogically compare this to the Natural Law of the Scholastics, the correspondence seems to us too weak and so we should instead abandon the comparison. Manu is not a mythical figure, but is, in accordance with its root manas, the ‘cosmic intelligence; and this Manu is also considered a ‘prototype’ of man, since man is manava insofar as he is a thinking being endowed with a rational faculty. There is a connection here, concerning the universal prototype of man, with the Taoist ‘King’ and the ‘Universal Man’ of the Kabbalah and Sufism, and the personage of Melchizedek, but these must be put off for the moment. Finally, when dharma is expressed in the concrete, within a specific social order, it takes the form of a shastra, and this law is referred to Manu as its author. Here again we mention a weak correspondence with ‘human law,’ which the Scholastics placed on the bottom of its hierarchy and which was also the application of the higher levels and which was only legitimate insofar as it conformed to them.

In sum, we can say that the shastras referred in this way to Manu do imply direct authorship by any person with this name or title Manu, but only conformity with this ‘cosmic intelligence.’ It is only through this conformity that the dharma-shastra becomes valid. The actual personages responsible for authorship are therefore irrelevant.

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