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

Similarities and confusions

In the context of the Dark Age, where the castes are all but dissolved, it is difficult even to conceive of them distinctly in theory. This is more difficult because they are similar in some respects. For example, the Brahmana and the Vaishya and both peaceable, while the Kshatriya and the Shudra are readily violent.

We can perhaps refer to Schuon’s way of putting it as the most succinct:

“the Brahmana is ‘objective’ and centered in the ‘spirit’; the Kshatriya tends towards ‘spirit,’ but in a ‘subjective’ way; the Vaishya is ‘objective’ on the plane of ‘matter’; the shudra is ‘subjective’ on that same plane. The first three castes—the ‘twice-born’ of Hinduism—are therefore distinguished from the shudra either by ‘spirit’ or ‘objectivity’; only the shudra combines ‘matter’ with ‘subjectivity.’ Like the shudra, the Vaishya is a materialist, but his is a materialism of wider interests; like the Brahmana, the Kshatriya is an ‘idealist,’ but his ‘idealism’ is more or less wordly and egocentric.”[1]

In order to distinguish properly between these aspects of human nature, we must learn to distinguish between the active and the passive, the higher and the lower, the qualitative and the quantitative, and so on. Two men may do the same thing or display the same attitude externally, but for entirely different reasons and on the basis of an entirely different underlying nature. A Brahmana and a Vaishya might both be peaceable, but for one it is a conscious choice for the sake of contemplative development while for the other it is a matter of indifference or temperament plain and simple. A nobleman and a shudra might both turn to violence, but the nobleman does this within the context of a code and for the sake of developing virtues in himself, while the shudra is simply acting according to an animal impulse. What we have in both cases is a similar behavior that is for one man active and intentional while for the other it is unconscious and passive. And this is why we call one man noble or his caste superior and the other inferior, since an action consciously chosen for the sake of transcendence has a superior character to one followed passively and as a matter of instinct.

[1] Frithjof Schuon, Language of the Self, p. 122-123.

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