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

The denial of other religious forms by Prophets

It is true that Christ and Muhammad both rejected existing religious forms, on different grounds, as they encountered them. But this warrants clarification and a proper understanding of the “mission” and prerogative of the great Prophets. For example, if Abraham and Christ denied the validity of the “paganisms” they encountered, it was precisely because these religious forms had decayed to an extreme degree and were no longer capable of acting as means of Grace, which is to say, they were truly “dead” and could not serve the one purpose that justifies the existence of the religious form.

The case of the Islamic Revelation is different, however, because what was rejected was not the petrified remains of prior religious forms, but other living and legitimate monotheistic forms. The reason for this rejection is that there can be said to be a “priority” of Revelations where the most recent takes precedence over the previous when the two come into contact. In other words, if we view Islam as a Revelation for a specific human type, which would provide for them the means of Grace necessary, from the exoteric point of view, for salvation, then this is because the limits of the existing monotheistic forms were such that they were not effective for this type. In other words, the Islamic Revelation overcame the particularized limits of Christianity. And even if these limits are not inherent in the Christian Revelation itself, they became inseparable from it in practice due to the context in which it grew up and the character of the doctrine it developed. Had Christian doctrine been spread to the Near East, and had conversion been able to take place on a general level, it would have had disastrous consequences for Christian doctrine because it is simply not suitable for everyone and if adopted unnaturally by a people to which it is not suited, it gives birth to all manner of heresy and instead of acting as a vehicle for Grace and a path to Truth, acts as a barrier to both.

The key here is to refuse to ever consider the validity of a religious form as if it were something that exists in the abstract as a set of ideas or a body of doctrine. Only the esoteric element of a Revelation can operate at that level. All dogma, all sacraments, and all exoteric aspects of doctrine have a purpose which cannot be separated from a specific people.

Again, a religious form is tailored to a particular human collectivity, not coinciding with race or culture or even specific civilization. Because the element that determine this collectivity are complicated, it should not surprise us if membership in that religion is not limited geographically or racially. That there are Christians found in almost every modern country does not mean that Christianity is a religious form proper to every people.

It is not helpful to ask if there are individuals within the purview of a religious form who could adapt themselves to another (for example, if there is a Hindu who could adapt himself to Christianity). It is more helpful to ask if the entire collectivity could adapt itself to another religious form. In this light, the answer must be a decisive negative, since it would be disastrous, and in fact impossible, for the population of India to be converted en masse to the Christian religion.

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