This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

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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The distinction between beings in terms of Intelligence and Existence

On the horizontal plane, beings are differentiated from one another by the way in which they participate in Intelligence; they are united by their existence. Vertically, considered in their relationship with their transcendent Principle, this is reversed. A being is united to its principle by its participation in Intelligence, and that which separates that Principle from a being is the latter’s participation in Existence.

The manifested world is rooted in both Existence and Intelligence. Being are distinguished in part by the way they participate in Intelligence and Existence. In other words, there is a spectrum between pure knowledge and pure existence, man being toward the former and mineral toward the latter. This is exemplified by those examples that stand at the summit of each: the diamond integrates intelligence into its existence (passively and unconsciously) through its hardness, luminosity, transparency, etc. Man integrates existence into his knowledge, actively and consciously, hence his universality and the claim that he contains all things.

Thus, a plant cannot “progress” in knowledge, since it “is” what it knows. It’s knowledge and its existence are closely identified, passively and unconsciously. It’s knowledge is imposed on it by its existence, and “it is what it is,” and that is all it knows. Man, on the other hand, works opposite, actively and consciously integrating existence into his knowledge.

We can say that Existence does not permit differentiation, but Intelligence does. For those beings for whom intelligence is “outward” so much so that it determines form, as in mineral and plant life, we will find endless variety and many species. But when intelligence is inward and existence outward, there will be no outward differentiation, and distinctions will appear based on the inner dimension. This explains why man is one species, and that when he is divided it is in “inward” terms, such as caste, vocation, and spiritual temperament or religion. The more “peripheral” beings, on the other hand, have no inward divisions whatsoever.

What we are discussing here is in fact the “Great Chain of Being,” but it should always be remember that this way of framing the question, completely true as it is, is not the only way of framing it, and if other explanations are offered, they should not be taken as contradicting this one unless they have been examined and are in fact found to be contradictory.

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