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 distinction elaborated

The distinction between Hinayana and Mahayana is something like that between a monastic order and the church at large, if not in spirit at least in form.

We’ve already said that Hinayana lacks the theistic emphases of Mahayana. In the former, Gautama was merely a man among men, exceeding them in intuition and through his intuition the possessed of the secret of life, which led him to Nibbana, extinguishing the causes of rebirth. He is ‘the Buddha,’ but Buddhahood is not a condition regarded as the destination of all, even of his closest disciples. They may attain Arahatta and Nibbana, which is to say, they may come to possess the Way, but they are not Way-finders.

The universal profession of the convert is: “I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha.”[1] This would have meant, in original Buddhism, the person of the Buddha himself, but in the centuries to follow they could not but begin to take on a mystical meaning. It is precisely this mystical tendency, inherent in the teachings of original Buddhism, that came to develop into the devotional form of the Mahayana.

[1] These are the ‘Three Jewels.’

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