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 doctrinal significance of her name

Mary is the anglicized version of the Latin Maria, which is itself derived from the Hebrew Miryam or Mariam. It is to this last that we must direct our investigations in order to find the original significance of the name.

That names have significance at all aside from the caprice of the parents who bestowed it, is a notion very far from the modern way of thinking. If a modern person’s name is significant, it is usually only in a purely hereditary sense, being named after one’s father for example. We’ve recalled this elsewhere when talking about the traditional understanding of a true name as corresponding to the reality named, and this is why it was considered a great transgression to use the name of God in vain: to use it was to invoke his reality, a kind of direct contact with Him.

In modern language the connection between a word and its meaning is almost purely arbitrary—words are imagined as so many random sounds combined with a utilitarian view toward expressing thoughts, with no necessary correspondence between this word and this meaning. This situation makes it difficult to convey how important a name might be in the traditional world, and in particular when we come to Holy Scripture, in which nothing is arbitrary, nothing insignificant. Moreover, this makes investigations like ours here seem gratuitous: because our names are arbitrary, any attempt to ‘interpret’ a traditional name also sounds arbitrary, and therefore contrived and artificial.

Be that as it may, we must proceed: we insist that names in the scriptures carry with them a doctrinal significance all their own, a significance accessible via an objective hermeneutic, and therefore valid and demonstrable. Obviously the name we have in mind at this moment is that of Mary, but everything we are about to say applies as well to other Biblical names: Adam, Eve, and Jesus Christ.

Regarding the Hebrew language, we may follow E.A. Chauvet and before him Fabre d’Olivet, who together demonstrated that the written letters of the Hebrew tongue were originally hieroglyphs corresponding to cosmic realities. In other words, the Hebrew alphabet was a sacred and symbolic language capable of expressing metaphysical realities very effectively. In fact any given word, being a combination of these representations, was capable of becoming a kind of synthetic doctrinal statement. Such is precisely the case with the name Mariam.

Omitting the vowels, as is the custom in Hebrew, we are left with MRIM. The remaining ‘I’ is actually a semi-consonant, called yod. The first M, or mem, as a pictogram is much like our own M, representing the maternal breast, which, with additional segments added to the representation (as in its earlier Egyptian form), takes on the form of waves on the surface of water, and by articulating the vowel in this first component we actually obtain Mayim¸which means literally ‘the waters.’

The second component is the combined R (Resh) and I (Iod or Yod). The pictogram for Resh is that of the head, and corresponds to the Intellect but in its relation to creative activity. It could be summarized as ‘divine aspiration,’ that through which the Absolute expresses itself. Yod, found also in the Divine Name of Yahweh, is closely related to the Tree of Life and in a sense summarizes it. It is the smallest hierogram, almost a single point, and we can remark here that symbolically the point represents the principle of manifestation, particularly of space. All manifestation is the space between two points, themselves unmanifest but providing the conditions for manifestation.

Finally, the closing M, which complements the first and completes the representation, summarized as follows:

MRIM represents the eternal feminine in its creative role: virgin receptivity (Mayim) receives the Logos (Resh) which, impregnated with divine virility (Yod) becomes mother (Mayim), bringing forth divine fruit in the manifest world.

If we are correct in describing Mayim as ‘the waters’ and Resh as divine aspiration or breath, we are in a position to more fully understand the following:

In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)

This being a precise parallel to the Gospel:

The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. (Luke 1:35)

This provides the necessary background to understand something of the Christ-Mary mystery:

Christ is the ‘first-born’ of all creation, but His ‘eternal birth’ was through the Mother of God, just as much as His earthly birth, which in fact was only a temporal reflection in history of what had taken place from the beginning of all things. Hence the teaching of Meister Eckhart:

Our Lady, before becoming Mother of God in His humanity, was Mother of God in His divinity, and the birth she gave Him in His divinity is represented by the birth as man He took in her.[1]

Co-creatrix, co-redemptrix: in short, the Mother of God and man from the beginning until the end.

[1] Sermon 8.

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