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).

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The identity of birth and death

Birth and death are not opposites, but are in fact the same thing viewed from two different points of view depending on where one is situated. To die is to be born into a new state, and to be born into a new state is to die. We envision this easily when speaking in Christianity of entry into Heaven upon death, where earthly life ceases and ‘eternal life’ commences at precisely the same moment. Thus, from the specific point of view we have been considering, we can say that birth and death mark the beginning and end of the human state, which is to say that they each represent the kind of “evolution” we have in mind here, which should not be understood as a kind of “development” of the individual, but as a transition to another state entirely which lies beyond the individual state and has nothing at all to do with it any longer. For this reason, the being is no longer human once having embarked on this evolution, and this is meant in the precise sense of ‘specification,’ since ‘species’ is not a transcendent principle and attachment to a species implies subjection to the conditions which constitute its nature. These are precisely the conditions that are thrown off at death and transcended through the ‘posthumous evolution’ of the being.

A few comments on this phrase (‘posthumous evolution’) are in order to avoid confusion due to the common usage of the terms themselves. Evolution, as we have already said, should not be understood in the scientific sense as a form of linear progress within the individual state. The being itself only appears to ‘begin’ and ‘end’ at birth and death when viewed from the relative point of view of the human life. In itself, the being does not ‘develop’ between to points in time, since this is not a condition to which it is ultimately subject. Moreover, even from the point of view of the human being, what we mean by ‘evolution’ is something that proceeds in the opposite direction, since the individual state, not being destroyed, in a way collapses back into its principial state. This return to the principle means that a more appropriate terminology would perhaps be ‘devolution,’ and the terms evolution and devolution refer, in the end, to ‘development’ and ‘envelopment’ respectively, and these meaning something quite different than what science means when it uses them. Lastly, the term ‘posthumous’ obviously only has meaning with reference to the human individuality and does not apply to the states external to it. Life and death are ways of speaking that imply the temporal condition to which the human individuality is subject, and when we are dealing with non-individual states we must be careful not to transpose that condition where it does not belong. That is to say, when in scriptures we encounter a manner of speaking that refers to states ‘before birth’ and ‘after death,’ we must always keep in mind that such states should not be envisioned, in themselves, as being situated on a linear timeline, located chronologically in relation to each other. They are ‘before’ and ‘after’ only in relation to the particular human individuality in question. Here we might recall that people who have entered into certain types of trances can also lose all concept of time and even physically seem to escape its limitations. This problem of transposing temporality into supra-temporal will be dealt with more fully when discussing the Eastern concept of Deliverance in comparison with what is meant in the Christian tradition by ‘salvation’ and ‘everlasting life’ in Paradise.

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