This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

The jnana cannot neglect charity

After having established the logical primacy of jnana (knowledge) over bhakti¸one might wonder why the jnanin need bother at all with charity, especial when the context in question is the modern one where the traditional moral structures have been cleared way and at any rate are not practically accessible. To this, we simply answer that knowledge requires virtue not because the Intellect is insufficient but because man is not the Intellect, at least not insofar as he is an undelivered and relative human being. Man as man requires the supports of virtue, which is to say morality and the actions that go with it, because virtue brings all of the relativities of human existence into right order and only the virtuous man has properly ‘prepared’ himself to be a receptacle of knowledge. Thus, while it is possible to imagine an immoral contemplative, even a powerful contemplative who is also powerfully immoral, it can be stated with certainty that such a person would be far more powerful if he were also virtuous. Disregard for right action is therefore perilous because it can easily blot out the light. It is risky to the utmost degree. Here we finally see why the jnanin should always be sure to protect the pursuits of the bhakta even if he does not always appreciate them. He depends on bhakti to create an environment in which he can thrive, the incense for the performance of his ritual, even if his vocation is technically prior to the moral order. It is the bhakta who builds the cathedral in which the jnanin contemplates the Absolute.

Share This