This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

The mythological account and correspondences

Another point: in Biblical terminology, this process is described from the point of view of the ontological hierarchy, and since the spiritual, the subtle, and the corporeal are related to one another as superior and inferior, any movement from the spiritual to the subtle, or from the subtle to the corporeal, is a ‘descent.’ Thus, the animal forms each descended into the gross state in their turn. From the point of view of man, however, the terminology is modified by the moral point of view with which the Jewish Scriptures are concerned, and it is no longer a descent but a Fall. Descent implies an objective change of level, and can even imply something noble, such as the descent of Christ into Hell; Fall, on the other hand, implies an accident, a mistake, and a degradation.

To refer to a traditional example of how the process above is described, we can take the Tibetan cosmology. Here we are told of the combat of the devas  and the asuras. The devas created man with a body that was fluid, translucent, insubstantial: in other words, they created man as a subtle form. The asuras attempt to destroy man by bringing about his subtle petrification, causing him to grow opaque and to solidify into a solid, immobile skeleton and imprisoning his greatest asset–the mind–in a closed skull. The devas respond in such a way as to turn evil into good. They break the skeleton at certain points in order to create joints, and they pierce the skull to reopen the pathways to the senses and permit the exercise of the mind.

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