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 role of a traditional framework

Spiritual realization in a vacuum is not something that should be pursued, even if it is conceivable that it could happen. Man is not pure spirit, but is also body and soul and he lives in the world and needs to develop his faculties accordingly. A traditional framework alone can provide the proper support for the right ordering of man and all his parts. That is why the pursuit of spiritual knowledge and development within a traditional framework is far and away the safest and most effective way to proceed, whichever framework that happens to be. We mention this here because when one is sought out for spiritual counsel, it is important to find out if the seeker is attached to an authentic traditional form or not. If attached, then the means provided by that form should take priority over other suggests and if possible the guidance provided should be drawn from that same form. The reason for this is that even if it might be appropriate to make use of correspondences between traditional forms, it is different when it comes to spiritual realization and the path to it, in which case the stabilizing and ‘unifying’ support of a single form is called for. Especially when the seeker is in a state of distress on some question, they should not be scattered unnecessarily by driving them to examine other forms. Here we can repeat what has been said by others: that one should not attempt to assemble at will elements of differing forms as if to create a traditional form that is of our own design. While it is true to say that each form taken as a whole is just as legitimate as any other, it is a dangerous error to graft together elements taken from different forms. Two things may be beneficial in themselves and in the proper context, and then become deadly when mixed. The traditions are all of a piece and that is their strength: taken apart and mixed they become at best ineffective and at worst an abomination. What, then, of the seeker who is not already attached to a traditional form? They should be urged in no uncertain terms to seek out and adopt one. As to which, they should be pointed to the form most easily accessible to them, since it would do little good to urge the seeker to attach themselves to the Pythagorean tradition, with which they could have no contact outside of a few books on the subject. Even a still-living form like Taoism would be an inadvisable choice for a Western man, first and foremost because of the mental differences between the West and the East, but also because Taoism, even if still present, has receded somewhat and a master of that form would, we think, be very difficult to find even in China.

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