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 soul as devil

In the New Testament, the Greek term psyche is often translated as either ‘soul’ or ‘life,’ and both are in fact accurate, but the second option has the unfortunate result of conveying to the modern mind the idea that it is only the biological element that is in question: thus, he who ‘loses his life (psyche)’ is simply someone who experienced bodily death. But this takes away the depth of many passages since life is certainly in question, but what is being dealt with is the principle of bodily life and not the biological processes themselves, and so we must understand that it is the soul and the life of the soul which is usually in question. This is the only way that teachings such as ‘he that loseth his life for my sake’ make sense. And so, while it is accurate to use the term ‘life’ or ‘soul,’ it is better to prefer the second due to the oddities and superficiality of modern English. Speaking then of the soul, we are taught in sermons to treasure our souls as if they were our best part, and to hate the physical body; but as we just said above, this places the opposition in the wrong place, since it places the blame on matter itself, which cannot be blamed for anything, and as a secondary result, it exonerates and places ‘above suspicion’ the soul, which, as we have seen and will see, is identical with the tempter himself. This does not mean that we should not care for the soul, but we should care for the soul in the same way that we care for the body as temple. Nonetheless, an honest reading of the Scriptures will tell us that it is the soul which must be guarded against. Nay, the soul must not simply be guarded against—it must be hated, for ‘whoever cherishes his soul destroys it, and whoever hates his soul in this cosmos will preserve it for life in the Age.’[1] It is this very psyche which St. Paul tells us must be lost in order to be able to say, “I live, yet not I, but Christ in me.”[2]

[1] John 12:25. Here I’ve preferred the translation of David Bentley Hart, and will often defer to his New Testament, being as it is the product of one sound mind, rather than a committee of anonymous evangelicals.

[2] Galatians 2:20.

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