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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Three gunas, three tendencies

One traditional means of understanding the fundamental differentiation of beings is through the Hindu doctrine of the gunas. This philosophy teaches that there are three primary “tendencies” or forces which exist in all created beings and which combine, in varying degrees, to produce the predominant “orientation” of each individual. These three guans are: sattva guna, rajas guna, and tamas guna.

Sattva. This is the “ascending” tendency; the force whose propensity is toward being, order, and unity. Sattva has also been translated as “lucidity,” as it is identified with “light” and knowledge.

Rajas. This is the horizontal impulse towards “expansion” and action in the manifest world. This principle can also be thought of as that which propels forward in time, which is to say it is responsible for the fact of change.

Tamas. This is the tendency toward disintegration and inertia. This movement is associated with ignorance and obscurity and may be imagined as a descending tendency which checks the other two.

No guna should be imagined as intrinsically more dignified or desirable than the other two. All three tendencies are said to exist in every person. In fact, in man’s primordial state of perfection the three elements were combined in perfect equilibrium. Dissolution only began to characterize man’s inner state after the Fall, and this Paradisal equilibrium is no longer possible to obtain. Therefore, one tendency must always predominate in an individual, becoming the distinguishing feature of that being. Depending on which of the gunas predominates in the person, he will find himself tending toward one of three orientations. Should sattva predominate, he will find himself drawn toward knowledge and contemplation; should rajas predominate, he will be propelled toward action and expansion; should tamas predominate, he will tend toward simplicity and inertia. This doctrine, which any honest man can prove valid by a brief examination of himself and those around him, is the entire basis of the traditional institution of caste, so often completely misunderstood and misrepresented by humanists of every stripe.

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