This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

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 modes of thought

To gain a better understanding of the different aspects of tradition, it may help to further distinguish between doctrine and rational knowledge so that it can become clear which type of “knowing” we are concerned with at any given time. We will distinguish between ‘modes’ of thought as expressed through metaphysics (esoterism), theology (usually belonging to the order of exoterism), and philosophy (neither exoteric nor esoteric, but strictly rational and of a lower order altogether).

Philosophy is rational knowledge and by nature suffers certain limitations, the most significant being an inability to adequately deal with metaphysics. The reason is that metaphysical knowledge is transcendent, which is to say beyond the purely human mode of thought. To say it more clearly, philosophy proceeds from reason, which takes place on the individual plane and discursively; metaphysical knowledge proceeds from the Intellect, which as Meister Eckhart tells us “is something in the soul that is uncreate and uncreatable; if the whole soul were this it would be uncreate and uncreatable; and this is the Intellect.” Likewise, in Islam it is said that “The Sufi is not created.”

Pure intellectual knowledge is not reachable on the individual order, the order of reason. No chain of reasoning can acquire it. Because it comes from above, from the supra-individual order, it can only be direct knowledge, as opposed to discursive, and this is why it was received by direct intuition.

We should also carefully separate metaphysical knowledge from “faith” because it is a matter of knowing and not belief, and even though faith transcends reason, metaphysical knowledge transcends the theological point of view altogether because, while faith and theology proceeds from Revelation, metaphysics proceeds from intellectual intuition. Revelation is the Word of God spoken to creatures, and faith is the passive and indirect participation in divine Knowledge; but intellectual intuition is the direct and active participation in divine Knowledge.

To say it another way, metaphysical knowledge is not something within us, that we acquire and keep there, but is the point of contact with the mind of God. It is the realization of one’s inner unity with the Divine.

This is why metaphysical certitude is absolute. It is the identity of knower and known and they are not separate things. It is not ‘knowledge about’ the divine, it is contact with the divine and union with the divine. It is a realization of the divinity from which our innermost selves are not distinct. To doubt it would be an impossibility.

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