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).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

Transmigration and the doctrine of samsara

The idea of transmigration springs from the doctrine of samsara, the ‘round of births and deaths’ which is presented by Hindus and is a basic doctrine of the Buddhists. In its symbolic form, it is depicted as a circle divided into sectors, these being heavens and hells followed by the human and animal realms. But what is too often overlooked in doctrinal expositions and debates about reincarnation and transmigration is that samsara is itself indefinite and not susceptible to technical exposition. This is the nature of symbolism in general and the doctrines symbolically conveyed. It is a sad fact that even those who contributed so much to this conversation—we are thinking here of Rene Guenon—have made the mistake of ‘systematizing’ ideas that cannot be systematized. Add to this the fact that transmigration is in a sense secondary to samsarama: samsara is the thing itself, while transmigration is a way of describing its processes. That is to say, samsara is the whole of which transmigration only describes a part, and it is folly to try and work out in too much detail the positive and negative limits of the transitional process when we must base ourselves on what is in the end only a symbolic schematic. We cannot say with any precision what form a ‘birth’ will take for this or that being, just as we cannot describe with any rational precision what it means for the Catholic to die and then travel through purgatory and, at some point, enter into Heaven. Such a journey is truly ‘transmigration,’ but all of the terms involved are schematic presentations only. We must keep this in mind, less we fall victim to ‘systematization mania.’

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