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

True and false spiritual teachers

When we speak of initiation, what we mean in its simplest terms is direct affiliation with an initiatic organization which accomplishes the transmission of the spiritual influence associated with that organization. This is distinct from what comes after–the initiatic teaching–which is the means used to render ‘effective’ what was at first only virtual. Affiliation is the basic condition and supply the ‘virtuality’ but it remains for this virtuality to become real for the individual in question.

It is with regard to this second part of the process that the spiritual master is active, and this is the much more difficult work. Affiliation in fact is a fairly easy thing to obtain, even if the initiatic organizations are generally degraded in our time. It is incumbent on the master to draw from the means available within the framework of the organization and to apply them in accordance with the possibilities and aptitudes of the initiate. It is the ability to accomplish this which makes him the true master, since it is possible for anyone to ‘go through the motions’ and the various means supplied by an organization, but these will have no effect if not applied at the proper time and in the proper way. The rite confers a virtuality, the master sees it become effective.

The first sign of a false teacher in the present age is one who advertises as ‘spiritual powers’ abilities that are actual of the psychic order. Here we have in mind the ability to know the thoughts and feelings of others through sensitivity and sympathy, but there is no limit to the variations that this might take, even extending to displays of ‘magic’ and telekinetic performances. As impressive and unusual as these things might be they work at a level that is not spiritual but psychic, and in this sense they do not prove any degree of spiritual realization in the person who performs them. On the contrary, it has been said that these abilities are usually the result of a stunted or deviated development and in that sense are indicators of sickness on the spiritual level.

We could embark on an investigation of all of the marks of a false spiritual teacher, but we think it most straightforward to insist on what we’ve already said as the most reliable and straightforward measure of the legitimacy of a popular or self-proclaimed master. The test is simply this: affiliation with an authentic traditional form. Anyone who is unattached cannot meet the basic requirements for the status of guru and attachment is always an easy thing to discover, since a master has no reason to hide it since it is the very support on which he stands. If he seems to hide it, you can safely suspect that he does not have it, and therefore cannot be who he says he is.

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