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).

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

We are coerced temporarily, and then abandoned to doubts

We say that the spiritual experience which constitutes our ‘initiation’ into religious life comes all at once. This does not mean that the certainty experienced in the moment lasts forever. We are indeed marked by it, but it is incumbent upon the individual to ‘remain in contact’ with the presence that came upon him and to continue to knock at the door which once was thrown open.

We may feel that we are at one moment coerced into admitting the presence of the sacred—that in the moment of inspiration it is undeniable—but in the next moment, it departs, and in its absence, or shall we say, when we cease to be conscious of its presence, doubt enters.

All of what we have said about our inability to demonstrate to others the content of the experience also applies to our own selves in times of dryness. There is no ‘proof’ we can present to ourselves, no demonstration to reassure us that what we once knew is still real, since it now seems so distance and even at odds with our immediate experience of life in the world.

We encounter the burning bush, but we cannot retrace our steps to that holy ground, nor can the flame that we saw be called forth by us. It is a predicament that is only conveyed in old fairytales, wherein there is a hidden place and the only way to find it is by first becoming lost, and those who seek it directly can be assured that they will never find it.

Even now, though, logical proofs become anticlimactic: if they once convinced us, now more than ever they fall short, because we know that which they cannot convey. We sense their insufficiency—they cannot console. No concept can disperse the encroaching darkness. Proofs may be brought in to support a spiritual certainty, but they cannot create it—they cannot initiate anyone into it.

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