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

What is real for the Vaishya?

The Vaishya caste includes the economic vocations ranging from the artisan to the merchant or man of business, even to the peasant in the medieval sense.

We distinguished above between de facto materialism of the Kshatriya and the ‘natural’ materialism of the Vaishya. This is not derogatory to the latter any more than it is derogatory to the former when it is compared to the non-materialism of the Brahmana. It merely describes an inner tendency and the outlook that results from it. In fact, materialism only becomes evil when it is out of alignment with the inner tendency of the individual and taken to excess, and especially when the context is one devoid of any traditional, which is to say transcendent, center.

Thus, we say that the materialism of the Vaishya is not ‘accidental’ but is what it is by virtue of his innermost nature. He operates on what we would describe as the economic plane, and his values are primarily those of material wealth, physical well-being, security, and so on. Other values are secondary in comparison to these, and therefore less real, and he only believes in them tentatively, if he can believe in them at all.

It should be obviously that the most basic teachings and exhortations of exoteric religion are aimed primarily at this type of man, which is appropriate since the bulk of humanity fits into this category and so any popular aspect of a religion will be adjusted to the Vaishya mentality. Thus, Christ and St. Paul after him spend a great deal of time trying to convince their listeners of the futility of worldly life, presenting the idea of ‘treasures in heaven’ which are accumulated by forgoing comforts in this life. One the one hand, these are platitudes if aimed at the Brahmana—statements of the obvious—and they are irrelevant if aimed at the Kshatriya, since the vocation of the nobleman is to be worldly while running little risk of becoming attached to the world.

The virtue of the Vaishya is the pursuit of the perfection of an art, and he judges himself by the fruit it yields. By his fruits does he know himself, if we can turn a characteristically Vaishya phrase from the Gospel. On the religious plane, the Vaishya mentality expresses itself through an emphasis on the accumulation of merit through which is earned posthumous reward.

The Vaishya is passive and pacific, and his intelligence is that of the ‘simple man,’ which is to say he is clever. In this sense, due to his simplicity and stability, he may resemble externally the Brahmana. However, he differs vastly from both the Brahmana and the Kshatriya in that he lacks all of the intellectual qualities that enable the former two castes to appreciate non-material values, and gives to each of them a kind of idealism. To the contemplative, the Vaishya lacks intellect; to the nobleman, the Vaishya lacks taste.

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