17 juillet 2005

Ali Lakhani, Understanding Tradition, (note de lectura)

Published on www.religioperennis.com.
“Tradition has nothing to do with any “ages”, whether “dark”, “primaeval”, or otherwise. Tradition represents doctrines about first principles, which do not change.”
(Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Correspondence, 1946)
“...there is nothing and can be nothing truly traditional that does not contain some element of a super-human order. This indeed is the essential point, containing as it were the very definition of tradition and all that appertains to it.” (René Guénon, The Reign of Quantity)
The underlaying polarity between Modernity and Tradition is expressed in the dialectic of Necessity and Freedom. “Necessity is the organizing principle of deployment, of projection and reintegration: all that exists emerges from and abides within the common ground of all reality, whose transcendental Substance is simultaneously both its Origin and its End, the criterion of all objectivity. Freedom is the creative principle of this deployment, expressing itself in an infinite variety of modes and modalities of Form and in the immanent potential of our own supra-personal subjectivity.”
Modernity is not necessarily sinonymous with contemporary, and Tradition is not necessarily old. Tradition is metahistorical, its relation with the past is the linkage with its particular Revelation.
The Tradition is resisting to change, the Modernity is embracing it. Tradition is equilibrium and dynamic attraction.
The pejorative implication of the term “tradition” is excessive rigidity and formalism. “Modern” can mean unprincipled and excessivly individualistic. In this sense, both the terms are opposed to Tradition.
“When creativity ceases to conform to the hierarchies inherent in a spiritually ordered universe, volition becomes satanic and profanes Freedom. And when the demands of conformity stifle genuine spiritual expression, the intellect becomes tyrannical and profanes Necessity.” Tradition uses Freedom and Necessity with intelectual discernment.
Modernity indicates a tendency to moral hardness and intellectual opacity.
“[…] fundamentalism, though it may don traditional garb and use traditional language, is the very antithesis of “Tradition”, which eschews fundamentalism’s reduction of the spirit to the letter, its excessive formalism and exclusivism.”

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