Tradition

Convictions, morals, other societies and religions.
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Jiva
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Tradition

Postby Jiva » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:49 pm

I was wondering what people thought of the use of “tradition” in general as well as in an esoteric context?

In general suppose it’s generally defined as something handed down from generation to generation and therefore has assumptions of inalterability, in some cases because it’s supposedly come from god/whatever itself. Yet I think most people realise that every generation is a filter through which tradition passes and is therefore something that gradually changes for various reasons: e.g. someone emphasises a particular aspect while neglecting another, a disaster makes some aspect of a tradition impossible, and so on.

However, I would consider two of the biggest traditions in the western esoteric world to basically be consciously created traditions: many kabbalists (“Kabbalah” literally translates as “tradition”) ascribed innovative ideas to semi-legendary rabbis to legitimate them; while Blavatsky claimed her Theosophical approach was millennia old, when in fact it was largely innovative.

In contemporary esoteric contexts, I can think of a few examples of people consciously creating their own, individual traditions. Shani Oates is particularly explicit, but I’m fairly sure this has been mentioned in the Liber Falxifer books and could also be a description of Austin Osman Spare’s approach.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Heith
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Re: Tradition

Postby Heith » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:19 am

With only slight hesitation I can say that I am a traditionalist in many ways. Let's put it like this: I dislike things that are too new. This could be because I am a Finn and it's something of a characteristic to the Finns at large to be cautious in the face of change. Or perhaps I'm simply a romantic, and think that back in the day, things were better. That people of old were wiser and had something that is lost to us. I notice that I don't generally accept certain mediums as valid methods of art, such as photoshop. Perhaps that is why I root for Shamanism and have no interest to practices that I find to be too new.

Be that as it may, I certainly am interested of the roots of ritual or a practise, and I feel that before I can be entitled to engage into a practise in any way, I must learn of the tradition and customs behind it. It's interesting that you should bring this subject up now as I just started writing something of a tradition and in my text I ponder is it possible for it to survive or not.

My love for tradition is closely linked to my interest towards repetition and ritual. I find that I easily establish small rituals in my every day life. For example, if I visit friend X, I always drink from the same mug, that's "my mug". Or, we always meet at the same place and if it's Friday, we must eat a certain dish, or look at tarot cards and so forth. This developing of patterns and small traditions could also be my attempt to control chaos. Old feels safe.
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Re: Tradition

Postby Sothoth » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:15 am

My view summarized: Tradition in a positive sense of word is the golden thread of occult knowledge and power running through generations after generations. It is hidden but visible to those with eyes to see. Negatively tradition is repetitive attachment to customs that have lost their inner meaning. This negative tradition is in general the error of great masses and exoteric Right hand path religions.
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Re: Tradition

Postby Kenazis » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:33 pm

Sothoth wrote:My view summarized: Tradition in a positive sense of word is the golden thread of occult knowledge and power running through generations after generations. It is hidden but visible to those with eyes to see. Negatively tradition is repetitive attachment to customs that have lost their inner meaning. This negative tradition is in general the error of great masses and exoteric Right hand path religions.
This was very simple and good summarization of religious/spiritual tradition.
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Re: Tradition

Postby Jiva » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:48 pm

Heith wrote:With only slight hesitation I can say that I am a traditionalist in many ways. Let's put it like this: I dislike things that are too new. This could be because I am a Finn and it's something of a characteristic to the Finns at large to be cautious in the face of change. Or perhaps I'm simply a romantic, and think that back in the day, things were better. That people of old were wiser and had something that is lost to us.
Actually, I am something of the opposite :P. Although I also like to be knowledgeable regarding certain traditions and various histories, I don't necessarily feel much attachment to them as isolated traditions. I think a lot of attachment I have is due to noticing similarities/differences between things, e.g. some part of a mythological tradition is similar/different to some part of a philosophical tradition, upon which they become interwoven and somehow mean more than they would individually. Maybe this violates the individual tradition from the start though, or perhaps I'm creating my own (although I personally dislike such phrases).

Perhaps this is also because of nationality: the various folk religions in England seem to have been abandoned very quickly in favour of Christianity (it's not really clear why), to say nothing of the various peoples who conquered England or were even invited to take over in some capacity (Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans/French, Dutch, Germans). There are also plenty more imported from the various places England/Britain colonised.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Re: Tradition

Postby Heith » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:51 am

I'd like to add, in case it's unclear from my usual gibberish, that I don't favour the tradition of my own birth place, but am quite interested of this on a global scale. I readily admit that I don't have as wide a knowledge on many things as I probably should though, and my understanding of many matters pales in comparison to that of my fellow brethren. :)
Jiva wrote:Actually, I am something of the opposite :P. Although I also like to be knowledgeable regarding certain traditions and various histories, I don't necessarily feel much attachment to them as isolated traditions. I think a lot of attachment I have is due to noticing similarities/differences between things, e.g. some part of a mythological tradition is similar/different to some part of a philosophical tradition, upon which they become interwoven and somehow mean more than they would individually. Maybe this violates the individual tradition from the start though, or perhaps I'm creating my own (although I personally dislike such phrases).
I believe that the wider the variety of fields of study, the better one understands a certain tradition and humanity as a whole. For example, if I would only study, say, pottery from Pompeii, but never look into how the culture around it was made- arts, politics, religion, even fashion, or the cultures it traded with, I would fail to understand why the pot from Pompeii is made in the way it is made.

I'm also quite interested of comparative religion, for example, but it's not always from religious study that I get a new idea. I can simply see a little diagram meant for another thing entirely, or like lately, I've been discussing with a friend of mine who is writing a paper on social studies, which has proven quite useful for my own tinkering around the subject of Shamanism.

I don't believe that any tradition ought to be a taboo in a sense that it can not be discussed, compared to others, critiqued and studied. Actually, I would wish that people would study a bit more but then again, it's distinctive for our time that everyone feels entitled to mystic sounding title X, without having to work for it or develop in any way. But this last sentence here again makes me a traditionalist :D
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Re: Tradition

Postby Nefastos » Sun May 08, 2016 7:06 pm

Speaking of tradition brings to mind the occult school of Traditionalism, as understood by authors like Guenon, Evola, & others.

As you know, philosophers of that school claim that even though the one perennial esoteric wisdom is the root of all the different religions & traditions, one should choose one of those forms & keep to it, rather than forming an amalgam in a way that theosophists, New Age people or even us of the Star of Azazel are trying to do.

While I agree with these traditionalist philosophers in their idea that goes against surficial attitude and easy answers, I am against their idea that we should place our minds and trust to the things past. For it is precisely the very dharma or the tradition (!) of our own time to form a syncretistic whole. In that kind of work, no less temperance and sutlety is needed than when following only one tradition, that was the way of the old.

My idea stems from another claim, that there are seven points of contact to God (the Absolute or the noumena or the world in itself as the sacred Meaning), and these are in the form of the primal trinity, the one projected from it as the secondary trinity, and the point in the middle as the seventh - and that this seventh point keeps in itself all the others. So there are 6 + 1 traditions, like there are 6 + 1 cakras (six in a body and seventh above it), where the seventh holds in itself all the others. I would also say that the seventh precisely is the one called Satan, or Shiva, or the one who is wholly immanent at the same time S/He is wholly transcendent. That seventh one is the "Star of Azazel" in a way that seeks to unite the opposite traditions.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Tradition

Postby obnoxion » Tue May 10, 2016 6:15 pm

I am heavily influenced by Traditionalism, though I dislike its radical and political forms. The more radical Traditionalism gets, the more it tends to stress the fact that Traditionalism itself is a modern school of thought and most certainly a sign of the times.

I myself am an occultis, and by that I mean that I am a realigious syncretist. And that is mostly frowned upon by many if not most Traditionalist. I do understand why that is, because there are just so many superficial examples of syncretism.

If I wouldn't have found The Star Of Azazel, I
would likely have in the end dedicated myself to one living Tradition, most likely Tantric Buddhism. But I feel very strongly that The Star Of Azazel can be seen as an emeging authentic Tradition, that is, a living link to the Perennial Source of all Traditions.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Tradition

Postby Jiva » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:05 pm

Nefastos wrote:Speaking of tradition brings to mind the occult school of Traditionalism, as understood by authors like Guenon, Evola, & others.

As you know, philosophers of that school claim that even though the one perennial esoteric wisdom is the root of all the different religions & traditions, one should choose one of those forms & keep to it, rather than forming an amalgam in a way that theosophists, New Age people or even us of the Star of Azazel are trying to do.
Yeah, there is a certain irony regarding Evola and Guenon – and Traditionalism in general – in that they espoused some sort of comparative approach to provide evidence of a universal esoteric doctrine, but then decided to focus predominantly on a single tradition. Perhaps it’s also ironic that they chose ‘exotic’ traditions that were foreign to their European upbringing, i.e. Hinduism and Islam.

Nefastos wrote:While I agree with these traditionalist philosophers in their idea that goes against surficial attitude and easy answers, I am against their idea that we should place our minds and trust to the things past. For it is precisely the very dharma or the tradition (!) of our own time to form a syncretistic whole. In that kind of work, no less temperance and sutlety is needed than when following only one tradition, that was the way of the old.
Actually, I’ve recently been thinking of comparative mythology or a syncretisation/amalgamation of mythology based on something Heidegger, of all people, mentions. Basically, he recognises the temptation to investigate and syncretise various cultures in an attempt to reveal some shared and hidden primordial knowledge, yet states that this syncretisation doesn’t guarantee an understanding of what has been ordered. The way he poses this is quite interesting: he defines this temptation as a tranquilising entanglement in the everyday world where this syncretic ordering will supposedly lead to a “full and genuine ‘life’”. He rejects the idea that this understanding will lead to a “night view” or “nocturnal side”, but rather a modified grasp of the “everyday word” (although there is a certain and, I think, deliberate irony here: does understanding one/day not contribute to the possibility, at least, of an understanding of the other/night). As this is Heidegger, it’s posed in a Nietzschean way, so I’ve been thinking of this as establishing a natural order of things in order to overturn it as Nietzsche proposed to do to Platonic metaphysics – in other words, Heidegger’s ‘destruktion’ or Derrida’s ‘différance’. In pretentious postmodern terms: to raise something then raze it – same pronunciation, opposite meanings.

Conversely, Heidegger also states that he views it equally futile to attempt to try and uncover some hidden primordial knowledge by tracing a single culture back to some supposed primordial point as well, which could describe the Traditionalist approach. He basically considers such an approach to be beyond our horizon of knowledge – I’m fairly sure he describes it as “mysticism”.

Both of these points were probably made in relation to the various völkisch or neo-pagan movements in the German-speaking world at that time, which often emphasised some sort of pan-Aryan/Germanic solar worship, but I think apply to comparative mythology in esotericism in general. Basically, I think there is either a tendency to conclude when similarities between mythologies are recognised, or focus on one as a historical representative of all mythologies in totality.

But yeah, I agree on this point and still think comparing mythologies etc. is incredibly useful, because I think various things can be revealed this way – by the challenge of something other. However, this is not the academic approach of simply recording things by daylight, but evolving mythology somewhat by taking to new places. There is a direct part to be played by a questioning individual; perhaps this would satisfy Heidegger’s criteria of a “night view/nocturnal side” as an experiential attempt to use varying mythological traditions to penetrate into the other. I guess this is not unlike Jung’s approach which freely utilised the symbolism of solar ascents and lunar descents: his comparative approach to mythology and application to psychology, and subsequent inner journeys of discovery.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Re: Tradition

Postby Nokkonen » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:17 am

Jiva wrote: Conversely, Heidegger also states that he views it equally futile to attempt to try and uncover some hidden primordial knowledge by tracing a single culture back to some supposed primordial point as well, which could describe the Traditionalist approach. He basically considers such an approach to be beyond our horizon of knowledge – I’m fairly sure he describes it as “mysticism”.

Both of these points were probably made in relation to the various völkisch or neo-pagan movements in the German-speaking world at that time, which often emphasised some sort of pan-Aryan/Germanic solar worship, but I think apply to comparative mythology in esotericism in general. Basically, I think there is either a tendency to conclude when similarities between mythologies are recognised, or focus on one as a historical representative of all mythologies in totality.
I think that both approaches are valid, Traditionalist approach of following single train of thought to its beginnings, and comparing variety of thoughts to gain an understanding of some wider truths. However, I personally consider both approaches games of mind and try to not get too attached on them because truth seems to elude dogmatic thinking. I view things this way both academically and in my esoteric thinking.

The "tradition" I've academically studied the most is shamanism. I don't think it's a single tradition in a sense that there's a wide variety of phenomena that are thought of as shamanic, and they can be found from wide variety of cultures. Shamanism is interesting because the recurring patterns of thought seem so old (there are same stories found from Scandinavia, Siberia, and Alaska, for example), but the practice in itself is ever changing since it's oral and thus subject to time. What I've understood too, that even traditional shamans who still have traditional training and traditional position in their communities often accept new inventions. Some might even read Michael Harner and general anthropological studies on shamanism to spruce up their own practice. Would that make it less authentic and tradititional and more syncretic?

Anyhow, I've become intensely interested in cognitive studies of religion because cognitive studies target the one thing on basis of all human knowledge systems, the brain. And the methodology and technology with which to study brain has evolved tremendously. I'm fairly certain that many shamanic (and other religious) practices are just naturally found techniques to altered and mystic states of consciousness (although I have no way to really assess that through cultural studies). Altered states of consciousness, on their part, are often experienced as highly significant and "true" which might point us toward something real that I, in my own practice, call Life, the Immanent, the Ineffable All, and so on. Yes, it's good to go deep and wide when studying these matters.

In more esoteric context, I wonder if thoughts become traditions simply because they are better at their job than others. For example, I've studied Raider-Waite tarot which is now considered quite traditional and authoritative although it was only published in 1910, and I find it utterly magical. It produces energetical images (for lack of better term) in my mind like no other deck is ever able to, and its current status as the go-to tarot deck must surely result from other people feeling the same about it. It touches the truth, perhaps, in the same way than other popular systems of thought do.

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