Lecture 246 – Tradition, its Divine and Distorted Aspects | Abbreviated Version

P1             Tradition in its real sense means the continuation of faith in eternal truths and values. Once a cosmic reality has been discovered and has been expressed in human life, those who experience the inevitable beauty, goodness and rightness of it, logically attempt to continue its expression. Please keep in mind that all true values, values of whatever nature, must have been at one point in time a breakthrough from the world of spirit.

To keep these values alive, it is necessary to feel and inwardly experience the particular truth in question. Ritual celebrations can do this, but they are not necessarily a guarantee for the continuous aliveness of a specific truth. A ritual can be an empty gesture. True tradition is therefore a continuous re-experiencing of the original breakthrough from inner worlds or other realities, a re-experiencing today of a dynamic aliveness, no matter how long ago the tradition may have been formed.

Tradition, in its best sense, means adherence to eternal values or to certain aspects of these values, depending on which particular tradition we have in mind. Tradition in its distorted sense means a dead weight, a meaningless carryover. Carrying over a tradition in an unthinking attitude, adhering to a blind habit that does not make sense, that fails to elucidate through acts or attitudes the divine truth contained in the tradition in question, signifies death.

Politics and religion, to name but a few aspects of life, are very clearly influenced by and also reflect a specific society’s attitude to tradition. There are those who put so much value on tradition that all common sense goes overboard when a tradition is at stake. They rigidly reject any change, which is of course a most foolish attitude, because the very tradition they adhere to now came into being at one time through change. True tradition must therefore always be coupled with change.

Those who follow tradition blindly and meaninglessly create extreme orthodoxies in religion and politics—and of course within the human soul. It springs from the misunderstood message of the soul to preserve the truths, the beauty, and the values that were given in the past. There are also those who rebel against all tradition; they rebel against its meaningless, dead manifestation, just as much as against its real, alive manifestation.

This blind attitude is a result of the belief that only new findings can be of value, that all that has existed in the past must be inferior or invalid. The new-age person will neither blindly worship tradition, nor blindly rebel against it. He or she will take every specific tradition, as it becomes an issue in his life, and will examine it with intelligence and self-honesty.

Do you have a personal stake in maintaining this or that tradition? Does living this tradition make sense in your life now? Ask yourself if the old tradition has been superseded by truths and values that are more meaningful for you today or not. On this earth sphere you talk about old and new. On a level of deeper spiritual reality, neither of these terms makes any sense. There is neither old nor new, and there is both. Everything already exists and always has existed, and always will exist. What is new on earth is that a certain aspect of ultimate reality “vibrates through” into the world of matter.

You must remember that the level of matter is a condensation of finer vibratory forms. Matter comes into existence by spiritual forms pulsating “outwardly.” When the contraction occurs, life withdraws and matter disintegrates. The forms that exist in the world of finer vibrations do not only manifest as objects, although objects certainly bear witness to the existence of these forms.

There is no object on earth that does not have its origin in spirit, where it is perhaps “used” in a different way, because of the different conditions that exist in the world of spirit. Its essence is “pulsated through” into matter, and there it recreates its original form in a modified way, in a symbolic way, in an adjusted way that fits the circumstances on this level of reality. Aside from objects we are of course dealing with concepts, abstract ideas, values, truths, laws, and so on.

P4             Tradition in our world describes merely an aspect of a certain specific reality. It refers to the reality of valuing eternal truth in its manifold manifestations, or perhaps in a certain specific manifestation. As this attitude vibrates through into your dimension of reality, it becomes diminished, modified and separated from its entire meaning. In the fourth sphere a unity is split into a duality, whereby much of its original meaning is lost or distorted.

It is always possible for you to recapture the original meaning and thus open up to a further influx of various levels. The other aspect—counter-tradition—also exists in our world, in our dimension of reality that is always ready to break into your reality and thus to expand your reality. It exists as the constant movement toward renewing and giving new life to the eternal truths and laws.

P5             When you trust the new/old truth and do not obstruct it, you incorporate it in your life and thus your entire consciousness is widened and expanded; wisdom, freedom and abundance is added on to you. Growth must combine the old and the new. People stopped the movement due to their fear of antagonizing those who obstruct further movement, change and expansion. They lacked the vitality to withstand opposition to further expansion and movement.

P6             Let us make a brief review, about the various phases of this path until now. The mind needs to be totally emptied in the sense of a recent answer I gave to a question. All preconceived notions need to be challenged and examined—this means openness to change. On the emotional level a similar process occurs, but it needs to be approached in a different way.

In order to cleanse emotions and make them life-affirming, rather than life-destroying, you must have clear and truthful concepts. Emotions cannot live in a void, without any mental processes because the human being is a thinking and discriminating creature. Humans are not meant to live by blind emotions. To develop their emotional nature, they need to go through the process of accepting their feelings, no matter how destructive they may be.

People must learn to find a way to express them without damage to themselves or others, then they can begin to change them. This requires their full intelligence and the maturity of their mental processes so that a proper evaluation of the feelings can take place. It requires their physical nature to become healthy and enlivened by creative energy. Last but not least, such change requires spiritual influx and help, without which neither the strength nor the wisdom to direct this ever-changing process can exist.

Without this constant interfacing, without the inclusion of all these levels, development would be lopsided and would therefore finally come to a halt. But in your world only a relatively small group of individuals is indeed ready for this evolution of their personal being. A renewal of this kind brings about an untold expansion of personal happiness and fulfilment, yet this must not be the primary aim.

The primary aim must become, service to the greater cause. When this happens, the willingness to sacrifice soon turns out to be the most fulfilling act of life. The New Person—evolves out of this work that includes the totality of the individual: the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual level of being, until they are all integrated into one whole and no longer separated. Thus the thinking is the feeling, is the bodily sensation, is the prayer.

P8             In either case, your liberation and your selfhood, the discovery of inner truth that is both personal and universal, can only lie in this openness and willingness to let go and consider different possibilities. Your fear that you will thus lose your autonomy is totally false and irrational. Real autonomy must rest on what is cosmic and universal truth, not on a personal and possibly false opinion about universal truth.

P9             You thereby create tradition in the best sense and change in the best sense. You retain the values of the old and constantly eliminate values no longer applicable. This follows the same laws of digestion and elimination that apply to the body. The healthy body lives positive tradition and positive change in its marvelous apparatus of digestion, elimination and assimilation.

—The Pathwork® Guide