Tradition is a horizontal effect of a vertical cause; it is the immanent embodiment of a transcendent truth; it is the reflection of the principle in the manifestation. Tradition is that which protects the truth and the recipient. Naked truth has to be shielded, for its sight blinds the unprepared recipient. At the same time, the recipient must stay in proximity to truth for the sake of his own salvation. Tradition does precisely that: It keeps man close to truth while protecting him from its fatal radiation.
Rootlessness of modern man lies in an adolescent arrogance that has separated him from truth and tradition. Modern man is characterized by his utter forgetfulness of truth; he lives in the age of untruth. It is the age in which factual information pretends to be essential knowledge, rational inference has replaced intellectual intuition.
But truth is always present and immanent in everything due to the nature of things. The whole of existence is filled with the echo of the perennial truth. Man’s detachment from tradition and attachment to the world may throw him into a withdrawing oblivion, but it can’t disturb the continuity of language.
Language is the primordial tradition as sound is the primordial revelation. Truth, in its most subtle forms, is reflected and preserved in language.
The vertical descent of truth in the form of revelation and inspiration reverberates in the horizontal plane of language, thus leaving its tracks in almost all instances of language use. Language insofar as it is a reflection of original experience is a vehicle of truth. Truth does not lie in the world; truth dwells in the experience of the world. Thus, any authentic expression of uninterrupted experience bears the truth within it. But language as the inward tradition, much like outward traditions, also shields the naked truth. Thus, it tends to reflect the truth in more passive ways than active, that is, it bears the truth within it by concealing it from view. In many instances the individual is not even aware of the manifestation of the sacred in his/her linguistic expression. Truth is not called into language by man’s invitation; rather, truth uses man in order to embody itself in language. It is not man who chooses the truth; it is the truth that chooses man.
Language at once veils and unveils the truth. One should view language as a site filled with fossils of truth. A deep reflection on language, particularly everyday language which survives the academic and institutional distortions, can show us the metaphysical truths that have been veiled by the most ordinary expressions. And it is often the case the truth hides itself in plain sight, for man is that kind of species oblivious to his own sight while seeking the exotic in the other’s.
Truth is not in the extraordinary; it is in the most ordinary. It is the most ordinary, the closest of all, the self, that becomes the most extraordinary when see it with pure and noble eyes.