Tradition: The Cloak of Truth

Tradition is that by virtue of which world is, and remains, in relation with truth. It is the rope that has descended from heaven to earth so to provide the condition for man’s ascend from earth to heaven. It is the vertical revelation in space followed by the horizontal reverberation in time. It signifies at once God’s point of entrance to the world and man’s point of exit from the world. It is the fertile soil surrounding the wormhole that connects the relative to the absolute, facticity to necessity, mortality to immortality, and man to God. Tradition at once keeps man in relation with truth and protects him from the blinding radiation of naked truth.

The projection of this principle in the cosmic plane is the earth’s relation to the sun. Earth is kept suitable for life in virtue of its vicinity to the source, but this vicinity is at once mediated by earth’s magnetic field which protects life from the intense radiations of the sun. A perfect example of a vicinity without such protective shield, truth without tradition, is the planet Mars. The point of departure between Mars and Earth insofar as it concerns the possibility of life is the presence of the magnetic field. Mars due to its cold and rigid core has lost its magnetic field which has the primary function of shielding its surface against sun’s harmful radiation, mainly the gamma radiation. All planets begin with hot cores, and hence a magnetic field that envelopes and shields the planet. Mars, however, has lost its magnetic properties long ago. Mars is an example of the Earth’s possible future. It is an instance of man without tradition. Perhaps our time signifies such a transition to a Martian state for man.

It should be seen that sun had to be shielded in order for it to be known as sun. That man as the product of billions of years of organic and inorganic evolution has come to be, and hence has come to know the cosmos as cosmos, the sun as the sun, is precisely due to the magnetic field that kept man safe enough against the sun so he could come to know the sun. In the same manner, knowledge of truth requires a shielding layer that protects and above all prepares man for the attainment of such knowledge. Otherwise, truth will never come to be known as truth, sun known as sun, which requires an intelligence for whom sun is the sun, the very source of such intelligence and its development. The cosmos that is now the object of man’s consciousness is the very condition for man’s existence, and hence the condition for the existence of man’s consciousness of cosmos precisely as this cosmos. In other words, man which is nothing but a state of the universe has come to know this universe as universe, and himself as a state of this universe. More precisely, man looking at the universe and contemplating it as universe is nothing but universe being conscious of itself as universe: Universe has attained self-consciousness through man whose consciousness functions as the mirror in which the universe sees its own image. But this mirror, man’s consciousness, is itself a part of the universe that is the object of man’s consciousness. The universe, as the whole, is what it is only as reflected in the part. The whole is known through the part; this is only possible if and only if the part already contains the whole in some fashion.

The whole is the universe; the part is man’s consciousness; but the whole, the universe, is something known in man’s consciousness. In other words, the universe that contains man’s consciousness is itself something contained in man’s consciousness. It is in man’s consciousness that the universe is known as the universe that contains man’s consciousness. When we assert that “this universe is a universe that is independent of man’s consciousness” this assertion is itself an assertion of consciousness, hence something known in consciousness. The very idea of objectivity which means independence from consciousness is itself an idea of consciousness.

A universe existing in the absence of consciousness can be known only in thought or imagination; but only consciousness can think or imagine its own absence as thought and imagination are modes of consciousness. Therefore, a universe independent of consciousness can exist only for a consciousness and as consciousness, hence depending on consciousness or else it is never known, that is, its idea can never become an object of consciousness. When we use the word universe we must remember that by it we mean the “knowledge of universe.” Even if this universe is partly unknown, it is for consciousness that it is partly unknown, for knowledge or its absence are possibilities of consciousness. Thus, an objective universe can exist only for and within consciousness because objectivity is meaningless in the absolute absence of consciousness. Object is identical with the knowledge of object. An object existing apart from our knowledge of it is itself part of our knowledge of the object, the object of knowledge here being the objectivity of the object. If anything exists it can only be knowledge itself.

To make it short: The whole is a reflection in the part. The part is a projection of the whole. Thus, man and cosmos must be essentially the same thing. Otherwise, the universe could never be known as the universe, and hence it could never contain man as man.

Man and Cosmos are united in and through knowledge which is the sense of containment of one in the other. There is Macrocosm, Microcosm, and Pure Consciousness: Macrocosm is a reflection in Microcosm; Microcosm is a projection of a Macrocosm. The light that makes possible the reflection and projection is the light of the spirit or pure consciousness. This archetype is none other than the Trinity of Father-Son-Holy Spirit in Christianity. Through the projection of the light of the sun on earth, the earth becomes man in whose consciousness the cosmos is reflected as cosmos, known as cosmos. This knowledge of truth was a possibility for man only in virtue of the protective function of tradition: Tradition is a cosmic possibility that at once conceals to protect and reveals to liberate.          

7 thoughts on “Tradition: The Cloak of Truth

  1. Great observation! Many times the cloak of tradition becomes more important than Truth itself. But also Truth without the cloak of tradition does not survive! A tradition based on direct perception of Truth will be as immortal as the Truth itself and will keep producing men of Truth, whereas a tradition without stress on direct perception of Truth will remain soulless. A tradition based on direct perception of Truth is like everyone setting the time in their watches with respect to the Sun, whereas a tradition based on individual belief is like each one having their own time and so the harmony can be never found!

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    1. That is very true, and here I meant by tradition world’s great traditions which are all based on direct perceptions of truth. I assumed that any practice that is not based on truth won’t become a tradition in the first place. If we define tradition to be revealed knowledge and practices that survive time and become accepted among a people, then it has to be grounded in truth or otherwise it wouldn’t survive. Of course the direct perception of truth doesn’t happen to majority since such attainment requires a life time of devotion. And revealed traditions are for all and not for the few who have attained to that truth; not everyone can be saved by Plato; and those who had direct perceptions do not need tradition as much as those who haven’t. But fortunately all great traditions, the revealed traditions of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. are grounded in the direct perception of truth. There is no doubt that there are in all of these traditions corruptions and misrepresentations, but these instances arise from people and are not inherent to truth itself. Wherever there is power there is the possibility of corruption; and nothing is more powerful than truth; maybe that is why religion and politics have most abused :).
      Nothing that is not grounded in truth can survive time; for instance Atheism or materialism will never become a tradition since they are grounded in superstitious beliefs.


      1. Thanks Tomaj. I was stressing more on the tradition of “seeking Truth”. One who has realized the Truth has already contributed to the tradition though he himself has gone beyond the need for tradition. But he is the latest link in the chain of immortals who have found Truth and thus keeps the tradition alive. Wherever this seeking of Truth is not alive, there either the cloak of tradition has gained importance more than pursuing Truth itself or the uninvestigated beliefs of materialism or atheism etc have gained upper hand. The revealed Truths have to be kept as reference and every one has to go all the way to rediscover the Truth in themselves. This is called faith and not merely believing. Also they have to remain agnostic only till Truth is found (which is the original intent of the word) and not remain agnostic throughout life for the fashion of it, which seems to be the modern trend. We cannot separate people from tradition just like we cannot separate consciousness from anything! So if people don’t heed the Truth and go their own way due to laziness or pleasure then they have to suffer the separation from the whole which manifests as anxiety, fear, doubt, insecurity etc. So it is also important to realize that Truth is as important to mind as food is important to body and so one has to necessarily seek it even at the cost of not having food !! That is the tradition of Truth seekers.

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  2. dear javid the Martian.
    few lines copied from that you revealed from consciousness. the tradition at times twisted so much it does not permit true interpretation of father-son-holy spirit and thus protecting from radiation. for the cancer of ignorance we need radiation. my love and salutation.
    Tradition is a cosmic possibility that at once conceals to protect(continue to be earthlings) and reveals(martian) to liberate.
    Tradition at once keeps man in relation with truth and protects him from the blinding radiation of naked truth.
    The whole is known through the part; this is only possible if and only if the part already contains the whole in some fashion.
    The very idea of objectivity which means independence from consciousness is itself an idea of consciousness.
    i copied the following from
    Lyrics in Sanskrit Lyrics in English
    ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |
    Om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate
    (Om poornam-adah poornam-idah poorna-aat poornam-udachyate)
    पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||
    Poornasya poornamaadaaya poornamevaavashishṣyate
    (Om poorna-asya poornam-aadaaya poornam-evaa vashishyate)
    ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ||
    Om shaantih shaantih shaantih
    English Lyrics Meaning in English (with word by word meaning)
    Om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate
    Om, That is complete, This is complete, From the completeness comes the completeness
    (Om=sound of creation, holy word; Poornam=Complete, Adah=that; poornam=complete;poornamadah=that is complete; idam=this; poornamidam=this is complete; poornaat=from completeness; udachyate=comes, rises; poornamudachyate=comes completeness)
    Poornasya poornamaadaaya poornamevaavashishṣyate
    If completeness is taken away from completeness, Only completeness remains
    (Poorna=complete; asya=from; Poornasya=From completeness; poornamaadaaya=remove completeness; poornam=complete, eva=only; vashishyate=remains; poornamevaavashishṣyate=Only completeness remains)
    Om shaantih shaantih shaantih
    Om, Peace peace peace
    (Om=sound of creation, holy word; shaantih=Peace)

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  3. I read this following quote earlier today – in Dharma Quotes – November 13, 2014


    The basic logic that hot is hot, cold is cold, daytime is light, and nighttime is dark, is tradition. It is the truth and at the same time it is tradition. Enlightenment is also the height of this kind of common sense. Therefore, it is regarded as a tradition. It is also regarded as infallible, as true and powerful. It never can be contradicted. Chogyam Trungpa.



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