“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”Gustav Mahler
The world changes rapdily on a regular basis. There’s a new president. 2020 is over. Technology connects people to one another faster than in previous eras. Despite this overwhelming change, the idea of traditionalism is rising on the internet and beyond. People are looking towards a more simplistic lifestyle as a counter culture due to a lack of satisfaction with modernity.
This phenomenon may seem new and interesting to younger generations. The truth is that there have always been individuals or communities that prefer to retain traditional values in spite of the advances in technology or changing worldviews. They’ve seen the modern world as something to be disgusted at despite the advancements man has made over the course of time for various reasons. Tradition tends to offer people a sense of guidance when they feel the modern world has failed in satisfying them on a mental or spiritual level.
Modernity in its current form offers no such framework to base one’s lifestyle upon. No blueprint is offered to discuss existence beyond material wealth and living in the moment. The media will often utter the phrase “trust the experts” despite those experts being proven wrong or misguided on numerous occasions . Younger generations do not see hope in politicians, the media, or at times, even their parents and communities. It’s as if the world betrayed them, so they seek the wisdom of times past to right the wrongs that have occured in the world. They look to something that can give them hope in a sea of degeneracy.
What one sees is a shift in consciousness. Where there is doubt in the modern institutions, there is freedom to experiment with what works. Why fix what has not been broken? There is wisdom in tradition when modernity has done little more than make one miserable. Technology and an interconnected world can make one feel lonlier than ever if there is nothing beyond today.
Numerous men and women are starting to discuss ideas such as returning to traditional gender roles due to their religions or upbringing despite the push from modern feminism and activists due to data that supports their beliefs. People are discussing returning to the idea of having kids as an act of rebellion against modern society’s push to dismantle the nuclear or extended family. The wisdom of one’s elders or the perspectives of one’s respective tribe can keep a person grounded in what matters as opposed to the superficial promises of fame and fortune. Man is a social creature. A pack animal. The way of men is the way of the tribe. Family is the first building block of civilization. The modern society doesn’t offer strong social cohesion especially in this pandemic where people aren’t allowed to gather with one’s own immediate family due to “the science”.
“A science that hesitates to forget its founders is lost.”Alfred North Whitehead
In a culture where the science is doctored and journalists are constantly writing articles about things which lack the most basic form of common sense, people will lose faith in the modern framework. They will cling to things they know work. Many would rather read than watch tv. They would rather work out and try ancient methods of dieting like intermittent fasting. Men will reclaim their manhood by returning to combat sports, hiking, hunting or other various activites which get them in touch with what made them men in the past. There are entire industries based on returning men and women to reclaiming their masculine or feminine identity instead of wanting to be confused about their gender or identity. Today’s world is so confused and unhappy there are people making money to try to instill values and traditions one’s parents should’ve taught them.
Another area where traditionalism seems to make itself known is the area of religion or spirituality. Younger generations are generally lost when it comes to this area especially in modern America. They cling to science but science, like all other beliefs, has its faults. Mainstream media clings to science as though it were a religion but has been caught red handed lying about facts and figures repeatedly. How can one maintain faith in science if it can be manipulated to suit political agendas? Returning to religion or gathering traditional ideas is an alternative option to doctored science on things like gender or understanding human nature which brings me to my next topic: philosophy.
When someone questions things like human nature, politics, or wishes to find meaning in their life, philosophy has a place in their lives. Stoicism, for example, is seeing a revival when man wants to question the universe but doesn’t seem to find faith in an external deity. The use of reason and logic can help in many areas where personal responsibility become important in one’s daily life. Returning to tradition in this sense acts as a guide to live one’s own life with a sense of principle as opposed to just going with the mainstream course of action. Taoism has also seen a resurgence in popularity as of late due to its understanding of things such as detachment, flowing with natural changes, and enjoying the journey that is life as opposed to simply thinking only of the goal. This is an ancient tradtion with many variations, but can serve as a traditional philosophy when compared to the “trust the experts” crowd who want people to run in the eternal hamster wheel of materialism.
Despite all that has been discussed, there is one area where modern man is extremely thankful. No matter how much people wish to cling to tradition, they are thankful for the conveniences in which modern society has offered. It is no longer necessary to hand wash your clothes or even your dishes. No one wants to write letters to people when email is readily available and guarantees a quicker response time. Gone are the days where one would require trips that take days to go from one area to another. For all its spiritual faults, modern science and technology has made life easier for man. That can be either seen as a solution or a problem. If I were to be the judge, I would simply advise to utilize what works both in tradition and in the modern world and discard what would make my life harder. I don’t mind being able to read my favorite philosophical book on my smartphone as opposed to having a stack of books I’d have to carry. That said, it would also be my personal responsibility to not create addictions that will overwhelm my sense of purpose and get in the way of my life. It’s fine to return to tradition so long as one is living in the present and can see things for what they are now.