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Why traditions?

Earlier this month I was confronted by ~ “traditions are an illusion”.

I reacted instantly with indignation and offense. My solar plexus felt slammed, as I searched for ‘legitimate’ words to string together to make a counteractive, defensive verbal retaliation.

But then I paused… & I mused… Why had the comment rattled me so?

And the musing delved deeper within… and subsequently… I completely surprised myself.

Yes ~ my love of traditions is a dream. Some would call that an illusion.

But, it is my active creative dream.

‘A native is one who belongs to a place by virtue of birth… somehow your initial belonging to a particular place seeps into your heart in a way that can never be washed out again. Your first years in a place are the time when the main elements of your personality and presence are conditioned by the place, its inhabitants and the tonality of life and atmosphere of souls that were there.’
(Eternal Echoes – John O’Donahue)

Each individual must reprocess his tradition in the light of his own experiences; some merely pass it on, while others change it… Any process of re-creation thus involves a rejection of some aspect of the inherited past as it does a reinvention or revitalisation of others. The problem of tradition can be solved if we see it as the basis of our own realisation, not if we regard it as the sole custodian of ultimate truth. Tradition can guide us, but merely repeating what we have inherited will not suffice. We have to add to it, to grow beyond it, to discover our own truths. Tradition is, indeed, the repository of truth, but it does not restrict or close truth’s domain. In fact, it yields itself only to someone who undertakes the discipline to understand it. Thus, tradition is renewed; and unless such renewal takes place periodically, tradition is lost. Like a path on which no one walks anymore, it will be covered with weeds and brambles.

Excerpts from: Why Traditions Must Evolve To Stay Relevant by Makarand Paranjape

My delving into the possibility that my belief system was perhaps a ‘childhood fantasy bubble of illusion’; raised a question?

At what point did I choose how to ‘be’ as a person?

Independent and yet embracing of my childhood instruction and upbringing?

When did I decide to accept the values and traditions of my family and community, as my own cornerstones for the way in which I wanted to live my life?

Because that is what happened. I made my own choice, in love of the traditions of my childhood, and I now choose to live within these guiding principles.

In times of fragmentation and dislocation, more than ever a sense of belonging is yearned.

Let’s inspire each other with creative endeavours to share traditions and ways of life.

As I ponder my traditional values, I will continue to creatively dream… to choose… and somehow I will find my way.

My own creative projects are in essence ‘renditions of tradition’… of words, sound, images, footage.

It is my hope that this sharing inspires you with your own creationsyour own possibilities… knowing there is an unlimited sense of the ‘ways’ of the creative spirit.

Let’s begin.

– Jodie Williams

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