Tradition says

Tradition says that after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve forgot much about the upper three Worlds and, in particular, they forgot the way back. But the Holy One took what Adam and Eve forgot and preserved it in Language so nothing was lost. Nothing was lost, but do we remember?

The word ‘tradition’ comes from the Latin tra,trans(across, over) plus dare(to give), and means ‘to give over’, ‘to hand over’, ‘deliver’, ‘entrust’. It is defined as, “the passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication.”[1]Just as there are many cultures, there are many traditions and many types of tradition.

The historical and pre-historical story of where we came from, who we are and whywe are here is called a religious tradition. There are many different cultures, many different stories and therefore many different religious traditions. Among religious traditions, some are complete and these form the great world religions. A complete religious tradition tells about all four realities, the whole story, the Holy Story. It hands on information about all the Worlds from generation to generation. The ABBATradition is one such complete tradition.

Transmitting a tradition from one generation to another generation is a transpersonal process. One generation gives, another receives. But there is the possibility that, in the giving and receiving, the original tradition is altered. In the transmission of elements of a tradition from one generation to another there is always the danger of handing over incorrect information or too little or too much. There is the danger of betrayal. The Greek word for tradition is paradosis, from para, ‘by the side of’ or ‘beside’, and didomi, ‘to give’. The related word paradidomimeans ‘to give over’, ‘hand over’, ‘give up’, ‘deliver up’ or ‘betray’. The word ‘traitor’ comes from the same roots as the word ‘tradition’. A traitor is “one who betrays one’s country, cause, or trust.” A traitor ‘hands over’ what should not be handed over. Fear of betrayal is the reason for the rigidity that often accompanies orthodoxy and orthopraxy. But excessive concern with orthodoxy or orthopraxy runs the risk of forgetting the reason for the orthodox thinking and orthodox practice in the first place. If this happens, the lower Worlds no longer properly reflect the higher and the tradition goes astray.

One approach to ensuring that traditions are transmitted correctly is to write those traditions down, creating a body of writings, a written tradition—Scripture. So the last page of the Bible states, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”[2]Written traditions are efforts to preserve, and transmit correctly, an underlying tradition which was previously transmitted orally.

[1].American Heritage Dictionary.


[2]. Rev. 22:18-19.