Tuesday 5 April 2022

Learn From the Past But...

 We live in a time when the past is more within our reach than ever before. We can access ancient works of literature, art and religion from within our own homes. Almost all the learning of humanity that has been preserved is at our fingertips should we choose to search it out, and more is regularly unearthed. But, at the same time, our connection to the past is being systematically destroyed. Tradition, through which our forefathers were linked to the past, is rejected almost completely, and modern education focuses increasingly on the modern world to the exclusion of earlier times. Even history in the UK, I am both amused and disturbed to find, seems to be centred on World War Two with an occasional nod to the Tudors.

When you are separated from the past you are at the mercy of those indoctrinating you in the present time. You no longer have a wide palate of thought and various differences of approach to explore and thereby enrich your mind. You are marooned in a world in which only one way is allowed and if that way is, as it now is, atheistic you are cut off from any proper idea of God who will still be around but only as an outmoded superstition. Many people today think that religion is childish but that's because their knowledge of it has never progressed beyond the child level. They have never been instructed in religion to any serious degree.

All tyrants try to destroy the past. The tyrants of the present day do exactly what has been done before but they do it more subtly. The end result is no different.

So, it makes sense to seek out the past and give yourself a greater understanding of the world than that afforded by contemporary thought (or lack of it, I am tempted to say.) However, it's not quite as simple as that. Learn from the past but do not be restricted by it. The past has much to teach us but we also have to go beyond it. When Jesus came he built on the law and the prophets. He brought something new but it was adding an extra dimension to what had come before. It did not replace it and without having that foundation his teachings would not have shed the light they did. Truth is alive and what is alive grows. It grows from what it is but it grows all the same. We too need to grow but we grow from our roots. Today, we are being cut off from our roots. Things that are cut off from their roots die.


Anonymous said...

Human beings certainly resemble something that has experienced a Fall. It doesn't require much effort, and perhaps it is a strengthening of the personality, to be able to accept and adapt oneself in view of prehistory. True beyond measure, we have come from a stock of beings that witnessed eternity extending before and beyond them, both, in time as the corporeal and beyond life as the boundary of death. In light of it, what is forgetfulness?


amen (interj.)
'Old English, from Late Latin amen, from Ecclesiastical Greek amen, from Hebrew amen "truth," used adverbially as an expression of agreement (as in Deuteronomy xxvii.26, I Kings i.36), from Semitic root a-m-n "to be trustworthy, confirm, support."

Compare similar use of Modern English certainly, absolutely. Used in Old English only at the end of Gospels, otherwise translated as SoĆ°lic! or Swa hit ys, or Sy! As an expression of concurrence after prayers, it is recorded from early 13c.'

And interestingly here:
'Amen (n.)
a primeval Egyptian personification of air and breath; worshipped especially at Thebes;
Synonyms: Amon / Amun'

Personified breath, a being out of the breath. Great mystery that is. :)

Bless Us William. This was a fantastic post. Eloquent with beauty and that touch of strength that makes it easy to pick up on the ears that hear.

William Wildblood said...

thanks TC

Lady Mermaid said...

This is why I hesitate to call myself a reactionary or traditionalist despite agreeing w/ much of those ideals stand for. While I am appalled at what's going on in the world today, I don't want to be defined solely as being in opposition to modernity.

The Enlightenment erred in rejecting Tradition rather than building and growing from it. However, simply rejecting the last three hundred years wholesale would be a huge mistake. C.S Lewis warned about error coming in pairs or correcting falsehood by erring in the opposite direction. I don't believe it's even possible as one can never go back to being a child again. Bruce Charlton worded it best that modernity seems to be stuck in rebellious adolescence. The Enlightenment was an adolescent questioning and separating oneself from previous tradition. However, we never became adults in which we realize that the lessons in childhood were overly simplistic but necessary for our growth.

William Wildblood said...

Yes, the inspiration behind modernity wasn't a mistake. We needed to move into greater freedom. But the form the inspiration took became distorted and corrupted whether by accident or design or, as I think, both.