Tag Archives: custom

Essential distinctions in polytheism (part 2): Traditionalism v.s Modernism

open hands on skySince I have named my site traditional polytheist, it remains for me to explain the choice of that particular adjective. The word tradition is derived from the Latin traditio, which signifies the action of handing over something to someone. In English, the meaning has shifted originally from something acquired from those before (as oral tradition), to custom itself. But in these modern times, the word custom has acquired a rather unfavorable connotation among many in civilized society, being especially considered as a remnant of Christian hegemony and how it imposed its ways upon the rest of the world by force. Although it is true that perhaps most customs in Europe and elsewhere today derive from Abrahamic religions, a studious eye will find that there are a great many others, practised originally by polytheists, which have escaped persecution and prohibition throughout the years.

It is necessary to make distinctions within this notion of custom to comprehend the nature of traditionalism better and pass a judgment upon it fairly. Any thinking person will agree that custom and tradition in themselves are not bad or corrupt notions, because they represents a very natural thing common to both man and animal, i.e. transferring experience or conduct from one generation to another. Even animals understand that individual experience, without a strong foundation of older experience to support it, often brings about huge dangers and failings that could lead to death. In a human case, custom and tradition are experiences and institutions that are worthy of attention and adherence, because they not only teach us lessons that prevent faults, but also elevate our condition with culture, something which animals lack the mind or means to acquire. By removing custom, we remove culture, and hence, an essential part of ourselves.

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