Collegium Wikia

Tradition is most importantly a tradition of apotheosis.

These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me.

Walt Whitman

Tradition seeps.

— G.E.[1]

To identify oneself today as a man of Tradition is to be committed to the transmission of the received heritage for the benefit of future generations.

— "Raido"[2]


‘Tradition’ refers to a passing down the generations of something. I.e. it refers to a transgenerational transmission. ‘Tradition’ has been noted to refer to especially tradums with symbolic meaning or special significance to a group. Wikip. a18 notes, common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes (like lawyers' wigs or military officers' spurs), and social norms such as greetings.

Tradition moves through various branches, often referred to as ‘traditions’ or ‘schools’.

There must be “branches” because nothing can be known except in the mode of the knower[.]

— Coomaraswamy, 1939

In circles connected with the Traditionalism Concept men speak of Tradition, referring to Prisca Theologia aka. Prisca Sapientia, yet sometimes it turns out they're partly referring to their fantasy tradition and/or a tradition of prejudices.

How Tradition manifests is similar in theory to ‘Trotsky's theory of Combined and Uneven Development’.

  • Those who study traditions: e.g. Traditionalists.
  • See: difference between tradition & superstition.
  • See: Apotheotic Tradition; Roman Tradition, Medieval Tradition, Christian Tradition, Romish Tradition, Primordial Tradition, Chinese Tradition, American Tradition.


tradition (n.)

late 14c., "statement, belief, or practice handed down from generation to generation," especially "belief or practice based on Mosaic law," from Old French tradicion"transmission, presentation, handing over" (late 13c.) and directly from Latintraditionem (nominative traditio) "delivery, surrender, a handing down, a giving up," noun of action from past participle stem of tradere "deliver, hand over," from trans-"over" (see trans-) + dare "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). The word is a doublet of treason (q.v.). Meaning "a long-established custom" is from 1590s. The notion is of customs, ways, beliefs, doctrines, etc. "handed down" from one generation to the next.


The Traditionalist School is a group of 20th- and 21st-century thinkers concerned with what they consider to be the demise of traditional forms of knowledge, both aesthetic and spiritual, within Western society. The principal thinkers in this tradition are René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Frithjof Schuon. Other important thinkers in this tradition include Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, Jean-Louis Michon, Marco Pallis, Huston Smith, Hossein Nasr, Jean Borella, and Julius Evola. Within its dialectic, Traditionalism came to speak of the ‘Man of Tradition’.[2] Tradition is its own root; radix ipsius, and is unchanging.  

Etymologically, ‘Tradition’ derives from the Latin tradere, a verb formed from trans (= ‘beyond’) + dare (= ‘to hand over’); hence, it indicates the act of passing something over and should be understood as ‘that which is transmitted’. Tradition consists not in the conservation or consolidation of exterior appearances or of things the meaning of which is no longer understood: Tradition rather indicates the direct and effective transmission of a heritage that is non-human and essentially spiritual in origin. ...

It would be correct in this context to speak of an ‘Immanent Transcendence’: of a spiritual force, that is, which operates as a living, dynamic and creative presence through institutions, cultures, customs, laws, religions and the like, making spiritual and supra-individual values the axis and supreme point of reference for the general ordering of things. This allows underlying principles to be passed on from one age to another, in such a way that all human actions may uniformly be directed upwards, in line with a general ideal.[2] Tradition is eternal, universal, and open to all those capable of understanding and experiencing it. Diversities in language, customs, laws or religions do not contradict the underlying unity of Tradition. What changes is only the way in which Truth is expressed: as its essence remains unvaried, each traditional form can be seen as a specific adaptation of the primordial Tradition out of which all traditions derive. This adaptation has occurred in order to make Truth accessible to peoples that inhabit different places and possess different characters. Tradition has no beginning and no end: it always was and always will be, and will maintain its validity and legitimacy in all ages and lands. What is eternal should not be confused with that which is perennial and lasts for a long time: what is eternal is situated above time and cannot undergo any possible change.[2]


The essence of the tradition is not a doctrine, but rather a community of spirits from age to age.


There must be “branches” because nothing can be known except in the mode of the knower; however strongly we may realize that all roads lead to one Sun, it is equally evident that each man must choose that road which starts from the point at which he finds himself at the moment of setting out.

— Coomaraswamy, 1939

Take the notion of tradition: it is intended to give a special temporal status to a group of phenomena that are both successive and identical (or at least similar); it makes it possible to rethink the dispersion of history in the form of the same; it allows a reduction of the difference proper to every beginning, in order to pursue without discontinuity the endless search for the origin; tradition enables us to isolate the new against a background of permanence, and to transfer its merit to originality, to genius, to the decisions proper to individuals.

— Foucault

“It is important for scholars to confine themselves to those languages that have almost exclusively been used in learned writing,” he declared. “The reason is that they do not depend for their guarantee on ordinary people. The people are poor custodians of quality.” said Eramus, the inventor of what became the tradition of Upper-Classes learning Greek Classics.

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.


Nobody can make a tradition; it takes a century to make it.

— Hawthorne, "Septimius Felton," 1872

The tradition of scholarship is to stand on the shoulders of giants. Typically the scholars do not think much about the giants; they take the giants for granted; these giants, they know, are good and friendly giants; they are not gods, they do err; but their errors are accidental, random noise; it is our task, on their shoulders, to correct them.

The situation of the scholar changes once he realizes that while there are certainly plenty of giants in the crowd he is surfing, there are also more than a few ogres. The errors of the ogre are not accidental; they are sins, even crimes, of various degrees.

--- Moldbug[3]



  1. Online Wordpress blog, ca 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Raido «A Handbook of Traditional Living», a publication that consists of two texts originally published by the Italian cultural organisation Raido.
  3. "Grey Mirror" by Curtis Yarvin. Published Sep 27, 2020