A Word on Traditions

Throughout much of our world, it may seem that many familiar ways of life are being displaced, succeeded by the relentless, fractured nature of contemporary life. Even as material wealth and scientific knowledge flourish, matters of the spirit appear overlooked and forgotten.

For more than a decade, I've journeyed to remote corners of the world, seeking to understand how traditional cultures adapt to our ever-changing world. Would these cultures be able to resist the unabating forward-march of society, or be helplessly relegated to the dusty corners of history? What I found surprised me. 

Traditions are not static, needing to resist change or to be made obsolete and swept away. Like water, they flow from the high to the low places, imparting meaning and purpose to our lives. Like deep water, their purpose becomes clear when we still ourselves, and gaze into the dark of their reflected surface. They are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves; in them resides the vast wellspring of human wisdom, accumulated drop by painstaking drop, the experiences of uncountable lifetimes. Traditions don't ever die. But they do change and grow and evolve, like you and me. 

It's with this comforting thought that I offer these images to you, as mementos, reminders that despite the changes we face, there traditions will be also: walking alongside us, guiding us into new uncharted waters. 


Thirty spokes
meet in the hub.
Where the wheel isn't
is where it's useful.

-Dao De Jing, 4th Century BCE

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