Tradition - 傳統 - Chuántǒng
Tradition once served a function,
but today, people are full of doubt-
Is there a true path?
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
In times of old, people didn't question Tao as they do today. It was a living tradition, encapsulated in the form of the wandering monk or the mountain sage. If one followed these teachers dutifully, one could expect to walk a good path. Today, however, the traditional teachings of Tao are dimmed by social strife and civil war. Political machinations and the death of learned masters has also reshaped the outward forms of Tao that we readily see. Wealth and technology hold the attention of the majority of people; where is the room for Tao? Adopting arcane methods of study will not lead to success.
Discover Tao for yourself. Seeking it, in the here and now, means finding the spirit of tradition, instead of copying the way of one's ancestors. How can we reproduce the past? The old ways are gone.
Tao is different for different people, depending on the times in which they lived. Indeed, one may say that Tao today has gone in unexpected directions. We must adapt, but for the sake of contemporary worship, we should not seek out dangerous shortcuts nor should we engage in casual omission. Once we find the path for ourselves, today, we walk it with the same determination as our spiritual ancestors.