Tradition allows us to connect with the past in such a way that enables us to create the future right here in the present. It is the blueprint which determines the values and the state of mind of the people–the ethos of a civilization–which ultimately preponderates any written law in society. The mentality that is cultivated in the minds of the people is the true law here, and so long as the people are peaceful they are simply giving their government permission to exist simply through their nonviolence. So if reared properly, the people will show greater loyalty to the ways of their ancestors and to what they’ve been raised with than to any impersonal law or ruler. Tradition thus becomes, in part, a safety net for the masses should their government become unreliable and their revolt against corruption demands legitimacy. And a movement gains greater legitimacy by invoking the authority of the ancestors and the ways of old than by appealing to people’s sense of morality or selfishness.
This is however much more than just imitating those who came before us as a means of control. There is real spiritual power to this process, and it is in fact the science of building civilizations and keeping them alive, tradition being an organ which helps to maintain homeostasis within society. The process here is simple. The traditional rites are imbued with spiritual power throughout the ages by those noble-hearted persons who observe them faithfully and then pass them onto their offspring. When we enact these age-old rites ourselves, we tap into that reservoir of power created over many generations and bring the wonders experienced by those in the past to life in the present, so that in the immediacy of that moment our position in time and space is actually nondifferent from when and where our ancestors were when they were enacting those rites. A spiritual atmosphere is created wherein the lines between past, present, and future are temporarily blurred. This is called mimesis. When we give these rites to our children for them to observe their whole lives, we continue the legacy and become a link in a chain that connects the past with the future. This is true aeonic magick.
This brings us to the importance of serving the bona fide spiritual master (or “Guru”), who makes the essence of tradition accessible to sincere seekers. The spiritual master is part of an unbroken chain of disciplic succession that puts the disciple in direct connection to the source of knowledge, similar to how people receive knowledge of culture and tradition from their parents and then pass that knowledge on to their own offspring. This chain of disciplic succession is called parampara. If a tradition is authentic and capable of changing the hearts of people, it can only ever come from the Supreme Being, and by His causeless mercy legitimate esoteric traditions may flow down to us, unadulterated and unchanged, through His living representatives on Earth. The path between the disciple and the source of knowledge is a simple straight line, and the Guru is the link in that chain which connects the disciple to the Source, thus the Guru is something of a Gate–a nexion–in and of himself. And the transcendental knowledge that is transmitted thusly is of such a nature that aural reception of the divine teachings directly from the lips of the spiritual master is the beginning of a very specific type of alchemical change in one’s physis. Those seeking to properly enact sacred traditions with the aim of changing themselves and the world around them should begin by seeking the association of learned authorities and hearing from them about divine subjects.