Tradition: Concerning the term Tradition, it refers to the divine, eternal message which has been sent or revealed since the time of Adam. Since man is forgetful (insân), it has been necessary to confirm and actualise the divine guidance over and over again. This was on - one level - the function of those different prophets who rose throughout the course of history (some of them came with new legal systems) and on another level of those special people of insight (basîrah) and knowledge (`ilm) of Allah.
Since Modernity is opposed to Tradition, there are two concepts that can be invoked in the description of modern life: antitradition and countertradition. These may be perceived as the causes and effects of modernity.
Antitradition is the negation of Tradition. Antitradition weakens and dissolves traditional spiritualities, after which countertradition sets up a counterfeit [fn1] in their place.
In The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, René Guénon characterizes the antitradition as a mere negation of Tradition. In other words, the characteristic symptoms of modernity, such as materialism, democracy, and secular humanism are a denial of Tradition, merely in the sense of failing to recognize it; they are a deviation without actually becoming openly hostile.
When anti-tradition had succeeded in throwing the world into an atmosphere of wide-spread, general materialsm, the more inferiour forces were able to rise (to the surface). They did this under the the disguise of (what RG called) 'coutertradition.'
Countertradition, however is a step further along the path of degeneration. It is the satanic inversion of true spirituality, leading to the regime of Antichrist.
Countertradition is a caricature of spirituality and an especially fearsome counterfeit to be. In fact it is a real 'spirituality in reverse,' ... in such a way that it presents itself as the opposite (of its true nature) ... [fn4]
'It is but a false spirituality, false to the worst degree, worse than what can be apprehended.' In reality it is all about an unregulated unleashing of psychic forces, finally ending with the advent of that petended 'New Age,' into which they try their utmost to enter today's humanity.'
Tradition has however foreseen this situation, and its denouncing the 'false prophets' and 'miracle-makers' are legion in all sacred scriptures, f ex in Matthew 24, 24. [fn2]
And countertradition is exactly what is called the 'reign of the Antichrist.' This reign of the Antichrist [fn3] reunites and regroupes all the forces of the countertradition into 'a false spiritual restauration.'
The two may be thought of as cause and effect, and is consistent with the principle of degeneration. Antitradition weakens and dissolves traditional spiritualities, after which countertradition sets up a counterfeit in their place. Since Guénon’s time, as is well known, anti-traditional forces have greatly advanced worldwide. The genesis of antitradition, is within humanism, for as Guénon states, humanism 'implies a pretension to bring everything down to purely human elements' (p 193). Guénon further goes on to posit that Protestantism and rationalism are further examples of the early antitradition.
- The above short discription of the two concepts is from www.ridingthetiger.org , and it is based on the teachings by René Guénon.
- [fn1]: ”A counterfeit is worse than a simple error…” point 11
- [fn2]: ”For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Bible, NT; Matthew 24:24
- [fn3]: The System Of Antichrist: Quotes From Charles Upton
- [fn4]: What Is Traditional Islam? S H Nasr; “(Also in) Islam one must distinguish … between authentic tradition and pseudotradition. [Concerning the prophetic traditions - the hadith, this has been done throughout the centuries, and is done still today.] (Pseudotradition) is antitraditional and now more and more countertraditional, (although it) displays certain characteristics outwardly similar to the traditional.” [Superficiality, ignorance and political agendas threaten at times an objective and sincere treatment of the islamic tradition.]
"In any case, what Westeners call civilization, the others would call barbarity, because it is precisely lacking in the essential, that is to say a principle of a higher order."
RG, East And West, 1924