There are those people who are simply the carriers of tradition but yet they don’t hold the heart of it. They are more interested in the rules and the rituals rather than the spirit.
They are the envelope,
but not the letter.
They are the vase,
but not the flower.
There the cup,
but not the wine.
These things need containers to hold them, certainly. How much of the awakening right now is because tradition has kept things going all along, held it in trust for us? It is as if our ancestors have saved up money for us all these thousands of years and now we are finally able to buy what they were saving for. Not only do we finally have enough saved up but finally what we need to buy is available. This is a time of ripening, of fruition, of opening.
The tradition bearers are confused when the younger generation has started to fill the tradition with heart and meaning. They think the tradition is more important – that it must be kept. They are afraid something will be lost in translation and that the unbroken (they think) chain of transmission will fall apart and the efforts of many generations will be in vain.
It is as if a family kept a house up for many years, cleaning it, repairing it, painting it exactly the same way it had been painted thousands of years ago. They have used the same materials that their ancestors used. But nobody lived there. It was a house, but not a home. Then a new generation comes in and says now is the time for people to live here, and the old generation balks. They are afraid the tenants will damage the house – not understanding the house was maintained for this very purpose.
The same thing is happening with faith traditions right now.