Riches and piety will diminish daily, until the world will be completely corrupted. In those days it will be wealth that confers distinction, passion will be the sole reason for union between the sexes, lies will be the only method of success in business, and women will be the objects merely of sensual gratification. The earth will be valued only for its mineral treasures, dishonesty will be the universal means of subsistence, a simple ablution will be regarded as sufficient purification…The observances of castes, laws, and institutions will no longer be in force in the Dark Age, and the ceremonies prescribed by the Vedas will be neglected. Women will obey only their whims and will be infatuated with pleasure…men of all kinds will presumptuously regard themselves as equals of Brahmins…The Vaishyas will abandon agriculture and commerce and will earn their living by servitude or by the exercise of mechanical professions…The dominant caste will be that of the Shudras…
'The Betrayal of Tradition: Essays on the Spiritual Crisis of Modernity'
By Harry Oldmeadow (Editor)
The title of this anthology alerts us to the spiritual crisis of modernity and to its root cause: the betrayal of tradition. That there is indeed a spiritual crisis will hardly be denied by anyone who has pondered the condition of the contemporary world. We need not rehearse the whole catalogue of inter-related symptoms, but here are a few of the more conspicuous: ecological catastrophe, a material sign of the rupture between Heaven and Earth; a rampant materialism and consumerism, signifying a surrender to the illusion that man can live by bread alone; the brutal extirpation of traditional cultures by the runaway juggernauts of "modernization"; political barbarities on an almost unimaginable scale; a religious landscape dominated by internecine and inter-religious strife and by the emergence of aggressive fundamentalisms in both East and West; social discord, endemic violence and dislocations of unprecedented proportions; widespread alienation, ennui and a sense of spiritual sterility amidst the frenetic confusion and din of modern life; the loss of any sense of the sacred, even among those who remain committed to religious forms. These "signs of the times"—and the inventory is by no means exhaustive—are plain enough to those with eyes to see. No amount of gilded rhetoric about"progress," the "miracles" of modern science and technology, or the"triumphs of democracy" (to mention just three shibboleths of modernity) can hide the fact that our age is tyrannized by an out-look inimical to our most fundamental needs, our deepest yearnings, our most noble aspirations. More problematic is the question of how we arrived at this state of affairs and in which direction we might turn for some remedy.
"These 25 essays by writers who represent a range of spiritual thought focus on the role of traditional religion in correcting the loss of transcendence and meaning. When any major tradition is taken seriously, its timeless relevance provides both firm ground and clear direction in chaotic times. Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and Native American perspectives on the subject are presented. Oldmeadow (La Trobe Univ. at Bendigo, Australia) collects the work of established figures like Dorothy Sayers and Ananda K. Coomaraswamy as well as that of more contemporary writers like Robert Aitken, Karen Armstrong, and the Crow Medicine Man Thomas Yellowtail. The book is divided into five sections: ‘Tradition and Modernity,’ ‘Perennial Truths and Modern Counterfeits,’ ‘The Social Order,’ ‘The Single Vision of Science,’ and ‘The Destruction of Traditional Cultures.’ The combination of ideas is inspiring and provides an invigorating perspective for examining current issues of modern social philosophy while remaining very readable. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries."
(Library Journal Review)
"…This anthology of the most eminent perennialist authors, concerns everyone who is aware of the progress of a totalitarian nihilism, who refuses to capitulate, refuses the destruction of Knowledge and the darkening of Consciousness, and who is in quest of the fundamental arguments included…in the Eternal Wisdom, and taught by the world’s great spiritualities, the only ones still able to actively help rediscover the Sacred, and restore it in our everyday lives, thoughts and being.…Harry Oldmeadow has collected in his book twenty-four precious accounts, some of which come from well known representatives of Perennial Philosophy and others from independent thinkers [who are also] lucid analysts of the situation. Divided into five sections, their responses respectively treat the oppositions between Tradition and Modernity, Perennial Truths and Modern Counterfeits, Social Order, the 'Single Vision' of scientism, and lastly the destruction of traditional cultures.…A work such as The Betrayal of Tradition will be an even greater treasure to those who are still lucid enough to 'take inventory' and comprehend the urgency for rediscovering the eternal within this work, which is itself an heir of the most ancient past.…"
(Jean Biès, author, philosopher, and poet)
“This anthology is a substantial introduction to the writings of those who espouse the timeless wisdom – the sophia perennis – which underpins all the great religious teachings.… The Betrayal of Tradition…embraces a variety of viewpoints and perspectives, all of which are ‘united by the conviction that the modern world stands in the most urgent need of the wisdom of the ages’…and will appeal to those who feel there is a deeper meaning to life than the prevailing materialism and consumerism.… It is a welcome addition to other volumes already published in the Perennial Philosophy series by World Wisdom.”
"The twenty-five essays which make up this collection bring the perspectives of traditional thought to bear on the predicament of a predominantly secular world order. Most of the leading Traditionalists are represented; but the editor stresses that 'the anthology is not intended as a compendium of traditionalist thinkers alone but embraces a variety of viewpoints and perspectives, united by the conviction that the modern world stands in the most urgent need of the wisdom of the ages'. Side by side with such names as Guenon, Schuon, Burckhardt and Coomaraswamy, we accordingly find Karen Armstrong, Dorothy Sayers, Theodore Roszak and Mary Midgely, together with colleagues and students at the editor's own university (La Trobe, in Bendigo, Australia)."