instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A pattern of patterns

In a comment below, Rob offers a nice segue into this post:
Our problem is not being without tradition. Our problem is simultaneously hosting multiple traditions, which mostly do not communicate with each other, leaving us without real intellectual integrity.
I see integrity, in the literal sense of an integrated whole, as the key concept in the whole process I diagrammed yesterday. Somehow, from the sources of patrimony, dead tradition, foreign tradition, and invention, each generation -- again, considered as an individual, a community, or a culture -- should form for itself a unified, coherent way of life.

How to do that is certainly an open question, but I think it's important to start with and to keep in mind the reason for worrying about it at all. One way or another, everyone winds up with a way of life. For a person to be happy, the patterns according to which he lives his life must themselves form some sort of integrated pattern.