A Traditionalist

Gentlemen, for the past six months I’ve alluded to my new project Traditional Man, run a banner for it in the ad tower, and put a fixed-position spot for it on the front page. However, I haven’t announced it in the form of a conventional blog post, so I’d like to beg your indulgence one more time and then I will leave the topic alone as I realize its appeal is rather limited.

The site was unveiled on Christmas Day, and it will build slowly and branch off in unforeseen ways, as with any organic thing. At 25 posts the overarching themes will become clearer, even more so at 50, and a year from now, with 100 posts, the site should be a useful guide for knowing, strengthening and managing yourself at this particular moment in time, and a positive community for men.

Yesterday I put a post on Tom Davis, which whom the other night I had another epic conversation via phone about society and spiritual matters. He has really become a kindred spirit, and is one of the people from New York I miss the most. Tom elaborates on his spiritual views, which he expressed here in our lengthy Q&A posted last spring. He gives a nice terse summary of knowing God from within that should offer food-for-thought for any open-minded agnostics out there who may be reading this.

His words are something along the lines of this passage from the book “In Search Of The Primordial Tradition & The Cosmic Christ,” by Father John Rossner, Ph.D.:

It is from such primal and universal psychic and/or mystical experiences that the “cosmogenic” and “soteriological” myths and legends embodying tales of healing, immortality, resurrection, ascension and apotheosis of gods and heroes, or other forms of transcendence of bodily death or transformation of consciousness, have arisen in ancient religions, among them Christianity, and cultures. The Primordial Tradition is thus not merely an ancient system of belief and practice to be found in its entirety in any one or several historical cultures. It is, rather, a whole set of archetypical realities waiting to be discovered, at the highest reaches of the human consciousness, by all people. Similarly the lost esoteric Christianity, which often seems to elude ordinary modern practitioners of organized, “exoteric” forms of the Christian religion, is to be found — like Jesus’ description of the Kingdom of God itself — deep within the psyche (soul) of the seeker.

A number of you have reached out offering to contribute to Trad-Man, and I’d like to put out the call once more as I see myself more as the editor and organizer of this far-reaching project. If you have expertise in areas of fitness, nutrition or herbal supplements; mythology or philosophy; or have life lessons and tales of traditional masculine virtues such as honor, valor and wisdom, please reach out to me. Peace be with you, brothers. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

16 Comments on "A Traditionalist"

  1. I applaud this project, Christian.

  2. Greg Lamberton | January 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm |

    I consider myself fortunate in feeling no need whatsoever for a direct line to the Creator.
    Furthermore, the Canon of Western Literature, classical music, and good wine provide me with all the inspiration I need. When I need joy, good friends, my dogs, and Trad style provide it.
    I do understand that some people might need what your new blog offers, and applaud your efforts to provide it.

  3. WhollyRoamin'Catholic | January 15, 2020 at 2:18 pm |

    Mr. Jackson, Ivy-Style takes submissions. If you think the site needs some different content, perhaps you could author or encourage someone to author some other material?

    I, for one, find this as interesting anything else in the buttoned-down life. 🙂

  4. Over the course of a year, we run over 300 posts. Yes, there have been a few lately about my book and other website. The book is to entertain people. The website is to help people.

    3 of the previous 5 posts were by contributors.

    But I’ve been doing this 15 years and learned long ago that you’re only as good as your latest post.

    Coming soon will be a call for new contributors and an assistant editor. We definitely need fresh blood for 2020.

    In “These Are Our Failures” I burned menswear to the ground. Fire, water, destruction, cleansing, rebirth.

    I shall not speak about clothing ever again. 😉

  5. Charlottesville | January 15, 2020 at 5:10 pm |

    Christian – Say it ain’t so! Glad I saw the winking emoji before I started hitting the bottle. Seriously, best wishes on your new endeavor, but I certainly hope that Ivy Style continues going strong. It is a regular source of information, entertainment and inspiration.

  6. Why do people think Ivy Style would end without me opining on clothing? There have been something like 60 contributors. The site has my personal touch but is much bigger than me. Were I diagnosed would terminal cancer, would I not find a successor to continue it?

    I’d like to step back to publisher/editor-in-chief role and build a team of an assistant editor and two or three regular reporters. I’ll put a post up about it soon and in the meantime regular comment-leavers should start conceiving of their thoughts as possible posts.

    My best to all the faithful readers over the past 12 years!


  7. I recommend that you read the works of the late Sir Roger Scruton. The great conservative and traditionalist passed away on Sunday after a courageous six month battle with cancer. Sir Roger’s many books and articles on conservativism conservation, aesthetics and lifestyle are an invaluable. They are a wonderful guide to leading a moral, virtuous and spiritual life.

    Sir Roger was a leading intellectual and political force in Eastern Europe in the fight against communism. In his last months, he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Czech Republic and Hungary Unsurprisingly, he was despised and relentlessly hounded by the liberal left in Britain for most of his career. But they could not defeat him and his belated knighthood was richly deserved.

    Think of Sir Roger as Britain’s Russell Kirk. His many obituaries demonstrate that he is greatly missed already. It is our moral duty to fight on and defeat the woke forces, especially in politics and the media, that seek to impose on us both moral relativism and degeneracy.

  8. Tweedy Prof | January 16, 2020 at 7:45 am |

    The Web abounds in blogs/sites offering a plethora of metaphysical, mystical, and spiritual insights, advice, and inspiration, but IVY STYLE is unique among men’s style blogs. It would be a shame if it were to disappear. Thank you for providing us with regular doses of information, entertainment and inspiration. How would we manage without the ever-welcome opining of your good self, not to mention that of Messrs. Press and Boyer.

  9. Roger Scruton, R.I.P.
    Best I recall, I mentioned him here (Ivy-Style.com) a while back.

    Here are bits and pieces of one of his better-known lectures. “The View From Nowhere.” Put on your headphones and listen carefully…and allow it all to sink in–the words, backed by the music. A uniquely Christian Traditionalist take on (what some would recognize as) the The Primordial Tradition. The Lord’s Supper as a liturgical moment that illuminates the deepest, oldest truths about creation– whether regarded as the Mass, Eucharistic Feast, or Holy Communion.


    He didn’t reject the “conservative” label, but he held much of modern-day (uniquely American) conservatism in benign contempt. Compare/contrast George F. Will’s recent book about conservatism with Scruton’s: quite different. We’ve reason to believe that anti-modern ‘Super Fogey’ Prince Charles appreciated Scruton’s work.

    Scruton spoke in lofty terms about beauty. He was especially critical of modern music (especially “rock”, which really is a kind of repetitive noise) and modern architecture.

    No wonder facets of the modern-day feminist movement, preoccupied with an escape from longstanding categories of merit and value (including physical beauty), look upon this sort of Traditionalist/Classical Conservatism with a very modern contempt: feminine beauty, indeed physical yet also having much to do with elegance and gentleness of spirit, are deemed divine. When/where that’s lacking, there’s reason, according to Scruton and like-minded, for pity and grief.

  10. “Easy to judge, I know, son. But, now that you’ve grown up a bit, I feel as though I can speak a truth you can maybe-just-maybe begin to understand. I would rather spend an hour staring a picture of Audrey Hepburn’s face–or perhaps Grace Kelly in all of her divine glory–than interacting personally with your mother. You’ll judge me for this, as perhaps you should, if only in a spirit of justified defensiveness. But only for the time being. One day, though, you’ll understand. Beauty above all, son. Seek and cherish beauty whenever and wherever you find her. Receive your inspiration from beauty– not the possession of her, but the distant, or, you’re blessed, proximate adoration of her. Pure and undefiled by the desire to attain or control. Worship at the altar of beauty, son. But don’t get too close–they are Sirens.”

  11. VernTrotter | January 17, 2020 at 1:20 pm |

    Roger Scruton’s passing is an enormous loss for the good guys. I always remember “I drink therefore I am.” RIP, Sir Roger.

  12. Price Thornton | January 17, 2020 at 3:15 pm |

    Apparently, making people happy with their shirts wasn’t enough to give Mr. Davis a feeling of satisfaction and he had to seek it in the supernatural.

  13. @Price Thornton That’s a very bitchy comment. Mr Davis has the style, intellect, intelligence and good manners that you obviously lack.

  14. Price Thornton | January 18, 2020 at 11:30 pm |

    I am still surprised that a gentleman with Mr. Davis’s style, intellect, and intelligence had to seek satisfaction in the supernatural.

  15. Henry Contestwinner | January 23, 2020 at 11:04 am |

    And many of us are still surprised that after a couple of millennia of irrefutable arguments for the presence of the divine (starting with Aristotle and moving on to Augustine, Aquinas, and others), there are those who hate the idea of God and His rule over us so much that they insist He does not exist.

  16. Jack Renick | April 22, 2021 at 10:26 pm |

    I met Tom Davis in 1969 when he sold me ties and shirts.on the 5th floor of 346 Madison Ave. (the University Shop at Brooks’ flagship store). We immediately developed a friendship that spanned many, many years. What a great guy! You really caught the essence of Tom. Glad to see that he is well. Please send him my best.

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