The "now" is important for any tradition. For it is in the process of bringing the past into the present wherein a tradition is brought to life. However, the past, and in particular the excavation of knowledge from the past, is arguably just as important for the life of a tradition.
As we discussed in the "Wheel of Time" series, this excavation process is a true concern for Dolpopa and later Jonangpa thinkers. For them, this is the hermeneutical act of retrieving the pure teaching from the pure time: the dharma of the Kṛtayuga or Perfect Eon.
However, there is more to this. There is then the act of transferring meaning ― lived meaning ― into the present. This is a careful process. A surgical deliberation that involves the transference of language, culture, and history ― or what I like to call, "ancestry."