Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Peace in the Storm

"What is the secret of the Grail? Who does it serve?"

This is the great question of the Grail Quest undertaken by that knavish Knight Parsival. It was he who pursued that greatest of treasures; and ultimately, it was he who achieved it. Of course, the journey seemed a lifetime and perilous beyond measure. More than once this earnest fool reached the Grail and failed...only to be tried and tested yet again.

Who are we? We arrive marooned on this island Earth. If we are a part of something larger we dont know exactly what that something is. And so we we are convinced by others to be a part of something or we simply choose 'something' for ourselves.

Are we the result of instinct...patterning? Or are we created for a higher purpose? Maybe it is will alone that carries us forward...but to where? It is blind will?

I find it spectacularly interesting that most of us can actually be clearly defined. If you are a Democrat, for instance, then try convincing a Republican to see it your way. While a religious person awaits the pearly gates...a scientist spends years looking through them to the stars.

We live in different worlds. And each of us sees the world that we share from a unique perspective. But the terrors that await us outside the womb fashion us from clay to sculpture. Soon, we are defined and contoured into an image that serves the setting well and that pleases our sense of safety and conformity with our perceptions.

How could the Third Reich exist? Who in their right minds could commit such unspeakable acts and atrocities such as the Holocaust? Is this just another sense of identity?

Mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote of 'The Heroes Journey' in which the personal ego is defined through typified and universal human experience. We are each on that journey. Our soul is reaching, growing; perhaps, it is a part of a greater Soul. But who's image are we made in? Is man truly made in the 'image of God?'

If we begin a seed...with a Plan...then are we simply doomed to become a citizen of the Garden? More importantly, what becomes of us when the Garden is changing and the Plan must change or perish? Does that explain the Third Reich?

I have found that the more I have lost, then the more defined I have become to others. It seems that the Universe likes to paint on an empty canvas. I have been oft accused and affronted by good friends and fellows. I am still empty. I have been suspected and judged. And yet, I am still an empty canvas. When one has lost what I have, there is simply very little to cling to and very little reason to do it. I have lost the Plan.

It is very easy then for others to see their own Plans in me. We project, reflect or reject it seems.

And so I look around a little at all of Don Genaro's ghosts on his 'Journey to Ixtlan.' Everywhere around me I see busy, busy people. So many of us are running to and fro, following the Plan. We have things to do. We have reasons to do them. And we only have so much time to get them done.

These are things that were being done before we were born and that will be done well after we are long dead.

Can't we escape all of this and rewrite our destinies; remake our Plan? Of course, it is conditioned and all real change is painful at first. We either make the decision to 'let go' or destiny decides for us and we lose something we identify with.

Take away all of the identification and what is that personal ego left with?

Who is your favorite team? All of them. What is your favorite color? All of them. Who of them do you love? All of them.

Acceptance. This is a perspective. Think...Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression and finally...Acceptance. These are the emotional states of loss. And at last, when the clinging is over with ...we indeed 'come as a little child' and Accept things as they are.

Of course...what warrior wins any battles 'turning the other cheek?' Would we build cities if we simply Accepted the world without them?

Why not? Certainly we must Accept the necessity and inevitability of change. So we go on about our business changing things as things change us. But we must be Aware of this process. Our 'self' must be the eye in the center...the peace in the storm. Too close to the edge and we are simply swept away...we are debris and not conscience.

Parsival became a humble man. At long last he lived to serve the World. In so doing he found the Grail within his it had always been.

"What is the secret of the Grail? Who does it serve?"

"You Lord. For You and the Land are One."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Journey to the Temple

I recently returned from a journey where I witnessed wondrous things. I labored in the quarries and learned the importance of purposeful labor, of being true to myself, of taking responsibility for my labors and giving credit where due. I traveled to the East where I learned to obey in order that I might rule. I rejoiced with my brethren at the completion of King Solomon's Temple and wondered at its splendor and beauty. I earned wages, paid homage, assumed obligations, acquired knowledge, and received more Light. I grieved for King Solomon and the destruction of his magnificent Temple; I wept for the Israelites in their captivity and rejoiced in their liberation. I labored in the rebuilding of the Temple and at long last I knelt with my brethren and received the lost Word.

I journeyed back in time and walked arm in arm with the Builder; I learned the blessing of being useful, the importance of preservation and the reward of patience. I descended beneath the Temple where I stood witness to the execution of Ahishar and understood the necessity of constant watchfulness. I saw the chosen working in silence to prepare and ensure that which has value for future generations. I shuddered as King Zedekiah learned the answer to his own riddle of Jeremiah, and I recognized the lessons of loyalty and fidelity.

I journeyed on to Babylon whereupon debate ensued. Which is stronger the King did ask - wine, woman, or king? "Truth," I cried, "is stronger than all," and for this was granted freedom. My pilgrimage was far from done. I needed a Mediterranean Pass and for this I turned to Malta. When at last I arrived on gleaming shores my journey had only begun. For seven years I prepared as pilgrim, warrior, and penitent. And then, at long last, myself deemed worthy, my journey at its end and another to begin, I knelt and was risen a Knight of the Temple.

I could not begin to describe the journey to becoming a Knight Templar. The lessons, symbols, steps, signs, words are all still very fresh and elusive as if in a dream you want to keep dreaming until it all makes sense. The ritual is beautiful and impressive and provocative and intriguing. This is a journey worth taking and one which I sincerely recommend.

Fraternally yours,


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