Thursday, May 13, 2010


.
.
The Grail Hero - particularly in the person of Parzival, the 'Great Fool' - is the forthright, simple, uncorrupted, noble son of nature, without guile, strong in the purity of the yearning of his heart.  ... His widowed, noble mother, in their forest retreat had told him of God and Satan, "distinguished for him dark and light."  However, in his own deeds light and dark were mixed.  He was not an angel or a saint, but a living, questing man of deeds, gifted with paired virtues of courage and compassion, to which was added loyalty.  And it was through his steadfastness in these - not supernatural grace - that he won, at last, the Grail.
.
Parzival makes two visits to the Grail Castle.  The first is a failure.  The Grail King is a wounded man, whose nature has been broken by castration in a battle.  Parzival spontaneously wishes to ask him, "What is wrong?"  But then, he has been told that a knight does not ask questions, and so, in order to preserve the image of himself as a noble knight, he restrains his natural impulse of compassion, and the Grail quest fails.
.
... in the end, as in the case of Parzival, the guide within will be his own noble heart alone, and the guide without, the image of beauty, the radiance of divinity, that wakes in his heart amor: the deepest, inmost seed of his nature, consubstantial with the process of the All, "thus come" And in this life-creative adventure the criterion of achievement will be ... the courage to let go the past , with its truths, its goals, its dogmas of "meaning," and its gifts: to die to the world and come to birth from within.
.
What the Holy grail symbolizes is the highest spiritual fulfillment of a human life.  Each life has some kind of high fulfillment, and each has its own gift from the grail.  The theme of compassion is part of the clue about how to get there and where it is.  It has to do with overcoming the same temptations that the Buddha overcame: of attachment to this, that, of the other life detail that has pulled you off course.
.
~ Joseph Campbell, from: 'A Joseph Campbell Companion' edited by Diane Osbon
.

0 comments: