A Western Path to Enlightenment
should come as no surprise that Chivalry-Now offers a
Western path to higher consciousness. A moral code that does not
change the inner workings of the soul is just another set of rulesethical
bondage instead of liberation.
Our approach to higher consciousness significantly
differs from those of Eastern traditions, not only in methodology,
but in defining what enlightenment is. In comparison to Buddhist
or Taoist teachings, it lacks esoteric formulas based on ancient
science, clearing the way for something more direct, simple and
applicable to everyday life.
We call it Grail Consciousness, a
mindset that occurs when one awakens to the mystery of life, and
then responds accordingly. What it refers to is the immediate experience
of living, always here and now, and not easily distracted by illusions.
Grail Consciousness is rooted in:
- finding your
moral center (the 12 Trusts
can help you find and develop it).
your moral center in everyday life in order to complete who you
- living a
life of integrity and purpose that is generated from this completeness.
for what is true in every moment, so you are not dissuaded by
by what is false.
is part of the ongoing Quest for Truth. When you confront
life as part of your individual Quest, you engage life with a new
perspective of meaning, which changes everything. And what is perspective,
but one's consciousness in relation to life?
This is very different from Eastern traditions.
It is not a withdrawal from the world of
conflict, or passive acceptance of good and evil. It is not a mind
that is free from thought and desire, which means separating yourself
from a large component of human nature. Quite the opposite. It is
an immersion into the finer aspects of our nature. It promotes striving,
rather than stillness; contemplation, rather than meditation; engaging
in life's struggles, rather than retreating from them in detachment.
Grail Consciousness is not the attainment
of the shapeless, but appreciating that shapes exist in such variety
and value in themselves. Not the "uncarved block" of Taoism,
but the final sculpture, carved and meaningful.
It is not the elimination of desire, but
the longing for what is good.
It is not escape from pain and suffering,
but eliminating pain and suffering as much as possible.
It is not a harmoniously measured balance
of male and female energies, but a generous cooperation between
actual men and women that comes from love and genuine respect.
Grail Consciousness does not search for
another dimension to life, the kind of transcendence that promises
what cannot be seen, heard or touched. We busy ourselves on earth
instead, directly searching for Truth, even our inner truth, wherever
it leads us.
Grail Consciousness has nothing to do with
the still, empty mind of Eastern tranquility, meditating crossed
legged under a tree of enlightenment. It is a full and active mind,
dedicated to the immediacy of the Quest, which presents itself at
every moment. We refer to this full human experience as "authenticity."
Grail Consciousness tells us that we are
incomplete without our moral center, that freedom is synonymous
responsibility, and that moral commitment must express itself in
action, or it is useless.
Such is the message of the Holy Grail,
from which Grail Consciousness gets its namethat we should
search for Truth every day, at every opportunity, developing ourselves
morally, intellectually and spiritually as we do so. This is the
test that life itself presents us, the challenge not just "to
be," but to become, to help, to share, to rescue, to love completely.
In other words, to really live!
The concept of Grail Consciousness is so
incredibly simple and available, that its definition sometimes fails
Grail Consciousness is the immediate experience
of life that blossoms from a love for Truth. Only
love brings the intensity, inspiration and drive that excites the
mind to authentic living. It is here that consciousness reaches
peak awareness, experiencing the moment with pure, unadulterated
living. Here we poetically touch what is eternal in each moment's
never-ending fragmenthere in this moment, and in this as well,
and in each one passing. It is only here where clarity and vision
become real, allowing us to speak for the greater good, imperfect
though we are. Why? Because we are aware of something greater, an
undefined possibility that we sometimes touch, yet never fully comprehend.
Enlightenment in the West is not some transcendence
to another realm, or other side of reality. It is actively engaging
truth within reality itself.
This higher consciousness is so real, so
accessible, that it might not seem transcendental enough compared
to esoteric promises from the East. The real mystery of life is
too subtle to placate some people's imaginations. Indeed, the Quest
we thrive on is what much of Eastern mysticism tries to avoid.
The austere hermit or yogi or Zen master
is still a man. If he has left his hero's journey, where is he?
If the path he is on is his journey, it is his alone. You have to
find your own, which is intrinsically locked in the life you are
living. There is no better or worse here. Your path is all you really
The Quest is unique for every person, as
unique as your own personality. It is life itself, and has no substitute.
You either live it with full integrity, or you don't.
Because the Western path is synonymous with
life lived fully, it is wrought with the distractions, dangers and
the propensity for error that life brings. There is no escape from
this. What Grail Consciousness provides is direction toward a goal
that is unreachable, yet well worth striving for. Here we find the
stimulus for authenticityimperfect, fully human, yet essentially
good, and hopefully getting better. One might infer that this is
the next phase in our evolution. Keep in mind that, because we are
human beings capable of thought and reason, whatever phase we are
in depends not only on natural selection, but on personal choice
If, in the end, we learn that the universe
has no purpose for creatures of thought and moral integrity, it
will be up to us to define our own purpose, inclusive of us all.
is nothing magical or mystical about any of this, and yet here we
find the mystical attraction of chivalry that draws
us incessantly, the sort of magic that produces more
abundant consciousness. This is why we equate chivalry with manhood.
Chivalry is male consciousness come alive as a beneficial force
in the world.
who hold chivalry dear understand how everyday morality can be launched
to new levels of consciousness. This is what attracts us in a world
of falsehood and hidden agendas. The simplicity and honor of Chivalry's
code resonates in our hearts with the call to authenticity.
we rightly view this as a shift in consciousness, it is, more precisely,
the experience of being who we really are.