Our life is a circle that takes us back home, to the essence of innocence, but with the knowledge that living begets… the eternal search for the Grail. – JC
The quest for the meaning of life is that there isn’t meaning; it is the journey, the path, and ultimately the experience of being alive. The experience is groundless and being mindful and joyful in this labyrinth of sorrows is the “trick”, as the Buddha would say.
Still others believe the meaning will avail itself only when every living creäture reaches enlightenment. Thus, the work of the Bodhisattva is not completed until that promised day.
Within this universal quest of man is the story of Parzival and his search for the Grail. Collected from the Celtic traditions of King Arthur, this story says as much today as it did in generations past about the true meaning of compassion.
We live our lives each day, some are aware of the search for meaning and others just as numb and ailing as the Fisher King in our story. For it is just as the Fisher King, wounded from within, castrated from life, I too as well as others suffer such wounds. In the guise of Parzival, the hero of our subconscious, we daily find the symbols of our locked doors and turn them into open gates.
Parzival enters the Grail castle and proceeds to the banquet where he sees many wondrous things. At the head of the event, he sees the king, lying down ill and dying. The black covered caisson just outside awaiting the inevitable end. His lands also lay wasted. Now Parzival as a knight knows, one must not ask questions, you are a doer, do not instigate. He’s escorted to the king and in his adherence to society, he doesn’t ask any question.
The next morning’ the castle deserted except for his horse and armor. Subsequently, he is thrust into 5 years of trials and tribulations where all but a few family and friends alienate him for not asking the proper question. It is understood that our knight will never get another chance to see the Grail as this, or is this completely true?
In those years Parzival lived outside of King Arthur’s court (society) in the land of the Grail, a mystical place for it is here where he will learn the questions that trouble him and the answers that heal like a soothing balm. Through encounter after encounter, Parzival is able to understand his feelings of guilt and subsequently why metaphysically he fought against himself at every battle no matter who the opponent was and even though he never lost any battle at least temporally.
At last one day against all odds, Parzival sees the Grail Castle again. This time, he forgets his social obligations and simply asks the Fisher King, “Sire, what ails you”. Suddenly the king’s cured, and his lands restored. All of this by the simple voice of compassion.
So what have we learned… redemption is not qualified, it comes to us every day and in many ways, we each have a choice, just as compassion is practiced within all religious structures. From prayer to meditation and karma to sin, we are all called to forgive ourselves as well as others despite our religious preference and thus embrace and show compassion to all sentient beings and everything under the Sun.