February 05-B, 2023

The Search for the Holy Grail 02 04/22/2013 — Raven Rock Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
The search for the Holy Grail
is the search for the enlivening elixir
that will restore life to the land--
to the wasteland--
to the land of inauthenticy,
the land of sterility,
the land of pretension,
and lie.

Joseph Campbell describes the wasteland as
"A land of people who do simply
what they are supposed to do,
or what is thought by the society
to be well to do--
people professing beliefs
because they have to,
holding jobs they have been handed,
not earned...
a land of zombies, you might say."

A land of people going through the motions,
doing what they think will make them happy,
yet nothing makes them happy,
or brings them to life,
or fills them with the radiance 
and wonder of being alive.

To go on the search for the Holy Grail,
you have to not know what you are looking for,
to not know what you are doing,
and to take your clues and your cues
from your unconscious,
and chance happenings/encounters
along the way--
allowing the trail to unfold before you
a trail that is not a trail at all,
because that would be to go where someone else
has gone,
and to continue in the spirit of the wasteland,
but you have to go into the woods
where it is darkest and most uninviting,
following Campbell's directive:
"That which you seek lies far back
in the darkest corner
of the cave you most don't want to enter."

You are looking for your own identity,
for your own heart,
your own soul,
for the grounding,
of who you are
and what you are about,
so that you can say,
along with Ulysses,
"I will persevere and endure!
And when the heaving sea
has shaken my raft to pieces,
then I will swim!"
(Homer, in The Odyssey).

What calls you forth in that way?
So that you know beyond doubt,
"This is who I am!
This is who I must be!
Here I stand and here I will fall!
'Without hope,
without witness,
without reward!' (Steven Moffat)."

There is the Grail!
The cup of life,
and light
and being.

It is the realization,
of the Buddha
and the Christ,
requiring us to honor it
with fealty,
liege loyalty
and filial devotion
in doing what needs to be done
the way only we can do it,
when and where and how it needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
throughout the time left for living.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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