If you continue in my word . . . you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (Jesus)
Continuing from where we left off in the last post: In her timely and important book THE RETURN OF KING ARTHUR, poet and spiritual author Diana Durham speaks to the tenuous phase in the transitioning from the old to the new paradigm of leadership in community. Letting go of our former beliefs—particularly those about the model of leadership in community—in order to let go to and fully embrace the new world being born, can be daunting, and hesitation for too long could prove fatal. One could drown in the rising tide of change in the direction and speed of the currents in the river of life if one holds onto the familiar shore of the past. The only sane thing to do is let go and swim out into the central current of the river.
Our beliefs about the truth—that the Spirit of God dwells within us, for instance, and that we are gods—are not the truth; they are but guides to the truth. When we know the truth of our oneness with God, we move beyond our belief to knowing that I Am an aspect of that Divine Spirit. We find freedom in knowing the truth, freedom from our beliefs. But oh how we love our beliefs and defend them with religious vigor: “Oh no, I am not divine. I am only human.” Beliefs may need defending, and can be denied. Truth, however, the Word of Life, needs no defense, and cannot be denied. The Word of Life is “You are divine, made in the image and likeness of God, and in that Image and likeness you share the authority of God in speaking truth.”
Heretofore we have depended upon leaders and mentors to lead us in the truth. That model is fading away, leaving many floundering in the dark waters of today’s chaos looking here and there for someone to tell them what to do and in what direction to go, what to hold onto. Looking around, we only see our elected leaders floundering themselves in the rising tides of rebellion and protestation desperate to hold onto power and control of the masses; and our mentors are fading away, moving on from their earthly roles. The pews in churches are emptying in the wake of corruption among the clergy, and in Rome itself, and their failure to deliver the goods, even offer resolutions to moral issues, such as contraception and abortion, by which the Faithful are able to abide. The churches are largely out of touch with the Faithful’s spiritual needs and moral issues in life. They cannot teach what they themselves do not know—and know that they know.
Our leaders and mentors have traditionally been men . . . even holy men such as Buddha and Jesus. Someone recently posed the question in a conversation we were having about abortion, “What would Jesus do?” Unfortunately (or fortunately), Jesus is not recorded as having said anything about abortion in the scriptures. His only answer to a crowd poised for stoning a harlot was “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Today we have many “good” people casting stones at “bad” people.
We’re left to decide our own course in the abortion controversy . . . and it is a conundrum that has found no resting place of resolution in the legal or legislative debates or courts of justice. We are totally on our own solving this problem we ourselves have created. A solution will not be forth coming without a fundamental change in human consciousness and subsequent change in human behavior. Primarily a change in identity from human to divine. We sometimes say “God only knows.” Well then, let us find our true identity in God and know and act with love in divine authority.
Rise of the Feminine
A very interesting turn of events takes place in the story of the Grail Quest Diana revisits in her book when Sir Bedivere finally yields to King Arthur’s command and lets go of the sword. The dominant masculine energy that once empowered leadership from the top is met by the rising Feminine, who comes to take back her power (the sword of truth) in equal and balanced partnership with the Masculine, a very poignant and prophetic event in the story. This is from chapter eleven, “The Chalice of Collective Sovereignty,” as excerpted from my book SACRED ANATOMY and the chapter on the spiritual significance of the Pituitary gland:
Speaking of her own personal transformation within the container of intentional spiritual community that went through a transformation itself in the wake of the passing of its spiritual God-parent and leader, Diana writes:
There is a great fear of losing the sword—a fear of losing the tradition and forms that have embodied the truth for us, and a desire to try to preserve them in some way—to disobey Arthur’s command. Twice Sir Bedivere, that most loyal and trusted knight, tries to hide Excalibur before finally obeying Arthur and throwing the sword into the lake. After all, if we don’t preserve the sword, we might lose everything . . . .
Very often this is the way. The injection of spiritual reality brought by the great avatar, like Jesus or Buddha, one who is able to pull the sword of power, of spiritual authority, back out of the stone of fixed belief and tradition and wield it as a living reality, is turned after their death into a religion, a series of beliefs, a tradition. And people warm themselves on the little spark that still glows in the embers of that tradition, but they don’t inherit the mantle of spiritual radiance. They have not become entrained into the understanding of what it really means to “Worship God”; they have not completed the quest . . . .
. . . . Thanks to Guinevere and Morgana (the heart’s wisdom), Excalibur is not destined to become a sacred relic of past glory “stored in some treasure-house of mighty kings.” The heart’s instinctual knowing of what is right has overridden the fears and the structures of the mind, thus ensuring that Arthur’s true legacy—the legacy of potency, of truth, as represented by his sword— has become a living possibility available within the subconscious mind for us all to draw on. It has not fossilized into a tradition for the elite to fight over—whether a political elite or a priestly elite; it is beyond the reach of corruption, and can only be accessed by the innocent and the true. Thanks to the quest for the Grail, thanks to the heart’s compulsion to take on one’s individual path and authority, the Round Table could become what it was a promise of. Our network could be transmuted from a community into a new and potent consciousness of oneness.
This is why no matter which thread of the plot we retrace to uncover the cause of Camelot’s downfall, we find ourselves staring into the face of the feminine, whether it be the actions of Guinevere and Morgana or the quest for the Grail itself. Only the heart’s wisdom knows how to take us from symbol to reality and carries the passion and assurance that will allow the “old order” to change and find renewal.
So we can begin to approach the meaning of the fulfillment of the Grail quest from a number of different—but related—angles. First of all, the finding of the Grail . . . means that the sense of personal separation from inner source—which I have also called the Grail King energy, love, or God—is healed. Once this happens, our dependency on a King Arthur mentor figure ceases, and we begin to live our lives from a direct sense of what fits, of what is ours to do. We can trust the compulsion of our heart because the heart realm is now operating as a direct “transmitter” of our own inner being and purpose. In this way, the heart realm is the place of connection, or oneness, with God or spiritual source, and once that consciousness of union with source is a grounded reality within us—once the ego that thinks of itself as the center of the universe is no longer dominant—then there is a basis for connecting deeply with others. The heart realm becomes the means of connecting with others, with one’s “neighbor.” Therefore, we also begin to share a sense of oneness with one another, and a sense of being—hologram-like—parts of a whole that also contain in miniature the design of the whole.
The sense of oneness with others, combined with the ability to discern direction for ourselves, enables the other meaning of the Grail to emerge, which is the aspect of collective leadership: the circle of many individuals forming one body.
Collective leadership is not possible while we are still dependent on a mentor figure both for our own sense of spiritual alignment and for a sense of direction. Nor is it possible unless there is a sense of oneness to bind us together—as well as the ability to discern for ourselves (as opposed to being subject to “peer pressure”) what our actions need to be.
We remember that the individual sword—or sense of authority—is earned by going on a quest for the Grail. Perceval is given the sword on his first visit to the Grail Castle. The return of Arthur in a form of the return of many individuals wielding their individual swords—in other words, the condition of collective leadership—cannot come about until the Grail is found and this collective consciousness is formed . . . .(pp. 203-206)
The Grail is found in the legends, and finding the Grail symbolizes not only the individual experience of open-hearted connection to spiritual source in oneself but also the emergence of the possibility of collective leadership. When Sir Bedivere throws that sword into the lake, a woman’s hand reaches up to take it. A new opportunity has been fertilized: a new union between masculine and feminine, and the emergence of an era of collective sovereignty. When we talk about the rise of the feminine we are describing a crucial aspect of this new era. Obviously this new possibility has been emerging for some time in the form of the suffragettes and the women’s movement. Closely allied with the struggle for equal rights for women was the civil rights movement in the United States. Leadership has been rising up from the grassroots, bringing immense changes and balancing out some of the injustices of society’s myopic structures. Collective leadership implies both the roundness of the chalice cup—without hierarchy, containing all—the feminine; and the absoluteness of the sword, the element of individual responsibility required for true leadership: the masculine. (pp. 6-7))
What Durham is describing here is a renewal process of the Pituitary Gland that appears to be underway, both within individuals and within the collective body of Man. As these two energies find a way to work in harmony and balance within us as two in agreement, individually and collectively, the Spirit of the Womb can then work its hormonal and alchemical magic of renewal of life on the planet. Paradise (Camelot) can then be restored.
Where the kingdom is, there also is the King. Paradise cannot be restored until Man is restored. Man will be restored when he acknowledges and pays homage to the King of Heaven; when he turns his heart away from the material world and toward the King in utter abandon and worship—not in some separate heaven somewhere, but right here within himself where the Kingdom of Heaven abides patiently awaiting for us to repent, turn around and enter in.
In the Grail Quest story, when Perceval finally finds the Holy Grail, he was asked a test question, which he failed to answer correctly. The question posed was “Whom does the Grail serve?” If I recall correctly, the promise of the Grail was abundance of all that pleases and satisfies. It seemed to Perceval, the simple fool that he was sitting there amongst the Knight of the Round Table, about to partake in the feast spread out before him, that the Grail serves human beings, and in that assumption he failed to answer the question correctly. The correct answer was, and still is: “The Grail serves the Grail King.” Having failed to give the right answer, he found himself outside the Grail Castle and in the company of an old hag who proceeded to list all his faults and shortcomings.
And so it befalls men and women in the realm of self-serving and self-pleasing human relations, where the Grail King is not allowed to drink and savor the sweet nectar of love from the Holy Grail of the Pure Heart of Humanity. We judge and measure one another by our faults and shortcomings. Perhaps I will find words to expand on this theme in my next post. I welcome your thoughts. Until then,
Be love. Be loved.