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Grail Consciousness
A Western Path to Enlightenment

It 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 rules—ethical 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).
  • activating your moral center in everyday life in order to complete who you are.
  • living a life of integrity and purpose that is generated from this completeness.
  • searching for what is true in every moment, so you are not dissuaded by by what is false.

Grail Consciousness 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 name—that 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 our expectations.
    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 fragment—here 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 have.
    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 authenticity—imperfect, 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 as well.
    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.
There 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.
Those 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.
While we rightly view this as a shift in consciousness, it is, more precisely, the experience of being who we really are.


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