The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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The Insidious Wound

One of the purposes of Chivalry-Now is to heal the identity wounds of men.
    Chivalry remains, of course, much larger than that. It is a complete way of life forged by the vicissitudes of time and culture that expresses, like nothing else can, the essential qualities of men at their finest. Chivalry is a refined ideology of Western ideals from the warrior's perspective, the male response to life and relationships and human possibility.
    Unfortunately, in the last couple centuries, our Western culture has not properly protected or transmitted that grand moral ethic.
    This has left a wound in place of a birthright. We call it the Grail Wound, for it cuts us existentially. Instead of long-honored direction, instead of a foundation explaining who we are and what is expected of us, it leaves a void, empty images that hint at strength and leadership and boldness — but little else.
    Like the Grail Wound of the Fisher King, this strikes at the core of our masculine nature, leaving us morally impotent, defined by hidden rage rather than wholeness of being.
    If we don't know who we are, or recognize our grand inheritance, or understand our purpose, refined by a million years of effort, our every step is subject to error. This is the wound we live with, painful, undeserved and devastating.
    It expresses itself in anger, striking out, grabbing what we can instead of giving what we can, flailing at the innocent for our loss of innocence, following unworthy leaders, selling our allegiance to half-concocted truths that fuel our frustrations.
    We spit on those we should protect. We abuse those we love. We baptize our sons in the blood of our own misdirection, condemning them to the same wound. We wage war out of pride; hoard riches as if our neighbor's poverty was not our albatross of guilt. We degrade women as if it somehow elevated ourselves. Even the planet suffers from our shame, and threatens to kill us all by our own doing. Our pain is so great, so distracting, we don't even respond.
    The wound has taught us to cut throats, stab backs, and kick ass with a perverted sense of self-righteousness. It tells us what goes around comes around, as we gleefully wait for comeuppance. We revel in our power to destroy, even as it directs itself back.
    Even our friendships are shallow, empty shells hiding remorse behind bravado, sports and intoxication. We concern ourselves with image more than substance, because substance was never explained or bequeathed.
    The excessive competitiveness that sadly defines us is rooted in insecurity. Without a rich and viable definition of manhood, we fall back on the instinctive male dominance of the animal world.
    Before chivalry can accomplish its noble purpose in our lives, we must heal the wound that stops us. We must ask the questions that will replenish our humanity, the true source of honor — not pride. We must recognize that the Wounded Grail King is us, before the Hero, also us, can heal and replace him.
    This is the first part of our spiritual journey. By facing our wound and discovering who we really are, we will find our true direction.
    Only then will the Wasteland return to life, and humanity flourish.


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