The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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Realism and Idealism

As a philosophy, idealism is incomplete. It focuses on what should be, rather than what is. By definition, ideals are goals that are perfect. They constantly remain outside our reach, like fictions we aspire to, for reasons of vanity. Our hearts cry out for them, but no matter how hard we try, we fail at their completion.
    We find realism, as a philosophy, just as incomplete. It surrenders to what is, collecting and hoarding treasure troves of knowledge, cleverness and common sense, yet lacks the wisdom and direction that we long for. Realism is static even as if advances, flattering and cajoling the biped hominid with words that leave him empty.
    Idealism points to God, or essence, or virtue as an idea. It grasps for eternal meaning.
    Realism resorts to science, utility, success, acquisition. It mourns out temporal nature with recognition of its finality, and lack of purpose.
    Chivalry-Now drills deep into the human psyche to bring realism and idealism together. Each alone is incomplete, unsatisfactory — with empty hands on one side, and empty hearts on the other.
    True success to the idealist is unreachable. To the realist, success is disappointing. One contemplates to avoid the frustration of disappointment, while the other distracts himself for the very same reason.
    But the realist who embraces the hopes and guidelines of ideals, while keeping both feet planted on the ground, can find joy, purpose and satisfaction. Likewise, the idealist who intimately incorporates what is real and partakes in what is achievable, finds a world that appreciates his insight.
    We are best when we are both, when ideals provide a code of behavior, a quest inspired by perfection, while we respond to the world as it is. Together, the path leads to goals that are surely unreachable, yet connects us nonetheless by the path itself.
    Chivalry-Now presents an ethical code distilled from ages past, when ideals were thought to be the true reality, and everything else little more than poor manifestations. But it is more than that. It accepts reality for what it is, and looks to ideals for the sense of direction that they offer us. It recognizes not only facts and related nuances, but illusions as well. It embraces science, but also whatever truths may be gleaned from spiritual reflection. It puts biases aside and replaces it with clear thinking.
    Chivalry-Now prods us to add depth to reality. It demands personal accountability, while teaching us the personal discipline that makes accountability possible. It encourages people to delve into their innate sensibilities, awakens conscience, feeds integrity, and instills the kind of confidence to discern truth for oneself.
    Idealism provide a very human means to uplift reality. Realism, on the other hand, provides the means to bring ideals into existence, no matter how imperfectly. In this way, idealism and realism enhance, rather than oppose, one another.
    Chivalry-Now pays homage to body and soul, thought and compassion. It tells us, quite simply, that the answers we seek reflect the questions that we ask. The attraction that we feel is nothing more than the drive of our deepest nature, seeking fulfillment.
    Through our ideals, we bring new dimension to reality. Without them, reality loses its flavor and direction.
Knighthood represents the solemn commitment to bringing those ideals into reality, through our words and deeds, and through actualizing noble plans. Here we find not only our obligations, but our reward as well — authentic living — our source of meaning and purpose, that our lives, in their short duration, are not wasted.


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