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The Knight Within

A young man recently asked how to become a Knight of our fellowship. It was obvious from previous postings that the he had a strong chivalric character to his personality. Steven Forgette, Senior Knight of our fellowship, included this in his advice:

"Seek The Knight Within Yourself."

Reading this made me pause and reflect on that inner part of us that finds chivalry and knighthood so appealing.
     I believe that there is an inner persona, expressive of our conscience, that constantly (if not too quietly) seeks to assert itself in our lives. For most people, it remains somewhat dormant, unable to compete with all the distractions in our lives, and the expectations that others press upon us. The longer it is ignored or pushed aside, the weaker it becomes.
     For others, however, this persona is felt as an building discontent aimed at what is false, an existential frustration that informs us that there is something more to life than surrendering to distractions or social complacency. There is a moral aspect to who we are that calls for nourishment, growth, and the assertion of autonomy. Conscience seeks its due in the fulfillment of who we are.
     This persona of conscience, struggling to assert itself for our own natural progression, can be thought of as our inner knight. It recognizes right from wrong even when our conscious minds are distracted, or willfully engaged in what is wrong.
     For those who listen to this voice of conscience, its need to complete who we are feels urgently existential - which it is. Moreover, it recognizes and responds to the reflection that it sees in the mirror of chivalry. This is why so many of us feel attracted to chivalry's call. There is a natural connection already there. Chivalry and conscience are substantially the same - one being a cultural expression of the other.
     Human nature, like all of nature, is subject to its innermost goals, or drive to become. We call this Telos. We feel it as a sometimes nagging urge to complete who we are.
     It is a mistake to think that the fulfillment of human potential stops at a certain point of physical or intellectual growth. There is an inner, moral potential to complete as well. There is the spiritual autonomy that comes from asserting conscience as a defining aspect of our lives, liberated through the application of reason. This combination of conscience and reason has long been recognized as Nature's Law. When this proper use of reason takes hold and produces excellence of virtue, we achieve Areté. This is how the deeper concepts of Chivalry-Now relate and integrate themselves in our daily lives.

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