The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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Strong Moral Principles

We can all agree that today's Knight has to be a man or woman of strong moral principles.

But what if our principles are wrong? It's certainly possible. We are constantly confronted by conflicting, ready-made opinions from which society expects us to choose. We hear it everyday in political and religious discourse. We see how well-meaning people often interpret things radically different. Instead of searching for truth, they hunker down and defend positions, some of which, by sheer necessity, must be wrong.

This is why Chivalry-Now takes a culturally non-political and non-sectarian approach.

That doesn't mean we have no opinion on political or religious topics. All our members do, and not all members agree with one another. Everyone occupies a different point of reference on his or her quest. As people learn, they change. They grow. Excluding them because of minor differences would be self-defeating. Instead, we unite under the banner of the quest itself, with its culturally-engrained values, and support the personal development that the questing process inevitably builds.

Our unique approach to developing moral principles accords both with nature and freedom.

It proclaims a priority of conscience, using our ability to apply reason to understand and follow its moral dictates. This is what we mean by Nature's Law. It consists of our everyday lives, but in the form of questing rather than just surviving. Its goal is the noble development of personal autonomy. Autonomy, often derogatively referred to as "self-law," actually means obedience to the spiritual law of conscience and reason. This is what distinguishes human nature from all others, and completes who we are. Freedom provides the rich soil which facilitates this process. When we listen carefully to our own inner longing, it points to autonomy as its goal.

What does this mean? It means embracing a process of growth. Life is change, and the quest shapes us to be heroes in that change. It requires that we question values that were previously pressed upon us; an examination of prejudice that we are all inclined to collect. Our best virtues are at least questionable until we do that.

This is possible only in a state of freedom, which underscoring the essential quality of freedom to personal growth. No matter what our successes, we stagnate if we remain hardened products of a social blueprint. The goal of freedom is attaining the autonomous development of virtue, of living a good and therefore happy life, not as someone else would make you, but as you really are.

Chivalry-Now's approach is not to impress upon anyone a prescribed set of values. It seeks to awaken the individual's spirit to find and appreciate the very real values that our everyday lives grant us.

The 12 Trusts provide a cultural path or tradition, enriched by the wisdom centuries, that can help, but never replace the direct experience of life itself.


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