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
This is why
Chivalry-Now takes a culturally non-political and non-sectarian
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
Our unique approach
to developing moral principles accords both with nature and freedom.
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.
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.