The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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The Quest

I was 42 or 43 when I first stumbled upon chivalry and felt the irresistibly attraction of its deeper meaning. Back then, I had no idea where it would lead. It was just a personal quest that my heart and mind responded to.
    The lessons I learned since then have been invaluable, but the process of learning them more valuable still. I cannot express the thrill I experienced with every step. Sheer excitement. Like the thrill of the hunt only intellectual, emotional.
    Learning in such a manner is truly transformative. It instills a connection like no other. This is what the quest is all about. It is a personal, private journey. A relationship with truth in which you find bits and pieces as you go along. Sometimes it is reasonable. Sometimes spiritual. Your experience cannot be mine. Mine cannot be yours. That is what makes it so unique.
    Fortunate is the man who understands and appreciates the depth and meaning of his own personal quest.
    One might look at one's life as mundane or uneventful—or worse, unworthy of life's special revelations. The quest seems almost a fantasy, little more than a romantic notion that has no significance. Your life could never be a hero's journey because it is set in routine and mindless repetition. Same people. Same events. Same trappings of commercialism and technology, forever tightening its grip.
    One cannot be a knight in shining armor anymore. Horses are not welcomed on most city streets, and carrying a sword or mace might get one arrested. Laws forbid citizens meting out justice on their own. The outrage we experience when we see blatant injustice is usually swallowed in moral impotence. The warrior ethic has been defiled by that of the merchant, investor and celebrity, who offer nothing of deep significance in return.
    So where does one turn to find the true experience of chivalry?
    There are books and fantasy groups, and web sites like our own. But these are just tools that are separate from who we are and the direct experience of the moral impetus. Tools and fantasies are not the same as the authenticity we are looking for, the authenticity that results in a firm grasp of life, here and now.
    Only the quest can give us what we are looking for, what we need. The casual reader, if he wants more, must look at his life as a quest, a venue and daily invitation for learning truths that otherwise escape us. It is a birthing process of the soul. Our maturation into manhood.
    One man's quest is just as significant and another's. What gives it value, small or great, is your response to it. The mundane life shackled by routine presents challenges for those who are open to them, who face them with grace and virtue and concern for others. Whereas routine often results in a deadening of the soul, the perspective of the quest adds a perpetuity of life enhancing opportunities. Something as simple as a genuine and unexpected smile can glorify the moment with sudden meaning. Putting one's thoughts aside to listen to a friend or stranger takes a grasp of time that places you in the here and now to make a difference. Living your ideals in your everyday dealings transforms the world in ways you can scarcely imagine.
The hero is one who responds to life's challenges rather than avoiding them. The quest is as simple and as profound as that. The first Trust, "I will develop my life for the greater good," expresses the very essence of the quest. The developing of one's life is on-going. It does not end with a college degree, job title or precious accolade. Each day is a new beginning, a new adventure, in which the spiritual knight is tested.
In this respect, the quest is forever, and each man's journey must be respected for what it is.


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