The Grail Question

I am continually reminded of how “being humble” is one of the most important qualities to carry in myself (and I have not been a humble person most of my life!)  There seem to be so many false leaders in the spiritual community that wield their false authority on innocent people rather than enabling people to come to their own authority in their own way.

I am beginning to understand more deeply the story of Parcival.  It is listening for “the Grail question”, the question that asks the person to reveal what it is that is ailing the soul.  We live in a world where the question “What ails you” can no longer be literally spoken, at least most of the time.  Instead, it seems to require creating that place of safety that implicitly asks “what ails you”, in which a person in freedom can come to reveal their soul sickness on their own accord,  and find the path that enables them to heal themselves.

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Compassion

Create space without judgement, without pushing away, isn’t that part of what love is, love for another?  But there’s also love for oneself–being compassionate with oneself.  The delusion is that I can love you without clearly loving myself.  The basis, the roots of the foundation of compassionate communication lies in my ability to be compassionate with myself.  Without that, I cannot be approach you from a place of true compassion.  Because in a relationship, I will need to make a request at some point that is out of my needs and is an expression of my love for myself.

So what we do is create space and places in which we allow the other to move with complete freedom while at the same time keeping open our own space.  It’s the intersection of those spaces where our souls touch.  Healing can happen in all of those places.  Meaning, if we both have a sense of self-compassion, we create a space in ourselves in which our own healing can occur.  If I also create a compassionate space for you in which you can move freely (meaning, free will) then an opportunity for healing is created, but only if you are willing. Similarly, if you create a place for me, then I have a space in which I can heal myself.

As an archetype, most men don’t understand that the chains that bind and fetter are not broken by the sword.

As an archetype, most people, men and women alike, aren’t compassionate enough with themselves to truly love each other.

We search for love for that very reason, because we DO want that compassion.  Even worse, we search out people we can love, so that in their returning of our love, our need for compassion is met. But it isn’t really, because at some inevitable point of confusion, we are not met with compassion, and then where are we, if we don’t have a deep sense of self-compassion in us?  And worst of all, it’s very easy to delude ourselves that we are being compassionate with ourself.  Clarity is so very essential here, but absolute clarity isn’t a requirement to do this work, only an knowing that clarity is something to always keep in mind.

Self-compassion is the sword to free ourselves to truly love.  It means saying “no” with the strength and love for our self.  It means saying “yes” without the loss of individuality and freedom, meeting in intersections of the space we create.

When you say “no”, I am confronted with the understanding that you love yourself, and therefore, as long as I come from a space of healthy being (compassion), I discover my love for you.  When you say “yes”, I am confronted with the understanding that you love me, from which I deepen my love for myself.

The 8 Beatitudes

When I read the 8 Beatitudes, I’m struck by the consciousness of “feeling” and the implication of compassion for oneself and for the other.  So, in all humbleness, my thoughts…

“Blessed are the poor in spirit” – this is a humble recognition of how we can no longer see with clarity the angelic world, and we struggle inwardly with ourselves, to be humble and compassionate with ourselves and our shortcomings, and in this first step of recognition, we gain “the kingdom of heaven.”

“Blessed are they who mourn”—we grieve, not only for the tragedies around us, but for ourselves as well.  We allow ourselves to feel grief, to mourn, and in living deeply into that grief, we find compassion—we become compassionate towards ourselves and towards others, and thus “they shall be comforted” in that compassion.

“Blessed are the meek”—while “blessed are the poor in spirit” is an inner humbleness, “blessed are the meek” is an outward humbleness, that we are weak and the trials of our physical existence are daunting, and that we often feel overwhelmed, “meek”, towards the tasks and trials of life.  When we this “outer humbleness”, when we truly acknowledge our limitations, our “meekness”, then we are in a position to “inherit the earth”, as an inheritance to be cared for compassionately and respectfully.

“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness” – imagine how as children we have all experienced being wronged, and how this repeated experience jades us to taking up the banner of righteousness, instead we silently give up.  Imagine how we have to search deeply into ourselves, into our feeling life, to discover that hunger and thirst for righteousness, and then to engage the will and act upon this feeling.  And in that activity “they shall be satisfied”.  This is not a satisfaction that is given to us in revenge or justice, but it is an inner satisfaction of the wisdom gained in deeply feeling truth from lies, right from wrong, good from evil.

“Blessed are the merciful”—an act of compassion, to be merciful both to ourselves in our struggles and in others and their struggles, from which we “shall obtain mercy.”  Again implying, when we act with mercy toward others, we are acting with mercy on ourselves as well.  We are letting go of our own anger, fear, pain, and in being merciful, in forgiving, we let go of our own pain, and what act of mercy that is!  And with that letting go, that openness, with that act of forgiveness, we become unblocked and return to a place of humble being, a place where we can truly mourn, where we can recognize our own weaknesses, and where we can hunger and thirst, rather than silently give up, for righteousness.

“Blessed are the pure of heart”—in our humble recognition of our poor spirit, in the compassion we have for ourselves and for others as we mourn, as we recognize our limitations in the outer world, as we struggle to discern what is true and good, as we do all this we are transforming ourselves constantly into ever more “pure of heart”, and then we “shall see God”, in us, around us, in the other.

“Blessed are the peacemakers”—How can strife exist when we become pure at heart?  How can we not see each of us as “children of God” when we see God in ourselves and in each of us?

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness”—but the reality is, there will always be people who persecute those of pure heart and peacemaking, and it is the consciousness of this, that we will be persecuted “as the prophets before”, that those conscious people gain “the kingdom of heaven”, holding fast to their principles.

So in the end, the 8 Beatitudes are a journey, a journey that is incorporated in many (if not all) of the modern ideas, such as Marshall B. Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, etc.