Camelot is a dimension of the heart that you can’t see. It is beyond the mind in the realm of subtle feelings. Yes, we can intuit its presence through sensuality and softness, but mostly it remains hidden away, defying us.
That is because while many pretend to be nice, deep within they are anything but nice. We are taught from an early age and on through our adult years, how to manipulate others with social niceties and sexual favors or money; we manipulate to ensure people hold us in good stead. Sometimes we use subtle or not-so-subtle threats to ensure their allegiance. Few will admit to their hidden resentments and the true disdain and hatred they hold for humanity.
This is so because those dark emotions are buried deep within the subconscious. What we call ‘the mind’ is our waking intellect. But most of the mind, what we truly are, is hidden away. Looking at the pain that is housed in the lie of your nice guy-nice girl persona isn’t considered entertaining. The ego is a one-party state. It reacts to anyone challenging what it sees as its supreme power over the mental legislation that defines how you see yourself.
The dimension of Camelot, it’s legend so to speak, is hidden in a transdimensional world that reflects its protected and sacred nature. It is in a lush dreamscape of benevolence, respect, chivalry, honor, and a genuine goodness. One can’t pretend in that celestial world; what you are is obvious for everyone to see. You can’t hustle your way in with influence and gifts, phoney sentiments and socially pleasing wet-licks-in–the-ear.
The true heart is hidden in a radiance—a celestial cloud of softness and feelings—one that is beyond fear, one that is truly accommodating and accepting of others. It is the gentle eye cast across the panorama of our human affaires, without judgment and self-interest. This celestial heart I speak of is humble and overawed by the spiritual journey; it seeks nothing for itself, so by its very nature it is humble. It is honored by the fact it has been given a chance to redeem itself.
It knows to discover the true trans-dimensional world it has to be accepted there, so it willingly travels through the shadows of the mind, admitting to its contradictions and its hidden evil. It knows if it is blind or too grand, or too much of a know-all, it will never be reconciled in the gentle embrace of everything eternal. It knows it will need help. The help of those who have gone before.
Parzival, on his long journey searching for the Grail Castle and the holy Cup of the Grail, finally arrives at a riverbank. There he mills about not knowing what to do. He knows the Grail Castle is on the other side of the river, but he doesn’t know how he will get across. His life now seems empty. He is tired and in pain, he doesn’t know how to proceed.
The river is where we all arrive sooner or later. It’s where our study and perception has carried us beyond the mundane, but we find we are still stuck in the endless repetition of the banalities of life. We reach for the infinite, never seeming to grasp it. Even when we find that momentary bliss, it soon slips from our grasp.
Eventually to Parzival’s rescue, comes an old ferryman dressed in rags. He agrees to take Parzival across the river. Parzival is a great knight with many triumphs to his name, so quite naturally he looks down on the ferryman imagining him to be his inferior.
The strange thing about the Grail journey is that we all have to have some sort of divine inspiration in order to begin. We have to believe that we are divinely guided. Yet, in those early visions or dreams or strange extrasensory phenomena that set you on the path, is the propensity to imagine one is selected or chosen. Almost every religious or New Age teacher or student has fallen for the cult of the ‘chosen one’. It is a trap.
Parzival’s disdain for the ferryman comes from the fact that Parzival has to believe he is special or he would never have embarked on the journey and arrived at the river. It was his sense of selection and the idea of his ‘special destiny’, which drove him on where so many others failed. Without the illusion of his specialness, he would have quit long ago.
But as yet, he doesn’t see the contradiction that rests in his shadow side. He can’t see how his pride and the haughty ways of the knight separate him from humanity. For while he made a great show of his bravery, through the help and protection he offered the less fortunate, he doesn’t see it was from a deep inner sense of separation from humanity and God.
It was a high horse from which Parzival secretly looked down and hated humanity. For deep inside Parzival’s illusion of grandeur, he does not want to be associated with ordinary men. They are mortals of low-birth and ignorant. He is a divinely selected being on his way back to God, destined for great things. Has his intuition not proven over and over that Parzival has his very own direct communication to God? Has it not told him he is so important and different, so much so, that he believes every word that goes off in his head is God talking to him directly, leading him on? His arrogance is such that even when in the past those instructions, which he believed to be from God, got him into terrible pain and torment, he ignored the obvious. Concluding instead that his misfortune was a challenge devised by God to test his faith—poor fool.
Parzival would swear blind he had loved and served people, fighting on the side of good, and yet in the truth, he used the idea to sustain his pompous self-image. While he pretended to fight for the light he was actually creating more and more darkness. He liked to pretend to be the servant and protector of the less fortunate, but while he did that he looked down on them. He pretends to be brave while in effect, he is the snivelling coward unable to face his shadow. He pretends to embrace humanity but he can’t, can he? For if he does so, he would have to get off his spiritual pedestal and admit he was not special or selected.
Parzival is stuck on the riverbank until he sees that he doesn’t know it all, and until he realizes that he is not so grand as he thinks he is, and that he will need help. A while later, the ferryman arrives to carry him across. In the real world most of the would-be Parzivals, both men and women, die from a self-imposed abandonment from God’s grace (the separation of the devil), before the realization comes to them.
As the ferryman rows across the river, the knight inquires if the ferryman knows the way to the castle. The humble boatman answers saying, “I myself will thy host be and thou fail not to find the way.” Of course, Parzival hasn’t realized as yet that this outwardly insignificant character is in fact the Fisher-King. It is he that commands the Grail, it is the Fisher-King who will accept Parzival or not into the Grail Castle. Parzival is still the one-eyed fool, blind to what is under his nose.
The Fisher-King knows the Grail Castle is in a 10-dimensional world. In a heart-space woven through the lush fabric of grace, benevolence and a silent goodness. To arrive in a trans-dimensional place over the river with the shadow still in place would be a terrifying thing. Instead of drinking from the Cup of the Grail, Parzival would soon find he was at dinner with the devil in hell.
The trans-dimensional celestial world knows how to protect you from yourself. It also knows how to protect itself from your presence, which might explain why some have been delayed in their forward progress. I always say jokingly, ‘Make a left at the grand illusion’, meaning of course, if you don’t turn from the illusion you will fall into a demonic world that will scare you terribly.
The humble ferryman knows the nature of the trans-dimensional world as he has taken hundreds across and he cares for Parzival out of selflessness, even though he knows Parzival is silently looking down on him with a lofty disdain. The Fisher-King warns the young knight saying, “Be thy thanks as is our tendance, as thou ridest around the hill, have a care lest the wood mislead thee, such mischance would but please me.”
“Be thy thanks as is our tendance…” is old English, it is the instruction to the traveling knight to be grateful and to be humble, as is the tendency of all those who have a soft, silent heart—the few that have ever found Camelot.
The part where the ferryman says, “…as thou ridest around the hill…” suggests that the dimension you are looking for is not where you think it to be. In the sense that it might be round a corner.
“…have a care lest the wood mislead thee,” warns Parzival that the dullness (wood) of the intellect and the ego doesn’t usually see the contradictions, half-truths, and lies it has accepted as fact.
Parzival finds the castle eventually, and he sees the Grail only to have it taken from him. He is not ready; he is the divinely inspired fool. His destiny is to return. But not before he has traveled many long years through the darkness of his soul, the darkness he swore blindly wasn’t there.
We all find the Grail in moments of ecstasy, but it slips away because we think our heart is open, but often it is not. Parzival’s redemption comes in several ways. First, he must go through the pain and sorrow of losing the Grail. You see, Parzival was so grand he felt that as a ‘chosen one’ the Grail would be granted to him naturally by right, as a gift, because of his importance, his specialness, because of his feigned good works on behalf of God. He has to go through the sadness of realizing that that approach did not work. Quite the reverse, it was the very reason he lost his place at the Grail Castle. His ejection was the sacred heart of Camelot protecting itself from his darkness.
Then he has to admit that deep within he hates humanity, while pretending to protect and save them. He has to see how that came about. He has to realize it was because he fell for the cult of the chosen one. He has to see the soul-crushing arrogance of that. Then he must descend from his lofty, self-imposed hell, and embrace humanity with all its sores and wounds, its pain and darkness. He has to love people and serve them and accept them as he finds them. He has to see that he is nothing special—just one more traveler trying to get back to God.
For a long time Parzival wondered why he had no friends; why people rarely paid him or acknowledged him, nor did they offer him much help. Why, when he had fought so hard on their behalf, did no one care? He has to realize that all the time he was pretending to be so good and kind the high horse of his shadow—his elitism, was taking him toward darkness and the devil. It was no surprise people shunned him, they weren’t going to pay homage to a would-be devil; they had enough problems of their own.
Parzival has to reconcile the light and dark within him. When he fought and defeated the Black Knight, he was in fact fighting the darkness within himself. There was no black knight. He invented his adversary, creating him from his thoughts, in order that he might be able to prove his worth. He needed evidence of his bravery and his holiness. He knew deep within that believing he was divinely selected was a falsehood of the ego, it was part of his lack of worthiness and proper understanding. It was how he created a separation from God. But mostly it was how he silently challenged God, believing he was as good as God, if not better. It’s the crime of the fallen angel. So Parzival points his lance at the evil one and puts the Black Knight to death, to sustain the lie of Parzival’s special status—his feigned holiness if you like.
It’s a terrible moment when he sees his mistake. He suddenly realizes the Black Knight was really a saint sent by God to teach him about his hidden darkness and evil. Parzival has to go through the terrible torment of listening to the devil laughing at him, mocking him, for the devil has tricked Parzival into killing one of God’s special soldiers.
Note: This was article is from a manuscript of a book that Stuart was working on but didn’t finish.
Categories: Spirituality and Mysticism