What's Your Code?
which is called the Grail Code is itself a parable of the human
condition, in that it is the quest of us all, to serve and, by serving
Laurence Gardner in Bloodline of the Holy Grail
"The object of
life is not happiness, but to serve God or the Grail. All of the Grail
quests are to serve God. If one understands this and drops his idiotic
notion that the meaning of life is personal happiness, then one will
find that elusive quality immediately at hand."
Robert A. Johnson in HE: Understanding Masculine Psychology.
Long before the
word "code" had to do with algorithms, encryption, or local dialing
areas, people of honor lived by a code, a guiding rule. In the medieval
literature of Arthurian Romance the code of chivalry promoted the ideal
of knights who lived a life of virtue. The chivalrous knight was
good-natured, educated, generous, and brave. He was a defender of the
weak, saviour of the oppressed. His life transcended its meager
personal boundaries, perhaps through dedication to his romantic ideal,
his lady love. The chivalrous individual was one who honored bravery,
courtesy, and honesty.
romantic world another code existed as well. This was the Grail Code.
The Holy Grail was popularly imagined as the cup used by Christ at the
Last Supper or a cup that caught the blood of Christ at the
crucifixion. The grail was said to nourish the body and the soul, but
only the pure of heart could find it. The quest for the Holy Grail was
central to several of the legends of King Arthur and his knights. The
quest was not only to find the Holy Grail, but to know its truth and
its meaning. Only one with the qualities of valour, wisdom and virtue
could attain the Grail.
The Grail Code
was a princely code. It was a reminder to those in authority that with
their position came the obligation to serve. The king was not an
overlord by this code, but a servant of God and the people. The Grail
Code encouraged the leader to serve the people in the spirit of Jesus,
who humbly washed the feet of his followers. In the story of Sir
Percival and the Fisher King, it was only when Percival asked the key
question, "Whom does the Grail Serve?" that his quest was fullfilled
and the king's torment was lifted.
The Grail myth is told in a masculine frame of reference, but women are
not excluded from the search or from the code, for we all hold the
secrets of the Grail mystery within us.
Take some time to ponder these questions. It may be useful to you to write out your answers.
By what code do I live?
Do I quest after personal happiness?
How well is that quest going?
How do I feel about the idea that happiness is the consquence of compassionate service rather than an end in itself?
How do I serve?
What virtues are most important to me?
What virtues would I like to see in other people?
How would my life be different if I more fully embodied those virtues?
What can I do today to express the value of compassionate service?
Can I form
my personal code into a key phrase or sentence that I can hold in mind
to remind myself of the nature of my quest?
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