Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On the Trail of the Holy Grail

Today this post from Joel Osteen:
Life is too short to spend it trying to keep others happy. You cannot please everyone. Keep your focus on pleasing God.

This seems obvious, but it’s much harder to do than it sounds. In fact, it’s always been hard to do.  Joseph Campbell found that most cultures have a myth concerning the search for something holy and nearly impossible to attain.  That ‘thing’ is self-realization, or in biblical terms, atonement with God. The King Arthur legends called this the Holy Grail.

The subtle knife edge that we all tread in our Grail quest, divides what society tells us we should do, and our sense of what is right or good.  As in the Grail legends, we fail to attain our ‘wholeness’ or 'atonement' when we fail to heed the quiet call of the spirit. In fact, the legends include a period of wandering in a vast wasteland. This is akin to our decades of life spent doing what is expected of us in life and work.

Knights on the Grail quest were both heroic and flawed individuals engaged in a personal spiritual journey. In this way they represent any one of us who has undertaken a lifetime of spiritual questing. The call of peer pressure, societal norms, expected’s all much louder than the spirit within. This is due to the lizard brain, that small program in charge of fight or flight. The Lizard perceives that blending into society is the surest way to survive, so it directs all choices along those lines. Any deviation from the 'safe' course, triggers the fear response. Quite a bit of Lizard control is required to be a 'rugged individualist' or 'to march to your own drummer.' It's lonely out there, dangerous, exposed, but on that cold, damp wind, is the scent of the Holy Grail.

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