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Assuming Responsibility: A Yaqui Indian's Guide Towards The Grail

3933 words - 16 pages

In his book "The Spear of Destiny", Trevor Ravenscroft tells the history of the Lance of Longinus, the spear that pierced the side of Christ as he hung from the cross. He traces this spear through history and shows it to have been in the possession of some of the most influential people in history. His teacher was Walter Stein and so much of the book concentrates on Hitler and his obsession with this object. In this book the Grail is presented as the knowledge to use this spear in some supernatural way. No evidence is presented and no cross-referencing of any of the other literature available. It is simply stated. Ravenscroft claims that there are two ways to achieve this knowledge. Either through the use of "black arts" or by a much harder route of "learning the abc's of magic". These particular quotes are from the introduction to Wolfram Von Eschenbachs 'Parzival'. Once this knowledge is obtained some power that is present in the spear can be used for good or evil. The use is determined by the method that the user gained the knowledge of the Grail.The nature of the Grail, within a specific text, is difficult to decipher. However, when one considers more than one literary piece, the Grail's nature becomes confused, conflicting, and seemingly irreconcilable. Perhaps we should ask what Cretien de Troyes meant by the "Graal". Unfortunately this question appears unanswerable as we only have one document, and that unfinished, for answers. There can be little doubt that the Grail is an elusive idea. It has taken, and will continue to take, many different forms in many people's minds.The Holy Grail and its quest is a legend that has had a powerful impact on our civilization and culture. The Grail itself is an ancient Celtic symbol of plenty as well as a Christian symbol of redemption and eternal life, the chalice that caught the blood of the crucified Christ. More than this, the Grail legend can be seen in numerous pieces of literature throughout history. One modern piece of literature that comparably describes the Quest for the Grail as one of knowledge is the young Carlos Castaneda and his lessons learned from the Yaqui brujo Don Juan.The Grail legend is a living myth that is profoundly relevant to modern life in which we encounter such universal figures as the Fool (the naïve young Perceval and Carlos Castaneda), The Wise Old Man (the Hermit Gornemanz and Don Juan), and such important themes as the Waste Land, the Trinity, and the vessel of the Grail. The story of the Grail sheds profound light on man's search for the supreme value of life, for that which makes the most meaningful.The first written story of the Grial, which is still extant, is neither pagan nor Christian. About 1280, Chretien de Troyes began work on "Perceval, of the Story of the Grail". He died before finishing it, and left an enigma which has exercised the minds and the haunted the dreams of countless seekers after wisdom ever since. The story he told may be summarized...

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