The Question

A pigeon teaches me a lesson in humility.

Sir Thomas Malory who contributed to the Grail stories through his epic work the Le Morte d'Arthur learn't nothing from the noble Knights he wrote about, he was imprisoned in Colchester Castle for robbery and theft.

Sir Thomas Malory who contributed to the Grail stories through his epic work the Le Morte d’Arthur learnt nothing from the noble Knights he wrote about, being imprisoned in Colchester Castle for robbery and theft.

Hundreds of knights started, but only a fool achieved the last test of the Grail Quest, he asked the question:

“To whom does the Grail serve?”

Percival in the Grail stories is a simple fool who went on to become the knight who would achieve the Grail Quest and restore healing to the land.  Society conditioned Percival in the form of his mother and well-meaning fellow knights who taught him never to ask frivolous questions, which was the cause of why he failed the test in his first encounter with the Grail.  After further adventures Percival had to unlearn his conditioning and then asked the question at the second encounter with the Grail, restoring the wasteland to prosperity.  

The last test of the Grail Quest is clever, the solution is neither the question nor the answer, but rather the state of mind that asked the question.  Only an individual with humility could ask the Grail question, if an individual came before the Grail with preconceptions, be it conditioned by society or self, they were in a state of hubris, their prejudices blinding them to the reality in front of their noses.  Like children with no preconceptions we see everything as fresh and unique, and in those moments like little children our minds are full of questions, we see everything with clear eyes.

Hubris is a terrible state of being for it blinds you to reality, in your blindness you are unable to fully see the opportunities or realities in your life.  In hindsight the information was available warning of an attack at 9-11 but preconceptions blinded the sophisticated systems and clever armies of experts in the US intelligence services at terrible cost for America and for the world.

6th October is personally a day marked by bad events or amazing opportunities for me, but yesterday the only event that stood out from the ordinary was the “stupid pigeon” that I blogged about.  Today I recognise I am the stupid one, not the pigeon which taught me a significant lesson.  I have become too obsessed with my own rules, blinded so that I am unable to act as flexibly as I should to the changing situations that nature manifests.  Gawain is obsessive and hubristic in his devotion to rules of chivalry and social conduct in the Grail stories, which is blinding when you deal with chaotic wild nature, interestingly highlighted in the story of Gawain and the Green Knight.

Had I been strict in my interpretation of my own rules of intervention the pigeon would be dead, I had to break my rules by forcing the pigeon to move.  My blindness extended to my inability to see the cause of why the pigeon acted the way it did, Ohnwentsya explained in the comments in the “stupid pigeon” blog that animals and people shut down when overwhelmed by a stimulus, I kicked myself when I read that since it sometimes happens to me that I shut down when over stressed.

I shall reflect on this incident for a long time to come.  Yesterday, I was the stupid one, I would have failed the final Grail test, the pigeon was a good teacher.

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6 responses to “The Question

  1. Having read your other post… I get what you mean… but Alex I will continue trying to save these little blighters that take stage fright when they land in the road…

  2. You seem to me to be a bit hard on yourself in this post! Just my thought.

  3. One of the wonderful aspects of life is learning from our mistakes and being aware when we have made a mistake and then changing in order to not repeat the mistake. You have done this well.

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