In the beautiful cycle of stories and legends based on King Arthur, the quest for the Holy Grail started out as a quest for an unrecoverable relic. The truth was not discovered until an everyday cup was dipped to bring water to an ailing king, bringing the king to recovery. Thus, the Holy Grail is discovered in acts of humble service.
Sir Laurence Gardner insists that humble service is the Grail Code for true kingly rule (page 2). Humble service is its own virtue, of course, and whatever its motivation, the world is better off when people truly see to the needs of others before their own. Thus one can argue for a shared ethical value among all great systems of belief, whether those systems are religious, esoteric, or philosophical.
Yet all “quests” are wrapped up in a system of meaning - a quest is an attempt to make sense of the place one has in one’s world. Humble service for its own sake is commendable, but may or may not constitute the end of one’s “quest.” That is particularly true when the symbol system motivating the quest is drawn from hoax and fancy. I assert that the Grail Quest as presented to us in the Arthurian Cycle, which ends in an act of compassion for the sick, was once rooted in the Christian language of hope. This quest has been subverted by the esoteric meanings as offered by Brown and Gardner, a system of meaning based on hoax and fancy.
Brown and Gardner assert that the Christian faith is what is misled and false. While Brown spares a kind word for the sincerity of belief in the modern church, (Brown, p. 234-235), Gardner is insistent that the Christian faith is founded on a farce, a hoax, a lie that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead (Gardner, p. 88, “Paul’s Mythological Jesus.”)
In writings attested to the first century in a continuous record through antiquity, the Apostle Paul explains his fervor. In First Corinthians Chapter 15, Paul makes it very clear that the purpose of the Christian life is wrapped up in the claim that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead. It is this resurrection through which the ethical demands made by Jesus take on both meaning and possibility. It is this resurrection that gives substance to the promise Jesus makes for our own resurrection. It is this resurrection that completes our atonement, our reconciliation, with God, and fills us with the hope of eternal life. Verses 16 through 19 state:
“For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
If Sir Laurence Gardner is correct, the blood line of Jesus Christ has continued and Prince Michael James Alexander Stewart, 7th Count of Albany, is his heir. Our purpose is to recognize this inheritance and work to support his divine right to rule which, given the opportunity, he would bear according to the Grail Code of humble service. Gardner attempts to provide documentary evidence, but the dating of these documents in antiquity is not a subject of consensus among scholars (to say the least!), while their earliest attestations uniformly post-date the creation of the secret Grail societies.
If the Apostle Paul is correct, our purpose is to be restored to relationship with God through Jesus Christ in order to share in his resurrection, thus to enjoy eternal life in the perfect pleasure of God’s presence. These convictions are given documentary attestation back to the first century, far earlier than anything that Emperor Constantine could conspire to fabricate (see also "Vatican Conspiracy.")
I hope that for you, as with the knights in the fabled Arthurian Cycle, the quest for the Holy Grail becomes a quest for truth and meaning. As with those knights, this quest is satisfied in the learning of discernment - discernment is a kind of practiced intuition for recognizing the truth that cannot finally be taught by others, it must be uniquely discovered by every individual.
This discernment is the ability to recognize what Christ would have you do or say in every situation. This discernment is, itself, the Wisdom of God, and we will have more to say about that in the article "The Sacred feminine.” When you embody the Wisdom of God, you become a sanctified vessel in the hands of God, a Holy Grail.