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The Chalice of Ecstasy: Parzival  by Frater Achad (Charles Stansfield Jones)

Key entry by Fr. Nachash
Ur‘us-Hadit Camp, OTO
Completed 04-22-91 e.v.


                          CHALICE OF ECSTASY


                       A MAGICAL AND QABALISTIC
                           INTERPRETATION OF
                             THE DRAMA OF



                     A COMPANION OF THE HOLY GRAIL

                           SOMETIMES CALLED

                             FRATER ACHAD

                    Dedicated to my Beloved Friend
                             and Companion
                            FRATER AD ALTA
                     Who passed from our view into
                        THE GREAT HERE AND NOW
                          November 29th, 1918
                      exactly four years prior to
                     the completion of this essay.


The collective tradition of mankind is endowed with a relative infallibil-
ity,  and when rightly interpreted,  must represent the largest truth, the
most perfect beauty and the purest goodness known on earth. This transcen-
dental truth and goodness  and  beauty represents the divine substratum of
human nature,  the  ideal humanity which lies above and behind the aberra-
tions of individuals,  races and periods.  It is not subjected, as are the
latter,  to  Time  and  Circumstance  or to the limitations from which the
appearance of error, evil and deformity seem to spring.

The Legend of Parzival is not subject  to Time or Circumstance;  it repre-
sents a glimpse of the Eternal Reality,  the Everpresent Here and Now. The
circumstances of its  enactment  and  the  place  wherein  the festival is
beheld,  need  not  be  sought outside the Human Heart that has learned to
beat in time and tune with the Soul of  the  World.  All  who  are born of
"Heart's Affliction"  must  eventually  find  their way to that spot where
they "Scarcely move,  yet  swiftly seem to run" and having become one with
"The Way, The Truth and The Life"  they  will  discover  that the shifting
scenes of the world they had thought to be so real, will pass by them as a
pageant until the Vision of the  Grail  Itself  is presented to their pure

It is in the hope of awakening  some spark of the smouldering fire of this
inner consciousness in the hearts of those  who  may read these lines--not
having previously  understood  the  Legend--and from that spark enkindling
a great fire that will burn up the veils which hide man from Himself--from
God--that  I  have dared to add these fragments to the great mass of Grail
Literature already given to the world.

And to those  who  are  slumbering  contentedly,  wrapped  round  with the
delusion and dreams of this illusory like, I cry with Gurnemanz:

               Hey! Ho! Wood-keepers twain!
               Sleep-keepers I deem ye!
              At least be moving with the morning!
               Hear ye the call? Now thank the Lord
              That ye are called in time to hear it.

                               Point I.

                        THE COMING OF PARZIVAL

                         "By pity 'lightened
                          The guileless Fool--
                          Wait for him,
                          My chosen tool."

It is not my intention to set  forth  the  complete  Argument of the Great
Musical-Drama of "Parsifal" derived from the ancient legend of Parzival by
Richard Wagner, to whom be all praise and honour.

Those who have not had the privilege of witnessing  this festival-play, or
even  of  reading  a  good translation of the Libretto, should avail them-
selves  of  the  help  that  a  study  of the latter will give them before
expecting  to  gain  a  thorough  grasp  of  the interpretation herein set
forth. [1]

I shall also suppose that  the  student  has  some slight knowledge of The
Mystic Path and of The Holy Qabalah,[2]  although I shall endeavor to make
the points  dealt  with  as  comprehensive  as possible to the uninitiated
enquirer who is prepared to "wake and hearken to the Call".

The Music of Wagner I cannot give you,  nor shall I even attempt an inter-
pretation of that which, in the Opera, helps so much toward the opening of
those channels of consciousness  whereby  we  may  eventually receive some
comprehensive of the Music of the Spheres.

Fortunately this is not entirely necessary,  for  the true Path leads to a
point when each individual  may feel himself to be a highly-strung musical
instrument  whose  Will  runs  over  the strings causing complete and har-
monious vibrations in his own being, which will then seem to give forth an
un-formulated but delightful melody.

What is the Key-note of Parzival?


And what is Ecstasy?  It  has  been  well  described by one known to us as
Frater Perdurabo, and I shall quote his own words:

               ``There is a land of pure delight,
                  Where saints immortal reign.''

"So used  some  of us  to  sing  in childhood,  and we used  to  think  of
that land as far away,  farther  even than death that in those days seemed
so far.

"But I know this now:  that  land  is  not  so  far as my flesh is from my
bones! it is Here and Now.

"If there is one cloud in this tranquil azure,  it  is  this thought: that
conscious  beings  exist  who  are  not  thus infinitely happy, masters of

"What is the path to this  immortal  land?  To  the  Oriental,  meditation
offers  the  best  path.  To  the  Western,  there  is no road better than
ceremonial.  For ecstasy is caused by the sudden combination of two ideas,
just as oxygen and hydrogen unite explosively.

"But this religious  ecstasy  takes  place  in  the highest centres of the
human organism;  it is the soul itself that is united to its God;  and for
this reason  the rapture is more overpowering,  the joy more lasting,  and
the resultant energy more pure and splendid than in aught earthly.

"In ritual therefore,  we  seek continually to unite the mind to some pure
idea by an act of will. This we do again and again, more and more passion-
ately,  with  more and more determination,  until at last the mind accepts
the  domination  of  the  will,  and  rushes  of its own accord toward the
desired object.  This  surrender  of  the  mind to its Lord gives the holy
ecstasy we seek."

Here we have  one  of the most important keys to the interpretation of the
Drama  of  Parzival,  and  also  an  indication of the result which Wagner
desired to produce upon the minds of his audience.

Unless the Play is properly staged, and the parts taken by those who them-
selves understand at least something of the "Way of Holiness", this effect
is not made upon the consciousness of the onlookers. This is doubtless one
the reasons why Wagner made  arrangements  that  this  Work should only be
produced at Bayreuth in a proper setting and  under  right conditions, for
it represents the summit of his Magical Mountain of which the base was the
Ring.  He called it a  Stage-Consecrating Festival,  and its  effects were
intended to exert their influence upon the Drama of Life itself.

We will pass over the  early  part of the opening Scene with its introduc-
tion of Gurnemanz,  Kundry, and Amfortas, and concentrate our attention on
the entry of Parzival;  heralded  by the falling of a Swan brought down by
his own weapon.

What is this Swan?


How do I know?  Never mind,  let me quote  once  again from one who is the
Master thereof:

                               THE SWAN

              ``There  is  a Swan  whose  name is Ecstasy;
                  it  wingeth  from  the  deserts  of  the
                  North;  it  wingeth through the blue; it
                  wingeth over the fields of rice;  at its
                  coming they push forth the green.
                In all the  Universe  this  Swan  alone in
                  motionless; it seems to move, as the Sun
                  seems to move;  such  is the weakness of
                  our sight.
                O fool! criest thou?
                Amen.    Motion  is  relative:   there  is
                  Nothing that is still.
                Against  this  Swan  I  shot an arrow; the
                  white breast  poured  forth  blood.  Men
                  smote  me;  then perceiving that I was a
                  Pure Fool, they let me pass.
                Thus  and  not  otherwise  I  came  to the
                  Temple of the Grail.''

Thus did Parzival bring down Ecstasy to Earth, although the King-Amfortas-
and his Knights had "esteemed it a happy token,  when  o'er  the  lake  it
circled aloft".

What is this lake?  When  calm and unruffled,  brooded over by the Swan of
Ecstasy,  it  is  the  human  mind  trained by the proper methods to Right
Contemplation.  For  only  when  the mind is still may the Sun of the true
Self be seen reflected in its depths.  From that it is but one step to the
attainment of  Right  Ecstasy  when  the Sun  plunges  into  the depths of
the Mind and the whole  being  is  aflame with the Sacred Fire of the Holy

Parzival had aimed high;  he  had  hit the mark of his Aspiration,  little
though his action was at first understood.  Yet his Folly saved him, as he
in turn saved others.

When  questioned  as  to  his  action he answered "I knew not 'twas wrong"
although he flung away weapon, having no further use for it in that form.

What was his weapon?  The Bow of Promise and the Arrow of Pure Aspiration.
But he had aspired,  he  had  hit  the  mark and the promise had been to a
certain extent fulfilled.

The Qabalist will at once recognise the "Path of Samech or Sagittarius the
Archer on the `Tree of Life.'"  This is the Path of the Arrow that cleaves
the Rainbow, leading directly from Yesod--The Foundation--to Tiphareth the
Sphere of the Sun,  Beauty and Harmony,  or  the  Human  Heart wherein the
Mysteries of  the  Rosy  Cross and of the Holy Grail are first--if dimly--

To what other use had  Parzival--son of Herat's Affliction--previously put
his weapon?  He had shot at all that flies.  He had shot at the Eagle, the
bird that fears not to gaze upon the very Sun itself.

What does this eagle mean and what does it foreshadow?


For it is written:  "The  Eagle  is that Might of Love which is the Key of
Magick, uplifting the Body and its appurtenance unto High Ecstasy upon his

This Eagle is known to Occultists  as  one of the Four Cherubic Beasts and
he represents one of the Four Powers of the Sphinx.  Likewise he is attri-
buted by Eliphas Levi to Azoth,  the  formula of the Alpha and Omega,  the
First and Last.

It was by the  right  use  of  this  Might of Love that Parzival succeeded
where others had failed. For again it is written in Liber Aleph: "Consider
Love.  Here  is  a  force destructive and corrupting whereby have many men
been lost: witness all History. Yet without love man were not man.

"We see  Amfortas,  who  yielded  himself  to a seduction,  wounded beyond
healing;  Klingsor,  who withdrew himself from a  like  danger , cast  out
forever from the Mountain of Salvation, and Parzival who yielded not, able
to exercise the true  Power  of  Love and therby to perform the Miracle of

But  though we are now nearing that realm wherein "Time and Space are One"
we must not allow ourselves to be rushed forward too rapidly.

There were  many things that Parzival did not know,  or which he professed
not to know when questioned. He did now as yet know he True Name--the Word
of His Being--though he had in the past been called by  many  names.  Some
things he knew and remembered clearly;  there  was one thing he desired to
know and to understand.

What is the Grail!

To which Gurnemanz very properly replies:

                       I may not say:
               But if to serve it thou be bidden,
               Knowledge of it will not be hidden.-
                       And lo!-
               Methinks I know thee now indeed;
               No earthly road to it doth lead,
               By no one can it be detected
               Who by itself is not elected.

To which Parzival, without further questioning, replies:

                       I scarcely move,
                  Yet I swiftly seem to run.

And Gurnemanz:

                       My son, thou seest
                  Here SPACE and TIME are ONE.

Now, in truth, have we come to the beginning of the True Path which in the
clear Light is one with the end thereof.

What says Blavatsky in "The Voice of the Silence"?   "Bestride the Bird of
Life if thou wouldst know!"

And this Bird--this Swan--so seeming dead until its Powers be known?  Some
have  compared  it  to  the  Sacred Word,  the  Great Word AUM.  For it is
written:  "AUM is the hieroglyph of the Eternal.  A the beginning sound, U
its middle and M its end,  together  forming  a  single  Word  or Trinity,
indicating that the  Real  must  be regarded as of this three-fold nature.
Birth, Life and Death, not successive, but one."

The Illusory nature of Time and Space,  which  are but modes of our finite
mind,  has  been  made  very  clear  by Sidney Klein in his excellent book
"Science and the Infinite,"  but  this  is no new idea.  The attainment of
Ecstasy has proved  to  Initiates  of  every land that there is a state of
consciousness  wherein  both  time  and  space  are  blotted out--at least
temporarily--and at the same moment  the limitations of the "personal ego"
no longer appress us.  In  that  Holy Book known as Liber LXV--Chapter II,
Verses 17-25, we read:

       ``17. Also the Holy One came upon me, and I beheld a white swan
       floating in the blue.
         18. Between its wings I sate, and the aeons fled away.
         19. Then the swan flew and dived and soared, yet no
       whither we went.
         20. A little crazy boy that rode with me spake unto
       the swan and said:
         21. Who art thou that doth float and fly and dive and
       soar in the inane? Behold, these many aeons have passed;
       whence camest thou? Whither wilt thou go?
         22. And laughing I chid him saying: No whence! No
         23. The swan being silent, he answered: Then if with
       no goal, why this eternal journey?
         24. And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan,
       and laughed, saying: Is there not joy ineffable in this
       aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience
       for who would attain to some goal?
         25. And the swan was ever silent. Ah, but we floated
       in the infinite Abyss. Joy! Joy!
         White swan bear thou ever me up between thy wings.''

But there was much that Parzival must do before taking his  ease  thus: he
had a mission to accomplish, on earth, though as yet he knew not.

By the  use  of  these  examples,  we may begin to comprehend what happens
next.  A  new  "movement  without  motion"  on  the  part  of Parzival and
Gurnemanz is now symbolized by the SCENERY in the Drama shifting, at first
almost imperceptibly,  from Left to Right.  The forest--in which the First
Scene had taken place--disappears;  a  door  opens in the rocky cliffs and
conceals the two;  they are then seen again in sloping passages which they
appear to ascend. At last they arrive at a mighty hall, which loses itself
overhead in a high vaulted dome,  down  from  which  the light streams in.
From the heights above the dome comes the increasing sound of chimes.

Again we may find a very direct correspondence in the Eastern Teachings as
propounded by  Madame Blatvatsky in  "The Voice of Silence."  She  writes:
"Thou canst travel on that Path until thou hast become the Path itself."

Further in Liber CCCXXXIII by Frater Perdurabo we read:

     ``O thou that settest out upon the Path, false is the Phantom
        that thou seekest. When thou hast it thou shalt know all
        bitterness, thy teeth fixed in the Sodom-Apple.
       Thus hast thou been lured along That Path, whose terror else
        had driven thee far away.
       O thou that stridest upon the middle of The Path, no phantoms
        mock thee. For the stride's sake thou stridest.
       Thus art thou lured along That Path whose fascination else
        had driven thee far away.
     ``O thou that drawest toward the End of The Path, effort is no
        more. Faster and faster dost thou fall; thy weariness is
        changed into Ineffable Rest.
       For there is no Thou upon that Path: thou hast become The Way.''

And each must learn to  travel  this  Path,  each  must  overcome  his own
obstacles,  unmask his own illusions.  Yet there is always the possibility
that others may  help  us  do this and,  as in the case of Parzival led by
Gurnemanz who travelled that Way before, we may be guided in the true Path
and taught to avoid the many false byways  that may tempt us in our search
for the Temple of the Holy Grail.  In fact, if our training has been right
and our aspiration remains pure,  we  must inevitably arrive at the end of
that Road; often we may seem to do so in the twinkling of an eye, and when
we least expect it.

We should remember that every point of this Drama is highly symbolic.  The
student may place his own interpretation on that passage which  opens into
the  Temple  of  the  Grail.  On  arrival therein we cannot do better than
listen to the advice of Gurnemanz to Parzival, who meanwhile stands spell-
bound with Wonder at what he beholds:

               Now give good head, and let me see,
                If thou'rt a Fool and pure,
               What wisdom thou presently canst secure.

And this WISDOM Parzival  does  in due course secure, but not until he has
undergone many trials.  For  WISDOM is the HOLY SPEAR itself, long lost to
the Knights of the Grail but eventually recovered by The Pure Fool.

Meanwhile, during the Feast of the Grail, Parzival stands still and spell-
bound  like  a  rude  clod.  He  sees  the  CUP of the Grail uncovered, he
witnesses the ceremony of  the  Companions  of the Grail, and he attains a
certain interior UNDERSTANDING which transcends knowledge.  For the CUP is
the UNDERSTANDING,  though  in this instance it was divorced from the WILL
or WISDOM,  the  Holy  Spear  which  alone  is  capable of enlightening it

A word may now be said regarding the nature of  "The Pure Fool"; and since
this Ritual is one for all time, we shall go back before the Christian Era
(to which the Grail Mystery is  usually  particularly attributed)  back to
Ancient China  where  the  testimony of that Holy Sage Lao Tze gives us no
uncertain clue.  The  Way  of  the  Tao--Wu Wei--the accomplishment of all
things by doing Nothing,  is  precisely similar to the "Path" we have been
describing. Lao Tze says:

       ``The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased as if
       enjoying a full banquet,  as  if  mounted on a tower in
       spring.  I  alone  seem listless and still,  my desires
       having as yet given no  indication  of  their presence.
       I am like an infant which has  not  yet smiled.  I look
       dejected and forlorn,  as I I had no home to go to. The
       multitude of men all have enough and to spare.  I alone
       seem to have  lost  everything.  My  mind  is that of a
       stupid man; I am in a state of chaos.
         Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I
       alone seem to be benighted. They look full of discrim-
       ination, while I alone am dull and confused. I seem to
       becarried about as on a sea, drifting as if I had
       nowhere to rest. All men have their spheres of action,
       while I alone seem dull and incapable, like a rude
         Thus I ALONE AM DIFFERENT from other men, but I value
       the Nursing-Mother (The Great Tao).''

So we see this Fool is  not  the  ordinary  sort  of  foolish and besotted
person to  which  the form is usually applied.  In his Foolishness we find
his difference from his fellows;  for in sooth it is the Divine Madness of
Ecstasy which redeems from all pain.  It is "That which remains" after the
sorrows and  shadows  that  pass  and are done,  have left our being. Then
Existence is  recognized to be Pure Joy.  But Understanding without Wisdom
is Pure Darkness,  and  in this state is Parzival discovered by Guernemanz
at the end of the Ceremony.  This  is a darkness even Guernemanz is unable
to comprehend, for he says:

               Why standest thou there?
               Wist thou what thou sawest?

And Parzival, shaking his head slightly, he continues:

               Thou art then nothing but a Fool!

And pushing Parzival through a small door he cries angrily:

               Come away, on thy road the gone
                 And put my rede to use:
               Leave all our swans for the future alone
                 And seek thyself a gander, a goose.

And so it came about that Parzival set out alone upon his Holy Quest.


                               Point II

                       THE TEMPTING OF PARZIVAL

               ``For  pure  will,  unassuaged of purpose,
              delivered from the lust of result, is every
              way  perfect.''  Liber  Al.  vel.  Legis

The last Scene of the First Act of this Drama will have  enabled us to see
something of the nature of the "Heart"  or  Temple  of  the Knights of the
Grail.  We  are next transported to the "Keep" of Klingsor's Castle, there
to obtain a glimpse of the Heart of a Black Magician.  Klingsor represents
one who has  "shut  himsel f up",  who desires to keep his personality and
while retaining possession of the  SPEAR or Divine Will to make use of it,
if possible for his own personal ends.

Man is given a  certain  freedom  of  will  in  order  that he may thereby
develop the sense of Freedom and so willingly ally himself with the Divine
Will  or  True  Purpose  of  his  Being.  Should  he  make  the mistake of
attempting to reverse  the  process,  turning  the  Divine  Will to merely
personal ends,  he must inevitably fall.  He thereby cuts himself off from
the Universal Current and is  slowly  but surely disintegrated until he is
finally lost in the Abyss.

For a time,  however,  as in the case of Klingsor, he may seem to exercise
an illusionary power by taking  advantage  of the delusions of others. For
he plays upon their emotional natures, which tend if uncontrolled to befog
the mind  thus  preventing  the  True Sun of Being from illuminating their

Self-damned, the one desire of such a being is to cause the utter ruin and
downfall  of  others  in  order  that the terrible loneliness which he--if
dimly--realizes  to  be  his fate,  may be assuaged by the presence of his

Klingsor,  however,  still hopes to capture the Holy CUP itself--which has
remained in the  possession  of  the Knights of the Grail--for this is the
Cup of  UNDERSTANDING  whereby  he may discover a way to reverse this fate
and to make use of its contents,  the Divine Substance which is capable of
infinite transformation when united with the Spear or WILL.

Even without this perfect means of transmutation,  he has still obtained a
certain power over Astral Matter,  which being of a very plastic nature is
capable of transformation into  images  alluring  or terrible according to
the effect to be produced upon his victims.

The Aspirant has been warned of the illusory nature of the Astral Plane in
"The Voice of Silence"  which  contains instructions for those ignorant of
the dangers of the lower Iddhi  (magical powers).  We shall refer to these
instructions again in the proper place.

Meanwhile, as the Act opens,  we discover Klingsor seated before his magic
mirror in the Keep of his Castle. He is surrounded with the instruments of
his art, which are as complex as the true weapons are simple.

He is  evidently  aware of the coming of Parzival--the Guileless Fool--and
he  realizes that here is a menace to his power,  since that power depends
upon beguilement.  The  question before him is whether this Fool is really
too Pure to be tempted by the subtle blandishments of his magic art.

Kundry--Woman--capable alike of raising man to the heights or dragging him
to the very depths,  is  the best instrument to his hand.  She--the Animal
Soul of  the  World--while directed  by  the  lower will or intellect--has
within her not alone the possibilities of redemption,  but  of  taking her
rightful place upon the Throne of  the  Mother if brought to Understanding
the Higher Will and Wisdom of the Father of All.

On the other hand if under the  influence of the lower will she is allowed
to seduce man from his aspiration,  do  that he fails to discover his True
Will  (which  is  one with Destiny and the Will of God and which alone can
direct him in his proper course)  she ruins him and at the same time loses
her own chance  of  redemption.  He  is  then doomed to wander in paths of
illusion having no comprehension of the true Purpose of his Being or hers.

Klingsor exercises  a mighty power over Kundry whenever she allows herself
to fall asleep,  though much of her time during waking hours is devoted to
the service of the Knights of the  Grail.  Many  of  these she has injured
while under the spell of Klingsor.  She  often  desires to make amends but
her heart is torn between this form of activity and desire for case.

Whenever she sinks back into the sloth of  Ignorance,  or  what the Hindus
term the Tamas Guna,  she  is subject to the art of Klingsor for he is the
maker of  Illusion  through  Learning  or  the  Powers  of  the  mind, the
principle known as Rajas.  By  means  of this mental power many false uses
may be devised for the  Love  nature,  which  when  wrongly  used  becomes
destructive instead of Creative and constructive.

Parzival--The Pure Fool--is in  that  condition  mentioned by Lao Tze "His
desires having as yet given no indication of their presence."  The crucial
test is whether when they are aroused for  the first time he will use them
rightly or wrongly.  Therein both Amfortas and Klingsor had failed, though
in different ways. Now comes a third candidate in the form of Parzival and
Klingsor fears greatly for the continuance of his own power.

He knows that even Kundry will be  redeemed should Parzival,  by rejecting
her advances,  and refusing to accept aught but the highest,  cause her at
last to Understand and so become released from Klingsor's illusory powers.

Klingsor  first  lights  incense,  which in true magick is a symbol of the
aspiration of the lower towards the higher. But there is no Lamp above the
altar,  and the Lamp symbolizes the Higher Aspiration to draw up and unite
the  lower  with itself.  The incense alone produces nothing but the smoky
clouds which represent the Astral Plane, and this plane being particularly
attributed to the Desires  and Emotions is the one most suited to the work
Klingsor wishes Kundry to perform. It is her Astral body over which he has
the most influence.

His call to her is worthy of notice:

               Arise! Draw near me!
               The Master calls thee, nameless woman:
               She-Lucifer! Rose of Hades!
               Herodias wert thou. And what else?
               Gundryggia there, Kundry here!
               Approach! Approach then, Kundry!
               Unto thy Master appear!

And in the incense  smoke  now  appears  the  figure of Kundry--her Astral
form--half-obedient, half rebellious to the will of Klingsor.

The term  "Rose  of  Hades" should be noticed here, for in a certain sense
Kundry is that same Rose which is to be found in connection with the Cross
in the Rosy Cross Ceremonies. The Cross of Suffering may be looked upon as
represented  by Amfortas--as can be shown Qabalistically--and the wound at
his breast is caused by the Rose,  Kundry.  The  Spear  and Cup convey the
same Symbolism but on a Higher Plane.

Meanwhile Kundry gradually comes under the spell of  Klingsor,  who orders
her  to  use  all  her  wiles  to  ensnare  the approaching and victorious
Parzival; "Whom sheerest Folly shields."

Klingsor,  while admitting that he cannot hold Kundry,  claims that he can
force her to his will:

                       ``Because against me
                       Thine own power cannot move''

Kundry, laughing harshly, makes this strange reply:

                       Ha Ha! Art thou chaste!

This remark causes Klingsor to sink into gloomy brooding.  He  recalls how
he,  too,  had  once  sought the holier life and the service of the Grail.
But, unlike Amfortas who had succumbed to seduction, he, thinking to avoid
a like fate had used his will to attempt something against Nature and God;
the total suppression of his Love nature. This had resulted in an enforced
chastity,  giving  him  power  to avoid seduction--'tis true--but likewise
cutting him off from the possibility of redemption. For hear his words:

                       Awfulest strait!
               Irrepressible yearning woe!
               Terrible lust in me once rife,
               Which I had quenched with devilish strife;
               Mocks and laughs it at me,
               Thou devil's bride, through thee?
                       Have a care!

In spite of further threats,  we find Kundry still affirming that she will
not conform to Klingsor's demands,  yet,  such is woman-kind,  she quietly
disappears to make ready for the reception and  tempting  of Parzival; who
is at least a live and vigorous human being.

Klingsor has  been  watching  Parzival's  approach  to  his  magic castle,
armed--'tis said--with the Sword of  Innocence and protected by the Shield
of Folly.  Rather  I  should  interpret this Sword as that of Reason,  for
Parzival has  learned  in  his Folly to disarm and defeat the defenders of
Klingsor's Castle with their own weapons.

There is no deeper  wound  that  that  inflicted by our own weapons turned
against us; as Amfortas had found to his lasting pain and anguish.

The opportunities we have missed  but had the power to take and might have
taken, rankle more deeply than all the vain regrets for those things which
were impossible of attainment.

But the mere possession  of  the  most  sacred  weapon--as  in the case of
Klingsor and the Holy Spear--without further possibility of its right use,
is bitterest of all.

And so we find,  when  Kundry has `gone to work',  Klingsor's Tower slowly
sinks and disappears from sight.  At  the same time his "Garden of Desire"
rises and his beautiful but illusory creations "The Flower Maidens" appear
before our astonished eyes.

Parzival, whose desires have as yet given no indication of their presence,
has by this time arrived at the wall of the garden. What he beholds is but
subsidiary to his main Purpose to retrieve the Holy Spear,  yet  he,  too,
stands amazed.

This may be deemed as Parzival's introduction to "The Hall of Learning" as
it is called by Madame  Blavatsky  in  "The Voice  of the Silence." Let us
turn aside  for  a  moment  in order to obtain a clearer idea of just what
that term implies. We read in Chapter I, Verses 22-29 as follows:

         22. Three Halls,  O weary Pilgrim,  lead to the end of toils.
       Three halls,  O  conqueror of Mara,  will  bring  thee  through
       three states into the fourth, and thence into the Seven Worlds,
       the Worlds of Rest Eternal.
         23. If thou would'st learn  their  names,  then  hearken, and
       remember.  The name of the  first hall is IGNORANCE--Avidya. It
       is the Hall  in  which  thou  saw'st  the light,  in which thou
       livest and shalt die.

Ignorance corresponds to Malkuth and Nepesh (the animal soul), Learning to
Tiphareth and Ruach  (the Mind),  and  Wisdom  to  Binah and Neshamah (the
aspiration or Divine Mind).--Fra. O.M.

         24. The name of Hall the second is the Hall of  LEARNING.  In
       it thy soul will find the blossoms  of  life,  but  under every
       flower is a serpent coiled.
         25. The name  of  the  third  Hall  is  WISDOM,  beyond which
       stretch the shoreless waters  of  AKSHARA,  the  indestructible
       Fount of Omniscence.

(Akshara is the same as the Great Sea of the Qabalah.  It  is also the CUP
of the GRAIL, as WISDOM is the SPEAR.)

         26. If thou wouldst cross the first Hall safely,  let not thy
       mind mistake the fires of lust that  burn  therein for the sun-
       light of life.
         27. If thou would'st cross the  second  safely,  stop not the
       fragrance of its stupefying blossoms inhale. * * *
         28. The WISE ONES  tarry  not  in the pleasure grounds of the
         29. The  WISE ONES  heed  not  the  sweet-tongued  voices  of

Enough has been quoted to show the extraordinary  correspondences  between
the  "Garden  Scene"  of  the  Drama  of  Parzival  with  both the Eastern
Teachings and those of the Holy Qabalah.  But this Drama is not subject to
Time or Circumstance.

We left  Parzival in a state of wonder upon the wall of Klingsor's Garden.
We  next  find  the  "Flower  Maidens"  bemoaning the loss of their lovers
--their pleasures--slain by Parzival upon  his  approach to the Castle and
entry to the Garden.

Thye Flower Maidens are easily solaced,  however, by the hope that here is
a freash pleasure,  stronger and more potent than  those lost to them. One
that will more than take the place of all the others.

In this  hope  they  are  deceived for--as in real life--pleasures in time
lose their  hold  (especially if abused) and though we may seek a stronger
and more intense  form of amusement,  our power to enjoy may become dulled
and lost to us.

The case in point is somewhat different,  however,  for the Flower Maidens
find that the power  to  enjoy  does not lie with them, for Parzival--with
his One  Purpose--is  not  to  be  turned  aside  for  the  sake of lesser

Why should he,  when  by waiting he may gain All instead of a mere partial
rapture?  Has  he  not already experienced the Higher form of Ecstasy? The
question now arises  whether he had realised that this Higher Ecstasy with
its Purity and STILLNESS is more to be esteemed than the APPARENT ACTIVITY
of the lesser order.

In the Higher forms of Ecstasy characterized by this quality of STILLNESS,
the ACTIVITY is in reality SO INTENSE that  it  appears to CEASE.  But the
resultant  Rapture  is  in  that  case  more refined and consequently more
Powerful than in the Peace which  passeth all understanding. Kundry may be
said to have so far sought Rest below the Vibration of the RED RAY,  while
Parzival has found it beyond that of the ULTRA-VIOLET.

And so,  when later,  Kundry uses all her charms  to  tempt  Parzival, she
fails.  Her embrace awakens the  vibration of the  RED RAY in the heart of
Parzival and  in  this  he  recognizes,  sympathetically, the cause of the
wound of Amfortas and wherein the latter had failed. For Amfortas had been
content to accept LESS than was his DUE, a vibration lower than the one to
which his being was capable of responding.

Once the string of the Instrument or of the  Bow  has  been slackened, its
power is reduced;  once the WILL has become the `will'  it needs re-tuning
to the Divine or Higher Vibration,  but it cannot thus re-tune itself once
self-will has usurped the place of SELF-WILL.

In that case the  Holy  Spear  of Will and Wisdom has been replaced by the
Sword of Reason.  This  Sword  is  both useful and necessary until man has
obtained  possession  of  the  Holy  Spear or become conscious of his true
Purpose,  (Just  as  Reason  is  necessary  until  we attain to Wisdom and
Understanding  whereby  the  Truth  is  directly  perceived   without  the
necessity of inference and deduction)  but  once the higher faculties have
been acquired and the Higher Will  recognized as the true guiding Power of
our lives, our Purpose must be kept pure and unsullied.

This Mystery is made clear in Liber Al vel Legis:

                    ``Let it be  that  state  of  manyhood
                   bound  and  loathing.  So with thy all;
                   though hast no right but to do thy will.
                      Do that,  and no other shall say nay.
                      For pure will, unassuaged of purpose,
                   delivered from the lust  of  result,  is
                   every way perfect.
                      The Perfect and  the  Perfect are one
                   Perfect and not two; nay, are none!''

So we come to understand how the  Perfect  Cup and the Perfect Spear--Pure
Understanding and Wisdom--are one; nay,  are none since all `knowledge' is
cancelled out in Perfect Ecstasy.

Parzival yields not the the glamour of time  and circumstance for he seeks
the Eternal Reality,  the everpresent Here and Now.  The chance of a brief
reflection of ecstasy on the physical  plane does  not  deter him from his
Quest  for  that  which  is CONTINUOUS as the Body of Our Lady Nuit or the
Stars of Heaven.  But, meanwhile,  since  he  has  left behind him--in the
Temple of the Grail--the true Chalice of Ecstasy,  his  first  duty  is to
seek  the  Holy  Spear,  the  means  whereby  alone it may be vivified and

Under  the  influence  of Kundry he obtains a glimpse of his true purpose,
the  mission  of  Redeemer.  Having realized  the  cause  of  the wound of
Amfortas he  determines  to  seek  and  obtain the means whereby it may be
cured.  Nor is he to be turned  aside  from this deed of compassion for in
vain does Kundry question:

                   And was it my kiss
                   This great knowledge conveyed thee?
                   If in my arms I might take thee,
                   'T would then a god surely make thee.
                   Redeem the world then, if 'tis thy aim:
                   Stand as a god revealed;
                   For this hour let me perish in flame,
                   Leave aye the wound unhealed.

But  Parzival  is determined that he will first heal the wound of Amfortas
--King of the Grail--and he  offers  Kundry redemption at the price of her
showing him the way back to the Castle of the Grail.

This would perhaps have seemed the reasonable course for Kundry to persue.
But the Task of Parzival, by the proper performance of which he may become
MASTER OF THE TEMPLE, is not thus easy of accomplishment.

He must,  in fact, on his return to the Temple bring with him the NEOPHYTE
in his hand.  He  must  have proved his power to raise the Fallen Duaghter
--or Animal  Soul--to  the  Throne of the Mother--Understanding. It is his
task to lead Kundry to the Mountain of Salvation, not hers to show him the

Besides,  he  has  not  yet  obtained  the  means  of  curing the wound of
Amfortas.  Mere  compassion  for  his  anguish,  mere  realization  of the
cause of the trouble is not enough.  Had  he returned at this juncture his
mission would have been a failure.

But Kundy--womanlike--does  not  pursue  the reasonable course, and in the
end her intuition produces the finer flowering. Yet she  is  not conscious
of  this for the intuition is clouded in her mind by her emotional nature.
She  is  aware  that she has been flouted,  that her charms have failed to
seduce Parzival from the sacred mysteries,  as  she  has seduced Amfortas.
For Parzival has told her:

                    Should I be damned with thee,
                            If for one hour
                    I forget my holy mission,
                    Within thine arm's embracing!

And this is no pleasant pill for any pretty woman to swallow.

Nor  could  her  appeal  to  his  pity  (though  in  truth  washe "By Pity
'lightened") turn him aside from his larger purpose; even when this appeal
was coupled with  the  promise  that he should straightway see the Path to
the Grail if he lingered but an hour.

Desperate, Kundy cries:

                     ``Begone, detestable wretch''

and calling upon  Klingsor  (the only Master Will she knows) to avenge her
wrong,  she  at the same time curses Parzival and all the Paths wherein he
might travel, should they lead away from her.

And  here  the  intuition  that  she is really necessary to his Attainment
actually  brings  about the next step towards that end,  by strange means.
Parzival needs  above  all  to  realize  the Nature of his True Will.  And
Klingsor has at this  moment  appeared  upon  the Castle wall; the Damsels
rushing out of the Castle hasten towards Kundry, while Klingsor--poising a

                 Halt there! I'll ban thee with befitting
                 The Fool shall perish  by  his  Master's

All else having failed,  Klingsor  make use of the Sacred Spear Itself. He
hurls his WILL at Parzival,  who,  being perfectly receptive to the Higher
Power  (no  matter  what  the agency used to bring it to him) receives the
Spear,  not  in  his  heart,  but in his hand.  For--as in the case of the
Higher WILL at the time of  the  opening  of  the 1001 petalled Lotus, the
Real Flower of the Garden--it  is  seen  gently  floating  above his head,
within his reach and power to grasp.

And so Parzival grasps his  True  Purpose  and  brandishing the Holy Spear
with  a  gesture  of  exhalted  rapture,  he  makes  the Sign of the Cross
therewith.  Now the Sign of the Cross is  symbolical of that "Cross of the
Elements"  from which the Creative Word issued at the birth of the dawning

A New Word is, as  it  were,  uttered  by Parzival and once again the Holy
Spirit may be said to brood upon the Waters of Chaos.  For at this moment,
as with an  earthquake,  the  Castle  falls  to  ruins;  the  false Garden
withers, and the damsels lie like shrivelled  flowers strewn around on the
ground. Kundry sinks down with a cry, and to her turns once more--from the
summit of the ruined wall--the departing Parzival:

                            Thou knowst--
                    Where only we shall meet again.

And, having uttered these prophetic words, he disappears among the shadows.

                               Point III

                         THE REDEMPTION OF THE


                       ``H”chsten Heiles Wunder!
                          Erl”sung dem Erl”ser!''

Before passing on to the final scenes of this Drama,  it is necessary that
we  should  know  something  of  the Great Ceremony of Initiation into the
Grade of  Master  of  the  Temple  which  Parzival  was  undergoing.  This
knowledge may best be  obtained  from the Records of the Great Brotherhood
itself,  and  from  the  actual  examples  of those Who have undergone the
Ordeals leading thereto.

The serious Student  will  be  greatly interested in observing how closely
some  of  the  passages  we have already quoted, and those we are about to
quote, parallel the events in the Drama as compiled by Richard Wagner. But
it must be  remembered  that  Wagner  himself received Instructions in the
great Principles  of  the Holy Order from certain of the Secret Chiefs and
this accounts for the  great  harmony  between  his Work and that of other
members of the Great Brotherhood.

We find in Liver IV these words: "The Master of the Temple has crossed the
Abyss, has entered the Palace of the King's Daughter; he has only to utter
one  word,  and all is dissolved. But, instead of that, he is found hidden
in the earth,  tending a garden.  This  mystery  is  all too complex to be
elucidated in these fragments of impure thought;  it is a suitable subject
for meditation."

Parzival enters the Abyss when, casting aside every personal consideration
and  actuated  by Pure Will delivered from the lust of result, he destroys
Klingsor's Garden and Keep.

All that structure,  built  upon  Reason,  is shattered, and nothing but a
rubbish-heap remains.  For  Parzival  had discovered the Power of the Word
whereby the Universe vanishes in Fire  and  Flame.  This  may therefore be
looked upon as the supreme Banishing Ritual.

But the  process of Creation,  Preservation and Destruction is continuous;
things must be destroyed on order that they may be renewed. It is from the
rubbish-heap of Chronozon (Klingsor)  that one selects the materials for a
god,  or  for  a  New  Aeon.  Understanding  is  the  structuralization of
knowledge, and implies coordination.

But,  in the meanwhile Parzival must tend a Garden of his own, for, having
looked upon the  "Face  of  the Father" he has become NEMO--No-man. (It is
interesting to note that Klingsor termed Kundry "Nameless woman", for she,
too, must attain to Understanding in the end.)

A study of Liber CCCXVIII,  13th Aethyr,  will give us a fuller comprehen-
sion of this Mystery. Therein we read:

           ``No man hath beheld the  face of my Father. Therefore he
           that hath beheld it is  called  NEMO.  And know thou that
           every man that is  called  NEMO  hath  a  garden  that he
           tendeth.  And  every garden that is and  flourisheth hath
           hath been prepared from the desert by NEMO,  watered with
           the waters that were called death.
             And I say unto him: To what end is the garden prepared?
             And he saith: First for the beauty and delight thereof;
           and next because it is written "And Tetragrammaton Elohim
           planted a garden eastward in Eden."  And lastly,  because
           though every flower bringeth forth a maiden, yet there is
           one flower that shall bring forth a  man-child.  And  his
           name shall be called NEMO,  when he beholdeth the face of
           my Father.  And he that tendeth the garden seeketh not to
           single out the flower that shall be NEMO. He doeth naught
           but tend the garden.
             And I said: Pleasant indeed is the garden, and light is
           the toil of tending it, and great is the reward.
             And he said:  Bethink thee  that  NEMO  hath beheld the
           face of my Father. In his is only Peace.
             And I said: Are all gardens like unto this garden?
             And he waved his hand,  and  in  the  Aire  across  the
           valley appeared an island  of  coral,  rosy,  with  green
           palms and fruit trees,  in the midst of the bluest of the
             And he waved his  hand  again,  and  there  appeared  a
           valley shut in by mighty snow  mountains,  and in it were
           pleasant streams of water,  rushing  through,  and  broad
           rivers, and lakes covered with lillies.
             And he waved his hand again, and there was a vision, as
           it were an oasis in the desert.
             And again he  waved  his  hand,  and  there  was  a dim
           country with grey rocks,  and  heather,  and  gorse,  and
           bracken. * * *
             And  he  seems  to  read my thought,  which is,  that I
           should love to stay in this garden forever: for he sayeth
           to me: Come with me,  and behold  how  NEMO  tendeth  his
             So we enter the earth, and there is a veiled figure, in
           absolute darkness. Yet it is perfectly possible to see in
           it, so that the minutest details do not  escape  us.  And
           upon the root of one flower  he  pours  acid so that root
           writhes as if in a torture.  And another he cuts, and the
           shriek is like the shriek of a  mandrake,  torn up by the
           roots. And another he chars with fire, and yet another he
           annoints with oil.
             And I said:  Heavy  is  the  labour,  but  great is the
             And the young  man  answered  me:  He shall not see the
           reward; he tendeth the garden.
             And I said: What shall come unto him?
             And he said:  This  thou  canst  not  know,  nor  is it
           revealed by the letters that are the totems of the stars,
           but only by the stars.''

We find in the above an exact parallel to the case  of  Parzival,  for  he
finds that "The Beatific Vision is no more, and the glory of the Most High
is no more.  There is no more knowledge. There is no more beauty. For this
is the Palace of Understanding; and he is one with the Primeval things."

He must  wander  about  in  the  earth,  tending the ROOTS of the flowers;
unconscious of the results of his labours,  until  the  time  is  ripe for
another to take his place.

The Third Act opens in the Grail's Domain.  We  perceive a pleasant spring
landscape and flowery meadows towards the back.  In  the  foreground  is a
wood  which  extends  away towards the right, and a spring of clear water.
Opposite, and higher up, is a narrow hermitage built against a rock. It is

All this brilliant spring  scenery symbolises some of the work of Parzival
who  has  laboured  in  darkness  for  many years. But the Night is nearly

Gurnemanz,  now  old  and  in  the  garment  of a simple hermit, yet still
protected by the Mantle of the Grail,  is  now discovered.  He hears a low
moaning which he  recognizes  as  that of Kundry,  who--half dead, but now
faithful in service--has  found  found  her  way  back  to the Mountain of
Salvation.  Intuitively  she  had been led to keep her tryst with Parzival
whose last words to he had been:  Thou  knowest,  where only we shall meet
again. She is discovered by Gurnemanz  concealed  in  a small thicket near
the stream. How long she has waited there,  who can tell,  but the thicket
is now overgrown with thorns.

Upon spying her, Gurnemanz cries:

                   The winter's fled, and Spring is here!
                   Awake, awake to the Spring!

The results of the  unseen  work of Parzival upon the "roots" of her being
soon become apparaent to Gurnemanz.  Her first cry,  on being aroused from
her deadly stupor, is: Service!

But Gurnemanz--shaking his head--replies:

                    Now will thy work be light!
                   We send no errands out long since:
                    Simples and herbs
                   Must ev'ry one find for himself:
                    'Tis learnt in the woods from the beasts.

But Kundry,  having  in  the  meanwhile  looked  about  her, perceives the
hermit's hut,  and goes in.  Gurnemanz, in surprise, remarks how different
is her step, and thanks Heaven that he has been the means of reviving this
"flower" that had formerly seemed so poisonous.

Kundry quitely returns with a water-pot which she takes to the spring, and
while waiting  for  it to fill,  she looks toward the wood and perceives a
strange Knight approaching in the distance.  She  turns  to Gurnemanz, who
seeing the same figure, remarks:

                   Who comes toward the sanctified stream?
                    In gloomy war apparel.
                    None of our brethren is he.

For in  his  shroud  of darkness Parzival--for it is he--is not recognized
even  by  Gurnemanz,  a Companion of the Grail.  It is not surprising that
during  his  wanderings  those  less  enlightened  should  have  failed to
perceive his identity.

He slowly enters,  clad  from head to foot in pure black armour; carrying,
upright, the Sacred Spear, equipped with sword and shield. He seems dreamy
and vacillating, but seats himself on the little knoll beside the stream.

Gurnemanz,  after  observing  him  for  some  time,  finding  him  silent,
approaches somewhat, and remarks:

                    Greet thee, my friend!
                   Art thou astray, and shall I direct thee?

In reply to  which  Parzival  gently shakes his head,  but remains silent.
Further questioning only elicits from him the same silent response, for is
it not written that UNDERSTANDING is pure Silence and Pure Darkness.

But the  end  of  this  period of silence and darkness is approaching. The
NEMO stage of the "City of the Pyramids" soon gives place to another.

Parzival  rises  and  thrusts his Spear upright in the ground, thus, as it
were,  linking  Heaven  and  Earth.  He then slowly divests himself of the
black armour.  First  he  lays  down his Sword (The power of Reason and of
analysis),  and  his  Shield (The heavy Karma of the World--his Pantacle).
Opening his Helmet  (which, being but a symbol of the Cup, has kept him in
a darkness) he removes it;  thus  allowing the Wine of Sunlight to descend
upon his head.

He then kneels in silent prayer before the  Spear,  seeking  conscious and
enlightened union with the Will  of  the  Universe.  Hitherto  he has been
guided  by  that  Will,  but  has  remained  the  while unconscious of Its
direction, he now seeks to participate more fully in the Great Purpose.

While thus engaged  in holy meditation, he is recognised by both Gurnemanz
and Kundry.  They  also  realize  that  he  has obtained possession of the
Sacred Spear,  so long lost to the Knights of the Grail. Kundry turns away
her face, while Gurnemanz, in great emotion, cries:

                   Oh!--holiest day.
                   To which my happy soul awakes!

Then,  having  arisen,  Parzival recognises them in turn and greetings are
exchanged.  He  can hardly believe that at last his path through error and
suffering has led him once again to that holy spot. For all seems changed.

His one desire  is to find Armfortas,  whose wound had so long aroused his
Compassion and Pity, and which he feels it to be his mission to heal. This
may  be  accomplished  by  one  means alone, the Sacred Spear by which the
wound was made.

And all that while that Parzival--even with this high purpose in view--had
consciously  sought  to  return  to  The  Mountain  of Salvation, the path
thereto had been denied him and he had wandered at random, as if:

                   Driven ever by a curse:
                         Countless distresses
                         Battles and conflicts
                   Drove me far from the pathway;
                   Well though I knew it, methought.

For the  Road to Ecstasy is one above thought, and when Ecstasy returns it
is as a Grace rather than as the result  of  our conscious efforts. Yet it
is the  reward  of  our  "wanderings"  if  our  Aspiration  has  been kept
perfectly pure meanwhile.

The Sacred Spear--The  True  Will--must  not  be used save for the highest
ends;  and  those  ends do not become apparent to the conscious mind, till
many a day after it has first been grasped and wielded to destroy illusion.


                  Then hopeless despair overtook me,
                  To hold the holy Thing safely.
                  In its behalf, in its safe warding
                  I won from ev'ry weapon a wound;
                  For 'twas forbidden
                  That in battle I bore it:  Undefiled
                  E'er at my side I wore it,
                  And now I home restore it.
                  'Tis this that gleaming hails thee here,--
                  The Grail's most holy spear.

And then  Parzival  learns from Gurnemanz that he at last nears the end of
his Quest, for he is already within the Grail's Domain. He learns, too, of
the anguish that has been suffered by Amfortas during his absence, and how
the  Knights had been disbanded because Amfortas no longer dared to unveil
the Holy Cup.  How Titurel,  Father and Founder of the Order, had died--as
other men--when he no longer received the Grail's enlivening beams.

So Parzival, in intense grief, bemoans his foolish wanderings that seem to
have caused  such  disastrous  results  through  his delay in returning to
Monsalvat on his mission of mercy.

But things could have not been otherwise.  We  should  remember  how  NEMO
tended  his  garden and how some of the roots writhed in anguish under the
acid or the knife, while others flourished by means of the oil.

Had his  Understanding  not  been  Pure Darkness, his conscious mind would
never  have  allowed  him to complete his Work. But such is the Mystery of
Redemption  that these things must be in  order that the final outcome may
be perfect.

Sorrow  and  suffering  are  great  teachers,  and  the Masters, having no
personal ends to accomplish,  are  often the Instruments whereby our Karma
comes upon us. As pointed out in Liber IV.:

               ``The contemplation of the Universe  must be at
               first almost pure  anguish.  It  is  this  fact
               which is  responsible  for most of the specula-
               tion of philosophy.
                 Mediaeval philosophers went hopelessly astray
               because of  their  theology  neccessitated  the
               reference  of  all things  to  the  standard of
               man's welfare. * * *
                 The Ego-Idea  must  be  ruthlessly rooted out
               before Understanding can be attained.
                 There is an  apparent  contradiction  between
               this attitude and  that  of  the  Master of the
               Temple. What can possibly be more selfish  than
               this interpretation  of everything as a dealing
               of God with the soul?
                 But it is God who is all  and  not  any part;
               and every "dealing"  must  thus be an expansion
               of the soul, a destruction of its seperateness.
                 Every ray of the sun expands the flower.
                 The surface of the water in the Magick Cup is
               infinite;  there is no point different from any
               other point.
                 Thus, ultimately,  as the wand (spear)  is  a
               binding and a limitation,  so is the Cup an ex-
               pansion--into the Infinite.
                 And this is the danger of the  Cup;  it  must
               necessarily be open to all, and yet if anything
               is put into it which is out of proportion,  un-
               balanced, or impure, it takes hurt.''
                 But--``Ultimately the Magical Will so identi-
               fies itself with the man's whole being  that it
               becomes unconscious, and is as constant a force
               as gravitation.''

Thus had the Spear--The Magical Will--led Parzival back to the Grail.

But, after his long Quest, Parzival is weak and fainting,  and  this final
temptation--the idea that after all he has FAILED in the Quest--causes him
to sink down helplessly upon the grassy knoll.

Kundry  has  brought a basin of Water with which to sprinkle Parzival, but
Gurnemanz, waving her off, says:

                               Not so!
                       The holy fount itself
                       Befitteth more our pilgrim's bath.

And so,  by  the  side  of  the  Holy  Spring (The Waters of the Great Sea
--AKSHARA)  they  remove  the  greaves  from  his legs (giving him further
freedom of action) and bathe his feet (Symbol of Understanding). They then
remove his corslet  (thus disclosing his Heart)  and sprinkle him with the
holy water.

For there are Three that bear witness  on  Earth--The Water, the Blood and
the  Holy  Ghost  (the Dove)  and  he that overcometh shall partake of the
Waters of Life freely.

Upon the  contemplation  of Kundry's self-imposed task of bathing the feet
of Parzival,  he asks gently but wearily: "Shall I straight be guided unto
Amfortas?"  To  which question Gurnemanz, whilst busying himself, replies:

                         Most surely; there the Court our
                       coming waits.

He explains  further  that  even  he  has  been summoned to this Reception
since,  upon  the  death  of  Titurel,  the  long  neglected office of the
uncovering of the  Grail  is,  by  the  will  of Amfortas, once more to be

We should notice how, apparently by chance--for so seems the Design of the
Universal Initiation of Humanity--all  things  have  been prepared and are
seen to lead up to the Crowning point of the Ceremony.

Meanwhile,  Parzival sits wondering at the marked change in Kundry, at her
now  humble  attitude,  so  different  from  her  former perversity; while
Gurnemanz  performs  a  further  office in the ceremony of Purification by
sprinkling the head of Parzival with the water from the Holy Spring.

Purification being complete,  is followed by Consecration, the second step
towards Initiation.  Kundry  is seen to take a golden flask from her bosom
and to pour some of its  contents  upon Parzival's feet.  Taking the flask
from her,  Parzival  then  invites  Gurnemanz to annoint his head with the
same Holy Oil; his now clear vision causing him to remark:

                       ``For I to-day as king shall be

He makes this statement,  which is no less than a prophesy of his complete
attainment, as simply and naturally as a child.

A few remarks should now  be  made  on  the nature of this Holy Oil and in
regard to the source from whence it came.  Liber  IV will again supply the
key, for therein we read: "The Holy Oil is the Aspiration of the Magician,
it is that  which  consecrates  him  to the performance of the Great Work.
* * * It is not the will of the magician, the desire of the lower to reach
the higher; but is  that  spark of the higher in the Magician which wishes
to unite the lower with itself."

The Oil,  in  this  instance performs a double purpose,  for it represents
both  the  awakening  of  the  True  Self  of  Kundry,  and the desire for
redemption.  This  Higher  Self  is  represented by Parzival, and Kundry's
Consecration of Parzival  is  the  act which makes her redemption, by him,

Again: "This oil is compounded of four substances. The basis of all is the
oil  of  the olive,  The Olive is, traditionally, the gift of Minerva, the
wisdom of God,  the Logos.  It  is  dissolved  in three other oils; oil of
myrrh, oil of cinnamon, oil of galangal. The Myrrh is attributed to Binah,
the Great Mother,  who  is both the understanding of the Magician and that
sorrow and compassion that results from the contemplation of the Universe.
The Cinnamon represents  Tiphareth,  the Sun--the Son,  in  whom Glory and
Suffering are identical.  The Galangal represents both Kether and Malkuth,
the First and the Last,  the One  and the Many, since in this Oil they are
One." "These oils taken together represent the whole Tree of Life. The ten
Sephiroth are blended into the  perfect  gold."  This  will become clearer
when the whole Drama has been treated from the Qabalistic viewpoint in the
next Chapter. Again:  "This  perfect  Oil  is most penetrating and subtle.
Gradually it will spread itself, a glistening film,  over  every object in
the Temple."

In regard to this latter  point  we should observe what actually happens a
little further on in the Drama,  but  first  notice  one further quotation
which has a very direct bearing on the subject in  hand.  "The phial which
contains  the  Oil  should  be  of  clear  rock  crystal  (Rock Crystal is
attributed to Malkuth--the Fallen Daughter,  but in this case the flask is
of Gold which represents the Breast, Sun or Tiphareth Sphere of the Son or
Higher Self whose influence has been felt by Kundry)  and  some  magicians
have fashioned it in the shape of the female breast,  for that is the true
nourishment of all that lives.  For  this  reason also it has been made of
mother-of-pearl and stoppered with a ruby."  In  this connection we should
note that Kundry  produced  the  golden  flask  from her bosom,  for every
detail of this Drama is symbolical.

Next,  Parzival  very  quitely  scoops  up some of the Holy Water from the
Spring  and  sprinkles  it upon Kundry's head while she kneels at his feet

                       I first fulfil my duty thus:--
                         Be thou baptized,
                       And trust in the Redeemer!

At which Kundry bows her head and appears to weep bitterly.

This is the first time that  Kundry  has been truly willing to receive the
higher help.  She has done much,  according to her own notions of service,
but now she is about to be led to Understand how  best  she may Serve; for
true Mastery implies true Service.

We should notice,  too,  the effects of the Holy Oil on Parzival. He turns
round  and  gazes  with  gentle  rapture  on the woods and meadows;  which
represent his Garden,  as we explained before.  Gradually, he realizes the
results of the Work he had carried on in silence and darkness.  His memory
awakens and he murmurs:

               How fair the fields and meadows seem today!
               Many a magic flower I've seen,
               Which sought to clasp me in its baneful twinings;
               But none I've seen so sweet as here,
               These tendrils bursting with blossom,
               Whose scent recalls my childhood's days,
               And soeaks of loving trust to me.

Gurnemanz attempts to explain this,  saying: "That is Good-Friday's spell,
my lord!"  Whereas  Parzival,  reminded  of  the  darkness  of  his  self-
crucifixion and hardly yet realizing its full significance, replies:

                    ``Alas, that day of agony!
                    Now surely everything that thrives,
                    That breathes and lives and lives again
                    Should only mourn and sorrow?''

But Gurnemanz continues:

                    ``Thou seest it is not so.

For:  "The  sad  repentant  tears  of  sinners  have  here  with holy rain
besprinkled field and plain,  and  made them glow with beauty. All earthly
creatures  in  delight  at  the  Redeemer's trace so bright,  uplift their
prayers of duty.  To see Him on the Cross they have no power;  and so they
smile upon redeemed man,  who,  feeling freed,  with  dread  no  more doth
cower,  through  God's  love-sacrifice made clean and pure.  And  now each
meadow flower and blade perceives  that  mortal  foot  to-day  it need not
dread; for as the Lord in pity man did  spare,  and  in  His mercy for him
bled,  all  men  will  keep  with  pious  care,  to-day a tender tread. So
Tresspass-pardoned Nature wakes now to her day of Innocence."

During this speech,  Kundry has been watching Parzival with moist eyes and
a look of beseeching,  and he, now fully realizing the results of his work
(for it is High Noon) remarks:

                    I saw my scornful mockers wither:
                    Now look they for forgiveness hither?
                    Like blessed sweet dew a tear from thee
                      too floweth?
                    Thou weepest--see! the landscape

And he kisses her softly upon the brow. Here the "dew of pure love" begins
its wondrous action which brings all to perfection.  Of this it is written
in Liber IV.  "There is,  however,  a universal  solvent and harmonizer, a
certain dew which is so pure that a single  drop of it cast into the water
of the Cup will for the time being bring all perfection.

"This dew is  called  Love.  Even  in  the  case  of human love, the whole
Universe appears perfect  to  the man who is under  its control, so it is,
and much more, with the Divine Love of which it is now spoken.

"For human love is an excitement, and not a stilling of the  mind;  and as
it is bound to the individual, only leads to greater trouble in the end.

"This  Divine  Love,  on the contrary, is attached to no sumbol. It abhors
limitation, either in its intensity or in its scope."

Here we obtain  the  key  to  the  errors  of  both Klingsor and Amfortas;
together with the true solution of the problem,  as  obtained by Parzival.
For this Love leads on to ECSTASY, as the drama itself now shows us.

It is MIDDAY,  and  just as the Sun is then at its height and full beauty,
so we find that Parzival's travels  have led him to complete the circle of
his wanderings,  and in another moment,  The Mountain of Salvation, like a
great  Ruby  Jewel  set  in a Golden Ring, will shine out once more. Mean-
while,  Gurnemanz and Kundry are seen to cover Parzival with the Mantle of
the Grail, and he, solemnly grasping the Holy Spear and with Kundry at his
side, prepares to follow Gurnemanz.

Now,  as if to prove out theory that Parzival had completed the Circle, we
find the scenery once  again  automatically  changing,  but this time from
right to left.  It will be remembered that on the  previous occasion, when
for the first time Parzival entered the Temple of  the Grail,  this charge
took place in the opposite direction. The passages through which they pass
are similar,  but  as  if reversed.  And this time all three traverse them
together as if to symbolise the Sacred Triad,  the  completion of which is
about to take place.

As before,  there  are chimes of bells.  (The aspirant will notice similar
sounds when entering the Higher Consciousness.  They  are sometimes called
"The Voice of the Nada.")

Once more Time and Space are One,  and the Tableau of the Everpresent Here
and Now appears.

Here we find Birth, Death, Life, Sorrow, Age and Youth mingled together in
Harmony,  Joy and Beauty. The vast Temple of the Holy Ghost--the length of
which is  from  North  to  South,  its breadth from East to West,  and its
height from Abyss to Abyss,  yet which is also the BODY OF MAN--is open to
our view.

There  is  but  a faint light at first.  The doors open on either side and
Knights bring Titurel's corpse in a Coffin and Amfortas' wounded body on a
litter.  The  bier  is erected in the middle of the Hall, and behind it is
the throne with canopy, where Amfortas is set down.

Then  comes  a  train  of  Knights  bearing  the  Holy  Grail  towards the
sheltering Shrine, where it is placed as before.

Unaware of  the  approach  of  the  Victorious Parzival,  the  Knights now
murmur at the death of Titurel the honoured founder of the Order. For this
death,  Amfortas  appears  to  have  been  at least partially responsible,
having failed for so long  a  time  in his office to unveil the Grail. Yet
he, having lost the Sacred Spear--the Higher Will--entrusted to him by his
Father, and having  found  the  human will quite unable to take Its place,
has in the  meanwhile  suffered  awful  tortures  through  this failure to
fulfil his true Purpose.

The Knights,  in despair,  press towards Amfortas and demand that he--this
once--unveil the shrine and do his office. Whereat, Amfortas in an ECSTASY
OF FEAR,  springs up and throws himself among the Knights--who draw back--
while he cries:

                       No!--No more!--Ha!
               Already is death glooming round me,
               And shall I yet again return to life?
               What one in life can yet stay me?
               Rather I bid ye slay me!

For such is the Ecstasy of the Touch of Death the Twin of Love.

                   (He tears open his dress.)

               Behold me!--the open wound behold!
               Here is my poison--my streaming blood.
               Take up your weapons! Bury your
               Deep--deep in me, to the hilts! Ye
                 heroes, up!
               Kill both the sinner and all his pain:
               The Grail's delight will ye then regain!

But there is no DEATH in the Hall of Ecstasy. Birth, Life,  Death  are not
successive but One, for Time and Space are One.

And so, at the moment of Amfortas' greatest agony Parzival,  the Redeeming
Power, enters unperceived and unexpected.

There is much truth in the old saying,  "The unexpected is sure to happen"
and this is more and more clearly realized as we tread the true Path. True
Ecstasy  comes  at  the  moment  when  all seems lost, for the partial and
transient must disappear and become lost,  e'er  the Real appears. "For to
each individual thing, attainment means first and foremost the destruction
of the individuality."

"Each of  our  ideas  must  be made to give up the self to the Beloved, so
that we  may  eventually  give  up  the  Self to the Beloved in our turn."
--Liber IV.

Suddenly the voise of Parzival is heard:

               One weapon only serves:
                 The one that struck
               Can staunch thy wounded side.

The countenance of Amfortas,  upon  his  hearing these words, now displays
HOLY RAPTURE. He totters in ecstasy, while Gurnemanz supports him tenderly.


               Be whole, unsullied and absolved!
               For now I govern in thy place.

The True Will unhesitatingly takes its rightful place, and since that Will
is one with THE WILL OF THE UNIVERSE,  Amfortas without hesitation accepts


                 Oh blessed be thy sorrows,
               For Pity's potent might
               And Knowledge' purest Power
               They taught a timid Fool.
                 The Holy Spear
               Once more behold in this.

And  as  all  gaze  in  rapture  on  the  Spear held aloft by Parzival, he
continues, in inspiration, as he gazes at its Point:

               O mighty miracle of bliss!
               This that through me thy wound restoreth.
               With holy blood behold it poureth,
               Which yearns to to join the fountain glowing,
               Whose pure tide in the Grail is flowing!
               Hid be no more that shape divine;
               Uncover the Grail! Open the Shrine!

Thus,  and  not  otherwise,  came Parzival into his own. The Temple of the
Chalice of Ecstasy is now, for him, The Palace of the King's Daughter. For
thus is it written:  "When these shall have destroyed  the  Universe, then
mayest thou enter the Palace of the Queen,  my Daughter."  Then only shall
we understand the nature of The Bride's Reception.  For:

               ``The Spirit and the bride say, Come.
               And let him that heareth say, Come.
               And let him that is athirst come.
               And whosoever will, let him take of the
                 water of life freely.''

Thus,  and  thus alone;  amid Radiant Light, the Glowing of the Chalice of
Ecstasy,  the  Rising  of  Titurel  from  the Tomb,  the Death struggle of
Kundry,  the  Homage  of  the  Redeemed,  the Praise of the Knights of the
Grail,  and  above  all the Benediction of the Dove of the Holy Spirit; is
the final Work accomplished--


                         QABALISTIC CONCLUSION

Nothing now remains but  for  the  scribe  to  bear witness to the strange
Qabalistic "coincidences" connected with this Drama.

Was Wagner a great Qabalist?  Were those from whom he obtained the sources
of his information such? Who can tell?

Rather I would suggest that, being inspired,  this Drama must of necessity
conform to all truth,  on  all  planes.  For  there  are certain Numerical
Emanations, called the Ten Sephiroth,  and there are certain Vibrations of
a numerical nature connected with Words.

It is not my intention to write a treatise on the Holy  Qabalah (those who
wish to study this interesting subject may do so in "Q.B.L. or The Bride's
Reception"),  nor to describe fully the "Tree of Life", nor the methods of
drawing numerical meanings from words.  The  accompanying  plate shows the
structure of "The Tree of Life",  and  the  Frontispiece indicates how the
"Chalice of Ecstasy" may be drawn therefrom.

The Qabalistic teaching is that Malkuth--The Kingdom--The Animal Soul--THE
FALLEN DAUGHTER must be RAISED through the  Office  of  the SON--Tiphereth
--The Sun--Harmony and Beauty,  to the Throne of the MOTHER--Binah--Under-
standing--THE CUP, when she is again united to the FATHER--Chokmah--Wisdom
--Will--THE SPEAR,  thus  absorbing  all  into THE CROWN--Kether--The Pure
Light of the DOVE which descends upon their Union.

Thsi is the Mystery  of  Redemption and  of the Great Work, the Uniting of
the Microcosm and the Macrocosm--Man with God.

The  main  Formula  of  the  Great  Work,  that  of the Rose and Cross, is
symbolised in the Great Order as 5ш=6ш.  This  refers to the Microcosm and
the Macrocosm as the  Pentagram  or  Fivefold Star on Unconquered Will and
the Hexagram or Six-fold Star.  The Work is to discover their equivalence,
and to unite them.

The first stage of this Union occurs in TIPHERETH, and is accompanied with
the  feeling  of  Ecstasy.  This  Sephira  is  that  of  the  SUN,  and is
necessarily connected with the Solar Numbers of which  6,  66, and 666 are
the Scale.  This  is the Sphere of the Crowned King--The Son who unites in
himself both Glory and Suffering.

But since there has  been,  what  we  may term,  a change of Office in the
Great Hierarchy in this New Aeon, we find that the Number 418 which is the
numeration  of  "ABRAHADABRA" the  Word  of the  Aeon is also particularly
attributed to this Sphere,  since  it  represents perfectly the formula of
5ш=6ш. (See Sepher Sephiroth, Equinox Vol. I. Number VIII.)

Again 777 is a number representing alike "The Flaming Sword" and the Unity
of  all  things  including  the  World  of  Shells.  In  Greek  Qabalah it
corresponds to the word STAUROS--The Cross.

It is worthy of  notice,  and  most careful consideration, therefore, that
with slight  adjustment of spelling, the Names of the principle characters
in the Drama have an extraordinary significance.

TITUREL, Founder of the Grail Order, adds to 666.

MONSALVAT, the Mountain of Salvation, adds to 666.

GAMURET, the Father of Parzival, adds to 666.

AMFORTAS, with his Cross of Suffering, adds to 777.

KLINGSOR, who represents Choronozon (333) adds to 333.

GURNEMANZ, Conductor of the New King, adds to 418.

PARZIVAL, The Pure Fool, adds to 418.

KUNDRY and GUNDRYGGIA, alike add to 290.

In the  above the Hebrew equivalents of the letters and the old  spellings
of the names are used.  With small study of the  Qabalistic System and the
Grades  of  the  Order  based on the Tree of Life, the significance of the
above will  become  more  and  more  apparent  to the Student. An extended
treatise might be written on the subject,  but  that  is not the intention
of the author at this time.

Now,  there  are  several  spellings  of the name Parzival; the one I have
adopted being that of Wolfram von Eschenbach, from whom Wagner derived the
Drama.  The usual spelling--Parsifal--is interesting since it adds to 388,
which, with the addition of 500  (Final Mem. The Water of the Great Sea of
Understanding),  becomes  888.  By  Greek  Numeration 888 is the number of
Jesus the Christ.

But there is another spelling,  much  more  significant,  and probably the
oldest of them all. PARCHVAL, the numeration of which adds to 326.

It will have been noticed that  the most important Points of the Drama are
connected with THE CUP--Understanding--Binah  the THIRD Sephira; The SPEAR
--Will--Wisdom--Chokamh the SECOND Sephira,  and  THE HEART--The Castle of
the Grail--Tiphereth the SIXTH Sephira. If we examine these Spheres on the
Tree of Life we find they form a Descending Triad representing the Bowl of
The Chalice of Ecstasy, the points of which are 326.

Now 326 is the Numeration of IHShVH--The Hebrew Jeheshuah--Jesus--The God-
Man  or  Redeemer.  This  Word  also  symbolises the descent of "Shin" the
letter of the  Holy  Spirit into the Four Lettered Word IHVH--Jehovah--The
Ineffable Name and  the  Formula  of  the  Four  Elements.  Thus  PARChVAL
symbolises the whole process perfectly;  the Descent of Spirit into Matter
and also of the Redemption.

It  also  shows  the  transition to the New Aeon, there being a connection
between this old spelling and that of Parzival  the formula of the present
time. For the central letter of the word PARChVAL is "Ch" in Hebrew Cheth,
which spelt in full is 418 the numeration of Parzival,  and of the Word of
the Aeon, his Magick Formula.

I need only add that The DOVE--Kether--The  Crown--when  shown  above  the
bowl of the CHALICE (in its natural position on The Tree of Life) together
with Yesod--the Foundation and Malkuth--The Kingdom,  as the stem and base
of the Cup;  completes  the  Qabalistic  Design.  This arrangement clearly
shows how the Chalice is one with the  Tree of Life and filled by the Holy

The numerical proof is not, however, quite complete--indeed it could never
be completed--but let me draw your attention to  the  word Grail.  The old
spelling  is  GRAL  and here we find G--the letter of The Moon--and R--the
letter of the Sun, coupled with AL, the Great Name of God.

Turning once more to our Qabalistic Design of the Cup drawn on the Tree of
Life,  let  us  examine  the  Numbers  of the Sephiroth involved. We shall
indeed discover the "Chalice of Ecstasy" for we obtain 1 + 2 + 3 + 6 + 9 +
10 = 31,  which  is  the numeration of both AL and LA--God and Not--Key to
the Mysteries  both  of  the  Old  Aeon  and  the  New  and  when properly
understood the

                           Final Formula of