The Eternal Quest: Manly P. Hall and the Holy Grail

holy-grail

holy-grail“This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause” 

– (lyrics from The Impossible DreamMan of La Mancha)


Bridgekeeper: Stop. What… is your name?
Galahad: Sir Galahad of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?
Galahad: I seek the Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your favourite colour?
Galahad: Blue. No, yel…
[he instantly gets flung off the bridge]

Monty Python and the Holy Grail


In her book The Myths We Live By, philosopher Mary Midgley describes myths as not mere lies or fairy tales, but as networks “of powerful symbols that suggest particular ways of interpreting the world.”  In other words, a myth is more accurately an image/understanding of the world, and doesn’t have to begin “once upon a time…

But when in that myth-form, like those of our more ancient “myths,” we in modern times become lost in literalist interpretations and squabbles – and lost are the deeper truths they have to offer.  And with these impoverished readings, we impoverish not only our own understanding, but ourselves as a whole.  Enter esoteric scholar Manly P. Hall.

Here, Hall provides a skeleton key to the sacred mysteries of one of Western culture’s most popular legends – the Holy Grail and those in its pursuit.  More than a couple of assholes looking for a cup that Jesus drank out of, Hall reveals exactly what the Grail represents and how its story stands testament to something more – an eternal, active reality – that remains ever accessible.

The big reveal begins around the one-hour mark, but the lecture is best listened to in its entirety:

King Arthur: Go and tell your master that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest. If he will give us food and shelter for the night, he can join us in our quest for the Holy Grail.
French Soldier: Well, I’ll ask him, but I don’t think he will be very keen. Uh, he’s already got one, you see.
King Arthur: What?
Sir Galahad: He said they’ve already got one!
King Arthur: Are you sure he’s got one?
French Soldier: Oh yes, it’s very nice!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail