Dear reader, my name is Luis Miguel Goitizolo. In this page I present an article inspired in my book The Wheel of Time - A Study in the Doctrine
of Cosmic Cycles
and in other, similar interests.


The Holy Grail

 

Apart from the teachings imparted by a mythic or otherwise prodigious founder that all religious traditions cherish as the root of their very existence, one of the main elements to account for the strength of the ideals and the spirituality of any human societies are those Fundamental Symbols on which their life in common will very likely be centered for many centuries. Among them, the Holy Grail, dating to the dawn of mankind, is perhaps the best example of such integrating symbols of faith in a common ideal throughout history.

 

 




 

Based on the Gospels, Christian tradition has always referred to the Holy Grail as the cup or “Holy Chalice” that Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine to his Apostles. St. John Chrysostom (347-407 AD), in his homily on Matthew,asserted: 

"The table was not of silver, the chalice was not of gold in which Christ gave His blood to His disciples to drink, and yet everything there was precious and truly fit to inspire awe..." 


According to Christian mythology, however, which in time incorporated elements of the most diverse provenance as well as the term “Holy Grail”, it possessed miraculous powers.

One of the main elements in the Grail legend is Joseph of Arimathea, the rich merchant who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus’ death on the cross. According to Robert de Boron's verse romance Joseph d'Arimathie (late 12th century), Joseph received the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sent it with his followers to Great Britain. Later writers elaborated on this theme relating how Joseph used the Grail to catch Christ's blood while interring him and that in Glastonbury, Britain, he founded a line of guardians to keep it safe. (Source: Wikipedia)
 

 

 


Joseph of Arimathea by Pietro Perugino, a detail from a 
Lamentation (photo Wikipedia)



Another element in the legend would be an ancient Celtic myth of a cauldron endowed with special powers. However, it could be other things, not just a cup or vessel. For example, in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, the grail was a stone which provided sustenance, and so forth.
 

 

 


 

Percival holds the Holy Grail while a dove descends. Parsifal, or Percival, 
is the original Holy Grail hero. (From: Holy Grail and Percival, at 
http://atheism.about.com/od/imagegalleries/ig/Holy-Grail/
)

 

 

In the course of time, the quest for the Holy Grail would make up an important segment of the Arthurian cycle, appearing first in works by Chrétien de Troyes (like his own Perceval) and becoming the highest spiritual pursuit in the fabulous world of gentle knights, beautiful queens and terrible dragons of the late middle ages.

 

 


 

"Three Angels Bear the Holy Grail" by Garrett, Edmund H. (1853-1929)
(from: Francis Nimmo Greene. Legends of King Arthur and His Court. 
Boston: Ginn & Co., 1901. In: The Camelot Project at the 
University of Rochester
 
(http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/grlmenu.htm)

 

 

Lots of additional information about the legend may be found in Wikipedia and similar sites and also in Crystallinks, etc. From now on, however, I would like to only refer to the Holy Grail as perhaps the most important and most sacred symbol ever, and any fantastic theories about the blood of Christ, unless taken in its symbolic life-giving meaning, and all other nonsensical speculation can be disregarded as of here.

 

 



Camelot in an old etching by Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)
(at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/cammenu.htm)

 

 

Regarding the legend of King Arthur, one may remember that the center of the Rounded Table was intended to accommodate the Holy Grail as soon as the quest for it succeeded and the sacred vessel was brought over to Camelot – which in fact is the crux and motive of the whole saga. There, like a Sun presiding from the center of the universe over the twelve constellations (an old representation of the Zodiacal Cycle) it would radiate in full perfection and glory, during the twelve months of the year, over the twelve knights at long last reunited around it.


 


 

Camelot, "A City of Shadowy Palaces" by M. L. Kirk, 1860-193x 
(at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/cammenu.htm)

 



A question naturally arises from all the above: what did the cup contain? And: was it really the blood of Christ?

Let us examine the question. A cup or vessel usually contains some kind of liquid, and if the legend is at all true, blood, Jesus’ blood, can be regarded as a likely content. But the world “grail” actually comes from the Latin gradale (singulargradalis), a dish brought to the table during various stages (Latin "gradus") or courses of a meal; and the whole term in turn derives from the Old French san greal, meaning “Holy Grail,” and not from sang real (“royal blood”), a late and false etymology which led to modern writers’ far-fetched conspiracy theories. Also, a meal basically consists of food, and food has always been the universal symbol for perfect knowledge, such as may confer immortality to those who eat from it – as is the case, for example, of soma among the Hindus or the elixir of the gods among the Greeks.

Thus the vessel which contains this kind of food means, by definition, the place where such knowledge can be stored. As simple as that. But again: lofty as this meaning may seem, is that all? Or is there anything else to it? 

Let me propose an extension of the previous meaning. To understand what this symbol can actually mean in a time context, we need to resort to a circle – perhaps the most basic symbol ever – and more precisely to a semicircle. Then the upper half of the semicircle will represent the sky or heaven’s dome, from which all kind of blessings – notably light and rain – descend to Earth, and for the lower part we may chose from an array of well-known universal symbols with their corresponding meanings: mainly the cup (and all its derivates, like a pot or dish), a vessel or craft (i.e. a boat or ship), and the heart (either human or divine), paradoxically the least known of all three. Let us begin with the heart.


The Holy Grail and the Sacred Heart

The heart has always been symbolically regarded as the center of the living body, which it animates. So by extension, and considering the well-known correspondence between microcosms and macrocosms, if we disregard other genuine – but maybe too common – possible meanings, then Jesus’ Heart can symbolically be viewed as an immense central Sun radiating everywhere its material and spiritual power and blessings from the very center of the universe – in fact, being the center of the universe itself. And it will be agreed that this can make a legitimate symbol – perhaps the greatest of them all – not only for a Christian, but also for any sincere and dispassionate observer from any creeds and beliefs – even a non-believer. 


 



The Holy Grail figured as radiating from the center of the universe

(taken from The Holy Grail of Information Architecture)




However, I am afraid we are not hitting the mark - not quite at least - by taking the Grail as just a symbol of the Heart. For while the Heart is most important itself and, in a way, the Grail’s counterpart since both Heart and Grail may be thought of as representing spiritual nourishment at its highest, it rather is a expression of Love and Life versus – and complementing – the Grail as mainly an image of Knowledge. And since the Cup is per se, inasmuch as the Holy Grail itself, the object of this short study, we only have left the vessel or boat to consider now. Well then, what about it? 

Back to the Arthurian cycle, we may remember that the Grail was thought of at the time of the legend as a central Sun that would radiate over the twelve constellations – represented by the twelve knights at the round table – from the moment it was recovered. This brought up into the scene the element time and, by extension, the notion of ages and cycles – and here we have the essential key to the remaining aspects of the symbol. 


 


 

THE BABYLONIAN DELUGE
From the Painting by E. Wallcousins

(Source: sacred-texts.com) 




In effect, a vessel within a context of ages and cycles can only mean a very special container where something particularly precious can be safely stored in one piece to be handed down, all through the vicissitudes of a full human cycle, to its final recipients. And the hazardous nature of the times during the last stages of a cycle may imply, by extension, a boat or ship capable of enduring the transit from one age to the next – even the hard, catastrophic conditions of a deluge, such as Noah’s Ark would. That particularly precious cargo would be no less than the science by excellence – the divine and perfect esoteric knowledge directly descended from the primordial civilization.

However, this is another story, and it would take a whole study of its own to just commence to elucidate its multiple aspects.


Thank you,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo

 

 

 

A Message from The Author

 


Dear Friend,

Ever since I was
a youth I was fascinated by Oriental wisdom and particularly by the Hindu doctrines. However, it was not until a few years ago that I undertook the task of studying the ancient doctrine of cosmic cycles from different perspectives, though mainly using the most relevant sacred texts from all around the world. In time, I felt the urge to write a book about my studies in that matter in my mother tongue, Spanish, which I titled "La rueda del tiempo" (in English, "The Wheel of Time"). It is excerpts of that book and other original articles dealing with similar topics that I will start publishing as of today through this medium.

More recently, after some years as a networker promoting a variety of programs, I decided to translate my book into English, a task that was successfully completed a few months ago. And over the past few weeks and months I have been publishing excerpts of this translation, as well as other original articles in English that also deal with similar topics, on various online media of the United States and other countries.

 

Thank You,

 

Luis Miguel Goitizolo
Lima - Perú


miguelgoitizolo@gmail.com

 


 
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