”Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.” — Thomas Mann
Yesterday, I looked at Parsifal’s dilemma and tried to underscore the idea that any fulfillment lulls us into a sense of complacency, if we ask no questions of it. There is a danger that who we are disappears inside our expectation by shaping us into an image of compliance. Orderliness and precision need a set “role” which leaves us out…. So how do we reclaim ourselves?
The question Parsifal asks is: ‘To whom does the grail serve?’
The question turns our focus back onto the issue of service and our being authentic and genuine. By being curious, Parsifal stands outside the orderliness and precision proving that he does not need to be immersed in the role which it requires. The key requirement is that Parsifal brings the complete fullness of “who he is” into the picture. Blind obedience and faith are rejected in favor of self-awareness and consciousness, in favor of asserting our humanity onto orderliness and precision.
It is all a question of relationship. Are you building a relationship with orderliness and precision because “nothing can be done?” Or, are you building a relationship because it carries some larger fulfillment?
Life is never intended to be small. Life always plays the larger game. By asking the question: ‘To whom does the grail serve?” the larger vision of fulfillment enters the picture. We must bring that with us or else we leave ourselves out. The bigger game is what we are about anyway.
The “Parsifal dilemma” (as I’m calling it) is our awareness that anything which carries too much objectivity, too much unquestioning faith, too much presumed “truth” leaves us out. We sense that something is wrong, amiss, or altogether missing AND we feel completely unable to name it or even to approach it.
Let’s look at an example: Jason runs a successful department. The company however is not doing well. Several departments are understaffed. There is hiring freeze. If Jason blindly and unquestioningly accepts the company’s hiring freeze — he is choosing to leave the wider interests beyond his department out. If he brings in the question, “who does this serve?,” he moves toward a genuine relationship. He looks at the company and its needs, he looks at the other departments and their needs, and he looks at his department and its needs. By looking more fully from a stance of inquiry, Jason offers “all of himself” to what can be made – without immediately assuming that “nothing can be done.”
The “well-cared-for” sleep is a sleep that leaves us out. When asleep, we attend to our needs without giving much if any consideration to others or to the context. And then — we lose the point — that something other than our fulfillment at stake.
In a world where greed and self-interest often take center stage, we need to remind ourselves that working with a bigger picture and in favor of larger interests is really the only way that we can bring our authenticity to bear.
Opinions cannot survive if one never takes the risk to fight for them.
Thanks for listening!