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Knighthood of Chivalry-Now

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Knighthood of Chivalry-Now

Post by dean jacques on Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:15 am

Knighthood of Chivalry-Now

The image of a knight is very strong in Western culture.
We see him as a medieval warrior who is disciplined by ideals, fearless, confident, a civilizing presence emerging from darkness, glorified by romantic tales. He is adorned by various types of armor, wielding sword and shield, lance or cudgel. He rides to adventure on his trusted warhorse to challenge evil where he finds it, liberates the oppressed, protect those in need, uphold the rights of women.
The knight is more than the stuff of legend, myth and romance. His very real existence in history, imperfect though it was, continues to provide a tangible catalyst of possibility for Western males. His image whispers inspiration that stirs men's hearts even as the world contradicts all he stands for.
As we study this, however, we soon discover that the whisper of information we hear comes not from any image, but from within ourselves. We come to realize that if we really want our true nobility in life, we need to claim it first on our own.
Knighthood speaks of transformation, the kind of personal fulfillment that comes only through commitment to what is just and good. Chivalry reflects the highest aspirations of what it means to be a man. We are less for the want of it. We are tragic to the very core, despite the "good life" we supposedly enjoy, that ebbs and flows without moral direction.
The image of the knight tells us that our ultimate destiny, if we choose to grasp it, is to stand up for something that is grand, something that creates a better world for all — not just for some. Any lesser vision, ends upcontributing to strife.
The knight's strength comes from the moral convictions of his principles. He simply lives them. In living them, he embodies the very ideals that inspire him, and defines manhood accordingly.
In a very real sense, the image of a knight, his courtesy and fairness, his admirable strength with purpose, his dedication and dependability, all reflect the highest potential of the male gender. Here we find the essence of man, despite his fallibility. Indeed, it is the contest between his ideals and fallibility, always at least leaning toward the former, that shapes him.
How does this image translate for today's world? What can we glean from the legacy of knighthood for our everyday lives?
More succinctly, from our perspective, what does it mean to be a Knight of Chivalry-Now?
First and foremost, the Knight must be a recognized proponent of chivalry. His personal commitment must be total and inviolate — not just another grasp of ego, a façade raised when convenient, without depth or substance. It is a matter of soul, of personal authenticity.
A true Knight of Chivalry-Now has to earn his knighthood every day. He cannot claim it from desire alone, or a single good deed. It would be meaningless otherwise. Knighthood is a second birth. It involves the pangs of labor and careful nurturing, physically, intellectually, spiritually. It can be likened to the making of a good sword, hammered into shape by life itself, fired by adversity, tempered by self-control. It encompasses growth and maturity of spirit, a willingness to learn by confronting truth with bold commitment.
Not a passing fad or honorarium. No halfway measures, doing only what is comfortable or convenient. One cannot be half a knight, or indulge in it part-time. It must be real, or not at all.
There are requirements to Knighthood in Chivalry-Now. There are tests and challenges. Most are provided by how one responds to life itself. Others are imposed by our Council to determine worth. Like any Grail Quest, there are temptations to deny and habits to break. Shadows must be confronted and dragons slain. Prejudices examined and reshaped. Old loyalties rebuked and new ones fixed elsewhere.
Our code consists of principles we call Trusts, for each is a vow based in belief and personal commitment.
Knighthood subsists on nobility of the heart, the kind of honor that transcends both circumstances of birth and the dull idiocy of pride. We bow to no man, but submit ourselves to Truth and the Mystery that sustains it. Each, in its own way, contributes to who we are.
In short, we accept the responsibility of our own lives and take it to the highest level in thought, word and deed.
Be forwarned. Knighthood sometimes brings with it more scourge than bliss, for it manfully confronts the vicissitudes of life and tries to rectify tragedy. It strives. It lives. It carries the blessing and burden of self-knowledge. It weeps for the innocent and pities the guilty, who once were innocent as well.
It longs for a better world enough to work for it, and fight for it when necessary. It carries inner vision of the sublime, and never sacrifices hope.
Knighthood is an ideal, but it stop far short of connoting perfection. Perfection can only be striven for,nnot attained. It is that effort, that struggle, from which true nobility is born.
Chivalry-Now has reinstituted knighthood under the banner of its 12 Trusts and goal of liberation. As every order of knighthood differs somewhat from the next, this moral conduit reflects meaning of its own:

The knight is first a man in the fullest sense of the word. An open-minded thinker, a searcher for truth, which is his never-ending quest.
He has taken vows to uphold the principles he believes in, a particular code of ethics, exemplified by the 12 Trusts. These principles must be reflected in his life and in the way he relates with others.
He holds the vision of a better world to which he contributes daily. He is a citizen of that world, and lives as such.
He is one of the first fruits of the Chivalry-Now movement, an advocate of our principles, who leads others not through dictate but through example. He is sanctioned by our Companionship as an official member of a Round Table that circles the earth.

We offer our Path to Knighthood to all Companions as a means of formally declaring and recognizing one's commitment. It is not handed out lightly, and requires a investment of time and thought given to prove one's sincerity and convictions.
While Chivalry-Now is a Code of Male Ethics, our Companionship and Council are open not only to men but to women as well, women who choose to help our cause and exemplify our ideals from their perspectives.
Our aim is to produce a sufficient number of Knights to represent Chivalry-Now and propagate our principles back into the culture, thereby replacing what was lost.
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dean jacques
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