Talk Gnosis is back and so that means it’s time for more Blog Gnosis! Well, I’m a little late as Season 6 began in June and our second episode is already out but as the world’s first and only Gnostic and esoteric online talk show (okay, not really, but 6 years is a long time in podcasting, kids…gather round as I tell you the stories of yore where we started in a dark time before every human didn’t have their own podcast and/or YouTube show) I figure the hosts have lobbed almost 2000 questions* over the years and yet there’s thousands left to ask. Which brings us to the season premiere, our second viewer/listener submitted all question special.
As Bishop, copywriting pro, and TG’s resident Jane-Of-All-Trades Lainie Petersen mentions in the copy she wrote for the social media posting of the Q&A special, “Many folks identify their religious journeys as quests, a word that shares in the etymology of question,” that is to say, to question is to quest. And the archetypal quest story in the West is the quest for the holy grail, a story that first appears in writing in 1180 in the French epic Perceval, the Story of the Grail.
I won’t summarize the entire story except for the juicy part that’s relevant for to topic: Perceval has discovered the dream-like court of the lame and injured Fisher King and as the king’s guest he’s witness to a procession of wondrous people who show to him the Holy Grail and lance. However, trained to be polite, he stays mute through it all, not even opening his mouth to ask WTF is going on and what are these miraculous items. He wakes up the next morning alone, all signs of the magical court of the Fisher King gone.
Later, at the court of King Arthur, Perceval is accosted by a strange woman who tells him that if he had only spoken up and asked the appropriate question, then the simple act of asking would have activated magic and miracles and healed the Fisher King and revealed the Holy Grail and then….well….let’s get back to the ending of that narrative at the end of ours, that’s the important part for now, that to save the day, he should have spoken up with questions.
To me, a simple but profound teaching is embedded here: by simply asking questions, and by asking the RIGHT questions, we can achieve everything from healing to the goal of our quests. The Grail legends tell us that asking questions is a crucial and essential act on the religious path.
This is all why I’m glad we started our new season with a Q&A ep as the asking of the questions can be more powerful and meaningful than the answers. Oh and answers, don’t even get me started on answers. Sometimes the answers make no sense, or they can make sense at certain times of your life, sometimes the answers change, and of course, as always with the numinous; the answer can’t be put into words. But questions? They’ll always be there for you.
To wrap it all we’ll end with the ending of Perceval, the Story of the Grail,
Actually, there is no ending, the narrative just breaks off because the work was never completed. Scholars have lots of theories why (theories as simple as the author died) but we’ll never for sure know why it was never finished and what the ending was going to be. So, the text and story its self is forever an unanswered question, the quest for the grail is never finished but there for us forever to write our own ending to.