Eschenbach’s Parzival is the first great German novel. With his work, he concludes the only fifty-year long period of medieval Grail narratives, which began with Chretien de Troyes’ “Conte del Graal” and continued with Robert Boron’s “Joseph dÁrimathe” and “Merlin”. Centuries later Sir Thomas Malory wrote a summary of the Grail- and Arthurian stories called “Le Morte d’Arthur”. The first precursors of these Christian Grail Tales were Irish-Celtic tales of a young hero named Peredur. The Grail Legends are therefore originally Western tales brought to the East by Wolfram, at a time when the last Staufer Emperor Frederick II ruled over the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, and Jerusalem was close to being lost. The High Middle Ages were slowly coming to an end.
Parzival was a world story, in which the figures moving through the whole known world. Christians and Muslims fight with and against each other on distant fronts. The territories on both sides of the Rhine are not yet divided into nation-states, but into personal zones of influence of the landlords. Large areas are still covered by forests, through which knights and common people roam, always in search of something. Since Eschenbach was close to the Knights Templar, this novel breathes an open, ironic, and mystically charged spirit. The story moves through the signs of the zodiac and echoes the path of the adept through the transformative processes of alchemy. He implemented a story of transformation into the Western culture which was open to new ideas.
Maybe Wolfram wrote his story also for our time. We do not know how the peoples of Europe will overcome the coming storms of history, but since we still have time to reflect and ask ourselves what will remain of us, it is time to listen to the colorful tales of Wolfram von Eschenbach. He dressed them in symbolic images that can be deciphered by own our consciousness. This was not done in a linear way, but in a way that transcended time and space. Today there is a call in the world to awaken to Source. It is the time to complete the time of learning on this earth, to be free, to face lessons and adventures in other worlds. Wolfram has summarized recurring themes in pictures and captured the underlying dynamics as if it happened in a dream. Last but not least, he has woven the Holy Grail into his narrative as a symbol of redemption. The whole story is based on this secret center.
This symbol came from many sources, such as the memories of Jesus, the Celtic cauldron of rebirth, the longing for the feminine, and the cup of the bliss of the Sufi poets of Persia and Turkey. Thus the Holy Grail was more than a European or Christian symbol. It represented the hope for peace and salvation for all of the known world. This multidimensional symbol of integration was involved in bringing the Middle Ages out of the darkness and preparing Europe for the Renaissance. The rediscovery of Greek and Roman classical literature brought something old and seemingly new back into European culture, namely the joy of being a rational person. The Grail as a symbol speaks of the rebirth of the feminine, which must take place precisely in our age if we are to survive as a civilization, as well as of the possibility of enlightenment, which is so far away and so near at the same time. Today, the spiritual knowledge of all humanity lies at our feet. We could read forever books about new discoveries and spiritual technologies and try even harder to find a shortcut to enlightenment. lectures and to become faster and better in our self-optimization. But what spiritual nourishment do we really need today? Parzival can become an important version of a dream of salvation. To receive his healing power in an easy way, once you have managed to leave your ego aside. The story can lead us through the twilight zone of our dreams into the sunlight of a new dawn. Whoever has become the “Guardian of the Grail”, a guardian of his own spirit, will become the light of his world, which is the mission of every disciple.
Each week we will consider a part of the story and related tasks. Each week is connected with a stone of the Medicine Wheel we see above. These are inner connectors the cosmic powers, both of the story, our own lives, and the signs of the Zodiak.
Parzival was the son of the knight Gamurets and the Herzeleyde. After the early death of his father, who fell as a traveling knight in battle against Babylon, Parzival grew up in the deep forrest Soltane. His mother had retired with her entourage to an estate deep in the loneliness of this forest to protect their boy from the life that had brought her husband to death. This knightly world should remain completely alien to him, she had decided. So he grew up in loneliness and in harmony with nature.
Parzival felt the beauty of nature and also a deep yearning in himself that his mother was concerned about him when he cried in his arms after a long day of running through the forest. „Why are you crying, my son?“ „When the birds sing, I feel so much, joy in me. But also it makes me sad. I don´t know what to do. It’s too much!“ One day he shot a bird with his bow, and showed him to his mother, she said: „Never kill anything without reason! Can you bring this bird to life again?“ Parzival was shocked about this inside. He started crying often when he heart a bird sing. Herzeleyde, his mother had an idea. She ordered her hunters to kill all birds around her Hacienda. This could not long-kept secret to the boy. First, he sensed a silence. Nobody wanted to tell him why no birds were singing anymore. But one day he encountered the hunters with a bunch of dead bird, carrying them home. He cried and protested aloud. They only admitted the order by his mum. He was very angry and run home. He yelled to her and cried until she promised him to not kill birds anymore. The birds came back and he walked again overwhelmed by emotions of joy, awe, and sadness. His tears were running down his cheeks when he set in the grass and listened to the many sounds that came from the trees where a gentle breeze was moving the leaves and the animals were in communication. He felt a connection with them and could see their innocence and holiness. In these moments he had no worries and spent hours in total peace. Even when he cried sometimes because he didn´t know what to do with all the love in his chest he enjoyed these moments and remembered them for the rest of his life.