Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Madness of Percival

Having showed that the titanic element is indeed the prime matter out of which the hero is made, it is understandable that Wolfram bestows upon Percival some Luciferian traits, though he makes him successfully complete his adventure, so much so that in the end Percival assumes the luminous form of a restorator and of a king of the Grail. In fact, Percival accuses God of having betrayed him, of not being faithful to him, and of having failed to assist him in the conquest of the Grail. He rebels and in his anger he says:

"I used to serve a being called God before I was ridiculed and covered with shame...I was his humble servant because I believed He would grant me His favor: but from now on I will refuse to serve him. If He persecutes me with his hatred, I will resign myself to that too. Friend [he says to Gawain], when the time for you to fight has come, may the thought of a woman [rather than God] protect you."

Animated by such indignation and pride, Percival, after failing in his first visit to the castle, fulfills his adventures. And thus, being separated from God, avoiding churches and performing "wild" knightly deeds he eventually triumphs, achieving the glory of the king of the Grail. Trevrizent will tell him, "Rarely was a greater miracle seen: by showing your anger you have received from God what you desired most." Also in Wolfram, Percival appears as the one who reaches the castle of the Grail in an exceptional way, without having been designated or called like others before him. His election occurs later on; in a way, it is the very adventures of Percival that bring his election about and almost bestow it upon him. Trevrizent says, "It never happened before that the Grail could be achieved by fighting." This trait too helps us recognize the heroic type, the one who, not by nature (as in the case of the Olympian type, to whom the legitimate king of the Grail may correspond, prior to his getting old, wounded, or falling asleep), but because of the reawakening of a deeper vocation and thatnks to his action, successfully participates in what the Grail symbolizes. This character reaches such heights as to become a knight of the Grail and finally achieves the supreme dignity of the Order of the Grail.

-Julius Evola, The Mystery of the Grail, Chapter 15

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