Manifold are the interpretations of the legends which exist about the Holy Grail. The most serious scholars and investigators have occupied themselves with this mystery. Much of their work has high moral value, but it all contains one great fault, i.e. the fact that they have built only from the earth upwards, while the essential thing, the ray of light from above, which alone could bring life and enlightenment, is missing. All that strives from below upwards must come to a halt at the boundary line of the material plane, even if it were granted attainment to the greatest possible heights. In most cases, however, barely half this road can be covered even under the most favorable conditions. Yet how great is the distance still from there to the real recognition of the Holy Grail!
This non-attainability is eventually felt by investigators, with the result that they try to regard the Grail purely as the symbolic expression of an idea, so as to give it the high place they quite rightly feel is necessary for this concept. But in so doing they actually go backwards, not forwards; downwards instead of upwards. They deviate from the right way, which is already contained to some extent in the legends. These legends alone give a faint sense of the truth, albeit only a very faint one, because the lofty inspirations and visionary pictures of the poets were pressed into far too earthly a concept through the collaboration of the intellect during transmission. To the renderings of what their spirits received they imparted images of their contemporary earthly surroundings, so as to make the meaning of the legends more understandable to people. In this, however, they did not succeed because they themselves failed to come close to the essence of the truth.
Thus from the very outset the subsequent research and investigation was founded upon shaky ground, and any success was bound to be very limited. Therefore it is not surprising that finally only the thought of something purely symbolic remained, and redemption through the Grail was transferred to every man’s inmost self.
The existing interpretations are not without great moral value, but they cannot claim to be an explanation of the legends, much less an approach to the truth about the Holy Grail.
Nor is the Holy Grail the vessel which the Son of God used during His last meal with His Disciples at the end of His mission on earth, and in which His blood was caught at the cross. This vessel is a sacred reminder of the Son of God’s sublime work of redemption, but it is not the Holy Grail of which the poets of the legends were divinely gifted to sing praises. These legends have been misunderstood by mankind.
They were meant to be promises from the Highest Heights, the fulfillment of which mankind is to anticipate! Had they been interpreted as such, surely another way would have long since been found to take the investigations still further than has been done until now. As it was, however, all the interpretations had finally to come to a dead end because a full and complete solution could never be reached, since due to the false conceptions of the past, all the investigations started on a wrong basis from the very beginning. — —
No human spirit, even in its final greatest perfection and immortality, will ever be able to face the Holy Grail Itself! It is for this reason that no detailed tidings about It can ever extend from there earthward into the World of Matter, unless a Messenger is sent from there. Thus the Holy Grail will remain a mystery to the human spirit for all eternity.
Man should keep to what he can grasp spiritually and, above all, he should try to fulfill and develop to its most noble state of perfection that which lies within his power. Unfortunately, however, he is only too anxious always to reach out far beyond these limits without developing his essential abilities. Thereby he is guilty of a negligence which prevents him from even reaching what he otherwise could, while he can never attain the goal of his desires anyway. He thus deprives himself of the most beautiful and sublime part of his true being with the result that he completely fails to fulfill the purpose of his existence. — — —
Parsifal is a great promise. The defects and errors which the poets have added to the legends through their too earthly way of thinking distort the true essence of this figure. Parsifal is identical with the Son of Man, Whose coming the Son of God Himself promised. *(Lecture No. 10: The Son of God and the Son of Man) As a Divine Messenger, with His spiritual eyes blindfolded, He will have to go through the most bitter hardships on earth, as man among men. After a certain time, freed from this blindfold, He must recognize His origin and therewith Himself, as well as clearly see His mission. This mission will also bring redemption to mankind who are seriously seeking, and goes hand in hand with a severe judgment. For this purpose we cannot assume just any human being, much less can the possible experiences of many people, or even of all the people, be seen in it. Instead, only a very specific, specially chosen Envoy will bear these possibilities within him.
The immutable lawfulness of Divine Will decrees that everything, after it has completed its cycle of development and reached its highest state of perfection, may return to the starting point of its original substance, but never beyond it. This also applies the human spirit. It originates from the Sphere of Spiritual Substantiality, to which it may return as a conscious spirit in substantiate form if, after its course through the World of Matter, it has achieved its highest state of perfection and attained living purity. In the best of cases, its path may lead it to the forecourt of the Grail Castle which stands at the highest point in Spiritual-Substantiality and forms the gateway to the steps of the throne, on which the source of all being, God the Father in His Divine Unsubstantiality, dons at times the cloak of Divine Substantiality, i.e. takes on form. No spiritual-substantial entity, however sublime, pure and radiant, can cross the boundary line into the Divine Sphere. The boundary line and the possibility of crossing it, here, as in the spheres or planes of material Creation, is, in the nature of things, simply a matter of the difference between the species.
The highest and most sublime is God Himself in His Divine Unsubstantiality. Next, and somewhat lower, there is the sphere of Spiritual-Substantiality. Both are eternal. Adjacent to this, going lower and lower, there follows the material work of Creation beginning with the gaseous Fine-Materiality which, becoming denser and denser in descending planes or spheres down to the World of Gross Matter, eventually becomes visible to mankind. The Fine-material part within the World of Matter is what men call the beyond, i.e. beyond their earthly or physical capacity to see. Both, however, belong to the Work of Creation and are not eternal with regard to their form, but subject to change for the purpose of renewal and regeneration.
The Castle of the Grail stands at the summit of the eternal Sphere of Spiritual Substantiality, spiritually visible and tangible, because it is still of the same species of spiritual substantiality. This Grail Castle contains a Sanctuary which lies on the outermost border adjacent to the Divine Sphere, and is thus still more ethereal than the rest of spiritual substantiality. In this Sanctuary, as a pledge of the eternal Goodness of God the Father, as a symbol of His Purest Divine Love, and as the direct point of origin from which Divine Power issues, stands the Holy Grail!
In this chalice, the contents swirl and surge unceasingly, like red blood, without ever overflowing. Enveloped as it is in the most Luminous Light, only the purest of all spirits in the Realm of Spiritual Substantiality are granted permission to look into this Light. These are the Guardians of the Holy Grail! When the legends speak of the purest of men being appointed to become Guardians of the Grail, then this is a point which the gifted poet put into all too earthly terms, because he was unable to express himself differently. No human spirit can enter this holy Sanctuary. Even in its most perfect state of spiritual substantiality, after having returned from its wanderings through the World of Matter, it is still not so etherealized as to be able to cross this threshold, i.e., the boundary line to this Sanctuary. Even in its highest state of perfection in Substantiality it is still too dense to do so. However, still further etherization would be equivalent to its complete disintegration or combustion, because the origin of its nature does not lend itself to assuming even greater radiance and luminosity, thus becoming still more etherized. It is unable to tolerate it.
The Guardians of the Grail are Eternal Pure Spiritual Beings, who never were human beings. They are the highest of all in the Realm of Spiritual Substantiality. However, they require Divine Unsubstantiate Power, are dependent upon It, as everything is dependent on Divine Unsubstantiality, the Source of all Power, God the Father.
From time to time on the Day of the Holy Dove, the Dove appears above the Chalice as a renewed token of the unalterable Divine Love of the Father. It is the hour of communion which brings about the renewal of power. The Guardians of the Grail receive it in humble devotion and are then able to transmit this miraculous power.
The existence of the whole Creation depends on this!
It is the moment in which the Love of the Creator flows forth radiantly in the Temple of the Holy Grail, bringing new life and a new urge to create, which pulsates downwards and is disseminated throughout the entire Universe. A tremor courses throughout all the spheres, a sacred thrill of expectant joy and of great happiness. Only the spirit of earth-man still stands aside, without intuitively sensing what is happening particularly to him at that moment, what an immeasurable gift he receives in such dull-witted manner, because the limitations he imposed upon himself through his intellect no longer permit him to grasp such greatness.
It is the Life-giving moment for the entire Creation!
It is the necessary, ever-recurring confirmation of the Covenant between the Creator and His Work. Should this supply ever be cut off, should it ever fail to occur, all that exists would inevitably slowly dry up, age and disintegrate. It would be the end of all days, and only God Himself would remain, as it was in the beginning! Because He alone is Life.
This process is conveyed in the legend. In the description of the aging of the Knights of the Grail, during the time in which Amfortas no longer reveals the Grail until the hour in which Parsifal appears as King of the Grail, reference is even made to how everything must age and decay if the Day of the Holy Dove, the “unveiling” of the Grail, does not recur.
Man should cease to regard the Holy Grail as only something intangible, for It really exists! The human spirit, however, owing to its nature, can never behold It. But the blessing streaming from It, which can be and is being passed on by the Guardians of the Grail, can be received and enjoyed by human spirits. In this sense some of the interpretations cannot be called wrong, as long as they do not try to draw the Holy Grail Itself into their explanations. They are correct, and yet again they are not.
The appearance of the Dove on the special Day of the Holy Dove indicates the sending of the Holy Spirit on each occasion; for this Dove stands in very close connection with Him. But this is something which the human spirit is only able to grasp figuratively, because by the very nature of things, even if he has attained to the highest perfection, he can really only think, know and perceive intuitively up to the point whence he himself came, i.e., to the species homogeneous to the purest nature of his origin. This is the eternal Realm of Pure-Spiritual-Substantiality. Even in his thoughts he will never be able to cross this boundary. Nor can he ever grasp anything beyond it. This is so self-evident, so logical and simple, that every human being can follow this train of thought.
For this reason, whatever is beyond this boundary will and must forever remain a mystery to mankind!
Every man, therefore lives under a delusion, when he imagines that he bears God within himself or that he is himself Divine, or can become so. He bears Pure-Spirituality within himself, but nothing of the Divine. And therein lies an unbridgeable difference. He is a creature, not part of the Creator, as so many try to convince themselves. Man is and remains a creature, and will never be able to become master.
Thus it is wrong when it is explained that the human spirit issues from God the Father Himself and returns to Him. The origin of man lies in the Realm of Spiritual Substantiality, not in the Divine Unsubstantiate. Therefore, even if he has attained perfection, he can return only to the Sphere of Spiritual Substantiality. It is right to say that the human spirit originates from the Kingdom of God and therefore can, after reaching perfection, return to the Kingdom of God, but not to God Himself. The Kingdom of God is Pure-Spiritual-Substantiality.
The Son of God became the mediator between the Divine-Unsubstantiality and Pure-Spiritual-Substantiality. He crosses from Divine-Unsubstantiality over to Spiritual-Substantiality, just as once He came into the world of matter. The coming of the Son of Man brings on the consummation of the High Divine mission of the Son of God. Following the fulfillment, the Son of God will return wholly into Divine-Unsubstantiality, while the Son of Man will take on the function of mediator in His stead, thus becoming the leader of the guardians of the Holy Grail, the King of the Grail, guardian of the Holy Vessel.
Then the Son of Man will be the alpha and the omega for the human spirit because He is the beginning and the end for the capacity of human spirits to comprehend; because He is capable of crossing over the boundary to Divine-Unsubstantiality and thereby to overlook everything.