Monday 21 May 2018

What kind of fellowship quest is needed?

I am often stirred by the idea of a 'fellowship quest' - a small group who go on a journey to find, discover, destroy something; for the good of all. A band of brothers against overwhelming odds - the sort of thing seen in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, of Lewis's That Hideous Strength - and which links back to medieval examples such as Malory's King Arthur and Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West.

When I consider what might be our modern equivalent, I am initially faced by a via negativa of what it would Not be - rather than any clear idea of what it should be; because it does seem clear to me that the old style heroic quest has been made impossible (or rather useless) by modern materialism, and the modern tendency to reduce spirituality to psychology.

So we can no longer seek an artefact or treasure, can no longer aim to find a scripture or code; and learning and maturing are known to be insufficient.

The world has better and worse; but lacks any solid exemplars with hope for the future - anything which might 'win' is merely a lesser of evils, en route to corruption.

The kind of journey we need to embark upon is one where we don't go to any particular place, and are not accompanied by any physical persons; we seek something that can be known only by an inner and direct intuition - and which will save only those who grasp it for themselves - the most that the heroes can do is point at it, or at least point in the direction where other people might fruitfully start looking...

The companions are as likely to be drawn from the imagination as from the address book; and are more likely to communicate in meditative convictions as by words or writings or gestures.

To the modern mind, it all sounds nebulous to the point of delusional wishful thinking; so that the first step is to understand how such a quest is even possible (or, perhaps, even before that; how it is comprehensible); and what kind of 'treasure' is needed by modern Man.

When the sought-after has been found - what then? There is nobody, no group, no society to which it can be brought-back; and no mode of address by which people could be informed of its existence...

The finder, the finding group, instead articulates and clarifies what they have found; and knows that there are obscure ways by which anything known can become known by others (somewhat analogous to Ruper Sheldrake's 'morphic resonance' by by some other 'mechanism'; to-do-with Beings and shared consciousness, not 'fields' or 'forms').

Because, it seems that when one person discovers and knows - knows some-true-thing consciously and explicitly; this is what makes knowledge universal in principle.

Therefore, when the quest fellowship attains their goal, they have already done their work - and that triumph can never be deleted from reality.

Also, because we are talking about Beings (not physics) the provenance, the source, of this knowledge is known - it is accessed from A Mind (or perhaps more exactly: a Soul) - so The Fellowship's work is known, and the fact that the work came-from The Fellowship is known also.


Bookslinger said...

What you describe is, in Mormon terms, "going on a mission."

The objects of the quest are the "elect", those who will accept the gospel of Christ, and to deliver to them the gospel message.

You don't have to go on a formal full-time or even part-time/temporary mission. Every human contact can possibly evolve into a gospel conversation.

Not all will accept the message, not all those who accept will commit. And you never know who the elect are until after they accept and commit.

Chiu ChunLing said...

It is not that we cannot (or should not) go on quests but that our modern imagination has been saturated by the idea that such a quest can or should replace our ultimate eternal (hence infinite and unlimited) aims with something that is only a temporary means.

I go on quests all the time (like the quest to raid the fridge for edible food, or the quest to put food in the fridge), I've been on a few epic quests as well. The difference between an ordinary quest and an epic quest is that someone might sing a song about the latter.

An epic quest is still just a temporal pursuit of some finite object (or objective). The modern materialist mindset hasn't elevated it, but rather has denied that there can be any eternal pursuits of infinite goals. The true quest story is always subordinating the current quest, however heroic, to the endless ultimate reason we go on quests (which have a beginning and end).