I wrote to someone yesterday:
I wonder today whatever got into me to cause me to join the Kappa Alpha college fraternity, whose pole star was Robert E. Lee, and whose rituals where I attended college, Vanderbilt, included a lot of waving of the Confederate Flag, shooting off an old brass cannon, shouting during times of excitement, "How many Yankees where there? 10,000! How many Rebels? Three! What the hell are we gonna do? Charge!!!" And, growing beards (those of us who could) and holding an annual Old South Ball, where our KA Roses wore Old South hooped gowns and we men wore Confederate uniforms, and we were served by black waiters and waitresses in white servant uniforms.Why did Vanderbilt even allow such a fraternity on its campus?I was convinced two of the brothers from Mississippi were Klan, and we had some sharp words about their views. Otherwise, I was just as guilty as the rest of the brothers, about half a dozen of whom - go figure - were from northern states.
Yet, there were other currents as a Kappa Alpha, which even now I view as my happiest days in my entire life.
I met my KA Rose, a co-ed at Vanderbilt, whom I married and she brought three beautiful children into this world. The first, a son, died of sudden infant death syndrome when I was in law school at Alabama. The second and third are beautiful, actualized women with wonderful successful husbands and beautiful developing and aspiring children, who would have skinned me alive, had they been around and I was a KA carrying on as described above. Their mother went on to actualize herself in ways - super mother and successful novelist and professional aviatrix - she might not have realized had she remained with and been dragged down by floundering me.
On our son's unmarked grave, I eventually had a marker placed, on which was inscribed: "Infant son, he opened our hearts and set us on our journey"
Beneath all the Confederate glitter was something truly precious, which perhaps somehow got into me, but if it did, it was a long time making its presence known. What we in the fraternity called "The Mystic Goodies," was the Kappa Alpha Order's secret initiation, which was straight from Grail Order principles, rites and rituals. Therein lay the root of the Kappa Alpha Order's Creed: Dieu et les dames. God and the women.
Chivalry. But far deeper, I came to understand as time passed and the Grail was introduced to me by angels in various ways. A life's work, a very different drum beat - The Da Vinci Code only barely scratched the surface. The Grail is not some ancient text or relic, but is a way of being. It welcomes women and men equally, who wish to learn, know and live it.
In the Gospels, Jesus and Mary Magdalene laid the foundation for the Grail to spring forth in western civilization. He was her Adam, she was his Eve, so speak. But you have to read between the lines and see in the dark spaces and what was not said, as well as what is said of them in the Gospels, to see they were the Grail's progenitors.
As my life progressed, I failed at everything, to the point of begging God to save me from my failure and offering my miserable life to human service in early 1987. Thus did I unwittingly set the stage for entering Grail training. Women, whose souls were similarly inclined, showed up in my life, one at a time. We made runs at becoming Grail couples. We tried, and it got so steep, we faltered. More women showed up, and we kept trying and faltering. Yet, each of the women woke up parts of me that otherwise might have remained asleep.
Tomorrow, I'm 79. I wonder if the women part of the Grail training has run its course for me? Run out of steam, so to speak. I have lots of physical aches and pains. My plumbing is a mess. My mind still seems to work pretty well when I stay on my toes. I'm still guided ongoing in dreams- advised, redirected, spanked, even rebuked. Last night was mostly spanking and rebuking, because of something I was not getting about the female.
Perhaps this blog post cured it, perhaps not.
Meanwhile, if every man and every woman were put into Grail training, and stood before endless mirrors, humanity, and America, would be very different.