“Honour endures, when the mountains have crumbled to dust.”
When I was at the Academy studying the mythic arts of magick; I was asked to commit to certain ideals. Vows of integrity; vows of honour. One of them was this quote.
The tradition we studied was ancient, borne of the verdant fields of sacred Scotland. And, like all vows, the Words hold power. For me, they were particularly poignant. My life has been lived in accordance with a high sense of honour; of forthright integrity. Time and again I have been called to demonstrate my allegiance to these ideals; sometimes in the most challenging of circumstances.
Yet without these challenges, we do not Know the mettle of our own attainment of Self. We do not understand; we have not earned what it means to live an honourable life; one of fidelity to one’s innermost Truth.
It can be a hard road. Yet in the end, it is rewarding, for when we walk in accordance with our ideals; we gain in Power. We gain in strength; building the true gold of character; that which grants entry into places and relationships untempted by cash or casual favor. Over the years, I have found that nobility is it’s own reward; a sublime aura of solidarity; granting us both the conviction, and through alignment with an Ideal; the charisma to accomplish our goals.
It is a suffering, that much of World has forgotten the strength and purity of honour. That beings so easily forget or discard their sacred agreements. Such is great folly, for the breaking of one’s Word damages the integrity of one’s own being. In this profane action; we diminish our own Power. We lose distinction over the Truth in our lives. In it’s causal dismissal, we weaken our relationship with the Divine; we lose the memory of who we really are.
Honour cannot be overemphasized. It is the redemption of lies; the forging of our sense of Self. Sadly, gone are the days when one’s Word was their bond. When a simple handshake held the strength of iron. In this World of manipulation and machiavellian intent, it is honour that brings us Home. In all ways, it behooves us to live lives of honour; to keep our Word. In so doing, we gain the Trust of the People.
A great archetype of honour is the knight; of course. And, in similar fashion, the samurai; as well their mystical counterpart; the djedi. Beings devoted to an Ideal; whose bravery and commitment to their agreements are the stuff of legend. Great are the tales of samurai who, in honour; drank tea and held parley with their foes before the battle; fully aware of the lethal engagement to come. In the stress of conflict, when loyalties demanded a choosing of sides; it is honour that defines the swordsman from the savage.
Yet like so many other aspects of Life, honour and integrity are not hard lines of black and white. Their distinction is sharp; their edges well-formed. However, even in this there is grey. As with all things, we wander across a landscape of emergent recognition; one where we gradually come to Know the truest aspects of our individual and sacred Selves.
What does it mean to be in integrity? To have honour towards one’s soul? And how does this distinguish itself from the Ideal? There are times when we give our Word, only to find that holding such a Word violates something deeper, something even more refined. The knight may leave their service, the samurai may become a ronin. It is here that we must consider the integrity of something greater; the true texture of our Heart and it’s subtle urgings of personal Truth.
Life is more than just an Ideal. It is the negotiation of the mystery of our Self-awareness; a set of guidelines that lead us inevitably towards the sanctuary of Self-knowing. Qualities such as honour and integrity help us, serving us on both the battlefield and the bedroom. They guide us in both our dealings with strangers and those we cherish most deeply. It is rarely easy, for we are in the process of coming to Know our Selves, to know who we really are; what we really stand for; what our true desires are.
It is not easy. In such cases, we do the best that we can. Yet whenever it is possible, it behooves us to act with honour. To keep our Word. To be in integrity with our thoughts and actions.
If such inspires You, some things to consider:
Are you an honest person? Truly? Do you keep your word when You give it? Is it a thing of water, shifting this way and that in accordance with your personal comfort; or a thing of iron, forged and true? Do you follow through on the things that You say, or are you a liar?
Honour and integrity are directly tied to Trust. To the forging of agreements, which form the basis of our relationships. How do you feel when someone lies to You; when they break their word? Is this a feeling that You would wish to visit upon them?
Knights and Samurai; or their mystical counterpart of the Djedi; are the example of a fierce discipline of Self. Because of their honour; because of their integrity; they were and are given sanctuary by the Peoples of the Land. It is a rarified and beautiful blessing; to be recognized in the aspiration to moral achievement.
Consider these things; when You take action in the World. Consider your Truth; before You give your Word. Do not make promises lightly; for such is the willowing smoke of an uncertain Self. There may come a time when beings rely upon that sense of righteousness; where You will be called upon to stand for what You have said; for what You truly believe in. Stand strong. Stand True. In this victory of personal discipline; we redeem the Worlds.