Tallereres vivenciales basados en "Las enseñanzas del caballero de la
The knight in Rusty
about an adventure of inner alchemy in which the hero, represented in the
figure of the Knight, goes through a path of transformation, becomes
conscious of his armor and disposes of it to be able to get to the Source.
It is a work that facilitates the initiation to a deep spiritual life, and
it is directed to every human being, independently of his or her creed,
philosophical education or beliefs. The book has sold more than a million
copies in Spanish.
The Teachings of the
Knight in Rusty Armor
will help you:
To understand the symbols of
transformation that appear in this book and to stimulate and rediscover your
inner and outer symbolic world.
To relate the aspects of the
sel-ftransformational journey with the psychotherapeutic process.
To become conscious of your
own armor and how to get rid of it.
To live with patience the
learning process called "life", because, as Merlin says: "it is impossible
to run and learn at the same."
About the Author
The Knight's dilemma
Second Trial: In
Third Trial: The Path
Fourth Trial: The
Castle of Silence
Fifth Trial: The
Castle of Knowledge
The Castle of Will and Daring
Seventh Trial: The Summit
The time to review the book
and extent its contents was shorten due to the need to publish as soon as
possible. The second edition allowed to increase the number of sections
containing comments that help in the understanding of the book.
Thus, we get to the end of a journey that has been thrilling and has
stimulated my own Process. Nevertheless, to understand and accept that
everything has a beginning and an end is one of the teachings of life. As
the Tao says:
"Once the deed is finished
and the goal accomplished,
the right thing to do is retire.
This is the way of Tao"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CARLOS VELASCO MONTES is a
licensed psychologist by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He is
educated in multiple forms of psychotherapy. He has visited more than sixty
countries as an officer of the Spanish Merchant Navy, as a result he has
acquired a deep knowledge about different peoples, cultures and their ways
of life; which is reflected in his book.
HOW DID THE TEACHINGS OF
THE KNIGHT IN RUSTY ARMOR COME ABOUT? It is based on the book The
Knight of Rusty Armor by Robert Fisher. His book is source of many
symbols and experiences related to the essence of Being. Logically, such a
profuse work evokes numerous interpretations. For five years, I have
maintained a dialogue with this book and I have applied its knowledge in
workshops of personal growth, seminars, conferences and individual
psychotherapy. Over time, I have developed a psychological and symbolic
interpretation of it. I have realized through my students the need to bring
to light this work detailing the Development undergone by the Knight. It is
about an Unveiling Process of going down to hell and ascending to heaven in
a psychological, emotional, corporal, energetic and spiritual level; as well
as in an existential and symbolic plane. To facilitate a better
understanding of the book and to assist in each person's individual Process.
This book is AN
INTERPRETATION that tries to bring forth the teachings derived from the work
The Knight in the Rusty Armor. Its goal is to accomplish the
To facilitate a better
self-knowledge by relating the aspects of the self-transformational journey
of the Knight with the psychotherapeutic process of psychology and with the
way of being in the world.
To understand the symbols of
transformation that appear in this book, and to rediscover and stimulate our
inner and outer symbolic world.
To become conscious of our
own armor and how to get rid of it.
ROBERT FISHER'S WORK.
The author underwent a spiritual experience eight times in which he was
close to dying. While having those experiences he heard an inner voice that
told him: "You shouldn't die, you haven't completed yet what you have come
The voice whispered the title of the book and the story that he had to
write. That experience transformed his life spiritually and physically.
Since the voice showed him how to heal himself through the use of Natural
Medicine. He also employed laughter. The value of all this is in his
acceptance of what the voice told him. As Robert Fisher says: "In this state
of acceptance and obedience, one is capable of going beyond the psychology
of the ego to hear and experience the miracles of the Universe."
For six and a half years, he
wrote what that inner voice was telling him. In his book, he tells a
universal story of initiation that came to him from the Universe. It is a
work that facilitates the initiation to a deep spiritual life, and it is
directed to every human being, independently of his or her creed,
philosophical education or beliefs. This great little book is very popular
and has been translated to several languages. It has sold more than a
million copies in Spanish (58 editions).
It contains everything necessary for a transformational process. It has the
secret of a puzzle, with every essential element to shape the design of
existence and interact with it. Nothing is superfluous; nothing is missing.
Its reading is fluid and easy and rich in symbolic elements. It is well
structured. It is simple but profound and sustains several levels of
understanding. It is one of those books that leaves you with a sense of
satisfaction, knowledge and happiness.
The form and the content -the glass and the liquid- give life and regenerate
everyone that holds it.
Its teachings go directly to the essence of Being. It is a universal book
that will be remembered long after our time. Directed to a broad public
(searchers of personal growth, psychologists, patients, company employees,
social service workers, educators and students), it goes beyond cultural
barriers, social condition and age.
THE TEACHINGS OF THE KNIGHT IN RUSTY ARMOR
A practical course about
The Knight in
Rusty Armor .
The top Spanish specialist provides the keys to the symbolism in this
Velasco's book will help you to become conscious of your own armor and to
get rid of it. (Soon to be published in English)
FIRST TRIAL: THE
The Knight Thought
He Was Good, Kind and Loving
Even though he thought that way, his acts did not show such positive
qualities. A virtue that needs to be demonstrated is not a virtue. Actually
he neither loved himself nor had self-confidence. On the contrary, he
boasted of himself to compensate his shortcomings.
He fought enemies who were apparently his opposites : bad, mean and hateful.
In time of crisis, he saved damsels from dragons which he killed. He
liberated them whether they wanted it or not. Some appreciated his help;
others were mad at him but he did not care.
He released other people from his evil enemies, but failed to confront the
negativity in himself, his false self represented in the dragon. He was
unable to rescue his true Self, prisoner of his inner dragon, because he
did not try to get to know himself. Such a prisoner was his true Self that
the Knight did not know of its existence.
The Knight had become famous because his armor shone so brightly that the
people thought it was the sun, and believed that it rose in the North and
set in the East.
The armor symbolizes different things manifested at the physical,
psychological, emotional, spiritual and energy levels. It represents
everything which is faked. Its shine stands for the vanity, fame, prestige,
and pride with which the Knight hypnotized and confused people. The more his
armor shone the more faked was his relationship with others.
He was always on the go, and such was his enthusiasm that sometimes he went
in several directions at the same time; which represents doing a lot of
things and having the mind busy on many matters simultaneously.
He even slept with his armor on because he loved its shine. The Narcissus
Myth is one of love and adoration of oneself, as well as of false altruism,
isolation and lack of communication. He put on his armor to protect the
image he had of himself; as a result, one day he was unable to take it off.
He was married to a very
tolerant woman, Juliet, who possessed many virtues; among them that of
writing beautiful poetry. He also had a young golden-haired son, called
Christopher, whom he wanted to become a knight like him when he grew up.
Juliet represents the
alter ego: femininity, kindness, soul, consciousness, and memory of the
true Self. His blonde son was the recollection of what he was like before
hiding beneath the armor.
The Knight hardly related to them. Sometimes, Christopher asked his mother
what his father looked like; the only image he had of the knight without
armor was a picture of him that was on the fireplace.
Juliet was not happy with the relationship she had with her husband. She did
not like the armor either since the knight did not take it off to go to bed
and she could not sleep due to the noise it made when he moved. It is also
implied that the Knight did not fulfill his marital duties which produced
farther alienation from his wife.
The first time Juliet confronted her husband she told him that he loved his
armor more than she loved her. This means that the Knight's only love was
his false self. He has demonstrated his love for Juliet when he rescued her
from a dragon and gave her an elegant castle. Nevertheless, his true Self
was a prisoner of his false ego which consumed most of the Knight's energy.
He only loved the idea of rescuing her but he did not take responsibility
for the outcomes of such act. Due to his idealism his mind was far away from
his heart, and even though he wanted to show Juliet his love, his body was
unable to hug tenderly. On one occasion, he almost broke her ribs hugging
her when he had his cold and hard armor on. That was the way the false self
Solving the Dilemma
The Knight had to make a decision: take off the armor or lose his family.
Juliet was the typical resigned woman who all of a sudden realized the
unhappiness of her situation and gave her husband only one option: to take
off the armor so she could see who he actually was. The Knight could not
remove his armor because he had to be ready to ride his horse and leave at
any time. The true Self, represented in Juliet, requires that the mask of
appearance and the idealistic fantasy of the false self be removed and not
justified with deceit. The horse symbolizes the physical energy, the ego's
demands, the impulses that the Knight has to keep under control.
Juliet finally told him that if he did not take off his armor she would
The Knight questioned his motives in life. He loved his wife, son, and home.
On the other hand, what gave meaning to his life was to be able to wear his
armor in order to demonstrate on the battlefield that he was good, kind and
Taking a risk, he decided to get rid of his armor so that he could learn to
love himself, his family and others.
He Decided to Take Off
He began the Unveiling Process of the experiential self when he decided to
get rid of his armor. He felt now the need to remove everything that
belonged to the false self to uncover the light of the true Self.
His helmet and the visor on it was too tight to take off. He was desperate
to find a solution to his problem and asked the blacksmith for help. It was
the first time he asked anyone for help. The blacksmith told him that he was
the problem. And even though he was the strongest man in the kingdom, he
could not make a single dent on the helmet.
The armor of the false self is not removed by physical force but through
inner work. The blacksmith is not the ideal therapist to unveil the true
Self. The Knight will have to look for more adequate professional help to be
able to know his experiential self and thus be able to know himself.
When the Knight told Juliet that he was unable to take off his armor, she
did not believe him and yelled at him calling him a noisy beast. She also
threw a plate full of dove stew at him but the Knight was unable to feel
anything because he could not distinguish what was real from what was faked.
The Beast or false self symbolizes the Forces of Evil; the Beauty is the
true Self or in other words, the Forces of Good. The dove represents
spirituality, neglected by the Knight. Later in the story, Merlin would
offer him the help of this bird.
He finally realized that his armor did not let him feel anything, and that
he carried it for so long that he had forgotten how things felt without it.
After visiting the blacksmith one more time, he returned home and Juliet
told him that the only way his son could see him was in his picture on the
fireplace. She offered him a lamb dish for the last time. The lamb
represents the last thing that Juliet is going to do for him.
Juliet seemed not to love him anymore and this hurt him deeply. If he could
not get rid of his armor, Juliet would abandon him. He had to think of a way
to remove it. He knew he needed the kind of help he could not find in his
kingdom, so he decided to look somewhere else. He had to go beyond the world
he was familiar with.
The Path of Sincerity,
Authenticity and Truth
Only through authenticity, sincerity and truth will the Knight be able to
remove his armor (character) and find his true Self, which comes from the
Source of Everything.
The psycho-emotional conflicts harden the armor. In the Unveiling Process
there is fruitful suffering, and relief through the liberation of heavy
The Knight will go down to hell and ascend to heaven. He will swim in the
sea of his unconscious, defeat the dragon and rescue the treasure hidden
inside of him.
SEVEN KEY POINTS TO
1. Do you recognize your
armor? What is it made of?
2. Do you think you are
good, kind and loving?
3. How do you experience feelings? Are you sincere in love?
4. How do you relate to your family and friends?
5. Do you dedicate enough time to your family?
6. Do you have a sincere desire to change?
7. Are you looking for the
appropriate therapist or guide?
The Knight Goes
into the Forest of the Unconscious
The "woods" are a spiritual place that can be found in a desert or in a
city; being in solitude or in a crowd.
To be in the woods is to retire. The Knight has isolated himself in the
forest to reflect and find himself.
The woods symbolize the unconscious. By going into the forest the Knight
will meet his dark side.
The call of the "forest" is felt by an unsatisfied inner nature which is
compelled to go beyond what is known. That is the reason why the Knight
abandoned what until then had given meaning to his life: adventures,
castles, family; in summary, all that constituted his identity. He went into
the woods to nderstand what his armor meant and thus to be able to remove
it: in other words, to subdue the untamed ego. In this way, he will destroy
the "knight" personality; the mask that prevents him from knowing his true
In Greek the meaning of to convalesce is to return. Nostalgia is the pain of
going back, the eternal return to one self.
The Knight is a convalescent because he goes to the woods to go back to
himself to achieve his individuation. As a convalescent, he is returning to
himself and when the returning is complete he will be able to know who he
really is. He will understand the true meaning of his life by realizing the
suffering that the armor (disease) brings.
When the Knight was too weak to continue, Merlin told him that he was most
fortunate since a "person cannot run and also learn. He must stay in one
place for a while." The Knight started to understand the value in slowing
down to reflect because hectic life can be confusing.
When a person is not able to slow down to think, disease can appear as a
sign for the sick person to stop. In this way, sickness can be a beneficial
ally that demands to be heard.
The Knight is a convalescent that has to learn the origin of his disease,
and that the secret of its cure is in going back to himself.
First Encounter with
Merlin the Magician, Archetype of the Wise Old Man
One morning, under a tree, the Knight found Merlin clothed in a long white
robe and surrounded by animals. He recognized in him the master he needed
and understood that both were looking for each other. The mystery of the
encounter has happened at the intuitive level, deep in their souls.
The tree whose branches shelter a man of knowledge could symbolize here the
myth of sacredness and regeneration.
Merlin represents the master who is not attached to this world. He knows the
art of consciousness awakening. As a wise man, he is the go-between of the
convalescent hero and nature. He will show the Knight that human passions
cloud judgment and reason, and that positive attitudes such as patience,
collaboration, unconditional acceptance of the master and his teachings,
courage and perseverance enhance life's journey.
Merlin recommends patience to get rid of the armor that has been on him for
The Armor to Protect
Himself from Fear
The Knight thinks that the armor protects him from the fear of being wounded
in battle. He actually uses the armor to avoid confronting his family
situation and getting hurt.
The Cup of Life
"Merlin held out a silver cup with a strange-colored liquid in it."
The Knight is thirsty for life since the armor has dried up his existence.
The emotional conflict blocks the physical body and its energy, clouds
judgment and hardens the heart.
"The first sips seemed bitter, the later ones more pleasant, and the last
swallows quite delicious." The cup of life makes living a sweet endeavor.
Neurosis is bitterness, and once it is dissolved relief follows.
Water renews life and symbolizes the unconscious. Merlin gives the Knight
great quantities of the cup of the unconscious in order to get to know
himself and be closer to Life. The Knight will dissolve the impurities that
are taking away his life by bathing in tears.
The True Self, Change of
Consciousness and Time
The true Self, as Jung calls it, appears in the inner growth process of
Individuation, and is an evolution towards an inner unique totality. It is
considered an archetype and as such transcends the human being in what is
personal and related to his conscious self.
After crying, the Knight is able to communicate with animals in an intuitive
way, beyond his rational mind. He attains sufficient sensibility to tune in
to others' vibrations. Animals represent the passionate world of man's
Merlin told him: "past, present and future are the same thing when you are
connected to the Source." Since time is an invention of the mind; it
disappears when the Knight unites with the Source.
To the Knight's question what is the Source, Merlin answered: "It's the
mysterious and invisible power that constitutes the origin of everything".
It is called Source, Origin, Creator, and others, as a way of naming that
which is not namable. The understanding of this concept is beyond
Source is one of the names or attributes of Essence, because Essence is
manifested through one hundred or more attributes.
Five main attributes are present in the book: Truth, Silence, Knowledge,
Will and Daring. The Knight will have to discover and develop them.
Feeling desperate, the
Knight Tries to Go Back to His Family
At some point the Knight is unable to stay in the woods any longer. He goes
so deep into his unconscious that he confronts madness, gets scared and
wants to run away.
He justifies this behavior by telling himself that what he wants is to
return to his family, and become a good, kind and loving husband and father.
However, someone who is not able to care for himself cannot take care of
others. If he goes back in order to flee the forest, he will be a burden for
Juliet and Christopher.
Thinking of his family, "he remembered Juliet's endless complaints about his
going off to battle so often, about the attention he showered on his armor,
and about his closed visor and his habit of abruptly going to sleep to shut
out her words. Maybe Juliet wouldn't want him back, but certainly
Merlin suggests to send a note to Christopher asking if he wants his dad to
return home. The dove will take it to him. When Rebecca, the dove, brings
back Christopher's message, the Knight realizes that there is nothing
written in it. Merlin tells him that his son does not know him well enough
to give him an answer.
"The Knight stood there for a moment, stunned, then groaned and slowly sank
to the ground. He tried to choke back the tears, for knights in shining
armor simply didn't cry. However, his grief soon overwhelmed him. Then,
exhausted and half-drowned from the tears in his helmet, the knight fell
Deep Sorrow and Tears of
True Feelings Liberate the Knight from His Armor
The blank answer from his son has deeply moved the Knight, and he finally
understands the bad quality of his relationship with his son. This
realization produces an inner conflict that destroys the body and emotional
defenses; the armor does not protect him any longer. His body, with the
Knight's personal story engraved in it, gives way, and even though he still
thinks that knights do not cry, he cannot contain his emotions and cries
disconsolately until he is exhausted and half-drowned inside his helmet.
After the catharsis and having realized what the problem is, he experiences
a strange relief that comes from being in peace with himself and, curling up
in the warmth of this new feeling of tenderness, falls asleep.
Upon waking up, the Knight is freed from his helmet thanks to his shed
SEVEN KEY POINTS ON WHICH
1. Do you set an ambush for
2. Do you miss your true Self?
3. Did you find your guide?
4. What do you wear the armor for?
5. Are you patient and persevering?
6. Are you sincere with your feelings?
7. What do you use suffering for?
PATH OF TRUTH
The Path of Truth
Merlin shows the Knight the path through which he should always travel in
order to be able to remove his armor. This is the Path of Truth. To walk on
this path symbolizes the necessary steps that a person has to take to
realize himself or herself as a human being. The Knight can only follow this
road by acting according to some rules, and developing qualities such as
authenticity, sincerity and rectitude. If he misses that path everything in
his life will be wrong and he will be in darkness. If he follows it he will
arrive to the top of the mountain, will get rid of the armor and will find
The Path of Truth becomes narrower as the Knight ascends it. On a symbolic
level, the narrowness represents the difficulties and efforts that the
Knight has to go through to detach himself from what is not his real self.
The steepness and tightness of the road also symbolize the constriction that
the Knight feels being so close to the Source and still not being able to
see it due to what is left of his armor.
The Knight had followed a
The Knight's life consisted of killing dragons, rescuing damsels in distress
and not spending enough time with his family. His way of life was full of
negative qualities. The wrong path symbolizes the flight from reality and
Merlin reminds him of the
objective of the journey
The objective of the journey is to remove his armor, that is to say
everything that prevents him from being himself. To accomplish his objective
he will have to follow a process. The first step of the process is to
realize that he is wearing an armor, then he has to do what it takes to get
rid of it.
The Knight starts to
become aware of his muscular, emotional, psychological and energetic armor
The steel armor that he always wore even to sleep represents the Knight's
muscular, emotional, psychological and energetic shells.
At the physical level, the shell of psycho-emotional conflicts has tired his
body and diminished the sensitivity of his smell, hearing and tact senses.
The Knight does not remember how it feels to kiss, to smell a flower or to
listen to a beautiful melody. At the affective plane, his feelings are
frozen. Intellect prevails over heart. As regard to the Knight's energy, his
armor has blocked the flow of vital energy and he is very weak.
Animals represent the
punsional world of instincts
Animals are the Knight's allies. The dove and the squirrel give him courage
and they are his assistants. Symbolically, animals represent the instinctive
pulsaciones. The Knight has to connect with his instinctual center
and abandon his intellect. The dove and the squirrel also symbolize the
Animals accept and human beings hope for. Animals are driven by their
instincts, unlike the Knight who has denied through his neurosis the healthy
wild spirit of his instinct and has become less humane in the process.
The Knight only will love
himself after removing his armor and getting to know himself
In the role of a Knight he could not love himself. Through his inner battle
he will be able to know and love himself. For this battle he does not need
sword or horse. He will leave them behind together with part of his knight
identity. Without his weapons and his pride he will be exhausted and aching
after a while in the Path of Truth.
After sleeping soundly he
is awaken by the sun. A part of his visor is rusty
The Knight, tired from a day of traveling along the Path of Truth, falls
asleep and the bright sun wakes him up. What has happened? Part of his visor
is rusty by the tears he shed earlier. His sight and tact are sharper so he
can feel the bright rays of the sun and the breeze on his face. At the level
of feelings, these have come to life thanks to the tenderness he felt
towards his son Christopher.
The sun symbolizes the intuition of knowledge. The Knight has reached
intuitive understanding, has unveiled his face, therefore he sees reality
The golden key that
Merlin gave him will open the door of the castles
Merlin gave a golden key to the Knight. It is the key that will open the
door of the three castles: the castle of Silence, the castle of Knowledge
and the castle of Will and Daring. And he will not be able to go out until
he acquires the qualities of each castle.
The color of gold of the key symbolizes the purity and authenticity of
Merlin's knowledge. The key of knowledge will open the door of his inner
castles. It will also open his unconscious and heart, and the knowledge of
The Knight saw the Castle
of Silence on a hill
A huge castle blocked the path, therefore the Knight will have to enter it
and acquire the positive quality from it.
The Knight is disappointed when he sees the castle's structure is not as
fancy as the castles of his former battles; symbolically it means that he
has a very poor perception of his inner castle of silence because everything
in it is chatter. He lacks the necessary silence to reach a useful and true
At the entrance of the castle, the dove and the squirrel told him that they
will wait for him on the other side of the castle. The Knight has to go in
by himself in order to experience his inner silence.
SEVEN KEYS FOR REFLECTION
1. Are you authentic and
2. What is your path to knowledge?
3. Are you connected to your instincts?
4. Do you enjoy life?
5. Are you conscious of the things that veil your reality?
6. Has something in your armor become rusty lately?
7. Do you have enough courage?
CASTLE OF SILENCE
the Knight's psychosomatic armor
The Knight entered the castle where everything was in silence. He closed
the door and went into his inner castle to discover what was disturbing his
His knees were shaking and his armor produced a metallic rattle. This means
that the Knight is filling his castle of silence with mental noises.
He finds three rugs and three rooms, which represent the idea of number
three: one is silence, and two and three is the duality: mental chatter and
loneliness. The Knight will have to trascend both to rescue his silence.
If he experiences
silence, he will understand and see
The Knight will have to confront the dragon of his mental chatter that has
imprisoned his silence. To accomplish this, he will have to experience
solitude and silence for some time. In the Castle of Silence he felt more
alone than ever in his life; even when his wife Juliet did not talk to him
for several days it was better than this.
The Knight was experiencing the uneasiness of his soul when he was startled
by the king's voice. The king helped him by saying that he would not be
able to see within himself until he had discovered the secret hidden in each
room of the castle and the mental noises that drowned silence.
He sets up barriers to
protect his ego
The king returned to the Path of Truth to know more about himself.
He knew that most people are trapped in their armor and build up barriers to
protect their ego. Every day they create new shells of armor until they
are unable to remove them and be themselves. The Knight's armor stands
between his true Self and his ego.
Silence is more than not
If the Knight stays by himself and in silence he will be able to see the
doors that lead to other rooms; that is to say that he will recognize the
psycho-emotional problems and will find the entrance to a more authentic
life. Silence becomes knowledge when it is devoid of visualization of
images or colors. The mind is thus suspended beyond thoughts while our
being perceives reality. Silence annihilates the false self giving way to
He wears masks in front
The Knight had showed a false image of himself to people, and confused them
trying to be the most brilliant knight of the kingdom. To recognize what
his masks are, he will have to learn to be humble and live in solitude and
To destroy his inner
dialogue and get to know silence requires more courage than all his former
battles as knight
The Knight will have to deal with a new type of crusade: to fight the Evil
Forces within himself, represented in the dragon. He will need to be as
brave as a warrior to defeat his inner dragon. If he perseveres in
experiencing solitude and silence, he will subdue the dragon of mental
He admitted he was afraid
The only thing he heard was his armor's rattle which depressed him since he
had never listened to his mental noises. He tried to hide silence by
singing, but the song brought him mental stillness and he had to admit that
he felt afraid of being alone. In that moment he had a clear vision of
reality symbolized in his seeing the way out of the room to a smaller one.
By getting to know himself more profoundly he reduces the space of the
unknown, that is why every room is smaller than the previous one.
The Knight's character is
formed in his childhood
Talking to himself he returns to his childhood and remembers how different
he was from other children; while other children played and hunted quail, he
stayed in his room reading. He was always afraid of being alone and never
enjoyed the present.
He realizes he is the
cause of Juliet's suffering and loneliness
Being aware of the solitude of his inner castle, he is able to walk in
Juliet's shoes and realizes the pain he has inflicted on her and how lonely
she must have felt living with such an insensitive man. He feels his own
solitude and sorrow and thus sympathizes with Juliet's which submerges him
in a state of catharsis. As a result, he cries disconsolately and feels a
profound tenderness that leads him to mental clarity and relief, symbolized
in the opening of the door.
In silence the true Self
The true Self emerges from the Knight's silence, demonstrating the falseness
of the ego. The true Self resides in the heart whereas the ego dwells in
all that is out of control.
Merlin told him that the
true Self was more real than the ego
When the mind is in silence the perception of the world is more real; the
illusory world of the ego disappears, and the true Self surfaces. The true
Self is kindred to the Source, the ego to darkness.
He fell asleep and when
he awoke the helmet had disappeared
The Knight falls asleep deeply due to the process of catharsis that
liberates blocked energies and provides relief. When he woke up he realized
that the helmet had disappeared and that he was on the Path of Truth again.
Reflection and understanding were the keys that opened the castle's doors.
He was in the castle for a long time even though it seemed like a single
night. The night symbolizes the "dark night of the soul" through which the
Knight solves the conflicts with Juliet, and his own problems with silence
and mental chatter.
We come from the Source's
breath, and our steps are always leading us back to the Source
Merlin told the Knight that: "we are all part of each other." This means
that all Creation comes from the breath of the Source. The whole universe is
contained within the Knight, hence Juliet and he are part of each other.
The way to the Source is called Path of Truth and we are always on it.
The Knight is cured by
The Knight has been on the border of madness in the processes of catharsis,
due to the confusion that he felt when he listened to the true Self for the
first time. Merlin reassured him by saying that he was not going mad. The
Knight's encounter with insanity becomes his cure because through it he is
able to reaffirm his search for his true Self.
SEVEN KEY POINTS TO
1. How is your mental
2. How do you experience solitude and silence?
3. Are you aware that the journey to the Source is never-ending?
4. Do you have enough courage to quiet your mind?
5. Do you enjoy the "here and now"?
6. How do you experience your sanity-madness?
7. What experiences do you have of your true Self?
CASTLE OF KNOWLEDGE
The Knight will not pursue power, fame and recognition from others in his
maturation process. He will find an incalculable power within himself by
putting into action his warrior courage and he will jump into the void going
beyond his thought's limits. Hi will start to see with his heart's eyes
something deeper that does not deal with imagination but with Reality. He
will learn to know in a direct and intuitive way without needing words and
will reach a silent knowledge in which consciousness is expanded.
The Castle of Knowledge
was created by the Source, origin of all knowledge
The Knight, the squirrel and the dove continued the journey through the Path
of Truth towards the Castle of Knowledge. He was more aware of taking care
of his physical appearance what contributes to a feeling of freedom. He is
able now to feed himself, having lost his helmet; what symbolizes the
recovery of his autonomy. Sam, the voice of the true Self, tells him that
the designer of the castle was the Universe, source of all knowledge. It is
called Universe, Source or God, since the unnamable has to be named somehow.
Knowledge is light that
disperses darkness and illuminate the path
The Knight goes into the castle accompanied by Squirrel and Rebecca. He
encounters a big darkness that symbolizes ignorance; it also represents the
shadow, everything the Knight has forgotten or discarded about himself. It
also symbolizes the " dark night of the soul" that the Knight goes through
to get rid of ambition, dependency, anxiety, ignorance and need. He finds
several engravings on the walls. One of them is: "Knowledge is light that
will illuminate your path." It means that wisdom brings clarity in life.
When he understood this, a ray of light entered the room. The ray means the
insight that provides solution to the question on the sign; what is to say
that the light comes into the inner castle of the Knight.
He needed Juliet and
Christopher more than he loved them since he was incapable of loving himself
The Knight mistook need for love. He realized that he needed Juliet more
than he loved her. Need implies lack and love wholeness. His relationship
to others was of need not of love. This the fundamental key of the
teachings of the book: all our existence is about love. It is said that due
to love the Source created. Everything is born of love. The Knight
meditated about all this and realized his ignorance which made him cry. A
terrorizing thought came to his mind: he blamed Juliet for all his problems;
even for being trapped in his armor. The Knight cried even more when he
realized that only by loving himself will he be able to love others. As
soon as he realized that his need was a barrier between him and the others,
a light illuminated the big room of the castle. When the Knight realized
his own tragedy the light of knowledge invaded him, displaying thus
ignorance and illusion.
He will develop the
Perfect Man that is inside himself
Squirrel showed the Knight a very special mirror which reflected the true
image of the Knight. The Knight saw a nice person whose eyes shone with
love and compassion. That was his true Self. The image of innocence and
beauty is the archetype of the Perfect Man, Universal Man or Divine Child
who in his immanence is pure innocence, beauty and love. To be beautiful,
innocent and perfect is his potential that he has been unable to develop
due to his invisible armor between himself and his true feelings, with time
the armor became visible and permanent. When he realized this, the
beautiful light shone again even with more intensity and illuminated the
entire room revealing its secret: there was only one big room in the
castle. Symbolically, the room is the true Knowledge that can't be
divided. The person who has obtained the Knowledge is called the
illuminated due to the spiritual light that emanates from his body. Angels
are beings of the light who extend their wings on those who search for
The ambition that comes
from the heart provides happiness; that which comes from the mind, suffering
The castle had a garden with a big apple tree in the middle: the Tree of
Knowledge. His apples were shining and red which represents the fruit in
all its splendor. On a slab of stone beside the apple tree there was an
inscription: "For this fruit, I impose no condition, but may you now learn
about ambition ". It means that the apple tree offers its fruit because it
is its purpose; there is not other ambition but to be an apple tree. Merlin
told the Knight that we are born beautiful, innocent and perfect, and that
those qualities were always in our hearts. Man is born in a state of
perfection, and as he grows up he abandons his state of immanence. The
ambition of the heart is the sincere intention of recovering the noble
qualities. On the other hand, the mind longs for material things and
information, which does not promote happiness but suffering. He promised
himself that from now on he would let his heart guided him; as he did this,
Merlin and the castle disappeared since he has reconquered the knowledge of
his inner castle.
His armor fell off from
his arms and legs
The Knight knelt down on a creek to drink and realized that the armor had
fell off from his arms and legs. The water means knowledge and
purification. The Knight has passed the trial and has obtained knowledge
after cleaning himself of the rust of ambition. Having his arms and legs
free, he will be able to deal better with the world, being more in contact
with reality. Through them the emotions and actions of the heart will flow
better. He walked now toward the Castle of Will and Daring with free arms
and with solid footing accompanied by the dove flying over his head and the
squirrel running by his feet. Symbolically, the Knight has liberated his
arms that like wings touch the sky and his legs can touch the earth. The
silent knowledge allows him to understand his reality between the sky and
SEVEN KEY POINTS TO
1. Name one of your inner
2. How do you confront your dragons?
3. How is your courage of warrior?
4. Can you list your fears?
5. Do you test your self-knowledge?
6. Do you doubt often and easily abandon the battle?
7. Do you see as real what is only
CASTLE OF WILL AND DARING
What does the
victory over the dragon mean?
It symbolizes the death of the ego and the rebirth of the true Self. The
symbolism in Robert Fisher's dragon is the same that has always been
attributed in the West: it represents the ego and the evil forces. The hero
has to kill the dragon in order to rescue the damsel which is the anima.
What is different is that by annihilating the dragon the Knight rescues
qualities of the true Self such as will, daring, courage and
self-knowledge. He will defeat his inner dragon and will surrender it ; but
he will not kill it . He will integrate the forces of good and evil to
transcend them and reach the Source.
Access to the castle is
The Knight, Squirrel and Rebecca continued their way along the Path of Truth
and soon found the Castle of Will and Daring that was the highest. The
bridge of the castle represents the Will of Power, of going to the other
side, to the battlefield. In confrontation is the overcoming of one's
shortcomings and the meeting with one's true Self
The other five trials
have prepared him to confront the dragon
From inside the castle came a huge and menacing dragon, glittering with
shiny, green scales. He spit fire from his mouth and fear paralyzed the
Knight. At the symbolic level, the ego comes out from inside and looks like
a beast. The Knight was used to dealing with dragons but none has been as
terrifying as this one; fire roared not only out of its mouth but also out
of its eyes and ears. The mouth, eyes and ears are three openings of
communication with the outside world with which the Knight had had serious
problems. Fire is a means of transformation; it will burn the superfluous
things without killing the Knight.
First confrontation with
The Knight stopped trembling and with a loud voice called Merlin who did not
come. The Knight stalled for time by asking the dragon what was he doing in
the Castle of Will and Daring. The beast told him that what better place for
him to live since he was the Dragon of Fear and Doubt. The Knight was
feeling scared and doubtful, and in order to overcome his fears and doubts
had to find inside himself its opposites: will and daring. Squirrel told him
something that Merlin once said: Self-knowledge can kill the Dragon of Fear
and Doubt. The Knight did not believe squirrel's words and retreated across
the drawbridge. The knight's true Self, Sam, started to talk to him giving
him courage and making him realize that he did not need to prove anything.
The Knight looked over the drawbridge and saw the monster burning some
bushes for practice and realized that the dragon only existed if he thought
it did. The dragon, his false ego, is not real; the Knight gives it power
over himself by thinking it is. The Knight tried again to get into the
castle but soon turned and ran, this time a little burnt. Symbolically, it
represents the madness and passion of the false ego which can burn the will
and body causing pain and suffering. To alleviate his burns the Knight went
to the creek. Water, the opposite of fire, purifies the body of the desires
of the body.
Third and last
The Knight after breathing deeply crossed the drawbridge again. It is one of
three times that a breathing practice is mentioned in the book. The dragon
tried to burn the Knight again but without success. It symbolizes the
destructiveness of the false ego which nevertheless is not effective once
there is will and daring. The third time is the charm; the Knight advanced
with great determination toward the dragon. The Knight was not afraid so the
dragon became smaller and smaller until it was as big as a frog.
Symbolically, it is the moment when the Knight accepts the power of
self-knowledge and uses it to destroy his false ego, the dragon, liberating
his true self. Unable to spit fire the dragon threw the Seeds of Doubt at
the Knight which did not stop the knight either. It represents the false ego
testing the Knight by questioning if the Knight is really beyond fear and
doubt. The Knight shouted: "I've won." The hero finally felt that he had
defeated the dragon. The beast told the Knight that he would come back often
to be in his way. The Knight challenged him with a powerful voice and told
him that every time he would be stronger. The Knight knows his weaknesses
now and is in touch with his true Self what gives him strength. When the
Knight reached for the door of the Castle of Will and Daring realized that
it had disappeared. The Knight's will and daring were not locked anymore
inside the castle, he had rescued those qualities. The Knight laughed in
pure joy. It is the first time that the Knight laughs openly and is in a
state of expansion. The road in front of him seemed to be even steeper but
he did not mind. His last and definitive trial lay in front of him and no
doubt it would be the hardest.
SEVEN KEYS TO MEDITATE
1. Name one of your inner
2. How do you confront your dragon?
3. How is your warrior-courage?
4. Can you make a list of all your fears?
5. Do you test your self-knowledge?
6. Do you doubt often and abandon the fight easily?
7. Do you make real what is really
SUMMIT OF TRUTH
The symbolism of climbing
the mountain as a sacred place
This symbol has existed in all cultures. To climb to the top implies a
difficulty and an effort. Mystics have experienced the ascend as a painful
but necessary process to be liberated of attachments that cause suffering.
The summit of the mountain symbolizes Truth. It is the highest place where
the Fountain is revealed to the Knight and after a process of purification
that will liberate him from his armor, he will be one with the Source.
The Knight will not know
the Unknown by clinging to the known
Our hero tried to reach the top of the mountain by holding onto the sharp
rocks with his bleeding fingers. "When he was almost to the top, his path
was blocked by a huge boulder" that had an inscription chiseled on it :
"Though this universe I own, I possess not a thing, for I cannot know the
unknown if to the known I cling". The meaning of the inscription mentions
the obstacles of the Knight's life represented by the four attachments to
the known: known things, identity, beliefs and judgments. These attachments
block the access to self-knowlege. The first part of the inscription means
that the universe is inside the Knight, therefore he is the owner of it. On
another plane of understanding we can say that the universe is made with the
breath of the Source, thus everything is part of it and everything comes
back to it. That is why the Knight does not own anything. The second part of
the inscription states the fact that to get to know the Unknown it is
necessary to be detached of conditionings, beliefs and wrong actions.
He will have to trust the
The Knight's true Self, Sam, told him that he had to trust "life, God -
whatever you want to call it." God cannot be named, if it could be named it
would not be the true God. It is known for his attributes: universe
generator, the living, the truthful. It cannot be reached through reason,
but through the heart's intuition. The fear of letting go of the rocks
represents the psychological resistance that prevents the Knight from
letting go of what is false and clinging to what is real. The Knight finally
let go and plunged down into the depth of his memories. The descent
represents the regression to the unconscious and the acceptance of what it
Taking responsibility for
his life actions he will get to the top
He had projected his own
problems on others; as a result he had blamed his parents, his teachers, his
friends, his wife and son for everything bad that happened to him. As he
descended he realized that he was the cause of all his problems and took
full responsibility for his life. The descent represents the departure from
reason to the heart's intuition. When he felt in control of his own life he
experienced a new sense of power and freedom and stopped being afraid. "As
an unfamiliar sense of calm overtook him, a strange thing happened: he began
to fall upward ! The Knight descended to the abyss of the false ego
and recognized it, this enabled him to ascend to the sky of his true Self.
He was not attached anymore to hell.
His senses and feelings
became even sharper
The Knight's heart was not dominated by his mind anymore, thus he could
contemplate nature as it really was: magnificent. Before he put his armor
on, his senses could experience life but fear of the unknown had dulled his
senses and feelings. The new feeling of life all around him, gave him an
overwhelming sense of well-being and he grew dizzy from the enchantment of
the universe. The redemption of the Knight came through his heart. He felt
gratitude and promised not to wear the armor again. His heart was full of
love for himself, his wife and son, Merlin, Squirrel and Rebecca and life
itself. He knelt down and tears of gratitude flowed from his eyes. He had
accomplished the goal of his journey: to know and love himself. "The tears
poured down his cheeks, through his beard, and unto his breastplate. Because
they came from his heart, the tears were extraordinarily hot, and they
quickly melted the last of his armor."
He is transformed in a
He has become a luminous being, light shining from his heart. A light more
subtle but far brighter and more beautiful than the reflection of his armor.
The light that came from him was dazzling like the sun, shining like the
moon and sparkling like a brook. The sun is a symbol of the light of the
Source and the light of the true Self; the sparkling of the water represents
the light of the spiritual renovation; and the shining moon is the anima. He
had become one with nature because he realized he was made of the same
elements: water, earth, fire and air. Besides, he was like the brook, the
moon, and the sun because his light had also the beautiful qualities of the
Source. He realized that everything in Creation was made with the breath of
the loving Source.
He becomes one with Love
Now the Knight was the brook, the moon, the sun; he had realized that Nature
is sustained by the same breath as him, and that it contains understanding
of the meanings of things. This is the state of maximum closeness to the
Source; he does not possess the Universe, he is one with the Universe. When
the Knight started his journey he looked for a way to get to know and love
himself. Now the false ego has disappeared, and the true Self is present,
the Knight contemplates the immensity of the light. He is Love because he
had been created from Love. He started his adventure when he recognized his
lack of love and felt nostalgic for it. The book finishes with the words
"The Beginning" because the first manifestation of the Source was love. The
Knight had become one with the Source and had accomplished his eternal
return to himself; he has come back to the Beginning, to Love.
SEVEN KEYS FOR REFLECTION
1. How is your ascension to
2. What are you holding on to? Are you afraid of letting go?
3. What takes your freedom away and prevents you from being happy?
4. What do you trust?
5. Do you take responsibility for your life?
6. Do you see nature with your heart's eyes?
7. To what degree are you one with the Source?