Superbia

   There are those who begin to feel very spiritual.  You run into them in ashrams.  They walk a little above the ground.  For them, life is vulgar.  I’ll never forget my experience the first time I was in an ashram, years and years ago.  It was a beautiful place with deer grazing on the lawns and girls in saris on bridges looking down at the goldfish swimming in the pools.  It was simply ravishing.  Then some vulgarian came into the group.  We thought, “How can we tolerate this gross body?”  So when you think of your spiritual life as relieving you of the physical, you are going up this track.  You are going to have a great disappointment somewhere along the line because your body is still there.  This is known as manic-depressive experience.  You’ve identified yourself with the subtle body, but you’re still gross.  You’re trying to become immortal while you are still on earth.  TMTT 140

   As a theriomorphic symbol of Mercurius, the stag carries the archetype of the Self and the principle of individuation.  There are numerous representations in which the stag literally bears the quaternity symbol of the cross in its antlers and points the way as a guide.  In the monastery of Fischingen, it appears beside St. Idda, who is hovering in ecstasy, presumably as a companion who shows the way.  It represents the urge towards individuation and contains everything of which consciousness is deficient.  In it lies the mystery of a constant self-renewal on the part of the Self.  Because Perceval too much ignored feeling and feeling relationships, he had to become conscious of the shadow, of the nature-destroying superbia of Christian humanity which identifies itself one-sidedly with the Logos principle. 

The Black Knight is really the sought-for Anthropos aspect which Perceval should integrate, while the White Knight, the bright hero, turns into the enemy who tries to impede the task set by the Star Woman.  Perceval defeats him in the end, which no doubt means that he succeeds in overcoming the shadow of Christianity, namely its superbia, which is so estranged from nature.  TGL 275