Solomon Dedicates the Temple
I Kings 8:1-11
Extracted from Unity Magazine, September 1918, page 246
SILENCE—I was glad when they said unto me, let us go unto the house of Jehovah.—Psalm 122-1.
the body is made up of the accumulated thought experiences of the ages. This body is invisible—it is enfolded in the subjective consciousness of the individual. This is represented as the city of David in Zion (Sepulchur). The word of God in the ark is the Divine Spark of man’s being and the ark of the covenant is the agreement with Principle which has accumulated in inner consciousness. That is, it is the sum total of results of right thoughts and acts, which have, throughout the ages of the soul’s experience, united itself to God. When we think and act according to Principle, there is left in the subjective realm of our being a certain mental result, winch may be compared to the right answers to the problems in mathematics worked out by the school boy. This is carried over from life to fife as a sort of a trial-balance, which forms the basis of each new body.
When we have through many experiences of body building accumulated enough of these merit-thoughts, they form the foundation in consciousness of a more enduring structure. Instead of a transitory body (tent) that perishes upon slight cause, we are entering upon the construction of a body that shall endure as a permanent temple of the Most High God.
The assembling of the “elders and all of the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel unto King Solomon in Jerusalem,” is a drawing together in conscious unity of all the intelligent directive powers of the spiritual self, to the standard of Peace and Harmony.
This process may take place without the conscious mind understanding its import The whole consciousness is made up of objective and subjective thoughts and their results. Like a chemical solution, they go through changes on the subjective side that are observed in their outer appearance only, and but dimly understood. This feast in the seventh month, Ethanim, refers to a culmination each year of certain thought forces engendered on the natural plane. Seven always refers to material fulfillment, and twelve to spiritual.
Thus the metaphysician by study and meditation learns to observe these inner changes in soul and body, and instead of calling a certain chemicalization in thought a fit of sickness, he says it is a culmination of true and error thinking. It is in reality just what this Ethanim feast represents, a celebration of a thought harvest. The Jewish feast took place at a time which covers parts of September and October.
The priests and Levites are our so-called “natural religious tendencies.” These officiate in the rites and ceremonies of the tent, or tabernacle, and when the more permanent structure is to be built they bring up all the “holy vessels” from that structure. We can thus understand why some people are naturally of a religious turn of mind, though they may be born of worldly parents. They carry over from a former tabernacle the results of exercising the mind in religious ways. These are the priests and the Levites. Thus the savage with his vague understanding of Deity may, by constantly repeating certain religious ceremonies, accumulate a religious tendency that will make him “naturally religious” when he attains a higher plane of expression. This also is the basis of the formal religion where rites and ceremonies take the place of true spirituality.
The “holy vessels” are the thoughts that lie back of and form the various organs of the body. The “brazen altar” of temple worship represents the generative life, the “table of showbread” the substance forming organs about the stomach, the “candlestick” the intelligence, and the “brazen serpent” the nervous system. There are others, but these indicate the practical character of the symbology.
The “cherubim” were symbolic figures representing the attributes and majesty of God. They stand for those unfettered truths of Being which must always be present in the Holy of Holies within us. If we do not have this higher realization before us constantly, we shall drop down onto the physical plane, and our religion will become a mere phenomenal display. We are told that the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and covered it and its staves, yet they were “not seen without” and “there they are to this day.” Here is a true description of the omnipresence of the Principle of Being in the whole spiritual life of man, though not outwardly visible.
At heart we have this holy place and these cherubim with their wings spread over the whole ark. It does not make any difference how great a back-slider you may be, the presence of the Spirit of God is not far away from your conscious mind. Right under your heart you will find a brain that in its depths treasures up the memories of all religious experiences, engraved on the two tables of stone, or very substance of your being.
The cloud that filled the whole place when the priests came out, represents the presence of the mind of God in its visibility, that comes to us when we have dropped all formal religious exercises and are resting in the very consciousness of Deity. This brightness of understanding is so great mat the priests cannot stand to minister it—there is no place for formal religious ceremony or thought exercise. It was in this statement mat Jesus said, “He who hath seen me hath seen the Father.”