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Bible Self-Study Supplement


Haggai
Build Ye the Temple

   The keynote of Haggai's message is "Build ye the temple."

   Only about ten percent of the captives returned from Babylon. Since these had chosen to place spiritual things first, they thereby earned the privilege of receiving deeper spiritual instruction pertaining to the building of the temple of the soul body in preparation for the new cycle about to begin. Much of Haggai's message is for pioneers of our own "New Day" wherein so many conditions are a recapitulation, on a higher arc of the spiral, of conditions existing at the time of building the Second Temple.

   Spiritual work on the new temple of the soul and construction of the physical Temple in Jerusalem progressed simultaneously. Inner work must always parallel the outer.

   Haggai is the occultist, therefore he stresses work and reiterates that a candidate must prove his fitness or unfitness by his works. Astrologically, Haggai represents Taurus, the feminine, formative principle in nature. It is that great force which builds the temples of form inhabited by the spirits of all earth's evolving life waves. "From the fourth and twentieth day of the ninth month," Haggai states, "even the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid." He also declares that "The glory of their latter house shall be greater than of the former" (Haggai 2). "Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider it." (Haggai 2:18-19) So heroic and spontaneous was the massed response of the people that the increased activity of building attracted the attention of Tatnai, the Satrap of Syria, who came in person to inquire as to the cause.

   Zerubbabel of the House of David, together with Joshua the high priest, went forth to receive the Syrian prince in the outer courts where the "Tyrian masons were building and the Levite overseers were measuring and planning." Tatnai was impressed by their earnestness and enthusiasm in building "this great house for the God of heaven and earth," and so he reported to Darius: "The work goeth fast and prospereth in their hands." He ended his letter with the words: "Now, therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter." (Ezra 5:17)

   At the beginning of an endeavor to live the life great opposition is invariably encountered, both within and without. The forces of evil place subtle temptations in the path of an aspirant while his desire body registers violent protest against the new mode of living. But gradually, if his efforts are unceasing, these protests weaken and the spirit gains increasing control of its vehicles. Within the seed atom of the aspirant's heart will be registered the words: "Let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter."

   Herein are the proportions requisite to making the building stable and secure, builded upon a rock and not upon sand. The height and breadth are to be threescore cubits, and will consist of three rows of stones, thus completing the proportions of the Perfect Cube. It is to be constructed through the right use of the Will, Wisdom, and Activity Principles, powers of the Holy Trinity operating within man who is a microscopic universe. Will is of the head, Wisdom of the heart; in Activity the two are united and function together in perfect harmony to create a perfect body, an illumined mind and an awakened spirit. The "new timber" is the radiant new soul body.

   The gold and silver vessels represent the masculine and feminine principles, the signs of Leo and Cancer, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, in perfect equilibrium. The two poles of spirit are represented by the two columns of the Temple, the Jachin and Boaz of Masonry, which conceal the mystery of the dual oppositional forces operative in Nature and in both political and religious spheres.

   About the time of Tatnai's request that Darius investigate the records to discover whether Cyrus had really granted permission for the rebuilding of the Temple, Zechariah, second of the Restoration prophets, appeared. Zechariah has been called "be of the happy vision," for he brought at this time the inspiration of his beautiful accomplishment upon the Path of Illumination.

   The keynote of the message of Haggai was Build ye the Temple; of Zechariah, Holiness unto the Lord. The Apocalypse is said to begin with Zechariah.

Completion of the Second Temple

   Four busy and adventurous years elapsed before the Temple was completed:

   The building of the Temple was begun at the time of the Autumnal Equinox and was completed at the time of the Vernal Equinox. The Great Work is always begun in darkness and amid sorrow, renunciation and tears; it is completed at Resurrection time, the beginnings of new life.

   The workings of masculine and feminine forces necessary for the establishment of any permanent structure, either spiritual or material, have been traced throughout this volume. Zerubbabel, builder of the Second Temple, represents the occult line of development centered in the head. He was assisted in all his labors by Jeshua or Joshua (the name that becomes Jesus in the Greek Period), the high priest, who typifies the mystic line of development which centers in the heart. In the prophets of the Restoration we find this same line of demarcation. Haggai is the occultist who teaches by command and precept, Zechariah is the mystic who instructs by vision and inspiration.

   It is significant to note repeated references to the four Sacred Seasons in the building of the Second Temple: it is begun at the Autumn Equinox and completed at the Spring Equinox; Ezra goes up to Jerusalem on his most important mission at the time of the Summer Solstice and institutes most deeply esoteric rites at the Winter Solstice. The Temple was built by Judah and Benjamin, Leo and Cancer. The external structure bore gleaming masses of gold and silver, metals of the Sun and Moon (also Leo and Cancer). The foundation stone was laid when the Sun was in Leo, a prototype of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Savior of the world.

Ezra's Second Visit to Jerusalem

   Ezra, like Daniel, rose to an important position in Babylon. The Persian Empire was now under the rulership of Artaxerxes, grandson of Darius. That the king so willingly granted all the prophet's requests proves that he was a person of power and prestige; but he was also a spiritual Teacher of the Mysteries as given by Moses. He represents in man the response of spirit to the call of duty. He belonged to the Tribe of Levi (Gemini), and was a direct descendant of Aaron, high priest of the Exodus.

   When the Temple builders in Jerusalem were ready for more advanced instruction, Ezra made his journey along the way from Babylon to Jerusalem. He was attended by a company of "men of understanding", his most advanced disciples, whom he addressed, saying, "Ye are holy unto the Lord." He carried with him rich gifts to beautify the Temple: "One hundred talents of silver, one hundred measures of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil and salt without prescribing how much." (Ezra 7:22)

   These gifts which Ezra brought for the Temple have an inner and an outer meaning, even as is true concerning the gifts of the Wise Men to the Christ Child. The Temple decorations are symbols of spiritual attributes developed by the Temple devotees. Oil typifies wisdom and soul qualities of consecration and humility. "The love-oil gives meekness," declares Boehme in his Mysterium Magnum. Wine represents transformations into a new life. An ancient occult maxim declares: "The king (Initiate) washes his garments in wine from above." Silver, "feminine" metal, stands for specific processes of refinement. Wheat is a feminine symbol of truth; and salt also; hence, Ezra's mystic gift of "salt without prescribing how much." No one can measure another's capacity for assimilation of truth. We read in Mark 9:50: "Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another."

   There can never be any coercion in real spiritual work. The spirit must be free to make its own decisions. Any teacher or organization operating under rules and ordinances of "shall" and "shall not" is not a channel for the inflow of forces of Divine Spirit and cannot truly represent the New Age wherein man must learn to be a law unto himself — a condition not of anarchy, as would appear on the surface, but of strictest spiritual self-discipline.

   "And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and gold, that do after the will of your God." All spiritual representatives seek to encourage the cultivation of epigenesis, the latent creative power within the individual ego. The right cultivation of this force makes man an anointed or Christed One, able to realize the full aim and purpose of the Earth Period evolution.

 — Corinne Heline


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