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Dedication of the Temple
The Ark is Brought to the Temple

   The staves symbolize the evolutionary migrations of the spirit. This Earth can never be its permanent abiding place. The staves removed signify rest, completion, attainment. The statement that "they are there unto this day" means that the attainment previously referred to is the supreme ideal for all mankind: "Pilgrim on Earth, thy home is heaven. Stranger, thou art the guest of God."

   At the time of the dedication of the Temple, these were the words of the Lord (the manifestation of spiritual Law): "I have hallowed this house which thou hast built, to put My Name there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually." (I Kings IX:3) Solomon placed the golden key in the door of the Holy of Holies to the rhythms of heavenly music and the chanting of Temple choirs: "Open wide the doorway of the Holy of Holies, that the King of Glory may go into His rest."

   Solomon, in the beginning of his reign, appointed twelve tried and proven officers to rule over Israel, even as the Supreme Master chose twelve disciples to further His work. The Master rode an ass into the city of Jerusalem amid the hosannahs of the multitudes who greeted Him as their King; Solomon came riding on a mule, and was anointed king to the accompaniment of the blowing of trumpets and the shouting of the the people: "God save King Solomon." (I Kings 1:34)

   John describes the glory of Christ's Transfiguration as of the whiteness of snow comingled with the golden glory of the Sun. The attire of Solomon was compared with the white and gold of the lilies of the field. Jesus was anointed at the Baptism as the "Beloved Son." Solomon, in the matchless Song of Songs, is the "chiefest among ten thousand."

   And Solomon saw four Angels standing before him: one with the face of a man, one like unto an ox, another a lion and the fourth an eagle — an allusion to the Four Recording Angels who guard the destiny of all the inhabitants of the Earth. Their further work with Solomon involves their manifestations through the four great streams of spiritual force esoterically designated as Fire, Air, Water and Earth, which have brought forth the universe as man knows it.

   These Four Angels gave to, Solomon a heavenly ring with the four powerful letters that spell the ineffable Name set upon a seal in the form of a five-pointed star, the symbol of white magic, or the possession of spiritual power. This Ring of Heaven shone and flashed with such light as never yet lay on land or sea, and gave to its possessor power over all created things. Stories similar to this are told of saints and Illuminates. St. Catherine of Sienna, for example, received a jeweled ring from the Christ.

   That the illumined ones are not free from temptation, and that the tests become subtler the higher one mounts the ladder of attainment, is evidenced by the marriage of Solomon with Magsara, daughter of Pharaoh. As she came out of Egypt in a chariot of silver, drawn by horses bedecked with scarlet plumage, hosts of slaves followed her, bearing rare perfumes and exotic flowers. When she came to Solomon, the heavenly ring flashed and sparkled, and in the midst of its lights he read the words: "Thou hast chosen wisdom."

   Magsara, the daughter of Egypt, entered into Jerusalem by the Gate of the Fountain, symbolizing the emotional life. The Queen of Sheba, who represents a much higher attainment in the life of Solomon, enters the City of Peace by way of a crystal lake.

   Those who enter the city of the New Jerusalem are those who have overcome the lower self and stand upon a sea of mingled fire and glass, symbolizing the complete transmutation of the emotional life.

   Through the wisdom gained in his own experience, King Solomon teaches his disciples "He that controleth himself, is greater than he that taketh a city."

   The Levites carried the Ark, but the priests always covered it to shield it from the public gaze. The Ark was the central feature of the ceremony as the mystic insignia of the Initiate life. It then contained nothing but the two Tablets of the Law which Moses had put there at Horeb when the children of Israel came up from Egypt.

   When the candidate dedicates his body temple to the quest of wisdom, typified in Solomon, he has only the Tables of the Law, namely, the external concepts of Truth. He himself must find the Staff that Buds, and cause it to bloom through awakening the spiritual centers within and filling the pot of manna with the golden fluid of his own conserved Life-spirit force, before this, his own holy temple, is completed and he is worthy to dwell within the Holy of Holies beneath the cloud of glory (his own radiant aura) and to be surrounded by the radiance of the Cherubim (the guidance and protection of angelic presences).

   All of the incidents associated with the Ark bear as intimate and immediate a relationship to the life of present-day man as they did for the men in whose time these incidents occurred. Every neophyte must discover within himself the Holy of Holies before he may pass behind the veil that separates the seen from the unseen, the temporal from the eternal.

 — Corinne Heline


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