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The House of Cedar

   This historical record of the building of the great palace as the home of the king of all the lands of Israel and Judah is esoterically the erection of an immortal house which is not built with hands. David had become the Mystic Mason, and with the aid of another high spiritual builder, Hiram, King of Tyre, he built that interior house which every man must some day learn to construct, that house which is eternal in the heavens, the hope of immortality for all mankind.

   Jerusalem, the city of peace, and esoterically, the city of the mystic blending, was situated on the borders of the land of Saul (Benjamin, Cancer, water) and the lands of David (Judah, Leo, fire). With the conquest and the crowning comes the final blending of the two forces represented by the lands of Saul and of David, and then it is that the mystic wedding feast is celebrated wherein water is turned into wine; the celestial house becomes the eternal abiding place of the spirit. "Lo! I dwell in a house of cedar."

   The "great house" which David built in the new city of Jerusalem to "house his mighty men" was not a place of residence for his personal guard only, as orthodoxy assumes, but also for his "brother Initiates" who were learning to assist him in preparing the Way for the coming of the final Shepherd King, the Christ.

   David was now by his own inner development ready to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. The Ark, typical of the holy Mysteries of Atlantis, could only remain in the possession of one who had incorporated these Mysteries within himself and so could impart their powers to others.

The Holy Nathan, Solomon's Teacher

   The prophet Nathan became the spiritual adviser of David after the passing of Samuel. Nathan is one of the most eminent men of the Bible. He is responsible for the history of the reigns of David and Solomon as incorporated in the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. He was also the teacher of the young Solomon and a leader in seating the young prince on his father's throne. His counsel to David was: "Do all that is in thy heart for God is with thee." His words express the beautiful spirit of sympathy and understanding which exists between Teacher and pupil and also sounds the keynote of David's mystic development which centers in the heart.

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

   David said, "The Ark dwelleth under curtains," and "I dwell in a house of cedar." The two supreme Christian symbols of man's attainment are the Ark of the Covenant and the Cross on Calvary. They are the two great emblems or glyphs of both the Old Testament Dispensation and the New.

   The Ark had been captured by the Philistines, but such misfortune descended upon them while it was in their possession that they hastened to return it to the Israelites. (The wrong use of occult laws must inevitably produce its attendant train of heavy causation in the form of material loss, sorrow, suffering and death.)

   David, desiring to make Jerusalem the spiritual center for his people as well as the new capital of the united kingdoms, gathered together thirty thousand men and journeyed to Kirjath-jearim to carry the Ark in solemn procession to its new resting place. Always the outer must reflect the inner. Within each Initiate the Ark must abide permanently in Jerusalem, the holy city of the heart. Jerusalem lies, as said, in the district of the tribe of Benjamin (Cancer), the cosmic Ocean of Light. In the midst of Light the Ark must abide permanently. No longer are the staves to be movable. The profound moments of life are no more external but belong to the within. "He that overcomes shall go no more out."

   Now, therefore, "David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psaltries, and on timbrels, and on comets, and on cymbals." As the procession approached the site previously chosen, one of the men saw that the lumbering motion of the oxen which drew the vehicle on which the Ark was being transported was causing it to shake. He therefore put forth his hand and took hold of it" to steady it, and at once dropped dead. David was deeply concerned over this strange accident, and fearing further disaster of a similar nature he "would not remove the Ark of the Lord, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite." There the Ark remained for all of three months, but instead of bringing disaster it brought blessing upon the entire household, seeing which, "David went and brought the Ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness."

   This is a strange incident, and one which has caused much critical comment among Bible students. Why indeed should the man Uzziah, trying to preserve the Ark, be stricken dead when he touched it as if he had committed some crime, when his obvious intention was to help? Esoterically, the problem proves to be solvable if we take note of the following elements:

   The threshing floor symbolizes the place of effort, of labor; Nachon, who owned it, means preparedness, and Uzziah strength. Uzziah thus represents the power that is not yet entirely sublimated so that it expresses wholly through spiritual channels. The strength is undisciplined.

   Uzziah's thoughtless handling of a sacred power symbolized in the Ark, resulted in his death. This is why knowledge of occult powers must be guarded. The place where Uzziah was stricken David called Perez-uzziah, meaning a breach in strength; there strength was broken. No one is righteous, no, not one, said the Great Teacher. Every Initiate is aware of his own Achilles' heel, or suffers the thorn in the flesh, as St. Paul expressed it. David was not to be exempt; of eight children born to him in Jerusalem one is named Shobad — "turned back".

   Obed-edom means worshipper of Edom, one aspiring to Spirit in the midst of materiality; his care of the Ark and the blessing consequent upon it signify esoterically the spiritual riches that come through transmutation. These were the holy joys that filled with gladness the heart of David.

   "And David danced before the Lord with all his might, and David was girded with a lined ephod." The white apron, or ephod, evidences the Mystic Mason's preparedness by reason of pure living for reception of wisdom in the higher degrees.

   Astrologically the Ark represents the Central Sun, the great Center of spiritual force for our solar system. David and his attendants dancing about the Ark to the music of cymbals and harps typify the planets in their rhythmic swing about the Sun and the celestial music of the spheres which pulse in harmony with the great Center and source of life.

   David had with him a representative of each of the twelve tribes. These correlate with the signs of the Zodiac which are the outward sign of the twelve great Hierarchies of Angels. Their work is based on the occult law of harmony, the spiritual music of the spheres being a creative force by which the material atoms are marshalled into form in the phenomenal universe. To the interior ear, the great celestial choirs are audible at all times, for space is filled with the eternal harmony which they unceasingly intone. In these facts is found the origin of the earliest of the sacred temple dances which were part of the initiatory rites in which man endeavored to imitate the movements and harmonies of the heavens.

 — Corinne Heline


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