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The Dedication

   Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers' houses of the children of Israel, unto King Solomon in Jerusalem.

   King Solomon stood upon the brazen scaffold which had been erected in the forecourt of the Temple. Surrounding him were the most highly sensitized and spiritualized of all the people.

   The autumn is a season of rare and wonderful beauty in Oriental lands. This scene of dedication in all its magnificence which took place when one of the four Holy Seasons was being ushered in, was like a page drawn from the elaborate ceremonials of the Eleusinian Mysteries celebrated in Greece at about the same time of the year.

   The Temple could not be sanctified without the presence of the Ark which was the receptacle or focusing point for the downpouring of superphysical power. Its contents or "furniture" contained in symbol the development requisite for Initiateship. Only those who had thus attained could endure its projected powers. Those who came unworthily into its presence were slain by its mighty emanations.

   In I Samuel there is the account of Uzziah attempting to steady the Ark to prevent it from falling. His touch was unholy and as a consequence he suffered death, the incident illustrating the unsuccessful attempt of a neophyte to pass within the sacred precincts of Initiation prior to living the pure and holy life necessary to its attainment. The Philistines captured the Ark but when it was taken into their temple, the image of Dagon fell on its face. The Ark was the great symbol of attainment for the Aries-Libra cycle, Dagon was a god of the old Taurus-Scorpio religion; it meant retrogression to turn away from the Ark to worship Dagon. We know that when the Ark was taken to Philistine cities, the people's suffered epidemics and plagues, not from the Ark but from the abuse of spiritual forces within themselves which the Ark signified. Thus the men of Bethshemeth died because they looked on the Ark, meaning that they saw the ideal before them but preferred to live on in their old unspiritual, unregenerate state, and died in materiality. A heavy causation accompanies the failure to follow an ideal once it is clearly seen. The Ark had been constructed on Sinai, the mount of the Moon (generation), and according to the Book of Maccabees, was hidden by Jeremiah on Mount Nebo, the place of wisdom, (Mercury). After its sojourn among the Philistines it was finally returned, and found a rcsting place at Jerusalem as previously noted.

   The priests came out of the Holy Place after placing the Ark in its place. Then came the songs of exaltation and chants of praise by the musicians. Upon the wings of music, as it were, the mighty Presence descended in blessing upon the Temple and the assembled company.

   At convocations in all initiatory Temples, if they be true and in touch with inner-realm assemblies, the brethren are always conscious of this inflow of power and its attending spiritual ecstasy.

Solomon's Dedicatory Prayer
"A New Testament Prayer Before the New Testament"

   To David, the well-beloved, and to Solomon the Wise, had been vouchsafed the privilege of studying the infinite scrolls of nature and there they had seen the wonderful revelations pertaining to the supreme cosmic event of the future: The coming of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Through the Davidic line this exalted Being was to find His physical habitation. The Temple that was enveloped on this day with such glory that human vision was blinded by its radiance was to be the Sanctuary in which definite preparation for His coming was to be made. Great souls would be attracted to this place to receive Illumination who would walk these earthways again to receive instruction from Him and to bear His message into many lands. In a later life, Solomon the Wise was himself to prepare the perfected earthly vehicle for the use of the Perfect One. Of profound mystic import are His words: I am the Son of David, the bright and Morning Star."

   The House of Israel was given the great ability and wisdom of Solomon as the ideal to be emulated by their leaders, together with the promise that if they remained true to the ideal "there shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel." (I Kings 8:25) Solomon, in a moment of penetrating vision, discerned through the veil of unborn ages how far the House of Israel was to wander from the Light embodied in the Temple now being dedicated for them. Because of this "turning away," long ages of strife and division and captivity lay ahead, which would culminate in the destruction, rebuilding and final complete devastation of the sacred edifice.

   As this mighty panorama of future events unrolls before the wise king, he asks fervently of God: "Thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk."

   He refers briefly to the later journeyings of the Israelites among the "strangers that cometh out of far countries for thy Name's sake." The keywords of the new life opening before them are enunciated by Solomon in the words:

   The spirit with which Solomon began his work and that with which he closed it are perhaps the most significant in his entire career. In the beginning he asked, "Only let me be wise," and the wisdom granted enlightened him so that he was able to perform the great Temple Work. He recognized the need of unity among the people, and led them to forget the strife which had existed between David and Saul. True spiritual Illumination can never be attained except in the spirit of brotherhood based on unity in Spirit. Solomon had this in mind when he concentrated the attention of the whole nation on building the Temple at Jerusalem, although he did not abolish the local shrines in other parts of the land. "The rich men adorn it with their gems, the poor with their handiwork. Men of action break stones, men of patience carry burdens. Artists make decorations and poets songs, musicians its rhythms, priests its rituals and ceremonials, children bring gifts and the aged their prayers."

   An early Masonic legend states that in the exaltation of spirit which attended the dedicatory service of the Temple one of the most advanced of the workmen was translated into heaven, like Elijah, in a flaming chariot of fire. This is a reference to the transcendant experiences of the Initiation by Fire.

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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