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The temple of the Soul in The Pilgrimage

Since my last posting I have been asked more than a few questions by several people who had read the posting. One that stood out was the question, “What is the ‘temple’ to which you refer?'” I’ve been thinking about how best to answer this question for a few days now. Furthermore, I promised to post my answer on this blog.

The people who posed this question did so in a variety of ways. One, asked what I meant by temple symbolism before realising that she had her own view about what a temple is, or should be, and that it might not be the same as mine. Another person was curious about what might be meant by the phrase, “…symbolism that both reveals and conceals truths about the secret life of the soul.” There are other variations, but I think these cover the essence of the queries, and so I will endeavour to address them in my own rambling way.

A temple may be considered as a sacred place of worship, a place dedicated to a given deity, or even to a range of deities. The word itself is derived from the Latin word templum signifying a sacred enclosure set apart for sacred undertakings. So a church, a mosque, a synagogue, an ashram, a sanctuary, all of these terms and many more too numerous to mention, signify sacred enclosures or places of worship set aside for spiritual purposes.

However, the temple I refer to in this book is the temple of the heart. It is a most difficulty thing to describe other than by sign and by symbol. It is constructed from the living tissue of consciousness, shaped by nature from the bottom up and, by wisdom and understanding from the top down. Its centre is occupied by a dreaming soul whose dreams consists of myriad thought-forms and phantoms in various guises leading it upon a merry dance along the proverbial garden path. Whilst it dreams thus it ‘knows’ nothing of its beginning nor of its end, and more significantly, has little inkling of its purpose here in the theatre of life. Yet one day it must awake!

However, until that time occurs this world of nature in which we live gives purpose to the soul, which valiantly seeks to achieve all of the things that nature requires. Whereas, another world, the world of the spirit beckons the soul, drawing it beyond the reaches of the natural world towards a goal that is more akin to the nature of light and spirit than the physical world of sense and matter. These two worlds combine in the temple of the heart, the ‘sacred enclosure’ wherein heaven and earth meet, but this ‘heart’ is not the magnificent muscle unceasingly pumping blood around the body, rather it is the central core of our soul that is hidden from the discursive mind and all of its worldly wisdom.

In this temple, which is not easy to find and less easy to enter, the aspiring soul, represented by Stefan, comes to understand who and what he is. In reflecting upon the symbolism employed in temple design throughout the ages he begins to wake and grow in consciousness. But, although such symbolism reveals much, opening doors upon new worlds and vistas, it also conceals much, in the same way as the horizon suggests an infinity of knowledge and experience yet to be known. In this lies an enigma, a riddle that is to be solved and understood. Thus, herein truths are revealed and yet concealed…

I trust I have now kept my word and answered the questions set before me, albeit in my own rambling way.

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The Pilgrimage

The Rose Priory Dialogues was a new and interesting challenge for me, and I must say, whether it is judged