Temple Building


Are you ready?

That question has been coming to me more and more in the last months. I am standing before a door, one that has found its way to me or one that I have put there myself, and I feel the threshold before me. On the other side is change; excitement and fear announce themselves inside of me.

It was in this space that I attended the Open Course on Places of Ancient Initia- tion, given by Bastiaan Baan and Julia Polter at the Seminary. What I came away with was a challenge, an insight, and a question.

The challenge: You cannot stay as you are. You must face death. Today, one
of the greatest fears is penetrating one’s own inner being. I too face this fear. What can be found in our own depths? Destructive forces are there, forces that I know I must battle. But on an altar deep within there also rests a sword. Find the sword and bring it to the light.

The insight: The ancient temple, whether it was Solomon’s Temple or the tem- ple of Apollo at Delphi, contained a space unoccupied by everyday life and very rarely by human beings. It held the ark, or a statue of a god, and was consid- ered the holiest of spaces, where a god could find a dwelling on earth. In our own innermost room we must create a space, not empty, but prepared so that it is open and receptive to the spirit. If we do not tend this space, preparing it always, it can become occupied and taken over, corrupted by a being out of its rightful place.

The question: The Oracle at Delphi gave people an encounter with the truth. It neither spoke nor concealed, but gave signs. This meant that there was no fin- ished recipe and that responses were enigmatic in nature. Such an experience required intellectual and moral effort, and through this effort people found that a path could open before them. Can this enigmatic nature of truth inform how I ask questions? If I know that the true answer is a path that has to be unfold- ed, might the questions that I carry shift and change, or perhaps even grow and drop away?

So, am I ready? Am I ready to die and change? Yes. And fear helps me stay awake. If I feel it well up in me, I try to say Hello and invite it to stand by my side; I need the space before me clear so that I can see where to place my feet. I won’t have it tripping me. I walk inward, into the depths where the battle is. This is where I am building my temple; here I am preparing a space for the spir- it. Here I will be, time and again, preparing, because this is my path.

by Emma Heirman
Picture: Open Course art sharing