Imagine the scene: You walk into your local place of worship – church, synagogue, mosque, meditation center or whatever. The pastor or rabbi has apparently decided to redecorate while you were away on vacation. You find that he has installed atop the ark or altar a statue of sexually intertwined golden figures. In addition he positions another free standing set of sexually embraced figures among the pews. And just in case you missed the point, vivid pictures of these effigies adorn most of the sanctuary walls.
I daresay that sexually open as we are, much as we affirm sexuality as a wonder and central good in our lives, the pastor’s contract would not be renewed.
However, in the pastor’s defense, let me share with you a secret. These precise images were the central display in the archetype of all holy places – the ancient Temple of Jerusalem.
The figures were called cherubs. The primary set was positioned in the center of the Temple, atop the Ark of the Covenant. According to Hebrew myth this spot is the earth’s epicenter, the axis mundi, the place where heaven and earth kiss. A second set of golden cherubs was freestanding and the rest were in pictographic form on the walls and even on some of the Temple vessels. These provocatively entwined cherubs were for the mystics the very key to the mystery of love, a mystery that lay at the heart of the Jerusalem Temple, a mystery that lays at the heart of all of our lives.
(*B) The unraveling of this mystery is the purpose of our journey together. It will require on your part patience, passion and care. Patience as we construct the intricate yet gorgeous scaffolding which will be required for us to reach higher than perhaps we have every reached before. Passion – because passion is the torch that will guide our steps on this hallowed ground of ancient texts. It is the balance between passion and patience which will allow us to receive this stunning wisdom tradition. And of course care, for no such sacred terrain can be tread without care. Z’herut’ – the Hebrew word for Careful – connotes much more than timid watchfulness, for its root word is ‘zohar’, which is no less than the name of the central Kabbalistic text. Zohar means ‘Illumination’. Suggests the wisdom of the original Hebrew –only through care can you come to illumination.
Even for hallowed publishing goal of selling more books I cannot unfold the essence of it all in the first chapter. Foreplay is essential to mysticism. In this way that when we do finally enter the inner chambers we will be prepared to fully revel in the power and beauty of the wisdom that is there. Thus when touching this sacred body of wisdom may we be blessed with the venerable tools of patience, passion and a great illumined care.
Let the mysteries begin!