Freud, Jung, suitcases and organs. The ancient Hebrews describe Solomon's temple as something with a portal and some space inside it (1 Kgs 6-7). No archeological traces of it are found yet. A probing understanding of a temple and the ritual and habitual-symbolic coituses that goes on there: The priest who enters the holiest area to do the ordained sprinkling job in it, does he perform a figurative coitus to bring about great peace or lots of harmony or not (cf. 1 Kings 8)? It would be an error to mistake a temporary peace for a lasting peace.
The temple was later demolished as well.
Now, the Bible tells that the temple replaced a goat-skin tent that also was rich in "lasting ordinances". Where are they now? Waiting in the winter cold? I saw about twenty or so passages with "lasting ordinances" when taking a very brief look in the Bible. The proper attitude to fallen, lasting ordinances in the Bible is to check if they are alive and well today. If not, they were not lasting for all time to come, regardless of what is written. Then sum up: "Ark gone, temple demolished, goat ritual for yearly atonement of a whole people's sins a year (Numbers 16) - also gone, along with all the ordinances for them," and so on. (See Exodus 27:21; 28:43; 29:9; 31:16; Leviticus 3:17; 17:6-9; 23:41; 24:3,8; Numbers 10:8; 15:15 etc. to get an inkling.)
Now, Dr Sigmund Freud rallied the opinion that "found" figurative vaginas, penises and their unions ever so often. One may ask, with Spinoza, "Does what Freud tells of such things, speak of him or of them, or perhaps both? Who knows for sure?"
(Source of the quotations: Freud's book The Interpretations of Dreams (1913), chap. 6. The book is online.)
❋ God's sprinkling rituals, do they count for anything?
Tantric yoga parallels. There are parallel tantric teachings and practices that are much older than those of Freud and followers, and the terms yoni, lingam, yoga (union) and maithuna (sexual union) belong to that tradition. As for me, I happen to like many of the yoga teachings associated with Padmasambhava or attributed to him in the ancient Nyangma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, such as: "The peak experience of the nine spiritual pursuits, Is not obtained from someone or from somewhere else, but is obtained from (wholeness) itself." (In Guenther 1996:21). Padmasambhava introduced the people of Tibet to the practice of Tantric Buddhism and is regarded as the founder of the Nyingma tradition, the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Be that as it may for now: libido-associated, Freudian assertions could make some people very happy, regardless of a certain risk of fallacies. One of them is reductionism. Freud's theory of making sexual issues of things and happenings that may get only loosely associated with sexual organs and sex activity, is labelled a reductionist theory. There is obviously a risk that something dwindles in one's understanding by such categorising thinking, by such "somethings" not being allowed to be themselves, just what they are, fair and square. "A pole is a pole." (Wikipedia, "Reductionism")
❋ Long before Freud was yoga: teachings and methods.
Two other interpreters of symbols. If you should want to know how Freud arrived his claimed symbols, here is a page for it by Dr Calvin S. Hall (1909-1985). He developed a cognitive theory of dreams: [◦More] (Wikipedia, "Calvin S. Hall")
Freud once said to his "crown prince", Dr Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961): "My dear Jung, promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all." Freud wanted his sexual theories to bulwark against the black tide of mud of occultism, as he formulated it. Jung remained a follower of Freud for many years, but eventually challenged Freud on his sexual theory.
In chapter five of his book Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1995), Jung writes about Freud's sexual theories and his own position. The two theorists differ slightly about libido (sex drive), since Jung came to develop a broader view than Freud about it. He believed the libido was not just sexual energy, but instead "generalised psychic energy". [◦Differences between Jung and Freud]
Jung terms explained: [◦Jung Lexicon]
❋ Experience and theory may differ too.
A god-spirit worrying about clothes?
Jesus: "And why do you worry about clothes?" (Matt 6:28-9, cf. Luke 12:27)
"But for sun-glasses, nail varnish and perhaps lip-stick, the Lord wanted it like this in Paradise!"
Paul, again: "We are the temple of the living God." (2 Cor 6:16)
Paul: "Honour God with your body." (1 Cor 6:19-20). The question is how-where-when.
Paul also insists that some get saved simply by having sex (1 Corinthians 7:13-14). Accordingly, in a woman temple salvation can be going on (1 Cor 3:16-7). That is the teaching. There could be lots of living temples out there.
"Never judge by appearances." - British wisdom. (Fergusson 1983:10)
Going far away from nature's designs and schemes of coping and of thriving balances may get us into distress, held Freud and wrote a book called Civilization and Its Discontents (1929). There are good points in it, derived from Freud's sexual theory and libido outlooks.
❋ Going on as one is designed, is it bad? Yoga says one can be lifted, and lift oneself too, and both.
The temple of gold. The Lord said to Solomon after the temple was built and consecrated, "My eyes and my heart will always be there. (1 Kgs 9:3). There is a difficulty here: The temple is gone: what happened to his Lord's eyes and heart who should always be there . . . always in a temple that is no longer - is not explained. There are surely significant promises in the Bible that have not been kept.
Ah, let others seek to explain away overblown Bible promises if they will.
Solomon also said, "The Lord has said that he'd dwell in a dark cloud," and such a cloud moved into the temple. (1 Kgs 8:10,12). Further: "But will God really dwell on earth? . . . How much less this temple I have built! (1 Kgs 8:27)
From an old, demolished temple to another: The idea that the true temple is the body, is another delicacy. "Your body is a temple . . . Therefore honour God with your body," said Paul (1 Corinthians 6:20). And "We are the temple of the living God." (2 Cor 6:16). It is as simple as that.
❋ A temple of bone is more than a temple of stone (Proverb). It may be good to take that learning with you when you go sightseeing too.
Pompousness captures some
The impression of worth and greatness is formed by pomp and power. In the history of Jews, it represented things that God had striven to warn Israel against beforehand, before things got out of control. (1 Samuel 8)
Solomon spent more time and effort on building a house for his thousand women than on God's temple. Thirteen years for this palace, seven for the temple, and materials for the latter had even been collected earlier, by his father, a David, says the Bible. (1 Kings 6:38 and 7:1)
Either Solomon had a sense of proportions and what helped best, or he had not. His priorities are discernible. Even though God of the ark had instituted ritual worship that involved the ark forever, the ark was lost during the reign of Solomon. The pact and artifacts that God had designed and revealed through Moses, were lost during the reign of Solomon despite all the massively repeated words earlier in the Hebrew writings about how extremely important the goat-skin tent and ark were for correct worship.
Life is full of surprises!
Solomon speaks of "this temple I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27). He did not do it; he imposed forced labour on all the subjects and appointed over 3000 officials to oversee the work (5:2730), and that is different from building it oneself. He also ordered so much cedar wood from King Hiram of Tyre (I Kings 5:2025) that he had to pay off his debts to King Hiram by handing over twenty towns in Galilee to him (1 Kings 9:11).
Some four centuries later it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE.
❋ It's awkward to let temple focus overshadow yourself, the inner Self.
Evans-Wentz, Walter Y, ed. The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation or the Method of Realizing Nirvana through Knowing the Mind. London: Oxford University Press, 1968.
Fergusson, Rosalind. The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983.
Guenther, Herbert. The Teachings of Padmasambhava. Leiden: Brill, 1996.
Hall, Calvin S. "A cognitive theory of dream symbols." The Journal of General Psychology, No. 48, 1953:169-186.
Jung, Carl Gustav. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. London: Fontana, 1995.
Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontents. 1st American ed. Tr. James Strachey. New York: Norton, 1962.
———. The Interpretation of Dreams. Tr. Abraham A. Brill. New York: Macmillan, 1913.
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