And that step takes place as we walk from the brazier here to a place half a dozen feet, or a dozen feet up there where we find a laver, or bath. Actually it is a large round tank filled with water, and there we perform the right of purification. That is where we bathe ourselves internally and externally, and that is the rite of purification. And of course, no one has to tell you the things in your own mind of which you would like to be purified, and of which you need to be purified, because each one knows their own inner being better than anyone else. But it is pretty safe to say that anyone of us, at almost anytime, could stand a little scrubbing in one place or another. And no one knows it as well we do, and no one knows what particular spot in our consciousness it is that needs a good soaping.
But here is our opportunity now, as we stand before this bath figuratively, bathing, washing, cleansing ourselves within and without. This whole thing, you see is not a physical operation any more than throwing sacrifice in the fire was an actual, physical sacrifice. It all takes place as an activity within our consciousness. And so does our bathing, internal and external bathing becomes an activity of our own consciousness in which we purify our sense of relationships, purify our sense of good, purify our sense of God and man, purify our sense in any way that we feel is necessary this particular evening. Again, perhaps tomorrow evening it will take a different form, but this evening we will purify ourselves of whatever it is that needs to be cleansed within us.
If we have been faithful in that, we will find an opening just like that one, between the two pillars, and this leads us into that second part of the courtyard, and on our right we will see a table, and on the table will be loaves of shewbread.
This is not to be eaten, as you know. This shewbread is there to reveal to you, and is always maintained there, to reveal to you the omnipresence of supply, the omnipresence of all good, and so you take your place by that table and contemplate that shewbread. And using it as a symbol. You realize, within your own being, just as this shewbread is always here, so is the bread of Love, the staff of Love, so is all that stands for Self-completeness, eternally, immortality, omnipresently here and now.
Where is here? Where I stand. Right where I stand is the shewbread. Right where I stand, forever, is the omnipresence of the substance of love, the staff of love, the harmony of love, the good of love, the gift of God, in other words, shewbread—there it is. And we fill our consciousness with the realization of this omnipresence of good within our own being, right where I stand, always. Omnipresence is the word in connection with shewbread. Omnipresence and infinity, because it’s an infinite amount of substance, because it’s of God, infinite good, infinite substance of love.
When we have filled our consciousness with a sense of abundance and a sense of the omnipresence of the abundance of all good, we walk over here to the left side and find another table, and on this table is a candelabra with seven candles—lit, always lighted—seven lighted candles.
You will find these candelabras in Hebrew synagogues or in the homes of orthodox Hebrew people. They always have had them, always do have them, because they symbolize, for the Hebrew, the ever-presence of spiritual light. And as we stand in the presence—metaphorically, of this—and seven, of course, is always completeness, allness—and as we stand now in the presence of these seven-candle candelabra, lighted, we fill ourselves with the realization of the omnipresence of spiritual love, which means the presence of God, the activity of Christ, the Christ light in our experience, and now right where we stand is the omnipresence of spiritual light.
Right now, where we stand in meditation is the omnipresence of the Allness, the “seven-ness,” the complete spiritual illumination. How much spiritual wisdom do you have now? All of it. All of it. Whether or not you’re manifesting it is not the point. That would be judging by appearances, but remember, this self-completeness in God reveals that the full light of God, the full spiritual illumination is complete within you now. It may be necessary to dig down deep to open out a way for it to escape. Remember, it can’t come to you. Oh, no. Since last night we have been opening out a way for it to escape, so there must be the recognition that right where I am there is the “seven-ness,” the completeness of spiritual light, of spiritual Illumination, of spiritual wisdom. Right here within me now, where I am is the fullness of spiritual light, guidance, protection, wisdom.
We fill ourselves with that wisdom. We fill ourselves with that remembrance of the omnipresence of spiritual good, spiritual understanding. Not that we must attain it, oh, no, no, no—we are in the presence of the “seven-ness” of it. We have It. When you pray believe that ye have received.
Now we know that in the presence of this seven-candle candelabra lighted that we are in the presence of our complete spiritual illumination and we stand there meditating, pondering, letting It pour forth into expression. And when we are filled with It, we come back to the center and go a little ways further back, and there we find the burning incense in the incense burner, and that is a place of devotion, worship, sanctity, sacredness. In the presence of this incense we have our thanksgiving. We have our praise for the All-presence—the acknowledgment.
We bring to conscious remembrance the different steps we’ve taken since we entered the entrance to the courtyard. We praise the Lord, we express inwardly our gratitude for the revelation of our self-completeness in God because all that we have found in this temple, you see, is a revelation of what is already established within our being. None of this are we praying for. None of this are we seeking to get. All of this we are finding already here within us, and for this we give praise, thanksgiving, devotion, worship, adoration. Whatever emotion is stirred within us has a tremendous revelation of our self-completeness in God.
If we have done this well, if our meditation has been gentle, slow, peaceful, calm, serene, we will find the mystery, for right in back of this incense burner there has been, up to this time, a curtain, like a mist. But now, if we have come into the realization of our God-being, to the place where we can say, “Oh, now I see.” The mist disperses. The curtain is withdrawn, and it’s all open space now, right to the rear. And in the rear is the Ark of the Covenant.
No one may approach the Ark of the Covenant, except that they have been through each one of these steps successfully, until they’ve been through each step, and have received at each step an inner assurance that all is well. And if they then come to this place of worship, of adoration, by that time there is no more mental or spiritual darkness, and you can say, “Now I see,” and what do you see? The Ark of the Covenant, the law of the Lord, and behold since God is in the temple, you’re standing in the presence of God. And in this realization you receive from within a divine impulsion that lets you know that now you are standing in the presence of God.
You have gone all the way from the front of the courtyard, cluttered up with material concepts, come all the way to the rear, and divested yourself of all false trusts, false confidences, impurities. And then, in this moment of adoration, of worship, of thanksgiving, and praise you find the mist dispersed and here is the presence of God announcing Itself and reminding you I am ever with you. I was with you in the beginning when you were cluttered up with those material things and material concepts, but you couldn’t behold Me then.