The Temple Ruin

Adam was the great high priest of the Garden, the most holy place in the cosmic temple of God, with Eve, his wife, his perfect mate and helper. It was through Eve that Satan reached Adam. Adam and the earth from which he came are inseparable; what happens to the one happens to the other. The great cosmic temple shakes at its foundations as Milton so powerfully presents it:

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth-reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she eat.
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat,
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe
That all was lost …
Against his better knowledge, not deceived,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again,
In pangs, and nature gave a second groan;
Sky loured, and, muttering thunder, some sad drops
Wept at completing of mortal sin
Original…

The temple still stands, but without its most holy place, corrupted, a mere shadow of what it once was. Adam and Eve, once glorious, move about as ghosts in their haunted chambers. They cover themselves with leaves out of shame. God came to them in the evening as was his custom. Before, the approach of God was awesome, beyond anything they ever experienced in this garden of wonder and delight, and they received Him in their joyful innocence. Now the approach of God came upon them in a terrifying theophanic storm, and they ran to hide themselves in wild fright.

The picture painted here may well seem fanciful to the jaded minds of today’s world, but it is most obviously true. Our collected human consciousness cannot quite escape the memory of such a place; it is the very source of human longing. Every Church, temple, mosque, or holy place stands in quite proof of what once was lost. Moreover, that we were once gloriously other than we are in our present state of mortality and biological humiliation is proved by one simple human emotion ─ shame. Nothing can evolve by mere chance, let alone these two strange and profound human attributes, longing and shame. We must posit that something happened on the molecular level, not only to the temple, but also to the human body, which is a microcosm of the cosmic temple itself. Without original glory, we are to this day embarrassed by our bodily odors and functions. Before our systems were perfectly efficient with regard to nutrition with no waste, now we cannot make a system perfectly efficient. The very fact that we try raises the question of what inspires such aspirations. Is there a connection between the building of medieval cathedrals and building ever more and more efficient machines? Salvation? Paradise lost?

Be this as it may, it is certain that the bear in the woods is not ashamed of its odors. Though cultural mores differ from one culture to another as to what is embarrassing, it is certain that embarrassment and shame are fundamental to every human being. This is because every human being is made in the imago dei, made with the purpose of being priests in God’s holy temple.

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