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3. New Insights Towards Building the Temple

3.1 The Meaning of Sacrifice in the Future Temple

According to tradition, the site where the temple of Jerusalem stood is the same site in which there occurred cardinal events for the development of humankind. It is there that the continents started forming, there was Adam formed and where he and his sons sacrificed. It was also the site for the Binding of Isaac, where he was almost sacrificed, until he was replaced with a ram. From this last example we may learn that the sacrifice of animals in the temple was actually a substitute for human sacrifices.

"The secret of sacrifices" (Sod haKorbanot) became interpreted in the Kabbalah in terms of transformations of spiritual and vital energies (Hayut), while emphasizing the common root of the words hakravah (sacrificing) and kirvah (nearness). The issues pertaining to the "animal soul" and the divine and human soul of the person were further developed in the teachings of Hassidism. According to these teachings, we all have animal souls, since essentially we are all mortals who are genetically programmed for self-interest however sophisticated or clever we may seem. There are few virtuous persons (Tzadikim) who have eternal or "divine souls" and others may attain these. The divine souls are interconnected in hidden ways, and the assembly of all of them constitutes a unified and sacred divine entity - and entity that is developing through the spiritual development of each one of its discreet components.

The Torah and its commandments were formed to guide the needed spiritual transformation - from the primacy of the animal soul to the preeminence of the divine soul. This "divine soul" is common to all humankind, as well as to all the spiritual worlds. The majority of the commandments of the Torah deal with the temple worship and the sacrifices, so that the process of spiritual transformations is delayed as long as the temple is not functioning.

If we allow ourselves a certain latitude in thinking about the above statements, we may propose that the worship in the Future Temple will not include the substitute - animal sacrifices - but the sacrifice/dedication of the animal soul of each person. It is possible that we may return to the primal intensity of sacrifice: human sacrifices. But this time it will be self- sacrifice rather than the sacrifice of a substitute offering. Sacrifice will return to its primordial meaning - which is nearness to the creator, namely: man will be again able to realize his whole human stature, his divine image, by "dying to his animal soul" which is essentially egocentric.

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3.2 The Temple Service as Binding (Akedah)

The placement of the temple as the site that connects between heaven and earth, is therefore connects with binding, with the Akedah (binding) of Isaac. When we read the Biblical passage (Gen. 22:2) attentively, we may discover that Abraham was never commanded to slaughter his son, but only "to raise him up in offering" (ha'alehu le'Olah). But the limited human understanding immediately asserts that the intention is for a full sacrifice, therefore also for the giving up of life of the person, or of a matching substitute.

But if we turn to the mystics, we find that man should sacrifice his former life, just like an insect which undergoes metamorphosis (larva => pupa => winged adult). We should pay attention to the fact that the Jewish tradition does not relate to the event as "the sacrifice of Isaac", but as "the binding of Isaac". And truly it is the Akedah, the Binding, the formation of the fixed connection between heaven and earth - this is the real reason for fixing the site of the temple. For the Christians too, the sanctity of Jerusalem is connected to an act of binding- Akedah: the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The nailing to the cross - just like the Akedah - is a formation of a connection with God - as well as to the earth and its dire realities, and formation of accepting responsibility for this reality as for the self.

The temple service we are discussing strives to formulate a course towards the great transformation. In bringing a sacrifice, the individual should bring what is best and most dear to him/her. So even if the issue is of the former life of the individual, or his/her "animal soul", this should not be viewed as something to be despised, or fought against, but should be seen as a worthy and choice gift. The image of the metamorphosis of the butterfly is very appropriate to the act of the Akedah-binding in as much as the caterpillar fabricates itself the threads with which it gets bound for the pupa-Golem stage. Only after this self-binding may its own inherent butterfly be revealed. The subject of sacrificing the former life is prevalent in the mystical literature, such as in Sufi literature, and a contemporary Jewish-Sufi teacher (Gold, 1984) writes about "The Joy of Sacrifice" through a given set of experiences.

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3.3 The Name of Isaac-Yitzhak as a Sing for Future Laughter and Play

Just as the Biblical story of Isaac instructs about the future temple, so does is name - which was selected by the prescient God - teaches about the style of the future temple.

The name Yitzhak (The Hebrew-Biblical for Isaac) means "will laugh", and has thus to do with future laughter and play. This may seem strange in this context, as the Biblical Isaac is not known as one whose life was full of fun and amusements. But it was not for nothing that God chose for him a name with a hint and a sign for the future, since Yitzhak is in future tense. He does not laugh now, in his present life, but is bound to laugh in the future. The Talmudic legend (Aggadah) relates that after the Akedah Isaac continued his life not in This World (Olam haZeh), but in the World to Come (Olam haBah), the world of the future. Other Talmudic legends connect Isaac to The Heavenly Jerusalem and the Heavenly Temple. It follows that the future temple is likely to be under the sign of laughter and play. The dramatic cleansing, the transformation, may be accomplished in a comical no less than in a tragic manner. In the anticipated social transformation, the goal will be to attain a new and integrated self definition, through a better understanding of self and other and by gaining the ability to transcend old feuds. Humor is likely to be one of the best ways to achieve this goal. We may thus expect that the worship at the future temple will include appropriate types of plays and dramatizations.

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3.4 Worship at the Future Temple as Social and National Transformation

We may further examine the future relevance of the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, when we remember that Abraham (Avraham) is called ha'Ivri, the Hebrew, and that traditional Biblical commentators emphasize that this world is but a passage - ma'Avar. The passage- ma'avar that Abraham made from idolatry to the knowledge of God was not just a personal transformation: it meant the formation of a new nation, which was destined to usher all humankind for similar change and transformation. So will the future mission be for the sake of which the temple will be built: social and even national transformation. We have already dealt with the personal transformation from animal soul to human and divine soul. The temple will likewise serve passage and national transformation towards forming The New Israel. It will be a passage from the fixation on the familiar old track: Jews vs. Gentiles, to to a new federation of twelve New Israeli Tribes (among which "Judah" - in the sense of orthodox Halakhic- Rabbinic Judaism will be just one, albeit a senior, member), on the way to a future global Israel.

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3.5 The Temple Process

The future temple (which an example of its possible form was given above) will contain many thousands of pilgrims, each one of them in a private cell, connected to others mainly through information links through a central computer. People will arrive in anticipation of an intense experience, in fact revelation (Theophany), and will be ready for real spiritual work and not just for leisure tourism. They will come to undergo psycho-spiritual processes of Tikkun and "Human Reconstruction", which will be accompanied by peak experiences, such as Akedah and/or "re-birthing". It is expected that most of these pilgrims would be able to experience - or produce a sign (Ot) - which will testify to the validity of the spiritual experience, and that the many signs (Otot) will add up as letters (Otiyot) that make a meaningful redemptive story.

Each one will have the means for a private personal experience, but they will all be also connected to means which will enable an intimate revelation of self to other. It should be realized that each such ingathering of people will be in order to receive Teaching (Torah) from Heaven, a quest for a personal mission which may be revealed to them from the coherent message that will be built from the sum of the insights of all the many participants, and their mission will be to complete and perfect the message, each one in his/her own place.

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3.6 Revelation in Multi-Media

Revelation (epiphany, theophany) is an encounter with the divine. It can assume countless forms. The epitome of theophany was at Mount Sinai, where the whole people were "seeing the sounds" in such a volume, that they begged to be exempted from the scene, fearing for their lives, and they sent Moses forth on their behalf. But here we are discussing pilgrims who will remain to savor the process which will be meted out to them in appropriate dosage.

We shall not specify exactly what form revelation may manifest in the future temple, but it is clear that revelation will be the main goal. The temple will allow an experience, something like the Sinai Theophany, on a daily or weekly basis, specific for the particular group of people who gathered on pilgrimage from the whole world, and prepared themselves for the high point of their lives. The means that can be assembled in the proposed structure, which defines the space of the Temple Mount by giant walls, will allow any form to appear upon those walls, or even to materialize in the space between them. The special thing that will be enabled by the proposed design is that the form which may manifest, will be the joint product of all the participants, and that the image of the divine temple which may manifest will be composed of the divine in all of them, their conjoint consciousness, and their divine sparks that joint together. It will be a coherent visual or textual message, that each one of the participants will contribute a part to, and will be able to amplify or diminish the overall manifestation. (See more below, in the last chapter on "Establishing the Virtual Temple").

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3.7 About Pilgrimage in/to the Future Temple

The three festivals and their associated pilgrimage to the temple of Jerusalem constituted the focus of Jewish life at the end of the Second Temple period. The future temple, which is discussed here, may become the focus for the whole human race, through which will grow a new, unified, humankind. There will undoubtedly come pilgrims from the two Americas, two continents in which Christianity is a major social component. But we should note the position of Jerusalem at the heart of "The Old World", as the junction between Europe Asia and Africa - in fact as the exact "center of gravity" for all the five continents. Jerusalem may thus form the pilgrimage point not only for the three monotheistic ("Abrahamic") religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - but also for people of different background (Buddhist, Vedanta, Shinto and more), who may well want to come to the place identified with all of humankind. A myriad of temple pilgrims, many of them from afar, and from different and strange cultures, who will gather for an intensive experience - Revelation/Theophany - and will very likely be ready for serious spiritual work, not just for occasional tourism.

According to tradition, people brought their offerings to the temple for sacrifice. As noted above (3.1 The Meaning of Sacrifice in the Future Temple), the sacrificed were instituted to convert the selfish, animal soul into a whole and comprehensive human soul. The sacrifices therefore ought to be from the best that the individual - or group - can offer to God, those things which distinguish them most. Each one may be ready to give up that which (s)he is particularly proud of. At the end of the process, the sacrifice may be returned, or it may be "burnt" and go in smoke, and the person may be guided to start an entirely different life.

Whatever these offerings may be, they will be entered in the temple computer as abilities, skills and virtues that belong to particular pilgrims, and will be evaluated in the total assessment of the future-oriented messianic mission which will be offered to the community of people which may be formed from the participants of this pilgrimage.

Each one of the pilgrims will be ushered to their cell, where they will find themselves in entirely different environment and system, such that arise anticipation for significant transformation. Each one will be first asked to clarify to him/her self what are the really important issues - both personal and social - that (s)he wants to resolve, to reach revelation concerning them. The temple system will aggregate programs and procedures to enable each individual to clarify to him/her self what these issues really are. These private understandings would be added to the flow of information from pilgrims at the other cells via the central computer. People would be then able to examine the streams of issues carried over from their mates, perhaps change their own formulations in accordance with these, and propose additional ways to sanctify issues which they have examined. Through such feedback and controls the heavy burden - of hopes and offerings which people came with - may start to cohere towards the common and unifying message with which they will leave.

There will form cycles of "Temple Process", in which people will experience the supreme presence hinted at above, and will engage again in communications. It is hard to imagine all the forms of this presence, which will no doubt be influenced by the spirit of the participants. In the following, we shall relate to the minimal configuration, that of the cellular display in which each resident of a cell would exhibit one letter, so that all the words thus formed will cohere to meaningful words, to coherent sentences and to an appropriate message. In order to achieve this the participants (who will observe the letters appearing upon the opposite walls and work with computer displays in their cells) will have to achieve a level of communications and mutual consideration - which may be likened to telepathic communication among all the members of the community. In fact this will amount to initiation and "ingathering of revelations (Kibbutz Giluyim, a Hebrew word play upon Kibbutz Galuyot - the ingathering of the exiles). In addition, there are likely to appear extraordinary physical and para-psychological experiences, which would amplify the sense of the extraordinary meaningfulness of their gathering into a community. The experience of gathering into a community may reach its peak when, at the final stage, people will leave their separate cells and gather at the internal space for an actual ritual, which will make them feel that they have become a community, a "family" or a "tribe".

Upon their return to their homes, the people will maintain between them a new community, sharing common experiences and a unified message - their sacred mission which they should actualize in the world. Its contents would not be dictated, but produced intimately, between themselves - and between themselves and God. The emergent community will be able to support its members, in the effort that they will invest - each at his/her own place - towards the common task. (A structured electronic mail network may be a good way to maintain such world-wide community, see below about "The Virtual Temple"). It is worth recalling how each brain cell may make contact with myriads of other such cells.

When there forms each month at the Temple of Jerusalem a community (or a "tribe" of "The New Israel") each one with a unique composition and special aim, appointed to it with divine providence, and which each member in it would be connected to about a myriad of other members, humankind will be finally able to develop indeed into the "Global Brain", and to reach the highest possible human attainment.

The encounter in Jerusalem is likely to constitute the peak of a process of initiation and communications that may take place through temple-branches at other locations, including those that will be modeled as virtual shrines, lodges/chambers and cells in the Internet (see below, (4.2 About Sacrifices in the Virtual Temple)), just as today, ceremonies of swearing in at the end of courses of the Israel Defense Forces are taking place at the Western Wall Plaza. In the future there may crystallize in the Temple of Jerusalem communities of people who would earlier pass training and initiation in other places in the world and at the Virtual Temple in the Internet. The people who would meet at the Temple of Jerusalem may continue to maintain connections between them also after they return each to his/her place. Through their training at the Virtual Temple in jointly forming various spiritual-images, people would be able to form at the temple in Jerusalem more complex joint messages and images (more complex than the simple example above of the letters. It is even possible that the pictures that people will jointly assemble at the virtual temple will be the offerings which they will sacrifice at the real Temple of Jerusalem).

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3.8 The Cybernetic Design for a "Cubical Cell"

The cybernetic challenge of the proposed future temple is, on one hand, the inducement of stimuli and the nurturing of special states of consciousness to reveal the self of each participant and, on the other hand, the integration of the thousands of individual processes and signs into a coherent message of a life-purpose for the community formed from the pilgrims. All that in addition to the task of fitting a communications network that will assist them to fulfill their joint vocation in the Diaspora of their separate dwelling places.

The greatest challenge is the nurturing of common thinking and conceptualization for creating coherent ideas. The parable for this, in terms of cybernetics, are studies of "cellular automata", which serve for models of self-organization, in which there emerge new coherent patterns. In this way the picture is not created by an external artist, but is self-generated through the connections between the dwellers of the cells, which are autonomous, but relate to signals from the neighboring cells.

The whole assembly works as a giant word-processor, which creates a coherent image, teaching or message - on each round of pilgrimage to the temple (which involves, as mentioned, a myriad of people from all around the globe). The assumption is that people who join such a Healing Pilgrimage will desire to know the Word of God, especially in matters near to their hearts. If we take a most simplistic example - the assumption that each participant in a cell exhibits just one letter on the wall that serves as their common screen - from these letters there may form words and sentences of a common message, which includes up to a myriad of characters. In other words, the message will be something that all these people would have agreed upon, where each one contributed a limited, but equal, contribution.

Other, more complex, modes to reach revelation are mentioned below. In all of them, each cell offers the greatest privacy, but enables also the contemplation of the patterns that emerge from the total sum of the distinct displays of all the cells in the matrix. The principle of such a pattern is like that of showing a movie upon the TV screen through the illumination of distinct points on a dense grid. There are other, bigger, display media which are built from distinct elements each subject to modification. Buckminster Fuller proposed "The World Game", in which a great geodesic dome, covered by millions of light bulbs, serves the dynamic display of the Whole Earth's natural and technological history. We speak here about a display of human communion in which each light point represents a whole person.

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3.9 The "Yoru-Shalem Revelation" - Eppiphany-Show at the Inner Space of the Temple

The space formed inside the cubic design will allow the appearance of far more complex forms than those on the walls. The main purpose of the temple is the divine revelation (Theophany, epiphany). But this revelation may appear in innumerable forms - which are all but parables and "dresses" for the invisible essence. In the revelation at Sinai, for example, the people were "seeing the voices" in an unbearable volume. "The Vision of the Chariot" (Merkavah) of Ezekiel, is, literally, a vision of complexity (Murkavut), and in the proposed space there will be a place for such a revelation. It is not known what forms revelation may assume in the future temple. It is likely that it would be particular to the images of the specific community of particular people, who bring the spoils of their former lives as offerings. The integration of multi-media means with the proposed design would allow the manifestation of any conceivable form. The new principle that is offered here is that this form will be a pattern composed from the contributions of all the participants, and the divine image that they could generate is a light pattern into which will gather representations of all the divine sparks in them. In the spatial (3D) show proposed here, there would appear a light-image, such as a temple of fire, a chariot (Merkavah), or any other complex form. We have noted above (3.2 The Temple Service as Binding (Akedah) the image of the metamorphosis of insects, like the bee larvae, who undergo the pupa (Golem) stage in a cell placed between other similar cells, and who emerge as winged beings that dance and form swarms with identifiable forms. The representations of the divine souls of the temple pilgrims, which are rising and forming at the temple, could then be translated into the inner space and to form any dynamic 3 dimensional form.

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3.10 Training and Mediation Equipment

This vision of the future temple is obviously still far from realization. But some of its components and of the ideas entailed in it can already be tried elsewhere, on a smaller scale, and it is also possible to install organizations and processes that will promote the building of the temple. Several components - like the images emerging from the matrix of cells and experiments in displaying common thought forms - will require both the development of prototypes and means for training in their use, well before they may be operated in the temple. They must be developed well before the construction. Minimally, social procedures and computer games, in order to develop the idea and train people through these. It is possible to build a town/compound, with a prototype spiritual center in their midst, and to build the community around it. In a more ambitious scale - perhaps as "The Heavenly Jerusalem Pavilion" or "Yoru-Shalem Pavilion" in an amusement/theme park such as Disneyland - there will be built a giant cube, that thousands could watch - and take part in - an appropriate show in its inner space. Most appropriately, there should be built in Jerusalem "The Heavenly Jerusalem Pavilion" or "Yoru-Shalem Wholistic Theatre" (which is really what name "Yoru (will show) or Yir'u (will see) Shalem (whole) mean). Such a structure would add much to the tourist and pilgrim attractions of the city. This may constitute a multimedia-age response to the ambitious design of Wagner with the Bayreuth Opera. Also the series of The HEJERA Games (Hayutman, 1992) proposes to build the Heavenly Jerusalem Pavilion as an arena for interactive adventures, which can be regarded as simulations of revelations.

Next section: 4. Establishing the Virtual Temple

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