The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, and I see and revere God in every human being;that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
The objective of this thesis is to identify, isolate, and expound the concepts of sacred space and its ancillary doctrines and to show how they were expressed in ancient temple architecture and ritual.
The fundamental concept of sacred space defined the nature of the holiness that pervaded the temple. The idea of sacred space included the ancient view of the temple as a mountain. Other subsets of the basic notion of sacred space include the role of the creation story in temple ritual, its status as an image of a heavenly temple,the substantial role of the temple regarding kingship and coronation rites, the temple as a symbol of the Tree of Life, and the role played by water as a symbol of physical and spiritual blessings streaming forth from the temple. Temple ritual, architecture, and construction techniques expressed these concepts in various ways. These expressions, identified in the literary and archaeological records, were surprisingly consistent throughout the ancient Near East across large expanses of space and time.
Under the general heading of Techniques of Construction and Decoration, this thesis examines the concept of the primordial mound and its application in temple architecture, the practice of foundation deposits, the purposes and functions of enclosure walls, principles of orientation, alignment, and measurement, and interior decorations. Under the rubric of General Temple Arrangement are explored the issues of the tripartite and
“My Body is My Temple.”
My temple. Not yours, not ours. Just mine.
Our ancestors gathered together within the sacred spaces, the temples, tombs, shrines and observatories, because human beings have an inborn need for shared experience.
We have grown too comfortable in our solitude, and it gains us but little.
Alone we contribute nothing.
Together we become powerful.
And the temples will be, as they have always been, where we go to share.
I wonder if it is only coincidence that when we gather into large groups we are often called “a body”.