High Noon In The Temple
Of The One-Eyed God
August 13, 2015
FOREWARNING: What follows is a metaphorical analogy of biblical proportions. It is loosely based on the implications of breaking first commandment as referred to in Exodus 20:3-5. This article is in no way condemning anyone to the eternal fires of Hell- it is not this writers place to judge your soul. However, if you find offense in this week’s column then you either lack a practical sense of religious reality or prefer for that reality to be twisted in order to appease the masses.
The analog timepiece brings its hands together in prayer, as the sun crests the temple’s peak. The rays of light begin to cascade down the weather worn shingles in a luminescent waterfall. There is given pause as the light gathers. Catching in, filling up and overflowing from the gutter. Splashing its brilliance onto the lawn below. Then it begins to backtrack towards the temples darkened walls.
Crawling along the underside of the overhang the light encounters its first obstacle. The bay windows that reside in the outer wall of the sanctuary reflect and refract. Yet it pushes effortlessly through. It is noteworthy at this point to point out the obvious irony of where the largest windows of the entire structure are located. Opening into a room in which, when in use, light is least needed, quite often unwelcome and unwanted. This point is driven home by the lights true obstacle—the thick sanctuary curtains. These are specifically specially designed to block out outer lighting. Yet today those are pulled asunder. Thus the light presses inward to illuminate the sanctuary’s center.
Creeping effortlessly across the floor it finds purchase, dancing across the hardwoods. Onto the soft carpet which will welcome the bare feet of those who worship here. Pausing momentarily it shifts direction to begin the studious climb up and onto the brilliantly polished wooden surface of the sacrificial altar. Here worshippers may bring beverages, confections and sometimes entire meals to be mindlessly devoured before their lord.
The light passes over the altar’s surface, falling, climbing again, and then resting momentarily. It stretches itself across the length of the soft well-worn comfort of the sanctuary’s varying collection of pews. Each must be set in a manner that allows all a full and clear view of their god. The longest of these consumes an entire wall and may seat 3 to 4 parishioners comfortably. Or the space may be occupied by one. The matching pillows on either ends invite those who feel comfort in sleeping in their god’s presence. Simultaneously, across the way, the light hopscotches across the arms of the throne of the high priest. He (or she) who occupies this seat of authority will instruct and control the manner of worship of others in attendance. The control and power of this position is made visible by the decorative wands that adorn the throne’s side table. It will be up to the priest to choose the proper wand and make the correct hand gesture required to appease the god so that worship may begin. If a priest is to falter and fail another member of the congregation may wrestle the wand from them and take control of the service. The light has no use for these and presses onward to begin its tedious climb up the sanctuary walls.
Here we find lanterns and lamps which will be set alight only as parishioners enter, only to be extinguished when the service begins. Adorning the walls are pictures of regular worshipers taken over the course of time to show their continuous devotion.
The light finds itself hindered by closed doors. One is the temple’s main entrance, which holds a place for worshipers to leave their bags and jackets. Another opens into a restroom where one may relieve oneself but only during breaks in the service. Still another leads to chambers where worshippers may rest. There are often smaller idols to the god located within so followers may continue their worship throughout the night.
The light has seen all and yet it stops short of the darkest corner. Here slumbers the malevolent god, dark and foreboding. The light will not challenge its power. That battle has been fought and lost time and time again.
Besides the time to wage war has passed as the curtains are drawn and the light shut out. Everyone find a seat, it’s almost time for services to begin. Do you have your sacrifices ready? OK, hand me the wand of power; we must invoke the presence of our lord. Shhhh… it’s starting…and now…we pray.
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