Better Is One Day...
Here's today's revelation, which I came across in my reading:
Contemplation is the action of be present in the temple.
"contemplation (n.): c. 1200, contemplacioun, 'religious musing,' from Old French contemplation and directly from Latin contemplationem (nominative contemplatio) 'act of looking at,' noun of action from past-participle stem of contemplari 'to gaze attentively, observe; consider, contemplate,' originally 'to mark out a space for observation' (as an augur does), from assimilated form of com-, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + templum 'area for the taking of auguries' (see temple (n.1))."
It's like one of those simple revelations that no-one has to teach you because it should be so obvious and once you've seen it you can't unsee it!
"temple (n.1): 'building for worship, edifice dedicated to the service of a deity or deities,' Old English tempel, from Latin templum 'piece of ground consecrated for the taking of auspices, building for worship of a god,' of uncertain signification.
Commonly referred to PIE root *tem- 'to cut,' on notion of 'place reserved or cut out' [Watkins], or to root *temp- 'to stretch' [Klein, de Vaan], on notion of 'cleared (measured) space in front of an altar' (from PIE root *ten- 'to stretch;' compare temple (n.2)), the notion being perhaps the 'stretched' string that marks off the ground. Compare Greek temenos 'sacred area around a temple,' literally 'place cut off,' from stem of temnein 'to cut.' Figurative sense of 'any place regarded as occupied by divine presence' was in Old English. Applied to Jewish synagogues from 1590s."
My problem is 'cutting out that place'... I struggle to empty what's going on and just dwell in the presence of God, to 'gaze attentively, observe and consider' who God is and what he's doing.
For now I'll start with Psalm 84 to begin to make my way there:
"How lovely is your dwelling place,
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young--
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
Look on our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
blessed is the one who trusts in you."
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