To carry out this form of meditation, a pathworking, one needs some props along the way. In this case the props are a temple/church, some place of worship, but with no details given, and an altar. Anything else that spontaneously occurs is the true conversation, and to be greatly valued. Two further symbols that occurred simply showed that I was on the correct path. One symbol was a pair of Gothic, temple doors standing in isolation whilst the other was a crypt. Together they represented a gateway into the shadow of death, into prayer.
..........I discovered that I was walking towards the centre of a sunlit glade where there stood double bronze doors surrounded by a stone frame, but nothing else. They stood at the crossover point of four paths leading into the glade from each of the cardinal points of the compass. Pushing open the doors I entered what appeared to be a personal temple, a structure which had been non-existent from the outside. Before me lay an open, darkened crypt accessed by a ramp leading downwards. I walked down the ramp and found myself in a large space which appeared to extend without limit, outwards into darkness.
Immediately before me stood an altar on which stood a transparent bowl, so clear that it seemed to represent form without substance. In the bowl was a similarly clear liquid which I lit from hand fire. To either side of the bowl lay an ear of wheat. Behind the altar appeared a column of light which seemed to be alive. The darkness around me deepened, and with a slight sense of disorientation, I rose upwards above the altar and felt my hands reach out in front of me. In response I sensed a corresponding gesture from the glowing column, until our hands were clasped together. At that moment I discovered also that I was dressed in a black habit, symbolising obedience, chastity and celibacy..........
In this experience I entered that state sometimes called one's inner temple. It is a place of virginal purity where one meets the divine, the hand fire confirming something spiritual was present. A temple is also a symbol for a womb, a place of creativity or procreativity. There one must wait awhile, allowing what will happen to actually happen, doing only what was required of one and not what one might choose to do under the influence of the ego.
As I was raised from the floor of the temple I moved to a point above or over the altar. What followed was a handing process, or more accurately a handing over process. From that moment on, I was in something else's hands. This action reflects the attitude of Mary, her acceptance and commitment referred to in the previous post, 'Let It Happen to Me.' The links to my previous meditations on a shallower level are clear enough, even to the appearance of two ears of wheat on the altar.
It is difficult to describe the sense of otherness, of disorientation combined with stability that I experienced. It was as if my ego were losing its tenuous hold on its own existence, and another part of my self were willingly and gladly changing to a new orientation, going somewhere that is no-where. And in the end, that somewhere is indeed no-where, because the symbols themselves are not that somewhere. What that somewhere truly is lies beyond description.
Footnote: I wished to concentrate on the inner temple and what occurred there, because I felt that was the focus of my meditation. Yet in so doing I have tended to ignore the fact that just as an altar is a place of sacrifice [and not necessarily of the bloody and cruel variety], so also is the Cross. And I noted that the "gateway into the shadow of death" or into the relationship that is called prayer [the double doors of the temple], was placed where the paths in the sunlit glade crossed each other.