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HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, its Invocation and modern Function

John Michell The Dimensions of Paradise 26.11.2012 03:48
HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, its Invocation and modern Function - Jerusalem - Jerusalem Temple - Ethics - Utopian writings

John Michell, the master writer on Sacred Geometry and secret history, summarizes the desirable realization of the Heavenly Jerusalem and our work towards this.

Heavenly Jerusalem, its invocation and modern function

(Final section of John Michell's Book: The Dimensions of Paradise

Chapter 6: The ancient and future cosmology - Part II

(the first part is at:

Idealism is currently out of fashion; the tenor of modern philosophy is against it, and against the entire way of thought illustrated in this book.

Common criticisms of idealism are either that, though harmless, it is unreal and impractical, or that it is a cause of dangerous fanaticism. The second objection has a good deal of force; the idealism of unstable characters can turn to monomania with unpleasant consequences. But it is not idealism proper which is thereby discredited, merely its perversions. And the first assertion, that idealism is impractical, is no more self-evident than the opposite opinion, here affirmed, that it is in fact the only practical means of restoring balance to the world.

In the previous chapter were pointed out the advantages of an objective cosmological standard in human affairs, and it was argued that the identification and adoption of such a standard is the one realistic option for the future. That necessary standard has traditionally been provided by the geometers' diagram of an ideal city, Heavenly Jerusalem, and, behind the diagram, by an esoteric code of number, the Canon, representing the combined formulas of natural growth and motion. The outcome of these studies in the Canon, the ideal City, the musical harmonies of Creation and other expressions of the universal archetype is the conviction that the type of understanding which develops through them is destined to expel the gross, destructive thought-forms of modern materialistic philosophy. That issue is not only desirable but, since human mentalities adapt naturally to the requirements of their time, is to be expected. It implies revival of the traditional form of science, most appropriate to these present times, which has for its object the invocation of the Heavenly Jerusalem.

The nature of the Heavenly Jerusalem, its form, dimensions and symbolism, have already been discussed at length, but little has been said about its material reflection, the actual city of Jerusalem in the Middle East. The Heavenly City, as the pattern of ideal order, has of course no exclusive association with any particular spot on earth. But it so happens that Jerusalem is now most widely acknowledged as the omphalos or sacred centre of this planet. To followers of the three most powerful religions of the West, Christian, Jewish and Muslim, it is a shrine of unique importance. It was the scene of Abraham's sacrifice, the Crucifixion of Jesus and Mohammed's ascent to heaven. The waters of the Flood arose from beneath its central rock and afterwards subsided there. Its legends, the features of its sacred geography and its very name (meaning in Hebrew Peace and Wholeness) identify it as the earthly type of the Heavenly City. This identification is strongly supported by history. Throughout our era Jerusalem has been the goal and inspiration of innumerable chiliastic and idealistic movements, from the Christian crusades to modern Jewish Zionism. The declared aim of esoteric groups such as the Freemasons and the Knights of St John is the rebuilding of Jerusalem's Temple, by which is symbolized restoration of the traditional code of philosophy and the ideal reordering of human society.

The present situation in Jerusalem is that the Jewish state of Israel is politically in the ascendancy, supporting an exclusive form of Zionism which would make Jerusalem a predominantly Jewish city to the disadvantage of its other inhabitants and the Muslim sanctuaries there.From the perspective of traditional philosophy a lack of balance is apparent, and that deficiency is symptomized by the chronic unrest which marks modern Jerusalem as the point of confrontation between rival forces. In order to prove whether the philosophy inherent in these studies of the Heavenly Jerusalem is capable of serving any useful purpose, it has to be put to the test. And the most obviously suitable testing ground is Jerusalem Oil earth.

The inspiration for these final remarks is the thoughts and writings of Dr. Yitzhaq Hayut-Man, one of the planners of modern Israel and member of a group concerned with the nature and true meaning of Zionism. Zion is Jerusalem, and Zionism is therefore nothing more or less than Jerusalem- ism. It can thus be ascribed to the very people who proclaim themselves most hostile to it, The Palestinians who seek to regain and retain their share of Jerusalem are by that token Zionists; so are the Baptists and the many other Christian sects who call themselves Israelites and aspire to a place in the Holy City; and even the fierce Iranians, whose declared intention is to march on Jerusalem and expel the Jews, have thereby adopted Zionism - in its exclusive aspect. It is that exclusiveness, affecting the extremists among Jews, Muslims and others, which constitutes the apparent obstacle to reconciliation. Yet it is also the extremists who make reconciliation possible.

A tenet of traditional philosophy is that 'every action creates an equal and opposite reaction', and thus the two sides in any dispute, once they are clearly defined, make up an entity, like the two sides of a coin. Their interests are not merely rivals but also complement each other. To every reasonable person that is obvious. When all parties to the dispute over the earthly Jerusalem are brought to realize that each of them represents a form of Zionism, a reasonable accommodation between them is within reach.

Dr Hayut-Man's approach to the problem of pacifying the Middle East under conditions of lasting stability starts with his proposed redefinition of Zionism as 'the actualization of the Heavenly Jerusalem on earth'. That is certainly appropriate, for the primary function of the Heavenly Jerusalem and the studies associated with it is to identify opposites and to include them together in harmony within a conceptual framework which allows their differences to be transcended. In the same way as the New Jerusalem diagram provides the matrix which unites disparate systems of geometry, the concept of Heavenly Jerusalem is sufficiently wide to embrace all sides in any mundane dispute, set them together within an orderly pattern and thus demonstrate their essential unity. This method of reconciliation is based on transcendence, meaning that problems are raised to the point where the interests of all sides become identical. In the Middle East dispute the unifying element is the 'Jerusalem...ism' of all concerned parties. Their differences, expressed politically, seem irreconcilable, but on a higher level their aspirations are the same, to liberate Jerusalem and gain access to the spiritual powers which accumulate at the acknowledged cosmological centre of the earth. The fact that such powers are inexhaustible and can not be drained however much they are drawn upon suggests that in earthly Jerusalem, as in its heavenly original, there is room for all. In the plan of the New Jerusalem, together with the legends and traditions of the Holy City, are the principles for a scientific apportioning of Jerusalem's sanctuaries among all who have claims to them.

In the New Jerusalem diagram the twelve small circles on the periphery correspond in one of their aspects to the twelve tribes of Israel who were given possession of the Holy Land by divine covenant. They were traditionally placed in groups of three, north, south, east and west, and the pattern of their distribution was reflected in the design of the Tabernacle and the Temple which superseded it. That arrangement is repeated in the New Jerusalem diagram. The idea of applying it to the situation at Jerusalem leads to an interesting question - where are the twelve tribes of Israel now to be discovered. The modern Jews claim to be made up of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, together with an admixture of Levites.

According to the Old Testament history (II Kings 17) all twelve tribes were removed from the Holy Land and taken captive into Assyria. Judah, Benjamin and some of the Levites have now returned to Jerusalem and hold power there. The other tribes are said to be scattered among the nations of the world. Attempts throughout history to identify them, or to claim identity with them, have involved some remarkable feats of imagination. Mystical writers have discovered them variously among the natives of North or South America, the Celts, Anglo-Saxons and all sorts of other peoples. As mentioned above, it is common among Christian sects to call themselves true Israelites and dream of entering the Holy City. But whoever and wherever the lost tribes may be, it is held alike by Jews and Christians that at some future time, immediately preceding a time of lasting peace, all twelve tribes will assemble again at Jerusalem. The prophecy is set out in, e.g., Ezekiel 37. Until such time there is no possibility of a peaceful settlement at Jerusalem.

The recognition of the missing tribes to make up the complete twelve is therefore of the greatest practical importance. And the most practical general principle, as it occurs to Dr Hayut-Man, is to allow the Israelites to declare themselves. That means to offer recognition as a legitimate Israelite to all who so call themselves or are impelled by Jerusalem...ism towards the Holy City.

A lasting form of settlement based on this ideal is possible, timely and, sooner or later, inevitable. It is in accordance with established prophecies, and there now appears in the form of the New Jerusalem the outline of the appropriate science for balancing forces, which is the instrument by which those prophecies may be fulfilled. That science is the justification (the idealism, removing from it the stigma of impracticability. Its practical function, of course, is limited. It is one thing to clarify an ideal and another to live up to it. That difference is foremost in the mind of Plato in all his writings on idealism. The ideal city, he says, can never be reproduced 0n earth, because it is the ideal archetype to be mental and immaterial. On the other hand, without an ideal to aspire towards, society will always be unstable, reverting in the end to chaos. Plato's advice to the inhabitants of his 'best possible' state, Magnesia, was to contemplate the ideal cosmology - the pattern here referred to as the New Jerusalem - and copy it as far as possible in the design of every institution. After that it was to be a matter of compromise, of mitigating the ideal in the interests of practicality, adhering to it no more closely than circumstances permit. Thus if twelve tribes present themselves at Jerusalem, demanding recognition as true Israelites, the process of invoking the Heavenly Jerusalem can thereupon be initiated. If there be more or less than that number and if, as they will, they dispute each other's claims and credentials and engage in other forms of mischief, then the science of reconciliation through the New Jerusalem image will meet its expected test. Its hope of success lies in the fact that it is indeed a science, ideally adapted to present times and open to study by whoever cares to do so. Through that study are revealed the formulas which depict the structure of the universe in terms of its corresponding structure, number. Thence is developed a cosmological standard, a natural guide to civilized living. Sooner or later - and perhaps sooner than at present seems possible - the need for such a standard will become widely apparent.

Despair at the impotence of political diplomacy will make plain the necessity for transcendence, and minds will be directed again into the channels of traditional thought which converge upon the vision of the New Jerusalem.

The main text of this book has been the twenty-ϕfirst chapter of St John's Revelation with its description of the Heavenly Jerusalem coming down to earth. In the chapter which follows, the last chapter in the Christian Bible, the New Jerusalem is again referred to, its twelve 'lunar' circles representing the twelve fruits of the Tree of Life:

"… and on either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations.

The leaves, ϕυλλα, have the same number [in Greek Gematria] as the New Jerusalem, 961.

The City in Greek idealistic philosophy and the Tree of Life in Jewish mysticism are images of the same archetype, the ideal cosmology, a function of which is 'the healing of nations'. St John's prophecy of the sacred cosmology restored to human consciousness through the image of an all-inclusive City or a healing Tree is of particular significance to Christians because it occurs at the very end of the Scriptures. Even those people with minds inimical to prophecy may acknowledge the modern relevance of St John's imagery. His ideal City, to which are drawn all 'the nations of them which are saved' under the rule of spirit, previses a necessary and therefore inevitable state of affairs to come. That state, a product of minds reformed by necessity, will be of structured harmony, the key to which is in the scientific code described in this book and symbolized by the Heavenly Jerusalem.

HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, its Invocation and modern Function - Jerusalem - Jerusalem Temple - Ethics

See also a summary of the principles within John Michell's comment on the work of the Academy of Jerusalem:

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