The Temple of Solomon
From Ancient Israel to Secret Societies
by James Wasserman
Paperback: 384 pages, over 200 illustrations
Inner Traditions ISBN-13: 978-1-59477-220-7
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Hardcover: 384 pages, over 200 illustrations
Inner Traditions ISBN-13: 978-1-59477-483-6
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From the Preface
"The Temple of Solomon represents the separation of sacred and profane, the sacrifice of space, effort, and resources to a greater yet invisible purpose. It signifies the distillation of the spiritual aspiration from the realm of the physical body. It is the manifestation of faith, the materialization of intention, the dedication of oneself and one's community to the service and celebration of the divine. It is the Word made Flesh."
The spiritual heart of many esoteric societies, the Temple of Solomon was located atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a site venerated by the three great monotheistic religions as the intersection of Divine and human. Built by King Solomon at the peak of ancient Israel's power, the Temple of Solomon housed the golden Ark of the Covenant in its Holy of Holies, a sacred chamber where the High Priest could communicate directly with God. Centuries after the temple's destruction, the Temple Mount was used as the headquarters for the Knights Templar during the Crusades, and countless legends have come down through the centuries about the secrets they may have uncovered there, including discovery of the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant.
Richly illustrated with biblical and Masonic illustrations, photographs, and classical and modern paintings—many from rare archives—this book explores the Temple of Solomon in the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, and the Apocryphal writings as well as its role in the rites of Freemasonry, the legends of the Knights Templar, the doctrines of the Kabbalah, and Muhammad's visionary journey through the heavens. Seeking to understand the powerful desire of many religions and secret societies to re-create the temple through ritual and prayer, James Wasserman explains why it was built, what its destruction has meant for Jews and Christians alike, and why the Knights Templar as well as several modern secret societies have centered their teachings around this vibrant archetype. Detailing the sacred architecture of this perfectly proportioned mystical edifice through words and art, the author reveals the Temple of Solomon as the affirmation of God's presence in human affairs, the spiritual root of Western culture, and an important monument to the Divine—nearly forgotten in today's secular times—that may serve to bridge the divide between our ancient past and our spiritual future.
About the Author
James Wasserman is the author of the bestselling study of the Crusades, The Templars and the Assassins: The Militia of Heaven. His recent bestseller, The Secrets of Masonic Washington explores the role of Freemasonry in promoting political and spiritual Liberty with exquisite imagery and a comprehensive text. A longtime student of the occult sciences, he has a played a key role in the publication of many seminal works by Aleister Crowley and is responsible for the widely acclaimed restoration of the Papyrus of Ani, The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day.
"Erudite and gorgeously illustrated, The Temple of Solomon places the Jerusalem Temple in its historical and cultural perspective, drawing on sacred books and ancient historians alike to trace the history of the Tabernacle, the First and Second Temples, and the Temple as a visionary experience and esoteric paradigm, through more than three thousand years of transformations. This is essential reading not only for students of esoteric spirituality and ancient mysteries, but also for anyone fascinated by the lore of the world's most famous holy place." — John Michael Greer, author of The New Encyclopedia of the Occult
"Wasserman's lavishly-illustrated narrative places the Temple of Solomon, with all its rich cultural and metaphorical meanings, in its proper literary context by returning to the original source of everything we know about it: The Bible. The Temple of Solomon is more than just the literary biography of a building, however; it is the anatomy of an icon that has shaped humanity's faith, history, art, literature, archaeology, fraternity, and so much more." — Richard Kaczynski, Ph.D., author of Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley
"In The Temple of Solomon, James Wasserman has again delivered an inspired work on one of the most important subjects in the history of the spiritual tradition. This book is unique and timely, serving to bring the Judeo-Christian foundations of Western civilization into focus. The Temple of Solomon explores the spiritual and cultural origin of the threats to life and liberty we face in our lives today. The author brings clarity, wisdom and personal experience to this work that sets it apart from all other books on the subject." — Daniel Pineda, author of The Book of Secrets
"James Wasserman has done it again! Here is another book I will return to frequently, and refer to anyone who values sacred literature as a tool for personal self-transformation. In The Temple of Solomon, he brings dusty, Biblical history to life in an exciting, but scholarly way, and then fully meets the challenge of making it relevant to the modern reader. He shows that when the law of God is written in our hearts and flowing in our blood, our physical body temple becomes our spiritual temple. Well done!"
— Dr. Bob Hieronimus, author of Founding Fathers, Secret Societies and host of 21st Century Radio
"You will find yourself internalizing the Temple, making it part of who you are and a part of what you do. This is not a book for a specialist or an academic only; it is for all of us who need to reconnect with some of the basic information of our culture. It allows us to reconsider our values in light of that magnificent achievement: a building, a thing of stone, of stairways and corridors, of altars and sacrifices that still holds us in thrall two thousand years after its disappearance from the face of the earth. The Temple lives on, and Wasserman shows us how, and why." — Peter Levenda, author of The Secret Temple: Masons, Mysteries, and the Founding of America
"While the Holy Ground of the Temple Mount has long been mentioned in esoteric literature, for far too long those who would claim to be its modern heirs have ignored and even been hostile to their Abrahamic origins. In the Holy of Holies it is said that God spoke to Israel, in these pages, it may be said that God is speaking to us, making it essential reading for students of the Western esoteric traditions." — Mark Stavish, author of Between the Gates: Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection and the Body of Light in Western Esotericism, and Freemasonry: Rituals, Symbols and History of the Secret Society.