At the heart of symbolism

The columns of the porch of Solomon's temple


The Temple of Solomon

Jakin and Boaz

In many traditions, the Temple plan follows the symbolic representation of a spiritual journey consisting in several stages: a hierarchy between different levels of existence states related to the manifestation world and a non existence state associated with the immutable Principle, which is at the origin of the whole manifestation.

The purpose of this article is precisely to provide an overview of the meaning of the Temple columns in relation to the development of the human being.

The Temple ground topped by a vault may call up a picture of both the Cosmos and the cave and symbolically portrays the cosmic cave. As a cosmic cave, the Temple was restricted only to qualified persons able to be initiated. To reach the Universality from his (her) individuality, the postulant had to discover the centre of the axis bridging Heaven and Earth. Entering through the outer gate or gate of mortals, he died to the profane world and was re-born in the human one to start a new cycle within the cosmic world or cave. Having found his human centre, he left definitively the cave through the inner gate or the gate of the Gods. Dying to the human world, he was re-born within the spiritual world.

The two gates may be related to Summer and Winter solstice sunrise directions. Situated Northeast, Boaz was associated to the descend phase of the sun towards celestial South, the way back to the manifestation world. Located Southeast and related to the sun ascend phase in direction of celestial North, Jakin symbolized the unique way out of the cosmic cave.

Standing as two gate posts, the columns represented the axes characterizing the way the postulant was looking in order to discover the inner light inside the surrounding darkness. Looking alike and differing only by their location, they were certainly associated with the same axis and run in opposite directions. This axis may only be the North-South celestial pole axis or the North-South terrestrial compass point axis, projection on the horizon of the former. Compared to any other axis, the North-South axis is considered as “vertical” and therefore has a central symbolic function. Ascending the axis towards North meant to move definitively out the cosmic cave; descending the axis in direction of South implied to go back to the manifested world or to descend into Hell, here below.

Detailed page