I believe that the temple structure of vicarious work is meant in part to pay homage to the dead (to recognize and honor every child of God, no matter their worldly significance) and to keep us connected to our ancestors and all of humanity in a way that prevents us from adopting a social evolutionist’s natural arrogance. ("Each succeeding generation is better and smarter than the last.") I also believe that the temple is our own version of the Buddhist shrines in individual houses - our own way to include our ancestors in the greatest blessings of our lives. There we worship among the spirits of our kindred dead.
We visit the graves where their physical bodies were buried, but we also visit a place where we believe their living spirits can see us and attend us and sometimes communicate with us. It is our way of saying, “We have not forgotten you, and we will not let go." I have not experienced open communication often, but I have experienced it on occasion - and there is nothing more sublime and intimate.
Edith Russell: Associate Editor
7 hours ago