I was looking at this picture of the Salt Lake Temple the other day and had a thought. Typically, the “all-seeing eye” of God is depicted within a triangle and not an oval. This version also has a veil-like curtain that looks like it is being removed from the eye.
That’s when I wondered if this is isn’t depicting God’s eye at all, but man’s. God would not need to have a veil removed from his eyes. Does he even perceive us through a veil or it is just that our vision is obscured by one? I think it’s the latter of the two.
I think this symbol is depicting an experience that the temple has been constructed to facilitate.
There’s the matter of these 28 sun-like rays emanating from the oval that I’d like to address next.
I saw two sets of a 28-pointed star in the celestial room of a particular temple one evening a few years ago. No joke, the very next morning I was reading A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe by Michael S. Schneider and saw this 28-pointed star made up of 4 overlapping 7-pointed stars that looked exactly like the one in the temple, minus the 12 circles:
Here’s the commentary from the book that goes along with this graphic:
The math and myth of seven, the Heptad, are intimately related to those of twelve, the Dodekad. Both have in common the interplay of Triad and Tetrad, triangle and square. That is, 3 + 4 = 7 while 3 x 4 = 12. These simple equations may not seem like much, but they are responsible for myriad cosmic structures and relationships. We saw how the twelve-part geometry of the squared circle (chapter six) with twelve moons around a thirteenth at the center holds the canon for the structure-function-order of a settled society. Within it are heptagram stars representing a different kind of structure-function-order, that of the wandering, nomadic life. While twelve has relations with all numbers withing the Decad, seven has none. Seven is the hidden, unborn, eternally elusive side of twelve. (p.233)
In the temple I visited, I noticed that on top of the 28-pointed star motif, 4 additional star-like elements formed in a smaller square right there on the main star. They were very subtle and I hadn’t noticed them until I looked closer. This intentional pointing to 4 led me to deconstruct the 28-pointed star by 4 and get a set of sevens.
7 is a mystery number, it is associated with light, music and other things we experience but can never really touch, things seem to hover between worlds. This reminds me of the veil and that which is hidden. The English word mystery is derived from a Greek word, musterion, which means:
generally mysteries, religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals
a hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the understanding
The plot thickens, isn’t this kind of cool to explore? I just love it. So in that temple I see a 28-pointed star and the number 4. Now look closer at that first image of the eye, note the 4 arches below it; again we have 28 and 4. The number 4 is connected to themes that include the earth, mortality, matter and temporal existence.
This is another reason why I think the eye depicted here is the eye of a mortal piercing the veil rather than God looking at us through the veil. The eye within a triangle or 3 is God’s all-seeing eye, a nod to his omniscience while an eye associated with 4 and a parting veil could very well be man’s eye being initiated into the mysteries of God.
“And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting. Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him.” (Ether 3:19-20)
“Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people.” (Ether 4:15-16)
I wonder if the more modern temple I saw the 28/4 motif in was inspired by this very motif on the Salt Lake Temple.
Maybe the 28 points to the star are purely coincidental or perhaps they pertain to something else. It doesn’t matter much, these are not puzzles to be solved, but paths to pondering.