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  • What is a Daheshist Temple?

    As I find myself slowly (and hopefully surely) inching my way towards the completion of the first (major) round of the Daheshist Symbol movies, I think I am ready to pour out some concrete thoughts that have aggregated in my mind about what the foundation of a Daheshist Temple is in the final analysis.

    First and foremost, it is important to remember that every being (and that includes the Daheshist) has a direct connection with his or her Creator and that no priest (whose tenure is temporary) can fulfill that role. The direct consequence of this inalienable right is that Daheshists can pray just about anywhere provided that they do not infringe on the rights of others. In other words, a Daheshist can write, fold, and offer the Holy Daheshist Symbol while at a highway stop.

    I've seen Daheshists (including myself) write and burn their prayers in a relatively secluded corner of the Mission House kitchen, while other people were present. I never saw anyone in the kitchen drop everything and leave, nor bow their head in silence. On the other hand, this was the Mission House kitchen, therefore once can be fairly sure a certain level of decorum imbibed this and every over part of the house.

    When I listen to the Doctor tell his real-life stories before a small gathering of Daheshists right in that kitchen, I am brought back in a flash to some special moments that no words can describe.

    And chances are, the simple beauty of these moments will never be replicated exactly — and rightly so because no once can ever replace Doctor Dahesh.

    Nevertheless, we must try and remember that whatever example Doctor Dahesh showed us, it was not mereley something to behold — but to emulate to the best of our abilities.

    What I think all what I just said boils down to is this: The Temple must be designed with "Community" in mind.

    In other words, when I go to the temple, it is because I want to rejoin my community.

    The Temple has to have seating that promotes the idea of open discussion. There needs to be a kitchen. Meals will be served at certain occasions. There certainly needs to be a semblance of a library, where people can access the Doctor's Books and read them. Tables where they can sit and write, and even areas — perhaps chambers — where one can meet with a Daheshist priest and discuss a private matter.

    Also, there was never (ever) an official "Contemplative" space in the Doctor's house.

    You wanted to contemplate? No problem, grab a stack of newspaper clippings and drown yourself in the bliss of archival work.

    In other words, we must bring back the energy of the original Dahesh House where hard work was (really) the path to salvation. The Daheshist Symbol was and still is a mark, beacon, and covenant to every Daheshist. But to contemplate and burn a prayer is only a minute part of why the Daheshist would go to the temple.

    In fact, let's ponder Daheshville: Many Daheshists come here and "contemplate" and have yet to participate or even bear witness!

    How is their silence helping anyone rebuild the Daheshist community when either no participation occurs, or their presence is to merely preach and pontificate — versus engage in a true dialog?


    Contemplating can be done at home, on the range, in the car, on the golf course, in the shower, etc.

    The Temple needs to be a place where issues are raised, issues debated, stories told, recordings heard, movies seen, speeches given, Deaths mourned and births celebrated and unions sealed. But more importantly, it is the place were the Daheshist gives something back.

    Too bad if it cuts into his or her "contemplative" time block...

    Perhaps the layout needs to be organic. The place were the symbol is offered by being burnt need not be a fixed point. And that way, those who want to lament (incessantly) and not do one stitch of work, can do so away from those who just want to do the work.

    Again, this is no commentary on design or style. In fact, in this little essay, I am assuming that I have gone blind and that my eyes can no longer see.

    That being said: what will I hear and feel once inside the Daheshist Temple?

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Daheshville; 11-16-2008, 04:05 PM. Reason: Changes in shown in purple.
    "Fail, to succeed."

  • #2
    I agree with what you have said… especially with what you have said how the origins and development of a Daheshist Temple (or more appropriately as Center or Complex) should ideally follow the precedent of the function and operations of what Dr. Dahesh created around himself when he was here.

    I am not saying that any of these designs are the be all and end all for all applications… there are in fact resultants of exploring various different options in various different locations, based on a variety of different needs and starting points.

    What ultimately happens will depend upon many different social, economic and regional factors.

    The first public Daheshist Temple could in fact be a building that has been converted from one use to another…. A meeting house, an old mill building… even a church or temple of another denomination.

    While I have tried to explore what a Daheshist Temple might look like… the true heart and soul of the Temple will ultimately be the strength and character and integrity of the people that have come together to form it in the name and honor of Dr. Dahesh in first place. In that light, the look of the Temple doesn’t really take on any sort of importance… it is how it functions and operates as a community… that is what truly matters… how its work and actions honor the legacy of Dr. Dahesh.

    The prayers performed here are only as relevant as the honesty and sincerity of those writing them… and yes, life is in the doing…

    I look to the corner of my desk here where there sits a little carved piece of green marble. This crazy space here where I work becomes my little Temple space every day… this little piece of marble is my daily altar…

    As such, I think “Temple” can mean many things… but at its roots I too believe it will be about the community of Daheshism… and being a contributor to the work of Daheshism.

    That being said… the form of what a Daheshist Temple ultimately is and becomes will be in response to the need and function of that that particular region … and since this country is a BIG place… "regional" has a wide spectrum of ramifications from economics, geography, zoning bylaws, climate… and even bias’ and mindsets…

    I do not think in the end there will be a "one size fits all" form or design.

    When the Daheshists get more openly and formally organized… invariably I imagine there will be a ground zero… a mother ship if you will… sort of the overseeing Mission Control (pun intended)… connected to this will be the other various outlying “satellite” temples scattered throughout the country. This Mother ship I would see to be the kind of working environment that you describe. The model of the Mission house is what should be structured here.

    This structure and network of a formally organized Daheshism I trust also follows many of the the rules and tenets of the democratic structure that was the essence of the founding of this country.

    The million dollar question is “which will come first?” Will Daheshism get openly and formally organized from the top down... or the bottom up?

    Will these smaller satellite groups come first as more of a “grass roots” basis before the mother ship ever comes about? I don’t know this answer… but it is one possibility.

    I do not imagine that all these “satellites” will be the same or perform the same work or function…. one may serve a small group of people that gather in a park in Wisconsin, one may serve the community of Tuscan, AZ on a 100 acre complex, one may be a converted mill building in New England, another a converted warehouse in Manhattan, another a small meeting house structure in the Berkshires of Massachusetts… and so on and so on… these are some of the open ended scenarios that I have tried to put pen to paper and take a look at.

    In the end, I know full well that this exercise is a bit like trying to determine what sorts of clothes to pack on a vacation when you haven’t even spun the globe, with your eyes shut, to determine where you are going to go in the first place.

    I too would like a community to go to... and maybe for the next 100 years it is an online one… or an informal one with no central structure… or… or… I just don’t know.

    What I have tried to do, in my own way, is put the pieces together in meaningful, logical ways that can serve a wide range of scenarios in a variety of situations... some big, some small, some grand, some more modest.
    Last edited by Johnson; 11-19-2008, 01:57 PM.

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    • #3
      Mario, I think the key statement you make is this... and I know this is a precedent you have looked to embody regarding the formation of Daheshville as well...

      ...we must try and remember that whatever example Doctor Dahesh showed us, it was not mereley something to behold — but to emulate to the best of our abilities.

      I want to illuminate this again so that it is not in any way lost in the other points you make.

      The community of Daheshism... whenever and however that it openly, formally, structurally and accessibly presents itself... needs to never lose sight of the framework of example that was already structured by Dr. Dahesh himself.

      This has everything to do with how people were treated, to what decorum was appropriate, to the very process of everyone being a part of doing positive, constructive work.

      By the very nature and reality of what and where Daheshism is today, I am ever even more impressed by what it took of Dr. Dahesh to hold this "family" together as only he could... to deal with all the issues that presented themselves and maintain an order and balance... all within the framework of allowing everyone to try rise to their own level capabilities and merits.

      Today, things as I see them are nothing short of fractured, confused, segregated and isolated. Sadly, I don't see anything radically changing in the near future.

      There has been a slow and gradual dissolution of the balance in the order that Dr. Dahesh held together. No one person could ever, ever replicate what he managed with all these individual personalities and egos... and well... "humanness' ".

      As such, this devotion and courage and effort and discipline must come from many... as in two or more... three, five, ten, a hundred... there needs to be this catalyst of sincere willingness amongst many to stop this erosion which is eating out the very core of Daheshism.

      What has to happen is that those that have a "past" together... that damaged history needs to be mended... a truce, a forgiveness a healing... those that harbor anger, resentment, animosity... apologies need to be uttered so that EVERYONE can move on and move forward... all of these emotions, all of these human emotions are a detriment to ALL parties involved... consciously, or subconsciously... whether we like it, admit to it, deal with it, or not.

      Every Daheshist I have ever met that knew Dr. Dahesh was nothing short of strong and passionate in his or her beliefs... they were also generally nothing short of strong and passionate in their personal beliefs of what they felt they needed to do in their lives... as a collective, there was a tremendous amount of energy and momentum... and still a feeling of a degree of unity in the name of their prophet, Dr. Dahesh. This was 1985.

      Today... I am quite sure that everyone has pretty much followed what they felt they needed to do, in the manner that they felt they needed to do it. I do not know which things were done according to Dr. Dahesh's wishes and which things were not.

      What I do know... is that there are a variety of different camps, alliances, groups, allegiances... whatever you wish to call them... scattered in various corners of the world today. There is some communication between certain groups... while other groups do not talk at all... there is animosity, hearsay and sometimes... just plain mean lies being tossed about.

      Ultimately... this has all led to the fracturing of the community of this thing we refer to as Daheshism... that we all claim to believe in... yet we are all divided by the very human ways that Dr. Dahesh was able to somehow unite together when he was here... and now that he is gone... all those human ways have somehow taken us over and created vast divides between us.

      This is the singular obstacle and test amongst ourselves that the Daheshist community must face in order to truly BE a Daheshist Community.

      I do not know what it will take in order for this change of heart and change of emotion to occur. If I may be so bold as to speak for my brothers and sisters here in Daheshville... I can only openly offer again what has been an open and standing offer by everyone here...

      Please, look beyond what has pained you, isolated you, made you angry, annoyed you, hurt you, saddened you, let you down or even seemingly betrayed you... we all know, deep, deep down in the recesses of our hearts that all these perceptions that we each have of one another... did not come about by bad people in the community that we ultimately do share.

      There have been misunderstandings, egos, hurt feelings and even just general annoyances that have been allowed to fester over too long a period of time... issues that could be dealt with that would once and for all readily clear the air... whether this is in the act of a single, simple, private apology, or even just a simple re-acknowledgement that we as a collective are comprised of people that at one time we openly loved and cared about.

      God help us all to find some sort of peace amongst ourselves in this world that is left before us...
      Last edited by Johnson; 11-19-2008, 08:01 PM.

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      • #4
        First Visual Contact...

        After years of pondering the problem, I came up with this first conceptual design(and by the way, lest my Daheshville sketch be misunderstood: in my mind, the domed structure with the eternal flame is not a temple; rather, a memorial). The temple, on the other hand, well, I imagine it to be a structure that pushes the aesthetic and technological limits of which humanity is capable. It should be abstract and open to individual interpretation.

        My two cents.



        "Fail, to succeed."

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        • #5
          Just One Person's Opinion

          Personally, I have always been attracted to the colors and the hues that you've used. As a building I don't think it would work, but..... But as a sculpture and as a memorial it would be fantastic. Another thought though, my favorites have seldom been mainstream. I do find the outline and shape appealing.

          If it were something to set upon a desk, shelf or table, crystal would be a nifty. If clear crystal, it should refract and bend the light to give a larger glow. To get the greens and blues into it, I haven't a clue. I guess it could be hand painted.

          The columns to the left side and behind could be candles, with a larger flame on the sculpture center.

          I wonder what material would be used as a mold? Clay? As a prototype, plastic resins could be used to get an idea of how it would appear.

          Maybe, this might lead to additional ideas as to how a larger structure could made.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, Ron. Just for clarification, the color of the material wouldn't be green. Well, maybe it would... but since this is meant to be as nebulous (read "open to interpretation") as as can be (as far as visual representations are concerned) the color could have easily been shades of gray. I was mainly going after a dreamlike effect.

            Now, in terms of whether or not it would actually work (as a building), I have to be candid here and say that I don't know either. To me, it's a journey. I'm certainly influenced by the majestic walls of light I saw in the cathedrals I visited in France. There's also the influence of seeing contemporary tensile/steel/reinforced concrete structures.

            There's all that...

            As a point of reference, let me show this sketch by Le Corbusier


            I don't know about you, but seen at face value, this is arguably nothing but chicken scratches.

            Today, of course, we know it as the Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France, 1950 - 1955.

            In any case, if, at the very least, you like the shape appealing, that's a great start. I'll work on other views.





            Originally posted by Loup Solitaire View Post
            Personally, I have always been attracted to the colors and the hues that you've used. As a building I don't think it would work, but..... But as a sculpture and as a memorial it would be fantastic. Another thought though, my favorites have seldom been mainstream. I do find the outline and shape appealing.

            If it were something to set upon a desk, shelf or table, crystal would be a nifty. If clear crystal, it should refract and bend the light to give a larger glow. To get the greens and blues into it, I haven't a clue. I guess it could be hand painted.

            The columns to the left side and behind could be candles, with a larger flame on the sculpture center.

            I wonder what material would be used as a mold? Clay? As a prototype, plastic resins could be used to get an idea of how it would appear.

            Maybe, this might lead to additional ideas as to how a larger structure could made.
            "Fail, to succeed."

            Comment


            • #7
              Very interesting. I guess I lack the vision necessary to be an architect. The most interesting buildings have unique shape and detail. I've always found old churches interesting to view because of ornate steeples and steep roofs.

              There are green granites and marbles.

              Part of your structure looks similiar to the construction of a teepee. Certainly that is sound.

              When I first looked at it, I wasn't thinking in the scale you intended.

              One of the things that threw me was the size of the flame. I didn't perceive that a flame that size could be maintained in large scale. However, a lite glass structure at the top might give the illusion of being a flame, especially at night. Glass that refracts and distorts light could give it a flame like quality. Many beams of light could give the top a diamond or flame like quality.

              I think it was the movie, The Wizard of Oz, where a skyline of the emerald city was used. After many, many years, that image stays with me. But somehow, I remembered it as a single building such as this

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              • #8
                Personally, I can't comment on the issue of vision because if there's ever a vision inside me, I certainly wouldn't see it coming. I usually have to collide with it, and if I'm not quick enough, I might lose it forever.

                So, to me, when I stare into a blank page, it is definitely blank. I don't have this knack of closing my eyes, then subsequently drawing up the solution as if it were the golden egg.

                For me, it has to be a process, such as this discussion we're having. I wish all the Daheshists of the world would engage together, somewhere...but I digress. Anyway, being an architect is all about processing the input. On that front, you mentioned the tipi. See now, I had not consciously thought about that (even though, this would involve a lot of tensile structures, including trusses, glass, and concrete). Maybe subconsciously, but certainly not on purpose. But, when you visualized the tipi, it got me thinking about what the mythological undertones of a Daheshist temple might be. And, lest we forget, there is the outer-worldly component: namely the alien visitors.

                On a practical note: yeah, that flame is the Achilles heal. I don't know whether it would be a flame, or some sort of light show (hey, how about a holographic projection?)...

                By the way, this is one building (http://www.30stmaryaxe.com/) worth studying.
                Last edited by Mario; 10-09-2013, 11:33 PM. Reason: I updated the link so that less-than-khosher results, due to potential computers viruses, could be avoided.
                "Fail, to succeed."

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                • #9
                  At first I chuckled....

                  I have a suspicion, (strange, the spelling of this word seems so wrong) that many creative people never have a complete picture of the idea they are trying to formulate until the vision evolves through a series of steps I can't define. But the starting point is a long way from the completed process.

                  Funny thing. I've caught a computer virus and your link did not take me to the intended URL. But I assume the building was a skyscraper in London's main financial district.. I think it has been referred to as "the Gherkin": http://www.30stmaryaxe.com/?

                  Wonderful images can be created with glass!

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                  • #10
                    Computer virus. Nice. I updated the link so that less-than-khosher results, due to potential computers viruses, could be avoided.
                    "Fail, to succeed."

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                    • #11
                      My heart and prayers are with you all. We hope that Daheshist all around the world may gather together, share the word and pray in a Daheshist temple, where they could practice their freedom in preaching, teaching and doing everything that pleases God in all righteousness. walking as people of grace before the shining everlasting light of the word of Daheshism.
                      Yes its a very great pity, and a severe heart tearing emotion to see people believe in the word and then turn away, because of lack of sharing God's word.
                      May God strengthen them and us to fulfill God's mission in Dr. Dahesh. Amen.

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