In any case, it's obvious tonight this isn't SHOCK AND AWE, which brings me to the Library of Congress. Years ago ago I was standing in the LoC, looking up at the glorious ceiling, and I saw a curious phrase painted above:Reading this, I wondered what the quote meant -- was this some kind of Jeffersonian neutering of God -- some kind of secular humanistic exulatation of man? It turns out the quote is from John Chrysostom [I'm still trying to pin down the source, which is why this is a first cut.] Some of Chrysostom's works
The true shekinah is man.
That quote stuck in my mind, because I had no idea what it meant. Later I looked it up.
A visible manifestation of the divine presence as described in Jewish theology.
Sound it out.
Moreover, doing some quick researching on the web, I see Thomas Carlyle commented on this in Heroes And Hero Worship:
But now if all things whatsoever that we look upon are emblems to us of the Highest God, I add that more so than any of them is man such an emblem. You have heard of St. Chrysostom's celebrated saying in reference to the Shekinah, or Ark of Testimony, visible Revelation of God, among the Hebrews: "The true Shekinah is Man!" Yes, it is even so: this is no vain phrase; it is veritably so. The essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself "I,"--ah, what words have we for such things?--is a breath of Heaven; the Highest Being reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for that Unnamed? "There is but one Temple in the Universe," says the devout Novalis, "and that is the Body of Man. Nothing is holier shall that high form. Bending before men is a reverence done to this Revelation in the Flesh. We touch Heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!" This sounds much like a mere flourish of rhetoric; but it is not so. If well meditated, it will turn out to be a scientific fact; the expression, in such words as can be had, of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles,--the great inscrutable mystery of God. We cannot understand it, we know not how to speak of it; but we may feel and know, if we like, that it is verily so.
More. Still looking. Any ideas?