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To contemplate is, literally, to watch and inspect the Temple. The augur, or prophet, among the Romans, having taken his stand on the Capitoline Hill, marked out with his wand the space in the heavens he intended to consult. This space he called the templum, the Latin word for a designated or marked-off area. Having divided his templum into two parts from top to bottom, he watched to see what would occur. The watching of the templum was called contemplating; and hence those who devoted themselves to meditation upon sacred subjects assumed this title. Thus, among the Jews, the Essenes and the Therapeutists, and, among the Greeks, the school of Pythagoras, were contemplative sects. Among the Freemasons, the word speculative is used as equivalent to contemplative (see Speculative Freemasonry).

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