What’s up with the number 3? Why does it capture our imaginations? And why does it play such a dominant role in mystical literature?
Religious articles of faith are usually watered-down explanations of esoteric teachings—the Mysteries. The reason they are called mysteries is that no one understands what they mean. The Holy Trinity is such a mystery. So, let’s see if we can break it down into its elements and see it from a different angle.
The word “holy,” taken out of its religious context, means absolute, universal, and fundamental. Another word, for example, that is “holy” is the word “vibration.” It too is absolute, universal, and fundamental. So when we say “Holy Trinity,” we are addressing a fundamental aspect of reality, which has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, except that religion is one of the institutions that has attempted to articulate it.
The word “Trinity” is easy. It simply means the number 3. What? Okay, more specifically, it means “three-ness.” Now, don’t let your head start reeling because of the “-ness” tagged onto the “three.” This is not meant to confuse you, and it is especially not meant to mystify anything. But when you see how three-ness permeates every aspect of reality, you will wonder how you could miss something so obvious.
Let’s start with you.
Each of us is confronted with three seemingly separate realities:
- Taken together, they comprise our experience. Now, we know that they aren’t really separate. The world “out there” actually exists as a product of the way our senses interpret the vibrations that reach them. Our eyes don’t see a thing—they simply convey information to the visual cortex of our brain, which uses it to construct an image. The “me” part of us is usually thought of as a composite made up of the stored images and the ideas we have about them. But, for this conversation we are simply going to regard it as a point of awareness. This is what some spiritual writers refer to as the “I.” The I is different from the ego in that it is pure awareness. The ego, we can say, is the content or the stored images and ideas that we take personally. The deeper part of us is the unknown—a realm of possibilities and strange forces. We can feel it, but we can’t see it. We can observe its effects in our lives, but we can’t always see the cause and effect relationships.
- the world out there
- the entity we call “me”
- and the deeper part of us for which we have no name.
This is a brief summary of us, one that anyone can relate to. And it is our own personal Holy Trinity.
Sure, there are other ways to look at the Holy Trinity—Beings too vast to comprehend; the great creative law of the universe; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But these are too mental. Let’s bring it closer to home and let the theologians and metaphysicians argue about the rest.
Energy is constantly moving through these three aspects of ourselves, aspects that only seem to be separate but are actually three aspects of one thing. This is why the equilateral triangle has always been used to describe the Trinity—three essential components equal to each other. Take away any one of them and the triangle disappears.
Understanding how our thoughts affect the world we see and how the world we see affects our thoughts enables us to understand everything. Add to that the deeper part of ourselves, the unknown, and the entire mystery is revealed. But as Buddha said, “This cannot be taught.” And even Jesus said, “I am the way,” which we can take to mean, “I am how you get there, not the destination itself.” The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon—once the ferryboat reaches the farther shore, it is no longer needed.
Becoming aware of these three seemingly separate aspects of YOU and sensing the energy that passes among them will lead you into a greater experience of God’s reality, the God in Whom you live, move, and have your being.