Why Stop At Three? (a Pantheist meditation on the Trinity)

There are boundaries to a personage, but not to a Person.

The former is centered in an atomized place it calls Here, and a razor-thin moment it calls Now –two axes that meet like a cross where the personage is nailed to a point in linear time-space.

The latter is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere.*

You are both. You are the finite part, in hypostatic union with the infinite Whole.

This is important to remember when contemplating the Holy Trinity and its implications.

The three Persons are aspects of the unity that is God. There are no personages in the Trinity. A personage has boundaries, and cannot enter into unity with God by itself; only the boundless Person can form a unity.

Jesus was a personage. Christ is a Person.

If we accept Jesus as the Son of God, then the Son represents the place in the Trinity where one who is both personage and Person can stand in relation to the Father, who is only Person.

The Holy Spirit is the boundless love between Father and Son. It represents what we feel when we replace the sword of division with the love of interbeing– when the Son-Daughter sees the presence of the Father-Mother in all personages.

For Jesus to proclaim “I and the Father are One” is to disclaim the finite boundaries of personage and embrace the love of the Father, in the form of the Holy Spirit. We can clearly see this symbolism in the visitation from the Spirit after Jesus’ baptism.

So what the Trinity represents is the non-dual relationship between the finite and the Infinite, between that which is bound to linear time-space and that which is Eternal beyond time-space. While Jesus lived, it is said, He was fully human and fully God, a mystery until you see how non-dual thought makes them compatible: the finite human personage lived within the infinite Divine Person, which together we call the Son.

Three is the “magic number” that recognizes the distinction that makes the Father-Som relationship possible (“not one”) but also breaks down the duality that appears to destroy the unity inherent in the relationship (“not two”). The Holy Spirit represents the love that keeps the dual nature of the Son connected with the non-dual nature of the Father, and all together they are One as God. Three-in-one, One-in-three.

Still, I’ve always wondered: Why stop at three? Why let the impression persist that Jesus was the only personage in natural history with this relationship to the Eternal? Shouldn’t we be talking of the Trinity as a union involving innumerable Sons and Daughters of God?

But it occurred to me today that this is the supreme wisdom of the myth of substitutionary atonement– the idea that Christ died on the cross as an atoning payment for the sins of humankind, and that me accepting him as a personal Saviour means recognizing that He did this for my personage.

For what is the sin that causes our death, if not the belief that we are only a personage moving through time-space, with no essential connection to a Person who is motionless and Eternal?

So the personage of Jesus is born (and right there we should be tipped off by the immaculate union of matter-Mother and spirit-Father); He dies upon the cross of linear time-space, sacrificing His personage so that He could represent the Person common to us all; and in the resurrection and ascension of Christ the Person, we then see vindication of Life as a timeless cycle, and death as an event within it that claims the personage but has no sting to the Person. What dies here and now arises then and there, and it is a different personage but the same Person

And now it’s your turn, Christian. Are you ready to die on the cross in the sin of your isolated personage? Or will you accept that this is unnecessary because you are already the Son-Daughter of God, and Christ already lives within you?

Wise choice 🙂

So the three Persons are all that are needed to complete the relationship, because the Son-Daughter represents all of us, both individually and corporately. As my previous essay on love as our next layer of consciousness insinuated, to accept the “gift” of salvation is not to have your personage preserved in some spiritual cryogenic fluid– it is to realize that your finite personage exists within a whole Person –the Self of the universe, aka the Divine One, or God– and you are both,

*Lifted straight from the famous words of the Greek philosopher Empedocles (495-444 BCE): “The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.”

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