Why the notion of ‘trinity’ is so pervasive
Those who subscribe to the ‘dialectic’ approach maintain that the universe operates through a process whereby ‘opposite’ forces, usually characterised as ‘thesis’ and ‘antithesis’, clash to produce a synthesis. This new, synthesised entity then supposedly interacts with its own ‘opposite’ to produce a new synthesis.
There are fundamental problems with this formulation. One of the difficulties relates to what it means for things to be ‘opposite’ to each other. Positive/negative, light/dark, present/absent, continuous/discontinuous are obvious opposites but the term is used very loosely in everyday speech. When we speak of ‘the opposite sex’, for example, we surely do not mean to imply that females and males are as diametrically different as are light and dark. Women and men have considerably more in common than they have in difference.
A further conundrum is that if true opposites are introduced to each other it is rarely, or maybe never, the case that a synthesis results. When light meets dark, light usually prevails. When positive meets negative there is either a reduction in the potency of the dominant force or, if the opposing energies are equal in magnitude, a state of neutrality results. Neither of these fits easily with the idea of synthesis. It seems reasonable to conclude that the ideas of ‘opposites’ and ‘synthesis’ are actually incompatible. A synthesis requires two or more factors to fuse together rather than for elements to do battle with each other as opposites must.
Alphomism holds that opposites are necessary, for without them there could be no meaning, but this vital duality should not be seen as a paradigm for the development of the universe. The opposites are created in the Big Bang but much more more fundamental than light/dark and so forth are space and energy. These are not opposite to each other but rather ‘complementary’.
This might still suggest a duality, but the operation of energy in space following the explosion produces a third fundamental entity; time. It is, Alphomism suggests, the space/energy/time trinity which forms the template. This is replicated in many ways but perhaps most vividly in the biological arena. The ‘complementary’ female and male interact and the offspring ‘emerge’ in a very literal sense.
Given the Alphomist belief that early thinkers plundered the profound inner store of knowledge, it is not surprising that ‘threeness’ is dominant in the thoughts of the originators of religions. Zoroastrianism, for example, whilst acknowledging the ‘opposite’ twins of good and evil, depicts them as being born out of time. Taoism also proposes opposites, yin and yang, but sees these two as emerging from the unity of Tao. In this formulation it is claimed that unity produces duality and duality produces trinity. There are many other religious trinities. For example, the Shinto parable depicts the world as coming into being through the copulation of two deities, Buddhism advances the ‘three bodies’ doctrine, Hinduism has the creator, destroyer and preserver gods whilst the Christian tradition has the Holy Spirit ‘emerging’ from the Father and the Son.
The threeness of things pervades throughout. In order to identify a point in space we need three dimensions, to understand energy we utilise the notions of positive, negative and neutral. Time has the Present as the ephemeral ‘emergent’ of the Past and the Future.
It is also doubtless significant that science is replete with ‘threeness’. Solid, liquid and gas are the fundamental divisions of the state of matter. There are three basic laws of thermodynamics. In the study of the behaviour of gases, volume, pressure and temperature are linked by simple laws whilst in the realm of electricity, neat equations link power, current and voltage and also current, voltage and resistance. There are three primary colours and three elemental entities elegantly linked by Einstein’s equation. In the sphere of psychology it makes good sense to speak of the physical, emotional and intellectual aspects of human experience. In economics there are bonds between labour, materials and product and between supply, demand and price. Even in the grammar books, verbs are divided into words of being, doing and having.
The three ultimate entities, space energy and time, provide us also with models of relationships. ‘Time’s arrow’ represents linearity, the positive and negative of energy is the paradigm of opposition whilst the three dimensions of space demonstrate the concept of interdependence. In the description of the development of the universe we need all of these concepts of mutuality, conflict and linearity.
Further, the concepts of space energy and time provide other crucial notions. The three dimensions needed to pinpoint a place in space are all the same, none has priority, they represent equality. Energy, very potently, supplies the idea of difference but it is time which offers, through the subtle relationship between past, present and future, the most interesting template, that of relativity.
Science, in recent times, has demonstrated the ‘relative’ nature of the universe. It would seem that ‘absolutes’ do not exist in the temporal phase of the universal process. The scientific shift in perspective introduced by the concept of relativity is important in metaphysics. Questions which seem as though they should have absolute answers, such as ‘What exists?’ or ‘What is the relationship between mind and body?’ are arguably best dealt with in relative terms. A brief explication is as follows.
If we take as an axiom that the only absolutes are space, energy and time, then it is possible, though admittedly at first difficult, to think of ‘reality’ as neither purely physical, nor as purely mental but as the ‘emergent’ between these two. What exists is energy and, because everything else is relative, we cannot opt for either the objective or the subjective accounts of reality. What should determine our beliefs is the viability of any given theory. To explain the behaviour of light, for example, we have to think of it as both waveform and discontinuous. In the matter of reality, sometimes it pays to think of it as substantial and sometimes as nonsubstantial. The temptation to continue the search for an absolute answer is still powerful, because until recently all of scientific progress has taught us to expect hard results, but such hard results are always relevant only to limited circumstances. Newton’s laws are extremely useful, but they do not tell the full story. At the limits of thought, which is the territory of metaphysics, relativism must apply.
There is very much more to be said about the trinitist nature of thought but in the interests of brevity the final focus here is on perhaps the most important residual consideration; logic. Aristotle’s three laws can perhaps be expressed as follows.
If we wish to think logically we must a) identify what we are talking about, b) avoid contradiction and c) avoid equivocation. ‘Identification’ is associated with space and dimensions, ‘contradiction’ is allied with the opposites of energy whilst ‘equivocation’ is associated with time (one view one moment, another the next). In Alphoma, all identification is self-identification so there can be no mistakes in this respect, energy is continuous, so there can be no contradiction and there is no real time, therefore no equivocation. Alphoma is the ultimate logical entity and the rules of logic, allied with the empirical processes of science and the data produced by introspection, lead us relentlessly to that perfect state.