Tue 6 Dec 2011
Posted by Andrew Rooke under Theosophical Lectures
From the ancient times until now, we can see the images and signs of trinities in the artefacts of almost every religion and spiritual teaching. To mention just some of them: the three columns of the “Tree of Life” in the Qabalah, the three angels on the icons of the Russian icon -painter Rublev reflecting the Christian teaching on Divine Trinity, the sign of Triunity (three dots in a circle) which can be found in different parts of the world, and especially often in the Tibet and Himalayan enclave where it is understood as the sign of Shambhala. The circle around the dots is then the symbol of the Mother of the World embracing the universe.
In 1939, the famous spiritual traveller and painter Nicholas Roerich published an article The Banner of the World, where he describes some interpretations of the meaning of this sign of triunity and says that “the sign of triunity appeared to spread all over the world”: in India and Tibet, in the Sky Temple of China, and also in the images of Jesus Christ and Madonna in Europe, on the shields of the Crusaders and armorial bearings of the Templers, and in the paintings of the artists of Spain and Italy. Even in the depth of Neolithic times, we can find it in the ornamentation of pottery. Roerich states that it is probably the most widely spread and often found symbol of all times.
What does it mean and is it just a coincidence or rather a sign of a law, a mechanism that is acting in the universe? H.P.Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine reveals the very cause of existence – the desire for a sentient life – that “shows itself in everything, from an atom to a sun, and is the reflection of the Divine Thought propelled into objective existence, into a law that the Universe should exist.” (v.1, p.44). And what is the role of the trinity in the universe’s existence?
H.P.Blavatsky mentions in Isis Unveiled (v.2, p.39) the three trinities that “emanate and are confounded” in the “Being existing through and of itself “: the initial, manifested and creative triads. In the Secret Doctrine (v.1, p.278), the initial triad is defined as only “ever existing” and the most metaphysical one. Qabalah also vaguely mentions the initial trinity as “veils” beyond human comprehension while naming its components: “ Ein” (the Nonexistent or Hidden), “Ein Sof “(the Hidden Unlimited) and “Ein Sof Aur” (the Hidden Unlimited Light).
The second Blavatsky’s triad – the “manifested” trinity Of Agni, Vayu and Sourya - can be understood as the “reducing transformer” transforming the highest vibrations of the multi-dimensional Fiery World (Agni) into the vibrations of the less-dimensional Sun (Sourya) that becomes the source of life for the manifested Solar system.
The third Blavatsky’s triad – the creative one - is made of Brahma-Creator, Vishnu-Protector and Siva-Destroyer. Their creative process is complete when it includes the functions of creation of the world, development (destruction of everything obsolete and formation of new life) and protection of the new offspring of life till its maturation.
Another aspect of creation is reflected in Qabalah, where after the initial trinity of “veils” covering the most mystical concepts of the teaching, the next one is the trinity of Keter, Hokmah and Binah. In her book The Mystical Qabalah, one of the most respected experts on Qabalah Dion Fortune is referring to Blavatsky’s idea about the impossibility of manifestation without the division of the One into the Pairs of Opposites creating trinities. So, as Keter is ”the Crown”, the highest level of consciousness, it divides into Hokmah, which represents “the Highest Father” – the masculine principle, and Binah – “the Highest Mother” – the feminine principle.
The Secret Doctrine meanwhile depicts the process of manifestation till human beings as “The One (Deity) becomes Two (Deva or Angel) and Two becomes Three (or man)” (v.1, p.206). These essences represent three forms of the United World: the Fiery World of the One, the Fine World of the Devas and the Solid World of humans. We can say also that in the human being the physical body belongs to the Solid World, the Soul to the Fine World, and the Spirit to the Fiery World.
The Trinity that descends from the Spirit to the human Soul is called in Christianity “the Father”, “the Son” and “the Holy Ghost”. Another version of this Trinity is “the Father”, “the Son and “the Mother”. The process of manifestation can be explained through this Trinity, where we understand “the Father” as the creating Spirit, “the Son” as Logos, or Christ Consciousness (see Isis Unveiled,v.2, p.41), and “the Holy Ghost”, or “the Mother”, as the divine energy (love) flow (Shakti).
Logos, as Christ Consciousness, corresponds to the level of consciousness where we are united. This level of consciousness descends to the level of Monads where the differentiation to the individual Souls is occurring. The conforming Trinity is: Spirit, the Logos, or the Christ Consciousness (the Mediator), and the Monad with its Body – the Soul (spiritual body, energy body).
H.P.Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine is writing that the human body appeared initially as a “luminous incorporeal form” (see v.2, p.112) and it gradually became dressed up in its physical material. Kalagia – the book of spiritual knowledge channelled in 1992-1993 in the mountains of Altai in Russia – also tells us that Spirit is creating worlds by Fire and Light, and these worlds initially appear as holograms of Light. The physics of hologram creation requires three beams: a reference beam, a working beam and a revealing the hologram observer’s beam (see Stalking the Wild Pendulum by Itzhak Bentov).
When Spirit is creating holograms with Fire and Light, It is the Source of the reference beam, and also of the working beam. And when It is observing Its creation with Its revealing beam, the hologram comes to existence in the Spirit’s Memory (as it is said in Kalagia). And we also can see these materialised holograms when we are functioning as observers.
We see now that trinities are playing the role of creation mechanisms – engines which propel the endless stream of Life into existence (see more of explanation in our book The Laws of Life).
Applying the terms of Kalagia, we call the three components of a Trinity: “the Seeker”, “the Search” (the process and its tools) and “the Sought for”. Kalagia gives us an idea about the initial Trinitarian mechanism that puts into action the primeval world of Spirit:”Spirit is the Seeker; Fire is for the Highest the Sought for; and motion from them and in them is the Search. Their collaboration one in another is their co-Search, and Matter is the Sign of the symbolic image of the Product of co-Search. We are yet unaware of the Product of Co-Search, though we call it Beauty” (1.15.2).
Until now, we described the trinities of Involution (manifestation, materialisation), where the higher Consciousness expresses Itself through the world of Matter. The opposite to Involution process of Evolution (spiritualisation) can be described through the Trinity where personality, acting in the illusion of the material world (Maya), is “the Seeker”, unification with the spiritual Essence is “the Sought for”, and “transmutation” as the method of Evolution, or connection between the personality and the spiritual Essence, is “the Search”. “Transmutation” is kind of removal of the obsolete order or quality or knowledge in order to establish a new one. The old material is not rejected completely, but put into new action in the process of Evolution. “The Search”, in this case, leads to higher levels of energy, knowledge, and to new spiritual possibilities.
On the spiritual Path as on the way of transmutation, it happens every time when we make a right choice from the standpoint of spirituality. “Thus gradually a man acquires the Product of Co-Search and simultaneously makes finer the Matter of his flesh, and correspondingly the Matter of the whole World, in the direction of the highest Spirituality, which is Beauty. Thus illusion gradually disappears and is discontinued in the Spirit’s Memory. Beauty rejoices as the real necessity for the World.” (Kalagia, 1.15.3).
Kalagia tells us that the earthly man is “the Search” for the Man of the Fiery Infinity (“the Seeker”). Thus, the earthly man, his life experiences, his actions and his lessons are the process of “Search” (the instrument of his spiritual Essence) in the Trinity where “the Sought for” is newly produced Understanding (Order produced from Chaos). The spiritual Essence expresses and understands itself through the person, and the person learns to recognise his or her real Self through the spiritual Essence.
We can see a representation of this mechanism in the Law of Karma. If there were only two parts of this universal law – the Cause and Effect – present, then the process would be repeated again and again, with no real development. The real progress for a person comes only with a Trinity. In the case of the Law of Karma, it is the Trinity of the Cause, the Effect, and the Lesson. If the lesson is understood and learnt, then the relating karma is balanced and real progress is made on the spiritual Path.
Another example of a Trinity as a spiritual Path is represented in theosophy by the Trigunas – human properties: Rajas, Tamas and Sattwa. Our Search for balancing karma is usually connected with the search for the wisdom of balance, Sattwa. So, Sattwa is our “Sought for”. Then, if we are more of Rajas – a person of movement and action – our Rajas is “the Seeker”, and Tamas becomes our “Search” – we try to constantly silence ourselves, to better listen, to be patient, to learn a bit of inaction even in our actions. In the opposite case, if we are more of Tamas – we would rather protect our inaction and ignorance than make a step forward – then our Tamas is “the Seeker” and Rajas can become our “Search” – our spiritual Path.
If we really wish to come to Beauty in all we think and do, we should constantly search for balanced, Sattwic, solutions. The book Saint Germain on Alchemy: Formulas for Self-Transformation by M.and E. Prophet suggests as a basis for this purpose the Trinity of Power, Wisdom and Love. Connecting with the definitions of Kalagia, we receive: Power – “the Seeker”, Wisdom – “the Search” and Love – “the Sought for”, though there can be exchange of their functions. For example, Love can seek for Power to express itself applying Wisdom as its Search. In any case, if there is harmony in the trinity, the product of Co-Search is Beauty in conformity with the formula:
HARMONY (LOVE + WISDOM+POWER) = BEAUTY
We have a diversity of examples of Beauty in Nature. This Beauty that has been produced by the creating Spirit is constantly inspiring people to co-create Beauty with Spirit at every moment of their lives. At any stage of development, only Harmony of Love, Wisdom and Power results in Beauty, and only Beauty proves Harmony.
When we produce Beauty and raise our level of Love and Wisdom, we receive more Power to preserve Harmony on a higher level of development. We have always enough Power to create Beauty, if we seek for Love and apply Wisdom, if we understand the purpose of our life as service and fulfilment of our spiritual duties.
It is very tempting to look for Power to secure our future. If we desire to possess more Power (money, recognition, position, etc.), then we begin to search for Power and eventually to serve to Power. In this case, we often break Harmony because our Power ceases to conform to our Love and Wisdom. The search for Power is endless because the Source of Power is infinite. In the lifetime of the people and their associations, communities and countries, they are able to build up structures of huge Power out of weapons, money, and power over others. Then they think that this Power secures their life. But this is only illusion of security if the “structure” is not balanced by Love and Wisdom. The examples of the fall of Roman Empire, Fascist Germany and later the USSR show us that such an unbalanced structure will inevitably collapse.
When looking at ourselves, we can see that our love is often mixed up with sexual desire and desire for possession, wisdom is transformed into practicality, and power is gratifying the desires of human Ego – the Lower Self. All these human properties are subject to transmutation by the Trinity of Love, Wisdom and Power as an ever-changing process. Love eventually becomes unconditional, wisdom is widening consciousness till it reaches unity with the divine one, and human power purifies itself from the personal willpower until it becomes transformed into the Power of the pure divine Will.
We have discussed different aspects of the Trinity as the mechanism of creation and evolution. As about who or what is the source of energy for the acting trinity, see a couple of quotations: “Where two or three are assembled in My name; there I Am between them.” (Mattew 18:20) from the New Testament. And from Kalagia: “When Three come together in My Name, Realising by Themselves the Unity of Essences with Love and Joy in the OUM of the Beauty of Existence, there I Am between them – the Absolute Essence of the Creator and Creation.” (3.9.1).
As it happened, when manifested in the material world, we fell out of the unity with All That Is and in many aspects were separated into the pairs of opposites, which were and are until now opposing each other, seeing only their own points, arguing and fighting. Trinity and Tri-unity is the Path of unification, of connecting with God I Am in us, or, as theosophy states, the way to Universal Brotherhood.
Blavatsky, H.P., The Secret Doctrine. Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1977.
Blavatsky, H.P., Isis Unveiled. Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1988.
Bentov, Itzhak, Stalking the Wild Pendulum, Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1988.
Fortune, Dion, The Mystical Qabalah, New York: Alta Gaia Books.
Naumkin A., Kalagia (published in Russian). Kaunas: Gyvata, 1998.
Purucker, G. De, Occult Glossary. Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1973.
Riaikkenen, R.&M., The Laws of Life. Victoria, Canada: Trafford Publishing, 2004.
Nicholas Roerich, The Banner of the World, 1939.
Saint Germain on Alchemy: Formulas for Self-Transformation (recorded by E.&M. Prophet). Livingston: Summit University Press, 1988.
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