The Strangeness of 3 kiwiconnexion practical theology
Hi – I’m David Bell for kiwiconnexion.
The strangeness of 3. For thousands of years, across cultures and
languages, people have wondered why we tend to group so many things in batches of three.
Just a few examples in English, “Faith, hope and love,” and “Good things come in threes,”
“Animal, vegetable, mineral.” You can easily add similar sayings.
It’s even more interesting, though, how often the triune form comes up in music. It’s easy
to listen to chords, because they make musical sense. Chords are all about notes in relationship.
The major divisions of time are past, present and future.
The number 3 itself is charged with all kinds of symbolic meanings. I read that Aristotle
said 3 is the very first number to which we can say “all”.
He meant that 1 is of itself, alone, while 2 divides, this and/or that.
3 changes everything: 3 creates unity in diversity, and diversity in unity, which 1 and 2 cannot
do. This linguistic format comes up in most of
the world’s major religions, including Islam. The Shi’ite formulation is: There is one God
alone; Muhammed is the messenger of God; I testify to that. The early Christians arrived
at a much stronger theological formula. A triune God, 3 in 1 and 1 in 3, Father, Son
and Holy Spirit. Sometimes the symbols are best left to speak
for themselves. Rational analysis may claim that it’s all nonsense. Yet life experience
teaches otherwise. The strangeness of 3, and its power as as a strange attractor, simply
doesn’t go away. Thanks for watching.