The Unity of the Trinity. (Spirituality & Prayer)
The recent discussion starting at http://www.catholica.com.au/forum/index.php?id=81397
about a book written by Karen Armstrong suggested that if you want to go beyond reason then myth is the only option. But this is not correct because the sciences of Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory go beyond reason or Logos and they are not about myth but about modern science.
They need to go beyond reason because these sciences are about the unity of the universe, including us, but reason, our system of thought established by Aristotle, cannot cope with unity because reason assumes that every individual thing and person is separate from every other individual.
When we confine ourselves to only the two options of reason and myth and do not allow any other way of going beyond reason then we are beaten before we even start. Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory clearly establish that there is a third option of going beyond reason that is not mythical. Myth is not the only option beyond reason because unity is also beyond reason.
Armstrong mentions that Newton and others “Fail to understand that the Trinitarian myth was designed to remind Christians that they should not even attempt to think of the divine in terms of a simple personality”. She rebukes Newton for not considering myth but she can also be criticized for not considering the third option of unity which is unfortunate because unity is the answer to the dilemma faced by Newton and everyone else who has this particular problem with the concept of the Trinity.
To suppose that reason and myth are the only options when considering the concept of the Trinity is a disaster of infinite proportions because the Trinity is all about unity and unity is not a myth.
Unity is not the same as identity because identity means that there is no difference but unity means that there is difference but there is no separation and the concept of the Trinity is obviously about unity. There is difference in the persons of the Trinity but there is no separation. “Contained diversity is, in effect, what unity amounts to.” (Scb35)
Certainly the concept of the Trinity is inconsistent with Newtonian science but the fault is not with the concept of the Trinity but with Newtonian science because it assumes that everything including us is separate. But now Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory tell us that is not true. “In Quantum Theory you never end up with ‘things’; you always deal with interconnections. This is how modern physics reveals the basic oneness of the universe.” Tp70. Reality is ultimately about relationship. “An elementary particle is not an independently existing unanalyzable entity. It is, in essence, a set of relationships that reach outward to other things.” Tp70
Science is telling us that the universe is a unity and a relationship. If we reject the idea of the Trinity as a unity and a relationship just because it goes beyond reason then we should really reject the whole universe as well because the universe also goes well beyond reason. But where will we be then?
The real deal now, the sign of the times, is that modern science, Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory and the spirituality of unity are converging because although they will always be different they are all about unity. Science is about the unity of the universe including us and contemplative spirituality is about the unity of God and the universe and us.
Such coming together or convergence of science and spirituality inevitably changes our world view and it is much bigger than the changes in world view that happened with Copernicus and Galileo and Columbus because those changes could be accommodated within the bounds of reason. But this change in worldview because of the discovery of the unity of the universe by modern science goes beyond reason. The discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo and Columbus “really shook people up” but they are as nothing compared to the shakeup we are in for now.
Science accepts this and so it goes beyond reason or Aristotelian logic based on separation and instead uses quantum logic which is based on unity so that it can get to deeper levels of reality in the atomic and subatomic worlds. But even so there is still more mystery because quantum logic can only help scientists understand what is happening but not why it is happening.
Discovering unity did not happen easily for science. “The exploration of the atomic and subatomic world brought scientists in contact with a strange and unexpected reality that shattered the foundations of their world view and forced them to think in entirely new ways. Nothing like that had ever happened before in science.” Tp64
But it doesn’t end with the scientists. “If the quantum world requires its own form of logic, one might anticipate that everyday habits of thought may also require some revision when one engages in the task of seeking to understand the divine reality.” Er95. These words of John Polkinghorne might be regarded as a very fine example of English understatement because the ‘some revision’ that is needed means that we must even go beyond reason and yet not rely on myth.
But that is alright because the contemplative spirituality of unity has been dealing with this problem over many thousands of years and all around the world and knows what to do about it. It is just that now modern science has caught up with this spirituality.
There is a remarkable analogy between modern science and this spirituality because the spirituality of unity has always known, what science has only just recently discovered, that we need to get to unity or interconnectedness or relationship by going beyond reason to deeper levels of reality.
Christ and St. Paul clearly tell us in the Gospels that what God and us are all about is relationship or unity or nonduality or interconnectedness whichever word we want to use. As Laurence Freeman say “nonduality or unity is at the heart of Christ’s teaching.”
Western logic and Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory tell us that the only way we get to unity is by going beyond reason and it is not myth. So how can we follow Christ’s teaching about unity unless we are willing to go beyond reason and beyond myth to unity?
The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner gives us the only possible answer when he said “in future Christians will be mystics or they will not be anything”. Mysticism has a bad press because for many it suggests esoteric visions and weird happenings but mysticism is really just about unity and interconnectedness and going beyond reason and that is just what modern science does.
Modern science is telling us that we live in a mystical universe so how can we not become mystics?
Rahner surely knew about Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory and that just being reasonable does not make sense for Christians any more. There is more than just reason or myth because now we know that there is also unity.
But, like it has been for the scientists, it certainly does “shatter the foundations of our current world view” and especially for Christians because we discover that Christianity is about the Evolution to complete unity that Christ wants for us. Jn 17:23.
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Warren, 2011-08-16, 16:13
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Brian Coyne, 2011-08-16, 16:56
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Francis, 2011-08-16, 17:46
- The Big Question. - Warren, 2011-08-17, 13:42
- The Big Question. - Brian Coyne, 2011-08-17, 15:04
- The Big Question. - Francis, 2011-08-17, 15:06
- The Big Question. - James, 2011-08-17, 15:25
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Marvemlb, 2011-08-17, 15:39
- The Unity of the Trinity. - Warren, 2011-08-17, 18:47
- The Big Question. - Warren, 2011-08-17, 13:42