Understanding The Logic Behind the Trinity
A quick read through the explanations online that attempt to justify the concept of the trinity shows that there are many who want to share their opinion, without making the contribution that generally is needed to justify the justification. Perhaps it is well enough to say the Trinity is true because we perceive it in our being, and I agree both with the importance of looking inward and in the truth of the Trinity, but this text is for those who do not want to know what is true, but why and how it can be true. It’s also important to exercise your mind and verbalize truths that you might know in your heart, lest you be unable to defend Christianity in public the way you’re supposed to.
Nobody can define what the Trinity is, but the same inability to say what is, is true of all advanced sciences – we must use a model, that allows us to conceptualize that which does not operate only within the context of our narrow senses. Science and religion are in agreement that our senses cannot perceive the vast majority of reality – science refers routinely to the 10 dimensions of string theory amid countless other models, whereas we all are confined to our 3D world, and our limited senses can only perceive exactly the part of that narrow slice of reality that we can. The exception is expanding our model of our reality through inference.
I cannot emphasis this enough – the way we visualize the Trinity working should not be confused with the Trinity itself. The map is not the territory, and the various ways we will be demonstrating proof of concept should not be confused with musings as to how the Trinity actually works.
We will begin with three proof of concepts, wherein we show how different emanations can be uniquely distinct and defined while still being the exact same.
Proof of Concept One: Any 3D object entering 2D space.
Even though our senses are limited to three dimensions, String Theory holds that there are ten dimensions, and virtually every model of our reality that is upheld by the most respected scientists hold that there are more than three. Rather than try to imagine how a different dimension would intrude on our three dimensional reality, which is outside the ability of a person living in that three dimensional reality, we’ll imagine how we could intrude upon a two dimensional reality. We cannot understand how a being who can perceive a four dimensional reality would intrude on a three dimensional reality, but we can understand how a three dimensional being, ourselves, would intrude upon a two dimensional one.
We will, as 3D beings, create three separate entities that are part of the same, intrinsic to the whole, in a 2D reality with absolute ease. I think when you see how comically easy it is for us to intrude on a lower dimension however we choose, you’ll understand why the limitations placed on any higher being, let alone God, are paper tigers.
First imagine that there is a two dimensional being, it lives in a two dimensional world, quite happy and content. He can see in front of him, and behind him, and to the sides of him, but he cannot perceive any else. He lives on a two dimensional plane, let’s say a two dimensional plane existing just above the computer or phone screen you’re reading this on. You can use any other flat surface to visualize this, paper is great. While paper can’t replicate a two dimensional plane exactly, if you just imagine that instead of a sheet of paper being 0.1mm thick, it has no thickness, you’ve done a pretty job of visualizing a two dimensional plane.
So image a two dimensional being, let’s say your mouse cursor, lives on a two dimensional plane right above your computer screen, and it moves across it’s two dimensional plane like your mouse cursor moves across a computer screen. Move your mouse cursor around – you can see how this 2D being moves, across one plane.
Rest your 2D perceiving being, your cursor, where you can see it clearly, and if you’re on a phone and have no imagination I have provided a letter X below for you to use instead of a cursor.
Put your thumb, index and middle finger on the screen around the cursor or the letter X below, and press in ever so slightly.
Your hand created three separate entities that this 2D being can see, despite all those entities just being the one hand. You can make as many entries into this 2D beings reality as you so choose, and it can’t perceive what is related to the greater being, except what you put in the 2D plane. If you communicated to the 2D being that all three fingers were one hand, the 2D being could only believe based upon faith. A wise move, if that 2D being notices your hand’s work.
From the perspective of the beings living on all the cursors, the 2D planet of —– , he or she or thee might have perceived three separate entities and even been believed by others, but this is only useful if the 2D beings come to grips that the slices of fingers perceivable were really parts of the hand, if they are to understand how the crossed fingers slid perfectly into the confines of their world and removed a danger they couldn’t perceive themselves, and if they are to remember the rule of thumb to follow a higher path, even if they can’t understand higher.
Proof of Concept Two: Light being perceived as various colors.
Rainbows have long been a Christian symbol, being the sign God gave Noah after the flood, as a symbol of his promise that he would never again flood the world.
As recounted in the glorious, accurate but never intended to be literal* Genesis 9:
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
These verses are taken from the KJV, and KJV puts is in italics, showing that is was added by translators, not in the underlying texts. I take this as a sign, as sciences also avoid referring to what is, as mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this text, and perhaps concepts in the Bible that never touched upon what is can be confused when understood only in our modern absolutest English.
Take for example how a scientist would describe the color blue. A school teacher might say blue is a color, whereas a scientist would say that blue is your brains way of conceptualizing the wavelength of light detected by your eye, and associating it with the object that the light was reflected from. Blue therefore is not some fundamental component of a blue object, saying that “the sky is blue” is false in the technical sense, rather, a scientifically correct statement would be “the sky is perceived to be blue by humans.” Blue is entirely subjective, not existing outside of our mind, therefore blue is not an intrinsic part of what an object is. Understanding this distinction is very important, because the Christian model of understanding reality is often under attack by those convinced they know what is, limiting discussion to what they themselves can perceive, which is usually not much. In fact we are all, myself and yourself included, human, and bound by the limitations of our kind.
Let’s go on to our perception of light. Understand that our perception of light is not light – the map is not the territory – and we’ll use a rainbow as our example.
Light in which all the visible wavelengths that are assigned colors by the brain are represented more or less evenly, are perceived as white. Pure light has no color inherent to it, but we perceive it as white. When pure white light hits a raindrop, it splits into the three primary colors, red, green, and blue, various blends of which make up the infinite range of colors. The light hitting the raindrop is light, and all the colors emanating from the raindrop are light. If you were to point to every color and say this color is this part of light, you would have no problem convincing the average person that all these different colors are light, even though they are perceived as different colors, because they understand the underlying concept of light, and how our brain derives colors from light and not vice versa. Yet tell a non-believer that Jesus, Yahwe and the Holy Spirit are all God, yet are all components of God, and you’ll get a blank stare and some slow blinking. All colors are light, yet light makes up all colors.
God’s manifestations don’t stay separated, because God is both the light and the prism.
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Proof of Concept Three: Quantum entanglement.
You won’t need to know quantum physics to understand this analogy, only to trust in the descriptions from actual quantum physicists. Although there are certainly quantum physicists who use their in-depth knowledge to understand their relationship with God better, such as William Pollard of the Manhattan Project who thought that God acts through quantum indeterminacy, we certainly have no such understanding, and are deferring to the experience of experts.
Quantum entanglement is one of those core concepts that unravelled previous scientific understanding about how the world worked. The discovery, first proposed around 1935 and proven via many experiments since then, is that when two Quantum particles or objects interact, they become entangled in a way we do not understand. After this connection, their behavior is entangled, with action or changes in one particle affecting the other, and the changes in one are replicated in the other in real time, faster than the speed of light could travel between them. In one experiment, the particles changed in unison over 10,000 times faster than the speed of light could travel between them. Since our prior understanding of the universe was that no signal, object or connection could travel faster than the speed of light, there is no physical connection that we can detect between the two with our current state of understanding. At present, they are simply acting in unison, despite no possible link in the manner in which we understand it, because no object can travel faster than light. Since our current understanding of the world is that no object can travel faster than the speed of light, this is a great example of how much we don’t know about the world.
This demonstrates two concepts core to understanding the Trinity.
The first lesson we can take from this is that science is an ever evolving tool to understand our physical world. This truth does not lend support to any particular belief not proved by science, but it does remove the fake limitation and artificial distinction that those with only a basic grasp of science are always trying to place on Christian belief. Our understanding of higher physics are too basic to speculate beyond the truths which superb physicists have brought us, indeed we do not even know what we do not know, but we have here proof that matter separated in our physical world insofar as we understand, is not separated in reality, just in our physical world. I cannot imagine what levels of understanding we do not have, but here’s what’s important – neither can scientists. Even the conceptualization of understanding as “levels” is a nod to the 3D, spatial awareness orientated thoughts that I and all humans are limited to. Yet just as I do not need to understand all physics that make up my word to live and love in it, I do not need a physics explanation for what I and 2.5 other billion humans perceive. I am told to cast off my direct experience as I cannot prove them to another who has not had the same experiences – try explaining the color blue to a being that has never seen a color! – Yet if I were to try and approach a committed atheist and explain to him that his blue is actually my green, or ask him to question any fundamental aspect of his reality built upon perception, I would be treated as insane, and rightfully so.
Every person’s reality is built upon a series of assumptions, and it is always so easy to see other’s assumptions, and ignore our own. The assumptions you do notice in another person? They are just the assumptions you don’t share, the 99% you do share with that person who is so wrong and backwards for their 1% deviation, you will not notice. This is because shared assumptions are aspects of our reality.
If an assumption is not shared, then it is noticed, conceptualized, discussed, debated, and either accepted as fiction or accepted as a fact, but a fact can never affect reality like a shared assumption, because a fact exists within reality, a shared assumption becomes reality. As Christians, we are used to having to defend our belief in God more than any other belief, but no matter how hard those with tunnel vision try to divide every belief into fact or fiction, you cannot bring into reality to debate what is part of reality. As we know from the fact we have to consider and defend Christ daily, our belief is no shared assumption, it is not some unchallenged belief, it gets tested by fire by a critical society every day.
On the off chance any atheist is reading this, and you’re more than welcome here by the way, just try to imagine a Christian trying to convince you that he himself did not exist. You would be dumbfounded, because based on your perception, him existing is required for him to argue he does not exist. So too does it seem illogical to Christians, who do experience the light of Christ in their lives and are open to God’s love, to question the existence of what makes up part of their objective reality. Think before you dismiss this as a flaw in reasoning you do not share. You will not be the first to present all the arguments against God – Christians do not live in modern society with their eyes closed and their ears covered, well, not all Christians anyway – but you cannot logic away what is directly perceived, nor can you logic away emotion, not even a deep emotional attachment to structured, verbalized logic that builds upon itself and justifies itself, deriving value from no external system and requiring, frankly, more faith than most Christians.
If your devotion to logic is so powerful because it seems logical to you, why can’t you understand a Christian’s devotion to Christianity because it’s what Christ would want, both being entirely self-referencing?
Both systems justify themselves within the context of themselves. You might point to logic’s efficiency – Christians would do the same with Christianity. You might point to logic’s ability to make light of the world, Christians would do the same. I’m not disparaging logic, that would not just be dumb but it would also be un-Christian. I’m just trying to explain that Christianity and science are separate areas of inquiry – they relate to two separate types of experience, and atheists would do well to stop trying to stop trying to merge the two, as would Christians for that matter. Atheists excluding Christians from scientific events and research are spitting on the graves of Issac Newton, Max Planck, Georges Lemaître, Francis Bacon, James Clerk Maxwell, Gregor Mendel, Galileo Galilei, Louis Pasteur, George Washington Carver, Nicolaus Copernicus, and countless more. In discouraging Christian participation in science they are emulating the worst impulses of the churches they criticize.
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
– Proverbs 26:12
How many atheists talking down on Christianity as if you would have to be retarded to believe in it, are more intelligent, in the scientific or any other sense, than even one of the above? They proclaim themselves the arbitrators of reality, when all they can see is because they are standing on the shoulders of, or riding the coattails of, these Christian giants.
As Max Planck put it succinctly:
“There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other. Every serious and reflective person realizes, I think, that the religious element in his nature must be recognized and cultivated if all the powers of the human soul are to act together in perfect balance and harmony. And indeed it was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.”
Max Planck has brought up another biased but true observation. If atheists are really so impartial, so free from the constraints that religious belief imposes, why is it that they have not outcompeted Christians, and not just in science?
Accepting the belief of the average secular scientist, Christianity would be such a handicap that atheists would make far more major discoveries, whereas the Big Bang Theory, the splitting of the atom, the development of quantum physics, the discovery of genes and genetic traits, the concept of sterilizing equipment before surgery, pasteurization, germ theory, and that’s just scratching the surface of extremely devout Christians, many of whom were priests themselves – Nicolaus Copernicus was even on a shortlist to be a Bishop – who stated that their discoveries were inspired by God or in service to God.
Even the major discoveries that can be ascribed to an atheist or agnostic, tend to be made during the exception to that label. Even evolution was discovered by a Christian who chaired his Church’s committee for decades, and broke off his relationship with the Church 20 odd years after completing the Origin of Species, and he ceased discovering.
Even in the most direct aspect in which a “scientifically minded” person without any “competing” beliefs would be expected to succeed – in the realm of science itself – atheists find themselves with a minority of major discoveries, despite being the majority, certainly a vast majority of research scientists in this current year.
Surely having their chains broken, they would jump higher than anyone ever has in all sectors, their children, being raised on logic alone, becoming even better, until atheists outcompeted the Christians, whose illogical beliefs only hurt and not help them….
Yet, where is that in reality? I look around, at objective statistics from objective data collection, such as census data from the US government. Christians give far more to charity, and that is even when you exclude religious charities and only count donations to secular charities. That must be because the Atheists, being logical and less emotional, are busy outcompeting and crafting the new reality we Christians will have to adjust to, but… According to the same US government data which shows average incomes per religious affiliation, Atheists are ranked 12th in average income in the USA, behind 11 religious affiliations. I cannot even name 11 religious affiliations in the USA from memory. The most basic distillation of logic fundamental to every logical systems is that effectiveness is the measure of truth, 1 + 1 = 2 because 1 + 1 always equals 2.
So why aren’t atheists even a little bit better, in virtually any metric, based on objective data? Should we ignore the objective data in favor of our emotions, or cart-before-the-horse justifications of what we want to believe? Out of respect for logic, I will leave the plain implication of the data there. I’m not saying the religious are better, there are many religions including Christian religions that rank after atheists in many objective rankings, to my untrained eye the data appears pretty random, I’m just pointing out for the sake of those who view Christianity as a handicap, or for the benefit of those who are subject to such accusations, that those who are “free” from this “handicap” do not appear more able-bodied than any of the handicapped they refer to, your average atheist, statistically, would have to run past eleven handicapped in a race of 25 to qualify for this “normal” olympics. The truth is we’re all handicapped.
I hope in my defense of Christians I have not strayed into an attack on atheists, the truth will only ever be obscured by petty divisions, and I’m not trying to add to that, I’m really chilling over here. What is obvious to me if not much else is, is that atheists need to stop trying to force Christianity to exist only within the context of their systems, and for Christians to stop trying to force atheists to use systems unrelated to Christianity, to come to Christianity. Christianity is obtained within the context of Christian love as the scientific method validates itself within the context of it’s own systems.
Your nose does not scorn your ears, your hand does not seek to kill your foot, so don’t fall for the illusion of choice, picking between science and religion – they are different systems to understand data derived in entirely different ways, the former to understand data from the five senses and the latter to understand data delivered in every way we can’t explain.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
– Galatians 3:28
I hope this clears whatever impediments were stopping you from conceptualizing the Trinity, if there were any, and of course I hope this article can help you regardless of what you are looking for.
*Note: I apologize to anyone who believes the Old Testament is literally true, I will write another text on that subject, the importance of the subject requires great care. While you wait, if you’re waiting, consider reading “On Creation” by Philo to see the thought’s of an ancient Jewish man’s interpretation of Genesis. He and most educated Jews like him did not believe in a literal interpretation, and he was born 20 BC and died 50AD, living a few hundred years removed from the first texts and dying before the end of the Second Temple Period! After reading it, do you still take for granted that the Old Testament was intended to be taken literally? The lazy will have you believe literal is original and metaphor is modern! The idea we have become less literal, and not more literal, is contrary to reason and basic history.
WHILE among other lawgivers some have nakedly and without embellishment drawn up a code of the things held to be right among their people, and others, dressing up their ideas in much irrelevant and cumbersome matter, have befogged the masses and hidden the truth under their fictions, Moses, disdaining either course, the one as devoid of the philosopher’s painstaking effort to explore his subject thoroughly, the other as full of falsehood and imposture, introduced his laws with an admirable and most impressive exordium. He refrained, on the one hand, from stating abruptly what should be practiced or avoided, and on the other hand, in face of the necessity of preparing the minds of those who were to live under the laws for their reception, he refrained from inventing myths himself or acquiescing in those composed by others. His exordium, as I have said, is one that excites our admiration in the highest degree. It consists of an account of the creation of the world, implying that the world is in harmony with the Law, and the Law with the world, and that the man who observes the law is constituted thereby a loyal citizen of the world, regulating his doings by the purpose and will of Nature, in accordance with which the entire world itself also is administered. Now it is true that no writer in verse or prose could possibly do justice to the beauty of the ideas embodied in this account of the creation of the cosmos. For they transcend our capacity of speech and of hearing, being too great and august to be adjusted to the tongue or ear of any mortal.
Nevertheless they must not on this account be passed over in silence. Nay, for the sake of the God-beloved author we must be venturesome even beyond our power. We shall fetch nothing from our own store, but, with a great array of points before us, we shall mention only a few, such as we may believe to be within reach of the human mind when possessed by love and longing for wisdom. The minutest seal takes
in under the graver’s hand the contours of colossal figures. So perchance shall the beauties of the world’s creation recorded in the Laws, transcendent as they are and dazzling as they do by their bright gleams the souls of readers, be indicated by delineations minute and slight. But first we must draw attention to a matter which ought not to be passed over in silence. There are some people who, having the world in admiration rather than the Maker of the world, pronounce it to be without beginning and everlasting, while with impious falsehood they postulate in God a vast inactivity ; whereas we ought on the contrary to be astounded at His powers as Maker and Father, and not to assign to the world a disproportionate majesty. Moses, both because he had attained the very summit of philosophy, and because he had been divinely instructed in the greater and most essential part of Nature’s lore, could not fail to recognize that the universal must consist of two parts, one part active Cause and the other passive object; and that the active Cause is the perfectly pure and unsullied Mind of the universe, transcending virtue, transcending knowledge, transcending the good itself and the beautiful itself; while the passive part is in itself incapable of life and motion, but, when set in motion and shaped and quickened by Mind, changes into the most perfect masterpiece, namely this world.