The thesis: Looking out at the world, we can see for every entity at every level:
i. a boundary field (“Unified Field”) created by the original impulse for the entity that transcends yet includes every part of the entity
ii. an aspect of an entity that we can perceive with our 5 senses (“Relative Manifestation”)
iii. and an aspect of reality that exists in between the two (“Ubiquitous Spirit”).
The Unified Field is different to the Absolute Oneness (or “God”) in that the Unifying Field is something we perceive with our understanding and as such is always a relative part of a bigger whole, whereas Absolute Oneness is our inner subjective experience of oneness.
Trinities exist across many religious and spiritual traditions. There is a pattern that can be identified that underlies these trinities and is reflected in the volution theory. Table 1 demonstrates how various terms from different traditions can be matched with the three core aspects of the Trinity that I described above. Binder (1993) created a similar table when describing Walter Russell’s work which he called “three basic types of words”:
1. ONE words Express the concept of unity, homeless, absolutes, and absence of division into parts, and an absence of opposition. Examples include Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient.[…]
2. MANY words express the concept of individuality, diversity and the presence of opposition. Examples include this, that, you and me.
3. RELATIONSHIP words express the dividing or connecting lines that relate apparently separate parts to each other. They reconcile opposites into the harmony of rhythmic balanced interchange by linking individuality in diversity with unity and wholeness and linking division or multiplication with a balanced whole. Examples include love, plus, minus, equals, force and facilitate. (8)
ONE would be the equivalent to the Container in Table 1, MANY to the Manifest and RELATIONSHIP to Dynamics.
A description of the basic Trinity follows.
Firstly there is the container which also permeates all parts. This is often referred to as the Akashic field at the universal level (Laszlo 2004) or morphogenetic field at the level of a specific group or species (Sheldrake 1981) - a membrane that contains the information that shapes the entity. This container is beyond the capacity of any entity to make sense of because it is the container within which all parts exist so therefore cannot be compared to anything else by the use of an entity’s relative language. It is like a fish being in water. The fish has no way of seeing the water within which it swims as a whole. Likewise we have no way of stepping outside the container of unity that holds us and our experience. The fact that we cannot step outside of it means that we cannot look at it as an object and therefore cannot define or describe it adequately in words.
Nediodow (2014) uses information is a concept to describe the container:
Information stands for the immaterial field of reality. Matter is a manifestation of energy. Matter and energy results from immaterial information fields and are in actualisation of information. Information is thus the most fundamental principle of existence. Neither matter no energy can exist without information, but information can exist without matter or energy. (87)
Elgin (1993) describes the container as the “Meta-Universe”:
The Meta-Universe is assumed to have been present before the Big Bang and is the generative ground out of which our Universe (including the fabric of space-time) emerges in the flow of continuous creation. The Meta-Universe thus infuses, underlies, and transcends our cosmos. (16)
“Consciousness” has also been used as a descriptor, as in this quote from Max Planck who was at the origins of the quantum revolution:
I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. (Radin 2013, xiv)
The container can also be seen as the “soul” of the entity. The soul holds the pattern of potentiality, it is the field that is formed in that tension between manifest reality and a niche needing to be filled. It holds the higher purpose of the entity and literally in-forms it. All parts of the entity including its experience happen within the embrace of the soul. It is also important to remember that the development of the parts of the entity also impacts the soul or unifying field in a mutual relationship (more on this in Chapter 4). As Small Wright (1997, 14) states, “A human in form is, by definition, a soul fused with nature”.
The container of an entity is different to what might be called Absolute Oneness, God or Ein Sof (Kabbalah). Given that the container bounds an entity, it has by definition a limited amount of information contained on its surface. Given that our experience of oneness knows no boundaries, then we need to distinguish between a description of unitywe perceive with our understanding (a container that is a unifying field for an entity, including ourselves) and an experience of unity that by definition cannot be described in relative words by our rational intelligence. Figure 1 depicts how the Christian tradition makes the distinction between the Trinity and God. Note that Father is not the same as God. The Container that I describe here would be the equivalent to the Father, not God. Ken Wilber (personal communication, 7th December 2016) makes the point in this way:
Most of the great traditions—such as Nagarjuna’s Madhyamika Buddhism and its Emptiness, or the Christian Cloud of Unknowing, or Vedanta’s notion of nirguna Brahman, the via negativa of “not this, not that”, maintain that you can’t qualify ultimate reality at all (including that way), because all of our concepts are dualistic. They only make sense in terms of their opposite (e.g. infinite vs. finite, matter vs. energy, good vs. evil, one vs. many, reality vs. illusion, pleasure vs. pain)—and yet Reality has no opposite (metaphorically it is “nondual,” or as the Upanishads put it, “beyond the pairs”—beyond the pairs of opposites, Bonaventure’s coincidentia oppositorum).
The expression of the container is fractal and holographic, meaning the same design is reflected in all parts of the system it is related to. One may not be able to describe the quality of our own unity container, however we can ascertain that there is a unity container, as firstly we can feel it in our meditations and secondly we can see how that unity container shows up in other life forms fractally around us. David Spangler (2010) describes it, based on his experience, as a “primal substance” that is “alive, active, sentient, and generative. Whatever we call it, it differentiates and manifests itself in many ways; physical matter is the product of one such differentiation whereas the various subtle rounds represent other differentiations” (6). His “primal substance” would be volution’s container, “physical matter” the Manifest, and “subtle realms” equivalent to Dynamics. It is worth quoting his description of the Container fully:
At the heart of all things is a generative mystery, something indefinable and indescribable, which is the substance from which all other manifestations of matter arise. And it's important to remember that this primal substance is alive and sentient, containing the qualities and potentials that make life and consciousness as we know them possible, as well as other forms of life and consciousness that we may not yet recognise or be familiar with. (7)
Ultimately any description of the oneness that holds us will fall short but it is possible to attempt to point each other towards it. Due to the fact that it escapes our rational mind, poetic language is often a more adequate way of giving us a feeling for our own unity container.
“Say I Am You
I am dust particles in sunlight.
I am the round sun.
To the bits of dust I say, Stay.
To the sun, Keep moving.
I am morning mist, and the breathing of evening.
I am wind in the top of a grove, and surf on the cliff.
Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel,
I am also the coral reef they founder on.
I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches.
Silence, thought, and voice.
The musical air coming through a flute,
a spark of a stone, a flickering in metal.
Both candle and the moth crazy around it.
Rose, and the nightingale lost in the fragrance.
I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy,
the evolutionary intelligence, the lift,
and the falling away. What is, and what isn't.
You who know Jelaluddin, You the one in all,
say who I am. Say I am You.”
The second aspect of the Trinity is the manifest reality that we can experience and measure with our five senses. This is the aspect of the Trinity that we can see and reflect upon with our rational cognition. This is the world of objects and parts that have their own unique identity and can be compared to other parts. They seem to have boundaries that we can define and qualities that we can analyse. This is the world that most of us live in and take to be the norm for the large majority of the time. It is the world that is a reflection of our rational cognitive ability to break things down into smaller pieces and analyse parts for their unique qualities. It is the world of the senses where we can feel and smell and taste and enjoy the wonderful pleasures that this manifest world has to give to our physical bodies. It is information manifesting in space-time. It is that which is given birth to, which is why it may be compared to the child that is born from the marriage of Mother and Father. Manifest reality plays out through the duality and polarity of the Mother and Father, and their reconciliation through the co-creative potential of the Child. It is where individuation takes place, where things are a microcosm of the macrocosm. Whereas the first aspect of the Trinity is known as the Unified Field, this is the world ofthe Many and the Relative. This is David Bohm's Explicate Order (Bohm 1980), the visible reality, as compared to his Implicate Order, that which is invisible and yet to be born into manifestation.
These two aspects, the container of potential and that potential realised in form, can be seen as the vesica pisces, the twocore elements interlocked, as depicted in Figures 2 and 3.
They hold each other in balance.
The third element (reflected as a triangle in Figure 3) describes what brings the dynamic tension between manifest reality and potential to life. This third aspect of the Trinity is the process by which things come into manifest form out of the original impulse while being held by the unifying container. It describes the field of possibilities in potential, an energetic flow of information that is looking to take potentiality and information and turn it into denser more tangible forms of reality. Small Wright (1997, 27) uses “intelligence” instead of “information”: “Intelligence is the organising dynamic that provides the movement of soul through form”. It may be referred to as the domain of subtle energies, forms that are not yet fixed and concrete enough to be visible to our eyes in the three-dimensional world that we see around us. In Taoism the Tao is the oneness container, the The reflects the manifest reality and this is the Ching of energy flow (Baring 448). In the Christian tradition, the Father is the oneness container, the Son represents manifest reality and the Holy Spirit is the feminine equivalent to the creative force that permeates everything and which this third aspect of the Trinity represents. Whereas to our eyes the second aspect of manifest reality seems fairly static and fixed in its form, this third aspect is continually changing and exploring different possibilities and permutations for coming into more visible fixed form.
In the Hopi language, a distinction is made between the “manifested” and the “manifesting”. Abram (1996) explains:
The “manifested” … is that aspect of phenomena already evident to our senses, while the “manifesting” is that which is not yet explicit, not yet present to the senses, but which is assumed to be psychologically gathering itself toward the manifestation within the depths of all sensible phenomena. (192)
This once more illustrates a tradition that identifies both the manifest together with the dynamics of manifestation in the potential.
Currivan (2005, 41-2) describes the ancient concept of Aether and what she sees as its modern equivalent in the Higgs field in a way that fits very well with this third element of the Trinity. She says that Aether “was accepted as an all pervasive constituent of the Cosmos for two millennia - its presence perceived as underlying and breathing spirit into all physical manifestation… the Higgs Field is an ocean of energy … responsible for many of the properties of the wave/particles of matter and energy.”
Anne Baring also points to these three elements and their interaction:
The physical Universe’s continued expansion carries with it an inbuilt template of information that apparently existed from its very beginning ... This cosmic information template holds within it the design of the process of expansion and development of the Universe as a coherent unified entity, yet it also facilitates the emergence of all kinds of possibilities as it expands. (Baring 2013, p 348)
Spangler (2010) describes the dynamic of what he calls “incarnational systems”:
I find it in the way in which the universal flow of life becomes organised around specific ‘attractors' to form patterns, systems, and vortices of energy that are persistent and self-sustaining to some degree. […] They don't just accumulate energy or substance; they organise it in some persistent manner; they are autopoietic or self-creating. […] They possess identity and they also have a boundary of some nature that separates them from the rest of the energy flowing around them. (72)
Wilber (1982, 176) notes that people often say that mind creates matter. But he points to a more precise description from the traditional philosophies that would say that “Mind creates prana; prana creates matter”. In volutionary language, Mind is equivalent to the Container, prana to the Dynamics and matter to the Manifest. This avoids the tricky question of how matter could have existed billions of years ago when there were no minds. He quotes physicist David Bohm: “We know of many physical processes, even at the level of quantum phenomena, that do occur without any direct intervention of the observer” (177-8). He summarises the argument in this way: “the perennial philosophy would agree that matter is created out of mind (prana), but through an act of precipitation and crystallisation, not perception and measurement” (178). Lama Anagarika Govinda (1966) describes it through the lens of the mandala in his classic travelogue The Way of the White Clouds:
The mandala contains the complete process of the world creation from the deepest centre of consciousness–the unfoldment of forms from the formless state of undifferentiated emptiness (sunyata) and unlimited potentiality–through the germ-syllables of the subtle elementary principles and the crystallisation of their essential forms and colours into a concentric image of the Universe, spread out in ever widening rings of materialising worlds. (256)
It even includes the holographic aspect, as “all the divine figures … appear like reflections of the Central and highest truth on different levels of reality” (257).
Plotinus in his Enneads (quoted in Harvey 1997, 130) summarises the Trinity dynamic in his language, where “Divine Intellect” is the Container and “Reason” or “Logos” is the Dynamic.
The Divine Intellect, then, in its unperturbed serenity has brought the Universe into being by communicating from its own store to matter; and this emanation of the Divine Intellect is Reason [or Logos]. This Logos within a seed contains all the parts and qualities concentrated in identity; there is no distinction, no internal hindering; then there comes a pushing into bulk, part rises in distinction from part, and at once the members of the organism stand in each other's way and begin to wear each other down. And while each utters its own voice, all is brought into an ordered system by the ruling Reason.
This completes the thesis for a universal trinity dynamic and a review of different perspectives and traditions that reinforce that thesis. The next Chapter looks in more details at the polarity and creative tension created between two aspects of the Trinity, the Container and the Manifest.