It’s not just printers that are three-in-one. In Christianity there are Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In Taoism: Yang, Yin, and the Tao. In TSK: Time, Space, and Knowledge . . . George Gurdjieff claimed that a “Law of Three” holds in all things: allowing active, passive, and reconciling forces to animate the wholeness of all that exists.
Monotheism is a celebration of the oneness that connects and allows everything. Yet it seems that Monotheism is frequently mistaken for something that might more appropriately be called “uni-theism’. Like unilingual (limited to speaking only one language) uni-theism is the belief that there is only one way to be and one truth to follow. Such a belief reduces an important insight about wholeness to polarities: truth and falsehood, good and evil, we and them. If all is One, then can one small part of this oneness possibly see widely enough, fathom deeply enough, and live long enough to apprehend this infinite wholeness? As the New Testament asks about casting the first stone, who among us will cock our arm to limit to the few the benisons that flow from and throughout this Oneness?
Religions that define themselves as Monotheistic have such a dark past that it raises the question of whether our human world is sufficiently evolved to handle Mono-theism (One God). When one group of proponents of the One God slaughters and tortures another group, who view this One God in a different way, it suggests that both would be better off—and closer to the truth—if they acknowledged that the One must be greater than our view of it, and richer for the diversity that blossoms in its vastness.
Pablo Neruda’s “We are Many” gives voice to the need for toleration of differences, in view of the fact that we ourselves embody so many:
I’d love to be able to touch a bell
and summon the real me,
because if I really need myself,
I mustn’t disappear.
Nor can we afford to allow this living realm to disappear.
There is a tendency to invoke religion to justify our single-minded agendas and to invent a realm of divinely-ordained privilege for ourselves. One instance is that the male perspective has built a seat of masculine authority in the pantheons of the monotheistic religions, just as it has in society in general. This imbalance (in both the secular and religious realms) between male and female has led to a distorted vision of the wholeness in which we live. Long withheld voting rights for women and continuing unequal pay for equal work are familiar features of our social landscape. A less obvious distortion of our male-centric culture is our treatment of Planet Earth and of the voiceless beings who depend on her. Mother Earth is the source and sponsor of our very lives. Yet we treat our home as a lifeless conglomeration of elements which we feel entitled to harvest and exploit.
Glenn Aparicio Parry puts it succinctly: “The relationships between men and women are but a symptom of something far greater and more important—the complementarity of two energies that exist in all of nature: the outward yang and the inward yin, the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine.” Original Thinking, Page 194. I would add that there is a third presence—the wholeness itself—that makes room for the dance of the two, delighting in both the fecundity of Earth and the initiatives that spring forth from Her.