The tale tells of two newlyweds, poor as church mice but madly in love, who, unbeknownst to each other, sell the one precious thing each owns to buy a Christmas present for the other. He pawns his valuable antique pocket watch to buy her combs for her beautiful long red hair; she shaves her head and sells the hair in order to buy him a chain for his watch. On Christmas Eve the newlyweds stare at each other blankly, almost numb with shock, trying to compute the meaning of the “useless” presents they have just exchanged.
Einstein seems to have been on to this insight in his famous dictum that a problem can never be solved at the level at which it is created.
.. (1) the enemy is never the problem but the opportunity; (2) the problem will never be solved through eliminating or silencing the opposition but by learning to hold the tension of the opposites and launch them in a new direction.
The vast majority of the world’s metaphysical systems are binary. They work on the principle of paired, equal opposites. We see great archetypal polarities that are somehow held in balance: male/female, dark/light, conscious/unconscious, good/evil, action/being. Our dualistic minds feel comfortable in that kind of binary swing. Binary systems prefer symmetry and come to resolution in stasis or stillness.
.. Ternary systems have three independent forces coming together to form something new, a fourth thing. Perhaps the simplest example is a braid. You need at least three sections of hair for a braid to hold; the braid is then a new creation. The interweaving of threeness results in something that didn’t exist before. It is not just a swinging back and forth between two old things that were already there, but a drive into a brand new dimension.
In order to be vital and relevant, Christianity must be able to demonstrate a metaphysical core for spirituality and holiness—not merely a behavioral, psychological, or moral philosophy. A Trinitarian metaphysic, a philosophy of the nature of being, provides just such a vibrant and inherent foundation. Trinity is and must be our stable, rooted identity that does not come and go, rise and fall. This is the rock of salvation.
.. most Christians reversed the original Trinitarian use of the word person—as one who is a dynamic sounding-through—to an autonomous self that is separate and independent.
.. Most Christians have focused on overcoming the gap between Divine Personhood and human personhood. It largely became a matter of viewing sacraments as magical if you were Catholic or Orthodox or a transactional notion of strong belief or moral behavior if you were Protestant
.. God clearly loves diversity! It is only we who prefer uniformity
.. Unity is diversity embraced, protected, and maintained by an infinitely generous love.
.. Uniformity can be achieved by coercion, shame, and fear. Unfortunately, most churches have confused uniformity with true spiritual unity for centuries. But church formed in this way is by definition not the church. As Catherine LaCugna says, “The nature of the church should manifest the nature of God.”