“We love to see ourselves idealized in the minds of others. That is one of the beautiful joys of love. We become fresh, innocent, brave, strong in the mind of the beloved… After a while the lover begins to substitute what he really is in his own mind, with what he is in the mind of the other… that others assume us to be good is a great incentive to goodness. That is why too, one of the basic principles of life ought to be to assume goodness in others; thus we make them good.”
Let’s think and play a bit with geometry, proceeding from the most simple.
Geometry begins with a point. It is a focus and in way the most illusive, being abstract and without dimension. We might think of the point as unmanifested potentially. And we might say that, being without visible aspects, it is unity, or the source of unity, and that it is the beginning point or cause from which everything flows. Since it is origin, it is an apt symbol of spirit.
A ray, extended from the point yields a line. This first radiation has a terminus. Let us call this terminus dense matter or effect, or that which is most remote from the origin. So, from potentiality (spirit) comes radiance, relationship, and relativity.
The simple line itself yields three entities: the origin (spirit), the terminus (dense matter), and all relativity in between. The line is also a unity in polarity, and is essentially one, a single line.
If we extend an infinite number of co-equal rays from our central point, the collective end points of these rays describe a circle, or if we add another dimension, a sphere. Perhaps we may take this as symbol of all possibilities, of all that radiates from the Alpha point or cause.
But, returning to the simple, we have three: point, endpoint, and the relation between. Relations are part of knowing. Consciousness means “to know,” and the simplest form of knowing is that of the relation between two entities. So let’s call this relational middle ground “consciousness.” So in our play with the line symbol, we have:
- Point, line, endpoint
- Cause, relativity, effect
- Spirit, consciousness, matter
Apart from the line, the simplest regular geometric representation of trinity is the triangle, and the next simplest such form is the square. The triangle gives us three points and the square gives us four points, and we might picture these two figures as a basic duality, analogous to the start and endpoint of our line. These two simple figures, the triangle and square, give us an added dimension in that their combination (3 + 4) yields seven entities.
It’s an entertaining thought that “a square” is a person regarded as dull, rigidly conventional, and in another sense a square suggest something block-like, solid, or sturdy. We might take the square, externally considered, as a symbol of spiritless personality. We can then, easily see the square as correspondent with matter. The triangle or trinity principle stands behind the square as spirit, and one often finds the triangle as the symbol of deity or of the higher self.
There are many alternative symbol systems that have some value. In thinking with and about symbols, it is not so important to derive a fixed or rigid system (which would be a uninspired personality thing to do), but it’s important that we think and strive to get at the meaning of things in the most simple and clear terms.