Some years ago now I was listening to James Finley tell this somewhat silly but poignant story on a DVD I was watching. It went something like this: Jesus and God (father) were in heaven together and Jesus was going to university for his usual classes! He came home after a long day at uni and God (father) asked him what he was studying. Jesus said, Christology. Then God (father) asked him how he was going with that subject. Jesus said: Well, here’s the thing dad, I am not going to well with this subject at all, in fact, I think I will probably fail it!!’
I always remember this story as it highlights just how much we have complicated the often uncomplicated. Doctrines, language and theologies of Trinity (and Christology) have been developed over the centuries that have the capacity to do your head in. Why were these doctrines developed in this way, becoming so difficult for the ordinary person to comprehend? I sometimes wonder if they were developed as an elite grab to separate the ‘ordinary’ from the so called ‘elite’. That might be a discussion for another time! But when we focus less on academic doctrines and open into living what it is to be Trinity (Wholeness) then Life will change for us all.
However we wish to express the Trinity, it is always a communion of Love drawing us ALL into this Relationship. It is the Source of all Being constantly birthing us into the present moment and the unfolding future. It is being in relationship with everything around us and within us. Some describe Trinity as the Dance, the Dancer and the Dancing. Articulation of complicated doctrines means nothing if it is not accompanied by our desire to live this Love Relationship within our own lives.
A simple but important example of living Trinity today: Much of the world is looking upon the USA with shock and horror as this once great country is being shaken to its roots by riots etc. (amidst peaceful demonstrations) because of the racial divisions present in that country and other underlying reasons also. Many are equally shocked by the inaction, lack of empathy, incitement to hatred and division, dictating domination, shocking displays of religious stunts, turning violence upon peaceful demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets in order for a photo opportunity to then incite his followers etc. … and all by the President of the United States. The President seems to think the world is ‘laughing at them’. No one is laughing, now many weep tears of sheer disbelief and pity for a country divided against itself. What we are seeing before us is evil in action. What other name can be put upon such horrors, neglect and psychopathic narcissism?
In the beginning of the Trump presidency I found myself often humoured by some of the seemingly stupid antics of this man. But in recent months, I am no longer humoured. In fact, I find myself ‘hating’ the man (definition of hate is when we wish harm upon another). I found myself being caught up in Trump’s own acts of hatred, division and bringing it within my own life and attitudes towards him. Negative energy affects everything. Hatred begets hatred….
As I worryingly pondered this and was becoming increasingly unsettled by what I was feeling/thinking; consistently hoping he would just drop off the face of the earth, it struck me that I had been drawn into his battle against Love itself. From this realisation, I promised I would endeavour, each time I felt these dark thoughts towards Trump (or anyone), I would counter this darkness by endeavouring to project Love and Compassionate Energy toward him. As difficult as it is, and as impossible as it seems, I do believe if I can remain faithful to this practice of projecting Love (and not hate), my own Heart will eventually change. This does not mean criticism and peaceful protests must stop, it means hate must stop if we are to find peace. Love begets Love.
What is it to live a Trinitarian Life? Whenever we feel hatred or think dark thoughts about anyone or anything, the invitation of Love is to counter it with an action of Love and Compassion towards that which we sense ourselves ‘hating’. Do we believe in the power of Love Present in everything? Are we open to practice it however impossible it seems? Negative energy can be replaced by Life Giving Energy, but it is a practice we must consciously enter into and sometimes it takes great patience and trust over a long period. The simple truth is if we persistently hate we beget hate. If we persistently endeavour to Love, we beget Love. A question we must keep asking ourselves is: what do I beget in my life? To beget Love is to live a Trinitarian life. The desire to do so is enough, and the Spirit of Love will do the rest. Salvation has countless faces.
© Annemarie Reine