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#triplicity #fourfold #christian #shadow #society ✱ Robert A. Johnson

tripod and the evolution of three to four

Meizumi Roshi, a Zen master in Los Angeles, once said,

“Why don’t you die now and enjoy the rest of your life?”

The use of tripod and key is a literary device to indicate the addition of the one to three. This results in the four, the consciousness that is the true goal of humanity … similar to the Christian construction of the Holy Trinity … consciously constructed way of life that is cultured and civilized but inevitably leaves out the fourth element (Satan or the devil as the neglected element in Christianity).

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is basic to the Christianity of our time, and the Holy Trinity is an exact model of our modern consciousness. Civilization has raised high culture but it now must reckon with its shadow or dark side as the neglected element. It is the addition of the neglected element that brings an individual or a culture to wholeness … an age where the collective unconscious is devoted to the evolution from three to four.

Jung was fascinated by the evolution of consciousness represented by the number three moving to four … the number three represented a consciousness that was time-dominated, devoted to acting, doing, processing, accomplishing. We live in an age that holds a trinitarian view of theology. The number four, though, denotes being, eternity, peace, and contemplation.1 “If enough people will make the necessary evolution within themselves,” (Jung) the evolution of consciousness, which is so often pictured as the evolution from three to four.

The process can be summed up in one sentence: it is the relocating of the center of the personality from the ego to a center greater than one’s self. This superpersonal center has been variously called the Self, the Christ nature, the Buddha nature, superconsciousness, cosmic consciousness, satori (Zen term for a nonpersonal center of consciousness), and samadhi. This relocation appears to be death when viewed from the perspective of the ego. ==The relocation of the center of the personality is a form of suicide, and it’s best done voluntarily by the ego. ==

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