In the simplest form, the Trinity represents the relationship between One, Two, and Three. One, or the Monad, is Unity; Two, the dyad, represents antagonism (ex; good and evil, light and darkness); and Three, the triad, represents the Harmony of these opposites. The Trinity is an archetype that arises in many cultures, and the doctrine of the Unity in Trinity was inculcated in all the ancient mysteries:
- The earliest concept of a Trinity is that of the Hindu Brahmins, whose Triune God Parabrahma, Brahm, and Paratma revealed Himself as Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver) and Shiva (the Destroyer).
- The Persians had the Trinity of the Three Powers in Ormuzd: Light, Fire, and Water.
- The Ethiopians and Abyssinians had Amun-Re (the Creator), Neith (Matter), and Phtha (Thought or Light).
- The Egyptians adopted Osiris (the Father), Isis (the Mother) and Horus (that Son) to represent the Trinity.
- The Buddhists hold that the Hindu God Sakya formed a Trinity of Buddha (Intelligence), Dharma (Law), and Sanga (Union or Harmony).
- The Chinese Sabeans have the Trinity of Chang-ti (the Supreme Soverign), Tien (the Heavens), and Tao (Universal Reason).
- The Slavics represented the Trinity in the three heads of the God Triglav.
- The Prussians had the Trinity of Perkoun (Light), Pikollos (Thunder) and Potrimpos (Hell and Earth).
- The Scandinavians had the Trinity of Odin, Frea, and Thor.
- The Etruscans had Tina (Strength), Talna (Abundance), and Minerva (Wisdom).
- Among the Greeks, Plato described the Trinity as the Supreme Good, Reason or Intellect, and the Soul or Spirit. Philo described the Archetype of Light, Wisdom (Sophia), and the Word (Logos).
- In the Jewish mysticism of the kabbalah, the transcendent Deity emanated as ten rays called Sephiroth. The first three Sefiroth are Kether (the Crown, representing the Divine Will or Potency), Chokhmah (Wisdom, representing the Father) and Binah (Intelligence, representing the Mother). From the union of the Father and Mother (Chokhmah and Binah, respectively) are produced the worlds and the generations of living things.
Christian cabalists used the letter Shin, ש, to signify the trinity of these first three Sephiroth. The three flame-like points of the letter Shin, ש, represent the Creative Triad. It is from the addition of this letter, Shin, to the Divine name Yod He Vau He that we derive Yod He Shin Vau He, or Yeheshua, the name of Jesus the Christ.
The traditional canon of Christian Biblical scriptures does not contain the word “Trinity” or a doctrine of the Trinity, but references to the concept of a Trinity date to the first centuries of the Church. Early Church Fathers saw a basis for developing the concept in the Gospel of Matthew 28:19, which mandated baptizing “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Around 110 A.D. Ignatius of Antioch referred to obedience to “Christ, and to the Father, and to the Spirit.” Also in the first century Justin Martyr wrote, “in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.”
In Christian theology, the first recorded use of the Greek word Τριάδος (Triados), meaning Trinity, was by Theophilus of Antioch. Around 170 A.D. he wrote:
“…the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity, of God, and His Word (Logos), and His wisdom (Sophia). And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, wisdom, man."
Theophilus was born a pagan, and his references to the Logos and Sophia (wisdom) may indicate that his ideas were influenced by Greek philosophy or Hellenistic Judaism. The concepts of the Son and the Holy Spirit in various forms were common to Platonism and certain Jewish sects, as throughout all of the Mysteries of the ancient world.
In the early centuries of the Church there were many disagreements over the nature of the Trinity. Eventually, in 325, the Council of Nicaea described Christ as “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.” After more than fifty years of debate, the idea of one substance became the hallmark of orthodoxy. In the traditional view, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct, yet are one essence. Each one, while distinct, is God entirely.
Gnostic Christians approached the Trinity in the tradition of the ancient Mysteries, as an archetypal symbol. The second century Gnostic teacher, Valentinus, was the first to devise the notion of three subsistent entities (or hypostases) in his work “On the Three Natures”.  The Gnostic scriptures of the Nag Hammadi Library contain many references to the trinity. The Gnostic Simon Magus taught that the Supreme Being or Light produced three couples of both sexes. The first of these couples, Reason and Inventiveness, produced Wisdom, the Mother of all that exists.
The Gnostic Bardesanes taught that the unknown Father produced a Companion, who became the Mother of Christos, Son of the Living God; and that the Eternal conceived the Thought of revealing Himself by a being who should be His image or His Son. The Son succeeded his Sister and Spouse, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, or Sophia, being both the Holy Intelligence and the Soul of the physical world, went from the Divine Pleroma into the material world until Christos, her former spouse, united with her and guided her way to purification.
In Masonry the attributes of God form a Trinity of Masonic pillars: Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. Wisdom or Intelligence is the designing power, in which, when there was nothing but God, was formed the Idea of the Universe. Strength or Force is the Executive or Creating power, which realized the idea. Beauty or Harmony upholds and preserves. The triple Tau, in the center of a circle and a triangle, symbol of the Royal Arch Degree, represents the Divine Name and the Sacred Triad, the Creating, Preserving, and Destroying Powers. The Masonic author, Albert Pike, tells us in his Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry:
"The Trinity of the Deity, in one mode or another, has been an article in all creeds. He creates, preserves, and destroys. He is the generative power, the productive, capacity, and the result. The immaterial man, according to the Kabalah, is composed of vitality, or life, the breath of life; of soul or mind, and spirit. Salt, sulphur, and mercury are the great symbols of the alchemists. To them man was body, soul, and spirit."
Interpretations and personifications of the Trinity vary, but all remind us that one Truth emanates from different sources. Likewise no religion can claim for itself the monopoly of possession of the Truth to the exclusion of the others. The Trinity reminds us of the aim of our Church to re-establish this union and tolerance among all the members of the human family.
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Amen.
- The Most Reverend John Mongiovi (Tau Apollonius), Ep. Gn.
May 22, 2016
 Pike, A., & Hugo, T. W. (n.d.). Morals and dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry: Prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States.
 King, C. W. (1887). The Gnostics and their remains, ancient and mediaeval. London: D. Nutt.
 Roberts, A., & Donaldson, J. (1867). Ante-Nicene Christian library; translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark.
 Trinity. (n.d.). Retrieved May 08, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity
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