Here, I will share my conceptual outlook at the numbers One, Two and Three.
Imagine you are the only Being that exists.
There is you and nothing else.
It is a likely boring existence.
Say, you are a cell in the World which is the cell itself.
You are the White on the White canvas, including the canvas as well.
You are both a Thought and a Thinker of that Thought.
Anywhere you reach, through the medium of yourself, of course, there is only you. In fact, you are a Presence permeating yourself.
You cannot discriminate because there is only one Sameness expressed in what there is. There is no Difference yet.
The concept of One is Totality
You can also perceive One as Unity, or Sameness.
Metaphorically, you can understand One as God. You may also consider One as the Whole universe, or total Power.
Or, you perhaps remember your experience of One when you were a fetus developing in your mother’s womb for whom everything was a complete Whole. Even though you might have explored the boundaries of Self, there was no reference for you to understand what they were, simply because you had no experience of the outside. For you the boundaries was also the Self.
Totality may be both, the Conscious Presence such as Active Intent or the Unconscious Presence such as a Potential or Power to be exercised. In both cases, Totality is the Essence from which everything originates.
If Totality is unconscious it expands by practising the basic awareness until it develops the intent to think. Thanks to this intent it will develop further on until it will become conscious. At this point, Totality will possibly become bored by being so same, homogeneous and All that is.
Totality will want to make a further progress by discriminating a part of itself. It may distinguish an aspect of Self from the rest, or it may distinguishes an aspect, such as Love, Sound or Matter. By doing so, everything but this aspect will become distinguishable as well.
Polarity is born.
The concept of Two is Polarity
You can also perceive Two as Duality or Difference.
The act of bringing one aspect forward is the act of setting everything else in the background. It is the same as naming a feature or characteristic. It allows us to recognize it and distinguish from the other things.
Metaphorically, you can understand Two as God who establishes a companion for His higher feelings when he discriminates into the Loving Father and the beloved Son. Or you may consider Two as the Universe which becomes both Matter and Spirit. Or, perhaps you experience Two as being a child born to the World.
As such, Two is experienced when an opening is created or a difference is to be emphasized. It does not provide an interesting diversity as such. Although the task of Two is to notice the differences, their integration is difficult as it requires an extra step.
It is the movement between the polarities that gives the basic structure to our existence. You can think of it as of the swing between the opposites or, you can perceive it as a threshold experience when you move from one polarity to another. Duality through action gives birth to Three.
The concept of Three is Active Diversity
You can also say Creativity.
It is both the action and the expression of a state between the polarities.
Metaphorically, you may consider Three as God who becomes Trinity. Holy Spirit is now introduced as the Active Person expressing Love between the Father and the Son. You may also consider Three as an Intent and/or Active Consciousness to move between levels from the Material to Spiritual Worlds. Or, you experience Three as a child interacting and playing in the outside world.
Three is an interesting phenomenon. Two expresses duality, polarity or difference. It is often passive. Three comes into existence through the act of interaction between the Two.
Three is something that is being created when the Two opposites become involved and act.
Three describes Stability
Three is a powerful concept. Three reflects not only diversity, but also stability and support.
A triangle is created by three sides and is the most basic geometric figure.
A three-legged chair is going to work well, while a stable two legged chair is impossible.
Three dimensions support the existence of life and complex systems.
The meeting point
Three is an expression of diversity. Three is an expression of novelty and creativity. Three is a direction.
Birth, life and death.
Past, present and future.
Beginning, middle and end.
Positive, neutral and negative.
Three allows us to introduce a meeting point, or a place in between. It can be the moment of Now being experienced between past and future. It can be the flow between beginning and end. Or it can be intuition arising as a creative act between emotions and rational thought.
Three simply allows us to experience the middle or in-between.
Three is completeness
Once you start paying attention, you will find triads or triplets cropping up everywhere – in language, in myths, in fairy tales, in Scripture, in culture and in society.
Three people are seen as suitable to make decisions, because they will have enough diversity to cover different points of views and when necessary to apply the majority vote. Three people are enough to form boards, commissions or crowds. Even statistics likes to see “three” as a container for “many”.
Not surprisingly, many laws, rules or ideas come in triads. Just to mention three laws of thermodynamics, the motto of France: liberty, equality, fraternity or the motto of Poland: God, honor and fatherland, or three virtues: faith, hope and love.
Many things in writing or storytelling are structured in threes. There are sayings or curses that have to be repeated 3 times before they become active. There are three trials to achieve a certain goal. There are three wishes to be granted. There also also three days or nights for an event or transformation to take place.
Examples of triads in stories include Three Wise Monkeys, Three Little Pigs, Three Musketeers, or Three Bears. In fairy tales there are usually three brothers, sons of a peasant or three daughters of a king. Two are often either stupid (boys) or ugly (girls), while one is smart / beautiful. And it is the third one that makes a difference: he will endure many tests to have finally become a new king or she will go through trials to be finally married by a Lovely Prince.
Three can be perceived in multiple ways. It can be a threshold experience between the Two polarities, a meeting point, or a new creation by the interaction of Two. Such a creation bears characteristics different than its ingredients, similarly as water is something completely novel in comparison to both oxygen and hydrogen.
Three offers a high-level synthesis, not by summing the Two components but by creatively designing something new. Three doesn’t negate polarity. Rather it accepts duality and represents a new element arising from the action between the opposites. And in this way, Three enables us to transcend duality.
Three is an experience of consciousness.
Photo credit CLeopold73 available under Creative Commons on Flickr.