November 10th, 2010

Generic Meditation Issues: Trinity

"Christians....use (the Trinity) primarily to convey their conviction that Jesus was fully divine.  (And equally,...Islamic and Jewish monotheists throw up their hands in dismay, assuming that Christianity has succumbed to polytheism,)   The Cappadocian fathers (Basil of Ceaserea, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Naziansus), however,  were not looking at individual persons, but at the flow of energy between the persons.  In fact,  the word we translate as "person" (hypostasis in Greek) does not mean an individual at all, but more a state of being--just as water can manifest as ice, liquid, and vapor, but remains the same chemical compound throughout.  The Cappadocians were interested in how this movement, or change of state, takes place.  They saw it as an outpouring of love: from Father to Son, from Son to Spirit, from Spirit back to Father.  And the word they used to describe these mutual outpourings is....kenosis.*--Cynthia Bourgeault, "Dancing the Trinity" in The Wisdom Jesus, 2006 p.71

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* Kenosis: "to let go," "to empty oneself."