Trinity: Part 2
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Beatrice Bruteau (1930–2014) brilliantly integrated learning across fields such as mathematics, religion, science, and philosophy. God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World—which she called “a book on science for Christians”—explores Trinity from both a scientific and contemplative point of view.
. . . Trinity [shows] itself as world, especially with the characteristic Trinitarian trait of living-together, symbiosis, mutual indwelling, interacting, sharing. From elementary particles in the atom, through atoms in molecules, molecules in cells, cells in organisms, organisms in societies, to social actions and even ideas—all of them being organized as systems—the Trinitarian image, as a Many-One, as a Community, has been present and growing. “Growing” (from the inside out) is the right word; the Creativity that makes the world is built into the world as its own essence. God is creating a self-creating world.
[Or as I like to say, it just makes sense that God would create a world that continues to create itself! —Richard]
Randomness, the pool of all possibilities, is part of how it’s done. So is spontaneous order, and adaptation by natural selection. What we now call complexity, and recognize as doing its creative work on the very edge of chaos, is at the heart of this miraculous picture. There may not be an external Designer and a micro-managing Providence from the outside, but neither is the world devoid of divinity. The divinity is so intimately present in the world that the world can be regarded as an incarnate expression of the Trinity, as creative, as expansive, as conscious, as self-realizing and self-sharing.
I have called this creative act God’s ecstasy. Ecstasy means standing outside oneself. It is kin to the kenosis of Philippians 2:6—being God is not a thing to be clung to, so God empties Godself, taking the form of limitation in finitude, and is born as a universe. It is the defining divine act: self-giving, being-bestowing. Ecstasy has the connotations of extreme love and supreme joy. . . .
The cosmic complexity has supported the development of consciousness, and now we can know and understand and contemplate this beautiful and marvelous universe. We can appreciate it as the externalization—the ecstasy—of Creativity itself, of the trinitarian God: manyness so symbiotic as to be one whole living being.
The conclusion for the religious person should be that the world is God’s most personal work, therefore something for us to know and admire and revere, to take part in, to contribute to creating—since it is made as a self-creating universe. This is participating in the divine life. . . .
My hope is that others will get a sense of how the universe is radiant and exciting and how we are poised right on the creative edge, right where the new action is happening. God’s action, our action. A Self-creating universe that is God’s ecstasy, God standing—indeed, God dancing!—outside Godself, still doing the Godly things: being One, being Community, sharing being, indwelling, rejoicing, always being more.
Beatrice Bruteau, God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World (The Crossroad Publishing Company:1997, 2016), 9-10.