Law of Three as Contemplative Practice — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Law of Three as Contemplative Practice

The Law of Three in Action

Law of Three as Contemplative Practice
Friday, March 24, 2017

Guest writer and CAC teacher Cynthia Bourgeault continues exploring the Law of Three in action.

We’ve been exploring the Law of Three as a practical tool for inner and outer transformation. Its strength lies in its consistency and versatility as well as in its broad range of applications. It is equally at home solving interpersonal issues, analyzing literature, computing theology, managing global economics, mediating conflicts, and brainstorming solutions for a sustainable universe. Wherever there is an authentic new arising, the Law of Three is somehow involved.

Christianity as a path has a special affinity for the Law of Three which places at its disposal a powerful tool for carrying the Mystery into the “secular” world.

Imagine how the energies of our planet would shift if we as Christians took seriously our obligation to work with the Law of Three as our fundamental spiritual praxis. Face to face with the vast challenges of our times—environmental, economic, political—we would avoid making judgments (because according to the Law of Three, denying force is a legitimate player in every equation), set our sights higher than “winners and losers” (or even negotiated compromise), and instead strive in all situations to align our minds and hearts with third force.

Closer to my own immediate sphere of interest—the arena of Christian contemplative practice—the Law of Three offers an amiable metaphysical ground on which to explore the biblical invitation to “put on the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Third force is not easy to attune to because our usual consciousness is skewed toward the binary, toward “either/or.” The dualistic mind lacks both the sensitivity and the actual physical capacity to stay present to third force, which requires an established ability to live beyond the opposites. The capacity to recognize and consciously mediate third force belongs to what we would now call unitive or nondual consciousness. Consistent contemplative practice is a non-negotiable in developing the alert and flexible presence that can midwife third force.

Gateway to Silence:
No resistance, no new arising!

Adapted from Cynthia Bourgeault, The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three (Shambhala Publications, Inc.: 2013), 32, 206.

Image credit: Praying Woman (fresco detail), Catacomb of Callixtus, Rome, early 4th century.
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