The second aspect was that, at the same time that I wanted to relate to people, someone among my soul group would mention something that begged a working knowledge of the Trinity and my ears would perk up. I suppose they were discussing it somehow because they knew of, or shared, my interest in the subject.
Usually people in my dream were talking about the Trinity in a way I associate with how people generally speak about it. The Trinity is personalized. Each character in it is identified with someone. “The Father” is identified with God in some vague way. The “Holy Spirit” is cast as a helpmate of the Father, a servant and wish-fulfiller. And the “Son” or “Christ” is associated with Jesus. It is as if the three were conceived of as characters in a drama.
But my own understanding is that the Father is the Transcendental domain, where no movement, sound, or form exists. The Holy Spirit is the Phenomenal domain, where movement, sound, and form exist. The Son is the Transcendental in the Phenomenal domain, the seed of God in the heart of each living form. These three correspond to what Hindus call Brahman, Shakti, and Atman. They are the three levels of reality that must be known before we are liberated from rebirth.
The Father appears as the Son in the Holy Spirit – the Transcendental implicates itself into the Phenomenal – so that the Father can be known when the Son and the Father again merge. Being formless and all there is, there is no way for the Transcendental to know itself. So it creates an illusory world in which an apparent separation takes place. Now there is a second to know the One and Only. At the moment when the illusory second relinquishes its separate identity, God meets God.
Krishna spoke about this illusion:
“This entire universe is pervaded by me, in that eternal form of mine which is not manifest to the senses. Although I am not within any creature, all creatures exist within me. I do not mean that they exist within me physically. That is my divine mystery. You must try to understand its nature. My Being sustains all creatures and brings them to birth, but has no physical contact with them.” (Sri Krishna in Prabhavananda and Isherwood, Bhagavad-Gita, 80.)
The Transcendental sustains all Phenomenal forms but has no physical contact with them. We are assigned the task of solving the puzzle this presents, in the course of which God meets God.
In working our way up the ladder of enlightenment, from knowledge of the Son (spiritual awakening) to knowledge of the Holy Spirit (savikalpa samadhi), to knowledge of the Father (nirvikalpa samadhi), we are fulfilling the purpose of life that God should know God by us knowing the Trinity.
In my dream visit, it seemed apparent to me again that I’ve been given the assignment of knowing this “Trinity,” intellectually and experientially, and communicating what I discover. I chose this special area, just as an oil painter or an arctic explorer chooses that area. So far I have only known it intellectually.
Indeed I’ve never lost my interest in the cross-cultural exploration of the Trinity. It is an acquired and enduring taste, as this dream reminded me.
So one turn in the road was entirely novel – that of turning from being a recluse to wanting to be connected. The other reminded me of a choice I had made and a turn in the road that we all must make at some time – turning from the world (the Phenomenal) to God (the Transcendental), if we are to fulfill the purpose of life.
That is all I can say about this dream visit at the moment. I feel affected by it and just want to allow it to work itself out in me. I may take the day off and be with it or I may find myself in a flurry of work connected to it. At this moment, I really don’t know.