“The circular dynamism within God spirals inward, outward, forward toward the coming of a world into existence, not out of necessity but our of the free exuberance of overflowing friendship.”
One can understand Trinity not as a noun or even as an adjective but as a verb or perhaps as Verb. God is not Trinity but is like Trinity insofar as God, in fact, Trinities. God repeats Godself both to God and to creation. That is what God does, not in a modal and thus ontological sense but in the phenomenological and thus, yes, Trinitarian sense.
God loves, and God loves, and God loves and together they are not one love but three loves; we rock in the three waves of God’s fathomless devotion, the ocean that is God-for-us. We are splashed, created and re-created by God’s love as God’s love. This is the sense of it, yes? My love is my act, my disposition and my being-toward a person and also that person him or herself, who beings-back-toward me. We begin a letter saying, “My love,” and close by writing, “Love, ….”
We would be loved back. Love is narcissistic, not in the sense of self-absorption but in the sense of self-involvement. Even in love, we cannot stop knowing ourselves because it is through knowing and comprehending ourselves that we know the beloved: “Oh, that’s just like that time…” But the beloved is not the self and so one encounters limitations: “I can’t believe you just did that!”
All of this is not to go astray from the Tripartate creed but is instead to ask the question: What happens when God Trinities? We know that this is love, that God is love, but do we know what love is? What love does? The scandal of transcendence and immanence is not that God exists in confounding mathematical puzzles but that both transcendence and imminence pervade the very fabric of our lives, our loves.
We are in the image of God but not as the image of God; humans are not what happens when God looks into a reflecting pool, but humans are what happens when God looks into the pools of our beloved human eyes. God must see his handiwork “Before I formed you in the womb…” but must also be surprised: “Why are you hiding from me?”
This should not be difficult to understand. We are present to each other and know each other as friends and lovers but never know each other all the way down, to the very toes. We know each other as mystery revealing itself, as simultaneously self and other, or if you prefer different language both as promise and as secret. Would the love of the Trinity seem so sweet?
“I and the Father our one,” and “Only the Father knows the hour.” Perhaps, yes? Or perhaps as Molly Bloom would have it: “yes I said yes I will Yes.” God’s Trinity-ing or Trinity’s God-ing thus becomes the threefold affirmation of both creation and God as good, very good, and very very good without any goodness being quantified but only repeatedly emphasized. Who, after all, would measure a wave? One only listens for the sound of each, both like and unlike the others.
We are rapt. This is what relation, what being-for does, doesn’t it? We engage the paradoxes of love, of self and other, similarity and alterity, secret and promise not by negating any side in binary elimination but in taught penetration: we tell more intimate secrets and make more abiding promises, even extravagant ones that seem quite dubious in retrospect: “this generation will not pass away until all these things…”
What happens when humans love is that humans become unhinged: we act strangely, we are not ourselves and are in considerably less control. What happens when God Trinities is that God becomes unhinged in love. God makes promises. God gets passionate. God gets pledged, betrothed. “Batter my heart, Three-Personned God,” writes John Donne perhaps to invite a rape but perhaps also to signal that he is finally ready to participate.
Because this is the problem, yes? “No greater love hath he…” but the history of humanity is the history of refusing to be caught up in the love of God. The history of Trinity, on the other hand, is the story of God’s declining to accept our resignation, our returning of the ticket, as Mr. Karamazov would have it. So what happens when God Trinities? Everything, of course. Or, at least, everything that matters, ever has mattered, or ever will.