‘Reality Is Trinitarian’

Raimon Panikkar argues that God should be understood not in dualist or in monist terms but in terms of nonduality. Here he goes:

If, in the monotheistic perspective, there is one absolutely omniscient being who embraces and understands all of reality [from which He is, in a certain sense, separate–AT], that is not the case for the Trinity. Nevertheless, there are not three Gods: this is non-dualism. God is not one [pace monotheism], but neither is God two [pace dualism], nor any multiplicity [pace pantheism]. It is only through the constant negation of duality, by the refusal to close the process, in the conscious renunciation of trying to understand everything, in the neti neti of apophatic mysticism, that we can approach the trinitarian mystery (The Experience of God: Icons of the Mystery, p. 65).

A page later, Panikkar concludes, “Reality is Trinitarian” (p. 66).

This is too true, and yet I also want to make sure that Panikkar’s words are understood correctly. For he also makes it clear that this neti neti is a form of passivity that is more passive than all forms, or acts, of passivity. It is a “yin attitude.” This yin attitude is a deep surrender and, as such, does not fall prey to the “desiccation” about which I’ve previously written. Surrender is of the Heart to the Heart and thus is ever deep in the Heart.

Following this thread about the nature of surrender, we should read Panikkar’s story about Huang Po (Huangbo) very carefully:

A being athirst for God, in search of the experience of God, he goes off into the valley to do penance, to meditate, to prepare himself, to purify himself. But he achieves nothing, finds nothing. Then he cries, groans, and beseeches. When he hears a voice from the top of the mountain, he climbs to the summit of the mountain in order to listen. But once there, he neither finds no head anything. He goes back into he valley with the feeling that he is being mocked, that he has been deceived. He cries out and groans again, and again he hears the voice. He climbs back to the summit of the mountain and finds nothing but silence. He descends and climbs, climbs and descends. Finally he becomes silent, stops beseeching, and stops searching. He then becomes aware that the voice he had heard was nothing but his own echo. (Ibid, p. 59)

Who is silent? From whom does the voice emerge?

Reality is Trinitarian.