The Mystical Doctrine of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity means relationship and self-emptying or even self-annihilating love is the force of reality, the ground of reality, the basis of all life.  The doctrine of the Trinity says God is self-emptying love.  More radically, we can say God is self-annihilating love.  It is God, the Divine Void, who is voiding all we ever knew.  Relationships presume a detachment from self-will and respect for the other’s wishes.

God is self-emptying love; God empties Godself absolutely; so, God is absolute Emptiness precisely as self-giving love; a more radical word for Emptiness is “Nothingness”; thus, God is dynamic Nothingness giving itself away; as such, the divine nothingness is ecstatic love, love going beyond itself; divine kenosis is divine nothingness is divine ecstasy; God is Ecstatic Nothingness.  God is self-annihilating love: Abba annihilates the divine Self by ecstatically and without reserve surrendering the whole divine Self to the Word.  The Word annihilates the divine Self in gratuitous surrender to Abba—consummated in the crucifixion.  The Holy Spirit IS this self-annihilating, utterly gratuitous and ecstatic love.  I think that it is with this kind of God-talk that we can engage people’s daily experience of God’s absence.

Emptying ourselves for God and others is a continuation of the same movement of emptying—kenosis—that goes on in the Trinity: giving away (or throwing away) all that the Father is to the Son and vice-versa, and each receiving everything back in and through the Person of infinite love, the Holy Spirit. As one manifests this love, one is giving everything away and receiving everything in return again and again, but each time with greater inclusiveness. The same love that one gives away keeps coming back.  This compassionate, non-judgmental, selfless love is the Source of all that is; the ultimate beatitude is to disappear into it—coming to know truly that our deepest nature is Love.

Divine love initiates us into the radical transformation of self that is annihilation in the divine nothing.  In the annihilation of the self by Divine Love, our I vanishes and we realize that our only I has always been and will always be the divine I.  We realize a new identity that is, in actuality, the only identity we ever had: the Divine Nothing.  In this consists our ultimate and transcendent joy; no one can take this new identity from us.


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