The Trinity is a set of assumptions about an unknowable God. I confess to making blatant assumptions: sometimes based on theology, sometimes based on psychology, sometimes simply my own.
A story tells of a Saint Augustine, walking on the seashore, trying to understand the nature of the Trinity. As the story goes, Augustine came upon a little boy who had dug a hole in the sand. And the boy would run down to the ocean and come back with a seashell full of water and quickly throw it in the hole. Of course, the saint observed the water would immediately sift back out of the hole into the ocean. He told the boy, “You will never fill up that hole that way.” The boy responded, “In the same way, you will never understand the nature of the Trinity”.
God is wholly other, completely incomprehensible to the human mind. At best, our understanding of God is analogical.
Can our assumptions about the nature of the Godhead ever be reliable?
There are two categories of reliability we can apply to the teachings of the Christ. One may accept that Jesus the Christ, like Mohammed, or Moses, or the Buddha, lived in history and was a deeply spiritual teacher. On the other hand, one may hold that God shared special revelations with the Christ to provide analogies helpful for our understanding. Subsequently, the followers of the Christ developed from his teaching a theology of the Divine, describing a Godhead of three persons that we know as Trinity.
Religious institutions refer to the Trinity as a “mystery”. For some, this invites investigation for solution. There have been many works, ancient and modern, wrestling with the “Mystery of the Trinity”. For others, Mystery connotes an unknowable framework for spiritual living and thinking. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard describes a “leap of faith”, by which we plunge into a mythology of unknowing. “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.”
The quandary of knowable-unknowability has left many not wanting to touch the Trinity. Sadly, this leaves untapped a rich theological resource.
In God is the fullness of life. The Inner Life of God can be recognized as the place from which all being springs, the prototype to which all being conforms, and the destiny toward which all being is ordered.
The excellence of the Trinity finds reflection in nature. The feeble human attempts to capture the beauty of the natural world through art only give testimony to the perfection mirrored in its source. From the grandeur of Yosemite falls gushing over the granite cliffs in spring to the intricate microscopic pattern of an insect's wing refracting a spectrum of color and light, there is a beauty that surpasses the human ability to create. As sharers in the fabric of the natural world, from our bodies to our minds, we have to acknowledge that the same beauty has been imparted to us.
Human desire is the impulse that orients us toward the fullness of Being that is the Trinity. For many, instead of a virtue to be cultivated, desire is to avoided: if the basis of life is meaningless, then desire is a blind street leading to ultimate frustration. To listen to desire is to uncover the hidden path, the road less travelled, leading to fulfillment.
The spontaneous human response to the glories of the universe is praise. Whether ritualized in some sort of explicitly religious ritual or an impulse of the heart from a simple sense of awe, Praise is what summarizes human wonder and gratitude.