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God the Father 

God the Son 

God the Spirit 


A dimension of spirituality that is silent, self-emptying, and apophatic (as in Buddhist experience of nirvana). 


Apophaticism is related to the Father, to that aspect of God that is truly transcendent, infinite and before who we are reduced to silence. 



From the very beginning, the Unnameable wore many names - Brahman, Tao, Yahweh, No-Thingness, Unconquerable Sun, Allah, Grandfather Spirit, and so on. 


(A spirituality of ascent) 


A personal dimension, as expressed in the person of the Son in the Christian tradition with its roots in Judaism. 



 Personalism is embodied in the Son who is the expression of the Father, characterized by speech rather than silence. 





For the most part, it is only when purpose or providence or love is embodied, when it takes on a face and a name – and speaks our name – that we can fully trust it. For Christians, Jesus Christ is that embodiment, God’s Eternal Word-in-the-flesh, telling us that “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son” (John 3:16). He is the revelation of the “mystery hidden from eternity”. He is the cosmos become conscious; He provides it with soul-space. 



The immanent aspect found in Hinduism of undifferentiated union with the Absolute. 




Divine immanence is realized in the Spirit who brings a consciousness that one is ‘enveloped in, known and loved by the mystery of reality’ 





This is the way of descent or immanence: “Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway” (Sir. 24:6). It is the “evening breeze” that walks with Adam and Eve in the garden; Elijah's “small, still voice”; the Shekinah/Glory of the rabbis; and the Advocate-Spirit that “blows where it will” through the Gospel of John. 


(A spirituality of descent) 




1.  Anne Hunt, Trinity: Nexus of the Mysteries of Christian Faith, Foreword by Peter C. Phan ( Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2005), 151-153. 

2.  Tom Ryan, “Evelyn Underhill on Spiritual Transformation: A Trinitarian Structure?”, Australian EJournal of Theology 9 (March 2007), <http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/aejt_9/index.html> (accessed 18 October 2010). 

3.  David Toolan, “The Fallout for Spirituality”, in At Home in the Cosmos (New York: Orbis, 2001), 195-219. Also <http://www.crosscurrents.org/toolan.html> (accessed 12 September 2010).

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