The mysterious third thing

The Third Day of Creation: Three

Review. Let's look back before we look at the third day of creation. Before the world came into manifestation there was the Void. According to the Kabbalah, out of the void Ain Sof formed ten vessels or Sefiroth to contain the energies to create the universe. Next God said "Let there be light." And the light entered the vessels. We now have the Void and the Light. Next the Torah says "God saw that the light was good, and God divided between the light and the darkness." I interpret this dividing as the shattering of the vessels or Sefiroth mentioned in the Kabbalah. Then, on the second day of creation God said, "There shall be a sky in the middle of the water, and it shall divide between water and water." This describes a dividing out in which the vessels were re-formed from the shards of the shattered Sefiroth into five pairs of Sefiroth or vessels. The sky is what separates the pairs of Sefiroths. As mentioned earlier, on the second day of creation the sky represents both that which separates and that which joins. Then the Torah says "God made the sky, and it separated the water below and the sky from the water above the sky. It remained that way." The separating is defined as water above and water below the sky. This distinction of the water above and below becomes very important on the third day of creation. Next, on the second day of creation, God named the sky "Heaven." God called the space between the vessels Heaven. As discussed earlier, this space is defined as the space that separates and joins, and God called it Heaven.

The Torah says, on the third day of creation:

1:  9 God said, "The waters under the Heaven shall be gathered to one
      place, and dry land shall be seen." It happened.

1: 10 God named the dry land "Earth," and the gathering of water, He
      named "Sea." God saw that it was good.

1: 11 The earth shall send forth vegetation.  Seedbearing plants and
      fruit trees that produce their own kinds of fruits with seeds
      shall be on the earth." It happened.

1: 12 The earth sent forth vegetation, plants bearing their own kins
      or seeds, and trees producing fruits containing their own kinds
      of seeds.  God saw that it was good.

1: 13 It was evening and it was morning, a third day.

In keeping with the Kabbalistic images thus far, water is represented by the five pairs of vessels or Sefiroth formed from the void, and what divides the pairs is Heaven, "that which separates and joins." This means that half of the pairs of Sefiroth became earth, comprised of land and sea. The question now is: if the Sefiroth below Heaven created the earth, then what about the water above Heaven? Sheinken (103) answers this question:

God said the water under the Heavens shall be gathered to one place, and dry land shall be seen." Notice that He is referring to the waters under the Heavens now, the Heaven being the barrier between the physical and the spiritual.

What he is saying is the water above Heaven is spiritual and the water below Heaven is physical. Let's stay with the vessels or Sefiroth that were to create the earth; the important piece to be noted is that the formation of matter begins here (Sheinken 103):

Where do we find life beginning? On the third day. In essence, then the work of the second day was not completed on the second day - until there was "land" or solid matter.

Next the Torah says "The earth shall send forth vegetation. Seedbearing plant and fruit trees that produce their own kinds of fruit with seeds shall be on the earth." The Kabbalists see a minor distinction in the text and take it quite seriously. They look at the two statements about the fruit trees, first mentioned as "fruit trees" and in the next sentence as "trees producing fruit." They take a good look at the difference. Sheinkin (104) comments:

What kind of tree does God mention? The Bible states, "seedbearing plants and fruit trees". Thus, we are hearing about fruit trees. But do we see in the next sentence "fruit trees"? No, we see "trees producing fruit". What is the difference between a fruit tree and a tree which produces fruit? The fruit tree is a tree which is literally fruit. The traditional notion is that people could literally eat the tree; the tree itself was the fruit. Thus, God said, "Let there be fruit trees" meaning the trees would themselves be fruit, but what resulted was something different - trees producing fruit. In other words, a violation of God's plan occurred on the third day of Creation. The spiritual forces that controlled the earth brought forth something divergent from the deity's wishes. Somehow, life on this day of creation exercised its own freedom of choice and changed God's plan.

This is in complete accord with the numerological experience I have of the number three. The third thing that comes from the two is made up of the two but also, mysteriously, is a new thing. This third thing cannot be predicted (as the story above states), not even by God. We may say this child will be born from these parents, but the essence of who the child will be is unique and yet "derived," in some sense, of both its parents. "The whole is more than the sum of its parts." Sheinken is cited above saying "life on this day of creation exercised its own freedom of choice." To me, the mysterious new unique third thing is contingent on will being a part of the third day of creation. In my view, will is movement toward perceived good.

The Kabbalists are saying that on the third day of creation when life was introduced, somehow life wielded its own will upon Creation. And God says "It was good." As a Numerologist I know the number three has a mysterious will such that the third thing is unique, more so than merely a derivative of its forbears. In the story of creation the will aspect was not obvious, but was revealed in a minor distinction. In a sense it was hidden, which is typical of the three; it can never be simply predicted from the two. Juno Jordan (33), a numerologist, refers to the number three as having a quality of ".bringing into being that which has never been before."

Three things transpire here: earth is formed out of the vessels below Heaven, creation exerts its will and the earth sets forth vegetation. The plants bear their own kinds of seeds. These seeds continue the process of creation and hold within themselves the mysterious new things that emerge. The third day is the Triad, the triangle. Buess (8), has this to say about the triangle:

The triangle represents the threefold nature of this one creator. The Father or male polarity (yang) is expressed through the dynamics of Divine Will. The Mother or female polarity (yin) is the factor seeking wisdom. And finally, the third is the Son-Daughter which is the balancing (tao) and cooperation of the two dualistic energies in the harmony and unity of Love. The two energies reunite and resonate in harmony, through the third quality of Love, having the added perspective of insight received through experience.

An added perspective of insight is received through this triad. Richard Lewis (60) tells a story of watching children trying to catch fireflies and of their the aliveness. He clarifies further Buess' observation of the added perspective of insight that is received via the energy of the Triad:

I was touched by the way the children were so totally absorbed. For the briefest time they seemed to be an example of something being learned in which no part was absent. Everything - the senses, the mind, and the feelings were in some balanced state of concentration; and to separate these elements would have been to take from these children a perfectly natural way to discover what they had not known before.

That is a perfect example of the triad, where nothing is absent. He saw mind, feelings and senses all working together. Lewis says this is "a perfectly natural way to discover what they had not known before." That is the function of the triad: it brings you to what has not been known before. He goes on to say (62):

The unity of this triad is the essential ground for this kind of learning - a learning which seems to be most evident when children play. A sense of inner and outer, of thought and feeling, of body and self, in some extraordinary fashion are working together through children; so that, just as a seed begins to assume the form of a tree, they begin to assume the form of their human aliveness.

It is the triad that is the structure of the new, of cell reproduction, learning, and healing. All the pieces of the triad are always present in the evolution of each second of passing time. For, as described above, the triad is the three-fold nature of the one Creator.

So what are these authors saying about the triad? Scheinkin says, "Life begins here." Buess says, "Added insight" is the result of the triad. Lewis says, "[children] assume the form of their human aliveness." The three key words are Life, Insight, Aliveness. Jordan sums up these three words by saying the triad is ".bringing into being that which has never been before."

So now let's go back and look at what the Torah says about this third day. The water below Heaven brought forth the land, the sea, the vegetation and trees, and it was called earth. Here physical life began. I haven't found much written discussion of the waters or vessels above Heaven except Sheinken's statement referring to the vessels above as spiritual and those below as physical.

This research into the third day of creation has given me a new, more deeply integrated understanding of the void (zero), the shattering (one) and relationship (two), and brings me into a more conscious participation with creation. This understanding has given me a sense of freedom within myself, and with my clients. I am experiencing myself in a new way. If you could imagine a personal baseline, above it would be the expansion of elation, and below it, the contraction of wounding. I notice that when I receive a compliment I do not swing so high with elation. When I feel my wounding I don't dip so deeply into the wound. My emotions seem to stay closer to the baseline. I believe this allows me to be more present to others.

As I began to conclude this paper I was given a gift of confirmation. After the third week of my senior year I returned to my job at a catered retirement community. One of my favorite residents called me over to tell me she had experienced God. She had had a near-death experience. Her next words were, "It is all about creation." I returned to see her later that day with a tape recorder to listen to and record her experience. She said, "What an absolutely perfect beautiful home we have here." I asked, "Even with all the terrible things that happen?" She replied, "They are all part and parcel of the fabric. You can't separate it. It was given to us whole, good, bad, indifferent, and our job is to maintain it and to keep this beautiful creative process going." We are here to serve each other in this grand scheme of things. Creation is the whole thing and that is all we serve. I can't see any other reason to exist except we continue to create, and create and create. She went on to say, "I wish that everybody could know that kind of peace that I found! I don't want to be obsessive about it and I'm not chasing it away. But I don't want to cling to it as if it were some kind of a safety net." This statement is exactly what my paper is all about, an experience of wholeness that doesn't need to cling to one side to feel safe.

There is a trust within me that is new. In the healing setting I know this creation process takes place in ways I can see and experience and also in thousands of ways moment by moment that I cannot see. I can't possibly be aware of all that takes place, but I know now that it does. I get a sense of comfort from this that is new to me.