Threesology Research Journal
Novum Organum Threesiarum
(New Instrument of Threes)
- page seventeen -

(The Study of Threes)

It is prudent for a Ph.D level examination of the "Threes Phenomena" for researchers to look past their initial number-form identification. However, one must keep in mind that the number value is a human means of categorizing in a simple way that is easily understood by most people who may be using it aligned with a personal interest in a particular subject area such as religion, history or anatomy. Those who are just beginning to notice the "threes phenomena" can be assisted by using elementary forms and ideas associated with the "three", before any assumed attempt will be made for a larger and more comprehensive examination involving philosophical contemplations involving multiple subject areas at one time. For example, the planet Earth is not necessarily the "3rd" planet from a source of solar irradiation when considered with respect to its placement in the larger galactic system. Our view of it is a perception of solar-system centricity which might be better understood by illustrating other forms of "centricity":

Ego-Centricism (8K) Ethno-Centricism (7K)
Geo-Centricism (4K) Helio-Centricism (11K)

The "3rd position" used as a label to assign to Earth as an alternate designation is akin to the ancient practice of identifying someone by place, though names based on occupations have also been used. The usage of numbers, since they are assigned a place in a series, are, in effect, place-name designations. If a "place", "occupation" or some physical characteristic is not used to identify, then we use some other characteristic. Preferring one over another may have little value except in relating different perspectives of the same perceptions. Just because someone ascribes more significance to their perspective does not mean it actually has more significance. All the perceptions of the differing perspectives must be taken into account.

But in using any name, that which is used might well be attached with a given limitation of applicability. This is called functional fixedness, in psychological terms. It means, for example, that in calling something a screwdriver, some will interpret this to indicate it can only be used as a screwdriver for particular types of screws in particular situations. Naming something can easily lead to forcing a compliance to one or more limitations. The act of naming is a quality super-imposed on a person, place or thing by human perception, and may have little relevance to an overall organizational pattern as yet unrecognized; which renders such a denotation into a negligibility when other things are taken into consideration in ages yet to come.

Whereas right now the "three" is a convenient tool for collection purposes, too much dependency on it may prove to be an addiction, like so many things such as mathematics, philosophy, military strategy, etc., from which humanity will be hard-pressed to free itself from in order to develop a more advanced form of logic. Don't let a name, a collection, or application become an abstracted representation of a personality characteristic you are not willing to confront and dissect in order to further your exploration into the threes realm without excess personal baggage that so often accompanies professionals in all subject areas. But one's personal dissection is not meant to be an advocation of beating oneself up to the point of a disunited mental state from which you can not return.

Whereas some might claim that only a few seem to be able to venture to and from the realm of some personally defined "instability" and control it as easily as one controls a light switch; such an adventure may be more common than most of us imagine. One's personal "instability" in this sense, can be both or either an excursion into insanity or genius... since an experience of either can be quite disconcerting, particularly if the event "Eurekas!" (pops) into one's consciousness and they are not prepared for its presentation... since some forms may not be incremental gradations as might be implied from reading accounts of those who have been working on a given task's problem are delighted, and not overwhelmed in terms of being startled, by the emergence of a solution. Whereas one can be totally unprepared for a heart attack, it should be considered that insanity and/or genius can likewise arise. But, though we interpret the occasion of a heart attack as signifying something wrong, it may not be socially overall advantageous to think of momentary experiences of insanity or/and genius as being something to avoid. They may be an intellectual (non-emotion form of) cathartic expression of some other characteristic.

If provoking a personal instability is the method by which you attempt to enhance creativity or some believed-in higher consciousness, it should be tempered by what its effects are on others who depend on you for their emotional and psychological stability. Be as crazy as you want to be, but be constructive, not destructive... despite all the rationalizations you might venture to consider contrarily. Remember that the presumed line between genius and insanity must have some perceivable terrain upon which to be drawn and that the word "line" is used and not "cliff, ledge, precipice", despite what you might personally infer in a negative way in your particular circumstances.

With respect to threes research, though the same can be applied to various other efforts, in terms of what may be described by either oneself and/or others as insanity or genius, let me provide some perspectives:

Galton, who inaugurated the systematic study of genius, formulated the theory that genius is a very extreme degree of these three combined traits:

  • Intellect
  • Zeal
  • Power of working

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)— Everyone has in him something of:

  • The Criminal
  • The Genius
  • The Saint

3 subtle parts to one expression by the historian Francis Parkman (1823-1893):

  • He who would do some great things in this short life must apply himself to work with such a concentration of force as,
  • to idle spectators who live only to amuse themselves,
  • looks like insanity.

Let us also include distinctions of different mental states:

3 planes of consciousness:

  • Subconsciousness (instinctive & affective thought)
  • Consciousness (Ideological & effective thought
  • Super Consciousness (Intuitive thought and the higher truths)

3 places where great ideas are said to be generated by geniuses:

  • Bed
  • Bathtub
  • Breakfast

All the above are places where a type of "semi" or "other"-consciousness exists... which, in a modern setting might include riding on a bus, whether or not a genius absent-mindedly forgets to eat breakfast or dress completely before leaving their living quarters.

While some come to recognize the fallacy of viewing presumed truth is evidence enough, which includes accepting it as a standard model that can be applied in other subject areas because the presumption is "known" to be a universal proof in and of itself; many others do not recognize this, and retain this approach as if it were "THE" foremost reality. For example, many presume their concept of God, or some generalized "God" concept is factual based on several "reasons" such as, for example:

  • Prove God doesn't exist.
  • Everyone knows there is one one God.
  • God is a "father" (as opposed to a mother) in a "place" called Heaven.

The same type of "rational" thinking, where "rational" is defined by widespread acceptability, occurs in different ways for different subjects. For example, the same thing occurs with ideas concerning crop circles, aliens and Astrology. And there are numerous intelligent people who defend their views. And even though some aspect of their views may be dismissed as fallacious, their perspective is "readjusted" accordingly. While some do go elsewhere, this is not to say the same type of thinking doesn't follow them wherever they go. And simply believing, or living one's life as do most others is not guarantee that they think any more logically. Even though they may work hard, pay their taxes, abide by laws, etc., all of these things might well be a larger formula based on a false idea... such as America's form of so-called democracy.

With such as a tenable case, humanity itself may be a false formula of existence in that its fate is sealed towards a non-existence so long as it remains on planet Earth. All of humanity's effort to clean up the environment may be short-term fixes to forestall what is nonetheless an inevitability in terms of the Earth's eventual decay as the Sun expands. All the so-called rational arguments to protect the environment, though well-intentioned, might well be based on an axiom, a philosophy which assists in the demise of the species that must remove itself from the planet if it truly wants to survive. Survival on a planet that is incrementally heading towards a demise requires incremental adaptations which includes adopting philosophies meant to live as best it can within the respective environment. Thus, the typical responses of adaptation are a formula for ignoring the eventual inability of the species to deal effectively with environmental changes that will not only prevent further means of adaptation, but prevent it from executing any alternative responses because the environment has become not only unbearable to live in, but work in.

When a majority holds a fallacious perception as a sacred tenet not to be questioned, or if questioned, only within the confines of the same formula used as a standard model, a more realistic truth can not be sighted, much less apprehended in any concrete way. However, this is not to say that this truth is not yet another fallacy, but it is a lesser one than that being used. Such a remark also includes Gödel's Theorem which is but another variable awaiting placement in yet a larger math formula not yet devised... at least not yet publicly known or understood.

In order to supercede one formula, a "higher", or more "clear" perception must be acknowledged. While such concepts are no doubt left-over vestiges of early primate behavior scoping out the horizon from a more prominent perch in a tree or hill, they nonetheless serve to define an understood ability of the human species to ascertain different perspectives from different vantage points, in search of some valuable resource... whether or not the resource is yet realized as a usable commodity. The problem comes when it is assumed that all "higher" truths (i.e. perspectives), are thought best only when it is ascertained from climbing the same, tree, mountain, totem pole, or whatever. In other words, for example, we of the present use Einstein's E = MC2 formula upon which to not only justify a perspective, but that it is used as some sort of infallible rock-hard ground upon which to build a perch from which to peer for a greater truth. Yet, in terms of the future state of physics and an understanding of reality, this equation may well be a mole-hill that we have made into a mountain, thus obscuring our vision from even being able to identify, or believe we need or can see better from some other vantage point.

The same goes for the concept of God. Far too many people are using their chosen religious belief as the highest mountain or the highest tree, or the best trail, or the most bountiful meadow, or the freshest water source, etc., yet such perspectives might well be an illusion just as is America's so-called democracy. They are delusions of grandeur bought and sold like any commercialized item, as are the differing subjects in Colleges and Universities which call themselves "higher education". To such examples we can add music, art, commerce, medicine, philosophy, genetics, etc., etc., etc... We're like a bunch of ants trying to climb over one another to get a closer look, to reach a certain point, all because of some socialized motivation only a very few come to recognize even exists. And the so-called presumed goal is little more than a re-cast of that which has already been perceived, but defined as being new.

In contrast to those seeking a "higher" knowledge, greater skill, etc., by way of a "higher" education, "advanced" skills center, etc., there are those who strive for a greater realization, however it may be personally defined, by way of a reverse approach such as through a rejection of one thing or another, though such words or phrases as "self denial", abstinence, removal, cleaning, replacement, etc., are used as a motivating vernacular. For example, a person by the name of Diogenes (about 412 - 323 BC) rejected tradition and social conventions. Whether or not he was mentally unstable or actually seeking some new way of thinking is anyone's guess, though he did have followers who were called "cynics" (from the Greek word kynikos, meaning dog-like), who lived practicing great self-denial from which their group name was derived to indicate living a life like a dog. While their movement influenced the concept of Stoicism, which was developed more fully into a philosophy by Zeno of Citium (about 335 to 263 BC).

But there are others who have rejected the conventions of the world and even a few, such as Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama about 563 - 483 BC), the son of a Raja, gave up many worldly possessions to seek out, and is some cases, appear to have achieved, a greater truth, an enlightenment, a far-reaching perspective. So instead of climbing higher on the same social totem pole to see more distantly, they stood back a ways from the hustle and bustle of those vying for some pecking order position nearby, next to, or on the totem pole. Indeed, it was a different perspective. One that would no doubt appeal to many who feel personally unrewarded in a crowded enclave where one's own thoughts must either mimic, or be deferred to in some way in order to have some measure of self-identity. The Buddha achieved a "rich" form of personal recognition that would other-wise been a typical one of wealth. However, if a non- wealthy person gave up their meager worldly belongings, their achievement would not have been viewed as comparatively great.

If we of today in a Western culture encounter someone attempting to achieve enlightenment by way of rejecting all worldly belongings, they must wear clothes, they must bathe or stay away from others who might otherwise think them mentally ill because they won't bathe, and they must find some means of eating and a place to sleep. Such "enlightenment" as they might achieve is not widely sought, though many of us would give the person the benefit of any doubt and respect them for their attempt. But many of those living in a Western-styled economic society view spiritual enlightenment in terms of an established religion. And, many of us might well question the individual's assumed "Enlightenment" achievement. While the perceived "truths" might well be honest and are in fact an enlightened perspective for this particular individual, they might well be realizations of common sense that many entertained long ago... but pursued a conventional life-style nonetheless. Some might add: "Good for you on your achievement. So now what? Are you going to seek an Enlightenment above and beyond your present Enlightenment? Will you attempt to achieve this by way of rejecting your former mode of rejection and precede on your new trek by way of an over-indulgence?

The point to be made is that taking an opposite approach is just a part of the same equation. Additionally, is the Enlightenment that is presumably achieved, by way of a personal definition which camouflages an assumption, and/or the assumptions of others who want to join with you whereby all of you then become another type of social totem pole that someone else will reject in order to achieve some claimed some sought-after claimed Enlightenment? Like kids playing a game of "here we go round the mulberry bush", or chant "ring-around-the-rosey", or take turns playing "follow-the-leader". And to such excursions in consideration, let us imagine that the whole of a society collectively seek Enlightenment by rejecting to pay their taxes! Or rejecting the usage of toilets, or other toiletries. In short, rejection of a standard is part of a standard in that it has an opposite, like a particle and its anti-particle... but it's still apart of the same equation.

While we may be sincere in our desire and attempts to achieve the realization of an idea or ideal, whether accurately articulated or even articulated at all, our efforts may be someone else's manifested metaphysic. I express this because I had met someone who had wondered about the occurrence of so many "threes", but did not pursue the matter because the idea cropped up while she was in a class on Catholicism. Because it was not brought up as a topic, and no one in the social environment asked the obvious, whether or not it would have been discussed purely in theological terms, her consideration remained as a metaphysic. Upon giving her a copy of the Three Wise Men poem and the Poster with numerous threes examples, she had to ask if what I was presenting to her was real. She had to be certain that a metaphysic of hers was an actual entity. While I can not express the level of excitement she displayed upon my answer of Yes to her question, suffice it to say she had been released from an intellectual bondage. She would now be able to pursue yet a more "Enlightened" perspective, whatever that might mean to her.

In developing a behavior of collecting and assembling examples of "threes", no matter what approach is used, even a haphazard, every-now-and-then collecting approach; all of them are different formulas, even if the "formula" is not presented in mathematical terms or displayed in a conventional academic equation such as in an outline to be followed without variation. Yet, the more information one collects, the initial outline, at least in terms of threes examples, adopts trial-and-error themes. Whereas we might at first simply gather items with a reference to the number "3", in numerical or word form, our collecting efforts take on a flexibility to include variations of the word "three" such as triad, trinity, trio, and the like. Eventually, one might move away from listing those items which at first held an emotional or intellectual interest, towards viewing an increasing collection, at least in terms of effecting the collection of a larger assortment; as objects. For example, one collector may have held an emotional or social regard for the visual observance of the word "Trinity" in and out of a religious context, such an application can not be used when applying the same word to presumed groups of three gods from historically distant civilizations.

In using the term "object", I am pointing out a shift from subjective to objective perception. But such a behavior can easily lend itself to becoming a formula that is viewed as "The Way" to collect such examples, instead of viewing it as but a formula that can not be improved upon unless one thinks outside such a parameter. To this end, a collector of "Threes" may begin to assemble geometric forms and assemble geometric forms which appear to suggest a three-pattern even though all of the geometric forms may not, in and of themselves, be an easily identifiable "three" representation, such as in the previously mentioned sequencing of linear - circular - triangular forms. Yet, given the fact that each inclusive variable leads to the adoption of another formula, a collector can easily get lost in a particular formula's usage as if it were THE "evidence" for rendering the most fruitful outcome.

But if each formula present us with still another question, we must wonder if the process by which we are developing the formulas is problematic in itself. Then again, are we actually looking for something specific, or merely rummaging which- ever environment we are exposed to at a given moment of collecting? No doubt each person's (or groups) collecting will be used to serve some underlying objective, even if the objective is not articulated or the form in which the objective is expressed, is manifestly descriptive. An associative (Jacques Derrida) "deconstructive" philosophical literary approach might yield a psycho-analytically definable personality characteristic or some metaphysic not even realized by the individual as a personal portrait of some other person's idea or an actual original idea.

At present, with respect to threes research, I am working on several different metaphysical inclinations, most of which I would poorly describe if I made some effort to do so, but am attempting to develop a schematic with the present Novum Organum Threesiarum . Like a rock in one's shoe, an itch on one's back, or a thorn in the hand, all of which can be felt but not seen and are conventionalized into labeled forms for the purpose of an attempted identification; such are these metaphysical "protuberances". They gnaw at me like so many poems for which I was "beckoned" from a sleep to write down... a realm of exploration that I have, for-the-most part, ventured away from onto this present path. As such, the "rhyme" now being used are various ideas being inter-meshed. The threes are but a walking stick as I traverse an unknown landscape... they are a rudder, a helm, a collection of sails. Amd it is time to sail onward...

Initial Posting Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Updated Posting: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland