Threesology Research Journal
3s Interest Origins
Page 1

(The Study of Threes)

I have often been asked how I came up with the idea of putting things in groups-of-three by those who are taken quite aback by the breath, depth, and "height" of examples I provide them when a conversation proceeds along the avenue where such a topic might be of interest. I am also asked how long I've been doing it, and why I continue to do so.

In attempting to answer the first question of how I came up with the idea, I can't provide any real definitive reason except to say that I was frequently exposed to images of patterns that appeared to come out of nowhere in simple combinations when I was very young, well before I had entered the public school system. The impressions of these images occurred so frequently, that I, as a child, took them for granted as if they were characteristic of everyone. It was only years later, when I saw motion picture producers and directors attempt to portray such image configurations as representing some unusual characteristic of some actor or actress, that I came to realize that what I was experiencing might be considered by some as being equivalent to a "trip" on some hallucinogenic drug.

Only after reading about the so-called "visions" of those who have taken some narcotic, did I realize that such images were very similar to the ones I saw, but they were abbreviated versions of much longer episodes I experienced. I had mused upon the question of whether or not someone slipped me a narcotic throughout my childhood and the images I see today are nothing more than flash-backs, but all drug tests I have ever taken indicated no drug presence. In fact, I don't drink alcohol, coffee, nor smoke...nor do I follow any particular religious doctrine because all of them are drugs that different people take different dosages of as determined by changing life circumstances just as they use aspirin, cough medicine, and pain killers in response to varying ailments. And no, I don't have incense burning in some funeral urn. I have from time to time considered that I have an over-active supply of endorphin-like compounds in my brain that release themselves into my blood-stream due to subtle environmental cues, but I've never been tested for such. I had even considered that views of stationary objects in an accelerated fashion were possibly due to having an inner ear problem, but I always received a clean bill of health after every physical, and I was fortunate enough to have had physicians who not only practiced medicine as a science form, but also an art form. In other words, my tales of visions (in childhood terms) were always interpreted as part of a creative enterprise and not some form of mental aberration.

In comparison to those images being reported by some users of narcotic drugs, their images are extremely simplistic, and are actually comparable to those I experienced at a very young age. While many of us can force ourselves to distort reality in order to see things such as colors dripping from walls, time distortions, and slow motioned events, it is quite another thing to witness such experiences without even trying or intentionally taking any drug to acquire such perceptions.

To provide some examples of visions I saw at a very young age:

  • Parking meters would sway back and forth while the coins popped- out in little discs of blood. (A young college-aged woman told me it represented violence... at least to her.)

  • The sky would turn inside out and I could ride the flat surface of the Earth as if I were standing on a surf board.

  • Trees, people, animals, structures, flowers, etc., would fragment into shards of glass and then rejoin into a portrait like something Picasso would put together.

  • Myriad symbols of unrecognized forms flash by and then abruptly stop, before beginning to shimmer.

  • Birds sitting in different positions on three overhead power-lines changed into musical notes and I would wonder what song they were providing, but I didn't know how to read music.

While these are illustrations of a few of the simple images I saw, I used to think that everyone saw such things.

By giving you a peak into my visual world as a child, I have answered the question of how long I have been putting various things in patterns, but with respect to patterns-of-three specifically, I first recall a conscious effort to do so when I would play games with other children. In playing the game "Mother May I," I was constantly choosing to take 3 umbrella steps, or 3 alligator steps, or three elephant steps. I would do likewise in other games, and even intentionally lose some running races just so I could be third. In skipping stones, or tiles on a floor, just like many a child, I would always jump to every third stone or tile. And I would tap every third stave on a fence with a stick or my hand as I walked down the street. But so did other children without realizing that they did so. As an adult today, I can see extensions of these 3-patterned activities in business form usage, hierarchal arrangement of management teams, having three favorite clients, etc...

In attempting to answer the question of why I continue to do so when so many others find the "threes" phenomena an item of temporary curiosity, is to simply say that the images once seen in childhood have now become more complex and of longer duration.

To give an example, the two images below are the front and back views of a 20" X 27¾" poster containing hundreds of patterns-of-three, that was printed in 1997. Some of the images used on the website can vaguely be seen.

front side of 3s poster (54K) back side of 3s poster (54K)

Initially, the list began as an 8½ by 11, but by decreasing the size of the letters, I found I could add a few more examples. However, the font size became so incredibly small, I switched to an 8½ by 14 sheet to make the information more readable. But again I ran into the problem of wanting to place so many examples on the sheet, that the successive shrinkage of font size encouraged me to next choose an 11 by 14 size of paper. Anyway, I ended up with the 20" X 27¾" size because I had so many examples I wanted to include to provide readers with a large enough sampling that could still be read even with a small font size, and lastly, because this was the largest size of paper that could be printed at the printer I did business with. And no, the image above does not portray the actual size of the print. I reduced the image in order to put both images side by side and facilitate decreased web page down-load time.

While I had previously collected the examples of "threes" used on the poster, the reason for having the poster printed was an urging prompted by an extremely strong and recurring image I had beginning in October 1996, though in retrospect, there were "murmurings" of the image's approach in the period prior to the last three months of 1996. I can not begin to convey in realistic terms how the following image began to evolve from fragments that shot into my consciousness. As the days progressed, I became like someone obsessed. In analogy, I was like the character Richard Dreyfus played in the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," who was obsessed with recreating a triangular image that plagued him night and day.

Likewise, I am once again feeling a strong sense of compelling urgency to place these comments on a webpage. I am awakened in the night, distracted while reading, and have even set aside eating because of the "whispering" of images I am presently experiencing. Somehow I know it is just an exercise to prepare me for another series of impressions.

In the latter part of 1996 I began to have increasingly strong impressions of linear, circular, and triangular images. First a triangle would be seen, then a circle, then a line. And then the next time the configuration might be reversed or inter-mixed in various combinations. As the days continued, I began to lose sleep, weight, and an ability to be social for extended periods of time. The images would not stop! If it had not been for prior experiences of strong images which I gave attention to without being overly distraught because they seem to encroach upon my consciousness at longer intervals with a tenacity like an animal in the wild that has locked its jaws on your head, I would have thought I was going mad.

Instead of fighting against the increasing influx of images that interrupted daily routines, I began to absorb it to the point of trying to find some means of re-creating the 3 images that were becoming more and more fused into a single entity. I began to draw simple lines, then circles, and then triangles. But then the triangle overlapped with the circle and the lines of the triangle were seen as also representing the lines. Again, and again, and again I began to draw these forms. I was obsessed and could not figure out why. No figure I drew seemed to be exactly right. And I was beginning to try some form of imposition on the forms as a sort of rational explanation.

As the days went on, I drew a circle and placed a single triangle in the center. But I knew this was not right. I then placed two triangles in the circle and, with further experimentation, that one triangle overlapping another triangle whose points were pointing away from one another, seemed to best represent the image I saw. And although this configuration was closest to what I saw, it began to repeat itself in images over, and over, and over again. I could not stop seeing the image! I found myself drawing the same figure over and over and over again. I experimented with various colors, but could not represent to anyone how frequently the image kept repeating itself. I ended up taking a single representation of the image and having it copied over and over and over again on a copy machine. I then reduced the image and place a repeating series of the single image on a single sheet of paper. At last! I now had some small measure of representing how the image kept repeating itself. After accomplishing this, and using the series of repeating images as a type of focal point, the images began to fade... It was now the third week of January 1997!

This is a small sample of the image I came up with. (Don't let the color scheme distract you since the image which came to mind was not viewed in color.) The 3 X 3 arrangement is for present illustration purposes and does not exhibit a specific quantity of appearance:

repeating image (12K)

While this portrayal doesn't give much distinction, and I must emphasize that the colors used were somewhat arbitrarily applied and were not a part of the repeating "message" I experienced, it nonetheless gives you a very small sampling and extremely brief exposure of the images which appeared to be branded on my consciousness over and over and over again. There are two overlapping and opposite facing triangles in the middle of two larger overlapping and opposite facing triangles that are also within two larger overlapping and opposite facing triangles that are within a circle. I was using the innermost smaller triangles to convey images of intersecting lines. It was very curious to me at the time of drawing out the two smaller triangles that I couldn't quite get them lined up in perfectly straight lines. No matter how I tried, they would end up being a little skewed to one side or another. This was made worse by my efforts at reducing the image in order to place lots of them side by side on one page so as to convey a sense of how often and vibrant the image impressed itself upon me at all hours of the day and night...even waking me up as if someone had turned the television on.

So as to not give a diary-like day by day account of what I experienced let me simply say that the intensity of the image began to drop off at about the third week of January 1997, but its after-image and the effort I expended in "complying" with the image's incessant "urgings" to attend to it, made be vigilantly aware of other examples of similar configurations. One day while at work, having a break and flipping through a magazine like someone might do while in a Doctor's office, I came across an advertisement that I could not believe. If anyone had been watching they might have seen my eyes widen, jaw drop, and a Eureka! light bulb not only begin to glow over my head, but burst from a surge of energetic excitement at what I saw:

Planetary Alignment Symbol

Planetary Alignment
January 23, 1997 - 12:35 p.m. New York
Simultaneous Global Meditation 17:30 to 17:35 Greenwich Mean Time

The caption below the image reads as follows:

On January 23, 1997 there will be an exceedingly rare and archetypally appropriate planetary alignment, a moment in time expressed in the heavens as a perfect six-pointed star. This pattern comes on the exact day that three outer planets, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune are conjoined together for the first time in almost two hundred years. Not since the Renaissance have all five outer-most planets been so harmoniously arrayed. On January 23rd, this cluster of planets will center on the first degrees of Aquarius, joined by the Sun, with the Full Moon opposite them all. Thus, perhaps this pattern may also be a symbolic representation of the long heralded dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

When I showed the repeating pattern image to a co-worker and explained how it had "invaded" my consciousness in torrential streams of incessant impressions, she was sensitively enough aware of the fact that such events do occur sometimes to a few people, because she herself has had to wrestle with such phenomena at varying points in her life. However, when I then showed her the image illustrated in the magazine with respect to the planetary alignment, she was as awe-struck with the similarity as I was. I then explained to her that I had browsed through the magazine quite by accident, and had arbitrarily chosen it from one of the many selections being offered for free by Publisher's Clearing House (or was it American Family Publishers?). She couldn't believe that so many coincidences had occurred in a series of overlapping sequences. And it made us both consider that such events may be more commonplace than is socially acknowledged, because most people do not make the psychic connections to events, which when taken by themselves appear as anomalies, but if placed together would complete a puzzle.

I have been wanting to place the above comments on a web page for quite some time, but I was stalled because I could not remember where I had placed the image from the magazine, and could not remember the name of the organization which had placed the ad. While "chancing" upon the article as I looked at some older boxes of materials, I came across it and found I could give a sigh of relief and release of that which "stood over me" demanding that I complete the present efforts. I can honestly say that the same sort of incessant urging in the previous image- making task has also been a "companion" ("alien abductor") in the present venture. In short, this would-be muse won't leave me alone unless I finish the task "assigned" to me. It's almost as if I can see this huge ledger, like one of those gargantuan books you see in the movies when some old professor is trying to unravel a secret, upon which my "assignments" are listed.

Following my "encounter" with the image information of the planetary alignment, I was "directed" towards the "threes" poster project. It too plagued me with an incessant urge to accomplish the task no matter what. And as I sit here in the morning (approximately 10:45 a.m.) of June 14, 2002, I think to myself that maybe I will now get some moment to rest. Alas, just as I finished writing these comments, I can see my spectral friend awaiting to discuss some other project.... if only I were independently wealthy, for it is extremely difficult to work at an ordinary job in an ordinary environment with ordinary people with ordinary, everyday interests who haven't the vaguest notion of what I'm talking about.

With respect to the threes poster, as it turned out, fortuitiously speaking, there was a change in the structure of the company I was working for which placed me into an unbearable employment situation that prompted my departure. Whereas some people might have experienced a stressful time, it was a welcomed relief to be able to work on something I enjoyed. In fact, as for the creative projects I've been involved with, they all occurred when I was unemployed. While it may not look good on a resume', since prospective employers don't concern themselves with asking what you were doing while being unemployed, in my case, they represent moments of creativity or research for an upcoming creative project... whether or not anyone appreciates my efforts. Prospective employers don't characteristically take a (w)holistic approach towards interviewing an individual, they only read (and read into) what a person writes in response to employment application questions. As a person who has had the opportunity to conduct interviews for employers, I can not begin to tell you how many companies have suffered the loss of potentially great employees because the company's management did not have the capacity to direct individualized creative efforts along pertinent business needs and ventures.

3- day series in the completion of this page:

  1. 1st day (June 12)- Found old article with Planetary Alignment image which contained web address for the Gaia Mind Organization, and gathered memories, materials, and "internal energy repositories" that have been saved for this specific project.

  2. 2nd day (June 13)- Began writing and re-creating images to be used on this page.

  3. 3rd day (June 14)- Finished initial project's "burst" of exposition to assist in further clarification that will assist in the up- coming project that is in the vague impression stage and is now urging me to stop.

For those of you who have wondered what month I was born in, it is February 15. (In other words, my astrology sign is Aquarius). And I was born some 3½ to 5 (or 6) billion years ago... biologically speaking of course.

For those who are interested in seeing the planetary alignment image in context:

--- Gaia Mind ---

For those of you who have wondered what sort of images I have been "receiving," more recently, let me give a few examples though I did give some on the 3-patterned dreams page, of which 3 "sort-of" accurate illustrations are provided.

Whereas most people simply enjoy the breeze being supplied by an electric fan, hand-held fan, or air-conditioner, I see words, letters, symbols, colors, sounds, etc., coming at me and contouring themselves around objects just as we might view colored air in a wind tunnel while a car or aircraft is being tested. Sometimes the "flow" of symbols are somewhat linear like a leaf floating down a stream, and at other times there is a spinning vortex from which certain configurations of different elements (sounds, colors, math symbols, numbers, letters, etc.,) come out of the vortex and arrange themselves into configurations like sentences. Yet, in attempting to make sense of what is being said, I feel like some researcher having come upon some unknown language and I have no translation key to assist me.

I sometimes see buildings, people, the sky, etc., melt away and a different form of reality emerges which requires a different type of behavioral repertoire that most people alive today do not have.

I sometimes find myself unable to recognize the surroundings, language spoken, nor realize there has been a momentary cessation of time from which I eventually emerge as if having been a traveler to some place and time in the future. Upon returning to this time-conscious place we of the present call reality, there is a distinct loss of real time, but the event of psychological time is not interrupted. I appear to be able to maintain, through effort, prolonged episodes of departure to this other place and time...whatever it is. However, in so doing, I find that my thoughts and word usage are somewhat altered as an adaptive function of this "place" I venture to. It's as if I have somehow returned to the place I stumbled on as a child, and upon returning to the present, I felt I had ventured into the past because everything around me seemed to be antiques. I couldn't understand why everyone was driving around in old antique cars, wear funny clothes, talking an ancient script, and living in buildings made from things of the earth.

I continue to see devastating images of humanity. As if humanity opened up the doorway of hell and walked in by being lured by fragrances of many kinds, like an insect in a Venus fly-trap...and it is the plant which evolves into a species more advanced than humans could ever hope to achieve.

For the most part, the foregoing Information last updated 11 April 2004. At this present date (28 February - March 1st 2012) I have slightly added to the content and altered the HTML as well as making the repeating image a single object instead of as a repeating back ground image within the contents of a table.

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