Threesology Research Journal
The Devil's Advocate and 3's Research
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~ The Study of Threes ~

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I initially woke up this morning with the image of glistening water and how it reminded me of metal. From whence came the question of what metal is in water that makes it glisten, followed by a linked idea to mirrors which are clear glass painted with some metal such as silver, though a reference culled from a site this morning is more informative:

The method of making mirrors is very simple. Mirrors are made by applying a reflective coating to a glass sheets. Glass is a major mirror component due to its transparency, ease to fabrication, rigidity, hardness, and ability to take a smooth finish but it is not very good material for reflection. Materials which are commonly used are metal coatings such as silver, gold or chrome. Present-day glass mirrors are most often coated with non-toxic silver or aluminum.
How Mirrors are Made?

From the idea of mirrors my mind then ventured into the tripartite "Reflect-Refract-Absorb" which led me into thinking about the three "Rs" cited as Reading-'Riting-'Rithmetic, though I also recall from my experience with printing, this industry uses a Reduce- Reuse- Recycle motto as part of a waste management trinity:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle waste managment motto

My mind then wandered onto the landscape of seeing these two 3-part configurations as being synonymous with respect to cognition. However, let me momentarily digress in order to provide some information on the education system oriented Three R's culled from the Wikipedia:

The three Rs

The three Rs (as in the letter R) are basic skills taught in schools: reading, writing and arithmetic. The phrase appeared in print as a space-filler in "The Lady's Magazine" for 1818; while it is sometimes attributed to a speech given by Sir William Curtis in about 1795, the publication 'The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction' casts doubt on this. The skills themselves are alluded to in St. Augustine's Confessions: nam illas primas, ubi legere et scribere et numerare discitur 'for those first, where to read, and to write, and ciphering is being learned.'. Ciphering translates differently and can be defined as transposing, arguing, reckoning, a secretive method of writing, or numerating. Since its original creation, many others have used the term to describe other triples.

Origin and meaning

The phrase "the Three Rs" may have originated in a speech made by Sir William Curtis in 1795. but this origination is disputed in the publication The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Volume 5. An extended modern version of the three Rs consists of the "functional skills of literacy, numeracy and Information and Communications Technology


The phrase 'the three Rs' is used because each word in the phrase has a strong R phoneme (sound) at the beginning. The term is ironic, since someone with rudimentary language education would know that two of the original words do not actually begin with the letter R. The third R was more probably Reckoning, not as is more usually stated 'Rithmetic. Reckoning was a Victorian term for mental arithmetic and had been in use as such since the 14th century. The educationalist Louis P. Bénézet preferred "to read", "to reason", "to recite", adding, "by reciting I did not mean giving back, verbatim, the words of the teacher or of the textbook. I meant speaking the English language."

In the United States, during the 17th century, the curriculum in the common (elementary) schools of the New England colonies was summed up as the "four Rs": Reading, 'Riting, "Rithmetic", and Religion.

Other uses and alternatives

More recent meanings of "the Three Rs" are:

The human mind thinks reflectively, refractively and absorbatively. The "Reading" example is clearly to be denoted as a basic absorption facility, while writing and mathematics can inter-changeably be viewed either/or as reflections and refractions of thought processing, though some readers might want to include reading in the mix of considerations.

Reflect, refract, absorb examples

The realization that I started with one idea then went onto a second idea followed by a third... in succession... (involving "threes!"), has not escaped my notice. Hence, we might say this was a dream-state involving a pattern-of-three, in which there were no animate characters about in the scenes.

Here it is the next morning as I begin writing again at 3:53 AM (Thursday the 21st), and must interject a comment about a dream related to the previously mentioned Jimmy Carter encounter. I was sitting on a chair facing Mrs. Carter who was sitting next to a male figure that she appeared to be close with. Next to them on the other side of what appeared to be a couch was another figure whose gender was not distinct, but I am inclined to think of as being a male by the accompanying impressions of the conversations involving reminiscings about his construction activities. During which Mrs. Carter began to weep about all the recollections because it emphasized to her what a good man he was. She even looked at the person next to her and said he was "such a good man", to which the other person put their right arm around her shoulders and replied that he was. The other person nodded in agreement. The dream ended shortly after this. While some readers might want to make a big deal about such impressions, I myself can't because I am part of the culture in which he lives. There are too many "butterfly" effects which can act as a stimulus. It would be different if I were living in a different culture and had no prior knowledge of the Carters.

If we take the singular word "reflection", for example, we might well devise a three-part ensemble such as the following:

Three types of surface reflection

While there are "three" examples, some readers may also notice that the first is a "one", the second is a "two" and the third is a representative "many", which refers to the one- two- many ensemble having been encountered in different contexts involving a recognized or unconscious usage of enumeration values.

With respect to reflections and the afore-mentioned tripartite ensemble, one might also think in terms of the "one- two- many" as represented by a single person's reflection as a representation of the "one". The "two" could thus be illustrated in seeing a second reflection off the first one and the "many" is the commonly occurring obsession of some to see how far, or how many reflections they can ascertain when looking at a reflection in a reflection in a reflection, etc...

Reflection and refraction can both be divided into three types: diffuse, specular, and glossy:

Please note that I have not yet found a reference to three types of Absorption, but other references to light expose a recurring "threes" usage that often appears to be, in some cases, a mere embellishment of a dichotomy, though I do not know if an actual "stand alone" three even exists as a separate entity from singularity and duplicity. While we can name several different instances of absorption such as the usage of plants for photosynthesis, the usage of absorption in terms of getting a suntan, and the act of absorbing in terms of heating an object, should we label these as different types of absorption? Or how about we describe three different types in terms of energy conversion such as heat, electrical and chemical:

3 basic forms of light energy
Light Energy

With respect to the topic of Astronomy its orientation of light, "Most light sources can be classified into three main types: continuous, absorption, and emission": Spectral Types of Stars

3 spectral types of stars

In this example the study of light is referenced as Absorption, Reflection and Transmission

This image is also a link

In Biology we learn about light-dependent reactions such as those occurring in photosynthesis and those reactions which occur without, or independent of light reactions. Hence, a dichotomy that can be superimposed on by the addition of the idea concerning reactions which can use both of them, though such an arrangement may not be an actual "third way", just an embellishment of the former two.

Along with the dichotomy of dependent and independent, we can find references to the usage of polarized and non-polarized light, as well as Ultra Violet and Visible light, very often used referentially when organic chemists indulge to provide the "real world" according to the vocabulary of their vantage point, along with the tripartite described orientation of bonding, non-bonding and anti-bonding. Here is one example of the latter item taken out of context:

Leveling trinity of light energy bonding in organic chemstry

Here is another perspective appropriately entitled as Reflections on the Behavior of Light
by Peter DeCurtins, Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Whether Diffuse or Normal, Through Reflection is Most Often How We See the Light. When considering the nature of light and color, it makes sense to ask in what ways does light behave? An inclusive list of the basic categories of behavior for light would most likely include transmission, absorption, reflection, refraction, diffraction, scattering, polarization and interference. Of these, only the first three - transmission, absorption and reflection - are needed to account for all of the electromagnetic energy, or light, which falls upon an object. Light rays that are reflected or transmitted may become polarized, and transmitted light may be scattered or refracted.

reflected, refracted, absorbed

Any light that is neither reflected or transmitted is absorbed, and adds to the internal heat energy of the material at an atomic or molecular level. Taken together, the changes that light goes through as a result of all of these processes is responsible for all that may be seen. The most fundamental behavior of all of these is probably reflection. For being such a critical phenomenon of nature, the 3 laws that describe the reflection of light are remarkably simple:

Three laws of Reflection:

  1. The angle of reflection equals the angle of incidence.
  2. Incident and reflected light rays lie in the same plane.
  3. Incident and reflected light rays are on opposite sides of the normal line passing through the point of incidence and perpendicular to the reflecting surface.

At the microscopic level, all reflection is regular, which is a way of saying that one can visibly perceive that the reflected light conforms to these laws. In the everyday macroscopic world, regular reflection is only perceived off of mirror-like surfaces. With regular reflection, one doesn't see the object that the light reflects off of, such as the surface of a polished mirror, but rather the objects that are reflected by it. A plane mirror reverses the scene it reflects, with objects on the left appearing to the right in the mirror image, and everything appearing to be as far behind the mirror's surface as they are in fact in front of it.

Reflection is almost completely regular from a mirror because of the mirror's smooth, highly polished surface. A rough surface will present many different very small angles of incidence for light to reflect off of, so macroscopically the overall reflection will be diffuse. The wavelength of visible light averages something like 500 nm, so by comparison most surfaces are rough and therefore diffusely reflect light. A fairly smooth surface, such as that of a road when it is wet, can exhibit both regular and diffuse reflection, in proportions which will vary with the angle of the incident light.

The idea of Many referenced with the term scattering

What will happen when light is shone on an object really depends on the material that object is made out of. Polished metal reflects almost all of the light that hits it, absorbs some, and transmits effectively none. An object such as a black tarp appears dark because it is absorbing much of the light that is falling on it. Most materials exhibit some selectivity in the different wavelengths of light that they will reflect, transmit and absorb. Gold reflects red and yellow wavelengths more strongly than it does blue. Silver tends to reflect all wavelengths equally, making it appear almost white. A purple cloth will reflect blue and red wavelengths, but absorb green light. The intrinsic color of any object is almost always due to the selective reflection and absorption characteristics of its constituent materials.

Remote sensing isn't only done with high-end sensors from an orbiting platform. It's what happens when we see. In order to perceive a non-luminous object with our eyes, at least some light has to reflect off of it. As basic of a concept as that is, it's not a bad starting point for pondering how light behaves.

Note the usage of the word "selectivity". And yet, if we look at number patterns as representations of reflection, refraction and absorption, is the small usage we humans and other organic forms engage in, a selective process? Do we use the frequency of number patterns as we detect the frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum? Is this what we are involved with but are unaware of? Are the small currency of number patterns that we use a reflection, a refraction, or type/degree of absorption? How do we get a handle on creating an understandable equation of similarity to the Electro-magnetic spectrum if we can not decide on which "one" (or two or all three) of the three we are engage in... if at all?

The Visible Spectrum

Interestingly, while we can think of those who routinely use a particular number pattern in their thinking processing as conveyed by verbal, and other behavioral activities, whether or not the expressions are actual or truncated versions (due to social, environmental, genetic pressures)... and thus describe the differences as a spectrum of thinking, the idea of "spectrum" applied to thinking is primarily being presently reserved for those labeled as being autistic. Here is a reference related to the question "What does the research show regarding thinking styles of people with high-functioning autism/Asperger syndrome?", as it appeared, on the Forbes related Quora page entitled Research Shows Three Distinct Thought Styles In People With Autism:

Answer by Martin Silvertant, diagnosed high-functioning autistic, on Quora:

"I have observed that there are three different specialized autistic/Asperger cognitive types:"

  1. Visual thinkers such as I, who are often poor at algebra.
  2. Verbal specialists who are good at talking and writing but they lack visual skills.
  3. Pattern thinkers such as Daniel Tammet, who excel in math and music but may have problems with reading or writing composition.

From personal experience I was long ago working in an education program where I got a chance to meet Kim Peak, the person for whom the old movie "Rain Man" was written about. If you told him your birthdate he would almost instantly tell you when you were going to retire (at age 65) and if you were in the phone book, he could tell you your address and phone number because he had memorized it. His prodigious memory however, came aligned with an inability to carry on a "normal" conversation and he needed help to get dressed, tie his shoes, comb his hair, etc., yet I was told that he could do the entire payroll account for a place called the Columbus Community Center in Salt Lake City that otherwise took five people to do, and he did all the figuring in his head! I took the opportunity to show him the old Three Wise Men poster which contains various translations of a poem about the repetition of "threes" in the New Testament (culled from about thirty different sources of translations), which apparently made him a bit confused, perhaps because of the way in which numbers were being associated in the particular context.

I can't say for certain that this was the reason he turned away from it after a short perusal, but he became somewhat anxious about wanting to leave, which was explained to us by his father that he was very punctual about coming and going and that because his departure at 10:00 am was a few minutes past the hour, he became increasingly agitated and had to be reassured by his father that they were going to leave. Perhaps his apparent anxiety upon being presented with the poster made him all too aware of his departure time, though the correlation needs to be spelled out since I brought up the introduction of the poster to him and his reaction. Anyway, it was an interesting experience aided by explanations of his behavior by his father who commented that he had a large fluid-filled sac where the rest of us have mere brain matter as a memory repository. I think the date of the occurrence for this meeting was in the late 1980s. I did not yet have the list of threes (Buckland's Third Revolution) poster printed up until the middle of the 1990s, though the information was mostly compiled by that time.

If a person thinks primarily in terms of dichotomies, is this not to be distinguished from someone whose orientation is predominantly focused on singularity or multiplicity? Do we not distinguish between the single stranded RNA and double stranded DNA? Do we misunderstand thinking processes so much that we overlook the so-called normalcy of thinking as having a spectrum that is distinguishable if we understand thought itself as a spectrum of a larger spectrum and that the spectrum of thought is itself a spectrum? Whereas we use a list of different psychological disorders, we don't routinely think in terms of mental ordering as a spectrum to be distinguished, though variations of gender, racial and other cultural references do become part of an internalized listing.

While we use the general tripartite ordering of smart, average and dumb as one type of a spectrum, and then use the psychological spectrum as another, if we combine these two as an ensemble, we are missing a third type... unless someone thinks the autistic spectrum suffices since it covers both dumb and genius examples that is sometimes designated as the idiot savant, village idiot, or eccentric professor model. Then again, if we ascribe some gender oriented compulsion of identification, one might want to express the virgin- mother- crone as a spectrum, and the idea of young soul- old soul- ancient soul which I devised years ago.

If I may use a previously analogy, it reminds me of the French inclination not to have the Tour de France take place over the same course, whereby their cyclists can not be judged next to other cyclists too closely. Because the event takes place on different courses from year to year, comparisons of ability between different riders over different years are difficult and excuses can be more easily made. Because the routine of changing the course every year has become standardized as a normalcy, this "normal" definition easily refers to the normalcy of a brain functioning that is anything but normal. It is a French normalcy that is imposed on others that everyone must comply with in order to race in "French owned" Tour de France, or be excluded. Clearly the Tour de France needs to be taken out of the hands of the French because it is a hold-over from the old monarchical era where the King's will was the standard world-view that was expected, despite the French Revolution which wanted everyone to acquire a level of equality by being called a "citizen" and not viewed as a "Domestique" to serve the crown, even though this position has also been held over and adopted into a cycling mentality that expects the majority of riders to adopt in order to serve a select few... that they have no choice in choosing who they want to serve. They are simply to do as they are told by those who pay the bills.

Do poets and artists, and all others whether typically denoted (or not) as being creative exhibit a different spectrum of thought processing? Thought processing in terms of being defined as reflective, refractive and/or absorptive? While such analogies are easy for those inclined towards divergent thinking, convergent thinkers may attempt to impose some rational or rather, rationalized ordering on the suppositions, thereby disincluding any sojourn into alternative considerations that may or may not be applicably fruitful.

When we think of thinking in terms of an expanded spectrum of inclusion, alongside humans can be placed all organic life forms, with the addition of a chart to include non-organic items such as rocks, elements, and whatever you might think of being inanimate. clearly the sentience of a flower differs from that of an insect and an insect from a fish and a fish from a reptile and a reptile form a mammal... with mammals to be differentiated as well. One might even include the different vegetables with differences of "mentality" to be placed in this expanded inclusionary form of spectrum. Just because we can not ascertain the presumed mentality in different life forms within the scope of their respective physiology and not just by comparing it to what humans think mentality is according to its physiology, doesn't mean such a condition does not exist. However, speculate as we might philosophically, we need some formula for beginning a measurement for the purposes of establishing a preliminary model of comparison.

If we use an anthropomorphic method of evaluation, we are met with the presence of having to question our sanity in the present era, though in the past humans might well have ascribed human-like sentience to other life forms, but not necessarily non-life forms; despite the many people who give names to their vehicles, rifles, and other personal items in today's frame of reasoning that I frequently refer to as an Age of Irrationality. I often feel I traveled into the past and have to hide out because there are so many deranged people living together in groups called towns, cities, states, countries, etc..., whereby they use their insanity to convince themselves they are sane. It is the sanity of a collective insanity!

Anyway, creating a spectrum of thinking and consciousness and then adding it to the aforementioned timeline involving a Threesological perspective is not actually that difficult if one permits themselves great latitude in approximating what we might imagine to be representative of such attributes, though testability is quite another consideration to perform, though many a judicial test (aided by religious hypocrisy) have frequently been used to judge the merits of a presumed truth to go along with a person's mental derangement, such as the tests once used to convict a person of witchcraft by dunking them in a river and claiming them to be innocent if they drowned! A logic that boggles the mind of today's inhabitants but apparently was accepted as a bona fide tool that assisted normal people in accessing the validity of truth as it was conceived of in the past.

Again, let us not forget that this page started out with a reference to reflection, refraction and absorption, which, when permitted to be used metaphorically, can illustrate thinking processes occurring over a spectrum, yet the spectrum is limited like visible light, and may well exist as part of a larger spectrum that we humans do not appreciate because of the current type of brain functionality we have in trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy which abides by the dictates of so much irrationality occurring in business, politics and religion, though because of the large numbers of people who share in a similar type of irrationality, this perspective is called normal... That is, it is a normally occurring irrationality. However, this does not provide the reader with an illustration of the spectrum being spoken of, which I will have to address later on.

However, on second thought, one might venture to propose a model of ancient history such as the animal- vegetable- mineral divisions or even use the present day three domain divisions (Archea- Bacteria- Eucaryota), unless some other number-arrayed assortment fulfills their present inclinations of supposition.

Reference to animal, vegetable, mineral trichotomy

Three life Domains

With respect to such a supposition, we can venture to provide illustrations of the mind or brain or even all (or individual pieces) of our physiology in terms of a prismatic aperture, which when the word "aperture" is used, leads us into many more fruitful considerations than simply to think of the mind as a prism. However, there are far too many authors who focus on the "7" value of the spectrum as if it were some Universal standard and truth, perhaps only because they are not familiar with the account of mental patterns being divulged by a Threesological approach. The "7" as associated with the rainbow and the rainbow with a supposed "god's promise", not to mention that this quantity being associated with the "seven sisters" (Pleiades) star clustering from star gazing antiquity, no doubt plays a role in some people attaching significance to this number.

Here are some samplings of the related mind as (or is) a prism perspective, by using the phrase "the mind is a prism" as the search term on goggle. The problem is that the illustrations are solely based on a philosophical orientation with only a modicum interest in providing additional research data such as describing the prism as having 7 colors, but not then relating it as a subset of the larger electro-magnetic spectrum, nor that the visible spectrum uses the eye with its three-part divisions (three cones/1 rod, pupil- cornea- iris ). In other words, the examples are extremely superficial renderings of an idea that needs to be expanded and expounded on.

Please note how many of the authors resort to a binary or dichotomous orientation (that may or may not include some after-thought of a trichotomy to support the dichotomy, and is therefore part of an embellished dichotomy); though the accompanying image to the right appears to suggest more of a diversity that the author of the first example (for example...) does not appear to be able to convey without resorting to the usage of a dichotomous portrayal (much like the other authors in the list). The authors speak of waves, perhaps as an analogy to brain waves denoted in sleep research, yet there is a recurrent usage of dichotomization, as if their minds can not get out of the two-patterned rut:

Conceptual waves of the mind

However, the prism brain mapping philosophy appears to use a pattern-of-four (2 X 2) styled dichotomization as described by this assessment: Neuro-Bollocks: Debunking pseudo-neuroscience so you don't have to. One should also read the reply by Lisa Garston of the BrainMapping site, following the above assessment.

Brain mapping Bullocks assessment

Here is another take on the prism brain mapping idea: A Colourful PRISM by Neuroskeptic, April 1, 2013 4:10 PM

Origination date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2019... 5:21 AM
Initial Posting: Saturday, November 23rd, 2019... 9:13 AM
Updated Posting: Friday, January 20th, 2023... 12:40 PM

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