Threesology Research Journal
Rodan's sculpture of the thinker
Threesological Examples
(Three-patterned occurrences in Philosophical perspectives)
Page I
Rodan's sculpture the thinker

(The Study of Threes)

FWT Homepage Translator

Note: much of the information contained in this page and the other six pages in this series were the beginning stages of placing formerly used information from other areas into selective arrangements. Since the information for this and the subsequent pages in this series have been used in later pages, most can be viewed as a duplication of that which was yet to come in other areas of application. The information was (mostly) compiled from the old eight column Buckland's Third Revolution Poster, that was subsequently renamed the 3's poster for internet pages.

Several years ago I made an attempt to contribute to Wikipedia's 3 (Number) page by providing numerous three-patterned examples from a variety of subject areas. Not only did I provide the following list of three-patterned philosophies by numerous philosophers, but also a long list of three-patterned examples from anthropology and other areas of human interest. In someone's self-esteemed analysis, I surmise, it was felt that because Anthropology no longer viewed the provided examples as being relevant because of additional discoveries, the material was considered no longer truthful... unless some notion of plagiarism was somehow thrown into the foray. It might be considered that one or more editors of the page didn't like the impression of a scientifically oriented field such as Anthropology appearing to exercise what they may have perceived to be a type of unscientific numerological indulgence... even though a cultural anthropologist would take exception to this.

I have to laugh, shake my head and silently shout out "You've got to be kidding!" Duh..., — the stories about The Three Pigs, Old King Cole and his Fiddlers three, Goldilock's and the three bears, etc., are not examples of real characters or events, yet countless children are subjected to these "lies" minimized to "fabrications" minimized to "Fairytales/Story telling", based upon various rationalizations of acceptability supported by the intellectualisms of various so-called experts in child psychology and education,... perhaps being guilty of reflecting their own biases due to sentimentality.

From a threes perspective, the fact that some human mind did create a three-patterned reference, whether or not it has a long-standing bases in fact or not, has relevance when discussing the "three", unless the parameters of the discussion are collectively agreed upon as to breadth- scope- and depth... criteria that are not set forth on the Wikipedia page. Whereas some of the examples I provided for the Wikipedia page were kept, such as the links to Mike Eck's and Dr. McNulty's web pages, as well as those on education and a few others, one or more editors has otherwise butchered the page to such brevity, no doubt based either on an extremely simplistic appreciation of the "three", or took it upon themselves to selectively decide, without a standard of community approved provision, to a more manageable level with respect to their personal interest and limited knowledge base. To this end, we Threesologists must make up for their short comings and provide a more comprehensive appraisal of what is actually meant by the Number 3 from a much broader perspective. Any of us can selectively "fine tune" a definition in order to accommodate one's rationale for adopting an exclusionary perspective when they feel their authority or presumed control of a situation is being threatened.

However, with the foregoing said, it should also be mentioned that a Threesologist will also take an account of those threes occurring in what appear to be non-human venues such as the patterns-of-three amongst tweeting birds, chirping crickets, barking dogs, cawing crows, weather patterns, wave patterns, silence and sound patterns, etc... If we don't recognize a pattern-of-three occurring on the surface, we may venture, for a time, into an analysis of constituent parts. For example, Crop Circles have a lot of patterns, but there is a recurring "three" pattern when it is acknowledged that the "Crop" fields being used as a "canvas" upon which the Crop Circle is "drawn," are plants with three chromosomes. Another example is to look at music from a threes perspective to recognize a Western culture- based triad structure and the recurring reference to "Middle C." For a third example, is to see that the line (linear), circle (circular), and triangle (triangular) are three basic natural forms... all of which can be seen in the movement of the Sun (or the Sun itself) from dusk to noon to dusk. The square and rectangle are human-derived and contrived composites. (In nature we easily see (without need of artificial magnification) recurring instances of linear, circular, and triangular shapes, but not square or rectangle. The square, rectangle and perhaps even oblong would thus be categorized as a separate pattern-of-three instance.)


The reader must decide for themselves whether or not the following examples of "threes" have relevance to a page denoted the number 3. If the page is only to be about the number 3 inclusively, then most of the information on the Wikipedia "Number 3" page is irrelevant. If however, it is to include three-patterned references from different subject areas, its scope should be broad and not denote an inclination towards hypocrisy derived by a confused referential usage of the "Number Three." From a "threes" perspective, if the human mind conceives of a pattern-of-three, whether it be about a triad of gods, three-eyed aliens, three little pigs, three engines in the space shuttle, three bones in our ear, three chromosome plants (used for "Crop" Circles), or some ancient expression such as vini - vidi - venci, all of these examples are truthful. With this said, a page about the Number 3 is going to have to be written by a Threesologist who can delineate between the number and the usage of the number as a tool of categorization. Those who are taking it upon themselves to decide what is and what is not relevant on the Wikipedia "Number 3" page do not appear to have the appropriate qualifications for doing so.

3-patterned philosophical distinctions:

St. Augustine's Philosophy: Memory ~ Understanding ~ Will
Comte's Philosophy: Great Being ~ Great Medium ~ Great Fetish
Hegel's 3 Spirits: Subjective Spirit ~ 0bjective Spirit ~ Absolute Spirit
Plotinu's Philosophy: One ~ One Many ~ One and Many
Aristotle's 3 Unities: Unity of Action ~ Unity of Time ~ Unity of Place
Sir F. Bacon's 3 Tables: Presence ~ Absence ~ Degree
Thomas Hobbes's 3 Fields: Physics ~ Moral Philosophy ~ Civil Philosophy
Immanuel Kant's 3 Critiques: Pure Reason ~ Practical Reason ~ Judgment
Averroes's 3 Commentaries: Little ~ Middle ~ Great
Karl Marx's 3 isms: Communism ~ Socialism ~ Capitalism
Woodrow Wilson's 3 isms: Colonialism ~ Racism ~ Anti-Communism
Hippocrates's Mind Disorders: Mania ~ Melancholia ~ Phrenitis
Emile Durkeim's 3 Suicides: Egoistic ~ Altruistic ~ Anomic
D. Liesman's 3 Social Characters: Tradition-directed ~ Inner-directed ~ Other-directed
Erich Fromm's 3 Symbols: The Conventional ~ The Accidental ~ The Universal
Pythagoras's "fusion" idea: Monarchy ~ Oligarchy ~ Democracy (into harmonic whole)
M.L. King Jr.'s "Middle Road": Acquiescence ~ Nonviolence ~ Violence
Kierkegaard's 3 Stages: Aesthetic ~ Ethical ~ Religious
Husserl's 3 Reductions: Phenomenological ~ Eidetic ~ Religious
St. Augustine's 3 Laws: Divine Law ~ Natural Law ~ Temporal, or positive Law
3 Truths of the Witness Stand: Tell the Truth ~ The whole Truth ~ Nothing but the Truth
Titus Carus's 3 Ages: Stone Age ~ Bronze Age ~ Iron Age
Feuerbach's 3 Thoughts: God, 1st Thought ~ Reason, 2nd ~ Man, 3rd
Magnus's 3 Universals: Ante Rem ~ In Rem ~ Post Rem
Max Weber's 3 Authorities: Traditional ~ Charismatic ~ Legal-rational
F.  de Sausure's 3 "Signs": Sign ~ Signified ~ Signifier
Charles Pierces 3 "Signs": Qualisign ~ Sinsign (token) ~ Legisign
John Keynes's 3 Eras: Scarcity ~ Abundance ~ Stabilization
George Mead's 3 Distinctions: Self ~ I ~ Me
Thrasher's 3-group Gangs: Inner Circle ~ Rank & File ~ Fringers
Abe Lincoln's 3-For-All: Of the People ~ By the People ~ For the People
Jesus Christ's 3 Praises: In the name of the Father ~ Son ~ Holy Spirit
Samuel Clemmons' (Mark Twain) 3 lies: Lies ~ Damned Lies ~ Statistics
J.W.S. Pringle's 3 intellectual problems: Religious & Ethical ~ Practical ~ Scientific
J. Bruner's 3 cognitive processing modes: Enactive ~ Iconic ~ Symbolic

3-part Logic
Thesis~ Antithesis~ Synthesis
Indulgence ~ "Middle Way" ~  Ascetism
Major Premise ~ Minor Premise ~  Conclusion
Contradiction ~ Excluded  Middle ~ Identity  Principal
What is real
How change comes
What is mind
"Dialectology" Marx):
Unity of opposites
Quantity & quality
Negation of negation
How we know
What is truth
What is mind
Nature of good
Nature of beautiful
Nature of religious
Quality (1st-ness)
Relation (2nd-ness)
Representation (3rd-ness)

J.W.S. Pringle's 3 categories of intellectual problems that have troubled humanity:
(with examples)

J.W.S. Pringle's 3-problem categorizes

3 (abbreviated) principles of Todd Siler's Neurocosmology, (pages 41 & 42 of his book "Breaking The Mind Barrier," 1990):

  1. Through metaphorms, relate everything you do, see, feel, create, or experience in terms of brain processes.
  2. Through metaphorms, relate everything you do, see, feel, create, or experience in terms of the Universe's processes.
  3. Interrelate the results & experiences from 1. and 2... Then, question what these interrelations mean or suggest to you.

  • Pythagorean letter: The letter Y, so called because Pythagoras employed it to signify the bifurcation of the good and evil ways of men; also taken as symbolic of the triad formed by the monad giving rise to the duad.
  • Ancient Chinese proverb attributed to Confucius: (1) I hear, and I forget (2) I see, and I remember (3) I do, and I understand
  • 3 reasoning processes (K.J.W. Craik): Translation~ Reasoning~ Retranslation
  • Whereas the school of Archytas apparently sank into inactivity after the death of its founder, the Academics of the next generation continued "Pythagorizing" Platonic doctrines: (1) Supreme One (2) Indefinite Dyad (3) Tripartite Soul
  • 3 in (of) 1 (person) idea: Mind~ Self-knowledge~ Self-love (Aristotle)
  • 3 laws concerning black body radiation formulated by Wilhelm Wien were a foundation for Max Planck's (Planck's Constant).

3 principles of Nature by Adolfo Best Maugard (1949):

  1. Principle of the creative process.
  2. Principle of the procedure of conversion.
  3. Principle of the formation and gradual transformation of realization of fulfillment.

  • Galton, who inaugurated the systematic study of genius, formulated the theory that genius is a very extreme degree of these three combined traits: (1) Intellect (2) Zeal (3) Power of working
  • 3 stage evolution of man's conceptions of the Universe by Freud: Animistic ~ Religious ~ Scientific
  • 3 Evolution theory co-discoverers: Charles Darwin ~ Patrick Matthew ~ Alfred Russel Wallace
  • 3 (1905) papers by Einstein: Brownian movement ~ Photo-electric effect ~ Special Relativity
  • 3 (1905) papers by Sigmund Freud: Id~ Ego ~ Superego (Child ~ Parent~ Adult)
  • 3 part body typing by W.H. Sheldon: Endomorph ~ Mesomorph ~ Ectomorph
  • 3 part body typing by Ernst Kretschmer: Pyknic ~ Asthenic ~ Athletic
  • 3 Gregor Mendel "laws": Independent Unit Characters ~ Segregation ~ Dominance
  • 3 Darwinian essentials of Evolution: Variation ~ Heredity ~ Struggle for existence
  • The movie "Three Faces of Eve" is accepted by many (American) people as a general representation of a multiple personality
  • 3 basic elements of mind (Wilhelm Wundt): Sensations ~ Images ~ Feelings
  • 3 main psycho-sexual stages: Oral~ Anal~ Genital
  • 3 (Jean Piaget) Structure characteristics: Wholeness ~ Transformation ~ Self-regulation
  • 3 (Karl Jaspers) consciousness aspects: Awareness of experience~ Awareness of an object~ Self-reflection
  • 3-spined stickleback fish has often been used for research in instinct behavior
  • 3 components of love by Robert Sternberg: Passion ~ Intimacy ~ Commitment

Jean Piaget (1953) described three kinds of intellectual structures: Behavioural (or sensorimotor) schemata, Symbolic schemata, and Pperational schemata.

  • Behavioural schemata: organized patterns of behaviour that are used to represent and respond to objects and experiences.
  • Symbolic schemata: internal mental symbols (such as images or verbal codes) that one uses to represent aspects of experience.
  • Operational schemata: internal mental activity that one performs on objects of thought.

3 questions about intelligence asked by R.J. Sternberg (page 51, "The Triarchic Mind"):

  • What is its relationship to the internal world?
  • What is its relationship to the external world?
  • What is its relationship to the experience of the individual?

3 distinguishable functions served by intelligence when applied to the everyday world (Sternberg):

  • Adaptation to existing environments.
  • Selection of new environments.
  • Shaping of existing environments into new environments.

Triarchic mind theory by Robert J. Sternberg: Componential~ Experiential~ Contextual

Sternberg's Triarchic Intelligence Theory


(componential sub-theory)

(experiential sub-theory)

(contextual sub-theory)
Metacomponents Novel Tasks
Performance Components Automated Tasks
Knowledge Acquisition
(predictably unpredictable) Shaping

H.O. B. note: I added the three {unpredictable}~ {predictable}~ {predictably unpredictable} references because it assists in some level of clarification and also fills in the 3rd section left blank in the 2nd (creativity) column. Hence, "novelty" frequently is unpredictable, "automation" implies routine which is predictable, and there is the behavior of those who do unpredictable things in automated ways on a frequent basis. In other words, they do things not expected, but what they do is not novel creativity but an unexpected expression of a common-place behavior that, to many observers, is a clear distinction that the appearance of the non-usual does not necessarily equate with what many of us would interpret to be a creative novelty in terms of originality when compared to other contexts and/or individuals.

J.P. Guilford found both Charles Spearman's and L.L. Thurstone's models of Intelligence incomplete, whereby he developed a third model which distinguished three kinds of mental ability consisting of:

  1. Operations, the act of thinking.
  2. Contents, the terms in which we think such as words or symbols.
  3. Products, the ideas we come up with.

J.P. Guilford's 3-dimensional cube of intelligence

Triune Brain Structure of Paul D. Maclean: R-System (Reptilian) ~ Limbic System ~ Neocortex, is said to be 3 hierarchically-arranged brain systems that are independent but inter-connected 3-brains-in-1:

There are various 3-part divisions which can be associated to the brain from a specific or generalized perspective:

Paul MacClean's triune brain

  • Hindbrain ~ Midbrain ~ Forebrain
  • Limbic System ~ Cortex ~ Neocortex
  • Subcortex ~ Midcortex ~ Outercortex
  • Frontal ~ Parietal ~ Temporal
  • NeoMammalian ~ Mammalian ~ Limbic System
  • Right Hemisphere ~ Left Hemisphere ~ Limbic System
  • Boy brain ~ Girl brain ~ Androgynous brain
  • Male brain ~ Female brain ~ Monkey brain
  • Reptile brain ~ Animal Brain ~ Human brain
  • (General) Nervous System ~ (Central) Nervous System ~ (Peripheral) Nervous System,
  • etc...

No less, there are other 3-part divisions which can be referenced to certain attributes associated to the brain:

  • Ancient brain ~ Classical brain ~ Modern brain
  • Homo sapiens (past) ~ Homo sapiens sapiens (present)~ Homo sapiens sapiens sapiens (future)
  • Barbarian ~ Renaissance ~ Modernized
  • Past brain ~ Present brain ~ Future brain
  • Criminal ~ Creative ~ Civil
  • Stone Age brain ~ Bronze (Metal) Age brain ~ Industrial Age brain
  • Academic ~ Alternative ~ Athletic
  • Practical brain ~ Compulsory brain ~ Impractical brain
  • Rational ~ Superstitious ~ Irrational, etc...

However, some people consider humanity is regressing in terms of brain development when they cite that we have gone from a Classical Music brain to a Rock & Roll Noise brain to a Jungle Chant brain; a notion which may or may not be given some credibility by the occurrence of grunt-like expressions amongst some gang members and those in our prisons:
"Man, like-a you know what I mean: It was a WHOOP, by the WHOOP- WHOOP, near the WHOOP- WHOOP- WHOOP."

NO, I am not exaggerating. I honestly heard a conversation very similar to this occurring amongst two inmates when I worked at the nearby prison. While I had first thought it to be an isolated incident, I queried other prisoners and found that the "WHOOP" expression was (at that time) considered to be a common occurrence amongst some of the inmates. (I have heard a similar "whoop" sound coming from tree-swinging primates.)

3-Monkey Confession: Hear no Evil ~ See no Evil ~ Speak no Evil
3 times the fool:
  1. You can fool some people some of the time ~
  2. Some people all the time ~
  3. But not all people all the time.

3 planes of consciousness:

  1. Subconsciousness (instinctive & affective thought).
  2. Consciousness (Ideological & effective thought).
  3. Super Consciousness (Intuitive thought and the higher truths).

Three-fold (Tabula Smargdina) principle of the outer and inner world is:

  1. The common source of both.
  2. Influence of psyche upon the physical.
  3. Influence of the physical world upon the spiritual

3 basic goals shared by mystics:

  1. Knowledge of a spiritual reality that exists beyond the everyday world.
  2. Spiritual union with some higher power.
  3. Freedom from selfish needs and worldly desires.

Marius Schneider: If we take three fundamental planes:

  1. Vegetable and meteorological life.
  2. Natural human life.
  3. Spiritual growth, then the concepts of death and rebirth - respectively symbolized by the moon in its waning and waxing phases - signify on three levels:

  1. Drought and rain.
  2. Illness and cure.
  3. Fossilization and flux.

  • 3 Aristotle government categories: Rule by one person~ Rule by a few people~ Rule by many people
  • Three People's Principles: Nationalism~ Democracy~ Socialism ("livelihood") (Soon Yaht-sen, 1866-1925)
  • Yin~ Unity~ Yang: Unity is at the apex of a triangle and Yin/Yang at separate base corners
  • 3 systems of thought attracted most Hellenistic intellectuals: Cynicism~ Epicuranism~ Stoicism
  • 3 Great Philosophers: Socrates taught Plato who taught Aristotle (who taught Alexander the Great)... [Every time I saw the abbreviated word "SPA" designating an exercise Center, I thought of these three philosophers. The letters of the abbreviation correspond to the first letter in each of their names.]
  • 3 orders of philosophy by Hjalmar Wennerberg: Phenomenology ~ Normative Science ~ Metaphysics
  • 3 essential vows of a monk by St. Benedict of Nursia: Obedience ~ Chastity ~ Poverty
  • Georges I. Gurdjieff saw humans as a 3-brained being: One brain for the Spirit~ One for the Soul~ One for the Body
  • 3-to-1 (fusion) view of Georges I. gurdjieff: "After I had studied the first three numbers, it was given to me to understand the great law of four---The Alpha and Omega of all (from his book "A new model of the Universe," page 206)
  • 3 dimensions of Alchemy: Practical~ Scientific (philosophical)~ Spiritual
  • 3 principal substances of Alchemy:Salt ~ Sulphur ~ Mercury
  • In Plato's ideal state all three classes (Guardians~ Auxiliaries~ Common People) were to be persuaded to believe a myth: That their creator had fashioned them of three different substances (Gold~ Silver~ Baser Metals, respectively) and failure of any individual to adhere to his station would be contrary to the nature of things.
  • Carl Jung: Everyone has in him something of the Criminal ~ The Genius ~ and The Saint.
  • Frances Bacon: Discourse maketh a ready man ~ Writing maketh an exact man ~ Reading maketh a full man.

3 principles of Mohandes K. Gandhi:

  • That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all.
  • That a Lawyer's work has the same value as the Barber's inasmuch as all have the same right of earning their livelihoods from their work.
  • That a life of labor (of the tiller of the soil and the handi-craftsman), is the life worth living.

3 Satyagraha (truth, nonviolence, self-suffering) movements of Gandhi:

  • Noncooperation movement 1920-22).
  • Salt march movement (1930-32).
  • Quit India movement (1940-42).

  • 3 times jailed: Gandhi
  • 3-part slogan of Gandhi "God is Truth" was changed to "Truth is God."
  • At age 19, Gandhi received 3 months of lessons in Elocution~ Dancing~ Violin, after which he returned to an austere life.

*** With respect to patterns-of-two, Gandhi made a comment quite applicable: One has to become absolutely passion-free, to rise above the opposing currents of Love and Hatred, Attachment and Repulsion.

J.A. Fodor's (3-part) Taxonomy of the mind: Central Processes~ Input Processes~ Transducers

J. A. Foder's Taxonomy of the mind

Tripartite soul conception of Plato: Rational~ Libidinous~ Spirited(various animal qualities)

3 laws of Comte's thought progression: Religious~ Abstract(or Metaphysical)~ Scientific

3 main theoretical positions on the origin of plants, animals, humans, the world, the Universe:

  • Theology
  • Creationism
  • Science (Evolution, Geological, etc...)

3 views about where the Universe is headed:

  • Keep expanding and eventually die out.
  • Collapse in on itself and eventually become another Big Bang.
  • Continue as it is forever.

There are frequent references to the first 3 seconds, 3 minutes, 3 days, after the Big Bang.

3 false beliefs by Plato that are fatal to moral character:

  • Atheism.
  • Denial of the moral government of the world.
  • Believing that divine judgment can be bought off by offerings.

"Homo ("one")-sexuality/"bi" ("two")-sexuality, sadism/masochism, as well as the many "occupations" of promiscuous sexuality (due to being viewed as "opposite" variations to normal heterosexuality), and inter-/-racial dating (due to being viewed as "opposite" to the normal dating of one's own race), can be seen as examples of patterns-of-two due to those involved who remain somewhat preoccupied with reassuring themselves with the propriety of their actions through assertive simplistic expressions of various dichotomous activities.

The "coming out" of homosexuals ("into what" has not been decided on), and the "blending of races" by those who attempt to rationalize inter/-racial dating with spurious arguments, are both short-sighted (primarily unconscious) attempts to reach some semblance of a third stage in personal development. The main (but not only) problem with these types of approaches to reach the "three" is that the participants have not come to appreciate their own unique individuality as having no equal.

These so-called "adult consenting alternative" lifestyles, which basically are poorly contrived renderings of camouflaged perverted sexual orientations, are being overlooked as premature expressions of the environmentally influenced genetic predisposition of a particular species whose biological "motivations" strive to reach the "three" but that these avenues of pursuit are futile because, metaphorically speaking, 1 plus 1 does not equal three.

Fortunately, only a very small percentage of people engage in such acts of sexually-oriented self-absorption because most of us are insightful enough to know that such paths are blind alleys (like Nazism's "Third Reich, the French Revolution's "Third Republic," and Fascism's "Third Way.")...

...Labyrinths from which those few will never emerge until they call upon the reserves of their consciousness to seek fulfillment through their especial individualized course of a 1~ 2~ 3 attainment instead of through an adulterated mirror-image reflection as did Narcissus, and the dog who looked down upon a stream from a bridge while carrying a bone but subsequently "lost touch with this reality" by reaching out for what appeared to be an enlarged bone, thereby dropping "truth" into the waters below all because of a mirage. The moral is, when crossing the many bridges you encounter in life, discipline your eager (impulsive) potentialities, in order to reach the other side so that you stand on solid ground while reaching beyond your finger tips.

Man and woman are not opposite sexes. This notion of being "opposite" is an outdated reference developed in an age when humanity was largely oriented towards patterns-of-two.

Many mental health workers are not aware that Word Association tests can give indications of a person's two-patterned orienting ability exhibited (quite often) verbally, as are the "double figures in a Rorschach's (ink blot) test. When using the TAT (Thematic Apperception Tests), where various pictures with two people are often shown, individuals are asked to give a three- patterned Beginning~ Middle~ End scenario. Hence, test givers are using three-patterned criteria to analyze individuals subjected to two-patterned tests! And you wonder why psychological (and other) problems aren't being solved? Such tests are like placing an individual in a round room and giving them three chances to find a corner . . .This is what we get for relying on stone age psychology that uses a two-patterned methodology of analysis on many people who are particularly three-patterned oriented!!!

Date of Origination: (approx.) Sunday, 31st December 2000... 11:18 PM
Posted Update: Thursday, 24th May 2018, 4:47 AM
Your Questions, Comments or Additional information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland