What is your understanding of this about the Trinity?

St. Basil quotes here:

  1. Since then, as says the Lord in the Gospels, John 14:9 he that has seen the Son sees the Father also; on this account he says that the Only-begotten is the express image of His Father’s person. That this may be made still plainer I will quote also other passages of the apostle in which he calls the Son “the image of the invisible God,” Colossians 1:15 and again “image of His goodness;” not because the image differs from the Archetype according to the definition of indivisibility and goodness, but that it may be shown that it is the same as the prototype, even though it be different. For the idea of the image would be lost were it not to preserve throughout the plain and invariable likeness. He therefore that has perception of the beauty of the image is made perceptive of the Archetype. So he, who has, as it were mental apprehension of the form of the Son, prints the express image of the Father’s hypostasis, beholding the latter in the former, not beholding in the reflection the unbegotten being of the Father (for thus there would be complete identity and no distinction), but gazing at the unbegotten beauty in the Begotten. Just as he who in a polished mirror beholds the reflection of the form as plain knowledge of the represented face, so he, who has knowledge of the Son, through his knowledge of the Son receives in his heart the express image of the Father’s Person. For all things that are the Father’s are beheld in the Son, and all things that are the Son’s are the Father’s; because the whole Son is in the Father and has all the Father in Himself. Thus the hypostasis of the Son becomes as it were form and face of the knowledge of the Father, and the hypostasis of the Father is known in the form of the Son, while the proper quality which is contemplated therein remains for the plain distinction of the hypostases.


Might I humbly ask what is the understanding of apologists here?

Thankyou and God bless :slight_smile:


It has been said that nobody since St. Thomas Aquinas has spoken about the Trinity without making a heretic of himself (and we’re not really sure about Aquinas).

So, at the risk of making a heretic of myself, I will give you my perspective, which is more informed by physics than theology (but God is the author of both, so that ought to be OK).

In physics, there is the classic question of whether light is made up of waves or particles (photons). It was long believed that light was photons (discrete particles of energy). This would explain how light could cross the vacuum of space (where waves could not exist - there is no sound in space, for example, because there is no medium for a wave to affect). Every experiment confirmed this idea.

Then, along came the “two slit” experiment, which conclusively demonstrated that light was waves, not photons.

Now we had two contrary ideas, and it is possible to conclusively prove either one. It has since been PROVEN to modern science that it is IMPOSSIBLE to construct an experimental apparatus that can measure BOTH the wave and particle nature of light.

If you construct an experimental apparatus that determines the wave nature of light, and you pass the light from that apparatus to another apparatus that measures the particle nature of light, you will find that NOTHING passes. It is the same for the opposite case.

Neils Bohr constructed the Copenhagen Interpretation to address this dichotomy. He reasoned that light existed in a “superposition” of both wave and particle, until it was observed, at which time light “collapsed” into a particular state, depending on the apparatus.

I view the Trinity in a similar manner, although the Trinity has three states (whereas light has only two). It is God (in a superposition). But I might view God as Father, Son, or Spirit. And, when I do (depending on my prayer and my need), God “collapses” into one of those Three.

But only those “rays” of God that I encountered at that particular time are collapsed (the same for light). My observation (and collapse) does not effect anyone else’s observation.

Thank God I am a fool before His feet and delight in both my ignorance of and my faith in the mystery of the Trinity.

A wonderfull simile.

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