The Law of Three: Concealment and Attraction

The Patterns of Our Lives Pt. III
The Natural Laws of Life
The Law of Three: Concealment and Attraction

By Hwaa Irfan

We have explored the Law of O/1 where from our perception of Nothingness, something i.e. our world came forth. Where the Theory of Evolution would have us believe that we could come into existence spontaneously out of the Chaos.

With the Law of Two, we learnt about the polarities that lead to the inner and outer tensions we face in relation to ourselves, and in relation to others. From that duality comes negative and positive or a polarity, for which a third force is needed to bring about something new.

The Law of Three/Concealment/Attraction

• As all things were from one – Jabir ibn Hayyan(Geber)

• And as all things have been; and arose from one by ye mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation – Sir Isaac Newton

• Everything is formed from the contemplation of unity, and all things come about from unity, by means of adaptation – Idries Shah

When we think of 3, what may come to mind is , triangle (and derivatives thereof), trinity, triple; but in sacred symbolically 3 means the creative power, growth, a forward movement that overcomes duality. If we put our minds aside, because it is a vehicle of comparison that prevents seeing what is, and allow our innate nature go to work, we might come up with:

– Man as body, mind, spirit

– Birth, life, death

– Beginning, middle, end

– Past, present, future

– Father, mother, child

In all of the above there is a stimuli that adds another dimension/understanding/purpose. For man as body, mind and spirit, it is the spirit, from birth – death it is life, from beginning – end, it is the middle, and from past – future it is the present. Mind + life + middle (in Islam the mezan/balance) = present. The present is the only reality of what we have for the past is made up of stories/scripts that we have written consciously and unconsciously, if we hold true to those scripts, we stagnant and stop living in the present, and this is the anti-thesis of the laws of nature where something is always becoming, and nothing is stagnant!

We prevent ourselves from becoming, from fulfilling our potential, losing balance between our inner world and our outer world, and the reality of now, the potential in now, the gift in the present becomes unavailable to us to change. It is the difference between the person who has no interface between himself and the physical world, and is like flotsam and jetsam on the sea of life because he has excluded the third force that would add dynamism to his journey in this life no matter how simple.

The truth of our becoming is in the middle, in life, and thus in the present which we are always in the middle of, and thus by its very nature, it is never apparent unless:

a) We really want to know

b) We are open to that which we are ready for

Until we are open and are ready it remains a mystery. We are ready when we let go of our self deceit, turning away from the mechanicalness in which we live our lives towards a greater conscious self. The attraction increases as we hunger for knowledge of the parts of ourselves we wish to know, and for this to happen we require a third force.

In the world of electrons that third force is electric attraction. Without this force much of what we know in our physical world would not exist. All chemical reactions derive from the interplay of this third force, and all atoms develop mutual attraction because of this third force! In lay talk we are speaking of active, passive and neutral. These forces are the same, but different in degree, therefore activity with one is dominant more than the others in any given situation. Philosopher and sufi, G. I. Gurdjieff, describes to us the importance of these three forces in our lives:

    “When active forces pass through any kind of matter it is called Carbon. When passive forces pass through it, it is called Oxygen. When neutralizing force works through it, it is called Nitrogen. And when matter is taken without relation to the force that works through it, it is called Hydrogen”.

Whatever the combination of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen it is fundamental to every life form from the stars to the food we eat!

In daily life terms, we go approach each day in one form/ state, and throughout that day we will encounter many influences directly and indirectly, and throughout that day without an anchor to learn from the lessons of those influences, we will fluctuate from one state to another, until we reach the end of the day in a form/state different to the one we began the day with because those influences are mirrors of ourselves in terms of the collective conscience. In life terms, life would cease to exist if the union of two opposites did not give birth to life. When there is no impetus to “move on” the third force is lacking.

    “Everything is formed from the contemplation of unity, and all things come about from unity, by means of adaptation”

In that adaptation from what we were, to what we are becoming, the new self is being born and this is the very basis of our evolution.

From the primordial soup all creation became manifest as a result of the Law of Three, a law of nature from which all species of creation has derived. This is the physical manifestation of the lesson that we as humans must learn in order to evolve through a process of jihad an nafs, struggle of the soul/self like the lotus that reveals its beautiful petals to the world, but is imbedded in mud, and the diamond which began life as carbon/coal. This is why we exist in a three dimensional world!

• The physical functions may control feeling, thought and consciousness

• Feeling may control the physical functions

• Thought may control the physical functions and feeling

But the aim should be that:

Consciousness controls the physical, feelings, and thoughts, and to be conscious one has to be totally present in the now, not living the past in the now which relies on a script, or projecting into a myth of the future which also relies on a script, but present in the needs and requirements of now.

{ O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most God fearing of you ..}.(Al Hujurat 49:13)

Now means, if:

    “The principle of Tawhid also implies necessity of man’s harmony with the world around him. The vast realm of the universe, a scene of innumerable actions and reactions among various laws which deter¬mine completely even the most insignificant phenomena in it, is a unit governed by coherent and harmonious laws a coherence and harmony of which the human world is also a part” – Sayyid ‘Ali Khamene’i.

In other words seek harmony in the “now”. If we find a situation that betrays our souls we move away from it because it is asking us to act against what is best for us, but if we are in a situation that may be beneficial in some way I self developmental terms we call on ourselves to be patient and observe what it is we are to learn from that situation.

• If we lack commitment it may be that a situation will help engender this ability to commit from which may transpire: patience, compassion, gratitude, self respect and respecting others.

• If we are lost in hurt, the person who has hurt us may present a situation, which allows you to forgive and in the forgiving is the badly needed self healing that will allow one to move on to having healthier relationships which one would not have if one did not truly forgive because one is addicted to the pain.

• If we find ourselves anxious about achieving a goal that seems to evade us, maybe we need to learn to make the most of what we doing now, and in doing so, realize that a) Maybe that goal is not for us, b) there are certain skills/abilities towards achieving that goal which can only be learnt from what one is doing now.

o One can recognize that the initial resistance e.g. the offer, the turn down is the incentive/the third force needed to make one work harder,
o The effort now has to be made to achieve that goal by overcoming a series of obstacles.
o That if one concedes to laziness/anger/frustration one flounders and stagnates

• If we find ourselves responsible for a group of people, and we are more concerned with getting them to do what we want them to do, then maybe what we need to learn is to accept that each person has their own identity, and that in getting to know them and walk in their shoes, we will learn the skills we need for our own development.

• If we find that the means by which we desire to make a living is unavailable to us, then we need to learn to trust our own passions to discover the means by which we can make a living.

o We might have been told as we were growing up that we could only do x, and y, when in our hearts we wanted to do z. We ended up believing in these scripts, ignoring z. Now maybe z is sending subliminal messages, and as long as z harms no one, including yourself, maybe z should be explored with the kind of patience that may reveal a higher truth.

    “...Righteousness is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in the soul and moves to and fro in the breast even though people again and again have given you their legal opinion [in its favour]” – An Nawawi #27.

However, if we are very stubborn, and refuse to see the truth that presents itself of ourselves to ourselves a catastrophe may ensue afterall in the original Chaos the world we know was born.

In this way we are not only living the truth of our lives, but we are living so that we do not stagnant and fall prey to our lower selves which will never satisfy us in the long term. To follow the path around us means following the path as prepared by the Laws of Nature not against our own nature, which by doing so is also against the Laws used to create us. That is why to help propel us forward if we as humans have not sealed our hearts, we are always attracted to what seems mysterious/concealed.


{ It is He who created for you all that is in the earth } (Al Baqarah 2:29)

But to abuse what He has created for us is to abuse ourselves and each other as we pollute the very water of life which we need to drink from, and when we “pollute” ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually, we reverse our direction in this life to one with which we will never be happy with deep in our hearts. As we rise to the challenges of the signs within our lives, we break loose the self perceived limits, setting up new neural pathways with each experience we are open to, and widen our ability to do more on our physical, mental and spiritual planes of existence.

Ouspensky, P.D. In Search of the Miraculous. Routledge & Kegan Paul, U.K. 1983.

Related Topics:
The Patterns of Our Lives Pt. II
The Patterns of Our Lives