La Santísima Trinidad

2 04 2008


The Pythagorean philosophers believed that the trinity was the measure of all things. for the reason, I think, that God governs things by the ternary number, and also that things themselves are completed by the ternary number. Hence Virgil said, “God rejoices in the odd number.” Certainly that supreme author first creates all things; second, attracts them to himself; and third, perfects them.  Likewise, all things first flow from the eternal source when they are born; then they flow back again to it, when they seek their own origin; and finally, they are perfected, after they have returned to their source. Orpheus sang this when he called Jupiter the beginning, middle, and end of the universe. The beginning inasmuch as He produces all things, the middle inasmuch as He attracts His products back to Himself,  and the end inasmuch as He perfects them when they return to Him.  Hence, we can call that ruler of the universe good, beautiful, and just, as He is often called in Plato. He is good, I say, when He creates; when He attracts, beautiful; and when He perfects each thing according to its merit, just.  Beauty, therefore, whose property is to attract, stands between goodness and justice. From goodness it certainly flows; it flows toward justice.

-Marsilio Ficino, Commentary on Plato’s Symposium