Creation begins with the one; from the one, the world originates. One is the first energetic impulse, the first ray that breaks through from the primordial ground, the emptiness. The one symbolises the will of the Father and corresponds to the primordial atom, the first Creative word, from which the whole of creation develops and manifests itself.
The beginning appears as a formless spark from the timeless, primordial mysteriousness. We read in the Zohar, a book of the cabbala:
It was not white, not black, not red or green, nor did it possess any other colour. Not until it occupied space and expanded, it produced colours, and right in the spark’s innermost being a wellspring opened, from which the colours flowed out upon everything that was lower.
From the one, all numbers come forth; they are contained in it; they are encompassed by it. The Daodejing, the Chinese book of wisdom by Laozi, says:
From Dao, one is generated, one generates two, two generates three, from three, the ten thousand things are generated.
The one represents the quality of the unity, the undividedness. At the same time, it represents insight. Insight means being able to perceive the unity of all things behind the multiplicity in the world. This shows that understanding the one and the return to the one, are what is most important and both the first as well as the last step that a person can make. Here he finds his highest goal and the meaning of his life.
Unity shows itself to our mind in two ways: spiritually as well as materially, hidden as well as openly. As to its extensiveness, matter is equally immeasurable as the universe. It only becomes visible in its various combinations and structures.
Something similar applies to the light. If there was no darkness, the light would not be visible. If there was no light, the darkness would be formless and imperceptible. The good, too, can only be experienced as good, if evil also exists.
Therefore, the one implies the possibility of the two. Two poles are contained in it. It is only through polarity, the pairs of opposites, that it becomes possible to clarify something.
We can read in Genesis:
And God separated the Light from the darkness. God called the Light day, and the darkness he called night.
The two expresses the appearance of the world in the consciousness of the all-one. The form and the way, in which the world appears, are those of polarity and multiplicity. Life develops between opposites (light and dark, warm and cold, hard and soft, plus and minus, north pole and south pole, love and hatred …) and is maintained by the equilibrium. In oriental wisdom, this is represented by the yin-yang symbol. Although both poles are each other’s opposite, they are always two sides of one being. Their unity stems from their origin. Therefore, the primordial impulse of creation consists of the division or polarisation of the one. The fact that both poles of the unity have drifted apart has caused tension, movement and hence life because, due to their drifting apart, the poles are striving to be reunited. The one wants to manifest itself again. Due to the dual forms of manifestation of the created world, power and movement are generated. Thoughts, things and vibrations move in two directions: either drifting apart or in the direction of union in the origin. In this way, two primordial forces work in the universe, on the one hand that of polarisation and differentiation, and on the other, that of union, resulting in a new creation. This is true for the whole of nature as well as for the human soul.
From the familiar interaction between the masculine and the feminine polarity, we can learn to distinguish between what is essential and true and what is external and transient. It teaches us how to overcome and discard doubt, discord and desperation and to combine both poles in the higher unity again. In German and Dutch, we see in the word doubt (Zweifel, twijfel) the same root as in the word two (zwei, twee). The witch in Goethe’s Faust says:
From one make ten!
Let two go again,
make three even,
you’ll be rich again.
– Goethe, Faust
“Let two go again” is what we would now like to emphasize.
The tension between the one and the two, and also the tension within the two between masculine and feminine, above and below, good and bad … is dissolved by the three. The three is the principle of movement, of dynamism, of restoring the balance and of the link. It is the number of rediscovering and of the return, of overcoming the opposites.
This is why the Chinese compare it with Dao. Dao is both the one and the three. Dao encompasses both poles, contains yin and yang within itself and is contained in both.
In the Christian terminology: the Father and the Mother (the father-mother!) generate the Son, who manifests the consciousness and the light.
Reduced to our daily life, this means that someone is only able to dissolve the tension between two poles if he does not allow himself to become lost in dualistic limitations. We are advised to choose a higher point of view and another level of consideration. The symbol of becoming conscious is the equilateral triangle.
One side lies opposite the angle that points in the direction of a higher, transcendental goal. The equilateral triangle is the only geometric form that cannot be moved; it is not possible to make it roll. In this way, the triangle symbolises a stability and power that cannot be achieved by any other polygon.
The three induces a birth; a new level of perception develops. In many religions, the highest creator is threefold: in the Christian tradition as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; in the Indian tradition as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Waking up from the paradisiacal, yet still unconscious, primordial state of the unity, we should pass through the world of duality and illusion in order to arise in the three unto a new, and now conscious unity with the Spirit.
The dance step of one-two-three, one-two-three shows the fundamental pattern of the path of development that is reflected in what is large and in what is small, in the whole of creation as well as in what is personal, individual, in all stages of genesis.
Born from the unity, the soul passes through separation, doubt and crises in order to achieve insight and growth, in this way finding the way to the unity again. After any attained unity, a new polarisation always follows and confronts us with a new task, with a new stage of consciousness, by means of new themes.
This principle ensures that nothing is lost and that life does not allow itself to be destroyed in the polarity, but always remains on its way to higher being, which then implies experience, love and a higher consciousness. The condition is that we accept and experience the challenge. To the extent that the consciousness grows, our soul principle grows, too.
Source: Michael Stelzner, Die Weltformel der Unsterblichkeit, 1996