Teaching Symbols

The shamrock, a small clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves, grows wild throughout Ireland and is synonymous with Saint Patrick’s Day. Legend has it that Saint Patrick, a Catholic priest and missionary, used this common plant as a teaching symbol to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to Irish converts. The Holy Trinity defines God as being three divine persons (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) sharing one essence. The shamrock was used to illustrate how three unique parts are required and contained to make a whole.

Ernest Holmes also teaches about the triune nature of God: God is threefold in His Nature, i.e., that God is Spirit, or Self Knowingness; God is Law and action; God is result or Body. This is the inner teaching of “The Trinity.” SOM 80.1 He also devised a teaching symbol to illustrate this concept which has become synonymous with Science of Mind.

The upper third represents Spirit or Conscious Mind. It is the cause. This is the idea or thought that wants to be made manifest. How it does this is through Law or Subjective Mind represented in the midsection. This is the creative medium through which the thought becomes reality. It is subjective to and compelled to act upon what it is given through Spirit. The lower third represents Body or Form. This is the manifestation. It is the result of the subjective mind producing what the conscious mind intends.

The left side of the V shows how the process works. The idea created in Mind passes through the Law which must respond by producing the Result. The right side of the V alludes that once this is complete, you return to Conscious Mind to start the process again with a new thought.

The right side of the V is curved to indicate that this entire process is ongoing. We are always in choice and Law is always in action, the result of which is our reality.

As a gardener, another illustration that has been meaningful to me is how a plant comes into being. It starts with a seed, the idea (Spirit). The seed is planted in a creative medium of soil (Law). Here it is acted upon by sun, water, temperature, etc. This results in a plant, the form (Body). You reap what you sow, so sow your thoughts wisely.

For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. ~ Galatians 6.7

Janet Salese