"...they dream that most profound mysteries lie hid in the Bible..." Baruch Spinoza
As to mysteries.. when we consider what Jefferson calls the Trinitarian arithmetic... one only needs read from some of the great thinkers to discern what history records about arithmetic.
Descartes wrote, "For whether I am awake or asleep, two and three added together are five, and a square has no more than four sides. It seems impossible that such transparent truths should incur any suspicion of being false. And yet firmly rooted in my mind is the long-standing opinion that there is an omnipotent God who made me the kind of creature that I am. How do I know that he has not brought it about that there is no earth, no sky, no extended thing, no shape, no size, no place, while at the same time ensuring that all these things appear to me to exist just as they do now? What is more, just as I consider that others sometimes go astray in cases where they think they have the most perfect knowledge how do I know that God has not brought it about that I too go wrong every time I add two and three or count the sides of a square, or in some even simpler matter, if that is imaginable?" Meditations on First Philosophy, p. 14
"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows." George Orwell, 1984
"It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one . . . But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests. Sweep away their gossamer fabrics of factitious religion, and they would catch no more flies. We should all then, like the Quakers, live without an order of priests, moralize for ourselves, follow the oracle of conscience, and say nothing about what no man can understand, nor therefore believe."
Thomas Jefferson, a letter to John Adams, 1813
"The doctrines added by certain churches, such as that God took upon Himself human nature, I have expressly said that I do not understand. In fact, to speak the truth, they seem to me no less absurd than would a statement that a circle had taken upon itself the nature of a square." Baruch Spinoza, a letter to Henry Oldenburg, November 1675
Can history be any more clear? The great men of history were certain that there were fixed laws of mathematics, such as the associative or distributive property, that their were fixed physical laws, and that the concepts found in Aristotelian logic were sound. They subsequently when encountering the Trinity doctrine couldn't make heads or tails of it.
Then you will say, "Men of such great learning, but they are dead in their spirits." That's bullshit and you know it.
Don't blame the great men of history for not accepting this baffling doctrine when it is the error of those promulgating it in not explaining it correctly. If they had not been content for so long to say, "Accept on faith," "Accept uncritically," "Believe or burn!" there might have been some worthwhile arguments to defend it with.
Contrary to belief, you can't simply conjoin several contradictory theses that are bizarre and result in blatant contradictions and then simply call it a 'mystery'.
That is not what a mystery is. I should rather discuss with you what a 'paradox' is. Put simply, a paradox is an 'accident of language'. What you'll come to see is that a paradox is something that exists in language that does not really correspond to anything in fact. The Trinity is no mystery but a paradox, i.e., it exists in language as an accident, but reflects nothing in fact. The Triangle clearly highlights the paradox.
"Socrates wants to cross a river and comes to a bridge guarded by Plato, who says, "Socrates, if in the first proposition which you utter, you speak the truth, I will permit you to cross. But surely, if you speak falsely, I shall throw you into the water. Socrates responds, saying, "You will throw me into the water."
We perceive it clearly in language, but note it corresponds to nothing real.
Therefore, 'fully God and fully man' is a mistake, an accident of language, and a paradox. For you cannot be 100% something plus 100% something else because then you would be 200%. And 'God and man' at once. Think of it like this, in terms a great mind once put it: "One principle of God is that God is non-man. Another principle of man is that man is non-god." It's very confusing to think of a person who is God and Man, and not-God and not-man, all at the same time.
If your formula contains truth, then it is not in the method in which you phrased it. But of course it's easier to speak in abbreviations and paradoxes, rather than developing your thoughts scientifically. Forgive me if often I don't take issue with your meanings, but often I take issue with the lazy way you portray it.
So much has been said of mysteries. The great men have spoken on the immutable properties of numbers, we have looked at paradox and contradiction and even highlighted a couple of the most notable mysteries of Christianity, the divinity of Christ and the Trinity. But no discussion of mystery can be complete without what is wrong with the mysteries, why mysteries hold the sway they do and what the Messiah said about them.
What is wrong with mystery?
There is a lot wrong with mystery. It creates an initiated sect within the broader camp that attracts the ordinary neophyte, and consequently carries with it elitism, prejudice, and oppression. There never were any qualms about murdering dissidents because the adept class were considered the 'elect' or the 'chosen'. Anyone who interfered with that was necessarily a tool of the devil. They had to be killed.
Additionally, an overriding quality of man is his exclusiveness. His clubs, his parties, his interest groups, have always been concerned as much about who was not invited as to who was. Christianity abrogates that. It says "whosoever shall believe [on the Son] shall be saved." It says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." It says If you confess your sins with your mouth, He is faithful and just to forgive you. It says, Come you who are weary, and I will give you rest.
Man can't turn man from God. He is no middleman, For there is one Mediator between God and man... This consumes him constantly. He invents mysteries and dogmatic tests, pronouncing anathemas on whoever fails them. He tars as worse than an unbeliever any who oppose him on any doctrinal front. He engineers a system of theological haves versus theological have nots, an inner circle of shepherds, who share the profits of the endeavor and its abuses amongst themselves, with a much larger group of neophytes beneath them, who are the sole financial backing of the society, believing they offer their monies to God, but really only to
manipulative con artists.
When mystery reared its head in and around the time of the Reformers, women's bellies were slit open and fetuses ripped out, men's heads were chopped off or were burned alive, or women had stones tied to them and thrown in the deep, and if they floated they were certainly witches.
What does it offer to the everyday person? It offers a deep solace and reassurance in one's faith. It's taught that a 'head knowledge is not enough, you must have faith in your heart'. So if a man can come to understand what is a paradox, an open contradiction, and he can belittle himself to accept it uncritically, then he must really be one of the chosen.
He can be apart of the group, he can reach his hand into the offering bucket, he can write a list of letters after his name! He is esteemed! He is heralded and welcomed into every party and rigamarole!
Who was despised and rejected of men? Who sat in pits, thrown there by their own brothers? Whose families forsook them, who floated at open sea who could only imagine death awaiting him, or stoned? If you look at the ministries of prophets, these were only a few of the travails they witnessed in their lives. They didn't teach mysteries. They taught a personal God, that you could know, without ever having taken a college course on logic or algebra, or theology! They taught a God Who was with them and would be with you too, not Who could only be known through the priest class or any arbiter. And that He sees faults through the lens of perspective, not the judgment and alienation so often felt from man.
The biggest mystery of all is how the truest and most perfect religion came to be such a chimera, an atrocious monster with a trail of blood going back thousands of years.
What did Yeshua ha Messhiac say about mystery while He was here with us? It's so simple, it will go over the heads of many.
"But woe unto, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." [Matthew 23:13]
Mystery waxed great amongst the scribes. The enigmatic 'oral Torah' that they alone were the gatekeepers of, their meticulous attention to the broadness of their phylacteries, the cleanness of cups, who strained gnats but swallowed camels. They were meticulous to the ultimate degree and they keenly used all the regulations to build up, but mostly to tear down men.
And most of all, they shut up the gates of heaven.
It was from the sword of mystery they wielded that they painted their enemies into a corner.
The abomination of 'mystery', I don't mean in the doctrines themselves but in this weapon of subterfuge and alienation, whose vehicle oftentimes is in certain peculiar doctrines, this weapon of 'mystery' is abhorrent.
It is the basis for every schism, excommunication, and anathema. Its effect is to elicit hatred of man against his neighbor and has brought religious war and death to people in all history.
Most of all, it teaches us to fear the 'other', to view the 'other' in other-ly terms.
My final recommendation to any and all who will listen, do not any longer place emphasis on mystery if you would not place it on your phylacteries, kitchenware, or china.