Where worldly science ends and where metaphysical knowledge takes off and proceeds is at the point when the notion of an “onto-cosmological order” is comprehended and understood. In both metaphysics and religion, there is a certain degree or level of importance attached to the number “three.” Two reasons in particular stand out for why the number “three” wields a significant degree of importance in both metaphysics and religion. For one, the entire “onto-cosmological order” which is the ultimate subject of science has both a masculine and active dimension as well as a feminine and passive dimension.
God – as the absolute and eternal “apex” of this onto-cosmological order – is essentially the third element or dimension between the masculine and feminine dimensions of the onto-cosmological order. Second, the relationship between the masculine and feminine on a human level has three dimensions, namely, the sexual, human, and divine. As Fritjhof Schuon noted, the roles which masculinity, femininity, and sexuality play in the onto-cosmological order also wields another aspect or dimension which is often forgotten or overlooked:
“Man, in his lunar and receptive aspect, ‘withers away’ without the woman-sun that infuses into the virile genius what it needs in order to blossom; inversely, man-sun confers on woman the light that permits her to realize her identity by prolonging the function of the sun.”
Why polygamy is acceptable and normal in many traditional cultures is because the absolute and eternal can be realized either through the void and absence of everything other than the absolute and eternal or through the diversity and plenitude of the manifestation of what is absolute and eternal. And in some cases, one can alternate between the two approaches. Abstinence and chastity, for instance, signifies one of these approaches, which in turn sanctifies and invigorates the other approach when there is an alternation of the two approaches. But in Western Christianity, there is essentially a poisoning and vilification of sexuality which demonstrates the initial lack of intellectual breadth and depth which was then filled by Greco-Roman thought, which in turn had its roots in Eastern philosophy.
Nevertheless, the feminine’s relation to the masculine is defined by the very nature of the onto-cosmological order. For the feminine, its relation to the masculine is very much “a secondary form of human submission to God.” And for the masculine, the feminine is the key to salvation, as symbolized and signified by both Eve and Mary. For Adam, salvation and thus eternal life coincided with his reunification with Eve. Mary, on the other hand, is “the personification of the Shekhinah (“Inner Peace”), of the Presence that is both virginal and maternal.”
Love, then, has both an exterior and interior meaning: “True love attaches us to a sacramental form while separating us from the world, and it thus rejoins the mystery of exteriorized Revelation with a view to interiorizing Salvation.” Without the eternal and soteriological, one’s existence amounts to a “futile” and “unnecessary” pursuit of “immortality” through hollow and shallow procreation, money, and work. Moreover, without the eternal and soteriological, there is an absolute lack of sense and logic which is now quite palpable in public discourse. There is, in a sense, sheer backwardness and primitivity behind all the talk about democracy and “freedom” which occupied the public sphere over the last three decades. And as evinced and manifested by current events, the ontological void of the public discourse has led to a massive and popular pushback in many places, which may in fact end up victorious through the very legal and political institutions and mechanisms which coincidentally and ironically were used to foster this massive and widespread ontological void.