July 2, 2018—Archaeological discoveries have made us aware of other versions of sacred stories that were lost for previous generations. For example, the full text of the Gospel of Thomas was only discovered in 1945. These non-canonical texts provide alternative interpretations of the sacred story. And while many Christian faiths, bodies, and denominations do not accept non-canonical texts as sacred scriptures, these writings can present alternative perspectives that can give us a broader view of faith and the human experience.
For example, I recently stumbled upon a non-canonical text that has given me new insight into the concept of relationship triangles. Here is a portion of that text:
In the …(indecipherable)
21 . . . the Godhead existed before anything was created. The all-knowing Godhead recognized that their dyadic union was inherently unstable.
22 Then the Holy One decided, “Let us make a man like us and let us focus upon this man, thereby displacing the anxiety present in our union.”
23 Thus man was created. When the Holy One discovered that the man was lonely and searching for intimacy, the man was anesthetized and a woman was created from his side.
24 And the man said, “WOW.” From that day forward, the Holy One has been able to stay in the more comfortable outside position of the triangle, and the humans have occupied the closer, more contentious positions of the triangle.
25 And the Holy One decreed that the humans will live out their days in interlocking triangles, thus their fate was sealed.
26 And occasionally, the Almighty will observe the humans as they experience intimacy and remember those days in the Garden when the Holy One was the center of the human’s attention and wonders if those days could be rekindled?
27 The enmeshment and fusion in the Garden was wonderful, even though it was short lived.
28 It was during one of those moments of introspection and reflection that the Holy One decided to stay curious and make this a research project. How would these triangles evolve and reconfigure? Would their intensity increase or diminish over time?
29 The Holy One resolved to stay connected to the humans without intruding into their space or decision-making. It was going to be a challenge to turn loose of outcomes and watch as they managed their own anxiety. How would they balance their need for togetherness and their need for individuality?
30 Only time will tell….
Dr. Bill Pyle serves on the Faculty of Leadership in Ministry.
To learn more about Bowen systems theory and its application as a theory of practice for ministry (and about heavenly triangles) attend one of the Leadership in Ministry workshops. . There are six workshops in five locations to choose from: Atlanta, Boston, Lynchburg VA, Kansas City MO, and Portland OR.