Substantial Entity Trionism

[ I1 - I2 - I3 ]

§1: classification

§2: pronoun schema

a substantial entity trionism holds that the I2 is an entity or consists of a substance separate and distinct from the entity or material substance of which the I1 consists and from the immaterial entity or substance of which the I3 consists. the substance of which the I2 consists may be a derivative substance.

§3: family portraits

§3.1: SPP: shamchaya psychophilosophy: [ I1 - I2 - I3 ]

logical path from pronoun schema: mount 'prakriti' (the known object or nature) to the I1 mount point; 'purusha' (the knowing subject, a collective entity) to the I3 mount point; and, 'ahamkara' (the sense of egoic identity) to the I2 mount point. theorize that the interaction between I1 and I3 starts an evolutionary process which generates buddhi (intelligence); and, that the I2 subsequently develops out of buddhi.

purusha and prakriti correspond to spirit and matter as used n western thought. they are collectivities. prakriti is individuated as the human body/brain and represented by the I1. purusha is not itself individuated into personal subjects (selves or souls or minds or whatever); and, hence, could be represented as 'T3' or as 'I3' depending on preference. in any event, individuation doesn't occur until the emergence of ahamkara, the I2. hence:

§3.2: ACT: ancient christian trionism: [ I1 - I2 - I3 ]

logical path from pronoun schema: mount 'body' to the I1 mount point; 'mind' to the I2 mount point; and, 'soul' to the I3 mount point.

one strand of christian thinking has held, since the days of antiquity, that the human individual was composed of three entities, body, mind and soul. Capretta, in A History of Psychology in Outline, writes:

Saint Paul (67 AD) trichotomized human life into soul (or pneuma), which being immortal, nurtures on faith and virtue; mind (or psyche), with which man reasons; and body, the avenue of all sensation. [Capretta, Patrick J. 1967. A History of Psychology in Outline. New York: Dell (Delta). p. 9]

note that, in this version, mind is inferior to soul; but, seems to be the vehicle for the I2 of everyday awareness; and, consequently, the mind must struggle to become aware of soul.

interest in knowing how the mind becomes aware of the existence of the soul led to a psychological examination of the nature of mind as revealed through the analysis of consciousness. [Capretta, Patrick J. 1967. A History of Psychology in Outline. New York: Dell (Delta). p. 9]

at the level of ultimate explanation, classical christian trionism would be trionic if mind-stuff and soul-stuff were different substances; or, dualistic if they were the same or if mind-stuff was somehow derivative; or, monistic if one considered that God made mind-stuff, soul-stuff and material stuff.

over the course of centuries, mind and soul effectively reversed roles; as can be seen in the next section.

§3.3: SCT: scholastic (heretical) christian trionism: [ I1 - I2 - I3 ]

logical path from pronoun schema: mount 'body' to the I1 mount point; 'soul' to the I2 mount point; and, 'mind' (mens) to the I3 mount point.

man, according to Campanella, is a composite of three substances, body, spirit and mind or mens. the body is the organ of the spirit and is made of moist and solid matter. the spirit, also called sensitive soul, is the corporeal principle that animates the body and serves as a vehicle or medium of communication between body and mind. it dwells in the head, as in a fortress, and moves thoughout the nervous system, as a pilot travels in the ship.1

Campanella wrote just prior to the time of Descartes; and, his three-component viewpoint show some sensitivity to the issue of interaction between disparate substances:

mind joins the body by means of spirit and blood. it would not be possible for mind to join the body immediately, because its nature contrasts too much with the material qualities of the body.2

unfortunately, Campanella's views were completely out of step with the theology of the day, which held a dualistic view in which the mind or rational soul provided the form for the human body without need for mediation by the animal soul. Campanella was persecuted for his beliefs.

shortly thereafter, Descartes theorized that the human individual was a composite of body and mind (or soul, if you prefer); and, accepted that there was a genuine interaction between the two. He attempted to explain the interaction by hypothesizing that it was mediated by animal spirits that communicated with the soul at the site of the pineal gland in the brain. in historical context we might note that Descartes' animal spirits are a fully corporeal version of Campanella's animal spirit or the sensitive soul of thomistic thought. in any event, since Descartes animal spirits are fully corporeal, they can not prevent the arising of the notorious problem of explaining the interaction of body and mind. the animal spirits have to be given the special property of being able to support interaction.

Campanella's philosophy is trionic at both the component and the ultimate levels.

§3.4: DST: divided soul theology: [ I1 - I2 - ( I3^T3 ) ]

logical path from pronoun schema: mount 'body' to the I1 mount point; 'spirit' to the I2 mount point; and, 'personal soul' (conscious mind) to the I3 mount point and 'collective soul' (unconscious mind) to the T3 mount point.

the term 'divided soul' is something of a misnomer. according to Peter Novak, the originator3 of this view, there are two distinct ontological components within the human individual.

Although the two terms tend to be equated today, 'soul' is not properly the same as 'spirit'. ... it used to be understood that they referred to two completely separate substances. [36]

if the soul might be identified with that same psycho-spiritual unit modern science knows as the unconscious mind, ... might not that other mysterious unit, the spirit, actually be what is known today as the conscious mind? [37]

the I2 and the I3 both survive the death of the I1; but, take different paths. the I2

... would be struck with total amnesia, losing every last thread of its memory and sense of identity, because the unconscious is where all memory is stored. ... [it] would then just be a bodiless, identityless, emotionless point of pure, living awareness. [41]

this center of awareness eventually drifts:

... innocently into new experiences, from which it would slowly build up a new sense of identity.

the I2 reincarnates time and again, allowing sets of memories to accumulate in the unconscious, individual soul which is a fragment of the universal or collective soul.


[1]: Bonansea, Bernardino M. 1969. Tommaso Campanella: Renaissance Pioneer of Modern Thought. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press. p. 71 [Back]

[2]: ibid. at 73 [Back]

[3]: all quotes in this section are from Novak, Peter. 1997. The Division of Consciousness: The Secret Afterlife of the Human Psyche. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads. [Back]