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The Secret of the Universe, by Nathan R. Wood, [1932], at


No mind can think long and deeply upon the universe without asking a very great question. What is it which all things have in common? What makes this a universe? What is the basis of unity?

We feel that there must be such a basis. Science and philosophy both seek such a unity in all things.

That basis is not the atom, nor the electron. Some have tried to find such a common basis of unity in the unit of matter. They have not only tried to explain the physical universe in that way. They have made even the human soul a combination or activity of atoms or electrons, or a series of reactions of mechanical forces. That effort is futile. The common basis of unity in all things cannot be found in such materialism. The attempt to put the soul on a physical basis will always seem and always be an artificial effort at unity.

Neither can that common basis of unity be seen as spirit. There are those who would see it so. They would view even the things of the physical universe as the apparently physical manifestations of pure spirit. Many philosophies and some religions have attempted it. But it cannot be done. The common basis of unity cannot be found in such unreal idealism. Matter cannot be explained as spirit. It is an artificial unity which such an effort brings.

What is the basis of unity? The problem is profound. The basis of unity cannot be a common stuff,

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or a common substance, either physical or spiritual. It cannot be the materialist's unity or the idealist's unity, either atom or spirit. What is it? The answer to this question must needs be a very self-evident one, and it must be something other than a common substance.

There is for us a clear answer and a universal one.


Triunity is what stars, and trees, and rocks, and water, and gases, and light, and heat, and space, and time, and the human body, and the human soul, and human daily life, and human consciousness, and human will, all have in common. Triunity, not vague and general, but of a very definite and exact kind, is what they all have and what they all are. It is a universal and unvarying basis of unity.

This triunity in the likeness of God, this basis of unity, is seen to be not a common universal substance, but a common universal structure. The unity of all things, the unity of physical and spiritual things, cannot possibly, as we have seen, lie in a common substance. This basis of unity in the universal triunity is not a common substance. It is a common structure. The search for a common, universal substance is a hopeless one. It can succeed only by making the material world spiritual or the soul physical. Triunity is far from that fallacy. It is not a common substance. It is a common principle and structure of all things.

Triunity in the image of the Three in One is that which all things have in common. It is the structure of all things. It is a basis of unity in all things. May we say, It is the basis of unity in all things. It makes this a universe.

Next: II. The Secret of the Universe, and the Problem of Space and Matter