The concrete universal unfolding in time

Hegel partially solved the problem of the relationship of the forms and their particulars with the idea of the "concrete universal." As Collingwood expressed this, the universal is only the universal of its particulars.

But even with this, we are only two-thirds of the way there. The concrete universal as a static entity is a dead thing. Its full meaning can only be realized by witnessing it unfold in time.

And now we have arrived, again, at the Trinity (or the Trikaya): the Father (Dharmakaya) is the universal, the Son (Sambhogakāya) the concrete, and the Holy Spirit (Nirmāṇakāya), proceeding from the Father and the Son, unfolds the concrete universal in time.

And this is why, contra Strauss, their is no opposition between Reason and Revelation. Revelation shows us truths that naked reason would never discern, but which, once revealed, are correctly understood as supra-rational, rather than irrational.


  1. Interesting. I think when folks try to pair trikāya up with Holy Trinity, the first guess is usually to make Sambhogakāya=the Holy Ghost and Nirmāṇakāya=the Son. But it has occurred to me that this is based on the assumption that the Son = the incarnate life of Jesus, not, as per orthodox Christianity, a preexisting and infinite part of the Godhead. I can't claim to understand enough about Hegel's universal/concrete or about the Trinity to have an opinion about your alternate set of correspondences.


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