5.13 – THE POWER OF THREE (9.30.13)


Henan Province, Central China. Here, along the shores of the Yi River, are 1,352 ancient caves known as the Longmen Grottoes. Dating back to 493 AD, they contain the most spectacular collection of Buddhist cave art in the world. One of the largest of the over 100,000 stone statues at the site is of the Amitabha Buddha, or the Buddha of Infinite Light. He is flanked on either side by his two assistants, and collectively they are known as the Three Saints of the West.

“For some reason, the sacred mysteries are often presented as threefold. In Mahayana Buddhism, the three guides are Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, and his two companions, one representing wisdom and one compassion. It is significant that throughout the ancient world gods and leaders would often appear in threesomes. For some reason, the triad shows up as a divine powerful principle. Something about three is telling us some important information about wholeness.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

Triads…trios…trinities. Why have cultures all over the world envisioned their divine leaders and mythic heroes in power structures of three? Perhaps an answer can be found by examining the stories of the Three Saints and the celestial realm of the Amitabha Buddha known as the Western Pure Land.

“In a former life, Amitabha Buddha was believed to have been a king who renounced his kingdom through a series of vows. And these vows were vows to create a pure Buddha land. The Western Pure Land was thought to be actually real and to exist outside of the normal confines of time and space.”

– Dominic Steavu, Ph.D.
(Asst. Prof. of Chinese Religious Studies, UCSB)

“Amitabha Buddha will come to your death bed and personally escort you to this Western paradise. The Buddha Amitabha have two assistants, two bodhisattvas. The idea is that if you see three, it gives you a feeling that there is plenty of help coming.”

– Judy Chungwa Ho, Ph.D.
(Prof. Emerita, Art History, UC Irvine)

“The last moments of life are very important in this form of Buddhism. These guiding figures are prime examples of the power of three manifesting in a sacred teaching, helping one to a greater level of consciousness.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

Is the Western Pure Land really “a state of enlightenment,” as mainstream scholars believe? Or might these Three Saints be guiding the deceased to a divine, perhaps even extraterrestrial, realm? Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe the answers can be found in the descriptions of this spiritual paradise.

“The Amitabha Buddha believed that this was a literal place peopled with gods and goddesses that would give you knowledge and information. And in this place, everyone appears to be golden, and you have the ability to see anything in the Universe, the ability to travel anywhere on Earth that you want. Is this really just a myth? Or is the Amitabha Buddha an example of an extraterrestrial who visited Earth and was able to achieve some higher grade of evolution while he was here and then help others achieve that as well?”

David Wilcock (Author/Filmmaker),
(Author, The Source Field Investigations),
(The Synchronicity Key)

Might the Amitabha Buddha actually have been an otherworldly visitor? And if so, might the Three Saints of Pure Land Buddhism not just guide the dead to an afterlife but physically change them into higher functioning beings, beings with extraterrestrial capabilities? Ancient Astronaut Theorists say yes and believe further proof can be found in the story of another mythic trio, one that undertook an epic journey not to a divine land after death but towards a divine life here on planet Earth.

Cologne, Germany. For centuries, a steady stream of visitors have gathered inside this gothic cathedral to view a golden sarcophagus thought to contain the bones of the biblical Magi, also known as the Three Wise Men. While the journey of the Three Wise Men is one of the most popular and best known of the stories concerning the birth of Jesus Christ, little is actually known about these mysterious figures.

“According to the Gospels, the Three Kings, or the Three Wise Men, came from the East. At the time that the Gospels were being written, that was an area of the world, which for Westerners was considered to be the source of all magic and mysticism.”

– Sabina Magliocco, Ph.D.
(Prof. of Anthropology & Folklore, CSU Northridge)

“The Magi were the ancient priesthood of Persia or Iran as we tend to call it now. And they go way back to two or 3000 BC, probably or even more. The Magi were particularly interested in the stars. They were looking at the different influences that these different stars and planets had at given times. And that was part and parcel of their tradition.”

– Adrian Gilbert (Co-Author, The Orion Mystery),
(Author, Magi: the Quest for a Secret Tradition),
(2012: Mayan Year of Destiny)

“The three wise men traveled thousands of miles to what we call the Holy Land. They found Bethlehem apparently without a map. They were astronomers. It says they followed a star.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

But did the Three Wise Men actually exist, or did the story of their journey to visit the infant Jesus have other even more otherworldly origins?

“The star, we are told, leads them, so the star is moving and it’s flying and it’s intelligently guided because it’s leading them to a destination and it hovers over the manger where Jesus is laid. It shines a light down to illuminate the manger where Jesus is laid.”

Rev. Michael J.S. Carter, M.Div.
(Author, Alien Scriptures)

“So you have to wonder whether possibly the three Magi themselves were extraterrestrial gods or perhaps the star of Bethlehem itself was some kind of extraterrestrial spaceship that was guiding the three Magi.”

David Childress (Author, Technology of the Gods)

Were the Three Wise Men astral travelers guided by otherworldly technology? Or is their presence in the story of Jesus really some sort of code one intended to connect Jesus with other mythic stories and religions in which the number three has profound significance?

There are those who believe that an answer can be found by examining the three gifts that each of the Magi reportedly brought to the Son of God. Gold, representing the physical and material needs of the child during his lifetime. Frankincense, an ancient aromatic resin which, when burned, is thought to be effective in mind expansion and enlightenment. And myrrh, an oil often associated with death and embalming representing the afterlife. But why three gifts and why only those three? Perhaps the answers can be found written into the ancient biological language that is as old as life itself – a language containing a code of threes.


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Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

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