The cross-eye experiments seen below can be explored quite easily and if not exactly understood can be observed and enjoyed. On the contrary the Trinitarian mind games of the Christian mystic Bonaventure (1221-74) trying to see three and one simultaneously do flip flops with the mind but leave one bewildered. The object in both of the exercises is to see and experience two contradictory things simultaneously. See a more detailed description of cross-eye method and more experiments.
These experiments take a couple of minutes to do but it is strange how the colors blend, fuse to silver grey, and jump around to vivid colors.
Karen Armstrong in her book The Case For God on page 147 has some discussion of Bonaventure and his verbal experiments trying to perceive God. They seem to have some similarity to these cross-eye experiments I did earlier where I tried to see two opposite images simultaneously and he seemed to be trying to see two separate verbal things at the same time.
—”Bonaventure made it absolutely clear that it was inaccurate to say that “God exists” because God does not “exist” in the same way as any mere being. But being itself is an attribute that can apply only to God. We have no idea what being is: it is not—indeed, it cannot be—an object of thought. We experience being merely as the medium through which we know individual beings, and this makes it very difficult for us to understand how God can be real:
Thus the mind, accustomed as it is to the opaqueness in beings and the phantoms of visible things, appears to be seeing nothing when it gazes on the light of Being. It cannot understand that this very darkness is the supreme illumination of our minds, just as when the eye sees pure light, it seems to be seeing nothing.
To counter this, we have to say contradictory things about God in order to break through this conceptual barrier. For Being is “both the first and the last; it is eternal and yet most present; it is most simple and yet the greatest… it is supremely one and yet omnifarious.”—
I have trouble wrapping my mind around this rather long quote but he seems to be reporting some similar mind and perception flips that you can more easily observe by using the cross-eye experiments above. Or try this from, p.157, The Cloud of Unknowing,
So let go this “everywhere” and “everything” for this “nowhere” and this “nothing.” Never mind if you cannot fathom this nothing, for I love it so much the better. It is so worthwhile in itself that no thinking about it will do it justice.
Some reports of God’s presence may be replicated with easily done experiments.