Lately I have been intrigued by threesomes. Maybe it has to do with my curious nature, the period of the year (spring, Gemini), but most notably by the Interpol song ‘No I in threesome’. On the first outset this song is a superficial and dark love song about a guy who tries to convince his girlfriend to have a threesome. But there is something more to the song. It intuitively fascinated me and after listening to the song 10+ times the image of The Lovers appeared. It changed the perspective of the song 180 degrees: now, still being in a relationship crisis, he suggests letting their separate two egos’ go and unite to realize the ultimate connection: the alchemical marriage.
Literally the song is about a relationship in demise. He thanks her for her support in the past and he describes their deadlock. As a result of the crisis they fight a lot. So what do couples do when they are in a relationship crisis? They take the risk and make a jump forward in the deep. Some couples make a third by getting children. Or more superficially in this song, they include someone else to spice things up sexually. It is a new, exiting, but often disastrous final chapter in relationships.
Seen from a spiritual perspective, however, the current roles in the relationship are finished, but not necessarily the relationship itself. The singer sees this clearly. He sings:
‘You feel the sweet breath of time
It’s whispering, its truth not mine
There’s no I in threesome’
Intuitively he knows that they need to make a jump in the abyss if they want to continue their joint spiritual development (they could stay together but then they would stop developing themselves). He knows that they need to give themselves up in order to truly become one: 1 + 1 = 3. He hints at a profound spiritual truth.
The singer seems to refer at the alchemical marriage of the king and queen as described for example in the Rosary of the Philosophers. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosary_of_the_Philosophers ). This is a pictorial alchemical process consisting of 20 steps (which are depicted here between the text blocks). In it a king and queen give themselves up in various stages only in order to recombine again on a higher arc. They depict the alchemical hieros gamos. This is the magical 1 + 1 = 3! Usually this is to symbolize an internal path of development, but it can also be extrapolated to relationships as well.
The song is tragic, however. Because, although the singer feels that something must be done in their relationship, but he doesn’t know how. He is no alchemist. The cost of raising the issue and failing the challenge is tremendously high: it will cost them their relationship. The singer of the song seems to know subconsciously that he will fail: if he was optimistic he would have called the song ‘No I in three’. Now it is threesome. It is the tragic ‘No’ of I in three.
This song describes a sad reality of relationships in our society: we don’t know how to realize the fabled alchemical marriages. As a result many relationships are ‘stable’, create 3’s by means of offspring, have superficial sexual encounters instead of spiritual unification. As a result most lovers don’t realize their higher potential in the relationship by losing their I but gaining a three.