The first corner of the triangle is affinity.
The basic definition of affinity is the consideration of distance, whether good or bad. The most basic function of complete affinity would be the ability to occupy the same space as something else.
The word affinity is here used to mean love, liking or any other emotional attitude. Affinity is conceived in Scientology to be something of many facets. Affinity is a variable quality. Affinity is here used as a word with the context “degree of liking.”
Man would not be man without affinity. Every animal has affinity to some degree, but man is capable of feeling an especially large amount. Long before he organized into cities, he had organized into tribes and clans. Before the tribes and clans there were undoubtedly packs. Man’s instinctive need for affinity with his fellow human beings has long been recognized, and his domestication of other animals shows that this affinity extends also to other species. One could have guessed that the race which first developed affinity to its highest degree would become the dominant race on any planet and this has been borne out.
A child is full of affinity. Not only does he have affinity for his father, mother, brothers and sisters and his playmates but for his dogs, his cats and stray dogs that happen to come around. But affinity goes even beyond this. You can have a feeling of affinity for objects: “I love the way the grain stands out in that wood.” There is a feeling of oneness with the earth, blue skies, rain, millponds, cartwheels and bullfrogs which is affinity.
Affinity is never identification (becoming one with another in feeling or interest) nor does it go quite so far as empathy (the power or state of imagining oneself to be another person and even share his ideas or feelings). You remain very much yourself when you have affinity for something but you also feel the essence of the thing for which you have affinity. You remain yourself and yet you draw closer to the object for which you have affinity. It is not a binding quality. There are no strings attached when affinity is given. To the receiver it carries no duties and no responsibilities. It is pure, easy and natural and flows out from the individual as easily as sunlight flows from the sun.
Affinity begets affinity. A person who is filled with the quality will automatically find people anywhere near him also beginning to be filled with affinity. It is a calming, warming, heartening influence on all who are capable of receiving and giving it.
One can readily observe the level of affinity between individuals or groups. For instance, two men talking with each other either are in affinity with each other or they aren’t. If they are not, they will argue. If they are in affinity with each other, two other things have to be there: they have to have agreed upon a reality and they have to be able to communicate that reality to each other.
This brings us to the next corner: reality.