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An Example of Thinking in Threes

I am not sure if the following will muddy things or clarify things that in my own mind are hardly set. Hardly set means that I do not have a systematic sense of how a triad exists in the mind. In my own practice it suffices to repeat to myself the key words of my own sense of the order in which things should be done to achieve the result I urge. I assume that we begin with Reality which might be a conscious (thought, considered) thing like my friendship with X and that I would then move to ethics which for me might mean merely considering that word, but which more often means saying to myself the four values I deem to be ontological and efficacious in moving toward action. These are tolerance, helpfulness, democracy and non-idolatry. The actual application of these terms varies with the Reality. In this case I might consider tolerance in terms of the effect on others or on myself of pursuing the relationship. I might consider helpfulness in terms of what is good for all concerned. I might consider democracy as counselling the sanctity of each individual. And non-idolatry as the need to heed finally the one I call Abba but which one could  also call Reality or some other name, not excepting one's higher self. This consideration would not take more than a few seconds in practice. The final step would be a decision or resolution relating to the relationship under consideration. 

My approach to said relationship would be informed by this process. In the case of this example the act might be a written word which represented my determination of the best resolution of the relationship from my side of it. This is a pretty accurate description of what I mean by thinking in threes, though the realities are so innumerable that the results would be massively varied as well. I hold that we can and should consciously embrace this mode of thinking, recognizing that history is driven by our choice of values and that ethics in itself is these values and that they can and should influence the act or expression that emerges. That act I see as the aesthetic element in all of life. Musement is a good word for how this thinking process takes place. It is focused, discreet and real. But it is also to some extent quite free and open. Though personal it is inevitably social as most action is. 

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The remarkable video at the link above is of a performance of "Sto perigiali" Mario Frangoulis and Mikis Theodorakis in 2001.

Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.

This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.

Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …

Stephen C. Rose Bio

Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and raised there. He currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books "The Grass Roots Church" and "Who's Killing The Church" established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including "We Are All Americans". During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP. Since 2000 he has written several books for distribution via K…