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Look at things in threes

The Slow as Molasses Press


Looking at things in threes means that any train of thought you have does not need to stop at two. Thought starts with a sign that rises up in your mind, generally related to a sense or a feeling. Remember that light that goes on in old comics, to signify a thought?

If you just have that feeling and the next thought-step is action, you are giving up the most precious quality we people possess.

Freedom. The freedom to choose among alternatives. How can you claim to have freedom with only a two-step thought process? You can't.  

For example:

You feel dizzy as you are walking from bed to bath in the middle of the night. A light goes on in your head, but you keep on walking. Without considering! And you end up taking a serious fall.   

Freedom has no role in that little story. We call such results accidents. But they are really the product of not looking at things in threes. All triadic considerations involve a crucial second step before acting.

What is this second thing that should be interposed between the dizziness and the fall? It is called an INDEX. It's an interlude that could take just a fraction of a second. Or a much longer time, depending. It is a list of possible choices.

Dizzy. INDEX: Should I ask what's going on? Should I ask if it's safe to continue? Should I ask what can I do now?  Should I call my sweetheart from her slumber? Should I stop? Each question points to a choice. The very existence of choices suggests what I believe is the main, perhaps the only, real freedom we have. The freedom to select among alternatives. The freedom to consider the value of any particular act.

The person who continues and falls never has that choice. He never took time to think. He was literally thought-less. He stopped at two. The next thing he knew he was laying on the floor.

How many even think of looking at things in threes? How many have thought of an INDEX? How many think that truth and beauty should influence all human actions?

The answer is: More than you may think. And: Not enough.


For spiritual background see Abba's Way and  The Tao of Mark  

For a companion to this Primer see  Triadic Philosophy

To give a copy of this book to a friend visit Triadic Primer


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