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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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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhk0ckaCxDI
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…