The Triple-Filter Test

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said,

“Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”
“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“Well, no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”
“Umm, no, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really.”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

……and More Colorful Animals

Beautiful Oasis

Created with Toothpicks or Matches

Our Colorful World

Amazing Glass Houses

The Japanese Master

The Japanese Master

A great Japanese master received a university professor who came to enquire about wisdom.

The master served tea.

He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself.

‘It is overfull. No more will go in!’

‘Like this cup,’ the master said, ‘you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you wisdom unless you first empty your cup?’

 

art by Nicola beattie

Baby Animals

MASKS….. Don’t be fooled….

Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a thousand masks, and none of them are me.

Don’t be fooled, for goodness sake, don’t be fooled.

I give you the impression that I’m secure, that confidence is my name and coolness is my game and that I need no one. But don’t believe me.

Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in aloneness, in fear. That’s why I create a mask to hide behind, to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation. That is, if it’s followed by acceptance, if it’s followed by love. It’s the only thing that can liberate me from my own self-built prison walls. I’m afraid that deep down I’m nothing and that I’m just no good and that you will reject me.

And so begins the parade of masks. I idly chatter to you. I tell you everything that’s really nothing and nothing of what’s everything, of what’s crying within me. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying. I’d really like to be genuine and spontaneous, and me. But you’ve got to help me. You’ve got to hold out your hand.

Each time you’re kind and gentle, and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings, feeble wings, but wings. With your sensitivity and sympathy, and your power of understanding, you alone can release me from my shallow world of uncertainty.

It will not be easy for you. The nearer you approach me, the blinder I may strike back. But I’m told that Love is stronger than strong walls, and in this lies my only hope. Please try to beat down these walls with firm hands, but gentle hands, for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you wonder…

I am every man you meet. I am every woman that you meet.

And I am also you.

 

Be Careful…..

Be Careful

A master gardener, famous for his skill in climbing and pruning the highest trees, examined his disciple by letting him climb a very high tree.

Many people had come to watch.

The master gardener stood quietly, carefully following every move but not interfering with one word.

Having pruned the top, the disciple climbed down and was only ten feet from the ground when the master suddenly yelled: “Take care, take care!”

When the disciple was safely down an old man asked the master gardener:

“You did not let out one word when he was aloft in the most dangerous place. Why did you caution him when he was nearly down? Even if he had slipped then, he could not have greatly hurt himself.”

“But isn’t it obvious?” replied the master gardener. “Right up at the top he is conscious of the danger, and of himself takes care. But near the end, when one begins to feel safe, this is when accidents occur.”

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