Monthly Archives: June 2012

Being True, Good and Useful

socrates with friends

“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?”

The above texts originally appeared in Priya Sher’s Blog



June 30, 2012 · 8:55 am

True Way

just do it

Joju once asked Master Nam Cheon, “What is the true way?”

Nam Cheon replied, “Everyday mind is the true way.”

“Then should I try to keep it or not?”

Nam Cheon said, “If you try to keep it, you are already mistaken.”

“If I do not try to keep it, how can I understand the true way?”

Nam Cheon replied, “The true way is not dependent on understanding or not understanding. Understanding is illusion; not understanding is blankness. If you completely attain the true way of not thinking, it is like space, clear and void. So why do you make right or wrong?”

Joju heard that, and got enlightenment.

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June 30, 2012 · 8:37 am


Gandalf the grey

“I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

“It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”

“The treacherous are ever distrustful.”

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

Gandalf is a fictional character from the book series “The Lord of the Rings” written by J.R.R.Tolkien.

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June 18, 2012 · 9:02 pm

Sergeant William James

Sergeant William James

“Well, if he wasn’t an insurgent, he sure the hell is now.”

“There is enough bang in there to send us all to Jesus. If I’m going to die, I’m going to die comfortable.”

“The way you don’t die sir.” (in reply to Colonel Reed’s question, “What’s the best way to … go about disarming one of these?”)

“Everyone’s scared about something, you know?”

“You know I just think it’s really interesting to hold something in your hand that could have killed anyone.”

“You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your Mommy, your Daddy. You love your pajamas. You love everything, don’t ya? Yea. But you know what, buddy? As you get older… some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore. Like your Jack-in-a-Box. Maybe you’ll realize it’s just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal. And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it’s only one or two things. With me, I think it’s one.”

Sergeant William James is a character in the American War film The Hurt Locker.

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June 8, 2012 · 8:53 pm