Friday, June 1, 2007

About Triads

Littered throughout this blog, you will find some of my triads.

What are triads, you ask? In short, they are one of the few written forms left from ancient Celtic and Druidic communities. Triads express what today we might call spirituality, psychology, sociology and just plain human wisdom in sometimes pithy, sometimes truncated, but most often dense sayings, expressed with three aspects. Reading a triad, and better, reflecting and ruminating on it, is like walking around a three legged stool. You view it from three different points of view, but you are viewing the same stool in each view.

There are collections of ancient Triads. I find some as fresh and powerful as anything I've ever read, and those I often commit to memory. They begin to salt my thoughts, my writing, my view on the world. In other words, they help me make sense of things. They become companions, wise companions, on the journey. The clearest example of this type I learned while working through Bardic grade with OBOD. It goes:

"Three foundations to success: bold design, frequent practice, and frequent mistakes."

That triad so clearly and succinctly and deeply expresses for me what the journey of life and learning is about that it is has become a personal and professional motto of sorts. I teach it to my students, and it effectively becomes my classroom motto each year.

Others of the ancient Triads clearly need a great deal of cultural and linguistic excavation to make sense, or they sound "good" on the surface, but are difficult to make much sense of. Consider this one:

"Three tendencies of a persons lifetime: hope, love, and joy."

Who wants to argue with hope, love and joy? And yet, how is it that these are three tendencies of a person's life time? We could all take a stab at that, and many might disagree. I simply don't find enough here to work with. And so it goes.

After this post, I will from time to time post some of my own triads. Unless indicated otherwise, the Triads that I write here are my own creation based on reflections of my personal experience. They may or may not be useful to someone else. So, the wisdom is--read, try it out, decided for yourself. I am not claiming to be adding to the ancient store of triads, but I am claiming that this way of reflecting on and distilling my own experience is very helpful to me. At least, this is a writing exercise. For me personally, it is also an exercise in the practice of my path, my life journey.

I will also at times give comment to the triads that I write. And, as always, comments to any of this are welcome from those who read them.

I have created links to some online sources for ancient triads.

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