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The Mystical Third Option (Druid Mindset)

A few weeks ago I was laying in my bed chasing sleep. And as I’m waiting on my night tea to take effect, I open a book on modern Druidry and begin skimming through a few pages, contemplating odly lifelike drawings of old Druids and stone circles, wondering what useful teachings I might be able to extract from this modern take on ancient Celtic traditions.

One chapter captures my curiosity. Its title seems to be referring to a symbolic number I’ve encountered again and again in my spiritual explorations of the last few years, which also happens to be on the cover of this book:

“The Three Rays”

The number 3, the Trinity, is of widespread significance across a number of ancient cultures, and it seems to be of central importance in Druid Lore. I have caught glimpses of its general meaning in the past, but I only got a crude understanding of why it is so revered at best. The chapter being only five pages long, I decide to risk reactivating my brain into overdrive and proceed with reading it. 

It takes me but a few paragraphs to realize that I have found something carrying the potential of revolutionizing how I use my mind in navigating this odd world we live in. In today’s times, information is overly abundant and in my personal experience it is a rare occurence to find tools that are both effective and simple to use, especially when it comes to thinking better. My brain sees uncomplicated tools as being superior to complex ones, because it doesn’t matter how “good” a tool is if I never use it. Taking ownership for the direction of my thoughts takes enough energy as it is, I don’t need to make it even more complex. 

After spending some time putting it to the test (which didn’t take very long) I have ruled this tool to be superior both in simplicity and effectiveness. What makes this finding magical for me, is that on top of increasing my capacity to create with my mind, it’s also very fun to use, falling exactly within the parameters of what Playing Life is all about for me. For these reasons, I would like to share it with you so that you may test its benefit for yourself and see what impact it has on your capacity to create using your mind. 

Here’s what I learned:

In essence, this chapter shines a light on how we, humans, see the world. Humans naturally think in terms of opposites; something is either good for us or it isn’t; we either succeed or we fail; we find something to be desireable or we don’t. But, as the author points out, real life most often falls somewhere in the middle and rarely sits completely on one extreme. That’s because most things that are quantifiable or qualifiable usually sit on a spectrum. The author uses the concept of light and dark to illustrate how this idea works, and because I can’t think of a better way to exemplify this concept, I’ll borrow his example:

“Take the opposite of light and darkness. If you look around yourself, you’ll quickly notice that almost everything you see falls between blinding light and total darkness. Even the things that are well lit have shadows, and even the things that are in shadow have some light present. Light and darkness are the two extreme ends of visual experience, and they have something in common that isn’t shared by the states between them: you can’t see clearly in blinding light, any more than you can see in total darkness.”

Source: The Druid Path, John Michael Greer, Chapter 3, P.64

There’s a beautiful analogy here. If your focus remains on the extremes, your vision (inner or outer) can become compromised. So how do you fix that? You guessed it, you bring in a third option. You take a binary idea/scenario and you turn it into a trinity.

When I read that, I tried it right away and something happened that I had never experienced before - it’s as if a portal opened inside of me, and through that portal I could see more about the scenario I am contemplating than I did before. I’m not trying to sound overly mysterious here, but that’s genuinely what it feels like when I do it. I’ll give you an example, but above all I suggest you try it and see for yourself.

As you can tell from the fact that you are reading my blog, I am a writer. And recently I have decided to take on freelancing and live from my writing. Since I’m essentially starting a business, it’s important for me to have goals. I have a particular goal for the new year, which is to make “X” amount by Jan 15th from my writing services. As of today I am 30 days away from the end date I have picked for myself and when I contemplate the potential results I might get, I naturally think in terms of failure or success. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because at the end of the day that’s what goals are for: to test ourselves with a clear outcome. But bringing in a third option is, in my opinion, a lot more helpful. The reason for that is because it puts a needle on the spectrum which allows me to come up with a reading of my situation.

When considering the potential for failure, I feel deception, and when considering the potential for success, I feel excitment or joy. But there’s very little information that comes from thinking this way that I can use to better my odds of success. That all changes when I bring in the mystical third option. In this case it might look something like asking myself what potential scenario can fall between success and failure? Well, since it’s a monetary goal, maybe I will reach 70% of my goal. And that’s when the portal opens. As soon as I simply consider that 3rd option, I get an immediate picture of what actions could’ve led to those results. And out of that picture I can derive where I could’ve done better to bridge the remaining 30%. Maybe I could’ve sent out more offers; maybe I could’ve asked clients for referrals; maybe I could’ve done more prospecting to find higher paying jobs. And for each of those categories, I can look at what I’m doing now and assess if I think I’m doing enough and course-correct if I spot areas that require improvement. 

This, to me, feels immensely more useful than waiting to see if I fail or succeed and doing a post-goal analysis to see where I can improve. Pretty solid if you ask me. Yet, it gets better. Because I can continue by adding a 4th, 5th or 6th option, ad infinitum, and come up with a plethora of scenarios, each time gathering information about my own potential actions leading to each of them.

It’s only been about three weeks since I read the pages that contained this little secret, so my assessment is still in its embryonic stage, yet the initial difference it makes is substantial enough to participate in promoting its use. Best of all, it’s free, it’s simple and it’s easy to remember. I hope this helps you in your journey of consciously creating your adventure and if it does, please pass it on to a beloved friend or close one so they can benefit from it as well.

Play Life!

-Ismaël Gauthier


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