The third ‘I’

By Francis B. Ongkingco May 06,2016


The young fellow entered the room carrying a very serious look.

“Grab a chair, dude.” I did my best to make him feel comfortable.

“Thanks, Father.” He wiped away the sweat streaming from his forehead.

“It’s a seething summer cauldron out there, dude.” I offered him a hand towel.

He tapped something into his phone and sighed deeply. “Set it to silent mode so we won’t be disturbed, Father.”

“So how can I help you?”

“Father . . . I just wanted to know what I should do about my third eye,” he anxiously asked.

“What exactly can you see with it?”

“Many things, mostly people, mostly children with sad, grey faces. They just blankly stare at me.”

“When did you learn you have one?”

“Ever since I was five years old.”

“So you’re asking me what you should do about it?”

“Yes, ‘coz I’m a bit worried about it.”

I explained that the best thing to do was to see an exorcist of the diocese. He would be the best person to discern his condition and what to do with the eye.

“So when he closes it, then that’s it?” he clarified.

“Well, I can’t really say. But best that it is closed so that you can go on living a more normal life.”

“But my friend said that it would be a pity to lose this power of seeing the supernatural and even learning how to use it to help others.”

“Indeed, but we must first know what the nature of the power is and discern what would be the best thing to do with it.”

“I totally agree,” he said.

“You know, dude?” I added.

“Yeah, Father, what is it?”

“I was just thinking that men, including you and me, are often easily drawn to novelty and power.”

“What do you mean, Father?”

“Just look at our desire for power, control and fame in our restlessness for gadgets, connectivity and fame in the world of likelihood!”

“What does that have to do with my third eye, Father?”

“I mean, aren’t we all too eager to manipulate things around us, perceive unusual events and persons, and ride on the latest trend just to get our own fame spot somewhere in cyberspace?”

“True, and . . . ?”

“All this external restlessness simply blinds us from knowing and possessing one of the greatest things in life!”

“What would that be, Father?”

“The third ‘I’.”

“Third what?”

“I mean, the pronoun ‘I’, or the knowledge of oneself. Aristotle considered this as one of the most important things in life. A person may possess everything (even though this is impossible) materially and intellectually, but if he does not grasp who he is, then all this knowledge would be next to useless and artificial.”

“Wow, that’s one cool deep thought, Father.”

“Unfortunately, many people don’t seem to realize how important it is and how easy it can be gained,” I said.

“Really? How?”

“Maybe it would be helpful to know the first and second ‘I’s.”

“Oh, yeah. What exactly are they?”

“The first is the person you think you are and what you want others to see you as; the second is the person that other people see in you.”

“And the third?”

“That would be how God sees you! And this we understand when we ask Him to show us to ourselves during prayer.”


“We need others in order to know ourselves. These are the better ‘eyes’ to see us objectively and help us to forge our character. We gain this by sincerely asking for advice and guidance from wise and prudent persons. If we only have our ‘I’ or ego as a reference, we will not progress very much. We would easily fall into justifications and excuses for our mistakes and faults.”

“So the first ‘I’ is not good, Father?”

“Nope, but alone it can get stagnant and corrupted by pride and vanity. With the help of others, and above all seeking to know ourselves before God, it will not be easy to go wrong.”

“Oh, I see,” he said.

“So when do you plan to go and see the exorcist of the diocese?” I asked.

“Maybe after elections?”


“I was hoping that my third eye would help me know whom to vote for,” he quipped.

“Dude, with the present choices, your three eyes will get cross-eyed!”

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