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Could be Good / Could be Bad - The promised parable

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:17pm
My dear friend, Ricki, sent this to me the other day after my initial diagnosis. It is one of my favorite stories and teachings. I am now, as promised, sharing it with you. Thanks, Ricki. Ricki and her partner, Terry, are my good friends at another meditation group gathering which I affectionately call "The Psychologists Circle." A group of psychologists who use their meditation practice in their work. Very interesting. I hope you receive something, as I did, from what she sent. Love you, Ricki - This is renewable comfort for me right now.

Judgment of what IS

The following parable comes from the days of Lao Tzu in China, and it is saidLao Tzu liked it very much.

The story attempts to show how our tendency to label events as 'good' or 'bad' fragments our perspective and keeps us from experiencing oneness with the whole of life . . . God . . . the total.

There was an old man in a village, very poor, but even kings were jealous of him because he had a beautiful white horse. Kings offered fabulous prices for the horse, but the man would say, "This horse is not a horse to me, he is a person, and how can you sell a person, a friend?" The man was poor, but he never sold the horse.

One morning, he found that the horse was not in the stable. The whole village gathered and they said, "You foolish old man! We knew that some day the horse would be stolen. It would have been better to sell it. What a misfortune!" The old man said: "Don't go so far as to say that. Simply say what IS - that thehorse is not in the stable is the fact; everything else is a judgment. Whether it is a misfortune or a blessing I don't know, because this is just a fragment."

People laughed at the old man. They had always known that he was a little crazy.But after 15 days, suddenly one night the horse returned. He had not been stolen, He had escaped into the wild, and not only that, he brought back a dozen wild horses with him.

Again the people gathered and they said, "Old man, you were right. This was not a misfortune, it has indeed proved to be a blessing." The old man said: "Again you are going too far." Just say what IS - that the horse is back. Who knows whether it is a blessing or not? It is only a fragment. You read a single word in a sentence - how can you judge the whole book?"

This time the people could not say much, but inside they knew that he was wrong.The old man had an only son who started to train the wild horses, when just a week later he fell from a horse and his legs were broken. The people gathered and again they judged, saying, "Again you proved right. It was a misfortune. Your only son has lost the use of his legs, and in your old age he was your only support. Now you are poorer than ever.

"The old man said, "You are obsessed with judgment. Don't go that far. Say only what IS - that my son has broken his legs. Nobody knows whether this is a misfortune or a blessing. Life comes in fragments and more is never given to you."

It happened that after a few weeks the country went to war, and all the young men of the town were forcibly taken for the military. Only the old man's son was left, because he was crippled. The whole town was crying and weeping,because it was a losing fight and they knew most of the young people would never come back.

They came to the old man and said, "You were right, old man- this has proved a blessing. Maybe your son is crippled, but he is still with you. Our sons are gone forever."The old man said again, "You go on and on judging. Nobody knows!

Only say this, that your sons have been forced to enter the army and my son has not been forced. But only God, the total, knows whether it is a blessing or a misfortune. Judge not - otherwise you will not become one with the total."- -

With fragments you will be obsessed, with small things you will jump to conclusions. Once you judge, you have stopped growing. Judgment means a stale state of mind, and mind always wants judgment, because to be in a process is always hazardous and uncomfortable.

In fact, the journey never ends. One path ends, another begins; one door closes another opens. You reach a peak; a higher peak is always there. God, the total, is an endless journey.

Only those who are so courageous that they don't bother about the goal but are content with the journey, content just to live the moment and grow into it, only those are able to walk with the total.
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