Alan Watts: The Story of the Chinese Farmer

 

“Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer, who lost a horse. Ran away. And all the neighbour’s came around that evening, and said “that’s too bad.” 

And he said “maybe.”

The next day, the horse came back and brought seven wild horses with it. And all the neighbours came around and said, “that’s great, isn’t it?”

And he said, “maybe.”

The next day, his son, who was attempting to tame one of these horses was riding it, and was thrown and broke his leg. And all the neighbours cam around in the evening and said, “well that’s too bad, isn’t it?”

And he said, “maybe.”

And the next day the conscription officers came around looking for people for the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. And all the neighbour’s came around that evening and said, “isn’t that wonderful?”

And he said, “maybe.”

The whole process of nature is an integrated process of much complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad, because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune. Or you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.”

 

 

alan watts

 

 

 

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