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The Story Of The Chinese Farmer (Alan Watts)

The story of the Chinese farmer and the horse as told by Alan Watts.

Once upon a time, there was a Chinese farmer who lost a horse. Ran away. And all the neighbors 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 neighbors came around and said, “Well, that’s great, isn’t it?” And he said, “Maybe.”

The next day his son was attempting to tame one of these horses and was riding it, and the he fell and broke his leg. And all the neighbors came around in the evening and said, “Well, that’s too bad isn’t it.” The farmer said, “Maybe.”

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 neighbors came around in the evening, “Isn’t that wonderful?” And he said, “Maybe.”

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

The Story Of The Chinese Farmer As Told By Alan Watts

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Cornelius
Cornelius
An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of our lives. I got my B.S. from Georgetown University and my M.A. from The Ohio State University.
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