The Beautiful White Horse
This story happened in the days of Lao Tzu in China, and Lao Tzu loved it
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 someday
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 that the horse is
not in the stable. This 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. Who
knows what is going to follow it?" People laughed at the old man. They had
always known that he was a little crazy. But after fifteen days, suddenly one
night the horse returned. He had not been stolen, he had escaped into the wild.
And not only that, he brought 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 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.
Twelve beautiful horses had come . .
The old man had an only son who started to train the wild horses. Just a week
later he fell from a horse and his legs were broken. The people gathered again
and again they judged. They said, 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 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 they 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 into the army and my son has not been
But only God, the total, knows whether it is a blessing or a misfortune."
'Judge ye not'-otherwise you will never 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 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 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.
Author unknown. If anyone has a proprietary interest in this story please authenticate and I will be happy to credit, or remove, as the circumstances dictate.
Thanks to Sherry's Inspirational list