Are you an ‘accidental’ person or ‘essential’?

All of life is simply change. It is all an accident. The accidental man thinks he is in control of everything. Everything means something. Everything is personal. He never realizes it’s all an accident. Worry is his closest companion.

Most children come as an accident. When couples try so terribly hard, it doesn’t happen. Each moment is a gift and we come and leave this earth in very random ways. The “essential” man is in touch with essence, that which never changes. He is the witness of the accident of the economy, jobs, love. He does what he can, knowing much is really accident. He takes inspired action rather than struggling from attachment.

This old famous Chinese parable teaches us well:

A farmer’s horse ran away. His neighbors gathered upon hearing the news and said sympathetically, “That’s such bad luck.”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The horse returned on his own the next morning, and brought seven wild horses with it. “Look how many more horses you have now,” the neighbors exclaimed. “How lucky!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. “How awful,” the neighbors said. “It looks like your luck has turned for the worse again.”

The farmer simply replied, “Maybe.”

The following day, military officers came to town to conscript young men into the service. Seeing the son’s broken leg, they rejected him. The neighbors gathered round the farmer to tell him how fortunate he was.

Maybe,” said the farmer.


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