Who knows what’s good and what’s bad?

This article has been adapted from https://www.movebeyond.net/know-no-limits/who-knows-what-is-good-and-what-is-bad/

Most of us divide up our life experience into those experiences we like and those we don’t. But the Taoist masters teach us to look deeper. In the flow of yin and yang everything is constantly changing into its opposite. The more we live with awareness of the inevitable tides of the Tao, the more it seems superficial and misguided to reject some experiences and try to hold onto others. It is better to accept the wholeness of life.

What do you know about Taosim? You can find some information about Taoism in the following link: Taoism

“When an old farmer’s stallion wins a prize at a country show, his neighbour calls round to congratulate him, but the old farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The next day some thieves come and steal his valuable animal. His neighbour comes to commiserate with him, but the old man replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

A few days later the spirited stallion escapes from the thieves and joins a herd of wild mares, leading them back to the farm. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s joy, but the farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The following day, while trying to break in one of the mares, the farmer’s son is thrown and fractures his leg. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s sorrow, but the old man’s attitude remains the same as before.

The following week the army passes by, forcibly conscripting soldiers for the war, but they do not take the farmer’s son because he cannot walk. The neighbour thinks to himself, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” and realises that the old farmer must be a Taoist sage. ”

(From “The Tao Book and Card Pack” by Timothy Freke)

awareness: understanding

inevitable: something you cannot avoid

superficial: not deep

misguided: wrong

congratulate: send best wishes

commiserate: sympathize

spirited: angry

herd: a group of animals living and moving together

mare: adult female horse

break in: train a horse

fracture: slight break

sorrow: sadness

conscript: take someone to serve as a soldier

sage: a wise man

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think about this lifestyle?
  2. Do you think it is possible to be this cool about everything?
  3. Do you think this type of lifestyle can give us peace of mind?