I came across the story in my previous post while looking for a story that I remembered had illustrated the principal of how we attach certain emotions to situations, if we choose to label them as good or bad. When we do this, we are giving them power over the way we feel; things we have labelled bad causing us to feel afraid, resentful, disappointed, or alternatively, we can attach false expectations if we have percived something as being good, right, fortunate. When we react according to how we have judged things in the way we have grown accustomed to judging them, we can suffer if things don’t turn out the way we want or expect them to, or by acting out of fear or disappointment.
We are living a conditioned life.
By seeing something as ‘it just is’, we release ourselves from the attached feelings we have conditioned ourselves to accept.
A man named Sei Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide. One day this beautiful horse disappeared. The people of his village offered sympathy to Sei Weng for his great misfortune. Sei Weng said simply, “That’s the way it is.”
A few days later the lost mare returned, followed by a beautiful wild stallion. The village congratulated Sei Weng for his good fortune. He said, “That’s the way it is.”
Some time later, Sei Weng’s only son, while riding the stallion, fell off and broke his leg. The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sei Weng’s misfortune. Sei Weng again said, “That’s the way it is.”
Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sei Weng’s lame son were drafted and were killed in battle. The village people were amazed as Sei Weng’s good luck. His son was the only young man left alive in the village. But Sei Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply, “That’s the way it is.”