The Old Russian Farmer, the Ego, And Witness Consciousness
Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in BLOG

This is an ancient story found in at least three different traditions: Native American, Jewish, and Oriental. By developing the simplicity of consciousness of the Old Russian farmer we can easily navigate the confusions and false beliefs of our mind and effectively establish ourselves in our knowing of who we truly are…

Once upon a time there was an Old Russian farmer. One day he went out to his barn and his only horse had run away. The next door neighbor came by and said “Oh no! This is terrible. You won’t be able to harvest your crops now. You’re ruined.” The Old Russian farmer responded “ALL I KNOW IS my horse ran away.”

The next day the Old Russian farmer went out to the barn and found his horse had returned, with another horse. The neighbor came by and exclaimed “Praise God! This is fantastic. You’ll be able to harvest your crops in half the time and get them to market before anyone else. You’re so lucky.” The Old Russian farmer answered “ALL I KNOW IS my horse came back with another horse.”

The next day the Old Russian farmer’s son was riding the new horse. The son was thrown from the horse and broke his leg. The neighbor came by and cried “Oh no! this is terrible. Your son has a broken leg and won’t be able to help you harvest your crops. You’re ruined.” The Old Russian farmer replied “ALL I KNOW is the horse threw my son and he broke his leg.”  

The next day the Russian Army came through the village and took all the young men off to war but didn’t take the son. The neighbor came by and declared ” Old man, you are the luckiest person on earth. All the young men have gone off to war but your son remains. You are so fortunate.” The Old Russian farmer observed “ALL I KNOW IS they didn’t take my son”.

The neighbor is our busy, busy, busy ego mind, always creating drama and judging life. The Old Russian farmer is our witness mind, wisely knowing life changes and unfolds, moment to moment.

ALL I KNOW IS our beliefs, opinions, and judgments profoundly inhibit us from seeing WHAT IS. We place so many attitudes and thoughts upon ourselves and our world we are unable to simply observe Life and see its Perfection. We impose our beliefs upon WHAT IS instead of witnessing the phenomenon called Life and trusting the process.