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Relying on Exterior Objects

Relying on Exterior Objects

Although subjectivity is supposed to be changeable and untrustworthy, it seems no less treacherous to rely psychologically upon exterior objects. I remember a fable I used to hear in India: Once there was a poor villager who possessed only two things of any value Ė his son, who was sixteen, and a handsome gray pony. The villager loved these two above all else in creation.

One day the pony vanished and could not be found. The villager was plunged into deep dejection. No one could lift his spirits until three days later, when the pony returned, followed by a handsome black Arabian stallion. Overjoyed, the man embraced the pony and quickly bridled the stallion.

His son eagerly asked if he could ride the wild horse, and since he could deny him nothing, the father consented. An hour later, news came that the boy had been badly thrown while riding on the beach. He was carried home in a litter, bruised and battered, his right leg shattered in two places. At the sight of his injured son, the fatherís happiness again turned to utter sorrow.

He sat in front of his hut wailing, when a contingent of the kingís soldiers swept by. War was imminent, and their duty was to drag off conscripts from the village. They ruthlessly seized every eligible son, but when they came to this manís house, the soldiers saw that his son was maimed, and they left him behind. The fatherís tears again turned to joy, and he gave fervent thanks to heaven for the tragedy he had bewailed the moment before.

Whatís peculiar about this fable is that it has no ending, and that is its moral. The rise and fall of the villagerís spirits goes on and on, bound to the fate of a boy and a pony. In real life, people have more than two things they cherish, but the result is the same. So long as our happiness depends upon objects ďout there,Ē we are their prisoner. We have given our freedom away to things.

Adapted from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfill Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra (A Bantam Book, 1991).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, , ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.


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3:11AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013


12:42PM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

Thanks for sharing

9:01PM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

Fables are often fascinating.

7:16PM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

Guys, what's happening here at Care2? I see a link to a video about a conspiracy to make energy more expensive. It's a propaganda about a DVD or something like this that's supposed to reduce your electricity bill. I don't see how this can have anything to do with this website. It's so wrong.

7:12PM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

They aren't things, but are outside of ourselves.

3:35PM PDT on Mar 11, 2013

A son is not a "thing", nor is a pony.

12:05PM PDT on Mar 11, 2013


4:56AM PST on Jan 17, 2011

Thanks for the info.

11:47AM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

I love this story!

7:02PM PDT on May 31, 2010

Great story. The trick is to remember this fable during our times of sorrow and disappointment. It may make the situation easier to handle.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Thank you for the article.

Rescue dogs are great. They have so much love to give and they never forget that you rescued them.

Thank you


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