The Old Russian Farmer, Witness Consciousness and Allowing

two horse team
Photo: Nataliia Melnychuk/123RF

The purpose of ​this column is to offer short, sweet, powerful insights into the truth of your nature and the nature of humanity. May you take these words to heart, embody them deeply and create a joyful, meaningful and compassionate life for yourself. – with spirit, Bernard

The Old Russian Farmer, Witness Consciousness, and Allowing

This is an ancient story found in at least three different traditions: Native American, Jewish, and Asian. By developing the clarity 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, in the present moment.

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 “Oh my God! This is fantastic. You’ll be able to harvest your crops in half the time and get them to market earlier than 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.”

You Are Witness Consciousness

Our beliefs, opinions, and judgments profoundly inhibit us from seeing WHAT IS. We place so many beliefs, attitudes, judgments and thoughts upon our world we are unable to observe life and see its perfection. We impose our beliefs upon WHAT IS instead of witnessing the phenomenon called life and allowing the process.

The neighbor is our busy, busy ego mind, always creating drama and judging life. The old Russian farmer is our witness consciousness; wisely knowing life changes and unfolds, moment to moment, and we are not in charge of the events of our life. We can however, be in charge of how we respond to those events.

For 24 hours, probably on a day when you are not working, become aware of your beliefs, opinions, and judgments and how you impose your mind upon the world around you. Think minimally and simply witness the events of your life, allowing its perfection to show itself to you.

“The universe goes on its merry, mystical, magical way until you start judging it and you, by judging it, create problems. The working of the universe has no problems.” Conscious Speaks – Ramesh Balsekar

Bernard Corrigan, M.A. is a transpersonal psychotherapist who practices on the East End. He has more than 38 years counseling individuals, couples and teenagers to discover, communicate and realize their hearts’ truth. Call him at 631-725-9394 or visit

More from Our Sister Sites