Buy! Buy! – A horse story

The two horses face us in the pasture, stretching their necks over the barbed wire reinforced fence toward us. We hold their enormous heads. Feel the power, the soft croup, the nostrils with their warm breath of air on our hands. Look into the big so deeply resting and gentle eyes. For minutes. Contemplation.

A Land Rover drives up. We step back. Two men get out. One is about sixty, the other over ninety. An old man. „We only looked once.“ I say apologetically, also glancing at the dogs. They are lying peacefully in the grass. „Are they good?“ asks the sixty-year-old. „Yes. They are well-behaved,“ I say. „Do you have horses?“ asks the old man. „No. No. We don’t have any horses.“ I reply, smiling. „Buy! Buy!“ he now calls out promptly. I laugh irritatedly and decline. We say goodbye and leave.

Buy! Buy!… If the arrival of the wagon with the two men was already a break in the silent unity of our encounter with the horses, these last sentences of the old man were the tool with which the whole situation was mercilessly knocked back into materiality. Never could I have thought of buying with these creatures whose heads I had just held in silence. ‚But they are possessions.‘ This is the other thought that would never have occurred to me in this way otherwise. Possession of the two men, one of whom, enterprising and without looking at us, was ready to cede them to us immediately and directly for profit… For the sake of money. Just like that. Such heavenly beings. Just like that. Buy! Buy!

Now a few weeks have passed and I come by the pasture again. The two horses are no longer there. The grass is standing tall. ‚Maybe they have been sold…‚ Now one has such thoughts. ‚Maybe they’ve changed owners.‘ And ‚I wonder if they know they’re owned.‘ I wonder if they know they’re somebody else’s property now? I wonder if they even know what possession means.‘

When the stallion jealously defends his mares from rivals, you might want to think that these creatures do know something about ownership. But I don’t think it’s about ownership. I think it’s about unity. About the completeness of a system that otherwise cannot be whole. The jealous possessiveness of man knows no real unity. It is rapacious loneliness. And he remains in loneliness whether he owns the horses or not.

Pain must never be allowed to guide us. Our actions grow out of the fearless knowledge of our security in the meaning, of our soulfulness and of the eternal unity of everything. We always act in love for everything and everyone. There is no inner separation. Pain alone must never guide us.

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