The white and the black wolf

There is a story that circulates in many variations but always in a similar form. It is often placed in a Native American context, but it can certainly be understood universally. And it is nowhere near as flat as it might seem after countless repetitions. Quite the opposite!
Gerhard Zirkel
The story

One balmy summer evening, an old Indian was sitting around the campfire with his son. It was already dark, the fire crackled cozily, the flames flickered upwards, but the shadows of the surrounding forest were pitch-black and a little eerie.

The old Indian said to his son: “The bright flames of the warming fire and the deep, dark shadows of the forest are like two wolves living inside us”

The son looked at him questioningly. After a while, the old Indian continued talking:

“The one wolf, the black one, appears evil, devious and dark to us. He works with fear, violence, oppression, lies, intrigue, envy and jealousy. He likes greed, arrogance and hatred. He constantly seeks revenge and is aggressive and cruel.

“The white wolf seems good to us. He is full of love, affection and kindness. He loves openness, trust and goodwill. He is understanding and gentle, he shows compassion, peace, he is considerate, he always remains calm. He brings hope, warmth, gratitude and joy”.

“Both wolves exist in each of us, indeed they exist in the whole world. And they always seem to be fighting with each other for supremacy.

The Indian’s son thought about it for a long time and finally asked: “Which of the two wolves will win?”

The old Indian looked his son in the eye and replied: “The one you feed more wins”

Does ignoring help?

Now you could come up with the idea of simply ignoring the black wolf. Which is not so far-fetched, especially in the spiritual scene this is often practiced. Don’t feed it and it will inevitably starve. That sounds easy, that’s how we do it!

Always think positively, always smile, always be in love. If you’re not, you need to take a look at yourself and solve it really quickly! Never watch any news, never worry about politics, especially not about “conspiracy theories” because they only want to make you fall out of love. Do not listen to anyone who expresses concerns or even warns you. We don’t care about money either, that’s dark and evil and and and …

If you talk about possible problems, you are often accused of only seeing the negative and focusing on the problem. Or even to manifest a dark future for you.

There is a bit of truth in that. Because whenever you deal with a problem, be it one in your own home or one in the big wide world, you first feed the black wolf. Whenever you have concerns, doubts, see a gloomy future or simply “see black”, you feed the black wolf.

But is it possible without him? Can he really be left to starve?

Yin and Yang

Incidentally, in China these two wolves are called Yin and Yang and, strangely enough, nobody there talks about starving one of them to death. On the contrary, both seem to be equally important and, even more dramatically, they are growing apart, over and over again.

The dark arises from the light and the light from the dark. Even the outermost white always contains the seed of black and vice versa. Without the black, the white cannot exist and vice versa.

So why should we try to starve the black wolf? And what can we do instead?

Name the problem and then solve it

The way I think is best is to first analyze and name the problem and then look for a solution.

So when I see that something is getting out of hand in the reality of my life, be it within myself, in my family or globally, I first take a close look at the problem. I think about what might come, and above all I feel deeply about what might come.

What I feel is of course never THE ONE future. It is a possible future, a probable scenario. And there is always a likely scenario. I take a close look, no matter how dark it may seem.

Of course, I feed the black wolf first, that’s for sure. And to a certain extent, I also manifest this probable future. I may become afraid, doubtful, even temporarily lose courage. Especially when the problem seems overwhelming, and that happens in the best families. A black wolf can appear quite large and fierce.

The next step is important. Because when I recognize what is happening and what will come of it, I can begin to feed the white wolf. I can think about what I can do to improve my situation.

This does not necessarily mean that I can fundamentally change or resolve this dark future. But I can always change my relationship to it. I can prepare myself, change my life, change my place, change my behavior, change my thinking. I can arm myself or get out of the danger zone.

I can sometimes make small changes to ensure that the black wolf no longer affects me at all. I can manifest my future.

An example

Let’s take a very tangible example. Let’s take inflation. Our money is constantly becoming less valuable, at least on the surface. At the moment, this is happening relatively quickly, and we are all noticing this in our wallets.

Now let’s take a look at the black wolf first. Analyze why it happens, how it happens, where it happens and get an overview of where it will go if nothing changes. Perhaps we already realize that the situation is by no means new, it has happened many times before. Nevertheless, it has a completely different quality when you are in the situation yourself instead of just reading about it in books.

So we start by feeding the black wolf and when our existence seems to be in danger, it gets really big. But – and this is the far more important step – we then concentrate on possible solutions. And this is the white wolf.

Because there are always solutions, depending on your own life situation, of course. What did people do in similar situations in the past? And those who were still doing well afterwards.

How can we relocate ourselves or our assets so that the black wolf doesn’t get us? What can we do to avoid or deal with the situation? These are all questions that are based on knowledge of the black wolf, but feed the white wolf.

It is also very important to take action. Regardless of whether it is about aspects on the outside or aspects within you. No matter whether it’s about “filthy lucre” or your health or your relationship or even your life. There’s always a white wolf you can feed.

And that’s what the whole thing is about. Feed the white wolf, but also know the black one well.

The final solution

Now you could once again think of wanting to defeat “evil” once and for all. Yes, that is appealing and countless books and films deal with it. In the end, evil is defeated and good triumphs.

But does that make sense? Can good exist without evil in a dual world? And how do we determine what is good? How do we recognize it? How do we recognize the light without the shadow?

And who defines good and evil anyway? What does the game look like from the perspective of “the others”? How does the black wolf see its world? And why should he die? Perhaps he only means well? Is the black wolf really the black wolf for everyone? Or is it black for one person, white for another and even gray for a third?

Eradicating evil cannot be the solution, because that simply does not work in a dual world. Otherwise it would no longer be dual.

But what always works is constantly working on yourself, dealing with both wolves, repositioning yourself within the given possibilities. Adapting, manifesting and constantly readjusting the reality of one’s own life.

Trust in the right course of the universe and in our own ability to act. Living together with both wolves. Accepting the black wolf, knowing the black wolf exactly and then concentrating on the white wolf.

Freeing yourself from unconscious ties to the black wolf. Working on your own ancestral lineage, your own beliefs, your own patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior. The constructive interplay between thinking and feeling, targeted action in the material world, within one’s own framework and the constant expansion of one’s own framework.

THAT works! It means constant work, constant development, but the ability to act creates freedom.

BE the white wolf!

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