The Miller, his Son and the Donkey.

Once there was a miller who wanted to sell his donkey so he and his son got up early in the morning and set off to market.

Along the way they met an old man who laughed out loud at them, saying ‘why  walk when you can ride? Oh dear’, said he wiping the tears from his eyes, ‘ what fools!’

And the miller was so embarrassed to be such an idiot he leapt on the donkey and pulled his son up after him.

Along the way they met a bunch of little old ladies who screamed and cursed them, shouting, ‘the poor donkey with both of you great louts on its back, for shame!’

And the miller was so embarrassed, he threw his son down with a crash so as not to be cruel, and rode on.

Along the way they met a little girl who said ,’Why are you so cruel Mr Miller? Can you not see that your poor son, who is only a lad, is suffering in the growing heat? For shame!’

And the Miller was so embarrassed he threw himself to the ground and put his son up instead.

Along the way they met a couple who tut tutted and told him, ‘why, you should be carrying the poor donkey yourselves’. So they did.

And then they met…. the world, which bitched and moaned and complained one way or the other. And the Miller, even though he was a bit on the slow side, began to realise something and started muttering to himself under his breath.

Along came a boy chewing a straw who was about to say something but for some strange reason thought better of it and walked on…..

The Miller was scratched his beard, staring into space and muttering.

And then without doing anything in particular, he continued on to the market. And everyone he met bad him a good morning and tipped their hats.

Hooray for the Miller!!

Him learn him own heart!

Through abuse, critisism and other people’s prejudice!


He arrives at the market looking pretty much the same as when he started out , but actually he has grown. He has found some kind of inviolable centre, and how? By learning the great art of being able to talk to himself through which he could finally arrive, not just at the market, but at his own conclusions.

He found who he was from a multitude of mirrors.

Some of them not very nice.

But it didn’t matter.

Most everything is recoverable in this life and more, grist to the mill(er), if only I can talk to me.

If only we can reflect.

… and from those outer mirrors find a few of our own, way down inside, that can tell us who we are and what we want.

They say that talking to yourself is the begining of madness only because it seems strange to a person who can’t manage a good mutter.

Both Stalin and Hitler introduced muttering laws during their regimes and for the same reason. Its not that you may be saying bad things about the state but because I talking to me is beyond the reach of the state.

Muttering to yourself is a kind of freedom from the way things have to be. It gives inner elbow room, perspective, the ability to chew things over…and digest.

If you can come to your own conclusions, decide your own values, direct your own fate, then you have renounced, THE ONLY WAY TO SEE THINGS who never has to consider, because the truth is already known.

Knowing alla answers shut you down, mon.

Which is why we need to forgo answers and ‘the truth’, in favour of asking the really good questions in life so that I and me can have a good natter, What do I want? What shall I live by? What’s important?


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Psychotherapist/writer/artist/ author of, 'Going Mad to Stay Sane', a psychology of self-destructiveness, about to come into its third edition. Soon to be printed for the first time, 'Abundant Delicious.. the Secret and the Mystery', described by activist Satish Kumar as, ' A Tao of the Soul'. This book documents the archetypal country through which the process of individuation occurs and looks at the trials and tribulations we might expect on the way. In the meantime..... Narcissisim is the issue of our age. This blog looks at how it operates, how it can damage and how we may still fruit despite it.

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