This post is a bit of what is purported to be an old Cherokee Indian saying. Whether it is or not I leave up to you. What is important is that it speaks to the truth of a fundamental principal of the universe. That of duality. The ancient Celts believed that ‘as above so below’ explained the dual nature of the universe. The Chinese believed in Yin and Yang as the two opposing forces of the natural order of things.
In most religious teachings there is a heaven and hell, good and evil, light and dark. As a species we have male and female. We cannot propagate the species without a coming together of the two halves of the physical manifestation of our animal natures. The true nature of our soul is one that is divide between our intuitive (feminine) side and our rational (masculine) side. The old saying goes like this:
An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”
The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”
Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Use this currency well as you will receive into your life that which you purchase with your coin of choice. I choose to feed the good wolf-within and spend the coin of love and light. I urge all who read this to look deeply within themselves and determine which wolf-within they are feeding.
To make this world a better place for all humankind, it would be better to spend the coin of love.
Image source: Yin Lang Wolf by Paul Bielaczyc
Thank you for your kind welcome. I believe my father was the first to tell me this story. I have always had an interest in the Native American side of my lineage but due to living life with all its distractions I put it on hold until my eldest daughter asked about my side of her ancestry. My father told me once when I was young that Cherokee blood flowed through my veins but never would say anything beyond that. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out through a cousin that our grandmother was Cherokee. Even with the internet it has been difficult to learn much beyond that. So now I have been looking more into the customs and spiritial side.
Namaste Lone Wolf
It is sometimes difficult to follow your ancestry and understand who you are. There are many sites around that purport to assist. The best of these that I have found so far is Myheritage.com. A free membership gets you the opportunity to add up to 250 names in your family tree and to see others who have done research that might coincide with your. You may be surprised at what you find. I know I was.
As for the spiritual side of things, I too am a novice and tread the path of brother wolf to find the knowledge to pass on to others. Please continue to come by and comment on articles posted here at Timberwolf HQ.
I’ve loved the many versions I have heard over the years of this story. At times it can be very hard not to feed the evil wolf and when I do I try to remember this story.
Welcome Brother Lone Wolf to Timberwolf HQ
Thank you for your comment on this story. it too is one of my favourite parables about how we should behave in today’s society. Please come back and spend more time here at the site. My readers and I would be very interested in hearing more from you.
I choose balance, neither will win while neither shall lose. Ever good shall have a bad and if the balance is corrupted then the world shall truely end.
Lakota Yin, welcome and thank you for the comment. I too choose balance for we cannot have one without the other. It is the dual nature of the universe, the twin poles of light and dark that drive us all. We must strive to maintain that balance to further our own spiritual development.
this is the third time today I have come across this very quote…. I choose to feed the good one
I myself prefer this much simplified version which I came across a couple of years ago –
A Native American Story
A native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said ‘I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one.’
His grandson asked him, ‘Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?’
The grandfather answered: ‘The one I feed.’