Ellissa Hubbard Mr.

Mosher HMN 102 4 June 2012 The Pale Horse and the Charioteer

Plato sees this part of man’s nature as his spirit. White. Plato uses the two horses and the charioteer to describe the nature of man. it is Man v. He is obedient and excited. If one horse fails to follow the whip and reign. But is this enough? A Team of horses and their charioteer must have both horses pulling the same direction and not only must they share the load with each other. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom. nearly 10 times larger than a man.. to look on God and soar with the angels. which leads the man’s mind to lofty and godly things. chomping at his bit and foaming at the mouth. First let man be seen as the White Horse. Beast in the dual between man’s fallen animal-nature in his bodily appetites and his pure spiritual nature. which are intrinsically linked to the body. ready to listen to his master’s demand. the direction must be that which was chosen by the charioteer. and the passions.. In his soul. one in which man severs the black horse from the chariot in death. to master a horse is a great achievement. and the Christian view in which the only way one truly flies is to the extent one learns to master the Black. the reader sees both the Greek idea of philosophy.Hubbard 2 It has been said “Princes learn no art truly but the art of horsemanship. “Man in love and men not in love desire that which is beautiful . is constantly distracted from the rider’s cue. the chariot is lost. The reason is the brave beast is no flatterer. the body. broken to pieces. charged into battle with the war-hardened docility of submission. The beast. Through this representation. the part of him which leads to contemplation of the heavens. He is controlled and elevated. The soul has two aspects: the spirit. meeting its crashing end on the ground. still willing to exert effort for the sake of his master’s call. This is what Plato describes as the “inevitably painful business” of learning to master one’s self. A beast. man is in love and 1 . ready to meet his death. and charioteer through bumps and fences of his demonic tendencies on earth. dragging the chariot."1 Truly.

both noble and obedient. that is the extent to which he is able to follow the gods’ chariots. Death.238 a. the Black. ruled by two principles our acquired judgment that one which pursues that which is best. and to the extent that man is able to tame the Second Horse. seen by the Greeks as the bodily or animal[lian?] appetites. They soar in the heavens. Socrates reasoned his philosophy of justice and the ultimate end of a philosopher. it is noisy. have two horses of the same breeding. is man’s inborn desire for pleasures. Plato says.”3 The gods. to the extent he is able to master his physical appetites. Phaedrus 516 d Ibid. 242d 6 Ibid. c . sought as much as possible to master him. separation of body and mind. With total resignation of his body. Death is the final frontier for the philosopher. sweaty and disorderly.Hubbard 3 man who is not.248 5 Ibid.”6 The Greeks. In the Greek mind. one which does not even begin the true philosophical journey until one is able to completely sever that cord through which the passions are tied to earth.”2 It is coined by Socrates as “being in your right mind. loving true wisdom to so great an extent that one is able to remove completely the temporal body and move into the mind more fully. Because of this he resigned to his death as he has grappled with truth and justice and won over his physical 2 3 Plato. Philosophy attained by the separation of the body and soul..4 rhome. recognizing this horse was the fall of many great men. So it is the soul which falls and forgets and misremembers and wrongdoing and “falls prey to its own opines because of incompetence of drivers is the one which eagerly strains to keep up but is unable to rise. a total separation from the attachment to the physical. but to sever him from the chariot. 238 4 Ibid. the Ill tempered passions that which drags the chariot back to the earth. “outrageousness. is the completion of the separation of the mind from the body. Socrates attained this separation both physically and ideologically. but not only to master him. eros. the Pale Horse.”5 It is the quarrel between lust and love.. The second horse.

For it is natural to man to be both body and spirit. 242 d 11 Ibid. Phaedrus.. even if she is a woman. It is necessary to work both horses together.”8 In the Symposium.9 Therefore what better reason for a Greek to die than for his beloved? He died for Lady Philosophy.”7 To Socrates death is not the end. and we saw it in pure light because we were pure ourselves. the mind. locked in it like an oyster in its shell. not buried in this thing we are carrying around now.Hubbard 4 limitations in the Crito. without his understanding perhaps.” Antigone faced the same sort of battle. on the rational nature of things. but only in the Phaedrus does he say that the spirit must stay tied to the passions. even if she was a woman. could attain the highest end due her nature as a philosopher and recognizing that she was noble in her love. “The philosophers sought to ground the truth. but “the philosopher’s mind. to sever that body creates some other creature than man. my friend. perhaps even Plato himself did not realize what he was saying. the gods granted her soul’s return from the dead. 179 c 10 Phaedrus.” 10 It is interesting to note that in most all the other works of Plato. in its objectivity and transcendence. 250 c 9 Plato. “That was the ultimate vision. 249 c . the intellect. “The soul too. It is not just Plato who sees the philosopher is he (or she) who can best step aside from his (or her) passions and body and can then fulfill that which is “pious. Phaedrus believes that only a lover would die for the beloved. is itself a sort of seer. Plato seems to propose a glimpse of this need of man for both spirit and body.prone to see truth”11 brought him the closest of the Greeks to the Christian perspective. citing the story of Alcestis. guides the horses.. The dual-ness of man as spirit and body requires the charioteer according 7 8 Herburg. Alcestis. It seems this is where the Greeks fell short. which we call a body. Symposium. In his own way he admits this. but the beginning of his philosophical journey. The charioteer. Socrates supports the intellect as being the highest being. In the Phaedrus.

256 c The chariot shows that the natures are the same. 12 Ibid. the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak... It is a matter of taming the wild horse. time to wipe the moth balls from the harness and put some grease on the hinges of the chariot. It is time for spring cleaning. It is even harder to hit the ground.if they adapt a lower way of living with ambition in the place of philosophy.. Who then is the master of the beast? He is the philosophical nature of man. . It is a hard thing to be run away with by a horse. The black may not be severed from the white..Hubbard 5 Socrates the Intellect or “intelligence”12 as Socrates calls it.. 247 d . It is time to fly. they both must reach the goal together. As it has been said. as long as the rider is in control. not different. and rising as man with both body and spirit to the heights of heaven. the pair’s undisciplined horses will catch their souls off guard and together bring them to commit that act. when the Black Horse is truly subjected to the will. the passions. The charioteer is the mind behind the madness. It seems to some down on earth that flight of the soul is not possible. but the reality is they have not stretched their wings in quite a while and they must give it time to work out the winter bugs. it seems he may only do this in heaven. It is time to train the wild beast and master the flesh. One must be truly the master of his flesh. There is no greater good than this that either human self-control or divine madness can offer a man. Flying on horseback is an amazing feeling.

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