Plato paints the picture of a Charioteer (Greek: ἡνίοχος) driving a chariot pulled by two winged horses:

“First the charioteer of the human soul drives a pair, and secondly one of the horses is noble and of noble breed, but the other quite the opposite in breed and character. Therefore in our case the driving is necessarily difficult and troublesome.”

The Charioteer represents intellect, reason, or the part of the soul that must guide the soul to truth; one horse represents rational or moral impulse or the positive part of passionate nature (e.g., righteous indignation); while the other represents the soul’s irrational passions, appetites, or concupiscent nature. The Charioteer directs the entire chariot/soul, trying to stop the horses from going different ways, and to proceed towards enlightenment. (Wiki)

Avoiding the crash: Children / young people can become acquainted with Plato’s analogy early. And we adults can remind ourselves of it often. Because actions have consequences (how often we forgot!). And the Devil always sends the bill.

Alas, today people too often turn their passions into ideological campaigns and chic movements instead of taming them by reason, spirituality and temperance. Then they become bewildered when error and rebellions fall of their own awful weight, leaving them dazed and confused. Sometimes worse.

Advertisements