The horse is not an animal like the others. It is the mount, the vehicle, the one that carries us further, and its destiny is inseparable from man. It is said to be man's noblest conquest, but it is no less wild. There is a special dialogue between man and horse, a source of peace and conflict, like that between the psyche and the mind. The horse is both shadow and light, as demonstrated by the many symbols of the horse throughout the ages and civilizations. The horse's totem animal also has as its symbol the passion and appetite for freedom. It is a highly motivated animal in life.
According to the psychologist Carl Jung, horses symbolize the natural forces mastered by human beings, and this balance between mastery and freedom is also found in our senses and feelings, in front of our mind.
In Buddhist texts, those of India or Plato's Greece, horses symbolize the senses harnessed to the chariot of the mind. As for the master of the chariot, he represents the Self, the one who will make the difference between the mind and the sensations.
This same idea is found in yoga. The body is often compared to a horse and the mind to a rider. If the two are not in agreement, the body becomes breathless, tired, the mind does not follow and is disordered. The whole art of yoga consists in initiating a dialogue between mind and body, between rider and horse. Instead of taming brutally, the skilful man prefers diplomacy to war, he composes with his horse, caresses it, feeds it well, whispers in its ear and demands moderate work from it, while explaining to it that a minimum of exercise will be beneficial to it.
It is the same with our feelings, as well as with our life impulses. The whole art of living consists in letting what needs to be expressed express itself while not losing control.
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