It is often seen by trainers of horseback riding that when trainees come close to a horse for the first time their first reaction is one of fear. In the present contemplation shall this fear of horses be contemplated, and this from the perspective of the Ageless Wisdom teachings. With ‘Ageless Wisdom teachings’ is meant here the teachings as they have been brought to the fore by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), Helena Ivanovna Roerich (1879-1955) and Alice Ann Bailey (1880-1949) (and some of their successors). In this contemplation we shall focus however at the teachings published by Alice Bailey. With contemplating fear of horses from the perspective of the Ageless Wisdom teachings it must be kept in mind that each subject within these teachings is related to a great many other subjects and is thus embedded in a vast context. In a short contemplation such as the present one it is not possible to elucidate all the relations and the whole of the context concerning the subject(s) contemplated. Only the most important relations can be mentioned and only the most direct context can be sketched. It shall be left to the contemplator himself to delve deeper into the matter through the works of the mentioned authors when wished for.
Fear of horses is a very particular and specified fear. To understand this fear thoroughly however fear must also be considered generally. Thus shall we in this paragraph contemplate ourselves a way from fear in abstract towards the particular fear of horses.
Fear in Abstract
What is fear? In A Treatise on White Magic by Alice Bailey is fear considered to be a manifestation of astral energy and as “the basic astral evil”.1 With ‘astral’ here is meant ‘emotional’.2 So fear is of an evil emotional nature, and ‘evil’ means here ‘involutionary’.3 This idea contains the teleological thought that man is meant to evolve away from identification with his physical, emotional and mental nature towards a more spiritual identification with (in first instance) his soul.4, 5 And fear then, as an evil emotion, hinders this evolution. Although fear is thus of an emotional nature does it not however have its roots in emotion itself. For fear originates in the etheric body of man.6 In the Ageless Wisdom teachings is the etheric body considered to be the subtle physical mould of the dense physical body.7 And as such is it considered as the intermediate separator of the dense physical body from the emotional or astral body.8 It stands in between. So the emotion of fear originates in this subtle physical body. Now this origin of fear is inherent in the type of substance out of which the subtle physical body is built.9 This etheric substance is what all men share with each other (their etheric bodies are built out of the same etheric substance) but is also shared with the planet on which they live and with the solar system of which this planet is part (all these are composed of subtle physical matter as well). And the evil emotion of fear in man then is considered to be rooted in what is called ‘cosmic Evil’.10 This cosmic Evil is inherent in the cosmic etheric matter, constituting also the etheric bodies of men being placed within that cosmic etheric body, much like cells are placed within our bodies. Fear is for the same reason also present in the animals on this planet, which share too in that cosmic etheric substance.11 However where the fear in animals is confined to instinctual fear there has fear in humans developed beyond this instinctual fear into a psychological fear as well.12 In this contemplation we shall confine ourselves to fear in man. And humans are subdued to instinctual fear and psychological fear.
Fear in Man
The previous subparagraph was left with the remark that humans are subdued to instinctual fear and psychological fear. Of these is the instinctual fear shared with animals and is the psychological fear a typically human one. Let us first consider the instinctual fears. In A Treatise on White Magic it is attested that in psychology five basic instincts are enumerated.13 In that book these instincts are traced back to basic fears. The instinct of self-preservation is rooted in the fear of death. The instinct of sex is rooted in the fear of separateness and isolation. The herd-instinct has a similar root but expresses itself differently. The instinct of self-assertion is rooted in fear of denial. And the instinct to enquire is rooted in fear of the unknown. The instinctual fears then can be considered to be four in number. These are fear of death, fear of separateness, fear of denial and fear of the unknown. The statement that instincts are rooted in fears may seem to be a remarkable one. However when instinct is considered in its rootedness in physical nature, and fear is thought of as inherent in that (subtle) physical nature, then the statement may gain a more plausible status.
Now as said do humans share instinctual fears with animals. However with humans being more psychological beings than animals are they subdued to psychological fears as well. In A Treatise on White Magic four general human fears are mentioned; fear of death, fear of the future, fear of physical pain and fear of failure.14 These then can be further worked out in fear of loss of friends and loved ones, of health, of money, of popularity, fear of loneliness and even fear of fear itself.15 Eventually the mentioned general psychological fears find their expression in individual particular fears and phobias. This forming of individual psychological fears from general instinctual fear happens by the human mind through memory of past pain and through anticipation to foreseen pain.16 Such psychological fear is often called ‘illusory’ however for the man trapped within his mind this fear is experienced as very real.17 It are all of the above factors that play a significant role in the coming to being of fear of horses.
Fear of Horses
All of the above factors play a significant role in the coming to being of fear of horses. There is however another factor to be considered. Namely a factor which is constituent for humans fearing animals in general. And this concerns the long history which these two kingdoms share together. From a far and distant past, when early man was hardly more developed than the animal, up until very recent did animals massively prey on humans.18 This ongoing slaughter for millions of years (note that the Ageless Wisdom teachings date the coming to being of humanity far earlier than does contemporary science)19 has installed an instinctual fear of animals in man. Much fear has been offset already,20 however the collective memory of man stills bears witness of the animal devastation among humans through an inherent fear of animals. This in humans inherent fear of animals must be considered too as a factor in the fear of horses that horseback trainees may initially experience.
So basically fear of horses may be considered to be constituted of:
Cosmic Evil inherent in the substance of which human subtle physical bodies are composed.
Instinctual fear arising from the above factor.
Psychological fear due to man’s memory and imagination.
A collective human memory of a long history of animals preying on man.
In the previous paragraph we focused on the fear aspect in fear of horses. Under this paragraph horses shall be shortly taken in consideration. And this, like in the previous paragraph, especially in relation to man.
First of all it must be mentioned, though in itself obvious, that horses fall under the kingdom of animals. This kingdom is (also) in the Ageless Wisdom teachings placed evolutionary between the vegetable kingdom and the kingdom of men.21 This idea contains the thought that men evolved from animals and also the teleological thought that animals eventually will evolve into men. The kingdoms of nature are not static but are evolving. This can not only be seen in the evolution of one kingdom into another but can also be seen within the different kingdoms of nature themselves. Within the kingdom of men for instance the term ‘animal-man’ is used to refer to the first human units having evolved beyond the animal stage.22 And from that point evolving towards the kingdom of souls23 are found diverse types of humans. Throughout Alice Bailey’s works we find terms such as ‘average humanity’, ‘advanced humanity’, ‘aspirants’, ‘disciples’ and ‘initiates’ to indicate different stages of evolution within the kingdom of men. Now the same goes for the animal kingdom. With regards to that kingdom is discerned between the mass of lesser animals (as example rodents are taken), the wild animals (the lion and tiger are mentioned here) and the higher and domestic animals (such as dogs and cats).24 Now horses too are placed under the category of higher and domestic animals. In the animal kingdom are horses considered to be part of the top of the evolutionary ladder. It shall thus be rewarding to have a closer look at this top stage of animal evolution.
It was said that men evolved from animals and that animals eventually will evolve into men. Now this border between the animal kingdom and the kingdom of men is crossed at the moment of individualisation.25 With individualisation crosses the living unit from the animal kingdom into the kingdom of men. Among the many definitions and descriptions by Alice Bailey given in her books is individualisation perhaps the most clearly defined as the “initiation into self-conscious existence”26 or perhaps as “the process of intelligent self-realisation”.27 In individualisation the regarded living unit becomes conscious of and realizes itself in contrast with all that it is not. And the higher or domestic animals, among which also horses are counted, are close to developing this self-consciousness.28
Now this process of individualisation that the domestic animals are undergoing is guided by men, even though they might not be aware of this.29 For it is through the mental stimulation by men that domestic animals grow towards individualisation and self-awareness. This mental stimulation the domestic animal receives from man’s mental radiation30 but also from the training it receives from its human master.31 This puts the relation between domestic animals and men in a whole new perspective. Associating with domestic animals and training them is a responsibility of men to lead these animals into the kingdom of men.32 Regarding the present contemplation it can be concretely said that associating with horses and training them is for the owners, trainers and trainees of those horses a responsibility. The horses are greatly served by this as they may eventually find their way into the kingdom of men.33
We have in the previous two paragraphs somewhat contemplated fear and horses, both in relation to man. A contemplation on fear of horses from the perspective from the Ageless Wisdom teachings would however not be complete without a consideration of the solving of this fear. Thus shall under this paragraph the solving of fear of horses be given attention.
Earlier it was mentioned that fear of horses is constituted of; cosmic Evil inherent in the substance of which human subtle physical bodies are composed, instinctual fear arising from this factor, psychological fear due to man’s memory and imagination, and a collective human memory of a long history of animals preying on man. If we want to solve fear of horses it shall be clear that the work has to be done at these four levels. And the higher we get in the given tabulation the more radical will the removal of fear be. Let us consider these levels on which fear of horses can be solved.
In the previous paragraph it was concluded that association with horses and training them is a responsibility for the owners, trainers and trainees of those horses by which the horses may eventually find their way into the kingdom of men. Now this domestication of horses, and animals in general, falls together with the offsetting of much instinctual fear that arose from the preying of animals on humans.34 In older times, when animals preyed on men, was the relation between animals and humans purely physical.35 However when later on men started to care for, tame and domesticate animals an emotional or astral nature was added to their relation36 and much fear was then offset. At present times, with humanity being more mental than before and animals being trained more, an increasingly mental relation between men and animals is added to that.37 What this summary view on the history of the relation between animals and men shows is that when men associate with animals, care for them, train them and domesticate them much fear for animals is offset. So the first and most obvious way for trainees to solve their initial fear of horses is to associate with them, care for them and work with them. In short; to domesticate them.
Those trainees that are not able to solve their fear of horses through association and domestication need to work a level higher on solving their fear. This is the psychological level. Psychological fears were mentioned to arise from memory of past pain and through anticipation to foreseen pain. Such a fear was considered to be illusionary in nature. Now to eradicate the illusion of fear truth must be realized. In A Treatise on White Magic Alice Bailey gives two hints on doing this.38 Firstly she gives a formula on which one should meditate and which one should repeat when swept by fear. The formula sounds: "Let reality govern my every thought, and truth be the master of my life." Secondly she advices sound common sense and the cultivation of an attitude of mind which refuses to permit time for illusory fears to grow. These hints are based on the occult law that energy follows thought and that thus fearful thoughts of imaginary happenings make the illusory fear grow.39 With the second hint is the thought life taken away from the illusory fear and with the first hint is attention laid on reality. A trainee that cannot overcome fear of horses by association and domestication must do this inner psychological work. He should not imagine painful happenings with the horse but should realize the situation as it is.
Eradication of (Cosmic) Evil
More deep than man’s psychological fear lies his instinctual fear. And this fear was seen to be rooted in the cosmic Evil inherent in the substance of which human subtle physical (etheric) bodies are composed. Now it shall be clear that when under this subparagraph is spoken of eradication of cosmic Evil we are talking about eradication of this evil from the individual human subtle body and not of eradication of cosmic Evil as such. For the latter is a task way too great for any human individual; cosmic entities are dealing with this problem.40 How then can this Cosmic evil inherent in the substance of the human subtle physical body be individually eradicated?
Evil was considered as being involutionary in nature. Basically it is the refusal of evolution. Evil in man, inherent in his subtle physical body, tends to involution. It shall then be clear that evil in an individual can be eradicated by means of evolution. Evolution for man means to bring his physical, emotional and mental faculties under control of his soul.41 This soul is light,42 and it is light that dispels all evil.43 Thus; when an individual evolves towards identification with his soul, brings his physical, emotional and mental bodies under control of the soul and saturates these bodies with the light of his soul, then this light shall eradicate the evil inherent in his subtle physical body. Most radically is fear of horses thus solved by evolving to soul consciousness. And this consciousness is developed by meditation and service.44 Achievement of soul consciousness however is a great work that shall take a human many individual incarnations. (Note here that reincarnation is one of the axioms of the Ageless Wisdom teachings).45
In this contemplation we set out to contemplate fear of horses from the perspective of the Ageless Wisdom teachings. In the first paragraph the line was followed from fear in abstract towards the concrete fear of horses. In this four constituent factors were found; cosmic Evil inherent in the substance of which human subtle physical bodies are composed, instinctual fear arising from this factor, psychological fear due to man’s memory and imagination, and a collective human memory of a long history of animals preying on man. In the second paragraph horses and their relation to men were considered. There it was found that owners, trainers and trainees have a responsibility to domesticate horses, thus leading them to individualisation and into the kingdom of men. In the third paragraph then the solving of fear of horses was contemplated. This fear was considered to be solvable by; domestication of horses (involving association and training), realization (involving a psychological movement away from illusion towards reality), and individual eradication of (cosmic) evil by gaining soul consciousness (achieved by meditation and service).
May thus the light of our soul shine forth, eradicating all our evil fears, including fear of horses.