- Feb 28, 2008"Plutarch tells us the story of wondrous horse, Bucephalus, the horse
that Alexander the Great rode for thousands of miles and through many
battles to create his mighty empire.
The legend begins with Philoneicus, a Thessalian bringing a wild horse
to Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. Philip was angry at
Phinoneicus for bringing such an unstable horse to him but Alexander
had watched Bucephalus and set his father, Philip, a challenge.
Although Alexander was only 12 years old he had noticed that
Bucephalus was shying away from his own shadow. Alexander gently led
Bucephalus into the sun so that his shadow was behind him. Eventually
Bucephalus allowed Alexander to ride him, much to the public
humiliation of Philip. Philip gained face by commenting "Look thee out
a kingdom equal to and worthy of thyself, for Macedonia is too little
"Why do they put blinders on horses? And only on certain horses and
not on others? I've heard the usual explanation, the materialistic
explanation which is usually only a half-explanation, worse than none
at all: to keep the horses from spooking and running wild. In open
areas such as the Old West, any shadows a horse encountered were upon
the ground, and with the horses's eye set to look to each side, they
normally did not see the shadows on the ground. But, in a city with
tall buildings, even before the turn of the twentieth century, horses
needed blinders in cities because they could detect shadows in very
many places to each side of them. This is what spooked them. And why
did shadows spook them? The reason is given in the question itself -
because horses see spooks in shadows!
[page 268] The horse's eyes are set in such a way that they look
to the side. Because of this the horse does not actually see the
shadow itself, but perceives the spiritual element in the shadow.
People will of course say the horse is afraid of its shadow. But the
fact is that it does not see the shadow at all, but perceives the
spiritual element in the shadow."
From Mammoths To Mediums, GA# 350
by Rudolf Steiner
Answers to Questions, 16 Sessions in Dornach, May to September, 1923
Translated by Anna Meuss
Published by Rudolf Steiner Press in 2000
Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2003