Hail! all ye spavined, gelded, hamstrung horses!
Ye shall surpass the planets in their courses.
How? Not by speed, nor strength, nor power to stay,
But by the Silence that succeeds the Neigh!
Phaeton was the charioteer of the Sun in Greek mythology.
At first sight the prose of this chapter, though there is only one
dissyllable in it, appears difficult; but this is a glamour cast
by Maya. It is a compendium of various systems of philosophy.
No = Nihilism; Yes = Monism, and all dogmatic systems; Perhaps =
Pyrrhonism and Agnosticism; O! = The system of Liber Legis. (See
Eye = Phallicism (cf. Chapters 61 and 70); I = Fichteanism; Hi! =
Transcendentalism; Y? = Scepticism, and the method of science. No
denies all these and closes the argument.
But all this is a glamour cast by Maya; the real meaning of the
prose of this chapter is as follows:
No, some negative conception beyond the IT spoken of in Chapters
31, 49 and elsewhere.
Perhaps, the flux of these.
O!, Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
Eye, the phallus in Kether.
I, the Ego in Chokmah.
Hi!, Binah, the feminine principle fertilised. (He by Yod.)
Y?, the Abyss.
No, the refusal to be content with any of this.
But all this is again only a glamour of Maya, as previously observed in
the text (Chapter 31). All this is true and false, and it
is true and false to say that it is true and false.
The prose of this chapter combines, and of course denies, all these
meanings, both singly and in combination. It is intended to stimulate
thought to the point where it explodes with violence and for ever.
A study of this chapter is probably the best short cut to Nibbana.
The thought of the Master in this chapter is exceptionally lofty.
That this is the true meaning, or rather use, of this chapter, is
evident from the poetry.
The master salutes the previous paragraphs as horses which, although
in themselves worthless animals (without the epithets), carry the
Charioteer in the path of the Sun. The question, How? Not by their
own virtues, but by the silence which results when they are all done with.
The word "neigh" is a pun on "nay", which refers to the negative
conception already postulated as beyond IT. The suggestion is, that
there may be something falsely described as silence, to represent
absence-of-conception beyond that negative.
It would be possible to interpret this chapter in its entirety as an
adverse criticism of metaphysics as such, and this is doubtless one
of its many sub-meanings.