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Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought$
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Richard Seaford

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474410991

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410991.001.0001

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‘Master the chariot, master your Self’: comparing chariot metaphors as hermeneutics for mind, self and liberation in ancient Greek and Indian sources

‘Master the chariot, master your Self’: comparing chariot metaphors as hermeneutics for mind, self and liberation in ancient Greek and Indian sources

Chapter:
(p.168) 11 ‘Master the chariot, master your Self’: comparing chariot metaphors as hermeneutics for mind, self and liberation in ancient Greek and Indian sources
Source:
Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought
Author(s):

Jens Schlieter

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410991.003.0012

Chariots in both Greece and India involved danger and intense experience in their various uses, and were used metaphorically for the interpretation of various abstract domains. They were vehicles of gods such as the sun, and symbols of royal power and prestige. Similar use (actual and metaphorical) of chariots in Greece and India had already been established before they provide a metaphor in both cultures for the inner self and its liberation. Cognitive analysis of the metaphor (and of its differences in the two cultures) brings out philosophical preconceptions prevalent in abstract domains associated with the inner self. In late antiquity, which saw the end of the light and fast chariot and of a certain ideal of embodied self-mastery, chariot imagery ceased to be fully 'functional'.

Keywords:   Metaphor, Chariot, Soul, Cosmos, Kingship, Inner self, Cognitive analysis

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