The First Horseman: Fear of the Unknown

In our exploration of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as narrated in the Book of Revelation, we encounter the first horseman thundering out on a white horse with a bow and arrow and crown. How do we understand this metaphor and what can we learn from it?

The first horseman with his crown and bow and arrow represents the mental body. His crown denotes a dominating mind and identification as elite ruler. The drawn arrow symbolizes a narrowing of focus in trying to find the target to pin down. His thundering charge desperately asks Where is it? What is it? When do I loose the arrow? How accurate is my aim? The rider looks this way and that, trying to find the target. If we see the fear in this rider’s eyes we may see panic, doubt and confusion.

trey_colorWhat happens to you when you are faced with the unknown? The unknown often presents itself in periods of transition, when we know that the known past is falling away but the unknown future has not revealed itself. Imagination can run rampant in these situations, if we are prone to fear and stress. An incessant craving arises to answer every question, to fill every need, and to pinpoint every detail.

It is poignant and telling that this is the first horseman, as the whole drama that subsequently transpires in the Book of Revelation is dependent on the desperation that fear of the unknown produces in the collective dreaming. If we succumb to the deception of this first rider and are seduced into an insatiable need to know, then we have some hand in catastrophic unfolding.

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