Almost everyone in America has heard this phrase. And, almost everyone sees it as representing wise advice, highly relevant to human life. In other words, its message is not literal (with only horse owners in mind) but rather, is a metaphor dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the human psyche.
Comprehended on a more elevated level, the phrase can be translated as “you can lead the mind to good ideas, but you can’t make someone understand and incorporate those ideas into their own actions.”
On an even higher, more theological level, the phrase can be translated as, “you can lead someone to God’s Truth, but you can’t make that person embrace and live according to those principles and values.
This situation with words—and their having deeper meaning—presents us with a great mystery.
Current science has no explanation as to why visible and physical things can represent and give greater clarity to invisible qualities of mental and spiritual processes. It is as though the human mind and spirit operates just like the visible universe operates.
According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, all things—whether physical, mental or spiritual—follow the same rules and laws of order. They correspond! Ancient cultures incorporated this multi-leveled dynamic of correspondence in all their storytelling, which is the origin of myth, legend and allegory.
Writing on this rarefied level requires an elevated mental ability, yet no one can perfect this abstract style better than the Lord God. As evidence of this Divine talent, Swedenborg provided many volumes of books, which explain how this multi-leveled form of communication is used throughout God’s Holy Word (making its seemingly far-fetched stories even more relevant to human life and salvation).
The post-modern inclination to dismiss the authority and inerrancy of Holy Scripture is based on individuals not being introduced to these unique ideas.
This revived knowledge will lead to the next great religion on earth. As of this moment, a relatively small number of people are being led to this rarefied spiritual water. How about you?