Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Ego and the Spirit

I noticed this pram a few days ago outside a renovated house nearby. My first thought was that no one had taken the wheels - because when I was growing up, they would have been rescued and made into what we called a "bogie". A bogie was a basic wooden platform with wheels and rudimentary steering, constructed and driven by youngsters, who would career down hills at unsafe speeds. Any youngster with basic engineering skills and a Clydeside father would have no difficulty on the technological side. It was getting the wheels that mattered and the wheels almost always came from an old pram. Things have always been recycled! But a distinction must be made between the pram (or chariot, symbolically) and its driver. I should be forgiven for dualist tendencies by saying that the chariot is like the ego but it is driven by the charioteer, the spirit. Certainly there is some mastery involved - as many young chariot and indeed bogie drivers quickly discovered. In many ancient cultures such as China and possibly Egypt, chariot driving was a way in which prowess and skill could be demonstrated, so such a position was the aspiration of young princes. So where are the aspiring young princes of Ballsbridge with their spirit and their egos? These wheels should have disappeared in ten minutes!