The horse is the vehicle that contains the modelling capability. Most of that modelling capability is dedicated to inhabiting our internal model. Part of this process is modelling aspects of the external world that we encounter, and placing such models beside the internal model (or other stored models), and undertaking the discrepancy process. All of this is unconscious. (Modelling is described elsewhere as having the dimensions of 3-D vector, direction mass and momentum). All the horse does is to model.

The rider represents the vehicle for receiving leaked effects and expressions from unconscious processes. (The purpose of consciousness is described elsewhere as a feedback mechanism. The mechanism is described elsewhere as infiltration or co-option of neurones giving capability of ‘conscious enablement’). What is leaked is probably proportional to the effort expended in the unconscious in the modelling processes of the previous paragraph. The rider also represents, or has the capability of, formulating an instructional designer and passing it to the unconscious. An analogy or metaphor of this process is that Google search box, where a model of that desire or instruction is built, and is sent. This is sending amounts to dropping the model into the unconscious by any means but none of this seemed to have described. I have called the opening to the unconscious as a ‘blind chasm’. The term is intended to convey a sense of a ‘black hole’ that gives no direct feedback.

(Feedback from the unconscious would appear in such a landscape as multiple dispersed vents from which stuff such as heat or gas or material would bubble.)


The discrepancy process lies in the same place as modelling, which is to say it is unconscious. The discrepancy process is detection, intolerance, resolution. All of these are also unconscious. A process on the right , such as resolution , can only exist on the back of the process on the left such as intolerance. In this sense, the three form an incremental model with intolerance depending on the existence of detection, and resolution depending on the existence of intolerance. This is also to say that you can detect a discrepancy, and tolerated and therefore not resolve it. Similarly, you can detect and have intolerance of discrepancy but be unable to resolve it

These sub processes within the whole discrepancy process can be considered complete fabrication and postulation. But they are the best explanation of how models are changed, and of how the internal model adapts and changes to new environments and new approaches. Despite this self effacing self-deprecation, there must be some physical mediation of these sub processes. And needless to say, this mediation is likely to be dispersed in a cross brain, highly networked highly nuanced manner.

I have already explicitly referred to be the detection process within the horse paragraph above. Implicit in this paragraph is the discrepancy process.


The mind’s eye represents an awareness of the discrepancy process. What it will be aware of is the models, the discrepancies, and the outcome of having decided to resolve by changing. The key aspect of this awareness is the decision to change models, and the movement associated with that. The movement highlights and spotlights the two agents, and that there is a discrepancy. One of the agents is the mind’s identity, and the other is effectively a newcomer that causes change. This newcomer is usually a new model from the external world. The outcome is an awareness that one or other of the two most important things in that mind’s world can be wrong, and that is a challenge to meet . Usually it is the internal model (with which the mind identifies) that is wrong and is fingered for change.

The awareness of this process, and the changed relationship of the mind with itself, is visible and noticeable to others, and is a source of resonance. To me at least, it is the highest form of resonance. Resonance means identification with, and usually results in liking.

On the subject of resonance, the more frequent and common resonance of one mind to another is where the owner detects the shape of (part or all of ) another mind that is either like itself, all like how the owner’s mind wants to be. The deepest resonance is between the internal models of self and other minds, and is probably mediated through a simpler process of recognising similar models in other minds.


A journey of the rider on the horse illustrates part of ‘relationship with self’

(in this metaphor I make some connection of components in the EsSample model to the components in the metaphor).

How does ” relationship with self ” appear in this physical social world? Let’s try it with the analogy of the rider and the horse.

Extending the analogy, it is when the horse runs rampant and the rider knows there is little benefit in attempting control, and knows that the rampage will end, and trusts that the horse will both preserve itself and not inflict regretful damage during its rampage. The rider stays with the horse, and awaits the end of the rampage. The horse is integrated (whole, no aberration that causes risk of self annihilation or self damage).

The mind’s eye works only with discrepancies, and makes no judgement, triggers no action.

The mind’s eye therefore makes no judgement on the horse’s actions, detectno discrepancy between the horse’s take on the world (view of the world, intention, assessment, view of itself) and its behaviour.

The rider is also integrated, having no agenda (prejudice, belief) for the direction or behaviour of the horse. The rider therefore reports truthfully what the horse has done, reports truthfully what it can see from this vantage point. This reporting truthfully and loudly facilitates and aids the mind’s eye detect and reflect discrepancies. Which are taken on board as part of the experience of the ride.

So for example, the rider can report wild fluctuations in horses sensations and behaviour, wild fluctuations in what it sees, wild interpretations, but in the end it hears and gets most of what the mind’s eye detects. Probably more than other tactics and strategies such as thought experiments, conscience, etc which require a quieter horse.


EsSample’s metaphor of the mind as a rider and a horse

(here’s an additional description of the aspects of the metaphor of our mind’s experience of living as a horse and rider).


In the analogy, the rider is bareback to reflect both the absence of third-party technologies and the greater dependency on cooperation from the horse. These third-party technologies may indeed be real devices to direct and/or control, but they detract from the purpose of the analogy, which is the cooperation. Also if you consider applying such devices, then that also moves away from the agenda of working with the horse and understanding the horse’s terms.

The rider can see much of the landscape around, and therefore the past behind and the likely path ahead. But the rider is a different species and being from the horse. The rider will not interpret the horses surroundings in a way that the horse does. In addition, the rider cannot actually see what the horse sees.

The rider can make no demands of the horse, and can only give physical signals to the horse the direction and speed, signals that are can be disregarded, and which rely on cooperation. So the old adage ” you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make the horse drink it ” is relevant. And probably more significantly, the rider spends most of the time being along for the ride, and not attempting to achieve direction and purpose with the horse.

In considering this analogy of horse and rider, most readers will imagine an extreme situation of high control such as in dressage. Or a mediocre situation of medium control such as a hack (an informal country walk by horse and rider). Orin even more irrelevant view of a genuine human rider on a genuine horse .

But in our 24 hour day the greatest majority of time we spend on our horse is in having the horse obey the physical requirements to get about our work and home, but we make almost no other demands. We do not recognise or consider the horse as a separate being. Instead, we consider it as a part of ourselves that works funnily and not particularly understandably. (We take on board anecdotes and even scientific findings , but in none of these are we enabled to apply to a coherent model of our own mind ). We do not attempt to understand the language of the horse. We do not attempt to particularly understand or control what the horse sees or feels. By contrast, the horse whisperer engages , if only to have an outcome. Professionals working with human and social behaviour will consider and value it as a profession, and not something that they bring home to themselves or to their family. It’s possible that professionals in life skills bring their work home, but they too will seek outcomes and pay less attention to how the horse works in themselves and their own mind (especially as it applies to all minds in the way that EsSample applies to all minds).

In a wider sense, the horse also dictates what the rider will see and experience because the horse dictates the path being travelled.


Another purpose of the analogy is to change the status of the rider from the red coated rider under the camera at a Olympic Gymkhana, to the more mundane status of a rider alone with the horse on its daily chores . Or maybe even the rider in a herd of horses and riders, which must surely invoke images have even less control by the rider and more dictates by the other horses in the herd.

It also sets the purpose for the rider to come to know the horse, at worst just through its behaviour (for black box modelling), at best by modelling the senses and modalities of those senses of the horse itself.




Someone else uses the metaphor of a rider, elephant and the jungle

Revisiting 2013-08-14 4–Neuromania&Darwinitis-ProfRaymondTallis(Adds02Behaviour),MatthewTaylor(SubstantiatesNarrative).mp3

28′ Matthew Taylor uses the analogy of a rider, elephant and jungle. The rider is the conscious, the elephant is the instinctive evolved animal self (physiological, instinct and unconscious), and the jungle is our social mores in which we interact (culture). He proposes that we should understand humans in the interaction of all three. (He suggests that Tallis says that we should focus on the rider or that part of jungle that the rider has chosen to cultivate, and that both these are far more interesting than the elephant.)

This is transcribed into his document RSA_21centuryenlightenment_essay1_matthewtaylor.pdf (

“I have used the simple metaphor for human behaviour of an elephant being ridden through a cultivated jungle, in which the rider is our conscious thought, the elephant our automatic systems and the jungle our social context. The skilful elephant rider is not under the illusion he can take any route at any speed but understands the habits of elephants and the advantages and pitfalls of different paths through the jungle”.

EsSample agrees with the components in his metaphor. But the example use of the relationship (between the three) is peripheral and neither does the metaphor justice nor makes use of its full potential. The limitation Matthew places is true but is restricted only to the influence of the rider, and the rider is the lesser player of the duo.

What is not addressed is the majority of circumstances where the rider simply instructs elephant to “go to that place” and makes no demands how the elephant does that, nor cares particularly how the elephant works. It is missing the dominant influences in the journeying in the majority of circumstances, and the initiative held by the elephant in both.

EsSample places the elephant before the rider, where the elephant is indeed the predominant influence and making most of the decisions. In this sense, the rider is along for the ride. The rider learns only the parts and aspects of those decisions as is made visible by the relatively low leakage from unconscious to conscious. The rider spends much of its energy and attention in confabulating and concocting a post hoc narrative.

(While much of this narrative draws upon consciously accessible memory, its basis is the internal model within the elephant, which is unconscious. This internal model may be divergent from the navigation map and model of jungle, and this divergence results in mixed messages to the rider).

An example that is more relevant and typical than journeying is asking the rider how to stop smoking, how to be affirmed by others, etc.

As an aside, consider the case where the rider has a Ph.D. in human behaviour. Let’s assume this education is a set of correct descriptions of the behaviour of elephants. It is unlikely that person will take home that knowledge and apply to his own elephant or horse. And certainly not have an interest in modelling his own elephant (such as undertaking black box modelling of his own elephant) in the light of that knowledge of behaviour. In this respect, that knowledge remains ring fenced within intellect, is quarantined from self or other elephants, and not applied to self or other elephants.

Finally there is the jungle. EsSample places the environment (here the culture) as the least decisive influence of the trio on the rider and the elephant. The descriptions or understanding of that environment is so influenced by the worldview of the elephant that it becomes meaningless to consider culture as an objective reality. Which it isn’t anyway. The strongest influence from the environment is other elephants, and this is missing from the analogy. Elephants and horses will engage with others in the herd by any means that once again the rider is only partial access to. And once again the rider is along for the ride.