I like this poem by Kabir in the translation of Arvind Krishna Mehrotra:
Neither the Vedas
Nor the Qur’an
Will teach you this:
Put the bit in its mouth,
The saddle on its back,
Your foot in the stirrup,
And ride your wild runaway mind
All the way to heaven.
Kabir can be a bit enigmatic about his meaning though I think this one is reasonably clear. His comments about the Vedas and the Qur’an would apply to all religious scripture or codified religious thinking.
The metaphor of the riding a wild runaway horse to heaven looks like an exhortation to live life to the fullest, or to go at full speed to wherever your untamed mind carries you, but I don’t think that’s what’s meant.
And the wild runaway horse is not, like in Plato, just one part of the mind, the appetitive part where desires come from, but the whole of the mind is an out of control animal.
Kabir is generally sceptical about the mind: “The mind’s a shortchanging huckster with a crafty wife and five scoundrel children,” he says elsewhere (more metaphors to untangle), and “the mind’s a knot, says Kabir, not easy to untie.”
But the bit, the saddle and stirrup are instruments by which a horse is controlled, and so Kabir’s way to heaven is through exercising strong control over the mind and steering it towards heaven.
When greed hits you like a wave
You don’t need water to drown.
They’ll all die by drowning
In a waterless sea.
The ones whose minds, Kabir says,
Are tied to rocks.