“Pale Rider” was/is Hollywood’s rendition of the Bible’s description of the “Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse”. The movie focuses on the last of those horsemen, depicting death, albeit with a twist of vengeance to spice up the movie.
This is, of course, a secular viewpoint and doesn’t have a whole lot to do with fact. In the movie, the suggestion is that this avenging rider is a spirit, ostensibly of the man who was killed at the hands of the heavies depicted as those it pursues. There is a supernatural tinge to this movie and that’s what everyone surmises is the truth. While this is somewhat out of scope for this blog, I’ve encountered enough critique over this on other forums, so I’m going to set the record straight on a few things concerning this movie.
For one thing, the rider cannot be a spirit. In my considerable experience in the esoteric and spiritual realms, spirits do not possess the ability to interact on a physical level with things of this earth. While they have and do INFLUENCE the behavior and thought of corporeal beings and lower animals, they cannot pick up material objects or engage in intimate acts (like sex) with corporeal human beings and/or animals. The fact that the rider not only engages others in the movie in combat on a physical level and is able to pick up and use tools and weapons and even have sex with the leading lady, negates any possibility he is a ghost. The fact that he was taken by surprise on a few occasions by unexpected acts by adversaries shows that he had concerns for his welfare, something that a ghost already dead wouldn’t be concerned with.
The rider’s back sports some gruesome scars caused by the bullets that supposedly ended his life, an act that he reciprocates on his chief adversary at the end of the show. While certainly horrendous, these in no way guaranteed death and it is quite feasible that the rider survived and now seeks to even the score, despite the prayers of a grieving girl over the grave of her dog. As chance would have it, she formulated her prayer conveniently around the time that the rider was heading her way to take care of business, anyway. Perhaps he heard of the issues taking place and surmised that his old adversary would likely end up mixed up in the affair and figured that a good opportunity as any to meet and settle up.
Overall, the scriptures do not support the belief of life continuing past the point of death. Death is non-life and the Bible emphatically states that the wages of sin are death. God explained to Adam that sin results in death and that’s what we, his progeny, have been doing since then… dying… after our life has expired. There is no ethereal existence beyond the grave, despite what some religions teach. In fact, what it is, is a an old pagan belief and has nothing to do with fact. So, based upon this alone, Pale Rider cannot be a spirit, at least not of the deceased rider, nor can it be of a supernatural entity, due to the physical acts that the rider performs.
Clint Eastwood, in an interview about the show, supposedly said that the rider that he portrayed WAS a spirit. Well, if you’re going to go on authority, alone, I guess that his is the ultimate, whether or not it bears up to factual evidence available. For me, despite all the error, it’s an entertaining show, however, I won’t subscribe to any other theory than that which I’ve already supplied. The rider was a man who survived a treacherous act perpetrated upon himself by contemporaries, possibly former associates, and was merely exacting revenge upon them. No doubt he had a helluva healing process to undergo, which added fuel to his determination to get them. The chance to help out a beleaguered group of miners and townsfolk just added spice to the mix.