Significantly, there is the triple configuration of the line:
 
 "Who is the third*who walks always beside you?"
 
"There is always another one walking beside you".
 
"—But who is that on the other side of you?"
 
The triple emphasis here appears purposive, especially vis-a-vis the denial of the supernatural dimension of life in The [modern] Waste Land. Reminds me of Christ's prophetic words: "Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice."
 
CR


--- On Tue, 4/20/10, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
poetic images: our origins do not always explain our ends
 
 
  "Who is the third*who walks always beside you?"
 
    
 ["When I count, there are only you and I together
   But when I look ahead up the white road  
   There is always another one walking beside you  
   Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded   
   I do not know whether a man or a woman   
   —But who is that on the other side of you?"] 
 
[Incidentally, Eliot's Notes: "I am not familiar with the exact constitution of the Tarot pack of cards, from which I have obviously departed to suit my own convenience. The Hanged Man, a member of the traditional pack, fits my purpose in two ways: because he is associated in my mind with the Hanged God of Frazer, and because I associate him with the hooded figure in the passage of the disciples to Emmaus in Part V."]
 
*In this mystical image, the presence of the mystical number 3 in "the third" is noteworthy.
 
CR