Sunday, January 4, 2009

Danger, danger!

This dramatic sign sprang out at me on a trip to Land End. I couldn't ignore the lettering. The block capitals carved into the rock and painted red were irresistible. No doubt about the meaning. Further than this point you should no further go! The paternal voice warns of danger and does not need to tell the observer to venture no further. As for Icarus, there's nothing to stop you putting yourself at risk. No difficult fence or barrier between the sign and the cliff impedes access. But we are familiar with the words, the colour and the form of presentation. To go beyond the sign is to transgress rules that are deeply etched into both consciousness and unconsciousness. To comprehend the sign, obeying or disobeying the implicit instruction is to exercise the judgement function - unlike the hysterical child, instantly imagining himself plunging helplessly to the rocks below.