Friday, May 28, 2010

Up The Garden Path

I am resisting going into the psychology of language on this one, Chomsky being unavailable for the moment. Being led up the garden path is thought to be a cynical reflection on the idea that courtship took place in the garden. "Come into the garden Maud" is an example. We are often misled or deceived and when we find out we are furious and feel we were led up the garden path. And sometimes we lead ourselves up the garden path, driven by our unconscious motives, by a complex - or worse still, an archetype (a system of complexes). On their own both garden and path are extremely positive symbols for the most part - universal ones into the bargain. But somehow the concatenation is for the worse. Dazzled by thoughts of paradise and our incredible journey we place ourselves in a position where we become deceived. We see ourselves as heroes and are blinded. And those who identify with or fall in love with a particular archetype are liable to come under its domination with all that this implies. When an archetype is identified through analysis, it must be examined from all angles - through dreams, through art, through the back and forward work of the "talking cure". So if someone says, as someone did to me in a dream, "I'm a bit of a Hermes character", then work on the self is long overdue. I wonder who that person was!