ΑρχικήΨηφιακή ΒιβλιοθήκηΆρθραΆρθρα (Αγγλικά)Potamianou, Anna - "The Thread in the Labyrinth"

Potamianou, Anna - "The Thread in the Labyrinth"

The Thread in the Labyrinth

Anna Potamianou

Cornelius Castoriadis was one of a group of friends during the German occupation. Most of the voices of this group are now silent, but the memory of those years of hope remains as vivid as ever. Those who were older were not always accepting the younger ones to which I belonged then because they thought we were lacking in intellectual development. Thus, many years elapsed before Cornelius and I became interlocutors on equal terms – exactly the time it took us both to become psychoanalysts.

While he was writing the Crossroads in the Labyrinth[1], Castoriadis was on a personal journey of working through the experiences of his youth. Thus his socio-philosophical work was imbued by the spirit of psychoanalytic investigation and by the understanding that it offers. Crossroads contains the traces of the activity of shadowed memories; some have left stable traces, others uncertain ones, but all constitute the basic material of Castoriadis’s thinking. As he himself claims: to think is not to get out of the cave; it is not to replace the uncertainty of shadows with the clear cut outline of things themselves … To think is to enter the Labyrinth; more exactly, it is to make the Labyrinth appear. To make it emerge when we might, as Rilke wrote, have stayed ‘lying among the flowers, facing the sky’.[2]

For the labyrinth to emerge is exactly what Freud wanted when he affirmed that consciousness and the Ego do not exhaust our mental existence. The ‘boiling pot’ with our tempestuous drives and everything that sputters out as it boils, inundates the mind and the entire human psyche, causing upheavals. The connections that keep thoughts together are strained as they quiver from the outbreaks of the violence of the drives that charge our mental lives, our actions and our bodies.

I would say that bringing the labyrinth into existence is the work of a thinking which acknowledges it as a rediscovered object, because it was there in the first place.

We measure and walk through the labyrinth when thinking ‘turns upon itself’ and touches the complex helixes that constitute it. Castoriadis tried to unravel some of the helixes within the socio-historical problematic that occupied him throughout his life. The present text is not unconnected to this problematic, even though it is clear that the social dimension is not the sum total of individual unconsciouses. Yet one can think of the individual unconscious both as taking part in the social dimensions surrounding it and as that which retains autonomy from the socio-historical conditions on which it gets inscribed. The Crossroads in the Labyrinth is a point of reference for the present paper. Yet here I will attempt to show how the labyrinth is connected to the problematic of thinking, a connection that Castoriadis believed was beyond discussion. I believe that the myth of the labyrinth can be seen as picturing the development of thinking from its initial to its subsequent forms, and mainly towards its connective potential.

At the roots of historical consciousness

Each myth is, of course, open to multiple hearings and interpretations, as it articulates the manifest part of a narrative with individual or collective fantasies, as well as with actions and rituals that preceded the myth[3]. Of course, action is transformed by the poetic dimension of discourse. But if one sees myth as corresponding to ritual, then myth can be seen as a line where one axis takes the form of oral comment on the ritual which inscribes itself on the other. The emergence of writing and philosophy set the fictitious element of myth against logical thought. Nonetheless, a philosophical text such as Plato’s Timaeus is presented in mythical form. Today we know that myths are the vehicles of a distinctive kind of non-conscious logic that refers to our unconscious psychic reality. This reality surfaces in our fantasies, dreams, repressed knowledge, etc., through transformed, and to a large degree distorted, elements.

The way in which the manifest and the latent are interwoven reveals the meaning of the myth, while at the same time demonstrates the fact that for a very long time the human preconscious has been at work trying to cover up gaps in our memory or to provide answers to the tensions provoked by our questions about nature, life and death.

In his study of the psychic morpheme that constitutes each myth, A. Green[4] speaks about the relation between the signifiers of language and the signified desires and prohibitions, as these unfold in personal memories, in fantasies and in dreams, or through collective memory.

Defined by a multiplicity of categories – the category of the unhistorical (unconscious), the personal, the social and the cultural - myths allow for a multitude of interpretations: primarily at the level of desire, but also at the level of mechanisms like displacement, condensations, projections, repressions, as well as of connections that determined its formation, i.e., the order in which myth appears is determined by the associations, and, finally, in relation to the diachronic/synchronic framework that shaped it.

As a creation which represents, myth in its metaphorical dimension conceals, but also encompasses, both the individual and the collective reality it concerns, since the contribution of people who at various stages of history weaved and used a myth, determines that this morpheme circulates among many people. It belongs as much in the category of the individual, as it does to that of the social groups. The two dimensions - individual/group - are not only in interaction with each other, but also shape each other’s content.

There is an additional dimension at the point of contact between the two dimensions of myth, since in this case the past is not characterized by its irrevocable absence within the present. The plasticity of the mythical grip keeps time outside history. K. Papaionannou[5] observes that in the cycle of myths, the past becomes a symbol and remains eternally present, given that myths are subject to the fluctuation of time only with respect to their form.

Clearly, each myth exists in a state of discontinuity with historical events. But if this is how the alterity between mythical and historical discourse is acknowledged, it also becomes clear that in virtue of being a ‘poesis’, a myth is the product of an effort of distancing from action. It is a gesture whereby experience becomes part of discourse and signals thinking turning upon whatever it was that stimulated it. In essence, there is a transformation of experience in the light of observation and change through the inclusion of fantasy elements. Thus, myth keeps the presence of movements of ‘becoming’ outside temporal determination, but, at the same time, preserves the elements it absorbed from reality – inner or outer – as material for its constitution.

Certainly, the discontinuities between myth and history are very apparent, and obscure the connective thread between the various forms of symbolizing thinking, when thinking detaches itself from the concrete, albeit it produces myths or it takes part in historical diachronicity. Because if in diachronicity, thinking needs to develop abilities that it did not possess from the outset, with the aim of registering events as ‘historical consciousness’, the same thinking does not cease to produce myths, to be enchanted by their narration or to seek to interpret them. Some myths, moreover, can be interpreted as referring to the very genesis and development of thought. I believe this to be the case with the myth of the labyrinth, though this myth can be interpreted in other ways as well.

I therefore propose that we view this myth as a narrative allowing us to touch on the beginnings and on the destiny of thinking through a kind of pictorial scenery, or setting, that acts simultaneously as a screen and as a path towards understanding the issue outlined by the myth. The thread or mitos (μίτος in Greek) that unravels in the labyrinth is not simply part of an action that leads Theseus to the exit. The presence of the thread is the result of thought that set in motion a mental process capable of determining the use of the thread. In any case, it is not coincidental that the word mitos is also used in reference to the activities of thinking: kata miton (κατά μίτον in Greek) means in the appropriate order and/or in detail.

Of course, the question could be asked: what justifies a psychoanalytic interpretation of myths? I have in the past given some answers to this question[6]. Today I would like to add that although psychoanalysis mainly follows the traces of clinical reality, it is also moved and worked through by our imagination in both its non-clinical as much as in its clinical applications. Fantasies, and to the same extent reality, feed psychoanalytic experience and create mythical morphemes. If we accept that fantasies and psychic movements of transformation are the proper objects of psychoanalysis, then myths can be seen as participating to fantasying, as well as to the transformation of reality by thought. In addition to this, both myths and all subsequent ‘thinking about’ myths, are part of the socio-historical ‘becoming’ of the people who created them. They are not, then, in opposition to it.

Ariadne of the myth and of the thread

The period of Cretan sea-hegemony lasted from the end of the 3rd millennium to about 1400 BC. A civilization flourished during this period whose buildings, houses, graves, and art - its ornaments, figurines and urns – were of exceptional beauty and grace. This civilization came to be identified with Minos, the king of Cnossos.

The actual architectural structure of the palaces of Crete has certainly been the foundation of the myth of the labyrinth’s complex layout. Further, the incarceration of the monster that killed all those imprisoned in this abyss by the King, probably reflects practices that accompanied the exercise of power in that period. However, Ariadne’s intervention in Theseus’s ordeal shows that the creators of the myth also confronted the possibility of overturning the tyrant’s orders. Even more important, Ariadne’s transgression of King Minos’s strict orders concerning Theseus, constitutes a socially acceptable solution in contrast to the transgression perpetrated by Queen Pasiphae, whose mythical union with the bull destroys the boundaries that separates the human from the animal[7]. However, the distinction is not absolute, since irrespectively of the practice of sexual relations between human and beast - which today would be deemed to be sexual perversion, though possibly in the myth it may be a resonance of events that refer to the dawn of a humanity when mankind had not yet differentiated itself completely from other creatures. Moreover, we know that a brute and inhuman violence often dwells in us. If in today’s thinking the Minotaur represents the monstrous forces that frequently loom within us as a product of our instincts, then Ariadne’s intervention when Theseus and his companions are in danger takes on a dual meaning. It symbolizes the protection and the rescue of the man Theseus from an external danger, but also from whatever threatens the human mind from within and is projected externally in the Minotraur.

The Minotaur is the product and the excrement of very archaic impulses. Extracted from the belly of Pasiphae as a human body with the head of a bull, it is the product of a double hybris: of the pride of Minos that the gods grant him all his wishes and of the inappropriate union of Pasiphae with the white animal sent by Poseidon from the sea.

Minos will not kill this dangerous, monstrous creature that unites within it the power of the sea and that of the earth. Instead, he imprisons it in the labyrinth built by his craftsman, Daedalus[8].

The labyrinth, an edifice of interwoven walls, becomes an impasse to anyone entering it. One wonders whether the King himself would also hide there his own unspeakable desires for omnipotence, as N. and G. Nikolaidi remark[9]. I would say that he kept them alive within the labyrinth’s bowels, in the same way that, within the labyrinth-like human unconscious, every person’s wishes of childhood omnipotence are kept alive. The very same wishes that in prehistoric Crete conceived of queen Pasiphae as tied to the goddess of the moon, who was called Vritomarti[10] in eastern Crete and Diktynna in the western part of the island.

Pasiphae was initially considered to be the embodiment of the Potnia of Crete, the goddess of wild animals and of vegetation and fertility, but was later regarded as the priestess of the goddess. But as Diktynna, she retains her lunar origin and her name denotes the moonlight[11].

As kore (young girl), or as another incarnation of Pasiphae, Ariadne (in ancient Greek, her name αδνή, Agni or Ariagne, means ‘pure’) retains the connection with the moon and with the archaic Minoan goddess[12]. But she is also linked to human reality, both through her love for Theseus and through her relationship with Daedalus who supplied her with the ball of thread. Had it not been for Ariadne’s thread, the Athenians would have been engulfed in the labyrinth, which, like a mother’s womb, would have swallowed them all up.

Thus, Ariadne is not just another incarnation of the almighty divine goddess, nor is she simply the woman who abandons her family for the sake of the man she loves. She is the one who holds out the guiding thread to Theseus, so that he can find his way out of the chaotic edifice, having defeated the creature of darkness that dwells within it. In the incident with Theseus, it is the human side of Ariadne that prevails, although later on, in the Naxos cycle, she is once again swept away by her divine aspect in her union with Dionysus.

It is thus clear that the myth encompasses many dimensions and expresses a variety of themes, unfolding at many levels. Within it there is a combination of elements that at first sight seem heterogeneous, though they also bring to the fore connecting relations.

The mythical discourse portrays the diffusion[13] of the human towards the animal, as well as towards the divine. It refers to the toil and struggle of human ontogenesis. But also to the feminine mediation that enables Theseus to overcome the Minotaur, the human to prevail over the beast. This mediation brings to mind the mother’s role as the person who manages the newborn child’s functions (Marty)[14], but also of the mother that attracts the child towards using its potentialities in order to live and develop (e.g., Freud’s notion of the enchantress). It also brings to mind the mother that remains vigilant[15], like Ariadne cares and protects Theseus. However, I believe that the myth of the labyrinth, of the Minotaur and of Ariadne, in its primary but also in subsequent forms[16], may be understood as a discourse concerning the psychic space in which human thinking, as a quest for solutions to problems, emerges from the chaotic darkness of early undifferentiated confusing experiences and from the representational void. When conditions allow the establishment of bonds, thinking evolves up to the point where it attains a free circulation of its creative powers.

As a function with a potential to establish bindings[17] between our body, our objects, and the world around us, thought manages tensions that develop between three axes: the perceptual axis, the representational axis, and a third one that absorbs the energy that cannot be absorbed by psychic morphemes, i.e., representations, affects and so on. As a region of the unrepresented and perhaps of the unrepresentable, this region has been characterized as the region of the negative (Bion (1962), Guillaumin (1987), Green (1997).)

The first two axes are linked to the line of desires and to the line of reality-testing. The lines are antithetical and as such increase the tension in the space and time of the three axes by exerting a different influence on each of them. Most of all, the tension between those axes requires us to think about psychic reality as something that is not only subject to the laws of homeostasis and of stability, but also as a universe that in some of its expressions and at certain moments appears chaotic and unstable. Not still, but also not harmonious, nor relative only to drive urges repeatedly aiming at reaching external or internal objects.

The tensions that arise between the three axes keep the gradually constituted movements of thought permeated with their fluctuations. Their oscillations shape the various forms of our fantasies, in dreams, in everyday life, and determine the binding - but also the unbinding - capacities of thinking, in relation to the stimuli that they are subject to. They also determine the extent to which thought, using the identification models it is offered, can include new elements without becoming profoundly disrupted or disorganized.

Between the three axes, experiences and thinking on ‘being’, on ‘having’ and on ‘what can be possibly done’ stretch out like taut chords that vibrate from the meanings given to them during encounters with the other and by the new organizations that arise as a result of the encounter. At such moments, thought will not give us only adjustment or knowledge. It can also become an agent for what distinguishes the psychic apparatus par excellence: it becomes an agent of creativity.

Of course, access to what is not known and reaching what is not familiar comes up against a variety of resistances, charged with fears and prohibitions that weigh upon the right that each person has to reach new areas: to see, to search, to come to know.  Oedipus at Colonus knows, but blindness is the price he has to pay. Unconscious guilt betrays our expectations. The paths of knowledge are not defined only by their results, whether, e.g., the path allows us to reach the moon or find a cure for a grave disease. They are also assessed against the cost that the path has for the human psychosomatic unit and in relation to ‘what can be done’, through the acknowledgment of its limits.

The ancient were aware of this when they introduced the notion of ‘hybris’.

Pasiphae’s actions led to the hybris of the birth of the Minotaur, just as Minos’s unbridled expectations extracted from the depths of the sea the white bull that shamed him through its union with Pashiphae.

Hybris is perhaps the biggest obstacle against which thinking stumbles, because omnipotence impedes or destroys syllogistic capacities.

Back to the myth

The space and time of the labyrinth, if we agree to regard it as symbolizing the psychic apparatus, metaphorically embrace both the darkest innermost depths of unformed drive energy, as well as the confused initial stage of thinking that does not possess the ability for speech and differentiation. But within the labyrinth, the thread that guides Theseus’s efforts gradually unravels. The hero strives not only to find his way out of the labyrinth but also to defeat the Minotaur, that is to say the forces (outside and inside himself) that oppose representation, thinking and actions that follow from them.

Theseus and Ariadne reflect on ‘what can be done’ and they unquestionably represent situations that, in turn, represent situations of distancing from the undifferentiated and unelaborated excitations. Thinking opens up the impasse of the labyrinth. Breaking through the murkiness of the area where the man-beast, the Minotaur, is at large, it penetrates the unconnected isolation of the being that is closed to thinking and unfolds, like Ariadne unravels her thread or Daedalus his skills. Like Theseus, man learns to search and to discover.

However, when Theseus succeeds in escaping from Crete, he tricks Ariadne and abandons her on the island of Naxos; but he also forgets to change the sails of his ship during his return journey to Athens. He thus becomes the cause of his father’s death, Aegeas, whose throne he then occupies. Betrayal and oversight, testify then that the opening-up of thinking cannot eliminate instinctual pressures and that the compulsion of repetition lies in wait to impose its presence.

If the early experiences of the subject have been imbued with very strong emotional forces and if significant repetitive deprivations have inhibited the organization of the hallucinatory satisfaction of desires and the corresponding distancing from the primary maternal object, the difficulties of figurability and of representing are great. The process of the development of thinking cannot disengage itself from the volcano-like labyrinth of unrestrained emotional urges. The formative and representational functionality of the ego is disrupted or wiped out. A Minotaur roars, then, in the isolation of the psychic apparatus. There is no bond fostering the binding processes that Freud considered to be essential to the development of thinking.

In contrast, at the level represented by the figure of Ariadne, things appear differently. Ariadne desires and seeks the object, an erotic object linked to pleasure. When Theseus appears, his perception awakens her interest for the desirable. She knows how to approach Theseus and how to charm him. She does not hesitate to relate to him personally, even when their bond is put to the test of devotion[18]. But Ariadne is also shaken by her need to think how she can save Theseus. The background of the scene remains the same, but the action changes, it is no longer about the rediscovery of the object of desire. It is about the way in which the object also becomes an object of concern and of thinking. Ariadne does not want to remain within the identical repetitive patterns of her life with Minos or to stay under Pasiphae’s domination. She untangles the foggy networks of the child’s earliest thinking and uses the thread of the ball that will become Theseus’ guide. The thread will be a bond connecting two people and the thread of thinking which opposes the impenetrable mystery of the labyrinth.

Ariadne’s thread is also linked to the knowledge of Daedalus. According to mythical tradition, it is he who initially fashioned it[19]. In order to escape from Minos’s domination (the power of the ruler and/or mastery of the megalomania that often accompanies human creation), Daedalus the craftsman dreams of, designs and eventually fashions the wings in which he will dress himself and his son, Icarus. Daedalus, the builder/creator of the labyrinth’s prison, will ultimately be liberated through the wings of thought.

The idea of the thread belongs to Daedalus, but the thread binds Ariadne and Theseus. And their bond fosters thinking, in the same way a mother’s relationship with her child does. Through the identifications at work between Ariadne and Pasiphae, Ariadne, the lover, will also become a caring mother and protector for Theseus. Perhaps one could say that Pasiphae also through Ariadne encounters the feminine and love within her, as according to the myth, she ultimately helps Daedalus to leave Crete. But much preceded this, as is also the case with an individual’s mental development.

At the level of the Minotaur one encounters archaic links introduced by processes of compulsive repetitions that use untransformed sensorimotor data. We also find manifestations that condense what is felt and experienced by a being like the Minotaur that barely distinguishes itself from what surrounds it.

Subsequently come attempts at recognition of self that were so eloquently described by Dürrenmatt[20]. His imagination created moments when the Minotaur looks at his reflection in the partitions of the labyrinth, similar to those moments experienced by the small child before a mirror.

Later, and analogous to the pathway of human development, eros sets up bonds with the object: Ariadne’s libidinal cathexis of Theseus, but also cathexes of the feminine and the maternal within her; also, cathexes of the feminine dimension in thinking that gives birth to ideas and carries them out, since Ariadne inspires and is inspired by Daedalus’s advice. Between Theseus and Ariadne, as also between Ariadne and the Minotaur, Daedalus’s bequest intervenes as an element that disperses the fog of the confusion, of the erotic and of the aggressive characterizing dual relationships. The thread becomes a bond in a type of thinking that endeavors, that undertakes, that holds firm and, when not severed, eliminates the narcissistic confinement. The passageway to the exit of the labyrinth opens up, breaking the circuit of the compulsive repetitive processes.

As a ‘poesis of the self’, psychoanalysis encounters the essence of mythical activity, because ‘both psychoanalysis and myth are discourses with symbolic efficacy’ (Tasca N. Seabra J. 2002). The activities to which they refer transcend the specific temporal setting in which they unravel. Both emerge from a work of transformations that simultaneously hides and denotes what it wants to express.

The drama of myth, be it a collective production or the individual myth[21] that surfaces through psychoanalytic work, like the welling up of each analysand’s discourse, refers the great and tragic themes that traverse humanity: birth, death, intergenerational and gender differences and developmental processing.

The ‘now I know’ of the analysands is the distinction between a present and a past that defined them and which they no longer deny. Now they can articulate their own discourse, their own creation that springs from the acceptance of the relationship to the other, but also from the knowledge that our relationship with our self own allows us, as Winnicott said, to be alone together with the other.

Psychoanalysis – and Castoriadis was right in this[22] – makes its object speak with a multiplicity of meanings. I would say that the object becomes meaning, a living discourse. And it is exactly then, that that something may happen that has never happened before.


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Dürrenmatt, F. (1990). Le Minotaure. Zurich: L’âge d’or.

Freud, S. (1905). Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. S.E.7.

Freud, S. (1911). Formulations on the two principles of mental functioning. S.E.12.

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Freud, S. (1926). Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety. S.E.20.

Freud, S. (1927). The Future of an Illusion. S.E.21.

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Papaioannou, K.  (1998): ‘Technique and Civilization in Ancient Greece’, Athens, Enallaktikes Ekdoseis.

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Potamianou, A. (1980) Réflexions Psychanalytiques sur la Prométhia d’Eschyle. Psychanalyse et Culture Grecque, Belles Lettres, Paris.

Potamianou, A. (1985). The personal myth: points and counterpoints. Psychoanal. Study Child 40: 285-96.

Potamianou, A. (1991) ‘Un bouclier dans l’économie des états limites:  l’espoir’, P.U.F. English translation: ‘Hope: A Shield in the Economy of Borderline States’, Routledge, 1996.

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[1] Castoriadis, C: (1978) ‘Les carrefours de Labyrinthe’, Paris, Ed. du Seuil. English translation: ‘Crossroads in the Labyrinth’ (1984), MIT Press.

[2] op. cit., p. 7-8.

[3] The relation between acting and myth is clearly emphasized in Homer: Odyssey, 21, verse 71. See Potamianou, A. (1997) ‘Faits mythiques, événements historiques, réalité psychique’ in Mythes et Psychanalyse, Paris, In Press, p. 37.

[4] A. Green (1992): ‘Le mythe, un object transitionnel collectif’ in La Déliaison, Paris, Belles Lettres.

[5] K. Papaioannou (1998): ‘Technique and Civilization in Ancient Greece’, Athens, Enallaktikes Ekdoseis, p. 19.

[6] A. Potamianou (1980): ‘Réflexions psychanalytiques sur la Prométhia d’Eschyle’, in Psychanalyse et Culture Grecque and (1992) ‘Approche psychanalytique de la tragédie grecque’ in Psychanalyse dans la civilization, no 7, p. 31.

[7] Note the difference concerning the presence of the bull in Euripides’s Hippolytus, although the passion of Phaedra, the sister of Ariadne and daughter of Pasiphae, shows the continuity and the modifications of the mythical elements within diachronicity.

[8] According to the myth, Daedalus had previously built a hollow wooden cow for Pasiphae, so as to facilitate her union with the stunning white bull of Poseidon.

[9] In writing on Dûrrenmatt’s Minotaur – in a paper presented at an international conference on November 2001 – Nikos and Graciela Nikolaidi attempt an interesting and rich analysis of this theme from a phylogenetic and a human ontogenetic perspective. They speak of the repression that Minos exerts on his own fantasies.

[10] According to R. Graves (Les mythes Grecs, Fayard 1967), Vritomartis, daughter of Leto, in her attempt to avoid Minos, son of Zeus and Europa (i.e. of divine ancestry), throws herself into the sea, but is then saved by fishermen. The name ‘Diktynna’ is a reference to the nets used to catch and save her.

[11] According to one interpretation, the double-headed axe, the royal emblem of Crete, marks the two phases of the moon as it waxes and wanes: the creative force of the goddess, but also the destructive one.

[12] Her name is mentioned by Pausanias (III, 26,1) as one name of the moon goddess, whose priestesses were said to wear cows’ horns on their heads.

[13] Could this diffusion therefore also be related to the bond of hatred that some people have for the limitations of man’s destiny? See Potamianou, A. (2005) ‘Excitante Hybris’ Rev. Fr. Psychan. 1, 2005: 169-186.

[14] P. Marty (1980): ‘L’ordre psychosomatique’, Paris, Payot.

[15] A. Potamianou (1991) ‘Un bouclier dans l’économie des états limites:  l’espoir’, P.U.F. English translation: ‘Hope: A Shield in the Economy of Borderline States’, Routledge, 1996.

[16] M. Graves (1955) ‘The Greek myths’ Vol. 1: 340-42.

[17] The links are established through a mediating element, which is the reference point of the connections (e.g. I connect elements by referring to their resemblance or their analogies). See C.S. Peirce (1978): ‘Ecrits sur le Signe’ Paris, le Seuil, p. 116.

[18] Later, when she is abandoned by Theseus on the island of Naxos, it will be put to the test by the violence of mastery and the hate, that are part of the experience of all mortals in every age.

[19] The most interesting analysis of Daedalus, the architect and crafty executor of Minos’s and Pasiphaes’s orders, is to be found in A. Sikelianos’s ‘Daedalus in Crete’, written in 1943 during the German occupation. It is a doubly symbolic work as it refers to both the individual and the collective. It describes the tragic struggle of man, when he is caught in the nets of a power that dominates him, or when he becomes trapped in the darkness of a prison that he often creates for himself. 

[20] Dürrenmatt (1990): ‘Le Minotaur’ Ed. L’Age de l’homme, Zurich.

[21] Potamianou, A. (1985) : ‘The Personal Myth. Points and Counterpoints’ The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, vol. 40: 285-296.

[22] C. Castoriadis, op. cit., p. 36.

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