Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Imaginary Worlds, Labyrinthine Journeys, Stories of Birth and Rebirth
Abstract: The image of the labyrinth has been always related to humans’ arduous endeavor of searching ways to decipher the hieroglyphic tissue of reality. Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that entering and solving a maze are Promethean acts of unchaining the shadowy counterpart in search for the self-revelation and spiritual accomplishment. First, we find ourselves compelled to analyze a series of issues that define the labyrinthine quest. Second, what interests us more is to demonstrate how the mythological archetype of the maze is represented in contemporary movies. For these and others reasons, we aim to show that this winding structure, either called labyrinth, maze or network, defines itself sometimes accordingly with the old mythological patterns, sometimes against the grain and hence we need to take them into account.
Keywords: Labyrinth; Maze; Unconscious, Dreamworlds.
A helmet for the neophyte’s transcendence
We begin our discussion about contemporary representation of the mythological archetype of the labyrinthine journey by recalling one of the Escher’s woodcuts called Another World (1947). Here, the artist imagines the symbolic relationship between the human mind and the Universe like a cube, an open box with four visible sizes. The bottom panel shows, as seen from below and framed by an archway and two columns, a mythical bird facing the viewer. In the depth of the field, blackness with a spiral galaxy, distant stars and planets stretch midway around the corner. The panel from the right is dimidiated between two hanging horns framed by archways and columns, first seen from below, second from above. The first of the archways opens to the dark landscape with planets and galaxies, with Saturn in depth plan, and the second one shows a cratered moonscape. The upper panel continues the top half of the right part and display same archway and pillars framing the mythical bird this time turned back to the viewer and seen from above on a foreground with cratered moonscape. Straight ahead, the mythical bird is again facing the viewer and framed by pillars and archway that opens to a pockmarked landscape with a comet that flashes into the dark sky, even the Earth hovers above the horizon in the depth of the field. The left panel maintains the same landscape but with the cloisters and the hanging horn in foreground. We took this detailed description in order to show how each of this pairs of images as they would be in the obscure room of a photographic camera, reveals the three parts of the psychic apparatus: id, ego and superego as defined by Freud in his in his 1920 essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Thus the diptych seen from below is the Superego, the one seen from above is the id and the other one straight ahead is the Ego that mirrors the subject itself from right to left, as any reflection.
Yet, the use of the mythological symbols is far most important than the allegory of the psyche. The magical creature that stands along the vertical axis of each archway seems to be a Harpy, Lilith or rather a Simurgh, the Peacock Angel from Gnostic traditions, the serpent guardian of the Tree of life from the Garden of Eden. The horn hanging in chains may indicate the cornucopia – Dionysus and Pluto’s horn of Plenty, the drinking horn of Hades, especially a trademark of the god of shepherds, Pan, of the Gnostic Baphomet or, on the other hand, a reference to the torn body of the scapegoat from the ancient initiatory rituals. The kingdom of King Amfortas in Arthurian legend is symbolically defined by the two sacred ancient relics, the Holy Grail and the Holy Spear. In a similar vein, highly inspired by ancient religions and rituals of birth and rebirth, Escher’s world vision defines itself as a coincidentia oppositorum of old mythological principles that govern the human spirit in different proportions and combinations. It also illustrates the everlasting tension between the two types of sacredness which founded the two different and opposed Weltanschauung: male and female. On the other hand, as Mircea Eliade concludes in Myths and Symbols of Initiations, any map of spiritual regeneration implies this opposition of the two types of magical gaze upon the world and their mutual attraction. The religious significance of this coincidence of the contraries conveys the powerful and foremost religious wish to transcend an existential point that seems unbridgeable in order to access the world’s wholeness.
This time also, the imaginary world of Escher bears the well known trademark of his style. By taking advantage of the quirks of perception and perspective, he designs a geometric space, a sort of a Necker cube which frames three-dimensional objects in tessellated structures, and projects them on a two-dimensional background. The concatenation of squares carries a chthonian signification and also a symbol of searching the moral perfection, while the tessellation defined by their identically arranged patterns evokes the generic character of space or place. Nevertheless, the archways seem to have the most important meaning by depicting a heterotrophic open structure. Speaking about the famous arcades in Paris, Walter Benjamin sees them as dreamworks, opening a tunnel of time in which pasts and present coexists, “ideal images, in which the collective seeks not only to transfigure, but also to transcend”. Precisely in order to convey this very attempt of the human mind to penetrate the mysteries of the infinite universe, few months earlier, in December 1946, having a different vision of his Other World, Escher makes the arches to continue on as an infinite corridor.
The labyrinthine journey – one step out of three
As outlined above, the wanderings through the labyrinth of perception allows the human microcosm to attend to the world’s wholeness. In this confrontation between the limited body and the endless possibilities of the mind or imagination, indeed, the psychological skills of the subject are also requested. As shown by Mircea Eliade, the labyrinthine journey closely follows the basic pattern of initiation rituals, in three steps: first, the subject is tortured by demons or spirits who play the part of the masters of initiation, then, a symbolic death follows, experienced either as descent into hell or as an ascent to heaven and finally, the subject is reborn into a new way of life, as a new man who can directly speak with the Gods, demons and spirits.
On the other hand, inside the labyrinth, the space changes its structures and becomes subjective time, inner experience. Its ever-changing topography, with complicated and fantastic frames, alters both its forms and shapes the human individuality. Although it comprises the same architectural love for geometry as a eu-topos, – the good place of everlasting perfection in some of the utopian archetypes-, its geometry is meant to constrain the subject. One of the oldest influences dates back probably from Plato’s Timaios/Timaeus where the ordered, material world is the geometrical work of a creative demiurge. Later, this image was substituted by the Christian God, also seen as a master-builder of the Cosmos. The Neo-platonic Book of John names Christ as the light of the world, thus by solving the labyrinth of his sins in an allegorical journey to the Celestial Jerusalem, the Christian mystic, reaches claritas, the enlightenment.
Some of the early representations of the Earth in the Middle Ages had the form of a flat disc surrounded by ocean with the Jerusalemin his centre. As well known, every ancient labyrinth has a centrality, a symbol of reality that encompasses the subject’s individuality around a central axis, as in the mandalas described by Jung in his study upon the psychical archetypes. Therefore, the journey in Ancient times was a journey to centrality to individualization, to interiority. On the other hand, this centrality substituted by an image of an elevated tree, castle, or pillars is symbolic for the raising of consciousness. The Old Norse Tree of Life is thus another key symbol for the ancestor’s quest for revelation as well as the three of the knowledge of good and evil from the biblicalParadise. In the old myths he assures the crossing to the Other World. Odin of the ravens from Nordic mythology is hanged in the Yggdrasil tree to achieve the knowledge. In Christian traditions, the labyrinth is seen as a psychical map of contemplation, Christ being crucified on a branch of the Tree life in the Center of the world, atJerusalem.
Even if as the ultimate station for the elevation of the Christian soul, as shown in Eliade’s studies on history of religion, the labyrinthine quest has older roots, roots that takes back from ancient pre-Christian rituals and religions, deeply embedded in the collective unconscious. Often associated to the initiations rituals, as shown by Mircea Eliade, the quest describes a journey whose ultimate purpose is the symbolical return into the mother’s womb by birth or rebirth. To some extent, the modernist studies of psychoanalysis have shown how the construction of the human mind functions on the same ambivalence of the labyrinthine pattern. Therefore, Freud explains this awkward situation by his famous iceberg allegory. Thus when something unbalances the ego, the subject seeks refuge either in the narcissistic and idealist superego or in the childish and dark subconscious. And since the last resides in a greater part of the psychic topography, the last situation is much more common. The superego is the land of the father. The subconscious is the return to the mother’s womb. Therefore, illustrating once again the coincidence of the opposites, the two types of sacredness, male and female of the two different views upon world, either re-enacting Dionysus’s symbolic death and rebirth from the mystery religions, or following the Christian Stations of the Cross, for the most part, the labyrinthine topos is much alike a journey to the mundus subteraneus, by using the words of Athanasius Kirker, and also a quest for the Earthly Paradise as the solution for the perfect balance of the soul.
On the other hand, the three steps structure from the ancient initiation rituals echoes the three-land division of the Earth in Topografia Christiana. Also, perfect geometrical forms, like mandalas were prevalent in Christian’s representations. Thus the dromenon on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral, with its centre represented as a rosette, (concordant with the aesthetics of the Christian Marian Cult) describes the journey from the outer world toward the sacred centre of the divine essence, the ultimate unity from which the Cosmos arises.
In The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, the Czech philosopher and theologist, John Amos Comenius (1592- 1670) imagines an allegorical journey of the soul in Christian patterns, highly influenced by St. Augustine’s writings, by Morus Utopia and Campanella’s Civitas Solis, and even by Johannes Valentinus Andreae’s Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz (1616). Therefore, in the first part of the book The Labyrinth of the World (chapters 1-36), the narrator, as a pilgrim joined by two guides, Curiosity and Delusion, enters a city resembling a maze and makes an allegorical social satire of human negative emotions. In the second part, The Paradise of the Heart (chapters 37-54), he shows how human life is reborn and renewed by inner transformation through union with the Divine.
Therefore, we can briefly mention some common features between the Christian mystical quest of the Earthly or Celestial Paradise as considered by the Bohemian bishop Comenius and the death and rebirth of the god in mystery religions by counting at least four common features: the entangled paths of the labyrinth as an allegory for life/world/mind/city/society; the strange encounters inside the maze; the guide as an allomatic presence that participate to the subjects’ transformation, and the ultimate purpose of the quest, death and rebirth of the old into a new way of life. But these are only the patterns of the successful quest. Again, this mannerist topography of the maze with strange passages, secret chambers and unlocked exits recalls one of the oldest representations of the underworld from the history of culture, Bardo Thodol -The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
As going to the other world means in the same time to overcome one’s fears, the journey is always a troublesome process of individuation engaging death, transformation and return. First, the traveler has to discover the way to the unknown centre, further he must find the mystery of life, and last he returns. Entering the maze, as Jung pointed out in his studies on archetypes, corresponds to the fall into the world of subconscious, hence the similarity between the topography of the maze and the geography of dreams’ world with their unstable structures of space and time transformed into surrogates. In this regard, once set for this kind of journey – where memory and intelligence are always required – the subject acknowledges that the inquisitiveness, the quest and the risks it implies, the danger of losing the way, the finding and the ability to return are the most common episodes of his exploration.
As concluded in a previous study, the labyrinthine task also imposes a distinction between the dialectical features that aim this journey: the romantic quest of an active subject, governed by heroic urges, driven by life and love instincts and belonging to a chivalry ethos of warriors and the rational call of the passive subject, driven by visionary passions, governed by death instinct and belonging to a mystical ethos of the saints, artists and thinkers. Furthermore, for the contemporary perspective, the symbol imposes few categorizations. Thus, according to Umberto Eco semiotic interpretations, there are three different kind of labyrinths categorized upon the number of paths. One is the unicursal labyrinth with one path that wraps around itself like the thread of Ariadne; the second is the mannerist labyrinth or Irrweg, multicursal, with multiple entangled paths and alternative choices, with blind alleys and tree-like structure and the last one is the network labyrinth, with multiple paths and multiple corridors that are interconnected.
As we shall see on our further analysis, the modern and the contemporary view upon the mythological quest uses mainly the baroque and mannerist patterns and clearly than ever the search seems to focus on looking for an ancestral and androgynous cosmic unity. Also from the entangled initiatory journey toward the symbolic death and rebirth of the Universe, it seems to preserve only the spiny nature of the wandering, a vertigo which often became excess of memory, and with less emphasis on its results, as a subtle symbol for the limpidness of our culture.
Old Myths for New Interpretations
After we have grasped some of the ancient representations of the labyrinthine quest, deeply nurtured by psychology and mythology, we find ourselves compelled to sketch further the main traits of another structure even more complex, the tessellated dream maze as reflected by Christopher Nolan’s film Inception (2010).
Basically, at first glance, Nolan’s film story seems to have an espionage plot. Dom Cobb is a skilled thief that can access people s minds and steal their deepest secrets, yet he is also an outcast who cannot turn back to the ones who loves. A powerful business man, Saito requests him, in order to regain his freedom, to plant the notion of a disastrous father – son relationship in Robert Fischer’s mind and consequently the idea of selling his father business empire whose inheritor he is. Cobb assumes the task and gathers a team of specialists to develop a baroque and layered structure of dreams in order to accomplish this terrorist mission. Still, the plot opens to the real essence of the film: caught in his dream-world, Cobb can no longer create dreams because he did not succeed in managing his inner life anymore. By dreaming, he reaches only what Freud designated as the manifest content (in fact, the scenario) of the dreams, while the latent content (the dream-thoughts) is to be discovered afterwards, haunting him as the shadow image of his wife Mal, who apparently killed herself due to his previous dreamworks, and frequently appears attempting to stop him. Therefore he finds Ariadne, the younger architect recruit of the dreamer’s team to help him focus the dreaming world.
Furthermore is worth pointing out that Nolan’s film does not ignore any of the key symbols of the dream process: the sleeping substances, the memory and its process, the inner clock, represented by a turning disk (here, the spinner), also a sign that is meant announce the end of sleep. However, the movie’s basic idea seems to be completely psychoanalytical. As Jung explained, when disturbed, the subconscious mind that contains powerful emotional process can cause immense distress to our conscious lives. Thus, in order to protect us, the subconscious hides these forces behind the symbols which appear usually in dreams. For that reason, the dreams are one of the best ways of accessing the dreamer’s consciousness. Exploring the world of dreams is also a sort of labyrinthine journey with borderlines, knots, and wild nature that invades and disturbs the tranquility of the trip.
Clearly at this point, the spatial function of memory interferes . We may skip the common sense observation that the dreams are made from latent memories as walls are made out of bricks. What interests us instead is the fact that memory constitutes itself rather as a sort of space than as a kind of time. Let’s recall Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass when, in chapter two Alice encounters the Red Queen who, in order to stand still, has to run as fast as she can. The speeding images which run in memory calcify the body movement of the subject. On the other hand, while sleeping, the unconscious passes through the fields of memory and occasionally succeeds to extract something to speed up his healing. When dreaming, the subject uses all his ingenuity for building the new worlds: he dislocates splits, crumbles and then reconstructs. Following Bachelard’s The Poetics of space and the symbolical interpretation of the maison-corp, as the reflection of an intimate consciousness of space, the homes, the buildings are dream projections of the body image. Even the cities are extensive bodies of the dreamers.
Yet in order to overcome the nightmares, the dream structure should focus on an illuminate reality of the subconscious. Consequently, to heal his consciousness, Dom Cobb has to get back to the inception of his dream, in an earlier and androgynous state of being, this is the reason why he needs the anima, a rational projection of a female alter ego of him, the gifted architecture student Ariadne. She might represent his subconscious’ more acceptable younger and shiny dream projection of the repressed darker image of the older Mal. Analyzing the memory as the source of dreams in L’écrivain, le sommeil et les rêves, Fanny Déchanet-Platz observes that the dream transforms the sleeper into a creature equipped with an anima, a breath and a soul which are not totally far-off him and this symbolically corresponds to a descent to itself, in the deeper layers of the psyche.
Therefore, in the scene at Café Debussy, Ariadne understands that her role in the subject individuation journey is to project a dream world to prevent the Self from dissolution, therewith engaging him in an allomatic experience. At the first glance, she would have to guide and accompany Cobb’s descent into the deep layers of the subconscious, first, as the dreamer’s anima like Beatrice for Dante in navigating the nine circles of Hell, second, as the mythological heroine that gives Theseus the Golden Thread, except that the things seems to be different. Basically beyond the tessellated fabric of dreams, hardly to see, the film renders an upside down vision of the world. Thus, one of the noticeable scenes is when Dom Cobb explains the cognition process by sketching two encircled arrows running counterclockwise and spliced in a half by a straight line crossing, in reverse, from” “create” to “perceive”, from knowledge to inspiration against the expectations of the viewer. In this respect, the mythological background of the movie is even more interesting since Nolan doesn’t forget that, like the image reflected in the mirror, the world of dream is an inside-out world. Thus the old mythological story of the Fisher King is told backwards, so that the famous “redemption for the redeemer” from the Graal quest became “punishment for the punitive”. Thus, not at random, one of the dreamers who explains to Ariadne the rules of building dreams and advices her to choose a dream amulet is named Arthur. Likewise, the Orpheus descent to the underworld for Eurydice is re-told in the opposite sign. Even the main characters bear the traits of the incubus without any sexual connotations.
At this point, we could leave the mythopoetic analysis at his fate and mention again the two imagistic concepts of view and vision. In order to change the visual perspective inside the dream world, Ariadne uses the optical illusion. Thus, on her first applied lesson of dream architecture, she reverses the retinal orientation bending the buildings of a Parisian street and placing them one on top of the other against the Newtonian laws of gravity, in a multi-dimensional catoptrical world of mirrors and reflections. This octahedron perspective upon the reality of dream, similar to the Escher’s engraving discussed in the first part of our study, is like a photographic camera obscura meant to focus, to restraint the vision, and to reveal in order to re-balance the self process. Afterwards, she places two opposite huge mirrors across the bridge between two pillars and then another as huge in exactly the opposite direction and breaks it to get a tessellated infinite structure. Reflecting backwards the reality, the mirror inverts the poles of the visual field from (left/right to right/left) in an upside down world perspective.
A symbol for the spiritual issues, as Leonardo de Vinci noticed since the early Renaissance, the mirror is the inner monster of each individual who intends to confirm the newly acquired subjectivity. On the other hand, any experience, as states Walter Benjamin in Illuminations, derives from the radical change of our field of perception. Similarly, analyzing the psychology of the visual perception in Platonic tradition, Arnheim states that each contemplation act renders a subjective perspective of the observer upon the shapes (Gestalt). This is the reason why we call the subject’s vision instead of the view upon things. And this vision involves the participation of the imaginary, and further of the subconscious. The artist makes illusions and the perception is influenced by the visual depth of the field. In this respect, instead of the mythological Golden Thread, the young Ariadne, imagines a tessellated dream world that helps Cobb gain access progressively to the deeper levels of his unconscious, and also a perfect place for the return of the repressed. This endless reflection, as Hocke states in his study on labyrinthine structures, is the forerunner of the abstract maze of the absolute unreality.
Attempting to bring into question who is dreamt and who is the dreamer in Nolan’s network of imaginary worlds, the further demonstration introduces, again, one of the Parisian scenes, when Cobb explains the rules of the “other world”:
you are the dreamer, I am the subject. My subconscious populates your world.”
This must be again an upside-down situation as long as their amulets in the world of dream are the pawn (hers), the smallest warrior on the chess table, and the spinner (his). Recalling the strange episode about the dream of the Red King in Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass:
“‘He’s dreaming now,’ said Tweedledee; ‘and what do you think he’s dreaming about?’
Alice said, ‘Nobody can guess that.’
‘Why, about you!’ Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly….
‘You’d be nowhere. Why, you’re only a sort of thing in his dream!’ ….
‘I am real!’ said Alice, and began to cry.”
we draw the same conclusions that helps us re-read Inception’s narrative texture. Thus, however surprising it may seem, Cobb’s wife, Mal is the one who dreams about him dreaming about her. But Nolan mingles the filmic sequences in order to reflect the tessellated and chaotic essence of the dream worlds. Mal is the captive, she goes down the rabbit hole projected as younger Ariadne, combining memories, dreaming, and obsessively searching for the inception.
Considering Nolan’s Inception as a masterpiece of contemporary baroque representation of labyrinthine archetype in film, we will resume our demonstration by summarizing few other instances of the labyrinth. In this respect, Jim Henson’s film Labyrinth (1986) is an adaptation of the children’s fairytale The Princess and the Goblin. A young girl, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), wishes for her baby half-brother Toby to disappear, dreams that Goblin King Jareth kidnaps him and threats of keeping him forever, if she does not complete the labyrinth in half a day. Repenting for her ruthless wish, she ventures through the maze that surrounds the castle of the unmerciful King in search for his brother. The topography of the maze seems to reconfigure her memory in a fantastic code of the dream studded with grotesque creatures – a crazy old hag, an ugly dwarf, sort of a father figure, a hairy monster-creature and a dog- which are guiding and helping Sarah in order to complete the maze and to find her baby brother. In a similar way, in Guillermo del Toro’s El laberinto del fauno (2006) – a fantastic tale that merges reality with the mythical – tells the story of Ofelia’s descent through the labyrinth of her fantastic fears in order to save his mother and her baby brother. In those two films, the maze is the symbol of birth and rebirth. His paths are marked out by the same Dionysian indicators. When the quest fails, the labyrinth recalls its victims and thus became the symbol of Purgatory and death. Yet the aim of the quest can be interpreted as a passage to an aprioristic androgyny state of consciousness finally regained.
George Nolfi’s film The Adjustement Bureau (2011), the cinematographic adaptation of Philip k Dick’s story, Adjustment Team, tells the story of a young couple and their labyrinthine quest through the entangled artificial structure of a dystopian city. This wandering through the maze is guided, and thus becomes successful: one of the watchers explains to the fugitives the secret of finding the doors that would lead to the way out from the system and loans them his interactive tracking map of the city. In Snowpiercer (2013) – a Joon-ho Bong film – an upside-down vision of the allegorical meanings from the animation movie Polar Express, exposes a darker image of a world imagined a Trans-Siberian train incessantly flowing on rails. Once more, the labyrinthine quest imposes few consecutive tests some with cruel consequences, the apocalyptical riot of the poor and the final meeting with the engine driver as the Great Architect of the winding iron monster who speeds madly through the lands of snow. Finally, Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner (2014) opens with the leading character that is dropped, name and memory erased, from an elevator in an artificial colony of youths partly recalling William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. In order to escape they have to solve a huge labyrinth with his related dangers and victims. Gradually the protagonists’ memory recovers from flash-backs and tells the story of the science laboratory they all came from. When solving the labyrinthine quest the youths return to the laboratory. This artificialParadise seems abandoned, (but it is not), and those in charge here only conceal their presence in order to prepare new challenges for the fugitives.
The archetype of the labyrinth outlined in the short filmic analysis from above, strikes us in many ways as syncretistic and yet unresolved. Clearly at this point we may skip the temptation to venture into other dangerous paths of interpretation in order to draw a few overall observations. At this point, we may conclude that invaded by so many representations of the labyrinth archetypes, the contemporary Western collective unconscious shows signs of a serious crisis or at least of a spiritual limpidness. On the other hand, the labyrinthine quests that reverberate in those media representations are rather simplified as representations of some puberty rituals, as Eliade classifies the mythical story of Theseus and Ariadne, some retold stories of the outbreak from childhood and adolescence into the adult’s world.
ARNHEIM, Rudolf, Arta şi percepţia vizuală. O psihologie a văzului creator, [Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye], second edition, translation by Florin Ionescu, Iaşi, Polirom, 2011.
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CARROLL, Lewis, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the looking-glass and what Alice found there, Illustrated by John Tenniel, with an Afterword by Anna South, London, Collector’s Library, 2004.
COMENIUS, Labirintul lumii şi raiul inimii, [The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart], translation and notes by Anca Irina Ionescu, Bucureşti, All, 2013.
DECHANET-PLATZ, Fanny, L’écrivain, le sommeil et les rêves 1800-1945, Paris, Gallimard, 2008.
ECO, Umberto, From the Tree to Labyrinth: historical studies on the sign and interpretation, translated by Anthony Oldcorn,Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 2014.
ECO, Umberto, Istoria tărâmurilor şi locurilor legendare, [The Book of Legendary Lands] translation by Oana Sălişteanuand Georgiana-Monica Iorga, Bucureşti, Rao, 2014.
ELIADE, Mircea, Naşteri mistice, [Rites and Symbols of Initiation (Birth and Rebirth)], translation by Mihaela Grigore Paraschivescu, Bucureşti, Humanitas, 2013.
FREELAND, Cynthia, Art Theory. Avery Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 24.
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FREUD, Sigmund, Opere esentiale 3. Psihologia inconştientului/ Dincolo de principiul plăcerii [Beyond the Pleasure Principle] translation by G. Lepadatu, G. Purdea and Vasile Dem. Zamfirescu, Bucureşti, Trei, 2010.
HOCKE, Gustav René, Lumea ca labirint. Manieră şi manie în arta europeană. De la 1520 până la 1650 şi în prezent, [The World as a Labyrinth] translation by Victor H. Adrian, foreword by Nicolae Balotă, afterword by Andrei Pleşu, Bucureşti, Meridiane, 1973.
JUNG, C.G. , Opere complete 9/1. Arhetipurile şi inconştientul colectiv, [Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious / The Collected Works] translation by Daniela Ştefănescu, Vasile Dem. Zamfirescu, Bucureşti, Trei, 2014.
BONG, Joon-ho, Snowpiercer, Script: Joon-ho Bong, Kelly Masterson, Terry Jones, With: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Produced by: Eun Hee Kim, 2013.
HENSON, Jim, Labyrinth, Script: Dennis Lee, Jim Henson, Terry Jones, With: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Produced by: David Lazer, 1986.
NOLFI, George, The Adjustment Bureau, Script: George Nolfi, Philip K. Dick, With: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Michael Kelly, Produced by: Jonathan Gordon, 2011.
TORO, Guillermo del, El labeirinto del fauno, Script: Guillermo del Toro, With: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi Lopez, Produced by: Belen Atienza, 2006.
This work was possible due to the financial support of the Sectorial Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007-2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project number POSDRU/159/1.5/S/140863 with the title „Competitive European researchers in the fields of socio-economics and humanities. Multiregional research net (CCPE)”.
Fig. 1 Escher, M. C., Other World, 1947, (Cornelius Van S. Roosvelt Collection).
Fig. 2. Inception, Arthur’s dream.
Fig. 3, Inception The infinite corridor of mirrors.
 C.G. Jung, Opere complete 9/1. Arhetipurile şi inconştientul colectiv, [Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious / The Collected Works], translation by Daniela Ştefănescu, Vasile Dem. Zamfirescu, Bucureşti, Trei, 2014.
 See Earth as Mappa T (1452-1463) in Umberto Eco, Istoria tărâmurilor şi locurilor legendare, [The Book of Legendary Lands] translation by Oana Sălişteanu and Georgiana-Monica Iorga, Bucureşti, Rao, 2014, p.10.
 For the detailed demonstration on the two different features of the journey see Iulia Micu, Six Impossible Things before Breakfast: Dream-worlds, Labyrinthine Journeys, Imaginary Shapes (I), in “Ekphrasis Journal”, vol. 11, issue 1/2014, pp. 176-182.
 Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the looking-glass and what Alice found there, Illustrated by John Tenniel, with an Afterword by Anna South, Collector’s Library,London, 2004, pp 158-160.
 Rudolf Arnheim, Arta şi percepţia vizuală. O psihologie a văzului creator, [Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye], second esition, translation by Florin Ionescu, Iaşi, Polirom, 2011, pp. 25-43.
 Gustav René Hocke, Lumea ca labirint. Manieră şi manie în arta europeană. De la 1520 până la 1650 şi în prezent, [The World as a Labyrinth] translation by Victor H. Adrian, foreword by Nicolae Balotă, afterword by Andrei Pleşu, Bucureşti, Meridiane, 1973.