Wednesday, March 30, 2011

#89 / Icarus

Icarus is someone who ended up falling from a great height.

The story is well known: Icarus was the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, and he attempted to escape from Crete, where both Daedalus and Icarus were imprisoned, by using wings that his father had constructed from feathers and wax.

Because Icarus ignored his father's warnings not to fly too close to the sun, the wax holding the feathers melted, and caused Icarus to fall to his death. The myth is usually taken as an example of the workings of hubris, that fatal combination of arrogance and pride.

In my way of looking at things, the Icarus story is just one more example of how the world that humans construct is ultimately dependent on the Natural world, and how our thought that we can escape the laws that govern the world of Nature will inevitably lead us to catastrophe.

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