Pascal Gabriel

71. He who is afraid of falling is afraid of flying

By 9. Dezember 2019No Comments

The story of Icarus from Greek mythology is often used as a teaching against exuberance. In the legend Icarus escapes his captivity with wings made of feathers and wax, but comes too close to the sun due to his flight and crashes with softened wings. The part that is often not told in the story: its wings also soften when it flies too close to the ground, too close to the sea.

I say that the most important part of the story is completely overlooked: That most people die in captivity before they even think of wings. The first step in the story is to expand the boundaries of thinking in order to escape captivity with wings at all. Before that doesn’t happen, people like to tell each other stories about Icarus and Co. and stick to moral concepts in order not to risk them at all. We are all blocked by long outdated moral stories that are supposed to keep us small.

How many believers cling to life after death in order not to have to live at all? How many people read books about startups in order not to have to start with the first step? How many use horror stories of failure to keep their ambitions small?

Forget the wings. You are not Icarus. But you live in captivity. Think about your escape. Maybe there’s a helicopter that doesn’t give a shit about the sun or the sea?