Daedalus

MOYERS: You’re not against technology, are you?

CAMPBELL: Not at all. When Daedalus, who can be thought of as the master technician of most ancient Greece, put the wings he had made on his son Icarus, so that he might fly out of and escape from the Cretan labyrinth which he himself had invented, he said to him: “Fly the middle way. Don’t fly too high, or the sun will melt the wax on your wings, and you will fall. Don’t fly too low, or the tides of the sea will catch you.” Daedalus himself flew the middle way, but he watched his son become ecstatic and fly too high. The wax melted, and the boy fell into the sea. For some reason, people talk more about Icarus than about Daedalus, as though the wings themselves had been responsible for the young astronaut’s fall. But that is no case against industry and science. Poor Icarus fell into the water — but Daedalus, who flew the middle way, succeeded in getting to the other shore.

Joseph Campbell, Bill D. Moyers, Betty S. Flowers. in The Power Of Myth

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