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Led astray by insatiable ambition to conquer the sky, the man met his own tragic demise in the gentle cradle of  vast, limitless ocean. There lies, the reflection of  his dream.

The story of Icarus has a clear moral messages. It was about consequence of personal over-ambition. It was about how you have to obey your elder. It was about fascination for fire(really?), enuresis, high ambition, and ascensionism(is this even word? my word processor underlined it though).[*] Icarus was young, narcissistic and have a far-fetched imaginary cognition. In short, he was a snotty brat who didn’t know his place. He deserved his punishment for not obeying his father and doing thing no one ever thought before. But, were those all there is to it?

'The_Fall_of_Icarus',_17th_century,_Musée_Antoine_Vivenel

I know that this picture has some problem with proportion, but why Daedalus have only half pair of boobs??

The story of Icarus served as precautionary tale for people not to be blinded by desire and meet a tragic demise like what happened to Icarus. They even named a sea after him. This hold true back in the time, when being different means you’re a witch, when doing things differently means you’re challenging God. It was a time when people by religious dogma and strict social rules. Are all those still hold true now? Maybe, may be not.

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Pictured: Icarus, retrieved from the depth of Icarian Sea. Also pictured: Fabulousness.

What’s interesting from the tale of Icarus is, that it has another implication that maybe even the story maker didn’t intend to make.

Icarus of ancient Greece. Formed his wings of bird feathers and wax. Worn on both arms, he took flight. Beyond the clouds, and farther more. With nothing but a piece of courage in him. Slowly, the hills began to fade. Underneath was the vast blue sea. Flapping his wing, he flies towards the Sun. With nothing but a piece of courage in him.

For once, if we change our focus in the story from what happen with Icarus to what in the eternal burning hell he was thinking when he made that decision, that was one big question left unanswered in the story. What was he thinking?

What was happening right at that moment in his life? Icarus was the son of a mere(albeit famous) craftsman, and at that time, your father’s profession was what describes you. So, with a background like that, and the fact that he was never stood out on his own before the story, what was he thinking when he suddenly gained the ability to fly? What will YOU do if you suddenly gained the ability to fly?

Icarus’s answer was “I’ll meet Apollo”. It’s not explicitly stated in the story, but those (expert)people who said that he has an infatuation towards fire maybe have mistook it for this.

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‘this’ being ‘joining the Flying Exhibitionist fest’.

In the end, what’s his true intention? I’ll say, it’s the same thing that drive our civilization up to this point, that is, Curiosity. Is that a bad thing? Well, back in the day, Curiosity is a dangerous thing for those in power. Kings, Aristocrats, Government, they all depended on silent obedient consent. Kind of like ‘V for Vendetta’ all over again. So we got stories like, Pandora, where a girl screw up for every one else, all because of unsuppressed curiosity.

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“I was just mistook it for my wardrobe.” – Pandora, at some point apparently.

In retrospect, neither Icarus nor Pandora did what they do out of malice, the fact that Pandora immediately put the lid on back shows she meant no harm. And despite what those psychologist listed on Wikipedia said, I believe Icarus doesn’t really fond of fire(and water and height and whatever the hell they said) as he is of God(i.e. Apollo). They just couldn’t think too far ahead.

As far as the aftermaths goes, if to some degree this really happen in real life, in Pandora’s case, the plagues and diseases released sure do the damage to humanity. But aren’t they one of the reason we reached this point in our civilization? Human history is ugly, it’s full of war and betrayal that caused by the darkness within the heart. Darkness that caused by their own imperfectness. Imperfectness that, in fact, made up all reality. respectively, there’s nothing perfect in this world.

Rhetorically, what kind of world is the world of perfect humans? For example, a world where there’s no evil, where everyone acts properly, a world full of people with strong minds and hearts, a world without battle or uncertainty, a world in harmony. Seems wonderful, in a world like that there would be no happiness or sympathy anymore. People ‘feel’ because they’re imperfect. In a perfect world, there would be no advancement anymore. Humanity would stand still instead of move forward. Imperfect is the ideal world.

Even Icarus, who was symbolize the tragic fate for those who dare to harass God, now used as the name of Space Aeronautics Programs in 1967, 2009 and March 2009. It’s as if people of Greece forgot their own irony, or the guy who submitted the name was actually wanted to be sarcastic.

Jokes aside, it seems like that modern Greece accept the fact that Icarus is the mirror of humanity in its deepest core. It’s a romance humans’ dreams and curiosity, that is, the ability to fly to the unknown part of universe as we will soon to realize. And as the wise often said, the wonder of science, is the universal romance of humanity. And as we know, the romantic guy gets all the girls.

Draper_Herbert_James_Mourning_for_Icarus

“Please don’t get boner, Please don’t get boner, Please don’t get boner” – Icarus, at the moment.

Icarus showed us our destiny as humanity in the most humane way. Just like how curiosity drove Icarus to his tragic demise, we often let our curiosity get the best of us and left collateral damage to the environment. Pollution, Global Warming, extinction of some species, and all other unintended effect of technological progress, Icarus reminds us the dream of humanity as well as the possibility of something go wrong so that we can take precaution.

We each exist for but a short time, and in that time explore but a small part of the whole universe. But humans are a curious species. We wonder, We seek answer. Living in this vast world that is by turns kind and cruel, and gazing at the immense heavens above. – Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design.

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