In the west, Apollo and Dionysus strive for victory. Apollo makes the boundary lines that are civilization but that lead to convention, constraint, oppression. Dionysus is energy unbound, mad, callous, destructive, wasteful. Apollo is law, history, tradition, the dignity and safety of custom and form. Dionysus is the new, exhilarating but rude, sweeping all away to begin again. Apollo is a tyrant, Dionysus is a vandal.
In less than 70 hours, three astronauts will be launched on the flight of Apollo 8 from the Cape Kennedy Space Center on a research journey to circle the moon. This will involve known risks of great magnitude and probable risks which have not been foreseen. Apollo 8 has 5,600,000 parts and 1.5 million systems, subsystems and assemblies. With 99.9 percent reliability, we could expect 5,600 defects. Hence the striving for perfection and the use of redundancy which characterize the Apollo program.
True myths may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason. The fake one is. You look at it and it vanishes. You look at the Blonde Hero-really look-and he turns into a gerbil. But you look at Apollo, and he looks back at you. The poet Rilke looked at a statue of Apollo about fifty years ago, and Apollo spoke to him. "You must change your life," he said. When the true myth rises into consciousness, that is always its message. You must change your life.
We've introduced the New Apollo Energy Act, which is, I think, safe to say the most comprehensive and aggressive bill that has been introduced in Congress because it does have the scale, scope, and ambition of the original Apollo Project, and it attacks the problem in every way you can imagine. There's no silver bullet here, but there are lots of opportunities.
<< previousnext >>