How To Conquer Your Fear Like A High-Wire Artist

“Assemble weapons to destroy fear. Start by reacting to fright not by burying your head in the sand but by burying your mind in knowledge; then follow with specifics.”

Philippe Petit is a world class high-wire artist who you may know from the documentary Man on Wire, which details his infamous high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.

He’s also a guy who has thought a lot about fear.

His essay in Lapham’s Quarterly is an exploration of how to conquer fear in which he breaks down his own approach to dealing with the body language, taste, and music of fear and shares his belief that fear is an absence of knowledge.