July 22, 1994

FIRE INTO WATER. Water into Earth. Earth into water. Water into fire. No man can step into the same river twice, for other waters are ever flowing onto him. The writing of Heraclitus of Ephesus was so hard to understand that he was called "the obscure" throughout antiquity. Unity is constantly dividing itself into opposing phenomena. Harmony and peace lead back to unity. Nature is constantly dividing and reuniting herself. Thus, multiplicity of opposites does not destroy the unity of the whole. Opposites are no more than a stage in a constant process. All things, therefore, are at once identical and not identical. The road up and the road down is one and the same. Couples are wholes and not wholes, what agrees disagrees, the concordant is discordant. Men and women, love and loss, life and death. Philosophy isn't the only thing that's hard to understand.

Heraclitus (c. 540 - c. 480 BC) from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, book IX, section 8, and Plato, Cratylus, 402A.

Heraclitus, On the Universe.


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