On the Fiery Logos of Truth

Heraclitus of Ephesus (500 B.C.)

“Of the Logos [λόγος] which is as I describe it men always prove uncomprehending, both before they have heard it and when once they have heard it. For although all things happen according to this Logos men are like people of no experience, even when they experience such words and deeds as I explain, when I distinguish each thing according to its constitution and declare how it is; but the rest of men fail to notice what they do after they wake up just as they forget what they do when asleep.”

(Kirk and Raven 187 fr. 197).

“Therefore it is necessary to follow the common; but although the Logos [λόγος] is common the many live as though they had a private understanding.” 

(Kirk and Raven 188 fr. 198).

“Listening not to me but to the logos [λόγος], it is wise to say, in accordance with the Logos: all is one.”

(Kirk and Raven 188-189 fr. 199)

“They do not apprehend how being at variance it agrees with itself, how being brought apart it is brought together with itself, how being self-destroyed it is self-creating: there is a back-stretched connection, as in the bow and lyre.” 

(Kirk and Raven 193 fr. 212).

“This world-order [χόσμος (cosmos)] (the same of all) did none of gods or men make, but it always was and shall be: an everlasting fire [πῠρ ἀεὶζοων or pur aeizoon], kindling in measures and going out in measures” 

(Kirk and Raven 199 fr. 220). 

“Thunderbolt [Κεραυνός (Keraunos)] steers all things.”

(Kirk and Raven 199 fr. 223)

“The wise thing is one thing, to be acquainted with true judgement, how all things are steered through all.”

(Kirk and Raven 204 fr. 230)

“One thing, the only truly wise, does and does not consent to be called by the name of Zeus.”

(Kirk and Raven 204 fr. 231)

Works Cited

Kirk, G. S., and J. E. Raven, ed. The Presocratic Philosophers. London: Cambridge UP, 1957.

Heraclitus of Ephesus

A pre-Platonic Ionian Greek philosopher, and a native of the city of Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey and then part of the Persian Empire.
Because of the elliptical and paradoxical nature of my thought, I was called "The Obscure" even in antiquity. I wrote a single work, On Nature, but the obscurity is made worse by its remaining only in fragments.

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