Heraclitus (by Bramante)In existographies, Heraclitus (c.535-450BC) (IQ:185|#81) (Cattell 1000:721) (Stokes 100:4) (GPhE:#) (GPE:83) (ACR:9) [CR:121] was a Greek physical-based philosopher and thinker, aka “flux and fire philosopher”, the “riddler” as the stoics called him, or "the murky" (Copley, 1977) for his cryptic remarks, who can be contrasted with Parmenides (510-450BC), a mind-based (Ѻ) philosopher, his main rival, noted for his now lost On Nature (c.500BC), on the universe, politics, and theology, wherein he outlines a three element theory, according to which the universe is comprised of three principle elements: fire, earth, and water, but that fire was the primary element, controlling and modifying the other two, and that everything is in a continuous state of flux, or change, and war and strife between opposites is the eternal condition of the universe. To Heraclitus, there exists a universal tension, which ensures that change is continual, that everything is in a state of flux, whereby permanence does not exist in the universe, only the permanent condition of change as a result of the transformations of fire. [1]

The surviving work of Heraclitus amounts to about 129 fragments; which are not written in continuous prose or verse, as other philosophers did, but in a series of short and penetrating observations; supposedly, something akin to the way Ludwig Wittgenstein writes (Ѻ); the following is a work in progress analysis of the key fragments, in chronological order:

“They vainly purify themselves by defiling themselves with blood, just as if one who had stepped into the mud were to wash his feet in mud. Any man who marked him doing thus, would deem him mad. And they pray to these images, as if one were to talk with a man's house, knowing not what gods or heroes are.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 5 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Couples are things whole and things not whole, what is drawn together and what is drawn asunder, the harmonious and the discordant. The one is made up of all things, and all things issue from the one.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 10 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“You cannot step twice into the same river; for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 12 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“For if it were not to Dionysus that they made a procession and sang the shameful phallic hymn, they would be acting most shamelessly. But Hades is the same as Dionysus in whose honor they go mad and rave”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 15 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it; for it is hard to be sought out and difficult”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 18 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Men would not have known the name of justice if these things were not”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 23 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“The most esteemed of them knows but fancies, and holds fast to them, yet of a truth justice shall overtake the artificers of lies and the false witnesses”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 28 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

This world order, the same for all beings, was created neither by gods nor by humans; rather, it was always and is and will be eternal living fire kindled in measures and quenched in measure.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC), Fragment 30 (Ѻ) (translator: Hans Diels) [1]

“The transformations of fire are, first of all, sea; and half of the sea is earth, half whirlwind. It becomes liquid sea, and is measured by the same tale as before it became earth.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 31 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“The wise is one only. It is unwilling and willing to be called by the name of Zeus.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 32 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet); here, we note that Zeus is the Egyptian to Greek god rescript of Amen-Ra (see: supreme god timeline) (compare: fragment 10)

“Men that love wisdom must be acquainted with very many things indeed.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 35 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“For it is death to souls to become water, and death to water to become earth. But water comes from earth; and from water, soul.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 36 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Thales foretold an eclipse”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 38 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

The learning of many things teaches not understanding, else would it have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras, and again Xenophanes and Hecataeus.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 40 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Wisdom is one thing. It is to know the thought by which all things are steered through all things.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 41 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Homer should be turned out of the lists and whipped, and Archilochus likewise.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 42 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Wantonness needs putting out, even more than a house on fire.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 43 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“You will not find the boundaries of soul by travelling in any direction, so deep is the measure of it.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 45 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“The bow (βιός) is called life (βίος) but its work is death.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 48 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet) (see: Homer commentary); Martin Heidegger (1948) comments that this is related to the idea that "from the bow there emerges and arises the flight and the course of the arrow" [10]

“We step and do not step into the same rivers; we are and are not.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 49a (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Men do not know how what is at variance agrees with itself. It is an attunement of opposite tensions, like that of the bow and the lyre.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 51 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Time is a child playing draughts, the kingly power is a child's.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 52 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

War is the father of all and the king of all; and some he has made gods and some men, some bond and some free.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 53 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“The things that can be seen, heard, and learned are what I prize the most.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 55 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Men allow themselves to be deceived as Homer was, who yet was wiser than all the Greeks; for some boys killing lice deceived him saying, "What we see and catch we leave behind; what we neither see nor catch we take with us".”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 56 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Hesiod is most men's teacher. Men are sure he knew very many things, a man who did not know day or night! They are one.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 57 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Lightening steers the universe.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 64 (Ѻ) (translator: Hans Diels); cited by Hippolytus (c.210AD)

It is the thunderbolt that steers the course of all things.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 64 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Fire in its advance will judge and convict all things.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 66 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and hunger; but he takes various shapes, just as fire, when it is mingled with spices, is named according to the savour of each.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 67 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Fire lives the death of air, and air lives the death of fire; water lives the death of earth, earth that of water.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 76 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“It is pleasure to souls to become moist.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 77 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“We must know that war is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being and pass away (?) through strife.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 80 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Rhetoric is the prince of liars”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 81 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Things rest by changing. It is weariness to labor for the same masters.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 84 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

It is hard to fight with one's heart's desire. Whatever it wishes to get, it purchases at the cost of soul.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 85 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

All things are an exchange for fire, and fire for all things, even as wares for gold and gold for wares”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 90 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“The sun will not overstep his measures; if he does, the Erinyes, the handmaids of justice, will find him out.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 94 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

Helios will not overstep his measures; otherwise the Erinyes, the minsters of Dike, will find him out.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 94 (Ѻ) (translator: Hans Diels)

“To god all things are fair and good and right, but men hold some things wrong and some right.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 102 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“It is better to conceal ignorance than to expose it.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 109 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Self-control is the highest virtue, and wisdom is to speak truth and consciously to act according to nature.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 112 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Thinking well is the greatest excellence; and wisdom is to act and speak what is true, perceiving things according to their nature.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 112 (Ѻ) (translator: Charles Kahn)

“Thought is common to all.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 113 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“A man, when he gets drunk, is led by a beardless lad, tripping, knowing not where he steps, having his soul moist.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 117 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“The dry soul is the wisest and best.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 118 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Man's character is his fate.”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 119 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)

“Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchos, practiced scientific inquiry beyond all other men, and making a selection of these writings, claimed for his own wisdom what was but a knowledge of many things and an imposture”
— Heraclitus (c.495BC), Fragment 129 (Ѻ) (translator: John Brunet)


Fire | Living fire
The following are some of Heraclitus' fragmented statements on fire and or living fire:

“All things are an exchange for fire, and fire for all things … the transformations of fire are, first of all, sea; and half of the sea is earth, half whirlwind.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC) [1]

“This world order, the same for all beings, was created neither by gods nor by humans; rather, it was always and is and will be eternal living fire kindled in measures and quenched in measure.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC), Fragment 30 (Ѻ) (translator: Hans Diels) [1]

In 1967, Eugen Fink, in discussion with Martin Heidegger, comments on this:

“At first we interpret only the second half of the fragment. Lightning, we could say, is the sudden fire, the sun is the fire in orderly passage of the course of time, but πυρ αειςωον [eternal living fire] is something we do not find in the phenomenon like the lightning and the sun.”


God | Fire
Heraclitus stated the following view about god:

God is day and night, winter and summer; war and peace, satiety and hunger; he takes various shapes just as fire does.”
— Heraclitus (c. 470BC) [7]

“This [god as fire] is both willing and unwilling to be called by the name Zeus.”
— Heraclitus (c. 470BC) [7]


Egyptian | Greek philosophy
Heraclitus, supposedly, traveled to Egypt and studied their philosophy, in the manner of the "Thales study abroad tradition", but citation of this is difficult to find.

Egyptian history scholar Karl Lucker (1991), e.g., argues that while it has largely been assumed that Heraclitus was a was a haughtily independent scholar, that his thinking stems from a direction of Egyptian ontological heritage. [5]

Heraclitus’ fire, earth, water conceptualized three element theory, wherein fire is the primary element, in short, is strikingly familiar, in thematic form, to Heliopolis creation myth theory, according to which, fire (the sun) was self-engendered out of a primeval state universe of water (a flood) and earth (an land mound arisen).

Soul | Materialism
For humans, Heraclitus was of the view that the “soul is a spark of the substance of the stars and that the soul is immortal and returns upon death to the all-soul to which it is related.” [2]
“The death of ‘earth’ is to become water, the death of ‘water’ is to become air, and the death of ‘air’ is to become fire, and reversely.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC), “noted saying”; cited by Marcus Aurelius (§4.46) in Meditations (167AD)
He was of the view that cosmic fire has its counterpart in the human soul, which in weak men is tainted by the ‘watery’ elements of sleep, stupidity and vice; conversely, the virtuous soul can survive the death of its physical body and eventually rejoin the cosmic fire. [1]

Ergon | Energy
The etymology of the term “energy”, according to American science writer Gerrit Feekes, is attributed to Heraclitus, who used the term "ergon" and or "en-ergon", meaning "the source of activity". Specifically, in his book about nature, he wrote: [3]

"En-ergon is the father of everything, king of all things and, out of it, all forms of contrast originate. Since ‘en-ergon’ is common to everything, it is vital for life itself.”

Others, however, state that Aristotle was the first to employ the term energy.

The following is Heraclitus' view on change:

“Nothing endures but change, change is the only constant.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC) [4]

In Heraclitus’ philosophy, see a trace of the principle of thermodynamic irreversibility, particularly in his river stepping dictum.

The stoics (see: stoicism), the main immediate followers of Heraclitus, supposedly, found the fragments of his work so obscure that they nicknamed him the "riddler". [1]

Image | Note
The photo shown is from Renaissance artist Donato Bramante’s 1477 “Heraclitus and Democritus” painting (Ѻ), wherein Heraclitus is shown weeping, and Democritus laughing, characteristics attributed to them.
Heraclitus quote

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Heraclitus:

Man has been included among the most unexpected and most thrillingly lucky rolls of the dice in the game played by Heraclitus’ ‘great child’, whether he’s called Zeus or chance.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1887), On the Genealogy of Morals (Ѻ)

“The world that Nietzsche shows us in his mirror is Heraclitean, a product of subtracting being and the subject from our concept of nature.”
— Peter Levine (1995), Nietzsche and the Modern Crisis of the Humanities (pgs. 144-45)

Heraclitus, who is ‘reluctant to make his utterances comprehensible’ (Cicero, 45B), is said to have written a book On Nature (c.500BC), in three parts, on the universe, politics, and theology. It is written ‘rather obscurely’ allegedly to prevent its being scorned by the common herd (Diogenes Laertius, 9.5).”
Patrick Walsh (1997), notes to Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods [9]

“So this behind-the-scenes ‘fire’ is the first answer to a question first posed by Heraclitus and still very much alive: ‘what is it about our sensed world that makes it subject to measure and so much mathematics? What, for example, is behind the relation of the temperature we read off our thermometers to the warmth we feel, or the IQ kept in our files to the thoughts we are able to think?’”
— Eva Brann (2011), The Logos of Heraclitus (pgs. 63-64)
Logos of Heraclitus
Heraclitus, the flux and fire philosopher, was the first philosopher to give "logos" (Ѻ) serious attention.

Quotes | By
The following are noted quotes by Heraclitus:

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny ... it is the light that guides your way.”
— Heraclitus (c.500BC), On Nature (Ѻ)

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.”
— Heraclitus (c.490BC) (Ѻ)

“There is nothing permanent except change.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC)

“Character is for man his daemon.”
— Heraclitus (c. 470BC) [8]

“A man’s character is his fate.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC)

“A thing rests by changing.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC)

“Knowing many things doesn’t teach insight.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC)

“You cannot step in the same river twice.”
— Heraclitus (c.470BC)

See also
Parmenides vs Heraclitus

1. Stokes, Philip. (2002). Philosophy 100: Essential Thinkers (pg. 15). Enchanted Lion Books.
2. Runes, D.D. (1955). Treasure of Philosophy (pg. 495). Philosophical Library.
3. (a) Feekes, Gerrit B. (1986). The Hierarchy of Energy Systems: from Atom to Society (pg. 1). Pergamon Press.
(b) Lancaster, Justin. (1989). “The Theory of Radially Evolving Energy” (abs), Int. J. General Systems, 16: 43-73.
4. Deacon, Terrence W. (2011). Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter (pg. 206). W.W. Norton & Co.
5. Luckert, Karl. (1991). Egyptian Light and Hebrew Fire: Theological and Philosophical Roots of Christendom in Evolutionary Perspective (§:Heraclitus, pgs. 206-). SUNY Press.
6. Heidegger, Martin and Fink, Eugen. (1967). Heraclitus Seminar (translator: Charles Seibert) (pg. 56). Northwestern University Press, 1979.
7. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 5). HarperOne.
8. (a) Burnet, John. (1930). Early Greek Philosophers (pg. 181). Black.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 5). HarperOne.
9. Cicero. (45BC). The Nature of the Gods (Introduction, translation, and notes: Patrick Walsh) (pg. 197). Oxford University Press, 1998.
10. Heidegger, Martin. (1943). “Parmenides and Heraclitus”, lecture course, University of Freidburg, Winter Semester; published as volume 54 of Collected Works; in: Parmenides (translators: Andre Schuwer and Richard Rojcewicz) (bow, pg. 108). Indiana University Press, 1992.

Further reading
● Chargaff, Erwin. (1978). Heraclitean Fire: Sketches from a Life Before Nature. Paul & Co Pub Consortium.

External links
Heraclitus – Wikipedia.
Heraclitus – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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