Heraclitus Quotes

A quotes list created by Lee Sonogan

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Heraclitus

Before the Socratic era, Heraclitus established many ideas as a native of the city of Ephesus. Another polymath of sorts, his words cross between politics, ethics, cosmology, metaphysics and much more! Dying in -475 BC at the age of 60 maybe most known for the technical principle of order and knowledge (a.k.a the concepts of logos). Also metaphorically using fire in the unity of opposites, ‘everything flows’ and simply becoming.

  • “Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” ― Heraclitus
  • “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” ― Heraclitus
  • “Time is a game played beautifully by children.” ― Heraclitus, Fragments
  • “Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” ― 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 do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.” ― Heraclitus
  • “Whoever cannot seek the unforeseen sees nothing for the known way is an impasse.” ― Heraclitus, Fragments
  • “Allow yourself to think only those thoughts that match your principles and can bear the bright light of day. Day by day, your choices, your thoughts, your actions fashion the person you become. Your integrity determines your destiny.” ― Heraclitus
  • “Character is destiny” ― Heraclitus, Fragments
  • “All things are in flux; the flux is subject to a unifying measure or rational principle. This principle (logos, the hidden harmony behind all change) bound opposites together in a unified tension, which is like that of a lyre, where a stable harmonious sound emerges from the tension of the opposing forces that arise from the bow bound together by the string.” ― Heraclitus
  • (Mortals are immortals and immortals are mortals, the one living the others’ death and dying the others’ life.)” ― Heraclitus
  • “To get everything you want is not a good thing. Disease makes health seem sweet. Hunger leads to the appreciation of being full-fed. Tiredness creates the enjoyment of resting” ― Heraclitus
  • “History is a child building a sandcastle by the sea, and that child is the whole majesty of man’s power in the world.” ― Heraclitus
  • “People 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
  • “It is necessary to take what is common as our guide; however, though this logic is universal, the many live as if each individual has his own private wisdom.” ― Heraclitus
  • “A drunk man, staggering and mindless, must be led home by his son, so wet is his psyche… Water brings death to the psyche, as earth brings death to water… The psyche lusts to be wet.” ― Heraclitus
  • “Dogs bark at what they don’t understand.” ― Heraclitus

All is flux; many people to this day still refer to his work. Still, many people interpret what he said in many more ways than one, he is just one more Greek I need to know about. And potential development of his direct theories into other relevant stuff.

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