A HOUSE FOR HERACLITUS
We don't know exactly the date of his birth, but it seems he was born in 535 BC, that is 2,550 years ago.
2,550 years ago... quite a long time ago...
And yet, The Obscure Philosopher, or the Weeping Philosopher, as he was called, keeps challenging us... as if nothing changed since his time...
Yet, he was The Philosopher of Change... since for him CHANGE, ONLY CHANGE was eternal.
Who was Heraclitus...?
It seems he was self-taught. In an age of specialization and countless doctors in even the most obscure fields, to be "self-taught" might appear as a weakness, as a deficiency.
But the very "concept" of deficiency should perhaps be challenged, since a so-called "deficiency" in one aspect of life could generate an intensified "efficiency" (without that "de" in front of it) in another one.
But from here to become a "weeping philosopher" might be too long of a distance and it seems the "deficiency" indeed became much too large...
THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
IT IS UNACCEPTABLE TO WEEP. PERIOD.
AND TO SEE A PHILOSOPHER WEEP IS DOUBLY UNACCEPTABLE.
Indeed, tears and wisdom do not mix.
To be "smart", as our age makes plainly clear that not only it is possible, but also highly desirable, so much so that even buildings are supposed to be "smart," besides cars and countless gadgets.
So again, a philosopher is supposed to be smart, and as such, incapable of weeping.
Yet, Heraclitus was weeping, apparently.
And with very good reasons, indeed.
"No man ever steps in the same river twice" (see panta rhei, below). He believed in the unity of opposites, stating that "the path up and down are one and the same", all existing entities being characterized by pairs of contrary properties."
Panta rhei, "everything flows"
The word rhei (cf. rheology) is the Greek word for "to stream", and is etymologically related to Rhea according to Plato's Cratylus.
ποταμοῖσι τοῖσιν αὐτοῖσιν ἐμβαίνουσιν, ἕτερα καὶ ἕτερα ὕδατα ἐπιρρεῖ.
Potamoisi toisin autoisin embainousin, hetera kai hetera hudata epirrei
"Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers."
τὰ ὄντα ἰέναι τε πάντα καὶ μένειν οὐδέν
Ta onta ienai te panta kai menein ouden
"All entities move and nothing remains still"
"Heraclitus considered fire as the most fundamental element. He believed fire gave rise to the other elements and thus to all things. He regarded the soul as being a mixture of fire and water, with fire being the noble part of the soul, and water the ignoble part. A soul should therefore aim toward becoming more full of fire and less full of water: a "dry" soul was best. According to Heraclitus, worldly pleasures made the soul "moist", and he considered mastering one's worldly desires to be a noble pursuit which purified the soul's fire. Norman Melchert interpreted Heraclitus as using "fire" metaphorically, in lieu of Logos, as the origin of all things."
a waxing and a waning
between WAXING and WANING
Between FIRE and WATER
Strange that The Weeping Philosopher (water) advocates FIRE (A DRY SOUL).
HE IS THE PHILOSOPHER OF BECOMING, RATHER THAN OF BEING.
Thus, we ask you to design THE HOUSE OF BECOMING.
The deadline for the competition is March 1st. 2015. We accept ANY work, ANY size and ANY format. There is no registration fee. The works should be sent digitally to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All quotations are from the entry "Heraclitus" on Wikipedia.