Heraclitus on the Logos
[or what nature tells us about itself, if we pay attention] and What Humans Can Learn from Nature

by Gordon L. Ziniewicz

1. The universe was not created by God or gods, but is eternal.

2. Nature is a cycle of lighting up (firing up) and going out.

3. Time is a circle of creation and destruction of existing things; time is an innocent child at play. Destruction is not bad, but an essential part of the whole process.

4. Nature is a unity of diverse and opposing forces, a harmony of opposites.

5. Things constantly change in accordance with unchanging principle or law (the logos or rational order of things).

6. What makes things happen is fire.

7. Things revert to their opposites (day/night, winter/summer).

8. Harmony is the result of the appropriate tension of opposing forces.

9. Strife (within limits) is a good thing. Conflict is necessary for life. Examples: (1) Musical harmony requires competing tones. (2) Continuance of life requires opposite sexes. (3) Experience of pleasure requires experience of pain, such as in health and sickness, satiety and hunger, rest and weariness. (4) Right (just) would make no sense without wrong (unjust).

10. From the divine standpoint (nature), there is no good or bad, just or unjust.

11. God is the whole of nature, including the intelligence that steers the course of events. God is all opposites and the unity that brings them together.

12. Divine intelligence steers the universe, as lightning flashes through a cloud. Nature never goes too far, but steers a moderate course between extremes. The sun never goes out of control.

13. Human intelligence should awaken to the meaning/principles/rational order revealed in nature. Human beings should interpret events they experience in the light of these natural principles (logos).

14. Human intelligence should steer human bodies with self-control and moderation. Examples of human excess are anger and arrogance (fire out of control).

15. Human beings should seek the common (available to all) knowledge of things as they really are and avoid the idiosyncrasies of "private opinion."


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Copyright © 1997 - 1999 Gordon L. Ziniewicz
This page last updated 10/14/12

Please note: These philosophical commentaries, though still in process, are the intellectual property of Gordon L. Ziniewicz. They may be downloaded and freely distributed in electronic form only, provided no alterations are made to the original text. One print copy may be made for personal use, but further reproduction and distribution of printed copies are prohibited without the permission of the author.