Heraclitus

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“Nor is any Greek thinker more directly stimulating than the aphoristic philosopher Heraclitus; and yet he keeps and adds to this more modern intellectual stimulativeness something of the antique psychic and intuitive vision and word of the older Mystics.”[1]


“He rebels against the darkness of the Dionysian ecstasy in the approach to the secrets of Nature; but there is a luminous Apollonian as well as an obscure and sometimes dangerous Dionysian mysticism, a Dakshina as well as a Vama Marga of the mystic Tantra. And though no partaker in or supporter of any kind of rites or mummery, Heraclitus still strikes one as at least an intellectual child of the Mystics and of mysticism, although perhaps a rebel son in the house of his mother. He has something of the mystic style, something of the intuitive Apollonian inlook into the secrets of existence.”[2]


“Heraclitus’ style... is not only aphoristic and epigrammatic but cryptic, and this cryptic character is not merely the self-willed obscurity of an intellectual thinker affecting an excessive condensation of his thought or a too closely-packed burden of suggestiveness. It is enigmatic in the style of the mystics, enigmatic in the manner of their thought which sought to express the riddle of existence in the very language of the riddle. What for instance is the ‘ever-living Fire’ in which he finds the primary and imperishable substance of the universe and identifies it in succession with Zeus and with eternity? Or what should we understand by ‘the thunderbolt which steers all things’?”[3]




  1. Essays in Philosophy and Yoga, p.215, “Heraclitus”
  2. Ibid., p.216
  3. Ibid.


See also