A river of voices flows out of the past. It is a timeless current, without impediment and true to its own course. An enigmatic Greek sage named Heraclitus joined into that flow about three thousand years ago. He lived about the same time as his more famous countryman Socrates, and long before the births of either Jesus or Mohammad.
I love antiquities. In my opinion any words, pictures, or verse that can survive a three thousand year journey into the present must be very special indeed. Very little is known about Heraclitus, only a few scant lines of his works remain. Archeologists postulate that he lived from 535 BC until 475 BC, and probably a teacher of some kind. Reading his words today, I can’t help but recognize them. I’ve heard them all before. They resound into the present in the speeches of today’s motivational speakers. I see them resonating into the books of the latest self-help authors. Here’s the English translation of his best known verse:
• Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do – is who you become.
• No one ever steps in the same river twice: for it is not the same river, and he is not the same person.
Powerful words – and to see them echo into the present, I invite you to do a google search on the words, “what you think and do, is who you become.” When I did the search, I came up with such notables as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Ford, Napoleon Hill, and Wayne Dyer. After expanding the search a little more, I found Marianne Williamson, Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Is it possible that the same lessons appear in the Bible? What about the Quran?
Here’s two more, for the road…
- The sun is new each day.
- A man’s character is his fate.