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Heraclitus and ever-present change.

The famous theorem of Heraclitus that “We cannot step into the same river twice” – in Greek ‘panta rhei’ or in English ‘everything flows’ - encapsulates the principle that there is one thing in the universe that is ever-present and that is change. But is this ancient philosopher right that everything is in constant motion, always changing?

 

Our everyday life is framed and determined by our traditions, social customs and our personal rituals and habits. Someone sticks to their habitual morning coffee, another uses the same route to work every day, there are others who cannot imagine eating without certain rituals, etc. So our habits and rituals create a system and a structure in our daily life – hence the appearance of stability and security.

 pantha

Life brings thousands of new challenges and experiences every moment since childhood – therefore the first couple of years is naturally all about learning and the most intensive development. In short we have been changing constantly – energy-wise, mentally and spiritually - since our birth. Every human relationship that we have had, each book that we have read, every piece of work that we have done takes us forward on our endless journey towards our goal. So this is how we get to know ourselves and the world around us more and more.

How could it be that most of us do not even recognise the constant changes, the perpetual movement? There are no rules or time limits for an individual’s development of certain energies. Of course, our own capabilities and endowments will determine to what extent and pace we can absorb new knowledge and when the next step of our spiritual development will happen. But if we do not learn the actual lesson being given then we cannot step up to the next level. So it may happen that we keep repeating the same lesson till the end of our earthly life, and even beyond it without having progressed one step forward.

Heraclitus’s theory of ever-present, ongoing change – like a wind quietly and gently blowing - will shape and change our daily life without us even recognising it. Paradoxically, however, this creates the illusion of stability and order in the short and fleeting fragility of the human being in chaos.

 
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