150 Quotes by Heraclitus

Heraclitus, an enigmatic pre-Socratic philosopher, is known for his profound insights into the nature of change and the underlying unity of existence. Often referred to as the "Weeping Philosopher," his philosophy emphasized the ever-present flux of the universe and the interconnectedness of opposites. His famous statement, "You cannot step into the same river twice," encapsulates his belief that everything is in a constant state of transformation. Heraclitus' metaphysical ideas laid the groundwork for understanding reality as a dynamic and interconnected web, challenging traditional notions of permanence and stability. While much of his work has been lost over time, his fragments continue to inspire contemplation on the nature of existence and the intricate patterns that shape the universe.

Heraclitus Quotes

The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny it is the light that guides your way.

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The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.

There is nothing permanent except change.

Big results require big ambitions.

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.

Whosoever wishes to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details. Knowledge is not intelligence. In searching for the truth be ready for the unexpected. Change alone is unchanging. The same road goes both up and down. The beginning of a circle is also its end. Not I, but the world says it: all is one. And yet everything comes in season.

Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.

Dogs bark at what they don't understand.

Those who are awake all live in the same world. Those who are asleep live in their own worlds.

Change alone is unchanging.

Those who approach life like a child playing a game, moving and pushing pieces, possess the power of kings.

Day by day, what you do is who you become.

What is divine escapes men's notice because of their incredulity.

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All things flow, nothing abides. You cannot step into the same river twice, for the waters are continually flowing on. Nothing is permanent except change.

Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed... Cool things become warm, the warm grows cool; the moist dries, the parched becomes moist... It is in changing that things find repose.

We have to be faster in calming down a resentment than putting out a fire, because the consequences of the first are infinitely more dangerous than the results of the last; fire ends burning down some houses at the most, while the resentment can cause cruel wars, with the ruin and total destruction of nations.

A man's character is his fate.

A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.

Those who love wisdom must investigate many things

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.

When men dream, each has his own world. When they are awake, they have a common world.

The most beautiful ape is ugly when compared to a human. The wisest human will seem like an ape when compared to a god with respect to wisdom, beauty, and everything else.

If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not recognize it when it arrives.

Learning many things does not teach understanding

Religion is a disease, but it is a noble disease.

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It is hard to contend against one's heart's desire; for whatever it wishes to have it buys at the cost of soul.

Eyes and ears are poor witnesses to people if they have uncultured souls.

It would not be better if things happened to men just as they wish.

To get everything you want is not a good thing. Disease makes health seem sweet. Hunger leads to the appreciation of being full-fed. Tiredness creates the enjoyment of resting

War is the mother of everything.

You cannot step into the same river twice.

The best of men choose one thing in preference to all else, immortal glory in preference to mortal good; whereas the masses simply glut themselves like cattle.

Time is a game played beautifully by children.

Abundance of knowledge does not teach men to be wise.

The sun is new each day.

It is better to hide ignorance, but it is hard to do this when we relax over wine.

Presumption must be quenched even more than a fire.

To God everything is beautiful, good, and just; humans, however, think some things are unjust and others just.

Nothing is, everything is becoming.

If you do not hope, you will not win that which is not hoped for, since it is unattainable and inaccessible.

Because it is so unbelievable, the Truth often escapes being known.

What are men? Mortal gods. What are gods? Immortal men.

The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony.

Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears.

Everything flows, nothing stays still.

The world is nothing but a great desire to live and a great dissatisfaction with living.

Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.

No same man could walk through the same river twice, as the man and the river have since changed.

It is difficult to fight against anger; for a man will buy revenge with his soul.

Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.

Couples are wholes and not wholes, what agrees disagrees, the concordant is discordant. From all things one and from one all things.

Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.

The Cosmos was not made by gods but always was and is eternal fire.

What sense or thought do they have? They follow the popular singers, and they take the crowd as their teacher.

It is in changing that things find purpose.

You won't discover the limits of the soul, however far you go.

Stupidity is better kept a secret than displayed.

Justice will overtake fabricators of lies and false witnesses.

Knowledge is not intelligence.

Under the comb, the tangle and the straight path are the same.

No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.

Those who hear and do not understand are like the deaf. Of them the proverb says: "Present, they are absent."

It is by disease that health is pleasant; by evil that good is pleasant; by hunger, satiety; by weariness, rest.

The nature of things is in the habit of concealing itself.

Immortal mortals, mortal immortals, one living the others death and dying the others life.

Applicants for wisdom do what I have done: inquire within.

Wisdom consists in speaking and acting the truth.

To do the same thing over and over again is not only boredom: it is to be controlled by rather than to control what you do.

If we do not expect the unexpected, we will never find it.

It is harder to fight pleasure than to fight emotion.

Not I but the world says it: All is one.

How can you hide from what never goes away?

The best people renounce all for one goal, the eternal fame of mortals; but most people stuff themselves like cattle.

If it were not for injustice, men would not know justice.

The majority of people have no understanding of the things with which they daily meet, nor, when instructed, do they have any right knowledge of them, although to themselves they seem to have.

Wisdom is the oneness of mind that guides and permeated all things.

You may travel far and wide but never will you find the boundaries of the soul.

The unexpected connection is more powerful than one that is obvious.

Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.

Nothing endures but change. There is nothing permanent except change. All is flux, nothing stays still.

The way up and the way down are one and the same.

All things come into being by conflict of opposites.

I see nothing but Becoming. Be not deceived! It is the fault of your limited outlook and not the fault of the essence of things if you believe that you see firm land anywhere in the ocean of Becoming and Passing. You need names for things, just as if they had a rigid permanence, but the very river in which you bathe a second time is no longer the same one which you entered before

The world, an entity out of everything, was created by none of the gods or men, but was, is and will be eternally living fire, regularly becoming ignited and reg- ularly becoming extinguished.

Things of which there is sight, hearing, apprehension, these I prefer.

The Lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither reveals nor conceals, but gives a sign.

Doctors cut, burn, and torture the sick, and then demand of them an undeserved fee for such services.

Knowing many things doesn't teach insight.

The only thing that is constant is change.

Greater dooms win greater destinies.

Where there is no strife there is decay: 'The mixture which is not shaken decomposes.'

The universal cosmic process was not created by any god or man.

Everything flows and nothing abides. Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.

Men who are lovers of wisdom must be inquirers into many things.

Eternity is a child playing, playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child.

The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day.

You cannot step twice into the same river.

There is nothing permanent in the world except change.

Wisdom is one thing, to know how to make true judgment, how all things are steered through all things.

Most people do not take heed of the things they encounter, nor do they grasp them even when they have learned about them, although they suppose they do.

I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with little assistance from a professor of Greek and poets

Life has the name of life, but in reality it is death.

The only constant in life is change

All things are in flux; the flux is subject to a unifying measure or rational principle. This principle (logos, the hidden harmony behind all change) bound opposites together in a unified tension, which is like that of a lyre, where a stable harmonious sound emerges from the tension of the opposing forces that arise from the bow bound together by the string.

All men have the capacity of knowing themselves and acting with moderation.

Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions.

Men that love wisdom must be acquainted with very many things indeed.

Even sleepers are workers and collaborators on what goes on in the universe.

To me one man is worth ten thousand if he is first-rate.

Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers.

Bigotry is the sacred disease, and self-conceit tells lies.

The content of your #‎ character is your #‎ choice.

Realize that war is common and justice is strife, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife.

Men who love wisdom should acquaint themselves with a great many particulars.

A drunk man, staggering and mindless, must be led home by his son, so wet is his psyche... Water brings death to the psyche, as earth brings death to water... The psyche lusts to be wet.

What was scattered, gathers. What was gathered, blows away.

All things come out of the one, and the one out of all things.

He who does not expect will not find out the unexpected, for it is trackless and unexplored

Dogs bark at a person whom they do not know.

There is but one world common for those who are awake, but when men are asleep, each turns away into a world of his own.

The fairest harmony springs from discord.

Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow. Nothing endures but change.

There is a stability in the Universe because of the orderly and balanced process of change, the same measure coming out as going in, as if reality were a huge fire that inhaled and exhaled equal amounts.

Dogs, also, bark at what they do not know.

This universe, which is the same for all, has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire, kindling itself by regular measures and going out by regular measures.

The people must fight for their laws as for their walls.

Much learning does not teach sense.

Man is on earth as in an egg.

"To God all things are beautiful, good, and right; human beings, on the other hand, deem some things right and others wrong. It would not be better if things happened to people just as they wish."

It is better to conceal ignorance than to expose it.

Those unmindful when they hear, for all they make of their intelligence, may be regarded as the walking dead.

To God all things are fair and good and right, but men hold some things wrong and some right.

Thinking is a sacred disease and sight is deceptive.

Deliberate violence is more to be quenched than a fire

Of all whose words I have heard, no one attains to this, to know that wisdom is apart from all.

The awake share a common world, but the asleep turn aside into private worlds.

A blow to the head will confuse a man's thinking, a blow to the foot has no such effect, this cannot be the result of an immaterial soul.

War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free.

Invisible harmony is better than visible.

For those who are awake, the Cosmos is One.

It is wise to agree that all things are one.

And some men are as ignorant of what they do when awake as they are forgetful of what they do when asleep.

Nothing is constant except change

This world ever was, and is, and shall be, ever-living Fire, in measures being kindled and in measures going out.

Character is our destiny.

A dry soul is wisest and best.

There is harmony in the tension of opposites, as in the case of the bow and lyre.

― Heraclitus Quotes

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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