The hidden harmony
Is better than the obvious.
Opposition brings concord.
Out of discord
Comes the fairest Harmony.
It is in chanching
That things find repose.
People do not understand
How that which is at variance with itself,
Agrees with itself.
There is a harmony in the bending back,
As in the case of the bow and lyre.
The name of the bow is life,
But its work is death.
Men are as forgetful and heedless
In their waking moments
Of what is going on around them
As they are during their sleep.
Fools, although they hear,
Are like the deaf;.
For them the adage applies
That whenever thex are present
They are absent.
One should not act or speak
As if he were asleep.
The waking have one world in common;
Sleepers have each a private world of his own.
Whatever we see when awake is death,
When asleep, dreams.
It pertains to all men
To know themselves
And to be temporate.
To be temporate is the greatest virtue.
Wisdom consists in speaking and acting the truth,
Giving heed to the nature of things.
Listening to me but not to the logos.
It is wise to acknowledge
That all things are one.
Wisdom is one -
To know the intelligence by which
All things are steered through all things.
Wisdom is one and unique;
It is unwilling and yet willing
To be called by the name of Zeus.
God is day and night, winter and summer,
War and peace, sateity and want.
Sea water is at once very pure and very foul:
It is drinkable and healthy for fishes,
But undrinkable and deadly for men.
The nature of day and night is one.
The way up and the way down
Are one and the same.
Even sleepers are workers and collaborators
In what goes on in the universe.
In the circle
The beginning and the end are common.
Let us not make arbitrary conjectures
About the greatest matters.
Much learning does not teach understanding.
Seekers after gold
Dig up much earth and find little.
You could not discover the limits of the soul
Even if you traveled every road to do so -
Such is the depth of its meaning.
When some visitors
Unexpectedly found Heraclitus
Warming himself by the cooking fire,
He said to them:
Here. too, are the Gods.
I have searched myself.
Time is a child
Moving counters in a game;
The royal power is a child's.
Bigotry is the sacred disease.
A drunken man has to be led by a young boy,
Whom he follows stumbling
And not knowing whither he goes,
For his soul is moist.
Souls take pleasure in becoming moist.
A dry soul is wisest and best.
Although this logos is eternally valid,
Yet men are unable to understand it -
Not only before hearing it,
But even after they have heard it.
We should let ourselves be guided
By what is common to all.
Yet, although the logos is common to all,
Most men live as if each of them
Had a private intelligence of his own.
Human nature has no real understanding;
Only the divine nature has it.
Man is not rational;
Only what encompasses him is intelligent.
What is divine escapes men's notice
Because of their incredulity.
Although intimately connected with the logos,
Men keep setting themselves against it.
How can anyone hide from that which never sets?
Which is the same for all,
Has not been made by any God or man,
But it has always been, is, and will be -
An everliving fire,
Kindling itself by regular measures.
The phases of fire are craving and satiety.
The sun is new each day.
It would not be better
If things happened to men
Just as they wish.
Unless you expect the unexpected
You will never find the Truth,
For it is hard to discover
And hard to attain.
Nature loves to hide.
The Lord whose oracle is at Delphi
Neither speaks nor conceals -
But gives signs.
Into the same rivers we step and do not step.
You cannot step twice in the same river.
Everything flows and nothing abides.
Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.
Cool things become warm, the warm grows cool.
The moist dries, the parced becomes moist.
It is by disease that health is pleasant;
By evil that good is pleasant,
By hunger, satiety; by weariness, rest.
It is one and the same thing to be living or dead,
Awake or asleep, young or old.
The former aspect in each case becomes the latter,
And the latter again the former,
By sudden unexpected reversal.
It throws apart
And then brings together again.
All things come in their due seasons.