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Thread: Heracleitus - The Fragments

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    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Zvaci;
    'With the prophet Zoroaster, Heracleitus was mayor inspiration in Nietzche's creation of character Zarathustra from his capital work "Allso sprach Zarathustra".
    Nietzche believed that Heracleitus was the crown of the golden age of Ancient Greek philosophy ... the pre-Socratian era ...'
    Yes, and Nietzsche sought to open up a new cycle by taking up where the Pre-Socratics left off.

    History saw the submerging of Pre-Socratism and the victory of the rival Platonism, with the eventual emergence of Christianity [Nietzsche calls this 'Platonism for the people'].
    This Platonic cycle of some two millennia culminates in the "Death of God".

    The snake bites its own tail, and with Nietzsche we return to the Pre-Socratics ready to begin this parallel 'godless' universe.

    Nietzsche is Plato to Heraclitus's Socrates in the age of Evolution, Relativity and Quantum.

    And who is to be the 'christ' of this new era?


    Life
    http://www2.forthnet.gr/presocratics/heracln.htm



    Karl Popper, in his 'The Open Society & its Enemies, Book 1', actually begins with a description of the work & ideas of Heraclitus.

    Popper wrote this book as a critique of what he saw as a fascistic thread running through Western philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus & Plato.

    What was intended by Popper as a damning indictment, actually turned out to be a useful handbook for fascist philosophers!

    Sir Oswald Mosley was one of its first readers, & ironically thanked Popper for showing that the great western philosophers were in fact fascists!

    To quote some excerpts from Popper on Heraclitus gives us the most basic prospectus on fascist philosophy [or what I call 'Aryanosophy'].

    I have placed the ideas under basic headings;

    Change
    "Heraclitus was the philosopher who discovered the idea of change.
    Down to this time, the Greek philosophers ... asked themselves ... 'What stuff is the world made of?', or 'How is it constructed, what is the ground-plan?'
    This very natural approach was superseded by the genius of Heraclitus. The view he introduced was that there was no such edifice, no stable structure, no cosmos. 'Everything is in flux & nothing is at rest' is the motto of his philosophy".

    Anti-Democratic
    "Hostility towards democracy breaks through everywhere in the fragments;
    'the mob fill their bellies like beasts; they take the bards & popular belief as their guides, unaware that the many are bad & that only the few are good' ".

    Destiny
    "In the Heraclitean philosophy, an emphasis on change is combined with the complementary belief in an inexorable & immutable law of destiny; the view that change is ruled by an unchanging law.
    All material things are like flames; they are processes rather than things. But having reduced all things to 'flames', to processes, Heraclitus discerns in the processes a law, a measure, a reason, a wisdom.
    This is the destined order of events in the world-process".

    Transformation
    "Fire is also the symbol of the transmutation of matter from one stage [fuel] into another. It thus provides the link between Heraclitus' intuitive theory of nature & the theories of rarefaction & condensation of his predecessors".

    Reason
    "If we are awake, we live in a common world; there is a mystical intuition which is given to the chosen, to those who are awake, who have the power to see, hear & speak;
    'One thing alone is wisdom: to understand the thought which steers everything through everything' ".

    War
    "There is a driving force behind all change; Heraclitus declares that strife or war is the dynamic as well as the creative principle of all chnage, & especially of all the differences between men.
    He holds that the outcome of war is always just;
    'War is the father & the king of all things'.

    Great Men
    Heraclitus believes in the superiority of Great Men;
    'One man is worth more than ten thousand, if he is Great' ".

    Popper concludes that "it is surprising to find in these early fragments, dating from about 500 BC, so much that is characteristic of modern historicist & anti-democratic tendencies".

    Popper goes on to give an interpretation of Plato which is very instructive for fascists, but we'll save that for another thread.


    Heraclitus
    Last edited by Moody; Wednesday, March 5th, 2003 at 08:33 PM.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Re: Heraclitus Fragments

    Yes, and Nietzsche sought to open up a new cycle by taking up where the Pre-Socratics left off.

    History saw the submerging of Pre-Socratism and the victory of the rival Platonism, with the eventual emergence of Christianity [Nietzsche calls this 'Platonism for the people'].
    This Platonic cycle of some two millennia culminates in the "Death of God".

    The snake bites its own tail, and with Nietzsche we return to the Pre-Socratics ready to begin this parallel 'godless' universe.

    Nietzsche is Plato to Heraclitus's Socrates in the age of Evolution, Relativity and Quantum.
    Nietzsche could not have "taken up" where the Pre-Socratics "left off". Whatever it is the Pre-Socratics where saying, they were saying it, living in close relation with Nature. Nietzsche on the other hand was manifesting his disgust on the modern world and modern christian humans, and the sickness he saw in their life so far away from Nature and Natural Laws..

    The 2000 years of Christianity were certainly not a 'Platonic Cycle' and a true 'Platonic Cycle' would never have resulted in the "death of god".

    Overall, i think it was a very "abstract" commentation on these Greek figures.

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    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Re: Heraclitus Fragments

    Quote Originally Posted by OMegasPan
    Nietzsche could not have "taken up" where the Pre-Socratics "left off". Whatever it is the Pre-Socratics where saying, they were saying it, living in close relation with Nature. Nietzsche on the other hand was manifesting his disgust on the modern world and modern christian humans, and the sickness he saw in their life so far away from Nature and Natural Laws..
    This is why Nietzsche's Zarathustra exorts us to 'remain true to the Earth'.

    To Plato & Aristotle, Heraclitus' philosophy was logically incoherent; and as we know, western philosophy took the path of Plato & Aristotle, not that of Heraclitus.

    The 2000 years of Christianity were certainly not a 'Platonic Cycle' and a true 'Platonic Cycle' would never have resulted in the "death of god".
    Platonic philosophy certainly influenced Christian theology; Nietzsche calls Christianity "Platonism for the people".

    For Nietzsche, Christianity's emphasis on the 'truth' meant that eventually Christianity would apply the search for 'truth' to God Himself and find Him to be false; hence the 'death of God'.

    Therefore, if we take this period, from Platonism-to-Christianity-to the Death of God, we have a kind of cycle which returns to the Heraclitean.

    Nietzsche's philosophy was the strongest statement of this return.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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