Wednesday with Heraclitus

from the outside

Sometimes it helps to find a different way to view your life. I went out the back door and took a picture of my studio tonight.

Ever since Oscar died I have stopped dreaming or better put, I no longer have any recollections of dreaming when I awake. When I fall asleep I seem to plunge into a silent, empty darkness and when I awaken I have no sense whatsoever of having dreamed anything. There are no lingering vague feelings, no fragments of images, sensations or sounds. There is absolutely nothing. Each morning it is as if I am delivered into consciousness from a state of complete oblivion.

Up until this began I was one of those people who remembered their dreams almost daily with few exceptions. I often found inspiration, intuition and answers in my dream materials. So this state of affairs, now entering it’s 3rd month, is beginning to wear on me emotionally and mentally.

510fCT1UB-L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_ I’ve begun re-reading this book, The Dream and the Underworld, by James Hillman.

Grounded in intellectual and mythological constructs, he takes a fresh look at the act of dreaming.

While reading it I was delighted to be re-acquainted with a name I had not heard in a long time, ‘Heraclitus.’

From Wikipedia – Heraclitus of Ephesus (/ˌhɛrəˈkltəs/;[1] GreekἩράκλειτος ὁ Ἐφέσιοςtranslit. Hērákleitos ho Ephésiosc. 535 – c. 475 BCE) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, and a native of the city of Ephesus,[2] then part of the Persian Empire. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the apparently riddled[3] and allegedly paradoxical[4] nature of his philosophy and his stress upon the heedless unconsciousness of humankind,[5] he was called “The Obscure” and the “Weeping Philosopher”. He was also called ‘The Dark Philosopher.”

Although his major texts have been lost to time, there exist 130 fragments – which I’ve always meant to read but never have – so I added that book on to my Christmas list.

You may not know his name first off, but I bet you will recall one of his sayings –

“You cannot step twice into the same river”

From Plato- “Heraclitus, I believe, says that all things pass and nothing stays, and comparing existing things to the flow of a river, he says you could not step twice into the same river.”  – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Heraclitus as painted by Raphael in “The School of Athens” Fresco

Painted between 1509 and 1511

Perhaps I should heed his river wisdom at this juncture in my journey. Losing Oscar changed many things about my life and instead of trying to “get back” to normal – I should begin actively searching forward for my new normal.

Until next time …