Thursday, 4 November 2010

Seeing flowers move

In Ancient Greece just before the time of Socrates lived philosophers who were seers, not just intellectuals.

Heraclitus said that everything moves. Parmenides said that nothing moves. My guess is that they would have agreed with each other.

Heraclitus, fragment 41 (from Heraclitus, Fragments (Penguin Classics)): The river where you set your foot just now is gone – those waters giving way to this, now this.

Parmenides: One path only is left for us to speak of, namely, that It is. In it are very many tokens that what is, is uncreated and indestructible, alone, complete, immovable and without end.

So, for ordinary mind things move perpetually. Change is the only thing that is reliably the same. Yet seen from another viewpoint the choreography of all this ballet is written and immovable.

The next poem of David's that I shall publish here later this month will be Bowl of white hyacinths.

It's a fun poem, about how things that seem still to ordinary mind, nevertheless dance.

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