I have been in love with Heraclitus for many lives. In fact, Heraclitus is the only Greek I have ever been in love with. Heraclitus was like Gautam Buddha or Lao Tzu or Basho. The Greek soil was absolutely not good for him. He would have been a great tree in the East: millions would have profited, millions would have found the way through him.
Heraclitus is a really rare flowering, one of the most highly penetrating souls, one of those souls who become like Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas. Try to understand him. It is difficult; that’s why he is called Heraclitus the Obscure. He is not obscure. To understand him is difficult; to understand him you will need a different type of being — that is the problem. So it is easy to categorize him as obscure and then forget him.
– The Hidden Harmony, Chapter #1
For Heraclitus, fire became the symbol — and fire is really a beautiful symbol. Heraclitus says fire is the basic substance of life. It is! Now physicists agree with Heraclitus. They agree that electricity is the base of all existence, that everything is nothing but modes of electricity. Heraclitus says it is fire. What is the difference? And fire is a more beautiful word than electricity. Fire gives a sense of more aliveness than electricity does, fire is more wild than electricity. When you say electricity is the base, it looks as if the universe is somehow mechanical because electricity has become associated with a mechanism, and then God looks like an engineer — but electricity is fire.
Hindus have called this basic element PRANA, vitality — but vitality is fire. When you are vital, alive, you are fiery, aflame. Henri Bergson has called the base of all, elan vital, just like prana. Those who have been seeking, somehow or other they come near fire. Deep down this existence is fire. Fire is life.
– The Hidden Harmony, Chapter #6
Heraclitus is innocent: he simply says you, “This is the thing: the abyss is here. Jump!” He does not persuade you; he does not seduce you. He simply says, “This is the fact. If you want to jump, jump; if you don’t want to jump, go away.” And he knows that to make steps is useless because finally one has to take the jump.
– Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2, Chapter #2
There is no one, I repeat, who can be put in the same category as Heraclitus. He is just far out — dangerously awakened, unafraid of the consequences of what he was saying.
Heraclitus says in the FRAGMENTS: “You cannot step in the same river twice.” And then he says: “No, you cannot step in the same river even once….” This is tremendously beautiful, and true too.
Everything is changing, and changing so fast that there is no way to step in the same river twice; you can’t even step in the same river once. The river is constantly flowing; going, going, going to the ocean, to the infinite, going to disappear into the unknown.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #4