As a cloud that rises from the sea
Absorbing rain, the earth embraces,
So, like the sky, the sea remains
Without increasing or decreasing.
So from spontaneity that’s unique,
Replete with the
Are all sentient beings born,
And in it come to rest.
But it is neither concrete
They walk other paths
And so forsake true bliss,
Seeking the delights
That stimulants produce.
The honey in their mouths,
And to them so near,
Will vanish if at once
They do not drink it.
Beasts do not understand the world
To be a sorry place.
Not so the wise
Who the heavenly nectar drink
While beasts hunger for the sensual.
Everything changes…and Heraclitus is right: you cannot step in the same river twice. The river is changing, so you are changing too. It is all movement, it is all flux; everything is impermanent, momentary. Only for a moment it is there, and then gone, and you will never find it again. There is no way to find it again. Once gone, it is gone forever.
And nothing changes – that too is true. Nothing ever changes. All is always the same. Parmeneides is also right; he says there is nothing new under the sun. How can there be? The sun is old, so is everything. If you ask Parmeneides, he will say you can step in any river you want, but you will be stepping in the same river always. Whether it is the Ganges or the Thames does not make any difference, the water is the same, it is all H20. And whether you step in the river today or tomorrow or after millions of years, it will be the same river.
And how can you be different? You were a child, you remember it. Then you were a young man, you remember that too. Then you became old; that too you remember. Who is this one who goes on remembering? There must be a non-changing element in you – unchanging, permanent, absolutely permanent. Childhood comes and goes; so comes youth and is gone, so old age – but something remains eternally the same.
Now let me say to you: Heraclitus and Parmeneides, both are right; in fact they both are right together. If Heraclitus is right, it is only half the truth; if Parmeneides is right, that too is only half the truth, and half the truth is not the true thing. They are stating half-truths. The wheel moves and the hub does not move. Parmeneides talks about the hub, Heraclitus talks about the wheel – but the wheel cannot exist without the hub. And what use is a hub without the wheel? So those two contradictory-looking half-truths are not contradictory but complementary. Heraclitus and Parmeneides are not enemies but friends. The other can stand only if the complementary truth is there, otherwise not.
Meditate on the silent center of a cyclone….