It pertains to all men
to know themselves
and to be temperate.
To be temperate is the greatest virtue.
Wisdom consists in speaking and acting the truth,
giving heed to the nature of things.
Listening to me but not to the logos,
it is wise to acknowledge
that all things are one.
Wisdom is one –
to know the intelligence by which
all things are steered through all things.
Wisdom is one and unique;
it is unwilling and yet willing
to be called by the name of Zeus.
A few things before we enter these sutras of Heraclitus.
First: to know oneself is the most difficult thing. It should not be so. It should be just the opposite, the most simple thing. But it is not – for many reasons. It has become so complicated, and you have invested so much in self-ignorance that it seems almost impossible to turn back, to return to the source, to encounter oneself.
Your whole life, as it is, as it is approved by the society, by the state, by the church, is based on self-ignorance. You live without knowing yourself, because the society doesn’t want you to know yourself. It is dangerous for the society. A man who knows himself is bound to be rebellious.
Knowledge is the greatest rebellion – self-knowledge I mean, not knowledge gathered through scriptures, not knowledge found in the universities, but knowledge that happens when you encounter your own being, when you come to yourself in your total nudity, naked; when you see yourself as God sees you, not as the society would like to see you; when you see your natural being in its total wild bloom – not a civilized phenomenon, conditioned, cultured, polished.
Society is concerned with making a robot of you, not a revolutionary, because it is helpful. It is easy to dominate a robot; it is almost impossible to dominate a man of self-knowledge. How can you dominate a Jesus? How can you dominate a Buddha or a Heraclitus? He will not yield, he will not follow dictates. He will move through his own being. He will be like the wind, like the clouds; he will move like rivers. He will be wild – of course beautiful, natural, but dangerous to the false society. He will not fit. Unless we create a natural society in the world, a Buddha is going to remain always a misfit, a Jesus is bound to be crucified.