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Mechanics of the Universe

Some ideas, like believing that everything is made of fire, fade away as we learn more about the mechanics of the universe. Others, like the concept expressed in the quote above, just seem to become more relevant. We might even think of them, in a world more and more obviously globally connected, as bordering on the prophetic.

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Heraclitus lived some 2600 years ago. His world was considerably smaller than ours. Careless sailors could fall off of the edge of it. And yet, he and other philosophers of the ancient world like him recognized that nothing exists in isolation. There is an interconnectedness to all things that means that everything affects everything else in some way.

He also said that we cannot step in the same stream twice. Its a metaphor so obvious that only philosophers could find anything to argue about in it (and of course they do). The stream life changes independent of us, and we of it; and by virtue of our contact with it, we and it change each other.

Indeed, in one sense we never leave the stream and spend our lives affecting it, and being affected by it.

If I might stretch Heraclitus metaphor a bit, while we can't always control what comes down the stream toward us, we can choose how we respond to it, and we can influence what happens to it.

We can reach out to someone who is floating past on the verge of drowning. We can step aside from a destructive piece of debris. We can channel some buoyancy to people whose ship has run aground.

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Posted in Churches/Faith/Religion Post Date 03/11/2017


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