Heraclitus of Ephesus, often known as "the Weeping Philosopher," was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. He is known for being the father of several major schools of philosophy that would influence Western thought for generations to come, as well as for being a grade-A pussy who would have cried at Kleenex commercials if they had had Kleenex in ancient Greece.
Heraclitus was born to an affluent family in 535 BCE, and immediately realized that he would be dead in only sixty short years. This caused him to weep profusely, although the midwife mistakenly believed that his tears were the result of the fact that she had just circumcised him.
As a young child, Heraclitus openly declared that he knew everything, which made him the subject of numerous wedgies. In fact, according to apocryphal lore, several of Heraclitus's classmates invented the wedgie. Although giving a wedgie to a boy in a toga could be difficult, the results were often spectacular.
Later in life, Heraclitus developed the opinion that several of his contemporaries, including Pythagorus and Homer, were giant fucking douchebags. Not content to keep this opinion to himself, Heraclitus interwove it into his philosophy and missed few opportunities to publicly berate, or "diss," these two men.
Shunned by his peers, Heraclitus wandered into the mountains, sustaining himself on grasses and herbs. Eventually, he developed a severe case of dropsy. Although the standard treatment for dropsy is a regimen of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, such as Celebrex, Heraclitus apparently thought himself too good for 21st century Western medicine and instead smeared himself in cow manure. Days later, he died covered in feces — a fitting end to a grade-A asshole.
Unbeknownst to Heraclitus, the young Socrates had just been born five years earlier. Socrates, along with his contemporaries Aristotle and Plato, would go on to become known as the greatest philosophers of all time, ensuring that Heraclitus would have no enduring legacy and that his name would be relegated to obscurity. That's right: even decades after Heraclitus's death, it still sucked to be him.
Hodos and Kato
Heraclitus developed a complex, almost Taoist set of beliefs about creation and destruction. He believed in an "upward-downward path" that unified the appearance and disappearance of physical states and resulted in a "hidden harmony." For example, he believed that the death of fire resulted in the birth of air, and that the death of air resulted in the birth of water.
Not only was this incorrect, it was fucking stupid. The Ephesians rightfully ridiculed him for it, and he limped to the nearest tavern to test the theory that the death of beer, by ingestion, was the birth of optimism.
Although this theory also proved to be incorrect, it is today seen as the origin of the popular pastime of weeping into a glass of beer.
Heraclitus was an early naturalist, believing that all things are governed by logic. However, he made the mistake of using the word logos for "logic," an ambiguous Greek word which can also mean "word."
Most modern scholars agree that this was Heraclitus's own fault for writing in Greek, rather than learning English like everyone else. Jesus Christ, if he's going to live in this country, the least he could do is learn to speak the language.
Stoicism, the belief that a disciplined denial of one's emotions would lead to greatness, became the leading school of philosophy in third-century Rome. It is largely premised on the writings of Heraclitus.
- It's too bad they didn't. You can imagine the state of Heraclitus's toga.
- In fact, they invented the wedgie independently of one another, in a brilliant illustration of simultaneous discovery.
- After Heraclitus's death, Pythagorus revised his theorem to be about triangles or something.
- I am not making this up.
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