Patrick Lee Miller’s recent posts on Heraclitean spirituality, published on the Immanent Frame blog, make a valuable contribution to theorizing the ethics and spirituality of immanence. He notes that Heraclitus’ famous quote that’s sunk into popular culture as “You don’t step into the same river twice” actually means something more like “Neither you nor the river you step into are ever the same twice.” Miller’s translation is worth reproducing:

No

twice

stepping into

the same river,

this specious now, this

very one, now gone, alas,

not even once, if truth be told,

nor can it be, truly, for knowing grasps

a thing, no thing, each thing is nothing in itself but

a waxing palimpsest, this selfsame text, myself no less,

waning at best before your very eyes, each blink

effacing, the drying ink tracing these echoes,

these dying refrains of infant palindromes,

returning again imperfectly somewhere

new, some time over or under,

wherever yields never the

same word twice, unless,

maybe, now, this

once,

Yes.

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