What Does The Expression "you Cannot Enter The Same River Twice" Mean?

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What Does The Expression "you Cannot Enter The Same River Twice" Mean?
What Does The Expression "you Cannot Enter The Same River Twice" Mean?

Video: What Does The Expression "you Cannot Enter The Same River Twice" Mean?

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Video: "A Man cannot step into the same river twice" - An exploration of this phrase 2023, February

Life cannot be turned back - it is sung in a famous song. A philosophical understanding of time, analogous to the words of the song, is reflected in the statement "you cannot enter the same river twice."

Everything flows
Everything flows

The expression “you cannot enter the same river twice” is attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus. Only fragments of his treatise "On Nature" have come down to us. The treatise consisted of three parts: "On Nature", "On the State", "On God".

More fully this phrase looks like this: “You cannot enter the same river twice and you cannot catch mortal nature twice in the same state, but the speed and speed of exchange dissipates and collects again. Birth, origin never stops. The sun is not only new every day, but eternally and continuously new. " Although one cannot vouch for the authenticity of the authorship, some scholars dispute it, for example, A.F. Losev.

There is also another interpretation, which somewhat changes the philosophical meaning: "On the rivers entering the same rivers, one time one flow, another time another water."

How can this expression be understood

The expression can be perplexing if the river is perceived as a static phenomenon, a geographical or topographic concept. Without delving into philosophy, it is difficult to understand why it is impossible to enter the river twice, for example, the Klyazma, if a person bathed, went out, dried up and decided to plunge again. In such a utilitarian sense, the expression loses its meaning.

At the very least, it is necessary to present the river as an ecosystem, then everything will fall into place. During the time when a person was on the shore, irreversible changes took place in the water - some fish ate a worm, and the balance of living organisms changed, a stone fell somewhere far into the water and changed the volume of the river. Even the pattern of the waves has changed, as the man himself has grown older for the time that he was resting on the shore.

In this respect, the expression is close to the more familiar - "everything flows, everything changes." Close, but not exactly, since in the statement of Heraclitus more attention is paid to the subject of perception.

Perception of a statement in a practical sense

A person who decides to return to the past is doomed to be washed by “other waters”. Not better, not worse, just different. This lacks an element of edification, so the analogy with the Russian proverb “you can't glue a broken cup” is not entirely correct. A glued cup creates the appearance of a past good, but a crack will constantly remind you of a past problem.

Entering another river is in no way connected with past life experience, any failures or successes. A person who decides to go back will never be able to repeat what has happened, and even the usual static things will change, not only the relationship, but it is possible that in a positive direction.

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