HeraclitusAs the opposite of Anaximander, Heraclitus saw no injustice, guilt, evil, or penance in the emergence and disappearance of worldly objects. To him, continuous becoming and passing away is the order of nature. There is a wonderful fixed order, regularity, and certainty that shows itself in all change and becoming. Heraclitus did not think that there is a metaphysical, undefinable indefinite (apeiron) out of which all definite things come into existence. Also, he denied that there is any permanent being. Nietzsche paraphrased him as saying, "You use names for things as though they rigidly, persistently endured; yet even the stream into which you step a second time is not the one you stepped into before."
Heraclitus's way of thinking was the result of perception and intuition. He despised rational, logical, conceptual thought. His pronouncements were purposely self-contradictory. "We are and at the same time are not." "Being and nonbeing is at the same time the same and not the same." This intuitive thinking is based on seeing the changing world of experience which is conditioned by never-ending variations in time and space. Every object that is perceived through time and space has an existence that is relative to other objects. Nature and reality are seen as a continuous action in which there is no permanent existence.
The unending strife between opposites, which seek to re-unite, is a kind of lawful justice for Heraclitus. In accordance with the Greek culture of contest, the strife among all things follows a built-in law or standard.
According to Heraclitus, the one is the many. Every thing is really fire. In passing away, the things of the world show a desire to be consumed in the all-destroying cosmic fire. When they are part of the fire again, their desire is briefly satisfied. But things soon come into being again as a result of the fire's impulse to play a game with itself.
Due to the contradictions that occur in Heraclitus's brief sayings, he has been accused of being obscure. However, Nietzsche asserts that he was very clear. The shortness and terseness of Heraclitus's statements may seem to result in their obscurity, but Nietzsche stated that they are unclear only for readers who do not take the time to think about what is being said.
Nietzsche interpreted Heraclitus's words, "I sought for myself," as indicating that he possessed great self-esteem and conviction. Without concern as to whether his thoughts appealed to anyone beside himself, he pronounced that he saw fixed law in the continual change of becoming. Also, he intuited that the particular changes that occur with strict necessity are, on the whole, the play of a game. Heraclitus wanted future humanity to know his timeless truths.