177+ Best Heraclitus Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Heraclitus of Ephesus son of Bloson, was a pre-Socratic Ionian Greek philosopher. Due to the oracular and paradoxical nature of his philosophy, and his fondness for word play, he was called “The Obscure” even in antiquity. Profoundly inspirational Heraclitus quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for deep quotes by philosophers that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of profound John Stuart Mill quotes, amazing John Locke quotes and top Karl Marx quotes.

Famous Heraclitus Quotes

All things are in flux; the flux is subject to a unifying measure or rational principle. This principle (logos, the hidden harmony behind all change) bound opposites together in a unified tension, which is like that of a lyre, where a stable harmonious sound emerges from the tension of the opposing forces that arise from the bow bound together by the string. – Heraclitus

The wise is one only. It is unwilling and willing to be called by the name of Zeus. – Heraclitus

It is wise to listen, not to me but to the Word, and to confess that all things are one. – Heraclitus

Deliberate violence is more to be quenched than a fire. – Heraclitus

The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony. – Heraclitus

If it were not for injustice, men would not know justice. – Heraclitus

You won’t discover the limits of the soul, however far you go. – Heraclitus

Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions. – Heraclitus

No same man could walk through the same river twice, as the man and the river have since changed. – Heraclitus

Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way, and nothing stays fixed… Cool things become warm, the warm grows cool; the moist dries, the parched becomes moist… It is in changing that things find repose. – Heraclitus

The best of men chooses one thing in preference to all else, immortal glory in preference to mortal good; whereas the masses simply glut themselves like cattle. – Heraclitus

Of the Logos which is as I describe it men always prove to be uncomprehending, both before they have heard it and when once they have heard it. For although all things happen according to this Logos, they [men] are like people of no experience, even when they experience such words and deeds as I explain, when I distinguish each thing according to its constitution and declare how it is; but the rest of men fail to notice what they do after they wake up just as they forget what they do when asleep. – Heraclitus

Greater dooms win greater destinies. – Heraclitus

Not I but the world says it: All is one. – Heraclitus

There is but one world common for those who are awake, but when men are asleep, each turns away into a world of his own. – Heraclitus

Dogs bark at what they don’t understand. – Heraclitus

There is nothing permanent in the world except change. – Heraclitus

Doctors cut, burn, and torture the sick, and then demand of them an undeserved fee for such services. – Heraclitus

Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character. – Heraclitus

If you went in search of it, you would not find the boundaries of the soul, though you traveled every road-so deep is its measure [logos]. – Heraclitus

For those who are awake, the Cosmos is One. – Heraclitus

It is better to conceal ignorance than to expose it. – Heraclitus

Learning many things does not teach understanding – Heraclitus

Whosoever wishes to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details. Knowledge is not intelligence. In searching for the truth be ready for the unexpected. Change alone is unchanging. The same road goes both up and down. The beginning of a circle is also its end. Not I, but the world says it: all is one. And yet everything comes in season. – Heraclitus

Men forget where the way leads and what they meet with every day seems strange to them. We should not act and speak like men asleep. – Heraclitus

Eyes and ears are poor witnesses to people if they have uncultured souls. – Heraclitus

It is by disease that health is pleasant; by evil that good is pleasant; by hunger, satiety; by weariness, rest. – Heraclitus

Realize that war is common, and justice is strife, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife. – Heraclitus

It would not be better if things happened to men just as they wish. – Heraclitus

If you do not hope, you will not win that which is not hoped for, since it is unattainable and inaccessible. – Heraclitus

The nature of things is in the habit of concealing itself. – Heraclitus

It is better to hide ignorance, but it is hard to do this when we relax over wine. – Heraclitus

All things are in a state of flux. – Heraclitus

Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details. – Heraclitus

Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world. – Heraclitus

A blow to the head will confuse a man’s thinking, a blow to the foot has no such effect, this cannot be the result of an immaterial soul. – Heraclitus

All things flow, nothing abides. You cannot step into the same river twice, for the waters are continually flowing on. Nothing is permanent except change. – Heraclitus

War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free. – Heraclitus

Couples are wholes and not wholes, what agrees disagrees, the concordant is discordant. From all things one and from one all things. – Heraclitus

The awake share a common world, but the asleep turn aside into private worlds. – Heraclitus

It is weariness to keep toiling at the same things so that one becomes ruled by them. – Heraclitus

All men have the capacity of knowing themselves and acting with moderation. – Heraclitus

Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony. – Heraclitus

The unexpected connection is more powerful than one that is obvious. – Heraclitus

We circle in the night and we are devoured by fire. – Heraclitus

The only thing constant is change – Heraclitus

Everything changes and nothing stands still. – Heraclitus

Those who are awake all live in the same world. Those who are asleep live in their own worlds. – Heraclitus

Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow. Nothing endures but change. – Heraclitus

The people must fight on behalf of the law as though for the city wall. – Heraclitus

The fairest harmony springs from discord. – Heraclitus

A man’s character is his fate. – Heraclitus

The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny … it is the light that guides your way. – Heraclitus

Nothing is constant except change – Heraclitus

To do the same thing over and over again is not only boredom: it is to be controlled by rather than to control what you do. – Heraclitus

This world… ever was, and is, and shall be, ever-living Fire, in measures being kindled and in measures going out. – Heraclitus

Applicants for wisdom do what I have done: inquire within – Heraclitus

May you have plenty of wealth, you men of Ephesus, in order that you may be punished for your evil ways – Heraclitus

A drunk man, staggering and mindless, must be led home by his son, so wet is his psyche… Water brings death to the psyche, as earth brings death to water… The psyche lusts to be wet. – Heraclitus

The way up and the way down are one and the same. – Heraclitus

Time is a game played beautifully by children. – Heraclitus

God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and hunger. – Heraclitus

Justice will overtake fabricators of lies and false witnesses. – Heraclitus

Nothing endures but change. There is nothing permanent except change. All is flux, nothing stays still. – Heraclitus

The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become. – Heraclitus

We have to be faster in calming down a resentment than putting out a fire, because the consequences of the first are infinitely more dangerous than the results of the last; fire ends burning down some houses at the most, while the resentment can cause cruel wars, with the ruin and total destruction of nations. – Heraclitus

Those unmindful when they hear, for all they make of their intelligence, may be regarded as the walking dead. – Heraclitus

Wisdom is one thing, to know how to make true judgment, how all things are steered through all things. – Heraclitus

Lifetime is a child at play, moving pieces in a game. Kingship belongs to the child. – Heraclitus

Wisdom is the oneness of mind that guides and permeated all things. – Heraclitus

From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, and out of oneness come all the many particulars. – Heraclitus

You cannot step twice into the same river. – Heraclitus

Man is on earth as in an egg. – Heraclitus

It is harder to fight pleasure than to fight emotion. – Heraclitus

The most beautiful ape is ugly when compared to a human. The wisest human will seem like an ape when compared to a god with respect to wisdom, beauty, and everything else. – Heraclitus

The universal cosmic process was not created by any god or man. – Heraclitus

Life is a child moving counters in a game. – Heraclitus

All is flux, nothing is stationary. – Heraclitus

People ought to fight to keep their law as to defend the city s walls. – Heraclitus

Whoever cannot seek the unforeseen sees nothing for the known way is an impasse. – Heraclitus

All things come out of the one, and the one out of all things. – Heraclitus

Religion is a disease, but it is a noble disease. – Heraclitus

Those who approach life like a child playing a game, moving and pushing pieces, possess the power of kings. – Heraclitus

Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers. – Heraclitus

Things keep their secrets. – Heraclitus

The people should fight for the law as for their city wall. – Heraclitus

Where there is no strife there is decay: ‘The mixture which is not shaken decomposes.’ – Heraclitus

Eternity is a child playing, playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child. – Heraclitus

Many who have learned from Hesiod the countless names of gods and monsters never understand that night and day are one – Heraclitus

Character is fate. (Destiny). – Heraclitus

Dogs, also, bark at what they do not know. – Heraclitus

It is wise to agree that all things are one. – Heraclitus

Bigotry is the sacred disease, and self-conceit tells lies. – Heraclitus

Abundance of knowledge does not teach men to be wise. – Heraclitus

What is divine escapes men’s notice because of their incredulity. – Heraclitus

Thinking is a sacred disease and sight is deceptive. – Heraclitus

Knowledge is not intelligence. – Heraclitus

Life has the name of life, but in reality, it is death. – Heraclitus

And some men are as ignorant of what they do when awake as they are forgetful of what they do when asleep. – Heraclitus

No one can step twice into the same river, nor touch mortal substance twice in the same condition. By the speed of its change, it scatters and gathers again. – Heraclitus

Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy. – Heraclitus

One must know that war is common, justice is strife, and everything happens according to strife and necessity. – Heraclitus

The gods are immortal men, and men are mortal gods. – Heraclitus

To God all things are fair and good and right, but men hold some things wrong and some right. – Heraclitus

When men dream, each has his own world. When they are awake, they have a common world. – Heraclitus

Stupidity is better kept a secret than displayed. – Heraclitus

What are men? Mortal gods. What are gods? Immortal men. – Heraclitus

The Lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither reveals nor conceals, but gives a sign – Heraclitus

It is difficult to fight against anger; for a man will buy revenge with his soul. – Heraclitus

Day by day, what you do is who you become. – Heraclitus

The river where you set your foot just now is gone-those waters give way to this, now this. – Heraclitus

Men who are lovers of wisdom [i.e., philosophers] must be inquirers into many things. – Heraclitus

He who does not expect will not find out the unexpected, for it is trackless and unexplored – Heraclitus

All entities move and nothing remains still. – Heraclitus

If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not recognize it when it arrives. – Heraclitus

Men that love wisdom must be acquainted with very many things indeed. – Heraclitus

Could you tell night from day? No, I regard all such distinctions as logically impossible. – Heraclitus

What we have caught and what we have killed we have left behind, but what has escaped us we bring with us. – Heraclitus

Invisible harmony is better than visible. – Heraclitus

Nothing is, everything is becoming. – Heraclitus

Men who love wisdom should acquaint themselves with a great many particulars. – Heraclitus

You may travel far and wide but never will you find the boundaries of the soul. – Heraclitus

Nature is wont to hide herself. – Heraclitus

There is exchange of all things for fire and of fire for all things, as there is of wares for gold and of gold for wares. – Heraclitus

The only constant is change. Unless you get a small group of neighbors together to stop it. – Heraclitus

Those who hear and do not understand are like the deaf. Of them the proverb says: Present, they are absent. – Heraclitus

Change alone is unchanging. – Heraclitus

The best people renounce all for one goal, the eternal fame of mortals; but most people stuff themselves like cattle. – Heraclitus

This universe, which is the same for all, has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire, kindling itself by regular measures and going out by regular measures. – Heraclitus

Though wisdom is common, yet the many live as if they had a wisdom of their own. – Heraclitus

The world is nothing but a great desire to live and a great dissatisfaction with living. – Heraclitus

Presumption must be quenched even more than a fire. – Heraclitus

It is in changing that things find purpose. – Heraclitus

Knowing many things doesn’t teach insight. – Heraclitus

What was scattered, gathers. What was gathered, blows away – Heraclitus

Hide our ignorance as we will, an evening of wine soon reveals it. – Heraclitus

Those who love wisdom must investigate many things – Heraclitus

How can you hide from what never goes away? – Heraclitus

Wisdom consists in speaking and acting the truth. – Heraclitus

Unless you expect the unexpected you will never find it, for it is hard to discover and hard to attain. – Heraclitus

Immortal mortals, mortal immortals, one living the others death and dying the others life. – Heraclitus

All things come into being through opposition and all are in flux like a river – Heraclitus

What sense or thought do they have? They follow the popular singers, and they take the crowd as their teacher. – Heraclitus

Knowledge of divine things for the most part is lost to us by incredulity. – Heraclitus

The world, an entity out of everything, was created by none of the gods or men, but was, is and will be eternally living fire, regularly becoming ignited and reg- ularly becoming extinguished. – Heraclitus

Because it is so unbelievable, the Truth often escapes being known. – Heraclitus

No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger. – Heraclitus

The only constant in life is change – Heraclitus

Of all whose words I have heard, no one attains to this, to know that wisdom is apart from all. – Heraclitus

Much learning does not teach sense. – Heraclitus

The Cosmos was not made by gods but always was and is eternal fire. – Heraclitus

For when is death not within our selves? And as Heraclitus says: Living and dead are the same, and so are awake and asleep, young and old. The former when shifted are the latter, and again the latter when shifted are the former. – Heraclitus

I see nothing but Becoming. Be not deceived! It is the fault of your limited outlook and not the fault of the essence of things if you believe that you see firm land anywhere in the ocean of Becoming and Passing. You need names for things, just as if they had a rigid permanence, but the very river in which you bathe a second time is no longer the same one which you entered before – Heraclitus

Corpses are more fit to be thrown out than is dung. – Heraclitus

Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears. – Heraclitus

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. – Heraclitus

I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with little assistance from a professor of Greek and poets – Heraclitus

To be evenminded is the greatest virtue. Wisdom is to speak the truth and act in keeping with its nature. – Heraclitus

To get everything you want is not a good thing. Disease makes health seem sweet. Hunger leads to the appreciation of being full-fed. Tiredness creates the enjoyment of resting – Heraclitus

There is harmony in the tension of opposites, as in the case of the bow and lyre. – Heraclitus

Things of which there is sight, hearing, apprehension, these I prefer. – Heraclitus

Under the comb, the tangle and the straight path are the same. – Heraclitus

The only thing that is constant is change. – Heraclitus

He who hears not me, but the logos will say: All is one. – Heraclitus

To me one man is worth ten thousand if he is first-rate. – Heraclitus

The results are in great need greater ambition. – Heraclitus

There is a stability in the Universe because of the orderly and balanced process of change, the same measure coming out as going in, as if reality were a huge fire that inhaled and exhaled equal amounts. – Heraclitus

Most people do not take heed of the things they encounter, nor do they grasp them even when they have learned about them, although they suppose they do. – Heraclitus

Even sleepers are workers and collaborators on what goes on in the universe. – Heraclitus

Dogs bark at a person whom they do not know. – Heraclitus

A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one. – Heraclitus

The sun is new each day. – Heraclitus

The majority of people have no understanding of the things with which they daily meet, nor, when instructed, do they have any right knowledge of them, although to themselves they seem to have. – Heraclitus

To God everything is beautiful, good, and just; humans, however, think some things are unjust and others just. – Heraclitus

The Sibyl, with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god. – Heraclitus

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. – Heraclitus

Big results require big ambitions. – Heraclitus

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.