After spending so much time tweeting, posting Facebook messages, and sharing things on Google+, I’ve decided I would venture into the world of blogging to share my thoughts on political, social, and cultural happenings in the world. I’m now free from character constraints and from angering or isolating myself from friends and followers because I can finally share my thoughts here without causing the controversy that I might on social networks. I have a lot to say, but never had a place to say it until now.
The basic premise of this blog — and of my thinking in general — reflects the philosophy of Heraclitus. I have not studied Heraclitus’s philosophy in depth, nor would I say his philosophy has influenced my thinking. In fact, I am influenced by numerous philosophers, writers, historians, social critics, and politicians, and Heraclitus is towards the bottom of the list. Not that I dislike him, I just have hardly read him. However, I am familiar with the basic tenet of Heraclitus’s philosophy, which can be summarized by his quote (which has different variations due to translation):
The only constant is change.
Everything changes. Change is necessary. Yet, too often, change simply manifests the past in new forms. Hence, I also agree with a seemingly opposing quotation from another ancient source: the bible. From Ecclesiastes 1:9:
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
How do I reconcile my belief in these two seemingly contradicting quotations? Change is inevitable, but the form remains constant. For example, empires have changed over time; the Greek Empire and the Roman Empire are different than the American Empire or British Empire, but — despite the changes over time — empires remain.
What I want is society, culture, politics, religion, and science to truly embrace the constant nature of change instead of clinging to the past. The form of empire will continue to exist until people realize that the constant cycle of change continues to bring us back to where we started, but in a new form. Only when people recognize that the only constant is change will we have something new under the sun.
We must welcome continual progress in every aspect of life. Let us realize that everything changes, and we need to accept it and use it to improve the world — let change lead to new and improved forms instead of a new version of the old form.