Heraclitus’ Conception of the Universe and SpiritJune 27, 2021
According to Heraclitus, “I”, that is, psykhe, and “being” seem to be intertwined. It should not be forgotten that the concept of Heraclitus, taken in the sense of self, corresponds to psyche, which is also used in the sense of spirit.
According to him, the human ego or soul has two aspects. The first of these is related to aisthesis, that is, the aspect that establishes a physical connection with the being in a certain sense. This aspect manifests itself with the sense organs and acquires certain sense data from the universe. The second aspect of the ego or soul is the noesis aspect. This second aspect mainly corresponds to the mind, and it is this aspect that will process the data presented by the sense organs.
The human soul or ego has two aspects, aisthesis and noesis. The first of these provides physical contact with the universe through the sense organs, and the other provides the processing of the sensory data obtained from this contact and thus accessing the knowledge of the logos law in the universe.
According to Heraclitus, everything is a logos. Part of this logo belongs to me. So I is a small logos. There is also a place where it manifests, and that place is the cosmos as a whole. So everything is part of a logo, and while I am a small logos, the universe expresses the logo itself, the big logo.
The human cosmos is in a structure that can understand because the perception structures of the human ego are in a position to organize reality. There is a harmony between the universe and me. However, the dog’s perception forms are different from the human ego, and therefore the dog’s reality is also different from the human’s. The thoughts of Heraclitus on this subject can be expressed with the following formula; “logos = small logos + cosmos”
According to Heraclitus, there is harmony between the forms of the human ego, that is, the logical structure and the logical structure of the world. They are such that they balance each other. In his words, they are the unity of opposites.
According to Heraclitus, the cosmos is like a big book. This is the basis of his philosophy. What is written in the book of the universe is the manifestation of the universe. Sense perceptions, on the other hand, in a sense correspond to the writings of this book. In a sense, these writings are the parts of the universe that appear in my mind. In addition, the person himself is like a book. Since the writings of both books are the same, they can understand each other.
Greek philosophy has exhibited a religious structure from the very beginning. The most basic philosophical assumption about the cosmos is that the cosmos is a divine structure and the nous, both inside and outside of it, can understand this structure. There is a reciprocal link between the self and the universe, and God has surrounded both of these structures. However, this structure based on organic integrity was dissolved in time by the influence of some philosophers.
Here, Heraclitus was one of the thinkers based on this integrity principle. According to him, it was necessary to know the language of the book of the universe. The appearances were the writings in this book, and according to him, the writing and the meaning were inseparable. Meaning was something that could only be revealed to those who knew that language. Sense data alone would not be enough to reveal this. Heraclitus’ real purpose lay much deeper. His concern was an informational enlightenment in which man would ultimately discover himself. What does self-discovery mean? For this purpose, both the senses and the mind are just tools. The goal is to understand the cosmos. Those before Heraclitus looked at the universe and nature only with their senses and therefore only saw the visible parts of the universe. However, according to Heraclitus, to understand the cosmos means to understand the total existence. It is necessary to understand the cosmos along with its art and religion.
According to Heraclitus, there is a law in the cosmos. This law is lagos. In Greek philosophy up to Heraclitus, logos is a multidimensional word loaded with many meanings such as law, reason, sentence, thought, measure, understanding. The purpose of man is to understand that everything in the universe is one, and logos expresses this unity. At this point, logos and God are identified.
With a further move of thought, Heraclitus identified the universe with this logos, moreover, saying that the cosmos is made of fire (pyr), he also identified the logo with fire in an extremely closed style; “Logos or God = Cosmos = Fire (Pyr)”
The Heraclitus understanding of the universe is based on the idea that the logo is identical with the God Cosmos and Fire, and is formulated as follows; “Logos or God = Cosmos = Fire (Pyr)”
Now, considering this principle, those who turn to the universe only with their senses know only the appearance of the universe. However, the goal is to understand the cosmos and the divine law in the cosmos, namely logos or fire. This law is the law of nature and reason. In this sense, Heraclitus did not distinguish between the law of nature and the law of reason. This means that the law called logos is dominant both in the physical world, in my mind and in the divine realm.
According to Heraclitus, one of the main manifestations of this legality is temperance. Everything in the universe occurs according to a certain measure. Anyone who does not comply will be punished no matter what. This idea was also found in Xenophanes, albeit in core form. According to Xenophanes, there is a being that makes everything it wants with its thinking. request