Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Epistles of Heraclitus VIII

VIII. "To the same person [Hermodorus],

...They are not used to real freedom, which consists in ruling. Now, as you might expect, they obey when given orders, or, if they do not obey, they wail.Men also blame the gods because they have not enriched them. They do not blame their own foolish disposition. It is characteristic of blind men not to accept the benefits which a deity does bestow...

The Ephesians disputed the testimony of God. They will pay for their presumption and even now they are paying, as they fill themselves with wickedness. God does not punish by taking wealth away. Instead, he grants it in abundance to evil men, so that by possessing the means to commit crime they may be exposed and by having an abundance of wealth they might be able to make a dramatic display of their depravity. Poverty is merely a camouflage. May good fortune not leave you, Ephesians, so that you may be reproached for wrongdoing.

Enough of them! ... They [Ephesians] cannot retain anything, but with constant chatter they let it flow out. Athenians, since they are born from their own soil, know human nature and realize that men who have come from the earth sometimes have a cracked mind. They teach these men caution through secret mysteries, in order that they might at least keep silence out of fear, since they will not do so out of discretion. Then it is no longer difficult for the soul to practice silence."


Translated by Harold W. Attridge in "First-Century Cynicism in the Epistles of Heraclitus."

Who is Heraclitus? Check this out.

Read more of Heraclitus letters:

<-| I-IV |-| V-VI |-| VII |-| VII.1 |-| VIII |-| IX |->

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