Monday Poem

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Unworthy Guide
Jim Culleny

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This is the fabulous story of Heracleitus, the philosopher of Flux 

This is the very short version, in which super-misanthropic Heracleitus, who has shunned the family of Man, returns to the city from years in the woods a very sick man with bleak prospects.  He returns to find a cure for his misanthropy and decides on a odd remedy to draw out his bad humors.  He resorts to having himself covered with cow dung
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There are two versions of what happened next, depending upon who’s doing the talking. Heracleitus either drowns, weeping in dung that’s too wet; or he bakes to death under a dry Ionian sun channeling Dante

Either way, the old philosopher no doubt suffered from an information gap —a huge hole concerning the effects of a full cow-dung-immersion in certain climates.

Ignorance is an unworthy guide.

But Heraclitus lived between 540 and 480 BC,
and so, might be excused for his decisions.
He was, after all, ignorant of his ignorance.

So why does this sound so familiar, 
and what’s our excuse?

Person_heraclitus Person_heraclitus_2

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””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

Heracleitus

Who can fathom the odd notions
of philosophers?

Whether to be immersed in flux
and cowed by change to the point
of drowning yourself in cow dung, weeping;
or to bake yourself in cow dung, keeping
with cock-sure Horatio
(teller-true of dreams),
waiting long for Socrates
in the land of flaming sun,
braced and curling his digits
into a fist

That, or to say, “Grow up.
–this is our predicament,
let’s make a list.”

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