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How Constants in Life’s Formula Work: Mobility plus Variety equals Life

Updated on March 1, 2017

Among my favorite philosophical quotes is Heraclitus' “No one steps on the same river twice.”

I was in my MAE (Master of Arts in Education) Philosophy class in 1988 when I first encountered this statement. My instant question was, why did he say this? Of course, at that time my normal way of thinking could not see the logic of this statement, I can always step on the same river a million of times if I so desired. There was no answer for me at that time, theorizing and philosophizing were shallow justifications to that statement.

I had to live years more when Heraclitus' statement recur every now and then in which it gradually unfolds and makes sense in my mind; it helps me understand certain present situations in a given time as I live my life on.

The river has a natural current that keeps it flowing and pushing downward towards the direction of the ultimate body of water, the sea or the ocean. The next time you step on it, it won’t be the same water you had stepped on previously.

Similarly, life has several “currents” that keep it moving. But unlike the river where the flow is just downward and coming from just one direction which is from a higher ground, “currents” in life come from various directions and can go astray, upward, downward, sideward or is sidetracking to nowhere in a variety of forms and degrees.

Most often if one is not aware of it, and always the case for those who understand the workings of the psyche, the strongest currents come from within the person and these forces or currents invite allies from outside forces to strengthen and perpetuate its natural tendency.

To cite an example

Among the millions of complexities and varieties of “currents” or forces that cause one’s life to move is either the lack or the excess of money; along with money is what money can buy and where money comes from.

Again, in a variety of reasons, money is a constant in every person’s mind and life eventually. One major reason though, is that money is a tool to make the quality of living better or worse, depending on its availability on one’s life and on the degree, variety, complexity, number among others, of the “current”, needs or desires to be met for a certain individual in a given time.

How money become a current or force that move my life

My sight, my smile and eating (teeth), my breath, my health, among other parts of my body are necessary for my existence and enjoyment in life. Without money and the source of money (people, loved ones) that care enough for me to live normally then I won’t have life now; it would either be literally dead or just existing.

A river or a body of water that had sidetracked from the main river because of a flood and some other reasons, and which had stayed in that new location, will eventually either stink, discolor and become a habitat of deadly bacteria (therefore detrimental to the environment and its inhabitants particularly people), for being stagnant or just dry up through evaporation on the air and the heat of the sun. It is not a river anymore but an offshoot, a dead offshoot.

I would have been blind, toothless and ugly, famished due to selective eating being toothless, and worse, just exist counting the days of short and difficult breathing condition till breath would completely run out; dead.

These names will live on with me; Rey, Ronald, Greg. I call them the extension of my life; their pockets are their investments, not to mention their love.

Rey is my son and my sight, Ronald is philanthropist friend and my smile, and last but not the least, Greg is my hubby and my heart and breath.

Can you follow how the river flows, ere, the direction of my thinking? From Plato to my life, the current lives on or the forces live on. The formula is just an integral part, if not implied.


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