Friday, December 19, 2008

Changeless Change Agent

Christine and I visited Ephesus last year. One of this ancient city’s early philosopher’s was Heraclitus who lived from 535 BC – 475 BC. He is known for his doctrine of change as central to the universe and for establishing the term Logos (λόγος) to mean both the source of and fundamental order of the Cosmos. He said, “Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει,” which translated means “everything flows, nothing stands still.” He also said, “Nothing endures but change,” a variant of which is the easily recognized, “The only constant is change.”

On the one hand I suffer change. Recently I noted the physical changes that accompany aging. The mirror is no longer my friend. The curmudgeon who peers at me is not someone with whom I want to have coffee. Yet Christine lives with him. It’s a good thing that memory fades with age – hers that is. She cannot recall how svelte and beautiful was the young man with whom she fell in love over forty years ago.

On the other hand I am a fan of change. I love rapid advances in electronic toys and tools. All of us are enthusiasts of continuous improvement. Consumers demand faster service, superior products, lower prices. It is critical for businesses to be asking what they should be doing and what should be done differently.

Every ascendant political leader pledges change. It’s implicit in the election process.
Have you looked at Barak Obama’s website? You should. It is a marketing masterpiece based upon the theme of change, specifically ‘Change is Coming.’ Canadian conservatives are hoping that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent foray into the land where angels fear to tread will have informed him of his need to change his approach to working with the opposition in this minority parliament.

I concede that inherent within life itself is change. Yet Heraclitus slipped when he said, “This universe, … has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire, kindling itself by regular measures and going out by regular measures.” Mistakenly he was satisfied that logos was simply ‘reason’ within the universe. My commitment is rather to this understanding of the cosmos. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Further, “In the beginning was the (Logos) Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory.” And you shall call his name Emmanuel, meaning ‘God with us’. The designer and effecter of change is none other than the changeless one about whom Hebrews’ author wrote, “he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

This is the website for the President Elect
This is the site of his presidential election campaign
This is the Obama store for products bearing his name

Harper’s Conservative website

Harper's Store

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