In 500 BC Heraclitus of Ephesus is credited with observing the only constant is change itself; an idea he expressed in the saying, “No man ever steps in the same river twice”.
I’ve been thinking about the idea that the only thing we can count on is change, and it occurs to me we’ve got it wrong.
The idea of change suggests there is a constant. That one thing is steady and eventually, it changes.
What if we were to suggest nothing is constant? That in fact, the idea of a steady-state is but an illusion.
The more I think about it the more trouble I have coming up with any example of a steady-state. Things we might think of as immovable: the sun always rising, the oceans always wet, are in fact only illusions of time. The sun won’t always rise no more than the oceans will always be wet. Only from our perspective are these things stable. Viewed on a grander timescale they are as plastic as everything in the universe.
Which means things aren’t always changing, they are more importantly never sitting still.
The difference between the two might sound more semantic than important but for me, it matters.
It matters because getting our worldview in line with reality helps us understand how everything works.
Maybe only true nerds like me care, but I thought I would share.