Socrates once said, "You can't cross the same river twice." At least, I think it was Socrates. Perhaps it was Plato. Dammit, it was a highly celebrated Greek philosopher, that much I know for sure. Goes to show you what I know: it was Heraclitus.

Anyway, the deeper meaning to that statement is that a river is always in a state of flux, no single water molecule staying in the same place. The riverbed itself is changing also, due to the friction caused by the water flow. Then there's the erosion of the river banks... bottom line is that the saying is a metaphor for life: nothing stays the same and the greater whole changes in direct proportion to the sum of its parts, which also change.

Paradoxically, people are more often than not afraid of change. They are reluctant to go with the flow of life, fearful of what the changes might mean.

A Zen person would say that change is neither good nor bad, that it just is. But, then again, a Zen philosopher would say that in regards to just about anything, now wouldn't they? Good, bad... it's all just a matter of perspective, how a person chooses to view the world at any given moment.

While the merchant captain might see a river flood as "bad", the inland farmers and harvesters might welcome some water for their crops. While the fish might fight against the stream because their little section of the river suits them just fine, the bear downstream is eagerly and hungrily anticipating dinner. There is good and bad in everything. There is always a balance. As a person dies, there is a newborn babe blinking at a brighter world than it has ever known before. You cannot reliably see shapes in the clouds while it is storming outside.

We humans are creatures that thrive on order and organization. Anarchists, despite their cry for chaos, could do well to observe their own physiology; without the order that they so despise, they would not be cohesive organisms, order is not only in their nature, but it defines their place in the world. The 65 million-year process of evolution has gotten so orderly and refined in us humans that we knock it out in nine short months, from tadpole-like zygote to post-natal humanoid. What better argument can there be for Order than that?

The times, they are a'changin'. We cannot refute this simple truth. And you cannot cross the same river twice.

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