2 Answers

  1. This juxtaposition represents two systems of philosophical perception of the world. To put it simply: a philosopher is a person and lives among people, but he must take a detached position and somehow comprehend everything that is happening around him – reflect. The whole set of texts of ancient philosophy boils down to the fact that the philosopher should not give in to anger and other “unworthy” emotions – all that remains for him is to rejoice or grieve. And then Heraclitus and Democritus, who are the “poles” of this system, come on the scene.

    Heraclitus was saddened by everything he saw in society – he saw people living and dying senselessly and lamented their vices, trying to guide them on the right path. Democritus, on the other hand, was amused by the same senselessness, and in his witty aphorisms denounced vices, trying to turn people away from what was wrong through ridicule.

    This juxtaposition is a kind of yin and yang of ancient philosophy-a simple and harmonious system that made it possible to explain a lot – that's why the plot has taken root and is so popular with artists and philosophers to this day.

    Here is what Seneca wrote about this opposition: “Heraclitus, whenever he went out of the house and saw around him so many badly living, or rather badly dying people, began to cry and feel sorry for all the passers-by who met him, even if they were happy and happy… About Democritus, on the contrary, they say that he never appeared in public without a smile: everything that everyone around him was seriously engaged in seemed so frivolous to him. But where does anger belong here? You either have to laugh at everything or cry.”

  2. With Heraclitus, everything is clear. He understood the main flaw, yes, there is a vice, of our life, in which the life of some is the death of others, but the winners sooner or later turn out to be in the camp of losers. In a word, as a wit once said, life is a sexually transmitted disease that ends in death. Oddly enough, but it was precisely this look that made Democritus laugh at the stupidity of the life-loving people – they found something to be happy about. Isn't that funny? Democritus ' view was very close to the Buddhist one, as was the general understanding of the world as a game / lila of atoms/dharmas. Isn't this what the Buddha smiled at in his meditations? Although most likely the fact that he found a way out of this meat grinder.

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