I have been reminded by amothman of my earlier promise to delve further into the enlightenment of Harold Waldwin Percival, and of his book <i>Thinking and Destiny</i>. And since his reminder comes coincident with a greater increase in search engine traffic by seekers looking for the meaning of Heraclitus’ “character is fate” (<i>ethos anthropos daimon</i>), it may be a good time to keep my promise.
So, to begin….
“Character is fate” is the usual translation of ethos anthropos daimon. It is one of the famous sayings of the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy once honoured Heraclitus by referring to him as “the Greek Buddha.”
Although I posted something earlier about the meaning of “ethos anthropos daimon,” (with which I was not too happy anyway), it has now become one of the most sought out phrases in the online search engines guiding readers to The Chrysalis. So, maybe some further brief clarification is in order for those seeking to understand what Heraclitus meant.
I have read three books recently which more or less adequately account for the present deplorable state of the human condition in Late Modernity. They are Pitrim Sorokin’s The Crisis of Our Age, Rene Guenon’s The Reign of Quantity, and Gabriel Marcel’s Man Against Mass Society. Taken together, rather than separately, they provide an adequate diagnosis of our malaise at “the end of history” which they do not fully accomplish separately.