Heraclitus, a great Western philosopher, lived in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, located in present-day Turkey. During his time, around 500 B.C., the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Zoroaster were teaching in the East. Richard G. Geldard, author of God in Concord and The Esoteric Emerson, believes that this thinker "introduced to the West the notion of Mind as the driving controlling force of the universe."

Heraclitus withdrew from active political life to devote himself to philosophical inquiry. Geldard surmises that he used alchemy — literally playing with fire — to probe the secrets of nature. He is famous for his revelation that nothing stays the same in the world around us — everything changes.

But the real leap forward in this philosopher's ponderings is a respect for the mysteries of the Divine or the logos. "You would not find out the boundaries of the soul, even by traveling along every path, so deep a measure does it have." This is one of the most quoted passages from On Nature, a work that has vanished except for a series of fragments. Geldard concludes: "Even in fragmentary form, his teaching remains essential to a genuine understanding of the human relationship to a reality beyond sensory, or materialist, perceptions." Heraclitus, you see, is a forerunner and pioneer of spiritual seeking.