A series of writings describes Hellenistic philosophy as spiritual guidance. Starting from a selection of Heraclitean fragments, this essay considers whether it is possible to read pre-Socratic philosophy as spiritual guidance. Its conclusion is that one cannot talk about spiritual guidance in the case of Heraclitus since he does not accompany the scholar in his search for understanding and because his teachings are not meant to be followed strictly and diligently. Finally, Heraclitus sets the impersonal Logos as a teacher; he himself does not accept any human teachings. The only accepted learning comes through one's own experience; no-one can pass his wisdom on to anyone else. Moreover, the teachings of Heraclitus do not soothe man's grief or offer any eschatol-ogy; on the contrary, they are meant to deprive his listeners of all security. His teaching goes no further than to encourage the scholar in his own search for understanding. Only insofar as Heraclitus' teachings lead to psychic autonomy can we call them therapeutic
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/bpjam.3.02ste
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