Haunted by Heraclitus

Heraclitus is not merely turning in his grave, he’s haunting his inspirations.

It appears that an image of a painting that was inspired by Heraclitus’ aphorism the way up is the way down somehow underwent a vertical flip somewhere out on the aether, such that the way up is quite literally the way down:

Maisner's 'The Way Up Is the Way Down'

The Up-Way Up

(How Maisner painted it)

Maisner's 'The Way Up Is the Way Down'

The Up-Way Down

(how I found it)

I encountered this painting by Bernard Maisner on the online Harvard Square Library. I came across the image on the right while searching for an abstract representation of the theme of the aphorism. When I posted it, I asked for Maisner’s permission, and—to make a short story shorter—he very gracefully noted that the image was upside down.

It turns out that the orientation of the actual painting is significant, as it contains text that is somewhat more readable when up-side-up.