It is the constant tension between Parmenides and Heraclitus — those Pre-Socratic philosophers who first looked for a metaphysical foundation in comprehending the complexity of the universe. In general, the former is known for his view about the ”oneness” of the universe; the latter, famously attributed with the statement that “No man steps into the same river twice”. Both address the issue of the encounter with “Being” as Being itself, and not for any particular being.
Do the perspectives and philosophical beliefs of such “ancients” matter to us today? Of course, we have only mere fragments of the writings of both philosophers, and so any attribution of thought may be tenuous, at best. Nevertheless, it is the ongoing and historical tension between the two lines of thought which has any relevance or applicability for the modern individual. That tension has to do with the manner in which we live, the outlook of our perspectives and the human need for constancy in a universe that often seems to be in perpetual turmoil.
Whether on a “macro” scale — i.e., of world affairs, the domestic front or even local news — one needs only to turn on the television to recognize the multifarious troubles of daily life. Or, on the “micro”, more personal side: perhaps the illness of a loved one; the loss of a job; interpersonal relationships deteriorating — or a medical condition that has become chronic, where a Federal or Postal employee is concerned.
We all seek stability — a view like Parmenides’ philosophy — where we seek to have a sense of calm and quietude. But the fact is that reality seems to always favor Heraclitus — of life as a stream that changes minute-to-minute, and a medical condition represents just that: a state of constant flux where stability will not yield.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to find some stability in their lives, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the next logical step out of the turmoil and crisis that is created at work.
Seek the advice and counsel of a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to know your full rights. Seeking stability in a world of turmoil is a very human need which we all desire, and for the Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal job, the pathway of Parmenides is preferable to the rivers of Heraclitus.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire