Home » Excerpts » Be Ever More Sober

The height of cultivation
runs to simplicity.

– Bruce Lee

The great philosopher king Marcus Aurelius… wrote to himself, he must ‘fight to be the person philosophy tried to make you.’ This is why Zen philosopher Zuigan is supposed to have called out to himself every day:

‘Master – ‘ 
‘Yes, sir?’
‘Become sober.’ 
‘Yes, sir.’
‘Do not be deceived by others.’
‘Yes sir, yes sir.’

Today, we might add to that: ‘Don’t be deceived by recognition you have gotten or the amount of money in your bank account.’ We have to fight to stay sober, despite the many different forces swirling around our ego.

The historian Shelby Foote observed that ‘power doesn’t so much corrupt; that’s too simple. It fragments, closes options, mesmerizes.’ That’s what ego does. It clouds the mind precisely where it needs to be clear. Sobriety is a counterbalance, a hangover cure – or better, a prevention method.

Ego Is The Enemy
Ryan Holiday

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