If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him, by Sheldon B. Kopp

One of the best books I have ever read is ‘If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him’, by Sheldon B. Kopp, although I’m very weary of recommending it to people. I think you need to be at a very specific intersection in your life journey to appreciate it. I’ve resisted reviewing it because I think the takeaway from reading it depends very much on your personal life experience (so far) and that my interpretation of this book will be very different to somebody elses.

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For me at least this book blew my mind. In fact after a couple of chapters I had to put it down for a couple of days while my brain masticated and digested this (perceived) Damascusian experience. I’m still not completely done thinking, which is definitely the sign of something happening under the hood. Either this book has had a profound effect on me… or its indicative that I’m not really used to this level of cognition and that the machinery is starting to seize.

I recently read Jordan B. Peterson’s, 12 rules for life. Our Lego didn’t really click, to use a William Gibson-ism, but I’ve noticed myself burning on simmer since reading it, which has led to some big, weird feelings of resentment. (which is strange, since I agree with him on almost everything) I decided I needed to unpack these feelings.

I’ve realized I’ve reached some sort of a tipping point with lifestyle advice, I’m pretty much done.

I’m done with books and podcasts that tell me (often quite sanctimoniously) how to hack my life, how to improve, what rules I need to follow to lead an efficient, happy, fuck-free minimalist life. I’m done with morning rituals, done with 4 hour work weeks, done being so good I can’t be ignored, done with not giving a fuck, done with discipline equaling freedom and done with twelve rules to live my life by, done with all of it.  Thank you very much and fuck you all.

My life is actually fine.

Contrary to what everyone has been telling me.

There is fortunately or unfortunately no Buddha and no Zen wisdom that comes with him. There is only me and I am the Buddha. (In your case, you). I think maybe I needed to wade through all this drivel first in order to come to this conclusion, an answer that is the sum of all my previous experiences, something where you can’t skip to the end or hack your way to the conclusion. I think that is true, so I don’t regret the time I’ve spent on this exercise.

I also think that I’ve gotten through to the other side. And if the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel turns out to be a train, I think I’m okay with that. I quite like trains.