In our last +1, we took a quick trip through the purgatory of the idiot (lol) that is the crowded and busy world of incessant inputs straight to the school of genius which is found at 101 Solitude Lane.
Today we’re going to revisit Ryan Holiday’s great book Stillness Is the Key for another gem.
Although Ryan is a modern Stoic, he tells us that ALL major philosophical and spiritual traditions point to the power of Stillness.
Get this: “It wouldn’t have mattered whether you were a pupil at the feet of Confucius in 500 BC, a student of the early Greek philosopher Democritus one hundred years later, or sitting in Epicurus’s garden a generation after that—you would have heard equally emphatic calls for this imperturbability, unruffledness, and tranquility.
The Buddhist word for it was upekkha. The Muslims spoke of aslama. The Hebrews, hishtavut. The second book of the Bhagavad Gita, the epic poem of the warrior Arjuna, speaks of samatvam, an ‘evenness of mind—a peace that is ever the same.’ The Greeks, euthymia and hesychia. The Epicureans, ataraxia. The Christians, aequanimitas.
In English: stillness.
To be steady while the world spins around you. To act without frenzy. To hear only what needs to be heard. To possess quietude—exterior and interior—on command. To tap into the dao and the logos. The Word. The Way.
Buddhism. Stoicism. Epicureanism. Christianity. Hinduism. It’s all but impossible to find a philosophical school or religion that does not venerate this inner peace—this stillness—as the highest good and as the key to elite performance and a happy life.
And when basically all the wisdom of the ancient world agrees on something, only a fool would decline to listen.”
In the context of telling us that we all need to go on an information diet and control the level of inputs we allow into our consciousness, he quotes our beloved Epictetus who tells us: “Most of us would be seized with fear if our bodies went numb, and would do everything possible to avoid it, yet we take no interest at all in the numbing of our souls.”
That’s Today’s +1.
Are you numbing your SOUL with a never-ending stream of inputs?
Let’s WAKE UP!
Shake our minds and bodies and souls out.
And stop numbing our souls with all those inputs!
Practically speaking, what’s ONE thing you KNOW you could do?
Let’s do that.