There’s this painting of the Buddha. I've seen it a hundred times. In it, he’s holding a fiery sword over his head and he has the most horrific expression. It’s as though he’s ready to chop you in half and take a bite out of your spleen.
I was told once that this aspect of Buddha was meant to break through your ego, whenever your ego got in the way of your life. It’s supposed to be a frightening image, you see? It’s supposed to scare the sense into you. I could intellectualize the concept, particularly because it applies to kundalini yoga and afterlife exercises.
Well, I guess I didn’t realize how much of this was literally true here and now. I know I didn’t. The idea that my ego might be split open while I was still alive and using it didn't exactly appeal to me. And, in the summer of 2006, it wasn’t Buddha holding the blade; it was my own life.
What does this have to do with success or with Plato, for that matter? What can I tell you? It's a book! And it's going to take a few more months (or more) before I even know!