It Is Not For Kings To Drink Wine

I am not a member of the local temperance league, I am not one who looks down upon others who drink, I am not one who refuses to be around booze. I have, though, learned to watch meticulously for that which edifies me and that which does not and to avoid the latter as much as possible.

Alcohol was a minor joy in my life and a minor curse, which is likely true for many other people. It was often at close hand, but offered little benefit. When my wife told me she was pregnant some years back, on a chilly Chicago night, I gave up drink with her. How quickly I realized how little I missed it.

It was a social lubricant. But I do not need a social lubricant in order to dig down into myself and give those around me the best me that I can. It was an excuse for a conversation. But I do not need an excuse for a conversation in order to have those conversations. It was a reason to take a pause in the day with a friend or a stranger. I do not need a reason to take a pause in the day with a friend or a stranger, some days are liberally filled with them. It was a fun reason to visit wineries. I do not need a fun reason to visit wineries. In wine there is truth, it is said. In wine there is a looser tongue, perhaps. In sobriety, there is a clear mind. That clear mind diligently applied is how I choose to work on myself and hunt down truth.

There is a libertine segment of the world that encourages all manner of drugs upon those around them. They may have some drug that is always at easy reach to help cope with the challenges of life. It’s almost a guarantee that if you have some drug at easy reach that you are coping with life and have built yourself a life tolerable rather than a life ideal, that you are not striving for excellence.

As long as the drug is within easy reach, you will never see the thing that so bothers you. The drug will always be an obstacle to that. And even if it is only a small thing that bothers you, once you clear your head enough and confront the discomfort, confront the pain, confront the disquiet, that process becomes a process one can very quickly become good at as he or she looks around life realizing how good it felt to get rid of the minor discomfort at its root, rather than merely using a palliative.

With this new tool in hand — this embracing of life’s pain for what it is — much good can be done. Pain can serve many purposes in life. One of the many purposes pain serves is as an important indicator that change is needed. It is an indicator that change is needed, rather than a palliative to disguise the pain for another day. That person who has disposed of the small thing looks around life asking “What else can I dispose of?” “What else do I not need?” “What else would be edifying to clear out?”

Before you know it, it becomes fun to clear out the bad and bring in the good, or to clear out the mediocre and bring in the great.

The most beloved drugs among polite company in this era are alcohol, marijuana, pain relievers, prescriptions (both prescribed and unprescribed), entertainment, coffee, shopping, sex, work, and food.

A drug is that which separates you from your experience of reality. I do not know if any of the above, or other drugs, separate you from your experience of reality. I do not know you. That is for you to determine. I know many who are separated from their experience of reality because of the above.

It’s a common behavior among the facile in every era, but our era — in the midst of such massive decay, driven in part by such tremendous decadence, which takes place alongside the trends of modernity and the ease with which technology can be harnessed to create a virtually unlimited supply of distracting palliatives — yes our era, has a special love of drugs.

One dictionary defines facile as “Appearing neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue.” Ours is the era of the facile. Ours is the era of the frivolous.

The list of common drugs above, in fact, need not be a drug. This is entirely dependent on the individual. Anything on this list can be used without being an obstacle to one’s experience of reality. In practice, it’s hard for an exogenous substance not to become a drug, nearly impossible. It’s also easy to construct a narrative as one uses an exogenous substance. That is to lie. The truth of one’s relationship to that substance becomes more clear when one is not using an exogenous substance. To be without all exogenous substances can be a hard state to get to. For this and other reasons, fasting and prayer can really focus the mind. To be constantly vigilant of drugs in your life can take some practice.

This much is always true: When change is needed to get you to the next level in life, if you let it be, a drug will always be at easy reach to help keep you right where you are.

If your knees, or hands, or back hurt because of work, it’s not for lack of a drug that your pain has been caused, it’s for lack of care for yourself. Some other root problem exists. Popping a pill, having a stiff drink, gorging yourself, binge watching is not the solution to the root problem. If your heart aches because of your work, if your family struggles because of your work, if your life is miserable because of your work there is some root cause. It is not for lack of a drug that you experience this pain.

The face mask is a lie. Obesity, infirmity, lack of nutrition, lack of exercise, lack of health, lack of care are the reasons for severe Covid-19 illnesses, Covid-19 deaths, and so many other preventable illnesses and deaths. It is not the lie of a face mask that prevents. It does the exact opposite, it sacrifices lives by distracting from that which matters. The face mask is ineffective, unsafe, and in a healthy population it is entirely experimental. You are being told by the world to ignore yourself and your needs and to put another silly and confusing obstacle in your way on your path toward excellence in life, whatever that excellence looks like for you. It doesn’t stop there, though. You are told to put that obstacle into the life of your child. You, dear parent, are told to put another obstacle in the path to a child’s excellence. 

Could a child possibly need another obstacle in life? 

Nor does it stop there. 

You are told to put that obstacle into the lives of your employees, your customers, your family, your friends, to tolerate it at work, in the hospital, on transport, in government buildings. You are assured that your world will be brought to an end if you say “No!” If you help put obstacles to excellence in the path of everyone around you, don’t be surprised when everything around you at once finds itself in a state of sudden and irreparable decay. It is a precious and fickle thing, this thing we call life, and it doesn’t take kindly to those who so capriciously take prosperity for granted, by claiming to be above reality. Don’t say yes to that lie another day. Don’t let it be worn in your presence. Don’t acquiesce to this nonsense. Say “No!” to the lie. Say “No!” to the decay. 

The face mask is so much more than a face mask. 

If you want ways to free yourself from this tyranny that has taken hold of life “Face Masks in One Lesson, my writing, and the email newsletter at ( are full of videos, classes, activism opportunities, and resources that I rise every morning to carefully craft for you, dear reader, my fellow lion, my fellow king, my dear queen, to pursue truth ever more boldly in this world that wants no such thing from you. 

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