Ross Coburn


Ross Coburn was born Hyperlexic, reading avidly at an advanced level from the age of two, a habit he has yet to kick. Neuro–atypical, but long undiagnosed, he rejected all efforts to educate him on any but his own terms, a path less taken which has proved frequently frustrating, occasionally insightful, and always interesting.

A devout Macintosh aficionado, he took Apple's 1997 'Think Different' ad campaign literally and spent years 'building his own mind', choosing from the 'Think Different' icons as examples to consider, perhaps to follow, always to learn from.

Which eventually, to his utter astonishment, brought him into first contact with an Ancient Greek philosopher named Heraclitus, recognized as being the first of four seminal thinkers, coining the terms that his peers, whose names are considerably better known as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, would adopt for their own efforts. When first reading the so–called Weeping Sage's words he parsed them effortlessly, recognizing his own thoughts expressed through different, and admittedly more eloquent metaphors, only then to further learn that these words were considered to be impenetrable by scholars to this day, and criticized in antiquity as being nimis obscurē, or 'too obscure'.

This led him to eventually publishing his first book, an exposition of Heraclitus' teachings, methods and intentions, and thus, inevitably, to writing this self–expository biographical biscuit, the tone and substance of which he finds less solid ground than he ever did the cranky old Greek whose penetrating and highly relevant wisdom he is attempting to bring to potential readers.

Ross is a native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and can be found online at, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, the latter being somewhat to his chagrin.

Smashwords Interview

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was motivated to write Heraclitus—Nimis Obscurē because I found myself in the ridiculous position of being, insofar as the Internet is able to ascertain, the only person in twenty–five hundred years to have a solid grasp of the cranky old Greek, and the thought that much more time might pass before someone else able to parse him tripped over him, as I did, was too much weight for me to drag around any longer.

Now he's published, available to current or future generations, whoever gets around to reading him first. And whether or not it happens in my lifetime, eventually someone with the right combination of interest, context and audience will find him, and his very relevant teachings and intentions will become part of a larger conversation. Which is good enough for me.

As to becoming an indie author, ​in particular, I'd like to claim some sort of ethical stance or weird circumstance, but the truth is that I am a totally unknown quantity, and Heraclitus himself is far from a household name, which hardly adds up to a recipe for commercial success.

In short, none of the publishers I approached would touch me, and I don't think many of the submissions agents really grasped what I was holding up, either. Which is on me, of course, but I've struggled with this self–promotional aspect of self–publishing more than any other.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
That's an excellent question, and one I hope to learn the answer to before long. It would be even more interesting if that answer proves to be that Smashwords has allowed me to reach new potential audiences, on a wide variety of platforms, and that doing so has contributed significantly to the number of people who read, and hopefully share, my book. Time will tell. I've only just today been accepted for distribution here after all.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Ross Coburn online

Where to buy in print


Heraclitus—Nimis Obscurē
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 34,220. Language: Canadian English. Published: November 23, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Philosophy » Ancient philosophy, Nonfiction » History » Ancient
The first cohesive, consistent and compelling exposition of the Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus' tragically incomplete work On Nature. The so–called Weeping Sage, while criticized as being nimis obscurē, or 'too obscure' for his extensive use of metaphor, is universally recognized as having coined the term Λόγος, Lógos or Reason, as having special meaning, finally revealed herein.

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