A therapist friend of mine has a number of outstanding clients right now, many of whom are young men who are very intelligent … and lost. Sometimes their lostness is due to having set the bar so high for themselves; failure to clear the self-imposed high bar produces suffering.
When we put ourselves in a furnace of our own suffering, it can have the effect of burning away our impurities, clarifying and purifying our gifts. It’s a viable approach, but not the only one. There is also something to be said for taking the path with less pain.
Leonard Cohen said he was tired of defending opinions he only half believed in. Putting that away, becoming simple but not simplistic, learning on one’s best assessment and a large dose of humility. This is also a viable path to wisdom.
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