Life comes with a series of complex, never ending questions. Sometimes, people are able to keep their sanity and function with the words of Seneca, Boethius, Jesus Christ, Muhammed and other systems of thoughts (Recently, celebrities have replaced some of these icons). These words are more valuable to humans than any sort of money or material object, for it helps us live our lives without too many questions. However, their massive appeal and usability lead to their downfall, because it’s impossible to share the same reference point of the author, and hence many ideas don’t apply to you, and you don’t know which ones.
For instance, look at the problem with homosexuality in the bible. Be good, and don’t be gay. For a large majority of people, they’ll be good, and they won’t be gay. They weren’t gay in the first place, so it’s no problem. But, what of the other 1%? This mass adoption of values causes so much anxiety, stress, and destroyed relationships.
Life is like playing professional basketball. You can read about all the players, and you can know every team, and you can think you’ll know who’s going to win and why, but you won’t be playing basketball. These values have a lot of merit, but by simply learning the values, we never learny _why _they were set in the first place. We can’t replicate being Seneca, and hence we can’t know why he said what he said.
My father told me this many times, but I never truly understood. Take the words of the philosopher, but your only true teacher is experience. It is what tells you right and wrong. Form your own opinions, and test them in the real world. At least that’s the only way, for me at least, to stay true to myself.