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The average man's mode of living becomes fixed by routine, by convention, and by the community. Unless he is an exceptional person, he is not particularly interested in teachings and counsel that directly oppose the desires, feelings, inclinations that he has come to regard as normal. No matter how true those teachings may be or how excellent the counsel, he will remain deaf to both until whipped into an about-face listening to them by sheer pressure of last-resort necessity, the desperate attempt to find relief or escape when all the usual channels fail him. Suffering becomes first his awakener and later his tutor.

-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 1: Situation > # 309

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