Ideals are a curse because they prevent you from thinking directly, simply and truly, when you are faced with facts. The ideal, the what should be, is an escape from what is. The what is is the fact that you are afraid—afraid of what your parents will say, of what people will think, afraid of society, afraid of disease, death; and if you face what is, look at it, go into it even though it brings you misery, and understand it, then you will find that your mind becomes extraordinarily simple, clear; and in that very clarity there is the cessation of fear.
It is my opinion that humans are largely what they make of themselves; in other words, "human nature" is not so much an empirical reality as a process of self-construction. This means that if people become what they think they are, what they think they are is exceedingly important.