I want to describe something for you, two options in a choice available to you, right now.
Say that you have two people standing in front of you. You can ask one of the two to help you out in life. Either one can offer you help getting through, understanding the world in which you find yourself. Their methods differ, as do their messages, but in the end, you're here for the same thing from whichever of the two you choose: help with life.
On your right is a success story who tells you that if you do everything he says, without question, you will reap serious rewards for your obedience. He has standards of behavior that you might consider extraordinary, harsh penalties for failure to live up to those standards, but he also is very quick to forgive you for your failures as long as you ask him nicely and really really MEAN IT. He wants you to consider him a father figure, and he expects nothing less than your total attention, every single day. If you do just exactly what he says and thank him for the privilege, you are promised rewards beyond your dreams. If you fail him, you will suffer like you cannot even imagine for your betrayl, which he will see your failure to be. You cannot question him because he's always right; he's known to be right at all times because he says he is, and you aren't allowed to question that, either. There are plenty of testimonials to his ability to help you get by in life, no doubt. Lot of stories told on his behalf will tell you how he is passing out rewards in the here and now, all in addition to the big payoff at the end. None of the stories are clear on the causality; they never involve him simply handing you success. They're more along the lines of how he must have influenced things, leaned on the right levers to make things go your way. Still, he is happy to take credit for his actions. He has lots of rules, plenty of those, and if you do manage to follow them all, you'd probably be fine, though it helps if everyone else follows those rules the same way you do. If others aren't following those rules, then it must be due to ignorance; your job is to tell them how to obey him, and how to do it right. There's a lot of wiggle room on how to take what he said and apply it in life, and since you can't question him, you can't really get any direct clarifications on interpretations, either.
On your left, by comparison, is a guy who offers advice. He doesn't want obedience from you. He doesn't really want anything from you, other than some time and that you listen. He doesn't want to do things for you, he isn't interested in forgiveness, and he won't hand you a lollipop if you're good. He also doesn't get mad at you, doesn't punish you for being who you are, and hates to see you bend your knee to anyone out of fear. He'll be with you if you ask for help, he'll always be there when you need, but his goal is get you in a position to not need him. He likes smart people because they're interesting, and the best way to help someone become more interesting is to help them get smarter. He isn't here for fame, he isn't here for glory. He doesn't need your validation; he absolutely treasures your conversation. He's selfish, in a sense; he wants you to be better because it improves his life if you are. He can show you the truth of things, and he often does whether you want to see it or not. If you're weak, he can help you become strong, but he will NOT do it for you. Most of all, though, he wants you to simply live. Don't hurt anyone else, because that doesn't make anything better. Help others if they ask you for help, and if you're able. If you can't do that, just leave each other alone. It's a hard life, and the worst thing we can do is make it harder on somebody else. Leave each other be... but never think that you're alone, if you don't want to be. Life is hard enough without having to face it alone.
Two choices. Two stories. Your choice.