Fear and desire. On one level, they are what helps us survive and perhaps gives our life part of its meaning. Yet on another level, they are the cause of perhaps an even greater part of life's suffering. Which is basically what life is. Suffering. Unless one is free from - or at least has reasonable control over - one's fears and desires. Perhaps that freedom is the only true one.
To answer the question of a friend - this is perhaps part of what I meant by some people being both more and less human than most. And no, it is not about privilege. I just do not think it is a path for the many. Most of us cherish our weaknesses.