Ryu Ji-woo’s return to secular life triggered hot searches. He took the initiative to cut his salary and earned 20,000 yuan a month. He sold 16 online psychology courses for 980 yuan.

“Three Kingdoms, Book of Shu, Biography of Zhuge Liang” once mentioned that Zhuge Liang wrote to his brother Zhuge Jin who was far away in Soochow, saying: “Zhan is eight years old now. He is smart and cute. I think he has matured too early, so I am afraid he will not be valued.” .”

It can be seen from this passage that Zhuge Liang, as the wisest man in the Three Kingdoms, was also worried that his son was too smart when he was young and would not become a talent when he grew up. Facts have proved that many “smart” people fail to achieve high achievements when they grow up. Why is this?

Liu Zhiyu from Wuhan, Hubei Province, had outstanding intelligence since childhood. He was recommended to Peking University after graduating from high school. He applied for a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States but did not go to school. In the end, despite the opposition of his family, he went to Longquan Temple alone to become a monk.

So, what does Ryu Ji-woo’s becoming a monk mean? Some people think that his becoming a monk means the failure of Chinese education; others think that his becoming a monk means the victory of metaphysics over science.

In the eleven years since Liu Zhiyu became a monk, people have been thinking and arguing, but they have not yet received a consistent answer.

A mathematical genius’ path to becoming a monk

According to recent media reports, Ryu Ji-woo has left the mountain and returned to secular life, and the matter quickly became a hot topic. Later, Liu Jiyu himself responded positively to the matter of returning to the secular world. He said that he had actually returned to the secular world during the Spring Festival of 2022.

Currently, Liu Zhiyu has taken a job in a psychological counseling agency and actively requested a salary cut to 20,000 yuan. Moreover, he also sells his own psychology courses online, priced at 980 yuan for 16 courses.

Ryu Ji-woo became a monk because he was tired of worldly utility. Now that he has returned to secular life, he says that he wants to promote the integration of Eastern traditional culture and Western psychology. Is it really that simple? of course not.

An insider said: Liu Zhiyu became a monk because he admired Shi Xuecheng, the abbot of Longquan Temple. However, the abbot was suddenly exposed in a major scandal of “harassing female disciples” four years ago, and Liu Zhiyu’s faith collapsed.

In the whole matter, Liu Jiyu did not act like a “wise man”, but like a young fan who failed to chase stars and whose idol collapsed. The reason for this phenomenon is that he was too smart when he was a child.

“Shishuo Xinyu” says: “It may not be better when you are young.” What it means here is that if a person is too clever when he is young, he may not necessarily be successful when he grows up. The reason for this is probably the following two situations:

One is like the protagonist in “Shang Zhongyong”. He was too smart when he was a child, and his parents pampered him and spoiled him all the time, taking him to show off his “smartness” among relatives and friends. Over time, both children and parents become lazy, and naturally they have no future when they grow up.

The other kind is like Huang Rong in “The Legend of the Condor Heroes”. He is obviously the smartest person in the book, but his martial arts has always been second-rate. Because the things she has learned are too complex, she cannot concentrate on one kind of martial arts, and if she is not specific enough, she cannot reach the ultimate level.

Liu Jiyu’s academic performance from elementary school to university has been very outstanding, so he obviously does not fall into the first situation. He majored in mathematics when he was a student, and only specialized in Zen after becoming a monk in 2010, so he does not fall into the second situation.

So the question arises at this time: Has Ryu Ji-woo gotten rid of the curse of “it’s time”? If you understand Ryu Ji-woo’s life experience, you will find that he is actually a “lame genius.”

Academically and professionally, Ryu Ji-woo is outstanding. However, in terms of human sophistication and understanding of the meaning of life, his mind may not be very mature yet.

To give a very simple example, if Liu Zhiyu really chose to become a monk after becoming “enlightened”, then he should understand in his heart that the Buddha said: “Everything is empty.”

How can there be any good and evil in the world, how can there be any right and wrong? According to the Diamond Sutra, aren’t these all dreamy bubbles “like dew and like lightning”? The abbot has done evil, and the laws of the country have punished him. Blow into a pool of spring water and do your business

Since you have chosen to become a monk, you should practice well in the temple. Now we are trying to “use foreign things for China”, trying to divide Western psychology and Chinese metaphysics, and then “save the world”. What’s the point?

Don’t you know that according to Buddhist teachings, all sufferings suffered by people in the world are “self-inflicted sins” and are “responses for reincarnation”? Since it is all “self-inflicted” and “reincarnation reward”, why do we need others to save us?

Liu Zhiyu’s current behavior of wanting to save the common people has already gone counter to what he had thought when he became a monk eleven years ago. If today is right and yesterday was wrong, then we can now say that Ryu Ji-woo’s choice back then may have been wrong.

Now let’s look back and see why Liu Jiyu became a monk in the first place, and why he wants to return to secular life now? Liu Zhiyu is a native of Wuhan, Hubei, and was born into a family of senior intellectuals. His father is a physics teacher and his mother is an engineer.

Liu Zhiyu’s parents attached great importance to education and the family’s financial situation was very good, so they enrolled him in the Mathematical Olympiad class when he was in the fourth grade of elementary school. Liu Jiyu studied really hard and won the Mathematical Olympiad gold medal in an international competition when he was less than 17 years old.

His parents were very concerned about Liu Zhiyu’s studies, but unfortunately, they raised him to be a “nerd”. In order to let their son focus on mathematics, Liu Zhiyu’s parents actually asked the school’s physical education teacher to falsify his physical education results.

As a result, this incident led to Liu Jiyu being ridiculed, excluded, and isolated by his classmates. Everyone should know that geniuses are very easy to feel lonely. In this case, Liu Zhiyu’s inner pressure doubled.

Liu Zhiyu’s inner troubles and depression could not be resolved and digested for a long time, so he could only read some profound “philosophical” books by himself. He said that he wanted to know what the meaning of life is.

But Liu Zhiyu’s father and mother didn’t have time to tell him that his classmates might not think it was so profound yet. So what “philosophical” book did he read? He read “Zhuangzi” and later went to Peking University and came into contact with the “Buddhist Society”.

If you do not learn Buddhism and Taoism well, it is easy to have some wrong understandings of “monasticism”. Liu Zhiyu fully thought that Longquan Temple was the “Pure Land” mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures, but he might have been wrong.

Because Liu Zhiyu’s classmates had long warned him that wherever there are people, there are rivers and lakes, and the temple is actually more hierarchical than outside. Unfortunately, the naive Liu Zhiyu did not believe what his classmates said.

He spent eleven years of his youth in the temple, read hundreds of Buddhist scriptures, and wrote countless papers. The fruits of his labor were stolen by others. He still did not wake up until the abbot Shi Xuecheng was convicted and sentenced for the “scandal”.

Of course, Liu Jiyu is actually very lucky. Because although he has taken a detour for more than ten years, fortunately he is only 33 years old, still very young, and his future is still very long.

At the same time, Liu Zhiyu has a high degree from Peking University and is now a social celebrity. After returning to secular life, you can easily earn a high monthly salary of 20,000 yuan and be able to do what you want. These are things that ordinary people can’t even dream of.

Let’s look back at the beginning of the article. Why did Zhuge Liang say that his son was too smart when he was a child and might not be able to achieve anything when he grows up?

Maybe Zhuge Liang is not worried that his child will be spoiled by his brother Zhuge Jin, nor is he worried that his child will learn too many things and be unable to concentrate.

In fact, what Zhuge Liang is really worried about may be that his children will be exposed to some esoteric knowledge prematurely when they lack experience in the world, and will eventually be unable to digest this knowledge, thus entering a “world” that should not belong to him.

For example, Liu Zhiyu back then, if he had been a little bit more “stupid”, he might not have thought about “why should I live”, so he would not have read “Zhuangzi” and “Diamond Sutra”, that is, These eleven years will not be wasted.


Professor Wang Defeng of Fudan University once said that Chinese universities should popularize psychology as soon as possible. Let students learn psychological knowledge earlier, which can reduce a lot of depression.

Because many young people who don’t understand psychology do a lot of stupid things and even commit suicide blindly just because they don’t understand the meaning of life.

Ancient Taoist and Buddhist books such as “Laozi”, “Zhuangzi” and “Diamond Sutra” have indeed been exploring and studying the original meaning of human existence, but those theories are still a bit too old and too vague.

If Liu Zhiyu had first come into contact with modern “Social Psychology”, or if he had met a teacher like Professor Wang Defeng, then he might have understood the truth that “loneliness is the normal state of life”.

Even if Ryu Ji-woo doesn’t choose to become a mathematician in the end, at least he won’t go to a temple to become a monk. Even if you really feel that only Buddhism can liberate your soul, you don’t necessarily have to become a monk.

After all, Jigong Living Buddha once said: After wine and meat pass through the intestines, the Buddha will sit in his heart. The classics of Zen Buddhism also say: “Know your original mind and become a Buddha by seeing your nature.” Now that I have Buddha in my heart, why do I need to go to a temple to worship every day?

It can be seen that Ryu Ji-woo chose to become a monk eleven years ago because this genius may have had “some mental health problems.” But fortunately he is Ryu Ji-woo, and fortunately he is so famous, so he can make a comeback after eleven years.

If it were a less famous student, if he made a wrong choice, his whole life might be over. Therefore, while Chinese universities and students’ parents pay close attention to students’ academic performance, they should also pay enough attention to their mental health.

Of course, the above discussion is only a simple analysis based on some things related to Liu Jiyu, and it must not be the real reason why he chose to become a monk and now returns to secular life. After all, people’s hearts are unpredictable.