Let me first just say that I am in no way qualified to make any authoritative statements in the generally accepted context, and in fact, I'm overly influenced by a very random connect-the-dots set of reading habits.
I have smart friends, people who spend time thinking, reading and writing deliberately about the meaning of life and the nature of reality. I married a smart friend, in fact, and he reads nonfiction exclusively, knows most of what goes on in the world and drinks accordingly. I have good friends who went to seminary, friends with advanced degrees, friends who've made it big and even more friends who did none of those things but possess keen common sense. Any of them could probably put me in my place and some of them have.
So I'm always surprised to find myself getting involved in some philosophical discussion about Absolute Truth or someone's metaphysics. Surprised, and a little nervous when I find out I have reading in common with someone who I'm sure is my intellectual superior.
It's much like that classic nightmare I have, about Math Class: I dream it's Now, I'm in my 40s and I'm forced to return to high school to complete Algebra, a class I always did badly in and repeated several times (with successively worse results each time.) I sit in my desk/chair unit amongst the hip and alienated teens, none of whom wants to be my friend. I am utterly humiliated, I've failed as an adult. It's just a matter of time before my friends find out.
Artist-types aren't supposed to be all that bright, and I suppose the excuse has been made for me unbeknownst by a few acquaintances. People who know me better know I'm just lazy - I wait for the information I need to come to me, and much of it does I've found. Sooner or later, everything I need to know just lands in my lap. Except Algebra, I guess.