On reading

FOLLOWING up my answer on Ask a Philosopher, Classic texts for the beginning student I went on a Google search for a quote about Wittgenstein that I remember from Rush Rhees Without Answers: his advice not to "seek comfort or stimulus in this or that".
     All that came up were my own pages:

     Pathways to Philosophy study guide 4

     Glass house philosopher notebook I page 17

     Sophist weblog page 13

     Had I been imagining the quote — all this time? I didn't have a copy of Without Answers (it was a public library loan from decades back). So I tried the search "comfort and stimulus" + "Wittgenstein" and found this gem on Google Books, from A Companion to Wittgenstein on Education: Pedagogical Investigations edited by Michael A. Peters, Jeff Stickney:

     What does Wittgenstein mean by slow learning, then, and on what grounds does he value it? His remarks on this in Culture and Value occur in the context of reflections on art, especially poetry and music. At 34e, where we also find his remark about the winner coming last to the winning post, he quotes Longfellow's poem The Builders:

     In the elder days of art
     Builders wrought with greatest care
     Each minute and unseen part,
     For the gods are everywhere.

This stanza was so important to Wittgenstein that he considered adopting it as a motto for the Philosophical Investigations (Brenner 1999, p.11). In fact, the last line is not Longfellow's: he wrote 'For the gods see everywhere'. The alteration may be intentional (Baker and Hacker 2005, p.32). Wittgenstein's version of it strongly recalls a remark attributed to the early Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, usually quoted as 'there are gods everywhere'. The next stanza seems to confirm that Wittgenstein had this in mind, whether he changed the wording in the previous stanza deliberately or unconsciously:

     Let us do our work as well,
     Both the unseen and the seen;
     Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
     Beautiful, entire, and clean.

     It is worth recalling the context which supposedly occasioned Heraclitus's famous remark. Some visitors had come to see the celebrated philosopher and were disconcerted to find him warming himself at his stove, as if such an everyday activity was incompatible with his status and reputation. The story is told by Aristotle (De Partibus Animalium I 5.645a16-23): Heraclitus 'urged his visitors to come in without fear, for there were gods there too'. We might express this by saying he reminded them that the element of the sublime that they expected to find was indeed present in the room, in the must mundane particulars (Gregoric 2001). There is thus a nice irony in that Heraclitus denies them the kind of profound philosophical observation that they seek (of the sort they could proudly relate to their friends back home) and in doing so offers them one worth their visit, if they have the wit to see it.
     We are to take our time then and run the race slowly, by being prepared to engage, to wrestle, with the details of the ideas that puzzle us — the 'minute and unseen parts', as it were — thinking them through for ourselves rather than expecting to find, even to have served up to us, ready-made answers of a recognisably philosoph[ical] kind, or literary or historical kind depending on the context. We might compare Wittgenstein's insistence that philosophers have to 'go the bloody hard way' (Rhees 1969, emphasis in the original). The point is not that philosophy inevitably involves drudgery. It is more that going the hard way is essential in order to proceed against the tendency to seek comfort or stimulus (ibid).

     (Richard Smith 'Slow Learning and the Multiplicity of Meaning').

     This is advice that I took on board, all those years ago. (It was some time in 1973-4, I was in my second year of a four year BA Philosophy course at Birkbeck College London, working part time in Holborn Public Library, where I found the copy of Rush Rhees.)
     So if you are reading a classic text, for example, 'go the hard way' and read the text before you look at commentary or the editor's or translator's introduction. Make of it what you can. Even if what you make of the text without external guidance — without 'spoonfeeding' — is less than optimal, it will be your own work. You will have achieved something, taken a step along the road to becoming a philosopher.