schools had no real mention of India either, except as a big country in Asia suffering
from poverty, overpopulation, and social backwardness. I had an inquisitive mind as
a child and began developing my own studies outside of school. I has an interest in
geography since seven or eight years of age and became aware that there was much more to
the world than America.
Foreign lands of all types
fascinated me, particularly Europe. I began reading various books starting with science
and history around the age of eleven, which broadened my view of life and caused me to
question my Catholic upbringing. I found the ideas of modern astronomy, like the vastness
of the universe and the relativity of time and space, to be much more intriguing than
Catholic views of creation that seemed rather artificial and stultified.
I left the Catholic church of my own accord about the age of fourteen. This came not only
from the clash between the church and science, but from having read history and
discovering that the church often stood for political oppression and social exploitation,
not anything truly holy.