[an error occurred while processing this directive]
subject of fascination was geography. From a young age I played with the globe and loved
to look over maps of the world, memorizing the countries, their terrain and their cities.
I realized that we lived on a large planet composed of many lands with diverse religions
and cultures, most of which I was taught little about in school. I was particularly
interested in distant and exotic places, as if they contained some key to humanity that I
was searching for. I didnt see any need to get the entire world to follow the same
religion. For such reasons at the young age of fourteen I suddenly decided of my own
accord to stop going to church on Sundays.
At first I just
pretended to go and then went somewhere else, like taking a walk in the park. Soon my
parent knew that I was no longer interested in the church and gradually accepted it. In
fact I led what became a family movement away from the Catholic Church. But at the time I
still felt some guilt about the matter. I was not attending church but I had not left its
influence entirely behind me either. At the age of fifteen I had a remarkable
schoolteacher who taught a class on ancient history that opened my eyes about the ancient
world. The class focused on ancient Egypt, which I found to be utterly fascinating. Out of
the enthusiasm so generated I memorized the entire list of the pharaohs of Egypt and would
recite them with pride.
I could sense in ancient Egypt a monumental spiritual culture with great
inner power and magic. I imagined living at that time, which seemed much more interesting
than the modern world in which I was trapped. This began my fascination with ancient
cultures that eventually led me to the Vedas. I sensed that the ancients had a
better connection to the universe than we moderns and that their lives had a higher
meaning. I gradually studied the ancient history of other lands, particularly ancient
Persia, which also had a special pull for me. Clearly the American focus of our education
left out most of humanity both in time and space.