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Old 03-15-2007, 08:28 AM
 
Location: George Town Tasmania, Australia
126 posts, read 181,351 times
Reputation: 105

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The changing situation in the life of my mother, the death of my father, changing personal circumstances associated with completing my studies in this place in southern Ontario where I had lived all of my life and the changing landscape of the Baha'i communities I was involved with, all influenced my development as a person, as a social and intellectual being. Beer drinking, pub crawling, nights out with the boys, the popular types of partying were never part of my rage.

The whole trip through these years of the sixties and whatever rage it contained was pretty serious, although it had its light side, the side that all young people have, which they call fun and which they go in endless serch for in theit teens and twenties. My rage was more in the realm of ideas and an emotional network fuelled by body chemistry. It had little to do with civil rights, an anti-war stance or the many partisan-political events that became part of my world in these heady days of social change. And looking back I think I was lucky to survive, to finish university and begin my career, so tumultuous was my emotional life. for I was bi-polar, little did I know.

There was for me, during these years of the early to mid-sixties, a developing awe and determination to study, but it continued to elude me. A reverence for study developed coupled with an increasing enthusiasm for its content, a systematic examination of the arts and a desire to understand what they meant was on my agenda, but my emotions kept me out. I remember living above a restuarant and eating chilli-con-carne four nights a week because it was the xcheapest item on the menu.

The person who lived in those first few houses in those first towns, Hamilton, Burlington and Dundas, indeed any of the houses I have lived in with the possible exception of my present residence in Tasmania, is not the person who is now writing this story, this autobiography. To look back on all that has been my life, the long and medium distances, is to know too much and too little: too much trivia and detail, too little and too much of what is important. To look back is to reinterpret, to tell the story differently every time. Will a third edition of this account add anything useful? Would six editions, like Edward Gibbon's autobiographical efforts in the late eighteenth century, be a source of further enlightenment? My optimistic muse would like to think so, but I can't be sure even if, as Socrates once emphasized, 'the unexamined life is not worth living' and this continued exercise in navel-gazing, to put it pejoratively, goes on for an extended time. I find the process of writing engaging, stimulating and a source of insight; whether others will find it equally so is another question. I will leave the culinary life and its several beverages for a future post.
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