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All I needed was to hear 'thou shalt' and everything in me rose up and I became obdurate. As can be imagined, this peculiarity had a far-reaching and unfortunate effect during my school years. It is true that our teachers taught its, in that amusing subject called world history, that the world has always been governed, guided, and transformed by men who made their own laws and broke with traditional regulations, and we were told that these men should be revered. But this was just as deceitful as all the rest of our instruction, for when one of us, whether rood or bad intent, summoned up courage to protest with good or bad intent, summoned up courage to protest against some order or even against some silly custom or way of doing things, he was neither revered nor commended as an example but punished instead, made fun of and crushed by the teachers' dastardly use of their superior power.

 

Fortunately I had learned even before the beginning of my school years what is most important and valuable in life: I possessed keen, subtle, and finely developed senses which I could rely on and from which I derived great enjoyment, and although later I succumbed irreparably to the enticements of metaphysics and even for a time chastised and neglected my senses, nevertheless a background of tenderly nurtured sensualism, especially in respect to sight and hearing, has always stayed with me and plays a lively part in my intellectual world even when the latter seems abstract. Thus I had provided myself, as I have said, with a certain capacity to meet life long before the beginning of my school years.