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One of the more interesting patterns of life is the degree to which one is with-it, in it or out of it. In primary and secondary school, for the most part, I was with-it, in it, part of it, although it took 2 or 3 years of primary school to make a solid beginning.
A conformity, an almost total consonance, being with-it implies a conformism with, perhaps, a feeling that one is just a little ahead of one’s time, a bit of a trend setter. This was not a dominant part of my day-to-day ethos in those pre-puberal and adolescent days. But there was enough of this inner comfort station in my location to allow me to say I felt at home, part of the scene, at ease.
This was true until I was eighteen, when in the early months of that year I moved to another town where I knew noone. I began here, quite seriously, to feel out of step, out of spiritual affinity with my world. That inner vibration that is in tune with the outside disappeared and there it stayed for ten years. I felt ill-at-ease, with a sense of complaint, of fret, of uncomfortableness, of estrangement, of anomie. And here I stayed, in varying degrees of intensity, until I was twenty-seven. These years coincided with the first ten years of my experience as a pioneer in the Baha’i community.