Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/21

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The Centaurians

ever searching the grand, supreme idea that I knew would reach me before peace.

India, that great field of abundant superstition, mildly restored my shattered energies. The occult science in its most malignant form attacked me. I was enchanted with fanatical proverbs tantalizing in their promise of what?—nothing.

I engaged a dwelling and furnished it up with barbaric splendor, then watched the subtle operations of the strange people I surrounded myself with. They possessed extraordinary imaginations and narrative powers, and, because it was impossible, I developed a keen desire to experience some of the delights these fanatics extolled.

Following instructions, I spent weeks in the mountains, inhaling dank vapors and camped in the wilderness, fasting for days, reading a book—for what purpose I never discovered—and ended it all as unimaginative as ever. I tried my utmost to become convinced of the supernatural, but never for an instant lost the knowledge I was an ass to so ardently pursue Folly, in her mock seriousness. I became shamed with the realization of the utter nonsense I permitted my intellect to roam in and the wild-eyed fanatics with their shrieks and convulsions and frenzied endeavors to convince, nauseated me when I discovered it was all acting, mere acting, and they were less sincere than I.

The fanaticism, immorality, the full rein given to sensualism and vulgar superstition disgusted me. Naught but undeveloped or diseased minds are convinced of such farces—an obnoxious weight upon