Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nazi Germany Flashbacks

The Changing Role of A Student, part 2

My rather obsessive 'personal studying' began in high school. It actually first began when I encountered the topic of Nazi Germany in a history class and kind of flipped out about it.

I hunted, and haunted, the subject. I found old German books in the back of the school library, from the days eons prior when it had been taught there, and sat trying to teach myself in my spare time. ("Guten Morgen, Herr ___!" "Anna ist krank." There you go, the entire remnants of my German self-education.) I read endless autobiographies from people who had been there. Went to a Jewish temple in my spare time. (They thought I was an odd little goya. Unlike the Christian churches I'd grown up in, they had zero feeling of being compelled to 'help' me get 'into' the study of their religion, haha.)

Had a so-called past-life memory of having 'been there' -- in that era, in a camp -- that came first, and seems to be what sponsored all that obsession at least in part. I seriously considered going to Israel to train with their Army for awhile. I mean... I was really pretty nuts. I cured of myself of that, fortunately.

When I look back at my life, I always "loved learning" -- even in school, I always felt that everything that was learning was good, I was one of those weird kids that read dictionaries, encyclopedias, the fine print on bank statements and commercial products -- everything. I wanted to learn about everything possible, as fast as possible. I used to openly consider myself a "sponge" for information. It's a survival skill, of course.

But it was the study of the pre-to-post WWII era in history class that really seemed to kick off a degree of intensity that went beyond my normal "driven" personality and became an entire "layman self-education process".

next up: part 3

Aldous Huxley's "Perennial Philosophy"


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