When I was 22 I was a religious fanatic

When I was 22, living in Germany, I really believed
that I had to follow ideas of how people live together
from some medieval Indian culture.

I couldn’t have a boyfriend.
I was living in celibacy and if I wanted to change that,
I would have to get married.

All of the boys I met couldn’t be my friends,
just in case we would, like men and women do,
become attracted to each other and ‘fall down’.

When I was 22 I was on a team of women opening a temple
It was unheard of within the Hare Krishnas.
Women were wives or at the back of the temple room.

We were the hardest working turbo empowered high-pressure group.
So much conflict. Nobody talking to each other.
Giving up was expected. Just hope it isn’t you.

When I was 22, I really believed that what I was doing,
mostly selling cheap oil paintings,
was my service given by guru and god.

And if I just kept going and doing this,
I would become a better and purer servant
closer to god. And happy.

When I was 22 I was getting up, doing 2 hours of prayers,
doing an hour of reading, eating my one daily meal
and going out to work.

I didn’t drive yet so I got a lift or went by train.
I didn’t eat anything while out. I didn’t drink.
Outside food was sinful.

When I was 22 I once walked into a printer’s. I had learned printing.
We were talking and they practically offered me a job.
I did not take it.

Not only did I not take it, I didn’t believe I
had the independence, I wasn’t allowed?
to work? Outside? The temple??

When I was 22 I lived in Cologne, full of people and culture.
I didn’t know or listen to any of it.
It was all materialistic, meant to hurt me.

My spiritual progress depended on me keeping away from it.
On my walkman was guru singing and guru talking.
I had a notebook, wrote letters to guru.

When I was 22 I believed that the guru I had just accepted
was the perfect representative of god
and wasn’t a normal person.

He was young and American, but that was my material senses,
really he was supernaturally able to figure out
what was going on with me.

When I was 22 I had kept nothing back.
I am one of the few people who can still see the results of my work.
Not that I particularly want to.

Later I stopped believing. I worked to get myself back.
How long did that take, do you think?
How hard
is it?

2 responses to “When I was 22 I was a religious fanatic

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