“There is evidence from many cultures that an opening toward spirituality arrives around fifteen or sixteen. What happens? In India the outer world ‘responds.’ So to speak. A child in an Indian village or city sees on the street constant religious processions. . . . A kind of madness of religious feeling helps the adolescent whose spiritual chakra has just opened feel at home.
But in our culture, the adolescent does not see ecstatic religious singers on the street. What he or she does see is posters advertising sexual energy. . . . The spiritual opening, having received almost no response, closes again. ‘Something marvelous is about to happen.’ But it doesn’t. . . . What arrives is disappointment. . . . Adolescents in all societies, we suspect, feel the disappointed emptiness; but in our culture, it’s as if adolescents are sold this emptiness.”