I was a very well-behaved child. I was shy, lonely and withdrawn even then. I was even considered backward by my teachers. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Yeagley, called my mother to school for a conference and reported that I was mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in foolish dreams. Very early, indeed, I set myself the task of establishing myself as an entirely separate entity, influenced as little as possible by other people. In school, I did not revolt, I simply ignored authority. My first attempt to assert my individuality is interesting. My parents were indifferent to religion. My father was Jewish and my mother, Catholic. I was not raised in any religion. I, while still a school boy, deliberately emphasized my Jewish origin and went through a period of religious fervor which I later described as my first attempt to liberate myself from purely personal links.
And while I'm not religious today I'm very proud to be a Jew, very proud of my heritage. I'm convinced there is a higher consciousness, though I don't necessarily mean God -- at least not a personal God who sees into the hearts and minds of men and women. The God I believe in is elevated above human concerns, indescribable and ineffable. I have a theory that God is actually the unconscious. The two are linked together. When a person meets his potential -- and I don't think any man can do it in his lifetime -- then he'll meet God. In any event, those are my religious beliefs.