My father's title was "Chief Missionary" of the Central Pacific. Appointed by the legendary London Missionary Society, he was itinerant, travelling from village to village, week by week. My mother, at the time that we relocated, was an assistant translator to the United Nations.
I felt like the lord of creation, wading through lagoons, racing in outrigger canoes, striding though the length of islands where my pale skin and blazing red hair drew amused crowds. I was immersed in a culture of energy and joy—and ancient taboos. And all along, I was learning things. When I returned to the West, I was a brilliant boy.
Whatever it was, I emerged with an incorrigible bent for originality. Perhaps it was just that I had seen so many different ways of doing things. Perhaps it was the need to think up ways of doing things without things. This propelled me to the forefront, first of computer programming, then electronic design. I sold 100+ copyrights, and won many awards, among them the Gold Medal award, from the world's pre-eminent electronics publisher, Wimborne.
It was ministry that taught me things one never learns in books. How people die, what jailors do, how to govern a pure democracy, or how to create hope and joy in a society of people. At the same time, my education progressed. Much of it came late in life, in my 40s. Studies at prestigious seminaries on three continents taught me about influential thinkers and global trends. In fact, it was some of those influential thinkers who taught me—several being encyclopedia entries today.
When I turned fifty, tragically, my wife died, of incurable cancer. Nothing could save her, or even slow the disease. She was a doctor of philosophy, a pioneer in religious freedom, and just stepping onto the world stage. It was a measure of her character that she designated a humble African woman as my future wife: Ester Sizani. "How is it," Ester asked me one day, "that we are so much the same?" I now seemed to come full circle, marrying into an old world society—at least, one that was still close to the past.
As a young student, I had a calling to write a new metaphysics. This carried me through a venture which ultimately required enormous persistence. Finally, I seemed to have various prerequisites in place: a good understanding of science and technology, an intimate experience of religion, a panoramic view of human thought, experience of old and new world cultures, and experience in the trenches in Africa. These provided the concepts for a panoramic philosophy.