Under this swarm of waspish self-inquiries he began to feel sorry for himself - a brilliant man trapped, a Byron tamed; and his mind wandered back to Sarah, to visual images, attempts to recollect that face, that mouth, that generous mouth. Undoubtedly it awoke some memory in him, too tenuous, perhaps too general, to trace to any source in his past; but it unsettled him and haunted him, by calling to some hidden self he hardly knew existed. He said it to himself: It is the stupidest thing, but that girl attracts me. It seemed clear to him that it was not Sarah in herself who attracted him - how could she, he was betrothed - but some emotion, some possibility she symbolized. She made him aware of a deprivation. His future had always seemed to him of vast potential; and now suddenly it was a fixed voyage to a known place. She had reminded him of that.
Asita wasn’t hungry this day, however. There were other ways to keep the prana, or life current, going. If he did visit the demon loka, it would take enormous prana to sustain his body. There would be no air for his lungs to breathe among the demons. He allowed the brilliant Himalayan sun to dry his body as he walked above the tree line. Demons do not literally live on moun-taintops, but Asita had learned special powers that allowed him to penetrate the subtle world. He had to get as far away as possible from human beings to exercise these abilities. The atmosphere was dense around population. In Asita’s eyes a quiet village was a seething cauldron of emotions; every person—except only small infants—was immersed in a fog of confusion, a dense blanket of fears, wishes, memories, fantasy, and longing. This fog was so thick that the mind could barely pierce it.