Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Steve Jobs' pilgrimage to India

Steve Jobs began to have an interest in religions while studying philosophy at Reed College. In 1974 he was working at Atari, saving money to make a trip to India, "to see his guru". After saving enough he asked his friend Dan Kottke to join him, even offering to finance his ticket after he was reluctant to go because of the expense (later in 1976 Kottke also became the first paid Apple employee). In India they encountered by chance a guru who takes Jobs up the mountain and shaves his head. Later Kottke also had to shave his because of the lice and fleas. They experienced poverty head first, traveling around in simple Indian clothing under the heat, bargaining for food in towns. In the end Kottke's travel cheques are stolen and the trip had to end. Apparently Jobs did not find enlightenment, but his experiences surely influenced his later work.

Please read these sources for a more detailed account:
iCon (PDF, page 23 onward)