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The young Augustine does, however, catch a passion for the pursuit of Philosophical truth, learning the doctrines of Manicheism, skepticism, and Neoplatonism. This last philosophy will have a profound influence on him-- theConfessions are perhaps the most masterful expression of his intricate fusion of Catholic theology with Neoplatonic ideas. Moving back to Thagaste, then back to Carthage again, and on to Rome and Milan, Augustine continues to wrestle with his doubts about what he has learned and with his budding interest in Catholicism, the faith of his mother, Monica. He also continues to pursue his career as a teacher of rhetoric (an occupation he later frowns upon as the salesmanship of empty words) and his habits of indulgence in sex and other pleasures of the sensual world. Things change in Milan, where Augustine finally decides that Catholicism holds the only real truth. Convinced of this but lacking the will to make the leap into a fully devoted life (including baptism and sexual abstinence), Augustine has a famous conversion experience in his Milan garden and becomes a devoted and chaste Catholic.
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