Story 11 - Coffee Sex and Biscuits
"You are totally right," I said. "There was nothing daring in my reaction. I was an absolute whimp! Life presented itself in a way that should have caused a joyful reaction with a total embrace of it. Instead I said, no thank you, and hated myself for it. I hated myself even more when I saw a beautiful unfolding
of it across the way, where the offer that life had provided had been graciously accepted as it were the most natural thing that could be. Still, I am puzzled at what the offer was built on. Was I reacting as a beggar, being offered a loaf of bread, who says no? Or was the whole thing a lateral process by intend,
with me having been too blind to see it and accept it as such?"
"Did your heart speak as a beggar?" Sylvia asked, "or did it speak from the mountain top?"
"I have a hunch that the waitress spoke from the mountain top," I replied. "I have a hunch that she was embracing all, that she was open hearted to everyone, ready to generously fulfill a human need that is as valid as that for which coffee and biscuits are served. I have a hunch that I looked at this scene with a closed mind and didn't see its potential. This sort of things happens sometimes in the field of engineering, where it is
sometimes said: Well, if this hasn't been invented by us, it doesn't exist. Am I that arrogant that I have become that blind?"
"Don't hate yourself," said Sylvia. "If we acknowledge a universal principle, Pete, we must acknowledge this principle as universally applicable, and this not just in the quantitative sense. Doesn't the principle of universal love also imply that we embrace the humanity that we all share to the fullest possible extent, externally, as well as internally, broadly and universally, and with a full acknowledgment that therefore it does exist everywhere and is reflected everywhere, at least potentially so. And why should the sexual dimension be excluded from this universal embrace of all that is human, by all of humanity? When we talk about the principle of the universal marriage of humanity, shouldn't sex be included in this dimension of universality, and be uplifted to something uniquely human that takes it far beyond its primitive context related to procreation. In many ways we do this already, in the way we dress, and so forth, but why should its more naked dimension, the more honest dimension, be excluded from it?"
Sylvia refilled her cup and grinned. "Does this solve your
pussle, I mean puzzle?" she asked and began to laugh.
"Yes, and no!" I answered. "It doesn't answer how one can detect the line of
demarcation between a vertical imposition and a lateral embrace."
"Oh, isn't this simple Pete? The two are ninety degrees out of phase. How did the waitress strike your heart, vertically
or horizontally. Did she stand above you or beside you? Did she offer you something that she knew you couldn't accept, or couldn't refuse, or did she offer it together with a coffee and
"You are saying I was stupid not to say, yes," I replied quietly. "I think I knew that I was stupid. I think this realization caused my dream to end."
Sylvia nodded and smiled. "You were more than stupid. What your love for our common humanity inspired you to embrace, you should have acknowledged, and you should also have acknowledged it as
being reflected in my love for the same humanity that we are all a part of. I may have declined to join in, or I may have joined in, or I may even have enjoyed witnessing your daring to be honest with yourself, but you closed the door to all that. It was dishonest for you to assume that I would be repulsed by the
offer. Being honest with oneself, also includes being honest with oneself about the universality of the principles that one acknowledges as imperative. That's a tough one, right? But if one deviates from that, one does become dishonest. If this happens to you, how will you be able to call yourself a scientist from this point on?"