Story 2a - In the Brilliance of a Night
I could feel that Steve was waiting for an answer. I had been talking all night about changing the world, and now that I was facing the test of being honest to the truth,
and I couldn't answer. I couldn't answer, because the logical answer defied all traditions, axioms, and beliefs that I had associated with morality, which now I understood to be erroneous. To be enveloped in love came to light as a golden promise, but also as a great challenge. In the cafe, those words were easily spoken. Now they unfolded with a profound and deeper meaning.
"The world's isolation must be reversed," Steve continued. "Someone must take the first step to change the world. We must do that. As I recall, you said the very same words yourself," he reminded me. Then he began to grin. "Technically speaking your reluctance to acknowledge this makes you a hypocrite. You told me
in my office that, WE ourselves, must change before we can expect humanity to change. But that's easier said than done, isn't it? When we are confronted with taking the necessary steps in the real world, a multitude of factors suddenly come into view that blur the issue. Still, the issue remains the same and continues to be a vital issue."
Yes, I could remember saying that we had to change, but the context was different, or was it? I just stared at him. I hadn't expected anything as profound, anything as wonderful, anything as deep reaching, anything so profoundly good as
what was unfolding. We had established a hypothesis that evening, which was centered on universal love. Now it seems, Steve set the stage to prove
that hypothesis for its worth. We were stepping beyond the boundary of the moral
domain into the scientific domain that really defined our humanity. We had entered the domain of science, even the science of our spirituality, and had
stepped through this portal into the great reservoir of universal good that promised an unfolding of an aspect of our humanity
that I had never dared to even dream of.
Steve continued talking. "Pete, I didn't say that the task of changing ourselves is easily accomplished. This is possibly one of the most difficult and frightening things a person can do, because the inner isolation from what is really true goes very, very deep. But just as deeply rooted is the freedom that we are fighting for in this room, the freedom to love, the freedom to be enveloped in love, as you said. The seeds for isolation were planted a long time ago. These seeds have been bearing their ugly fruit throughout history, but they have never done this with such an intensity and scope that humanity cannot survive their poison as we have it now, unless we find it possible to reverse the entire history of errors that has shaped our perceptions. That's were we stand today. This is the challenge
that we face in a world brimming with nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and biological weapons. We have no options anymore, but to become honest to what is fundamental to human existence in order to create a platform for relationships to one another where nuclear weapons have no place. But, Pete, we have nothing to fear
if we pursue the building of unity intelligently."
All that I could think of in my suddenly confused state of mind, was that Steve had been probing this problem for a long time already, while I was somehow swept up into this stream and had to deal with all
of that at an instant. It wasn't fair, and yet it was easier to go through a door that has already been opened, than having to pry it open myself. What was offered through this open door promised to be immensely beautiful. I knew I had to say something to tell Steve that I
agreed. But what to say? I even had a feeling that Steve's long explanations were largely for his own sake, as if he was fighting the same battle against worn out traditions, and axioms, and beliefs,
that I had been fighting all along without actually realizing that I was engaged
in this fight. I felt that he needed to reassure himself that the course before us was the most logical option, and in fact the only option.
"You should realize, Pete," Steve went on, "that the marriage bond that Ushi and I have established between us reflects to some degree what a marriage bond appears to have originally represented. We regard our bond as a commitment to each other to enrich one another's life, but not to limit it. Here we find a basis for an expanded community of principle. Marriage is a sacred bond, Pete, that opens consciousness to the sublime, the infinite, the boundless, that which stills the human need and takes us to a higher unfolding of good than the sensual can provide - towards trust, honor, integrity, joy, boundless affection, to a renaissance in living so to speak. It has nothing to do with owning one another, but with enriching one another. It is a commitment to moral freedom, not to slavery. It represents a unity based on sublimity instead of limitations. It doesn't exist because a priest has sanctified it. It exists because it reflects a commitment that comes from the heart as an outflow of love. This outflow can only be universal. If it isn't, it is fake. It needs to be unlimited and progressively unfolding to remain beautiful. This cannot happen behind a boundary of confinement that isolates people from one another. Human development doesn't happen on
a confined and encumbered platform. Every scientist can tell you that. Marriage signifies to me a bond that unfolds
towards the sublime, that inspires people to grow and embrace one another universally, to enrich one another, because those spiritual riches enrich us all. Maybe that's what universal love is. Maybe that answers your
question that I couldn't answer when you asked it earlier."