Story 2a - In the Brilliance of a Night
I suddenly remembered Steve's way of looking at
the commandments of the Mosaic Decalogue, who saw them as something greater than just passive demands; who saw the demands as the unavoidable outcome of active principles becoming alive in human consciousness. Steve saw the directive not to kill as actually meaningless to a person who embraces the universal principles of life and love. I began to realize that the principle of sovereignty is likewise an active principle, and that it's manifestation is found in enriching the human scene with the greatest good, unfolding with the greatest integrity, while affording the greatest possible protection. I felt like I was walking on air when I was approaching Ushi's bedroom.
As I came to the door I paused. I saw Ushi standing undressed by the window, just like I had met her at the beach. I hesitated. I drank in this wonderful moment. But with it came doubts. If only Sylvia and I had talked about these eventualities. But how could we have guessed? How could anyone have foreseen this? What I had held sacredly as a taboo had been questioned and been overturned, and presented as poverty. Erica, Helen, Ushi, and Steve had turned my whole world upside down and made it more real and infinitely more beautiful.
I said to myself in the flash of this moment, "If all reality is an inseparable whole, and I am a part of it, any denial of it is self-denial. The boundaries of sovereignty impose no need for the slightest self-denial, which is paramount to the denial of another person whom one's love encircles."
I had never realized that. Indeed, this is exactly what I had done for much of my married life. For years I had hated myself for being attracted to other women besides Sylvia, that was deemed immoral, a 'black' trait of character which I
hadn't shed no matter how hard I tried.
It dawned on me how lucky I was that I hadn't won this struggle; that I had maintained enough honesty towards my deep inner feelings to prevent this destruction of myself from becoming total and complete. I might have rendered myself dead to the heart and soul of my own existence, had I won this fight. It would have been suicide. Now, this threatened self-destruction has been replaced with a new horizon, with the validity of self-love as an element of universal love, even the core element of all love. In this sphere a stronger bond was unfolding towards Sylvia, than had existed before, a bond that bound us by our growing respect for the humanity that we both
God knows that I had always wanted to be loyal to Sylvia, that I had always loved her and always will. But something greater than this was unfolding before me, a love that forged a bond on that higher level which we had both ignored before, a level on which we become more human, more spiritual, and more richly endowed. The old law became suddenly invalidated, that an additional love must be seen as poison? Steve was right, there is no valid law that decrees this 'poverty.'
"And what about taking responsibility for causing no hurt to Sylvia?" I heard a voice say from deep inside as if it were a protest against my highest thoughts. "Don't do this!" the voice said. "Be careful, this is not a hypothetical situation!" the voice cautioned. "You can still back out!"
I brushed aside the notion. "I cannot paint Sylvia with the same brush with which Erica had pictured the mental state of her husband Fritz," I countered the voice from within.
"But will she be able to understand the imperatives of the higher principle of universal love and universal sovereignty?" the voice argued back.
"If I can understand these principles and their imperatives, why shouldn't Sylvia be able to?" I countered the voice. "I have always respected her intelligence and her keen insight into the deepest spiritual matters, even those that hardly anyone else could comprehend. So, why should I not have the same respect now?"