Story 2a - In the Brilliance of a Night
"But what if this step is beyond her comprehension?" said the voice within. "You are entering the unknown country with consequences that you cannot foresee."
"No, the unknown country is defined by its principles," I argued back. "Its imperatives are known and cannot be ignored without consequences. If we ignore the imperatives of universal principles, that will hurt us," I
said forcefully to silence the voice. "It's not the other way around!"
"What do you really know about love and its principle, to assure that it cannot harm? Isn't honor all about assuring that no harm is ever done?" the voice within continued to argue.
"The sage says: I see a god in you, and the god in me honors the god in you, even though there is but one God. Can you resolve that puzzle that defines honor?" I replied to the voice. "The poet calls this universal God by the name of Love," I argued back, "so that that I can say that the love in me, for our humanity, honors the love in Sylvia and in everyone else, for our common humanity, for by this we are bound to one another. But as a scientist, I can also call this love an awareness of the truth, by which, too, we are bound to one another. This means that I honor Sylvia's intellect, her understanding, her beauty, and her awareness of the truth, all of which demand recognition. I can love Sylvia in this fashion, and I do," I argued against the voice within, "because I can see the reality of that truth in myself, and I see it in Sylvia, and Ushi, and all the others, in whom I see an echo of myself, of my own love, an echo of the universal deity of the human being that we find in one another. There is only this one truth."
"But sex isn't a part of this truth," the voice within me continued. "Every holy person will tell you that sex is flesh. The flesh doesn't promise anything, and it doesn't profit anything; why then would you dishonor Sylvia with that?"
"The appreciation of the beauty of the human being, in all its dimensions from the infinitesimal to infinity, doesn't dishonor anything, but honors all that is good, including the sexual element of it. The beauty that we cherish is in ourselves before it is echoed in the object of our love. Its bond unites us universally for the common humanity that we share. The flesh has no part in that. The flesh lacks the intelligence to be sentient. That's why sex is not an aspect of the flesh, but a spiritual aspect. Love is a spiritual element, born in universal truth from which no one is excluded. It is the gentle touch; a person's gently laying bare the heart and soul,
including ones whole self, forges the honorable bonds born on the wings of love, like 'brother birds that soar and sing and on the same branch bend'."
I told the voice not to worry, since nothing was about to happen that night, or could happen, that would inspire shame or guilt or injure anyone, or would in any way dishonor Sylvia, or myself in her eyes.
The voice remained silent after that. The
struggle was won.
I felt, as I entered the bedroom, that I could trust Sylvia's intelligence and her ability to build a foundation in her thinking for this boundless demand on humanity by the principles of universal love and universal sovereignty. I felt that if these principles
once uplifted humanity high enough to end eighty years of warfare, they can be trusted to also uplift
the love of one another without incurring hurt or harm. I rejoiced that these
principles can be trusted to open the door to a new renaissance in our association with one another, without causing the slightest impositions. This stand for principle, I felt, would be respected by Sylvia, by Ushi, by
Steve, and therefore by myself too, without reservations.
With this daring response to the higher universal principles, it seemed we
were both entering a new world. And what a promise this world held! While I undressed, I felt a wonderful sense of freedom unfolding, a totally secure feeling that Ushi would never stand between Sylvia and me,
or the other way around, but that this new love would enrich the old bonds with a richer, fresher sense of the vitality of living. It was a dreamlike feeling, a feeling of peace that was unfolding, that was at the same time exiting.