"You can know the truth, Peter," said Steve. "You can know it when you dig deep and discover a lateral structure. The lateral structure reflects the reality of our humanity. This is the truth. Sophistry is always reflecting a vertical structure of empire of some form, and sometimes that sophistry is countless ages old."
"You are saying that sometimes a perception has stood for thousands of years, but if its vertical, it is still sophistry. Is it really that simple, Steve?"
Here Steve laughed even more than before. "Of course it is. You told me so yourself, Peter, in Leipzig, in respect to the prevailing social and sexual divisions. You told me that we must turn the clock back three thousand years to the age before the deepest divisions were invented. You said we must achieve nothing less in order to be able to survive. And that's what we started to do that day."
"I suppose that is what we set out to do right from the very first day we met," I said quietly. "Our first evening in your apartment back in Leipzig was totally devoted to a fight for universal principle against small-minded thinking, wasn't it? Small-minded thinking stands in the way of the universal lateral unity of mankind. Only a few days earlier our common friend Helen had talked to me about a universal lateral lattice of human hearts with all of them bound to one another laterally by strands of love, standing side by side for each other. Helen had used it as a model for healing, and profoundly successfully so."
"That proves it as an element of truth, Peter. Nevertheless, we were involved in a far more profound proof of it that night, all three of us together, weren't we?"
I nodded. "We developed the there so rapidly that night and so far-reaching, that you not only allowed Ushi and me to spend the night together, which would have seemed totally impossible to me just one day earlier, but you invited me yourself to do this very thing. What you did seemed totally unbelievable even after everything that we had talked about, probably as unbelievable as it must have seemed to Tolkien's Frodo that he would even reach his goal in The Lord of the Rings to take the ring back to Mt. Doom. But you did the unbelievable, Steve, and it was beautiful what came out of it, and still is. We obviously did the right thing that night at your place. We buried an aspect of the ring that has corrupted the image of humanity for countless ages and has divided humanity on the basis of that corruption. What happened that night still seems like a miracle sometimes."
"Unfortunately, that's a tragedy, Peter," said Steve. "What happened that night shouldn't seem like a miracle, because it was the most natural thing to do. For eight hours we had been drilling holes through the facade of a sophistry that has stood since ancient times. We drilled holes into this fašade until the truth behind it became ever clearer. What I did in inviting you to spend the night with Ushi reflected Helen's lateral lattice evermore fully, and the fact that we are all bound laterally as human beings. We laid aside the games of playing husband and wife, friend and lover, or whatever games are being played that deny the flow of love that can only exist laterally. We didn't talk about Helen's lateral structure that night. As I recall neither of us said a word about it, but we talked about its universal principle, the Principle of Universal Love that had been denied for centuries. When our exploration had ground to a halt that day, at two in the morning so that one could hear the water dripping in the kitchen, when everything was said that could be said about the truth, I decided to rip off the last shreds of that sophistry that still remained. What came to light was the truth that we are all human beings, bound to one another laterally by the strands of our love. And boy, those strands of love between Ushi and you were glowing brightly that night, like rays of the sun in the sky. Was it a miracle then when I asked you both if you want to share the night together in bed? I think it was the most natural response to the truth that we had all acknowledged for hours before. We had all ripped off the sophistry that had hidden the universal lateral unity of human beings. So tell me, how else could I have responded? Could any of us have responded any different than we had?"
"Still, no one would ever believe us, Steve, if we told the story of what happened that night. No one would believe that a husband would allow his wife's love for another man to stand, that it would be honored by him and be fully respected, and be acknowledged to the point that he invites them to share a bed together in his own house and in his presence. No husband in the world has ever done this before."
"That's true," said Steve, "no husband has likely ever done this. The sophistry of the games that are played in the social world would never allow this to happen, and so it hasn't happened for a long time. But a human being would allow this to happen, and not only allow this, but expect it and extend the invitation for it. Once one has peeled away the sophistry that has overlaid the truth that we are all primarily human beings united laterally by our strands of love, this apparent miracle that you still find miraculous becomes totally natural then. Then, if the crap is peeled away and one begins to tell the story from the premise of the truth without the veil of sophistry hiding it, all becomes natural and believable. Only then will it become possible that the story of what happened will be believed. In fact, then people might also believe that in addition to all of that, I had paid for your honeymoon with Ushi in Mexico and even suggested that she could conceive a child with whomsoever she would choose, you included."
I shook my head. "No Steve, I think that even if our story were properly told, only a few people if any, would find what has happened credible and natural."
Steve shook his head likewise. "What you just said illustrates how absolutely dense the sophistry can be that motivates people in countless different ways," said Steve. "It also illustrates what vast distances we human beings can traverse when we manage to peel away the sophistry. We obviously did the right thing that night in my place. We made a breakthrough for mankind towards a new freedom that is still far distant. But the horizon is growing brighter. We have buried an aspect of Tolkien's ring, and our daring burial has begun to correct the image of humanity that in its distorted form had divided humanity for countless ages on the basis of an ancient universal denial of the truth that predates even the sophistry of Pericles."
"Sure we've buried the ring of the vertical world of many towers that night," I said to Steve with total agreement, "and we came out richer and more secure because of it, but in Venice we may have buried the wrong thing when we buried the SDI, simply because the SDI had become another XB-70 Valkyrie. It was right that we buried what it became, but we buried with it its original intent. The original intent was totally honorable. The SDI was originally designed to create a lateral world of universal unity by inviting the whole world to participate in the building of it. We shouldn't have buried this idea. We should have fought for it to have its revolutionary design resurrected and implemented. We have failed miserably on this count. We failed to see through the sophistry that had destroyed the original idea, and as a consequence the world is no more secure by our intervention than it had been before. We have put up the Ice Age Challenge as a replacement, but we should have founded this challenge on the original SDI concept of establishing mankind's natural lateral universal unity. We cannot afford to let the sophistry to be maintained that makes us believe that we have no hope of breaking out of our boxed-in condition within the Mutually Assured Destruction dogma. That dogma is Palmerston's song, isn't it? The Ice Age Renaissance won't be possible for as long as the world hears Palmerston's song and sings along. So the bottom line is that for now the sophistry of Palmerston's song still remains standing tall, and so does that danger that it holds for mankind. We have to learn to rip the sophistry away and learn to live with one another as human beings in a lateral relationship, the kind which the original SDI concept was designed to establish."
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