The man was well applauded when he raised his hand to heaven before he sat down. "America is the land of the free!" he said triumphantly as he took his seat, adding loudly, "The free are those who have their heart free for Jesus."
"That's pushing things too far," I said to us quietly.
"People are probably saying the same thing about us," Ross replied with a grin. "They got hit from the right, and they got hit from the left, and they were told from both sides that we are the devil. That's the kind of song that congregations have heard for three thousand years."
"That's precisely how the fondi's Illuminati are supposed to work," I said to Steve and Ross. "That's how Palmerston described his illuminati's game in Venice."
"My question is, Peter, if people like us can't bridge this division and rescue the people as human beings, including the Man of The Cloth and his supporters, who will do it, and set a new direction?" said Ross.
"Actually, it's a question of, how," said Steve, quietly. "This has never been done before in a decisive manner. But we can do it on the basis of our key principle, the Principle of Universal Love."
I decided to address the shock that had been delivered, with a counter-shock. I decided to make the Man of The Cloth taste the emptiness of the pain he tried to evoke in our community, with which he was succeeding. It seemed imperative that I do this before the disease that he carried around destroyed him, and poisoned our community as well.
"We have to defend that man against himself," I said to Steve. "We have to uplift his platform to a higher level where truth comes to light, so that everyone becomes uplifted. But how do we do that?"
"Be patient," said Steve. "Watch for an opening. Look for the weak flank. Shock tactics don't work. Don't force the opening; he will provide the weak flank himself."
Before our discussion ended the moderator put me on the spot. The moderator of the panel asked us to comment on the two speaker's remarks. He singled me out by name as the contact person for our side.
"Be gentle," said Steve. "Focus on the truth."
I stood up as requested and congratulated the Man of The Cloth who had labored for half an hour until great pearls of sweat stood on his forehead, and I also honored the man who had supported him. I commented that I might have felt the same way as they did, had I not have had the opportunity of visiting two of the kind of beaches that they both despised. I told them that both were located within the city limits of major cultural centers, one in Europe, and one in Canada. "I did not see any fornication there," I said to them, "and no filth, or evidence of mental pollution, nor had I heard of any cases of destroyed homes or desecrated marriages. These are facts contrary to conjectures..." I spoke for five minutes only.
Long before I had finished the Man of The Cloth stood up and interrupted my defense. "But are the people in these cities God-fearing men?" he asked and set down again.
The Man of The Cloth was of imposing stature, impressively dressed, and evidently revered by virtue of his exalted position. He looked down on me as though to say, there was no argument that I could possibly bring up that would touch him. I felt as though he was saying to me in the name of the fondi, as Palmerston had said to me repeatedly in Venice, that there was nothing that I or we could do to prevent his victory. I remembered this sickening feeling all too well from that night in Venice. In this sense the hearing developed to become Venice all over again, in a different form perhaps, but it unfolded all the same in essence. Speaking from the pinnacle of his self-importance that reflected his rank, The Man of The Cloth had been performing a minutely scripted play that left no opening for a dialog. I was certain that no reason would find a response. Nor would logic cause him to deviate from his script. Picking a fight with him would avail nothing. Nor did I feel inclined to fight with him. In any case, this wasn't the demand of the hour. Still, I had to prevail against him in order to protect our community. His attack demanded that I stand up for us and for the people that came for the hearing, who seemed to be the real target of his attack. Since he chose to fight against them, I had no option but to respond and find a way out of this hell for us all.
"No," I said to him, "the people in these cities are not all God-fearing men."
He smiled with a benign gesture, like someone who had just won a decisive victory over an outclassed opponent.
"There you have it! There is your answer," he said to the assembly of the people who had come to the hearing.
I added quietly that the people that I had seen at those beaches were in my estimation much too close to God that they would fear him. "They were honoring God by honoring one another as the brightest gem of creation in the universe of life," I said to him. I told him that as far as I could tell, the people that I saw had managed to turn back the clock of history beyond the point where the Adam and Eve satire had been accepted as the truth. "Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge, the knowledge of the truth. The satire says that knowing the truth made them ashamed of each other and afraid of God. That's an imperial proposition. Fear of the truth, coupled with terror, is a standard imperial proposition. I saw no traces of fear in those people's eyes at those beaches, or shame for one another. I only saw love in their eyes, love for their humanity and for one-another." I told the Man of The Cloth that the anciently created axioms of God-appointed evil have been reversed in the minds of the people that I saw. "They didn't fear God, which gave them their humanity. They fell in love with their humanity, and thereby honored God. They honored one-another and loved their God for it, and joyously acknowledged their love for the divine by loving each other, and by responding to one-another as human beings..."
I kept a close watch on the man's reactions while I spoke. He was fast getting boiling mad. I had to be quick so as not to injure him. I pointed out that he was clinging to a political distortion of a profound truth, and that it was this distortion which gave rise to his perception that man is naked and should be ashamed of himself. I added that ever since the day when society began hiding itself from itself, physically, spiritually, intellectually, and scientifically, it became locked into an endless game of covering up its self-imposed poverty, its imaginary nakedness. It began covering it all up under the heading of shame; supported by fear and terror.
I told the Man of The Cloth that the people at those beaches, as far as I could tell, had moved beyond playing this dark game of ancient mythology that culminated into mental poverty and shame. "It appears," I said, "that the people at these beaches saw a divine grandeur in a man or a woman that was satisfying. They saw themselves as being complete, whole, beautiful, and honorable in the image and likeness of God, reflecting in their individual existence an image of the creator that they cherished rather than were ashamed of." I suggested that this higher kind of perception is a central factor for establishing peace with oneself, which in turn is a prerequisite for establishing peace in the world.
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