"Human beings can get out of the fascist trap and create the infrastructures to protect our existence. Love enables us to become human beings, Peter. The Principle of Universal Love is the principle of our humanity. On this principle we built our economy. No other principle of economy exists. Anything else is a dream. On this principle we have to potential to create an economy that that gives us the power to meet the Ice Age without being harmed by it. It may take us a hundred years to create this kind of love-based economy, but the path is open to us if we care to choose it. The key, of course, as I said so many times, is the Principle of Universal Love. Without this key we can't open the door and take the steps that are necessary for an Ice Age Renaissance to be created, creating a world that is free of fascism and rich in love and humanist achievements. If we choose not to utilize the Principle of Universal Love as the key for our survival we will surely die in the next Ice Age, with the song of the sophistry of global warming on our lips, provided that we won't kill ourselves with DU poisoning before then. The Principle of Universal Love truly is the key to unlock our advanced human potential."
"But the footsteps are difficult, Peter."
"They don't have to be, Ross. Just imagine what a world we would have if every person would dedicate one single moment of every day to love one-another more fully and honestly as human beings, and take this love beyond the small sphere of family, colleges, and friends to embrace in this love only one other person like a grain of sand on the seashore that is blown by the wind to touch another grain of sand. We would raise a love storm around the world with this process. And that would only be a beginning. The rest that would follow from that beginning is bound to be almost unimaginably beautiful at the present stage, and profound in its effect in uplifting civilization. I think that is what the Principle of Universal Love opens the door to. It's proper manifest would have to be nothing less than a love storm sweeping the world. It would end the 'Desert Storm.'"
Ross and I parted on that note that day and went back to our respective places.
+ + +
I met Ross again a few days later. This time there was no cleanup work to be done on the beach.
"If what you said is correct why did you mess up with Antonovna," he said almost immediately after the initial smile and saying 'hi Pete.' "Did you lack the courage or the wisdom to turn your theory into practice?" He stopped and began to laugh. "No offence is intended, Pete. I'm just as impotent in this area as you are, or as we both are. There is nothing alive in the ocean of love in our world. The scene is dead and lifeless. It's like we have a shingle hanging at our door post that reads, 'Welcome to the Dead World Society.' It's hard to quit that membership, Pete."
"Dead is right," I said and laughed with him. "Compared with what we have now, those days with Anton in Moscow were days of heaven. We had probed the deep things that were moving the world, even the ugly things, but most of all we spoke about love even while we were both secretly scared of it. Almost the entire time was focused on sex, Ross, can you believe that? Still, we barely spoke the word. It just hovered in the background. We didn't know how to touch it. I don't know who was more afraid to touch it - she or I? Anton was scared to death about anything connected with sex and for good reasons. Still, she kept bringing the subject up. We talked about in an atmosphere of tension. At least there was a great deal of movement going on. I felt alive in this movement. Sex was something that we lived with. We didn't just dance around it. We put it on the table, though we never had sex together. Nevertheless I think we both knew that we should have had. We just didn't know how to open the door to something that convention had barred for many ages. But at least, sex was on the table in those days. It was acknowledged as an element of love that we couldn't avoid. Love had become synonymous with living. Living love had become the focal point in many ways, and sex was dragged behind it as if we couldn't let go of it without ever getting into it. Maybe it didn't seem important enough to stand in the foreground. But now everything is dead. Who even talks about love anymore, except as something high in the sky existing theoretically as a world-supporting principle. But what about us, Ross. Who of us even talks about love, much less sex? Heather is as scared to talk about love as Anton was about sex. So, we don't talk at all anymore. Something happened, Ross, that made our world a dead scene. Nobody would even dream talking about sex anymore. You know whet the biggest excitement is now in our life? It's what the color of the floor tiles should be to remodel the kitchen. It's like we have pulled ourselves out of the fight for life and let the fondi have their way, who insist that we have no right to be living. I should get a medal from them, the Gold Medal for obedience."
Ross began to laugh.
"Don't laugh, Ross," I cut him off. "That's no laughing matter. The medal they gave me is like Tolkien's golden ring that has nothing but emptiness at the center and makes those invisible who wear it. We have both become invisible, Ross, in comparison with what our potential once was and evidently still is."
Ross began to laugh again. "That ring that you call a medal would have an inscription around the outside, like Tolkien's ring in his ring saga. The inscription would read, 'Good boy Peter, no sex, no love, no life, sleep well; and don't open your eyes while the world goes to hell.'"
Ross stopped laughing after he said this and added quietly. "I am wearing this ring too, Peter. It works exactly like Tolkien had illustrated it in the Lord of the Rings saga. Whoever would wear this ring became invisible. You are right. That's what has happened to us. Not even Fred is coming around anymore. And Tony, he hasn't dropped by for years, except for Christmas. He comes by every Christmas, for a vacation, as he puts it."
"What else would he be coming for?" I interjected. "There is nothing happening here anymore. We've been corrupted by the song of the fondi. Remember what they told me in Venice, when I challenged them with the Principle of Universal Love. They laughed at me. You heard the tapes of that meeting we had in the middle of the night. They called the Principle of Universal Love, kid stuff, a joke. They called me an impotent fool. They called all of us that. And they were right. When I danced with Anton around sex, as an element of life and love, we were talking to each other as human beings about the beauty of our humanity. Now the biggest subject is the color of the kitchen floor or how to dethrone the President."
"The reason is that it is too difficult to talk about sex in terms of universal love," Ross interjected.
"We build a dam out of sex, Ross, some mythical barrier behind which everything get piled up so that nothing moves."
"Why did we find it too difficult to deal with this one little thing, Peter. And why did we put Heather in the middle between us so that we have barely talked to each other for years already. We once talked about building a road between our two houses. We had even built a trail in the early days, but that has become overgrown."
"Maybe it's our marriage that built that dam between us, Peter, yours with Sylvia, and mine to be, with Heather. We've both become paralyzed by this in the face of the Principle of Universal Love. The demands are too great."
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