"Living has become too expensive," said Steve and began to laugh. "Love has become too impossible to even contemplate on any scale other than the smallest scale. Even generosity and gratitude are fast fading away. We have stopped honoring animal life as a foundation for our life. We treat the animals as badly as we treat one another. Nevertheless we need them all, and we need one-another. We can't live on vegetation alone, nor can we live alone as an isolated people. While almost all vegetables provide some of the essential amino acids, it is difficult to obtain from them all of the vital eight in the needed balance. Animal protein, including fish, eggs, and milk provides all of them in the correct proportions. That is why animal protein is the most efficient food for human development, including our mental development. It may be possible in the future with nutritional science to create a balanced vegetable diet that provides the same nourishment as animal proteins. But for now, we are far from achieving that. Some of the long-developed cultures, that are combining beans and maize for example, as the Mexicans do, come out not too bad, but their diet still remains insufficient and requires animal inputs. Those who practice extreme vegetarianism, and are refusing animal proteins totally in their diet, are by this action suicidal. A pregnant woman in such a case generally kills her baby by starvation. The balancing act to artificially create the full combination of the essentials in a readily digestible form, is far too complex to accomplish, even in today's advanced world, so that we do need the animals, and we do need to eat them. The Egyptians were able to do this in rich measure. In this sense the pyramids stand also as a tribute to the animals, and to the Intelligence that is reflected in the Universe that has created this interrelated balance that we are a part of."
"Our world is in a mess, because we refuse to see ourselves as a part of this balance," Ushi interjected. "We need each other, and we need to support each other just as we need to support everything that we depend on. The Universe has given us all the resources that we need to do that, and to pull the whole world up behind us?"
"And what is our point in saying that?" I interjected.
"The point is that the harmonizing partnership of all aspects of Life goes far deeper than we yet imagine," said Steve. "This brings us back to the lateral lattice. All roads in the Universe lead us to the lateral lattice. The point is that we have not really begun to see ourselves as constituents of that lateral Universe, where no separation is possible or happens in real terms. I think the deeper we get into the lateral domain, instead of merely dancing around the edge, the more our world will change. Most of what we call civilization is barely ten thousand years old, Peter. I think we still stumble as youngsters do, who make their way exuberantly through the fields as they play. But as we play and experiment, and as the experiments fail, such as empire and war, we tend to grow up. The Universe is self-developing and we don't live outside of this model. We are a part of it. Just as the Universe is expanding, we find ourselves expanding, and this with the same intensity of creativity that we see manifested in the Universe itself. We find ourselves existing on the same platform of Principle that operates the Universe. In terms of what we develop with the resources we have at hand, we call ourselves creative, and become a leading force, but as we do this, we only extend the pattern that we are a part of and experience with them the rich dynamism of living."
"Spiritually we can be like the Nile," said Ushi, "a nourishing stream that flows through the world rich with ideas and creative powers." She began to laugh. "It's true, we are like the Nile," she added.
While we were talking along this line, Steve asked me if I knew in which century humanity discovered that the Earth is a sphere.
I suggested that this fact was already known in 500 BC to the Pythagorean. "This was common knowledge in the third century BC when the length of the circumference of the Earth had been calculated quite accurately by Erastosthenes in Egypt, and the Egyptians had set sail in the Third Century BC to circumnavigate the Earth, in order to prove their calculations. For this the Egyptians had launched the first transoceanic expedition ever undertaken. When Columbus reached the Caribbean at the end of the 15th Century, he came 1700 years too late to claim the honor."
Steve nodded. He explained that the Nile had made the Egyptians' progressive development possible, just as Science makes today's developments possible and all future developments. "In the early stages the Nile had eliminated one of mankind's major developmental barriers," said Steve. Then he began to laugh and suggested that we had addressed a somewhat different developmental barrier during the night, when by means of our scientific efforts, another very-deep-seated human need was met. He conceded that in our case the need had not been for easy access to food, but for the fulfillment of a much-higher natural requirement for intelligent sexual beings. He suggested that the end result in both cases might be the same, portending a richer and freer world. He suggested that for as long as the human mind remains tied into knots, over unmet needs, or unresolved paradoxes, which the prevailing social conventions aggravate, society won't be free to soar to the height of perception that it is capable of, and embrace the infinite. "Egypt eventually failed in this, by which it collapsed," he added. "We cannot afford such a failure."
Steve asked us to compare our unfolding morning to our experience of the morning before. Indeed he was right. Much had already changed in this one single day from morning to morning? The morning before had been interwoven with a lot of the darkness of the ugly things in the world, such as war and the brutalities of empire that made one ashamed to have witnessed, and had made one almost ashamed of mankind. Now, one day later, the shame had been replaced with a deeply seated celebration of being in Love with ourselves and with all that we are a part of, including one-another. Indeed, Steve was right, our faces probably were as bright as a sun, reflecting the brightness of what we had found in ourselves and in one-another.
"That's how we begin to transform the world," said Steve. He added a few moments later that the deeper aspect of it will establish the platform that obsoletes nuclear war, and all forms of war and brutality. Steve was evidently serious about this goal, by saying that our episode from the night before illustrates an aspect of Principle that is essential for the survival of civilization. He urged me never to forget this profound day in my life that we had together, from morning to morning, and what came out of it.
"There are two types of social platforms in the world," he continued. "Both are totally opposite in their nature. One is the oligarchic feudal platform, which divides and isolates people from another. The other is the nation-state platform that builds civilization as it brings people together by their common commitment to the Principle of the General Welfare, as Franklin Roosevelt had set this platform up in the USA. One of these two platforms, the feudal oligarchic one, is hardly worth to bear the name, human, because it exists to steal from one-another and to smother one-another, which drags us deeper into the mud than the lowest form of life. It literally extinguishes the human Soul. The other platform exists to enrich society with the brightness of its humanity, and to enrich the whole world in the process."
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