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Trouble in Heaven
And on Earth
The Method
The Fall
Symbols of Self
Hard Problems
Flesh of the Gods
Free Will
Ever Beginning
Never Ending

Chapter 19

Love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter.

                                                                                T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965

Lovejoy looked into her eyes. He was very close. All of Mindy's features were magnified. He could see moisture gathering at her pores. The freckles under her eyes tremble with her intense emotion. He loved her. He knew it. And yet he knew it was crazy to love her so soon.

They had just made love. He felt more than intimate with her. He didn't know where 'he' ended and 'she' began. Her eyes were wide open in his. They no longer were distinct beings. He felt her vulnerability; her hoping this union was real. He felt one with her in an unspoken honesty so complete it was raw.

Sizes and shapes altered subtly. A wave of attention flowed back and forth between them. Too intense to prolong, he shut his eyes and hugged her. He was joyous. He was warm throughout. The volume of benevolent wishing he felt for her reverberated in his heart, mind and everything around them.

A moment later he could speak. The altered state of consciousness was waning. He reaffirmed to her his love, respect and happiness that they were together. He asked her how she was. No longer in her mind, he wanted reassurance that she was all right.

That higher plane of awareness during their union was as exquisite as the physical ecstasy. Lovejoy mused. That's what we all want isn't it; reconnection, union with each other in the highest aspects of the soul. Union with the entire universe. No barriers. No partitions. No hiding. Pure communication was pure love. No, more than communication, which must occur between two points. Union occurred when the two points were indistinguishable.

The next thing he knew there was a: knock, knock, knock.

Mindy was knocking on my temple. Just a light rapping, but it was still a rude awakening. I rolled onto my back and she jumped into the air, straddled me and bounced the bed until my head rattled. The windows' light revealed it was a new morning.

"Wake up, wake up, you're going to miss your plane," she squealed with a big smile.

"My plane was before sunrise." I dully recited to a knowing audience.

"Oh, I am sooo sorry." She was acting like a kid. "Did I distract you last night?"

I knew it would be ok. I didn't really have anything left for me in North Carolina. Maybe one friend, Ludwig. I could e-mail him. "You still are distracting me. In fact'" I said as I got up against her weight and fell with her across the bed, "I'd like to protract our distraction a bit further."

She looked wide-eyed, as if somebody forgot to lock the cage of the tiger she was teasing. "You were intoxicated last night."

"With you!" I said, leaning closer.

"No, I mean with our discussion. You drink ideas down like a pitcher full of ale in a college bar." She said diverting me.

I fell sideways; disappointed but not surprised. Two gourmet meals for a starving man in twenty-four hours would be too much to ask.

"I do love fresh thinking and people who dare to stray from their comfortable philosophies." I admitted.

"Do you think it has value or is just a pastime, like basketball?"

"Or basket weaving? I've thought at times that it's an addiction. Only in this case it's an addiction to the auto-stimulation of the organ atop our shoulders."

"Then you can't criticize people who 'dare not stray', can you?" She cautioned.

"Ok. I still enjoy building hypotheses. It's one of the capabilities that separates us from other species."

"How do you know what's going on behind my chimps' silent eyes?"

"That's part of it isn't it? Without language they're silent. At least regarding the exchange of complex ideas."

"You mean symbolism." Mindy clarified.


"Symbolism. When we make one idea stand for another; or one sound for an idea; or a picture for a sound. We humans can symbolize ad infinitum."

"Have I stumbled across a portion of your work."

"Yes, and my next lesson for you." She beamed proudly. I happily conceded the thought of spending more time with her on the subject.

"Stay put while I shower. I'll take you out to breakfast and then on to explore."

I watched her form in the sun's filtered rays, eclipsing the window and disappearing behind the door. I rolled back onto the bed feeling the residual warmth of our bodies still radiating from the pillows and puff. I realized she had awakened me over night. I spent years searching for an awakening in my spiritual endeavors. And maybe I found one of sorts. Yet, here I was, opened to a different awareness; touch and feel, smells and sounds. A feast of sensuality which, in itself, was not the subject of the new consciousness I felt. Rather it was a sense of living in the present, appreciating my immediate environment, and giving feelings equal footing with ideas.

It was so ironic. In my spiritual group we had been taught to be wary of sensuality, and we were not so unusual in this ascetic ethic. We talked about living in the present, and meditation certainly helped that. However, so much of the other time was spent in our minds. We studied the ideas of others, debated and contrasted points of view and concentrated upon how they applied to our momentary situations. We were also taught to be wary of the "mental mind." This was our phrase for overusing the intellect to the detriment of being open to the spirit. Yet our primary pastime was mental gymnastics.

That day I started keeping notes. I knew I was in a new country in my consciousness journey.

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