How These Pages Came To Be

    This is Meher Baba at about 70. This  card, which became popular among  Westerners drawn to Baba especially in  the '60s and early '70s, much later  became the creative inspiration of Bobby  McFerrin's popular song.

      THE AUTHOR OF these pages   first encountered the name Meher Baba   while walking to breakfast with an   acquaintance, at college in 1969. The   friend was carrying a newspaper, glancing   at it as we quietly walked.
      Half way to the cafeteria, he suddenly   said, "Here's an interesting article", and   proceeded to read a brief story on the   obituary page, that said something like,
"A man named Meher Baba, who lived in India, did not speak, and maintained that he was God, and would break his silence before he died, died yesterday, January 31, 1969."

     My main response, upon hearing those words, was a kind of whimsical delight that in our modern world someone, somewhere, would either claim he was God, or maintain silence, let alone both!

     But before long, the name faded from my consciousness.

     Two years later, I was visiting Chicago, where I had first started college. I had left home at 18 to attend at Northwestern University. I'd heard that one of my former "radical" comrades had somehow become connected with Meher Baba. One day, shortly before I intended to end my visit, he phoned and asked if I wanted to stop by the advertising agency where he worked, to say hello.

     "Sure," I said, finding my old friend's voice disarming. In truth, though, I had been avoiding this fellow, precisely because he was "into Meher Baba", and was a former radical who was working as an ad-man only two years later. A girl I knew had told me she'd seen him on TV selling laundry detergent. It all just seemed like too much!

     His voice having immediately transformed my preconceptions, the next morning I took the El train downtown to the Prudential Building, where my friend worked. I caught the elevator to the agency on the upper floors of the building. My friend came out to the reception area and embraced me. Then he led me down a corridor and opened a doorway into what was the tiniest private office I'd ever seen.

     There were a desk and two chairs in the office, nothing else. One of the chairs was behind the desk, the other in front it. I sat, of course, in the one in front. As I faced my friend in the other chair, I noticed that behind the desk on the wall was a large poster on yellow paper. A man's face, in a black and white photo, looked out of the poster. The man looked to be in his twenties. He had long hair, a feathery moustache and wisp of a beard, and the loveliest soft, clear eyes.     

      Under the photo, in large capital letters, were the words,


     Below those words, in smaller letters, the poster read,

"I was Rama,
I was Krishna,
I was this one,
I was that one,
And now I am Meher Baba."

     Immediately I realized that sitting in front of me was someone who could tell me more about this man whose obituary had been read to me for no understandable reason on a misty Saturday morning two years before.

     "Did Meher Baba say he was God?" I asked.

     "He says everyone, and everything is God, but there are a very few who are fully conscious of their divinity, and who therefore are really able to guide others."

     "Why shouldn't I follow Christ, or Ramakrishna?" my next question spontaneously followed, mentioning the names of two spiritual figures I had recently been reading about.

     "Baba said he's the Avatar," replied my friend. "He said he returns to earth approximately every 700 to 1400 years, whenever people forget what we're really here for. In recorded history, he said he came as Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed."

     "He's naming the greatest figures in History," I thought.

     The questions, which had been coming to me as naturally as though I'd thought them out—which I hadn't—now stopped. My mind and the room were silent. "Maybe this Meher Baba was a really great man," the voice of my thoughts went on. But if he died two years ago, what's the difference?"

     I began to contemplate that thought, It contained some ambiguity I needed to clarify.

     "Where is he now?" I blurted out, looking at the picture.

     I waited for my friend to answer. Silence. In a little while, I looked back toward him. He was smiling. What about? He in fact had practically the widest grin I'd ever seen.

     And then, suddenly, I felt it, too. That—Love! This was Love! Not romantic, or platonic love with a small "l". This was God! This was Divine Love!

     The room overflowed with it! This Love was invisible, yet it felt more real by far than anything I had ever known. It seemed "pink" somehow, though my eye could discern no color.

     We were in the presence of a Being who was Infinite and Benign—Infinitely Benign. This Being had a distinct "personality", yet also, somehow, included my friend and I, and everything else, in Himself. I felt myself as simply a part of this greater Being Whose nature was Love.

     So my nature was Love! How had I never before felt what was clearly the only essential fact of all existence? How had I failed to notice Meher Baba, who was and had always been, the Being of my own being?

     How long my friend and I sat there, embraced by that Divine Smile, I don't know. But when I left that room, as it says in one of the poems that follow,

"I searched a different search and sang a different tune."

     I left that room 33 and a half years ago. As I wrote the words above, I felt the Presence of Meher Baba no different than when I had first lived through the experience I was describing. It was as though Time and Space again bowed at His Feet. My life for the last 33 years has been a quest to keep them there permanently, so those veils do not come between me and this Love.

      The poems on the following pages will give you a taste of this soul's Journey with Meher Baba. He said His Presence will remain at a constant level for a hundred years afte He dropped His body in 1969. Meher Baba is not dead, He is here and available to those who seek Him with love, and to those fortunate ones on whom, like myself, His Whim alights.


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