Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lost in the Heavens (Part 5.)

Perhaps it is natural to think of others as if they are basically just like us; maybe just a little smarter or dumber, a little better or worse, a little more right or wrong, a little more or less talented, etc. Maybe that is why we are sometimes so surprised when someone thinks or acts differently than we do—even when it seems so “obvious,” to us, what is appropriate and what is not, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad…

 And perhaps, for some of us, just the possibility of the existence of masts and other spiritually advanced souls begins to chip away at those unchallenged beliefs and assumptions that we make about ourselves, others, and the reality of our material universe and material existence. But what if that “reality” is not a reality at all? I think that even science has begun to ask that question and has begun to find data that suggests that the core of “reality” is not what it has previously and even relatively recently assumed it to be—that the basis of reality is not material, but thought.

Listen to the words of Meher Baba:

“When you sleep and dream you experience association with people, speaking with them and doing actions in relation to them, see all manner of objects in your surroundings, and feel happiness or unhappiness in regard to them all. Where do all these people and objects come from? Not from outside yourself but from within you. You create them for your own experiencing—and no one but you sees, knows about and experiences what you are seeing, knowing and experiencing. They exist only for you.

“In like manner, you are sitting in this room seeing these other persons and the objects in the room, and, in like manner, no one but you is seeing them and experiencing them—that is, seeing and experiencing them as you are seeing and experiencing them. They exist solely for you and have come from nowhere but from within you—you have created them for your experience of them.

“What is called your "awake-state," your daily life with all its associations and experiences, is only you dreaming and in your dream creating all the persons and objects in that dreaming for your experience of them; what is called your dreaming when asleep is but another dream within this dream.

“When you awake from your asleep-dreaming into your awake dream you know that the asleep-dreaming was only a dream. When you awake from your awake-dreaming you will know that you were the sole creator of both the dreams, and all the people, objects and situations contained in them—that they existed only in you and were for no one but you and were nothing but dream experiences of your own dreaming; and that you alone have Real Existence. (But), when real light appears, this darkness which you think is light disappears” – Stay with God, p. 167, Francis Brabazon © copyright 1977 Francis Brabazon

 During dinner with friends last night, and somewhere between the second and third bottles of wine, the subject of my blog came up and with it the recent posts on the masts. Someone asked how a mast can be distinguished from an ordinary madman. I answered that an ordinary person usually cannot tell—that even Meher Baba’s closest disciples who were given the task to bring masts to Baba made errors.

As the conversation wore on, someone suggested that masts were a lot like the mad—that they were similar. I suggested that was not the case, and that, in fact, the mad are more similar to “normal” human beings than they are to the masts. I then quoted Meher Baba, who, with His typically eloquent way of clarifying complex spiritual ideas said, “Mind working is man; mind working fast is mad; mind working slow is mast; and mind stopped (but still conscious) is God.”

The largest and most well-known mosque in India is popularly called Jama Masjid Mosque. It is located in Old Delhi and is a place I’ve visited a few times over a number the years while wandering through India. There are three extremely crowded lanes that lead to the great Mosque. It is difficult to describe the density of humanity on these paths traveling in and out of the mosque; one feels swept along like a little raft in a raging current.

 On each of my visits I have noticed two individuals, the same two individuals, and I have wondered about them, and though I have no way of telling if they are spiritually advanced or not, my intuition is that they are indeed extraordinary.

I have rendered this experience in literary form in a piece I wrote in 1996. On the morning after a great storm, the lover walks out into his yard and observes the chaos and destruction wrought by a great storm. Feeling overwhelmed, he calls upon his Divine Beloved who immediately appears, takes the lover by the hand, and together they go on an incredible journey to various spiritually significant places. One place they go is the Jama Masjid Mosque in Old Delhi.

“No sooner did he take my hand but a kind of curtain was pulled around me. Then it was gone and we were standing in the middle of a crowded lane that led to, what appeared to be, a very large mosque. A sea of people surged around us.

‘Where are we now?’ I asked. ‘Are we here to see this mosque?’

‘No,’ he answered and began walking in the direction of the great building. We took no more than a few steps and he stopped.

‘Look over there,’ he said, and pointed to the side of the road. I looked, but could not see what he trying to show me.

‘There,’ he pointed, ‘there, on the ground — the man!’

And then I saw him, a thin nearly naked man lying flat on the ground. His face was turned to the side and he was breathing in a very rapid rhythmic way. He was making strange sounds, but I couldn’t tell if he was saying anything.

Even more strange was that he had no arms, just two short stumps, one of which he continuously beat or flapped ferociously in the air. I was shocked and appalled by the sight and quickly turned away.

‘I don’t understand.’ I said. ‘Is he a beggar?’

‘Not a beggar, but a wayfarer,’ he replied.

‘What is he doing?’ I asked.

‘He is in a very high state of spiritual intoxication, he said. ‘He is totally unconscious of the physical universe, not even conscious of his own body.’

‘How did he get like that?’ I asked.

‘When he was just a child, he was given to a spiritual school. This school had knowledge of many ancient practices. You can say that this man is the result of certain experiments.’

‘Experiments!’ I exclaimed, unable to hide my revulsion. ‘What kind of experiments?’

‘Jesus referred to such practices when he said that there was once a time when the kingdom of heaven could be attained by violence.’

‘So what will become of this man?’ I asked.

‘I will help him,’ my companion replied, ‘he is very dear to me. But now, walk with me in the direction of the mosque, there is another man I want you to see.’

He gestured in the direction of a small gathering of people attending and man sitting on a raised platform in the middle of the road. He had no arms or legs and unlike the first man he was carefully dressed in clean white linen.

‘Is he spiritually intoxicated too?’ I ventured.

‘No,’ my companion said. ‘This man is very advanced, but he is salik.’

‘Salik?’  I asked.

‘Sober.’ He replied.

‘Is he the result of an experiment too?’

‘No, he is this way because of tremendous personal efforts he has made. He has undertaken great penances and made many sacrifices. His work has been intentional and conscious.’

‘Is there any connection between him and the other man?’ I asked.

‘Yes, this man is the first man’s spiritual master. He is his guide.’

I was very interested to know why my Beloved had taken me to see these two strange men, but before I could even formulate a question, the man on the platform had taken notice of my companion and began gesturing to his attendants who picked him up and turned him in our direction.

He and my Beloved stared into each other’s eyes. For a moment, they were completely still, I could feel it, and totally absorbed. Then, just as quickly as it had begun, it was over and my companion was walking away.

‘Come,’ he said. ‘This work is done!’

'That man seemed to know you,’ I said.

‘Yes, he is one of my few direct agents, and is the Spiritual Chargeman for this part of the world—he is responsible for all of its affairs.’”

(To be continued.)

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