Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lost In the Heavens

“I will now come to visions and revelations of the Lord. More than fourteen years ago I knew a man in Christ —whether in the body or whether out of the body, I cannot tell—who was caught up in the third heaven and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter. How that he was caught up into paradise, only God knows.” 2 Corinthians 12.2

I am not a biblical scholar and only came to hear of this statement by Paul while watching a recent episode of the television show, Madam Secretary. What struck me about it was the reference to the third heaven

The average person of the world believes that they can acquire more knowledge and power and obtain some measure of happiness in life. The average person of the world believes that these possibilities can be achieved while remaining in their ordinary familiar state of consciousness—and they are correct.

But there is another knowledge, another power, and another happiness, of which the average person is mostly unaware. It is a knowledge, power, and happiness that is only accessible to only another level of consciousness—the consciousness of the advanced soul.

The average person of the world has little knowledge of advanced souls—individuals whose consciousness has involved beyond the gross physical universe. Advanced souls have begun to tread the path of the higher planes of consciousness and have begun to experience themselves as energy or mind. It is not that these individuals think that they are energy or mind while experiencing themselves as their own gross body, instead, they actually do not experience their gross bodies at all and directly experience themselves as energy or mind. One such rare category of advanced souls is called the Mast.

In describing the possibilities that exist for the consciousness of man, Gurdjieff once said that the average man lives in the dark dank basement of a beautiful house with beautifully appointed rooms that he never uses and never sees.

But though this series of posts is for the average man, this series of posts is not about the average man, but about that much rarer type of man “whose exterior semblance doth belie thy soul’s immensity…– William Wordsworth

This type of man is the man of suspicious exterior and auspicious interior—it is about the God-Intoxicated man—it is about the Masts.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie thy soul’s immensity…” Ibid

Even though Wordsworth was not referring to the Masts when he penned that line, I don’t think a more poetic expression of the Mast state can be found.

I have always enjoyed hearing about the Masts and other types of advanced souls. Reading about them—hearing stories about them—helps me to remember what is truly important and shakes me in my sleep by evoking in me the state Gurdjieff called Self-remembering.  

Self-remembering is a state in which I am reminded that if I am really serious, then most all things, including myself, should not be taken too seriously—for is it not true that those who take things too seriously cannot be very serious, while those who are really serious take very little seriously?” Masts, those advanced souls who are lost in the experiences of the heavens of the planes of consciousness, take God very seriously, but not much else.

“She lives alone in some ancient and disused stables, about a mile from the famous Taj Mahal. As Meher Baba and his attendant approached the stable, guided by a gardener from the Taj gardens, they heard a noise like the roaring of a tiger. When they came closer they found an old lady; but though old, she was a big strong woman. Her arms were covered with bangles and she had a bright attractive face. She was pacing to and fro roaring in this extraordinary fashion, all the while, making gestures with her hands. When Baba arrived she stopped roaring and greeted Baba with respect and seemed happy to meet him. Baba told Eruch to ask her if she felt happy, and she replied that she was very happy to see them. Baba was obviously very glad to contact her and said that she was a very high mastani. She has since passed away.”— The Wayfarers – Meher Baba with the God-Intoxicated, by William Donkin, © copyright, 1948, Adi K. Irani

Over two hundred of the more than four hundred pages of The Wayfarers are in the form of a supplement. The supplement describes mast contacts and consists of short descriptions “first culled from various disciples of Meher Baba. Meher Baba then read through each description, correcting many, adding to many; and in the majority of cases, he also dictated an authoritative note concerning the type of mast, and sometimes, also, a note about their spiritual advancement.” — William Donkin

I have always loved these descriptions — they are my favorite part of The Wayfarers. Something about them fires my imagination and resonates in me at some deep level beyond words. 

“The tale of love must be heard from love itself, for like the mirror, it is both mute and expressive.”— Shams i Tabriz

“Agniwala Baba — A mast from Aligarh (near Delhi) 1942
“An old mast that lives in a deserted room that was once a shop; he keeps five or six puppies, and always has a fire (agni) in the room. He asked for firewood from Baba who gave him one maund (80 pounds) of it which the mast himself carried t on his head from the wood-stall to his room. Baba also fed him, and as usual with these masts who keep dogs about them, Agniwala Baba first fed the puppies, and then allowed himself to be fed. Meher Baba said he was a good mast.” The Wayfarers – Meher Baba with the God-Intoxicated, by William Donkin, © copyright, 1948, Adi K. Irani

Masts appear to the average person to resemble homeless people or even the insane. It is because the average person cannot see beyond their suspicious exterior. But Meher Baba sees beyond that exterior, deeply into the minds and hearts of the masts. In the Wayfarers, He describes the various types of masts. One type He calls Jalali:

“A jalali mast is always hot –tempered, abusive to others, and talks at random. He is restless and beats those who come near him. He is almost always dressed in rags, and lives in an environment of filth and squalor… He never asks for gifts except tea and tobacco. If given clothes, money and so forth, he at once throws them away… He is happy in crowded streets and bazaars, and sometimes enjoys the company of dogs. The presence of small children annoys him.”— Ibid.

Nanga Baba is completely naked and carries a forked stick with bits of dirty rags tied to it. He lives on a mountain facing the Amber palace and each morning he comes down to the village, takes some sweetmeats from a shopkeeper who gives them to him and then, speaking to no one, returns to his mountain. About half-way up the mountain, at a small temple where there is a spring of water, he washes and eats the sweetmeats, drinks water, and then goes up to his mountain top after making mud balls.

“I asked him what these were for and he told me that he was ordered to throw these “fire balls” on big cities in other parts of the world, and because of this he was very busy and couldn’t come with me. I then asked him what his peculiar forked stick was for and he replied that the stick and the knots of old rags on it helped him to aim and point towards the cities on which he threw the “fire balls.” — Ibid.

Imagine a pencil with points on either end. Both points are in contact with a piece of paper. One piece of paper represents the gross world—the entire material universe that gross conscious souls see and hear and smell and taste and feel. The other piece of paper represents the higher planes of consciousness in the subtle and mental worlds.

Gross conscious souls experience themselves as moving the pencil on the piece of paper representing the gross world and doing gross actions like eating, talking, and moving around. What they don’t see, what they don’t experience, is that as the pencil point moves on the paper representing the gross world it is also making marks with the other point on the paper representing the subtle and mental worlds.

The exact opposite is true of advanced souls who see themselves moving the pencil upon the paper that represents the subtle and mental worlds. What they don’t see is the other end of the pencil that reacts to the subtle and mental movements by making patterns on the paper representing the gross world.

Meher Baba was clear on this point, that all souls in illusion, whether gross, subtle, or mental conscious only experience one world at a time. Gross conscious souls do not experience the subtle or mental worlds, subtle conscious souls do not experience the gross or mental worlds, and mental conscious souls do not experience the gross or subtle worlds.

Masts experience the subtle and mental worlds, but they differ in their experience from both the ordinary human being and the other advanced souls because they do not absorb their experiences into their sense of self because their sense of self is lost in their own experiences. Consequently they do not experience themselves as the doer of their own actions and it is precisely for this reason that the behavior of masts often appears to those of gross consciousness to be quite odd, bizarre, or unbalanced.

Now of course all this information regarding the masts and other advanced souls comes but from the teachings of Meher Baba.

One of my favorite books of all times is called The Wayfarers — Meher Baba with the God-intoxicated. Written by Dr. William Donkin, it is still available through Sheriar Press. The book highlights a period in Meher Baba’s life (1922– 1949) when He actively sought out masts for the purposes of His work.  The exact nature of this work remains unknown, because what even his closest followers saw, or what we are able to glean from the chronicles of The Wayfarers, is only the outer shell of that work and what was going on internally remains hidden. Maher Baba did give some hints, however, and from these hints we are able to conclude that His work with masts was for their spiritual benefit and the spiritual benefit of all creation also.

During this period of his mast work Meher Baba traveled with a small number of close disciples throughout India, the Kashmir, and much of what is now Pakistan. He traveled incognito, taking great pains to not be recognized. Often, in speaking about Meher Baba to others, the followers were told to refer to him as their older brother. The travel was often difficult and exhausting. Masts are often reclusive, living alone in out of the way forests or hovels, on the streets of big cities, or in the foulest sort of places like butcher shops and even brothels. Additionally, when a mast is known by individuals in a community they are revered as saints and often protected from outsiders.

While on His mast tours, Meher Baba always seemed to know where He was going and would direct his party to specific places where masts were known or suspected of being; once there, He would send out a follower or two to first contact the mast or the mast’s attendants and deliver a message that their elder brother wished to contact the mast. A consistent requirement was that the contact should private and that the mast should willingly agree to the meeting.

“He is a fifth-plane mast in a ghous-like state. He has a peculiar springing gait as he walks; that is to say, he bobs his body up and down in an agile way, and Meher Baba explained that this gait was typical of ghous-like masts… Chambeli Shaw lives in the prostitutes’ quarter of Chapra and runs away from everyone who approaches him. There was this difficulty when Baba wished to contact him until someone mentioned that he was very fond of chewing tobacco and lime. A handful of this was brought, and when he saw it, Chambeli Shaw was tempted to approach, and so was contacted.” – Ibid.

Ghous-like masts have the qualities of a ghous. Meher Baba explained that ghous-like masts “are able to disconnect their limbs from their bodies when in a certain state of consciousness.” He said that “ghous-like masts are found in lonely places, because with the characteristic of separating the parts of their bodies, they prefer to remain hidden from the eyes of ordinary people.

 Meher Baba took His group of disciples along the banks of the sacred Ganges to the Dashashwamedh Ghat, which is used for cremation and for those ceremonies that take place on the tenth day after death. Harihar Baba is an old mast, is blind, and sits on top of a boat there. He is on the fifth plane and is the Spiritual Chargeman of Benares…” – Ibid.

The fifth plane of consciousness is the first of the two planes that comprise the Mental World. Fifth plane pilgrims experience themselves, and all of creation, as thought. It is not that they think, “I am thought,” instead, they are thought itself, and their thinking bears little resemblance to the thinking of a gross conscious individual. Likewise, with regard to their “seeing,” they “see” thought and do not see the Gross World—the world experienced through gross consciousness—the world experienced during the processes of evolution and reincarnation.

It is said, that after reading a good story, one is left with more, and better, questions than when they began. Perhaps that is why I enjoy these stories of the masts. For instance, take the term, “Spiritual Chargeman of Benares.” What does that mean? In fact, it is some kind of a title, like a job description. We are used to thinking that the affairs of the world are in the hands of our governments and other power possessing individuals and organizations, not an old blind mast who sits on top of a boat!

The Wayfarers – Meher Baba with the God-Intoxicated, describes a number of different categories of masts. Generally speaking, masts often appear to have little or no concern for their outer appearance, the state of their hygiene, their food, lodgings, etc. though, in fact, they are often quite particular about these things—just not in the same way that ordinary human beings are.

In other words, masts are often quite particular about their non-particularity! For example, if a mast is not interested in bathing, and many masts have not bathed for decades, it is nearly impossible to get them to do so.  If a mast wishes to drink kerosene as his tasty beverage of choice, as was the case with one mast they encountered, then that is what he will drink — apparently with no harmful effects. Meher Baba tells us that the reason for what appears to us the bizarre behavior of masts is that they have no gross consciousness; that is, they are not physically conscious of their or other’s physical bodies, or indeed anything at all in the whole gross physical creation.

In speaking about the differences between the consciousnesses of various souls in creation, Meher Baba explained that what we call the individualized soul is a drop of the eternal, indivisible, infinite, ocean of God. In the case of an ordinary human being, that soul — that reality — is covered by three bubbles, one of mind called the mental body, one of energy called the subtle body, and one which is gross or physical.

The manifestation of these bodies is first from the Mental World, then to the Subtle World, and finally to the Gross World. In other words, the patterns experienced by gross consciousness is first determined in the Mental World, then energized in the Subtle World, and then manifested in the Gross World. For the typical soul entering creation, their consciousness is first centered in the Gross World and not the Subtle World or Mental World. It is very rare that a soul entering creation first becomes conscious of the Mental or Subtle Worlds. If they do, they acquire the states of Archangels and Angels respectively. But perhaps, that is story for another time…

Mental consciousness experiences itself as the mind—as thoughts and feelings. It is in the Mental World that one directly experiences God everywhere and in everything, yet one still does not experience oneself as God! It goes without saying that the power of all these experiences encountered in planes and heavens of the Subtle and Mental worlds that are so powerful that the individual experiencing them can become overwhelmed and trapped in their enchantments. And this is the situation of the masts.

Chapter five of The Wayfarers is called, “Those Who Bear Witness.” It consists of a number of encounters with masts and other spiritually advanced souls who spontaneously recognized Meher Baba without ever being given any information about him or his status.

Azim Khan Baba; (Described by Meher Baba as a high mast of Muttra. The date was October 14, 1946). When Meher Baba contacted him, Azim Khan Baba said to Him;
“You are Allah; you have brought forth the creation, and once in a thousand years you come down to see the play of what you have created.”

I remember once that Eruch Jessawala, one of Meher Baba’s closest disciples, was reflecting on a line from an Arti dedicated to Meher Baba. The line was, “Truth and Truth’s body, Divine Avatar.” Eruch said that if Truth ever descended into illusion without first cloaking Itself in a body—Truth’s body—it would annihilate all of illusion—all of creation. How many people look at photographs of Meher Baba and see everything from Einstein, to Frank Zappa; from Satan, to an angel, or to God in human form.

Gross consciousness sees only the exterior of things—only the gross bubble; subtle consciousness see deeper—it sees the subtle bubble; and mental consciousness sees the mental bubble. Azim Khan Baba was a high mast, probably on the fourth or fifth plane of consciousness; what was he seeing when he said, “You are Allah; you have brought forth the creation, and once in a thousand years you come down to see the play of what you have created.”
In January 1947 Bhorwala Baba said of Meher Baba, “Meher Baba has in him the whole universe, he is the Master of everyone, and he is within every disciple. He is this world, that which is above it, and below it: he is in me and in everyone. He is the saint of saints; he is Tajuddin Baba; in one glance he sees the whole continent of India.” 

Meher Baba said that Bhorwala Baba was an Adept Pilgrim. Adept pilgrims are on the sixth plane of consciousness and experience themselves and all of creation as feeling. They are, they have become, feeling itself; their seeing is feeling. To get some kind of glimpse at the difference between an adept pilgrim’s state and that of a gross conscious individual, imagine sitting in your chair in North Carolina and thinking about something — like being on a beach in a tropical paradise. With your mind you imagine the ocean and the sand, the sun, and the feeling of the sun warming your skin. Then you open your eyes and there you are again, sitting in your chair in North Carolina. “Ah that was a great fantasy,” you say, tacitly affirming to yourself that your reality is your gross body, gross world, and gross consciousness. But the adept pilgrim has no gross orientation or identity at all—time and space, in the usual sense, does not exist for them at all.  Whatever it is that they are feeling is what they are and where they are. That which the average person of the world distinguishes as internal and external holds nothing of the same meaning for an Adept Pilgrim. They have no gross world or gross body to come back to, to re-orient to.

The sixth plane of consciousness is the highest plane before God-realization. Meher Baba says that sixth plane pilgrims see God everywhere and in everything, including themselves, and yet do not experience themselves as God. Try to imagine that!

In 1941 Meher Baba contacted Teli Baba.

 “A good mast, with an almost unbelievable habit of drinking whole bottles at a time of kerosene oil. His clothes and body were literally saturated with kerosene, and saliva flowed freely from his mouth, which was very dirty and ulcerated. He was brought to the traveler’s bungalow for contact, and Baba fed him and sat with him alone for two or three hours. He was then about forty years of age. He is a mast of the third plane.” – Ibid. (Meher Baba said that the third plane of the subtle world is a plane of incredible powers and in its heavens abides angels and gods.)

He drinks kerosene! Yet he is conscious of the third plane of the subtle world—a world of incredible powers and experiences. As Bhau Kalchuri conveyed from Meher Baba in his book, The Nothing and the Everything:

The third plane pilgrim can perform major miracles such as giving sight to the blind, making the crippled walk, bestowing speech to the mute or hearing to the deaf and giving life again to dead animals.”

Planes of consciousness have heavens. Heavens surround the planes like cities surround their railroad stations. The most efficacious way to get from plane to plane is to remain at the stations and not venture out into the allure of the cities. But masts do venture out and drink the Divine wine that flows freely in those heavens and become intoxicated; masts are lost in the heavens between the planes!

Meher Baba tells us that most masts become masts at some point in their lives, sometimes as a result of performing certain spiritual or yogic practices, but more often them not, it just happens to them without any real effort on their part. A madar-zad is one who is born a mast. Dr. Donkin offers this description of a madar-zad contacted by Meher Baba in 1949. His name was never known;

“(He was) a moderately rare type of mast who appears to be an ordinary madman, is most of the time naked, and commonly roams about in dirty muddy places. His tastes in food are abnormal, and he will eat even raw flesh. He is a very restless fellow, wanders about by night and day, and seldom sits down or rests.

Another encounter with a madar-zad;

“A mere boy, about eight years old, who slept very little, and used to constantly repeat ‘La ilaha il allah’ (there is no God but the one God), while tossing his head. He was much revered in the locality of Uri, and people would come to him and ask that their prayers be fulfilled. He was brought to Baba for contact, at which time Baba ordered Ramju (one of Baba’s disciples) to give him a sheet the next day. Though he was a madar-zad mast, he had not at the time developed the traits of a typical madar-zad in full.” The Wayfarers – Meher Baba with the God-Intoxicated, by William Donkin, © copyright, 1948, Adi K. Irani

I have been in the presence of a mast named Mohamed on a few different occasions, and then there were a couple of times on the steps of an old and famous mosque in Old Delhi that I observed what I believed was another mast.

Mohamed the mast lived in Meherabad—Meherabad is home to Meher Baba’s tomb shrine and is the place of world pilgrimage for followers of Meher Baba. Mohamed’s story is amazing and unique. Here is a link where you can learn more about him and how he became a mast and how he came to live at Meherabad.

There is also a short video of him which, perhaps, conveys more about masts than anything that can be put into words. I highly recommend taking the time to visit this link. Afterwards, I will continue with my story…

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 admitting 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.

This statement is confirmed  by 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 a 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 seemed to be 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 wanderings 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 the 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.’”

William Donkin’s, The Wayfarers — Meher Baba with the God-Intoxicated, is available from Sheriar Press (, and I hope that if anyone’s thoughts and imaginations have been stirred by its quotes or my comments, they will read this book for themselves and investigate further — for what I have said in these blogs only scratch the surface of what is in this great book.

Now, in my closing comments on The Wayfarers, I would like to speak not about the eight types of masts, or the other four categories of spiritually advanced souls, i.e. the God-merged, the God-absorbed, the God-communed, and the God-mad, described by Meher Baba in this book, but instead about the state of ordinary human consciousness and the general question of its so-called normality as explained by Meher Baba in the Foreword.

While explaining the difference between ordinary madness and mast states, Meher Baba says that what is generally considered normal or sane in the world is not in any way dependent on some universal objective standard or truth—and this seems important to me because I have observed that man often takes pride in his so-called state of sanity, and this pride is a binding. Meher Baba put it this way;

“The average man of the world is tied to the world, and is molded by the ways of the world. He reacts to the world according to the prompting of inclinations developed as a result of the diverse impacts the world has on his mind. His main basis of reaction is the mind, as shaped by the imprints of the bipolar experience of the opposites — success and failure, joy and suffering, etc.

“The responses and reactions given by the mind of the ordinary man of the world are not determined by true values, or by a real understanding of life; they are determined by the chaotic and conflicting tendencies built out of experiences that have not been properly assimilated nor understood.

“Though the outer behavior of the ordinary man is in conformity with the average pattern of responses and reactions, his inner life is subject to severe mental conflicts and suffering and to an ever-renewing sense of frustration.

Outwardly, the average man may seem to have equanimity; but his equanimity is only apparent, and not real.”

Meher Baba then goes on to talk about what happens when a person’s equanimity gets disturbs, the ways he attempts to regain his poise, the experiments he makes, in response to an inner prompting from a latent longing to discover God or real Truth—the possession of which would establish an unbroken peace and fulfillment that is unfailing under all types of exigencies and circumstances.

But it is that incredible statement that begins, “The average man of the world...,” that is worthy of re-reading and pondering. I am no expert on all of the various forms of modern western psychology, but I doubt that in any of it one can find a clearer, truer,—true like a line drawn with a carpenter’s ruler is true—explanation than in this one paragraph. For is it not the incredible ability of the Perfect Masters and the Avatar, to be able to take that which is confusing, complicated, or obscure to the average person  and explain it in a way that is simple, understandable, comprehensible, and, most of all, elegant?

“Ayushya, it is always makes me so happy to see you! Grandfather mentioned that you would be visiting today.”

“Equally so for me dear Mera, to be in your grandfather’s and your company brings me such joy!”

“Grandfather is awaiting you; please go find him in his usual place in the garden while I go and fetch us tea from the house.”

“Ayushya, Grandfather and I have been reading with interest your posts on the masts and, as usual, your posts have stirred new thoughts and feelings within me, and, as usual, I would like to share them with you and hear your comments.”

“Of course, please proceed.”

“So, the masts are lost in the heavens of the planes and I am lost in my gross consciousness of the gross world, but the planes and their heavens are equally as illusory as the gross world.”

“Yes, and that is why, in general, Meher Baba takes his lovers and followers, as it were, blindfolded through the planes and then removes the blindfold when the journey is complete and the Real Goal is reached.”

“And the journey itself is an illusion.”

“Yes, of the mind—projected by the mind and experienced by the mind.”

“And the mind is where consciousness resides, and that consciousness is like a mirror that has the capacity to reflect the soul’s Reality back to the soul.”

“Yes, in fact, that is the ultimate purpose of the mind that can achieved  once the mind is cleared of all the false impressions that make the claim that  the soul is anything other than the very Beloved that the soul seeks.”

“Like the musk-deer who roams from here to there seeking the source of the perfumed scent that is contained within its own belly.”


“And so, this series of posts has led me to understand that the mind is not the enemy and that rather than fighting with it and all of its impressions, I need only to allow it to experience that which is beyond it and let, as they say, nature take its place, and begin to choose, of its own accord, Reality over illusion.”

“That is true, Mira, but practically speaking, how do you do that?”

“Of course, that is the question, and the answer for me is Meher Baba’s Name. I do not need to stop my thoughts in order to take His Name—I can take His Name, even while enmeshed in my thoughts.”

“That is my experience as well, and sometimes even experience that what is happening is like the running my impressions of illusion, my thoughts and feelings through, as it were, the washing machine of His Name. In other words, not only is it not bad to have these thoughts while I am trying to think about Him, it is actually a good thing, because by allowing the thoughts, yet still continuing to repeat His Name, I am doing more toward eliminating these false impressions than I could ever do through any of the various disciplines, meditations, or penances, etc.”

“Yes, Ayushya, that is exactly where my thoughts have taken me while reading your most-recent series of posts. My mind is not the enemy; it does not need to be battled with; it only needs to be taken to the door of the Beloved who is beyond the mind itself in order that it will naturally, in its own time, fall more and more and still yet more in love with the God and God’s love, and God’s Name.”

“Yes, my dear, God alone prevails—ours is not a caravan of despair.”

“Indeed Ayushya, indeed!”

                                                                                                © copyright, by Michael Kovitz, 2017

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