Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lost In the Heavens (Part 1.)

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 obtained and acquired while remaining in the same familiar state of consciousness and they are correct.

But there is another knowledge, another power, and another happiness, of which the average person of the world 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 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. pages28-29

(To be continued.)

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