“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…
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
William Donkin, © copyright, 1948, Adi K. Irani
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.” –
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.”
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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
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!
Meher Baba contacted Teli Baba.
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.)
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.”
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!
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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
“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.
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.”
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.
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
‘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
‘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
‘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
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.’”
The Wayfarers — Meher Baba with the God-Intoxicated, is available from Sheriar Press
(http://www.sheriarfoundation.org/), 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.
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
“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.”
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
“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
“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
“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
“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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