Symbols of the world's religions

               

HARMONY AND COOPERATION

Meher Baba

 
After pacing for a few moments, Baba settled himself in a wicker chair under a pine tree, and everyone sat facing him for the meeting of groups that had been postponed from the night before.

Hilda Delong had placed a gardenia on Baba's breakfast tray, and Baba now wore it on his blue jacket. Baba began by stating:

Last evening, I told John Bass and others that in India there are one hundred different groups. Each has a group head, and all work for the love of me. All love me. The group heads are responsible for the work the group does. In India, in the different groups, there are different castes, different religions, those of different economic status. There are Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus — but all love Baba. All want to work for me and spread my message of love and truth. Muslims work in their own localities to bring Muslims; Parsis and Christians do the same thing. Here I have been hearing for a long time about the two groups in the United States, but there has been some misunderstanding. What is the difficulty?

John Bass, head of the Monday Night group in New York, stood and said, "At times, Baba, there is a tendency to unite or try to attract each other's members."

Baba turned to Ivy Duce, head of Sufism Reoriented, and asked, "Ivy, are you happy? How do you feel?" As she nodded he said, "Fine. Are you ready for a nice fight? How do you feel?"

Laughter broke out and John Bass continued, "I always emphasize that those who met Baba in 1952 do not need any 'ism' — just to read and study Baba's own teachings."

Ivy replied, "Since Baba himself has designed and created a charter for Sufism Reoriented, it is silly to say no 'ism' is necessary. Baba wants his 'ism.'"

Baba intervened and stated:

I want you all to bear in mind one thing. I now emphasize one point which I emphasized in India also when I called all together at the Andhra meeting [1954]. I said that for me, there is no need for centers for different places, nor different groups, with different heads or names. My center is the heart of every lover. Every lover with a heart that loves Baba is a center. The second point I would like to emphasize is that whoever wants to work spreading my message of love and truth absolutely needs a central office and groups of workers who can function from that central office. There is always a need for a group to have a center. You can have many such centers — Myrtle Beach is such a center — and it stretches for many miles.

But there should be cooperation, harmony, and the group heads should not try to win over other members from one office to another. Why? What for? When all work for Baba. There should be harmony, cooperation.

Ivy once said to me that if I ordered it, she would just dissolve the Sufi order and have nothing to do with it, but I said no. On the contrary, I gave her a charter to hold meetings, have an office, conduct affairs, which she does. I am the greatest Sufi of the past, present and future. I have ordered the Sufis to continue, and I have also instructed John Bass to hold his group meetings on Mondays, and told Dana Field that he can have his own group to bring together as many new lovers as possible.

There should be no competition. Each one, especially the group heads, should be an example to others — be humble as dust. One must become like dust to work for God. The ego should not be tickled about position and office and say, "I am a group head!" Those who work under certain group heads should not leave them. Under certain circumstances, one may change one's group, because all are doing my work, but that does not mean every worker should have his hand "on both sides of the drum" as we say in India. It also does not mean that people of one group should not be on harmonious terms with the other group. In fact, there should always be loving cooperation for my work.

Ivy Duce loves me. She tells her Sufi group to love me. John Bass tells his group to love me. Everything comes to me. Everything is as if said to me. You should not gossip about each other; all should be friends. Ivy, you have written wonderful letters about John.

John interjected, "Especially since the book God Speaks!"

At that remark people laughed, because John had sold a tremendous number of books.

Ivy remonstrated, "That is unkind. Makes me sound like cupboard love!"

Baba said, "It is wrong to say that people should not come to Baba through 'isms.' You are welcome to choose your own path with your leader. But you should not go back and forth. All should join in any joint Baba project."

Meherjee asked Baba, "What is wrong with attending a different meeting now and then?"

Baba answered, "They can go, but it usually creates some misunderstanding. In your body, everything belongs to you — arms, hands, but however hard you try, you cannot strangle yourself with your own hands. You cannot do it. Don, you explain."

Don Stevens rose and said, "Baba says, each of us has our own two hands, our own two arms. Have you ever felt your own hands would strangle you? They may try, but they cannot. They could only strangle another person."

Baba continued to explain:

John Bass is my left hand, Ivy is my right hand and all of you are my throat! So how can these two hands throttle me? Is it possible? Suppose there is a red ant; it is possible the right hand might slap the left hand in killing it.

What about Elizabeth Patterson? To what group does she belong? Yet she may be loving me even more than any group heads or those working in certain groups. There may be greater lovers of Baba than the group heads; that is not to be judged. Yet someone who does not belong to any group may be the greatest lover of all!

What I want is love and to make others know about Truth — what I say about truth and love for humanity. So naturally, you have groups and offices. Everything should be done in harmony. Each group should cooperate with each other. If someone belongs to the Sufis today and wants to join John Bass's group, he can do so. But if he then tells John his group is hopeless, useless, and goes back to the Sufis and condemns John's group, the grace of my love is set aside. I do not like backbiting or criticism, which creates misunderstanding and confusion. If you want to change groups, do it, but do not keep going back and forth.

Sam Cohen asked, "Suppose one feels that meditating by oneself is service? I like to visit the Monday group, but not all the time."

Baba responded, "I would like you all to belong to certain groups. Why? Because you can cooperate and tell others about me and share your thoughts. You learn much more than when you remain by yourself. When you listen, exchange thoughts, prayers, my presence is there. Where there are five collected together, there is Parameshwar; I am there. If you are talking of me, having love for me, then there I am. Is it all clear?"

Bili Eaton brought up a question on how Baba meetings should be conducted, to which Baba replied, "Why be bound by my instructions? Be free!"

Kitty Davy suggested the groups should meet jointly once in a while during the evening. Ivy Duce said that they did on Baba's birthday, but others said that was not often enough.

Baba continued:

In India, at the meetings, all points will be cleared up for those who attend. I do not want to tell anything about this meeting. Nothing has ever happened like it before. Continue to work as you are doing until that meeting. Everything will be cleared up then. I want you all to continue as you have been doing on the lines I gave out this morning, until the next meeting, when everything will be made clear to you. Until then, continue to work.

If John Bass comes to know of some good news, it is his duty to tell the others; the other group heads should know about it and vice versa. Then all can love me. I want to create the head and the heart in balance.

 

LORD MEHER, 1st ed., Vol. 13 & 14, pp. 5035-5038, Bhau Kalchuri
1998 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

               

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