Symbols of the world's religions

               

DIFFERENCE IN ATTITUDE OF EAST AND WEST

Part 2

Meher Baba

 
The ardent religious enthusiasm of medieval Europe has been almost replaced by great enthusiasm for culture and science. The doctrines of science are, however, fluid to a certain extent, and the genuine scientist does look facts in the face, but Meher Baba has declared that in spite of its great progress science is yet far from the core of material things, and further from the outermost fringe of spiritual things. The head must cooperate with the heart.

It may be that some of the purely physical feats of yogis, which pass for miracles with the multitude, can be explained away by medical science. But real miracles, particularly the miracles of Perfect Masters, do not admit of scientific explanation. Many of the miracles wrought by Saviours, Perfect Masters and saints are recorded in the spiritual legends and classics of all peoples and all religions, and the ever-functioning spiritual hierarchy is daily adding to these miracles.

The facts are there; Jesus and other Perfect Ones have raised the dead to life, and have healed diseases. But even if one were to see a miracle take place before one's very eyes, and even if one were convinced that it was a miracle and not trickery, one would never be able to formulate a rational explanation of it, for miracles are utterly beyond the reach of intellectual explanation. They are a mystery as deep as life itself.

Perhaps, however, the fault is not entirely without reason, for the world at large seldom gets an insight into the workings of Perfect Masters, and, in truth, most of these workings lie treasured in the breasts of a few intimate associates and deserving initiates, and are safely hidden from curiosity.

In the words of the famous Sufi Abdul Hasan Kharqani, "If a few drops of that which is under the skin of a Perfect Master should come forth between his lips, all the creatures of heaven and earth would fall into panic." In spite of the mass appeal of miracles and of the claims of spiritual masters, the East, like the West, is also very circumspect in its attitude towards them.

It may be said to its credit, however, that the East has learned by long experience not to deny the actions of the spiritual hierarchy, even if it cannot see its way to accept or believe in them. One of the earliest Sufis has declared, "Miracles are only one of the thousand stages on the way to God"; and the Avatar of this cycle, Meher Baba, affirms that the greatest miracle a Perfect Master can perform is to make another man spiritually perfect like himself.

 

GOD SPEAKS, 1st Indian ed, pp. 214-215
1973 © Sufism Reoriented

               

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