Symbols of the world's religions


Part 4

Lady Dorothy Hopkinson

LADY DOROTHY HOPKINSON died last August [1993] after completing, with her husband Tom, an astonishing biography of Meher Baba, titled THE SILENT MESSENGER. We feature the last chapter of the yet unpublished biography

Over supper that evening Hugh told me how glad he was I was resuming analysis and that all had gone so smoothly. He had been reading Purdom's book and was impressed by both author and subject. Of Meher Baba he said: "It's clear he is not just a Master! but a perfected one. Purdom shows this clearly, and it's to his credit that he recognises it — helped considerably, of course, by his knowledge and interest in different aspects of theology. Despite my own lack of such knowledge, however, I intuit that Purdom has not fully grasped the true greatness of Baba."

"Oh!" I exclaimed excitedly, "What is that greatness?"

"Meher Baba lives in and works from a realm which lies far beyond theology in all its aspects and denominations. I don't claim to understand this — but I do know that such a realm exists. So I am especially happy he's contacted you, and that you're ready to place yourself in his hands. How he manages to speak to you without words, I haven't a clue — but he does, so let us be grateful!"

I went to bed that night feeling calm and happy. I recalled the words of the 14th century saint and mystic, Mother Julian of Norwich, "All shall be well, all shall be well . . . All thinges shall be well." The analysis was teaching me a lot — to be more aware and realistic, more grown-up. I was the mother of four children and had heavy responsibilities; I must act accordingly. And now, having been given the opportunity to put myself in the hands of a Perfect Master, I would do my best to obey him in all things.

On my way to the analyst next morning I felt no guilt over my resolve to edit the material I gave him from now on. It was a kindness not to burden him with what he could not see, did not want to see, could not and did not understand. When my session ended, I asked nervously: "Can I have the . . . er . . . rubbish material back, please?"

Briskly came the reply: "Certainly not. Analyst's perks!"

Despite the limitations under which it now proceeded, my analysis went on reasonabIy smoothly. Hugh bought me my own copy of The Perfect Master, and I was now a member of the London Group, so meeting CharIes Purdom, who was naturally gratified by my enthusiastic appreciation of his book. Writer, editor, one of the planners of Welwyn Garden City, he was short and thick-set, with a brusque, authoritative manner, but kind-hearted when one got to know him.

He was also, as the book made clear, a man of great erudition with a wide knowledge of comparative religion, and our friendship was much strengthened when we found that we both attached unique importance to the figure of Jesus, believing his advent as Saviour to have been the turning-point in religious history. I was therefore all the more impressed when Purdom urged me to take Meher Baba's Discourses very seriously indeed: "They are sublime. You should read and re-read them constantly."

Since it was some months since Delia De Leon had given me the 5-volume set of Baba's Discourses, I was now well into them; and the more I read, the more I was overcome, not only by their profundity but by the poetic beauty in which Meher Baba's teaching was expressed. I had become aware, however, of repetitions and at times a certain shapelessness, as though the spoken messages had not been edited for print. As I read, I frequently interrupted Hugh in whatever he was doing to read out some particularly impressive passage, so that before long he had taken to reading the volumes as I finished, and we could talk them over together. Hugh summed his impressions up to me as: "Baba's own language is majestic sublime thought, beautifully expressed. But he seems to have dictated at different times to different persons — hence the repetitions . . . What the Discourses really need, I feel, is to be re-edited for Western readers."

"But wouldn't that be a very difficult and lengthy job?" I asked.

"It certainly would. But it could be of enormous benefit to a lot of people."

Two or three days later Hugh observed that he would be happy to do the editing if Meher Baba agreed. I was enthusiastic over the offer; but instead of writing himself, Hugh left it to me to put his proposal forward as best I could. I did so, but received no answer to my letter. As the weeks went by I became more and more distressed. Had I given offence? Shown myself presumptuous? Concern over this, however, became swallowed up before long by the stressful wartime conditions under which we all were living; and, to add to the many stresses, Hugh was showing signs of being a very sick man.

Eventually, in 1948, Charles Purdorn told me he had received a request from Meher Baba "to edit and condense the 5-volume Discourses into one volume, in order to make them more acceptable for publication in the West."

Continued tomorrow...

GLOW INTERNATIONAL, November 1993, pp. 21-22
1993 © Naosherwan Anzar

The Inner Voice, Part 1
The Inner Voice, Part 2
The Inner Voice, Part 3
The Inner Voice, Part 5

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