JOURNEY OUT OF DARKNESSPart Five
I had gotten up that morning consumed with the thought, we had to go to see the Rileys at once. It made me happy to see that Phyllis was not at all reluctant to go, even though the entire Woodstock valley was smothered that morning under a dense fog. Phyllis lifted Leslie into the car and drove the three of us with exceeding caution to the Riley's little house in the hamlet of Glenford, where they had now moved, two miles away from Lou Tavelli's house on the Maverick.
I was determined to learn everything I could about Meher Baba and the Rileys' contact with Him. But first, I was to bear witness to the astonishing poverty in which the Rileys were living. I felt curious, was this the prescribed lifestyle for the followers of Meher Baba?
I became aware, there was no running water in this Riley house. There was a primitive hand pump and an outhouse in the back. The four-room house was heated by a wood stove. They were living as though in the 19th century. Even so, I experienced something pristine in the atmosphere here. I asked Tom straight away, "Do you think it would be possible for Phyllis and me to go to India and see Meher Baba?"
"Why not?" Tom answered.
"I mean, would Meher Baba see us if we were to come?"
"Even though Baba is in seclusion," Tom said seriously, "I can assure you, He would see you. You know, we have had dozens of people coming through our lives in the past eight years, and not one of those we told about Baba showed any interest. You are the first ones to be really interested in Meher Baba. I am amazed we have finally managed to catch a fish." Tom laughed that quiet laugh of his.
"Does Meher Baba have an ego?" I asked Tom. I was not sure if I knew exactly what I meant by that question.
"No, Meher Baba is egoless. He has Infinite Knowledge. Baba has said, 'I know that I have Infinite Knowledge because I AM Infinite Knowledge.'"
"Would it mean anything to Meher Baba that I am an artist?"
"As a matter of fact," Tom looked at me seriously out of those mystical blue eyes, "of all the people in the West, Baba loves artists the most."
1998 © Craig Zenner
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