Symbols of the world's religions



Pete Townshend

Falling in love with Meher Baba doesn't happen by choice. You go out looking, but not necessarily for someone like Baba. You go looking for something that will help you achieve a state that society has brainwashed into you as being sacred, freedom.

Baba sees you knocking at the door of his basement center in the once-sooty air of Victoria where the steam trains used to play, and pulls you in by your ears. When you first hear about Baba, and your heart warms to him, he shows you an aspect of himself that floors you, astounds you.

"I've found it!" I scream. I tear up the flying saucer magazines I've been taking to bed. "This is absolutely IT! Baba is the one." It's like being reunited with the use of your legs after living in a wheelchair. Or, as another example, is like getting your wheels out of a repair shop after a crash or breakdown months back, and being able to ride from here to there without having to hitch or suffer the bad vibes of public transportation officialdom.

It makes you happy. You feel your troubles are over. People often have celebration parties when they find out about Baba; they didn't realize how long they had been looking until they found what it was they were after. There are a lot of parties. It's the ultimate excuse.

Your troubles are not over, however, and the exhilaration you felt when Baba revealed his Infinite Majesty to you is deflated like a tire with a blowout, explosively, as Baba, beginning and initiating, takes you through your first real taste of loneliness. Longing, pleading, desperate and even more dependent on ego than before, you attempt to work out how it all came about. You didn't meet Baba, didn't even read much of his teaching. What you read was simple, not astounding. It seemed so right though. Who was it that said, DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY? Could I ever forget?

Just as he gives you the first real taste of love, unqualified by any commitment you may or may not make to him and his life, so you yourself take it away. Unprepared to receive such upfront and powerful love, the individual hides from it. Partly in shame, but mostly in pride. Once you've hidden, it's hard to find the person from whom you're hiding. The rub is that Baba seduces you.

Ha Ha. I can see the smiles of the skeptical as they compare Baba's seduction with those thousands of Gurus, Yoga methods, Training courses and bust development treatments. I tried them all, and they can't compare.

Actually, the funny part is, I didn't try them all. It seems men work on a first-Guru-come, first-served basis. At least that's the way it seems. But when I first heard about the Sufi Masters, the Maharishi, Rama and Krishna, Buddha, Mohammed and all the rest, I sneezed and left them alone.

Jesus made my heart pump a little as I read of his crucifixion and his capacity to love without small print. I put it down mostly to religious education at school. More like religious uneducation. Today the thought of Jesus still makes my heart pump, but Baba broke my links with formalized Christian religion. He made me weep for four hours nonstop at the thought of Jesus on the cross in remorse and grief.

Baba washed the religious preconception from my heart with my own tears. I love Jesus far more now than I ever did at infants school as I sang, "Yes, Jesus loves me." Now I know he really was the Christ. Remorse came naturally through Baba, so does love; it can't be forced and it can't be limited. I often wonder though, as I stare at the occasional "evil" character, how my wish to see him fall down a hole is an expression love. The answer is that it isn't.

Only one person on this earth is capable of an absolute perfect love for all and everything, and that is, when earth is fortunate enough to be his illusory host, the Messiah. The Avatar. He just came and went. Meher Baba.

"In Love With Meher Baba," ROLLING STONE, November 26, 1970
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