Symbols of the world's religions



Phyllis Silverman Ott-Toltz and Barbara Bamberger Scott

Meeting him in 1964, the Master had gestured to Phyllis, "Baba wants you to know that Baba is God." Her response to this compelling message, along with his order to read God Speaks several times, was to spend the next nine months, until she saw Meher Baba again, meditating on the idea by repeating to herself anal haq. This phrase, learned from her reading of God Speaks, means "I am God." Phyllis had convinced herself that by incorporating this idea into her consciousness, "I would be up to his level and could try to say truthfully, 'Baba, I know that you are God.' I wanted to do my homework like a good girl and please Baba."

Oddly, at her second meeting, when Baba suddenly said "Don't be a hypocrite, say what you think," Phyllis intuitively sensed that this referred not only to the current conversation but to the practice she had cultivated of repeating anal haq.

Phyllis, despite her extensive education and great intellectual gifts, couldn't remember what the word "hypocrite" meant at that moment, so she had blurted out, "Baba, I can't do anything about it. You make pure what is impure and make un-hypocritical what is hypocritical."

Baba gazed into Phyllis' eyes in silence, no gestures, only silence. "Oh, Baba, I'm so sorry," she told him, realizing with a jolt that she had been gazing into the reflection of her own eyes and saying, "I am God."

"I know I'm not God," she told Baba, "But Baba, when I look into your eyes I can say 'I am God.' I mean that I know when I look in your eyes that you are God," she said, trying to describe the feeling she had as she gazed into Baba's large sparkling eyes with golden flecks. "But Baba, what am I?"

"You are consciousness," Baba said, speaking through his mandali.

Then Phyllis implored Baba, "Where is my consciousness?" Baba appeared to dislike the question, and so she pantomimed the where-is-it question by pointing to her heart, her solar plexus, and her feet.

The answer came in his silence. No gestures, no interpreter. She took Baba's fair hand in hers and said, "I understand, darling, don't say anything."

Within her mind she was hearing the line from the story of the monk who asked the Zen master, "Where is the Tao?" The answer: "You will find the Tao in the breakfast dishes."

It was an instantaneous flash of insight into Meher Baba's often repeated aphorism, "God is where you are not."


2006 © Phyllis Silverman Ott-Toltz


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