In Love with Meher Baba, by Pete Townshend

Page 3 of 7

Acid: A Dream Within A Dream

I remember laying on my back with earphones on, my head throbbing, listening to Jonathan Winters. In those days he was regarded as very very hip by our little community. So hip, he just had to be stoned. So stoned that when he announced, on the record that he grooved on life, and nothing else, we thought he was talking of dope. Talk about brainwashed.

Pot is a beautiful event. You feel it waft through a concert hall and you know someone is happy. If I had seen anybody other than my immediate friends smoking dope at a Rock concert in 1965 I would have thought society was liberated. It was a mind blower to even find someone who didn't take three steps away from you when you mentioned it.

I read and was told, by what were apparently good authorities on the subject, that smoking pot would make me addicted. That I would asssault little girls and end up sticking needles in myself. When it didn't happen that way, God knows I was hoping it wouldn't. I naturally regarded those authorities as being misinformed. Maybe what they were saying about everything else was just as much bullshit. No, the truth itself is hard enough to take: Dope alters consciousness. The very symptoms that society sees as good reason to stop using it: Poor memory, difficulty forming words, uncoordinated actions, distorted vision, over-enhanced and exaggerated hearing etc., are exactly the symptoms that make the smoker feel stoned.

And he likes it. One could go on for 50 pages into why kids turn on. Is it society, overcrowding, too much middle class security, threat of atomic war, revolution? It's getting high. That's all. It's what everybody wants. To get a little higher. I think that brings us back to Meher Baba.

Baba didn't go on at any real length about dope. He didn't feel there was any point, I suppose, as he had more or less come to the conclusion that by the time he became aware of its ever growing popularity in the West he was too old to travel again to the West, and he is too compassionate to be overly heavy.

But Baba did emphasize to a young devotee going to see Baba in about 1966, that the biggest single gesture a man could make for youth, would be to spend his life trying to show the dangers of dope. Remember, Baba was concerned with a set of people that felt the psychedelics held the key to religious experience, to Universal Consciousness. God in a pill.

When Baba heard this you can imagine his reaction. He sits for countless billions of years watching individuals desperately attempting to find themselves, struggling with one another, living through millions and millions of lives, even fighting wars in the name of one or other of his previous manifestations; the Christians fighting the Mohammedans, both convinced that they are right. Then someone discovers LSD and decides that there's no need to bother with all that because acid takes you to the highest state of consciousness directly. Baba did not even concede that an acid high was even a miniscule part of the high that he himself enjoys as a Perfect being. He said it was a dream within a dream. What we call "straight" is an illusory "reality." In fact getting high is getting low; going further into the illusion. Reality is beyond our imaginations, we insisting that we prefer experience to the blissful peace of Universality; wearing blue suede shoes rather than feeling the Infinite Power of Eternity, of Oneness.

I Tear Up My Flying Saucer Mags

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 without them for years in a wheel chair. 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 transport 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 teachings. 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, its hard to find the person from whom your'e 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 of 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 of love. The answer is that it isn't.

Only one person on this earth is capable of an absolutely 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.

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