In Love with Meher Baba, by Pete Townshend

Page 4 of 7

Baba's life story is well known: He was born in a town in India called Poona in February, 1894. While in college, he built up an affection for an old woman named Hazrat Babajan, who was in reality a Perfect Master. One day she kissed him on the forehead, and front that moment he was changed. He neither ate nor slept for months, and spent the next seven years in study with the five Perfect Masters of the time. One of these Masters, Upasni Maharaj, threw a stone at Baba, hitting him at the spot where Babajan had kissed him, between his eyes. It was at this moment that Baba became aware of his role and destiny as a Perfect Master himself.

A Bout With The Flu

Meher Baba did not speak at all from July 10th, 1925 until he died in 1969. His silence was of great symbolical meaning. Baba said, "You have had enough of my words, now is the time to live by them." He also said that the breaking of his silence would occur before he dropped his body, and that the impact of the word he would speak would bring an incredible surge of spirituality to mankind. In later life, Baba explained that the "word" he would speak would not be a word in the ordinary sense, but would be in his own Divine language. (I often wondered previous to hearing this how Baba would manage to utter even a single word after 40 years of silence without a terrible croak emerging, but at last I heard that Baba did in fact speak to himself, his vocal chords functioned.) The effect of this word on any given individual would depend on that individual's readiness to receive it. The spiritually prepared would get it at full force, receiving a push towards Self-Realization that they couldn't normally achieve even in many incarnations. The unprepared would feel nothing, but all mankind would receive an immense spiritual push.

I held that Baba's word has been spoken, probably about the time of his death. I felt confused that I was suffering from a bout of flu when Baba was about to drop his earthly body. We were playing in Newcastle the day he died, and when I got home and the news was broken to me I felt as if I had betrayed myself. I felt as if I hadn't had enough time to really make myself ready, to learn to love Baba and hang tightly to his apron strings as the whirlwind of spiritual events around the closing of his manifestation speeded up.

Today I understand a little better. I am not the spiritually advanced seeker I imagined myself to be. Reading too much Herman Hesse and Idries Shah can be a bad thing in that respect. One builds a sort of hero worship for the "Seeker" in the same way one would for a film star. It's only recently that I've begun to see that Baba's word is an eternal word. Its impact reaches well into the past and the future. The wave of spiritual fervor and obsession that sweeps youth today is a reflection of the force of that word, that expression of Almighty loneliness.

But the point where that impact is felt the greatest is now. The present. The texture of the present is changing, the cross-section broadening, words are meaning less and heartfelt more. Status is worth little and selflessness everything. Karma begins to make smaller demands on a man when that man acts with complete honesty and lack of hypocrisy. Even hypocrisy is part and parcel of an amazing plan. How the heck you would ever learn to be true to yourself and your real desires and needs unless you had the negative reference point of self-delusion? How do you become aware of these aims if all the time you are insisting that you're doing what comes naturally anyway? I don't know, I can't pretend to know. All I know is that one of the only doors that opens to a path that leads away from hypocrisy is the ability to see it in yourself.

So I never met Baba. Never wrote him a letter or received one. How am I hanging on? I'm not hanging on, I'm stuck on. People could easily get the idea that I'm an unwilling Baba lover, or "Baba Tryer" as I prefer to call myself. No, it's just that I was unwilling to let go of that incredible piece of happiness, that unqualified stab of love that I didn't even ask for, didn't expect, and it's made my life, which I know to be as colorful as any, gray in comparison.

The key is that knowledge of his awesome power, awesome knowledge and bliss he enjoys; that flash, is the basis for the search for my true self.

It sounds light, even camp, but it's not. It's extremely heavy. I once said that about acid, this time I can feel the weight. Before any one man can get that one together, can ever find himself and know himself as Universal, he has to make his life work. Has to be right not wrong, fair not foul. He has to be up front.He is his own witness.

Baba helps. Meher Baba is there doing things for you and your life that you will never perceive. A mere twitch of his nose could split the planet, a twiddle of his finger could save your life. Luckily, his Infinite power is used in connection with an equally infinite knowledge and compassion. Baba rarely interferes. (I am only now repeating what Baba himself said.) Why alter events that occur in a system that is already self-perpetuating, self-correcting and self-destructive when it goes too far?

From the peace of the original note, the single unmultiplied breath of life, the eternal silent singing that pervaded all, came this. Us. What are we supposed to be doing? Here am I, in suburbanTwickenham, skinny, vain, and obsessed by the word "forward"; how am I equipped to begin to understand Infinite Love?

Life under Baba's umbrella is more exciting than watching 2001. The music you hear in your head is more mind blowing than any cuts from any album. You hear and see what you need to hear and see. There's nothing more exciting and entertaining than knowing that the past wasn't wasted and the present isn't being wasted, and thus neither will the future be. Even when things don't go too well, you can somehow take it.

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