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13

 

Is There a Universal Mind?

by By ANTON BAARSLAG

 

“Je ne sais pas ceque c`est que la vie eternelle, mais celle ci est une mauvaise plaisanterie.”

 

HESE WORDS OF THE AMIABLE FREE-THINKER, Voltaire, came to my mind when I read in the October issue of The Awakener, that to one who asked keenly, “What is life?”, MEHER BABA smilingly replied, “Life is a Mighty Joke...”

 

At first sight it would seem strange that two men of such widely different philosophies of life, one, a typical Western, matter-of-fact thinker, the other an Oriental mystic, express the same opinion about “life.” I am now inclined to doubt the veracity of Kipling’s line:

 

“East is East and West is West
And ne’er the twain shall meet,”

 

though I firmly believed it when I lived, years ago, in the East, on the beautiful island, Java.

 

I did not enjoy life in the tropics. The Europeans living there could be divided in two groups; those who loved it and those who disliked it intensely. There was no middle way. I belonged to the latter variety. Not only the hot climate without relief, even at night, but the whole atmosphere bothered me. I cannot express it differently than by saying that it was threatening: the deep-blue volcanic mountains, the ominous tropical silence at night, which by die way, is no silence at all but just a reminder that there is a threat somewhere. Then there was the attitude of the native population in whom, friendly and subservient as they seemed, I sensed a (maybe imaginary) resentment. I felt that I just had no business to be there.

 

I was conscious of goings-on in the air in which I did not participate, supernatural forces. I sensed a smattering of that which makes the Oriental mystical to a high degree, and I came strongly under the spell of the mysterious circumambience, and joined a group of people who studied Theosophy. It was in the days that Krishnamurti, (then still a small boy) came to the fore and we had a regular correspondence with Annie Besant, asking her opinion and advice in various matters. There I learned the power

 

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