by Irene Conybeare
Spiritual biographies of "modern man in search of his soul," as Jung calls it, are a rarity, first of all because autobiography is itself a difficult literary form, and second because few have the spiritual development, cum objectivity, to make their experiences of real value to others.
Irene Conybeare, in Civilization or Chaos? gave us some autobiographical glimpses; in this second book, she elaborates the account of her personal development and ultimate meeting with Meher Baba—beginning with early experiments in psychic research, dreams of the future, inner initiations, and contacts with the Master before she met Him outwardly. Many followers of Baba have had similar inner contacts; Baba explains these in His discourse on "The Place of Occultism in Spiritual Life." She finally met Baba—for about 5 minutes—in 1941 in Ajmer. Baba's suggestion that she go to America "for 4 months" ended in several years of trials and tribulations in the U. S.; and eleven years elapsed before she saw Baba again, in India. She accompanied Him on His Hamirpur darshan tour of 1952 and in 1953 visited Meherazad. (For some reason, she does not describe her stay at Satara.) It was here Baba gave her an interesting glimpse of His great, unpublished "Bible."
This and other anecdotes about Him will be of most interest to followers of Baba; her chapters on His teaching and mission cover familiar ground. However, they are slanted towards the general public, and though not especially deep or scholarly, an excellent introduction to the Master for newcomers, and better organized on the whole than "Civilization or Chaos?" Her contacts with well-known persons such as Eileen Garrett, Paul Brunton, Aldus Huxley are interesting, especially when she tilts a lively lance at them.
Meher Baba, with His usual kindness to His author-devotees, has given Mrs. Conybeare two new discourses, one on "Maya," and another on “The Aura and The Halo," complete with chart. We have reproduced the chart on page 18,* just to whet our readers' appetites for the explanation given in her book, soon to be published. Mrs. Conybeare's search for Truth has ended fortunately and rightly, in meeting with the living Truth Incarnate―Meher Baba. Not every autobiographer can be so fortunate!