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7

 

more to be given, that I had already received the entire gift. I came already knowing that there was nothing more to receive, nothing to be gained. This time I came to India purely because there was nothing to be gained by coming.

 

To go for nothing is a creative act; to go for something is not so creative; and as an artist I feel always inwardly compelled to try to do the creative thing with sincerity in the sight of God. To have a reason is guarded, protective, and conservative; it is ultra-prudent in its rationality. But to have no reason whatsoever for doing a thing is creative.

 

What did I get from going to India a third time? I don 't know. The first two times I went the burden was on the Master, but this time the burden was on me.

 

And so I was brought to the threshold of surrender. If I came not to receive I had nothing whatsoever to give and I stood with empty hands before the throne of my Lord. I was a helpless beggar. What an empty creativity for one to come to give with nothing to give.

 

This will perhaps explain what I mean: One day at Meherabad, Padri asked, "What is surrender? " And before I could even think to try to answer, Padri said, ''Surrender is when the beggar gives a gift to the king. " I went away puzzling, "What is there to give, how can the beggar give a gift to the king? " The answer is clear: The beggar has absolutely nothing to give; then the only thing he has to give is his nothing. The beggar has two options, only two. One is to keep his nothing as his one possession. The other is to give his nothing back to the Master who is in fact the very creator of all this Nothing. That 's the trick — to give back the nothing. I sat thinking seriously, "How do I get Meher Baba to accept nothing as my gift to Him? " It 's impossible. In fact, it's a mighty joke, this whole thing of surrender. It seems to me now that surrender must be the moment when the lover and the Beloved merge together in one mighty laugh. It is the moment when, at last, the lover finally gets the joke and infinite happiness prevails. What is God-realization? It is when man 's sense of humor finally equals God 's.

 

I went to India not as a pilgrim, but simply to place my nothing of a head at the feet of my Master who is everything. The problem with bowing down to my Master 's feet is that my head refuses to stay where I put it. It gets up and goes away with me, which is not my intention in trying to surrender my all of a nothing.

 

So I came away from India feeling that I had not succeeded in giving a gift to the king, and with a sharp awareness that the task of surrender is a task for heroes. In fact I am well convinced that surrender, like love and obedience, is a gift from Master to man, and that anyone who really sees the joke by transcending his own seriousness, wins Everything.

 

 

PART II. THE GUIDE

 

If a man be ninety-nine percent blind, that man may be said to see if he believes in what he sees. That one percent of seeing can become the spark of sight if the one percent of seeing be touched by the light of God-Man 's beauty. Such a one am I, touched by the spark of God 's holy face; but more than this, God has given me the vision to express the wondrous sight in colors of Divinity so that all those who love can see what I have seen.

 

To walk I must be held by the hand so that I may not stumble on my way; yet it has been given to me to teach others to see what has been shown to me. To do by God 's grace what has been given to me to do is for me both a humiliation and an exaltation at one and the same time. I am simultaneously both humble and proud.

 

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