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13

 

I read it and reread it, astounded that the `purpose ' of life could be summed up so concisely and yet so eloquently. What especially captured my attention was the word "game"; for a considerable time previous to that day, I had been regarding more and more the world and the people in it in terms of `games ', principally due to seeing via the peculiar focus generated by lysergic acid and a confusion of undigested psychological jargon. I then entered my friend 's office, and noticed immediately that on his wall was a photograph of Meher Baba, the same `face ' I had beheld two weeks previously at the USCO show. My comment was "Him again! Who is he? " I was given a brief life-summary of Baba and shown a few photographs. My next query was were there any books by or about this man; I was told there were, and later that day went to the library and checked out a book entitled The God-Man , a biography of Baba by C. B. Purdom.

 

At the time, I was withdrawing from the social dope scene I had been in, and began reading The God-Man . In reading of the life of Baba, about midway into the book, I had a deep, immediate, intuitive `flash ' that Baba is Baba, and could be no one else but Baba, i.e., God in human form — the one whom all religions prophesy will return, and He whom all await. In Islam, he is the Mumtazar; in Buddhism the Maitreya; in Judaism the Messiah; in Christianity the Second Coming, the Living Christ. And now He is Meher Baba, which translates as "Compassionate Father. " A great joy flowed through me with the realization that He is here and now. What I responded to most is Baba 's having maintained com­plete silence; as of 1965, he had not spoken for forty years. I had had enough of words, of attempting to delineate "IT ", and never, of course, succeeding. I remembered the verse from Lao Tzu: "He who speaks does not know; he who knows does not speak. "

 

I had been planning to go to India from some years, and was waiting until I had discharged certain self-imposed obligations. Now I knew why I wanted to go, to see Baba! I learned that in December, 1965, there was to be a "sahavas ", a gathering of lovers (of God) in Baba 's presence. A charter flight for the length of the sahavas (about ten days) was to be leaving from New York, but I had neither the money nor the inclination for a group-trip, and decided to go overland. On September 1, I flew to London, and then spent the next two and one-half months hitch-hiking across Europe and Asia, on to Mother India. As I proceeded, it became increasingly clear to me that I was making pilgrimage, and so intentionally avoided any public transportation. In any case, the world is best seen from the top of a truck.

 

I had intended to travel via Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan to India, and in Turkey was informed that the border between Pakistan and India was closed due to the war, and that, in addition to this, there was a cholera epidemic raging in Iran. This, of course, made getting to India more interesting. The only alternative I knew that seemed feasible was the rumor of a ship through the Persian Gulf from Kuwait. Going on the assumption that the rumor was valid, I proceeded to Kuwait via Syria and Iraq, a distance of about two thousand miles. From Baghdad, I hitched south through endless wasteland to Kuwait, where I had heard one could obtain 28 dollars for a pint of blood, enough money to live on for a month.

 

I arrived in Kuwait, found lodging on a concrete floor in a schoolhouse not being used, gave blood, and checked on this mythic ship. True, there was a ship, due to arrive any day. This "any day " turned out to be two weeks, as the ship was quarantined at a Persian port due to cholera. In this period of time, several other hitch-hikers showed up. There is little to do in Kuwait, so we played music on the streets for money, drew with chalk on the sidewalks, and otherwise gave the Arabs a strange impression of Westerners. There is a penalty of seven years in prison in Kuwait for possession of hashish, which did not in any way deter the travelers

 

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