as a long life, without its care of regularity, exercise of unseen powers and prolonged confinement at one place are matters of secondary importance to the Masts. They get them as a matter of course in their spiritual unfoldment. They cherish no desire of making a vain display of their powers. Besides, the account reproduced here of different Masts and Saints is what emerged from the consensus of opinion of people living in the respective towns and localities and in everyday touch with them. Individual accounts based more or less on story-telling have been overlooked.
by Ivy Oneita Duce. 768 pages, illustrated, Privately printed: — $17.95
This is the long-awaited book by Ivy O. Duce, Murshida or spiritual leader of the one Sufi order devoted to Meher Baba — Sufism Reoriented. It is truly a magnum opus — 768 pages divided into two sections. The first is an autobiographical account of Ivy's own life as it intersected with Avatar Meher Baba — divided into 25 chapters, all humorously entitled "Foundation, "Immolation," "Recuperation," "Botheration" — etc. and ending in an "Explanation" which gives a new slant on the Avatar, His Circle, His sufferings, His spiritual agents, and His Maya. The second half of the book, the Supplement, is a scrap-book or chapbook of excerpts and anecdotes about Meher Baba, his work and teachings with a sprinkle of quotes from other spiritual wayfarers and Masters.
Altogether a full spiritual banquet, or a good "read," as the current book reviewer's slang goes. One should state at once that it is not specifically a Sufi book or series of Sufi lessons — except in the delightful sense of the famed Nasruddin Mulla stories. Murshida's purpose is to show how a Master (actually, how the Avatar) works with his followers in accomplishing His specialty — the elimination of the ego. She begins with her own very worldly life and how she came to Sufism through Murshida Rabia Martin and thence to Baba, meeting Him in India in 1947, when He fully reoriented this branch of Sufism, weaving into her story that of many other Baba lovers. She fully covers the 1952, 1956, 1958 and 1962 Sahavas trips with Baba, which I too shared . . . bringing out many new behind-the-scene "scenes!" She has used many personal letters and unpublished material, and this alone is worth the admittedly steep price of admission. A "MUST" for your Baba book shelf.
I know, through my own experience in writing up the Sahavas trips with Baba, how difficult it is to give an in-depth view; first of all one is aware of only a fraction of all that is going on with others, and not even fully aware of what Baba is doing with oneself — not for a long, long time, maybe lifetimes. Much has to remain private, too, that touches other lives. I think that is my only regret about this book and all our present memoirs of the Avatar's Advent — one cannot be self-revelatory enough to see the real depth of Baba's working. It must be left probably to some Tolstoy of the future to re-create us all in a tremendous pageant . . . "The War for the Peace that Passeth Understanding?!'"