our vicinity and lends coolness to the location in hot weather. Now it is December and we find it the most ideal month, more like October in America with glorious days and cool nights and bright blue skies. Baba's hut, especially built for him on the Mount above our houses, is against this skyline of blue which we can just see. Another hut further down the slope was built for three of his mandali to stay and another enclosure for the Nagar Mast. This old man is a Sixth-plane Mast who has his seat in Ahmednagar. He was carried up the Mount by Eruch, one of Baba's Indian disciples who has been with Baba on many Mast tours and knows how to handle them, and Dr. Donkin, one of Baba's English disciples, — who were strong enough to carry him in a chair up the steep slope. A Mast as you may know rarely moves from his seat, wherever he may first choose it. It may take a disciple, sent by Baba, hours or days to make him move. If their followers are around they usually try to prevent it. The Mast, unconsciously, (that is like instinct working without his conscious function) knows this and when he is ready to go to Baba, it happens in an instant and at a time when his followers have dispersed, — so Baba's disciples must stay on sometimes indefinitely for that moment. Eruch told me that a Mast sometimes shows no interest for hours at a time and then suddenly asks, "Who sent you?" Baba has instructed them to say, "My Elder Brother sent me to take you to him". Very often they go after such an answer. This Nagar Mast, however, has been with Baba many times and as the Ahmednagar people all know Baba, the matter is simpler, to bring him to Baba.
At times when Baba is in seclusion, he is solitary, with his mandali at a distance to keep watch to insure his seclusion from chance wandering passers-by. Other times, like this seclusion, he has a Mast who takes part in his spiritual work. Only a Mast on the Sixth plane can really help Baba with his spiritual work.
Before going into seclusion on the 5th of December, Baba told us he had some "Special work to finish". What that is world events will show. His seclusion will last until 18th December, a comparatively short time. I believe Baba will then stay among us until after Christmas — at least, we know that he told us he would be at Meherabad for Christmas.
Mrs. Duce and her daughter, Charmian, whom you may have met or heard us talk about, is expected here from Arabia shortly. She lives in Washington and her husband is Vice President of the Arabian-American Oil Co., so they are at present in Saudi Arabia, but she and daughter will fly to India to see Baba. Rabia Martin appointed her successor of the California Sufi Center. She is very anxious to contact Baba and her daughter seems inwardly drawn since she first heard of Baba. We will see what happens . . .
. . . We send you dear love in the Beloved who fasts completely today (since last evening for 24 hours, not taking even water — and it's so warm today!). He did not allow us to share — a thousand fasts from us would be inadequate compared to one of His, but that's little consolation. Baba says the highest thing is love, but even put 'Obedience' one notch above it, I've always noticed. Perhaps because love is His own Gift — something that flows from oneself, whereas obedience is something one has to give on one's own — often something that goes against one's inclination. But of course they go hand in hand — you cannot give the obedience Baba wants unless you love Him; so it's a happy circle. And one cannot ever love Baba enough . . .