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29

 

accident spilled the Avataric blood on our soil. Certainly, in a way, she had been prepared for it. She had driven a Red Cross ambulance in France during World War I. She had driven Baba and the girls thousands of miles over the rough roads of India in her Buick, during the blue bus tours, and also in the U.S. Baba once said when He allows someone to drive Him, it ensures that they will not get lost while traversing the Path through the Spiritual Planes. Thus, she was a modern, feminine Arjuna for her dear Krishna-Baba.

 

She had always loved travelling and in fact was one of five foreigners taken on a scientific arctic expedition on the Soviet ice breaker Malygin, going within 400 mile of the North Pole. This was in July, 1931, the very same year in which she met Baba at Harmon (November 8th), through her friendship with the Schlosses. It was the turning point in her life. She said "When I first saw Him it was just as though I had always known Him . . . He was like an old friend." "It was instant recognition . . . His silence didn't seem strange or awkward . . . " She had dreamed of Him 3 times when only 12 years old.

 

Elizabeth was born of "blue book" parents in Chicago, Illinois. They moved to New York City when she was five years old. It was there she made her formal debut in 1917. She then took up an unusual career for a young girl of her day becoming one of the women insurance brokers with a prominent Wall Street firm, a position she held for 30 years. I well recall the morning of May 18, 1952, when I saw Baba on the path behind at the Center in Myrtle Beach. He gestured that I should call Elizabeth. When she came to the door of her cabin, Baba asked on His board, "Where are your insurance papers?” "In the cellar at Youpon Dunes," she replied. Baba told her to get them out and carry them with her on the trip West. She had five policies which helped to pay the enormous bills of the accident.

 

In 1929* she married Kenneth Patterson, a charming man who was a stock broker who also played the piano very well. He too had met Baba and so, when he gave me a ride uptown, I asked him what Baba was like. He said, it was an unusual thing to say about a man, but Baba was very beautiful and had exquisitely expressive hands. I thought the last a fitting comment from a pianist.**

 

Their marriage was an amicable one; but when I met Elizabeth in 1943 she was living with Norina and Nadine and giving all her energy to Baba's cause. Elizabeth had joined Baba at Portofino, Cannes, in Hollywood, New York, and on His trips west. She was on the first trip to India in 1933 and of course joined the Nasik ashram, together with her friend Norina. Elizabeth and Norina were an extraordinary pair . . .so opposite in temperament. Norina was fiery, volatile, talkative, Elizabeth quiet and immensely calm; Baba used to imitate them, Norina showed us how — "Norina goes too fast, Elizabeth goes too slow!" I have rarely seen Elizabeth get overwrought — perhaps about animal pets, of which she was so fond. Baba once told Elizabeth and Norina they been together "since the Creation . . . " I used to think this was Baba's peculiar Avataric sense of humor, but it is comprehensible if both are members of His Circle. Baba named Elizabeth Dilruba, meaning 'stealer of hearts.'

 

In India, Elizabeth had a most unusual privilege. Baba gave her permission to stay in the Panchgani Cave, 5,000 feet up in Tiger Valley (well-named!) in the Western Ghats. Baba Himself had had the cave dug in 1929 and stayed there in seclusion. He allowed only two other disciples, Behramji and Pleader, to stay there. On May 8, 1939, Elizabeth was to stay in the cave exactly 12 hours. Baba Himself locked her in, telling her not to fall asleep. She had a paranormal experience† that night and when she asked Baba if it was symbolic, He said yes, and she would understand its full meaning later. Another interesting experience she and Norina shared occurred on their trip west in 1932. Baba wanted them to accompany Him on the train; they wanted to drive across the U.S. Somewhere in the western desert they lost their way. Suddenly, a man in car ahead of them beckoned to them to follow him. They did, but when they stopped to thank him, his car had disappeared. They discovered a bridge had washed out on the original road: if they had followed it they might have been killed. In Hollywood, Baba said, to save them He had to send one of His "abduls", or agents.***

 

 

*1929 is printed in the Meher Baba Journal and then probably copied to The Awakener Magazine. The correct date that Elizabeth and Kenneth Patterson married is November 9, 1927-NY Times 11-10-1927-JK webmaster 2009.

Meher Baba Journal 1938

**The correct date that Mr. Patterson died is March 30, 1956-NY Times March 31, 1956. Original Awakener Magazazine footnote has 1957 for his death.-JK webmaster.]

*** see God Speaks, p.231

 

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