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37

 

condition was also initiated by Baba."

 

She returned from India dedicated to fulfilling her new role as Murshida of "Sufism Reoriented." Baba gave generously of His advice in correspondence with her regarding the new charter, the lessons for the mureeds and so forth. Meanwhile she had moved to New York and taken an apartment on West 67th Street. I would visit her frequently and we became good friends. One afternoon I "saw" a very striking man standing at her study door, with brilliant dark eyes, a long beard, and wearing a long caftan. I "heard" him say, "We all serve Baba now." I described him to Ivy and she brought me a picture of Inayat Khan: it was the same man.

 

On her return from India I invited her to come tell us her experiences in meeting Baba. She said she would come if we accepted her as our teacher. I said Baba was our only teacher (Baba had instructed us to be open and democratic in structure) and she declined. A few months later she changed her mind and we had a delightful evening.

 

She began to attract a following in New York and several people in our group joined the Sufis; some of her mureeds left and joined our group. Naturally this caused some friction and misunderstanding. Following my Quaker heritage, I tried my best always to reconcile differences, feeling there are as many paths to God as there are individuals. When Baba came in '52, Ivy brought her mureeds to meet Him, including those from the West Coast, Washington, and one from Australia, Francis Brabazon, the poet, who had heard of Baba through Rabia Martin and her mureed, the Baron Von Frankenberg. Baba sent Francis home at once — he caught the last boat out for six months. Later, he left the Sufi order and went to India to live with Baba.

 

After the accident in Oklahoma, Baba wired for Ivy to come and help, and she and Charmian flew to Prague. Ivy's immense practical experience was invaluable to the travelers, some of whom, though not hurt, were in shock at the unexpected violent turn of events. It was Ivy who sent us the first detailed bulletin on Baba's condition, also Mehera's and Elizabeth's state, for which we were all grateful. It fell to Charmy to wash Baba's clothes in a laundromat, and I recall with a chill her saying "There was so much blood!" Charmy had wanted to drive Baba across the U.S. — she had the trip all mapped out — I recall the tender, enigmatic look He gave her, with His "No."

 

Later, in July, it was in Mrs. Duce's apartment that we saw Baba again. Actually many people came who had missed Him in Myrtle Beach. For three days Baba, in double cast, in intense heat, gave His darshan. By Baba's request all were asked to read the large sign placed in the anteroom:

 

"I am equally approachable to one and all, big and small,
To saints who rise, and sinners who fall,
Through all the various Paths that give the Divine Call,
I am approachable alike to saint whom I adore
And to sinner whom I am for,
And equally through Sufism, Vedantism, Christianity,
Or Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, and other 'isms'
Of any kind, and also directly through no medium of 'isms' at all."
 

But most people at that time were unacquainted with Sufism; a few knowledgeable ones read the great Sufi poets, Hafiz, Rumi and Kabir, but the popular esoteric groups were the Theosophists, Rosicrucians, Alice Bailey-ites, Vedanta groups, the "I am", movement, etc. I don't know whether it was in '52 or '56 but Ivy visited the Alice Bailey headquarters in New York to invite Miss Bailey, who made a great to-do about "the Reappearance of the Christ," to meet Baba, and got a very rude reception. We all went through similar experiences with other leaders of spiritual groups. But as Baba told one of us later, "It is the link of love that draws you to Me." If it's not there, no amount of prestigious books or devotees will help. It was fascinating to observe those that did come to meet Baba and watch Him forge or pull on these invisible golden chains. How fortunate we felt, that His glance had fallen on us!

 

It was her daughter Charmian and Energy (Marion Florsheim) who drove Baba,

 

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