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40

 

As for the class and status of those who come to our group, it varies widely as always. As you no doubt have noted, the original three women were definitely of the 'upper-upper’ social group in America, though genuinely democratic in their ways, influenced, naturally, by the universal attitudes of their Master. We have had the 'poorest of the poor' in our group as well as several independently wealthy ones; professional workers, housekeepers and servants, office workers, people on welfare, members of the old European aristocracy and of the new American aristocracy of the 'I've-done-it-myself’ kind. We have grown large enough to support, on our own donations, public work again and every winter manage to hold three or four public meetings in our old stomping ground, Carnegie Hall. We have started a small magazine, and also presented films of the Master in India. Smaller branch groups have started in other corners of America modeled along the same lines. Those who come to our meetings are not urged to give up whatever religion they profess, but to let the living Master help them to reach and grasp its innermost core, which is the genuine life in God and for God, lived in the here and now. We are all absorbed, at present, in the Master's return to the West this coming summer, and busy finding 'new souls' to meet him and have the inestimable privilege of darshan.

 

Meher Baba has predicted that in the future there will be four main groups — the Christian group, the Vedantist group, the Sufi group, and the Meher Baba group, who will be interested in him and carry on his teachings. The Sufis* have already acknowledged him and of course groups like ours, in which no past religious thought or tradition is dominant, but just the Master himself, or as he said to one of us, "For you, it is just Baba."

 

There are two main ways a group can maintain its identity in the face of the inevitable changes in individual identities . . . through a continued appointed hierarchy of offices, as is true of both the Sufi and the Catholic traditional groups; or through a democratic, elected leadership as is true of many Protestant groups and of a Jewish synagogue as well. An absolutely free-form or free-association group is hard to maintain, as we ourselves find it and also, as do the American Quakers, who also stress meditations and silence in their group meetings. Vedantism, of course, has given rise to many forms and sects, but in essence, it always holds that God's grace is spontaneous and sporadic and that the illumined and God-realized soul arises independent of any church or shariat, thus the spiritual hierarchy of the time crosses all religious boundaries. The classic Sufi point of view is also the same, and the Qutub or spiritual leader of the time is automatically he who has most advanced consciousness, whoever or wherever he may be. Thus, a religious group that clings to outward structuring (as do the Catholics today) will not accept the leader of the time and will fall behind. In religion, too rigid structuring, may, as in many other human institutions, defeat its own ends.

________________________________

 

An amusing postscript: In 1956, when Baba returned to Myrtle Beach, Dr. Bozka threw her arms around me and said, "Filis, will you ever forgive me for being such a bitch!!"

 

CORRECTIONS
on Volume XX-2 (last issue)
error
correction
Page 9, line 24:  nothing
hotting
Page 13, Cannes 1937
Portofino, 1932
Page 19, line 49:  tuberculosis
trauma
Page 23, line 10:  1883
1892
Page 39, line 39:  October  
September
Page 39, line 48:  home of Kitty Davy
Kitty Davy's family home
Page 41, line 7:    Kitty's home
Kitty Davy's family home
Page 41, line 18:  Kitty has spent
Kitty is one of those who has spent
Page 43, line 16:  wreathed in gray braids
her gray hair in a bun
Page 43, line 17:  NB: Kitty does not sell or supply books at Dilruba at present

 

*Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

 

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