In Meher Baba's Love we are privileged once again to meet together and share with one another our experiences and love for our Beloved.
I would like to express my appreciation and joy in being asked to be with you all on this very special occasion - the eleventh Sahavas at Pilgrim Pines here in California.
There is little left for me to share with you of the earlier years with Meher Baba, whilst He was with us in His physical form, that I have not already shared in the book, Love Alone Prevails .
However, Baba stressed that we should try to live in the present, in the Now, and not be concerned so much with the past or the future. So, bearing this in mind, I have chosen to concentrate on the years since Baba left us physically to remain internally within, and to find new meaning in these latter experiences in relation to Meher Baba's messages of Love and Truth.
Two concepts seem to contain the substance of this later period's experiences for me. One is the concept of Consciousness, followed a few years later by the concept of Awareness.
And yes, along with these two concepts has been an intense and continually increasing longing to fathom God Himself. This latter theme must be left for another occasion, for Baba puts the cap on it, as it were, by telling us in His book, God Speaks:
"God cannot be explained. He cannot be argued about. He cannot be theorized, nor can He be discussed and understood. God can only be lived."
However, in searching deeply to fathom the concepts of Consciousness and Awareness, I encountered the following passages from Meher Baba:
"We are all each one of us meant to be happy. God who is within us is to be experienced as Infinite happiness, and it can be done only through love for Him through the heart, and not the intellect."
And on another occasion, Baba stated:
"The only important thing is to see God everywhere and in everyone, and to become One with Him. The goal of life is to know God, the Infinite One, in every-day life, and all this existence is to gain that goal."
Now, whilst our theme today is Awareness, I feel a brief introduction to the concept of Consciousness is not out of place, for it has led me to a deeper understanding of the concept of Awareness. Baba states: "Spiritual progress is not a process of accumulation from without, it is an enfoldment from within."
It came to me gradually that there must be a consciousness of Baba within, where Baba always told us He is to be found as He really is. How I came to live up to the time of Meher Baba's dropping His physical form so ignorant of the importance of this word, Consciousness, is a mystery.
Perhaps living for so many years, 18 in all, with Meher Baba in India, and later from 1952 in Myrtle Beach but with the privilege of corresponding with India, there seemed no need to be concerned with concepts such as this. Baba's Form and Presence were all-encompassing.
Can you imagine anyone reading the Discourses or God Speaks and the eye not registering on this word, Consciousness - proving the truth of the saying that until the mind is ready to grasp what the eye sees, the words carry little or no impact.
It was not until after Meher Baba dropped His physical form that two profound statements of His continually focused my attention, and led ultimately to a deep search and effort to understand Consciousness, and later Awareness.
Quoting Meher Baba: