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combed that list three times, trying to decide who might be humble and sincere in the quest for truth. Finally, we selected three hundred and fifty people whom we felt might qualify, and began to write to them of Baba's coming.
During all of this period, while we were being swept along by the irresistible tide of destiny, there was something within me which was deeply troubled by what my mind seemed, strangely enough, still to regard as a search "outside" of myself for the Reality which I had always felt should and must be found "within." It manifested itself in various ways — in doubts and hesitations — in literary expression.
"In all of the stirring of coming and going," I wrote just before we left Hancock, "we must never forget the hereness and nowness of God." And in Harmon, while we were preparing the house for Baba's arrival, several poems came through, stressing the same idea. In spite of deeper experience, the mind was still clinging to the idea of the self as a body -- to the temporal, spatial, three-dimensional view of life, wherein alone such terms as "within" and "without" apply. I knew that the spirit was not limited -- that everything existed in it concurrently and co-substantially -- but I knew it only in glimpses -- I experienced it only from time to time. I had not yet "made the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one" as Kabir had.
It must have been a week or so before Baba's arrival that I began to wonder how the various members of the Hancock group would react to Baba when he came. The question arose one day just as I was about to go into meditation, and I found myself visualizing each of the members of the group in succession. Nothing happened until, in my review, I reached Cath Gardner. Then, suddenly, she stood before me in a blaze of glory, radiant with light.
I was thrilled, of course, but a bit surprised, as well -- for at that time I would have thought Cath the least likely, of all the group, to respond. But Cath it was who did respond most fully -- who did stand forth in splendor -- once she had experienced Baba's love.
We were due for many surprises.
Could it have been a dream -- that month of November, 1931 -- when we lived in the old stone house above the Croton River near Harmon, New York, with that beautiful being from India whom we learned so quickly to love and have yearned so ardently ever since to serve in any way?
Was it a mirage -- that first evening of his arrival, when he sat at the head of the table in the soft glow of candle-light, looking for all the world like a Rembrandt painting of Jesus come to life, dispensing Christ-like potions of love?
Or those three-minute periods of silent meditation to which we were called, individually, beginning the following day, and which were repeated almost daily until He left -- those precious moments crowned with the gift of tears, welling up mysteriously from depths which we had never plumbed before, while we were pervaded with bliss -- were those illusions?
And the differences which had led so easily to conflict not so many months before, when we who had gathered to greet him at Harmon had spent the summer together in New Hampshire -- were those differences really dissolved in the warmth of his radiant love? Did we actually go about constantly feeling as if we wanted to embrace each other -- we stolid, unemotional, self-sufficient Anglo-Saxons? Did all of the 350 people who entered the house that month find deeper bonds of friendship, greater desire for consecration, quicker response to the call of selfless service, while this love spread through them like some irresistible divine contagion?
Or was it all a dream?
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