Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Terror Bird Returns

Some time ago I came upon an article I put on this blog about a surprising discovery in Argentina of this skull, which showed scientists for the first time the great size that ‘terror birds’ could reach in their day. Terror birds went extinct millions of years ago. The image below shows the estimated size of the creature that bore this skull next to a six-foot tall modern man.

Legs like an ostrich
Notice the creature’s ostrich feet, its small head (compared to its giant beak), as well as the ‘vulture’ shape of its beak.
Vulture beak
When I read this and saw the picture in a science magazine I couldn’t help but remember a line from Meher Baba said in the 1930’s while he reflected on exotic forms in evolution.
One bird is so peculiar that no one can have any idea of it even in his wildest imagination. This bird is half bat and very largeabout fifteen feet high. It has two legs like an ostrich. Its neck is about two feet in circumference. Its head, however, is small, only about two feet – when compared to its body. Its wingspread is six feet. Its beak is like a vulture's, the end being thick and the point being thin. (Meher Baba, LM 1872)
All this matches the terror bird perfectly. My dictionary describes a bat as a winged mammal active at night. Did Baba mean it was partially mammalian?
These are some artist’s renderings of what this animal may have looked like. It truly is a horrid site. I would not want to run into one in the dark.
However, the reason I bring it up again (for I talked about this bird in 2009 in an earlier post) is that I now see that I made a mistake about this bird in my essay, “The Deeper Aspects of Form.” There I mused about the fact that Baba referred to this strange beast in the present tense. “One bird is so peculiar . . .” I assumed that he must not have been referring to existing individual birds with this form in the present, but to this form in a more mental or Platonic sense (as in Platonic forms).
However, recently I was rereading a quote by Baba about how evolution actually occurs across many planets, and then I saw my blunder. Evolution happens on other planets perhaps even more so than on the Earth.
Baba breaks up evolution in a planetary sense into ‘worlds’ (ranges of planets that have reached certain cardinal stages of evolution).
Now let us see what drop-bubbles (forms) each of the seven wave-bubbles (worlds) contains.
World number 1 contains stones.
World number 2 contains stones and wind.
World number 3 contains stones, wind and metals.
World number 4 contains stones, wind, metals and water.
World number 5 contains stones, wind, metals, water and vegetables.
World number 6 contains stones, wind, metals, water, vegetables and animals.
World number 7 contains stones, wind, metals, water, vegetables, animals and human beings.
(Awakener Magazine, 1955, Volume 3, Number 1, page 33)

So it occurred to me that Baba did not only mean this in the Platonic sense of forms, though clearly that as well, but also meant that there literally are such unimaginable beasts existent at this very moment on other planets far away. 

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