Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Through us, not to us

In this post GS refers to God Speaks online and current imprint edition. LM refers to Lord Meher by Bhau Kalchuri. Di refers to Discourses, 7th edition. LH refers to Listen Humanity. 

The following is one of my favorite quotes by Baba:
“I am never silent. I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is my voice, the voice of inspiration, of intuition, of guidance. Through those who are receptive to this voice, I speak.” (LM 2122)
I would like to talk about what this means to me.

First of all I think this quote ought not be taken in isolation from many other quotes much like it by Baba.
"I am everywhere. It is I who speak through you, and it is I who hear through you." (LM 5331)
"In spite of my silence, I speak through all the tongues in the world." (LM 4013)
"Until I break my silence, I hear through you and speak through you." (LM 4290)
"Although I appear to be silent, I speak through you all." (LM 4268)
This was thus a constant refrain from Baba throughout his unique life of silence, not a single quote that stands alone, and clearly it has much to do with the inner meaning of his silence, which is not understood.

Meher Baba in Louis van Gasteren's 1967 film. Baba
compared the occassion to his Sermon on the Mount
and had his quote on his speaking read aloud for the
sound camera.
Obviously, the full inner meaning of these words may be ultimately unfathomable, yet Baba would not have said them as often as he did had he not wanted these words to be deeply contemplated by those who consider him. In fact, these words were so important to Baba, that he had the first quote read aloud in front of the sound-sync professional camera of Dutch documentary filmmaker Louis van Gasteren when he interviewed and filmed Baba on one of the last occurrences of his coming out of his seclusion in the summer of 1967. Interestingly this is the only truly professional sound 35mm color film ever made of Baba. Baba later compared this professionally filmed interview and message given out to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (LM 6534). The fact that Baba had it specially brought out by Eruch to read for Louis’ professional camera on this late date says a great deal about the quote's inner importance, and by calling it his Sermon on the Mount Baba seemed to be saying it was a message for the world to one day know.

Let me say, then, what I feel these words mean to me.

To begin with, I definitely see absolutely no reason to think Baba is saying in these words that he is “giving messages” through any of us, or sending any in the sense common to channels, mediums, and clairvoyants.
“do not . . . be deceived into thinking that Baba is sending his messages through any of you.” (from a 1962 letter from Baba that he asked to be distributed)
So what does Baba mean by this if not a voice as we think of it?

There are many clues, I feel.

The Holy Grail of Christian mystic poetry
To start, Baba’s silence seems to be the most unique and significant mystical aspect of his life. Since Baba virtually built the whole tenor of his life around this mystery, frustrating again and again our listening for his speaking externally, by allowing us to dress up comically to hear it at the Hollywood Bowl, as if it were external, by promising to give it by radio and then declining, by our seeking its sound through channeled voices only to be warned by Baba not to be deceived by these either, to again and again be shocked to learn it was not to be external. All this ultimately forces us to seek its meaning in ourselves – the voice of guidance Baba says is ever speaking in our hearts, though so often unheard. We could liken the search for Baba’s silence breaking to the poetic quest for the hidden Holy Grail, one that is ever driven inward, and this turning to find it within rather than without marks the onset of the inner path. So the first clue I think is that Baba’s statement is about his silence, the meaning of its hearing, and our quest for its hearing in its true sense poses a reversal in how we seek it.

The next clue, I feel, is in Baba’s phrase “The voice that is heard deep within the soul is my voice, the voice of inspiration, of intuition, of guidance.”

To grasp what Baba means by “the voice of . . . intuition” that guides us, one might like to read my short post Baba on Intuition where his use of this word is gone over. But in short this is what Baba most often said he means by intuition:
“Intuition means that which comes from the heart. In the divine path, first there is intuition, then inspiration, then illumination, and finally Realization. If it touches your heart, follow it. And God willing, from today you will know that if it is intuition it is right.” (LM 3812)
So inspiration is really a feeling of knowing what is right that wells within our heart.

Now what does Baba mean by “inspiration?” Recall that Baba says that God is always speaking through those who hear “the voice of inspiration . . .”

Baba had two principle meanings when he used the word “inspiration.” The first is its most natural sense as we all use it, such as the inspiration that artists, scientists, inventors, and others feel within themselves (like a Muse) that urges them to do great and wonderful things they hadn’t previously dreamed possible or thought themselves capable of.

To Garret Fort, a screenwriter, Baba said, “I have an immense stock of inspiration and I will give some of it to you; after fourteen months you must come back to me here.” (LM 2136)

Here are other things Baba said that refer to this sense of inspiration people feel.
“Things of beauty can become the source of purity, happiness, and inspiration; works of art can ennoble and raise the consciousness of people.”
“Even at the stage of shariat [religion], or karma-kanda, allegiance to religions is not infrequently a source of inspiration for many selfless and noble acts.” (Di 353)
“Doing your duties selflessly, try to go beyond the limitations of the intellect. Thirst for divine inspiration and experience of Infinite Consciousness. Merge in the ocean of Divinity!” (LM 1439)
“The Sadguru can raise the aspirant from the ordinary intellectual level of consciousness to the level of consciousness where there is inspiration and intuition, and then onward to the level of insight and illumination that culminates in his merging into the Infinite.” (Di 7th ed. 58)
“Modern psychology has done much to reveal the sources of conflict, but it has yet to discover methods of awakening inspiration or supplying the mind with something that makes life worth living. This indeed is the creative task facing the saviors of humanity.” (Di 164, 65)

The second sense in which Baba used the word inspiration is more technical, applying specifically to those on the planes who go beyond mere intellect.

“When (after reincarnations) the human soul launches upon the process of realization, intellect is replaced by inspiration, which finds its expression from the first to the third plane; and from the fourth to the sixth plane, this inspiration is transformed into illumination.” (GS 227)
“In this new setting of the mental sphere, the soul enjoys continuous inspiration, deep insight, and unfailing intuition; and it is in direct contact with spiritual Reality.” (Di 138)
"The various states and stages through which the pilgrim passes on his journey to God realization may be broken down into there phases which the Sufis call Tariqat, Marifat, and Haqiqat. In the first, divine knowledge is experienced on the planes of energy as inner intuition, inspiration, and conviction * [A footnote is given. “ * Not to be confused with ordinary intuition, inspiration and conviction, as inner sight is not to be con fused with ordinary sight.”] (LH 166)

To be most precise in the most technical sense of these terms by Baba, here are Baba’s Seven States of Understanding from p. 2618 of Lord Meher.

1. Instinct
2. Intellect
3. Inspiration
4. Intuition
5. Insight
6. Illumination
7. Realization
Instinct governs the animal world; intellect, humans; inspiration for those humans whose feelings are developed – like poets and artists. Intuition is for those advanced souls who have conscious visions and understanding true to the point. What you understand by intuition is always true. What you understand by intellect is sometimes true and sometimes not.
Souls on the fourth and fifth planes have insight; their understanding is direct, without thinking with the mind. Illumination means seeing God as He is. The understanding is divine. Realization is understanding oneself as God.

So now where have we come and how does all this apply to what Baba is saying.

Considering all Baba said about the word he has not spoken coming to life in those that hear the voice of inspiration, intuition, and guidance – through which God is always speaking and never really silent – this is what I think Baba means.

Each time the Avatar comes he brings a flowering of desperately needed love, inspiration, intuition and inner guidance that once again trues man on the path to God. He brings fresh ideas and new vitality, that eventually express themselves through previously unconsidered forms of creating beauty, inventions, flowering of all sorts.

It is thus through those who are receptive to this inner voice that is is silent calling to us, that God manifests. This happened after every Avatar, and Oswald Spengler writes about it poetically in Decline of the West. This always happens. The Avatar brings a new springtide of spontaneous creativity, love, and intuition – and great works happen. Life is thus restored through those that pick up on this new springtide.

This apparently has not happened yet, but it must come. For Baba promises that it always does.
"Avataric periods are like the springtide of creation. They bring a new release of power, a new awakening of consciousness, a new experience of life-not merely for a few, but for all. Qualities of energy and awareness, which had been used and enjoyed by only a few advanced souls, are made available for all humanity. Life, as a whole, is stepped up to a higher level of consciousness, is geared to a new rate of energy. The transition from sensation to reason was one such step; the transition from reason to intuition will be another."  (Di 268)
To me God manifests through man, not to man. For God is in all men. And the Avatar comes to Awaken Him in us. All works, thus, that come from intuition and inspiration that express into the world of forms truth, love, and beauty are God ever speaking through us.
“Through those who are receptive to this voice, I speak.”

Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people. (Prayer of Saint Ávila)

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