Monday, January 13, 2014

"A pariah in this world"

Leslie Howard and Gabriel Pascal in contract
 negotiations for Pygmalion in 1938
(click to enlarge)
Gabriel Pascal (1894–1954) was one of the most powerful and influential producers in Hollywood in the late 1930s through 1945. Yet his great fame and success came only after his meeting with Meher Baba, who lifted his spirits and confidence. To discuss his unique love for Baba would be long-winded. Pascal would wilt, yet a moment in Baba's company would resuscitate him again and again, and he would rebound with new inspiration. Pascal met Baba many times: in India, in Switzerland, and for the last time in Scarsdale, NY.

I include this touching excerpt of one of his last letters to Baba, penned by him in the Roosevelt Hospital in New York where he lay dying.
Here I had, I confess, many relapses in my health, and many temptations . . . I will get healthy in Baden-Baden, and I will be the end of August in your everlasting arms. I know you are always with me. Without you, I would be nothing but a little pariah in this world.  (Gabriel Pascal, June 10, 1954) 
Pascal died in that very bed on July 6, 1954. Hearing of Pascal's death, Baba cabled a representative of his NY group:
Pascal has come to me. (Cable, July 8, 1954) 1
It is remarkable to hear such a humble letter to Baba, in which such a great and famous producer2 would attribute his entire career to Baba. If one reads his biography,3 one will see why.

1Source: Awakener Magazine, Vol 2, No 2, pp. 5-7

2 It was pointed out to me that Pascal is barely known today. But Pascal was a household name in the early 1940s, even if he is all but forgotten now. There was a Life Magazine spread on him with multiple photos in 1945. Margaret Craske assured me he was as famous in his day as Steven Spielberg is today. Perhaps hard for us to believe today, but she assured me it was true.

3The Disciple and His Devil, by Valerie Pascal, 1970, 1984.

1 comment:

  1. We're all equally dust at His feet, but some specks become merged with Him.