Friday, October 7, 2016

Inventing the '3/4 of World' Prophecy

Prophesies of sudden death of human population are common in religious eschatology.

To give just one example, the 18th-century Hieromartyr Constantius the Russian of Constantinople (d. 1743) is credited with a prophecy that in one unidentified year, a series of specific catastrophes would destroy much of humankind.

“On July 8th two unheard-of wars will coincide. On August 12th there will be an unbearable heat wave. On December 18th half mankind will perish.”

The Biblical flood, known to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, portrays a destruction of population also. So in religion human population is a big thing.

So it is not surprising that Meher Baba's followers would be eager to find such a teaching in Baba's own words.

However, they deceive themselves. It is not there.

Here are three ways that written materials have been bent to put into Baba's mouth a prediction of population reduction. After going over this, I want to go over some points about population itself.

In 1954 Baba predicted three quarters of the world being destroyed, followed by his physical death by being stabbed in the back within one year. Obviously none of these things happened. The world is still here, and Baba was not murdered, and lived another 15 years.

However, Baba followers later focused on the three quarters quote, omitting the other failed predictions. This is natural because it seemed to conform with religious prophets of various faiths. Why not Baba?

The problem is that immediately after making those predictions in 1954, and in the same year, Baba published and sent around a clarification of those predictions, and said that those specific ones, i.e. about three-quarters of the world (he did not say population) and about his stabbing death, were said in his language alone. He went even further and said that:
(5) The destruction of three-fourths of the world: was said in my own ‘language’ alone.

(6) The stab in the back: was said in my own ‘language’ alone.
It is very, very odd that this point is omitted by Baba's followers when claiming to know what one of these two statements meant. They do not make a similar claim of the stab in the back, so why such clarity about the three-fourths of the world?

This is especially dismissive of some more words by Baba on these two statements that Baba followers so cavalierly interpret.
. . . that which is said in my own ‘language’ is impossible for you to understand, however much you may try to interpret the meaning behind my words. Only the fulfillment of events can unfold to you, in due course, the meaning of what is said in my own ‘language.’
So those who claim to be "quoting" Meher Baba on the destruction of three-quarters of the world, and explaining their interpretation of it as population, are really not following Baba's words at all, and foisting onto people their own preconceived eschatological beliefs and desires, which they did not get from Baba.


Here is a second example.

In Donkin’s Diaries, 2011, p. 185, William Donkin is quoted as follows.
We mentioned to Baba about the Rumanian earthquake [of 1940], and he said that floods, famine and disease all to come, 1/2 the world’s population will die. Seasons will alter. Also he says that although Russia is the key to the war situation, and she will take Persia, she will not digest anything. Baba does not like Hitler’s speeches.
Well this seems to be a genuine quote by Baba predicting a massive population death. But Donkin's memory must not have been too good, or he did not capture the gist of what Baba was saying. For words like these, but much more detailed, were recorded as having been said by Baba a full month earlier, on October 17, 1940. In that version it clear Baba's population remark was about India.
Both Russia and Japan want India, but won't succeed. India will suffer more than the West. Fifty percent of the population will be wiped off, all starting next year.
In fact these words came true. The Bengali Famine happened two years later as a result of the war. . Often called the Indian Holocaust, it is estimated that as many as five million people died of starvation, the worst disaster on the subcontinent in the twentieth century.

If one reads the entire statement by Baba, from which the "one half" remark is taken, we see three patterns.
  1. The statement was clearly about events that were to take place during WWII, not in some distant eschatological time. 
  2. The remark about "fifty percent of the population" came after Baba pivoted his points from the war in the West, to war events still to take place in the East, especially India.
  3. All of these events happened as Baba described them, in fast succession within three years of Baba's statements. 
Hence it is not a statement about the world's population, and not a distant prophesy waiting to happen. Baba's use of the words "fifty percent" appear to be hyperbole, which he was quite capable of.

Now here's the full quote to see the full context of the remark about population. I have inserted facts when it was clear things happened as he said.
Soon Japan, Burma, Singapore, Iran and Turkey will all be involved. The crisis in the West is nearing its climax, and the crisis in the East and in India will begin in January 1941 and last until the middle of 1941, at which time it will begin to wane. [Not possible to justify these dates] Mussolini will eventually be killed violently; [Happened April 1945] Hitler will commit suicide, [April 1945] though he is my star villain. Russia is very crafty. She helps everyone, and in the end will pinch [steal] everything — Iran, Afghanistan. [Happened August 1941] (source) Both Russia and Japan want India, but won't succeed. India will suffer more than the West. Fifty percent of the population will be wiped off, all starting next year. [Bengal famine of 1943]
Britain will be crushed, but won't give in and won't lose; Germany and Italy will be crushed and lose.
Now what about the statement that the seasons will alter. Here is the quote by Donkin again:
[Baba] said that floods, famine and disease all to come, 1/2 the world’s population will die. Seasons will alter.
To explain these remarks, as true predictions, I quote extensively from Wikipedia on the Bengal famine (retrieved 10/7/16).

"The winter 1942 aman rice crop, which was already expected to be poor or indifferent, was hit by a cyclone and three tidal waves in October. An area of 450 square miles were swept by tidal waves, 400 square miles affected by floods and 3200 square miles damaged by wind and torrential rain. Reserve stocks in the hands of cultivators, consumers and dealers were destroyed. This killed 14,500 people and 190,000 cattle. "The homes, livelihood and property of nearly 2.5 million Bengalis were ruined or damaged." The fungus Cochliobolus miyabeanus destroyed 50% to 90% of some rice varieties, causing even greater damage to yield than the cyclone." (Wikipedia)

What now becomes clear is that Baba in fact did properly predict the events of WWII, including the famine and death of millions in India.


There is one more method Baba followers use to continue to argue for massive world-wide population annihilation. They quote people other than Baba.

One example is a mast by the name of Jala Tapasvi contacted by Baba's disciples, Kaka and Eruch, in 1946. Upon the two of them engaging him the mast said:
"These wars and disturbances will continue, and three-quarters of humanity will be wiped out! For how can the people from Hell mix with the people from Heaven? Those from Hell must be wiped out!" (Lord Meher, Original printed version, p. 3123)
It is the nature of masts to say strange things. This is well recorded. Why do Baba people resort to such things to bolster a claim that does not originate with the person they claim to follow?


Now I would like to point out something about this eschatology.

There are several things that do not make sense.

To Baba, a person is a soul, not their body. Baba emphasized that when a person dies nothing is really destroyed that existed, for what exists truly is the soul. The body is an illusion. And the soul, which is the real person, is never born and never dies. Hence how could Baba, in his own language as he emphasized, describe physical death as destruction? They just get born again.

This is the kind of thinking that belongs to atheists and materialists, who believe the body is the sole reality, and when your body fails you are destroyed. But it is not in any sense consistent with Baba's teaching.

Next, this figure "3/4" that Baba followers like to cite, has no clear rational meaning. For what population does it refer to? For instance the human population of the Earth has more than doubled since Baba gave the Final Declaration message. So do the followers think this ratio is one of the population then, or now, or the population as it will be at some point in the future?

Lastly, the fear of population originates with Thomas Malthus, and is a vulgar form of delusional fear, born out of materialistic anxiety that one will not have enough -- and others threaten your share of the goods on this planet. Thomas Malthus, who wrote dire predictions of death due to overpopulation in the late 18th century, has been disproved again and again.  How Baba followers have fallen into this empty delusion is a question that deeply puzzles me. They always speak of these predictions of theirs, falsely and almost desperately attributed to Baba, with a kind of blood lust. It makes me ashamed to keep their company.


On a deeper note, and one that not everyone may be able to follow:

There are two forms of thought on evolution. One if from Darwin, and one is the true meaning of the word.

The real root of the word evolution is 'unfolding' or 'to unfold.' Something that is folded up, or latent, is unfolded or manifested into its intended completed condition. That is the spiritual sense of evolution (both in biological forms and in consciousness) that Baba explains in his books God Speaks and Infinite Intelligence.

But there is a corrupt 18th Century Victorian sense, that was used first to form capitalist market theories, and then was transferred over by Thomas Malthus (an economist) to concepts of natural population management, and then finally this was read into nature by Darwin. All that I just said is historically verifiable. Economic theories of supply and demand were applied to biology, as a way to understand nature. This theory is incidentally applicable to the maintaining of healthy status quo of species, but is misapplied to the evolutionary process. Evolution does not occur by natural selection.

The concept of natural selection is based on the concept of culling. Things advance by culling (or killing off) the weaker forms, which includes less desirable traits. This is supposed to, over countless eons and generations, lead to better and better adaptations. The fact is that none of this has ever been observed. It is only a theory, and according to Baba is not what causes evolution.

Now, not understanding this, but being inculcated with beliefs about market economies, culling, and evolution by natural selection, Baba followers naturally assume that culling the human population will improve man's nature -- or cause man to 'evolve.' This is absurd.

No natural disaster or war kills only the evil and leaves only the good. The idea that the 1/4 of humanity that survived a disaster would be the "good people" is emotionally infantile. Of course it would simply be 1/4 of the same average people.

Next, such a shrinking of the population would only bring it back to where it was in the 1920s. What would prevent the population from simply rising again, with the same souls taking birth again?

Baba followers naturally have all kinds of disgustingly gleeful and sadistic answers to this question. They will be banished to dark planets, or put into dormancy in an afterlife state of hibernation. What kind of people think like this?

A much higher thought is that, due to the higher ideas that Baba brought to the world, the world could, after a period of transition, begin to improve and reach its true highest potential. This is evolution in its true original sense, and the sense that Baba used the word evolution, as an unfolding. Not as a culling, as the Baba followers strangely pant for.

Let us hope that Baba's will and not that of his hateful followers is in store for the Earth. If Baba is truly the compassionate father they say he is, let us hope he does not think like in Eugenics, of culling the useless and unwanted, but in redemption and improvement of all humanity.
In this world there's room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
A line from the speech in The Great Dictator, a film that Meher Baba admired, 1940. Cue the video to 00:28.

"In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way."

At a later time, in print, I will explain what I think the 3/4 statement actually meant.

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