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Articles

CCCs
  – Billy Goodrum

Amartithi
  – Bruce Felknor

"You'll find Me in the garden"
  – Jenny Keating

'Heart Tires of Its Gaudy Dress' – Francis Brabazon
  – Buck Busfield

HOLLYWOOD
  – Billy Goodrum

Trust and Intimacy
  – Jenny Keating

Living with Baba
  – Bruce Felknor

When Words Fail . . . Just Use More Words
  – Buck Busfield

Suffering and Service
  – Juniper Lesnik

SPOILER ALERT
  – Billy Goodrum

The charm of His ways. . .
  – Jenny Keating

The Importance of Being Furnished
  – Bruce Felknor

It's Been Fun
  – Steve Klein

Let’s Talk about Love
  – Juniper Lesnik

Cannes
  – Billy Goodrum

In the world but not of it . . .
  – Jenny Keating

Give Me Your Imperfections
  – Wendy Connor

Children of the One God
  – Bruce Felknor

As the Poet Says
  – Steve Klein

Happy Endings
  – Jenny Keating

Thoughts on Furniture
  – Billy Goodrum

Going Home
  – Juniper Lesnik

A Tale of Two Connections
  – Bruce Felknor

The Flowering Seed
  – Wendy Connor

Baby Steps
  – Steve Klein

Patience
  – Jenny Keating

Hold On!
  – Juniper Lesnik

Waiting for the New Humanity
  – Billy Goodrum

Remembering
  – Bruce Felknor

The Beloved's Beloved
  – Wendy Connor

Compare and Contrast
  – Steve Klein

It's in the struggle . . .
  – Jenny Keating

Time
  – Juniper Lesnik

The Tipping Point
  – Billy Goodrum

Learning Poise
  – Bruce Felknor

When "Good Enough" Isn't
  – Steve Klein

Conflict and Joy
  – Jenny Keating

Sleepless in San Jose
  – Juniper Lesnik

Vacation Incarnation
  – Steve Klein

Nerve Endings of the Soul
  – Jenny Keating

"Let the World Wait"
  – Wendy Connor

Religion vs Spirituality
  – Steve Klein

The Bigger Challenge
  – Wendy Connor

Que Sera Sera
  – Steve Klein

To Be Honest
  – Juniper Lesnik

Praise and Blame
  – Steve Klein

Being Right
  – Steve Klein

To Love God is To Love Our Fellow Beings
  – Juniper Lesnik

God is Alive in the World
  – Wendy Connor

Determined to Be His
  – Steve Klein

The Stuff We're Made Of
  – Juniper Lesnik

"I Will Always Be With You": Memories of the East West Gathering
  – Wendy Connor

Half Full or Half Empty?
  – Steve Klein

Love The One You're With
  – Steve Klein

Ordinary Life
  – Juniper Lesnik

Baba Loved Us Too
  – Wendy Connor

Feeling His Love
  – Steve Klein

He is both Father and Mother
  – Juniper Lesnik

A Leap of Faith
  – Wendy Connor

Becoming His
  – Steve Klein

Don't Worry, Be Happy
  – Juniper Lesnik

A Life Worth Living
  – Wendy Connor

Love The One You're With
  – Steve Klein

What a Mighty Beloved our Beloved is
  – Wendy Connor

To thine own self be true?
  – Steve Klein

The Sweets of His Love
  – Wendy Connor

Sickness and Health
  – Juniper Lesnik

Giving Advice
  – Steve Klein

"Garlic-Faced"
  – Wendy Connor

To Love and Be Loved
  – Juniper Lesnik

Talking About The Truth
  – Steve Klein

The Script was Written Long Ago
  – Wendy Connor

Excuse Me, Which Way to God?
  – Steve Klein

Letting Go
  – Juniper Lesnik

The Mosquitoes are Bad Today
  – Wendy Connor

What If A Teaching Moment Never Comes?
  – Steve Klein

Beads On One String
  – Juniper Lesnik

Youth Sahavas '07
  – Wendy Connor

Stop, You're Both Right!
  – Steve Klein

God, Please Give me a Job
  – Juniper Lesnik

"It Just Passes More Quickly"
  – Wendy Connor

Multiple Meher Babas
  – Steve Klein

Winking Back
  – Juniper Lesnik

The Treasure Within
  – Wendy Connor

Holding On, But Losing One's Grip
  – Steve Klein

1969
  – Ann Conlon

Obedience
  – Ann Conlon

Meher Center – The Way It Was
  – Ann Conlon

Armageddon, Anyone?
  – Ann Conlon

What Does Baba Want Me to Do?
  – Ann Conlon

Baba's 'Things'
  – Ann Conlon

What Does THAT Mean?
  – Ann Conlon

The Way It Was – Meherabad
  – Ann Conlon

Broken Heads
  – Ann Conlon

Doing "Baba Work"
  – Ann Conlon

On Being Ill
  – Ann Conlon

Enid
  – Ann Conlon

To Each His Own
  – Ann Conlon

Meherjee
  – Ann Conlon

Youth Sahavas
  – Ann Conlon

Kitty
  – Ann Conlon

The Lonely Path
  – Ann Conlon

Isn't He Enough?
  – Ann Conlon

He Said What?
  – Ann Conlon

Goher
  – Ann Conlon

Taking a Dare
  – Ann Conlon

Seeking Suffering
  – Ann Conlon

Dreams
  – Ann Conlon

Amartithi
  – Ann Conlon

Margaret
  – Ann Conlon

"The Disciple"
  – Ann Conlon

I Wonder ...
  – Ann Conlon

Backbiting, etc.
  – Ann Conlon

Hearing His Name
  – Ann Conlon

Rites, Rituals and Ceremonies
  – Ann Conlon

"Baba's Group"
  – Ann Conlon

His Promise
  – Ann Conlon

Then and Now
  – Ann Conlon

Middlemen Revisited
  – Ann Conlon

Padri
  – Ann Conlon

Gateway Days
  – Ann Conlon

The New Life
  – Ann Conlon

Books, Books and More Books
  – Ann Conlon

Elizabeth Patterson
  – Ann Conlon

His "Last Warning"
  – Ann Conlon

Detachment
  – Ann Conlon

Is That A Religion Coming?
  – Ann Conlon

Manifestation: Did He Or Didn't He?
  – Ann Conlon

A Country of Our Own?
  – Ann Conlon

Remembering Mohammed
  – Ann Conlon

Advice (Sort-Of) for Newcomers
  – Ann Conlon

You're a Baba Lover If...
  – Ann Conlon

Real Happiness
  – Ann Conlon

Baba Lover, Baba Follower or Both?
  – Ann Conlon

Meherazad – The Way It Was
  – Ann Conlon

The Strongest Memories
  – Ann Conlon

All (Baba) Things Considered

Giving Advice

I think it is generally recognized that it is much easier to give advice than to take it. You would think that that fact alone would make one think twice before proffering advice. But there are times when it seems that our brotherly or parental duty calls for us to speak out. There are even times when people practically demand that we give advice to them.

And I don't just mean those situations where artists, performers, or writers say "Tell me what you really think. My feelings won't be hurt." I suspect most of us have learned by now that under those circumstances one should never ever say what one truly thinks (unless of course one's honest appraisal is that it's the best piece of work they've ever done).

No, that's easy. I'm talking about where someone truly seems troubled about something and seems to be sincere in seeking your opinion or advice. What to do then?

As usual, I have two frames of reference to help me figure such questions out. I try to think about what Baba did in seemingly similar situations, and I bring to mind what the mandali did.

Perhaps it will not surprise you to learn that in my opinion, the two are completely different. Baba gave advice, He gave orders, and He made casual suggestions and it was not always easy to tell the difference between them. Rano used to tell a story where Baba had told a person to do something. The person said, "But Baba, wouldn't it be so much better if we did it this way?" And Baba then agreed to that. Rano's point, which she unfailingly made, was that even though Baba had agreed, the new order had no spiritual significance to it and the person had lost a great opportunity for growth. But Rano would also tell the story of how, on their visit to America in 1952, Baba asked her to show the others around the city of New York. Rano said,"But Baba, I haven't been here for so long and so much has changed, wouldn't it be better if Charmian did it?" Baba agreed and so it was arranged.

"But Rano," I said. "How is it that different from the previous story? Weren't you changing Baba's order?" "Oh, no," Rano said, "I was only making a suggestion. Baba permitted that."

One of the key requirements for "learning to dance to His tune" seemed to be the ability to distinguish between those times when Baba welcomed your suggestions and those times when He required absolute and unquestioning obedience, even when the order seemed to not make sense from a logical or worldly point of view.

So where does this get us in terms of advice? I think it means that it is difficult to look at Baba's advice giving for any kind of helpful precedent. So then I turn to the mandali and my experience has been that they were often reluctant to give advice. (With certain exceptions, such as Mansari, who was keen to advise me never to drink refrigerated water.) Darwin often made comments about the sanskaric involvement that ensues advice giving and suggested this was reason alone to avoid it.

I think Eruch usually avoided it for an entirely different reason. My sense was that he felt there was little point in giving advice because, in general, people were going to do what they wanted to do anyway. On the other hand, if he did give advice and people did something merely because he had advised it, they would be following him, not Baba. He seemed to want people to learn to find and then follow Baba's internal advice. External prompts, supports and guides, in a way only interfere with this internal process.

In "Hints for Spiritual Workers" Baba reminds us that truth is latent in everyone and our job isn't to tell others the truth, but to help it spontaneously unfold within them. In this process asking questions can be as important as providing answers.

So when it comes to giving advice, my advice is. . .don't.