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Articles

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

Doing "Baba Work"
  – Ann Conlon

Broken Heads
  – Ann Conlon

Enid
  – Ann Conlon

On Being Ill
  – Ann Conlon

Meherjee
  – Ann Conlon

To Each His Own
  – 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

Amartithi
  – Ann Conlon

Dreams
  – 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

His Promise
  – Ann Conlon

"Baba's Group"
  – 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

Is That A Religion Coming?
  – Ann Conlon

Detachment
  – Ann Conlon

A Country of Our Own?
  – Ann Conlon

Manifestation: Did He Or Didn't He?
  – 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

Determined to Be His

I know I was not the only one in the early 70's who thrilled to hear the mandali's accounts of their life with Meher Baba. Not only were we learning things about Baba which we had never known, we were also gaining a sense of His ways, and what it might have been like to be around Him.

One of the things a lot of us wanted to know was how to get closer to Baba, although this was phrased in different ways. How do we know what Baba wants us to do? What would please Baba? How do we hold on to His daaman? Eruch cut through all the complexities of the almost infinite variety of ways in which we asked these questions, with all of the countless circumstances we enumerated, in attempts to get very specific answers by simply declaring, "Just be determined to be His". And, when we seemed unable to grasp the import of this statement, he clarified it by saying, "It's simple. Baba, Himself, gave us the guidelines. Only do those things which you would not hesitate to do in His presence, only say those things which you would not hesitate to say in His presence, and only think those things which you would not hesitate to think in His presence. If you just do that, you don't have to worry about anything else".

At first this answer seemed to satisfy. It was so straightforward, so unequivocal and equally applicable to any and all situations we might find ourselves in. But, of course, with time, our minds, or at least my mind, started to work. "Yes," it would counter, "that sounds good, but I don't know what I would do or say or think in Baba's presence because I don't know what that experience is like." And the more I heard Eruch answer increasingly complicated questions with a simple dictum, "Just be determined to be His", the more I felt as if Eruch was fobbing us off with a kind of kindergarten maxim while he kept the esoteric secrets, pertinent to more advanced or dedicated aspirants (like me!) to himself.

Being a bit slow on the uptake, it's taken me almost forty years to begin to understand just how profound Eruch's answer really is. Baba's answer to almost all questions seemed to be "Love Me". But love is not something we can control. Baba, Himself, admits it is a gift from God to man. So we are left trying to obey Baba, but without specific orders it is easy to deceive ourselves into thinking that apart from not using drugs, or having sex outside of marriage, there aren't many guidelines to follow.

Yet all of us can try to be determined to be His. I think the key word here is "determined". This automatically means making an effort, being steadfast in the face of adversity or opposition, persevering even when motivation lags. These are all things we can control; they are all products of our will. I find, as I struggle with temptations and desires, that my mind is almost always able to convince me to give in. "What difference will it make", "it's no big thing", "it's not going to harm anyone", "you want to do it and simply repressing the desire will only make you focus on the desire and not on Baba", and so on and so forth until, eventually, I give in. It is almost impossible to out argue one's mind because the mind knows your weaknesses; it knows exactly how you think, and how to use this against you. Being determined to be His, however, ignores this endless wrangling. Determination is not an intellectual conclusion but a willful declaration.

If I were truly determined to be His, I would not try to convince myself to resist temptation; I would find the whole argument irrelevant, because determination requires doing certain things even if I don't want to do them. While it is true that few of us have the first-hand experience to be able to say what we would do, say, or think in Baba's presence, all of us, to varying degrees, do have more than an inkling of what Baba wants us to do (or not do). The trick isn't so much to figure that out, the trick is to short circuit the mental gymnastics and just be determined to do (or not do) those things. And without love as the motivating force, what we have left is determination. If we are determined to be His, we find that things start to become clearer, the path is less mysterious, the answers to our questions become more self-evident. This doesn't mean that we will be able to instantly succeed, but as we try, we see our failures could have been avoided had we been more determined to be His. And I can see for myself, how all of my difficulties can be overcome, if I can only be determined to be His.