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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

Compare and Contrast

In Jenny Keating's recent column for All (Baba) Things Considered, she referred to a cable that Baba sent in 1967 in which He said that He wanted Jenny and her sister “to pursue singing . . . to make it our life work.” But when she tried to do this, she discovered (in her words) that she was “not that talented” and that “learning to sing turned out to be hard work.” I was struck by this because I had always really enjoyed the quality of her voice when she sang.

It made me realize, not for the first time, that there can be quite a disparity between how we consider someone else, and how they consider themselves. But this then led me to a related thought.

It started me thinking about how we can sometimes look upon some and consider them talented or blessed with various virtues or qualities to the point where we start to envy them. Then we don’t just stop at saying, “She has a beautiful voice,” or “He's a great athlete,” but we go on to ascribe other virtues to the person as well, as if having one automatically means that there must be others as well.

So, it is sometimes an easy step, especially when the talent involves Baba, to go from thinking, “_____ is a talented poet and a great song writer,” to “I wish I could be like _____,” or even, “I wish I loved Baba the way _____ does.”

There are two things wrong with this. The first may be obvious—we can't ever really know how much someone else loves Baba.

Bhau used to tell a wonderful story about the time, during a sahavas program, where he was given the duty of supervising the public display of Baba's kamli coat. There was one old man who seemed overcome with devotion, and he just kept repeatedly bowing down to the coat, over and over again. Bhau was touched at this man's love until he noticed that the reason the old man kept bowing down was that he was trying his best to pull out some threads from the coat so he could have a souvenir for himself. Which is not to say, of course, that the old man didn't love Baba, but just that the nature of the love was a little different from what Bhau had first assumed it to be.

Maybe it is easy to overestimate another's love because most of us don't feel we love enough ourselves. One time, on the blue bus tours, Katie expressed her admiration for the incredible austerities that various sadhus they saw were performing in their quest to find God. Baba brushed these aside and told Katie she had no idea what she, herself, had already undergone in past lives to reach the present life, where she seemed to have no such similar dedication, and yet had earned the right to be with Baba.

And it is also possible to underestimate someone else. Baba used to greet, with great affection, someone who made a big pretense of loving Him. Outside of Baba's company, this person behaved very differently. Eruch knew this and was astonished that Baba was “taken in” by this man's posturing. But when Eruch tried to inform Baba about this man's true nature, Baba said to Eruch, “What do you know?” And He held His hand out so that its shadow was cast on the wall. “That's all you see,” Baba said. “You just see the shadow but I can see into the man's heart and I tell you he truly loves me.”

Eruch couldn't say a word after that and, as time went by, this man's outer behavior changed. But, even if it hadn't, the lesson would have remained the same for Eruch—you can never judge another's heart.

Still, watching the mandali bowing down at Baba's Samadhi, I would find myself thinking, “I wish I loved Baba the way they do.” And in this case, all logic would tell one that I was not misjudging their love, mine, or their relative worth. In this case, my assessment was accurate and yet my wish was still misplaced. Which brings me to my second, and ultimately the real, reason why it is a mistake to envy another's love. Not because it is difficult to judge, but because any judgment perpetuates the false ego. Whether I judge myself superior or inferior, whether everyone else would agree with my assessment or not, I am only reinforcing my false sense of self. And it is the false or separative ego which prevents us from loving Baba as He should be loved in the first place.

Or, to put it another way, there aren't really innumerable souls in the universe all loving God to varying degrees. There is really only one soul. And comparing and contrasting yourself with others only sustains the illusion of multiplicity. Therefore, it never makes sense to want to love like someone else, as there is no one else. Of course, even if I can, from time to time, grasp that all other souls are really just Baba, I don't seem to be able to shake the erroneous notion that I do exist. So now, instead of wishing I loved the way another does, I can only pray, “Baba, let me love You more and more, and still yet more, until,” as Eruch would say, “I am no more.”