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Articles

Silence on Silence Day
  – Jenny Keating

Burned by Beauty
  – Buck Busfield

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

The Way It Was – Meherabad
  – Ann Conlon

What Does THAT Mean?
  – Ann Conlon

Doing "Baba Work"
  – Ann Conlon

Broken Heads
  – Ann Conlon

Enid
  – Ann Conlon

On Being Ill
  – 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

To thine own self be true?

Recently a young adult was justifying some action of his, which I had questioned, by saying that he needed to be honest, to be true to himself. I sympathized with him. I remember when I was in high school and college and it had seemed critically important to me to be "real." Maybe this is a function of age. Perhaps it's because it's as adolescents that we first become aware that adults, who until then we had looked up to, so often say one thing but do another. Or hide questionable acts behind high sounding motives.

So I felt I understood my friend's quest for integrity, for authenticity. My own youthful feelings had even been reinforced, to some extent, when I found out about Baba, as Baba emphasizes that one's outer life should be a perfect reflection of the inner. Baba stresses that hypocrisy is the one thing that God cannot forgive. Even His statement that it is better to hate Him than to be wishy-washy about Him, seems to suggest that there is some innate merit in being wholehearted.

Eruch often talked about the need for us to play our roles, even if our roles cast us as villains. But does this mean that if we are selfish and greedy (and who among us is not to some degree?) we should make no pretense of being otherwise and should simply go ahead and be selfish and greedy, accepting the consequences with equanimity as those befitting our role?

If so, then what does one make of Baba's innumerable messages that is is imperative to not give in to one's lower self, to practice restraint and self control? How does one practice being "natural" when one's nature seems to be full of things Baba says we should overcome? Over the years I've found this confusing enough that I wasn't sure what to say to my young friend when he preached the virtues of being true to himself, even though I felt that his actions had unnecessarily caused hurt to another.

And then it came to me that even better than being true to one's self, is to be true to one's Self. After all our "self" is essentially a bunch of selfish sanskaras tied together into an ego bundle of ignorance and illusion. It may be who we think we are, but it is not who we actually are.

To be true to our Self would mean acting the way we would act if we were egoless embodiments of love. The problem here is that although this is true, it is not something we experience and thus the whole question of posing as something we are not (in short, of being hypocrites) raises its ugly head.

This reminds me of a story Eruch would often tell in the Hall about a woman who once said to him, "Eruch, when we bow down to Baba's chair in the hall, as if Baba were sitting there, aren't we just kidding ourselves? Baba's not there, it's just an empty chair."

And Eruch, in his typical way, agreed with her. "Yes, you're right," he said, "we are kidding ourselves, but this is significant kidding. Because it is kidding that will eventually lead us to the truth. And the truth is that it is not an empty chair; Baba is there and one day we will realize that we are only kidding ourselves when we believe that He is not, and that we are separate individuals, apart from Him."

I suspect that my brainstorm of "Be true to your Self, not your self," did not strike my friend with the force of revelation. It might not have even seemed mildly relevant to him. It probably sounded like the typical high faluting spiritual advice grown-ups give that has no practical real world applicability. As so often happens with Baba, what seemed like a good idea to share with another, was perhaps mainly a lesson meant for me. Maybe it would have been better if I had said, "Don't pretend to be what you are not, but do pretend to be what you really are." Although I suspect that too would have sounded too ethereal. I guess what I should have said if I had wanted to be understood was, "Fake it, until you make it."