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Silent Teachings of Meher Baba: Discourses and Conversations based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
The formal set of 'teachings' of Meher Baba are called the 'Discourses,' and they number around 70, and in their present edition (Sheriar Press) they run to about 375 pages. In 1944, Alexander Markey, a Hollywood screenwriter and follower of Meher Baba, with Meher Baba's permission, edited and published a version of the 'Discourses' that numbered 27 and the total was approximately 65 pages in length. In their original 1944 publication, they were referred to as 'excerpts' of the 'Discourses,' but they are much more than that. What Markey had done was to reorganize, rearrange, and very frequently rewrite the material of the 'Discourses,' so that in those 'Silent Teachings' we find a condensed, very accessible, and accurate presentation of the original material from Meher Baba. Not that they are a substitute for reading the full version of the 'Discourses,' but they are an excellent introduction to the material as well as the essential gist of what Meher Baba communicated in his silence of the last 44 years of his life on earth as the long-awaited Avatar. The term ¿teachings¿ as applied to Meher Baba has often been recognized as ironic. When Meher Baba announced to his small group of disciples in 1925 that it was necessary for his work that he be silent for a period of time, one of them asked, 'But if you are silent, how will you teach us?' Meher Baba's answer, which was to become one of the hallmarks of his spiritual mission was, 'I have come not to teach, but to awaken.' Little did these early followers or those to come later realize that this silence of Meher Baba was to continue for the rest of his life until its physical termination in 1969. One of the questions then is, if Meher Baba did not come to teach, why did he give these discourses, as well as many other messages? I believe there are two main answers to this. The first answer is that Meher Baba's 'teachings' do more than just teach; they awaken, as he said about the effect of his mission. I think that almost any reader of even this slim volume of Meher Baba's teachings will start to find this result, not necessarily overnight or immediately, but soon enough. The second answer is that even though Meher Baba¿s purpose was not to teach, that does not mean he does not teach as well. The matter of awakening means that Meher Baba's life has other significance beyond the mere imparting of ideas and concepts. If all of this were not enough for this lovely little volume, the above is only half of its contents, or rather about two thirds. The remainder of the book is a reprinting, with some slight editing, of a heretofore out of print collection of questions and answers that various people had in dialog with Meher Baba (Baba's answers being conveyed through his alphabet board). While we don't have, of course, Meher Baba's physical presence in these conversations, which was no doubt the most important part of the answers he gave to the earnest and heart-felt questions of these seekers, we still gain invaluable advice and direction by seeing how Meher Baba responded to the queries, which are easily ours as well. His answers were usually brief, direct, and often contained images or phrasing that were unique to Meher Baba, particularly in the sense of the certainty that seemed intrinsic to his being. I will close this review by quoting one such exchange, which, for me, contains striking points in response to a critically compelling question. The questioner asks, 'It has been said that a person can, by increasing his own intensity of awareness and effort, break through his bonds and attain freedom. If one can thus free himself, why is a Master necessary?' Meher Baba answered (through the alphabet board), 'How can you free yourself when your hands and feet are bound? I can set you free because I am free. If you think that by relying upon yourself you can attain the Truth, you depend upon a teaching. But then why not rely upon the ocean of Truth ¿ the l
Meher Baba was silent for 44 years of his life. This means he did not speak, however, he did communicate via an alphabet board in the early days of his chosen silence and, later, through hand gestures to his trained disciples. ¿Silent Teachings¿ is a compendium of excerpts taken from Baba¿s words, which have been compiled into a book entitled ¿Discourses,¿ and a work based on Meher Baba¿s exchanges with disciples and seekers from various parts of the world, meticulously recorded, and ultimately published as, ¿The Answer: Conversations with Meher Baba.¿ While we think of Meher Baba as a spiritual teacher, he ¿said¿ he ¿did not come to teach, but to awaken.¿ In this selected group of discourses, addressed are issues of interest to all who aim for understanding the truth of what life is ¿ and is not. Topics addressed include, ¿The Quest,¿ ¿War and Beyond,¿ ¿The Rule and Overthrow of the Ego,¿ ¿The Search for God,¿ and ¿Universal Selfhood,¿ and many others. Each topic is generally covered in two to three pages of text. This book is the perfect choice as an introduction to Meher Baba¿s words for the seeker who is looking for order amidst the chaos we all face in today¿s world. The brevity of the individual essays and the slim volume allows me to keep this book handy in my briefcase for dips into Baba¿s message of hope and truth, to be read during those odd moments of time that might be lost in a vacuum without something to reflect upon. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in exploring spirituality and purpose in life.