Book Two

"Love is God. Lust is Satan."

Meher Baba, 1920s? T p56, also ST p.113

Q. Will Shri Meher Baba explain Christ's words concerning the Second Coming?

"And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ, or, lo, he is there, believe him not... But in those days, after that tribulation... then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." (Gospel of St. Mark 13: 21, 26, 27)

Baba: The gathering of the elect refers to the reincarnation and final assembling of his close disciples and followers at the time of his second coming.

It is wrong to associate the second coming with the imprisonment of the devil and a thousand years' peace, or with a literal interpretation of the last day of judgment.

All the great mystics have understood the word 'clouds' as a symbolic expression for states of consciousness or spiritual planes. When the Christ descends from the infinite, the seventh plane, he brings with him to earth the infinite goodness, wisdom, power and love, and also the powers, signs and experiences of the six lower planes.

In the words of a great Sufi saint,

  Asman o Abro dunya basta been

  Avvalin Haq bad manzil pus zamin

  "Behold the sky, the clouds and the world.

  First is God, then the planes, the last is earth,

  but all three are linked."

We read in St. Mark 9:2 and 7, that the transfiguration of Jesus occurred when he ascended into a mountain:

"And there was a cloud that overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying 'This is my beloved son, hear him.'"

Brother Leo relates of the vision of St. Francis in Mount Alvernia that he "saw coming down from heaven a torch of flame exceeding beautiful and light, which, descending, rested on the head of St. Francis; and out of the flame there came a voice..."

St. Francis explains to Brother Leo, "Then I was in a light of contemplation, in which I saw the abyss of the infinite goodness and wisdom and power of God... And in the flame that thou sawest was God, who also spake in such a manner unto me, even as in old time he had appeared unto Moses."

On Mount Sinai God appeared in a thick cloud and with fire.

Therefore we see that clouds, the house of clouds (manzil), is a symbolic expression among mystics for the six planes.

before 1933? QA p10-11

"The truth is that Jesus was not tempted by Satan, but that Jesus got himself tempted, and he overcame the temptations. There was a great purpose behind this. He had to get himself tempted. Thereby he shouldered the burden of the forces of temptations that predominated in the world. Jesus then overcame all the temptations, and in that way created a tremendous force which acted as a great setback to the forces of universal temptations.

"The same was true in the case of Buddha, and it is the same every time in Avataric periods. Whenever God manifests on Earth as Avatar, his Godhood gives a universal push, and the result is universal, i.e., not only the humanity reaps the benefit, but everything in the whole creation reaps the benefit of the universal push."

Meher Baba, 1955? GS p68

"Good as well as evil are impressional products of the evolutionary momentum. They come into conflict with each other, and as such are to be recognised as separate groups of forces. Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, each in his own way symbolises the forces of evil. However, it is a mistake to think that evil is an irreducible active force by itself. Both good and evil are abstractions, and have to be seen in their true perspective as inevitable phases in the subhuman and human evolution.

"Evil is the lingering relic of earlier good. Some impressional tendencies, which were necessary and inevitable at a particular phase, are carried over to the higher phase of evolution, and they persist in their existence due to inertia. They hinder harmonious functioning in the new context, and appear as evil.

"Good as well as evil have an undeniable relationship with the circumstances. No judgement can be passed on the goodness or other aspect of any action without considering the concrete context in which the judgement is called for. An act which is normally undeniably evil may, under special circumstances, be not only defensible but praiseworthy.

"Take for example the following exceptional case. Suppose a mother has given birth to a baby and has not her own milk to feed it. The baby has to be fed on cow's milk, which is very difficult to obtain. A neighbor may have some cow's milk, but the mother knows that he will not part with it for money or for any philanthropic consideration, even though he does not need it himself. Under such circumstances, if a person steals the cow's milk and feeds it to the newborn baby in order to keep it alive, the act of stealing is in this case not only justifiable but definitely good.

"Of course an exception of this type does not make stealing a good act under all circumstances. Normally stealing continues to be evil, but in the exceptional case above it has become good. The illustration proves how considerations of good or evil must, in their very nature, be dependent upon circumstances in all the variety of detail which obtains in concrete situations. Good is relative to a concrete context of actual circumstances, and so is evil. But for many practical purposes certain trends of action have to be classified as good, while other trends of action have to be classified as evil.

"Everything happens according to divine will, and it is a mistake to think that God has a rival in the form of a devil. Accentuation of the forces for good is necessary for releasing divine life in its fulness. But evil itself often plays an important part in accentuating the forces for good, and it becomes an inevitable shadow or counterpart of the good. Like other opposites of experience, good and evil are also, in a sense, opposites which have to be withstood and transcended. One has to rise above the duality of good and evil, and accept life in its totality, in which they appear as abstractions. Life is to be seen and lived in its indivisible integrity.

"Nevertheless, there is an important factor in the opposites of good and evil. Evil is to all appearance the converse of good, yet at the same time it is capable of being converted into good. Thus, generally speaking, the path lies from evil to good, and then from good to God, who is beyond both good and evil.

"If any suffering comes to a Perfect Master or Avatar, it should not be interpreted as a temporary victory of evil. It happens by divine will, and is a form of divine compassion. He voluntarily takes upon himself the suffering of others in order to redeem those who are engulfed in gnawing cravings, unrelieved hatred and unabated jealousies."

1956? Be p55-58

"In the story of Adam and Eve, the creative relationship between Infinite Unconsciousness and the Nothing is... portrayed...

"Adam and Eve were created by God in the very beginning, and they lived together naked in Paradise, Eden.

"In Paradise their life was harmonious, beautiful and blissful, and God, whom they had never seen, cared for them in every way.

"But in turn, Adam and Eve had to obey one command: God forbade them to eat from a certain tree in the garden.

"One day a snake came to Eve and convinced her to offer the forbidden fruit to Adam, which she did. Adam hesitated, but Eve convinced him to eat the fruit.

"Adam ate the fruit, ate it all, and God, angry with them for disobeying, for breaking his only command, threw them out of Paradise.

"Although it is claimed in Genesis that God threw Adam and Eve out of Paradise, the fact of the matter is they came into creation out of sleep. Adam entered creation from the state of sleep because of his ignorance of his own nature. Because Adam was ignorant, the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge very much attracted him, though he hesitated at first. The forbidden fruit contained the knowledge of good and evil, the opposites. It contained consciousness, the knowledge of consciousness and unconsciousness.

"The snake represents illusion, and illusion, though it is not real, is convincing. Illusion, which has no substance of its own, but to which the Nothing is very susceptible, is the snake which convinced Eve to tempt Adam...

"The fruit from the Tree of Knowledge represents the object that creates desire through temptation, Eve's powers of seduction.

"Eden is the Beyond-Beyond state of God, the original state of everything (Adam, Eve and the snake) latent before the beginning.

"Adam entered creation because of the desire created by tasting the fruit. The more he ate, the more he desired to know himself. The taste of the fruit gave Adam knowledge of good and evil, meaning he knew the difference between being conscious and being unconscious. He desired to be conscious, to know.

"In Meher Baba's book 'God Speaks' this desire in Adam to know himself is referred to as the Original Whim (Lahar), 'Who am I?' God Speaks is dedicated to the snake, illusion, since without that snake Adam would not have become conscious. (That same snake is called by the Hindus 'Shesh Nag.'

"Adam's being thrown out of Paradise indicates the force of the Whim, the force of the movement of the whole creation. That force is called pasara - expansion - and it is continually spreading out, moving.

"Adam's purpose of coming into creation was to realise who he was, but he could not without desire - and that desire is called sanskara. From that original desire to know came innumerable desires, sanskaras, which make up the illusory consciousness of everyone and everything in creation.

"In the beginning Adam and Eve were naked, meaning they had no sanskaras. But without sanskaras there is no development of consciousness. Eve desired Adam, and Adam desired the Fruit of Knowledge. Adam could not realise himself without the desire to know. The fruit was the cause of his desire for knowledge. As he ate and felt the grip of the sanskaras, he desired more. It takes time to know the self in the long process of evolution, reincarnation and involution. The hesitation on Adam's part was the stirring in the ocean of the Whim of desire before any manifestation occurred.

"In the Hebrew and Christian tradition, this story is told, that Adam was thrown out of Paradise by a wrathful God after eating the fruit. But the meaning has been lost. Actually infinite unconsciousness came out of the Beyond-Beyond and into creation because of its own desire - the desire to be conscious... In Islamic tradition the same story is told, but Satan enticed Adam (instead of Eve) to eat forbidden wheat, and so God threw Adam out of Paradise.

"Adam is the first one, and it is he who realised himself as God first... Eve followed Adam out of the garden, she followed him because she was his shadow... When Eve said to Adam, 'Eat this,' ... Adam... (was) deceived. But this deception is necessary to know knowledge as knowledge and ignorance as ignorance.

"... Christhood means occupying the throne of God the Father. Adam became Christ when he, the first soul, ended his journey from unconsciousness in the Garden of Eden to infinite consciousness in Paradise."

From notes dictated by Meher Baba, 1967
Meherazad, NE p128-130, 138

"The text of all four Gospels in modern language is rather corrupt, but less so than might be expected. The text was undoubtably corrupted in transcription in the early centuries and later, during our times, in translation. The original authentic text has not been preserved, but if we compare the present translations with the existing older texts, Greek, Latin, and Church-Slavonic, we notice a difference of quite a different character.

"The alterations and distortions are all similar to one another. Their psychological nature is always identical, that is, in every case in which an alteration is noticed, it can be seen that the translator or scribe did not understand the text; something was too difficult, too abstract for him. So he corrected it very slightly, adding one little word, and in this way giving to the text in question a clear and logical meaning on the level of his own understanding. This fact does not allow of the slightest doubt, and can be verified in the later translations.

"The most interesting transformation of this kind has occurred with the devil. In many passages in the Gospels, where we are accustomed to meet him, he is entirely absent from the early texts. In the Lord's Prayer, for instance, which has entered profoundly into the habitual thought of the ordinary man, the words 'deliver us from evil' in the English and German translations correspond to the Greek and Latin texts; but in Church-Slavonic and Russian it is 'deliver us from the sly one.' In French (in some translations) it is 'mais délivre nous du Malin,' and in Italian: 'ma liberaci dal maligno.'

"The difference between the first early Latin translation and the later translation edited by Theodore Beza (16th century) is very characteristic in this respect. In the first translation the phrase reads, 'sed libera nos a malo,' but in the second, 'sed libera nos ab illo improbo' ('from the wicked one').

"Speaking generally, the whole Gospel mythology has been very greatly altered. 'The Devil,' that is, the slanderer or tempter, was in the original text simply a name or description which could be applied to any 'slanderer' or 'tempter.' And it is possible to suppose that these names were often used to designate the visible, deceptive, illusory, phenomenal world, 'Maya.' But we are too much under the influence of mediaeval demonology. And it is difficult for us to understand that in the New Testament there is no general idea of the devil. There is the idea of evil, the idea of temptation, the idea of demons, the idea of the unclean spirit, the idea of the prince of demons; there is Satan who tempted Jesus; but all these ideas are separate and distinct from one another, always allegorical and very far from the mediaeval conception of the Devil.

"In the fourth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, in the scene of the temptation in the wilderness, Christ says to the devil according to the Greek text, upane opisw mou, 'go after me,' and according to the Church-Slavonic text, 'follow me.' But in the Russian, English, French and Italian texts this is translated: 'Get thee hence, Satan.'

"In the ninth verse after this (Matt. 4.19) Christ says to the fishermen whom he found by the lake casting their nets, almost the same words: 'Go after me,' or 'follow me'; in Greek, deute opisw mou.

"This similarity in addressing the 'devil' who tempted Jesus, and the fishermen whom Jesus took as his disciples and promised to make 'fishers of men,' must have a definite meaning. But to the translator it of course looked an absurdity. Why should Christ wish the devil to follow him? The result was the famous phrase, 'get thee hence, Satan.' Satan in this case simply represented the visible, phenomenal world, which must not 'get hence' by any means, but must only serve the inner world, follow it, go behind it."

P. D. Ouspensky, 'A New Model of the Universe'
(1943 edition) p135-136

"In the Christian world, Satan became a figure of monstrous evil, but in the Qu'ran - as in the Jewish scriptures - he is a much more manageable character. In its account of his fall from grace, the Qu'ran says that when God had created mankind, he commanded all the angels to bow before Adam, but the Shaitan (or Iblis, as he is often called, in an Arabisation of the Greek 'diabolos') refused and was cast out from the divine presence. The Qu'ran does not see this as the primal, absolute sin, but indicates instead that Satan will be forgiven on the Last Day. Some Sufis even came to claim that Satan had loved God more than the other angels, because he had refused to honour a mere creature with an obeisance that was due to God alone...

"Islam does not subscribe to the doctrine of the Fall in the Christian sense. It tells us that Adam did succumb to Satan's temptation, but this exercise of free will was seen by Muslims, as by most Jews, as a necessary stage of human development. Despite his sin, Adam became the first of the great prophets, even though he was guilty of a 'satanic' slip, and the Shaitan never became the destroyer of mankind."

Karen Armstrong, 'Muhammad: A Biography
of the Prophet,' 1992, p114

Meher Baba used the name Shaitan for the 'Mischievous Chicken' in 'The Nothing and the Everything.' This Mischievous Chicken Shaitan represents the first soul to enter creation, the first human, and the first soul to realise God, who comes as the Avatar again and again, age after age.

Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Shaitan, are all personifications of maya, the principle of ignorance. For more about maya, see chapter: Maya.

Index - Book Two

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