As I said in the blog I posted yesterday, there were two dog stories and the tale of walking up Seclusion Hill with Baba. Meherwan says that it was 1955, he was walking with a group of other men and Beloved Baba up Seclusion Hill. In those days the hill was a barren, rocky one and the path was steeper in places than it is now. What follows is Meherwan's narration (as best as I can remember) of that climb with Beloved Baba.
Baba had taken the men up the hill to show them where He performed much Universal work. As they reached the foot of the hill, Baba began telling them of how the path resembled the lover's journey to the Beloved. He started walking up and explained that at first the lover gets attracted to the path to God by various means, but once there is the longing, the Beloved begins to woo the lover. He encourages him at every step, shows him great love and preference, and praises him to His other disciples. There is a lot of close contact with the Master and the disciple is spell-bound with love and all this attention showered on him. He keeps getting closer and closer, adoring and (presumably) adored.
This continues for a long while, the lover climbing the path with great enthusiasm, because he is always encouraged by the Beloved. Baba gave the comparison of a kite. The lover is the kite, the string of which is held fast by the Beloved. The Beloved is an expert at kite-flying, He knows how much string to let go, and when to pull in on the string, to keep the kite rising. (We'll come back to this allegory from time to time, as Meherwan narrates the story.) To start with, He lets the string go, so the kite rises. But He keeps pulling the string taut so that it does not go slack, or even worse, get cut. The Beloved knows that He must keep hold of the string, because if He lets go, the kite (lover) will be lost forever.
The men and Baba kept on climbing until they came to the first U-turn. This is where the path turns on itself, and appears to go in the reverse direction. At this turn Baba stopped and said, 'This is where the Beloved lets the Lover believe that he has stopped progressing. He does this by starting to ignore the lover. The lover does all he always did and more to get back the attention of his Beloved, but the Beloved does not respond. Not only that, He begins to scorn the lover. The lover comes before the Beloved and waits for a glance, but the Beloved looks right through him as if he did not exist. When he tries to draw the Beloved's attention, he gets angry and disgusted looks, and sometimes rejection. The lover is now distraught, he does not know what he has done, what he has to do, and why the Beloved is treating him so badly. After a long time of this treatment he begins to think, 'Why do I stay here? My presence makes my Beloved unhappy and even angry. I try to please Him, but don't succeed. Instead of staying and being an irritant to my Beloved, it is better that I go back into the world.' So with a heavy heart, and many backward glances - hoping against hope that he'll be recalled - the lover goes back to the world he had left behind to be with his Lord. Baba compares this with letting the string unravel so the kite can go away from the person holding the string.
Baba resumed climbing, and came to the second U-turn. Stopping there He said that the lover now goes back to the life he had left behind, but nothing interests him. Things that brought him pleasure before now seem totally worthless. He tries and tries, but he has lost the urge to live that life again. He becomes desperate, anguished. He does not fit in anymore. The desperation becomes so great that he finally decides that there is nothing left to live for. He decides to end his life, to commit suicide. Thinking on this plan, he tries to find a suitable way to end it all. At that time, Baba says, the Beloved pulls once more on the string of His kite and begins to bring in the lover towards Him. The game is almost over! The lover now has a thought.
'Why, if I am going to kill myself anyway, go back to my Beloved and end my life before Him?' He therefore goes back, heavy-hearted, knowing (so he thinks) that he'll only go back there to die.
Baba said, "Through all this, do you realise that the lover is still climbing? His progress up the path is not stopped, he just does not think that he is progressing. But the Beloved knows, the Beloved keeps him on the path."
But what happens next? Baba climbed further, now going on to the top of Seclusion Hill, and explaining that this is the last part of the path. When the lover approaches the Beloved, there is no rejection. Instead the Beloved welcomes him with open arms. "Where have you been, I've been waiting for you!" the Beloved says to him. The lover is amazed! What is this? His Beloved loves him after all! So he rushes into that embrace that ends the separation, and lover and Beloved unite for all time. He has reached the summit, with the help and company of his Beloved. The kite is now fully reeled in, and at rest.
There was a sequel to this story, which Meherwan related yesterday. (I started the story on 21st November and could not finish it until 23rd November). Baba asked His lovers, "You all are most fortunate that you are making this journey with Me. Look at this hill, it is a desolate place, not really very beautiful, barren. There are many more hills and mountains that are more scenic, more wonderful to climb. But in the future millions will come to this hill and climb it. Why? Not because it is a great hill, but because I, the Avatar of the age, did tremendous Universal work here. The work I did will bring them to the hill to be in the place where I was." He went on to emphasize how immense the good fortune was, for each of them who climbed with Him that day. Meherwan said that between the end of the allegory about the path and the sequel, Baba told them many things, but because it all happened 54 years ago, he has forgotten. But he remembered this, and shared it with Douglas and I, and I now share it with you! Jai Baba!