During July, (1957) Baba also answered several questions for Irene Conybeare and dictated three discourses for her book, one on Maya, one on Compassion [from three distinct points of view], and another on the Aura and the Halo. The following is the discourse on Maya that Baba dictated by hand signs for Irene Conybeare’s book, In Quest Of Truth: (1)
Everything, from the least significant to the most momentous, is here within us. The spiritual planes with their indescribably divine splendor, and the gross plane of immeasurable space, together with its innumerable gross universes, are all within us. That is because God is in us and we are in God. God is indivisibly, uncompromisingly, infinitely and eternally One in His impeccable oneness.The apparent endless differences in the experiences of animate and inanimate beings and things are due to the varying degrees of consciousness on the different planes, and the ability and inability to apply that consciousness adequately. Achievement of full human-consciousness is a great spiritual achievement. Greater still is to be able to recognize illusion and face all illusory things. The greatest achievement of man is to become God-Conscious, which is truly Self-Conscious or Soul-Conscious.
For example, let us presume that the differences between a spiritually enlightened and an unenlightened man is as the difference between a man who has normal sensory faculties of seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting, and another man who is born blind and deaf and without even the faculties of smell and taste. Now, if the two men happen to be present at one and the same time in a garden full of colors, singing birds, streams and fountains, where delicious fruits and fragrant flowers are equally available to both the men, there is bound to be a world of difference between the scope, nature and capacity of their consciousness, awareness and experience. For the enlightened man, the world would be experienced as one full of music, full of light and full of beauty. For the unenlightened or blind and deaf man, the same world would be merely a black monotonous nothingness.
If we stretch the above simile further and imagine that a miracle happens by which the unenlightened man begins to have one after another the faculties of smell, hearing, sight and taste, we can have some idea of how man’s consciousness begins to be transported through the different [subtle and mental] planes of the path toward God-Consciousness. The man then begins to realize that all the differences amount simply to a difference in his own state of consciousness, which experiences inner truths more and more as it is freed increasingly from external illusions.
The force that keeps a man spiritually blind, deaf, dumb, et cetera, is his own ignorance which is governed by the principle of cosmic ignorance generally known as Maya.
To understand Maya is to understand half the universe. All false values and false beliefs are due to the grip of Maya. Intellect in particular plays into the hands of Maya, for intellect is not capable of that consciousness which realizes that God is Truth. Truth can only be known after one transcends the cosmic illusion which appears as real owing to Maya.
The principle of ignorance, meaning Maya, can only be transcended when the spiritual aspirant is able to realize that Maya is God’s shadow and as such is nothing. The enigma of Maya solves itself only after Self-Realization.
All the great philosophers who are not bound by their materialistic prejudices had glimpses of Reality, and have recognized the principle of ignorance as being responsible for making all illusory and transient things appear as lasting and real. Scientists naturally have difficulty in accepting mystical conclusions relating to the transitory world and cosmos, since metaphysical perceptions cannot be reached by methods acceptable to the experimental rules of science. The main difficulty in grasping such a concept in its totality is that it would necessitate a full knowledge of the cosmic scheme. It is not possible even for a Master to explain that which is beyond the limits of the human mind! A Master can only make one realize it by means of his grace and by bestowing enlightenment.
(1) Irene Conybeare’s first book was Civilization Or Chaos? Her book In Quest Of Truth was subtitled How I Came to Meher Baba, An Autobiography. It took several years to write and was not published until 1962.
Lord Meher, Original ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5196 – 5197.