(Jan. 1966) Meher Baba stated that Richard Alpert was a sincere seeker, and therefore he dictated this detailed reply which was sent to him in Los Altos, California, through his secretary, Adi K. Irani:

“Your letter made me happy. I know you are a sincere seeker of Truth. My love will help you. My love blessing to you and those with you. Letter follows. Meher Baba.”

Meher Baba said to tell you that he knows everything – He knows LSD is different from the opium derivatives and although you will see from the body of this letter that Meher Baba does NOT countenance drug-taking for spiritual experiences, he says that you can, if you want to, take LSD three more times and then you should stop taking it completely.

Meher Baba says that you should not come to India this year, but you should love him more and more and remember him wholeheartedly, and continue studying his books. And, I would recommend you also read Francis Brabazon’s Stay with God and The East-West Gathering, and see when possible the film of the East-West Gathering.

Contact Mr. and Mrs. Fred Winterfeldt at
Carnegie House
100 West 57th Street
New York, N.Y. 10019
for these two books and the film.

Although Meher Baba is in seclusion and all correspondence to and from Meher Baba is severely restricted, he, in his love, explained to us the consequence of drug-taking for spirituality, the gist of which follows:

No drug, whatever its great promise, can help one to attain the Spiritual Goal. There is no short cut to the Goal except through the grace of the Perfect Master, and drugs, LSD more than others, give a semblance of “spiritual experiences,” a glimpse of the false reality.

The experiences you elaborate in your letter and book are as far removed from Reality as is a mirage from water. No matter how much you pursue the mirage you will never reach water and the search for God through drugs must end in disillusionment. Meher Baba, who knows the Way, who is the Way, cannot approve the continued pursuance of a method that not only must prove fruitless but leads away from the path that leads to Reality.

It is human, and therefore necessarily wrong-sighted, to view the result of the drug by its immediate relative effects – our inability to calculate its end result is beyond our human knowledge, and only the true Guide can point the way.

To a few sincere seekers such as yourself, LSD may have served as a means to arouse that spiritual longing which has brought you into contact with Meher Baba, but once that purpose is served further ingestion would not only be harmful, but have no point or purpose. Now your longing for Reality cannot be sustained by further use of drugs, but only by your own love for the Perfect Master, which is a reflection of his love for you.

You may feel LSD has made a “better” man of you socially and personally. But one will be a better man through love than one can ever be through drugs or any other artificial aid. And the best man is he who has surrendered himself to the Perfect Master irrespective of his personal or social standing.

Meher Baba has pointed out that the experiences derived through drugs are experiences by one in the gross world of the shadows of the subtle planes and are not continuous. The experiences of the subtle sphere by one on the subtle planes are continuous, but even these experiences are of illusion, for Reality is beyond them. And so, although LSD may lead one to feel a better man personally, the feeling of having had a glimpse of Reality may not only lull one into a false security, but also will in the end derange one’s mind. Although LSD is not an addicting drug, one can become attached to the experiences arising from its use and one gets tempted to use it in increased doses, again and again, in the hope of deeper and deeper experiences. But eventually this causes madness or death.

Only the One who knows and experiences Reality, who is Reality, has the ability and authority to point out the false from the real. Hence, Meher Baba tells those who care to heed him that the only real experience is to see God continuously within oneself as the Infinite Effulgent Ocean of Truth, and then to become one with this Infinite Ocean and continuously experience infinite power, knowledge and bliss.

These statements to Dr. Richard Alpert, and other statements Meher Baba made, were eventually printed in a pamphlet “God In A Pill?” which was widely circulated to college students in America during the late 1960s and early 1970s, urging them to stop taking illicit drugs, such as LSD and marijuana, without professional medical supervision.

Eventually the drug taking of the American and European youth became an epidemic. At one point, in the late 1960s, Meher Baba made a terrifying prophesy: “If drugs continue, fifty-percent of the student world will become mentally deranged.”

On another occasion, Meher Baba again declared an ominous warning: “If drugs continue, the student world in America will lose fifty-percent of its intellectual capacity.” (2)

(2) Dr. Richard Alpert eventually gave up his academic profession and journeyed to India, where he found a genuine Hindu guru in the Himalayas named Neem Karoli Baba. After a period of study, Alpert became a practicing yogi, lecturing in America under a new name as “Ram Dass” — a servant of Ram. Alpert wrote a book entitled Be Here Now, which served as an introduction to Eastern thought for American seekers and presented the story of his search. That book has become one of the most popular introductory books to Eastern thinking, having sold nearly one million copies since first published in the 1970s. 

On one occasion, while staying with his guru in India, Richard Alpert wanted to try to go to Ahmednagar and see Meher Baba. When Neem Karoli Baba learned of this, he made a very unusual remark and informed Alpert, “You want to see Meher Baba? You know Meher Baba is your true Guru.”

Lord Meher, Original Publication, Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 19, pp.6413 – 6415.