From the Editor
Phiroz will be leaving London about the end of May to live with his sister Mrs. Wadia in Bombay. The exact date of his departure is not yet fixed, but he will be accompanied on the flight by his sons John and Robert. Phiroz has particularly asked for members not to write him long letters, as he does not feel able to answer them. Everyone will wish him the greatest possible happiness and good health in his new home.
The second Phiroz Mehta Trust Summer School will take place at Cuddesdon House, near Oxford, from 17th to 21st June. Cuddesdon House, formerly the palace of the Bishop of Oxford, is sixmiles from Oxford, and is run by Toc H, a Christian-based organisation which welcomes students from all religions. It is a comfortable modern house in a lovely garden on the outskirts of a peaceful Oxfordshire village, and is a perfect setting for our Summer School. Last year participants all agreed that it was an exceptionally happy, stimulating and fruitful occasion. This year we have a very interesting programme planned. Venerable Subbato from Amaravati Buddhist Monastery will be visiting us to give a talk on aspects of Buddhism, Sylvia Swain will also be giving a talk, and Geoffrey Pullen will be speaking on Jungian psychology. We shall have a concert by Jehanne and Robert Mehta, and Ikebana sessions, as well of course as listening to some of Phiroz’s recorded talks. The cost is £130 per person fully inclusive, and a few places are still available. Will anyone interested please contact the Editor.
Patricia Chown has very generously donated a collection of reel tapes of Phiroz’s talks and a Philips tape recorder to the Trust. We are most grateful to Pat for this gift.
Members are reminded that the library is open to readers, but please ring first if you are thinking of coming, to ensure that there is someone there. Cassettes of any of Phiroz’s recorded talks can be made. A special colour photograph of Phiroz by Claude Braham is also available for sale in two sizes, 8½" by 6½" from the Trust.
An extract from Zarathushtra: The Transcendental Vision by Phiroz Mehta
Continued from part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4
The common, worldly meaning of meditation is musing, ruminating, thinking quietly about a problem or a particular subject, secular or spiritual. Discursive thinking is inaudible talking, involving the concentration of attention upon the subject under consideration. The quieter one is, the more intellectually clarifying and fruitful is the thinking. But all talking, audible or inaudible, is confined to the context of the finite and temporal, the sphere of mortality — when one thinks or talks about the Transcendent — because one is still actually conscious only in the worldly mode of separativeness and isolativeness. If one remains completely calm, effortlessly, the brain stops talking, the turbulent flow of discursive thinking comes to an end, and the mode of awareness is transformed into that of the Infinite and ever-present Now.
This ending of discursive thought and the transformation of consciousness spell the pacification (not the suppression) of all the sense functions. In fact, the senses function with intensely heightened sensitivity and the utmost receptivity to divine influences never sensed before, because now they are unhindered, unspoilt, by the brain’s naming process, which, being analytical, splits up the wholeness. Indeed, the senses are now the cords of Communion.
Isolative self-consciousness vanishes, the wound of separation between subject and object, observer and observed, is healed, and unitary wholeness is clearly revealed through Creative Action in Unitary Consciousness. This timeless conjugation is the pure meditative state — silent meditation — a state of ineffable peace and of creative activity impossible to describe, impossible to represent in any humanly expressive terms. When you Love transcendentally, the words “I love you” are pathetically nugatory.
Zarathushtra does not expound in detail his solitary statement regarding meditation. Just as at our finite level the solution of a philosophical or scientific problem brings intellectual enlightenment, so too silent meditation spells spiritual enlightenment, but not in our worldly, mortal mode of awareness. Intellectual perception, and ordinary sense functioning and thinking, are transcended. Consciousness is no longer discriminative — analytical, separative and isolative. It is at home in the context of the Infinite and Eternal, functioning as unitary wholeness. In simple terms, Zarathushtra and Ahura Mazda, man and God, are one. The fusion in Consciousness has taken place. Thereupon, consciousness in terms of succession, that is, of a beginning followed by an ending, followed by another beginning and its ending, repeatedly, gives place to a whole awareness of pure change.
Pure change is life dying into new life. The previous emerges into the present. If you are totally attentive, death is “faded out” of the situation. One may say, “not death but life is faded out of the situation.” Not so, for since the “was” has become the “is now”, Life has transformed into Other-Life. Pure change is a Life/Other-Life and not a Life/Death pulse. What seems to us to be Death, is only another mode of Livingness, but not as the previous identifiable entity. Just as a permanent magnet has a north pole and a south pole, Life in its integral wholeness has a positive expression, of which we finite mortals are conscious, and also a hidden expression of which we are normally unconscious. They are the complementary components of Life Eternal.
So, in this fusion of Consciousness, there is no break in consciousness as with consciousness in the mode of mortality. Consciousness of “otherness” vanishes. Also, there is no continuity, for time has been transcended. There is the simultaneity of what used to be experienced as birth followed by death. There is only the immediacy of the Creative Action of Eternal Life. Time and its sorrow and pleasure (duality), timelessness and its enstasy (non-duality) are transcended through their integration into Eternity — integration, not mere synthesis (which is mechanical).
At the same time, there is no annihilation of discriminative consciousness, indispensable for the organism living in the world. If it were annihilated, the Transcendent Unitary Consciousness could no longer subsume discriminative consciousness functioning in the mode of mortality. In which case, there would be an unbridgeable gulf between man and God, between the limitation and bondage of manifestation (Appearance) and the freedom of Transcendence (Ultimate Reality). The Holy One’s Consciousness can function freely in the mode of mortality and in the mode of immortality, as and when required.
The fusion in consciousness is the realization of Immortality. Ahura Mazda (God, Godhead, Brahman or whatever name you like to use) is the Eternal Immortal. For Zarathushtra, whilst he is bodily alive — and so too for any Perfected Holy One during his earthly life-span — this Transcendent Consciousness of Immortality into which he can enter again and again when he needs to, remains as a permanent background in his being. It is a constant source of divine creative power — khshathra — animating and sustaining his mission in the world; of divine wisdom — vohu manah — inspiring his teaching; of transcendental ethic — asha — a purifying Fire of Life releasing that moral imperative deep-seated in one’s soul which helps one to live the Holy Life at all times and in all places; of that love of God — armaiti’ — which heals all sorrow and transmutes all evil; and of that supreme wellbeing and immortality — haurvatat and ameretat — the crowning fulfilment of man. It makes sraosha — “giving ear to and obeying God” — a factual reality in one’s life.
And when this earthly life ends, the complete and perfect death of this existential being spells the release of the embodied Transcendence out of Its self-imposed constriction. This is how the existential human being proves his indispensability to God. No finite mortal liberates himself — he can only liberate the embodied Transcendence by his flowering into the full-fledged perfect Human. Every flower — the existential shape and form — soon withers and dies. Its perfume gladdens man and the world and lives deathlessly as a happy memory.
Never crave, then, for your separate personal perpetuity — a tragic trapping in time’s tormenting tentacles. Do not fear death of the body, but like the sere leaf ready to dance its ecstatic return into the bosom of mother earth, silently and peacefully greet that supremely divine moment when the Infinite Eternal will bless you for your perfect selfless service towards effecting Its own release out of the bonds of existence.
Thou art Immortal. Thou art ahmi, the eternal I Am.
Sing, O Heavenly Bird! Sing praise to the Lord of Life and Wisdom for sending sweet Death to heal all my ill and to open the door to His own Immortality.
By George Piggott
Time to work, Time to relax, to sort out life’s problems,
the truth and the facts.
Time to be happy, time to be sad,
some days are good, others are bad.
Planes leaving airports, ships leaving docks,
most of the time, we are watching the clocks.
Time is essential, without it we’re lost.
When production takes longer, up goes the cost.
Time for expression, laughter and play,
shared with the children, all times of the day.
Time for the aged, the sick and the poor,
many are lonely, especially in war.
Time is treasure, precious to all,
tomorrow unknown what will befall.
Enjoy the moment of each passing hour,
the dance of the butterfly, the scent of the flower.
The turmoil of life will go on for mankind
unaware of the truth. Time is an illusion,
an invention of mind.
By Michael Piggott
It was the time between the great wars, a time when some have said — and was not Phiroz among them? — that England was at its best.
Her name was Mary. She had three girls and a son to raise, her husband had died very young. One wonders what must have gone through her mind, particularly when the second great war began and her offspring were scattered in the drama of life.
One remembers her often — the little jobs that brought such delight and the “I’ll take you home Nan” — another chance to sit behind the wheel of a car — such a delight when one has just passed the test.
You would watch her go in. One always felt at home there, how tidy it was. She had a television and one marvelled at it, then she would make tea in a beautiful teapot, how different it all was then. One remembers her silver hair, shining like a new pin, shining like her house. Her children shone too, perhaps one didn’t realize it at the time, but they shone, perhaps it was love that shone, perhaps they were filled with love.
Harsh words, one does not remember them, one knew only happiness. How true it seems that the most precious things are freely given and how easily taken for granted.
Many years it is since she died, but her children remain, as do her grand children and her great grand children, and whether they know it or not she remains too.
One Mother and from her the few have become the many, of different ages, of different gifts, who can measure her influence, who can see where it may end?
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