Don Stevens Believed That Baba Had Already Manifested
(This is one of two pages on Don’s view. See also Don Stevens #2.)
The book Three Snapshots of Reality (2014) by Don E. Stevens with Wayne Smith is excerpted in the Spring 2014 issue of Glow International, and in it, Don reveals that he believes that Meher Baba “admittted” to him that his manifestation had already taken place, and Don believes it occurred in the mid- to late 1950s.
In explanation, Don described how he had asked Baba why, since so much attention in the Discourses was devoted to meditation, Baba had not assigned any meditations to Don. Baba replied:
“…I have to tell you that of the high roads way back, the path back to realization, to oneness with God, on that path the High Road of all paths is that of love. But the path of love is not always open. When I manifest it is open, and it is fully open. And because it is now fully open—because it is now fully open—it is a relative waste of time to use what is the best secondary road, which is that of meditation” (p. 24).
In the Glow excerpt, Don says that when he tried to communicate what Baba had told him (saying, “Baba’s just as good as admitted to me that he’s already fully manifested”), both the women and men mandali were very closed to the idea and rejected it; it was “absolutely taboo apparently and probably for good reason.”
Don humorously suggests that most people considered him a bit demented for his views, and he also admits the possibility of his making a mistake, but in any case, he has told his story, which is worth reading in full, either in the Glow excerpt or the 2014 book.
It does, admittedly, leave many questions unresolved, such as why this “manifestation” that Don identified was not followed by some of the things that Baba predicted (such as a worldwide awakening beyond cats and dogs). Still, what seems important is that Baba told Don that the path of love is already “fully open.”
Note that Don told virtually the same story in his book Meher Baba, the Awakener of the Age (1999), although with no emphasis on the “taboo,” and the date he assigned to the manifestation is different there:
I feel personally that the act of manifestation occurred somewhere in the mid-1960’s. It was then that I noted an extraordinary increase in the rate of search for the Truth and progress in the lives of those diligently searching. It was almost as if all of living creatures had taken on a new acuity of being. I could not believe, for instance, what was happening to dogs and cats that crossed my path in this period. They were vastly different from the animals I had known as a child. And the faculty of intuition was undoubtedly there. I believe we are living in the full flood-tide of the manifestation and love of the Avatar. (p. 138)
In the 1999 book, Don also says that Baba told him:
“You should know that of the many roads that lead to God, that of love is the high road of all. During the period of Avataric manifestation, the road of love is fully open to all. But that does not mean that it remains open indefinitely. Gradually it begins to narrow and to be less accessible.
“As this occurs,” he continued, “the seeker must start to use secondary routes. Of all these, the greatest is that of meditation. Because I am the Avatar, I must provide what is necessary for the aspirant throughout the entire period until my next incarnation. Therefore I have given in great detail instructions for the use of meditation, but during the time that the path of love is open, as it is fully now. it is a waste of time and energy to detract from the way of love by practising meditation.”
The immediate question that springs to mind, of course, is “Did Baba say how long the path of love would remain fully open?” He did not. There are many people who have spent much time in Baba’s presence who feel they have well- authenticated information that, while not being in physical form, he is nevertheless “present”’ in Creation for a period of at least 100 years after his death, and that this may continue up to 200 years if the next avataric manifestation is to occur after 1400 years.* Oddly enough I had never heard that figure from Baba, nor is it clear how this relates to the high road of love being open. I suspect this may follow a somewhat different formula . . . (p. 220).
*Eruch Jessawala: “Meher Baba revealed to us time and again that at the end of each avataric advent, his avataric impact, influence or force, and the fragrance of his presence, continue to remain active for 100 to 200 years, exactly as though he were physically present. If the next advent is to take place after 700 years, then his avataric impact, influence or force, and his divine presence of the advent, continue to be felt for 100 years and a little more. Similarly, if the advent occurs after 1400 years, his impact and divine presence pervade for 200 years and a little more.” See Chris Ott’s post of Friday, October 4, 2013, “Meher Baba’s presence as explained by his mandali.”