REPORTERS would seek interviews with Meher Baba; at times he would consent and at times deny their request. On Sunday, February 11th, (1040) Baba consented to an interview with a newspaper reporter. The following is their dialogue:
“Do you accept the principle now usually accepted in the West that science and religion deal with different spheres?”
“It depends upon how it is understood,” Baba stated.
“If science deals only with material advancement, then such science would be said to have nothing of spirituality. But when the same science is expressed to make the meaning of life clear, then it is also a branch of spirituality – just as art, if expressed rightly, is spiritual, if expressed wrongly, material.”
“You mean scientific truths and principles are valid so far as they go, and are to be fitted in with spiritual doctrine?”
“They can be fitted in. What is the gross world, after all, but the medium of realizing spirituality? For example, the body is purely material, physical and gross, but it is the medium for the soul to know itself, provided it is dealt with and handled rightly; otherwise, it becomes a hindrance to spiritual progress. Similarly, scientific
principles and truths, if used rightly, help in the spiritual progress of the universe, but if improper use is made of them, they are bound to be a source of hindrance in the spiritual path.”
“But what about astrology? Astrology is not part of science,” the reporter asked.
Baba spelled out, “Everything has something to do with spirituality. It depends on how it is worked out, and that again results in either advancing or retarding spiritual progress.
“Science is a general thing, while astrology is individual, so science itself cannot be proved to be wrong. If a truth is established scientifically, you do not think of doubting it. It does not occur to you to doubt it. If you are told that the earth is round and if it is proved to you, you never think that it is flat. But if an astrologer tells you that you will get a million rupees after some time, you will. “Spirituality has no room for doubts. For example, if someone were to ask me, ‘Are you sure you are one with God?’ I would ask him, ‘Are you sure you are a man and not a dog?’ He would say that he is a man because he cannot think of himself as anything but a man. In the same way I am equally sure that I am one with God. Even if the whole world tells me otherwise, I do not feel anything about it. Spiritual certainty is something which nothing affects.”
The reporter asked, “Is it impossible to understand spiritual matters intellectually?”
“Spiritual doctrines can be stated in intellectual terms. Intellect is a great help in the experience of the heart. If someone who never had a headache asks you to explain it to him, you will try to explain intellectually what it is. But to make him understand it, you would have to hit him over the head. He gets a headache and knows what it is.
“There is nothing irrational in spirituality. Explanation can be made so practical that it can be lived.
“Jesus Christ said, ‘Leave all and follow me.’ It means leave your limitations and live my life. He meant that it was the practical way.
“Mysticism is thought to be something supernatural and out of human grasp. It is not so. You may be doing all your worldly duties and at the same time be a mystic. It depends on how you arrange your actions and whether you lead a proper life.”
“Mahatma Gandhi, for example?”
“Gandhi is a mystic in a way. Everyone is a mystic in his own way. A real mystic’s life is practical; for everybody it means leading life properly.
“Mysticism has connection with every phase of life, if properly expressed. If not, there is a reaction which cannot be called mysticism. Thus love that is handled badly through jealousy is converted into hatred. Mysticism if adjusted rightly can help all nations now at war, while if handled otherwise it would make matters worse.
“Mysticism means experience of the soul on higher planes. And the highest is attained through this experience.”
The reporter thought over this for a few moments and then said, “But what is needed to bring peace is material adjustment among nations, that?”
“Material adjustment can be made with spiritual understanding. If people were made to realize that all the trouble is due to self-interest, then automatically material adjustment would follow.”
“Is economic adjustment possible so long as human beings are what they are?” the reporter asked.
“Economic adjustment and human nature are co-dependent. If it is realized that the trouble is due to self-interest, the problem would be solved. It is easy and simple. Yet because of this ease and simplicity, the task is also difficult.
“For example, if praise and insult do not affect you, you would be always happy. If not, you are bound to be unhappy. How easy the remedy
is, yet the simplicity itself makes it difficult.”
After the interview, Baba left and went to bathe the masts and give them shaves and haircuts.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 7, pp. 2514 – 2516.