Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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1440THE WEST LEARNS TO SING1932

On Saturday, 4 June 1932, Baba's last day in Hollywood, he had lunch with Marie Dressler at her home at 801 Alpine Drive. Marie, 63, was a famous actress who had co-starred in many of Charlie Chaplin's movies, and was old friend of Quentin's. (She had won the Academy Award the previous year for Best Actress and was nominated again in 1932.) Marie had a keen wit and humor, and Baba thoroughly enjoyed her company. They were soon sharing stories and joking like old friends. In the middle of lunch, Marie declared, "Baba, if you permit me, I would like to take you out to the woods and dance with you. And even if you want to speak a few words to me, I promise not to tell anyone!"

Baba revealed, "Before breaking my silence, it is essential for me to proceed to China. On my return, I will break my silence on July 13."

Marie said, "When you break your silence, I will be at your side." 

Baba often mentioned the breaking of his silence during this visit to America. That Baba would actually speak created a sensation, and arrangements had started so that Baba's voice might be heard throughout the world via radio when he spoke. Marc Jones booked the Hollywood Bowl for the event; Mary Pickford was to introduce him. Quentin, a persuasive person, in his own over-excitement, even convinced certain of the women followers to have chic "God-realization gowns" created for the occasion, assuring them Baba would give them God-realization at the time, though Baba himself never indicated anything like this.

Adi Jr. knew that Baba would never do such a thing, and in a skeptical mood said to Baba one day, "Baba, you're not going to break your silence. Why go through all this fuss with the radio and newspapers? Why make these people go to all this trouble? People will be upset and very angry with you if you do not speak. And I know you won't!"

Peeved, Baba scolded Adi, "No, no, you don't know! Keep quiet! This time, I am going to do it!"

What kind of play was this on Baba's part? How innocent the people of Hollywood were. Was there any necessity to employ material or mechanical means for the Avatar's voice to be heard throughout the world? Did Meher Baba's silence depend on material causes? But this manner of working is his divine play and in this leela there is joy!

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