2411WARTIME TRAVEL FOR MASTS1944
When Darwin has to return to work, John Bass will come down. We asked Malcolm [Schloss] but he could not come all the way from California and, as you know, Jean [Adriel] is spending her time at present on some property which she hopes will become a retreat for you eventually, which is at a short distance from Los Angeles. In fact, the plan for five spiritual centers in the U.S.A. was projected by you when you first came in 1931, and you told us that you would use them for different spiritual activities.
To outline the circumstances leading up to the South Carolina center, when in June 1941, we left India, you told Norina and myself to look for a property in the U.S.A. that would be suitable for you and about 60 of your disciples when you came. You gave five qualifications for the land, but did not say where the location should be in this country. They were: the place must have [equable] climate; virgin soil; ample water; soil that could be made self-sustaining to a large number of people; and the property should be given from the heart. Every place Norina and I went after we returned, we looked or inquired if there were such land available.
Particularly we looked in California. The one nearest to this description was at Fairfax, across the bay from San Francisco. A fine woman who is a Sufi leader and lived [for] some time in India, offered to have you and your disciples stay there when you came. Perhaps you will, as her offer seemed to come from the heart; and we all agree that she is the most advanced and understanding soul we met out there. Her name is Rabia Martin. When we went there she had a place set for you at the table and everything was served to you first, in devotional fashion. The property was on virgin soil in fertile country and seemed to have every qualification but one. The day we went there it turned out to be very cold, which they always say in California is "unusual" — but we saw that it was not equitable climate as far north as San Francisco, although we liked San Mateo as much last summer, which is near there.
Last September when we went to Los Angeles, we saw a number of properties with Jean, Malcolm and Markey driving around in a car, but there seems to be a certain lack of water in this district.