Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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1332THE WEST LEARNS TO SING1931

After staying five days in Harmon, Baba departed at eight in the morning on Friday, 4 December 1931. Eileen had stayed overnight to drive Baba into Manhattan, and Norina and Malcolm rode with them. Cath drove the others in another car.

They made one stop on their way into the city, at the home of Corinne Ingraham at 49 E. 83rd Street. Corinne was a friend of Norina's who had recently broken her leg in an accident.  She later told Norina that she had remained in ecstasy for three days after Baba's visit and her swollen leg had returned to normal the day following her interview with Baba.

The group arrived at the Stokeses' residence in Greenwich Village around noon. Although Baba had previously indicated that he did not wish to see anyone, he changed his mind and met about 25 people, several for the first time in New York. Among them were Elliot and Elizabeth Holt.  After their interview, Chanji found Elliot gazing out the window up at the sky, exclaiming, "My God, that I should have met such a man!"

Elizabeth Patterson and Nadine Tolstoy saw Baba that day at the Stokeses', as did the widow of the banker Adolph Ladenburg, Baroness von Miltitz, Dr. James H. Cousins and his wife Margaret, Dorothy Norris, Countess Castelli, the artist A. Garfield Learned and Charles and Virginia Crocker. 

Before leaving New York the next day, Baba wished to be driven around Wall Street, New York's financial district. It was a Saturday and the streets were virtually deserted. In the car, Jean was thinking to herself: "How ephemeral and unreal this money madness is!"

The next moment, pointing to the skyscrapers, Baba smiled at her and gestured, "It is all a bubble, so easy to prick!"

On his last day in the city, Elizabeth and Nadine arrived together to say goodbye to Baba. Both women were overcome by Baba's love and remained his disciples thereafter.

Before returning to India, Baba left the handwritten manuscript of his book with someone in America, where it remained for the next five years. The exact details of what happened to this "missing book" remain a mystery.

Baba personally contacted more than 350 people during his stay in the New York area in 1931. He instructed Malcolm and Jean to remain at Harmon which he explained would be the first of a series of five spiritual retreats he intended to establish in America.

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