For the western mind, India has long been a symbol of the incomprehensibility of the East. Listen, Humanity takes the reader into the very heart of the life of India and, through the sympathetic interpretation of a Western businessman’s mind, describes a series of meetings between Avatar Meher Baba and His followers.
Part I recreates the lines and atmosphere of these meetings, immersing the reader in the delicate balance of humor and pathos, activity and quiet that was achieved. From it one emerges with the sense that the heartbeat of the devout Orient is powered by the same mainspring that drives the creative mechanism of the West.
Part II of this volume sets forth the enduring philosophy of life and death, sleep and waking, war and peace, slavery and freedom that Meher Baba clarifies in simple terms for all of us today. In it, life is described as the continuing reality, and death as the interlude. Living takes on a healthy color by being suffused with meaning and progressive development, and the ultimate goal is described in words that provide assured direction to the often wandering course of humanity’s aspirations.
The final part of Listen, Humanity is devoted to the challenges involved in the deep relationship between master and devotee. How does the pupil determine for himself that this is the path that he must tread, and this is the man in whose hands he should put the guide-reins of his life? These are not judgments that come easily. They are the intensified counterpart of what we must assess when we choose our profession, our life-mate, or the enterprise in which we hope to pass our life. Nowadays the great messiahs and saints of the past seem hazy at best. Often it is suspected that they may even have been the product of imagination and exaggeration. Is it possible to produce in this advanced age of rational enlightenment, figures who have authentically the characteristics attributed to the teachers of almost forgotten centuries?
The final pages of Listen, Humanity are an absorbing discussion of this subject, filtered through the appraising mind of an American businessman, reared in the tenets of science and shaped in the exacting demand of competitive enterprise. Listen, Humanity offers the Western world a unique insight into the most intimate phases of the creative religious life of the Easterner. To the Oriental, the present volume offers a concise presentation on the philosophy of perhaps its greatest living clarifier of our function in God’s pattern. To all, it presents the absorbing story of humankind at close grips with the mightiest challenge of all—the Self.