There have been recent Facebook posts and emails that bemoan the organizational acumen of MBCNC- Meher Baba Center of Northern Ca., and which implicitly praise the carefully regulated life and membership of Sufism Reoriented of Walnut Creek, which is right around the corner.
There is great truth to this slight. MBCNC has a notorious reputation for slapdash bureaucracy. We really don’t care as a group whether we sink or float, but depend on the grace of Baba to poke us about. We are individuals, and the concept of a group can pretty much go to hell. We have a huge membership only a fraction of which attend meetings on a regular basis. Our meeting place is the size of a shoebox. Our biggest event is Baba’s Birthday and often the only occasion many of us see each other.
Sufism Reoriented, on the other hand, prides itself as an organization that will last 700 years until the Avatar returns. This is, in fact, its very purpose. They have an alleged mandate to be a pure channel to God by a very carefully regulated membership with strict rules and obligations, chief of which is obedience to a succession of saints infallibly guiding them. They are building a new 40 million dollar sanctuary bigger than the White House, and which is largely buried, something like a strategic command center. They dress in white- sometime pastels, and handsomely tithe to the mother of all church concepts.
But there is a problem with this concept that will be reviewed in late March when MBCNC hosts a review in Berkeley of the 1980 controversy over the appointment of Dr Mackie as the putative illumined murshid or head of this order. The problem chiefly lies in the assertion by SR that Dr Mackie- and his successors, are guaranteed by Meher Baba to be either saints or Masters of the Spiritual Path.