The second day of MBCNC’s program reviewing Eruch Jessawalla’s ringing the “Bell of Warning” in 1980 began with a review by Alisa Genovese of the previous day’s program. She also observed that members of Sufism Reoriented have always been welcome to our group’s activities.
Eruch Adams then talked about youthful memories of what is was like to grow up with other young Baba lovers, including children of sufis, in the context of the “Bell of Warning”. This was often problematic for especially the latter group.
Then began a speed review of the sufi Charter which quickly generated animated (and speculative) discussion. Interestingly, the Charter can be interpreted to construe a number of very different readings. It was remembered that at the 1980 meeting at Meherazad, Bhau interpreted the Charter to mean that only Baba is empowered to appoint a murshid(a). Further discussion focused on the interpretation that Baba appointed himself as the perpetual Murshid and that consequently the issue of succession is nothing but his buisness. (This reviewer remarked to himself where is the legal expertise of the Talbots when we need it.) Ed Van Buskirk made what was a particularly suggestive remark that perhaps the Charter was another example of Baba’s Universal Work that would one day be dismantled like scaffolding. This view was supported by deconstructionists. Discussion about the Charter led to thoughts about the the current Murshida of SR, Carol Connor, and the image of SR as projected particularly through articles printed in the Glow magazine. Many people were unhappy with these articles as egregiously self serving, especially the article referencing Mehera and the automobile accident she, Baba and others suffered in Oklahoma in 1952. Many members of MBCNC have very fond memories of Baba’s Mehera.
The morning discussion was essentially given to a perception shared by many that MBCNC represents a counter narrative to aspects of SR.
In the afternoon Peter Booth read an essay on Hafez entitled Sufis, Sufi Orders, Murshids, Hypocrites, Rends and Dervishes. The essay should be read in its entirety for its many interesting and suggestive points. Hafez loved to make fun of pretentious religious and spiritual behavior, including that of sufi occultists, and extolled in contrast the dervish and especially the rend (divine rogue). The rend eschews piety and pretension and loves for the sake of love alone. One of Hafez’s favorite tropes is the Magian Elder (the Zoroastrian Elder) who is a purveyor of wine. Peter suggested that on the basis of an assertion by Esphandiar Vesali (a prem ashram boy) as related by Mehernoush McPherson, that this figure is in fact a reference to a minor incarnation of the Avatar who lived in Shiraz at a Fire Temple in the time of Hafez.
There was a discussion in the round to close the event which most concurred was a highly successful effort to educate attendees on the subject of the vigilant Eruch Jessawalla ringing the “Bell of Warning.”