The Happiness that Comes From Loving God


Their Discreet Silence of Blue

People are pleased.
They took your smile
As a personal matter

A stamp of approval
And while that’s
What it was too

I wonder if they’d be
So flattered
If they but knew
You were approving them mostly

Because they are
God in your face
When it’s also true
God is in everyplace

And that probably
Is why God’s prophets
Wearing their hint hats

Have stressed so the sky
The stars splattered in the night sky
And in the day
With their discreet silence of blue

Gentle Readers,

Sorry for the delay but I have been struggling with emotional problems and needed to wait on this.

To day (July 10) Silence Day for devotees of Meher Baba. I include myself in this group largely due to a miracle in my youth.

So to better understand my devotion I guess I should recount the miracle which finally turned the key in the lock of my previous atheism.

It all started with Allan Cohen a newly minted PHD graduate of Harvard under the tutelage of Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (now called Baba Ram Dass), two renegade Harvard psychology professors who pushed LSD as a means of zeroing in on God.

But Allan (Y.) Cohen, soon after leaving Harvard had heard of an Indian (para precisar, a Parsi who lived in India) who was called “the Avatar” of our age.*

The story goes that when Allan was high on LSD he fancied he was on Meher Baba’s so-described sixth plane.**

And he wrote that in a letter sent to Meher Baba who reportedly silently chuckled when reading it.  But soon Allan got wind of Meher Baba’s crusade against mind-altering drugs, and so spent evenings on the UC Berkeley campus giving anti-drug propaganda speeches. And I, both a student then at UC Berkeley, but also taking advantage of the free psychological counseling at the campus counseling center.***  I had a nasty way in those days of testing people (especially psychological counselors) by launching my usual witty put downs in their direction . . .

But the worst of it was of an evening I would get stoned on marijuana and show up at Allan’s lectures and heckle him.

Then see him professionally the following day.

See I was expecting to finally get his goat but he always just laughed, vastly amused that I would find fun in that sort of behavior.

So (upshot) I came to respect him and one day I was perusing the photos on his wall and they were of Meher Baba and Hazrat Inayat Khan the founder of the chief Sufi sect in the Western world (read Europe, the United States, Australia, etc.)

So I asked him about the photos and he had the suggested Sufi philosophy of not to proselytize, just be there to answer any questions. And any follow-up question. But when interest waned your good Sufi dropped te matter. The advice given (By my Murshida, Ivy Duce) was just go out in the world with a smile on your face, radiating the happiness that comes from loving God.

And people will wonder at that, will want to know more about where that came from.

But thanks to Allan’s preternatural ability to charm, my interest did not wane. And so one day I asked him if there was any interesting literature I could read, and he sent me to the fine old Berkeley bookshop Lewin’s Metaphysical Store.

When I got there before I could say what I wanted the sales lady took me to the Meher Baba nook.  (I wondered how she knew to do that) Allan had recommended the “Discourses” and so that’s what I bought. And I read those and they were plausible and, importantly, interesting.

But it was an intellectual thing, not a conviction of the heart.

But then I got more desperate due to a frustrated love affair.

Oops we’ve run out to time. (I TRY TO LIMIT THESE POSTS TO 1000 WORDS, MORE OR LESS.)

So more on **** this (including the love affair) next time (i.e. to be continued)

God be with you,

Eric Halliwell

*The term avatar means a representative like when your character is in Dungeons and Dragons.  Or your personal icon in other computer games.

But in this case it means God himself coming in human form (as in Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Rama, KrishnA, Zoroaster (whom the Parsis revere), etc

**Meher Baba wrote extensively abut the seven planes which denote the stages in the ascent to God Realization (which state fyi the Buddhists call Nirvikalpa or Nirvana.)

And Baba said for instance that Moses was on the sixth plane, which was described as still in duality but able to “see” God everywhere except in himself. A final touch for that being necessary through a direct miracle vouchsafed by God. And with such a fierce devotion as to be consumed with the desire for union with God.

*** I had for many years been a psychologically damaged kid whose mother put him in an orphanage farm near Ojai California. (at age five, and that lasted almost five years until my mother sprung me to live with her again which didn’t last so I bounced then around with my father’s succession of new wives and ping pong back to my mother and her new lesbian partner. And later lived with my Grandma Dorothy.

I mention this in case you might be wondering why I felt I needed counseling. So in a nutshell I was a basket case of social anxiety and loneliness.

**** Moron! There’s that nasty word again!

About Eric Halliwell

I am the creator and sustainer of, a website which features (among a few other things, like interesting and inspiring quotes, and Sufi stories) my poetry and illustrative blog posts, about one 1000 word essay a month. It is Sufi-themed, probably because for seven years I was an officially initiated Sufi mureed, in San Francisco circa 1970’s. My poetry has appeared in these publications: Penwood Review, Ascent Aspirations, Umbrella Journal, (since defunct), Shine Journal, Ashé Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. I can be reached at

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