HERBERT DAVY'S LETTER TO MEHER BABA 12th SEPTEMBER 1932

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Dear Baba,

1) The morning of your wire to me at Geneva ( Switzerland ) was curious, it seemed to imply "go on", I thought that Warsaw was important. As events turned out I have some reason to doubt even that. ( Was it important )

2) Again Kitty forgot to mention that Mother's illness was mortal or fatal ; I tried to put through a phone call to London from Geneva with no satisfactory results. You had not warned us to expect it.

3) Worried by the difficulty of raising finance and of expense I did like to leave Geneva until assured - that took 5 days. The League was not easy. Had I known it was to be fatal I could have flown to London and not worried about expense etc., but then we could not have sent 500 Pounds to India -- we only just scrapped it together.

4) I always feared that Warsaw would be difficult, fear, due to the beach incident at St. Margherita ( Nth. Italy ) . However you assured me that I should find the man alright. I spent hours & walked miles - I was 2 days there, on the third day about 6:30 am shortly before my train left for Russia I went to look at an old beggar I had watched for long in the previous day, his hair was not snowy white as I imagined from description since you had promised I should meet & know him, I could only argue by elimination that this must be the man. Was he or was he not ?  I rushed to the train and left instructions for a wire to be sent you saying "Unsure" and left money for a suit of clothes. I only just had time to do this and get on the train.

5) I had time to be innoculated for Cholera at Warsaw ( I tried to get a fake innoculation but failed )   because the Japanese authorities otherwise would not admit passengers on Manchurian train.

6) I tramped the streets of Moscow for 10 hours  - and saw the anti-God museum ; also a great place of pilgrimage - the outside of Lenin's tomb ; - Kremlin, Revolution museum ;  Govt. headquarters.

7) At Manchouli ( Russian & Manchurian border ),  my presence saved the lives of the two support Chinese students who later in China I learned  - were really patriots and conspirators trying to contact the anti-Japanese armies in Manchuria.  One of them may be destined to be a great man for China, sooner, later ! ?

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He now regards me as having saved his life. Was it worth saving, if so ? Or should I rather have gone to London and seen my mother ?  I spent a very unpleasant time in one compartment, and the 2 Chinese students, plus Japanese spies - police, fro 11th to 15th September on a military train on a side track at Manchouli. From 16th to 19th, we spent a very exciting and potentially very dangerous time going round Manchuria - everything seemed to blow up after we passed by.

 

CONTINUED…..

8) From 21st to 28th – I stayed in Peking and visited places you mentioned I should visit temples, etc., then I got the totally unexpected wire from K ( Kitty Davy ) on M’s ( Mother’s ) death. This had affected me far more than I thought possible.

9) September 29th to October 3rd,  at Tsinan University in Shanghai. A wonderful group of five people, foreign teachers of many Christian denominations, and some fine Chinese teachers and students. We talked of spiritual matters and China and I was asked to preach the Sunday evening sermon. It has the best Medical School in China, I believe.

10) Tai Shan is the oldest and most sacred Mountain ( Mt.Tai ) in China for Taoist religion and , many pilgrims go there – so I slept the night there  ( 11 )  in the temple on the summit. Then Chufoo ( Qufu ) the birth and death place of Confucius.

In Peking I learnt that term would start October 1st, then 10th – 11th Oct. ; although I started lectures yesterday real work does not begin till next week – students tour round before deciding for a week which lectures they will take.

I don’t really like Nanking – though I expect you will say One should like all places and people – perhaps one never really likes places where one

Page 3 : has to earn one’s living and work – a bad fault of mine – endless intrigue and political rottenness, anti-foreign feelings, very low standards of educational work, and it all seems rather useless on its own plane. Loneliness has seemed very acute lately, no friends and no exercise or amusement or music – however I lived for so many years thus, waiting working for the future – I can wait now till February 1933.

Seeing these places in the North I found N. China and the people so much more attractive than this Southern part. When I was in the Western Hills near Peking I could easily believe that I had lived there before – it seemed so friendly and sympathetic.

Here it is quite different. Generalising hastily – Northerners always seem to be more attractive than Southerners. I have debated in my mind and slept over it a night, whether to burn this letter and to write another full of bald statements and no personal feelings and grievances – the heroic and noble course. However if you do not already know all of them moans, groans and whines you had better see them instead of a would be heroic attitude or surface.

I feel upset in some way – whether it is M’s death unwarned ; news from May about Zilla’s changed attitude to you ; some tiredness or dissatisfaction about my three month’s travelling & Warsaw ; finances and Kitty ; an empty house here and cost of refurnishing ; the disciples of Jesus were apparently all deluded as to the immediate coming of the Kingdom – are we all equally deluded and will it be a repetition after February ?

Page 4 : Now all this is very selfish – I want to help in your work not to ask you to waste time and energy in helping me because I sound dispirited and depressed. Anyway, I am changing and feel less lonely and depressed than I have felt the last few weeks.

CONTINUED……

Yet it seems, even at the cost of selfishness, better or easier should I say to write all these things than to conceal them and pretend to be an hero and a stoic. I suppose I feel un-moved in some curious sense, and my conviction about you is obscured in my mind though maybe not in my heart. Since so many millions of mankind have been and are deluded about Messiah’s ( Krishnamurti, etc. ) why should I expect to escape – self conceit and reincarnation flattery seems sufficient for most of us to  lose our heads on and we listen to it.

Personally, I don’t mind being a fool, I am so used to it, but I would very much mind having led my relations and my friends into a deluded belief.

A nice letter from Meredith, all about hermits in the sands at Oceano who have been taught by M.S. “how to work and eat seaweed – kelp, a wonderful dish” ( He arrives in London Oct. 2nd ).

I cannot but laugh though a little uneasily when I recall my own attitude of respect and obedience 18 months ago. It was on his word, against the advice of all my doctors at St. Thomas’s hospital that I refused to have my tonsils cut-out.

Did you get letters all about the Villa at Fiesole ?

I think all negotiations should be in my name or anyone elses, not yours, because of Italian authorities at Rome, etc.

A queer letter, and by the time you read it, this mood may be long past.

Yours

Herbert