Premananda's letters to Nellie 8

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July 7, 1977

Dear Nellie,

Please forgive me for not writing in so long. I should have answered your last letter long ago, but I’m afraid that when I got it (and one from Athena at the same time) my whole being just sort of collapsed into a long winter’s nightmare from which I am just now starting to emerge. I don’t really yet understand what I have been through. I could not understand at all either your letter or Athena’s. When I saw my fragile little dream, all I had collapsed, I guess. I just no longer cared about my life at all . A valley of tears. Why does Baba test me so terribly? Will the nightmare never give way to truly waking love?

Today, as I was singing, I saw that all around Baba is like a flourishing garden. I had to weep. I thought, "Truly, to be away from Baba is like Adam weeping at the last of Eden—‘Oh Father! May I not come back and stay in your perfect Garden?’"

I see that to go back to Him who was Rama, is journey of the soul to its own roots, not a plane venture in space and time. I saw I would first have to reach him in my heart. For a young man in love, this is an awful test of faith. Is the groom content with the photo of the bride? How can he forget for a moment that the bride is flesh too, and is waiting? The groom will be crazed with this knowledge.

So many things have happened; I could never recount it all. I am working in a hospital here now, for three months. I haven’t been able to save much money from it yet, but I have stored the whole pageant of human mortality, misery, suffering, and death already in my soul. There were times, as I washed the bodies of the lost, that I thought I could hear Baba saying, "Do you wish to come wash my feet? Here are the feet of my feet, the feet of the lowly. If you would find my feet, for a proper pranam, wash these feet of my children, for my feet stand far below theirs." It was as if he were saying, "For my crown, I take the feet of the lowest man." I know this is all Hindu blasphemy, yet I could swear he gave this instruction. When I witnessed an autopsy, he was there again. Like Kali, laughing: "Look! Behold! Is this man? Where is the being? Where within that nothing mass will they ever find the secret?" Needless to say, that was quite a shock.

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

You see, any way to Baba will be Baba! As K. says, the first step is the last step, yet one may prepare and prepare and never take that step. It is so confusing. When the tower of ego and knowledge are shaken by helplessness and impotency, the whole frame trembles. Surely, when our so-called knowledge dies, the whole being undergoes a revolution. As children again, we discover that we do not know, that all is a mystery.

Like a sailors becalmed, humbled, we furl the sail as best we can and wait the rising wind. I have been through it and through it and yet still my spirit is not broken, though much else is. Mother, do you know the weight he throws at me? Can I make it? Day by day I try to hold on and not lose faith, as he commanded, yet at times the spirit wears thin and seems to tremble and break. I could not write of this sorrow if I did not feel new stirrings of his grace and presence. Yet, on this sacred day, 7/7/77, His grace seems especially strong. He is making me write all this, ripping it from me, like everything else these days.

Many times lately I have felt, "I just don’t care anymore, and really felt it. But there is no way out. I am just about utterly in limbo, helpless, and waiting. After so much doubt, maybe there is space enough for real faith.

I go to work, eat, sleep, go to work. In some ways, it is utterly pointless. In other ways, I see it as logical. But soon I feel he shall draw me home. As despondent as I get, I can never forget that he whom I long to see is the Lord. I can never believe he does not feel my pain, and so I know that somehow he will find a way.

Maybe my mistake was in trusting you to get me to Baba, instead of Baba {copy missing}