The following vignette covers several conversations between Avatar Meher Baba and Jean Adriel, author of Avatar. Jean was among a group of Eastern and Western disciples with Meher Baba in Cannes, France, in the summer and fall of 1937.
Feeling Estranged and Depressed
“Ever since leaving India, Jean Adriel felt estranged. In India she had been ill and depressed, and on board the ship to France, she was again ill and feeling unkind toward everyone.
"The cabin she shared with her husband Malcolm [Schloss] was far away from Baba and the other women, and she hardly saw anyone during the voyage.
Meher Baba Watches Over Jean
"Jean did not know, however, that Baba would visit her cabin at 3:00 a.m. to see how she was and to watch over her as she slept.
“In Cannes, Jean became more and more depressed until, on the night of 9 October 1937, she left the house, determined to die. Baba, being ever vigilant of his ‘birds,’ noticed she was missing and sent a search party to bring her back.
“The next day, Baba took her head in His hands and looked into her eyes, asking, ‘You think I am cruel?’
“She could not prevent herself from saying what she felt, "You are cruel!"
“Baba repeated what He had said earlier, ‘I must be temporarily cruel in order to be permanently kind.’
But, the Night Is So Long
“Looking at her with compassion He added, ‘The day will come when even the memory of this pain will be completely obliterated by the all-consuming joy which will flood your soul.’ Jean wept and said, ‘But Baba, the night is so long!’
“Baba smiled and spelled out, ‘But when dawn comes, you will see that everything you are bearing now would have been worth bearing a thousand times!’
“Baba explained, ‘I push you away, then I draw you close. Again I push you off and draw you even closer. Now, I push you far away, and the next time I draw you back to me, it will be to remain one with my Universal Self forever!’
Thank You for All the Joy and Pain in My Life
“On [28 October], Jean and Malcolm Schloss left for Paris by the morning bus.
“While leaving, Jean wept and said to Baba, ‘Thank you for all the joy and pain in my life I have had while with you.’
“Baba replied, ‘Thank me only for the pain.’ Jean understood what Baba meant. Only while suffering do we grow in love and through pain overcome our weaknesses and ego."