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Meher Baba, Shakespeare, and the Play of Life

A Consciousness Primer

by Geoffrey Gunther





We are pleased to make available this eminently readable, deliciously literate, and insightful short book by Geoffrey Gunther. Please download the pdf HERE and enjoy it.

Shakespeare is usually seen as a secular writer who foreshadows modern scepticism of claims to absolute truth values. I find on the contrary that his central message is that the limited self must be transcended through love, through wonder and often through suffering. His plays, especially comedies, tragedies and romances, inspire a transcendent outlook when we can open to their inner message. To put alongside the plays the words of Meher Baba illuminates the reality of the message and reminds us that Shakespeare stands in the tradition of the perennial truth which encompasses what it really means to be human.

Geoffrey Gunther taught literature for many years and had a book on Shakespeare published in 1994, Shakespeare as Traditional Artist. He is now retired and lives in Queensland, Australia, near Avatar’s Abode, Meher Baba’s home in the Southern Hemisphere.


From the book:

“Meher Baba defined the truth conveyed through art [thus]:

The Truth consists in the knowledge that man, instead of being a limited, separate individual, completely bound by the illusion of time and space and substance, is eternal in his nature and infinite in his resources. The world-illusion is a dream of his imagining—a play acted in the theatre of his consciousness—a comedy of which he is at once author, producer, director, star. But his absorption in the role which he has chosen to enact has made him forgetful of his true self, and he stumbles now as creature through the part he has created.

He must be awakened to his true nature. He must see that all material expression depends upon and flows from spiritual being. Then he will be steadfast and serene under all circumstances.

“This is not a new claim. Much spiritual wisdom speaks of a loss of the knowledge of our true identity. But we have lost sight of this awakening function in most art since the Renaissance. And this function of art, reminding us of the truth behind our experiential illusions, is an essential counterpoise to our scientific world view. This can be illustrated most easily by looking at one of Shakespeare’s plays. Almost any would do. . . .”

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