Last night, I kid you not, I opened Volume III of Bhau’s biography of Meher Baba at random, knowing that if I did that, I would come up with an example of Meher Baba dealing with ‘No-No Boy’ behavior, because that is what he did continuously for the first ten years of his work, and this is what I got, first try, first glance:
… Two miles from Lonavla in the village of Valvan, Ramjoo and Ghani had hired a Bohri’s (Musilm’s) bungalow for Baba and the Mandali. The arrangements were somehow not to Baba’s liking, and he ordered everyone to leave immediately for Bombay. He himself, along with the women mandali, walked the distance to the railway station, but Ramjoo and Ghani prevailed upon him to return.
Chanji, Masaji, and Afseri arrived in the evening with the luggage and the first thing Baba asked them was whether they had eaten on the way. Chanji and Masaji admitted that they had, but Afseri hesitated and started speaking in an evasive manner. Baba caught him by the shirt and shook him fiercely. He then turned to Masaji and Chanji demanding, “My instruction was not to eat anything outside of Meherabad on the way. Why did you not comply with it?”
Masaji spoke in their defense claiming, “Why is there an issue about Meherabad after leaving it?” Baba was furious and caught hold of him, shoving him so violently that he ripped his clothing. He then lifted him up and threw him ten feet! The Mandali standing nearby were astonished to see someone as lean and thin as Baba pick up and throw such a hefty man as Masaji.
Chanji was not spared Baba’s wrath, he too recieved a few sound slaps. Baba then demanded that they all get out of his sight. After awhile he called them back and smilingly asked, “Have you gotten an idea of my strength today?” The three men burst out laughing. Then Baba lovingly inquired, “Are any of you hurt?” No one was hurt, but Chanji had been very frightened. …
Baba was constantly working with titanic unseen forces, and that is why his orders could not be violated. The fact that one of his mandali ate food at the wrong place or the wrong time or from an unauthorized source could be a HUGE violation of spiritual protocols that Baba just did not have time to discuss. The orders themselves simply had to be obeyed. Failure to do that was dangerous to Baba.
What this has to do with the Japanese ‘No-no Boy’ scenario is that the demands that were placed on Japanese ethnics in America by American authorites after Pearl Harbor were equally unintelligible, unreasonable, and ‘unfair’ as the demands that Meher Baba placed constantly on his circle. And the value of considering this in terms of Meher Baba, rather than in terms of the ‘No-no Boys’ self-absorbed subjectivity about themselves is that Baba shows us how to resolve the confusion that results from this. You have to be very invasive and interventionist, even throwing the person through the air, if that’s what it takes to get them moving. And then you have to show them love, but not until they have no choice but to respond to you. That is how you get someone out of an emotional no-man’s land like “I don’t feel American, I don’t feel Japanese, I don’t feel anything.” You have to make them feel one thing somewhere. Giving them a blank check to endlessly spin their wheels inside their heads about it, until they became world-class examples of self-pity, learned helplessness, and sanctified analism, which is what the dysfunctional Japanese Buddhist lineages in America have done, is completely ineffective and completely wrong.
I have deleted the original post on this subject, which has been getting continuous traffic, because it was not psychologically proactive enough.
Jagat Guru Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!