Marion Florsheim "Energy"

Born : 5th March 1928 Germany

Died : 7th February 1998, Los Angeles, CA,USA

Father : Julius Florsheim

Mother : Ella Marx ( her mother Betty Grob was married to Karl Marx )

Nationality : American

In New York she lived at Jackson Heights.

Myrtle Beach S.C.
Myrtle Beach S.C.

Marion Florsheim was another of those who met Baba during this visit to America. Since she would always say, "I wish you would use my energy, Baba," he nicknamed her "Energy."


Lord Meher Volume 11, Page 3869

Marion with white hand-bag
Marion with white hand-bag

Baba was unable to go to the theater because they had no wheelchair access. According to Ivy Duce's account in 1952:



Baba wanted the women mandali to have a little diversion, and of course he could do his work through them in all places. Charmian took them and Baba to Radio City Music Hall. Such a simple outing required planning – warning the theatre in time to care for and correctly place a man in a wheelchair; having Energy [Marion Florsheim] at the theatre in time to drive the car away and garage it; Energy getting the car back to the theatre at the right moment since no parking is allowed in the district; …

One night they went to see "The King and I" played by Yul Brenner and Celeste Holm – the theatre version of "Anna and the King of Siam." Baba could not go because fire hazard laws prevented him being in the aisle in a wheelchair...


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 4938

Baba was driven to the Hotel Delmonico at 59th Street and Park Avenue, followed by his lovers, and was immediately taken up to his room on the eighth floor. Marion Florsheim, however, had gone off with the keys to Baba's suite, and since she was the chairman of the reception committee, Baba did not enter until she returned. A few minutes later, he called his devotees upstairs for a quick interview. During this trip, unlike his previous visit in 1952, Baba was not averse to publicity, and Ivy Duce and Bernard Carvalho had arranged television and press interviews at every stop. Baba now immersed himself in discussing these interviews with them. He discussed the arrangements of his tour with Marion Florsheim, who on behalf of the committee had collected funds for his airfare around the world from lovers in America. Baba also met privately with several old disciples. Baba and the mandali had spent a sleepless night on the plane from London, but when Ivy Duce suggested that he rest, he quipped, "I have not rested since I left Satara, and I will not rest until I drop my body."



Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 4956

FOR WEEKS, Marion Florsheim and her committee had been planning a dinner for Baba in the Palm Room of Longchamps Restaurant in Manhattan House at 65th and 3rd Avenue. For many people, this reception was the highlight of Baba's visit to New York on 22nd July 1956.


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 4977


When Baba was seated again, Marion Florsheim took the microphone and formally welcomed him and the mandali, and read a few of the telegrams received from other groups scattered all over the world. The Hollywood group cabled: "... We happily and gratefully join in spirit with you, with all those present in the one Oneness. We feel it very fortunate our having Baba visit these shores once more."


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 4979


LM Vol.13-14 p 4978
LM Vol.13-14 p 4978
Longchamps Restaurant ; Marion with Ivy Duce
Longchamps Restaurant ; Marion with Ivy Duce

Marion Florsheim then asked for a moment of silence, after which a four-tier, white decorated birthday cake was wheeled in. Two children, a seven-year-old boy named Larry Karrasch and a twelve-year-old girl named Bobbi Ferenz, garlanded Baba and did it again for the various television and movie cameras recording the event. Baba cut the cake as the room burst into "Happy Birthday!" to Baba, since they had never had the opportunity of being with Baba on his birthday.


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 4983

Baba is about to cut His Birthday cake
Baba is about to cut His Birthday cake


Baba's fingers again tapped rapidly as the bus was stalled in Times Square traffic, from where they motored back to the Delmonico.

At 7 P.M. the same evening, Baba called a brief meeting of the Meher Baba Hospitality Committee in his room. Marion Florsheim read the financial report and asked Baba what he wished done with the small balance.

Baba replied, "During my seclusion I do not accept or give money."

Marion asked, "What about the welfare of the women mandali if you drop your body?"


To Marion Florsheim, Baba concluded, "When we reach San Francisco, I will instruct you about the balance in the fund."


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 4994-5


Baba showed the Barn to Marion Florsheim and others who had not been to the Center before, and then he sat down in the same high-backed chair he used during his previous visit. Baba said, "All should return here to the Barn and keep silence with me on the evening of Saturday, July 28th, at 7 P.M. Be sure to be present."


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5000
Myrtle Beach S.C.
Myrtle Beach S.C.

Baba spoke with Ivy, Elizabeth and Marion Florsheim (nicknamed "Energy"). Marion asked about having two dormitories constructed on the Center. Baba said, "No one except Elizabeth can add to the Meher Center." The question of raising funds was discussed, and Baba stated, "I do not want money now. After the 15th of February, I will need money for a huge congregation of men and women. Don't ask for any contributions now."

Elizabeth and Marion left, and Don Stevens was called. Differences between him and Ivy Duce were laid before Baba, who decided how to settle them. At one point, Baba decided about the future of God Speaks: "All the returns (profits from Sufism Reoriented activities) are to be utilized to spread God Speaks in every nook and corner of the world. I am not worried about publicity."



Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5007





Myrtle Beach S.C. - Marion wearing a white blouse
Myrtle Beach S.C. - Marion wearing a white blouse

During her interview with Baba the day before, Marion Florsheim had made a suggestion to Baba about the Center, and Baba now asked her to repeat it before all. Marion rose and said: "Seeing how beautiful everything is here, and knowing how everyone felt within his or her heart in being able to share it, I asked if it pleased Elizabeth and fitted into the plan that from our love, a dormitory for men and one for women could be built."

Eruch asked, "And what did Baba reply?"

"Baba said that Elizabeth had created the entire place, and that he loved it beyond all other places in the world; that her hands had done it all, and that he wished it to remain that way."

In response, Baba stated, "All that you find here is Elizabeth's labor of love. Through her love for me, she has done everything to make me feel comfortable at the Center here. If there is an addition from the outside, it will look ..."

Eruch could not find the right English word to translate Baba's meaning; several voices from the audience suggested it was an "anomaly" – or "unsuitable."

Marion continued: "Baba gave another message also. He said that when he leaves the West, he goes back to India into seclusion for five months, until February 15th, 1957, and he will not accept any money at this time and will take no funds with him to India. Whatever balance might remain, if any, in the Meher Baba Hospitality Fund treasury that the New York group has gathered (which covered the around-the-world air fares and New York expenses of Baba and the four mandali), whatever may remain, if any, at the end of our trip, Baba will give us instructions about it in San Francisco.


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5013

Myrtle Beach S.C. - Marion on the far left next to Elizabeth Patterson
Myrtle Beach S.C. - Marion on the far left next to Elizabeth Patterson

Baba stopped for a while and then turned to Ben Hayman, "Ben, what's on your mind?"

Dr. Hayman stood up and spoke: "Baba, even if I were a great orator, I doubt if I could find words to express our great privilege in being with you. Our hearts are open books. You know the tremendous work done by Elizabeth Patterson, Ivy Duce, Marion Florsheim to make this visit as comfortable as possible in delightful surroundings. I have had the barest glimpse of the vast, detailed work behind the scenes. It seems the least we can do is to express our appreciation by a rising vote of thanks."

Thereupon, the whole group rose and clapped their hands. Baba added: "Elizabeth, Kitty, Ivy, Marion, Norinathese are my five fingers."


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5039

Myrtle Beach, SC.
Myrtle Beach, SC.

Baba continued: "Each must pay his or her travelling expenses. Those who can afford to may contribute their amounts after February 15th for the meeting. Contributions will also be invited from the Indian groups. Arrangements for a month's stay will cost a good deal."

Ben Hayman questioned, "Will the meeting be exclusively for men?" Cries of protest rose from the female contingent.

Baba replied, "The Indian women are annoyed with me because it was not possible for them to have my sahavas (as promised). This meeting will be for men and women. It will be unprecedented in the history of my activities. I will also invite saints, my seven favorites."

"It will be 90% women and 10% men," Baba teased.

Marion Florsheim asked, "About how much should we try to raise, Baba?"

"Twenty million dollars!" he joked. "And you and Ivy will have to collect it!"


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5075

At 2:30 P.M., there was a meeting of the Meher Baba Hospitality Committee. Marion Florsheim read a report of the finances and final balance. Baba commented, "All trust you, and I trust you, so everything is all right." Ivy Duce thanked Marion on behalf of all, then Elizabeth Patterson rose to express the group's gratitude to Baba for coming.

Baba replied: "When I see your ocean of love and feeling for me, the limitless Ocean of Love is stirred by the love of his lovers. Your love creates waves in that Ocean. You do not know how many.

"Everything these past days has gone according to my Divine Plan. With the love you have given me, I feel immensely happy."


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5077

Myrtle Beach Center ; Marion is far right. Anita de Caro is holding the umbrella. Darwin Shaw is next to Marion.
Myrtle Beach Center ; Marion is far right. Anita de Caro is holding the umbrella. Darwin Shaw is next to Marion.

The following sequence of images is from the video "Meher Baba, The Awakener"


Marion Florsheim ( green dress )with Agnes Baron ( red dress ) in the foreground on Meher Mount




Baba called for a full explanation of the Hospitality Committee accounts from Marion Florsheim, then untangled another quarrel over a movie camera, calling on the persons involved to speak up. At one point, he said, "No one wants to pay attention to my wish or will! Let your wish and will be done."

The rest of the people sat silent, each feeling his or her sanskaras too were under attack, even if indirectly.


Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5081

San Francisco ; Marion is eating prasad
San Francisco ; Marion is eating prasad

Baba asked about their health and then mentioned that Marion Florsheim and Mrs. Bahjejian had their passports and money stolen from their hotel rooms. He asked, "Isn't it surprising Energy has lost something?"

She replied, "If I lost everything, I could stay here!"


Lord Meher Volume 18, Page 5999 



1956 Myrtle Beach Center : Marion is next to Baba
1956 Myrtle Beach Center : Marion is next to Baba

When Baba heard that Marion Florsheim and Mrs. Bahjejian got back their passports from the thieves, he commented, "Nothing goes anywhere, but it comes to me. Remember that you wanted to give me four hundred rupees? The thief took away exactly four hundred rupees. So, now it is settled."


Lord Meher Volume 18, Page 6024


1956 : Baba yalking to Marion at Meher Abode, Myrtle Beach
1956 : Baba yalking to Marion at Meher Abode, Myrtle Beach

The Westerners were called to Guruprasad for a final meeting on Monday morning, November 5th, and Baba made his usual inquiries about their health and other matters. Marion Florsheim said she felt sad. Baba replied, "Why should you be sad? Take me home in your hearts.


Lord Meher Volume 18, Page 6031


Marion Florsheim with Agnes Baron in the foreground on Meher Mount
Marion Florsheim with Agnes Baron in the foreground on Meher Mount

A Review


Tibet 's Great  Yogi, MILAREPA, a Biography from the Tibetan, edited by W. Y. Evans-Wentz. $6.50, Oxford University Press.


Between the pages of this Life, and the mood in which it is written, lies great wisdom and insight, reflecting the deep devotion experienced by Evans-Wentz for Milarepa. it is as though Wentz had caught the spirit of Milarepa's life, lived some 900 years ago. The book is intersticed with magnificent psalms, hymns and Buddhic poetic gems.


A Mongolian like Confucius, Yetsün Milarepa (born approx. 1052 A.D.), was fifth in the great apostolic succession of Kargyupta teachers of Buddhism. and is venerated throughout Asia and the Occident by modern Truth seekers. Amid the climatic rigours of the snowy Himalayas, clad in thin cotton, subsisting on a handful of parched barley, roots and herbs, with occasional yak's milk supplied by some pious layman, endowed with yogic powers, including bodily flight through the air, Milarepa had little need of modern mechanical civilization. The worldly possessions left behind by Mahatma Gandhi are quite comparable to those left by Milarepa, whose chief worldly goods consisted of a bamboo staff, a robe and mantle also of homespun cotton), a wooden bowl, a cup made of a human skull, a flint, and steel for providing fire, and a bone spoon.


His discovery that God-Realization in one lifetime is no miracle but attainable is of paramount importance to the least of mankind. Herein is found necessary courage for first steps upon the Path, no matter how long and arduous it may be, nor how many lives are required for the attainment. Milarepa's path, a short-cut to transcendence, will be trodden only by the very exceptional devotee with evolutionary growth adequate to reach the goal far in advance of more slowly evolving humanity as a whole.


In intensity his conversion and reversal parallels that of the Apostle Paul, and was just as drastic in its about-face from willful destruction of his enemies, to a life of archetype discipleship, discipline and blind devotion. His love for his Master, Marpa the Translator, equals that of Saint Francis of Assisi for Jesus, the Christ. No other disciple has put to the test of practical application more effectively the precepts of the great Teacher, Gautama the Buddha.


This gospel of the Kargyupta sect is a pure example of Buddhistic concepts and practices, and presents a vivid record of religious and philosophical culture in Tibet in the 11th and 12th centuries, at a time when in Europe the Dark Ages had extinguished the glory of Athens and Alexandria, and awaited awakening in the Renaissance. 


Courtesy of The Awakener ; Vol. 2, No.1 - page 35

The award winning Smithsonian photography of aviatrix Marion Florsheim with Afghan  c 1937 Hans Groenoff  National Air and Space Museum
The award winning Smithsonian photography of aviatrix Marion Florsheim with Afghan c 1937 Hans Groenoff National Air and Space Museum