Joseph Hamad Harb
Born : 14th February 1894 - Lebanon
Died : September 1976 - Orinda, California, USA
Married : Kari
Born to a Druze family.
Immigrated to Seattle, USA in 1906 ( 13 y.o.)
The Harb's lived at 837 Faxon Avenue, San Francisco, California.
Meher Baba visited this house when he visited the city in 1956.
Joseph was a preceptor for Sufism Reoriented.
Both Joseph & Kari worked for USPS in San Francisco, California.
Joseph travelled to Meherabad, India in 1954 to attend the Western Men's Sahavas with Meher Baba.
He and his wife Kari came to the Myrtle Beach Sahavas in 1958 when Meher Baba visited.
They both travelled to India in the subsequent years a few times.
Joseph & Kari attended the 1962 East-West Gathering for Meher Baba at Guruprasad, Poona, India.
Myrtle Beach, S.C. 1956
Courtesy of "God Alone Is" video
Joyously and somewhat humbly I declare that it was a supreme privilege to be called and be brought by the Perfect Master to His sphere of activity, for the purpose of receiving personal instruction and guidance on the path to God-Realization. Baba's first message to us upon our arrival in India was, "Be happy!" The anxieties of the trip were dispelled and we were happy. That message was oft-repeated and was kept in our consciousness all during the days that followed. Indeed, we were intensely conscious of the atmosphere of all-pervading Love about Baba's ashram.
Those from the Western hemisphere who participated in the Great Darshan on September 12th, 1954, were invited to be present on the platform of the pandal with Him to witness Baba lovingly install and instill the spiritual seed in the hearts of those who came to receive His "prasad," to awaken them to their spiritual mission in life by giving them the fruit or sweets which are the token of the far greater gift —His Blessed, Divine love—which each received from the Master for their spiritual awakening.
I cannot and I shall not ever forget the first time He embraced me within His loving arms. It was a most unforgettable feeling—so comforting, so peaceful, so delightful that my gratitude for this supreme privilege was of such indescribable feeling that the tears welled up and overflowed with joy and happiness. I loved Him and didn't want to take my arms away from Him, I wanted more and more of His embracing.
Baba is all Divine Love and He loves all. For those who will take His love, He has more opportunity to give them of His love. Those who do not love Him He loves and blesses, but if they will not take His love, they do not give it a chance to be received by them. He does not ask them to accept some dogma, but in the spirit of humility they obey the God in their hearts. Baba gives more as they will take, or accept, or receive more. We limit love —not He!
Baba will go to any extreme of physical exertion to find and awaken those souls with sincere or utmost yearning for God-Realization.
During the twenty days of our stay at the Ashram, every day we looked forward to Baba's coming to see us. We were like youngsters waiting for our Father to come home. Our eyes fixed on the road, anxious to see His blue car approaching, we trooped down to the gate to meet Him. We were so reluctant for Him to leave us we went to the gate with Him and watched and watched until His car disappeared from sight. I was so elated by His presence, so inspired and uplifted by His discourses, I couldn't spare a moment away from Him while it was possible to be with Him.
Divine consciousness is ever flowing through Him, but with such delightful simplicity that it would not overwhelm a child and yet it is beyond the deepest mind to fathom it. We wanted to absorb Him. The vastness of His Divine Mind and Love are so scientific, with such intricate laws, and serious and great as He is, yet He couples all this with such humor that it produces joy in the heart and a perfect picture to the mind. The heart becomes the mind's eye to observe the perfect actions of the Perfect Master, which are subtle, silent, and yet so forceful.
A living Avatar is Self-Realized from Unconscious Divinity to Conscious Divinity; functioning in all planes of existence, with all the directness and accuracy in full harmony of Divine Law and Love; manifesting a dynamic force in all His activities; having the power of Eternal Truth. He is a complete blending of God and man states. This is Baba, "The Highest of the High."
The true disciple, being in the presence of the Perfect Master and privileged to witness the perfect living exemplification of His Masterly Perfection, becomes imbued with Divine Love and Wisdom-knowledge, in spite of his human limitations, dispelling all doubts and human frailty of the mind so long as he accepts the Master in his heart. Then and at that instant, the mind becomes illuminated or enlightened with the true feeling and understanding of God's presence, and of one's own true being.
However, when the Ego, through the limited mind with its mental equipment, sneaks in to claim the exclusiveness of such wisdom or spiritual understanding through mere intellect by the assertion of its self-esteem, then it plunges itself and all concerned into a state of confusion and illusion.
On the other hand, when the intellectual excellency is used by the spiritual heart and mind, the result becomes most productive in its manifest expression of wisdom-knowledge in all its functions. That becomes the evidence of Infinite, Divine Consciousness of a Great Being that recognizes spiritual freedom and the one Unity in diversity.
When the disciple is alone, away from the Master, and so-called time passes on, the reflection of such abstract thoughts begin to take shape the process of integration as he lives them actually in his pursuit of action in awakened consciousness. Then it could be said that "There is nothing higher than Truth but true living!" This procedure eventually will lead the disciple to ultimate Reality.
Courtesy of The Awakener ; Vol.2 No.4 - page40
1962 : A
talk given by Joseph Harb at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Avatar Meher Baba — Poona Center, Poona, India:
Dear Ones in Baba:
Indeed it is a great pleasure for me to be here in Poona, which was the chosen birthplace of the Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. His graciousness drew me into His blissful fold and gave me the privilege to be near His Divine Personality. Also, I am happy to have such an unique opportunity as this of joining with you in paying our tribute of homage and honor in celebration of Beloved Baba's 68th birthday and His message of Divine Love.
We find in this great cycle of all cycles almost all religions are awaiting the Advent of a World Teacher or Avatar. The Avatar is always the same ONE and He personifies spiritual perfection. In each manifestation He uses His Divine Authority according to the need of that time.
During the past several years, since dedicating my life to the service of Beloved Baba in 1947, quite often I have heard the questions asked, "What is an Avatar?" “What does Meher Baba do?" etc. Just for a moment, dear ones, let us reflect on this first question in our minds and try to grasp the true idea, at least through the mental concept, before indulging in the discussions of Baba's Divine Authority.
Meher Baba says "God's first whim was to know Himself." He said, "Who am I?" He became conscious and unconscious simultaneously. The infinite Consciousness plays the role of the Avatar in Divine Incarnation. The Infinite Unconscious finds its expression through an evolution which seeks to develop full consciousness through the process of time. In human form full consciousness strives to have self-knowledge and realization. This is attained after many, many reincarnations and through innumerable experiences. When man has reached perfection he is Man-God, while the Avatar is God-Man.
When the Avatar says "I am God," it seems to frighten many, especially the people of the Western world. Some of the religious leaders expound the theory of separateness instead of oneness with God, as if God were far, far away. Yet in their teachings it is stated that “God is Love" and the heart is the seat of Divine Love, and realizing that, then to love is godly. The greatest Law of God is Love. The greatest gift of God to Man is Love; the highest offering to God is to love Him.
Every person should truly live up to the highest precepts of his own religion — the religion into which he was born. Master Nanak said: "There is nothing higher than Truth but true living." Love God in your heart ― that is where God is found.
The Avatar appears in different forms, under different names and at different times. His appearance coincides with the spiritual renaissance of man. The Avatar's manifestation is determined by the need of each cycle of time. Baba said his reappearance will be 700 years hence.
This is the seventh great cycle of the 11th age. The change of this great dispensation, which is known to the occultists and spiritually advanced souls, is from the Piscean Age into the Aquarian Age. God's manifestation in human body at this present period is very auspicious in these great and most interesting days of rapid change. The concept of God as an Avatar manifesting Himself on earth at any critical period of its history, whenever there is chaos in the world order, is to reestablish the duty of man in relation to His God ― that is, to reinstall the spirit of Love in our hearts — the Christos — the Christ. He is the giver of the Divine Law during the many recurrences of the Divine Phenomenon in the past cycles of the Avatar. His Godhood gives a universal push and of course the result is universal, not only for humanity alone; everything in the whole of creation reaps the benefit of this universal push.
Who is Meher Baba? What does He do?
Meher Baba is the direct descent of God on earth as the Avatar—God incarnate as man — sought by all pursuers of spiritual knowledge. Baba is God — and God is everything. He is the Giver of the Law, as stated in the Sacred Books: "I am the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer." It is His Law that governs this universe and it is guided by His Divine Will. His infinite mercy and unbounded Love eternally nourishes the universe. He sows the seeds of Divine Love in our hearts to bring spiritual awakening. He is the infinite ocean of Love, deeper than the deepest mind, and its shores are shallow enough not to overwhelm the mind of a child.
One may ask "Is humanity ready and willing to listen to Him now?" Of course that depends on individual awareness. Jeremiah, the Prophet of old, told us what God has always said: "You shall seek Me and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your hearts."
Silently, with His great compassion attentive to the suffering humanity, the Avatar suffers for all of us, and He atones for us through His Divine Mercy. Sinners are Baba's liabilities, saints are His assets. The greatest sin is ignorance. To remove this ignorance one must become receptive to the wisdom and love of the Ancient One. The Sufi saints have always said, "True knowledge is but one point, but the ignorant have multiplied it."
Sinners can become saints if they have the courage and sincerity to invite a drastic and complete change of heart. Baba's love for one and all is the same. It is a definite fact that His pleasure is to grace humanity with His Love Divine, to awaken us all and help us to attain the real knowledge and love. Baba says: "God alone is Real, and the goal of life is to be united with Him through Love!"
Baba is silent to our external senses, but the thundering grace of His Divine Love in the hearts of His lovers is soul-stirring, and not mere physical thrills and chills. His message of Love that awakens humanity is full of grace; essentially He will redeem the world to God's real purpose.
I repeat Baba's words: "God alone is Real and the goal of life is to be united with Him through Love!" This must be our utterance on this special and solemn occasion of the 68th anniversary of Avatar Meher Baba's present physical manifestation.
The living Avatar of this age — Meher Baba—tells us that man should have a blending, or a balance, of the head and the heart. That means Divine Wisdom and Love. His presence is to restore harmony and order, bringing the oneness of unity in diversity. Meher Baba says: "I have come not to teach but to awaken." His work is to soften the intent of the ego, which is indeed indispensable.
Our true love and unselfish service for Him by self-induced and self-devised efforts will aid the blending of our hearts and minds that we may dive deep into that Ocean of Love.
Baba's work is to usher in the new Aquarian Age, and the new brotherhood on earth shall be a fulfilled fact, for it is the order of the new dispensation and nations will be united in the fraternity of Love, in Baba's own time.
The edifice we will erect here shall be the Avatar Meher Baba Poona Center. Let us dedicate our loving hearts to true service and make this a dwelling place of the living God. Here we will sing our love and praise to our beloved Meher Baba, Who IS the living Lord of Creation, Father of us all. Baba is all Love, therefore He dwells in our hearts. To love Him is to serve Him. In His service is perfect freedom.
Jesus the Christ said "Where two or three are gathered together, in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."
To suffering humanity Baba says: “Have hope! I have come to help you in surrendering yourselves to the cause of God and in accepting His Grace of Love, and Truth. I have come to help you in winning the one victory of all victories — to win yourself."
Baba loves YOU! May Baba's Love bless us all !
Volume 8 Number 3 Third Quarter 1962
This article is courtesy of Bernard "Buzz" Glasky
The following sequence of images is from the video ; "Meher Baba, The Awakener"
Myrtle Beach sand dunes - Joseph is helping to carry Baba - he's wearing the white hat.
Couresy of "God Alone Is" video.
Joseph & Kari Harb's home
837 Faxon Avenue, San Francisco, California