header pic header text

Biography, Autobiography, Journal and Anecdotes

Part II - Autobiography

Germany, 1921

After the war I made a private tour through Germany, and visited Berlin, Frankfurt, Weimar, Jena and Munich. I made acquaintance with the Herzog von Hessen at Darmstadt, who showed a great interest in the thought and music of India. Graf Keyserling is said to have established some center of thought at Darmstadt. At Jena I was the guest of Herr Dietrich, the publisher, who introduced me to those interested in music, thought and art. I was warmly received as a guest by Frau Förster Nietzsche at Weimar, who really showed a kindred spirit. Many in Germany said, it was a great pity that I had not come before the war. I stayed at the house of Frau Springmann at Hagen and was the guest of Herr Ernest Strauss at Frankfurt. I was glad to find in Berlin my old English mureeds Miss Peak (afterwards Frau Triebel), and Miss Oliver, who kindly helped me there. Also I received Herr und Fräulein Hengstenberg into the Order. In Munich I met various professors, among them Prof. Scherman, by the kindness of my hostess Frau Ares Leverkus, whose daughter Fräulein Latifa Leverkus has been greatly interested in Sufism for some time. I strongly felt the clouds of depression which cover the heart of Germany after the war, the effect of which bore too heavily upon me. This country which I have always known as a land of musicians and philosophers I saw, to my great disappointment, in its very worst condition. I made the acquaintance of Professor Hedemann and met with the great philosopher Professor Eucken at Jena, who found my idea more akin to his nature than that which he understood as being the idea of Tagore. The young people in Germany seem most responsive to any idea tending towards the unfoldment of the soul, but in the generality a pessimistic spirit seems to prevail just now, as the after effect of the war. People in Germany seem not open, though capable of understanding, but veiling their grief from others. I had rather a difficult time on account of my tour not having been arranged properly. However, in that land of most exquisite beauty of nature, there is always genius to be found. A nation so proud, efficient and capable as Germany would blaze up, if once blown by the word of God.

It was a certain professor, who arranged my visit to Germany, who was probably acting as a tool of some party opposed to my Movement, or else was someone who only wanted to take me as a means for his personal propaganda. He wrote a very enthusiastic letter to me after he had arranged the tour with Baron van Tuyll, who had undertaken to arrange a tour for me through Germany. But from his letter I found that no doubt he was not a right thinking man, for he wrote to me how he was trying to guard me against all philosophical or psychological Societies which were not worth bothering about, which I thought very strange. For I believe it is worthwhile bothering about everyone in the world, however undeserving and unevolved the person may be.

On arrival in Germany to my very great distress he had not made any arrangement for my traveling as well as he wrote in his letter, except some certain engagements that he had made for me which also fell off. I found him to he a most nervous man, somewhat abnormal, proud and illmannered, which made my position very difficult in Germany. If it had not been for Professor Scherman, it would have been most difficult for me. He told the false professor to his face of his falsehood, and in this way Baron van Tuyll who accompanied me on this tour was able to get rid of him. But this spoiled my whole tour, for what begins wrongly cannot end rightly.