This play was performed in front of Meher Baba in 1956 in Beacon Hill. Francis played the role of the seeker, fittingly enough since the play was about his own seeking. Baba showed delight and made the comment ‘I am pleased with the play. It is hard to understand. I have written it and played it. When you understand, it will be clear, because the shadow is at times like the object; sometimes more, sometimes less.‘ (Practical Spirituality, 33). Baba asked for the play to be published and distributed in other countries as well as Australia.

The Quest was published in Australia in 1958 by Beacon Hill Press and in 1958 it was republished with other verse plays in Singing Threshold.

The Play

The Seeker goes from static joy in the beauty of inwardness to a restless searching to fulfil the will of God, which he intuits is to find Baba as the new divine dynamic in the world. The Seeker must pursue the quest for the goal that has driven him through long evolution.

The play has a muted and sympathetic chorus , rather like Greek drama or Japanese Noh plays. He also meets a series of people who try to dissuade him from the true quest until he meets one who has met Baba (on the Andhra tour as did Francis). In some ways it is reminiscent of medieval Morality plays. He seeks sustained by Baba’s name but it is not until he feels the despair of hopelessness that Baba appears to him at the end of the play.

The play is full of the intensity of bhaktic longing.

At this stage Francis is not able to write verse which always has the power to sustain his exalted sentiments, but the play still has the sincerity of genuine faith, and one can easily believe his Master Baba was working through him in its writing.


[Author: Geoff Gunther]