Starr, The Way of Escape.

Starr, The Way of Escape.

Starr, Meredith. The Way of Escape. First Edition / Original Edition. Cambridge, Published by the National Poetry Circle, [1931]. Small Octavo (12.7 cm x 18.8 cm). 15 pages. Original Softcover, stapled with cover-illustration by Meredith Starr, monogrammed in the plate “M.S. 1931”. The booklet lies loosely inside the original softcover wrappers. The staples a little rusty. Otherwise in excellent condition with only minor signs of external wear. This pamphlet is of extreme scarcity ! The last two pages of the publication are basically an advertising for the retreat center Meredith Starr established in 1931 at East Challacombe, North Devon (a couple of miles from Combe Martin), to where he invited Meher Baba in order to come and meet westerners. In his reface, Starr writes: “The Way of Escape” is a symbolic poem that deicts some of the complexes of modern life, particularly those responsible for the cleavage between thought and reality ! The ways of Escape, the path leading to the North, represents the attainment of synthesis (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual maturity) in a world disintegrated by analysis. Neither realism nor idealism can satisfy the needs of the present age. Both are necessary and both must be integrated in a Higher Consciousness. In this connection the remarks of Jung in “Psychological Types” concerning the symbol will repay serious investigation. A symbol is composed of elements that are both real and unreal, and hence can bridge the gulf between and illusion. In the poem this Higher Consciousness is indicated by the description of Alaska and by the utterances of Christ – not the Christ of dogmatic religion, but the living Christ of universal love and wisdom immanent in every human heart and personified by the great religious teachers of Mankind – Combe Martin, Meredith Starr”.

Roland Meredith Starr (born Herbert Close; 29 December 1890 – 13 December 1971) was a British occultist and poet. He is credited with introducing Meher Baba to the West.
Starr was born in Prestbury House, Hampton, at Richmond in the County of Middlesex, England to well-to-do land owning parents (″landed proprietors”) William Brooks Close and Mary Baker Brooks Close. When Starr was one year old his parents separated and he was raised by his mother. He received his education at Winchester College in Hampshire. Starr was a psychologist, homeopath, occultist and an editorial writer. He was also the principal player in bringing Meher Baba to the West for the first time at the start of the 1930s, although he himself did not remain a follower for very long.
In the early 20th century, Starr wrote for The Occult Review, an illustrated monthly journal containing articles and correspondence by many notable occultists of the day, including Aleister Crowley, Arthur Edward Waite, W. L. Wilmshurst, Franz Hartmann, Florence Farr, and Herbert Stanley Redgrove. He probably changed his name to Meredith Starr when he was twenty in relation to his work as a reviewer and contributor for The Occult Review. He also wrote for Aleister Crowley’s publication The Equinox, publishing Memory of Love (under the name “Herbert Close”), VII, 291 – Vol 7, in 1911.
Meredith Starr met Meher Baba in Toka, India on 30 June 1928. In 1931 Starr established a retreat center at East Challacombe, North Devon (a couple of miles from Combe Martin), where he invited Meher Baba to come and meet westerners. It was at the Devon retreat that many of Meher Baba’s lasting followers from Europe and the United States first met Baba. Meredith was famously lacking in a sense of humor and had a particular sense of how spiritual conduct should be, thus enforcing strong codes of serious contemplative conduct that made even Meher Baba uncomfortable. Yet he is considered to have played a central role in introducing Meher Baba to the western world.
In December 1932, Starr grew irritated with Meher Baba and wrote to him, “Give me either the 400 pounds you owe me or illumination; otherwise, I will leave you and expose you as a fraud!” He then did leave Meher Baba. The money he referred to was money he had spent hosting Meher Baba at his retreat in Devon. Starr disbanded the Devon retreat and sold the property a year and a half later. He later organized ‘nature cure and scientific relaxation’ courses at Frogmore Hall, Herts.
He was married firstly on 1 March 1917 at Paddington Register Office to the Honourable Mary Grey, daughter of the 8th Earl of Stamford, by whom he had two sons. He was divorced by decree nisi 10 April 1930, on his admission of an adulterous relationship of four years’ duration with Margaret Ross of East Challacombe, Combe Martin, Devon. He is buried in the Municipal Cemetery, Kirkley, Suffolk. (Wikipedia)

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Starr, The Way of Escape.
Starr, The Way of Escape.