Master Raoul’s Memories of Murshid—2/23/77
SABIRA: Alright, this is Tues. Feb. 23, and we are interviewing Master Raoul. Why don’t you tell me when you first met Dr. Sam—this is what you called him, right?
RAOUL: Yes, this was the name that we knew him by, and it was kind of funny during this period of time I was studying underneath another teacher who was my initiating master, but the first time that I met Dr. Sam I was walking down the street in rather high spirits through the day and had been busy working all the time, and I heard this very definite voice inside of me—a sound inside, and it, was quite audible, and it was loud, and it said, “Hello Eric” which was my name before I was initiated, and just wondering who had said it, I turned around and looked and there was nobody there, so I walked a little further and again heard this, and it was just as if somebody were standing next to the side of me, and I looked over at a bus stop, and there was this very lovely man sitting with these gleaming eyes and this great big smile on his face, and I knew that he was communicating with me either through a very high form of telepathy which was audible from that distance, but the thing that I remember the most about it was that he had this fantastic grin on his face. The greatest part of it was his grin, it was almost an encompassing grin, and he wasn’t dressed in any formal set of robes or anything of this nature, he just looked like a little Jewish man sitting on a bus bench waiting for a bus.
SABIRA: What year would this have been?
RAOUL: This is probably—the earliest period would be about '64—not having a good knowledge of time I can’t pinpoint these types of things.
SABIRA: How did he know your name?
RAOUL: I have no idea how he knew my name, we had never met prior to this period, and we didn’t meet then. What happened was that I looked across and I gave a nod of recognition and blessing and he gave a nod in recognition and blessing because I could feel his presence within me, and when returning home I met my teacher, and I said that I had had this experience and would he explain it, and he just laughed and didn’t say a world either. And then it was about 3 or 4 weeks later that I finally became formally introduced to Dr. Sam who was this man who was sitting on the park bench of the bus stop bench.
SABIRA: And how were you introduced?
RAOUL: At that period of time I was a very young aspirant and we were rather shelved in the sense of we didn’t get formally introduced—our place was to be quiet and not heard—we were the children.
SABIRA: This was at the Holy Order of Mans?
RAOUL: At the Holy Order of Mans—
RAOUL: So I wasn’t formally introduced to Murshid for 3 or 4 different meetings, and spent a great deal of time at 910—I believe it’s 910 or 801 or something like this—Market St. where we had begun to develop the Science of Man church which the Holy Order of Mans became an offspring of, and Murshid functioned as the spiritual director for our grouping, and was on the Board of Directors.
SABIRA: Then it’s possible that he could have known the aspirant’s names?
RAOUL: No it wasn’t—no, because there would have been no need for someone as new as me to have been mentioned by name to a person who had never seen me, so, this was definitely through his own intuitiveness and sensitivity that he pulled that out. He probably knew when he saw he that he would be working with me, so he communicated his contact with me that way. And of course I always felt a profound love for the man. That’s kind of the first meeting. I can remember many meetings at Market St. with him. For quite some time he taught the esoteric Bible to the students of Master Paul, at six o’clock in the morning down on Market St., and we would have to get up and go down there, and often because of lack of funds we walked from Guerrero St. down.
SABIRA: Can you describe any of those classes?
RAOUL: Not really, because they were so different in a sense. He didn’t teach things as if they were a manifested type of history of the Bible; he taught the esoteric symbols and meanings of many things. To communicate them in the way that he communicated them to me would be an impossibility, so I will not even begin to try. I could again make mention of many of things that I now feel—which of course were the seeds—but as of being able to quote him which I would want to do for this book, I can’t do that because it wouldn’t be quotes—too many years have passed now.
SABIRA: Your feelings would be important, so why don’t you start there then?
RAOUL: Murshid’s form of teaching was more through feeling than through intellect, and he would often make statements that I couldn’t and tried very hard to understand, and the meaning would come to me in feeling rather than in words, in intellect, so it became a very heart-warming thing, and I’m sure that my teacher, noticing the amount of contact and love that I head for Murshid, asked me to study underneath him, so I went and did this, on—what’s the name of that Street off of Market?
RAOUL: Yeah that was the name, Clementina, and I used to walk down there and spent quite a bit of time with him.
SABIRA: You studied the Bible with him there? What did you study?
RAOUL: There I studied life with him, and he would take me around. I was still very young, I was 17 years old, and he would take me around with him through the city. We would go on shoppings and we go from the dented can store to the gourmet store in one single day, and buy just different things, and I would carry his packages, he wasn’t feeling top of the world during that period, and masseurs who would take care of him with spiritual massages because there was something that was not working for him at that period. I never met his students other than one time, and they were all very nice but being underneath a master teacher I didn’t really get into contact with his grouping at that period. I do remember him making mention of one girl—not by name because I don’t know it, otherwise I would give the name—who was seeking entrance, and she was always a rather buxom lady, and she came close to the door of entering into Sufism and seeking initiation, and he told her that he would allow her to come into the Khankah if she gained 25 lbs., and that was his request for her to enter, so you can see that he was able to drop good tests on people. My job consisted of very menial work and cleaning and sweeping, this type of thing, for this man, which his students enjoyed immensely as I was at that time wearing clerics and it was, I am sure, quite assuring to see that there were others that were listening to him because Murshid had been rejected for so long that any person that in this period accepted him, he filled with an undying ability to pump life and love and universality into. His thoughts were never biased, his thoughts were always very strong, very definite statements. I don’t want to say that he was opinionated because I am sure they weren’t opinions, but when he made a statement it was to the point, right to the point. And if it didn’t fit onto your feet then you had to move away, because he didn’t change his mind at all. He was very definite; I remember that about as one of the greatest things about him; he was very definite, and he would say anything to anybody at any time.
SABIRA: Suppose that you had a difference of opinion?
RAOUL: I never did; my position was not to have a difference of opinion but to listen and learn and that was the way that I always approached it. Now I could just discuss with him any problem or confusion that I had and he would immediately have taken care of my confusion, but I really didn’t feel that it was my place to doubt the man, or to doubt what was being said, so I only asked for clarifications.
SABIRA: Did he speak to you about his feelings of rejection, about the frustration of being Sam Lewis?
RAOUL: He did mentioned several times about the rejection, which I could feel from his heart, because he was a man who knew he carried a message of great importance which the world could honestly and definitely listen to. And it being so real, so profound within him, of course he frightened people away constantly, because he couldn’t help but say what he felt and people respond very negatively to this most of the time. So he did from time to time mention rejection of him, but I never rejected him so he kind of gave me extra Darshan all the time. You could get Darshan by helping him cook some of his absolutely wild meals.
SABIRA: Oh well, describe some of those meals. What were some "wild meals?"
RAOUL: I remember having spinach, fresh spinach, with sour cream mixed together and it really wasn’t cooked at all, and it was served so we ate it and it was a bit crunchy. I think he didn’t wash it or something at the time. And this bring back a memory—Murshid would often wear these shirts with one collar underneath—part of his collar up—and sometimes he wouldn’t shave, and sometimes he would look a bit scrubby—not dirty but scrubby, you know, it just wasn’t together—his clothes weren’t together, at least in appearance. And one time I went up to him, just in my feeling for him, and I reached to his collar, and I pulled it out, and he said, "Don’t do that, I want them to look through the effects!"
SABIRA: Isn’t that interesting.
RAOUL: So even his dress, the totality of his life was a teaching, he was the embodiment of teaching. He was a master of a fine degree.
SABIRA: Do you think people were able to look through the effects? I see that you were, but in your opinion, were most people able to?
RAOUL: I didn’t look through the effects—I was captivated by the love. He ignited me with flames every time I saw him, and I had flashes and I had everything in the world going on from the first day that we met. Even through the telepathy the flashes and the love were there, so the outer appearance meant nothing. I loved him, I wouldn’t care what he was wearing, so I think that to anyone that he accepted in that same frame of acceptance, yes, I think that they all looked through and saw the beauty of the man, and anyone who didn’t look through it, I am quite sure that he didn’t feel was evolved enough to make the contact with. Although the frustrations of his life and his teachings must have welled up in him so greatly that sometimes he would wish that he could just contact them all, but I think the man was more than aware of the fact that he carried something that even today is unfolding. It is not an end; Murshid is not ended, he is continuous; we are his extensions. So while we are, he is! And he is still about this work, yes.
SABIRA: His presence is very much alive, I should say. There were a lot of people though who felt that this thing of dress, they would say—
RAOUL: I loved it, I absolutely loved it because from that moment of touching his collar I knew what he was doing and it was kind of our secret. So I really enjoyed him and I was able to watch that little bit of teaching to me or showing me that he was fully aware of this, so then I could watch the reactions of other people to him from the sidelines without being under fire myself, and really get an excellent view as to where they were coming from, and how sincerely they were looking, and still go along with whatever game was being played, if they were a game player—because he would go along with many games if he thought a person would evolve out of it, and many of them did, many of them did.
SABIRA: Do you think though, that the dress might also have been a rebellion against—I remember at the Academy of Asian Studies—we’ve been told that he wouldn’t conform in his dress and so the teachers who were very straight-laced apparently wouldn’t accept him, and I just wonder if you feel that that might have been a rebellion—
RAOUL: I don’t think the man was capable of rebellion as rebellion; I think he was capable of total teaching, and he reflected to everybody—of course if you have a superior, you certainly cannot speak to that superior and put him down. He would no longer be a superior, but you can, through your own life style manifest a teaching that he needs or she needs to learn, and I am sure that he used his dress because sometimes it was quite unusual that he could teach through his clothes, in a sense, and protect himself from false students or students who were singing the song but not doing the dance.
SABIRA: Very interesting way of putting it. What was the apartment like?
RAOUL: It was very modestly furnished and of course, I’m sure most people who have met Murshid know that he came from considerable amounts of money.
SABIRA: Oh yes.
RAOUL: And he was not at all lacking for financial sustenance. It was sufficient in every way, it was comfortable and a home, but at the same time there was no extravagance whatsoever in any part of it. It was totally sufficient and comfortable, and other than that there was no need for it. I cleaned it many a times.
SABIRA: Was it messy?
RAOUL: No, I was the one that was supposed to clean it up so I didn’t look at the mess, I looked at my job that needed to be done—no, never really terribly messy—sometimes things would be too large for a room, he certainly wasn’t an interior decorator, but at the same time I don’t think that he thought that these things were important, that as long as the chair was there for him to sit in, that was good enough.
SABIRA: Did Mr. Hunt live there at that time?
RAOUL: I don’t know who else lived with him. I spent my mornings and occasionally afternoons when he needed me with him. He would call in, as I said about this period of time, I did a lot of shopping and these kinds of menial work for him. I did his laundry all the time, and really loved being in his house—just the blessing of being in the teacher’s presence was enough assimilation of his own consciousness. I really feel as if though I am a product of two master teachers, one being Master Paul, and the other one Master Samuel Lewis. We called Samuel Lewis by many different names: we called him Murshid, Dr. Sam, Master Sam—all meaning the same thing, so many times people have felt that Dr. Sam was not a recognition of the being when it most certainly was—Dr. was the same level as a Master. So those people who have met him through the Holy Order of Mans are not making a distinction by saying this, they are probably more ignorant of the terminologies used by the Sufi.
SABIRA: You mentioned the other day to me that he bought the dented cans perhaps because he was always trying to save money, do you have any other stories of money and your feelings about how he reacted to it—we also know that it was either feast or famine for Murshid, he did not at that time have very much money because his parents had—were not giving him any and he was hoping to get an inheritance, so what more do you have to say on it?
RAOUL: If he ever needed money it would have fallen out of heaven, I am quite sure of that, because the man was never penniless the entire time that I met him, and if he saw a need, a personal need that I had—and of course the school that I was in was disciplined, we did not have money either—of course the students never had a penny, and he would sense sometimes a need that I had, and of course we did not make requests. This was not done; personal requests were thinking of your own self and this was part of our dharma—self-sacrifice, so I wouldn’t make a request for it, and he would invariably come up with either the book I was looking to buy or study, or at one time there was a Bible which I do no longer have—I have no possessions that the man has given me in the past. But many years have passed since our meetings, and he would occasionally come up with a couple of dollars if he knew that I was going to have to be walking home and it was really late, so he always took care of the needs of the people and I don’t think that money was terribly important to him. It was his life, his mission, and I wasn’t quite sure if he was aware of where all this tremendous energy was to be channeled in this period, although you could see that he was beginning to become aware of a mission at this time, and I don’t know when he chose to work with the younger people but he did—I remember him saying one time that he had made a decision to be the guru of the Sufis—to be the guru of the hippies.
SABIRA: That must have been around 1966 after he had been in the hospital?
RAOUL: Yes. Yes.
SABIRA: Let’s go back to some of the times at the Holy Order of Mans that you remember.
RAOUL: Alright, he was quite close with the master teacher of the order that I come from, and was often present privately with the teacher, and I would get glimpses and always a greeting of fantastic love, and I remember him one time—there was a meeting of all of the various different teachers in the Order, and they had all been called to the Order house, and of course I was still very young and a budding student type of thing, and they were all sitting around in a room, and they were going to have some kind of meeting and I wanted in on that meeting so bad, because here are all of these great people that I had a tremendous respect for, so I was kind of sitting in the corner kind of looking like I wasn’t in the room and getting as far away from the vision of my teacher as possible, because I was quite sure that he would have directed me to leave, and Murshid came through the door, and everybody was sitting and was quiet, and the room was extremely peaceful, and he stood at the middle of the door and threw his hands wide open and ran across the room to me, and he said, ”These people I respect, but you I love.” And he looked around at all of the teachers to see if anybody was going to ask me to leave and kind of got me permission to stay in the room at that time.
SABIRA: That’s a wonderful story.
RAOUL: That’s that one of my the cute little remembrances that I have of him and he sort of took care of me—there was an immediate bond that has never been broken, and still is maintained from the astral. Let’s see, some further things—there’s so many, they are kind of hard to remember—I remember one time—in this earlier period of the '60’s there were many little groups crowing up, and the government was very interested in what they were doing; there were quite a few sharks that were swimming in the spiritual waters, and—
SABIRA: There still are—
RAOUL: Yes, and who took their percentage of people with them, and this one time a CIA man had been sent to check out the activities of the Order, which wasn’t rare—we were accustomed to having our phones taped, and we knew when they were tapped and when they weren’t. We would say, “Hello, how are you today?” because our business was not private. All of our esoteric meetings, one could sue for the copies of them, and they could have them. Of course they couldn’t be present in the meetings, because only initiates were present in these times of decision, and this one rather lovely person popped through the door as a devotee in an early period, and I was standing by both Murshid and Master Paul when he sought entrance into it, and they said, “Yes,” he could come in, and that he should go in the chapel and pray, and as soon as he walked out of the door into the chapel, they both had these tremendous grins on their faces—both of these teachers were capable of grinning like you wouldn’t believe—and this total awareness, and they kind of always looked like their spiritual life was not a dominant, restrictive discipline type of thing, there was a joy in them that just expressed out, and you could see them kind of like little kids looking at each other and smiling this awareness smile, so Murshid said that “This man is from the CIA," and that "he has come to check out the financial structure of the Order,” and so both laughing at the same time as speaking, Master Paul said, “In that case we should make him the accountant!” So the man worked as an accountant in the Order, and checking all of the Order’s financial books and things of this nature, and the man began to react after a period of time, because you could see that this energy that he was around—and they treated him exactly like a student—and of course the man had fantastic disciplines to start off with, and did all of the practices that he was given, and towards the end when he had had all the information that he needed, and it was time for him to be leaving—they had checked out the Order and what was happening, you could see that he really did not want to leave, and I do remember one time when they were together, and I was in the room they had, It was kind of up in air whether the man was going to go back or not, and they said , “Wouldn’t that be amazing if he did in fact stay as a student?” And so anyway, he did up and leave, but before he left he was compelled—probably due to their love and acceptance of him—to kind of tell them what he was there for, so that, I am sure he wouldn’t have hurt them through leaving, and he did not wish to harm these two people, and you could sense this in him, and so he was sitting down by the books one day and they were sitting in the office and I was, of course there, because whenever they got together I tried my best to get around them—always, and so what they said—he had mentioned the fact that he was working with the government—he called it the government—he didn’t specify what branch of government and that—in fact, I’ll have to change that, it wasn’t CIA, it was FBI, that was a mistake on my part. So he told them this and they were both sitting back and laughing again—they had lots of laughs the two of them together—Murshid said, “We knew that from the second that you walked through the door,” and he was rather surprised with this—with his feelings and the profoundness of this meeting, with these two masters. I think it was a bit much for him to take if they were that aware of what was happening, so he said to Murshid, that he couldn’t accept that, and Murshid got a little bit up in air, he was again very strong and wasn’t willing to hold back, so he sat there and very gruffly kind of changed his projection and said to them, “In that case, why don’t you ask me any question that you wish to and I will give you an answer,” so the man asked him something about Vietnam, and I won’t go into the specifics of it because I don’t think that would be right and Murshid answered it perfectly and the man sat there with kind of his mouth open over the whole thing and excused himself and said that you really didn’t need to go any further, and that was our meeting with the government official with Murshid.
SABIRA: Were you around when the Holy Order of Mans got started?
RAOUL: I was there—
SABIRA: And was Murshid there too?
RAOUL: I was there prior to the Holy Order of Mans when they were establishing the Science of Man church, and Murshid was also there.
SABIRA: Can you describe how some of how that worked/happened?
RAOUL: I really cannot tell how the two teachers came together, because I don’t know; I don’t know their first meetings. I do know that Master Paul totally and completely accepted Murshid, as I saw no above or below on a level of total equality and listened very definitely to what the man had to say and I’m sure that they both gave guidance one to the other when the other needed it, so it was good to have someone around to reflect off of, especially on that particular level. So I can’t really go into it—he came to many board meetings and worked very hard in many ways. His contacts with other people were one of the greatest gifts he brought, because he knew so many people and had so many contacts through, of course, his own personal workings.
SABIRA: So they started the Holy Order of Mans together, is that a fair statement?
RAOUL: I couldn’t really say that it was together because the Holy Order of Mans is now a totally separate group. They may have worked very hard in establishing the Science of Man church, which were the roots of the Holy Order of Mans, but it was a projection almost strictly of my teacher. I do think that Sam added an amount of universality to the teachings, an amount of heart to the teachings, and was very, very beneficial in drawing the energies necessary to develop a school of this nature, but I would say that as it developed it became totally and completely a projection of Master Paul. As Murshid became more and more dedicated and engulfed in his own children, there was a very definite separation there—there had to be. So I really would be making a mis-statement, although I am quite sure that they did, as I am sure that any school of consciousness is developed by all of them together—it’s not just a single thing.
SABIRA: Of course Murshid would send his disciples to the Holy Order of Mans.
RAOUL: Yes, in fact there were—
SABIRA: David Hoffmaster anyway—
RAOUL: Yes, I remember when he did send David, because he felt that through the Christian pathway, in this particular form that David could reach a much better acceptance of his Dharma and he did quite nicely for a long period of time, and then of course Master Paul sent me as a directive to do this type of work with Murshid which was valeting for him. There was a great interchange between these two people; I’m sure that there was a great respect one for the other and acceptance of what they were doing. I really feel that Murshid added a lot to the Order in that period, its universality, its liberality. Murshid was a very liberal yet a very staunch conservative. He went from top to bottom; he could be totally liberal one moment and completely conservative the next, so you really never knew where you stood with the man, so I never tried to find out. I just kind of went along with the way that he was teaching me.
SABIRA: When you say liberal and conservative, what do you mean, what kind of stories come to mind when you say that?
RAOUL: He could change his whole mental structure instantly. He could be laughing one second, and be completely in control in another second. I remember one time I was taken out to dinner with him, and my intuitiveness told me something was up, and I have learned that the best way to get through the water was to create the least ripples, and I was with another student whose name has left me, but we went out to dinner and he took us to this Eastern restaurant which has now been ripped down, but it was really quite a nice restaurant, and I was sitting there in my clerics, and he has his student and himself, and he asked me to order. I could just again feel that something was up, so I said, “No, that’s fine, I’ll have whatever you’re going to have this evening,” which was kind of dodging out from whatever he was going to do, because I had learned to do that—so rather than ordering it himself he turns to his student and he said, “You order what you want,” and so his student did. He ordered all of the prescribed things which were supposed to be eaten by a person of consciousness at that period of the time There was a great deal of macrobiotics running around, and coffee and all those things were just not done; of course meat was a sin that was intolerable. So after this student had ordered everything that was acceptable according to the codes, Murshid ordered a steak, a cigar which I had never seen him smoke prior to, and coffee and just ate this great big feast of flesh, and of course I just ordered right along with Murshid, and he turned to his student with severity, but with great love at the same time—the love holding the student close to him while he took out the "Zen stick" and beat him so that it wouldn’t be…. I’m sure that this is what he did because I could feel almost this magnetic power towards Murshid being pulled into him, and his student, still aghast at what was taking place, he said to him, “You’ll never get into heaven, you’re too hung up in the effects.” And that little meal with him comes back in my mind, and I have used that exact experience when explaining to a person who gets just a little bit out in macrobiotics and begins to lose control with the physical realm.
SABIRA: Murshid would use these tests in everyday life; this was how he taught. We have this wonderful story from Shahabuddin who is a Sheikh in N.Y.—the way he met Murshid was Murshid asked him for some string and Shahabuddin went in and got some string from a mop and Murshid knots up the string and puts it behind his back, and the cats followed him, and after that happens for awhile, then he said to Shahabuddin, “Now that I’ve made their acquaintance, I’ll make yours.”
RAOUL: Really! I wish I could remember more, but it has been about eight years now since close contact with him, other than last year in, which I had a very close contact with him again—and very real.
SABIRA: How did that come about?
RAOUL: I was in Hawaii working very diligently on a book and going through some profound changes in myself, and developing a true universal projection of consciousness rather than having it be slanted any one way, and I was going through a period of dark confusion, not being able to reach this point of communication, and in a meditation or something—I really can’t specify, it really just happened—we were kind of looking at each other from a distance, and a great, tremendous amount of love was flowing between us, and it wasn’t on the physical realm, it was on the astral—and we both simultaneously, almost like a dance knelt down while facing one another—and again just this magnetic love, beauty, that was coming across, and we both did the full kneeling of prostration to the East, and while we were coming down—and it was all simultaneous—as we came down and knelt completely to the floor with each other, our crown chakras touched, and I went around for three days in the finest union I have had in quite some also time, and then everything broke—the projection of the book and also my desire to function with the Sufis had been supplanted to the point where I had no doubt that this would take place.
SABIRA: This was Murshid that was the other person in the vision?
RAOUL: Yes, in the vision, and he has in many times come in presence—all of a sudden it was Murshid who was here, not a visual experience, this was by no means an hallucinogenic type of thing; this took place just as soon as we’re sitting here and we’re speaking on different levels, and I’m sure the man has been very instrumental in much of my own growth and communication and Dharma.
SABIRA: So the last time you saw him physically was in 1968 or?
RAOUL: The last time that I saw Murshid was in the Chinese hospital—
SABIRA: Just before he died, you mean?
RAOUL: No, it was the first time when he had had some kind of poisoning—somebody had gotten him poisoned-
SABIRA: Right, it was either poisoning or a heart attack at that time—
RAOUL: Right, I was with the Holy Order of Mans and we all went there en masse, the teachers—and I do mean en masse, and in that order I would say a good percentage of the teachers piled in the cars and we went down and performed a healing on him, and this was Master Paul and several of the other existing masters at that time, and so this shows you the constant link between the two schools. It was almost inseparable, although Murshid being the Sufi was there and he wasn’t there—he has always been very elusive, but it just shows the tremendous respect that the Holy Order of Mans had for this man at that period of time, that their highest of highs came, which was a very small body compared with the total mass of the school, and many people had a great love.
I remember also another experience—there was a group meeting where the author of “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones," Paul Reps, gave a lecture down at our church, and Murshid was there and was kind of overseeing the whole activity. He had kind of developed this, which I’m sure was to give us an appreciation of what was taking place in Zen, which we were rather ignorant of, and he was always interjecting new thoughts in this way, and there was this young man who came through the door, and this was in quite a large crowd of people that had come to hear Paul Reps. There was this young man that came through the door that was about four feet off the floor—he had evidently dropped some very heavy hallucinogenic drug, and was having a very hard time keeping himself on the ground—and Murshid came out and sat on the front of the stage, and this boy stood up and yelled at him, “I came here to teach you!” And everybody was quiet at that period so it could be heard very easily, and Murshid turned around with a lightening blast of words and they were, “What man hasn’t? Please take your seat.” And the boy responded—you could feel the energy of this statement—that’s why I said "lightening blast," because it just shattered through and totally reached the person; he lost his high immediately and took his seat—I loved that one because the complete reaction of the psychedelic was nullified, just completely taken out—of course I’m sure that he did not—it was a bit -touchy anyway between the Christians and the Zen people because their projection is so vastly different—-not that their end is, but their projection is, and I am sure that he wanted this meeting to be very fluid and flowing, and he didn’t want any real problems to occur—so did end this.
This is not for the tape, but may be used at another time—I was sitting next to him when Paul Reps gave the lecture. This is slightly derogatory, so I don’t want it used, but it may be a help for somebody. Paul Reps was kind of coming down on the priests in the Order with his nebulous Zen philosophy, where of course they were built on something totally other, and there was a great lack of respect for at least the attempts of the students to reach their awareness, their consciousness, and Paul would continuously say, “Ask the man within,” whenever a priest would ask him a question. When anybody else asked him a question he would go and answer it, but as soon as a cleric would raise his hand, he would let him ask the whole question, and his only reply to him would be, “In that case, ask the inner-self, or ask the inner man,” so these were rather my young ones at this period of time and so I got to feeling very much like Abba, and hopped to it for my kids because they were becoming confused. I couldn’t have seen it used if it was constructive, and I raised my hand and asked him a question knowing what he would say, which was, “Ask the inner man,” and Murshid was sitting right next to me, and so as soon as he stated that to me, I stated back to him, “Then would you, my inner-man, answer the question.” I remember getting a kick underneath—underneath the chair and it hurt! It was right in my ankle, it hit the bone perfectly. And Murshid is sitting there without any expression on his face and he says, “You’re learning, aren’t you?” Or something to that effect.
SABIRA: So what did Paul do?
RAOUL: Paul immediately ended the debate when I made that statement to him, because I was manifesting what he was trying to bring across which was the zazen principle of all oneness. You see, only you have the inner man, which everything is, of course. So he had seen that it had gotten out of hand with the lecture and ended the lecture, which was very good. It was wonderful for him to have come. Let’s see, where else can we go?
SABIRA: One question about the hospital—what year would that have been when he had the food poisoning? It was before 1968?
RAOUL: I cannot give times on these things—
SABIRA: If you started seeing Murshid in 1964, then how many years did you function, or learn, or study with him about?
RAOUL: We taught how not to hold on to time, so this came in the period when this was being very heavily used, and it went into the pile of experiences—because we worked six solid days a week, 19 hours a day—if you immensely held onto what you did yesterday you would mentally become so exhausted that you couldn’t go an further, so we were taught how to completely let go of this in time sequences, and just to pile that—that was an experience on that shelf and had nothing to do with time or space.
SABIRA: So what I am getting at is that after you saw him in the hospital then you didn’t see him alive again? You were then sent to another city?
RAOUL: Yes, I left on a sabbatical leave. And I was planning on coming back and seeing him, and I was traveling, and he died just three months before I had come back. There was no communication with me and I didn’t even know that he was ill, otherwise I would have been at his feet.
RAOUL:—speaking with Murshid about his activities, and he had spoken about many plans that he had sent to the Israeli countries as to how to make the desert bloom, and how they had been continuously rejected in no words for all of his work had been sent to him, and then we changed and we spoke about a period when he was studying in Lahore, and he said that both the Pakistanis and the Indians had come to him—they were preparing for a war and they both made requests of him to pray that they win the war because it was going to be between Pakistan and—I think it was going to be Kashmir or something like that was going to be taking over, and he very respectively declined praying for either side, and both sides were quite outraged at the fact he had rejected praying for them. I am sure that being a Sufi he was supposed to pray for them, because they were right, but his reply to them was that he could not pray for them to win the war because whoever won the war would get the famine! And sure enough, India had won the war and India got the famine! So that was kind of an interesting thing there.
SABIRA: We’re getting stories now—alright—
RAOUL: I was invited to Murshid’s birthday party out at the Khankah in the country, and I went out in clerics and the whole thing, and was watching what Murshid was doing, and it was very funny because everybody seemed to have gotten him a shirt, I guess looking at his clothes they all figured, "We’ll make him look like a Sufi, he’ll be together,” and so they gave him these presents, and I was there while he opened up his presents, and they were all shirts, many different colored shirts, Sufi shirts, so he preceded to put them on one after the other until he was wearing about 14 shirts, and all day long, and he wore 14 shirts. And I’m sure that everyone thought that he would have at least one nice shirt, to wear.
SABIRA: Did he have a beard by that time?
RAOUL: Yes, he had just started growing his beard, and I do remember one thing that he said about his beard, because I knew him when he didn’t have it, and one day he turned to Master Paul and he said ,”If that’s the only way they can accept me, I’ll grow a beard.”
SABIRA: So you see by that time he was willing to put on to wear a beard and a robe, and to put on the trappings of whatever it is one thinks a spiritual teacher should be.
SABIRA: So he did change.
RAOUL: Right, he did change, and I think that that came along with his absolute knowledge of his mission.
SABIRA: Now that is an interesting point; what changes do you remember in Murshid through the years that you knew him?
RAOUL: Murshid would have spaces of time in his life, sometimes only weeks sometimes a little longer when the man would be so totally unaware of the physical realm of existence, and you had to literally protect him. I rather felt that I was a protector at different periods of stopping him from walking out in the street, and making sure that he ate, and that he had his food, and little things of this nature, but I would feel sometimes as a protector of him. Of course that gave me a great sense of worth, to be participating that intimately in his life. That I could actually be trusted with protection, of a great being.
SABIRA: Were you aware that he was functioning on other planes in his existence most of the time?
RAOUL: Oh yes—I had no doubt at all, because I had been gifted very luckily by Allah with almost perfect spiritual sight, and I could see when his auras would change and when he was doing different things, and occasionally he would project out of his body and I would watch him do this, and of course I have never spoken about these things while they are taking peace because if he wanted the student to have seen it, I’m sure that the student would have seen it. I remember one time we prayed for rain in San Francisco together and a vortex went out of his crown into the clouds, and he just rose into the sky, and about six minutes later there was a clap of thunder and a great deal of rain, so the man was very capable of doing whatever needed to be done.
SABIRA: We have a story that may be very similar, in which he had become very angry at a given point, and within a few minutes, a perfectly blue sky had turned into a pouring rain—it wasn’t even the rainy season.
RAOUL: Yes, his contact and his control definitely would affect whatever he wished it to.
SABIRA: Did you ever see him control the weather or anything else of that nature?
RAOUL: That day—and I have seen him control masses of people.
SABIRA: How would that be?
RAOUL: Just through the magnetism of holding them together, just becoming so intense in his own magnetism that the people had to forget their differences because he became the one point that they all were interested in—the one point that they were communicating about or through. And he used to give classes also at 20 Steiner, and a remember one day we had been sitting and he said, “If you ever wish to know the highness of a person’s consciousness and their closeness to God, look for their joy, because you cannot be sorrowful and be close to God.” And I use this as a real rule of thumb if I feel that somebody is kind of getting out of whack or something, and you can tell by their depression that they are moving away from God. This is the time to pray, to work for that person to add that energy; and to participate in that person’s life spiritually—never visibly—he taught me to do many things invisibly, to teach through different actions.
SABIRA: For instance?
RAOUL: The clothing for one, which is an excellent way of doing it; through little koans that you can drop on a student, that might be exactly what that person needs, or to start a conversation about something that appears that you are totally interested in when it may be the very answer that that person is looking for his own problem. He also taught me how to be totally impersonal when a teacher was using me as an object of error for other people—even when I knew that I was not in error, I realized that what was being done was a student that was not capable of a direct onslaught of energy and change of consciousness would get a reflective view of his need through having me as the object, because he is certainly going to agree if he is not wrong—where he might rebel too much or be too damaged if it were directed directly at him. And this was often done by Master Paul, using me as his mirror, and afterwards he would wink or give me some kind of recognition that the work had been done. So this was often done—being a rebel as I am, there was plenty of ground for it—continuously.
SABIRA: So you learned the same time that somebody else was learning?
RAOUL: Yes, yes.
SABIRA: Did Murshid share his poetry with you?
RAOUL: No, he never did, ours was a particular meeting that had little to do with teaching and more with life styles, he taught me to live in a sense. Many people have taught me consciousness, but he taught me how to live, how to appreciate, how to enjoy, and his exercises, the exercises that he has given to me have been very, very minor, of no great importance in the sense of exercises. To me they were more valuable than the most hidden chant or the most dear sayings, because the simplicity of our contact—he was and he wasn’t—he didn’t need to be and so he had to be. He didn’t have to be great in the eyes of people which proved his greatness to me—a man that didn’t have to be was great, and the humility of the man was—there was a constant humility, although there was a great deal of fire, and he could have righteous indignation, it would sIf somebody was really off that much—and he could let go and let them have it.
SABIRA: That was his Fudo nature we call it—did he ever blast you in that way?
RAOUL: Never one time. We never had cross words in any way, shape or form . Our union is one of love, a total love union, not that correction cannot be love, but it was never a power thing. I so totally accepted him, and loved him, that there was never a need for this because a word could be sufficient to devastate me in my heart. It could just shatter me if I got off and he mentioned the fact that I was off, I felt so bad , being off around him, to have shown him my weakness. He knew that just a word was sufficient.
SABIRA: You know Murshid was a healer too, and there may be something in the fact that at this point in your life you’re needing a type of healing, it may be one of the reasons why you are here.
RAOUL: Oh, I’m sure, I’m very sure of that.
SABIRA: He was a very great healer.
RAOUL: Very instrumental in healing my consciousness—I was not always pleased with my teacher and what he was saying. And there were different times when I absolutely knew in my soul that he wasn’t correct and then I felt sometimes betrayal in the sense that I went along with this, but why did I go along with this? Did I go along with it because he was my teacher—was I that much in need? And I asked Murshid one time if I could become his student, and he told me that it was not the time.
SABIRA: His disciple, you mean?
RAOUL: Yes, his disciple. He told me that it was not his time, that I was to be studying with the teacher that I was with—not in a negative form at all—there was no rejection there; there never has been rejection between Murshid and myself; there is again just being that love, and he supported Master Paul in his actions, he supported the man, but of course Master Paul supported him also. There was a great deal of support there in the early days, and in the early days Murshid changed many times visibly to me as he—
RAOUL: This is what I asked you before—in what ways did he—
RAOUL: At one time he was very free, with no connections, no obligations, no restrictions, and then he voluntarily took on restrictions for students to communicate whatever his message was to be to them, and then he developed the organizational aspect of his teachings, because I’m sure he saw that the time had come for this to be brought to the Western world. One time he told me that he had gone to the East and he was looking for a Sheikh, and that he was the head of one of the societies there, and that he got into a cab and said, “Oh, I am looking for such and such a person,” and the cabdriver turned around and said, “Hi, here I am.” And things of this nature, but his changes were very gradual and you could see that they were accepted. I think that through the restrictions that he grounded himself much more for his children.
SABIRA: When you say restrictions, you mean his own self-discipline.
RAOUL: Yes. No, he was without limitations, and took on limitations through robes and the beard and these were the things that people decided were necessary and not him because he would look at them and laugh.
SABIRA: Yes, because it was one of his disciples that said, ”Murshid, why don’t you grow a beard?” And then like you said, the shirts, and then the robes, and so he gradually did do that.
RAOUL: I must admit that I did like him better dressed like that, but anyway that he wanted to dress was fine by me.
SABIRA: We have one story which may or may not be true that he had to command his beard to grow. Do you remember anything about that?
RAOUL: Yes, and believe me, I remember there was a period of time when it was very, very short and scraggly and in a week’s period of time–this is surprising that you’d mention this—all of a sudden it was a full-on beard and it was white; it was beautiful, almost like a cosmetic thing had been done to it, and it just sprang out, that was it.
SABIRA: He was just concentration—
SABIRA: He must have really said, “Grow” and the damn thing grew.
RAOUL: I remember that he did state one thing to me—my spiritual sight had opened and I was seeing the world very wrongly in the sense that I was seeing what was wrong with the world, what was wrong with the person, and not getting into condemnation, I could just see it, there it was, it was visible, and it was like the world was mine and what it was I saw it as—I didn’t see it as it projected itself—that where that person was at—and I remember speaking to him about this and he said that he also had had this experience in his time and it became so unbearable that he prayed to God for it to be taken away—and it was taken away—because he was just incapable of seeing the sorrow—seeing what was wrong, and he prayed for that sight to be taken away from him, and it was taken away. So the compassion in the person must have been phenomenal, to have been able to see that—because I understood totally what he was stating, because it was a very traumatic period in my life, also because you could just see everything that was wrong. And so I remember him stating this, so that might be a compassion type of thing.
SABIRA: It's interesting, with his disciples he recognized the things that were not correct or right, or that were wrong with the person, but he always dealt—and Wali Ali does the same thing—dealt with the positive aspects of that person.
RAOUL: Yes, yes—
SABIRA: And just ignored the rest.
SABIRA: And they would find out.
RAOUL: I do remember one thing—we had opened up a coffee shop on Haight St., it was called Brother Juniper’s,
SABIRA: Oh I’ve heard of that.
RAOUL: And there was one day that there was a young man in there that was having some very heavy psychic problems—real interference was taking place with him, and he was being very close to violence, pushing chairs around and tables, but not quite striking another human being as of yet, and Murshid came in the door and of course this man had gotten the whole psyche of this place really whipped up where there was tremendous paranoia and this kind of thing, and Sam came in there and put his hand on his shoulder and the whole place cleaned out, just completely cleaned out, and the boy just turned around and hugged Murshid and thanked him, so I do remember that was in a sense a really beautiful healing. That was spontaneous, he just touched him—it was a gift, there was no request for healing at all; it was just that he gave the healing and quieted the coffee shop down, and the coffee shop just went into a real hum—a very melodious type of hum.
SABIRA: Yeah, we have another story of a man who had a problem with his back and Murshid did a thing of putting his foot on the place that was hurting and this young man says that it was like a vacuum cleaner, the pain simply went shupppp it went up and was gone! He had this power, for sure.
RAOUL: Yes. So I think that that is it. If I remember anymore I will write them down and clip them, and many have come through just thinking about this again.
SABIRA: If you could sum up Murshid, how would you do that?
RAOUL: Sum up Murshid?
RAOUL: Ha, ha, ha—that in itself would take a lifetime—I feel that he was one of the greatest teachers of the sixties, and that he was one who was sent here to initiate the Aquarian Age and bring about the change. I feel that he is in this time doing much work with the Earth plane, and is particularly in strong contact with the Khankahs here—a particularly strong period is coming up for the Sufi in this area, and there is a very heavy energy—I know without the shadow of a doubt—I have been told to come here, and there is a big energy upswing going to take place, and I think numbers of people, numbers and numbers of people are going to become gravitated to the organization, and oops, I am going into prophecy—
SABIRA: That’s alright—
RAOUL: Murshid, how could I sum him up? I would have loved to have touched his toes, and if that means something to somebody, then means something to somebody. Murshid? I loved him and he loved me.
SABIRA: Thank you very much. Oh, we have one more story!
RAOUL: Murshid was teaching at 20 Steiner Street in the Holy Order of Mans a course—I forget what the course was on exactly, there were so many that I have forgot—but the Order was taking this and there was a Satanist who came to the grouping and sat there and of course didn’t let us know in the way that he thought—that he was a Satanist—and he waited until the class was over, and he stood up and he said that he was a Satanist, and I remember Murshid sitting behind the chair and just echoing out a laughter that was so beautiful and joyful, and still accepting the man totally for his statement, and you could see that Murshid could see the whole confusion of the being, and the laugh that that he sent out touched his students, and all of his students laughed. We just sat there and rolled on the floor for about five or six minutes.
SABIRA: What did the Satanist do?
RAOUL: He just couldn’t handle it, he got up and ran out of the door. He just could not believe that there was no paranoia in the grouping at all, and that we were just laughing our heads off, and that nobody had tried to convert him. To us it was amusing, it was very amusing—there was no fear, and I am sure that Murshid brought this to each of his students, projected it to them through his laughter, because his laughter was not at all a putdown of the person, but just, “What a folly,” what a folly this man was, rather than coming down or trying to embarrass the man, and the man just ran right out of the door.
SABIRA: Something to end with—
RAOUL: With the revelation that came to me in Hawaii where Murshid and I knelt in prostration one to the other, I really had a tremendous sense that my mission now had gone through a complete phase and that I was entering into a new one, and that was a mission to understand and to manifest the saint aspect of the teachings, where I had previously been taught from him by life structure, by the way that he lived, and then again the humility of one as great as he to kneel down in prostration one to each other which is a total giving, and also a teaching—and now I feel that this is why I am supposed to be with the Sufis at this time. I can’t really explain how exquisite the feeling was other than that all of the students that I had in Hawaii and that came in contact with me—just, their whole bodies changed, their whole faces changed right in front of me, and everybody was profoundly touched by him. And as I am speaking, I am remembering that one of my students came up to me and told me that he had had a contact with Murshid in a dream that he didn’t remember very well but that Murshid would be teaching him in the astral and he told me to do what Murshid had shown me—and now this man did not know that I had had a meeting with Murshid prior to his speaking to me that I had had a revelation from Murshid, so I took this as an immediate acceptance. It was proving itself; the revelation proved itself and of course it has taken me a year to really get an idea of what was shown to me in that revelation, but it is one of totality, one of total service, and I am sure that with Murshid’s guidance and blessing that it will come about as he wishes to bring something—I know he is bringing something!