January 4, 1967
My dear Shamcher:
One is sending both you and Pir Zade copy of a letter to India. The New Year changes my work over into Direct Vision—Kashf and Shahud. One is not the least concerned about worldly actions and reactions and one recognizes there are going to be a lot of “Sufi” Movements and “Universal Brotherhoods” ignoring each other, in the Name of God.
The direct vision resulted in an astounding financial success to my God-daughter’s husband. This is the sort of thing that delights Americans, manifestation of $$$. But there is also involved the establishment of a school for real Asian studies. The money is there and the land is there. We shall see.
Now I have a commission from a large university which will involve a number of the Sufi Movements of various countries. I am abandoning all idea of the “One Single Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God” with its self-centered inclusions and exclusions. The idea of Sufism without God-realization is totally ludicrous and will appear so more and more with the new generations. There are, of course, enough senior people who delight in words and “fantasies” and why not?
This commission will involve Sufi movements, and needs to contact them and doing research. The professor involved has already been admitted to certain Orders but whether as an initiate or guest I do not know and do not care. But he has, unlike so many people met the real members of real Sufi Orders in the real world.
Last night for the first time four Initiates occupied the platform. Perhaps among us we have been admitted to practically every Inner School in Asia, and also we have been rejected by society, amen. The ridiculous gawking that goes on every time we appear will be laughter on the other side to the young. This stupid habit of rejecting little people who have been there to listen to the charming “expert” who was not is going to have karmic repercussions and is. God created all mankind in His image and this is true despite as well as because a lot of people who occupy lecture platforms treat the audiences as inferiors.
There have been numerous calls for a meeting of the Masters of Asian wisdom. Twice I have asked who was the committee who determined who was a Master. Of course no such meetings ever took place, just the usual emotionalisms. Now there is another one in the southern part of the State which may, or may not mean anything. But we met. Imagine four men who have all had the Moksha experience on the platform together! The audience, of course, were all young excepting two teachers of the young.
The combination of Love, Direct Sight and universal acceptance of all people as the Beloved Ones of God is effecting the young. They know one means it, they see it. One is abandoning all senior citizens. One cannot do more. There are every week more and more young people seeking this person out. At the same time if they do not, there are more and more universities and professors seeking this one out.
We had an excellent example of “synchronicity” the other night when somebody wanted the TV and I said that Gavin Arthur was going to be on the air. They turned on a station and there was Gavin. Gavin, of course, has previously rejected any possibility of synchronicity or telekinesis or mental telepathy or high functions on the part of this person. Amen. Let us have these rejections. But there are scientists—not metaphysicians thank God, who accept evidences. And there is at least one great group of Sufis (an entirely different group) who have the funds and the wherewithal for “psychic” and trans-psychic studies.
So despite all the “universal brotherhoods” which ignore each other, we shall soon, inshallah, have humanity working together. The young do it naturally both the spiritual aspirants and those involved in scientific research.
We are going to be busy. And one sees more. Besides the scientists who study religion—not the metaphysicians, never—see the worlds of ritual and vision in operation and now it is time for those who have the Vision or want the Vision to express themselves. The ritualists have had their way and their say. There are some Sufis who see life from the standpoint of others as well as of themselves.
Love and blessings,
P.S. You have done very well in explaining your position. But I have been commissioned by at least six Sufi Masters, besides Inayat Khan, to do certain tasks, to bear (or not) certain titles, etc. One shall continue unless God or they say otherwise.
January 11, 1967
My dear Mother Divine:
I do not wish to be behind Russell in expressions and anyhow your finer bodies are fine and if you cannot see your inner face, I am willing even to be a Cassius. Anyhow my first letter of 1967 read, “And the sun rose bringing the New Year.” And this theme also came in letters from two so-called Buddhists, one full of love and affection from Thailand and one saying he had not permitted me to speak at his meetings because somebody else did not like me. This is pretty wonderful “logic” for one taking an oath before the Three Jewels. And without vindication, I have always considered my fellows-in-Sangha as part of the same Self. This is pretty bad American Buddhism but it still holds in parts of the Orient.
On New Years Eve we (the local spiritual Sangha) had a long ceremony during the course of which I was proclaimed an incarnation of Fudo. Now it is all right for Japanese to elevate you but no self-respecting American Buddhist bothers about other Americans who are called “Buddhists.” The trouble with “them” is that they do not follow “me” and I call these all “anatta-Buddhists” and they are part of the “only in America scene.” Only the man that proclaimed it was not an American but looks like one—therefore is rejected. Only there were and are too many of us rejectees and we are now out to do a little rejecting ourselves.
We have some crazy ideas such as that a Buddhist ought to at least reject the works and words of the historical Buddha; that meditation, or its equivalent should be practiced; that there is such a thing as Inner Peace which is further from death or quietism as anything; that Buddhists should learn what Prajna is even if they do not practice it, etc. And somehow or other when two or there gather “in my name” there is a force and an operative energy which is more real than the assumed self. For an American Buddhist to transcend the immediate ego-self is worse than insanity and, of course, he should be ignored. We believe in the brotherhood-of-man so long as an Asian or European leads us, and The Great Stone Face” of Hawthorne is still the American national anthem.
Anyhow that re-fudo-ized one began functioning. On the negative side one began writing resignations from certain groups and telling two others, the USGS and world Federalists, he would remain a member, but as a gadfly; that he was tired of contributing to organizations with the same outlooks (that’s why he joined) to see the moneys used to import people from a distance to speak on subjects in which one was well versed but never permitted the floor ever in the smallest gathering and that he choose to remain as a gadfly to tell the world what kind of people Americans are.
For the year ended with the greatest of American virtues. A small surprise legacy which is taking one at least to England. And then despite “Buddhism” but because of “Buddha” everything happened. (I do not wish to convert you to Lord Buddha—but it is ever so much nicer than “Buddhism” to this crackpot).
According to Lord Buddha, but not according to “Buddhism,” then “the cat began to kill the rat, the rat bean to grow the rope, the rope began... “and thus causation , quite in accord with Lord Buddha but shocking to “American Buddhists” began to operate all over.
My lawyer asks me to shake hands with my brother. “He will either betray me or champion me.” It happened and even my lawyer had to admit circumspection. Prajna by any other name is fine for Orientals but Americans mustn’t use it, it is then “egotism.” And surrounding it and out are great possibilities of a largely increased income—and I understand for some of it no income tax.
The World Federalists apologized by letter. Russ wanted to know the truth and I told him the way severally Don and Lloyd have acted. The last bit of nonsense—but it has gone on indefinitely, was when Lloyd had the impudence to deny me my own profession, my own research in my own profession for which I had been paid, etc. And this is one of the problems behind the food problem of the world, relying on personalities instead of on knowledge.
Right now our refusal to accept the existence of non-Aristotelian Logics by vast masses of humanity is bad enough for the press and State Department but downright un-sanity or in-sanity on the part of G.S. people and I have been troubled no end when I cannot get a report in on Cassius Keyser with a group sworn to AK and swallowing Marxism whole.
Then there is the love of three Marians. (Are Marians oranges?) Marian 1 is my heir-at-law. She is a sort of double-cousin who was deserted by her father and a rather forlorn child when I first met her. She is a math whiz and caused a lots of anguish by her love for higher Math (Of the types our G.S. brethren venerate but do not study) and lack of interest in boys. Her marriage relieved my fatherly instincts. And now with Elliott and myself looking in the same direction, I am willing to consider Marian’s family, along with two universities. (One university is indicated in my father’s will anyhow.)
Marian 2 lives very close to Margaret in Ojai and fell in love at a time of loneliness. But you can’t expect followers of Alan Watts and J.K. to admire Sam, but she did and saw my inner bodies, too. She believes in Lord Maitreya end has had one inner initiation, enough to become persona non grata with the respectable.
Then there is our Marion. You know, Mother Divine, you and I are the only ones I know who have produced a child by other than our physical bodies? Maybe some former life, but anyhow there she is. She has gone through outer initiations and at last she has accepted life, her husband and her spiritual “father,” i.e. SAM all at once and it is wonderful.
January 15, 1967
My dear Tsil-Tsil:
“The Day of Days”
This was the name of a story which also had a sub-title, “Hassan, the Pilgrim.” It was a story about a beggar in Baghdad and all the things that happened to him within a space of twenty-four hours. And the chief difference between his story and that of mine yesterday is that a Sufi possesses Kashf, or insight by which he sees or feels ahead and this is very important especially when you come to the end of this letter.
This Insight had caused me to cancel all engagements for today, Sunday, and a good deal of the day may be taken up with tasks arising what happened yesterday, or by extension backward toward Friday and forward toward tomorrow, Monday. It is also being recorded in my diary, which will become important and which will either go to one of the universities (presumably UC Santa Barbara) or to my goddaughter, Miss Saadia Khawar Khan of Lahore, who is coming here, God willing, later in the year.
The morning started smoothly enough. I began reading a letter from one Raihana Tyabji of Delhi to Mrs. Gale Darling of this city. Gale is one of my life-long friends, a traveler like myself and often to the same places and people and she was present on New Years eve when the Lama declared me to be a Spiritual Master.
Raihana is one of my spiritual-adventure sisters. There are at present three such women on earth, two of whom I shall not describe here and both of these are Americans. Raihana belongs to the Tyabji family of India. Her ancestors had been Hindus and the whole tribe went over to Islam but have their own form of Islam which is between the Orthodox Sunnis and the un-orthodox Shiahs. Her grandfather took part In the Indian revolutionary movements and her family was friendship to Gandhi. So when the sent took place between India and Pakistan they worked for India.
Raihana is what we call a “Delphic woman.” She has never married and functions as a sort of Oracle for India comparable to the ladies of Ancient Greeks. I had been given an introduction to her by Julie, one of my “American Sisters” but when I came to New Delhi my closest friend turned me over to his closest companion and this man, a Mr. Murti, was an enthusiast about Raihani and we spent long hours there. I can only say here that there are areas and vistas of Love and Foresight that peoples of the West hardly know. But I did not finish that letter, or as we say, “then the fun began.”
A long distance call from Los Angeles. Luise-Aramdarya is dying and wished me by her side. But I dare not leave here. My brother and I are tied in a legal battle which can bring us thousands of dollars, and not only that, he himself is in such a precarious condition, I am not sure he will live. If we can win this battle I will have, in a sense, saved his life and he knows it. And if I leave San Francisco now not only would money be lost, but social prestige and everything else. I will not here tell the story of my brother.
No sooner had the phone been hung up and it rang again. Danny. You may remember that I told you about Danny, the young man who had his dedicated Guitar by which he had hoped to bring peace and brotherhood to the world. Now I must go back.
Jon Wood was the youngest disciples of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Than. His schoolmate was William Hathaway to whom he gave the Bayat or Sufi Pledge. We also gave it to Erica who married Bill. They brought two sons into the world and I marked them as being especial spiritual charges.
This last year Danny was always cross-trailing me and we did have a very serious talk which only substantiated the talks with his parents, together or apart. I saw he was destined for a great, or miserable spiritual future. His horoscope is marvelous so much that it attracted my friend, Gavin Arthur, the astrologer and Danny is with him now.
Danny was very proud and nobody ever dominated him. But he did riot realize that Man lives and moves and has his being in God, and that God (Allah) is a reality. And he soon learned out that with or in Samuel there is a power which no man can touch. He did exactly what I said he would and I was already prepared for his sudden return with food in the house and extra money (which he did not touch.) But this faculty of Kashf is and remains the theme of this record.
I asked him if he had met Allen Ginsberg. Allen is one of the wildest persons who has ever appeared on the horizon. We are so totally different that Gavin the astrologer, once closeted us together expecting to behold a fierce fight. Our poetries are so utterly different in every aspect—form, subject matter, development. All my poetry is either spiritual love or epic, the spiritual love not excluding that of the sexes but always mobilized. His “Howl” made him world famous. It is as if “God” had divided the world giving San the portions of Zeus and Allen the portions of Hades. Or Sam the worlds of heart and Allen the worlds of cloaca and coitus.
Yet Gavin found us with arms around each other. This was the first time I ever showed bodily tendency toward a man, but here again it was that same Kashf. For I knew Allen had never known the affection of a father. William Carlos William, the master poet, to whom he had shown such affection, was dead. Samuel Lewis took his place. It is almost the opposite of the “Thais” theme where a holy man adopted a prostitute thinking to reform her and fell. But we do not take God into consideration and I shall not relate the dramas that took place between us but one:
Allen once wrote a post-card and on it nothing but the words: La Illaha El Il Allah, nothing exists but God, the most sacred of all phrases in which I shall give you all necessary instructions.
Well Danny and Allen were to go together and in one direction and I to meet Helen in another. (Accidentally the word “Helen” means light.)
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 94103, Calif.
January 20, 1967
My dear Shams-ed-din:
Id-Murbarak. One must thank you for your greeting. But I hope I can convey to you how Muslims act here. There is a new Mosque, and it is not paid for and I went for holiday prayers. I told my friend, “I am going to the Mosque where they believe in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of money.”
There was a beautiful service followed by an inspiring prayer, followed immediately without pause by a passionate appeal for funds. Next to me was a friend, an Imam but despite his knowledge, wisdom and high morals he was not and is not permitted to lead in prayers. He has committed an unforgivable sin, so have I. He was born in the Fijis and I was born in San Francisco so no matter what we know or where we stand, we cannot lead, we are never called on to speak. But ignorant people who call themselves “Muslims” who place self above Allah would call this congregation “Muslims.” They were all born in the right places and being born in the right places makes one a “Muslim” as nothing else can.
I told the Imam when it was time for Zakat I should consult him. But Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful suddenly bestowed on me the means to pay Zakat and also to make a trip this year to England. So the Zakat, first installment, has gone to Ajmir. And if there is any question about it, the next night I went to a restaurant called “Taj” and immediately met two men from Lahore and the one said to me right off, “Are you acquainted with Data Ganj Baksh?” I knew immediately, this was a confirmation from Allah.
Now a Sufi does not have other beliefs than Muslims, he has other practices or rather one, which is to listen to Allah. Ignorant Muslims say: Bis-SM-Allah and they do not know what it means. SM is the root of the term Sama which is explained at length by the same Data Ganj Baksh (Al-Hujwiri) in “Kashf Al Mahjub” but ignorant Muslims go to shrines and pay respect to the persons while Sufis absorb the wisdom which by Grace-of-Allah manifested in and through those persons.
No attempt here will be made to convince anybody that we can listen to Allah either directly or by Kashf. Only one finds when one does that success comes, sooner or later; and if we do not, if we insist on our own wills, and most of us do, life does not come out as we plan it and then we blame others. This blame is not so bad of itself but it is an affirmation that some other Power, exists than Allah. And the fact is that most Christians and Muslims are indeed largely Zindigs, believing the forces of “good” and “evil” and giving Iblis and denying Omnipotence to Allah. They may call Allah the “Omnipotent” but this is not practiced.
It is a subtle matter and it is most important that Allah represents all the Sifat, they are all merged in Him, but when each is used separately they are not all there. Saying “Islam” does not bring victory and I am not going to argue over it. Saying “Allah” has brought another complete revolution or more than one in my age which is three-score and ten.
Muslims as a whole are no better nor worse than other people excepting that they have the best of examples of all created beings in Mohammed, the Mustafa, the Amin, the Ahmed, the Servant and Messenger of Allah who could maintain perfection without resort to meditation, seclusion or anything, and thus was the Prince of all beings. With this splendid example man can absorb all the Sifat-i-Allah. And when he does that and reaches the nufs-i-selima he dispenses peace, justice and guidance to humanity. But most Muslims sit around and judge and expect from others and do not demonstrate themselves.
I have before me two mighty causes, both by an amr of Allah, one to work for World Peace and Justice; the other to work on food-problems. Now Allah has pointed out that man is not ready to have peace in Vietnam. None of us, no matter who we are, has given any consideration to the masses of Vietnam who are poor, who are peasants and who are Buddhists. They are net even given the choice of the way they are to be exterminated. Unlike the Jews of Germany they are crushed by two forces, not one.
But Allah first by Kashf and then in the deep silence, has given another mission, to work for peace in the Near East. And while friends and acquaintances will criticize this person, he is always listening to Allah, day and night. So when he took the first step about Peace in the Near East he received sudden approval. And then he had a long conference and more approval and in a few days he is to meet another Sufi who is interested in Peace, Love and good-will.
It is notable that this Sufi also did not attend the Jami prayers in San Francisco. For the San Francisco group is independent of the Canadian-American Muslim league headed by the Imams, and all talk of Muslim Brotherhood is nonsense, here or elsewhere when the will-of-man dominates over the will of Allah.
Plans are to cross the country this year, Inshallah, and to collect more material for desert-reclamation and while some of your countermen will sit back and criticize this person will do, will act, will study, will research. For the pains of any person are the pains of the Sufi. He does not separate himself from humanity. And also he does not fail to listen to Allah.
The first efforts to spread the Devine Message were immediately followed by the appearance of Vilayat, the son of Hazrat Inayat Khan, who calls himself a “Murshid” and does not recognize any of the Dervish Orders and they do not particularly recognize him. He goes around in social circles spreading about his father. This is far worse than saying “Islam” for this refers to a Sifat-i-Allah, but Isa said, “Flesh and blood do not inherit the kingdom of heaven.” Only in this country it is the outer circumstances, the outer appearances which attract people. And only those who are cause in the struggle between peace, joy and sorrow can learn the spiritual and esoteric sciences.
I already know what must be done for Pakistan in the agricultural field. But no man is omnipotent nor can he work in all places. This is a huge country. At my own expense I shall be glad to gather information, and sooner or later this will go to Pakistan. But if you obtain the position with the mechanized farm I already know what to do, how to help. This is from Allah.
January 31, 1967
I am almost sorry I wrote you yesterday. So much is happening, and while I am writing in detail—this is a diary entry, it is not with any hope of convincing many of my contemporaries.
The saddest thing in my life has been the utter desecration of Buddha’s teachings in this land. Although I have had much suffering (Dr. Baker admitted my case was the worst she ever tackled) this is nothing to what I have seen done to Dharma in this land. And although Princess Poon herself has written an editorial on the subject, it does not affect anybody; it is always the others who are to blame.
One of the most shocking things I ever heard in my whole life was the utterly inane and damnable nonsense coming from Hon. U Thant that what we needed was a “moral and spiritual revolution.” This was corrected almost immediately by Dr. Malalasekera who called for each one to make his own efforts at moral and spiritual corrections. But Dr. Malalasekera was and is still a voice crying in what used to be a wilderness but is just as noble to become a holocaust of laughter as a holocaust of destruction.
Sokei-an taught me how to see into the future and also warned that the reaction on a seer would be horrible. It has been so and I prayed to be relieved of this faculty. And one of the worst insults I ever gave Gavin Arthur was to tell him he was greater than Jean Dixon. Jean Dixon is exactly the popular kind of false prophet that the Bible damns and we love—how we love them—who delights people with hearing what they want to hear and is almost as efficient as the weather man. Gavin is in the doghouse now for making unpopular predictions; the predictions come true but he is excluded “out.” This is our “moral and spiritual revolution.”
I do not know how I can make this letter clear. What is happening is exactly in accord with Dharma. I should prefer to call it “Buddhist-teaching” and it is Buddha’s teaching. Everything is exactly as one can find in studying the Law of Karma (everybody believes in it, nobody studies it) or in great works like “Surangama Sutra” or the Thai Cosmogony or even the predictions of the Dalai Lama (who could not apply his own wisdom to himself).
According to the Dharma there is a constant spiritual evolution going on, leading to the appearance of people of higher evolution, higher faculties and far better modality. Although I am still an unknown, strange characters beat their way to these doors, people who believe in honesty, for instance, and are not concerned with law-breaking (I mean contrary to Dharma and Karma) by prominent people who are automatically aroused because they are prominent.
I have heard a man tell me that he became interested in General Semantics after studying Buddhist Logic. We don’t study Buddhist Logic; we prefer to remain in benign ignorance. No doubt it is wrong to disturb people but we are being disturbed.
In my cosmic experiences I have seen that plane where when one tells an untruth it appears in changes in the colors of their aura. They are then ashamed. Besides they are not beloved because the aura-color tells they are dishonest.
Now I am meeting more and more young people who have some kind of psychic abilities—they can see the auras, the colors and they know who is telling untruths. They are not concerned with personalities and while they would agree with the theosophical statement, “There is no religion higher than Truth,” they are concerned with Truth and not with utterances about and about.
It was se refreshing to find somebody who had studied Buddhist Logic, and who could discuss General Semantics from a positive moral and logical point of view, and show clear knowledge of it.
I have several dinner engagements coming up, all with what we should regard as young people and all of whom are interested in developing their understanding. Also they want the same kind of “Love” that is understood in the characters of Christ, Buddha and Mohammed, they want that Love and not our superficial or serious use of such a term.
Repeating to them, “Heart speaks to heart and soul to soul” I find myself meeting people who already know that and there is instant communication.
The predictions alike of Mrs. Besant and Sri Aurobindo are coming true. Some say it is in the “Book of Revelation” and it may be; I don’t understand that. But I see it in “Surangama Sutra and know it is in “Avatamsaka” which I have not read completely. And your “Buddhist-associates” reserving the right to downgrade anybody they wish against all real Buddhist Scriptures, cannot possibly understand the manifestation of higher types of consciousness in the flesh—which is exactly what all the basic Buddhist schools teach—Theravada Mahayana and Vajrayana, and which is what all the older devotees fear and what the younger ones welcome.
“I went up one flight of stairs,” says Leary. Applause! But he never went up more flights or stairs and he did not gaze into any mirror. He would have seen a Monkey. An advanced person would have seen differently.
I am utterly overcome by the visions, by the prowess, the faculties manifesting. Dr. Doug Burns says these things don’t exist (applause) and the first Buddhist Scripture I pick up says they do exist and even tells how to develop them. Geoffrey Hodson drew hundreds of people talking about the wonders of psychic faculties; the man who could teach them drew five people. We love the curtain drop, we are afraid of the drama.
Lottie Van Stahl once read people’s auras at Gavin Arthur’s and those people, mostly cult members, got some awful shocks. There was only one person who even got by whose father is a “spiritual teacher” who breaks all the moral laws. That is all right, he has the proper front and we love that, and him. She got by potentially. Sam was happy Lottie did not read him, he would have had fifty enemies in three minutes, but since then it has become easy to “psych” the atmosphere and to see Gavin’s spiritual future.
Indeed we are preparing a “new age music” gathering at his place, where his nephew and the son of my present associate and a young girl I know, and others will come together. There is no question there is a musical “break through.” I asked Danny a lot of questions and every answer without exception fulfilled the promise of the “new music,” on which he had not read books. The only criticism I have of it is that it is usually too loud, but that may be necessary. When Allan Ginsberg lead the mantrams there we had to shout loud to shut up the respectable cult-members who are engaged in teaching the young who know, what they the elders, do not know.
Yesterday one received back one’s paper submitted to the University of California on “True Mysticism versus Pseudo-Mysticism.” That same paper which all your professors refused even to permit to be submitted was given a comment which will go on in history. True mystics understand each other whether their names are Blighton or Yasutani or Sidi Abu-Salem or Prof. Kelley. The comment in class continued with some severe attacks on people who have been respected, but “only in California” as spiritual mentors. There has been no evidence of awakening, satori, etc. much less Samadhi. Now the universities are honest, solid, do not make silly excuses like a person being well dressed and another not so, etc.
The next thing that we won’t accept is that Americans can possibly know the highest wisdom. We accept all kinds of things, wisdom and nonsense from Asians and in our schools it has taken a long time to displace Englishmen and Germans and Hungarians by Americans, and maybe those Asians honored in Asia.
Krishnamurti is not honored in Asia, Asokananada is not honored in Asia, Chaudhuri is not honored in Asia (but here I blame the Asian; they pull the same stuff on him as is pulled on Sam Lewis here), etc. One of the teachers of a mutual friend is an ex-jailbird, but he had the gimmicks to attract women and their money.
In going over the teachings of the Bible we take them seriously. We have delineated the functions of male and female and their work—roughly, very roughly, it is women through the eye and men through the tongue. This can be supported but our metaphysical friends do not know how to listen, they have deaf ears. The young listen and they will laugh and laugh and, laugh.
This week I took the young into the kingdom of Joy. They are ready for it. They followed all the way. I have tried with elders, it is no use. I do not have the “credentials” but God has given me the Joy.
Not only God but Nyogen Senzaki gave me the initiation of Laughter and after him, Sabro Hasegawa. I was to go to the Academy when it was on Broadway and nobody else was to be there and nobody else was. He bestowed the Laughter and died. I may be using the Laughter and the Joy more and more. It works with the young, they want it, but as to elders, they will have to earn it. Too much prejudging.
It is remarkable how few cases of satori occur here. We try not methods but persons and we say that nobody can help us and this person says everybody can help us. To the Sufi God is the only Teacher and God is in everything and everybody, so one can learn everywhere.
I am hoping to celebrate part of Christian season in Ojai where nobody can learn. Learning is out. You select your God-man and he does everything for you but actually he does nothing. People go on for years and no great change. And in weeks with Rev. Blighton a re-birth and transformation.
Thank God I can write on “Transformation Body” and be accepted. Phillip Kapleau knocked out all our false traditions at a blow. People who know may speak. For centuries it was only the people who know that could speak, and we reversed it by the nonsense that those who know keep silent. This is 100% against the Bible and is theoretically Taoism. But how many times has this person been told by Westerners he did not understand Tao and how many times by Easterners that he did. So Sam admits he does not understand Occidental-Taoism but the Chinese have other views about Oriental-Taoism.
Now the young and the hungry are calling and the professors of the day listen and it does not matter any more whether the elders are hungry and unhappy and confused. The presentation of Joy to the young, the acceptance of scholastic papers by the old and the visits of Saints from Japan, India and Morocco in short order show that exotic peoples have such funny ideas.
There is nothing here that cannot be shared and will not be shared. That blasted old outworn book, the Bible, tells us we should have ears. We have shut our ears and our hearts are hungry. I do not shut out anybody that wants to share in Joy.
Love and blessings,
S. A. M.
February 6, 1967
My dear Marian:
There is a movement from two directions of young people coming to these doors and several of them have asked to become disciples. What is noteworthy is that these are generally of types that would be congenial to Danny and whenever he returns here he will be finding more associates.
I do not know where Danny is and am not seeking. One did not realize how far he is from his mother. It is a karmic tragedy when a parent does not try to understand her own children. Excuses do not remove the karma, they even heighten it.
As one sees it, the people in Ojai are a mixture of emotion and intellect without very much intuitive or spiritual perception. Brother El-Senussi has to face a struggling situation. The fact that people know complex metaphysics does not mean they know anything at all about reality. Whether reality is merged with Divinity or with the affairs of the world, it is quite different from the private constructs which too many people delight in.
I have long foreseen what would happen to parents who were over-delighted with some private venture and tried to force this on their children. It does not work, it will not work. And besides there are too many signs of “New Age” young rising to adulthood. The percentage taking to LSD and Marijuana is overwhelming and so long as these acts are regarded as criminal, our police force and especially our Edgar Hoover are going to be more concerned with anti-social behavior than with crime and so crime will increase.
Saturday night I faced about a dozen young people who have been interested in LSD. Most of them seem to have withdrawn and are seeking something “better.” But they are all convinced that our traditions are totally wrong. They do not like, what elders love, the substitution of words for truths. The word “strength” itself makes us no stronger; the word “youth” does not make us feel young, and the word “love” today has almost no meaning whatever.
After some introductions I purposely went into the word “Love” but from the standpoint of Heart. One could see that they knew nothing of “heart-love” and were interested. As they are always looking for something new, they are very attentive. And tonight I must face first at 5 o’clock and then at 7 two different groups of young people. Behind the scenes one feels the rise of those who seek spiritual deliverance.
Other than the words involves they are seeking something totally different from what their elders seek. Even at the universities one doubts if a Krishnamurti or a Vilayat, forced to define their words, would get very far. Nor is it the pleasure delight, or comfort which marks spiritual teaching.
Your giving Vilayat a blessing shows you already have what he has not. His father wrote a whole book on this subject and I have a whole manuscript. This manuscript has been derided by those of the past who have set themselves up as “spiritual teachers,” but I am quite confident the universities will accept it. God is not limited to pleasant persons who delight the socially comfortable.
Vilayat is a fine man, clean, moral and good but unable to see into the hearts of others. Morality and mentality, yes, but not that deep sight and insight which shows the waking heart. You were the one to give him the blessing and that is the best thing you could have done.
One of Vilayat’s main critics has quoted from his father Hazrat Inayat Khan:
What is a Sufi? One who does not separate himself from others by opinion or dogma and who realizes the heart as the Shrine of God.
Sufis form brotherhoods united from “above,” so to speak, by the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy is not man’s imagination and although one may quote, what is important is to experience it. No man is a “brotherhood,” that is nonsense, but it is the type of nonsense so acceptable to metaphysical people who shun realities. Even less is a single person Hierarchy. Nicholas Roerich tried that years ago and the karma was terrible. But metaphysical people do not learn from this and parade themselves as if each of them were a “brotherhood” or “hierarchy.” And thus they separate themselves.
Mohammed who was a Messenger of God said, “I am not different from you.” And he meant it and our mis-leaders do not mean it. The more different they are, the more some people think they are spiritually advanced.
It is our experience which marks our position in the heavens and the hierarchies. When you can bring the blessings you yourself are blessed.
Love and blessings,
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
February 6, 1967
About the first of March Mrs. Paula Hughes will be coming here, among other things to have her horoscope cast. At one time she was the closest friend of Danny Hathaway’s mother, but in the course of time the wealthy lady has become more “liberal” and Mrs. Hathaway, who has risen socially, has gone the usual opposite way.
I do not know if you hear from Danny and if so you may send him my regards but I do not wish to know his whereabouts, to protect him. When I was with his mother, I tried to explain Danny “archetypically” but they are no persons who understand Jung less than the respectable and respected dowagers who have never fully faced life.
What amazes me however, is the total lack of insight among these Ojai people who live in a sort of dream-asylum and when somebody—and Danny has become their leader—seeks reality there is nothing but confusion. Danny actually admires Paula more than his own mother because she has never become stuck.
I am now finding more and more “Aquarians” with whom Danny would fit and it would be of advantage to both parents, no matter how they differed from each other, if he should establish himself here.
But what I am really writing about is Bryn. He should be here this coming weekend. He has my address but I don’t know about phone and thus you may be hearing from him. I think he is coming with some colleagues. Anyhow please be on the look-out.
P.S. It would be nice if we could have Bryn and Vocha together. Vocha should be back here now.
My dear Della:
This may be the last-letter written from this address for I must concentrate on moving. There are many failures and many successes. The greatest failure has been to get people who think they are studying Oriental Philosophy to accept Prajna. People repeat the word all the time and haven’t the slightest idea what it means.
The other day I said to Eva at Pakistan Airlines, “I am inviting you to a big reception when I move. There will be a curry dinner.” “Have you a cook or caterer?” I have but she recommended the Calcuttavalas. I called on them and they being from the Orient it did not take two minutes to establish a warm friendship. I do not know how I can help Americans in this until they accept Prajna, nor is there any intention. However I am expecting to have two house-warmings after I move, a vegetarian and non-vegetarian. I won’t relate the rest of the conversation. I have long given up trying to inform Americans who trust in the press and in “experts” about the affairs of Asia.
Yesterday I again found the success in Prajna by discovering the type of persons I wish to meet in Hippy-land. One asked me, “Which is superior, Krishna-consciousness or Shiva-consciousness?” Inasmuch as you do not accept the ko-an, and I certainly do not expect people to accept the koan, it is difficult to give the answer but these young people are marvelous. I have been waiting for years.
As a carbon is going to Gavin I wish to par phrase: A Vedantist Swami (you have nothing like them here) said to me: “Shri Ramakrishnan said, “When I die my heart will split into 50,000 fragments and every one will incarnate as a Ramakrishna.” And I find that the heart of our beloved friend, Hugo Seelig, seems to have split up into 50,000 pieces and every one a Hugo Seelig. Of course some of the Hippies were already born when he died, but the spirit is the same and if one goes around thinking he is talking to Hugo Seelig it is so easy to reach their hearts or minds.
I told them: “I will not dress like you not wear my hair like you, but I shall certainly not think or feel different.” The super-race predicted by Bulwer-Lytton and Aurobindo comes, and whether it comes here or elsewhere it comes. These are not Beatniks and they are not afraid of super-consciousness.
I also have a sort of apology to Gavin. I told him that at his worst he was better than Jean Dixon. I saw he on the air—the same type of phony prophet the Israelis employed at the time of Jeremiah. She could not make one single straight prediction. Any-how I am having my poetry revived, typed and it will be sent to many parts of the world. It was, of course, rejected here; it has to be. That will make one famous after death. Prajna has no limits, no person, no restrictions.
But Danny has also reacted against Vilayat. His own associates admire me because I have been rejected—they think that is my greatest virtue. It is all so silly. I have written to Dr. Radhakrishnan, I am writing to a big industrialist, I shall write next for a local congress on the real solution of real problems. They will take these things seriously. Lord Snow’s “other culture,” the press, the literary people, the politicians and diplomats will not. It is costing me a thousand dollars just because local groups will not listen to eye-reports of big events in Asia. “I” simply could not be there.
This “I” does not mean Sam Lewis. I wrote seven or eight names to a local newsman recently, all ignored and shunned and even insulted while we get deeper and deeper into confusion. At the same time in school I find nothing but freedom. As example you will find enclosed copy of a paper being submitted in class. As a Nation we simply have not discovered humanity.
I notice in these papers much similarity to the methods prescribed for meditation by Lord Buddha. Whether Buddha’s methods were ideal is not the question; the fact remains that no considerable group in the West follows them. What is worse our local “expert” has just returned from Thailand saying there are no living Arhats. He is an “expert” and no one dares to criticize an “expert.” I have done it and been exiled but now I enjoy that.
I did introduce both Danny and my Lama friend, Dr. Warwick to Allen Ginsberg. In each case a warm bond was established. This is in accord with Kashf, insight, which we all have and do not use. Friday night I was at a gathering of poets and learned that Allen has put me in one of his recent epics. So I am “immortal.” Of course I am in parts of Asia but Asia has no relation to “Asia,” that splendid compilation of abstractions which so delights Americans, and the war must go on.
Bill and Danny may return and bring copies of papers which I shall be glad to share. I also have “The Whirling Ecstasy” which will follow. This is about Shams-i-Tabriz.
I am not well, due to the increased pressure of more and more young people coming here. This is my Dharma. They learn the esoteric and mystical sciences. I am now having to do something I never wished to do—organize. I wanted to work with different groups and they all have rejected; i.e. Western people. Representing so many real Sufi Orders it is karmic and at the same time ridiculously funny.
I foresee a Khankah. I may even call it “Sarkhan Society” giving out those inner teachings of both Sufism and Buddhism as in Sarkhan. The old will shun; the young will come. They are already.
Love and blessings,
S. A. M.
[Ed-first page of letter missing]
Alchemy meant originally, “Egyptian science” and was the verbalization of what had been maintained in verbal and ceremonial form until then. Even at that much was not put into words, and consequently may be unintelligible to non-initiates. Sufis don’t go around telling about initiations but it is quite evident from the context.
Astrology is posited as a science but that is not the subject of the book other than to show its relation to a basic Occult Science which our egocentric cultists can’t possibly understand. One does not need initiation if the ego is removed. We have a lot of progress in Physics, Biology, Geology, etc, because the ego is removed and we do not have the same in the “occult” sciences because the ego is not removed and none of our phony occultists is going to remove her or his ego, you can bet. But the younger are not like that. They see no reason—and there is no reason—why the world cannot study Astrology, Alchemy, even “Magic” on an impersonal basis as we have in the sciences.
Sufis had a lot of sciences. They need not give them to the world if others give them. But when it comes to Alchemy we have been misled to confusing it with Tantra, Mandala and Tibetan abstruseness which we call “wisdom.” There is no record of streams of people in Tibet having Cosmic Consciousness, and we, believers in “liberty,” democracy,” “tolerance” and “free speech” do not look into the Sufism.
So Titus Burkhardt who is a Sufi has given us a book on what used to be called “Alchemy” which deals in the principles which those who used to be called “alchemists” dealt in. Practically all his referents are Sufis, including great saints and people who achieved Cosmic Consciousness. They are not mysterious, cloud-beings but historical characters who wrote books after they had achieved some forms of perfection and perfecting. For Alchemy is the science of perfecting and perfections.
Burkhardt is only one of the Sufis who are now trying to give true mysticism to the world, including in it the experiences, the studies and achievements of true mystics. These are so far from, let us say, our great expert the late Daisetz Suzuki, there is no overlapping at all. Of course Suzuki is not the only expert who has no place among the “elect.” And now the real elect are giving knowledges to the world. I know more will follow.
There are two great streams of sciences Sufis have, the Occult and the “Esoteric.” The denial of this by others means nothing, absolutely nothing. The young are seeking truth and in their own experience; the old are seeking it in the reflections of others. I quote from a sage quoted in a magazine just received: The task of the learned man is perception and that of the ignorant ones is quotation.
If you want to learn more about Alchemy let me know.
My dear Marian:
I was going to write you a chatty letter but on second thought I decide to make a diary entry and though it might not be so personal, it will contain a lot of things which would be of interest to Bill, and at least indirectly to Danny.
My program has been full to the extent that I am now worrying over my psychic health. Physically I am fine and socially never better but there is a limit to what a person can take. For example I am saving stamps for my attorney’s son and there are three letters from Thailand this morning—I am not opening them yet. My Indian correspondence is now so heavy and everything is happening.
I wrote the last about giving you Gathas on Everyday Life and Kashf (or Insight). I have not enough copies and realize that Bill has the original. So if you see him please show this to him and through it I am asking that he give you the Gathas, series one, on these two subjects, but one at a time. Those on Everyday Life will fit in more or less with those on Breath but those on Kashf will fit in both with your events and what is going on here.
Some time ago my friend, Gavin Arthur, the astrologer, began sending me some of his young people to interpret their horoscopes. What has been happening, along with other things, is a gradual increase of the young who come here. I am both giving open lectures and preparing some for initiation, or as we say, Bayat. Last night the house was full and it would appear, God willing, the number will increase.
Bill has written me and from the standpoint of Kashf, Insight, your letters agree. I know what is necessary for Danny but he will have to do his own walking.
In my own problem a psychic lady told me that my parents had been my children in former lives and I saw operations of karma, etc. which brings balances and in many respect Danny acts like Bill’s father. He has many faculties in operation or latent but not balance. In an unbalanced age this may not seem to be valuable, but otherwise he will tend to become more and more active, more and more nervous and subject to greater reactions. Yet he does not fit in with traditional types.
Yesterday my closest spiritual brother, Bryn Schumacher Beorse came and we were some five hours or more together. Some young people were coming and I gave them breathing instructors together. Then as to young have been drawn to one Swami Bhaktivedanta I told them that this Swami teaches only Intoxication, Ecstasy and Joy which was unbalanced in one direction; while the Ramakrishna people teach only Knowledge and Sobriety. In practice this is increased in that the Ramakrishna people appeal to the wealthy and secure and the Bhaktis to the poor and insecure.
So I took a group to the Aurobindo Ashram to show them balance.
Some want to learn Hatha Yoga and I am now recommending them to Shivaram, an excellent dancing teacher who is also associated with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. This way they will learn not only the balance between Intoxication and Sobriety but also between the two extremes of class society.
We the went to Gavin who has some insight into the social changes and the rise of the Uranian-Aquarian types so feared by their elders who are stuck with words and are afraid of realities.
Last night I gave out a number of teachings preparing the young and know that Danny would find his type here. There is a very active growing movement and the tendency is to seek Intoxication without drugs. Allen Ginsberg sent me his regards as he left. He is unable to stay in any place long and Danny has the same characteristic. This prevents certain types of progress.
The “accidents” which happened both to car and to them personally shows the lack of development of this Kashf, Insight. There are various grades and gradations of it. It is silly for people to deny it in others for we all have it and it is the basic theme of real Zen Buddhism of which we know so little.
For example there is an athlete who has been coming here and I have advised him to change to the Chinese and Japanese systems. Well I received a long overdue letter from my closest British spiritual brother, a real Zen Buddhist. He has now opened a school in London combining all these “muscular” systems with then teaching of Wisdom and Meditation. I am now getting really excited. I hope to get more information and bring it to this man and help train him to become a teacher.
Insight and Calmness are the two main teachings of real Zen Buddhism. It is only when anchored in them that we can really delve into “excitement.”
Last night I had the young inquirers. Tonight I shall add some and the regular mureeds of Sufism, including those whom Bill has met. But I am adding to the class tow Christian mystics who have some inkling into Psychic Sciences and I am also going over my records and include material on basic Art instruction so as to give out “The wisdom of the Line.”
Your living room is not big enough to demonstrate it very well. Paul’s rooms are much better. As these belong to Psychic Sciences and not to what Sheikh El Senussi would call Ryazat they could be given to anybody but if he were interested I could combine this with his teaching without putting obligations on anybody.
Wednesday night to the big Tibetan relief dinner. Rev. Warwick will have to work. It is very hard to locate him. He works six days and on Sundays goes to Marin County.
On Thursday night I am taking a young Moor opt to dinner and originally it was to have been a small affair but several young people from Berkeley wish to meet me. They are very dissatisfied with the lack of spirituality alike among Americans and among the Muslims here who are very self-centered. And it is funny, that as Americans keep on looking to foreigners, foreigners are seeking Americans.
Friday night one of my close friends comes and I shall try to hear a Zoroastrian “spiritual teacher.” It is funny that if people come from India they are automatically spiritual. I fell I probably know already much more than this man does on the subject matter but will go anyhow. And I can assure you that if there is a difference all the elders will take his part and most of the younger mine. They want content not personality and the older want “vicarious atonement.”
In the meanwhile my closest friend, Mrs. Vocha Fiske, is coming and it may be her last visit here. She is well on in her seventies and expects to have her last days in Japan. In addition to our agreements in views in so many directions she also is in litigation and we both seem bound to get considerably more than we have.
I have just spoken to my attorney not daring to leave here until there is clearance. This is complicated by my brother’s illness. And I am caught between “musts” that I should be in Southern California and compulsions to remain here.
Tomorrow I am in school all day. There is much more progress in spiritual teachings then in society. In the university they demand knowledge, not personalism. All of this means tied down closely.
I hate preaching. Danny needs some brakes as well as accelerators. His Insight has not been working and in the letter from Bill this showed out clearly. He has never crossed my ego but he has crossed my Insight which is impersonal and even divine. The Will-of God is a reality and we all have it but don’t know it. So we make mistakes. He has not gone to Australia and he has not gone to Arizona and yet he has the capacity or leadership.
Danny has Insight into people but not into events. He may ultimately be a leader and even soon.
I have to sit home and wait both for my lawyer and brother before making plans. Besides Justice there is far more money involved than we want or need at the moment but actually it is as if both of us were disinherited.
I have contacted both my brother and attorney and tomorrow the first steps will be made toward a joint meeting. But I cannot afford to leave here until this is settled.
This afternoon will visit the Church of Man to discuss a lot of things including flying saucers, my own future and other matters.
Please read all or part of this to Bill. If you see Danny tell him that Janet has moved into a house full of young people who belong to the Aquarian Age. He would like them but then no doubt there are the same types appearing elsewhere.
Love and Blessings,
February 18, 1967
My dear Fred and Corinne:
To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and this applies to karma and today there is a complete reversal of everything as Hugo predicted and it is not necessarily much more comforting to be accepted more and more with unreason just as one was previously rejected with unreason. Unreason begets unreason and the situation that one was never permitted to speak his piece makes one a hero and one receives admiration often merely because one has been a rejectee.
I must begin with Gavin. The physiological situations surrounding him have not always been pleasant. The situation is aggravated because he is looked upon as a Sage in certain quarters. One can almost wise-crack that Gavin seems to be loved by everybody but his various wives! And at the moment there is a complex between those who admire his person and those who are interested in Astrology. With my various colleagues I have a waiting list for him but he has also gained a certain prestige, or publicity.
I am today absolutely convinced there is far more in Astrology than has been accepted, even more than Jung suggested. Many of my disciples have had horoscopes cast. I noted in quick succession two who had their Jupiters, one right on my natal Sun, one trine to it. Then a lady disciple had her natal Venus on my Sun, and sextile to her husband’s Mars, and thus his Mars was sextile to my natal Sun, and he is destined for a high spiritual roll.
Nearly all these young people have horoscopes harmonious to my own. But there is one thing clear, that either because of their close Neptunes or close Plutos there is an internal harmony which I have never seen in this culture. There is not only the baser love of the newspapers in their reflections on the Hippies, but there are discoveries of the Hippies, which the press will not accept, of higher phrases of love, on and on to the Christ Manifestation. As the press and publications will not accept the mystical point of view—excepting in derision, there is no use wasting time about it.
I had moved to their home after a prayer to have an audience of 12 and the accommodations being more, hoped for an audience of 30. The night I dared to have a Vietnamese speak on Vietnam!—an atrocious thing in our “culture,” there was no room for me in my own living room and it has been that way ever since. I know what these young people want, I know the whole advent of the Coming Race and I have no time to argue over patent facts.
The vast majority of these young have, in addition to their close Neptunes and Plutos, mother rejections. Another girl showed me Natal Moon 180o opposite Natal Venus. “You don’t get along with your mother.” “I never have, from birth.”
While all kinds of people with all kinds of rackets are seeking money for “Occult Research” etc. the Sufis are gradually presenting Occult knowledges and the real Alchemy back. They “can’t“ have this knowledge because, because and they are the only ones who ever had and they are giving without asking permission of the fund-raising “research” groups.
Virginia University has gone far ahead and I sent copy of the letter to them to the Cayce Foundation twitting the latter, that God made a superior White Race, so superior we don’t have to investigate anybody else, and, of course, superior men in that superior While Race. I received a very nice apology from Hugh Lyn. I could-never get that from our Eileen Garrets and all those-people who have “humility” and seek funds! V.U. has accepted my reports stuff “free speech wallahs” would never listen to. Wrong person.
But the denouement is that a Sufi is now teaching psychology at another University and I understand that that university has a chair in Occultism. This could never be in California, so full of “experts.” I have sent for three copies of this Sufi’s book on the integration or re-integration of personality and if you wish one you will get it. It is certain that there, without charging money one is leading people away from LSD and “grass.” I am thoroughly opposed to LSD because I believe all mineral products hurt the body. After the doctors took me down on Salt I found Inayat Khan taught the same thing.
But Marijuana is from Nature and I remember also Whitie’s researches on Tequila. Then there was the big battle at the Morain’s one day when I told the audience—who were attacking somebody else, an “un-expert” who had lived in India, making himself socially obnoxious, that India had two sciences which we hardly studied: Plant Psychology and Metal Psychology. The “un-expert” was never invited again—he was only living in India with Hindus, enough to make him a social outcaste, but today he would be a hero.
I presented the subject of Plant Psychology and know enough, fortunately never having studied Taoism, to work in this field with others. I believe we can have Elixirs and may know some of them although I have not tried them. We have lots to learn from Plants.
Whereas in the past the audiences would be aghast every time Sam Lewis attacked “experts” on Asia or they attacked him, the opposite is true today. The young people automatically support my position, knowing I have been disdained. No Aldous Huxley could hold his own in the universities and Krishnamurti would get it even worse than when he was here years ago. Personalism and personalities prove nothing.
The classes here in Buddhism and Philosophy contain a number of enrollees in both. Everything is objective, impersonal, factual and “expertism” is not permitted. The result is a totally different attitude toward an American who has need in Asia and studied with Asians as against “experts” who did neither. The Buddhist class has reached an internal harmony, objective, scientific and clear. The Philosophy class is in turmoil and Sam Lewis is astute enough to sit back and challenge the misuse of words.
While we have not discussed Semantics openly, the general feeling is that it is a cult based on personalities. This is unfortunate but natural. Unlike the G.S. people I was permitted to report on my studies in Russell, Frege, Cantor and others, thus am in a bind. For there is today no accepted Logic or Logistics and there cannot be until “noblesse oblige” is dropped and this the G.S. people seem unable to do—although there is always hope.
The presentation to the young of actual Oriental philosophies, their techniques and journeys to aspects of Love and Joy far beyond the Drug experience is attracting more and more young. One dares to present Lord Buddha’s teachings which are disdained alike by Japanese and those who are under illusions that “Oriental Philosophy” is a product of British geniuses. The results have been amazing. There is nothing “esoteric,” but since we accept Mortimer Adler’s “Great Books” and the unchallenged statements of various Englishmen, one sneaks in through the back door. And succeeds. And one was not prepared for such success.
One also applies Lord Buddha’s ethics—which may be unpardonable, but between Paul Reps and my own brother, the situation is so different as to be almost unbelievable. But Lord Buddha’s Ethics have nothing to do with “Oriental Philosophy” “only-in America”-style. This also works with Vietnamese but what right have they to butt into our culture!
In fact if I came south again it will probably be on account of Vietnamese or Buddhists, real ones. My next jump is north, to Seattle (Bryn Beorse) and Vancouver (my uncle).
We called on Emily the other day. She is much better. Both her boys are of the New Age, easily foreseeable. Both live in Marin County, but one in the Northwest, the other in the Northeast. We did not discuss John but her family and Art. She is expressing herself marvelously but one does not know about the social or commercial effect. Fortunately many of my disciples are artistically inclined.
This is all written because one sees the tremendous possibility of Human Integration and Re-Integration as soon as this culture rids itself of “humility” and becomes curious.
Last week I told one of my “secrets” and said that there were two men in the audience who knew me 45 years ago and anybody could ask them. The sciences of breath (there are many), Cosmic Concentration, and actual Yoga can do much to bring about self-realization (nothing like Yogananda)—no messiahs.
The newspaper strike prevents one from spreading and it is just as good. One has two marvelous god-daughters, one in Pakistan and one in this State, both succeeding spiritually and materially. There have been ages when no-one saw Sam without books (usually tomes) and again without gangs of kids. Now it is with young people and I laughingly say that Puddinhead Puck (P.P.) is going to now resume his work as the Pied Piper (P.S.) there is of course Peter Pan, also P.P. But that is another story.
If you ever come this way, look me up. If I come to Hollywood, wish to go “Corsican” with you.
Or as I tell the people in the Philosophy class, “To every aphorism there is an equal and opposite aphorism.” C’est la Vie.
Love and Blessings,
February 26, 1967
My dear Shamcher,
I am taking a little time off in the copying of those papers which you kindly sent me. Because of the changing scene here I have been going over Scriptures, especially Buddhist scriptures and cannot help note the differences between what is called “Buddhism” today and the teachings of Lord Buddha. One thing which stands out most is his doctrine of non-ego. But however contemporary “Buddhists” differ from each other—and they differ horribly, they seem united against any practicing of non-ego.
The meeting during the week with the man from Colgate University and his challenging me to explain Zen in simple words in a single sentence brought forth mutual recognition. He realizes that both what passes for “Zen” here today, and for “Buddhism” often has no relation whatever to the noble truths of Lord Buddha. They are simply discarded, and anything goes. So one looks for the natural karmic-reaction, and it will come, it always does. No insistence on the path of any VIP changes that.
The worse tragedy I ever had to face was the fall of Nicholas Roerich who gave out so many noble teachings attaching them all to his ego-self. Nothing is learned and more people will fall either because they themselves deride the noble teachings or because the audiences turn against them with or without reason.
I knew that the horrible congealing of people’s minds in Ojai had to be broken and I went there originally as if I had to do it. There is no better example that “God alone exists” than what has been happening there. Californians and Hindus have messianic complexes and anything goes but “do it yourself.” We do not seek salvation, we seek band-wagons.
I do not want to be at odds with Vilayat because in going to Ojai, consciously or unconsciously he has broken the silly Krishnamurti myth. It is easy to tell a true teacher from a false one: a false one cannot listen, does not listen.
I was at a meeting the other night in which the speaker said, “When I was in college I won the name of best listener.” The rest of us kept repeating that until he actually listened, and the evening ended in joyful joining together. But there are many, especially among the folk-heroes of California who are totally inept in listening. I personally consider that as almost the worse type of sin, next after hypocrisy and indeed it is a form of hypocrisy.
In any event I think the camel’s back of Krishnamurtiism is broken. Some ladies may be soon here from there, partly to see Gavin, partly to see me.
The great mystery of the moment is the part Danny Hathaway is to play. I have known this boy since babyhood but did not get too close, to put any sort of personal pressure on him. I have discussed him deeply with his mother but Erica has not understood motherhood while Bill is learning the great lesson of life—he is beginning to understand Love, something quite foreign to him. Consequently I tolerate (it’s really none of my … business) his weaknesses. They can be transformed.
There weren’t many Jews in India in those days but they had equality—Akbar decreed one religion, one vote, which was very undemocratic. Everybody was hating everybody else so much that the Jewish speakers were tolerated instead of being programmed. Akbar was a great Sufi devotee. As everybody was too busy hating, nobody listened to the Jewish speakers but the stenos and clerks and officials and nobody bated them or hated them. They were never forgiven. They did not make headlines.
So the Ben Gurion did not come to hear the Sufi because the Sufi was a Muslim and some Muslims were pro-Hitler (some of the rest of us too but they have been forgiven). You must always forgive the enemy that programmed you and keep on hating somebody who did not.
The Sufi was rather innocent (this is worse) and did not show any signs of hatred for anybody. He will never make the news that way.
Of course he is not a Sufi in Asia. Asians have their own forms of Sufis and President Hussain and President Ayub are both disciples of Sufism. But don’t let that deter you. Neither President is an “expert” on Asia, American style.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
March 17, 1967
My dear Shamcher:
All of a sudden I am feeling well. Phoned Gavin to make me a lunation or transiting chart. The last time he did I phoned and said, “Do you believe in your charts or your ego? Well what your charts say is happening.” It has and it is.
When I wrote “Six Interviews with Inayat Khan” there is nothing, absolutely nothing to indicate I was to become a Murshid and there is absolute everything to indicate I was to become a Sufi. And I have had “reasons” more selfish than unselfish here. I have wished to travel; I have wished to go into scientific research, and in a sense to avoid the responsibilities of looking after numerous souls which is the duty rather than the prerogative of the Murshid. And I have been very careful in giving the Bayat so far to emphasize the Sufi Order, but not naming anybody so I can name somebody at the proper moment.
You say Jesus went to India. I understand there is a tomb in Kashmir. I have not been then. I do not believe Jesus died on the cross and I have never asked him either. To be safe, or cowardly, I have accepted Mohammed’s version.
The last venture I had which I have dropped was presented by Jesus and I can tell details but that is getting away, from it. I prayed to God to be relieved and released and I was relieved and released on the ground that an experience in fana-fi-lillah outweighs one in fana-fi-Rassoul. Mohammed: “The words of Allah abrogate my words but my words never abrogate the words of Allah.” the Islamic world rejects this.
(At this point the phone rang. My brother realizes that his long efforts to keep me from getting money has resulted in his own near-bankruptcy. The lawyers have milked him dry and he is very ill. Now he is fighting for retroactive concessions which are what I want to put through our common projects.)
It was my goddaughter, Miss Khawar Khan who won a world philosophical content with my paper. She later met Hossein Nasr, one of the top Iranian Sufis. I have sent out “True Mysticism versus Pseudo-Mysticism” which has since been accepted by MIT, in Massachusetts. Your present proposals are in line with the letter received from him about a group of Sufis of many lands getting together with an international publication and wishing my help in writing.
For these rather selfish reasons I have wished to have some Pir in the West who would be the leader in the organization I should be working with or for. And my great regret with Pir Zade is not refusing to listen to my ego, but because of the vary definition that a “Sufi is one who sees from the point of view of another as well as of himself.”
My letters from India are uniformly excellent. I am glad you have based your Sufism on Divine Vision, for my theme has been that “Sufism consists of experiences and not premises” (Al Ghazali.)
Tonight I am prepared for what I long called my last public appearance. Senator Church is speaking. None of these people have ever listened to me—a priori rejections all over the place. But next the only Vietnamese Monk in this country has written to me and asked me to be host next week right after my examinations. This sort of thing goes on and on and on.
Among my new colleagues would be Titus Burkhardt who insisted that nobody could know anything about Sufism unless he had disciplinary training. “One Single Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God” does not depend upon leadership.
The other night I came upon an old paper regarding the esoteric papers. Whatever is in that has never been followed. I have watched one person after another, each having private reasons for not following Pir-o-Murshid’s institutes. He came to me time and again after his demise and said, “Either follow my pattern or verbalize the changes. If you change documents that will not mater but to use my institutions and constitutions verbally and not in fact will never produce good fruit.”
I regret despite the receipt of a P.O. slip from Bill Hathaway the materiel he was to have sent has not arrived. This is to be shared with you unconditionally—you have rights to copy, distribute, share or keep to your self.
Now you are nearly ready to receive my position in eternity. Received a request for funds from a Friends of Tibet organization and wrote under the name of Marpa, the great Bodhisattva who was teacher of St. Milarepa. Everybody wants money but few are willing to receive spiritual help or recognize spiritual leaders. I told my “Sarkhan” friend, Eugene, in going to a dinner for the Vietnamese today that I bet soon we would be approached by the pro-Tibetan group. Until there is spiritual awakening there will be such endless emotional appeals. I already have the documentary concerning Africa as I had concerning Vietnam and Japan. But I wish to concentrate on the food problems. I have a whole “Desert Reclamation” project and I am to have another interview on the 29th. Spiritual food fore America and material food for Asia is the purpose of my life.
Love and Blessings,
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
March 25, 1967
Hon. Thomas H. Kuchel
Senate Office Building
Dear Senator Kuchel,
Written in the spirit of Francois Villon in the play, “If I were King.”
Yesterday I sat down to the typewriter to write to Stewart Alsop who has an article, “Vietnam: Ten More Years of War” appearing in The Saturday Evening Post, March 25. Of course we are going to have ten years of war, we are going to have perpetual war until newsmen, the State Department and “commentators” listen occasionally to the little people who were there and to the nationals of the territories involved. These people are “out” exactly as in Sarkhan, and we haven’t changed a bit.—“Dove” and “hawk” alike stick to their own dialectics and lay down “solutions” for people with whom neither mingle much.
The telephone rang and a visiting Vietnamese professor asked me to reserve much of the day for him. It was easy. His secretary-driver who is a real disciple of real Buddhism knows me very well. And it is this sort of thing—when dignitaries from real Asia come here—is going on at an ever increasing rate. But does the State Department care? Does the CIA care? They want to win the war by their dialectic propaganda. They have laid aside every traditional American philosophy from Emerson to Blau of Columbia and are trying to force on a “believing world,” subjectivities which have never worked. We are trying to stop dialectics by another form of dialectics. And God help the American who is versed in Spengler’s “The Decline of the West”; he is refused the floor by any side, and the war goes on.
I have written before that during World War II we broadcast to the Japanese about Buddhism, about real Buddhism, not about the multifarious “only in America” ersatz movements which attract people and moneys and have nothing whatsoever to do with Asia faiths. I have also written about my long interview with Prof. Orr of UCLA, director of the Mekong River Development Scheme. This and other very objective moves and events have lead me to plan to make UCLA an heir, and are causing me to work as if it were an orphan child needing every kind of objective support. Anyhow the Buddhist Professor sought me out. And as he had real Buddhist training in real Japan also it was very very easy.
But between that telephone and the meeting I had my first newspaper interview. At least in America. Abroad I also get interviews and plenty of them. I don’t know what will happen about it but the fact is that one was interviewed is something.
Senator, I am all for the World Federalists Program. But what good is a “World Under Law” if we continue to evade eye-witnesses and call only opinion-makers to the stand. That is what is happening now. That is not American-law. That is not the Law which caused so much drama before our own Independence. I am for Law but I am not for opinion-makers only being in the box, and eye-witnesses excluded.
My own interviews with the Dr. Thich were more concerned with real Buddhism than with anything else but we are to meet again. His secretary-driver knows my friends, especially my fellow-Sarkhanians who have lived in Asia, including Vietnam and who are non-existent to the State Department and the Press.
We went to “Asia Foundation” but separated, I attending to my own business and finally we reached an agreement on “How California Can Help Asia.” In substance this will have nothing to do with politics but I shall concentrate on if after my return from abroad (if plans go on) and indirectly it will help very much. My contact at “Asia Foundation” is the first man I have met who knows more of Mangla Dam being built by a local corporation in Pakistan than about Assouan Dam purportedly being built by engineers of a foreign, and at the moment, competitive Nation.
We also discussed my gripe that there is no longer any attention to American-American philosophies, so much wanted by Asia-Asians who do not want to learn the defects of Marxism. They want to learn the virtues of Americanism. USIA cannot give them that. USIA and CIA are only prepared to show them the evils of Marxist dialectics.
My own experience that by knowing the religions of Asia and by knowing the American-American philosophies that have arisen in New England and Columbia University we can win the hearts of multitudes of Asians is out. We would rather fight; indeed at times it would seem we would rather die and exhaust our resources. I dissent and am glad to find there are other dissenters.
The world cannot live half dialectic, half free.
Samuel L. Lewis
722 Clementina St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
March 26, 1967
Beloved Ones of God:
It is fitting on this Christian Day of Resurrection to start a record, a rather poor one after forty years of “Six Conversations with Inayat Khan.” These meetings were never sought by the writer and the very fact that they were requested by the Pir-o-Murshid earned for the writer the ill-will of the then secretary, a pattern which has been repeated many times. And even now a Vietnamese Master, coming to this City sought this person before all others. This is the pattern of the life. And besides this one awoke this morning with the appearance of Lord Isa who said, “This is very significant.” So feeling the blessings of heaven one will proceed realizing all the way—without humilityﾀ??that time and age have dimmed the records.
The so-called “Warfare between Science and Religion” has been chiefly a warfare between trust and egotism. There are scientists with trust and scientists with egotism and there are religionists with trust and religionists with egotism. And so long as nufs remains dominant there will be misunderstandings, dissimulation, ill-will and divisions. Many people like it that way. But the culture of the time declares that the egotist is not the one who talks, who tells, who even brags, but the one who refuses to listen. Those who refuse to listen, whether they refuse to look through Galileo’s telescope, or at a later day at Frederick Soddy’s evidences of transmutation or anything else are the egotists.
Hazrat Inayat Khan declared that a Sufi was one who looked at life from two points of view, that of himself and that of another. In this respect he had hardly any disciples at all. For those who proclaim themselves “Sufis” descending from him; those who proclaim themselves “Sufis” descending from others; and those who are not Sufis but are constantly defining what a Sufi is, agree in not looking at life from anybody else’s standing, standpoint. Thus they conflict with the classical “Only Allah I saw,” and inasmuch as they place values in other than Allah no self-justification does any good; the world will remain divided and the Divine Message, which is in the sphere, will manifest either through others or to and through the whole of humanity—something of the kind being evident at this writing.
One does not remember any longer the exact six meetings in order. One’s records were destroyed in a fire in 1949 immediately after some of these records were forcibly seized by a person pretending to be a Sufi, having a following who call themselves “Sufis” but who do not attempt to practiceLa Illaha El Il Allah, proclaiming that the “Sufism” of the day is different.
The meetings were held in the Beverly Hills Hotel in the year 1926. The first one was the most significant to the reporter. In, the year 1925 one had come to the end of one’s tether and had gone into the wilderness to die, he thought. Instead he was completely resurrected and learned, for the first time, the Principle of Death and Resurrection of which this Day is significant. Briefly there were encounters with Khwaja Khizr, at the beginning, and with the Mursaleen in the end with Lord Mohammed appearing in double capacity, the other Messengers of God singly, and one we vested with a special Robe.
The history of the Robe will not be given here excepting that it reappeared many years later at Ajmir there presented by Moin-ed-din Chisti (many witnesses), and again by Amir Khusrau and Dargah Nizam-ud-din Auliya (in the presence of Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Sani Nizami). Finally it as given in actuality by Pir-o-Murshid Sufi Barkat Ali, at Salarwala, Lyallpur District, in West Pakistan. The Robe here is substantiating testimony. It may have no effect on egocentric people any more than the evidences of scientists had effects on egocentric people. Those who wish to believe will in the end be believed: those who do not wish to be believed, in the end they will not be believed.
The whole history of the 1925, the first Khilvat of the writer was told to Pir-o-Murshid. All records are gone. Three times was it submitted to various descendents of Hazrat Inayat Khan in Europe, and discarded. The failure of the Message of God in Europe and to some extent in America is due to too much Message and no God, and in the end personality emphasis. Pir-o-Murshid said, “Heart speaks to heart and soul to soul.” This is for those whose ears and inner beings are opening, or opened.
The effect of the experiences, mystical or occult was the rejection of the person by the whole culture. In 1930 he came upon “Acts of the Adepts,’ a French translation of the work of Efleki of the Mevlevi School and found many of those “saints” had identically the same experiences. This only produced a sort of martyrdom, but the Grace of Allah is greater than anything else. And the blessings from Khwaja Khizr have resulted in fairly stable physical prowess and only the slow introduction of integration and senescence. People who talk Grace are not always willing to accept its evidences. But now there is a new age, a new generation that does and there are strong reactions against the closed hearts, the closed ears, the closed spirits of those of the past.
Pir-o-Murshid listened and told me to write. But in the next meeting something happened and it will stand as a testimonial, an unfortunately testimonial against those who worship the Teacher and discard the Teaching, a habit which is universal, and which brings only misfortune.
La Illaha El Il Allah. (The detailed record of self may follow later.)
There is a practice called Tawajjeh. At the second meeting Pir-o-Murshid asked, “Samuel, how many faithful mureeds do you think I have.” I could not guess. “Make a try.” “Well I should say one hundred but inasmuch as you indicated by your question it was many less. I’ll hazard a guess, but I don’t believe it, so I’ll say twenty (20).
“I wish I had twenty. I wish I had ten. (Then standing up he gave the Tawajjeh in a loud voice. “I Wish I Had Five!” Standing and calling in a very loud voice: “Would you believe it, your Murshid has not as many faithful mureeds as he has fingers on one hand.” I fell over. The chair fell and I think I turned the only somersault of my life.
When I got up he told me of his troubles. This was never believed. Neither the disciples of the East (Europe) or the West (America) accepted that. Then he began telling me some things which were also told to Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Nizami on his deathbed. These fall in two classes, the first on succession, the second on the Sufi Order.
He began telling me that he wished me to defend Murshida Martin of San Francisco who had been my original teacher (1919-1923) and in another vein after that. I was to stand by her and to protect her but see to it that she never defended herself. He went over that again and again and again.
He said he expected trouble and I was to write to Mr. E. de Cruzat Zanetti in Geneva about what he told me.
Murshida Martin was then under attack by several people. She had the fana-fi-Rassoul with Mohammed soon after she met Hazrat Inayat Khan. She had a long training in European Occultism and in Comparative Religion. But during the years I knew her, although she was a Murshida I know of only one or two experiences in fana-fi-Rassoul and one in fana-fi-lillah on her part. This was much more than others experienced. I was not initiated into fana-fi-Sheikh until 1930 when Hazrat Inayat Khan began to appear to me “from the other side.”
I was told, over and over again:
a. Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan intended that Murshid Martin be his successor.
b. She was never to defend herself on any compassion and positively never in public.
c. She was to divest herself of all rights to handle funds.
This was the history. The aftermath was terrible.
The first thing that happened after the death of Hazrat Inayat Khan was my removal from the Board of Trustees which handled the funds. Never after that until the dissembling of the Khankah which Pir-o-Murshid blessed was I (Sufi Ahmed Murshid) ever permitted to say a word about finances.
The funds were handled by a Board of Mureeds with the Murshida, but with the advice and consent of her family and never was any undertaking done without the family and when this person refused to continence private deals in which her family benefited, he was never forgiven, ever.
It must have been this spirit which was felt in Europe where the vast majority of disciples refused to accept Murshida Martin as successor to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. But they surely felt the nufs. It is to one’s great regret that Murshida Martin always insisted on defending her nufs in public and this lead to her downfall.
True, when she visited Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Hasan Nizami he proclaimed her as successor to Hazrat Inayat Khan. There were deliberations and newspaper notices and she was accepted or at least respected in the undivided India. But none of this had the slightest effect in Europe.
Still if we have to see life from the standpoint of another as well as ourselves, the outlook is that there is nothing that can be called exactly right or exactly wrong.
Later on in life, much later than the above events, when an outsider came alone and insisted that Rabia give up public self-defense and control over funds, she did that without a whisper. She could not do that at dying request of her own Pir-o-Murshid, but for an outsider she did that. Her death was a tragedy.
This had to do with the paper for the disciples. There were several rules and constitutions in the short career of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. At that time he had papers called “Gathekas” for non-mureeds (some of them later published in “The Unity of Religious Ideals”), “Gathas” for the first years and “Githas” for the next three were further instructions at other meetings.
The Sufi Movement had been envisioned as covering twelve grades, but the last degrees were for teachers only. Only if there was a “full graduation” the person either became a Khalif or its equivalent, but that was outside the immediate instructions.
Pir-o-Murshid told me how he wanted these things handled. He made me esoteric but not exoteric leader in Los Angeles. That is to say my authority was limited to the teaching of disciples and the training of applicants and their first Bayat. There was little in this meeting which did not extend to others elsewhere.
The Sufi Order was to be divided into three sections, and this also appears in the literature called The Sufi Message. There was to be the Sufi Order, for mureeds and spiritual instruction: b. the Universal Worship, which was a ritual including scriptures of all faiths; c. The Brotherhood, which was to be the intellectual side of the teaching to bridge the gap between mysticism and universal culture.
He went into exact details and told no to work with Miss Sakinda Furnee in Suresnes, France, but if anything happened to her I was to take over. She did retire on Pir-o-Murshid’s death. This appointment was never recognized in Europe and has been de-emphasized in America.
Still one has gone on trying to bridge the gap between mysticism and general culture and the last few weeks show, that if one persists for forty years, he will surely succeed. But this success comes when there is no practical working Sufi Movement. It is only after constant stress that the Pir Zade has recognized this.
All the people who have assayed to mystical or spiritual leadership have assumed, and assumed without any evidence whatsoever, that this exoteric understanding would interfere with their missions, their presumably duties and their claims. These is so much to do with teaching the spiritual sciences. And now one has reached a complexity because the young, to whom one was not originally sent, accept his spiritual prowess; and at the same time there is increasing acceptance of his person all over the world as one bridging the gap between the Intellectual and Mystical worlds. If Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti has any rights as “Khalif” or “Murshid” these came from Pirs outside the Sufi Order of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
One would prefer to work in and with one of the various constitutions laid down by Hazrat Inayat Khan. Long after he had left the world he asked that the disciples, particularly in Europe, either restore the constitutions—any one of them—that he had given, or have a visible constitution which could be seen by others. Instead there have been nothing but unsubstantiated ego-claims, as if there was no Universal God.
It is notable, that after all these years what Pir-o-Murshid gave instructions in is coming to pass. Pir-o-Murshid said, “Neither can I be broken nor God, but the one who would break me, he is broken.”
This had to do with the science of commentaries. Originally this had been part of the general teachings. There was an Exoteric Constitution (there were several) which distinction called for commentaries. Each person to become Khalif was supposed to write a commentary on the “Gathas” the first three years’ instructions, and each Murshid on the “Githas” the next three years instructions (very profound).
While this was explicit in the Exoteric Constitution, years later when I saw a copy the section had been removed. It is noteworthy that none of the persons who have assayed to be the successor of Hazrat Inayat Khan have attempted anything of the kind. The evidence is that they are incapab1e, and certainly the visits of various members of the Khan Family to Asia have not evinced their awareness of the Divine Being or proficiency in Hal and Makam.
When Rabia Martin appointed one Mrs. Ivy Duce as her successor, that lady, proclaiming the Parsi Born Meher Baba as “Avatar,” laid aside all provisions for the study of Hazrat Khan’s writings. What is done with them now one does not know but there is no evidence of proficiency in inner and outer mystical sciences, and even less in that kind of Love which binds hearts regardless of birth, class or any other artificial or natural division.
In 1930, when in Khilvat on the third anniversary of the death of Hazrat Inayat Khan, his spirit appeared to me and I began writing the commentaries from the standpoint of fana-fi-Sheikh. One of the last letters of Hazrat Inayat Khan, on his deathbed, was to thank me for my efforts. This letter was destroyed in the fire of 1949 along with 25 years research and collections of materials on the above and related subjects. The case of these commentaries is in one’s hands.
This began with an initiation (Bayat) and later when I looked up Hazrat Inayat Khan’s early record I found he had initiated me as “Sufi.” One dare not take that appellation and it was only years later, resolving such Bayat openly from Pir-o-Murshid Sufi Barkat Ali that one could use it. But this appellation was also confirmed by Pir-Dewwal Shereef, President of the Board of Directors, Islamabad University and Pir-o-Murshid of President Ayub Khan. It has been accepted in Asia by many Pirs, many schools.
Pir-o-Murshid then asked me to study all his constitutions, all his records and submit findings to, Mr. Zanetti in Geneva. This was not an easy task. The records were scattered. Murshida Martin had a book for Murshids which she put away for safety and at her death nobody was able to find it. But at her death one found a lot of scattered miscellany in strange places. These covered the complete Ryazat of Hazrat Inayat Khan. As they have been rejected by everybody else, they become one’s own but are to be placed before Sufi Barkat Ali, and shared or not shared according to his decision.
This last was the most important of all the meetings. Pir-o-Murshid went over everything with patience. I have since found several attempts on his part for a constitution. One was based on prowess in Bihar, never completed. Another on advancement in hal and makam. Another on different bases. All these records were either destroyed, lost in the fire of 1949, or came into the hands of Mrs. Ivy Duce and moribund. But many of the principles are found in Volume X of the “Sufi Message” now published. For practical purposes this volume includes basically everything needed for a Sufi School in any and all parts of the world.
Pir-o-Murshid explained the position of Mursaleen and last November when Sidi Abu Salem Al-Alawi came to San Francisco he gave exactly the same teachings. He did not establish a khankah here saying it was not necessary as one in the audience had all the teachings and Baraka. The audience then did not assent but sine that time there has been an ever-growing attention to the Teachings rather than the person.
It is hoped some day this person will be given the papers requisite to his place in the spiritual life so he can continue the commentaries as requested by Hazrat Inayat Khan. There is one slight possibility of this that the present Pir Zade will awaken to the seriousness of the position in which he has been placed.
The Sufi Movement in Europe broke, deliberately or not, the problems of succession by “selecting” a Healer (Shifayat), Ali Khan, a cousin of Hazrat Inayat Khan as “Pir-o-Murshid” or “Sheikh-Ma-Sheikh.” This was a flagrant violation of his rules and wishes. Even now a delightful old gentleman, a brother, Musheraff Khan, has assumed the title of Pir and the rumor is that he has selected certain favored relatives for successors. This is in direct violation of all principles of tasawwuf.
However there are now too many efforts on the part of those who have some prowess in hal and makam to come together realizing the unity of all Knowledge, the passing of the importance of national boundaries, and the coming of a movement toward the Brotherhood of man.
This has been written rather hurriedly in face of a number of dramas and climaxes surrounding the writer and it is hoped that at some leisure time, or in khilvat if possible, one can submit a more sober report. At this writing Pir Zade Vilayat Khan seems to have assented to his Father’s wishes about this person being a leader in “Exoteric Sufism.” As several organization of world importance have already done so, it becomes foolish to deny what is so obvious in the “Mind of God.” This person has been totally unsuccessful in convincing any of the other claimants to spiritual leadership that it in no wise infringes on the appointments given by Hazrat Inayat Khan nor do they in turn determine either the Pir-o-Murshid succession or Hierarchal status of others.
The writer saw a similar impasse in the Shadhili School in Cairo and noted how they determined the succession, in love, in harmony and in mutual trust. There are many by which problems can be solved. The tragedy is a school of Sufis discarding one after another the exoteric science which could be used to settle problems, and resorting to ego-reasons, or rather just ego, then justified, instead of to Allah.
The rise of a new generation, not to say culture, that wishes Divine Experience direct and not personalities and personalisms means, inshallah, that the Truth (Hikmat) will manifest despite all the arguments, unsubstantiated statements and claims of all persons. This includes those of the writer himself who is not without faults. But in a law court an eyewitness is permitted the box not on his private merits or demerits but on whether he has been the witness to events causing litigation.
Around 1946 the writer entered in fana-fi-Rassoul. Although this came from Mohammed the Khatimal Mursaleen, it was followed almost immediately by a similar experience with Jesus (Isa). And on this day it was the appearance of Lord Jesus which has prompted the report at this time.
With all love and blessings to whomsoever reads this and to whomsoever has access thereunto.
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti
(Samuel L. Lewis)
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
April 5, 1967
My dear Gavin:
I am leaving here tonight and when I return will start putting my things in storage. Evelyn has raised … because some hippies have been coming here and I am not going to argue with her. Coming into another legacy I was about to buy her a stove and do other favors. But some things you surmised are quite right and I’ll tell you about them when I see you.
I am arranging for Marge to handle my mail down on Harriet St. when I am gone and help her a little. My things will be stored several places. It may depend on my brother who has been ill for some time. We have made peace on all fronts.
But the same ill aspect which struck my brother seems to have hit Vocha. She is in a resting home and Lloyd has softened considerably.
The Semanticists have gone too far. They rejected a paper of mine—they always do that. I sent it to MIT which is not exactly a school for dunces and they have sent for me. I don t know what will happen.
I am interested in the progressions via transit or otherwise. I feel nothing but Uranus and while it seems favorable it keeps me from settling down anywhere anyhow.
I am leaving for Ojai and after journeying south will spend a short while at Santa Barbara, especially at the University and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.
I hear you have not been well and making “excuses” but the fasts are as above, that there is unusual sensitivity to present aspects. I had three decks of cards and the Ace of Spades fell out of each within two days. I told Jack, “Death is coming.” Then after three deaths of friends, there were three deaths of acquaintances here within 24 hours. I have never witnessed anything like that.
April 6, 1967
My dear Sharab,
This is being written on a beautiful spring morning in Ojai Valley. It is as record which will have some historical value, especially when the new Generation turns from “personalities” to facts and events and ultimately to what are called “truths,” a very ambivalent word which the old love and the young shun and nowhere more than in this Valley, inhabited as it is by a strange combination of the most conservative types and the more metaphorical-metaphysical types. The former are hopeless and are being removed; the latter are also hopeless and are being replaced. But the theosophical movement was right in predicting this Valley may become one of some importance on the super-physical levels. The old take words seriously but are afraid of any direct experiences on every other level as of the devil, and the young are out to experience and refuse to be bound by empty words.
We have our cultures of experiences and ideas. Experience-people want knowledge and idea-people judge by external personalities. But the time is coming when the young who control, who measure by “let the light shine before men” and not by any subjectivities.
The change began last November when a great Sufi Saint, Sidi Abu Salem Al-Alawi came here. I was asked to bring credentials and brought him a picture of his own Pir-o-Murshid whose 1ife has been written by one Professor Lings. I then mentioned the name of a friend and asked if he knew him. “Why,” said one of the disciples, “he lived in our house.” This is the type of testimonial which attracts “Orientals” and which causes confusion to Western metaphorical-metaphysical cultists. They want everything but facts and truths.
The Sidi spoke on three subjects, and the greater part of this address could have been lifted bodily out of Pir-o-Murshid’s earlier lectures. But when he spoke on the Five Grades of Nufs I continued in English, to the dismay of most of the Americans present who did not like my “interferences.” Pir-o-Murshid may have said. “Heart speaks to heart and Soul to Soul but the cultist-types won’t accept that, and thus cults are cut off from the Message of God and the Brotherhood of Man. This external judgment will continue but now, before there is the counter-movement and it is growing and growing. As Hazrat Inayat Khan said, “The Message is in the Sphere. If I had not brought it somebody else would have.“ We don’t as yet believe that. We still believe in personalities.
The Sidi said he would not come to San Francisco to establish a Khankah, that there was already somebody there who had the Hikmat (Wisdom) and Baraka (Magnetism). The audience did not believe him, and the young believe with the same clarity as the old reject. And it is the young who will live.
Then, as the cartoonist says, “The fun began.”
Death. I owned three decks of cards. The Ace of Spades fell out of each, “accidentally.” I told my colleague Jack, Death. The first to die was Aramdarya Berrenburg, last of Inayat Khan’s secretaries here. Then several others and more recently a group of acquaintances. I have not been permitted to attend the funerals.
Illness. This struck so many of my closest friends. I am going now to get news of Vocha Fiske who has been with me in thick and thin on all the cultural and all the spiritual levels for years. It is remarkable how our lives are intertwined. This is also true is the world of Litigation. My brother is confined to the home and has released me from all obligation, so I may go now.
Litigation. The first settlement gave enough money to make a trip to England and return. The second has raised my income considerably. Only at the moment I have to meet both present and future Income Tax payments as I am leaving the country. But everything is different. So I have achieved the great American virtue. $$$.
A Sufi Has No Home or Family or Country. Etc. This is fine for the text but when it happens you get it. There are two ko-ans in the Bible for this person. (a) The stone which is rejected has become the corner-stone; (b) Unless the Lord buildeth the house they labor in vain….” The last we spew. All around me I see cults, churches, everybody collecting funds for their particular fm form of “House of God” and everyone is going to convert everybody also as soon as they collect enough funds. This is contemporary spirituality.
History. I have written down “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan. They are incomplete but every statement not only will be but is being accepted in Asia. I am unconcerned about the West but so long as we have the Sciences where only facts counts, and another culture where facts are subordinate to personality we cannot have Peace or Freedom. We all love our private privileges too much.
Experience. After getting a very rude a priori rejecting by a local editor, on super-physical experiences, I took the paper and sent it to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT). They wanted to see me at once. The same thing that others reject and mostly without examination, the top institution in the country wants to see.
I have now sent a variant of it to Dr. Gardner Murphy at Meninger Institute in Topeka. At school (University Extension) all direct experiences on all levels are accepted with the same sang froid. The experience counts, the person does not. In the metaphysical world this is not done. We love personalities and reject, “In the hour (guise) ye think least the Son-of-Man cometh.”
Eviction. This is going to make me a hero. The odd types who are today lumped together as “Hippies” have been coming to my place in greater and greater numbers., They are finding that there are states of consciousness which can be reached without drugs and they are finding you can reach greater and higher states. We are afraid of them. We are afraid both of odd creatures and we are still more afraid of higher states of consciousness. But you can demonstration these to the young. You can demonstrate by taking them with you and they go. So I already have a nucleus of young people. Just one woman, the rest males. This young woman is the wife of a man who has the Sufi Symbol on his forehead and does not know it. He is definitely marked for higher things.
So my landlady ordered me out. I was already to buy her a new stove and take her out of debt, but she, like all older people, especially women, cannot and do not listen. True, this is on the physical plane but all planes are planes of truth.
This eviction is also going to save me money for it will cost much less for storage and one begins to find what friends one has. Even my brother, so long opposed, is battling to the death literally for me now.
Sufi Teachings. These are in two parts. The most profound called Irfan have been sent to Murshid Shamcher Bryn Beorse who lives near Seattle. He is also one of the last of Inayat Khan’s direct disciples. I also have the school of Warisi which will soon be released. It is really an elementary or proprietary school. Although SAM was not initiated direct in this school at Karachi, when they learned I knew all about it. I was inducted with a great feast. Americans as yet do not conceive the difference in the psychologies and outlooks of Asians. We prefer “Psychology East and West” from Alan Watts. This saves us the discomfort of living with Asians.
There are also the teachings of Princes Dara Shikoh which I have not gone over but I am under spiritual orders to collect things and will try in America. Don’t think I am the only Americans who has been rejected by the West after initiation into the higher realms of Sufism. Only I think shall be the last with this discomfort.
I have with me shattered papers of all kinds which will be re-arranged under subject-matter as The Complete Ryazat of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Already I am assured of a favorable response in Asia. I only hope that some westerners will “Obey our hearts that we may hear thy Voice which cometh constantly from within.”
Hierarchy. As these teachings do not, excepting by indication, include some of those of the higher, hierarchal teaching, I am to look them up. Now God is for me as you can see by further reading here, and, as I said above, this is an historical record. I am not building any exclusive One Single Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God. We have enough of them, especially in this valley—all Brotherhoods, veddy exclusive.
Inheritances. I was given a vast library for being the only one around who studied Asian Philosophies with Asian Masters. So I was given the library. And also with it all the original manuscripts of the late Nyogen Senzaki. I just copied on for Shamcher called “Sufi and Zen.” I was the person who introduced Senzaki to Pir-o-Murshid though my name does not appear and I was the one to follow it up and as the oldsters, who won’t believe anyhow, are dying, the youngsters who will believe anyhow will accept the reports exactly as they accept other verbal reports. Old people must have their samskaras, reactions-impressions and those are too valuable to them to be changed.
But not only did one receive the library and papers but a trunk-of-mystery. We pried it open and one was amazed to find the ritual elements of all kinds left by the late Nyogen Senzaki with my name on them. I nearly fainted. Rejected and rejected by the vast majority of “Buddhist” in this country I have now the line of Buddhist Hierarchal Inheritance, the first such person in history. It may have been written in the heavens, but one has to be patient about the earth. All the evidence and testimonials does not affect hard hearts. But who wants to have a hard heart?
If this were not enough, in the next mail I received a full blessing from Roshi Soen Nagakawa, the head living Rinzai Zen monk. There is a whole history here which I am not going into. Only as I prepare to leave the Korean Grand Master in Philadelphia, the Zen people in New York will accept SAM as the earlier Americans have not. And occasionally it just might be that sundry Asians may know as much, if not more, of Asian philosophies as the conglomerate of Germans, Englishman and anti-social Americans. (An American dressing queer is a social outcaste but a soon as he lectures on Asian wisdom he becomes a super-saint. No other change is needed.)
There are all sorts of books in the library including some of Hierarchy and this is one of my missions now.
The Robe will go with me to England. There is a whole history in it and of it and when a few people in the West accept it—the Robe, not the person wearing it—there will be a spiritual transformation. Here I have run into a whole school of Seers who measure by light-emanations and already they know the secret which all the telling does not tell, but now it will be different.
Anyhow there is going to be an international meeting of Sufis and others. To belong you either have to be an Asian or studied under valid Asian masters, and then be rejected by your own culture. I have been selected for America. I know about some of the others. If you don’t get “credentials” from some university or from some socially-recognized people … well the Bible said, “The stone which is rejected is become the corner stone.”
Vietnam. I suppose one could rant and rave on indefinitely. One has long come to agreement with Dr. Radhakrishnan on everything. Including Vietnam. Mystics are not strange sorts of analysts. They see beyond analysis into realms for which the Sanskrit Language has words. English does not. I shall name these in part e.g. Vijananavada and Anandavada mentioned in “The Story of Lot” in “The Unity of Religious Ideals” and Prajna which is the same as Kashf. When one has knowledge it is easy but having knowledge does not mean you will be accepted by those who have not—in the sciences, sometimes yes; elsewhere, especially in religions, no.
After my 34 rejections on this subject a Vietnamese Master came to San Francisco and other than “Asia Foundation” and Bishop Hanayama who are my friends, would not call on anybody and we are off soon to see him. We talk about Asians but we do not associate with them and we still regard nice Englishmen and un-nice Americans as spokesmen for the Far East. I think this is found “only in America.” Elsewhere they accept Asians as spokesmen for Asia and don’t like them.
There is a revolution here in Ojai led by one Hathaway. His parents were both disciples of Jon Wood, youngest disciple of Pir-o-Murshid. There are some things I won’t mention here because they depend on a greater appreciation of Akasha and Akashic records then we have. The old won’t accept through certain persons and the young accept.
Vilayat wanted Erica, Danny’s mother, to start a meditation group here. The whole valley is filled with exclusive “meditation” groups but no insight (Kashf-Prajna).
The “secrets” of akasha were given in the Githas on Mysticism. Bhakti still has those papers and I believe Vilayat would want them released. I have already released everything above; man does not own anything, especially wisdom. It is not property. We spoke with Jelila last night. She is about to become a mother again and we are to see the Frayleys Saturday and I presume, this means Bhakti. They are not far awry—same country.
What is Bhakti going to do with papers which she has no right to? I haven’t the slightest idea but I do know that Bob and Jelila are real spiritual aspirants and devotees.
The same story concerning my scientific ventures holds here. This game of ego-rejection holds the world back on all planes. With God’s help we can break down these egos. I leave soon but will not call on you unless there is change in schedule. I am presuming to long distance you from Pittsburgh but with so such luggage I don’t want to stop any place not necessary.
Love and blessings,
May 25, 1967
My dear Shamcher:
After a long hiatus I am making a diary entry. The outbreak of near hostilities shows that we cannot avoid karma and especially the good old American karma of being shocked after rejecting all reports from Americans who have been where dramatic history is being made. It is against our culture to accept eyewitness reports which do not coincide with CIA policies. We are going to be shocked again and again and again. I have said, sarcastically, “The CIA accepts nothings, the FBI everything, same government, different agencies, how come?”
The return of Julie Medlock to India shows the futility of trying to get any factual information accepted in this country, Then I was in Hong Kong I was briefed at length by a friend (who lives in Marin County) as to how news reports are made, mostly fictitious and fictional, out of night-clubs by half-drunk reporters and these are invariably accepted and our foreign policies arranged accordingly. As Julie Medlock and my local friend I have never met but gave exactly the same reports respectively from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and as all events have followed in accord with their reports, you can be sure that everything is well but facts, or as our friends the semanticists say, “Do not let facts becloud the issues.”
When I was in Egypt I was amazed to find that even Saudi Arabians accepted my premises for a program which would have included Israelis. I could hardly believe it. I was getting a newspaper interview and while this was going on (Shepheard Hotel, Cairo), someone announced “Paging Terry Duce! Paging Terry Duce!” I could hardly believe it. I saw him next day and on and off until his death telling him I expected to work on Desert Reclamation Projects.
Without going into details efforts in Desert Reclamation Projects have been as successful as other things have not. I now have colleagues all over the world. My interests at Riverside were particularly successful, cordial and cooperative and my closest colleague at Berkeley. Paul Keim, will soon return. I am not troubled about any Peace program based on pragmatics and science and I am avoiding everything sociological and dialectic at any cost. Indeed my first move takes place today.
Until recently I seemed to have and ageless anatomy and an aging physiology. Now it is the opposite. My organs are in the best shape they have ever been, going back as for as I can remember, but the bones and muscles are like those of a growing youth who has not reached his maturity, It is so funny, to observe a body which I hope can function as a temple of God and not as part of an Ego-person. And I am going back to Tree and Soil research this summer. I shall see the doctor for a check-up Monday and this will include advice on travel.
The particular moment permits air-travel, railroads questionable and car and bus very limited.
Financially I am in the funniest position of my life. My brother worked against me all his life. We compromised on my mother’s state. I am receiving enough make a trip to England and he is also paying my lawyer. My lawyer asked we to make up and I said, “Either a double-cross or he
(Elliott) will become my champion. The latter has happened. I got something from my mother’s estate. My brother also paid my lawyer. The estate has not been probated; I was treated as an outsider and therefore privileged person. My brother’s lawyers have made atrocious claims and besides that the title to the family home has disappeared! This is karma for you.
A lot of people think they are above karma and the moral law and they are the ones who always suffer most in the end. We cannot abolish morality and we don’t.
As for my father’s states, my brother discovered he was hurting himself and that we were both entitled 50-50. The result is I am getting more than expected and am in good shape for the first time in my life. I may go in with Luther Whiteman’s old friend to take over the household shores. As soon as I am well we shall look for a place.
Incidentally as my uncle lives in Vancouver, B.C., I am proposing visiting him and may even go into Alberto, especially as a result of the election. But I told my travel agent I should be stopping at Seattle either en route or returning. This won’t be for some months but I sense it coming.
I went down to Ojai originally to break up the status around Krishnamurti. In India and California everybody is looking for a Messiah. There is no objection but there are too many Messiahs and this is especially true of the confusion over Angelic-Man and Divine-Man. Angelic-Man cannot lead humanity. He is clear, clean and bright but no wisdom. My visit to Ojai was followed not only by Vilayat but by others and the hold K. has over those people is breaking. But to my amazement I did affect the status quo and the number of long-distance calls received has amazed me. Besides that as Erica Moore surprised me in a most miraculous way with a gift, details were sent her and I cannot tell you what it means to me.
Music to Unite East and West. There are two points in Pir-o-Murshid’s Massage which stand out dominant: “Thy Light is in all forms, Thy Love in all brings, “a phrase rejected by people who want what the Hindus call the “Monkey-path.” I won’t go into that but I won’t compromise. The other is “By the power or Thy Music unite East and West.”
During the years I have received the Mysticism and Sound and the Inner Music. Out of “Hippy-Land” there are many who are seeking and some finding this inner music. Indeed I have to go out this afternoon on this errand also in Berkeley.
The mysticism of drums, gongs, and bells is accepted intuitively by the Hippy-world. I don’t know what is coming next but I know it is coming.
Joel Andrews. Gavin Arthur’s nephew, is demonstrating outwardly on the Harp exactly what I have been taught inwardly. It is marvelous. As Pir-o-Murshid said, “The Message is in the Sphere and if I did not give it out. Somebody else would.” And this Message is coming more and more in, “By the Power of Music unite East and West.”
Gavin is still in the hospital. So Vocha Fiske, and others.
Mysticism. Two weeks ago I manifested the Madzub state for two hours. It did not attract those present, excepting one man. (Karl). But when I received a letter from my God-daughter in Pakistan, I entered into Divine Union while answering her. She is being sought by the colleagues of the later Hasan Nizami. There is something going on uniting all the followers of Hasan Nizami with Inayat Khan’s followers. I can “see” it without knowing it. So I am planning, Inshallah, to return to the Orient either late next year or in 1969 to fulfill a big Mission.
Saadia is my God-daughter and also Khalifa and all her reports are marvelous. The only claim I have is in the prowess of my disciples, East and West.
Karl lives in Bolinas. He came to me for Bayat and I saw the Sufi Symbol in his forehead. This is a sign he is to be my Khalifa. He has gathered a whole group of Hippies around him. They are leaving Haight St. and going to work, growing vegetables and engaging in folk-arts. They will form a nucleus which may enable me to do something when the gatherings are here this Summer.
The Hippies have called for Spiritual Teachers from all over the world to come here but I am wondering which based of review will have the power to eject and reject. At the moment it is made up of some social rejecters who are listened to who are champions of lasciviousness and anarchy especially in sex. There are some very few people in Hippieland who know anything about happiness! They know what is wrong, but do not know what is right.
Sciences will my interviews have been successful and I have piles of letters unable to answer.
India. My next move will be to contact President Husain. I see nothing but wonder and success here.
Pir-o-Murshid. I am unable to complete my writing at the moment I had some help but two people got jobs. Bill Hathaway may return and I shall pay him and I have a young women also who can type is interested in Floriculture and also in Zen.
Zen Buddhism. Before the illness I received the accolade from the top Rinzai Master and have the good-will of the top Korean and Vietnamese. I shall go as the first person in history who has received the open reorganization as both a Sufi and Zen teacher.
Sunday night the Buddhist here will honor me for the first time. True I have all the writing and all the paraphernalia of the late Nyogen Senzaki, etc. I have told you about the meeting of Senzaki and Pir-o-Murshid. The only time I spoke before the Buddhists six persons showed up! All I did was to read some Scriptures and challenge the audience if they had ever ready them. Exactly one had. It s the privilege of “Buddhists” to reject their teachings, just as it is Buddhists go further they reject their scriptures. My feeling with Dr. An was totally different.
And tonight I shall be welcomed by Dr. Chaudhuri. He made the same serious mistake of preferring the angelic type to the prophetic type and has just received the “double-cross.” He has with him a friend of the late Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Nizami who speaks tonight.
I can see a whole new cycle. I have resigned from all local groups but two and am definitely needling them. With the Semanticists there has been success. I have not opened their last letter but the blind acceptance of the reports of the late Aldous Huxley and the a priori rejections of my papers, all of which went into the waste-basket becomes ridiculous. Corinne Reinhold told me of the last days of Aldous Huxley. He wrote under LSD and his reports have been accepted in some quarter as scientifically valid—and he confessed that all his later works were hoaxes, written under pain knowing they would be published to give his wife—now widow—funds.
The other is the World Federalists. I have been as unsuccessful with them as I have been successful with actual UN representatives. But now there is supreme indifference. Since Julie Medlock has returned to India (or is returning) I see only strength to my world-program. The president has come out for Water Research, etc. This is the first step.
This is unusual because we do want to share our scientific knowledge with the world. It would be unfair to the brother dialecticians of the “left.” This is nonsense. There are no communist working on desert reclamation project. But then there are no dialecticians of other camps either. I am sending a copy of this to Ivy Duce. Physically and otherwise I owe a great deal to her husband.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
June 3, 1967
My dear Adolph and Eve,
How are you? I should have long since visited you but alas, for the first time in my life I was stricken. Outwardly it was a combination or food poisoning and a kidney ailment. Inwardly it was the constant rejection of efforts to present the points of view of the majority in Vietnam, the Buddhist peasants who have been omitted from all consideration.
Just before the illness I had spent two days with a Vietnamese Buddhist who is now teaching the University of California in Los Angeles. It is hard, slow work with all the “experts” in the way, all kinds of “experts,” who have never associated with the Vietnamese, much less gone into their temples and pagodas.
But when I recovered, the Near East crisis was boiling. It is the same in both instances. Eyewitnesses don’t count. We will not under any circumstances break the non-principles set forth in the works of Burdick and Lederer.
A newsman here is mockingly asking us to bring in the commies. I was sent on a Peace mission between Pakistan and India and was derided and berated by the Foreign Office—the usual procedure, so they called in Kosygin.
In the case of the Near East I have, unlike the Pakistani-Indian situation a multitude of colleagues and I am going ahead with the non-political program. Much of my time had been spent with the UN delegates and that is about the worst recommendation a person could have. We are insisting on setting the Arabs against the Israelis and against each other. Whatever they have in common, whatever might bring them together, is shunned. My own program was accepted to my amazement even by Saudians, but you can bet, not by our Foreign Office nor by the “church peace movements.” When I told this to Bishop Pike he nearly hit the ceiling but he has not done anything yet either.
I have therefor enough sense to keep plans silent—not secret, there is nothing secret about them. Only we have the two cultures of Lord Snow, scientific and literary-humanist and the scientists so far have been 100% in favor of the program, and the others about 10%. There is no use wasting time.
The Temple of Understanding in Washington has been recognized by President Eshkol, Ayub Khan and Hussain, but not by LBJ who is leaning over backwards avoiding any proposals that might promote peace and understanding.
The illness ironically helped me financially and the re-interpretation of parental wills is placing me in a much better condition. But the plan is to put money aside for a pilgrimage to India for the Gandhi Centennial.
Under the pressures from Indian friends I have written President Hussain at length and feel sure of a favorable answer. There are no “experts” standing in the way. Our Foreign Service is woefully ignorant of Asian cultures and the American People love to hear masochistic lectures but do little.
Only the new generations are different, both those who are sincere students in the universities and the Hippies. I suppose the good or not-so-good Lord wanted me here during the Hippy gatherings. Like the international events and the free speech movement nobody is to be shunned like eyewitnesses. We accept the partial truths of radio, TV and newsmen and the dialectical interpretations both of what happened and what did not happen.
I found a letter from Allen Ginsberg which I think the Hippy editors will want. Indirectly he has caused much of a stir here by leading the young from traditional religions to Asian cults. It is upsetting to those in power.
I am wondering how Bob is doing. I find there is an ever-increasing mental ability in each group of young I meet. I am still found, when not at home on one campus or another.
My goal now is India and World Peace. My closest colleague, Julie Medlock, has probably returned to India. She has been an eyewitness of more world events than anybody I know of and also has had more rejection slips. Only her things are published in Asian papers. We seem to do anything with Asians but associate with them and listen to them. Fortunately Asia Foundation here and the American Friends of the Middle East accept objective reports. But I shall continue in Desert Reclamation Research knowing that sooner or later Israelis and Arabs will both have “to drink from the same well.”
Hope you are well and prospering. Every time I go into the greenhouse now, which is often, I think of you.
June 9, 1967
I must thank you for the people you sent me but I dared not discuss Margie’s horoscope in front of others:
a. She was not sure of the hour of her birth
b. There were so many malefic aspects which one does not like to study before strangers.
On the surface—and this is not necessarily fair—one knows spiritual ways in which to overcome these obstacles and Margie was wise enough to surmise one of these ways is through breath-development.
But again this is somewhat esoteric and it should be accomplished by doing. I explained that while I do this by walking, I am holding off until my new move when I hope to have a large enough place to have walking-techniques in a large enough living room.
This should, I hope, be accomplished in two weeks.
You will find a lot of stuff in the carbons enclosed.
June 9, 1967
540 Powell St.,
San Francisco 8, Calif.
I must protest in no uncertain terms our bias in the recent fighting. No, I am not protesting giving guns and ammunition and help to Israel. I am protesting our lack of consideration for the losers. If we hadn’t abandoned our study of Literature along with everything else we should have had the decency to give them chocolates! We are not only abandoning fair-play and clichés but we are abandoning GBS which is terrible. I protest. I think that when the next war arises we should give the losers or the weak side chocolates.
Unfortunately there is a civil war in Nigeria, off the front page, in which both sides are amply supplied with chocolate but I doubt whether either side has enough bullets. This is also awkward. They haven’t read the script. One side should have bullets—which the Israelis had. The other side chocolates which the Arabs did not have. But in Nigeria both sides have chocolate and neither enough bullets or have they? Even GBS could not fill with this emergency, or is it emergence? Now because we don’t study Arabic culture—the Arabs have far, far more culture than the Hebrews, there were lots more of them. We don’t read their histories. Consequently we don’t know what a “Mullah” means. It means actually any ignoramus who knows the Islamic ritual. Mohammed, who once lived despite our ignorance of him, said he wanted no priests. So the good peace-loving Muslims abolished priestcraft. Enter the Mullah! I won’t go into that, but there are Mullahs and a priest by any other name is, of course, “virtuous” or downright hilarious.
But in good old USA Mullah means $$$ and as $$$ talk when the next payday comes around you will get Mullah but no paper on Mullah. I know you don’t like facts to confuse the issues, but how about the i$$ue$? Vive la difference!
June 9, 1967
The New Hot Line is between thee and me and also between me and thee.
I must criticize the hostilities with a gross failure—the failure to provide the Arabs with chocolates. This total disregard for literature goes along with our total disregard for facts. True there was not even time for rehearsals (that’s what you may think but those of us that saw the rehearsals, we don’t count). At least in “Arms and the Man” good Old GBS furnished us with comedy and this was reproduced in “The Chocolate Soldier.” But the chocolate market does not count much and the African “allies” of UAR were too busy with hurrahs and huzzahs and riots to provide material help. So no bullets and no chocolates and the toy-soldiers—I almost sympathize with Assemblyman Burton. You see what happens to toy-soldiers!
Well I am enclosing enclosures and it may be that one or another of Ye Bishops will respond but my eye is on the next Semantic Conference for they say, “Don’t Let Facts Confuse the Issues,” or in this case the I$$ue$, for Uncle $ has provided me the $ which is the greatest of virtue, greater even than having facts.
So beginning this p.m. I shall take my young and beautiful secretary to make the rounds on the fist phases of Desert Reclamation Projects which might benefit the Arabs and if the Arabs could only be like the Syrians use to be—worship Allah and $hekel$ instead of self, self and self, the present universal religion.
Anyhow the Israelis proved that “in many, many battles our courage never rattles” and the poor Arab peasants were not trained in courage, nor in the use of mode arms, and did not have even chocolates. I protest. Next time the chocolates.
Well now interviews on Desert Reclamation—all facts, all data, all real research and not a news item in a carload! But Art, the Semanticists are coming! And I have written to former Ambassador Badeau and not to McGeorge, the authority on all peoples with whom he has never lived. Don’t let facts confuse the issues.
And there’s a woodpile going on in Nigeria. Why can’t we integrate the news and the wars?
Last night this place was invaded by Hippies, partly at the suggestion of Gavin Arthur. Those stupid idiots ! Why they believed everything I said, and accepted all factual evidence. They are extremely dangerous.
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
June 9, 1967
Dr. Huston Smith,
Department of Humanities,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge 39, Calif.
Dear Dr. Smith:
As you will find by the copy of the enclosed letter to F. Clive-Gore, this person has gone through two crises: one down in health from which a very good recovery is being made, the other up in finance. But this money is being spent on books and on research, “How California Can Help Asia.”
Olive-Gore is putting out a publication dedicated to “Comparative Religion but not to the study of translations and metaphysical speculations which only too often have monopolized the field of “Comparative Religion.” His colleagues are largely men like my self, some of them world-famous, some quite unknown, who have studied the Asian religions under Asians and have passed through the various stages and states of development and won accolades from accepted spiritual teachers of one or more of the world’s faiths.
These men are not always in accord with your colleges on the neighboring campus or with their colleagues at Oxford, Cambridge and Glasgow Universities. And so far as Sufism is concerned they follow Al-Ghazzali: “Sufism is based on experiences and not on syllogisms.” This puts them in a strange and unnecessary conflict with Occidental traditionalists who have given us excellent translations but not always passable explanations.
I have friends whose whole lives have been spent in translating foreign books on the various sciences and not one would proclaim himself a scientist nor stand in the way of a laboratory-research-technician. But in Oriental studies it is not always so and there are enough of “us” to warrant a movement utilizing the experiences of ourselves and others.
In a way this reflects, though on a higher level, the Hippy Movement here. Indeed I found a letter from Alan Ginsberg written from India which reveals more of his “soul” than his poetry or orations. Very good too. But these “second-story wayfarers” have only an inkling of real mystical experiences.
A better picture of one’s understanding is found in the carbon of the letter to President Hussain. This was run off rapidly under the pressure of my good Indian friends here who are disgusted with American culture and our pretty general rejection of eye-witnesses whether of the events of Vietnam or of the Near East or of South Asia. Eyewitnesses are pretty universally snubbed, yet—but not by the Hippies.
The letter to President Hussain will be followed shortly by one to Sri Surendra Mohum Ghose who is not only a leader in the Congress Party but one of the chief Vijnanavadins of India. That is to say, he promotes the Integral Point of view which has the same relation to our analytical and dialectical views as the Integral has to the Differential Calculus.
Integrationalists can include people of varying and different views in grand over-alls. Actually I worked out such a program while in Egypt and was amazed to find much common ground for Arabs and Israelis to work together. This program was accepted almost unanimously by Lord Snow’s “scientific culture” and rejected almost as unanimously by the (his terms) literary-humanist culture. So we have war and, now we have a multitude of words emanating from the UN calling for action. We always have orations calling for action, and this does not produce action.
I am planning an entourage to India for the Gandhi centennial; there will be no Western “experts” to prevent me from taking part in the proceedings for I have very diligently studied the four sets of Scriptures used by Mahatma Gandhi. In the case of Buddhism the vast majority of these scriptures are utterly unknown here.
I have by this time received accolades from a multitude of Buddhist Masters, all the more odd because basically I belong to the Sufi Movement. But the Universal Conscience is beyond such difference and distinctions.
Sorry I could not see you in person. But “Allah knows Best.”
P.S. My good friend, Mrs. Dickermann Hollister of the Temple of Understanding notified me she has just seen His Holiness the Pope. I have related this to both the Episcopalian and Roman Catholic Dioceses.
June 11, 1967
My dear Oliver,
There is nothing more illustrative of our culture, or rather our “two cultures” than the events of the past week. I went around laughing and making a number of predictions all of which came true. And then I called on Mrs. McTaggart, Director of the “World Federalists” but I did not have to tell my story. “Why a man was in two hours ago and he said exactly the same thing. He also met all the UN officials.” “Of course. There is no other story to tell but it is every other story which will be accepted and believed.”
For our “culture” has its “the opinions of the big man who was not there are much more important than the experiences of the little man (or woman) who was.” And “we” will continue to accept the oracles (?) of the great god-UPAP and God (if there be a God) help the eyewitness. It is Sarkhan; it is Julie Medlock all over the world.
The dishonesty emanating from nearly all the delegates at the UN is certainly apparent to the young. The old wish to believe in prominent, pompous personalities, although they are confused and divided because of the differences between these prominent, pompous personalities.
The fact that “I was there” means nothing excepting that now the despised Hippies and more and more and more of them are quite willing to listen to the little man who was there, even if only because the power-structure people won’t. Only there is not a single power-structure, there are the two cultures of Lord Snow.
I am now able to have a part-time secretary; she also works part-time. She has been studying horticulture and also oriental philosophy which makes her a natural. I told her she was going to have some unusual experiences. There was nothing unusual about them at all, we simply left the “literary-humanist” world and went into the “scientific” world.
We went to Mills College and saw the head of the Department of Botany. This is one of the best such Departments in the whole world and they turn out textbooks, which, along with those of Ohio State, are pretty generally the standards over a large portion of this land. As soon as I found the Professor was Turkish I threw Turkish literature at him and especially their great poet, Jelal-ed-din Rumi. I was in and before we left he was not only convinced of the validity of my “Peace Through Desert Reclamation,” he wants it.
We then went to Kaiser Corporation and although two of our contacts were out, it was as smooth as glass. Knowing a good deal of the accomplishments of real Americans in real places in real Asia—about a thousand times as much as the “Peace Corps,” communication was set up at once. And it certainly does not harm Kaiser Corporation or any corporation to have its accomplishments broadcast.
We also discussed the accomplishments of Bechtel and Guy Atkinson and the very, very solid fact, accepted by all engineers and scientists and by-passed by the “humanist-literary” culture from one end of the land to the other, of dam-building in India. Well, Oliver, I did not see any Russians in UAR outside the Embassy excepting those employed at Assouan Dam, and I met so many University of California graduates, even in high places. But this is not news, it must not be news, Nasser was under the control of the Russians, the great god UPAP says so, the editors reflect it, the “leftists” and the “rightists” discuss it and misinterpret it in the contradictory ways and as Russ Joyner says, “facts must not confuse the issues.”
But Alice got an eye-view witness of facts, solid facts censored from the American public and which I hope to incorporate in my “How California Can Help Asia.” Although I have hardly started I have a friend in the publishing business who wants to see my manuscripts when ready. But we prefer war to objectivity, we are wedded to “realism” and you must get enough solid news from Julie without my “belly-aching.” But at least I can and do meet scientists and industrialists and will continue and continue and continue, until we get rid of this mess of Hegelianism which dominates all the channels of communication.
When through I called a life-long friend of Jewish ancestry but not faith. “Do you know about the Karaites?” “Yes, they are the true Jews. Rabbi Goldstein here got his Ph.D. on the.” “You believe they are truest of true Jews?” “Yes.” “Fine. Do you know where they live?” “No, where? “Cairo!”
This is the sort of solid fact which in our “uncensored” land must never be talked about. I saw Jews in Cairo and especially in Lebanon. And there is more freedom of Jewish religion as religion in Islamic countries than in Palestine where one must not become a Reformed Jew but where Ben Gurion may practice Yoga and Buddhism meditation!
No wonder there is confusion in the press, State Department, religious ranks and all those who adhere to subjectivism, dialectics and “realism.” I shall continue to visit the scientists and except no change in respects. Facts are facts and abstractions are abstractions.
The rest of the month will be spent getting ready to move, furniture buying, etc. But I have to give up every spare minute—fortunately the doctor restricts travel and eating—to working on the realities of the Near East problems and not the “realisms.” The amount of ignorance and emotionalism that goes on is colossal; and in my private life the reaction here because of the Hippies who will take every fact I give and use them to support their anti-social endeavor. C’est la vie.
Box 444, San Cristobal
New Mexico, 87564
June 16, 1970
My dear Gavin:
We are about to leave for Santa Fe again; last week we put on some serious astrology dances. The response was great. You might not believe it but now I am known over the whole Rio Grande valley from the Colorado border to Albuquerque. This region may be sparsely settled but a goodly section of this vast population consists of near hippies; there are roughly speaking two kinds: the Morning Star type and the karma yogis who work. The Morning Star type gets the publicity. The others strive on and in not a few cases have been most successful.
Up to now they have received little news coverage, but now I am almost in a jam. An enterprising disciple thought he would film my work; he also filmed the work of some spiritual teachers who are my very good friends. Then Ralph Silver got a hold of him; he included in the project both real spiritual teachers who are most certainly not my friends and others who are not spiritual teachers. Ralph got money; everybody else lost.
Now, other personalities and some with very good connections want to film several projects including my own. If they do this may knock out entirely the other efforts, for I have not received a cent and would have willingly foregone pay but not the inclusion of enemies or promotion schemes with verbal but very unreal ideals. In fact, we may have to make some very quick decisions on this matter.
I think I ought to have a new nickname, “Timon of San Francisco.” In Shakespeare’s play Timon began as a rich man and then found his so-called friends were fraud; my career is exactly the opposite. I have a goodly income from the family estate to begin with, another fair income from my dancing classes, and promises for further emoluments both for my creative efforts and scientific research. I refuse to be ignored and door-matted. I see a lot of problems on which I have done research and in some of those fields find nothing but confusion and more confusion.
By making sarcastic remarks at the whole pseudo culture I win the applause of more and more young people. Time does not permit me to go into any but two of these problems: the ecological and that of the Near East. My secretary Mansur realizes now not only my backgrounds but the great successes we have made in making contacts with some of the finest people in the world, especially oriental, the very top orientalists, and some scientists and philosophers.
In her urbanity
Showed love for humanity,
She was on KQED last night and her great “love” for people showed her a veritable “Fraser.” She disputed, contradicted and argued while constantly repeating she had such great love.
She was also constantly confusing the spiritual, the visionary, the psychic and “feelings.” A program that started serious became a matter of hilarity. Jack and I knew what she was going to say to each person asking questions before she got up.
Her attitude toward LSD showed she is still the femme, plus being a Roman Catholic, and though she has had some visions and perhaps directly presented the psychic presentiments which accompanied them, she acted far more like one being used as an obsessing channel for a departed conservative Republican and at times was so full of clichés that it was terrible.
A woman who has been so fortunate to have worked but never toiled has no idea of slumps, poverty or job hunting. And I believe she not only lost her audience but the country.
Last week I took the first of my visionary poems to have it copied. It will be accepted—in England, but I am sending copies to Menninger and MIT and have no worry about the reactions.
Ralph Silver and Nancy may be coming here this p.m. I am rather holding off efforts until I move which should be soon and will let you know about the house-warming. Nancy said she would like to help.
I am not trying to prognosticate now.
I have a reason and a thousand “reasons” for you to meet Alice who has become my secretary. I do not propagandize and when she said she was interested in Astrology and asked about it I told her I had just the man, but you were out. (We ate downstairs, she likes Japanese foods.)
I feel a little “queasy” about certain femmes and enclose clipping from today’s paper. The audacities of Abby would be terrifying if they were effective. As I am human,. I would accept anything from Margaret Mead and have still some things to read from her—what a difference in these two persons!
The Jean Dixon broadcast was disgusting. She could not make a single prediction and her methods, while they show the initial stages of Oracle-ship, never get beyond them. Only she did affirm that Johnson may not live the term out—i.e. there is no indication that he will live to the next inauguration. The number of guards he needs shows there is something “in the wind.”
The Israelis won a war without any Rusk, Bundy, newsmen, CIA, AID, Peace Corps or anything or anybody. How come? We would rather fight than switch and we are, on and on. Even Jeannie who ain’t no Genie could not predict for Vietnam.
Now the less-equal Nations are going to vote against the more equal in the UN. I don’t know what this settles but there are more less-equal Nations and even a lot of people in them. I live in the roaring 60’s. I am laughing at everything and everybody—but the Hippies. I am laughing with them.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3. Calif.
June 21, 1967
Radio Station KQED
525 Fourth St.,
San Francisco 5, Calif.
In Re: Jean Dixon
This very interesting program is another demonstration of our “two cultures,” which Lord Snow has called “scientific” and “literary-humanist.” I do not know if the twain can meet but it is quite evident that we prefer wars, famines and international misunderstanding rather than sit down with one another. An eyewitness, whether on the inner or outer planes is not welcome in his own country.
I am interested in your pleas, your station and its efforts and have, after listening to the Jean Dixon program decided to send twenty-five ($25) abroad to an organization which will at least glance at my materiel. It covers two quite different facets of life, geographically and politically connected:
a. Visions written in poetry concerning the future of the Holy Land and the UN
b. Actual in situ conversations with leaders of Jews and Arabs both of whom considered my premises possible for them to get together at a conference.
a. As far as this is concerned my first it poem is being copied for the American Friends of the Middle East, and the second shortly. The third much longer has already been considered by them. I am now ready also to send copies to Dr. Gardner Muphy of Menninger Foundation and to Dr. Huston Smith of MIT who not only examined my work but responded most cordially—generally these things are rejected.
b. As far as the outer matters are considered I have at long last convinced one Senator that “I was here” and some American Muslims have asked me what was wrong with their point of view. In general we are stuck positively in the premises laid down by Burdick and Lederer in The Ugly American and Sarkhan. I have long been reconciled to this.
Eyewitnesses whether on the inner or outer planes are still unwelcome. When this person is welcome his check will surely follow.
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.,
June 26, 1967
About ready to move from here.2 I found an old address. I never see you around any more but if you are around you do not see me, for evidently we move in different circles.
The failure of your generation to understand even the simplest principles of karma do not detract from the karma, but from the generation. Your generation has a token revolt and the next one has an active revolt. And among those in revolt there is a much more serious consideration of karma. Even now you find young people on Haight St. who know more of Oriental philosophies than some of your mentors and their contemporaries.
Drama, both as tragedy and comedy came—the first serious illness accompanied by success in two litigations. While I am in the apartment once occupied by Gavin, the landlady here is very much of an “agin’er.” She is against Negroes on a block occupied by quite a few of them. She is against foreigners and against even more the Hippies and now she has come to be against almost everybody, to the point that a tragedy is imminent. You can’t pay your bills with such an attitude and fair housing or not, she would rather lose money than take it from objectionable persons, and the taxes are do.
But although she wanted me out, the Estate wanted it more. My brother wanted more money and he could not get it until and unless I did. He gave threat of blackmail by having pictures taken of these rooms. But before it got out the trustees released funds which may keep me in good shape even to the point of now having a part-time secretary.
I have withdrawn from all Vietnam activity because of racial prejudice. I have found most Doves are as ant-yellow as many Whites are anti-Negro. Associating on rare occasions with Vietnamese when they visit, one finds oneself very lonely indeed. We do not care what Vietnamese think or want, the communists and Americans alike are set to liquidate them, each with a power-agenda. The majority of people are Buddhists but not “our kind of Buddhist,” so they must go.
I have already made the first steps toward a Will and may dedicate my manuscripts to the University of California at Los Angeles. They contact documents of inestimable high value when the world gets off its emotional high horse and down to facts. We do not want facts; we want interpretations. And when interpretations cause death to peoples with whom we do not mingle we are not the least concerned. On this point the United States, China and Russia are all in agreement.
I turned in illness from the frying pan of Vietnam to the fire of the Near East. Having given years of study to the latter, I am out. An “expert” does not have to know very much, just lecture. Having sat down with Zionists and Arabs and UN officials and discussed almost every phrase of the present imbroglio, I am the last man wanted at the moment but I met an old friend at UCLA (who is becoming thus my legatee) who had the same experience in Vietnam—the press, the foreign office, the peace groups, all shun him and utterly.
There is one peace group here that indulges in the luxury of everybody talking and everybody listening. When the scientists met they also adopted this procedure. Non-scientists do not. They lean on personalities and “expertism.”
Actually or symbolically my new residence will be referred to as Sarkhan House. It will follow the matrices of Sarkhan and The Ugly American and present to the young Islamic and Buddhist cultures which are not being given out. And some of the young are interested. As they are against power structures of all kinds they are willing to listen end learn. And in turn many of them are already far deeper into the Yogas, the real Yogas, than “experts” of previous generations.
I expect to take part in two conferences in August, one of the semanticists and one with Dr. Chaudhuri. I am hoping we can get to realities. I have been fighting for years on reality versus realism. We are winning all the arguments before the UN and losing the votes. There are a lot of “less equal” Nations and they are showing their teeth.
I am even contributing to the study of African culture at UCSC (Santa Barbara) and hope to continue, but my mail drag is the Society for Eastern Arts in Berkeley whither I go shortly—with my new part time secretary who is helping me in all things.
If I get an answer from you, you will get an invitation to house-warming. I am now too old to fool any more with dilettantes whom our society accepts as “experts.” The savants and the holy men of foreign lands accept and respect me and gradually this is seeping into the universities. If all goes right I shall take an entourage to India in 1969 to the Gandhi centennial. There will be no American, British and European “experts” to stop me there. I have been on platforms before and shall again.
It is unfair to say that you are in the stars (Astronomy) while I am down on earth (Food problems) this is hitting in the wrong place. Astronomy may have effects on mind and heart which I did not know; I have never studied it.
July 2, 1967
My dear Cousins:
This is a late answer to your letter of February 24th but it may be an important one. So much has happened in private and public life, and I am putting this on record, so that in case of emergency, anybody who finds it can follow it up.
I shall have to be quite personal here for reasons that will be made clear as one goes along. Living in larger contexts things generally go well with me in the larger cycles and bad in the smaller cycles. I don’t know exactly where to begin.
This year I suffered for the first time from a serious disease putting me in the hospital—you can tell Alma and Guy it was the Chinese Hospital, I have a Chinese doctor, etc., and there is no question that in clearing up the latent malignancy a lot of other things were cleared up. And am now enjoying a kind of vigor, not exactly youthful but decidedly useful.
On the public side I went into the hospital in the frying-pan of Vietnam and came out in the fire of the Near East. I am one of the few individuals who has had the experience of sitting down with Zionists and with Arabs and with UN officials and working on a program upon which they might mutually agree. But excepting the American Friends of the middle East and Asia Foundation, I have been totally unsuccessful with nearly all Americans, individuals, and groups. However having had experience and knowledge and contacts, correspondence is being carried on with Senator J. Sherman Cooper, the only man who has lived in Asia, with Asians and won the respect of them.
Yesterday I received just three letters—Americans do not usually answer me—one from President Z. Hussain of India, one from the office of her serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul in Thailand and one from Art Hoppe. He is a local newsman and told me he would never have gotten along at the UN without my advice.
There are two aspects of the Near East upon which I have been working for years, religion and desert reclamation. In general all efforts in religion fail in this country, succeed abroad; and nearly all efforts on desert reclamation succeed. I don’t want to go into that here but I always tell Art, “If you can’t lick ‘em, laugh at ‘em.”
The relations between Elliott and I have cleared up entirely so far as you are concerned. We had long litigation. I was cut out of my mother’s will, brought suit, and my own attorney and I were paid off—thus a plan to go to Europe, cancelled by illness.
My lawyer, Ted Lachelt, asked me to make up and I said, “He will either double-cross me, or become by champion. I know him.” Within 24 hours Elliot became my champion.
We then joined forces on my father’s estate. Elliott had figured out that we could be getting $1,000 a month for life without touching the principle. I have been living in the Styx. He was all ready to have cameras and newsmen visit Clementina St. and take pictures. The trustees must have guessed it for they more than doubled my income and somewhat increased his. This means moving into this house—along with an old friend, and making plans for the future.
In order to prevent further litigation we reached agreements. Elliott has gained nothing by fighting me. A number of attorneys have benefited and I, of course, have lost. But that is gone by. And I told him that in case of death I would leave him nothing but make him my executor, which satisfied him. Roughly speaking in case I leave the world first, with a few small exceptions and books, the moneys would be divided between you and the University of California, Los Angeles.
But if he predeceases me—generally his health is not good, I shall be faced with the unusual situation of having more money than I would know what to do with. So I suggested—and he agreed—that we would do what we could for Marianna—subject to the proviso that by that time you might have more children, or by that time Richard might be married. Of course this is on paper.
Now I am hiring a part-time secretary and other things look bright. I am hoping by October to make a suitable will. You will understand that there are unusual factors of doctor, hospital, advance income tax, etc. which prevent me from formulating a clear budget but I think those will be over.
There are some other things. Though I have lady friends, the attachments are not great, and with one single exception, none of them could face the careers I must face, have had to face. Then there is the pleasure and temptation of “foster daughters.” Up till now this has been “safe” the ladies in question being socially and financially secure.
The Hippy Movement is in full progress here and I have been able to penetrate where others have not. In the first place I know considerably more of Oriental philosophies than most Americans; at least Asians think so, and I, through conceit or knowledge being it, this attracts a lot of young.
As a student of Oriental philosophy one need not be concerned with acceptance or rejection. But from the practical standpoint I have received a letter from the publisher, Charles Tuttle of Rutland, Vermont, that he wants to see any material written by Asians on Asian philosophy. We are therefore comparing versions, for there is at least a book by the late Roshi Shaku Soyen, entirely different from his Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot.
We have, during the years, piles of literature called “Zen” which conflict in almost every way with the teachings of Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot. There is no need to oppose these teachings or any philosophy but there is wide confusion because of the American habit of calling many things “Zen” which have not the slightest connection with the practice of Meditation or the changes which take part in personality in the real Zen discipline.
In another direction efforts toward the international approach have been quite successful. We hope to have a meeting in September on the Berkeley Campus of the University of California to discuss both the unknown achievement of scores of professors, and a special meeting on the Near East Crises. For these crises include not only Arab versus Israeli, but participant versus commentator. And our foreign policies are dependent largely on commentators, and exclude participants.
Indeed I have written to President Johnson and if I do not hear from him, there will be multigraphed copies sent to some very real Asian leaders. Regardless of politics, Asians are tired of exclusion from so many conferences on “Asia” (any resemblance to reality being coincidental). A seminar on “Asia” here always ended in an impasse between Felix Greene and one or other of the Luces. Henry is now dead so no more conferences. Most real Asians were excluded from such conferences and generally also Americans who had lived and worked in Asia. This is the “only in America” practice which has solved nothing.
But in pursuit of the recognition of the materials referred to above and other accumulations, especially the library, I shall have to write to real Asians and we are liable to see some curious consequences. As I have told some friend from time to time, “Europeans are human beings, Asians are thought-forms.” As long as this continues we shall have more misunderstandings then wars.
I am now pretty well recovered and keep busy 4 hours at the typewriter, 2½ hours in Horticulture. It is very beautiful here, sitting opposite a park with the sun shining early and all day, and never too hot.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco 94110
July 3, 1967
A man should be known by the company he keeps, or with whom he is kept. Saturday I received three communications:
a. President Hussain of India, b. Princess Pool Diskul of the World Buddhist Federation; c. Art-Hoppe or S.F. Chronicle
I am still awaiting an answer from some “expert” or from some cleric or from some pro-Zionist who insists that Arabs should sit down with Israelis but they, themselves, being so “expert” sit down with nobody because each is certainly more equal.
I am a very bad and annoying person. I told Mr. Mawlawi of the Arab Information Bureau, with whom I can sit down because we are both decidedly less equal than others, that the Israelis would give the Arabs better terms than we would and it is coming true. I was also able to sit down as an equal with the late Dr. Zarchin, the intellectual head of the Zionist Movement here; but with his followers, not a chance. And they are all yelping that the Arabs sit with them, they are condescending to sit with less-equal people.
Now I have discovered a Ben Gurion in our midst. Last night I was invited to go to Gavin Arthur’s to meet a man who calls himself a Sufi and the Ben Gurion was invited. This Ben Gurion who is veddy and even more-equal than the more equal jumps at the touch of a hat if anybody says anything about the Jews or Israelis or Zionists. And then he goes off to demonstrate his own form of Yoga Meditation just like Ben Gurion. You see what privileges the more equal have.
Local Ben Gurion told Gavin that he would not meet a “Sufi” because they persecuted the Jews and the truth is that the confounded Sufis never permitted pogroms. If they had permitted programs like the Germans or Poles or Russians or Spaniards, then our Ben Gurions would sit down with them. C’est la vie.
When Ferdie & Co decided to get rid of the Sepharads and began sequestering all their property to save their souls, the Sultans of Turkey who were disciples in Sufism yelled “Cone hither” and thus Saloniki was born where they still speak old Spanish. The Ben Gurions never forgave those Turks.
Then there was Akbar. He was the first man who called for a parliament of religions. They did not have “experts” in those days so every religion was represented by one of its own.
Nancy, following my Asian Goddaughter, has had some real mystical experiences and as she becomes better known it will throw a shadow on our misguided young friends who think they can modify the Sufi Order at will and select people and dominate the course of events. What will happen is written in the ethers. The Universal Religion is coming but not necessarily through elect-select persons who have neither knowledge nor wisdom.
Nancy is also organizing my affairs so I have about four secretaries and three household assistants. It also means that I am going to get in some words about the solution of Asian food problems. There is such a gulf between the social scientists who have the public ear and the horticulturists who have not. The successes of the latter interfere with the editorials of ivory-towered commentators who misguide but lead the public. This is true in Asia also and that is why problems are not solved.
I hope to send Sheila to Pondicherry also and, of course, to Nizam-ed-din Auliya. The heads of the Temple of Understanding also expect to visit this place. And we are going to have a spiritual brotherhood despite, not because of self-selected “experts.”
In August I have to choose between another Sri Aurobindo conference and Dr. Huston Smith regarded as the top man in Asian religions. He is giving a seminar in Berkeley and I expect to attend with one of his star pupils who is now my chief secretary. The presentation of objective knowledge concerning Asia will win the young and be disdained by their seniors. There is something pathological about older people blindly accepting “experts” who tell them anything and are believed.
There is now an appeal also for me to get out my real Ch’an and Zen manuscripts. This will require a separate secretariat but I believe they are available. Paul Reps has proposed a universal spiritual school but this is exactly what is coming. Lama Anagarika Govinda will be here shortly, and his disciples wish to work together. They are the same ones who hosted the Sufi Saint Abusalem Al-Alawi.
I also have a disciple who has been nominated for scholarships to go to either the American University at Beirut, or preferably to Cairo. If he goes to Cairo he can meet the Sufis there “who don’t exist.” The nonsense of the previous generations will disappear, and people will be meeting with each other beyond narrow boundaries of race and religion and without misguiding “Suez canals” to dominate them. This is coming, inshallah.
Love and Blessing,
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
1703 Buchanan St.,
San Francisco 94115
July 4, 1967
My dear Gavin:
While I enjoyed being at your house the other night it is perhaps notable that what did not happen may have been more important than what did happen. Therefore I am enclosing copy of letter to Congressman Burton and also sending copy to Jeremy Ets-Hokin, not with any idea of its being accepted or acceptable, but I shall continue to write to see if there is any possibility of any representative of the Zionist cause sitting down with anybody concerning the affairs of the Near East.
I am personally totally indifferent. We are not going to see Israelis and Arabs sit down together until one part signifies its willingness to sit down at all. While I have had the rather rare privilege of having sat down with each and with UN officials, this is not as yet generally accepted in this land, and it is almost universally accepted by Asians, all sorts of Asians from all sorts of countries.
This week I shall be picking up my Jewish and Christian poems written in 1941 and 1942 particularly. They have already been sent to the American Friends of the Middle East and will be to the Temple of Understanding which is being built in Washington, with which I am closely allied. Unlike most people, Mrs. Dickermann Hollister, Founder of the Temple of Understanding, looked up my credentials and knowledges and found every point substantiated.
This in turn has lead to most favorable correspondence with Senator Cooper of Kentucky, who has been an Ambassador and is almost the only man in the senate (I am not too sure) who has lived in Asia with the nationals. He also has answered all letters and we are in substantial agreement. In this case the agreement is enhanced by our knowledge of peoples and philosophies of real Asia.
Louis Lessarri predicted the resumption of fighting and also the victory of the Israelis. Our pearlier predictions were identical, but mine, in this case, were based on direct knowledge of the people, the terrain and the weapons (I had done research on ordnance (secret) during the war). He based his stance on psychic vision. And there is some probability that the Arabs will sit down if badly beaten.
As we are totally ignorant of the cultures of the Arab people, particularly of the moment (the Israelis are not), we are not in a good position here.
Louis’ efficiency in prediction makes me hopeful that I shall get an answer from Rabbi Jacob Weinstein of Chicago. I have long dropped hope of any consideration from the clerics, although I did have a short session with Rev. James Pike on this subject. We each want our own way and all of us can’t have them. If Jacob does send for me it will be the substantiation of psychic powers and this knowledge will then be communication to Dr. Gardner Murphy. Murphy is the one man that has answered my mail and he is also the one man engaged in psychic research that has lived in real Asia and associated with the real Asians.
In fact Louis was so insistent—and his other predictions have been correct, that I have left the door open for a trip to Chicago in case Jacob sends for me. If this occurs a letter will be written to Dr. Gardner Murphy attesting to facts, the same kind of facts so welcome to scientists and so unwelcome to “the other culture” (according to Lord snow), and it is this “other culture” that has kept and keeps us continually in hot water.
We are not going to have peace until people sit down with each other. I don’t know if this should come or if it will come and don’t care. I do have two conferences coming up where people will be sitting down with each other. One will be at Dr. Chaudhuri’s and the otter at S.F. State Campus downtown, devoted to Semantics. The first will be characterized by personalities and the second will endeavor to rise above personalities.
So long as the opinions of the big men who were not there are taken more seriously than the experiences of the little men who were we shall continue to have conflicts in the world.
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
July 15, 1967
Dr. Oliver Reiser
Department of Philosophy,
Pittsburgh 13, Pa.
My dear Oliver:
I am now in my new home sitting in a room which contains a rather large library of all sorts of books. There are many more books in another room which serves as office. The library room is in front and is more commodious, full of light, and used for public meetings. The back part of the house is occupied by Ed Hunt, an old Humanist. There is plenty of room for each.
I am preparing for two conferences in the month of August, one on General Semantics and the other on Indian Philosophy. In this preparation one cannot but note failure of Philosophy to become a Science largely because Philosophy will not face the egocentric predicament. This was brought up years ago at New York University but has been by-passed by most schools, to what avail I do not know. The result is that there are never clear discussions, clear definitions or clear levels on which to confine discussions. At the other end we have the ridiculous verbal efforts of “superior” people who do not sit down at round-tables insisting that Israelis and Arabs do!
I am armed for each of these affairs with real material—that is, material which would be considered real in any scientific or academic discussion, but not necessarily so at one which refuses to face the ego-centric predicament. The material is connected with what I call Zen Buddhism.
In approaching this subject, I should say—with doubtful understanding:
1. Shaku Soyen, direct participant in Zen experience
2. Daisetz Suzuki, man who sat with Shaku Soyen and acted as his translator
3. Alan Watts, man who sat with Daisetz Suzuki or read books on Zen.
4. Aldous Huxley, a man who read books on this and related subjects and did have to Vedanta the same relation as Watts had to Daisetz.
5. Sam Lewis, included out.
Thus is the general arrangement of “levels,” and so far as 1, 2, 3, and 4 to my understanding they represent different levels of Abstraction in the G.S. Hierarchy. I cannot be too sure, but this is part of my understanding of the terms “low,” “high” and “very high” order of abstraction.
Now something has happened which is like “Cast they bread upon the waters and it will return to you after many days.” During the last year I have been honored in turn by Dr. Seo Kyung Bo of Korea and Dr. Thich Thien An of Saigon, Vietnam. But as our good friend, Russ Joyner says, “facts should not confuse issues.”
Then one after another piles of unpublished manuscripts came into my hands, written by what used to be called “Zen Masters” in the days when “Zen” applied only to practitioners of meditation who had experienced some degree of “awakening.” This would include out Daisetz Suzuki, Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley, and certainly the “Dharma Bums” who have, from time to time, attracted attention, and the Salingers.
I also found in the collection the work I did jointly with the late Phra Sumangalo (Robert Clifton) over thirty years ago. The recollection of this material can do much to help further real cultural relations with the real Orient. So I shall be going to each conference armed with actual material of actual Zen Masters to question the Western acceptance of the levels each of Daisetz Suzuki, Alan Watts, Aldous Huxley and Salinger, all of whom have been accepted in some literary cycles as representatives of something we call “Zen” but which has no direct relations with traditional Zen.
Inasmuch as my friends of the two conferences are not particularly adept at recognizing from mathematics the different levels of compound differentiation and compound integration I shall be facing Dr. Kaplan with an important item. It does not matter whether the G.S. people continue to ignore a large part of “Science and Sanity” but it does avail that groups continue to throw blockages in communication while discussing communication.
It is certain that there has been nothing but the most cordial and favorable responses from the Japanese (who have some qualms about accepting Watts, Huxley and Salinger) and who are very divided about Suzuki. In 1956 I was told I was already two grades in what used to be called Zen above Daisetz and there are indications that I am now probably four grades above, something which is imposed on nobody. But it is certain that yesterday a complete stranger walked up to me and asked me if I knew any real Zen Master—and I was able to supply an answer immediately.
One must be careful here to distinguish between the “truth” and “value” of Zen, and the confusion of levels, and thus of Russell’s Types in discussion. Inasmuch as the ego—centric predicament is not faced, there is no real communication on Zen excepting when a person has had the Zen experiences—there being two such Americans who write books—Phillip Kapleau and Ruth Sasaki. The rest, if we are honest, would be of different levels of abstraction.
The statement that Sam Lewis is a cultural advisor to three top conferences in real Asia either brings the Semantic Reaction (S.R.) that it is no more important than his having three pairs of shoes; or that Asians don’t know what they are talking about. But one thing is sure, the young and the Asians are not going to accept any LSD-consuming Englishman as an authority on “mysticism” or “Asian philosophy.”
The last news was from Julie Medlock at Auroville Pondicherry who is instituting another of the prophets discussed by Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. I don’t know to discuss it; it is coming and coming despite and not because. Lloyd highly evaluates Oliver Reiser’s writings and Julie is putting certain aspects into practice or rather she is doing what Sam Lewis is doing integrating integrational movements. Dialecticians and analysts simply cannot understand. It is beyond them. But sometimes I get a mathematician and can perforce make him apply the Calculus psychology to other things. They are always amazed and delighted. But to those who have no integrational background I pass by.
I shall buy again Science and Sanity and a lot of G.S. books, introduce G.S. into Asia and proceed to write papers on all the subjects rejected by our good friends—and they are good friends despite these blind spots. I have the G.S. solution of the Lynsenko-Mendel dispute accepted by scientists; of “Silent Spring” also do; and the Psycho-geometric Complex behind S.E. Asian Problems. Unlike my G.S. friends I have had a pretty stiff background in non-Euclidean outlooks and can apply, as did Osvald Spengler. Korzybski accepted Spengler; his successors have not. And the Vietnamese are distinctly non-Euclidean. But, of course, the general appeal on the solution of good problems is more important.
Last night I met two scholars in Nutrition at Gavin Arthur’s and it did not take five minutes to present and have accepted my general plan to help solve world food problems. People who spent their time using vacuum cleaners in tiny corners cannot possible grasp world problems. It does not take five minutes. It is as simple, in a way, as Einstein’s application of Minkowski. Once you have the matrix the rest follows.
But I am going back to the Hippies; they are here. They come, they accept, they bring their friends, they learn there is Joy without Drugs and they get a semanticizing, not a verbalization of Love. Now I have no time off but am enjoying every minute. The Inquisition forced knowledge underground and thus “occultism.”
The Inquisition still prevents news from becoming known. As you know I prepare to go to Canada to find out more about Social Credit in action. Now Thurston Morton has let the cat out of the bag. Maybe we shall get from “realism” to reality. Let us hope so.
Love and blessings,
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
July 16, 1967
Dr. Carroll Parish
University of California,
Los Angeles 24, Calif.
Dear Dean Parish,
Well, Carroll, there is a moral law in the universe and I am putting this on record. You do not have to do anything but sit still. But my brother and I have agreed that in case he predeceases me, half of the increment coming from my father’s estate would go to UCLA and I have in turn urged him, in case I predecease him, to do something—he is not obligated, but he has some antagonisms in the local area into which we need not go.
My father’s will has some strange provisions which, while not making the “University of California” a direct heir, it is named as a subsidiary in case any of the named persons or parties are no longer in existence when the final settlement is made, monies would be transferred to the “University of California.” I wished to succeed in life with the hope that the named beneficiaries would also wish to share with the “University” in case of success. I took this up with my then attorney who is an alumnus (so is my present attorney, a friend of us) and we hoped that something would come in this direction.
I then went to Dr. Bingham, who was head of a combined “Asian Research” program, now defunct, and instead of listening to me, he berated me; only to do a complete reverse a few weeks later at an Asian function where he found Asians had quite a different view. You can imagine how I felt, when shortly after, going to Japan, I was an immediate guest of a real Zen Monastery (Kawakura); then the first Occidental, and the first simple citizen to be a guest of honor at the Imperial Cemetery, the Imperial Palace Grounds and the Imperial Botanical gardens, etc., etc.
I left Japan wondering if they were pulling my leg, to have the same thing happen in each Asian country (e.g. my relations with our mutual friend, Princess Poon Diskul), etc. I have failed to impress most professors on Asian subjects but when the meetings took place a few years back at the Sheraton Palace Hotel I was able to answer technical questions which the biggest of them either were asking or themselves could not answer. We need not go into that, nor that President Hussain answered me promptly and President Johnson has not yet. All of this is in strict accord with the writings of the late Prof. Burdick.
Early this year a re-interpretation of our father’s will left both my brother and I in satisfactory circumstances. Now two developments have come up, among other things:
Alumni Association. I had been hoping that “California” would adopt a policy similar to Yale and Princeton of keeping in touch with its graduated abroad, particularly in Asia. I do not stand alone here and am pleased to report that there was a most satisfactory session with Richard Erickson, head of the Alumni Association.
There is a tremendous barrier in communications in this country which over-rates any work of the “Peace Corps” and under-evaluates that of Aid, especially in cooperation with the extension divisions of various Universities. This is first-hand knowledge, but like much first-hand knowledge it is not welcomed: e.g. my session with Prof. Orr in the Engineering Building, etc.
This is particularly important in view of the Near East impasse. I have long been concerned (certainly before 1930) with a reconciliation program for that region, both in connection with Religion and with Desert Reclamation. I am the first person in history to have been initiated and ordained both as a Sufi Murshid and “Zen-shi” or qualified Zen teacher, and sooner or later this will have to go on record. And certainly the staff of the Temple of Understanding in Washington, looking up my credentials and background found everything verified and verifiable.
But it is more “official” to take into consideration work on Soil Reclamation and Desert Research which is the work of several campuses and Dick Erickson was very pleased—and so the various professors in the natural sciences—of trying to link up the several projects of the several campuses. Indeed “Allah” seems to have rewarded me by a “chance” meeting with the new host for foreign students at the Davis campus.
I have asked for a meeting of those of us who have either been engaged in the Near East or in Desert Reclamation projects to work out a conciliatory program in which Israelis and Arabs might join. This has already been my personal history—but Americans other than the “American Friends of the Near East” and “Asia Foundation” have flatly refused interviews. Fortunately I now have the ear of Senator John Sherman Cooper, the one senator who has lived in Asia with Asians. But I have already planned “How California Can Help Asia.” and continue this research despite the interruption which must take my time now:
I had mentioned “How California Can Help Asia” and was asked by “Asia Foundation” to divert any revenue from this source to them but I said, following my father’s will and my brother’s assent, it would go to UCLA. This was just talk.
But Asians have a totally different view and during the last months I have been given or willed a pile of documentary material and library, and this includes a lot of real “Asiatica” which has never been published. I have written to Charles Tuttle of Rutland, Vermont, and he replied that he would like to see any authentic Asian material.
On the same day, we discovered a whole book by the late Roshi Shaku Soyen, the original pioneer of real Zen Buddhism into this land. This is now being edited and will be submitted to Tuttle.
It is my intention to see that any benefit therefrom or the copyright, especially after my death, be in the hands of the University of California in Los Angeles, and especially your office. I cannot promise anything but I also have the equivalent of a book by a disciple and friend of Shaku Soyen; a whole book by the Chinese Master Tai Hsu (whose lectures and meditations I attended when he was here years ago), and the voluminous writings of the late Nyogen Senzaki—several of whose books have been published and some of these by Tuttle himself.
This is apart from my own autobiographical material and from the prospective, “How California Can Help Asia.”
With all good respects to “Asia Foundation,” you have on your campus not only the Department of Far East studies, but the Department of Ethnomusicology and the Art Department (e.g. Prof. Davidson) and to be fair and neutral, if anything results from these endeavors it would therefore be through your office and your good self. Neither my brother nor I have direct heirs and my personal protest against not being accepted actually becomes a protest for a whole company of persons who have done work in Asia or in research that will benefit Asia not yet recognized in our culture.
I have with me a chair which will also be endowed. It was sat in by my close friend, Robert Clifton (Phra Sumangalo) years ago when we planned a petition to be signed by all the Prime Ministers of Asia to try to obtain an interview for either of us with any member of our own State Department. This is not sarcasm and only his untimely death prevented the deal from gong through. It was the refusal of the State Department to grant him an interview which sparked the whole Vietnam complex. This is so easily corroborated both by documents and living witnesses, it is a shame, but we are back to Burdick.
But I also found the carbon of the work Clifton and I did jointly on the Buddhist Sects years ago. This also should go to some university—it is a private matter and apart from all the above.
Yesterday I received a long scroll in Korean validating my appointment as a Zen teacher. I also have a scroll from Roshi Yasutani in Japanese, etc. But I am not anxious to push the ego on—it is against both Zen and Sufism, as to establish valid communication between persons and cultures. If I lose nobody loses; if I gain you will at least officially be the beneficially.
Faithfully, Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, 94110, Calif.
My dear Jack:
It is early in the morning and the sun is shining in the window. This place is in the sunniest part of San Francisco, and in front of me is a small park. Everything looks cheerful within and without.
I was going to write to you as soon as I get a letter off to Tuttle. This afternoon we are checking n the number of pages in the two manuscripts left here by Shaku Soyen, and then the pages in the lectures by Nyogen Senzaki on Shaku Soyen’s birthday celebrations, to see hoe large a book this will be.
There is no intention here to convert “Buddhists” to the principles either of karma or merit (Punya), and certainly not from egotism which is more rampant among them than among non-believers. I have written to the oldest Buddhist in this State, Prynce Hopkins, who spent years in your land, publishing “Science and Society.” A copy of it goes to Harold Priebe, and some day I hope to convert him to the Dharma if he can pass the gate of Repentance, so stressed by Hui Neng, so neglected by “Zen Buddhists.”
The library is now in order. My closest friends here, Ted Reich and James Eugene Wagner, have become “excited” and I had a hard time keeping on any emotional stream because it would seem now either that torrents of good karma are being returned, or that one is in the Stream. Of course good “Buddhists” don’t know anything about the “Stream” any more and don’t have to!
Alice is my part-time secretary and before I met her there were rumors she was interested in Zen. Anyhow she now has the job of checking out Shaku Soyen, and of arranging both Nyogen Senzaki’s and my autobiographical notes. I also have in mind the notes of a friend of Shaku Soyen and then the notes of Tai Hsu. I think I am the last American left who studied with Tai Hsu and in reading the books here find he was very highly evaluated. I thought so but this is not a disinterested conclusion. Anyhow I wish to have his notes typed so they will be on record with extra copies and my present Roshi, Seo Kyung Bo, was also one of his disciples. Also the Chinese leaders in New York. This job I may have to do myself. If I send you a copy it will either be on thin paper, which I do not have, or else by surface mail which may take a little while.
There is a slight alternative. Brian is coming tonight. He is my disciple who is leaving soon and I have asked him to call on you as soon as possible when he reaches “home” and to arrange his spare time so he can attend your sessions as much as possible. There are several small Sufi groups but I am afraid their relations to each other are not between you and C…less! Out here people laugh, “Where did a Buddhist get such a name!”
I have sent a copy of the Hopkins letter to Harold Priebe. Again, with this repentance rejection by “Buddhist” one faces a general condition. I found, as I think I reported, the book which Robert and I so carefully worked out years ago. I gave it to Alan Watts along with my other research; he gave not even a thanks, no acknowledgement, and would not let me refer to this in class. This is “Morality.”
Next month I must attend two seminars here. The first is on General Semantics. As G.S. stands today Zen means Daisetz Suzuki, the next order of abstraction is Alan Watts, the next Aldous Huxley and I don’t fit into it at all!: So I am going to Armageddon and if I am not battling for the “Lord” I am battling for Shaku Soyen, Tai Hsu, Nyogen Senzaki, Beatrice Lane, Soen Nagakawa, Roshi Yasutani and above all my resent Master, Seo Kung Bo. (Disciple of Tai Hsu).
Soen, Yasutani and Seo have quite different views of Sam Lewis than in most “official” Buddhist (?) circles in this land. The idea of basing one’s place on Bhumis and Paramitas would make Buddhism scientific, a matter discussed in the previous letter. So I must stick that Buddha was a scientist but “Buddhism” is not scientific. We must see that the Dharma is first, last and always, and the Triratna. Anyhow I now have a lot of the books I had wanted, and they cost nothing. Most valuable for Americans is Open Court; most enjoyable to have are Sogen Asahina and Phra Sumangalo. While I do not have the magazines—unless they are in the unopened bundles, I am happy over what is here.
I have also received a large bundle of material from Anandashram in India, the last works by and about my Guru, Ramdas. These have made me very joyful, and fit in with the scene. And this is especially important because Master Seo’s document is on Zen and Yoga. Copies are in the hands of Eugene and also Joe Miller, another life-long friend here.
On august 6th we shall dedicate this place as Mentorgarten, following Shaku Soyen. I have arranged for a Vegetable Curry buffet and will get out cards as quickly as possible. This occasion will be for my Buddhist and Indian friends; at a latter time I shall, I hope have a non-vegetarian buffet for my Muslim and American Friends.
Another Buddhist came over and borrowed a work on “Buddhist View of Spirits.” This is absolutely contradictory to what has been offered here it is tragic. People who know nothing about the Orient have dominated platforms and given out the falsest of teachings. I told my friend that when she comes here I shall offer a talk on “Indian Cosmic Psychology.” She has studied with every teaching around and is attached to the Soto Temple and knows nothing. I got this in five Minutes from Sokei-an. I still have hopes of converting Buddhists to the Dharma. I feel even more hopeful because the young believe me and in me.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
July 20, 1967
My dear Shamcher:
There is a teaching of Pir-o-Murshid from the Indian epics that a young man, wishing to catch a horse, chased it and failed. And after a while he was told to wait until the horse came to him which happened. And I am now abandoning any release of papers of Pir-o-Murshid, or any effort to have his institutions and constitutions or to establish the Brotherhood of Man as he, in his holy capacity wished it.
This abandonment comes by a junction of hard facts and meditative insight, neither of which impress not a physical people and both of which impress those of heart and the new generations which are rising in revolt against selfishness, power-hunger, and baseless authority.
The Story of Fabre D’Olivet. I came into possession of much of his work in juncture with the late Rabia Martin and Nayan Refield. I had not only rare books but even his private papers. In efforts to make this known—and I should gladly have shared these things with one single exception, I was turned down cold. I simply was not believed.
This material was destroyed in the fire of December 31, 1949 along with a lot of other things. And I find that D’Olivet greatly influenced at least one school of Linguistics, and the General Semanticists followed but they refused absolutely to take it that I Had any access to Fabre D’Olivet.
When I was in Ojai I met the son of a disciple of Fabre D’Olivet. I was told he would not see me; on the contrary he invited me to come and lecture. Then I am preparing to attend the next General Semantics Seminar where cards will be put on the table and no nonsense. For this movement like others becomes entangled in personalisms and personalities.
Occultism. Rabia Martin had been a disciple in many schools of Occultism. She turned over her papers to me. I could not get anybody to accept that I had them. All this material was also burned in 1949. Maybe just as well for the branches of these defunct schools have only superstition, rituals and traditions to offer.
Scientific Effort. Just the opposite. Every contribution and report is accepted no matter how small, or again how big. And fortunately I had now a secretary as eyewitness. Not only that, she was present when I met the man who has charge of foreign students in this State. I met him by a Grace. He came to where I was—like the horse above.
The opening of this House was attended by a few small miracles, which were reported to my Pir in Pakistan and also my close associates. Then I mentioned one to Sheila. She met Sam only once and wanted to become his disciple so a preliminary Bayat was given because we were moving. Now it appears she has contacted some of my spiritual brothers in other directions and is bringing to this house tonight a Peace Corps veteran from West Africa for very spiritual purposes.
In accord with the almost universal custom I am starting Zikr ceremony on Thursday nights. Strange to say this has been accepted already by the official Muslim body in the United Stated without any effort on my part. Not by the locals. This group rejected this person all over and in turn also rejected the general body of Muslims. The official Muslims now not only accept SAM’s relation to spiritual Islam but also his efforts to bring Peace and Understanding in the Near East—in other words, they are ready and willing to accept Allah as Reality, something our metaphysical friends do not.
First Conclusion. The willingness of scientists to accept any report of this person and the refusal of what Lord Snow calls “The other Culture” to grant even simple facts and evidences, leads one to conclude one should concentrate on Food problems and Desert Reclamation and let the so-called “spiritual” matters go because everywhere there, as in the social and public domain, one runs into egocentricity and even the word “universal” does not mean that, anything like that.
Hindu Events. My friends had to accept it that President Z. Hussain answered me. But then one professor here found I had not only visited holy places in India and met important holy men but had the experiences at those levels. So I have been asked—it is still off the record—to submit a paper to the Sri Aurobindo seminar which follows the Semantic Seminar.
The essence of this paper is found in Pir-o-Murshid’s “Story of Lot.” I am not going to argue with any of his disciples who have rejected the Vijananavada and Anandavada. Already there are those in India who accept and on ne passe pas. Since the visit of Jack Schwartz here I realize that the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, milked and watered down will be accepted through personalities and not thorough cosmic experience, and would have been called “Sufism” but for the events which follow. Almost everything passes if it only comes through the “right” people.” The “right people,” not the universal experience constitute the nexus of what passes popularly for “esoteric experiences.” There is not use chasing the horse.
Nyogen Senzaki and Hierarchal Zen. I met Prof. Senzaki in 1920. He was also a flunky. He bobbed back and forth between these until Sagaku Shaku, disciple of Shaku Soyen, left this city. This Zennist (little resemblance to what passes for “Zennism” today) was my first teacher in Buddhism. He was also a friend of Rabia to whom I introduced him. Later I introduced Senzaki to Pir-o-Murshid.
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif.
July 20, 1967
My dear Gavin:
I greatly enjoyed the meeting last night and now I am wondering about the Dominican Father whom you would like me to meet and whom I would like to meet. But I am not sure whether you have intended to invite Jeremy Ets-Hokin on that occasion or not.
I have just received a very fine letter from him, the nature of which I do not intend to divulge here. While we have both gone into Orientalia it is quite evident that his progress has been along entirely different lines and I should wish this so. Paul Reps, Luther Whiteman and I agreed not to visit the same countries or go to the same restaurants so we could share our joint experiences and then we would eat together.
I never sought to be involved in historical or political movements but like the characters in E. Phillips Oppenheim “Fools for Luck” always seem to have gotten in be way of actualities. But to be an eyewitness means to be ignored by one’s culture. This theme is so well developed in the Burdick-Lederer books there is no use going ahead excepting that I have fellow eye-witnesses who are shunned even more. The only persons in the non-scientific field who have not shunned us are the official historians themselves who have enough sense not to base their books on newspaper reporting.
Having looked over the newspapers of the “imperialists,” communists and Arabs, I find them all tarred with the same brush of dishonesty, subjectivity, propaganda and careful selection of each one, his own “all the news that is fit to print.” This is the world in which we live.
Man may not live by bread alone but propaganda does not fill stomachs nor clothe people. I have worked on a Peace Plan for the Near East for almost forty years, carefully thinking out each problem. Twice I was hauled over the coals but satisfied the persons granting the time. But I do not choose to relate my program willy-nilly. Indeed yesterday I found somebody else who is concerned.
I do not assent to your anti Walt Whitman stand about some human beings being “more equal” than others. People who used to visit Morocco found the Jews filthy and people who visit New Delhi find everybody filthy. The question to me is how to get rid of the filthy. Only while Nasser and the Israelis have both done that, each refuses to assent the other has.
I ran into the same thing in Calcutta where the Muslims insisted the Hindus would not clean up the City and at the next election the majority voted with the Muslims.
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
July 27, 1967
My dear Norman:
This is really a diary entry. I was very glad to see you the other night and was struck most struck most by you interest in Bucke’s “Cosmic Consciousness.” This is a fine first stop. The next stop would be either to seek people who have had such experience or to seek it oneself. There have been a few Americans with this experience but they are largely forgotten today. We are too concerned with “excitement” to bother. You cannot have cosmic consciousness and “excitement” and we are not going to retreat, Nor from one point of view is it necessary but that point of view also we shun, for it means giving up and our lives are spent trying to make others give up, not ourselves.
Once Princess Poon challenged me to a debate and for once I was frightened. I did not think I had a chance. But unlike the people who prate peace and morality and justices and have programs she said. “Now I have expressed my point of view, you tell me yours.” She was the only one at the academy who ever let Sam Lewis express his point of view. That was the first thing. All the people who prate peace and democracy and tolerance, not a chance! They never let one express his view; they attack the personality.
The second thing that happened was that after the major premise was presented and I went to the next step, she stopped and said. “That is my religion also. It may have been the religion of Princess Poon, it may have been the religion of the President the World Buddhist Federation, but it was not and is not the “religion” of all kinds of people who are called “Buddhists” and “Zennists” here, not by a long shot. They all differ excepting on one thing, agreeing in not letting the other person express himself. On that they are in agreement. This is “tolerance,” this is “democracy” but in my book it is war and nothing but war and misunderstanding.
People who have experienced Cosmic Consciousness get along with each other, generally at sight. When I last visited Dr. Radhakrishnan, after fifteen minutes we just sat in that beautiful state called the Maha Mudra Meditation where there was no self, no personality. No “I,” not “Thou.” This was not and is not and will not be the first instance but someday some Americans will get slightly curious—the young are now, and want to experience something beyond drunkenness, LSD trips, and Leary’s “expansion of consciousness,” etc. It is always the “other follow” who has it and the tolerant ?????? ones shut you up.
I remember the night when Gavin and Lloyd Morain got into an interminable argument over reincarnation and they both turned to me (it was at a lecture by Gina Cerminara). “But I remember my passed lives,” something goody-Americans and metaphysicians and occultists won’t accept, I am imagining. But the other night the Consul-General of India then went around saying that Sam Lewis knew more about India than any other American, something on which our “experts” definitely dissent.
Not only that but he supported this by accepting some of my “former lives,” again differencing from our “experts” and people who collect funds to do “occult” research. Amen.
Well, after getting a nice letter from Jeremy Ets-Hokin I had a nice interview with an American of Jordanian ancestry. This is wrong. I am not one of those ivory-towerites who settle our thinking on foreign matters and who unite in saying Israelis and Arabs should sit together and they sit with nobody. But I go around by the “fool” mingling with each and writing letters to Senators and Congressmen.
Anyhow I got a full ordination as “Bodhisattva” by the Korean Grand Master and went out to have it framed. Then I found my name in the Zendo records—there are lots of things in the Zendo records, all contrary to what our “experts” say and who are believed. But as Tuttle wants to look at these things they may come out and some day people will be called “Zen Buddhists” who have had the Zen experience, like Philip Kapleau. He had the Zen Experience and wrote about it just like a write now. Very bad on the “experts” who tell us that people who have had Zen-experience never tell. This is news to those of us who have sat at the feet of Zen Masters, but we haven’t the votes. We are outnumbered.
I remember once Kapleau’s Master came to San Francisco to test Sam Lewis. We took one look at each other and had tea. No words. That Look is the Grand Look or “Samma Drishti” which linguists don’t understand at all. It is the example of Tauler’s “The Eye with which I see God is the same Eye with which God sees me.” [This quote is actually from Meister Eckhart—Ed.] You never hear of that from the “Christians” but Senzaki used to repeat it all the time.
Yesterday I received a very nice letter from my friend, the Vietnamese Buddhist Master. We understand each other completely. And someday when we get beyond the curiosity in “Cosmic Consciousness” to go on to find the experience we shell see the world differently.
I have no intent to argue. Another long letter from my goddaughter who is planning to come to the United States next year. If she ever comes upon any critic of mine they are going to hear something. Or as Inayat Khan said, “These things do not go together, self and God; either you have the one or the other.” When you are interested you can borrow Ramdas’s writings, they are voluminous. He was always God-consciousness and told us all about it, which is very naughty in view of the views of “experts.” I have to meet an “expert” soon and maybe I can convince him that one has had the experiences of the Sufi, the Zen-Buddhist, the real Yoga. The Bible and Kabbalah say, “Come and see.” The young are beginning to do that. There is hope in and for the world.
Don’t forget open house for a few on August 6th. The few include “free leaders.”
August 1, 1967
Rev. Jack Austin
100 Roundwood Way
My dear Jack:
This is really a diary entry. My disciple, Brian, has already left. I have asked him to contact you and to attend as many of your meetings as he found convenient. He will also contact Sufis or rather some of the intellectuals, like Prof. Titus Burckhardt I hope.
Had my check-up with George Fung today and actually feel very good, especially very good for a man of 70—feel no age whatever. On account of hospital bill and two conferences (details below) I could not purchase any more Sutras this month but intend to go ahead. Copies have been sent to Massachusetts School of Technology, to Master Seo at Temple University in Philadelphia; to Dr. Thich Thien An at the University of California, Los Angeles. But I intend to send you more as soon as there is a report. Also to Koko An in Honolulu which by “Patriarchical” and “Hierarchical” Zen is my Sangha.
Sunday will he the informal opening of Mentorgarten. I have gone over the records but only partially. Too many wonders in them. The manuscript of Master Tai Hsu has been copied by me and I have brought the covers and folders so copies will be sent to Master Seo and your good self, by surface mail. I want Iru and James Eugene to see the others and also will now have a copy made to send to Tuttles for possible publication.
I have to edit the Shaku Soyen Manuscript merely to see that either Pali or Sanskrit terms are employed throughout, but have no intention of doing anything more but shall leave it as it is.
There will be a Semantic Conference next week headed by Dr. Abraham Kaplan. He has declared Daisetz Suzuki to be his Zen Master—and I think that “Christless” has also. Now the records definitely show who’s who and what the real position of S.S. was. I was much surprised at Kamakura to be informed that I was then two grades in Zen over Daisetz, appoint since corroborated both by Master Seo and also at least indirectly by the records.
According to them the Patriarchal Line has gone to Sogen Asahina. Now I had the immediate Sunyata Samadhi in his presence at Kamakura (confirmed by Nyogen Senzaki) and the Asunyata at Sojiji, Tsurumi. These are also indicated in my memoirs. I do not wish to press the Soto School, especially as the group here recognizes nothing out of Tsurumi, a dastardly, indefensible and misleading method. They have even placed Alan Watts over Iru and Eugene, and of course, this one! And not a single case of anything like satori from them.
But I am satisfied if the Americans accept P. Kapleau for my position has always been a historian and recorder rather than a Teacher. Or rather I present universal points of view, corroborated alike by late Master Tai Hsu and living Master, Seo Kyung Bo.
I have spoken to Iru about records. When the House of Dharma is opened I may transfer some things to him and should I go abroad in ‘68 or ‘69 I shall transfer the whole of my Buddhist paraphernalia to him unless we have a Sangha meeting which has some other plans, and even if we have a Sangha meeting I don’t think there will be any other plans. For Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon has designated the House of Dharma as her agency here, and both from the dharma transmission point of view and from this step there is no other proper course.
But since talking with Iru I have found even references to Rev. Goldwater who proceeded Love in Los Angeles and whom I also know. I have not gone over these records nor piles of documentaries regarding the history of the Zendos of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and Mentorgarten, etc. But I shall take every care they be properly preserved for posterity. Or there is any alternative—but this would require Sangha sanction, to deed and dedicate these things to the Department of Far East Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, where Buddhist research is now in full sway, mostly on Chinese material.
The Semantic conference will probably discuss “Zen” while the Sri Aurobindo conference, which immediately follows, has scheduled it.
One supposes it would be in order to contact Charles Luk also. I shall consult Iru on this.
Between Pratt and Paul Carus I am having a delightful time. Their works were written in an earlier age before the coming o the “experts” who have given us all kinds of subjectivities and abstractions which pass for Dharma and Zen.
Harold Priebe is concentrating on Peace efforts and apparently making some headway. We have consulted everybody in Vietnam excepting the poor Buddhist peasants who form the majority of the populace. (Democracy!) I never have a day off and don’t want one. I am finding myself in the very work which seems to be my Dharma and am happier today than at any time in life. Informal opening of Mentorgarten on Sunday August 6th, formal opening on August 27th. Will keep you informed.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave,
San Francisco, Calif.
August 20, 1967
My dear Gavin:
Ed Hunt and I are holding open house next Sunday, August 27, partly because on the same day there will be a Fair in the Park immediately in front of this place.
Pakistani food is being catered by some friends and also this food is being served because I represent the University of Islamabad in this country, of which President Ayub Khan is a director.
I am asking you especially to come because of inquiries and there may be no objection to your speaking on Astrology. We did have a trial Open House recently which was programmed, and quite successful, but this affair will be entirely open.
You may invite Alan Watts. I do not have his address, but I do have all the legacies of the late Nyogen Senzaki which may interest him. Indeed this is “Open House in many respects and if you wish to invite a few people you are certainly welcome to do so.
Last week one had to attend the Sri Aurobindo Seminar and before that the Semantic Seminar, and now one is also awaiting some people from Ojai and you may (or may not) receive a call in this connection.
August 28, 1967
Kanhangad, South India
There comes a time when the Will of God comes into overt manifestation, and as the scriptures say, “All men seeing, believe.” Yesterday Ed Hunt and Sam Lewis, both on in years and old friends, gave their grand opening House Party. A previous one had been successful—we then served Pakistani Vegetarian curry, but this time there were both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods while Sam cooked Rice Pakistani and Rice in Indonesian style. Ram said Sam should do this for it becomes Prasad and his blessing, which is called Baraka in Sufism would then go into the food.
The food was entirely new and enjoyable. But on the same day there was a big Mullah going on in the park which is in front of the house and the City was furnishing free entertainment all day. So many people came and all enjoyed themselves very much.
Many of these people were new to Sam and young and there were at the same time several old friends. Now there is faculty which is called Prajna in Sanskrit and Kashf in Arabic that the Divine Insight is always present and Sam knew that the time had come to open more and more of the real Wisdom teachings of the Orient. These Teachings have either been made secret or else commercialized to a great degree. And it was remarkable that of the young people who came for the first time all but one said they came to learn about God, and that one, of Chinese descent, said he came to learn about Buddha. Only for this foresight called Prajna and Kashf Sam knew this would be happening. He has had to wait years. But the time has come and there is a new age here and the young will respond and they want no pretense, no commercialism, they want the spiritual realities.
The previous week Sam had attend a Sri Aurobindo Seminar and Sam said he had come to defend Sri Aurobindo, that nobody was really studying him. Sam heard many professors talk on all sorts of subjects and what they call “Cosmic consciousness” has nothing to do with Samadhi or Moksha, but they are important or self-important persons. And Sam grew tried of speaking about Sri Aurobindo and nobody ever mentioned God (Ram).
On the first day Sam was given a reward for his research in Indian Metaphysics. He sat down next to a man in a Red Hobe, “What is this?” “I am a teacher in Tantra Yoga and my name is Vajraprakash.” Sam said, “Last night everybody was looking for a Guru and wondering why Gurus do not appear and today Sam comes and sits down next to a real Guru.” But these people do not want any American, unless he is a stranger. So nobody paid any attention to Swamiji.
Swamiji then told Sam the story of his life and Sam said: “Everything you say is right. This person was in the audience at your very first initiation and knows all about you.” The swami was amazed because Americans have refused to accept him even though he supports all his statements with facts. Americans prefer odd people with odd claims. Or rather there is a great rift between the young and old. The young want evidence and the old want to follow somebody. It is something but not exactly like the Cat and the Monkey.
Each week more young people come and want instructions or discipleship. So the signs have been manifested.
Before his death in 1927 Hazrat Inayat Khan, the Pir-o-Murshid who introduced Sufism into the West and who was the first spiritual teacher of Sam, gave him detailed instructions as to what was to be done should he die or disappear. These instructions have been either ignored or denounced. They have not been followed. So the School which he wanted to find has not prospered.
Sufism is based on fana-fi-Sheikh (effacement in the teacher), fana-fi-Rassoul (effacement in the Ideal), fana-fi-lillah (effacement in God), and baqa, which is Supreme Existence, having both a positive and negative aspect. The different people who call themselves “Sufis,” only accept the fana-fi-Sheikh and are stuck with the Guru as separate from God. So their spiritual attainment is limited. Now there is no need to argue for the young want the God (Ram) and nothing else and are not satisfied with name-and-form.
Sam is reading Papa’s works and the Prajna comes out of them. Papa’s explanation of Vijnana needs to be given to the world for the Buddhists have wrongly explained this term. And leading Buddhists are writing that there are no Arhats on earth. And Sam has met so many Illuminated Souls, but till now he was not believed. So he just tells the young people about them and at assemblages of older people he keeps quiet. He has to listen to Professors and “Gurus” and “Swamis” say there are few or no Saints or Masters, and anyhow they do not function on the earth plane. The older people believe that, the young will not accepts it. So Sam speaks as Jesus Christ said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.”
Now it becomes very important to speak on the Divine Name and from the Sufi standpoint to repeat the Sifat-i-Allah which are called, “The Beautiful Names of God.” Whenever anybody has a problem we repeat the Name that will help that person or persons.
Sam has been accepted by many Schools of Dervishes and Sufis but Western people do not accept that. That is the way they act. If they have not experienced, they don’t accept. And Sam has found himself as in the teachings of Lord Buddha, that he possesses so many teachings and papers because he has not been able to give them away, it was not believed he had them.
On the previous open House Sam spoke on “Indian Cosmic Metaphysics” and there were two Indian professors in the audience and they both accepted.
Beloved one of Allah:
The date is important. We are living in this year; we are not living in any age of darkness nor ignorance. There are many publications from Pakistan claiming to the missionary writings and they are so full of self-praise or international politics, or else they regard that Allah was present only in the days of the Messenger and Kaliphs, and no longer. And while one is quite critical in the article of which copy is sent, it only means that while missionaries subsidized or not teaching about politics and self-praise and events of many centuries ago it is for you Murshid to explain the teachings. And the more these people lean on politics, ignorance and self-praise the greater the field for your Murshid.
It is certain that the celebration Sunday brought the greatest satisfaction that your Murshid has ever had here, the growing number of young people who come to the house and even that old friends are beginning to feel different. Or for that matter former enemies have become reconciled.
In arranging for the Party, your Murshid met the local Imam and we discussed prayer-caps. And behold, Mr. Engineer sent some prayer-caps. So they were taken mostly to the Imam. The next day one met a son in the streets and he said. “I hear you are teaching Hippies? Are you making Muslims out of them?” “It is so easy.” No, my dear, I am not making “Muslims” out of them. Here one teachers Kalama and Takbir and Wazifas, but that does not have much to do with “Islam” today. There is no self-praise. One has them repeat Alhamdu Lillah. The missionaries preach all about Mecca years ago or all about politicians today but have no time for what used to be called “Islamics.” So there is a very clear field and more and more people are coming and it is hard, becomes one has to prepare many for Bayat, yet this is the first duty.
When the fighting took place in Kashmir your Murshid took his refuge in Allah and the Kashf was clear, that whosoever won on the battlefield would have the worst famine. Conditions in India are not settled but inasmuch as Pakistanis have more faith in “Islam” than in Allah they must learn some lessons.
It was very evident that all people here are love-starved, heart-starved, soul-starved, full of fear and uncertainty. So the lesson was changed to Allaho Akbar and one gradually releases what one learned from Mian Mir. And the Americans who are not called “Muslims” accepted and the politicians who are called “Muslims” do not accept.
The same was true during the fighting. The idea of starting Jihad and calling in Unbelievers has never taken place and before Allah this can never be. There is nothing in Holy Qur’an or history that Believers should call in Unbelievers to fight the people of the book. And there is one local American who is very adamant in the opposite direction and thus he is blaming “Muslims” while others are praising “Muslims” and so there is no room left for Alhamdu Lillah. And therefore here we practice Alhamdu Lillah.
We practice here also Akhlak Allah and Tasawwuri and the young people learn from the experience. Not from lectures or sermons, of which they are tired. And now your Murshid is becoming known because he seems to be older than everybody else and yet more vital and so he says, “Allah is closer than the neck-vein” and people realize he means it because he is alive, and they are not.
There are now rumors of new movements and for the first time a newspaper representative came and one was told there may be more interviews. So we shall present here the Islam of Divine Wisdom.
Yesterday also one received another pamphlet from a group of Sufis in London. They are opposed to the followers of Hazrat Inayat Khan. These people have refused all the reports made by your Murshid, and today they are being attacked for there is no such thing as support of an ego-individual.
This is also a point where your Murshid does not agree with individual missionaries who attack the Ahmadiyyas, then go around and praise Mohammed Ali Clay. Your Murshid likes the Ahmadiyyas for they are modern and accept the modern culture and the sciences while the so-called “Sunnis” do not do that. And while your Murshid rejects the claims of Elijah Mohammed there is no question that he teaches his followers morality and they do not indulge in alcohol and fornication and gambling like the politicians whom the missionaries defend. Holy Qur’an definitely says that all those who accepted Allah and the Last Day and do right belong to Allah and no missionary of any so-called “Islamicᾀ? movement is going to change that.
Nevertheless the time is one of joy and expectation. Allah only do I serve and when the young Americans see that, that one demands neither power nor money or anything and one gives out the love and blessing and good-will, they come and they will keep on coming, inshallah and to Him All praise.
Love and blessing,
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti
September 1, 1967
My dear Shamcher:
In the midst of excitements and events the diary has been neglected. If there is any question of the value of it, it must be said that Swami Ramdas began his diary early and kept it up for years and now that he has gone the whole value becomes clear. Only Swami Ramdas worked mostly on the Unity of All Planes and the God-consciousness openly and overtly. While in this case it has been insight that demanded it.
Naturally people of egocentric outlooks see in it only the human side. They see only another person at work and cannot see that it is God at work whether the human is conscious or not. And it is this failure to see good at work that is now giving the supreme opportunity.
I had hoped to have a dozen men disciples. To my amazement last night there were eleven men present and two absentees, and also three women and one absentee. Not one of them is 35 years old. There has been only one mature applicant who showed up unexpected at the Party Sunday and says she will return next Sunday. It is with some effort one can keep up with applicants and great care now will be taken for the Gatha class. This class will be conducted exactly as both Rabia Martin and Pir-o-Murshid wanted, with the commentaries.
The absence of the practice of the Presence of God gives one an unlimited field. As I told one young women here, and another who came to the party, one teaches here that others are either part of oneself of Beloved ones of God—nothing else. There is no separation and least of all that totally ineffective so-called Non-dualism of Hinduism who practice at the same time verbal non-dualism and practical separatism. Let the old take that. Let the old say, “Isn’t he wonderful!” Here we have the concentrations on Wisdom, Joy and Peace and work toward such ends. There is no reaction toward personality reactions. There is no God but God and not all the cults, churches, new movements, old movements or anything can change that, will change that.
I told the audience there is no time for character-analysis. If they wanted that we could hold a group therapy meeting and everybody else could pick out the others’ faults. I told the perfection of Iron was Iron, of Gold was Gold, of Tin was Tin, of Lead was Lead and everything and everybody had their own perfections and naturally this meant to the ego-mind the imperfections of others. But God made a lot of people and a lot of things to work out perfections, not imperfections.
By this time a lot of LSD people are finding higher trips without drugs. I am teaching Sufism as a science. Not as a religion in any old sense, but a science cum Devotion. We work with the Names of God, both by chanting and explanation and no nonsense about it. And all of this dominantly by feeling, feeling.
During the week I had a telephone call from a newswoman who was here Sunday. She has been affected. Very slowly honesty, integrity and adherence to facts on the one hand; and the feeling of Attunement to God on the other will have their way. “Truth in the end shall win.”
Actually I only have room for twenty here and if the groups get larger, will break them up. Saturday morning is based on walking. We have the “Walking Yoga” and it has been effective not only in awakening the inner consciousness but in helping the devotees to walk a long time without fatigue and also to climb hills. The Subject of tasawwuri was not introduced until the sixth year, I believe. But I am unable to follow the complete Gatha-Githa method because I do not have all the papers and will not ask anymore. People cannot walk the Sufi path and ignore the God, and that is exactly what is going on.
There are now two new groups of Sufis that I know in London opposed to Vilayat and to each other. One is the intellectual protest against the universities lead by Prof. Titus Burkhardt who says nobody can know Sufism without having had a Murshid. Another is by Idries Shah. This group is something like Manly Hall, that they mystify everything and have all the great Sufis in inaccessible places. Thus they overlook Ajmir and Nizam-ed-din Auliya etc. This sort of thing would go well in California.
Last night I read about Pir-o-Murshid’s criticism of “Life with the Masters of the Far East,” a widely read series written by a man who never left home. All the cults and old people went crazy about him and the universities declared he was totally a fraud. Which did not prevent even disciples or Pir-o-Murshid from accepting him and the same thing is characteristic of the age now passing. The young want facts, not claims, not metaphors, not even metaphysics. The general reaction is that one can go much higher with Sam Lewis than LSD. I shall not argue.
Alan Watts sent and apology that he could not come, that he is attending a conference on the use of Drugs in Amerindian ceremonies. That is the end of the great claims of his books. It is not bunking. There is no question that the drugs cum ceremonies of Amerindians took them beyond immediacies, but also there are a number of botanical psychedelics which are undoubtedly effective and occultly beneficial. I am totally opposed to the opposition against such drugs which have been used in the mysteries of the ages and opposed to the newspaper plus medical profession objection. A drug is not a drug is not a drug.
On the serious side I have become very critical of all logical movement including the semanticists who ignore Russell’s “Confusion of Types” and nearly all articles written on Psychedelics fall into this class. Most people leaned on Sidney Cohen of UCLA who leaned on Huston Smith of MIT who has accepted everything Sam Lewis has sent him. I don’t expect the passing Pisceans to accept that and the Universities will have to face some rigorous Logic which they have not yet. There is no difference between the top Profs and the “old ladies” when it comes to personality worships.
Sam did not learn this by intellect but in five minutes sitting before a real Zen Master who name was Sokei-an Sasaki. When Sam left Sokei-an he understood all the Upanishads and kept quiet. For the analytical minds have divided Hinduism and Hinayana and Mahayana which is nothing but the work of ahankara and manas which in Sufism is called nufs. And the young are beginning to accept that by sitting with the Teacher, they attune to his spirit. And although our fiend Jim has left here they are learning by this example that there is a cosmic attunement which comes by, from and through Guru.
And in preparing for the new disciples Sam uncovered two whole schools of Sufism which have not been given to the Western World. The one is nothing but the Science of the Name of God which there is Allah, how to use it to meet all problems. And the other is an open universal school that the Teacher permitted students to use any Name provided it was Name and he helped alike whether they said Allah, Ram, Shiva, Krishna, Christ, etc. He made no differentiation. And these teachings will now be given because different people would not believe Sam had such teachings and there is no rule or regulation and the young want God. Not lectures.
There were also some newspaper people here and they found some of Sam’s credentials, that all over Asia he is accepted but in Europe and America not so. Although there is an awkward situation in the mail today, that while Hazrat Inayat Khan’s elder son has refused to recognize or work with Sam, there are other Sufi groups in Europe who have become openly hostile to that son and wish to work with Sam. It is strange that people, who want to lead, will not observe the Divine laws. Hazrat Inayat Khan said, “Leader is he who is leader of himself; ruler is he who is ruler of himself.”
During the party the telephone rang and there is a young man who is trying to establish a big meditation Center here with Sam as leader. Now there are many kinds of Meditation but none of them have what some call Instant Zen, for the Breath is the Channel of Divinity (this can be read in Paul Brunton also), and yet it is not used. So we combine breathing, Meditation and Name.
Then also Sam demonstrates the Divine Presence through both Sound and Silence and this is beginning to make the young self-assured. Many of them are called “Hippies” and they have taken to drugs; they want the Divine Experience and they try anything. But now they get more Ananda by coming here than by drugs so no negative lectures have to be given. The Ananda is demonstrated.
By following the ethics of Lord Buddha Sam had had the Satisfaction of reconciliation with his most sever critics. One of these is Alan Watts who once said he would expose Papa Ramdas—you have the notes on record, Papa was kind. But by Prajna Sam could see that this man someday would become penitent and seek Truth, so one has to be more patient that anything.
There was one young girl who was very active and Sam told her that only two approaches are offered here, either she is the beloved one of God, or that she and Sam are identical, both being parts of the same Universal Life. Only these two and no other approaches.
Sam presents the Mantra Yoga for Joy and the Mauna Yoga for peace, which is the Union in Silence. But Sam Says that Ram may be more in the audience than in the speaker for the speaker is not in the Silence, and when they go and hear people speak the speaker has to break the silence which is the connection with God (Ram) and the audience does not. So there is no superiority in the speaker at all, and this is why the Oriental philosophy has not made much headway because the speakers assume they are nearer to God (Ram) than the audience and the audience assumes this also. But the silent ones, the hearers, may be the nearest and besides there is no Teacher but God (Ram). A lecturer is not a Guru.
At the end Sam gives the Divine Chants which the young people enjoy and in this way the Baraka (as the Sufis call it) enters the immediate atmosphere. So now Sam has to arrange for many to come either here or elsewhere. And if the previous generation wishes Name and Form and worldly titles, fine. But the young just want God (Ram) and they say so openly and they seek openly. It is a new age, a new day. One for which Sam had to wait a long time.
Finally there is something like Magic. Hazrat Inayat Khan died and Sam picked up his spirit; the Zen Monk Nyogen Senzaki died and Sam picked up his spirit; now Papa is always around like Jesus Christ. “Lo I am with you until the end of the age.” And people are seeing it and believing. One now prepares for the next stage, because the world is coming to these steps, and praise be to God (Ram) and all love and blessings.
Samuel L. Lewis
Pir Zade: One must go ahead in the Name of the Cause of God. Nothing more is asked or requested. The Cause of God is the Cause of God and nothing else. The Brotherhood of Man is the Brotherhood of Man and nothing else. Now one represents all the Sufi Schools and also the non-Sufi schools which lead to spiritual liberation. One lives in the Eternity and in the Name of God His will done.
September 6, 1967,
Dear Sharab and Paul:
Well, everything happens. There is a teaching of Pir-o-Murshid that in the Zaval part of life we get the results of what was done earlier, but it is also true that there is the operation of Grace and perhaps both are at work. The whole life has been changing for what we call the “better” in almost every way.
Sunday week we had open house here with a Pakistani catered dinner and about fifty people came and those who have known me a long time said it was the best affair I had ever put on and perhaps they were right. One was too busy cooking Rice, paying attention to visitors., etc, until the night when one gave a lecture which was very well received. The prayer that one might have a dozen male disciples seems to have come true and now there are also some women and whether it is natural or unnatural for the first time last Sunday I had almost as many young women as men, not a person over 35!
One has broken with Vilayat. And he will have to pay on the Day of Judgment. Instead of a Sufi seeing from the point of view of another as well as of himself, he has refused even unconditional surrender! And already there are credentials on the wall from several Asian countries excluding the Sufi credentials which are kept esoteric. He will have to answer to his God for the base assumption that any person can be “the brotherhood of man.” No person can be the whole “human brotherhood” and I seek nothing more. His refusal to release his father’s papers under any circumstance will be held against him on the Day of Judgment.
Pir-o-Murshid said, “What I give to you must give to others.” It is nonsense to pretend when you don’t believe that. So I am now releasing the teachings of two other Sufi schools for the benefit of humanity.
I have manuscripts from Zen Masters and apparently publishers want them and this will be the entering wedge to get one’s name in print. But here I began with “Joy without Drugs.” Young come to me interested in finding the Reality of God and put far more profound questions than their elders can surmise. And there are now underground movements in my favor.
But the smirk you see on my face has nothing to do with this. It is an awful smirk due to the wonderful weather we have, especially in the part of San Francisco where I now live with a park in front and a view of a street leading all the way to downtown, most wonderful at night. And one hears such bad news of weather elsewhere.
Not only has the health been recovered but one feels even better. There is still the mountain of work in front of me covering many subjects, but now I have a disciple being trained for secretary-ship and other volunteer workers.
Shamcher Bryn Beorse was here just before the party and I have received a telling praising the two disciples he has met. Most of the disciples are ex-hippies, and the rest are being rescued from Gurdjieff although one young woman came because of troubles which the Vedanta Swami cannot answer because he is dying, she says.
Always the same sad story of lack of love in the parental home. This is the cause of the Hippy movement. There is nowhere in our culture where real Love is communicated and what we call “Love” in English has nothing to do with what was meant by the Messengers of God.
One uses Love, Joy, Mantrams, the Mauna Yoga (the Yoga of Silence), and Sufi teachings. One does not even use too many Gathekas and Gathas—they are only supplementary. This could even be called a Love-Joy School, and yet the purpose is to awaken Insight in everybody. There have been some startling successes. One young man has the Sufi symbol in his forehead, God has already expressed himself and while one regrets that Pir-o-Murshid’s family has each placed himself above where God has placed him, the fact that God manifests in many people is recognized in fact, not in theory, and one helps each and all according to capacity.
I thank God there is nobody standing before me with prohibitions and inhibitions. And there are underground movements advising that I shall be called upon to participate in new efforts especially in and with the so-called “Hippy” community. I am ready.
Love and blessings,
Sam is taking the position that he can tell stories as if he were a teacher and he is finding life just like Papa found it, that in every incident there is Ram.
We are having conferences here and it is both amusing and tragic. All the great religious teachers emphasized “Hearing” and “hearing” is the first requisite in the great scriptures which are seldom taught here. When a man passes certain superficial examinations he is regarded as a “religieuse” or minister or privileged person.
Someone once asked Sam how long would the Pope remain in power and Sam said, “So long as he continues to wash pilgrim’s feet.” There are many people who egocentrically consider themselves humble but they neither wash pilgrim’s feet or anybody. They call themselves “humble” and bow before nobody.
When Sam has no inspirations he reads from Papa and the other night came to the incident of Sri Ramakrishna saying, “I would play the part of the dust at your feet.” This came in very well because there was a young woman in the audience who had become attracted to Vedanta. Sometimes Sam tells stories about the great Ramakrishna Mission leaders, now living because there are the stories of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.
There are now so many representatives of different movements coming from India here, all teach “Krishna-consciousness” and all reject each other! So Sam is now rejecting “humility” and presenting “curiosity.” “Humble” people are aware of themselves and disregard others.
There was a book written by a newswoman named Mrs. Hobbs about India. The review made it sound like another Katherine Mayo book. And Sam wrote that India was the most miraculous country in existence because according to news report it had a great surplus in harvest and a great famine in the same district (Bihar) at the same time and no other country had ever succeeded in having a surplus of food and Famine at the same time in the same place!
But there is a faculty called Prajna which Dr. Radhakrishnan calls the supreme faculty and when one lives in and with Prajna life is like an ever-continuing miracle.
The other day after writing about Mrs. Hobbs Sam was drawn to a shelf in the public library and on that shelf found two entirely different types of books. How they came to be on the same shelf is a miracle because one was on California geography which Sam is studying at the university. The other is called “A Psychiatrist Looks at India.”
Mr. Medard Boss is a Swiss scientist and he was sent to address some conferences in India. He then began associating with Indian psychiatrists and Ayurvedic doctors. He was not “humble,” he was curious. When he found they affected cures by means not accepted in the West he began to associate with them and learn from them—the great difference between the “humble” man and the curious man.
After the first few chapters the book reads like a successful Paul Brunton. Dr. Boss began to meet real swamis and real gurus. Wherever he went he met the holy men, the realized souls. As Sam has been saying there are a lot of them in India and they only manifest to those who are ready. And it seems that with each step he met greater and greater real gurus.
The outstanding lesson he found was that in the real Samadhi one has not only union-with-God but with all humanity; and that when one is helping others he is helping himself and when one is really helping himself, he is helping others. So Sam has ordered four copies of this book.
Paul Brunton began as a newsman and a newsman has all the frailties of the scribes who faced Jesus. But Dr. Boss began as a scientist without these frailties. His “India,” something like the “India” of Walt Whitman, is not only a place and country but the adventure into divine experience. Dr. Boss started out on a scientific mission. As a scientist he was curious and this curiosity took him on the journey to God without his being aware of it. And he accomplished what was not accomplished in the popular story, “Lost Horizons.”
Sam has long been saying “Shangri-La is in South India, not in the Himalayas.” Now more people are finding this so.
There was a Consul-General from India who has now been transferred. He was not very popular here. He used to go around saying, “Do you know Mr. Lewis? He knows more about India than any other American.” But the “humble” people who do all the speaking and no listening never would accept that! Only now the School Department of San Francisco has been informed and when this letter is finished Sam is to call on the School Department. Sam does not claim to be “humble” but he is dedicated to curiosity and a willingness to learn and to sit at anybody’s feet and wash anybody’s feet and feed anybody. And the young people like that, every week more young come here and yet Sam has done no advertising. Sam told them, “I know 15 systems of Yoga.” Ram has corrected Sam: “There are many systems of Yoga, those which you know consciously and those which you know superconsciously.” However when Sam is not presenting Sufism or a particular Yoga he presents the Parabhakti.
All love and blessings,
S. A. M.
Now the denouement of Walk upon which I have been making so much emphasis and which is also practiced by some Dervishes what was called Hagg in Hebrew and Hajj in Arabic and into this I shall not go yet because Allah has not so directed me.
There has been a wonderful response to the Arabic records here both the sacred ones and the musical ones. I have a new friend who sells Arabic records and have purchased a radio from him, brought disciples to him and exemplified “brotherhood” without self-praising talks on it.
Tonight I shall try a local radio station which has an Iranian program. Sufi Ahmed Murad visited the Iranian Consulate and when he made a remark the Vice-Counsel said, “You sound like a Dervish. “ I am a Dervish and this seems the only way to impress you.” This letter will be completed and sealed before listening to the Iranian Music or the party this afternoon and night. For I feel like walking into something new.
This brings us back to the knowledge and service of Allah. For having seen the triumph of the Germans and their overthrow inwardly and feeling the desecration not only of Mosques but all sacred places of all faiths by politicians, one can only look back. Dilhi Dur Ast, spoken by the great Nizam-ed-din Auliya always stands before me. Worldly success can be followed by opposite movements.
The American people are now turning against each other but one thing is certain, neither group has much inner faith. Allah is not on the side of those who have the outer power, but that does not mean that automatically He is on the other side. People talk “Peace” and retain hatreds. And do you think that any more Muslims will be invited to speak at conferences on Asia if the one group gets in or the other? There is one thing that the peace-people fear more than anything else, and that is to have a Vietnamese around. And do you think that a people that excludes Muslims and Buddhists from platforms will welcome and listen to a Vietnamese? It is as Isa would have said, Satan against Beelzebub. But it does show what happens when a people turn from Allah.
All verbalisms about Qur’an and Hadith are empty. Verbalisms demonstrate nothing but win the ego-satisfaction (riza) from, of and by people. I did not come here to teach Islamics and did not come otherwise either. I came to surrender to Allah and to draw the Infinite Strength and Wisdom that is in Allah and even though this may seem shocking, to become a brother to Rassoul Lillah himself, but brother in the sense he meant it.
In Allah there is all strength, power, wisdom, blessing, everything. It has been said: Say: Allah and Allah you will become. Say: Allah and leave them to their devices. But this is not done and “Muslims” do not succeed. I command saying Allah and practiceAkhlak Allah. It is worth trying. It can even change the face of the earth.
All love and blessings and more to follow,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
October 7, 1967
My dear Connie,
After talking last night I decided to make another report for my diary and send it to you. For if you are suffering from any emotional distress or fatigue I feel a little awkward with that form of ego-satisfaction of not having such difficulties. And my conclusion, that it arises out of a combination of satisfaction coming from the use of Prajna and the ever growing response of the young, although as yet no effort as yet has been made, to campaign to build up my work.
My great difference with so-called “Zen”-Buddhists who include all kinds of people who agree only on the name, is that they have neglected Prajna. Dr. Daisetz posited Prajna but did not use it. Dr. Radhakrishnan posits Prajna and uses it. Although we consider him a Hindu, the World Buddhist Federation considers him one of the most advanced in “Buddha” Wisdom which is in no way to be confused with “Buddhism.” Buddhism is a real religion and like all other separate movements has its clergy, its rituals, its followers, its separate tendencies and on the whole these have little to do with the experience of Enlightenment, whole or partial.
One finds the difference between the scientific and non-scientific people; between the “old” and the “young” which often means between the Pisceans and Aquarians.
Clark and Jim Simmons went to Davis yesterday. Jim is a young friend of Clark and he has advanced very, very rapidly in absorbing occult knowledge. The only thing is that this is more or less general with the young; you can impart to them in a month what you cannot impart to the egocentric Pisceans in a year. They are open.
It seems that there have been two books on India recently, one by a Mrs. Hobbs, a newswoman and the other by a psychiatrist. Mrs. Hobbs’ book received lots of attention from her fellow craftsmen, but to me it is “Mother India” all over. “A Psychiatrist Looks at India” was not even reviewed. The remarkable thing is that the Psychiatrist found that some Indian doctors had successful means which are unknown to the West. The more he went into it the more he began to pursue them. And he found more real Saints, real Masters, real Sages per square mile than all our Baird Spauldings and meta-physicians and “experts” and authorities found in the whole country.
The book was a little like Paul Brunton, only the pace grew more rapid, something like “Lost Horizons” only not necessarily in the same regions and certainly definitely Indian and not Christian or anything like it.
Nevertheless the work by Mrs. Hobbs and the accompanying news reports of famines in India caused a lot of children to become empathetic and they wanted to do something. This led to a combination of teachers of gardening and social studies to unite on a proposed program of learning to grow crops and at the same time consider the plight of the Indians.
Clark and Jim got insights into the scientific people who are so different from the social people. They consider facts, not opinions and experiences, not “character.” The case with which the interviews were carried on and the harmony on all points gave them the opportunity to see the “two natures” of Lord Snow and I shall have optimistic reports not only for the School Department but for the Indian Consul General and Asia Foundation.
Some day, no doubt, the experiences of the little people who were there will count for as much (among scientists it counts for more) as the opinions of the big people who were not there. But our culture keeps ongoing on opinions at VIPs and so the Vietnamese complex gets more complicated and every view is welcomed excepting that of the majority, i.e. the Vietnamese Buddhists.
Our comfortable people have no ideas of the sufferings either of the Vietnamese Buddhist peasants nor of the Indian masses (who are not “suffering” the way it is described by peoples who do not mingle with them).
But Sam has no longer any occasion to bang his had. The scientists agree, it will lead to more conferences and sooner or later we shall march out of our clichés and problems will be solved.
The immediate is to try to get real cultural exchange with real Asians. It is most difficult. It is over 40 years since I challenged a certain respectable cult, what would be the difference between 400 mutually antagonistic church-sects and 400 mutually antagonistic cults all verbalizing “brotherhood of men” and all excluding each other! We are reaching that stage. We are still self-deceived about brotherhood. The psychiatrist above found the spiritual brotherhood in India and practically that teaching which Master Seo wishes me to emphasize here.
We are now working on real Zen manuscripts. The latter generations will accept my work and I have no time to try to convince older people what I am doing, excepting those who are my life-long friends here like Ted Reich and Joe Miller who are in the same boat. Exclusive of Nyogen Senzaki’s work I have no less than five manuscripts and all this is additional to a full program. Only it is necessary to keep the diary so that future generations will have source-material on a number of subjects. One of these is the continuum of the knowledge of the purpose of life from one incarnation to and through another. This sort of knowledge makes one persona non grata with the occult and theosophical groups who theorize on reincarnation, and are afraid that somebody else will demonstrate it.
The young resemble the scientists more in that they are open and objective and more moved by facts and experiences than by their own impressions. The spiritual metaphysics and psychologies attack our dependence on impressions. Calling these “intuition” only adds to the confusion. Anyhow they are learning the occult and esoteric science at such rapid rates that I am compelled to revise my methods. For the accumulation of years (or incarnations) must be given to the world, the young believe and absorb. The older look at the personality and criticize and argue.
What is more, the predictions about Aquarians are coming true. They act just like it was said they would act but they do not want the elder, Pisceans, to lead than. Indeed they don’t want the Pisceans at all.
Last week instead of arguing about “Stone Buddhas”—a lot of our best friends are “Stone Buddhas—I began showing them means to empty the mind, to purge the mind, to pacify the mind. They accepted the teachings and methods. This, in turn, is enabling the Teaching to impart more. I let the elders gawk.
But it is a mistake to assume there is any Teacher. The Teacher is the positive pole of a cell and as the pupil or pupils show more aptitude the EMF of the cell increases and knowledge comes through the teacher which would otherwise have been impossible.
For years I have been saying I know 15 systems of Yoga. Now when the ego gets out of the way and we use the Prajna or the “Akashic Records” we pick up the whole of the humanity and the Universal Mind and out of the University Mind we channel more and more and more. So Sunday night I open, I hope, another Yoga method and so on. And I am going to let the theosophists and metaphysicians and cult people gawk. The young learn and the young accept my stress on Bliss (Ananda). Like old Marpa I brought a lot of things back from India and I don’t care who rejects them. Most rejections come from people who claim to accept karma. If you ever want to the rejected, look up somebody who says he or she believes in karma. They are adepts in rejecting. People who are not so “wise” are much more open.
I do not wish to express what the young think of Sam. They are giving me a birthday party on the 18th and in turn I am giving a party on the 22nd. We are to meet at the Chinese Buddha Universal Church at 2:30, attend the service, tour the church and then repair to Yee Jin’s (1½ blocks up) about 4:00 for a big shindig. I am acting as the treasurer for the occasion. Your stomach is invited. It is also to welcome the young who have come from the Midwest to study the spiritual and esoteric sciences with this person. Murder is not the only thing that will out; knowledge (or wisdom) may out also.
I do not know what the next term will bring. My “closed” classes are already too full and I have to decide how to break them up or seek larger quarters. And there are signs that my open meetings will be packed.
Now Master Seo has said the same about Sam Lewis as the Sufi Masters and the late Papa Ramdas. One has an aeonic mission to fulfill and no this is being accepted by the young. You have met them and liked them. Now there are more of them and still more encouraging signs.
Only I write because there is no need for torpor, for emotional uncertainty or instability, for nervousness, for fear and on the whole for any negative state. But we learn by doing, not by sermons, not by lectures, not by words. I am not a Krishnamurti who can tell others, or a Manly Hall who has the complete mental picture of everything. I do with others, not over others. There is brotherhood here, not verbal “brotherhood” with a special “Big Brother” who shuns all other “Big Brothers.”
You are always welcome either on Sunday nights or to the feeds. There will be more feeds the way things stand.
Next Wednesday the class in comparative religion opens at Guerrero and Duboce. It will be a different sort of class accepting all religions and looking at them from the inside. There everybody will either have to contribute an offering (which I do not ask here) or face an examination. At the end of six weeks, those who do not contribute or pass will be excluded. I am not going to waste time and energy spouting like the clergy. The object is to impart at least information, if not more.
Love and Blessings,
October 10, 1967
My dear Gina:
I just stumbled upon an old letter of yours and thought it is time to write. Since you saw me in the hospital everything seems to have changed—for the better. Now I am occupying a house with my old friend, Ed Hunt. We have had coming-out parties, the last a big one. Gavin was here. After we sent out 50 invitations we quit and of course, found out later that we had omitted a lot of people.
During August attended conferences on General Semantics and Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. Dr. Kaplan was the chief visiting speaker at the former. At each conference I learned: the life history of the first person to report. “She” was so interesting to the little old ladies that was the business of each. The chief difference was that at the Semantic conference when some people got too obstreperous others let them have it.
Because I supported Don Hayakawa with facts—about his own life—people thought I was a shil and got at me. This is wonderful “science” and “sanity.” Anyhow before the conference they begged me to enlarge my contributions. And one of the editors, finding I was in the minority during a dispute let me have it. Well, I am not and the G.S. movement lost 200 and they know it. The same moneys are going to Rudolph Schaeffer and the American Friends of Asian Arts in Berkeley.
I am still on the fence on Flying Saucers. The minority of scientists seem convinced there are phenomena not explained—vide Fort—but cannot accept inter-planetary beings. As I have always believed that the earth-sphere was penetrated by the “fairy-land” and that by another plans, etc. exactly as the Irish believed, I have failed to see anything not explicable in Celtic literature.
Now I have two largely attended meetings here each week, one on Sufism and another on the Dharma. Until this Sunday the total attendance of people over 50 was one—then a huge gap and a lot of folks in their 20’s and 30’s. Tomorrow night I begin a course on Contemporary Religions which means just that—not stuff out of a book and certainly not stuff out of Leiden, Heidelberg, Oxford or Cambridge. I am abandoning all that to she “little old ladies.”
Next month I understand there will be a meditation center opened for me in “Hippyland.” The young think very different from the old and love facts and honesty and integrity.
On the walls here you will see credentials in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The real Masters of these people all say they know I lived among them in previous lives. I got a good inkling into my Japanese one but inasmuch as “Buddhism” in American is a compilation of the wisdom of Japanese householders, English socialites and American psychologists, I am attending to business. This means getting out some real teachings of real Masters of the real Far East which have come into my hands, a lot of them. Tuttle has accepted two but it takes a while to type them properly and have them proofread etc. Actually I dare not look at the whole collection.
I am also giving out Sufi teachings which have never been presented.
Now that Bishop Pike has the experience, well, well. Of course I am an old logic who once liked Oliver Lodge, all of him. Most people who reject him as a Psychic also by-pass his work in Physics and Chemistry. They have too. This is “science” but it is not the science” of scientists.
In the meanwhile the S.F. School Department discovered I have lived in India, etc. etc, and in visiting campuses for them it has been very easy to accomplish things. Scientists accept fact; Metaphysicians judge personalities. Indeed I am on a rampage. Our stubborn and absolute refusal to examine the prevailing religions of S.E. Asia and our acceptance of the private opinions of Japanese householders, English socialites and American psychologists as “Buddhism” has caused me to circulate letters to real Buddhists. I am also warning them about the coming East-West conference. If it follows the usual pattern it will be a collection of self-esteeming “experts” receiving some public funds and seeking more. The pattern never changes, but the personnel does.
So I am having a wonderful time, mostly, the karma operates despite that nearly all people who verbalize karma act almost the same as people who don’t. Here I instruct in Third-Eye development; the young accept it and find it to be true. No time to argue.
In November there will a conference, “Is God Dead?” I expect to make enough noise to wake Him up if He is.
Love and all that,
October 20, 1967
My dear Ruth,
The other day I “turned 71” and on the same day was discharged by the doctor as being in the best condition of any senior patient he ever had. This is a sort of memoir recording and you are “it.” I have been unable to proceed even to Modesto because of an illness this year which restricted traveling.
All sorts of presumably nice things began to happen, chiefly reconciliations with critics and enemies. Elliott lost a fortune trying to prevent me from getting one and then saw there was more financial satisfaction in brotherhood if nothing else. But this came in a period when also other critics and “enemies” began to retrace. They had all in common the habit of hostilities within themselves and found they could not fight everybody at the same time, receive psychological satisfaction and pay their bills.
The illness came in celebrating the end of family litigation. And when I was well and went to a conference the first man I met was a physician. “Did you take Roquefort dressing?” “Yes.” “Did you drink wine right after it?” “Yes.” “That explains it. Often the combination produces an allergy.” Later in the same conference other doctors said the same thing. Anyhow my physician is a close personal friend and I am able to shut the mind dead taking the attitude either that I know everybody or nothing. Thus either “I surrender dear,” or fight and win, I always win but don’t fight that often.
I do not know whether you are in practice or not. I have long been withdrawn from usual gainful employment and lead two lives, very, very different but both very satisfactory.
One is in the scientific world. It has to do with Horticulture and Food problems. It is also very interesting, that in trying to reach scientists, agriculturalists and related professions one is almost 100% assured; and in trying to reach people in other cultures one knows both before and after one hasn’t had a chance. And it was rather surprising that the San Francisco School Department, considering the food problems of India, sent for a man who has lived in India with all sorts of Hindus, who has studied the progress made in that land and is full of scientifically collected data, rather than for an “expert.” With all the “experts” around they sent for a man who did not have to look at a book or consult a colleague for any answer.
The former Consul-General of India used to go around making himself very unpopular: “Do you know Mr. Lewis? He knows more about India than any other American.” Well, no “expert” would accept that. But Father-Allah must have been right because the aforesaid Consul-General has been promoted to Ambassadorship.
We are having a nice war in Vietnam. I have a chair in which my closest friend, Robert Clifton, once sat. He was then living in Vietnam. He had come back from Washington where nobody would look at him. He died of a broken heart. Now we are spending millions or is it billions of dollars in a war that could have been prevented.
Oh, it is not that easy. I have had an awful time finding an heir. But there is a man at UCLA whose path has crossed mine and having the same kind of objective experience, he accepted that I had been in each Oriental country and he also accepted my missions, veddy cloak-and-dagger and so un-believed.
Did you read The Ugly American or Sarkhan? Well, it is just like that. Do anything or know anything and you have the foreign offices of the communists and USA against you at the same time and it is no joke.
One night my friend Eugene, the last secretary of the aforesaid Robert, and I attended a dinner for Tibetan Relief and Mrs. Grady the top socialite here came and greeted us two while the rest of the people gawked. Then we went to greet a Mongolian Lama and instead he came and greeted us and the audience gawked some more. Eugene happens to have been the spiritual teacher of the Maharani of Sikkim. If he had been an Englishman he would have been world-famous and if I had been an Englishman I should be prominent socially.
So I am keeping the letters of Robert aforesaid and my documentaries, full of cloak-and-daggerisms, for a putative heir and it looks like certain departments at UCLA.
In the course of time I have inherited or what not, masses of real Oriental writings of real Sages of real places. If you came to this house you would find honoraria in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. And if I don’t look out, or if I do, there may be one coming in Vietnamese. This is very unfair to “experts.” As a Nation we would rather fight than switch. And we have Proposition “P” here; if you vote one way you get war and if you vote then other way you get genocide and East is East and West is West and never must an eyewitness be permitted to take part in public discussions, unless he happens to be neither American or Oriental.
Anyhow I have converted a few U.S. Senators, though not a member of the State Department nor the press nor any “experts” excepting those scientists who have lived and worked in Asia and whose names never appear in the papers no matter what their achievements.
Well, I went up to Davis campus recently. It is the same as all other campuses. Endless ranks of professors, graduated and undergraduates doing marvelous things—which never get published; and a few noisy students and non-students getting world coverage. This is “realism.”
Usually I am at home or on a campus. Twice a week to UC Extension: course on California Geography and one on “Buried Cities.” As I am not well enough to travel will perhaps take in other campuses. A so have enough virtue (i.e. $$$$$) to have a part-time secretary.
But what I am doing with the youth, that’s the rub. No kids anymore. The very tail-end of the children I baby-sat for may be invited to join my groups, whose median age is 25-30. I teach the real cultures of real Asia, much approved by real Asians but not particularly by “experts.” My friend Eugene and I have a colleague from Nepal who committed an unpardonable sin—he is only half-Asian and looks European. That finishes him. He does not wear a cloak or turban or beard and keeps clean; indeed he dressed like everybody else. Consequently….
Not that I am arguing that Asia is better than America. I do not use words like “good,” “bad,” “fanatic,” “hallucination,” “superstition,” etc. My boys saw me in intense communication with a scientist at Davis within three minutes after we had met. Neither one of us had ever taken a course in “communication,” and both of us had lived in Asia with Asians and were working on the solution of food-problems.
And then there have been the times when I met a “saint” from Morocco or monk from Korea and we were in intense communication with each other almost from the start. This always upsets people. But the young people like that. They like objectivity, they like facts, they like information and they get it. But they get more for there is a complete absence in this part of the world with the “heart-sciences.” I am not going into that here. No longer prevented by older people from expressing, and having too many young around to be bothered by their elders pushing egos around, I am reaching more and more.
At the psychedelic conference I held for “Joy without Drugs.” Of course the elders would not accept. Of course the young have been curious. And on my Birthday twenty of them gave me a joyous birthday party in Marin County and I am giving one Sunday to a lot of people—about three or four of my companions and all the rest young. And while it has been mostly young men, now some girls we coming, too. I know their hearts, Ruth, and I can and do reach them and nobody is standing in the way any longer. I have turned a lot of Hippies away from drugs and they believe I can give them what they are seeking. It has reached the stage where I do not try to prove anything; in fact while I do not insist you are under 30 to come here, I know what is going on inside and nobody is stopping me, especially with sermons, dialectics and pompous authority.
If you ever come to San Francisco, look me up—285-5208. Only my eyes and teeth have aged; everything else is at a “standstill”; I haven’t taken any courses in geriatric but it might be fun.
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
October 29, 1967
My dear Gavin:
I phoned around my birthday to ask you to make an annual progression for me, only to learn that you are in the hospital. I do not know what to think with the ignoramuses of the world divided into the pro-alcohol, pro-tobacco and pro-marijuana groups, all adept in seeing the futilities of the others, from their points of view and none of them indulging in rigorous scientific thinking and investigation. The result is that whatever be the weaknesses of alcohol and/or tobacco and/or psychedelics, they are verbally on the defensive and some of the worst poisons of our systems continue in use and sales and escape ignominy. So instead of preaching I laugh—and it will continue to be.
All the predictions of Hugo Seelig concerning the person are coming true today, although somewhat later in life than had either of us hoped or expected. However the body and mind show more of the vigor of a man of 50 than the decrepitude of a man of 70 and when we have a culture—and it is coming soon—that will be objective and impersonal, any “secrets” will be accepted as a matter of course, supported by objective evidence.
Egotism is the enemy and egotism is the one thing not examined, for egotism will never examine or challenge egotism. And while the most outstanding fact is the refusal of the Semanticists to accept that this person studied under and learned something from Cassius Keyser, the friend and mentor of Korzybski, the same general trend is everywhere.
I have under different references written out my connection with the real historical events of the day to Bryn and to Senators Kuchel and Percy who have been far more objective and curious. Thank God, they are not “humble.” It is the “humble” people who accept peace awards and other honorariums and then run to cover when trouble starts. But a culture which indulges in rejecting eyewitnesses and delighting in the emotionalisms of self-declared orators is sooner or later coming to grief.
It is for that reason that an ever-greater number of young people gather here, or come to hear me elsewhere or invite a man who has been there rather than an “expert” who is not. It is noticeable and notable that scientists are not like that. In the course on “California Geography” I was permitted to make four reports the first day and am scheduled to speak on “The Date Industry” next meeting. No self-respecting metaphysician or cleric or even “social scientists” would permit that! They don’t work that way and because they don’t work that way we are in trouble. The scientists are the moral people; as I say, you can lie to yourself, you can lie to others but you cannot lie to your laboratory notebook and make new discoveries.
Twenty young people gave me a birthday party and then Sunday I gave one for thirty, of whom 25 were young. These people all prefer the direct experiences of a little man who was there to the obtuse opinions of the ivory-towered “expert” who was not. This holds alike to the geography of world events and the cosmology of super-physical experiences.
Tonight I may expect one of our old metaphysical “experts” whom I shall not name here but who is even more critical of you than of me. People who think that Manly Hall or Yoga Yogananda or many others have had deep experiences are let alone. It has been so easy to commune and communicate with Princess Poon or Dr. Radhakrishnan and I am no longer bothering about the departing Pisceans who verbally posit karma and practically and ethically deny it. And while the greatest case was the decline and fall of Nicholas Roerich, the karma catches up with everybody.
I am taking a sort of interest in the psychedelic mish-mesh and may attend a meeting Wednesday. All people with partial sight and partial insight will condemn others. Besides that no mater what is said, our culture is still concerned with the people north and west of Suez. So I have placed all the cards before Dr. Radhakrishnan whose views I hope to present at a University of California seminar on “Is God Dead?”
The complete contrast between the scientists who give open and absolute welcome on every point and the clergy, social philosophers, press and groups purporting to examine international affairs is so great one can hardly believe it. It followed for the most part, Lord Snow’s The Two Cultures.
Now I am giving three nights a week to the young and know intuitively I must give more. One night at the University and one night, Fridays, is to be free. I am now also faced with the new opportunity to deal with problems of old friend’s offspring. This was never permitted before. Metaphysical people judge by externals and do not change. In order to keep the body well and alive, one has at least changed dietary habits. And I always obey the doctor and do not try to “know better.” Only if you have any idea that this is a sermon, that is wrong. I am merely reporting.
Norman came to say “good-bye.” He has my astrological library and paid for it. I have enough to do now with real manuscripts of real Buddhist Masters. Someday we shall embark on curiosity like the scientists and drop the “humility” like the good people who listen to nobody else. Get well. You are needed.
October 29, 1967
Rt. Rev. James A. Pike
Santa barbara, Calif.
“Is God Dead” and “The Bishop Pike Affair”
Dear Bishop Pike,
In preparations for the seminar which is to take place here next month I have reached a state of almost utter contempt for your enemies and critics. This may seem unfair, but it is an unfairness in counter-balance to one which persists (rather than exists) and the coming generations are going to think differently. For there is one thing that Power Structures have not and that is to condition and pre-condition “souls” who are manifesting in greater and greater proportions with a zeal for honesty, integrity, sincerity and factuality. And the growing discontent comes out of this basic hard fact that the “soul of man” is of its very essence drawn to honesty, integrity, sincerity and factuality. And while moribund persons can condemn you for believing that God made man in His own Image (no one has ever been condemned for heresy for rejecting that), the basic truth will stand out.
Honesty, integrity, sincerity, factuality and human consideration have long been supplanted by the “Jewish-Christian Ethic”—which I shall call JCE, which is regarded as a magic substitute for brotherhood. I do not know any element of JCE which is not found in other ethical systems. But each ethical system seems to falter when it is over-covered with those horrible words of Mr. U Thant: “What we need is a moral and spiritual revolution,” the same nonsense which has been going on for years and which the elders always applaud and which now, to the young people, are regarded with horror. Everybody expects others to lead in moral reform—this includes even Hon. U Thant who was immediately rebuked by his fellow Buddhist, Dr. G. Malalasekera: “It is for each one of us to effect his own regeneration.” Magic is expected from others and the same game goes on. The youth are seeking new directions, and sometimes finding them.
Inasmuch as JCE has supplanted the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount there is no use harping on “Judge not that you be not judged.” No power-structure has ever accepted that, and all power-structures act as if God does not exist. We say we believe in God; actually we believe in our egos.
I worked during research on a program laid down by the late Dr. Henry Atkinson of “The world Church Peace Union” from 1928 to 1957, when he died. I followed his person and suggestion in meeting leaders and saints of all faiths and found common grounds in their hearts. Dr. Atkinson accepted my reports, his successors have not, and I can count on one hand the number of clerics advocating the JCE who have had the courtesy of even granting interviews. Truth would upset their equilibrium or their functions, they think. It might have the opposite result, but the more they verbalize, the less they do according to what they have verbalized. This is the very basis of the theme, “Is God Dead?ᾀ?
I am now working feverishly to get out some manuscripts by real Buddhists. It is not a question of defending Buddhists at all. Since the establishment of the World Buddhist Federation to which all Buddhist sects claim to belong (Christianity has not yet succeeded therein) there is more dissension, there is more ill-will and there is more egotism, not to say superstition, nonsense and non-moralism in Buddhist ranks that even in the most disreputable of Christian movements (thereby justifying perhaps, the JCE).
The man who went to the Mekong River to take over himself studied deeply the Theravadin Buddhism found among the Cambodians and the Mahayana found among the Vietnamese. This is something which people of the JCE will not do. There are more Vietnamese Buddhists than there are Jews of all kinds combined, but will we accept simple basic truth?
The result is that the young, horrified by power-structures which either reject or resent the Golden Rule or “Love they neighbor as myself” as nonsense, are falling in the hands of all sorts of charlatans, to escape the vestiges of power-structures. Not a single proponent of JCE in the whole land has welcomed any presentation of Vietnamese Buddhism, but they do welcome the spurious or not spurious sermons of Japanese householders, British socialites and American psychologists, showing what id close to dishonesty. We could have won the war and we still can win the war by giving consideration to more verifies Buddhists. Here in San Francisco conferences on Asia are open to communists, non-American preferred, but never the Buddhists. This is our way of dealing with the Vietnam complex under the JCE.
When on tunes—to save time—to the Near East entanglement, it is remarkable how much can be done in discussing passionately or dispassionately, with scientists and engineers, especially those who have been there. These conversations are taboo to those under the JCE. Of course Muslims are no different; they have almost the exact same verbal ethic and the same behavior pattern which they call “Islamic.” It excludes universal good-will, consideration, honesty and integrity and denies the words of Mohammed as those under the JCE deny words of Moses and Jesus.
One local clergyman, who does not prate about the JCE, has opened his doors where I speak on “The World’s Living Religions.” This is something our good friend, Mrs. Judith Hollister accepts, but which the brethren of the cloth, all faiths, shy from. The audience was of the young just as all my audiences are, and these audiences are growing.
Not forgetting American history—which is a very good factor if you want to become an “expert”—I spoke a little on “Nature and nature’s God.” Then on to show that there is a Divinity in nature, something long believed in by many poets, even by living poets, and now by many scientists. Indeed scientists seem to off on their own with “Society for the Scientific Study of Religion” and many kindred and rival groups. These people believe in objectivity, impersonality and human experience. I believe such endeavors will grow.
There is no question but that the young will come more and more to those who present—not verbalize but present—honesty, integrity, facts, human experience, etc., etc., and be less concerned with subjective doctrines of any kind. The basic teachings still hold. It is still true to me: Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free”—even though in emphasizing it one may be suspected of “heresy.” Or to believe that “All God’s Chillun got wings”; only under the JCE we musn’t. Under the JCE there are preferred and preferable, superior and inferior, and under the competitors to the JCE we meet more or less the same thing.
So long as you are accused of heresy it will give strength to those that hold “God is Dead.” The rejection of facts, the belittling of experiences of others, the false assumption of hierarchies upsets the world and makes peace impossible. It is remarkable how those who have accepted “peace awards” run to hide-outs in the midst of the confusions of the Near East, the Far East and other places.
The young are almost unanimously with and for you but the young are no longer going to sit in audiences of the JCE power-structures which show no consideration, no practical acceptance of any Golden Rule or “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and love confusions about abstract doctrines and theologies.
Scientists take the whole world into consideration especially geologists and anthropologists. It is time for the “humble” to lose their humility and become curious. When the “humble” can lose their humility I shall have optimism for Peace in the world, for religion traditional or renovated or on the Judith Hollister Foundation, or otherwise.
God Bless you,
November 2, 1967
Mrs. Marian Latvala,
Ojai, Calif. 93023
Beloved One of God,
I am seizing the opportunity afforded by your letter of the 30th to make a copy of this for Mrs. Dickermann Hollister of Greenwich, Conn., “founder” of the Temple of Understanding, to report to each of you what is happening and to emphasize again and again and again that “God alone is the Founder of Sufism” and any and all egocentric philosophies of no matter who or whom have nothing to do with “Universal Religion,” nor spiritual realization.
One cannot help contrasting the wonderful response to my talk the other night before a scientific group. The professor in charge was delighted with the “ecological” point of view and this arises only in part from my scientific background—which nearly all of our metaphysical friends reject, amen! The other comes from the spiritual realization to and in what the Hindus call Vijananavada which comes in or with years of discipline and active surrender. And I am not one of the self-beguiled who become famous by writing “At the feet of the Master,” but have sat at the feet of many Masters, whom I can name and give full information about—nothing abstruse, abstract, metaphorical, obtuse or plain fictional.
The Spiritual Teacher is concerned with the welcome of all his charges within and without, and his heart is wherever they are. This has nothing to do with physical geography. I am glad to know that not only you but the whole Valley appears safe. But we are concerned here because the famous of my co-tenant, Mr. Hunt, have not fared so well, down in Orange County.
I am rushing this letter before the class tonight for some of the things in it will be used in the lessons. Sufism is Divine Wisdom and does not consist of nice lectures from nice people. Besides there are now four groups in London, England, all claiming to be “Sufis” and having pretty complete disregard for each other. One must say that in the Islamic world such disregard is seldom found and they are concerned not with the word “Truth” but actual processes which are within the ken of mankind. These are actually verbalized by the Theosophists, and laid aside as if totally unimportant. Besides Sufism, like all spiritual unfoldments, is based on experience and not on premises; and no matter how delightful these premises, if they do not represent the Word-of-God pouring through us, they are subject to karma and counter-karma. I have seen time and time again the fallacies of Nicholas Roerich represented and repeated by those who reject, “Let him who would be greatest among you be the servant of the rest,” and “whatsoever ye do to the least of these, My creatures, ye do it unto Me,” and the nice people offer all kinds of excuses, and “we” love them.
I am glad you have not gone to certain meetings. No matter how pleasant, no matter how socially presentable, no matter how superficially wonderful the speaker is, the excluder cannot and does not represent the Divinity, especially in these days. When a group of strangers came here and challenged Sam, “Then you are one of us! You are not trying to lead us!” I replied, “You bet your boots I am one of you.” Since that time my audiences have been steadily increasing including last night.
It is a slow process that since two friends argued about reincarnation and would not stop fighting each other they both turned to me, whom they never permitted to speak and I said, “What shall I say! I remember my former lives!” Oof! That ended it. They both stopped arguments and both turned from Sam. But this is only a small portion of it because the work carried from life to life was recognized by the former Consul-General of India about whom I think I told you and now he is an Ambassador, praise to God.
And so far as India is concerned, I am getting ready for the forthcoming seminar on “Is God Dead?” by presenting first that Dr. Radhakrishnan and Bishop Pike are each very much alive and neither conforms to the restrictions analysts, dialecticians and Pharisees have put around them. The spiritual man is free and he wants to lead others to and in freedom and truth.
I do not know what is gained by “World Religion” meetings. In 1927 I challenged the Baha’i leaders and discomforted them. Then I surrendered in entirety to Mrs. Judith Hollister whom God has inspired with The Temple of Understanding which has been accepted by the real religious and spiritual teachers of this earth plane, and perhaps other planes. And if a “little child” will not lead them, then a woman will, which psychologically amounts to the same thing. For it is ever, “the stone that is rejected is become the corner stone.”
Since Judith’s understanding there have been a lot of metaphysical would-be leaders whose names appear again and again on “World Religious Movements” which die aborting and pretty soon their names appear on other letter heads, elsewhere, the same appeal is based on assumed ignorance of the real people of the real world.
Mrs. Hollister has been successful in getting so many spiritually important people to work together, there is nothing like it in the history of the world. And even if I sad, “God-willing, “the simple fact is that many God-realized persons and awakened masters have signed up for her undertaking. And it is easy to speak and elude oneself and others when one wishes to be a leader, God willing or unwilling.
As Pir Zade would not accept even unconditional surrender the matter is in God’s hands. But the matter is in God’s hands and since resigning to the Divine Will, the Divine Voice has been speaking through this personality and I am half welcoming, half fearing this evening because alone I cannot carry on what is before me and have no intention of trying to convince the metaphysical people who carry on egocentric traditions from another age.
I don’t know whether the morning is wiser than the evening but at the moment it is more wisecracking. I always feel cruel, but things are happening so fast. In fact I wrote a letter and left it open for a post-script, feeling that something would happen. Then things happened fast.
Now you have been very kind in sending young people to me and these “kids” are not like their elders. They actually believe than an American who has studied Asian philosophies and wisdoms with Asians just might know more than the PhDeists of whom their elders are so proud. In fact they don’t want any PhDeists. And they keep on coming more and more and recommending each other. So I have to throw up “camarade” and am even sending a copy of this to Alan. For it looks now that before the end of the year I shall be having at least two centers in Marin County, of disciples. And this without the assistance of my Goddaughter and her “husband” whom you sent to me originally. They are plotting and planning to do something for me.
My birthday party, given by 20 young people in Marin and the one I gave here with 30 people, mostly young, have been followed by requests to become disciples. And I have to give more time and attention to them. So much so that I am limited to one free evening a week and even that is reserved for pleasure with one or more of these young people.
Yesterday I phoned Betty to indicate that Editha Blesh should not be particularly welcome here. This was a challenge, for if she does come I shall be compelled to sermonize, which I do not do. It will be on the well-known three monkeys. Anyhow I have been telling that the real wisdom of the Orient—and sometimes of the Occident—is found in animal stories. These are beneath the dignity of PhDeists anyhow but then the whole library of real scriptures of the real Orient has been given me, by default.
The other night a young man asked me what I thought of certain writers and I said, “Despite the general opinion Lord Buddha did live and some of his bones are right here in San Francisco. When you want to visit the place I shall be glad to take you, any time.” This was a sockeroo. I haven’t anything against popular lecturers; in fact indirectly they are helping because this leaves to me the whole compilation of real Buddhist Scriptures. In fact I am ready to present Buddhistic-Buddhism soon at public lecturers and will be flanked by a Sangha of ordained priests, three of whom have studied in the Orient with real masters and the other with the late Dr. Evans-Wentz. These credentials, of course, conflict with PhDeism. Amen.
Well for the first time the Mosque here sent a delegation. Of course I have been in many parts of Islamic, as well as non-Islamic Asia, but won’t go into that. I ain’t no “expert.” But they want me, fortunately on Saturday evening.
No sooner had this decision been reached than I have been sought by important people—elsewhere. But I have colleagues, Gavin, plenty of them now.
Most astonishing was to find a trunk left me and it had to be pried open. In it were all the paraphernalia and equipment of the late Nyogen Senzaki with my name all over. So far as local people are concerned this is surprising; why should a Zen monk leave paraphernalia to this person? But the Asian Buddhists think different, no doubt very silly of them, but they do. Now my real Zen colleagues have established Centers in Hawaii and last month in London, too. In this country Ruth Sasaki’s “First Zen Institute” accepts this. Maybe they don’t know any better.
I have not only rejoined the Semanticists, I have given them some extra funds and they are going to get more. A paper which Don Hayakawa rejected—he always does anyhow—has been accepted by MIT, in Cambridge, Mass. This is not exactly a kindergarten. But now I am going out after such “kindergartens” with papers rejected here. Fortunately I have with me most of the Anthropology Departments and all the Agricultural Departments of the “Multiversity” of California. These people are all my good friends and colleagues. It might be silly of them but we are trying to solve food problems.
Dr. Chandrasekhar is now a member of the new Indian cabinet. More will come of this. Shortly to Southern California and then preparations to go for a longer or shorter time. I have been as successful in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as not here. But the “Hippies” think otherwise. My very rejections have made me a hero—with them.
Tried to reach you by phone a few times but no luck.
November 7, 1967
My dear Alan:
You may be surprised to get an indirect communication from me in the form of a carbon of a letter to Gavin alias Chester, or Chester alias Gavin Arthur.
I am doing this for two reasons. One is that my forces are invading Marin County. They consist entirely of young and beautiful of both sexes who are converted to my campaign Joy Without Drugs.
Please do not mistake me. I am not against “Drugs,” I am for Joy, and I have just written to the Semanticists my new scientific discovery—strictly plagiarists, Lowgic, the new science which is used by only the More Equal and Super Equal.
The Super Equal are the Minerva-Pallas Athenes of the new age who are born that way but are confined to a few professionals, such as Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Editors and commentators. They do not need education at all.
In Lowgic the “word means exactly what I want it to mean” is restricted to the elite, and the elite are found only in “democracies” and while I have been to the Drug store to get a beauty preparation and also razor blades—they don’t furnish sandwiches at many of them any more—the fact that one goes to a Drug store makes one more under suspicion than going to a saloon or even to a banio.
I am receiving back into my life a young man who has “been busted” and I am afraid only that he will be regarded as a super-hero. He comes from a very respectable bourgeois family, no wants; all things supplied and went worse than the sociologists and Jedgars can conceive, which is generally the case anyhow.
But I understand now there will be a campaign against adults who use four letter words and this includes Drug, and therefore you are guilty which should not make you smirk.
As today I have all of Nyogen Senzaki’s manuscripts and Tai Hsu’s and Shaku Soyen’s, someday I may be called to testify as an “expert”; and as I am also a horticulturist—no, this outs me out; no horticulturist nor botanist may be permitted to testify as a “expert” when it comes to uses of psychedelic plants. Editors, commentators, police and physicians know best and remember, noblesse oblige.
Horticulturist, dumb clucks, call a “pot” a receptacle for plants.
November 22, 1967
I have awakened this Wednesday morning in Ojai and fine myself one of the richest men in the whole universe. Much has been gained by direct inheritance but more by forfeiture. The Buddhists have surrendered their Scriptures and the Hindus the Lesser Upanishads, which are all systems of Yoga; the Muslims have surrendered Allah and Vilayat the Message. Because there have been some direct inheritances such as the Patriarchal Buddhism and the Ananda Yoga of Ramdas and the Ryazat of the Sufi Orders, not recognized in the West.
Sunday the discussion of “Is God Dead?” and as the big shots—who are the only ones that count, have abandoned Him, this leaves a tremendous treasure. And while one is very glad to share this treasure you can be sure that the Pisceans, young and old, will snub it while the Aquarians (of whom there are only a few old) will glorify; and as for the young—they see and they are not fooled by this tomfoolery of egotism which has bound the world.
If you define “Sufi” as one who sees from the point of view of another it is a cinch. All sorts of groups in the West call themselves “Sufis” and all have their spears ready for the others. This is delightful. I think some of them believe in God and direct God-experience—in fact I know a few who do, but they are in the minority. In Asia it is different; they have not had the “advantage” of our culture. And I am not going to waste much on the “Sufis” of the West who not only do not see from the point of view of others but do not even concede one a point of view.
The last letters from Asia five one a full approval—those silly people don’t believe that “God is Dead”—and most important is that my Goddaughter-Khalifa has been given the full and final initiation in the Nizami-Chisti Order from which Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan stem. She got this by evincing the experiences of hal and makam and the Divine Light shining through her personality. The accepted head of the Nizami-Chisti Order now lives in Pakistan and is claimed the greatest saint of the age. Never mind, we Western people have “progress,” we don’t need Saints, or Hierarchy. Just War and perpetual “purgatory.”
Then there is full approval of this person with more encouragement and blessings, followed almost immediately by the manifestation through, not by this person of Baraka, which is the only measurement of the Sufi, and all the rest is trash, Shamcher, nothing but trash.
I think it is in “Gayan” that Inayat Khan said that goodness, kindness and piety were not enough. Evidently the old fellow is dead and the traditionalists, sticking to “goodness,” kindness and piety” want to continue the words and organizations not only of the Sufis but of any mystical movement. And they do—mystical movements without mystical enlightenment.
So between the elevation of my Khalifa, the full approval of the top Sufis, and the experiences with the young Aquarian mureeds, I came to Ojai—going today, I hope to see Edward Connaughton and tomorrow to Sheikh Bhakti Engel in Camarillo and then take what comes.
The rise of Aquarians here is natural (I mean in Ojai) and they will not accept the Deva Krishnamurti. Nor do they seem pleased with the Deva Vilayat Khan. The Buddhist Measure was placed in the Patriarchal Transmission and also in Buddha Hridya; the Sufi Message is in the Sphere but we want it in persons and instead of surrender to the Living God we seek Messiahs. So one must expect the Messiah-proclaimers to be divided into innumerable camps all alike ignoring that The Message is in the Sphere.
It is so easy to get away from “A Sufi is one who sees from two points of view, himself and that of another” to not accepting any point of view of another at all. People ask me about the Third Eye and now I have the full teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan about it, plus the Grace of God, which does not have to be accepted by metaphysicians, who know better. So there is a break between the Sufis of the Orient and the Aquarians who accept the Grace of God (what does Inayat mean?) and all the nice traditional “goodness,” kindness and piety” which, according to Buddha’s teachings (which we do not study) mean little. Sufism has always meant “Divine Wisdom.” It is not property and it is seldom ensconced with an individual.
It is funny that Vilayat tried to act as a grand sage before me personally and as a little boy before others. I don’t know how he will justify it on the “Day of Judgment.” All the Moral Training of his father means little; he has inherited the better morality of the world, which is fine but has nothing to do with Divine Wisdom, nor with the process of Initiation which comes from God and not man. I am not going to waste time with closed ears and hearts. I have a Message for Bhakti and maybe a final session with Edward Connaughton. The Fikr of Dissolution which I have long since obtained from the Sphere is also in Inayat Khan’s “Ryazat.” Pir-o-Murshid said, “It is the mureeds that make the Murshid” and I watch and wonder over all other definitions, excuses, arguments not supported by manifestations of the Divine Presence.
God Bless you,
PS. My typewriter and paper here to work on the Ryazat in spare time. Something will follow.
One holds out against everything the words of Al-Ghazali that Tasawwuf is based on experiences and not premises. In copying a paper by Hazrat Inayat Khan on Masti, one oneself was constantly experiencing Hal. And at the same time it either produced an electric fervor or others were having parallel experiences.
There are at least two that have made much progress in fana-fi-Sheikh, but on Thursday when Bayat will be offered and the stories are recorded one believes there will be more.
The stage is before me: spiritual food for America and physical food for Asia. Actually these are two sides of the same thing.
Please relate everything to Haji Sarfraz. And to others whom you may meet.
One is encouraged that one may even find the lost book from Fir Dewwal Shereef. One has become indifferent because one had so many instructions, and only a single disciple. Even if this book is not recovered, the Ryazat on hand are tremendous. And the possibilities for heart-sciences are endless.
I do not see much hope for “Islam” until there is acceptance of Akhlak Allah; I do not see any hope for the world until there is some acceptance. Next week, inshallah, one is to go to a conference, “Is God Dead?” Will advise further.
Love and blessings to all,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
November 26, 1967
My dear Fred and Corinne:
I am leaving Ojai after give days. We did not go to Los Angeles because Dr. An, our Vietnamese friend was way.
One wonder how you are and one was reminded by a cinema drama taken at the old Dunes. The train line is very different now—this was the first time I took the train for a long time, and actually makes a cut which would have meant a much more rapid trip. But between rail trouble in the North and flood trouble in the South, time was “equalized.”
Another reason for writing is Mrs. Doris Jones. Inasmuch as Fritz Perls failed with her one is not surprised you did not have a break-through. I had invited her to a “Yoga” walk and she insisted somebody else come which made it impossible to impart to her what she needed. But that does not matter—she does not know how to breathe.
Western culture has ignored the breath despite its constant use of the term “spiritual” without any referent. And I am finding so many adult and mature people who do not know how to breathe. This is the first notation. And it is a little awkward to have to use time showing “adults” simple, elementary things which they ought to have required during childhood. But without this knowledge of breath, physical, psychological, mental and other aspects of personality remain under-developed.
Inasmuch as in the non-scientific portion of the community—which includes most of us, there is so much “humility” and so little curiosity, we remaining in complexities which are taken for culture, the “solving” of one problem only lays bare others. Fortunately the young do not have “humility” and have considerable curiosity; they are not only willing to learn but they laugh at their elders who have no sense of personality integration.
We have long substituted Dialectics for Rational and Pragmatics and Dialectics failing; we are hurling ourselves into emotional oratory and substitute this for all sorts of thinking. The Theosophical Society has been meeting here and all that goes on is a series of orations marked by loud applause and the people want to applaud, not to think. The difference is that on the air you have oratory without the applause, and indeed there is rising opposition.
The people in San Mateo Country repudiated both camps of dialecticians and came out for humanity. This kind of poll is not evaluated by editors who are themselves almost wholly Dialecticians and Orators and not thinkers at all. The masses include an ever-greater number of college graduates and educated people and the press, the churches and the power have not reconciled themselves to this simple fact, any more than individuals reconcile themselves to the fact that breathing is needed for living.
Evidentially the spiritual powers “think” differently. There has come into these hands the most complete system of Esoteric Education that has ever been given to the world—from the Sufi source alone. I have today more unpublished real Zen Manuscripts that may take years to annotate, edit and type for the world. The “power structures” have refused to concede and this is going to produce some ridiculous situations. For a friend of mine is taking over the teaching of Buddhism in the North at the University of California. Just as another friend has already at UCLA. And although I have been studying real Sufism and real Zen for years, this has not prevented from coming into these hands a pile of esoteric materials from other “cults” plus literature.
The difference between the scientific and non-scientific portions of our community is that one needs experience to present himself before a scientific-body and “personality” before non-scientific body. My last efforts before a group of scientists provoked a reaction that Sam Lewis was some sort of Superman, which is not any better than being ignored and even insulted. This shows clearly that all our suppositions about democracy, humanitarianism, etc. are just empty gestures. Recently the editor of The Humanist attacked all his colleagues—he was correct. Humanists and religionists like the most of us believe that the opinions of the big man who was not there is much more important than the experiences of a lot of little people who were. This is the nexus of war and war and war because editors are more important than eyewitnesses.
Now the young are coming to this person, more and more every week. They learn real Yoga systems. They learn the validity of Sufi Mysticism. We have walk based on spiritual principles and they are most effective. They are finding the universe of Love and Life and light as real, in their own experiences and not in the oratory of elders. They do not get creations and harangues and sermons from this person. There is too such to share and we are sharing—I’m sharing my Joy with them and they are sharing their pains with me.
There is also a seminar going on “Is God Dead?” Unfortunately for the professor he criticized my criticism and brought down the wrath of the educated people in the group who object to being considered less equal because they have not written books. Books are not revelations and editors are not supermen.
I am returning north not expecting to come south again until the end of the semester. This is a different world all around. Soon I shall learn whether we are going to invade Hippyland. I think we may succeed, succeed where “better” people have failed.
Love and blessings,
December 1, 1967
My dear Shamcher:
With a growing nucleus of young people here who seek the experiences of Love and Light, of Joy and Peace, one feels on the one hand a responsibility to God and on the other hand the need to semanticize words. Despite the teaching that “God Alone Was Founder of Sufism,” and “The Only Being,” the human tendency is to disregard it. And what is gained by disregarding it? There will be some worldly acclaim, some success, some personality achievement but in the end what belongs to God will be with God and what belongs to man will pass away—as it has always been.
Now one has the given Bayat to at least three more young people next week and one feels one has a solid nucleus of humanity who will be not beguiled by charming words or charming externals. For the Sufi not only prays to God, he represents God. He not only asks for Love and Light and Wisdom and Joy and Peace he does everything possible to awaken Love and Light and Wisdom and Joy and Peace in others.
SAM has one advantage here, that he exists in God’s world and he does not exist in Vilayat’s world and all the words and excuses and everything do not changes that. And Vilayat exists in Sam’s world and all the words and excuses and everything do not change that. From Sokei-an one received the portion of Dharma Transmission which enables one to perceive the spiritual status of everybody at a glance. It is real, it is true, but it cannot be shared by those who do not wish to be raised above the differences and distinctions which divide men, who wish a special place for themselves without God’s sanctity.
There is a far cry from receiving a robe because of the process of initiation and have this given to one publicly by d validated Pir in the assembly of a multitude and any private ordination without witnesses. The history of the Robe worn here belongs to Eternity, not to time and has been validated by real Pirs in the objective world as well as by “Auliya” in the seen and unseen. And one does not go around wearing a robe or making any destination and difference to divide men and set one off as Popes and Cardinals and Bishops are.
Of course one cannot blame one person. It is done by many. The leader of the “Zen” Movement here has a magnificent wardrobe and Nyogen Senzaki used to go around in very plain clothing. But he was “robed” in the Transcendent Bodies of Light called Nirmanakaya, etc. and did not need any worldly insignia.
The real Robe is in the atmosphere, which the atmosphere. The lesson given to my local Goddaughter to demonstrate to her the extreme supremacy of Moral and Spiritual Magnetism over Physical Magnetism has had to be continued. I am meeting people, and I am meeting people on the human level as a human. Yet it is necessary to pour on them Love and Light, to give sustenance to their bodies, hearts and souls and to remember, as is taught in Holy Qur’an. “We have out Khalifa (representative) on earth.”
When a man is introduced by a VIP as the “leading Sufi” and attracts many people because of robes and charms; then the VIP who made all the noise goes away to another part of the world leaving the “leading Sufis” because she has found Avatar who is superior to any Sufis (she says—and so the audience which was attracted by charm and robes), what was that? Sufis repeat with Muslims La Illaha El Il Allah and I hope to have copies Pir-o-Murshid’s interpretation of it which is far, far from any of the interpretations given by any who stemmed from him whether in America or Europe, and certainly not in and from the Inner Awakening.
Destroy the books and a Sufi can restore them by the grace of God; that is the Sufi who says God along was Founder of Sufism and that “none exists save He.” Who cares about the Ten Sufi Thoughts once one is initiated? They don’t count (?) and then both Karma and divine intervention come. The VIP goes off to the Orient to introduce here another “Avatar” back by social prestige and all the external accoutrements of charm, affability and superficial niceties. And Vilayat goes off to seek, why?
When the Sidi was here he told his audience—and lost it—that there was no need for him to establish a Khankah because somebody in the audience had all the Baraka and Tasawwuf. Of course that couldn’t be. And as one looks over such and audience, most of whom do not know how to breathe, one can begin as Pir-o-Murshid taught that breath is the first lesson and the last and one works with the breath, not with robes, social niceties, outward consideration. And the young love it and they love the person who is concerned with them, not with robes, niceties, ceremonies and outer accoutrements.
Sufism used to mean “Divine Wisdom” and so far as SAM is concerned it still means that. It still means that the Divine Voice is constantly coming from within. It still means, “speaking the word that is put into the mouth. It still means growth in the states and stages of consciousness, into ever growing Divine Awareness; and it still means one single Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God.” No doubt there was a climax when one spoke once to 20,000 disciples on a single occasion. But they do not count, or do they? Are they real? Or imaginative?
The whole time is now taken with the problems, hopes and inspiration of the young and the giving to the world the vast amount of teachings that have come into these hands, the external real Zen teachings—which are not “esoteric” and the Sufi practices which form the basis of the Science of Sciences for the initiates.
Love and blessings,
PS. The next job is to organize a secretariat. The present secretary may have a paying job elsewhere soon.
410 Precita, Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
December 2, 1967
My dear Gavin:
“When the gods arrive, the half-gods go.” Our silly pretense to democracy when we shut our forums from certain groups of people is having its course and recourse in the karmic operations. There are more Sufi disciples than Yogis, Zen people of all sorts and other mystics real or pretended piled high and exaggerated, and we in “democratic, “free speech” America refuse to look at the hard sound effects of life which may be annoying.
Sufis have given sciences in the past and evidently are going to do so again and all the closed forums and shut ears of all our “experts” who pretend free speech and open forums is only gong to make this generation look worse in the future. It would not be so bad if we adopted the Franco or even the Russian method but we have to haste the words—freedom, democracy, humanity, and you in the back row, shut up!
As there are so many millions of aspirants in Sufism it should not be surprising that some of them are college graduates and PhDs, although they do not put any store on it. But they are tired of our “experts” who could not pass a high school examination in many types of Oriental philosophy.
Sufism was introduced into the West as Universal Brotherhood. The word “Sufi” is applied to “experts” whom we must never challenge; to cults and cult-leaders who are very charming and entertaining; to semi-charlatans who are pretty sure that the “experts” and the cults haven’t the knowledge, and to the representatives of the Sufis themselves.
An example of the semi-charlatan is Robert Graves who has just given us a translation of Omar Khayyam—a translation and not a Walter-Mittie-Fitzgerald version which we superior anti-Hitler blondes admire and you in the back row, shut up. But Robert Graves is not shutting up and can’t and won’t until and unless some Sufis with a knowledge of Sufism enter the row. But certainly the “experts” who we admire so much and the cult leaders can’t stop him.
So now the Sufis with a knowledge of Sufism are Publishing books. They are not telling everybody and they don’t startle you with a grand claim—that is for the “humble,” the “humble” may make all the claims and the Sufis make no claims.
I am writing to you on the book just bought on “Alchemy” because it shows clearly the relation between Alchemy and Astrology and both to that basic Occult Science of which our pseudo-occultists have not even an inkling. When these “half-gods” go, and I mean that, there will be a flurrying of real occult sciences taught personally and impersonally and not by our present cult and personalism methods.
The week started out symbolic. I gave a report to a group of scientists who have no fol-de-rol on free speech, humanity, democracy and what I call “filth”—to me this is the only filth there is, hypocrisy. When the professor in charge got through you would have thought I was superman. But these were dumb scientists. The democracy, free-speech, humanity people could never stand for that—nor for each other, if you watch KQED every man a self-superman, but nobody else. Some are so much more equal.
Speaking of “filth” I seem to have a habit of running into ex-associates of Allen Ginsberg. And I stick to my position, “You and I will never agree because you are a four-letter word advocate and I am a three-letter word advocate” and therefor more simple and sly.
This reminds me of a difficulty. I was all ready to watch a circus between Walt Baptiste and Mr. Patrick when the Pearson-Reagan show interrupted. Of course the guy is guilty; he is guilty because he is guilty and we must not let facts becloud the issues. In fact everyone is guilty excepting thee and me but I confess I know I am more guilty than thee (Quakes not-withstanding).
The Muslims disappeared and my secretary walks, in with the completed manuscripts: (a) Korean Buddhism. Of course Sam could not possibly have that but a copy will go to the Korean Consulate. Those queers prefer evidence to “expertism.” And then the one on Vietnamese Buddhism. That takes the cake and I understand the Vietnamese are going to have a consulate here.
A couple of beautiful young people came: “Will you vote for Proposition P?” “I can’t.” “Why not?” “I don’t exist.” “But we do, we see you.” “That is an illusion. I don’t exist. When I saw how the poor peasants of Vietnam were being treated. I joined the Vietnamese Buddhist Church. Now, prove I exist and I shall vote for Proposition P.” They could not!
I fact being a sneaky, scurvy conspirator I am planning to bring my Vietnamese colleague here and may run down around Thanksgiving to Ojai and Santa Barbara and maybe even to L.A. I think we may have a place for him here and by that time the Hawks and Doves will have some other excuses to get at each others’ throats, and, of course, ignore the humanity involved. Democracy means our self-determination for other people.
Now this is all fringe. The same night I uncovered my paper on Vietnamese Buddhism I found the complete esoteric practices of Sufi Inayat Khan and the translations of Nyogen Senzaki. I have been so busy on Korean Buddhism and Master Tai Hsi, no time for anything else. And I have five Buddhist manuscripts alone, not counting anything from Nyogen Senzaki.
All the manuscripts here will take years to complete, to type, to edit. And it is ridiculous because outside of UCLA—which accepted everything, only The Asia Foundation here accepted. I have stacks of real Asiatica which had to go begging.
The Yoga materials are all laid aside excepting Mauna Yoga which I have been presenting. And Kama Yoga without any of the dirty insinuations. For dirt is in the mind, not in the subject-matter. I have placed four ways: monogamy (this has nothing to do with our form of marriage, which is incidental); polygamy; homophilism; celibacy. I explain and do not take sides. The old won’t listen and the young love it, they are getting real Yoga and not sermons and lectures and complex postures and rituals which mean nothing excepting extreme self-satisfactions. Later on I must present elements of Yantra Yoga and Nirtya Yoga and I am not in the least concerned with rejections from PhDeists. In fact I have some time objecting to Tillich and Jung as being “angelic.”
In two weeks there will be a seminar on “Is God Dead?” My first theme is simple: Dr. Radhakrishnan and Bishop Pike are alive and I believe more equal than the nobodies whose opinions will be discussed. I kid the Muslims: “God is dead but Allah is very much alive.”
The audiences here are increasing in number, but what may be significant to you is that there is an underground increase in interest in Astrology. This is not only from those you have sent and from those who have found their way, but from those whom I meet outside. I have begged them wait until you are well. I do not like to speak against certain people but I do not recommend them at all.
While the election is on and the circuses, especially Pearson vs. Regan, I am watching the totally lopsided campaign on “Drugs.” My own philosophical training with Cassius Keyser—I am not yet forgiven—helped no end in scientific research. The disgracing infringement not only on Keyser and Lord Russell and Modern Logic but even on Aristotelian pseudo-logic which is going on in the papers makes anything possible. I have always been against newspaper reporters invading the scientific fields—but they invade everything. One month after the goode olde ladies are convinced that “Grass” or LSD (which I still regard as the symbols of the British monetary system, so old am I) are wrong, than the editors of Science will publish a sober article which few will read, exposing the popular methods of substituting emotions for logic.
While the scientists will accept my knowledge of the plant-sciences and the non-scientists will not, it is possible among a group of scientists to discuss the Vital Life forces which make certain trees live for centuries.
On my unofficial housewarming here attended by a number of mature people, I spoke on “Indian Cosmic Psychology” and there were two Indian professors in the room and they had to eat it. They cannot speak on the subject themselves and being “experts” and PhDeists, don’t have to.
But Indian Cosmic Psychology extends to the entities of all phases of evolution and there is a “psychic” side to plants which became a science in the hands of the later Prof. Jagadis Bose. I have a lot of his notes scattered around but not being an “expert” and therefore I could not possibly have them, they have been put away.
A proper study of Indian Cosmic Psychology applied to the Plant World, plus a knowledge of Plant Physiology, is going some day to recover the values in many plants. I have a whole history of that too, but again not being an “expert” it would not be. So I have to watch a lot of hogwash and see people arrested for being different and then all sorts of excuses used to find them guilty, especially on page 1 of the daily paper.
Next Sunday I am adding to my themes—Mantra Yoga, Mauna Yoga, Kama Yoga. And Ramdas, Philip Kapleau. When his book was published I danced. The idea of an American explaining in simple, direct prose the states and stages of consciousness on the Zen Path! That wasn’t letting the Cat out of the bag; it was symbolically letting the Cat’s Yawn (Sokei-an Sasaki) out. Well, after listening to expert Leary and his “Five States of Consciousness” and then reading un-expert Kapleau and having gone through every state of consciousness which they have described, I am ready now to “tell all” to those who want honesty, integrity and objectivity, as in the “real” sciences.
So I am having a wonderful life and soon may have two centers in Marin County and maybe one or two more in San Francisco and have no time for anything else.
The former Consul-General of India used to go around, “Do you know Mr. Lewis? He knows more about India than any other American.” He got so unpopular here, especially with the “experts,” he was removed. He is now an Ambassador. Father-Allah knows best.
Well, get out of the wards and go home and we’ll send some clients. Ed had to go in my place. He has a car. I haven’t. And I have a full program. When I am not at home busy with some real manuscripts of real Asians, I am found on one or another of the college campuses here, or elsewhere in the Sate. Those numbskulls believe me, so why not take advantage of it?
Right with the Cayce diet. There is no need to be ill, and my main theme is Joy, and then more of it and these dumb-cluck kids believe in it and in
Your un-obedient non-servant
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Avenue, San Francisco, Calif. 94110
Telephone: (415) 285-5208
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti Reverend He Kwang
University of Islamabad
December 2, 1967 (Zen-Shi)
My dear Shamcher:
After writing the attached letter to Gavin, I went back and completed the book on “Alchemy” written by Titus Burkhardt who is a Sufi.
It is quite evident we shall restore the Occult sciences to the world, but this will be done by giving them to the younger generations who are not besmirched by a lot of nonsense, by cult and cultisms and by utterly false folk-traditions about initiations and initiatory processes.
It is quite evident that some day we may have the Astrological Yogi which is impossible today because there are too many “experts” and “humble” people who can’t learn from anybody and who want to teach everybody else. The key to this Astrological Yoga came after studying Pir-o-Murshid’s “Mysticism.” I do not have the complete papers but can rebuild the sciences and probably shall and this does not depend on anybody. If “leaders” wish their individual cults and leadership, that is all right with me. “Leader is he who is leader of himself; ruler is he who is ruler of himself.”
“Claims do not make the teacher, it is his teaching” and I am again faced with the actual situation of more young people seeking me out and whether it is the Occult, the esoteric and real Love (I don’t think there is any more true equivalent in English as it is spoken today), it has become “easy.”
The ability to become empty and let the universe speak through one will, of course, be denied, even denounced by “experts,” by the half-gods and by those who think success comes in lecturing others, leading others, talking to others. The process of emptying is of course fundamental both in Sufism and in that form of Buddhism from which present day “Zen” was derived. Zen has only the ceremony and Sufism has become entangled with personalities, not with God and the mysteries of God. This is something “the world can neither give nor take.”
Some day no doubt some of the family of Inayat Khan may throw their “humility” away and seek. This will be a blessed day. Bossism has no place in the spiritual realm and if one has the Inner eye opened he is compelled to see, and laugh and pity. When the self is gone, God manifests.
God bless you,
December 15, 1967
My dear Norman:
I was very glad to get your letter of the 11th. I am unable to say a word about financial matters. Most of my money is in the hands of the trust company and while I am getting a good dividend now, I do not see much advantage of providing further for rainy days. Or rather I am enjoying both personally and impersonally. There is a limit to the former for as I get older I do not desire food, drink and play in the same ways. But this is instinctive rather than moral.
My goddaughter from Pakistan may be coming here. The program was all set but she wants to come here. What would have been an easy matter previously is now different. For the young of today, unlike your generation and totally unlike my own, believe in me. Since my illness they have been coming, very slow at first, and now at about the degree I can assimilate. Already two Christmas parties and one New Year party have been arranged.
I think we are forming what the AAAS and the East-West house would have liked: a sort of brotherhood. There is one vast difference to begin with; instead of following the restricted traditional morality or the still more restricted anti-traditional morality, we are giving scope to what H.G. Wells called, “Men like gods,” I am not paying attention to any hangover from the past. Between Margaret Mead on the one hand and Rev. Earl Blighton on the other I see pretty plainly that we are going to have a different man-woman relations. And while I surmise it, I am neither the scientist Margaret Mead is nor the clairvoyant Earl Blighton is. But I am teaching sex-Yoga, by which I mean divine experience through sex; to regard human bodies as holy. Which does not inhibit the sex-function any more than it inhibits any other physiological functional.
I am tired of pretense and pretenders. A Jewish mystic came to town and I wanted to see if he really believed in respect for the aged. So I would not call on him but sent him a real message from the real Kabbalah—which has little to do with the metaphysical claptrap that passes round. He immediately hired a taxi and came here. We discuss the Divine Experience. In fact we embraced at once and behaved so different from what society would say a Sufi and Jew would behave.
I am next preparing for the coming of a Vietnamese Buddhist Americans are not yet ready for integration, excepting the young.
Haridas Chaudhuri has been inviting me to contribute to his cause. I told him I was sick and tired of his colleagues insulting me. I did not mind if they do not like me, and I do not mind if they do not accept my philosophy, but there is no excuse for them giving me the lie all the time—that in his absence they have refused to accept that I was a disciple of Swami Ramdas and this continued attitude on their part was totally unforgivable. In turn now for the first time he has invited me to speak and I am going to contribute after I have spoken.
His conference on Sri Aurobindo was a joke and tragedy. Any big shot could speak on anything, and did.
Gavin has been on and off. He is getting more clients today and we have a sort of running give-and-take. Also I found Swami Ramdas accepted Astrology but also accepted transmutation. The Sufis are now answering Big Shot Karl Jung who has given us a lot of complex clap-trap called “Alchemy” about which he knew nothing. But then humble PhDs do not have to know anything.
Alan Watts is off on a new and better drug. I think some day he may come to the doors of spirituality.
Of course you have cased the US. This is the “new world” here. Even with I-Guy who is demanding that the police enforce the unwritten laws. And on the other hand, no ratter what he does the Supreme Court, under Earl Warren, will reverse it.
I have been writing Art House of the Chronicle a series of articles on Ecal Law. Under Ecal Law there are more eqal, less ecal, ecal-ecal and un-ecal peoples. Ecal Law spelled backwards is Wallace.
Saturators Kuchel, Percy and Cooper answer my mail. Cooper is the only Senator who has lived in Asia with Aliens. I have changed my registration to Republican to support Kuchel. I am for guess you know who for President—in other words I know whom I am against—it is a long list. I think the people in San Mateo have been wise.
The attacks on the AFL-CIO by the NAACP have been long over-due. I believe we can train enough colored unemployed to carry on slum clearance exactly as they did in UAR. In fact it would be easier. But will it be? Well you have a new mayor in Cleveland, or have you?
Feel fine, feel young and am surrounded by a growing group of loving disciple-sons-slaughter. Regards to dad.
Samuel L. Lewis
While I feel fairly confident of some success in regard to my father’s estate, I shall be immediately faced by the question of the establishment of a real spiritual school which will teach the real spirituality presented explicitly or implicitly in the scriptures of the world.
I am facing an examination in Anthropology today and will try to answer the problems in the light of Cosmic Psychology. This was spurned by all your teachers at the American Academy excepting Agrawal. Ernest Wood said some wonderful things, but stopped with the saying. Last night I told one of my friends I would show him the techniques of “Patanjali-Yoga”—in fact I have all ready. And as for the “old ladies” who do not believe I can do this, God bless them; let the dead bury their dead.
There is no Religion higher than Truth. But what us Truth? I am amazed by the separate acumen of the people I am meeting and by the fact they “see” almost the same. They do not know each other but they “see” the same way. And one way to “see” is to be absolutely honest.
Absolute honesty involves the annoying fact that Hui Neng wrote or spoke more on Prajna than on anything else, and I am all for the Fung’s translation. But that is only the first phase. I have tried, and failed, to get older people to accept almost anything in any Scripture. They just “believe in the Scriptures” and this belief absolves them in their own eyes.
So the young are in revolt. Your own children will be in the front ranks of those who will object to the substitution of empty words for words with meanings. I am being successful, but am unhappy about my present gadfly performances. That is the only thing to do. We are having wars and we will have more wars because the opinions of the big men who were not there are much more important than the experiences of the little people who were.
The establishment of a Spiritual School which will be based on a combination of study of Scriptures and real human experiences will not be “new under the sun.” When there are congresses of philosophy or religion in India you can only prove your points by experience, just as in the sciences you can only prove your points by experiences.
When you can understand this you can understand I have no more time for even the loveliest of diversions. I did take out a young girl walking, and taught her many forms of breathing as she walked. It has had the effect of curing what was her most malignant weakness, perpetual cold feet, but this “cold feet” also had the popular social meaning and when she got over both of these, the physical and psychological, she wants to be my pupil. The whole world does not know how to breathe.
Now meeting the “overman” or even the “superman” type predicted by Sri Aurobindo, they act exactly as the Scriptures say they should act. They are norm to their types. And they see a terribly damaging karma falling upon the world unless…. This “unless” is pretty long.
I do not believe—although I can be convinced—that we can have liberation through cause and effect. I do not believe—although I can be convinced—that any system of sitting or for that matter standing, posturing or otherwise brings liberation. Indeed I believe that mere sitting may be more useless than LSD where something does happen to the personality. Nor do I believe that the acts who sets himself up as a superman and acts even as an infra-man excuse anything or anybody. Karma is karma.
Yes, there are ways to overcome karma, the highest (my opinion and not necessarily true) is that which can be called the Maha Mudra. I do not know whether the Maha Mudra is necessarily superior to the completion of the four Jhanas—which we don’t try and are afraid to experience. But I do know it is definitely superior to the satori which has been experienced by Blofeld (who has been changing his religion every time he has a new experience) or Kapleau whose experiences “we” accept although Sam Lewis has gone far, far beyond them. At least the Masters avow that ant this is not necessarily a compliment.
I am teaching a Christian from of Maha Mudra as “The Meditations of the Holy Spirit.” I am not going to explain it here. But the young who just by experience and not by outer personalities are benefiting thereby and want more and more. This comes back to Shaku Soyen, but I cannot and will not compel anybody, Buddhist or not, Zennist or not, to accept Shaku Soyen. The world is open to any number of Upayas and no claim is made that “my” Upayas are superior to “your” Upayas or anybody’s.
That is why I am unable to continue any more social engagements excepting with those whom I meet either in my home, or in the homes of my fellow Buddhist as or their meeting places.
December 18, 1967
Dear Mother Divine:
Am I relieved! Only this morning Ed and I were discussing that it is too bad that Hugo could not have lived to see the fruits of his efforts and his predictions. I live on, “younger” than the rest because one has learned, in a sense the laws of life, or has a “grace” wherein the body continues to function as if it were the vehicle of a much younger person. And while I have no idea of writing “how to live to be a hundred,” the young people will recognize facts and the old people will adhere to their blind egocentric stupidities.
I suppose my chief annoyance is geography. Now that I have money to travel, I was first discouraged by my doctor and now by events. The loss of Mrs. Berrenberg, coupled by Tsil-Tsil’s behavior makes trips to LA rather unnecessary. Or, because Dr. Thich Thien is coming here soon, unnecessary.
I have been to Ojai and surroundings and when I returned found one of my closest friends is moving to Santa Barbara. I shall wait until he does. My only disciple there has gone and called on Roshi Yasutani and I feel the “war is over.” When the gods arrive, the half-gods go. I have no intention to argue with the theosophists and metaphysical people who will call a cotton swab a rock and a rock a piece of paper and all the arguments in the world won’t make them accept a tree as a tree or a wine as a wine.
The New Race is here despite and not because of all who want to lead it. They accept facts and not outside appearances. The time had come to displace Krishnamurti with reality. After my visit, Inayat Khan’s son, Vilayat came and he certainly increased the movement away from J.K. That did me no good directly but now with Roshi on the scene I feel that the kingdom has come. We use Kapleau here and not the tripe nonsense which passes for “Zen,” not quite “only in America” but Kapleau has given us realities of which theosophists, metaphysicians and such are deadly afraid.
At the university I was considered almost as superman when I gave a scientific report, stuff that the “good people” could not listen to under any circumstances. And in the philosophy class I won every point. The teacher accepted that I was a disciple student of Cassius Keyser in good faith; he went over all those people whom AK studied and semanticists won’t almost under penalty of (social) death. And finally when I mentioned William James, Hocking and Dr. Bucke he surrendered entirely and confessed his theme had been assigned to him. This could never happen among theosophists or metaphysical people nor “semanticists.”
[?] and I have counted enough manuscripts, including Senzaki’s which will keep us busy for years. And now cometh the karma—which no goode theosophist or metaphysician can possibly accept. The young come. The young are coming. I have a secretariat. Do you know how many people Sam Lewis attracted? Exactly one. It is unbelievable. Gavin sent a few and the grape-vine the rest, and they come and come, every week more. A slight let-down now for year-end parties for a special guest. Who is that guest? The karma operates and all the seeds of many years are growing and flowering and even fruiting.
Once I took them to Ching Wah Lee’s and Rudolph was there. He said, “Sam where did you get all those beautiful young boys and girls. I never saw such lovely young people.” Well, Mother, I have a lot more now. Because they are of the coming race and they instinctively remember their former lives and tendencies and by “love” they mean what Christ meant and not what the editors and Freudians mean.
It is not that they are sexless. Far from it. But the norms are changing and changing rapidly. I am using Inayat Khan and Sir Richard Burton. No dualistic morality either. The old age is gone and I don’t know what the norm of the future will be. One of my colleagues who is very clairvoyant, can see the operation of two bodies. Inayat Khan taught three, St. Paul taught three, Sam Lewis is teaching three and some day some psychiatrists will give up humility for curiosity.
Now the country is full of humility. You meet it everywhere. “I, the humble universal brotherhood.” The churches are going and “I, universal brotherhood” is taking their places. Go before one of these “humble” people and say a word and out comes, “Don’t you believe in “universal brotherhood” and the audience looks at you askance. But this week two of the “I, universal brotherhood” fell out. And the Bahai’s are gathering and all the rest; allow “universal brotherhood.”
We had a whole page in the paper dedicated to new schools of meditation. I am in the bad grace of everyone of them. Why? Because I proposed to each meeting one of the others. Every one of them kicked me out. Thus “Universal Brotherhood.” They would all tolerate Sam Lewis.
The “Universal-brotherhood” sons of humility agree on one point; they reject my geography. This is honesty, morality and the golden rule, to reject anybody that is annoying. But $$$$ (pronounce l-o-v-e) is swonderful. And one man has agreed to let me speak because I hold him baldly and boldly, until I am permitted to speak, no funds (i.e. $$$$, pronounced l-o-v-e).
Anyhow I am now an angel to Rudolph Schaeffer.
I am resigning from another “social” group. They want my money so they can import an outside speaker who is a “expert”—meaning he spends his time on the lecture platform. The money is going as an extra gift to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Scientists accept facts and social people clothes. Vilayat Khan is the chief “Sufi” out here because he dresses exotically.
I am signing up for a course in Egyptology, two in philosophy and one in Buddhism. The last two are going to listen because they are just that. None of this humbug about liberty, democracies and humanity and you in the back-row shut up! That is why the young turn against the old. The young simply will not have the “tyranny of words” from which the Chase-ites cannot escape. The philosophers accept my statement that I have studied Russell, the Logical Positivists, etc., etc., etc., which all good “semanticists” and others reject, a priori, and more a priori than reject!
All my Buddhist material which is legion will not go on record both on the Berkeley and LA campuses. The great, famous “experts” will have nothing of it and the young will have nothing of the great, famous “experts.” And in January by my Vietnamese friend, Dr. Thich Thien An is expected. He would not let me take him around to anybody but Asia Foundation. Why argue? At Asia Foundation they accept one’s geography, but not “ye experts,” not ye theosophists, metaphysicians, groups supposedly studying international affairs.
At my last philosophical group I accomplished the impossible which all ye goode theosophists, metaphysicians and social people know can’t happen—I had credentials from Dr. Radhakrishnan, Sufi Barkat Ali and Bishop Pike. It can’t be, but it was. This is called objective verity. No wonder the philosophers are coming out for the Sermon on the Mount and the golden rule which ye experts don’t have to respect. They are all self-exempt. Morals are for ye peasants—of whom God made so many.
In addition to Dr. Thich Thien An I am having another impossible visitor. A Chassid Rabbi came to town. He sent for me. But I have been wondering when a cleric who preaches respect for the aged has to show such respect. So I sent him a greeting from the real Kabbalah which you can be sure is not being studied. He took a taxi immediately before I was ready. We embraced. This could not be, but it happened and I read to him my prophecy of the destruction of Hitler. Only one person had ever accepted that, the recently late Mrs. Ruth Fuller Sasaki. We have so much “Zen” today there is no time for such things. Ruth is gone but the end is not yet. In fact we are at the beginning and some day the English speaking people will accept as “Zen” what used to be called “Zen” or Chan or anything like that.
The other day a man in the restaurant said, “I am a Buddhist.” “So! And what made you a Buddhist?” “Do you know Mr. Shibata?” Knock me for a feather and peal me a grape; an American claiming knowing Zen Buddhism knowing Zen Buddhism! It was too much. Well he was a disciple of Dr. Thompson who brought over the Tipitaka (the censored scriptures which you mustn’t read any more) and the Siamese cats. Boy, did I ever get such a licking and enjoy it!
In other words, the Wheel of the Law turns and it turns despite and not because of personality. I expect to introduce Sangha Buddhism here which is being impolite to all the “experts” who do not recognize each other anyhow.
Tonight an examination and then preparations for parties and what not. It is all funny, and it all shows that-karma operates. Or, if we want to accept Princess Poon, who is only the Top #1 Buddhist for the whole world, this one has lots of merit and merit and some manifests.
Last Saturday night we went to Taj Restaurant with a few of my new young disciples. They got a surprise: there were some Asians who accept this one both as a Sufi and a spiritual teacher. There one can talk. It is only among the “nice” people it is otherwise.
Senators Cooper and Percy are accepting all my reports. Vise President Humphreys sent me the same insulating form letter which I get every six months anyhow to assure me that my suggestions will be given every consideration. Not one ever has. The communists are planning a Buddhist counter-offensive, and while it has been a losing battle it is not a hopeless one, to consider the Buddhism of Asians just occasionally, while our armies are ready to invade their lands. Anything any Asian can do we can do better, even in this own age-old faiths!
If I keep on writing this way Santa Claus won’t come and I shall be very thankful. One only regrets that I seem to be gloating while you are recovering. Actually I am “watching” every moment, every breath, every heartbeat. And I am teaching real Yoga-systems to the young who have had substantiations in their own inner lives. It is a completely different world.
All love and best wishes,
Rev. He-Kwang, San Lewis, Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti and Puck.
December 25, 1967
My dear Charlie:
Emerson has written on the principle of Compensation and there is something in one’s life which makes it appear that this principle is very true. This has manifested in this sense and perhaps in other senses, the happiest Christmas of one’s life. And it seams to indicate that, if one is honest and steadfast, in the end he will be victorious, which is better than being “successful” in the worldly sense.
I have just had a marvelous Christmas dinner given me by about 40 people in Marin County. The strange thing about it is that with very few exceptions I did not know any of these people nine months age. I did bring a lady whom I knew in Marin County. It is a very strange case. Her father’s name was Samuel L. Lewis, he lived in Carmel and Santa Barbara and in both cities had mutual acquaintances and I think we even occupied the same house but at different times. It is like a mystery story. I fact I was almost the only man at the funeral services for Mrs. Samuel L. Lewis:
Margaret has been very encouraging especially with poetry and archaeology. She lost her husband who had been a friend of mine and then her daughter ran away. Being alone it was a matter of marvel to find herself in the midst of a large assembly of young people of her daughter’s age. Then she listened to my poetry; nobody ever listens to it, and it was received with almost awe.
Carlie, you would hardly believe it, that this crusty old bachelor has a huge “family” of sons and daughters and not only do they love him but they love each other. Most of them have been Hippies but found in this person what did not appear elsewhere. And now I am waiting to go to my Goddaughter’s house. She lives in Mill Valley and has promised me a special dinner. I am getting all these dinners and entertainment and love from a growing number of young people.
And also in the University. I took courses in Geography and Philosophy and the teacher in the first showed extreme respect. And in the second class when I attacked the course, the teacher told me he was in entire agreement. For today Americans are dialecticians, anti-Marxist it is true but still dialecticians. And when one champions the American philosophies of Emerson and James and many other names now forgotten, the young support him. That is what they want and that is what they are not given. I have found this elsewhere, too.
This is also the occasion to send greetings to Margaret. A gentleman is one who remembers a woman’s birthday and forgets her age. This is becoming complicated because being 20 years younger than I am and passing for it easily I don’t want Margaret to become, as in the opera “Iolanthe,” “Her age upon birth was minus eight.”
What will happen to IQ tests if this keeps on?
Another reason for being reminded of Margaret us that my Goddaughter has six cats and two dogs and all my lovable and loving “children” have animals!
All I am prepared for is to work in the garden and tell children stories and let all these younger people do what they want for a program of surprises, and love. You would hardly believe it. It as all right to be greeted so in India of Thailand or “Pukhtunistan,” but in America?
I am giving up gardening and devoting myself entirely to this growing family to Oriental philosophy and to a mass of Oriental manuscripts. The future generations will look askance at an age which, to deflate a personality, will ignore his possession of valuable documents. Now I don’t care.
The year ends with one’s health very good, one’s finances in order, a better relation with Elliott than since childhood, and growing respect, if not in society (about which I do not care) but in the scholastic circles.
I have purchased a number of Oriental paintings for Rudolph. It is also like a story how I found them.
Love to everybody,
Friday [Feb. or Nov. probably—Ed]
I am going out this morning to try to trace Vocha. She may be in the city any time but not for any permanent period until Sunday, the 19th when her exhibition opens at the Rudolph Schaeffer School.
When she hard Bryn would be here she would like very much to see him again—it may be their last meeting. I shall be home this afternoon and most of tomorrow but not necessarily this Sunday and can arrange for them to meet but if I am away or if Bryn comes to you before meeting here, please tell him Vocha is around and he can probably find out when from the Beresford Hotel on Sutter St.
There is no reason why you should not be present at the same time.
50 Harriet St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
I notice you are now teaching Astrology publicly.
Yesterday I had Radical Moon, Progressed Moon and Transmitting Moon, all conjunct 20° Pisces in the 7th house, square Neptune.
You might wonder how I lived through the day. I didn’t. Had an attack of Vertigo and a black out early in the evening. I don’t know what this proves but it proves something. I knew all about the conjunction but had no idea what would happen. Anyhow missed two interviews also yesterday, people not in their offices. Anyhow one can sing, “Tomorrow is another day.”
410 Precita Ave..
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
Hon. Phillip Burton
House Office Building,
Washington, D. C.
Dear Congressmen Burton:
Toward Some Peaceful Settlements
Attention has been called that the policy we have taken toward and in Vietnam has considerable to do with the failure to find a “solution” for the Near East. The policies we have in Vietnam are only along that blind path, taken years ago, that we in educated America exclude Asians from conferences on Asia, from making suggestions toward peace, understanding and cultural exchanges and this country is so full of “experts” and “specialists,” many of whom could not pass a high-school examination in the real countries of real Asia on the subject involved, that it is no wonder the so-called “Peace Corps”—which has nothing to do with peace is gradually or rapidly being ejected from several lands—not in the newspapers all the time and never on radio-TV.
In 1893 at the Columbia Exposition in Chicago, the savants of the world, and in particular Asia, were invited and given full scope. This program has never been repeated. We have had conferences on “Asia” from which various Asians were partly or entirely excluded and it is still “smart” to have such conferences and exclude such Asians as might cause disturbances. The disturbances do come all right but they are between “respectable people.”
There are two natural concomitants. At Chicago there was Semantic-Zen introduced by Shaku Soyen. He is responsible for the introduction of the word “Zen” in this land, now applied to all kinds of movements and institutions some of which have not the slightest resemblance to what he brought. And this “only in America” Zen has been the source of offense first to Japanese and then to most Asians. Only in the course of time anything is justified and I mean anything provided it is masked as a religion, and any word may be so used in or out of context to mean anything at all. And any effort to restore words to a sound semantic meaning which may make communication possible is frowned upon.
The press, radio-TV and foreign policy extend freedoms of opinion in Vietnam even to communists, but not to Vietnamese! And once having gone down this highway of confusion, there is no end to it, and Mr. Warburg pointed this out in a communication to the Chronicle but the complex of Vietnam is our rejection of semantic standards and we cannot define any term and so can build up pseudo-logics to “prove” anything and these proofs have no effect upon history.
I was amused the other day to get communications from President Hussain of India and from Princess Poon Diskul, head of the World Buddhist Federation. I do not believe that a single letter to a single Asian has gone unanswered but there is no place to go in America to validate this semantic reality. It interferes with our “realisms,” those conflicting policies of conflicting persons and parties who will accept anything but facts. As a friend said, “facts must not confuse issues.”
I am preparing some house-warming parties here and will invite Susan or a representative from your office so such a one can meet some real Asians who live in San Francisco and some of my fellow-Sarhkhanians who have lived in S.E. Asia and been treated exactly as The Ugly American and Sarkhan depict. Only this snubbing of eye-witnesses (vide Dr. Malalasekera, “How can you trust a Nation which will not trust its own citizens?” is spreading and will spread.
Ignoring of one Asian culture after another, substituting European professors and self-devised “experts,” we have lost the means of direct communication with the real peoples of the real world. We have been particularly offensive in rejecting Arabian culture—which has nothing to do with the politics of the various ersatz governments set up by the big powers or by themselves. During the recent struggle and now, if there is any group that has gone further from their “revealed” revision than the Zionists, it is found among the Arabs. But as we don’t study their culture we cannot prove the simplest points. Some people are less equal than others and remain there.
True I have had the rare privilege of having sat with Zionists, with Arabs and with UN officials toward working out some real solutions to real dilemmas. I am working on them now and for that very reason am excluded. It is a comically amusing to find that those who insist that Arabs and Israelis sit down together themselves will not sit down. I have said I always get answers from Asians—I seldom get answers from America but the exceptions are striking and most important.
Knowing the religions, the history and the ethos of peoples should enable one to follow the late President’s dictum, “It is not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” is today mere hogwash. Only being impressed in the “ethers,” foreigners and particularly literate Asians are appalled at the way we can grind out slogans, mottoes, shibboleths which have nothing to do with foreign policy or local seminars. We remain in ignorance and any statements contrary to press, radio-TV and foreign policy are too nerve-wracking and must be excluded.
I am awaiting sign to write to President Ayub of Pakistan. But once this letter is written, unless there is some change in this land, it could lead to an outbreak of anti-American riots which will shake this country out of its attachments to slogans, shibboleths and mock-romanticism into reality, the grand foe of “realism.”
As I myself was sent on a peace-feeler mission between Pakistan and India and was berated all over the place by the foreign office (vide Sarkhan again), and then the Nations involved called in Russia, it is quite probable that Russia will keep things stirring to a pitch and then go in and sit with the Israelis and compel at least an armistice like they did at Tashkent.
Our ignorant “experts,” editors and foreign office people do not know that it is Russia that originally recognized Israel, and almost blackmailed the rest of the world to go along. At that time some communists really believed in Marx and Lenin, to support every form of liberal bourgeois revolution against absolute monarchs. Today we have the utterly ridiculous situation of Russia and even more China backing up absolute, absolute monarchs in the Near East. The whole working-class movement, revolution or no revolution is forgotten and any Ambassador, Mr., Goldberg or anybody else, who had a little knowledge instead of a powerful and utterly ineffective emotional appeal, could have easily dominated the UN. I was “ineffective” because it will win the plaudits of Americans and offend the real people of Asia and Africa, as it did.
Instead of being armed with knowledge and facts we have joined all the dialectical Nations in being armed with emotion and oratory. Besides, anybody can “prove” anything about the Near East by carefully selected promises and there is hardly a premise of any Zionist group or Arab group that cannot equally be refuted. Only as each group puts up its arguments it does not meet knowledge; it meets only infective and emotion.
If a single cleric of the prevailing faiths, or a single supporter of Zionism in any capacity answers my mail or is willing to meet me, this shall be notified to both the President Ayub and other Muslims and will weaken the Arabic position. But as one has not had any such answers to the moment, it weakens the arguments—why should Arabs sit down with people who will not sit down.
Mutually President Eshkol is far more latitudinarian than President Johnson. He recognizes Arabic culture, Arabic wisdom and perhaps some items of the Islamic religion. He is, of course, within his rights in recognizing Arabic politics and opposing them. All we know is the Arabic politics and pretty superficially. We remain attached to superficiality and thus peace is far away. We do not need some evanescent “wisdom,” we need to recognize some hard facts, if only occasionally.
We have rot reached that point in foreign policy.
Samuel L. Lewis
[does not go with previous letter]
In general there is a revival of Spenglerian teachings. Last night I was caught, ready to go to hear Gavin when some friends celled suddenly who believe that Spengler must be considered more seriously. I won’t go into the political affairs but anybody that knows, knows this is so, and so long as the social scientists and newsmen dominate the channels of communication we must expect impasses.
On the light side, but important to you, no doubt. The new receptionist at the Arab Information Center here is a Norwegian girl with the very appropriate but highly un-Nordic name of Irene. I told her a little about you and when you come this way you must call on them and tell a little about your experiences in various parts of North Africa and the Near East.
My only problem is, when is Major Sadiq, my closet colleague coming—or when is he going to send financial support. I have not had a single failure in any efforts in his behalf in any direction, even in stark business matters. It is only the subjectivists and egocentric people that I am now chary of, and there is too much positive work.
The encouragement to “answer” the problem of “The Silent Spring” is a complete integration of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Sufism and contemporary scientific techniques.
P.S. A long letter has been received from Rev. Cecil Gibbings concerning the publishing or republishing of Pir-o-Murshid’s works, etc. and the offer of exchange of Pir-o-Murshid’s esoteric methods.
I have today a very complete compendium of esoteric methodologies of many kinds. It will be necessary to “break through” a lot of books and personalities who have, chiefly in California, introduced smog and fog covering both the simple and complex methods of the real Orient. But since the parallel history of Sheikh Idries Shah in London, there is no question that real Sufistic and then other Oriental practices will be given, in fact are being given to the world. The news from all parts of the world is encouraging but way beyond my personal handling. I am still praying that Pakistani colleagues will bring me the financial assistance so. I can establish a secretariat.