The Major Esoteric Papers of Murshid Samuel Lewis
As Murshid S.A.M. was by any standards a very prolific writer it can be a somewhat daunting prospect for anyone new to his work to know how and where best to start. In this section we have selected 70 of what could be considered his Major Esoteric Papers and categorized them by subject - 25 are Original Esoteric Papers by Murshid S.A.M. and 45 are his Esoteric Commentaries on works of Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan.
While still a relatively large body of work all of these papers are highly recommended. They are a true source of hidden treasure even if for many people these gems can pass by unnoticed. Ideally they are not to be read in the usual sense using only the intellect. While the words are reflections of the inner being of Murshid S.A.M. it is in the spaces in between and beyond the words that his inner being can be experienced. As the mind is by-passed and the heart sphere becomes enlivened you can enter that space.
Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan requested that Murshid S.A.M., then in his twenties, write commentaries on his works. This was a task that Murshid took to heart and he continued to write such commentaries until his death. Even his earliest attempts were encouraged by Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan and according to Murshid S.A.M. one of the last letters of Inayat Khan on his deathbed was to thank him for his efforts.
This kind of commentary is not an intellectual pursuit, it comes only with the development of insight or attunement. As Murshid wrote, “At first it looked like analysis and personal views. But as one became more attuned to the subject he found the ether, so to speak, which recorded the state of mind of Hazrat Inayat Khan and he attuned to it. He had already learned to attune to Hazrat Inayat Khan when in the flesh; now he was able to attune to the mental imprints.” As he perfected the art of commentary he wrote, “It has taken some time but now one receives from Hazrat Inayat Khan telepathically perhaps easier than one hears from people in the same room.”
In addition to the Commentaries in his own Original Esoteric Papers Murshid S.A.M. wrote about some of the deeper inner sciences which were not presented by Hazrat Inayat Khan. There papers illustrate the depth of his own spiritual realization and his ability to communicate this to others as signposts along the spiritual path. The realizations he shares come from many sources beyond Sufism most notably the Dharma traditions. The papers contained in this section on breath, heart, sound, meditation, dance and walk are especially significant.
As a recommendation for the journey into Murshid’s writings perhaps you might first explore one of the Commentaries and one of the Original papers from subjects that inspire you. Or as a suggestion you could look at the Original Paper, “Forty Lessons on Breath.” Perhaps also his “Commentary on Cosmic Language” about which in 1969 Murshid S.A.M. wrote to his friend Paul Reps, “At the present time my most important work is the commentary on Hazrat Inayat Khan’s "Cosmic Language."
Give yourself space and time. Focus on the words with awareness of the heart space and not just the head. Reading and absorbing these papers is a deep spiritual practice in itself. As you attune through the rhythm of words you also dance in the rhythm of Murshid S.A.M. himself especially if you read the words out loud. You will find as you persevere that what may at first seem to be hidden is gradually or even suddenly revealed.
The Categories of Major Papers