Arlock, William Correspondence

Great Books of the Western World

Los Angeles, California

December 1, 1969

 

Dear Mr. Lewis,

I feel that you will remember me, and that it is, in a sense, in the cards, as it were, that you should. I met you at the Ashram in La Crescenta last year; and, of course, am the one who asked: “Who are You” in the library, after the service. Then I led the way to Mrs. Scherling—where you danced, imitated Krishna’s flute, and ingratiated everybody generally with your happiness and friendliness.

I have been at the University in Santa Barbara quite a bit of late, and have found a great and crying need among earnest, and, in some cases, desperate young people. I have invariably suggested they contact you, if they are from the San Francisco area.

There is great interest among them, but an appalling lack of well-founded guidance.

I was overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of your intellect, as manifested in the Oracle articles. Still, I need not have been; for—on retrospect—I recall your speaking more profoundly of the Kabbalah than anyone I have ever heard.

I, of course, have an undeniable inner link with Ramakrishna; yet we cannot hope to find all that expresses our own outer needs or interests in any one path, as externally defined. All must be a combination inspired by and united from within; and, of course, Art is to me perhaps the highest path, and the truly great artists and composers the truly chosen vessels whereby more consciousness is transmitted to more men than by any other means.

I feel drawn to you by the combined force of, possibly, many interests, two of the not the least of which are the Kabbalah, of which I suspect you to have unique understanding; and of Sufism—the poetic expression of Divine Wisdom of which I hold the most beautiful means conceivable.

If ever in the San Francisco area I shall assuredly make it a point to visit you and your community—if I have your permission to do so. In fact, I might even make a trip in the relatively not too distant future for the express purpose of doing so. Let us see then how soon and naturally this eventuality shall arise.

Would you convey my greetings to Miss Hallie Goodman, if you know of the whereabouts of that peripatetic young lady; and assure her that I shall yet get to look into the matter of the record she has not been able to get?

Meanwhile, what can I say but that I hope you continue your Divine Dance into the hearts and minds of what I hope will be a receptive humanity; and one that needs every bit of real Truth available to it. Since I suspect you to hate a considerable amount of that precious commodity, I hope that your enterprise succeeds in a big way.

I hope that your work with hippies is proving fruitful. I think this generation has a mixed viewpoint much of which is inspired by an escapism they will not recognize, but which has been forced on them by the insubstantiality likewise forced upon them by the bomb; and conscientious objection inspired by inverse subconscious reaction to a war I can’t blame them for waiting to avoid. They are mixed up, sweet, but I am afraid circumstances are making them sweet and soft, which is not the way to go, unless you are a Ramakrishna, and can avoid the sordidness of life, in this respect.

Why don’t I stop lecturing; after all, it would be more appropriate to learn from you. You have, thus, been fairly forewarned as to what you would have to expect from me.

Sincerely yours,

William Arlock

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

December 6, 1969

 

William Arlock

9021 Melrose Ave.,

Los Angeles, Calif. 90069

Suite 302

 

Beloved One of God:

It is very interesting to have your fine letter with the address “Great Books of the Western World” which you have so nicely balance with your own adoration of Sri Ramakrishna. I used to say that the two greatest living philosophers were Bertrand Russell and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who were both selected by the actual philosophers as being among the great thinkers of the age, and both of whom, at least, have managed to stay on in their bodies even though they do not get so many newspaper headliners any more.

The address I have for Hallie Goodman is 17 Menetta St., New York, but no zone number.

There was a time when I regularly visited Santa Barbara. My closest friend of that period is now living in Marin County. Others have died or moved. I did visit the University Campus and rather admired what they were planning but my “Santa Clausism” has been transferred to the Berkeley campus. We used to have a lot of snobbish intellectuals in Berkeley but they are being replaced by Americans who have lived in Asia and studied under Asians. This included even the mystical and esoteric side of things and there are now several courses in what used to be “esoterics,” some for credit, some not, but this is enabling the public to get an unbiased insight which was not possible in previous generating.

On the whole there is not much difference between Sufic and Vedantic mysticism. The “arguments” I give here are necessarily one-sided:

1. In our work there are no distinctions of class, creed, race or even sex, on this last point we do not accept the “monkery” of certain groups.

2. Withdrawal from society is not necessary for spiritual advancement.

3. Our “mantrams” are in Arabic rather than Sanskrit.

But these are not to be argued, for it would be no avail.

One has had to study books, meditate and ponder deeply and also sat before great ones. There has been a “hero” in your parts who wrote “At the Feat of the Master” and who has becoming famous or infamous denying that there are any masters (excepting himself, of course, and that by innuendo). He left a vacuum and all kinds of persons, enlightened and not, have rushed in. Perhaps this is proper for “not all wood is proper to be used for a statue of Hermes.”

While the politicians and diplomats (with occasional assists from the press) sit and deliberate ad nauseam, we are planning a joint mooting of Sufism and Hebrew mystics this coming week, based on Love! The Palestine’s will go on and hatred, and we love each other!

I do not encourage interest in Kabbalah. This was a secret and sacred transmission among the Hebrew peoples. It was handled down basically in silence. What is known as Kabbalah today is a very limited and non-Jewish complex of psychism and occultism with almost no relation to the Sepher Ha Zohar and very little~ with the Sepher Yatziwah . Besides their inner sciences began and ended with the Sacred Name of God.

Once I was teaching a group. They wanted to learn Dervish dances. I said, “Repeat ‘Allah.” “We can’t.” “Why?” “We are Jewish.” “I know that. All right repeat the Name of God given by Moses.” “Oh, we can’t possibly do that.” “I knew that before I began, and that is why I have asked you to repeat ‘Allah.’ I am trying to respect not insult you.” They repeated “Allah.” So the Great Name of God remains a mystery because pseudo-devotees who claim their religion is The Religion also claim they are such sinners that they can’t do this and that. I accept no idea of sin; we have too much of it. I stress, “Be ye perfect” and try to follow Christ and Mohammed and Krishna but no nonsense, and it works, people in the end accept realities, verities.

You should stick to one thing. We can help you in that.

As to the Dancing. It is increasing in quality and quantity and has spread into the realms of chanting and choral singing. It is surely and truly, attracting the young. But we are aware that others are also attracting the young and bringing them into experiences of the Grand Consciousness. This is our work. So we are on good terms with groups who are on good terms with each other.

Now you have written and also you see to have a vague connection with Great Books. Is it too much to ask if you can do something for The Oracle? The next issue is in January but all signs are to coordination and a better system for getting it out in the future. Perhaps it will become, as it says, the organ of the spiritual revolution.

We can send you introductory papers on Sufism or suggest your studies either in devotion or mysticism, but no compulsion—just suggestions.

With all love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


Great Books of the Western World

Los Angeles, California

December 31, 1969

 

Dear Master Samuel Lewis,

I want to thank you for your kind and gracious letter; and I want you to know that I immediately drafted a reply in long-hand. However, to be able to sit quietly and type this out has been another matter.

I have been appointed Educational Director for our Division, which takes in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. So I have been busy finalizing my training program, like which there is nothing so comprehensive in sales, generally, I think, let alone the educational sales field. And I have just moved into my beautiful office, which I would like you to see, if and when you get into town again.

The more I think of it, the more I feel inclined to take a trip to San Francisco, first chance I can get away. I feel drawn to you in a manner you will, possibly, understand more than I. You are certainly the most learned person I have ever met, and I am sure your Wisdom is not merely of this world.

With respect to your inquiry regarding anything I might be able to do for the Oracle, I regret that we have nothing to do with the publishing, but only with the sale of our publication. However, anything I could ever do to help you in any way, you know that I would.

What you say of Dancing is of particular interest to me, in that there is a young lady in whom I am much interested, who is a dancer, and teaches youngsters to dance also. I feel, with her qualities, she can do great good to the world. I find her gifted with uncommon understanding, although she has not, evidently, been exposed to Spiritual Teachings as such. I have told her the spiritual people would call her a “very old soul”; and, with respect to qualities, she is the personification of Compassion, Motherhood and the like.

I have been helping her vocally- which is my field of particular interest; however, though I am a Judo instructor, and know something of the spiritual implications of motion, therefore, I expressed to her the wish that there should be someone to specifically enlighten her with respect to the true spiritual expressive possibilities in her field; and the regarding of it as another path to God.

Needless to say, I have told her all about you—that is, as much as I know myself (all of which is good) —and, in fact, sent her a copy of page two of your letter. May she have the good fortune to make your acquaintance, and—someday—sit at your feet and learn.

With respect to sitting at the feet and learning, you mention “At the feet of the Master.” I must clarify my position at once. I have had dear friends who were Theosophists. But, frankly, I think they are lacking perspective beyond a certain point. They get to a certain spiritual level, then all becomes speculative in the extreme. I am, therefore, little attracted to their teachings. However, I shall again review the book you mentioned; though I have been exposed to it before. I hope you yourself are not a Theosophist; on the other hand, that would seem impossible : for you are so happy, healthy, and evenly balanced.

I am especially interested in what you tell me of the Sacred Name of God, and am eager to learn this, if possible. With respect to sin, right and wrong and the like, I no longer expect anything of myself in this regard, so am relatively free from the affliction of morality you name. I would think that group to have been very foolish not to have taken advantage of the possibility of receiving what—then—could be the most precious possession possible to man.

My own studies and research in Voice—I shall be frank with you—have gone beyond anything either done or conceived as yet, so that further progress is entirely a matter of spiritual rather than vocal progress. The whole method, ultimately, is reducible to the interrelationship of the centers, with respect to the vowel and consonant content and motion capacities inherent in the letters themselves. The final solution is the coordination of Fire and Light, and their centers, which—as Hermes Trismegistus remarked of the Spiritual—are the “roots (also) of this (vocal) arts.

Therefore, I am at a loss for any help outside myself—in that I have never met anyone, generally, in the Spiritual life who could, who was capable of helping me with respect to the many things that have happened to me. It has been up to me to dig out and piece together their meaning through the years. Therefore, it has been such a pleasure to have met someone I could truly, respect—even from the little I have seen—as really knowing something. So, I say, I shall be eager to meet with you again personally first chance; and most grateful for any specific assistance you can render “the cause of me and what I am attempting”—in terms of either Mantram Yoga as such; the sacred Science of vowel sounds of the West; or whatever the Sufis identify their incursion into this hallowed, all-significant field as being.

In reading the truly exquisite poetry of some of the leading Sufis, I had a very distinct feeling that this was “for me”; and—in fact—I have suggested to Susan the young lady that we both break from the traditional past, and try this together. It is so beautiful. Of course, I have specific inner links, not of my own volitional forging, with Ramakrishna Who is capable of lighting the Holy Flame by the power of His Name, for example. I have also had manifestations that the teachings of the western occultists, known as the Brothers, or Philosophers, are valid, and functionally verifiable to me. However, in adding another jewel, we need not renounce our crown of Life forged to date.

With kindest wishes and reverence…. Do write again, meanwhile,

William Arlock

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

January 6, 1970

 

William Arlock

Great Books of the Western World

9021 Melrose Ave., #302

Los Angeles, Calif. 90069

 

Beloved One of God:

Your letter of December 31st has arrived at what may be a most auspicious time. There are many suggestions which would encourage a personal meeting. I had expected to be invited to visit the Los Angeles-Hollywood area at this time to meet Pir Vilayat Khan, elder son and successor to my first spiritual teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan but the staff tells me the meeting is not necessary. This has been a great boon to me personally enabling me to travel later at leisure.

Yet I must request you to write to

Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave.,

North Hollywood, Calif. 91605

and ask her where you can purchase at least “The Mysticism of Sound” which appears in Volume II of “The Sufi Message of Inayat Khan.” If this is impractical you might order it through

Books in Review,

3010 Wilshire Boulevard,

Los Angeles 90005

and charge it to my account. I know them very well and a visit to them at an early date is imperative for a number of quite private reasons.

You have kindly offered to help and here I must give some background to be a platform from which to work. I began the study of Oriental literature early in life and was already reading, at least, the Upanishads in 1916. In 1919 I met one Murshida Rabia Martin, the senior disciple of the above-mentioned Hazrat Inayat Khan who introduced me to much great literature both of the East and West, including the Divine Comedy, the Sepher Ha-Zohar, the Bhagavad Gita, etc. In 1923 when I met Hazrat Inayat Khan in person he directed me to study all great books which has been done, no doubt to a very great extent but such is the nature of the world that both his so-called followers and others refused to accept this and I have been in the most peculiar situation of being accepted at the top by the very top people and utterly rejected—not even permitted to speak by those of lower echelons in the western part of the world, but not generally in Asia, excepting by those who claim to have “world-outlooks.” Nothing doing with them until recently when apologies began coming in!

I was left in a strange position when “Great Books” came out because I had read the complete “Ramayana” and Mahabharata” in English; the whole Tipitaka, and masses of books from all over Asia without neglecting the West. Thus when a few years back “the” seven great living philosophers were selected I had read almost everything of Lord Russell and Dr. Radhakrishnan.

During the Hitler period, the “compassion” of many Americans lead to an influx of “experts” on Asia, well schooled in the academies of Europe. A person like myself who had known the early parts of the lives of Isadora and Raymond Duncan, Harold Lamb, Nilla Cramcook from this region; and the translations of Prof. Ryder at the University of California in Berkeley did not have a chance. Nevertheless I stuck to the instructions and injunctions of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.

The second work he directed me into outside of “Great Books” was on the mysticism, especially in the direction of “The Mysticism of Sound” above cited. In 1911 this Sufi and his family travelled with the celebrated Miss Ruth St. Denis whom I was to meet oft-times and from here I also heard “how to read the Akashic records.” I am no longer concerned with rejections, especially in the rejections of the “cultists” and “world organizations.”

At holy places in Asia I found myself enacting the unseen dramas and to me the “Akashic records” or the Akasha, or the Alaya-Vijnana of the Mahayana Buddhists are actualities which can be used and are being used here. There has been some question as to how far these are to be confined to “esotericism” and on this point I shall accept the rulings of Pir Vilayat Khan who seems also to have a remarkable real world-view based on both inner and outer experiences.

Toward the end of her life I found myself following “Miss Ruth” all over. I have recently purchased copies of her biography by Walter Terry and have written to her friend, Dr. Alma Hawkins of UCLA for a meeting at her convenience. When this can be determined upon I also could call on you at your convenience.

But while all this is written my real introduction into outer mysticism came through Sound, not through meetings. I shall tell one experience: I was lecturing at the Theosophical Society in Oakland when I was explaining a certain combination of fire and earth and gave out the sound of what I called a war-chant. A man standing near jumped way up into the air and said: “Who did that? For goodness sake stop!” “Why?” “That is the Zulu war-chant; where did you learn it?”

I have never been invited by those people since, you can be sure, but very gradually we hope to bring out into the open esoterics, though as mentioned above; I hope to follow the policies of Pir Inayat Khan.

I also note with interest your being a Judo teacher. I was a long time friend of the Zen Master, the late Nyogen Senzaki. Perhaps it was my “satori” at Kamakura, perhaps otherwise, but I have a mass of his original writings and some of his paraphernalia, etc. When there was a test to determine who is most advanced in Mahayana given by the Grand Master of Korea, this “Sufi” surpassed all the various Buddhist leaders (most of whom are not on speaking terms with each other!).

Following the advice of Hazrat Inayat Khan on balance, I have also done some at least desultory studies in Phonetics and Linguistics, etc. But the impetus of Pir Vilayat Khan in the field of music has been grand and glorious and immanently practical here, especially with the young.

I shall let you know further when a trip South is impossible and shall be glad to hear from you at any time.

    Faithfully,

    Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


Great Books of the Western World

Los Angeles, California

January 7, 1970

 

Dear Master Samuel Lewis,

Why you should be, or have been, so concerned about being accepted or rejected I know not. You know that a Light is not lit to be kept under a bushel and also that, in the fullness of time all things shall surely be accomplished.

Now let me answer your letter directly.

When you know you are coming, be sure and let me know. Phone in my office 272- 5965; office phone 271-6275.

I shall contact the lady you mention. She lives on the same street in North Hollywood as a very dear friend of mine, in fact.

This same book was recommended to me by Hallie Goodman—in fact, I have her slip before me now. If you hear from or of that excellent young lady, be sure to let me know, if you will. So, it would seem that book is definitely on the agenda.

I want to inquire; are the Khans you mention also the musical Khans— for example, the teacher or of the family of the teacher of Ravi Shankar. I am a little disoriented in this regard.

I too knew Miss St. Denis somewhat well, to the extent that she once read much of her poetry to me privately one evening. I think it was great poetry and, in fact should be published. Quite beautiful—I never forgot it. I did not realize she was qualified to teach such things as the reading of the Akashic records, as you suggest.

I believe that use of the psychic faculties is a necessity to anyone in whom they are at all awakened; so that no morality or rule—it seems to me—could be set up; since we are here dealing with a matter of personal necessity. I should, however, then like to meet Pir Vilayat Khan when you come to meet him, if so.

When you speak of the impetus of Pir Vilayat Than here in music, I am completely befuddled; are we here dealing with spiritual teachers, musicians, or both.

I think what is needful is a good chat. I shall study your letter, to try to comprehend what is implied therein. Meanwhile I shall let this acknowledgement of receipt of your letter suffice for tonight—not having gotten any sleep at all last night—in order to get something finished there was something of a deadline on.

Meanwhile, thank you for corresponding with me.

Continue your gallant work gallantly. There is that within me which urges me to address this to you. It will “pay off.”

Cordially and gratefully for your interest,

Bill Arlock

 

 


January 12, 1970

Mr. William Arlock

Great Books of the Western World

9021 Melrose Ave. Suite 302

Los Angeles, Calif. 90069

 

Dear Bill:

I greatly appreciate your letter of the 7th. Usually one has a very busy life, but last week, even more so. Let me say to begin with, Hallie is one of us. We had a surprising visit from Pir Vilayat Khan last week and he said, “You have not only commenced the new year right, you have commenced the new decade right.” He is coming again this week, but my visit to your area has been delayed, and I shall be glad to let you know ahead of time when a few or several of us may be coming.

Last week letters were received also from Miss Julie Medlock of Pondicherry and Shamcher Bryn Beorse of Keyport, Washington. These persons, and other whom I could name, foresaw the events which have brought us so much dismal history—Vietnam, India-Pakistan conflict, the Near East, Ghana, and even Congo. I have had to read letters—sometimes be there myself—sometimes had verbatim reports, before each and every historical tragedy. It is not easy to take. It is easy for one who has not endured the direct or vicarious suffering to verbalize. It is not that one has been, let us say, a “Jude the Obscure,” it is that God, so to speak, has always warned mankind, usually through mankind, of coming tragedies. I think the new age is going to stop this nonsense, I think the new age is going to accept that Brahm is in the peasant warner just as much as in the wild elephant.

Of course the last statement may be unfair. You are qualified in a sense, as an authority on “Great Books of the Western World.” Living under the shadow of Nilla Cramcook, Prof. Ryder, Harold Lamb, etc., as well as local Chinese civilization, I became interested in Great Books of the neglected Asian continent. We are only beginning to recognize the literature of Asia, and in the latest copy of Asian Student just received, a serious movement is under way to bring this vast knowledge to human kind.

I should not say that the literature of Asia is superior to that of the West, but I do say that inasmuch as we have made ourselves involved in the affairs of Vietnam, South Asia, the Near East, etc., etc., it might be advisable to know just a little about the numerous cultures of the vastest of continents. But the days of griping are over. The new professors educated in America under Americans are much more objective and concerned with the cultures (with or without wisdom) of the vast Orient. In fact as Pir Vilayat Khan supra said you have begun the new decade right. I now have so many invitations and projects that these are utterly bewildering.

The recent biography of Ruth St. Denis leaves out much of what is most important on the cosmic scale. There is a story behind the story on almost every page. I early observed that she was drawing dances out of the akasha and I learned therefrom and thereby, but my first demonstrations brought down an avalanche of opposition and perhaps envy. I had to stop for years. But as I saw her work, and as she communicated to me, verbally and non-verbally, I realized the nearness of the akasha and/or the Alaya-Vijnana.

Pir Vilayat has asked me to write up my dances. The spirit is willing but as yet the secretaries are not, and that is our next project. What we hope to do is either visit you in person, or send you some literary brochure, although much would be incomprehensible without the actual performance. In fact Pir Vilayat and I are quite in agreement of making public many things which have been hush-hushed by meta-physicians and pseudo-occultists.

Pir Vilayat does belong to a family of musicians. Actually there are many Khans in this general field. All are not spiritual in the highest sense. This is not a criticism; being an artist does not necessarily imply being a mystic, nor being a mystic being an artist. But in this case there are so many over-lappings any statement will have some exceptions.

Real spiritual disciplines awaken higher than psychic faculties. They awaken the deep insight and the cosmic points of view.

As to meeting Pir Vilayat, you must communicate with his secretary, Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff in North Hollywood.

At this writing the dance program has been immanently successful, almost bewilderingly so. As a culture, we are not only drawing dance and music but even poetry and painting, from the cosmos. I enclose a copy of “The Rejected Avatar.” Much of this material was actually presented in the home of Malcolm Schloss years ago when he conducted poetry seminars in Hollywood. Both Miss Ruth and I were frequent attendants at those meetings. But one reason it is being sent is because the disciple who drew the pictures did so freely under inspiration without any verbal contact and saw extremely clearly the same pictures, the same forces, the same powers and attributes so to speak, as did this “poet.”

I am keeping your letter on my immediate file so that if any one of us (including myself) visits Hollywood in the near future we shall contact you in accordance with your letter. Thank you and God bless you,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


Great Books of the Western World

Los Angeles, California

January 19, 1970

 

Dear Master Samuel,

You are one hell of a poet!

I haven’t had time to fully savor the beauty of your lines-but one glance—here and there—tells me all I need to know!

Is there no end to your talents—man of God?

Bewildered Bill

 

PS 1—How can I get a full set of your wonderful Oracle articles? Where are they located anyway?

PS 2—My kindest regards to the highly impressionistic “Daniel”—who will, alas, probably open this letter first. Nonetheless, I look forward to chatting with him.

On the other hand, I find his interpretation of typography rather fascinating, from an abstract standpoint.

PS 3—I love everything about you.

 

 


February 2, 1970

Bill Arlock

9021 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, Ca. 90069

 

Beloved One of God.

This is in reply of yours of the 19th of January. It has been a policy of many groping groups to behave as if they were growing groups and tell outsiders that they had a vast amount of work, etc. Here we are not groping, but we are growing, and at a rate which taxes the few of us to the utmost.

I have talked to Phillip Davenport, editor of the dormant The Oracle, and he has left copies of it with me. These shall be checked, and if they contain the full “Toward Spiritual Brotherhood” I shall send them, otherwise I say send you some of my own materials, and others.

If our work is over pressing and expanding, it is also over jolly. We are now being visited by Baba Ram Dass. I understand he is going back and forth between the Los Angeles area and here. Not only he, but others, are intensely interested in getting our work in spiritual music and dancing better known. It seems especially under pressure when there is a moment’s time a new dance comes. In fact I may be forced to take some time off and visit Southern California. At the present time I have to wait for the recovery of my only brother, or the unfortunate alternative, before taking a move.

Perhaps the great concern is the popularization of real great literature. We certainly do not wish to downgrade anything that has been publicized, but we wish to upgrade much that has been ignored. There are more members of Sufi Orders than of all other alternative mystical and occult organizations on the earth, but they have been shut out from our culture. The school with which I am most amalgamated has always used music and dancing.

Last Thursday, I presented a method of crooning for young mothers and permitted the advanced disciples and some expectant mothers also to attend. I hope to have these methods presented more fully this summer at Lama Foundation in New Mexico. No doubt we do not have a monopoly on the use of sound, music, and dancing, but we certainly are more inclusive than other groups, and intend to keep it so.

Faithfully

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


Great Books of the Western World

Los Angeles, California

April 2, 1970

 

Dear Master Samuel,

Please forgive, if you will, my indefensible delay in acknowledging receipt of your wonderfully thoughtful gift of second copies of your entire series from the Oracle. I have been so submerged with work in connection with this job that I am, in fact, withdrawing from management responsibility. I shall work merely as a salesman, so that I may have time, at last, to do justice to Voice, and the spiritual and physical life generally.

I had thought I could do both, and automate the procedure; but I find the human element admits of no such automation; so I am withdrawing from what must, therefore be a half-hearted attempt, therefore, ultimately, for the good of all.

(Please forgive these lamentable typing results. I am using an IBM electric, and not very well, I fear. But please accept the above, as written, in spite of this, if you will.)

I shall try to be a better, more appreciative correspondent in future, if you will do me the honor of continuing to write. Since I will not be in the office so much, perhaps you better address any correspondence to my home: 2561 Ivan hoe Drive, L.A. 90011, that is, if you will write.

I would like very much to see you again, and perhaps, now, will have time for such things.

Meanwhile, my very best to you and the progress of your work.

Most sincerely and gratefully,

William Arlock

 

 


May 12, 1970

Mr. William Arlock

2261 Ivanhoe Dr.

Los Angeles, Ca. 90011

 

Dear William:

I have before me your letter of April 2. At the time you write it, secretary Mansur and I were attending a conference of the world’s religions. It was held in Geneva, Switzerland. It was not covered by our press. A great deal was accomplished. The real religious leaders of the real world, met, conferred, prayed together, and showed remarkable mutual respect. The Hebrew Rabbis, who were rather obstreperous the year before, showed remarkable calmness, wisdom, and sagacity. The Muslims got along fine—with non-Muslims. The Buddhists got alone fine—with everybody else. But we have no right to expect perfections in others. Although I was an unknown to the representatives of the western religions, secretary Mansur and I were very successful in our respective missions. He represented the young.

The chief barriers to success have been the now recognition of the role youth is playing in the world today, and the even greater laxity toward Negro cultures. This last was fortunately recognized.

As to youth, my conscious or unconscious effort to play a role of Pied Piper operated on my usual whimsy remark, “I failed miserably—only the young showed up.” But they did. Indeed, we hope to re-visit England in 1972 with an entourage or troops of dancers; and secretary Mansur and I are already planning to re-visit Boston and perhaps a larger portion of the eastern seaboard this fall, Inshallah.

My program is very full at the moment. I am scheduled to go to Lama Foundation in New Mexico at the end of that month: Full summer school with closed enrollment; arrangements to teach Sufism and organic gardening; mutual efforts to promote a commune so to speak, on spiritual principles, with complete human recognition. It will be impossible to stop off in Los Angeles prior to the first of duly. I cannot tell at this time whether we may go that way on our return.

I am turning your letter over to my financial secretary Daniel who is also a teacher in Sufism. He is coming to Los Angeles sometime in the near future as my representative. He has full right to act in my behalf.

The events in Geneva; the rather successful meetings with the young in diverse parts of the world, have left me at this time without a clear schedule, and I am not trying to probe into the future, but must wait until present obligations are fulfilled. In my absence, my esoteric secretary Wali Ali Meyer takes over duties and obligations. He is quite capable both of fulfilling these duties, answering questions, or acting as a host in many capacities to visitors. I appreciate your writing, and shall have certainly much to report after the summer school at Lama Foundation in New Mexico.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Arthur, Gavin Correspondence

15 Jan. 1960

 

Dear Gavin:

I am enclosing copy of letter to Hugo. The experiences written therein are to be followed by others first here and then in other parts of the United States.

I feel very much like Alice at the end of, “The Looking Glass” turning around on many and saying, “You are nothing but a pack of cards.”

I am no longer concerned with any personal success because the factors which have stood in the way have stood in the way of others who have tried to be honest and fair-minded. The man that will not grant an interview, or meet somebody else on equal terms, has something to hide. It does not matter who he is, he has something to hide.

The dream of an Oriental Academy here has “been busted twice” and for the same reasons. A few years will go on and there will be another attempt here or elsewhere but now there is another generation of persons who are objective. Why does the Professor at California permit me to submit evidence or credentials that I might be a Yogi and others—and there have been a lot of others, rule out a priori? Because they are ignoramuses. They may be nice gentlemen, they may know a lot on other subjects but at this point they reveal they are ignoramuses, not just ignorant. An honest ignorant man has an open mind; it is when there is a closed mind the ignoramus steps forth.

Now the Asians are striking back and we can expect more. They don’t like travesties on their teachings and they don’t like our “morality.”

Sam

 

[Enclosed in a letter to Gavin Arthur]

 

 


772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco, Calif.

January 15, 1960

 

My dear Hugo:

As Gavin may have to go to Los Angeles soon I was going to give him a message but I hear he has to travel by the Valley and will therefore probably not be able to call on you.

This year has become climactic, or anti-climactic. When I was a boy “The Count of Monte Cristo” was among my favorites. Later on I read that the type of revenge or nemesis in it was childish, not worthy of an adult. It took me a long time to agree but it is better now because daily I am getting more and more in the position of Edmond Dantes.

Yesterday I visited Saratoga. I talked to Jane and we have a happy bond enriched by the fact that I seem to stand in my career about half way between her father and her father-in-law so that any facet interests her and I shall probably have extensive reports to send. I did receive a brochure from a Prime Minister which is going to help in this. I have found it becomes easier and easier to reach Prime Ministers and Ambassadors and I have been going with the wrong crowds and that is that.

Jean especially asked after you. She sounded more stable than I have ever known her, but I did not have time to go over there although my hostess lives within a stone’s throw. However I may also write to her from time to time.

I shall also probably see Fred and Corinne when I stop off at San Fernando or Los Angeles. My check for fare has not arrived and I am not rushing it because a little delay here will settle things.

Excepting for timing, and even that can be accounted for, your predictions for me are coming true and almost in the manner foreseen. The slight differentiation was not erroneous but due to the probability I may live a little longer on earth than when you made predictions. That is to say, if you said that when I was two-thirds the way through these things were to happen or were bound to have happened; so that a ten years’ miscalculation can be accounted for. At the moment the prospectus for remaining long on earth are bright. And I am even taking up dancing and Yogic gymnastics with the Baptists in San Francisco both to condition the body and find out sources of irritation or difficulty.

My main visit to Saratoga was to a Mrs. Ramsdell. The reason for the visit is definitive. She had gone to the Orient and had found out a lot of things of which she had been told differently and this kept on going and going. What is more important, she found acceptance where her (mis)informers had not and that made her hesitate as she is already to give public lectures. So we had to compare notes and it took well over a full day to do that, without interruption, too.

Harriet had originally been drawn to the Academy through Judith Tyberg. She stayed on in all sincerity studying with Watts, Spiegelberg and Chaudhuri, as well as others. She did not find the India foretold by either Spiegelberg or Chaudhuri and she found herself in all sorts of places as a lone American—where she was accepted. I gave her an introduction to my “Mr. India” and proved itself even to the degree that she is studying real Yoga with a real teacher and no flim-flam, nonsense and noise-words. But this has disenchanted her with the nice intellectuals who have poise, savoir faire, charm and what not. She did find that the Ramakrishna people are superb and also not like their confreres here. She found a tremendous negative note at the Aurobindo Ashram and that is one reason for wanting to see me as she is a friend of Judith and it would be her word against Chaudhuri and Spiegelberg, who have been widely accepted. One can understand why Spiegelberg would be permitted to speak in churches—she charms without informing so there is little danger of people wanting to change their views. Spiegelberg is a fine man but you cannot put Aurobindo, Ananamaya, Tillich (especially) and Jung into the vat of supermen and say they rest of us are inferior.

The same was found in Japan. Two students of Alan Watts are there and learning the hard way. They are discovering that “Zen” is nothing like what they had been told before. I am sorry for Alan who has lost many followers. He lost some of them because they went over to Subud and they went to Subud because Alan gave lectures and not techniques. But there is no question the karmic law operates. Alan was a prime source in rumor mongering. There are a tremendous number of antagonistic rumors going on concerning him which are 90% lies, but unfortunately the 10% has a fragment of truth and this fragment is strong because he himself indulged in rumors.

There is now a flurry of literature by Japanese and Chinese to the effect that Watts, Benoit and Humphreys don’t know what they are talking about when they write on Zen. But Humphreys agreed and asked for advice. So I sent him advice and he accepted the advice. I don’t ask for people to accept my advice; I ask to be heard. Watts was a champion at not letting me be heard but many of the Academicians were not too far behind. If I am heard, and then my stuff is rejected, all right. But the point, Hugo, is that when it is heard it is generally accepted. There were other profs. at the Academy who let me submit papers and they accepted them.

Now the University of California is filled with profs. of similar points of view. When I went to one man the other day he said: “I suppose you are a Yogi.” “Yes.” “Well, my pupil here is a Yogi, too.” I extended my arms and said I could hold them indefinitely. The Hindu student said: “Pranayama.” “Of course.” So we had a valid conversation on the real stuff—something that seldom goes on here but it has gone on at last. Indeed I was surprised to find general acceptance all over the campus, but was I? The secretary of the South Asian department knows me and with that one person on “my side” the rest was easy. To hell with the metaphysicians from now on. Being nice is one thing, being honest and informed is another.

But the whole tenor of things is the same. Monday I am to have my third long interview with the new cultural attaché at the Indian Consulate. And so on.

One thing I am not interested in is to remove people from their jobs. What I want is to have papers submitted. When the prof. refuses I know he must be insecure inwardly, or outwardly. He may be a very nice man. The joke on poor Spiegelberg is in this incident. He was called to speak on Rocks in Landscaping and was given a grand send off—the Orientalist, the explorer, the Tibetan Scholar, etc., etc. So he talked and then the teacher spoke highly in favor of the lecture. Up piped one small voice:

“But papa was wrong. He was wrong on ocean pebbles because…. He was wrong on river pebbles because…. He was wrong on granite stones because…. In fact papa was wrong in everything he said.”

Kerplunk. The prof. can do no wrong. If you don’t like this you have a choice of flunking the course or quitting. But when it is his child that makes this remark what is to be done? Why can’t we be honest and objective to be with? We can’t; this is our failing. The TV exposé is just part of whole thing. (And incidentally Corinne has been fighting a long, lone war on this.)

Anyhow this is 1960. Everything looks bright. I think I’ll make the grade. I am not afraid of names or persons any more. The Sufis have made me their international representative (I mean the Oriental ones—the Americans Europeans are tough just like their fellows.) And if I don’t feel like I am sitting on top of the world, at least I don’t feel like the world is sitting on top of me.

Cheerio,

 

 


Postcard

Mar 7, 1960

 

Dear Gavin,

Write a long letter on train which will be mailed later. Fred & Corinne too busy  and did not have the address so I stayed with Uncle and Aunt.

I told everything: Vocha Fiske vs cousin Germane to Renies mother! First warm day in Apple Valley and it was warm until I reached Kansas and not so cold there or in Chicago where this is written. Arrived Cleveland about 8 pm.

Sam

 

(cc: Gavin Arthur)

March 30, 1960

 

My dear Jack:

It is not my intention to write to you or anybody in particular, but when one has direct experience, then I send letters to people whom I consider will be most interested.

At the present time this district is endangered by floods. A very long snow season was followed by a most rapid rise in temperature and the continuance of high humidity. No doubt the papers in California reported the damage done in Florida. But now the Missouri Valley is in difficulty and it seems that the danger may spread rather than otherwise.

Under such circumstances the Institute was held on “Giants of Asia” confined almost entirely to China and Russia. The chief speakers on China had recently been there and report, confirming what I have said, that the greatest problem of China remains flood control and water distribution. This was overlooked in the final report. But the first speaker left after his opening talk and his extreme anti-Communist attitude was not held by anybody else, and this was not “extreme” in the Knowland sense. Indeed some of the most “reactionary” people present do not accept our present Chinese policy.

The general attitude was that we need realism and not moralism. And with all differences common to American points of view the evident hostility toward Trujillo and South Africa was so great that Nixon is going to lose out unless he adopts some universal standard and applies it all around. In other words, the conservative people are reacting against reaction and the liberals are against it anyhow.

An added factor is that there is little news in the papers. The press here looks like elongated district press sheets. “The Toledo Blade” has far more news in it that you can get here. The TV stations are just the three chain networks with moronical materiel. The radio commentators are like Fulton Lewis Jr. minus brains and whatever happens is blamed on Khrushchev, whether it be a revolt in Bolivia or South Africa or at a lunch counter in Alabama. The result is that there is a smouldering threatening to break out first in an open war between the Networks and the Press; and what is much more important here a tremendous enrollment in the colleges and universities where one can obtain news and whose representatives dominated the Institute.

Unless the speakers were dishonest, one came upon a series of conclusions very different from the usual stuff. One speaker was long Charges d’Affaires in Peiping. According to his report Russia did not denude the factories in Manchuria. I never could see how they could have transported heavy materiel along with their vast army on the Siberian Railroad. There is no evidence that they did. What they seemed to have done is to send engineers and technicians to study the Japan heavy industry. And these men are now well equipped to operate the giant factories and are so doing. Neither did Russia over-invest in China. Instead they have offered much technical aid. This gives Russians jobs, insures good-will and does not involve financial liabilities. There is nothing to show in the reports that Russia will lose regardless of the future of China. Indeed their financial offers in the Southeast run contrary to China policy.

The two black marks on China seem to have been (a) the flood damage, always great, but coming at a critical time; (b) this critical time was due to an enforced reorganization due to government policy, abolishing as much as possible both privately owned and cooperative farms to institute giant collectives. This policy in turn arose out of the Old Army control and is a sort of militarism, in the name of communism. In other words it is cadre-ism. Soldier-heroes are rewarded with jobs of agricultural and even industrial direction and this has brought about uprooting and with this neglect of agricultural processes during the growing season. Both of these resulted in a lowering of harvests at a time when population has been increasing, and so less food available all around. And some of the program has involved sending out surpluses abroad as raw materials and has not been successful. This may explain the retreats in regard to both Burma and Nepal—which does not necessarily mean a retreat before Nehru.

In turn the vast army has been demilitarized in order to provide harvest hands. There does not seem to be much danger of China going overboard to arm itself to conquests when it cannot feed its people. The Russians here seem to know thoroughly what it is all about and there has been no sign of them flooding China to help the food supplies.

Most speakers and the audience felt this had nothing to do with recognition. One recognized because one recognized. You cannot abolish the atlas. But some went so far as to suggest that we place some of our farm surpluses at the disposal of China whether directly or in a roundabout fashion because there is evident need here. Socializing need does not abolish it.

The best change in China has been in the steel industry. But here one makes the mistake of percentage increased as a final instead of plotting the curves. I would not be surprised if the percentage increase in the Philippines was not much greater, but nobody foresees that land as a great steel producer. Indeed we have all kinds of alloys today for various purposes. The Chinese increase is largely in traction and railway steels and will no doubt continue high for a long time. It will not impress the world market but will impress all kinds of emotional people, particularly the press while the Japanese will continue to gain the world markets.

The worst thing in China is the inability to settle on any policy with regard to internal criticism. One day the howl will be against criticism and the next against waste, corruption and inefficiency which have been allowed to continue. And this in turn has been larger due to the giving the top Civil Service jobs to the old veterans of the Retreat Army. As younger people graduate from college, they are going to protest, and in the traditional manner demand a strict examination system.

Another difficulty is in regard to a National language. The government shilly-shallied on Romanization and at a time when criticism was frowned upon some wit wrote a long punnish letter and asked the officials to put it in Latin or Russian script. This showed two follies—the follies of a simplified Script in the European manner (the Japanese methods have been ignored), and the refusal to take sincere criticisms seriously.

Meanwhile the increase in popular education stressed more local pronunciations instead of less, causing confusions in conversation, multiplied by the transference of populace to fit the farm and industrial programs. Communications and orders have had to be in writing. All of this has decreased efficiency.

I have also learned that there have been greater military difficulties in Turkestan than in Tibet. These difficulties are more complex because while to begin with one has the presence of another nationality and economy, part of that economy has been basically feudal, and despite Islamic teachings, of a very low moral order. The masses have been suppressed in that part of the world to a degree we can hardly grasp. It became a choice there, too, between communism and despotism. But the Muslims have been receiving some outside help and encouragement and one cannot dismiss lightly the charges against the Catholic priests of espionage. My sources of information would indicate some strong evidence of espionage in general, without any in particular cases.

The reports on India showed much more unanimity. The universities here stand very strong against the commentators who see every independent act as a wile of Khrushchev. The main speaker asked for heavy financial aid and in general it was felt that the help going to Korea, Taiwan and S.W. Vietnam should be transferred to India and other lands which offer evidence of development.

The percentage increases in India are small but determinate. The population increase is much less than in China and so is the steel increase. The food-harvest/population ratio is more encouraging than in China but not in an over-all picture; but from my point of view there is too much assumption that this world has been in a continual prosperity broken by occasional wars and disasters whereas as I know it prosperity has been sporadic and occasional until recently—all over.

There was too much stress on education without explaining what one meant by it. There is also the difficulty of explaining what “socialism” and “capitalism” really mean. But the audience was almost unanimous pro-Indian; there were a number of Hindus on the panels, they were given carte blanche to speak and were quite informed. In this way I made an appointment already for the Embassy and a friendship with one Prof. Saha from Calcutta.

I went to Ann Arbor to see my friend Prof. Richard Park but he was away. However the event proved very fruitful. I have been getting some outside help, in the way of lecturing and research jobs here and have my eye on funds available for Asian Studies. Not only has Michigan University a valid school for Asian Studies at both undergraduate and graduate levels, but I know where moneys are available. I tried for years to report on this but was spurned by all kinds of people, none born in the U.S. It is their loss, not mine.

I also received a long report from Jonathan Garst. He is the brother of the Iowa farmer who was Khrushchev’s host. Evidently the grape-vine is now working in my favor, too, from the remarks in his letter. This plan will give me prestige (the doors are already open).

A combination of circumstances, too long to relate, may enable me to collect data to enlarge the Strawberry industry in India. This is only one of several projects. I have to go to Wooster and Columbus during April and have already some lectures lined up in Columbus. I am supposed to leave here on the 25th and fortunately, too, my most important arrangements for Washington are already settled. I shall be very busy there.

Under-currently there is going to be a big smash soon between the Universities on the one side and the Press on the other. “Underpaid” teachers will ask for more opportunities to address the public and will get it and will give out objective facts and information and not so much deplorable commentary.

There is comparatively little interest here in the Khrushchev-De Gaulle talks. There is much on South Africa and Dixie. This is the most integrated city in the country, it is said, and believable. Hundreds of thousands of Negroes are both American and educated; an almost equal number of Whites are either refugees or second generation from Europe, not so Americanized nor so integrated and educated. That is where a conservative like Lausche gets is votes. If Khrushchev came here today he would be welcomed not because he is admired, but because of the antipathy toward all differentiations.

Behind all this in turn is a marked tendency toward factualism, and a fatigue at too much emotional strain caused by headlines. Ever the papers seem to think that the Administration ought to meet Russia on disarmament, increased by protests against unnecessary high taxes.

The Institute overlooked the basic facts that Japan and Germany are winning world market. If Germany is not an armed camp, it is anti industrial camp. That country is putting out the best motor cars and a lot of other heavy equipment. We are almost back in the 1910-4 era with potential trade wars—and here Russia is having a tough time and knows it. In our financial support to Germany we may be undermining both Russia and ourselves. I find the World Almanac almost useless today, for though it mentions facts it does not tabulate them when the tabulations are unfavorable. The leadership of Germany does stand out, and its demilitarization places a large labor supply available in needed industries, at home and abroad. The “Giants of Asia” have still a long way to go.

Sam

 

 


May 3, 1960

 

My dear Gavin:

I am in New York and in the midst of uncertainties. What is peculiar is that what one would expect to find uncertain has brought few questions or problems; and where one has a quest, one would expect to find refusals and blocks. It is the other way around.

There is a strike going on against the ship on which I am supposed to sail. That should not be for five weeks. But my travel agent is coming here so I can do nothing now but sit until he arrives and I am even delaying my trip to Boston. My cousins have disappeared, and all I have left is one lone address (no phone) and no assurance of answer. Legally this might necessitate a new will although at the moment I am in the pink, my health—and especially the last few days—has been tops. Then I am caught between some problem in negotiations between the banks which handle my moneys, have to sign papers and can’t because the bank of the second part has not reported. Everything was running smoothly before and I don’t understand it (no problem about dollars, however).

As for my interviews. Last night my Japanese colleague took me to dinner. He is very prosperous today. I told him I had visited at least twelve embassies and not a problem or difficulty—quite the contrary. It was only among the Americans that there were impasses. You can see it in the article in Satevepost on the Near East situation. We have something, which we call “diplomacy” which works fine in front of everybody’s faces and horribly behind their backs.

Thus there is Islamic culture. In this country it has been largely in the hands of Europeans who, being neither Americans nor Muslims, have brought nothing but offence to the Islamic Nations. This is something you can’t discuss in the State Department—they won’t believe you; and don’t have to discuss with the Muslims—they know it better than you do. In this particular correction the bull’s eye came and hit me and I could be having a fine job if I remained in this country.

My American colleagues are Robert Minor of the American Friends of the Middle East, Roland Gammon of the World Congress of Faiths, and William Hughes of The Friends of the World. I met Gammon yesterday and he also understands the Islamic, as well as the other situations. This habit of haling non-Asia, non-Americans get into the fields of Oriental studies has produced little more than fog, smog and confusion. “Brand names” are highly regarded in some parts and the same “brand names” are loathed elsewhere. What is wrong is not the regard or the loathing but the highly metaphysical assumption that “brand names” communicate learning. That is to say, the American attitude is basically wrong, not the pseudo-famous people. This attitude has to change. We don’t learn the sciences by signing up with some favorite minister.

Gammon had reached the same conclusion as the leading Muslims which means that I have to go to Harvard with a quizzical eye on their plans for a new school for religious study. There Gibb has the money and has interviewed Landau. This pleases (??) the Afro-Asian bloc no end (“no end” makes it impossible to stick a period there).

Actually the low points are few, outside the personal confusion with which I have been tested. I ran into one of my oldest friends in Washington in a strange manner. The interviews at all Embassies were excellent. I am sorry I cannot supply details (matter of time, not of secrecy). I did have troubles with Blondes—Puckian type. The blonde in the Sudan office did not know what a dervish was; in the Persian office never heard of Sufis or poetry; in the Afghanistan office had never heard of Khaibar Pass and Peshawar. I did ball out a blonde in the State Department who would not furnish me with information, which I finally got by a threat and it took me five minutes at the Near East desk to put over my ideas, almost unnecessary for the diplomat who had been in the field knew what was what at least as well as I did.

In New York I have twice run into a wandering Islamic preacher who is highly amused and somewhat delighted at my efforts. I have been offered a farm in Egypt and another in India. Dr. Baker’s introductions are going to prove most valuable, but the main problem at the moment is I can’t carry on the writing on all subjects. I do not know when I shall be leaving here either in case you should come.

I can safely-look back now on all and sundry persons who have been operating in the Oriental field—all persons and all branches—and see that it is useless to go around preaching morality and rejecting anybody. Who has any right to reject? This is horrible.

The other day a man looked over my shoulders on the sub—I took the wrong one “by accident.” I found he was Prof. Namiar from Mysore. He wants to start an international Whitman Society to bring India and America closer together. We had discussions on high levels—discussions which would have opened the eyes of some people who intransigently refused to admit the possibility thereof—and passing through philosophy and real Yoga came at last to the food problem and he also offered me a farm. I therefore have to write to Wooster and San Francisco.

As I look back now at the last few years the last rejections in San Francisco came almost unanimously from non-San Franciscans and the city itself both recognized and commissioned me before I left. My meeting tomorrow with my colleague, Wm. Hughes, at the U.N. may establish the program and regimen. I feel fairly certain and my main problem next is a literary agent.

Faithfully,

SAM

 

 


May 13, 1960

 

My dear Hugo:

I am writing to you hoping this finds you among the living but to be assured am sending a copy to Gavin. For if anything this will support some of your earlier predictions about me. And I should say that on the whole everything is going well.

In the first place, though I sometimes forget it, a certain deference has been paid to my age and experience. As a rule this deference is greater among the scientists and the higher on the scale the scientists, the greater has been the deference. Among the metaphysical people it is the exact opposite and the higher on the metaphysical scale, the more opposition one might encounter. Only it is today that I run into opposition against “brand names” and “celebrities” who are widely touted in California and as widely hooted elsewhere. This seems to be the general trend.

I have been most fortunate in my contacts with scientists. This was partly due to the introductions received from Dr. Blanche Baker of San Francisco. But the ability to carry on intelligent conversations and the proof, actual proof of long years experience, carried weight. Metaphysical people often blindly pooh-pooh such possibilities off hand, close their ears and minds and think they are going somewhere. And actually I have run into more metaphysical people in New York than good devotees of Zen, Vedanta and Sufism. The good devotees are very good indeed.

The Zen people here are not only adept at meditation; they are still more antagonistic toward “famous” book writers who are confusing the public. Years ago there was an article called “Zowie” in the “New Yorker” written in an asylum, by a professor who dunked into Orientalia without a teacher. This madness is somewhat prevalent and it is much easier to make a New Yorker mad than wisely sane. But now there are books against the “brand names” by other people who are successful because the “brand names” are well known and by mentioning them, they get an audience. As the “brand names” have caused much confusion and have multitudes of enemies outside of California this is successful business though where it leads I do not know.

My old Sufi “colleagues” will not accept what happened in Cleveland where I revived Sufism. The old order is divided into at least three mutual antagonistic branches which oppose each other and all ignore me. I not only hold the balance of power legally, but was officially appointed by the Dervish Brotherhoods as their representative early in the year. And to my amazements, without knowing this, the head Muslims in this country have given me, independently, the same appointment. This in the face of “brand name” professors, non-American, non-Asian and often quite popular and, to say the least, ignorant.

On the West Coast you can not even get an interview with a “professor.” Here in New York a cultural attaché had me spend an evening going over two papers by ”brand name” professors, non-American, non-Asian, who have been commissioned to write two “vital” papers on Oriental philosophy. Here they may give out Ph.D. degrees; in Asia they could hardly qualify for freshman class.

I visited the Ramakrishna Center near here. They are doing very well; people prefer the metaphysicians and “brand names.” I have meditated at both the Zen Center and a Yoga Center by one Majumdar. The latter is near these rooms and he teaches Patanjali Yoga, that old “out warn” system which is never practiced because somebody has a better one—which never succeeds. In both places there was a strong anti-California atmosphere but California brand names must go on and many people on the Coast will accept the personalities thinking they have arrived somewhere.

Although I do not know how to get along with Asians (consult any brand name in California), I have been to a multitude of Embassies and my first application for a Visa was granted without cost as a Courtesy Visa. This will come as a shock to the professors of Orientalia in certain parts. But Hugo, between 40 years of study and practice, I have accumulated more knowledge, if not downright wisdom, in this field than I have in the sciences; though the scientists have everywhere accepted me as one of them.

There is one argument I do carry with me which is most effective, and that is I do not age with the calendar. I notice that this was also true of some of the Zen people in California and also is true of Mrs. Farkas, the Zen leader here. I do not know what the condition is, but when people challenge me about Yoga I pull out my passport and they can see my birth date. This is something even the “brand names” cannot confute.

I have in the offing a literary, an artistic, a horticultural and a philosophical mission. I should say that 90-95% of the interviews have been very good. The others were due to the fact that the organizations visited were not as opulent as their advertisements suggest; or else in the State Department where a ready acceptance would be subject to suspicion. However all meetings with Congressmen or their staffs were wonderful. I had only one long interview with a Congressman, which was Judge Saund of Riverside, because of his Indian birth.

I do not know when I shall leave, how long I shall be, or what is coming out of it but feel I shall be in the top brackets of cultural exchange when I return. It is one thing to say “knowledge is power” and another to have it demonstrated in life. However some of my suggestions are very very simple, and just overlooked. I do mingle with all people, all races, all classes, all religions—something often heard in lecture halls but not demonstrated.

I wrote once to Jane and Vince about my Ohio experiences—which were tops. Only I am doing something. Won’t try to convince Americans, least of all metaphysical ones—they would not understand. Farmers would understand off hand and do. Asians understand only too well.

Regards,

Sam

 

 


June 1, 1960

 

My dear Gavin:

I have just come back from Massachusetts and may return there for unforeseen reasons; I have failed to get confirmation of my sailing date despite all precautions and heavy over-payments to my travel agent. There have been series of strikes on the water front here which has thrown everything out of kilter.

I undoubtedly had the best good-natured “trick” played on me in my whole life. My cousins are now in the nursery business; I met Adolph in Cambridge a said: “I have done something unusual; instead of bringing a present I have brought my work-clothes.” They have an operative nursery and were and are badly in need of help: So I am just staying in New York long enough to find out what my travel agent has done for and about me and then expect to return to Massachusetts and work!

You also have plans like Sam and Bryn which might land you anywhere. Fortunately my own plans are much better laid that most people around S.F. have considered and although I have had many refusals, I know what I am about. I did get my magazine project accepted by the largest distributors in the country, one Mr. Robert Kenyon. It took him 5 minutes to accept plans which have been rejected mostly a priori. It means two years further leg work—which will be easy. I have all my basic groundwork laid and was able to come up with all the answers to all the questions.

The same irony follows me everywhere. All Asians have accepted all proposals on all subjects. I have still to get a single refusal from a single Asian whom I have met. In Cleveland two did refuse meetings but elsewhere it has been a cinch and is getting easier. From 75-90% Europeans engaged in Asiatica I get opposition. Fortunately the librarian who was in the department on 5th Avenue has been removed and there are now several Asians working in the Oriental Department and a single Jew. I am all for Jews in the Jewish department but there should be some Asians in the Asian section, and today there are. Result: fast, efficient and cooperative service.

In Gloucester I met a considerable number of Jews and realize I am far away from my people. Many of these are in-laws of my relatives: My own people seem like re-incarnated Hindus. I spoke to a distant cousin whose father (an in-law) introduced the Vedanta into this country. I shall probably be their guest on my return. Adolph, my closest relative spiritually, wants to study Zen. I left Mrs. Sasaki’s books with him and there are several people in that region who are interested.

The Jewish Bostonians seem to be strongly Zionist, but in religion they were not so inclined to the synagogue. Opposed to Nasser, they are not opposed to Mohammed!

I rather upset them by a curious incident. A beautiful blonde came in and all the men made a play for her. I paid little attention as I am not drawn to young blondes. But it seems she had been in an auto accident and was completely paralyzed. She has recovered but still cannot smell or taste: The accident provoked a complete revolution and now all she is interested in are Yoga, Mysticism and Nursing. This threw all the men out of the conversation and we had a wonderful dialogue.

After she had gone I turned to my relatives and said: “Why she would make a perfect companion for my protégé Norman. Only he is a mulatto.” “Oh, that is all right; her room-mate is a mulatto and they are nearly always together.” (What am I do to now?)

My plans for India are very well laid and will probably keep me in that land a long time. I am seeing Myra tomorrow. She says that Saturn will dominate my 1961 and off-hand that might mean my staying in the Orient. I shall know more about it, but am not worrying.

Well you have your private revolution. We all do that. Naturally one does not know what to suggest in these things. However it looks as if you should take the boat—you are limited by plane. In Hong Kong you should call on Jimmy Chen for Oriental-tropical clothing. In Japan the Kimono serves well in hot weather unless you also prepare.

I have not yet heard from Blanche. I have extra funds due me and intend to buy certain books here on Indian medicine, etc. If you get to India you will not have trouble purchasing their “erotica.” I dislike this word on account of connotations and implications. The sexual attitudes of Hindus and Japanese are far from each other and from their own and none of them, nor those of New Guinea fit into “our” molds. If you publish your book and travel you are going to get new ideas, both from observation and study. In India you are going to be stuck because there often the sex life and the astrological life are combined. The horoscope may determine suitability, especially for marriage. In the bookstore I found a tome on the Mandeans whose astrology is combined with their religion—an ancient heritage.

Your Neptune trine Mercury is good for mobility, whether in travel or in writing.

My cousin does some painting and his outlook is at the moment actually somewhere between those of Verde and Gordon. With few exceptions he does not go before the Impressionists and he is actually a Jungian in his outlook. He spent years studying dreams and this is reflected in his art. He accepts the idea of “spaces” rather than space. And he is also interested in both Zen and Vedanta. But he wants to remain in Massachusetts. It is his son who has dreams of travel, especially with relatives on both sides in California.

I have not been moved by so-called “world events” which don’t get anywhere. Walt Lippman’s remarks on India, published of course, are pitiable. All the press keeps on mealy-mouthing that the world is starving. The world has always been so and so. Most people—and we can’t accept it—most people are not thinking in terms we say and insist upon saying they are thinking. The rise of the Afro-Asian bloc is imminent. We give in one step to Israeli against the UAR and first 6, then 12, now over 20 nations turn against us. We do not see any handwriting because we won’t look at any wall. These nations are turning against all white leadership.

In Massachusetts there is a pro-Kennedy sentiment something like the former pro Al-Smith sentiment, The difference is that Smith never discovered the U.S. much less the world. And he did have all Catholics with him which Kennedy has not. The college students are coming out for Stevenson but older people are not so impressed. It is a revolt, not of the masses but of professional Protestants. This means that political bosses are opposed to it. The press and TV seem to be boosting Johnson, or even suggesting a Johnson-Kennedy hook-up.

On the whole I see this struggle between the professors and the press. They don’t understand each other, One labor leader has said, “We got rid of the egg­heads and put up the meat-heads….” Mrs. Roosevelt conducted one forum and I don’t think it will be reported. The outlooks are simple and real and universal with a leaning on facts. There was another TV program by a Prof. Parkinson who has become very famous and he wrote making Singapore the world center. Those who want to make Berlin the center could not understand him and opposed him. But Parkinson is right and the world is made up of other than blondish Caucasians. We accept the statement but not the implication. “Africa for the Africans” is a good slogan but a bad happening.

Rockefeller has come out again foe a good-neighbor policy with Latin America. But our refusal to have a Catholic for President has stirred up more opposition than our earthquake relief. Latin America is Catholic and will join the Afro-Asian bloc if Nixon is the next President. So we are going to vote ourselves out of power in the U.N.

I just missed being called in to the U.N. as an expert. I was away when the meeting took place. Of course I am not going to be an expert in the U.S. yet; At Harvard the Near East studies are in the hands of an American who is admired by Orientals and Buddhists; and a Japanese who is a very advanced scholar in actual Oriental philosophies and linguistics. The Near East is in the hands of an Englishman and Hungarian exile who is Jewish. Why can’t we have the same basis? So the Far East will applaud and the Near East will scowl and one of these days there is going to be an outbreak among the Afro-Asian bloc on this point. I know what I am talking about, getting it out of the horse’s mouth. But then I knew all about Pearl Harbor before it happened and it does not do any good.

Professor Sorokin remains my ideal more than ever after seeing him. He is a Universal Man, a beloved man—even an excellent flower grower. The world he lives in is the world, not a mental projection which is called “the world” and excludes most everybody and their ideas. His books are being translated into all languages. We agree that there must be a grander advertising of the old Master of Harvard, and of the poets of New England.

I could write endlessly but have much to do. I would like to know you schedule more than your plans because we just might meet in some far off land. After that you could see for yourself and then realize that my protests against the metaphysical people were and are valid. Even your Humanists fail to take humanity as it is, into account.

Faithfully,

SAM

 

P.S. Dorothy & Rick are supposed to have arrived. I got contradictory reports from the hotel. Have seen the Stices and they look fine, but have no phone.

 

 


Gavin: This may interest you. Sam.

 

Gloucester, Mass.

June 20, 1960

 

My dear Mr. Miller:

In re: “The Air Conditioned Nightmare.”

This is a long delayed letter set off by a series of explosions which have no causal connection. Neither is the order in which they are stated logical.

The other night I met my young cousin Amy Mats who proceeded to tell me that Walt Whitman and Henry Miller were the two greatest forces in American literature. I have met quite a few young people lately and they all hold that Walt Whitman and Henry Miller are the greatest forces in American literature. I have met a few Orientals who are quite willing to concur that Walt Whitman and Henry Miller are the greatest forces in American literature, but nobody in Washington will believe it, is going to believe it or even admit the possibility until a few more USIS libraries are burned or otherwise demolished. Then when we ask the Asians the absolutely verboten question: “What books do you want us to send you, there won’t be enough copies of Walt Whitman and Henry Miller around. But we aren’t going to ask that “infamous” question yet.

I was walking through Boston the other day and I saw a sign on a building of an organization for the guardianship of public morals. In Japan a young girl must be faithful—to her father. In India, to her horoscope. In Thailand, to her children.

I agreed with these, O sir, in thy esthetics, but not in thy psychology. But I was unable to joust because I have had enemies—never mind who, never mind why, never mind where. My enemies all had one thing in common—they held that Henry Miller was the representative of his satanic majesty on earth. These people are all “nice” which means they served daggers carved out of sugar. They were very much afraid that I might fall under your influence, although I am conceited enough to hope you might even fall under mine!

The last of these people—who still holds you are the devil or something, gossiped about me because I like Allen Ginsberg. Allen and I have little in common except some presumable Semitic ancestry, and love for something we call poetry. But I try to write epics and think they may be published some day. I felt Allen is groping and I do not feel I am groping.

But you have cut the cord of division by your opinion of Sri Ramakrishna. Sir, I am not a devotee of Billy Graham or Billy Sunday or spy-­in-the-sky. The opposite. In the struggle between the Yogi, and the commissar I am the Yogi. People who do not like me—and they have that right—admit I do not age. So I either have the devil or God with me (I actually have both, but nobody wants to admit Iblis and Allah can be in the same camp—they once were, you knew.)

The greatest poetry in the world was written by mystics. I heard representatives of six different Nations quote Rumi in public meetings in San Francisco and among the elite, the savants, the commissars of the press, the well dressed, the “hard working,” I was the only one present who knew Rumi.

Two Persian kings once want to war. The victorious said: “Give me 10,000,000 dinars or your ten best poets.” He got the dinars. Unthinkable. But there is a vast difference between the Asian Oriental and the “Asian” we read all about in the papers.

So one major reason for writing is that your book is prophetic. Whether you wanted it or not, it is so. I am sure Golfing Ike never read any of your things. So he was briefed on “Asians” and not on Whitman and Miller, and he is only allowed to visit countries with “good Christian” governments whether the majority of the citizens are Christian (and corrupt) or non-Christian, with only corrupt governments on top.

I am a sort of ugly American (not like the look) who has learned that there are tourists, diplomats and bums who travel in Asia and only the bums succeed. But we can’t send bums. We can’t accept what you write. We just can’t.

The Ambassador from India said: “What we want from you Americans is more Whitmans.” Then the Ambassadors from Iraq, Ceylon, Burma, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc., etc. said the same. Now you are coupled with Whitman, which means you are out-protocoled.

I met a Hindu in the subway in New York. He read the paper over my shoulder. This is a privilege I grant to young girls and to Hindus of all ages. He has returned to start a Whitman Society in his country—it can’t happen here. Maybe you may be included before it is all over. Especially as you quote Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. The Hindus will like you—lots much than they will like golf.

I am supposed to meet one Charles Olson here. I suspect he admires you. I am going to find out.

I am going to Asia with a whole book of clippings on America poets who are not read, mostly any more. The new ones will be handled differently. Asians like poetry and I think they will like a lot of New England poetry, both the 1840-1850 variety and the 1950-1960 variety. Anyhow I have a bunch of invitations to speak at Universities all over the Orient.

I have, of course, done the unforgivable. The mob roused by communists when I spoke turned on them. I am not a diplomat. I am not a reporter; I get there and have no formula. But I am a specially privileged bum with very special degrees which give me the right to beg and enter holy places and a lot of things. I talked with Dr. Radhakrishnan and with Harijans and enjoyed them all.

And despite this address, I am a born Californian and have lived much of my life in that State and some day may return. Tokyo is a long way off, but betcha I’ll do better than Mr. Haggerty who does not know the real facts about real life.

Keep up your prophesying. Maybe the young are correct.

Sincerely,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


August 28, 1960

 

Dear Gavin:

This is my diary note. This morning I woke up after some complicated dreams in which you were the chief character. I arrived back in S.F. to find you in a very strange state of mind. You told me you were in a horrible fix as Dr. Baker had just died and you could not get any more horoscopes, but through the series of episodes, in one after another, you had no time to sit down with me as you had a sudden appointment to go out and arrange a chart. So you were in and out constantly and I could make no head or tail of your affairs because it appeared you were earning more money than ever.

I was not to stay in San Francisco so I paid a month’s rent on a place to put my baggage and furniture in it, and had to go away, presumably to Southern California for I took only two pieces with me. I was not going to stay a full month and said you could use the place. But when I got back everything was clean and in order and it seemed you had not been using the place much excepting the first few days after I had gone.

You were not happy but your astrology work was taking you further afield. You not only had more clients but they were spread out and evidently informing others. So, with the disappearance of Blanche you were not only on your own but making good.

I could learn nothing more in the dreams from you either about yourself or anybody. You looked somewhat better than when I had last seen you but carried a look of dismay.

We did have some differences in other fields. I called to your attention that not only had I been rather successful but successful in just those things about which there had been dark forebodings and not always so successful where it was presumed I would succeed.

There was the need for substantial real thinking both in regard to Asia and on other matters. The disappearance of the American Academy made the way open for honest, objective teachings on Asia, but if I said anything, all you said was, ”yes, yes” or “I have to go“ and you really did.

Turning to Bertrand Russell today I am strengthening myself in just those matters of logic and thinking upon which doors were closed in California and opened on the East Coast. What that means at the moment I do not know, but I am carrying Oliver Reiser and Pitirim Sorokin around and may be introducing them into the Orient.

I have three complete avenues in Egypt: The American University, the mixed ones and those which are obviously Arabic. I am planning first to call at the American University at Beirut. Most on board want to go to the Holy Land—there will not be much time, but they will go so I may be the only passenger the last few days. We passed near Tunis today, and the other night through Gibraltar—we could see the lights. Tonight I am getting only French and Arabic music and one U.S.A. station but tomorrow should be near Sicily. I like Spanish music most and far prefer Italian to French.

 

 


September 8:

I am in Cairo. While my putative hosts are away, God has been most kind in that there are several University of California men around and they have been extremely cooperative. I expect to be a guest of the Agricultural Department of the Central Government shortly: I have much to read of materials placed in my hands.

My present war of “the professor versus the commentator” is a sort of variant of my “Real Asia versus phant-Asia.” Evidently there are sections of the Federal government which agree. For the best work by the United States is not only given no publicity, but turns out no folders or circulars and no advertising or public reports. It is as if we had gone underground.

So far I have not seen the slightest, indication of any Russian influence here. Private enterprise is running all over and there is a strong and growing banking system. True, religion tends to make people feel satisfied and in this sense they are conservative. But the whole policy of the State is to raise the peasants’ status.

There is no way for me to compare things here with Israel, but they are certainly much better than in Pakistan or India, and I suspect very much better than in Jordan, Iraq or Iran. The press seems to take the attitude that if the people of Jordan or Iran believe in the Declaration of Independence, there is something wrong with Nasser. I am pretty sure he is busy trying to benefit his own nation which is more than I can accept from certain other governments.

Excepting in Japan I saw nothing to compare with the whole countryside from Alexandria to here and this without rainfall which is copious in Japan. I am reading as much as I can and have a few conferences each day, in the morning.

By the end of the week I shall be making out reports for possible publication. The general policy here is one basically American, our old 40 acres and a mule varied. Generally a cow or buffalo is offered because they can still be draft animals and afford milk. But I am going to learn more before I speak much.

When I do return to California I shall probably visit Claremont, not that I expect objectivity to be accepted there yet, but at least one door has opened. Another book recently published attacking Sufism has been itself strongly criticized by the reviewer who holds that before Sufism is attacked it should at least be given an opportunity to explain and even defend itself. No such honesty around San Francisco, but then look at what has happened to the karma-mongers. Rom Landau is still writing books and making reviews, which are not generally admired but the people at home don’t know that.

I have had my trials and tribulations and also comedies. The chief of which was at Beirut when a barber, constantly harassing me, heard me say: “I am Ahmed Murad and a Darveesh.” He dropped his jaws, his tools aid his knees sagged. “I am Ahmed Murad and a Darveesh; come, I give you free haircut!” And I did not think it possible to beard a Lebanese.

Anyhow I got along fine in Beirut by asking about the Phoenicians: That’s what they like: to be called Phoenicians and I played it up. “Go thou and do likewise” if you ever came this may. But the American University was having its summer session and I shall have to return depending on other things.

But Gavin, I have a problem. My last letter to Jack was returned and I have had no mail from Clementina St. and so no banking reports and don’t know what has happened. I wrote to Evelyn just before I left New York but no answer and no letter from New York either. It is going to take a while to straighten this out.

Sam

 

Things are getting better and better for me here.

 

 


October 20, 1960

 

My dear Gavin:

With the copy of letter enclosed a certain phase of my life is over. Undoubtedly there were factors which we night call karmic or occult or astrological, which brought about a sudden up-turn on a certain day, pushing me forward, but this has been at a rapid rate, at time at such a rapid rate that complete self-control has been difficult.

The difference between the scientist and metaphysician is obvious. The first is concerned with facts, the second with opinions. We have to have facts but facts alone will not accomplish everything, for there must be a cementing and harmonization and congealing in order to build a structure.

It is a long way from the Socratic and I repeat Socratic situation in which I was placed in San Francisco. The most ridiculous of the factors was the attack on me at the same time by Rom Landau and Rom Landau’s worst enemies; by Alan Watts and his worst enemies. The enemies concerned were women and I did not mention their names. Suffice to say they were all connected with the square of Neptune-Moon in my planet which set my mother against me and in turn some older woman who invited me to some large city and then turned against me. This was true of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Washington, Berkeley and other places; the “plot” was the same in every instance and after Dr. Baker and I worked this out this “old woman” complex disappeared. A few of the persons you know or know about.

So far as the men are concerned it has been, in my opinion 90% insecurity on their part. The insecure man attacks, the secure man does not. He listens and if you are wrong he gives you plenty of rope. Excepting Northrup at Yale and Moore at Harvard all the men were foreign born and these two, while Americans, are hopelessly insecure. They both pride themselves as being the Suez Canal between the East and West and are despised all over the Orient.

You can understand that the McArthur Legend led to a Hagerty’s being mobbed. We insist that McArthur is popular in Japan and there has been nothing worse than in sending the nephew as Ambassador. But you do not understand that there are equally legends about other persons being popular in the Orient and we, without investigating, tend to accept these legends. For instance, Arthur Auberry, Landau’s teacher. But I don’t want to go into it any more. So long as we keep our Moores, our Northrups, Germans, Frenchmen, Englishmen and Hungarians as the “authorities” on Asian subjects, we will not get the respect of the world. I am in favor of Germans, Frenchmen, Englishmen and Hungarians being authorities on European culture and even science.

Fortunately today I have tremendous forces and even personalities with me. The Socratic story is over.

I hope your book gets out and sells. This, of course, is cut of my field.

Sam

 

 


Cairo, UAR

December 11, 1960

 

My dear Gavin:

The fact that I have not heard from you indicates that your affairs are none too good. There is in man the faculty of insight and foresight; we all have it and we all ignore it, excepting a few. In Asia as a whole this is not so. Insight and foresight are regarded with respect.

Today the rate of change in my position and effectiveness is about all I can take. The ridiculousness of Koestler’s latest book comes out. Carl Jung whom you and Frederick Spiegelberg adore, is sponsoring Koestler. Koestler says that certain persons are humbugs or worse whom Fred has been parading as great saints or prophets. Both of them cannot be right in their attitude toward certain Asians and if Jung is right then Fred is wrong end as Fred thinks Jung is wonderful, where is the sanity?

Actually it is about time to look at Asian peoples directly, even look at them cock-eyed and stop listening to fairy-tales of various Germans, Hungarians, Englishmen and Russians. We would not respect a Persian authority on Hungary or a Burmese authority on German culture. Where do we get these crazy ideas that because somebody has been to Leiden or Oxford or Heidelberg or Berlin he knows more about Yoga or Zen or Sufism? Gavin, as a whole we are crazy. We are mad and until we become sane we cannot win any cold war.

The dervishes here are unanimously anti-communist. But we either deny their existence or say they are fanatics or parasites. I could introduce a few dervishes into polite society and if anybody could keep up with them in biology or physics I would give him a free dinner, anywhere, any price. There are millions and millions and millions of dervishes, all over, from Prime Ministers to paupers.

I went to the reception of Ambassador Hussein from India (he used to be in S.F. Uncle Louis knows him, Fred knows him). I was introduced as an American dervish and was soon surrounded by all kinds of people. The other day when I went to the Indonesian Embassy the Arab attendants said I could not meet anybody, but as soon as one door opened and an Indonesian stepped out, I was given a most friendly welcome. And don’t think I am going to take this lightly or permit anybody else to take it lightly. I say to hell with all European misinformers about Asia and to hell with men like Northrup of Yale whose Ph.D. in Physics permits him to be an authority on Asia and he is the best friend of communist propaganda we have with his array of ignorant insults and refusal to face even simple facts.

The fact is that I am in here and in thick. By the end of this month I shall probably have addressed more people than Billy Graham. I am introduced as “The American.” I don’t speak Arabic and your friend Burdick would not last two minutes with me in objective debate. And, thank God, I have convinced some Americans—the whole Embassy here from bottom to top to bottom. They have seen me at work. I am in the news. And praise be to Allah, no more of those idiotic, egocentric, a priori rejections. Everybody has a right to rejects but only phonies reject a priori.

That is why people don’t understand your attitude toward the Pope. I certainly would not expect the Pope or the corner parish priest to accept what I have to offer, but I can bet that before they reject they would listen and that is much more than your “tolerant friends” do. I am Whitman’s “answerer” and I don’t give a whoop whether you accept it or not. I shall probably die being known as such. I don’t mind opposition, criticism, even animosity, but I do mind this a priori smug negativity of your friends whom I shall not name here. And especially the inhuman humanists who don’t understand human nature at all.

Every single project that I have proposed has been accepted, and some are in operation. The Ministry of Agriculture has thanked me. The American Consul-General has admitted that I have proved every one of my points. I even went so far as to resurrect my plan for Palestine which I placed twice before UN officials and they both said it was the most sensible thing they ever heard of. I have been compelled to be timid because of opposition, frustration, inhibition and most a priori “no.”

The dervishes have long since accepted me as one of themselves and there is probably more coming.

The reactions on my poetry are terrific. My chief consultant proved to be an expert in the world’s greatest literature and he gave the highest commendation of all. It all but stunned me but I know the source of my inspiration and my faculties. Someday I may get an editor to answer me.

Anyhow today I did get a reply from one of the country’s top commentator—in fact he may be the very No. 1 commentator for what he has been doing this year. Whether he is or not, I can now write knowing that my reports will not be pigeonholed. The rise of Cubas is not so shocking but disgusting. One can see that we really don’t know how to practice the golden rule or the declaration of independence.

Kennedy’s victory has been received with cheers all over Asia; and I must presume Latin-America. The world is not made up of Protestants but the worst government outside of Russia is.

And Russia is not leading us in very much. I have access to records, and I am tired being snubbed by metaphysical poseurs who can’t tell one science from another. Yet despite my strong language here I do not bear ill-will. I would never say “no” to these people who say “no” a priori to me. If I were chairman, I would give them the floor; if I were teacher I would let them report in class or by paper and not shut the door beforehand.

Anyhow the foundations are always laid for a good welcome in San Francisco, from two opposite sources. One is from newcomers who don’t know anything about this a priori top-foolery or European experts on Asia. The other is from old time San Franciscans; I must not lose my head that is all. I am even more serious in my plans for Pakistan, which are gradually receiving attention. I face the world, not my private ideas and call them “the world.”

Indeed there are no persons so naive as the sophisticates. They are the easiest to fool-sex, food and drink excepted. You see lots of them here, especially among the French. They really never communicate with the Arabs and they are easily preyed upon.

I get letters occasionally from Jim Pike. He understands now what I fought against at the Academy and elsewhere. Academy freedom means the right, especially in graduate schools, for individual research. I suppose someday I shall land in the courts, or at least before the Income Tax Bureau of all this nonsense of tax-exemptions for movements that are nothing like what they claim to be. We can’t win the good-will or the world until we love them and we shall never love them until we look at them face-to-face, mind-to-mind and heart-to-heart. This is the only Whitmannian position. I hope you will appreciate it someday. And I still mingle with the hoi polloi, and how.”

Sam

 

 


December 24, 1960

 

My dear Gavin:

I have your letter telling of the departure of Blanche Baker. I note your personal remarks but they seem to be reflected in the chart: There was a progressed Saturn conjunct Natal Sun and this shows the completion of a cycle. This was whacked by an unfavorable Moon, the Moon being unfavorable because of attitude. I think her great mistake was in not accepting Bill’s virtues.

My own idea is that when people are married or in any partnership and they have unfortunate or unfavorable aspects, they should resign for the while to the other or others. When this is not done something drastic happens and I know of several other cases, more women than men, who left this world under just the same sort of circumstances.

The transiting Mars was just past the Port of Fortune too and this would accentuate matters of health or life. The Sun (transit) was trine to Natal Mars and this would have brought great strength for an impending cycle. I feel, however, these things are more relative in a person in partnership than one living singly.

I am sorry I am unable to give more thought to it. It seems as if I am going into another cycle. All my dismay circumstances are gone. All those pseudo-Orientalists will have to become honest from now on, the conditions are so unpredictable and most of the people who criticized me were so far out of line, that some of them at least will have to discipline themselves or be disciplined when I return. I am not fooling.

When I presented my outline of “Oriental Philosophy and Modern Science” to the National Research Centre” it was taken up at once. I was passed to the top Botanist whom I had already met and to the top Physicist. Now I am meeting the top scientists in profusion. The remains of what Bryn left have been taken up and I have made all sorts of contacts. He ought to be in that Research Centre but God knows where he is. I have spoken to so many people on Salt-Water conversion. Saudi Arabia is also interested now and I gave excellent contact there. But I am a man and not an institution,

I have seen every one of my projects brought to light in every field of mutual understanding—horticultural exchange, seed exchange, progress of U.A.R. along several lines and better cultural understanding. Then I have met piles of Sufis and it looks as if I hall meet many more, despite Landau, Spiegelberg, Chaudhuri, Uncle Louis, the Near East Department of U.C. and sundry colleges in Southern California. They might outnumber me but I have the Embassy, Intelligence, and of course about everyone in the U.A.R. for me here.

I became more confident and trotted out my original plan for Palestine. The UN officials liked it. Now I am timidly talking it over with both Arabs and Americans and so far not one difficulty. So I took another step forward. A. trotted out four different scientific ideas which Lloyd would never permit me to discuss, and which Don Hayakawa waste-basketed. What a difference between meeting scientists and metaphysicians. Totally, absolute. You discuss the subject, not the personalities involved. There has been a whole parade of acceptance of ideas in every field. My Socrates days are over, long past. I am very popular here without seeking popularity; I am news here without trying to be the news. I am welcome everywhere—dervishes, scientists and socially, it is all I can take, but my poetry is coming up. That has been praised in highest terms and by big people.

I don’t want to be over-confident, I can’t handle all before me, but this trip was certain been a psychological prophylactic. Anyhow the San Rafael paper wants my story and so has Chet Huntley and I think others will follow. I have little time for rest but won’t leave here until the middle of February.

I hope 1961 will be better for you. I would advise that sometimes you put your thoughts down and follow them. Failure always follows when we say one thing and do something else. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


December 31, 1960

 

My dear Gavin:

I am closing the book of the year. It has been a successful year. It has been a year in which not only have my detractors proven to be wrong and perhaps wrong on every county, but the events also demonstrate and demonstrate clearly that the law of karma is inexorable without being ultimate and final; that is there is at least one way beyond karma, but that is not self-determined or self-determining. I am putting your address in my book. It is a return by you to conditions which you verbally avoided but did not karmically avoid.

The death of Blanche has not made me wish to return to San Francisco. I shall probably return. It will be a different return or no return—that is, if it be not a different return, it will be no return at all. Life teaches me, it does not teach everybody. I see the same mistakes made. I have never asked to avoid mistakes but I have said that if I repeat the same mistakes I ought to be punished. Dr. Baker and I worked out my two basically detrimental karmic patterns. One was a pattern which was “inherited”—the pattern of the dominating woman which was in my Neptune Square Moon. After that I saw it was imperative not to have an older women dominant me. Of course there were not many older women. My mother is in a sad state. I was going to write to Gladys Phelps whose birthday it is and decided against. Her mother did the same thing, returning nothing but evil for good.

But the big villain in my life was never mentioned; the woman who tried to destroy me did everything humanly possible and accused me on top of that. Someday you will come upon her name. If you even allude to this fact to some people they will mention her. She had a position of influence and she smashed my peace élan, caused me to lose my job and home and accused me of all kinds of villainy. Then a strange thing happened—my mother who wanted to get rid of me also refused to join her. They worked independently and at the climactic moment fought each other just long enough to enable me to escape. I got out of the clutches of that woman but not from my mother. But today the very associates of that other woman are not respecting and even cooperating with me and it is possible—I am no Addison Brown—that any peace plans I have, if trotted out, may find their way into the U.N. As time goes on more and more people associated with that body are known to me and by me, tough this itself is not determinant.

Even from my own point of view I am out of my depth. I have passed from meeting the chief men in horticulture to the chief in physics and other sciences and recently the top Entomologist and I have been requested now to meet the top Sociologists and other social scientists. There is nothing keeping me back but me.

I look back on a year in which several different detractors, playing smaller poles than the above, have come to no good end. Detractors do not work with each other, they detract. People who hold small views of others hold small views. Posers get by for a while, and so do popular mad men. California is full of them, people who could not stand up ten minutes in a debate. Alan Watts stood up five minutes; Haridas Chaudhuri and Fred Spiegelberg did not stand up at all although the former at least cried. Rom Landau gets by and that is all. He has nice reviews in Great Britain but not here. And the Arab is not like the Arab of texts and we are a mad people who insist on reading books by Europeans about Asians and think we can get along by Asians thereby.

The American colony here is made up of splendid people but I believe, with a few exceptions, I have met more Arabs than the whole bunch combined. Sometimes they get 300-400 people together, if they are most fortunate. Usually it is about 50-60. While I often meet that many in a single day, and more. You don’t have to believe it. I am not out to convince people who do not wish to be convinced.

You have chosen your path or no path. Giving up morality is or is not reprehensible. But when one gives up morality and chooses maximisms instead, what is that? Instead of quoting the Bible, one quotes from everything and everybody and thinks there is a standing. At least I have standards and now as the year is over they have seized my position socially, psychologically and otherwise.

Today I have two conferences, one to close the year in a sense; the other at the Pakistani Embassy to open the coming year, in a sense. I am not troubled about either. It is others who are troubled now. I tried to contact Al Azhar and they refused to see me. I sent reports to the government and warned that in a short time there could be Zionist money behind Islamic missions in competition with Al Azhar. It is true. I happened three days of after I wrote the letter and Al Azhar is crying all over, but not doing anything. Islamic teachings will get out, they will probably be heterodox or phony but who is giving out the true teachings?

The Sufis are different. They recognize both God in the supreme and facts as they are. They are not speculative and speculating metaphysicians. They are not ego-maniacs. Place 20 Sufis in a room and ask them to present their innermost philosophies and they will be in substantial or absolute agreement, inner experience does not contradict inner experience—this is something neither European intellectuals nor American metaphysical people can understand. You have tried a different path, and it might have brought you to the same truth. Sufis claim no monopolies on truths or paths, but they are superior because they do recognize the others and the others do not recognize them. Carl Jung is not neutral, he has chosen Koestler and that about finished him. There is no Nehru, there is no Prasad, there is no Radhakrishnan and there was no Ramakrishna. Boloney marches on and I don’t know whether Fred Spiegelberg is on his own side or Jung’s or the Harvard theologians who are not recognized at Harvard.

When we look at Asians, when we look at Africans, there may be world peace. I just read in Harpers an article on Cuba in which the writer shows that the United States as a whole never saw Cuba. I can see that. We certainly don’t see other nations, either. It is not a question of right or wrong, we are looking inside our minds and thinking we are thinking about an outside world.

I am no longer bothered. I challenged you at the time of utter rejection. I am not challenging because there is almost universal acceptance. There are ways of looking at people’s minds; there are ways of communing with and communicating with people’s hearts. The Sufis are human beings more than they are lecture-material. There are more disciples in Sufism than there are inhabitants of Great Britain—wanna bet? They may or may not do something at this time of real or fancied crisis. I expect to meet some of the great teachers here soon, I have met some already. I have met some elsewhere. Generally I know what I am doing; mistakes yes, shortcomings yes, but nonsense, no.

You are back on Sixth St. It is a symbol. You might have been in Paris; I knew you would not get to Kyoto, Kyoto is not written in your akashic records. You do not see these things. Both Myra and you were for Nixon. I was neutral and the vote rather bore out my neutrality. Bowles and Stevenson are near where I wanted them, the rest I do not care for or about.

I do not know how much the local disturbances disturb the U.S. At the moment the U.S. seems to be in a recession and China and Russia in partial famine, at least. There is a campaign on to get people living in Israel to return or go to East Germany which has a dearth of skilled labor, while Pope Juive is telling the world that all Jews must return or help or they don’t believe in God or god. (I am not sure which and I don’t know which he identifies his insignificant self with.)

At least here there is progress; it is not a question of progress but whether the progress is controlled or uncontrolled. It looks both but it is real. When I return I shall be challenged all over no doubt, or may be ignored. If the former I am ready; if the latter I shall settle in Ohio State and that is that; I am not bothered.

I am writing to the University of California on a higher level too. I don’t want justice or revenge but if people want amends I shall accept. And what do I call amends? Not apologies, not reconciliations, not compromises, but merely the opportunity to present my own views, that is all, and then if people want to cut me to pieces, they are at liberty to do so. But the karma works, for any and all, there is no difference—what we sow determines what we reap. Brand names are not exceptions, but less than exceptions. I hope you can learn something of this for 1961.

God bless you.

Postcard:

Sept. 1, 1962

 

 


Postcard

Sep. 1 1962

 

Dear Gavin:

I hope this finds you. I have tried all kinds of ways and was given this number but when I called there were two drunks and they would give me no information but barred the way and I had the choice of calling the police or getting, so I went.

I am probably moving shortly with Norman’s help to 1088 Fulton. Visited Jim Pike and now he is up here. Have seen Yvonne; Fred & Corinne in Hollywood; Emily in Mill Valley but am constantly flitting. First book: “How California Can Help Asia.” Everybody favorable and this includes a lot of the lot. Never better in my life. Hugo supposed to have recovered. Will visit SLO later. Also have some family problems which is natural. Well I have been to “Shangrila,” which is at the base of the Himalayas, etc. You can write to either Fulton or Clementina.

Sam

 

 


November 15, 1962

 

Dear Gavin:

Nathaniel Hawthorne has delineated the American character in his “The Great Stone Face.” The hero is always somebody else, hip, hip hurrah. We seldom recognize the genius in our midst. Oakland is importing a man from afar to direct its educational policy and Sacramento the same, etc.

You have lectured on “The Song of the Answerer.” What song? What answerer? In 1946 there was a conference of the Methodist Church and an impasse over biblical interpretation. I sneaked in through the back door and that ended the controversy. Not a murmur, then I sneaked out.

Recently a conference of Zen Buddhists and complete acceptance except from a bunch of schmuck PhDs who had to keep away—aren’t they such wonderful men? No doubt they are wonderful because they can charm audiences into believing they are learning something about Zen Buddhism.

The top Sufis accept my interpretations of Sufism, the top Vedantists of Vedantists and the really real Yogis who don’t sit like cranes, snakes, fig trees or weeping willows accept my interpretation of Yoga. There is a secret highly esoteric group of Jews here and their mentor is a close friend of mine and I feed him and he feeds them and they feed the rabbis and the rabbis feed the congregation and we shall have more lectures on “The Song of the Answerer,” ho hum and a PhD from Europe knows so much more about Asia than a PhD from America and this is called sanity.

Now I have been to Sacramento. One day was spent at Davis, top-level scientists and the Soils men greeted me as a Soils man and the Pomologists as an apple-polisher and the Plant Nutrition men as one of them and here we go round the mulberry bush. Then yesterday I called at the Capitol and was not there five minutes when the telephones began ringing and I began skidding and skimming—a repetition of my 1956 experiences in Indian Central Government offices, but now nearer to home thank God. And the Irrigation Engineers thought I was one of them and the Agricultural Advisers one of them and I had top-level talks on salt Water Conversion and Fruit Marketing and a lot of things outside my immediate profession until I excused myself—to be a biologist, engineer, chemist, botanist and what not in a short time is psychically wearing, and now you may have another lecture on “The Song of the Answerer” but don’t forget “The Great Stone Face.”

The rest of the time was spent with Vera Van Voris who made incursions and excursions into esoteric astrology. She says she knows you and I say I know her.

In the meanwhile I began to get all the contacts that Bryn would like to have (Bryn has lived in Vera’s home when she had a boarding house) and I think I am anticipating Senator Engel. Anyhow I dropped the name of Tom Kuchel ever so lightly and if the fun hadn’t begun then it would have.

As soon as a man really starts to do something—when the gods arrive, the half gods go. I am forced to pull punches. I can see clearly and someday we Californians are coming out of our shells and show what we have. I am not going to start any real school for real Asian studies to be bush-whacked by pretenders when I get nothing but open-armed welcomes from real men in real places and then some.

I have taken defeat after defeat in trying to bring in what I know rather than whom I know. If some of the people who being very modest and humble (?) had said “Yes” instead of “No,” no doubt I would have reached superficial goals sooner but they would have accomplished their aims in life. I am slowly playing my whom I know as my what I know is accepted. My “The authorities on Asia are European professors and American newspaper men and never, never may they be American professors and European newspaper men.” Now the American professors want to be heard and a lot of them have been to Asia and lived in Asia and worked with Asians on a far greater scale than any European professors whomsoever, whatsoever, and wheresover. So I may be leading a caravan.

Prior to that I visited the Berkeley campus. I know what my next visit will be. Why did Dr. Radhakrishnan invite me to his home when I entered India when he was too busy for other appointments? Ho hum and back to work.

The visit to Vera Van Voris gives me the spiritual liberty and opportunity to open my mouth. “Buddha never said a word” and Kerouac is an authority on “Dharma.” Well this guy is going to teach now and when people have less suffering, less misery, more happiness and more insight I shall say “kamerad.”

I had one series of arguments: to deflate analysis at all levels. I had one series of successes: using the Integrative Method. I have already written Dr. Reiser. But this thing works and the PhDs look up to me as one of them or even over them. How do you like that?

I once met a PhD; he was then one of the biggest intellects in this region. There was no philosophical conference without him. He spoke splendid English and splendid other languages too. He was the brain.

At the same time he worked at most humble tasks: cook, valet, butler, railroad yard laborer. There was no connection.

In 1926 he gave up all this both the humble work and the PhD consultations. When he died it was discovered he was the Patriarch of the Age. His name was Nyogen Senzaki. Now let us hear more about “The Song of the Answerer” and God bless you.

Sam

 

 


December 6, 1962

 

My dear Gavin:

Bessie Fuller Turner has invited me to come speak at her house. I don’t know whether she plans an open evening or a tête-a-tête, but if an open meeting, you will be invited. You will certainly be free to mingle and if you can get any horoscopes there, that will be up to you.

I have also been invited to Fritzi’s. It will be quite another talk although in both incidents I shall present that comic consciousness does not depend upon peyote or mushrooms or a new drug or an old drug or any college degrees whatsoever.

Yesterday I had to use a combination of blackmail and browbeating to get an article accepted but fortunately all the girls in the departments visited are for me. At the very simplest level, being Cal. graduates, they do not look too kindly upon honors being given to “foreigners,” i.e. graduates of other states as well as other Nations. This is always true of articles on Asia; the further the writer has come, the more likely his views are to be received.

But I found among both the American students of Asiatic and Asians on the campus a beautiful wide open heart acceptance of actualities.

You have probably forgotten the dinners to Dr. Radhakrishnan and Chester Bowles. That is your right.

I had to use the “back door” to get the acceptance I wanted in Berkeley but it is coming. The intellectuals are divided between the “What do you know” and “who are you” people and it seems in the end the whatknows are going to lick the whoknows to death. Wait and see.

With three gigantic projects going on I have neither time nor energy for anybody else no matter what the need or occasion. After all, I have been now to Ph.D. gatherings in Egypt, India—and America all based on “what do you know?” and I think more are coming.

Time out. Just spoke to Thea. I am not mad at anybody, just tired. Have reached the end of mental, but neither psychic nor physical endurance. Have now to write some very heavy letter, and no nonsense.

Sam

 

 


December 8, 1962

 

My dear Gavin:

I am writing this to have it on record. I wrote yesterday and tore the letter up. What you are liable to witness now is the “Fall of the House of Ussher.”

Yesterday afternoon when I walked into “Asia Foundation” they did not exactly salaam me, but I was treated like I have been in the Orient and was recently in Sacramento. “Asia Foundation” is the only one which “only in America” confines its employment only to Californians and Asians. This inconceivable, unthinkable, irrational policy operates, as yet, in very few places indeed. Not even on the campus of the University.

The idea that the local person might just know something about Asia—well I was amazed to find that all my letters and reports were circulated throughout the staff, and had become not exactly a “must” reading but something close. The day when “Only America reporters and European professors are ‘experts’ on Asia and never, never American professors and European reporters.” You may think this is a joke. It is one of the most horrible travesties in existence.

All the staffs in the University are for me. Here is one of the richest institutions in the world. In Physics, Chemistry and Agriculture, they take No. 1 place in the whole world and they permit their graduates to carry on unlimited research. But in Social Science and Asiatics! The grass is still greener on the other side and some of the grads who put in yeas and money don’t exactly like it that the doors are always open to those in Physics, Chemistry, Agriculture and Medicine and all of a sudden the full stop here. Some of them want those top jobs. They get them at Asia Foundation. And they are going to get them on the campus, Inshallah, after what I have just gone through.

I had to use a combination of blackmail and suasion. The scientists at Davis all want my stuff—the non-scientists, ho-hum and tooty-fruitee. I won’t tell you what the blackmail is because it can result in a mighty big-stink.

The Indian Consulate is all for me, as they have always been but never more than now. I am giving it to everybody and you had better take it: I walked into India this year and was greeted by the Chief of Protocol and President (when they weren’t giving interviews) and by the chief Indian Spiritual Leader and the chief Sufi. I was soon greeted by the chief Economists and the chief scientists and the chief Holy Men. Now go back to your “humble” expects and tell them. Who do you think is being fooled?

Well there was an anti-climax. There is one other “Sam Lewis” here, I mean a fellow San Franciscan who has the keys to Asia and. Period. End of subject. He asked me if I knew anybody who could teach Islamic and Comparative Religion. Now, Mr. Answerer of Walt Whitman, I have taught and I mean taught in the councils of five of the worlds’ religions and I did not get this knowledge from Cambridge, Leiden, Oxford and Heidelberg, or Upsala or Pavia either. You might even see this not humble person in the public teaching what he knows and which people all over Asia know he knows and now Asia Foundation people know he knows.

Krishnabai who is the most humble person I have ever met (she was with Swami Ramdas) says: “Pride is to be avoided but the proudest of all are those who pretend to be humble. Humility is usually the worst form of pride.” This is going to hurt some “humble” people who with all their humility never accept anything Sam Lewis says and never reject anything Krishnabai says. Ouch!

In scientific research honesty, fists, data, events are needed and the operator is no more important than his equipment. But in other research, ego, meeny, miney mo. That day is over. I heard or saw Channel 9 last night. Now Wittgenstein is the expert on Oriental philosophy. What’s the difference between summoning a mathematician who has never been to Asia or having a man who speaks Thai lecture on Persia just because he “has been to Asia.”

When one reaches the stage of laughter and ridicule the next steps are assured. Not one “expert” showed up at the Zen conference. Not one “expert” has been called in by the Indian Consulate. Not one “expert” is on standing record with the American Friends of the Middle East, and on the staff of the latter was a world famous (elsewhere) Californian who never had a chance here—I mean Harold Lamb. Nor did Nicol Smith, who is still alive and whose statements on Tibet ran afoul of the experts, but whose predictions!

I don’t care anymore if I am rejected, because I am having fun. But the chief rejecter of the University of California was discovered and demoted in a grand drama. He had been rejecting other Californians and we are tired of it. He was not a Californian and if I mention his name it will come pretty close to an early portion of your own life.

Sometime I wish you could go around with me. Dr. Baker did and did she get a surprise!

SAM

 

 


December 25, 1962

 

Dear Gavin:

Enclosed is copy of letter to Fritzi. I am indifferent to public lectures but neither am I permitted to refuse an offer. The return to my orbit of several friends from the past impels me to move out of a silence although I know right well that the skepticism of acquaintances is usually egotism.

Thea pierced a piece of my armor with a gift which would hardly be understood in this part of the world, and would be openly accepted in Asia. Very gradually the Consulate, the Asia Foundation and others are perceiving—from experiences with which I have no connection—the difference between honest, objective reports and the symbolism of persons as conveyors.

Actually these pseudo-conveyors are found all over—“only in America.” The disintegration of Alan Watts is a direct karmic function. People lead who have never known how to follow, and the Sufi teaching, “lender is he who is leader of himself, ruler is he who is ruler of himself” holds regardless. Persons have the right to faults, short-comings, even evil-committing, but not the right to remain as symbols of truth during such short-coming behaviorisms.

When I find an Englishmen, a European, or an American who is accepted by Asians as interpreters of their teachings, I also accept him. But every Englishman, European and American has a perfect right to enunciate his own beliefs or philosophy if he is straightforward enough to announce it as his own. Nobody objects to a Nietzsche who produced his own, and his short-comings are unimportant. There can be no battle for “truth” for there is nothing universally accepted or acceptable as “truth,” but there can be a battle for honesty, for there is a standard there, “to thine own self be true.”

Leon Levy told me he believed that if Blanche had lived ten years more, she would have found the “truth.” Blanche is the only person here who ever to follow me and gave up in three days. Now after a long time some few people are trying to find out something, absolutely obvious, but which they always try to connect with remote persons, and so fail.

Paul Brunton pointed out three ways to cosmic consciousness: breath, heart and “the eye.” I have never heard of any other ways and I have never heard of anybody not using one of them who got “it.” This I shall bring forth. When Swami Ramdas was here nobody, meaning nobody could touch him. That was it.

Happy New Year,

SAM

 

 


cc: Gavin Arthur

 

December 25, 1962

 

My dear Fritzi:

On this Holy Day I am sending you greetings with a sort of apology. A number of weeks ago I put in an order for copies of a picture to be placed on Christmas Greeting cards and the order was pigeon-holed. This picture is rather necessary as a prelude to any lectures I may give, publicly or otherwise. I am leaving in a few days and must be back on January 7th, remaining here indefinitely. I am writing some data so you can determine whether there are to be public or private sessions.

Since my return I have had a number of sessions with a life-long friend, Ted Reich. We are two of a group of “Young Theosophists” of many years ago. I did not have to tell Ted much about my adventures. By a combination of simple logic and intuition he knew pretty well, and has even “psyched” or clairvoyanced some of the more important facets of the trip.

Then I met Leon Levy, another life-long friend, at a party. He wants to know when I shall lecture and said he would come and challenge, which will be very foolish. When I was about to enter India, I told the Customs Officials that I knew all the answers.” All the answers? “Yes, all the answers?”  They challenged me and this Yogi gave them an answer so fast that they let me in immediately without further ado.

Then I saw the President, the Chief of Protocol, the Chief Vedantist, the Chief Sufi and went on to Poona to see the top scientists and to Bombay to see the top economists.  This sort of thing will no doubt be challenged by a lot of people who used to know me but it is a laughing matter around Asia Foundation, a somewhat important organization which hires only Americans and Orientals and has no “experts”!  They are laughing with me and laughing hard too.

“Experts” don’t tell us anything and Justice William Douglas who was there has just told the American public that they know practically nothing, which is true.  Anyhow I can clear up a number of mysteries:

What happened to Paul Brunton?

Who is the successor of Rama Maharshi?

Who was Upasni Maharaj, the teaching of Meher Baba, and where does or did he stand?

Where did Gurdjieff go for instruction and what did he really learn?

These, of course, are side issues.

My general thematic material is “Beyond Paul Brunton,” for like him I visited Egypt and India, now split into two countries.  Like him I contacted people at many levels of “eccentricity.” Unlike him I contacted the top political and the bottom social figures; mingling with both that anybody who is not a disciple of Walt Whitman might readily understand. Jesus Christ said: “I am the first and the last” and unlike a lot of other people I have been permitted to socialize with both the “first” and the “last” and in no case was a college degree of any consequence whatsoever.

I think I have purposely hurt some of our local “experts.” When I knew the late Zen Monk, Nyogen Senzaki, he was a great scholar, a Ph.D., a linguist, the top authority on Goethe and that general period of German literature and poetry, and could read most of the “Sacred Books of the East” in the original and did his own translation—which almost always differed from Suzuki.

When he opened the Zendo in San Francisco in 1926 he threw everything overboard; began speaking in pigeon English, disclaimed any intellectual knowledge and opened his teaching to anybody, high or low, without regard to any college degrees.  Actually in Japan it has been found that college degrees worked against one about 15-1, in spiritual advancement.

This is said because so far as I know (one could be mistaken) the majority of your audience are not university graduates and no doubt believe or would welcome that “esotericism” has nothing to do with these outside things— and it has not.

At the time my picture referred to was taken, I was in the midst of a vast assemble of Dervishes (and promoted over all of them, too), and they contained top retired army men and university professors, peasants and farmers, business men and a very large sprinkling of professional people, civil servants and jurists—roughly, perhaps not too different from your audiences.

Unfortunately we have a split between the “spiritualists” who are often of low scholasticism and the “experts” who have college degrees and know how to mislead and then some; the truth would integrate these but not necessarily make either type or any type leaders.  The one teaching of Jesus Christ that I temporarily despair of enforcing is “a little child shall lead them.”  This will be interpreted symbolically and esoterically.

I may or may not contact you before going South and wish you a

Happy New Year,

A.  M.

Sufi Ahmed Murad

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


December 31, 1962

 

Dear Gavin,

I left San Francisco feeling rather heavy because of no news, or rather only grapevine news of Bryn; and my last visit to Mill Valley was exceedingly disappointing so far as the Wingates are concerned. I had hoped to take these and other matters up with the Reinholds and made every effort to do this. But Corinne started out by inviting some friends (of mine too), and then acting as if I were not present, and paid no attention to Fred at all. Both of them proceeded to get drunk and I nearly lost not only a night but much more. This has made it necessary to write them separate letters and if I can’t explain all in the mail I must do so when I return.

Hugo was not at Pismo, but has moved to Shell Beach which is nearer to S.L.O. We could not retrace our steps. At S.B. I found Edward Connaughton now withdrawn and preparing for his last days. He has sent me a Tibetan painting to be marketed in S.F. but as I am away I shall have to write to the post office to see it is properly received.

Jim looked better than I have ever seen him and I am hoping to arrive in S.B. by Friday night. Tuesday or Wednesday I shall go to my Uncle Harry (you met him once) in San Clemente unless I hear to the contrary. My aunt has been very Ill but my foster-sister gave me an encouraging report.

Then Gina was ill too. But at the last moment, today, things began to change as if there was a favorable aspect these last hours of the year. I found the friend of Thea after a search and that was good. Then I visited Judith Tyberg, stayed about an hour with a fine meditation. There I met the grandson of Hazrat Inayat Khan, my first spiritual teacher. He is a charming boy and is making friends rapidly. Judith has been given charge over his education. His mother came in but that did not interpret our conversation.

Judith, of course, was originally responsible for the AAAS and Uncle Louie gave her the coup de grace, etc. This, to me, was the biggest mistake and I have felt badly ever since by the way we ignore our own people who know the Orient for those surrounded by glamour. Judith won first place in intercollegiate examinations in this country and was one of the first four students sent abroad therefor. But in her absence there was a complete change of policy all over the country, utterly inexplicable to me which upgrades Europeans and downgrades Americans in Asian studies. This is true all over the country with very few exceptions. The Asia Foundation is now reversing this policy.

For reasons that are hard to describe Corinne downgrades my occult reports and for quite other reasons Gina has upgraded them. The result is first that I am going to a party shortly as a sort of stand-in for Gina—spiritualists, psychics and occultists, which I should prefer to another party by friends of the Reinholds which I am told would be wild. Actually I don’t like the heavy stuff and I do like wine excepting when there are fruit punches. I can generally drink wine up to kidney capacity, and with intellectual discussions can tolerate far more.

Just before I left S.F. I received a fine letter from Hugh Lynn Cayce. We have come to absolute agreement. I have been indirectly concerned because the University of Islamabad which I temporarily represent wishes to have psychic and occult exchanges with the U.S. Besides this I have found that there is not a very complete interchange. Mrs. Garrett has faculties but she keeps them to a closed circle end previously refused absolutely to have anything to do with the Orient. I made it clear to Judith that the original land of the Vedas, which was the very country I have been staying in in Pakistan is surcharged with psychic electricity and brings out psychometric faculties in man because of this, etc. Judith understood and my job is to get others to understand.

Now this evening Gina has kept the telephone humming and given me leads, which will require writing after I return and a visit to you. The nature of the visit will depend in part on what happens tonight, and perhaps other aftermaths. I shall try again to reach the Reinholds. I don’t know if I can shake Fred out of it but with John Wingate’s condition I feel both uncomfortable and sad. There are forms of inner love I find almost incommunicable when they ought to be clear. But Emily sidesteps on Fred and Corinne does when she gets “under the weather.”

Gina says she has your book but on account of illness has not paid much attention to it. My visits to the Vedanta Ashram very good. This is a much better institution than that of S.F. The basic difference between Vedanta and Sufism in practice (not in theory) comes in the attitude of sex. Both position the Universal Consciousness etc. but Vedanta sets this up in opposition to the limited consciousness with the evils of money and love while Sufism sets it up against egotism or egocentricity rather than against any particulars.

I shall be interested in Fritzi’s reactions. She may make any arrangements she pleases, any terms, any time and I’ll just do the rest. On Tuesday, January 8, I give my first talk on the inter-relations of the Arts at the Rudolph Schaeffer School. Have not answered Bessie Turner but will take that up on return. There are also some private persons—old S.F. friends, cooperating with me in other matters. I think the deck is entirely clear of frustrations. I do not regard Alan Watts as an obstacle but as an example of pity (a cover for something else). I am only hoping he can submit to some kind of real self-discipline before he buckles under. Now the new legislature is tackling the subject of drugs, peyote, etc. While I am not in favor of it the medical people are no doubt going to push it through.

More will undoubtedly happen between now and my time of leaving here but all I can do is wish you a

Happy new Year,

Sam

 

 


February 5, 1963

 

My dear Gavin:

I should like to arrange that we each get our books back—your copy of the work on telepathy and mine on the lesser Upanishads.

I have had several letters recently from persons who tell me they have not heard from you and have been wondering why. One of these came from somebody who has met Charlotte. Charlotte is now in California and has made an inquiry about you.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


Indio

June 7, 1963

 

Dear Gavin:

Old soldiers do not have a monopoly on fading away.

The whole of life is changing and the doors are all open for a nice disappearance to distant parts where one can live in grandeur and even luxury doing such things as some persons say is impossible for me especially those who won’t look under any circumstances.

Anyhow I came to Indio on one mission and it has been a grand success. Have been to Los Angeles on another which was even more successful because it was in a series of surprises and this will be completed tomorrow. Then to my uncle’s and thence to Santa Barbara but for somewhat different reasons than in the past.

Then after collecting mail and laundry up to Mendocino County. But not “Ah! Wilderness.”

The background of my life is today full of increasingly favorable stories so these are being written down either for a future biography or with suggested plots for a fiction writer and one hardly cares.

One man had the temerity to ask me if I would show him, let us say, a Yogi technique—which a lot of people are sure I don’t possess. Anyhow though it was one man against a multitude it has opened doors for both of us and this is only an unessential in a dramatic if not successful career.

I don’t know what the stars say. The climaxes seem to come and go independently of the heavens but this may be due to mis-readings.

Once Sabro Hasegawa said: “The Hindus think, the Chinese say, the Japanese do.” Well I am more or less with the Japanese although some people may never find this out. My missions to Santa Barbara this time are of a totally different order, “making history.”

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


August 15, 1963

 

My dear Gavin:

I have just received a letter from Vocha who has seen Hugo Seelig in San Luis Obispo. Hugo is again facing a climax and thinks the next moon cycle may determine whether he leaves soon or will be revivified.

He has asked us to find out if any of his old friends have copy of his dune poetry. I presume Vocha will look over Whitie’s things which she has down at the Desert. I shall look over my things while I am moving—the next week by pieces.

If don’t know if you have any copy or if you could be willing to release it to Hugo. If so, his address is Hotel Obispo on Court St., S.L.O.

I may see Ed Hunt shortly and will probably see John Wingate Sunday.

We have had orders to vacate this house—very indefinite—but I found a place even without looking. Norman remains here with some friends.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


May 29, 1964

 

Dear Gavin:

I am sorry to have missed you and now I am preparing to go away for a while.

The whole picture of life is radically changing. The complete acceptance of my efforts by leading scientists, the gradual infiltration of Americans into chairs of Oriental studies hitherto occupied by Europeans, and the responses abroad have all come at the same time, giving me at least the opportunities I have long sought.

It is an enigma that Misha has not restored your vitality. Either he lacks some techniques or some factors have been overlooked.

It is curious that both Bryn and I, who have had real Oriental training from real Oriental Masters display vigor and vitality not yet general. It is also of importance to us, if the world, that our plans in both the scientific and spiritual endeavor are not being accepted and if not here then elsewhere to the full capacity of our persons.

It will be interesting to check the calculations against the events of the future. However you have done exactly what I wished.

Faithfully,

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


Tuesday, November 30, 1964

 

Dear Gavin:

Thank you for the invitation to Lottie’s talk. We got together very quickly and next time I make the trip South will no doubt meet her colleagues at UCLA.

This is a very interesting campus to me. For some time ago when I went there to correct some serious mistakes in writing about the Orient, I was not only welcomed but sent to Mr. X, one of those mysterious but very real persons who function in two or three different manners.

Outwardly he is bland, very acceptable socially, suave and discrete. Inwardly he is very powerful both politically and spiritually and knows the real controllers of this world, and perhaps the next. Between us also is a recognition of the functions of faculties somewhat beyond telepathy and the psychisms of either Rhine or Cayce.

One could not but accept Lottie’s claims. I have two teachers in Anthropology who are strong advocates of reincarnation and one at least, of “initiation” as well. My position in the classes has changed. It began, of course, in the scientific classrooms. When the teacher would mention a tree, for instance, I would describe the tree and nobody objected. This is scientific procedure—experience counts, personality does not count.

But the Anthropology classes are toddy the same—if you have been to Asia and met Asians and had experiences with Asians that matter, and all the personality and suavity and decors do not make up for ignorance.

Once in these rooms a friend and I “conspired” to get a petition signed by all the Prime Ministers of Asia in order to get a State Department or newspaper interview here. It was not nonsense. He died of a broken heart because of the universal rejection of his warnings about Vietnam. Some of his closest associates are here and can support this.

Now he has been given ample space in the Encyclopedia of Buddhism and at least two foundations have already been established in his name and soon you will probably see statues of him and people will ask who he was. He is one of an innumerable group of real “Ugly Americans” who are not recognized, come hell, come high water and particularly come war.

Whether it is the politics, i.e. history, or the esoterics, one finds tragic sarcasms. Now my memories are demanded, not asked but demanded by two Asian nations and one here goes around with the same rejections.

I asked Lottie about other psychics and got the answers I wished—they are none of them scientific; they do not recognize each other and most of the so- called “experts” are afraid of reports from Asia. Having met so many Adepts myself one can quickly understand Lottie’s seeing “pink’ in the undeveloped here and the absence of White, Silver and Gold which she said are the highest colors. I know she has White or Silver or both because I could see them. But ordinarily I do not see auras. When people oppose me I can see their psychic bodies and when they are friendly or indifferent I cannot. But I have met too may clairvoyants and some far higher developed than anybody contacted in America that one leaves this—at least until I go to UCLA again.

Witch Sybil Leek is still to come to try to unite scientists and occultists and there is some evidence she will succeed if the metaphysicians can be kept out or at least silenced. At school they readily accept my memory of past lives. The metaphysicians and theosophists do not and it does not matter. Now I hope to have Lottie meet Sybil but Lottie usually seems to get along better with men.

Anyhow, thanks, it was a very nice evening, even with Jack’s “ghost.”

Sam

 

 


December 18, 1964

 

My dear Gavin:

I hope you will not confuse my remarks about Alan Watts. When I first met him I urged he continue to keep his office open for psychological and psychiatric work. Instead he gradually got into the Academy.

I have a perfect right to challenge his integrity when he not only refused to accept it that I had studied with Nyogen Senzaki and Sokei An Sasaki but made public issues of it so I could not reply. Furthermore his “Buddhism” was entirely subjective and personal and had nothing to do with living institutions.

As for his private live and public career outside the above it is outside the realm of my right to criticize or comment. I have not had even a slight interest in psychedelic drugs and phenomena.

He has a perfect right to offer any kind of personal philosophy with any views whatsoever and to charge whatever he desires.

Unfortunately or karmically he has opened the doors to a number of rivals who also act publicly as personal enemies and critics. I have nothing to do with them. The Intelligence Services of the United States Government have complete dossiers on him for his permitting it to be assumed that he was a communicator of Oriental philosophies—again this is his karma, not mine.

I have been sent for to act on a panel next year discussing the real philosophies and religions of the real Orient, so there is no time to turn backward.
Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


Postcard:

Aug 20, 1966

 

Dear Gavin,

The same dire aspects which sent me on this trip seem to be pretty general. My dear friend, Mrs. Barrenberg, of Hollywood, went through a series of accidents after which I asked you about the Uranus-Pluto aspect.

Just before leaving San Francisco Prynce Hopkins advised me he had gone through the same. Then yesterday when I asked to meet Linus Pauling, the same.

These two men are close friends but neither knew of the others’ affliction. And while I may go to the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions again before leaving, the main thing is a session with P.H. scheduled for Tuesday morning. I tendered him your greetings.

The Connaughtons do not look too bad considering their age. I heard a lot of “the other Jim Pike” yesterday. He is supposed to be here but is not. Our “Jim” has changed his job again. Having parties being given, tonight here and Monday night in Ojai. After seeing P.H. on to Hollywood.

Sam

 

 


April 1, 1967

My dear Gavin:

Some time ago I sent a letter, wrongly addressed, with a check (now enclosed) to make a lunary or what you will. I am particularly concerned with movements, both in travel and with housing arrangements here.

The last period has been marked with two sorts of events. Some time ago I had three decks of solitaire cards and within three days the Ace of Spades fell out of each one. “Death!” And Death followed—three of my own close friends died and many others were ill. But I found this all around me too. The illness of others has worked to my benefit. Complete reconciliation with brother and he has released me from all obligation to go away even though he may not live the year out. On the other hand he may keep on going.

This same period—and you saw it—was marked with illness of so many friends that it was very awkward.

On the other hand there have been events which are very droll for me. Every time I am criticized another Asian Master shows up. The last one from Vietnam refused to meet anybody here excepting “Asia Foundation.” Now this is one organization with whom I have been on excellent terms and which has accepted my objective experiences in the real Orient which “cawn’t” be true because they do not jibe with others’ dreams and vanities.

Most important of all has been my summoning to England. There is going to be an international meeting call, by Asians and one representative of each Occidental country. The requirements are that these Occidentals shall have studied one or more Oriental philosophies with Orientals and then been rejected by their own culture. There are a lot of us; even in San Francisco quite a few. I won’t know what this means until I reach London but off we go next month.

At the same time I have been given a library by a lady who was looking for somebody here also who had studied Oriental philosophies with Orientals. I have divided the books into about three sections (one minor one, too): (a) General culture which I am giving to Asia Foundation; (b) Theosophy and Asian teachings—which I shall keep intact; (c) Astrology which I intend to sell, money to go to Rev. Iru Price for Buddhist orphans. (People lecture on “Ha-ha-Compassion.” I have no time for such nonsense.)

Indeed I am getting ready for some big projects on world food problems and have no time to argue with selfish persons who attach values to names and not to truths. I shall visit Kew to get technical answers on important problems.

 

 


1703 Buchanan St.

S.F. 15

(Phone 346-2878)

27 Apr. 67

 

Sam,

Sorry this has taken so long. I am sending you an up to date copy of your chart with the progressions for this year on the middle circle and the transits of the slower moving planets on the inner circle. Have you got the Ephemeris for 1968? I am sending for the 1968 and I’ll get one for you also.

I don’t like that Mars retrograding back to Pluto. Notice the Moon all of 1967 in the money house.

Get well as soon as you can. I will come to see you as soon as the pressure lets up (yesterday I had to read 2 horoscopes and go to Berkeley to talk to a mysticism class on Astrology).

The transits around the inner circle are from May l through Dec.31, 1967.

As ever,

Gavin

 

 


Postcard:

1968, date unknown

 

Dear Gavin,

Will be leaving Seattle in the morning. Had a long visit with Bryn Liddy. He lives way up the Sound. Most of my business concerned Asian Affairs and persons. Saw Robert Sarfras who studied with Alan. He has been to Indonesia and teaches Ethno musicology. Called at the Tibetan Center and we discussed Roerich and his art. Expect to come home again in June.

Tomorrow with my uncle Harry Rosenthal who now lives in Vancouver BC, returning Monday evening.

Regards,

Sam

 

Postcard:

Mar 1968

 

Dear Gavin,

Hope you had a nice party. Left on 22nd after equinox on one errand and engaged in something quite different. Due to Bryn. Bryn is like our “experts,”  accepts the real adventures of real people in real Asia. He is in confidence of one of the President’s top advisers. We simply have to have human Asian (nor editorial) friendships. Missed my Vietnamese friend but have a Vietnamese mission when I return.

Expect to see Robert Sarfras the musician today. he has broken the barrier with music. He once studied with Alan etc. at the AAAS.

Allen Ginsberg has been in Apple Valley campaigning against that sort of Carthyism [?] movement weak. Here too cold. Return about Tuesday.

Sam

 


Feb. 20, 1969

 

My Dear Gavin:

While working hard in the most inspired fashion, the inspiration extended to your field, and I am writing to you, in a certain sense as a chela of Edward Carpenter.

I believe that the uncovering of the distant planets also brought with them the awakening of the corresponding psychic and scientific faculties in man. Thus Uranus and the piano, and which it the growing sensitivity to seven octaves and more, in our awakened consciousness. We do not realize that many primitive peoples do not comprehend automatically all these notes.

The discovery of Neptune was accompanied or followed in the musical field by the invention of a number of new instruments and vast improvements in old ones. Thus Berlioz, Wagner, etc.

I am not an authority on the Aquarian Age. I have every belief that the psychic and super-constituent rays of Uranus and Neptune are now being felt in the lives of men. In other words Uranus and Neptune are growing up. People may call this the “Aquarian Age” or they may not. Therefore I am not contradicting any of your contentions. I am not imposing or proposing any Aquarian age but I am definitely presenting that the subtle factors of both Uranus and Neptune are now part of the Mise-en-scene.

Another aspect of this can be seen in the rise of the homophile and even on a pseudo-transvestite performance of last night. I find so many of the young people act as Uranians not in any particular sense but in many senses. They may even establish their own norms and these norms may expand.

This is not written with any degree of insistence but it may give you ideas or may support ideas which you already have.

By analogy perhaps Plutonic influences may penetrate into human behavior patterns with about the same time lapse as Uranian and Neptunian have.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


3/19/ 69

 

Dear Sam,

I have your most interesting letter here, for which I thank you. Only a lack of discipline has kept me so long in answering—and the realization that we may, in fact, find ourselves fellow students again—if not in the same class, at least in the same institution. Though I am not quite firm in my decision at the moment.

I do want you to know that I appreciate your invitation for Sunday—a celebration of birthdays, you say, which amused me since it is also the day on which I am celebrating mine. Or, that is, my family is preparing for me. Perhaps we can exchange toasts in absentio, or whatever the appropriate term is.

I will be brief, since I do want you to get this before the weekend. Many thanks and

greetings,

Gavin

 

 


August 26, 1969

 

My dear Gavin:

One is in a state of utter bewilderment. Before leaving for New Mexico, God­daughter Saadia Khawar Khan gave a Pakistani dinner here and during the dinner there was one phone call that a dear friend was dying; another that one’s brother was going in for a capital operation; and then Nancy took sick. And the dinner had to go on. This was one occasion.

I do not recall any official invitation for dinner, and am always overworked. At the Novato residence all the men are out working; one woman has left; another is about to become a mother, leaving a single lady to carry on. And the replacements have left also. This means in going there one is even busier than here and our Sunday attendance has been slowly but steadily mounting.

The New Mexico visit was entirely successful and one will have his own Summer School next year—everything provided, meaning everything.

One wishes to visit Bryn in Seattle and has been invited, but one cannot have a vacation until God-daughter Saadia leaves. On Saturday, September 6, while the Precita Fair is on, Saadia will cook another Pakistani dinner and we shall have Open House. We also have accepted invitation to join with our dances. And on Sunday, again open house but Sam will cook whatever is needed, etc, and the doors will be open.

Hope you like your new place.

Cordially,

Sam

 

 


16 Nov. 1969

Sorry that you did not make my reception for Swami Vishnudevananda. He flew in from Montreal for the Peace March. He also has an ashram in Nassau.

I don’t know how I got this stationary. But it brought you to main.

With Love

And love to all your chelas

Gavin

 


Nov. 24, 1969

 

My dear Gavin,

Appreciate very much your last letter but one thing has to be made clear, and that is I have a continual full program all the time. Appointments can be made even though this means cancellation of routine affairs, but for this notice has to be given.

On Moratorium Day this house was suddenly visited by a real Vietnamese—there are such people; he was also what corresponds to a Zen Master, in his country. Vietnamese Buddhism, which is the religion of the majority, remains a totally unknown subject in this land. It would seem that the majority of Americans, quite anxious to get at each other’s threats, are alike unconcerned with the religions or ideals of the Vietnamese, or for that matter most Asians.

Not only will Rev. Dr. An return here sometime, perhaps in December, but in January I am joining in an effort to raise funds for the Vietnamese Buddhists who are alike ignored and despised by hawk Christians and dove unbelievers. You can also understand my cynical attitude toward many American problems because we only seem to have “solutions” for the problems of others, while our own surmount.

Within a short period of two weeks I had most loving meetings with a Jewish mystic, a Vietnamese Master, a teacher of Indian spiritual dancing, and a recently arrived real Zen, real Roshi. The latter happens to be a disciple and associate of the late Phra Sumangalo, my very dear friend, who lived only 15 years in Vietnam. His history and tragedy were the saddest and most painful of all episodes of my past.

I received from a very strange source some prayers of Meher Baba, and when I wrote his followers that we would have them published, it infuriated them. This is their exemplification of “universal love.” But we are going to publish these prayers of Meher Baba and face the consequences, any consequences.

We are now teaching “esoteric” astrological walks and dances as rapidly as these can be assimilated by the students. I now have two good classes with almost as many enrollees as one could possibly look after. This is very encouraging but it is more serious than encouraging. The young want their own experiences, not the opinions of others. Especially of others who have not been there.

Appreciating your kind invitation, and assuring you this is not all of my present day life that would interest you.

Sincerely,

Sam

 

 


Dec. 28, 1969

 

My dear Gavin,

I wish to express my appreciation here for the charts you so kindly made on Hazrat Inayat Khan and his son Pir Vilayat Khan. I do not wish to discuss the former for it may (or may not) have particular bearings on what is going on now, and what may be going on in the near or not so near future.

I have been rather struck by the potential harmonies between Pir Vilayat and my ego-personality.

Our suns are practically trine. Our Mercuries also are practically trine. Our venues are practically trine. Our Saturns are practically trine; our conjunctions of Saturn and Venus show remarkable similarities.

While I think this ought to be enough for basic harmonization, there are still enough differences to produce I hope effective co-operation. He has sun conjunct Pluto and I have Mercury trine Pluto, indicating as I may interpret it, work on a vast plane instead of with “small” things. His Mercury is trine to Moon and Uranus which are more or less conjunct. I should say this means his leaving details to others, while himself concerned with “grand views.” Despite the square of Mercury and Mars, he has a weak sextile between Mars and Pluto, which again means effectiveness on a large scale. His Mars quincunx his Moon has been demonstrated in life by his relations with his mother. His Saturn conjunct Venus in his relations with his wife and perhaps in another sense with his relations with women in general. I am inclined to accept the chart as being basically correct and that arguments for divergences in behavior will not be favorably effective unless there is a complete acceptance of spiritual guidance. To me his Mercury trine Uranus (involving the Moon) shows infinite capacity for intuition and originality, and there are many signs that this is so.

Pir Vilayat should be here soon, but he has not indicated to as whether he wishes to address large audiences, small audiences, or to confer with individuals. He has indicated that our mutual affairs should be discussed in North Hollywood whither I expect to go on the dates he indicates, and have so prepared myself.

With love and blessings and wishing you a happy New Year,

Sam

 

 


January 22, 1970

Mr. Gavin Arthur,

1575 Octavia St.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94109

 

My dear Gavin:

Not only has it been advisable to write but today’s “Chronicle Horoscope” for Virgo reads:

“Although you may feel that others are imposing on you, you find that it is this feeling that makes you rise above the mold now. Show that you have what it takes. Be courteous with everyone though rushed.”

It is remarkable that these horoscopes correspond so remarkably and closely with my actual life. I don’t know who is responsible.

When Pir Vilayat Khan was here we performed “The Whirling of the Spheres.” There is a cartoon in the current issue of Playboy showing a little old man entering a room and the doorkeeper saying, “You are just in time to take the part of Neptune.” This may be a cartoon, but that is what we have accomplished and we hope to convince anybody not an “occultist” that we can do just that, There is a lot more and I said to one friend, someday we’ll do that for Fritzi Armstrong and it will strangle her. “ After all it is only strangers that know anything anyhow. All the doors shut to me here are open elsewhere. One’s main credential is one’s geography.

But now I have another credential: The credential. My brother has repeated almost exactly what my father did. He thinks he is dying and has summoned me and re-instated me in his Will. If he does that I shall be in such a comfortable position. But we have already agreed on what the money will be used for. He is not gone but I am sending a copy of this inter alia to Herb Caen who knows Gavin Arthur and Elliott M. Lewis.

You see the meeting with Azam was uniformly and remarkably harmonious and cordial. We both have access to the same facts which it is impossible for the press and literati to accept. Anybody but an eye-witness may express his views with perfect “freedom.” The scientists, of course, are different but they do not control the vehicles of communication. Let us have more “Biafras” but eye­witnesses are upstarts, believe me.

There will be no repetition to Vietnam. This time we are going to bring some human beings together and will permit outsiders only by unanimous agreement. Azam, of course, is impossible. He is an Israeli citizen who has also been an Islamic Haji. He knows Mecca and he knows Jerusalem; he knows Hebrew and Arabic and English—what worse platform can you find? Of course he has had to see mayhem and murder while diplomats wrangle.

 

What is even more against him, he is a Sufi. We just cawn’t permit any Sufi to speak on Sufism, yet. Too many experts!

Saturdays are at the feet of Prof. Richard Kozicki of the University of California. He is also “impossible” (French pronunciation). He only lived in Asia with Asians. What worse platform can you have? I found that he had already listed all the literature for a potential “How California Can Help Asia” upon which I have been working for years; rejected, of course, by all the “experts” and literati and accepted by all the scientists!

He is the man who accepted—how odd!—my paper on “Vietnamese Buddhism.” Then I gave my golden anniversary gift to him, and perhaps more is to follow. The idea of giving credence to the little or big people who have been there was impossible a little while back; now it is the only thing the young will have. We will let Reston and Agnew write interminably about peoples with whom they have never mingled, but this old “American way” is going out and rapidly.

Next Tuesday Baba Ram Dass. Despite his excellent credentials (a la Americaine) he had the audacity to live with Asians and learn from them. Now the young want him and he wants them. He is a sort of spiritual Leary. My latest secretary has been his secretary and will introduce us although we have often cross-trailed. When we met years ago he was an aristocrat and I a paysant. I think things will be different.

This Saturday I shall be welcomed at the Indian Independence Day program held in Berkeley by the Indian students themselves. No “experts” on the program and I certainly know the two chief speakers, friend Lal of the Examiner and Swami Swahananda. I believe I have met Prof. Stout, the other chief speaker. But he is out—so far as the press and “experts” are concerned, a scientist who has lived with the peasant-farmers of India!

There are a lot of things also going on of quite a different nature. Our “commune” has been so successful it is kept out of the news. But we are having more and more people from New Mexico coming to our doors.

Private problems about which you know have been solved, for all practical purposes. So it would appear I can concentrate on attending the next all-religion conference where the speakers will be “religionists” and not “experts.” This is a tremendous undertaking by itself. It is notable it is held outside the United States. Since 1893 we have not permitted any international religious conference where the speakers are the direct representatives of the groups concerned but I think sooner or later well have to return to that. You should meet our new type of university professor! What a difference.

 

cc- Herb Caen

cc- Art Hoppe

cc- B. Beorse

 

 


From “The California Monthly”—current issue Feb. 1970

Sent to me from Sam Lewis—(Gavin)


The Convergence of Science and Religion

By Charles H Townes

 

The ever-increasing success of science has posed many challenges and conflicts for religion—conflicts which are resolved in individual lives in a variety of ways. Some accept both religion and science as dealing with quite different matters by different methods, and thus separate them so widely in their thinking that no direct confrontation is possible. Some repair rather completely to the camp of science or of religion and regard the other as ultimately of little importance, if not down-right harmful. To me science and religion are both universal, and basically very similar. In fact, to make the argument clear, I should like to adept the rather extreme point of view that their differences are largely superficial, and that the two become almost indistinguishable if we look at the real nature of each. It is perhaps science whose real nature is the less obvious, because of its blinding superficial successes. To explain this, and to give perspective to the non-scientists, we must consider a bit of the history and development of science.

The march of science during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries produced enormous confidence in its success and generality. One field after another fell before the objective inquiry, experimental approach, and the logic of science. Scientific laws appeared to take on an absolute quality, and it was very easy to be convinced that science in time would explain everything. This was the time when Laplace could say that if he knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, and could calculate sufficiently well, he would then predict the entire future. Laplace was only expressing the evident experience of his time, that the success and provision of scientific laws had changed determinism from a speculative argument to one which seemed inescapable. This was the time when the devout Pasteur, asked how he as a scientist could be religious, simply replied that his laboratory was one realm, and that his home and religion were a completely different one. There are today many vestiges of this nineteenth-century scientific absolution in our thinking and attitudes. It has given Communism, based on Marx’s nineteenth-century background, some of its sense of the inexorable course of history and of “scientific” planning of society.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, many physical scientists viewed there work as almost complete and needing only some extension and more detailed refinement. But soon after, deep problems began to appear. The world seems relatively unaware of how deep these problems really were, and of the extent to which some of the most fundamental scientific ideas have been overturned by them. Perhaps this unawareness is because science has been vigorous in changing itself and continuing to press on, and has also diverted attention by ever more successes in solving the practical problems of life.

Many of the philosophical and conceptual bases of science have in fact been disturbed and revolutionized. The poignancy of these changes can be grasped only through sampling them. For example, the question whether light consists of small particles shot out by light sources, or wave disturbance originated by them, had been debated for some time by the great figures of science. The question was finally settled in the early nineteenth century by brilliant experimentation which could be thoroughly interpreted by theory. The experiments told scientists of the time that light was unequivocally a wave and not particles. But about 1900, other experiments turned up which showed just as unequivocally that light is a stream of particles rather than waves. Thus physicists were presented with a deeply disturbing paradox. Its solution took several decades, and was only accomplished in the mid-1920s by the development of a new set of ideas known as quantum mechanics.

The trouble was that scientists were thinking in terms of their common everyday experiment and that experience encompassed the behavior of large objects, but not yet many atomic phenomena. Examination of light or atoms in detail brings us into a realm of very small quantities with which we have had no previous experience, and where our intuitions could well be untrustworthy. Ad now in retrospect, it is not at all surprising that the study of matter on the atomic scale has taught us new things, and that some of these were inconsistent with ideas which previously had seemed so clear.

Physicists today believe that light is neither precisely a wave nor a particle, but both, and we were mistaken in even asking the question, “Is light a particle or is it a wave?” It can display both properties. So can all matter, including baseballs and locomotives. We don’t ordinarily observe this duality in large objects because they do not show wave properties prominently. But in principle we believe they are there.

We have come to believe other strange phenomena as well. Suppose an electron is put in a long box where it may travel book and forth. Physical theory new tells us that, under certain conditions, the electron will be sometimes found towards one end of the box and sometimes towards the other, but never in the middle. This statement clashes absurdly with ideas of an electron moving back and forth and yet most physicists today are quite convinced of its validity, and can demonstrate its essential truth in the laboratory.

Another strange aspect of the new quantum mechanics is called the uncertainty principle. This principle shows that if we try to say exactly where a particle (or object) is, we cannot say exactly how fast it is going and in what direction, all at the same time; or, if we determine its velocity, we can never say exactly what its position is. And so, according to this theory, Laplace was wrong from the beginning. If he were alive today, he would probably understand along with other contemporary physicists that it is fundamentally impossible to obtain the information necessary for his precise predictions, even if he were dealing with only one single particle, rather than the entire universe.

The modern laws of science seem, then, to have turned our thinking away from complete determination and towards a world where chance plays a major role. It is chance on an atomic scale, but there are situations and times when the random change in position of one atom or one electron can materially affect the large-scale affairs of life and in fact our entire society. A striking example involves Queen Victoria who, through one such event on an atomic seals, became a mutant and passed on to certain male descendents in Europe’s royal families the trait of hemophilia. Thus one unpredictable event on an atomic seals had its effect on both the Spanish royal family and, through and afflicted czarevitch, on the stability of the Russian throne.

The new view of a world which is not predictable from physical laws was not at all easy for physicists of the elder tradition to accept. Even Einstein, one of the architects of quantum mechanics, never completely accepted the indeterminism of chance which it implies. This is the origin of his intuitive response, “Herr Gott würfelt nicht”—the Lord God doesn’t throw dice! It is interesting to note also that Russian Communism, with its roots in nineteenth-century determination, for a long time tock a strong doctrinaire position against the new physics of quantum mechanics.

When scientists pressed on to examine still other realms outside our common experience, further surprises were found. For objects of such higher velocities than we ordinarily experience, relativity shows that very strange things happen. First, objects can never go faster than a certain speed, regardless of how hard they are pushed. Their absolute maximum speed is that of light—186,000 miles per second. Further, when objects are going fast, they become shorter and more passive—they change shape and also weigh more. Even time moves at a different rate; if we send a clock off at a high velocity, it runs slower. This peculiar behavior of time is the origin of the famous cat-kitten conceptual experiment. Take a litter of six kittens and divide them into two groups. Keep three of them on earth, send the other three off in a rocket at a speed nearly as fast as light, and after one year
bring them back. The earth kittens will obviously have become cats, but the ones sent into space will have remained kittens. This theory has not been tested with kittens, but it has been checked experimentally with the aging of inanimate objects and seems to be quite correct. Today the vast majority of scientists believe it true. How wrong, oh how wrong, were many ideas which physicists felt were so obvious at the turn of the century!

Scientists have now become a good deal more cautious and modest about extending scientific ideas into realms where they have not yet been thoroughly tested. Of course, an important part of the game of science is in fact the development of general laws that can be extended into new realms. These laws are often remarkably successful in telling us new things or in predicting things which we have not yet directly observed. And yet we must always be aware that such extensions may be wrong, and wrong in very fundamental ways. In spite of all the changes in our views, it is reassuring to note that the laws of nineteenth-century science were not so far wrong in the realm in which they were initially applied—that of ordinary velocities and of objects larger than the point of a pin. In this realm they were essentially right, and we still teach the laws of Maxwell, because in their own important sphere they are valid and useful.

We know today that the most sophisticated present scientific theories, including modern quantum mechanics, are still incomplete. We use them because in certain areas they are so amazingly right. Yet they lead us at times into inconsistencies which we do not understand, and where we must recognize that we have missed some crucial idea. We simply admit and accept the paradoxes and hope that sometime in the future they will be resolved by a more complete understanding. In fact, by recognizing these paradoxes clearly and studying them, we can perhaps best understand the limitations in our thinking and correct them.

With this background on the real state of scientific understanding, we come now to the similarity and near identity of science and religion. The goal of science is to discover the order in the universe, and to understand through it the things we sense around us, and even man himself. This order we express as scientific principles or laws, striving to state them in the simplest and yet most inclusive ways. The goal of religion may be stated, I believe, as an understanding (and hence acceptance) of the purpose and meaning of our universe and how we fit into it. Most religions see a unifying and inclusive origin of meaning, and this supreme purposeful force we call God.

Understanding the order in the universe and understanding the purpose in the universe are not identical, but they are also not very far apart. It is interesting that the Japanese word for physics is butsuri, which translated means simply the reasons for things. Thus we readily are inevitably link closely together the nature and the purpose of our universe.

What are the aspects of religion and science which often make them seem almost diametrically opposite? Many of them come, I believe, out of differences in language used for historical reasons, and many from quantitative differences which are large enough that unconsciously we assume they are qualitative ones. Let us consider some of these aspects where sciences and religion may superficially look very different.

The essential role of faith in religion is so well known that it is usually taken as characteristics of religion, and as distinguishing religion from sciences. But faith is essential to science too, although we do not so generally recognize the basic need and nature of faith in science.

Faith is necessary for the scientist to even get started, and deep faith necessary for him to carry out his tougher tasks. Why? Because he must be personally committed to the belief that there is order in the universe and that the human mind—in fact his own mind—has a good chance of understanding this order. Without this belief, there would be little point in intense effort to try to understand a presumably disorderly or incomprehensible world. Such a world would take us back to the days of superstition, when man thought capricious forces manipulated his universe. In fact, it is just this faith in an orderly universe, understandable to man, which allowed the basic change from an age of superstition to an age of science, and has made possible our scientific progress.

Another aspect of the scientist’s faith is the assumption of an objective and unique reality which is shared by everyone. This reality is of course mediated by our senses and there may be differences in individual interpretation of it. However, Berkeley’s idea that the world springs entirely from the mind, or the possible existence of two or more valid but discordant views of the world, are both quite foreign to scientific thinking. To put it more simply, the scientist assumes, and his experiences affirms, that truth exists.

The necessity of faith in science is reminiscent of the description of religious faith attributed to Constantine: “I believe so that I may know.” But such faith is now so deeply rested in the scientist that most of us never step to think that it is there at all.

Einstein affords a rather explicit example of faith in order, and many of his contributions come from intuitive devotion to a particularly appealing type of order. One of his famous remarks is inscribed in German in Fine Hall at Princeton: “God is very subtle, but he is not malicious.” That is, the world which God has constructed may be very intricate and difficult for us to understand, but it is not arbitrary and illogical. Einstein spent the last half of his life looking for a unity between gravitational and electromagnetic fields. Many physicists feel that he was on the wrong track, and no one yet knows whether he made any substantial progress. But he had faith in a great vision of unity and order, and he worked intensively at it for 30 years or more. Einstein had to have the kind of dogged conviction that could have allowed him to say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.”

For lesser scientists, or lesser projects, there are frequent occasions when things just don’t make sense and making order and understanding out of one’s work seems almost hopeless. But still the scientist has faith that there is order to be found, and that either he or his colleagues will someday find it.

Another common idea about the difference between science and religion is based on their methods of discovery. Religion’s discoveries often come by great revelations. Scientific knowledge, in the popular mind, comes by logical deduction, or by the accumulation of data which is analyzed by established methods in order to draw generalizations called laws. But such a description of scientific discovery is a travesty on the real thing. Most of the important scientific discoveries come about very differently and are much more closely akin to revelation. The term itself is generally not used for scientific discovery, since we are in the habit of reserving revelation for the religious realm. In scientific circles one speaks of intuition, accidental discovery, or says simply that “he had a wonderful idea.”

If we compare how great scientific ideas arrive, they look remarkably like religious revelation viewed in a non-mystical way. Think of Moses, in the desert, long troubled and wondering about the problem of saving the children of Israel, when suddenly he had a revelation by the burning bush. A similar pattern is seen in many of the revelations of the old and new testaments. Think of Gautama the Buddha who traveled and inquired for years in an effort to understand what was good, and then one day sat down quietly under a Bo tree where his ideas were revealed. Similarly, the scientist, after hard work and much emotional and intellectual commitment to a troubling problem, sometimes suddenly sees the answer. Such ideas much more often come during off-moments than while confronting data. A striking and well-known example is the discovery of the benzene ring by Kekulé, who while musing at his fireside, was led to the idea by the vision of a snake-like molecule taking its tail in its mouth. We cannot yet describe the human process which leads to the creation of an important and substantially new scientific insight. But it is clear that the great scientific discoveries, the real leaps, do not usually come from the so-called “scientific method,” but rather more as did Kekulé’s—with perhaps less picturesque imagery, but by revelations which are just as real.

Another popular view of the difference between science and religion is based on the notion that religious ideas depend only on faith and revelation while science succeeds in actually proving its points. In this view, proofs give to scientific ideas a certain kind of absolutism and universalism which religious ideas have only in the claims of their proponents. But the actual nature of scientific “proof” is rather different from what is approach so simply assumes.

Mathematical or logical proof involves choice of some set of postulates, which hopefully are consistent with one another and which apply to the world around us. Next, on the basis of agreed-on laws of login, which must also be assumed, one can derive or “prove” the consequences of these postulates. How can we be sure the postulates are satisfactory? The mathematician Gödel has shown that in the most generally used mathematics, it is fundamentally impossible to know whether or not the set of postulates chosen are even self-consistent. Only by constructing and using a new set of master postulates can we test the consistency of the first set. But these in turn may be logically inconsistent without the possibility of our knowing it. Thus we never have a real base from which we can reason with surety. Gödel doubled our surprises by showing that, in this same mathematical realm, there are always mathematical truths which fundamentally cannot be proved by the approach of normal logic. His important proofs came only about three decades ago, and have profoundly affected our perspective on human logic.

There is another way by which we become convinced that a scientific idea or postulate is valid. In the natural sciences, we “prove” it by making some kind of test of the postulate against experience. We devise experiments to test our working hypotheses, and believe those laws or hypotheses are correct which seem to agree with our experience. Such tests can disprove a hypothesis, or can give us useful confidence in its applicability and correctness, but can never give proof in my absolute sense.

Can religious beliefs also be viewed as working hypotheses, tested and validated by experience? To some this may seem a secular and even an aberrant view. In any case, it discards absolutism in religion. But I see no reason why acceptance of religion on this basis should be objectionable. The validity of religious ideas must be and has been tested and judged through the ages by societies and by individual experience. Is there any great need for them to be more absolute than the law of gravity? The latter is a working hypothesis whose basis and permanency we do not know. But on our belief in it, as well as on many other complex scientific hypotheses, we risk our lives daily.

Science usually deals with problems which are so much simpler and situations which are so much more easily controllable than does religion that the quantitative difference in directness with which we can test hypothesis generally hides the logical similarities which are there. The controlled experiment on religious ideas is perhaps not possible at all, and we rely for evidence primarily on human history and personal experience and observation in testing hypotheses instead of only easily reproducible experiments.

Suppose now that we were to accept completely the position that science and religion are essentially similar. Where does this leave us and where does it lead us? Religion can, I believe, profit from the experience of science where the hard facts of nature and tangibility of evidence have beaten into our thinking some ideas which mankind has often resisted.

First, we must recognize the tentative nature of knowledge. Our present understanding of science or of religion is likely, if it agrees with experience, to continue to have an important degree of validity just as does the mechanics of Newton. But there may be many deeper things which we do not yet know and which, when discovered, may modify our thinking in very basic ways.

We must also expect paradoxes, and not be surprised nor unduly troubled by them. We know of paradoxes in physics, such as that concerning the nature of light, which have been resolved by deeper understanding. We know of some which are still unresolved. In the realm of religion, we are troubled by the suffering around us and its apparent inconsistency with a God of love. Such paradoxes confronting science do not usually destroy our faith in science. They simply remind us of a limited understanding, and at times provide a key to learning more.

Perhaps there will be in the realm of religion cases of the uncertainty principle, which we now know is such a characteristic phenomenon of physics. If it is fundamentally impossible to determine accurately both the position and velocity of a particle, it should not surprise us if similar limitations occur in other aspects of our experience. This opposition in the precise determination of two quantities is also referred to as complementarity, position and velocity represent complementary aspects of a particle, only one of which can be measured precisely at any one time. Nils Bohr has already suggested that perception of man, or any living organism as a whole, and of his physical constitution represent this kind of complementarity. That is, the precise and close examination of the atomic makeup of man may of necessity blur our view of him as a living and spiritual being. In any case, there seems to be no justification for the dogmatic position taken by some that the remarkable phenomenon of individual human personality can be expressed completely in terms of the presently known laws of behavior of atoms and molecules. Justice and love may be another example of complementarity. A completely loving approach and the simultaneous meting out of exact justice hardly seem consistent. These examples could be only somewhat fuzzy analogies of complementarity as it is known in science, or they may indeed be valid though still poorly defined occurrences of the uncertainly principle. But in any case, we should expect such occurrences and be forewarned by science that there will be fundamental limitations to our knowing everything at once with precision and consistency.

Finally, if science and religion are so broadly similar and not arbitrarily limited in their domains, they should at some time clearly converge. I believe this confluence is inevitable. For they both represent man’s efforts to understand his universe and must ultimately be dealing with the same substance. As we understand more in each realm, the two must grow together. Perhaps by the time this convergence occurs, science will have been through a number of revaluations as striking as those which have occurred in the last century, and taken on a character not readily recognizable by scientists of today. Perhaps our religious understanding will have seen progress and change. But converge they must, and through this should come new strength for both.

In the meantime, even today, with only tentative understanding and in the face of uncertainty and change, how can we live gloriously and act decisively? It is this problem, I suspect, which has so often tempted man to insist that he has final and ultimate truth locked in some particular phraseology or symbolism, even when the phraseology may mean a hundred different things to a hundred different people. How well we can commit our lives, effort and devotion to ideas which we recognize in principle as only tentative represents a real test of mind and emotions.

Galileo espoused the cause of Copernicus’ theory of the solar system, and at great personal cost because of the Church’s opposition. We know today that the question on which Galileo took his stand, the correctness of the idea that the earth rotates around the sun rather than the sun around the earth, is largely an unnecessary question. The two descriptions are equivalent, according to general relativity, although the first is simpler. And yet we honor Galileo for his pioneering courage and determination in deciding what he really thought was right and speaking out. This was important to his own integrity and to the development of the scientific and religious views of the time, out of which has grown our present better understanding of the problems he faced.

The authority of religion seemed more crucial in Galileo’s Italy than it usually does today, and science more fresh and simple. We tend to think of ourselves as now more sophisticated, and science and religion as both more complicated so that our position can be less clear out. Yet if we accept the assumption of either one, that truth exists, surely each of us should undertake the same kind of task as did Galileo, or long before him, Gautama. For ourselves and for mankind, we must use our best wisdom and instincts, the evidence of history and wisdom of the ages, the experience and revelations of our friends, saints, and heroes in order to get as close as possible to truth and meaning. Furthermore, we must be willing to live and act on our conclusions.

The author, Charles H. Townes, won the 1964 Model Prize for Physics for his role in the development of the maser and laser. A UC Professor-at-large based at Berkeley, he teaches at a number of campuses and is currently doing research in astrophysics.

Article taken from the February 1970 issue of California Monthly. Originally published in 1966 in IBM’s think magazine.

 

 


910 Railroad Ave.

Novato, Calif. 94947

February 6, 1970

 

Tentative Plans for Spring Festival.

This seems to be a group undertaking. One has passed through the stages of 6 disciples to 30, and 30 to 60. One is now progressing to the next stage of 60 to 100 disciples not counting followers. Many of the new disciples have not been hippies, or if they have, they now show no signs of it. But this does not matter. Both my homes have been overgrown, and a system of annexes seems to be on the way.

Plans have already been set afoot to put on a spring festival near Lake Nicasio in the center of Marin County. Two thrones will be set up, one for you and one for Basira, the young lady seeres who was enceinte last year. She has since given birth to a beautiful boy named, and I hope aptly, Samuel Vilayat. If you cannot possibly be present, “your” throne will be occupied by disciple David Hoffmeister who has a physical deformation. There is here one very humorous element, and that is the addition to our ranks of persons born on March 21st and the two preceding days.

There are signs now that this may become a publicized event. Plans are afoot to have cameras and even sound equipment. This is not in my hands; this is in the hands of some very fine and faithful disciples.

When Vilayat Khan was here, we put on the whirls of the seven planets and then added Uranus. Since that time I have presented the walks of combinations of Saturn and Jupiter, and then Saturn mercury and Jupiter, the last indeed is full of potential mastery and self fulfillment.

The next lesson will include the dance of Sun and Moon together and Venus and Mars together. While all these walks and dances are based on the science of breath, the Venus-Mars dance is the only one which is absolutely and essentially a woman-man affair. We shall also go over the Sun ritual; the moon ritual; the wheel dance and others, some partly presented and some not yet offered. One of those partially presented is the Bacchus dance which will have some European elements in it, and vines and garlands if possible. Otherwise we may make something of wire or other materials.

The Sufic dervish dances have increased in number, quality and style. One is beginning to attract professors of universities in this vicinity. Very different from the past when not even interviews were granted. Now the professors themselves are seeking us out.

We have gone far ahead also in our mantric and yoga dances, and no doubt may have some mudras integrated. I am unable always to choreograph, direct and perform. But sometimes with the type of young people now surrounding me, it is only necessary to present and have them take over. I have two or three quite capable.

I may send copies of this to certain people that think they are occultists—maybe they are, maybe they are not. I find it is almost without question that the walks and dances of people are predictable from their horoscopes, excepting in a few cases. There will be two aspects to this—the fulfillment of the ego self which is what I am trying to do; the awakening of the non-ego which comes in spiritual acting and mime, which is outside my field of endeavor.

Both of these may be presented in summer schools. Vilayat is planning for young people 18 to 28. My program will be quite separate geographically and will include persons over 28 and parents who wish their little children to be with them.

Elements of all the above will be presented at the Spring Festival this year. I now have some very simple mixers which will draw in everybody. At the other end, besides the rituals above, there are at least two Krishna dances performed by myself and, I think, one dance of Shiva on the way. The two dancing classes are now over-filled and one is thinking of another one at least. On top of that is the visit of Baba Ram Dass, formerly known as Dr. Richard Alpert. He has been drawing immense crowds and oodles of money from the “poor hippies.” He is planning a book based on the actual spiritual practices of the actual mystics of the world of today. This is quite different from the dialectic subjectivities of the past; it is based on observances and performances and not doctrines.

Life has pressures plus and minus. My presumable program includes invitations from three parts of the world as well as calls to the vicinity of Los Angeles. But at this writing my reconciled brother is in the hospital where he has been for many days and the uncertainties are not over. In addition to that I have not only no free days whatsoever, but am lucky to get a few hours off now and then.

But before you weep, we are closely connected with the expanding New Age Food distribution plans and the possibility also of putting more time into vegetable growing—very successful so far. So there is no need for tears because of life’s sorrows and complications. More later.

Faithfully,

some carbons

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


910 Railroad Ave.

Novato Calif. 94947

March 4, 1970

 

Ferry Building

San Francisco

Jeremy Eta Hokin

 

My Dear Jeremy: (cc Gavin Arthur)

Sometime ago I was sent for by the Consul General of Indonesia, and on leaving, passed by a door with your name on it. I did not wish to intrude, but a few days later met Sheila, whom I rarely see, and she chided me for not dropping in. Nevertheless I do not intend to intrude unless you yourself invite me.

We are now preparing to leave this vicinity primarily to attend a conference of the world’s faiths which will be held in Geneva. It will be one of those rare occasions, very rare indeed so far as this nation is concerned, when the religions of the world will be represented for the most part by their own devotees and not by carefully selected orators (as is usually the case) who do not represent tae exotics, the fanatics, the ignorant of faiths which are strange to us, whomsoever we may be.

The main subject matter is going to be “Peace through Religion.” I have worked 40 years in this field and then threw up any hands. Not even the people who begged me to use my funds, to use my mind (insofar as I have a mind), or to use my social entries. Someday, no doubt, my autobiography or biography will be written. It will either be called “I More Than Accuse” or “When Man Bites Dog it Absolutely Mustn’t Be News.”

I am not going over old sores and I am not going to permit new ones. You have seen the flop of Olompali and Morningstar. You have not seen the successes of New Ago cooperative methods based on love, humanity, and wisdom, wisdom which is innate in all of us but interferes with our ambitions and prestige. We much prefer war, and are kidding ourselves when we say we do not—just kidding ourselves. Jut the young are different, and I am hoping later in the year to call a meeting of real Israeli peasants and real Arab peasants both of whom belong to the silenced majority.

But the prestige will largely depend upon the effectiveness of my person and my remarks in Geneva.

In the meanwhile we have planned a spring festival which is a blending of the celebration of Gavin Arthur’s birthday and my farewell for the nonce. We are going to demonstrate and I mean demonstrate and nothing but demonstrate a number of dances and ceremonials which, when they become public, will do much to breakdown the differences and distinctions which divide men.

A number of yours back, 1967 to be exact, I was planning to visit England to make some studies in problems of pollution and ecology before these words fell into the hands of the philistines. If there is one thing worse than Stuart Chase’s Tyranny of Words, it is tyranny of names, and boy what a tyranny. Indeed it was as much a comfort to be balled out at a top-level convention of scientists for not speaking, as it would be for being permitted to speak at any other kind of convention. It just isn’t done.

Years ago I made my only appearance before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. There were traffic problems. We have never solved these traffic problems. I told them what was being done in Brooklyn, in Boston, in Washington, etc. and then I mentioned Los Angeles. I was summarily dismissed—immediately.

Well Jeremy, I have seen where real pollution has been cleaned up. I have had ample opportunities to study the disposition of sewage. I had all the introductions and then became sick, landing in the hospital. I took that as a sign not to be involved in such matters. Inasmuch as the philistines have taken over, one does not expect to be heard any more on these subjects than on international affairs where one has been strangely involved.

But now the young people are listening to me. You can hardly be unaware of the career of Thomas Alva Edison. I read his entire autobiographical record. He has something to say, and I understand he is being resuscitated. Jeremy, do not know a single problem that has not be already solved. We do not permit even educated laymen to say anything about the diseases of the flesh. But we do permit the most uneducated personality connected with the professions of writing and politics to say almost anything on the problems of the day, and by so doing, polluting the mental atmosphere. So to me the tyranny of personalities is worse than the tyranny of words.

This applies to this letter also, and if I do not put into action everything inferred here I am no better than anybody else. But now the doors are being opened. I am leaving on March 26th, and would certainly welcome you to attend the spring festival for Gavin which will be held near Lake Nicasio in the center of Marin County, beginning at 11 o’clock on March the 21st. We are assuming here that high noon will be the exact moment of the equinox, or if this is to be corrected we will rearrange our program accordingly.

Sincerely,

 

 


Geneva Switzerland

March 31st, 1970

 

My dear Mr. Mrs. With: (cc Gavin Arthur)

This letter may come as a great surprise to you, but then it might not. Your erstwhile gardener is attending a conference of the world’s faiths gathered in this city under the auspices of the Temple of Understanding. In one sense this conference is loaded—and in my favor. The respective heads of the Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist faiths are all personal friends. In fact we have an appointment with her serene Highness Princess Poon Diskul Pismai to take place when this letter is completed.

Perhaps there was the hand of wisdom in that I am listed without credentials along with those persons considered as top advisors. Actually, the world is very different now. The old type of ersatz expert, British and European professors of Oriental philosophy is disappearing from the scene. Yes, there are now fine German confessors of Oriental philosophy who have studied with Asians and with whom it is possible to communicate and commune. It seems very strange indeed for a person who was never been permitted to address audiences in San Francisco to be welcomed in a far-off land as “uncle Sam.”

But this is a new day. On March 21st we had a very successful spring Festival at Lake Nicasio in the center of Marin County. Some two hundred young people participated, not including a small audience of non-participants and about a dozen technicians who have made tapes pictures, and records for a possible later TV showing. It would seem that the campaign “Joy without Drugs” is attracting the young and will continue to attract the young so long as the press scoffs at such matters.

I shall be gone one month—more or less—because of the airfield strike. We go to London from here and then must visit Boston. When I return my secretary Mansur will probably show his autograph album both to Asia foundation and to the proper department of the University of California at Berkeley first and then at other campuses later. We also hope to do something, not just mere talky-talk about the Near East. There is complete faith in Mrs. Dickerman Hollister, Mr. Finley Dunne and other leaders of The Temple of Understanding and mutual love and reverence.

I hope to continue and increase my interest in the Art and Garden Center and other similar activities after my return. We should be visiting Kew Gardens and later the Arnold Arboretum in Boston.

Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


Chester Alan Arthur III 

1565 Octavia Street, Apartment Five

San Francisco, California 94109

Telephone: (415) 346-2878

7 April 1970

 

Dear Sam,

My sympathy on your brother’s death.

I don’t know what your plan for Palestine is, so I am bewildered what you said to Bryn. But rest assured that I would never go against you in any important matter. You should know this—being enlightened.

I have written several enthusiastic letters to the East and Europe about my birthday and the Rites of Spring. Drew Langsmur gave me several fine pictures of you and me and I have them on my wall when I work.

Here is Vilayat’s horoscope—Ali says you want it.

Under separate cover I am sending you my horoscope of Nixon—published in Scanlan’s magazine. I am supposed to get $500 for it—but they are tardy. It is the first time my colored charts have been published in an international magazine—which goes to India, Africa and all over.

Let me know when you get home and I’ll throw a party for you. Dom Aelred Graham will be at Nell’s this summer.

Love,

Gavin

 

 


April 11, 1970

410 Precita

San Francisco 94110

 

Dear Gavin:

I held out slightly before acknowledging your letter sent here because of newspaper forenotices of an article which has now appeared and which we enclose. However, we shall go through the papers very carefully to see if there is something else before it is mailed. There are some excellent articles on the Huxley family, but I am not going to cut them out.

Last night we supped with Muz Murray, the director of Gandalf’s Garden. We are to go there once more before we leave to give an initial demonstration of our walks and dances and will be leaving immediately after that, Thursday morning, for Boston. We shall probably telephone from Boston to determine our return date to San Francisco. There has been some confusion. The hospital assured me my brother was doing well and within a few hours he died. They had a cable sent asking for my permission to have a post mortem examination. They went ahead without my permission and with the strenuous opposition of the resident cousin who is presumably Elliot’s chief. Presumably, the funeral has taken place. Nobody wanted to interfere with my work.

Last night I read what the people of Gandalf’s Garden thought of the late Meher Baba. It was mostly a rehash of Baba vs. Brunton and said very little. It is certain that Baba has not taken, because his followers have convinced the public rightly or wrongly that devotion to Baba is superior to morality and consideration. On the other hand, Pir Vilayat has made good here as he did in Geneva. He is having a real inter-faith seminar soon. The people begged me to stay, but if Pir Vilayat and I are not together we can simultaneously be reaching different audiences which is what we both want.

We have left the chart with Muz and it should be delivered by the end of next week. I must say that the aspects have certainly been borne out by what has been happening to my colleague; even if some items are not exact, they certainly have been substantiated by hard but simple facts which is the best criterion.

Much of our work here is to follow up the advice and introductions of Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who is regarded as the world’s leading intellectual authority on Sufism. This will consume about half of our remaining time. We have been to Kew Gardens and will go again. And today await a telephonic call from my dearest Buddhist friend here.

The weather has been almost but not quite miserable: cool but not cold; always partly cloudy, touching rapidly rain hail snow sunshine gloom brightness and Seattle temperature.

Of course life will never be the same and I knew it would never be the same. On the one hand, acceptance at top levels, and on the other the presumably increased and increasing sources of income will make one re-evaluate and rearrange all his affairs.

Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


May 26, 1970

 

Dear Gavin,

This is a sort of hasty farewell letter. I am going off to conduct a summer school, everything arranged for me: enrollment, funds, program, everything. No doubt at least indirectly this has been possible through the efforts of Richard Alpert, known as Baba Ram Dass, But it is also quite evident that one has the good will at least of a number of prominent Asian philosophers and holy men, and I mean Asian philosophers and holy men and nothing but Asian philosophers and holy men.

When the cards had to be placed on the table before the real spiritual leaders one was not shut out a priori. Indeed one took every advantage of the differences to work for peace and good will pragmatically, not just verbally.

But I am writing this because yesterday there was a preview of film. Most of the scenes were either of myself or my most active disciple. But some were of spiritual colleagues, especially your neighbor Dr. Warwick and Rev Shlomo of Jerusalem. The very impact of the past month is forcing open doors of the lofty, the proud, the conceited, who have habits of refusing interviews or giving others an opportunity to speak before lambasting them with criticisms. And while the worst of these no doubt has been Dr. Hayakawa, there are enough of them, and I think all of them will pass out of the picture.

One thing I do which the lofty, the proud, the conceited, do not do, and that is give free rein youth, free rein in everything. Youth is recognizing this.

In my absence youth will have another “Holy Man’s Jamboree” where actual or self-styled spiritual personnel will gather before the young, the frustrated, the heart-hungry. Pir Vilayat will no doubt represent Sufism, but if be does not there are now available a number of young people who can do this. When the Gods arrive, the half-Gods go.

But I am writing this because you appeared in the film. There is no explanation, but the picture of you is excellent. Now we have to have explanation, only at this time the producer has gone to New York, both to try to arrange funds and to contact some of the most important people in this field. I am leaving it to them, the young. I am satisfied they will know how to carry on.

As to others, let the dead bury their dead.

We had our last birthday party here, excepting the one on July 5 to commemorate the birthday of Hazrat Inayat Khan who brought Sufism to this country. We are doing this out of protest for we all feel the present administration is entirely wrong in their attitude toward the living people of Asia.

Love and Blessings,

 

 


Lama Foundation

Box 444, San Cristobal

New Mexico, 8756.

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 last 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 Orientals, the very top Orientalists, and some scientists and philosophers.

Evidentially God Allah approves of my work; the increase in money, in audiences, and in response is being followed by a visit of Dane Rudhyar. His wife has a home in the very next valley and he expects to visit this place shortly. We will have both our astrological walks and dances on the one hand and our new age music on the other to present to him.

The lesson today was the sun and. These are not only exercises, these are not only disciplines, these are awakenings in the consciousness. I am even-minded to submit a paper to the Clanceys or some other group that might pay for them.

Having found that negative tenderness neither got me anywhere nor solved problems I am becoming quite tough. At least Lloyd Morain is beginning to realize that I shall no longer supinely let others use me for a doormat. Neither the humanists nor the semanticists have done anything to solve any of the big problems of the day, although in my opinion they have the keys. But they are thoroughly establishment and their attitude that problems can only be solved by the proper people.

I have piles of stuff on pollution, land reclamation, water resources, etc. I am keeping quiet on them, but I am making alliances with some of the finest men in existence and I am gaining more and more good will with more and more professors with more and more universities.

Faithfully,

 

 


July 23, 1970

 

My dear Gavin:

Haven’t had a day, sometimes hardly an hour since my return from Lama. My experiences at Lama and indeed all over the Rio Grande Valley are exactly the opposite from the articles written by Margaret Meade and published. But who is a “peasant” against a “god.” We have our “democratic society” in which the “peasants” are permitted to listen—and shut up. But I think that day is over. Everywhere the young—who will be the voters of the future, are listening and more and more and more.

I was amazed to receive four long distant calls from different parts of the country regarding “holy men’s jamborees” and “peace gatherings.” Simply do not have the time. We have the “atrocious” “inconceivable” idea of taking pictures of Israeli and Arab girls together. That is only the beginning. While all the “democratic,” “humanitarian” groups shut me out, I not only received a response from one of the secretaries of the “intolerant” Pope Paul (the “tolerant, democratic” never reply), I received letters from two friends of the late Thomas Merton, whom I never met, asking what I was doing for the Near East.

Well the best idea is the way San Francisco society treated Sir Zafrullah Khan of the World Court, so adulating him that they were afraid to speak to “his majesty.” And at Geneva he became small potatoes and in the end all the “intolerant,” “anti-democratic” real leaders of real humanity accepted me. And while the great “experts” on Asia snubbed me my secretary and I were honorably received at the Royal Asiatic Society, etc.

Since then the young have been seeking me out, and after clearing up some misunderstandings with Ralph Silver we are both going ahead full speed. Within three days Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), Vilayat Khan and Paul Reps (a life-long acquaintance) said that they considered “Timon of San Francisco” most capable, but you must “know,” like all (?) San Franciscans do (!) I am impossible and so unworthy of interviews. But you should see my correspondence and have to answer the telephone at both my homes.

Our culture is coming to an end. In the law-courts, eye-witnesses, but in other matters !Crazeee! We are going to destroy San Francisco Bay rather than let competent scientists handle it.

Meanwhile efforts for peace in Palestine will go on. Having the real contacts with the real human beings in many parts of the world, I am now being sought. Why one rabbi even permitted an interview—and, of course, I got apologies. This is going on. For years I have been writing this Nation is dedicated absolutely and unequivocally to the last chapters of A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court, our super-bible for Vietnam and Palestine. We have money for anything but actual workable plans.

There is another “exposé” of Astrology in a recent issue of an important magazine. It is “in the name of science” and by a cleric, of all peoples. It is remarkable how people write “in the name of science.”

Ever since I wrote letters about pollution and had the scientists answer (always) and the non-scientists (practically never) I can sit back and feel assured that Lord Snow is correct. This will not convince the parlor-scientists who know “everything” in the name of science. So we shall destroy San Francisco Bay as was Lake Erie, etc. while “in the name of science” self-important people get their articles published.

I am no longer disturbed. It is tragically laughable. The emotionalists have given us the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the UN and anti-genocide resolutions while mass murders continue. And it is apparently illegal for the Russians to send arms to anybody while we spend hundreds of millions for Francos of Spain and South America.

But now the young listen. And also more and more university professors and now many of these non-scientists. Until recently it was only the laboratory-scientists who listened or talked. I was their equal, but never the sociologists! not a chance!

Eye-witnesses in the law-courts, but in foreign affairs! Stupid, irrational, and unthinkable. It requires ivory-towered comfortably seated “experts” to tell us all about people with whom they have never mingled, indeed can’t mingle.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


July 25, 1970

 

My dear Gavin:

The impending death of Ed Hunt suggests I write to you. I have had absolutely no time or anything since returning from New Mexico. It is true that the “crazy” young of the day have accepted everything I am doing, not only in the dance but in everything else. It is a “screwy” new ages which pays no attention to the “experts’ of the past.

The death of my brothers followed by complications and the rise of the real New Age industries has promoted the financial situation not only of myself but of many close to me. True my chief lieutenant (Khalif) has been ill for some time. This has caused real loving disciples to see the seriousness of my position.

My Summer School in New Mexico vas entirely successful. The coeval camp of Pir Vilayat Khan was also successful. We may not have a permanent summer camp. But one thing is clear, a rather wealthy American has been in search for Sufis which all the prominent European experts know don’t exist. True I have met many—but I don’t count. I did not graduate from Heidelberg or Glasgow or Cambridge, nor even Harvard.

At Geneva I was asked why didn’t I appear at the gathering of the religious leaders right here in California. “Oh, I was vetoed by Prof. Von Plotz, and he could not possibly be wrong.” But the days of Professors Von Plotz and Schmercase and let us say, Landau, is over, absolutely over. And near liars of self-self­-important men are passing away. The young want truth and objectivity.

My secretary could not but contrast the welcome we received at the Royal Asiatic Society with the non-welcome here in California and especially in this Bay Area. But that is past. Some damned fools let me speak, listen to me and are convinced both of my philosophical backgrounds and of the spiritual dancing I have to offer. Fame is transient and popularity which is based on externals will not last.

Independently three men, Pir Vilayat Khan, Paul Reps and Baba Ram Dass planning to go to Asia said they are leaving the spiritual future of the U.S. in my hands. Of course this is contrary to those very nice European professors of Oriental (?) philosophies. But that was only the beginning. I have been getting long distance phone calls and what has stopped it is that Ralph Silver is going in person and he has been most successful in raising funds for films which will show the real Oriental philosophies of real Orientals to the American public, including our spiritual dances which have gotten beyond our control. Not seeking fame like “les fameux,” this is most welcome.

In other lines they are now letting me speak before blasting me, which was a habit of the previous generation. It is so easy to blast, it is so hard to listen.

Not only have the initial stages of getting Israelis and Arab s together succeeded but I have been receiving inquiries from Roman Catholics asking what I have been doing. It seems that only the “narrow-minded” listen before they condemn.

But now there is a wealthy editor who is both a Sufi disciple and devotee (along with his wife) of Gilbert and Sullivan! One of the first articles I expect to submit is “General Semantics and the non-solution of scientific problems.” Then I shall be writing either on Sufi mysticism or the story of my life, which interests only the narrow-minded who have some curiosity and not the “tolerant” who have shut doors in my face. But that is over.

In September I have called for a very private meeting of astrologers, to demonstrate walks and dances. Those who have denied my prowess are not invited. There will be no charge but the audience is to be limited to practicing astrologers.

There are at least two underground efforts to organize occultists and align them with scientists. Dane Sybil Leake tried that , veddy exclusive, and of course, mystics could not join. I am very glad today. I have given Gina the works for talking about the “ethics” of occultism. The day of pretense is gone. I work seven days a week but hope to have a day off next week for reasons of health.

In New Mexico about 200 young people found me in the midst of the woods. Now I am not in the midst of the woods and more and more people are seeking me out. All excepting the “fair-minded,” “tolerant” experts who are hold-overs from the ages of darkness.

Everything else is of the same genre, the same tenor. We are moving and at a rapid rate. I have so many classes, I can’t keep track of them but have the most wonderful followers and disciples! We are in absolute alliance with Pir Vilayat Khan and films and tape recordings from many many lands and apparently more to come. When God is with you, or you are with God, not the whole world can impede progress.

Love,

 

 


Aug. 13, 1970

Mr. Gavin Arthur

San Francisco, Calif.

 

My dear Gavin:

I am going to give you a lot of not-news which will be history. Future generations will look askance on a culture which demands eye-witnesses in law courts but practically forbids them in international discussions. I am also sending a copy of this to Herb Caen. I do not care in the least. I just heard that the wealthy editor, who wants my writing and even my biography, will be returning the first week of September.

The first thing I am going to send him for publication is a letter last written to Rabbi Alvin Fine, a champion at receiving peace awards and otherwise a perfect example of the “Judeo-Christian ethic.” I intend to publish from now on all letters written to all people and organizations representing the “liberty, humanity, democracy, and peasant shut up” outlooks. I am impossible because my philosophy cannot be fitted into the way Frenchman sat in an assemblage after their revolution of 1789. People who do not fit into that construction are regarded, not as mad, but as non-existent.

You may read in the papers about Mr. Gunnar, the Swedish UN official operating to bring at least an armistice in the Near East. When we met he told me that my plan for the Near East was the most sensible thing he had ever heard. The State Department, the American Friends of the Middle East, the groups competing with the American Friends of the Middle East, the Carnegie Peace Foundation, add the World Church Peace Union dissented. The aftermath was that at Geneva when I met the heads of many religions I received countless apologies.

I have never been successful in getting any people in the San Francisco area even to consider what Gunnar thought was the best plan he had ever heard for the Palestine complications, excepting a luncheon sector of the Commonwealth Club dealing with Mediterranean problems. All other peoples: the great editors, the small editors, the commentators, the communists, the New Left, the old anti-left, etc., etc., etc., are all united for “liberty, humanity, democracy, and peasant shut up.”

The aftermath of the meeting of the great religions of the world at Geneva was that I am as respected elsewhere as not at home. My heritage from Ruth St.-Denis, which the “proper people” choose to ignore, is drawing larger and larger audiences and that great virtue more funds. This after family dramas have given me a good income to begin with, the greatest of American virtues. Indeed the cards are set for me to become a speaker in the city of Washington at such places as most people would think it would be impossible for me to appear.

Now my naughty disciples are arranging “impossible” meetings between the Arabs and Israelis, Jews and Muslims and Christians. When Hitler appeared many Jews, and all people friendly to them, supported the theme of Boccaccio’s “The Three Rings,” and its sequel Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise.”

Now my disciples have met and are organizing to bring Jew and Gentile, Muslim and Kaffir, and especially us non-existing Sufis together. This group of young people, who prefer Jesus Christ’s “Love ye one another” to the dominant respectabilities are not only succeeding in all their initial efforts, but also in their fund-raising campaign. We are hoping to invite a few Christians—that just may be.

Yesterday I met Alan Watts rather surprisingly. This has given me some excellent inspirations. No doubt someday the real scientists and the real sciences will be able to reach the public. The horrible things done by the actual drug industry are so terrible that leading scientists, seldom moved otherwise, have been appalled. All those drugs which I have always called drugs have been investigated by scientific scientists and found wanting. But of course the media, which depend upon revenue from advertising, can’t say anything.

My difference from Alan is very simple. I simply believe that the highest psychedelic properties will be found in the higher plants. We both agree that the hard-liquor people must be stopped both in their efforts to reach more consumers and in their efforts futile efforts to stop the young from finding out the hidden values in plants.

This morning I had a beautiful interview with Ralph Silver. We had long agreed that I was to be a policy man and he a money man. He is going to Asia along with several of my disciples to take pictures of “non-existent Sufis” etc. The day is coming when this country will have to be willing to learn some Asian philosophies from some Asians. They are planning to take films, etc., and to give us a little more reality add a little less “realism.” Meeting real people, which our culture denies exists.

All my classes are being better attended than ever. I have been invited by the Philosophy departments of U.C. Berkeley and USC to speak on the real philosophies of real Asians.

My main talk last night was in the coining of a word “Gappists.” Practically every faction in this country is a gappist. They emphasize differences. The great sin of the young is that they want to worship together, regardless of whether it is a church, mosque, synagogue, or Indian teepee. They may lose arguments but they are going to win, because they are going to live. They are going to outlast their elders, the gappists, watch and see.

Faithfully,

 

 


August 15, 1970

 

My dear Gavin:

I want to thank you for the meeting last night. When we got down stairs I roared with laughter and my young friends understood me. The last time I did that was at the psychedelic conference years ago. I was sitting next to a very beautiful psychiatrist. She asked me why I lost my temper. “Feel my pulse; take my heart beat; measure my temperature. And my breath.” She did so, and all the measurements were exactly the opposite of what she had expected. Actually it was a trick. She was a beautiful psychiatrist. I have been enough of a Beetle fan to know about “I’d like to hold your hand.” So when things are not expected of me, I do them. If you come to my house you will see on the altar a picture of the late Roshi Furukawa. He was my predecessor as Fudo. But a Fudo does not run around following rules others lay down for him; not at all; it is nothing like that.

That woman was acting exactly like her contemporaries acted toward me before. If you read the newspapers you will find that a man named Gunnar is in charge of the peace negotiations. He is a UN official. He does not believe in “liberty, democracy, humanity, and peasant shut up.” We spent hours together and he told me I had the best plan for the Near East he had ever encountered. Actually my plan was based for the most part on accomplishments of University of California alumni. You won’t read about them in the paper. Indeed, only a small publication of the State Department paid any attention to the greatest accomplishments of these people. We have a new culture which judges by facts not by the importance of personalities stating those “facts.” I am not going into that here.

In the same room where you will find the picture of Roshi Furukawa there have been embraces to and from Zen Masters, Rabbi Shlomo, Sufis, and Hindu spiritual leaders. I am not interested in trying to convince other people that they took place. I don’t have to today. I think I have been embraced and embraced by more people than anybody else in the whole world. Someone might ask, “So What?” and my answer would also be “So What.”

I saw Alan Watts the other day. Today our difference is technical, not philosophical. I simply believe that higher plants have greater psychedelic potentials than “science” has discovered. When I was working with Whitey he told me about the psychic virtues of Tequila. I found out later that my tolerance for Tequila is at least 4 times as great as my tolerance for any other alcoholic beverage. I cannot prove it. It simply is. Someday we will become open enough to study Asian wisdoms. This is a long story into which I do not wish to go. Alan gave me inspirations. I shall soon be talking on psychedelics and the greater and lesser mysteries. I am no longer concerned with the a priori rejections of the “important people.”

My editor returns early in September and we are going to put a lot of “important” people in their places unless they realize what is happening. The greatest of my sins, having been introduced to Alfred Korzybski by my own teacher Cassius Keyser, is going to be made public, and not all the “Generals” can stop that. The day of “Generals” is over. They had better learn it.

Every letter I have written to a scientist, I mean a laboratory-scientist, on pollution has been acknowledged. Not a single letter to a literary expert has been acknowledged. Scientists are today afraid that the “universal experts” are going to destroy our culture, are destroying it. I agree. That’s why last night I mentioned Frank Lloyd Wright.

I consider all people as Bodhisattvas, but sometimes like that woman, people act as asuras and rakshasas. I have no objection to the remarks about President Nixon. I knew Chet Huntley very long ago and we were very good friends until he went East.

On September 11 I believe there will be a meeting for astrologers where I shall present my astrological walks and breaths. But I understand there is already a book coming out on the subject.

Now the universities, one after another, are sending for me. I do not know how to handle the invitations, but I guess it will work out. I now have disciples travelling far and wide. I now have young people trying to raise funds for me. Ralph Silver in effect has become almost like a flesh and blood son. He is going to have a chance to meet a lot of important people elsewhere whom leaders in our present culture deny I know. All right, let it be that way.

So much love has been demonstrated to me followed by expressions of what I call pragmatic intelligence, ability to do things, and doing them, when no experts can block their paths.

Love and Blessings,

 

 


410 Precita Ave,

San Francisco, Calif.

August 18, 1970

 

Gavin Arthur,

1565 Octavia St.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94109

 

My dear Gavin: “Liberty, Democracy, Humanity and peasants, shut up.”

In a short while I expect to go to the University of California to help establishment a “Peace Scholarship” for the department of near East languages. It is a long story and I am undoubtedly the “wrong person.” Until recently only one man believed I had the formula that would bring peace in the near East. The “experts,” the press and of course, all the European professors of “Asia” cultures were against.

As fate or fortune increased my income I felt it proper to work for peace, but not that “liberty, peace and justice” phrase which any Hitler could commend. It was a question as to whether to work for peace in the Near East or in SE Asia. As Americans replaced the “great” English, Hungarian and Carman “experts” I found myself with new friends; you don’t read about them in the press of course. And in his line I again met Dr. Carrol Parrish who is a dean at UCLA and who was my very first secretary and friend of Vocha Fiske. He is not an expert; he was a top G II man. Otherwise my paper on “Vietnamese Buddhism” was rejected and rejected and rejected. Democracy and humanity, hurrah!

Then I began to meet more and more Vietnamese with whom communication was simple and easy. I moved to Novato and found myself living near one Lt. Edward Lansdale Jr. I contacted him and found he was the son of Lieutenant-General Edward Lansdale, my war hero. I could not have known him, of course, every European “expert” on Asia and every newsman knows better. But I wrote him and we agreed that it would be best for me to stand by him. We are both friends and so is Carrol of her Serene highness Princes Poon whom I again met at Geneva this year. So I turned my attention to the Near East.

At Geneva I told people I was the “incarnation of Nathan the Wise.” In a short time the real leaders of the real religions of the real world were either apologetic or cordial Boy, did I get apologies, and kisses. There were no newsman there from the US. Next time we may invite communists and then the press will appear.

At Geneva Asian-Asians wondered why I had not been to certain world-religion conferences, especially in California. “Oh, Professor Von Schnitzelbaum saw to that.” The Asian-Asians are still unable to understand why I am blacklisted and especially at the University of Hawaii (controlled by associates of the Duce-­Generalissimos of Semantics friends).

When we left Geneva we had “impossible” receptions at the Royal Asiatic Society and World Congress of Faiths in London, etc. This simply could not be so I spare details.

After all there was just one man who believed I had some good ideas on the Near East, excepting Admiral Evenson here. That man … Gunnar Jarring! He said that I had the most sensible plan for the Near East he had ever heard of, but after all the “experts” and the “good people” and the “nice” people especially the winners of “peace awards” know better.

When “Silent Spring” was published I was a professional spray operator. When I tried to speak, all the “liberty, democracy and humanity plus peasants shut up” put me in my place, all excepting the entomologists. They thought I knew what I was talking about but they were a hopeless minority. And so when I have been thinking I had a plan for the Near East! Only now there is a growing group of young that think (?) not, what you do know but who has rejected you? and that is making me a superhero.

So I began to call some young people together an presented my ideas and experiences which only a Gunnar Jarring would even listen to (excepting Admiral Evenson and his friends) and they are going ahead with the “inconceivable,” “impossible” and Verboten. If Jew and Arab shared pornography: world news. If they shared marijuana: world news. But if they eat together and pray together. This simply can’t because, because, because.

Now I am looking better simply because the young listen to me and accept facts while their elders would not listen to me or accept facts. As Russ Joyner says, “Don’t let facts confuse the issues.” But between assumedly knowing and being rejected and ejected, what is happening! My audiences increases, my incomes increase and we are getting prosperity from many sources.

Already my uncontrollable young disciples have arranged a dinner given by Jews for Muslims and another to be given by Arabs for Jews. This ain’t news, darling, this mustn’t be news. Wrong persons involved. Of course, of course.

But … in the meanwhile a millionaire publisher has discovered this person and actually believes what is in his diaries. He will be home soon. We don’t care if the press believes or not. The “great” men who have received peace awards never answer letters but now my letters to them may be published. We are getting Muslims to say the “Sema” and Jews to say the “Kalama” which mustn’t, mustn’t and cawn’t be … wrong people. But some have votes and we are getting more and more money and often by honest work and sometimes by inheritance.

I am going to the department of Near East languages, the University of California. Once I wrote a paper, based on Paul Brunton and all “experts” who followed one another at the American Academy of Asian studies turned me down. They said it was ridiculous. Then I went to the department of Near East languages in Berkeley and they offered me a PhD Degree on the spot! Asians have such queer ideas about Asia. I never forget.

As we can’t avoid death and taxes and as death left me in sole charge of my father’s estate, plus the fact that I continue to work and work hard, what to do? Well we are establishing a peace scholarship.

One team of disciples is busy now here contacting sources of funds and doing everything possible to bring the “peasants” together and rather succeeding. Another team plus Ralph Silver is getting funds to take pictures and tapes of my spiritual colleagues in real Asia, of whom there are many despite all the “experts” and press and radio-TV. And now I tell the young who have turned me down and they are making me a hero, not on knowledge but on naming who has turned me down.

My next “adventure” will be Washington. Oh, I have contacts, and not just General Lansdale above. And my dear disciples and friends are working so hard and so successfully. It may be as I said before the young at the family dog: “Youth of the world unite, you have nothing to lose.”

Anyhow I am so busy getting addressed for Phillip Davenport and Ralph Silver and also writing letters to Asian-Asians that there is not a dull moment. I even have two Jerusalem rabbis with them. But not the nice bourgeois who sermonize to the comfortable in our synagogues. After all don’t the synagogues and mosques tell their congregations that the Deity has special real estate for them in the hereafter, so they are assured they can even hate the others. “God” is with them. The Christians also agree, etc.

As I told you, a secretary of the “intolerable” Pope has answered one of my letters and I think I shall have the Jesuits on my side when I get to New York. But now the “experts” and after a while the press may conclude that occasionally if only rarely, reality may be more important that “realism.” After all doesn’t the press agree with the communists on the values of “realism” and ethnocide for Buddhist orphans!?

I am in a peculiar position. I agree not at all with the regents of the University of California, nor the new left, nor the old left, and least with the press and radio-TV. I agree with the president of the Alumni Association in making public the positive accomplishments which anybody not a newsman, or a revolutionary or a regent might comprehend and accept. Wonderful wonders, but not news. I can give endless lists of these “not-news” accomplishments but now we are doing, damn it doing.

Our jury trials demand eye-witness. Someday, perhaps in the international field, we may permit the peasants eye-witnesses to express along with the opinions of the high and mighty who were not there. “Liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up” is going to its natural or unnatural death.

Faithfully,

Sam

cc- Herb Caen

cc- Art Hoppe

 

 


August 28, 1970

 

My dear Gavin:

I am writing with two regrets: one is that you are confined at least part time. This, combined with the illness of Ed Hunt and of my chief disciple, Moineddin Jablonski is of some concern especially as I have now not only no days off but am lucky to get a free hour or two.

The other concerns the little boy, Nathan Johnson. You reed his horoscope terrifically correctly. All kinds of things unforeseen at the time have happened, are happening. His father, Mansur, is no longer my secretary. The dances, inspired by Ruth St. Denis whom “good” people know I could not have known, are spreading like wild-fire. They have been filmed and recorded and now this has become a world project with Mansur Johnson acting as local technician, a full time paid job.

Already a team has left for Asia to meet the Asians and Sufis of God and Rand­-McNally, quite different from those of the American Academy of Asian Studies, the California Academy of Asian Studies, the World Affairs Council, etc., etc. Ralph Silver is with them and I had to spend hours getting out addresses of people that I could not possibly have met, of course, of course, but who at least read my things before criticizing and then they did not criticize. Quite the contrary.

Another secretary is in Arizona teaching the Asian philosophies of Asians with considerable success. People have gotten tired of Gurdjieff and Subud and want realities, and they are getting them. He is also working for a very wealthy publisher who wants my things and said he would publish them.

The third secretary in San Francisco is with a number of other people carrying out principles of my plan for peace in the Near East. The first dinner, absolutely impossible and inconceivable was a total success. Arabs and Israelis dined and prayer together and embraced. There was no news reporter there although I have been writing to Herb Caen.

You see, Gavin, only four men ever listened to me abroad and one here. The one here is a retired admiral who listened and agrees thoroughly and absolutely. The second was a professor from the University of California who has accomplished wonders—not news; only Russian plans are news, American accomplishments are never news.

Then there were three other men, two gave me two hours and the third four hours. This man who had the effrontery to listen to me for four hours was Gunnar Jarring and he told me in person that my plans were the most sensible and beautiful he had ever encountered but every “expert,” clergyman, religionists, news man, humanist and sociologist knows better.

In the meanwhile I am trying to arrange a Peace scholarship. I have at thousand dollars to spare for the coming year but the complexities are in the opposite direction, not obstacles. I shall not bother about these. It is remarkable how few people not born in California have accepted that I might know some Californians, but why argue.

The next step is the plan to go East. I have a new secretary of sorts, the sweetheart of my chief secretary and she has a car in New York so we hope to go there and travel. But you should see our invitations?

Emerson said that if one invented a better mousetrap and lived in the midst of the woods, people would find him. About 200 people found me at Lama, and since returning only l’impossible is happening. The phones at both houses continually ringing and many long distance calls.

At Geneva it was declared I looked and acted like Walt Whitman. This was the conclusion of others.

For the Ladies who want super-equality I read not-existing literature (if you accept the “experts”), of the hymns of the early Buddhist nuns and referred to Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Renascence.” I realize no “good” Buddhist would have anything to do with such literature so that gives me a nice monopoly. Anyhow the young accepted it.

Actually this is to blow off steam between tasks. But there are nice signs of growth and expansion, and I have such a wonderful “following,” growing in size and even the universities are beginning to open doors. We shall see. Get well.

Love,

Sam

cc Alan Watts

 

 


Novato,

September 2, 1970

 

My dear Gavin:

At this moment I am in utter confusion due to the amount of work, but other than the illnesses, including your own, there is nothing wrong. So many of the disciples are now working for New Age and Ralph and Phillip Davenport are abroad with utterly “impossible” news, real news concerning real people in the real world. And I am not in the least concerned because an Arizona publisher will now accept this and make easy scoops simply because the news media won’t accept unless it pleases them.

As I told you before every letter written on “pollution” to scientists has been accepted and many of my own laboratory-technician-scientists say I was one of the best students they ever turned out. This is their opinions, not mine and it is very different from the “opinions” of important people who verbally attack “value-judgments” and are champions of it.

The reason for writing at his moment is that a letter has been received from Santa Barbara. Alan Watts asked a favor and it as granted but I regret to infer you that Prince Hopkins died two weeks ago. This “scundrel” gave Luther Whiteman and myself page after page of recommendation while the “good people” of California either attacked or ignored us. I did not “play” upon him but it was comforting to find somebody who would listen to you before dumping “vague-judgments” upon you. That day is done now, but I shall always remember him as a great humanitarian and a champion of what should called “free speech,” actually, without regard to the personalities involved.

I do not expect to convince any “Buddhist” or “New Age-Hindu” of the actual truth of Karma, I mean the operation, not the words. The preachers of “Karma” think they are satisfying the universe by their talking, and they are the worst.

True Gunner Jarring gave me hours and said that my plan for the Near East was the best he had ever encountered. But although the official he was a hopeless minority. I am however, not alone in the boat. My friend, Paul Keim of the University of California has accomplished more than any other American abroad. You don’t read about him. It just is not done. If the Russians try something it is news; if the Americans accomplish it is not news. So doors are opening for me at the University of California.

Even in the Philosophy Department and we are going to end once and for all this terrible anti-scientific cult by very important people, the Generals of Semantics. They may relent but I no longer care. My efforts to get “in” at Columbia follow the real Law of Real Karma, not the superficial lectures of “experts.” I have already been invited and will resume the follow up on Cassius Keyser whom I shared with Alfred Korzybski as having had as teacher in Philosophy, for which I have neither been recognized or forgiven. But Vocha knows all.

The real conference of the leaders of the real religions of the real world was not “news,” but when Ralph reached Switzerland he was given a wonderful welcome by the cleric who acted as host, and also introductions. And it is quite evident that the real leaders of real India don’t agree with local “experts” at all. I understand that permission has been given for filming and recording the ceremonies of the “non-existent Sufis.” All letters from India are wonderful and the Indians of the Consulate and Travel Bureau will be pleased although they differ from the “official-experts.”

The receipt of a fine letter from a top Rabbi of Jerusalem was followed immediately by a long distance call that my personal representative, Phillip Davenport, was openly and joyously welcomed by another Rabbi. That can’t be, I mean it jest ain’t news but it is going to be history, you can bet.

I was the only outsider when Papa Tara Singh met Pundit Nehru. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs embracing and kissing each other just can’t be news, It ain’t done. Bu now we are doing it. It is a new age, and the efforts to bring Jews, even Israelis and Arabs together has been overwhelming and I think I can get some persons at Washington to accept that. Why even the “intolerant” Roman Catholics are interested and you can bet that I will receive a much better greeting if I visit Saint Ignatius than if I try to reach any of our “experts” or “peace” groups.

The “great” Sir Zafrullah Khan, whom “everybody” idolizes was challenged at Geneva if he had anything more than oratory and emotions and he sat down. Why even this person was told he was the Walt Whitman of the convention—that was the impression upon real leaders of the real world. So one need not be too surprised if Phillip and Ralph, and soon others are being greeted and if my foreign mail alone has snowballed.

This coming week I may be speaking at a closed conference to Astrologers. I am not making the arrangement sand have not heard but it was scheduled. After all anybody can speak on “Yoga” but an “arrived one.” But my walks and dances are moving at a tremendous rate and while all the “nice” people won’t accept my relations with the late Ruth St. Denis, there are now so many not-so-nice people, so many, many.

So as soon as possible I should be going East. I am not crying for bakshish but maybe some will come. I have now a new helper who will go over all the research on the Near East and the University of California is interested. Maybe We Shall Overcome. With centers in Novato, San Anselmo, Corte Madera, Larkspur and Mill Valley, this week we “invade” Sausalito—invitations. No time for more.

Love,

 

 


Published by Shafayat, P.O. Box 7168, Seattle, Washington, 98133         September 1970

 

Sufis Speak

Dedicated to:

Those who have held aloft the light of truth through the darkness of human ignorance.

This newsletter is sent out once a month to those who request it. News of the Sufi world is appreciated and will be printed as sent as we use a stencil printer. A signed permission slip must come with material (to publish). We will appreciate all help toward continued publication of this newsletter.

Please use standard sized paper. We use as much as we are able of the news sent to us. Thank you for sending us the news we print. It is your letters and help that make this newsletter possible.

 

Ecstasy

Masti: A word used by Sufis for their ecstasy. Sufis have been always interested in ecstasy, more than any other sect of philosophers. There are different causes which produce ecstasy. Every cause has its peculiar effect and that is why the ecstasy produced by any cause cannot necessarily be called the ecstasy of the perfect Sufi.

Ecstasy cannot be called happiness nor could it be called the joy or peace because these are common expressions which are experiences of everybody. But the real Sufic ecstasy is quite different from the ecstasy that is commonly experienced by everybody.

If you consider why people have the habit of taking liquors and drugs, even knowing themselves that it is utterly injurious, you will come to an understanding that they enjoy such a state where they lose their senses. Loss of sense takes place owing to the increased activities of senses. At the same time passion as well as the intense joy and sorrow also can produce the ecstasy. This common ecstasy could not be called the Sufi ecstasy. This is experienced by every living creature on the earth consciously or unconsciously so how could it be a particular state of spirituality?

If Sufi ecstasy could be attained by merely these sources then there would be no importance to the Sufic ecstasy in the line of spirituality. Really speaking, Sufi ecstasy is incomparably and vastly different from the above described ecstasies. A Sufi advances by his spiritual practices to see, to know and to appreciate the nature’s beauty in all the names, forms and figures, to love in all the visible and invisible planes of the Absolute. And the more perfection he achieves in it, the more love in his heart grows and illumines his body, mind and soul with the spiritual light.

During his progress towards perfection he realizes five kinds of ecstasies: one which he feels in his body, another he feels in his intellect, the third in his heart, the fourth in his soul, and the fifth when he loses himself absolutely.

Sufism is called the religion of love, and as a person evolved in love he experiences the ecstasy by degrees. The physical beauty, also the beauty of thoughts, ideas, merits, arts like music and poetry appeal to him intense in proportion to his advancement. In appreciating beauty his perfection grows so that he at last arrives at such a state that he all the time sees all over beauty and nothing else.

He first loves one Beloved and then he sees the same Beloved in all forms and figures and the manifestation becomes for him his Beloved in various aspects. He then resigns himself to the Beloved’s will and rejoices himself all the time with the Beloved Who is found all over in the time and space. This keeps him in a real state of ecstasy which is the holiest, purest and most divine condition of joy and peace.

He sometimes feels it more intense and sometimes less according to nature’s mood. Every little thing makes him feel emotional and devotional because he is full of life and energy, more lively than others because this is the real life. All others are dead in comparison with him who is not subject to miseries, decay or death.

He who has arrived to this perfection is called by the Sufis sahib-i-hal. People in the East have such regard for this ecstatic state of Sufis. They never ridicule him but get his best wishes because that is the time when his will is the Universal Will, in other words God’s Will, and in that mood whatever he wishes is fulfilled as this manifestation has been nothing but the Will of God.

The miracles performed by the prophets and saints were in the state of ecstasy, and they were successful in proportion to the degree of the force of their ecstasy. It has many times happened in the East that Sufis separated their souls from the bondage of the body and passed off from this world by their own will and command during this condition of ecstasy.

This state is also the only means of perceiving right inspiration. The prophets, saints that have been receiving any inspiration, is the outcome of, their ecstatic condition. When Mohammed was receiving the Divine Message, also Moses and Jesus used to have communion with the Supreme Being. They used to have it after the intensity of their ecstasy.

Sufis experience this condition as the greatest joy, especially by their spiritual advancement by the invocation of Allah’s Name. The admiration of Mohammed, the devotion of Murshid, the verses of Qur’an, the nice perfume, the beauty of nature, the discourses on truth, the poetry of love and the music can help a great deal in producing the ecstasy. The most emotional and devotional Sufis are the Chistis who are very ecstatic and devotional. They are leading today in the East for their most charming personality, wisdom and spirituality.

After a Sufi acquires perfect control on ecstasy, he has the control on death and decay. He becomes as pure as the water of the Ganges, and his heart of self becomes the Kaaba. His brain becomes illuminated with the divine light. Then his actions become the actions of Jesus and his words become the words of Moses, and his expression becomes the expression of Mohammed. At last he unites with Allah and becomes one with Him.

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The Sufi Order and the Sufi Movement:

Readers wonder...

We have been submerged in comments from all over the world regarding our report on page 3 of our previous issue about “The Day of Urs in India when “Pir Vilayat and Fazal stood at the head of the tomb….”

Readers ask: Aren’t Pir Vilayat and Fazal heads of two irreconcilable factions, the Sufi Order and the Sufi Movement?

This matter will be thoroughly explained and documented in subsequent issues of Sufis Speak. In the time of Hazrat Inayat Khan the Sufi Movement was a vehicle and servant of the Sufi Order. Sometime after Hazrat Inayat’s passing a few of his relatives doubted the wisdom of some of Hazrat Inayat’s dispositions for the future of the Order and the Movement—which they had a perfect right to do. They took it upon themselves to run the Movement according to their own ideas. Through certain legal actions they believed they had acquired ownership. The Order, on the other hand, could not be touched or acquired by any legal effort. It still functions as Hazrat Inayat Khan wished and planned.

The fact that Pir Vilayat and Fazal stood together at the head of the tomb argues well for the future. Fazal, appointed head of the “Movement” by Musharaff Khan, before the latter’s passing, never shared the ideas of his predecessors. For a while, however, he acted as if he apparently did. At a very young age he faced great problems. It appears that he may master them. The Order and Movement may again be one; or, if certain members prefer to uphold the ideas to which they have become accustomed and will maintain separate organizations for some time to come, the two groups may at least acknowledge and respect each other.

The Occultist, the Mystic….

Looking beneath him, the occultist sees millions of rungs on a ladder he has climbed. He may feel proud. Looking ahead and up, he sees more millions of rungs, yet unclimbed. Is there no end then, no relief, no completion, ever? No final and complete truth?

At this stage he may wonder: Could there be an escape? An easy way out, cheating Fate, as it were?

He finds that there is. But what is the price? The cost? The price is himself; his ambition, his achievement: His whole personality then? Yes, his own concept of his personality; but not his personality as others see it! Is it worth all that?

He may turn away in fear, in disgust, and continue his weary climb. This is his right. That way he may even gain knowledge he would not otherwise have acquired. He continues an occultist. At the same time he may be a scientist, a publisher, an editor. He is sure of his standards and can’t be quite as tolerant to people below it as he knows he ought to be. And those above? He isn’t there and doesn’t understand them, sometimes dismissing them as being beneath him, sometimes as being irrelevant and irritating.

Then again there are those who face the choice and make the change. They have begun to see that the million rungs in the ladders, real enough to the climbers, are as elusive as the phantom of a separate self. They see not a lone individual but a chain of creation starting from the first beginnings; reaching through the present toward all future. So they give up the illusion of the separate self since they no more believe in it. To them there is no one below them, hardly a soul above them, but they themselves encompass all. There is no question of being tolerant or even “understanding” for who needs be tolerant to himself and who doesn’t understand himself? All that he thought he “knew” dissolves into an ocean of thrilling possibilities. Such words as clairvoyance, reincarnation, astral, projection are dropped as inaccurate approaches. Instead of words, he begins to see, hear, feel. His ambition is no longer to change nature’s procedures into what some call miracles, but to see and grasp the miracle of nature as it is.

Nicos Kazantzakis in his book Report to Greco tells us about a mountain trip where, from the majesty of the wilderness he suddenly sees the lights of a village. He shakes his fist at it, shouting, “retched creatures, I’ll slaughter you.” Embarrassed, he explains to his shocked companion that these were not his words but those of a distant ancestor, with whom he suddenly became one. In other parts of the book he projects himself into future man, also part of himself. He dreams man’s future: He is a mystic. Not all Sufis are mystics, but among Sufis the mystic is understood and encouraged.

Answers to your questions to the editor

Pir Vilayat’s youth camps.

We regret to tell all of you who have written to ask about these camps that they are just that—Youth Camps. The attendance is limited to those who are between the ages of 18 and 28. Perhaps we may one day prevail upon Pir Vilayat to have something for those of us who cannot qualify agewise.

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Back Issues

Again we regret that we cannot send out back issues. We print a limited number. In the case of the last issue we had so many requests we reran that number again. As we are dependant entirely upon your generosity our means are tightly limited. Those of you who have Not Written in and requested being place upon our permanent mailing list Must do this or you will be dropped. We cannot send to those who are not interested.

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No News about your Center or Activities??

You, the reader who has something to say or tell must send us these things you want published. It should be typewritten it must be neat and ready to stencil. If your material comes in handwritten and has great news value we will print it but just as you send it. If you wish your work signed with your name you must send it in in that manner. In any case permission to print must be sent with each pager for publication.

Send in the time and place of your Universal Worship if you desire it published. Send in time and place and date that you are to have important speakers. If you wish to swell attendance be sure that copy is send in time to reach us by the 25th.

*       *   *           *           *           *

Please don’t write in and tell us we haven’t mentioned your group unless you have sent your material in time to be timely and of interest to others. We might be Sufis, but even then we need your permission to print.

Monthly Universal Worship Service each fourth Wednesday each month 8 P.M. in the Chapel of Light, Unity By the Sea, Santa Monica, California.

 Monthly Universal Worship Service each first Sunday each Month 2 P.M. Chapel of the Downtown Unity Church Seattle Washington.

Gratitude is expressed to the Ministers and Members of Unity for the privilege of worshipping in such Blessed surroundings

Summer School At Lama, New Mexico,  June 1970

Samuel L. Lewis, Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti, went with seven of his disciples, which included three women with five children, two single men, and one couple with three children, to Lama, New Mexico, where he conducted a summer school in the month of June, 1970.

Lama is located high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, over 8,000 feet, and overlooks the Rio Grande River valley. Standing in the huge octagonal shaped window in the domed adobe dance hall where Sufi Sam or Murshid, as he was called, put on his spiritual dances two or three times a day, it was possible to look out 25 or 30 miles across the valley to the snow-capped peaks on the horizon.

Lama is a New Age community with a universal outlook. They have a group meditation every morning and a different member of the Community acts as pujari, the pueblo word for ritual-leader, and presents a chant or song of his choice in addition to the regular program which included an Essene prayer and meditation and a Buddhist chant.

The people at Lama maintain excellent relations with the Indians in the pueblo at nearby Taos. There was a group effort for one week, where practically the whole community, male and female, went to the pueblo to make adobe bricks for the Indian family that three years before, when Lama was first established, taught them the native technology which was used in the construction of the main building. There is not only the dome mentioned above, but also a library, a bath and an all-purpose room called “the only room,” from the time when it alone was the only finished room in the whole building. Surrounding the central complex are A-frames and domes and tents for sleeping.

There is also a large octagonal kitchen-dining room, two stories tall. The kitchen is downstairs and the dining room which seats 22 people comfortably is upstairs. There were nearly 40 of us in June and, consequently, the children frequently ate separately. The dining room was entered by a staircase set on the outside of the building.

Besides offering the group his spiritual dances, where movements are secondary and chanting the Name of God in either Arabic or Sanskrit is primary, Sufi Sam had a class every night which included readings from and commentaries on “The Sufi Message” of Hazrat Inayat Khan. He also took the community through a series of Buddhist practices which overcame the differences of the various Buddhist sects and his musical director developed themes from “The mysticism of Sound.” Inevitably the devotees demanded more dancing and this usually closed the meetings.

Sufi Sam also made contact with groups of young people living on a commune north of Lama and visited weekly other such groups in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. We departed from New Mexico after a huge festival of dancing and singing in Yale Park on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and arrived home by July 5th for a grand reunion with Murshid Sam’s San Francisco disciples and the celebration of Inayat Khan’s birthday.

Mansur

In our last issue we told you of the workshop Pir Vilayat conducted at Pacific Palisades, California. As a direct result of this through the attendance of some Unity ministers, Pir Vilayat will conduct a three day course in Meditation at Lee’s Summit. We will give you the date and more details in the next issue.

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Again our thanks to L. Hayat Bowman who writes:

“We await the arrival of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan who is to conduct the Urs of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisthi September 3rd. in Ajmer. I look forward to it very much; it is an indescribable experience, but I shall try to describe it a little for Sufis Speak. On September 6 we hope to have a Universal Worship there in the courtyard of Muzaffar Hussain Khan. We hope to have the service in Urdal with Fir Vilayat conducting. I return on the 9th. On the 13th. Pir Vilayat will give a public lecture here (New Delhi) on The Life and Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan. It being 60 years ago that Murshid left India. I hope he will be here a few more days and I am giving a reception for him here at the centre.”

*      *     *           *           *           *

It is our aim to give those of you who are a distance from a center a tie with important Sufi events in all parts of the world. We hope that those of you who find pleasure in the things that others send in, will be moved to send things it too or at least write in and tell us what you like or don’t like for that matter.

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The reports we had hoped for from Summer School have not yet arrived but there was little time. We can hope for this next month.

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from Words of Earth by Cerdic Wright, sent in by Daphne Beorse

 

From within the sounds and

banners of the vast horizon,

without words, into an inner

silence, can:

“Remember well this magnitude

lift your eyes,

That the great meanings shall not

flow by unheeded.”

See

Suddenly one becomes awake, one lives

in an eternity,

and hears strange footsteps

ascending ancient trodden pathways.

From the unknown,

from the immense and infinite,

weaving into consciousness

like long fingers of fog

through coastal canyons,

comes a far-off singing

Out of the sea, in vast currents

a mystic essence arises

Essence of the infinite godliness

which creates worlds.

 

The craving of the soul for truth becomes a driving force only when other things have become secondary.

* * * * * * * * * * *

To most the truth is far away but to some it is no more than a thought.

*****

 

 


Sept. 15, 1970

Mr. Gavin Arthur

1565 Octavia

San Francisco, Ca. 94109

 

My dear Gavin,

The way affairs are today it is utterly impossible for me to visit you if you are in the hospital or to attend your lectures, or anybody else’s. With a completely full program, and with a hard hard fact that a number of my disciples have been successful in having joint Israeli-Arab-Christian dinners, and performing my dances! The whole was stimulated by the fact that the world is now paying respect to one Gunnar Jarring, one of the three men in the world who listened to my proposals for peace in the Near East.

I am leaving for the East Coast shortly. The number of my disciples has increased tremendously. The real news of real events in the real world, from the very real Phillip Davenport, Fred Cohn, and Ralph Silver, is tremendously favorable. All the “good” people such as the press, the peace organizations, and the vast majority of the Judeo-Christian ethical clergymen, have refused even to give an interview, let alone examine what I have to say.

Evidently the real leaders of the real religions of the real world are slightly unbalanced, for they declared that I looked like and acted like Walt Whitman while I was parading myself as an incarnation of Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise.” I think the future generations may accept this a little.

In this land of “peace, freedom, liberty, democracy,” “peasant shut up,” and European professors of Oriental philosophy, apparently the only way to get attention is to have a marijuana festival. I have given notice that if our work continues to be ignored I shall put on an advertised marijuana festival when I return. By “ignored” I mean ignored, I do not mean derided. I have had such loving letters from both Rabbis and Muslims, and such tremendously favorable reports from Christians and Hindus as to be “unbelievable,” but entirely in accord with the real teachings, the actual writings, of Walt Whitman.

Added to this is the very good fact that my revenues are increasing so that it is possible to have new paid secretaries. My former secretaries have remunerative jobs in connection with the efforts to bring peace in the Near East, have real cultural exchange with real Asians, and to teach spiritual philosophies of the world. Indeed, almost the first man I shall meet in New York City will be one of your “intolerant” Jesuits. He has been quite willing to listen to the program which I presented to Gunnar Jarring, and which the churches, peace organizations, world affairs council, and humanists, derided, Amen.

Let the dead bury their dead. Indeed I am going all the way with Alan Watts excepting on one point; I believe the higher plants will have higher psychedelic properties. This is still to be discovered and uncovered. I am not an expert; I am a horticulturist.

Love,

 

 


September 25, 1970

 

My dear Arthur:

This is written in great hurry. One never has a day off and one’s life is proceeding exactly as the real spiritual and real moral laws of the real universe proclaim—any resemblance to metaphysics being strictly incidentally. I do not have days off and have had little sleep for a month. We are wedded to war, war, war and make a shambles out of spiritual traditions—the best or worst. I am not in the politics.

My “Dances of Universal peace,” shunned by all the “good people” and especially by the “peace” organizations (any camp) are winning among the young. I had to lead a whole thousand yesterday in Golden Gate Park, and then teach a class of spiritual women and then put on a public session in Sausalito and then have to pack, leaving for Ithaca and should be in New York City an Monday.

I have no time for either patience or oppositions. Gunnar Jarring said my plan was the best he ever heard of Bang! bang ! But I have hung on and wish to have a place for His Holiness in the Holy Land. I have to see a colleague in your City as soon as possible, Father John Haughey of “America.” This is a long story. Whatever knowledge or sincerity, shunned by all the “good” people and metaphysical groups (all types), is now rising to the surface. Not only the young but the universities and I have a disciple authorized to teach “my” spiritual dancing at the University of California in Berkeley. And Cornell and Columbia will at least hear me, and depart from the good old American Judeo-Christian ethic of a priori rejection. Ministers and Rabbis all over the world are apologizing and I have at least partly “converted” the nearby Franciscan Fathers. Rabbis in Jerusalem, yes; here????

We have put on very successful Israeli-Christian-Arab dinners and expect more, and more. One TV station has cognized and we hope to have a radio station—you soon find out how “liberal” the liberals are. But I am not troubled. My disciples and colleagues have been exceedingly successful in their ventures far and wide, and excellent news from Palestine, Iran and India, at least. And slowly from and in this country.

My New York address will be c/o Lonnie Less, 27 West 71st St. Programs have been laid out for me in the New York and Boston areas and partly laid out in the Washington area. Young people have very successfully launched a “Three Ring” corporation based on Boccaccio which was followed by Lessing in his “Nathan the Wise.”

The only time I was ever permitted locally to a peak on Palestine was by the “intolerant” Jesuit Fathers and when I finished the chair declared the meeting over, that all problems were solved. There were no pacifists or “peace” people there.

No time to rest. My chief disciple very ill and the garden flourishing so well we hardly have time to pick the crops. Ten times as many grapes on our vine as last year. And this covers all other activities. Not thinking of the morrow but hope you can communicate with me.

Faithfully,

 

 


27 West 71st St.,

New York, N. Y.

c/o Lonnie Less

October 8, 1970

 

Gavin Arthur

1565 Octavia St.

San Francisco, Calif. 94109

 

My dear Gavin:

Have not heard from or about you for some time and the last news was not too good. I came East totally tired but not otherwise harmed and good rests have enabled one to do things.

Last night I heard Vilayat Khan. He spoke to the audience as if this were the Aquarian Age and he supported his theme so well that almost everybody agreed with him. I see no more reason for science and religion having to be one than for biology and architecture to be one, or for mathematics and lawn tennis to be one.

He called attention to the different way the Aquarians are acting. It is very simple. They do not have chairmen or speakers endowed with “revelations” so that the audience must be in awe of them. Peasants also are permitted to express their views. Character assassinations are not permitted in public meetings nor is anyone refused the right to express himself if it be on the subject matter. All these and other signs demonstrate humanity is in a New Age.

While his talk centered on Meditation I find myself in such total agreement with him that I have even joined the “old ladies” who are so profusely laudatory. Besides that he has done things. He has done more to build real cultural exchange between real Asians and real Americans than any man I know, and especially far more than the passing English and Europe an “experts” on Asia (whatever that means). Have not heard from Ralph but the other news is so favorable one does not feel he has lived in vain.

Before leaving I have found that the University of California has not only accepted my Peace Scholarship but has a course presenting the Sufism of the Sufis—not of the grand lecturers who give us literary gems and no substance. Lead a thousand young in spiritual dancing proving the heritage from Ruth St. Denis rejected by Pisceans (of course) and accepted by Aquarians (of course). Evidence is evidence regardless and this proves the New Age.

I have however, joined occultism, spirituality and astrology. This was originally a challenge from Pir Vilayat. Now we have it. I may present it to Norman whom I have seen. Am not in the least interested in the negative reactions of Piscean astrologers. We even have Pluto down pat—which the Aquarians will at least examine and the Pisceans spurn.

Pir Vilayat will be back later in the month and we expect to get together. The Aquarians in Boston are anxious to see me. The Aquarian girls all want kisses! This never happened among the Pisceans. But there is something more involved, and when we get the superficial people out of the way we can, indeed we do demonstrate.

Was received gloriously at Columbia and have full approval of efforts to and understanding between Arabs and Israelis. I happen to know the “right people” despite our acquaintances in S.F. who are so sure I do not, or that it is “bragging,” which does not get me permission to talk either. Now one does not care.

Tomorrow we meet with a local leader in the efforts to bring Israelis and Arabs together. Why even one of the papers is publishing our accomplishments, not our plans but our deeds. Those young people who went to the Summer School of Pir Vilayat Khan may be the leaders of the New Age, in reality. Everything points to that, in the West and here and perhaps elsewhere.

Presumably meeting with the “spiritual leaders” of the New Age next week. We shall see. Something doing every day and night.

Love,

 

 


November 1, 1970

Wali All Meyer

410 Precita

San Francisco,

 

My Dear Wall Ali:

This letter is really to Gavin Arthur. I do not know if he is well at all. I would like to write him, and you may send him this if you wish or telephone him. I don’t know if he can understand what is going on. The sessions I have had with an AP representative and also CBS representative show that there are members of the fourth estate who are quite open, who let a person speak before they damn them. Why they even listen! On these two instances if they stopped listening it was because we were in such substantial agreement it was hardly necessary to talk at all.

From a private point of view, it is wonderful to have anybody listen to hard facts. I know so many people who have been victimized, not for wrong views, but simply because they were aware events were reported to be happening. When they have spoken the truth they have found audiences and even publications against them. And it is wonderful to get confessions from members of the fourth estate who know that most reporting as published conveys not so much actual news of events, but emotional reactions which are supposed to interest or excite readers. We are about ready to leave for Washington and have met with nothing but goodwill from persons concerned with the making of news, with representatives of universities connected with our present efforts, and with multitudes of young.

Personally I am absolutely through with the non-violence which permitted people of self-importance and social prestige but often very ignorant to take it out on personalities. There is no agreement among such people excepting in their negative attitudes toward those who annoy them.

In Washington I expect to see an old friend of mine, a retired general, who is devoting himself to clearing up so much confusion about Vietnam—I mean the Vietnam of the Vietnamese people, not the Vientiane of the Vice President and his dishonorable super-encyclopedic critics; both sides know nothing and both sides make themselves appear as if they were the experts. The people do not count.

This was fine in days when masses were uneducated. It no longer works.

We expect to call on several embassies in Washington, and in the short while remaining also on their UN representatives. I am no longer going to permit people who attack my person when there should be sober discussions on issues. I had the audacity last week to criticize a rabbi openly, and before we got through he apologized to me. The day is over when persons of so-called self-importance can lie, cheat, and mislead and get away with it. Incidentally, in the end I won the goodwill of the vast majority of people present when the rabbi exhibited all those faults which are thrown at Jewish people but which really exist among only a small portion of them. Unfortunately this small portion includes a large percentage of their so-called leaders.

My return home is going to present me with a new set of enigmas; there are just so many hours in the week. My own dances and philosophy are now being presented at the University of California for credit. This is a long way from Rom Landau who had me blackballed by most of the universities and colleges in central California. While an old friend of his did the same in the South.

One has no difficulty whatsoever in communicating to the young or in having them communicate with him.

One thing I am not going to have on my return, and that is time. There has been considerable advance on all my efforts: organic gardening, spiritual dancing, Oriental philosophies, poetry, and creative writing. There is even an editor demanding my things, so they will be published as fast as I can write to him.

I expect to be home on November 9, and programs and schedules have already worked out for me. We have been most successful so far in bringing a lot of Arabs and Israelis closer together. I am going to ring up Norman McGhee and tell him I approve of the Black Panthers’ program for the Near East. Have not seen very much of him because I am over occupied and he has not been very well. Will not have time to call on people much anymore. I will not permit anymore self-important persons balling me out in public no matter what the occasion.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


Nov. 17, 1970

 

My dear Gavin,

I do not know whether one can shoot in the dark at a target which isn’t there and hit it. I have proposed many times for a convocation of astrologers and had series of excuses why they couldn’t meet. So recently I wrote that if they couldn’t meet, we would call a convention at this house or some other place. As neither the time nor the place has been designated, it would be very difficult to send out invitations.

Besides, the telephone book is not very informatory. It is not like the New York telephone book which lists Astrology. So if I don’t hear in a few weeks we may take the bull by the horns and also the lamb and the twins and all the other constellations, and do it ourselves. Naturally you would be invited.

I cannot even tell you what the program will be. I want to present the astrological walks for the professionals, not for the public. Then other things. Then I have two disciples who wish to become professional astrologers. They will have something to present. One of them is working with the constellations, one is working on Pluto, and I am working on the planetary walks.

Apart from this, I am preparing a semi-mystical “Dance of the Hours.” It is easy enough to be an Apollo. It is simple enough to have horas varying in number. But I wish to choreograph a “Dance of the Hours” which will be astrological, with a different person depicting each sign of the Zodiac.

Outside the astrological work, I am presenting occult and mystical dances and walks based on knowledges of the sciences of the elements. These are unknown to most of the world and are part of the material of Sufi esotericism. They are only slowly being divulged because too many proper persons have refused to accept that this person is a valid Sufi teacher. One doesn’t care what others think, but as long as such views prevail, one does not have to reveal anything.

Anyhow, I am training a number of persons in the sciences of the elements and perhaps in what might be called ancient wisdom, and perhaps otherwise. But all these knowledges will be integrated in the “Dance of the Hours” and it is even possible that a version will be presented in Sausalito on Sunday, December 20, when there will be a bazaar for the benefit both of myself and my colleagues.

We had to leave New York because of total success of disciples and myself in series of endeavors for which one has had bundles of a priori rejections in this vicinity. I believe there is something in a name, and I have long foreseen that part of my career would resemble that of Samuel Morse, and you can bet your life I am going to name persons and organizations that gave me a priori rejections. I don’t mean those who opposed me, either validly or invalidity. I mean those who would never let me speak and who either wastebasketed my articles or spurned me otherwise. They are going to be named in writing, and soon. And the sooner we get rid of the “humble” fameuses or fameux, the better it is going to be for the world. Indeed I get no greater applause from the young than when I name those who have given me the a priori rejection in the name of liberty, democracy, and humanity. Amen.

We will let you know further when there will be a convention.

Love and Blessings,

 

 


December 8, 1970

 

Dear Gavin:

We almost had a riot here Sunday. Late in the p.m. Bill Hathaway phoned and I found he was munching a sandwich. I told him to come at once as we had an open house on Sunday night. Actually I had some fried chicken and Vermouth. I always have the last in case he ever shows up.

When he arrived I took him into the kitchen where there is a chief domo and four beautiful girls and they had to line up and kiss him. Then we went downstairs and there was a mob scene. I don’t know who was the most anxious, Bill or the girls. But the fellows also got in line and Bill had a hard time keeping decorum and nobody cared. It is a New Age here and anything reassembling older pattern behaviorism simply isn’t. Bill stayed and met my old friend Ted Reich and also the grand psychic Freda who is a marvel.

Everything else is different. The Asian-Asian are all for me. I have to join them Friday night in San Rafael. And today two different missions at the University of California. They are letting me speak. They are very different from the “experts” who know all about my character but nothing about whatever my knowledge happens to be. Not only am I speaking but the Alumni Association is interred in my Peace Program—newspapers, diplomats and “experts” keep out!

We are stacked for the Christmas season. On the 20th a big benefit in Sausalito and then birthday parties. Disciple Phil Davenport is back from his tour of Asian-Asia. We have films which will produce a better understanding between Asian-Asia and the U.S. No experts.

My closest relatives invited me to a big party at the old family home on 9th Avenue. This was always verboten. My parents never let me have parties, only my brother and I was kicked out so many times, every time my brother committed a crime I was expelled. And the younger have found this out. Besides my chief cousin happens to be a democrat and a politician.

Big programs to the end of the year. Then Vilayat Khan will be here. Then I must go to Arizona where an editor-publisher wants my stuff. He not only is not giving me the a priori “Christian-Jewish ethic,” he is already publishing some of my things without asking permission. And this at a time when more and more people want to come to my dances and some folks are finding my primal inspiration was the late Ruth St. Denis. It could not be, of course, but it was and is.

So we won’t have an astrological gathering until February 15 and that strictly invitational. My first Sufi teacher had been an occultist. But as the “good” people would not accept that I know any occultist I have waited and now the young are ready and others will not be excluded but before slam-banging at me they will have to learn what I have. This is the New Age, when sometimes people listen before they condemn.

Love,

 

 


December 12, 1970

 

My dear Gavin:

Have just received a letter from Selandia and she is wandering why you are not writing. One has to assume you are busy but I know your activity includes travel. I shall no doubt write to her after this. But of course she is going to meet disciples of Sufism and the young—not their elders who know better, will find there are multitudes of disciples of Sufism in many lands. They are not necessarily “better” than others but they are certainly more tolerant.

Vocha has recently told Lloyd and others that Sam is one of the best informed men on earth. It may be her opinion but I notice that this is also being held in greater and greater degree at both Columbia and Cal. not to mention others. The universities are becoming a little different from the “tolerant” and “broad-minded” in that they listen before they condemn. And no they are not commending. Indeed everything is most beautiful in all relations with the University of California and my own teachings are being presented, and for credit. Maybe somebody made a mistake but there it is. They are not “broad­minded” and “universal” and, of course, extremely exclusive which is the “right” of the “tolerant.’

There are now seven absolutely world organizations (excepting the Baha’is) that I know of, all ignoring each other and the top bananas all Englishmen, Americans and Hindus! God apparently did not make the Jews and Chinese. Every time a new “savior” appears, they tack my name and organization along with them without asking permission. The hard and simple fact that there are over 40,000,000 disciples in Sufism is well known to God and Rand-McNally but not to “world saviors” and European professors of “Oriental Philosophy” including men like Lama Govinda. These people know “everything” and therefore are superiorly superior. I am not equipped to write on “Oriental Philosophy.” I have not the “credentials,” being a drunkard and lecher. I like drunkards and lechers but have never found what that has to do with Asian-Asian philosophies. Anyhow the books sell well, but “only in America.”

We have tentatively set down February 15 for a meeting of Astrologers. Absolutely private. Nobody is permitted to bring somebody with them unless that other person pays $25—I mean twenty-five dollars and no nonsense. Otherwise I simply will not talk. The professionals free.

We are doing the planetary walks and soon will be working on “The Dance of the Hours” with twelve girls as the constellations. As Sam Lewis is the inventor, choreographer and teacher I am sure some very “humble” local astrologers may not wish to come. Besides they are adepts at character analysis. We don’t analyze, we transmute. But our alchemy is derived from ancient Egypt via the Sufis and not from marvelous Germans and Chinese and dream-worlds. That is a different alchemy.

On Sunday the 20th a great bazaar in Sausalito. The press has finally I discovered that this person has met real Asian Masters in real Asia without consulting local “experts.” The young are coming to me more and more and they think they are learning and maybe they are.

Love,

 

 


December 12, 1970

 

My dear Elizabeth, (cc: Gavin Arthur)

I was very glad to hear from you and to learn what you are doing but we are simply not in a position to grant your request to furnish names. Sam has hardly a moment off day or night and while things are going well, often too well, it has taken almost a revolution to make others understand how overworked and undermanned we are.

There are now over a hundred disciples in this region and many applicants. We have three general public meetings and attendance though still small has been steadily increasing. We have six dancing classes besides. One secretary is making a good living in Arizona and another in Novato. Excepting Melvin Wali Ali have not had proper replacements. A hundred disciples means an increased number of interviews and more esoteric classes.

Next Sunday we are having a bazaar. The original idea as to raise money for Murshid and also for our “Three Ring” peace plan, derived from Boccaccio and “Nathan the Wise.” But we also feel we must help the East Pakistanis.

There are now so many “peace movements” all headed by super-meta-supermen, so moved by compassion and consideration they have no time to be sidetracked by any suffering of East Pakistanis or others. That is “their karma.” So say the avatars and messiahs and mahahahahasadgurus. Even now I have people coming here and asking for travel information. It is not rudeness; I am simply overworked. But if you write me after you have reached Kabul I may be able to get some material for you.

I am supposed to have a class this afternoon and it is already over an hour ahead and a lot of people have imposed on hospitality. I have to choose always between rudeness and no rest. But it is also the time for the repassing of real Sufism.

We have been most fortunate in getting the finest books but books are just indicators. If you meet more Masters of Islam tell them about an American who is Master in hal and makam.

We go as often as possible to the Khyber Pass Restaurant here which is owned and operated by Afghans, who are our best friends and we all find their meals most delightful.

Love and Blessings,

 

 


Gavin Arthur     

Astrological Counselor :1565 Octavia Street : San Francisco 94109 : Apartment 5 : Top Floor

Phone: (415) 346-2878     

2 May 1971

 

Dear Wali Ali,

Please excuse my seeming negligence. I was quite ill the day of your wedding—too ill to go anywhere what with a bad heart and dreadful arthritis. In fact I go hardly anywhere now, but stay home desperately trying to finish my books before I go to a better world.

But of course I wish you both every happiness and soul-growth, and I still want to do both your horoscopes as a wedding present, but you do not give the time of birth in either case, so I don’t know whether the Sun was rising or setting.

Love to you both,

Gavin

 

P.S. I have left you all of Sam’s letters—two fat loose-leaf binders full—in my will. Be sure to claim them if you read of my death.

 

S. F. Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, April 30, 1972

 

G.C. Arthur, a Man of Quality, Mourned

 

By Don Branning.

Gavin Chester Arthur, who was always correctly identified in the first paragraph of any newspaper story about him as “the grand-son of President Chester A. Arthur,” had a special quality which reporters everywhere needed for the creation of a true eccentric.

He had social tone. In addition to being a nationally famous astrologer and a President’s grandson, it was true, as the Associated Press noted in its lead on his obituary out of San Francisco last night, that he was “a latter day bohemian who named Greta Garbo, Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt among his friends.”

 

Helped Jackie

He had once served as secretary of the California Democratic Party. During the administration of her late husband, he helped Jacqueline Kennedy locate art objects stored and for­gotten by former Presidents. With that kind of class, Ga­vin Chester Arthur was a natural to make the papers when he committed some oddity. Such as, a number of years ago, selling newspa­pers on San Francisco street corners.

What happens between the last feature in the file on a valuable, public eccentric—say, something done two years ago—and his death, is real life.

Thus, those who mourned him yesterday at his colorful astrological fricassee of an apartment at 1565 Octavia St. were those commonly called hippies. It was not surprising.

Hippies love astrology. And Arthur, who had no small ego, had found a following among them. He held weekly astrology seminars, heavily attended by long hairs. Arthur died, of a heart ailment, Friday night at Fort Miley Veterans Hos­pital, at the age of 71.

 

Cast of Characters

There was at Arthur’s apartment, Marge “The Barge” Piaggio, astrologer, former secretary to Arthur, touched with the glamor of a thousand and one nights as a one time resident of Ken Kesey’s place at Laguna Honda. She made Tom Wolfe’s book, “The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test.”

‘There was “Cappy,” known to his mother as Roy Inquist, who was poignant, at 44, for more than one reason, one of them being that he is a period piece. He seems to be dashing cease­lessly into the past, trying to catch up with “On the Road,” so that Jack kerouac can put him into it. But Kerouac is dead and will never put Cappy in “On the Road.”

Also there were all the tranquilizer pills that Cappy was popping like cough drops yesterday to still his grief. He really needed and loved Gavin Chester Arthur, who had apparently been an ebullient, c1ever, childlike man, who also could be quite irascible, even cruel—from what they told of him. Cappy’s eyes looked like Mayan ruins that have not yet been restored by the government authorities.

 

Strange Void

And Murray, a stout, calm girl, who seemed the most realistic. And Lorenz Tro­net, a young man from the Midwest, the latest in a long line of secretaries to Arthur. The astrologer called them cheltas; and some of them thought of him as a guru.

They talked into that strange void, like a still day, a sentence left for them to finish, that the death of someone leaves.

 

Cappy was down and out six years ago when he moved in with Arthur. He’d started out from Duluth, Minn., with a close friend named Harold, in a secondhand Buick. The Buick wouldn’t back up. “Harold never studied dynamics,” Cappy said, “You can’t go all the way to San Francisco without backing up.” The car was abandoned in Mon­tana, and after a bad time, Cappy stumbled to Gavin Arthur’s doorstep in San Francisco.

 

Man’s Way”

“I loved him,” Cappy said. “He saved my life. We grooved together and we had so much fun. He made a new life for me and he got me out of jail. I used to steal food.

“He was a wonderful cook. He used to shout, “You people be quiet, I’m cooking!” he would throw a half pound of butter in and it would throw off smoke. “This is a man’s way of cooking,” he would say to me. “You cook like a sissy, Cappy.”

He was part John Barrymore and part W. C. Fields.”

“That’s a good line, Cap­py,” said Marge “The Barge” Piaggio. “That’s just what he was like,” Marge added, “He was incredibly dynamic and extremely intelligent. He was a sort of a patriarch in a way, a strange sort of a man. There was a lot of the child in him.

“Once he said, “I’m so furious with Cappy. He’s fall­en down the stairs and incapacitated himself.” Marge said, “Cappy is a large elf, a pixie.”

“Oh my,” said Cappy,” popping another tranquilizer pill, without water, “all my friends are dying.”

 

Magical Quality

Murray, the stout girl wanted to say privately, in another room, what she thought. “I was attracted to his household because it had a magical, enchanted quality. He felt that he and Cap­py had been through a million incarnations.

“His negative side was that he could be hyper­critical, and capable of cruelty. Cappy was the person he was closest to, although Cappy was very irreverent about astrology.

Marge “The Barge” Piaggio said there will be “one hell of a wake” today for Arthur at the Lyman country estate near St. Helena. His ashes will be circled by watermelons and roses, she said, and there will be reading of some of Walt Whitman’s thoughts on death.

Asia Foundation Correspondence

The Asia Foundation

38, The Mall - P.O. Box 378

Lahore, Pakistan.

June 21, 1961

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis,

K-482 Kunj St.

Abbottabad

 

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your letter of June 11 which I read with great interest. I am, as you say, very much in favour of Americans and Asians sitting down and talking together as human beings.

In your next to last paragraph you refer to a Foundation conference in Abbottabad. I believe you have in mind the Summer Seminars which we had expected would take place in Abbottabad this year. These seminars are participated in by Pakistani college teachers in cooperation with some of the senior professors at Pakistan’s universities, and American visitors. When I mentioned this to you when we met in Lahore, the plan was to have some of the seminars at the Public School in Abbottabad. Since sufficient accommodations were not available there, it has been necessary to hold them in Peshawar instead.

I hope to see you, however, if I do get a chance to cane to Abbottabad. Please likewise drop in to see me if you happen to be in Lahore.

Sincerely yours,

William S. Metz

 

 


The Asia Foundation

550 Kearny Street, San Francisco 8, California

Mailing address: P. O. Box 3223, San Francisco 19, California

November 18, 1963

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

58 Harriet Street

San Francisco 3, California

 

Dear Mr. Lewis:

As Bill Eilers is traveling on Foundation business, I would like to reply to your letter of November 9.

Regarding Professor Khawar Khan’s plan for obtaining a doctorate in Islamic Studies, I believe she could select from a number of excellent institutions. Near and Middle East Institute, Columbia University; Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Montreal; Department of Oriental Studies, University of Pennsylvania; and several others would certainly serve her need well. Should she wish to correspond regarding specialized advice on different departments in this country, I suggest she address the Middle East Institute, 1761 N Street, N.W. Washington 25, D.C., which, though not a teaching institution, is in close contact with all matters in this field.

With best wishes.

Sincerely yours,

James H. Noyes

 

 


The Asia Foundation

550 Kearny Street, San Francisco 8, California

Mailing address: P. O. Box 3223, San Francisco 19, California

Office of the President

September 2, 1966

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco 3, California

 

Dear Sam:

This will acknowledge your letter of August 29, enclosing a copy of a letter to President Johnson.

In accordance with your request for an interview on the subject of cultural exchange, I would suggest that you call Dr. Mary Gray of our Program Services Division, who is directly in charge of all of our exchange programs with Asia and is an expert on the subject of cultural exchange.

Sincerely yours,

William J. Sheppard

 

The Asia Foundation

550 Kearny Street, San Francisco, California

Office of the President

November 1, 1966

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco 3, California

 

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Many thanks for sharing with us the copy of your letter to Mr. Art Hoppe of the Chronicle. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

Sincerely yours,

William J. Sheppard

 


The Asia Foundation

550 Kearny Street, San Francisco, California

Office of the President

June 6, 1967

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco 3, California

 

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Your letter of May 14 has reached me for reply, and in the name of The Asia Foundation I would like to thank you for your kind words about the Foundation “as the great light … of what Americans can and should do….” We are pleased to have your letter as one of the many we have recently received complimenting the Foundation on its efforts in Asia and with Asians.

I have shared your letter with Mr. Smith and know he will read it with interest. We were pleased to see that you will be mentioning UCLA in your will and hope that you will do likewise for The Asia Foundation, which as you know, welcomes such bequests.

With best wishes for the continuation of your own good work.

Sincerely yours,

Mrs. Norman Coliver

 

 


Books for Asian Students

451 Sixth Street, San Francisco, California 94103

July 5, 1967

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California 91103

 

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Your fine collection of journals will be of primary interest and usefulness to teachers and students in Asia. We greatly appreciate your kind interest and help in our program.

A copy of the quarterly report which describes the activities and progress of Books for Asian Students is enclosed.

With renewed thanks and every good wish.

Sincerely yours,

Carlton Lowenberg

Enclosure

 

 


The Asia Foundation

550 Kearny Street, San Francisco, California

October 12, 1967

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110

 

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Please accept my apologies for not having answered your letter of August 3rd sooner. Although The Asia Foundation was unable to send a representative to attend the formal opening of your new home, I trust the evening was a success.

With regard to your god-daughter, Miss Khawar Khan, since she does have a Ford Foundation scholarship for study at Oklahoma State University, it would probably be best for her to remain at Oklahoma State until she completes whatever provisions are in her grant from the Ford Foundation. If, at the time she fulfills the provisions of the grant, she still feels she wants to come to California to study Home Economics, I suggest that she write the Office of Education of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. They publish a list of institutions which offer home-economics training entitled “Home Economics in Institutions Granting Bachelors’ or Higher Degrees, 1961-1962.”

I hope this will be of some help to you, and, again, please forgive me for having been so late in answering.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary F. Gray

 


Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue, San Francisco, Calif. 94110

April 25, 1968

 

Asia Foundation

550 Kearny St.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94111

 

My dear Friends:

Our Two Cultures and Peace in Asia.

I hope to release now a letter written originally at the suggestion of Senator Percy of Illinois and addressed to the two Senators from California and the two Congressmen from San Francisco. It is an odd thing that we claim to be fighting in Vietnam to introduce, or impose an electoral democracy and at the same time a citizen who has been a participant in the actual events involved is given no more consideration than anybody else who has—one vote, but it happens that soon this person will have a large number of votes, not that he is seeking any particular prestige, but the young, who are in protest prefer the direct experiences of a nobody to all the directors and dialectical sermons from the some bodies—who were never there.

And it is most unfortunate that to maintain the present anti-communist dialectics on which the press, the Foreign Office and most of the “experts” from the dialectical anti-democratic “far right” to and through “far left” are equally unwilling to comprise their subjective philosophies for hard facts. Hard facts are unwelcome and unwanted.

Agriculture in Asia This subject was discussed in “Asian Surveys” published by the University of California and details reports from a convention of social scientists and economists who accepted without question the official reports of God knows who. The report, mislabeled (who cares anyhow?), did not cover Asia but Thailand, India and Pakistan which happen to be the three countries I have lived in and where I made a firsthand study of agriculture in situ.

These reports have been discussed with the agronomists and other scientists on at least five campuses, touched lightly on one other, and one only met colleagues who have been given exactly the same treatment. Those who are in charge of channels of communication, on or off campuses, are interested in policies, and those who have garnered fasts have little to say about the establishment of policies.

Prof. Hyder was for years the Department of Asian Studies on the Berkeley campus. If I received a free meal from Armenians, I received as abject apology in India from savants. I challenged their whole educational system on the point of their ignorance of their own folk-lore and offered them every cent I had if they could point out a single problem of the day which did not have its solution in “Pancha Tantra” or correlative literature. And I regret to say— although it is natural—that there are instructors on the Berkeley campus that know very little of their predecessors, and so there is not always a continuum where such continuum would be very valuable.

This is mentioned because I have failed to find even in the greatest of enthusiasts a full appreciation of achievements first of the Berkeley Campus and then of the whole Multiversity structure and this may give you some ideas for your broadcast. This becomes more important to some of us because the University has been brought into the wrong arenas of public discussion—discussion yes, but the arenas should be selected, as in dueling by the challenged!

 

 

Asian Affairs. It is mentioned above that I have been a guest of honor here, there and there. The list is as long as it has been unheralded. When a book on “History of Thailand” was published, the official historian was Prof. David Wilson of UCLA and he included a chapter on “Problems.” I wrote him that every problem mentioned in the book had been met, even solved by colleagues on other campuses. He sent for me, I named the people and place and this has led into a great complex which concerns both international affairs and my own will, leaving manuscripts to UCLA which are even now of great value (only recently the possibilities of their being published).

Personal Affairs have improved greatly and give signs of improving more. Publishers have accepted these manuscripts, largely of great real Zen and Ch’an Masters, etc., etc. Only there has been no secretariat. I am glad to say his has now been provided.

Food Problems of Asia. Lord Snow’s The Two Cultures seem to hold and I have long advocated the “grill system” where professors of dinner subjects covering the same area meet occasionally and exchange knowledge.

There was a great conference on this subject at UCSF a few years back and I was appalled at the lack of knowledge by some of the Multiversity’s greatest representatives of achievements of lesser lights on the various campuses. But nobody is to be blamed. It takes six months to two years to get out brochures and the only “solution” would be to have more inter-campus exchanges.

One can hardly expect human cultural exchanges with professors who do not respect their own colleagues in the same field. Both the accomplishments and researches of the University of Colleague staff in trying to solve food problems (the real ones) is far beyond the ken of social scientists and the press.

For example the report on Pakistan totally ignores the completion of Mangla Dam by a local corporation (Guy Atkinson) and the resulting effects on agriculture and industry.

All the reports ignore the accomplishments of Rockefeller Foundation. My own conclusions were so in accord with the accomplishments of this Foundation, but in another area of Asia that there is nothing more to be added. Nor need it be added for Pakistan has accepted the efforts of Rockefeller Foundation, but the press and “social scientists” who can deduct so much about the unfinished Assouan Dam ignore both Rockefeller and Guy Atkinson.

The oddity is that we are presumably fighting the encroachment of communism and at the same time selling our own industrial accomplishments short.

The Temple of Understanding. While we are fencing to see where a “peace” conference can be held anent Vietnam, the real religious leaders of the real world are planning an international conference under American auspices, to be held this year. There Asians and Americans will sit down together as they do at Asia Foundation meetings, commune and communicate and endeavor to effect results.

This sort of accomplishments—to contrast with subject editorials can, and I believe will, save the world from anarchy.

Making Friends with Asians. A friend of mine, close to a high official of the United States Government recently asked if I could name Americans who might act as emissaries in Asian lands because of established good-will with actual Asians.

I do not know what will come of it. A citizen cannot make factual reports to the Foreign Office, no matter the nature; he is always treated as an underling. Everybody, reads. “The Ugly American” and “Sarkhan” but there is no change of policy.

One of the men suggested is Rev. Iru Price who is a real Buddhist who has had considerable real Buddhist training and is returning from a visit to Lama Anagarika Govinda. The Lama is expected to come in September and Rev. Price will act as his manager. I hope to arrange a visit to Asia Foundation’s offices at that time.

Prof. Huston Smith Arrives in August to present a course on “Living Religions and Philosophies of Asia.” I have been in touch with this man for some time and wish to encourage attendance at his lectures. This could do much to bridge the unfortunate and unnecessary cultural gap.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

cc: Burton

cc: Milliard

 

 


410 Precita

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

November 14, 1968

 

Asia Foundation

550 Kearney Street

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

 

My Dear Friends:

I am writing you now for several reasons. The most immediate being a request for an appointment some time on Friday, November 22nd, the exact hour to be confirmed by telephonic call etc. The reason is that our good friend, Dr. Thick Thien An, instructor in Vietnamese Culture and Buddhism, expects to arrive in this city on the previous night. I think especially in view of the many compilations involving his country, a Vietnamese should occasionally be given some consideration. My whole antipathy to our Asian policies is that we grant objective existence to powerful count rims and persons with whom we do not agree—often extremely antipathetic to—while we disregard the civilizations and persons of small, but often important, lands.

It is most unfortunate that under the guise of “realism,” we have almost totally disregarded also the contributions of our own citizens toward a better understanding of Asia. The most flagrant example of this is our bypassing, locally and otherwise, the completion of Mangalore Dam in Pakistan by one of our own corporations, while giving undue publicity to potential efforts—and I mean efforts—of inimical nations.

Along with the works of Guy Atkinson, and other American engineering firms, I must report now that an average American housewife, Mrs. Dickerson Hollister of Greenwich, CO has gone a long way toward promoting better Asian and also world understanding with The Temple of Understanding. I shall be glad to furnish you with details when received, if you do not get them otherwise.

Perhaps equally important in actual world affairs is the progress being made at Auroville, near Pondicherry in India, under the aegis of another American lady, Miss Julie Medlock. It is most unfortunate that the public on the whole has almost no information of successes by Americans in far, and especially, Asian parts.

Of another order, on visits here parallel to that of Dr. Thich Thien An above. My lifelong friend, Mr. Paul Reps, long-time Asian traveler and author of many books, has just been here, and again will appear in Sausalito, on Saturday, November 23rd. I saw Mr. Reps recently immediately after a visit with Swami Swahananda, who is now officiating at the local Vedanta temple. This visit looked like a verse out of Kipling which I shall not quote here.

Swamiji informs me that his Principal, Swami Ranganathananda, President of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Order, will be here in January. I consider this holy man one of the greatest living authorities and both mystical experience and Asian literature. If I may, I suggest your contacting him sometime; perhaps some of your staff knows him already.

I am also expecting, either in person or by news, our good friend, Master Seo Kyung Bo of Korea, although it is possible also that I may be visiting him in Philadelphia next year.

Of further interest perhaps, is the fact that my God-daughter, Miss Saadia Khawar Khan is now matriculating at Cornell University. She is a Professor of Punjabi University in Lahore and has met several of your staff members abroad. I consider her presence in the United States will be very helpful toward promoting both religious and cultural understanding.

My own efforts in the campaign “Joy without Drugs” have resulted in a constantly increasing following among the young. The presentation of mystical and esoteric knowledge through dances, dervish, yoga, and ceremonial, are much more effective than the dualistic verbal methods of platform orators.

Along with this has been a rather edifying private life, including the establishment of a Sufi Khankah, perhaps the first in the United States, in the city of Novato in Marin County. One cannot cover all of Asia, but personal and private relations with living Asians representing every part of the whole continent have brought nothing but satisfactory results this year.

My poem “The Rejected Avatar” has been published and at least one complimentary copy will be presented to you shortly. Now that a secretariat has been established here a great deal more may follow on subject matters which have been reported before. I am totally interested in all efforts of my fellow Americans to promote better understanding and real cultural exchange with all Asians outside those smothered by subjective dialectics.

Sincerely and Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis Sufi Ahmed Chisti

 

 


410 Precita

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

Sept. 30, 1969

 

Asia Foundation

550 Kearney Street

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

 

Dear Friends:

I sometimes regret that I am not cooperating more with you. I am enclosing a carbon of a letter to American Society for Eastern Arts which gives some of the news of events in my private life. I mention there my Pakistani God-daughter who is now at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She is a remarkable character, a graduate of the American University at Beirut, a Haji, and was for a while the youngest woman University professor on the whole continent of Asia. She is in this country with a permit to stay until she obtains her PhD degree in textiles and home arts, and there is every possibility that this will occur, God willing.

I am now being recognized in distant places and also locally for my researches and the accompanying knowledges of the religions of Asia. The big thing of course will be the international conference in Istanbul next year.

I am intensely interested in your undertakings and regard Asian Student as the very best publication in the field.

If there is anything I can do for you in going to Turkey I should be glad to cooperate; and if you wish any reports, I shall be glad to send them on. I am not only a representative of the Sufis, but also on excellent terms with the top mystics in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, to say the least. There will also be a minuscule gathering in this region in a few days, and attempt to bring the various spiritual leaders to the public. Of course one does not know the result beforehand but it cannot help but to increase better understanding between Americans and Asians.

Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

cc. the Russell Smiths

 

 


The Asia Foundation

550 Kearny Street, San Francisco, California

October 9, 1969

 

San Francisco, CA 94119

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110

 

Dear Mr. Lewis:

You were nice to offer to do something on our behalf while in Turkey. Since our own staff travel from time to time, it is possible for them to take care of whatever assignments we might have in countries where The Asia Foundation is not represented.

I will pass on your kind comments about The Asian Student to its editor. With best wishes for a good trip,

Sincerely,

Mrs. Norman Coliver

 

 


January 4, 1970

The Asian Student

c/o The Asia Foundation

550 Kearny St.,

San Francisco, Calif.

 

Dear Friends:

I cannot over-praise you for the publications of the picture of Mangla Dam which appear on page 4 of the issue of December 27.

My whole life—not very successful as yet—has been dedicated to an unnecessary war between reality and “realism.” The example I have used the most, and to no avail, has been the successful construction of this Mangla Dam, and the new hush-hushed reports of Aswan Dam. To me there is such a vast difference between American accomplishments and communist programs that it is impossible to arrive at any satisfactory logical conclusions. But logical conclusions and fasts are not wanted. I find myself in total agreement with Lord Show that there are two cultures—the scientific and the literary humanist—the latter including practically all our editors and commentators.

What I deplore, and continue to deplore, is the lack of consideration given to some of our local engineering corporations, in this case Guy Atkinson of South San-Francisco. I am in no way connected with this corporation or any similar institution anywhere. But I have seen with my own eyes, or came very close the seeing with my own eyes, great constructions by American engineers and technicians in many lands.

I am not engaged in any crusades against communism. I am personally against any from, against all forms of dialectics. And perhaps my American background makes me sympathetic to pragmatic outlooks. But I believe these pragmatic outlooks and their successful adaptations to the problems of the day can and should make all of us optimistic.

I believe the same holds true with the efforts of some of the great Foundations, especially in the fields of agriculture and exposition.

The Asian Student stands out to me as one bright light in the whole field of Oriental relations and Asian accomplishment. I hope the time comes when more of the press, when more of the radio and television stations, will stress more about accomplished fasts then about policies, ideas, and programs of anybody whatsoever, whomsoever.

Wishing you a happy New Year.

Sincerely,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

May 15, 1970

 

Asia Foundation

550 Kearny St.

San Francisco, Calif. 94111

 

Dear Sirs:

I cannot over praise your recent essay contest and even more what might be considered the skill and fairness of the judges. I have seen no better article than “A Balanced Approach Needed” by Tran Thanh Dang. And perhaps he also has benefited from the type of “mind training” which is either received or is inherent in certain types of Buddhist culture as reflected in the article of Chul Hong Park, the second prize winner.

For a long time “The Asian Student” has stood to me almost alone in what I call the endless battle of “reality versus realism.” I still do not know what “realism” is but I do know that the world is suffering from endless conflicts between various camps and schools of “realism.” Even now while there is bloodshed at home or abroad, practically nose of the emotionalists involved have shown the slightest concern for the cultures of Vietnam or Cambodia making one almost doubt if they are inhabited by “human beings.” Or bringing about a conclusion that these people are between human and non-human as were the slaves of the South in other days.

But to carp does not help. I have returned recently from a real summit meeting of the leaders of the real religions of this world. It was held at Geneva add ignored almost unanimously if not unanimously by the “realistic” press of this land. (My picture was taken innumerable times and appeared in some European publications.) To find that the personal representative of His Holiness Pope Paul; the leaders of both the synagogues and mosques; Her Serene Hughes, Princess Peon Diskul, President of the World Buddhist Federation were there, mingled and intermingled on terms of amity and high morality—in a conference almost dominated by Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Order, and nobly seconded by Prof. Nasr representing the real Sufis of this world—was a wonder. We are back to a renewal of the Parliament of Religions at the Chicago Fair of 1893, with Swamiji repeating the role of Vivekananda.

The real leaders of the real religions cooperated for world peace, not the empty verbalisms that we delight in, but in its potential reality. One was forced to throw all one’s eggs in the basket of peace for the Near East or S.E. Asia and chose the former.

One’s program is very close to the philosophy of Tran Thanh Dang. One is concerned with Ecology in the older sense and not in what this writer calls the attitude of “experts” (his term, to which one assents).

No doubt you can obtain record of the proceedings of the Geneva conference and I shall certainly try to assist in this.

One has piles of material—actual facts, data, evidence, to support the thesis of Tran Thanh Dong. But one has equal evidence and data for the Near East. One is making some efforts to ascertain if rabbis and other clerics will actually grant interviews. And in this one has an over-all program for the scientific-ecological restoration—whether this has any relation for the term “ecology” as used by sociologists and the press, I do not know.

A Peace program for the Near East requires attention to water problems and desert reclamation. For S.E. Asia to water problems of another sort, plus multi cropping.

One is optimistic enough to believe that practically all the problems of Asia have been solved—at least by scientists and technicians, but it is at most impossible to get recognition from the press, TV organizations of foreign offices, so to speak.

Asians can speak for Asia.

After leaving Switzerland we were guests of the World Congress of Faiths and Royal Asiatic Society and also met some of the top Orientalists privately. Now I have to leave San Francisco again to teach the young the Oriental philosophies and techniques learned from Asian-Asians and also present “Dances of Universal Peace,” heritage from the late Ruth St. Denis.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

cc- Russell G. Smith        

cc- KQED

Attorneys Correspondence

Rockwell, Fulkerson & Wilson

Attorneys At Law

1434 Fifth Avenue

San Rafael, California Glenwood 3-0360

October 31, 1960

 

Mr. S. M. Lewis

16 Sharina Kemal ed din Salah

Kasr el Doubara

Cairo, U.A.R.

 

Dear Sam:

Just a note to let you know that I very greatly appreciate the stamps that you have been sending to me. Not only am I getting all those you have sent directly to me and enclose in the letters to John, but I am also swiping his covers, as well.

The only reason this letter wasn’t written about two weeks ago is that the Postal Department over there is so thorough that they keep running their cancellation completely across the top of the envelope and I had a heck of a time trying to figure out the address on the last two envelopes. I have now given it up and told Syd to use her best efforts to decipher the most legible return address we have.

Sincerely yours,

Hal Fulkerson

 

 


Rockwell, Fulkerson & Wilson

Attorneys At Law

1434 Fifth Avenue

San Rafael, California Glenwood 3-0360

December 10, 1964

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California

 

Dear Sam:

Best wishes for the holiday season. From your letters it sounds as though your destiny in bringing the message of the Far East and Near East is beginning to unfold.

Sincerely yours,

John L Rockwell

 

 


Rockwell, Fulkerson & Wilson

Attorneys At Law

1434 Fifth Avenue

San Rafael, California Glenwood 3-0360

June 1, 1965

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California

 

Dear Sam:

From your letters, I believe you are presently in the South visiting your aunt and uncle and making certain contacts with the University of California at Los Angeles. On your return, will you please call me and I will arrange an appointment with the specialist who handles Will contest cases.

Very truly yours,

John Rockwell

 

 


Rockwell, Fulkerson & Wilson

Attorneys At Law

1434 Fifth Avenue

San Rafael, California Glenwood 3-0360

June 24, 1965

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco 3, California

 

Dear Sam:

I have been in correspondence with your uncle, Harry Rosenthal. He has advised me that he will send me Elliott’s letters, but he would appreciate it if you would give him written assurance that in the event you are successful in overturning your mother’s Will, which would then permit you to participate in the estate, that you would pay him the $1,000.00 bequest contained in that Will.

Very truly yours,

John Rockwell

 

 


Rockwell, Fulkerson & Wilson

Attorneys At Law

1434 Fifth Avenue

San Rafael, California Glenwood 3-0360

August 20, 1965

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California

 

Dear Sam:

I have arranged an appointment with Vincent Cullinan, the specialist in Will contests. Will you please arrange to meet me in the lobby of the Shell Oil Building, 100 Bush Street, San Francisco, at 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, August 25, 1965.

I received all of the letters from your uncle and am in the process of reviewing them. I would recommend a minimum of correspondence or conversation with your brother Elliott.

Very truly yours,

John Rockwell

 

 


Lachelt and Watts

Attorneys At Law

Whitcomb Legal Center, Suite 22

1231 Market Street

San Francisco, California 94103

November 8, 1965

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco 3, California

 

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Although we haven’t met personally, Mr. Lewis, I trust that Mr. John Rockwell, your attorney in San Rafael, has advised you that our firm is associated with him in contesting the Will of your Mother, Harriet Lewis, admitted to Probate in San Francisco on May 21, 1965.

Since I do not find you listed in the telephone directory, Mr. Lewis, I take this opportunity to reach you by letter, and request that you call me at your earliest convenience so that we might set up an appointment to discuss various aspects of this case.

By the time we meet I will have read a considerable number of letters written from you to your Uncle, and others, which definitely assist me in understanding your family situation.

Mr. Rockwell advises me that you possess certain letters written by your Mother in which she speaks of you with considerable endearment. I would appreciate it very much, Mr. Lewis, if you would bend every effort in acquiring or locating these letters so that we might peruse them.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Very truly yours,

Ted Lachelt

 

 


Rockwell, Fulkerson & Wilson

Attorneys At Law

1434 Fifth Avenue

San Rafael, California Glenwood 3-0360

January 25, 1966

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco 3, California

 

Dear Sam:

From time to time some most attractive stamps have found their way into my collection by way of one Samuel L. Lewis.

This is just to insure you know I am most appreciative of your continuing thoughtfulness in this regard.

Thanks again.

Very truly yours,

Harold H. Fulkerson

 

 


Theodore C. Lachelt

Attorney at Law

1029 Fourth Street, Suite 19

San Rafael, California 94901

January 3, 1967

 

Mr. Sam Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California

 

Dear Sam:

I am enclosing herewith for your reference a copy of a letter I received from Elliott this weekend, as well as of the reply I sent him. I trust the sentiments expressed are shared by yourself.

It certainly would be of great assistance to you, Sam, if we were able to raise the income to you under your father’s Will, and every effort should be expended to achieve that end.

I have written Mr. Flahos in an effort to secure Elliott’s check in the amount of $854.00, and expect to have his reply shortly. It is quite possible that Elliott had to sell some stock, which takes from four to five days in order to secure the funds.

I suggested a meeting with Elliott prior to any conference with the attorney handling your father’s trust estate, so that we might plan the best approach.

How is your physical condition, Sam? Are you in need of any medical treatment whatsoever?

I shall contact you instantly when I have received Elliott’s check, so that we can close that matter.

Very truly yours,

Theodore C. Lachelt

 

1/3—Just received your letter. I understand your feeling and will act accordingly. We will talk together before seeing Elliott.—T

 

 


Theodore C. Lachelt

Attorney at Law

1029 Fourth Street, Suite 19

San Rafael, California 94901

January 3, 1967

 

Mr. Elliott M. Lewis

567 Ninth Avenue

San Francisco, California 94118

 

Dear Elliott:

I really appreciated your letter of December 26, 1966, outlining the possibility of increasing the allowance from your father’s trust to yourself and Sam.

I was also very gratified that we were able to reach an amicable settlement of the differences between you and Sam concerning your mother’s estate, so that we might move ahead in a co-operative manner in the future.

I have spoken to Sam regarding increasing the allowance, and he is wholeheartedly in favor of doing anything which may achieve this. Although he does receive the income you mentioned, he is quite pressed for funds, since he does a great deal of traveling in connection with his work, and would be able to do more if he had an increased income.

Before meeting with Willard Ellis, the attorney who apparently is handling your father’s trust, we should sit down and discuss the matter at some length to plan the submission of our request for increased income. Do you have a copy of the instrument which set up the trust? I assume that this trust was set up in your father’s Will.

Please feel free to contact me by letter or by telephone at any time, since we are no longer adversaries, but have joined in a common enterprise:

Best wishes for increased prosperity and good health in 1967:

Very truly yours,

Theodore C. Lachelt

 

 


Theodore C. Lachelt

Attorney at Law

1029 Fourth Street, Suite 19

San Rafael, California 94901

January 30, 1967

 

Mr. Samuel Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California

 

Dear Sam:

I appreciated your letter of January 26, 1967, in which you outline various discussions you have had with Elliott concerning an increase in your income from the trust estate, and believe that your best interests will be served by Elliott, his attorney, yourself, and I all meeting to discuss a, common plan for attack on the Wells Fargo trustee.

You mentioned that a letter was coming to you from Elliott in which he had further comments to make about suggested claims to be presented to the trustee. It is my opinion that little will be achieved until the four of us sit down in one room and iron out our different views about the whole transaction, and present a united front to the trustee.

I think it would be in your best interests, Sam, to pay an attorney, either myself or John Rockwell, a fixed hourly sum to negotiate this matter with your brother and his attorney, and with the understanding that if an award of a substantial sum of money retroactively was secured, that a percentage of that go to your attorney. If no such retroactive award was made, then your only liability would be for the hourly legal fees entailed in securing a raised income for you. I mentioned your present situation to John Rockwell when he was in the office the other day, and he agreed that a fixed hourly rate for attorney’s fees would seem to be the most equitable arrangement under all circumstances.

 

 


Theodore C. Lachelt

Attorney at Law

1029 Fourth Street, Suite 19

San Rafael, California 94901

March 27, 1967

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California

 

Dear Sam:

I really appreciated your recent letters advising me that everything is working out well for you in every respect. I was very pleased that the bank has raised your income to an adequate level, and look forward to meeting with you and Elliott as soon as your brother’s health improves. I was sorry to hear that he is confined to bed.

My son continues to enjoy and file the foreign stamps you have been kind enough to send him, and wishes me to extend his thanks to you.

Please call me at your convenience so that we might have a visit.

Very truly yours,

Theodore C. Lachelt

 

 


Theodore C. Lachelt

Attorney at Law

1029 Fourth Street, Suite 19

San Rafael, California 94901

July 24, 1967

 

Mr. Sam Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110

 

Dear Sam:

I have been extremely pleased to receive your letters which have not only advised me of your fine recovery, but have also included some exotic stamps for my son, Gene. He has been at camp recently, and I have been accumulating your very thoughtful additions to his album. I am sure that he will be extremely pleased.

You mention in a letter of July 16th that you will be occupied all during August, but wish to see me in September regarding legal matters. Feel free to call me at any time. Sam, and I will either meet you in San Francisco, or look forward to meeting you here in San Rafael.

I am very pleased that everything has been working out so satisfactorily since we resolved your matter with Elliott.

Very truly yours,

Theodore C. Lachelt

 

 


Theodore C. Lachelt

Attorney at Law

1029 Fourth Street, Suite 19

San Rafael, California 94901

January 8, 1968

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110

 

Dear Sam:

Thank you very much for your letter of December 21, 1967 which indicated everything was coming up roses for you.

I was sorry to miss your visit at the office, but was advised that you were very happy and optimistic for 1968 when I discussed your visit with the secretary.

If you are in this area again soon, Sam, please do call me in advance so that we can set up an appointment and discuss how things are going for you.

Until I see you again, best wishes for a great New Year!

Very truly yours,

Theodore C. Lachalt

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

February 23, 1968

 

Theodore C. Lachelt,

1029 Fourth St.,

San Rafael, Calif. 94901

 

Dear Ted:

Hope this finds you well. Do not get to Marin County much but this is by agreement with my God-daughter who is away, and prospering. At the moment everything looks propitious and there are at least four writing or teaching possibilities.

But I do not wish to go ahead without legal advice, for the family estate matter has come up. They sent in a long report, showing a large increment of the capital. I feel that this should be divided in part between Elliott and myself. He asked for joint action and then went ahead independently, on account of the house. He cannot pay for the repairs thereon and is mad at the attorneys, Ellis Levy. But he cannot have his cake and eat it. He was also angry because my expenses were large and does not listen. I have to speak three times, at least, to get a point over and then an apology.

I see no reason to go off the handle. All I want is the money, not ego-satisfaction. According to Wells Fargo interpretation they would give us larger amounts in case of illness or emergency. I had the illness last year and do not know whether the increase covers it because it was necessary to get secretarial and other help to make up for lost time.

I also feel that there should be consideration of our ages, not our particular financial problems.

There are now four possible writing assignments which could bring in funds and possibly lecture and teaching ones, too. It is too early but it may require a corporation, either a corporation sole, or one to provide for teaching real Oriental philosophies (can give all details and credentials).

There has been considerable success in getting Hippies off of drugs and “grass” to the goals which they verbally claim they are seeking. All lectures are now very well attended—by the young. Everything at the university fine, too.

Biggest expense last year, huge Income Tax anticipation, only to find that the Estate pays most of this and it should be returned.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


Lachelt and Watts

Attorney at Law

1029 Fourth Street, Suite 19

San Rafael, California 94901

February 26, 1968

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California

 

Dear Sam:

I certainly appreciated your recent letters which are so full of good news concerning your work among the Hippies, and your success in removing their dependence on drugs, etc.

I was pleased also to learn that your father’s estate had profited considerably as manifested by the last accounting, and share your views that the increment of assets should be utilized as much as possible for the benefit of yourself and Elliot.

Should you actually desire any action by myself in regard to this matter, please feel free to call me at any time, and we can meet in San Francisco to discuss the matter, or I can contact the attorneys for your father’s estate directly.

John Rockwell joins me in wishing you continued success.

Very truly yours,

Theodore C. Lachelt

 

 


Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

March 13, 1968

 

James B. Garner, Testamentary Trust Dept.

Wells Fargo Bank,

San Francisco 94120

Refer 3-13207

 

Dear Mr. Garner:

Below is a rough draft estimate subject to revision, as to my current expenses and needs:

Rent and Utilities                                    $2500   Can be verified

Education and Books                  1000     “          “          “

Medical Needs                            500       Last year, extraordinary but dental estimate mor

Clothing                                      300       Estimate

Typewriter, Repairs & Stationary           350       Needed two new machines

Long Distant Travel                    400

Local Travel                                200

Radio, Music, Entertainment      400       Own No TV

Food                                           1500     Estimate

Contributions, Dues, Etc.                        350      (Artistic, scientific and religious only

Postage and Sundry                    150       Can be verified

Taxes                                           200                                          

                                                    $7850

Does not include gifts, Christmas expenses, repairs, tools, legal and other fees

 

 


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif. 911110

March 19, 1968

 

James B. Garner

Testamentary Trust Dept. Wells Fargo Bank,

San Francisco, Calif. 914120

Refer 3-13207

 

Dear Mr. Garner:           

Confirming your recent conversation this is a rough draft covering actual or estimated expenses for a year:

Rent and Utilities                                                $2500   Verifiable

Education and Books                              1000     “

Medical Needs                                        500       Dental estimate more but less by medicare

Clothing                                                  300       Estimate

Typewriter, Repairs and Stationary        350       Needed to purchase a new machine

Long Distant Travel                                400       Do not own motor car

Local Travel                                            200

Radio , Music, Entertainment                 1100     Do not own TV

Food                                                       1500     Estimate

Contributions, Dues , Etc                                    500      (Artistic, scientific, religious and charity)

Postage and Laundry                              150       Verifiable

Taxes, Insurance, Other Fees                  250

Repairs, Tools, Legal Fees                      200

Gifts, Christmas, Misc.                            200

                                                                $8,550

 

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


410 Precita,

San Francisco, Calif.

July 6, 1968

 

Theodore C. Lachelt

Attorney-at-Law

1029 Fourth St.

San Rafael, Calif. 94901

 

My dear Ted:

My Marin peregrinations have been excellent and there are tremendous potentials at the periphery. It is too early to see you about financial or legal matters but you are geographically excellently placed.

I have sold the people in Novato of the advantage of making a trip to Asia and I had hoped to introduce them to the Diners Club, but this matter is way up in the air.

I am enclosing copy of letter just written to them and am also taking copy to the Retail Credit Association. If they put my name on the “list” we are in excellent position to bring some kind of counter-action whether they bring suit or not for a hypothetical amount due them.

No letter, no phone call, even retooled copies have been given proper attention. I do not know how many persons have communicated with me and on each phone call (which they paid for) when I proved my point they switched me to another department and they let the matter hang. My word has never been taken nor has the material evidence.

Why they even dunned me ones for an unpaid bill when they had not sent me the bill! I do not know ether I have kept all the records. And right now at least two offices in the Southland and one in New York are after me and no matter what I write or say, that does not satisfy the other offices!

I am going to write to Mr. Bloomingdale, President of the Diners’ Club and may be able—I do not know—to find the letter he wrote as some time back. But as many are finding out the machine-booting system and many of the IBM operations are rapid, efficient and idiotic. You cannot argue with a machine. I am tired of all this and await your advice.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

cc—Diners Club

cc—Retail Credit Ass.

 

 


November 21st, 1968

 

Dear Sam

Attached in a first draft of a letter to the disciples which outlines the recommendations for the organization of your work—and requests the information from them you have asked for. Please pass it along the routing listed below, and to any others you see fit. When all comments and suggestions have been received Mel can prepare the final version for mailing.

I believe that the letter itself incorporates almost all of the recommendations I have to make as to the present situation of your work. It has been more difficult than I had anticipated to achieve a synthesis of the many factors involved which would not violate the principles upon which your life is based—as far as I grasp them.

A few more points which need not be circulated to the group as a whole follow:

1. Budget

The numbers below are a very rough estimate, I am sure that Daniel can come up with more exact figures—but this should serve as a preliminary guide:

 

Fixed Obligations:

Rent plus Utilities—$160 + $40                                        $200 (See note 3 below as regards this)

Food (Assuming and average of 5 people per meal—    $210

three will love in your household full time—

you will be there approximately one-half time—

and , allowing for guests, I do not think this excessive.)

Periodicals                                                                      $10

Contributions                                                                  $50?

Housekeeper direct salary (plus room and board)         $25

Daniel direct salary (plus room and board)                    $45

Mel direct salary (plus room and board)                                    $00

David (no direct salary while working only part time—

he will contribute to partially offset room and board)               $60

Theatre Rent (Thingmaker?)                                           $75

Various contributions to the Khankah                            $200?

                                                                                        $815

                                                                                        $60       $60

Net fixed obligations per month (estimate)                    $755

 

Discretionary Fund:

I recommend that all income exceeding the amount necessary for the fixed obligations be placed in a discretionary fund under your control alone. It is contemplated that the amounts in this fund are intended to over such items as: Clothes, Restaurant dinners, Gifts

Of course, any further fixed obligations undertaken, such as for loans for the remodeling if necessary should be added to the Fixed Obligation section so that the proper amount can be transferred to this account each month.

2. Record keeping

It is recommended that Daniel keep a simple but complete set of records concerning all of your expenses (except those directly personal as paid from the discretionary fund). Your income tax return should be prepared by a qualified person, with Daniel’s help. You will be allowed, for instance, to offset at least half of the expense of maintaining your house—as well as the entire cost, I believe of the housekeepers, and Mel’s and David’s food, against the contributions you will receive.

I should be very surprised if it were necessary for you to pay any income tax at all if even minimal records are kept. If you have not properly accounted for your expenses in the past it is conceivable that you may even eligible for a rebate.

It is recommended that you set up two independent checking accounts—this will be the easiest way to prove, if ever necessary, the separation of funds acquired. One account, that one intended for the fixed obligations, should have two signatures required—yours and your financial secretary’s. In that way he can prepare the checks completely for your approval, and signature—and you will not be tempted to use money earmarked for specific obligations on the spur of the moment.

The other account should be for the Discretionary fund and need not be maintained by anyone other than yourself. Out of this fund you would pay all the directly, personal expenses listed, etc. and things like credit card accounts.

It is recommended that all income received be deposited first in the fixed Obligation account, and that a check be issued to you personally each month for that amount in excess of the sum required for the fixed obligations.

3. House

It is recommended that you either;

Make an otter to purchase the house contingent on satisfactory arrangement of your legacy payments in February, and contingent on a long-term lease if the sale does not go through.

Or

Ask for a long term lease with the terms reduced in proportion to the improvements you intend (garage and rear bedroom, etc.)

I am either case an agreement should be made with the landlord before you do any remodeling so that you do not lose your investment.

4. Mr. Hunt

I am ready, as I have assured you, to talk with Mr. Hunt and to get a definite commitment from him as to his moving out. In return I think I should be authorized to offer the services of some of the disciples to aid him in finding a place to live and in doing the moving.

The details above will present no great difficulty for an essentially uninvolved person such as myself. However, I believe, there is one other short but painful step that only you can perform—in keeping with the principles you teach. That is, I think you should inform him that, although the circumstances are such that he must move, that you personally love him as a loyal friend.

5. Housekeeper

This not yet been resolved.

Regards,

John

 

 


December 9, 1968

 

My dear John:

This letter is being written especially in case you do not come up because there is one appointment after another on a crowded calendar, mostly with persons of some importance in my public or private life visiting these parts. I do not even know whether they have arranged this among themselves and it is not hurting anything but time processes.

Some leeway has to be given to the cats whether they remain here or are taken away and any arrangement is satisfying to me.

I do not think psychiatric problems are abnormalities. Certainly not so much as headaches, particularly Excedrin headaches. The first suggestion—it is so simple and apparently elementary it may seem hard to digest, is simply to watch the breath and after you are sure of that to see it is in rhythm. There are many ways to get the breath in rhythm, especially to walk in a march time, or to sit listening to more or less classical music because it has in general, a single rhythm to attune to. It is the rhythm here rather than the melody which may be important to you.

As your assuredness of breath increases you will be less disturbed by negative reactions of others. This is one of the most difficult and most important lessons of life—to be able to stand firm.

Sam is now called upon to do this here and is making breaks with those who should be his friends. Oriental Philosophy is not a matter of business and social prestige. I am all for selling things which should be on the market. But when we render unto Ceasar the things that should be God’s we are leading ourselves and others astray.

In some sense my female counterpart is Miss Julie Medlock who operates at Auroville, near Pondicherry. She has tremendous vision and ambition. Her quondam associates are using her efforts to build up organizations (you might call them rackets) for themselves. They have never promised and I am now acceding to her request that moneys given to them should be given to her.

There is a whole field of [?] industrial cooperation for new projects abroad. The metaphysical method is simple:  have emotional campaigns, collect money and build up a subsidiary. Period. Thus the main project never gets off the ground. It is easy to get industrial support and there are all kinds of ways of getting through customs both ends, but the “big people” all have big egos and frozen ears. This covers so many subjects I do not wish to discuss. But certainly if you intend to go abroad on any mission I should wish to go into detail with you.

From Daniels reports things are well here and I intend to give him every leeway unless some principle is involved to the contrary. This is to help him to grow and it also removes my mind from certain concerns.

Mr. Hunt is nearly all moved out. This room, the former dining room, will make a better office but we may also use it for an emergency dining room if required.

After you get the breath in some kind of control I shall give you introductions to Meditation and Concentration, but not until you have nerves under control.

Not only Marcia but another young lady wishes to learn the new dances. I shall take this up with Daniel so we can properly choreography. This seems a big field with all kinds of opportunities and so far excellent response. But I must inform you that it is a minor project on my list, especially with the forthcoming visitors.

I shall probably stop school after tomorrow until January 26th. Do not know whether this will involve a trip of any kind but this will be determined when Vilayat Khan comes here.

Gave Marcia especial attention at the dancing class and have to do this with others here tonight. And will resume with her Thursday, or even Wednesday, her birthday. Shall not have too much time for you if you do come up.

Blessings,

Sam

 

 


February 11, 1969

Theodore C. Lachelt

1029 C St.

San Rafael, Calif.

 

My dear Ted:

I had intended, to write to you, and then telephone, and now two separate matters have come up which makes it important that you hear from me, and maybe even be involved.

1. The Wells Fargo Trust annual report shows a very large increment. I still do not know whether there is a principle innate in personal wills that the heirs are the real inheritors or financial beneficiaries or have some other status. It is certain that the trustees have the right to allot what they feel is sufficient for the needs of Elliott and myself.

I have felt that we should be entitled to 50% of this increment which would still leave a very large amount for the trustees, etc. If we received this amount it would be considerably more than what we are now getting and still leave the original capital not only untouched but receiving a regularly increasing addition.

Elliott had told me that with his present expenses he is just making ends meet. I have been taking the stand that moral issues are not important—I have been beaten every time on this—it was simply a question of getting as much as possible, so if he gained I, Samuel would gain.

But without my consent or knowledge he telephoned Mr. Slosberg of Wells Fargo and inferred or more than inferred he was acting in my name—which he was not. He has no right to act in my name especially since his burdens are due to his inability to pay the expenses for the old family residence on Ninth Ave. in San Francisco from which he eased me out entirely, and which if there were morale I should be joint owner. I am not. I am out. I cannot both be out and in and my name being used to support his claim on the house is very questionable. But again, it is not to me whether it is questionable, but how I am, Samuel L. Lewis going to benefit in an imbroglio between Wells Fargo and Elliott M. Lewis.

When my father died the representatives of Wells Fargo supported every statement and every lie of Elliott, cutting me out of all the heir-looms I wished, and should have had. So my policy has been to stand off and stand off entirely.

I would have been entirely with and for Elliott but the use of my name without my consent is a doubtful procedure.

I may follow this up with a phone call Friday.

 

II.

This is an entirely different matter. Playboy magazine for March will be out in a few days (price $1). It has a long article about the “cults” of California with considerable attention to one “Sam Lewis.” The article shows that it is based on actual verbal reporting of somebody in the audience.

This publication was a surprise to me and it starts out with a false statement—not a false premise, but a false statement about this house. Followed by a quasi-false statement that this person does not know how to breathe and was “wheezing” which is an assumption of medical knowledge on the part of the writer. And it is sarcastic because the subject was “Breathing” and he openly states that “Sam Lewis” shows he did not know how to breathe himself.

Ted. I don’t recall in my whole life any occasion wherein I wheezed. Even my medical history—there are not many records because on the whole my health has been excellent—shows no such indication. All bronchial and other examinations by the Federal authorities, etc. show that at least my chest has been always in excellent condition and the way I climbed the adjacent hill just before I read the article would bring forth a lot of witnesses. Also the article states I had shown a prize-fighter how to climb Nob Hill without losing his breath, which I have and he would testify in my behalf.

I had to contact a colleague on another matter (concerning Oracle magazine) and he told me he had been a professional in this field of publication-legality and wants to do something. My copy of Playboy is in Corte Madera and I should be picking it up Wednesday night.

But what I am afraid of—and I am—is that in pursuing any public action it would involved the whole foreign policy of the United States and especially the present Iraqi imbroglio. I know exactly what I am talking about. It means that I am following this with a letter to the State Department which always in the past ignores, and then the trouble follows. It is not my career that is involved only but the lives of many persons, what with the intense emotional attitudes in both the Israeli and Arab world.


Samuel L. Lewis

910 Railroad Avenue

Novato, Calif. 94947

February 15, 1969

 

Theodore C. Lachelt

1299 4th Street

San Rafael 949401

 

My dear Ted:

Confirming our conversation of yesterday, I am leaving with you a copy of the March 1969 issue of Playboy. There is an article called “Cultsville, U.S.A.” by one C. Robert Jennings. I cannot complain with its general theme. One of the reasons which brought Mr. Jennings to my house in San Francisco was that he was writing in the field of which it can be said I am a retired veteran. In fact, he came to my house because of this. He did not come for the personal interview which we had agreed on, but quite evidentially was at one of my public meetings. Too many of the words and items are exactly correct but not others. I am practically the first person mentioned. Although there is nothing illegal about it, the first paragraph reads:

In the scruffy Mission area, south of Market Street, an old Jew named Samuel Lewis sits under a portrait emitted “blessings from Ruth St. Denis,” the disciples of mystical Islamic Sufism spread round about him. “I’m applying Sufi to the solution of the hippie problem,” explains Sam, the self-acknowledged Sufi sheik of San Francisco. “They know there are states of consciousness other than the physical. I teach them meditation and love.”

You will note in this first paragraph the term “Sufism” is used. The inference from much of this article is that because I am a Californian I am automatically a cultist, the movement being exotic. Our whole culture seems quite unaware that there are far more disciples of Sufism than there are perhaps of all other mystical movements combined. Some of these movements such as Zen and Vedanta, which are also given some space, are somewhat known in this country, some are not. The tragedy is that non-Sufis have been able to exclude this teaching from curricula and conferences. In making this allegation I can name the persona and give full details.

Even worse, the presidents of India and Pakistan are each in his own way my spiritual brothers through their connections with valid Sufi Orders. At the moment it is even more delicate because of the complexities of Iraq. The chief Sufi shrines are in Bagdad. The “experts” place Sufism elsewhere. People who have read Gertrude Bell know that the first government of Iraq, upon its being established, succeeded because of the cooperation of Sufis. Many of its cabinets have had disciples of Sufism in their membership.

I am listed as a Jew in such a way as to propose an inference. No corresponding inference appears in later names. This is only important because copies falling into the hands of highly emotional political quasi-religious groups can lead to riots and disorders. I had to eye-witness one of these myself.

After quoting me quite correctly on breath, Mr. Jennings, the author, says concerning me, “wheezing as if he could use a little more of it himself.” This is not only a falsehood, it assumes that the writer has a capacity in medical diagnosis. I am ready to swear on oath that I do not recall having wheezed once since very early childhood, if even then. I do not recall having lost my breath more than 6 times in my whole life.

Mr. Jennings says, “Sam tries to show a prize-fighter how to walk up Nob Hill at full speed without losing breath.” This is true. My disciple James Simmons will testify on it. Not only will many of those who have been in my audiences swear on oath that they have never heard ma wheeze, but Saturday afternoon last I walked up Vernal Hill full speed to catch up with Mr. Simmons and about a dozen persons saw it..

Mr. Jennings adds, “Sam Lewis turns to a young female acidhead.” I do not know how a glib reporter could obtain such knowledge. That anybody was an acidhead. Nevertheless the rest of the paragraph shows that he either took down my notes in shorthand or had a remarkable memory.

He ends this paragraph with “Allah’ha, Allah’ha.” I never use such a phrase, Sufis never use such a phrase. It does appear as a part of certain formulae, but alone one either uses the term Allah or Allahu. There is nothing illegal in it, but knowing how easy it is to flare up ignorant mobs, it could very easily start something. And I am not talking nonsense. Our “realism” is far from Reality and especially with regard to Asian cultures.

I must say later on, on page 157, Mr. Jennings does exempt Zen, Sufism, Baha’i and Vedanta, both from stigma and from cultus abstractus californicus, contradicting his previous inferences.

I am a member of a number of Sufi Orders whose combined membership has been estimated roughly at 40 million, (forty 000,000). I am taking up with my colleagues whether we want a corrective letter, or-take stringent action or de nothing at all. The publication of this in this particular magazine will no doubt makes me a hero among many of the young. I leave everything at this point.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

March 8, 1969

 

Mr. Theodore C. Lachelt

1299 Fourth St.,

San Rafael, Calif.

 

My dear Ted:

In further pursuance of some interpretations of my father’s (Jacob B. Lewis) last will and testament. I have not the original will here but do not believe there has been any important verbal or other changes in the reports and petitions of the trustee, Wells Fargo Bank. The present confusion or dispute is one of Interpretation.

The petitions of the trustee constant a section:

“Under the provisions of the Decree of Final Distribution of the estate of decedent above names, petitioner, as trustee, is directed, during the joint lives of Samuel L. Lewis and Elliott M. Lewis, the sons of the decedent above names, to pay the entire net income to said Samuel L. Lewis and Elliott M. Lewis in equal shares. Upon the death of either said Samuel L. Lewis and Elliott M. Lewis, the entire net income of the trust is directed to be paid to the survivor of them. Said Degree of Final Distribution further provides that in the event that the payments of income of the trust to which either Samuel L. Lewis or Elliott M. Lewis is entitled shall, in the judgment of the trustee, be insufficient to provide for the reasonable support, care and comfort of said Samuel L. Lewis or Elliott M. Lewis, the trustee may pay to such beneficiary or aptly for his benefit, so much of the principal of the trust estate as the trustee may deem proper or necessary for that purpose.”

It is this last phrase which has been the cause of some dispute. When I asked for an interpretation I was told that to have any larger amount distributed the residual legatees would have to assent and also a diminution of the capital would mean ultimately smaller income. What happened was that at least one of the residual legatees is no longer in existence and that the capital has increased so considerably that both my brother, Elliott M. Lewis and I, Samuel L. Lewis, not only get a considerable larger allotment than we had under the original in perpetration, but that the capital has increased very considerably.

In the projected dispute between my brother, Elliott M. Lewis, and the trustees, Wells Fargo Bank, it must be said on the one hand that the trustee seems to have handled all financial matters very well indeed. But in the question of interpretation there are two points in doubt:

Is the common interoperation of wills and testaments that the money is to be used in such a way that the legatees benefit; or are the heirs in effect the wards of the estate? When I first went and asked for additional funds because of illness I was turned down on the ground that any such distribution would diminish the capital and lead to a decrease of allotment later on. I had to pay for the illness and found later the statement was palpably untrue, that the capital had gone up so considerably, that this would and could easily have been done.

It was also used to refuse to help my brother, Elliott M. Lewis, but when we joined together jointly, I found they then distributed an amount considerably over what I had expected because the money was there.

In dealing with a corporation and at the same time with a single individual behind a desk, a person is at a disadvantage. In this case the person who had been behind the desk and had refused to consider my petition was later removed and the present person involved did give me proper consideration.

In any event my brother, Elliott M. Lewis, finds himself in a partially justified position that interpretations by the trustee do not always seem to be the same. Then, as the capital has increased somewhat, both of us over 70, he feels we are entitled to such amounts in distribution which could and would leave the original capital residue intact.

What I am concerned here also is whether, if Elliott should predecease me, whether I would obtain our common allotments, now seven hundred $700.00) dollars a month each, or whether I would and could be cut down to the income only of the estate, a considerably less amount, leaving the capital to increase indefinitely for the final beneficiaries who are institutions, not blood relatives.

The attorneys involved are “Ellis & Levy” 44 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94104.

At the moment I am not on such questionable personal terms with either the attorneys so named or with the trustees as is Elliott but I find softness is often a cause for not always justifiable action and that a firm stand usually gets a better result. However I am awaiting first, to see if the present “tempest” is real or noise.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


March 16, 1969

Theodore C. Lachelt

1299 Fourth St.,

San Rafael, Calif.

 

My dear Ted,

It is Sunday morning and no different from any other for Sam. It has been a glorious week in some directions:

The private war started on me years ago by Dr. S. I. Hayakawa came to a head. He has absolutely and adamantly refused to accept anything coming from any part of Asia as a contribution to knowledge despite his ancestry. And he has been very successful in “sadism” not only against Sam but against a lot of others. Now threatening with a part of Asian philosophy he cannot ignore— i.e. “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” he has sent up a white flag. There is much more to this, far more than a letter can convey.

There are now signs that the publication The Oracle published in Larkspur is entirely in the hands of my disciples and they are going to publish some of my things, slowly at first. But the possibility of an open war on Hayakawa would only lead to his demise without necessarily accomplishing anything positive, or with the accomplishment of lots of things positive.

The same day news that the controversial Olompali Ranch above Novato may fell entirely into the hands of my friends with untold possibilities . This followed the themes in the earlier “Glory Roads” by Luther Whiteman and myself.

There are now dangling two more possible lecture contracts.

All of this comes at a time when the Estate says they will increase my allotment end asked for a budget. I am not able to meet my needs on the present budget but am, of curse by outside efforts. And besides there is the question of other allotment from Social Security, less than the above but still possible.

Now the Estate has asked me to submit a budget and Elliott is demanding I send it to him first. If I did that I would not have a foot to stand on. The Wells Fargo Co. was “all right” when they stood behind him and his phony inventory, made exclusively by himself and excluding me from a lot of things I wanted. I had to fight even to get my own library out of the house. He got and even gave away or sold all the family heirlooms. I never got one thing out of them.

He got the house by questionable means which I see no need to challenge but I certainly cannot support his demand that the Estate stand the expenses involved in his personal doings.

Now he is furious that I may submit my person budget to Wells Fargo without consulting him and I may even do that without consulting you. It is bad enough to be involved in fraud, it is bad enough to be dishonest but it is hopeless when you become a party to defraud yourself.

I have temporarily demurred by writing my uncle Harry a letter about my present affairs. No relative of mine ever paid the slightest attention excepting the two younger second cousins in Queens. Harry started cut in life as a “madventurer” and he is utterly amazed that Sam whom he did influence, did some of the same “crazy” things.

I cannot submit my budget to Elliott because I know what he will use it for. If he offered me the family heirlooms I might do that but I shall make no such dicker. I need $800 a month, and the allotment was raised to $775, close enough with my outside endeavors. But there has been no proper provision for medical assistance or housekeeper.

What I needed most is a clear interpretation and I believe I could talk over with Mr. Salsberg or anybody else today. I am much firmer and aware of a lot of things.

There are also some changes in wording or interpretation from the original Will which I could talk over with Wells Fargo if Elliott were not present. But the reason for writing is this:

Elliott’s health is bad. He acts like any hostile action would provoke a stroke and a stroke could be indeed damaging. I realize that a slight bit of “realism” could even end his sojourn on earth. He has no reserve. I am not seeking any “justice” but it is time he give his brother a little consideration. It has been a one way street for nearly all our lives.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

P.S. Next Sunday open house at 910 Railroad Ave , Novato, curry dinner and Dervish dancing.

 

 


March 16, 1969

Theodore C. Lachelt

1299 Fourth St.

San Rafael, Calif.

 

My dear Ted:

This is a sort of an ad interim emergency letter. My brother Elliott continues to be in a coma between life and death. Of course if he recovers there may be nothing important at the moment, but my cousin Mary Lou Foster, a grand-daughter of Harry Rosenthal, believes he has given up the battle.

I saw Mr. james Garner, the trust officer of the will at Wells Fargo. At this writing it appears fairly favorable that there will be an increase in my allotment directly covering cost of living and old age benefits. But if Elliott has requested a much larger allotment due to his medical expenses and bad health, I would also benefit therefrom.

Mr. garner assures me that in case Elliott passes on I would get the full benefit of both our incomes, and this would be at the very least way over fifteen hundred dollars ($1500 a month). This would make it imperative to have a valid legal will; and if Elliott does leave the world, no matter how crowded my program, I should have to see you on this matter.

Other affairs are very suspicious. My dancing programs have gone over quite well with a slow but steady increase of attendance in both san Francisco and Marin counties. On Saturday, March 21 we expect to put on our Spring Festival, weather permitting. This will be held on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by lake Nicassio, just opposite the highway maintenance station. It is partially to honor the astrologer Gavin Arthur, whose grandfather was a president of the United States; for several birthdays of my own disciples, and to usher in the calendar Spring. There will be no charge of course, but people are asked to bring their picnic lunches. We have permission to use the grounds.

I am now preparing to attend a world peace conference at Geneva, Switzerland, and feel very optimistic. Besides that, I have excellent contacts today in London and Boston—others, which I cannot possible fulfill—but everything looks wonderful.

There is also a summer school waiting for me in the northers part of the state of New Mexico and other invitations and possibilities on the horizon. Health has been maintained at a standard not often found among people of my age. I expect to bring with me two of my secretaries for a short conference of the status quo is maintained, and a much longer one if Elliott leaves this world. He has changed his mind so many times, one cannot even be sure whether he swill die testate or not.

I am keeping Mr. garner informed of what I know, and if what he told me today is correct, may not even need your direct intervention, whcih would not in any way affect making my own will and testament.

Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


410 Precita Ave

San Francisco, CA 94110

March 19, 1969

 

Theodore C. Lachelt

1299 Fourth St.,

San Rafael, Calif.

 

My dear Ted:

Things are happening so fast in my life, I am making a report because it is barely possible I may not even have time to see you:

The matter of exact monthly allotments is not yet finally settled. Wells Fargo wrote me that I would get an increase, but they are already behind in the monthly allotment, somewhat embarrassing at the moment.

Elliot is sick in bed. No attendant. He wants me to submit my budget to him which I certainly shall not do. He has been acting entirely on his own. The delicate point is: that any kind of opposition may cause a stroke. He is utterly blind in fury at the executors. He has often been in trouble and, no doubt, is now, but that cannot be my concern.

What is my concern is that in the case he pre-decease me, there is a definite interpretation of certain enigmatic clauses in the will. This could mean a difference of as much as 4 or 500 dollars per month. My own feeling has been that there should be a provision of about $200 each for housekeepers. This would not mean necessarily an increase of $200, but a clear provision as to doctor, medicine and household assistance in our old age. This might even be settled amicably; I simply do not know.

This Sunday we are having a huge shindig at 1010 Railroad in Novato, work party, dancing and curry dinner. Sam will do the cooking and later will emcee. “Everybody is invited.”

My Pakistani God-daughter who is now at Cornell University has invited me to be a guest at both Cornell and Harvard, expanses paid. This in the next few weeks, making appointment with you rather difficult until this matter is cleared one way or the other. Actual present opportunities go far beyond this. Excepting a momentary cold, affairs are in excellent shape.

Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


April 4, 1970

Geneva, Suisse

 

Mr. Theodore C. Lachelt

1299 Fourth St.

San Rafael, Calif.

 

Dear Ted:

I am not so sure of your address and did not take a book along. But as first things are first I have assumed that your growing son might be interested in other than “autographs” so I begin there. No doubt I shall buy more stamps but the hotel does not have a large collection.

Well, Ted, a summit meeting is summit meeting and I am near the sum of summit. It will never be the same. Here I have been working on peace and peace problems for years, have contacts all over the world and been almost universally snubbed. The apologies came first from the Rabbis. I told them that not a single one of their colleagues had answered a single letter since the phony program began of sitting down with the Arabs. After the first few days I think I got along better with them than with the Muslims.

You can guess some of the situations of the Near East. Muslims were too busy criticizing other Muslims to have any united front. Some were distinctly not anti-Jewish or even anti-Israel and the worst behaved of all delegates were Orthodox Muslims. Of course the Rabbis took every advantage of this dissent and I think all the rest of us concurred. Even the best Muslim (who was incidentally sitting next to me) did not escape opposition from his religious fellows. He is a pacifist an opposed to all war.

I became known as the man (later “the Sage”) who wrote the longest letters and made the shortest speeches. The result was that everybody listened to me—a shape contrast to the San Francisco behavior where I have been barred not only from the floor but from meetings and conferences. It was not all noble, for I acted my part of “sheep in wolf’s clothing” and introduced myself Guru of the Hippies. And during the sessions won the good will of the few young. Usual crocodile tears over the young and no further attention until the end. But it is the young, not the illustrious, who did something.

I met few of the world’s characters whom I already knew, and then those which whom I have been corresponding and then a lot of celebrities of all lands. Indeed it does not look that I shall be a total stranger any more.

My picture was taken many times and at least one good long interview. It is not easy to evaluate one’s successes. There were certainly no failures on my part, or at least, no negative reactions. I had at least the supreme advantage of knowing at least one person from every delegation. It was soon discovered that I was attached with all religions, all cultures and all history. The men with whom I attached myself became the most illustrious of all the representatives. My plan for Palestine received as much commendation as it has received rebuffs in the past. I do not know how much will be accomplished, but one becomes very much encouraged.

One of the best notes was being approached by a film producer who also has at least one home in California and is in some way connected with MGM. He has at least one home in California and says he will contact us. He is very much in favor of the spiritual training of the young via the dance. We did do one small aspect of dance before a Japanese delegation, headed by one of their leading noblemen. It was also soon discovered that I may be able to lead the young toward this or some other real international peace movement. We have still appointments with the leaders tomorrow, then leave for England on Monday. I do not know my schedule upon return, nor have we had any word on the possible solution of the airfield strike.

I like Geneva, but excepting a visit to a cathedral, we have had no time for diversion. There is both radio and TV in this room, the TV being very far superior to our own, but the radio I should say inferior. On the very first day we made friends with the papal representatives and leading family of India, which is strongly behind this peace project, both financially and sentimentally. One feels very encouraged.

I do not know either whether the San Rafael Journal Independent or the Novato Advance will pay any attention to this effort. The San Rafael paper has utterly snubbed me. The Novato paper has been more cordial but always tells me I am calling on the wrong day, no matter what day it is. But having been criticized by a staff writer of the Chronicle, I made good every effort in reaction to his attitude. This does not include Art Hoppe to whom I shall send a letter or something shortly. My mind is about worn out.

Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

Austin, Jack Correspondence

[Early March 1960]

Colony Motor Hotel

3250 Euclid Ave

Cleveland 15, Ohio

 

Dear Jack;

In one sense I have no time to write but this is such a crazy city that I cannot withhold sending impressions. I do not mean to say it is really “crazy” excepting that it does not follow patterns, and at the same time it is utterly a slave to patterns. If your brother were here he would probably accept immortality because such a place has no room in his private philosophy or in the private philosophies of a lot of other people who have different private philosophies.

The top of the social scale reminds me of Hollywood in the Chaplin period with the very wealthy and even the very eddies strong for Soviet Russia. I was shown recently USSR with copies of articles concerning the longshoremen of S.F. whom I have met personally. The difference is that here it is the capitalists who are for Russia and who read the magazine.

At the opposite end we find refugees from Hungary, Slovakia, etc. etc. who are fairly strict Catholics and severely strict anti-Russians and who work in the steel and other mills. You might understand how this State could send a Lausche to the Senate on the Democratic ticket and the head of the Republican Party is the highest paid labor lobbyist.

As this city sprawls, running East-West you have to go long but linear distances from here to there. I am slightly on the East Side. Off the main thorough fares you find nothing but colored people. I never heard much about this in Cleveland. I knew all about the Middle-East Europeans, but this city seems to have far, far more refugees from Dixie than either New York or Detroit. In Detroit there is an area, say 5 miles square (not 5 square miles) and beyond that the Balkan people on one side and the Poles on the other. But here you can go and go and the only Whites I ran into spoke Yiddish, and it was not a New York Yiddish either.

Of course you can better understand in this maze or miasma of unsanity that the Adenauer-Ben Gurion meeting would be almost impossible in New York and almost un-impossible here—it would be a typical Cleveland-like gesture. But the hostilities here are not against Russia or Germany but against the South. This is a fairly well integrated city and the college students are pretty unanimous against the South. This may even react against Lausche who is timid in such matters—the young here are not timid. They might welcome both a Adenauer and Khrushchev but if anybody came from South Africa, it would be impossible to prevent rioting.

The newspapers are amalgamated and blow both hot and cold and neither hot nor cold at the same time. Today’s paper has articles proving we are far ahead of Soviet Russia in science and we are far behind them, too. This is possible because the papers, amalgamated, are very, very long; and the writers, neither of them scientists of course, do not give a single objective example of anything scientific in either country. This means the rousing of ignorant emotions, but I doubt whether the papers have the influence here that they might have in New York City. There they must be hot or cold or else.

It has been fluctuating between 0 and 30, not too cold for me, but the snow does not melt and so one cannot size up districts too much. There does not seem to be much poverty but on the other hand the general standard of living does not seem so high. The down town is restricted and there are resemblances to Los Angeles and Tokyo and not to San Francisco or Philadelphia or even Detroit in this. Shopping centers are scattered.

I have not yet been able to contact the cultured groups. My own contacts run roughly 2/1 White and all Americans—no refugee types yet, not even from the South, the colored peoples having long established themselves here. They are rather pro-Gana and pro-Guinea but here, too, the Whites are not opposed to this outlook and have rather a benevolent attitude toward the rising African States. There was a big meeting on this 1st night but I could not go as I was with old (and very true) friend. I shall, however, check on this as soon as possible. But even in serious discussions the White people hope that it will be possible to improve the soils of West and Tropical Africa, and this interest is unusual. California looks to Asia, New York to Europe and I suppose if I sent a report of this to “The Nile” on Grant Avenue they would eat it up. Men like Gunther are very popular in the circles I have contacted, but again these are restricted circles. I have not yet met any Roman Catholics here.

I have not had much time for research but find my way entirely clear. I expect to visit Michigan University soon as my friend, Dr. Park is there, who is an expert on the village life in South Asia generally. I want to reach the World Affairs Council here before I make that trip.

Both the news and magazine reports indicate a tremendous rise in Japan and West Germany, both far outstripping either Russia or the US. in certain fields. Japan’s greatest increase is in shipping and in a week they will be opening a shipping line here! And there are very few of them here. There is a small Chinese section which I have not visited, practically no Asians of any type—just a few scattered individuals. And even some anti-Asian feelings due to presumable aid to certain corrupt governments in that part of the world.

The Finch Case got plenty of publicity here; what is going on in the world does not get in the news. Editorials would be good but editors often give opinions and fairly fine opinions on events which they have failed to report! I think this is typically American and pretty awful.

I am not starting any diary but will when I visit the universities. Most important, will be going to Columbus (Ohio State) next month. It is curious that this university and our own Cal. which do so much in the biological sciences are in the headlines—because of their basket ball teams. Against that, surprisingly, there are efforts being made in Cleveland to encourage students to go to school to learn something! We beat Russia in basketball and hockey but not in much else.

Cordially,

Sam

 


1088 Fulton St.

San Francisco 17, Calif.

17th April, 1963

 

My dear Jack:

On: The Buddhist Encyclopedia and other matters.

Last week I went to the village of Mendocino about 300 miles to the North and spent four lovely days with friends and artists who have established a colony there, yet unspoiled. The previous artist, now arts colony is to the South of here and Mendocino is to the north. At the former place you can hear a lechers adulterer lecture on Zen or Buddhism or Cosmic consciousness; or one of your fellow countrymen by birth tell us what drug produces what samadhi. The respectable people go and go now in large numbers because there is no question that in this region the prevailing religions are on the downgrade.

The surprising good time contrasting with years of difficulty caused me to change a method of living. Now the interpretation I have of the crucifixion is that it means the full an-atta life. I therefore resumed a practice I learned from Sokei-an Sasaki of anatta in everyday life, and the abandonment of effort and especially the aiming at success.

The first thing that happened was in going into Fields book store—where you can buy an assorted number of books on Zen and Buddhism written by people from almost every country in Europe and a few Americans. Up to this time there was none by any Russian and I saw one by a Russian, which I purchased immediately: Buddhist Logic by T. Stcherbatsky, perhaps the one man on the whole continent I really respect.

Sometimes I feel like establishing on Arya Dharma Society devoted to anatta, anicca and dukha. It is certain that as mushroom organizations and anti-social speakers are offering all kinds of things called “Buddhism,” the contemporary discoveries in physics and cosmology are sustaining this Arya Dharma no end, just as the previous work in Genetics, Biology, etc. did. And later on I hope to review the Buddhist Logic for you, for I feel it will apply to contemporary physics and psychology, and Psychology, and equally will not apply to much which is offered as “Buddhism.”

I next received a report from Paul Reps who is now in Honolulu, which is enclosed. The receipt of this activated prajna—and I suddenly changed plans and went to the meeting of the combined Bhinest Buddhists, excepting the Fung group. It was well I did.

Wesak Day. In my absence the Soto Zen group took over the celebration of Buddhists birthday according to the Japanese calendar. I am told it was the largest gathering ever in this vicinity, which confirms my statement that the prevailing religions are going down and people are seeking. Sensei Suzuki is going to Japan, and I’ll find out more later.

It is very curious that while Paul Fung is the vice-president of the International Buddhist Congress, all the other Buddhist groups have united to some extent here and have joint meetings of all kinds. Leslie Lowe of Los Angeles died in my absence—I have known him for a long time, but not too well. Iru Price has taken his place and here I am more fortunate than you, for the mehta which existed between Phra Sumangalo and myself continues now in this Sangha, so to speak and I have the same feeling both without reason and without ego to Price, Wagner and Goode here.

There is compromise Wesak festival to be celebrated here in San Francisco on May 5, and it is hoped even vice-president Fung may attend. All the other Buddhist groups—Chinese, Japanese and Caucasian, are reuniting, and I think this is remarkable and the dream of Dwight Goddard, so to speak, has come true. I have volunteered to help and was put on the program.

This is amusing to me because again I have been given the brush-off by the Americans and the professors. But now my relations with all the Chinese Buddhist groups is excellent and they recognize me as the representative of Phra Sumangalo, as the agent for “The Western Buddhist” and my own right.

Next week the program will be in the hands of the Neo Dhamma Society which is trying to revive a Sangha-less Tipitaka Buddhism, with a combination of morality (badly needed), contemporary culture, and, alas dialectics. Americans simply cannot face anatta, anicca, and dukha and they want to be Buddhists and I want to face anatta, anicca, and dukha regardless of any appellation.

In the course of the service Iru held up the first fascicule of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Well, I have waited forty years, and “Je l’ai, or “Eureka” or whatever you want.

One looks over the Advisory Board and the Board of Honorary Editors with some (not too much) satisfaction. Humphreys is there and Daisetz Suzuki is not. Edimann is not there and there are more articles by one H.G.A. van Zeyst than anybody else. He appears to be a linguist and a dialectician, so business is back at the old stand.

In the section on the “Absolute” Brother Van Zeyst has abstracted Buddha right out from India and made him a good nineteenth century German. However he has fairly successfully handled the whole thing from an an-atta point of view. This is followed by a longer and finer historical article by one Yoshiro Tamaru who tells us all about Buddhism and then plunks right back to Hegel. No more Samadhi, no more meditation and of course, no Prajna!

Finally there is another article on the “Absolute” by one Andres Bareau, translated into English. He puts the Absolute of Buddhism back where it belongs, not to Hegel, nor to reviewers abstractions from a lot of nonsense, but to the four noble truths and the Udana and he quotes the Udana and after reading a mass of speculation, you have it in clear language, in language also that I believe is accepted by all true followers of Arya Dharma: “There is, O monks, a non-born, non-arisen, a non-made, a non-compound, for if there were no non-born, no non-arisen, no non-made, no non-arisen, what is made, what is composed.”

The article by Bareau is much shorter, more succinct and more apt.

I may give a partial letter review of this fascicule. But h t I am concerned with, is have you either this or the Buddhist Logic is above?

Sunday I go the Universal Church. They are announcing themselves as the “Pristine Dharma” and at the same time using the Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch which, whatever else may be said, are anything but “pristine.” Fortunately on May 5 somebody is giving the main Sermon on “The Life of the Buddha.” We have had 5-11 speakers—probably more on “Zen,” “Buddhism,” “Cosmic consciousness,” and nobody has spoken in English on the Buddha.

Theologically I don’t care but psychologically I do and here there is a growing amount of delinquency, promiscuity and vileness, for which the churches have no answer. At the same time there is growing interest in the practice of meditation. The “Yogis” are too concerned with postures and the Soto people so far are too “Orthodox”—i.e. they do not take into consideration the difficulty facing Americans who cannot do lotus-posture.

Incidentally I now have so much material on the lotus that I shall have to cut down rather than otherwise in my book. The people in Mendocino wish to print part of it as re-view material.

This is good surprise.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


50 Harriet St.

San Francisco 3, Calif. 8

October 8, 1963

 

My dear Jack:

You will mind enclosed an article which appeared in yesterday’s paper, in re: Pual Fung. I am writing to you for write different reasons, however, as you shall see.

a. Mme. Nhu is preparing to come here and the communists and follow-travelers are preparing to take over the demonstration. There are, at the moment, an increasing number of people attending Buddhist meetings and they certainly have in common reprehension of what is taking places in South Vietnam, and elsewhere. I am preparing to see James Wagner soon and will be guided by the wisdom. But I shall also contract other Buddhist leaders.

b. “China World,” the editor of which is a very good friend of mine, has been taking “queezy” view of the Fungs and would like to get them out in the open. It is peculiar situation. Paul Fung is Vice-President of the World Buddhist Federation and is not recognized as such by our officials, government or institutions. And on the other hand there are three loose federations of Buddhists here. One is the Fungs, another is the Japanese group that includes previously but not now, all the Japanese; the third is the loose federation of those who followed, in a sense, Phra Sumangalo or Dwight Goddard, or both, etc. Both of the latter have held religious meeting. Their relations are nebulous: the Nichirens, partly in protest no doubt, have cooperated with the federation now headed by Harold Priebe, in which Iru Price has been active. The Vietnam situation may bring them all together, “China World” hopes so, but I have not seen Paul Fung in conferences.

c. There is often a complete lack of “The Three Jewels” at some of the American meetings. But here is no use to protest unless one translates the Jewels into actualities. Therefore, in view of vows, I am inclined to go along with Jimmy, and will report later. As Buddhists have a tendency to meet on Tuesday night when I go Mudra class I cannot work with them much, and on Wednesday night I go to school. So I often debate on Sundays.

d. There was suddenly a large gathering at Master Too Lun last Thursday and I suspect these came from the Federation. All of them showed interest in both lecture and mediation. But Sunday an entirely different group showed up—they looked like the “Beatnik Zens” and only one stayed to the end.

e. The translation work of Too Lun simply substantiates what we have been holding: the phony Bodhisattvas: Watts, Humphries, and Suzuki, stand in the way of proper understanding of the Dharma. The Chinese do not tend to accept the Japanese anyhow, and Christian’s work has gotten mighty shellacing, as we way and I could not help smile for you in absentia. But this is in the interest of both honest scholasticism and true Dharma and not just against egos, excepting—against we both have held—that Buddhism is not a product of egos, no matter how famous, and that éclat stands in the way of enlightenment.

f. I am at the moment in a strange position. For the second time a Sufi Teacher has affirmed what are substantially Buddhist vows. One must write there is only one truth and the Eka-yana of the Buddhists is not different from the Tauhid of the Sufis which ends in ji-ji-mu-ge. This has compelled me to take some outer beatings, but it also does not regard these outer beatings as of the slightest import. The only one in question is that of the man who has been spreading ugly rumors about me, and who attends all the Dharma and Dhamma meetings which are concerned with letting off steam and not discussing Dharma. I am now occasionally taking with me my written credentials, but even if it is duplication I am going to have more pictures made of myself on Mount Takeo—you have the one with friends and self before the stupa of Lord Buddha. This was a grand adventure which might be dramatized. It was a real Holy Grail and no symbolism, and all symbolism together.

g. The above leads to the crux of the problem which seems to irk you about the Fungss. They are always speaking about Diamond Sutra. If so, what is Anagamin? Is it concept? Then they are talking nonsense. Is it percept? Then either Paul is Anagamin or they must point out Anagamin or the whole thing is nonsense, utter nonsense and we are back where Alan Watts was.

Now Anagamin is not one who is coming only “once more” but Anagamin is one who is coming “once more” under Karma. But the Bodhisattva may come many times and coming many times how can he ever have been Anagamin? For one does think, as Diamond Sutra says, Anagamin thinks yet if one says the vow as above is an Anagamin vow, not a Bodhisattva vow, it looks like a logical enigma; and it is a logical enigma, but not an enigma at all.

h. In the translation given by Master Too Lun yesterday which is so very different from Christmas Humphrey, “I” should say that not only Master Too Lun but even his similar disciples have a better view of true Dharma—and I say this is both simplicity and sincerity than the learned and worthy or unworthy C.H. Indeed it bore out your contentious more than all you words. The whole spirit is lost in the translation of Wei Leng (Eno) to very marked degree indeed. And here even the Fungs—and I guess all Chinese depart from both “Masters” C.H. and Daisetz-san.

i. Against back to the Sangha then. Mrs. Siguliev is the Oldest Buddhist Upasaka and she was thrilled by the Master. On account of “her” both Mrs. Lottie Fernandez and Sam go to meetings, but we are like one person. We are all old describes of Nyogen Senzaki and we all have objections to the three non-authorities on Dharma, or rather on those who laud “Buddhism” but omit mention of Dharma.

After the meeting Lottie told me of personality-worship that permeates so such “Buddhism” here and her meeting with Suzuki-san and Asahina in New York. Her report on Asahina was wonderful and so was old Nyogen in her last meeting.

j. There are several things to report about master Too Lun. To begin with those people who are protesting against Mme. Nhu quite overlook that Buddhists are often getting the same treatment in mainland China or in Vietnam, but they are not concerned.

The repercussions on his book—which I have not sent, causes me to smile. For, as I have said, he breaks all the rules laid down by meta-physicians and dilettantes. But in going to his meditation hall I definitely feel: Peace, Power, Bliss—this is in the Hall whether he is there or not. And I am hoping others feel.

But he is also against “Zen.” Now, Jack you hold a synthetic-integrative view about Buddhist school and methods and that is exactly the Master’s outlook. He keeps telling us that meditation is the method, not the goal and keeps on saying there are other methods. He believes for himself and for some others that meditation is the best way, but he recognizes the other methods as integral parts of Buddhism. Of course this may be a destination without a difference and better leave it there.

Will inform you concerning Mme Nhu and anything else.

Faithfully if not respectfully,

S. A. M.

 

 


October 3, 1964

My dear Jack:

 

This is written as if from Bodhisattva to Bodhisattva. If there are tinges of dualism in it, they are not to be taken too seriously. I was initiated into the path of Fudo in Japan, a matter taken most lightly here, though not quite so lightly as the Sutras which are not taken lightly as the Vinayas which are now on the index expurgate of a whole lot of movements in this country, each and all rivaling each other and each claiming to be presenting the Dharma. But before taking up the position of Fudo, or while taking up the position of Fudo, it is better to give some news and go into the most serious matter of Maitreya Buddha.

Last week we had the ceremony of acceptance of a Buddha statue from Thailand in Iru’s “Home of the Dharma.” There was a very satisfying address by Brother Eugene. There were also present a Korean monk about whom I may write at a later date and Dr. Neville Warwick who has been invested by both the Red Hats and the Soto Zen monks. And I could see now, regardless of all my wishes and desires that Iru has been pushed into somewhat independent efforts by facts, factors and circumstances which have nothing to do with spirituality.

I have tentatively proposed speaking on “Buddhist Masters I have met in San Francisco,” and I split the communication between the Maitreya them and that. I have presented Sensei Suzuki the Chinese version of the Prajna Paramita Sutra which you have reviewed; it has at least four fundamental differences from the version used in Sokiji Temple here. I am to see Rev. Suzuki this week but I now go with extreme indifference. I am presenting him with the Fung Translation of the “Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch.”

The establishment of Buddhist circles with the complete omission of the vast body both of literature and wisdom presents to me nothing but more circumstances in which karma will act and it will act exactly as it is set forth in the Sutra of Forty Two Chapters. According to the Dharma of Nyogen Senzaki, Buddha Maitreya was not so much a person (now our anatta disciples in Buddhism love personalities!) as the supreme state to which mankind might attain, living in this world either according to the Four fold Bodhisattvic Oath or Eighteen fold vow of Samantabhadra.

It is most fortunate that Brother Rickei has come forth with a real not stinking verbal non-dualism which is being accepted by the universities and which shall soon displace all the tripe of a lot of brand names whom you must not criticize before audiences which consider the Sutras secondary and the Vinaya as little better, if even so good as pornographic literature! This is not sarcasm. This is the way of life in a part of the world where “students in Buddhism” real “The Dharma Bums” and Henry Miller, but are all but frightened to read the Tripitaka.

Brother Neville has had ordination and training in both the Red Hat and Soto Schools (maybe more). According to the training from both Senzaki and the negative one of the Roerich School, he represents to me the “coming of Lord Maitreya.” He may be very far from Lord Maitreya but if so, it is according to the matrix of the Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters and not from any positive of negative ego value judgments.

The difference between the metaphysical and scientific people can be summed, in that the latter have ears and the former have not. If a stranger comes and offers teaching, we should listen to it. People who would not dare criticize their chemistry teachers, who have had experiences they have not had, criticize anybody coming from the Orient who have had valid experiences they do not have. And according to whatever I have gained, the Dalai Lama or anybody connected with him represent an incipient Lord Maitreya. And if the person is not the Lord, not withstanding, by the right receptive attitude one may himself advance to that grade of understanding or wisdom, following the vows mentioned above, by which he may and can save humanity.

There are so many Sanghas here, and I guess all over, who have few members who have studied Buddhist literature at all.  I have half of my acquaintances irked because of my devotion to the settling of food problems which is my fulfilling of the teaching of Jesus Christ—which has nothing whatever to do with the Christian religion. Not only that in all my scientific work, be it in programs, in literature or in laboratory research there is one thing outstanding, and that is the cyclic laws encountered are exactly the same as in the Sutras and Vinayas, long discarded. The principles of causation are most certainly found in the Nitrogen and Carbon cycles, ignored by the peoples of India, who are getting their own karma out of karma because they don’t understand karma at all.

And the solution of some of the problems of India is very simple—it is nothing but the adaption of a widened program of the Dharma as verbalized by Lord Buddha in his time, applied to other fields than that of anatta human personality.

Now you have always upheld the dharma transmissions in the forms they reached Tibet, and I am compelled both from reason and experience (outer rather than inner) to support you position. My “sixteen” fold dharma transmission, which may have a relation to the Eightfold Path, is based on the historical, hierarchal, and literary evidence if several forms of expression of Dharma, theoretically or actually given first to the advanced disciples of the Lord.

As the law of karma operates, all those intellectuals and pretenders who have given us ego or false versions of dharma are being removed from the scenes. The universities cannot stand for nonsense. The weakness of the universities is in the opposite direction, their adherences to literature and scriptures. At the moment I am being welcomed more and more by the universities which for wise or ignoble reasons wish to relate religions to the scriptures thereof.

I am shortly going to Berkeley, site of the University of California, to see the new instructor in Indian cultures, as a sort of advisor. All that nonsense of professors and “experts” refusing to accept any real reports from me either on my outer experiences (meeting Masters) or my inner experiences (awareness of worlds or universes beyond “this”) is now reaping the simple natural moral results. And if our experts refused even the simplest reports, they have gone now only contrary to karmic righteousness, they are now being displaced and removed.

Taking Dr. Pandey to dinner last Friday week I found he was a devotee of Ramana Maharshi into which school I have been initiated—a fact rejected by and all “experts” who preach about morality (!). To my amazement Tuesday I received two copies of a new magazine they are publishing. I placed these in brother Neville’s hands because first there is an article by the Dalai Lama; and second, because I found this article extremely tenable. The Dalai Lama is in total opposition to the universal Buddhists who flock all over and reject each other. He has presented a positively valid, cosmic Universal Buddhism, and I can see—though I shall lose the and perhaps friendships, because I object to narrow sectarian people calling themselves, and deluding themselves that they are universal. One can have far more respect for the Nichiren-shu who make no pretense at being universal.

We have in this state a peculiar type of persons Home pseudo-spiritualis californius. They listen to delight of stories of the burning of sutras or Buddha-statues to make a fire. But breathe one word against (and I name them) Manly Hall, Yoga Yogananda and Jiddu Krishnamurti and you are out! But this magazine not only names them, it calls them to account and calls Gurdjieff even more to account for veiling the public against any sight of spiritual awakening. It has accepted—and no nonsense or pretense about it—all spiritual schools which have provided myself in the religious field as well as in the scientific field with sound allies and brothers.

A very humorous series of incidents had led to my credentials being accepted in another university in the southern part of the State where they are going to have a parliament of religions next year. As the World Congress of Faiths has become provincial, there are now three quasi-independent movements toward the actual study of religions, one in India; one in this country by historians and another by scientists. Nobody is going to get away any more with the empty phrases of “non-dualism,” “spiritual knowledge,” “satori,” etc., with some evidence of realities.

I understand more clearly every week why they told me at Kamakura I was two grades above Brother Daisetz. There is a lot more to it than that but I prefer to refer to L. Adams Beck. When I was young and we did not have Watts, Humphreys, Herrigel, Benoit, etc., etc. we did have L. Adams, Beatrice Lane and Alexandra David Neel (also Mrs. Rhys-Davids, the “expert”). The former three women evidenced Samadhi and the work respected them. No doubt we had to have “the cloud-men of non-Yamato” come and befog us so the sunrise would not be too terrific. But today the clouds are being dispelled.

I have proposed, half humorously, the game of “Bodhisattvic Musical Chairs” especially for those people who think that by rubbing bricks you can gain enlightenment—the common attitude today. At the Zendo when somebody mentioned Sokei-An I gave a cat’s yawn! Now in New York, to have done this would have been to be graciously received, but here when they study (?????) mondos and repeat this “Prajna” Paramita Sutra, not a single person reacted! So out with the koans and what have you?

Both as Fudo and Sam Lewis I don’t want to see Brother Warwick go the ways of Phra Sumangalo and Dwight Goddard; I want to see him live. It has taken years before I could present to Eugene a portion of the Dharma transmission from Nyogen Senzaki. To him, Brian, Iru, the few disciples of the original Zendo and now to Dr. Warwick I may present any dharma transmission as if they were brothers (or sisters) in Sangha, without any obligation. I think I can “unload” on Eugene and he will then understand the Prajna-Paramita Sutras more clearly.

What is called “enlightenment” today does not coincide with either the Buddhist art transmission or my own experiences or a large portion of the now discarded Vinaya. Churches are being established in which orthodoxies are being fixed. Rituals are being substituted for the dharma transmission. The Triratna and Pancha Sila are very heterodox and the vows practically unknown. Even Rev. Tobase gave the vows.

But the worry is no longer in my hands. I am pleased to see that Brother Neville has seen Bodhisattva Erdmann and has made the same conclusions I had years ago. My next step will be to take him some time to “the other Sam” who is in hiding and will not associate with “dharma-Bums,” who has very, very dim views of popular book writers’ and very high views of those who understand dharma. He too had to retire while the world, especially homo pseudo-spiritualis californicus, applaud book readers.

Brother Warwick’s main beef is against the low respect for Pancha Sila while mine is against the low respect for Triratna, which is the same thing. We are having extracts passed off as Buddhism—you know all the groups I have reported to you about, and these ease their consciousness by adopting the term universal.

With all its merits Sokiji Temple is so universal you cannot even bring up Sokiji! So how can you bring in Rinzai! And they are now giving out—and this has nothing to do with doctrine or upaya, a totally false history of Zen in America. The outcome can only be a fierce and very unnecessary rivalry between Rinzai and Soto. I reject that mere sitting in a certain posture produces a higher elevation of enlightenment. Many people become enlightened merely by coming into the presence of Lord Buddha. I could write books on “Samma Drishthi” but will not.

Besides the intellectuals, now at a very rapid rate, both at home and abroad, there is a gradual acceptance of this personality as a spiritual teacher. This will not be among friends and acquaintances, though I am now tacking a fierce social problem.

I do not get “Diamond Sangha” but these remarks harmonize with their conclusions, but remember this, is only the Fudo view. The Samantabhadra view is still to be given. At the moment I am no more assured of converting Buddhists (?) to Buddhist literature than Shaw was of converting banker’s clerks to socialism. But the younger people are more honest, so why bother.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


October 22, 1964

 

My dear Jack:

This is a letter of the parting of the ways. In 1926 Nyogen Senzaki suddenly gave up everything and started a career of a homeless monk. Now your country has selected C.P. Snow to be the Ministry of Culture. There is a vast difference between those who experience and those who speculate, between those who know ant those who believe. Religion has been invariably based on “Believe and thou shalt be saved.” I do not know from what but as one looks over the world there is nothing but turmoil, dissatisfaction, distress in one direction and in another direction children play together, scientists meet together and during all the troubles in the Near East the Arab Cultural Center has not lost a meeting.

I have here two totally different sorts of experiences. When I went to the Forestry Division of the United States Department of Agriculture, they cancelled all appointments for me and I have still to see somebody in the Departments of Social Sciences and International Affairs at the University of California Berkeley. It does not matter because the corresponding departments at Los Angeles have already accepted my reports.

In a similar way I walked out on all the Buddhist groups. One does not mind sectarianism, one does not find over-emphasis, but excepting the Nichirens who admittedly are sectarian there is an over growing movement toward narrowness coupled with an even greatly zeal to call oneself “universal,” and all alike ignoring the laws of karma.

A resolution to walk out on society had an immediate reaction that suddenly I find myself a spiritual teacher with a small following not of “metaphysical old ladies” but aspiring young men. And three calls for “help”—honest, genuine calls for help—and they will get help, the nature of only one of them need concern this correspondence.

The strange behavior pattern that knowing the late Nyogen Senzaki as far back as 1920, excepting a few of his older disciples, nobody has ever come to me in doing any thesis on him and some persons were ever warned to keep away: and the refusal of even Zen friends to listen to any experience, or enlightenment not only of Kamakura, but even of Tsurumi, makes one question these totally separative Zen movements, one now preparing to call itself “Universal.”

I have joined two movements of cultural people, one for the historical study and the other for the scientific study of religions. In line with these I was able to go to Rev Eugene Wagner’s home and to a small group of five people—some of them heard for the first time in their lives the words of Lord Buddha! This is not nonsense. This is the world of 1964 when both the world and the WBF is caught in the clutches of samsara and taking to get out of samsaras by samsaric methods. I see this in each and all the religions, although in the wider domain of Hinduism there is a peculiar “out”—one which I do not wish to take.

The replacement of Europeans by Americans at some of our Universities in the Oriental Departments have led to induction of more Orientals and in the case of Indian Studies they want Indian Studies and not masses of German speculations of whomsoever. Not only that the leading professor today believes the experiences of moksha, mukti, enlightenment are possible and continuing—and he is right.

If one were to place an acorn and a young oak sprig near each other, would you say they are the same or different? If you have an acorn and the tree-shoot and finally the oak with many acorns. Are they the same or different? This shows that we do not understand the Vijnana or Integrative languages. The mathematician and engineers express their findings in terms of the Integral Calculus, the biologists have not, the psychologists certainly do not.

Jesus said, “ I am the vine and ye are the branches thereof.” Abdul Baba said,” People of the world you are as the branches of the tree and leaves of the branches.” This is the Integrative or Vijnana language. It has its own place, its own logic. Bertrand Russell disclaimed Aristotle and Korzybski followed him. “A thing cannot both be and not be” is silly. According to the analytical-Aristotelian knowledge we have a “truth” and when we come to the Integration it does not mean anything. St. Paul constantly used the Integrative language: the term “Catholic”—to which term we react—means the same thing. We translate it also “universal.”

People who talk liberty and freedom and self all were subject to the same hurricanes. In the face of danger we recognize the Vijnana, but in face of property we do not.

Dr. Suzuki—who was considered my inferior at Kamakura and is considered by the world as my superior—sets up Vijnana against Prajna. And by discarding Vijnana he lands back into analysis and thing-ness and personalisms and gets far away from prajna.

At the opposite extreme you heard on Sri Aurobindo and the Indian philosophy, and most certainly followers go to the opposite direction. They place Vijnana above analysis—in which they are correct. They are correct also both according to the actual teachings of the actual Upanishads—which I doubt you have ever heard despite all the courses at the American Academy of Asian studies—and they are in accord with modern sciences. But they are not in accord with Patajali or Buddha for they omit all reference to Samadhi, or Samyak, and of course to Satori.

It is very difficult to convince the world about the position of Vijnanavada which came to its fruition in Buddhism in Patriarch Vasubandhu and the Yogacara School, but here again, one is confronted by a lot of names—Watts, Saxton, Burns locally; and Aldous Hurley, Blofeld, Ames, Holmes, etc. whose words are accepted, whose writings are read and there is no recognition of the Yogacara teachings or anything but the self-of-Vasubandhu as a Patriarch, without even knowing what a Patriarch is.

Or we might come to Prajna and with Prajna, “ji-ji-mu-ge” Which is the tail of the dog, but not the dog. The history of Nyogen Senzaki deserting Kegon for Zen illustrates this.

But if spiritual strives studies some of the latest advances in sciences (not “science”), or scientists looked into Dharma they would see endless wonders even in “ji-ji-mu-ge” and Kegon, which, to me, is quite superior to Vijnanavada either of Vasubandhu or Aurobindo.

For it is now demonstrated in the laboratory under exact test conditions that all complex organisms—bodies of plants, animals and man, have potentially or actually all chemical elements. And it may even come to be—and we can do it even now, that there are measurements of the traditional Iron, Copper, Silver and Gold in the bodies and it may be found that Gold-assimilation is in proportion to spiritual development! This could be, you know; nobody has bothered about it.

Or again, we might even now measure electrical and light vibrations. Every body (two words) has some Potassium in it, but ordinary people and the press entirely ignore that Potassium gives out radioactive vibrations. And with the discovery of trace-elements in bodies, including the much discussed “Radioactive Strontium” we may be measuring these and other vibrations and may find significances in them.

This shows we must lay aside traditional logics. But despite the acceptance of the “wavicle” we do not accept the Buddhist logic of Dignana. We sometimes accept Daisetz’ attacks on Vijnana or Dr. Chaudhuri’s elevation of Vijnana while the above applications of Vijnana are ignored by both. And we thus are stuck with “names.”

If we study the flow of blood in the flesh we find that not only does the blood touch all organisms and makes no distinctions, there is even a supplementary blood system which stimulates the veins and arteries themselves. This brings us closer to ji-ji-mu-ge. And if we meditated on breath and breathing we could see that all sentient beings, not just human beings, partake of the same ocean-of-life. This is the external, but it is certainly real, much more real than common sense, or logic, or even Vijnana.

This book, Anthology of Zen combines Rinzai people with intellectuals. I do not know if any of the Japanese are disciples in Soto. But all my Roshis in Rinzai did not announce one most fundamental teaching from Kato’s Roshi at Tsurumi. You have heard me talk of my visits to some Zen monasteries—small audiences, but the external-transmission I have been unable to give out, silenced by the audience and the world and certainly not by Roshis.

It has only been after many years that I was able to give a portion of Senzaki’s teachings to a single person who was not one of his Sanghas. I studied with him for years and nobody even let me report. It does not matter, for the list of his teachings are in Anthology of Zen so far as words can be considered. And here we reach an impasse.

The Upanishads, which we do not study, set forth a universe of many grades, and planes and steps in evolution. We verbally mix them up. No mathematicians would confuse terms like +, -, Integral, differential, approach as a limit, transfinite, etc. They are all words but they don’t belong together. Each has its plane, its level. In the Upanishads there are more levels than human-analytical, Vijnana and Prajna, but all fit into either One Cosmos or what appears to be Duo-Cosmos. Even Plato knew that.

For purposes of communication we can call these Maya (measurable) and Paramita (immeasurable). What have they in common? Prajna!

Now we are still using words, and this does not mean the experience of grades and processes from one plane to another. But in Anthology of Zen there are the verbal skeletons of actual Dharma-transmission “from” actual Roshis by this “person,” accepting that he is a different person and ignoring for the while either “I am the vine and ye are the branches thereof” or ji-ji-mu-ge. Unless we get them all together we have not the Dharma.

As this fusion generally comes “in the hour ye think least the son of man cometh,” Zen is called “The Sudden School.” You can climb through all the grades and planes of Maya and yet get turned on the wheel. Although in the Upanishads (which we do not study) there is one outline of getting from Maya to Paramita, even as I showed you there is the “Primary of Breath,” and we look at the “Primacy of Breath” as a philosophical dictum and not as a medium or method which is certainly posited by the great Zen Schools, and also by other schools of transcendental mystical development.

You will be reading in the papers about an attempt toward “immortality” by freezing. You will not consider the possibilities or even the “truth” of immortality through and in the breath.

In writing “The Lotus and the Universe” I shall restrict myself to the actual training from actual Roshis and not with speculations of any. But this will include the Soto-transmission. Actually the step Soto-transmission is already in this paper to this point but it is not indicated as such.

I have shown Sensei the Chinese-Sanskrit version of Prajna-Paramita Sutra. It is the super-logical outcome of the Benares Sermon. If you can follow the stages in logistics from analytical, through integrational to Prajna, logically also you come to this sutra. The same Sanskrit terms are there almost as in a Paramita-syllogism if that were possible. But there are two differences between the form I received from Nyogen Senzaki and the form in which it is used at the temple. Both of these have been discovered by Dr. Warwick, definitely analytically and perhaps functionally, also. There are two functional differences, and in this sense I find the Rinzai superior to the Soto, but this is a bad use of the word “superior.”

There are terms which you find in scriptures common to Buddhism and Hinduism such as “Mantram,” “Dharani,” and even “Moksha.” They remain as terms. You get no idea of their levels, and whether they are static, dynamic, or transcendental words. And if you go deeper, you will find that all differences had with all persons in re Buddhism or Dharma has been because they both ignored those words and the possesses involved. And when Dr. Robinson came and took the opposite view, there was entire concordance.

I commend all the words of the Rinzai Masters in this book. Where there are “differences” with Soto, I commend the Rinzai teachings to the Soto, but also the Soto to the Rinzai, There is only one Dharma.

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


May 8, 1966

 

My dear Jack,

In the name of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. This is a very serious letter and it leaves you ample room for some decisions before I send out certain materials. I have a friend, Ted Reich, whose favorite cartoon is a monk stretching his arm to the ceiling and the caption is "Zen monks do not perform miracles." And what this letter is, is in a sense that miracles do perform Zen monks, if you wish to call me.

I had asked a teacher is she wanted some material on the German explorer Kempfer who was in Japan in the 17th century. A few days later two copies of "The Cat's Yawn" arrived and there was plenty of material, so much so that the book has been borrowed, which is what I wanted.

But the mere placing this book in my hands brought back to memory two of Sokei An's early lectures (I have reported this to you, don't you remember?). One of these was on the Ten Stages of Consciousness. It is on this point I find myself at variance with nearly all the groups calling themselves "Buddhists" and also one man has accepted the Truth here which is enough, but that is about all at the moment.

There is being arranged here a conference on LSD drugs and I wrote on this and one other subject (Vedic rituals). It is tiresome to be turned down constantly by ignorant people who will not admit that other people know much. So I pulled strings, but the director of the conference himself is a Buddhist. And today I received my card of admission (you have no idea how many times I have been turned down).

Last Sunday, at the end of the Wesak in Golden Gate Park I was surprised to learn that the late Nyogen Senzaki had left some lectures to be published and only three or four of us had permission to act as intermediaries. Five of these lectures should be combined with my autobiography ("Dharma Transmission").

As to the rest, when there is time I shall send you a list. But this brings up another subject which is very delicate and almost 100% nonsense. In class the other day when there was a discussion of "Buddhism versus Science" I said, "The subject of 'Buddhism versus Science' is valid but the subject 'Buddha versus Science' is not, for the spirit of Buddha was, among other things, also scientific." This was followed by illustrations.

"Buddhists," while advocating anatta do not recognize each other and scientists, while not claiming anatta, do. Buddha taught salvation through experience ("Work out thy salvation with diligence") and scientists demand experience. But you can get into a Sangha today without even accepting Triratna.

You can see why one has to go to the scientists and scholars with "The Ten Stages of Consciousness" and why I should prefer your decision if you wish this paper before it is submitted. There are today too many great scholars who claim to be "Buddhists" and some do not even accept Triratna.

In another class I was permitted to speak on "Esoteric Buddhism" to clarify some serious complications introduced by the late Karl Jung who was not an initiate. Here again one finds the scientists in agreement, because one had the experience; and large segments of "Buddhists" along with the metaphysical and Cloud-nine folks taking the way to confusion. Jung has left room for everything but anatta.

Tomorrow I am joining in Iru's presentation of "Wesak Day." But today I have inherited so many Dharmas—Shaku Soyen, Sokei-An, Nyogen Senzaki, the experiences with the Japanese and Vietnamese, etc., etc. And I personally consider both the Enlightenment and Parinirvana more important than the birth. This emphasis on the baby Buddha throws us back into the atwa-doctrine and one cannot get away from it. Scientists encourage those who know to talk and inform. Devotees discourage saying that those who know never tell. This is utter nonsense based on the very ignorance which Tathagata taught.

The other lecture which comes back to me is Sokei An's explanation of Tathagata, and now also this one on Dharmakaya. Having the Alya experience raised one before the sages and lowers one before the public.

The Sufi leader, Musheraff Khan was here recently. He drew the old. There will be many elderly people at the meeting tomorrow night. But this one is drawing young, the inquirers, people who wish experience and not speculations.

To sum up, I shall continue to send copies of my autobiography, having Phra Sumangalo to complete and then "Buddha Hridaya" concerning Nyogen Senzaki; the lectures which he wanted published, and finally those which have for the moment been turned over to me. There may be others later, but quantitatively there is more than enough.

His last lecture will be mailed in the next enclosure.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


May 9, 1966

 

My dear Jack,

Last night was the celebration of Wesak Day and program is enclosed. The sermon of Rev. James Burkey was very good. But neither the selection from Dhammapada nor his contention that Buddhism is scientific is going to catch on as it should.

During the week in class study on Ceylon I stated, “Buddhism is not scientific but Buddha was a scientist.” The teacher replied: “Yes, that is true and I wish more people knew that.” For science demands anatta, scientists accept the experience, the experiments, the conclusions of other scientists. And religionists do not accept the experiences, the experiments, the conclusions of others.

Here we are stuck for Buddhists not only align themselves with their enemies, the other religionists, but proclaim anatta also. If they did not proclaim anatta this might not be so bad.

Here I have to prepare few social events. First a leading philosopher is coming and he will present the same teachings as Samuel does and people will accept it. But if one were to go into his part of the country and I presented the same teaching people would accept it and would not from him. This strange behavior pattern may be part of our mores but when Buddhists follow it, proclaiming anatta, they destroy their own principle.

We had about ten groups represented. This excluded the Fungs, the Nichiren and a few others. The representation was broader than those aligned with Harold Priebe and there is one notable ting, that there is no American Sangha. Eugene memorialized Nyogen Senzaki as well as Phra Sumangalo and Leslie Lowe. It is only now that one finds the omission of Dwight Goddard, and the truth is that I would have done the same thing—it is only hours later one realizes this for Goddard reached the minds but not the hearts of people. Goddard was a stickler for anatta and demanded from people and so contradicted anatta.

The second event will be an LSD conference. (I have always humorized that by saying that LSD used to refer to the British monetary system but no more.) A strange series of events, almost miraculous, brought the material from both Sokei-An and Nyogen Senzaki. With “The Cat’s Yawn” in my possession, the quickening of consciousness brought about the Alaya stage and several of Sokei-An’s early lectures came back into consciousness.

Here is where the anatta-Buddhists and the scientists part company. The anatta-Buddhists will accept the papers from these Monks and the scientists will accept a lecture from Samuel L. Lewis backed by his own experiences. The anatta-Buddhists will reject Sam Lewis and the scientists will reject Sokei-An and Senzaki-san. It will be the same subject but the scientists want living evidence and the anatta-Buddhists will want some grand-name of the past.

You can understand now Nyogen’s last sermon and already I have started the “breathing with the feet” which will be open to any and all who know as the Lord said, “They will know the truth and untruth in untruth.”

In the outer world when Rev. Neville was challenging Rev. Iru, irreverent Sam called out, "Where is compassion?" But in the Alaya review Rev. Neville called out, "Where is Fudo?" There is no nonsense in the Alaya and no abiding ego-self but there is the alarming verbal acceptance of this with utter psychological rejection. And in the Alaya one has to face the whole accumulation of his life-stream of consciousness and no nonsense; and also be in the presence of powers and personalities when we may regard as unseen but who nevertheless are. It is something like going into the Judgment Hall of Osiris.

Lama Govinda has selected from time to time no less than five persons 'to represent him. It can well me that the appointments of some have run out either because of the passing of time or failure of function. The latest seems to be that regardless of this the Lama has tied himself down to various monetary-centered promotion corporations; and various monetary-centered cultural groups without any regard to the Dharma or customs of holy men in regard to financial contracts. Phra Sumangalo was very careful here and avoided the terrible history of Master Tai Hsu.

The so-called "Maharshi" who was here and whom Iru accepted and respected, has now repudiated himself. Actually he had no spiritual message at all. He was decried by Robert and adored by Iru and this is something very queer for a Sangha-leader ad boy, if that story gets out, and it will, it puts Iru in a very strange position, to go contrary to his own initiator. But this is not the only incident and I am keeping my "secret weapon" until I face the Lama and ask him some solid questions which could verily effect the whole history of the Dharma here and no nonsense, no nonsense at all.

Having partaken of the melodramas of the Roerich Museum and later life of Dwight Goddard I refuse to make the same mistakes or to partake in a repetition of them. In good faith the Lama has initiated some persons but I do not accept streams of transmission which cut themselves off from other streams of trans¬mission. I shall hold to Ekyana.

I have therefore asked for an audience with Lama Angarika Govinda but not alone. If he has selected individuals to act qua re their being what they are he himself has gone contrary to the Triratna. I don't believe he has but I reserve the right to skepticism because at least one of his really initiated disciples has been hurt. No one has any right to participate in the hurting of their disciples. I made this clear Sunday after a non-disciple had challenged a disciple. I refuse to judge; either my disciple is correct or I am out of it. And either the disciple of the Lama in question is right in which case by the principles of initiation, Hierarchy and Dharma trans¬mission must support him; or the disciple is not so right and the Lama must blame himself. Otherwise the whole anatta principle flops and with it claims. We are no longer in that day.

I am busy increasing the scope of Jhana instruction and it looks as if it may come out into the open and on many sides. There are also signs of a vast financial or personal support; I shall not count on it until it comes but the signs are tremendous. Look, here I am one of the top cultural advisers for the Temple of Understanding and little people will not even admit me as equal. This is the "moral standard" of some and boy, what a karma is coming. I wish to save them from their own dire karma but I wish even more to stand by my oaths of initiation and Fudo ordination too. So you may see a marvelous drama as witness. You are not involved but I shall keep you informed.

Mehta,

Sam

 

 


772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

October 13, 1966

 

My dear Brother-in-the-Dharma:

I am always glad to hear from you and so long as you adhere to Shaku Soyen’s “Think this Oneness.” I am with you and for you and am you. And I am going to ask you a favor and you can decide: Who is your Vietnamese contact? I wish to try to raise funds for the Vietnamese Buddhists but I shall only do it through you or an assign. Otherwise I shall continue to try to raise money for Iru, only I want to see “Kwan Yin” institutions all over.

It is quite evident from the latest WBF’s publications that there is only one Dharma and all this division into “Mahayana” and “Hinayana” is nothing but the operation of the manasic limitation in man. I shall make no effort to “prove” to Buddhists that Lord Buddha was a Hindu and not a Chinese, or what is more fashionable now in California, an Englishman. You ought to be proud, you are the only Englishman who teaches the Dharma who is not an “expert.”

The deaths of Suzuki and Blythe will do much to clarify the atmosphere and make the Dharma scientific (which was intended) and not personal, which it is very much so.

I was down in Ojai where “there is no god but Krishnamurti and everybody is his prophet,” and facing a certain lady told her: “You must choose between Krishnamurti and Sam and there is no way out.” Actually there is a big way out and she chose that: The Bodhisattvic Oath. This is something our dualistic friends and especially our “anatta Buddhists” do not understand at all. They deny the ego and assert themselves.

This lady by that simple method knocked me out, and I have seldom been knocked out. Anyhow the Kingdom of God has come and to Avichi with all those self-centered people who say that those who know never speak. So I shall not address myself to the “anatta Buddhists” who ignore each other.

My theme: “Science is greater than Buddhism because scientists accept other scientists and Buddhists reject other Buddhists is coming to a head on a vast scale. After getting knocked all over the place for daring to be present when history is being made, I received beautiful letters in turn from Dr. Radhakrishnan and Master Seo.

There is now a definite movement to bring mystics and scientists together without the (dis)grace of metaphysical organizers and it is now possible to explain the Dharma in scientific terms and science in Dharmic terms without any intermediaries to “explain” what they have not experienced.

Sam got a good comeuppance last Saturday. He found himself facing a teacher in Oriental philosophy accepting the spiritual experience to begin with, and going on from there.

Thus cometh to an end my long dictum: “The experts on Asia are European professors and American newsmen and never, never may they be American professors and European newsman.” Of course Rickie is in our common doghouse but this winter the members of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religions have acceded to Wisconsin and Chicago and no more the four horsemen of the Un-apocalypse, Heard, Humphreys, Huxley and Watts, And my epithet still remains:

“Hail to thee, Blythe spirit,

Buddh” thou never wert.”

So I have already written my Kamakura ventures which was utterly impossible (French pronunciation) until that nasty Phillip Kapleau betrayed the whole academy of super intellectuals by telling his experience. Anyhow I am in contrition because Annette Marx of Agoura in Southern California wrote “Meet Master Yasutani and have enlightenment.” And by ye gods and Bodhisattvas she was right! So cometh forth my perennial theme, “Buddhism is not scientific but Lord Buddha was a scientist and we shall see the experience of us little nobodies counting more than the gigantic dialectics of Big Names, especially important in a region of “anatta.”

Of course the most classic example was Princess Poon Diskul herself, shunned her for ‘steen reason and now declaring what is true. Her (and Dr. Malalasekera’s) denunciation of the artificial divisions between Hinayana and Theravada will come to light. When one performs even a single Jhana successfully he is transformed. And Her Serene Highness has come out for Parami=Paramita which nearly all our “anatta-Buddhist” friends reject. They want a “simple religion” not based on profound experience and each one has “a poor thing but my own.”

Indeed my ventures into Ojai and surroundings have been marked with the same talk by people who don’t look at other people: “Love, Compassion, Consideration and Devotion” … also “shut up! and don’t disturb me.” And when you count these Love, Compassion, Consideration and Devotion and add them together and ask what are they doing for the poor orphans either in Vietnam or Hong Kong, and look at their total contribution to these orphans,…

The Love, Compassion and Devotion wallahs have no time to consider the poor orphans. “Tonight I am doing this, tomorrow I am doing that.” But let Manley Hall or J. Krishnamurti show up and these same Love, Compassion and Devotion-wallahs will break all their engagements.

I found a carbon of a letter written to the Diamond Sangha I was going to see to Master Seo but I enclose it to you. You can see that these people, who have much wisdom and insight, have not inherited the “mantle of Shaku Soyen.” If they did they would not have any doubt.

I owe it to you and it is one of the few cases one can say, “eternal debt” for help with regards Vajrayana and Tibetan teachings. If one practiced the Mahamudra there would not be any doubt. Well I did practice the Mahamudra with Dr. Radhakrishnan but he is not one of those “anatta-Buddhists” who deny wisdom and prowess to others. I am now using a “Dew-drop melts into the shiny sea” Yoga with great success, but the answers might not satisfy those who adhere either to Southern Buddhism or Nagarjuna literally. The fact that it works stimulated the letter to the Diamond Sangha.

I am now faced with the university possibility of being permitted to bring my experiences on all planes out into the open. The outer ones follow a pattern: Years ago one Baird Spaulding came here end lectured on “The Masters of the Far East” and great crowds came to hear him. Later I went to his sponsor and said: “I have been to the Far East and met the Masters.” “Get out, I never want to see you again.” And there are still a lot of people living who heard Baird Spaulding and they refuse to little to Sam Lewis—always an excuse. Thus they understand Karma. With the “anatta-Buddhists” it is always the person that counts, not the Truth. So I may now in the university go and tell of the different Masters coming here and greeting me, but not greeting any of those persons who delighted in Baird Spaulding—and rush to Manly Hall or J. Krishnamurti.

I must repeat—and this will shock all the “anatta-Buddhists”—my first Satori which as to go on record—I may gave written it before. This was the “union-with-the-seashore and sea” which took place before 1923. I am not so concerned with the event as that last year, in reading “The Cat’s Yawn,” I realized that this took place exactly where Master Shaku Soyen used to walk. And this event will impress the scientists but so far has made little headway among the “anatta Buddhists.”

Someone has asked, “Why do you operate in that way?” I answer you operate in the way you do because that is your ego and I operate in the way I do because of the initiation as Fudo-Bosatsu, so your excellent way is your way and my foolish way is the Dharma.” And of course those who object contribute plenty of nothing to the poor war orphans in Vietnam or Hong Kong. This is Compassion!

I have told the people in Ojai that I would charge for my lectures; the money all for the war orphans.

The WBF has asserted—following Shinran Shonin (horrors!) that simple people without ordination may experience higher Bhumis than veterans in shaved heads and yellow robes. As there is nobody to try to top-wallahs for heresy maybe this is, so. Anyhow it will enable old Fudo to speak about Buddhism and Buddhist experiences in the same way he speaks about raising trees. So I am going forth Saturday to lay the cards on the table in a university,

As the vast majority of “Buddhists” do not study any scripture, have dispensed with the Triratna and the meditative prowess, they do not know that many scriptures begin “Thus have I heard.” To be a Buddhist, you have to put on a robe and then not listen to anybody, you expect them to listen to you. This the way “anatta” operates.

If a few so-called Buddhists would listen to each other, and did nothing more than that; if they showed consideration to each other and did nothing more than that, the first stone would be laid to the corner-stone of a temple of Peace. Actually there is a Temple of Understanding going up in Washington, where people of all faiths may worship together. The local Bishop Hanayama is one of the first persons in this undertaking. This follower of Shinran believes that anybody can have Enlightenment and it does not depend on robes, ordinations and initiations.

If a few people stopped talking “Love, Compassion, Consideration” and would open their ears—never mind their minds—to others, that would be a big step toward Peace in Vietnam. If they opened their minds; more if they opened their hearts. But we are not going to have Peace that easy. We are going to have a lot of people verbalize Love, Compassion and Consideration and go on their merry way.

The spirit of Phra Sumangalo continues—in hell. There is a lady who has lived in Laos and Cambodia and has been trying to tell what happened there. You can guess what is happening to her. It is Robert all over again and I have to stand by and suffer, but if she is snuffed out I may give up everything and go around with a “J’accuse.” Robert died, Prof. Burdick after his “Sarkhan” which is not read; and now my friend. How long, O Lord, how long!

At the same time the Ananda increases. Shortly I shall be seventy years of age, full of vigor and vitality and upsetting all those people who go around with nice formulae and never learn and listen from anybody,

I hope you go over the WBF bulletins carefully.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


October 16, 1966

 

Dear Jack:

One of my nastiest prophecies has come out and there is no ego-satisfaction in it: it is that the difference between Science and Buddhism is that scientists accept other scientists and that “Buddhists” accept only themselves.

I have therefore written to Rev. Price knowing that if he gives up his ego we may having Peace tomorrow. Having gone to one lecture after another, all proclaiming Peace, Good-Will, Brotherhood and Love and all told not contributing a sou to the unfortunates of Vietnam, I know what will happen.

The acceptance of my Kamkura-staori camel as I knew it would within the universities and not from any particular “Buddhist” group. But I was in for a surprise.

Prof. Kelley who teaches the course on “The Philosophy of Religion” was a friend of the late Dwight Goddard with whom he studied the Dharma. He can readily understand why Dwight
Goddard died of a broken heart, and then Phra Sumangalo, and now a lady of whom I have affirmed and referred to who had the audacity to have lived and worked in Laos and Cambodia and therefore who knows from direct experience.

In “Buddhism” it is egotism if you know from direct experience and in the sciences it is exactly the opposite. I did not wish to challenge the Diamond Sutra on its tributes to Blythe and Daisetz. But so long as name and form are more important than the Bhumis and Paramis, the Jhanas and Upayas, we might as well face it, we are going to have a continuum of Samsara.

There is a great meeting being held in Chicago by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Friends of Rickie are now in charge. I see hope for the world.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


May 29, 1967

 

Dear Jack,

Last night we celebrated Wesak Day here. It is not the way I should have celebrated it. This "compromise" wherein Mahayanists accept the Theravadin holiday, and then restrict it almost entirely to the Birth, de-emphasizes so much of what may be called the Dharma. Besides, I have gone through a pretty general study of "Ritual versus Vision" in religion and it seems that most of the celebrants have become attached to ritual; while the speaker was on the side of Vision.

I see little value in going from one set of ritual and symbols to another. They all have values, but even with the passage from Dhammapada and a song called "Nirvana" it seems that religion becomes a mixture of guessing and wishing.

When U Thant called for a "Moral and Spiritual Revolution" amid thunderous applause I could see nothing but horror. His was mitigated somewhat when Dr. Malalasekera said it was for each of us to work out our own cleansing there was a ray of hope, but it remains a dim ray.

The Bodhisattvic illness, with the deep empathy between the suffering of Vietnam and in this body, was understood by Rev. Dr. Warwick and it is even worse or better because everything is in Mahayana Scriptures which are not studied. People are kept in the superficial studies—and may not be ready for anything more. Some of this gripe is worked out in the letter, copy enclosed. You can see why I do not wish to be called a "Buddhist." True, one has gone through the experience easily of Philip Kapleau and still more easily of Tim Leary, but also one has realized practically everything in Surangama Sutra and Diamond Sutra is supposed to seal the lips and minds of Srotapannas.

When Dr. Doug Burns who is an "expert" here (I am not) told the people here there are no Arhats, ergo there are no Arhats. I don’t care whether there are Arhats or not but I am sick of something calling itself "Buddhism" or "Dharma" which leaves no room for Srotapannas and Sakrodagamins and all the stations and states of people beyond Savarkas. Those of us who have experienced Bhumis and Paramitas have no place at all and since the receipt of another documentary acceptance—this time from Roshi Soen Nakagawa, I wonder how many documentaries one must have to be given a pulpit. I do not wish it and will have one myself when I can move.

I am still too weak. Dr. Fung gave me blood and other tests today, the result of which will be known next week. After eating I fell into a terrifically deep sleep from which I rose mentally alive, recovering all my faculties but adding those of caution and patience. I have paid for a bundle of twelve copies of "Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch" which should be shipped shortly.

 Of these I am asking you to present one to the Royal Asiatic Society and one to the World Congress of faiths. One will be for your good self and the other nine (9) should be sold around £1, 10 shillings—you can fix the price—and this will give you a little leeway.

My affairs are in a terrible mess and I have had trouble even getting help (including putting in a new ribbon). I cannot move until I am better.

The irony of the world situation with its "tyranny of words" come out in the Near East complex. I myself worked out a program by which the Arabs would work with and even recognize Israel. Such a program is not welcome to our foreign office or the "peace" societies or the press. We reap our karma. As I have written before, it is easy to see the future—all you have to do is understand karma and be honest and the last price we do not wish to pay.

I am not going to predict. There is a social-spiritual revolution going on in this city. I may become part of its and may not and do not care.

In a sense you were with us last night—all of your friends together and your name was mentioned. I am glad you also are finding cooperation.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


June 10, 1967

 

My dear Jack,

The other day working in the greenhouse I found my vigor has returned to a remarkable degree. I did not overdo, in fact worked only 2 1/2 hours, but found lifting very, very easy.

There is no doubt some gain from the Healing Practice Dr. Warwick tried for there is now remarkable internal and external coordination.

Illness took me from the frying pan of Vietnam to the fire of the Near East. Much of the Vietnam complex came from Phra Sumangalo, "I" covering the peripheral nations. In the Near East I was in the Center—not that it matters. You get it from all sides. Nobody wants peace, everybody wants peace with justice which is like adding a triple infinite into a small number. In mathematics it means nothing, in oratory it means everything but in life again it means nothing.

Suppose one went to a "Buddhist" meeting and talked samskaras. You know the answer. I must confess to having learned a good deal about samskaras from Meher Baba, but his followers make such distinctions between samskaras and impressions that such knowledge becomes worse than useless. And to these I shall be adding "semantic reactions" or SRs which have gotten into our culture, but have no significance. Almost all the proposals for the semanticists are Buddhistic but don't tell them that!

Next week I am going to see if I can get the furniture of a dear friend who recently died and the find a place for it. One is not only not overdoing, but following Dr. Fung. Some of my acquaintances are delighted, not with my recovery, but with my being on a vegetarian diet. I have lived on not meat once permitted fish, the other times cheeses but these are off now, especially the latter on account of its high salt.

The most horrible experience has been to listen to the UN. The amount of dishonesty in high places is terrible. Now I hear the Israelis will not return to their old borders. I have sent out a lot of letters, but us eye-witnesses don’t count and I see more and more bloodshed and more and more dishonesty.

God has made some serious mistakes. He created more Chinese than Hebrews. I don’t think the Israelis will ever forgive Him. Anyhow, you have Israel without God, no temple, lots of superstitions and folk-lore and customs and for this the world is supposed to sacrifice itself and die.

Everything happened as predicted but this time no Prajna. I was there; I have had long conferences with UN officials. I know both sides in every respect excepting those emanating from our Madison Ave culture. The Hippies accept. they are different and therefore "awful."

We do not realize the existence and practicality of Prajna. the Universal Wisdom which is not only in all of us, but which is essentially us, but we can't accept it. Lord Buddha said, " I see all sentient beings have perfect enlightenment but they do not know it."

Last night I was recognized by a visiting Indian. Under pressure from him and another Indian I have written at length to President Hussain. This letter will be copied and sent to proper persons. One feels very much like what Mark Twain said about the weather, "Everybody discusses it but nobody does anything about it," only here one has world peace in view.

This week I went on a trip to Santa Clara County and came out all right. This was to purchase trees on which I shall do research. Actually I purchased them from a old schoolmate who is a Japanese Buddhist. We will pick them up later—have to bring a station wagon. It is through tree planting I hope to promote universal good-will.

I am glad you understand I cannot write often. This on account of Mrs. Lewis You remember I tried to contact some "Lewises" previously. I do not know whether you know these people. Nobody has heard from Harold recently and we do not know whether he is contrite or stunned. On Wesak it was openly stated that Iru Price was the spiritual successor to Leslie Lowe, the claim Harold has been making.

Love and Blessings,

Sam

 

 


May 1, 1969

 

My dear Jack:

This is a very beautiful day and the main activity is putting up a May Pole. Sunday we are combining a May Day celebration with Wesak. I have been working overtime on choreography and ceremonials. Rev. Neville Warwick was supposed to be here and take charge but I understand he is in Japan and may not be back. But his disciples and followers will be here.

James Eugene has also accepted the invitation. I am very glad of this because we have just added playground equipment which his younger sons should enjoy. We hope to have a lot of playground equipment by summer. For not only is this lot commodious—150’ x 100’ I understand, but the adjacent corner lot has been loaned to us for vegetable planting. Thus some time the exercise has been outside, all sorts of garden chores.

The all year weather is good and we are growing, or attempting a number of vegetables. We expect to add Maize, the Squash family and Legumes in quantity. We have strawberries and raspberries. Two old grape-vines are bearing and we may have more later on.

Saturday a few of us will visit the Buddha in Golden Gate Park to commemorate the old pilgrimages of Shaku Soyen and Nyogen Senzaki. Mrs. Vocha Fiske, one of Senzaki’s old disciples is here now. She has lived in Japan, chiefly with Zen Buddhists like here self.

I have turned two recent books on Chinese Buddhism over to Eugene and have written the author. It is very strange and awkward how little “Buddhist” so-called, pay no attention either to Buddha or to each other. And my resent conclusions that while Buddha said there was no ego and was indifferent about “God,” the Neo-Buddhists are very anti-God and totally different being pro-ego. Actually I think Lord Buddha was a greater deist than most religionists because he used realities and experiences and not concepts or thought-forms.

I am glad you found some peacefulness. We are not sure of our future policy here because there are many changes going on in this vicinity and one’s following and friends are steadily increasing on both quantity and quality. And I have been sent for to visit the State of New Mexico and there is a department in the university dedicated to Buddhist research.

It will be very dramatic when I become better known and tell of the droll situation on that so-called “Buddhists” who are supposed to be anti-ego, will not give up their egotisms even for money. I mention no names although Paul Reps is in this class, also. He always had money and is pouring out writings steadily as he can afford to do so.

We have a sort of spiritual commune and by forceful leadership each has come to realize his or her earthly responsibility. They are all wonderful spiritually and morally but there is some reality in lots of these young people. It is the age and belongs to cosmic evolution. As soon as they get their feet on the ground they are the most wonderful of all people.

So we dream both of printing and ceramics and if we go ahead with printing it may be we shall be forced to get out the real Buddhist literature ourselves. Boots by “experts” are so marketable but valid literature seems to interest only groups like the Royal Asiatic Society. Nevertheless the universities are changing in attitude all around.

I’ll let you know of “Gandalf’s Garden” later. It is in London and is so Californi-ish and no little British, it is surprising, or maybe that is the new norm.

Gassho,

Sam

 

 


May 14, 1969

 

My dear Bodhisattva Jack:

Today I was reading Agatha Christie and feeling strange, that I could be in England now, at least afford it and am tied down by all sorts of things, too many but the majority on the plus side.

I have often hoped to visit England to look up traditions and sometimes folk-dancing as well as Cathedrals. Then I had hoped to visit the brother of a friend of mine who is manager of a sewage disposal plant. This is a project in which I am interested and now the disciple who has been training to become my financial secretary has just received a place for training to become a manager in this profession. He was educated as an electrical engineer but dropped out and has gone through all the phases of the Hippy Life. But he is excellently educated.

We have been working on a project of chanting Om!, especially in the form Om Mani Padme Hum! It has become very effective. In addition to his other achievements Daniel knows some Sanskrit and recites the Prajna Paramita in Sanskrit and English while the “Zennists” chant in a bastard Japanese which they do not understand.

We attended the services for the late President Z. Hussain and also plan to show Indian films, both as a diversion and as part of a youth rehabilitation program. There are now no particular standards, and “dharma” has struck bottom and is coming up. It is certain that my total each week increases, but I am now in another project.

San Francisco State. College is now presided over by Dr. S. I. Hayakawa. He published articles by Alan Watts as being authentic Zen and authentic Buddhism. He has ignored his parental ancestry. When I protested I was given the coup de grace. Now his chief of the philosophy department regards Sam Lewis as the leader Bodhisattva of the region. And the belief was strengthened when they were having a discussion on the Bodhisattva and this person walked into the room.

So I am now attending a philosophy class on Monday morning at San Francisco State. And soon there will be a poetry seminar an “Poetry Writing as Influenced by Oriental Philosophy.” Gary Snyder will be the “expert” but Sam Lewis is one who has written poems, and perhaps more. And one by one all these things for which one was rejected in the past are now being accepted.

Although my chief work is Sufism, out of the Alaya one pulled a dance on the Nembutsu. Gene saw his original rendition but now it is completed into a real folk-dance with an mixture of American and Japanese elements.

Recently an excellent letter was received from General Lansdale, former chief of the ground forces in Vietnam. It begins “Dear Samuel…,” and this shows what kind of relation we had and may have. Then the aforesaid Daniel received both a fine letter and literature from Thich Tanh Thien, head of the Buddhist Social Federation. This indicates shape of things to come.

I am sorry about Kew. Of course. I shall be able to get in. There are many times I should like to be in London but larger audiences. Then there is New Mexico. Both my chief secretary and I have to make professional trips there and thus one or both should moot an American professor who is doing real research into real Buddhism. Bahm is his name.

Going over Anthology of Zen it is remarkable how little the various Englishmen and Europeans know of the real inside. New I am preferring Ch’an and there is a serious study of Scriptures under Venerable Too Lun. But his group is small. Brother Warwick’s group is larger and more vigorous and besides the class discussions have been on the relation of mountain climbing to mystical awakening. Only he is in Japan. When he returns doors should be open for him.

His disciples have a Natural Foods center which is prospering and we are also buying more of our supplies there. Even Brother Reps likes this thing—I am afraid he knows all about the “earth” and almost nothing about the transcendent, but that is his job.

We are having hopes here both for a printing establishment and a pottery-porcelain works. We have the space and will soon put in the gas-line connections. Anyhow one thing stands out, that Age is not a deterring factor at all and neither can I explain it.

I am working on a commentary an Inayat Khan’s “Cosmic Language” and it keeps on reminding me that there ought to be a commentary, on parts of Dhammapada. We have outgrown nothing.

Fortunately while much of the world is going down-hill, the New Age people are here, more and more of than all the time. My geography is lucky but then I picked my place of birth.

Faithfully,

Sam


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

June 11, 1969

 

Rev. Jack Austin,

100 Roundwood Way,

Barnstead, Surrey England

 

Bodhisattva: Arya Dharma vs …

It has taken a little while to answer your letter and this is actually being written at 910 Railroad Ave., Novato, 97947 whither you addressed your last letter. I am actually spending most of the time here, out in the “country.” It was here that we celebrated Wesak and will hold further outdoor affairs.

Last night I was reading in the works of the Sufi, Inayat Khan, that spiritual awakening was the aim of life and that the means were not important. This is the stumbling block for the means are important. They don’t have to work. They divide mankind into fragments, and set person against person, group against group, and only “my” means are proper and “yours,” are useless. So the problems continue.

Not being a “Buddhist” I am free to use the means of Lord Buddha, only instead of taking “my” problem or the “world’s problems into consideration” I am using “you” as a base feeling such absolutely identity that our every joy and grief, even whim are my own. “Buddhists”—and I shall use the term without further diacritical marks are, like all religionists, concerned with means and are quite anti-Gautama, and I shall say anti-Buddha because like all other orthodox they have sanctified Upaya and not attainment. Indeed, stories come now of monks and devotees testing experience but cosmic experience is not need, just some nice, select “Upaya” and you are in, forever and ever—maybe.

At this writing there is so something like getting over humps, that the income has grown, the number of followers and devotees has grown, the combined incomes have grown and I am called to go to Hollywood to consider legal organization. And I am also faced with possibilities, although at the moment vague, which will put me into another outlook end even “social class.” And I cannot help thinking of you.

Besides, there are two editors here who are taking everything I am doing, pictures, remarks, etc. and a certain “fame” has gone abroad, requiring my visiting the State of New Mexico in August and possibly other trips. This is difficult because of the now large and growing following, made of young who want facts and experiences and not empty words accompanied by nothing in human experience. The increment of Joy, Love and Peace in their lives is so evident!

I think we share a common pain because of Phra Sumangalo. I am not over it and do not ask to be released from it, but the first step in spending has been to purchase copies of Encyclopedia of Buddhism as far as they are available. Practicing Prajna without advice of the monks, clerics, experts and what not, and finding it always works, these books were purchased without having available funds but within five days after James Eugene extended credit some “hidden angel” came to my rescue and when I return from Hollywood I shall see that he is not only properly reimbursed but more.

There is a story connected with each “gift” but I do not see myself as a giver nor the books as a gift, not being what I call an “anatta-Buddhist.” Unlike Brother Burns, who is “in” although I do not know what he is in, I do not use words apart from life and do not consider myself separate from other people as he does actually. But he has the tonsure and I believe rather in my Guru’s, “what we need are shaved minds.” I take the “shaved mind” and let my hair and bear grow.

“My” copy went to Daniel, my Sanskrit secretary. He has grown in every way and now financially also. He is in touch with Dr. Conze and if you have not the latter’s address will supply it. He is now regarded as a martyr and one can almost couple him with Robert Sumangalo.

The second copy went to Prof. Lozicki at the University of California, Southeast Asia Library. I found that this man has already accomplished what I have long sought, all the literature of the “Multiversity” of California on the theme: How California Can Help Asia. You hear about strikes, riots, etc. No one knows about accomplishments and they are terrific.

Prof. Lozicki will be in charge of the S.E. Asia seminar which starts shortly in San Francisco, University of California. I shall also place in his hands the Robert-Sumangalo material. But we have absolute understanding. Working with him is Dr. Nottingham, a lady professor who has been at Long Island University. She gave me an “A” in my last course and none of this non-ego rejection of somebody else because, because, because! Facts and experience to the fore and personality is being chased away—outside of “religious” circles.

The next copy has gone to Prof. Lancaster. Our meeting was strictly anti­-anatta. That is we recognized each other as parts of the same being and no nonsense. Not only is he now in charge of Buddhist studies, and I mean Buddhist studies, at the University of California, but he was a disciple of Nyogen Senzaki in his last days. And he will accept copies of the materiel of Tai Hsu, Shaku Soyen, etc which all the good anatta (?) Buddhists reject. One is no longer disturbed.

I shall soon purchase more copies for the University of California at Los Angeles. There the Dean of Studies is Dr. Carroll Parrish, my very first secretary (and his first job) who has been on friendly terms with Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul. I may bring another set of the Encyclopedic with Dr. Thich Thien An, who is also a friend of Lancaster as above. So I see the means of solid teaching here of Arya Dharma but from an integrational and universal point of view and no more ego-nonsense from “anatta-Buddhists” (who don’t talk to each other!).

Either James Eugene or I shall be writing to Ceylon, too. Now coming to the last issue of the WBF News Bulletin The first article is called “The Sources of Divine Power” and one of its first references is to theTriple Gem. But later in the magazine there are articles from some “good” Buddhist groups around here who most certainly do not use the Triple Gem and at my last meeting with the now “famous” Roshi Shinryu Suzuki, when I recited the Triratna he blushed. He has seen to it that his followers do no such thing. They are “good” Buddhists” and so exempt.

The next reference is to the Divine Beings. This person believes in the Divine Beings as well as in Triratna, but the anatta-Buddhist Douglas M. Burns does not. And when we met in public before he left this land, the “good” Iru Price and all the “good anatta-Buddhists” supported Douglas Burns in his opposition to Divine Beings and this person was put to shame???? Well, there is your Wisdom, Compassion and Morality.

The next item is the Karmic Effect and it is full of words. But when it comes to attainment, only ideas of important persons are valid and the attainments of non important persons area not valid!! The other day a Korean came to my place and I told him I had been initiated as Fudo Bosatsu. He said, “But Fudo is Buddha!” This was strange, no doubt, but “good anatta-Buddhists” are not going to accept that! We must stick to goal old samsara and if you don’t us my Upaya you are a heretic or worse.

The writer (or editor) continues and mentions “self-development” and then there are articles to the contrary. But although I seem to agree with the editorial this one is out and “good” people of opposing views get recognition because they are “good.”

Although I am using the WBF News Bulletin, the hard fact is that all religious publications are the same. All decry evil, all use the same words totally empty and all insists on very restricted Upaya. The Muslims divide worlds, Muslims are good and non-Muslims are evil. I don’t think the Jews are very different. The Christians infer that but I must quote Browning, that when he wrote only God and Browning knew what it meant and now only God knows!

The Hindus are different. The Jews, the Christians. Muslims and Buddhists are all “right” and everybody else is “wrong.” The Hindus are right because they do not condemn and therefore everybody else should contribute to them. They are doing wonderful things; nobody else is doing anything.

Now the “New Race” predicted by Lord Lytton as well as by Sri Aurobindo and by H. G. Well as well as by various Mahatma’s Super-sadgurus and Maharishis, is here. The young see universally and they chant Mantrams. They no longer accept this separative nonsense of their elders. They want spiritual liberation and they really want spiritual liberation and not some narrow Upaya with its attendant accusations of heresy. It is a new age, my brother, and now it would seem this person is near the crest of waves.

We are going to get rid of separativism. We are going to have those Upaya which are operative. Something very strange happened Saturday. I had three different engagements, morning, noon and night. To each affair a person came in with Alexandra David-Néel’s book on Tibet ! Not only was this striking but at my last home meeting a young girl came in from New York and said she wanted spiritual training through Mountain Climbing. Before the words were out of her mouth she was speaking with my spiritual colleague, Rimpoche Neville Warwick. And our two groups are working together in all phases of life … details too long to relate.

I am looking very coldly on appeals for funds. “Bishop” Pike has appealed for funds for psychic research and investigation into “cosmic consciousness.” I have yet to meet one of these groups which has accepted materials, excepting Prof. Stevenson of the University of Virginia. One Francis Story, who is a “good Buddhist,” says the is researching here. He gets the publicity and has rejected all the articles from both others and myself. We are not the “right” type for the “good” people. Story is great on “goodness, compassion, morals” and insulting others as not being equal. But he is a “good-Buddhist.” I refuse to be a “good Buddhist” or a “good Muslim” or a “good divider of mankind,” any kind.

I have met awakened souls of all faiths and no faiths and read Walt Whitman too. The young are coming, money seems to be coming, vigor is tremendous and I do not understand it. The young experience love, joy, exaltation and yet we are unorganized and not so much “non-sectarian” but super-sectarian. But I do not glow or glory until something also can be done for you, my “self” in another framework. You are always with me, you are a part of me like Robert Sumangalo, Eugene Wagner and Rimpoche Warwick. This is not “Buddhism,” of course but it is pretty good Arya Dharma.

All love and blessings,

Sam

 

 


410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

July 7, 1969

Rev. Jack Austin

100 Roundwood Way

Banstead, Surrey

 

Bodhisattva;

I have received your letter of 27th June and also Spring 1969 copy of The Western Buddhist and am answering your letter backwards. Your last words are ”Any ideas about its distribution in U.S.A.?”

There is in this city a New Age food store controlled by the followers of Lama Anagarika Govinda. It is not only a New Age store. But it has the most beautiful customers. We not only patronize the place but one of my own disciples works there and to make it “thicker” he is also a printer and would have some information about potential distribution and sales of The Western Buddhist so I shall see him either today, or tomorrow at the latest.

We are having parallel successes in drawing many of the young people of the New Age. My most successful work is with spiritual dances and now this has broken out. Also my writings on “Toward Spiritual Brotherhood” and other things, all at the same time.

I have met Dom Aelred Graham who at least accepted my positions and attainments. Conversations were very easy and harmonious. This is in contract with Arthur Osborne and his “Self and Ego” with you know who in first place. But I think that time is over. My teachings are simple. “He is most humble who has the largest ears.”

Have to go over the rest of the articles with disciples the most important of whom just came in the door. So he will read this and also “The Western Buddhist” and we shall write again later.

Mehta,

Sam

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

1st August, 1969

 

Rev. Jack Austin,

100 Roundwood Way

Banstead, Surrey

 

Dear Jack;

Your note of 26th July is here and it will be shown both to the Buddhist Department of the University of California and then to Rahul at the New Age Health Food stores. This is strictly a New Age.

There is a realized Bodhisattva teaching at the University. This may be a shock to the various cults and experts who teach whatever personality dialectic they please and call it “Buddhism” without having any deep transformatory realization. But the day has passed when superlative egocentrics can go around any longer as champions of what they call the “Dharma” (or Dhamma).

There is a rising attendance in the schools and not a rising attendance at the separative cults and churches, etc. In fact I am going to New Mexico next Thursday and must visit Prof. Archie Bahm who is already my colleague in other matters. I am first going to the “Lama Foundation,” perhaps in the capacity of temporary “guru.” In any event they have sent for me and there are others in the general vicinity. This may be a “fly by night” visit but I hope to see them again later if I should be called on to visit the eastern part of the United States. Actually I have more university contacts than I can handle and since the acceptance of Kapleau there is now a demand for “realized souls” and no more clerics or dialectics who offer either ceremonies rituals or sermons.

The New Age Health Food adventure is prospering very much and it looks as if they will branch soon. We have not only been working with them closely bit offer them on consignment our surpluses. Our garden crops have yields far beyond expectations and the possibility is that soon this venture will receive national attention. I have been amazed by the results both with flowers and vegetables and at least two types of trees—Fig and Olive.

The New Age Health Food people are Vajrayanins and they have meditations right in their place of business. It is a real New Age venture in all respects and they wish to take the lead in cooperating with you. All for now.

Cordially,

Sam

 

 


410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

October 8, 1969

Rev. Jack Austin

100 Roundwood Way

Banstead, Surrey

 

My dear Jack,

Vocha Fiske very suddenly turned up here and gave such an optimistic report. She has gone to Los Angeles and will be back next month, presumably to stay until Spring and the perhaps return to Asia.

I am not going to apologize. Working forever seven days a week forced a vacation. Besides, my secretary, Mr. mansur Johnson, had a severe trial in his private life. He is a pupil and close friend of Dr. Huston Smith of MIT. We went through the most beautiful parts of the Northwest and as far as Vancouver BC covering some 3300 miles and since returning not a day off.

I am at this moment enclosing Twenty Five ($25.00) Dollars. There is no secretary here for business matters and we are very short-handed at a time when my work is expanding in all directions.

Last night I went to get a report on my poem, “The Rejected Avatar.” The teacher is one Lou Welch who is regarded as the leading poem critic of the region. His closest associate is Gary Snyder who has lived in Zen monasteries. Not only was my poetry accepted by them and their associates—and perhaps Alan Watts with them—have gone from Zen into Vajrayana! They want Avalokitesvara and no more severity. It is more than symptomatic. It also means a serious revaluation of all my poetry which is epic and cosmic.

I have not even had time to go to Fields Book Store or the New Age where your work can be pushed. We have had both our motor cars in the hospital and I depend on outside help or tram transportation. But the Ideas of October are excellent.

Now I am working to attend the next conference of the Temple of Understanding. I have a personal representative in Bangkok who is expected to call on Alen and Her Serene Highness. I have written to Dr. Malalasekera and my “atonement” for the untimely death of Robert comes in the purchase of Encyclopedias of Buddhism as far as I can afford. And yet it is necessary to build up a travel fund to go to Istanbul next year.

 Today I am rapidly becoming the authority on Asian religions, culture and spirituality. last two weeks were spent on Zen and next week the floor is for Soto. But there is one argumentative young man and I found he is an initiate in Rinzai and this is a relief. I am ready to go first to represent Korean Zen which is integrative—not verbally “integrative” but actually. And I am coming out strong for the real experience of enlightenment and can challenge those who make the pratt or the solar plexus the center of consciousness. They have to prove that!

But I am also on the program for later dates and both Vajrayana and Dr. Warwick are on schedule, perhaps, but not so certain. Alan Watts. Also Krishnamurti, but I understand Krishnamurit-Saanen ≠ Krishnamuri-Ojai.

I am strong for Prajna where Dr. Radhakrishnan and the late Daisetz Suzuki meet. But my Prajna is experience and part, perhaps, of Samma Drishti. I am to have three men and one woman with me. One man and the woman already selected. There is a question whether another disciple will go with me and whether I am to cooperate financially to see if you can go to Istanbul next Spring. The program is tentatively set for about March 30 but I wish to find out the flights and costs. I am assuming charter flights. If it is within my means, or of others for you to go, perhaps that can be arranged. But I am not to travel alone anymore.

Tonight I am to lead the young at a large auditorium called The Family Dog. All the local spiritual leaders have been invited and no longer Prof. Von Plotz and Nice-face and Hoffmeyer-Hofbrand, the great scholars of great scholars. Most of the leaders are either Asians or young Americans who have had, or claim to have had spiritual experiences, and no nonsense. It is a new age.

We are semanticizing Ananda. It becomes real. It is becoming normal and easy. But also this week I hope to semanticize Buddha. The majority of so-called “Buddhist “ movements here accept neither the Three Jewels, nor Eightfold Path nor most of the Scriptures. All personality-leader hip. And this is one of the problems: Is there a Self? I can assure you that Rev. Superbombast, and Dr. Egoegoego will lead the arguments that there is no “self.” But the young are different today, very different and I shall try to keep you informed.

Mehta,

Samuel L. Lewis.

 

 


November 2, 1969

 

My dear Jack;

I am very sorry to get a letter from a hospital. True, I was in one a few years back. Something happened and since that time very slowly and very surely all affairs have improved. Indeed my immediate following and my total following are slowly, most imperceptibly but even more definitely increasing.

I am now busy six nights per week. The Saturday night dancing class was so well attended I shall make every effort to divide it. This place can comfortably hold 30 people. More bring in more money but less persons attention. Roughly the work is divided into Dervish dancing, Mantric dancing and Bodhisattvic walks.

I shall try to get into your hands the latest copy of The Oracle. This local underground publication has fallen almost entirely into my hands. The articles are either by my disciples or friends and many concern “me.” But the best are the anatta articles especially the one on the Bodhisattvic Oath by one of my close companions. To me it is superb.

Sunday night is now Dharma night here. I make no distinction an between religious differences, combining thy Prajna Paramita Sutra, the Jhana-meditation, the writings of Swami Ramdas and “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.” For those who wish more prolonged meditations or lectures I send elsewhere. I find nobody using a Bodhisattvic technique just as there are no Jhana-instructions.

There is some interest in Zen which has gone “establishment” and a growing interest in Vajrayana, but unfortunately the egocentricity of the “Vajrayanist” is so great that there is not stability. I attend three university classes—poetry, philosophy, and sociology and the progress is excellent. The whole tenor is toward universality. The great question is who and what is going to take over. Among the Buddhists it is who, and this destroys the validity of pretenders in anatta. Fortunately the “New Age” Leaders are not in competition and my “Youth of the World Unite” is making headway.

I have often been troubled about you. Between the “Oracle” and our dormant print-shop they are nascent plans. But the print shop is dormant because two of my three chief men are now working for the New Age Food Store, the owners of which are Vajrayana Buddhists. This is rapidly becoming a center for merchandising, meditating, and corrections of diets. The young people are rushing to purchase natural foods and often at most reasonable costs.

Fred Rohe, the owner, is the man who is also interested in you and wants to help you, but we are both so busy we have little time to meet.

The class in philosophy has discussed Zen, Meher Baba, Subud and Krishnamurti and Gurdjieff on tap. I have scored one on the teacher by asking what evidence is there to prove Meher Baba and discountenance Bahaullah? This State and especially this City is full of Messiahs, avatars, world-deliverers, and protests on Vietnam, but never a Vietnamese speaker. We have one on schedule, I hope.

Yes, we still have trams, some on tracks and some on double trolleys. The situation is very complex on this hilly city with constant complications about tunnels (tubes) and what not.

Vocha may establish herself here. I have not had time to write her and she may come any time this month.

One is working toward universality and is becoming known here among the young, more and more, and ignored by the “superior” people who are so divided into their cliques, etc. At the class on philosophy my companion said, “They all have ideas, doctrines, but no techniques.” At least we have plenty of these.

I may have to learn about Mudras or Mudras may come out of me. The Bodhisattvic techniques came suddenly last night and were applied to my new students. And the Sufi Mushahida is the same as the Maha Mudra Meditation.

There is one side to this situation. I have not been entirely free from pain myself but find when I look into it some friend is always having a pain or difficulty in the very a same spot. The flesh keeps on functioning, the mind keeps on functioning and when I meditate on the pain it sets me into extreme empathy with someone near and dear.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

 


December 1, 1969

Rev. Jack Austin

100 Roundwood Way

Banstead, Surrey, England

 

Dear Jack:

This old renegade heretic is still at it. No doubt it is rather upsetting that the passage of years has not softened him. Last night we had the impudence and audacity to celebrate the enlightenment of Lord Buddha Sakyamuni. We even read from Pali Scriptures and from an American who was an authority on the Dharma until your fellow countrymen took over. Worse, we did some deep meditation as appears in the 118th discourse, introduced into the Buddhist Bible by the late Dwight Goddard.

It is not to retrace one’s footsteps because the evangelist reverend Billy Graham has now come out for the moral teachings of the Tathagata.

We have visited Kennett Roshi and also heterodoxed one’s own standard by being entirely favorable in this case. Yes, even Sam is sometimes satisfied. Besides, I have come out wholeheartedly publicly and privately for an optimistic view of the world’s affairs.

I think you are right about the early copies of The Oracle; it is almost entirely in “my hands.” The idea that a group should operate as an individual, and that an ego-individual should not operated at all, is both rank hearsay and good dharma.

My emissary has not only visited the new Zendo but also the Tibetan center in Berkeley, which is east of San Francisco Bay. Our discussion next Friday will be largely on Tibetan Buddhism and the experience of illumination. Since the work of Roshi Phillip Kapleau has become public, it is now possible, not to say permissible, to proclaim satori and samadhi, because it has been one’s own experience. Indeed, we are going to bring this out into the open coming Friday; isn’t that grand.

I am never surprised about the “anatta” Theravadins. It is they, and not their critics, who have made themselves “Hinayanists.”

Last night we want into the profundities of the dharma, in, out, and with any school or line of transmission. I shall continue to encourage all valid schools of dharma transmission. The main lesson was in the relation between power and peace, that peace is the most fundamental and power follows. We also used this in connection with out Jhana practice.

I am now watching my affairs closely as I may be called to Turkey next year, and Spain somewhat later. I have also written Kennett Roshi that they may have Phra Sumangalo’s chair whenever they wish, or it will be willed to them. I have been holding this for Eugene, but I think he consents. We are also planning two Vietnamese the gatherings, and James Eugene has turned over to me his Vietnamese correspondence.

Mehta,

Sam

 

 


Jan. 18, 1970

Rev. Jack Austin

100, Round weed Way

Banstead, Surrey, England

 

Bodhisattva:

When the Sufi Pir Vilayat was here he said “You have not only started the new year right, you have started the new decade right.” There is also a point which you have brought up, and which occasionally a so-called Buddhist accepts, and that is the actual law of karma, taken impersonally. My main heart-throb at Christmas came from the Biblical words which begin the “Messiah”: “Every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low. The crooked made straight.” Once in a while one actually meets somebody who accepts this. But this billikin, knocked dawn over and over again, cannot transfer his allegiance to anything else. The crocked places will be made straight, the hills laid low, and the valleys exalted.

Tonight we shall repeat the Prajna Paramita Sutra in English, and give some attention to Kennett Roshi. Her affairs have gotten at the same time complicated and progressive. The complications come out of mistakes or otherwise made by herself or the consular service. The progressions are toward the establishment of a Zendo near Mt. Shasta, which will be for the hoi-polloi and not for the privileged only. And I am very pleased to have lost a tête-a-tête with Kennett Roshi, who proved her prowess in adopting the witticisms of H.S. Gilbert to some of the common complications of the day.

A copy of Kennett Roshi’s material has been placed in the hands of Prof. Lancaster at the University of California, one of the late Nyogen Senzaki’s last pupils.

Yesterday the session on the problems of South-East Asia began under Prof. Kozicki. He has lived in Burma and Malaysia as well as in Hawaii. I do not know how well he may have been acquainted with Phra Sumangalo. But I must say, almost in delight, that we seem to be entirely in accord on everything, and this covers a multitude of a multitude of subjects. Prof. Kozicki and Prof. Lancaster were each given the fascicles of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism so far as they are available. I should like to purchase more, but have had no word about their appearance.

I am still under the opinion that the practice of the Jhanas produces alterations in personality and that if properly performed, one would automatically graduate from so-called Theravada-Hinayana to Mahayana.

I am not surprised about your report on the Tulku. I did not approve of the attitude of Tibetans here toward Dr. Warwick. I am also well aware of the vices and vicissitudes of Padmasambhava. We may ignore the differences between the Tibetan schools, but I do believe there is such a thing as constructive morality. I failed to get Dr. Warwick on the telephone. We would like him to perform his fire ceremony on parinirvana day.

Both Professors Lancaster and Kozicki are well aware of the “selfless” attitude of various Buddhists—all Buddhists are leaders; none of them are Bodhisattvas apparently toward each other.

At the present time all I know about my prospective trip is that the convention has been transferred from Istanbul to Geneva. There are more and more reasons for visiting London, and on the whole the material backgrounds of the life are much better. The New age Food Stores have been prospering marvelously. And directly and indirectly this seems to be helping financially. Originally the leaders were Buddhist, but they have transferred their allegiance elsewhere. This is too complicated a subject to write about further.

I am also receiving more and more invitations to visit the Eastern part of the United States.

Other aspects of the New Age are also progressing. We shall soon have here Baba Ram Dass (Former Prof. Richard Alpert) who is lecturing to audiences which will contribute to a campaign which will benefit me personally—I am not being permitted to address the same audiences for the usual because because because. It is certainly droll.

I could sarcastically say, why should I bother concerning the scuttlebutt of other movements, when I might well be tarnished with things going on right in my presence. These things delight the establishments. After all, isn’t genocide a crime when it kills people who are potentially converts to your particular faith? Apparently slaughtering of Buddhist orphans in Vietnam is all right, but threatening potential Sunday School Children in Biafra is a horrible crime. I feel like terminating the play in the middle of the second act, without waiting for its conclusion, but I know there will be more later.

Faithfully and cordially,

Sam

 

 


Feb. 23, 1970

Rev. Jack Austin

100 Roundwood Way

Banstead, Surrey, England

 

My dear Jack:

I feel at this writing I am addressing the ego to my friend, my sweetheart, and myself all in one. At least we are booked for the Green Park Hotel on or about April 6. I expect to have with me my personal secretary Mansur Johnson, who has been a pupil of, and is a friend of, the rather celebrated American Orientalist Dr. Huston Smith. We are scheduled to arrive at Geneva on March 30. I want to get out of there as quickly as possible and have in London several to me most interesting contacts—chief among them Gandalf’s Garden and Studies in Comparative Religion. I may also try to contact Dr. Richard Lewis at the University of London.

I can’t help being very sympathetic to your private problems. There has been practically no time off any day this year so far, with both my brother and closest friend hovering almost between life and death. Such things are to be expected, but they do keep one close to reality.

For purposes of historical records I must repeat here two conversations with Robert. On his last visit here he came into my rooms unexpected and exhausted. He threw down his luggage, “Sam, we ain’t got It.” Standing up I replied, “Grandphra We have got It.” The stage is set now for the manifestation or debunking of my remarks, at Geneva.

The other took place earlier, when I said, “Grandphra, you and I are nobodies; combined we cannot get even 30 people to listen to us but I do not think there is a King, Prime Minister, cabinet official, university professor, holy man, or peasant from one and of Asia to the other whom we either have not met or cannot meet, but who will believe us?” He replied, “Too true Samuel; how true.”

This rejection drama is the reason for the title of my poem, “The Rejected Avatar”; literally it applies to Sri Krishna, actually to Robert and myself.

But not all the Buddhists, Theosophists, and cultists can interfere with the operations of the wheel of the Law. That Wheel is turning, has turned. There are two separate but not independent movements on foot to both tape-record and televise my work. This may not be done finally until the return from Geneva. But everything else is going in the same direction, and that is something to say. All the complaints, all the belly-aches so to speak, of the past, are now proving that they had a basis. My friend Vocha Fiske who I expect to see this week; my friend Ted Reich who was here last night; and others, are living witnesses to this. Therefore I hope when I reach London to have something more to offer than empty or not empty words.

Last night I read from the forgotten American, Paul Carus, from his The Gospel of Buddha. The crap, the desecration of Dharma, egocentricities that have filled our bookshelves, our lecture halls, our confused minds the past two generations is both working out its own evil karma and its counter-karma. Whatever I have said in the past, the opposite can be said today, with a new type of American professor—honest, objective, and not writing books “At the Feet of the Master” but having sat at the feet of Masters, lots of them. I see now the manifestations of Senzaki’s constant prophecy that the future of the Dharma lay in this country.

Dr. Richard Alpert, former Harvard professor, has been here lecturing as Baba Ram Dass. He is raising money for a book on the spiritual and esoteric methods in vogue derived from Asia. Indirectly I may benefit from his efforts. He drew thousands of young people who supplied him with many thousands of dollars for his efforts. This at a time when churches are amalgamating, are falling down in their appeals for funds. It is grotesque, it is true. But evidently Dr. Alpert-Ram Dass has still to grow for his former colleagues have sent for me to become an operative top Guru, also director in spiritual communes and organic gardening all together. This is scheduled for the 1st of June. In the meanwhile many most optimistic appointments on tap about which I hope to tell you more when we meet.

It is now possible if the Ides have it, to make a valid will and honestly support Professors, students, and departments of real Asian culture within the confines of the multiversity of California, finding heirs so to speak at the same time for Robert and Nyogen Senzaki.

Before I received your letter I wrote a very strong letter to the WBF. There is an article “The Religion of Analysis and The Spirit of Modern Science.” The first sentence reads, “It is apparent to all of us, of course, that neither Buddhism nor modern science has been able to move forward in a line consistent with its nature.” Inasmuch as I have studied both Buddhism and modern laboratory science, there is some difference here. Princess Poon and I have been like brother and sister but I am going to ask the Buddhists at Geneva; “Why is it that when Dr. Radhakrishnan, who is not a titular Buddhist, says something, you all run to cover; and if somebody else says it, you won’t even examine it?” You can now understand why I wish to refer to a certain language as Polly. I think that covers it.

Next week we have scheduled here my Vietnamese friend An-The. He may speak on Vietnamese Buddhism, a subject which has to be ignored because it interferes with all the top bananas who make grand differentiations between Hindu Mahayana and Chinese Mahayana. But the truth is coming out now: it is being uncovered that many of the Polly derivations from Sanskrit have been so mis-translated that the terms are totally out of recognition. There is another fact in the Buddhism of this century that even you have ignored: if it is in Sanskrit it must be rejected; if it is in English….

I think your mentioning of the Great Silence is most important. The talk I gave last night was of course totally illogical: instead of deriving the Prajna Paramita from the Scriptures, I derived the Scriptures from the Prajna Paramita. Can anything more heretical be possibly conceived? Of course when I was at Nara it was different. At Nara we understood each other perfectly. Besides, we found an old work of Daisetz Suzuki and have copied an item in a later edition which was not originally published. The grand Mahayana does not make any distinctions into the egocentric sectarianism of later ages.

Fortunately, as above, the Wheel of the Law operates, and not even all the excellencies, be robed or not can change that. There is an almost legendary manifestation here. Kennett Roshi has been planning a Zen retreat near Mt. Shasta in northern California. There have been all kinds of legends about that facility. And now just at the time when the Zendo is coming to manifestation the Chief Witch of that region has conveniently died, but not before her friends had contacted the Roshi, and offered every form of co-operation.

I cannot tell what the future program will be, with my brother hovering. If he lives I shall be touring some of the Eastern states. If he leaves this world there will be an independent visit. A Korean retreat is being established in the state of Virginia. To me both Vietnamese and Korean Buddhism are far preferable to the analytical Chinese and Japanese with their sectarianisms and schools. The only question is how far am I able to be involved, even where everything is favorable.

The attendance at my meetings slowly but steadily increases. I now have a following of about 100, practically all young people. But invitations increase, and potentialities are very very high. My main immediate objective is to integrate differentiations and to be able to hold the personality under control in meeting the leaders of the world’s faiths in Geneva at the end of March. But even as I write I seem much more anxious to see you again than to achieve fame or ignominy in a beautiful or futile attempt to do something more than pass resolutions.

As your letter indicates, heresy consists of using a black linen thread instead of a black cotton thread, etc. Yes, Robert ran into the first Popes in Japan years ago. When Huey Long was alive and wrote, “Every man a King,” I remarked, “And every Devotee a Pope.” You have already gotten the drift. With all best wishes,

Sam

 

 


March 10, 1970

Rev. Jack Austin

100 Roundwood Way

Banstead, Surrey, England

 

My dear Jack:

In several senses I feel very close to you at this writing. We seem to have rather parallel lives both inwardly and outwardly. My brother remains in a state of invalidness. This complicates our financial positions. It is possible that a re-interpretation of our father’s will could lead to a much better financial picture, but he is in no condition to make reports or sign papers. Nevertheless, we have before us an example of Lord Buddha’s teaching, and it is so evident as to be called remarkable.

Actually, although I am going to Geneva and may be meeting the presumably great ones of the world, I have far more personal interest in my visit to London to see you again; to contact “Studies in Comparative Religion” (copy of letter to them enclosed); and to become involved with the young people gathering around what is known as Gandalf’s Garden. To me, this is truly “exciting.”

I have been writing some rather sarcastic letters about Laos, partly plagiarized from, and partly shared with, James Eugene. If he were the only source of presumable information there might to some question. But I have never yet heard from him a single incident which was not corroborated from other sources, more than attesting to this man’s veracity. Sometimes I feel that we are going to rise out and above all the egocentricities masquerading as religion be it of one faith or another, or of no faith at all, i.e. the humanist outlook. Why, today if you read the most recent publications of Theravadin, they have footnotes from Nagarjuna, Padmasambhava, et al. I think you realize what this means. At the same time, one must be cautious in working for world peace, not to overstress the shortcomings of any parties or group, but to rejoice in all efforts and attainments which bring humanity together.

I am also involved in a philosophical controversy cum effort. One of the professors, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, has come out for a rapprochement between Science and Religion. As I have seen it, the discovery of radioactivity was a demonstration of the teachings of Lord Buddha. By analogy I presumed that the cell also might be functional, and not a thing. As you will know, I have been griping no end over the repetitions of the Prajna Paramita Sutra while bypassing its teachings. Well, our good friend Mrs. Vocha Fiske who arrives here shortly, placed in my hands two books supporting the functional—as against the thing—essence of the cell. It is too early to go into his research. With the WBF supporting a man who denies the reality of spirit, his article being published because he is a “Buddhist” and also the articles of another man affirming the reality of the spirits, because this writer also claims to be a Buddhist, you can see that even the top-level so-called Buddhists will have little dance to support any thesis of their superiority when all cards are put on the table. So I am back on my thesis accepted by the universities but not by the exclusive and excluding so-called sanghas, that Buddhism is not scientific, but Lord Buddha was a great scientist. I see no reason to change such a statement, and I foresee no difficulty in handling any remarks that my come from any sangha-wallahs of any schools of the Dharma or Dharma. I expect their behaviors to be exactly the same as those of religionists of any type whatever. But I also see that unless the clerics of all faiths assent to both the virtues and virtuosities of clerics of other faiths, the world is going to step out to universality.

We continue to practice the Jhanas. I have gone over many books on Theravadin Teachings; I think the Jhanas are It, but just as iron, exposed to the atmosphere, exposed to moisture, exposed to acid, becomes an iron-compound adding something to its presumable essence which was not there before, so a devotee performing a Jhana becomes altered by such practice or practices, and is no longer the same personality. This is Lord Buddha’s teaching. But it also means a greater reality or value in the Nirmanakaya than in the ego-personality, and I doubt very much whether this point has ever been properly pursued. Taking certain elements, taking certain aspects, out of the cosmic Dharma, we only have derivative differential religion as by a similar process we only have derivative differential functions in mathematics.

The opposite trend brings us into integration and ultimately the universality vouchsafed by Dharmakaya and the Prajna Paramita Sutras.

I shall also be bringing with me, if not mailed beforehand, a recent version of the Sutra of the 6th Patriarch and the Diamond Sutra, and efforts originated by the late Dr. Evans-Wentz and completed by my lifelong friend Rev. Joseph Miller.

Despite the possible glamour, despite the possible opening of the doors to fame at Geneva (or their opposites), I am anticipating my visit to London with far more eagerness than anything else on the present agenda. I am sure Rev. Miller, James Eugene, and Vocha all join me in expressions of their very good will.

Samuel

 

 


November 28, 1970

 

Dear Bodhisattva Jack:

Your letter of the 23rd has just arrived. We had several things to be thankful over. Chief associate has at last been released from the hospital. It is very hard to communicate that while being overworks d one’s chief two associates have been out of the picture. On the other hand we have several hard workers coming into the life, and while the financial situation is also being eased, this same applies to the voluntary-paid secretaries, that things are going well in their private lives.

Found some pound notes some weeks ago and said they should be sent to you. If they were not received will certainly send you a cheque for on the whole one’s monetary situation is improving. Much better attendance at meetings and now the universities are opening up.

Have been involved in our own peace plan for Palestine. This has been turned over to disciples and they are making much headway. Also the dances and otter efforts to bring the real Asia and real West together is receiving outside help. Cannot keep up with these matters but all the news is good. Then we feel we should do something for East Pakistan.

One must say that certain aspects of Buddhism are better than certain aspects of Islam. On the lower level is karma and although karma is in some aspects accepted theoretically by all faiths, in practice this is not always so. Fatalism is the weakness of the Bengalis. They do not sow during peaceful tines thinking that storms will come and destroy their efforts. The Buddhists do not work that way. The great Sufis do not work that way either but they have not added the practical influence on the masses.

We still perform the Jhanas and they have been most effective. But that makes us heretics. When I placed a peace attitude toward certain Buddhists, drawing from the life of Gautama Siddhartha, I received a very fine “dualistic” criticism that my work and ideas were contrary to some elements in the Patimokkha. I replied that I was not surprised that there are things in the Patimokkha against the teaching of Lord Buddha and also that I have never met anybody in Theravada that had the Moksha, or maybe the Mokkha. And this was a “new” idea that one was at fault because somewhere in some Buddhist scripture there were ideas or verbalisms contrary to whatever one was doing or thought. And this meant there was no escape from heresy, not even Enlightenment.

A very fine apology was forthcoming. You can understand. And I have been about to join the Vietnamese Buddhists but Harold Priebe has gotten in and if the slightest thing is said or done against this person they are going to get a good Zen smash. I am not taking any more nonsense. Will help feed or clothe or bring wisdom but not criticisms but he muchly divided “anatta-Buddhists.”

One is being importuned and saved because one is outspoken saying that one can only give to those who recognize this person as a spiritual teacher. Otherwise nothing doing. Caught Alan Watts in this and am also approaching him, really reproaching in disguise. The day when “experts,” moved by “compassion” and “wisdom,” can stand in my way is over.

There are now two World Buddhist Federations, one dominated by Theravadins and “nice” people; the other by certain schools of Mahayana. I have never been reconciled to the discard of the celebrations of Enlightenment Day and Parinirvana Day. There is one school in San Francisco very busy in getting out new kinds of translations but also in correcting old translations. “Everybody” is better in correcting (?) anyhow.

I don’t know exactly what has happened to Gandalf’s Garden and am so busy. Fortunately good health keeps me from worrying and with two homes and five “careers” there is enough change to keep one fresh mentally and free from ennui.

Visit Arizona in late January or February for there is a publisher awaiting materiel. Everything looks bright at this season.

Mehta,

Sam

Austin, Leonard Correspondence

Cairo

October 19, 1960

 

My dear Tony:

Last night I had a birthday party but the big gift was the fact that this completed the last refutation by experience of a lot of people in the S. F. Bay region who closed their doors on me and to me. Tomorrow I begin a serious counter-attack at the American University here but the main battle was already fought by the American foreign service which is not made up of “Ugly Americans” and when I return I shall carry the battle right on to the University campus at Berkeley, whether in a friendly way or not. For I don’t think Burdick would want or dare to debate me and there is no sense of being antagonistic for the sake of being antagonistic.

I have in front of me a text book from the University here written by a professor a number of years ago on “Dervishism.” It is almost completely quotations from other sources, mostly “brand names,” some of whom never were in this part of the world ad none of whom, excepting one, is accepted as an authority in this part of the world. Even that one met his Sufis in Persia and what he said about Persian Sufis only holds true in part here.

I was told quite definitely that Sufis may exist in India, Pakistan and even Indonesia. I was told that just as definitely before that there weren’t in those countries. The above author wrote a book in Cairo without running around Cairo. I run around Cairo and if I write a book it will be based on facts and adventures.

A few weeks ago I was introduced to M. M. Billah who is a top scientist here. He is also a Sufi. He brought me to the Syedna Hussein district last night. Part of the body of Hussein, grandson of Mohammed, is buried here and they celebrate his birthday. I never saw such a mob, neither in Chinatown nor in Indian pilgrimages. Finally I reached the Khankah (which is a forbidden word on Berkeley and Stockton campuses) and met the members of the Shadhili Order. We had some arguments about Arabic, but not about metaphysics. And when one challenged me to repeat formulas and sing with them I beat him at his own game—which made everybody happy. Excepting of course the European professors in the U.S. who say there are no Sufis and that they are scamps and vagabonds—which pleases Puck muchly because if there are none how could they be scamps and vagabonds. And I saw hundreds, maybe thousands and some very educated men among them and I am told at least one member of the UAR Cabinet which is an impossibility or you better drop the course.

Of course Alan Watts and Rom Landau are regarded with anathema. The first has, as I always said, produced a big blockage in the work of the American Culture Centres by offering as Zen Buddhism what never existed exempting in his own mind and that mind is subject to constant change anyhow. We have “authentic” books on Zen by Americans, Chinese, Frenchmen, beatniks and near-criminals and don’t think that our Foreign Service isn’t having a tough time here.

Man like Rom Landau and Von Grünebaum in Chicago teach what has little objective reality; they are spread all over the Near East. But even Spiegelberg, who is in many ways a fine man, may be an authority on Jung and German literature, but what he brings us each year from India—a new savior, or avatar, also puts up a big bar in honest cultural relations.

You can understand Puck’s statement that he is going to start a school for the study of Lessing’s and Goethe’s poetry so has to return to Asia to bring back a Hindu, Korean and Japanese to help him. There is not a single European “teacher” of Oriental philosophy who is recognized in all Asia or by our Foreign Service. They may not say so, but where do these guys think they are getting off? We run to them, honor them and next Nigeria, Mali, and by that matter Bunga-Gunga vote against us in the U.N. They are in fear that we shall start African Institutes also and fill them with more displaced Europeans.

As for Lloyd Morain and Don Hayakawa, it is a joke. All my scientific and philosophic material which they rejected, mostly without giving me a chance, has been accepted. The philosophical material has been warmly commended by the Embassy. The scientific material has been accepted both by the Egyptians and Americans, to the degree that top Government Experts sent for me, and roundly commended by work and my plans for Pakistan.

These things—Sufism, Oriental philosophy, science and American culture—are going to be accepted, are being accepted. I have just returned from a preview at the Indian Art Exhibit. There were only V.I.P.s there. When I say I have been accepted as a V.I.P. I am bragging, but the fact is that since the Captain on the ship had me enter this country as one, I have been taken very seriously and all my dreams, plans, hopes and everything seem to be bearing fruit and at the same time.

I have written this air mail to Mrs. Winnie Hoefner, 240 6th Ave. She has known me since 1915 and knows most of the friends I have had during this long period, while I was in San Francisco. Of course she does not know my Marin and Southern California friends, but she has seen my progress and inhibitions and knows today nearly all the people I associate with or have associated with in the last ten years—without going back further.

After all, today I am older if not wiser, but there is a strength of maturity and perhaps sincerity which holds out. I often wonder about some people who may be holding that the Presidential candidates are immature, knowing that they would equally reject what I might propose; these negatives only show the insincerity of the critics. Neither Nixon nor Kennedy is immature; what is wrong is that politicians are expected to deliver what politicians cannot deliver. Wm. Pitt was much younger when he became P.M. and his son still younger. Eisenhower has made some stupid mistakes lately—they don’t get in the papers, but when we lose not only Scandinavia but even Ireland in the U.N. voting, we had better investigate. I am afraid we won’t and China is going to get in not because she is popular but on account of the insincerity of our “mature” leaders, God help us.

But I do agree with Nixon that we are ahead in science, art, culture, technology. We are behind in psychology and morals and maybe far behind—as a Nation, not as individuals. I spoke to the Consul-General here about misbehavior. “Did you ever have cases of misbehavior on the part of tourists?” “Yes.” “Did you ever have misbehavior by newspaper men?” “Yes.” “Did you ever have any complaints about the misbehavior of American tourists who were not newspaper men?” “Come to think of it, no.” Touché. There is my case. There are my cases. I think you know and now things look very bright indeed.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


April 17, 1969

 

Dear Tony:

Dropped at your hotel but nobody answered the door so the letter of the time is being followed up. You will find enclosed copies of letter to Art Hoppe and Nuria Phelps. It is noteworthy that certain women who have made it the object of their lives to balk others rather than boost themselves have realized they have had no success, indeed added to their own pains.

This is, unfortunately, characteristic of certain types of American women, perhaps with Freudian complexes.

The meeting last night was so large I should have been in a quandary had not one of my best disciples obtained a large hall in the San Francisco Theological Seminary whither we repair next week. My audiences in Marin have risen from about 20 to about 80 with more asking to come and no room.

It was simply impossible to more than outline the dance work, and one good lesson, lecture or sermon is enough I have refused to join in certain Buddhist ceremonies and offered this place; it was first turned down and may be accepted so we celebrated Wesak Day along with our May folk festival.

I am very anxious to restore the real folk holidays and while this may begin with May 1 (no politics or politicians of any ilk) it could include a real All- Saints Day and other folk holidays. I understand the Maypole with streamers is almost ready and Dr. Warwick now says he will come and lead in the Buddha celebration. One has become totally indifferent to being turned down.

It also looks as if my poetry will at least be reviewed if not accepted this summer. There is some increase, too, in income and this is a mighty argument.

The place here is lovely now and between the office, the garden and devotions times are well spent. Will be back for Friday night and Saturday night dinners but if you call somebody will be glad to see you.

I also understand I may soon have a Jesuit colleague. They know well, “if you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em.”

Love,

 

 


October 21, 1969

 

My deal Tony,

I was very glad to hear from you and to save time and energy also am sending a copy of this to Harriet. I have no time to got even to Berkeley. Visited the Lama Foundation in New Mexico in August—was sent for mostly to teaching spiritual dancing. Also went to Taos and Santa Fe and Albuquerque, to the University. Am gradually getting “in” with universities and colleges and even more so with the young. But not the “experts.”

Took a vacation after return going all though the Pacific Northwest as far as Vancouver, B. C. My secretary, Mansur, came from the Mid West and never saw such beautiful country. Also we had special Oysters, etc. and other local food. Had only two days off all year till then, overworked but unlike many people, Allah be praised, no financial problems. My income is up, my audiences are larger, and it looks as if the class on spiritual dancing will succeed.

Last Saturday was my birthday and gave a free lesson to about 50 young people. Only Bill Hathaway and Ted Reich were there as oldsters and Bill came to the big party given for me at Novato on Sunday—about a 100, doubt if more than 3 or 4 over 35! Have also spoken and danced at the Family Dog at Ocean Beach before a huge crowd of young people.

“The Rejected Avatar,” one of my poems, highly evaluated at a poetry class at the University of California and another epic, “Saladin” turned in for a term paper in class on Arabic Culture—no “experts” around. (Puck says that while others are going for centenaries, he in going in for dollarenaries.)

Sunday party immense. Began marvelously. After 50 year by brother phoned greetings. All is really quiet on that Western front. Great Birthday Dance; had a beautiful young girl names Joy as partner, but that was because her birthday same week. My “twin” took the lead in the dance itself while I M’c’d. Greatest events were the marvelous painting of my housekeeper and the chorals which disciples sing. They have blended Christian and Islamic forms, and are ready to put on “The Messiah.”

Saturday night we went to “The Mikado,” done capitally, My housekeeper has been an amateur Kaadisha. My “family” has now 12 but one couple did not come as they are expecting. Had to put on a mother-and-child dance, too. I don’t think Family Planning would like that. But you had better believe in miracles—Lloyd Morain, of all people, sent for me to speak at the Humanist Society!

Last week the class on modern religions movements listened to a speaker for Meher Babe and this week I am to review it, and speak on Sufism. We had three sessions on Zen with Subud, Gurdjieff and Krishnamurti coming up soon. Then “Yoga,” and even Alan Watts and Gavin Arthur are on the sidelines. Gavin doing well but aging; we doing super-well and not aging. Maybe I have a secret Dorian Gray picture, but I think it is Allah.

Now, let’s get down to business. The Temple of Understanding was conceived by an American housewife, Mrs. Judith Hollister of Greenwich, Conn. The idea is to have a building near Washington which will be used, somehow or other by all religions. Both the Pope, His Holiness, and Princess Poon, Her serene Highness, are for it. Behind the scenes I am one of the Chief advisers.

There should be a world meeting in Istanbul next March. I am waiting for further advice, but plans are to take my secretary Mansur with me, to either New York or Washington, wherefrom we should be having a chartered flight. I cannot give you any date now, and it had not been my intention to move but it looks like it gotta, have to, must be. Outside income tax I don not seem to have any financial obstacles whatsoever.

Of course you can read this to Arthur. There are a lot of things going on in the background. We have control of the underground papers called “The Oracle.” It has not done too well but things are changing, lots of changes but am in the middle of them at this writing. (Also new typewriter and injured thumb.)

Friday nights is now reserved for restaurants as all other nights have classes: Dharma night, Sufi night, Poetry night, Marin night, disciples’ night, and dancing night! Also class on Christian mysticism on Mondays and one on Sufi poetry coming up on  Tuesday at Haight-Ashbury.

Today before your letter arrived we discussed preparations. My chief teacher, Mme. Decker Colonna on the “joint staffs” of the Berkeley and San Francisco State university will be teaching about Anatolian Art next semester, and of course this becomes  a “must” in preparing to go to Istanbul. Will probably go to Cairo Restaurant this Friday night. Mansur is studying Greek dancing which please me very much.

My housekeeper, Clare, is now attending Rudolph Schaeffer School. Last night we watched TV (seldom do), program on Moholy-Nagy. She expects to have a hi-fi set soon and will get more Greek records—the others are at Novato. You can imagine what Puck thinks of Zorba, and why not!

Now spending more time in S.F. But have a growing following. As I have been writing Art Hoppe: my endeavors to become a Pied Piper have failed miserably—only the young sho up. I guess I have met about 2,000 the last two months! Shades of Ruth St. Denis—that’s it, the Shade of Ruth urges me on.

Most cordially,

Sam

 

 


July 20, 1970

Mr. Leonard Austin

Box 29

Sequoia National Park Calif. 93262

 

My dear Tony,

I thank you for your letter just received and also for the letter from Arthur Sheehan of June 18. I think the correspondence is external evidence of the existence of God. In some people’s life nothing happens. You can only understand what is going on here if you know about the play “You Can’t Take It With You.” I am being pushed and shoved upstairs by a deity Who is a blending of the Christian God and the African Trickster.

I drew out $2,000 from the bank last March with the divine assurance that it could easily be paid back. I had a lawsuit with my brother Elliot and it seems the only way to make friends with some people was to biff them. That is what happened. Our joint incomes rose. Then when I reached Switzerland to attend a top peace conference, he became reconciled that he could not stop me if God was with me. So he left the world and although he dis-inherited me, my income went up anyhow, and the money otherwise is going to my nearest of kin who have neither father nor grandfather, but only a great-grandfather (my uncle, and Uncle Sam).

I want to warn you about praying. I never pray, but it works. My prayer in going to Switzerland to meet the religious leaders of the world was that I might encounter the personal representative of His Holiness pope Paul. As soon as we registered and turned around we met him! Not only that, we have recently heard from him. It probably astonished him when I said the only way we could have peace in Palestine was to see that a Papal residence be established there.

Well, Mansur and I were the only persons who had two-way communication with the leaders of every religion. I mean religions, not phonies. On the first day after that Puck got his comeuppance—the top Greek Orthodox Representative came up and kissed and embraced this person. By the time the conference ended the claim to be the incarnation of Nathan-the-wise, and to possess Boccaccio’s three Rings was no longer laughed off. You can understand why I call myself “Timon of San Francisco” (in reverse). At long last the Episcopalian Bishop has recognized my existence.

The peace conference of the religious leaders was characterized in the beginning by the Protestants and rabbis falling over each other with profound apologies. Then I was attacked in public by Father Haughey the top Jesuit of New York—but did I get even with him! A few days later he was attacked, and we (that is Puck, Sam and Ahmed Murad) joined forces and declared Father Haughey was the greatest man at the convention, and this wasn’t flattery. Not only did he do a marvelous double take, but all the top bananas accepted this also.

We then went to England and were excellently received at the Royal Asiatic Society, and those Orientalists who studied Oriental Philosophy with Asians. The visit to London was an idyll but the weather was terrible. Nevertheless we have plans for Glastonbury and for an invasion by a dance troupe in a few years, inshallah.

We then went to Boston, which is so different today. The attendance at our dance classes is wonderful and we may have to go back later in the year. In fact our present plan is to fly to Washington, hire a Hertz and then go by stages to Boston, and then across to Albany and Ithaca and Syracuse, and perhaps as far as Cleveland, then to Pittsburgh and back to Washington. But this is tentative. Time is more of a problem than money.

Everything is so different. The class attendance in dancing has also raised the income which is being shared by others.

But the center of effort is exactly in what Arthur Sheehan has rightly intuited. It could not be more exact. It is certain there are no more phony experts to prevent “Nathan-the-Wise” from functioning. Recently I was directed to the nearest church, which is staffed by Franciscans. I showed them the letter from Father Masson. Now I shall show them Arthur’s letter.

My return here was also characterized by the receipt of urgent letters from a top Korean Buddhist and a Hassid Rabbi. It is with the latter, or rather, with his following, that we hope to break the ice and restore the Holy Land to God to Whom it belongs, and not to politicians of any kind. I am not only no longer kidding, but have enough contact both in high places and with the young. In fact they are making me a pseudo-hero because of my rejections of the respectable. But I am leading, if you want to call it that, a spiritual not a social revolution. I still believe in working with my hands, and do. Five weeks in New Mexico as spiritual teacher, as dance teacher, and as organic gardener, and this may become a permanency in my life. At my final meeting in Albuquerque I started: “Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed by Thy name, Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, excepting in Vietnam and the Near East. Amen.” This is the fastest way to popularity with the young people, and my pied piper career has become so overwhelmingly successful that I have received five separate invitations to attend a “Holy Mans’ Jamboree” in Boulder, Colorado. Pir Vilayat khan, Richard Alpert (Baba ram Dass), Paul Reps, and others have assigned the United States to me. I don’t know where their authorization comes from, but….

A very wealthy publisher has been looking for Sufis. Every confounded metaphysician and every phony but respected European professors of oriental philosophy knows they don’t exist. But the wealthy man was stubborn and he found both Pir Vilayat Khan and then us’une, i.e. Puck, Ahmed Murad, Sam, etc. He is gone to Glastonbury, but on his return something more may come. He has already bribed one of my secretaries with a solid green Bank of America super credit cards, and I can’t predict.

But I can predict an absolute follow-up and no nonsense on what Arthur Sheehan has written. I am copying this letter. He gets a carbon of this. And I hope he knows Father Haughey, but I am giving him a chance to let me know. We are going to have peace in Palestine if it is the last thing I ever try to do.  Now I have money and more apparently on the way.  I have contacts, and more apparently on the way. And I even have University professors in the bag. As I have said, apparently God the Father and the African Trickster have joined forces to push.

I don’t have time to go much to restaurants. Everything is blooming like it was a joyful Autumn after a dismal Spring.

Love,

Sam

Bahm, Archie Correspondence

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco 94110

March 14, 1969

 

Prof. Archie J. Bahm

Department of Philosophy

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, N. M. 87106

 

Dear Prof. Bahm:

I greatly appreciate your having sent me copy of The World’s Living Religions. Offhand, I am struck with the resemblance to The Religions of Man by Prof. Huston Smith of M.I.T. I not only admire The Religions of Man as a literary work, but have had the advantage of listening to Dr. Huston Smith on many occasions. It is therefore unfair to compare your works unless there are factors at work which merit some attention.

I do not know how far you have advanced in your comprehension of Hinduism? In India I was not permitted to enter certain gatherings without first giving a comprehensive and acceptable, dissertation on the Gita. In this country I have been barred not only from the table, but from the audience, in gatherings dominated by several well-known persons you have named. The difference essentially and I say most essentially, is the difference (from the Indian standpoint) of the manas-ahankara outlook and that of Vijnanavada. While the Gita is emphatic on this point, the properly credentialed “expert” does not have to be.

In India, debates are held so that we might find that Truth from which various views have been derived. In the West, debates are only too often between “right” and “wrong.” But in the field of comparative religion, credentials have been more important than knowledge or wisdom.

So far as Buddhism concerned, this place is known as the Mentorgarten, a name bestowed by the Zen Roshi Shaku Soen on earlier efforts to bring East and West together. I have inherited at least the name, and when the world stops relying on “experts” and goes to sources, they will find proper credentials on the walls in this house etc.

I met Dr. Huston Smith first at a psychedelic conference held here in San Francisco in 1965. My theme—not well received then—was Joy Without Drugs. Perhaps I horrify both of the camps of Buddhists in that I adhere to Mahayana philosophy and Theravada techniques. The horrible things is that if I say that these techniques work, this conclusion has not been accepted by those very “experts” whom you have named as being most active in trying to bring East and West together Provided….

On the other hand, the simple fact that Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul Pismai and I are excellent friends—this fact is more important than a 1000 arguments. It has had to be accepted simply because those who verbally adhere to anatta seem slightly more affected by names and forms than non- Buddhists.

I have just had doubtful success in my criticism of a local educator whose name is mentioned so often today. My basic opposition to him is derived not from any philosophical animosity, but because he has failed to accept the life and work of William James. No doubt, I am more affected by traditional American philosophies than by any stemming from Europe, and I mean any. In this instant, I was ready to copy from James, and especially from his Varieties of Religious Experiences. I think the attitude that this great American had is more important than niceties and conclusions.

All my stands in all religions is based on including in them “varieties of religious experience,” insofar as it effects them. Thus, Al-Ghazali has said, “Sufism is based on experiences and not premises.” It is unfortunate that the men you have selected as your authorities in Sufism are men who have not had any of those experiences which would validate them, in the scientific sense, to be spokesmen for anybody but themselves.

There is today a publication Studies in Comparative Religion, most of the articles of which have been written by savants who have had the valid experiences. In other words they affirm Al-Gazali’s, “Sufism is based on experiences and not premises.”

Last month some of the professors on the Berkeley campus of the University of California witnessed the joyful reunion of the Vedantic Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj and this writer, who is a dervish in dervish circles; and when we are objectively honest, he also will be received as a dervish generally. And the hard fact is Professor Bahm, I am teaching dervish dances to an over-growing number of young people. And the harder fact is, I have been admitted into dervish circles in a number of places, though this is still by-passed by the several so-called leaders of East-West conferences???

The professors at the University of California, after witnessing the aforesaid meeting, were more than willing to have a discussion on Fatehpur Sikri; this very important historical monument is most unfortunately by-passed by too many purporting to work in the fields of comparative religion and universal religion.

At the moment I am most concerned with The Temple of Understanding under construction near Washington, D.C. I believe it may bring out into objective manifestation, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples.”

I am also interested in the efforts toward a new civilization at Pondicherry in South India. There is a vast difference between some subjective “universal religion” and group or mass movements affecting multitudes.

Actually, this firmness is not in any way personal. The fact that one man or a number of men welcome the possibility of various religionists coming together is very marvelous.

I believe, but certainly cannot prove, that beyond all doctrines and outlooks is a Universal Love instilling heart outlooks. It may surprise you that here a Sufi (myself) has gone much further in the interpretations of the Upanishads than many Hindu leaders (all pretenders). It is possible to have a Krishna-outlook involving the functions Vignanamayakosh and Anandamayakosh. This comes from experiences in spiritual awakening, and I believe the next generation will be far more open to this than the dialecticians of the present and past. I was much moved by the originalParliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. I am looking for a day when we can, here in America (other countries permit it), have Parliaments of Religions where the speakers, at least occasionally, are the direct representatives of “exotic” faiths, and not some scholars carefully selected for the occasion who in the end clarify almost nothing.

I shall be glad to get you copies of Studies in Comparative Religion. The dream of Emerson, the dream of Akbar, the dream of Flora Annie Steel, the dream of Stanley Lane-Poole is now moving towards objectivity. I believe we are moving toward a real one world. Again thanking you and hoping to know more about you and your work in other lines,

Most Sincerely,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

March 16, 1969

 

Prof. J. Bahm,

Department of Philosophy

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, N. M. 87106

 

Dear Professor Bahm.

In Re: Organicism: The Philosophy of Interdependence

I am so delighted with this work I can hardly read it. One gets almost into an ecstasy. Of course the Upanishads teach that with each grade of consciousness the capacity for Ananda is multifold increased. I believe this is true. I believe the experience is true but not statements about such experience. I believe it is possible for man to consciously function Vijnanavada but I do not believe it is possible for analytical and dialectical man to do more than describe such states. He does not partake of them.

Since childhood I was involved on the one hand with the Mathematical Philosophy of Cassius Keyser and the profound teachings of the Upanishads. I sought an integration and from the standpoint of fluxions and calculus worked in that direction. But each step of assuredness was also marked by read-blocks established by persons and institutions which made of “Universal Brotherhood” and “Integration” a crystallized, separateness “thingness” or function for very exclusive persons or groups.

This seemed to fit in with neither the premises of Keyser or Peirce or more lately Oliver Reiser on the one hand; or with the Sufis and Emperor Akbar or Sri Aurobindo on the other. But the vast majority at the “Universal Brotherhood” or “Integrational” groups have excluded and sometimes more than excluded one or more of these persons, elements and movements. So we have had the anomaly of “Exclusive Integration” in the pseudo-cultural facets of our society.

Examples of these “Exclusive Integration” movements have manifested in Nicholas Roerich in another generation and Dr. Zitko today, with their very selective choice of “gurus.”

I am old enough to have been under the influence of Peirce and James and Dewey, all of whom seem rather out of fashion today. And the so-called movements of “integration between East and West” have fallen into the bands of the “Professors Suez Canal” who tried to palm off that East and West could only meet through them. The physical occupation of the Suez Canal and subsequent history show that East and West might meet otherwise. And they have. And the younger generations are as appalled of the gradually disappearing “Professors Suez Canal” as their seniors greeted them.

It is not surprising that I have been refused a admittance to seminars and conferences, for the more mention of Akbar or Emerson or Dewey has been sufficient to draw down thunderstorms.

Out here there has been a passing parade of East-West movements, all carefully selective, but often legally empowered to grant degrees in the “only in America” Oriental Philosophy. Having lived a la Kipling I do not see such East nor West. Botany, Geology, Meteorology, etc. see beyond boundaries.

Facing a group of Englishmen, Europeans and Western educated Asians, it was in vain to get them to recognize our New England Transcendentalists or their (to me) successors at Columbia. They are excluded from “integrationalist” efforts. And likewise many great movements of Asia, This is in one direction.

The other is concerned with the depths of consciousness. But as one enters into the integrational aspects one sees that Truth from which all draw ideas and therefore the differences do not matter. The all-inclusiveness is of supreme importance. One almost dances through your brochure. I should like to read more.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

P.S. At the University of California—but not yet elsewhere, I have been permitted to pursue the theme, “Buddhism is not scientific but Lord Buddha was a great Scientist.” “Yes,” said the professor (Anthropology) “and I wish more people knew it.” Or “realization is the death of religion.”

 

 


March 29, 1969

 

My dear Prof. Bahm;

I wish to thank you for your brochures. The first impression was to lay them aside and use them at a seminar to be held shortly under the auspices of the University of California on the mystical experience.

But meanwhile I am having an experience, which may seem simple to you and is simple to others, but still persists. I have lived many years with a clean face, shaving regularly. Then at the urging of some young people I left my hair to grow both somewhat long on the head, and also in full beard. I look in the mirror every day and cannot identify this as myself. I have had many pictures taken but always seem to regard them as pictures of a stranger.

I know that it is but I do not know why it is. I simply cannot establish what some would call “self-identity.” Indeed sometimes I do not feel any identity at all, either with my former pictures or present visage. Nor can I reconcile myself either with the acceptance or non-acceptance of being. I feel that I am but there the feeling stop.

I do not wish at the moment to say more about your brochures. I wish to go over them and the other materials you have sent. I shall be going into a seminar, perhaps for the first time in this land, and maybe the first time anywhere having had validated Zen experience and validated Sufi experience. By that I mean actual Sufis whom I can name and actual Zen masters whom I can name have validated this and I can name them and even give detail.

And yet I use the Jhana method rather than the Zen method or even what would be considered “orthodox” Sufi methods, although it is generally non-Sufis who self-determine just what an “orthodox” Sufi method is.

The seminar will be concerned with required reading. There is now so much literature whish actually blocks a discussion on cosmic experience. In 1956 when I visited Kamakura the attendant said, “You are already two grades beyond D. T. Suzuki.” So far several real Zen real Masters have accepted that. And as written before I am on excellent terms with Her Serene Highness, Princess Poor Diskul. I am not on such good terms with a number of “experts” on either “Zen” or “Buddhism.” I mean the terms, terms used loosely in American without reference to contents.

By 1931 I had read the Tipitaka entirely and this has been held against me by those who have teaching privileges without having the complete reading or study; still less without having experienced the “Bhumis” and “Paramis” actually indeed for the deep understanding of the Dharma (Dhamma).

A further report will be made when I can go over your materials and after the conference.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

August 2, 1969

 

Archie J. Bahm

Department of Philosophy

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

My dear Professor Bahm:

Preparing to leave for New Mexico and perhaps calling on you while there, or just before taking off to return here, I have been going over your notes with a definite purpose in mind which may be of importance to the work of our good friend Oliver Reiser.

I have again read “The World’s Living Religions” and consider it from four standpoints:

a. As literature. Treating it this way there is nothing to comment on, but just to accept it as if one were a student in class.

b. Analysis and book review. It is so obvious that one can do this and so easy. Everybody has his own ideas which differ in some respects from others. This could lead either to:

1. dissonances

2. acceptance of criticisms calling for corrections, but I am objecting to this because it would augment the original book.

Such augmentation would have to consider not only “truth” (whatever that means) but communication. And literature which fails to communicate has a very limited value.

c. Integrational outlook. This is very difficult when one seeks for that Integral from which the various derivatives might be obtained. Thus the word “truth” may be ambiguous, and it again may mean that which is common to the human experience of many investigators. In this sense science is true when the researches or laboratory work of one is corroborated by others.

I once did work on Fuchsias and Primroses and was surprised to find that a whole research class at the University of California in Los Angeles was doing some research work on the same flowers at the same time with identically the same results.

But this may not happen often and the search for “Integrals” in life is still worth pursuing.

d. Two-way street communication.

This is the purpose for writing. Too may talk on “communication” etc. when the theme is “How can I reach you?” It is seldom, if ever, “How can I listen to you?” It would seem that propaganda (the one-way street) is always desired, and seldom real learning.

On this point the religionists and analytical humanists are very much of the same kind. They have excellent or not so excellent themes, generally mutually exclusive. They are both self-satisfied with their own limited outlooks and failed to comprehend others, much less agree.

The rise of new outlooks, the “Generation Gap,” etc. all arise from the fact that young people more and more want to “listen and learn” and also to communicate, and I fell this is the only valid knowledge. In practice one still finds the two cultures of Lord Snow, which he called “scientific” and “literary humanist.” We can almost call them “alterocentric” and “egocentric.” It is certain that many religionists and humanists agree in evaluating from the personalities involved and that most or all scientists evaluated from the facts and data regardless of persons.

Along with this—and perhaps you have already reached your conclusions—is the anatta outlook of Buddha. This is basically in line with “science” but neither “religions” in general, nor “humanists” in general accept it. The failure yet of any scientific philosophy to consider Perry and Spalding and their solution of “the egocentric predicament” is one which will have to be considered and is not. And until it is we shall have wars and misunderstandings and enjoy, “I am right and you are wrong.”

Therefore it is foolish to be critical when no end is gained, and it is important to work toward a scientific form of communication based at least in part on human consideration and human potentialities. And therefore at this point the conclusions concerning “The World’s Living Religions” are most favorable.

Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


August 4, 1969

Archie J. Bahm,

Department of Philosophy,

University of New Mexico,

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

My dear Professor Bahm:

In Re: Organicism

My movements are now uncertain, although I leave for New Mexico Thursday. The difficulty is a very full program here and everywhere else, but as there is a probability of financial stability, if not enough is accomplished on the immediate visit, there is no reason for not returning. And so, in case you are not available, or I have not enough time it is within my purview to make another trip or at least arrange for a proper interview.

The overall outlook which was mentioned in the previous letter was fully justified by re-reading your “Organicism” and I am unable to find weaknesses—they may be there but I have not found them. There have been too many examples of “Holism,” “Integrative Philosophy,” “World Outlooks,” etc. which, when one gets closer to them are largely re-wordings of old outlooks with fine emotions, and sometimes tinges of humanistic morality.

Economic Philosophy. Your reference to Texas-Egyptian cotton comes well within the purview of my objective experiences, and I guess is basic to my last trip to many lands and the underlying philosophy thereof and therefrom. Copious notes were taken and I am optimistic enough, despite almost total failures with publishers, editors and what Lord Snow calls the “literary humanist” culture that these notes will be accepted some time on their objective value. I do not recall a single scientist that rejected them!

Social Philosophy. This is outside my purview and I am quite incompetent here.

Metaphysics. Having at least read Whitehead if not studied him I am in total agreement with you. I have objected to the pseudo-”holists,” the pseudo-”Integrationalists,” the so-called “Semanticians” just as much for their by-passing Charles Perry as for ignoring the Indian and Chinese cultures.

I am finding, despite all the diatribes against Hitler, such a positive over-laying of “Aryanism” in our culture, that it has led us into interminable difficulties, none of them solved by the choice use of words. The lack of knowledge of mathematical philosophy and “functionalism” by many who have convinced themselves that they are against Aristotle and/or Plato, shows how much confusion there is. And also in this connection I shall try to send you copy of a poem based on the possibility of reconciliation between Mahayana and Vedanta. The refusal, sometimes most absolute, even to consider Nyaya or Dignaga will stand as a blot and blotch on much of the present-prevailing “culture’.

Philosophy of Science, page 267: “Was there a single scientific method common to all the sciences and to every scientific investigation, or does each science have some unique problems which require unique methods for solution? Organicism must answer “Both.” Bravo! And I think this will be of great value in the struggle between objective-science and parlor-”science.”

Philosophy of Language. You have included humanity. When humanists do that we shall have real “humanism.”

As for the rest the hard fact that you have included, and not just verbally, may lead to greater understanding. I used to say: “Remember, Europeans are human beings and Asians are thought-forms.” The last conference on “Asia” locally was nearly all restricted to European born and educated “experts” and the only Indian a Christian! I think, but am not sure, there was another Asian on the panel. But the same more or less holds for the “East-West” gatherings in Honolulu. “East” has now come to include all Aryans even from communist lands, but not many Asians, in fact huge facets of Asian culture are barred!

Comparative Philosophy. Excellent. No comment.

Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

December 6, 1969

 

Prof. Archie Bahm,

Department of Philosophy

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

My dear Archie:

I believe you realize there are two quite different ferments going on at the moment which may be called positive and negative and which rather overlap. No doubt the protest against the war in Vietnam and the arguments indulged in by the Vice-President get the most headlines. But there are a lot of other things, which do not get headlines.

I am enclosing a couple of letters which give one aspect of the present situations. It is noticeable that in serious discussions in “Halls of Ivy” today far more attention is paid in the colleges and Universities to the potential “Shangri-las” of New Mexico than to anything going on in or from India. The “reason” is simple—the American Shangri-la-ists tend to respect one another, to socially intermingle and even to cooperate. The Indian “New Worlders” pay “respect” only to ancients and to themselves. And there are so many of them.

Oliver had suggested I look at the college scene and it has overwhelmed me and favorably as much as the picture of a generation back brought only sad and pessimistic notes. Our poetry seminar ended and it is remarkable how many of these young people lean or look to universal consciousness, a consciousness in which all can share. This is totally different from the propagandized Indian “cosmic consciousness” which is very exclusive. Each does not recognize others.

The result is that now in the classes in the arts, history, religion, philosophy. etc. those groups which are exploding their own world outlook (sinn fein) are not being considered at all! Why, even the funky “Maharshi” is coming up for discussion but nobody has even mentioned Sri Aurobindo among several groups visited, or classes enrolled in. It is simple and easy: the followers of Sri Aurobindo don’t recognize the contributions of anybody else!

No doubt in a “philosophic” treatise Love does not have a major place. That modern non-Indian mystic, Edward Carpenter, placed Love first. And lacking “humility” he went through a complete Jnani training and did not have any PhD. title to make him an authority.

We are planning a Christmas without Santa Claus. This is a several-edged sword. The Aurobindo people came out for Santa Claus—not for God, not for universality but for Santa Claus. And if by a hidden moral law, the Negro communities are beginning to revolt. They don’t belong in Sri Aurobindo’s world anyhow.

This week, in the face of the Palestinian complex, the Hebrew Chassid and my own disciples in Sufis are having a joint love meeting. This cannot possibly be understood by either Vice Presidents or the commentators whom the V.P. is criticizing who are super-authorities on absolutely everything excepting true love, of course. It won’t be world news. Indeed it will be an unwelcome interruption of up teen plans for “one world—Us Leading!

After that attention will be paid to the suffering of Vietnam. This will be climaxed in January so after Christmas.

One writes because one of my disciples has been transferred to your university. I don’t know whether he is coming in the Winter or Summer, but will see him during the Christmas vacation. His name is Joshua Seeger. He has also been up on many of the “revolt” movements on campuses. He has been a revolutionist but also a Gandhian, and is opposed to naming either person or property. But he is also more interested in perfecting himself than in just being destructive to others. So for a while he has become a sort of loner.

As you can surmise in the letter to Oliver, things are humming around this personality. Having studied and even disciplined in all the faiths (without gutting any PhD degree) and knowing pretty well the history of all lands of Asia and some others, this puts one in a strong position when cards have to be laid on the table, and I think this is coming soon.

Season’s greetings.

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


January 2, 1970

 

Dear Sam,

Thanks for the four volumes of the Buddhist Encyclopedia and your numerous letters. And now thanks for your mention of Josh Seeger. I have not seen him yet, but I suppose he will not be along until the second semester, in February.

You have a penetrating observation in noting that those who form their own communes for their own reasons tend to develop their own philosophy with its own implications, some of which are cosmic. One can gain insights from other civilizations, and one may even adopt their language and details of their views; but they have to ring true to one’s own experience or they soon come to be felt as artificial.

George Morgan has written a book, The Present Predicament: Dissolution and Wholeness, Brown U. Press, 1968, which I have just started reading. I judge it to be one of the soundest and most penetrating evaluations of the present situation. Hope you have a chance to read it; if you do, let me have your reactions.

Cordially,

Archie J. Bahm

 

 


May 8, 1970

Prof. Archie Bahm

Dept. of Philosophy

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM

 

My dear Archie:

I am writing, hoping we can meet again to our mutual convenience. Things are happening in my private life indicating that I may have to be working on a larger geographical and even a social scale. There was no trouble in Geneva in attending the summit meeting. Partly as a reaction, and partly as natural concomitant, more and more doors are opening up. Some of these involve subjects of mutual interest. At the moment I am more interested in learning what you are doing then imposing on you what I am doing, although no doubt these subject overlap.

I am enclosing copy of a letter to Oliver Reiser and hope to hear from you soon. Mansur and I will be leading a caravan to New Mexico which will leave as soon as we get advise as to the proper day of departure.

Cordially

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


May 23, 1970

Prof. Archie Bahm

c/o University of New Mexico Dept. of Philosophy

Albuquerque, NM

 

My dear Archie:

I have your brochure Aesthetic Experience and Moral Experience. At this moment I am rather tired. We hive three very big enterprises going on. A. The growth of my local work. B. Preparation for a camp for the Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan to be instituted shortly. C. Our departure shortly for Lama. We are expecting to arrive in Albuquerque on the day or evening of May 30—that is Mansur, myself and a few others.

We have also decided, subject to confirmation, to have Tuesday as our day off, and we could drop down and see you on my Tuesday, subject to confirmation. We also have two disciples at Taos who report rather dire events going on there not publicized.

I must say I was jolted and excited by your diagram on page 117. It is the rejection, and worse than rejection, the seemingly absolute refusal of the followers of Sri Aurobindo to examine such outlooks that make me feel sooner or later the Shangri-la may be established in America and not in India. I feel you have something very powerful and relevant here, and hope to into those matters as soon as my mind is rested.

I have always said that the enemies of our foreign policy have been not the Communist but Jesus Christi, Dale Carnegie and Oswald Spangler and the greatest of these has been Spangler. I believe here we have more than overlooked bets; we have overlooked actualities. But these statements, even if true, do not formulate a positive approach. And I believe you have a positive approach, which can be used constructively to help promote sanity in this world.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


c/o L. Less

27 W. 71 Street

New York, New York 10023

October 22, 1970

 

Dr. Archie Bahm

Department of Philosophy

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Dear Archie:

“Then the cat began to bite the rat, the rat began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang the butcher.” This is being written from Cambridge, Massachusetts, which we shall be leaving shortly to spend the next two days in sundry parts of New England, then back to New York.

I suppose in the time-space world this series of events began when Gunnar Jarring had his name in the paper as being the chief representative of the UN in the Near East. Mr. Jarring was once my traveling companion. He is not one of those preachers of liberty and democracy, but he listened to this “Jude-the Obscure” and said I had the best plan for the Near East he had ever encountered. In this he was in a hopeless minority. The churches, the humanists, the “peace organizations” and those “studying” international affairs all dissented. And you can bet after thirty-three rejections of my paper on Vietnamese Buddhism, I did not want any more of that.

I could not call on you in New Mexico because of a sudden interest in my “Dances of Universal Peace.” They are making headway, and how; while all the “good” people are snubbing them, the youths are enjoying them so much I am unable either to have them properly copied and sent out or even less to have accredited teachers, or any teachers at all. I find that young people become very amenable after they have danced and reached heights far beyond Timothy Leary’s conceptions. Indeed, I led a thousand young folks in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco the day before I left to come east. But by this time, two things had happened;

a. I followed our good friend Oliver Reiser’s suggestion and concentrated on universities and professors. It is most wonderful to find people who are more interested in facts than opinions; in working operations than in private schemata. These do not always make the most interesting articles, but they do affect the history of the world. In fact, just before I left I started my own peace scholarship at the U. of California. Small it is true, but!

b. The success of the missions of Mansur Otis Johnson and myself has impressed some young people so they have gone ahead and established the Halleluiah! The Three Rings. This name is derived from that scoundrel pornographic author, Boccaccio! And, of course, from Lansing’s Nathan the Wise. The time evidently was right. Enough people are tired of the almost universal quest for excitement. Some people want peace—not grandiose dialectical dreams, but actual peace.

The last news from the West is so amazing it is making typing difficult. It seems there are plenty of Arabs who prefer to get money from Jewish customers than to pay monies to landlords of their own religious persuasion. There are plenty of Jews who are no longer enamored with the synagogue and want to be leaders, and if they stick to conventions they cannot do much leading. I used to say in humor, “There will be thirty world faiths, and every one of them will have a leader named Cohen.” Don’t laugh, I know three such Cohen already, and a lot of the world faiths are also led by people of Jewish extraction.

It has not been difficult to start a program, let us say: Shish kebab for the Israelis and Gefilte fish for the Arabs. This, of course, is objectionable to all vice presidents, and even more so to all people who hate vice presidents. There are slot of human beings who prefer food to words, and how they are getting together. If we had not sound substantial bases drawn from Boccaccio, Lessing, and Sam Lewis, what has happened would have upset them, but they are ready. The dinners have not only been oversubscribed, the shekels are coming. I may have no details until I reach Yew York.

In the meanwhile, we have visited several universities with such excellent results we cannot possibly visit more. When I went to Columbia University former Ambassador Badeau invited me into his office without an appointment, but the secretary is now satisfied. There was a young man named Bob Kauffman who followed me all the way from Geneva to an Francisco, and he also is at Columbia. One of the top deans is an in-law. I told the dean about former visits with one professor Joseph Blau of the Department of Philosophy. “Why, Joseph is my best friend.” He is now head of the Department of Religion.

Ten years ago some time was spent with Doctor Blau, and we were so much in accord that the philosophical basis of my programs has been (hail Columbia!) Cassius Keyser, Joseph Blau, and Charles Pierce. Not a dialectician or European in the crowd. Of course it worked, and of course it was offensive because it was entirely out of line—then. I am only sorry that Doctor Blau is still an invalid, but I feel so happy over our meetings, and we have such mutual plans that we hope that this to me leading American philosopher will become better known. I found his books in many libraries; they are hardly ever read, so you can understand that I have been at war with all those Sophistic instructors who admire various non-American existentialists—so-called, and dialecticians.

I must say that the doors to Philosophy Departments are so wide open I am slightly aghast at the moment because a lot of other doors are opening, and very rapidly.

Most important of these is an editor in Tucson, Arizona. You may have heard of Philip Davenport who once edited The Oracle. Between him and Mansur Johnson I could be busy enough for the rest of the life quite exclusive of my wonderful Three-Ring colleagues referred to above; or the dancing. Anyhow, Walter Bowart of Tucson wants material from me and may invite me to Tucson this winter, if so I am considering very seriously also visiting you if that is convenient.

In the meanwhile I have run into so many people from New Mexico both here and in New York that I am welcome everywhere. Tonight we shall be stopping with a Lama group not far from Cape Cod. We may also lay plans both for the winter and next summer. In fact, we shall have to lay plans.

Secretary Mansur has been lost to a well-paying technical job editing films. These films cover both dances of the New Age and mystical ceremonies from various parts of Asia which have never been taped or filmed before. Philip is also very active in this field and is still in India. He is visiting various ashrams and will have some pretty good objective reports on their present status. His retorts so far are hardly in accord with the Madison Avenue methods now used by the New Age “holy men.” In fact, he had the audacity to promote a Sufi-Israeli dinner while in Jerusalem—newspapers, please don’t copy—mustn’t. But I am no longer worried on this score because the more rejections I get from the press—and they are the only ones rejecting today—the stronger and more effective the articles which Walter Bowart will publish.

(Here the press and radio-TV part company. We have already been on the air in both East and West. And I understand the American Broadcasting Company is also mentioning the joint Israeli-Christian-Arab functions.)

Back in New York we shall again visit Columbia, certain religious people, and both Arab and Israeli groups. There is a lot of mail there. It is very hard to impress those who do not want to hear that the totality of my mail is increasing both quantitatively and geographically. Most welcome to me have been the reports from San Francisco State College. For many years I have been a nuisance—Jude the Obscure to Don Hayakawa. He has deliberately and viciously turned me down in everything. And he is the worst one in never forgiving the fact that I studied under Cassius Keyser, friend and mentor of Alfred Korzybski. But now he has jumped on the Hallelujah! The Three Rings bandwagon—he and his closest associates are giving every support. I don’t know if he knows that Sam Lewis is the prompter of these efforts, and in a sense the originator, but let the dead bury their dead. I haven’t the time to follow my predecessor Samuel Morse fighting and exposing all those who deliberately and selfishly stood in the way. I am working for peace, not fame.

Incidentally, the latest Nobel award was very close to my own research. Indeed, I know a good deal more than the grand commentators, editors, lecturers, etc, about adaptations of strains of grains for different climates and soils and for the animalization of proteins in them. This is only one of the items on which I have done research, and of course my research work will now be—pardon me if I use a terrible word—integrated in the sense that the word integration used to mean before it fell into the hands of the illiterati and promoters.

Have also attended a “peace” conference of a totally different type than that of Geneva. When I was a boy I used to say all Hindus were either mahatmas or coolies. This has not changed much. But the number of mahatmas has greatly increased, and the peace conference consisted mostly of mahatmas who regard all Americans as second-grade personalities subject to be converted. They came late, they left early, they made a lot of speeches, and this is supposed to be the basis for fund-raising and world peace, but particularly for fund raising for themselves, of course. Some have been very active right in your own bailiwick. Oh, I am not opposing them. I have too many disciples and too much to do to bother, and in my perhaps narrow outlook I consider the worst of them considerably better than a Billy Graham. And a lot of your, people agree with that too.

This is not all the good news, and of course it is not all the news. But the most interesting one can convey at the moment. One foresaw the possibility of the accretion of funds. One will not handle these additional funds excepting to promote real peace, spiritual dancing, and of course the peace scholarship established at the University of California. But it should encourage others, and the door is wide open for all possibilities.

Or to summarize, I believe I am putting into practice Oliver Reiser’s Project: Prometheus and Project: Krishna

Most faithfully and cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


Archie Bahm

Department of Philosophy

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

November 1, 1970

 

My Dear Archie:

In re What Is Needed To Achieve New Morale In America?: I do not know whether this was recently forwarded or was caught in materials brought here. In any case I feel very much inspired to write you in what I hope is a practical matter to support your point of view.

When the UN met in San Francisco the honorable U Thant said, “What this world needs is a moral and spiritual revolution.” Thunderous applause. But all I could see was an increase of holocausts and terrors encompassing the world. There on the platform with the Secretary General of the UN was a host of the world’s actual leaders and they, damn them and I mean damn them, had the audacity to demand from the public leadership in directions for which they had no capacity at all and mere confessing their inability’s. Life has absolutely proven I was correct, though it has resulted in the breaking of many old friendships, and I’m glad today they have been broken. This is a new age, and it demands some honesty, some objectivity, and some standards other than the blind acceptance of pompous egos. It is very clear to me that in this space age one of the worst horrors is the common usage of procrastinating all persons of prominence into the sub-Euclidean world of the French convention of 1790. However else our Vice President and meta-super-encyclopedic commentators may differ—and how they differ—they agree in trying to measure by outworn standards. You call it “this medieval world.” Maybe you are correct and my 1790 reference is not sufficient.

I was deeply moved by the late Alfred Korzybski. I got to Korzybski by the back door—that is introduction from his friend and mentor, Cassius Keyser. Half of me belongs to oriental disciplines and studies. The other half from a mélange of James, Emerson, Dewey, Pierce, and more recently Oliver Reiser, I hope. Certainly my interviews at Columbia University where I ran into at least two leading professors with the same outlook on almost everything seems to stubbornize me.

Alfred Korzybski said the world must become free of Aristotle, Newton, and Euclid. The so-called semanticists are verbally free from Aristotle, and Newton. Ignorant men have dared not criticize Euclid. They are unaware of the importance of non-Euclidean mathematics. This non-Euclidean mathematics became the basis of the philosophy, morality, and metaphysics of Cassius Keyser. It is easy for me to move right into your arena. “The Doctrine of Doctrines,” one of the greatest of Keyser’s teachings, remains with me, and this opens up infinite possibilities in moral and psychological outlooks. The term “infinite” being the same as that of Korzybski—far far from those of his follower.

We are in the Space Age. We are not only not in the medieval world; we are not in the world of the French Revolutionaries of the late 18th century. I go further. We are not in Hegel’s subjectivity or in the realisms of Hegel’s disciples of the sub-Euclidean right and left. You see, Archie, I am also under the influence of the late H.G. Wells and do not like flatlanders. In fact, I can’t understand them and they can’t understand me, even though they are called” “realists,” existentialists, dialecticians, and humanists.

I think if Dewey were alive he would support me. Things are happening. Boy, how they are happening.

1. My plan for the Near East which was accepted by Gunnar Jarring and nobody else practically, excepting engineers and technicians and a few scientists, has now reached the UN through a back door. It has reached a lot of young people through the front door, and they have organized some rather successful joint Israeli-Christian-Arab dinners and other functions.

2. My “Dances of Universal Peace” have gotten beyond me. They have gotten beyond me partly because they keep on coming to me. They have gotten beyond me because the geographical and social demands are growing more rapidly than persons who partake in these dances can reach new audiences. True, some of them are gravitating towards San Francisco. I led a thousand real human beings in these dances before leaving San Francisco. We have reached many hundreds in the Boston-Cambridge area, and maybe a hundred or so around New York.

3. My Paper, “The Three-Body Constitution of Man According to Saint Paul” has been placed in certain important hands, and if they do not follow their own statements that they would see it published, I have without even looking two other sources for potential early publication. Although this seems to be a religious subject it throws much light on all the problems connected with psychedelics. The hard and simple fact that the methodology works and works so rapidly that I am overburdened in this time-space complex itself would be regarded by pragmatists as valuable no matter how much the many schools of “realists” spurn it. I have had no trouble whatever in getting a large number of young people to abandon psychedelics, though I am now convinced they do not do ten percent of the harm caused by alcoholics.

4. My own work has been filmed, and there is a possibility of drawing the Columbia Broadcasting Company into further filming. I shall know more about this after my return to Sam Francisco.

5. Jarring is jarring. The fact that Dr. Jarring of the UN said I had the best plan for the Near East he had ever heard of is stimulating others to action. This in turn is making some members of the fourth estate curious, at least curious. I was on the air at two stations in Boston. There is a possibility of being interviewed shortly by representatives of AP.

I look over your paper and, despite all the crying that I have done above here, cannot find the least thing to criticize. I think it is wonderful. My own work is being presented through the back door at the University of California. I may go further now and visit N.Y.U. if possible. Their E.G. Spaulding wrote about “The Egocentric Predicament and its Solution.” This needs to be integrated, I believe, into a real philosophy. I am absolutely for you. I am absolutely with you.

Copy of this is going to my friends in Arizona (Tucson), and I am hoping that one of them can join me later on to visit you in Albuquerque. To be followed up.

Kindest regards,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


November 5, 1970

Professor Archie Bahm

Department of Philosophy

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

My Dear Archie:

Our work here on the East Coast is coming to a close. I am particularly gratified because of two meetings with a man who fulfills, in a sense, both project Krishna and Project Prometheus of our good friend Oliver Reiser, who is receiving a copy of his. Some seers have declared that in the new age the lines of demarcation of science and religion will terminate. What I see terminating are the emphases on analysis, dialectics, and personality prestige. They stand in the way of both progress and understanding. Of course there are many advocates of each of these, basing their logistics on the faults of others, rather than on their own contributions.

I am, in a sense, annoyed by personality proclamations. The greatest difficulty has not come from criticism or opposition, but from unsupported Messianism. This is particularly true of those personalities who were involved in what I call the “Zitko-fiasco.” These self-styled supermen were going to bring in the new age if only enough of us peasants would contribute to them financially and accept their proclamations. We still see this going on in those groups around Sri Aurobindo, who have captured thewords integration, new age, and world, employing them in very narrow senses and substituting the United Nations concept for spiritual guidance and awakened states of consciousness. Indeed, they are trying to smother the actual wisdom teachings of the past and present and substitute personalities as seers and prophets. When these personalities fail the general public is blamed. Thus the Zitko-fiasco was followed by God refusing to destroy California!

We were given an introduction to Cleve Backster by Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T. It is not an easy career for one not accepted by the elite to present his notes to the world. I have piles of notes, and they are going to be presented; they are either going to be accepted by the universities or published by my friend, Walter Bowart of Tucson. I should prefer the former, but I am constantly running into the Messiahs and their retinues.

Some illusion to the work of Jagadish Bose resulted in an introduction to Cleve Backster. I found him not only researching, and I mean researching, where Bose left off; I found that he, like Bose and his colleagues, accepted in some sense the cosmic psychology which is behind both Hinduism and Buddhism—in their depths, I don’t mean their superficialities.

We went to a meeting under the auspices of the Spiritual Fellowship Foundation. I found this group to be real. None of the superficialities and personalizes of the Cayce Foundation or Garrett or Rhine or the so-called psychic research groups. Indeed, as I look over their literature I feel sure they will not exclude Asians and non Aryans from the wonderful people of the world.

Backster agrees entirely with an outlook, an outlook I found first in Mme. Curie, that having discovered radioactivity she researched into every known chemical element. This “smartyaleckism” of a large number of Americans especially has made honest psychic research impossible. Indeed, we do not know where the physical begins or ends, the psychic begins or ends, or the meta-psychic, etcetera, begin or end. But now we are beginning to see this in honest impersonal research with fine people backing it up and also making use of laboratory equipment where that can be involved, knowing of course, the limitations of man’s inventions to date.

Anyone who has studied organic chemistry knows that some of the most profound discoveries have been made because of dreams, visions, psychic impressions, and intuitions of laboratory scientists. This itself upsets the orthodox humanists who wish to confine investigation within their own intellectual limits. The term “consciousness” is one which we cannot determine whether it is finite, indefinite, infinite, or trans-finite. Dr. S.I. Hayakawa, the chief general of Semantics, turned down every paper I have ever written that used these words, and then I found the same themes in Alfred Korzybski’s Science and Sanity. The ecclesiastication of General Semantics by non-laboratory authorities has resulted in scientists as a whole turning against Korzybski and parallel out-looks. This in turn has led us into a world of utter confusion, a world which you have recognized and are trying to help us to become free of it.

Forty years ago I challenged the head Baha’i whether the world would be any better if it had seven hundred competing religions or seven hundred competing “universal brotherhoods.” We are rapidly reaching that state. But we are not going to get there because the young do not think analytically or dialectically, and there are enough serious older people anxious to promote real research and investigation. I therefore see Reiser’s Project Prometheus and Project Krishna coming into being. But I see the boundaries overlapping. To me, Cleve Backster is a veritable Prometheus who nonetheless has accepted real Krishna outlooks far more seriously than, let us say, the emotional Hare Krishna young who parade our streets and contaminate them with their noise.

I see in his work the union of East and West and also the bridging of science and occultism. In fact, the possibilities are so tremendous I hesitate to look further. I feel that you and others will be interested—not ought to be but will be. He has what I call a real integrative fourth-dimensional approach, stepping beyond from imaginative reality to actual reality. But the best thing would be for you to contact him in person, if that be possible, or if not for my own young devotees to act as go-between.

I am sending a copy of this also to my disciple and friend, Daniel Lomax, who is at Tucson. Daniel had his education at the companion institute to M.I.T., i.e., the California Institute of Technology, but I am also sure that he would be interested.

Faithfully and Cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

Baptiste, Walt Correspondence

Morland House,

16 Sharia Kemal el din Salah,

Kasr el Dubara, Cairo, U.A.R.

January 3, 1961

 

My dear Walt:

I hope the year has started out all right for you. It has for me. Indeed 1960 was a marvelous year for me, a series of reversals of reversals which began suddenly last February, continued on and is still going. It is the turn of the wheel-of-­karma. And there is one thing that stands out clearly, the karma especially hits those personalities who think they avoid it by explaining it. I have seen farce-comedies and tragedies stalk the lives of such persons who know everything but human consideration.

I am being prepared now for another newspaper interview. Previously I was described as a great Yogi. My efforts to disenchant failed entirely and the reputation remains. The fact that I am a Sufi-Dervish only enhances the whole picture. I am now the official representative of the Rifa’i Dervishes and may meet more. This morning after mailing this I go to the U.S. Embassy to make some reports. These reports are taken seriously here and I think they are now being taken serious in the S.F. Bay region by American-Americans.

I have just completed the four Volumes of the History of Indian culture published by the Vedanta Society with the grace of the Central Government. To me it is a marvelous and monumental work, the contents of which are unknown in all the U.S. outside of Harvard, where brand names are more important than information or truth. I am going to have a battle, but it is assured that it will be a winning battle against the uniformed “experts” who got their knowledge from everywhere but direct sources. I shall not be above going to court but I am pretty sure that detractors will vanish and do not look for any such eventualities.

As a matter of fact during the last month the turn of the tide was tremendous. All my ideas in the fields between Oriental mysticism, philosophy and modern science have been accepted—no exceptions. I have been meeting the top scientists, not only of the UAR but any who come this way and all kinds of ideas which were rejected a priori in the S.F. Bay region have been listened to and mostly accepted as soon as I was permitted to present the case. Perhaps in the end I shall even get in on the “space-travel” stuff.

You see in his translations of the Upanishads Dr. Radhakrishnan translated three different words as “space.” I called to his attention that the three words had distinct meanings in Sanskrit and their translation into the same English word was misleading. The vice-president, being what he is, accepted this. So have the other Indian-Indian philosophers I have met. But the “experts” in the U.S.???

It is this same sort of thing that has lead to the impasse in the “space”-travel efforts. Space is not the word “space.” There are energies there, and the failure to take into account the types of these energies, known or unknown, is the fundamental reason for failure. Yes, there is one group which is an exception and they claim they will have ship “in space” in 1962. It is not a rocket-type at all. And these people do not reject occultism.

I am keeping complete diaries and may try to get extracts published on different subjects. I am fairly sure the American Friends of the Middle East will have some sort of gathering for me, but I don’t know when I shall return.

My immediate reason for writing is my friend Ray, who comes from Pittsburgh and works in Saudi Arabia. He is returning gradually to the States. He is very anxious to study Yoga. He was planning to go to Bombay but as he also is athletically inclined and again wants to learn how to meditate and concentrate. I strongly urged him to move to San Francisco, and he has your name. It may take some time, but I am inclined to believe he will come about the middle of the year.

Oddly enough there are quite a few books on Yoga on the markets here. It is regarded as strange but apparently nobody identifies it with idolatrous practices, and of course, it is not so concerned.

Physical development is neglected here, even by the army. I would like to see more of it and certainly there are plenty of playgrounds and athletic clubs. The next generation will be very different. I am sure. But one factor may be the absence of teachers. This government is growing rapidly in many directions; It cannot necessarily grow rapidly in all.

I am being rigged for more honors. I came here with a few simple missions but have been taken very seriously on all fronts. This is most true of my relations with the dervishes who are certainly nothing like Prof. “Von Plotz” tells us. “Von Plotz” is a synthesis of at least three men in the S.F. Bay region who earn their living and are connected with at least three different universities. As long as they stand eminent, we shall have a hard plugging in any part of Asia, but there they stand. And one of the not least reasons for Afro-Asian countries adhering to neutralism is that we do not try to find out what they believe and how, either from their own lips or from those who have been accredited by Asians. But not a single one of our “expects” in California is accredited in actual Asia, including here.

I have met the Minister of Culture who was visiting here from India and he gave me an introduction to his office. I am now preparing for my trip to Pakistan Although I shall not be leaving for over a month. I have not heard about the shipment of saris. There were small complications; I did everything possible, and only assume that all is well as I have not received any of my papers back.

But please tell Magaña that personal errands are most difficult. I am busy up to 12 hours a day 7 days a week, and only had one half-holiday even at this New Years and that chiefly to say good-bye to Ray previously referred to.

1960 was a year of wonders and wonderful things for me and 1961 has started out even better. Perhaps even bitterness and resentment will go, and the traces of them that remain are largely because of the very unfavorable international repercussions rising from stupidity and nonsense. Carl Jung is not an expert on Asia and his endorsement of Koestler just about does it. But I haven’t met any Germans who understand Oriental mysticism despite a load of books.

Faithfully,

Sam

 

Dear Norman: I have learned a lot and perhaps I know a lot, but I am not going to remain in the S.F. Bay region either without a fight or without being given open opportunities. Egotists always shun those who know, and usually to their own doom. Because a man speaks Tibetan is no assurance that he knows anything more about South India than he knows about Argentine and because a man gives lectures on Buddhism does not insure us that he knows the minds of the Chinese or Mongols. And because a man knows the King of Morocco gives him no more knowledge of Persian than of Tanganyika or the Ozarks for that matter.

 

 


May 28, 1961

Abbottabad

 

My dear Walt and Magaña:

This morning suddenly I felt the departure of weeks of gloom, a very sudden and as inexplicable as the gloom itself, so I thought I write would to you. It is very possible that this gloom was caused by or related to a Saturnian influence in the chart. Externally the only factors which might produce such a gloom have been the failure to receive letters, or the very cold responses or the rumors that my reports have been rejected and that I am guilty of “spiritual-egotism” whatever that is, for if there are any things further apart than spiritually and egotism I do not know what they are. Not that I am going to plead not-guilty of egotism. But the difference from the scientific attitude which demands factors and events and the “humanist” which is interested in the persons involved rather than the events marks itself off in everything.

I cannot explain this sudden twist of joy any more than I can explain the former gloom. But I am half thinking, if life continues as it has, that when I return we have our picture taken; or that if it be possible I take further courses with you and my pictures be used. For while nearing 65, I do not feel, think or act like it and even less look so. I climbed the mountain nearby the other day—I should say it is at least 2500 feet above the plain and excepting for a few heart-beats, not trouble with either lungs for feet and no rests excepting to look at the scenery. I wish to climb more mountains and probably shall whether for tourism, curiosity, exercise or other reasons.

On my next trip I hope to have an entourage and then enter when I write to people so there can be a continuum. So far as Pakistan is concerned it has been, from the ego-point of view nothing but triumphs. You meet the secretary of President Ayub who is the top intellectual of the country and before any conversation he launches into an unmitigated attack on the “Epoops,” i.e. European Professors of Oriental Philosophy who have been my bêtes noires for some time. When you get this from Princes Poon, Prof. Chatterji, Chaudhuri’s teacher; Rahul, the top Mahayanist of India and Nepal, and a lot of etceteras of the same caliber, it is emphatic enough; but when you cannot communicate it, it is certainly frustrating. The ridiculous situation of not being permitted to enroll as a student in California on certain subjects and not being permitted to enroll as a student in Harvard, either, but accepted there as a teacher ought to show that something is radically wrong, somewhere.

Well, there are no Sufis to account for anything and there are never in politics despite my meeting Syed Mahmud in India who was then Secretary or Minister of External Affairs. No, there are no Sufis. So I go to Lahore and every night a feast, because there are no Sufis. Either I go out, and usually to some mansion or else a grand parade to my friend, Major Sadiq, because there are no Sufis. Period or quit the course.

Major Sadiq and I have the same spiritual teacher, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor. He is a healer and also an advanced disciple. He is known all over Pakistan and people come for miles to have him touch them or bless water. This is a long subject which I shall be glad to take up with you when I return. Anyhow we are planning to introduce “International Sufi Brotherhood” into the United States.

Therefore we were invited twice to the home of Syed Maratab Ali, one of the most wealthy and important persons in this country. I never met so many important big wigs in my life—non-existing according to Landau, Von Grünebaum, and the faculties of Stanford and California, but my stomach protests. I met top generals, justices of the Supreme Court, professors, lawyers, high officials of all sorts—corroborating my meetings with Secretary Shahab, until I could not take it anymore. Plans were afoot, a little ahead of time. When I got back to Abbottabad, exhausted, Syed Maratab Ali died and I somewhat humorously infer that I was too much for him. But he is a living example to the lies given out in the name of Oriental cultures by persons who know very little of this continent but still are “experts”—or you flunk the course.

I spoke in the Punjabi University again—a terrific welcome. I spoke in a huge Mosque. I spoke before two groups of Sufis. I was lei-ed or garlanded until I could not hold my head up and plans were made for the future and all kinds of program started for me. But no, there are no Sufis and they are never important and never important and never in politics or you flunk the course and the Russians jump in.

I have been to holy places. This is all right for Russians who are “irreligious,” but Americans, hands off. I did not see the San Franciscan Abdurrahman Barker this time. He also visits shrines, which is naughty, naughty because we must not interfere with local religions even in a land where everybody is religious and how.

The gloom was enhanced by my totally successful scientific meetings. I know what will be said at home—the UNO or UNESCO or CARE or somebody is taking care of that problem. Period, end of subject. Same old stuff. Now there is nothing I am interested in more than the Tomato if it be not the Soybean. I have been hollering soy-beans and I am glad to say the Soy Bean Foundation, made up of farmers, not propagandists, became aware of it. Well, I visited an Agricultural Experimental Station. They were sent a lot of Soybean seeds by a world famous organization, sixty (60) varieties. One is growing. The others were all unfit. So I have to turn to parent bodies and Japan in hopes, and maybe someday a few Americans will get out of Phant-Asia and look at real Asia.

The same thing happened on many of my other scientific expeditions. I am doing exactly what they want, and in than I think everyone of the scientists I met but one is either a Sufi or interested in Sufism. Which is not going to effect, or maybe it will, our scholastic misrepresentations. The one exception was a story. I was challenged to produce a miracle. “I am not permitted.” “Who does not permit you?” “My spiritual teacher.” “And who is your spiritual teacher?” “Maulana Abdul Ghafoor.” “And who is Maulana Abdul Ghafoor?” A young engineer entered. “I will tell you who Maulana Abdul Ghafoor is for I lived with him two years.” The skeptic ran out as if he had been shot. But of course the engineer could not be a Sufi for these things are not permitted in our classrooms??

All my basic scientific work has been completed but it will take a long time to prepare for my home research and I have some to do here. The chief Forest Botanist, Abdul Hamid Khan, is also from Berkeley. We have gone over the main problems here, which men like Vice-President Johnson do not see. We need food here and for that the land must either be used or reclaimed. We have conferences, the Russians send in experts. American newspapers do not publish contributions from citizens abroad (“Creoles” I call them now) and you never know what is going on. Don’t think I did not know about S.E. Asia long before it happened; nothing mysterious. Friends wrote to me and told me. Any person reporting warnings is a trouble-maker; then we retreat.

Now I also have an important invitation to visit Malay from a friend of the Prime Minister. I suppose such a visit will be either climactic or anticlimactic. One is praying and one hopes not in vain that American will look at Asia as it is, not concepts, not pre-conclusions often from the minds of men who have never even visited the continent, but a grand totality of all kinds of things with a sense of belonging to the universe and infinity rather than being bound by time and other limitations.

At this point I was interrupted by a visitor, went for a walk and we have been invited to a grand gathering on Thursday night which will include folk dancing. I have not had a good chance to see these either in India or here—it always seemed to rain on such occasions, though I did see good dancing, classical and classroom in India.

I am much amused by the paper’s announcement of more mineral discoveries in this region. I do not know what can be done to make American see Asia as it is; or rather accept the reports of their fellows when they return. I have met quite a few “fellows” here and “not a cough in a carload” if you know what I mean. Well that’s enough now. Long time here yet, then long time India, then long time Malaya, longer time no see.

Sam

Dear Sam,

 

Want to thank you for all your lovely letters received.

So glad everything is working out so well for you, and that you are having so many opportunities to speak and to present your spirit and light and love to the world … and all those about you.

It was just great seeing you a few weeks ago at the other studio. You looked glowing as usual … and also thank you so for recommending me to Marcia…. She started with me last week, and she is a fine talented person, and a pleasure to work with.

Thanks again for you kind thoughts and words.

Our own work has been expanding in so many directions … daily fine opportunities and creative expression … and so many young fine beautiful people … we have always had a sincere magnificent talented group of people about us here at the studio and everywhere….

I give thanks daily for the opportunity of sharing my love, light and joy to others….

Om

Magaña

 

 


Sept. 9, 1969

 

Dear Walt and Magaña,

I have your kind invitations to attend affairs at your new headquarters at 149 Powell Street, but they were received too late to do anything about them. I have long given up trying to convince people with presumable interest in Oriental or spiritual matters that the laws of karma apply to them. It is certain in my own affairs that the young are being drawn to me more and more and more, and that the application of spiritual training through chanting and dance is most successful. It is a strange thing and quite apart tram our culture that are more Vietnamese Buddhists in the world than there are Jews, however we define theme, and that there are more members in Sufi Orders than Vietnamese Buddhists and Jews combined. I am not going to try and prove this in this country, but I am now making plans to attend a conference of the real religions of the real world where I shall be given ample time to support contentions based on hard facts of history and humanity.

I am now about to leave on a vacation I hope having had hardly a day off the whole year.

As truth is truth, you should not be surprised that one is becoming welcomed more and more at the universities and by the real professors of real Oriental Philosophy, not derived from textbooks or the academies of the West. You may or may not be surprised to learn that one has been greeted by more and more swamis and gurus and other representatives of living Indian cultures. These meetings have all been in public and those who have witnessed than realize the infinite possibilities of bringing about better understanding through love and devotion, than through all the yakkety yaks of platform spielers.

I am frankly not interested in Sai Baba nor any other claimant to avatarship who seem so unmoved by the poverty and misery of Calcutta. I personally believe and I am willing to stand any test that any person who permits adulation to his ego while masses are suffering will sooner or later in the eternal world have to stand before a bar of judgment. It seems today spurious claimants are not satisfied with a title of Guru or Swami but are Avatars or Messiahs or at the least Sad-Gurus. I haven’t too many of the real Saints, some of whom not even allow their names to be used or mentioned, while they are working for humanity, and I mean humanity, human beings, actualities.

I understand there is another “Messiah” also from Bengal (of course) in this vicinity, waiting to see me. I’ll let him wait.

In India, but not here, I was permitted to debate—in fact in some places I was compelled to debate with the highest spiritual masters—before being admitted into their companies, but Indian debates are not based on egotism and dualisms and knowing this beforehand it was a simple and easy matter to earn the right to associate with them. And I know today a similar requirement is now being established at our universities to determine whether or not a claimant is a fraud or a sage. I do not think a man is any wiser because be makes a more grandiose elate. I am not the least interested in any ego reaction to this letter; I am interested in the rejection of the Gita by so many pretenders: they do not demonstrate any acceptance of the Gita’s teaching “equal minded in pleasure and pain.” I am not interested in trying to prove or disprove—I me interested in watching to see how and if claimants prove their sanctity, their humility and their super-mental acclaim.

I have noticed that at least one of your teachers has declared publically that my own initiate into Sufism was a Saint. And this teacher did not proclaim that he himself was a Saint.

 

 


March 1, 1970

Mrs. Magaña Baptiste

149 Powell St.

San Francisco, Ca.

 

My dear Magaña (and Walt):

How are you? I have inadvertently noticed your name on the program sent to me by one of the metaphysical groups here, and which reminded me that we have not seen each other for some time. Actually, I have no tine off. Perhaps I do not need any time off. But I also recognize that there are certain classes of people to whom you can’t explain anything, so I do not try. Here I am referring to meta­physical persons and groups who in the last analysis seem more involved in personalities than in truth or accomplishment. There is nothing inherently “wrong” in that or them, but some people, and this includes my ego, are interested in accomplishments and not in theories or doctrines or emotional appeals, no matter how worthy. As one does not convince the metaphysical people, even with substantiable facts, one tends to stay away from them. One does not lose anything either by staying away. In a certain sense, one is even happy staying away.

The fact is today one is the ersatz spiritual grandfather of an ever-growing number of young people who are much more interested in spiritual awakening than in lectures on the subject. Nor do they care much shout the prowess of the platform-occupier if he does not deliver.

Today we are doing all and more than Dame Leake verbalized. My main attention in this direction has been the outer manifestation of astrological doctrines, and their involvement in the development of personality. We are not only demonstrating, pragmatizing traditional astrological teachings, but have gone ahead into the seemingly impossible realms associated with the distant planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto—and I mean Pluto and no nonsense. In other words, that which is demonstrable we utilize.

One should have thought that this kind of knowledge would be most welcome in verbalizing occult societies. So long as egotisms and parsonalisms are involved above all (and usually they are) this sort of thing does not go very far, and we haven’t any time to argue—plenty of time to demonstrate.

On March 21 we expect to have a Spring Festival in central Marin County somewhere near Lake Nicasio. We are going to demonstrate what is inferred here. We are not only going to demonstrate. God Willing, this demonstration will be filmed and even televised. This is no doubt a far cry from huh-hush pseudo-occultism.

Although I am accused of being overly verbose, I have seldom told people that my very first teacher in esotericism was a master in occultism in some either moribund or defunct schools of initiation. This does not take anything away. This makes it possible to give—not talk about giving but actually give, giving to those who are willing to receive, and they are receiving. In fact you and your family and friends are invited to come to this public event to witness our dances and demonstrations, to listen to our chants, and to notice what we are doing.

While San Francisco, and especially the metaphysical groups around San Francisco, will largely poohpooh such endeavors, some of us are already working in a much larger field—in fact an international field. For soon we are leaving to attend a conference of all the world’s religions to be hold shortly in Geneva, Switzerland.

You will no doubt remember the giant rally of holy men at The Family Dog. This for me successful venture was followed almost immediately by calls from the near and far, from the youth of the land, from the New Age people, and the road has not turned back at all. No doubt scuttlebutt and grapevine will say what is true or what is not true, but public exhibitions will not only impress or more than impress those who are willing to witness them, but may lead to a further recognition of what may be true regardless of subjective reactions of whomsoever.

In fact I am already booked to lecture on the conference of the religions, and more will come from this source.

Here we are teaching all sorts of things which have been regarded as esoteric or occult. We are teaching them. We are demonstrating them. We are getting students. We are getting earnest students. We are getting the New Age people. We are growing and growing and growing and growing. We are not groping we are growing. And it would seem that putative old age still offers what the gerontologists cannot conceive, and I have no intention of trying to impress them.

I hope you are doing well, for there is now tremendous interest in Yoga. There is even more tremendous interest in the New Age diet, and in pure foods.

Love and blessing to you all,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


May 18, 1970

Walt and Magaña Baptiste

249 Powell St.

San Francisco 92102

 

Beloved Ones of God:

A little event the other day prompts this letter, but first I must tell you of the background. We are no longer concerned with the refusal of various local groups and persons to recognize our backgrounds and abilities. In fact, such recognition today might even be dangerous. The trend and tenor of the day is that if you have been accepted by seniors there is something wrong with you, and if you have been rejected by them there must be something right with you. This is very unfortunate but it gives the key to a lot that is going on.

We attended a real world conference of the real leaders of the real religions of the day. A lot was accomplished. In addition to that there was no sanctimonious egocentric refusals to let this person speak. His real work is just beginning. But as I have always said, “When the Gods arrive, the half-Gods go.”

The efforts of the real leaders of the real religions of the real world to get together was totally successful. This is not going to stop promoters from seeking funds for their own private and often narrow so-called “world” organizations. There are enough wise men and women, enough clever men and women, enough learned men and women, and perhaps enough seers in the world, to at least try to accomplish what can be accomplished for world peace, understanding, and brotherhood. At least some of the young people here (including our good friends at the Family Dog) have sensed this, and more than sensed it. They are planning to renew their efforts to get spiritual leaders together. Perhaps this is as it should be.

There were two immediate aftermaths: one came in the personality-reactions, all distinctly favorable. The other is the acceptance by youth. We do not know which stands out more: barred from certain podiums locally we were given receptions from and at the Royal Asiatic Society and the World Congress of Faiths, no nonsense, and no stupidity masquerading as wisdom. But it is the reaction of youth which stands out the most.

The receptions by young people on the one hand and the growth of our spiritual dances on the other, have given us an endless scope for operations. We have already had pilot television recordings. In addition to that the creative work of disciples in music and dancing, not to say other arts, is being accepted. But it is not only youth that is opening doors, the universities also are opening doors. And as one has gained that great American moral stature, dollars, one may be able, God-Willing, to accomplish considerably more than one was permitted to try in the past. This even covers intrusions into the forbidden land now monopolized by psychiatrists.

But the little events which caused this letter to be written was a visit by a cousin from Houston, Texas. This person was always a black sheep, black goat, black wolf, and black of the family. One outsmarted them simply by living on. Legal and other matters brought the visit from this cousin who had already discovered the gossip about one is entirely wrong, as if gossip-mongers care a bit. For one of those reasons which are beyond reason she asked me about Sybil Leake. Then it came out that Sybil is one other neighbors in Houston, Texas, and seems to be in hiding. Why I don’t know, but there it is.

Well it is come out: all metaphysicians, spiritual leaders so-called, and cult Gurus who preach love and compassion do not practice absolute exclusion. Some of them actually listen to you, actually. The upshot is we are planning a private meeting for astrology teachers only who will be given free demonstrations of our work in what ought to be called esoteric astrology. We intend to show our walks and dances. It will be strictly private. No one will be bound to secrecy or otherwise. Our material may even be plagiarized. It will be to each astrologer to make his or her own decision.

Of course in addition to that we have people going far deeper into the occultism of herbs than Sybil dare approach. We are not the only ones. This is a new day, a New Age, in which honesty, integrity, and knowledge may go hand in hand. We are not going to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes but we can keep this knowledge confined as if to a profession. We are not going to cast pearls before swine.

Our spring dance was totally successful. We had hundreds of youths performing. We are planning an even larger gathering when we return from Lama Foundation. A fully organized summer school is awaiting us. Of course there is nothing to stop older persona from accepting what is obvious, but so long as personalities and leaderships are more involved than knowledge and wisdom, we shall carry on our efforts which seem today to be succeeding in every direction.

Love and Blessings,

Sam

 

 


August 18, 1970

Magaña Baptiste

110 Powell St.

San Francisco, Ca.

 

My dear Magaña:

This letter is for Walt also. I appreciate the invitation to attend the recent concert led by Kyra Nijinsky. I am sorry in one sense it was necessary for me to leave before the performance was over. I have three very heavy classes on Saturday. All of them are on subjects and in directions rejected a priori in the previous generation by persons set up as “experts” on Oriental culture. This day is gone, and the most regrettable thing is that these persons who proclaim the integrative and universal approach have excluded themselves from projects and movements into which they should be fitted if we had any real integration of Oriental and Occidental cultures. I am no longer concerned with being ejected and rejected by self-proud intellectuals. I have just returned from the University of California where I am setting up my own peace scholarship. Today I have a following which is growing and growing even more rapidly than my ability to assimilate them all.

It is utterly stupid on the part of persons and movements which verbally claim universality to deny my existence. There are so many of them but they deny each other even more than they deny me! Morally they would be declared fraudulent, but I have to watch them get the reward of their own karma. They are all establishing mutually exclusive Shangri-las and Shambalas, and they all would welcome money from any source, but knowledge from nobody else.

These stupid money-grabbers are now being denounced by the Universities. No doubt the University would like some of the money themselves. And the Universities are getting some of the money themselves, because they do not go around excluding everybody else. It takes an organization using a title of “world movement” to be champions in exclusiveness.

I have just returned from the University of California where I am setting up a peace scholarship. The department which will first benefit probably there from is that of the Near East Languages. Once they offered me a PhD degree on a subject totally derided by the former American Academy of Asian Studies. That Academy derided me and the University of California offered me a PhD on the very subject which Academy gave me nothing but derision. This is their morality.

It is interesting that when I returned, Alan Watts telephoned—it is the first time he has ever telephoned me—to ask if I could help one of the real institutions dealing with real American-Asian relations, and I honestly could neither give an affirmation or denial.

At the moment I am getting ready to go to the Eastern States with my “Dances of Universal Pace,” the inheritance form the late Miss Ruth St. Denis, which so many good people deny was possible. The good people are all out affirming their own goodness and denying the possibility that goodness might be found in the hands of others. Fortunately, God-Allah seems to have reached quite other conclusions.

He seems to be doing plenty for my offers, and He seems to be approving the sound but simple fact that young people are coming to my meetings more and more and more and more and more.

We are sending a team to Asia to film the spiritual efforts of groups, especially the Sufis, whose very existence is denied by the good people. But this team will also go to India to meet another team which will take films of all the spiritual movements in India not recognized by the good people. We have every reason to believe these films will be highly evaluated by our real intellectual institutions.

In the meanwhile the classes on spiritual dancing are growing. I have five such classes every week and I am sure the Universities will now recognize them. In fact only the good people will not.

Our efforts in every other direction are progressing. I am on excellent terms with the Birla family of India, who are very wealthy and very devout, and also expect to have disciples bring back plenty of saris in the not distant future. I already have two Ras Lila dances of my own, several Hare Krishna dances, and an enormous number of dances derived either from the Sufis or from forms of Yoga which depend upon conscious unity with the deity.

These are only a small portion of present activities.

We are involved in what might be called the New Age food activities in organic gardening and related undertaking. We are not only involved, we are prospering therefore and therefrom. The natural result is that this person works every day and is gloriously working every day.

The public opinion of the top spiritual teacher of Indian is totally different from the public opinions of the good people who have been proclaiming cultural integration. I am sorry. They should have joined real world movements, not as leaders but as beneficiaries. And they can’t.

There is every sign at this writing of world movements, led by young people, to promote peace and understand and those forms of Yoga which mean conscious unity with the deity.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel

Begg, WD Correspondence

September 7, 1966

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti,

(Mr. Samuel L. Lewis),  

772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, California

 

Respected soul-in-me,

What a pleasant surprise to get your gracious letter of 1st Sept. 1966 by Air. It is highly inspiring to the soul, most interesting to me, a humble devotee of Great Sufis, Avatars and the Purified Souls of this sinful world. I am sure it is God-inspired introduction for some “unseen” good in the future. I wonder, how should I admire this Allah’s blessing-in-disguise upon a poor soul like me. I read it and re-read it and enjoyed its contents to my heart’s satisfaction. May God Gracious bless you for the keen interest you took in reading my Brochure “The Miracle of the Holy Saint of Ajmer.”

I am devoted for the past 10 years to the service of translating the “Lives” of the Great Sufi Saints of India who spread the Light of Islam and Peace in this country during the past 800 years. And, thank God, I am successful in this most humble work. Now I am praying sincerely for the publication of my next book The Big Five Of India In Sufism, the manuscripts copy of which is ready. But there is no money—sufficient for this publication as yet. I am collecting funds for it. Brother Musheraff Khan sent me only last week a gracious donation of Rs. 300/- for this work. The Honorable Mr. Justice Mushtaq—Ex-Judge of Allahabad High Court (a great devotee of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti Ajmer) paid Rs. 1000/- and others are coming in slowly. To get the best “modern type” of printing, a sum of Rs. 25,000/- is required for this book. But, I am not afraid of it. These “Big Five” and their great Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin have all the wealth of the world at their feet. They can make my task easy by their spiritual blessing as it was done in the case of “The Holy Biography” of the “Great Saint of Ajmer.” I am praying at his feet and I am sure the day is not far off when God Gracious will grant my prayer. I want you also to pray. The stories of these “five” great Sufis are wonderful and most useful as a lesson for the present world to solve the problem of Peace among mankind. It is a pity nobody cared to translate these grand and miraculous stories from Urdu and Persian into English for general benefit of mankind in the past 800 years. And this tedious work is entrusted to a “poor soul” like me, who had had no proper education even, is an ordinary man broken by the misfortunes of this “age” and has already entered the last stage of his life. But, my dear brother, this is the miracle of God and His beloved souls whether man believes it or not. God is bound to fulfill one’s ambition if it is in the service of mankind and is selflessly sincere and honest.

I am a staunch believer in “Universal Religion” like you. I have greatest regard for all the great prophets of God, irrespective of caste, creed or color. Has it not been preached in the Holy Qur’an which I read every morning?

I know Janab Hassan Sani Nizami personally and intimately and I also knew his father Hazrat Khwaja Hasan Nizami. Mr. Fayazuddin was kind enough to lend me help in the work of “The Holy Biography” which has by now earned hundreds of appreciations for its success in English both at home and abroad. I am writing to Miss Saadia Khawar Khan at her Lahore address with all my literature and am sure she would welcome it.

Please note I have sent 10 copies of “The Holy Biography” of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer to Mrs. Ivy O. Duce, c/o Sufism Reoriented Inc., 1290, Sutter St., San Francisco (94109) USA. She has read it with overwhelming interest. You can get a copy from her easily if you like. I entreat you to give some of your precious time to this publication. You will be in the gracious “comedy” of the Great Saint which is bound to enlighten your heart more. You will never repent it. Mrs. Ivy O. Duce’s Phone numbers are—415-771-2056. I am sending you soon a copy of Secret of Permanent Happiness written by a God-fearing friend, Mr. Ranjeet Mal Mehta, Retd., Judge, High Court, Jodhpur. It is just now in press but will be out by the end of this month. He is also, more or less, a Sufi, a great devotee of Sufi Saints. His essays on modern life are extremely enlightening. I read your letter to him this morning, for he is in Ajmer nowadays on retired list. He admired it highly and has asked me to give him a copy of it as your memento.

I shall write you again on hearing from you and hope to remain in constant touch with you in our mutual interest. It is a great pleasure to know that you will always welcome my humble communications.

I am returning your check for favor of correction. The bankers made a mistake in dating it. Instead of 1-9-66 they typed 9-1-66 which invalidated it for encashment. It is only a typing error. Next time, you can make it payable at the State Bank of India, Ajmer Branch, Ajmer, to facilitate encashment.

I will close it now, for the time being, with prayers for your health and many, many thanks for your check. With salaams and best regards,

Yours obediently,

W. D. Begg

 

 


July 3, 1967

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis,

(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)

772, Clementina St., San Francisco. Calif. 94103.

 

My dear “Self,”

It was indeed a great pleasure to get your kind letter of 25th June (with its enclosure) after a long time on my return from a South Indian tour in connection with the fund-raising mission of my next book The Big Five Of India In Sufism, the MSS copy of which is ready to go to press. I have collected a couple of thousand but I need 16 to 17 thousand for its printing. God is great and the blessings of these 5 saints is also great. Indian Sufis are a poor lot and hence I have to knock at the door of the rich, who can hardly realize the value of my humble work in a world torn by strife and mutual hatred. Americans are rich and good people but I can’t approach them easily. It is both expensive and dreary. How I wish I had someone like you to help me there. I wonder if you can concentrate with your age and ill health on this Divine Mission?

This 2nd book contains the biographies of Hazrat Qitubuddin, Fariduddin, Nizamuddin, Allauddin and Naseeruddin which I have translated from Persian into English for the first time for the benefit of the ailing world and Sufis. It has cost me a lot of money and time and energy. The Sufis of the world can help me if they like.

I am very glad to learn of your recovery from recent illness and also of your success in litigation. But what pleases me most is your intended visit to India and Ajmer for the next Urs of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin, the Spiritual Lord. Apart from this good news, your learned comments on the topics of the day are most revealing and interesting to me. Needless to add that I shall always welcome news and letters from you.

With kindest regards and looking forward to hearing from you again and, of course, to meeting you in the Ajmer Urs,

Yours sincerely,

W. D. Begg

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

25th May, 1968

 

Beloved Soul - May God bless you.

Wa-alaikum-us-salaam. God is Great. It is a great pleasure to have your letter of 15th instant after some long time. It is also a pleasure to learn that you are hale and hearty and your service to God and Humanity is progressing with rapid strides. Ameen.

Thank God, the copy of “The Rajasthan Chronicle” has reached you safely to remind you again of the sacred life and glorious mission of our beloved Pir-o-­Murshid Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti, the holy saint, of Ajmer. This is not the only “review” on this humble-work; there have been 100’s of such appreciative comments on the grand mission of the Great Saint from all quarters, religious and irreligious from India to Europe in the past 7 years. This is an age of publicity and I want as much of it for Hazrat Khwaja Saheb’s message of Love and Peace for the suffering humanity as I can do. If I publish all the bulk of public opinion on this “Holy Biography,” it would be another volume very expensive to publish and circulate.

My work on The Big Five Of India In Sufism had a set-back due to my wife’s sudden death in 1966 (May). Then I had to contend with some other misfortunes too. But, in any case, I did not lose my aim or love or devotion or enthusiasm for this book. They all remain alive by the grace of God and I live on hope of publishing it as soon as I get the necessary price to pay the printers. Those who serve God and His beloved “Ones” have never been rich in the long history of the world. One must remain patient and wait for the Blessings of God; they must come sooner or later. I am not a Sufi but I am a staunch devotes of Sufi saints. My aim is to translate the biographies in English of the Great Saint of Ajmer and his “Big Five” Khalifas as who did wonders with Sufism in this country.

On the 4th of May, 1968, I have had a very narrow escape from a serious attack of Gastro-Enteritis. I have just resumed work after 3 weeks’ complete rest under the doctor’s advice. I must thank God for this further lease of life. I am 72.

With all best regards and good wishes, believe me,

Yours in devotion & service,

W. D. Begg

 

 


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

24th June 1968

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of God:

Your letter of the 25th May has been here quite a while. It was answered and the answer withheld because of the pressure of events. It is very hard to get people who are full of enthusiasm to see that God-Allah works everywhere and not only in their small or big selves. I am only slightly younger than you, but full of vitality having practiced (and I mean practiced) both Sufi and Hindu Yogas, in the sense only that Yoga means “union with God” and not bunches of exercises, tricks, fantasies and metaphysics.

Before God-Allah I have undertaken burdens without depending upon anybody. There is a saying in the Bible, “Unless the Lord buildeth the House they labor in vain” and most people call for outside help when they have ides or “inspirations’, and expect man to help, and never thank those who help but only God. The Sufi expresses appreciation for any help at any level.

It is not surprising then, that the new generation called “Hippies,” and often vilified, are slowly, gradually and definitely coming to this person, a validated spiritual teacher, many times over (but not accepted by the metaphysical money-grubbers).

There was a most beautiful meeting here Sunday. After waiting for over forty years, there is total peace and harmony with Pir Vilayat I. Khan and he gave such a favorable report of you, it has made me very happy.

A funny thing happened today at the bank, uncertain whether to send your (forty dollars) or Rs. 300 and they turned out to be practically identical. But the bank insisted on dollars (which I should have preferred) and hope this cheque will be helpful to you at this time.

I wish also you will send anything you have to

Miss Julie Medlock

Auroville,

Pondicherry, 2

Miss Medlock is a very good friend of mine and is most active in working for the New Civilization or New Age Culture, following in the main the writings of the late Sri Aurobindo. But at the moment, though they seem to have a very wide outlook, they have by-passed the work of the Sufis, especially those of Ajmer and the Moghul Family, but also others extending down to this day. I believe the Sufis have done more in the realm of universal culture than anybody else.

A number of wonderful things came out at the Pir’s meeting. We did no advertising, but invited a few older spiritual friends. The whole house was packed and the impressions were most favorable.

We are going to put into operation as soon as God wills all the things the Pir spoke about. Thus our intention has been to teach the Upanishads. None of this intellectual nonsense one gets from university professors, but real Yogic and mystical practices, especially in the vast domain of the Breath.

Then the spiritual dancing, which has already been started all those things he spoke about will be done and the things he did not mention will not be done exactly as if it had been the Voice-of God (or Nada Brahma) or what you will; to me it was just that. He is representing the Message of God as his father did and not himself and not in any limited sense, “Sufism.”

If you may be needing financial help, I trust to Allah it will come and this also will be taken up. For we are planning to send a committee or group to India, inshallah. I will not give details here, but they will undoubtedly be able to do for Auroville what the “karma-yogins and “purna-yogins” who talkie-talkie-talk will not do, for they have neither the Prajna nor Vijnana.

Besides, the New Civilization is arising here, multitudes of reincarnated Indians who are so easy to awaken, rather than to teach. It is necessary now to double the disciples from 30 to 60 and help fulfill whatever seems to have been in the Pir’s mind and heart. And with God’s help there is no obstacle—something one hopes others will learn.

When the Pir started we gave a Sufi prayer and when he concluded the RamNam and no intellectual or dualistic comments. There was so much love and enthusiasm aroused. It was most wonderful, and every week here seems to be more wonderful, alhamdu lillah.

With all love and full assurances of brotherly corporation.

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


410 Precita

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

September 2, 1968

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of God:

Your airmail of 29 August has been received and read with more than passing interest. I am making a copy of this for Miss Julie Medlock and also for my disciple Sheyla, who should be leaving here in about 3 weeks.

For your information, I have been initiated under 4 different Chisti masters; also, into the Naqshibandi, Rifai, Shadhili, Khadri, Khalandari, and Sabri orders in that sequence. I also had rather complete Sohrawardi training under a Murshid in this region. This hard substantial series of experiences has been shunned also universally in the Western world. Nor is it accepted by the Sufism Reoriented group here. When Vilayat Khan came here from France, it was necessary either to lay our cards on the table or to join in a concerted effort. As the eyes are the windows of the soul, the latter took place.

I am pleased now to state that since Vilayat’s coming my entourage has vastly increased; there are many signs of augmented income; and several universities have succumbed to honest objectivity. I mention this not only as news but because this will open the doors for your writings and efforts in this land.

I am hoping to have a dinner for Professor C. Naim, now at the University of California, acting head of the Urdu—Hindi Division of the department of Near-East languages. Many Indian professors and scholars will be invited. Dr. Naim was in the chair when this person answered many technical questions beyond the scope of the chief orientalists in this land. That is to say, the famous ones could ask questions, but only this by-passed individual could answer them. It is very difficult to impress upon Westerners of dialectical outlooks the truth of mysticism and mystical experiences. Once tested a firm friendship follows; but egocentric people will not test—they are afraid of something, which is only natural. In any event the horizons are all broadening, the outlooks improving, and there is more than an equal chance of my returning to India after my disciple Sheyla comes home.

We would like very much to help Auroville, but we have totally failed to impress upon them the need for proper import permits. I have asked my friend Professor Merchant of Bombay, one of your leading scholars, to help in this. He is now chief director of customs at that important seaport. But we still need the import license.

It is very difficult for some intellectuals to understand ways of heart. The first time I called on Miss Julie Medlock I was accompanied by 3 disciples in Tas­awwuf. She herself benefited from a very important rind Sufi while in Pakistan, Far from being a pauper, he has been most instrumental in financing the undertaking of the new University of Islamabad.

I thank you for the enclosure. The poet Allen Ginsberg is well known to me, but as yet he has had no real mystical experience. The strange by-passing of the views of your former President Dr. Radhakrishnan end your present President, Mr. Zakir Hussein, form impediments in honest East-West cultural exchange. Cultural exchange is not the result of super-advertising. It comes from hearts and minds commingling beyond the differences of race creed and caste.

There is no doubt in my mind that millions of former Indian “souls” are now incarnating in California. I am perhaps the only completely, validated American Guru + Murshid. I not only have fairly complete understanding of all the equipments of Sufism (vide initiations referred to above), but a pretty good working command of Indian Cosmic Psychology etc.

It is most peculiar that many people who claim to believe in karma are also adept in rejecting the qualifications of others. My Indian guru, the late Papa Ramdas, accepted all the gurus of India, but they have certainly not accepted each other, and many whom he recognized, did not accept him.

The divine vision is corroborated be the performance of Tawajjeh and Darshan. This is act and fact, attested by a growing number of young people and very occasionally by one of mature age.

Love unites everything and everybody. When I think of you, I am always reminded of Khwaja Sahib sitting with a great yoga whose name I do not recall; the picture is deeply embedded in my consciousness.

Love is love and not qualified by anything else. Murshid and Mureed are one; and, tat twain asi, and love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

4th Nov. 1968

 

Gracious and Blessed Soul,

Although still in bed due to prolonging illness, yet I cannot delay acknowledgment of your gracious letter of 25th October which I received on 1st November. God be praised for your mystic “Mujahedas” (strivings) without which there has never been a great Sufi dervish. God be also praised fur your vastly increased following, the new Khankah in Novato, and the devoted “mureeds” you have to support this “Temple of God” or Sufism among an affluent, society, now pining for peace-of-mind against overwhelming “materialism.” Indeed the printer-mureed and the book establishment would be of tremendous help not only to cause of Sufism, God and World-Peace but also to a poor soul like me who is devoted to this mission for the Past 14 years single handed in India. It is heartening news to me as it should be to all devotees of Sufism. Allah is Great. When He wants anything to be done for the benefit of mankind, He creates His own ways and means. This is His promise in the Holy Qur’an.

As I see from press reports and as you now confirm in your gracious letter, “there has been a vast increase of interest in spiritual matters here (USA) especially Indian and Islamic.” Sir Bernard Shaw has predicted that West will find peace and happiness in Islam in the future. In any case, I personally feel I should be on a tour of the West to contribute my humble bit to the cause of Sufism, the Sufi Message and the Islam for the suffering humanity. The translation and publication of the biographies of the founder of Islam in India and his big Five Khalifas in English is hailed by all intelligent persons as a most timely undertaking. The West is in darkness and needs modern publicity for the miraculous work and message of Islam and Sufism. There has been a lot of misrepresentation by prejudiced persons against Islam in the Nest. This must be removed by real facts and figures of history.

If I could distribute my books’ literature among the USA Universities, I shall be acquiring a great success. I had posted 200 circulars to various educational institutions some 3 years ago but none, not a single one, ever responded acknowledged. I wasted more than Rs. 300/- in printing and postage. If you get into the Universities, I will be successful.

The Universities and educational institutions are the best places for propagating the Truth about Sufism, as you know.

Perhaps you must have also received the first issue of “The Sufi Messenger” published by International Headquarters of The Sufi Movement, Geneva. Its Editorial Offices’ address is: The Sufi Messenger Quarterly, 434, 35th Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98122 USA. - Publisher & Mg. Editor: Martin E. Dickinson - European Editor: Count Willem Van Bylandt.

I like the enterprise; it meets the need of the times. Although a modest beginning, but with proper support it can be a powerful voice in due course of time, dealing, as it does with Oriental knowledge and giants of Sufism like Maulana Roum, Fariduddin Attar, Hafiz, Inayat Khan, etc., etc. Please get a copy from their Washington address if you like?

I must close it lest the doctor’s may scold me for trespass upon their orders for complete rest. I am improving but slowly. It is enlargement of liver—a dangerous thing at advanced age. But I depend upon the mercy of God and those to whose service I have dedicated my humble mission. They are keeping up my morale and spirits.

Your own prayers, I am sure, will not go unrewarded by The Supreme Lord.

With all devotion and enthusiasm for your success.      

Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

19th Dec. 1968

 

Beloved soul,

I had received yours of 13th Nov. on 18th but ill health caused delay in reply. I crave forgiveness. God be praised your prayers are heard and I am much better now. My work however in heavy arrears. The illness took 3 months and now I am weak to resume work in full swing.

It is gratifying to learn of your dervish dances. They are praised by Hazrat Baba Faridudain Ganj Shakar, the great Sufi saint of India whose full life-story is being printed in The Big Five of India in Sufism. I saw a most fascinating picture of a Sufi dance in “The Muslim Digest” of Durban which I am reproducing in this book.

I have collected Rs. 10,000/- for the printing estimate of this book by now, but the total cost will be Rs. 20,000/- . The spiritual powers of the “Big Five” are working and I am sure I will get the balance on tour which I propose to undertake immediately the doctors permit me. There are certain promises.

This Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is now on tour in India. He advocates “transcendental meditation.” The press gives him front-page headlines and he travels by Air—an expensive thing for a Yogi. He is building a very costly modern ashram in the Hardwar Hills, lavishly furnished. Replying a question at Ahmedabad recently, he said, “at present I get the money from U.S.A. where it is in plenty.” I wonder why we can’t get the small balance or a part of it for our coming book which is a solid, useful, everlasting, inspiring, instructive and highly illuminating service to the cause of Sufism? The American public is philanthropic. They can help us only if they can know about my work. Cannot you manage to put a small advertisement in the “New York Times”? I can prepare a write-up. I am very desperate to get the book out as soon as possible now, after all the huge expense of time and money in its research and compilation work. I am eager to know your views on this matter, and also your blessings.

I have received 2 copies of “The Sufi Messenger” which has been launched by the Sufi Movement International Headquarters of Geneva. It is the organ of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Mission and contains very interesting articles on Sufism. It’s Editor, one Mr. Martin B. Dickinson (Editorial Offices—The Sufi Messenger quarterly, 434 35th Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98122, U.S.A.). Did you get a copy of this publication? It is worth reading. I think it is a step in the right direction. The get-up & printing are nice. I have written to the President and others of this organization about my coming book.

I eagerly await Mr. Hussein’s letter. Perhaps he will stock some conies of “The Holy Biography” in his establishment for ready sale and thus help the cause of Sufism. Geneva and Holland people admire this work very much. But the material in “The Big Five” is rare—it is the juice of Five Great Sufis’ lifelong experiences with particular chapter on Hazrat Ali Eujwari Data Ganj Baksh of Lahore’s masterpiece to the cult of Sufism embodied in his book “Kashful Mahjoob.” I am collecting some literature for your new Khankah’s secretariat to be posted by the following mail. Perhaps you will keep it there on exhibition for your mureeds information.

I now close it with best prayers for the success of your work and the Khankah, and hope you will keep my humble work always in view for further financial help from your circle in U.S.A. Sufism needs publicity; publicity needs money and if Mahesh Yogi can get tons of it, why can’t we?

May God help us.

Yours sincerely

 

 


The Garden of Inayat

910 Railroad Ave., Novato, Calif. 94947

6th February, 1969

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:    As-Salaam Aleikhum

It is some time since I have had a letter from you and it has been unanswered due to the enormous amount of work and the burdens of life quantitatively. It is almost impossible to surmise this quantity and it is the great miracle (karamat) that now in my seventies, one faces life with utmost vigor and save on rare occasions the health is marvelous.

There is no doubt that this is due to a combination of the Grace of Allah (to Whom be all praise) and the pursuit of the practices assigned respectively by the late Hazrat Inayat Khan whose remains are in the Dargah Nizam-ed-din Auliya in Delhi and of the living Pir Sufi Barkat Ali of Salarwalla in Lyallpur District of Pakistan. Both of these Murshid’s were devotees of the Chisti School, plus other tariks, and both have had a profound effect on the way of life, though I live among the “kaffir Feringhis”).

I am disturbed by your being disturbed by want of funds. I myself was over $900 American in debt in the month of January and by karamat a mysterious cheque for a thousand ($1000) dollars arrived, wiping out this debt and enabling me to carry on under much better circumstances than in previous years. But this is very necessary because of the constantly growing following particularly among the young. For there is a spiritual revolution going on. There is a desire for the Living God and the question is what does the Living God (Al-Hayy) want? I do not assent that people are “Muslims” because they follow a pattern. As the Grand Sheikh Al-Alawi, visiting here from North Africa said, people are Muslims who surrender to Allah, not because they follow formulas. And the modern science demands more than rituals or formulas to prove anything at all.

I feel, inshallah, that it is necessary to prove by life, not by argument that Allah is (which is assumed and not proven mostly); and that he is closer than the neck-vein (which is absolutely assumed without any proof whatever). The result is that the young are turning away from religion, which is imposed anyhow, and seeking Truth and they are alive and awake to the Truth. And when I teach the young, Ya Hayy! Ya Hakk! they recover from diseases of all sorts, find the Living Allah and pursue the path of self-realization with zest, though this is far, far from orthodoxies.

Recently an editor asked for stories about Sufis and I told him that I was not interested in relating tales of miracles of the past, especially enigmatic or doubtful ones, as the proof of anything at all. But I assured him if he wished tales of living Sufis, that would be different. In the past this meant one was shunned, but now, Alhamdu Lillah, an editor has accepted.

This is all to the point. I have before me The Holy Biography of Hazrat Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti. It assumes much, too much for the scientific age. Yes I myself have had such an experience at the cell of Bakhtiar Khaki which supports to me many of the tales you have given. If they are relegated to the past only they deny that Allah is Al Hayy and no argument has any value. Every day I repeat a number of times Ya Haya Wa Khayyum and this has been realized which keeps this body and mind in fine fellow and constantly confused the critics and enemies, for they are unable to explain the vitality.

I was also pleased to see the picture of Hazrat Pit Zamin Nizami Saheb who was my host in my visit to Ajmer. And Fayazuddin Sahib of Hyderabad, Deccan, has been my host and friend, and in many ways my spiritual brother.

Many times I used to see in visit a huge iron kettle filled-with rice, many times. And when I entered the compound there it was and I can understand therefrom your dedication to Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur.

But I fail to understand the criticisms of Emperor Akbar after your dedication in Love and, Good-will with your final tribute to two of the Presidents of India who were not “Muslims” in the traditional sense, although I have no doubt of their devotion to the Living God, as above. It is inconsistent and not proven.

Now I realize in writing this letter and also in my social and intellectual functions here that I shall be subject to criticism—it has always been that way. But having had the good-will and blessings from The Inner Planes of the Great Saints whom you justly admire, my introduction of dance patterns into spiritual matters will be met with rages and ranges of hostilities from people who verbalize good-will. It is not true that most Muslims accept Mohammed, on Whom be Peace, as the Seal of anything. They say, but they go no further than saying.

The Prophet David gave us both Music and Dancing as ways to spiritual realization. And there is no doubt that Mohammed himself really accepted the contributions of his predecessors though the majority of his followers dissent. Nor is there any valid discussion of Wujud. A book is written in English, ostensibly for the Western world and terms are assumed, not explained. The non-Muslims can hardly understand what you are writing about and the majority of the orthodox in what is called “Islam” (which has little to do with any surrender of any kind or any peacefulness of any kind) will criticize your work.

As soon as arguments enter into Ruhaniat, it is no longer Ruhaniat. There is no doubt in my mind that Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus (on whom be peace) reached their eminencies without adhering to any Shariat. Yes, they prayed, fasted, gave alms, had their pilgrimages and proclaimed Unity, though not in Arabic and it seems as if Allah has accepted them and the Divine Messenger also accepted them, but not most Muslims who only accept the Qur’an and thus ignore the scriptures of other peoples no matter what they say. The proclamation (which is very dear to me) that Allah has sent His Messengers to all peoples is strengthened by the fact that there have been Divine Messengers who brought codes but not written scriptures and their teachings are most wonderful though confined to Anthologists and Archaeologists.

The Heart full of love is not concerned with doctrine. The Bismillah either means what it says or it does not. If it means what it says it should be most effective and we have found it is most effective.

We are now introducing Dancing and rituals based on the Sifat-i-Allah One will be accused of making “innovations” and absolutely pleads guilty. But these “innovations” are winning the admiration of a growing number of young people who have given up religion in almost every sense of the term, but they have not given up God and they certainly are accepting Allah at a rate no missionary has succeeded in.

It is so easy to write about the Auliya, etc. But are they realities? Are we referring to living men? to those that lived only in the past? or to some abstraction which wins our admiration and convinces nobody else? This is the way of Orthodoxy. The way of Reality is to accept the experiences of others and do this without condemnation. When it became evident that an ever growing sector of the human race was demanding experience beyond the material and took to bizarre ways to experience—and I mean experience, this person began Joy Without Drugs. His efforts seem to have the Living Allah for the respond of the young grows weekly, and this week, curiously, there are requests from both Jews and Christians. One cannot be assured of anything but one can repeat the words of a former Teacher, “I come to bring you the Message of the Living God.”

There are all kinds of pseudo-teachers here, especially from India. They often charge large amounts for what they call “Yoga” which has nothing to do with living God-realization. Among a multitude of so-called Krishna-devotees, hardly one or two realize, experience Krishna. What good is that? We are having the experiences and with that the charges of heresy, of course. They go together, but this very situation attracts more of the young.

We have no “moral” teachings. We repeat the Sifat-i-Allah not as epithets and characteristics of some Abstraction named “God” or “Allah” but the epithet of Life Itself, that Life is God, Al-Hayy. And we find all these Attributes in the Living God, and so they belong to man, made in the Divine Image, actually, not abstracting or symbolically. Thus man has within him all the Beautiful Names, the Beautiful characteristics, and by repeating Wazifas the Sifat-i-Allah begin to manifest in human beings, with mostly Strength stress for the men and Beauty for the women, always remembering that Allah is One and in Him all Attributes are found together, separated by the minds of men.

When we become aware of the Living God (Allah, Al-Hayy) we promote Peace and find Peace and out of that fountain all the other good and beautiful characteristics through mankind, made in the Divine Image. I am not concerned with traditions, I am concerned with human experience and I see ways out of the turmoils of the day. Those who join in recitations and dancing experience this and their questions are answered. It is a New Day, my brother, a dance of universal love and brotherhood and not of sham words masquerading at eternal veridities and values.

One never loses sight of Love, Beneficence and Compassion. Anyone can use empty words. The strength of Baraka (barkat) especially as transmitted through the Chain of the Sufis is exceedingly great. The one also surrenders to the living God removes the energy-resistance to it just as the copper has less energy-resistance to electricity. To say one is a channel is one thing. To demonstrate this in the application of Zikr to the Dervish Dancing is another. We have two forms of dance, one based on Zikr and the other on the Sifat-i­-Allah as expressed in the Wazifas. It does not take long to win hearts that way for one never forgets that the “soul is born a believer” and that everyone is essentially the Beloved of Allah. “Allah loves His offspring more than a mother loves her children.”  Allah undoubtedly does and the hard fact that Muslims do not, and other religionists and non-religionists still less does not detract from the Rahmat of Allah.

Narrow minded people of every faith and no faith, perceiving the “sins” of the world, blame. The Malamatiyas do not throw blame and they are willing to accept blame. Religionists do not accept the words of Isa: “Judge not that ye be not judged.” Whatever their “faith” they delight in judging and condemning. And so the world is in chaos because the “good” people delight more in judging and condemning than in loving and offering mercy and compassion tote world. There is no end to the value of repeating the Bismillah.

The Prophet, on whom be peace said, “My words can never abrogate the words of Allah but the words of Allah can abrogate my words.” Nonsense! Who accepts that? Only a few Sufis perhaps, not otherwise. And so legal codes, very valuable for certain times and places and institutions very valuable for certain times and places are fostered on the world and fail, because they do not come from the Throne of Allah. What comes from the Throne of Allah is Infinite in all respects and this Throne is found in the heart of man.

With all love and blessing,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

(Samuel L. Lewis)

 

 


410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

April 18, 1969

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Dear Ram,

You have been very kind to me to send a brochure in regard to Saint Sachcha Baba. I greatly appreciate your kindness. It comes at a time when the Indian students here are very active, and we are hoping to cooperate with them. No doubt I shall place this brochure in their hands.

But there are some things I do not understand. Why should Adi K. Irani, quondam secretary to the late Meher Baba, be concerned with another supposititious Saint or Avatar? I personally am sick and tired of the long parade of so-called super-personalities. I do not see the problems of India solved, nor do I believe they will be solved by homage to fleshly beings. I firmly believe La Illaha El Il Allah. I believe that He presents and re-presents His eternal Message through what we may call avatars, and in this I do include Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Christ, ending with Mohammed (on whom be peace). I think it is utter and absolute sacrilege to be constantly adding to this list without there being any evidence other then the emotions of personalities.

It may shock you to have me say I don’t give a damn for any league of planets and stars or for the welfare of any sentient being not of this earth, somehow, sometime. I believe absolutely Tat Tvam Asi, and I repeat, I don’t give a damn for any Maharaj, and I do have utmost solicitation for every peasant and outcaste as well as for human beings who are more fortunate than the peasants and outcastes.

I am teaching effacement, and I mean effacement, in Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. I see no homage to them in classifying every admired Hindu and no non-Hindu in the same ranks. I see a great value in studying Holy Scriptures. I see no value in the endless divisions in India and sometimes in other lands, each with a separate Saint, a separate Avatar, a separate Sadguru—nobody is satisfied with gurus any longer.

I understand we are soon going to have one Sai Baba come to this land. No doubt he will be welcomed. I should like to see one of these saints or holy men do something to stop war, to mitigate poverty, to extend a loving hand to those in need, lead in worshipping and decry those that worship them.

This no doubt is strong language. I have been called to account here for not using strong language. I think this is the only way to awaken those who regard other than God (Allah, Ram) for worship. To me it is sacrilegious and disgusting.

My dear friend, beloved of God, I shall be glad to take back every word I have said if your own problems are solved. By standing firm for the One Only Being and for none else, I have seen one after the other of my problems dissolve. Today I am doing, teaching, dervish dances, Mantric dances, Yoga dances, etc. They are communicable, and every single week this year my total audiences have been larger than the previous ones. Every sign that it is still mounting. Not only that but God Himself must be pleased, for my income is mounting. You have been crying about this. I would like to help you, but God Himself says that you must turn to Saint Sachcha Baba for help now, and not to me. This is your test and not mine.

I have gone all through this with the followers of still another avatar (India has so many?), Anandamayi.

Praise be to Allah, I am now definitely following in the Path of Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti, whom I thought you revered. I have introduced spiritual choral singing. It has been most effective. People are beginning to accept that God is—not that this saint or that saint or sadguru is. This music is electric and electrifying. And the other day when I chanted Azan before a group of Kaffir Feringhis they were spellbound, and I was spellbound to learn that they were spellbound.

In the service of God I forget both my egotistic pride and super-egotistic humility.

To me love is the greatest miracle. And I am intensely in supporting The Holy Mission of the “Chisti” Order of Indian Sufism. When I am assured that you intend to devote yourself to that I shall certainly cooperate financially as well as otherwise. La Illaha El Il Allah.

Faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

22nd April 1969

              

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

410 Precita Avenue,

San Francisco, USA.

 

My dearest Soul,

It was a great pleasure to get your letter of April 18 today, and to know that the brochure of Saint Sachcha Baba reached you safely. Nowadays postage is very dear and if letters or mails are lost in transit, I am extremely disheartened. I depend on post office very much for my mission’s work and because money is hard earned, hence the letters are precious to me in the service of God and His beloved friends.

I entirely agree with you in the true philosophy of La Illaha El Il Allah all else is secondary. In fact, all “else” ultimately merges with the Supreme Divine. The roads are different but when the pilgrims reach Him, He embraces them All—irrespective of the path or road one has to travel to get unto Him.

I am sending a picture by separate Book Post tomorrow in the hope that it will reach you safely, and that you will be kind enough to send me its acknowledgment immediately you get it. It contains “portraits” of six greatest Sufi saints, though it is only the artist’s imaginary dream, because pictures or photographs of Islamic saints are strictly forbidden and there was no photographic science during their times. It was feared that the people may resort to idol worship if pictures of saints or prophets were current in the world after their demise. But this picture must help you to attract more disciples of this modern age. Perhaps you will hang it in a frame in your study?

My health has given me much trouble in the past 10 months. I however went to seek blessings of Hazrat Allauddin Saabir of Kalyar and the 3 great saints of Delhi last month. In Delhi I drew up an estimate for printing “The Big Five” with the help of “The Statesman” press. It comes to Rs. 46,000/- to get out a really illuminating edition like The Holy Biography. I am not dejected at this estimated price. I have faith in God that He will manage to provide this sum soon by His grace. I need now only 50% more. And I need the necessary sound health to accomplish this ambitious to task of my life. When God wishes to help, He does it through “unexpected” sources as He did in the case of The Holy Biography.

I am printing another “Special Bulletin” to introduce my forthcoming book The Big Five of India in Sufism in advance of its publication to attract public attention as I did in the case of The Holy Biography. It is in the hands of my printers just now. As soon as it is out of press, I will send you a copy by Air if possible. This “Bulletin” contains a part of my “Preface” and the “List of Contents” of the Book with an appeal for help. It has been a costly affair to compile and do the research work. It has cost me Rs. 5000/- so far, apart from its estimated cost as indicated above. Never mind, once it is printed, it will be all in a good and noble cause, a selfless service to Islam, God and humanity wherein money has no value.

Avatar Meher Baba kept us waiting for years to speak out his missions’ purpose but, it is a pity, he was not able to do so till his last breath and his disciples and public wire left guessing as he passed away. Anyway, he was a sort of a Sufi. I wish, like other Sufis, he should have given peace and solace to the suffering humanity before departure. May God bless his soul. Islam respects all devotees of God, even its foes. With profound regards and love, Yours sincerely,

W.D. Begg

 

Six of the Greatest Sufi Saints of Islam

From left to right:

Ashraf-ul-Aulia, Khwaja-e-Khwajagaan, Sultan-ul-Hind, Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti, the Holy saint of Ajmer, with his mausoleum at Ajmer.

Shaheed-e-Ishq Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki of Delhi with his mausoleum at Delhi. He was the first Khalifa or “spiritual successor” of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti of Ajmer, the founder of Islam and Chishtia Silsila of Sufism in India.

Hazrat Baba Fariquddin Ganj Shakar of Pak Patan (in Pakistan) with his mausoleum. He was one of the greatest Khalifas of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer who rendered meritorious services to the cause of “Chishtia Silsila” or Sufi saints in India after the demise of his Pir-o­-Murshid Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki of Delhi.

Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadar Mohiyuddin Jilani of Baghdad—one of the greatest names in the Sufi world. In each of his lectures in the support of La Elaha Illillah, 70,000 persons adopted this “Kalima” of Islam. One of the greatest saint orators Islam has ever produced to prove to the pagan world that “there is only One God and Mohammed is his prophet.”

Hazrat Sharfuddin Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, the great Qalandar saint of Panipat (near Delhi). He has a most peculiar and amazing history of his mission in the service of Islam in India. Two ferocious lions always remained in his attendance in the work of God.

Sultan-ul-Mashaikh Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia, Mehboob Elahi (beloved of God), of Delhi and his mausoleum at Delhi.

 

(Note—Pictures or photographs are strictly forbidden in Islam. These pictures are therefore only an imaginary dream of the artist to meet the demand of the public who are madly in love with these great Sufi Saints. Their full life stories or biographies will be found in my coming book The Big Five of India in Sufism—first and only English version ever written.

W. D. Begg.

Author of

The Holy Biography of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer,

The Big Five of India in Sufism.

 

W.D. Begg’s Office, Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer (India)

22nd April, 1969

 

Presented to Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti with Best Compliments and Love

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

April 28th, 1969

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum. Year letter of the 22nd has brought both joy and satisfaction, but there is a strange note—it is as if you had the problems and Allah came and answered this person as if he were the one with the problems you have. Praise to Allah but every month, nay every week this year has shown an improvement over the last. The attendance at meetings grow, the number of mureeds and candidates grow and the collections at meetings increased. This at a time when there has been entire satisfaction with my personal affairs in all directions.

We had a seminar on mystical experience here and it came out wonderful. In the past these affairs have always been in the hands of some “famous” person who determined everything by personality and never by experience inner or outer. To me science is learning through outer experience and mysticism is learning through inner experience, but both are ways of knowledge and in a sense, directly or indirectly ways to God.

The introduction of Dervish dancing was followed by Mantric dancing and now slowly Yoga and ceremonial dances and rituals. These all came out of the akasha and the future generations will accept what the passing ones will not: “In the hour ye think least the Son of man cometh.” God is not restricted to certain personalities. Nor to the philosophers who praise Sankara that God is in everybody and then deny it to certain ones, generally to the majority.

I should like to have joined the Sri Aurobindo movement but when they elevate politicians and degrade mystics and won’t accept Akbar or even President Zukair Hussein it puts one in a ticklish position.

My teacher taught: “Open Thou our hearts that we may hear Thy Voice which cometh constantly from within.” But today there are so many cults, groups, all verbalizing cosmic consciousness and integration and brotherhood and then denying it to others. The openness of my work, the acceptance of the spiritual methods of all schools is bringing an ever greater following among the young. It may well be that “Say Allah and Allah thou shalt become.” The effectiveness is marvelous and scores of young people who used to resort to drugs now join both in La Illaha El Il Allah and Om Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram!

There has not been the slightest questioning of my own choral based on Ya Mohammed Abdullah, Mohammedar Rassoul Lillah.

It has been so electric and effective. And one is now called to visit some of the other Western States. I should have preferred to prepare to go to India but the non-acceptance of the mission of Akbar makes it imperative that I go where people will listen to the story of Akbar and Fatehpur Sikri and even to “The Religion of the President of India.”

The words and choral ideas both spring from Our Saint. I am thoroughly in accord with all you report and am not in the least troubled by subjectivities. I have visited the tombs of many saints and had either communion or even open vision of them so am not disturbed by subjectivities. Nor by the refusal of people proclaiming brotherhood and a New Age to accept these experiences, or similar ones from other sources.

This week we dedicate The Garden of Allah and have a “tamasha-shindig” at The Garden of Inayat. We shall formally dedicate both a pottery work and printing establishment and later may have the means to house them, Inshallah.

Here inwardly I represent the Chisti-Kadri-Sabri movement but outwardly the Chisti-Kadri-Khidri movement. This is based on actual experience and awakening.

As the older people disappear, the young will accept. One is tired of hearing about claims from those who deny one’s relation with God. Whatever has taken place inwardly has never lead to the denial of others but one is tired of accepting those that deny and sometime do nothing more than deny.

I am far more disturbed by ego-worship than by idol-Worship.

In our Dervish dancing we have a movement for health an so tonight we shall remember you with our Ya Shaffee! Ya Kaffee!

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

6th May 1969

 

Beloved Soul in-the-garb-of-man,

Wa-Alaikum-us-Salaam wa barakaat-o-hu. I am glad my poor letter of 22nd April reached you safely and hope the “Picture” (referred to therein) will also reach you safely. Believe me, I don’t find words to thank you for your cheque of 20 dollars towards the expenses of the nobly cause. Your previous contributions are also on record in the books of my humble mission. These due encouragements help me immensely to go on in my work.

The promised “Bulletin” is nearing completion and, if God wishes, it will soon be in your hands to enjoy the “Preface” of the coning book—the wonder book on Sufism and Great Sufi dervishes, on their teachings and amazing services to the cause of God, religion and humanity. God gracious is listening to my and 100’s of my patrons’ prayers for my health which is on much better side now. Of course, your own congregation dance’s prayers cannot go unheeded in this respect. I have no other interest whatever in this world now, except the service of the Great Saints belonging to All Religions.

I purpose to send you another extremely interesting ”Picture” of “Sufi Dance” in ecstasy with a complete description of what it means to a Sufi. I shall try to send it with the copy of the “Bulletin” which is engaging all my best attention for the time being. God gracious has given me due strength, after 10 months’ serious illness, to supervise its printing in the press, though the press-people gave me enough trouble this time.

It is heartening, to know that your “seminar” proved a great success and that success awaits other progressive schemes in the service of God, specially the printing establishment in which I am keenly interested. If you move out on your anticipated tour of other Western States, please don’t forget to keep in touch with me. This year, I shall have to work very hard to bring out the book. How lucky I am to receive your prayers for my health in your Dervish dances? Is it not the favor of Allah, the gracious and Mighty? Best regards and wishes for the time being. Hope to write again very soon.

Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

P.S. A great soul, Dr. Zakir Hussein, passed away on 3rd May, 1969, at 11:40 while in bathroom. His heart trouble in these days has been causing havoc. But it is all a means. “To every man upon this earth, death cometh sooner or later.” He was a great soul indeed. A religionist and God-fearing person, he was. May his soul rest in peace. He was buried with all due honors at 9 P.M. last night (5th May).

 

 


13th May, 1969

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum. Thank you for your letter of the 6th. It is a great joy to hear from you. One attended the memorial service for President Hussein and said to the local Consul: “That man was myself; I was commemorating my own funeral.” He understood.

There are things which happen by Divine Grace. Two different disciples have recently performed miraculous healings. And the Dervish Dancing is expanding—more forms, more performers and better response. We now have both Zikr and Kalama as the basis for both dancing and chanting and it is almost like a new Ajmer is being born here, Inshallah. True, the Hadith say, “In that day will the Sun rise in the West and all men seeing will believe.” And you will find us “Kaffir Feringhis” changing the praise of Allah and the self-centered “Muslims” engaged in politics.

I have asked that copy of The Oracle be sent air-mail; it may cost a little but will save time, or at least a portion on the dervish dancing. People will object to the mingling of sexes but in my work there is no sex, merely the human being.

The result of the “seminar” was most gratifying and has opened the doors at another college where one speaks on Sufism and on mysticism generally. The response is very different. Data Sahib taught that ecstasy was good for the young and this Murshid teaches it is better than the psychedelic drugs which have upset the whole Nation and apparently other parts of the world. Even now one teaches Irfan, the use of the word-sound “Allah” for the alleviation of ills. The Hindu and Buddhist practices, while welcomed, do not seem in the end to awaken the heart and remove the pain. Otherwise one accepts their techniques.

One is now beginning to write up these dervish dances. The local secretary says he will enclose copies which will give an idea of what we are doing.

All love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

25th May ‘69

 

Holy Soul, My benefactor,

May the blessings of Allah be with you and your divine work. I have much pleasure in acknowledging receipt of:

your gracious letter of 13th May,

page from “Oracle” showing your “Spring Dances”

your-portrait from a newspaper cutting, and

explanatory notes on “Spiritual” or Dervish Dance.

I read and enjoyed every word of them, the technology behind the Dervish Dance and so many other enlightening hints. I have promised you a “rare picture” of the “Heavenly Dance” of ancient Sufi dervishes reproduced in a very interesting article by Dr. Annemarie Schimmel of Ankara University in the “Muslim Digest.” Published from Durban (S. Africa) by Mr. Mohammed Makki. This dance with “Sama” is also called mystical dance of the Moulvi Dervishes. The great Maulana Rum said about “Sama” and its accompanying “mystical dance,” as under:

“Sama” is an essential like prayer (namaz) and fasting (roza) for a mature Sheikh and is “mubah” (permissible under the Shariat) for a pure disciple. Allah is a complete pleasure and belief is a complete joy.” Sama, is the singing of the dervishes while they dance.”

Dr. Annemarie’s article is a most interesting one and, if I get time, I propose to send you a typed copy.

I have brought out yet another “Special Bulletin” to propagate my next book’s publication, a few copies of which I am today sending you by separate Book Post by surface mail. The postage even on printed matter from India to USA is horribly high by Air Mail. So I am compelled to use the surface mail which is too slow.

Perhaps you know that “Hazrat Makhdoom Allauddin “Saabir” the great saint of Kalyar (one of the “Big Fives” I am keenly interested in) conducted the funeral service (Namaz-e-Jenaza) of his own, himself, to the surprise of his beloved disciple Hazrat Shamsuddin Turk of Panipat, which was attended by all great saints, Abdaals, angels, etc. etc. So you commemorated “your own funeral” at the memorial service of the late Dr. Zakir Hussain. This mundane world can hardly understand such divine things from divine personalities. I, as a true devotee of and believer in Sufism, can understand them.

It is a historic fact that the Great Saint of Ajmer spread the gospel of Truth all over India and many of the far Eastern countries. I read in the papers that USA is coming up in search of “spiritual” pleasure, comfort, solace and guidance. It seems to me the blessings of God and the Saint of Ajmer that you are deputed to do this duty in USA. Allah be praised; He is All-powerful. Let the misguided mankind of 20th century forget Him, but, I am sure, it will be given a lesson of those previous rebels of God whose mention is repeatedly made in the Holy Qur’an. I am watching if the scientist’s rocket would succeed in putting man on the moon. What is the human gain in this mad squander of poor people’s hard earned money when millions die of hunger? Surely the time is near for another lesson for man and he will get it.

Urdu couplet:

“Barson falasfi ki chunan aur chunin rahi,

Lekin Khuda ki beat jahaan thi wahin rani.” (Poet Akbar Allahabadi)

Yet another beauty of “truth.

“Hazaar science rang laye hazaar qanoon ham banayen,

Khuda ki qudrat yahi raheigi hemari hairat yehi rahaigi

(Trans: Let science proclaim a thousand successes and let man frame a thousand laws, yet the ways of Almighty God shall ever remain unchanged much to our bewilderment. (Akbar of Allahabad).

A Sufi dervish is above sexes but his disciples must be strictly rigid in Sufism; the woman also has the same Atman.

I am sending a copy of my above mentioned Bulletin to the Editor of The Oracle also. Perhaps he will give due publicity in his columns in the Service of Sufism?

I am not a Sufi myself by action, practice or constant devotion. But I am one of the most humble devotees of all Sufis striving hard to explain Sufism and its benefits to the English-reading world with all my poor resources and strength. Thank god, I am fit again after 10 months’ illness With all homage and humble devotion, Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

June 9, 1969

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum: One is very happy to have letter no. 319-69 which was received several days ago, along with the paper on “The Holy Saint of Ajmer.” I am glad you sent two copies so one can be shared. Just now we are going through two crises of opposite natures, and I am sure, with the help of Allah, they will be solved.

One receives considerable mail from leaders of all faiths, and it is very noticeable that Muslims very seldom allude to Allah and that they use glibly the terms “Qur’an and Hadith” without giving any direct reference. What is worse, the reports from the so-called leaders of other faiths are even more degrading. Each religion has assumed that its own followers are good, noble, and privileged, especially privileged. The very moral laws that they are supposed to uphold are laid aside in connection with the behavior of their devotees and rigidly used to point out the weaknesses of the devotees of other faiths or of no faith. With respect to the Muslims, one continually quotes “Say Allah and leave them to their devices.” But self-privileged Muslims do not say Allah, and all over the world devotees do not leave anything to anybody else’s devices.

It seems to have pleased Allah, to Whom be all praise, that one has become a leader of an ever-growing number of young people chiefly through the use of music and dancing. Also one has within the last year established excellent relations with many university professors and sometimes with dignitaries of these Universities. This is exactly what the late Hazrat Inayat Khan, of blessed memory, wanted. It has taken almost 16 years to date to bring this result about. His many followers, divided by their adherence to nufs rather than Allah, refused to accept his wishes. One has had to go through all the trials of “The Cave” but now with the help of Allah Al-Hayy Al-Haak, it seems that every step one takes has been successful. It is notable that out of the growing following exactly two persons are among the mureeds here because of self effort. All the rest from the grace of Allah. And as you say, what one does is not so important as keeping the Remembrance which we do.

Very shortly I shall enroll at a University here in a course on poetry writing as the result of study of Oriental Philosophy. I shall bring to class copies of “Saladin” or portions thereof written in hal, in fana-fi-Rassoul, whence the glorious Messenger often dictated word for word, etcetera. “Saladin” is not my masterpiece. The masterpiece, inshallah, comes from experiences in fana-fi-lillah. When the time comes, it will be resumed. But only last night one of my Khalifs-designate reported a divine experience with a vision also of the other Khalif-designate. I am therefore taking the liberty to send a copy of this each to Pir Hasan Sani Nizami and Fayazuddin Nizami of Hyderabad, whom I consider my “equal” brothers in the mighty cause of Allah. One has to do this because of the threats of legal restrictions quite contrary to the whole spirit of Sufism. The late Hazrat Inayat Khan had to give up his work because of legal restrictions. The grace of Allah is not and cannot be circumvented by any group whatsoever without also the grace and blessings of Allah. There are now a number of so-called Sufi Movements in this land, and I do not know any which accept the full Sufic interpretation of La Illaha Il Illa Allah.

Last week this person was thrown into a state of intoxication (sukr) when his mureeds sang Zikr. It was tremendous, it was glorious, it was beautiful; it was just like Ajmer. And sometimes one considers the Hadith “In that day shall the sun rise in the West, and all men seeing will believe.”

I do not know which has provoked the most pleasure—your letter or your publication. Here in America we have had no separation of sexes. Here in America I find women equally avid in their devotions, prayers, and esoteric practices (Ryazat). True up to the present time, there has been more lifting of veils among the men although in the field of Cosmic Vision some of the women mureeds, all young, are more advanced.

I am pleased to learn you are in good health. I find, though in the seventies, one has unusual vigor of body, mind and heart. One practices in absolute faith the repetitions of Zikr, and Sifat-i-Allah. From this Sifat I am bringing to the Western world, by the grace of Allah, psychic, moral, and mystical sciences. Man cannot prevent this. Man has nothing to do with the lifting of veils. My own life has made the blessed Mohammed (on whom be peace) a sort of super-guru through whom I have learned much of the wisdom end mysteries of all faiths, all living faiths, and some extant only in memory. I accept in actuality, though many Muslims will not agree, that Allah has sent a Messenger or representative to many of the peoples, perhaps all of the peoples of this planet, at some time or other. This is not pretense—this is the result of outer scientific research as well as of Kashf or even Mushahida. I am finding my teachers at the Universities both scientists and non-scientists paying tribute to Mohammed as an historical character.

We have just finished a course on Arabic Art. In the fall we shall begin studies in Islamic Art to the full. It is noticeable that Muslims in general pay no attention to this type of study, but still are filled with self praise about the accomplishments of other years. I tell you, although I have seen Taj many times, there are other accomplishments which rival it in beauty, and I do not find—though this is personal—any other faith producing equal works excepting perhaps the Zen gardens of Japan.

Not only has “The Oracle,” but another publication “Planet News,” given considerable attention to this person and his rather successful endeavors with the young. It is the living heart which rouses life in the hearts of others. It is the living spirit which touches all souls.

Although I am sending copies of this to Pir Hasan Sani Nizami and Fayazuddin Nizami as above, I find you have listed a number of persons for whom I have tremendous respect and love. I believe our mutual endeavors may do much to promote universal understanding. I believe that the spirit of man, freed from restrictions and bonds that limit him, will establish brotherhood on earth. There is now such a tremendous outflow of this among the young in this land, especially in the Western States, that I am now busy seven days and six nights a week. Perhaps this is as Allah wishes. Yet love is not restricted, and those who saw the meeting with Asoke Fakir of Bengal the other night recognized the mutual love and the mutual objectives of spiritual realization through music and dance.

It is not often that I feel like writing in superlatives. Inshallah, I may come to Ajmer with disciples and sing what is being composed through but not by me at this time. The love of Allah is reflected in sweet sounds, from sweet hearts, from loving persons. I am thankful we have the air mail. I send all love and encouragement and only wish I had the time to furnish you with more details of our undertakings, and now by grace of Allah, quite successful undertakings, in this region.

With all love and blessings,

Sufi Aimed Murad Chisti

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

27th July 1969

 

Sufi Ahmed Murad,

San Francisco, USA

 

Beloved & Holy Soul,

Wa-alaikum-us Salaam wa barakatu-hu. God be praised for your prospective success in His and humanity’s service, as described in your affectionate letter of 9th June 1969 which I could not answer earlier due to pressure of work in connection with the two latest “Bulletins” which I have issued throughout this month busily. More than 3000 copies have gone out in the past 3 weeks while the time taken by printers was awfully long this time. Without due publicity, we cannot succeed; it is indispensable even in God’s work in this age, although it was always so but the modes were different. Modern publicity is most expensive, as you know.

Yesterday I received another most encouraging letter of yours dated 21st July by air. It is heartening to know how keenly you realize my troubles in conducting the mission here singlehanded through the political turmoils and atmosphere. Whatever you have done for me in the past, which was truly philanthropic, will be admired by God and His beloved Sufi saints to whose service I am wholeheartedly dedicated for the past 14 years. Needless to say that I am also praying here at the feet of all these “Great Saints” at Ajmer, Kalyar and Delhi for your success. How happy I feel when I learn from you that your work is spreading at long last, and the Universities and young people are getting interested in Sufism and its noble message of Love and Peace. I am sure, with more success, you will never forget my humble efforts for the next book which is a marvelous and historic contribution to Sufi literature, revealing the grand work of the “Big Five.” I am sending you, by separate Air Mail, 2 copies of my second “Bulletin” dated June and hope its pages 1 & 4 will interest you and your disciples. “Matter” on pages 2 & 3 is the same, as it was in the Bulletin of 20-4-1969.

This second book, after the first Holy Biography of the Holy Saint of Ajmer, (which you have studied) will give essence of Sufism and its teachings to this modern world in English in the form of the marvelous biographies of the “Big Five” great successors of the Great Saint of Ajmer. If the people can learn lessons from these exemplary lives, the world can be a happier place for them to live in. In the past 750 years, no Muslim, or any other historian tried to translate these precious biographical accounts of these great saints in English. You can imagine the hard work in research and compilation which I had to do in this tedious undertaking. But it is the will of Allah and these saints that I should have done it. The miracle of my recovery in health (after 11 months’ serious illness) is wonderful indeed. Hazrat Allauddin Saabir of Kalyar is a Sufi saint of “extraordinary” type and his life-story makes a most amazing revelation. While other saints take time, Hazrat Saabir disposes off prayers immediately. I wanted to have a stay of 4 days at his shrine but I was permitted to leave after 26 hours. I prayed for my health and also for the printing arrangements of my next book containing his own biography. And, lo, on return home after all the travelling in delicate state, I was OK in a weeks’ time to the surprise of my tried doctors. I wanted to eat “langar” at his shrine out of my faith. But in the evening when “langar” (cooked food) was sought by my son, he was informed that he was late and all was distributed to the poor. I was much disappointed. But at 12 P.M. in the night when I and my son were sleeping, a man came unexpectedly, woke us up and asked my son to go with him to get the “langar.” I was surprised that at 12 midnight where can “langar” be had, very odd hour? But my son came back with a bowl full of “Pulao” (delicious rice and meat cooked together in India). We both ate it relishly and I gave up all medical restrictions in

eating this delicious food. I was jolly glad that the Great Saint granted by with of eating his “langar” to do away with my ailment. How this “langar” was prepared in his kitchen at midnight to grant my wish is a mystery, but here it is my personal experience as one of his most devoted and humble worshippers. Such are the miracles of these “sleeping saints” and my next book is full of such miracles and endless beneficial things for the suffering humanity. May God help me bring it out in 1970. My mind assures me that money will come from “gheb” (unseen) to pay the printing bill and the book will be out in 1970 by the grace of God. People like you, great Sufis and devotees, are getting interested in this work day by day. Now the Bulletins must arouse more interest. Allah is Great, and Faith moves mountains. I pray my faith must stand like a rock till my last breath. I have had the most successful worldly career but now I am mad to serve the cause of God and Sufism alone. I do not want riches; they only breed sin.

You have said many nice things in your letter of 9th June under reply, all of which inspire me in my zeal. A lot of precious information about “Sukr” and “sahve” and so many other Sufi things is included in Part II of my coming book, taken from one of the most authentic Persian publications “Kashf-ul-Mahjoob” by Hazrat Ali Hijwari, Data Ganj Baksh, of Lahore. This contains quintessence of Sufism as experienced and recorded by all Great Sufi Dervishes of the East. There is no other authentic publication more reliable than this; it has been translated in English also.

May Allah be with you and your strivings and may you continue to be a precious source of inspiration to me and my humble mission is my fervent prayer at the time.

Please acknowledge receipt of the 2 copies of the II Bulletin also, which is posted along with this letter by separate Air Mail.

An Urdu poetic couplet about your Sufi or dervish dancing by famous Urdu poet Akbar of Allahabad:

 

Wajd-e-Aarif ki haqiqat kuch sona doon aapko,

Go ke meri asl kiya ik banda-e-naacheez hun.

Naachti hai rooh insani badan me shauq se,

Jab kabhi pas jaati hai partao ke main kiya cheez hun.

 

(Translation in English: May I tell you the “reality” of a Sufi or dervish’s ecstatic dance, although I am a most humble and insignificant creature to attempt at revealing its Divine secret? It is the soul in human frame which dances with delight when it realizes that it has the spark of God within.)

 

To the 3 men who went into the moon and came back, Islam and Sufism say:

 

Hazaar science rang laaye hazaar qaanoon ham banayen,

Khude ki qudrat yahee rahaigi hamari hairat yahee rahaigi.

 

(Translation: Science may go on proclaiming a thousand successes and man may go on framing a thousand laws, Yet the ways of God shall ever remain unchanged much to our bewilderment.

 

Khuda Haafiz—May God protect you. With profound regards and best gratitude for keeping this humble soul and its divine mission in mind for help.

                                                                  Yours affectionately

                                                                  W. D. Begg

P.S. I await with keen interest a copy

  1) of the “Planet News” so kindly promised by you WDB

 

  2) The Air Mail postage for Bulletin packet is Rp 4.50 which is too high—hence the packet of 2 Bulletins is sent by ordinary surface mail unavoidably. Pity. WDB

 

Ajmer

3rd August 1969


Is the Day-of-Judgment Near?
Predictions from Holy Qur’an and Bible.

 

(By Mirza Wahiduddin Begg, Author of

The Holy Biography of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chisti of Ajmer and
The Big Five of India in Sufism.)

 

This is a very crucial question which must be breeding in the hearts of millions of God-fearing people in the context of the current economic, social, religious and political conditions and uncertain peace throughout the world.

Over 1,350 years ago, God Almighty gave the following predictive message to His last prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) after serving many warnings and retributions through his previous prophets to the erring nations:

“The approaching day of judgment draweth near, there is none who can reveal the exact time of the same except God.” (Qur’an, Chap. LIII).

With the passing away of 1,350 years, the word “near” in the above verse may now be easily taken as “very near” especially in the light of the two ferocious world wars and the devastating and oppressive events of the last 50 years. Yet the world, specially the Muslims, intoxicated by the so-called modern civilization and the new scientific progress, believe that it is yet far off. But, according to the holy Qur’an, before resurrection comes “religion” because the earthly inhabitants would have never known “resurrection” without the light of a divine religion such as Islam, and without a heavenly book such as Qur’an which contains detailed historical information not only about resurrection but also about the all-round good conduct of man’s life on earth.

Apart from Islamic teachings, we find in the holy Bible that God did not send any of His previous prophets to preach any particular religion by a particular name. Even prophets Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) were not commanded to preach Judaism and Christianity specifically and to call their followers Jews and Christians respectively. But in the holy Qur’an we find that God clearly names and commands His last prophet Mohammed to preach Islam significantly (having perfected religion finally) and thus prophet Mohammed was the first Muslim. In a sense, therefore, every Muslim is a Jew first, a Christian next and a Muslim afterwards because he believes in prophets Moses, Jesus and Mohammed (peace be upon them). It thus transpires that before Islam there was no religion based directly or explicitly on Divine commandment although there have been many prophets and messengers of God in all nations to guide mankind on the right path of Truth and Righteousness. Hence, according to Qur’an, God Ordained His final message about the religion of Islam and revealed the day of resurrection through His last prophet Mohammed. Every Muslim must have perfect faith in it, as he has.

With the religion of Islam divinely confirmed after many warnings and retributions to the erring nations comes the resurrection and its confirmation on the Day-of-Judgment.

Over 2400 years ago, when Daniel heard an angel saying that resurrection was to follow “two and a half periods” and according to prophet Mohammed’s own subsequent predictive sayings, it comes mathematically true that the time of resurrection falls near about the 14th century of Islam, and that we may safely take it granted that the day-of-Judgment is at hand. Oppressed by the disturbed conditions of the past 5 decades, even the people of other faiths are also waiting for some kind of “serious end” to the oppressed affairs of the world according to their own religious calculations.

For every Muslim, however, the revelations and clear commandments, embodied in the holy Qur’an and recorded Traditions of the holy prophet Mohammed, are the final word of God in his religion. To check up and corroborate the truth of the foregoing paragraphs, justifying the “nearness” and the inescapable certainty of the fast approaching Day-of-Judgment, I draw the attention of the readers to the following chapters of the holy Qur’an in which God Almighty argumentatively describes what “resurrection” means, and what would be the fate of those who ignore and ridicule His commandments and Divine Law and those who obey and live an ordered life, on the Day-of-Judgment? To save space, I give below only the numbers of the Qur’anic chapters etc which can be easily traced and examined:-

Chap. XXII—On the raising of the dead from their graves or dust.

Chap. XIV—On deferred punishment.

Chaps. XIV, LIV, XLIV, LXX, LV, LXXXI, & XVIII—On complete details and descriptive pictures of the horrible events preceding the Resurrection or Day-of­-Qayamat.

Chaps. LXIX, XVIII, a XXVIII—On God’s Throne and the Seat of Judgment.

Chaps. XXXIX, LXXXIV, XXXVI, XXV and III—On the details of Judgment—To hell or to paradise.

Chaps. XVII, XXV, XXII, L, IV and VIII—On unbelievers and non-worshippers of God who doubt the raising of the dead and the Day-of-Judgment.

Chap. LXXIX—On the duration of the Day-of-Judgment. The Qur’anic verse says: “Hereafter shall they return unto Him on the day whose length shall be a thousand years of those which ye compute.”

So much for the coming of the Day-of-Judgment and resurrection according to Qur’anic teachings and predictions.

 

Christ’s Predictions.

Now let us examine what the learned and God-fearing true Christians, who abhor the current governments as the work of Satan, have to say about the Kingdom of God and coming down of Jesus Christ from the 4th heaven to destroy the Satan’s organization before the resurrection-day arrives. Their readings and explanations of the Holy Bible only coincide with and confirm what the holy Qur’an has laid down and predicted.

 

Judge Rutherford’s Interpretations of the Holy Bible.

It must be recalled that during the “thirties” of this century, one of the famous and devoted preachers and followers of Christianity, Judge J. F. Rutherford of America, emphatically challenged the clergy and clarified the predictive meanings and passages of the Holy Bible and Christ’s sayings through a series of his thought-provoking and enlightening publications printed by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of 117 Adams Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. This great end God-fearing Christian published his vast literature in book and pamphlet forms on the subject in 33 world languages and sent round his emissaries for door-to-door deliveries at nominal prices with open challenge to the clergy to come out and refute his explanations and interpretations. The combined circulation of this precious literature exceeded (in 1930’s) 93,500,000 copies. He dealt with his subject under such important titles as (1) Life, (2) Prophesy (3) Reconciliation, (4) Government, (5) The Harp of God, (6) Deliverance, (7) Creation, (8) War or Peace, Which? (9) What You Need? (10) Where are the dead? (11) Heaven and Purgatory, (12) Crimes & Calamities, (13) Our Lord’s Return, (14) Oppression and (15) Judgment.

They are written in very simple and understandable language in the light of the Holy Scriptures with quotations and lucid references running into thousands of printed pages for the benefit and enlightenment of the laymen and innocent public costing huge expense of time, money, and energy. All this gigantic and challenging effort cannot, and should not, be dismissed cheaply by the present-day misleading propagandists of vested interests. They deserve attentive study of the suffering masses because they expose a lot of fraud and misrepresentations in the religious world.

I reproduce in the following paragraphs some very revealing “extracts” from Judge Rutherford’s illuminating booklet entitled “War or Peace, Which?” They expose the hypocritical tactics of Satan the Devil and his worshippers who are supposed to hold the reins of power and wealth of the whole world. His learned analysis is based strictly upon the irrefutable Word of God as it came through Holy Christ and stands duly recorded in the Holy Bible. He accuses the invisible Satan, his intriguing politics and the Big Business for all the ills and evils of the world, and this accusation is in total conformity with the warning of God against the mischief and enmity of Satan explained in the Holy Qur’an too. This is how Judge Rutherford starts in one of his publications:

“For 6000 years, men have been trying to establish a government on earth that would bring peace; but what a mess they continue to make? Before 1914 men boasted that modern civilization had made war impossible. And now, 10 years after the most murderous of all wars (he wrote this in the 1930s) the whole world is again an armed camp. Why is this? Who or what is responsible? Will permanent peace ever come? Is there any hope of justice, liberty and happiness for the people?”

These are very deep and thought-provoking questions for the oppressed humanity—the millions or billions of dump sheep wailing under the influence of Satanic politics—to understand and judge. Judge Rutherford answers these pregnant questions very elaborately in the light of the Holy Scriptures in his book Government with solid proofs. Only a study of this publication can reveal the real truth.

At page 26 of “War and Peace, Which?” he reveals a Scriptural truth, as under:

“God made a covenant with the Israelites and they were recipients of his special favor. For their good He commanded that they should have no other God bedside himself.

Since he permits his creatures to make their choice, the Israelites fell away from God, were over-reached by Satan the Devil, and lost God’s favor. It was in the year 606 B.C. when God permitted Israel to be completely overthrown, and it was then and there that he indicated that the period of the Gentile dominion on earth would be 2,520 years. That meant, of course, that Satan would continue without interruption to be the god of this world until he should come whose right it is to rule (Ezek. 21:26, 27). That One whose right it is to rule is Jesus Christ.

“The period of the Gentiles of 2,520 years ended in the latter part of 1914 A.D. That would mark the time when the rule of Satan without interruption or hindrance would cease, and would mark the beginning of the activities of Christ Jesus as God’s active agent against Satan. Jesus had repeatedly told his disciples that he would come again at the end of the world, and that then his kingdom would begin. For this reason his disciples propounded to Jesus the question: “What shall be the sign (proof) of thy presence and the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3). Knowing that Jesus spoke with authority and that his word is true, his answer to their question is of great importance. In substance, he answered that “the time would be marked by a world war in which nation would rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and that this period would be immediately followed by distress and perplexity amongst the nations.” (Matt. 24:7-12; Luke 21:26). According to the Bible-method of reckoning time, the year ends in the autumn season. Exactly 2,520 years after the overthrow of Israel, and therefore exactly on time, to wit, in the fall of the year 1914 came the great World War I. Never before was there anything like it. All Christendom was involved. It was a war in fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Jesus, showing the end of the world and the beginning of the activities by Jesus Christ against Satan the Devil.

“Prophecy is never understood until it is in course of fulfillment, and seldom understood until it has been fulfilled. When we see that these prophetic words of Jesus have been fulfilled, and knowing that he spoke with authority, we should give full credit to all other words uttered by him in answer to the same questions which the disciples propounded concerning the end of the world. That war stopped in 1918 but no one could give a good reason why. The Lord foreknew and foretold the reason.

“We know that during the World War I various governments prohibited colporteurs and others from distributing Bible information and had many of them put in jail because they had published books explaining the Bible and were distributing these among the people. The action was taken, of course, upon the ground that everything must be done to win the war. In other words, there must be no prophetic explanation of the war while the war was going on. It follows, then, that before there could be a wide testimony concerning the meaning of these Biblical prophesies, there must come a time of comparative peace. The war ceased and there has been a period of peace since then for the express purpose of permitting God’s faithful witnesses on earth to tell the people the meaning of prophesy and to explain to them God’s purposes. And now in this connection note the words of Jesus in further answer to the question: (Matt. 24:14). “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

“What could he mean by the words “this gospel?” Of necessity he must have reference to some specific gospel. At once it is seen that he meant that a message of good news should be given to the people, because “gospel” means good news: and since he had just stated what the message was, to wit, the end of the world, his second coming, the world war and the things attendant thereupon, it would mean the beginning of the manifestation of God’s kingdom in behalf of the people. Jesus says “this gospel” must be preached and it therefore follows that there must be a time of comparative peace for doing this work of informing the people. In 1918 the Armistice was signed and peace was agreed upon in 1919. Shortly thereafter there began the widest distribution of Bible instruction ever given by any people on earth. Millions upon millions of books containing an explanation of the Bible have been printed and distributed among the people at a very nominal cost. I am just one of many persons going from place to place to deliver this message and to inform the people what is to be expected, as set forth in the Bible.

“You will further see that just about the time of the World War I the Scriptures describe a war in heaven between Christ Jesus and his angels and the Devil and his angels in which the Devil is cast out of heaven and cast down to the earth. (Rev. 12:1-7). Then this same Scripture says:” Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, and of the sea, for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:12) It is needless for me to tell you that since the World War I there has been more distress and crime than in the history of the world, and at the same time, great preparation for more war, and much talk of peace. “(How truly the world’s post-war events prove this—Author.)

“Now I will answer your question specifically. There is yet to be the greatest war that has ever come to pass since there was a nation.” (The II world war has already been fought causing unprecedented havoc upon mankind—Author). “No human power can now avert that great trouble. The League of Nations, the world Court and the peace pacts will not even delay that time of trouble an hour.” (They all were helpless to avert the II world war—Author.) “When God’s due time comes it will break in all its fury. It is important that the people be told of these facts because God has commanded that they shall be told. That is why we are going about the country telling the people this message of truth. We are not engaged in making a pecuniary profit out of this service, nor to do propaganda work, because we do not ask anyone to join any organization. We are trying to inform both the rich and the poor. The work is being done, however, not by the rich but generally by the poor in this world’s goods but who are rich in faith and in God’s word of truth.

“Please give special note to the words of Jesus that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached as a witness unto all nations, and then the end shall come.” It is manifest then that the period of comparative peace is specially for the purpose of giving to the people this notice concerning God’s kingdom. When this work is done as a witness, then Satan’s rule must come to an end. How is it to end? It will end with the greatest war or time of trouble (a third world war—Author) ever known and in it the whole world will be involved. In this connection note the words of Jesus: “For then (at the end) shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:21, 22). These words of Jesus show that the trouble not only will be the worst ever known, but will be the last. It is that final conflict to whish the Devil is looking forward, and, as stated in Revelation 12:12, he knows that his time is short. What shall follow the trouble will be a period of everlasting peace and blessing for the people. But first let me give you further proof of the coming world war or time of trouble.

“Now note the next verse of that chapter in Revelation which reads: “And he gathered together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon…. And there were voices and thunders, lightnings; and there was a great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”(Rev. 16:16-21)

 

Satan’s Work

“Does it not seem to you that there is an invisible power or force that is driving the nations on to prepare for war while there is a constant cry of peace? That unseen force is Satan the Devil. Satan is drawing the nations into pacts, league and treaties and his purpose is to turn all against God. Satan, having been cast out of heaven, knows that the time is short until the final battle will be fought, and his attempt will be to turn all people away from God and if he cannot have them himself, to destroy them. God is all powerful, however, and when he is ready to act and sends forth his beloved prophet Jesus as his active agent to act, the result will be a victory for God and for Jesus. By his prophet, God says: “The Lord shall send (forth) the rod of thy strength out of Zion (saying): “Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. Hs shall judge among the heathen (nations), he shall fill the planes with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries: (Ps. 110:2, 5, 6).

“The Federal Council of Churches issued a statement in January 1919 to the effect that the League of Nations is the political expression of God’s kingdom on earth. The boast is that the League of Nations and peace pacts and similar movements will bring lasting peace and prevent further war. But nothing of the kind can prevent war. Concerning such treaties and combines, the Lord says: “Associate yourselves, O ye people and ye shall be broken in pieces; and, give ear, all ye or far countries; gird yourselves and ye shall be broken in pieces; take council together and it shall come to naught; speak the word and it shall not stand.” (Isa. 8: 9, 10)

“Why is this great trouble impending? Because God purposes to destroy Satan’s organization and his power, that the people may be unhindered in learning the truth. He is permitting the nations to be gathered together and his action shall follow shortly. (Zeph. 3:8, 9)

“If we believe the scriptures which state that Satan is the god or invisible ruler of this world and that the world is ruled, as we know, by the commercial, political and religious elements, then if these same ruling powers could bring in peace, would that not be a victory for the Devil? God will establish his government or righteousness and then put Satan and his makeshifts completely out.

By his prophet God gives a reason for the destruction of these organizations, and that reason is that they have given themselves over to Satan the Devil. By his prophet he says: “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant (the covenant made by the Israelites).” Isa. 24:5.

Judge Rutherford’s book Prophesy gives the Bible’s explanation for the impending war, reading as under:

“Is it because a few men have become possessors of exceeding great riches that God will bring the great war? Surely that is not the reason. Material riches alone are not condemned by the Lord. Solomon was very rich (2 Chro. 1:12). Jehoshaphat had riches in abundance (Chro. 17:5). Hezekiah had “exceeding much riches” (Chro. 32:27). God did not condemn any of them because of their riches.

“Is the great war impending because the political rulers have not ruled the people perfectly? Surely not that. Someone has to rule, and, all men being imperfect, no man could rule perfectly. There have been many men in politics who have honestly done the best they knew how to do. Many of the rich men in politics have used their means to do good.

“Then why should this great impending calamity come upon the people of the earth? It is because the people have been turned away from God and caused to worship the Devil and because God’s holy name has been hypocritically used, thereby bringing reproach upon his and turning the people away from him to their own injury.”


Summary

There is endless religious wisdom in Judge Rutherford’s warnings against the mischief of Satan. They are based on Scriptural authority. His publications are a voluminous treasure-house of divine knowledge and predictions. Their study will open the eyes of the present-day innocent generation groaning under the Devil’s organization. They are not published by the followers of Satan. It is impossible to put all this precious knowledge in this limited space. I therefore close with a brief summary taken from one of Judge Rutherford’s booklets, viz. “Where Are the Dead.”

Upon a question asking as to why the papers did not publish these things, the learned Judge said:

“The devil has a great organization on earth, because he is the (false) god of the world. (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4; John 12:31) There are 3 combined factors that are the visible rulers of the world, namely the commercial, political and religious elements. The chief ones in the churches are the ultra-rich and the politicians. The preachers have made them the principal of the flock. The commercial and political elements arrange war, and the preachers urge the men to go to war.

“The big newspapers are owned by the rich and are used by the politicians, and since the preachers are a part of the organization they insist that the papers shall give no advertisement to the truth concerning God’s word. That is the very reason why the preachers in this town told their congregations to stay away from the Town Hall and not to listen to the lecture given there on “Where Are the Dead?” The master mind bank of all this is Satan who wants to keep the people continually in the dark. But the time has come for the people to know the truth, and they are beginning to get their eyes opened.

 

Kingdom of God is at hand.

“The long promised Kingdom of God is here. God indicated in his Word that he would not interfere with the Devil’s earthly organization until the end of the Gentile times. Jesus pointed out that that day should be indicated by a world war, famine, pestilence, revolutions, return of Jews to Palestine, and distress of nations. (Matthew 24th chapter; Luke 21st chapter). These prophecies began to have their fulfillment since 1914.

“The command of the Lord is that ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’” (Matthew 24:14).

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

5th September 1969

 

Sufi Ahmed Murad,

San Francisco U.S.A.

 

Beloved Soul, Asalaam Alaikum. This is to acknowledge due receipt of your affectionate Air letter of 23rd August 1969 and your cheque for 50 dollars. As desired, I have headed over today a sum of Rs. 100/- to Syed Tanvir Ahmed of Haji Nisar Manzil in appreciation of your and Miss Khawar Khan’s wishes. His formal receipt is attached herewith for information.

Please accept my hearty congratulations for your visit and success in the State of New Mexico. God Be Praised for this. It is a fact, as you say, Sufism cannot be taught in classrooms or on lecture platforms; it is a divine gift which one great Sufi gets from another spiritually after lifelong “Mujahidas” and “Ryazats.” All the “Big Five,” whose stories are embodied in my next coming book, have tried to explain what terrible hardships they had to encounter in reaching the apex of Sufism? It is a knowledge, a divine knowledge, which passes from one enlightened chest to another. Intellect has no place in this. One has to dive deep, renounce the world and establish one’s relation with God alone, if one wishes to reach the heights of mysticism.

If you go to the North, please do let me know the results of your progress there. Your solid practical work and experiences are the real service which a great Sufi can do to Sufism; all philosophical talk and arguments are nonsense in this divine subject. But there are very few to understand it in this mundane world. I attach little or no importance to Science and its materialistic innovations; they are perishable, false and misleading; destructive to human faith in God and His work.

By the way, did you get, along with my letter of 27th July, 2 more copies of my II Bulletin sent by Air Mail? You make no mention of them in your letter under reply.

I now close it with my best prayers for your success and best greetings and regards to your God-daughter Miss Khawar Khan who is so fortunate to enjoy your patronage & guidance in the difficult science of mysticism.

Yours as ever,

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

 


5th September 1969.

Received with thanks from Mr. W. D. Begg of Ajmer the sum of Rupees One Hundred only (Rs. 100/-) on account of Mr. Samuel L. Lewis (Mr. Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti) of San Francisco, as per his letter of 23rd August 1969.

 

 


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco

Sept. 23, 1969

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam-Aleikhum! I have just returned from a vacation tour with my esoteric secretary Mansur. I have long been overworked while Mansur has had to face some very complex personal problems. Someday I hope to convince the world (including those who themselves Sufis) that there is a living God (Allah) who can and does solve problems. I returned refreshed mentally, physically, and spiritually. Both Khawar and myself feel the need of absolute co-operation. We are also now legally attached to Ajmer, and in my case, by three different methods. I am sorry my colleague Pir Vilayat Khan has been very ill; he expected to be at Ajmer either for Urs or shortly thereafter. I also thank you for the receipt from Seyd Tanvir Ahmed, but it will be easier and proper I believe to work with and through you.

There are teachings of Mohammed, Christ, and Buddha which neither the religions nor world has accepted regarding the supreme value of love and forgiveness. My legal counselor affected a reconciliation with my brother who opposed me, selfishly I believe for 50 years. This reconciliation was followed almost immediately, by his becoming my champion, and since that time our mutual financial conditions have improved, praise to Allah. In my case also there is growing acceptance of real Sufism based on real traditions and esoteric practices along with corporations calling themselves Sufi, each of which is promoting various personalities, and in the promotion of the personalities overshadowed La Illaha El Il Allah.

I was taught early in life that the spiritual path was one in Allah, to Allah, with Allah. This may not be the general teaching of the various groups calling themselves “Sufi” but it certainly is effective. I am finding, praise to Allah, that neither the body nor mind need deteriorate or will deteriorate if one lives in Allah—Ya Hayy, Ya Haak.

The application of real love—not philosophy, not verbalisms, not emotion exhortation, awakens the love in others. This is now moving in two directions: a. the young; b. the colleges and universities. This morning the class on Asian Islamic Art starts under the joint auspices of the University of California and San Francisco State College. Later in the week a class on spiritual philosophy and its relation to the problems of the day will start, and I have been invited to present the Sufi point or view. But the doors of other colleges and universities are opening, making it very difficult in a quantitative sense, but very wonderful in a qualitative sense. One has had to pass through every type of trial, condemnation, and even persecution—in this land until the recent spiritual revolution only two things mattered—money and fame. Even people pretending to be spiritual recognized only money and fame, but now the whole of youth and much of the educational system recognizes the prowess of inner spiritual development.

This recognition on the local scene is also been reflected in the world scene. I have been invited, and inshallah, will attend the next Parliament of Religions scheduled to be held in Turkey the early part of next year. Fortunately that great American merit, money, is available, and besides my own efforts I have been promised financial assistance if needed from my goddaughter Khawar and others. Too often important and self-important persons have been successful either in preventing me from speaking or tacking me socially, establishing bars. But Allah Ho Akbar.

I have not received the bulletins you have mentioned and it would not matter if we had any extra ones, for as I have said, the doors are opening, Alhamdu Lillah! Not only that, several Indians have been joining me, mostly those of mystical outlooks and perhaps it is noteworthy, they do not recognize other Indian groups. The big thing here today is spiritual development through music, singing, and dancing. It is very big. It is growing at a tremendous rate. Even Tanzen, whom certain experts will not have mentioned, has been given an opening. And I shall see to it that you get copies of the local publication The Oracle, if this has not been done yet.

At the present time all directives seem to be to buildup the spiritual enterprises in the direction and to work toward a program, or rather the presentation of a program ready available, for the next Parliament of Religions. My present program for this affair will be an actual East-West assimilation based on:

The American Walt Whitman (“Song of the Answerer,” etc.)

The British born Sir Richard Burton (“Kasidah,” etc.)

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sufi poetry, in particular Mantiq-ut-tair; perhaps Rumi

No man can take away this, and one must deride the derision. Making people important either by self-praise or personality attack indicates a sub-conscious making of partners with Allah. We are passing from a stage of verbal pseudo-love to actual vibrant love.

We have been studying and applying the Hadiths of Mohammed. These are certainly in accord with the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus and the moral teachings of Buddha. There can be, there is only, One Truth.

With all love and blessing and with assurance of continued cooperation, inshallah, I remain, sincerely and faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

9th October, 1969

 

Beloved & Gracious Soul—Wa-Alaikum-us-Salam we berakaat-o-hu.

I am in due receipt of your Air letters of Sept. 23 and 29th 1969. Both of them contain happy news and enlightening hints on your strenuous efforts in the service of God and Humanity.

Financial conditions must improve if our work for a Divine cause is honest and sincere. That is the value of material things before the spiritual richness. A Sufi is rich in both the worlds, as you know. He kicks away the Wealth of this passing world. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and his illustrious predecessors never permitted mighty monarchs of India to touch their feet. If USA could only understand you and your priceless personality and Divine service, most of its problems would be solved. But they won’t, as they are deep up to their neck in scientific materialism. I have written a most revealing chapter for “The Muslim Digest” of Durban on “Is the Day-of-Judgment Near”? in the light of Holy Qur’an and Bible. It will appear in this paper’s Annual Ramdhan Number and, if God wishes, you will get a copy of this highly illuminating journal.

It is not everybody’s fortune to understand the true meaning of La Illaha Illillah. It is bestowed upon a few selected ones by the grace of God alone. A Sufi is born and is not made, though he can guide those who can undergo hardships, renounce the world and entrust themselves and their work to the care of the Almighty. We live in most dangerous times. The world has discarded all religion and is drifting towards hell speedily. I am sure the Day-of-Judgment is near at hand, as I have tried to prove in my revealing article coming in the “Muslim Digest.”

In my humble opinion, you are penetrating the right places for Sufi work—the colleges and universities. I wish they would digest the Sufi message for their good. If there was a powerful newspaper to propagate the Divine Word and Warning to the people of USA, the benefits would be plentiful and quick. This is the age of relentless publicity. If publicity can do good to mundane and frivolous things, why can’t it benefit the Divine Cause better? Even God’s work in this age needs a lot of publicity to counteract all falsehood and corruption. Condemnation and persecution are the ornaments of great Sufis. No great Sufi cares for them because they fail against them ultimately and Truth prevails. Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin prayed to God to send calamities upon him as a token of His love for him. When he (the Khwaja) did not get a calamity, he thought God gracious (his beloved) had forgotten him. What a prayer??? Who can beg for calamities in these days? When you go to Turkey to attend that historic Conference, please send me a full report of the proceedings there. It is your good fortune to go there and it is also the good fortune of your friends and disciples who will be benefited by your experience there.

I am awfully pained to hear that my “Book Post” mail by sea does not reach you safely. It is a costly affair for me as it all means printing and circulation costs which are too high nowadays. However, I have to put up with all postal errors patiently.

The postage for foreign mail is also “killing.” It runs into many hundreds of Rupees annually in my accounts. Please note I am sending you by Sea Mail again a dozen of my Bulletins by Book Post which will take a month or so to reach you. Why should you not deliver a few copies at the Istanbul conference if you get them in time before your start?

Maulana Rumi? Oh what a divine soul and Sufi fame in the world of mysticism.

Molvi hargiz na shud maula-e-rum,

Taa Ghulam-e-Shams Tabriz na shud.

There is no discourse on Sufism better than this Masnavi of Maulana Rumi. It is a fact that there is only One Truth approached by different roads.

It is a pleasure to now that the glorious picture of 6 great Sufis has reached you at last safely. Can’t you have them enlarged by some devotee Artist for your room? It is my idea worth consideration. It is a fact that the Holy Qur’an recognizes all other great prophets who preceded Mohammed in different lands and languages. Why should the orthodox Muslims object the word of Qur’an which means Islam in its pristine glory?

May God gracious help you to keep up the marvelous progress with your service in His infinite glory, is my best prayer for your work, our work and the work of this world & its suffering humanity. Allah Be Praised, all else is a mirage, a dream. With kind regards to Miss Khawar Khan and your disciples. Believe me, Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

W.D. Begg’s Office,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

15th October 1970

 

My dear Mr. Bryant, (copy to Sufi A. M Chisti for information and necessary action)

After you left Ajmer, I had only one telegram from Delhi confirming your safe arrival there. I do not know your movements thereafter but I trust you are back in U.S.A. by 5th October as you guessed, and I hope you will get this letter and favor me with a reply immediately giving description of your tour and good news of its success.

After your departure from Ajmer, I had two telegrams for Mr. Fred Cohn c/o my address which I am sending you herewith. I did not know Mr. Cohn’s address in India, hence I could not forward them to him. I think there was a change in your party’s personnel, as Mr. Cohn did not visit Ajmer.

I am sure you will never forget your Ajmer visit. It is a pity I could do no more than what I was able to do to make your stay with me for your comforts. Then your stay was so short and full of pressing engagements for picturing business, etc. There was one difficulty with me about your visit. It was the very short notice of your program and time of arrival in Ajmer. As you have seen, there is always overwhelming pressure on Ajmer’s accommodation to house 2 Lakh pilgrims during the Urs of the saint every year. If you or anyone else visits Ajmer next time for the Urs, then I must have at least 30 days previous information to book accommodation and comforts.

I hope you will remember all we talked over here about the arrangement of publishing my next book The Big Five of India in Sufism. I shall give 1000 copies duly and nicely printed to any firm, publishers or booksellers in U.S.A. against an advance or their price in India to facilitate printing arrangements here, as we discussed. Kindly give this matter your best attention to help a noble cause. I am anxious to publish the book immediately you fix up some accommodating arrangement. The firm, publishers or booksellers who may advance the price of 1000 copies will have additional advantage of sole distributionship all over U.S.A. for the book. Or, as alternative let them quote me their own terms. You, Sufi Ahmed Murad Chishti, Hazrat Inayat Khan or Mr. Davenport can vouchsafe this deal for the satisfaction of the U.S.A. party who may buy the copies against advance price.

With love and best wishes, I await your reply eagerly and remain yours sincerely,

W.D. Begg

 

 


29th October, 1969

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved On of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum. We have just received another copy of your June 1969 Bulletin. It is so much in line with our efforts, and praise to Allah, our accomplishments, that there is a token enclosure. I am saving all the money necessary to attend a world conference of the real religions of this planet where I shall not be shut out by “experts” and “authorities” and “great personalities,” those that dominate most of the confer news, especially those under the control of American institutions. Indeed there are many American institutions which shut out Americans, along with valid representatives of great spiritual movements.

Sufism is as yet a hidden institution. The East-West conference at Hawaii, purporting to represent all the religious of the world, has five Jews on its executive Board, and not a single Muslim! The “great” teachers (?) of Sufism in this land are English or European born. We quackerize about moral and spiritual outlooks but each allocate to himself the right to bar others.

There was to have been a meeting of all the spiritual leader of the world in this city and I annoyed the promoters no end by merely asking who was on the board who was barring me! Of courses there are a lot of such institutions which bar the person, and more are coming into existence. Only it is a new age. The young are not easily fooled. They are not satisfied with sermons on the Upanishads, they want the experiences of the Upanishads.

There is an Indian teacher here who simply will not accept my backgrounds. It is impossible to reach him. He had as his own teacher in philosophy Dr. Chatterji of the Philosophy Department of the University of Calcutta and when Chatterji challenged me I asked, “Which do you want, to hear the Flute-of­-Krishna” or have me speak off hand, no preparation on the Chandogya Upanishad.” He apologized. But excepting the University of Chicago until recently under no circumstances would I have been permitted to lecture on the Chandogya Upanishad. Too many “experts.”

The other teacher of this man was none other than Dr. Radhakrishnan between whom there is absolute attunement. We have performed the Maha Mudra meditation, forbidden here so far, but a new day is arriving when instead of mouthing “moral and spiritual” we shall demonstrate them.

When I visited the headquarters of the Royal Asiatic Society they snubbed me. Then I asked, “that have you on Prince Dara Shikoh?” They could not answer and in fifteen minutes I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society by top “experts.” But the life and career of Prince Dara Shikoh is still shut out by the various schools of East-West colloquia and those pretending to integrate the various types of spirituality! But this is over.

I may have told you that on the 19th about a hundred young people gave me a birthday party. It was such a difference from the days when I was turned down especially by the leaders of “moral and spiritual” movements. And since then there has been a slight increase in each of my meetings and the best of reports on the class on Christian mysticism. I now teach:

Sunday: Dharma Class

Monday: Sufism and Dervish Dancing

Wednesday: Open meeting in Marin County to the North

Thursday: Advanced and intermediate disciples

Saturday: Dancing Class

Tuesday is given to a poetry class and there the teacher accepted in five minutes what all the “experts” and “spiritual leaders” excepting the Bhaktis and Vedantists have spurned and generally absolutely spurned. I am willing to send you copies of this. It is “impossible” for them to have been written by a Sufi, but “Saladin” based on Meraj, has been turned in to the University of California as a term paper. It is a cover for my true state, which may be kept hidden. That is, “Saladin” is written from the standpoint of fana-fi-Rassoul, while my fana-fi-lillah material has been stored for a time.

Our work is love, joy and awakening, beginning and ending with Allah. And our work in the chants is marvelous. But here there is help and inspiration from disciples. I believe, inshallah, we shall be establishing our own Ajmer. It is certain that our organic and legal relations with Dargah Shereef validate this. We leave the elder and more sedate people to their cults and dialectics. This person knows the scriptures of the world both from the literary and “awakening” standpoints.

We are therefor hoarding preparing to attend a world conference where either the great “experts” will be absent, or will be faced. There will be no more a priori rejections from self-established “authorities.” When I went to the Indian Embassy in this country at the time it started, I was questioned about Ibnu’l-Arabi. I answered by comparing Ibnu’l-Arabi with Shankaracharya. You can bet this theme was not permitted in the “schools” and East-West institutions but the truth is coming out, and while one does not expect intellectuals to accept that “Whatsoever ye do to the least of these, My creatures, you do it unto Me,” or the existence of Brahm in the lower of humans as well as in cows and elephants, the day is dawning as might be quoted: “When the Gods arrive, the half-gods go.”

So one feels the assurance and rise of Allah, and I wish to use this Bulletin for my preparations for materials which sooner or later will receive world attention. Or as the Messenger said, Say Allah and leave them to their devices.” I still have to face plenty of East-West and Integrative and “World Order” and Universal schools each ignoring the others, of course. One may rise above them. But now youth is stepping forward and more and more and more. Or as many say to me: “They (referring to would be leaders) are not Sri Aurobindo’s people; we are Sri Aurobindo’s people.”

Love and blessings,

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

5th November 1969

 

Holy soul, devoted to God,

Wa-Alaikum-us-Salaam.

I have two of your gracious letters, one of 11th October and the other of 29th October 1969 before me. Both are full of Divine Wisdom, your devotion and service to Divinity and humanity. And what service can be better in this treacherous world of today than yours? It is beyond my poor wisdom to describe or appreciate. I am now only looking forward with keenest interest to your forthcoming visit to that World Religious Conference in Turkey. Allah will bless you to spread His message of love and peace which the world needs so badly today.

Prayer—if sincere, repentant, from the bottom of one’s heart—never goes ungranted. Allah is merciful. His holy prophets were all merciful. One needs only patience to get His mercy and favors.

I try to digest your views on various subjects which I get through your instructive letters based on your vast spiritual knowledge and practical experiences. Sometimes I am puzzled to solve the underlying problems therein. Then a “Light” guides me and I go into meditation after my Namaz in the early mornings or in the night, if I am fit in health.

Thank God my Bulletins have at last reached you safely and I am happy you like them. And how to thank you again for the cheque of Ten dollars  I have no words; my heart is subdued and I feel proud to know that there is at least one holy soul in U.S.A. who realizes my honest efforts for a deserving cause. Troubles & obstacles—they have come before all the Divine souls in the past and they must come also in the future. No success has ever been possible in this world without troubles and obstacles. We have to face them manfully and resign to the will of the Supreme Lord. Does He not test us in His path? The market is open for those who must pay the price of a thing if they want it. Everything has a price and so has Sufism. Its price is extremely dear and only those pay it who are selected by God. Otherwise it would have been a common thing for the imposters who are many in these days. I see a lot of them attending the Urs Fair here in glittering robes instead of rags. Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin—the great spiritual monarch of India—had only one chaadar all his life to cover his body which carried hundreds of patches sewn up by his own pious hands. But the false Sufis today wear silken robes glittering with gold and silver work and followed by false Mureeds likewise. What a hypocrisy?

And these “Sajjadanashins” of the various leading Dargahs of great Sufi saints of India. My investigations show they are a slur on the holy missions of these saints. Claiming heredity, they occupy the “gaddis”—lawfully or unlawfully—but are far from the characteristics of those saints. They are selling the Dargah properties and fighting in law courts to retain their rights as successors. I have devoted a full chapter in my next book to their intrigues. And the Khadims of Ajmer particularly are the worst. It is against my cult to speak ill of anybody but when it affects the dignity of great saints and their noble mission, I feel constrained to speak out otherwise keeping mum would amount to sin. “If you see a well and a blind man walking towards it, and if you sit, mum, you commit a sin,” says Sheikh Saadi.

I have read Meher Baba’s book God Speaks but I could not make out whether he was really an Avatar or Sufi or Yogi. He promised to speak out but he never did. He has many devotees in U.S.A. and whatever you say about Upasni Maharaj and his guru (a Sufi Master) is absolutely true. To me the Baba was a puzzle. He was worshipped by the Parsis generally. His discourse on Sufism and references to great Sufi saints were, of course, learned and knowledgeable. But any scholar can analyze this. However, the good man is gone. Sufis have, as you know best, nothing against even bad people.

You talk of “barring” you (or Truth) from certain conferences or meetings. But who has ever succeeded in barring the Divine Truth? It has always defied all barrings in history. Let them bar again. They will have an ignominious fall as they did, always nave. Truth cannot be suppressed, you know it.

I had promised to send you a very interesting article on “Sufi Dance” which was published in the Muslim Digest but I could not do so as yet. It is a long article duly illustrated. As soon as I am more fit to type it out, I’ll send it to you. You will enjoy it.

Sooner or later, USA will be forced to respect spiritualism. They are getting fed up with sheer materialism now. Getting into moon will not help the world. Armaments mean nothing but more wars. But we are getting nearer to the Day-of-Judgment. “The Kingdom of God,” according to Christ is coming. You will get my argumentative article on this—“Is the Day-of Judgment Near”? in the Muslim Digest in December.

With all devotion and homage,

Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 


Nov. 16, 1969

 

Begg Sahib Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam-aleikhum! One herein acknowledges your Ref. No. 1035-69 of 5th November. The present outlook is most encouraging. Yes, there are a few hazards. There is a Meher Baba Movement here which relies almost entirely on personality-worship. I saw the same thing in India with regard to Anandamayee and others. So far as this country is concerned the young will accept that Atman is Brahm; they will reject this perennial nonsense of elevating a personality and daring to presume before the Living God that their own small ego declaration of who is the Great Soul will help them towards salvation. No, I do not reject the monkey-tradition, but it has become totally nonsensical—no prayers, no devotions, no veneration, etc.

The same thing has happened to the movements derived from the late Sri Aurobindo. He began with God, he ended with God, he elevated a cosmic Yoga, which his disciples and successors have abolished, totally abolished. They dare to presume and assume that the very word Yoga is automatically supra mental. They are trying to proclaim a supra-mental by abolishing Vijnanavada.

Sufism is based on Love, all inclusive Love. This week in full audience one had a reunion with both a Hebraic Chassid mystic and a Vietnamese Thien, i.e. Zen Master. It is this sort of unwelcome fact that disturbs all those people proclaiming. Let them proclaim.

The dances of universal peace are progressing in numbers, in response, in the growth in adoration and exaltation (Amanda). The intellectuals and cultists will of course ignore and reject. They are not only in minorities, but very divided. The young accept and coalesce with each other. I think we are going to have a brotherhood of man in the fatherhood of God, Inshallah, without any limitation “leadership.”

I have refused me silk and gold. My increased and increasing income is now solely to feed disciples and prepare for the trip to Istanbul next year, inshallah. Today I discovered a copy of Abu Fazl’s famous prayer. I had lost all records and copies of this, but praise to Allah, had one copy incorporated in one of my poems. This is being sent to The Temple of Understanding in Washington, and I have no doubt it will be proclaimed and accepted despite all the Meher Baba’s, Anandamayees and Godless followers of Sri Aurobindo and others. All my work, or rather our work, in the fields of music, dancing, and chanting, seem to come from and with the spirit of Khwaja Sahib. One feels him internally and externally.

I am now going over my poetry which is gradually being accepted and includes early inspirations from the great Muinuddin Chisti. Alhamdu Lillah I am now getting some secretarial help, so sorely needed. We are going to celebrate a Christ-Christmas—no Santa Claus. We are going to join the Chassid Jews, the Vietnamese and other Buddhists, just as we have been working with various schools of Bhaktis which do not always work with each other. La illaha el il Allah.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

22nd November 1969

 

Beloved Soul of Allah,

God be praises at all times. I am sure you must have received my Air Mail letter of 6th November.

For many months I have been promising you to send you a copy of a most interesting article on “The Heavenly Dance,” but my illness prevented me to fulfill this promise earlier. However, I have now taken pains to copy out the said beautiful article and am sending it along with this letter. I am sure you will find it interesting. Please acknowledge its receipt. I am sorry; I could not send it by Air Mail which is too expensive nowadays.

I have little to add here for the time being but I am intending to go out on a tour of U.P. and Calcutta, if God Almighty wishes, next month in connection with the printing arrangements of The Big Five of India in Sufism. I wish the “spiritual” help must come. I have been struggling with ill health in the past years and this work is horribly delayed. People are getting impatient for it now. I hope you will not forget me in your prayers for the early success of this pork which will be a really masterpiece on Sufism for the modern man to understand.

With my Hearty Greetings and All Best wishes for Xmas and New Year. May God gracious bless you with best health in the coming Year and may your service to Allah’s cause be successful among the college and University Youngman and women—Ameen.

Yours as Ever,

W. D. Begg

Enclosed 1 article from “The Muslim Digest” of Duncan, South Africa.

 

 

 

The Heavenly Dance

(By Dr. Annemarie Schimmel of Ankara University, Turkey

 

Nobody who has seen the “sama,” the mystical dance of the Maulvi Dervishes, will forget its beauty, its harmony, and the sweetness of its music, and he will be sure that there must be, in the deepest roots of religious feeling, a particular connection between this kind of dance and the divine sphere.

And it is really so that, in almost all religions, dance has played a very important role. Dance is perhaps, in the first place, a play, even the purest, the absolute play; and since one of the most important roots of human culture is the play in its different spheres, as Huizinga has printed out, dance too belongs to the essential features of human culture.

The root and the fruits of the real play are hidden in a divine secret; man has, in playing and dancing, tried to express his relationship with the other world, his hope for a better future, his love of the Divine, and has tried to draw near by means of dance a sphere far away from the heavy earthly world. There is no medium for getting rid of this world as strong as dance is.

No branch of art has ever been so successful in expressing man’s yearning for the Divine; for it can be done without any outward resources, without voice, without pen or painter’s brush—only by means of man’s body. And the two aspects of the divine power which we are accustomed to, the dionysiac and the appollinic ones, find their expression in religious dance; it can bring man into ecstasy and make him forget all worldly things, and it can be a symbol of the harmonious beauty, the classical measure which we find in the rites of the Greek god Apollo.

 

An Illustration of the Maulvi Dance in Their Loose Apparel.

Maulana Rumi said, “Same is an essential like prayer (namaaz) and fasting (roza) for a mature Sheikh and is “mubah” (permissible under Shariat) for a pure disciple. It is “haraam” (not permissible by Shariat) for those who are neither of these. Allah is a complete pleasure and belief is a complete joy.” Sama is the singing of the dervishes while they dance. It is also called “muqabalah.” Other sects of dervishes have other rituals known as “zikr” and “dauren.”

Religious dance is also of social importance. Though man can dance alone and experience by this way perhaps the ecstatic union with the Divine, the dance of the community is a strong help in both magical and religious practices, or may express the marvels of the heavenly order by means of well arranged circles.

In the Muslim world, the role of turning and whirling round the own axis both with and without music, the famous “sama” is mentioned as early as in the 9th century A.D. and we can understand its importance in certain Sufi circles when reading the works of the great systematic thinkers of early Sufism, of Qushayri and Sarraj, of Hujwari and Sulami, who treated the subject with great care and agreed in the point that this kind of “sama” be allowed only for the ripened mystic but extremely dangerous for the beginners on the Path. And in many a chronicle we can read how Sufis, intoxicated by music, turned so intensely that they at last lost their consciousness and died. (An instance of this kind of death is found in the demise of Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin “Bakhtiyar Kaki of Delhi, who was the first great Spiritual Successor of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti of Ajmer—W. D. Begg.) Imam Ghazali has, for this reason, devoted not less than 20 big pages of his “Ahya ulum ad-din” to the question of “sama” (11, 236-256).

The mediaeval nuns in their ardent love have often used the form of the “Spiritual Dance” for the expression of their longing for union with the Divine Beloved. In sweet verses they tell how God is waiting for the human soul and asks it to enter the paradisic dancing place, how the soul is preparing this dance and how it ends in ineffable love-play. This symbol has been used in connection with the idea of the “stars and the angels” dance in all the mystic literature of the West, mystic poets have always loved and still love the idea of the mystic dance.

But however great the importance of this symbol may be in Western mystic and literature, it is even much greater in Sufism and in the literature which is inspired by more or less Sufistic ideas.

These expressions are existent since the early stage of Sufism and have been repeated through the centuries. Even as early a mystical poet as Yahya ibn Mu’adh of Rayy in the late it 9th century AD sings in one of his charming poems: “All my life time turns around God’s love full of longing.” And the most famous expression of this ecstatical dance which ends with the complete union has been given by Mansur al-Hallaj who quotes—the first time in Islamic mysticism—the story of the moth which flies around the candle until it is burnt, and finds union in death—a symbol which is used later on by the numberless poets in all Islamic countries. And it is impossible not to be reminded of white turning butterflies when looking at the dance of the Maulvi dervishes in their wide, white frocks.

For here, in the order of Maulana Rumi, the “sama,” the heavenly dance, has from the beginning taken the central place. It is both practiced and used as symbolical expression for the deepest mysteries of Divine love. Maulana Rumi himself is said to have often performed the whirling dance when he heard the voice of the watermills in the Meram gardens near Konya, or the rhythmical sound of the hammering of gold smiths in Konya bazaar were his mystic friend Husammuddin Zarkub was working. In his practical work, Maulana Rumi has united the different aspects of the religious dance. He tells in his “ruba’iyaat” how the Divine Beloved is appearing on the screen of the heart in a lovely dance, so teaching the lover the art of spiritual dancing, intoxicated, whirling. And this dance of his had a deep significance: wherever the foot of the Beloved touches the ground, the water of life sprints out of the earth. Perhaps the most beautiful expression of this dance of the friend may be seen in the charming “ghazal” with the beginning: “I saw my friend, he was turning around the house…” the friend who is playing on the lute or the lovers’ heart, or breathing into the mouth of the lover like into a flute, so giving him the power to speak and to sing. And the Phrygian flute was, as soon as in the time of Aristotle, known as a means of becoming spiritually intoxicated.

On the other hand, Maulana Rumi has often alluded to the old platonic idea of the cosmic dance, when he says that the spheres turn around the moon like the lovers around the Beloved. But this is only a weak comparison, for, to Maulana Rumi, the dervish who exercises the real “sama” is higher than the heavens, and his place is the placeless, the sphere of the Divine Light. Here he turns around the sun of the Godhead as the atoms whirl around the created sun. Here he finds his spiritual food—“sama” is the food of the dervish’s heart, the bliss of his spirit. One of the most touching religious songs all over the world is the short Turkish poem which used to be sung when the “sama” in the Turkish monasteries was nearly finished: flute, drum and human voice, in increasing excitement, told in a sweet melody what the meaning of “sama” was: happiness, spiritual food, purity of the heart.

Maulana Rumi has, taking the verse from the Qur’an according to which the Mount Sinai began to tremble in the presence of God, expressed the deepest awful mystery which is felt in God’s presence by the phrase “The mountain began dancing.” That is also the situation of man who, in the presence of the Most High, shows his emotions by a more or less regulated dance. For the real and original “sama” is not well organized but is a completely free and even not intentional action. It leads, then, man to such a spiritual level that he witnesses now not only he himself but the whole world is living in an everlasting dance, and how every branch, every leaf, every stone on the road is restless, is moving towards the spiritual goal in increasing spirals. In this moment man sees that, by the breeze of love every branch which is not dry, is moved and starts dancing.

“Sama” as we may understand from Maulana Rumi’s verses, is both death and resurrection; losing the connection with his material world man is carried away into the greater harmony of the spiritual world—the German poet Rueckert who had translated about one and a half century ago the poetry of Rumi for the first time into German (though not very close to the literal meaning but grasping the spiritual meaning in a most wonderful manner) has written:

Wer die Kraft des Reigens kennet,

lebt in God,

Denn er weiss, wie Liebe toete—

Allah hu

(He who knows the power of “sama,” lives in God: for he knows how love kills—Allah hu.)

Quoting this line of Maulana Rumi, one of the greatest and noblest German poets of this century Hugo von Hofmannsthal has compared life to a great “sama” in which life and death, birth and rebirth, are intertwined in an inexplicable way, and he sees the mystery of true life in the fact that man takes part in this “sama,” and is willing to give himself to the ever changing constellations of the cosmic dance and develop according to them.

Whatever we accept from these commentaries and tales it may be sufficient to show once more the importance of the dance in reality and symbolism for the religious life. Did not the Greek writer Lukian in the 2nd century A.D. write:

“The origin of dance lies in the same time as the origin of the world; it has appeared together with the pre-eternal love. Are not the dances of the stars, the well organized movements of the fixed stars and planets, the beautiful harmony of the movement only an example of that pre-eternal dance?”

It seems to me that the reality which all religious systems, all poets and mystics, all lovers and philosophers have wished to express in words and movements, in sweet songs and harmonious gestures, in ecstatic whirling and stammering words, is nothing other than the fact that the dance was born together with the eternal Divine Love.

 

(The foregoing article is an extract from “The Ramadan Annual” of “The Muslim Digest” dated February, 1963 and published by The World Federation of Islamic Mission and the International Union of Islamic Service, at 100 Brickfield Road, Durban, South Africa. Editor Mr. Mohammed Makki.)

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

6th Dec. 1969

 

Beloved Soul of Allah,

Assalam Alaikum. I have two of your gracious letters for acknowledgment, one dated 16th November and the other dated 1st December 1969. May God gracious bless you with best of health to carry on the great Divine work you are doing for the Americans.

When the Holy Prophet of Islam rejected personality-worship for his followers, how can we Muslims accept any one else’s personality for worship. I have regard for the late Meher Baba but I do not approve if his followers worshipping him instead of worshipping Allah, Wahda-hu-la-sharika-la-hu. There is one God and Mohammed is His prophet. This is Islam. Your convictions are absolutely right in this matter.

The world has seen numberless proclamations about so many cults according to each claimant’s knowledge and spiritual wisdom. But in the past 1400 years, nothing has beaten the true teachings of Christ or Mohammed. As for Sufism, it is higher than Yoga. Many think that it came out of Vedanta but none could prove it. I have written a most interesting article once more tracing the correct and most authentic history of Sufism. When ready, duly finalized, I will send you a copy. It is to be printed in “The Big Five of India.”

What true Sufi ever preferred silk and gold? True and great Sufis of the world always renounced all the luxuries of this world. Baba Farid could not afford to have a pajama for 7 years; he used to wear a long shirt up to his ankles. Hazrat Gharib Nawaz had only one wrapper “Chadar” all his life; when it needed repairs, he did them by his own hands. And yet he finished the tyranny of Prithvi Raj, the greatest Hindu Emperor of India. Sufis are divine souls, the whole world and its wealth belong to them but they despise them.

I am surprised but very glad to hear that my letter and the copy of the “Heavenly Dance” reached you so soon by surface mail. It was sent on 22-11-69 and you got it on 1-12-69. It is a miracle somewhere. Surface Mail takes 20 to 30 days, I suppose. In any case, I am glad you like it. I hope to be in Kanpur & Allahabad during the Xmas week for the publication arrangements of my book. I am much better in health but not as fit as I used to be 2 years ago. Allah is Great & Supreme. I implore Him for better health. He may be merciful as He has always been. With highest regards and salaams and id Mubarak and all the best wishes and luck in the coming Year in Turkey, Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

Postscript, One good news to add. I have been trying to get a connection in Australia for the past 7 years with a view to sell some copies of “The Holy Biography” there, to spread the message of Sufism and Islam. There was no success. Last week, however, I got an urgent Air Mail letter from a party Shamus-Ashcroft Publications, Victoria whose representative had toured India and came to learn about our book. They sent a cheque and asked me to send them a copy urgently by Air Mail as they intend to buy more copies and are dedicated to Oriental literature. I was happy and have sent them a copy by Air. I await their reaction any day now. I take it a miracle of the Holy Saint of Ajmer.

 

 


16th December, 1969

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum. Truth has never changed and I am not the least moved to alter the Bismillah. Last night it was necessary to condemn certain emissaries from India who have been making disastrous predictions, none of which have come true, but these people remain popular and all mal-prediction are against Bismillah. We do many things here which do not please “Muslims” but the question is, do they please Allah!

For instance the practice of Akhlak Allah. It is not a ceremony and it is not based on thought. It is based on spiritual freedom of the highest sort. But for beginners, they must learn Allah and Er-Rahman and Er-Rahim. Too much nonsense about the “Five Pillars” of Islam. The Pillar is Allah. If I were asked what are the Five Pillars, they are all under Allah and are Ishk, Ilm, Shahud, Rahmat and Mohammed. But I am not insisting and reject that so-called “Islam” with its conventions, rituals and compulsions, especially, its companions.

Meher Baba either was instructed in or appropriated the intellectual side of Sufism. He failed miserably as to fana. He called Love, surrender, meaning mostly surrender to him. I called Love, self-effacement in the Beloved. I may send to you part Two of “Saladin,” my grand epic based on experiences in fana-fi-Rassoul, by which I mean fana-fi-Rassoul. It is the compendium of experiences in fana-fi-Rassoul with Khatimal Mursaleen, and the inclusion of all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah in which Lord Mohammed himself was my “Sadguru” and no nonsense. But this excluded nobody.

It will shock “Muslims” no doubt to find I can “out-hari” the Krishna worshippers and the Rama-believer; out-dance the Shivaites; and out-“jhana” the Buddhists! We celebrated Hanukah with the Jews and will celebrate, inshallah, Christmas with the Christians. But all of this, including your suffering and mine points to Rassoul Gita which is this compendium of my life based on fana-­fi-lillah via the Bismillah, for out of this comes everything and the goal set for me is to outdistance even Bhagavad Gita! Oh, it is within me and there are stacks of spattered notes, but now the transvision is complete.

The dances pour through this person. The inspirations come not only in poetry and vision but also in the scientific fields. Now we are awaiting a Sufi from Israel of all places! I shall keep you informed. I am all with you and for you.

We practice Akhlak Allah and “Ya Shaffee! Ya Kaffee!” Also refinement of breath which I do not find among the Yoga practices, for it is based on “Allah” and aspects of Shagal—which correspond roughly to Pranayama but with devotion.

Allah be praised that you are now receiving cooperation from abroad. Sooner or later your own countrymen, Muslims and non-Muslims, will see the value of your work.

Id Mubarak,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


410 Precita Ave

San Francisco, Calif.

21st January, 1970

 

W. D. Begg

Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum. A visiting Sufi came to a meeting and said: “You have not only started the year right, you have started the decade right.” Sometime later he returned and we filled an auditorium without the slightest bit of advertising. And I am sending a copy of this to each of the two rival schools which claim to be teaching “Asian Philosophy” but so far both have agreed to exclude Sufism, although one must not say they stand alone—Sufism is generally excluded from the curricula in this land.

But a great change is taking place. One professor after another, one university after another has admitted that there are Sufis, that there are even important persons living toady who are Sufis. And more and more books are appearing, some by a scholars (who mostly do not know what they are talking about) and some by Sufis who do. My theme for the last public meeting, drawn from Shah Letif of Sindwas:

“Allah is not your jailer; he is your Lover.”

Not only is this the theme of Sufis (but not of scholars who write books on what they have never experienced), but it is this which is winning the hearts of young Americans and more and more and more.

While the main item of my programs is the attendance at the next conference of the world’s religions, all kinds of things happen. Very seldom do the scholars who like to lecture on Asian philosophy apply the laws of karma to themselves, but the laws are operative. They are really taught in various ways by all faiths. And it would seem to please providence that having been tried through the fires, one is now the beneficiary of Grace. But the public people are more interested in the fact that my financial condition seems to be constantly improving although it is at the moment legally but not otherwise held up. All would like the money, none seem to want Sufi teachings.

But as the universities are opening their doors something may be done, inshallah, and we shall soon be having honest, objective Oriental philosophy. There is a publication from the University of Chicago and the writers, after writing heavy themes—this time on Taoism, and finding the people did not believe that way or worship that way, have said so and corrected themselves. This is very interesting because the older scholars, finding the world is different, still try to hide both truth and facts. But the young professors, many of whom have visited or even lived in Asia, think and operate differently. They want facts, they want honesty, they even deeply admire (to say the least) spiritual experiences.

I therefore await your nooks, having just received more advance notices.

We always have the unexpected or dramatic in our programs, even daily. Today one item is the preparation for India’s Independence Day. As long as the scholars controlled this I was hardly tolerated, never permitted to say anything. But now India students have taken over. Two of the chief speakers are close friends and the third whom I have met, speaking on Indian agriculture, has almost the same views. In previous years these views were also barred, but it is a new day, the day of objectivity, factuality and “God is no respecter of persons.”

The other was my meeting with another disciple in Sufism is a citizen of Israel, of all lands. We have a number of mutual plans both to help bring real and lasting peace in the Near East; also to spread the active spiritual teachings mostly by chanting, dancing and singing. Indeed tonight we did this at an Indonesia restaurant here. And the Consul-General of Indonesia has sent for me, being himself a disciple in tarik.

We have also been joined by a dancing teacher from India, the first one who accepts alike “din” and “dharma’, has a wonderful heart, the devotional outlook, and skill in her profession. Everything looks auspicious for the New Year, alhamdu lillah.

Later I hope to write to you on financial matters.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

28th Jan. 1970

 

My Dear Benefactor,

Wa-Alaikum-us-Salaam. May God grant you necessary vigor and divine inspiration to propagate his holy mission among humanity. I am in due receipt of your kind letter of 21st instant. In this decade, we must bring out “The Big Five” Sufi’s illuminating biographies so that American people may get their blessings in solving their own and the world’s intricate problems. When divine power works, we need no advertising. God gracious does the work. If they suppress Sufism, let them do it. Many times in history, Sufis were tortured by the worshippers of materialism but they failed to suppress the “Truth.” Great Sufis always emerged triumphantly successful. So what do we care for the enemies of God and Sufism? If they exclude Sufism, let them do it. Who can suppress the “Truth?”

If the professors in U.S.A. are getting interested in Sufism, which is a most heartening news for me, then we must give them copies of our “Special Bulletins” which I can send you by post to be distributed in your meetings. Can we do this? If so, please let me know and I shall send you 50 or 100 copies at once which can be distributed.

I have already read the biography of Shah Latif, the great Sufi of Sind (India). He was a great soul indeed. No scholar can write a book on Sufism unless he has studied the subject and has a divine spark too. I am in this work ever since 1954. Many wealthy persons came to buy me for their materialistic purposes, but I always scorned them. I had told you that I am alive only because of the spiritual blessings of Hazrat Muinuddin Chisti, otherwise I should have died in 1968 under that most serious illness. But the coning book must come out which I have written after 5 long years, hard labor. I am thus blessed to bring it out. I am now 74, and have had my full time already. Only this divine cause is keeping me alive for service. If the USA universities can get interested in Sufism through your efforts, I shall be most happy. If your financial condition improves, and now sincerely I am praying for it here, then our work would be most successful. The cost of printing books has gone up 500%, as compared with the 1960 prices. I am puzzled but not dejected because I know the money will come “unexpectedly” from the unseen quarters for the printing of “The Big Five.” This is my greatest headache, day and night. I am trying to go to Allahabad to settle this printing business with one of my old printers on “credit,” if it suits him. Needless to say that the moment the book is out of press, I shall send you the copies. Your prayers and blessings must be concentrated for my success in this year. My illness has cost me big sum of money and time too, and delayed this noble work. This book contains the essence of Sufism, I assure you. One of my junior friends at Cambridge in USA wrote to me about the formation of Indian students’ Association there. He is studying there. This Assn. will be of much help to us in future. His name is P.K. Gupta of India studying at the Cambridge M.E. College. He was a poor man, but Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin blessed him and he got money and went to USA which surprised here everybody. He is a faithful boy. Inshallah, by the grace of God and your continued support and blessings, I shall be able to bring out the “Big Five” this year. I am interested in the financial matters which you promise to write to me about.

A lot of money has been spent in the compilation and publicity work of “The Big Five.” I wish I had enough money to propagate the Divine Cause. It is Allah’s favor that my work has been most successful in the past 14 years in the service of Sufism. And I am sticking to it through thick and thin, renouncing every other attraction.

When are you going to attend that Religious Conference at in Turkey? Alham-do-Lillah, (God be praised), Who is the Most Merciful to help us. With profound regards and best gratitude for your continued interest, Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

8th February, 1970

 


W. D. Begg,

Topdara, Ajmer, India

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam Aleikhum. Your letter of the 28th of January is here. The easiest thing in the world is to give a sermon when another is in difficulties. We have introduced so many “innovations” here that the “Muslims” are horrified. We repeat the various Sifat-i-Allah in the form of Wazifas and otherwise and learn to accompany them with walk and dance and bodily movements to impress upon the whole personality what they mean and how they can be of unlimited value to the students and devotees.

Unlike the Orthodox we accept all scriptures excepting where they conflict with Qur’an. The Bible teaches that God made man in His Image, and the Messenger said, “I am a man like you,” but no “good Muslim” wants to accept that. The result is that man has been kept down by the priestcraft and power hungry people. And as written before I dare to use the theme of Shah Latif: “Allah is your lover, not your jailer”.

The young hungry-of-heart Americans may begin with hemp derivatives for trans-physical experiences; they learn there are unseen worlds, and Ya Latif can and does impress them. So today one has two forces working for one, and they in turn will drive back the forces of darkness and obscurantism. For instance there is an Indian teacher here from whom I studied certain aspects of philosophy. He is a Ph.D. He is proud of those with these degrees. And the worst insult was to tell him that Arjuna wanted only Sri Krishna and not all the power and prestige of the world.

There are now two forces operative for the Light and they are more or less in alliance and alignment: (a) the young people who are thoroughly disenchanted with the past and more with religious orthodoxies than with the social order. Many of them come from wealthy families. You cannot read the truth about them. All the publications are misinterpreting them from sociological and political views but the truth is that the soul of man is seeking freedom. And today I have two full dance classes, reciting the Names of Allah and finding an exaltation which they never experienced before.

Along with that is the growing number of college professors. The scientific discipline means that one must be honest in his researches and impersonal. The Hegelian and Aristotelian traditions are based on the assumption of ego-self, and thus the struggle for power, prestige, wealth and evils. But now many of the professors, having some scientific disciplines, are applying these to all their efforts, and especially when they see something operative succeed and that which they think fail.

Yesterday we were studying the affairs of Malaysia. The instructor said that most of the Malays are Sufis. This was somewhat new. The official teachings, given out by Europeans and disciples of Arthur Arberry, ignore the existence of the humanity and concentrate upon their ridiculous philosophical interpretations of translations, good or bad. The fact that there are millions in tas­awwuf means nothing, yet, to our culture, but it will soon, inshallah.

Tawakkul may mean more than a word. Anyhow that insight called Kashf in Islam and Prajna in the Dharma is operative. Scholars will ultimately have to recognize it. And so with the utmost trust—and the Momin is either awakened or a hypocrite—we can find the living Allah and really surrender. For sixty years one lived in poverty, and then the father, seeking forgiveness on his deathbed, made it possible to live comfortably.

It can even be, Inshallah, what a hadith says: “In that day will the sun rise in the West, and all men seeing, will believe.” I returned to this part with the goal of getting fifty-thousand Americans to say “Allah”. Many are now doing this. Even the leading missionaries of Indian cults have acceded to this person when it comes to esoteric wisdom. An so before me is an important career, which, if Allah wills, will make a mark.

At the end of next month, inshallah, I should be going to Geneva, not Istanbul, to attend a conference of the religions of the world. I go both in an independent and traditional sense. In the traditional sense one has the Baraka and silsila, again not from the Sufis of the “East” and “West” but the blessing from Mohammed himself, and it does not matter what all the scholars and orthodox “think” from their ego-conciseness. Last night we went ahead with our work in tasawwur as well as in other matters, and the young are finding the direct exaltation in Allah, far beyond that of the drugs and psychedelics. You can be sure that the people who offer self-righteous sermons on this subject are more afraid of spiritual enlightenment than of anything else.

But the story is getting out. We are planning a gigantic spring festival and that there will be public attention. But one has colleagues now, those more interested in the spiritual awakening of humanity than either with the maintenance of traditions or the effecting what they call “revolution.” And sore afraid are the power-people of any spiritual revolution, more than anything else. Only many of these young people come from wealthy homes and they are even supplying the leaders for this spiritual revolution! It will take some time to send on details.

The great revolution before me is that the message I wish to bring is the Love of Heaven for Earth. The whole world has the love of earth for heaven and everybody has been asked to make sacrifices, sacrifices of everything but nufs. Taking the theme of Shah Latif: “Allah is your Lover, not your Jailer,” both in operations and in the cosmic poetry inside I hope to bring out this theme. It will appeal to the young.

I differ from the Shiahs not in their theologies and metaphysics but in their masochisms. The same with the Christian “mea culpa.” The Divine Light is always shining with its Rahmat and all virtues and they come from Allah and we can receive them, we do when we step upon nufs.

Before I continue you have mentioned P. K. Gupta at Cambridge but you do not give which Cambridge. I hope to go to London after leaving Geneva and then must come to the Boston-Cambridge area in the United States. Contacts are increasing and what we call “the grapevine” is working in this direction instead of the opposition. Or as Jesus has said, “My time has not yet come.”

What is needed today are not doctrines, traditional or new, but the emphasis that Allah is the All-Giving, All-Blessing, All-Helping, etc. The “religions” are demanding from man and Allah is donating to man. It is not easy to understand some faiths but the conclusion one has is that nearly all end in a Nirvana, a giving up, which corresponds to the Sufic fana. You do not hear about the baqa, the manifestation of the Divine Light through man, and man operating as the Vice-gerent of Allah upon earth. All seem to stop there. And so one has a message which can be a message of comfort, this is certainly being demonstrated here.

Some years back a very dear friend of mine, a leading Buddhist, wished to go to Australia. He had no funds but some golden statues which he was ridding himself of. Suddenly Tengku Abdul Rahman, the Prime Minister of Malaysia came suddenly to him; said he knew about his troubles and gave him a round trip ticket. This is Sufism in action. What will happen when the world comes to know of this method?

All love and blessing,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

13th February 1970

 

Revered Soul & My benefactor,

Wa-Aleikhum-us Salaam. May God bless you with more vigor and faith and excellent health in His service. Your affectionate Air letter of 8th Feb is before me. It gives me increasing good news about your efforts and success in the cause of Sufism and Divine Law. I note you are not going to Istanbul, but you will proceed to Geneva instead, for the world Religious conference. It is good news. Your success there is assured, I am confident. God be praised and so His beloved prophet and dear Sufi souls. By their grace, my health is much improved and I am once more working as hard for my mission as I did before 1968 when I got ill. I propose to move out in the country soon to preach for the support of my next book. Your prayers and benevolent blessings are needed. I am sure they will be an inspiration to my efforts as they have been in the past years.

They had a grand show of a Religious Conference in Delhi Last week; many countries were represented. I had also an invitation and was too eager to deliver a sermon on Sufis and Sufism. But, pity, my health and my purse did not permit me. But from the papers I gather, it was a mere show and nothing solid and lasting. Islam was poorly represented and there was no mention of Sufis or Sufism or their grand part in the history and world peace in the past. I have collected a small cutting from the papers for you which I will be sending soon by Sea Mail to you.

There is another good news. “The Illustrated Weekly of India” (Bombay)—a leading paper of Indian, has published a very attractive issue on 14 December 1969 which is dedicated to Islam and also to Sufis and Sufism, particular to Sufi Dances. I have just written to this paper’s manager at Bombay to send me 2 copies per V.P. Post at once. One copy is for you. It will follow by Sea mail (of course, under registered post). I am sure you will relish its contents and favor me with a line of its safe arrival. The postage on this copy will naturally be heavy. Anyway, Allah is there to help me to carry on His mission at any cost.

Here is Mr. P.K. Gupta’s full address: P.K. Gupta, 11-A, Academy Street, Arlington, Mass. 02174 (USA). I trust he will try to pay you his homage if he visits San Francisco. He is a nice boy. Only by the blessing of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti he went to U.S.A. for his studies.

I try to go deeper into your Divine deliberations which I get in your affectionate letters but I am still too poor to dilate upon this wisdom. Yet I learn a lot from them as to how things are moving under your struggles for the cause of Sufism. The world is undergoing a great transformation. It needs genuine persons to preach the Divine path to the younger generation against devilish materialism. People of your courage and wisdom are far and few. Please note, on the authority of history, that is was Sufism that spread the light of Islam in Malaysia. I have a great book to support it. It was Hazrat Khwaja Saheb’s missionaries who went to Malaya and Indonesia 700 years ago to spread the light of Islam.

Those who rule the world have always been afraid of the spread of spiritualism, so it is not a new thing in our times. Yet the “Spirit has always vanquished the Sword” and no power could avert it. Who can defy God gracious? Those who did, perished ignominiously. Every religions book confirms it and you know this better than me. Hence, who can defy your noble work when Allah is with you? Along with the packet of the “Illustrated weekly,” I am sending you a copy of my special article on “Is the Day of Judgment Near?” which I wrote for the “Ramdhan Number” of “The Muslim Digest” of Durban. Both Islam and Christianity predict that the time of resurrection of the Christ has arrived and is nearing every day.

If you go away to Geneva before the arrival of my promised packet by sea mail, please depute someone to collect it and keep it safely for your perusal on your return.

With the best of my prayers and blessings of the “Holy Saint of Ajmer,” I remain, yours affectionately,

W. D. Begg

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

17th March 1970

 

Respected Friend of Sufis and Lover of God & Humanity,

Alhamd-o-Lillah—God be praised. Just as I was starting on my tour for Upper India in connection with the work of my book The Big Five of India in Sufism, I had received your letter of February 1970 which I kept pending for acknowledgment on return from this much delayed tour; it should have been taken place in 1968 but my prolonged illness prevented it.

I returned only 2 days back. Thank God, there is success in sight after this tour, and I hope God gracious will help me to put the book in the hands of printers by May 1970 and it will come out by the end of this year, if all goes well. Some gentlemen have promised more financial help on this tour. It is a pity the prices of printing and publicity have gone exorbitantly high during the past 10 years, as compared to the cost of printing The Holy Biography which was done in 1960. Now the approximate cost of printing “The Big Five” will be about Rs. 26,000/-. A sum of Rs. 3,500/- has been spent already in research and compilation work of this new book. You can imagine that this work is not going to be a child’s play for me. Anyhow, I have full confidence in Almighty God’s grace and am proceeding with all due speed to complete this publication as soon as possible.

I am glad to learn from your letter under reply that “cheerful circumstances” are developing at your end in your mission. God’s ways are always wonderful and He is always so merciful and kind towards those who sin and also those who worship and lead a pious life alike. His compassion is infinite otherwise men of my poor status would have been nowhere in this world.

My work, on return from this tour, has considerably increased as I have to deal with a lot of people and have to make many important arrangements to put the book in the hands of the printers by May 1970 who have promised to do their best for its quick disposal from the press. This is encouraging news for us. Most of the Indian printers are awfully busy and refuse to take work. But my Allahabad old printers have taken it up. Kanpur printers could not.

I hope your brother’s health is improving now so that you may not have any worry to carry on your work. Please see if you can manage to send me a few more dollars to help me in my arduous work. Travelling is too costly and most troublesome in these days. And so are other expenses all round. With all due regards and Salaams,

Yours as ever      (In haste)

W. D. Begg

 

 


March 28, 1970

 

Beloved One of Allah:

Your letter of 17th March arrived just as secretary Mansur and I prepare to leave this part of the world for a conference of the great religions meeting at Geneva, Switzerland. We are presumed to discuss what religion can do to promote world peace. This is a field in which I personally have been engaged most of my life but which has been aborted because the religious leaders of the world, whatever else they may say, are too often concerned with the prowess of human personality than with Divine Experience, and so long as this attitude persists we can hardly look for any solace through religious meaner, traditional or new.

There are today so many new groups claiming world outlooks and generally not recognizing each other. Fortunately your Sri Surendra Mohan Chose, deputy leader of the Congress Party, has recognized this. Many of his colleagues have not, especially those colleagues who have dared to assume leadership while even denying the historicity of the great Moguls Akbar and Dara Shikoh, and your recently esteemed President the late Zukair Hussein.

It is also notable that I shall be carrying with me excerpts from both Presidents Radhakrishnan and Giri, and I hope to be able to carry this message to a real open convention where no longer manas-ahankara can forbid speeches by those to whom God Allah has given His Blessing.

I am putting all my financial resources in this effort, but am not particularly troubled. Not only my brother but the last of my few relatives seem to be hospitalized today, hovering between life and death. Excepting the Wisdom of Allah, I have accepted this as part of His Will, knowing full well that in the end my affairs will be properly straightened out. Besides this there is a possibility that some of the world leaders will listen to me whereas their immediate disciples will not. Nor is there any care about this. The Union of Baraka and Dharma may hand unlimited possibilities, both of these spring from Infinity and I am sorry if people whose pretension for leadership is not based on spiritual awakening. Surrendering to Allah with full faith in his guidance through Kashf-Prajna, the heart is very much assured, and upon my return, if not before, I shall write further. Meanwhile at least being able to pray for you, and wish you all forms of love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


April 10, 1970

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

This letter is written from London in a spirit of love and hope. We have been to the world conference under the auspices of the Temple of Understanding Washington District of Columbia. It was perhaps the most successful conference that has been held up to date. Indeed, we had 14 prayers offered on a single occasion representing the real religions of the real world. Such minorities as the Sikhs, the Jains, and Parsis were among them.

The conference had many real spiritual leaders; excluded were the more modern movements of true or false eclecticism and pseudo-synthesis. When you permit one of these to come in, you permit others and this generally leads to a battle royal on personalities, and not on principles. This has happened before. Indeed it was one my chief Sufi colleagues that objected to what we can even call dajjalism. While many of the speakers, particularly of the small minorities, made passionate emotional appeals for love and understanding, it is these very passionate emotion appeals that stand in the way of universal concordance.

There was a very charming, handsome Sikh leader with perhaps as good understanding and usage of the English language as anybody. He was most outspoken for universal love, and also he was most outspoken. Indeed, this “scoundrel” told him that applause was of the devil, that loud applause for somebody’s speech keeps us from listening to God, that noise and noise-making prevented inner peace a quietude. He especially did Guru Nanak a disfavor by constantly praising Guru Nanak and ignoring Christ, Mohammed and Buddha, etc.

With Allah’s guidance, this person seems to have gained recognition and friendship from many. One was probably the only one there that understood all the faiths and even the many various branches of these faiths. One received the most profound apologies from representatives of important religion that have ignored one’s efforts to bring about first, better understanding, and then, peace. In fact Allah was with us from the very beginning. Without moving a step we met the legate of his Holiness Pope Paul. Almost immediately after that we met the senior of the Birla family, and after that it was they who sought out this person.

To us, the dominant figures were Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda, and Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr of Tehran. In addition, these two great men were very friendly and cordial to each other. I think the spirit of love and amity echoed and re-echo through the vast assemblage of peoples of all religions and every branch of Asian and European races and cultures. Not represented were the Africans and South Americans, and we are going to try to adjust this.

Even more obvious was the absence of a minority which by very biological laws will become the majority—that is the Young. The only way for the young to be heard was for them to do something and that is exactly what happened. I think oratory and applause are the greatest obstacles to peace and understanding. The representative of His holiness the Dalai Lama attracted more attention by his strong calmness than did the Sikh, for example, with his constant stirring emotional appeals, repeated over and over and sometimes echoed by others.

This person made the shortest speeches and always to the point. This may mean, inshallah, that next year we may play a more dominant part, not toward external leadership but toward brotherhood and fraternity. One knew all the religions, one could mingle with everybody and did, and one easily won the good will of the young. So this is a beginning.

In the meanwhile news has come that one’s brother has died, and sooner or later this means a substantial increase in one’s monthly allotment. Therefore after receipt of my next letter from you, which should be sent to San Francisco, I should do at least a little something. One cannot tell at the moment, because no details are available here. My family agreed that I should pursue the objectives for the journey and not hurry home even in a crisis. In a sense I shall be a totally free man, but in another sense I wish to be more devoted and dedicated to Allah, to perform his will and be his instrument actually. At least once I felt in complete attunement making my words short, direct, and to the point, but warning that we could build a universal temple without oratory and even without funds if we had the divine grace and inspiration. And perhaps, inshallah, we already have. Therefor from this end we send you

All Love and Blessing,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

20th May, 1970

 

Respected Friend of Great Sufi Saints & their humble servants,

I am ashamed to acknowledge your loving letter of 10th April, 1970, from London so late due to many unavoidable reasons. One has to contend with the problems of the mundane world at every step. I had been travelling in connection with the printing arrangements of “The Big Five.” Please excuse me. I am much worried due to ever-increasing postage and the cost of paper and printing which have gone up exorbitantly, thus increasing my book’s printing cost to Rs. 25,000/-. Anyway, Allah is Great and the spiritual powers of “The Five” are with me. I am struggling hard.

Your report of the world conference makes a most interest in reading. Who was that Sikh who spoke of Guru Nanak alone forgetting so many other Greats, Allah’s beloved prophets? We have as much respect for Guru Nanak as is his due but to eulogize him above others is blasphemy. Anyway, I am proud of the role you played in the conference as a true Sufi and they have done the right thing in recognizing your worth. In fact, if the Lord recognizes one’s worth, where is the value of the recognition of man? I pray God gracious may mercifully recognize your services to the cause of Sufism, Religion and humanity.

Every day the youth of the world is going astray. As you see, there is a great turmoil among the student community. They have smashed all discipline to pieces. We are having a bad time with them in Indian schools, colleges and universities. This is the biggest problem before the country now. Unfortunately communism has also raised its ugly head. The tragedies of Ahmedabad and Maharashtra are the latest. May God gracious give His mercy to the suffering humanity. If humanity will not return to Religion, it would be destroyed. Materialism or Industrialism are not the remedies of the problems of the world. The “Spirit” must dominate if real peace is to come. We need a prophet but God has said: Prophet Mohammed is the last one; He will now take account and the Day-of-Judgment seems near at hand.

A most perplexing note in your letter is the sad news of the passing away of your dear brother. If he was a dear thing, then your loss is irreparable and I was simply shocked to learn of his death when you were away on tour. May Allah grant peace to his soul. We all have to follow in due course of time. May Allah give you long life to fulfill your sacred mission. I have to contend hard this year and do not know how and when help will come to enable me to bring out the book in hand—my last and greatest ambition.

After a very long time, The Times of India Press has published a Special Number of the “Illustrated Weekly of India”—(Muslims India) dated 14th December 1969 which contains some extremely rare illustrations of Sufis and Sufi Dances and Sufi Wajd, etc. etc. I have procured a copy of this rare issue for you which I am sending tomorrow by Surface Sea Mail under registered post along with a copy of my article “Is the Day of Judgment Near”? (In the Light of Bible and Qur’an). I had written this for the Annual Number of the “Muslim Digest” of Durban but it was late to catch the issue. It was delayed due to my nasty illness of 1969.

I hope this Book Post packet will reach you in a month or earlier by Sea Mail. Please favor me with a line of acknowledgment as soon as you get it.

Seeking your auspicious blessings for my humble mission and offering my most grateful this for remembering me with continuous affection and love. I remain.

Yours dutifully,

W. D. Begg

 

 


May 26, 1970

Mr. W. D. Begg

Ajmer, India

 

Beloved One of Allah: As-salaam-aleikhum!

I wish to take great precaution in answer your letter of 20th of May. I am going through a number of tests, both of the ego self and of the philosophical outlooks to which I seem attached.

Certain aspects of this maybe seen in the letter just written to Prof. Nazr of the Teheran University. But the life is so full, events are happening so rapidly by mail, by telephone, by visitors to this place, and the slow but ever-steady increase in audiences both in quality and quantity. If you look into the complex aspects of my life it is difficult to determine whether one is facing real obstacles or whether it is merely the confusion of and from the ego. For example, the immediate financial benefits from the death of my brother have not manifested. But neither can you say that they have not manifested. For there are other happenings in the private life indicating quite to the contrary of any logical conclusions. And the same applies to all the other aspects of life, covering a multitude of subjects.

Yesterday morning there was a preview of films showing the progress of spirituality in this region. You hear all the bad things about young Americans, and I can assure you that most newspaper, radio, and television reports are conglomerations of near-truths, and open lies. Theoretically, the deeper Indian philosophies proclaim cosmic evolution, proclaim the manifestation of higher forms of entities, or the awakening of higher consciousness in man. But the powers that be do not leave these things in the hands of Allah. False leaderships and false interpretations keep the world in turmoil.

Starting off with a few there has been a steady increase in response, in memberships, and even in the total financial benefits accruing to disciples and others interested in the spiritual growth of themselves and of mankind in general. Indeed there is what is called a “Holy Man’s Jamboree” to be celebrated shortly, here. As I understand it, Sufism will be represented by Pir Vilayat Khan who has long since been favored by the Pirs of Ajmer. If he is unable to attend, I can assure you I have a number of well-qualified persons, all quite capable of presenting the cause of Allah, and this has certainly been done in the films reviewed. When these have been criticized by people saying Muslims will not like, I always answer, “No doubt, but the question to me is whether Allah will like what I am doing or not.”—I have always understood that Allah is the Master of the Day of Judgment. I have no doubt that there are prominent Muslims who, while repeating this verbally, believe they are personally more qualified. And that is why, when everything is presented, the Islamic tablighi have not been successful. They may verbalize “All praise to Allah” but their tongues and minds wish a goodly portion for themselves.

With all that is said about the magnificence of Indian philosophies, very few seem willing to face samsara—or as I call it nufsaniat. Fortunately in this country the tendency among the youth is absolutely, and I mean absolutely, away from what is called communalism. There is everywhere the spirit of togetherness and brotherhood. And those in power are more afraid of this than they are of a Marxian revolution. Of course you will not read about this, any more than you would have read in most cases about The Temple of Understanding. Such things just are not done—yet.

I am enclosing herewith a small cheek to cover your postage. I am not doing more at this time because there is a need to re-evaluate everything. There was an American named Richard Alpert who has been a leader in the youth revolt, who went to India and came back as a sort of Guru. Evidently he has not attained what he sought spiritually and he is about to leave this country for further instructions. This has put on me both burden and obligation which I think Allah wants and I am accepting it. My feeling at the present, very indeterminate, is that I may have to establish a sort of elementary Bayat, like that of the Warisa School. I have been welcomed by the disciples of this school, which I find spiritually far more universal than let us say, Baha’is or Sikhs. My private life shows a tremendous upsurge in the spiritual urge, by, of, and from the young.

I have no doubt that this letter is incomplete. I am quite willing, if Allah so wills, to go to India later, even to face hostile mobs. But I believe there are more constructive forces at work, and in the end this hostility can be disarmed. I have already done this in your country before the communists, where all other Americans failed. And because I succeeded where prominent Americans failed instead of being congratulated I have been feared by a foreign office which is not equipped to meet the peoples of Asia, which has very little ideas either of Asian cultures nor the search for Allah which is inmate in all of us.

Love and Blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

4th June, 1970

 

Beloved soul of Allah,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of May 26, its enclosure and a cheque for 10/- dollars. Allah is gracious. He looks after the needs of everything He has created. Words cannot express my gratitude, for your innumerable favors and munificent financial help from time to time in my humble mission. Although there have been so many hurdles in the way during the past 15 years, but, thank God, my determination and faith in, Him have never wavered. These are my tests of Eemaan. When God is pleased with you, He creates friends among your enemies. Nothing is possible without His dominating Will. If one’s faith is strong, He comes to one’s rescue. Patience brings its own reward in due course of time. I am working; have not wasted a single moment. God sees and knows everything. Those who fear Him do not fear the world. But trials are extremely taxing, as you know. We have to pay a price for everything in this world; nothing is gratis.

Your illuminating letter to Prof. Nasr is a mine of spiritual knowledge and intelligence. Sufi Inayat Khan did some useful work for Sufism in the West but why should his successors crave for his “gaddi” instead of craving for his mission’s pure and transparent missionary service? Why should there be difference of opinion among his followers? I get letters from The Hague and other centres of his mission in U. K. and. U.S.A. They differ from each other, though they profess his creed and eulogize his work. Instead of preaching his particular mission, they should take up the golden teachings of the world’s greatest Sufis who never did any propaganda but won the world by sheer spiritual powers and unfailing blessings of God Almighty.

Our “nufs” is the devil. How to avoid the devil is and has always been the greatest problem of mankind ever since the days of Adam and Eve. Those who could ride over their “nufs” were prophets and saints and great Sufis only. The commoners can seldom subdue it and this is the root cause of all worldly troubles. Islamic “tabligh” was done by our Great Sufis; not by the Molvis or rulers. History shows that Islam was always saved from its enemies by the Sufis.

How many sincere devotees of Islam today work for it selflessly? We live in a most dangerous scientific age. God alone knows the future though politicians think otherwise because they are irreligious. Their religion is power and wealth. They don’t believe in the Day-of-Judgment. “Tatha raja tatha prija” was the ruler so the ruled. This world has a majority of fools and wiser people take full advantage of their foolishness. It will go on like this as it has been in the past. Prophets remedy the ills but the devil soon beguiles man again.

If you establish some sort of elementary Bayat, it would do a lot of good in checking irreligious ideologies among the young aspirants. They are ships without a rudder. They need spiritual guidance. If your time, permits, you must accept disciples in “Bayat” in the service of God and Sufism.

If you can visit India, then try to be here by 3rd of Sept. 1970 when the annual “Urs” of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti starts this year. It will last till 12th of September.

I have already posted the promised copy of the Illustrated Weekly of India on 25th of May to your address under registered book post and trust it will reach you safely and in time. I am sure you will get some rare information on cold Sufism in this publication, specially of “Haal”“ or “Wajd.” Please do let me have its acknowledgment as soon as it reaches you.

With all the best regards and heartfelt gratitude for your fatherly guidance and interest in my poor work.

Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

15th June, 1970

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum. Your letter of the 4th June has been forwarded to where I am now staying in the Rocky Mountains, in the “Nathagalli” so to speak of this land, high up. But it was once a holy mountain to the original natives and still is to some.

One operates as a Murshid to the occupants and also there are some mureeds here. My whole role—and this may offend some “good” people is to play the role of a Moineddin Chisti and although a lot of “good Muslims” will not like that, there is a very sign that Allah, to Whom be all Praise, does like it. For there have been astonishing signs of His Grace, and more and more. And in these what you call “disturbing times” one accepts the teachings of the Final Messenger and goes around saying “Allah” and leaves others to their devices and schemata and blamings on everybody else. And so there is a certain calm and peacefully from which emanate strength, vitality, encouragement and countless inspirations.

Within a short period of two weeks a whole stretch of the Rio Grande River, from the border of the State of Colorado to the largest city of Albuquerque is responding to “Sufi Sam” and joining in dervish dances. And now it seems that the first mission assigned by Allah is on its way, to have fifty thousand (50,000) Americans chanting “Allah,” something no tablighi has succeeded in so far, although in this one is assisted by one’s esoteric secretary who is elsewhere and one’s choral master who is here with Murshid.

One arrived in this land from 1962 and for five years had to face The Cave experience knowing that Allah was with one. Then sudden illness and the divine message which has come through down to tiny details. One has to adjust to all sorts of growths and complications. One does not even know one’s financial situation, excepting to say one’s debts are very much larger while one’s income has growth to the extent that these debts seem minimal. I cannot therefore determine any status at the moment but am enclosing what to me is a small contribution but to you may seem substantial. I feel at the moment my zarkaat should go to the mosque in London. There is a tragic story there and also a beautiful one, either of which should make me feel willing to do this.

I do not feel Muslims are better—or worse—than other peoples, and it is sad to find them believing they are better and to ignore the very simple, sound fact that this belief that they are better has resulted in an actual persecution in England which is terrifying. While some Muslim editors are either from fact or fancy telling about Islamic persecutions in your land, there is no fancy, there is only fact about what is happening in London.

I am always of the side of the persecuted, no matter what race. Without exception. And I also differ from some Muslims because the Holy Messenger said, “Allah loves his creation more than a mother loves her offspring.” Also Rab Alamin.

I shall have three additional missions when I return to San Francisco; everyone very big. 1) the bayating and teaching of a large number of young Americans, and in sundry places; 2) a commentary on the Christian First Epistle to the Corinthians; 3) the synthesis and harmonization of the more advanced moral teachings of Hazrat Inayat Than with the Hadiths of the Blessed Prophet.

Each of these alone may be a large undertaking. But I have also found a very effective way in psychotherapy based on the teachings of tas­awwuf. So far it has been so effective as to be astonishing. My war against Christianity is very simple: the Bible begins, “In the beginning God.” And the Christians begin, “I believe.” Thus nufs, and this nufs has to be eliminated to restore pure religion, whether it be the religion of Mohammed, Christ, Krishna, or any other Messenger.

You are now finding out about the disciples of Inayat Khan. I do not even know where the various headquarters are. Hazrat Inayat Khan left with me his final wishes. These were identical down to the smallest detail with his death bed requests to Hazrat Hasan Nizami. Even though most of these requests did not interfere with anybody, they all united in rejecting my appointment as exoteric representative to bring the Sufi Message to the intellectuals. I am now, mashallah, succeeding in doing just that while warring factions hide his teachings because they do not know them; they have the words and papers but it seems that the whole world is united against Imam Ghazzali who said, “Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises.” There are nothing but premises and divisions in the name of Tauhid.

I am teaching and quite successfully moral and psychic regeneration through reciting the names of Allah.

In the last month there have been two grand developments. The first has been the success of my esoteric secretary, Wali Ali, in presenting dervish dances to 100’s of young Americans. The second are the new compositions of my choral master who is with me. The time may come, inshallah, when we may go to Ajmer and also, inshallah, to Pakistan and elsewhere and present a type of choral which uses for a good part contemporary musical modes along with traditional sacred Arabic phrases and American chants. The blend has been most effective.

There is some drama going on. I have been attacked by some groups calling themselves Sufis as not being a Sufi. If this becomes public, inshallah, there will be a law court suit; for over forty years I suffered family persecution and acted like a Gandhian. Finally I brought suit. It never reached the court. It resulted in apologies, reconciliation, and a tremendous increase in income.

Now there have already been efforts to film our work. One group has done substantial filming. Originally the idea was to film those artistic and ritual methods now being used in this land toward and for God-realization. Unfortunately nufs entered and certain enterprising persons not only have been using those to build all their own positions financially and socially but without consent have added to them films of groups which do not accept God in any manner and are even my personal enemies.

Countering this, there are at least two larger efforts being made now to show pictures of real spiritual endeavor in what you regard as a land of turmoil and which is in some respects a land of turmoil. But even beyond these it is possible now to reach the most substantial, dignified and important leaders in religious and spiritual movements.

I have had two very strong letters from men of the highest caliber attacking daggalism. I have suffered more from the followers of various daggals than from all other sources combined. Fortunately the news has come that the young in San Francisco have flatly turned down the latest daggal. Some personality is used on whom every scamp and scoundrel leans and uses the excuse that faith in this person will absolve them from all sins. Although I have the greatest respect for much of India’s spirituality, Allah is neither a human incarnate, nor a river, nor a mountain. And the followers of human beings and rivers and mountains do not, even cannot, accept “Love ye one another” or the brotherhood of man.

Nevertheless Allaho Akbar, there is no power nor might save in Allah. There is no wisdom save in Allah. And while Muslims are running around praising each other and blaming others; and while devotees of other faiths are blaming each other, slowly but surely we are getting Americans to repeat the full Kalama along with the invocation left to us by Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


1249 Princeton,

Albuquerque, New Mexico

June 24th, 1970

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum. This is a sort of report that we hope may blossom, inshallah, until we can give more open support and cooperation. There is no question, Allah be praised, but that two are now doing a work comparable to Ajmer Shereef in this land and all the criticisms and denunciations cannot refute the fact of the accomplishments . They would be astounding excepting that Allah has revealed in hal, in makam, in vision and in kashf almost everything that has happens, is happening.

There is ever promise that our departure from this State will be a tamasha and also our return greeting in San Francisco. We have succeeded in this Rio Grande Valley where “top” ?Holymen? have failed and where also another one of the self-proclaiming World-Leaders has made no dent. He has gone to San Francisco where he may be greeted by multitudes although the number of World Leaders, Messiahs, Avatars, Sadgurus, Maharshis, etc. is growing so rapidly that one cannot limit them—more and more, all proclaiming.

The difference between the emotionalist and the mystic is vast. The emotionalist meets somebody and has what for him is a transcending; experience, and it usually is. But when it is all over he has hal but not makam; he does not grow and he thinks others are his inferiors and that he has a “world message” for them. In general the Leaders whom the divided emotionalists support have laid aside Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount.” They are so superior they can dispense with the moral order, and often do. But few know the depths of any Oriental Wisdom.

The other night one faced the followers of various Indian sects, all hopelessly divided and said that when one is self-proclaimed and does not have illuminated disciples, it was worthless to discuss the persons. They make noise. This person has achieved the descent-of-Baraka and the dharma-transmission and will go on in history as one of the few who did. He said he would continue to work with his hands, to do menial jobs, make mistakes and is not asking Allah to forgive any of them. He is willing to accept my proclaimed or not-proclaimed “guru” who has an illuminated disciple. This person refused to be called “Murshid” or “Sufi” until he had an illuminated disciple and then was proclaimed by Sufis at public gatherings and no hush-hush or secrecy.

This is not accepted by emotional lists or those who become “Sufis” by joining the “right” legal organization. They are entitled by common or public law to be known as “Sufis” but this one who passed the tests and received the bayats, etc.— it is not funny, it is not tragic, for the descent of baraka comes out so clearly that the young are accepting it more and more and more, all over; keeping this person joyfully occupied forever.

The extreme success in our music and dancing made us consider visiting Ajmer in the future, inshallah End giving you every consideration, i.e. financially, in turn for your hosting us. While this is still a dream it is time rather than money that stands in the way. Allah has been inspiring us so much and when we place these inspirations before the young they respond so much that it will be necessary to establish Centers in this State of New Mexico and it would appear, Inshallah, elsewhere.

Pir Vilayat Khan has already been given the Baraka from Ajmer and he too, is working on the music and dance program as would befit the son of a saintly father.

But in touring this State we ran into several interesting facts and factors:

1. Those purported Indian teachers who are so welcomed by the important organizations are at loggerheads.

2. They dogmatize.

3. They have nothing of the fusing of divine and human love common to Sufis.

4. This person is already known for his tolerance whether he has it or not; the young think so.

5. We happened upon a small spiritual dramatic group which is planning to produce dramas from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

This last, of course, has already been rejected by the so-called “Word” group. They are now out for “scientific yoga” as if Union with God were a matter of human effort and not grace. And they have self-selected the “world leaders” legalistic methods. We realize that between our refusal to be bound by common or uncommon law and our proclaiming the Divine Grace the doors may continue to open for us all over the world. But we do have in mind a grand celebration at Fatehpur Sikri. I have visited that place twice and met the Walis of the Selim Chisti family.

All of this is too soon to put together, but Allah guides whom he desires and as I have perhaps told you, one big job ahead is the fusing of the Hadith with Hazrat Inayat Khan’s moral teachings. No denunciations, no criticism from others can stop a divine work. Everything we have been doing seems to be having the Divine Grace, al-hamdu lillah and we are thinking of you all the time.

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building,

Topdara, Ajmer

25th June, 1970

 

Beloved benefactor of Allah’s cause,

Your letter of 15th inst. with another draft for 25 dollars was a god-sent gift to solve my problems. How can I thank you and God Almighty for this help? I have no words. The book should have been in the hands of printers last month at Allahabad but my friend Mr. D.F. Gandhi’s father had an operation at Bombay. It was successful but some complications kept the old man confined to bed and M. Gandhi and family was seriously upset. Thank God, only yesterday I got a letter from Mr. Gandhi saying fever has left his father and that they have brought him back to Allahabad. This caused dislocation in our program unexpectedly. We shall resume the work again in July. This man, Mr. Gandhi is a soft-hearted philanthropist, a devotee of saints and also a beneficiary of latter’s favors. In any case, your gift of 25 dollars at this time is extremely welcome. It will enable me to carry on. My last 18 months’ illness has caused me enormous financial loss. It made a dent in my plans. But Allah is very gracious and merciful. He has granted me a new lease of life to finish His work.

So the merciful God has been pleased to open new vistas for your work at “Nathagalli.” It is most heartening to me as it is to you. God must help His devotees to spread His mercy upon the strayed humanity.

I read your instructive long letters with keenest interest. I presented my humble homage, on your behalf last night, at the holy shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti here whose work you are doing in U.S.A. I see a mureed of Chishti “silsila,” doing his precious work among the Americans. What more can be heartening to us?

Having passes through so many obstacles myself in the past 15 years, I know and can appreciate your own troubles and trials. But what Sufi dervish was without them? Trials and tribulations are only mere tests for them to reach the stage of “Mukashfa.” They are meant to suffer all worldly persecutions. When you will read “The Big Five” you will find that every one of them was awfully persecuted. But did they leave their mission? No. In the end the world had to kneel down at their feet. This is the miracle of Sufism.

Money and financial handicaps in the service of God are nothing. What Sufi dervish had wealth for his work? But all the wealth of the world has always been at their feet. While they starved, they fed richest food to the oppressed and sufferers. Don’t you see me running a sacred mission so successfully single handed for the past 15 years on “Tawakkul” upon God? He raises benevolent souls like you to lend me a helping hand. 15 years is not a small period??? I have faith in Him and His promises made openly in the Holy Qur’an which I read every morning to strengthen my faith. You know better than me what “faith” can do for a devoted faithful. But to depend upon God’s mercy is also not a cheap bargain. It is He alone who favors man to endure a test.

One thing, little impertinent, to suggest. I am sorry, I disagree with your plan of launching a law suit against your adversaries. Why not leave these idiots alone? Give them a long rope; they will entangle themselves. All great Sufis have done this. We must carry on our holy service without distracting our attention. I personally abhor the law court as there is hardly any justice in the Kingdom of the devil. Is there any more powerful and honest court to get justice than the Court of our Almighty God? He is watching your war and is helping you. I respectfully apologize for this dissension. You are a matured dervish, far higher in spirits and ethics and morals then me, a poor soul. Forgive me please. Filming of your services is a mighty help in today’s cinema-mad world. But it should be fair, free of corruption and selfishness.

Daggling must also be despised like law suits, I think? Give the devil a long rope. Who on earth can stop God’s work by any dirty tricks, jealousy or corruption? None.

I close it for the time being and expect acknowledgment of my surface mail eagerly, which must reach you in the first week of July, I hope.

With all salutations and. best prayers,

W. D. Begg

 

 


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

July 7, 1970

 

Syed Tanvir Ahmed Haji Nisar Mansil Dargah Sharif,

Ajmer, India

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam-Aleikhum! It is with considerable pleasure that one has received notice of the wedding of sister Syeda Asifa Bibi. One is taking this into account because the gracious Allah, to Whom be all praise, has totally changed the inner and other conditions of life.

It is a little over three years since this person was flat on his back in a hospital and the Divine Spirit manifested to him saying, “I make you spiritual teacher of the Hippies.” This was followed immediately by a series of visions, all of which have since come into manifestation. Three stages of growth were seen by Kashf and Shahud; all have manifested and in the next two weeks, inshallah, the fourth stage will have begun. For one has now about 100 disciples and a scattered following of about five times that number of people, not including the intellectuals who are beginning to show some interest in the Divine Sciences.

One had long since been bestowed with the Robe physically which was presented on the inner planes in the presence of your late sainted father some years back.

The next stage was the inspiration and manifestation first of dances and then of chants; first singly and then with the spiritual cooperation of very devoted disciples who are filled with love and reverence.

At this writing there are several teams of technicians who are filming and tape recording these efforts. In the meanwhile a complete alliance and fusion had been made with Pir Vilayat Khan, eldest son of my first Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. Also Pir Vilayat has been fully confirmed and blessed by the leading Pirs of the Ajmer Chisti School, making such an alliance firm inwardly and outwardly.

So it maybe inshallah, in the course of a few months, that either Pir Vilayat Khan or some Americans, or likely, both together, will appear in Ajmer to cement alliances and make it possible to work together for mutual ends.

I am therefore contacting the disciples so involved so that they can contact you in person in turn, and any business on any plane can be more easily conducted at personal meetings.

I am now in my mid seventies, but due to Divine Grace and successful pursuit of Ryazat, I am in excellent physical and mental health with an ever-growing following of young, loving, and devoted mureeds, I am a recognized Murshid today and have been meeting with all kinds of spiritual leaders from all parts of the world. It is necessary to function both here in California and now also in many parts of the United States.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

Aug. 3, 1970

Beloved One of Allah:

 

As-salaam-aleikhum!

I have your two letters, no. 1376 and no. 1381. You will have to understand that this last meek I had my second day off for the whole year. I get endless letters of advice to take it easy with endless requests. I am trying very hard to follow in the footsteps of spiritual teachers, but there is one thing I cannot do—outstrip time—and this seems to be an unforgivable sin. For years I had to experience The Cave. Nobody believed me. Then I became ill and in the hospital Allah manifested and said, “I make you spiritual teacher of the Hippies.” So gradually and then suddenly I became the “Guru” of an ever-growing number of young Americans. But what we do is never in the press. We have never been guilty of envy, sloth, lust, and major sins, so we are not newsworthy. We are not only interested in Divine Consciousness; we are also interested in history and facts, and the alleviation of the pain in the hearts of men.

Two weeks ago my esoteric secretary presented to the leading disciples a list of duties; these duties have been augmented. During this time two of the secretaries have received outside remunerative jobs. My instructions from both Sufi Pirs and from Pir Vilayat Khan are to organize legally. You just don’t organize legally by saying “Boo.” It takes time; very valuable time. This also ties up funds, etc.

In the meanwhile, all meetings are having larger audiences. More and more every week. And as I write, we are waiting for a professor from a very large university who is preparing to offer courses on Sufism. This is not an easy subject. The courses on Sufism in this state have been entirely under the control of three Europeans who have seen to it that I be prevented from attending gatherings, etc. Professor Seyd Hussein of Tehran was amazed at the news I gave him about this. I think now, with Allah’s help, this will be reversed, but this means of course, more time and effort, and one can only do so much.

In addition to that we are receiving more and more telephone calls to join in what are called “Holy Man’s Jamborees.” It is an easy matter to refute the followers of the “Hare Krishna noises.” This type of stuff is welcomed by the press. Than they can easily prove that Christianity is superior to Oriental wisdom. I do not know of any cases of enlightenment. I myself have had the Divine Krishna experience, but then I have had the Divine Christ experience, the Divine Moses experience, the Divine Buddha experience. These have been recognized by Khalandars on earth and by the Seal of the Prophets in my poem Saladin. The unusual has always been unwelcome. Now the unusual is welcome. And I am over­whelmed with the duties laid before me, and the lack of help.

The same is true of Pir Vilayat Khan. He is, I think, deliberately over­working himself, for there seems to be no other course. In addition to this, I find I have an absolute, complete system of presenting the esoteric sciences to the world of today. I still believe in the Ahwal and Makamat. Last week, 18 of us—our choral group—went to an Afghan restaurant and chanted. The owners were amazed and delighted. The table-waiters were descendents from Sufi Murshids. Things are happening, but we only can do so much. We cannot transcend time processes. We have not yet received the materials sent by sea-post.

I have no intention of sending any funds to the Khadims. I have letters from them, unanswered.

The Hare Krishna people are all afraid of me, and I am willing to let it be that way. They are presenting nothing but alternate systems of excitement and excitation. This has nothing to do with Divine Experience. Now we are getting hundreds, even thousands, of young people to chant Allah. We are amazed at many of our young children saying Allah as soon as they begin to speak. This is not only true of disciples and their children, it is true of an ever-growing number of youngsters who hear others chanting Allah. Then they begin to do the same thing. As I have written elsewhere, when the Divine Messenger said every child was born a Muslim, he did not mean children are born known Sharia systems, or the work of the great Imams, or the complex legal systems which have uprooted every faith.

I shall show your letter to my disciple Fred when I next see him. But you will have to be patient. Our monies are tied up until we legally organize, and I have still a debt to pay off from my trip to Switzerland.

Love and Blessing,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

8th August, 1970

 

Syed Tanveer Ahmed

Khadim Khwaja Sahib,

Haji Nisr Manzil,

Dargah Sharif,

Ajmer, India

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam Aleikhum. We have your notice of the 756th Urs and can also understand your need for help. But we do not agree with the attitude of our brethren in faraway places that we are expected to help them financially. This person has long since attained the Murshidship in some Tarika and the Khalifship in others. The spiritual leaders have been expecting him to spread the teachings of Allah in the Western world. They are no doubt right. If one did not accept them and agree with them then one had no right to accept the titles, although these titles are based on accomplishments in hal and makam.

Al-Ghazzali taught that tas­awwuf is based on experience and not on premises. Philosophies have limited values; attainment is beyond evaluation. This person returned from the Orient with instructions to bring the divine teachings. For a long time he failed and then when ill Allah appeared and told him he would be spiritual teacher of the Hippies. These are young Americans who do not accept the common values of these people. They lean, for the most part, on Indian philosophies. They do not know that Sufism has all the wisdom-teachings plus humanitarianism.

Now one had long passed seventy years of age and one works incessantly, for one feels that one must serve Allah, not only in prayer and meditation but in the everyday life. One does not accept the methods that people may starve while others pray and preach. One does everything possible to grow more food and one has been immanently successful, alhamdu lillah, and one’s disciples have been more successful. And many of the disciples have found growing and selling food most profitable which is enabling Murshid to meet his financial obligations.

It costs much to live in this land and it costs very much more when one has to travel. Who pays for one’s travels? Long past the age of retirement one works. One does not purchase luxuries. One shares with one’s disciples, and they are growing in number rapidly. One’s work all over is being received better and better. And one listens to Allah. One have asks anything from anybody without asking Allah first and obtaining His permission to ask.

Then one uses Wazifas. There are Wazifas which answer every problem. One cannot demand faith of others but one has found there are values in Wazifas, values to help people morally, psychically and in everyday life including even rising above poverty. There are sacred thrashes, we believe, that are answers. And if money is needed both the Rahmat and “al-mu’ti” may be used. We have used them to success, and we do not feel comfortable when so many so-called “Muslims” in either Sharia or Tarika come to us asking. If they are so advanced, why do they not know? Why do they not have the answers from Allah?

We always ask Allah and now the answer seems to be to send people to Ajmer but if we send money to Ajmer we cannot spend the money for traveling. We are not that rich. And we wish to send somebody to your city either for Urs or otherwise. Our work is for Allah.

In creases in remuneration have not raised the standards of living. One owns no luxuries. The few one has were fits from others. But one listens always to and for Allah and thus one knows what to do without demanding on anybody. We really depend on Allah to whom be all praise.

There is now war between Arabs and Israelis. The Jews say they are the chosen of “God” and the Muslims say they are the chosen of “Allah.” Both take away choice from the Deity. And thus in England we blind lots of the young persecuting Muslims. They say, “You say you are the chosen of God, prove it.” So they torment them and injure them, far more than in your country. We had to witness it. So we decried to pay our Zakat to the Mosque of London. We do not believe in any kind of tormenting. We believe that Allah is Rab Alamin which includes all humanity.

Our decision at this moment is to save funds to send people to your sacred city. We cannot do it if we send funds. We are not that wealthy. But we do depend on Allah Rahmat and Al-mu’ti. We believe the divine teachings can be demonstrated. We are attracting more and more people but also more and more invitations to present the spirituality to Americans. We cannot do that if we share our modest funds.

So you must understand we must either server Allah or else. We hope you understand that.

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


8th August

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam aleikhum. Today I have written as may agree with your request. There is a great deal of opposition in Islam to this sort of behavior that pilgrims are exploited and games and business made of holy institutions, as Christ also said.

Now we are organizing legally. This is very important. Our general revenues have increased but we must file as a religious institution. At this time I have been carrying loads. Now the mureeds know it. But praise to Allah, we have gone into new types of enterprise which have been very successful, praise to Allah.

I cannot at this time tell anything about my own affairs. One is still in debt on account of travel but it looks now that one will be relieved. We have so many classes in tas­awwuf, more and more and more. So from this point of view also we must incorporate.

It is impossible at this writing whether some disciple will go to Ajmer or not. They are all working very hard. Allah seems to be satisfied. “Muslims” are not always satisfied, only with their egos. We shall not give to those who consider themselves more spiritual than we are. Only Allah is perfect.

In the course of life one has collected many materials of the spiritual sciences. They cannot be copied without secretaries and it is unfair to ask secretaries to work for nothing while we send moneys to other. Still wish to help you and the signs on the horizon are excellent but they are still on the horizon.

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

10th August 1970

 

Respected holy soul, Pir-o-Murshid.

Wa-Alaikum-us-Salaam. May God grant you vigor and courage to carry on His mission. Yours of 3rd instant is before me. It affords me great pleasure indeed to know your ever increasing success with the work of Allah. What greater treasurer man can expect in his life than this noble service? Not 100 but thousands are now coming to you for spiritual enlightenment and Truth! Allah be praised.

I read every line of your letters with absorbing interest and love. The more I read the more it puts me in ecstasy and reverence for the Almighty and His ways. I wish I could be with you for some time to derive some benefit. But, alas, it is not the Will of God. People ask me if I know any of the divine souls in this age. As I have not yet come across any matured soul, I disappoint them. There is a lot of hypocrisy in the world, as you know. I am satisfied with your explanation about this “Hare Krishna noise.” I myself thought it so, and it was just to clear my idea that I sent you the “cutting.” It is all sham show. God does not like sham shows and He does not help them. But our world is full of fools. “I make you spiritual teacher of Hippies?” What a divine blessing? The world is in need of a spiritual guide, a genuine one.

Our press is under the thumb and command of the devil, worshippers of dirty materialism in this age. But great Gurus and Sufi dervishes had never had any press help. They shunned it and preferred Cave through which you have already passed. I somehow think that in this age Truth needs the help of the press also; the age is changed. Falsehood rules by press; Truth can overwhelm falsehood in correcting the sinful. Our duty is to spread Truth as best as we can. The rest lies in the hands of God himself. We are only puppets in His mighty hands. This is a most puzzling question. Those who solved it never came back to the world.

Sufism, as you know, is a timeless business. Sufis spent all their lives in its devotion and yet could not complete the course. If Mr. Fred and Pir Vilayat Khan ever come to Ajmer, they must meet me. I am sure you will warn them in time. Money sent to Khadims is a sheer waste. Now most people in India too have realized this folly.

The illness of a friend’s father in Allahabad has come in the way of my book’s publication. God’s will. I am waiting patiently to resume my work there. I expect God’s mercy and your blessings. With profound salaams,

Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

15th August 1970

 

Pir-o-Murshid, servant of Allah.

Wa-alikum-us-Salaam wa barakaat-o-hu. I have just now received you letter of 8th August along with a copy of your letter to Syed Tanveer Ahmed. I think you are absolutely right in all you explain to this gentleman. There are more that 3,000 “Khadims” attached to the shrine of the” Holy Saint here. Hardly 1% earns his living according to Islamic teachings. They have built mansions around the Dargah in the past 750 years. Their business is that they publish Lakhs of pamphlets every year 3 months before the Urs and post them to all over India and foreign countries asking for money in the name of offering “Fateha” at the Urs ceremonies. Printed & self-addressed money order forms are sent with invitations; if people cannot attend the Urs, they are asked to send money by ready-made M.O. forms with the promise that the Khadim will offer Fateha on their behalf. Thousands of innocent persons send lots of money like this annually. But, it is a pity, not a farthing is ever spent on flowers or Fateha. The Khadim community thus feeds itself on this money for 12 months till next Urs comes. Among them, there are at least 5 or 6 millionaires and rich, having rich clientele in Africa and Pakistan, etc. who send large sums as staunch “devotees” of the Great Saint. I am pained to tell all this “true” inside story to you as I think it is waste of funds to send like this. And many of these Khadims are very proud indulging into sinful frivolities. Allah may forgive me and you for speaking the Truth. I have nothing to do with this business at all as I am not a Khadim. My father came to Ajmer 90 years ago as a devotee of the saint and took up service in Ajmer and. adopted this city, being holy, for his permanent abode. He died in 1909. I worked here on a very nice job on the Railway, built a house, and settled myself also here permanently near the Saint, being myself a poor and humble devotee.

I am sorry to say, these Khadims have been publishing some wrong biographies of the Saint and claiming themselves to be Syeds. None of them is a Syed, in fact. A few followers who came with the saint, died without issues; they never married. These Khadims started calling themselves progeny of those followers and as Syeds. 750 years is a long time. Who cares to corroborate their pedigree? Every Khadim is a Syed now. When I wrote and published “true” biography of the saint in English for the first time, they got jealous of it so much so that they always tried to retard its sales and circulation among their clients. Naturally this was against the interests of Truth. Yet I did not mind. The book became most popular on its merits all over the world, as you know. But I find that none of these rich Khadims published the saint’s biography, true and correct and historically authentic, in the past 750 years after his death. On the other hand, they stood in its way out of sheer jealousy. But when the Great Saint spiritually inspired me for this work in the fifties, I had to do it under most trying circumstances to meet his wish. It was a “miracle.” I did not like to print a shabby biography of such an exalted saint, so I had to pay Rs. 16,000/- by begging for a decent and most authentic publication. The modern world won’t believe Urdu publications printed by Khadims to suit their own “business.” I hope you will now understand the whole position well. Many people have now understood the game of the Khadims. The world has changed. Darkness is giving place to light.

It pleases me most to hear that Allah is blessing you and your holy mission at every step with success. Those who work for Him are meticulously blessed. Nothing will please me more than hearing your galloping progress again and again.

If anybody comes from America for the Ajmer Urs, you can kindly inform me. I will do my humble best. My friend Mr. Gandhi’s father was seriously ill. Thank God he is now recovering and Mr. Gandhi is visiting the Urs when we shall plan further about the printing of the next book at Allahabad if God wishes. With profound respects and best prayers for your success.

Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

 


August 17, 1970

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam Aleikhum!

Many thanks for your wonderful letter of the 10th. We strive to put into practice what others verbalize. The “Hare Krishna” people are definitely superior to the materialists. They awaken life in the subtle body (lingua shira) to the djinn aspects of being. Fine. But we, inshallah, go beyond these to the causal body, the angelic being, the spiritual aspects of life; and then beyond that to the Divine.

Tomorrow night I expect to be dining with my god-daughter and her husband. His name is Ralph Silver. With the Divine Blessing and magnetism, Ralph has been successful so far in raising funds, and he also may be going to Ajmer. Everything is moving so rapidly here I cannot keep my secretaries. Allah, to Whom be all praise!, is seeing that they get good paying jobs. Allah, to Whom be all praise!, has given His blessing to the vegetables grown at the Garden of Inayat and the Garden of Allah. This is not fanciful, this is actual.

The attendance at all meetings is increasing. The numbers of applicants for Bayat is increasing. Allah is showing me more and more spiritual dances. This week I am starting on what might be called scientific Zikr; that is to say, Zikr combined and fused with Murakkabah and Sifat-i-Allah. Then, inshallah, we go on to and through the stages of Fana to Baqa.

Next month, inshallah, our publisher and editor will return. We are already also having wonderful reports from other parts of this land. My health has been excellent, praise to Allah; my finances are in a good state, and I believe, with Allah’s help, we shall soon have proper assistance on the physical plane. Both Pir Vilayat and Fred have agreed to work with and through you and have so written. And I am taking this up with Ralph and others this week.

We have already been most successful in our first stops to bring peace and understanding among the peoples of the Near East. We have been successful, Alhamdulillah! I’m getting Muslims to repeat the “Shemah” and Jews of all types to repeat the “Kalama.” Yesterday some Arabs saw our dancing class and were very uncertain. So we performed La Ilaha El Ilahu, Mohammedar Rassoul Lillah, right out in public. We are doers. Allah has made the American people to be a race of doers. We also appreciate you as a doer.

I think we have conformed to all your other suffusions. I do not regard yourself and myself to be different excepting in fleshly geography. I hope that this can be brought out further into manifestation, inshallah. I know this requires some patience on your part. I myself have already lived many years on this world, and becoming a master of patience, have become a master over time processes.

With all love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


Aug. 24, 1970

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam-Aleikhum! Your letter 1403-70, Aug. 15, arrived in excellent time. Disciple Davenport and godson Ralph Silver are preparing to leave shortly, inshallah. They will be joined, sooner or later, by technicians, by disciple Fred Cohn, and Sufi Pir Hazrat Vilayat Khan. I understand they are traveling sometimes together, sometimes separate to reconvene at Delhi (Nizam-ud-Auliya) and then attend Urs.

We are not the least bit interested in the defects of Khadims. We are not interested in Khadims at all. We are interested in Allah. In one of the most inspiring talks that ever came from this person on Saturday morning this past week one read in the Christian First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter XII: “And those whom God placed in the congregation are first Apostles; second Prophets; third Teachers; next powers…. I think this explains sufficiently the spiritual hierarchy. The place of Mohammed (from whom be peace), the place of Ajmer Sheriff, and the place of all the Sufis in chain. We were taught that Allah alone was the Founder of Sufism. We regard Mohammed as the supreme organizer but not the Founder. Sufism is based theoretically on prowess in Hal and Makam. One hears that not too many have their inner eyes and heart open; we are not concerned with that. We are concerned with experiences and achievements on the inner and outer planes both. My work is so heavy now: I not only have no more days off, but hardly a free hour ever. My second Khalif, who is a very young man, now lives in the neighboring city of Oakland, but he has not only agreed to take on full responsibilities, but his prowess in Hal and Makam is simply marvelous.

One reason I am so over-burdened is that many disciples, including secretaries, now have excellent good-paying outside jobs. It is a long and beautiful story. Evidently Allah is showing His approval. In addition to that, the Sufi Dances are coming to me so rapidly we can hardly record them. And not only this project, with these people coming to India, but an entirely separate project to bring peace in the Near East is making remarkable headway. Unfortunately those in power and also those in control of publications do not seriously consider unknowns. I was sent to the Near East to promote peace. Most of the few men with whom there was entire agreement have been pushed out of the picture. But the other person who thoroughly praised my work was a Mr. Gunnar Jarring, who is now in charge of the peace negotiations. Allah has his means of working.

As we wish to cooperate with you, inshallah, you will realize it is only our very necessary travel expenses which prevent us from giving you more than encouragement at the writing. But I believe absolutely and thoroughly in Er-­Rahman, Er-Rahim. You will undoubtedly hear from others referred to above. We are all in agreement of working with and through you.

Love and Blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


Ajmer

25th August 1970

 

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis                                                                               

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chishti,

410 Precita Avenue,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110 (U.S.A.)

 

Respected Murshid and holy soul—Assalam-Alaikum.

I have safely received today your gracious letter of 17th August along with a Cable from Mr. Phillip R. Davenport, San Rafael, as under:

“Will arrive Ajmer on 8th September with crew of six. Hope accommodations are possible. Will contact on arrival—Phillip Davenport, Ram Film company.”

I have been moving about for their accommodation and filming arrangements ever since I had their letter of 7th August which reached me on 17th, and your last letter of 10th August. Some new things are being introduced in the Dargah administration; they want some money in lieu of filming as I have explained in my accompanying letter to Mr. Phillip Davenport. This is quite a new development. In any case, I met the Government authority here, W. Anil Bordia, the Collector of Ajmer. He has been kind enough to promise his help in this matter and all will be all-right by the grace of God.

Due to heavy rush of pilgrims, there is always unprecedented crowd of about 2 lakh visitors in Ajmer during the Urs fortnight. Accommodation therefore becomes a serious problem. But, in any case, I am sure, I shall find suitable accommodation for Mr. Davenport’s party in one of the best hotels as I have explained to him in my accompanying letter. I am sure you and he will get my letters in time.

I must know whether they are reaching Ajmer from Delhi or from Jaipur (both are Airports). Ajmer is not on the Air Map. Delhi is 250 miles by train and Jaipur is 80 miles by decent motorable road.

Tanvir Ahmed Khadim will also help the party in the Dargah, I have informed him. I look forward to meet W. Ralph Silver with the party of W. P. Davenport with pleasure. Officially the Urs starts on 3rd Sept. but it is always subject to the appearance of the moon which might make a day’s difference in the 6-day programme. Hence I have suggested to Mr. Davenport to try and reach Ajmer on 7th Sept. instead of 8th, a day earlier to be on the safe side. I have promised Mr. Anil Bordia to introduce the party to him when they come; he will be happy to meet them. I have accommodation at my own house here—2 rooms in Indian style—with Indian style bath rooms. I shall see what God decides. They need not worry at all. The great saint wants them here; his spiritual sway is there to help us all.

Congratulations on your galloping success; Allah is great.

With profound regards. Yours as ever,

W .D. Begg

 


Ajmer

25th August 1970

Mr. Phillip R. Davenport,                                                                       

Ram Film Company, P.O. Box 33,

Lagunitas, Calif. (U.S.A.).

 

My dear Mr. Phillip Davenport,

Allah, the gracious, be praised. I am sure you must have got my Air Mail letter No. 1404/70 of 17th instant. I have just now at 9 A.M. today received your telegram confirming your arrival in Ajmer with a party of six, and I reply it immediately, after moving about your arrangements here, hoping that this will reach you in time before you all start.

Accommodation: I was sure to get it at Nagpal Tourist Hotel, as I said but when I called on them I found it was fully booked up. However I am trying to get it at (1) King Edward Memorial (2) Sartaj and (3) Another Hotel now that I know your date of arrival and number of crew. I am sure, I shall succeed in fixing it up at any of these 3 or at the Railway Retiring Rooms or finally at the Circuit House, by the grace of God. You need not worry.

Regarding filming: I had a formal talk with the Nazim of the Dargah (who is the Manager of Dargah Administration). He has received 2 more applications this year unexpectedly for filming from two Rajasthan firms, he told me. He expects to get some money and asked me to commit for “something” on your behalf. It was strange to me as never before there was anything like it in the history of the Urs. I declined to make any commitment and saw the Collector of Ajmer who is the chief local authority of Government of Rajasthan. He was too kind to me and assured me that he would find no trouble about filming for you. After getting your telegram, I again saw the Collector, Mr. Anil Borgia at 11-30 A. M. in his office and showed him your wire. He was happy and would see you when you are here. Perhaps he will speak to the Nazim also. I am doing my best in any case to lend you my best help when you come.

Important: The Urs always starts subject to the moon’s appearance on 6th of Rajab according to Muslim Calendar. It may be 2nd of Sept instead of 3rd. Hence, you must be in Ajmer on the morning of 7th Sept. instead of 8th to be on the safe side. Otherwise, we might miss the Qul ceremony, the finale of the Urs. I think you can make this slight change in your programme which is so necessary, due to “uncertainty” of moon’s appearance.

Please let me know whether you are coming into Ajmer by train from Delhi (Airport) or from Jaipur Airport by car? Jaipur is only 80 miles from Ajmer by decent motorable road; Delhi is more than 250 miles by train. I must know exact time of your arrival if possible. I think this is enough for the time being. More when we meet. With best of luck and prayers. Yours sincerely,

W. D. Begg

 

P.S. Memorandum for Mr. Phillip L Davenport.

If you are coming via Delhi, you might ring up to Mr. Yunus Salim, Deputy Law Minister, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and put a word, about your filming the Urs at Ajmer. He is the topmost authority over our Dargah Administration at the Central Government. It will be only a formality to help us. He is in charge a of our Wakf Board of India also. Your own Embassy at Delhi can also recommend to him if necessary. Since you will be passing through Delhi, I thought I must suggest this to get top authority for filming purposes alone, although W. Bordia, the Collector of Ajmer, does not think it so imperative.

 

 


Sept. 1, 1970

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam-Aleikhum!

One expresses great appreciation for your letters 1417 and 1418 of this year. It may be, inshallah, that we may see the Divine will expressed in ordinary as well as in extraordinary matters. At this writing one is absolutely overwhelmed by the events of the day, keeping one busy every moment all seven days of the week. But perhaps this is as Allah wills. Certainly one has no complaints as to either health or financial problems, which plague most plague most people. Indeed the time is occupied very much with the unusual: unexpected visits, wonderful replies from many parts of the world, and a stream of applicants for Bayat. Two former secretaries have excellent outside jobs in connection with our own endeavors. The third and other disciples have gone far ahead in our efforts toward real peace in the real world—not oratory, not emotional appeals, nothing superficial.

Years ago one’s program for the Near East was approved in all respects by a gentleman whose name appears often in the daily papers, i.e., Mr. Gunner Jarring. We wished to bring the Israelis and Arabs together with programs realizing their common problems such as water supply and desert reclamation.

The Israelis would be asked to recognize Islam as a monotheistic religion and to cooperate in the construction of highways toward Mecca and the creation of hostels, which in the end would be self-paying. The Arabs and other Muslims states would recognize the existence of an Israel in the Near East, but all shrines and holy places to be either regarded as properties of the United Nations or as de-politicalized international sacred places.

This program was stymied not by the warring groups but by the religious and peace societies. But now there is a new kind of humanity among the young who do not believe in war, and who believe in spiritual experiences. The result is that we are succeeding where before we could only pray and that peace and human brotherhood mat be the wishes of our Divine Creator—not empty words, not verbalized emotions, but realities from the heart.

I have total faith in both Mr. Phillip Davenport and Ralph Silver. I am constantly in Hal, which makes it very difficult for me to write intelligently and in proper detail. All my spiritual classes—dancing, Ryazat, etc., are progressing Alhamdulillah! And we have hundreds of people of Jewish or part-Jewish ancestry reciting Mohammedar Rassoul lillah! I do not know whether this was ever accomplished previously in history.

I spoke last night on the work or Emperor Akbar and Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent of Turkey. There are too many so-called universal groups which have refused articles on these two great Sufi rulers, but now I am sure my own colleagues will not only correct this, but will attain world appreciation for bringing out into the open what so many pretenders have been hiding.

Love and Blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

P.S. We received by surface mail the copy you sent of The Illustrated Times of India and are using it in public lectures.

 

 


Sept. 6, 1970

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam-Aleikhum!

It is now half a century since this person began studies and disciplines in Tas­awwuf. The manners in which Allah acted are so contrary to what religious leaders and misleaders proclaim that it can be understood only from events and never from theories. Iman Al-Ghazzali wrote “Sufism is based on experiences, and not on premises”—proclamation denied and pseudo-refuted by very many essayists who have written and sold lucrative books, all of them working on the principles that Sufism is based on premises, and not on experiences. This is a denial of the existence of Allah Himself and a proclamation of nufs.

Taub consists in turning from nufs to Allah. The final messenger of Allah from whom we ought to be getting peace, we use in arguments against each other, and thus refute our very words. Having had little literature to go upon, and having nothing like an Iman within thousands of miles, one’s first studies outside a few papers of Hazrat Inayat Khan, were based on Al-Hujwiri’s Kashf Al­-Mahjub. I had studied this for years before becoming aware that Al-Hujwiri and Data Ganj Baksh were one and the same, and as soon as there was this awareness the Saint manifested to me over and over again. The people of nufs always declare that such claims are of the devil. But this day is over; there is a new race on earth who continue the Divine enlightenment from childhood to adulthood. They are condemned most by the liquor interests. While I was in England it came out that 700 times as many crimes were caused by alcohol as by form all forms of drugs combined, including heroin. Furthermore, that of those who became criminals because of drugs, perhaps 5% were users of hashish-marijuana. But the press of the world, subsidized by the liquor-interests, are carrying on strange crusades against almost harmless drugs, and multitudes in their blindness are supporting those very interests which the Messenger of God would have condemned. So to me there is no use mentioning “Mohammed, on Whom be Peace”, and assuming that the evils of the world are caused by other facts and factors than what Jesus and Mohammed have openly and symbolically condemned.

It is with great regret that I differ entirely concerning the validity of Judge Rutherford. I also happen to have heard him in person. To accept anything from him is to operate contrary to both the words and spirit of the Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah. We have to learn that what Mohammed said about Allah and His nearness is absolutely true, and to take seriously the commentaries of unbelievers is a waste of time and energy.

My poetry is full of predications which have come true. A book written years ago by one Luther Whiteman and myself on the politics of California was full of predictions which came true. And my epic poem “Saladin,” which all “good” people have rejected, is not only a demonstration of fana-fi-Rassoul, but in it the last Messenger of Allah became my Yoga teacher, and no nonsense; became my instructor in Dharma, and no nonsense. To accept what he said in Hadiths: “Seek wisdom even unto China” is to make oneself a heretic. So I studied Chinese wisdom, and one of my colleagues, himself part Chinese, has become and adept in Chinese wisdom. Which makes us pretty good heretics, but quite open to the influence of Mohammed from whom we attain peace, not give—who said we can give peace! Also from Allah Himself, Who in recent weeks has lifted veil after veil before both of us, and also before some others who have becomes our disciples. (His name is Akbar, in case you visit this to the mention this to the visiting Americans.)

We have just heard that there is a Naqshibandi teacher in South America. Instead of trying to push by compulsion Holy Qur’an on the people—there is no compulsion in the Islam of Mohammed but there is plenty of compulsion in the Islam of Muslims—this Pir-o-Murshid is teaching from “The Thousand and one Nights.” One of the main teachings of this marvelous piece of literature is “There is no power nor might save in Allah.” This man is succeeding in South America, and the writer is succeeding in North America in getting multitudes to repeat Allah. Last week this person spoke in the city of Berkeley, and when he mentioned and defended Mohammed not an American in the audience challenged, but “the good” Muslims writers harp on enmity to Mohammed. There is enmity to the imbibing of hard liquor, the mistreatment of woman, and the exploitation of working people, in Islamic countries, and this will remain.

The young in America are fighting poverty and ignorance, and are seeking spiritual guidance—not outworn orthodoxies, and certainly not Judge Rutherford.

We have no time to indulge in arguments against human beings. We are proclaiming Allah. After that, Er-Rahman, Er-Rahim. After that, Mohammedar Rassoul ­Lillah. After that, Ishk Allah, Mahbood Lillah. With Allah’s help and guidance we are succeeding, Alhamdulillah! We are using singing, instruments, and dancing in the praise of Allah and the Sifat-i-Allah. But we recognize all religions and all efforts to reach Divine Wisdom.

We have no time for hypocritical peace, whatever that is. We have been successful in getting Jews, Christians, and Muslims to dine and pray together, and it is becoming known now that this person’s plan for peace in the Near East accepted once by Gunner Jarring and other UN officials is now beginning to be heard, not by the monsters, drunkards, and lovers of wealth and power, but by the scholars and the young who are derided so much by the press and publications.

You will soon be meeting, if you have not met, exemplariness of the new outlook which is expanding very rapidly here, praise to Allah.

At this writing, on a Sunday morning, this person is almost alone, as his disciples are attending sessions of a choral group which is doing here almost exactly what Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti did in India. The other night we went to a restaurant where the cooks are from Morocco. When we sang our Subhan-Allah, Alhamdulillah, Allaho Akbar, it set them into ecstasy. The local mosque will have none of that, but the people of the world are beginning to understand that peace, grace, and truth are with us, always have been with us, because as the Christian Paul said, “In God we live and move and have our being.”

Now the doors are opening under most trying circumstances. I am without services of two of my most faithful secretaries, both of whom now have lucrative jobs in these very projects, and are helping me, Alhamdulillah, financially. And it is possible, inshallah, there will be worthy successors. It is wonderful. It is beautiful. And it is as is said in “The 1001 Nights,”“There is no power nor might save in Allah.”

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W.D. Begg’s Office,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

9th September 1970

 

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chishti

410 Precita Avenue, San Francisco.

 

Respected Pir-o-Murshid, Assalam-Alai-Kum.

I have to acknowledge your two letters, one dated 24th August and the other of 1st September, 1970. This is the report of my humble service to your two disciples, Mr. David R.B. Macmillan and Mr. Baird Bryant who reached Ajmer on the morning of 6th September just in time for the Urs of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti and left Ajmer early morning by car for Delhi on 9th September. After fulfilling their holy mission and paying homage at the shrine of the Great Saint here, I am sure they were perfectly satisfied with my guidance and humble services.

One month before the Urs every year, all the available inch of space in hotels, Dak Bungalows, Circuit Houses and Private building is fully booked up. I tried for accommodation for 2 friends everywhere from 20th August, when I had first news of their coming, but totally failed. However, luckily I have enough room at my own building here and had no trouble in putting them up with me comfortably and thus saving a sum of Rs. 300/- or so for their lodging in hired hotels, etc, etc. They were happy, as I am not supposed to charge anything to the guests of the Great Saint to whose service and mission I have dedicated my life for the past 15 year. They liked my place, were thoroughly comfortable and left in delightful mood and due gratitude to the Saint who was too kind to them “spiritually” as I could guess from the grand success of their work. We had not a moment to waste in their 3 days’ stay in Ajmer. I took them to the Holy Pushkar Lake also yesterday, and they liked the scenes. Pushkar Lake is the holiest place in India for Hindu pilgrimage 7 miles from Ajmer Surrounded by wonderful sceneries, temples and the holy atmosphere.

Both of our friends had 3 assistants with them from Delhi; two motor car drivers by road and one guide. The guide was useless as he could not have been a better “guide” than myself in Ajmer. However, all were put up here with me comfortably.

Mr. Niyazi, uncle of Tanveer Ahmned, Khadim, got the clue of your disciples’ arrival and, I am sorry, with a Khadim’s naturally professional ingenuity, he squeezed out Rs. 200/- as a donation (imaginary) from our two innocent friends without my notice. I was informed after their commitment and I was sorry. This is the trick of Khadim’s trade, as I have already written to you in full details in one of my last letters. However, it is too late to cry over the affair. It was Allah’s will, I think. Allah is gracious to all; we have no say in his will.

Both the disciples got a “pugree” (a piece of cloth of the Saint’s colors)—a holy memento and some sweets as Tabarruk from Niazee. If they meet you, they will tell the story of how they were roped in my absence—poor innocent simple folks as they were.

I took them to “Qawwali” Mahfils also and showed them every ceremony in the Dargah Sheriff both in day and night. They enjoyed it all. They were highly impressed. Pir Vilayat Khan did not come. He stayed in Delhi for some urgent work. He might visit Ajmer after some time but the Urs is over today. Two of their crew of 6 are in Iran, I understand. Mr. Brayant has promised to get some American book sellers interested in advance of the printing of my book The Big Five and then write to me in October when he hopes to return to USA. Let us hope for the best. I have explained to him that I will supply a lot of copies of the book to the bookseller who advances some money for its printing in India. He has promised to do his best and is highly impressed with my office and real and honest work for my mission here. Mr. Davenport did not or could not come to Ajmer. I was told he was in Iran. Mr Cohn is with Pir Vilayat Khan at Delhi, doing some important work there.

It is the blessings of Allah that he deputed me here to help the 2 visiting friends for his work and I am happy I was able of doing my humble bit for Him. Once we are working together for the good cause of peace, I am sure, my financial difficulties about the printing of the next book will be over.

I am glad health is good and that financial worries are also vanishing slowly but surely. It’s all for all good. Our work is spreading. Both the disciples are keenly interested in The Holy Biography of the Saint of Ajmer which they have taken with them for study. May God help Mr. Jarring in his peace mission is my fervent prayer. I think Mr. Ralph Silver is with Mr. Davenport in Iran. I know you are in “constant” spiritual mood but I infer all I want to know from you in your letters. Don’t worry please. I daresay The Big Five will prove to be a great asset to your work once it is out. The pretenders must fail before truth. It is pity the wisdom of the “Big Five” lies in dormant; it is not translated into English ever since their demise. I am glad you got the copy of “The Illustrated Times” of India safely by surface mail and that it is proving useful.

I close it with profound salutations & regards,

Yours as ever,

W. D. Begg

 

 


Sept. 20, 1970

Mr. W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah: As-Salaam-Aleikhum!

This is a rather hurried acknowledgment of your air mail letter of 9th September. One believes sooner or later one will be victorious in up-holding the teaching of Imam Al-Ghazzali that Sufism is based on experiences and not on promises. There are more books today purporting to be on Sufism than ever. Few of them mention Allah and Zikr; none of them mention Mohammed! Yet I am constantly being accused for not practicing Sharia. I never met an Imam until I was over 50 years of age, but had the blessings of Khizr and Mohammed, and of all the Sufis in chain, by direct experiences of Divine Grace, in Hal and Makam. It does not matter one bit to me whether the humankind, who have never experienced Hal and Makam and Grace, accept or not.

One has reached a stage that not only he works seven days a week, but is fortunate to have two night’s sleep. The attendance at all meetings is increasing. Sixteen more young people were given Bayat last Monday. The attendance at all meetings has improved in quality. The financial situation has greatly improved. Indeed, inshallah, on my return from the visit to the Eastern States, I shall consider very seriously more direct financial cooperation. But at the moment I am totally overworked, do not have proper secretarial help, and am in a constant stream of interviews.

Besides this, we have been successful in doing what all the talkers and orators have never succeeded in doing: bringing Israelis and Christians and Arabs together. We have gotten more Jews to repeat both Allah and Mohammedar Rassoul Lillah than any man on earth. We accept Allah, we accept Mohammed, we accept the Prophets and Sufis in chain, but we do not accept Sharia and challenge the defiance to Mohammed on the part of the Orthodox who demand compulsions after he said, “There is no compulsion in Islam.”

Our Sufi Dances have been followed by Mantric Dances and other such creations, and if I am following along the line of Prince Dara Shikoh, then I am following along the line of Prince Dara Shikoh, but I am in perpetual Zikr and do not care one bit if all the pseudo-Orthodox challenge these efforts, for Allah is giving approval, inwardly and outwardly, and more especially inwardly. And it is us kaffir-feringhis, and not the Muslims-so-called, who are repeating the Name of Allah and the praise of Allah all day and all night, and we shall continue.

Indeed I am fanatic enough to believe that the mission is being accomplished wherein I play the same role in the Western world that Saint Muinuddin Chisti did in India. All love, thanks, praise and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

29th September 1970

 

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti,

San Francisco, USA

 

Respected Pir-o-Murshid, Peace be on you your mission.

The strain of the last “Urs” caused some illness, hence some delay in acknowledging your letters of 6th and 20th September 1970. I must apologize. However, I am now better and resuming office work.

My report about the visit of two American friends for the “Urs” is before you in my letter of 9th September. I think they will reach back and write to me as promised by them, in October. They are keenly interested in the printing cost of my book “The Big five.” Let us see what Allah Decides.

Hazrat Baba Farid said: “If one has not Murshid to guide, “Kashf-ul-Mahjub” can be his guide and Pir-o-Murshid.” So you were guided by the blessings of Ali Hujwari Data Ganj Baksh, the first Sufi Saint who captured the soul of Northern Indian for Islam. Hazrat Kwaja Muinuddin was the second one. On his way to Ajmer in 1191, A.D. the latter stayed in a cell at the former’s Dargah in Lahore for 40 day’s “Chilla.” They had spiritual communion and Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin emerged with all praises for him, Kashf-ul-Mahjub is the quintessence of Sufism. It is recognized by great subsequent Sufis.

As for Imam Al-Ghazzali, who can dispute his lifelong experiments and final findings to harmonize Sufism with orthodoxy? “If all the spiritual knowledge of the world were lost I could revive it with “Ihya Uloom Al-Din,” the masterpiece of Al-Ghazzali, says the great Sufi.

All great Sufis have obeyed and recognized prophet’s Sharia strictly for its own sake, and for the sake of the layman. But, as you have experienced over the last 60 years, “Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises.” Every great Sufi proclaims it. All strivings and “Mujahidas” are done to gain “experience”—to come face to face with the great Light of God gracious. Sufism recognizes all other great religions. It is only the scholastic teachers and “Mullas” who preach hatred among mankind, not Islam or Sufism. These Mullas and Kazis were henchmen of the ruling classes but all Sufi refused to go astray and accept wealth and position. Wealth and position are too strong to be resisted by the layman and so they fall victims easily.

It is not you alone to be accused of ignoring Sharia; Maulana Shams Tabriz’s example is before the world—how he was persecuted by the Mullas and Kazis under Sharia and yet he was one of the greatest Sufis the world has ever known. Great Sufis suffer for the sake of “Anal-Huq” because the world cannot understand them and their “experiences” behind the Divine veil. But do they mind?

 

P.S. Mr. Bryant told me, while leaving Ajmer, that it is possible for him to arrange payment of 1000 copies or so of The Big Five of India in Sufism from some U.S.A. Booksellers in advance it I agreed on business terms. I said, it would be a tremendous help and that I would welcome any such proposal or arrangement through him. He said printing of his book in America would be too costly but printed copies would be welcomed when our Indian printing is good enough like The Holy Biography of Hazrat Muinuddin Chishti. I hope Mr. Brayant would write to me soon after reaching back from his tour in India. I do not know his movements or program, neither do I know about the movements of Pir Vilayat Khan. He was in Delhi during the “Urs” period at least and was expected to visit Ajmer also.

W. D. Begg

 


W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

Oct. 1970

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As salaam aleikhum! We have a dance wherein the partners say the welcome three times and add La Illaha El Il Allah. In one sense, that is all I have to say; all that has to be said.

Your letter 786 of the 29 September has reached me in New York City. Everything makes me happy. In my own life, having very few papers from Hazrat Inayat Khan, I began the study of Kashf-ul-Majub in 1923 or before—I don’t remember exactly. I have used this book very effectively, alas, in criticisms both of Muslims (so-called) and non-Muslims. I have also meditated many times on the sacred stone before the tomb of Hujwari Data Ganj Baksh in Lahore. My god-daughter from Lahore is here. She has performed the Urs and Hajj, both. She is a highly spiritual lady and has won the hearts and friendships of many Americans. She is returning home for her marriage, and I am exceedingly enthusiastic and happy over the man. After their marriage, they will return to Cornell University in this country.

I have not yet contacted my colleagues and disciples who have visited you, but surprisingly have run into a number of people in this city who know them; it is truly wonderful.

My last efforts before leaving San Francisco were in three directions: a) to open up Zikr as science and art for the spiritual development of the young, b) to extend Dervish dancing. On the day before I left San Francisco I had about a thousand young people dancing and chanting Allah, something that has never been done in this land before. It is due to Divine Grace and the grand transmission of Baraka stemming from our saint, Moineddin Chisti, c) Our efforts to bring Muslims and Israelis—not Jews, but Israelis—to dine together has been most successful. It is exceedingly easy to get young people of Jewish ancestry to repeat Kalama. Even the synagogues are becoming uneasy because they do not retain their young. I have not had the slightest opposition in presenting Mohammed (from whom be peace) to the young people. Indeed, yesterday I had two serious discussions, one with a very important man who is a Protestant Christian, and one with a very important man who is a Roman Catholic Christian on the career of Khalif Omar. At Cornell University I spoke on the relation of the Miraj to Khalif Omar’s entry into Jerusalem.

I personally am unable to do anything more. I work every day. Nearly everything is turning out successful, praise to Allah. But we shall give every encouragement to Mr. Bryant, and I shall send this letter to the Khankah to my disciple, Mr. Hassan Herz, who is also a printer. Pir Vilayat arrives today and tomorrow his organization has one of the Muslim leaders of New York addressing his group.

Love and Blessing:

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


October 25, 1970

c/o L. Less

27 W. 71 Street

New York, New York

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah: As-salaam-aleikhum;

We have returned to New York City from a very profitable visit to the New England states. No mail was forwarded, and the first letter opened was yours 1493/70 of 15 October. It is not too important at the moment that one receives news.

While I am not sure at this writing what financial assistance can be extended to you, please bear in mind that Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Provider, is not overlooking your efforts. We are in the middle of a number of projects that consume all our time. Some of them are attracting money, but the disbursement of funds cannot be settled until I return. We shall at that time, if not before, contact both Mr. Bryant and Mr. Cohen. But in at least two other directions we seem to be attracting monies, and I am very near the maximum which Allah would allow a Dervish even if he be Murshid or Pir.

It is very necessary for the sake of the world to get your material out. For example, I have run into two slightly complex situations, both involving the presumable worth of the late Mahatma Gandhi. I have never discountenanced this man; he is to me almost supreme. So there are in America and in other lands many attached to non-violence, and most of them ignore Gandhi’s satyagraha. Muslims here deplore the rise of the influence of Indian teachings, but they do nothing, practically nothing. This one has now gotten hundreds and hundreds of Americans to repeat Kalama. Audiences of many hundreds have also been approached on the subject of Mohammed, and there has been exactly one challenge. Leading Muslims prefer to lie about this. They take great pride in saying that the last Messenger of God has been derided, but few of them ever go before the public. The last Muslim speaker I heard was so superficial he lost the audience. And now I am challenging both the Hindus and Muslims on the statement of Mohammed, from whom be peace, that Allah is closer than the neck vein. Sometimes I am almost intolerant toward egocentric emotional devotees who reject scriptures to further their claims. Last week I picked up a book by Imam Al-Ghazzali on his advice to kings and rulers. I was totally amazed. It was one of the most humanitarian manuscripts I have ever encountered, and I have read much. The book was totally amazing, and I intend to do something about it. In this world of ignorance, stupidity, egocentricity, and supreme emotions.

I shall write my goddaughter at Lahore about you and also speak to Pir Vilayat Khan who should be here in a few days. Our program to establish peace in the Near East; to promote real cultural exchange; and now for me to write both memoirs and manuscripts is keeping me totally busy all the time. Down to details, all my efforts, Alhamdulillah, have been successful.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

 

 


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chishti,

San Francisco, Calif. USA.

 

Respected Murshid—Assalam Alaikum was barakaat-o-hu.

I am very busy this week planning a tour with the blessings of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti . But I must reply your kind letter received from New York at any cost. I have noted its contents with great pleasure. Your letter according to posting date left New York on 7th instant. It had no date inside, as you are too busy. Why not ask your goddaughter of Lahore to get in touch with me and do something tangible for our mission in Pakistan and among her friends in U.S.A.? Perhaps you will give this suggestion your appreciation?

I do not know if your disciples and colleagues have since come back to U.S.A. after their tour of September. Mr. Bryant told me he expected to return home by 5th October. I am enclosing herewith a copy of my letter to him at his “home address” for favor of your kind perusal and information and also taking any necessary action which you might think fit on the contents of this letter. God certainly be praised for your galloping success. He is so merciful and helpful for all noble causes. I hope Mr. Bryant will meet you on his own otherwise he will write to me, as promised by him while leaving Ajmer. I must hear from him; he can do something substantive for our mission. He was too happy with the picturing he did here with Mr. Macmillan. They are nice fellows and sincere too;, I hope Mr. Hassan Herz must also get deeply interested in lending his kind help. I never met Pir Vilayat Khan as he did not come to Ajmer. He must also help. With profound respects, yours as ever,

W.D. Begg

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building,

Topdara, Ajmer

11th Nov. 1970

 

Respected Murshid, Assalam-Alaikum,

I am in due receipt of your favor from New York of 25th October 1970 with recurring good news of your success in the New England states. I think God gracious has been kind to us in giving us consecutive success through your strenuous tours in various parts of USA. All praise is due to him. Yes, it is true, Allah can never overlook my most humble, sincere, and continuous efforts in his and his beloved Sufi dervishes’ services. He is trying my patience. But Khwaja Muinuddin’s trial of my patience in writing and publishing his “Holy Biography” in 6 long years was perhaps the greatest and hardest of my life. Thank God I passed this examination with distinction. I am perfectly satisfied with this book’s marvelous success. It is all sold out and has repaid me for my poor labors. Again, Allah be praised 24 hours of day and night. My greatest reward in this work is “Contentment.” You don’t need explanation of this richest word in Islam. In fact, you can write a book in its explanation and lecture on it for months together for these Millionaires of the world.

Hence I am sure, sooner or later, my last wish of life (I am now 75) will also be fulfilled and I shall print the “Big Five” in 1971 at least. Many pictures develop for help and then they fade away. The Allahabad picture is fading now. But my courage is not fading, God be praised. These Big five saints are watching it and they must recommend my case to the Great Saviour, Allah, the merciful. That’s enough for me just now. Let the whole world go cold, I am determined and it is God’s promise in the holy Qur’an that he answers all prayers if they are sincere and legitimate. I am sure, I am working for this cause—He must help me whether through you or some other angel, as He did in the case of the “Holy Biography.” I must bear the ordeal of patience, that’s all my duty.

I am sure you will not forget, in the pressure of your engagements, to speak to Mr. Bryant and Mr. MacMillan both of whom, I believe, must have returned home by October’s first week, as they told me while leaving Ajmer?

Dervishes hate money. I know. They abhor it. Yet when God sends any, they part with it at once. I have many beautiful stories of Hazrat Baba Farid and Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia in this regard. Once the Kaliph of Baghdad, who was persistently kept away from the Ziarat (audience) of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani, the great Qadaria dervish, for years, was at long last permitted to see the saint. He came with mules of gold mohars to present to the saint in gratitude of the permission. But the Saint refused it. Yet the Kaliph obediently persisted upon its acceptance. And, in a Jazba, the saint picked up two bags of gold mohars in each hand, squeezed them and, lo, real blood oozed out of them. “Abdul Mustaqeem, see, you want to give me the blood of the poor subjects of your kingdom,” said the great saint. The Kaliph was horrified to see it and went away in disgraceful disgust. That is Sufism in its grandest grandeur, as you know. They get it by one hand and part with it by the other—not caring a fig for tomorrow’s provision.

Bryant can do much to help me. He has promised me to get some publishers in USA (or booksellers) who can buy a 1000 copies of the “Big Five” and pay in advance—it is quite business like. If it matures, I can get out the book in India in 3 months’ time. My prolonged ill health has cost me a lot of money but I never starved—it all came and went to help me to get fit.

You say “it is very necessary for the world to get your material out.” This is a great encouragement to me from a great Sufi like you. It incites my passion for the work and this is extremely precious—more precious than the money for, after all, the money will go to the printers while your good wishes will linger with me for all time to come. Muslims in USA must see that they put our great Sufis’ non-violence as living example of forbearance, love and toleration before the people Sufis came long before Mahatma Gandhi and spread peace and love for more than 900 years. The world wants practical examples along with necessary literature to reinforce Sufi teachings. I hope to send you a “cutting” from the Times of India on Hare Krishan” ideology and how it is spreading in Indian now, coming back from USA with Americans turned Brahmans. Very interesting for you. Every reform tears up a scripture these days. But they will not gag the voice of Almighty God. With respect, Yours as ever,

WDB

                                                      

I have gone through Al-Ghazzali’s “Ihya “Ulum Al-Din” devotedly already. Please do speak to Pir Vilayat Khan & your Lahore Goddaughter about my work.

 

 


Nov. 17, 1970

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

There arrived in the mail today at the same time your clipping from the Times Weekly dated Nov. 8 and your letter No. 131/10 of the 11th of November. Everything is right but one thing: no matter how much one does, others expect more and more and more and more. The non-doers are never satisfied. We had to return from New York because of a series of successes. The successes are wonderful, but where are the workers? Blind enthusiasts expect sane kind of magic … from others of course.

I attended a so-called peace conference, entirely dominated by Hindus. They all claimed to be spiritual leaders, and they certainly were more advanced than the dominant American groups, but they had no consideration for age or wisdom, and they do not face one fact, one exceedingly simple fact—that there was never any country called India under any practitioner of Hindu Dharma until the appearance of Mahatma Gandhi. And these belligerent, noise-making Hindus ignore the simple history that India never had any Indian empires save perhaps a few Buddhists in earlier times and the Moguls and Bahmanis of later times. They are not keeping American people in ignorance; they are themselves ignorant.

Jesus Christ said that devotees should not make vain repetitions “as do the heathens.” Sri Krishna did not go around yapping “Hare Krishna.” The Pandarvas won the battle of Kurukshetra because they had Sri Krishna on their side. They did not have the noisemakers, the wealthy, the famed, the self-important. And today many Hindus support the idea that all Hindus are more spiritual, and they forget the Kuravas and the Asuras or rather they don’t forget because they don’t know at all.

According to my understanding of Indian philosophy, noisemakers are Asuras. They can yap and yell all they wish; they can claim and proclaim all they wish. And they do not have peace in their own land, although I see tremendous possibilities.

Before we left San Francisco one led a thousand people chanting Allah. Now they are chanting Allah in many places. The Muslims sit by and criticize. When they are not criticizing they are self-praising. They do not praise Allah, they praise themselves. A lot of Muslims, so-called, criticize the Jews; not the Israelis but the Jews. I visited a book store of a born Jew named Samuel Weiser in New York. His latest achievements was to republish L’awarifu-al Ma’arif by Grand Sheikh Shahbuddin Ibn Omar Sohrawardi. A born Jaw does that while self-praising Muslims sit around and gawk.

If ever I learned wisdom from a book it was from this book. We are teaching; we are doing. We are establishing a new form of psychiatry based on the Sifat-i­-Allah and the use of Wazifas. Before I said; now I am doing. But the more we do, the more others come and expect more and more and more and more. So we believe we are satisfying Allah, and we are praising Allah, but we cannot do more. There are only seven days a week and twenty four hours in the day. Like the great emperor Akbar, whom both the noisy Muslims and noisy Hindus of the day seem to overlook, sleep is not important in this one’s life. At night one has visions, but one has not a host of secretaries, and if one has to write those visions up, it keeps him very busy. And yesterday I had to pound firmly into some people, that to rob my time was no better than their breaking a limb. But other than this there is no bad news.

This is not a in any respect a critical letter. I am only slightly younger than you, but due to the Grace of Allah and the direct blessings and visitations of Khwaja Khizr years ago, I am in excellent health physically and mentally and the inspirations pour upon me, through me and to me, all hours of the day and night continually.

I now have to re-write and this time for publication: Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan. This time I shall put in exact cosmic experiences and mystical blessings. I am no longer concerned with the rejections from the self-important. The Universities are now opening their doors, and as rapidly as one can assimilate. Back home there is no sign of ever having another day off again, but one is content, the real contentment, Inshallah.

The audiences are growing; the number of disciples is growing. The interest is growing in other states of the Union, compelling me to travel, to travel when I have so little time available. But it may be, it just may be, that Muhammad was right and the vast majority of so-called Muslims wrong when he said, “In that day will the sun rise in the West, and all men seeing will believe.”

Sura 18, passage 108 reads:

“Say: “If the waters of the sea were ink with which to write the words of my Lord, the sea would surely be consumed before His words were finished, though we brought another sea to replenish it.”

“Say: “I am a mortal like yourselves. It is revealed to me that your Lord is one God. Let him that hopes to meet his Lord do what is right and worship none besides Him.”

I do not intend to try to convince so called Muslims of the truth of this. Biased bigots yell: weak Hadiths, when you say anything they don’t like. But the weakest of the weak Hadiths came from a Muslim. And to me, the weakest of the weak Hadiths is infinitely superior to anything coming from a bigoted politician. And that is why, with all its beauties and wisdoms, and majesties, the more educated people of the world have not been drawn to the Apostle of Allah and the Holy Qur’an.

There are plenty of lying missionaries. Before Allah I say they are liars. I have not met a single challenge to any aspect of the life and career of Mohammed for a long time. You can believe anything you wish. It is a simple matter to lecture on Mohammed, and it has been simple and easy when one is given the opportunity, to present the program of Khalif Omar as a solution to the complexities of Palestine. But bigots and liars accomplish nothing.

I have not had time to contact either Mr. Bryant or Mr. McMillan or their principle and they have not tried to contact me.

Yes, my income is going up, and my savings are not going up, because there is something to do with every dollar received. But I am doing what Allah tells me to do, and in this way have been helping others, and also help spread the Divine Message, to and among the young Americans, and more and more and more and than anybody in history so-far. And now, with the tragedies to East Pakistan, one has to go into careful meditation before taking any step whatever. Whatever else a Dervish is, he is not a person who runs around obeying every human being who crosses his path. One wishes to give you every sort of cooperation, but it is Allah alone who can perform the miracle and I do not know how I can get out anything without compensating the people who work for me a little bit. Please consider that a little.

Love and Blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

1st December, 1970

 

W. D. Begg,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

 

Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam Aleikhum. This is a partial answer to letter 1547/70. Ina few minutes I shall be going out with Mr. Fred Cohn, the associate or employer of Mr. Bryant and Mr. McMillan and will place your letter and one carbon copy of this in his hands.

In preparing for the Christmas celebration I am speaking on “The Sermon on the Mount” to show how far it is from Christianity. And also I am stressing so many passages of Holy Qur’an which certainly dispute in part sections of Sharia and are in entire conflict with deductions and orthodoxies.

The Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan presented fana-fi-Sheikh; fana-fi-Rassoul and fana-fi-lillah. There is a possibility that I may be known in the future for adding fana-fi-Pir between fana-fi-Sheikh and fana-fi-Rassoul. For in fana-fi-Sheikh one learns from the living teacher and this learning may continue after death. But in fana-fi-Pir one learns from other than one’s own initiator, from some great soul—which has been my case with both Moineddin Chisti and Abdul-Kadiri-Gilani (Ghaus-i-Azam) but after entering fana-fi-Rassoul this seldom happened and perhaps was not necessary. But I do have the poetry from St. Chisti and the much greater poetry from Mecca Shereef.

Now I am writing “Six interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan” and I am telling some very plain, simple facts which “important” people have refused to accept claiming this one was an egocentric, a bombastic braggart and what not. There were disputes after Inayat Khan’s death but neither my words nor those of the late Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Nizami or Nizam-ed-din Auliya—in complete agreement although we never met—in the flesh were rejected by rival camps of legally (?) organized Sufis!

These interviews were sought by the Pir, not by myself but I was blamed. They were sought because of the appearance to me of Khwaja Khizr at a very dramatic and traumatic time and I was saved from the jaws of death and then offered the choice of poetry and music. But in the course of time both the poetry and music came, are coming. And the vitality is marvelous and now a publisher wants my things.

In 1930 I again went into Khilvat to commentary the third anniversary of the death of Hazrat Inayat Khan, taking with me “L’Awarifu-al-Ma’arif” and as Iman Ghazzali stated “Sufism is based on experiences, not premises.” It resulted in the initiation into fana-fi-Sheikh although the teacher was no longer in the flesh. But he manifested to me then physically and there has not been any diminution of psychic and transient faculties although one is not always successful in convincing egocentrics who place themselves about Allah.

I cannot tell all the resulting recognitions in India, Pakistan and U.A.R nor is there time. But some time, perhaps late next month, inshallah, I shall not only give “Six interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan” but follow this up with much more based on the inner Sufi experiences which are very much like Efleki.

One is terribly restricted, busy all the time without proper secretarial aid and with the need to grant more time in interviews with application for Bayat. When I visited the Pakistan Consulate recently they were amazed to find one had already here a hundred mureeds with more coming and we are also sowing longis for East Pakistan, etc,

You are entirely correct concerning East Pakistan. Some Pakistanis had the audacity to insist that Allah loved Muslims more than others (quite contrary to the Apostle himself) and they loved him more. And I prayed and Allah said: “Look! So I looked, through Shahud-Mushahida and had to watch the six-day war from the heavens and keep quiet. And also a warning came for East Pakistan.

It seems that all religions consist of self-approval which the devotees call “humility” and this has nothing or little to do with reality. And I have been studying Futuh-ul-Ghaib and trying to maintain that steady cosmic calmness with surrender to Allah. Besides this I really represent what is called the Christi-Kadri-Sabri school with the addition of the Khidri Baraka.

The Publishers of “Sufis Speak” are perhaps the best group in the United States at present. The efforts for an Urs at the Dargah of Hazrat Inayat Khan are to me excellent and elementary, the first steps only. But they are steps and they show the appearance and thus growth of spirituality in the West.

Today I am especially handicapped but nothing wrong. My chief secretary is on the campus of the University of California to introduce Dervish dancing and tonight I speak. Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr of Tehran could not understand my absence at world conferences on religion. This was due to an American institution, the European professor of Oriental philosophy. These men kept me off the campuses and out of the conferences and were very successful in giving me a bad name. The group was entirely made up of Englishman and Europeans and their American disciples and includes wastrels, perverts, drunkards and lechers. For the first time I am making this known, but they were successful for years!

Pragmatically we must regard ourselves as Chistis because we work mostly with song and dance. Our choral group is magnificent. They told me they would hope to get money to make tape and phonograph records and almost immediately they received an anonymous cheque. We then discussed taping and recording ostensibly to help the victims of East Pakistan. And the way they use the spiritual phrases of Islam; or amalgamate Jewish and Christian sacred themes with “Allah” and the Sifat-Allah. It is not only being done, it is attracting attention and I believe, inshallah, it will show the way toward world unity and spirituality.

My own work Toward Spiritual Brotherhood is also being published. This did not have my consent because I thought things more important but it is being done. And gradually one must face the public as having had the bayat of Khwaja Khizr and no nonsense.

I have also finished Al-Ghazzali’s “Counsel to Kings.” While a great admirer of Mahatma Gandhi I always felt something was missing and I felt this lack is still supplied in Al-Ghazzali. For he taught a humanitarianism and humanism which is still lacking in the world, and I believe his work is on excellent foundations. Buddhism and Hinduism offer perfect versions of purification to Nirvana but it is the Sufis who have the positive elements of baqa. And although fana is always stressed virtually, there are the two aspects of La Illaha El Il Allah. And these I am also teaching through song and chanting but with movements—la always backwards; il always elevated, etc, And the use of sacred phrases psychically mechanically and morally all the time is working, praise to Allah. And now even after written this the doors open and we hope write further.

All love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

 

 


W.D. Begg’s Office,

Begg’s Building, Topdara, Ajmer

28th May 1973

 

Hazrat Moinuddin Jablonski,

Garden of Inayat, 910 Railroad Avenue, Novato, Calif. 94947, USA

 

My respected Sir – Assalam Alaikum.

In continuation of my letter No 319/73 dated 26th instant, I most respectfully beg to take the liberty of drawing your and Hazrat Vilayat Khan’s gracious attention to the contents of the enclosed “Cutting” from the “Times of India” (Delhi Edition) dated 27th May 1973, in our common mission of spreading the Sufi Gospel preached by the late Hazrat Inayat Khan in the West.

No doubt, we are, as humble devotees of Hazrat Pir Inayat Khan, doing our level best to propagate the Massage of Sufism in the world (specially in the Western countries) but if we can accelerate the speed of our humble counties on the lines of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, we can certainly succeed in the cause of Islam. This does not mean that the followers of Hazrat Inayat Khan are not doing their best, but here is an example which must inspire us all to do our duty more vigorously in introducing the marvels of Sufism in the West and, of course in the world in this irreligious age. Meditation can be done with immense profit by Sufi technique more easily than any other way. Only we need due publicity which we do not get at the hands of monopolized press which is in the hands of rank materialists today. But our spiritual powers are already working well and the message of Sufism is spreading slowly and gradually in the West by the blessings of our Pir-o-Murshid. God be praised. We live in an age of publicity and my humble point of view is that we must strive hard to give due publicity (like the Maharishi’s) in the West if we can. I am only emphasizing my poor opinion on this vital need although you are wise enough to realize it yourself. Whenever I read such things in the daily press that gives them wide publicity, I long to have such parallel publicity for Sufism which the press always ignores by virtue of the power and wealth. Sufism hates worldly wealth. Our Buzurgaan-e-Deen have done wonders in the spread of Islam by peaceful means in the past 1400 years under divine patronage. Why cannot we do our humble bit to compete the rivals of Islam in this ago too?

My two humble books on the lives and work of the illustrious Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer end his “Big Five” Khalifas are devoted to the cause of Sufism in English—the first of their kind. I am pretty sure they can surely help you to propagate Sufism and Islam in accordance with Hazrat Pir Inayat Khan’s grand and noble mission.

Sir, when you have gone through this letter and the enclosed “cutting,” will you be kind enough to forward them to Hazrat Pir Vilayat Khan on his present touring address??? I am sure you will graciously grant this humble request and confirm by your letter to me at your early convenience. Since his visit to Ajmer, I am very highly impressed by his graceful personality and divine service.

With many many apologies. I await your views on this letter with keen interest.

Believe me always to be a humble servant of Islam and Sufi to be dervishes.

Enclos. 1 Cutting from The Times of India of 27th May 1973

Yours Affectionately,

W. D. Begg

 

Postscript to letter of 27th May 1973

1. I am very eager to send the literature of the Holy-Biography and “The Big Five” to the leading American Universities, specially those where the Maharishi Yogi’s “Science of Creative Intelligence” is being propagated. I am also eager to bring to the notice of American public my books through some U.S.A. newspapers. I therefore seek your and Hazrat Pir Vilayat Khan’s kind advice before posting the literature and spending precious postage on it. Perhaps in this idea you and our other records and devotees of Hazrat Pir Inayat Khan in USA can land me a helping hand. The ignorant people of USA must know more about Oriental Sufism and its great masters so elaborately recorded in English for the first time.

2. Another important thing in this connection for your information is that our common brother Mr. Abdul Rahman Lomax of Tucson (Ikhwan Press) is contemplating to own copyrights of The Holy Biography in response to my advertisement, for all U.S.A. He has suggested certain modifications in the contents of the book to which I have agreed in the interests of USA people’s requirement. For the sake of our common mission and a noble cause, I have quoted a minimum price of copyrights, viz. £ 416/- only. He expects to confirm this arrangement as soon his press and inshallah’s financial position improves further. He says it is improving gracefully. But, I beg to suggest that if you, Hazrat Pir Vilayat Khan, Mr. Barodofsky and Mr. L.W. Carp of Holland—all devotees of Hazrat Pir Inayat Khan and the great Chishti saints of India—can join hands with Mr. Abdul Rahman Lomax of Tucson by making suitable contributions jointly to make up the price of £ 416/-, we can save precious time in closing this deal. I entreat you to give this idea your gracious consideration and favor me with your views.

3. With the favorable circulation of The Big Five in the past 8 month in the sprite of my dangerous illness (more than a thousand copies), there is increasing demand for The Holy Biography in India, Ceylon, Middle East, South Africa, Malaysia and Australia. A second edition of the book is imperatively necessary. Now that I am better with a new lease of life at the age of 79 by the grace of God, I am eager to print this 2nd edition when I am living, with the amount of £ 416/- plus a grant of Rs, 5,000/- sanctioned already for this edition by the local Dargah Committee of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer. After me, for life is now uncertain at the age of 79, nobody would be able to print a 2nd edition, you can imagine.

Please let me hear your views and oblige,

Beorse, Shamcher Bryn Correspondence

[May 1963]

 

My dear Sam,

Thank you for letter. Salt water conversion in desert interiors nave not yet been solved satisfactorily—meaning not cheap enough. Even at the Sea Coast feasibility depends on certain natural conditions—temperature difference between surface and deep water—and slope of bottom.

It is a sad reflection on the human race that, rather than undertaking these simple measurements to determine whether in each case cheap water can be had from the sea we go into expensive and temporary projects.

I have written to Vilayat about your great spiritual knowledge and achievements and commented upon your built-in defense against over-popularity, thus against waste of time receiving delegations and fans. You appear egotistical or superficial—and a worthy percentage stays away. You don’t care. Those who go by the book will then not bother you. Very nice.

How sad about Aramdarya,

Shamcher

 

 


15 May [1963?]

 

My dear S.A.M.

You are absolutely right, or, in other words, you are right in the absolute. Your superb divinatory perception will know what I mean and more.

Therefore, I shall become your disciple on the one and only condition on which I may learn anything from you and you anything from me: That you become, at the same time, my disciple. So, if you agree, you are my Murshid now and I am your disciple and you are my disciple and I am your Murshid.

And so perfect and correct shall this relationship be that I shall never ask you to teach me specific things but you shall choose and teach me what you think I should be taught by you, and you may do this by any method you choose, through the air, through the ether and through that lowly medium, typing ink. And so I shall work on you and teach you all and nothing more than what I feel you should be taught by me—just as with Jelladine Rumi and Shamstabriz, who was visited by the other’s son who said “my father says to come and learn at your feet since you are the greatest, compared to whom my father is the dust under your feet.”

“That I am” replied, Shamstabriz, “The Greatest!” and your father Jelladine? To him I am as the dust under his feet.”

What you say is true but it cannot be said for when said it is not true.

And as to the men to whom you gave my lowly name, that is not in vain, and someday they may react as they should, knowing that if a man has no offer he will accept that which is still no offer, but when he has a son, and a daughter who needs to be raised in the ways of the world and he has an offer, then he must first accept and fulfill that offer until he can and should accept a no-offer. In the East and in the West too there is much loose talk and little substantiation.

Evelyn is at Stockton State Hospital. I knew before I wanted to know. It is better to know only and just when you want to know, I am trying to get her back to De Sablo by remote control.

Love,

Shamcher

 

 


[undated]

 

My dear Ahmed Murad Chisti

Yes, I know Reiser, talked with him in his sky-scraper university, rising to the Heavens like his mind.

Salt water conversion: Many nice but only one practical method for cheap water conversion—and this one not universally applicable. Depends on 1) temperature difference between surface and 1500 feet deep waters and 2) distance at which 1500 feet can be reached (Less than our miles from shore).

Consumer economics Yes: See Jerry. For general economics, including consumer ecs, no better book ever written than Future Is Ours (Chester or you or Peter must have at least four of them between you. If not, write to publisher, Meador, 325 Newberry street, Boston, send me bill, be sure to tear off cover (Jacket), an awful publisher-idea.

Every bit of so-called Western philosophy is based on philosophies developed first in the East. So where, what, whoy “integration?”

Give me five-line definition of Subud (a very bad-sounding word) or let someone else do it.

Sub is sub and ud is a bird so Subud means a sub-bird not quite up to bird scratch, not up to any scratch in fact.

Love,

Shamcher

 

 


August 1, 1958

 

Dear Sam

(But I ought to have noted your Sufi name including Mullah, the enlightened one.)

It was delightful to read you again as the French say) and hear of your continued interest in water. Yes, you are so right, while the foreigner’s interest in the Middle East (most Europeans and to some extent Americans) is oil, their own interest is water and also simple plain friendship as a former school teacher in Iraq said here. But we often act as the raw recruit who asked an oncoming person three times quickly “Friend or Foe” and then shot, not waiting even for an answer.

Of course, a wise man never asks are you friend or foe but he makes friends, even of the foes, and in the waiting time, before they know they are friends, he forgives and sees the future must, “for they Know not what they do.”

The specific approach to sea water conversion I am concerned with (and which is the only cheap way so far) is only applicable under certain natural conditions including: Tropical enough to have 15-20 centigrade temp. diff. between surface and 500-1000 meter depth and steep enough bottom slope to reach depth required not more than five miles from shore. Pakistan would most probably meet these requirements. But though after our meetings with Pak. Officials in SF. I made the whole Pakistan embassy in Paris meet my French friends in Paris last year, and though the commercial attaché at the embassy was both enthused and insistent on alerting his government—no measurements to make this point sure has as yet been made.

As to Egypt, most coast lines have very faint slope so I am suspicious the method may not apply there but again, no measurement has been made to make sure but for this reason the Aswan dam may be right for Egypt and I believe we should have helped finance it in spite of all. We are running around guessing who are our friends instead of making them so—making not meaning simply giving or financing dams of course, but above all feeling and knowing that they are friends, actual or potential.

When you wrote I had been thinking about you for a long time, thinking whether to write you and ask whether you would come here help establish or rather expand the Sufi cause which has gone slowly, but I thought that perhaps SF was more important and your natural hunting ground. Have you caused Peter to establish and run a center yet? He has all the necessary qualities including stamina, silence and punctuality. SF is a natural center, national, nationally unique. Seattle is a much tougher spot, with loads of unsound spiritualism, racial bigotry—therefore Sufism much needed but also in difficulty finding suitable people and getting a hearing and a setting. Please marry the Karachi fiancé and get things going.

Apropos Peter: We have sent him letters and things, no reply, so I thought he had gone to Paris or perhaps we know not right address? Please contact for us.

All here greets you warmly

Shamcher

 

 


Bryn Beorse

4205 Beach Drive

Seattle 16, Washington

November 21, 1958

 

My Dear Sam:

Yes, indeed, it’s about time Nasser had some expert advice on water. However, it may be the only place in the Middle East where specifically the thermal difference will be a cinch is at the Dead Sea. This is bordered jointly by Israel and—is it Jordan? Is any of the Dead Sea on Nasser’s property? If so we can do business. But anyway, there should be a grand survey of his whole area in regard to water. So let’s get in touch with Dr. Schawarbi or whoever may be the best link. Though as the world’s leading expert on certain types of Sea Water conversion I could command the highest fees, I would have no such thought with Nasser but would go just on expenses paid and so that the family can live in their modest way—either going along (best) or staying here. But it shouldn’t wait much longer.

Whoever he now has as advisers, of whatever nation, there is none who can advise him so accurately on these matters, except professor Howe, Mr. Beau of France or myself.

You should perhaps write Nasser directly, in addition to whatever his envoys may accomplish with us.

Israel has not, as you think, a good method for sea water conversion but a certain Zarkin, a sincere but impractical fanatic, has inveigled them to try a freezing process. On the other hand, Mr. Beau has talked to them about a Dead Sea plant on thermal difference principle which would be excellent if they accept.

Very interesting to hear about your writings and experiences. Prevail upon Peter to go start build the temple.

Family greets you fondly,

Shamcher

 

 


January 26, [1963 or 1964]

 

My dear Murshid Sam,

 

I have waited, after your last letter, for word from you or your Pakistani spiritual brother, the major, since I am ready to go to Pakistan or wherever useful work appear a-coming on conditions I, with my family, can meet.

When you go a-travelling next you might see Vilayat about your writing for his mag and Andre de la Porte about Sufi papers. She writes me you said you did not need any.

Best of all,

Your humble mureed and Murshid,

Shamcher

 

 


January 29, [1963 or 1964]

 

My dear Sam,

From a friend of Gavin in New York I received a letter about “The late Chester Arthur III” and when, promptly, I wrote Gavin asking how late he was I had no answer.

Would you please explain?

On the other hand, on your trips through the world did you find any place suitable where such as you and I, with modest incomes (you through Family, I through social security) could live rather well? I found too many, that is the trouble and can hardly decide. The Himalayas where we have an invitation, Majorca, Portugal, Taiwan—my biggest consideration is the children’s school condition. Daphne can learn and enjoy any foreign language but Bryn hates foreign languages.

Let me hear

Shamcher

BB Box 142 Keyport Wash

 

 


February 7, [1963 or 1964]

 

My dear Sam,

Thank you. Abbottabad sounds good, looks good on map, North-East corner of West Pakistan, must be somewhat like Mysore in India, not as wild as Joshimath. Did not find Kalul on map. Which direction? Further North-East?

Were you ever in Abbottabad or Kalul? How is nature and weather and availability of housing, food and schools, including what corresponds to American High Schools and or even university? It is fairly close to Rawalpindi which, I assume, has a university. Lahore certainly has one, with which I have been in touch. If you know some there I’d be grateful for contact—Sufis.

One does not need a visa, I believe?

Gavin—so he is still alive and rocking, despite the friend in NY? Of course in the course of human advance many vain paths have to be elegantly investigated and if people with Gavin’s intelligence and honesty are willing to take that chance and prolong their time in earth forms, why complain? But as you so rightly state, for those who know, it is a cul-de-sac. I was just discussing it in Washington DC, also in Cleveland of course. To me Gavin said, “It took me one a half years of meditation to reach a stage I now reach in an hour by certain chemical products.” My reply: “You, Gavin, and folks like you have all the right in the world to try.” But I am less tranquil about idiots who persuade Harvard young students to embark upon this short-cut to what may for many of them be disaster.

I also consider the alternative of living in the US if a place can be found where about $200 is all one pays for self and two kids , setting aside perhaps $50 for paying a relative to keep Evelyn. In other words $150 for self and kids. It should be possible and one might even live well. In some outskirts of a town on beach or in desert. I am entitled to my last years entirely devoted to study and spirituality and will not have job much longer, cannot. Other services, consulting etc will be accepted if offered but I shall not put two sticks together to get it. It does not even help. What comes is fate, what one toils for with incredible and often vain efforts is not worthwhile.

I greatly admire your efforts with universities and people in power or position. As for me, they can come to me if they like, and in that case I shall waste the necessary time on them but God in me does not go begging.

Best of all,

Shamcher

 

I have become a bit entangled in correspondence with Musheraff Khan who wrote me a letter about “so-called Pir Zade Vilayat Khan” and other snootiness. Without replying to that, I went into my time with Pir-o-Murshid and his words about East and West and his son Vilayat and the future of the movement. Maybe it will shake him a bit I arranged many concerts for him and Maheboob and Ali you know, so he cannot very well ignore me.

 

 


April 6, 1963

 

My dear Sufi Ahmed Murad Sam,

So long have I waited writing to thank you for gorgeous dinner and inspiring session, in hopes that Vilayat would answer my letter about your plans for Sufi center and to receive Gathas (and not Githas). But we have an answered agreement, Vilayat and I, that when he does not answer it is because he is in perfect agreement, and so he has really said that: Yes, by all means, and I am grateful that you, Sam, go ahead with a Sufi group, under that name and I shall do my darndest to see you get the Gathas and Gathekas. And to be quite sure, I would also, in your case, write the Dutch center for distribution, Duchess Madame Andre de la Porte, 49 Hermelijn Laan, Hilversum, Holland. Tell her to send the bill (if any) to me.

Now let me moderate and speculate on Vilayat’s lack of answering letters. It isn’t total. Last fall he wrote me a long and hearty one. And I have no criticism whatever of his lack of writing, but try to explain it. 1) He is always busy with direct contact with mureeds and other people. 2) He often must go into retirement for reasons of health. 3) He is sole custodian, repairman etc. of his father’s house. 4) He is somewhat advanced in distant communication and can often, perhaps always, feel what his communicator is saying, feeling and so often tending to conclude that a letter is either not required, or, in any case, would be insufficient, or he waits until a solution has developed.

Vilayat, like yourself, is very well versed in historic as well as presently existing Sufi activities, personalities and processes. No doubt you two are the best informed on this in the West, perhaps in the world. I trace in your exuberance over your spiritual and intellectual successes, a slight wonder, if not irritator, over the lack of response to your teachings and advice among the general public. One reason is the very name Sufi, or Islam, which, both, are identified in our encyclopedias as rather narrow religious idiocy (as if idiocy wasn’t always narrow!) Then there are the more enlightened who say, all that with Sam is very well, but what do I need other than God? And so they go into bull sessions of meditation and hear ticklings in the ears which they interpret as the eternal Oom, Aumm, the creative sound, the voice of God. And, they say, what can be higher than God? The Sufis scramble somewhere near it, but I, Sophistambulus the Great, already have it! So you see, there are diversions on low and on rather high. But you will still have your pupils, who will teach you more that you teach them (as Hazrat Inayat put it).

Love and all the Heavens

Shamcher

 

 


May 8 [1963]

 

My dear Sam:

Thank you for letter, but why do you indicate writing to Sacramento? I just asked if you have seen Evelyn in San Francisco. I have all information I want from Sacramento. My friend there has done all he can. He is 88 years old. So please don’t upset him with a letter, or with a visit from Veronica (the Sufi lady you knew in Sacramento). But of course if you want to write her I can have no objection, though I don’t see even what purpose that would have. Whatever you do, be sure she does not visit the doctors home. Evelyn is not there. She hasn’t been seen since April 26. You don’t tell me whether you have seen her.

As to Pakistan and me: I was expecting news about the school there. I cannot go to a place where I have not before been and just look around. I have offer of a free house in Naina Tal, a half-way offer of an UN assignment in Tunisia, a half offer of a US assignment in Egypt. If before or after I go to those assignments I receive words that I am welcome to that university in Pakistan (for which my Tunisian and Egyptian assignments would increase my qualifications) then, instead of coming back to USA I could go on to Pakistan. If I have no definite information I shall come back here or go somewhere else.

If I had lots of money I could of course go to Pakistan and just look. I have not lots of money. I will go where I am welcome in advance, by letter stating what I will have for my labors and what I must add of my own fortune (Social security). What you have told me so far from Pakistan indicates I could get stuck with higher living expenses that I could manage. In India, for example, that is not the case. I have already offer of completely free housing, by friends whom I know.

Best of all, your holiness, (and this I mean very seriously and complimentary)

Shamcher

 

Please ask Gavin and Lloyd also if they have seen Evelyn.

 

 


772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

March 30, 1964

 

My dear Bryn:

I am moving back this week to an apartment which I once occupied before and which Gavin Arthur had occupied before I did. The circumstances are very story-like but as other more important things are going on I shall not relate them here.

Shams-ud-din Ahmed is a civil service in Lahore, Pakistan. His brother-in-law is a Sufi Murshid in the Naqshibandi school, and a very good friend of mine. Shams-ud-din studied a little Sufism under a man whom he says was Khalif to both our own Pir-o-Murshid and also Rabia Martin. This man and all his mureeds are dead but Shams-ud-din who has not regarded himself specially as a Mureed.

I sent a long letter (among others) to prepare him for Bayat and imagine my surprise today to receive word from him that he is making plans to see if he can get the government of Pakistan to hire you. We have discussed many technical problems and he feels that between your engineering background and your place in Sufism you are the right man to be given a position of important in his government. One does not wish to conclude that his proposals are going to be taken too seriously.

Pakistan has been cursed with an awful civil service. After they ridded themselves of bribe-mongers they got into another fix with having over-religious zealots take over who had the idea that they could easily hire persons to do the dirty work. But there are not enough Muslims for skilled jobs, or also they find bettor words and will not work under bigoted ignoramuses. However I pass the word along is you, and will also keep my eyes and ears open.

When you were here, the Consul-General Shafi had an assistant, Abdal Sattar. This man and I have remained good friends and now he is in Karachi, secretary to the Minister of External Affairs.

My own position is rapidly changing. I was in an office recently and a stranger walked in, looked at me and said, “Ah, a dervish. I can see by your face and expression you are a dervish.” I then gave him my Sufi name. “Of course. You look just like the Sufis in my home town, Teheran and they look just-like you.”

His name is Malik and he fits in perfectly with my “How California Can Help Asia.” He has been doing research for Standard Oil and its subsidiary, the Americas Bitumen Co. This research has been turned over the University of Cal. He has perfected a new type of clay-mud-adobe hut using petroleum wastage for binder instead of dung. This has resulted in a structure which will not collapse from rain or earthquake. He sold the idea to the Shah of Iran and has left for that country. But he told me where to get the information and in turn I have gives him introduction to the National Research Center in Cairo.

Hugo Seelig is very pessimistic. He is troubled by cataracts and is afraid of an operation because of his leukemia. But our friend, Ed Hunt, is taking over. My colleague, Major Sadiq, the spiritual healer, may not arrived until June but is very anxious to have a number of cases to treat free, so I am hoping H