Voris, Vera Correspondence

Vera van Voris

September 17, 1968


Beloved One of God:

One hopes this finds you well. One is not trying to follow each one, for it is in God we live and more and have our being, actually and not ideally.

Unless the Lord buildeth the house, they labour in vain who build.

It is well over forty years since the transmissions were given to Sam by Hazrat Inayat Khan. Nearly all attempts to get these accepted were rejected—ego and power simply do not condescend. Occasionally one has been successful in getting somebody to read Humperdinck’s “The Goose Girl” but it is practically impossible to find theologians and metaphysicians who accept what Christ said, ‘”Whatsoever ye do to the least of these, my creatures, ye do it unto Me.” Theologians and metaphysicians simply do not accept that. God is only, so to speak, in the favored, their selections. And although in a humorous mood one says, “The money of all men was created free and equal,” it is not always do.

It is very evident a New Age has arrived. Gavin Arthur and Dane Rudhyar recently debated on this. The crowd was nearly all young, an excellent debate between an excellent audience. And at last Dane Rudhyar has consented that Sam belongs to the human race. If he could get into that attitude with the audience it would have been wonderful, but he belongs to a class of the “elite” who are always above, and have “humility” which is 90% condescension. Nevertheless he is improving and I hope some of his colleagues will improve and recognize the New Age people; there are lots of them.

In the “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan” Sam was told how to raise money for a temple. His report was rejected. This is pretty generally true among those who verbally say they believe in the brotherhood of man . He had to snatch the debacle of the Roerich Museum and a lot of lesser efforts of the same kind, including several in which the aforesaid Dane Rudhyar and others were included. They always fail. Self-same is not the way to raise funds.

A number of years ago Sam joined a group of Chinese Buddhists who “do not believe in God.” But they do believe in humanity, kindness, generosity, consideration and all those assumed virtues of metaphysical and religious people. They were using exactly the methods that Hazrat Inayat Khan taught Sam. They started with a debt of $10,000 and an empty lot. They now have a beautiful $400,000 structure, but try to tell metaphysical and religious people how it was done—you get snubbed.

Now many things go on at once. Raised from a sick-bed last year God Who does exist despite our metaphysical friends, told Sam: “I make you spiritual leader of the Hippies.” Sam now has an immediate following of about 60 initiated disciples, at least half of whom are loving and lovely, the handsomest young men and women you can meet, many most devoted and all being gradually or suddenly taken from drugs. It is a New Age.

Sam had six disciples and wanted 30. He obtained the 30 and then Vilayat Khan arrived. He telephoned Sam, thereby leaving the ranks of the “humble,” He came into this house and found 60 people crowded—no advertising. Join or fight. One look and it was over and Vilayat took the horizontal line of the Gross and traveled around the world, and Sam the vertical line and traveled up and down the planes of consciousness. God said the number of disciples would double, which has taken place and the total following would be about a hundred which has taken place.

While older people pooh-poohed, at least Gavin Arthur and Gina Cerminara investigated. They were curious and now they are happy. Things went bang-bang and Paul Reps came to an overflowing meeting and suggested a school uniting all the mystics and Vilayat dedicated that at Novato and “then the fun began.”

The Gita teaches that if you have Sri Krishna on your side you will win the Kurukshetras. Sam has a friend named Oliver Reiser who has been disseminating the teachings of integration from Western stand points and Sam has been studying Sri Aurobindo who has made a synthesis of Vedic and Yoga teachings based on his own mergence in Sri Krishna. His followers, of course, don’t merge but at least they accept the possibilities. Now they are endeavoring to herald in a New Age and might seek recognition of the whole world. Unfortunately while seeking recognition they do not yet recognize and are striving for a New Civilization without God or assuming God is on their side.

We are trying to help them. Sam’s earlier efforts in studying active social reform movements have been recognized, many years late no doubt, by the universities. The man leading in this is one who has lived among Sufis, which do exist but Sam has an awful time with metaphysical people to accept this. The President of India is a disciple of Sufism and this is ignored and is causing some strange complications. There are far more Sufis than Yogis, Christian mystics and Zen Buddhists combined but it is most difficult to get this accepted outside the universities. But Sam has now the direct recognition of Prof. Huston Smith of M.I.T. and indirect recognition of Cantwell Smith of Harvard.

Sam placed the situation of the followers of Sri Aurobindo before certain rather wealthy Americans here who are interested in establishing commutes. Unlike the Sri Aurobindo people they have the funds; unlike the promoters they believe in the spiritual life and have land. Only they have no organization and plans. So after some time two disciples of Sam are leaving for India and they may be followed by non-disciples who wish to bring East and West together on a brotherhood basis without artificial self-appointed Big brothers—it is not easy.

In the meanwhile with the failure of Sam getting certain forms accepted in India, very necessary according to law, and the anarchy descending on the California communes, some of the disciples got together and decided to have a Khankah, lowering our overhead upkeep. We held a preliminary meeting and decided to meet again in two days to see how funds could be raised.

We did not meet again. Within the allotted time we were oversubscribed without Murshid. Sam putting up one cent! Not only that but we received money for a print-shop! And then more things followed. All of this had been seen in Vision. Intuition is superior to Logic and Vision to Intuition and this demonstrates: unless the Lord buildeth the house, they labour in vain who build. We were not thinking of ourselves, but those groups who think of themselves and do not have the communal heart-sharing always fail.

Sufism is based on Love and nothing but Love. But Sam also has the Yoga of Swami Ramdas, based on Love and nothing but Love. It is life-giving. It is demonstrable. Yesterday Sam met an Indian philosopher. We agreed immediately but the man said he was forty years of age and Sam said, “I have been forty for forty years!” To the metaphysician this is egocentricity, but to one’s oldest friends who have known for more than that time it is as true as it is astonishing.

It is not only true, it is communicable only here we do not try to make people “immortal,” we work on the paths of perfection with spiritual means and they must be succeeding for more and more come all the time. We need a Khankah, and God-Allah has given it to us. It is not in Fairfax, it is in Marin County and in a district where the families of many who used to live in Fairfax are. Sam is going home, God-willing.

For three years Sam had a single disciple. When the work began to grow he disappeared. Now he has returned and this is taken as a sign.

In the meanwhile we have also started spiritual dancing. The Central Core is “Dance of Universal Peace” based on rituals of the four great Faiths accepted by Gandhi. But it has many offshoots. The first is Astrological-Occult walking and breathing. This is communicable and in the New Age it is no longer esoteric. It will be presented soon in the Hippie Section and we will walk in Golden Gate Park.

The next is the Mystical Walk based on knowledge of the Elements. This is more difficult and may be restricted to disciples.

The next is Dervish Dancing. This is the synthesis of living Dervish dancing of many schools. People know only the Mevlevi method. Vilayat talked and said it had “rotation of the spheres.” This is being taught here—no “occult experts” being around. It is very real.

But the highest phase is the Spiritual Dancing based on the names of God and it has brought more Joy than any of the methods used so far, tremendous response and it is difficult also for the teacher because if he goes “high” there is no control.

All of this comes out of the conversation with Ruth St. Denis. “Mother I am going to revolutionize the world.” “How are you going to do it:” “I am going to teach little children how to walk.” She rise suddenly, stood in full majesty and said, You have it ! you have it ! you have it ! But although Mother Ruth St. Denis imparted to Sam how to get dances out of the akasha he has given up trying to present this to older people and the young are absorbing at a tremendous raise. Or as they told Sam, “They are not Sri Aurobindo’s people; we are Sri Aurobindo’s people.”

The question is how Love and Wisdom can be communicated which are from God. Sunday Sam presented “The Reality of Srimatri Sarasvati” and next Sunday will be on “Cosmic Metaphysics.” “In my Father’s house are many abodes, therefore I go to prepare a place for you.” Not studying Hebrew the whole Christian religion has failed here, mistranslating. (Our work in Christian mysticism will be resumed shortly.)

Now the disciples hope to go to Darjeeling where the religious and spiritual leaders of the world are to meet. It is probable some wealthy people will join them, Inshallah.

One of the first things we shall do, watching the undevelopments of Auroville near Pondicherry and the spiritual efforts here will be to get our Symbolism right. We shall use the Sufi Symbol. The Auroville people have mixed the wonderful symbol of Sri Aurobindo with others which do not belong. And this year, in my final semester at the University Sam will take a course on Egyptian symbology. Everything seems in place. Everything predicted by the wise and holy men—lots of them—is coming true now, praise to God.

We still have open house on Sundays and Thursdays although you would be welcome any time excepting when one is out of town. Unless the Lord buildeth the house they labour in vain who build. We are going to demonstrate now for others to follow and we are going seeking external help, only we wish Sri Krishna.

Love and blessings,




Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

May 25, 1969

Beloved One of God:

No doubt the school term is nearing an end. The invitation for you to visit the Khankah is always open but things are happening. What is written in the heavens is bound to happen on earth and the opinions of mankind do not affect the holy inspirations. It is a new day and one faces it half in grandeur and wonder and half knowing that privacy may disappear forever.

The May festival brought 150 people with more dances coming a la Ruth St. Denis. Older people will disdain and younger people will welcome, but any oldest end best friends visiting the two homes said, “Sam, you have proven everything you have ever written.” And one wonders because even Fritzi Armstrong has wished to see me, but not a chance.

Indeed for ever single week this year the total of audiences has increased. While with the closing of schools after summer there may be a let-down we shall soon have Sunday night picnics with dances in Novato and this should draw ample audiences.

The Oracle came out. One does not know what the sales will be but for practical purposes this person is The Oracle. Articles by Paul Reps, Shamcher Beorse, two by my esoteric secretary, Mansur Johnson; one by this person, another about this person and a huge cartoon jibing at what “we” are doing. This by the Begum, Fatima Jablonski.

Last week Fatima’s birthday and eighteen of us at The Khyber Pass in Oakland, perhaps the best party of my whole life. Murshid with 17 ersatz grandchildren. The mutual love is tremendous. We have a big family, none of this factionalisms that beset most. It is hard to realize even when one is in the midst of it. Vilayat at comes soon and some of us may have to visit Hollywood for the legalization of the Sufi Orde., Mrs. Duce made it “Sufism Re-Oriented” but there are still family disputes in Europe, the nature of which is unknown to me.

Everything is changing on the campuses. One get’s “A’s” without having to do term papers. One is gaining more and more friends especially at UC, Berkeley and San Francisco State.

Now I have matters with my two God-daughters. Nancy returned from New York and has to find a new home, preferably in Marin country. Saadia Khawar Khan won another scholarship and may go to Santa Barbara soon Inshallah. David, who lives with me, may have to visit that campus where I also have friends.

Vilayat wants me to go to Hollywood soon to join there, and then Mansur is going to lead an entourage to join him in Colorado for a Summer Camp for the young. I am glad age excludes me because there are too many interviews, and far too much writing.

Daniel, my other chief secretary, has been successful in every direction. Behind these “Hippies” are pearls and diamonds, amethysts and rubies.

We now have the materiel for ceramics—kiln and wheels and are preparing some for costume design too. This is a very big story and Khawar herself has degrees in clothing, fabrics, design etc.

There are also new publications of the young and they are seeking interviews and articles, the late President Zukair Hussein of India belongs to the same Sufi Orders as this person did. There are some unwholesome dramas here because all the “experts” reject this person and in turn the universities are now rejecting all the “experts.” Every one of them. There is a new type of instructor today in Oriental philosophy and I am being welcomed at the University, also New Mexico, Oregon, and if I wish it, Washington.

But Vilayat who formerly wished me to remain here—and this was the best for me anyhow—now wishes me to expand.

On July 15 or thereabouts we shall have a Children’s Party at Novato, with full playground equipment but before that may have some parties for Vilayat. We have completed the “Whirling of the Spheres” in Dervish dancing and have gone far beyond that, we are now doing spiritual chanting. Even the Haight-Ashbury Invasion has been successful. It is a New Age, it is all different in every direction excepting hard, hard work, but the fruits are becoming evident, praise to God.

Love and Blessings,


Wagner, Eugene Correspondence

February 3, 1964


Dear Bodhisattva Sam,

It was good seeing you few days ago, and I want to express my thanks for giving me the opportunity to be the witness to your acceptance as UBF representative. I also want to assure you that I shall keep in confidence all you’ve told me.

I told you Saturday, I think it was, that I inserted to write to Mr. Priebe in regard to the anonymous memorandum I received and correcting the inaccurate intimations it contained. I’m enclosing a photo copy of that letter with this.

It is disheartening to see so many so-called Buddhist groups constantly at one another’s throats. But in spite of all the fears and distrust, I feel that there will be soon some concrete beginnings to a greeter harmony among the various branches of the Sangha. At any rate, I intend to do all I can to help bring this to fruition.

This is not much more than a note, as it’s rather late. Iru called tonight to tell me he had just written his resignation as V.P. to the UBF and his membership there-in as well.

About the 29 of this month the Bayanihan group from the Philippines is performing here in S.F. Adeline and I would be honored if you will consent to be our guest. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this troupe, but they are one of the finest representatives of an Asian culture I’ve ever seen.

I look forward to seeing you on the 6th.





March 12, 1964


Dear Bosat Sam:

This past Saturday I piled the tribe into a car along with Brian Goode and took off for Stockton. Sorry I missed seeing you on Sunday, but we didn’t let back until evening.

Jack MacDonough has been having some correspondence with a priest in Sweden named Sirander, I think. Brian knows him a little having met him at his ordination in Penang. Sirander expresses an interest in going to Jack’s Middlebar “monastery” in the hills in Jackson. Jack apparently has leveled with him, but still gives the impression the “monastery” is a going concern with many supporters hence the reason for going up there ourselves. I had seen it once before when Jack first got the property and before he had done any work there.

There is considerable potential there, but at the present time the place is simply not habitable. The actual conditions will be fairly presented by Bran to Sirander in his answer to Sirander’s recent letter.

Jack, incidentally, has a 19 year old kid from Texas who is a veritable dream in sincerity and who is seeking guidance. He tells me Jack told him he is a Zen Roshi ??????? Nuff sed.

I gave Jack a good talking to about this kid before I learned the above. I also let the kid know a few Buddhist facts of life, for he had run into some real difficulty with Jack, since he seems to have a better grasp of the Dharma than does Jack. There was no intention of criticism on my part in any of this, and I think I was able to help smooth out the path so that Jack might be able to help the boy where he apparently needs the help. I also offered my help to both of them.

On the 23rd I’m changing jobs to Gray-Audograph on Howard St. They’ve promised me an increase in pay if I’ll come and, if true, it will help me to get clear so that I can do more of what my real job is in life.

Thanks for the enclosures in your letter to me. I shall remain attentive to see what results. I wonder how many “Buddhists” in this area actually realize the intense maelstrom of karmic activities currently occurring here in the Bay Area? You do, of course, and Brian seems only somewhat aware. Other than this...?

Take Good care and know we send out very best wishes to you.





October 8, 1964


Dear Brother Sam,

Your letters and carbons of letters to others have been received and carefully digested. They come at a time when I am “on the brink.” Your thoughts, expressed so clearly, have pushed me even closer.

It has been some time now since I have placed myself into such a position that i (small case) “permit” a further realization. The “reasons” for this are several and probably—no, undoubtedly—falsely grounded. As I develop and grow older, if there is such a thing, there is a rapidly accelerating realization, an en­lightening awareness of certain facets in my development. The paradox here is that were it not for the personal relationships (and I do not mean sexual) of my family life, such awareness would be much harder to come by. Correspondingly, there is an increasing appreciation of the family alongside an increasing lessening of the deeply personal attachments. This, of course, presents a problem in diplomacy, since the family is sensitive enough to be able to sense this, but not comprehend it.

In this particular existence I have been fortunate enough to have known a handful of people with considerable spiritual development. You, Sam, and I have been able to establish a commune level to some degree and I have been able to draw from your vast reserve. Sumangalo and I frequently did the same. In recent months I have become more cognizant of who and what you are (both a contradiction in terms). Sumangalo, while possibly more dramatic than you, had set rigid limits around the inner areas he would approach. He once told me how he knew what awaited him there, but was “afraid” to permit it. My reply—later confirmed—was that when he lost or curtailed his mobility he would have no other choice but to “Face” it.

At our separation in Bangkok and in his subsequent letters to me, particularly in the Philippines, I perceived that he became ever more aware of the reasons for my marriage to Adelina and our preparing two vehicles, as witness Robbie and Ashoka. Hindsight not-withstanding, the intricacies involved in this become clearer to me as time goes on. Sometimes Adelina gets a glimpse of them, but she is generally baffled.

When I “tune in” to the karmic activities of the next higher mind level in this area I am sometimes nearly overwhelmed. But after a long reflection with this I know my primary function for the next 15—20 years will be that of helping to prepare or “set” conditions for some who are here now and others who will be here when I’ve completed my preparations.

This perhaps is all by way of leading up to a question: Sam, you have far, far more wisdom and experience to draw upon than I do. What is the answer to the apparently deliberate persistence in the separatism exhibited by the priesthood? Unless I’ve missed more lessons that I think, we are all members of the same Sangha and presumably conducting ourselves towards the same conclusion. I can understand an occasional lapse in several areas, especially since levels of awareness vary so, but I cannot comprehend what appears to be premeditated spitefulness if not actual hatred. I know there is an answer here, but I do not know what it is.

Outside of Iru’s place I know of no other Buddhist gathering place where Buddhist priests are not welcomed either with indifference or hostility. As you know, both Iru and I have some basic differences, but we regard each other with respect and warmth. I must say the Chinese Bdst. Assoc. is this way also.

There is nothing I should like better to see than a burying of the hatchets and a courteous respect for one another. I must confess I know not how to begin. Is it better to antagonize by going to places where one’s presence may in time break down some of the hostility? Or is it more beneficial to all concerned to do what must be done while working more or less alone? Or will this constitute a calculated separativeness again? Again, I do not know, yet I must find at least a partial answer to this. I need not enumerate to you the groups and individuals who each, individually, possess the total answer to all facets of the experience.

To my knowledge you are currently the only one in this area who is not encumbered by a job and who is “free” to devote full time to the problem. It is gratifying to see that you are now able to do just this with the most tangible results, although the process most assuredly won’t coincide with the popular version of effectiveness. But I consider this Prajna in action, and the popularity can go hang.

Today’s Chronicle carried an article on the editorial page suggesting that perhaps the American answer in Vietnam might not work and that an Asian answer might be the only effective one. This from a newspaper reporter in San Francisco nearly floored me. I’ll enclose the clipping. Perhaps the seed will grow, in time….

If all goes as hoped for I intend to begin my “preparation” activities on the last Sunday of this month. If I can get out an announcement by then, I’ll see that you get a copy of it. I know of one lady who has asked for regular Buddhist meetings and who wants her 6 year old boy to start receiving his indoctrination. Since the call has been made, I cannot refuse.

We all send our best to you, Sam. I daily send out my thoughts to you and frequently know that you receive them. When your time permits we must get together.





134 Tenth Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94118

February 24, 1965


Reverend Gentlemen:

I respectfully petition that a council of Caucasian or other interested Buddhist priests in the San Francisco area be called within two weeks, for the purpose of giving its consideration to re-establishing a once honored custom which, until recent years, was traditional for San Francisco’s Buddhists.

Specifically, I should like to have the priests discuss the possibility of again holding a commemorative service before the Buddha image in Golden Gate Park, on the traditional Sunday nearest to April 8th.

The Mahayana tradition in the West has generally recognized this important commemoration. As an example, in Hawaii between 10,000 and 75,000 Buddhists participate annually at this service, thereby engendering much public interest, sympathy and support. This has resulted in having this day being declared e legal holiday in the state of Hawaii.

May I suggest, Reverend Sirs, we meet at 2:45 P. M. on the weekend of March 14th either at my home, or at any other time or place more convenient for the council, to discuss the suggestion made above. For your convenience in replying, I am enclosing post cards. Also I may be reached evenings by telephoning 751- 54 99.

I respectfully offer the foregoing proposal for your earnest consideration and response.

Fraternally yours in the Dharma,

J. Eugene Wagner


Copies to:

Rev. Sam Lewis

Rev. Neville Warwick

Rev. Iru Price

Rev. H. Brian Goode

Rev. Howard J. Mussell



Rev. J. Eugene Wegner

134 Tenth Avenue

San Francisco, California 94118

March 15, 1965


Mr. James P. Lang, General Manager

Recreation and Perks Commission

McLaren Lodge Fell and Stanyan streets

San Francisco, California 94117


Dear Mr. Lang:

On Sunday, March 14, 1965 a council of American Buddhist priests and laymen met in San Francisco to make plans to commemorate in May the birth date of our religion’s founder. It was the council’s wish to be able to hold its services before the large Buddha loge in Golden Gate Park, as it was done in years past.

Apart from its religious aspects, the council feels this expression may assist in some small way to a bettering of understanding between Asian and Western ways. It further expressed its opinion that an enlargement of understanding is requisite for any significant progress to be made in hailing the unfortunate hostilities between peoples.

Therefore, we respectfully request permission to          hold our commemorative services on May 9, 1965 at 2:00 P. M. in the Japanese section of Golden Gate Park before the Buddha image there. If further information is desired, we shall be pleased to send our representative to meet with you.

Cordially yours,

J. Eugene Wagner



July 22, 1965



This person wants to acknowledge with thanks your thoughtfulness in sending me the booklet about the Temple of Understanding as well as your nice letter, which is always welcome.

Tonight there is another discussion and meditation session at Neville’s. I’m rater hoping you’ll be there. Sometimes one wonders if those who come are helped any by the sitting or talking. One, of course, is aware of the limitations. In any case, for this person, it is a good opportunity to sit, such opportunities being rather rare in the household.

There is full agreement upon the development and usage of Prajna, as proposed by Princess Poon, and as reiterated by your own good self so often. More and more this is drawn upon, this most inadequate phrase, in order to take care of the things which have to be met.

A couple of nights ago I was able to persuade Brother Warwick to slow up a little and make some more concrete plans for training some of the people who have received ordinations or initiations from him. They cannot be effective either personally or publicly without it, and of course his own public effectiveness is likewise affected.

If our politicians, big manufacturers, and military hot shots persist in trying to knock Asians into a stripped vest conversion, and they give every indication of doing so, then a lot of people are going to need what too few persons have to offer. Deeper implications are readily apparent.

Just a reminder to please keep open the evening of August 4th. Grace McLeod from Seattle will be in then and I do want her to meet those who “have got it” and those who are firmly implanted on the path to getting “getting it.” She tried to call you the last time she was in the city, but time was short and you were busy elsewhere.

Hope to see von soon. And again, thanks, for sending me your thoughts and the enclosure.





September 30, 1965


Dear Sam:

This person wishes to thank you for lending him the booklet from the WFB and the book on Indian background for Hindu/Buddhist thought. I’ll return them at Brother Neville’s place on Sunday if you are going to be there. The latter particularly is quite informative, as is my own “The Wonder That Was India.”

The WFB pamphlet is pretty simple and very basic, especially for beginners in Buddhism. Perhaps the most noteworthy part of it is in its making a distinction between Buddhists and those “interested” in Buddhism. People in this country are commonly prone to lump the two categories together in an unsatisfactory arrangement. Other than this, the booklet says what we in Hawaii, and the P.B.A. in Malaya, taught our Dharma Class (Sunday School) kids for years as a platform for the more developed Mahayana schools of thinking. This is not, however, to imply any imputation of inferiority to any other group.

It was interesting to note the UBF’s contribution on Page 49 in light of its actual attitudes and activities. It is signed as having come from Ojai, which presumably means Priebe. Inasmuch as no one from the UBF has ever bothered to make any contact with this person, with the single exception of Priebe’s unsigned memorandum to me (which I showed you), his claim to choosing to “assist in promoting cooperation and unity among all faiths so as to prevent misunderstanding, and assure that the moral and social development, stability, security, and progress of all will be achieved” smacks to this person as rank hypocrisy. So does his following statement in which he claims his stand of Buddhist co-operation.

I am afraid that until such time as the WFB and the UBF show some sign of responsibility to their fellow men instead of prating sanctimonious mouthing, this person’s vows, which require individual action, cannot permit support of those whose position enable them to “do,” but who will not. When Sumangalo and I extensively discussed this point, he was in complete agreement with it.

After taking care of familial working necessities with their attendant responsibilities, the only possible conclusion for a working approach, is that there is no time, nor useful purpose served, by one’s becoming involved in the ego-centricities of politicking. I know you understand this already, but this person knows now what he has to do, with or without the concurrence of those we do so much talking, and now is the time for this stand to be made known. Being aware of a good deal more than one has ever stated, one knows exactly what this implies and entails.

It is with no wry amusement that one watches the personalities of California, with various self-proclaimed attainments, practicing acts in violation of the simplest fundamentals of compassion. In all the studies of several years this personality has yet to see a single instance of approval of “scriptural” authority for the acts of character assassin action or the physical or mental instances of calculated cruelty so-called Buddhists practice against one another. The vileness of all this ego-centricity makes one prefer to set limitations (rigid ones) of association. However one cannot do this without violating the vows one has taken.

The demonstrated ability not to violate confidences, and the equally demonstrated ability to know the intricacies and ramifications of complicated situations almost instantaneously has brought more unsought information to these poor ears than 99% of the “Buddhist” community could imagine.

This personality holds not the faintest illusion of what lies in store for his family, himself, or the country. One may credit whatever source one wishes but the fact remains that the knowledge is there, and time will, as it has in the past, bear me out. Whatever actions are committed for the next year or so will of necessity have to be specifically channeled rather than indiscriminately spread around. And the strength of onus convictions—rather, knowledge—is unassailable and will be called upon many times over the next few months.

Without violating any confidences or specifics one can relate that one has been called upon recently for particularized functions of assistance from those who, even so recently as the past three years, have had to admit the validity of this person’s position and statements. The sniping from those who choose to exist on the rabble level of scarcely any attainment or effort cannot touch this personality without one’s explicit permission … as witness the pathetic state of John and Alma Rogers whose broadsides have unerringly returned to them.

This is not to state that calls of assistance will not be answered, for this would be a direct violation of the vows taken to oneself and to others, even though the outcome of the situations is frequently known to be beyond—karmically—assistance. This personality is concerned more with what can be accomplished for the alleviation of specific individual situations than with any general or specific acceptance. There is no other place for one to stand and yet remain true to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

May all beings in all quarters find peace.





July 21, 1967


Bodhisattva Sam:

Gassho! The enclosed is the last manuscript from Dr. Seo.

The last time I talked to Joe Miller he was going to write to Dr. Seo and tell him that the Twelve Bulls has already been reproduced several times over.

Dr. Seo wants us to publish this, but at the moment it isn’t financially possible. Additionally, I feel that the section on the Yoga Breathing Centers would be generally useless unless the Chinese is translated into English and with sufficient annotation for the centers to be more readily understandable to the reader.

The section on believing in Mind is excellent and I am going to mimeograph copies of it for distribution, as we did with the Five Colored Jewel. It says, very nearly, what cannot be said.

Incidentally I sent Jack Austin 25 copies of the Five Colored Jewel and some 240 to Dr. Seo, all within the last month.

This is lunch period and I’ve gotta get busy again. Don’t forget that Supi is dancing this Saturday night at the Harding Theater if you’d like to go.

Looking around this place, one doesn’t know whether to laugh at the uproarious inanity of it all or weep at the absence of knowing. One does both simultaneously.





American Buddhist Order

135 Ninth Avenue

San Francisco, California 94118

February 23, 2512 / 1968



Since our inception five years ago, the American Buddhist Order has always maintained the traditional Buddhist attitude of tolerance toward diversity, even while encapsulating within it a spectrum so broad it “takes in” the many existent Buddhist schools and sects. Additionally, our lines of succession include all of the major sects in Buddhism, except one.

In recent months the Unreformed Buddhist Church (a Tantric School), a former Nichiren group, and the Arya Maitreya Mandala have all merged into one body under the spiritual and corporate set-up of the American Buddhist Order. In doing so, they joined with the Cho Ge Jong School of Korean Buddhism, which has long functioned through and with the A. B. O. These moves have, in effect, solidified our Buddhist clergy into a single unified Sangha working in the Buddha-spirit. It is understood, of course, that a divided Sangha is a contradiction in terms and is not a Sangha at all, for Buddhism’s Sangha unity is its most conspicuous feature.

Those of you clergymen (and women) who have received the Bodhisattva Ordination/Initiation of the Cho Ge Jong School of Korea in the past, are, through this, recognized as priests of the American Buddhist Order and have been registered as such at our headquarters.

A translation into English of the Cho Ge Jong Bodhisattva Ordination document has been made. If you have not received your copy of the translation, please call 751-5499 or drop a card to me at the address above and it will be sent to you.

Fraternally yours in Maitri,

Your Brother in the Sangha,

J. Eugene Wagner



July 14, 1968


Dear Sam:

In a few days you will very likely receive a letter from me soliciting your wishes for a prospective Sangha Council. For my part, this will be a preliminary to additional effort in attempting to unify the mass of priests all across the United States into one native American Sangha. One suspects that unless we make some attempt to agree, at least on our common problems, any greater effort is doomed to failure. Can this be permitted?

And without making any effort to minimize my own shortcomings (of which there is a plentitude), I think it is reasonable obvious that whatever my efforts have been in helping to establish a legal ground-work, through the ABO for a native American Sangha, will be useless if the entire set-up fails to reflect at least a minimum agreement among the majority of American priests. Whatever its other shortcomings, the ABO has been recognized as an all-encompassing idea, rather than a restrictive sectarian or school-eliminating one.

My own experiences or convictions are unimportant to anyone else, and I have no ego hang-ups or desires for recognition or acceptance. Because of this I offer, with your consent, encouragement and assistance, the suggestion that Councils be called to consider the possible use of the ABO’s set-up as a basis for a truly representative American Sangha, including the traditional selection of a head or patriarch, etc. Some parts of our ABO By-Laws, I believe, are worthy of implementation, and with some parts I am not at all happy. In any case, I am more than agreeable to the scrapping or re-writing of any or all of it for the greater good of the greater Sangha.

Honesty compels me to state, and I may very well be mistaken in this, that so long as American priests feel they must look to Asian Headquarters for sanction to operate as a Sangha, just so long will Buddhism here be handicapped. To do so leaves us open, I think, to a number of unnecessary sectarian problems which might be easily eliminated if there were an American Sangha of an inner- sectarian make-up.

It seems to me that American priests who must look to Japan, China, Tibet or other areas for their Headquarters are members of those countries’ Sanghas, and not really representative of an American Sangha.

Because of Korea’s success in unifying her various sects and schools into one consolidated Sangha, containing different sects with-in it, I am certain that we could, with Dr. Seo’s help, obtain from Cho Ke Jong in Korea some document or “thing” which would free us from foreign headquarters’ control, so we can freely operate as an American Sangha. Personally, I feel he would probably be the ideal man to work through because he has helped to set up Cho Ke Jong here in the U.S., and he has agreed that it functions through the ABO, at least in part. Korea has the additional advantage, I think, of encompassing most of the various Buddhist sects and schools of both China and Japan, including the Tantric schools.

It would be considered a favor if you would give this some thought and, if feasible or desirable in your opinion, help in the implementation of bringing this condition about. I shall rely much upon your judgments.




Identical copy to Joe Miller.



135 Ninth Avenue

San Francisco, California 94118

July 28, 1968


To my fellow clergy:

Your collective response, this past week, to the suggestion for a Sangha Council Meeting indicates your agreement upon the need for such a Council meet. And inasmuch as I have taken the initial responsibility in forwarding to you the questions directed to me for your consideration, I shall construe your response as permission to set up a date for the Council.

You may be interested to know that your responses showed, essentially, a concern with the form the Sangha is to take here among the American born-and-bred clergy, especially, added to a concern for a minimum accomplishment in spiritual development as being the basis for Sangha membership, rather than the outward performance of some formalized ceremonial. It was also believed that some kind of ceremony is necessary for “emphasis” or “validation.” There was also considerable concern reflected over the I-am-superior-to-you jealousies and preoccupation with titles found in some groups.

From all this it would seem that some minimum “standard” of acceptance is what is sought if American Buddhism is to reflect through an American Sangha, as it has in the Sangha expressions of other countries.

Therefore I am offering my home as a meeting place for the Council, and am suggesting the Council meet on Friday evening, August 16, 1968.

Please make every effort to attend this most important meeting.

Yours in Maitri,




American Buddhist Order

Eugene Wagner

135 Ninth Avenue

San Francisco, California 94118

August 1, 1968


Rev. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita

San Francisco, California 94110



Buddhist tradition accords certain courtesies to our elders in the Dharma as well as in years. With no wish to break this tradition, I am requesting that you and Rev. Joe Miller jointly preside at the up-coming Sangha Council on August 16th.

As to the agenda, I leave to you both. However, if I may so suggest, I would encourage you to consider including the questions in my first mail-out on the agenda. I suggest this because of the frequency with which they have arisen in the past few months, and because of the striking similarity of response expressing concern over these points in answer to the mail-out.

I look forward to seeing you on the 16th, and I trust you will consent to the above proposal to preside at the Council.

In Maitri,



P. S. Identical letter sent to Rev. Joe Miller.



Sept. 14, 1968

Rev. J. Eugene Wagner

135 Ninth Ave.

San Francisco, Calif. 94118



I have long held that the scientific petition was better than the Buddhist position because scientists accept the experiences of other scientists and Buddhists do not accept the experiences of other Buddhists. This is hardly debatable because the ones who differ do not accept the experiences of their fellows and until they do they are nothing but egocentric ignorant people, no matter how well-meaning they are. And my whole life fight has been against that one man constituted a Sangha, a not very easy under-taking in this country.

Alaya. One can hardly impose a cosmic teaching on people who have not submitted to disciplines, much less had experiences. In my night meditation my whole history of connections with Buddhist-Buddhist causes came in a flash. This is quite beyond the scope of people who want to define Asian cosmic experiences in dialectic and analytic western terms. No Asian has been an Aristotelian until modern times.

Everything flashed in an instant. I began my studies with the Sufi Rabia Martin and the Buddhists Dr. M.T. Kirby They became friends of each other and a strong factor was not only did I introduce them, but they were already each friends of the forgotten people the Rhys David whose lives and works contradict a lot of unfortunately peddled verbiage of the day.

We had to begin with Paul Carus. He was among other things an American and it as thought by the first Asian who presented the Sharma that we should have an American Sangha. But Semantics not being discovered, they pointed out Paul Carus. Now we have “semantics” and the ego right to reject anybody else.

Rabia Martin (who would not be considered a “Buddhist”) then introduced me in turn to Ashvvaghosa and Scherbatsky. And by that time I was a member of Mentorgarten and then the Zendo. I know by memory, especially from the talks with the late Zoso Fernandez that by that time I had had the Alaya experience. The whole depository of mind cones at an instance without any of the processes covered by analytics or dialectics.

Ekayana. This was the teaching that Shaku Soyen brought particularly to America. It was easier because of my mathematical disciplines which take one beyond analysis to integration and transcendental processes. And I have learned—it is very easy—that all mankind has eternal communion in, with and through breathing. (Skip that, it destroys sectarians with Me, Thee, He, She and Him leaders of our irrespective “schools”).

One cannot be responsible for the ignorance of others on history. Last night at one time knowledge of history was considered a virtue, at another time ignorance and sometimes both of these views came from the same anatta-person. At the time of Jesus the Jews were discussing “The Kingdom of Heaven.” At the time of Lord Buddha Hindus were discussing Samsara, Nirvana, Mukti, etc., etc. Lord Buddha did not invent the vocabulary. Indeed he tried to speak to people in their language,

We have in English terms like electricity, electron, laser, schizophrenia, etc. which are absent from the Indian languages. But having acquired the great merit ”humility” we are demeaning that terms and experiences of Indian people which we have never had, to put into our traditional language. And since we have acquired “humility” we seem utterly unable to accept that other people have investigated parts of the universe which We have not. And it is time to become a little curious, instead of being so “humble.”

Dharma. How can we divine this in English? Nonsense. We had better learn a little about cosmic experience. Only the Enlightened can fully grasp the language of the Enlightened.

Voting. I pulled a fast one. By voting we are on record as against vianya, as against traditional methods, we cannot go back now. We are on record and thus we have especially established a precedent for an American Sangha. When voting comes in the Monk, the Priest, and everybody but the Guru go out. We cannot have it both ways.

Pure Land is based on the actual hard fast that sometimes laymen are more advanced in the Bhumis and Paramitas (for which there are no equivalents in English) than monks, nuns and nones. What then?

Buddhism, by definition means Enlightenment-ism. Or we must prove it means something else. But people who have had Enlightenment and Satori experiences are on the one hand by-passed by so many of the persons present and absent last night; besides those know the Diamond Sutra do not think in any such terms. The way it was concluded there is no room for one not only accepting but having the experience Diamond Sutra. But after all, no one has dared challenged my right to utilize the Jhanas. Or as I have said, I see 16 traditional schools and cannot use more than three. Certainly to me the other 13 are valid excepting that several followers of the these 13 do not agree and do not see the validity of other methods. Verbally yes; in their minds, nix !

Lord Buddha. My hope has been that we would unite in celebrating the birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana of Tathagata. Agree to that first. Join in devotion.

Indian Cosmic Psychology. I am hoping to promote some studies in this field. The doors are open for a meeting of professors. I hear cries from all over the world that we need men versed in Indian Cosmic Psychology and like all good anatta-people they say, “You ain’t got it.” Well I have never lost a debate with an Hindu yet, only with Western “experts.”

But his is the clincher. Where and how did Sam Lewis learn Indian Cosmic Psychology? He learned it suddenly from that forgotten Zen monk, Sokei-an Sasaki: Sam learned more Indian wisdom from this Zen Monk than from all the Indians he ever met and he has met a lot of them (anatta Buddhists to the contrary.)

Prajna, Karma, Mehta, Dhyana. Also learned from Sokei-an; became the main subjects when the real world leaders of real Buddhists met last year. One of the top bananas was my friend, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. How did he get in? Ask the “humility” people.” (Or maybe I can convert some of them to the chapter on “Repentance” in the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch.

In other words, these are terms of Buddha Hridaya. Let those people concerned with definitions go out and spread the Dharma. Who is stopping they? What do they want? I present the “Jhanas and they work and every time you put something into “The Bamboo Basket” no interposition of ego-mind. We adopt it. (Veddy unsangha-like no doubt).

But Old Fudo has the other side, too, which comes out more in Joe. Even now I am preparing to visit a hospital where a young disciple has a broken leg. Etc. No time for the word, “compassion.” No time for words at all. This is a western idea. Defining is a western idea. Everybody believes in the “Sutra” but what about Surangama, Lankavatara, etc., etc. and more etcs. What is left?

The Dharma Transmission beyond words and scriptures is my life but is not imposed on others. If there are words it will be Ekayana, finding a place for all schools. Let each perfect in his own without daring to challenge others. Who gave anybody such permission? Oh, yes, I forgot. Lord Buddha denied the persistence of ego-substance.





October 23, 1968



One has hesitated to call you because of the fullness of your schedule, and a reluctance to interfere with it.

Your last two letters arrived and I acknowledge with complete agreement of the contents. Slowly, perhaps not so slowly, the idea of real spiritual achievement is gaining ground, especially among the young.

Last night I was asked to come to Oakland and speak to a group there. The young people in the group got it immediately. The older one didn’t reject it but were a bit slower on the up-take.

The enclosed letter to Warwick I think is self-explanatory. I am most reluctant to have to uptake this position with Warwick, but his reckless accusations against so many of us I have decided to reject formally.

This will be just a quick note to let you know of this latest episode.





October 25, 1968

Rev. J. Eugene Wagner

135 Ninth Avenue

San Francisco, Ca. 94118



I am answering your letter of October 22 immediately bemuse it fits in so well with both my plans and current experiences inner and outer. Last week we heard a British Buddhist speak on reincarnation. A young man who is very close to me, asked whether it were not possible to die and be reborn without leaving the flesh. The speaker demurred. Sam arose and shocked both the old ladies in the audience and the speaker by saying it had happened to him. From that point on the speaker with whom I generally agreed confused both himself and the audience by both accepting and denying both identity and non-identity. It was certainly confusing to have a Buddhist speaker verbally adhering to anicca and anatta, philosophically holding to the opposite position. The result was that soon the old ladies and the speaker, both shocked at Sam’s statement, were at each other’s throats. Ergo more confusion than clarity.

I mention this incident because it seems so characteristic of so-called “Buddhists” to both accept and deny ego identity, using either position to win some argument. Add to this the noisy non-sense c-o-m-p-a-s-s-i-o-n the horrible noise which so many self styled Buddhists use. Ergo confusion not only at meetings on re-incarnation but in general.

My stand is or ought to be simple. I joined the American Buddhist Order because I am in full agreement with the purposes and principles of that order .

My life in the inner worlds—call it occult or otherwise, has led me to present Dervish dances to young America. My program of eat, dance, and pray with people is now winning adherents among the young more rapidly than sneers among the elite! When the Universe opens up one has no choice. Dharma Drishthi means to me universal outlook or cosmic super personal view. It does not to me mean any “right” as against any “wrong” view. People who have not experienced samadhi, not having developed bodhi, simply do not know the truth of the Eight Fold Path.

The Dervish dances are in a sense a synthesis of dances seen by me in the flesh. This is almost a useless statement for they will be rejected by the same people who reject the possibilities of the occult. I have to mention this because the inspirations of the Dervish dances were followed almost immediately by the inspirations of Yogi dances. Needless to any the young have been equally enthusiastic in accepting the Yogi dances.

The next inspirations while “occult” will demonstrate in dance or ritual form the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, both as numbers and as cosmic symbols. The dances of 6 include both the six-pointed star and the Shiva, Shakti. The next inspiration beyond that showed tantric Vajrayana forms in dance and ritual beyond which I dare not look now. I have already reported the Eight Fold Path ritual. I am not in the least interested in any rejection from any so-called “Buddhist” any more than I am interested in the rejection of any so-called Muslims as to the Yogi dances. The young will love and accept, accept and love. My cosmic karma and dharma will manifest, are destined to manifest.

I have had conscious awareness of all pains and sufferings of the late Phra Sumangalo. In the symbology of 2 the dance pattern takes the form of the roman numeral rather than the Arabic as if no separation. I am sorry when so-called “Buddhists” verbally adhering to anatta see only separations. Whether the union is love or pain or both it persists. The chair of Phra Sumangalo in this room is a constant reminder.

Assuming the states and stages of consciousness Surangama Sutra the cosmic anatta conscious function are all inclusive and increasingly inclusive until all are one and one is all. This is not philosophy this is living experience.

I have just received a fine letter from Dr. Seo. I was taught hierarchal law early in life. It was easy to jump from that to patriarchal transmission differing from most so-called Buddhists. I accept in totality Kegon school: This is not an alternative philosophy. As Walt Whitman said. “In all men I see myself.”

True, here I am trying to practice from Jesus Christ, “Love ye one another,” and “I am the vine and ye are the branches thereof.” I always thought this to do be Buddha’s teaching, not necessarily Buddhist teaching. I believe it is demonstrable and is being demonstrated. In a long life I do not recall a single difference with either Rev. Joseph Miller or Ted Reich.

Brother Warwick did come to see me at Novato. He did not see the program. I cannot agree to any philosophical dispute based on personalism and personality. I am about to study certain sciences with some of my disciples to show how the Sangha operates in nature. Cells are born, live and die. Sanghas persist.

Most faithfully,




910 Railroad Ave.,

Novato, Calif. 94947

December 12, 1968, Night


Rev. J Eugene Wagner

135 Ninth Ave.

San Francisco Calif. 9411



Sunday night I shall read a paper from her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul, given before the assemblage representing the real religions the real world. These people met recently in India at several places generally around Calcutta, due to strange idiosyncrasies of the weather.

Tomorrow morning I shall discuss the possibilities of having this paper published here in Marin County, and if it be accepted, will keep you informed. Otherwise I shall send it to you. This appointment is at 9 a.

At 10 a.m. I shall receive a more direct report of the proceedings of The Temple of Under Standing from a disciple who was in attendance. He will so give a direct report on Auroville, the projected effort of a new social order, given to put the teachings of the late Sri Aurobindo into operation.

I must call to your attention that the several presumed groups devoting themselves to intellectual approaches verbally presumed and assumed to be offering Asian cultures and charging high prices have one and all rejected not only my life work but any connection with Sufism, etc. This leaves me now free to express myself openly and also to cooperate in real efforts to establish real Asian cultures in this country without involving either social or monetary privileges; and certainly not basing cosmic consciousness on either intellectual prowess or substantial bank accounts.

I shall be aided in this by several of my real fellow scholars and devotees in real Sufism who will be in this vicinity between now and the end of the year. And also by the advents of Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj. His coming will end the egocentric exclusion of this person from the assemblages of the elite and indeed under no circumstances do I wish to be included among the elite any more.

Moneys which I would have been willing to contribute to the new so-called school of Asian Studies—with a lot of people of prowess but without spiritual backgrounds—will go to Pondicherry to help with real efforts of real persons, not necessarily privileged with super intellectualism or bank accounts. There is a time when it is foolish to grovel at the feet of the self-imposing, and while I have refrained from open hostilities, it is now necessary to come out against the persons and pictures.

While I agree I think I toto with her Supreme Highness I do not agree with the policies of the WBF which place all verbal Buddhists above those of attainment who do not wish to call themselves “Buddhists.” I continue to teach Lord Buddha’s Yoga. This was accepted by the Asian Dr. Thich Thien An. I do not care whether the European-born Lama Govinda or any Asian or non-Asian who places Mammon above God, so to speak.

The very successful campaign to spread Dervish dancing is being followed by an equally successful campaign to spread Yoga dancing. As the elite will not include either Sufism or anything emanating from this person, I must report that the Indian students of the University of California have asked me to join them. They have little respect for the various Englishmen, Europeans and now Americans who are spreading “spiritual” and “Asian” cultures which never existed in Asia.

Not only is the door opening to meet the real Indians to discuses real Indian culture, but this will climax on the arrival of His Holiness, Swami Ranganathananda, who will soon be in our midst. No more nonsense, intellectual or personal but the real thing coming from a real man.

Next week my chief dancing disciple returns and then we shall begin the Symbolic and Tantric dances. The world will be informed that this person has had doors closed in this face from all the corporations and money-adhering seminars and the young will accept this as a sign of veracity and purity. “Freely give, freely receive.”

These dances are in the Alaya-Akasha which the intellectual-social people cannot accept at the mystical functional level. And I believe the young will; they are. I do not know how many of them will be ready when the so-called Lama Govinda will be willing to meet me, for one goes ahead regardless. One cannot expect the intellectuals and socially minded to understand real mystical and transcendental processes.

The Nirmanakaya is the Nirmanakaya. It is very real, very operative and totally pure and perfect.


Samuel L. Lewis




410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

April 7, 1969


Rev. J Eugene Wagner

135 Ninth Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94118



While this is my autobiographical center, copies are being made for Prof. Bahm of New Mexico; Alfred Bloom of Oregon and our local colleague, Dr. Warwick.

Self-identity has become very difficult. Daniel Lomax, one of the sectaries, has long had a leonine appearance and has had both beard and hair trimmed. And this person, looking so long like an imp or leprechaun, now has the hair on both head and face long and looks at times almost like a holy man. Neither of us is reconciled to any self-identity. Both look strange to ourselves. There is no need for any more egocentric anatta (?) doctrine.

Last night was unusual, which in a sense is usual for this place. What we did will not satisfy a single cult or sect of any faith. There were strangers so we went back to the First Jhana, and these people were nearly all convinced that the First Jhana is effective. Later on we went to “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones” and this also was a successful maneuver.

The evening was divided between the Dharma of Swami Ramdas and the discourses on Trikaya. One say that Nirmayaka=Nir + Mana + Kaya, and not some apish transmission of “body of transformation” as handed down by those who have had no such experience. What is a “body of transformation?” We might go beyond Paul Reps, “Ask a Potato” and ask an Amoeba; or actually go through the animal world, with actualities.

Refusals have come from the various Buddhist leaders about a really big Wesak Ceremony. Apparently each has his “thing” while advocating anatta of course. It looks now as if it will be an easy matter to have 200 or more persons to Novato. I shall take up the matters of and with Master Seo yesterday.

Saturday I was brought “The Buddhist Revival in China.” At is a long book and there is a danger of its very length being ipse facto effective. I have no general criticism of most of the statements. But apparently the author does not know Fleming nor is Marco Pallis mentioned, and my present activities bring one very close to Pallis from whatever outlook one takes, or has.

My papers from Venerable Tai Hsu have been rejected by Tuttle. I shall not write this publisher directly but will later write to the Harvard Center—where I was greeted with both candor and respect. Dr. Alfred Bloom of Oregon has put up the matter of Xeroxing Tai Hsu and this is in order.

I am at the moment in an awkward position. There has been a constant increment of both attendance and financial income and yet I am in debt. It may require a complete housecleaning. I have refused to accept the tragic deaths of Inayat Khan, Robert Clifton and Dwight Goddard as an example and either will avoid a tragic death (some success here) or it will be of a different kind.

Holmes Welsh has mentioned Master Tai Nsu and others. But he also has a picture of Dr. Trebitsch Lincoln and I have some knowledge—quite direct too, concerning the time when he was supposed to have “disappeared.” I should for the Harvard records give a detailed report, but the past—I think it is gone now—has had so many detailed reports of actualities which have been snubbed. I am, according to the principles of the original will of my father, to try to allocate part of the principles to a university and both from my own “will” and my brothers, in the field of real Oriental transmissions. What is more and strange, are the possibilities which come close to possibilities of increase in increment with the two hazards of parasites on the one hand and of egotists on the other refusing to accept not only personal reports, but actual data and literature which ought to be on record.

This Saturday there will be the seminar on “Cosmic Consciousness” at the University Extension. I am prepared to go and have at least one colleague. There will be the question whether we are going to depend on books or on human experiences. It was all right to be told at Kamakura in 1956 that one was already two grades above Daisetz Suzuki. The whole subject of “grottoes” mentioned by L. Adams Beck and Sokei-An, complicated by the information. “Daisetz has never been here” brings up this question or how far literary authorities will be accepted seriously above “those who have crossed to the other shore.” One is also problemized by “Diamond Sutra” because one does not affirm directly but one has to express and now get out into the open.

As I must write later to Harvard I shall not add to these remarks but will send copy. And we shall see that you get a chance to read “The Buddhist Revival in China.” The grape-vine substantiates Welch, so we shall see.


Samuel L. Lewis

(He-Kwang, Zenshi)



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

May 18, 1969


Rev. James Eugene Wagner

125 Ninth Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 194118



In an envelope from “The Home of the Dharma” one received an incomplete copy of “Buddhism and Modern Thought.” I am going to be radically critical here because in the reflection on two separate meetings of human beings not regarded as existent by our “anatta” friends, the inevitable conclusion was that today “Buddhists” do not believe in any God but certainly do believe in the human ego (their own).

I have been working on a manuscript “Cosmic Language” and the inevitable would be to write a commentary on “The Brahmin” and perhaps other portions of that terrible literature known as “Hinayana” than which nothing can be … by the “experts” … and although I thought the “experts” had disappeared, we have gone from “Beat-Zen” to “Hippie Buddhism” and this brings “East” ????? and “West” … together, provided all the writers and thinkers are good Aryans. “East” and “West” come together (?) if you abolish in your mind the existences of Orientals!

My own invasion of Haight-Ashbury has surprisingly brought a growing response and I understand the Hippies themselves are establishing spiritual movements which never get into the papers. Or, as I have been holding for years, the traditional Americans would welcome the lamb and lion lying down together but never permit a “little child” to lead them. And the “little children” are growing up and may do their own leading.

“Buddhism and Modern Thought” by Lama Anagarika Govinda starts out with terrible logical fallacies. He says: “Though our knowledge of Buddhism has increased considerably during the last fifty years, thanks to the work of an ever-growing band of devoted scholars all over the world….” Poppy-cock. Name one of those devoted scholars. Tell one single contribution, any one, if not more of them have made! This is, of course, good anatta-Buddhism.

Later he says: “When Buddhism first came to the knowledge of the West (evidently meaning his Ego), it was hailed as the religion of Reason, a rational system of ethics….” Well, I am the last of the students of Paul Carus and we don’t read him, so many improvements!

Inasmuch as the Tathagata did not establish “Buddhism” I guess I have no right to criticize. I have refused to call myself a “Buddhist” and the equal­-minded-in-pleasure-and-pain-wallahs react like anything to that! I have not come out one year for reincarnation, the next year against, one year for believe in Nats and Pretas, the next year the opposite, etc., so long as “I” am in the driver’s seat. Being in the driver’s seat is a first commandment in “Anatta­-Buddhism’.

Then the Lama says: “If the Buddha did not believe in or encourage metaphysical speculations….” then what in blank is the Lama writing about! If his creations are anything but metaphysical speculations I should like to ascertain. And as the document sent me is incomplete where does it stand?

What does stand, and Buddhism will never conquer the world is that when Rev. Ook says it is true; when John Smith says it is useless; when the Venerable Schmuck says it, it is marvelous and when Lady Peale says it, don’t waste your time! This is “Buddhism” and it is as far from Arya Dharma as one can imagine.

What troubles me is that the Lama will have no appeal among the young. I have presented the Jhanas (horrible hearsay) by example, by using them in meditations. And I understand that one of my disciples is doing that, only more so, and with success, only more so. As my “science” comes from laboratory discipline and not literary training, by experience and neither advice nor speculation. I find the method of the Jhanas quite in line with the logistics of science. What is more, they work, they are operative.

Where I differ from Hinayana brethren is that they do not accept anicca. They say so. Period. As soon as one performs a Jhana and succeeds, he is transferred. When one goes through these transformation, that is the experience of Nirmanakaya. Theravadin teachings are true as teachings but they leave no room for unlimited potentialities. Consequently I cannot accept any particular school unless it be Avatamsaka (Kegon) and await Master Seo. But I have not been able to run errands; my whole life is filled with requests to run errands so that there is no time for oneself. “Work out they salvation with diligences” means, find the person who will run your errands.

But we are going to have a seminar on Southeast Asia, with three professors all of whom I find most satisfactory. (What has gone wrong!) Since getting the letter from General Lansdale and the material from Thich Thien An I have to take another stance, based on objectively and not on “truths” (meaning they come from certain personalities only).

A copy of this goes to Neville. I am satisfied that he is presenting a Universal Dharma, etc. But we are also in a new age. The young went experiences and not doctrines, even perfect ones. I am hoping to contact Prof Bahm and others and work for real understanding of the real Orient by Americans and a willingness to study and listen and not to proclaim and expect others to listen to us. In the Jhanas one does not listen to others; one cannot and perhaps there are no others!


Samuel L. Lewis



June 25, 1969

Rev. J. Eugene Wagner

135 Ninth Ave.

San Francisco, Calf. 94118



I am at this time sending fifty (450.00) dollars on account for the copies of Buddhist Encyclopedia published so far. I must thank you for giving me an extension. This has been a very heavy month due to too many persons leaning on the teacher for really valid emergencies.

Au contraire, the outlook is excellent. And on top of that one received an emergency call from my brother. Just as my father, before, there is a death-bed contrition and it may lead one into a rather enviable (for me) financial position and the money would be used either for the establishment at Novato, or for travelling in the Orient.

The whole outlook is much better. There is a growth of valid experience being taken as a basis for religion rather than for personality speculations (from the right persons, of course), or empty traditions. In August I shall no doubt visit Archie Bahm in New Mexico but now most excellent relations have been established at Harvard and on the Berkeley campus.

In fact one is actually optimistic that human experience, and especially valid examples of awakening will be accepted, not only alongside of orthodoxies and the speculations of the “right people,” but even above them. Just now it is Mrs. Phillip Kapleau who is in the fire and her solid material is under attack by the “Zen” (???Buddhists????) and macrobiotics. She will win; truth always wins.

The next step also will include bringing the Encyclopedia to the UCLA campus. My contacts were away on this visit. One cannot stop the “shows” that go on in the name of religion but one can help encourage those who have actually had the satori and samadhic experiences.




cc Price.



Novato, Calif.

July 25, 1969


Eugene Wagner



I am interrupting my work here which goes on incessantly. When I return to the city I shall try to contact you and also as soon as possible pay for the encyclopedias. But actually this will go on incessantly.

There is no intention—it may be impossible—to convince “anatta-Buddhists” that there is a Dharma-transmission which goes on and is independent of all egos. There is no intention to repeat what Master Seo said, and it is also difficult to do what he wanted in the way he seemed to have wanted it. But there is something going on and going on despite the ego.

The attempts to present something called “Buddhism” via the ego will fail. The purpose of the mission of Tathagata was to free mankind from the wheel-of-bi­rth-and death. And for this there may be many Upaya. But one of them is most certainly not saying there are many Upayas and then seriatim refusing to accept them. This is egotism and nonsense and there will be no fruit therefrom. Noise, yes; but fruit no. And personal will never has and never will accomplish much in this direction. This is neither business not politics.

I have no intention to try to convince “anatta-Buddhists” of the existence of the Alaya. It is my function and will continue to be my function. The young people, seeking enlightenment and not crude doctrines or practices, are now coming in greater numbers and with greater intensity. This may well be. And I welcome, rather than otherwise, the success of colleagues in drawing disciples for this takes an awful burden from me.

I do not think any person, real or actual spiritual teachers, have as yet collected the quantity and quality of devotees who come here. Our children’s party was quite a success. The opening up of spiritual dancing has proven almost be denounced by those who have not had the great experience. They see only in and with and through the ego no matter what they proclaim.

There is a “conference” on Asia Philosophy going on at the University of San Francisco under the  proper European educated savants, with the rarest of cocktails and drinks served at parties. It is “only in America” that this could be done, is done. There is another conference on “Asian Philosophy” in Honolulu where five out of the twelve top experts are Jews. We can respect the Jews but I don’t think even the Israelis would say they have the right to have five out of twelve seats on a board of directors of “Asian Philosophy.”




April 13, 1970



We are coming to near the end of our sojourn abroad. The weather has been what I should call, in abeyance, almost like a November but somewhat wetter. We are hoping for a nice day of two before we leave so we can go to know again. We have enjoyed Kew very much We have had no time or inclination for theaters and amusements, other than eating in Asian restaurants.

After a dull day yesterday, around 4 o’clock, things began to hop. Jack was with us in the lobby when a delegation of young people came in end we went to Gandalf’s Garden again. This is the center, so to speak, of the more spiritual minded hippies if you want to call there that. Here the generation gap is not so great. Of course this is all nonsense; we have lived for, by, and with ego, and older people simply cannot give up ego. They can change their religions, do anything, but ego remains and dominates. With the young it is not so. In fact this Pied Piper’s career almost burst through and we hope to have an entourage come, say, in about two years.

This may be possible because of the attainment of the great American virtue. When I reach Boston later in the week I say telephone San Francisco. The strange death of my brother leaves me at least another inheritance, possibly two. It will be a matter of wisdom of what to do with the money, but his last wishes were I use it for traveling purposes and one or two contributions to education, nothing else. I realize that my return will compel a lot of business activities, legal and financial. I do not know what problems have been left. My local cousin has also the problem of her own mother and grandmother, and the aftermath of a legal separation from her husband. But I understand she is standing up well which is wonderful for a person that has been protected previously, so to speak.

I am scheduled to speak sometime in May at 420 Sutter Street. I do not care if older institutions and people and groups do not want to hear me. They did not want to hear me before after my meeting so many great sages of Asia. Now the first great dream of my life has come true: a conference of all the religions groups of the whole world, actually, and with some amity and concordance. The hard and simple fact which my former acquaintances refuse to accept manifested—that I was able to communicate easily with the world leaders of every faith. This is something that our popular experts have never demonstrated. But now the young want actualities, not emotions, not pseudo-intellectual pablum and puff. And I believe they will get it.

Being with Jack is like being with myself. He has come out nobly from many trials and we have already planned both for my return here and his coming to the United State. After leaving Gandalf’s Garden, we went to the Ceylonese Vihara and then to the Zendo. Roshi Socho Suzuki is a real Bodhisattva. He carries a tremendous aura, one filled with peace, love, and compassion. He is the second real Bodhisattva we have encountered. The other being the representative of the Dalai Lama whom men met at Geneva. These are superior men, and you can see this also in their disciples. Any idiot can sit in silence. It requires much more to have the awakening.

Jack stated that he never heard the Roshi speak so much. It has been my strange experience and happened so many times that sages and masters have opened up in my presence, even those who were mostly silent before others. But the aftermath was even more pleasant: Socho is a disciple of Soyen Nakagawa. So I took up with Jack the matter of financial contribution after I return. One is in the strange position that one may have more funds then one has been used to and must use them even more wisely, cherishing every nickel, so to speak, even if one has a huge income—not too definite, of course, but that is the way it would seem.

Greetings from Jack and others to Neville Warwick and Joe Miller. They have good repute abroad which is not surprising.

We are going today, we hope, to see one Clive-Ross, who is editor of “Studies in Comparative Religion.” His Buddhist colleague is Marco Pallis. After we see him we hope to revisit the British Museum, and then if the weather clears make a final visit to Kew. Wednesday night we give dance instructions at Gandalf’s Garden. If Jack shows up, we shall have a farewell dinner afterwards.

Like one of the sages we have met, I feel both at home and homeless and must face this henceforth. There is no doubt I shall be given a grand reception. There was a sharp contrast between my return in 1962, met by a single person and my last departure.

Fortunately I have most dependable disciples, chief of whom in San Francisco is Melvin, Wali Ali Meyer, but I also have excellent lieutenants, men of wonderful caliber, totally trustworthy, and full of inner light and compassion. At times it almost impels me to weep, but that does not do much good either.

Please convey my respects to your family and, of course, to Joe and Neville as above.

I was known at Geneva as the person who wrote the longest letters and made the shortest speeches. I have some materials also we may show you on return.





June 14, 1970


Dear Sam:

Thank you for your letter of the second. It seems you are running into the real experiences all the rest of the local people only hear about.

You are, of course, absolutely right in your comments that Zen is prajna and not dhyana, although we both know that our “self-less” Buddhist friends won’t understand that. Even so, one cannot argue with success. Is becomes is-not only after one experiences or become the “is.”

I am glad that you have found the Holy Rockies’ meditation area functioning. But welcome to the Heretic’s Club. How could the Divine Light come from anyplace but in the East! Hah! Just received a letter from Denver suggesting that the Pali practices of Mindfulness be instituted as a real practice, instead of an exercise in mental gymnastics. Somehow I feel I keep meeting myself coming down the road. But again, how could prajna possibly function in real life?!!

On July 11th I’m to tie the knot again for two of your kids, Jeremy Cave and Marion Doyle. On Mt. Tam. Hope you’ll be around to join in. It’s been a real joy to watch your kids grow and develop and realize.

Kennett Roshi is due back in SF on the 23rd. and is bringing an entourage of about a dozen new people with her. Then in about two more weeks they are expecting about an equal number more to arrive. Her disciples here have been hunting a place where they can all be together and they think they’ve found one. An 11 room place on east Lake Merritt. Went there yesterday and saw it. I think it will work fine for them, and it is in a nice area where the women folk won’t have to worry quite so much.

About the time you left they put in a help call to me. The disciple had permitted a 25 year old girl to come stay. She turned out to be suicidal and homicidal and had to be physically restrained. So daddy went over and helped get the girl committed to a hospital where she could receive some help. All they needed in the Roshi’s absence was a suicide or a murder.

Also Dr. Seo came through with his chief disciple, stayed one day, and took off for Virginia. I understand he now has 180 acres instead of the 90 he began with. I understand he is expected back in SF about the end of July or early August.

Our New Orleans trip fell through, so I think we’ll go down to Disneyland for a week on June 27th. The kids will like it and maybe I’ll have a chance to meet some of the Buddhists down in that area. I also want to take them to the San Diego zoo and also check out a couple of Zen Buddhists in that city.

Take good care, Sam. Give my best to everyone there and we’ll see you when you return.





June 19, 1970

Rev. Eugene Wagner

135 9th Ave.

San Francisco 94118


My dear Bodhisattva:

I am very glad you have sent me so many details in your letter of June 14th. A circumstance came up shortly after this letter arrived and I feel like putting everything on paper.

You were present of course, at the Gest wedding, in Marin County; you saw the film; I believe you are in the film. This filming was done chiefly by Fred Cohn who is a disciple and I believe he has the best heart and intentions. But also there is another side and it has gotten out of hand, and I am putting on a Fudo front and I am going to stand by this Fudo front.

Sentiment, geniality, good-will, and social propriety are not necessarily wisdom. The prajna is often very clear, the logic often not so clear; and if one gives in to these lesser motifs, then tragedy may happen which is not necessary.

I have been very satisfied with the progress of the dances and with the filming. I saw some reviews and if in these reviews certain disciples are given equal or greater roles than Murshid, so be it. I also saw in the films the pictures from “The House of Love and Prayer” on Arguila Blvd. I also saw a number of pictures of “The Mountain Climbing Yoga group.” I felt the photography in the latter case was superb. There is nothing more that I would have liked earlier in life than to have been a mountain climbing yogi. So far not only so good, but excellent.

Then without consulting me, giving in to outside pressures and suggestions a number of Tassajara films were added. This has put me in a very awkward position for three entirely different sets of reasons: as you know Rev. Shinto Suzuki, now a Roshi in the Soto Zen School, availed himself of every sacrifice from this person (and presumably others) and then shut the door in my face. I was never permitted to tell of my long association with Zen, and even less, of my experience at Sojiji. As we have said the Sojiji visit was the rankest kind of heresy. Someday I may detail it to Philip Kapleau—I have my original notes and they are certainly going to Huston Smith and also to Lewis Langcaster in Berkeley.

The strange unwelcome Neville received at the Zendo shows the total discarding of Buddha Sakyamuni’s moral teachings by so many who take refuge under the title of Mahayanist, which means anything from Bodhisattva to sadist and scoundrel.

Then I have very complicated relations with both the Buddhist group in Washington and the Waverly Place people. At least there is some personal personality respect. But here are the pictures of Tassajara, added to the films which I have permitted and which the leading roles are performed by my disciple, my very good friends of different spiritual paths, and myself.

I have had long and useless tête-a-têtes on this subject. I simply do not want any association with Shinto Suzuki. His attitudes toward Neville, myself, and others; the wide demarcation between him and Master Seo; and the whole attitude of the Chinese community and the majority of the Japanese means that if his pictures are shown alongside I will gain 10 parts ill-will for every part good-will.

Then the question was raised about new age Zen. Exactly. Shinro Suzuki does not represent new age Zen. He represents power structure, socio-political Zen. It is remarkable that not one of these “Masters of the Far East” could predictor prevent the destruction of Japan, a destruction due to the karma of extreme anti-morality.

But Kennett Roshi does represent new age Zen (so do the Waverly Place people). The future generations will realize the Damon/Pitheus relations with Robert and, I am assuming, Kennett Roshi is a sort of heir to it. So if you’re going to have Buddhism, and if we are going to have Zen Buddhism instead of universal Buddhism, and if we, are going to have Soto, I am immediately going to start to plug for Kennett Roshi and a real new age Zen, dominated by new age people who can study and practice the Dharma without any over-lords.

I also feel it would be very proper to see that pictures are taken of Master Seo and his efforts, whether in California or Virginia. At this writing it would appear that Secretary Mansur and myself will have to go to Washington later in the year and we can take this matter up and will very soon—the filming of Master Seo—and what will come of it.

Holding to a universal outlook, I cannot afford to support sectarianism without a grand purpose or personal benefit. It is one thing to be unselfish; it is another thing to commit folly. I see only two purposes in life: the expansion of wisdom, and the dominance of earthly affairs. Sentiment does not fit in there or verbal goodness for the benefit of others at my own expense.

This whole thing may be ironed out next week when a few people may be coming here; some at the invitation of Lama, some at my invitation, and some at their own invitations But before they arrive there is going to be a grand undertaking here Saturday and Sunday; drama (a stock company), dancing and possible filming. This means that by the time those who have been doing the filming arrive, there will be a different outlook again; so I am putting this all on paper.

I feel both from your report and what is going on behind the scenes we are going to have a new schools synthetic psychometrics whereby we can deal with problems of irrationality. In this I have found prajna stands alone but it can be remarkably effective.

I think I have yakety-yaked enough and now wish to show carbon of this letter to some people here. Best to your family and please enjoy the Disneyland of the Disneyland and the Disneyland of the rest of the world (including the San Diego zoo).


Samuel L. Lewis



June 24, 1970



Your newsy letter of the 19th arrived yesterday and I thank you for telling me of the film outcome. I’ve not yet seen the film but hope to ere too long.

I can appreciate your reluctance to be “filmed in” with Suzuki or to have other than the barest involvement with him. One has long since come to much the same conclusions and this person studiously avoids contact.

Sharpening the prajna faculties is an irrefutable “argument” to all the yapping of the anatta cultists who do, indeed, hide all sorts of incredible behavior behind the professed Mahayana Bodhisattva’s vows. Fortunately, the younger people are able to see through this rubbish in a hurry.

Kennett Roshi called me last night and wanted me to come to their official opening of their new headquarters in Oakland next Sunday. Unfortunately I’ll be 500 miles from here on Sunday.

To bring you up to date a little more before I take off for the hinterlands of Orange County, I received a letter yesterday from a man who accompanied Dr. Seo to Virginia. They now have 180 acres, a 5 room former farm house, and 3 to 8 people staying there farming and making the place functional. They are already using a practice, which by itself makes them heretics, doesn’t it.

Dr. Seo is scheduled to arrive in the Bay Area about the 10th of July. There is some agitation to have him, Kennett Roshi and some otter Zen groups join together in a three day Sesshin, time and place yet to be decided.

This person long since gave up the silliness of sectarian superiority as being an expensive luxury I can ill afford. Like yourself, one is convinced that the broadest outlook is hindered by arbitrary fences being erected, especially sectarian ones.

I am going to try to see several Buddhist in the LA area next week. Thought you would want to know the latest in happenings and anticipated occurrences before I take off for LA. See you when I get back.





Vajra Bodhi Sea

Buddhist lecture hall

125 Waverly Place

San Francisco, CA 94108

July 25, 1970



I have before me your June 1970 issue. A comment is not usually in order and much of your publication is so excellent, but the introductory note “The Entire World is Upset” makes me wonder what are you talking about. I am an old fossil. I began the study of the Dharma before most of the present day Buddhist devotees were even I the flesh, and I immediately ran into an obstacle, or committed a sin—I don’t know which—for which I have never been forgiven. That is to say, a very large number of so-called Buddhists will not forgive the fact that I began with the “low sutras,” and the other half will not forgive because I stubbornly stick to the spelling Dharma instead of Dhamma. It seems that one can commit all the vices of the cock, the snake, the pig, etc., and be forgiven, but for wrong spelling….

I have been innumerable times in my life at gatherings where there were many Buddhists (so-called) with other people, and also many Buddhists (so-called) alone. And two things are noticeable: a. They condemn each other’s spelling, b. They do not talk to each other at all. The late Dwight Goddard died of a broken heart, deserted by all sectarians who believed that one component of the Truth was that they dissociate with the other Buddhists.

Now I like the lecture remarks on page 28 from which I quote: “Commend and Praise Tathagatas,” “ Repent and Reform Karmic Obstacles,” “ Persevere in Accord With Living beings.” I haven’t the slightest idea as to what is meant here. Recently I have been incited to join the Buddhist Vihara in Washington. I told them I could not because I if did they would demand I dissociate with all so-called Buddhists who used the term Dharma instead of Dhamma. All the hullaballoo about love and compassion stops at this point.

On your last page you have a picture, “The Wheel of the Six Paths.” I cannot for the life of me understand why your compassion should extend to just one group (the animals) of these six. No wonder “The Entire World is Upset.”

When I began studying Buddhism years ago The Open Court Publishing Company used to sent out tracts that everything is mind made. This year I did something that no Buddhist has permitted since the ancient days of Taxila—introduced every form of mediation from the first Jhana to the highest Maha-Mudra. I presented all the techniques without commentary. I taught young Americans how to use them, and they did. The young Americans who are not Buddhist found no fault in any of them, but the young Americans and the old Americans and the old Asians, without even trying or investigating seemed to find fault in all the Upayas they have never even tried or practices. (this if they are Buddhists).

In the meanwhile I am not convinced one bit that Paul Carus was wrong in his efforts to teach that everything is mind made. For me it is not true “The Entire World is Upset.” To me what is upset is our emphasis on externalities, and the almost entire rejection by all schools of Buddhists concerning ego-personality, a term they verbalize one way and practice another way. And if you are going to verbalize a “truth” one way, and psychologize it another way, naturally you will be upset.

I do not know what you mean by proposing we follow the Buddhas. In his day, whenever there was a war or a threat of war, Buddha Sakyamuni took his followers to the battlefield and remained there. In our day, with its endless Southeast Asia conflict, good-Buddhists collect endless sums to build palaces where they cannot possibly receive any news of worldly disturbances. This is good-Buddhism. What it has to do with Sakyamuni I do not know and I am proud to be called an idiot in this respect.

But I do agree with Paul Carus, and I do agree with a lot of poets, that the suffering in Southeast Asia and the suffering in the Near East is my suffering, and if I cannot join these people in suffering, I cannot join them at all.

I am still stupid enough to think that Buddha Gautama Sakyamuni came to this world to help humanity, solve the problems of pain, suffering, disease, and death. I still believe his teachings and methods perfect. But I also entirely agree with you in your presentation concerning “The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra.” Although I do not think ego-personality is important, I am stuck in and with the Avatamsaka teachings and the meditation practices of many schools which exemplify these teachings. I must think you, however, for your grand overall picture, which is badly needed.

But I do not see demons in concepts. I see them in the objective world. Only I believe they can be overcome, never by hatred, never by division, never by dualism, but by the Upaya which can be put into practice. In the modern scientific world I believe those things which can be practiced and become so effective are of greatest value.  If you persist in calmness you will never have to refer to “The Entire World is Upset.” (I refer you to some of the Zen tales of my now deceased friend of many years standing Nyogen Senzaki.)

With all good wishes, sincerely,

Samuel L. Lewis

Watts, Alan Correspondence

Alan Watts

S.S. Vallejo, P.O. Box 857,

Sausalito, California 94965

September 17th 1970


Dear Sam:

Thanks so much for sending me copies of your interesting letters—and it was good to meet you the other day at Elsa’s. You look so much better with long hair!

So I think some things should be clarified. I do not disagree at all with the things you say, and no one can doubt that you are extremely well-informed on most matters of Asian culture.

But why carry around such a huge chip on your shoulder? Understand that I am not moralizing; I am merely stating a personal prejudice. Truly, “you might be more the man you are with striving less to be so.”

However, you are doing great things for the young people who study with you, and I keep hearing reports of their enthusiasm. Especially, please, keep up the Sufi way; it is important. And, incidentally, have you read Rabbi Herbert Wiener’s book Nine-and-a-Half Mystics? I think you would love it.

Love, peace, and all good wishes,



September, 22, 1970

Mr. Alan Watts

S.S. Vallejo P. 0. Box 57

Sausalito, Calif. 94965


Dear A1an,

Murshid is very glad you accept what he says; he accepts everything that you do! Period.

He is off for the East Coast this weekend for an extended trip. Things are opening up for him at Cambridge, New York City, and Washington to name the principle places.

Our Dances and Praise of Allah are spreading with people like wild fire, all around the country. Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) is doing them in New Hampshire; others are doing them in Arizona and New Mexico and New York. What is the world coming to?

You are welcome to come to the Dances and meetings—which will continue in Murshid’s absence. These are being held in Sausalito on Wednesday nights at 8.00 p.m. at the Art Center.

Love and Blessings,

Wali Ali

secretary to Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

September 25, 1970


Alan Watts,

Box 857, Sausalito, Calif. 94965


My dear Alan:

I had had no intention to reply to your letter of the 17th, so busy, but some of the of the activities touch what you are doing. In contradiction both to those who have preached about karma and those who do not believe in it, it seems to be very operative and I have strong reasons to believe the Sri Aurobindo movement will go exactly the way of the earlier Roerich endeavor. And this game of a priori rejecting little people sooner or later gets its come-uppance.

There is a great deal of difference between “resenting” opposition and forever sitting in calmness at a priori rejections. The greatest of all the a priori rejections came to my very close friend, the late Robert Clifton who died of a broken heart. He lived many years in Vietnam and the entire culture—all camps—refused to accept his in situ appearances and we are paying billions of dollars therefore.

But this is the usual and any endeavor on the part of any person to change this is an invitation to martyrdom. I have one friend who wrote twenty articles on what was happening in Laos, Cambodia, Ghana and Algeria, rejected by the American press, all camps; and published by every Asian paper to which they were submitted. But this is the usual. And the madness of presuming that 300 communists could surround and terrify a Cambodian army of 10,000-20,000 men is acceptable only—by the American press.

Well I am about the sixth on the list of the a priori rejecters, chiefly for Vietnamese report. I gave those up when I re-contacted my old associate, the now retired American General Edward Lansdale, and my papers were almost immediately accepted by the University of California, Department of Southeast Asian Studies.

I then turned my attention to the Near East. One Gunner Jarring said he thought I had the best program he had ever heard of. His associates agreed. The Americans, especially les religieuses, and humanists, and peace groups, dissented, mostly with the good democratic a priori rejections. But halleluiah, there is now a publisher who wants especially those things previously rejected—and I have oodles of them. So I put on pretense but laugh at the “Liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up!” groups which dominate the cultures. But not for long, not much longer,

Well I taught dancing to a thousand young Hippies, yesterday and some were guilty. Of course they are guiltily. We have excellent Lewis Carroll logic and even the semanticists agree with it.

I have completed my lectures on “The Three Body Constitution of Man According to St. Paul.” It will be accepted either by my publisher or by some leading divines whom I am not supposed to know. But since our daring venture to a real summit meeting at Geneva, we have been prospering in all directions, too many to relate and besides the approaches are so different and totally successful.

You must know that all “universal” societies are dominated entirely by Americans Englishmen and Hindus. Other people just don’t count. They are never on the boards of directors.

So I am by open prejudice behind everything you are doing because the other camps are firm in their rejections of factual evidences and in their rights to personality judgments.

I have just read “Understanding in a World of Words.” published by the I.S.G.S. I do not understand it. I thought I understood Korzybski and his teacher (and mine) the late Cassius Keyser, thought I understood A.K. But we were in hopeless minority.

I shall visit Columbia University again and soon, perhaps as guest. Everything is coming “right,” everything and I am deluged with appointments and opening of doors and apologies from so many “good” people, which is something.

My “Peace Scholarship” has started at the University of California, Department of West Asian Languages, or rather Near East Languages. They once offered me a PhD. Degree for a paper which was laughed at with scorn by each of the three men who followed you at the so-called “American School of Asian (?) Studies.” Well that is past. Everything is different, experience of A which B has not had.



Wells Fargo Bank Correspondence

Feb. 22, 1910

Mr. James B. Garner

Assistant Trust Officer

Wells Fargo Bank

464 California St.

San Francisco, Calif. 94120


Dear Sir:

In re: Jacob Emil Lewis Trust 3-13207

I am going to ask your indulgence before re-submitting the status, financial and otherwise, of my brother Eliot M. Lewis and myself. Offhand the chief change in my budget has come from the slight rise in the cost of living etc. In addition, I am paying higher rent, etc.

My brother Eliot has been in the hospital. He has had to submit to some severe operations. I do not know how much of this is covered by medical insurance, Medicare, etc., and how much from his own pocket. I was given to understand that if our health and especially, hospital costs rose, the matter could be submitted, but I am unable to give you any details, and at this writing, he is still too low for us to have any serious consultation.

But it is equally true that financially speaking, I am in almost the same position. An eye examination may or may not be costly, and may or may not require some hospitalization and even an operation, in addition to this, I have not submitted the estimates for the care of my teeth. I feel it would be easier and proper if my brother Eliot and I submitted joint reports and estimations, delayed at the moment on account of his present condition. I shall also know somewhat better by the month of April exactly what a more detailed report for the moment.

Sincerely, Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. In 1967 I was also hospitalized; all but $120 was then covered by Medicare. I do not know my present status in this regard, or even the status of Medicare itself.



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

April 15, 1969


James B. Garner,

Testamentary Trust Dept. Wells Fargo Bank

San Francisco, 94120

Ref 3-13207


Dear Mr. Garner:

Below is a rough raft of current expenditures, all the items of which can be verified. I am sorry I have been a little lax owing to pressures, the chief of which has been my working outside and overtime:

1. Rent and utilities                                 $220

2. Education and books                          100

3. Typewriter, stationery and repairs     50

4. Travel                                                  20

5. Radio, music and entertainment         50

6. Food in                                                  150

7. Food out                                              50

8. Contributions and taxes                      50

Postage, telephone, laundry                   30

10 Clothing and household                     30

11. Household help                                 50



2. I was not given a complete university education by my family, and feel this is a necessity.

4. Note. I am restricted to “staying” at home plus free rides all the time. There is no leeway here.

11. At my age this has become a necessary expense. It is actually more, but I am now working part time and this is necessary both to fulfill the above needs, and to put in a reserve for legal, medical and other fees, for tools, repairs and gifts. The generous allotment you offer is still not enough and the interpretation of the Will is not clear. In the previous two years I was caught by illness and “saved” only because of Medicare.


Samuel L. Lewis

Wilbur, Donald Correspondence

1088 Fulton St.,

San Francisco 17

January 30, 1963


Donald N. Wilber,

140 Quaker Road,

Princeton, New Jersey


Dear Dr. Wilber:

I am very happy over your letter of the 26th. Although a Sufi I have not always been outwardly peaceful. One struggle I have been all over was the aftermath of a fracas between Professor Frye and Professor Northrup. I regard Prof. Northrup as a fine physicist and fairly good logician—who does not carry his own logic into his words on Asian subjects.

I have since met students of Prof. Frye and our relations have been cordial and wonderful. I am pleased to learn he is a member of a Sufi order, and following my instructions will write to him. I have always regarded him as the exemplary of an American professor in Asiatic.

Without going into details on “international relations.” It was only after long and bitter efforts that the Foreign Service saw that all I was trying to do was to get them to see that there are existing Sufi Orders. I had to wade through a horrible pre-view and then see the Egyptian mob attack our Embassy in Cairo. And in Pakistan it as only after delivering an ultimatum when I unwittingly stepped into a communist nest that they would assent to their being Dervish orders. Yet thousands of members of these orders are within short walking distance of our Lahore legation.

I have written to Dr. Burke, USIA director in Lahore. He comes from Princeton and if you not know each other, I hope you will make a direct contact.

You are a braver man than I in some respects. Calling on Dr. Bryan at Karachi I said: “I have written a paper on “Maize growing” in Hazra Distinct. I know it will be published if it has not been all ready. But I did not write, I did not dare to write on the ethnography, folklore, and local religion because I know a priori it would be rejected. To which Dr. Bryan add: “I agree with you.” I am hoping we can get out of certain cloud-patterns.

I have lived with and also near one S. Abdul Ghani, a high official of Pathan lineage. He also hosted Mr. Sulbberger, Justice Douglas and Arnold Toynbee. The professions of man often determine the pattern of their reception of letters. Despite the fact that he made some serious mistakes, the editor would not correct them. Justice Douglas answered. A for Arnold Toynbee our travels and reactions in many cases would simply be the sending of a fan-letter on my part. Editors live in their “implication” universe and facts are supplementary. Many Sufis and holy men used to meet at Ghani’s residences.

The Jilanis (or Ghailanis) are the most famous of all Sufi families. The titular head who is always the oldest son by continuous primogeniture is Abdul Kadari Jilani and has for a long time been Ambassador from Iraq to Pakistan. I met a cousin who was secretary to the first Iraqi Embassy in Washington. Another member of the family was a professor in Cleveland (several colleges) when I was there in 1960. Another operates a big agricultural machinery distributing plant in Karachi.

Jilanis have taken the lead in “Basic Democracy” work. They are in all professions and are part of the “aristocracy” in Pakistan. I once had the privilege of addressing twenty thousand (yes, 20,000) persons, disciples in Dervish Orders in the Cantonment Section of Lahore in the subject of “Ghaus-i-Azam,” that is, the original Grand Sheikh Abdul Karai Jilani. I have long since been a member of this order as well as others and am on excellent terms with several of the Murshids.

The Pir of Dewwal Shereef has made some astounding claims concerning himself, which can only be understood by knowing something of basic Sufism. He is also the Spiritual Guide of President Ayub. He has conceived the idea of a university in which Urdu rather than English be used as the basis of instruction excepting in courses concerned with English literature, history, etc.

The University is to be both modern and practical. No one will be given a bachelor’s degree without passing in one technical course; for a doctorate two technical courses; for a PhD, three technical courses. He realizes that Pakistan needs skilled workers more than anything else.

The funds for the Universal are being raised by his disciples, who are very numerous, and some of them fairly opulent. The University will, in addition to technological courses now either separate in Pakistan, or non-existent, have studies in general semantics, parapsychology, metaphysics, etc. But the mystical studies will remain, not for credit. The Board of Directors and Trustees are all disciples in tasawwuf. One of the best known is Dr. A.A. Siddiqui, Prof. of Islamic Philosophy at Punjabi University, a very good friend of mine indeed.

I do not wish to infer that all dervishes are reconciled to modern education. It seems every Muslim relegates to himself the right to abrogate any saying of Mohammed he wishes to. Education was strongly stressed by the Prophet.

Nor should any statement of mine infer that there are not false teachers and charlatans. Only masses are not always such fools as we suppose. I find people in California more gullible than those elsewhere, the city of New York possible excepted.

I am waiting for information concerning the coming to this country of one or more representatives of the University of Islamabad.

Wise, Willie Correspondence

August 16, 1960


My dear Willie:

There have been short but not inconvenient delays in my sailing hour, which has left some time on my hands—very good for psychic recovery from pressures. I think all details have been covered and there is some time for relaxation.

The first relaxation resulted in my going to the village to a poetry meeting. The group, though small, was highly intelligent and I was easily the oldest person there. What I was struck with and their leader did not see at all, was the relation of this group to contemporary movements in art. Even the poets themselves thought they were school-less. But through the study of postimpressionism and abstract art, the readings were entirely lucid to me and enjoyable as well.

The immediate result has been a number of impressions which may become inspirations, which might lead to my writing verse on board ship entirely coordinate to what I have been learning at Rudolph’s. The second point is that I am making contacts and even friendships of younger people. My whole sojourn in New York, in an exaggerated fashion might be reported: Older generation 10/90; people around 40, 60/40; younger generation 90/10. This leaves two surpluses—more success than “failure” in the middle group; and the successes usually with those who seem destined to live on and the failures usually with those not so destined.

Going over my trip across the country I am struck with the new tone of the Kennedy campaign. There is a joke going around that if he continues there will not be enough enrollment at M.I.T. and Harvard to warrant continued sessions and he replied: “That is what I am working for.” But I find M.I.T. and Harvard so far beyond even the educational levels of the country as a whole; and utterly out of range of the press that one cannot get a focus. If one does not try, but rides the wind or the waves it will only lead to happiness and assurance.

I visited a technical book store yesterday and after the clerk assured me that there were no books in any of my lines in the place found one on chemical testing of soils. We then had a pleasant talk and he gave me a catalogue. This catalogue is the big thing. It shows how far America is actually ahead in scientific accomplishment; it also shows that no one person can keep up with the tides and times.

Galbraith of Harvard and Rostow of M.I.T. are possibly the greatest social thinkers America has ever produced. I heard this in Cleveland and was forcefully converted. I have seen no signs otherwise. We have great men. The press looks down on them. The “Times” has a staff half-way between even good commentators and these men and has made the fourth Estate as a whole uneasy. Thus C.B.S. with a grand array of “brand names” gave utterly stupid reports of the conventions while N.B.S. with a much smaller staff, was keenly aware of be rise of the intellectuals. Men like Murrow and Lowell have had their day and don’t know it. Even the Alsops don’t understand and the pundits like Lawrence and Lippman are way off.

I have not met too many professors but my impression is that they are typical and more aware of the world than of their campus. Certainly Ford Foundation has endowed those institutions which I admire and skipped those I deplore. And in contacting the young I find far more open-mindedness, sense of justice and information than the papers or even the serious magazines will accept.

There is no longer conformity. A few go off the deep end socially; or rather there are all sorts of deep ends today. The college boys and girls both for selfish and unselfish reasons accept their professors as against the press and magazines. New books may flood the market but it is generally new ideas which hold.

The response of the public to Shakespeare is 10 times as great as to the ball games here. What an item for anti-communist propaganda! But that is exactly what you can’t get over. The press will decry and deplore the non-attendance at the ball parks. The movies, en masse, gain smaller and smaller audiences. Some day some producer will turn out Shakespeare even for the sake of school instruction; or will stick to the better plays of all times from the Greeks down and will be amazed at the response. The little theaters were drawing huge crowds in Massachusetts and small press notices. The movies the opposite—perhaps because of the paid ads. Thus there salvation of America.

So when I rise to self-defense, and I do, I find now a tremendous response from all sorts of people who know these things and want a crystallization of the intellectual as against, the emotional outlook. Taxi-drivers, strangers, college students, even the “average man” is in line. On the political side here it is largely a question as to whether Father Joseph Kennedy is or is not worse than Richard Nixon—this is negative, but may be determinate. Personally I have so long campaigned for Stevenson as our U.N. representative and Chester Bowles as Sect. of State I can’t say anything. I have stuck out my neck and kept it out and it seems the whole country is now in line. I deliberately made friends with three Congressmen and all have gone up and up since I was in Washington. I am leaving with a feeling of strong American goodwill and a sense that this country is not only safe, of basically most honorable.




[about October 9, 1960]


Dear Willie:

Here is a copy of a letter to my close friend, Rudy Olsen, who is also my travel agent.

I have little time to write more for in addition to endless series of conferences I have been asked to submit papers which may become the basis of lecture on how to promote better American-Asian relationships.

I hope the carbon is readable and self-explanatory.




October 9, 1960

Cairo, UAR


My dear Rudy:

I am glad to have your letter of the 4th and even though I may be repeating, want to be sure you get the news. I am making a carbon for a friend to save time. At this writing and as my birthday approaches I guess I have the best outlook of my whole existence, never were things seemingly brighter and what is more, every one of the many fields into which I have adventured during life have been of benefit to me and to my contacts.

There may have been something astrological but one day I got all my missing mail from all four quarters of the globe, so to speak, and on a day when everything else started to break properly. My friends on Clementina St. have not only put everything I wanted in my hands but have told me what they are holding, some of which suddenly becomes important in the sight of present day events.

Travel: I am now the guest of the Information Bureau which is working out my future program and I will divide my reports into subjects. They have advised they will extend my visa. I am therefore not looking to depart until December. I may write to the Isbrandtsen office in Alexandria to send me a schedule. As I told you, I now have a good reserve in the bank even after paying off something on my loan, and more than enough to meet any and all emergencies on top of my fare to Karachi.

However, as I have been meeting so many people from India, I may not take the sea trip and if I go to Ceylon it may be an important venture via air. This is heightened by the fact that there is an important letter coming to me from a Ceylonese VIP and I am toying with the idea of an air trip either from Bombay or southern India and back. This is not sure.

When I get my bearings I shall go to Damascus, and the longer I stay, the more comfortable will be the weather for a Karnak trip. It is still very hot in that region—110 degrees!

India: The coming Ambassador is an old friend of mine whom I knew well in both San Francisco and New Delhi and whose father was a Sufi. I have made friends with the cultural attaché here who is reading my poetry and also has a copy of “

Congressman From India,” the autobiography of Judge Saund of Imperial County.

Science: I am now the guest of the National Research Centre composed of the top scientists. The other day I met Dr. S. Hasan, a UC graduate who evidently has met many of my friends and who has offered to become my host. He has explained his work in detail. I go to the Centre once a week. I am in deep water here as I am compelled to use both ingenuity and all my technical knowledge but I have the thorough approval of the American Embassy and also of the Information Bureau.

Sufism: Mohammed Mumtaz Dillah, of the Vegetable Experimental Station is a Sufi. A complication has set in here because all the men there want to see me on both scientific and philosophical matters and there is hardly time. I do not have any days off. But I have been promised an opportunity as a sort of birthday present to meet the Sufi Dervishes and perhaps one or two of the spiritual leaders in this region.

Black List: This venture is exceedingly important. Every single one of the professors in the U.S. who stood against us is on the Intelligence Black or suspect list. Only one is an American, Charles Moore of Hawaii and he is just as bad for he stuffed the UNESCO meetings with his personal friends and he was given moneys to import them from anywhere and he did. As Dr. Chatterji of Calcutta told me some years age: “If you Americans wish to ignore and insult us why don’t you do it yourselves without importing idiotic Europeans to do it for you.”

The idea of honest and objective facts and the presentation of facts should come first and does not. But it is ridiculous to staff and stuff Universities with European exiles and put them in charge of Asiatics. There is a long distance between Von Braun and Teller in Physics—where they belong, and some of their fellow-exiles in Islamic, South Asian and Far East

Studies. This hurts the U.S. I have been yelling for years but I don’t yell alone any more.

Art: This venture was being held back until the arrival of one Dr. Creswell who is said to be the world’s greatest authority on Islamic Art and one of the tops on ancient Egyptian Art. I have met him and am reading one of his books and cannot dissent.

Last week the Information Bureau asked me to whom they might send materials on Islamic Art and I gave the names of the Rudolph Schaeffer School in S.F. and the Hollywood Artists. This may be as much as I can handle except in Pakistan. After seeing Creswell, they are arranging for me to have passes to all museums. This along with the possible trip with Dr. Hasan to little visited Islamic places will give me a fair picture and a wonderful opportunity.

Meanwhile the Embassy has been putting on a series of talks on Modern American Art, very well attended and received. This will be followed by readings from Modern Drama.

Philosophy: I have also presented the plan for lecturing on American Philosophy and Philosophers which was worked out with me by Prof. Blau of Columbia. He is now in Claremont, Calif. I am to modify the program slightly by adding some of our poets and also reading some of this poetry at any philosophical talks, particularly for India. You see I have my hands full.

Cultural Exchange: This is now being considered, including all the above.

Psychic Research: I hope to give you a report after meeting some of the Dervishes here. There are certain matters, particularly in the field of psychometrics, which are of “common knowledge” here and which would interest you!

I think this about does it.


Samuel L. Lewis



November 27, 1960


My dear Willie:

I have returned from Luxor and am not feeling too well. There is a sort of ulcer on my upper palate. This may be due to an infection because of the doubtful state of cutlery they use here. Fortunately I have some Hydrogen Peroxide with me which the dentist told me to use as mouthwash.

I am sending a copy of this to Rudolph although I must express some differences with opinions which have been given at the School. I took this trip not for my own pleasure but to satisfy friends who are interested in antiquities and mysteries. I came up with my usual experiences, greatly accelerated and I guess this pattern will continue on and on throughout my life and I do not care. For on my arrival at Luxor I was greeted by a Dervish spiritual teacher, was introduced all around as an American dervish, and had a most delightful time—with the natives.

There were also some Germans at the hotel, both East and West and I got the usual challenges from a German that I do not know what I am talking about when I discuss “Oriental philosophy” and that people are pulling my leg. This is old stuff to me, it happened in America, it happened in India, it happened in Pakistan, and it has happened here. The real Oriental philosophy (?) is that from European mouths and even the poor Asians don’t know their own philosophy. And I got it from Dr. S. C. Chatterji that he never yet met a German who really understood Asian philosophy. Besides which I have all kinds of invitations from Indian professors and Indian people where no Germans have ever visited or been permitted to speak.

I am also amused at this writing that Koestler has written a book exposing the Oriental “mystics.” He has visited a lot of humbugs whom some Germans introduce as the real thing—and they are not the real thing or they are the real thing. Anyhow no less than Karl Jung has backed Koestler and he is about as great an authority on Oriental philosophy as I am on Swahili.

Fortunately, there were a lot of Americans around, a lot more Americans than Germans and their ideas of Oriental philosophy are different—they consult Orientals. Besides which the guide soon discovered that I knew a great deal more than I have ever been credited with in the U.S. such as the relation between ancient Egyptian theology and Islamic theology; and the meaning of Thebes, etc.

In the midst of going around the ruins at Karnak I was surrounded by a group of hostile Indians—from Stanford. Even in my party, Stanfordites. I was the lone Californian and had to tell them the sad news of the previous week. We won, and how. So they declared an armistice and we all stood together.

After we returned one elderly lady said: “Don’t I know you?” well, I have learned enough not to argue with elderly ladies and I started to tell but I never finished a sentence: “Your mother’s nickname is “Fuchsia” and she is a great flower grower and you are a writer.” Her name is Mrs. Lastreto and she has long been a leader in the California Club.

I did not enjoy Karnak, Luxor and Thebes near as much as Saqqara. I believe that the great Egyptian Mysteries were very ancient and that the finest spiritual art is in the Saqqara region and hardly excavated. The Karnak-Luxor period is a “Renaissance,” highly developed, highly sophisticated and perhaps contains some of the greatest esthetic megalithic art. It beats the Indian all over in form and niceties, but, when it comes to feeling, see below. And even though I do not seem so enthusiastic I want to come again and sail on the Nile southward. And thus also I shall meet more dervishes and commune with them.

On my return, today, not feeling well and having no engagements, I went to the nearby Museum of Antiquities. Right from the start one can see the importance of “Museology,” how to arrange museums and exhibits. The Islamic Museum is perfect in this respect, though I cannot vouch for the statements made of particular pieces. This Museum is gloomy and not well lit; add to that the general funeral and funereal aspects of so much of the ancient art, it does not buoy one up.

One cannot help noting a certain missing element which Dr. Chaudhuri called “spirituality,” which seems to be present more or less in Indian art, even though esthetically the Egyptian art is superior. In general they had a vivid and fine sense of color, even from the most ancient times. The early works are “primitive” in a certain sense, with much more spirituality and spirit. I guess priestcraft did its worst.

Surprisingly, I was not beset by either “guides” or postcard sellers. This was due in part to the large number of school children visiting, requiring guides.

The basketry, basket-pottery and ceramics interested me most. I did not purchase anything. I called on Dr. Hughes, Director of the American Oriental Institute at Karnak; its center is in Chicago. I shall probably join, which will give me access to the Karnak Library whenever I should come this way again. I shall also take this up with Rudolph when I return in case he needs something for his library. I am not, in this case, interested in adding to any collection, for my interest is in living art.

I find so many things of contemporary folk-art which seem to be both beautiful and useful as well as ornamental. But one is also besieged by innumerable little requests from friends. Thus some people here have some simple errands and I have been much beset by an errand I did for a friend in India. It has brought no end of trouble and worry and the end is not in sight, either. It seems I am destined to do for me and while this appears selfish everything that has come out of my inner being has been accepted here.

This has been so much so that I even resurrected my defunct “plan” for Palestine. he said that it was the first sensible plan he had ever heard of, But I guess I’ll have to be much more famous or powerful. Anyhow, I have two personal friends leading UN delegations and in a few days will start my work here among the Embassies. I think I may be able to do it. I am never again going to let anybody talk me down beforehand. I have had so few negatives given me by all peoples from Japan to here inclusive that I do not see why I should stop by negatives from other peoples. Few Europeans understand the Asians although many are selected by Americans to “explain” the Oriental to them, the Americans, and we might as well have Russians do it.

Last night the director of the TV station called here. I met him in Cleveland and he also offered hospitality but I was not well—then. At this moment I feel somewhat better than when I started the letter—power of mind over matter, maybe. I may go to church on Christmas and I also want to visit some synagogues—but this idea was given to me by the former Minister of Education. He has my poetry and I should be calling on him as soon as I am feeling better. I can almost predict that both the Indians and Arabs will enjoy my Poetry; I have heard that in part already, but how to convince Western people that Eastern people like what I am doing may not be so easy. I have gone so far as to write a letter to the Near East Dept. of the University of California insisting on an interview when I return. They, under the influence of a European “authority” on Islamics, have ignored me. Now, with the full force of the large number of graduates here, I shall simply go to the Alumni and deans and demand an interview. I do not demand acceptance, but I shall demand interviews. So far as South Asia and East Asia are concerned, there is nothing but the most harmonious and amicable relations. These professors are all under Harvard, none under European influence. Whenever Harvard extends its tentacles I am safe; I know it beforehand.

I am next seeking to “annex” the University of Minnesota. I have talked to their Agricultural Expert here and have written their philosophy department, but have a few other “ins,” Half of me wishes to return to Cal. for botanical and language studies, with perhaps a little geography and Near East work too. But that is just half of me. The rest must wait until I have gone a lot further.

I do not think we are going have better international relations until we become objectively honest. There are enough objectively honest people. We trust those whom we admire and that is it. If we admire them, we prefer to believe they are right. This is a common habit everywhere and prevents heart from communing with heart because there is always an intermediary who is like a tumor standing in the way, and we don’t know it. Yet it is easy for heart to communion with heart, especially directly.

This would mean good-will and this would mean Christmas all over the world. Thus a Merry Christmas to you.

There is no carbon of this sheet for Rudolph. People all over the world seem very satisfied with the election of Kennedy. In the States they were afraid of the Pope. Elsewhere they were afraid of Billy Graham. I don’t think this is realized. A lot of people in the U.S. want the right of religious dualism and there is nothing wrong in religious dualism. But what is wrong is that they want religious dualism for Kashmir and the U.S. and they don’t want it in Korea or Taiwan or Southeast Asia or generally in Asia and Africa, excepting in Kashmir; and in Kashmir you don’t always find religious dualism.

The hush-hushing of Nixon’s career in other lands, of course, helped him garner votes. But it did not make him popular. All Asia was anti-Nixon; and South America, being Catholic, resented the religious issue and became pro-Nixon, though the press hush- hushed it.

I do not know, of course, if Kennedy will work wonders, but he certainly started out in a most astute manner to select brainy people from his own State, which in my mind, is full of brains. Chester Bowles is the nominee of the Afro-Asian bloc for Secretary of State, and I guess Stephenson for UN Representative. Our old-line diplomats are old line and Acheson would be almost as bad as Dulles. Dulles was very unpopular because he had no positive philosophy at all.

The United States may return to leadership as soon as it stops trying to lead. If we went around and started asking people “What you believe” instead of “What do you feel about Russia” we would have the world on our side. But we don’t ask and we put our own Cold War first and there are lots of small cold wars because the cold war is the fashion.

The Afro-Asia Bloc meets here next month and I am starting out next week to see what I can do.




[undated post card from UAR, December 1960]


Dear Willie:

Wish you a merry Christmas. Islamic Museum this a.m. and tomorrow Karnak. Things even much better since last report. Ministry of Agriculture thanking me. When return will find out about poetry. Bazaars here most interesting. Sending a present—wait and find out.





December 12, 1960


My dear Rudolph:

I am writing this letter preparatory to receiving an invoice for five pieces, which I am sending to the School for study. They are modern pieces, exemplary of contemporary folk art. It is not easy to get historical pieces, as the attitude toward early works is somewhat like the Japanese toward “national monuments.” There is no finality in this but I am planning to return to this land later on.

One of the chief reasons is that “local boy makes good-elsewhere.” I am going into no details. I was accepted on each Asian land I visited before. I am accepted on a larger and more serious scale now. I will spare you details, but there is one American habit that has to be changed if we are to have world peace and understanding and that is our habit of putting on “sun glasses” in looking at Orientals. When we look at them directly there is every chance for good will; when we look at them through intermediaries, there is no chance. But we do look at them through intermediaries, we laud the intermediaries and often as not those authorities on “Oriental culture” in the United States are the most loathed in actual Asia. I mention no names.

Nevertheless it is this habit which disgusts Asians and more here than elsewhere. They want us to eat with them, talk with them, even pray with them—or for that matter hate them directly and not through third party’s eyes and minds,

As for my projects, I have had quite a few and everyone has been accepted and every one of these acceptances at the highest levels. This has been both delightful and sorrowful for I shall not remain in the United States and have doors shut in my face when here all doors are open and even the whole staff of the U.S. Embassy for me, including field experts.

And the doors are also open for me wide in other Asian lands. My old friend, M. A. Husain who used to be in San Francisco is here as Ambassador from India and through his staff I have had other introductions to other Asians, and everything looks potentially rosy for my future. On top of that the local newspapers are just awakening to my experiences and I have a nice letter from Chet Huntley whom I have known at least casually for many many years. All of this delays my return or even desire to stay around San Francisco.

Wishing you and the staff best of Happy New Years,





December 12, 1960


My dear Willie:

I am enclosing copy of a letter to Rudolph. This letter means much more than it says. I sent Rudolph all kinds of little things and lots more information from my last trip to Asia and he never once asked me to speak. It is true I could say certain things in class but he has had speakers of much less standing in actual Asia speak, and misinform our public about Oriental art.

Lewis McRitchie is an American and has an objective point of view. But the non- Americans who speak are given a prestige which they do not deserve. It is not, of course, only true with Rudolph, it is true all over the nation excepting at Harvard and Princeton.

I have dared to do what no diplomat has ever done—mingle with the people. I have spoken to thousands; I have mingled with thousands more. I have had some top-level talks and it is easy for me to have top-level talks; I have had sidewalk talks and it is easy for me to have sidewalk talks. One or two Americans doing this would counterbalance all the Pro- Russian ballyhoo but we must counterbalance ballyhoo with ballyhoo. We don’t like ballyhoo ourselves but sometimes, like all propagandists of all nations whomsoever and whatsoever ballyhoo must be used and it is “unthinkable” to use anything else but ballyhoo.

I have been in many Mosques, even spoken in some and have always been in introduced as “The American.” Now with letters from Chet Huntley and the San Rafael Journal-Independent, I am going off on another tack.

My poetry has been placed by critics in the highest bracket! But I haven’t the slightest idea as to what to do next. Everything else has gone along with practically no hitches, and fortunately, too, I have enough people in San Francisco now who believe me and will receive me with satisfaction when I return.

I have also written to Rose McCook in the City Hall and if she sees Mrs. Grady that lady is going to get a very pleasant ear-full and then some. But she had faith in me and I am living up to that faith, in full.





Dear Willie: Copy of letter to lifelong friends. Melville was originally one of my father’s protégés. He and the Irwin mentioned became bitter about Elliott. They could never understand the strange favoritism. Samuel


Cairo, UAR

December 17, 1960


My dear Melville and Phyllis:

I am writing you under strange but exceedingly favorable circumstances with some news and some things which are like favors or suggestions but which you may (or may not) consider otherwise. Far from dreams or hopes being shattered by my visit to this part of the world, I am faced with strange dilemmas as my prestige is rising rapidly, all my projects have been received with exceeding goodwill, the goodwill is increasing and affairs are almost out of hand. I am receiving no help, so far, from any group, foundation or anybody but a few friends. And I am certainly not asking for help because what I do need is sufficient money for colleagues and not just more money for Sam Lewis.

The other day I wrote to Rose McCook in the City Hall. Although I am not representing San Francisco until I reach Japan, there are some prospects of my going on another venture soon which is involved in the linkage of cities. And the main reason for going on this venture is simply that so far I have not been turned down on anything. Indeed the only matter which

I wanted to drop was the project of saltwater conversion plants. This I did because my program is overloaded for one person and I could then concentrate on it for Pakistan.

I cannot here tell you all my intellectual backgrounds or studies. But I do hope you see Irwin Meyer some time because he is at least a witness from boyhood of my intellectual prowess then. There is also Miss Edith Pence who is active in the World Affairs Council. It is probable that this organization will offer me the floor when I return but it is almost certain that the American Friends of the Middle East shall. On such occasions I am hoping you are free and can come, although it may be some time before I return to the United States.

To be taken seriously is of itself an adventure. While I had a godfather, I am inclined to accept Samuel Morse as a sort of proxy godfather, for that fellow kept on trying and trying and when he reached his goal he was impelled or compelled to knock down a few heads. I shall also be impelled or compelled to knock down a few heads, not for the sake of “revenge” or “justice” but I have particularly in mind a number of Europeans who, for God or the devil knows what reason, have been put in charge of courses on Asian subjects throughout the United States, to misinform our public and promote nothing but ill-will for America while they garner the shekels and are greeted as “experts.” This is true in California more than anywhere else and it has given a bad name to some of our best Institutions—which I won’t name here, but some people are going to be displeased. Yet they will have to choose between America first and listening to Germans, Englishmen, Swiss and Hungarians tell them all about the Orient. When you combine this with Zionism you can see that it is not necessary for any Russians to stir up anti-American propaganda.

I don’t mean here to be a stickler for “honesty” or “justice” which are mere words. I would like objectivity and I know I shall be challenged by Zionists although I do not know anything about Israel and while I work alone without support, must confine myself to those countries I wish to visit and not to lands other peoples want me to see. I am not even planning to go to Jerusalem on either side, but this I do not know for sure.

This last week the San Rafael paper asked me for my story and in the next mail Chet Huntley also. I knew Chet when he was nobody, and again when he was broadcasting from Hollywood. I do have news, and some basic facts. I begin, of course, with my horticulture ventures which were planned with Harry Nelson of City College. This expanded as I crossed the United States, receiving the full cooperation of Ohio State U. and the New York Horticultural Society. All my plans, proposals and what not have been accepted. But outside anything Harry or I desired, the fact that the place is teeming with U. C. graduates, and most of all right in my own field, has facilitated anything planned. I shall have some pretty big projects and even now am working preparatory on an international scale.

Instead of loading people with cheap “love” and “true” magazines, and faith, for that matter, I want to see farmers get agricultural magazines. This idea was turned down by everybody and then some but accepted by the very top man in the magazine field. Mr. Charles Kenyon of New York and all he needs is a letter from me which will start the most valid and sure backfire against the staff that we are all but paying the Russians to put out. For they do not send farmers “love” and “true” magazines they send technical and scientific books, not particularly good, but of particular interest to those concerned.

This is a very big field in itself and at long last I have cooperation and good will. This is so true of the Embassy here that when I enter the compound now not only I am news, but generally I bring news. All I can say at this point is that I am known by thousands as “The American” and I want to be known as “The American” and whatever my name or several names is or are, I represent the U.S. and I am doing what only Russians have done, or their agents, mix with the people. We just can’t do that; it’d be unfair in the “cold war.” But I am doing it and now my social calendar is as full as my scientific one.

Next morning. I have had three adventures since starting this letter. The first was a field trip with the Americans, largely the staff and sons and daughters of the Embassy Staff, looking at the Citadel and country just west of the city. I treated one of the staff to a very fine dinner (Diners’ Club Card). Then went to a meeting of our 400 dervishes. These people would be our best friends but there is hardly a piece of honest literature about them. We call them all kinds of names and I don’t think there is hardly a Westerner who has ever really studied them—yes a few persons, but they remain unknown. I go among them as “The American,” have spoken before thousands of them and am known as “The American,” and never by name. Besides whatever one’s name is lots of other people may have such a name. I am called Mr. Sam, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Ahmed and Mr. Murad here, and sometimes by the first names only without the Mr. or occasionally “Effendi.”

When I returned home I found a letter from the Department of the Interior. Then they sent some material to me instead of to Dr. Hasan Bagdadi. He is the Minister of Agricultural Reform and Rural Resettlement. He is also a University of California man and close friend of Paul Keim, the real “Ugly American.” Paul comes right off the campus where Prof. Burdick resides and does everything the opposite of what Burdick has suggested and has succeeded. But no publicity, no newsmen, not a single piece of literature—only quiet success almost as if they were working underground.

Most of the things we looked at yesterday were built by the great Saladin who beat the Crusaders. I have brought an epic poem here dedicated to him. I got nowhere with it in S. F. But just before I left part of it was read by Col. Everson, of the American Friends of the Middle East and he places it among the top poems. The same part has been read by two men here, and the whole poem by two VIP’s and they place it among the world’s very tops. I don’t know how I can get it published, but I am meanwhile waiting for a report on some other poetry and that may determine my policy. I am also urged to write some books. I have had some financial help in Cleveland, Ohio, and that is the best place to get access to research material, although there is a bare possibility of doing this on the California campus. One of the chief librarians is a friend of mine. The reactions on this poetry are utterly out of line with my previous life, excepting the last course I took at U.C. where I stood out, but there were only about a dozen people around.

But this morning I am going to “make history” again, for when I take the material from the Department of Interior, addressed to Dr. Hasan Bagdadi, to the National Research Center, they will be delighted. There one meets the top scientists not only of this area, but of much of the western world. Well, folks, I have already had the top exerts of the Agriculture Department approve of what I am doing, so I guess it won’t hurt for a few others.

There is one bunch in S.F. that has always turned me down, and that is “Asia Foundation.” Walter Haas & Co. simply won’t believe that I am doing anything and they have seen to it that I get no interviews. There are going to be some very red faces when I return. I always get interviews in the Orient, from here to Japan inclusive. I had not only asked for no money, but for no introductions and believe me I have so many I don’t know what to do. I can only hope I can get some help from Fulbright or Rockefeller, not for me, but that they pay some scholars to work for me.

Why, I have in my invisible portfolio all kinds of things, such as the search for the “Lost Tribes of Israel” who weren’t lost but were absorbed by the Pathans. I have seen ruins of old synagogues and Aramaic writing and what not, and very wrong reports. Indeed most of the old reports on Asian architecture is wrong. Dr. Creswell, the top authority here had to write to prove that all his predecessors were wrong. They were. He went and looked at monuments. They, like Karl Marx, wrote tomes in the London Museum. Our guide yesterday, took as much time to attacking “authorities” as to explaining what we saw. I think he was 100% right but maybe I am prejudiced. But at least he studied Egyptian art and, architecture by actual examination of things. This is only a recent trend. Only the books on Indian Art written since 1950 are good but they more than make up for the errors of the past. But the Indus Valley has remains of Greek, Persian and Hebrew cultures that have not been touched. You see, I either upset apple carts or go around applauding those who do. But the fact is that our greatest mistake is in being nonobjective. As I have said: “The authorities on Asia are European professors and American newsmen; to trust American professors and European newsmen is ‘unthinkable’ but it might be worth a try.”

So I look to this day first to meet some Physicists, then Biologists, and perhaps the chief engineer of Saudi Arabia. He wants me to visit his country, but I have so much in tow I don’t know. Still, if the ship lands at Jidda it won’t cost anything.

I live in a pension with the cost of $70 a month for room, board, laundry, dry cleaning, telephone and tips! Next time I shall go to the one across the street which costs a little more but is run by the same family. There are no luxuries but no discomforts and everything is clean. It is just behind the famous Semiramis Hotel which I enjoy and am known by many members of the staff. It is not far from the Nile-Hilton which is an excrescence, full of the most up to date to nonsense. It is decadent, rather than luxurious. I have seen all the hotels in San Francisco, most of the great ones in Washington and New York, and there is not a one which I would not place far above the Nile-Hilton at any price. Besides this, it gives the natives more erroneous ideas of the United States, as they get from the “love” and “true” magazines and movies. These, and not Russian propaganda, are the things that stir people up against us.

I intended to write more but have several letters to answer, which came in on Sunday evening. That is not a holiday here and the delivery was late and unusual.

I leave presumably on February 20th for Pakistan. Some of that will be “old hat.” But it is strange to have every one’s dreams and projects in about everything accepted, after almost all of them were turned down before. This habit of turning down is the reason for our failures in some international fields. I know of Americans who have been in out of the way places and they can’t get newspaper interviews at all, and it is only recently that, the State Department took them seriously. I have had to tell newsmen—and it usually does no good—that if about six more countries follow Cuba, maybe they will listen to people with information. This is a terrible state of affairs but unfortunately it is true. We spend millions to guard against an “invasion” by Banditistan, and a dozen people will find an anti-American plot going in Pirateland and nobody believes them and then
Pirateland burns the USIS library, etc. I am afraid this will still happen, but at least our Foreign Service is more cautious. They are now listening to everybody which is the best precaution. But there I am news; at home, some time, maybe.

Well, I hope 1961 will be bright for you.


Samuel L. Lewis



December 25, 1960


My dear Bette and Hazel:

It is Christmas morning and in a certain sense there is something very significant about it. The chessboard has eight squares, light and dark, and there is something mystical about the pawn becoming the Queen—even in the “Alice in the Looking-Glass” fashion. The Pyramid of Sakkar has an incline, then a plateau and on until one reaches the top. My own life seems now to resemble the “monistic” pyramid rather than the “dualistic” chessboard. There are, however, elements of real mysticism in it which I am not going to relate here or try to impress upon others.

I did go to a Protestant service last night by the American Mission. It is a large, cathedral- like church. There was singing rather than services. When I arrived there were about 20 people there, all of whom looked like Americans. When I left there must have been 400-500 people, and still just about 20 Americans! Of course I do not know how many of the Egyptians are converts and how many just visited. Nevertheless, I am today far from traditional Christianity. It is like saying—you can’t look at the sun excepting through a cloud, or a microscope or a looking-glass. You can’t do anything directly, it has to be done by a certain road and any other road is “unthinkable.” This I do not accept, excepting when I am with Muslims and sometimes prod them.

This morning I am going to the Vegetable Center to do some typing on the edible vegetables of Indonesia. I am amazed to find out that many ordinary parts of ordinary plants are edible. I once wrote to my friend, Harry Nelson, to put up a sign on the Zoo lab, “off limits” for after visiting Japan almost every animal seemed edible. Now the same looks true for plants excepting those we know to be poisonous. But a lot of plants are also medicinal and aromatic and I have not even looked into this yet.

My story is very difficult to tell. Anyhow, I have gained in self-confidence. I pulled out my own international ideas. I nearly reached the top three times in life, always betrayed by my own confidante or “conféante” and so shut up. But to my delight the principles which I have presented now are praised by every UN person I meet and although still timid by some of the more open people both among Americans and Egyptians also. With this confidence I turned toward my ideas in Oriental philosophies and their relation to science. I did this in particular with Sufism. Again, everything was gobbled up.

I am now meeting top scientists, visiting labs and what-not, and so pulled out, one-by-one from my bag, what I call “Natural Philosophy” which is composed of principles gained by an integrating, overall look at Nature. For instance, Edison invented the carbon- arc lamp because carbon, in contradistinction to the metals, becomes a conductor when heated while they become better conductors when super-cooled.

I won’t go into the scientific phases here. You know my long battle against the European and Charles Moore meddlers with Oriental philosophy. This is not over. People who have European training still praise their teachers. One Arab has come back from a long sojourn in France and written that every book and every teacher on Islamic philosophy is wrong. We simply won’t accept it and it is probably true. Dr. Cresswell, who is the authority on Islamic Art has already written the same thing. He found that Mosques did not look like the pseudo- description and even less like the deductions which filled the books of his predecessors. He attacked them all and some quite vociferously. Nobody criticizes him today; he was right, absolutement.

I remember one leading Oriental saying about Orientalists: “Books! books! all they know is books!” This is more than true. And I find the Arab, charming or not, but not particularly resembling lectures I have heard. And I am gaining friends and acquaintances at such a rapid rate I cannot assimilate. Iron is not good Copper, nor Cobalt good Iron. So the Arab is not a poor European or Jew or Chinaman—he is the Arab. The nearest I came to was a Saudian Arabian, who is probably purer Arab than the people here or the Syrians—though I cannot prove it. But he knocked out two legends in a few minutes.

Well, I had my personality troubles with the people who turned on me in the international field. Then with the “Orientalists” from Bingham to Watts to Landau to Moore, and a lot of etceteras. Then with the Semanticists. Every single paper which I turned [in] to Hayakawa and which he spurned, every idea has been accepted by the actual scientists here, and not only the Arabs, but the French and Americans. In fact, I have gone so far as to say that these organizations which claim income tax deductions and are nothing but pseudo-frauds, need investigation. A metaphysical magazine, per se, is not regarded as cultural. Actually, the Semanticists are nothing but distinguished humanists today, who give humanism a pseudo- intellectual coating and think they are getting by.

The general principles of semantics are excellent, with our false identity in personalities, our variation in the use of words, etc. But the ridiculous thing comes when a man like Whorf comes out with exactly the opposite conclusions as Korzybski and K.’s followers hail Whorf as one of the great minds of the day. I am neither defending nor accusing Korzybski and Whorf but it is so obvious to the scholars here that they throw up their hands in ridicule and disgust. This I have met before.

Anyhow, I am now welcome all over. So I am doing, when I can, more creative writing and already it is in demand before I start out. This is more than I can bear and I tell it only because it looks like a dramatic story. I sometimes refer to “Edmond Dantes with a sense of humor!” Revenge has no humor in it, but neither am I going to permit pseudos get away.

I have now written to many and will continue to bang on my theme about 50,000,000 people forced into neutralism by our nonsense about them. There are not many people who favor Russia anywhere, but there are many who are disgusted with the U.S. The change to Stevenson will probably be of great help for he has some principles—I am not going to defend him—but he has some principles. Our diplomats are so drowned with the “tyranny of words” that we cannot control the votes anymore. This does not mean that other camps are right, but that we are wrong. All diplomats are double-talkers excepting, perhaps U Nu and a few Scandinavians.

The other night I heard a fine talk on Mark Twain. Well, my real name is Sam. My self- devised nickname is P. Puck. Puck is from Shakespeare, of course, but the P. stands for “Puddinghead” from Mark Twain’s “Puddinghead Wilson” and I am always standing alone, but with the right answer—only now I am not alone anymore and all the seeming fantastic views and experiences are not out of the bag. The thing is to hold one’s head, but I am no longer a young man and I think I can do.

The World Congress of Faiths has now appointed me their representative and so I can help organize a branch where the real teachings of real religions can be given, and we might even learn what the Japanese actually believe and also the people of Southeast Asia, and also what Islamic philosophy is, and a much better picture of all the peoples of Asia, and even what

Jews actually believe. Too much nonsense, all around. So you see that one by one obstacles have been over me and I stop here to go on my “edible plants” project. I am not hungry; Took two young men out to a big Christmas party last night, biggest meal for a long time.

I have not tried to see President Nasser but my letter will be written shortly. I am sorry so much attention is paid here to international affairs. In the case of uncertain countries, there is always attention on external matters. When nations suffer from drought, famine, corruption, etc. they try to keep citizens’ minds concentrating on foreign enemies or situations. I can name a lot of countries which can do that.

But UAR is something like the U.S. When Russia gets ahead of us in a single science, it is news. We are ahead in all kinds of sciences. The same is undoubtedly true that UAR is today ahead of lots of nations in the actual sciences and in organizational and laboratory work. But it is not news. The papers praise G. A. Nasser but they say nothing of the finest things going on. Then, when Israel makes one step forward, they yell and yelp. They do not advertise their own country.

The results are astonishing. You only have to talk to tourists who have returned any time in the last 5 to 10 years. If the UAR government would interview them, they would find that a lot of Americans can give much better talks on the UAR than their best apologists. The rate of progress is astounding. People are not dying of starvation. The growth, even if the reports are exaggerated, shows a much higher rate than Russia, China, India, and certainly Brazil and Argentina.

Nasser would stand out as the man of the day if he did not act like Mussolini. He is not a
Mussolini, he does not need crowds to applaud him. His accomplishments are so marvelous and yet he is not aware of them himself. For the release of energy of 2500 years is stupendous and there is also with it some spiritual release—this, as I mentioned above, I do not wish to impress or impose, but it is certainly here. I meet more and more people who have the combined spiritual and libertarian releases in them and they are accomplishing things. Some of these appear in papers I send to the San Rafael Journal-Independent. I am keeping detailed notes.

I do not know what my itinerary will be. The success here has again overwhelmed my expectations. That happened before. But now I have the whole force of the Foreign Service with me. I can only see my trip as far as Penang. There I shall stop for a very careful evaluation, and sometimes think I may have to “hurry” thence, though this may result in an independent visit to Japan. Of course the ships stop at Formosa, though I should prefer Hong Kong to either that or Manila. But this is too far ahead. Yet I should thank you both for suggestions and introductions. It will benefit the Chinese of San Francisco if I do go to Formosa.

At the moment, between too much food last night and too much overwhelming of events, I stop here and hope you join me in a Happy and Prosperous 1961,


Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. After post I go to visit some important philosophers who have heard about me. I don’t know what it is all about but I keep busy every day, all day, almost all the time.




January 13, 1961


My dear Willie:

I was glad to get your airmail letter telling me all about your family. It seems strange, years roll on and I have, in a sense, no family of my own. In another sense, I am fulfilling a destiny, long ago laid out for me, to become a real Big Brother to humanity. I had to write one friend in San Francisco that the seemingly exaggerated reports were my diary, and they remain in my diary and are not any effort to justify or excuse. But before I come to the end of this letter I shall report on another matter about which you may give advice, or act.

I am very tired tonight after a long day, first at the Agricultural Section of Ein Shams University and then on the home and farm of Professor Sa’ad A. Kamel. I was introduced to him by Dr. Hasan Salah, A UC graduate who has been very cooperative, only to find he was the college chum of one of my hosts here with whom I am doing active research cooperation. I shall be writing reports in detail to my friend, Harry Nelson, at City College.

Now I am in deep. It is not like being over one’s head, but like in a motor boat which goes on though one no longer controls it, but which seems to have self-steering equipment. Indeed, that I have relaxed control over my own affairs they are operating just as successfully or more on a higher level. Briefly, in the last two days I have: (a) laid the groundwork for a most important report in botanical genetics which may help clear up the old Lysenko-Mendel debate; (b) had a long conference with the representative of the American Soybean Foundation and the request that I write at least one paper; (c) prepared the groundwork for agricultural cooperation between India and Pakistan, separately, with the UAR; (d) arranged another link with the UAR to join with the Friends of the World which has brought Japan and the U.S. close together (e.g. the cable car San Francisco gave to Osaka.) Before this I had just finished typing two papers for the Islamic Congress and I gave them Part IV of my epic which has been highly praised and appraised. I do not have any days off at all and the long day found me tired and with the need of doing a lot of typing. For all business has to be done in the mornings, usually, but yesterday afternoon was spent visiting a holy mosque, because a celebration was going on for a female saint; and there are female saints in Islam, despite a lot of non-denials by a bunch of Europeans who place their concepts over facts.

The other day the housekeeper said to me: “Sam, why aren’t you like other Americans?” I said, “How am I different?” “They come to study Arabic, you come to study the Arabs.” In this is the highest compliment. I cannot go out from this pension on any pretext without being stopped by all kinds of people.

The other day I went into the bank. It makes me want to write “Not So Innocents Abroad.” I am now so well known and so well thought of that they brought me the money at once. After that, the conversation was broken twice for me to sign papers they forgot. Usually they red- tape you and you wait and wait. It is true when I went to Bank of America in San Francisco and asked for a thousand dollars, “How do you want it?” that quick. But to have this happen here is quite a thing. I had to stay a whole hour in social chit-chat, mostly on religion. I was challenged by a Christian and gave him these answers:

a. A Muslim has to believe in the Qur’an and that is superior to any creed; a Christian has to believe in his creed and that is above Scripture. b. A Christian can reject even the words of Jesus Christ, as the “Sermon on the Mount;” a Muslim may not reject the sayings of Mohammed; c. A Muslim accepts Jesus, a Christian rejects Mohammed... Nowhere did I put the Qur’n above the Bible or Mohammed above Jesus. The Christian shook my hand. I did not object when he said Jesus is God, I stuck to the three points above.

I have had innumerable debates, but it is becoming a dangerous thing to challenge me. One guide did it a few minutes ago, because I paid a poor guide way over the feel. “Zakat”—alms. I asked him “Isn’t Zakat one of the pillars of your religion? Are you rejecting it?” All his colleagues gave him the horse-laugh. And all these things raise my ratings—among the citizenry.

On the other hand I have asked: “What is the difference between a Muslim reception and an American reception to a high dignitary?... The Muslims give better liquor.” It is true, and the cocktail parties accomplish nothing but confirm each one’s low opinion of the others.

I celebrated both Christmas and New Year’s at Grillon, a restaurant here where I used the Diner’s Club Credit Card. They had very special, very expensive meals, which were worth it. I took a strolling American and we each paid New Year’s—costing us about $8 each. Then I took him to a regular dinner two days later at the same place, about $4 for both—one quarter the price, to show him how reasonable it really was. These prices include tips and taxes and there are no extras, and the first included liquor, but there was music and entertainment. So celebrations are very reasonable here, even at the best.

I do not go into Nile-Hilton which is fancy in price and that is all. I have not yet eaten duck here but will, I hope. Last night and today I had Egyptian meals.

Well, now you know how it feels to be a great-grandmother.

I expect soon to have a letter from my uncle and aunt who have been visiting the San Francisco Bay region. Now I have two pieces of business:

1. Will you please telephone Faverman Drug Company and ask if they have heard from me or received a package. This included a Christmas present for you. But they had to follow some instructions first and that may account for the delay. Also, the package may have been delayed by the Christmas rush.

2. You will note what I have written above about what I am doing. I have before me a list of a large number of organizations who are collecting funds to establish better relations between the U.S. and foreign lands. They include high-powered names. I shall not name the organizations here, except that they have in common fund-raising campaigns. I can assure you, Willie, not a single one is operative here, and for that matter, I have not run into them in other lands, either. I am not blaming the group because the head of one section has promised me full cooperation, but the head of another section did not answer and I was told he was running a racket, which I can well believe.

I do know another organization, not in this list, made a stirring and successful appeal in San Francisco for funds to purchase fertilizer and sprays for the UAR and Ethiopia, specially named. I offered them my services on condition they give me a home, nothing more. My services were refused. They are not functioning here. I am in personal touch with everybody from the tops of the Ministry of Agriculture to almost every near-VIP in this field and none of them ever heard of this group. Indeed, outside the American Friends of the Middle East and a small amount of work by CARE—greatly exaggerated in the American press—there are no nonsectarian groups here at all and even of these few have heard of them. The whole thing is out of kilter.

The relations between the U.S. and the Afro-Asian nations is delicate. So far I have found nobody in favor of communism. Their religion makes them adamant. But the foolishness of a quick decision on Israel and strange antics in other directions leave us largely friendless. In addition to my friend, Harry Nelson, I am about to write to the San Rafael Journal- Independent. Here I am news and I think I am going up further—at the moment there are no closed doors.

I told my host I love my people and favored our economic and political system, but that our psychological and moral programs made me ashamed of my country. Egypt got rid of Farouk. We hold to Louis Mayer and all he stands for—rotten films, sex, gambling, drinking and murder. Our films are corroborated by the cheap literature on the market and Americans who run to nightclubs instead of taking tours. Actually, many more take tours, but they are not counted because they leave quickly. Those who attend nightclub shows are counted because they must remain overnight. This has been a long battle but I shall not give up.

Now when you see these campaigns to raise funds which never get here; funds to help Isreal which get there; lurid literature around, even without the stands we take on Negroes and what not, we have psychologically put ourselves on thin ice. On top of that, I may write a strong letter soon to what happened first at the American Academy of Asian studies and then spread over the state:

An American woman, a Ph.D. went to India as one of the first four American graduates on the exchange basis of the O.I.C. She received another degree in India on Sanskrit and Indian Studies. She was recognized all over India. Her name was used to raise funds and then she was kicked out. The funds were tax-exempt, the school was tax-exempt. She has long gone without a job in any California University. In her place are numerous Europeans, graduates from European universities who give out degrees in Asiatics. These degrees are recognized neither by the State Department nor in Asia. I think all the Consuls-General who have been in San Francisco from India will back me up. We remove the American recognized in the Orient for the non-American, not recognized in the Orient for the source of “information” about Asia. Unfortunately, this is symptomatic in much of the U.S. Judith Tyberg goes starving and Professor “Von Plotz,” as I call him, sits pretty, is believed and the Asians despise us—from Japan to here, inclusive.

As to Japan, we have the European, Alan Watts, execrated in Asia, on the radio, misinforming us about the religions of East Asia; and our McArthur legend—positively putrid and humbug—the name of McArthur is hated in Japan. And we blame the Russians for anti- American outbreaks. Americans who are unknown or disliked in the Orient are heroes in our papers and Americans who are liked in the Orient are hardly mentioned. I can give innumerable examples, but will not here.

Anyhow, Senator Fulbright, if not father, knows best. I am hoping Bowles and Rusk will do better. I think Rusk understands the Near East and Bowles is loved in India. As for Stevenson—he is the—our Dale Carnegie philosophy stops at the 12-mile limit. Stevenson could not be dog-catcher in America, but outside the 12-mile limit he may be the most popular man in the whole world (he is not my favorite, Bowles is, but he is the world’s favorite.) Outside this I can assure you, Willie, Harvard and M.I.T. have the most promising minds in the U.S. or maybe on earth.





January 29, 1961


My dear Willie:

I want to thank you for your long letter of the 23rd which arrived by airmail. I am answering by sea-mail because again the cost of a lot of stamps is going to be high; and secondly, because I shall be moving in and out of Cairo until the 15th when I leave for Port Said, to arrive in Karachi on March 3, with a presumably temporary address of c/o U.S. Consulate, Karachi; and after March 15, presumably my mailing address will be K-482 Old Kunj St., Abbottabad, Hazara, West Pakistan, c/o Abdul Rahman.

There are two immediate reactions to your letter, I find at their worst many Americans—and they are probably not the only ones—take refuge in maxims and think they are leaning on wisdom. There is a maxim for every situation. And on the other hand when one is concentrating he is apt to keep this a secret so he writes about everything but that which is the central core of his endeavors.

In 1955 a number of us met on McAllister St. to discuss non-political ways of promoting world peace. I had long been devoted to brining about better relations between the U.S. and the Orient and I chose horticulture as my field. I have been working and working successfully in this line until the harvest became too great for me. The projects I have proposed have all been accepted and I have received the goodwill if not the thanks of many parties on both the American and Arabian side of this; with now a larger project in view. All the details of this have been sent to my friend, Harry Nelson, of City College, San Francisco.

But in the course of crossing the country I also had the problem, which is connected with the World Congress of Faiths. My interest in religions has been more than a passing fancy but I find that the majority of people who venture out of their faith fall into one of two camps, both equally undesirable: (a) the fake swamis, crackpots and charlatans who pretend and the greater their pretensions the greater their following, or financial returns and they are usually interested in one or the other or both; (b) the tendency to accept persons from faraway places as knowing much more about certain subjects from totally other faraway places about which they know little. The Americans, and particularly the Californians fall for that stuff. In any case, we learn about the “Oriental” from everybody but the Orientals.

As I got further away from California I was received more seriously and as time went on I have been asked to take over the American representation of the world Congress of Faiths. I have had nice letters from Bishop Pike in San Francisco and the chief Imam, Hoballah, in Washington. I can easily get the support of any Indian or Buddhist, but the chief one is Vice-President Radhakrishnan who is very active in the same campaign.

One day I was at the Vegetable Experimental Station when the director, Fuad Rizk, introduced me to his associate, Murtaz Billah and this opened a whole bunch of doors for me with the Dervishes. I cannot write now on this subject but am making at least semiofficial reports on the largest body of human beings which we have entirely bypassed in the U.S. And with all our pretensions, morals, maxims, etc. there is a strange attitude of refusing to accept the world as it is and then being shocked thereafter because something “unforeseen” has happened.

I have written to several papers on the “Real Problem of Laos” which consists in not listening to our fellow-Americans when they bring unusual news from abroad. Well, I got in with unusual people and as I ventured further I came upon all these things:

a. There is a tremendous un-investigated music of the Dervishes, some elements of which are undoubtedly derived from Christian Gnosticism and others even from the ancient Greek; and it is possible that the Christian Gnostic also derives from the Greek; or

b. The Coptics have music and art forms which we have bypassed

c. There are all kinds of elements in Islam in its largest sense which you can no more derive from the books read than you can derive the Christmas tree or Easter egg from books on Christian theology.

Then one is in a strange land. I did not come to visit the mummies or the pyramids. My ventures—which make concentration difficult are to please others, not me. I really have no time for ancient Egypt but everybody is going to ask me about ancient Egypt. I am not going into any Laos which does not have levels of cultures; and I have gone so far as I could in immediate horticultural work.

Then they are the bazaars here. I have agreed to try to find things for Rudolph and others. I am here. I am in a place, not facing a theory. And besides, one has to do all their work before 2 o’clock, often before 1; what is to be done the rest of the time? Occasionally a football game or a movie and often typing as now.

Then the other associate of Fuad Rizk above is Ali Azad. Now I have been in trouble, because I have the integrative point of view and nearly everybody is an analyst, in his own style. I found Ali Azad, who has long been a fine friend, doing exactly in the experimental world what I have been maintaining as the integrative solution of the Mendel-Lysenko debate.

Then I am sent to the top scientists and while still working in my own fields, copies to Harry Nelson, I get more introductions. And so I try to integrate and every time I try to integrate everybody else takes me up. Integration and harmonization are my work, and if you can call that a specialty, to do. But all movements toward integration have without exception produced satisfaction.

Next the satisfaction made me recall some of the things for which I was stopped, and deliberately stopped, by others. When the depression was on, Irving Fisher appeared before the Banking & Currency Committee and as soon as he crossed the threshold, Senator Nelson, the chairman said: “Either that man goes or I go.” Fisher was never heard. There are a lot of people Like Fisher who may have the answers and some bigger shot acts just like Senator Nelson, more than we care to hear about. This is what happened to my “Plan for Palestine.” So I timidly aired it twice before U.N. officials said both said it was the only sensible thing they had ever heard. My training here also came from my work with Dr. Henry Atkinson of the World Church Peace Union. I am now resurrecting it.

If my folks had given me any education, any training, any craft, it might have been different. I had to face poverty and hardship and I got through somehow. You must bear mind, Willie, that my friend M. T. Kirby for years kept writing me of an imminent Japanese attack on Hawaii; and then my friend Robert Clifton told me the same about Laos. He came to Washington and had the door shut in his face by Dulles. And not one editor would interview him. He went back to Southeast Asia, gave up his citizenship, and there, after the fighting there, Mr. Dulles pursued him all over. So I am proposing and seriously proposing that we listen carefully to Americans who go abroad and especially who live abroad who have something to say.

The next thing I had to face here, Willie, was having gotten in, it was not so easy to get out. You can get planes in any direction and you can get ships to the West, but not so many go East through the canal and of those that do, most are booked. Then, even when you are booked you have to wait for the actual passage. This compelled me to stay here 40 days more than I had been surmising and much more than I had expected.

Next I am in the strange position of going back and forth between Arab and Western social groups. They do not mix readily. I blame nobody, I just mix. And on top of that you would be surprised as to how many people would not listen to me when I returned before. If I had been—and then I had only two main endeavors, it might have been different.

As it is now, I don’t care because I am preparing to come back and am working on another project, which is the efficient use of scientific literature. I have had training in this. It is not my last resort but it will be if I get the cold shoulder. I was at the Embassy the other day listing the number of doors shut in my face without any opportunity, for four of the five proposals that had been briefed to me my by the State Department. I have written that I try to feel what Mrs. Grady wants without asking her. I have also carried, off the record, a lot of things for our “ugly Americans” who are tied down by protocol and this is very, very sad. I had five or six interviews in New York when I returned in 1957, four absolutely rejected—proposed to me by our foreign service; and the other two, much more favorably received, my own. But these, only after a fight, though fortunately I got in.

So far as I know I am closer to Mr. Rusk than to any of his predecessors. As I wrote before Mr. Stevenson is occupying the post for which I think he is most suited; that I therefore did not wish him to be President. I am putting in my official reports that Adlai Stevenson is the most popular American abroad, taking the world as a whole and taking it as it is. It has nothing to do with wishing.

Therefore I have methods of integrative-concentration and these keep me from being concerned as to what is going on in our Southern States or Europe or in parts of the world with which I am not concerned. My own studies in soil science caused me to predict a depression in Russia. I lost all the arguments. I have had nothing but snubs but there is not the harvest this year either and I predicted the same for China. India has gone ahead despite all and India is one nation which is adept in integration.

I wanted to be a research scientist at one time but the doors were closed. I had to earn my living. It means that today I do not preach, but I try to help and this has made me very popular here in several directions. Nor have I failed in anything. But the bigger tasks of my life must be taken over by a foundation or organization. And if someone backed me in anything, naturally I would concentrate in that field.

My poetry, again, is a sideline. Many of our leaders of today do creative work in some art. I don’t want to say more. You have known me long enough to know that I had to eat bitter herbs for years. This is no more and may never be again. But there are other facts and factors at work. These would require acceptance of certain principles, which are not commonly examined in the West but often are a priori principles in the Orient. I do not wish to discuss them here and discussion would prove nothing. When I am pushed, I point out that I have not aged much during the years and there is a very clear “reason” for that and that “reason” is accepted East of Suez and pooh-poohed West, excepting in Islamic lands.

The fact is that I am getting in where others have not gone; I have even succeed in certain directions. On the whole I have no bad news at all. On the whole I have a lot of good news. I am now getting three sets of slides ready. One set is for Pakistan and will be devoted to Islamic Art; one for the Hollywood Artists and covers also Modern Cairo; one for Harry Nelson on the flowers and horticulture of the region. This will enable me to give some lectures when I return. By agreement I am not sending more slides because I am told they can be duplicated at less expense in the U.S.

This coming week I may go on a field trip with Americans and also see Alexandria. I am trying to wind up things and prepare for a return later. One can live here on a high level at little expense. But the main thing is how one is received. And this I cannot well communicate. If the people in California become objective, well and good. But I can name a whole bunch of persons who have deliberately stood in my way and, of course, in the ways of others too, who are popular “authorities” on things of Asia where they could not pass high-school tests.

I close with the case of Judith Tyberg. She was an American, one of the four highest rating in the whole country on Asian subjects. She was sent to India and received a degree over there, too. She returned to California and has been near starvation. For the devil knows what reason, our universities honor degrees in Oriental subjects from European universities. These degrees have no standing in Asia, “only in America.” Judith is the worst victim of the situation I have been deploring and if I name the persons responsible it would not be a pleasant list, besides which few were born in America and even of those who were, few were California educated. I hope I know what I am fighting for. I also received a letter of one of the many victims of this situation, in the same mail. I am fighting for principle before the State Department and thank God, now I am listened to. My stuff may be rejected, I cannot force it, but the reports are received and that is all have ever asked for.

Sorry this is “heavy” and does not reflect the events of the moment. I think I have given you my next addresses and looking forward to a journey down the Red Sea next month.





February 2, 1961


My dear Willie:

I am enclosing copy of my diary entry for today, sent to Rudolph. Things are happening so fast that I can hardly make and then type my notes. I have restricted the reports here having to make an entirely different kind on my visit to the new rural sections, this being largely technical.

As you will see in the diary, I have been both impelled and compelled to accept all kinds of invitation to all kinds of places. Whatever one’s intentions may have been, one has to play the game of hospitality. One would offend one’s hosts if he dared to say he was not interested, but I have been interested in all kinds of subjects. Thus tomorrow I go to the Mosque in the morning, to a football game in the afternoon and presumably climb the big pyramid at night. It has nothing to do with my principal interests. It is part of the social exchange, especially as it will be Friday, the legal sabbath here. I never plan for Fridays; I accept the invitations.

I have received another favorable letter from the American Friends of the Middle East. I am about to send them detailed reports of the most serious kind. It is always possible that I may be inducted into such an organization, which I shall neither seek nor shun. I do not want and I do not need at the moment any full time job.

There is no question in my mind but that are failures to communicate. An example of the balks I have in life can be given: Don Hayakawa and X. are the leaders in the Semantic Movement. They have absolutely refused to accept any contribution or report from me on any subject though I studied with Cassius Keyser, the teacher and closest friend of Alfred Korzybski. My own closest friend in life is, along with the Reinholds of Hollywood, Vocha Fiske who was Korzybski’s secretary and she is also very close to the Reinholds—there is a group into which I was introduced by my late partner, Luther Whitman and our collaboration continues.

Scientists, interested in semantics, had me speak for them and to them and Hayakawa and X. never forgave me. Of late, working with the real scientists I have found they have spurned semantics which is a pity but the semanticists have spurned me, who am always accepted by scientists! However, noting the vast hiatus between the literary and scientific traditions, I have proposed to introduce the teachings of Professor Oliver Reiser of Pittsburgh into the Orient. Reiser was XÔs teacher and he has approved me on every point where X. and Hayakawa have disdained. Now all the cards are in my hands, and this illustrates the stupidity of egocentrism which always spoils everything. When I return home the official semanticists will have to receive (not accept, receive) my reports. The federal government is most interested in these organizations which appeal for public support, get income tax exemptions on both ends—and then close their doors. This has resulted in a string of rackets.

There are only three organizations functioning on a large scale here: American Friends of the Middle East, CARE and YMCA. The State Dept. in Washington gave me a long list of groups supposed to be functioning, which get public funds and income-tax exemptions and the Embassy staff never heard of any of them in operation here! This is something I may take up when I return, and something which appears in my long reports—of course, detrimental to American-Asian relations.

I have now reached a very determined state that I shall no longer be rejected a priori. Rejected yes; everybody has that right, but not a priori. The clairvoyant, Fuad Leithi, mentioned in the diary note, told me to stand firm on my ground and never give in because in principle I am basically right, always. I have the approval here—I am demanding nobody accept anything from me finally, but this ego-rejection which has been given to so many Americans is the reason why were caught short in Laos and elsewhere—we don’t listen to warners and advisers. The only one who do are the very people in the Foreign Service who are open-eared, open-minded but not permitted to do certain things.

I am pleased to say that new administration is changing this rapidly. There are more than suggestion boxes to the sub-employees abroad, something which never existed before. They are encouraged to report and think and consider. If so, we shall have a new and effective foreign policy. As I have been saying—politically and economically we are wonderful; psychologically and morally terrible. No one has been able to dispute me on these points, so far. Few even argue against it.

I cannot repeat that point too often. Our little people abroad, the subalterns in the foreign service, do meet the citizens abroad, and thus form chains of communication. But whatever they gain has been personal. Both at their desks and socially they meet foreigners. I sometimes think the smallest person in the foreign service may be meeting more strangers than some of the most important writers, but they are kept as soldiers, not as intelligence officials. Who then, are the intelligence officials?

The instructors of the American University here are not on good terms with the foreign service people. I am compelled to take sides because those instructors have also closed their doors on me. Why? Some of their text-books are terrible, but you can’t do anything. The American University at Beirut started out as a missionary training school; now it concentrates on communication and goodwill and is almost irreligious. The one here evidently still has the “missionary” zeal. But I say and will continue to say—the way to communicate is to communicate.

Last night another pleasant incident occurred. After writing page one I went to the Semiramis Hotel and was not there long when Mr. Demirjian walked in with the family. He is the man who is getting the slides for me; he was not in his studio when I had called, and there I go for diversion and meet him. If there is a God and there are signs, this is the way I live and still I have no formula; things, the right things, just happen.

Willie, I have grown up and people here see that I have grown up and it is no question of liking it or not, I am going to live henceforth either where I am considered as an adult, or doing what my heart longs to do.





March 27, 1961


My dear Willie:

This is the last of my “preliminary” letters. At the moment it looks as if I were “in.” My welcome to this country has been most cordial and opportunities are all over the place. I am enclosing copy of letter to Lewis McRitchie. I am sorry Rudolph closed his doors, to me as a speaker, so I stuck around as a pupil. I found many things presented there which were objectionable, and more that were misleading rather than untrue.

My whole experience in life has been that in Asiatics glamour was more important than knowledge and our country is paying dearly for it. In the scientific field one has to be so impersonal and exact. In the artistic field the creations of the artist are valued and not only his opinions. But in the “metaphysical,” field, wow!

I have gotten around one of the men who stood as a stumbling block to me by promoting his own professor’s works and all the doors are opened to me. I got around my worst enemy, a woman, by having to associate with her own husband’s closest friends. The Prof. Barker referred to above has run into exactly the same obstacles, men such as the Near East Dept. at the University of California, Rom Landau and Alan Watts, none of whom is recognized in Asia but of whom we are strangely “proud” in California, until, of course, they are found out. No wonder California has much a bad name elsewhere. Any phony can come to American from the Orient and be acclaimed. He will be forgotten the next day, of course, when some other phony takes his place;

I have been asked why I spread myself. It is almost as if accidental. You know very well I was blocked in almost every line of endeavor with inhibitions all over the place. As soon as I concentrated on a particular field, it seems that all the old doors have opened. I did not forget my knowledge because personalities blocked me; I merely had no chance to express it, or rather, share what I believe to be actual knowledge. That is going on at a great pace now.

When I complete this letter I shall go to the local college where I may be speaking shortly but I feel pretty sure that when I visit Rawalpindi next the doors will be really open. I have just the things here that are wanted here and I am not only willing to share but I have enough contacts all over the world now to carry on to higher stages.

I have even been asked to open folk-dance classes. It is about time we send a few folk-dance teachers around and a few less Satchmo Armstrongs who go out at public expense to entertain American colonies abroad and Europeans and Christian converts and never meet the masses. If any country ever tries to meet the masses that country will become a great power. Everybody likes to dance, but at their own level, etc.




P.S. This is a very beautiful country very much like California. The trees and flowers are very similar. I have called on Begum Salim Khan whose late husband was once Consul- General in S.F. She has a real California garden in every respect.

The fruit blossoms are all out in color. You can see the western Himalayas from here, covered with snow. There are many schools here of all sorts and appropriate play fields. Indeed, education is the main industry here. The army training center is here.

I believe there will much mineral wealth uncovered in the near future. This is, in a sense, a sort of cross between the Coast and Sierra Mountain districts. The deodars replace the redwoods. The weather at this moment is delightful. And so the people to me.




April 4, 1961


My dear Willie :

I very much appreciate your letter of March 28. I greatly sympathize with your points of view and experience. I think logically and psychologically you have reached a state of wholeness. My delving into adventure and the constant change of address, previously by compulsion, now more or less by choice, pushes me away from persons.

If I wished to clothe myself in self-pity it would be that in most aspects of personal love I have failed. I have not had loving parents, my romances all landed on rocks, I fathered and uncled and big-brothered so many; death took away the closest and in the other cases invariably a parent showed up at some crisis and took them away. In some instances I did things that were “wrong.” On the other hand at an early age it was pointed out that my career might be one of a big-brother to humanity. That sounds all very well, romantic, ideal and nonhuman. Yet at this writing I am like Emerson’s inventor of the mouse-trap and the world is beating a path to my door and I do get called on all the time.

In addition to my other misfortunes I had two groups of enemies which groups incidentally were poles apart and hated each other. The one group consisted of those who, roughly speaking, held the same views but were motivated by personal jealousies; when I was a key-figure the animosity was toward me; when I was not, they lost out in internecine struggles. At least one tried to destroy me—my reputation, my job was lost, I got kicked out of my home and some rather successful whispering campaigns were launched in San Francisco. That was the only time in my whole life my mother defended me. She did not want anybody poaching on her private preserve.

A wisdom compelled me to become friendly with the friends of this vixen’s husband. Today my greatest champion is the closest friend of her husband and I met him in Cairo, to his amazement, just after I had accomplished my greatest mission. And today her husband’s associates are my best allies both in San Francisco and elsewhere including Pakistan. I have just received a note from Lahore asking for a conference at an early date.

I have come back from Mansehra where I was the guest of the Pooh-Bah of the place, the wealthiest and most successful man in the region. Incidentally, he is a close coworker of Lady
Ravensdale one of the four women, members of the House of Lords in her own right. Judge Rabbani has come to my assistance in many things—too long to detail. But he put the coup de grace on the others in this first camp. They are all spurlos versankt.

The other group consists of the Zionist and European professors of Oriental “Philosophy” which has no connection with the real Oriental philosophy. In Cairo I found that the whole kit and caboodle, as we say, are in the bad graces of the State Department and Intelligence. I have just written a very long report to the Embassy at Karachi with a carbon to the Consulate at Lahore. But I am telling you this for another reason.

Professor Barker is a Berkeley graduate. He was lauded as a pupil. As soon as he graduated, the whole gang of Europeans and Zionists united against him; he could not get a job in California, he got kicked off the air, etc. He had the same experiences I did with the same people and has the same friends. He says, “Thank God for the Fulbright scholarships, they are open only to Americans.” He not only has a good job here but is a sort of hero; his name is in the papers constantly and he is doing more to promote Pakistani-American friendship than anybody I know.

Professor Connaught is here. He and his wife are both San Franciscans, graduates of Stanford. While he did not have to go through the dramas of Barker and myself, he saw through the same old gang and his wife too. And they also rave about the Fulbright scholarships, open only to Americans.

You can see how stimulated I must be today, psychologically and otherwise, seeing duplications of myself, so to speak, and in this area.

The big joke about our foreign aid is that we come along with the good heart of a child, not an adult, and push some kinds of aid [on]to people without asking them what they want. I said before that the big problem of this country was the Fly, but we would not do anything unless the Russians invented a fly-spray. So far as I know they have not, but they are in this country as geologists and prospectors. Ergo, we are getting rid of the Fly now.

So, the people are looking to me for the kind of foreign aid they want, which is often quite different from what appears in the papers.

The next great series of psychological impetuses come from President Kennedy. I have been yelling that our “authorities” on Asia have been European professors and American newspaper men and under no circumstances may they be American professors and European newspaper men. Now we have two of our top professors admired in Asian-Asia, as Ambassadors to India and Japan. As I have often remarked: “Who does this Jack Kennedy think he is, trying to win the cold war?” Then, the foreign service is under instructions to listen to reports from Americans, not only equal to those from non-Americans but over them. This was not true before—it was not true under Roosevelt, it was not true under Truman, it was even worse under Dulles. The Laos imbroglio is almost entirely due to the point blank refusal to listen to American reports and warnings.

At least I have a partial warning here, that the Afghans have been prodding the Pakistanis. We have all kinds of treaties and they are almost sickening. After each treaty an invasion and a lot of noise and we lose another country. If we put our foot down instead of our tongues we would win world leadership. Now Pakistan is supposed to be an ally but we shut our eyes to this danger.

Then there is Kashmir. I have no answer, but here is Nehru demanding plebiscites in Congo where the people have almost agreed on what they want and being adamant against one in Kashmir. I am saying today, if people have no intelligence they must have plebiscites; and if they have intelligence dictators are in order. This to me is utter madness.

I am not trying to reach Mr. Stevenson although I had some material which may have gone to him from Egypt. I send to my contacts here in the foreign service and let them handle it. I am glad you see the wisdom of having him before the U.N. He is the most popular American abroad, being what I call a “cosmic” man. Such never fit in entirely with their own people and, in a sense both, they belong to the “world” and the “world” belongs to them.

It is also gorgeous here, with renewed spring. This country is a sort of cross between the northern Coast Ranges and San Bernardino Mountains. To the north it gets more Colorado-like with the Himalayas in the back ground, as they stretch toward the Indus, across which are the Hindu Kush. During the year I may venture into much “unknown” territory. The flowers are in bloom, exactly the same as in your own yard and the parks look like Golden Gate. The chief difference is the Chenar, the Oriental Plane, which is without doubt one of the most beautiful of all trees. It functions like a Maple with its colored palmate leaves. The fruit trees are all in blossom.

I read poetry at a gathering and this added to my popularity. Then I wrote some verses in protest, in part against my own long epics and more against the pessimistic trends in our literature—though I must prefer them to the earliest Gene Stratton Porter and the saccharine crowd.

The Sun Also Shines

A single happy family amid fifty blighted homes

And all the novels about the latter.

A single hundred happy families and a single blighted home,

And the only novel about the latter—

The sun also shines.

The common Violet hides in the woods but telegraphs its fragrance;

The African Violet has no odor but is constantly in blossom—

My Beloved is a Violet constantly in bloom, forever fragrant.


I have quite a few in this vein.

Now I came here to see old friends, etc. but what has happened? I found living here Begun Selim Khan, widow of the first Consul-General from Pakistan to San Francisco. And I have been approached constantly by relatives of Abdul Sattar, one of my closest friends who has long been Consul-General in San Francisco. He has a three months’ leave and is coming here before accepting a higher post. I may be seeing him before the week is out.

Next, my close friend, Ansar Nasri, has been director of Radio Pakistan at Rawalpindi, the temporary capital. We both want to see each other, but this week my friend Rabbani Khan is taking me there to a conference.

My greeting at Lahore was delightfully dramatic. Some of the events were fiction-like. I met Mrs. Ahmed, born a Jewess, turned Christian, now a Muslim, and champion of modern art forms. I am sending her material to Bill Gaskin. And I have the slides from the UAR which I shall show in Lahore after the 15th.

Next, I am preparing a series of lectures on the relation[ship] of Oriental philosophy and contemporary science. I was not permitted to say a word at any college in California but Harvard opened its doors wide—and I think, before long, other places will. Anyhow, I am scheduled to speak at the college in this town. After that comes my main and agricultural mission, but I am holding that off until I see the bigwigs.

Another storybook like this is this: I always felt I was a stranger in my own country. I never felt particularly comfortable anywhere until I reached Japan. But when I came to the Punjab I found that I was at “home” morally and psychologically. I have been told that the attractions to and from the Pathans is or will be greater, My friend Rabbani insists that the Pathans are the Lost Tribes of Israel and has his own family tree in support. In any event on the “SS Cilicia” the Pathans and I had a strong mutual attraction, out of nowhere, and this is even more true here where I have so many invitations I don’t know how I am going to handle them.

Islamic hospitality is very warm but not logical. A guest is an angel. But they can overdo. At the moment it has the bright side that, after being “taken” in Lahore by finding that the hotels had raised their prices far above what appears in the tourist guides, now I am getting invitations all over, pointing in the opposite direction.



Willie, have you read many adventure books? It seems in most of them whenever an American or Briton showed up the people came around for medicines and first aid. Well, they don’t come around to me for medicine and first aid, but they come around for all kinds of things. This has made letter writing discontinuous. There are often interruptions.

The wisecracking about Americans insisting not only on foreign aid but offering a certain type of aid when the people want something else has a serious side. I am getting to know what they want—it may not always be the wisest thing, but that is what they want. High on the list is understanding. We do not have understanding. For the first time in our history we have a few Americans studying about this part of the world. They are few in number and low in prestige. Like the Californians here they have had to face the animosity of our “authorities”—Zionists and Europeans who say all kinds of things about this part of the world which are not so and do not say what is so; I could not get a single professor in California to accept a paper on the Mogul Emperors who were the greatest rulers of this region and who gave us all the classical architecture which brings the tourists. The Mogul Emperors built the buildings, the Indian and Pakistani governments advertise them, but you can’t get a word in in the colleges. Add to that Professor Chaudhuri whom Rudolph admires or admired, all by lying, and you can see where we stand—there is, to pun it, standing but not understanding.

I am determined to fight. You know I have enemies, but I have friends and they are much greater:

Mrs. Grady. The Russell Smiths of Ross. The World Conference of Faiths, headed by Lady Ravensdale, member of the House of Lords; and Dr. Radhakrishnan who is slated to be President of India and who is a very good friend of mine. All the top Buddhists in Japan and Malaya. The American Friends of the Middle East.

Perhaps the World Affairs Council of San Francisco, which unofficially has denounced the “authorities” and whose lecturers are now leaders in a camp to which I belong—Americans who know something about the Orient. This extends down to the City Hall and Chamber of Commerce.

These Europeans did pioneer work in interesting us in Asia; that is something. But they do harm in trying to limit and control the sources of information. I know too much of the background of Pearl Harbor, Vietnam and Laos. My name is on the heroes’ book in Fort Mason, half secret, but Intelligence has always watched me. They saved my life on at least one occasion, maybe more. I am working for principle and can afford to stick out my neck. I have studied at least forty years about this part of the world. I am accepted here and more and more openly. If I fail it is my failure; if I succeed it may be my country’s success. I laid the cards down on the table with my personal attorney, making exaggerated statements to which he would be a witness. He is now strong for me, he can confirm all I have been doing, am doing. I had to spread to study whole cultures, and this is easy when one has the integral discipline. I began getting that in 1915 at the University of California and can hold my own in it.

These things are being discovered here. There is my Emerson-mousetrap parade. I cannot help it. “When the gods arrive, the half-gods go.”

Finally, I may be working closer with your church than you may suppose. I have the goodwill of Bishop Pike, but am not overplaying it. I had the strong cooperation of the World Church Peace Union for years. I may have it now, though there is another generation in charge. My mistakes, at least, are from overdoing, as you recognize, not in under functioning. I am praying God for success in a wide field; it is too late in life to turn back.




April 6, 1961


Dear Willie:

I have written a rather long letter to Rudolph. I feel that his intentions are the greatest in the world. Despite the rejection of all my suggestions in various campaign collecting movements—which seem to bog down, though whether there is a connection or not I do not know, if he cannot have an East-West gallery in San Francisco, I am behind such a movement in Hollywood. There, the whole artistic movement is in the hands of Americans. They may fall short, but they are not misled.

There are several movements on now for the exchange of real cultures between the U.S. and Asia. The attacks on our USIA libraries ought to wake us up. I have had so many conferences with representatives of India, and some of them right in Rudolph’s studios, when they expressed disgust with the way he was being misled by Chaudhuri and Spiegelberg.

I am one of the persons responsible for bringing Haridas and Rudy together. I was all for it. But when it came to selecting Haridas as a speaker on Indian Art, I was stunned. I could not say anything because it would have been concluded that I wished to lecture on Indian Art. Well, the Indians think I am much more equipped to speak on this than either of these two worthies.

Besides that, I am not concerned with the value of the religion or philosophy in the art. Indian art, as a whole, is not great. The best examples are either Islamic or Buddhist. The Indians seem to have defective eyes. They can hardly distinguish 4 colors, where we distinguish 7 and the Japanese 24! Neither do they have the keenness of design of the Italians nor the perspective of the French. It does no good to present anything in glamour.

Nor have these gentlemen any idea of the geometries of space as reflected in the art- forms. I do not wish to go into this further. But I know that many Americans were repelled and are repelled by the over-emphasis of the “spiritual” in Indian art.

The Aurobindo Movement to which Chaudhuri is passionately attached and to which Spiegelberg is attached on every other Friday in the 5 months of odd years—and always when he can speak and never when he has to listen—is a front for communism and obscurantism. I had to tell the whole story to some friends of Rudolph and am not here. Actually, Dr. Chaudhuri is not admired by the Aurobindo people and that is to his credit. They use him and the communists use them. He admits privately that he knows little of Asian art; he is a philosopher, not an artist. Lewis McRitchie knows 50 times as much as these two worthies together.

I am on the edge of the Gandhara country. I have new experiences and contacts every day. But at the moment I am compelled to send things to Hollywood for my friends are now the leaders in the artistic world there. Of course I shall come to San Francisco with these things against my wishes, for it will be the American Friends of the Middle East who will welcome me and I shall be speaking under their auspices and this will prevent me from helping Rudolph, unless he realizes that Americans can know as much of Asia as do Russians, Germans and British.





July 8, 1961


My dear Willie:

I suppose anything I write today will be news. Actually I have gone through a series of most pleasant surprises. My difficulty at the time, and it is a difficulty, is too much society and meals at wrong hours under warm weather. And if the world is not beating a pathway to my door—which it is—this is partly because there are three men just across the road in whose company I often am.

This is a time now of harvesting seeds from earlier in life. The harvests are all ripening and many projects and ideas which I had assumed at some early period and dropped and come up and presented me with gifts or blessings. The present parade started with I met Agha Faqir Shah who is one of the leading engineers on an Indus

Dam project. Our meeting was interrupted by a man who claimed he is in charge of Agricultural Research in the new province and he pooh-poohed everything I am doing. “Why, the greatest experts in the world have visited my district and they can do nothing.” The more I went over his opposition to me the more I concluded that it was he and not the visiting experts who were to blame. He is simply incapable of accepting advice or trying something new.

I had to visit Dr. Abdul Hamid, the Forest Botanist and U.C. graduate and have given him:

a. List of trees and shrubs for dry districts

b. The Garst plan.

While we are talking about foreign aid and all that and while there is a rolling of drums—plus the to-do about the camel which was invited to New York—this person is delivering.

I came to bring Dr. Hamid the technical solution of the problems of the N.W. District—dealing with rainfall, sunlight, etc. and it was my great fortune to meet with him one Dr. Ghani who is the top research scientist of the whole frontier and superior to the man who has been mocking me. He not only accepted my reports but gave to me grave technical problems which I am bringing back with me. He also gave me a lot of valuable information which I have sent to Ohio State and to Harry Nelson at City College. Incidentally I received a most important invitation to Peshawar, and I have received a whole lot since then.

Then one Abdur Rahman, manager of the Government Transport Service decided to take me over. I have been with him to the Himalayas, 60 miles north and again to Nathiagalli and Murree, high in the mountains to the East which are the big, summer resorts. I met an old friend from San Francisco there and also called on the American Embassy and Indian High Commissioner.

It seems that I have now a most important and quite independent invitation to India. My apparently private warfare to remove European professors of Oriental Philosophy and make way for Asians is, of course, appreciated by Asians. Satya Agrawal, who was for awhile on the staff at U.C., and Surindar Suri who was also there and at Chicago U. are leaders in rounding up a lot of people way ahead of time. And when I went to the Indian High Commissioner I was given such a warm welcome. What all Asians want and we don’t seem to realize it, is a warm sympathy toward their cultures and traditions. The chief expert on Pakistan in the U.S. is a Canadian, loathed in this country and not admired anywhere else. But this is both typical and unfortunate.

The most important man in my life at the moment is Prof. Durani. He comes from an important family, was born in Madras and after being an engineer, became head of the Physics Department at the Peshawar University. While our Europeans at Berkeley, Stanford, Pacific and UCLA are going around saying there are no important Sufis today, this man is both a top scientist and a Sufi Murshid or teacher. He is also a Pathan. I am constantly in his company.

We have discussed subjects more or less connected with my projects, “Oriental Philosophy and Modern Science.” Prof. Durani was 30 years at Aligarh University which is my presumptive goal in India and has promised me no end of introductions. My talks with him not only include-those about the Orient but such things as problems in color, space travel, modern systems of logic, Indian psychology, etc.—all of which I had thrown in my face in the S.F. Bay area.

All over the Orient they are aware that we have selected Europeans and a few self-elected Americans to teach what is known as Asian philosophies and these are explained in manners no Asian would respect. (I keep on harping on having an ex- Christian Briton as our “authority” on the culture of the Far East, etc.) They say it is exceedingly unfair to demand a Ph.D. to teach Indian or Islamic philosophy and not to teach German or Greek philosophy. Ph.D. degrees are not easily earned here but many know the philosophies of Asia. They are ineligible in the U.S.; they are not ineligible in Russia.

I told the American Charges d’Affaires in Murree that until we got rid of these Orientalist professors from Leyden, Heidelberg and Montreal, we would never have suitable cultural exchange. I am somewhat firmer now. The U.S. is not popular here and all our soothing-syrup verbosity only makes it worse. We need people to sit down and chat with each other without a lot of self-imposed experts to “interpret” everything for everybody else.

The visit of Ayub may (or may not) awaken us to some realities.

One of the worst situations at the present time is our attitude toward religion. In the U.S. if you want to help foreign lands you are asked to give through your churches. But when authorities go to these same foreign lands they will have nothing to do with churches and all suggestions stemming from foreign missions have been rejected, a priori, on this ground. The attitude is that if “we” listen to foreign missionaries here we “offend” the natives, but in collecting moneys, charitable goods, etc. we insist on using these same sources. So the missionaries here are in arms against the Peace Corps and so far as Americans here are concerted the missionaries are right, the politicians (who never mingle with the people) are wrong.

Durani gave me his views on these subjects. He seems to know “everybody” in both India and Pakistan and is an excellent master of the English language, well- versed in all the lore of the whole Orient and modern sciences as well. Yet he is also regarded as the most authoritative source of religious information, etc.

Through each and all of the above I am meeting others and am furiously busy until I get tired. I have now written many letters to the S.F. Bay region but my appetite for knowledge is so great today I would prefer studying to lecturing. I make one exception—I am not going to be rejected a priori any longer, by anybody. As I told the Charges d’Affaires I was totally satisfied that he took my reports. I did not care if I were recognized as a living being.

Before the end of the month I hope to make my first visit to Peshawar. I am waiting for some money from the States. Actually the cost of living is low for me, I am trying all kinds of hotels, hostels and what not and all kinds of tourism. My invitations to the Pathans now are very many. And there is also the temptation to return here if life does not go on pleasantly. It is only that I feel I shall be heard and given some recognition.

The thing is more complex because another professor of importance has answered me, Prof. Samuel Miller of Harvard. He put a problem up in “Time,” I answered and he accepted my answer. This makes me feel warmer and warmer toward that institution. Only Tillich did not answer me and I think he is a most mixed-up man, perhaps a humbug. But this pressures me to go East again.

On the other hand I am sending more letters to San Francisco and have written to Sam Yorty, new Mayor of L.A. and once a pal. So we shall see.

Next morning. It is raining furiously. I had to make a break-off and things happened. First a college professor and student came to consult me on two quite different subjects—I met them in the evening, too, and they are presumably calling this morning. Then I had to go out—first, all the small children came after me. Then I met my friend the Khalandar, long and complex. Then I passed the Jesuit school and the boys called me in—story telling. Then older men called me at the cafe—the Protestant missionary, the economist, and others, and it was almost two hours before I could eat—fortunately not hungry.

My position here has been enormously enhanced by Lyndon Johnson’s visit. Lack of cooperation, even courtesy from the Embassy has made me immensely popular. On the American side it is the same—they were either rebuffed by Johnson and Shriver or treated nonchalantly. Despite all our goody-goody speeches from the top, I have received a single acknowledgment—that from Chester Boyles’ office; whom do we think we are fooling? We lost Laos because we would not listen to Americans there, the same with Vietnam and so far as the public and press here is concerned, we are losing here at a very rapid rate. The thing that stands in the way of further retraction is the fact—and we ignore this totally and absolutely—is that President Ayub and most of his entourage are mystics and therefore committed against any communist infiltration. They are anti-communists on an entirely different basis. It is UAR all over. We don’t want friends, we want followers and all we have to do is to change a slight attitude.

There are now undercurrents of my receiving some financial support but I cannot take this if it be a sell-out. If we are ignorant of Pakistan, they are equally ignorant about us. It takes a long time to convince a person that the UN assembly is not composed of the same persons who go to American ball-games and cinemas. And for my part it is not worth it because while I have won practically every argument there is not the slightest appreciation of this from official circles, or the press.

The college boys who come here are also friends of Felix Knauth who will be back soon. He has already sent one blast to the Chronicle. We all think our position hopeless but I feel that the American Friends of the Middle East, the World Affairs Council and Asia Foundation will have different attitudes. The latter are trying to do something—bring Americans here and Pakistanis here together to discuss and discuss carefully.

The economist who asked me to tea got up and walked away when I told him that we Americans have solved the saline infiltration problem. I saw it at Abis, UAR and recently sent a clipping to the University of California Alumni Association, about it for it is under the direction of Paul Keim, ‘23. What he did and did well is not being repeated. And, of course, they know nothing here about Riverside or Salton Sea. Or again, I was the first man to bring in salt-tolerant crops and while high-level meetings and conferences are being held I am being entrusted more and more with actual problems. I have written to the South Asian Studies, U.C. and last week to Minnesota.

I have been much touched too, by the blasts of explorers against Lowell Thomas. I know his report on Tibet was just about the best thing to enable the Chinese to come in; he gave us rosy pictures of what never was. I have found he has done the same thing here and everything he said was totally unreliable. We say hat good is one man against a multitude; but it is equally true, what good is a multitude against one man, if that man is an “entrenched expert.”

I am only hoping I can run into Mrs. Lucretia Grady. I have been acting as if she were instructing me and so far as she is concerned I have not a negative report. All we need is communication of facts; but the world deals in implications and no wonder we do not meet beyond national boundaries. Anyhow I seem quite vigorous and look fairly young and maybe this is blowing off steam. But I feel that something will come from all these escapades and what not.





August 8, 1961


My dear Willie:

I found an envelope addressed to you—I misplaced it and made out another one some time ago, and to “save face” I am writing. From now on until well in October I except to be constantly on the move and in manners so totally different from those laid down by custom- protocol or general usage that only fame or folly can meet me in the end.

We have a team of botanists working in N.W. Pakistan. They go out and examine plants and classify them and collect specimens. They do not sit in the London library and pick out all the books on the subject and draw their own deductions. They work directly with the plants and in place. This is science; it is “the” scientific method. But I am afraid the last words are used or misused by a lot of people to hide their own frivolities and superficialities.

We have only one American making the same kind of research with human beings. He fulfills all the recipes of “The Ugly American” and then some, but he is impossible. You see he is a Protestant Missionary and when a protestant missionary makes a report that is a sign that he wants notoriety or publicity for his hospital or something. Well, thank God that the day of Dullespionage or “dull- spinach” is coming to a close. We had to have Laos and Cuba—and maybe Zanzibar and Singapore. Indeed, if it were not for the mistakes of the Russians we should be worse off. But they are sending Muslims in and we are sending “bright boys” in and we shall see where the peasants turn! It is coming; you sense it in the newspapers and if Ayub is every overthrown, bye-bye blackbird.

I am gradually getting serious letters from Washington. Since Jack Shelley sent my reports to Mrs. Grady I have been getting good letters from the State Department, from senator Engle and at long last a serious letter from our Embassy. Any government that was so stupid—and it was nothing but the worst kind of stupidity—to throw out the careful survey of the American Broadcasting Co. made in Asia some years back has got to pay the price. And if an ABC survey is pigeonholed because it was against protocol or Dullespionage, what can a citizen do? Just wait until the whole country is “shocked” by some affair abroad and I can assure you more shocks are coming although Senator Fulbright has his finger on the weak spots.

As I did not learn about Pakistan from reading encyclopedias written in European museums but had my own way, this has made me very, very popular in some parts. I am slightly unwell due to a case of diarrhea now in hand. As soon as I get better I shall be the guest of Maliks in the country to the West. They want to see me just as the big people in Lahore and Rawalpindi did and those in Peshawar and vicinity are impatiently waiting. Socially I have been a success and I believe scientifically and spiritually also. I can tell by changes in trends in all mail received. I stood nearly alone for years but my namesake Morse did also and in the end he won out on all points and I feel trends the same way.

I do not think I am going to have so much trouble when I get back even if I have to expose certain people in public. The return of Paul Keim to the campus at Berkeley may help me no end. We had serious technical discussions on subjects from which I was a priori rejected so many times—not allowed to present my case—and I don’t think we ever had a difference. My own theory is that when the integral approach is made not only will some solution be found but there will be a considerable account of agreement between those thinking on the subject.

I expect to bring some Sufis to S.F. and they will not resemble what you read about in books or listen to in lectures whether these lectures are by Spiegelberg, Chaudhuri, Landau and the Near East “Profs” on the Berkeley campus. These men are “authorities” all right but they are not authorities in the same sense as the American botanists above mentioned can be or are authorities. It is funny how well I get along with the scientific scientists and how badly with the pseudo-philosophers who claim to be explaining “science.”

I am not in the least concerned with the Russian space flights. No one reads the Inquisition’s side against Galileo. It was to the extent that man would soon be so concerned with the conquest of the heavens that he would lose his equilibrium about the earth and that both moral and economic values would soon be swallowed in speculation. In UAR I had an excellent chance to measure the scientific accomplishments of all nations. It was carefully and deliberately, by checking all the books and patents in recent years in the various sciences. This cool, careful, calculating method is not wanted. We confuse excitement with truth.

Russia is so far behind us in the biological sciences and indeed in most of the chemical sciences that there is no comparison. They are behind us in medicine and we are behind France. Newspapers and the “public” don’t want truth, excitement is wanted. The Russians have some awful theories in the botanical field and the Chinese even worse ones. The Chinese theory of planting is based on economics and work-energy and not on the nature of the soil, the weather or the rainfall. Well, I won’t argue. We do not have too many careful thinkers and seldom among the press. It is worse here. So everybody will go awry on this space thing and the nations may go bankrupt without even resorting to war. Russian needs this psychologically because all signs are to depression and retrogression and little else.

I have always been afraid of World war III not because of destruction but because the editors and commentators would want to take over and direct it. I have considerable faith in Maxwell Taylor. But it is time that the “king”-can-do-no-wrong Dulles is removed. I have had my dealings with the F.B.I. I know about communists in the U.S. “Fine, tell us about them.”

And the C.I.A. I know about communists in Phant-asia. How do you know they were communists? Who are you? What were you doing there? How do we know you aren’t one yourself and aren’t trying to mislead us? Where is your corroborating evidence?” So we get our “shocks.” Maybe less now. Maybe.

At last the USIA has awakened to the accomplishments of real American, real experts who have been sent over here to do real things and are doing and are succeeding. I may go to Colorado some time and the editors will have to listen because the best Americans in Pakistan come from that State and they dare not let their own celebrities down. From this is a horrible thing, that one cannot send in factual reports and have them seriously received.

I just wrote Stewart Alsop a comment on his own article in Saturday Evening Post on our mistakes in Cuba. They were quite simple—noblesse oblige, nothing else. The brains—Fulbright, Rostow & Co. were overruled by the protocol boys and that is it. But even Alsop can’t quite get down to facing this fundamental truth.

I was at the cinema yesterday and saw a wonderful picture, Indian. The costumes were all historically correct, despite the fact that many, many were needed. Not only were their periods proper but their geography proper. They did real research. They could put on a male fashion show, or a female fashion show and not depart from history. The tailors followed the period costumers and not in reverse. Hollywood can’t do that, and why not? I have just seen the preview of an American film, presumably about Carthage and the costumes—mere fancy out of nowhere. So I found the Indian picture thrilling from every point—story, music, scenery, photography, acting, singing, dancing, stage settings, music, everything. And above all, always artistically honest.

Just the same, when I return I shall probably want a TV. But what I want and will get... I understand the Maliks may raise a fund for me to lecture in the U.S. There are a lot of very favorable underground rumors and they may prove to be more than rumors later. I have tried to be honest and considerate and at least here the response is in kind.

Now I have satisfied the envelope, and all abroad for adventure.




November 2, 1961


My dear Willie:

Here I am in Lahore sans passport, sans money, sans mail, or as I put it: No money and no mail with the commies on my trail.

And the passport is riding along.

And the last mass meeting to be held in my honor was sabotaged and how. So thank God and praise Allah the consulate here, with which I have always been on good terms, has awakened the Embassy, which has dealt with me terribly and also dealt with quite a few other Americans likewise, has awakened. I can now say that the Foreign Service is serving an American.

I met the Indian High commissioner in August and he said he would expedite my visa. Bye, bye blackbird! I did not name Nehru as reference and I can’t write to him because he is going to the U.S. But the Foreign Service can afford to have me killed just because the Indians don’t return my passport, with or without visa. This is my fourth run-in with reds and I don’t want to press my luck. So I have gone so far this time to notify my attorney, make a slight change in my will and given my books to my godson, Robert S[?]ice, in New York, to use as he will. I was ready to send them to Prof. Burdick whom I despise but this being totally ignored over and over again and seeing the retreats we are making all over rather than occasionally trust a few American citizens: Robert Clifton in one country after another in Southeast Asia; Nicole Smith in Tibet and God knows who elsewhere. That is why I say, there is no god but protocallah and protocalah is his prophet and the sooner we get out of Dullespionage, the better if that is possible.

You don’t see the Russians building bomb shelters. This atomic stuff is just a front while they infiltrate and mingle, infiltrate and mingle, which we can’t do. I have met the Fulbright people, the OIC people and everybody and there is not a stupid person among them. The stupidity is in the system or lack of it and not in the persons involved. I won’t go into here the whole story about the commie plans to upset the peace corps, but if I don’t get some letters soon, I am shall have no compunction to go even to the John Birch Society and Fulton Lewis Jr.

To make matters complicated, no letter has been received by the Embassy at New Delhi in answer to all the warnings and news I have sent out. But Newsweek, by mistake, sent a letter to Abbottabad, advising they were using my material. That is my last news from anybody anywhere. Last night I received a wire from the wife of my presumptive host in Delhi advising he has gone away due to his fathers illness and I have begged that the Mrs. send my mail, if any, here. I have not only asked the Embassy to trace but the Bank of American in New Delhi, because I have no financial reports. I do have unlimited credit here but I do not like to write out checks when I do not know my balance.

Fortunately, while we are ignoring the existence of Sufis,  who are all over the place, three very wealthy men have, independently, come to my rescue, each of which has a plan for collaboration in the U.S. All my interviews, without exception, have been successful. Though the Embassy ignored me, I have just seen the wonderful accomplishments at the Lyallpur Experimental Station and the O.I.C. agricultural representative here in Lahore was most cordial.

To make matters more beautiful, my host, Major Sadiq is up for nomination to the new Agricultural Development Corporation and he has introduced me already to the No.1 man. The No.2 man is coming to this house this afternoon to see me—his request. So I am praying that the major be inducted into this work, he has passed the examination but must get a release from his present job. Everything has terminated so well here that I see myself returning from India and Malaya via Karachi and New York, perhaps on an important mission.

I had the dramatic experience of finding my former spiritual teacher a hopeless invalid, allowing himself to be used as a communist front, and I think brainwashed by a pseudo-medical man. His group attacked me—two big social gatherings; they attacked me more; a mass meeting; they attacked me more, another social gathering and another mass meeting. They have been following me and one Malik Abdul Hamid Khan, a very wealthy and influential Sufi and they definitely sabotaged the mass meeting the other night where I was to be honored through a ceremony. This ceremony was aborted. The materials therewith had gone with a bribed absconder. The lights were turned out twice by a disciple of the teacher. There were two fracases, etc., etc.

Now while I had been receiving full assistance from the Consulate here in regard to my passport, they have become wide-awake on all fronts. They cannot afford to have anything happen to me because the Indians are holding up my Visa. Thank God I have many important persons on my side-–through we don’t recognize their existence. I have, in addition to all the letters I have written to the State Department, turned my guns on congressmen. I have the full support of Kuchel, Shelley and Engle. That is fine. I keep on gunning for William Winter but if ever I break into the press... I told him for years I was the “expert” on Asia. Then John Terry died and I was shunted off for a bunch of Europeans who are excellent orators, not one of whom has ever been invited to speak before a university on this whole continent!

Well, I not only have, but repeats. There is no purdah for me here. I not only have addressed more men than any other American who ever came this way, but more women, too. I have also taken the offensive and shall stand no nonsense. This time, “malgré moi,”—Edmond Dantes au Comte de Monte Cristo. There is not going to be any sabotaging on me by anybody and I shall not listen to contrary advice, because smoothness and softness never got me anywhere, ever. Besides I have, I think, both truth and integrity.

Masses of people come to see me. I have an awful time avoiding functioning as a saint ( and I am not fooling) and I am regarded as one of the world’s experts on subjects I was not even permitted to register for courses on in California, amen! True, Richard Park said it was useless. He ought to know. He is in the top bracket with Senator Fulbright and the UN. If his name were Markheim-Stenovich, instead of Park, he might have drawn an audience, and I shall stick to this sarcasm; there is a cold-war going on. I believe the American Friends of the Middle East, the World Affairs Council and the friends of Park on the Berkeley campus will back me up.

All my plans on all subjects have been approved here without exception. I may not be that good, but 100% approval is quite a thing after 90% rejection. My attorney, John L. Rockwell, in San Rafael, is a living witness to claims and statements and you have known me for a long time. But I not only have pent-up energy, I may also have knowledge and wisdom. This wisdom includes a patent fact—I look younger than when I left the U.S. despite a’this and a’that.

In my last days here I prepare to either return to Pakistan or to work out well-financed schemes of collaboration in the U.S. But I am hoping the government of Pakistan gets behind us, so I am not in a hurry to return until this final decision is made.

Having no mail I know nothing of anything going on at home in every sense of the term. It is only occasionally when I visit the USIA news room I can pick up a paper, usually a New York one. Beyond this planning is impossible and I know I am going to have a mail deluge when it comes,

My love to everybody,




December 30, 1961


My dear Willie:

I am enclosing copy of letter to the Rudolph Schaeffer school which gives some news. Monday night I go to Karachi for a few days and in the meanwhile will give this machine over to a repair shop. There was no mail today, thank goodness,

Last Friday I took Julie Medlock, ex-San Francisco and New York to an American carol concert. We went to a Protestant American service on Sunday. Much “warmer” than what I had in U.A.R. I do not know whether we shall celebrate New Year’s Eve or not, and to some extent I do not care.

The stories behind my going to Karachi may be important and dramatic.

1. Ansar Nasri, Deputy Director Radio Pakistan, long ago accepted my epic poem, “Saladin” and I wish to find out what has happened to it. I also have an entirely new epic poem which is dedicated to his spiritual teacher and wish to discuss this with him.

I also want to take up with him the matter of getting folk-music records into the United States from this area.

2. My host, Major Sadiq, passed No.1 for the new Agricultural Development Corporation. He passed in everything but “Islamics.” Then I heard that two other men also passed, of a lower grade, but they also failed in “Islamics.”

I have gone to the Consulate and 0.I.C. registering a preliminary complaint. It is not so much that my host was rejected, but that this new Agricultural Development Corporation is supposed to be coordinating the research in this country. There are, for this purpose, three divisions in West Pakistan and one or two in East Pakistan, where we have our university technicians at work.

It is entirely right to coordinate these efforts and American money is on hand for this purpose. But at the moment we are headed for a repetition of what happened in each country of Southeast Asia. Instead of our funds going into the hands of teaching and research scientists, it will go into the hands of “retired” military and other officials, our money. They will be directing its use and selecting the personnel. In UAR at least, although the salaries went to Egyptians, they were scientists, not generals, barristers or clergymen.

Anyhow, Major Sadiq has appealed and if he wins his appeal that will make my story softer. Everybody here wants America to arm against Afghanistan, we are allies. When it comes to China: “Right is right and wrong is wrong.” Nothing is said about our being allies there.

3. The most complicated situation about my Visa may be ironed out once and for all. What extremes had to be used. I have learned a lot.

There are some other situations going on. We are losing a cultural battle to the Russians, by default. People will snap at my biting against European professors of Oriental philosophy. Well, we have sent pupils of these same professors to international philosophical congresses and what the Russians did to us! We are losing one by default in East Pakistan. I was urged to go, but why should I spend money and incur the enmity of the Red nations without even a smile from American institutions!

On Christmas night I was the guest of honor at a monster celebration and another one is coming up. I am often a guest of honor. But I am honored more by birds and beasts than human beings. Coming from S.F. I guess I have the right to be a latter-day Saint Francis.

Everything else is fine.

Faithfully, Samuel


P.S. Just took typewriter to Hospital and ran into glorious potential gifts for Rudolph! Will not buy until after India trip.




July 15, 1961


Dear Samuel:

Your most interesting letters have come quite regularly. The last Sea Mail was dated May 12. It contained also a letter written to Florie. Before that was an Air Mail date June 14th. That was most interesting as it told more about your own activities. I am so glad that you are having such a full and interesting life. You have studied and worked all your life and to think that recognition has come to your is most soul satisfying. You are most fortunate to have inherited enough money to make you independent to carry on your own interests. Just at present our newspapers and radio are full of reports on the visit of Pakistan’s President M.A. Khan. The red carpet has been put out for him. The President gave a very beautiful dinner at Mt. Vernon for him. He has spoken before Congress and is going to Texas to visit Lyndon Johnson. I, personally, am not in sympathy with him at all!! He has been very crude and abrupt in his speech. He is plainly blackmailing us. If we don’t to as he says and give him what he wants he will turn to Russia!!!! The Russians are already drilling for oil in his country. As far as I am concerned he can go back home. As for world politics I read a great deal and hear lectures on world conditions. The Orient may be very important but the European situation is of the greatest importance at the moment. Berlin is the Problem at the moment. It is a powder keg that may explode at any moment. You are away from home and hearing other people tell of their problems. You are also carried away with your warm reception by these Orientals. You do understand their religion but at this moment none of that is very important. Religion is not an important question at the moment. It is Power. We are having devastating strikes. Hoffa and Bridges are doing irreparable damage to our country. The reports coming out of their convention of Florida are most disturbing. These are the things that concern us now not what President Kahn wants and threatens to do. Each country has its own problems as do individuals. We in America cannot solve all of them—and we are fools to try. As for Religion, let the Orientals have their own beliefs. Their Religious leaders have been very wonderful men. However following these old customs have been a hindrance to the masses. They are ignorant—unhealthy, and unhappy at their lot—especially now when the world has become so little and they can see how other countries live. I certainly agree with you that Hollywood is a terrible example to show to the world; it is certainly a distorted picture of the American way. With travel and education, different races will, in time, become better acquainted with one another—but that does not lead to peace. If families cannot get along together how can nations expect to. We live in a most bewildering period of history. The problems are just too great to solve at this time. Remember that at present you are living with people who are looking to your for information and ideas. You happen to understand their religions. You have something to give them that they want. But while you are being unduly influenced by them and their problems you are losing sight of the very pressing problems of your country. They are changing each day and we have the most brilliant minds to be found in this country trying to solve them Just at present I am reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It is a massive collection of that period. It is shocking in its implications. The very same thing could happen in this country at this time with people like Hoffa and Bridge holding the enormous power they do. It is frightening. I find TV most instructive.

On KQED, our Educational program, we have very fine programs, speakers, etc. To see and hear our outstanding personalities is a great privilege and to me educational. Of course I realize that most of our news and our commentators do not do us much good. It tends to keep us unsettled most the time. However I feel that our common man tries to keep abreast with the times. We certainly have enough magazines, newspapers, etc. to keep them informed. I am very much pleased with Kennedy. I feel that he is a dedicated man and is doing all in his power to do the best for the U.S.A. I have never liked Johnson but I understand that he is a shrewd politician and so far has been doing a good job. Nixon just can’t make up his mind about the governorship of Calif. Brown has made a very poor record and anyone could beat him at this point. Nixon has his eyes on the White House in ‘64—so he hesitates to do anything to hurt his chances.

As for religion, I have been reading “The World Bible.” It compares Hindu, Buddhist, Confucianist, Judeo-Christian, Taoist, Zoroastrian and Mohammedan religions. I have read carefully the part about the Sufi. That is the religion that you have accepted. I have found its origins, etc. quite interesting. However with your background and education it is rather unusual that you should have selected this particular offshoot from Mohammedan sect. However, I believe that on one should choose the faith that satisfies his wants. With this harmony in thoughts it is easily understood how you can be so happy with your associates in Pakistan. I thought the pictures you sent, taken with one of the masters, were most interesting. I was impressed with his fine features and the burning fire in his eyes. No doubt he has made a deep impression on you. You are most certainly having a wide experience. As you fit in so well into their philosophy and see so much good to be done for them, it seems to me that you should make up your mind to devote your life and efforts to helping them. Greatness sometimes comes to people in very unusual circumstances. You constantly complain that you are not accepted in your own home town—that has been said by many!!! If you can find happiness in some other place where your talents are recognized and you win acclaim, why not be satisfied to settle down there and carry on the dreams an aspirations of your life? You say that your poetry has met with warm praise and that you are carrying on the work in agriculture that you studied to do. Why not help those people who need your knowledge and experience so much? Fame will come much easier there. Here competition is rough many already have their feet firmly set on the ladder of success. Living expenses are going higher and higher each month. You certainly could not have the social and intellectual life here that you are enjoying so thoroughly there.

I hope that your trip to East Pakistan will materialize in the near future. I think that it is most unfortunate to have Pakistan divided into two parts and so far apart. As long as this partition exists there can never be peace. But can there ever be Peace anywhere????

My family is having a very pleasant summer. Nancy has been allowed to come and spend the summer with us. It was an emotional experience to hold her in my arms again. This old home was a beehive of activity for a week or so. Then all left for the mountain cabin. Sandy his been sent to a camp. He can come next time. Nancy is a charming young girl and we are so glad to have her with us. She is very small and looks just like Margaret. I talked to Elliot recently and he said that your mother was about the same. She is in a nursing home. He is not very well, he said.

It is a smoggy day. We have had glorious weather but just at present there are numerous forest first all over the state and also in Oregon. It is such a needless destruction. Well, Samuel I wish you great success in your chosen life. You have earned your recognition. Find your happiness where you can. Do good where it is most needed. Devotedly





Nov. 21, 1961


Dear Samuel:

Your letter from Lahore, Pakistan was received just a couple of days ago. I am writing so that you will leave some idea of how your mail is coming through. Your mail comes promptly. I had received a letter from you with the return address c/o Embassy, U.S.A. New Delhi, India. I answered that promptly is you told me that you were worried about your passport. Also your mail had been held up and that you had not received your money. It is a very serious thing to be in a foreign country without a passport or money!!! I do hope that in the meantime things have been cleared up and that your mail has caught up with you. You seemed to feel very definitely that you were being watched. Don’t the American Embassies give our citizens some advice and help? Surely they must be aware of the situation in their districts. Have your tried to get help from them? Then you say that your carry on voluble correspondence with various people of prominence in our universities, etc. Surely they must give some notice to your information and to any appeal that you might make for advice, etc.

You have said in all of your letters that you have been meeting and associating with the very top people in each city you have lived in. They most certainly should be able to give you some sort of protection. At least they could write letters to your bank here and get information through to you. Their mail would not be tampered with. It must be very frustrating to you to be placed in this uncertain position. Your letter is dated Nov. 18th so you see it came through quickly.

My friends E.J. and Mildred have left on their trip around the world. He has business in the Orient and they plan to come home through Europe and see things that they did not see their last trip. I went over to help her sew and do many of the little aggravating chores that one must do to ones clothes at the last moment. Going to so many climates poses a challenge to one’s ingenuity in packing and planning for such an extensive trip.

Margaret and Carlie have invited the whole family for Thanksgiving. I think that we should have a very delightful time and I am looking forward to it with keen anticipation. Our family has grown!!! Think of all of the people I am responsible for. We are calling an assistant minister and it has occasioned a lot of receptions and teas to meet the Dr. and his wife. They are very delightful and I know that it will be very good to have them. Our Thanksgiving Service this year will be held in our church. Special music has been composed and there will be instruments added. The congregation of Temple Emanuel will, of course, join in the service. I hate to miss it as I always enjoy this service very much.

I have been reading some good books. On T.V. there have been some excellent programs. There is a man who has a program called Eastern Wisdom. His talks every week have been interesting. He discusses the great leaders of the Oriental cults. He tries to explain their beliefs. They are complicated to say the least.

The whole country is upset over the news that the son of Rockefeller has been lost in New Guinea. He and this boy’s twin sister and other have chartered a plane to go in search of him. It is a tragedy. Evidently this son was a student and had the whole world before him. He was on a scientific expedition. One young man was rescued. Let us hope that the young Rockefeller will be found alive.

Politics are getting hotter and hotter here in California. Nixon has begun to talk and he will damn himself. Evidently the party want to get rid of him. He has begun to campaign against Brown too soon. Brown has been becoming more popular. He had that miserable Chessman case at the very beginning to cope with. People became so hysterical about him. It was hard on Brown. With this last election his bills have passed and the water bill was voted by a big majority. Other things also passed which will be in his favor. California is a democratic state and let us hope that Nixon will not be elected. He is already telling how well He could run the state!!!!

I have not seen Elliott lately so I presume that your mother is about the same.

Sunday night it rained. At long last a little water!!!! In L.A. the rain was heavy and did damage where the brush had been burned away but here it was Oh, so welcome. However, the sun is out and no sign of any clouds. We need the rain so badly.

Well, That about covers the news with me. I hope that this will come through in good time. I also hope that in the meantime your passport has been returned and that your money has caught up. If there is anything that I can do to help let me know. There was not any definite suggestion in your letters. It seems to me that your newspaper friends would be the ones to contact people for you. I am glad that your feel so well and are enjoying your work.

It is all a very enriching experience—Write again soon.




New Delhi,

January 26, 1962


My dear Willie:

It is Independence Day, cold and raining, and I have a little time on my hands. However there is no telling where or when this will be mailed. It is a holiday and I leave early tomorrow before the P.O.s will be opened and have used, up all the stamps I had. When there is time there is more mailing and postage, reports, correspondences, etc.

For example, I had to send out three copies of my horticultural findings. My host, Satya Agrawal, co-authored a book on Tea and I found a very, important practice there which might be applied in other fields. So I sent reports to my friend Harry Nelson, and also to Cal. and Ohio State. I was more fortunate than the Ohio State team here in that I did get conferences when I asked. In this connection it was with the TCU which has charge of our technical work here, I have the names of Americans working throughout India and by a lucky accident crossed Prof. Montgomery from Kansas State who just happened in. This was fortunate because he is stationed at Poona where I go from Bombay where I go from here. I told him about his boys and was rather complimentary. I am still for farm-exchanges and dubious about the Peace Corps.

In this connection I discussed an alternative to the Peace Corps with Dr. Hixon, which he readily accepted. The 4-H approach is one of human democracy, the Peace Corps one of potter-clay, in which we and the Russians excel. But now half the countries of the world are sending “experts” and “technicians” to the other half and nobody knows where it will end.

The magazines deplore the dearth of scientists in the U.S.. Whose fault is it but the press? When Pres. Eisenhower came out for more students of math and science, the press came out for more students of math, science and languages. The result was a 90% increase in language studies. Madison Ave. marches on.

Most, fortunate in the conversation with Dr. Hixon was the discovery of a Prof. Schoonover, one of the world’s leading authorities on salinity and he lives in Oakland! You must bear in mind, how, Willie, nobody turns this hombre’ aside and all meetings seem to leave mutually good tastes in the mouth. I shall report to the TCM and Embassy when I return.

There was a funny incident at this hotel (Airlines.) A whole bus-load came from Russia and I pretended to be surrounded by “Polyankas” which would indicate their nationality. But this is a name for an important Russian folkdance and before I finished the letter I discovered they were “Polyankas.” Then one of my amusing Puck episodes followed. The Russians promised to dance for the hotel staff and clientele, but instead put on a Vodka party which horrified the Hindus. While this was going on I danced for them (Hindus) and won their approbation. Of course this as strictly against protocol and I was absolutely out of place, as I always am.

For instance, while it was almost impossible to get taxis and most of the pathways to the Ministry of External Affairs were closed, I had a most pleasant interview with the Chief of Protocol. I shall see him when I return from the South. Anyhow I have a completely different approach to Krishna Menon. I would prefer to keep silent on this until I get to the World Affairs Council.

The same does not apply quite so much to the Kashmir problem. If I came forward there would be a ridiculous situation with the Pakistan is and Hindus trusting me and the Russians and Americans opposed, so I’ll let the Kashmiri problem freeze. At this moment the Kashmiris are freezing anyhow.

My welcome here was strictly off-color and yet it was most colorful. I have gone to shrines and holy places seldom visited by any American and was received most warmly. When I returned the next day this became official and in turn this is going to react very strongly against those persons, foreign mostly, but some Americans, who have placed bars before me, previously. That is over. We gain no friends by willful ignorance and never will and never have, but we still have the Great Stone Face complex, although this is lessening.

I did not try to see the Ambassador—anyhow he was just coming as was leaving, but got a blurb on him which went to U.C. But if I accomplish what I have started to do I think he might see me. I saw the Chief of Protocol afterwards, anyhow. And yestereve had tea with my good friend, Dr. Radhakrishnan. I shall grapevine this to Mrs. L. Grady. The plane on which we communed is somewhat different from that usual between emissaries of East and West. But I know I was striking home with each sentence.

I brought him the latest book of Prof. Reiser of Pittsburgh, the American exponent of the Integral approach. My efforts are to bring the real philosophers of integration together and it looks as if I shall. In this I have the interesting cooperation of Julie Medlock who has press-agented Dr. Reiser, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Lord Russell and Adali Stevenson.

Much of the rest of the short communion between the Vice-President and myself was of the same order as my again meeting Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda of the Ramakrishna Mission here. I brought him one of the poems dedicated to him, and heard him speak. He is in such contrast to Krishnamurti who is also visiting New Delhi and gives essence of sugar as cosmic philosophy. Swamiji is very solid. I brought him another poem later but he was not in and anyhow I should prefer to visit him after he has read them. I am not worried. This is not America; this is where Indian-Indian philosophy is understood and appreciated.

Most of my time has been in visiting people. One of the most ludicrous was that with Krishnaji who sent for me. He seems to be the darling of Meher Baba, the silent Parsi who claims to be God. So he is going into the silence in a month, with drums, trumpets, press agent, funds and a beautiful woman attendant. Then he shall attain god-hood. Poor God! what He is expected to do. And don’t think this is not taken seriously—even in San Francisco!

I have not revisited the usual tourist haunts, unless one calls the tomb of Nizam-ud-din Auliya such, and even that visit was the most unusual. But have visited other saints’ tombs and what is remarkable is the art-work and care in preservation. Much of it is in marble too, and who the preservation of a high degree of Mogul art other than in pictures. When I come again it must be with a photographer and sound equipment operator.

While in the Bombay-Poona area I shall probably take a side trip to Aurungabad which I have not visited and go to the caves from there. It will be a different approach and I know I shall come out with some shocking reports. Indeed, our chief Cultural Attaché in Karachi is an amateur archaeologist. He has taken part in the discovery of two more very ancient cities which show definite Tigris-Euphrates links. There has never been any question in my mind but that city-cultures, in this area run back many many centuries. (The same is probably true in the Sahara also, still to be explored.)

Delhi has grown; it is like a combination of Los Angeles and Washington, Like Washington it has the governmental buildings, embassies and circles with radiating streets and avenues. Like L.A. it sprawls without definite planning, but with pretty good bus, taxi and ricksha (motor driven) conveyances.

There is no question that New Delhi looks brighter today. It is a combination of Los Angeles and Washington which I shall not explain here.

I have sent the Alumni Assn. at U.C. a blurb on Ambassador Galbraith. I did not try to see him and it would have done no good for he did not arrive until after I had completed my interviews. However if I accomplish even a modicum of what I hope to here it will be easy.

The session with Prof. Hixon at TCM was more to the point. We discussed the salinity problem in India—which is very great but de-emphasized, and he gave me the address of Prof. Schoonover in Oakland! Prof. Fireman has been here but again this has been a cross- trailing. We discussed at some length the matter of trees, nuts, avocados and the human approach. This comes up in both plant protection and the proper technical training.

We had a long talk and total agreement on this subject. So far as the TCM people are concerned, there is nothing but continual absolute harmony and I am in a position to listen to suggestions which they cannot carry out. Our main difference—of policy not of view—is that they are compelled to recognize UN functionaries and I am not. I may have a lot to say on this later, but would rather speak than write.

I was fortunate in meeting Prof. Montgomery of Kansas State who passed by when I was with Hixon. He is stationed at Poona where I expect to be shortly. There I may also contact the musician Dilip Koomar Ray, who was for a short while in San Francisco and operates an ashram. In South India I expect to meet both agricultural and spiritual leaders.

If I can find them in Bombay, I should called on Profs. Wadia and Merchant, the social economists. I think they have a better picture of this part of the world than most men. Like Krishna Menon, they have an integralist approach and so are anathema to the orthodox of all schools. As India is integrating types of socialism, capitalism, statism, etc. this factual approach is necessary. (I mention but do not apologize for the economies here.)

As I have been on the round anyhow and have little time I fly now, and hope to continue after landing.

There is a big break of over 2 weeks, I came to Bombay and my host was in Poona. We cross trailed. Then he went to Nasik. Everything is working out fine. I have seen Prof. Merchant above. He immediately phoned Prof. Wadia who said he wanted to see me and I go after mailing. At Poona I met a U.C. man who introduced me around and I conferred with all sorts of professors end scientists, all on high ground. Have since been able to come back to Bombay and reported to the American officials, and more, Monday. It seem that I am as welcome today as I was not yesterday.

I am also living in an apartment in the district where Krisha Menon is running for reelection, very hot campaign in every respect.

All other ventures coming out on top. Strange meeting with one Joseph Harb of S.F. that is a story in itself, but will keep, have too much to do. Also will be traveling incessantly for some time.





New Delhi,

March 27, 1962


My dear Willie:

I have been having a rush-rush all over India and am so tired I cannot even take the trouble of proper farewells. I would reach a city with three introductions and all three people would outline a complete program for me. This is delightful as hospitality but hard on the psyche and stomach.

Today, at the end of my sixth visit to Delhi, I finally met Mr. Ahuja of the Bank of America and he enabled me to get dollars again. It is interesting to know that my two big friends, Russell Smith and Lucretia Del Valle Grady, are also friends of his.

The rush is accentuated as the chief Vedanta Sami is leaving for Calcutta; and there is a big Sufi celebration, reading of poetry in remembrance of Amir Khusrau, the greatest Urdu poet of the region. All of this is stimulating. Indeed I heard Hindi poets at Taj and I think they inspired or suggested the piece enclosed. The letter is written to friends of mine in San Rafael, Mrs. Margaret Albanese being the best encourager I have for my writing. (Her father’s name was Samuel L. Lewis and we had mutual friends all over the state.)

My scientific work about wound up today. I shall have to do both writing and research when I return, but make no plans until I learn details of developments in Pakistan.

From Bombay I sent Rudolph a small Kashmir piece and a Nepalese Buddha. I also purchased a silver piece for my friend Seth “Silver” Wood at the Trade Fair in Sausalito. Through the Diners Club arrangement I can get a lot of things henceforth. My only hurdle is my ticket home—I feel I may not leave for several weeks yet and I do not know my own affairs. Unfortunately my friends in Bombay and here failed to deliver my mail.

I have had many strange adventures with strange and mysterious people. One of those who has become strange and mysterious himself is Paul Brunton who wrote “Search in Secret India,” “Search in Secret Egypt” and then a great many more works, most of them not very good. He was trapped into marriage and I suspect it did not turn out well. (Three women were fighting over him when I lived in Hollywood. Now he travels incognito. I picked up his footprints in many places but he has asked for no publicity. I have also learned a good deal more about the false and true in Yoga and other Indian-systems. I am afraid that in San Francisco and California in general the false has been much more successful than the true.

I am guessing that the rest of my mail awaits me in Lahore—I have about four days behind.





April 13, 1962

(received yours of 4/4 just after typing)


My dear Willie:

I have not been getting much mail lately and do not care. There are, it is truth, a couple of roadblocks—mail not forwarded, but the speed of life is so rapid and in some respects so successful that I am now clearing and cleaning up. The Sadiqs with whom I have been staying have to move, change of tenure, but that is only a small item upon an immense horizon. As I warned Elliott I was going to “beat” him simply by being successful.

Have written Jack Shelley an important letter. I not only met many former friends of the Gradys while in India, I had the most successful time with all Americans excepting those of the press and Murrow people. They are living lies and their terrible mis-emphasis is hurting us. I just reviewed the news they put out—all about space travel and experiments and new testing grounds and meteorological advancement. Not a word about what American scientists are accomplishing in India for the Indians. It is a shame and disgrace and if even the Morrow boys pay no attention, what do you expect from the daily press?

Visited Asian Foundation and met my first Peace Corps rookie. “Well, if he sows a blade of grass it is news. You have already sown a whole forest but who cares? This is the way we ‘advertise’ our country.” Americans are doing a lot of wonderful things all over, and I should say a lot of wonderful Americans are doing things all over—we have carloads of “Burma Surgeons” whom neither the Vice-President nor relatives of the President ever cared to hear about.

Today I am on excellent terms with the whole foreign service. Called on the Consul- General this week: “Wish I had met you before.” “Wait until I complete my surveys.” Then I’ll ask him for a letter of introduction to the Ambassador (a new appointee.)

Jackie was acclaimed on both sides but now that she is gone the press is anti- American again. It is stupid and I am going to warn them and the authorities if they don’t stop, he can say goodbye to Kashmir. Not a wood against those countries which are opposing them—just against us who try to be fair-minded. But the press is not fair-minded.

In general I should like to see the President win his battles, not because he is right, but because that is the only way to test. I am for more and more foreign trade. As to labor displacement, I have written a plan to Jack Hennessy above which otherwise I am keeping secret. I know where a million Americans can get jobs abroad if handled rightly.

The other night I saw the Georgian dancers again and as I foretold, the audience was packed with Americans. Some few other Europeans but not the Germans. The performance, as always, was wonderful. Can stand repeats with them. But have little time for relaxation. We have to move. My prestige is very high. I have scored some knock-down blows which are going to be very hard on certain obscurantists who have had too much to say in California. Indeed certain aspects of my private to life have gone so high that this very fact makes it hard to bring to focus. But our political attaches and now the Consul-General recognizing this, I don’t care. My closing hours in India, my re-welcome here and more keeps me alert. It is only a question now as to answers to inquiries sent out for both Major Sadiq and myself. Any one of these may mean a quick return and all the soothsayers and seers keep on predicting the same thing. I don’t mean fortunetellers but even then one Sikh told me exactly the same—everybody makes exactly the same predilections for both of us, So we shall see. This means an important series of careers-not just one thing alone, when I return. My “How California can help Asia” will be expanded. If Alan Watts or anybody stands in the way I shall go direct both the Mayors in S.F. and L.A (and maybe Oakland) and put my cards down, and they are some cards. The few letters received are most encouraging.

I was very tired coming back from India—exhausted. My career there was like a series of dreams, nearly all pleasant. It was like some kind of super-telepathy was at work and maybe it was, Now I feel sprightly but nostalgic.

I have not heard from my uncle. My aunt was very ill. If anything happens to my mother I have asked her attorneys to notify my own attorney, but last notice was sent to me, not to him, and I am hard to reach. I have a hunch Elliott will change his tune—I think he has too many enemies and I certainly return with plethora of friends, all over. Outside of love, romance and such I have not had a single set-back. Maybe it was meant to be that way.

Of course everybody is looking for me to go back and convert Americans to their particular religion and I am most anxious to work on our psychological disturbances (outside the horticultural field.) This will be done, no doubt in Hollywood. I shall be happy to be in San Francisco but as soon as I leave for Southern California I’ll be in the “soup” and yet that is most necessary for any and all regions. So my domicile is uncertain. I only hope the World Affairs Council and the different departments on the Berkeley Campus will take me seriously, but if they all take me too seriously, I’ll be overworked again and I feel that coming now rather than rejections. There is lots more but let it wait. Boy, am I full of anecdotes. My top achievements are to be presented by my friend, Major Sadiq, who, presumably may be with me, and I am to leave them to him.




Made final visit to Shalimar Gardens, 3 miles away. Full of flowers in bloom, mostly the same as in California. Trees just about to burst forth. Most pleasant there now.

Expect to bring Major Sadiq, spiritual healer, with me. We have put you No.1 on our visiting list—soon as possible after landing.




April 14, 1962


Dear Willie:

It is all over, my struggle for years, for what I consider honesty and integrity. I have gone rapidly uphill because I have friends and contacts here. I am now the guest of Q.A. Shahab, who is Secretary to the President and the top literary man of the country to boot.

He is a Sufi giving the lie to all our European Orientalists who insist there are no great Sufis today and that Sufis never take part in politics. He does not like that. He does not like the United States selecting non-American, non-Muslims for their “experts” for this part of the world. This country is very anti-Russian. We have the USIA libraries, the American Friends of the Middle East, Asia Foundation. But where the reciprocal relations with this friendly land of 80,000,000 people. Russia has no libraries, no propaganda here, but the Russians invite Pakistanis to their country to explain their culture, their aims, their hopes. We make lofty speeches—and it is no wonder that the grapevine spreads malicious gossip.

We tell each land that we will help them in certain things. We do not ask what their problems are. When I was here before I was told that the greatest problem was the Fly. I appealed in vain. So I used to go around saying, “Invite Russians into Pakistan and we shall eliminate the Fly.” What has happened? The Russians are here and now we are using DDT!

My report to Chet Huntley was identical with the article in “Manchester Guardian” which at least confirmed my powers of observation. Take any sore spot and you will find the Russians on each side and we “neutral,” so whosoever wins, the Russians are there.

This is a country of many cultures, most not presented in the U.S. lest we hurt somebody else’s feelings. This is a country based on religion and we do not like to discuss religion. This is a country with a strong undertone of serious philosophy; it is in the papers all the time. Not only have my outlines on philosophy been accepted by each university I have appealed to, but the President himself has asked for outlines from me. (I did the same in UAR where the scientists accepted the ideas, and in toto)

This is a country whose spiritual father (Iqbal) was a poet. Poetry gatherings are like dance gatherings with us. I have read in public and gained many well-wishes. I have read in private with Secretary Shahab with a select gathering—which I found out later was more select that I dreamed, and immediately requests to copy for translation into Urdu and be published—I could not get to bat in America, just wait.

I have met agricultural experts, authorities, and the deputy of Soil Conservation and they say I have just what they want and have been doing what they need. This follows naturally because I asked M.A. Cheema who is now Joint Minister of Food & Agriculture and did exactly as he requested. I was deposited by a strange accident in the middle of the Agricultural Experimental Station here at ‘pindi. I found the director is the top Floriculturist in Pakistan—more will come out of this. But at the President’s request I have held up releasing any papers or knowledge or anything.

So you see, Willie, my knowledge of Art, Poetry, Flowers, Botanical and non-Botanical Sciences, Philosophy, History and Religion have all done me good.

On top of that I am scheduled to meet the top spiritual leaders. This happened to me in Japan, Thailand and East Pakistan; to some extent in India, too, and even in England. I have written to the San Rafael Journal-Independent. But I have written the San Francisco papers complaining that they ignore “local boy makes good” even when I have most important news. This is old hat to me. Now, however, for the second time, I have been told to go back to California and “fight.”

Mr. Abdul Sattar, long-time Consul General in S.F. is probably in Abbottabad now. When I return we should be having many consultations. He is one of the best friends I have on earth. He knows what is what. I have run into relics of the Mogul treasures; I am “finding” if not gold, then a lot of other things in the hills. I have gone into villages, I know what is going on. But most of all I know the hearts of these people, and today am flanked by Barker of Berkeley and Connaught of San Francisco, young men who had to face the same spurious “experts” that I have met and know what is what and are very popular here. Willie, there is more than a cold war on, but we cannot win by subjectivities and subjective “experts” who misled us. We have no more right to look to a Swede for Chinese culture than a Chinese for Swedish culture; to a German for Indian culture than for an Indian for German culture. Why do we do that and downgrade American graduates on top of that. That day is over, Willie, I assure you it is over. I think, if I have not reached my psychic summit, I am near it. Edmond Dantes has landed on Monte Cristo.





Lahore, Pakistan

May 10, 1962


Dear Willie: Copy of Letter to friend


My dear Florie:

The other day I sent a letter by airmail and I am following it up. It is absolutely impossible for me to tell what is going on here, especially before all people who have had preconceptions and are more concerned with the virtues of people than with the presentation of truth.

I have ordered a lot of books at Ashraf and may add more. I placed a deposit but must add books which have been given me as presents and some other purchases. They may be bulky. Some books are in duplicate which means they are for you—the extra copy. The other books I shall urge you to read, for it does not look as it I shall be back for a year, inshallah.

Everything is bursting into harvest. Every day conferences and meetings, every night teas or dinners. I have spoken to many thousands in mosques, to hundreds at Sufi gatherings, to the biggest governmental officials, or am being given introductions. I have spent two nights with rich industrialists. I understand that big dinners are being given to me. You will not understand, and I don’t myself, that when I enter assemblages even generals and spiritual teachers rise. I am totally dizzy, complicated by the 100-degree weather and I cannot stop.

I am in the home of Major Sadiq, a successful Sufi Leader, who is now planning to come to California. At the moment it would appear we shall ultimately be financed by some of the richest men here. I have just written another article for another paper about him. We are disciples of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor of Dacca. Yesterday, when I was challenged to perform a miracle, I refused saying that my teacher would not permit if I could. The man re- challenged me and said, Who is Maulana Abdul Ghafoor? At that moment a stranger entered and said: I will tell you. I lived with him two years.” There you had the miracle.

Two hours later, I was in another government office protesting against some bad treatment I had had, no answer to letters and I gave my references. A young man was present and he jumped sky high out of his seat when I mentioned Maulana Abdul Ghafoor, Why, he is my uncle” There, another “miracle” if you want it. I got satisfaction, quickly and how.

Now, the books which I am sending you contain three on art. These are, ostensibly, for the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design. But this is a delicate matter. The contents of the books contradict a lot of stuff which has been put over by Haridas Chaudhuri and Fred Spiegelberg as Oriental Art. Chaudhuri never was an authority on art, but I have never once heard either of these men refuse to speak from the platform any time, on any subject. This extreme egotism has been increased by most misleading remarks. I respect Haridas’ knowledge of Indian Philosophy and respect Fred on Jung and Tibet, but that does not mean that their nonsense should be poured on our public as Asian Culture.

I expect before long to have other things for Rudolph. We need East-West communication, but it cannot be channeled through persons, not to say humbugs. This is a serious thing. A friend of mine attended a peace meeting in S.F. A Pakistani lady arose and said: How can we have peace without friendship. And what do you know about my country?” Yes, what! We not only take things for granted but import non-American, non-Pakistanis or non-Asians to (mis)inform us. This has long passed the elementary stage.

There are a lot of very rich and powerful people here who don’t like their abolition by Ron Landau. He is going to feel it, too. The interest in Sufism in top levels is immense. Not only that, a large part of the wealth of the country may be set into channels to introduce Islamic Culture, Pakistani Culture and Sufism into the U.S., each and all. The details are not forthcoming but the social events are. Your poor brethren of the Islamic Tea and Cinema Centre are going to receive more shocks because the money is coming and perhaps plenty of it, and maybe soon, but not for tear-jerkers who have no conception of religion and culture.

I am having teas, dinners, receptions and conferences all the time and every item on my program has been successful, alhamdulillah. Then, Landau or no Landau, there are plenty of graduates from the University of California here in top jobs, some of whom I have met, some of who I shall be meeting and they are going to cry about being non-existing personalities because some noisy foreigner says they do not exist. The same is true of Grünebaum in Los Angles who is supposed to know something of Islam and blames everything on the Sufis. Well, the generals, cabinet ministers, bankers, industrialists and professors who are Sufis do not exactly concord and there are plenty of less educated ones here all over the place—and I am reaping the benefit thereof.

We are not going to have peace and we are not going to win any cold war until we have honesty. I warned “Time” magazine and of course, they paid no attention. Now they have been barred from Indonesia as has the MRA. Self-praise is an inherent part of most of our programs, we have no time to praise the other fellow and we had better awaken to it. I have had so many invitations to Indonesia it is sickening instead of delighting. Our press and our mad people simply will not look upon the world as it is. Everybody in Asia is a “fanatic” at some time or other and when the chiefs of the “fanatics” are Prime Ministers this does not make good copies.

More important is the invitation, top level too, to go to Malaya. This I shall accept. I studied Asiatics now for over 40 years no matter what the whole Academy and Near East bunch at U.C. and elsewhere think or don’t think. We have crowds of “Orientalists” who want money to finance Asian studies. And we have crowds of graduates of American universities all over who would be glad to furnish, free, all the information and contacts we need to promote better international understanding.

God help the Peace Corps. When they arrive they will be bombard with religious questions they won’t be able to answer. I was royally welcomed by the minister of Food and Agriculture in New Delhi because I know something of the Upanishads, and I mean know. And the same is more true here. Next week I hope to meet Abdul Sattar. I am overworked and overwrought, but there is not one cloud on a huge horizon. The question is entirely one of organizing my efforts. And I have even written to James Wilson of the Chamber of Commerce that I am not the least concerned about San Francisco’s reactions to me because the Japanese will accept my reports on natural resources, mineral wealth, opportunities, etc. I have stood steadfastly for Real Asia versus Phantasia. I shall not withdraw, least of all now when everything, and I mean everything, is coming my way and at rates too rapid to be assimilated.


Sufi Ahmed Murad



May 12, 1962


Dear Willie:

I am enclosing copy of a letter written to a friend in S.F. The harvest, praise be to God, is really coming.

Very, very few of my old acquaintances can realize my position in this country. For some time I have been saying, Emerson’s mouse-trap inventor, only know it is a parade and I mean parade. I can hardly tell you how I am received socially One, my two big backers, Mrs. Grady and the Russells Smith would say: “Sure, we expected it.” Everything is clearing up.

This morning I should see my main horticultural contact in this wing. We are discussing a trip to East Pakistan and there our host will be Director of Food and Agriculture, that wing.

Tonight there will be a grand celebration for me, all kinds of dignitaries, top military men, lawyers, doctors, industrialists, professors. Tomorrow night I shall be the special guest of one of the most wealthy families in Pakistan.

There are two things to consider here—first the lies given out by our European and Zionist mentors on Islam. What they say is not true and what is true they refuse to admit. We have a strange awe for Europe an professors, even in Physics and Space Travel and we are spending millions of dollars in experiments bound to fail, but we do it. This is even worse in Orientalia. I tell you, Willie, it is a shame how we are misled and uninformed.

I am writing shortly to the Embassies and I am continuing in this vein. The “Children’s Crusade” will never succeed. My agricultural contact this morning is another in the procession of U.C. graduates. I am going to work for “California in Asia” similar to “Princeton in Asia.” Our alumni members in the field should be encouraged to report on what they know and what they think can and should be done for their countries. We don’t need any young amateurs to go out. They will be bombarded with questions for which they will be totally unprepared especially about religion. An irreligious man will not be acceptable and a religious man will be challenged. Our press and cinema simply do not understand the world—it is not an extension of Hollywood, God forbid.

To know people you have to know their hearts and minds, not just offer them food, inventions and gadgets which they may not want.

I have lots more in my bags but I should rather take it up with the proper authorities. It may be the autumn of my life but also it is for me harvest time, and how.






May 23, 1962


My dear Willie:

I am in another mixed up period. It is different from the one a year ago because then I took the full brunt of a lot of seeming misfortunes at once. Now my friend-host the Major is. How long this will last I do not know. But I am like my friend Felix Knauth, of San Francisco, who has his base camp near the top of one of the Himalayas or Karakorums, so near that he hates to leave and yet the reaching of the top seems out of question—at the moment.

On the debit side: My mail is? I have been robbed twice. I have lost some papers and don’t know whether they were connected with the robberies. I don’t get much chance to handle my own affairs; for we had to move our home and the Major had to move his post. Most of these “misfortunates” are connected with the strange folk behavior of the people here who seem to have a way of throwing the blame on the victim.

Thus recently there was a lawsuit because a house was divided (duplex),one half to a Hindu and one half to a Muslim. A knot-hole fell out and the Hindus could look in on the Muslim Purdah ladies. The Muslims sued the Hindus and insisted they move and won the case-on Islamic law grounds. The Hindus appealed and won because Purdah is not guaranteed by common law and no Hindus bothered to look anyhow—they were away working all day. Query? Why didn’t somebody plug up the hole? Answer: that jest isn’t done darling. And I mean that. Why, if a servant catches me even opening a new razor blade he thinks that is his job. So there is a comic or ironic side to all the negative things.

Positive things: I have now obtained valuable ore samples from Abbottabad which I wish to bring home for analysis and possible investment.

All my scientific proposals have been accepted all levels without exception by everybody who is any sort of official or technician. This is continuous, edifying, etc. So I wish to return to write at length my “How California can help Asia.” Long, involved and hopeful.

I have met Shackat, elder son of President Ayub and he wishes to join the major on a big American project wherein at the moment I am acting as secretary. Shackat and I took to each other and he has told his father about me.

I have also met and entered into a grand agreement with Sufi Pir Dewwal Shereef who is Ayub’s spiritual adviser. He has appointed me his American representative. He has been very successful in raising funds for the forthcoming Islamabad University which is to be both Urdu-Islamic and modern. He is not only close to the President he is opposed to all the ignorant people who have charge of public religion and in fighting them tooth and nail. He wants less Islamic history (but more religion) and more modern science, technology, art, etc. He already has funds for two American scholarships and several American professors. So I am acting as liaison person between him and UC; if we were honest as a Nation it would be with Hawaii. But we have the craziest ways of dealing with Asians.

If it gives you any comfort, one man is responsible for the loss of Laos: Dulles. I know this for absolute. We lost face as a Nation rather than purge some sacred cows—I wont go into that now.

The Pir urged I return to Lahore and he would let me know when to return to Rawalpindi and see either the President or someone close to him in regard to my plans to help Pakistan. So many elements of foreign aid have failed or proved inept. The Pir believes the alternative now is chaos or a depression.

Actually, after so many people foretold my brilliant return to America, I have gotten tired in being held up here but am talking the one final chance to see Ayub. I should know one way or another by the end of the month. The truth is that the Pakistanis think wonderfully and do nothing; while the Americans do not always think through, but do everything well. This is a long story and may extend into articles or a book. But I especially wish my “How California Can Help Asia” and my answers to Koestler and Kerouac, who have misled us no end.

My friend Steadman Thompson, my host in Ohio, recently moved to San Francisco and began attending your church. He reports very favorably but has now gone away for two months’ journey. If I cannot get other accommodations, I could move in with him temporarily. But there is a test: All the seers, without exception, say that Major Sadiq will be coming with me, with the backing and blessings of Ayub, so I want to clear this out. That is why I feel I am on a high base camp near the summit and can’t give up at the moment. Look, the President of India is a friend of mine and it looks, also, that the next president of the UN will be a friend of mine.

Finally my poetry is being taken up. A second person is reviewing my “Saladin” and I think it is either going to receive high commendation or publication. I am working on another which will be a great work, I know. I follow closely in the footsteps of Mohammed Iqbal, with some elements of Edward Arnold and Tennyson. I am quite popular and famous in many places and have two homes awaiting me on my return. And if our American business deals go over, it will still be greater. But I can’t help Pakistan by remaining here and although I am taking the heart I don’t like it.

Senator Kuchel has acknowledged my brief on “How California. . .” And the Pakistan Review here is yelling for articles from me. It is only with my mail astray I write at random to whomsoever I think may have written to me. . . I wish you all well, but the longer I remain away, the longer my stories when I get back. But here is a secret: I am not getting older! People that miss me even for six months notice this and my pictures show regression!




Abbottabad, Pakistan

June 13, 1962


Dear Willie:

It is June 13. I have been waiting for a long time for the arrival of Abdul Sattar who was Consul-General of Pakistan for a long time. His brother-in-law Khalid is something of a problem here. I met an uncle of this young man this morning who has also been disturbed about him. He does not fit here. It flashed before me that he would fit fine at the Rudolph Schaeffer School. He is absolutely an esthete in a land where “Fine Arts” seem to include anything that is not a science—literature, philosophy, social studies, history but not always painting, poetry and music. I know he longs for poetry and music but I do not see them as careers. I have spoken to him about visiting Begum Selim Khan. She is the widow of the first Consul-General of Pakistan to S.F. and has decorated her house in a rather California style.

His family has the means to send him to American and that has been in his heart. So I am going to speak to them about the School of Design. If anything works out it could also be the means of sending examples of Pakistani folk art to San Francisco. It is not my intention to make purchases until August, using funds for travel and other purposes. On the other hand the more people I meet here the less my expenses are although I have not calculated any budget.

I think I last wrote you how extremely satisfying my experiences had been in Lahore. When I returned to Abbottabad the same social and psychological program continued but not at such a high level. Now things are coming out for me as if I had rediscovered “Lost Horizons” and I guess you may say this is so. But neither that book nor “The Razor’s Edge” seem to effect the authors or readers when they pass from fiction to fact.

I was amazed when I looked into the mirror yesterday that I appear somewhat younger. I have been teaching boys various games of soft-ball. My body remains quite lithe and on the whole fairly strong. Part of this I can readily account for but the other part will not be so acceptable. We simply do not know about Pakistan and we do not know about the spiritual side of Islam. All the top men in this country are spiritual. The next spiritual teacher. I am expected to meet is a teacher of electricity (physics and electrical engineering). He will visit here next week. I am meeting more and more of types, the existence of which is categorically denied in our universities, under the heel of Zionists and Europeans. How we have come to accept Zionists and Europeans as authorities on this part of the world is not only an enigma but a source of extreme indignation and contempt. Lyndon Johnson about finished us when he came out for reforms and forms of aid not requested and then boosted Nehru. It is not a question of right-and-wrong; it is acquisition of diplomacy without any fundamental information concerning the country you are visiting. And with the type of men who briefed him—if he were briefed at all—nothing else could be expected. WE do not know these people and they do not know us. When UNESCO met in San Francisco for the theoretical purpose of bringing Americans and Asians together that is exactly what was not done.

Kennedy says he learned from Khrushchev that the Russians have not been responsible for all the anti-American outbreaks. Between “Mc-God-thur” in Japan and our European authorities on Islam, we are not going to get people to love us. Besides that the Americans who are here and know a few things, are snubbed and utterly bypassed, are our best friends, the graduates from American universities, nationals of Asia countries.

One does not know whether to take these things seriously or just sit by and laugh. The more unsuccessful I am in communicating to the U.S. the more successful I am here. My friends Qureshi has gone to Karachi to dispute of some of the Mogul Jewelry. I failed to get any responses on this from S.F. It is not the only thing and I am not the only one to be so received. It is fantastic the way we choose-to-choose-from-whom we shall choose.

I hardly started this letter when I was interrupted. I am actually Emerson’s mouse-trap inventor—the world does beat a path to my door. But too many Americans love maxims, for quoting, not for fulfilling. This has been particularly true of the last reports from both Lyndon Johnson and Edward R. Murrow and the more they speak the more they infuriate. People do not want any moral sentiments—excepting from themselves—of course. Everybody seems to believe that self-praise (by whatever other name we call it) is the solution to problems. And naturally everybody else is repelled by extraneous moral dictums, maxims, etc. Either “we” say them or they are of no value.

I am standing the heat, the social occupations, and on the whole my creative writing is fine when I get to it. But I have my tongue in my cheek. Unless there is a great change in public sentiment here the arrival of the “Peace Corps” is liable to start off a bunch of flares that will make some of the earlier anti-American riots seem like child’s play. These can easily be quelled, but not by any policies now in vogue. The way to meet people is to meet people. To sit down and talk—and now in vogue. The way to meet people is to meet people. To sit down and talk—and listen. Well, we have the conferences, we establish the policies, and the Russians send in the experts.

I am going to work for a real American-Pakistani cultural exchange plus some tourism and other matters. The grapevine news is very unfavorable, but it is not fundamental. We can still correct our errors by applying the jury system abroad—the witness that was there would have much more effect than the big people who were not.





July 3, 1962


My dear Willie

I hope this finds you well. I have received little news of late, but one letter said my mother is reaching another low. This is goes on and on. I have been asked by a spiritual teacher here to return and at least “pray for her.” This may mean something more. For in the last two months doors have opened for me in two fields which are related here but I do not know whether they are fundamentally related:

a. Spiritual healing.

b. Leaf therapy.

So many thinks are given this first name and we begin with Christ and end with Oral Roberts. The spiritual healing I have seen has been both most effective and miraculous but the practitioners themselves belong to quite different faiths and are totally unaware of the existence, much less the successors of their fellows.

I myself have now seen the healing of two blind men and there are authentic case histories of cures of deaf-and-dumb, cancer and TB, the last all having hospital case- histories. More wonderful to me was the complete turnabout of one of the most emphatic, self-willed philosophers into a humble, simple man—accomplished in two hours.

I have been told that I have some of this power and have tried it within limits and rather successful too. But I have not yet the faith of those who have come to me for help. The only things evident are that I stand up under this awful, endless heat; and do not seem to be aging.

I have received an appointment from the persons concerned to act as their representative for the projected Islamabad University. Here, all the initial steps have been quite successful. I have been encouraged no end by the new Cultural Advisor here. I am afraid we understand each other only too well. A graduate of one of our highest universities, Princeton, he was unable to get a professorship because of our confounded “only in America” preference for Europeans in Asiatica. I have been fighting hard on this but have not always been believed. There is no move reason for us to turn to a Swede or German or Englishman in Asiatica than to turn to a Japanese for South American culture. The result is that there is a tremendous gap in mutual understanding.

Between these two factors—the Islamabad University and this Cultural Attaché I find I am acting as a link with harmonious effects instead of being pulled apart like I was in UAR. Actually, the spiritual teacher involved is the guide of both the President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court here and the rest of the world cannot continually afford to close its eyes to facts. The facts could be unwelcome, but they are still facts.

I shall return to work on my “How California can help Asia” and one book in answer to
Koestler, then presumably leaf-research and other matters. So far as the senatorial campaign is concerned I am satisfied beforehand but I have never seen anything noble or high-minded in RN [Richard Nixon]. I also understand there is a fierce fight as to the next Superintendent of Public instruction. Elsewhere, I am particularly pleased with events in Canada and Algeria.

The Kashmir discussions show the futility of entering into sectors where everybody used a different logic, if any at all. Special solutions for specific diseases may be alright in medicine, but in politics they would become unacceptable to people who really believe in any form of universal justice. There are facts and factors here which, if I were to relate them would shock people, actually shock them. But the authorities on “Asia” continue to be European professors and American newspaper men, neither of which touch the hearts or the persons of actual people.

The least shocking of present circumstances is that while Pakistan is planning a tourist bureau for S.F. it is also planning to evict our missionaries on the grounds they are carrying on “imperialistic” propaganda. There are far more campaigns to stop the Christians from teaching than to establish public schools.

Under such circumstance it is foolish for me to try anything too big. We are about to waste many more millions here—and they will be wasted—on gigantic engineering efforts which will not be maintained. The millions will be spent. There will be grand éclat, no proper maintenance and the program will be ineffective anyhow. Almost the entire Foreign service and nearly all the technicians I have met stand against the waste of huge sums. But we will do it—Republicans or Democrats, no difference. The Wall St. debacle is the direct result of spending money for atomic research, space travel and immense subsidies to corrupt governments abroad. The ECM nations spend their money for durable goods. The end results are obvious. Russia and we are in a war of attrition and even De Gaulle may come out on top.

All I can say here is that I have not had a single difficulty with a single American on this continent for a long time. I have sent my reports to S.F. (and Berkeley) and return with a renewed outlook and perhaps vitality. If there is anything in spiritual healing I shall try that but I am making every effort—through my attorney and medical doctors not to be caught in malpractice. I have had nothing but trouble with metaphysical people and get along fine with scientists. I am very much interested in the news of your church and to me Linus Pauling stands near the top in everything. While optimism seems high, I am still in a land of endless frustration and red tape—so we shall see.

Expect to be back first week of August.


Wolfle, Dale Correspondence

Box 444,

San Cristobal N.M. 7564

June 12, 1970



Atten: Mr. Dale Wolfle

1515 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20005


Dear Mr. Wolfle:

In re: verbal pollution and actual pollution.

The other day, perhaps inadvertently, a carbon of a letter to Mr. R. Joyner of the International Society of General Semantics was forwarded without explanation. I did not have in mind anything but a suggestion that there be a serious discussion both on objective problems of pollution and the subjectivities which have arisen which seem to me to be more poisonous than the pollutions themselves. There may be a certain prejudice in my position (or otherwise) for I seem to agree with Lord Snow in his outlooks. And bad as the death of Lake Erie may seem to be, the combinations of emotions and ignorance arising from the lack of suitable logic may endanger civilization itself.

I have previous engagements which make it impossible to attend the forthcoming conference of scientists in the San Francisco Bay Area. The very successes of present day endeavors make it unwise. But among the problems being faced here is that of water supply, quantitatively and qualitatively.

The relativistic outlooks following the career of the late remarkable professor Albert Einstein have not yet penetrated as deeply as might be desired into the consciousness of peoples. In chemistry water is a presumable compound of hydrogen and oxygen; in soil science and plant nutrition it means a soup, and this soup contains solutions sediments, etc. which are natural and which might be considered very differently also by the geologists than by the sanitary engineer.

To the literary man there is no clear distinction. He seems generally to be a sort of Gertrude Stein, “Water is water is water.” Popular writers, editors, commentators have thrown themselves into an arena where oratory, pressures, emotions and various types of propaganda subtle and overt are effecting the consciousness of multitudes and words are regarded as realities.

My good friend Mr. Joyner is the General Secretary for the International Society of General Semantics. Although this organization was founded in good faith, from my point of view it has fallen into the hands of Snow’s literati. But unfortunately I do not know of any group or organization which has even dared to consider some of the problems which the late Korzybski tackled; along with men like Lord Russell and his colleagues. The peregrinations of Russell into so many fields have obscured his great contributions to logic and the possible scientific philosophy.

A number of years ago a food conference was held in San Francisco. Among the problems on the agenda was the rise of salinity. The paper presented was “Salinity in the Indus Valley.” Now I have lived in the Indus Valley. I know more about the Indus alley than of the Rio Grande Valley where I am now staying. The promoters of the conference, including some worthies, brought in frightening reports of all kinds of things arising from salinity, so I presented a paper covering some actualities in and of the Indus Valley. This included data from farmers; it included the visits of an American team of experts into the region; it included some of the causal factors; it included some presumable solutions which had failed; others which were being tried, and others which might be tried. I not only had data from Wilton Fireman but from the USDA Station at Riverside, California, but a lot more.

What happened from this report? Absolutely nothing. The best I got were excuses of time and place. The scare propaganda remained.

I later happened to go into northern India and saw evidence of salinity there.

Now I am pretty sure the same thing is going on in many places today. Scientists have their solutions, editors and orators have their comments and they don’t always meet. Therefore, I am hoping something will be done in this world, not necessarily to muzzle the self-encyclopedia’s dialecticians who control the press and channels of communications generally; but that efforts will be made, not to stifle real warnings, but to give more scope to actual or potential solutions to the real or pseudo problems which are so arousing, rightly or wrongly, the attention and emotions of mankind.

While I gave the one example above, conversations at Arnold Arboretum and agricultural experimental stations make me feel that something can be done both to produce a more optimistic outlook and valid, not editorial, medicines for the ills of the say.

Legally one is not supposed to prescribe at all for the ills of the human body. But the for ills of the rocks, the trees, the landscape, the rivers, the lakes, anybody can get into the act with or without suitable backgrounds.

I am writing this because I have enjoyed your articles and those of your colleagues and find sanity and hope in them. This of course is not for publication, but I hope it will lead to serious consideration of serious problems by serious people.


Samuel L. Lewis



Mr. Philip H. Abelson


1515 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20005


Dear Mr. Abelson:

In re pollution and its complexities. A number of weeks ago I wrote Dale Wolfle on this subject. In all the years he had been with Science, I always received courteous replies, and indeed, it may be possible to visit him in Seattle before the end of the year,

Last week I attended a cinema showing at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park on “The Death of lake Eric.” I was interested in it partly because I have lived in Cleveland at sundry times and thus been a partial witness.

Unfortunately the m.c. was one of those famous radio-TV “experts,” who had the theme “All of us are to blame.” I have already done some investigating into Sewage disposal. A single viewing led me to conclude that there were three main causes of pollution, i.e., factory gaseous material, factory liquid material, and sewage. But as all the chief m.c.’s seem to use the words “chemicals,” “discharges” etc., etc., without any discrimination, I felt as I felt in the previous latter to Dale Wolfle that we are even in more danger from nonsense, from verbal nonsense, than from chemical contamination.

I have therefore read with more than passing interest your article on Methyl Mercury in this issue of Science. I feel it is honest, informative and straight to the point.

I have already been involved in the pseudo-controversies over DDT. The sound fait that I am, among other things, a retired d spray-operator with knowledge of organic chemistry, has shut me off rather than welcomed me to public forum on “The Silent Spring.” I am not defending DDT; I have seen it used in malarial swamps and also in India and Pakistan, to great human benefit, but I also lean toward the philosophies of organic gardening.

So long as efforts to inform the public remain in the hands of the great commentators we shall see the search for “Hitlerian Jews” without discrimination. We are not all to blame, despite the commentators. I am not only pleased with your article on Methyl Mercury, it makes me feel most hopeful. Honest objective articles in this direction may even save the United States.

I am thinking of writing an article on the failure of Semantics to be used in facing scientific problems, and your article to me points in the direction of hope and sanity, which I hope will soon prevail in this land.


Samuel L. Lewis

World Congress of Faiths Correspondence

58 Harriet St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

8th March 1964

World Congress of Faiths,         

23 Norfolk Square,

London, W. 2.


Dear Friends:

I have your letter of the 5th and will send you my subscription shortly. In the meanwhile there have been a number of events which I feel you should have on record.

Study of Religions. I was disturbed recently when advised that there is another organization already established in Vancouver, B.C. with some intent to having branches in the States. I do not know whether it is your own group or another.

No doubt you have had the brochure from India of activities there. These are totally different from the methods used now in America, but which follow the original American pattern of the Chicago Columbia Exposition of 1893—of having each faith taught by its on representatives. We have gotten so far from that now that there is not only ignorance—which there was then—but pseudo-knowledge. In the Indian meetings each faith was offered by a devotee followed by suitable discussions which did not make the speaker either a mouthpiece or a pseudo-deity, in this way the actual living faiths are being studied.

We also have some persons and groups in America which purport to cover your own fields, but do not.

Schizophrenia. The reports of the convocations in Rome were all objective and told exactly what each person and each religious organization was doing, planning and believing. But in the cases of most of the religions of Asia this is not done. Some person is called on to address an audience whose knowledge is indirect and whose remarks not only mislead but anger the actual believes of little known faiths.

Taoism. Years ago I as associated with D. Henry Atkinson in “The World Conference for Peace through Religion,” an outgrowth of the “World Church Peace Movement.” He asked me to study the different faiths of Asia which I have. Recently The Parting of the Way by one Holmes Welch was placed in my hands which gives a very clear-cut Taoist approach to problems of war and peace including the SE Asia complex. I recommend this work for your library and students.

Buddhism. The general subject taught in the United States is not the religion of the actual masses of actual Asia like the Roman Catholic teachings are the actual religion of the actual devotees of an actual faith.

I think the original intent of the World Congress was to study the faiths as they are (or the now deceased religions as they were) and not be concerned too much with consents and reactions, even of the most favorable sort. At long last the Japanese of this city are aroused who will open up a real class in real Buddhisms, the first time I know of this in over forty years close acquaintance.

In any event we do have real Zendos in America today. (This has nothing to do with the writers opinions or reactions, but simply a report of facts.)

The Sufis” is the name of a book by Sheikh Idries Shah and I hope you will invite this man to address your audiences. He lives in London. He had a long struggle against world renowned experts who write excellent books and give noble opinions about people with whom they have not lived and about faiths where they have not worshipped.

The Sheikh was able to get the celebrated Robert Graves to write a foreword. Opinions about Sufis do not belong to the world of facts; the first thing, I believe, is to ascertain the facts and record them and study them.

There have been a number of disjunctive biographies of Sufis of this century but this is, I believe, the first time a book has been published covering the subject as a subject and not just basing it around a personality. At least Mr. Graves has expressed is opinion.

There are, believe, about 40,000,000 (forty million) members of Sufi Dervish Orders in the world. This is a much larger number, for example, than there are Jews or Arya Samajists or Vadantists or even Zen Buddhists, but little attention has been paid to factual material, especially from the lips, pens, or minds of the actual followers.

My own manuscript is now in the hands of a publisher. It is based on actual meetings with actual saint-like characters of many faiths in many places. The places and names and data are always recorded and there is no mystery-mongering even about what some call mystery teachings.

There is also a Tibetan Buddhist school now flourishing in the State of New Jersey.

Samuel L. Lewis

(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)



772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

23rd September, 1964


Rev. L. Gillet,

World Congress of Faiths,

23 Norfolk Square,

London, W. 2, England


Dear Mr. Gillet:

Thank you for your letter of the 18th. It is easy to write a letter placing one’s ideas, or experience or wisdom on the line, and it is very easy to give a sermon on “Advaita” all the time holding that you are you and I am I, a comment practice which is always self-defeating in the end.

Half of my life is given to food problems and half to spiritual problems. And the psychological operations are entirely in line with Dr. C. P. Snow’s The Two Cultures. For the scientists and all the industrialists connected in any way with scientific procedures and technology are totally cooperative; while the philosophers, social scientists, press and politicians only see differences.

What is needed today is to treat the scriptures of the world as laboratory manuals and not as bases for deductions, differentiations and dualistic moralities. This is seldom done. On my sixtieth birthday I was invited to tea by the Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda, Secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission and present also was Prof. S. C. Chatterji of the Department of Philosophy, Calcutta University. Without an introduction he broke into a seething diatribe against a strange American institution, the European Professor of Oriental Philosophy. It was not the first outpour nor the last, although today, thank God, we are gradually replacing Europeans with Americans and the first thing the Americans do is to draft Asians as their assistants. Thus for the first time we are having real cultural exchange with some Asian lands.

Swamiji said; “Wait until you have heard his point of view before you criticize him.” I turned to the professor and said, “Which do you want, to heart the flute-of-Krishna or have an immediate impromptu explanation of Chandogya Upanishad?” The professor apologized, which does not mean until this summer that I have ever been permitted to demonstrate publicly the Flute-of-Krishna or give a talk on the Upanishads—or rather, one single swami would have permitted it, made unnecessary by the “Yoga” experience (and Yoga I mean “union with God” and nothing, nothing else.)

The other day a woman asked me what I was doing in Asia and I said, “You won’t believe me.” “Well, what was it?” “I was teaching holy men.” Of course she did not believe it, but it is true. Only there are two ways of “teaching.” In the one you teach; in the other you attune, pick up the vibrations, thoughts and wisdom of the other and verbalize them. Outwardly they are the same, inwardly they are very different.

Recently the University of California accepted my credentials in all three religious-cultures of Asia-Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic, because of the pronouncements of the speakers and professors themselves, based on direct participation in the wisdoms and not on book reading.

Jesus Christ said: “He that believeth in men the things that I do, he also shall do and greater things than these shall he do.” But the world, based on the assumption of ego-existence, of thingness existence and deduction and differentiation cannot accept this. Nor can it accept, “I am the Vine and you are the branches thereof.”

Science has accepted the integrational processes of Newton and Leibniz. Religion has not accepted, let us say the Vijnanavada of Sri Aurobindo. And even in this part of the world we have the bizarre situation of trying to introduce Sri Aurobindo along with Dr. Daisetz Suzuki who has made the most vicious and totally uncalled for attacked on Vijnana, a subject in which he has little knowledge.

I was amazed to be told at Kamakura I was two grades above Dr. Suzuki (1956) in Zen attainment and I was shown places that he had not visited though he long lived on a bluff just above. But description is no more participation in spiritual processes than is deductions or analysis.

The Sanskrit language has the complete vocabularies for all psychological and spiritual processes, which does not mean that those processes are not described in other scriptures. A linguist could easily fathom Greek, Hebrew and Arabic homonyms and parallels. The Upanishads posit Vijnana, Ananda, Prajna, Samadhi, Moksha, but these terms, excepting the first, are beyond even integration. “Love ye one another” is a cosmic attitude even more than a truth. Therefore it is not necessary to try to convert anybody from any religion, but to confirm experiences therein.

My two closest heart friends in your country are Rev. Jack Austin and Rev. Cecil Gibbings, and it is the increase in intensity and communion with them that is more important than verbal niceties. For years I was rejected by everybody and along with men a number of other social martyrs. Practically every negative outbreak in Southeast Asia today is due to the refusal of authorities to accept the eye-witness statements of “us” and this “us” includes an every growing number of seemingly misfits who were honest, straightforward and had no axes to grind.

Within the past month I have been asked or invited to contribute what is being done or has been done by self or colleagues in worlds of “exotic” faiths and philosophies, knowing that the term “exotic” varies from place to place. Although I am a full Sufi Murshid, made such at a public ceremony with hundreds of witnesses, until this summer nobody would believe it because it interfered with lecturers and book-writers who give their sermons and essays (some very good), but which sermons and essays do not fit facts. Some speculations as to the relation of Gnostic Christianity with Sufism can be corroborated by the writer because he has been present at such ceremonials and rituals. In a scientific study of religion this would be valid evidence, but so long as we lean upon linguists, query linguists to explain philosophies and metaphysics in which they have not participated, we can only see the degradation of “religion” and the elevation of “science.”

Mr. Feel Brunton was a protégé of the late Sir Frances Younghusband. For years we corresponded but I was not permitted to meet him because I had neither wealth nor social prestige nor glamour. Which did not stop him from “telepathing,” initiating me (no words) and the experience of samadhi. One thing we did discuss was the relation between Jewish mysticism and Hindu mysticism. My knowledge of the former came from being secretary of a lady who translated both the “Sepher Yetsira” and the whole “Sepher Ha Zohar” on the one hand, and other mystical works on the other. My knowledge of Hindu mysticism came through gurus, etc. But until I met an accredited Hindu teacher of Indian Philosophy there was a solid wall against even reporting the conversations with Kabbalists on this point.

There are now two organizations in this country on the scientific study (?) of religion. But the World Congress of Faiths was established by noble people with noble outlooks and not just intellectual zeal. True, I once lost twenty five years research in a fire, but since then I have been fortunate or blessed to meet the spiritual loaders of all faiths, at many levels; to deal with each in his own language. Many or those are recorded in diaries.

But so strange was this solid wall against intellectualism that I could not get even the simplest interview with anybody in the whole country, excepting swami Akhilananda of Boston, until this summer. So now I have been able to present to the University of California “The Lesser Upanishads” which clarifies at once the relation between Yoga, Mahayana and Tantric schools. And although I knew the late Nyogen Senzaki for thirty seven years it was only recently I was invited to present his dharma-transmission (to a very close frond of brother Jack A).

It is only that now I am using a Christian text for a koan. I have had koan training and a “diploma” therein. My ko-an is “Feed my sheep” and all efforts are now based in this direction. The “scientific culture” unanimously accedes; yet it is elsewhere that we have the answers to psychological, moral and spiritual problems. You can quote your scriptures. What is needed is to use the scriptures more as laboratory manuals and not as sources of premises from which to draw arguments and prove our seeming superiority.

If there is anything specific you want, please let me know. God bless you.

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

16 August 1965


To the Editor, “World Faiths,”

Younghusband House

23 Norfolk Square,

London, W2


Dear Sir,

One reads with extreme pleasure the tribute to the late Louis Massignon by N. Bammate which appears in the June issue. Indeed, if what the writer says is true, this article can be translated into other languages and accepted by living disciples in tasawwuf with alacrity.

The interpretation of “God” and “experiences” in this article is in line with the teachings of Al-Ghazzali on the one hand and with that which comes from the hearts and lips of many living Sheikhs and Murshids, many of whom are not recognized in the West, yet.

The “Interiorizing” of faith called for in this article has been also echoed by many disciples in Sufism and is now the call from Khalvat San in Ceylon, where there is an effort toward “Universal Sufism,” which is also re-echoed in other quarters. This is mentioned only to support the thesis of Dr. Massignon.

From another point of view Mrs. Dickermann Hollister has been working for “The Temple of Understanding.” When the editor told her about Emperor Akbar and Fatehpur Sikri she was most delighted. Unfortunately there have been tendencies to obliterate the early efforts of Emperor Akbar, despite their historical importance, mostly by people who wished to establish their limited thesis.

Louis Massignon’s outlook seems universal and true. We welcome all efforts to “deepen further this fraternal compassion between minds oriented towards congenial scientific study of the philosophical and artistic thought of the East and the Far East.” The University of Islamabad is being established for this purpose, among others. President Radhakrishnan is serving in a manifold of purposes and missions toward the same end. Some of us know a little Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, sometimes know a little about the stages and states of mystical unfoldment and, like the great Sufis of Persia, also write inn poetical forms—for posterity. When the mystic is permitted free speech on mysticism (other subjects do not matter), we shall come closer toward promoting understanding on all levels. The teaching of mansur Al-Hallaj still goes on in Khankahs and Tekkeyes not often visited by scholars.


Samuel L. Lewis


4l0 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

July 17, 1970

The Secretary World Congress of Faiths

23 Norfolk Square, London, W.2



Dear Friends:

I am enclosing a personal check for $10 in presumable renewal of my membership. I am today no longer in an humble mood. God, so to speak, has seen to it that I have become perhaps the first person in history to properly validated as a Sufi Murshid, an Indian Guru, and a Zen teacher. This on top of the fact that I am at least of part Jewish extraction and had a Christian education. And in the external world God-Allah-Brahm has seen to it that my material affairs have been improving constantly in the past two years, and are improving now. But I am no longer willing to share any of my material benefits with those persons and organizations claiming to be religious or spiritual who do not accept these credentials. There are no one-way streets in cosmic morals. So I am throwing all my efforts into The Temple of Understanding in Washington.

Without my doing anything a group of young Americans sent for me to conduct a summer school high in the Rookie Mountains. They had already been won over to the principle “My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples.” One night a drama was presented, “The False Guru”. Before it was ended somebody in the audience yelled, “What do we care about a false Guru when we have a true Guru in the audience. And before I left New Mexico mobs of young people had reached that conclusion.

Indeed when I called on the dramatic troupe I found they were ready to present plays derived from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. I don’t know whether you see the wisdom and justice in my wishing to help endow young artiste who work in such a field and who accept my presumable spiritual credentials rather than established groups who do not.

I returned to San Francisco and was faced with three immediate choices:

1. The raising of funds for a peace scholarship at the University of California for Palestine. I am in a quandary not about the raising of funds, but from over help from people who have investigated my background and found then real.

2. Master Seo Kyung-Bo, one of the top Korean Zen Buddhists is here, and I long have accepted him as my Master in this field. He has recently been very successful and is establishing a spiritual centre in the state of Virginia.

3. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach is here from Jerusalem, a beautiful Chassid, and he has also sent for me. Without going into details, we are trying to bring human beings together—not diplomats, not ivory-towered commentators and experts—but members of the real humanity who have to suffer from war and genocide. I believe with Code help we are going to succeed.

But all these items and others integrate into The Temple of Understanding. And yesterday I received a telephone call from New York indicating that I am now being recognized by the young as I have long been by the real people of real Asia for my backgrounds.

Tomorrow I am starting my commentaries on The First Epistle to the Corinthians. There will be two themes: “Love,” and The Three Body Constitution of Man.” Even my good friend the learned Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T. has not been fully aware of the parallels be seen Judeo-Christian cosmic metaphysics and Indian cosmic metaphysics. People who have had mystical experience know better, and the young of today are looking to mystics rather than to scholars or theologians for guidance.

But the purpose of these studies will be to throw light on the psychic constitution of man and all the problems and complications which have arisen because the young have accepted the existence of the psychic constitution (proclaimed by all the scriptures) while the “establishment” peoples reject their own Scriptures.

I believe there can be a profound and serious commentary-study which will fulfill and not destroy extant religions. In any case my papers will be dedicated at the start to Rev. Lowell Ditzen of Washington and Bishop Kilter Myers of San Francisco.

It is so easy to say “The people without wisdom perishes.” But now it is time for some people who may have some vision or wisdom to express themselves. Fortunately at this writing I both have a loyal, competent following, and indefinite financial aid and opportunities in the offing.

I do not wish to compel others to accept. My first Sufi teacher said, “I accept no rejection from the heavens.” But after 33 rejections of my papers on Vietnamese Buddhism, I have become very cautious in my dealings with those who claim to adhere to a very cloudy ethic.

This is just to let you know what I am doing. At this writing it would appear my articles will be published in the state of Arizona and/or whenever either of the reverend gentlemen mentioned above wish.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Rev. He Kwang



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

9th August, 1970


World Congress of Faiths,

Younghusband House

23, Norfolk Square,

London, W.2


Beloved Ones of God:

Your letter of the 1st July has been received and is much appreciated. But I am wondering if you expect others to believe in your efforts while you reserve the right not to accept theirs. This has happened in the past and was the cause of my withdrawal. Yes, we agree philosophically, metaphysically, social and perhaps in all respects other than your previous rejection of “In the hour ye think least the son of man cometh.”

I have had the usual “Judeo-Christian ethical treatment from so many. I used to say that the two greatest achievements of my life were being a guest of honor at the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo and getting a free meal from the Armenians (because of my knowledge of their folk-lore). In general all Asians from one end to the other inclusive have accepted my knowledge of their cultures and 90% of the Western “experts” on Asian philosophy have either ignored or rejected, this being the usual pattern of those in the “Judeo-Christian” ethic.

From the Sufi point of view and also the Buddhist this is due to our positing the ego. If the ego is not “right,” whatever that means the person is out. If he be famous, and sometimes if he is wealthy and always if he is renowned he is in.

This last week I was compelled to incorporate. This came before your letter. None of the “world,” or “integral” or “universal” organizations have accepted my backgrounds—Judeo-Christian ethic again. But I am perhaps the first person in history to have been publicly proclaimed as a Sufi Murshid and Zen Master. Even Dr. Lings did not want to accept that; to write it in a book fine, but to face reality!

I even wanted to organize branches for you in this land. You decided otherwise. So I waited and then had to make a decision without reflection and that caused the complete union with the efforts of the Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan, (no “Judeo-Christian ethic” there).

Since the Geneva meeting the income has increased, the following has increased, the recognition by universities has increased and we now have at least one wealthy publisher who wants all my things. I did not want it that way. So I had to my past achievement, thirty-three (33) rejections of a paper on “Vietnamese Buddhism.” We can spend billions of dollars in Vietnam. Hawks and Doves are quite in agreement in ignoring the faith of the great majority of the people prior to the war. The war has made many skeptics. So I certainly have no intention to send your or anybody else a copy of either my paper on “Vietnamese Buddhism” or papers received from Vietnamese Buddhists. The University of California which stands for Reality and not for our diabolical “realisms” has long since accepted such papers and this means I am going to cooperate with that institution and also The Temple of Understanding.

One does not like to write in such tones. One would like to see mutual understandings and acceptances. The young wish to worship together. The young would accept all your principles but not your calling incessantly on the famous men of outstanding traditions. Words are but reflections of truth. According to the Sufi, Truth can be experienced, not necessarily “his” way but perhaps in many ways. Read Sir Richard Burton’s “Kasidah.”

With a full fall program nevertheless one is sick and tired of the hypocritical “peace with justice.” Every dictator, despot, tyrant believes in that phrase. We tried to get Arabs and Israelis and others to come together. We have been successful, praise to God. The press, of course, would not believe that. If we brought them together and someone spit at somebody else it would be news, even “world news.” But to succeed in applying Jesus Christ’s “Love ye one another….” well, that is the Old Age. Older people won’t accept and I am not trying to get anybody to accept but the young and they accept absolutely and enthusiastically. The only thing they have asked is if they cannot harmonize, even unite under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding. And we have many—but not those of the “Judeo-Christian ethics” studying the book of the Prophet Malachi.

Then I am now engaged in explaining the “Three Body Constitution of St. Paul, No nonsense. I am not a dead G.R.S. Meade but a living person who has experienced these bodies and has methods and processes whereby others experience, chiefly in song and dance. And more and more young people, indeed everybody but “realists” and acceptors of the “Judeo-Christian ethic.”

The reason is to throw light and sanity on the psychedelic experiences. After all isn’t an “hallucination” an experience “I” have had and “you” have not had? To me all God’s children have wings and no nonsense and no insidious substitution of muttered phrases for direct experience. And these talks have been received with enthusiasm. They will be submitted to Rev. Lowell Ditzen and others end the probability of their being published is great. But I have no more time to do any more submitting of a paper like “Vietnamese Buddhism” to be rejected. There are higher faculties such as the “Prajna” of Dr. Radhakrishnan. The older people accept this as true when he says so and unimportant when an unknown says so. That day is over. We have judged and misjudged and we listen to the “important.”

My motto for this year came from Handle’s “Messiah,” “Every valley hall be exalted and every hill laid low and the crooked places made straight.” Mrs. Judith Hollister is a valley. There are other “valleys.” In the hour (guise) ye think least the Son of Man Cometh.

One only hopes you will take this seriously. The young want to worship together. The young want brotherhood and harmony. There are many ways of producing it. I am doing it through the dance. They accept my reports on mystical attainment of this person and many he has met. So far very, very few older people have and I do not care.

I will be glad to join you when “we” visit England again. I hope you will appreciate my point of view. I do not demand you accept it. I am very strong in the traditions of Emperor Akbar, a name verboten by so many of the pretending “world” groups.

I shall accept anything you send. I shall try to cooperate in any way possible but I have no need now to submit any more articles. There is a demand for my writings. There is a demand for my research. There is a demand for my person to attend inter-religious conferences called by the young. There is a demand to present spiritual dancing and spiritual practices and spiritual attainments.

I only hope you will a appreciate what is written.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



September 12, 1970

Kathleen Richards

World Congress of Faiths

Young Husband House,

23 Norfolk Sq.

London, W. 2


Dear Friends:

This is a very rapid acknowledgement of your letter of the 20th of July. It would seem as if God wishes us to work more closely together. At this time there are some rather ironical obstacles, not bad, but ironical:

At this writing my housekeeper and my chief disciple are both in the hospital. My secretaries have been prospering, but their replacements have been ill, yet not a cloud is the sky, not an obstacle to the fulfillment of “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

It began with “Dances of Universal Peace,” a sort of inheritance from the late Ruth St. Denis, a relation which a very large majority of those who presumably follow the current Judeo-Christian Ethic absolutely refused to consider. Indeed we had a very hard time getting any current group, excepting The Temple of Understanding in Washington, even to acknowledge these possibilities. In any event the joint disciples of Pir Vilayat Khan and myself undertook to film and record this work. But it is quite evident that the Will of God is something totally different from the beliefs of peoples who verbalize surrender to God:

We received the cooperation of a very large number of real spiritual groups and also of enough financial backers who believe that God is something other than a thought in the minds of only privileged persons or institutions; Both the filming and the Dancing spread at a rate beyond my capacity to central, even if secretaries were available. It is become a world project.

Along with this have been very successful efforts to promote Israeli-Christian-­Arab dinners, which include these dances and prayers. We are succeeding locally, and praise to God-Allah, also in Jerusalem! At last one national broadcasting company and one local radio station have accepted this.

Secretary Mansur is now full-time employed as a secretary for those projects; with a salary so satisfactory he is now contributing to his former Murshid. The other secretaries are also involved, and this will lead, Inshallah, to publications and news articles in the hands of a fairly wealthy man whom we are going to interest in both your work and in the work of The Temple of Understanding.

While the “good people” effuse me interviews, or anything but financial contributions, and never give recognition, the last issue of The National Geographic Magazine has a two-page pictures of Lama Foundation in New Mexico. I don’t know if I asked this group to become a member. If I have not, please let me know, and I shall send for immediately upon notification. The Lama Foundation was also filmed and shown at least ten times during the week on a national televisions program.

While the “good people” and the metaphysical people, and the churches, refuse even to grant interviews, the one man who gave me four hours time and told me I had the best plan for the solution of the problems of the Neat East is now famous, i.e. Gunner Jarring. It is going to be an ironical exposure of all the “good” organizations, that they will not recognize anybody that is not important, no matter what the contributions of that person or group may be. And this going to be the end of a lot of nonsense parading as spirituality and morality.

As soon as this letter is completed, I go to a local Seminary to continue the lectures on “The Three Body Constitution of Man, according to St. Paul.” Even our good friend the famous Dr. Huston Smith was not aware of this. It is also based on St. Paul’s “We have the mind of Christ.” Generally speaking, young people accept this seriously, while their elders adhere to “I believe.”

There is every sign this will be published either by our publisher-editor friend or with the cooperation of Rev. Lowell Ditzen of the Presbyterian Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The series will be completed next week, after which we shall take off for New York and the East Coast. Before we leave, we shall be cooperating in another Holy Man’s Jamboree in this city. We are demonstrating that Sufis do cooperate with followers of all faiths, not verbally but in actuality. And the young of the world are realizing it.

I am personally busy every day of the week, all the time, but by the Grace of God, the health of body and mind persists despite age. There is a vast difference between mechanical and super-mechanical exercises called “Yoga” and the Divine attunement which makes it possible to draw upon the Divine energies of all levels with full realizations at the same time.

I am very glad you have Dr. Radhakrishnan as patron. We are very close to each other and can communicate both verbally and non-verbally. You have all my love and blessings, and I am only sorry I am constantly being rushed.


Samuel L. Lewis



December 15, 1970

World Congress of Faiths

Young husband House

23 Norfolk Square London, W.2 England


Dear Friends:

I am acknowledging the autumn 1970 issue with both interest and concern. I first met the Baha’i Ali Khuli Khan about 1911 and saw him from time to time  throughout this life. But I do remember a confrontation in the city of Portland, Oregon, when I asked him what would be the difference between a world with 700 conflicting faiths and 700 conflicting “universal brotherhoods.” To me, then, the faiths were not claiming to be universal, but we have reached a day and age when there are so many apparently conflicting “Universal brotherhoods” that one does not know what to say, excepting perhaps that God is far more dead in the hands of religionists then in the hands of unbelievers. Too many simply do not recognize the existences of others.

The one thing that is lacking in your report is the absence of the young. Jesus Christ may have said that unless we are like little children ours is not the kingdom of heaven and elsewhere in a logic, “Seek me in children until the age of seven.” We Us, simply will not have that, we simply won’t.

So it is the Baha’is who suffer, not the Sufis, when there are such a multitude of verbal “universal brotherhoods.” I know of five in India alone and a growing number in this country. To the best of my knowledge the boards of directors are exclusively English, Americans and Hindus; the only Jews are those who have left the faith of their ancestors. Mongolian Asians and all dark-skinned people simply do not belong!

(This is particularly awkward to me personally for my summer “ashram” is in the state of New Mexico where we are on excellent terms with the Amer-Indians. I personally believe, but I will not impose it, that universal means universal and inclusive means inclusive. I do agree with Mohammed that God has given a Message to all peoples in the world. But I differ from nearly all Muslims in accepting this a fact, whereas they accept it in fancy.)

The difficulty with the young, excluded by their elders in age, is that they seem to have what they call spiritually (I don’t know what they mean) without a God or a Supreme Being, or even reverence. They seem to agree with their elders in promoting ego-leadership.

Sufis practice the presence of God (Allah) and we seem to be benefiting in all directions. My present lectures: “Christ versus Christianity and Mohammed versus Islam” are attracting much attention. My Dances of Universal Peace, which mean just that, are attracting the young. We actually believe in an inclusive brotherhood of man and while we are not disturbed by the young refusing to accept the existence and efforts of their elders we are equally concerned that their elders do not seem to accept their existence and efforts. So in some directions the world is being divided almost as much by those with universal outlooks as those with sectarian outlooks.

But the day is coming my friends when books by mystics will be accepted. Al­-Ghazali said, “Sufism is based on experience and not on promises.” The refusal of all and sundry young and old to accept mystical reports of a mystic means of course the honest people of the future will not always regard them as they wish to be regarded. It is a terrible thing when a book by a real Zen devotee based on real experience—I mean The Three Pillars of Zen by Kapleau—is not taken seriously while works on Zen, using the word Zen, by drunkards and lechers are considered important, and everyone is afraid because they themselves are not secure.

Now my poetry and prose alike are being evaluated and perhaps will be published and I am not the least concerned by any rejecting by subjectivists or intellectuals. We practice that God is, we practice that in God we live and move and have our being, we practice the God is love and compassion. We practice.

I understand my paper on “The Three Bodies of Man According to St. Paul” has already been set up, but date of release has not been determined. Copy will be sent to you whatever it is available.

This coming Sunday we are having a Bazaar with three purposes:

a. To promote peace between the actual humanity, Israelis, Arabs, and Christians, who live in the Near East or are concerned therewith.

b. To help this person in his various efforts.

c. To raise funds to help alleviate the suffering of the poor people of East Pakistan (we already have made longees which will be sent at an early date).

We differ widely from those persons concerned with what they call “humility” and “compassion.” Like Edward Carpenter and Edna St. Vincent Millay, we are concerned with the sufferings of humanity and not with our own prowess, and not with our own leadership, and not with our own “superiority.” We agree entirely with Jesus Christ that whatsoever we do to the least we do unto him. We entirely agree with Jesus Christ that him who would be master should be the best servant, and this is illustrated in our daily lives, not in pompous articles or self-praising documents.

But we also accept what others do, and sometimes take more seriously what they are doing than what we are trying to do. And so we express our appreciation of The Temple of Understanding and The World Congress of Faiths.

Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

World Union, Bay Area Center Correspondence

Jan. 11, 1969

Bay Area World Union Center

2901 Webster St.

San Francisco, Calif. 94123


Beloved Ones of God:

I am very much interested in the title of the Spectrum, and the underlying “Toward the Emergence of Universal Man and a New Civilization Based on Unity in Diversity Among all peoples.”

A seminar has just been completed at one of our local educational institutions, a seminar in which the students were allowed to participate and unequivocally. That is to say, both the instructor, a Professor, and the class, seem to have accepted intuitively Tat Tvam Asi and Atman is Brahm. There was complete mutual respect; there was a freedom of expression which I have never seen granted by older people, no matter how they verbalized their platforms.

The program was absolutely open—I mean absolutely open. The strange result was that certain teachers and schools were considered meritorious; some worthy of consideration, and some not worthy of any program. This included the Sri Aurobindo movement. As you are going to react, and so samskaras, let me tell you from the effect that my own beliefs were not aired; that although I was a member of the class I was permitted to speak only negatively, and you may consider the merit or demerit, that my own beliefs, along with those emanating from Sri Aurobindo and others, were not part of the program, were not discussed in class.

Nevertheless, considering the age of the enrolled students, and the alertness of their eyes and intelligence, I should say this group represented the real new age more than all the organized or unorganized people over 40, or even over 30. I differ from practically all the followers of Sri Aurobindo in supporting his predictions and predications that there would be higher intelligence manifesting. You can verbalize them as over-mind and super-mind if you will. As they are ignored by the already organized seniors, they will be what they will be, and I must warm you, that they also rejected this person who as a senior in age. But this person respects youth and respects these predictions common to Bulwer Lytton, H.G. Wells, even Jules Verne, various Huxleys, and others. He believes intelligence is Universal, by which he means openly and consciously.

(I consider my greatest merit the fact that my paper on Vietnamese Buddhism was universally rejected by all and sundries, excepting the Vietnamese themselves, until same professors at the University of California accepted it, followed by a financial contribution from this person. One of the factors toward this acceptance was their presence at the meeting between the writer and Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj.

Along the same lines was the growing feeling among several in the classroom that the greatest man of the age has been Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna was not on the program either, but the imports of all the now and old movements, was toward the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Gita. As the young students delved into these books, they became curious concerning and then enamored by the late Sri Ramakrishna.

There is a teaching to be found in the actual Vedas, Upanishads, and Gita, concerning various high and higher states of consciousness, which have been experienced by man of the past. We accept that and them, but I profoundly differ and chose to differ, that God belonged to any time in history whatsoever, and that any time was necessarily the age of sages and illuminated. I have found in this life a very large number of persons, whom I can name, who have the Universal consciousness. I have not found a single organization which is curious on this subject, although the unorganized Dr. Oliver Raiser of Pittsburgh is. However, I find more and more young people and more and more universities and professors therein who have doffed their “humility” for curiosity, and are willing to listen and learn.

It has been notable during the same period that a large number of my own students, without any impetus from me, have also become intensely enamored of Sri Ramakrishna, his universal recognition of the universal God, his deep respect for the Atman in all its manifestations, his profound living love, and his ability to transmit his wisdom his luminosity and his teachings to others on and on to this day.

I have no intention to try to compel Spectrum or even to appeal to it, to accept the illumination of other persons. I believe there are many ways to perfection, but I am not caught in any verbal trap, and I believe the same phrase can become the utterance of a devil, until it is corroborated by living experiences. At least I have met saints of Christianity, saints of Judaism, saints of Islam, saints of several branches of Buddhism, and all kinds of Indian saints whom I can name, place and support with stories either from my own life or from the lives of my immediate teachers of this century. The awakened people have their own sign, their own ways of communication, their methods of inspiring and awakening others. But they cannot be confined to limited organizations.

I am positive that the young, who actually represent the race or races predicted by Sri Aurobindo by Bulwer Lytton and others, will go ahead and ignore all these efforts by those who have not experienced Samadhi or awakening, to organize and control the future. I have watched group after group, including the recent efforts of Dr. Zitko in Arizona to start their own private “new ages.” It is not that at all.

My own God-inspired, and I mean God-inspired work in the dance, is going ahead rapidly. The theme “Joy without Drugs” is reaching the young. And we are going to see an age when not only the lamb and the lion may lie down together, but the little children will actually lead them without any impetus from older persons. In the Logia, Jesus Christ has said, “I am in little children unto the age of seven.” I am inclined to reject all new movements and old ones which reject the sayings of Jesus and Mohammed, when these sayings interfere with their “leadership.” “Every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low.”

Love and prayers and blessing,

Samuel L. Lewis



October 21, 1969

Mr. John Stockwell

Bay Area World Union Center

2901 Webster St.

San Francisco 94123


Dear Ram;

It is possible that my very gruff tone today may seem out of line with a philosophy of love or with interest in say world union, however that phrase be used or misused. I am a veteran of world parliament flops, quite a few of them extending over a long period. I am not anxious to be connected with any further flops; besides I do not accept the rejection of spiritual teachings by so many organizations and personalities essaying leadership.

From an ego point of new, and I mean ego-point of view, I have decided absolutely and irretrievably not to defy scriptures any more. All the world conferences I know of failed because the leaders defy scriptures; even in the name of scriptures do they defy scriptures. I have in mind mostly the Biblical utterance, “The lamb and the lion shall lie down together, and a little child shall lead them.” I am very pessimistic that older people will accept this any more today than in previous years. But the time is come when those little children, so to speak, are going to lead and before God Almighty, nirguna Brahm and saguna Brahm, this is happening today. It is happening in the peace movements and it is going to happen in other movements.

I believe The World Union will succeed accordingly save permit the little children to lead, and not accordingly as we permit the seniors to continue to mislead and flop and flop and flop. Therefore I am sending a copy of this to The Family Dog on The Great Highway at Ocean Beach just below the cliff house. This, and not any church edifice, is becoming the super-temple of world brotherhood and love. As you are a stranger to this city, I think you should investigate. I think the time has come that a few of us should be willing to accept the scriptural teachings and the words of Jesus Christ concerning God manifesting in and through the young. Of course I don’t expect to succeed immediately.

I utterly reject the rejections by Hindus of their own teachings when they refuse to see Brahm in mature souls in juvenile bodies. I think here I am giving you advice, perhaps sage advice. This is a New Age, a positive age, a wonderful age, and an age remarkably devoid of hypocrisy.

I am for any world union that is a world union and not selective groups misusing phrases.

I enclose a copy of “The Rejected Avatar.” I have written similar poems, even greater ones, based on cosmic experience. While mature people reject this stuff, the young with open hearts and open mounds, think differently. As I have already told them, “Youth of the world unite, you have nothing to lose.”


Samuel L. Lewis



October 24, 1969

Mr. John Stockwell

Bay Area World Union Center

2901 Webster St.

San Francisco 94123


Dear Ram:

World Union, real or fictitious.

Any group can establish an organization and call itself world this or world that. In this city we have several world messiahs. And this afternoon I may be permitted to comment on the lecture by a devotee of the late Meher Baba who claimed that he was Avatar, or God incarnate. I do not see how it is possible to have any world union which excludes those persona, real or fanciful, who may represent the incarnations of the highest grade of evolution, human, or divine. The Greeks had a saying, “When the Gods arrive the half-gods go.”

Apparently those persons who have occupied the top positions of a putative world union are devotees of the late Sri Aurobindo. He does not seem to have made any claim to the highest development. He did predict. He did predict, which is another thing, that there would be manifestation of personalities which he named “Over-mind” and “super-mind.” In doing this he seems to have replaced the Sanskrit terms which I have found more valid and semantic. The fact that I have found this to be so is of course not important in a world movement. But the hard and simple fact is that other individuals who often make no claim to the highest form of spiritual development are willing to place themselves in a driver’s seat.

I cannot convince you, and I shall make no attempt, that there is one over-mind and one over-world, because this would be my personal undertaking and “I,” whosoever I am, is not the Master of the universe. When I wrote to Mrs. Dickerman Hollister, copy enclosed, I had no idea that her office was writing to me at the same time. On opening their brochure the first thing I found was a picture with Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj.

A few years ago Swamiji called for a world conference of religions. He meant a world conference of religions. Each faith selected its own representative. Each faith was given time to present its views. In fact the conference did not terminate until all the real religions of the real world were given fall opportunity. This shows the living faith in the universal God. No doubt I am enamored, personally and impersonally, to Swamiji, and may be expecting too much from others. But Swamiji never asked me or others for money to support this or other real cosmic endeavors.

I write this to you because you are on the same street, on the same side of the same black with the disciples and representatives of Swami Ranganathananda, and I am wondering right away whether this new attempt to have a World Union, real or fictitious, would accept either the person or the method which he has put into practice.

In my as yet relatively small undertakings we have had representatives of every religion (except the Zoroastrian which is small) and every race, participate. In my file, ready to be answered. I have letters from both my closest Korean Buddhist and Vietnamese Buddhist friends. I am not appalled at the refusal of institutions in this country to let me speak on either Vietnamese Buddhism or Korean Buddhism, although in each case I have passed examinations, verbal and non-verbal. I have passed those examinations because in the ultimate there is one world and one mind. I cannot demand that any organization calling itself “universal” accept my accomplishments, intellectual, historical or personal, but I refuse any more to give way to those who have shown no such prowess. Brotherhood of man means just that; and fatherhood of God means just that.

I am totally delighted with what is being done in and for The Temple of Understanding. I have a picture that they have sent me with many of the leading devotees of the real world coming together in love, harmony, and fraternity. I should think that others would occasionally recognize facts, hard facts.

Of course I want world union. My whole life has been dedicated to it. I am speaking at one of the universities this afternoon. My process among the young people and the larger educational institution has gone up. But the day is past when people of lesser spiritual development are going to be permitted to dominate over those who have had the grand Awakening in some form or other. The youth of the world are uniting; the holy men of the world are uniting. And it is for those who essay to positions of leadership to recognize this.

I am still open to willingness to collaborate on a grand undertaking, but with the cooperation of the highest spiritual and ecclesiastical authorities on this earth, I can no longer give way to personalities of lesser spiritual accomplishment. If you or they wish to greet me and meet me on a level of mutual understanding, fine. But I believe with Jesus Christ, “For every idle word you shall suffer on the day of judgment,” and it is time when would-be leaders accept this teaching and others of the same caliber.

Most faithfully

Samuel L. Lewis


cc-Vedanta Temple




March 24, 1970

Mr. John Stockwell

Bay Area World Union Center

2901 Webster St.

San Francisco, Ca. 94123


Dear Ram;

Thank you for your notice of office hours.

I have always been interested in a world union, but I feel my world union is somewhat more comprehensive, including as it does, the actual histories and actual humanity that populate the whole earth, and not just selected portions of it.

I am about ready to leave for Geneva where I shall be permitted to speak before am assembled audience of many of the world’s actual ecclesiastical and spiritual leaders—all races all religions, all points of view. I do not know what will come therein but unlike the leaders of the many now extent “world” movements, I am leaving the fruits of action to Allah or Sri Krishna whichever you wish.

The first efforts to exhibit “Dances of Universal Peace” received an astounding reaction from a large number of young people who attended and generally participated. Not only that, the affair has been recorded on both tapes and television equipment. I have every reason to believe the many more evolved young people are going to bring about better understanding, than all the various organizers and leaders who do not recognize the existence of each other or of any point of view not strictly in accord with their outlooks.

My program, if you want to call it that, will be based on a synthesis of the work, ideals and philosophies of Emperor Akbar, Prince Dara Shikoh, and Presidents Radhakrishnan and Giri of India. When World Union is willing to accept that these individuals lived and contributed something to human understanding, cooperation may be possible.


Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Ave.

April 26, 1970


Mr. John Stockwell

Bay Area World Union Center

 2901 Webster St.

San Francisco, Ca. 94123


Dear Ram:

Yesterday my secretary and I returned from our trip abroad. There we have met Orientals and orientalists and fared somewhat differently from the treatments, if you want to call them that, from presumable “experts” in oriental philosophies. When it was necessary to place cards on the table so to speak, to have knowledge and information, spiritual and intellectual, we were accepted everywhere. We were accepted by the actual leaders, spiritual, ecclesiastical and intellectual, of the objective world. And you will find a carbon of a letter just written in support thereof of the hard facts of realities which so many ignore when they embark on crusades.

The Temple of Understanding is interested in groups with similar or parallel purposes. The question is not concerning the worthiness or unworthiness of each groups, but their multiplicity and even rivalries. Thus we came upon two more groups of which we had not heard, claiming to present or represent world outlooks, in addition to the already known Christopher Hill’s. How the world can operate with so many different real or purported universal movements, one does not know. Indeed the matter is hardly in our hands. But we do feel that without the spirit of devotion, without some love and veneration for the living God, Who may be father of us all, that there remains unanswered questions, and we are wondering what is going to be done about them.

I do not know how much you consider the moral law. For example there is a group here in San Francisco called “Sufism Re-oriented.” They are supposed to be followers of the late Meher Baba. Meher Baba seems to have gone on record in favor of The Temple of Understanding. But there happens to be a leading Sufi on the board of directors of this endeavor and he vetoed the appearance of any such delegation, whether he should or not is beside the point. He did.

In fact the Mayor of Geneva welcomed the convocation as a tribute to the great Sufi Emperor of India, Akbar. So far as we know, the whole history of this remarkable man has been ignored by some of the rather enthusiastic recent world movements who thereupon express either their ignorance of history or an effort to abolish it. It is very difficult to have partial love and understanding. Perhaps you know better than we do how to accomplish this. As you can see from the letter to Mrs. Hollister, one is now in the odd position of having funds to support world movements on the simple, honest, moral condition that if they accept money from him they should, no they must but they should also be willing to accept intellectual and spiritual contributions.

In the meanwhile we are going on unabated with our dances of universal peace so appreciated by Sri Surendra Mohan Ghose, but not yet accepted by your colleagues. We do not know what to do about this because it is not our move. We believe strongly in the living God, in Whom we have our being. We believe strongly in that Yoga which means union with God. We believe strongly that God created all of mankind in His image and not just a carefully selected group of personalities who in their turn proclaim other carefully selected personalities, regardless of any living God or spiritual teachings.

Naturally we intend to cooperate fully and unequivocally with all those who are really working toward the same goals.

On Friday night May 8 at 7:30 a talk will be given at the Metaphysical Library on 420 Sutter Street where a full report will be given on what happened at Geneva. With some additions on the immediate aftermath, and also on the welcomes we received from the young whom we visited after the close of the convention.

Of course our prayers are for a world union, but by this we mean world union.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



May 28, 1970

410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Dear Ram:

Once when the writer was in the Himalayas he met a holy man who proclaimed his greatness and superiority. He said, “Yes you are greater than I am excepting in one thing.” The holy mean repeated, so did the writer. Then the presumable sage said, “What is that in which you are greater than I am?” I said: “I am a greater pupil, I know how to listen better than you do.”

Maybe it was a holy man after all. He did something none of our modern dignitaries (especially those who claim “humility”) would do. He apologized. We became friends. Which did not deter me from listening to him (nor he to me).

Well, at Geneva most of us listened to most of the rest of us. And now there will be another “Holy Men’ s Jamboree” here or in the vicinity in the near future. It is impossible, of course. It is impossible because it is being arranged by a disciple in Sufism. “We,” the harbingers of the New Age, do not admit the existence of such people. It was Akbar who called the first holy man’s jamboree in India and the Mayor of Geneva (who has no “humility”) commemorated him. And also Dr. Radhakrishnan, retired President of India and instructor of one of your colleagues, has been to several top gatherings of Sufi dignitaries, which your learned colleague would not even accept as contemporary human beings.

So one of them is arranging such a gathering and not proclaiming “world union”—and excluding, he is merely calling for the Holy Men and excluding none of them. Thus youth will have the opportunity in a different direction of listening to many and perhaps not a few out of those many may bring some great spiritual teaching. For the Sufis, certainly, have never proclaimed any monopoly over truth and if you would read the works of the contemporary D. Seyyed Hossein Nasr—well one does not ask “leaders” to read anything, so please excuse.

Anyhow you will not be barred from the Holy Men’s Jamboree like your colleagues bar, and no nonsense.

One is going to New Mexico, There there are many new organizations of Now Age people. Some are under the influence of the late Meher Baba; some are under the influence of the American Baba Ram Dass (who may be off to India again). They are spiritual seekers and they don’t lecture an “Karma Yoga,” they work—with their hands, also. And there are more and more young tending in such directions. And they belong to God’s “World Union” which is there, without specific leadership of self-selected personalities.

It is too bad that the splendid teachings of the Upanishads have been brushed aside. Instead of measuring by Ananda or Hierarchy, it is self-selection. But the young are producing the “New Age” and we older people have no choice but to follow them, or else. Most of us will choose “or else,” especially those who wish to be leaders. Where is God? Allah? Brahm? I still hold-that atman is Brahman, for all of us.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



July 13, 1970

Mr. John Stockwell

Bay Area World Union Center

2901 Webster St.

San Francisco, Calif. 94123


Dear Ram:

You will find enclosed copy of a letter to The American Academy 0f Asian Studies. At the present time I believe this institution is in competition with your colleague. From my point of view neither of them represents a non-dualistic point of view, because each fails to see Ram in others; both fail to see Ram in the general public. This will not prevent us from co-operating fully with any group, including the rival academies, which puts into practice actual moral and spiritual teachings on any basis whatever.

We were not surprised to received in the day’s mail a reply from Pondicherry and an announcement of still another “world conference,” adding to the list of “world conferences,” each ignoring the others, making all such efforts matters of ridicule.

As the American young people are looking and seeking and increasing in numbers, and in sincerity, and even in wealth, I know the time is coming, and it may come soon, when we shall have academies and public forums to acquaint the American people with the real teachings of Asia, both at common and uncommon levels.


Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. After writing this we received a letter from Sri Surendra Mohan Ghose of Pondicherry. Apparently he does not agree with the leaders of the Sri Aurobindo Movement in this land; he believes in the whole of humanity.



410 Precita Avenue

Aug. 10, 1970


Mr. John Stockwell

Bay Area World Union Center

79 Casa Way,

San Francisco, Ca.


Dear Ram:

This acknowledges your notice of new address.

We are all for world union. We don’t understand your World Union at all. We do not understand the exclusion of races, religions, and persons from world organizations which are quite willing to accept funds from them but ignore other aspects of their existence.

We have been very successful in our initial endeavors to bring peace in the Near East through human beings. We have been more than successful in the promotion of our “Dances of Universal Peace” which are spreading rapidly. We have been receiving many invitations to join conversations of holy man who have not been recognized by World Union and who as do not recognize it.

Our next undertaking is to fulfill the invitations of many of our large universities who would welcome a world union do not seem to have a favorable reaction to an organization calling itself World Union which is so exclusive. Nor have we and many others been successful in efforts to point this cut.

In fact we have now been compelled to incorporate legally because we have been excluded by so many “world,” “universal,” “humanitarian,” etc., groups. Our legal organization will be open to all, and we mean all, races, religions, and human beings, and is not asking any of them to accept “us” as corporate officers to whom they must look for guidance.

Yoga without God, Yoga without spirituality, Yoga without conscious awakening into higher states of being has no meaning to us. We have been recognized and we recognize the actual spiritual leaders of all faiths and all peoples. We only hope and pray you might do something of this kind. The United Nations is not God and we find no phrases in any Scripture that God only manifests in and through certain self-selected personalities.


Samuel L. Lewis

World Union, International Centre Correspondence

World Union

A Movement For Unity And Peace Through Spiritual And Scientific Development

Sri Aurobindo Ashram,

Pondicherry-2, India

1st April, 1967


Dear Mr. Lewis,

Sri Surendra Mohan Ghose, a member of the Indian Parliament and a Deputy Leader of the Congress Party in Parliament, is the Chairman of World Union. The 2nd World Conference of World Union will commence at 9:00 a.m. on 12th August 1967 at Sri Aurobindo Ashram Theatre, Pondicherry. Its final session will be held at 4:00 p.m. on 16th august. The highlight of the conference will be the seminar for three days on “Education for One World.” The conference will be inaugurated by Dr. C.D. Deshmukh, President of the India International Centre, New Delhi, former Minister for Finance of the Government of India and until recently Vice-Chancellor of the Delhi University, and the seminar will be presided over by him.

I am directed to extend a special invitation to you to attend the conference and the seminar and to give advantage of your knowledge and experience in the deliberations and decisions of the seminar.

To give you some idea of the aims and ideals of World Union and the proposed conference and seminar I send you by a separate air mail book post cover a booklet which introduces World Union, December 1966 and March ‘67 World Union Focus and a basic statement on “Education for One World.”

You will be the guest of World Union and arrangements will be made for your accommodation from the 11th evening to 17th August morning or such shorter period as you may find it convenient to be with us.

I shall be grateful to know from you if it will be possible for you to accept our invitation in which case I shall send you the agenda of the conference and the seminar in due course.

With best wishes. and hoping to receive your early reply,

Yours sincerely,

A. B. Patel

General Secretary and Treasurer



World Union

A Movement For Unity And Peace Through Spiritual And Scientific Development

Sri Aurobindo Ashram,

Pondicherry-2, India

16 March, 1968


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your letter, article and $5. check which we have credited to your account; your receipt has been sent by airmail, though the first edition of our newly-revised journal and other literature are coming by sea. Since the annual fee is $4., your payment covers the period from 1-1-68 to 31 March, 1969. Please let us have your comments and/or suggestions about the Journal; we believe it is a real expression of World Union’s aims and ideals as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Sri Manoj Das, our editor, is very eager to receive articles and other pertinent material for publication, so do not hesitate to send along any writings which strike you as apropos.

Has Julie Medlock sent you literature about Auroville and the impressive Inauguration Ceremony of February 28? Since it received wide press-coverage you may be aware of the giant step it represents in the evolution of a New Community as it will manifest here: serving as example for other endeavors throughout the world. So Sri Aurobindo’s prophecy in The Human Cycle, Ideal of Human Unity and other writings is manifesting as the result of the Supramental or Truth Consciousness as it has now become operative on earth. For those who have the subtle awareness and openness, this manifestation is quite evident among men and nations, though appearance (in Aristotle’s “spheres below the moon”) is one of injustice, hypocrisy, violence and vulgarity.

We are indeed glad to see that your lectures are so well attended and wish you all success; there is no doubt that the youth of today are sincerely seeking the means to be significant in their lives and society. Don’t you agree that leaders are the missing factor? Persons of experience like yourself, Dr. Chaudhuri, Dr. Tyberg and others have a splendid opportunity to serve as those “midwives” of whom Socrates counted himself one!

Please do not hesitate to keep in correspondence with this office. I shall ask Mrs. Maude Smith to forward your regards to Jay who has been working in New Delhi for the past two years.


Marilyn Widman




Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif.

May 9th, 1968


Marily Widman,

Assistant World Union.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram,

Pondicherry, 2, India


Dear Ram:

Thank you for your letter 3rd May. One has received the materiel from our good friend, Julie Medlock and has written to her. Copy of that letter and of this go to Sri Haridas Chaudhuri in this City.

As to “Sri Aurobindo and Plato” it was sent for no other purpose than to give insight and evaluation into the personality. One has received a beautiful letter from Sri Surendra Mohan Ghose, this not yet answered.

This person has had severe training in the real Buddhism, in Indian and Sufi metaphysics and mysticism. The results of this are now becoming known afar, but not yet here. After a while one becomes totally indifferent. Many praise the Gita, few actualize it in their own consciousness.

In this matter we cannot have Integration and the emphasis of personality. But after years one has seen the utter folly of emotional appears—these have nothing to do with the Heart and Superconscient and one has to be careful of the level on which he wishes to operate.

Much attention has been given to movements around Rishikesh. There, there is no social consciousness. To me Sri Aurobindo had a magnificent outlook before he embarked on the path of the Rishi or Guru and I believe—but do not impose on others—values to be gained by integrating his efforts as if different parts of his life were contemporary or synchronous, and had to be enrolled in time.


Samuel L. Lewis

(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)



410 Precita Ave

March 3, 1969


Mr. A.B. Patel

General Secretary

World Union International Centre

Pondicherry 2, India


Dear Ram,

From what happened here in this house last night it is evident that one must write to you. There is yet a big gap between the full acceptance of the sublime quotation of Sri Aurobindo and putting this into practice in actuality. Too many people who claim to accept Sri Aurobindo reject the very words and teachings in practice. What will happen to them, what is happening to them, is strictly according to karma so I shall not mention names.

Some of them should have been of great help to you. Unfortunately the gap between their words and deeds is so great as to produce a scandal in those areas dedicated to real Asian-American cultural exchange and with them the acceptance of the very “spiritual consciousness” mentioned by Aurobindo but made empty by too many of his presumable representatives. It is quite evident that the American leaders in Asian studies, the Americans who have studied with Asians—not those who have studied?—with non-Asian “experts” will be very glad to join in common efforts to a goal.

Last night according to my program I was speaking on Julie Medlock when the telephone rang. The call was from Schatsie (Charlotte) Wallace. I had never met her but know the rest of her family. She came in later and we asked her both about The Temple of Understanding and Auroville. Her face lit up, beautifully lit up, when Julie’s name was mentioned. This must have had a deep impression on the audience—all young people. Most of them, perhaps of all of them, are interested in putting into practice “Discovering Oneness.”

One of my big undertakings at the moment has been the instituting of dances on the theme “Dance of Universal Peace.” This whole inspiration came from my “fairy godmother” the late Miss Ruth St. Denis. I am not going into details here. It seems that all younger people accept and more and more and more and more—never mind their seniors. We began with Sufi Dervish Dances, than Yoga Mantric dances, and are gradually adding mystery and ceremonial dances including Tantra. While this is only one area of my personal efforts it has now expanded to the limit of personal endeavor.

In discussing all the above subjects with the head of Asian Studies at the University of California we do deplore the bypassing of Fatehpur Sikri and its importance in world history and spiritual movements.

The one thing that is evident is the actual growth in spiritual consciousness among the young who are either attracted to this person or to whom this person is attracted; or in their own words “We are Sri Aurobindo’s people, they are not.” The hardest people to convince of the truth of Sri Aurobindo’s actual teaching and the manifestation on earth of more advanced souls are those that adhere to traditional dialectics and egocentric logistics.

I am being compelled through invitation to move into larger areas and arenas.

At this time there are many outbreaks on the campuses of the universities. One of the most prominent figures in the public limelight is a man half Asian who seems totally ashamed of his paternal ancestors. He has rejected in to the possibility that his specialty (General Semantics) was long anticipated in Asia by Asians.

I am enclosing herewith a quotation from “The Awakening of Faith” a Mahayana Buddhist scripture. There is such a gap in this country, and perhaps elsewhere, between the teachings found in both Pali and Sanskrit texts and the religious and institutional displays adhering to the same words, turning everything into ritual and nothing more. But there is a righteousness in the Universe not easily grasped by so-called intellectuals and so-called moralists. There is an article in last year’s Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society on Buddhist logic. The writer named Misra—evidently one of your countryman—has not only explained but has excellently demonstrated his teachings.

Personally I believe that until important and self-important persons and institutions can listen and learn from such a person (and others of the some kind) talk about “Unity in Spiritual Consciousness” remains on the verbal level. I agree entirely with “Discovering Oneness” but what about “Realms of Existence,” “Above and Raymond?” Next month there will be a seminar here on Mystical Consciousness and spiritual awakening. For once I shall be permitted to have the floor. One is tired of verbalisms, verbalisms which often prevent those with cosmic experience from even presenting themselves. Already Dr. Huston Smith has been here and he is helping bringing in an age, not necessary a New Age, with transcendental factors but an age of simple honesty and integrity. This is needed in scientific research. There it is requisite; elsewhere it is not only not requisite but sometimes even barred.

I used to say concerning the late President Wilson that his love for humanity was so great he had no time for man, women, and children. We are not going to have world parliament, we are not going to have world parliaments, we are not going to have brotherhoods, world or otherwise with exclusions. In most places money is welcome, thoughts and cosmic vision not so welcome. At this point I must interject that some of my cosmic visions of the past are now going to press. Dr. Huston Smith has been boosting Phillip Kapleau who dared to write on his Zen awakening. In previous generations this very sound situation would have resulted in his being castigated. We need, and before God we will have, the same honesty, the same sincerity, the same integrity, in “Realms of Existence Above and Beyond” as in mundane matters.

All of this is shadow-boxing. Our faces shone, our hearts were filled with joy and light when Schatsie spoke about Julie. The audience then joined in the mantric dances! These dances, though inspired by Ruth St. Denis, are dedicated to Sri Surendra Mohan Chose and others. I am no longer concerned with the refusal of so many pretentious “world organizations” to answer letters. God is acting. God is operative. The “Realms of Existence Above and Beyond” are here and now. The Sanatana Dharma is not affected any more than the sun is affected by clouds and fog. When hearts accept hearts “Discovering Oneness” will manifest by itself.

I cannot afford to play games; I cannot otherwise than as Jesus Christ has said, “Whatsoever ye do to the least of those my creatures ye do it unto me.” As Abdul Baba “People of the world you are as branches of the tree and leaves of the branch.”


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



World Union

A Movement For Unity And Peace Through Spiritual And Scientific Development

Sri Aurobindo Ashram,

Pondicherry-2, India

13 March, 1969


Dear Friend:

Your letters are always interesting and we are glad to acknowledge the latest, dated March 3. Since Julie Medlock’s name is mentioned, she will probably be in correspondence.

We are glad that you have been concerned with our activities because plans are expanding, as the current Focus details. Response from young people in your area will be particularly welcome, for we are convinced that they must take the lead if World Union is to fulfill its promise as a higher force for transformation.

The Mother’s 1969 message “No words—Acts” is indeed the primary directive: those who are open to the light and dedicated to its manifestation will use the ancient device which knows no sect, the quiet smile of Ananda consciousness.


A.B. Patel



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco,

21st March, 1969


A. B. Patel,

World Union

Sri Aurobindo Ashram,

Pondicherry 2, India


Dear Ram:

Your very welcome letter of the 13th is here and I am taking the opportunity to make a carbon for Julie Medlock and also to send her some stamp money. I am so glad you have quoted from Mother’s “No words—Acts.” We are surrounded by all sorts of verbal groups and today the great slogan is “integration” but the groups verbalizing “interaction” are often as exclusive as any of the traditional movements.

Compelled to face one of these so-called “Integration” movements I found, to my dismay, that I seem to be the only Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in this vicinity who is active. The country is full of “experts,” all kinds of “experts” lecturing on Yoga and giving out “degrees” in ?Oriental Culture? and I doubt whether any of them has passed severe tests.

(I do not know whether you are related to the great Villabhai Patel, but when he was here years ago I was the only American admitted into his presence and I have never been invited to occupy the podium in this vicinity for any “Asian” conference?????) Now I am called on by several of the leaders of a quite new type at several universities and possibly more, all working in what is the real “integration,” the relation to verbal “integration” being very dim indeed.

It is too bad that seniors are unable to accept either the moral law (and karma) or hard facts which interfere with their goals. The revolt of youth is taking on new forms because my young friends may be, as they says “We are Sri Aurobindo’s people; they (referring to standard-bearers) are not Sri Aurobindo’s people.

There is s tremendous surge of interest in both communes and Ananda at different levels, exactly as the Gita teaches and exactly is the intellectual standard-bearers cannot comprehend. We have now a publication which is integrating East and West in actually, all in the hands of the young and going forward with zeal and impetus. The older type known as “expert” in Asian culture simply cannot understand, and even less participate. Even at this writing there are meetings going on here in San Francisco and in neighboring communities which are so close in spirit to Sri Aurobindo on one side and to Julie Medlock on another, it is marvelous. But also “it is written.”

What started out to be “Dance of Universal Peace” dedicated to Sri Surendra Mohan Ghose and others has grown into an immense compendium of spiritual dances with ever increasing audiences and perhaps soon to be public. This sort of thing is excluded from older “establishments.” But it is certainly advancing.

I have had a single day of rest this year so far and do not know when there will be another one. Asian sages coming his way regard one as a “guru”; local “experts” on Asia will have none of it. I am sorry because integration means integration, and there are rooms and scopes for everybody in real universe of integration.

As to Ananda. I keep on quoting the Exactitudes and the Upanishads. My constantly increasing following is going on this path—radiant faces, smiling eyes. We have completed a whole compendium of Dervish dances and Mantra dances. One performs the roles of Rama and Krishna and gradually this is reaching the ears of dancing teachers. One only hopes that some few who are in the worlds of religion and so-called “Krishna-consciousness” will recognize actualities. But one must go on. One’s duty is to action and to “God” go the fruits of action. I shall see that you get copies of at least one publication from this region.

Love and blessings.

Samuel L. Lewis



April 8, 1969

410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


World Union,

Pondicherry 2, India


Dear Ram:

This acknowledges volume VIII, No.4 of your remarkable issue. To me it is not a question of principles involved but who is going to put them into operation. General secretary A.B. Patel writes (full agreement):

“World Union was established to work for the realization of the high ideal of complete oneness. It believes that modern conditions of life provide propitious circumstances for an endeavor to realize this pristine dream of unity.”

“World Union attempts to make people aware of creative forces of unity and their consequences….”

My whole life has been operative in this general directing, inward and outward but too often has one seen the mountains of words and the failures of those announcing verbally to put into practice what is said. One is not in an awkward position that one has had to take to task another world movement because while its ideals are perfect, in its practices it has fallen back on the same procedures of appalling to name-and-form to lead and “important persons” are given important places regardless of their integrity because of the supposition that this will draw membership and masses. In this case they have summoned a man inimical to most of the real leaders of the real religions of the real world and evidently there is no way to stop it. Or maybe there is.

Karma is karma; moral law is moral law. One has seen one failure after another in verbalized “world movements” which at some point or other stressed some personalities at the expense of their goals and so the goals were not achieved.

The other day there was a picnic of the Indian students of this area. Not a single “expert” on Oriental Culture was there, not even some of your own countryman who have achieved a modicum of fame. The fame for prowess is among others than Asians. And the leader of the affair referred to this one as the “avatar of Dara Shikoh.” One’s whole life has been in the direction of the Moghul Prince and now one has reached the stage that one can no longer sit by and say “yes” to big people who themselves do not know how to say “yes.”

It may be of no importance to you that one’s paper on “Vietnamese Buddhism” was rejected thirty-one times and then stopped because one received a better paper from a Vietnamese Buddhist residing in this country. (You never hear of it either; we have too many “experts.”) But it must be of some import to you to find that one’s efforts to have a paper on “The Religion of the President of India” have been given the same coup de grace and as the President of India is very much alive and is dedicated fully, I believe to the same ideas and ideals that the writer has, it becomes very awkward.

All efforts so far to call attention to the life and work of the Moghul Emperor Akbar have been ignored. And in my personal capacity, continuing and perhaps in the eyes of God fulfilling the efforts of Prince Dara Shikoh, which depends on spiritual awakening and conscious operation of Vijnanavada, to find that not only are these efforts ignored but praise is given to world politicians qua re their worldly positions, I fail to see how this can help the World Union or bring into operation the predictions of Sri Aurobindo and others.

It is not true of leaders that they accept Sri Krishna’s “Praise and blame do not faze me” for praise means acceptance and criticisms, no matter how valuable, mean rejections. Failure is accepted, but never warnings and too many great movements, great for the moment, have disappeared because personalisms are more important than ideals.

This week-end one is going to a seminar to present the report on actual experience into the Divine. One is no longer concerned with the rejections of this by important and unimportant people. To support the themes of universal consciousness on the one hand and then to herald famous people and ignore mystics is hardly the way to come into any New Age.

The Upanishads are very succinct if not clear, on the grades of sentient beings of all ranks. The accommodation of Ananda, predicated in these sacred books, is I believe, an absolute measuring stick for this. But the continuation of manasic outlooks cannot bring about the fulfillment of these greater experiences Aurobindo has been called Vijnanavadin. But I do not see the fulfillment of his life and predictions while the analytical and dialectical methods are used and what is called “integration” excludes spiritual and integrational movements to the past, and present.

You will be sent copy of The Oracle, a local paper, as soon as it appears. It shows what the young people are attempting here. It may show a new ground work. I see nothing in Sri Aurobindo that the evolved souls are necessarily going to appear in India or any other country. Nor do I see anything that older people, who are not so evolved, can forever lay down dictums and premises by which these evolved souls, generally younger in body, can and must work.

My first efforts to send some disciples to you have not been very successful. I am now preparing to send another disciple who is going to India to study dancing and who will be representative of the class working on “Dances of Universal Peace.” These are very real and they come from the transcendental experiences of a living person, not a politician, not a dialectician, not a traditional philosopher. They are dedicated to The Temple of Understanding in Washington and also to Sri Surendra Mohan Ghose and they are demonstrating exactly what the Upanishads promise.

But I cannot omit here references to Fatehpur Sikri and indeed to all the life and work of Emperor Akbar. I am tired of appeal.

The story of Boccaccio from “The Decameron” was also used by the German Lessing in his “Nathan the Wise” and again in my poem “Saladin” which will someday be read, inshallah.

One of the best things in this issue is the remark of Norman C. Dowsett, “Education has to be revised to accommodate the New Consciousness already descended into earth-nature.” God bless you for that. That is to me marvelous, perfect and true. Now what are we going to do about it? A person who is doing is not in the same class as a person who is saying. I feel entirely at home with your ideals; I am not at home with by-passing of history and selectivity despite the verbal and mental support of Vijnanavada.

God bless you,

Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Cal.

May 24, 1969


Mr. A. B. Patel   

General Secretary          

World Union      

Pondicherry, India


Dear Ram:

In That Day Will the Sun Rise in the West and All Men Seeing, Will Believe—Mohammed

Hare Krishna!

“Allah loves His creation more than a mother loves her children.”

“The lamb and the lion shall lie down together and a little child shall lead them.”

Since one first studied Indian and other Asian philosophies under real spiritual teachers of the very real world, one has hoped to see the manifestation not of that damnable phrase “cosmic truths” but the actualities connoted by Vijnanavada and Anandavada. One sees this same tenor in many of your writers, but there is no evidence that a single one of these has attained the degrees of consciousness as presented by the now by-passed Holy Scriptures revered by the late Mahatma Gandhi; or in another sense, in the voluminous writings of the late Sri Aurobindo.

If Sri Aurobindo was a prophet (he called himself a Rishi) does this definition include, let us say, the late Woodrow Wilson or the late Jan Smuts, or any erudite politician who could turn out delightful phrases like a mint turns out coins, but who showed no evidence of having attained Vijnanavada or Anandavada. Or perhaps I am wrong in my interpretations of Sri Aurobindo and all he did was to introduce the word “Integration” as a mask over the same differentiations, the same exclusions, the same divisions, and the sane dualisms which have not only provoked humanity but have caused our troubles.

No doubt there will be a “New Age” when we can sit by and ignore the Qur’an and the Bible, as above. For there is no question we oldsters want the lion and lamb to lie down together but we will not, we even cannot, let a little child lead us, Jesus Christ has said, “You will find me in little children unto the age of seven years,” So what; We have the word “Integration.” What does it mean? One does not know, but it is like the powerful monarchs raising aloft the banner, “Galilean, thou hast conquered,” and seeing to it that the Sermon on the Mount never becomes a part of human policy.

Hare Krishna! There were 500 flesh and blood young people at the first protest meeting in this city. It did not get in the newspapers. A communist—if you would a “leftist” (whatever that means) —called for Karl Marx and revolution. Six in the audience applauded. Alan Ginsberg arose and chanted Hare Krishna! and the whole audience joined in. We chanted other mantras and others—this is not-news. It is not out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, it is still out of the minds of oldsters, and now this is called “The New Age.”

They are not Sri Aurobindo’s People; We are Sri Aurobindo’s People.” You will not believe it or can you accept Tat Twat Asi? Can you accept that Brahm is in everybody, even may be everybody? No, the pseudo-advaitins see Brahm in the wild elephant, not in the warring human being. I don’t think old people have changed that much.

When the idea of Auroville was broached the representatives of Sri Aurobindo (???) joined one Dr. Zitko and started their own New Age Foundation. All the “Supermen” carefully selected. They were going to herald in the New Age with money and prestige. They did not need the spiritual development. And the money went down the drain. They forgot to abolish karma and moral laws.

We are Sri Aurobindo’s People.” It is all very well to abridge “Just not” and to soundly condemn young people with whom one has never associated. Four hundred persons starting a riot became world news. Three thousand young people led by Alan Ginsberg on that same Berkeley campus, but on the campus itself well within the gates, chanted Hare Krishna! Not news, of course, not news. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings come annoyances to the establishments and to the George F. Kennans.

“Rebels without a program.” What is his? Without looking at the other sides, which includes the Hare Krishna side, you have permitted a condemnation of the New Age people. You have permitted an article strictly based on Hegelian dialectics and subjectivisms and the same old folly—”the opinions of the big people who were not there are more important than the experiences of the little people who were.”

I tell you, my friends, we have thousands of Sri Aurobindos, thousands who will have to do their writings in prison. This was the subject of my friend Gavin Arthur recently, one of the old drop-outs. Where was The Divine Life written? Since when does a “prophet” have to sit in the midst of the respectable?

Now we have “Integration.” “Integration” with no reference to the Scriptures revered by Mahatma Gandhi. Never any reference to the great Emperor Akbar who brought all the religions of the world together for the first time. Nor to Dabistan from the Moghul court, nor the works of Prince Dara Shikoh, a martyr to real integration when we use that word in its original sense—all inclusive with no high, no low, no Jew; no barbarian, no Greek in Christ Jesus.

“We are Sri Aurobindo’s People; They are not Sri Aurobindo’s People.” You have chosen Santa Claus, and the people condemned without a voice by a giant politician chant mantrams and more and more of them.

The program laid before Sri Surendra Mohan chose goes on. We have Dervish dance. We have Mantric dances. We have Yoga dances. We dance to the sacred phrases of all religions. We are excluded here by the “Sri Aurobindo” people. We far outnumber them. The New Race is rising and they are not Marxists; they are not even dialecticians like the George F. Kennans of the World. They have chosen God and not Santa Claus. They accept the Bible, the Qur’an, the Vedas, the Gita, the Buddhist scriptures, and not Santa Claus.

Flattery is still loved. Warnings are never heeded, The Baha’i movement built a “universal” temple with all the money and éclat imaginable. Who hears of it now! The Roerich Museum had more money and more éclat and more George F. Kennan. Who hears of that now?

God in his unsupreme folly permitted highly evolved souls to enter Western bodies and they have refused the traditions, the dialectics, the epithets and slogans of yesteryear. They want brotherhood, not the word “brotherhood.” They do not want wars.

Now they are starting new publications. Despite the prestige “environment,” most come from very comfortable homes. They have money, they have ideas, and they, not George F. Kennan, have a program based on brotherhood and integration and not the debasement of these words by very careful selectors who do not wish to disturb. And since the karmic laws and the sanskaras operate, they are disturbed. It is always right for the big people to be disturbed; it is always wrong for little people to disturb.

Remember Sri Aurobindo. His case was identical. I deplore your elevation of Santa Claus. I more than deplore your criticisms of those who walk in Sri Aurobindo’s footsteps. We are going to have All Inclusive Integration. Before God Allah, Brahma, we are. And we are seeing Love and Brotherhood manifesting and kept out of be news. Can you join us? Is Integration another word for One Way streetism?

Bismillah Er-Rahman Er-Rahim. Hare Krishna!

Samuel L. Lewis



World Union

A Movement For Unity And Peace Through Spiritual And Scientific Development

Sri Aurobindo Ashram,

Pondicherry-2, India

2nd June, 1969


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis,

410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Cal.,


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your stimulating letter of May 24, 1969 which demands thinking and rethinking. I congratulate you on your knack to write stimulating letters whether one agrees fully with their contents or not.

In the letter under reply, while appreciating your comments, it seems that you are not fully acquainted with the aims and functions of World Union. Perhaps you know that we have here Sri Aurobindo Ashram where live an international community of 1600 men, women and children. The inmates of the Ashram are disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and stay here to practice Integral Yoga, to endeavor to rise to a state of Supramental consciousness, and aspire to participate in the creation of a new world, a new race and in the manifestation of Spirit in a perfected matter. We have Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education with students of many faiths and countries who study subjects taught in other educational institutions but entirely a different way. These students are not here necessarily to practice yoga but during the course of their studies they understand the truth which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother represent and read their writings but do not necessarily live according to their teaching. Then we have an International plan of Auroville meant for people who aspire to live a higher consciousness and to realize human unity. The workers and participants in all these three institutions are disciples or followers of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

World Union, though inspired by the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and based on two books of Sri Aurobindo The Ideal of Human Unity and The Human Cycle, has membership open to anyone , whether disciple or follower of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother or not, who believes in human unity and world peace on a spiritual foundation. Among the members of World Union we have Theosophists, followers of Swami Ramakrishna, Swami Sivanand, Mrs. Baily and others. Practice of yoga or realization of Supramental consciousness or reaching the divine consciousness is not the aim or function of World Union. World Union aims and endeavors to realize human brotherhood, world consciousness, world perspective, global civilization, international order based on justice and fair play, world union in which unity in diversity is recognized and freedom is assured, and evolution of United Nations into a world authority based on those principles. If you will appreciate this then I believe you will appreciate why our journal “World Union” is run on the lines which you have found it necessary to criticize.

As an individual has the law of his being the fulfillment of which is “Dharma,” an institution also has the law of its being the fulfillment of which is its “Dharma.” World Union has its own “Dharma.”

I welcome your stimulating comments but I hope that you will appreciate the position of World Union I have endeavored to explain in this letter.

Yours fraternally,

A. B. Patel



410 Precita Ave,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

June 7, 1969


A.B. Patel

World Union

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Pondicherry 2, India


Dear Ram:

“The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation—for it survives the longest periods of skepticism and turns after every banishment—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divinity of Godhead, the impulse toward perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be the last—God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.”—first paragraph, Chapter 1, The Life Divine

Your very kind letter of the 2nd of June is before me. Exactly where this fits in to the Taittiriya Upanishad I do not know; in fact I do not see. This leaves me in a quandary.  Is the teaching of this Upanishad and other Upanishads true or not true?

The people of manusha see their point of view, defend their point of view, have logic in their point of view. They do not accept the points of view of others. And I am wondering whether you accept the point of view of non-participants in your efforts that Sri Aurobindo was, and even is, Vijnanavadin. He called himself a Rishi. I have accepted him as a Rishi, not as a questionable “Maharshi” which even some of your so-called followers here accept. Nor am I ready to lay aside the teaching that Atman is Brahman.

If I were to speak at a scientific conference, and I have spoken at top scientific conferences, neither the speakers nor those in accord with them nor those opposed to them would have to tell stories of their life nor their backgrounds in order to present facts and conclusions. It is amazing that you my good friend, acting as if you were a spokesman for the super-mental evolution, should dare to assume that I have not been to Pondicherry, that I am not fully aware from both the inside and outside of what you are doing, or that I would dare to make a criticism or suggestion without knowledge.

From what I have seen of the Sri Aurobindo movement in this land—have never let me speak nor even tell them about my visit to Pondicherry etc, etc, etc, nor would they ever let me speak or refer to Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri, Prince Dara Shikoh, and the book called Dabistan, etc., etc., etc.

Nor would I dare to speak holding to much of the point of view of Shankarachariya if I had not been initiated, ordained, and validated by actual Zen masters who I can name and Sufi Pirs who I can name and the late Swami Ramdas of Kangahad—also by Paul Brunton during the life time of the late Sri Ramana Maharshi. If this background is not enough I can give you more but to so means that before the living God Brahm Ishvara Allah we are accepting dualism and I mean dualism and Tat Tvam Asi is hokum and nonsense and I mean just that.

I have no doubt that many of you are aspiring or think you are aspiring to the super-conscient level. But if those who aspire self-assume the right to reject those who have had direct experiences on the levels you only think exist, teachers and teachings may as well be abolished and aspirants find refuge in the hypocritical term humility.

Before the living God it is very strange that you ask to be accepted while you yourselves do not show how to accept others. India is full of so-called Maharshis, Messiahs, Avatars, and me-ego-me-egos. The same problems persist that belong everywhere to samsara. The same or other, or even better programs and perhaps revelations have been offered, carefully packaged and preserved by “Us special representatives” of whom there are so many today I cannot count them. This is particularly true in India and California. I do not know any law or rule by which the rain and the sunshine and the eternal God is restricted to a certain geography, or the blessings thereof confined to certain individuals or groups.

My secretary is away studying these New Age efforts. I myself am a veteran in this field. As a veteran I do not like to see the same mistakes repeated that I have seen repeated over and over and over. One of my prayers ends, “One single brotherhood in the fatherhood of God.” The International ends “The International Party shall be the human race.” These things did not necessarily come from the super-mental, but I can hardly recognize those that step down to lower levels as representing the super-mental.

I have purposely started to quote Sri Aurobindo. I have not offered a single criticism of the Mother, but if you are daring to put on the same level with Sri Aurobindo or the Mother the work of any group and I mean any group of ahankara-manas politicians, you leave open to a person that does not accept manas-ahankara the right and privilege to offer suggestions and criticisms. And if you are going to place any of the work of the United nations its formers and founders, its officials and its dismal failure alongside The Life Divine you had better consider that the Living God may not agree with you.

It is this Living God whom I believe made mankind in His image and not constitutions formulae, or documents of any kind in His Image. And if you are going to take away the right of dissent from the beginning I am not going to even ask you to consider the operations of karma and the existence of moral laws.

We have offered you before and we offer you still our Dances of Universal Peace. Young people who have never studied Vedas or Upanishads, the Qur’an, the Gita, or the Prajna-Paramita Sutras are coming in ever greater numbers to my meetings to learn these dances. We quote the Names of God. We adore God. we praise God. We are putting into effect the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad by raising the levels of potentialities of ananda (joy) and the actual experiences in ananda (joy). We do not need any documentary from the United Nations for this. perhaps we are expanding the Ramdun. We are not making any joke of Gandhi’s so-called non-resistance, leaving out Satyagraha.

If World Union really stands for “human brotherhood, world consciousness, world perspective” then there will be a certain recognition—respect is not required—to those who have more than the vision of human brotherhood, world consciousness, world perspective. All over California, and now spreading into other Western states there are New Age communities arising. They recognize God. They practice Yoga. they do not respect intellectual efforts of the past two generations (and I am older than the past two generations). The recognize the existence of higher facilities manifesting in human beings and not in mere thought forms about human beings.

This is, no doubt, a strong letter. I want the same ideals and I have long had the same goals. I have seen one after another so-called world movements rise and fall. I have participated in many of them. All failed. Not one accepted “Whatsoever ye do to the least of these my creatures, ye do it unto me.” Not one accepted, “A little child shall lead them.”

There is a teaching that “A people without a vision perishes.” I am old enough, if not wise enough, to accept the visions of the young. I am old enough, if not wise enough, to reject the non-visions of elders as divine inspirations. I am enough of a Muslim to accepts “God loves his creation more than a mother loves her offspring.” Offering the young Love and Joy, I am amazed at the response. In fact I shall have to go to another city soon to organize my work which has gotten out of hand. These young people, the Coming Race, predicted also by Bulwer Lytton, H. G. Wells, and others, is not confining its behavior patterns to the dictums or dictations of elders. The thought World State is a thought; it is not an accomplishment. I have been personally involved in the complexes of Vietnam since 1947 or before. It is only recently that I could get a single important person to accept documentary evidence on this point. We prefer wars and wars shall continue so long as eye-witnesses are nuisances to those in love with the word “peace.”

The writer has gone through many of the stages and states alluded to by Sri Aurobindo when he uses the term “super conscient.” The other night it was demonstrated to some of my disciples the reality of God as Saraswati. I am the Flute of Rumi; more than that I am the Flute of Krishna. very demonstrable, but not before those whose eyes and ears and minds are closed. Skepticism breeds skepticism. World Union will never come by those who say “You should accept us but we reserve the right to reject you.”

I shall soon have copied and published the celebrated poem of Abdul Fazl, Prime Minister of Akbar. The very reference to these two men has been a source of annoyance to nearly all of your representatives or presumable representatives I have contacted so far. No organization or order can obliterate the actual work of the Beloved Ones of God who have made their marks in this world. If you are going to follow the methods of Stalin and Mao by blanketing out history, before the Living God Allah Ram, you may guess the consequences. A real lover recognizes all lovers; a real lover also recognizes non-lovers as the Beloved Ones of God.

I have not come to obliterate Puja, to abolish prayer and meditation and Yoga in the name of any order. the United Nations did not begin with prayer and meditation nor are some of the new nations dedicated to God at all, but that does not remove them from their existence in God and the Love, tenderness, Compassion, and consideration to and for them by the Supreme.

Love does not abject negativity. Love does not mean saying yes or no to those who have not skillfulness in their own use of yes or no. Love is all considerate, all embracing. the Bodhisattva takes an Oath—and I have taken this Oath—to consider the whole race, all sentient beings; and I mean the whole race, all sentient beings, including me and thee and a multitude of mes and thees.

Here we do the walk of Avalokitesvara (Kwan Yin) and of Rama, of Krishna, of Moses, of Jesus, Mohammed. We are working on aspects of dances of Shiva. Qur’an says that the Light of God is neither of the East nor the West. I tell you my friend that the super-mental consciousness is neither of the East nor the West. I pause at this point because I have been summoned to a meeting of other people who believe they are also on the threshold of the super-mental consciousness.

Sunday Morning. Last night was spent at a colloquium of young people. Over a dozen seeking answers. No bland or blind assumptions were accepted. All points of view were fully expressed without any personal or personality allusions or recriminations. A surprisingly large number of those present seemed to have gone deeper into Asian scriptures and philosophies than many of the well-known “experts” or important(!) personalities who are so often  quoted as if God Allah Brahm paid ever special attention to them. Several of those present were deeply imbued with Vedantic teachings. At least one woman there was born in Darjeeling and lived in Vietnam. Some of us faced the complexities of Vietnam, starvation, mal-nutrition, etc., without accepting pat phrases as even quasi-solutions. I think nearly all of us would have accepted the questions and search for answers the way that Buddha did. I relate this as news. I relate this as one of a myriad of examples today of small groups of small people who are ignored by those fortunate enough to be able to send literature afar. Literary emphasis alone does not seem to solve much. The main difference was whether people are important or ideas are important. The majority took the view that people are the most important and that possibly God loves human beings more than ideas which came from just certain sources.

The bible stresses that out of insignificant Bethlehem Ephrata came the light of the world. Modern science accepts that out of insignificant uranium and radium came tremendous unveiling of the secrets of nature. The sciences do not decry the little people. Morality can never catch up with science until moralists also recognize little people and potentialities or actualities that come from them. I myself am not yet willing to lay aside the Biblical “and the little child shall lead them.”

Once during the evening it was necessary to bark and bark out loud. But the chair having seen the celebrated Indian musician Asoka Kaqir and the writer rush up and embrace each other in a public place, ruled that this person has done more than discuss love, he had expressed it. Real love does not decry intelligence or wisdom. One of my poems is entitled, “One eye, Two eyes, Three eyes, and a Thousand Eyes.” The last two allude to ajna and sahasrara. The world is not going to advance when person without awakened so-called higher faculties are denied and decried by those without such faculties awakened. A gold-miner dare not ignore gold; a diamond seeker would not overstep precious stones; but the literati clinging to apparently noble words have full right apparently to ignore, by-pass, and even deride the very ones who exemplify what they are talking about. And this was the gist of the discussion of these young people, and others. Recognition cannot remain a one-way street and find its way into the heart of God.

All love and blessing,

Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Ave,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

22 August, 1969


A.B. Patel

World Union

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Pondicherry 2, India


Dear Ram:

Your letterhead has the admirable heading: A Movement for Unity and Peace through Spiritual and Scientific Development. Period.

The Life Divine begins: “The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation—for it survives the longest periods of skepticism and turns after every banishment—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divinity of Godhead, the impulse toward perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality.  Period.

Page 152: “That apprehending consciousness, the Prajnana, places, as we have seen, the working of the indivisible All, active and formative, as a process and object of creative knowledge before the consciousness of the same All, originative and cognizant as the possessor and witness of its own working….” Period.

Whatever is written, and much has been written, I personally do not countenance the rejection of the teaching of Sri Sanakaracharya and denied in practice, that the divinity is in human beings while asserting and asserting very strongly that this same divinity may manifest in specialized institutions of this same imperfect humanity. I say “imperfect humanity” because in practice there is the rejection both of Sankara and the above quotations from the late Sri Aurobindo and any Yoga, any Yoga that places the institutions coming from mankind as superior to the divinity of mankind is bound to fail. And you can win all the arguments and that is all that will be won—including the adamant refusal to give any consideration whatever and whatsoever to the inspirations of human beings in whom the Vijnanavada and Anandavada are active.

On the positive side, the inspiration of Dance of Universal Peace, now grown into Dances of Universal Peace, snubbed and sidetracked and the proclaiming of the majesty of Santa Class and the semi-divination of human beings as superhuman programs but these programs so fitted and arranged hardly exemplify the above or other quotations from the late Sri Aurobindo.

And the tragedy of seeing Brahma in the white elephant and never in the warner will only mean the repetition of another failure, well financed and well advertised such as the Baha’i movement, the Theosophists, the Roerich Museum, etc., etc, etc. All who flagrantly denied the stand of Sankara or the saying of Jesus Christ, “whatsoever ye do to the least of these, my creatures, ye do it unto me,” only means that another will be added to the list of failures in human history because the God-in-man, in practice is ignored. And one had to write another letter today to another institution to which also Dances of Universal Peace were to have been dedicated and the same snubs which one has endured through a long life, all ignoring Sankara; all ignoring Jesus; all place the institutions of man, or as you are doing, the folk-lore of man above the Divine Inspirations and prajnana.

This city has recently seen another conference on Asian philosophy, dominated by one of your own worthies; flanked by a number of highly educated Europeans and two Asian Christians. Asian non-Christians were not particularly welcome and the sessions, verbally dedicated to mysticism and meditation were actually dedicated to cocktail drinking and plenty. Yet this was lead by one of your own worthies and it is very welcome that there are movements which demand a higher morality from their own “ins” than from others. And so all fail and will continue to fail.

As warnings are of no avail; and as in practice one ignores the teachings of Sankara; and the deeper teaching that Atma is Brahm (to be applied only to the respectable, whomsoever they are) it was not surprising that one has been visited by an ever growing number of Americans who follow their fellows here, “They are not Sri Aurobindo’s people; we are Sri Aurobindo’s people.” These young Americans have money, land and vitality and have concluded, rightly or wrongly, that Auroville is not an integrative community and that it is not fulfilling the promise, “A Movement for Unity and Peace through Spiritual and Scientific Development—the first item being to extol Santa Class and the next not be mention “God” at all.

There are a growing number of these young Americans and they have called on this person who has made a deep study of the scriptures of the world; and on top that has had the spiritual realization, confirmed by Sufis, Yogi Saints and Zen Masters, confirmed from actual experience and fact and still pooh-poohed by money seeking organizations so that in fact, in fact, Rama, the search is for funds and not for divinity; and for leadership, not spiritual realization.

There may be nothing noble in my preferring a group of rising, well-endowed young Americans who accept the hard fact of the divine experience to worldly prestige and wish me to lecture on mysticism, Yoga, and to demonstrate the above-referred to “Dances of Universal Peace” than to send moneys abroad to any group more concerned with Santa Class than with “God” and with the institutions of man (in fact) to the institutions of God. And it has been put so plain that one is seriously considering throwing in one’s lot with these young Americans, many of whom show signs of spiritual awakening, howsoever you define it.

This was not my wish. But after all your presumed representatives in this country, contrary to Prajna and Prajnana, joined a certain Dr. Zitko in a similar attempt which landed and ended in a dismal failure. And all efforts of manas-shankara will so end. And some of us are looking to the higher developments let us say, as depicted in the Upanishads, than the ego-proclaiming superiority of intellectual and social people without regards to spiritual development and enlightenment. But evidently the sins of the “in” groups are always to be forgiven and the “out” groups are called on to repent. But when the cards are reversed and an “out” group establishes itself as an “in group” because of spiritual enlightenment –and no Santa Claus—what can be done? “Unless the Lord Buildeth the House they labor in vain who build.” Now we have the young Americans. One is inclined to join them. Already they have accepted “Dances of Universal Peace” (previously offered to you); and one’s own mystical attainments and knowledge’s. Have you any alternative suggestions?


Samuel L. Lewis



World Union

A Movement For Unity And Peace Through Spiritual And Scientific Development

September 27th, 1969


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti,

410, Precita Avenue,

San Francisco, California, U.S.A.


Dear friend,

I have before me your kind and instructive letters of 7th June and 3rd Sept. 1969.

Let me frankly state that I do not see the aim and purpose of your letters which I have studied carefully. I do not see why you bring in so much of religious terminology and spiritual discussions. Particularly I do not see why you bring in Sri Aurobindo in your writings in the manner you have done.

I dare say you are older than two generations, have read well of the spiritual literature of the East and the West, and have a good command of language to state your points of view. Personally, I would like to mention that I am perhaps as old as you are, if not older, and have seen many aspects of life in a practical way to understand that this world is moving or evolving from imperfection to perfection; from division to unity; from untruth to truth; from darkness to light; and from ignorance to knowledge. I also understand that this world has life at various grades from worm to God-hood, and that there are millions of planes between inconscient and super-conscient, the two ends of this life, and each plane has its own rules and regulations governing existence, progress and further evolution. I admire your endeavor to remain in clouds only. It seems to me that one has to act in regard to any movement according to the needs of the persons whom we approach for the acceptance of the ideals we wish to make effective. To give you one simple instance, ego helps large number of people to grow, while obstructs the path of a spiritually advanced soul. If you preach removal of ego prematurely to an unevolved being, the result will be that he may sink into tamasic attitude, and may fall back in the evolutionary ladder. While for a spiritually advanced soul ego will bar his further progress unless he rejects it completely. One can say in the same way that desire is necessary for the evolution of many, while it bars the progress of a few, who have already entered the spiritual region.

One may also say that similarly reason is a necessary equipment to live life and progress for many, while it will bar the further progress of a few enlightened soul. So in all humility I suggest to you that the work of World Union is different from the work of the Practice of Yoga, or an endeavor for Moksha.

I haven’t understood why you state that we are not interested in your “Dances of Universal Peace” and are unwilling to learn about them. So far, we do not know what it is in the absence of adequate information from you. As World Union we are interested in Peace and Human Unity. But we approach the subject at the present state with ideas and ideals which would change the hearts and minds of man, so that a human being will treat the other human being as a brother and not as a Westerner or Easterner or Hindu or Muslim or Christian and one will be completely free from all barriers of caste, creed, race, religion, nationality or ideology. We in World Union attempt in our own humble way to promote this work without creating confusion in the mind of an average person by learned discourses of spiritual writings old or new, and of the East or the West.

If any higher Force offers to me if I would have 12 members of World Union who live a life of oneness and unity—or one million members who intellectually accept the ideal of human unity, but do not live it, I would prefer to have one dozen members. Moreover, the work of World Union is to educate the people that the aim should be a world union of free and independence nations in which unity in diversity will be the largest principle in life, and freedom its corner stone, and in which no nation will be subordinate to another though some may exercise a greater natural influence. Therefore you will see that in our endeavor we cannot ignore the stage the collective life of humanity has reached so far, for the purpose of creation of an international organization and we cannot ignore the United Nations, its achievements, its defects, its failures, its potentialities, and its growth to be a World Union of free and independent nations.

I do not understand why you adopt an attitude of criticism and condemnation only against others, state that others want money only and want to satisfy their ego, and want to ignore others. As you claim to write from a high spiritual level, I would like to draw your attention to what I understand necessary for progress in the spiritual life. One should not find faults with others, but view what others do with love, goodwill, understanding and sympathy. Fault-finding, gossiping, criticism, opinions, judgments and condemnations are not ingredients of true spirituality. I had not replied your letters for a long time because I thought that it would add to unnecessary misunderstanding between us, but as you have stated in your letter of 3rd Sept. 1969:

“Further cooperation is impossible because of your own terms and failure to exemplify your own slogans.”

I considered it necessary to express frankly what I feel about your letters. At no time have I asked you to fulfill any terms and conditions so that we may cooperate together for a common cause. At no time have I claimed that we will go on explaining all one writes in our Journal, Focus or otherwise. We endeavor sincerely and earnestly to write what we consider necessary to educate an average man to accept the ideal of human understanding and to endeavor to live up to it. I hope that you will accept my assurance that I have attempted to state what I have felt. Again I would emphasis that I do not claim the vast reading you have, and the power of expression you possess and perhaps the spiritual progress you have made. I am merely a humble aspirant for a higher life, higher consciousness, and have take up the work of World Union as a part of my Sadhana. I am 72 years old.

Yours fraternally,

A. B. Patel



World Union      

11th December, 1969


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti,

410, Precita Avenue,

San Francisco,

California, 94110 U.S.A.


Dear friend,

My letter of 27th September 1969 crossed yours of October 3, 1969 and a copy of your letter dated 8th October 1969 to Anand Ashram, Pondicherry.

I hope that you have received my letter of 27th September 1969 and took it in a friendly manner I attempted to convey what I felt right.

I must repeat again that I am no match with your vast reading, high ideals and spiritual grasp. However I would like to mention very humbly two things. If this earth and the life on it are constantly evolving and moving from imperfection to perfection, ignorance to knowledge, untruth to truth, darkness to light and if one accepts that the present universe is not a full manifestation of the Divine but there is an unmanifested universe waiting to manifest by a process evolution, it will not serve truth if we accept the past of this world or the human race as complete or final outcome of the evolutionary process. One has to assume or accept that something more and greater will manifest in course of time and the life as we see it now will be exceeded under the pressure of the future evolution and the facets of Infinite Truth experienced by even great spiritual lights are not final and the future spiritual lights of the world will manifest and express other facets of the Infinite Truth.

It has also to be accepted or understood that in the past endeavor the individual rose to higher regions of spirituality but there was no collective endeavor for rising to the higher level of consciousness.

Perhaps these-two aspects need emphasis in view of what you have been stating in your letters which has rightly or wrongly left an impression on my mind that you quote the past as if it cannot be exceeded in future and you overlook that until the last man rises to the higher level of consciousness the work on earth is not done or complete.

In spite of different approaches or attitudes by you and me for spiritual endeavor and work in the world I do not see why we should not remember that as all rivers flow to the ocean, all sincere and earnest endeavors serve to lead us to a higher state of consciousness.

With best regards,

Yours fraternally,

A. B. Patel



Mr. A. B. Patel

World Union International Centre

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Pondicherry, 2 India

Dec. 20, 1969


Dear Ram:

I very much appreciate your letter of 11th December. The Infinite Truth has not changed. With all the courses of history both in earlier times and now with its flood of “Sadgurus,” “Avatars,” etc., I see no alteration to Sanatana Dharma. But I am sick and tired, hard-felt sick and tired at the progress given to and by intellectuals and their utter disdain of the common man who might be a Kabir in disguise, or not in disguise, nor will there be any World Union with the rejection of “Tam Twat Asi” or Brahm is Atman. So long as personalities assume leadership, leadership with the rights of their egos to reject any self-realized souls, I do not see what goal can be attained, and I absolutely refuse me another experience like that of the Roerich Museum and countless “world-saving groups” any and all of when practice noblesse oblige and the rejection of the little people who may have had under God’s Grace experiences of Divine Union and Yogic attainment, by which I mean attainment.

At one of the colleges here we are discussing the modern movements, and it is regrettable that Sri Aurobindo and his work have not even been mentioned! Many rival movements have at least been mentioned, for they, with all their faults and virtues, at least recognize the common man and the hard-facts of actual history. Your representatives in this country have either never granted the writer an interview of have looked down upon him as an inferior person. Let me tell you, that Dr. Radhakrishnan never acted that way with this ego; Dr. S. J. Chatterji of Calcutta never acted that way with this ego; and when the great Villabhai Patel, whom I assume was your kinsman, was in this city years ago, this person was the only American to be granted an interview. Then there was not a token of dualism, much less the sham of advaita. And when a person with my self-reputed backgrounds and development cannot reach anywhere, what do you think of the common man of this or any other nation? Where do they stand?

Certainly I want World Union. But I want World Union which includes the facts of history and the living humanity, actualities, not projection of any subconscious. Besides this, if one were to put the super-conscient into a word it would be Heart. This disdaining of persons with accomplishments by people who have no accomplishments will never establish any kind of union. Place before these leaders problems such as that of Vietnam, Palestine, Nigeria, and South Asia and they run to cover. Place before them the problems which brought forth the grand meditations and the grand illuminations of Lord Buddha and they mumble.

The conditions on which I will join with World Union have nothing to do with my ego at all. I refuse to reject and by-pass the historicity of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent; Emperor Akbar, Prince Dara Shikoh; and more recently the late President Zukair Hussein. The all-inclusive is all-inclusive, and must be all inclusive, and “Whatsoever ye do to the least of these my creatures, ye do it unto me.”

The Dances of Universal Peace have come out of akasha, or if you will Alaya Vijnana, and no nonsense. And not rejection by any smart intellectual is going to stop the movements of the cosmos itself. And what is far more concern to me, for I cannot help seeing, and I mean seeing it, it is your elevating in one of your publications a Santa Clams while by-passing Yogic attainment by anybody and everybody outside the present so-called World Union. Indeed we have to go elsewhere to get accepted. The well known statement of Abu’l Fasl etc. We do not accept any by-passing by anybody, Whosoever, whatsoever, of the efforts of Fatehpur Sikri. Equally, we would join and must join whole-heartedly, any group that follows in the general direction pointed out at Fatehpur Sikri.

In other words we have two obstacles, and I believe they are both on your part:

a. Your placing Santa Claus above historical and archetypal Saints, Sages, and Rishis.

b. The establishment in places of leadership in a so-called World Union of personalities who insist on their own ego-prowess instead of the brotherhood of man.

I wish to call to your attention a recent issue of “The Bridge” published by the Indian Students Association of this vicinity. It has an excellent article on “Communal Harmony in India.” It is on the basis of such an article and its philosophy that India could extend spiritual and social leadership to the world. It is not on the basis of rejecting historicity or the actualities of the late Villabhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, and President Hussein, that we can build a better world.

I must repeat, to me to super-mental consciousness means the Heart consciousness. I accept no derivations from Sri Aurobindo which contradicts the teachings of the Upanishads. I find nothing in his teachings affirming analysis, emotionalism, dualism, of ahankara-manas interpretations of the Gita or any Scriptures. The awakened heart feels the sufferings of all mankind. When your representatives of this land reject both personality and the glorious Bodhisattvic Oath, to me they are not fit to lead any World Union. But I no longer care to deplore—we are out to act. The youth of America is rising in multitudes, re-incarnated Indian souls who have brought out of the cosmos scads of elements of Sanatana Dharma. The outlooks are those of humanity, brotherhood, and heart. It should not even be necessary to mention these things in this letter.

The very principle of the idea of Yoga without any God is to me anathema. Superficially, this is what is happening today. Among leaders. When anything is substituted for spiritual awakening, that thing is under karma. It is karma- bound. Jesus said “Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.” The qualification of love, the limitation of love, the defining of love—these are not Love.

It is not only as an individual, it is not only as a group or group-leader this is being written, but also with a certain degree of advise and warning. Here we make compassion a value; here we make human consideration a value; here we make tenderness and love values. Here we do not make Santa Claus a value. We are ready, willing and able to work with any group which has a cosmic outlook, actual cosmic outlook.

With all love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



Mr. A. B. Patel

World Union International Centre

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Pondicherry, 2 India

Dec. 24, 1969


Dear Ram:

I am reminded of an event that took place on Christmas Eve in another part of the country over twenty years ago. I was living alone in an ashram in an another part of the country, the nearest neighbor over of mile away. For factors outside my ken no one had sent me either food or presents (these were adjusted later) and the nearest neighbors who had invited me to dinner, disappeared. There was I alone in the woods without, and at that moment the heavens opened and Jesus Christ manifested with a world mission. What happened afterwards has been the usual, but I do not believe it will ever happen again: all the good people, all the presumable devotees, etc., stood almost solidly against this mission. It was concerned with bringing peace in Palestine.

Much earlier in life under comparable circumstances there was a similar experience, but in this city San Francisco. There I took the written notes and showed them to the then-living Dr. Henry Atkinson, head of the World Church Peace Union. He said to me to my amusement, “Mr. Lewis, I have been around the world three times; I have met every king, every prime minister, every potentate, and you are the first man to have brought me what I wanted.” This was in 1928.

Dr. Atkinson laid out plans of studies to acquaint myself with the religions of Asia, which before God I have done, but which before leadership-complex people is nothing but claim. Dr. Atkinson’s successors refused even to give me an interview. The same with the clergy almost all over, except the Quakers. The same with those pretending to believe in universal religion, (excepting the Sufis and Vedantists). The Same with the so-called representatives of Sri Aurobindo.

Why is it that prominent people will accept any pretensions to scientific discoveries without a demur or murmur, and refuse adamantly to accept testimonials of the inner life. When Phillip Kapleau’s The Three Pillars of Zen appeared, I got up and danced for joy. This is a New Age, I said, in which the same psychological attitudes will be taken toward successful adventures within as with successful adventures without. This is happening. It is happening especially in the colleges and universities. It is not happening in the cults, in the foundations, in the leadership-complex movements including the late fiasco of the “Integral Yoga” with Dr. Zitko in Arizona. “Unless the Lord buildeth a house, they labor in vain who build.”

I accepted Sri Aurobindo because of internal evidence. This internal evidence has been snubbed if not rejected, by some, but not all, followers of Sri Aurobindo. There is indeed in San Francisco a Swami who claims to be a disciple of Sri Aurobindo who does not reject this person, but has rejected to so-called official groups. His stand is simple; Yogic experiences consist of experiences in yoga and not in lectures of exhortations.

A number of years ago Dilip Kumar Roy came to San Francisco. He had the usual “humility.” Refusing to see anybody excepting on his own terms. He lost his money. He lost his prowess. He was at his wits’ ends. Then he did something which none of the “humble” people never do: he sat at this person’s feet, actually. There is such a thing as Prajna. I am not going to argue about it, but the practical rejection of Prajna makes it impossible for any great movement, spiritual or commercial, to succeed.

This particular incident was also followed exactly as the moral law of the universe would indicate—I was later stranded at Poona and Dilip Kumar Roy came to my assistance. There is a moral law, and it does not consist of sermons on the subject. It manifests in the actual behavior between man and man.

To me the neglected poet Kabir was in many ways a Prophet. He spoke of the streets and byways being filled with Shivas, and the world went on just as it always did. Science is ahead of religion today. Science accepts the worth of everything. One of the best examples is the ultramicroscope. The ultramicroscope accepts, whatsoever ye do to the least of these my creatures, ye do it also unto me. Religions and cults, whatever their words, whatever their worthiness, do not accept this. That is why I have been lecturing on “Every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low.”

It was only in recent years that I came upon a very odd thing: Exclusive Integration. We have it all around us today. In our race riots, in our social agitations, in the several wars and there are wars going on on the face of the earth. Prominent people talk about peace as if it were a piece of cheese. While the “World Union” runs around with a nice phrase. I am next adding to my contacts here a Sufi (of all things) from Palestine.

As I have always stood for the internationalization and de­-politicalization of all Holy cities, I stand before the Living God that the divine inspirations which originally brought this to both my inner and outer consciousness, stand. I may have to go beyond” Dances of Universal Peace” into working out in a literary form the same proposals written in 1928. Fortunately, my closest spiritual colleague is having a book published in which a whole chapter is devoted to this unknown person. But I have long felt like Mohammed in the cave, that when you have God with you, you have a majority. My lectures on Krishna, the neglected Negro cowboy, are drawing hilarious responses. Every mystic I have ever met, of every school, has accepted that the relation between human being to human being is the same us the relation between the multifarious cells of the body to human personality and function. It is no longer a question of appealing for acceptance of personality. It is a question of whether people who claim can live up to their claims.

Ever since I met the young men who returned from Pondicherry saying they would build their own Shangri-La in this land, I have seen more and more wonders from American people. “Cosmic Humanism” of Oliver Reiser has not only interested me, it has excited me. It has even destroyed a degree of calmness into ecstascial bewilderment. I get no such feeling from any of the materials from Auroville, but I do get such feeling from many of the materials from New Mexico.

Deep down we have to come to human understanding and love. I cannot demand that mankind accept my mystical experiences. It is in my poetry, it is in my Darshans, and it is in manifestations of using Universal Kind in operation. But it is not an ego claim. It is part of the demonstration that the oversoul of Emerson and the supermind of Sri Aurobindo, are real, not projections of articles and sermons by persons who have not experienced them.

I am now ready to work on my next cosmic poem. It will stand. The real author is God.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. The article enclosed that this person is capable of understanding and points of view, but it also shows by actuality of events that your colleagues unable to accept what this person is doing.



World Union

21, Jannath

New Delhi

May 31, 1970


Respected dear Mr. Lewis,

Thank you very much for your letter of ten 24th March 1970. This long delay in acknowledging your letter is due to my serious illness for which I had to be hospitalized from 31st January, 1970 to 7th May, 1970, as I had to undergo an operation for the removal of prostate gland, which turned out to be almost fatal at one stage, but for the kind efforts, including our Prime Minister’s assistance to get the medicine overnight from Germany, has saved my life. Behind all these, I believe, it was all due to Divine Grace that has helped me to pass over this crisis. I have returned home from the hospital on the 7th May, 1970, not yet fully recovered from the shock which I have passed. Still convalescing. That is why I could not reply to your letter also. No doubt, it will take some time before I am able to regain my normal strength, but with God’s grace and best wishes of friends like you, I hope that I shall regain my normal health soon.

What you have state in your letter, whatever can be the opinion of others, I find I am in general agreement with you—India has a spiritual message, it is true—but it does not necessarily follow that the message will be delivered through an Indian. Like you, I also take the world view and I find the spiritual message of India in which I believed, and still believe, is being realized as predicted and worked out by many people all over the world and you are one of them. We are organizing a “World Parliament of Youth” and perhaps you have got some literature concerning this conference. I really find that we have no exclusive plan but we do want that the younger generation should come forward with their new ideas and suggestions so that a new world may be born out of this chaotic condition through which we are passing presently.

I also agree with you that in the past many depended on the personalities, but today I can clearly see, as you have said, what Sri Aurobindo predicted and also H. G. Wells and others predicted, which is being manifested today through the youth of the world all over. Our “World Union” does not believe working in isolation. We do believe that all over the world a new spirit should manifest which in fact is being manifested through various people, institutions, and the people who can come close to each other and collaborate with each other, in a friendly and sympathetic way. Dances of the Universal Peace of which you have written has inst be­en presented publicly and has been recorded by the TV, etc. I shall be glad to know something more about this, if possible. Let me assure you that you are not working in isolation. There are good many people and I am one of them who really think and have great regard and attach great importance on the work which you are doing.

As I have mentioned that we are organizing “World Parliament of Youth” in Pondicherry, there will be another conference on Scientific Yoga, which has been initiated by Swami Janardan with collaboration of Christopher Hills in London, to be held  in Delhi, sometime in December 1970. Swami Janardan will be sending you a few literatures to you shortly, concerning this conference. I hope you have already received our literature from World union Pondicherry concerning the “ World Parliament of Youth” to be held in Pondicherry sometime between 27th December 1970 and 1st January, 1971. If not, please write directly.

Hope you are doing well. With my loving regards,

Sincerely yours,

Surendra Mohan Ghose


21, Janpath

New Delhi

A Movement for Conscious Participation in Our Evolution Toward Unity

July 8, 1970


Dear Mr. Lewis,

I am very glad to receive your letter dated June 15, 1970 written from New Mexico, together with its enclosures, and thank you very much for the same. I am really very glad that you have started your work as spiritual leader heading a group of young people who are really spiritual seekers. Further I am delighted that spiritual leader like you have seen through your spiritual eye that the whole country-side is full of spiritual seekers—exactly the type of humanity predicted by Sri Aurobindo, H.G. Wells and others.

About another remarks of yours, I do not know any leader of Sri Aurobindo movement in your country who appears not to recognize other pre-sages etc., However, if there is anybody, I can simply say that my understanding of Sri Aurobindo is quite different from theirs. Believe me, what I have written to you about the World Union is really true. I am working with that spirit and I do not consider that I am responsible for anybody’s activity. From the minutes of the proceedings of World Union or World Council meeting you will find the authenticity of what I have stated about the spirit behind “World Union” activity as true and you will never find anything to suggest that the World Union stands in isolation. Let me make it very clear to you that although you believe in universality yet because of our mental limitations and our activity being confined only in a limited sphere to make it clear that there is enough scope for others also to work in the same direction in their own way without creating any misunderstanding between ourselves. I liked very much the underlying free and frankness expressed throughout in your letter. It may be that “World Union” cannot take upon itself the plan of work or the program on which you are working, but let me assure you that there is no misunderstanding from my side to the line of your activity you have mentioned in your letter.

Let us try to understand each other also recognize the facts that we are working with a very limited resources. Moreover that super mind has not yet manifested itself. The May issue of “Mother India” quotes a saying of the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry—said in reply to a question—“The great mistake has always been to oppose these partial discoveries instead of unifying them in a supreme harmony. That is why humanity is still groping in the dark. Sri Aurobindo has come to reveal that this supreme harmony exists and to show us way the way to discovered it”.

I leave it there.

I am indeed grateful to you for your suggestion that something which you have dedicated to me. Personally I believe that I am a very small man and I do not consider myself worthy of any such thing. Even then I feel grateful because of this thought that came to you and I thank you very much for that. I am sorry to learn that you have got a rebuff from me. If there was anything in my letter which could create that feeling in you, I sincerely apologies. But from my side, I have again gone through the letter replied to you, I do not find anything which could be interpreted as rebuff. Even then, I apologize if I have offended you, and I hope, you will excuse. I am sorry, I cannot agree with your views about Christopher Hills. You and I may have different views about different persona and their opinions, that does not mean that you and I cannot appreciate each other. I am glad to learn that financially you are in a very good position and you have got many disciples around you. You must be very happy. That shows that you have Divine backing. Again thank you for writing a long letter to me with very kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

Surendra Mohan Ghose