Clifton, Robert Stuart - Sumangalo Correspondence


16th Nov. 1953


Dear Samuel,

May you be blest! May you be doubly blest! How exceedingly good it is to hear from you and to know that, despite adversities, you are keeping on with keeping on and have reached that beatific state (well, anyway, an almost beatific state) of being beyond the power of joy to excite or trouble to depress unduly. Years ago, I talked on “Beyond joy and sorrow” at a mid-week meeting at S.F. Buddhist Temple. “Sammy” Lewis told me afterward to look up Isiaih 30-7 when I got home (you won’t mind that I’ve mis-spelled poor Isaiah, will you?) and the next day’s mail brought me a poem you had written on the inspiration of the verse indicated. I still treasure it in my bulging scrapbook.

“Not to affirm—nor yet deny
To seek the truth and know the why,
This is ‘Right Meditation!
It is not on earth nor in the sky,
Only in silence lives the ‘I’
There finding liberation.”

I still think that both Sammy and Isaiah “had something”—and I use the said “something” quite frequently—when samsara gets a bit too much of a muchness for a physically weak boy in his early fifties.

I have never had the pleasant honor of meeting Alan Watts. I have met his charming wife and children and I have known his mother-in-law for some nineteen or twenty years. In fact I visited with her just a year ago today in N.Y.C. on my way home from Europe. She is in Japan now and may decide to stay there. Anyway, I am grateful to Watts for giving you my address. Possibly it’s a case of “The Lord moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”

San Francisco is mostly a blur in my memory. I clearly recall some trivia of my stay there and am dependent on my diaries for most of the rest. Individuals are mostly blotted out. I remember you and about eight or nine other individuals (and I am so glad in at least one case!). A seventeen day bout with amnesia erased portions of my life from memory’s record in 1936. Probably there was an excellent reason for the erasure. I have made no strenuous attempts to change the situation. At the moment, I might even welcome a bit more erasing. My job is not an easy one and the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon are requisites for the task. I have not those qualifications. So … I’m “pinch-hitting” until a better man comes along … at which time I shall so gladly turn over to him my purple robes and equally purple worries, vexations annoyances and sorrows. In fairness I may as well add that there are joys, too. However, as an old-timer in The Dharma-Way, I know only too well that joy and sorrow are both woven of the same staples. Nevertheless, fewer aspirins seem to be needed with joy. I’m sure you understand.

Oddly enough, in connection with your statements concerning time and space … last week I wrote an article of sorts for “Western Buddhist” of London. I’ll probably get my ears pinned back by numerous critics. We shall see.

You speak in your letter of “the coming to an end of years of frustration…,” etc. Samuel, my diaries tell me of your frustration. Apparently I saw it years ago in S.F. I may as well tell you that I, too, was frustrated. At long last I came to see that the barrier in front of me was self-erected. I just walked on through it. All my life I have wanted to paint (or at least to dabble) in oils. I always felt it was beyond me. Lately I went downtown and splurged on everything a painter needs. I am painting. Possibly I shall not be a threat to Raphael’s reputation … but I am painting. “taint half bad, or as our English friends say it: “not ‘arf bad!” Of course you quite grasp that my painting would be much better if only I’d tear down a bit more of the barriers … the barriers that really aren’t there.

I am so glad that things are in process of shaping up to fit in with your long-cherished aims. May the Oriental journey be a source of great spiritual exaltation to you. May I assist with letters of introduction in Japan and Formosa and a few to prominent Buddhists in India … including the Attorney General (I believe they call it “minister of law”) Ambedkar, leader of the “untouchables”—the heads of Maha Bodhi Society … many contacts in Ceylon and a few in Burma and Thailand? Command me.

Samuel, my fellow-pilgrim, you have hit the hammer squarely with the nail and I am in most complete agreement with your statements concerning the morass of modern “civilization” so called. Yes, the problems seem insuperable. They are like the simplest knot in “The Boy Scout Manual!” It is hellishly hard to teach because it is so simple. It gives nothing to the mind to work on … nothing to “sink the teeth into!” Basically our world-problems are simple. We insist on making them complicated. That’s the trouble with Zen. Practically everyone sees it as an intellectual system. Yet it is so obvious that an ever-working mind is a real hindrance to a Zennist. Peasants and simple artisans have a better chance of hearing the sound made by one hand clapping. In London I was asked by Christmas Humphreys “Who in the West has the grasp of Zen sufficient to teach it?” … to which I could reply only with another question: “What is there particularly to grasp?”… and he is still mystified by my response … despite his book on the subject. You and I both like biblical quotations so here’s one more: “Of the making of many books there is no end … yet wisdom increaseth not.”

The afternoon mail brought a letter from a married couple who have been more or less under my tutelage for some eighteen years. They are both of them “grinds” … afflicted with intellectualitis in the worst way. They have groaned and moaned and striven and sweated and strained for years to “grasp” Zen. To-day’s letter happily shows that at long last they are on the right track. They write: “We gave it up as a bad job and ceased striving. We took your advice to buy a stack of recordings by “the three B’s” (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms) and just listen and feel and never mind thinking and particularizing and discriminating and liking and disliking and understanding and not understanding. Now attend carefully to this, dear teacher. Last Wednesday evening we sat and relaxed and listened to a series of recordings. Apparently we just sort of let go as regards our terrifically assertive egos. Something happened to both at the same time. We actually had a flash (after all these years!) of insight into the real nature of all things! And it came when we were not trying—indeed when we had quite given up!” I am sure this needs no explanation to you.

The task appointed you by Sufi Inayat Khan will be nobly carried out. I remember you well enough to be sure of that. You have the ability. That is good but it is not enough. Dedication is the other essential factor. You have that, too. May every blessing rest upon your efforts. This reminds me … do you think an introduction to an American faculty member of National University of Indonesia might be of help to you? It’s yours for the asking.

Regarding Dr. Malalasekera. He is a learned man. Too learned. I doubt not at all that you follow this thread of my thought. He is a good and great man and a most capable and inspiring organizer and promoter. Such men are needed today. But, he reminds me of the story told about a Zen patriarch who, on being told: “Surely, venerable sir, Engakuji must be the nearest place to Heaven?” made this reply: “Yes, and it is also the nearest place to earth.” Dr. Malalasekera’s learning has vaulted into the empyrean so often that he has well-high forgotten the necessity of keeping his feet planted on terra firma.

Just, by way of keeping my own feet firmly terra-ed, I have cultivated a very natural ability to “swear a blue streak.” Very unbecoming in a sojo (bishop) but also very effective in handling certain situations. I seem to recall that some of the Zen masters of fame were also a bit irascible … probably as much of a pose as my own swearing and appearing to be a stern and “difficult” person. In confidence, I have had a spot of trouble with a certain “Friends of Buddhism” society in a certain city. I’ve tried sweet reasoning and cajoling and all that sort of honey and treacle. It didn’t work.

A few weeks ago I decided to “blow my top.” I’m glad to report it worked beautifully. Now all is serene in the city of … apparently for fear “the terrible-tempered Clifton” will let go a barrage of verbal pyrotechnics again! Even honesty can be overdone.

Samuel, I’d love to write you a book. However, I am doing my own typing, at the moment, and I need new bi-focals (my “uppers” and my “lowers” also need renewing), and about as fast as I get a truly competent secretary (and one who can make up for my deficiencies in spelling), she finds a nice chap who has marriage in mind and I perform the ceremony and that’s that as regards secretarial help. I’ve lost three that way. Arthritis is not too kind to me and, for long periods, I am unable to make much use of the right arm (and left leg). I am compelled to send bales of letters to our secretary for propaganda and promotion—a Mr. Frank Newton of Arkansas. Why he chooses to live in Ultima Thule is his own business. I’d prefer one of the more modern Hells … to “the Bible Belt!” “Bodhi Leaves” is an attempt to “correspond” with people without actually writing them personal letters. The next issue is in process of preparation. It features a fine article by my good and esteem friend Grace Constant Lounsbery of Paris. The entire issue is rather a bit on the Theravadish side. I am not particularly this or that as regards the schools. If I must wear a label … well, I am just a Buddhist. I decline to take up a hatchet in sectarian rivalry. As the little boy said to his mamma: “I ain’t mad at nobody.”

May all the Bodhisattvas smile upon you for your good act in helping the builders of the Chinese Temple in San Francisco. I wish I were there. At least I could be a water-boy! (“Kim”?) I shall make use of the news you send on this point.

Sometime in the course of the next twelve or fourteen months I must go to Germany. We now have a flourishing mission effort there and it is growing by al-most unbelievable leaps and bounds. I shall probably re-visit Paris and again inflict my rusty French on the long-suffering Parisian Buddhists. Fortunately I have no German. England, too, calls again … likewise Hawaii and Japan. However, I have no real need to visit the last two places and so shan’t go. I am now at the stage where travelling urges can well be satisfied simply by reading the National Geographic Magazine. My armchair in my cozy corner suits better than the gilded “comforts” of foreign hotels and the fleas in Italian trains. No doubt the fleas have as much right in the trains as I have but I do wish they wouldn’t be so companionable. I leave them alone … why can’t they leave me alone?

Do you know Mr. Edward A. Hilton of 212 Genesee St., SF 12? Seems to be a very sincere student of Zen. Plans to go to Japan, I believe. I like him very much. We exchange letters occasionally.

While the Kwancho of Soto Zen was here he asked me some searching questions such as a working man might ask on the Zen subject. Apparently he liked my replies as he asked me to write a manual or series of essays on the subject of Zen from the workman’s point of view … couched in simple language. I agreed. I have thought of asking Alan Watts if he might care to wade through the opus after it is done (let’s not set a date!)—but the barrels of letters (unanswered) on my desk are a terrific deterrent to writing to anyone not already on my lists of one sort or another. If you see him any time soon, I request you to thank him for his kindly act in re-introducing us. Also mention, please, this matter of the manual. In fact, show him this excuse for a letter if you so desire. He may as well have a glimpse into the alleged working of my so-called mind.

May Rabbi Ben Ezra be right where you are concerned. May it surely be true that for Samuel “the best is yet to be.” May All Holy Powers regard you benevolently; may you come into perfect Enlightenment.

Faithfully your friend,

Robert Stuart Clifton



P.O. Box 823,

Buffalo 5.

June 26th. 1954


Dear Friend Sammy,

A Buddhist missioner’s work is never done. I’ve just got “Bodhi Leaves” ready for the printer and now I can get at some few hundreds of letters that ought to have been answered long ago. I am now compelled to use notes and post cards except for really important matters. There just aren’t enough hours in the day and enough energy left in Grandfather Clifton. Not complaining … just stating a fact.

How goes your projected Asiatic junket? I hope all impediments are now in the past and all is clear sailing for you. I can think of no one better qualified to profit by a sojourn in the East … close to the seats of the Advanced Ones. It will act as a downright tonic on me if you tell me you are now able to see your way clear to making the pilgrimage you have so long wished to make. May every blessing attend your right efforts … and I’m sure they are right efforts. Sammy, will you please favor me by discovering for me the names and addresses of the leaders of the Chinese Buddhist temple in S.F? In the Fall issue of Bodhi Leaves I’d be happy to ave full data and pictures to publish. Moreover, I wish to establish a closer rapport with the Chinese-American Buddhists. I am in contact with many college students in NYC and elsewhere … or Chinese origin … but I’d like to know more of “the old-timers!” If you can give the addresses desired (even if it’s only the temple address), I shall be grateful to you.

This October I shall be in California prior to taking off for the Orient. I shall be in Hawaii, Japan, Malaya, Australia, Thailand, Burma, Ceylon and India and come home by way of our various branches in Europe. If you are still “stateside” I hope to be able to have a good get-together with you then.

May all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas be the light on your path. May you attain.

Ever Faithfully,


January 18th 2498 [1955—Ed]

Wat Pavaranives, Bang Lampoo, Bangkok


Dear Daruma,

On an air-baggage allowance I can’t lug a library with me but I may be able to dredge up a few pertinent facts with a dime-store value to you in re the Wheel of Life. I go half a day a week to the Royal Library and visit with Princess Poon and have looked up a few items in languages I can read. Also got a few facts in Thai language which I am laboriously spelling out with the aid of a dictionary and with help from a young monk who has some English, albeit mostly medical. Here we go.

Many years ago I presented a series of papers in S£F£ (never mind the pound sterling marks–they are meant to be periods), on the subject of the Twin Wheels of life and of the law. My diaries (now safely burned) reminded me for many years that the S.F. Public Library cross indexing system was lousy. I wonder if it has improved with time. Much of my info I laboriously dug out of the said library. I recall I borrowed a book from Library of Congress in Wash., DC. but can’t quite recall the name … anyway the S.F. library got the Lib. Cong. volume for me and, surely, could do the same for you. One thing I found out for certain and that is that there are many wheels … of life … of the law … of the cosmos, symbolical representations of microcosm and macrocosm, the wheel of the formless worlds, wheels of the formed realms, etc., etc., ad infinitum and considerably ad nauseam. I gave up. From some of the plates of wheels (Tibetan) I’ve seen here and there, I judge that many of the monk artists of Tibet are more talented artistically than “theologically” and often confuse the wheel of life with the wheel of the law or of the cosmos or with certain aspects of Indra’s disc … which is certainly a chakra. There is an ancient copy of “The Traiphoom” (Spit out ((aspirate)) the P and silence the H) in the Royal library here. I’ve got a few excerpts for you. Start quote:

“The whole of space has been forever occupied by an infinite number of chakrawans (groups or worlds) all similar (particularly in reference to being subject to same laws of Niyama … the parenthetical remarks are mine) RSC) and each embracing a world of sentient beings, with its own series of heavens and hells (and intermediate states … the parenthetical remarks being prompted by erudite comments from a learned monk at my side as I type). From time to time, vast numbers of these sub-universes are annihilated by natural disaster and a “void” remains until the necessity of giving scope to merit and demerit causes the “void” (in a dialectical senses only) to be filled. First there appears an impalpable mist, gradually changing into a torrential rainfall, continuing until a great part of the void is filled water. Then arises a whirlwind which shapes the system and dries up part of the water, causing mountains and plains to appear in slow succession. During this time, the only inhabitants of the systems are the Brahmas, the highest order of “angels,” glorious beings, whose own radiance illumines the system. They need no food are not subject to sensual feelings. These Brahmas have, in the course of 1000’s of previous embodiments in pre-existing worlds (or realms or planes), have gradually improved until reaching that celestial estate which is next to perfection. Then some degenerate until they sink into the most unhappy forms of life.” End of quote.

The afore described realms (or series of realms) is one of the subjects depicted on “wheels” and now we come to another paragraph from “The Traiphoom” … begin quote: “There are seven annular belts of water mass which separate the seven annular mountains from Mount Meru and each other. They are said to be inhabited by immense fish. (This appears to be the ancient Thai idea of a sub-universe). There is a Mount Meru at the center of each system and around the central mount are seven alternate belts of ocean and mountain; then an eighth (the great) ocean, at the 4 cardinal points of which are the four great human worlds or continents, one of which is inhabited by men and the other four by sub- (or half) human beings. Each great continent has around it five hundred islands. The system is bounded by the great circular (wall-like) mountain Chakkrawan.” End of quote.

Now I find a wheel description of the Brahma-worlds in “The Traiphoom” … 16 of which are formed and 4 formless. The three lowest inhabited by those who attained first Dhyana in human life. Next three for those who attained varying degrees in 2nd dhyana and next 3 for those perfected in 3rd Dhyana. To the top two planes only those who are masters of the fourth dhyana are admitted. Some poorly informed ones insist there is a fifth dhyana and that the “wheel” of these planes should have 11 formed realms and five formless realms … the first eleven being for grades one through four of the dhyanas and the top five for the attainers of the “fifth dhyana” … those who are almost in Nirvana. There is much other similar information here if I had the time to dig it out. The mail has just come and there are some matters which demand my attention. All I’m attempting to do anyway is to establish that there are wheels and wheels and, as the saying goes, “wheels within wheels.” I note a footprint statue of the Buddha here in the compound. The Patriarch and I were looking at it the other day and I objected that the disc of Indra is on the imprint and also on the palms of the Buddha’s hands—to which the patriarch answered that “99% of Oriental Buddhists don’t know the difference.” The Wheel of the Law takes several forms. I am strongly inclined to share your views as stated in your letter and planned for expression in your monograph. I wish you’d take the matter up with Alex Wayman or 760 Grizzly Peak Rd., Berkeley 8, Calif. Alex is a Tibetan scholar and a good egg and might be very helpful. You might also get some real help from the Tibetan Museum of Staten Island by writing Miss Gwendolyn Winser there … or at her home address of 105 South Grove St., East Orange, N. J. or by appealing for info about lit. available in Lib. of Cong. by writing to Mr. David Ray of 847 Venable Place NW., Wash. 12, DC. David is a very busy man (librarian for Dist. of Columbia) and a Buddhist of many interests and activities. If you can get him to find the time to search catalogs for you you might get some valuable info. He is a very nice chap and kindly disposed but just too, too busy. However, no harm in trying.

Her Serene Highness returns your kind greeting and wishes you success in your endeavors. She is a wonderful  person and I like her muchly.

Sammy, if only I were home I think maybe I have a mass of notes on your subject and I recall that as for the divisions of man, narakas, pretas, rakshas and what have you and for how much? are listed differently from locale … thus one thing in Tibet and another in North India and something else in exoteric Buddhism of Siam and something else in what may permissibly be called “esoteric” Buddhism of Siam … and still other iconographies in Angkor Wat and at Borobudur and in half-forgotten temples in Cambodian jungles. Go ahead with your paper and state your case. If you don’t prove you are right at least your critics will have one Hell of a time in establishing that you are wrong. I don’t know if “Ricky” Robinson (the Rev. RH Robinson of Apt, c 10, 245 Howland Ave., Toronto 5, Ontario) has dope on these points or not but he’s on the Oriental faculty of Univ. of Toronto and they have a large library. It might be a good idea to sound him out. Write him approx. what you wrote me. Ricky is quite a scholar and a good egg all ‘round. Earnest Buddhist as well. Come to think of it I’ll send him your letter to me in a few days and then I suggest you write him on the point to request aid … if possible. Huh?

My best to you Sammy … you’re one of my favorite persons. May things go your way … always … all ways. I mean that.



Robert of Banglampoo


Teaching at Royal Buddhist University and 2 colleges, lecturing and radioing and studying Thai and Pali and writing. Yet I’m not overworked—?



60 Harriet St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

August 7, 1955


My dear Sumangalo:

It is remarkable how rapidly the mail travels. I have also written to Brother Patel. There is a subtle “reason” for cooperating hare. I have assumed that he is Indian, and might even be related to the great brothers who did so much for Gandhi. I am getting ready now to send one report to the State Department. It will consist of three separate and all rather involved letters. The first has to do with my own Indian relationships. I believe, (in a certain sense) that “I” can deliver. The third report covers the Buddhist Countries and South East Asia.

I have sent Patel the part of the telephone book, too, and given him a direct report. I am very hopeful that my affairs can clean up soon. The whole world is becoming to me like a doorstep. It seems to belong to “me” rather than “I” to it.

The reason for using marks around the pronouns has to do with some personal history. Being very active in the semantic movement, some of us attended a lecture by Prof. Anatole Rappoport on “Humanism vs. Religion.” Now one who has been studying the recent trends in logic, logistics and science expected much from a man who has been in the forefront. Instead he spoke very, very rapidly: “Niebuhr is unintelligible, therefore religion is unintelligible, therefore humanism!” This, among a super-intellectual????

The-next week I played one of my tricks. Alan Watts was speaking on “Buddhism and Semantics.” I told him that I was helping to pack the hall. There is a very blind site in this man, of which more below. Anyhow it was necessary to bring in twice as many chairs as they had put up and it was the second largest gathering ever held at the Academy. The largest was when Malalasekera gave his farewell a few years back. In the end I asked the question which won me the audience.

Well that great man, Malalasekera is here. He told us the plans for a Buddhistic encyclopedia. I am all for him but on one point—I believe that Sanskrit should be used as the basic language. The conferences in Hawaii fell down because of the multi-ordinal translations. He gave the best expositions, but alas, he used Pali. In the end this is egotism and this subtle egotism is a bar from a complete victory. Still we enjoyed him very much and he wishes to send his regards and good-will to you.

Not so pleasant is the letter from Rickie Robinson. I received in three days three letters: Your friends in London, the Soto-siu in Japan, and Rickie. All the same—we have IT, send funds, ignore the other fellow. Rickie is the worst. He comes forth boldly with a criticism on Pratyeka-Buddhism and demands a sangha and regular ordination (with himself—by innuendo—as pope). I have written him a strong letter. He has not shown great spiritual development.

Malalasekera is utilizing his missions to emphasize: a. Historical Buddhist b. Practice of deep meditation c. Enlightenment experience.

I have told Rickie that anything not based on the Four Noble Truths, Eightfold Path and Three Jewels is useless. He is giving us a sort of Buddhistic Arya Samaj with his own eclecticism.

My paper for Alan should be completed (revised) toddy. It is on the subject of self-surrender in the various traditions. I have dealt him two awful blows. He has had some Zen experience. He uses this experience as the basis of his lectures, teachings and philosophy. But he rejects your experiences because you ain’t got no college degree. Rah! Rah! an-atta.

Point 1. The word “self” does not appear in the Hebrew Bible. I have searched the scriptures diligently to find out where it came in. It got in through the window and not through the door. Neither in the Old Testament nor in the words of Jesus Christ is there anything to suggest “self.” Now for a scholar who has steeped himself in Christianity on the one hand and in Orientals on the other, he ought to have found this out himself.

Point 2. I have presented a Taoism which he will reject and call his “Taoism” “Wu Wei-ism” which has never had popular appeal.

Of more importance to you, I have recorded my own inner experiences when, following a Sufic technique, Buddha was substituted for Mohammed, as the Perfect Man. It resulted in the visiting and cleansing out of the lower planes first, then of the higher, the complete union, with all creation and a state beyond that union which is in conformance with whatsoever has been written of it. No attempt is made to show this is the highest state. One can argue forever whether it was “gradual” or “sudden.” But this I can state: to those I meet there is magnetism, vitality and positive-goodwill. They may reject “me” which is all right. But I never draw on the magnetism of others and I permit them to draw on me and it does not matter. There is a world of difference between a theoretic ji-ji-mu-ge and the practical feeling (simpatico) for those you meet.

Another result is the obtaining of the good-will of students right under the noses of the teachers. I feel for masses which does not reject feelings for classes.

William Winter has been talking about Buddhism in Korea. There is a split over the marriage of monks. It resembles the Catholic Church in the 11th Century. Practically I do not care. Malalasekera is married; Sokei-An married. My own view is that we have taken abstracted Buddhism without its Indian heritage and built upon it. This is all right, too, if we remember that we are purposely leaving something out. So I go back to Brother Malalasekera for the time being. But I want a “Broad Buddhism” and I still admire Yudell (greetings from him also). He may have a small following but he has a large respect.

When Princess Poon was here she argued a long time at me and then suddenly said, “What is your view?” When I started to reply she said: “That’s my religion, too.” No argument. Only love, compassion and good-will. I am the “Dennis-the-manace” to the philosophers. I look for either compassion or prajna. Shibata has them, so have some others. I never reject an obvious, living fact.

Everything is OK.

Best wishes in the dhamma,



Penang Produce Company,

P. O. Box 409

GPO Bangkok.

10th Aug. ‘55


Dear Mr. Lewis,

Thank you for your cordial letter and for the trouble you have taken to ascertain names of firms interested in zircons. I am grateful to you. My friend, the venerable Sumangalo tells me nice things about you and your activities and interests. I am pleased to know of your interests in spiritual and literary matters.

You will do well to make contact with Prof. Radhakrishnan. He is a genuine scholar and a truly great soul. I know him well. During the period of the provisional government of India I was a cabinet member (government in exile). At this time I came to know all those who are now in power and many who have dropped from sight or from life … including Bose.

I am writing to all the names you sent me. I prefer to deal with firms rather than with cartels.

Should you ever be in Bangkok stop at 365 Siphya Road and make yourself known. I am in position to tell you who is who and to steer you clear of pitfalls that beset the friendless stranger.

Today is “shaving day” (eve of sabbath) and is a holiday for Father Sumangalo from his university classes. My stenographer is unavailable today and I am making use of RSC’s offer to type for me. Many letters must be written, so I shall sign off.

Again thanking you for your efforts in my behalf and repeating that it would afford me happiness to meet you, I am

Cordially yours,

K. R. Patel, Pres.,

Penang Prod. Co.



Dear Sammy, I wrote an answer to your most recent letter and sent it off about two weeks ago. I hope it reached you. Mail service is less than perfect here. One never knows. I send you my best wishes that all may turn out well as regards your inheritance, etc. Write when the mood seizes you.


R. S. C.


PS. Aug. 13th. Wrote today to Belmont Lapidary Co. and offered them the sole commission agency for stones from me. Pending their reply I shall not communicate with others. No need for NYC to “hog” the zircon market. I have the supplies if California has the buyers. I prefer to deal with one firm rather than to do business with a number of individuals. It is necessary to have an export license for each individual shipment and it is simpler to get such permits for shipments to one consignee. Your advice will be appreciated.




Box 409

GPO Bangkok

Aug. 29th 1955


Dear Sammy,

I’ll answer your letter to Brother Patel. He has been rather desperately ill and hospitalized but is out of danger now and making a come-back. His business affairs need much attention as a result of his absence from his desk and, as soon as he can gain a bit of strength, he must go to Penang and Singapore on the affairs of his company.

The way of the lecturer is hard here. No one comes to Asia to lecture except as a secondary activity. Firstly, there is not a large intellectual class in most Asian countries. It is difficult to get an audience for a lecture on a “problem.” When such lectures are arranged, it is usually on the basis of paying the lecturer a good dinner and a carton of cigarettes. As for the solution of such headaches as water shortage, etc., the FAO and other United Nations agencies have men and women swarming all over Asia. And they lecture at the drop of a hat.

When you finally cash in on your inheritance, if you can then manage your own passage money, it is quite likely you could pick up your “keep” in Hawaii, Japan, Siam and Burma. Probably India, too, by talking to select groups and being house guest of various persons. The way of the Occidental in the Orient is not an easy one. As a monk, I am in somewhat different situation. However, I am rapidly learning the language and that smoothes the way a lot. A civilian Westerner here simply must have either cash of friends or a job.

For years I have known everyone in the Orient who is worth knowing. This has enabled me to make contacts I would not have had otherwise. Your very best bet is to take the robe for a time. That puts you on the inside track.

Brother Patel and I expect to go to India the latter part of October for a flying visit to the four holy places (one [?]) and a quick look at Ceylon before returning. Much depends upon having good connections here. You simply must know the right people. Otherwise you are “out in the cold.” I have just come from my class at University. My students are a nice lot of youngsters. However, teaching English and [?] is not why I came to Siam. Soon I hope to stop teaching. [?] me time for study of Thai and Pali and Sanskrit.

Brother Patel is happy to have your letter. I shall try to get him to take some food. He is quite weak. Let me know if I can offer advice on problems in connection with a visit [?]. We send you our good wishes and I add my blessings for a speedy solution of your financial entanglement as a result of your father’s state not yet being settled. Metta.



Brother Patel just had a bad fainting spell; very weak.



September 13, 1956


Dear Sumangalo:

I am in Bombay. This should be a good name for the capital of the U.S., or reversing it, we have A-Bomb and they have Bombay, for which I ought to have my head chopped off. But if you listen to the Hindus the great problems of America, besides the Negro question, are atomic bombs and Suez Canal. So I spoke to the school children the other day and said that since partition, or parturition, I could not keep up with Indian geography at all, and although I knew the Indians knew a lot more about God, I had to come this way to find out that the Suez Canal was in India.

I have been in the central provinces and was taken up into the Satpuri Mountains, and saw an interesting ribbon waterfall not discovered by the Hollywood C. of C. or the Japanese Travel Bureau. But among a large group of Jain temples. These temples, although neglected by monks are preserved by artists who still retain the traditional methods of marble carving (Delhi newspaper please don’t copy). But one of them had three large Buddha statues, and I was able to convince my hosts that this was so. One was distinctly the Nataraj, huge snake covering, and this and one other had the snail motive. But the one in the center was certainly later Mahayana for the attendants have been transformed into meditative Bodhisattvas.

This is one of several in which I refused to be bound by expert book-writers who have profound subjective abilities and good cameras. For at Jaipur I also saw they have preserved ancient artistic methods, and again Delhi papers please don’t copy. I was at a so-called Buddhist meeting in Delhi and the theme seemed to be, reelect the speaker to Lok Sabha and you serve Lord Buddha and only by serving Lord Buddha you can stop the atomic bomb. This was supposed to be to a group of “Harijans,” Harijan-Indian style; B.S., D.D., PhD., B.A., LL,D., out of jobs!

Well in central India I did address Harijans and I did go to the villages, which meant the proclamation of a holiday and made me feel like Superman in a zoo. But these experiences are sooner or later going to have repercussions in high places for I am learning what is wrong with Indian agriculture.

My visit to Ajanta was the realization of a life-long dream. Despite the tourist bureau, this was more a sacred than an artistic pilgrimage and I hope to come again and gain. You can reach there easily by busses at very low cost. We were most fortunate in not having “guides,” although in the first two caves we were given exact explanations by attendants whose English and methods were exactly the same as those of Hollywood real estate agents. We were compelled to look at things which did not interest us and pushed away from things that did. My companions were Hyderabad Indian Catholics who had a fine sense of the feeling of holiness in atmosphere and no use for adjectives.

I am not going over Ajanta in detail. I have recently read “2500 Years of Buddhism” which I sent to Kotani for his library. This makes me want to write a book, “2500 Years of Arya Dharma” or “2500 Years of Triatna.” “Buddhism” is a subjective, intentional term used by people covering the beliefs, practices and ideals of others and so is a nonsense word. So at Ajanta we came upon some things which makes me want to throttle all your Humps and Bumps. The Burmese claim to have been Buddhists for a long, long time, and Professors Northrup and Oxbridge say, nothing doing, it cannot be so. 50,000,000 Frenchman can’t be wrong and 50,000,000 Burmese can’t be right—at last not so long as they are naturists.

Then how came we saw a large reclining Buddha with figures around just as if you were in Mandalay or Pegu or Pagan, with different lips, sitting postures, head-dress and eyes! Was this a prediction that someday the Burmese would become Buddhists, to satisfy book-writers? And why is it that the next panel has distinct Gandhara influences and all us experts know that that country was Buddhist between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. and this panel was quite evidently executed after the reclining Buddha! Of course this is “Oriental Wisdom’ a la Yale and Oxbridge. But seriously I intend to go to some Burmese legation and talk to them about it. My companions said that this was the only way to look at things.

It becomes highly important to get flash bulbs and take pictures of other scenes. I do not belittle the postcards, but just because some “expert’ cannot explain something is no reason to skip certain things. Besides we felt that the rock carvings were unsurpassable and the Buddha’s interested us—not the Hindu guides, more than the marvelous—and they were marvelous—wall paintings. But the holiness is in the Buddhas and atmosphere and the Superb surroundings. (Gosh, now I’m getting to be like a Hollywood agent myself.)

Now coming to English Buddhists. I shall give them the Prajna-Paramita treatment, especially about dana. You see my father was a wise fool. I can only touch so many shekels per month and I have not had any financial reports. Having no financial support I cannot issue endowments. I have offered Jack Austin one thing—to lecture for collections he could keep, that is all. If the people want to learn about the monuments, monasteries and monks (good pun, think I’ll use it) I can give them plenty of off-hand information. And if they want Nagarjuna philosophy I can give that. Then I’ll tell them about the temple in S.F. built by human hands, no doubt, but without funds! And what a temple. Or perhaps my leprechaun alter-ago will start off: “In the beginning gold created the heavens and the earth. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” (You can copyright that.)

Well I give Jack Austin the Bodhisattva treatment and I like audiences. Afterall I was with Senzaki for a while I can be Senzaki-san in England.

The news about Patel is most excellent. It is strange and I never could understand it, or Freud, that just so much of the mental apparatus is given to sex. I have refused ever to call sex behavior or misbehavior “right’ or “wrong’ and I have refused to stuff the whole cranium down into a portion of the cerebellum where it obviously is not. People say you have not lived until … but there are a lot more gray cells than that.

I make a circle of the south: Hyderabad, Madras, Pondicherry, Coromandel, Mangalore, back to Bombay and north. I continue to have the most astounding experiences and here I beg you please, cooperation. While on the train down from Agra to Nagpur I met Rahul. Rahul gave me the same story of the end of Theos Bernard as I got from Mrs. Tyson in Agra—they separately claimed to be about the last ones to see him alive. Rahul’s name comes from Rahula, the son of the Lord. He has lived in Kulu valley and we had a long talk about the Roerichs, their virtues and failings.

Rahul is the first Indian who is a real Buddhist, that I have met. He is a little like Alex Wayman and belongs to a Tibetan school. We spent all evening discussing first the Roerichs. Then the good and horrible way in which Asian studies are given in the U.S. with the same conclusions—and I have had a lot of them since my last beefs: that Northrup & Co are the worst and the Northrups in Columbia and S.F. simply know nothing about actual Asia. We feel that Harvard and Pennsylvania are the best with U.C. at California not too far behind. Reischauer is now at Harvard and this puts all my eggs in one basket, for that is one place I intend to go, God Willing, Via Pitirim Sorokin.

He gave me introduction and tips for New York City and I said I would reciprocate in the a.m. In the a.m. he was gone and my guess is that he might have gotten off at Sanchi—which I must leave for a further visit. I have sent Aiem a post card telling about it and asking that he meet Rahul at Katmandu. Now I would like to see that Rahul be given every assistance. He knows Kotani but has not been to Japan. So if you have any friends going to Katmandu, please have them look up Rahul and cooperate. I am sure you will. I have written Dr. Spiegelberg of Stanford about this. He stands very high here, and it is going to take people in California some time to realize that his transfer from the academy caused more dismay than they will ever know. As I am going to write Buddha was not a combination of Krishnamurti and Gertrude Stein, not by any means. And real Buddhists or believers in Triratna have no use for either.

I have met many monks or swamis and have had fine and mutually appreciative interviews. Last night with the Madhva-Vedantists or Vishishta-Advaita as I think is called. But my letters of introduction are becoming so important—if I can keep track of them, that I certainly will return to Marin Country famous. Mr. Russell Smith, big wig of the Bank of America and commercial competitor of “Uncle Louie,” lives there and he was my employer and I have been sending him letters. He is head of the Northern California World Affairs Council and also effective in Asia Foundation. My experiences of yesterday— besides what I have written—make it possible for me to go to any American industrialist and have their eyes pop out. If we can get rid of the American and India press, both of which are loyal followers of Ananias, and some of the commentators whose universal motto seems to be “Much Ado about Nothing,” the world have nothing to fear. I can even shout for Wall St. today and not be afraid, or even come out for “socialism” (government ownership of railways and private schools!) and not be too much of a hypocrite.

Thus endeth the lesson. Now to breakfast.


Address to October 5 unless advised to the contrary c/o Anandashram, Kanhangad, South Indian Railway




8th March


Dear Sammy,

The psychometry of your letter is good. Your “feel” to me gets better and better. I like people. Some I love. You are one of the latter. Sad experience long ago told me that such feelings must not be manifested in our own land. Not nice to be thought a “homo.” My affection for you is based on your increasingly strong Bodhisatvic orientation. I noted it a quarter century ago but it was rather embryonic then. You’re not at all a static personality. You Grow. Your wings are about ready for flight, but not before I kick your bum for you. Dammit! and double dammit!!! stop relating your thought and action to “the word-game boys” - i.e., the exotericists and Zenomaniacs and Dharma masturbators. You’re less addicted to this naughty dichotomy, dualism, twoness than before. If you MUST relate your life and work to others … for Pete’s sake choose a better yardstick. Zen is not dialectic … it is life. You know that but your memory slips now and then.

Speaking of memory … I had flu in Tokyo and that ran down my erg supply a bit. Then worked like a plowhorse in Hawaii and suddenly went blooey and blotto and nearly blank mentally as a result of no blood sugar. Bit of trouble getting the sugar level back to normal. Today I feel almost intelligent … practically human, in fact.

Unless I slip a bit I shall be in SF Saturday at Iru Price’s house on Guerrero St (1136 is the #). I don’t know what he has planned. I have no strength to waste on “precious” groups. I detest dialectic. Better a talk before we make yak-yak engagements. I’ll be maybe two weeks In SF. We’ll see.

Be good and don’t keep company too much with your inferiors. “Those who frequent the charcoal market get soiled garments.” Nuff sed. Bye now. Blessings from Grandpaw.


Robert or Sumangalo


The so-called “maharishi” is well-known in Malaya but not taken seriously any more.

Wearing lay clothes now and feel like the fool I am.


Bangkok (Thailand)

10th January, 1956


My dear Mr. Lewis,

I thank you for your kind letter of 13th December, 1955 and have noted your comments carefully. I am very much interested in your efforts and shall be very glad to assist you and invite you to be with me when you are in Thailand.

All the places in India which you intend visit will be a great advantage to both our countries, it is my earnest desire to bring the people of America and India to work and think with brotherly feeling, so that we can contribute to the present problems facing us and the world at large.

Venerable Sumangalo expects to leave for Australia shortly, I do meet him often, I shall be pleased to convey your regards to him.

I wish you the compliments of the season and very best of luck, and hope to see you in Bangkok soon.

Yours Sincerely,

K.R. Patel



P. O Box 409

Bangkok, Thailand

July 3, 1956


My dear Brother Mr. Lewis,

Your kind letter of March 22nd received with many thanks.


I received the letter with much interest and hope the friendship between India and America always depends on friends like you. There may be opposition, will not stand in the long run.


You are always welcome here and shall be your host in Bangkok. Rev. Sumangalo Father Clifton has been to Australia and hopes to return soon. I may be going for meditation course in the temple for some time and also that I will have to go to Nepal for Buddha Giganti in India.

I hope to meet you soon. With my very best wishes and love.

Very sincerely yours,


K.R. Patel


Box  409  Bangkok

August 1


Dear Daruma,

Thanks for the letter and the zircon address. Brother Patel is writing them and sending samples, I believe. He is grateful to you. In case you come this way, he will welcome you. Good egg.

Sammy, I have always regarded you as a keg capable of standing on its own bottom. In case anyone rolls your keg a bit and jostles your contents … then just roll yourself off into another corner and Be Your Own Self. From various and sundry sources (unreliable perhaps) I hear that Asian Academy has deteriorated into a cozy little clique with special axes to grind in a special way. I know not at all if the reports are true. If your broad-minded paper excites the “orthodox” and causes them to wish to stone you from the sacred precincts of the sanctum sanctorum … then just laugh in a Darumish sort of way and hie yourself to other locales.

Friend, not long ago I not only outgrew any Buddhist Sect … but I also outgrew “Buddhism” … in that I take truth wherever I find it. I am (as you are) a Universalist … in the broader interpretation of that term. Even as you, I get a certain amount of criticism. It rolls off my feathers and does not even dampen them.

I have come to feel that one understands the Self idea in religion when one reaches the mature stage of not giving a damn one way or another on the point.  I care not a hoot if I have a self or not. The very subject is a bore to me. The Sixth Patriarch is said to have yawned one day when the subject was brought up before him for the thousandth time.

No question exists in my mind that you have a good work to do and are quite capable of doing it. Go ahead, Sammy, and never mind the torpedoes … from this or that source. A thinker who never stirs up a bit of opposition is a danged poor thinker. Probably he is only a fence-straddler. It is impossible to be all things to all men. Either you are Sammy Lewis or else you are a pale, jellyfish like non-entity. There is no middle ground. As the colored Baptist preacher put it: “Is you is or is you ain’t?” The Chinese sages tell us that we have made a telling point when we get the opposition all stirred up.

Messenger just came to ask me to give a lecture on a short notice—to replace a sick speaker. Maybe I’ll talk on why chickens cross roads. Enough for now, Sammy … keep on keeping on.

Hastily but always cordially,

Robert Clifton, etc., etc.



Wat Doi Suthep,

Xieng Mai

4th Sept. 56


Dear Samuel, my naughty Bodhisattva,

Anent the “naughty.” I’d not really care for you at all … if you were sugarcoated I’d not be able to stomach you. Forgive poor organization of sentences. I’m rushing like Old Billy Hell to type this and give it to a student from faculty of Architecture of University at Bangkok to post there. Mail service here in the jungles is putrid. Often it takes weeks to get a letter from here to Bangkok BY AIR! Your own letter by air took almost twenty days to get here!

Sammy, I am better informed here in the so-called backwashes of civilization about some of the personalities in the Western “Buddhism” (so-called) than if I were at home in USA. People from California and elsewhere drop in here to visit, and before I know it, I have the “inside low-down” on what’s what and what of it in S.F., NYC., London and all points West. Regarding one of your favorite “pains in the pratt” in S. F., I can tell you rather authoritatively that you need not bother about him at all. His stock is quoted at a lower figure each month. Not taken seriously by scholars and real pundits anymore. Just another ego seeking helium for its balloon. When you return, you just be Samuel Lewis and let others be horses, rosettes or whatever their natural inclinations lead them to be. Now, my pet, I am going to tell you something for your knowledge alone. Keep that fact in mind. I have ways and means of getting information that Bodhidharma or Asahina or 6th Patriarch would instantly understand, but others would label as “occult nonsense.”

Recently I penetrated into a jungle to visit a hermit with psychometric powers. I handed him an old envelop from you. He described you with perfect accuracy. Told me what you are now doing and why and what will be what. Of course only a fool would believe in this sort of thing, but, all the gods be thanked!—at long last I have accumulated enough sense to be a fool—and I believed him and still do. In England you are advised to pretend to be so poor that you barely can scrape through. Thus you will get a clearer view of the true picture. You will feel when you leave England behind that you have accomplished something. Later on, you will reassess the matter and see clearly that it was all a chimera. Wait and see. Without any exception whatever you are advised to be chary of ALL English contacts now in circulation and the jarring and warring English “Buddhist” movements and factions. Do not waste efforts and toss about gratuitous information. Keep a bit mum. Let the mouth be rather shut and the ears wide open … also the eyes. “Those Who See” list England as a “dead spot” in Western Buddhism. To be bracketed in the Oriental mind with “Toby” (Xmas) Humphreys is the kiss of death out here to anyone so ill-advised as to allow his name to be linked with that of Toby—be warned, my son … and brother. In the field of scholarship much is being done under Bodhisattvic auspices at Oxford, Cambridge, Univ. of London school of Oriental and African Studies. Otherwise England is a vacuum. If you allow anyone to believe that you have ten spare shillings you will not get a true picture. Don’t work against your own purposes. Just be a “poor but honest visiting American Buddhist who has saved pennies for years” to make your trip and see how little attention you get. Sammy, let me shout this at you: While in England Use Your Bodhisattvic Brain!

Jack Austin is okay if you can get along with him. Few can. His “Western Buddhist” is growing and has some influence, but his mind is closed to all ideas save his own. If you could wangle some connection (in loose and easily discarded way) with his magazine, it might provide some good contacts … and get some good work done. I finally gave it up as a bad job. Jack has got to “make the rounds” (samsaric) for quite a few times before he realizes that religiosity and spirituality are not necessarily the same things. Also that honesty and sincerity are not at all guarantees for rightness. I keep on friendly terms with Jack but I can not work with him.

My jungle recluse suggests that it is well to “infect” rather than to “organize”. Catch on? Again it seems the advice is “Just Be Sammy Lewis” and present ideas and let those capable of using them do so and let Shaitan take the matter of “organizing truth” and building vehicles for it? The tag-end of the psychometric information is that for two more years you are going to face a certain amount of frustration. Then you will Finally Find Yourself. Then your Real work begins. I shall be most interested to get information from time to time as to how this forecast works out. Keep mum about my confidential information. I trust you and fell no need to hold myself back on anything. Also I am glad I do not have to use either pedantic or prunes and prisms language with you. I speak a man’s language and like all who speak the same tongue.

Patel is now a Mahayana monk at Wat Juan (the Annam temple) and he will go to Ceylon and India soon. If only the man would get himself castrated he might be a great spiritual success. I feel you understand. Not that sex life is damnable … if it is just a facet of life … but when it becomes Life … then its a hellish thing. Maybe Patel can work out his own salvation. Time will tell.

Sammy, I am going like a bat out of hell to get this jerky epistle out of the machine and into the hands of the young man waiting for it. I am always glad to get your news. Write me whenever a spare moment offers. If in pencil on a scrap of paper, never mind. The fringes of life do not impress me. Just you be Sammy and you will always have the confidence and affection of your sincere friend and well-wisher and also one who Believes In You … namely and to wit … Sumangalo.

I am sending this forth with a hope and a prayer that it will not be swallowed up and lost in the frightful Oriental mails. May peace be your portion always … all ways.




Penang Buddhist Association,

168 Anson Rd.,

Penang, Malaya.

29th Sept. 58


Dear Samuel, my pet,

So nice to get your chatty letter and to know you are still shaking a leg (and getting into the hair of obnoxious persons). Old pal, so far as I am concerned, “white” Buddhists hardly exist. For every one who is good, deep, sincere and worthwhile, there are a dozen who are human(?) calliopes and who make Zen and other forms of Buddhism seem like something out of Lewis Carroll or a drunken Walt Disney. Dharma bums are not my ilk and I have less and less to do with the European race. Daily I am more and more Asian in outlook and generally of life. My Chinese kids here are just what this tired old heart needs. They gave me title of their “Father” and it is quite the most emotionally satisfying title ever given me. I love those kids and am so happy that they love me. I think you do not remember my Siamese son, legally adopted. When you met him he was not then a Clifton. He’s in Hollywood now at hi-school and doing splendidly well. I’ve never regretted adopting him. He will get his Yankee citizenship and return here to help his “poppa”… as a Mahayana priest. I’ve given the moribund Hinayana the grand go-by. Nothing but “do-nots.” Nothing positive or affirmative. “Salvation by negation.” No, Leidecker is not a Hinayanist. He’s friendly to all, but not to Dharma Bums.

Sammy, I am paying into the Golden Light treasury the sum of six Malayan dollars for two copies of Golden Light to be sent you each issue. When you get two US dollars handy, then pop them into an envelope and send them to me. The exchange rate is three Malayan to one US. If you can get other subs for us we shall be grateful to you. Collectors are now offering three dollars a copy for first issue. None to be had. We have 1200 paid subs now on five continents and are “gunning” for Africa, on which we have nary a one. 17 subs came from Australia today. USA and Canada keep us busy cashing cheques. We publish at a 60% deficit and say nothing about the matter. We are subsidized by the parent body (PBA).

By heaven’s grace I now have an associate, the Ven. Anoma Mahinda (English) who has been out East six years. He had to go to Australia for one year to regain strength (after 3 yrs in Siam) but he is here now and is our stated preacher. I have little time for sermons and I am happy that Mahinda likes that sort of thing and is good at it. He is also our meditation master and expert at it. I do youth work and promoting and Sunday schools all over the Federation of Malaya and grind out textbooks … a 170 page Sunday school manual will be from the printer in another 30 days. I dooed it and it’s the first in Buddhist history. Incidentally, went cockeyed (literally) in writing so much in a mere ten days. Special lenses had to be flown out from London. I can see straight now but must not overdo eye work. My latest brainstorm is harmonica bands for underprivileged kids at local Buddhist Sunday schools. The scheme is a loud success. PBA buys me the harmonicas in gross lots. Dec. 24th thru 28th we are having our first Pan Malayan Buddhist Youth Congress … here at PBA. That’s another of my “babies.” I have so many projects underway that I meet myself coming back … so to say.

Asian Buddhists laugh at the “authorities” who rush into print with “learned” tomes on Zen and other aspects of Buddhism. It’s a hilarious show to us over here. So obvious that most Western Zennists are convinced that Zen is dialectic and hairsplitting and a “special transmission done with words.” Sammy, you can have the whole Western show of what passes for Buddhism. I’ve had my bellyful and want no more. We Chinese are doing okay on our own. By the way, Mahinda renounced Hinayana and now has a Chinese Ch’an ordination. Wagner is in the same category and will come back here soon, I believe. Certainly I want him here.

Old Son, take a word of advice (unasked) from your affectionate grandpaw Sumangalo and just follow your own light and keep clear of the Dharma Bums and their antics. Walk the Bodhisattvic way and “tend to your own ‘tater patch.’” Let others grow weeds in their gardens if they like. You mean well, Sammy. I have long known how dear to your heart are such deep truths as Sufi, Zen and Singleness of Sincere Purpose. But you can’t move mountains by butting your head against them. Stick to your friends and let others go their way.

Write me whenever your heart overflows. In my dim-witted way I am a sympathetic old so and so and not nearly so ad as some of my detractors tried to paint me in other years. Age has mellowed me and made me tolerant (in an amused way) of the “monkey and coconut” antics of the self appointed “leaders” of Western Buddhism. I am happy with the Chinese. If you want the white race, I gladly present you with my share of it.

Be reasonably good. May you be well and happy.

Affectionately (your grandpaw)





PBA 168 Anson Rd.,

Penang, Malaya

29th Nov. 2502 / 1958


Dear Sammy, old thing…

Your chatty and cheering letter of some five weeks ago has been read several times … in contradistinction to most of my incoming letters which don’t get read at all, sometimes not even opened before they go into the WPB. Thank you, Sammy, and forgive my dilatoriness …or, rather, seeming neglect. I’ve been away on three preaching missions and, late in life, I have found that I am a channel for healing mental illness, and that takes up about half my waking time. I sometimes skip shaving for two days (okay for a monk) just because I don’t have time to shave. So, whenever you fail to get prompt replies from me, put a bit of Zen into practice.

Western Zennists are a weird lot. Chatter and more chatter and dialectic washed down with dialectic and Pelion piled upon Ossa and hairs split until they are thinner than moonbeams and no living Zen … none of the real Zen that is beyond words and concepts. I fret not at all. In my second youth I have, at long last, learned that the holy teachings of the Blessed One are balm for all our wounds only if we make them so. I have made them so in my life. As yet I cannot be so brash as to claim that I have transcended joy and sorrow, but I can and do say that I have gained a large measure of equanimity. Zen has meaning only when it is used. Otherwise we are talking Not Zen, but rather About Zen. The “aboutness” leaves me cold. The most soul-searching (and most beneficial therapeutically) sermon I could preach to the vast majority of Western “Zennists” would be a good swift kick in the seat of the intelligence. But I’d really not do that. The job will have to be left to someone who has a more felicitous combination of Prajna and Karuna than I have.

But, while I may not spank others, there’s quite a chance I might paddle Sammy’s bottom for him (But Good!) for wasting the efforts of a fine mind on those who are, in a spiritual sense, but little better than pewling infants trying to do logarithms. Or, more aptly perhaps, naughty little boys trying to do tricks (mental) on a tight high wire. (Maybe “puling” is the correct spelling. I use Malay more and more now and English less and less).

Thank you for the subs. to Golden Light. I do a bit of looking over the contribs of poetry and articles. I decline to have anything to do with the management of the magazine or anything else—my lot in life is not managerial (not any more). We are glad to have your good words of praise for our efforts. My “teenagers” do much of the horse labor of getting out the mag. They are truly fine kids. I love them as if they were my very own.

Colloquia on Zen are the keys to the gates of Hell. We have a flourishing meditation centre here at PBA and we do no colloquy. We Zen! (In our local dialect it is Zien). I wonder if any of the S.F. bully boys ever squat on their hunkers and meditate? If they don’t, then all chatter about Zen is wasted breath and useless wear and tear on the mental muscles.

On Dec. 24th we convene the first National Congress of Malayan Buddhist Youth here are PBA. I must stay to preside. On Jan. 2nd I go to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore for about a month and then to the University of Hong Kong for two weeks of seminars. Not on [?]. Then maybe a week in frigid Japan and a month in Hawaii and then S.F. and LA. … where I shall be happily re-united with my son. I look forward to seeing Sammy.

Time for tiffin and then I have to go exorcise a branch post office—and after that my weekly visit to the State Hospital, where I am chaplain. Every hour of every day is assigned. Trouble is there aren’t enough hours. Never mind.

Be a good kid and remember I shall take the hide off your bottom if you don’t stop wasting yourself on trying to teach Keats and Shelley to mud turtles. Fie on you!

Bye Bye … affectionate greetings from your own

Grandpaw Robert Sumangalo


P. O. Box 1612

Honolulu 6, Hawaii

6th Feb. 1959


Dear Sammy, Old thing,

How’s my favorite grandchild? I hope you’re fit and happy on this New Year’s Eve. I’m okay except for a brief bout with Japanese flu—result of being frozen stiff for two weeks in H.K. and Tokyo, Kawakura. But I survive everything (I even survive white Buddhists!).

Sammy, I’ll be in S.F. sometime in about 2 months. I’m booked up rather solidly for the next 30 days. Then on to L.A. to visit with my son—the Siamese kid whom you may remember from Bangkok. He gets his “first papers” this month. The day he gets his full papers he will board a plane back to civilization. If the kid can survive Hollywood, he can survive anything. He’s a bright kid and can cope with the world. I trust his character and intelligence, but I need him so badly to help me in Malaya.

Old son, I wish ever so much to see you, but I’m not keen on meeting :The Dharma Bums” and so-called Zen-actics. Just leave me be. You rate ace high with your creaking old grandfather, but, as far as some others, I revert to “noble Silence”—nuff said!

Be reasonably good, Sammy, and write me to this address. I’m always happy to hear from you. You’re one of the few real Caucasian Buddhists I know. Most of them are just “Buddhists” (self-baptized).

I’ll be back in Penang 1st of July. I’d planned to go on to Europe and India. But my body won’t let me, or so the learned medics say. I keep going on nerve and will-power. This is probably my last fling at “brainstorming.”

Incidentally, I have no lay clothing, not that I care a damn! Robes are so natural to me know—Mahayana ones (Chinese style, of course). Write soon to your grandfran.

Happy New Year!



Residence: 67 Perak Rd.,

Penang, Malaya

6th April 2504 / 1961


Dear Sammy, old thing:

It’s always good to get your travel dairy of a philosopher. However, nothing good and great that you do ever surprises me. Even as far back as 28 yrs ago I knew that the Lords of Karma had something in store for you and the bad hurdles that constantly beset your path seemed to me to be but crucibles for your soul. For some reason I do not profess to understand, it was meant for you to face great obstacles (maybe to be “keened up” by them) and to get things done the hard way. I feel (a bit strongly) that the reason you have not a Ph.D. is because the Higher Powers did not wish you to get hearings on the strength of pieces of paper and academic attainments. They wish you be heard for yourself and your message from both mind and heart. You are now at long last getting that hearing and you’ll continue to get it. You are great, Sammy, because of great qualities of heart and mind and spirit and not because the university of West Lumbago certifies that you are a pundit. Not a week goes by without some “certified” scholar or “expert” comes to see me. Some are laboriously trying to prove that two plus two are four and want suggestions from me. I give them my best academic gobbledygook and sacrosanct double-talk. If more is wanted I throw in a koan or two for good measure.

Yes, this is the year of the Ox. Sometimes I feel it’s the year of the Horse and that I am the horse’s posterior portion. However, I’m sure you don’t wish to weep the old salty into your tay over my hardened arteries and bad legs and squeaky heart, and to mention my cerebral density and what is known in New England as “natural cussedness.” Point is that I’m still here and kicking.

Sammy, this isn’t much of a letter. I’ve said what I want to say. Badly typed and perhaps even badly thought out, but I feel confident that you can run it through the strainer and get my inner meaning. I’m fond of you … principally because you’re one of the few real humans I know. May you prosper. May you bring at least a ray of light to many. Be reasonably good.


Your grandpaw




Residence: 67 Perak Rd.,

Penang, Malaya

26th April 2504 / 1961


Dear Sammy, old livewire:

Your nice epistle to hand. Glad to know that you are now a Mama. Malayan spelling is Mamak, but the final “k” is glottal (swallowed) thus becoming mamah. Malay is a mixture of Arabic and Sanskrit and what have you. I manage it well enough for practical purposes. Sam, dozens of Western Buddhists have appeared in public and in the press here and other dozens of Theosophists and Existentialists and Heaven knows what. Not even one Western Muslim has appeared on the scene. Yet the Muslim community is half our total population and almost all the agrarian part. They need guidance, inspiration and morale boosting. No Westerner has seen the light sufficiently even to make a courtesy bow in the direction of Malayan Islam. You know well that even as far back as almost 50 years ago I accepted you as a Muslim mystic and gladly, making no attempt to get you to sign on the dotted line and become a Buddhist. Sam, if you come here, I beg you not to make the bad tactical error of being heralded as anything but a Muslim mystic (of lifelong standing). You can get a hearing this way that would overshadow all other avenues of approach. Government would give you aid and comfort, the peasants would listen to your agricultural ideas, the large Indian (also Pakistani) Muslim community here (all over Malaya) would smooth your way and you’d also get serious attention from various Hindu Sabhas and such groups as Ramakrishna mission and Pure Life Society at Kuala Lumpur, our capital. The latter is an interfaith movement (largely charitable) and is composed of Muslims, Buddhists, Christians (a few) and Hindus.

I may as well tell you that nemesis has caught up (here as elsewhere) with the Beatnik type of alleged Buddhism. That is a state of affairs that suits me just dandy. You ask what is Zen? If one more bigmouth asks me that I shall castrate him. It’s the typical query of the Western mind (so called). The answer is that Zen is a system of dialectics and nothing else … as amply demonstrated by all Westerners who take pen in hand to write about Zen or open mouth to put in foot and speak of Zen. Pass it by, Sammy, and follow the saner and nobler path of your Sufi background. As an exponent of Zen you’d get half-baked intellectuals and curiosity seekers and dialecticians—who would have no slightest interest in any basic world problems or problems of better food supply or sane approaches to communal peace or world peace. If you come here to waste your time by wrong approach, then Grandpaw shall feel morally obliged to publicly flog you with nettles. You have something good and helpful for many … if you make the right approach. Make sure that you make the Muslim mystic approach in Malaya and you’ll be the fair-haired boy of those who really need you and your ideas. As I’ve already hinted, even government will ease your way. Long before you come here, make Muslim contacts (also at governmental level) and then proceed accordingly.

Presently I am enjoying a fractured rib and damaged elbow sustained in a fall. Legs are
wobblesome and undependable. Hardened arteries make navigation a problem sometimes.
Generally speaking I am well enough. I haven’t got time to be “ailing.”

Be reasonably good and take care of Sammy.

Lots of heartfelt blessings from your Poppa.





24th Aug. 2505 / 1961


Dear Sammy:

Your letters are always a joy to me. It is so apparent that you gave grown in spiritual stature. Once upon a time you were quite a curly haired boy at intellectual gymnastics and are still expert at that, no doubt, but it’s obvious that there is now depth to you as well as brilliance. Keep pressing on.

Your schedule sounds fascinating to read about. But I confess I’m glad that my done-for legs don’t have to follow you about. Also my eyes are no longer so sure of what they see—or think they see. You are a young man Sammy, and will probably remain young for a long time to come. It pleased the gods of nature to age me some years ago. I do not complain. Just accept and don’t “bitch” about the matter.

Old son, much of what passes for scholarship is sheer and utter hogwash. Don’t be at all surprised if you are solemnly told that the mosaic laws were a direct steal from a tribe antedating the Incas or that the Incas were indubitably the “Lost Tribes.” I shall not be overwhelmed at any time if “scholarship” tells me that it is now a definitely established fact that the moon is really green cheese, after all probably made by a Kraft process, too! (unless the commies got there first!) Just keep on thinking for yourself and forming your own conclusions.

Next week I go on an extended preaching tour. Long ago I decided that such preaching is largely a waste of breath and effort. If one out of 200 catches on to even minor points of “the Heavenly Vision” that must purely be a high average. But sometimes the one out of many is a jewel of great price and worth in all. I’ll be back home in Penang on or about the tenth September.

My second son (the Chinese boy) is coming home on leave from Auckland (NZ) University Engineering school in late October and my poppa-ish heart fondly anticipates the event. The elder son (Thai) does well in Hawaii … except that he has a weakness for falling in love and then falling out again. They are a comfort to me and a sort of emotional anchor for a heart that yearns for recipients of genuine affection. Both young men amply return my love. Have you ever thought of becoming an adopted poppa? Givvit a think.

Sam, if you can get anything worthwhile out of Washington bureaucracy then you are a miracle worker of the first magnitude. But may your success continue. Did you find some magic stone? Or learn some infallible formula such as Abacadabra or Open Sesame?

Keep well, keep happy, just keep on being Sammy Lewis and be assured that I always have a warm place in my squeaky heart for you.

Bye bye now.





67 Perak Rd.


17th Nov. 2505 [1961]


Dear Mr. Lewis,-

Father was pleased to have your letter and I shall try to make response of sorts. I think you do not know that Dad recently spent another three weeks in hospital with another bad coronary attack. He is home now but still restricted to bed and a small amount of sitting up, mostly for food. When he is able to board an unpressurized plane he is going away for a long rest at an isolated monastery in Malay.

I happen to know that my Dad thinks highly of you and would gladly reply personally but he is not yet allowed even to talk except for occasional few words. Dictating is out of the question. We try to answer his letter as best we can.

Please excuse everything. Cordial thoughts from Eugene for his father Sumangalo



67 Perak Rd.

Penang, Malaya

21st Dec. 2505 / 1961


Dear Samuel:

Poppa and I were pleased with the letter you sent us. But we are distressed that you are meeting with certain difficulties such as interception of letters. That’s common out East. We are used to it. As time goes you, you’ll just expect it.

You state: “The honest people in every religion are beginning to despair of finding final answers and are turning elsewhere.” Poppa has realized that more and more of late years and that is why he refuses to return to USA to stay. He has largely given up old barren reason and intellectuality and depends more and more on more subtle approaches to life’s many problems … silence being his most valuable approach … mantras and sound dynamics being others among many. He has long since despaired of ever succeeding in preaching the human race into the Kingdom of Heaven or any other desirable locale or condition. Besides preaching is hard on the vocal cords and ergo hard on the heart muscle which, in his case, is troublesome enough as is.

Sammy, as regards coming here … Father is thinking very seriously of “going jungle,” i.e. retiring to some unreachable place and just sitting and contemplating his umbilicus. His hold on physical life is ungood and he feels he has done what he can and perhaps might do even more by doing nothing. Within a few weeks he is likely to be “otherwhere” to all and sundry. Lately there has been a plethora of Swedes, Frenchies, Yanks, Englishers, etc. all coming to dad’s door and talking to him and, of course, he has to reply. For a long time he was strictly forbidden to talk, on medical advice. Lately he has been talking himself almost literally to death. He told me today that if his well beloved parents came back from beyond he would refuse to see them if they wanted to talk and advised me to get on the train and go down to Kuala Lumpur to see my girl friend for a few days. He loves me but talk is talk. Dad has not preached a sermon for eleven weeks and may never preach again. He has a number of (tiger infested) hiding places here and in Siam and I suspect that shortly he will hide out for quite a spell. He quite understands that if he has another attack in the next three years it means finish. He tells me he would so like to see his first grandchild (meaning I must not dilly daily too long) and I think he is good for perhaps many years to come if he can but be free from even his friends (they are the deadliest of the lot). It is a matter of utmost categorical necessity that he get some rest. I may as well tell you that he is so worn that his memory is less than good and he isn’t the quick thinker he used to be. Nothing but long overdue exhaustion, the medics say. Never in its life has he had a real holiday or a genuine rest. Now nature forces him to just sit. He tries to be a good sport and talk to people but in a half hour or so breaks down and cries from sheer weariness. Various people in New York want to come to visit. I am really begging them not to come. Maybe a year from now he may be strong again. I certainly hope so as my dad means more to me than I know how to tell you.

I asked Dad to tell me about Fudo but he just doesn’t re-member right now. I know no Japanese. Normally he could tell me the Sanskrit term in a jiffy. Now it’s just impossible for him to remember. Just wearied and worn, mentally and physically. On Feb. 15th I have to go back to varsity in NZ and I hate to leave him. However, he is good hands. And he has marvelous recuperative powers—given half a chance.


May the New Year bring you fondest heart’s desire and may you be well and happy.

In all sincerity from Eugene in behalf of:





67 Perak Rd.,

Penang, Malaya

8th Feb. 2505 / 1962


Dear Brother Samuel:

This has to be hasty as I am preparing to fly back to my university in New Zealand for another two year course of study in engineering. Poppa is not up to writing and I have tried to keep his desk clear.

This coming Saturday I think Poppa will be sent off to a hill station for six weeks rest. He has had some more bad heart and high blood pressure spells and is rather badly in need of just plain quiet. Not yet sixty and has to be an old, old man slowed down almost to stopping.

Poppa always delights in your letters of flashing wit and humor and he is gladdened that often he just has to let all letters pile up. Later on he can take on all his desk duties but not for a time to come.

Poppa feels that you are doing a good work and doing it well and the fact that you meet with so much opposition shows that you are not dealing in inconsequentials. He says keep it up.

This last of my letters to you prior to my return to NZ is just to ask you to be patient with Poppa if he is not able to answer all your letters or even any of them. He gets lots of help in his office work but it has its limitations.

May you be well and happy and may success crown your efforts to make this a somewhat better world.

Make excuses for us both and please accept my Father’s blessings for your good self.

Sincerely yours,

Eugene Clifton (Tan Kheng Huat)



67 Perak Rd.

Penang, Malaya

9th Jan. 2506 / 1963


Dear Sammy, my favorite grandchild:

You old world-rattler! Whose hide are you tickling now … with a knitting needle? You really do stir things up! If I had your energy I could upset the world … provided I had the required amount of brains … which is doubtful to an extreme! Keep it up. Gadflies are a necessary part of progress and there just ain’t enough of such files gadding, it seems.

Slowly by jerks I am going a bit madder [?] trying to get my decks cleared to go off to Australia to [?] bi-annual Chas. Strong Memorial Lecture at all Aussie Universities and colleges starting 15th March at Perth. Ending about mid-June [?] I may come home via Hawaii, Japan and Bangkok. Can’t say till [?] week of observation at Univ. of Melbourne Cardiological Clinic [?] medics opine whether or not the old pumping organ is likely to keep pumping a little longer. I say little about the matter but it is not likely that I shall reach Ananda’s age. Never mind.

Re your dictum concerning Indian Dhyana [?] reminds me of Mark Twain’s dictum: “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story!” I see your points (all of them clearly) and am strongly inclined to ride on your wagon in agreement. You have a way of turning out to be right … you old walrus, you!

Nice USA Zennist visited me yesterday. Waste to enter the monkhood. Good background of education and seemingly rather a spiritual person but I had to gently decline to help him with his aims. The poor chap is so obviously “homo” that it just won’t do. I am a tolerant person and tend to be sympathetic to the problems of others but one can’t open the monkhood to ridicule. I advised him to go back to KC where he will be less conspicuous.

I see your visiting delegation of Buddhist monks went on to Rome and were received in audience by the Pope. Ho Hum!

My dear Grandchild! When am I ever [?] be able to learn you that the best place to get into a fight is  [?] peace group” and that the best place to get an ‘orrible erroneous [?] of India and all the East is to join the US-India Sassiety or [?]. Often it seems the East is on another planet insofar as US [?] views are concerned. Sad but true … and you know it’s true.

Be my good grandchild (I’m already quite [?] as you well know) and try hard not to get into peace fights [?] hard not to upset the fond theories of the knowitalls. Just take sandwich in waxed paper and go off to Muir Woods and commune  with trees and other superior beings (compared with US pundits!).

You say naught about your blood pressure and general condition, so I take it for granted that you are still the old original cast-iron man. Take care of yourself. Keep well and happy.
Be grandpaw’s good boy!

Affectionately (as always)



Cooper, John S Correspondence

United States Senate

Committee on Foreign Relations

June 26, 1967


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

I was glad to hear from you again and I have read your comments on various matters with interest. As I wrote you, I always appreciate having your views.

I think it very important that the underlying problems in the Middle East be considered and great efforts made toward their solution in the United Nations.

Please write to me at any time.

With kind regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

John Sherman Cooper



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

July 12, 1967


Hon. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building,

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper,

Your letter of the 6th received and gives some hope. We have had recently two presidents who, with all good will have given us some the most remarkable verbalisms every recorded, but when it comes to the world affairs, we seem going from one confusion to another. And it is awkward to find in opposition, Ambassador-Professor Galbraith. For the way matters are handled today there are only three classes of Americans in foreign affairs: (a) bureaucrats, (b) newsman, (c) subjects.

We have a CIA but we have no central intelligence agency. And as matters stand I may have to contact former ambassador Malalasekera of  Ceylon who earned our enmity by saying (and it is true): “How can you trust a Nation that does not trust its own citizens.” I have documentary proof of this and some day, when we want to get out of “realism” into Reality the material may be released. But if  it is to be released injudiciously it can give aid and comfort to the enemies of the Nation.

Yesterday some time was spent on the campus of the University of California in Berkeley. Assent has been granted to have meetings in September at which we hope to have some of the professors who have lived in the Near East present and especially Paul Keim, who has done so much both in theoretical research and actual accomplishments in Desert Reclamation. I do not wish to go into detail here but am half in fear that Russia may be having Israelis and Arabs sit down together, as they have had Indians and Pakistanis sit down together while the White House utters platitudes.

We are hoping to promote the work of alumni, both Americans and Asians and to use the Alumni Association to further international good-will. Both Yale and Princeton have done something along that line (the State Department does not take suggestions or even reports!)

In the course of conversation both the President of the Alumni Association (Richard Erickson and I) mentioned the good-will coming from the Medical Mission to Indonesia which played not a little part in reversing the trends in that land. He gave me some further tips which I shall investing and report to the senior senator from this state, Mr. Thomas Kuchel.

It is significant that no letters have been received from those most vociferous in demanding Israelis and Arabs sit down together. Unless “experts” set the examples nothing will happen, and they will not. And it may be whimsy or serious that somebody has suggested the Nobel Peace Award winners step in. Then we shall see the meeting or “reality” versus “realism.”

Senator, I was accorded honors in Japan extended neither to the present nor previous Vice-President. My country has ignored this and other exploits. But now I have received a mass of Buddhist material, all sorts of things. The natural step will be to contact the compilers of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism. This means the aforementioned Dr. Malalasekera.

There is no question today on the world scene that there is a great deal of ill-will against Israel because while we do have (and very rightly so) an Anti- Defamation League in this country, this has never prevented the members from taking part in the defamation of other faiths. They have never assented to universal anti-defamation.

This country has proclaimed forms of teachings called “Zen” which are affronts to the people of the Orient. Even our best friend, Princess Poon Diskul, president of the World Buddhist Federation, has proclaimed against this—to no end. We have not paid the slightest attention to the Buddhism of Vietnam.

And in the pursuit of research connected with both books and manuscripts placed in these hands I shall have to write to Dr. Malalasekera. If I send him copy of the letter to President Johnson it will start a chain of unfavorable reactions. There seems be no other way out. It will not be done in a hurry. But now your Chamber is dismayed by recent actions in parts of Africa and the out- and-out “imperialistic” ventures. So far the real imperialists have been accusing us of this fault but now we seem to have gone down the highway which both Candidates and McKinley and Bryan opposed at the beginning of the century.

I have in the last two weeks, Senator, made three new friends from India, very easily and simply because one meets them from the heart out and not from diplomatic mannerisms in. I am hoping to teach some Americans some of the real philosophies of real Asia without it costing them huge sums or having to go through academic examinations.

I appreciate your showing interest. We need real “people-to-people” activities. Many of these have succeeded without recognition from either the bureaucrats or press.


Samuel L. Lewis





October 5, 1967

Hon. John Sherman Cooper,

Senate Office Building.

Washington. D. C.


Our Campaign Against Asian Cultures (cont.)


Dear Senator Cooper:

There is nothing that illustrates better the contention that there are only three groups of people in regard to Asian matters: (a) bureaucrats, (b) newsmen, (c) subjects, than the attention given to a book on India by a newswoman, Mrs. Hobbs, as against the non-attention given to that country in not reviewing

    “A Psychiatrist Discovers India

                —Medard Boss

This gentleman is a highly trained scientist who uses modern methods. Visited clinics, hospitals and universities and did that thing impossible for people of the Fourth Estate and far beyond possibility for diplomats: mingle with the people.

It happens incidentally that some of the persons met by the writer were also met by me, at least one being a good friend and now the top Vedantist.

We have failed to see that we cannot win the hearts of Asians by ignoring their humanity and their culture. There may be arguments in favor of various schemes for Vietnam but they hardly are based on the possibility that Vietnamese have the qualities, let us say, of Shylock. They are treated as if animated guinea pigs. The same applies to the Arabs; we can be pro-Israel but that is no excuse for our refusals to have candid cultural exchange with these people and our selection of Englishman as chief mentors in Islamics, etc. etc.

Next week I begin my own lectures in the religions of the world, based on deep studies, participations in worship, and all the qualifications required in the scientific disciplines, but indeed regarded as liabilities in “social disciplines.”  I am recommending “A psychologist Discovers India.” It is a tragedy that to us Europeans are human beings, Asians are thought-forms. There will be no peace in Vietnam until we change this attitude.


Samuel L. Lewis

cc-Embassy of India       



United States Senate

Committee on Foreign Relations

November 13, 1967


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your latest letter enclosing a paper on Vietnamese Buddhism. I found the paper most informative and the information that it contains has already proven useful to me. I appreciate your continuing kindness in keeping me informed on these matters about Asia which you know so well.

With kind regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

John Sherman Cooper



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

May 12, 1969


Hon. J. Sherman Cooper,

Senate Office Building

Washington, D. C.


Asian Studies, “Ugly Americans” and Peace


Dear Senator Cooper:

This is the same subject on which I have been harping in former letters and the theme is the same. But as one meets more and more “Ugly Americans” one is no longer aghast about the refusals  of the extreme dialecticians who make all the noises, the so-called “left” and the so-called “right,” but one is meeting more and more  Americans with more knowledge and no voice in their government, in the press or before the public.

Recently I met Dr. Richard J. Kozicki on the campus of the University of California in Berkeley and already he has annotated literature which if better known would go far to help in the understanding, if not solution, of many of the present day complexes known as “problems” and made into problems by what Lord Snow calls the ‘literary-humanist” culture.

I was one of the few Americans attending the services for the late President Dr. Zukair Hossein who was my spiritual brother but our common viewpoint, though held by millions, has been barred from the conferences and many of the universities dedicated to Asian studies, and by all the American universities I know of where the “important” people in charge are neither Americans nor Asians! And by the East-West gatherings in Hawaii; we simply cannot get in and I am not going to try any more.

As Americans take over the study of Asian cultures the doors gradually open to at least conversations if not understandings.

The other day I received a beautiful letter by an old pal. He is now retired General Edward Lansdale. I tried many times to reach him, but the letters from the front were returned! It opens the door to peace through understanding, and occasionally I am minded to visit Columbia University at my own expense, for we might conceivably have peace through understanding by having Americans who know Asians, understand Asians and are understood by Asians, to help in this direction.

Since then one of my secretaries has received both a beautiful letter and a publication from the Buddhists of South Vietnam who are ignored almost as much as the viewpoint common to the late president Hossein and myself is ignored. It happens that the Thich in charge is a close friend of my closest Buddhist friend who himself was the companion and secretary of the late Dr. Robert Clifton, the Venerable Phra Sumangalo.

When objective history is written it will have been found that this whole terrible war came about from the adamant refusal of authorities and press to interview Clifton on his two visits to the United States. We not only have an endless war, we still bar the presentation of certain a aspects of Asian culture, and these aspects are far, from being anywhere near Marxist in their outlooks.

Senator, we are fighting two wars and until we get down to one war, (or conceivably no wars) we are not going to succeed.

I shall have sent to you copies of The Oracle just published which has material by or concerning this person with emphasis on the teaching of  Dervish Dancing. This has two purposes: “Joy without Drugs” and “American-Asian Understanding.” What began as “Dance of Universal Peace” dedicated in part to The Temple  Of Understanding has now grown into a whole array of “spiritual” dances on Asian themes and is attracting more and more young people and gradually more interviews with a new type of editor, too. These are based on a knowledge of the real religions of the real Orient and not on derivatives and dialectics of important western writers who have never gone through the devotions and disciplines.

Fortunately today I have colleagues in Europe (Schon, Pallis, etc.) and more in this land. I shall in fact soon visit the state of New Mexico in pursuit of this general theme and have not forgotten for one instance the theme, “How California can Help Asia.” The aforesaid Prof. Kozicki has done a lot of pioneer work here.


Samuel L. Lewis


cc-P. Burton



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

June 2, 1969


Hon. J. Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building.

Washington. D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

Peace and Understanding in Asia

The other day I was very pleased to learn that Mrs. Cooper is on the Board of Directions of Asia Foundation of this city, which organization has been, for the most part honest, direct and objective and has, in some instances also been quite successful.

If this policy of honesty, objectivity and impersonality were followed we could find highways to peace, a real peace with and through understanding. And in pursuit thereof I have placed two copies of Encyclopedia of Buddhism in libraries of the University of California.

I am also enclosing copy of a letter of The Temple of Understanding. I hope later to get them also these copies, which are quite expensive. But when the time comes I may bring them in person due to my re-contact General Edward Lansdale who has played a considerable role in Southeast Asia.

The Encyclopedia has been largely the result of Dr. G. Malalasekera whom we opposed at the U.N. for saying, “How can you trust a Nation that does not trust its own citizens.” And it is a tragic mark on this country and its foreign policies that the small person does not count and the eyewitness who reports anything contrary to policy is not permitted to file his experiences.

It is conceivable that we could have a foreign office that would at least record reports (not opinions and suggestions but eyewitness reports,) that this might lead to better understanding.

Now in my private life I am succeeding more and more with the young and at least two budding editors are consulting me largely because of the impossibility of getting interviews, more even than on the truthfulness of experiences. This also is awkward but it is to be expected.

I am finding more and more professors who have lived in Asia or who have conducted researches in Asia who are hors de combat so far as our press and foreign offices are concerned. The word “democracy” is often very far from democracy itself.


Samuel L. Lewis



December 14, 1969

Senator John Sherman Cooper

U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

Toward real peace in the real Near East

I am sending you herewith a carbon of a letter to an operative organization, and am also sending a copy of it to The Temple of Understanding.

As long as we are concerned with words, more words, and with process, we are never going to have anything like “just and lasting peace.” A very close friend of mine, one Mr. Bryn Beorse, is publishing a work based on his own almost fantastic adventures, very real, very objective, and  totally out of line with anything emanating from either the current Vice-President or the Fourth Estate which he is excoriating. I am only hoping it is time at last to get out of realism into reality.

Mr. Beorse has given a whole chapter to me. I have seen this thing coming in the Near East all my life, and having neither funds nor political following, it is almost impossible, or rather it has been almost impossible to get anything accepted. I went into the Near East both with ideas, and then in person, feeling if we did not promote peace the Russians could and would. I was snubbed by the State Dept. for bringing peace feelers from Pakistan to India. Soon these nations called in the Russians, or rather went to Tashkent. I foresee further Tashkents because a so-called “democratic” nation does not permit its citizens to make any proposals to the foreign office; or if so the foreign office snubs them.

I remember only too well the verbal attention given to men like Boak Carter and Ely Culbertson the bridge master, prior to World War II. So long as ideas of important persons are considered important and so long as factual backgrounds from un-importants  are ignored we can only add to confusion.

Well here we are getting Christians, and Jews, and Muslims, to dance together and eat together. Not news of course. But if this Sufi teacher from Palestine comes this way, as I understand he will, we are in a deplorable position of having to inform the foreign press because so called left-wingers and right-wingers alike ignore anything that comes out of Asia which is not dialectic.

We have been practicing by joining in with Islamic, Jewish, and Christian festivities at their seasons.


Samuel L. Lewis



January 26,1970

Hon. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

In re: Reality versus “Realism” in foreign affairs

The other day I attended the annual Indian Independence Day celebration in this region. It seems after long years the Indian students themselves, and others of their nationals with them, have taken over the festivities. In previous years these were often in the hands of “experts,” men with quite undeserved fame who generally limited speeches to themselves and their particular cronies. Often they were all from the staff of a single educational institution, and they were often replaced by others from a single educational institution. These proceedings were relished by a certain type of America who finds entertainment in colored orations, but they added very little to the betterment of foreign relations. Now I must say it is quite different and I have written a letter to our good friend, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, in regard thereto.

The knowledge of the religions, folklore, and ethos of other peoples, can do very much to promote better good will between peoples, although the press and foreign office do not seem to have discovered that. But there are today more and more young American professors in our universities who have lived abroad and mingled with exotic nationals. They are gradually replacing or displacing the old type of “expert” often educated (if one wants to call it that) in some British or European institution. It is certain that the Americans who spoke the other day know what they were talking about, and gave us Facts, often remarkable facts, facts of types quite unwelcome by the press; indeed unwelcome to every dialectical outlook from our so-called extreme left to our so-called extreme right.

I myself had the satisfaction of receiving several invitations to speak henceforth to the Indian students. Since writing you last, excellent relations have been established with a number of professors both of local institutions and those of several other states. My program of “Eating, Dancing, and Praying” with nationals of other countries does impress those nationals, and does impress our young more and more and more. If this is a generation gap you can make the most of it. Unfortunately, it is a generation gap, but it is more a gap between what I call “realists” and reality-ists.

The largest group of people ignored by our culture are the Sufis or Dervishes. Indeed there have been even Presidents and Prime Ministers (eg. the late President Zukair Hussein) who belong to this group. But we will have none of it. The nearest was the appearance of Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr of Teheran University at Harvard for a short while. I have met multitudes of Sufis in various lands and have received some as guests in this city.

The latest has been one who is a citizen of Israel. He understands all three prevailing religions; speaks Arabic, Hebrew and English; and has lived in Mecca and Jerusalem. He is now attending a college in another state, but is being transferred to this city at the end of the semester. We intend to have a meeting of those Arabs in this vicinity who are Israelis in nationality, but Muslims in faith. They belong to what I have sarcastically called “the silenced majority.”

I have materials collected over the years anent salt-water conversion, desert reclamation, dry land agriculture, and the reconciliation of religions. I am now awaiting word from The Temple of Understanding in Washington as to my future movements.

The situation is slightly complicated by the growing demand by our young in many parts and here also to learn about aspects of religion which are not presented in our educational institutions, and even less by our churches. This goes for Christianity as well as for Asian faiths. One would suppose that the foreign office would be interested in a citizen with such backgrounds, but the state department has long since ignored all communication.

The situation is further compounded by the fact that a friend of mine, Mr. Shamcher Bryn Beorse, is publishing a work in which he compares me, an unknown, to some of the most famous personalities of the century. Added to that is the possibility of receiving additional legacies to those which I now have, which would make it possible to travel anywhere, and also bear the expense of publication.

There is no doubt in my mind that sooner or later we have to get rid of mock phrases like “Peace with Justice,” and mock treaties like the Kellogg-Briand pact, etc., and do something to bring human beings closer to each other. It is not only the State Department, but the Rabbis and the Imams who equally ignore all efforts toward promoting good will, that is good will, and not and empty phrase.

I am writing this because I know you are both an informed man and one working for real peace and real justice in a real world.


Samuel L. Lewis



cc-Philip Burton



United States Senate

Committee on Foreign Relations

February 12, 1970


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

It was thoughtful of you to send me a copy of the letter you wrote to Congressman McClosky. I am flattered that you are willing to regard me as one of your spokesmen in the Senate.

With kind regards, I am

Yours sincerely,

John Sherman Cooper



February 16, 1970

Hon. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

Your cordial note has been received just after writing another letter to Congressman
McCloskey, copy enclosed.

My basic difficulty, and one which I am having with a whole culture, is that I was educated at a time when the influences of New England Transcendentalism and Columbia University Pragmatism were great. This has produced a great generation gap between me and the older people who in turn are facing a generation gap with the youth of today.

I am no theoretician nor dialectician of any camp whatsoever. You will see what is being done and what we hope to do. With a new neighbor here, an Arab exile from Jerusalem because he did not take sides; with Jewish friends pro-Israel, anti-Israel and otherwise; with a large sector of followers of partially Jewish blood who found themselves standing alone, we seem to agree that youth should stand together and stand together for peace, and not any more misleading phrases like any Kellogg-Briand Pact or totally ineffectual “peace with justice”.

I am sending a copy of this also to the American Friends of the Middle East.

Plans are now to prepare to go to Geneva to the conference of the world’s religions under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding. It is even possible that either the writer or one of his disciples may attend another conference in Japan next year for “Peace Through Religion.” Yes, I have worked my whole life to this end only to be snubbed by practically all extant organization excepting the Friends.

But I still believe in God and country. I am not particularly asking anything from anybody, but wish to perform rather than to seek funds from others in order to perform. With God’s help it is not necessary to go around begging.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



410  Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif. 94110                                                                                             

Written in London,                                                                                           

April 15th, 1970                                                                                      


Hon. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

In re: Conference of The Temple of Understanding

One does not know how much news has appeared in the American press of the convocation of all the world’s faiths which took place at Geneva on March 31-April 5. It is glorious that the delegates of the religions met, and met with a cordiality not possible among diplomats and newsmen, who have so many private protocols that communication is always blocked. It seems part of their respective professions to avoid candor at all costs. But it seems that the clericals have learned what these two dominant professions refuse to examine—that there can be communication, humanism, and humanitarianism; that there can be, and must. So it is.

The emphasis was on religious devotion, and peace. There were, of course, the usual emotional harangues which always consume time, but they no longer affect the majority. And the presentation of fourteen prayers in a ceremony at the great Cathedral must be regarded as an historical event.

There were a number of noticeable personalities there. I do not know what has been presented by the press, but we leave shortly for Boston, and hope to obtain periodicals there. It is certain that European papers mentioned the proceedings in a fair-minded objective manner, characteristic of scientific reports, but not the usual fourth estate subjectivisms. (London papers are even more subjective at times than the American press.)

One had the decided advantage of knowing all the world’s faiths, and so had objective communication with practically all groups and delegates. Thus with Count Otani from Japan. We met  the papal delegates the very first day, and began to present our program for Palestine, which anybody not diplomat or newsman could readily understand. We had the repetition of Jew, Christian, and Muslim all showing open-mindedness, cordiality, and real interest. There are ways in which humanity can deal with humanity, and generally does, in the absence of newsmen and diplomats. (Vide Clemenceau)

Although “Peace” was the main subject, there was no mention of Southeast Asia, and this facilitated the quiet efforts for the Near East. When one can gain the hearts of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims, something can be done and will be followed up.

The main obstacle to the United States remains our strange and stubborn attitude toward Islamic, and especially Arabic, culture. Before God, there is absolutely no reason why there should not be an Arabian Secretariat. Here is a large bloc of nations using the same language, corresponding to English, French, and Spanish, which are organized, and not to Chinese and Russian, which nevertheless have secretariats.

The second is the practical exclusion of cultured representatives of especially the Arabian peoples in our land. This is the largest segment of history and culture to be so treated. We even have fairly organized Russian-American groups. If we treated the Arabs on any sort of equal basis, we might be able to help in the present complex.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to an Egyptian who is a pacifist. Not recognizing Arabs, we do not know about the groups among them. Fortunately, this man, who is a leading scientist in his own land, was selected, and I think  wisely selected, to represent Islam in the directing board.

Incidentally, there were quite a few scientists present, and they did much to contribute to the proceedings and understanding.

I met the papal delegates the first day, and the Indians the next. I am pleased to report that on the third day, the senior Birlay sought me out. I believe I know considerable about Indian cultures and the Indians believe this; most of all Swami Ranganathananda of the Ramakrishna Mission. He was the Vivekananda of the conference, and my dearest friend.

The hard fact remains that if you try to follow the late President Kennedy: “It is not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” you will have hard sledding—from Americans.

Fortunately, I have youth with me, more and more and more and more. They comprehend the Indian psychologies, but they also wish to pursue the blending of New England Transcendentalism and Columbia University philosophies, very American, and very much under cover, but I believe this will triumph in the end.


Samuel L. Lewis



May 1, 1970

Hon, John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper :

One realizes this is a very delicate period, a period in which it is so easy to find fault, so difficult to propose effective remedies. My own life has been entangled with the complexities in many parts of Asia. One had to choose between working incessantly for peace in the Near East, or peace in Southeast Asia. Circumstances suggested the former course, concentrating on the matter of peace in the Near East.

I am enclosing copy of a letter to a group with whom I agree in all principles and details, but like other organizations which posit the so-called Judeo-Christian ethic, they  have  ignored all my letters (which may not matter much) and all my reports, which are very factual. My files are filled with material that could be of use if we really wanted peace, and now circumstances make it possible for me to devote myself to just that.

Our next campaign, and we are not the least hit optimistic, includes contacting all persons worthy or unworthy who have received peace prizes from important sources. They accept the peace awards and then run to cover when real trouble emerges.

As my program depends upon achievement and not more letter writing, I realize even the dangers of correspondence.

I have already reported a little about contacts with top Indians at Geneva. I am pleased to say that the Indian students at the Universities here have accepted my background. So it has become a matter of extreme indifference whether organizations and persons important or self-important do so, or not. But I must say that relations with the universities and colleges are becoming more and more cordial, and even now I am awaiting the appearance of one of the professors in the fields covered by this correspondence.

I have also written our old friend Dr. Radhakrishnan. A summer school is now awaiting me where I can teach the deeper aspects of Asian wisdoms which are only slowly penetrating into our universities. But that is something, that is a glorious something for which I think we should be thankful.

I am still an American pragmatist and neither a dialectician nor an existentialist. And my recent visit  to Boston shows a wonderful revival in the studies of Transcendentalism.


Samuel L. Lewis



Lama Foundation

P. O. Box 444,

San Cristobal, New Mexico 87564

June 10,1970


Hon. John Sherman Cooper,

Senate Office Building,

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper :

I am enclosing copy of a letter to my own Congressman, Hon. P. Burton of San Francisco. On the whole I support all his programs but the main issue with the young today is the war—not unemployment, not housing, not “ecology” but there is a feeling that this is now a militaristic country, much more clever than others (Including the Germans) and therefore more insidious.

It is not more a matter of clichés and aphorisms and I am beginning to be afraid that non-inflammatory speeches are now becoming inflammatory. Thus the late President Kennedy’s “It is not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

You can’t go to the state Department with anything. And it was so easy at the summit meeting of all the religions of the world at Geneva, not only to receive and communicate but to get apologies from the top clerics of several important faiths, which is still in process.

At Geneva the Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj gave me a send-off, placing this person in the highest echelons concerning knowledge of the deepest Asian philosophies and I could add endlessly to this. Now the young want to know more about Asia and ask why we do not give them Asian-Asian cultures.

This involves some Gandhiism but even more Jesus Christ. Our rejection seriatim of the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ are going to inflame the young more than violence. We seem to be able to cope with violence but  not with truth.

I may be in Washington this Autumn and if I come I can assure you that all my themes will be well documented. I am now working for a scholarship toward peace in the Near East—my own resources.


Samuel L. Lewis





United States Senate

Committee on Foreign Relations

Washington, D.C. 20510

June 22, 1970


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

It was thoughtful of you to send me a copy of the letter you wrote to Senator Margaret Chase Smith on June 13. Your discussion of the problems which confront us is most perceptive. I appreciate Your reference to me.

With kind regards, I am

Yours sincerely,

John Sherman Cooper



July 3, 1970

Senator John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper :

One feels very satisfied that your efforts have now been crowned with some success. To me it has been utterly ridiculous that the one Senator who has lived in Asia, and has mingled with many Asians of various sorts, should be kept in the background by those in charge of channels of communication and so-called “wars.” I have not had too much empathy with the Foreign Office since the passage of the Kellogg-Briand pact a number of years ago where unsubstantiated verbalisms were raised to great heights through emotional pressures. We still have these emotional pressures and the only result to me of the Kellogg-Briand pact has been to abolish the word war. Indeed the press does not refer to “war” but to “cooperative endeavors with our allies.” These words are never explained.

The year has been one full of grand activities. I attended an international religions conference at Geneva under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding, an American institution about which a have written before and about which I am sure you know some things, some wiseacre at the conference has urged that communists be invited at later sessions; then the American press will cover. But without either communists or the American Press, I can assure you that the leaders of the world religions are getting closer together.

I can equally assure you that the youths of the world are getting closer together. There is a remarkable absence of any kind of hostility among them. On my way back from Europe I spent some time in Massachusetts, a State which regards the present conflict as illegal. As Americans are not encouraged to study American history, and as all evidences that the top commentators of the large national hookups are actually very ignorant men, we do not realize that many years back this same state of Massachusetts spoke of “Mr. Madison’s War.” That was for all practical purposes a real legal undertaking, and yet a number of states demurred. To me, and to millions of others, the present conflict is not a legal one, but only Massachusetts has followed in the path of its forebears.

As matters stand I may be called to Washington sometime before and may be speaking or at least meeting persons of too great importance to mention them at this writing. But the world cannot be half dialectic and half free, and my years of battling to get out of “realism” into Reality, are now getting excellent responses on all hands.

My program to bring east and west closer together through music and dancing has become a great social success, and at this writing the possibilities are very great that it will be a financial success also. We are sending a television group to India in a short while. Mostly to record the activities of the great Sufi Orders, whose very existence is proscribed in our culture. This will not continue long because reports will be made to my friend Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T. whom I also hope to see in the not distant future.

It is to me utterly incomprehensible that we can spend billions of dollars purportedly to prevent the spread of Communism in this world, while we have full cultural exchange with Russia and Palestine (that is to say, Israel) which uphold the existence of communist institutions, and we do not have anything of the same type of cultural exchange with any non-Communist Asian land!

When you combine this utterly fantastic attitude with our full acceptance and full rejection at the same time, of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and the emotional attitudes connected therewith you may be able to comprehend that the younger people cannot accept such policies as same, and I don’t believe they are. As long as this national schizophrenia  exists at the top we cannot help but have it underneath.

Hoping to meet you someday and appreciating your efforts on behalf of peace and humanity.


Samuel l. Lewis



August 16, 1970

Sen. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper :

Working For the Actuality of Peace

All my life I had a dream of establishing peace in the Holy Land, mostly based on actual history or on the Three Rings of Boccaccio or its later sequel “Nathan the wise.” I came to Washington in 1960 at a time fixed by officials of the State department. I had ideas for establishing peace in the Near East along these lines, with the added hope that this would shut the Communists out. The State department fixed a date and an hour and on my arrival in Washington, confirmed this. But when I arrived in the office there was not a person there and nobody knew anything. In addition to that I had come at a time when it was impossible to get further hotel booking.

I am a single individual who had at that time neither wealth nor following. And since then on no occasion has any member of the State Department answered any letter from me, including requests to get into the Peace Corps.

I stayed in Egypt a long time and had a plan which was accepted by the Israelis, the Egyptians, and the Saudis. But there was one man who was downright enthusiastic and said this program was the best he had ever heard. His name was Gunnar Jarring. I did not think much of it then, for your foreign office was cool, the American Friends of the Middle East were cool, and the peace societies actually hostile.

I will skip the rest. We out here are trying to bring Jews and Muslims; Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs together. It has been very successful so far. It is all done by the young. You can call them “hippies” if you want to. They are not working to destroy anything or anybody. They believe; they positively believe in Peace, Good Will to Men. We haven’t a chance with the newspapers. The magazines ignore all letters, but  a very wealthy publisher is returning to this country soon, and is going to help us, help us while we are doing.

I am even getting support from the young, and with a little more effort will be able to leave here for Washington this fall. These young people want to work for The  Temple of Understanding. They don’t want any money from the temple. Indeed real religions of the world, finally took this person seriously when be said he was “an incarnation of Nathan the Wise.”

It is characteristic that the last persons to consider our approaches are so-called peace groups, and especially those individuals who have had pence awards and then run to cover before the realities of Southeast Asia and the Near East. I do not wish to name some of my contacts here, but after coming to Washington will naturally disclose the names of those I shall be seeing, will see.

I am absolutely and positively opposed to “Peace With Justice”. I am positively in favor of “Peace With the Concessions I Will Make.” Indeed in a few days there will be a joint dinner of young people here. If there were a single sign of sex or pornography or Communism or psychedelics it would be a “world event.” But when we can get Muslims to repeat the Shemah and Jews the Kalama…. 

While this is going on, others of my disciples are preparing to go to Asia and film present institutions, especially of young people, working for peace and spirituality. Oh, we have already raised the money; that is not a problem. We are doing what the present day culture calls impossible, or inconceivable, but we are doing. The groups will assemble later on at the Durgah of Nizam-ud-din Auliya in New Delhi, which you may know. One of the present spiritual leaders is Hasan Sani Nizam. He is one of the best of our friends,  and his father was close to the Gradys, especially to the still lives Mrs, Lucretia Delvalle Grady who is still living in this city.

We do not, and cannot understand, how this nation can be spending billions of dollars in wars presumably to stop Communism, have culture exchange with Russia and none with the Asian civilizations far more profound than perhaps anything in Europe. We have written this before, but today we are supported by thousands of young people, and possibly more than thousands. Also money is being collected to have cultural exchanges with non-communist civilizations. And locally the American Friends Society for Eastern Arts has recognized what we are doing. Reports will also be sent to the departments of Ethno-musicology at the University of California in Los Angeles and Washington (Seattle), and Chicago University.

At Geneva a number of Asians were amazed to find that this person had been barred at intercultural and interreligious  gatherings in the United States by European, chiefly German, professors. The same holds for the Hawaiian University in Honolulu, with its  huge  East-West  center , quite  selective  as  to which groups  are allowed  to present  their teachings.  I do  not believe, Senator, we are going to have peace on earth and good will, until we recognize the humanity, whether we agree with their particular religions and philosophies.

I used to say the two things I was most proud of, were my invitation to be a guest of  honor at the Imperial Grounds in Tokyo and a free dinner from Armenians. Now I add to it the thirty-three rejections I had of a paper on Vietnamese Buddhism. And the young today seem to think the last was the greatest.

The telephone and doorbell are constantly ringing. Young people are coming hundreds of miles to see “Dances of Universal Peace” first inspired by the late Ruth St. Denis. I am exceedingly honored by Indian travel organizations and more and more now by the Universities. This is especially true of the University of California. They are taking seriously my theme “How California can help Asia.” They realize that my complaint is generic, not personal. What has happened to me has happened to others who have been successful in earning the friendships of Asian peoples and even more of accomplishing something in those lands. I myself saw great things done by Americans, and not a word in the press, which constantly prints endless articles about the Aswan Dam but never about the great achievements of Americans.

We appreciate very much what you are trying to do. I tell people you are the only member of the upper house who has lived in Asia and that it is conceivable you just might know something about its peoples. At this writing there is nothing negative to report. I agree with Clemenceau that “War and Peace are two things too serious to entrust to diplomats and Generals.” But I realize I live in an age which does not accept Clemenceau at all.

Lots more is going on now and everything points to success. The war of Reality Versus “Realism” can only have one end, and I am sure you understand it.


Samuel L. Lewis            



August 30, 1970

Son. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington D. C.


Dear Senator Cooper :

The next month will be spent in preparation to visit especially New York and Washington.

You will find enclosed a copy of a letter to Mrs. Henry Grady, widow of one of your predecessors as Ambassador to India. Our colleagues have already left to visit that land and others, to help promote cultural exchange at human levels with consideration of humanity, spirituality, and history in contradiction to the dominant methods of both ourselves and those nations which we distrust, all of whom demand a “realism” without regard to humanity, history, or spirituality.

Only three men ever were courteous enough to give any consideration to my program for the Near East. Two of them were Californians,  one  a retired official and the other a Professor of the University of California who has worked in many foreign lands. The other person was Mr. Gunnar Jarring. We had a four hour conversation and he told me that he thought my program was the most sensible and all-encompassing he had ever encountered.

Evidently some young people think the same. We have already put on a successful Israeli-Arab dinner. The next one, which the Arabs will host for the Jews, including Israelis, and Christians, is already over-subscribed. I am sending a copy of this to Congressman Millard because these meetings will be held in his district. But I regret that although we are both of very long standing San Francisco families and he is a member of the House Committee on International Affairs, that he has previously ignored all attempts on my part to see him. I hope this will be different now, for I am working for world peace amid the humanity.

The efforts at the Geneva Conference of the world’s real religions have been followed by more and more acceptance of actual research, actual study, actual traveling, and actual living with Asians and Arabs. Now the University of California is accepting this and I am also working for a Peace Scholarship, first with my own monies, and then I hope others will join.

At this writing there is every sign that the radio stations will begin publicizing what previously they a priori rejected. The world cannot persist half-free, half-dialectic.

Hope to see you when I reach Washington.


Samuel L. Lewis


cc: Congressman Maillard

cc: Congressman Burton



September 14, 1970

Hon. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

There is a question whether this land will come to realities or that I may be compelled to write a book which would make Zola’s “J’ Accuse” look elementary. While the newspapers are printing headlines over-exaggerating every form of excitement stemming from the Near East, we have been totally successful in putting on joint  Israeli-Arab-Christian dinners, with prayers and dances, both in San Francisco and in Jerusalem of all places. This just isn’t news. I have written you in the past about being the only outsider present at the  Papa Tara Singh-Nehru reconciliation. Forty gentlemen of the press present and not one reported most of the proceedings: warm embraces between Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus.

I think I also wrote you previously that at the world peace conference in Geneva, not reported by the press—no Communists there, I received profound apologies from the top Rabbis and Protestant clerics, and they are cooperating fully in our two projects :

A. Peace in Palestine by eating, dancing, and praying together.

B. Filming and tape recording present day operations of spiritual forces of all religions with and around the young especially.

It seems today that we are getting full cooperation among religious leaders, but we have to send out teams to get radio stations and TV people and the press even to recognize our existence.

Last week we saw the latest issue of National Geographic Magazine with a two-page picture of Lama Foundation in New Mexico, of which I am the top-Guru so to speak. This institution was given at least 10 snaps on a national broadcasting program last Tuesday. We agree in accepting all religions, and in operative brotherhood. This goes a little further than most of the inter-religious groups, because it includes all aspects of Amer-Indian faiths. It is operative; it is going on now, and it is shunned by the press more than any cleric shuns sin. But I think this is going to be changed. The young are going to change it, and I have an editor-publisher who will accept facts. Facts. Facts. Facts.

We had planned to go to New York City where also we may contact Father Haughey, Editor of “America,” one of my colleagues. But now it may be possible also to see Gunner Jarring. Gunner Jarring gave me four hours and said my plan was the best he had ever heard of for the Near East.

Excepting for some slight cooperation from “The American Friends of the Middle East” the only time I was ever permitted to talk was at the Roman Catholic University of San Francisco when there was a Seminar on the water problems of the Near East. When I sat down the chair declared “The meeting is adjourned; every problem has been answered.” That was the only time I have ever been permitted to talk in a land that verbalizes liberty, democracy, and humanity.

But don’t get any idea this is an egocentric report. For years I have been working on the theme “How California Can Help Asia”. The work of my fellow alumni of the University of California is almost  beyond concept. I won’t detail it here. A riot at Sather Gate is world news; a solution of a mighty problem takes two years to get before the public.

The other day I received a book on the Indus River, and I guess I lost my temper. The introduction gave high praise to the University of California and especially Dr. Milton Fireman. You never read about him. If the Russians, or maybe the Chinese, plan something it is a headline. If an American does something it is not ever news. The successful operative Mangla Dam in Pakistan was completed by a local corporation, Guy Atkinson Company-it was not news here. To the local press Aswan is always news. American engineering successes not newsworthy.

I do not know much about Mr. Nader. Salesmen generally know something of the virtues of their products. The so-called Anti-Communist American press, ignores the virtues of this country. They are trying to sell sex, mini-skirts, and hard liquor, and the people of Chile have already indicated in a poll that that is not the kind of protection they want from Communism.

I am no Pollyanna. Far From it. But something has to be done, and it can be done without hypocrisy, to tell the world what Americans have accomplished; not planned but accomplished. I even understand by the grapevine that a man may be visiting me soon who has seen President Nixon in regard to the Palestinian impasse. We are getting more and more Arabs-Christians-and Jews together, and I believe we will get more and more. It is only a question whether it will be necessary to publish a tremendous expose’, or whether some leaders will jump out of their private psychedelic “realism” into reality.

I shall be leaving in a week for New York, thence to Washington, thence to Boston, unless there are changes in plans.

The teams we have sent to India have already received the highest form of cooperation from Jews, Christians, Muslims and Hindus. This is wonderful, but not news—Yet. The local American Society for Eastern Arts has expressed willingness to cooperate when this is done.


Samuel L. Lewis


cc: Sen. Percy

cc: Cong. Phil Burton

cc: Admiral Evenson

cc: Dept. of South Asian Studies



September 15, 1970

Hon. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

There has been nothing but success in my private life, all aspects of it.

It is a horrible thing to live in a country of which the Ceylonese Buddhist Dr. Malalasekera Said, “How can you trust a country which will not trust its own citizens.” It is not that bad. I understand somebody close to President Nixon may investigate.

There has been nothing but favorable news in my private life, from Jerusalem, from Teheran, from my local friends, and now from one of the chief Rabbis of the land, Lehrman of Miami Beach. We are going to make some effort this week to see if some radio station will grant some sort of interview about real events in this real world which might lead toward real peace and not toward mad emotionalism or anti-semantic misusage of words. My own efforts to introduce teachings of the Sufis have been very successful, with the young. My own knowledge of the Oriental philosophies of Asians—not of pompous Englishman and Germans is now being recognized more and more by the local universities.

We talk about “peace and justice” and practically forbid objective studies of Islamic and Arabic cultures, e.g. the University of Hawaii with its celebrated East-West Center.

This has nothing to do with the Near East politics. The greatest authority on Arabic culture here a few years ago was the Zionist leader. We could do a great deal toward promoting peace and understanding in this world if we had an Arabic section at the UN. We have a Russian section—how many countries speak Russian? (I don’t know about the Chinese.) If we really believed in peace and justice we could established this with the Arabs without any change whatsoever toward our policies on Israel. Indeed it is a mockery that so many Israelis whom I have met are far more objective toward Arabic culture than the “good people” of the United States with their totally meaningless “peace with justice.”

Now I am getting good news from Arabs and from Rabbis and hope from God I don’t have to write an explosive book. Everywhere I went Asians would ask me “Why aren’t you with your State Department?” I answered, “That is why.”

Our present State Department seems to be only concerned with the efforts of the Russians, not their successes but their efforts, and atrocities, and not anything to bring peace and good will among humankind. I have been very successful in reaching even many Israelis here in the explanation of Sufi Philosophy. Next week we have a joint-session with Yogis in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

I must give a warning senator, a terrible warning: If no attention is paid to our efforts toward peace among and between human beings, when I return from the East I will have an open and public marijuana session, and advertise it. I hope to God I will not have to do that. I have not smoked in my life—anything.


Samuel L. Lewis



October 10,1970

Hon. John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


My dear Senator Cooper :

I am in New York city on two errands which, somehow or other, have crisscrossed, though the subject matters may seem to be quite different.

We came to this city primarily to promote efforts to bring Israelis and Arabs together. We have been successful in California beyond our original plans and intentions. We cannot, of course, compel others to accept God as reality, but the way affairs are progressing, so magically and far beyond our own mentalities and faculties, it would seem that this is so.

Our immediate efforts do involve our contacting Jewish leaders and also publications which have in the past kept their doors closed against us poor mortals who have unwittingly been eye-witnesses of historical events. It seems that the real generation gap is simply between those who want knowledge and those who want interpretation. It is not necessary to go into that, except it would appear at this writing that the people of knowledge are beginning to express themselves more fully and effectively than the people of opinion.

We had nothing but encouragement at Columbia University (e.g. our interview with former Ambassador Badeau), and then learned that there was a movement on that campus towards the same end. Its leader is an Indian named Karmakar. We had no difficulty in our preliminary efforts to join forces. But Mr. Karmakar invited us to attend the meeting of the Indian students Association where we were warmly welcomed.

It seems at this time one is being called upon to join forces with certain Indian leaders presumably “spiritual,” whatever that means. But the team we have sent to India to televise and tape record sacred dances, ceremonies, and shrines, had been entirely successful; and it is possible that something more will come of this than mere pragmatic cultural exchange.

At this writing, there has been some success in promoting both the spiritual-cultural exchange and the peace program for the Near East, but these two programs, while seemingly separate, involve the same personalities.

It is necessary to go into New England shortly, and then some time after our return to New York we hope to visit Washington and also to have more news on both these enterprises.


Samuel L. Lewis



c/o Lonnie Less

27 West 71st St.,

New York, N.Y.

October 22, 1970


Hon, John Sherman Cooper

Senate Office Building,

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

This is written in Charleston, Mass. where I have brought two of my assistants, and whither we shall be departing soon to go back to New York by stages. The most favorable news is the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize to a farmer engaged in research very close to my own efforts, and to what I have been calling “reality” in contrast to the dominant superficialities known as “realism.” I have already both traveled and had serious discussions to top agronomists and horticulturalists in what has most unfortunately become esoteric and specialized in the culture unfortunately dominated by the literati.

Our own special efforts to peace in the Near East, publicized by our “Dances of Universal Peace” have more than caught on with the young, and especially around the universities. We were not quite prepared and as the news from the West indicated successes both in promoting  joint Israeli-Christian-Arab dinners and social gatherings; and as the efforts to raise funds therefor have been most encouraging, we may be able to send  persons or teams across this land.

So far we have not been very successful with the press but fairly so with the radio-and TV people. Our latest snub is characteristic of the dominant “realism” of the Fourth Estate. We were refused on the ground that the public is not interested in anything but the election campaign by a famous newspaper which is filled with laments on the small turn out at elections! I have never seen such a dull period in New York City and so far as people met here there are  no signs of an election going on at all. This has unfortunately given more impetus to write some scathing articles which have been assured of publication.

And if you look at the leading newspapers here today you could hardly believe they were published in the same region—the contexts are extremely different. Anyhow we may be able to get an article in the Christian Science Monitor because the Oakland Tribune is giving us coverage in California.

After returning to New York we hope to visit Washington but cannot tell whether this will be before or after election date. There are so many signs of young people working for peace on bases not discussed by the press and further from the strange type of human beings whom our Vice President loathes than from Mr. Agnew. It is a terrible thing when so much weight is given to certain personalities whose views on every subject is artificially made the center of attention. Readers may be impressed but the young and the university students are not impressed.

There was a time in the august Senate when day after day the leading Republic, Mr. Smooth, used to debate with the leading Democrat, Mr. Simmons. This went on year in and year out, regardless of other issues. And we now see the same thing done by non-elected, non-representatives of the public, with such emphasis and stress we are really in a dream world with insoluble problems.

So far we have had nothing but wonderful receptions from the young and from the departments contacted at Harvard and the Massachusetts School of Technology (M.I.T). But this was also true in New York. The young do not see war as solution. And we understand that Mr. Nixon is more astute and even more wise than is always reported of him. For he has not closed his doors or his ears to various delegations of young people who are sincerely working for peace—I mean peace in the sense that it used to mean— the ending of armed conflicts.

We shall probably have more news when we get our mail in New York.

We shall no doubt stop at Greenwich, Conn. to inquire whether our good friend, Mrs. Judith Hollister, is back from Japan. Our young are working very closely with and in a sense for the Temple of Understanding. And if the staff of the Temple so provides we believe we can get the backing of millions of young Americans, and, sufficient funds along with such backing.

The one prediction that Jean Dixon has made which is coming true is the increased interest in Indian Philosophies and practices—call them “Yoga” or otherwise. They are rapidly gaining while the more sober Christian endeavors are lagging. Yet the dominant figures in the peace endeavors both here and abroad are Christian and if the Indians are more clever in rhetoric, most conservative (from our point of view) devotees are more successful in building actual good-will between antagonistic groups.

When we return to New York City we shall go ahead to contact some of the top persons involved in the Near East imbroglios. I think I have written that Mr. Gunnar Jarring at least examined, and in detail, my “plan” for the Near East years ago and said it was the best thing he had ever encountered. So far it has been exceedingly easy to answer all questions  put by audiences, university people and radio questioners. Some day we may get to “Blessed are the peace-makers.”


Samuel L. Lewis

cc-Phil Burton    



November 3, 1970

Hon. John Sherman Cooper       

Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.


Dear Senator Cooper:

It is with some regret that I have had to call off our planned visit to your city. There is simply too much to do, and success rather than failure has kept me exceedingly busy here. I return on the 19th to San Francisco, but it is possible that my secretary and N.Y. representative will be coming to Washington in the not-too-distant future.

War and peace: I see no way out of the present impasse so long as the people of the United Stated are presumed to be led by the rival camps of the Vice President and super-encyclopedic commentators, because they have prowess in one or two directions assume they have prowess in everything. There is a mental pollution which is so terrible that many of our scientists have remarked that the dangers of present mental pollution are greater than those of physical pollution (if you read some of the books on pollution by non-scientists, this will give you the key). Fame and notoriety play greater roles than knowledge.

It is remarkable that in all the discussion on Vietnam the people of that unhappy land are hardly heard from at all. We may even have Arabic-Palestinians in our midst who will be listened to. But nobody listens to any kind of Vietnamese person.

In the case of the Near East there is plenty of publicity of rabbis and imams coming together in public, generally with Christians both Protestant and Catholic, and pretending friendship and understanding! They then return to their own places and continue their diatribes. Then they are invited to speak in public by various groups who regard themselves as broadminded and continue their diatribes.

Add to this the fact that I have found anti-black hatreds and prejudices in this city far greater than I ever encountered in the South, and I have lived in the South, makes one wonder how long this nation can pretend to be both Christian and dedicated to “excitement.”  I go further, and say that this quest for excitement, supported by millions and millions of certain interests, is itself a basic cause of crime today. And it is going to be some time before a nation, misled by Vice Presidents and super-encyclopedists, is going to get out of the cosmos and settle on the earth and face its problems.

Hallelujah! The Three Rings: For the sake of what I might call spiritual economy, all efforts are being devoted toward bringing various groups together to help establish some sort of peace in the Holy Land. I have already told you that my paper on Vietnamese Buddhism was rejected thirty-three times. Nobody wanted it. I was only permitted once to speak on the Near East which so satisfied the chair that the meeting was concluded. This was on the water resources of that region. But since Mr. Gunnar Jarring has become a public figure and since he once told me that me that my program for the Near East was the best he had ever encountered, our new age, our generation gap young are now endeavoring to promote joint Israeli-Christian-Arab dinners and social engagements and have been surprisingly successful. They have been so successful that we have even gotten two of the national broadcasting companies interested, and for the first time in my life, I was given serious consideration by a gentleman of the press, a representative of the AP. Oh yes, once there was a TV representative who gave me seven interviews and never accepted a single fact. And in the past there have been multiples of interviews and never a fact accepted. And only one of a multitude of persons who have been where history has occurred but has never been news. It is only excitement that is news. Excitement, excitement, excitement.

You should not be surprised, then, that now several of our Latin neighbors do not go along with our excitement and headaches. And one can expect more lands in this universe to go against excitement and headaches without necessarily adopting Marxism.

I think I have already told you my associates have been very successful with joint Israeli-Sufi gatherings and with the filming and recording of the ceremonies and musics of the Sufis in Iran and India. They have gone further in recording and taping other aspects of Asian Asian cultures bypassed by our people.

But last night one encountered a Dr. Backster, friend of Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T, who is doing research in plant psychology. It is noteworthy that many of the real sages of the real Orient have declared that the spiritual future of the word lies in America. And this man went right on beyond where Sir Jagadis Bose of India had worked so long. Bose was ignored, partly as a scientist and partly as an Indian, but his researches in metallic psychology have been accepted by the airplane industry. Here is a real meeting of East and West.

All of these coalesce in the efforts of The Temple of Understanding, whose headquarters are in the American city of Washington. This is bringing East and West together; this is bringing Negro and white together; this is bringing young and old together. And I believe, in many senses, it is bringing God and man together. I have written to you of this before, and I understand some of your colleagues, not many, have shown some interest. But to me it means that the United States may take over, both in spiritual and scientific leadership; and I believe it will when it drops excitement and war as its national programs.

Written in hope that the advent may be the advent.


Samuel L. Lewis

Cultural Integration Fellowship Correspondence

September 15, 1962


My dear Haridas:

I am answering your note of the 14th and may deliver this in person. The answer is given in order to save time. The attendance is in part an answer to your question of plans. These plans are slowly forming. I have not been able to contact the American Academy and am not going to take any University of California courses. It is true I am toying with some more work at the Rudolph Schaeffer School, but this is in connection with the fourth book I have in mind, which is outside the subject-matter of our immediate communication.

I have in mind at the moment two books. The first is “The Lotus and the Universe” which starts out by being-anti-Koestler. It proceeds on to Indian fundamentals. It is about time that an American writes a book on philosophy growing out of spiritual experiences. The stores are full of books on “Zen” by people who know nothing about Zen; and the cultural institutions are full of non- Indians “explaining” philosophies which did not reach India in the 19th century.

When I entered your country I told the Customs men: “Ask me all the questions you want. I have all the answers.” “All the answers.” “Yes.” “Such as?” “Tat twam asi.” “He does know all the answers, let him though.” He told me he was the disciple of Swami Malaraj Ranganathananda, the secretary of the Ramakrishna Order between whom and myself there is a deep love of a nature which cannot be understood by dualistic people.

I immediately got in touch with Bannerji and Dr. Radhakrishnan who were not at that time granting interviews. I want to say here that I have been an errand boy for Mrs. Grady, widow of our Ambassador, for years. We do not have to see each other to communicate and I know exactly what to do. Both Bannerji and the President know this but I am not going to waste time with either Americans or Europeans who “teach” something called “Indian Philosophy” of which they have not the slightest inkling.

Satya Agrawal lives at D-17, Lajat Negar III, New Delhi 14, one of the three new vast areas being opened up toward the Kutb Minar and airfields. You would not know the city. I saw very little of Satya and from the dualistic point of view he was very rude. But from the Advaita point of view he turned me over to his friend Mithal and here was a soul with whom and toward whom telepathic, sympathetic and higher forms of communications and communion were operative. I never had to ask him where to take me—this also happened at Agra and Hyderabad, to say the very least. I was taken to more places in India without either wishing or thinking—spontaneously—which is something neither our European nor American mentors of “Oriental philosophy” can possibly fathom. The same is true of my meeting with President Radhakrishnan. It was completely and absolutely Advaita, and so nearly all my Sufi experiences.

How California Can Help Asia. This is largely a scientific book. I am not going to discuss the contents. My methods of obtaining material are a combination of Vijnana and Prajna (which the Sufis call kashf). Again I am not going to discuss this.

The integrational motif is only one of several levels in Indian psychology but it is much higher than any used by any pale faces anywhere. Above that is something else, much vaster universes—which we shall have to consider.

I caught Jim Pike on a personal question and he had to recognize a faculty of which most students of Asian philosophies have only words. Thea has not only gotten rapid answers to two questions (answers by action) but mere thought has brought instantaneous relief.

I am considering visiting Donna. I spoke to Isabel today asking if she wanted to go—I don’t want to go alone. If you can drive use OK, otherwise Greyhound. I think it is time to open Donna up to the real spirituality. Alan gave lectures and Subud gave openings and stopped there. We take refuge in words.

Both by Sufi Pirs told me I would be received with a grand welcome (which has been true) and that my enemies would be getting on my bed wagon. This last is astonishingly true and very hard to adjust to. But it must be faced. We don’t know the Oriental mysticisms and we live in worlds of narrowness even when we think we are broad.

I have ordered a TV set from your friend. Florie told me about channel 9 and I think that is enough. I’ll know this week whether I can plunk out fifty bucks in one piece or two—it won’t be more.

There is lots more here than meets the eye. However you are a subject of such analysis. As people don’t integrate they don’t see the whole of you. I am going to take analysis (not you) by the horns and whack it. We build nothing by tearing apart.

As to the future of society, I am not concerned excepting that I am willing to accept others. One of my closet friends is all heated up over the nuclear experiments. Actually I see only one side—which is his. The same is true in other matters. I would like to differ from Jeffers who saw the world had no place to go but down. But how many will ex and—not “look up”—looking up, whatever that is, never healed a heart.




December 15, 1964


My dear Haridas:

One purposely enclosed copy of a letter to my colleague, Christopher Hills. He has been all over India, including a stay at Aurobindo Ashram, and has now succeeded in bringing together the three movements I knew of which claimed to be working for cosmic harmony through integrative processes. This ability alone merits some attention. But I do not see how this can be proclaimed until we rise above personalities and personalisms. And this is being done, not because we have movements for the “brotherhood of man” but despite these movements. There is nothing valuable gained by pretense at brotherhood. And the dismal failure of the Baha’is is evidence of it. Their “Universal Temple” in Illinois began as a ruin and remains as a ruin and not a temple.

It is not pleasant to remind you who were born in India of the importance of the juncture of rivers establishing a holy place, as at Allahabad. There are two and just two geographical environments for holy places into which I do not intend to go now. But so long as Allahabads are merely the scenes of physical movement and not of psychic and spiritual movements, we shall remain a divided world despite all rhetoric to the contrary.

As indicated in the letter to Mr. Hills, I made the decision in life to accept Sri Krishna and not the wealth, the prowess, the force, the fame of the world. And when I return to your country, and even before, not only will “The Dance of Universal Peace” be performed, but also the Flute-of-Krishna.

There is no intention here to warn your colleagues. The so-called “American Academy of Asian Studies” not only denied my spiritual attainments, but even that I was a Californian. This lie is having its natural Karma, for the roots are deep here and my “How California Can help Asia” is elsewhere receiving nothing but encouragement and accord.

What is more I have met the man who has been chief of intelligence who knows all the religious and spiritual movements of the Far East, but all the groups in this country that claim to be teaching Oriental religion and philosophies at all levels. Nobody is going to graduate from any “American Academy of Asia Studies” and get any State Department position, and may even have difficulty with the Peace Corps until and unless a human position is reached. One does not know what has been gained by denying a person his birthright and certainly the karma of it is operative. It has been a shame that you do not recognize even the ordinary working of ordinary karma.

There is nothing more needed than Vijnanavada but one thing and Vijnanavada is undoubtedly the next step. That difficulty on the campus of the University of California is nothing but an outcome of those straggling for personality—leadership and those struggling for “truth” leadership and I can assure you that truth will always win.

That which is beyond Vijnanavada is Ananda and Prajna into which one need not go here. Karma operates and the wise man is indifferent to praise, blame and fame. Soon the wheel will turn and this person will be on top. It is most unfortunate that even the so-called “Maharshi” is welcomed and the living Kabirs are rejected. You could rise, rise with the stream of truth, if you only would.





772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

July 29, 1966


My dear Haridas:

Modern Man’s Religion has been received and read and it is very difficult to be totally honest and totally semantic. For one is compelled to use the very analytical and inadequate English language which does not have the proper words for this subject matter.

I am today studying Sri Aurobindo and in rather close connection with Upanishads. Our totally verbose analytical manasic heritage has failed, and while you communicate “Modern Man’s Religion” you are using traditional terms, or symbols which do not always reflect properly what you seem to have in mind. One of the great contributions of Sri Aurobindo is that of altering our speech to connote our thoughts, so he has given us, and I think rightly, new words which cover many psychological and mystical experiences for which we have no terminology and are too proud to be humble—and those that claim humility are 90% hypocrites, such as one does not mind in the scientific world.

I am reading at the same time an almost puerile elementary work and a grand rhapsody and am forced to use a language which has no levels or particulars to reflect properly either the elementary-analysis or the rhapsody, and it is very difficult to put down 1,2,3,4,5 to present the Taittiriya Upanishad Matrix and my conclusion, in re Sri Aurobindo is that he has integrated the Upanishadic teachings. But accepting him as the great Vijnanavadin of the age, makes it still more difficult to communicate reactions as the analytical-manushic level where one differs on many points; or the rhapsodic-Ananda level where one is so upraised that any reaction or criticism seems cruel, unwarranted, unworthy and confusing.

But having posited the total agreement at the unifying Anandavadic level, if you can keep this in mind and consider it as background, then some faults at the manasic level will be indicated. And if there is a general criticism (not necessarily validated), the attempt to combine Manas and Ananda without Vijnana is most difficult, especially if one were to take this as a work of philosophy (there one would have to break down manas, too, into its several levels).

The Comteian thesis on page 15 is correct, but while he posited religion-metaphysics-science, his “religion” means religion, his “metaphysics” means metaphysics , but his “science” does not mean science. Science today is the result of the work of mankind, not of man or men alone and is a Vijnandavadic effort. The word has remained the same word, the context is quite different.

The Comteian “religion” is at the manasic level and your “Modern Man’s Religion” is at the vijnana-level, imbedded though it also be in the anandic-rhapsodic effort.

If this book were not published in California, I should overlook some “nice” points. This State produced, “At the Foot of the Master” by a writer who never sat at the feet of any masters (at least not in this lifetime) and is in fact incapable of sitting at the feet of masters. Sam has sat at the feet of many masters and would not think of writing a book using that termination anyhow. But the world has accepted “At the Feet of the Master” by one who has not sat at the foot of masters and so far has rejected one who has sat at the feet of many Masters. This, of course, is not your fault, but it makes a review such as one would offer a scientific work.

The Title, “Modern Man’s Religion” is excellent but “Universal Religion” is presumptuous. Until a person has either had the full experience of various religions, or the full devotion or has sat at the feet of many masters, he can use the term “Universal Religion” to no good purpose. It has become a hackneyed, empty term. What is really universal unless one has worshipped with all peoples, joined in their devotions and perhaps fulfilled their ideals?

“Modern Man’s Religion” is semantically so and at the Vijnanavadic level. In 1926 this person had a public debated with the Baha’is—and they never forgave him—when he asked “What is the difference between a world with fifty competing analytical sects which refused to recognize each other, and fifty “universal brotherhoods” which refuse to recognize each other?” This question which can be answered, was not. The Baha’is spent millions of dollars in an age where money went much further to establish a “Temple of Universal Religion” somewhere in Illinois. The money is gone and the place almost empty.

When I told Ruth St. Denis that I dance “The Dance of Universal Peace” at Fatehpur Sikri she said that Ted Shaun had done the same thirty years previously. The “Dance of Universal Peace” is being withheld until the signal comes from Sri Surendra Ghose—and it is a dance based on the actual rituals of living religions, not about them, but of them.

The American Academy of Asian Studies refused to have any report on Akbar or Fatehpur Sikri. The other night I heard Swami Sambuddhananda from Bombay (where I had met him) speak on “Karma” and yet nobody will accept the karma of absolute refusal to have a lecture on Akbar or Fatehpur Sikri. When I communicated to Mrs. Hollister, she was so delighted she long distanced me.

No doubt Universal Religion may have many levels. Inayat Khan presented “Universal Worship” which uses the scriptures of six (or more) religions. Mrs. Hollister has adopted something like it. So do the Theosophists in India (not here). The coming age will demand the presentation of Abdul Fazl and will ask, “Why was the knowledge of this man suppressed?” It is in the ethers and remains there and the coming generation will question severely the forced undergrounding of human history and human knowledge.

At the Psychedelic Conference I said, “A mystic is anybody that does not attend these meetings.” This is certainly so. The Psychedelic literature has what I call, “Four Englishmen Buddhism” which has nothing to do with Sakya Muni, that is the Indian Sage adept in Mauna Yoga.

So the mind is hardly touched and the heart is very much touched. Sri Aurobindo insisted on the state of “Delight” (I do not know whether he meant Rasa or Ananda or both, it does not matter. There are no English words here, much less for Prema).

I must apologize for not being able to review the book from the various levels of consciousness which you evidently experienced while writing it.

I close very selfishly. The scene is Dehra Dun, the forestry station. “What is your religion?” “I am a Krishna devotee.” “Alright, show me Shiva and Shakti in that tree?” The man could not answer. “Have you studied Plant Physiology?” “I am India’s leading Plant Physiologist.” “Oh no, something is wrong. You say you are a Plant Physiologist and you know the Gita but you can’t show me Shiva and Shakti in that tree?”

When Sam explained the scientist kissed the dust at my feet, literally. This is a far cry from “There is a profound wisdom in nature” (p. 68) As a poet you are fine, but as a sage I want the knowledge.

Recently there was a conference and my friend, Daniel Hoffman of Burlingame criticized the whole group. Sam was asked to arbitrate. “Do you know that in India there is a whole science which we have not studied here, viz. “Plant Psychology.” I don’t know what the effect was. Dr. Lal was in the audience and immediately came over and shook my hands. Daniel Hoffman left quite satisfied. The audience was shaken up.

Thank you very much for the book, and don’t forget the Rasa, the Ananda and the Prema.




772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

August 29, 1966


My dear Haridas:

Thank you for your letter of the 19th. I have returned so as to be at the next session of the Tuesday class. Judith was away the day I called and Leland is on vacation. I was always jumping around between Hollywood, Santa Barbara and Ojai.

The main thing learned at Santa Barbara is that we are now having real cultural exchange and you will find copy of latter on this subject. Very fine things are developing on the campuses of the University of California (all six) which never got into the press.

I have now to make some reports also for the Institute for Democratic Studies and am also, perhaps this morning, writing a letter to President Johnson with peace proposals. My whole life and karma are the same—being an eye-witness or knowing the principal actors has never been accepted, is not accepted now. But no rejections stop the flow of life and this country has become ridiculous in the eyes of the world.* As Dr. Malalasekera said: “How can you trust a nation that does not trust its own citizens?”

*This is not a subjective reflection or samskara. It is based on one of the world surveys of the Institute and the report is now in my possession.

The Temple of Understanding has been sending more and more cordial responses. All of these arise from the same karma, that the little man who was there counts for nothing before the opinions of big people. My experiences at New Delhi and Fatehpur Sikri have been strongly substantiated by the previous experiences of the dancer Ted Shawn and other non-political envoys.

They openly accept my presentations of Emperor Akbar and Prince Dara Shikoh—which all of the so-called principles of the so-called American Academy of Asian Studies rejected (a priori excepting Ernest Wood), and so a lot of other institutions. But karma is karma and self-excusing does not absolve from karma.

Now my next project—and that is why I mention this—is to go the leaders of the Temple to respect, if not accept, Sri Aurobindo. You know, Haridas, there has been a bit of revolutionary in me and you probably know that all kinds of revolutionaries have accepted Aurobindo.

During the recent LSD conference the vast majority rejected the social revolution for a spiritual revolution and 300-400 Americans joined in singing Indian spiritual songs and mantrams! And it is this transcendent revolution and none of your dialectical ones that attracts me.

My next step will be to try to reach President Johnson with a Peace Proposal. Our good friend, Dr. Radhakrishnan long ago accepted my reports.

The history of Dilip Koomar Roy is an example of the transcendent transformation of a person who was near us. My visit to Poona was full of delights at all levels (including running into San Franciscans). I was told he had become a saint but one visit was convincing. He illustrates Prema Yoga and no nonsense about it.

Actually this has helped me with my own spiritual music which is a blending, so to speak, of Sufism, Bhakti and Vedic elements. As the person is in a state of selflessness I have no way of making a literary report. Indirectly I reported to this Akbar Khan, the musician, who performs in this region. I heard him once at Bombay but have no time for this sort of entertainment.

This is the age of Integration and there is no question about it. But it is also a time of suffering to many of my friends in all directions and that affects the social life.

Yes, it would be easy to write up either my visit to Koomar Roy or on Integral Philosophy and Integral Yoga. As hinted above I was about ready to do that anyhow for the Temple of Understanding.




P.S. Princess Poon has come out in no uncertain terms against the American drivel which passes for “Buddhism.” There is more to that than meets the eye. I have had two reports from Americans who went to Thailand and complained that those people were not following Buddha. You can guess where they got their starts.



410 Precita

May 7, 1968


My dear Haridas:

Reality, “Realism” and Karma.

This is a very strange letter. A copy may get into the hands of Dr. Landrum, and copy is going to our good friend, Rudolph Schaeffer.

Sam Lewis is now an adviser, perhaps a top adviser to three distinct summit gatherings in Asia. While he is refused admission to similar gatherings (at lower levels) in this land, he is now regarded in certain capacities abroad, considerably higher than on his two separate visits. These visitors were annotated and one has pretty complete diaries, but the vast majority of non-scientists engaged in what they call “Asian Affairs” refuse to look at these diaries or even to admit their existence. And whereas one has sat on the panel in top level meetings in India, one cannot always gain access, at any level, to similar meetings in this land.

The Law of Karma operates and it is most unfortunate that “important” people seem unable to apply it to themselves. The greatest example was the case of the late Nicholas Roerich who made himself a “Master,” became wealthy and powerful and as my own Sufi teacher said, “What Brahma takes centuries to create, Shiva may destroy in a minute.” No lesson has been learned from this and lesser “Roerichs” have similar history. (None the less my knowledge of Roerich put me in good stead at the University of Washington in Seattle where they did not a priori refuse an interview.)

I have become a Patron to the Rudolph Schaeffer School and sooner or later he may be sending a letter. But now through this I offer some history. My father left a substantial estate which is growing but he tied up the money, perhaps for very strong reasons, so that my brother and I have been restricted to live on dividends. Nevertheless a provision was left and an open interpretation which has enabled me (but not my brother) to live in much better circumstances.

For reasons which belong to family history my brother has agreed to a certain interpretation of our father’s last Will, that should he predecease me, he was afraid I would use the money contrary to his wishes, but has assented and really to my becoming a Patron of the Rudolph Schaeffer School. I have now made token payment to satisfy my brother’s interpretation and I am so notifying Rudolph through this. Our only heirs are wealthy and indirect anyhow.

As one on the spiritual path works through Insight and Intuition and not through Logic—indeed one may become outwardly irrational. One has been faced by a terrible dilemma that not only has his history been rejected but a collation of a vast number of manuscripts coming from actual saints and sages of actual Asia. And for the most part this very sensible, material fact has been rejected and a priori rejected by people who tell the world they are working on “Asian Research.” There are many, all over and I am not going to name them.

It is only the absence of a secretariat which prevents my turning them out and not only has Tuttle Publishing Co. accepted in principle, but my good friend, Paul Reps, author of Zen Flesh, Zen Bones has also interceded. Reps will be here on the 19th to speak, presumably at the Church of Mans on Sunday, May 19th at 7:30. He may not remain long. He has a number of appointments all over the country, all over the world.

The hard fact that I have inherited and have all the manuscripts of the late Nyogen Senzaki and it may have been foolish to have destroyed his handwriting that he left a number of things to me that in his so-called “wills” he left to others. Anyhow nobody ever published his works excepting a few “co-authors.” But he also and others have left a number of other very valuable manuscripts of that type of Zen and Ch’an which predominated until a host of Englishmen came into the American social consciousness and demonstrated that they were the “Inventors” of Zen! Neither the late Dr. Wood nor the ubiquitous Alan Watts, nor their successors, would look at the hard facts. So one has the queer dilemma today, if these works are published the benefit must go not to those who would have benefited by granting interviews, but perhaps to Buddhist war orphans!

Along with these are an ever growing number of manuscripts by living and deceased real Zen and Ch’an Masters, I shall be unable to attend many of the next Sri Aurobindo sessions because Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T. will be in Berkeley the same week and he has accepted the hard fact that one has these manuscripts and so one will supply him with materials not readily available.

Actually my intention is to cooperate with our good friends, Rev, Warwick, Rev. Wagner and Rev. Joe Miller and others, some of whom are life-long friends.

But I also have some Upanishad materials; some of the research of the late Phra Sumangalo and a lot of Sufi material gathered from here and there. This Sufi material has now been sought by a top level international gathering at Lahore, Pakistan. This international gathering is dominated by some of the same people who will play big roles at the forthcoming “summit” meeting of the Temple of Understanding which climaxes this autumn at Darjeeling.

Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti—SAM) is top adviser at both of these conferences. It keeps one very busy.

Mrs. Hollister inadvertently forgot about Dr. S. Radhakrishnan who has never failed to answer any letter. Your old teacher is now living in Madras but he also retains contact with the folks at Pondicherry. When this was done SAM also named the top Sufi who will represent both Sufism and Islam (Dr. Seyyed Nasr of Tehran) and our good friend, Princess Poon Diskul, to represent Buddhism (not invented by Englishmen).

But now one has received a most beautiful letter from our colleague Sri Surendra Mohin Ghose and the door is open for the same role there too with him and Miss Julie Medlock. In this instance another door is open for one of my disciples is preparing to go to India as soon as funds are available and I understand they are available, to represent SAM at these summit levels. It the arrangements be made it will be necessary for us to get together.

(While this is going on, SAM, of course, is not granted the right to attend similar gatherings within the domains of the United States. One has only two courses, to boycott some important gatherings or to shun them and attack them by subtle means. The “only in America” conferences on “Asia” which has little to do with Rand-McNally Asia, is to select personnel, bombast them and try to hypnotize the public that there is “cultural exchange” and something wonderful is going on which requires more money (for them).)

Because these commissions, so to speak, are too such one has given up seeking interviews with anybody and into this vacuum are coming an ever growing number first of young people and now of university representatives who are curious about the real existence of real Sufis, Zennists, Indian saints, etc. When Paul Reps is here we say discuss this situation, and “our” expansion.

Your place is overrun, this house is overrun, Dr. Wagner’s home is overcrowded. The young want real knowledge of the real Orient coming from those who studied Asian cultures with Asians. They are going to get it.

Love and blessings,




November 26, 1968

Sri Haridas Chaudhuri

3494 21st St.,

San Francisco, Calif.


My dear Haridas:

This year Sam will have a real Thanksgiving for God has given him a place of refuge, a spiritual center in another town where he lives at times with the most loving disciples you can imagine, and they are rapidly becoming God-realized persons subjectively and objectively.

You will find enclosed a report sent to India on some of Sam’s doings. Sam’s relation with Swami Ramdas has not been recognized by dualists and Sam does not care. Dualists have had to perform their functions but their day is waning. And it is not only from Anandashram but also from Pondicherry that requests come to Sam and God opens the doors. The by-passing of the functioning of Prajna and Vijnanavada by dualists does not help bring about any brotherhood, universal or not.

Meeting swami Swahananda was like meeting oneself in another person. We agree that today there are too many seekers and applicants and there must be various teachers to present their offerings to them.

We are now awaiting Swamiji’s Guru, the great Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj, now President of the Ramakrishna Mission. It was he who introduced Sam to Prof. S. C. Chatterji. Sam will never forget the event and when the story is told the future generations will recognize the vast different between experienced mystics and university specialists who lecture and try to explain philosophies of experiences which they themselves have not had.

But it is probable that before the Swamiji Maharaj arrives, the Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan will come. He is attracting the young. He is not attracting the mature. It is quite evident from all news and grapevine that there is open recognition between a large sector of the young and Indian communities—because in former lives they were together anyhow.

Sam’s program to have people eat, dance and pray together is succeeding because in his Kurukshetra he has Sri Krishna. We have the Sufi dances, the Ram dances, the Krishna dances and soon Mantric and Tantric dances, mystery dances and ultimately “The Dance of Shiva.” I am looking to a real peace and brotherhood inclusive and including.

Love and blessings and Happy thanksgiving,



San Francisco, Calif.

December 7, 1968


Sri Haridas Chaudhuri,

Cultural Integration Fellowship,

3494 21st St.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Dear Ram:

Thank you for your brochure of the 1st. This matter will have to be taken up by my own Board now. We find ourselves in a delicate position that although we should like to cooperate in full our interpretation of cultural understanding, global perspective and East-West Integration is somewhat different not only from your efforts but from the efforts of many groups operative in this region from time to time.

For instance by “Universal Religion” we mean either an integrative effort such as was put into practice by the great Moghul Emperor Akbar, or more recent efforts in the actual geographical, historical and human worlds. This would include the present day entente between great intellectuals and explorers like Marco Pallis and Frithof Schuon, and others, chiefly in alliance with them. To us, these are universal men without any play on the word “universal.”

Or again we feel that if we have Sri Krishna on our side we shall be victorious in our Kurukshetras. This is not only what we feel and have felt but it is only what we are experiencing now and in the recent past. It resulted in obtaining a spiritual Khankah—none of the so-called East-West groups have even recognized the existence of such an institution—but its rather successful functioning.

It has also witnessed the presentation of Dervish dances, some obtained from living Dervishes and some the application of living Sufi spiritual exercises—not recognized as yet by our culture, though now this is being changed within the walls of universities. They are not blind to facts nor the efforts of humanity now or from the past.

This has been followed by the presentation of Yoga Dances, the adaptation of great Mantras to dance forms, a rather successful achievement amount the Young and being recognized because of their factual existence by our more objective friends, and others.

During this period there have been interviews with Mr. Paul Reps, a very prominent example of a living person whose whole life and career exemplifies real East-West integration and perhaps more.

We have also been visited by actual Vietnamese Buddhists and Hebrew Chassid’s. Next week we shall have the pleasure of a joint meeting with the famous Lama Anagarika Govinda. Next we are awaiting the arrival of the Sufi Pir, Vilayat Khan. And after the first of the year we intend to give full cooperation to the wonderful Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda who will be in San Francisco.

We expect to present to Swamiji our Yoga Dances, a parallel effort to our epic poetry as exemplified by “The Rejected Avatar.”

We feel we have Sri Krishna in our Kurukshetra. During this period the board will take into consideration possible financial gifts to your good selves. But don’t you think it might occasional be spiced with slight recognition of our actual spiritual work and social undertakings?

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



8 December 1968

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


My dear Haridas:

You will find copies of two letters herein which will explain in part why I wish to have my name dropped from your rolls. We have decided the money can better be used at Pondicherry.

I appreciate all you have taught me but do not appreciate your almost absolute refusal to accept my work and the much greater work of Emperor Akbar and Prince Dara Shikoh.

This is a New Age, an age of the very higher minds of which Sri Aurobindo foretold.

I am awaiting a long series of conferences with a disciple. It is notable how the “good” people and the “self-realized” Yogis refuse to greet one as a fellow-human being. I am satisfied. I shall not greet them either. But unlike the “good” people and the “Yogis” I shall not return in kind, but intend to work for the New Order on the spiritual bases.

I have a long background—which you and your colleagues have chosen to be blind too—in the fields of agriculture and technology and methods by which we can help India practice all and no nonsense. I intend to apply this knowledge now for Aurobindo. Your followers did not attend my lectures on Auroville and have not shown any interest in it actually.

So be it. My job is not to reform others but to serve God and the New Age.

Again thanking you for past favors and instructions,


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Venerable He-Kwang, Zen-shi

S. A. M.



910 Railroad Ave.

Novato, Calif. 94947

December 19, 1968


Sri Haridas Chaudhury

3494 21st Street

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


My dear Haridas:

I must regretfully refuse your kind invitation to attend your Christmas party. When Chassid saint came to San Francisco and asked me to call on him, I said I would but he would lose face, because I was nearly 50 years older. He took a taxi immediately and we embraced, exactly as one has been embraced by holy men of all faiths, including Sant Keshevadas, your present colleague.

No doubt the enclosed carbon of a letter to Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T. will explain my position. My 60th birthday was celebrated by the Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj referred to. He brought with him your own teacher Professor S.C. Chatterji. I have met your teacher as an equal; your pupils regard me as an inferior. So be it.

There is now a new age which recognizes spirituality of direct experience. It is being demonstrated. It is winning hearts. It is winning God’s children, not societies’ darlings. No doubt there is room for each and all. Sam seems to have be chosen rather than do the choosing.

Sam has been a long parade of so-called East-West cultural centers from which not only Sufis but those with real Zen attainment have be excluded. So be it. Sam’s relations with the late Papa Ramdas have never publicly been recognized. So be it.

Whatever else be true, Sam is perhaps the first person in history to have had the spiritual awakenings of Sufism, Vedanta and Zen. The doors are now opening. In the Universities and out. There is no compulsion from Sufism and one should prefer brotherhood to rivalry, but one is tired of sitting in an audience listening to self-acclaimed experts on cosmic consciousness etc, because they have read books.

One of the things wherein Sam has been rejected—he has always been rejected in the past and doesn’t care—was to have public lectures on nyoya logic as against Aristotle. Hayakawa may be in the news; for years he absolutely refused to consider nyoya as an alternate to Aristotle. I am pleased to say that Indian logic is now going to be offered on the Berkeley campus. There are also going to be seminars and classes to which Sam has been invited as an equal, and there may even be some where he shall go as a superior. Why not? In the name of God, why not?

The so-called Maharshi was welcome at the so-called American Academy of Asian Studies; Sam was not. Now you have a rival organization. Sam is awaiting the coming of another guru. There is a question whether your organization or the AAAS will get hold of this guru. I have never seen you turn a guru down yet.

When the Maharshi was here, Sam got hold of his passport by the grace of God, but he found it was useless to try to save those who love to be bilked. This guru who is coming and will no doubt be welcomed is the forefront of wealthy persons who indulge in promiscuous sex and drugs. They are going to hide behind him. As a guru is a guru, he will be welcomed by either the AAAS or your group. All right, welcome him.

Love is not devoid of intelligence. Love is not devoid of human consideration.

Sam has been coming out for finite compassion. He went to hear Lama Anagarika Govinda the other night. This man has all the credentials—European birth, University education and living in monasteries. He has been presented as the advocate of infinite compassion. The audience saw the infinite compassion demonstrated the other night. A lot would prefer finite compassion.

Sam had with him the latest public address of Her Serene Highness Princess Poon. I don’t think there was a single subject other than the use of the word Buddhism on which these people agreed. Sufism—which so far you have rejected—teaches that a spiritual teacher should be the embodiment of love, or joy or peace or power or composure. Evidently the advocates of “infinite  compassion” need none of these. True, Sam has met spiritual leaders of many faiths who have one or more of love or joy or peace or power or composure.

When the day comes when you will accept and respect some of the statements of the first American you met when you came here, I shall be very glad to change my attitude. Hypocrisy is the one sin not permitted to a dervish.

Love and Blessings,




410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

December 23, 1968


Sri Haridas Chaudhuri

3494 21st St.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


My dear Haridas:

A great Sufi has said, “Consideration consists of practicing consideration and never expecting consideration.” This is excellent but there is no need to contribute to any organization which simply will not accept either the facts of history or the accomplishment of a personality.

I have sat by the side of holy men from one end of Asia to the other, all inclusive. Now I await the coming here of the Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan and the great (to me) Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj. There will be no more nonsense about private “universal religion” of self-important people who have never bent their knees in places of devotion. The real “universal religion” is now manifesting and it is all inclusive and does not depend either on university prowess or social standing.

This week we shall have details of Auroville from one of my disciples who has been there and is most concerned and may return. Auroville is something which may stand or fall, but all these “academies” for Asian or non-Asian studies will be subject, are subject to anicca and karma and they shall disappear so the real representatives of the real religions and wisdoms of the real world will meet the public.

This will manifest on the Berkeley campus soon in two forms: (a) the organization of the Indian students themselves; (b) the suitable courses from which a Sufi will not be excluded.

We shall have Sri Krishna and perhaps more. The letter to Finley Dunne of The Temple of Understanding may or may not be self-explanatory. These people at least accepted the historicity of Emperor Akbar and Prince Dara Shikoh. They also accept the existence of the operative Sufi Orders. And now that the Humanists have accepted from this person his real Zen experiences with real Zen Masters is it not better for Sam to contribute to them rather than to groups which have never taken him seriously?


S. A. M.

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Ven. He Kwang (Zen-shi)

Samuel L. Lewis



January 12, 1969


My dear Haridas:

I am hoping that some day we shall have a real integrated school of Asian studies where the actual philosophies, religions and cultures of the actual peoples are offered to Americans. This was so in the old Mentorgarten years ago and Sam has waited in vain for a similar move.

As the letter to Paul Reps has the news, the fact that Sam is suddenly being assisted financially means that today he will use this money for the real cultural integration of the ancient and modern, of East and West, and not the overemphasis on certain personalities and the utter exclusion of others.

I am welcome to the Indian students to lecture on the “Religion of Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri and the President of India.” I am now longer appealing to older people for anything at all. I am giving real instructions in real Yoga to the young along with Sufi teachings and the methods of Lord Buddha. I had wished you would have provided for some of these: now there is no more time. The growing number of active disciples is helping opening up many doors previously closed. I wished you could join me: no further effort will be done thusways.


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



August 17, 1969


Dear Ram,

It is with no spirit of joy that one finds you have cut yourself apart from American seekers and American money, and especially the latter.  The teachings of Sri Aurobindo indicate that there is a cosmic revolution and at this time higher entities would appear and function in the flesh. This is quite in accord with Indian Cosmic Psychology which is seldom presented to the public.

We have so-called “Krishna Consciousness” which is most certainly nothing consciously of Sri Krishna. We have “Self- realization” which shows no sign of Christ-consciousness or Mohammed consciousness or Mukti. We have the words and we have a limited Bhakti and the manas-ahankara lectures on the Gita.

But not in his ineffability and foolishness, and especially in His Folly, has chosen first a Walt Whitman and today many Walt Whitmans who could not get into any “cultural integrative movement.” So they are seeking to establish their own integrative movement which integrates and does not just select “proper leaders.”  They realize fully that neither the “cultural integration” movements nor then Zitkos would permit a Sri Ramakrishna nor a Kabir nor a Mohammed to join them—these worthies have not the “credentials”.

Now a lot of young Americans with education and money are coming together to establish a movement, a movement rather than a stern organization, and they have the money, the skills, the land and the spirit of devotion, real devotion. There are so many of these too. They seek leaders and not being filled with “humility” they can and do listen.

Along with that there is a growing movement among university professors seeking persons who have had some glimpse of Moksha, satori, Christ, etc., more and more and more. They are eager and willing. They are poles from your friends who “teach” Asian philosophy via the cocktail party plus money method, all of whom have “credentials” for your work, apparently. We give the God-Yoga, not the cocktail party Yoga; we have real teachers, real persons who lived on the real earth within the last century.

The New Age is upon us. One has now more resources, more friends, more opportunities, and with the aid of the living God (inshallah)—who is seldom if ever mentioned any more—I think we shall see the real Integration of East and West; of heart and head. Too bad you are so  little interested.


Samuel  L. Lewis


Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita

San Francisco, CA 94110

August 22, 1969  


Sri Haridas Chaudhuri

3494 21st St.,

San Francisco, 94110


Dear Ram:

Enclosed copies of two letters support the principle that Atman is Brahman and that “God” is found in the human beings but not necessarily in the institutions, ideas and acts of said human

They also support the principle that is the human body are raksha-­souls, asura-souls,
manusha-souls. ghandarvas, devas and mahatmas, etc. They reject the idea that an asura or a
manusha who is a university graduate, not to say Ph.D. is always above the unfortunate gandharva, or deva or mahatma who may, like Sri Ramakrishna, to illiterate.

The movement of a multitude of young Americans, advanced on the Upanishadic scales above Ph.D. and other worthies: having their own funds and intellectual and spiritual researches, have dared and are daring to do what the Zitkos would not and could not do and are illustrating the New Age and the appearance of over-men and supermen without the good-graces of graduates of British and European universities.

The evolution predicated by Sri Aurobindo goes on and your absolute refusal to accept this person as a representative of the Sufi Orders itself provides a platform for otherwise was unnecessary dualistic behavior. We are going to have an Integrative movement which integrates; we are having world movements by brilliant young people of all races and creeds, largely American born and American educated, more concerned with cosmic realization than social prestige and university degrees. There is absolutely nothing that keeps you out but your own refusal to accept Sankara in the warner. A drop of real Yoga is worth all the plaudits and honors of the world.

Love and blessings,




Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita

San Francisco, CA 94110

September 23. 1969


California School of Integral Studies

3494 21st St.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


My dear Haridas:

The great, tragedy in your life has been the playing with words, and your refusal to accept Sankara that Brahm may be in human beings as well as in made elephants.

You will find a letter enclosed to The Temple of Understanding. Having now that great American virtue, funds, I am able and willing to attend the next session. Now only that such a fine personal and personality relation has been established with the leaders that they are quite willing to have a Sufi speak, something unheard of by the various competing schools of verbalized “integral studies.” And once that is done the world will see the difference between actualities and playing with words.

No doubt “The Tyranny of Words” is a great game. It was indulged in by Stuart Chase, the author of the book; by the Semanticists who play at games and others. There are only two “virtues”: money and fame and if you haven’t them you are unwelcome. But there are enough peoples and organizations that actually accept knowledge, and perhaps wisdom as values in life. And until this is done we are not going to have any integration.

Not only has my financial situation improved, but I have at least one backer to attend any and all conferences of The Temple of Understanding. I may be meeting men like Dr. Radhakrishnan and Swami Bhaskarananda and Dr. Walpole Rahul who have treated me as an actual while your colleagues and yourself have always treated a Sufi as an inferior. This is the “moral and spiritual progress” of the day which you have so unfortunately applauded—and wars go on, and misunderstandings but not so such as before.

I have also begun a campaign of distributing Encyclopedias of Buddhism. These Encyclopedias are being given to universities. The Encyclopedia was not compiled from the dialectics and speculations of your various European and British colleagues—no Jung, no Huxley and no nonsense.

Here we measure spiritual development by Ananda, the experience thereof. And Yoga, to us, means union-with-God and not some flipping and flippant non-process called “Integral Yoga” which has nothing to do with divine experience, excepting to shun it.

We are going into an age of brotherhood, integration and understanding and the universities are inviting the person whom the “cults” despise. This is “moral and spiritual” no doubt, but it is even more certainly unreal.

I am very, very sorry you have substituted realism for reality.




Jan. 4, 1970

Sri Haridas Chaudhuri

Cultural Integration Fellowship

3494 21st St.

San Francisco, Ca.


Dear Haridas,

This is a new year and this person is preparing to attend a conference of the real world’s religions to be held sometime in Spring. You will find a copy of correspondence in this regard, and also copy of other correspondence herein.

To me it is sad but true that persons and groups making claims small or large, are not therefor and therefrom exempt from the moral law. There will be a seminar on the contemporary religions of Asia this week and the participants have not even considered the Sri Aurobindo movement as worthy to be discussed. The reasons are simple and fundamental: the failure of Sri Aurobindo people to recognize humanity.

Although I offered “Dances of Universal Peace” to the leaders at Pondicherry, they rejected it. And when I remonstrated I received a personal criticism. I wrote back that the personal criticism was certainly in order, that the personal criticism only proved my contentions, and that, although I would not dare claim I was noble or worthy, the efforts of a movement in the name of integral culture to abolish the simple facts of history has demonstrated by the existence and works of Emperor Akbar, the poet Kabir, Prince Dara Shikoh, etc., etc., corroborated my viewpoint, and that truth as I knew it, sometimes included facts and was not concerned with the moral standards of persons involved.

Differing from you and your colleagues in this country, I received a retraction and apology, showing that there are, even among the integrationalists, those who have consideration for humanity as a whole. And this week I must sadly accept the situation that the Sri Aurobindo movement has been excluded from university seminars and classrooms, because of the exclusiveness of its own leaders.

I am not in the least concerned with your personal attitude toward me. I am concerned, and I making it a public record, that there are groups calling themselves integrational which not only refute, but even ignore, solid historicity, and you cannot get beyond that.

As the matters stand the Jesus Christs of this world have no place at your inn. While I think this is a great pity you must hold yourself responsible for the refusal of the substantial intellectual people of this country to accept Sri Aurobindo and his claims, because of the dualism and exclusiveness of the policies of his followers.

So far as I am concerned, this has been corrected in Pondicherry. I am indifferent whether it is corrected here or not. “Unless the Lord buildeth the house, they labor in vain who build.”

In hopes that someday your operations may have some relation to your own words.





Jan. 25, 1970

Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri

California School of Asian Studies

3494 21st St.

San Francisco, Ca.


Dear Ram:

One is troubled these days with a dying brother, and the inability on our part to find heirs. We would both like to have endowed a school of Asian studies, i.e. the actual study of Asian cultures as they were and are. But the gimmick seems to be that various persons and institutions will not admit that the donor has any prowess, and the donor has concluded morally and psychologically that no money can go where the prowess is not accepted.

The situation has been complicated or eased by the acceptance of this prowess now in actual institutions of higher learning on one hand, and New Age establishments on the other, all of which are financially sound and seeking knowledge and wisdom, not money.

You need not be astonished then if the prowess of this person is accepted far and wide, and if he therefore is compelled to donate generously to others who have accepted this prowess.

It is of course delightful to find that the Indian students themselves wish to hear talks themselves on their own country by a man who has lived in various parts of it, and may, just may, be acquainted with many aspects of its culture never presented to the American people by institutions.

We hope someday you will come to recognize the moral worth of objective knowledge.





910 Railroad Ave.

Novato, Calif. 94947

February 5, 1970


My dear Haridas:

In later life you will never be able to say I didn’t give you a chance. I have always wanted a real Academy of real Asian studies in San Francisco where I was born, despite a lot of unsubstantiated rumors to the contrary. Before God Allah Ram or whatever you want to call him, we are going to have real cultural institutions where the real knowledge and wisdom of the real peoples of Asia will be offered at a price or not a price. I call your attention to an article in today’s paper on miniature Moghul art. I do not know what has been gained by trying to hide this culture from American peoples. It was real, and it is now being given because it was real.

There are now so many institutions concerned with real Asian culture and there is so much money floating around. It is regrettable that you have cut yourself off both from the people and their money. Therefore, you should not be surprised if some or all of your purported aims are being brought into objective manifestation by others.





Feb. 7, 1970

Sri Haridas Chaudhuri

Cultural Integration Fellowship

San Francisco, Ca.


Dear Haridas:

You will note by the enclosed that I may soon be leaving for an international conference at
Geneva, where I am going to be received in my capacity as a spiritual teacher, and perhaps more.

After the conference, I should be the guest of at least three institutions interested in integrating the actual cultures of East and West and indifferent about the personnel involved in such efforts at integration. I have no intention to try and impress those who are more concerned with the personalities that with the cultures themselves; this belongs to a bygone age.

Thousands of young people are attending the lectures of Baba Ram Dass and more thousands of dollars are being collected. Among other matters, this man is interested in the devices I am using to raise the standards of consciousness, morality, and spirituality among the young. These methods have been remarkably successful, and I may in the future be away from this district much of the year.

A number of us are now ready to establish schools for the presentation to the American public of the literature and esoteric devices used in various schools to help raise human consciousness to higher levels. I had long hoped that such a school could be established here. Apparently not. As the money, students, etc., are now available in many parts of this land, one need not go around begging anybody for anything. I am only sorry this is going to be done quite independently of the efforts of yourself and rival intellectuals who disregard both history and mystical processes.

Sunday I begin my discourses on the Taittiriya Upanishad and will use those methodologies necessary to awaken young aspirants to the reality of the five sheaths, etc.





March 6, 1970

California Institute of Asian Studies

3494 21st St.

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Dear Sirs:

We wish to thank you for your schedule of spring classes. We ourselves are concentrating on peace and understanding through love and the dance—insofar as the dance also expresses love, love as cosmic experience, love as reality.

Our other concentration is on The Temple of Understanding whose leaders convene at the end of the south in Geneva, Switzerland, and in which we are participating directly. These two endeavors give our members who are devotees little time to participate in intellectual gatherings, although we fully the values of such intellectual gatherings.

Love and Blessings,




March 25, 1970


My dear Haridas:

I was practically the first man you met in reaching this land. I had enough faith in Indian philosophies and in you as a representative of them.

One of the most memorable incidents of my life—and it certainly stands out like a sore thumb—came when your esteemed teacher Dr. Chatterji of Calcutta University attacked me before he was even introduced or I was introduced, as one of those Americans who was sitting at the feet of the, to him, detestible Germans and Europeans whom we has paraded as experts in Oriental philosophy. This is going into my autobiography of course, or into my biography.

The rest of the circumstances were even more ridiculous. I am not going to repeat them, but as I am preparing to leave for a peace conference at a convocation of the real religions of the real world, I am carrying with me proposals, of both Presidents Radhakrishnan and Giri, and have personal introductions to the Indian delegation.

I have already written Sri Surendra Mohan Ghose, and there is little to add.

There is a demand for the actualization of the Dharma in such manners as to expand human consciousness and awareness. I am not so much opposed to your methods as to your absolute uncalled for barriers against other methods, and this in the name of integration. It is too bad. Our Spring Festival was eminently successful. One has a very large and very rapidly growing unorganized following, young people who would gladly attach themselves to any organization or movement concerned with the establishment of friendship and brotherhood between East and West. The desire for leadership is not necessarily evil, but it seldom accomplishes whet is sought.

Fare you well,




May 4, 1970


Dear Ram:

I must presume that you have read the article, copy of which is enclosed. I should been preferred that this did not happen, but inasmuch as the modern Brahm, so to speak, is to be found only in wild elephants and never in warning peasants, the karma has been very accurate. I wish it were otherwise; I really do.

Now I am called to join a growing number of young people in the state of New Mexico, who accepted the report: “We are going to build our own Auroville here. We do not need political leadership. We have the money the land and the aptitudes; why should we give them to strangers.”

I have returned from the conference of the world’s religions held in Geneva, Switzerland. The people at the top, the real leaders of the real religions of the worlds do not need any verbal, “moral” and “spiritual” revolution. It is the politicians that need that, and yell that, not the religious and spiritual leaders. I regret exceedingly you have joined the politicians; I wish it were otherwise. We need exponents of India’s cosmic philosophies. They are in high demand. I do not believe we are going to get them from the top personnel of the UN. I think it has been most unfortunate that the followers of Sri Aurobindo in general have refused to see Brahm in the peasant and insist on seeing it in that high politician. The karma is obvious; it could not be otherwise.

In addition to other factors in one’s life one has become the recipient of another ample legacy. One is going to use these funds to promote the teaching of Indian philosophies and of forms of mysticism which exist and have long existed. Akbar did reign you know. Prince Dara Shikoh did live you know. This was known to quite a few Europeans who did not proclaim their spirituality. It is soon going to be known to much of the world. I regret exceedingly that you have refused to accept the simple solid facts of history. I certainly wish it were otherwise; I cannot do anything about it. But now in addition to having perhaps some iota of divine wisdom, I certainly do have a much larger proportion of the world’s goods, and it is a pity that you have immobilized the possibility of mutual sharing.





August 4, 1970

Haridas Chaudhuri

Cultural Integration Fellowship

San Francisco, Ca,


My dear Haridas:

It is with great regret on my part, and someday it will be with great regret on your part that you have refused to accept the Acharya teachings that Brahm is the essence in all creatures. Before the Living God, before Ram, before Brahm, I can swear I was the very first American you met when you entered the offices of the then prospering American Academy of Asian Studies.

Indirectly at least, and directly slightly, I helped you here, but I am not the least concerned about any thanks for help. I am concerned with your rejection of the highest Indian teachings: “Atman is Brahman, Tat Tvam Asi,” etc., etc.

You will find enclosed a copy of a letter to an old friend. He was one of those who knew I had been engaged professionally in writing about and even exposing cults and new movements in this state of California. Although most of the researches of Luther Whiteman and I were not published in books some were in now defunct magazines. Generations have passed and now there are new writers who are looking for opportunities to “expose” cults, Oriental and pseudo-Oriental movements, etc., etc. They have found this old hand in their own profession and I am being invited both on and off the record to go back into this field. If I do not do it is not for moral reasons, I mean your kind of moral reasons. It is because spiritual movements are expanding in this land at a tremendous rate and I am receiving real invitations at a rate too rapid to assimilate.

The first thing I am going to write up are the details of the conference of the real leaders of the real religions of the real world. My secretary and I were the only persons present who were successful in two-way communications with all, and I mean all, the delegates. Cards had to be laid on the table. Pretenses were so rapidly exposed that everyone become sober.

Meher Baba, Sai Baba, Sri Aurobindo, and all 20th century verbally inclusive groups were not present. When they have come there have been personality tugs of war started when the followers of Bahaullah spoke. The Baha’is of course are elegantly excluded from all the “world,” “universal,” “integrative” movements of the day. Most of them also exclude the Sufis, and now thank God and praise Allah, the Sufis have their own money and their own publications and they are getting together more and more and more.

In the same vein the Sufis are being invited and the “world,” “integrative,” “universal” group are not daring to show up at Holy Men’s gatherings, etc. I have never wished to be negative, but I not only have been successful in doing in New Mexico what you and Zitko and I mean you and Zitko could not do in Arizona. And I also am being invited to Arizona to do what you and Zitko and I mean you Zitko didn’t do in that state.

“Unless the Lord buildeth a house, they labor in vein who build.” It is now time to publicly damn and condemn all those sham efforts are godless Yoga. You will have to make a decision.




Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita

San Francisco, CA 94110

August 31, 1970

California Institute of Asian Studies

3494 21st St.

San Francisco, Ca. 94110


Dear Sirs:

I wish to call to your attention that my teacher whose name is above is both a validated Sufi Murshid, Indian Guru, and Zen Master. Perhaps the first in history to be recognized by those who have the qualifications to recognize.

While we are interested in your efforts to have American-Asian relations, we differ from you profoundly and entirely that social prestige, money, or University degrees have anything to do with spiritual fulfillment.

We even more profoundly differ from your one-way street traffic which you have mis-labelled “advaita.” Murshid is now being recognized by the valid leaders of religions, mysticism, and Indian spiritual cultures which are sending representatives to this country. We absolutely cannot accept any sort of verbal integration which excludes, and you certainly do exclude. So please keep our name off your list.


Melvin Meyer,

Secretary to Samuel L. Lewis

Ditzen, Lowell Correspondence

May 3, 1970

Rev. and Mrs. Lowell R. Ditzen

The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20016


Beloved Ones of God:

It is with great joy that this letter is being written. It was with great joy that one could attend the convocation of the world’s religions. It is remarkable that after 40 years one could see the operations in action of the dreams of the late Dr. Henry Atkinson and others. But it is with a certain reticence that one has to state: “The stone which is rejected is become the cornerstone.”

The dream of Judith Hollister has been my dream. But while it deems to have come to her directly from God so to speak, it came to me indirectly after the meetings with the late Dr. Atkinson, etc. But it is one dream and one vision:

“My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples.”

In an orchestra we have several choirs, and within those choirs themselves we have different instruments. The grandeur of Beethoven’s Ninth Sympathy, so to speak, does not detract from his violin and piano concertos. And while in a certain sense we are coming into a newer age, I think it is a broader age, and an age which is coming to perfect and fulfill and not to destroy. In a sense perhaps I have changed my religion several times. But not the zest for Christmas and Easter hymns. They remain because there is something deep within both them and the soul of man.

In another sense perhaps God is approving of my work, our work. For on reaching England immediately after the convocation, there was a cable advising that my brother had died. He had assented to my departure and this means on the physical level at least a fair increase in monthly allotments, and I have so written to Peter. It will take a little while no doubt for debts to be paid. But there is an Insight, there is a Divine Vision there is a Divine Guidance, that it would be so, and inwardly one felt fully assured that it would be all right in the end, and it has turned out to be so, Praise to God.

The first request made by loving disciples was to get my rejected poetry published. It is an awkward story; so terribly awkward it proves to be droll in the end. A Jewish epic was written and rejected. Then a Christmas sequel, and even worse. Then a mighty Islamic epic which at least won the admiration of Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. If God wills, one two or all of them may be published soon.

In the meanwhile I have taken the liberty to enclose copy of the Christian epic. Whether it will ever rank as high poetry or not does not matter. It certainly ranks as high vision; compare it with Edgar Cayce, with Jean Dixon, with Mrs. Garrett, or any of the “high and mighty” seers of the age, and there is a marked contrast. There is a contrast in style, in motif, in inspiration, and in variability. A cosmic vision is not a psychic glimpse.

There is a vast difference between the psychic and the spiritual. One sees the psychic, one lives the spiritual. You may understand now why I teach in the seminary constantly both The Gospel of Saint Thomas and the First Epistle to the Corinthians. This has been going on for years although I am labeled a Sufi and not a Christian or sectarian of any kind.

Once indeed the veil was lifted. It happened in Wilmington, North, Carolina. There was a grand Christian mystic named Rufus Moseley. You may have heard of him. He was welcomed everywhere. There was a tremendous gathering in the first Methodist Church. Everybody was agog. Rufus Moseley got up, hung his head, bowed in shame, and apologized to the audience: “I have no business to be here; I have no right to be here. Samuel Lewis, come out of the audience and complete my sermon.” Then to the astonished audience, he sat down. This was the only such occurrence.

But not now. Now it is different. Someday I may tell this whole story, but it is happening just as the predictions in this poetry seem to have happened. I already have an over-flowed Summer School in New Mexico. Then I plan to visit Boston in the autumn. The most appropriate program would be to fly to Washington, rent a car and travel with Mansur to Boston, to Cleveland and back to Washington, if this can be properly arranged. The brotherhood of man is not accomplished by the over-efforts and over-advertisements of personality. It is, I believe, accomplished in and through love, prayer, and devotion.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



May 12, 1970

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Samuel Lewis:

Thank you for your good letter of May 3 and for enclosing to me a copy of “What Christ? What Peace?” I have read it with deep appreciation and inspiration.

You mention that you could not find a publisher for it. I am sending it on to Judith Hollister with the thought that possibly we could get together and determine how and where we might find a publisher for this most sensitive work.

I agree with you. It represents “high vision.”

May our paths cross. Thanks again so much.

Yours faithfully,

Lowell R. Ditzen



May 17, 1970

Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Avenue N.W.

Washington D.C. 20016


My dear Lowell:

Your most welcome letter of the 12th is here in what appears to be potentially a most happy hour. You have probably heard of “The New Age.” It contains a number of elements not in accord with current traditions, or rather, not in accord with those modes of life and thinking which I call “dialectics,” with those modes which would limit us to bizarre choices of a low order when in several senses the inner space as well as the outer space is open to us.

Anyhow, the title of the booklet “The Truth Shall Make You Free” is most welcome. The new Age people want us to have honest foods and an honest environment. In one sense we have been given no choice but to invest in it personally and impersonally: financially, socially, and even spiritually. And it seems to be paying us dividend on all those planes synchronously. So while the worlds of opposing camps of dialecticians are yelling and yelping at each other and everybody else, we are not only building constructively, but benefiting financially from the affairs of the hour.

I am at the moment preparing to go to the state of New Mexico to conduct a New Age summer school integrating and combining organic gardening, a new type of architecture, prayer, meditation, and spiritual teachings both of the East and the West. In my short speech at Geneva I said we might build a model “Temple of Understanding.” I must say here that the genre of the model presented at Geneva and that of the so-called Lama Cookbook are quite in accord. I hope, God-willing, either to have this model operative before the first of July or to report one way or the other on this subject.

This seeming rise in our prosperity is also effecting the potential folk industries at my headquarters in Novato-pottery kiln, art studio, new ventures with fabrics, and most of all, a print shop. This print shop will, to begin with, coalesce my own work and that of “The New Age industries. Naturally I should welcome any kind of Help from Judith, but never forget we also look upon her as a sort of incipient American ‘divine mother’.

There is another step forward in a sort of New Age spiritual endeavor. There is now on the market a purported neglected scripture, or interpretation of scripture, stemming from St. John, written originally in Aramaic, translated into old Slavic, and now into English. A hundred copies were sold out almost immediately after being placed in a health food store in a nearby town. This brings up a sort of pun, which contains both the pleasant and unpleasant events of the past week: “The Youth Shall Make You free.”

I have been troubled all year with a certain cosmic picture. Last year, Mr. Vilayat Khan taught the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. As an aftermath, both my choral master William Mathieu and I have been much concerned with Handel’s Messiah. More and more areas have been presented at our gatherings. But I have been most concerned with the keywords, “Every valley shall be exalted, every hill shall be laid low, and the crooked places made straight.”

A number of years ago there was a summit food conference in this city at the University of California, San Francisco. All very top level. The very greatest scientists. There was an outpouring of all the most serious problems: food, nutrition, plant feeding, soil contamination, malnutrition, what was then known as ecology, etc., etc. It happened that the specific areas discussed were all in foreign parts where I had lived. One by one I resorted to my own research notes, my own diaries, and to research libraries, for my specialty has been how to the problems presented. They all went to VIPs. Period and of subject.

This is the difference between the old age and the New Age. We have problems because of a national and international schizophrenia in which valleys are not exalted and hills not laid low. Now youth is demanding, not asking; youth is demanding the scriptures, and not selfish excuses for transgressions. But I am not taking any sour notes any more. We cannot enforce the Beatitudes, but we can take them seriously. And I believe if we do we shall have the high vision.

There is a form of what I call high space vision, and this high space vision, so to speak, also appears in this recently uncovered work presumably stemming from St. John. I differ from youth in one point: I am come to fulfill not to destroy. Having been a soil scientist, one was not entirely comfortable about the recent Earth Day Parade. Problems are not solved by parades and emotions. The Bible states that a people without vision shall perish, and where I must join with youth completely is on this subject of vision.

I must thank you for every effort to co-operative. In 1946, I was alone in the woods in South Carolina. It was Christmas eve. My principal had sent neither my Christmas allotment nor food. The people who had invited me to dinner suddenly went away. I was alone in the woods, and only a single family even within walking distance. Then suddenly, the skies opened, Jesus Christ appeared, and directed me to work for Peace in Palestine. I went to Washington. All the doors opened. Then suddenly I was betrayed by my own confidante, a person of considerable social and political importance.

Years passed. My financial conditions improved. I traveled. I visited the Near East and worked out a program, an integrated program covering soil, food, political, and religious subjects. The Egyptians accepted my program. The UN officials were very enthusiastic. The Israelis naturally accepted it. The Saudi Arabians astonished me by accepting it. Then the deep freeze from our State department and the “great” peace organizations. The time had not come for valleys to be exalted and hills to be laid low. Now I am working with enthusiasms, with renewed freshness, with I hope open heart and no ill-will toward anybody. And I must again express my appreciation with my heart, and send you love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



May 24, 1970

Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

Director, The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20016


My dear Lowell:

A number of years ago I met a church dignitary here who was concerned with an unemotional but practical program for the Near East, bearing in mind that Christianity also had an interest in Palestine, perhaps a vented interest. As he is a local dignitary, and some things seem to be accomplished here, I have written him, copy enclosed.

In my spiritual training I was taught, “That as man walks one step toward God, God walks 10 steps toward him.” The events of the day seem to be bearing this out. My disciples and colleagues are now awaiting certain persons who might affectively, God-willing, act as go-betweens between intransigent and also interested persons. As I am preparing to leave for over a month, some such meetings may be held in my absence. If not, at least there will be arrangements for a suitable gathering on my return.

As you might surmise, it is mostly little people who are concerned here. Arabs and Israelis, Jews and Gentiles, Zionists and Non-Zionists who have already mingled socially and otherwise. At this point, another telephone call, that it may be possible to meet other church dignitaries who just might be interested in getting together on any basis whatsoever toward promoting some kind of peace in this world of variety and confusion. This goes on all the time. I understand my local secretary has sent you a copy of “The Day of the Lord Cometh.” This was writer prior to “What Christ? What Peace?” Actually the Christ of that poem was both a Jew and at the same time, a Divine being, a point of view you may accept. In fact, in its original form one had to be very careful not to make an overuse of puns. I find in getting very close to the New Testament that there is a literary Jesus who most distinctly was Jewish in his grammatical and prosodic forms. This to me was one of the strongest reasons for upholding the historically of a Personality.

At one time I sought a collaborator and was turned down everywhere, but it doesn’t matter anymore. There is a heart and mind operating through many of the scripture texts, and someday I hope to convert some portion of the world to the words of St. Paul, “We have the mind of Christ.”

At the moment I am exceedingly busy preparing for a spiritual summer school in the state of New Mexico and also encouraging my disciples to go to a summer camp which will be established shortly by Pir Vilayat Khan.

I don’t think I have properly appreciated, or expressed my appreciations for any efforts in getting my poetry published. I don’t think I expressed this properly, as it should have been. There are things going on here so rapidly that it is hard to maintain composure. For the time being, I am purposely avoiding contact with those members of the Congress and Senate who have I believe been working for peace beyond the divisions and separations of party politics. And if we can go forward along such lines we may be able to demonstrate that there are Americans who understand the nature of peace. Cordially, with Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



June 12, 1970

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Sam:

I’m on the run. Am dictating this letter to you in the midst of a conference in Kansas City.

The point is simply to say thank you for what you have shared with me concerning you life, your concerns, your sensitivity, and your beautiful poetic expressions.

If Eleanor knew I were writing to you, I know she would join me in sending the warmest of wishes and remembrances.

God bless you, dear friend.

Yours faithfully and appreciatively,

Lowell R. Ditzen



June 29, 1970

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Sam:

Thanks for sharing with me various materials of recent weeks.

Your certainly have a wide-ranging and sensitive mind and spirit, and have done so much and so much good.

I detected in one of your letters a certain frustration. I suppose this is par for the course of life. I have always found certain degree of comfort in the belief that no effort that is made in love or for the cause of that which is just and right is ever lost. It adds to the total atmosphere of mankind, which helps him move a bit further forward toward the light rather than the darkness.

The best always to you.

Yours ever faithfully,

Lowell R. Ditzen



July 11, 1970

Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20016


My dear Lowell:

I wish to thank you for your latter of June 29. Yes, there has been some frustration. It was probably a wise God that wanted it that way. The frustrations are now gone, and the doors are opening so rapidly. Not only are they opening rapidly for me, but also for my secretaries. I have always held that prayer was most dangerous and delicate, because prayers are granted. Once we set the universal machinery into action, it is set into action.

A series of events have resulted in a great increase in following, both in California and the two states to the Southwest. In addition it may become imperative to visit you, and the city of Washington, and the whole Atlantic seaboard a little later on.

1. The top priority of work for the immediate future is a commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Offhand the first two items to be discussed are Love and the Psychic and the Spiritual bodies. But it is not only universal metaphysics I wish to present but also an examination and a super-cure for all the emotional disturbances, terrors, and pseudo-terrors arising from the use of psychedelics.

At my summer school in New Mexico there was a terrible leaning on Indian (Hindu) teachings counter-blasted by some most beautiful Christmas hymns offered by two sisters living there. This will help lead to a sane balance in which many of the teachings now made public by Indians of all sorts will be shown to be in the New Testament generally, and in this Epistle to the Corinthians in particular.

I expect to start in next Saturday. The people at the seminary tall me they have tape recorders and all the sound equipment necessary.

In the meanwhile Bishop Kilmer Myers of the Protestant Episcopalian Church has begun to show interest in this and also plans for peace in Palestine.

2. My main public appearances are at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in Marin County, which is the Presbyterian center. Last week I was approached by several of the seminarians. While they were off-hand interested in the spiritual dance I told them of the above, and this would mean that semi-officially my commentaries on the First Epistle to the Corinthians would be accepted. But I wish first to see that you get everything and evaluate it. After they questioned me a while I told them I had taught Sunday school there years age.

I have to assume that the scripture is exact, but I find in the translations a lack of reference to states of emotions and agitations, so I may have to check back into Greek dictionaries. I have enough knowledge of Greek, I believe, to do a fair job.

Besides the above, and a number of other items in my private and public careers, I have been thrown pell-mell again into the Palestinian upheaval. I am going to approach it in several ways:

A. I hope to restore or create Christian spiritual dances, which will be added to my present repertoire.

B. I hope to bring together tractable Zionists and peaceful Palestinian Arabs, along with Christians to explore the possibilities of peace in the Holy Land, as Holy Land.

I think this is enough, but must add that Bob Kaufman, the young man, who was with us in Geneva, thumbed his way all the way to San Francisco just to call on me.

Love and Blessings,



910 Railroad Ave.

Novato, Calif. 94947

July 30, 1970


The Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

Director, The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Avenue, N.W.

Washington D.C. 20016


My dear Lowell:

I suppose someday we shall find more and more people accepting Saint Paul’s, “In God we live and move and have our being,” but at this moment I am accepting Saint Paul. When Ingersoll wrote his “Mistakes of Moses” and George Bernard Shaw was questioned he said be would review it if he could find Moses’ “Mistakes of Ingersoll.”

Anyhow the inspirations are for me to defend Saint Paul on many fronts. Recently I began my mystical explanations of the First Epistle to the Corinthians—this is the fourth time I have done this in a seminary—but now it is being taped and transcribed. It will be then properly edited and given some literary form. There are at this writing two potential dispositions: A. that you may want it either to use it or go further in its being distributed; B. or a friend of mine who is publisher may wish it.

Since I have returned from the summer school in Lama, New Mexico, I have not had a single day off or even a half-day. I think it is only divine grace that keeps me fairly fit. I have just two projects, which are taking up all my time out of classes, the above and the efforts to bring peace and understanding in the holy land.

The attendance at my Saturday morning lectures on Saint Paul is wonderful—packed to the doors. This Saturday I shall start my revolution, so to speak, by mentioning the psychic body which has been erroneously translated as “natural body.” I have no time to continue attacks either on Christian devotees, fundamentalist or liberal or on higher or lower criticisms. My whole efforts will be to restore the cosmic psychology, which I hope to prove is as evident in Paul as in Indian literature. Even our good friend Dr. Huston Smith was not aware of this until I pointed it out to him.

Inasmuch as translators have not had the experiences of those selected by God, so to speak, to have had divine revelations and inspirations, consciously or unconsciously they are giving us abstractions or opinions. Saint Paul has said, “We have the mind of Christ.” Naturally translators, critics and commentators who have not had the mind of Christ have generally failed to give us the essence of pure teachings.

But now the young are discovering or recovering the psychic body, perhaps similar to the age when many Irish could either enter faerie or were aware of it. Egocentric and materialistically minded literati can only produce confusions. Saint Paul in his divine experiences did not differ very much, let us say, from our good friend Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj. And today we find multitudes of young people converted, beguiled or charmed by Indian teachings because the Christian world has either dofted or forgotten the Holy experiences which dominated the lives of the ante-Nicene fathers.

I am having no difficulty whatsoever. Every week the totality of my audience is slightly larger, not yet tremendous but constantly growing. It is also evident that nearly all of them have had some kind of psychic experience from natural psychedelics, from synthetic psychedelics, from dreams or otherwise, that they are either aware of the psychic body from their own experiences or from the experiences of their companions. While some time ago I had the idea of explaining the strange, let us say, experiences of young people from an Indian standpoint, I feel it can be most conveniently done, even more conveniently done, by taking into consideration actual Christian teachings. I am supported in this by an ever-larger audience of young Christian devotees whose experiences are totally in line with my explanations.

The other endeavor which occupies my time is the promotions of peace in the Holy Land. To me there is no question that the whole riffraff (and that is to say kindly of them) of newspaper men, the dominating commentators, the controllers of communication, and nearly all our foreign office and most foreign offices, are concerned only with the mostly worldly outlooks and have no concern with the hearts of people and so ultimately with the bodies of people. These dominating forces, quite divided otherwise, insist on applying to the world subjective outlooks derived from the philosophies of Kant and his successors, all schools of his successors, and have no consideration of the hearts and souls of mankind.

We have been astonished at the case of bringing various types of Jewish and Islamic personalities together in manners totally out of line with everything our whole literary worlds would admit could be done. I recently attended a meeting under a Hasidic Rabbi. There were not only Sufis there, but the number of crosses worn by the young were far more in evidence than you find even in establishment churches. I do not know how many of the cross-wearers were non-Jews but I certainly do know that Christ Himself has manifested to several of Jewish antecedents.

My Wednesday night meetings are held in a hall of the San Francisco Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian Institution. Our programs are essentially Islamic Sufi. But I was utterly astounded the other night at the number of strange faces, nearly all claiming to be Hasidic Jews. When young Jewish people can join in Islamic devotions in a Christian church—this demonstrates how far the young today are ahead of all the dominant riffraff who encourages mass murders of people with “wrong-views.”

These two streams of effort make me feel absolutely that God works in and through man and is doing this today. I am becoming more and more adamant on Jesus Christ’s “If you love me, keep my commandments,” and “A new commandment I give unto you that ye love one another.”

I find that the young people wish to worship together. Therefore, it is going to be very easy to convince them of the value Of The Temple of Understanding. Bob Kauffman attends all my meetings both in San Francisco and Marin County. You may recall him, the youngest male at the Geneva conference. He worked his way all across this country and to attend my meetings and has become exceedingly enthusiastic.

(At least two of the girls who were at Calcutta have been beguiled by a questionable swami and have been given large notices in the papers. They seem only concerned with negations and do not see the rise of awareness of young people to the existence of the psychic body. The late Aldous Huxley was working in this direction, but he became so involved with what we call drugs that he died under their influence. Therefore I am working on the positive side with and from Saint Paul.)

Recent endeavors show that more and more young people are appreciating what I am doing and are cooperating to make it financially possible for me to come east again in the fall. In the meanwhile not only have my dances and ceremonies been filled but also the work of my colleagues in all parts of this country, and in turn my dances are being presented in many sections, dances having the theme of universal peace.

Within two weeks I should have at least rough drafts for you of the commentaries on Saint Paul and also intend to present them to the Presbyterian Theological Seminary near here referred to above.

In the meanwhile the number of disciples has increased, the number of strangers at meetings has increased, and my efforts both directly and indirectly are extending in, to, and through the neighboring states of Arizona and New Mexico, and from what I hear also in the distant Massachusetts.

There is nothing here which cannot be shared with anybody you wish. While I did not get too cordial a letter from Father Masson almost immediately after it I received two letters of friends who were also friends of the late Thomas Merton asking what I was doing concerning the Holy Land. One of them lives in New York and I hope to see him this season, God-willing, and call on Father Haughey.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



[response to letter from Murshid Sam of August 7, 1970, see diaries]

August 14, 1970

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

910 Railroad Avenue

Novato, California 94947


Dear Samuel,

I am with you 1000% in seeking peace in the Holy Land.

It’s one of my deep convictions, as I think I have shared with you earlier, that Jerusalem should be an international city!

I’m in and out so much during these summer days and don’t have the time to answer correspondence more fully than this.

God bless you, dear friend.

Yours ever faithfully and affectionately,

Lowell R. Ditzen



August 19, 1970

Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20016


My dear Lowell:

I am very happy at this time to send you the first rough draft of my first public talk on St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. I have not gone over it myself yet. This cannot be properly done until I receive copies of later tape recordings so as to integrate them properly.

I feel in an unusually high state of elation. These lectures, into which I go with something of what is called the Zen spirit of emptiness, are high-water marks in my weekly schedule. I get so much joy and elation and inspiration that common and uncommon pleasures bore me in comparison therewith.

I am also enclosing copy of a letter to a local cleric who had previously expressed an interest in bringing peace to the Holy Land with full recognition of the three religions involved. I have the most wonderful disciples today. Besides this, God, about Whom we often say nice things in fear and trembling, seems to be blessing so many of them materially, emotionally, and spiritually that I can hardly keep myself in the proper state of composure, especially when overworked.

The only difficulty at this writing is the lack of secretarial help and perhaps my inability to work 12 hours every day in an office when there are also meetings, classes, and counselings to be done. Actually, it is a world of wonder.

We are not asking anything from. There will probably be letters sent to The Temple of Understanding from the young people who are working on the projects mentioned in the letter to Dr. Miller.

You will also be glad to know that my financial situation has been eased so there will be no problem about coming east with a secretary. The only change in plans is that we will go to New York first to a pick up my secretaries’ car. Mansur is working full time on projects referred to in the letter to Dr. Miller.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



Aug. 21, 1970

Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Ave. N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20016


My dear Lowell,

“We have the mind of Christ.” I have now entered upon a strange regime in which there are no more days off, but enough variations to keep one going. Five classes in spiritual dancing, three public lectures, other classes in spiritual philosophy and interviews, and….

In at least the Calvinistic sense, God is with me, for my disciples are getting good paying jobs in The New Age food enterprises or in related new types of endeavors belonging to what roughly are called New Age projects. And while this is going on, there has been success in raising funds first for spiritual dancing and then for other activities of the young who are looking Godward rather than sticking to our crazy culture which judges humanity by the relation of thoughts and philosophies to those of some stupid French politicians who met during the French revolution. Anybody whose thought cannot be compared to those of the long-departed French politicians is regarded as unnatural or fanatical or psychotic. But these of us who have looked to God are new finding more people, mostly young people, of the some genre.

With all my busy work the high light of the week comes in my lecture on Saturday mornings on the First Epistyle to the Corinthians. Young people are finding that they belong just as much to and in the Universal God as the moneychangers, the scribes, the Herods, and the high priests. It seems strange that those types of people, and also the liquor interests, should judge and over-judge young people who wish to be eccentric in their own manner.

But I believe that God has a place for every sort of fanatic and eccentric. I believe further that St. Paul has given us a universe which can properly describe and explain all sorts of “queers” much better than can our modern psychologists and psychiatrists. In fact I am being invited to the home of my chief disciple tonight to dinner to discuses teachings already given at the University of California by a professors whom I have not met, but whose ideas harmonize with those just alluded to.

At this writing it would appear I must come east sometime in September. As Mansur is occupied full-time in collateral projects I had planned to take the local assistant secretary Joan with me. New I understand Joan has her own car in New York city, so we shall fly there when convenient and fan out in different directions. In the meanwhile, God be praised, both in my private life and in my Sufi endeavors, the financial situation continues to improve, and while this is going on at least two young men are seeking to raise funds from outside sources for my work.

We shall soon be sending you more of my draft materials, etc., and keep you informed as well so one might of what is being undertaken here. So far we have been tremendously successful in our first effects toward peace in Palestine and my young friends are writing to Peter Dunne. The one kind of help we and they do not need is financial. It may just be that the good God is for us in our effects.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



October 5, 1970

Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.6.


Dear Rev. Ditzen:

Murshid (Samuel L. Lewis) asked me to send you copies of some of the lectures he has been giving at The Holy Order of Mans in this city on “The Three Body Constitution of Man According to St. Paul.” These versions which you are receiving have been roughly edited by me. I made no attempt to cut any of the chattiness, not wishing to temper with the life so inherent in the talks.

The lectures have been given to a hall packed with young people, almost all of whom in the past have used psychedelics of some sort. Most of these people are brothers and sisters and reverends in the mystical Christian order mentioned above. Some of Murshid’s own disciples attended these lectures. The atmosphere evoked in the hall by these talks is most remarkable. Everyone reports getting very high. The atmosphere is peaceful and at the same time electrically vibrant.

Murshid is currently in New York where he has been giving lectures to large groups of young people and teaching the “Dances of Universal Peace” which utilize the sacred phrases of all religions and which are dedicated to The Temple of Understanding. He has spoken at Columbia and made contact with several professors whom he considers quite promising. Shortly, after meeting with Pir Vilayat Khan in New York, he is going to Boston-Cambridge area where friends and disciples of his have arranged many programs including Dancing on the Cambridge Common.

A large part of the mission of his trip is devoted to promoting peace, and to this end he has been meeting with many government officials, etc., etc. Indeed, locally, our organization which is trying to promote peace in the Holy Land by bring together Israelis and Arabs and Christians, Muslims and Jews, has met with much success. We eat together, dance together, pray together and respect the cultural achievements of all the different societies. In this way we build bonds of friendship without getting bogged down in the rutted mental impressions dealing with politics.

After leaving Boston it is Murshid’s plan to visit Washington. It is uncertain at this time where be will be staying in your city. His prospective hosts have sold their house and moved to New England. He is traveling with a secretary, Joan (Sitara) Tessler. I do not know if you have the room or the desire to host them, but thought I would just be what we call “up front,” and suggest it as a possibility. Otherwise, I am sure something will be arranged.

The lectures include numbers 2-5 and number 10. I believe you already have number 1. Murshid felt that #10, which is short, would be of special interest for you.

If you wish to contact him he can be reached thru: Samuel L. Lewis c/o Lonnie Less 27W. 71St St. New York city, telephone (212) 787-7576.

My love to you and your family,

Melvin Meyer (Wali Ali) secretary to Samuel L. Lewis



October 22, 1970

The Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

Director, The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20016


My Dear Lowell:

This is being written after a telephone conversation with San Francisco. We are leaving here tomorrow for New York City, and the time of arrival may depend upon whether Judith is back in Greenwich or not. In a sense, this has been a sort of three-ring circus, all items of which are in a sense connected with the Temple of Understanding and with your own missions in life.

The Dance of Universal Peace have been so well-received here it would pay us to establish a center or school for that purpose. At the moment, these dances are largely Sufi and Hindu, but the Christian dances especially are inside and the first effort was received with extreme delight. But the dance programs themselves are also including items which would in another day have been called “Mysteries of women,” though essentially spiritual, and based on a male-female division of universal activities.

The joint Israeli-Christian-Arab dinners have not only succeeded socially, but as a result fund-raising has proven a marvelous blessing, almost miraculously so. In former correspondence with Peter Dunne and in advising my young colleagues, I have said that we would like any kind of cooperation but financial; I felt with a trust in the Divine Providence, that the living God would come to our aid in helping to fulfill His wishes. This is so, and the news via telephone was so optimistic it is hard to restrain oneself.

“The Three Body Doctrine of Saint Paul.” This was originally sent you with a sort of dedicatory feelings. You may have answered, but we will not be in New York for a few days yet, and there the mail is. We have also seen Dr. Houston Smith, who is a very good friend, but he had not received copy either. We may visit the Harvard campus next at the Divinity School and show them a copy of this letter. But:

Mr. Walter Bowart of Tucson, Arizona, who is a well-to-do publisher and a disciple of Pir Vilayat Khan, has already expressed a desire to publish this paper (the Three-Body Doctrine), and it will therefore be foremost on my schedule in returning to San Francisco. While I examine with tongue in cheek the predictions of Jeanne Dixon, she has said many young Americans would be converted to forms of Hinduism. If we would study the Bible instead of our theologies, it might be quite different. I am not going into that. I have felt, and I certainly feel today that this series of lectures on “The Three-Body Constitution of Man According to Saint Paul” will in time be widely studied. This might, in effect, break down many separating barriers.

We spent some time at Wainwright House in Rye, New York on our way here. We met various persons claiming to be spiritual teachers, either Hindus or their disciples. It almost shut out the idea that there could be spiritual teachers of other faiths. But if one examined closely what they have to offer—and they do have much to offer—one might find the same philosophies, even the same psychologies and cosmologies in other faiths. And they have not impressed me that they have moral teachings equal to those of the Bible, and especially those of the New Testament.

Sometimes I wryly suggest the establishment of “The Church of the Sermon on the Mount,” but I am even more opposed to creating further divisions among mankind than anything else. And I look with a certain degree of horror upon those who proclaim this one or that one is the return of Jesus Christ. Still, one works for peace, one may have to accept persons and ideas quite different from those one has been harboring oneself.

If there is a letter of yours in New York, it will be immediately answered, or possibly we may telephone. My future endeavors are clear, but the time schedule is not.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



c/o L. Less

27 West 1st St.,

New York, N.Y.

October 25, 1970


Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen

The National Presbyterian Center

4125 Nebraska Ave. N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20016


Mr. Dear Lowell:

One is answering your letter of the 13th and it may put you to ease to learn that our New York host became the campaign manager of a young woman, a democratic candidate for Congress from a district on Long Island and it is the easiest thing in the world to understand your situation. We are only wondering now whether we shall come to Washington at all—no bad news—too many apparently successful situations.

We have been to Boston and Cambridge and were rather successful, especially at the Center for Religions Studies at Harvard and with the young people in various enterprises. We had a very good session with our good friend, Dr. Huston Smith, but at the time of the visit we had not yet received a copy of the manuscript sent to you. On our way back we phoned the Hollister house at Greenwich, but no answer and shall try again later.

Actually one finds oneself in a very strange condition, as if harvests from seeds planted in many different years all manifesting together. The rise of the importance of Dr. Gunnar Jarring in the Near East situation has encouraged me directly to start my own small peace scholarship for the University of California. Some of my more ardent disciples have gone ahead with a program to bring Israelis, Arabs, and Christians together. We should like to have had assistance from the Temple of Understanding excepting in a financial direction. We have had this assistance, and praise to God, the efforts to raise funds have started off remarkably will. We believe—but shall not force Peter or Judith—that the next session should be somewhere in the United States or nearby to enable the young to participate. There are a lot of Heidis. Bob Kaufmann came to San Francisco and has been of greatest assistance here. Indeed, our greatest problem has been for us three people to find time to cover all the opportunities and introductions, which may help affect a different approach to peace in the Holy Land. And to complicate this, Pir Vilayat Khan will be here shortly.

In addition to this, a rather wealthy publisher in the state of Arizona has been asking for my memories, my articles, and my poetry. One is short-handed in secretaries because our subsidiary efforts have been entirely successful. Mansur Otis Johnson has an excellent job as technician for films and recording which will greatly promote better Asian-American cultural progress in spiritual in matters, and in more than spiritual matters.

I have a number of projects in Washington, but all of them are secondary to the efforts of the Temple of Understanding. If I came with one or two persons, as could be likely, I should not want to impose on you at all.

As I understand at this writing, it would appear there will be a very sufficient travel fund, which will enable this person or his associates or both to make periodical trips between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. So far, I have been working on the assumption that there was a shortage of funds and that every visit to these parts should be crammed with numerous projects. This may not be necessary henceforth.

There are several rather distinguished persons now inquiring about the paper on “The Three-Body Constitution of Man According to Saint Paul.” I only thought it was proper to present this to you before sharing it with others, at least publicly. Now I have the additional factor of a publisher pushing to look at it. An early answer on your part would be of no help to me either because of a temporarily very busy program. We may or may not telephone you after the election, unless Peter Himself wants us to come to Washington.


Samuel L. Lewis

Duce, Ivy Correspondence













February 3, 1948


Dear Murshida:

Your blessed letter of the 18th January is here and the hardest thing is for us both, the writer and reader (whosoever “you” and “I” be) must realize that it takes as many words to describe an affair of the highest plane as of the lowest, yet the weight of the words are not the same. I must confess that I have not always written in a devotional manner. I once had a long and disquieting experience with Murshida Rabia—it ended dramatically—in which I failed in calling her attention that her acts were unequal, those which were done in a hierarchal fashion being infinitely more important than the details she used to do for the cause of God, and the latter in their turn, being almost again infinitely more important than the affairs of her private life. I failed, she had a tragic accident, but I have not changed my point of view.

Your first page, therefore, reads to me like revelation. As we have not received this prior to February 1st, we cannot cable any plans for cooperation with Avatar. Actually point 4 is continuously observed here and by most mureeds. (Continence) Point 1., taking a meal a day might be desirable but would be difficult to work. Point 2., on silence, in part conflicts with our present program, which will be discussed further. Feeding a poor man or woman each day would please me but I have no control over the funds which would make this possible. Point 5, we virtually observe, but I shall try to “institute” it beginning tonight. (Meditation.)

Now the present program is this: failing in almost every instance to find or receive cooperation to get this office in order, I turned in despair to God and the answer came clearly to go out and try to receive new mureeds, using Baba as the head of the Sufi Order, and yourself as His chief representative of the West. And what happened? For one week we averaged a new candidate a day. Three candidates are now ready for Bayat, two of them to receive it on February 5th, the anniversary if Murshid’s passing, and one around the next new moon, inshallah. Besides this, new contacts are being made. I exhausted my immediate list of persons to be interviewed: 1, San Rafael; 1, San Anselmo; 4, Fairfax; 1, Mill Valley. I also have as contacts 3 San Rafael, 2 Novato, 1 Kentfield, 1 San Francisco. The last is a gentleman who will be leaving for the West Indies soon, so we must wait for his return, perhaps. During this period Nuria also has two contacts who want to meet you (father and son, I believe). All of this is entirely without effort on my part. I will give you details later if you desire.

Dr. Ghani’s Work: I hope this will satisfy the cry for a glossary. We simply have nobody here for any such thing.

India: The removal of Gandhi from this plane makes it clear to me that Baba will be merging, seen or hidden, as the one force, which will bring peace there. I now may be writing to the Ambassador, and if so, will send a copy to you.

Muslims: Following another “hunch” I have located the haunt of the Muslims in San Francisco, the Dewey Hotel, and may be calling there soon.

Francis: The only “instructions” Francis has from me are: (1) Sacred papers, (2) Esoteric practices, (3) Interpretations of the above given either in class or in writing.

Yourself: There is nothing in your report I did not feel beforehand though I may have concealed. I have written as a person, not as a devotee, as I have “thought,” not as I have “felt.” If I did the latter you would not get any letter, only poems and psalms of praise. This would produce much harmony but convey no news.

Baba’s House: I would like permission to submit my own inspirations on this subject which were approved by Rabia—I think even written down—then ignored. You would then be in position to OK or reject them and submit your own plan. The house presumably reserved for Baba is occupied by Don and Pete Harling a non-mureed. They eat with us. (The extra room in this house which I had hoped to fix for a bedroom is being used by Hazel’s nurse).

Chairman: This is well marked. Pardon me if I laughed out loud when I read it. That is comment enough.

Murshids: I have felt that there were not many real spiritual leaders on the earth. A question arises about the 56 Masters. I have interpreted this differently from the way Norina and Jean have, but not differently from your letter.

Service: This word is over and under-used but generally misused. I will not go into any details here.

Difficulties: I must call your attention that in addition to all else there has always been a pall, two problems here not started in my presence. The first, about which I have written concerning Theodore, has reacted upon the person involved, who is in serious public difficulty. In the meanwhile she has begun to turn to God. Her husband favors that. But she has a huge ego along with a spirit of devotion.

The other concerned Hazel. There is no use denying the fact that at least one person causing rumors about her is a despicable wretch and some others not much better. I have found that one of her detractors is now definitely afoul of the law and another has made so many enemies he has no time for her. Unfortunately wind of gossip has spread into areas not concerned and minds do not close so readily.

Office Status Here: Briefly, failing to get help from certain persons, when help did come no account has been taken of additional burdens thrown upon a theoretical office by the withdrawal of the secretary entirely, by over attention to too many other things, and by identifying my personality with the constitution of the Sufi Order and Sufi Movement. We have constitutions and institutions. They came either from Murshid or Rabia. They have neither been repealed nor enforced. The moneys given to the Movement by mureeds primarily were for the receiving of lessons, teachings and literature, to help them, and for advice from the teacher. But this has never been followed too literally. At the moment a program is being followed which from my point of view is neither legal nor hierarchal. I am sending Mary Sorenson copy of the report on the status of the sacred papers. In the end it will be yourself and others who will be crying for materials that cannot easily be copied and placed in yours, or anybody’s hands.

Murshid’s Records: This is a wonderful thing.

Prospectus: For a large movement by 1949, even without much effort. But a very cautions and careful distribution of lessons because same cannot be typed by non-­mureeds, and available persons are not used to the full potential extent.

Finally: We expect to have Margaret Kraske as a guest soon, and may ask her to speak to us about Baba and Spiritual Dancing.





Jan. 9, 1950


My dear Samuel:

As Don told me you were present at the fire, I would like to know from you what your impressions were at the time—psychic, intuitive, prophetic or otherwise. We apparently had to share Baba’s renunciation of all His ashrams. He is at Benares. You will be interested to know that I have made a down payment on a lot of Ellsworths at Myrtle Beach. I trust to God to be able to pay for it. The year has been a difficult one. My broken foot still suffers and my eye affliction is still most painful. I lost my father at Thanksgiving. I started this year with the heavy grippe astrology indicated. I’ll be glad when Saturn gets out of Virgo.

Frankenberg has had part of his jawbone removed—cancer. He is still very distrustful of Baba because Baba didn’t cure him. I do not want him to know the school burned in the event you write him at any time. I will tell you the reason later. His wife is so crippled with arthritis she can hardly move.

Norina told me that it was beautiful to see Baba, when he received your letter of surrender to Him in India, hold the letter near His precious head and pour out love to you. Treasure the master’s love, Samuel and do all you can to deserve it. Pray that He may come to us soon!

Will you please tell me whether or not there was any particular reason Murshida used no heading on her stationery—just the symbol? I wondered if she had gotten into any difficulty with the Europeans?

Now that you are home I wonder if you would go over your papers carefully someday and see if you can find anywhere a letter from I. Khan to Murshida. I still do not understand why there were no letters between the years 1918 and his death except the one letter written from France in 1923 after his return from America. I went through everything at Ashbury. I am always wishing I could lay my hands on something that would prove to dissenters how he trusted her to the last. Frankenberg had a mureed who wrote to Dussaq about me and Baba and received the usual replies although D. was kind in his remarks about me, but he quoted that I. Khan’s international constitution says nothing must be studied in the order except his own words. I can’t believe this. There are still some angles that I haven’t gotten my hands on. Was Murshid in this country at the time we incorporated? Our only ace in the hole is the fact that our incorporation papers are two years older than theirs. I don’t hope to change any one’s mind about anything—only Baba can shake up all these complacent people—but I would like solid ground under me when newcomers ask questions about the past. Baba has appointed me to my task, and I don’t need any other appointment although I have Murshida’s appointment of me.

I will appreciate any assistance you can give Don in teaching him how to conduct the services and things like that.

I hope your college work is making you happy. I found myself in such disagreement with the professors most of the time that I would find it hard to take. May the New Year be most fruitful for you!

In Baba,




33 West 67th St.

New York 23

Feb. 1, 1950


Dear Samuel:

I assume that a formal acknowledgement of your resignations is in order, so I hereby accept them.

It would take me volumes to reply to your completely inconsistent letter of Jan. 12th and I have not the time. When you stand before the altar of God and with hands upraised swear an oath to regard Baba as your master and to be loyal to me as your Murshida, and also write out on paper in detail your attitude, I am certainly flabbergasted when you refuse to answer a question on the ground of samskaras and then proceed to sow them all over the place by starting another of your sniping campaigns against me by writing to Norina whom I saw again last week in Myrtle Beach, and to old mureeds like the Skinners in Detroit and God Knows who else, but which like everything else you do, always becomes known to me in time.

You have been consumed with jealousy ever since I was appointed to this work. You dislike Don because I have relied on his responsibility and services despite the fact that he might not have as much esoteric learning as you have. You have fought against every woman you ever had to work with. I have protected you from far more than you will ever know; I have given you loving kindness and shared my table with you. You have betrayed me over and over in this work even when it is only by innuendo and damning with faint praise and hints of injustice and all that. I have warned you to make sure you stand before Baba with clean hands because He has appointed me to this work, as well as Murshida Rabia. What you do against me you do against Him, and against God in all of us. He has renounced three ashrams and everything in the world, but when your Murshida asks that our work on the national boards be made more national by the inclusion of other states, you cannot give up one seat even though it would have been nominally so.

If you cannot await Baba’s arrival for your next appointment that is up to you, but don’t talk to me about samskaras!

I would also advise you not to brag about taking the Sufi School with you when you left. I regret to say that most people do not understand the esoteric meanings you are hinting at and there is already considerable speculation in Marin County as to whether or not you had any part in this holocaust since you were there that day and no one was there that night. I must say here and now that I do not believe this at all. There was no Baraka or dharshana there except the rock Murshid blest. The backbiting and fights and gossiping and performances of all sorts sent out no Baraka. I am sure it was to free the place form just such samskaras that the place burned down and through its purification we have a clean slate for Baba’s New Phase and the new era that is soon here.


Murshida Ivy



November 12, 1961

Lahore, Pakistan


My dear Ivy:

I doubt very much if you know what it means to be under practical house arrest, watched by the communists and half in fear that the American authorities in some places think I am putting on a stunt. The complete failure of one Rev. Samuel Brown to get his surveys accepted has been followed by my walking into the very traps both he and the Sufi police advised. I have spent about $50 in postage this last month and hardly a letter of any kind has reached me or mail or money and I don’t know where my Passport is.

Under such circumstances one feels very much like writing his last will and testament, but thanks be to Allah, there are Sufi and plenty of Sufis and I don’t care who says what or who he be anywhere those statements are wrong and someday or other this will come out in court. It will come out in court when I return because either myself or the State Department will arraign Rom Landau whom you hardly consider a friend, but in the testimony against Landau which would then go on court records, under oath, it will prove that a lot of blindly accepted remarks are not true on earth at least. Whatever may be true in some “higher sphere” is of no account legally or intellectually. The Sufis are here, they are now, there are many of them and more true Murshida than you will accept—but under oath both at the courts and before the foreign Affairs committee’s facts will come out—not conjectures, not dreams, not ideas or ideals.

The Embassy at Karachi pulled three boners on me and then I was assured things would not be that way at New Delhi. A long distance call at my own expense followed by an oath was that there was no mail for me. This proved one of three things:

I am under closer surveillance than I had imagined.

I was not believed at home.

There was also inefficiency at New Delhi.

Well, despite that oath, a latter arrived yesterday which was held up one month at New Delhi in the Embassy and was my first report on communism sent to Senator Fullbright. This shows that some of my things get through and that they are given serious consideration. But if Ed Murrow does not give me consideration I am going to Washington and fling in his face the Hobson’s choice of Senator Mundt, Fulton Lewis Jr. or worse. There is a cold war going on.

That my mail gets out is also evidenced by the fact I received one letter in regard to my Passport which was by a divine mistake sent to the American Friends of the Middle East. I have since tried to check my mail with the assistance of the USIA bureau here. But no letter which proves either more inefficiency or a definite interception of mail. Because the FBI (and thank God for the FBI) advised me never to do any counter-espionage, I have not. But I don’t thank God for the CIA knowledge beforehand the demise of Tibet, Viet-Minh and Laos all because certain very good friends of mine were disbelieved; warning about Bagdad and disbelieved; warning four times about Cairo and seeing it. For my friends are found all over the world and I have never made use of them—before.

And you will recognize I am in a fighting mood. Nothing else is possible. I realize now that I was tricked and demoniacally tricked on Palestine. I have given parts of my plan three times to UN officials and they all said it was the only sensible thing they ever heard. Having a background in Jewish religious history and contacts with real Sufis and others, I am in the best position, perhaps of anybody on earth to propose compromises which will be heard. I am very sorry if private individuals differ. They will now have to face the fact that in standing against me as an individual they have done much to promote Russian interests though asinine and easily preventable divide and conquer.

My life story has long since been accepted here, let alone the mass meetings. There is a very special meeting going on this afternoon and I have been invited. I asked them why—“Because you are a Murshid.” All right, you have several thousand people’s opinion. I have never asked for it. It is my time to come to bat, be it cricket, be it baseball, be it life.

On top of that I was later asked to write a paper on “Aspects of Future Agriculture in Pakistan.” It has been promised write-ups in all papers, Urdu and English and the editor who has asked me has his fingers in everything. Embassy aside the OIC and Washington State people now know me and what I am doing and if and when I am permitted to proceed to New Delhi so will the scientific mission of the US there. Why experts came down from Rome to Cairo to meet me and much more has been accomplished since.

I am no longer concerned of personality reactions. Whether this is the end of life or the beginning of a period of power and fame (which the saints, seers, sages, sadhus and Sufis unanimously predict) there will be justification through action and life. You may have gained property but that “you can’t take it with you.”

This firmness and sternness was long ago impressed on me but not always followed. I have seen the terrible tragedies of the result of Gandhianism, wonderful though it appeared in some directions. You can’t add anything to God not even nonresistance. Sufism is divine wisdom and divine wisdom is everywhere through all and not in particular personalities—though they may claim it and a lot of rivals also claim it. This I hope to answer when I return in a book against Koestler. It is time to pass from “realism” and face reality—that is facts, persons, names, dates and events, which can be either substantiated in court or placed in court, of the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate under oath.

I have been writing that I know you are anti-communist but how far. For when I name in court or before the Foreign Relations Committee where the centers of communism are, you may have to face a shock. Here it is among the Sufis but the vast majority of Sufis are sternly and strictly anti-communist. They are seeing the commies are arrested, not because they are against the U.S. but because they are against brother Sufis.

I do have a program, “Vindication not Revenge.” There is no time or thought for the latter but I shall not permit any whispering campaigns. I am not ashamed to admit I have been wrong in lots of things lots of times. But one thing I have not indulged in is whispering campaigns even against my worst enemies.

Someday, Ivy, if God wills, I shall return to Fairfax. If I live elsewhere in America (I do not include Asia here) it will be of my own consent and due to circumstances outside my present purview. I love that country, people, weather, trees and soil. It would appear now that some Sufis will be coming with or after me. We are going to have our say inshallah. And if God ordains it, or if I receive any investiture publicly, believe me that title will be used accordingly. Your name is in the telephone as a Murshida you know.


Samuel L. Lewis

SAM Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Sufism Reoriented

July 27, 1963


Meher Publications

Room 320, 406 Sutter St.

San Francisco 4, Calif.


My dear Samuel:

A large box of all your papers has been waiting for you to claim it for many, many months. We did not feel it was up to us to hand it over to anyone else. The box is now in Don Stevens’ basement and you can arrange to pick it up at your mutual convenience. He is making a quick trip east next week but arrangements could be made shortly thereafter by phoning him, I am sure.

Mr. Duce has made three long trips to the Middle East in the past couple of years, having gone twice since this past January, so I do not know where you get your information from.

Very truly yours,



1088 Fulton St.,

San Francisco 17, Calif.

August 12, 1963


My dear Murshida:

No end of thanks can be conveyed for the placing back in my hands the materials given to you some years ago. Few people may realize at this time the importance of the event. The strange termination of a position as esoteric secretary for a few people will ultimately end, Inshallah, as esoteric secretary for the whole Sufic world.

Whatever shortcomings Sufis and Dervishes may have, and however incomplete their outer work, it is now going to be possible through contemporary methods of instruction and communication, to unite all the Orders on new bases without interfering with the old.

The old ones have been through Hierarchy, which still functions, even though efforts to point to names, facts, places and other data are spurned. The split between China and Russia and the signing of the test-ban agreement were long conveyed both by inner and outer means. The inner means are found in “Cosmic Language”, the outer means through objective interchange of living persons.

But even the writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan will no doubt be integrated with the teachings of other Sufis of this century who alike felt there should be a renovation of expressions to the modern world. The first instructions to harmonize science and mysticism will come to an outer fulfillment in the University of Islamabad, now being constructed in Pakistan. That institution will certainly take seriously the methods of “Cosmic Language and “Healing,” if not more. Gone is the day when doors and gates are barred without summoning of Divine Invocation.

It is awkward that in the Western world it is almost impossible to present the “Cosmic Language” to others and persons who have tried it have run into the same road-blocks with the usual charge of “egotism” against the possessor of siddhis.

This contracts so much with the scientists. Long ago while still living at Fairfax I was amazed by the joy in which every little report was received by scientists and even the name attached to tiny discoveries. As life has proceeded this same recipiency has been observed at all levels, even to the top grades though it has become impossible to communicate the latter, even if in writing, to metaphysical people who judge everything by personalizes. “The stone that is rejected has become the corner stone” is a monument in the history of all religions. One can refer to Shams-i-Tabriz among the Sufis and the Sixth Patriarch among the Buddhists and others. “The first shall be last and the last shall be first” is not a part of any ecclesiastical religion but belongs yet to truth.

It is with no joy that the reports concerning Terry have been confirmed. Our paths have crossed many times, as this is part of a larger scheme of things.

God bless you,

Samuel L. Lewis Sufi Ahmed Murad



August 31, 1963


My dear Murshida:

I must thank you for the return of “Akibyat,” a work which had quite escaped my memory.

All the things you have returned will now be of great use to mankind. Not only are the Sufis of other lands recognizing Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, but a man with whom I was associated socially in Lahore turns out to have been a friend in turn of the late Hasan Nizam of Delhi; of the man appointed by Hazrat Inayat Khan as his Khalifa for that part of the world; of the man appointed by Murshida Rabia as her Khalifa in that part of the world. I did not know of either of these persons, now deceased, but this has clarified my path very much.

The publications in Pakistan now recognize this person as a Sufi and all his articles appear in print. This means the outward operation in what the West would consider as two quite different areas, mysticism and applied science.

Whatever has been the history of the past, one can always hold what Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan declared, “True in the end shall win.” However any work done here will not be doing using directly the term “Sufi.”


Samuel L. Lewis

S. A. M.

Sufi Ahmed Murad



772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

October 17, 1965


Mrs. James Terry Duce,

1330 Jones St.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94109


My dear Murshida:

Several days ago a change of address notice was received here. I regret inability to attend Terry’s funeral because my favorite aunt passed away almost the same hour.

The last conversation with Mr. Duce was that I had been successful in getting the Sahara Desert Reclamation Project. This was headed by one St. Barbe Baker. He had since gone to New Zealand and how has left there for further research, either in Africa or Kuwait.

In the letter from his secretary a statement is made that a petroleum product is used in harnessing the dunes in parts of Africa. One is sure Terry would have been very happy to hear it.

Desert research is now going on in several parts of the world, including the University of California at Riverside. This, of course, is only one of the several heritages of your late loved and revered husband.

My sojourn here is almost compulsory due to the troubles between India and Pakistan. Armed forces now occupy the very territory which was to have been my agricultural experimental station.


Samuel L. Lewis



Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

October 22, 1965


Dear Samuel,

Thank you for your letter of October 17. I am receiving letters from many parts of the world which indicate that my husband’s great wish for making the deserts bloom is slowly coming to fruition.

In our moving we have found more of your writings, which are at the Center. I feel that if you ever truly learned your Murshid’s lessons on reciprocity, you would have by now returned to me some of the material which you removed from the Fairfax Files in Ted Reindollar’s car. As I told you in 1948, I do not need papers to teach, but I feel very strongly that at least one copy of all of the material given to us by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan should be preserved in our files.

A little later in the Fall, you can call me for an appointment and I will meet you at the Sufi Center and show you that Hazrat Inayat Khan is as fully revered there as ever.

Sincerely yours,






November 14, 1965


My dear Murshida:

A heavy program has delayed answering your letter of October 22nd. Besides local private matters I am engaged full time in following up research to help, Inshallah, the solution of food problems, or in being in college part time. The college studies in turn are either concerned with Horticulture or universal mysticism and mysteries.

When I checked on what was taken from Fairfax, there was not a single paper or Sufic book saved. The materials I have included only some of my poetry, my notes on Buddhism, a few scattered notes on Fabre D’Olivet, my writings on the spiritual aspects of the arts and a very few commentary papers, to which have been added the complete set of these papers which you so kindly returned.

I did not have a single Gatha, Githa, Sangatha or Gatheka in their original form. I received a few Gathekas and had the promise of Gathas from Vilayat but got the Gathas from another source. This is all I have had from the original papers—and I have had to reconstruct many papers from the commentaries returned. If anybody ever wanted to check on these matters, they would be at liberty. I did get a very few of Pir-o-Murshid’s scattered notes, just notes at random, not papers, and they are not in any literary form. I have had no time to go over these, but if this is done you may have copies.

An army is occupying my putative home abroad and I do not even know which one. So time and energy are being devoted to a peace program. At least I am a personal and spiritual friend of the President of India and a spiritual brother of the President of Pakistan.

At least God has graced me by contacts with many top people in all parts of the world concerned with Desert Reclamation Schemes. Indeed without these schemes I do not believe we shall have either peace or prosperity. I shall be glad to telephone at some point of relaxation but at present I am fully engaged seven days in the week. God bless you.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti



June 3, 1966


Dear Samuel:

Yours of May 30th. I do not write because you promised not to write to me, at the time I saw that your papers were restored, but you have broken your promise many times. I am answering this letter to tell you that you are in error when you say only Aquarians and no Pisceans are fighting the psychedelic mania. I have printed 5000 summaries on the dangers of the drugs, have printed another pamphlet for Berkeley, have helped a number of Harvard professors in their strenuous activities on TV radio and the written word against the drugs, and have received letters from Bob Kennedy and the like. I have also printed a book discussing consciousness and the illusions of drugs.

You have caused me great embarrassment in many ways in regards to my work. You antagonized and angered the Musheraff Khan group when Witteveen lectured here and they blamed me for your unseemly and impolite behavior, thinking I had “planted” you there. You do not live your Murshid’s teachings. You can put your money into any kind of institute you want, but as long as you reject the Avatar of this Kali Yuga Era, it will not last. I told Musheraff Khan that I have no interest in a Sufi “Movement”—I am only conducting an esoteric school.

Very truly yours,




January 29, 1969


Dear Samuel,

The goodwill and care of your two letters was very touching and I wish only that there were the opportunity to go into even a few of the subjects you raise. I guess it comes down to as simple a fact as that long ago Murshida Martin gave her students the choice of following her under the guidance of Meher Baba or giving up their relation to her as a teacher. While I was so backwards that I could not sense a bit of the stature of Meher Baba, I had learned to trust Murshida so much that I took Baba in faith in her. I have never regretted that decision, and only shudder that I might not have made it so. From there all went along more vigorously than I had ever dreamed. Perhaps there were other paths to have gone, other persons to trust, other guides to follow. Murshida always taught that one has the guide that the state of one’s heart merits. I have no questions, only great happiness in what the course of events has brought me. I hope I will continue to merit as much.

Thank you again Samuel for all of your obvious well wishes and thoughtfulness.

As ever,



Murshida had asked me to contact you while she was ill only because both of us misinterpreted your interest re publishing in your letter, and am deeply sorry to have made such an awkward confusion. My apologies, Samuel.



August 15, 1969


Dear Murshida:

High in the Rockies one feels almost like Paul Brunton in the Himalayas,  kept in on a rainy day. One was summoned here by a number of young people, most of whom had regarded themselves as followers of Meher Baba. They had been convinced by him that there should be a living Teacher in the flesh and after he had left his physical form they began to look for living Teacher, and for the time being have selected another American of some fame and myself.

One had kept aloof from the Baba movement and still has a rather dispassionate outlook toward those who form legal entities and tend to keep man away from Universal Brotherhood.

They are forming communities and communes of various types, much more spiritual and decidedly more moral than those usually here of in California. They are interested in various forms of mysticism and esotericism, but do not wish to be excluded or exclusive, so they sent for this person and so far have been convinced that he is a master of esotericism. This point will not be argued. Until recently Asians almost unanimously thought he was and Westerners almost as unanimously thought he was not.

It is certain that one has met many Masters in this lifetime. Also Masters and Madzubs and curiously they all seem to like this person and communicate, sometimes by glance, sometimes by magnetism, sometimes in their own language, sometimes in English. It is certain that their common predictions—and they all predicted there name, have been coming to pass in the objective world. And this impetus, their blessings and cosmic communion are making many things possible which were denied in the past by now mature Americans. No doubt in many things Americans may say: “Anything you can do we can do better,” but this does not apply to transcendentals.

It is equally certain that University professors of American birth do not see eye-to-eye with “experts” on the Orient born and educated in England and Europe. They are more open to actualities and like the scientists, want the esotericisms and mysticisms based on actual human experiences and often on nothing else. So there are not only new outlooks, there are different attitudes and less and less personality criticisms based on private sanskaras.

It seems in general that the Founders of religions taught something like the sanskara-doctrine and the practitioners of the various faiths excuse their own people for not abiding by these principles, and accuse others, all others for non-obedience. The difficulty here is that the Judgment Day is no doubt for all and God—though not man—is no director of personalisms. To Him all are judged by universal standards; to religionist all are judged by quite different standards.

It is curious that one should be doing today what Baba predicted he would do, but which was not permitted by his followers. They have been unable to detract from either inner or outer knowledge and wisdom. It is not only that one presents the traditional esoteric sciences, one is recovering and re-presenting “lost” Ancient Wisdom, and one is developing psychic sciences. One does not concern with any social or personal acceptance here. Man, not God, has become the Master of the Day of Judgment—in his sight.

Having met so many saints and masters—of which one can give geography and data, and perhaps also joined with them in supernal knowledge and experience one wonders, really what will be the outcome on the Day of Judgment. One realizes today that many writings of Inayat Khan will never be given to the world by those who understand them, but also this may not matter. There are esoteric sciences which he has not mentioned, and republications of his earlier works which leave out the most important teachings. This is man, has ever been man. But this is not the God Whose Voice constantly comes from within. Nor is the teaching the same, when people do not see God in all forms and beings. Cults, movements and religions which do not accept to the full, “Thy Light is in all forms, Thy love in all beings” will have to be replaced ultimately by those who practice this.

A placard on the wall is very nice but has little to do with human behavior. No one has not sought the followers of Meher Baba, they are coming to him and others who are taught the mystical sciences and arts, and to God-Allah is all Praise.


Samuel L. Lewis


Murshida Ivy Duce

1330 Jones St.

San Francisco, Calif.

Sept. 1969


My Dear Murshida:

As one enters San Francisco one passes a huge sign Happiness Consists in Making Others Happy. Meher Baba.

One cannot of course compel or impose anything on anybody. There is no compulsion in real Sufism. But I am wondering what God would say if he were a man looking at that sign. Is it to be believed and practiced or is it only show? Of course it can be very valid that happiness does consist in making others happy. We are passing I believe from an age of shams, make-belief, and slogans, into an age of honesty and sincerity, but every time I pass that sign there is a vision of the reward or punishment to those who financed the undertaking accordingly as they accept or reject what they themselves have paid for.

During the past months I have met many people who say that at one time or another they were close to Baba. Of course I do not know this. I did find among them many who seemed to believe that happiness does consist of making other people happy and they reject, they scorn the idea of a shibboleth, a slogan as a subterfuge for its reality.

I hope that as time has gone on and you realize you will not be living in this vehicle forever that you might be converted to the very aphorism which undoubtedly you must have helped to finance. A Sufi is said to be one who sees life from the point of view of another as well as himself; that is a Sufi. There is nothing to stop any corporation form adopting Sufi as a fictitious title, and this may even lead to a universal acceptance of some spiritual point of view. It is certain, and I hope you will accept, that happiness-bliss-ananda belongs to eternity and can be taken with you whereas wealth, fame and prestige cannot.

It is awkwardly amusing that some people who proclaim themselves your disciples rather act that happiness consists with finding legitimate fault with others. May be this is true, but it certainly contradicts the aphorism which I assume was partially financed by yourself. Allah is beyond aphorism, but not beyond the Sifat-I-Allah. Everything we have done is known to Allah, we can hide from others and from ourselves but we cannot hide from Allah. Someday each of us will leave this body. Someday each of us will be called to account by the Universe. I personally am too busy in constructive efforts, reaching real people, and perhaps, inshallah, promoting awareness of God and happiness in this world. If your disciples wish to condemn one for this we leave this to Allah.

I am enclosing a copy of a letter just written. There is nothing to be ashamed of in one’s life. I do not weep and wail “Kyrie Eleison.” I accept the judgment of God as absolutely fair and submit myself to it fully.

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

September 25, 1969


My dear Murshida:

You may be surprised or annoyed at receiving another letter. If so, it is most unfortunate that you, of all people, are not obeying Baba’s teaching on samskaras. If you are not surprised or annoyed that is most wonderful and shows that you are really on the spiritual path.

Today I have too many disciple and followers to be concerned with others for this keeps one to the limit of capacity. But now no longer are ego-personalities going to stand in the way when one has a message. The day is over when one can be a doormat, and the day is coming when one will be asked—not only permitted but asked— to represent the Sufi teachings at important conferences.

No doubt the most important will be a parliament of all the religions. Even Baba originally sent for me to do this but others would not let me. Perhaps I was not prepared, but today, mashallah, this is not so, and I do not believe that any measures, subjective or objective will stand in the way.

The world needs leadership and guidance and recognition of existence beyond ego-personality. Tomorrow two schools are opening for this person to bring a Message of Sufism. There are too many Sufi disciples in the world to be ignored and if the powers that be, or pretend to be, smother such possibilities, they will pay according to the moral law. No one can abrogate moral laws, no one.

“Truth crushed to earth will rise again” and those of us who are aware of the Presence of Allah may and do respond to it and are too concerned with Him, to react to the foibles of others.

God Bless You,

Samuel L. Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Oct. 3, 1969



I have no idea what has incited you to oscillate your calumnious letters but I can assure you it is a waste of time for you to send any more.

With all you have going for you and the achievement of so many desires, why does my very existence bother you? When my students at S.F. State and in other places have reported to me that you have openly proclaimed I am not a Sufi Murshid and Baba is not the Avatar, I have not made answer. You seem to have totally forgotten that you personally resigned from our Sufi order, and I have your letters to that effect.

It might soothe your agitation to know that these days I do not even have the means to help finance a sign-board. But it has not driven me to “charge” for spiritual lessons as you do.




[Ed—The envelope addressed to Murshida Ivy Duce is included. It shows, in handwriting: Refused. Return to Sender]


410, Precita Ave.

Nov. 10, 1969


Murshida Ivy O. Duce

Sufism Reoriented

1290 Sutter St.

San Francisco, Calif. 94109


From “My Work” by Meher Baba

“The Way of My Work is the way of effacement, which is the way of strength, not of weakness; and through it you become mature in My Love. At this stage you cannot know what real love is, but through working for me as you should work for Me, you will arrive at that ripeness where, in a moment, I can give you That for which you have been millions of years seeking….

Unless there is a brotherly feeling in your hearts, all the words that you speak or print in My Name are hollow; all the miles that you travel in My Cause are zero; all organizations for My Work are but an appearance of activity; all buildings to contain Me are empty places and all statues that you make to embody Me are of someone else….

First of all, bear in mind that you should not seek appreciation from me or from others. Though this may seem easy, it is very difficult to put into practice. Remember that work in itself is its own appreciation; the moment you seek appreciation the work is undone. Therefore seek not any appreciation for the work you do for me.

I don’t want your money. What I want is your love and a clean heart, which are beyond all the millions of rupees.

Hypocrisy spoils Baba’s Work. Purity of heart and the feeling of oneness with others is required while working for me…. We should talk less and do more work. We should be so much engrossed in Baba’s work that we find no time for petty discussions…. Have 100% honesty or keep your mouths shut….”

A few weeks ago one received a telephone call that you were ill, and asked what we pray for you. Before God, I shall no longer accept, that when someone rightly or wrongly says you are ill, that this person is any way to be blamed either for your illness or for such reports. And before God, and I don’t care what your disciples lie to you, I have never said that you were not a Murshid, but I have said that you were not connected with the traditional Sufi orders. I am concerned with your health. I do recognize spiritual teachers of many schools, and quite a few are my good friends.

I have never kept your letters of the past, and unlike certain disciples of Meher Baba, am too busy doing constructive work to carry around the samskaras of others, but I shall have published, with or without comment, excerpts from “Divya Vani” and I think they are pretty self-explanatory. I have said, and I shall keep on saying, that the difference between the Sufis connected with the great orders and the followers of Meher Baba is that the Sufis connected with the great orders see life from the standpoint of others as well as of themselves, and can even justify the standpoints of others.

I further quote from “The Prayer of Repentance,”

“We repent, O God Most merciful, for all our sins; for every thought that was false or unjust or unclean; for every word spoken that ought not to have been spoken; and for every deed done that ought not to have been done. We repent for every deed and word and thought inspired by selfishness, and for every deed and word and thought inspired by hatred. Most specially also, we repent for every action that has brought ruin to others; for every word and deed that has given others pain; and for every wish that pain should befall others.”

Don’t think I am not going to have this prayer published. Don’t get any ideas that any person, masquerading as a devotee, can be shocked at the failure of devotees of other schools or non-devotees to live up to the injunctions of their prayers. The whole world does that. Religionists of every school pretend to be applied because others do not meet the requirements.

I did not know about “Divya Vani.” I do not throw “my” scripture at followers of other faiths. The chief objection to any prayer for Meher Baba comes in the behavior of devotees and followers who assume that the repetition of such prayer atones for their own shortcomings. I am honored do find that my failure to accept Meher Baba is of importance—you have written it—and that the failure of Governor Reagan or President Nixon or Secretary U Thant is of no importance. I don’t understand this at all, but I accept the honor.

Sufis are always concerned with what they call repentance which means to them, turning from egoicity to Allah. The day when anyone can presume to disobey the injunctions of their own Guru in finding fault with others is over. This prayer, these quotations, are going to be published and perhaps even commented on. I have not kept letters of the past. I am too busy doing that which I feel Allah wishes me to do.

My greatest virtue of course is the fact that my father on his death-bed cried and repented to me, and said he was atoning for all the wrong he did me. This leaves me today in an economic position far better than in the past, and this of course is the virtue. Or is it? I do not have to say anything anymore. Baba has put it in his own words. Of course I would much rather have the Repentance. You could have been a recognized Murshida today and been my superior in the Sufi Movement without any need to transgress items in “The Prayer of Repentance.”

I am praying for your release from dualism, both in this life, and in the world to come.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Oct. 6, 1975

Murshida Ivy Duce

Sufism Re-Oriented

1300 Boulevard Way Walnut Creek, Ca. 94595


Beloved One of God,

As-salaam-aleikhum. May peace and blessings be with you!

I hope this letter and book finds you well. The writer of this letter was the esoteric secretary of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis and his mureed. I was initiated as a Masheikh in the Sufi Order by Pir Vilayat Khan the current director and I am the director of the Sufi center here in San Francisco. A few years ago at a Meeting of the Ways function I surprised the people in your booth by going over and extending the hand of friendship in the spirit of One God and a very large world which gives scope for many approaches to realization. This was accepted by those present on that occasion.

In addition to the book included herein the widely acclaimed movie “Sunseed” features Murshid Samuel L. Lewis and the Harmony Division of Crown (publishers of Be Here Now) will be coming out with an anthology of his writings called In the Garden with Murshid Sam in a month or so. There are other projects in the works (see enclosed letter) and the peace work in the Middle East undertaken by mureeds under the name “Hallelujah! The Three Rings” is growing in scope all the time, alhamdulillah! One of the articles included in the anthology affirms itself to be done under the spiritual attunement with Meher Baba.

The reason why I go into the above is not to bother you over the past, over rival claims, or samskaras of any kind. “Reality is its own evidence” says Inayat Khan, and I think we could both be content with such a point of view.

There is work presently being carried out here, with myself as chief coordinator, on a biography of Samuel L. Lewis. I would very much, in the interests of truth, like to sit down with you and receive your account of past events and ask you a few questions for the historical record. As I am sure you must know, any biography of Samuel Lewis must cover his period of working under­ Murshida Rabia Martin, the rise of the Meher Baba movement and so on. I am just hoping that you will consent to an interview in order to deepen our understanding of these happenings.

I also would like to have an interview with you as a simple act of friendship. It is my understanding that we both in our own ways feel that we are working to fulfill the universal vision of the Message originally presented by Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. I would be happy to share with you the way in which we are continuing this work according to our understanding.

Toward the one, the perfection of love, harmony, and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls, who form the embodiment of the master, the spiritual of guidance.

Very truly yours,

Masheikh Wali Ali Meyer


Sufi Order

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif. 94110



Oct. 30, 1975

Murshida Ivy Duce

Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

1300 Boulevard Way

Walnut Creek, Calif. 94595


Beloved one of God, As-salaam-aleikhum:

Thank you for your letter of October 21. I gladly accept your invitation to meet with you and talk about Samuel Lewis, Murshida Martin, Kaaba Allah, the rise of the Meher Baba Movement, correspondence and other related matters. When you have time to dig out the relevant files and make an appointment I would appreciate it very much.

Please understand as a biographer I more than welcome the statement not only of events that you remember, your interpretation of them, but also your point of view in general. It seems to me that that is the only way that a proper biography could be written. I don’t know how open my mind is but I do remember that one of the definitions which Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan gave of a Sufi is “one who can look at another’s point of view as well as his own.”

The Meeting of the Ways event I referred to was some four years ago in Masonic Auditorium, upstairs and in the basement. I only mentioned it to indicate, as you did in your letter to me, that regardless of past karma, as human beings living right now, representing various approaches to enlightenment and world service, we can co-exist harmoniously. Whenever people have enquired about Meher Baba or Sufism Re-Oriented I have also referred them to the proper parties without bias.

The book which I mentioned called In the Garden with Murshid Sam is now out form the publisher (harmony books in conjunction with Lama Foundation). It has a section of six pages (267—273) which affirms itself to be written by Samuel in attunement with Meher Baba and is entitled “The abode for One and All” dealing with the subject of communes ideally seen. I can’t send you a copy of this book, as I don’t have any complementaries to distribute. I am sure the dates mentioned of his formal association with the Baba Movement (1944-46) are not accurate, but at this point I have nothing better to go on.

Thank you again for your cooperation on these matters.

Toward the one,

Wali Ali



Oct. 7, 1976

Eleanor Smith, Office Mgr.

1300 Boulevard Way

Walnut Creek, Ca. 94595


Dear Eleanor,

This note is to confirm our phone conversation of 10/06/76 re our request to interview Murshida Duce on her impressions and recollections of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis.

After Murshida’s return from the East, we would like to set up a convenient time to meet with her so that her part of the story of Sam’s life can complete our research files. Sam used to say, “There is no such thing as a one-sided coin,” and so it is, every part of his life told through the eyes of those who knew him is vitally important for a biography.

Please advise by calling or writing the address or phone number below. Thank you. Wali Ali prefers Thursday, but another day could possibly be arranged.

Cordially, in the Name of God,

Sabira Scott

for Masheikh Wali Ali Meyer



Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

October 21, 1975


Masheikh Wali Ali Meyer

Sufi Order

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


My dear Sir:

I received your letter of October 6 regarding the biography of Samuel Lewis. My organization was not represented at the Meeting of the Ways function, so I imagine whoever you met came from the Meher Baba League at Berkeley, who have no connection with us.

I had contact with and correspondence from Samuel Lewis for some thirty-five years. You say you are willing to hear the negative as well as the positive. I must tell you that this would require an enormous breadth of view and a very open mind. I was a close observer of his relationship with Murshida Martin for the last seven years of her life, and it was appalling. My own experiences were extremely equivocal, but I always felt that his behavior was caused by his unbalanced psychism.

Neither I nor my staff have ever in any way interfered with your organization or Samuel’s claims, and when people would come to our Sutter Street office and ask about dervish dancing, etc., we always referred them to your group. I hope that it can remain that way. As you say, it is a large world which gives scope for many approaches to Realization.

At present I am very heavily booked, but if you still wish to see some of Samuel’s correspondence, I will dig out the files and arrange to see you when I am less pressed.

Yours in the Infinite,

Ivy O. Duce Murshida



Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

November 30, 1976


Masheikh Wali Ali Meyer

Sufi Order

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


My dear Wali Ali,

I am somewhat tardy in sending you the enclosed copies of letters because I had to wait a while in order to locate the photographs I had promised you. I did not make any copies of Samuel’s transmissions, because I feel that most people would reject them, and I do not think you want to have him ridiculed.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would be so kind as to send me two more copies of The Message, vol. 2, no. 11, November 1976. I wish to put them in our archives.

I do not think that I explained to you that the two corporations formed under the aegis of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshida Rabia Martin were not abandoned when our work was reoriented in 1952. We simply merged the two corporations into one and received our re-incorporation papers on November 16, 1953. However, as I pointed out, we are engaged only in the esoteric work. We do not have any interest in the missionary brotherhoods and the universal worship and healing services. I have no groups anywhere outside of Walnut Creek except in Washington, D.C., where I have thirty-five mureeds who are taught by two Preceptors trained by me back in the forties. I do not intend to have any others; I therefore feel that this assurance precludes any rivalry of any kind in our mutual work.

With every good wish,

Yours in the Infinite,






Dec. 2, 1976

Murshida Ivy Duce

Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

1300 Boulevard Way

Walnut Creek, Calif. 94595


Beloved One of God,

Thank you very much for sending the pictures of Murshida Martin and the copies of letters between you and Murshid Samuel L. Lewis. These will be helpful to me in understanding a period of Samuel’s life essential for any biographer to penetrate. I am grateful also for the long interview, which you granted me on this subject; it helped fill in my understanding as much “between the lines” as otherwise. I would like to request some more data form you if you are agreeable.

The pictures which you sent of Murshida Rabia were not dated. I wonder if this is possible? Particularly, that very striking picture of her is a young woman with the giant heart and wings on her chest. I also regret that because of the length of our interview, I did not have on opportunity to read through the letters of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan which you so kindly offered for my perusal. Would it be possible to receive Xeroxes of these? Needless to any we would be more than happy to bear any expenses involved in the duplication of these and other materials. One wishes to give Murshida Martin proper credit for her role as a pillar of the Sufi order in America for so many years. As I promised you, I am enclosing herewith a copy of a letter written by her to Maheboob Khan on May 29, 1929 in which she states very clearly her viewpoint of the succession and related matters. The letter she refers to with regard to the 1925 conference from Pir-o-Murshid, I wonder if that is still in your possession. I would very much like to see it.

I would also like to request from you any copies you might have of Samuel’s transmissions as you call them. I would like to put them in our archives. It is also important for me to read them myself in order to evaluate the various feelings expressed by yourself and others with regard to them. Of course I have a number of writings in my possession including esoteric lessons written by Murshid Lewis on a number of topics, sometimes in the voice or with the intended attunement to a particular spiritual Master or Rassoul. Some of these are taken quite seriously and studied by selected mureeds at the present time. I enclose a copy of one such transmission, in the name of Moses, from Murshid’s writing on the performance of Zikr. I know there were other types of transmissions, as for example the materials found in what he called “The Book of Cosmic Prophecy,” some of which was reprinted in the recent In the Garden with Murshid Sam published by Crown. This by the way includes a brief section from Meher Baba. That there were other types of “transmissions” which concerned themselves with instructions for the everyday life of Kaaba Allah etc. I also know but have only seen a few scattered pages. It is these that I presume you refer to as being in your files. In any case I would truly appreciate it if you would send any and all materials of this nature from Samuel to me.

Then there is the matter of further interview. I respect your wishes with regard to Murshida Martin’s daughter and will not attempt to contact her. I wonder, however, if you have addresses for Don Stevens, Ted Reindollar or any others that might have known Samuel and the period under investigation well. Any help you can give to me in this respect I will be very grateful for.

Also I would like to refer to another matter mentioned in Murshida Martin’s letter. She says in the next to last paragraph on page 2, ”… he conferred another, most holy Initiation, his last, and that initiation made me his esoteric successor. I have in my possession the sacred directions of that initiation written by his own blessed hand.” Does this document still exist, and if so may I have a copy of it? I know Murshid Samuel Lewis hoped to find certain documents and papers in Murshida Martin’s home at the time of her passing, thus his persistence at that time. I wonder if any documents or papers were eventually found there?

Now, aside from all this, I wish to respond to a couple of statements lest silence be interpreted as a sign of agreement. As you will notice in the first paragraph of page 3, Murshida Martin does affirm the constitutional provision instated by Pir-o-Murshid in later years asking Khalifs etc. to write essays and commentaries upon the teachings. As a matter of fact, Samuel L. Lewis was asked personally by Inayat to write such commentaries. Next your statement that there is no precedent for “transmissions” from a past teacher in the Sufi way is not in accord with the history of Sufism. Only one such example need to be mentioned to prove the point: when Abu Hashim Madani gave his parting statement to Hazrat Inayat Khan to “unite East and West …” etc. he said that it was a direct inner transmission from Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (Moin-ed-din Chisti). The history of Sufism, especially the accounts of meditations in the tombs of departed teachers, gives numerous such examples. Of course this spiritual blessing or power, like any power, is subject to imagination and misconception, even self-delusion, but this does not take any validity from the actual thing.

You should also be aware that the existing policy of the Sufi Order directed by Pir Vilayat Khan is that succession is not a family inheritance, but that the living Pir appoints his successor. There is no election as Murshida Martin rightly argues. That the young Vilayat was marked for Succession by Pir-o-Murshid is also subject to documentation. Murshida Goodenough who was entrusted with this communication yielded to family pressure at the time and did not speak out. Later she affirmed that Vilayat had indeed been appointed by his father. There are other oaths to this effect as well. Nor is it irregular for a son to sometimes succeed his father; in the very branch of the Chisti silsila which we inherit this occurred: Nezam Ul Haq Waldin Aurangabadi Chisti passed the succession on to his son Fakhr Ul Haq Waldin Aurangabadi Jehan Abadi Chishti.

As a matter of fact since our conversation I had the opportunity to speak with Pir Vilayat and told him of our meeting. He expressed the wish to meet you in person sometime in the future, feeling that you would not be so harsh in your judgment of him were you to meet him today.

In the process of typing this letter a calendar has just come to my attention just published for 1977 by someone that I don’t know and who has nothing to do with the Sufi Order to my knowledge. As a matter of fact it is dedicated to the memory of Sheik Sidi Mohan Ben Al Habib al Amghari al Idrissi al Hassani, who is also unknown to me. It contains pictures of different spiritual teachers along with a saying from each. I mention it because it has pictures in it of Meher Baba, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat, Murshid Samuel L. Lewis and others. As Pir-o-Murshid says in the three objects, “The Universal Brotherhood may form of itself….”

Once again let me thank you for your courtesy and cooperation. With all prayers for good will in the work of all those on the path of love, harmony, and beauty, I am sincerely yours,

Masheikh Wali Ali Meyer



Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

January 4, 1977


Masheikh Wali Ali Meyer

Sufi Order

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


My dear Wali Ali,

With reference to your letter of December 2, I wish to thank you for sending me the two copies of the Sufi Message and will answer the questions you raise as follows.

I do not have any dates for the two photographs I sent to you of Murshida Rabia. We have one other photograph of her between the time she was young and the time when she was very old (which is one of your photographs), and if you need it for anything, I will have it copied for you.

I am sending you copies of a few of Inayat Khan’s letters. I cannot possibly send you any more of the batch because they were all full of directions from him with regard to her practices and spiritual ongoing. Even the ones I enclose have some small part of that. I think these indicate how closely he cherished her and what a very hard time he himself had in establishing the Message. It seems to be the lot of saints. I do not find any letter with regard to the 1925 conference; however, one must remember all of these letters were gone over and copied by Samuel after being, I believe, taken from her home.

I do not feel that I can be a party to turning over to you or anyone else such of Samuel’s transmissions as I kept. Most of them I burned up, and I intend to have these burned before I die because I cannot agree with you in the least about these transmissions. The one you sent me which he claimed to come from Moses is a very good case in point. If one believes in reincarnation, one must know that after one reaches union with God they no longer come back to or have anything to do with this earth. Moses received his illumination during the burning bush episode. Meher Baba told us that he was slated for God-realization at that time but was unable to stand the light. I have no doubt at all that he either received God-realization before his death or within one hundred years after it.

He certainly was not hanging around to transmit all this nonsense about the Zikr to Samuel.

I do not, of course, know on whose authority you base your statement that Abu Hashim
Madani told Hazrat Inayat Khan that his mission was given due to an inner transmission from
Moinuddin Chisti. Personally, I do not believe a word of it. I cannot believe that any Sufi Murshid would appoint a small boy as his successor. It goes against everything that one can read in the history of Sufism. That boy would have had to have his training and development and evolution on the spiritual path before he could be thought of as a successor. I could enter into long arguments about all of this, but I put it behind me years ago and am not in the least interested in what Vilayat Khan or any of his devotees do. I am only interested in harmony. I wish to be left alone to do my work and I try not to speak ill of other spiritual teachers. I have been candid with you; let it go at that.

With regard to further interviews which you wish to make, Murshida Martin’s daughter is named Etta Mehdy and lives on Ashbury Street. You are welcome to contact her by phone and ask for an interview, but I do not believe that she is well enough or would be in the mood to grant it. Ted Reindollar lived in North Africa for many years and died two or three years ago. Don Stevens lives in Spain, and his address is Zurbano #71, Madrid 3, Spain.

I have not seen and know nothing about the 1977 calendar you mention. With good will and best wishes,

Yours in the Infinite,




East West Center Correspondence

The East-West Center for Self-Exploration

January 14th, ‘70


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.       


Dear Brother Samuel,

I hope this letter reaches you in the course of your itineraries. I simply want to extend to you an open invitation to stay with us at our center prior to your departure to Turkey.

If it would be possible for you to give me some notice as to when we could expect you to arrive it would be possible to arrange a public lecture with people of high aspiration. We could also make a video tape.

It may interest you to know that we are offering now a training program in creative interpersonal problem solving for people interested in the forming of spiritual communes on a firm foundation. It would therefore seem especially relevant that you pay us a visit if this is at all feasible within the framework of your present plans. Michael Katz, who is a close friend and who managers the bookstore apparently has met you, and knows Phillip Davenport. He thinks very highly of you both, and so naturally I am eager to make your acquaintance. I remain


Richard P. Harvey

Director of the East-West-Center


P.S. My wife and I are in the process of editing a series of books for Collier Macmillan entitled The Inner Teachings of the World. Because of your extensive research into the nature of spiritual communes, both as they have existed among the ancients, and as they are emerging into manifestation in America at this time we would like to ask you to consider the possibility of writing a book on the subject.



Jan. 18, 1970

Richard P. Harvey         

Director, The East-West Center For Self-Exploration

105 Marlborough St.

Boston, Mass. 02116


My dear Richard:

This may be a long, but not needlessly long letter, on account of certain complexities. The convention which was to have been held in Istanbul has been changed to Geneva, with an unsettled date. In the meanwhile I have been asked to visit at least Cornell and the Universities in Philosophies. The dates ware left open, but naturally I should have to visit them before the and of the semester. And if I use the term  “Complexities,” I also want to explain them:

a. Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan has been here both on and off schedule. Our immodest programs had to be dropped, but I must say, the meetings were overwhelmingly successful. This necessitated my writing considerably on spiritual dancing, dropping all the rest of my programs, at a time when exigencies in the weather necessitated considerable attention to quite ordinary problems.

Pir Vilayat is trying to get a national hook-up for these dances and this also require them being written up in a literary form.

b. I met a young man at one of these meetings who represents the communes of New Mexico. He is acting as an agent for Baba Ram Dass (Dr. Alpert) who will be here shortly. Fortunately his lecture is on my one free night. But as I am a beneficiary of his effort it is only natural that I give what attention I can to this visit.

c. I also met at one of Pir Vilayat’s Meetings an Arab who is an Israeli citizen and who has a plan or approach so far quite ignored, which just may lead in the direction of peace and understanding.

You will understand that both Phillip Davenport and myself have our separate and joint careers, and they are not always smooth-sailing. But at least he has successfully launched a new carrier. My own problems are not financial, but the difficulties of available time and not suitable assistance in a career which is advancing on many fronts at the same time.

It is not quite clear to me whether you wish me to write or speak on:

1. Spiritual communes

2. The New Age

3. Practical spiritual exercises for the young

4. Spiritual dancing

5. The integration of East and West

6. Other matters

This besides any subject matter I could supply on The Inner Teachings of the World. I have had real training, and perhaps real awakening, along several paths of endeavors. Our inane and insane ethos proclaims that a person who has had such experiences must keep quiet. This has left the doors open to every sort of pretender and charlatan. But with the appearance of Kaplan’s The Three Pillars of Zen it is now permissible for a mystic to speak or write on mysticism.

One of the most bizarre but characteristic experiences of my life is in regard to the later Upanishads. This semi-sacred literature is filled with all sorts of spiritual exercises, published spiritual exercises. I went in vain to effort the original texts to one group of “experts” after another. But for them to have accepted it would have meant to recognize my personality, and that is just what the various cult leaders will not do.

We have made many typewritten copies of these teachings. I think they are too complicated and abstruse, fit only for those who wish to spend their lives in retirement. But they were sacred literature, they did and do exist, and we have derived some of our ides and techniques therefrom.

There also appears at the present time a large number of books on Sufism, just as previously there appeared a large number of books on “Zen,” most of them having nothing to do with real Zen Buddhism. But this very situation introduces another factor in one’s private life which cannot be bypassed. Nevertheless, one did quote from one of the Sufi books written by a Sufi (despite all the renowned professors, Sufis met being illiterate sometimes write their own works: I draw a theme from one of them:)

God Is Not Your Jailer, He Is Your Lover.”

love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



January 20th, 1970

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Christi

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Dear Brother Lewis,

I have just come from N.Y. where I discussed with Mr. Howard Sandum, Chief Editor of Collier-MacMillan a book which Mr. J.G. Bennett is doing and books which my life and myself are doing. I took the liberty at this time of giving him a copy of the San Francisco Oracle which had in it a segment of your serial on the Phenomenon of Spiritual Communes.

In our communications J.G. Bennett and I have discussed a theme that runs like a violet thread through Gurdjieff’s first published literary manifestation entitled the Herald of the Coming Good in which he discusses the advent of interconnected circles of individuals who gather together to explore and to eliminate the obstructions to right feeling, right thought, and right action which leads to the unification of the forces of humanity and a gathering together in the name of our common father. Mr. Bennett’s book will explore the roots of the schools, largely Sufi, from which Gurdjieff derived most of his teaching.

In regard to your question about what I would wish you to write I can only say that I would wish you to write what you feel you must write. You seem to me to be in a better, by which I mean a more objective, station to understand the phenomenon of Spiritual Communes in this country than anyone I have met to date because you stand in teaching that antecedes our culture’s dire needs and compulsions. What I would suggest is a work which combines the ideas of Spiritual communes, the New Age, Spiritual exercises, and dancing, and the integration of Eastern and Western ways of thinking and modes of being. These ideas are inseparable. Is the life Style of the Maulavi Dervish understandable apart from his dancing? Would the Maulavi esoteric Society be so far reaching were it not for the trade that formed the veins and arteries between East and West? The analogies between the past and the present are not few and far between but far reaching and frequent.

I think that your article serialized in the Oracle, if it is extensive enough, would serve a very useful function if it were made available in book form. If it is not sufficiently extensive for a book in itself there are two possibilities: A. it could be included in an anthology which I would consider compiling.

An anthology which would explore Spiritual communities as they have existed in many parts of the world, and in many epochs. The different selections would be tied together with a commentary. Probable your article at its present state of development would be about the right length for inclusion in such a work. B. In its developed version Spiritual Communes could be published as an autonomous work. In either case I would appreciate it if you would send me this work of yours.

We look forward to meeting you in Boston in the near future. And are hopeful that this visit may facilitate the “national hook-up for sacred dancing” which you mentioned in conjunction with Pir Vilayat Khan. I think that your talk or talks here could encompass the subject matter we mentioned in reference to the books.

The spiritual exercises which you mention as having been derived from the later Upanishads are of interest to me also. We are at a time in the history of the planet when the adage ”synthesize or die” goes hand in hand with “God Is Not Your Jailer, He Is Your Lover.” I remain

Yours in good faith,

Richard P. Harvey



Feb. 2, 1970

Richard Harvey

The East-West Center for Self-Exploration

105 Marlborough St.

Boston, Mass. 02116


My dear Richard:

I have your two letters, January 14 and 20, and feel very much as if I were writing to a mirror-self. I have taken matters up with Phillip Davenport of the now defunct The Oracle, and he had placed copies in my hands. We shall check these to see if there is the complete material on my work on potential spiritual communes. If there is not we shall see that you get a full copy, properly typed. In any case this material will be sent to you under separate cover as soon as possible.

I am also taking this matter up with my esoteric secretary Mr. Otis Mansur Johnson. I think I have mentioned that he has been friend and pupil of Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T. (now away on leave). This may become more important, because I have been invited to go to Lama Foundation, stay at Lama and work at Lama as I please. It is only complexities in family matters which prevent an early decision.

I have been admitted into a number of Sufi Orders and also into a number of non-Islamic schools of spiritual training. My main differences with Gurdjieff, and I cannot necessarily justify myself for these differentiations, seem to be the lack of high moral ideals and human consideration in his methods. Sufis have a saying, “One single brotherhood in the fatherhood of God.” And the way I have been taught is to make human consideration the highest of all morals.

Although on paper we may seem to be quite in agreement with a number of ancient or modern potential or real spiritual movements, we refuse to stop at any verbal state of stage. Our codes must be actualities not theories.

Besides the real or incidental work on spiritual communes I am at the moment overwhelmed by the new adventure of spiritual dancing. The trend of the age is that the communes want the spiritual dancing, and the spiritual dances want communes. This, I believe, is because the young people of the day have the outlooks inferred by the Sanskrit words, Vijnanavada and Anandavada. Too many new movements either verbalize or ignore; they do no actualize.

My spiritual dance class grew out of some in spiritual Walk. I now have one class intense on spiritual dancing plus mystical practices, and the other on spiritual dancing cum Walk. Both are now crowded, and may make necessary my opening up still further dance groups.

I shall have copied certain articles of Hazrat Inayat Khan which appeared in the earlier of his published writings. You may read them and say they are only theory, and you would be right. But the reason for sending them is that one can go much further and delineate the methods by which his words become realities.

I do not know how much Mr. Bennett knows of actual methods of actual spiritual schools. There is now worldwide contention between the dialectical arbitrary writings of the extremely self-centered super-educated Arthur Asbury and his colleagues and friends, on one side; and the actual devotees and disciples of Sufism and their friends on the other side.

The first break came when Phillip Kapleau had published Three Pillars of Zen. While there is not a necessary companion work, one may find in the White collection of the Cleveland Public Library, Efleki’s Lives of the Adepts in French. I do not know how much has been translated, but I do know how much has been concealed by self-centered “experts” who, not having been able to enter the place of understanding, strive to conceal the realities of mysticism. I shall also make note either to have copied, or if already copied, have sent to you, some things from the later Upanishads.

An exceedingly full program has been shut tight, but joyfully shut tight, by the presence of Baba Ram Dass in this vicinity. While on one hand he seems to be against everything and everybody, it is that he is a champion of reality against our phony realism. Certainly his talk last week showed a greater grasp of Indian cosmic psychology than I have heard from any other Western man. We have met him with joy and understanding, and are looking forward to this next lectures.

If I may be personal for a moment, the determination of exactly what I may be writing next may come out of his public or private remarks, so you should be hearing from me further after his closing lecture on February 10.

Cordially and faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis



Feb. 21, 1970


My dear Richard

You will please excuse me if life is full of uncertainties. The conference for The Temple of Understanding was transferred from Istanbul to Geneva, Switzerland. In the meanwhile, my brother has been hovering between life and death here, making an early departure rather awkward.

Our latest plans therefore are to go direct to Switzerland and therefore stop where, when and as convenient after reaching New York, which should be about the middle of April.

There is another quite different factor here also. Mr. W.D. Begg of Ajmir in India, the most holy place of the Chishtis, has been trying to arrange a meeting between one of his closest friends and myself. As this man is going to a university in your general vicinity, I have written, and enclose copy. One trusts you will find this satisfactory.

There is another factor here too. Any success at this conference—indeed my very appearance—would make a visit to your headquarters more dramatic if not more important. I may have still some living relatives in your area but do not know as time servers family connections. My last visit to Boston was in 1960, just before going to Asia the second time.

In the meanwhile there has been a lot of interesting drama going on. For instance Dr. Richard Alpert has been here, presumably to raise funds for a project in the same general direction as you presumably are working for. His meetings were not very advertised but drew thousands of young people, mostly, and thousands of dollars actually. But this also brought the feeling that I personally must extend my efforts as a spiritual teacher, and I am expected to conduct a summer school in the southwest, Lama foundation, early un June if this can be arranged, However, I hope to see you before that.


Samuel L. Lewis



Feb. 21, 1970

Mr. P.K. Gupta

11-A Academy St.

Arlington, Mass. 02174


Beloved One of Allah:

This person is an American who is also a Chishtia Sufi, who also has the full qualifications of a Murshid in the direct Chishtia chain, and the qualifications of Khalif in fusion chains, and in other schools. The title of one Chishti was bestowed in 1956 when one visited Ajmir and proved his efficiency in Shadud, etc.

During the course of years friendship has been established with your good friend W.D. Begg, whom we also regard with full trust as a brother in tarik, and otherwise. As your name is Gupta, I must tell you also that I have been trained in many schools of Indian wisdom and count among my friends your now retired President Dr. Radhakrishnan. I hope you like this country which in many respects is very different from you own. But I have lived in India and also many parts of Asia.

Brother Beg tells me you may be traveling through this country. San Francisco is very far away, but you would be welcome here, and we also could provide housing for you. In the meanwhile, may I advise you of my schedule:

Toward the and of next month my esoteric secretary Mansur Johnson and I shall be leaving to attend a conference of all the world’s faiths at Geneva, Switzerland. After a week’s stay there I hope to go to London and remain there until the middle of April, then return to the States.

As my schedule has been subject to change many times and may so be again, one can only lay dawn a provisional program. This would mean that on arrival back in the States I would come through Boston as soon as possible to visit the East-West Center For Self-Exploration, 105 Marlborough St, Boston. We have been corresponding with this group for some time. From what I understand they would welcome any Indian who has a mystical background, and especially one in Sufism, and especially one in Chishti methods. I hope therefore it would be possible for you to contact Mr. Richard Harvey of this group at your earliest convenience.

At the present time we are going through many changes here all of them externally in directions of beneficence. We have been attracting many people with Dervish dancing and singing. The dances have been derived from many schools. But we also perform other types of sacred and mystical dances. There is every sign that the American people will enjoy these. They are certainly coming to this home in greater members all the time. Contrary to what many people might expect, the young Americans really believe in the omnipresent Merciful Allah, and in these methods which raise the consciousness to higher levels, bringing love, peaces, tranquility, joy, and exaltation. Perhaps it is for that reason that there has been some progress. As Al-Ghazzali taught, “Tasawwuf is based on experiences, and not on promises.”

I hope you are doing well and we may meet soon, inshallah, either in New England or out here.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Richard Harvey

The East-West Center for Self-Exploration

March 3, 1970


Dear Samuel,

I quite understand the uncertainties inherent in life on the planet earth, and I wish your brother well whether it is his time to leave, or whether it is required of him that he stay with us awhile longer.

The high altitude, pure mountain air, and easy access to cosmic radiations would seem to make Switzerland the ideal location for your conference. I am confident of its use in integrating different paths of spiritual actualization, and hope that the conference will take place at that point where the required communion is possible.

I would like to thank you for the written materials which you send, and look forward to discussing with you in person the manuscript, as well as any ideas which you might have regarding the phenomenon of spiritual communities as they have existed, and as they exist new in this and other countries. What do you know of Auroville?

Perhaps when you arrive in Boston Mr. W.D. Begg can get together with us as well. Thank you also for your kind mention to Mr. P.K. Gupta and I anticipate any communication from him. I remain

Yours in Good Faith,

Richard P. Harvey



March 10, 1970

Richard P. Harvey

The East-West Center for Self-Exploration

105 Marlborough St.

Boston, Mass. 02116


Beloved One of God:

Thank You for your letter of March 3. We are now ready for what might well be a most serious venture. We leave here on the 28th with a short stopover in New York and then direct to Geneva. We expect to stay in Geneva about a week, and then go on to London for another week, dates uncertain; and then return to this country. I am not sure at this writing whether the travel agent has arranged for us to go from London to Boston, or whether we must change in New York City, but will let you know as early as possible. At this writing we are not planning to stop at any other cities on or near the East Coast, in part due to the fact that we must be back in San Francisco not later than April 28.

The one project in Switzerland is that of attending the conference of the world’s religions under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding. In England our presumable business covers a group of intellectual mystics who publish what is called “Studies in Comparative Religion”—very high grade both spiritually and intellectually; the Royal Asiatic Society; Kew Gardens; and last but most important what is known as Gandalf’s Garden, the center of and for the New Age young. Their writings and philosophy sound very Californiaish though they are thousands of miles away.

We are assuming at the moment that you will arrange quarters for us, although at this writing we may also have other proffers. This is not to say we wish to burden you with expense, but we wish to be as close as possible to persons and groups with whom we shall be working henceforth, especially on spiritual and related levels.

At this writing everything looks very auspicious and propitious, but we will reserve details for later.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



March 13, 1970

Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Dear Brother Samuel.

As down the ladder entering into the sacred inner sanctum of a Hopi kiva we too enter also into inner earth where masks and pretence dissolve, and where the 12 tribes can come again as in mythical space to a place of atonement.

I thus await as the wave the pebbled shore your arrival here at East-West, and assure you of a bed in a room in a hospitable and electric household.

My thoughts seem to be aggregating sanskaras around the though form of an East- Coast Lama foundation. Please put this into your Peace pipe and inhale as I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter when our expected conversations transpire.

There is some considerable possibility that Chogma Trungpa Rimpoche may be a guest of ours simultaneous with your visit. If this is destined to be the case and it may be as there appear to be synchronistic delays our meeting at East-West “Kiva” will be even more eventful. I believe that Tibetan Buddhism is to be spliced, if that is the right word, into the spiritual matrix of New Age North America or whatever the crumbling union called these United State comes to be called. The Rimpoche is the abbot of the Sam ye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monetary in Lanholm Scotland. I remain

Yours under the auspices of

Our Common Father

Richard P. Harvey



March 25, 1970

Mr. Richard Harvey

The East West Center For Self Exploration

105 Marlborough St.

Boston, Mass. 02116


Beloved One of God:

I feel very happy over your letter of the 13th. I do know much about the Hopi rites or cosmic teachings, but I do believe that all the Southwestern part of this country was once a sort of holy land, where masters have appeared. There are enough remnants of engineering and agriculture to support this belief along with more evident information known to others. As it is of the moment we are booked to leave London on April 16 to arrive in New York shortly after noon. I should like to arrive in Boston the same night, which would give us full advantage of the week and immediately following. We do have some private or semi­private affairs with friends and relatives. I am also anxious to go to Arnold arboretum. This is a professional matter.

My backgrounds have been in horticulture. Today there is a rapid rush toward organic gardening, and the use of health foods. I am not imposing this on anybody, but the first year’s efforts have been eminently successful. Not only that, but a large portion of the health food business in this part of the country is in the hands of friends, and where it has not been, it is rapidly becoming so.

I should be back in San Francisco not later than the 26th of April. This is not only called for by my ticket, but there are very pressing legal and family matters which must be attended to.

I do not know very much about Tibetan Buddhism. Yes, I have been initiated into it. Yes, I have read all of Talbot Mandy. I have a colleagues here who is a Rimpoche—he is half European, half Asian, and his father was in the same initiatory group as the marvelous Alexandria Davida-Neal. While I have not much knowledge of Tantra, I have performed the Mahamudra, and at times feel like an incarnation of Saint Marpa. (I was also connected with the belated Roerich Museum of New York.) I do not like to write too much at this time because anything may happen now at Geneva which could greatly affect the importance or non-importance of my appearance in Boston. I do not intend to visit the rest of the East Coast at this time. Plans are to fly directly non-stop if possible from Boston to San Francisco. The only course at the moment seems to be to telephone to you immediately upon my arrival in the Bay city. (It has just been suggested that I phone you from New York when I learn the time of my arrival at the Boston airport.) I am a very small man with a Santa Claus like beard and should be accompanied by my esoteric secretary Mansur Johnson, who is young, tall, handsome, and of a blond van-Dykish appearance.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. I do not want any mail sent to Switzerland After a week there I shall be going to London and might be contacted at Gandalf’s Garden, a group with which you might well become acquainted: 1 Dartrey Terrace, King’s Road, Chelsea S.W. 10, England.



April 4, 1970

Geneva Suisse


Richard Harvey

105 Marlborough Boston

East-West Center for self exportation


Dear Richard:

We are writing you sending a copy to the Center of Religious Studies at Harvard. I have known intuitively that in a certain sense coming here was the opening of the lotus so to speak. The breaking out of nothingness to full bloom. An unknown, the part played has been equal in some places to that to the most renown persons in the whole world. I had two cards, positive and negative, and both have been played very successfully.

1. I know or had introductions to persons of all religious delegations. I am at home with everybody, and not symbolically but actually, and this is easily proven by the social life.

2. The non-acknowledgement of letters by persons important and unimportant has brought a rapid succession of apologies. I shall mention just two here: 40 years research for the world church peace union brought nothing but rebuffs and now apologies from the very top people. The second, not a single Rabbi has acknowledged in any way any letter written to him in the last five years any letter written to him about peace in the holy land. The Rabbis here were over effusive and most apologetic in all humility for this manifestation of a so-called Judeo-Christian ethic.

The way to doing something about peace in Palestine, and I mean doing something, came at two levels: the Lebanese of all faiths have entirely supported the program I have and on which so much research has been done. This from the theoretical point of view. But all men are very responsive to my summoning of a meeting of real Palestinian Arabs who live near me in San Francisco; plus some Israelis who live in my city; plus some impartial people of Jewish ancestry; plus the prelates of a least one important Christian church.

I made immediate and successful contact with the papal representative, and we become excellent friends. The same applies to the chief Jesuit here.

I met my old friends Princess Poon, President of the World Buddhist Federation and Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda. On the second day I was sought out, not the seeker but the sought by the members of the very important Birla family of India, and no nonsense. Later I was sought equally by the Chinese and Japanese and why not? I have not only studied the religions of the world, but submitted both to devotions and disciplines.

My two best new contacts have been the leader of the Druzes and my very dear spiritual brother Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who I had never met before in the flesh. Next to them, the two most important contacts and friendships have been with Dr. Jurji of Princeton and the German Dr. Benz whose books I have read and know and intend to purchase.

The Temple of Understanding is and attempt to bring together the leaders of the world’s religions. Geneva is an excellent place for such a meeting. Even the officials of this city know more about the wise men of Asia than many proclaimed “experts,” a subject into which there is no longer any need to go.

My picture has been taken so many times and no doubt will appear in the publications in other parts of the world. No doubt my beard and robes are attracting. I am known as the sage who writes the longest letters and makes the shortest speeches—straight to the point. Real Zen training, not booky book speculation, disciplines the ego, so my speeches are like Herigel’s swordsmanship.

The conference has expressed extreme sympathy to our national reaction against super-Aryanism, and next year they hope to meet in some part of Africa.

Next to omitting Africa and to some extent South America, there is the strange subjectivity about youth, as if youth were a species, part animal, part ethereal, who become human beings when they reach a certain age. I purposely introduced myself as a spiritual teacher of the hippies, and this is recognized, but Swami Ranganathananda has accepted that America is being invaded by denizens of a higher order who have been Hindus in past incarnations.

I now go to England and should be back in the States on the 16th or 17th; on account of the airfield situation. We are not sure of our exact mode of travel to Boston nor the hour of our arrival, so may try to reach you by phone or wire when we get to New York and/or when we shall leave it etc.

Please telephone my cousins Joseph and Gertrude Matz if you can find them in the telephone book. They had been living in Brooklyn when I was living in your city 10 years ago. Actually there is no bad news whatsoever, only flows of enthusiasm and an inner optimism, which we hope may become justifiable.


Samuel L. Lewis



May 10, 1970

Mr. Richard Harvey

East-West Center for Self-Exploration

105 Marlborough St.

Boston, Mass. 02116


My dear Richard:

Our return home was one of joyful and loving greeting. It also has meant, however, certain natural human problems such as that of my family and relatives arising out of the death of my brother; and also of some other complexities caused by other deaths, which is only natural.

Our present program is to go to the Lama Foundation. In addition to that we shall probably visit the University of New Mexico and examine the communes, health food stores, and organic gardening in that region. We may also become involved with other spiritual groups, as well as the Amer-Indians of Taos, etc. Everywhere doors are opening.

Most of my disciples are planning to go to a summer camp. There they may be learning or producing new dances, new chants, and new dramatic presentations. One assumes that these additions may be integrated into my portfolio for our return.

As matters stand, though no date is set, Mansur and I would fly to Washington and hire a rent-a-car, go to Boston and later go westward toward Cleveland, and back to Washington. Details are uncertain due to invitations from Eastern Tennessee and western part of Virginia. At this writing we certainly do have “heavy” business in the Washington and Boston areas. The Washington business of course in being affected by the events of the day. We already have proper invitations of many sorts, but do not wish to have these businesses, no matter how seemingly important, impede our coming to Boston and Cambridge, where we feel such strong affiliation both to yourself and to those who come to your house and the Sphinx. That I believe before God, rather than before man, this is of prime importance.

After all, our Washington contacts, even though they include world leaders, and mighty mighty people, stress the prominence of prominence, which may be out molded and out-dated.

At the moment I am concentrating so much on New Mexico, but after the 1st of July should pay more attention to what your may request of us. We have been particularly impressed also by Karmu, to whom we also send love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Engle Family Correspondence

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif. 94947

January 22, 1969


Mrs. Bhakti Engle

928 Mission Drive

Camarillo, Calif. 93010


My dear Sheika:

Your last report was received with great joy. One cannot help contrast the short trip of a few disciples from this region with the long trip of others, also from this region, to India. Those who went to India had long instructions which they promptly ignored and have, if anything, caused some confusion for Vilayat. Those who went to southern California had few instructions and did everything excellently. They have accepted “There is no Teacher but God. We all learn from Him.”

Mansur has also had the great privilege of hearing and meeting Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj, one of the truly great men now living on earth. Even Samuel was surprised to find a large number of his disciples and friends attending a public meeting of Swamiji yesterday in Berkeley.

There are several questions about the ways in which we can cooperate to help Pir Vilayat. A letter has been written this morning to Wheaton, Illinois, with regard to his Summer Camp for the young this year. I have not the slightest doubt that it will be very well attended.

Now comes a very serious matter. During the course of years, there has not been a proper secretariat, especially with regard to the sacred readings. There has been no proper responsibility. At least two and probably four or more private corporations have gotten hold of these writings and either varied them or misused them. The initiatory processes upon which Sufism is based have been defiled and defied. There are at least two ways out:

One is to see that as many Gathas, Githas and other sacred papers get into the hands of a secretariat which trusts Pir Vilayat and which Pir Vilayat trusts. Vilayat understands or presumes that a fairly large sector of the sacred readings is in your hands. My requests have been not for any papers but for a list of what you have, and this list would also get into the Pir’s hands etc.

It is very necessary for our immediate purposes that we have a complete set of Githas, but please do not send anything until we check and re-check with your list.

There would also be the question of copying the sacred papers. Vilayat has told me he could do this, but it would be an additional burden on him at the present time, for reasons you may understand intuitively.

Two, both Vilayat and Samuel are giving to the public practices and methods not found in the writings of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. This follows the traditions of Sufism. “God is the only Teacher, we all learn from Him.”

In the original bayat ceremony, which has since been changed, the neophyte agreed to accept the teachings first of Four School Sufism—Kadiri, Naqshibandi, Sohrawardi, Chisti. Then, the teachings of other schools of Sufism. Not only has this not been done, but Pir Vilayat has drawn upon himself extremely egotistic criticism for following the wishes of his father and traditional Sufism, rather than adhering to the literal interpretations of Western legal bodies carrying the name or rather miscarrying the name “Sufi.”

Three, in addition to re-assimilating and organizing universal Sufi teachings, we have learned from God and earned from God teachings and methods to answer the needs of the day. For my part I have directly all the deeper esoteric practices of Inayat Khan himself. Also various other Sufi teachings. Also various yoga practices, spurned by contemporary “experts.”

Vilayat’s work in meditation and mountain climbing is totally and absolutely in harmony with my present instructions in Walking, Dancing, using the Centers … real Darshan.

All this and more attracts a growing number of young people. Preparing to lecture on “Asian philosophy,” a surprising number of doors are suddenly opening. But I should like to center instructions and methods on papers of Hazrat Inayat Khan which I do not now possess. I am wondering what can be done so that we can properly organize and retain for future generations instructions and studies which I am told you have.

Any suggestions or response on your part will be welcome.

The Khankah is now being restored after a small fire hero. We shall next fix our barn so that if the family comes here, the boys could be accommodated with sleeping quarters. We intend to do this anyhow.

Love and blessings from Mansur and myself,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

June 12, 1970

Bhakti Engle

928 Mission Dr. Camarillo


Beloved Sheika:

We wish to thank you for your letter of May 27th. We are in transit in the psychological and social sense. The total attendance at all audiences slowly increases. The income from various sources public and private increases. This means a revaluation of life and efforts on our return.

I have upmost faith in Kristofer Ingerbretsen. When we return we shall have the details of the board meeting. We wish to coordinate. At the present time also Vilayat’s camp is being prepared in Arizona with my personal representative, Wali Ali Meyer, in charge. It is possible that the financial secretary, Naqib Daniel Lomax, may be there.

We do not wish to adopt a policy for the fall until we hear the reports of the meeting in North Hollywood, Vilayat’s camp, and the successful San Francisco Holy Man’s Jamboree. Sufism is no longer going to be a private thing. We are beginning in the era for the fulfillment of the prayer, “May the Message of God reach far and wide.”

Apparently it has been a period of random harvest, for my brother’s death was followed by that of mother Mary Meyer and then of Khalif Edward Connaughton. It is impossible to keep up with all events and persons. We now have world contacts and Mansur and I may be going to New England again, in the Fall, Inshallah, and also to other places in the Eastern states.

We must be home by July 4th so we can celebrate Pir-o-Murshid’s birthday on the 5th. Our plans are roughly to leave Albuquerque on June 29th, taking 2 days or so to go to North Hollywood to see Bibijan. Then to come to Camarillo, staying or not, according to circumstances. There are now three cars of us, but when we reach California we may split. We should prefer to go up the coast road, stopping, however, at the Sun and Earth on the way.

At this writing, praise to God, most things are in excellent shape: membership, audiences, spiritual growth, finances, and great progress in music and dancing, at least, not to mention other things.

Love and Blessing to you all.




Dec. 21, 1970

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fraley, Sheika Bhakti Engle

928 Mission Dr.

Camarillo, Ca. 93010


Dear Fraleys and Grandma, Beloved Ones of God,

Samuel will first send you the “bad” news. He has just returned from the doctor, having contracted an infection while in New York City. This infection has been aggravated because of his lack of rest. Many good hearts have warmth, love, and sympathy for him but beautiful though this goodness be, it does not always result in assistance coming. Yet for the first time one sees the possible termination of long periods of overwork for many or no reason.

Yesterday we had our Dervish Bazaar and it was surprisingly and totally successful, praise to God. This success had been foreseen by one of the disciples who has been blessed with insight and foresight. She was also one of the directors of the undertaking. As she had foreseen, despite the bad weather, it was over-crowded and financially successful. Perhaps the most outstanding item of success came with the pottery, now being manufactured at the Khankah. But everything else was successful too.

Newspapers and television representatives were there and may return. There is no reason also for not having the work of our spiritual choral group recorded on tapes and discs. Everything looks as if that will be done. Everything looks as if Vilayat will have a much larger attendance than may have formerly been presumed.

All our other undertaking a seem to be on the way to success, inshallah.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Ets Hokin, Jeremy Correspondence

Jeremy M. Ets-Hokin

551 Mission Street

San Francisco 5. California

July 12, 1967


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your letter of July 6, 1967, complete with ancillary documents.

I think you have some good thoughts here and there, but, quite frankly, it strikes me as poorly organized, and some parts as totally an effort to reconcile your own Judaic/Christian version of Marxist morality with what’s happening in the world today. Most points of view in the cosmos are wrong when examined individually—collectively, of course, all points of view must be right!

As Eshkol recently said, “God owns the world, but knows not the boundaries established by states” (paraphrased). Generally, neighbors, if they are to get along with each other, have to talk to each other and recognize each other’s existence. Non-neighboring third parties can be brought in as mediators, arbitrators or what have you, but the two neighbors first must agree to negotiate. In order to do that, they obviously must acknowledge each other’s existence (semanticists call this circular reasoning. I call it obvious common sense).

I am not familiar with the mystique of the Arab world, but I do know mass exploitation of societies by demagogues and despots, and I am particularly sensitive to religious dogmas being used as a tool for the Establishment to maintain its privileges and powers at the expense of the masses it leads and/or governs.

The entire Mideast is, of course, a glaring human tragedy, and, I think, a reality which even you might be loath to deny is the fact that Israel is the only government existing there wherein all members of the society receive the blessings of those rights which you and I hold inalienable.

Your grave, and perhaps gratuitous, concern over the Mideast brings to my mind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s criticism of the New England shopkeepers of the late 1850’s, who waxed grave concern over the plight of the black man in the South, whilst themselves exploiting child labor.

If you have a field to hoe, my friend, why not hoe it? I think a great deal of the Mideast tragedy has been caused by Western politicians’ intervention, largely fermented by a myriad and unlikely variety of “amateur do-goodniks.” The net effect of all this is, of course, legend; e.g., communist and Arabian Knight-type despots, eating caviar and baklava together, while the people under their inspired leadership are both narcotized and starving.

Israel provides a solution by both principle and example for several million otherwise doomed souls, to cast off the miasma of tyranny and enslavement.

Why not respect the fact that this can be done and probably will be done, even though the parties concerned might have no knowledge of your existence whatsoever.


Jeremy M. Ets-Hokin



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

July 14, 1967


Jeremy M. Ets-Hokin,

551 Mission St.,

San Francisco 5. Calif.


Dear Mr. Ets-Hokin:

I was very happy to receive an answer from you. You are the only person so far who has replied to my letters, and it is perhaps significant that all the other pro-Zionists approached were clerics, and I am still hoping to find a cleric, any faith, who would consider himself equal. And the one thing that strikes me as funny is your remark that I have a Judaic/Christian version of Marxist morality.

I do not know what is meant by “Marxist morality.” At one time I read Engels and then Marx and I have great respect for K.M. who said, “I am not a Marxist.” Personally I think he had a more pragmatic view than his so-called followers and I never forget that both Marx and Engels were concerned with the abolition of poverty and the freedom of suppressed classes; that Marx himself (to me) was a great humanitarian but not necessarily in the way we interpret this word today.

I am not an economist, a social scientist, or anything of the kind. I went into the Near East in part as a Horticulturalist and am concerned with Desert Reclamation projects on a large scale, and today have contacts all over the earth, and continue my research. This week arrangements were made for consideration of a Desert Reclamation Program based on the activities of the “Multiversity” of California and the accomplishments of its graduate students. Practically all of these accomplishments are unknown here.

One is amused when the statement is made that the neighbors must negotiate. Having lived with both Zionists and Arabs, having talked to each and also to the UN officials from the Gaza strip, I have been working from the integrational, not from any analytical point of view. Having two positive programs to get them together—accepted by each but by very, very few Americans, that could be a starter. It was easy to talk with the late Prof. Zarchin, it is almost impossible to reach most Zionists.

My active interest in the Near East began in 1928 when I met the late Prof. Henry Atkinson of the World Church Peace Union. He wanted me to study all the lesser known faiths to see what they might contribute toward world peace. This has been done and this has been accepted by such persons as Dr. Radhakrishnan and Princess Poon Diskul of the World Buddhist Association; but not much in this land. We have our own “versions” of several Oriental religions which hardly resemble the originals at all. I am not defending any religion, and I think every people should have the liberty to their own superstitions which are generally anathema to others with different bodies of superstitions.

In 1930 I presented an “integrational” program for the Near East which Dr. Atkinson accepted. The same appears in another version in a kabalistic poem I have written. I did not study Kabbalah as part of religion. I had to study it as secretary of a lady linguist who has long since left the world. All my notes on the above exception the poem were destroyed in a fire in 1949.

The whole situation of the present time might cause grim humor from a cosmic, or a “Puck” point of view:

a. The idea that the Nobel Peace Prize winners do something. In one of my poems I have written:

Every ten years a Nobel peace Prize,

Every five years another war.

b. The Qur’an—which we have every right to reject—forbids any alliance between Muslims and unbelievers.

c. Russia was the first country to acknowledge Israel on the ground, the so-called Marxist-Leninist ground that hit proletariat should always support the liberal-bourgeois revolutions against the predatory feudalists. And we now find Russia arming Jordan and perhaps Saudi Arabia!

At one time I was in contact with Rabbi Magnes—and had my life threatened by “both sides.” But I do not uphold many of the points of any parties.

1. Here we have never granted the existence of Asian culture on the same level as European cultures. We have had many, many conferences on “Asia” here in which the Luces and the British Communist, Felix Greene were engaged in tugs-of-war. I have tried in vain to have Asian speakers at such affairs and got the boot. In the last three so-called conferences there was at least one Indian speaker; there were no Muslims nor Buddhists of any kind, and no Chinese.

2. Anti-defamation should be universal or each faith should be willing to face the fact that its very existence brings forth criticism.

I see only three outlets now—and I neither praise or blame them: (a) War; (b) Chaos, (c) UN intervention.

My work is in the field of increasing food supplies and desert reclamation. I have been all over Asia and been quite well received; and for that reason have been excluded from the people you call “do-gooders.” I now only belong to the World Federalists and that as gadfly.

I am a little amused that David Ben Gurion should on one hand champion what he may be called “Judaism”—I shall not press the point—and on the other hand, resorts to Hindu yoga and Buddhist meditation practices. I don’t think he had to go to Israel to do those things, but that is his life.

Actually I have studied a good many Yoga systems and done a good deal of Buddhist meditations, and that is my life.

Now, my friend, the fact is that today several Arab Nations have cast off tyranny, at least in name. I do not know the social gyrations of either Algeria or Syria; Iraq is run by family—we once had four political parties in this land all financed by Duponts! but we have failed to study the social polity introduced by Mohammed himself and kept for a single generation—it was, as Shaw would say, “too true to be good.” But the literature is there though we do not study it.

The question seems to be how to get dissidents to sit down together. This demand is made mostly by people who will themselves not sit down with others, but I should rather accept the “wrong” side than to concede to the shibboleths, maxims, slogans, morals and high-sounding empty words that come from our press and our foreign offices. It comes back to a saying found all over the world: “Big men argue, little men die.”

Having, as I have said, the rare privilege of being threatened by each side, I hold back my program which has been well thought out too—until I am sure of a hearing. Your statement “The Mideast tragedy has been caused by Western politicians’ intervention” stands in contrast with the American myth that Russia has stirred up all the trouble. I know it is something else. But an eye-witness is still the last person to be consulted.

If you want the story or my life, just read Burdick and Lederer’s The Ugly American and Sarkhan. I have the rare privilege of having both the American and communist foreign offices against me when I travel. But I have had for me the Asian governments at all levels.


Samuel L. Lewis



Jeremy M. Ets-Hokin

551 Mission Street

San Francisco 5. California

July 18, 1967


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

You are both prolific and prompt. I also understand that you are at the venerable age of somewhere in the mid-seventies and probably qualify in every way as a spiritual leader. Apropos of that, I would like to quote to you from the third book of the I-Ching, from an anecdote on the double “Li” hexagram:


As a leader of leaders in your twilight years, bathe in and exude the yellow light of the sun, which is your proper color. If your vanity goads you into feigning an aura of white light, as does a young warrior, it will not be blinding as you think, but will make your protestations fatuous and feeble, as are the tantrums of a child.


I think that you should get acquainted with J. K. Choy, truly a great philosopher, possibly, in his own way, a guru. Why not call him at San Francisco Savings and Loan, where he works. He is now 85 years old and, at one time, was Sun Yat-sen’s personal philosopher.

There is nothing new about configurational thinking. Aristotle used it in his concept of the aesthetic whole. Spinoza “proved” geometrically that any other kind of thinking, at least in metaphysics, is a fool’s errand, and started to prove this also to be so in his “Essay on Political Science,” but, unfortunately, he died in the middle of this latter effort. Leibnitz developed integral calculus by configurational thought. Hume’s criticism of Thomas Aquinas” “proof of God,” which, to date, is the only valid one around, used the configurational method. Kant’s whole concept of the a priori synthetical is configurational, and Koehler’s theory of the gestalt is probably the latest refinement. Unfortunately, logical positivism, a philosophy of bean-counters, convinced the preponderance of Western academicia that reasoning from the specific to the general, “for all practical purposes,” is just as “valid” as reasoning from the general to the specific. In other words, a priori equals a posteriori.

Mathematically, dichotomous posteriori thought, now so much in vogue among the blockhead’s who are in positions of leadership, can be delightfully demonstrated as a priori absurd:

2 + 2 = 2 * 2; therefore,

2 . 2 = 22; therefore,

2x = X2 qed (sic).

The “bean-counters” are in control now—creativity and love, even, are dissected by them, and, of course, vitiated at once by the act of dissection. Keep the faith, Mr. Lewis, but don’t bother scraping your ancient, and, I am sure, venerable knuckles on their concrete heads.


Jeremy M. Ets-Hokin



Jeremy M. Ets-Hokin

551 Mission Street

San Francisco, California 94105

August 27, 1968


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif.


Dear Sam:

Thank you for yours of August 23, 1968. You, who have devoted your lifetime to cosmic liberation in our space-time coordinate, know that the dialectic instant in the world of being seems like an eon in the world of creation.

I believe that it is Ahriman’s hand when one’s karma presses him to neutralize the gathering forces of the ring chaos in an instant at the creation level. As a matter of fact, this kind of effort can only wrench the ring chaos and obscure the yang of cosmic light. In other words, most diabolically and most ironically, one champions the cause of the ring chaos against the ring cosmos, while believing he is doing the opposite.

During the past week, Sheyla, whose karma leads her this way (and you have performed a minor miracle in subduing or “soothing” this destructive tendency in her) has somehow cast a spell over Don, who, after a hinneyana experience in the hills of Olompali, has been possessed by the forces of Ahriman, although believing he is a champion of Mazda.

I am sending a copy of this letter to Don and to Gavin, hoping that all of our collective balms from our inner Ramas and Krishnas will soothe his soul. Early on Friday morning, I am proceeding to Olompali to lay my hand upon Don. I ask that you join me there and by copy of this letter to Gavin that he also do the same.

Sheyla must proceed to India, because her yin is now vectored to dead center of the ring chaos and away from Athman.

Peace my brother. Hare Krishna, Hare Rama. Ommn

Shando Raggi Dathamatra



September 12, 1968


My dear Jeremy:

This letter is written of my own free will and it is not intended to influence you, only to state some facts which may or may not be pertinent either to the affairs of the week, or to any other affairs.

As matters stand it is certainly up to my disciples and myself to establish a sort of spiritual commune which may (or may not) become an example for others to follow! It was not until two months ago that a university professor pointed out that my earlier work in, let us say, the sociological field, had drawn recognition many years late. And when this is combined with personal experiences of all sorts, there is a wealth of presumable material here which has not been examined.

If anybody examines it it apparently will not be operative idealists communes. And today being more interested in either feeding the people of America with spiritual food and the peoples of Asia with material food I can hardly be effected emotionally by emotional groups with high (or not so high) ideals which think they are God’s only outlets into the external spheres.

The test of Love comes when one has to face enmity. I shall have to do this, in a sense, tomorrow night but there I shall be facing enough intelligence as to feel optimistic. Anybody can love those who favor one, who fawn and flatter. The worst Hollywood producer has his “Yes”-men. And while I believe in a New Age, it is the result of integration and integrational thinking, not of destruction, and still less of parasitism.

As I believe that God-Brahm is in everybody it is forbidden to me to ignore the criticisms of others. That is an opportunity to explore both oneself and the Divine Wisdom which is in the sphere.

Last night there was an event in Sheila’s house which was a demonstration of real Love. If I did not catch Don I certainly had a retired secretary of the famous Psychiatrist, Fritz Perls, and this was, perhaps, a bigger and more important “fish.” She found a “family” which operates as a family with mutual love and joy and togetherness and no nonsense.

So we are going to have a spiritual commune and in Novato which could be an example to the Esquire-utopias which seem to be growing in number. There is no opposition to them, only they do not seem to be building manhood and womanhood.

I do not know what arguments either you or Don have and I do not know whether it is worthwhile to be entangled although I personally have the utmost love and tenderness toward Shirin (Marion). She has not expressed herself.

While you were outside arguing I read in Hazrat Inayat Khan that success in worldly affairs need not be against spiritual attainment. My real fight in the real Orient was that it is not a case of materiality vs. spirituality but egotism against spirituality. It is not wealth or poverty, but self vs. God. I see no reason to change the stance.

A disciple is supposed to lay down his thoughts, not his possessions. If he gives away his possessions and holds on to this thoughts, he must be assured that God may not accept them at all. What basis is there for this?

If we are going to have a commune it should begin with communion on the spiritual plane and then a willingness to share in the thought world. The common sharing of things should come later. This is my position. It may not effect this case at all. Indeed we hope to show by example, and it may be a pretty poor example, but all the disciples are encouraged in the worlds of thought, self-expression, artistic creation and even, if you will, in money-gaining.

I do not know whether I have any more time to be called in on such matters. I have a large and growing family of lovely and even beautiful young men and women who want spiritual training and believe they are getting it.

I am not seeking any out of court settlement, or to intervene or anything. When self comes in the door, love flies out the window.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



910 Railroad Ave.

Novato, Calif. 94947

March 4, 1970


Jeremy Ets-Hokin

Ferry Building San Francisco


My dear Jeremy:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This applies to this letter also, and if I do not put into action everything inferred here I am no better than anybody else. But now the doors are being opened. I am leaving on March 28th, and would certainly welcome you to attend the spring festival for Gavin which will be held near Lake Nicasio in the center of Marin County, beginning at 11 o’clock on March the 21st. We are assuming here that high noon will be the exact moment of the equinox, or if this is to be corrected we will rearrange our program accordingly.


Samuel L. Lewis



September 13, 1970

Jeremy Ets-Hokin

305 Golden Date Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94902


Dear Jeremy:

I do not know how much you would be interested in some hard facts which are excluded 100% from the “realisms” of the day. As one great diplomat said: “How can you trust a Nation which does not trust its own citizens?” But I am leaving shortly for New York, Boston and Washington and will probably appear in places which, if a left-singer approached, would be headlines. The greatest lie, and it is the most dimmable of damn lies, is the old saw: “When man bites dog that is news, but when dog bites man it is not news”. Quite contrary. News is the strange reports on new methods of dogs biting men.

I am leaving this city and perhaps when I got to New York I may call on Gunnar Jarring. The “good” people, the churches, the “peace” organizations, those who “study” international affairs are always too busy to grant interviews and for the press!!! Haven’t I been told by communist after communists that they were going to be published; they told me exactly what they had planned and it worked out that way.

I have found a newspaper publisher who wants my life. I used to say what the two outstanding things were a free meal from the Armenians and being a guest of honor at the Imperial Gardens in Japan. If a communist had that invitation it would be a top headline. Nearly all my colleagues are from Marin County: Bolinas, Lagunitas, Novato, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Belvedere and now Sausalito. I am making one last desperate effort but if not mentioned that will help my autobiography and how! The stone that was rejected, etc.

When I went to India last—and it was on a peace-feeler mission from Pakistan—I saw the Chief of Protocol, the President, the top Sufi and the top Vedantist, when they were not giving interviews to others. I got … from the foreign office and they called in or accepted Kosygin. That is “the American way.”

I added to a achievements thirty-three rejections of a paper on Vietnamese Buddhism. Then I met a lot of real Vietnamese Buddhists, and finally a professor at U.C., who had long lived in S.A. Asia—what? not a graduate of Uppsala or Heidelberg or Cambridge!—accepted. And then I met my old pal, the retired Lieutenant-General who also come from Marin County and whose sees lives in Novato and as he was working on the Vietnamese situation I threw myself into the Near East.

I had worked voluntarily forty years for the World Church Peace Union and they treated me just like Hayakawa—into the wastebasket. This is the “Judeo-Christian”-ethic. But I had the knowledge and when we went to Geneva and I told everybody I was an incarnation of “Nathan the Wise” the Jews and Protestants, especially, offered profound apologies and are now cooperating on what has been “not-news” levels.

Although all the “good” people have refused even interviews on the Near East, excepting my friend Admiral Evenson, a man thought he would play a trick by arranging a knock-down-and drag debate between Rev Schlomo of Jerusalem and myself. We met and rush into each other’s arms, and kissed. The witness was flabbergasted. Then I went to Schlomo’s “Love-dances.” They were too awkward.

You see, Jeremy, I am also the god-son of the late Ruth St. Denis which of course is bluff and fluff and she gave me the blessings for “Dances of Universal Peace.” They are spreading like wild-fire. I told Schlomo that I was a champion plagiarist and he said he was the same. Anyhow we have done the impossible-impossible-impossible—so impossible, it can’t be, but was and is: Joint Israeli-Christian-Arab dinners with dances and prayers.

My agent, the former underground Phillip Davenport of Larkspur, had already arranged or had arranged the same in Jerusalem and this is coming out. I have seen Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs embracing and kissing and not a single news-reporter—they all came to eat—reported it. It has not been done. It is being done. My message to the young, “Youth of the world, unite, you have nothing to lose,” is gaining headway and it will more and more.

Unlike the anti-communists I really believe in a God, a most magnificent, beneficent, wise Supernal Being. Anti-communist editors believe in no such thing. They play games. Let them; there will be more Chiles.

The anti-communist(?) publications tell all about the wonders of Assouan and nothing at all about the great engineering accomplishments of Californians. There is hardly a problem I know which has not been solved by some professor or department of the Multiversity of California, but it jest ain’t news. “We” don’t do things that way.

I am trying to put up a “Peace” scholarship at Berkeley. At last one organization in this city has answered—not concerning money but their willingness to listen to factual reports.

My colleagues have not only assisted in putting on these inter-religious affairs, they have been very successful in getting permission from the Indian government to take films and records of the “non-existing” Sufis of whom there are at least 40,000,000 but they do not have votes at our elections. They joined with the Israelis in a dinner recently and there will be more. And we are getting the cooperation of the very top Protestant clergy—mostly elsewhere, but we are getting it.

Next week I am joining some Hindus also in Golden Gate Park. It is part of the program, “Youth of this world, unite, you have nothing to lose.” You go to the campus at the University of California and get nothing but “yes’s” to substantiable facts. Elsewhere, “too busy.” Amen.

At Geneva the “great” Sir Zafrullah Khan was challenged, what had he to offer but emotion and oratory and he sat down and admitted, “Nothing.” That day is over, Jeremy. Youth is rising, a little confused but they are interested in doing something else than murdering each other.


Samuel L. Lewis

Fellowship of Religious Harmony Correspondence

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco 94110

Jan. 27, 1970


Religious Humanism

Box 65

Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387


Dear Sirs:

I have your appeal and am sending enclosed the minimum amount of $3. This is for the purpose of griping. I think I can afford $3 to gripe. But if the religious humanists really had something more to offer than the “Judeo-Christian ethic,” and if they are willing to accept the thesis, not the fact but the thesis, that religion can be based upon human experience, my coffers may be opened. I see no reason why there cannot be parallels between religion and science, both being based on human experience, but in different ways. But I also can believe in a humanism which includes the human race, and at this writing I see few signs of it.

For example, I wrote a paper on “Vietnamese Buddhism”; after it was rejected 33 times, and it was rejected by all and on, I stopped for two quite different reasons: I met a Vietnamese who had written a paper on the same subject, and conceded to him the monopoly on writing a paper and having it rejected. Second, I met a professor on the campus of the University of California who had lived in Southeast Asia, and he accepted it, although it has not been published.

This professor and I agree that if we can invade a country, peacefully or non-peacefully, we ought to have some curiosity about the native cults, superstitions, and ethos. I find this curiosity sadly lacking in the whole Western world, excepting amid a few anthropologists. They live in reality; the rest of us live mostly in what we call “realism,” whatever that means.

I do not accept Marxism. I do not accept dialectics. The last time I debated in public I won, most unfortunately, because I held in the universe the nyaya  logic of India and the dignaga of Mahayana were equally valid to Aristotelian logic. I will not assent to any thesis that either a broad Hegelianism or a broad Aristotelianism can solve the problems of the day. The willingness to be tolerant of all aspects of these two outlooks, is to me nothing but a universal Aryanism, much more noble no doubt than Hitlerism, but still very restricted.

Many of my scientific outlooks are based on laboratory and field experience. Nearly all my religious conclusions are based on both internal and external experiences. So far the external experiences have been rejected even more than the internal ones, excepting among anthropologists and a few university instructors. You can therefore see that I am most unfortunately rather attached to my gripes. I would like to prove I am wrong. I can be proven wrong. If I am either proven wrong, or there is any interest in the themes above, I shall certainly contribute further, without demanding any acceptance thereof, or publication of anything coming from me.


Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. It may interest you to know I am cooperating wholeheartedly with Dr. Oliver

Reiser of Pittsburgh U. and am trying to validate his cosmic humanism.



Fellowship of Religious Humanists

105 West North College Street

Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

February 5, 1970


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, CA 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

I am just back from Florida. At the age of 72 I find it helps me carry on if I spend a month or two each winter out of this extreme cold.

My desk is piled high and my letters necessarily have to be brief at the start. Therefore I cannot undertake to purge you of your gripe. Most of the Humanists I know do not accept Marxism, although IHEU has been playing around with the Marxist Dialogue. I certainly am for co-existence as the alternative to such enterprises as we are engaged in Vietnam.

During my years as Executive Director of the American Humanist Association, I brought in a very strong factor of scientific Humanism with Dr. Herman Mueller as President for a period of four years and such persons as Professor A.J. Carlson active in the movement. Humanism has many emphases and my concern now with Religious Humanism is only because that dimension was being neglected in behalf of the social application of Humanism.

Dr. Oliver Reiser of Pittsburgh University is one of our more prophetic and imaginative Humanists. He and I, along with Dr. Leroy Bowman, were named Humanist Fellows at the October meeting of the AHA. I have known Dr. Reiser for many years and am glad that you are in touch with him.

My own wish is that the AHA could be the one inclusive Humanist organization and meet the needs of the many different varieties of Humanists that we find in the modern world. That there are these various types merely indicates the breadth and richness of our general, naturalistic approach. I am sending you some literature and back copies and want to suggest that you make the acquaintance of Mr. Lloyd Morain if you have not done so. He is doing a splendid job of re-orienting the AHA, which seemed to have gone off in certain tangents.

Edwin H. Wilson

Administrative Secretary



Feb. 8, 1970

Mr. Edwin H. Wilson

Administrative Secretary

Fellowship of Religious Humanists

105 West North College St.

Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387


My dear Mr. Wilson:

I have your letter of February 5. It has placed me in an absolute quandary. I have been all over the world and mingled with all kinds of people at all levels on all subjects, but I have committed two absolutely unforgivable sins, for which there is no forgiveness.

These sins are these:

a. Knowing a certain person since he was a boy!

b. Having studied with the late Professor Cassius Keyser of Columbia, the friend and mentor of the late Count Alfred Korzybski, the friend and mentor of the very controversial Dr. S. I. Hayakawa and Mr. Lloyd Morain.

The latter two have never forgiven me for this, have denied me the floor even when my personality was attacked, and one of them has precluded me from speaking on anything except communes, and the other from speaking an anything whatsoever.

It is for that reason I have not joined the Humanist Society here. It is for that reason I am not active in the semantic movement here. These men will offer a thousand excuses; let them. You can take it from there.

I have worked for years toward the solution of certain subjects and have been greeted everywhere by scientists I have contacted. I am even now arranging for a gathering on Vietnam wherein Vietnamese will be the speakers. I later hope to have an arrangement where the speakers will be Arabs who are citizens of Israel.

Do you think I could even broach the above top bananas on these matters? Try again. There are some sins which are unforgivable, as above, and I mean as above, and I mean as above.


Samuel L. Lewis



Fellowship of Religious Humanists

105 West North College Street

Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

February 12, 1970


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, CA 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

The hostilities, hurts, and grudges you express are something that I cannot be drawn into constructively at this distance.

My own experience has been that it is simply dead weight; to carry around a grudge and that forgiveness is good for one’s should. In the Humanist work I have always followed the notion of not closing doors and very, very frequently have found that I could work on creative and positive projects with people who had hurt me, or at least that I had imagined had hurt me.

An absolutistic attitude toward other people, or a perfectionist attitude, either one, are always a source of unhappiness. We live in a world of imperfect people and each of us is probably quite imperfect.

Personally, I have worked with Lloyd Morain intimately for six years and we had great differences and we did a lot of good work together. I backed him for election to the presidency of the AHA again because I know he is committed and devoted to it. Therefore, if there is any fault between you, I am of the opinion that there is fault on both sides and shall leave it there. A good Humanist does not react as you seem to have reacted to individual of the caliber of Hayakawa and Morain.

That, at least, is how I see it from here and I am sorry that as an old codger of 72, I cannot talk with you personally and pass on such experience as I have had in interpersonal relations.


Edwin H. Wilson

Administrative Secretary



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

February 15, 1970

Edward H. Wilson


Administrative Secretary,

Fellowship of Religious Humanists,

181 West North College St.,

Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387


Dear Mr. Wilson:

It is a beautiful spring day here and one has been making the most of it. One also encloses a copy of a letter to Art Hoppe, a local columnists, humorist and commentator. It tells a little of what I am doing. It also gives a little of one’s background.

I am becoming very popular not only because of my real or pretended merits but also when I mention certain prominent or would-be prominent persons who would never permit me to speak. It did not matter whether I was acquainted with the subject-matter or not. They simply would not let me speak. Nor do I know any way to “forgive” them until they let me speak when I may have information, or knowledge.

It was quite a shock to be called out by top scientists for not speaking. They said I had the knowledge so after that I have always asked for the floor and whatever remarks or questions I had were at least considered. This has never happened with “humanists.” Oh, occasionally when they want it I am permitted to say something but I do not recall when they let me have the floor to offer knowledge or information. Yes, they let me have the floor when my personality was attacked; but why should they permit the personality to be attacked? What has this to do with humanism or science or knowledge?

All I have ever asked was to be permitted to speak when I had some knowledge or thought I had. Now you can go on from there. But the young are delighted; they just eat it up. They have not been permitted either, lots of them have been precluded from speaking and then been personally attacked. I don’t think this kind of “Humanism” is going to catch on. I have been under the impression that Religious “Humanism” has a moral background. The only way it can be proved is when its leaders open the floors to humanity, that is all, nothing but that!


Samuel L. Lewis

Fiske, Vocha Correspondence

August 26, 1964


My dear Vocha:

I did not expect to write so soon. But yesterday the last coffin nail was hammered into a career of seeming negativity which was nothing but a war against personality-metaphysics and obscurantism passing as valid knowledge. I have fought here and elsewhere against the selection of European professors, career diplomats and newsmen as being the “sources” of Orientalia. And the fact is that as soon as departments in Asian studies are placed in the hands of Americans and Asians there is the warm welcome, cordial relations are established and factual materials are received. The pictures on the top of the sacred mountain of Japan remain as symbols which I shall not explain here, but they are objective data which obscurantic egotist refuse even to examine.

This year the Polish “experts” on the Near East left his audience in the air; the Frenchman lost them; the American started the chain of my papers being examined and even accepted. But this is ironic because I am today in the top ranks in the Arab, Iranian and Pakistani worlds and not even admitted to the bottom levels where our British brethren control so-called “Near East Studies.”

There was in the audience yesterday one Dr. Pande who came from Berlin and knows Surindar Suri. He has given the best lectures on Indian philosophy and literature I have ever heard, the same being extremely factual, informative, devoid of hyperbolic and obtuse language.

The speaker himself was Dr. Richard Robinson now at Wisconsin University and I was permitted to stand and remark it was the best lecture on Buddhism I have ever heard delivered. He began by an attack on British “experts” whom he referred to as fiction writers, charming and welcome to be sure, but nonetheless fiction-writers whose works should either be ignored or consigned to the fiction stacks where they belong.

He then simply and clearly explained and described the real Mahayana. The subject was The Foundations of Mahayana Buddhism. I shall not detail it here but it was the sign for me now to give what I might call “the esoteric Philosophy of Nyogen Senzaki” which is not esoteric at all but totally in opposition to British and Beatnik forms of Zen from any and all sundry and whosoever.

It is a noteworthy thing that there are three Americans in this vicinity who among and between them know about everything of true Buddhist culture, especially contemporary. They have all been forced into hiding by the popular acceptance of fictions and Beatnikism and sometimes will not see people or talk at all—this in the today of “communication.” One man lives within walking distance of Don Hayakawa, too, and having read the Etc. versions of Zen and Buddhism has reached some pretty sardonic conclusions about Semantics. But there you have it in the world of facts. I don t know whether your remarks will influence people as a whole, but individually and privately I know it has.

After such talks I feel like The Lone Ranger. And I certainly intend to campaign to help sell Robinson’s forthcoming works. They will at least have the backing of the cultural world, and the next step—and it is easy—is to acquaint the Japanese Buddhists and the World Buddhist Federation, both of whom are at sword points with British and Beatnik “Zen,” the former tacitly, the latter openly.

This has nothing to do with the “truth” of Dr. Robinson’s remarks as their objective validity. I have been able to tell him—but not the “experts” of course, of my own living in the Gandara country and my explorations therein which heretofore I have not been able even to write up. They substantiated in every respects his logistics and throw more light on Swastika-ism and some forms of Buddhist ceremonies—of which I have attended far more than the British and Beatnik “experts.”

The Oriental classes prevented no from carrying on further the scientific program. Needless to say my suggestion anent “Silent Spring” have not only been accepted but accepted with joy wherever I have gone.

I am now proposing for Plant Medicine a program which, to begin with, is philosophically derived from Pasteur’s methods and the whole science (which I do not know) of medical Immunology. I know to begin with the scientists will accept it—they have so far in every instance; and the popularizers who are frightening the public with their abstractions from “Silent Spring” which itself is far from abstractions—of several orders, than direct personal experience.

I told Stanley that G.S. will never be a science until Semantics equate or disentangle the orders of abstraction in any argument or thesis or works. We have gained nothing by rising out of Aristotelian thing-logic and multi-ordinality if we land in a confusion of abstractions of different orders.

Ultimately I hope to introduce into several Asian countries a semantics, general or otherwise, which will be free from personalisms, and stick logistical by and psychologically but not rigidly to “Science and Sanity.”





January 11, 1966


My dear Vocha:

This acknowledges your splendid letter which I did not intend to answer. But the signing of the treaty between India and Pakistan coupled with the death of the Prime Minister of the former suggests a reply.

This country is in international affairs so devoted to High Order Abstractions over facts that both the warring countries feel they are in the position of the dog and cat who had to face the monkey over the pieces of cheese and lost everything. The fact that Russia succeeded where we did not is nothing but the victory of low over high orders of abstraction, something that can hardly be communicated in this land.

The cutting of the pattern to fit the cloth may or may not be all right, but our constant emphasis on analysis and differentiation and our repugnance to toward integration in the Reiserian sense has placed us in a most awkward position regarding history. Historians do not consult press reports and historians do make corrections when their manuscripts are not correct and historians have long since learned not to mingle much in society, especially a society which places personalisms and personalities above truth.

The morning press indicates that the army—whichever it is—that has been occupying the estate where I was supposed to work, relieves one of a portion of “worries.” The other is my family estate problem.

With the growing requests for my memoirs abroad it is going to be awkward for my country and not my person when in writing I list a whole lot of Americans who have been worse off. Worse than treason is to be present when an historical incident occurs and what has happened to such people is a blot on our culture. But names are names and facts are not so important outside the sciences.

I may have to face the music Saturday when my presence is requested at a meeting on Vietnam. Having manuscripts and signed letters has meant nothing so far—for the public. And has meant everything so far on the UCLA campuses. We are back to “Science and Sanity” and this is exactly the way the world moves.

Am enclosing this in a letter to Harry. Love and best wishes,




April 14, 1968


My dear Vocha:

This is in a certain sense “resurrection Sunday.” I am not referring to any particular historical or religious event but to the hard fact that there is a law of karma and am not in the least interested in objections to it, any more than a physicists would listen to arguments against gravity based on subjectivities or Aristotelianism.

One writer of the age has said that Aristotelianism consisted of conclusions without premises. But this is the way of all egocentric people and parties. And one looks upon the world with its conclusions without premises pouring out in all directions.

It is very hard to adjust not only to being permitted to present one’s own point of view, but having it taken more than seriously. While one’s friends tell one that you should drop your resentments about the past and yet show all the interest possible in Julie Medlock, Julie’s former friends think Julie should drop her past, forget and they in turn have accepted the data of my meticulously gathered information which I have hardly been able to show to anybody until recently.

Bryn stands out as the sole exception and all he has done was to accept factual material from the persons who have gathered facts. This is not done, it is not yet done. We are trying to have both the word of “science” based on careful collation of facts without regard to the investigator; and also policy-making in which facts are thrown out willy-nilly when we can’t accept the persons involved.

“The Triumph” by former Ambassador Galbraith continues, though in a different geographical setting, the same themes as “The Ugly American” and “Sarkhan” and so many of us accept the fiction but won’t accept hard facts, from even our closest acquaintances. And the acceptance by Bryn from my diary was followed almost immediately by very favorable correspondence from those who are having an international gathering this year in Darjeeling, India. It is still an irony—and now utterly ridiculous, that Sam Lewis who has sat on panels, would be welcome to the panel in India and not yet welcome to audiences in America anent Asian problems. One does not care anymore.

While on the errands for Bryn I came upon a “World Without War” group that is seriously discussing ways to end the Vietnamese crisis, giving more than due consideration to any well-known American who has a following but apparently shutting out all possibilities of the “Sarkhan” view. And during the week I met a young woman raised in Bangkok whose father is with SEATO and communication was as easy with her as it has been impossible with “peace” groups that are very proud of their dialectical conclusions into which they try to Procrustes all humanity without any consideration for that humanity! This is called “the democratic way’!

Tonight we consider Paul Reps. He is attracting the young people. He has adopted so many views derived from the real Oriental philosophies of real Asians that it is almost impossible for mature people to comprehend; as for the young, it is so easy and they are way ahead of me. But I have enough savoir to accept the young human beings, not the dialectics of older people, as harbingers of the lure.

This same sort of madness which sets up the dialectics of older people as indicating 2001 as against the actual views of the young also appears in my life. Older people simply will not have it that Sam Lewis is becoming a leader of the young any more than they have accepted his Asian “madventures.” Our walk in Hippie-land was remarkably successful and the repercussions as coming—from the young! My friends will accept Julie Medlock and her friends will accept Sam Lewis and do, but the direct acceptance of one’s direct reports is not part of our culture, yet. So we have the struggle between Lord Snow’s “The Two Cultures.”

So much of my philosophical background has been accepted by the Philosophy Department at the university—where the views of G.S. got dimmer and dimmer. Now the instructor in Logistics is accepting my backgrounds, too; and Wednesday night I speak on Fabre D’Olivet. I was the actual heir of F.D.’s unpublished works and if there had been normalcy in the G.S. movement they could have had lots of background material to support their contentions. But these materials got in the hands of “The wrong person.” They were destroyed in a fire in 1949, gone forever.

But already professors have accepted my knowledge of the teachers of Fabre D’Olivet and accepted objective evidence. So now here I am doing work for the professor in Linguistic what I had wished to do for the G.S. movement. It is no pleasure to me that Don has a very bad name in academic circles, but I am tired facing the disciples of Max Black and others. They have accepted my backgrounds, and so I am going ahead to bring in sooner or later some of the materials used by Fabre D’Olivet which lead to his “The Hebrew Language Restored.” Personalisms have no part in culture. And the first lesson in Linguistics was a severe attack on value judgments and everybody knew what was meant.

After Reps and Fabre D’Olivet I shall end the week by discussing Julie Medlock and what is going on at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It has taken years to get people to accept eye witness reports from a person who was there but sooner or later this is bound to be true. The verbal anti-Aristotelianism which continues “conclusions without premises” is not even worth confuting. When important or self-important philosophers accept criticisms of their positions, why bother about those who will accept no proof and no evidence from value-judged “peasants.” This is not what I wanted, so later on I shall have to resuscitate Cassius Keyser. I can see this coming.

My God-daughter is retiring from work until her baby is born and is organizing my efforts. She was compelled to examine the tremendous amount of materials collected during the years, the annotated diaries, etc. and she is now organizing many of the young to help me. The young are as fervid in accepting, with or without evidence as their forebears were in rejecting, and never mind evidence. This is a new age, Vocha. The year 2001 will be made by rising generations and not predetermined by the dialectics of seniors. I have seen that happened to Nicholas Roerich and Boag Carter and Eli Culbertson. Older peoples accept this type; young people will have nothing to do with dialectics, no matter how prominent the individuals.

Love and best wishes,




April 26, 1968


My dear Vocha:

Finding a letter of yours unfiled I am taking this opportunity to report. It is with no ego-satisfaction to say that everything is going “right.” They are mostly things which should never have gone “wrong” and all items fit in tightly to Lord Snow’s “The Two Cultures.”

It is noteworthy that in trying to report my findings in actual Asia, every single scientist accepted everything, and it was years before a single non-scientist accepted anything. But this is characteristic. The economists and social scientists do not accept the in situ experiences of their colleagues and they do accept the official reports of nations and the UN as if these were sound facts. The resignation of Arthur Goldberg based on his experiences will not change the policies and attitudes of politicos and social “scientists.”

Recently “Asia Survey” of the University of California gave a whole issue to “Food Problems of Asia.” I have had exactly one interview with one of the editors. I am fortunate. None of the horticulturalists or engineers on the various UC campuses have been so granted. Money is used from the coffers of a vast institution but is not used to promote the very successful researches of the staffs. It is all “The Two Cultures.”

As G.S. is based on personalisms and not any system of logic (unless a change can be made) it is impossible to convince editors that when PhDs, use the term “Asia” and mean Thailand, Pakistan and India as did the conference on “Food Problems of Asia,” there is nothing one can do. “Asia” means whatever experts say it means. But it happens that Thailand, Pakistan and India are the Asians countries where I have not only lived, but studied agriculture in situ and have piles of field notes. It is these notes which will be willed with a bequest when I am gone.

Fortunately Prof. Malebaum of Pennsylvania did accept my in situ reports. One place where I was so obvious was the existence of Mangla Dam in Pakistan, an operative institution built by a local corporation (Guy Atkinson) and hardly mentioned in the press. Indeed the reports of the chief of surveyor of its operation, another former UC big-wig (Milton Fireman) has equally been ignored. Etc., etc., etc. So I can’t complain about Sam Lewis. It is our existence in two cultures, that of science and that of the “literary-humanist” people. But this is not a single instance, it will not be a single instance and it will require a great deal more objectivity than we have today.

I have taken this opportunity to criticize the resorts from Pakistan, taken without a whimper, and am pointing out to the Pakistanis that they need G.S. I shall take it upon myself to introduce G.S. or rather A.K. into Pakistan because all the doors are open.

I shall present to them exactly what Bartlett presented to me, very comprehensible because of my studies of Russell and Keyser.

It is not necessary to whimper. My instructor in “Linguistics” has accepted everything which has been previously rejected by so many in so many ways. I feel almost ashamed. I know he will accept “The Creation of a New Language” which I tried in vain to get over to the GS people. It is real, it is operative, and it is indirectly connected with the career of Julie Medlock.

I am now top adviser to two independent international conferences going on respectively in Pakistan and India, covering somewhat different subject matters. But the man whom I suggested to report on subjects which I am acquainted with has already been made Vice-Chairman of each. And I am now preparing a disciple to go to India in my stead. He is well known in this world but he belongs to a culture we simply will not recognize.

Speaking of cultures we do not recognize, I am planning to be in Vancouver, B.C. before the national election. My uncle wants me and I would stay with him. This will give full opportunity to call on the S.C. people who control the provincial government—American paper ‘smusn’t copy. “Right” and “left” equally ignore the existence of realities which do not fit into their sub-Euclidean schema, and I regret the G.S. people have accepted this.

Indeed in the last issue of Etc. there is a question to be answered “right” or “wrong”: “The sum of the three angles of a triangle are 180°.” If that is not murdering A.K. I don’t know what is. The norm would be to recognize nonsense and sensible questions. The name “Carnap” would be honored, but the same egocentric rejection of his logistics.

I am also concerned with the odd situation at the University of California where the editor refused to grant an interview to two other mature persons and myself (the ladies were friends of Whitey too) who had lived in Indian villages. He was giving courses on Indian village life. Now in the reports on Asian agriculture he has published that the dearth of mineral resources is one of the reasons for the non-development of these lands. Well us poor nobodies who have lived in villages and climbed mountains and seen mines and minerals, we can do nothing, especially in a democracy. And Julie Medlock will be honored by those that do not know her because she is a friend of Oliver Reiser and her friends honor me and not her and the right in a democracy for editors and “big people” to a priori reject is a constitutional “right” and we are stuck.

At this moment I am stuck too for there has been a procession of persons which continued far into the night, hard facts which simply cannot be, because…. Most of the visitors were Hippies, and they do not respect the opinions of their elders any more than the elders. And they respect one who is rejected by their elders just because….

[next page(s) missing?]



July 24, 1968


My dear Vocha:

The Eyes of the World. Do you remember this book by Harold Bell Wight of many years back? That a society matron who considered it to her duty lay down all the rules and regulations was finally exposed by somebody tearing the clothes off in public and revealing a tremendous scar?

Do you realize that your mere mentioning you are going to see Soen tears off the clothes of Don Hayakawa whose blind insistence that Zen was a creation of certain Englishman whom he once admired and anybody who contradicted him was out? And the intolerable position of this person is over. Barred from the top echelons of Harvard University because I have defended General Semantics it is time to bare the scar of Don who has the audacity to proclaim certain friends of his as the top Psychiatrists of the world when they have not been able to heal the scar in his own family? And there is such a thing as “compassion” which Don does not understand. But his last egocentric antics must put him down in time and way down. And if “General” Semantics is going to follow “generals” instead of its original principles, it is only a question of time when this will come out wholly, and holy.

I feel like Alice, at the end of the “Wonderland when she finds she has been dealing with “only a pack of cards.”

Everything is bursting. I am about to edge into the seminars of the philosophy Department of the University of California but have decided to do this from the top down as well as from the bottom up. Art Hoppe of the Chronicle here has used my reality versus “realism,” and he understands fully the difference between observed facts and the pompous editorial “facts” proceeding from everything but the cortex. The day is over when rah! rah! cortex can be substituted for rigorous thinking. But I have no time to contradict the smarty-aleck stuff put out by Etc. as human or undivine wisdom.

Sheila has been a most faithful disciple from before I was ill last year and she has observed the difference between the vocative powerful persons and one who is able to touch the hearts of humanity, and no nonsense. But Sheila has one tremendous asset, which is a$$et, and that is going to squelch the whole gamut of value-judgment rejections of whomsoever. I have already met two of her close wealthy associates and she promises soon the wealthiest and most prominent and that is going to squelch once and for all a priori and other rejections.

Sheila is preparing to go to the Orient to real summit conferences of real people—nothing ever in the press. No doubt the most effective will be the Auroville of Julie Medlock and we went on some errands and not figments of Englishmen and others passed off as “Asians.”

She had her first experience of the day at the Indian Consulate, some of which staff is in bad repute with “experts” because of the high esteem they hold this person. And as my first Indian epic may be published soon, it is going to make a dent in the a priori rejecters who keep this country in darkness and ignorance and only do not become effective because all rival phonies are also rivals of each other.

The we visited two schools of Asian Music (where they present real Asian culture) to each of which I gave a donation in the name of my late departed “Godmother,” Miss Ruth St. Denis. Of course the money is always “real” even if the donor is not. But there is a different kind of American in those places and no nonsense.

After that we went to a Persian Bazaar and Afghan restaurant in turn, totally impossible (French pronunciation) because the owners are Sufis and there can’t be any Sufis because the great “experts” are Englishmen and Germans who say there ain’t and therefore there can’t be. But there happen to be 40, 000, 000 more or less and probably more than less. This includes the president of India (others too) who has to be by-passed because his existence does not fit in comfortably with American realism.

We have already dedicated the International School of Meditation, proposed originally by Paul Reps and if Soen ever comes this way again, or when he comes it will be a new day. The relations between him and the three unwise disciples of old Senzaki, Reps, Reich and Lewis, is wonderful. It belongs to the realism of Prajna and Alaya which can’t be because the “experts” know nothing of such levels of consciousness and “expansion of consciousness,” not only Etc. style but others is limited to the proper persons!!!

Sheila saw firsthand that Universal Love which is beyond the ken of mind and yet which is so close to wisdom—and one demonstration after another.

Sam has been approached by the new editors of The Oracle published in Haight-Ash and they are willing to accept his diary records which can’t be, and sooner or later The Eyes of the World are going to be turned on an objective Asia as they may have been on an objective Europe and America.

Seven days a week, from 6 A.M. until far into the night and “not a cough in a carload.” I am sending a copy to Lloyd. I see the need to fit American-European and Asian cultures together, but no more “generals. I have today a firm, wonderful following of what Rudolph Schaeffer calls the most beautiful young men and woman around. All my old inhibitions of father-function, etc. are out in the open, and all my classes are binding an ever growing number of young. I shall be most happy when you can come here.





August 17, 1968


My dear Vocha:

It is not yet light. The Law of Compensation, human justice and [?] is carrying the Punic war over into Africa.

I have your splendid letter of the 10th. Having passed a most successful, vigorous week with human beings excluded by “humanists.” It is impossible to give all details, and there will be a separate letter over the events of last night. Out of courtesy and human consideration copies are being sent to Lloyd and Russ. But also copies are being made for others, including my “non-existent” disciples who are very much in the flesh; and so to colleagues who are very much in the flesh.

Dr. Huston Smith who has accepted two papers rejected by Don told me I get an “A” in his course regardless of my examination. And some day my ci-devant friends will have to learn that Zen and Asian Philosophy are not inventions of modern Englishmen whom they admire (or once did).

It is all over. It is almost twenty years since Don Hayakawa. Too busy with a seminar of his own asked Sam to address a group of scientists meeting on the San Francisco Santa Campus studying G.S. Sam went and spoke on “The Use of General Semantics and Keyser’s Rigorous Thinking in the Modern Laboratory.” The scientists asked Sam to write it up. The paper was sent to Don—and regardless of atheist’s “God is everywhere” and in the presence of a mutual acquaintance the paper was deposited in the wastebasket. From that point in all one got was “The trouble with you Sam is…. This is “liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up.” But particularly the latter. Now there are too many peasants and they are not going to shut up.

With a full week to begin with and five days with Dr. Huston Smith Sam had still to carry on interviews, classes, etc. (which Etc. ignores, along with a multiplicity of actual-facts). Everything in every direction went “right.” And today Sam must write a blurb on some aspects of personal history. This blurb will go on for a new generation, tired of “Vietnams” will accept the testimonial of little people who were these as against the dialectical pomposity of important people who will not. The rape of Tibet and the Vietnamese war are two outstanding examples of this Vatican nonsense from egocentric dialecticians and “experts” and we are paying a terrible price. Science and Jurisprudence depend on the collation of factual facts and not editorial opinions. Real Semantics is going to be rescued and return to the worlds for factual material and scientific honesty and rigor.

Soon my picture, my history and my knowledge of several subjects will be out on full display, and as soon as my personality is better known—and it will be—and is becoming so, the next steps will be taken. Amen.

For now efforts are being made to have Sam either conduct or join in on a Seminar on the campus of San Francisco State University, the campus of Don Hayakawa. I had already planned a reception for a teacher in another Department who is a very eminent scholar, and have friends in high places who know a little about my rejections by “experts.” The “experts” of course, being important people with a minimum of facts, come and go. The young are tired. They want information. They want knowledge, and the right of every person to determine their own conclusions with their own minds.

I shall, of course, accept this offer and will also visit the campus along with representatives of one of either of the new groups with whom I am affiliated, and who do not look kindly to vaticans either of Rome or Mill Valley. I shall follow this up also by contacting personal friends in Mill Valley which town doesn’t look kindly on “generals” who have tried to make themselves arbiters of the human race.

This is very regretful, of course. But as personality judgment is part of the equipment of unlicensed psychiatrists, they must in turn accept the judgment of others, especially when the “judged” get together and far outnumber the vaticans.

As to the Buddhist meeting—no Englishmen but Chinese—it was safely steered in such a way that personality squabbles were calmed down and a willingness to be objective and work for common goals was accepted. While us old fogies held the “rower” it is obvious that young and potentially more vigorous and sometimes such better informed people are not going to dominate.

The day when “liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up is over. The products of our modern educational system are educated, many have traveled abroad and have wisdom as well as knowledge.

Plans are progressing rapidly about sending disciples of Asian-Asia and sooner or later they will take semantics (without generals). I am glad Julie Medlock has sent you material. We are doing things, and we leave it to the “non-verbalists” to write and talk. There is a very close relationship between meta-geometry and Paul Reps. The “young at heart” are going to accept it, are accepting it.

Love and blessings.




September 25, 1968


My dear Vocha:

I was not going to answer your postal of the 21st owing to pressures but I am answering it because of the very nature of still more increasing pressures. I am also sending copy to Russ and we shall see where he stands on his own: “Do not let facts disturb the issues.”

I am sure there are a great many people who believe in the actual principles which have been verbalized as “General Semantics” and have not been confused by identifying these principles with the words, making a reality of these words and then permitting a movement to be annexed by a small group of people utterly without scientific training.

Independently there have been two seeds (interpret in the Rudhyar fashion) on the campus of the University of California, and the events of the past few hours shows that these two seeds may be placed in the same garden. One man is a leader of the non-Aristotelian philosophical movement. Any resemblance between his non-A and that of the “generals” is purely coincidental: that is to say he actually is a professor and he actually presents in his classes the alternatives to Aristotle, something Etc. has refused to consider. They are stuck with negatives, God bless them (and, of course) personalities. Sam had not been able to attend his seminars owing to other pressures (all of a positive nature).

The second were two independent movements to bring Asians together to present Asian-Asian philosophies without the aid of any renegade or reformed Englishmen. Sam was not ready for the meeting called and it has been delayed but we are going to have real alternatives to Aristotle from people who were never influenced by him anyhow.

Nyogen Senzaki brought this out in his material on Nyaya, and if I get loose ends together we are going to see some real alternatives to A-logic from valid historical and philosophical sources. These will be discussed openly and none of this “liberty, democracy and peasants, shut up.” I have every reason to believe it will go over.

Last night Sam received a telephone call from his god-daughter, Miss Khawar Khan of the University of Punjab, Lahore. He had sent her copy of “Science and Sanity.” Now with her in the country Sam will go to Powell St. with his check book and start buying. We do not need any help from “Etc.” to put over G.S. and they are not in any position to stop the flow of Korzybskian and other ideas that words are not things. This is part of a large number of unstudied Asian philosophies anyhow. You would think that a part Asian, part Occidental personality could be the first to champion such an amalgam, but it just ain’t so, darling, it jest ain’t so.

In the mail yesterday Sam received copy of The Bamboo Basket and was surprised to see that a lot of his words, taken down on tape recorder, have been published. They are of the same order found almost “only in America” where everybody is permitted to get into the Vietnam imbroglio but the Vietnamese themselves. The fact that they are out will gradually get around the world—no generals to stop one here, and I am going to see you get copy if you are not already on the mailing list.

I have signed up for two more courses at the University extension, both in classical archaeology; one class full, the other open, and I feel this may be my last term. The teacher’s visit to Cambodia was only partially successful and she will return either this winter or next summer to finish her work there. It is notable that there I am called “Dr. Lewis.”

Yesterday also two of my disciples left for a summit conference in real Asia where certain leaders of the rally real world will meet to study international problems. The hard, hard fact that the leaders of this conference are very close to Sam must be ignored because we must not let “facts disturb the issues.”

The visit here of one of Fritz Purls’ secretaries was amusing. She was suffering from one of the very type of problems for which he is a expert and therefore a representative of Etcience.

I know nothing of Kairos or anything going on in southern California. This winter I shall either come south or go east to see my god-daughter or both. Very slowly financial affairs (which have not been bad) are improving. I am now joint owner of a house in Novato in Marin County where we hope to demonstrate communal living but here again, I must warn, facts should not disturb issue.

We have open house on Sundays and Thursdays, different types of Asian-Asian philosophies and techniques, approved by Asians, of course. But I should rather you could come to my partially closed meetings on Monday nights or Saturday afternoons and you will see demonstrations which exemplify what am is doing, not trying to do, but doing. But remember, “facts should not disturb issues.”

Indira Devi would probably do well here. Tremendous increase of interest by the young in all aspects of Indian music.

The program “Joy without Drugs” goes on unabated and next month will add Sunday morning activities. The young are awaiting; their elders will snub, of course, until we attract public attention, and believe me, Vocha, that is in the offing.

Gavin is well and attracting young also but on a smaller scale. Love




San Francisco, Calif.

February 1, 1969


My dear Vocha:

A little event at Gavin’s last night is determining new policy. There is no use trying to convince mature people of anything. The absence of any capacity for the expression of innate honesty is so great. The same energy needed to “straighten” out a senior can be used to direct a dozen young people. They want honesty, integrity, facts; the older people want confirmations and conformations.

The dishonesty is compounded. The Third World front is composed of a small minority of professional agitators. They are as little interested in honesty and objectivity as those in office, if not in control. The Power Structure wants it that way. They use the existence of the “left” as an excuse to discipline real liberals and the Third Front wants it that way so they can attract (in their minds) more students to them. Dialecticians understand each other even though they are in violent disagreement. Neither cares a bit for facts.

In being permitted to speak Sam won the good-will and affection of more young people. He is finding that in the University too. Older people are not the least interested in anything but being “proven right”—whatever that means.

Sam is now being accepted both as a father-image and sometimes as a Jungian archetype. There is no use compounding that one’s campaign to become a Pied Piper has “failed”—only the young show up, and more and more and more.

Unwelcome facts must he ignored, a point on which those in control and the so-called revolutionaries are quite in agreement. I shall turn to the young more and more because also they are turning to the little man who has been “there.”

Love and blessings,




February 18, 1969


My dear Vocha:

Thank you for your letter of the 13th. The dreams Luther and I had that “Science and Sanity” would solve problems is the one dream that has worked the opposite in life. The other day, in class, when I said that Americans were unable to listen to Asians the reply was that Americans were unable to listen. Later when I pointed out that UCLA add UCSB had in their curricula the very courses that the Black students are agitating for, neither the revolutionaries nor their opposite number cared. They were not interested in facts. The very use of the terms “power complex” and “establishment” shows that the parties involved are concerned with power, not with justice or integrity.

In preparing for some lectures on Asian Philosophy I ran across a passage in “The Awakening of Faith in Mahayana.” I am copying this now and sending copy to Russ. I had to choose between two wars. On advice of friends I shall not go to war with Playboy but instead have thanked them for even mentioning my person and background. Professors A Priori Rejection have refused this and several Professors A Priori dejection (all of whom use the words, “liberty,” “democracy,” “humanity,” would have none of it. So I thanked Playboy had have let it go at that.

The University of California has scheduled at least one course in Semantics. It will be a course in Semantics, and not of generals. So I send Russ a copy. Of course the world needs Semantics and it needs Korzybski and it needs a thorough understanding of the men and his methods even though after examining much may be discarded. But G.S. does not depend on examining anything but the personality involved. It is not scientific, and at times is not even dialectic but personal. So it is necessary to have an art-science which stands up, not a theological pseudo-philosophy masquerading.

It is not only that the demands (?) of non-students have not been granted. Every campus cannot afford a cyclotron and every campus cannot afford specialty studies but let a “peasant” try to bring information and the skies descend. Nevertheless, encouraged by a lot of things going on, I am going to copy and have circulated first this selection and then others, all of which have gotten the usual from “Prof. A Priori Rejection” and this name is likely to stick.

Had another reply from Art Hoppe. He is slightly more clever than others but despite the headlines, the TV time and space, etc. a lot of people who have no sympathy with so-called “campus revolts” do not wish dictatorships and that is what they are getting. This came out sotte voce when the person tried to get into the Marin Rod & Gun Club. Between his atheism and the fact that he kicked out of his class at least one scion of a prominent family (he should have thought about it but did not) the elders would have none of him. He began to cry about race, he the man that accepted that Zen is a modern invention of prominent English-men whom he once admired!

Now as to Freud. I have rejected him because “my” psychology is based on an examination of the whole cranium, the whole cerebrum and, of course the cortex, as they are and how they function. A good general will use the word “cortex” and that is it. He does not rely on cortical functioning. Nor is he able to judge Freud because selecting (in his own manner) a portion of the cranium he cannot refute others who use only part of the cranium. Further he has selected particular persons as exemplified by the same nonstandard. And if education is going to be based on such methods, why not Mao? That is what he does.

“The Human Worth of Rigorous Thinking” having been laid aside, there is no place to stop and no place to go. I am now in a position to repurchase all of Keyser’s works and probably shall. I shall then argue from a position of strength against the passing parade of vocabulary snatchers who seem to control some of our culture. Of course youth won’t accept that.

I am now busy all the time giving instructions in “Aquarian” Asian Philosophy, a nice word which has nothing to do with the stars at all. It is simply that one brings the Asian Philosophy of Asians. And now my ties are being strengthened all over the Rand-McNally work (reality), and I pay no more attention to the social world (‘realism”).

I shall ask one of my secretaries to enclose a few papers for your perusal. I am now going out to complete reading one of my rejected poems. These poems will live on, I feel it. May go into the theory later.

Bryn Beorse is backing me all the way.

Love and blessings,




410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco 94110

February 27, 1969


My dear Vocha:

This is an unscheduled letter written from Novato. Because of my first name, I am only too often reminded of Morse, the inventor of the electrical telegraph. In the last part of his life he demanded that “justice” be done. He sued his detractors and evil-doers and won every time.

A sense of humor rather than any consideration of justice or mercy instituted other behavior patterns. I cannot impose on anybody that there is justice and compensation in the universe. Emerson has been dethroned (?) and national morality is both in flux and confusion. Many young Americans are seeking the spiritual values in their own peoples. The immediate spark that instigated this latter is an inquiry into Cora Williams. As Lloyd 1968 is so utterly far froth Lloyd 1928 or Lloyd 1938, objectivity seems far away.

In recent interviews with the various personnel in charge of Asian studies at the University of California, the whole tenor is to support reality against “realism,” and to give, at least, normal respect to those with knowledge and experience. But added to that is a disgust for the so-called experts, the men I have called Professor Suez Canal.

In simple words a man translating Russian scientific articles becomes neither a specialist in Slavic languages nor in the sciences dealt with in the articles. But our policy has been that a person who can even read Hindi or Sanskrit becomes a scholar in both Indian languages and the subject matter of literature. This has established such a gulf that we should not be surprised either with the termination of Peace Corps or other institutional activities abroad; or with the shock to the Peace Corps people themselves in discovering how much they have been brain-washed.

I have kept both Lloyd and Russ acquainted with the darts being aimed against Don Hayakawa. It is one thing to ignore his personal religion or lack of it; it is another thing to decry and deride the philosophies of the majority of mankind simply because he and others have chosen to be opposed to religion, in toto.

There is one class of detractors I could never understand: those who deny the hard facts of a man’s personal history. Thus some of the people whom Don has listened to—he does not listen to many people—have denied that Sam was a San Franciscan. Don and company reject Sam’s relation with Cassius Keyser. This is nothing but stupid biased and egocentricity.

Out of the past Sam has re-encountered a man important today both in general history and the affairs of South- and Southeast Asia. This comes at a time when there is dickering going on for Sam to speak for some real Vietnamese in regard to their culture. I can no longer appeal to the humanism of some humanists, but I am sure if I went to Humanist House they would accept my history, if not my views.

Finding justice and a compensation in campus affairs etc. comes at a time when more and more young people believe that the little man who has been there should not always be excluded, so that audiences are restricted to listening to the opinions of important persona whether they have been there or not. I not only have 7 classes or lectures each week, I am being called upon to address audiences covering a larger district and with more persons of course. There is a vast difference between disliking a person and snubbing everything that comes out of him.

I may hear Senator Church Friday night. If so, I shall ask him pointblank, “How can we establish any foreign policy if reports are not accepted seriously from eye-witnesses, and public policy is determined by weighing the opinions of important people, many of whom have no knowledge of the groups involved?” We certainly cannot terminate crime by ignoring eyewitnesses, but we insist on establishing foreign policy not on facts but on factors.

There is one thing that is certain. Absolutely and positively certain. Sam is a successful pied-piper, and the snubs and semantic reactions of the important people who were never there mean nothing any more. The caution is now not in any further dealings with privileged or unprivileged persons who delight in their own semantic reactions, but how to assimilate, how to love and guide an ever increasing “family” of love-starved young people.

I have never accepted materialism, because I have never met a materialist (so-called) who gave equal weight to the functions of every portion of the cranium. Or who has a balanced outlook on all the functions of this very material body.

Despite the seemingly ponderous tones of this letter, the whole life is improving. My brother, so long my worst enemy, is fighting on our joint behalf tooth and nail, and there are other signs of financial improvement from this point alone.

Partly by my own efforts, partly by the favorable intercessions of Paul Reps, and partly by the valuable assistance I am getting from my young followers, both autobiographical and creative articles are in demand. I believe they will be in demand more and more. Perhaps it has been good that one has had to have bucked up so many uncalled for roadblocks.

There is lots more to write—not a dull moment any time—but now I am going into the constructive aspect of life. People who make a profession of standing in the way of others, sooner or later must meet their own come-up-edness. The cry for Love, Sincerity, Human Consideration, and Human Understanding will not forever be unanswered.

With all love and good will,




410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

March 1, 1969


My dear Vocha:

One is sandwiching in a reply to your letter of the 26th. The time is coming when we shall have objectivity outside the strictly scientific fields. The fact that some top officials of the University of California asked one for advice concerning the various so-called “experts” on Asian matters and that Sam only confirmed them is going to lead to the gradual withdrawal of the importance of the European and English “experts” on Asia, accepted but “only in America” and the real cultural interchanges which are growing apace though entirely ignored by power-structured groups and individuals.

The course on G.S. at the University of California will be given by one Bernard R. Chalip of the Alameda School District. I cannot abstain from taking another step forward and will send a carbon to either Russ or Lloyd, and sooner or later we are going to have Semantics without generals. Hardly have I begun to send out the paper on “The Awakening of Faith”—and this will go all over Rand-McNally’s world, when I perused a recent issue of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (of which I am a Fellow and I doubt whether a single “only in America” expert on Asia is!

This article was on Buddhist Logic. It is not only lucid but gives may examples of how Buddhist logicians would face problems, including some of the problems of the day. The way the generals have it they have a phrase “infinitely varied logic” which any sophist can and would accept at once. But there is no application to real problems or the real day (if the word “real” has any meaning at all) such as Vietnam, defoliation, DDT, food problems, etc. At the present time only remarks from “properly qualified persons” are accepted and this has set one or two generations of young people against this egocentric nonsense, and I think it will be once and for all.

My talks in the Haight-Ashbury district have not only been well receive but the story is going around about the people who has been given the a priori bounce by the (self)-important persons and groups. Gradually it may make me a folk-hero. And with the invasion of Sonoma county coming up and two or three rather big writing assignments coming up, plus invitations to extend my speaking area-arena, it will expose once and for all the a priori rejection people.

Last night attended a party. It was at the house of my only Mulatto disciple. The audience had a fair sprinkling of “blacks,” and was of three groups—my disciples, the actors from “The Committee” and various personal friends. In the absence of disturbing elements it was marvelously integrative and harmonious. The only thing is that one finds the lonely and heart-hungry people and one dose not like to “answer” their inquiries too much. It is so easy to break the veil with the young, so easily easy. But just as it to almost impossible to get Americans to see from Asian points of view, so it is very difficult for self-centered mature people to appreciate any viewpoint of the young.

A similar point arose this morning in the class on the effect of the traditional religions of Asia on modern progress. Sam made the point of Multiordinarily of the word “Confucianism” and the fact that it was used so multifariously there would be no one or even several lucid policies. There being no “generals” present Sam was able to speak and the teacher accepted each and every contribution.

My final point was on predictability. As the “important” people in G.S., especially the parlor and bedroom “scientists,” do not accept predictability, I mentioned conversations in Hong Kong with a Chinese savant. From the Yin-yang standpoint we predicted that the next Nobel Prize in science would go to a Chinese. Sam who has studied Organic Chemistry in the laboratory and not in the parlor or bedroom, at that time pointed out the similarity in principles between dextro- and
levulo-retentions in Sugars to the Yang-Yin polarities. We agreed. Before Sam returned to this country, a Chinese won a Nobel prize on this very point. If there were an honest science of G.S. as Korzybski pictured it, this could have come out in public. It will come out.

All the present confusions arise out of setting personality above objectivity; this is the current dominant note and is the source of the riots, mobs, Vietnam impasse and everything.

I stop at this point, for there will be a class in a few moments. And will write a later note after reading OLR’s letter. I shall ask Daniel to take up the points of Sufism. This is “out” with the Playboy article and next week will break out further at the UC class where they do not pooh-pooh and a priori reject.





2 March 1969

Section 2. It is very early Sunday morning. My secretaries have read your letter and they have the highest feeling. They want to meet you. The whole social life is different. One is surrounded by a growing number of young and beautiful people, almost out of H.G. Wells. And perhaps out of Sri Aurobindo and Bulwer-Lytton. But solid facts do not disturb egocentrics. One receives a lot of letters from egocentrics and all have the same criticism that one is an ego and then they come up with “solutions” and nearly all these “solutions” consist of asking or demanding one follow some other ego. No principles, no standards, just one-sided diatribes leaving no alternatives. This shows the universal sickness.

The class on Dancing and Walking was beautiful. The reactions were all one could look for. Instead of being a lonely old man, one is surrounded and they respond to something more than ego, and especially the a priori rejection systems of their elders. Received another one last night, all that can be expected from the usually mature in age, but otherwise what Korzybski calls “Infatiloides,” an excellent term.

There has been a strange series of fires. The house at Novato got it first, more water damage and clothing and next week the insurance company repair. (One of the fires was stopped by a hailstorm). This means you may be invited to visit the place. We have two cars there. We have two here but both in the “hospital.” We are also gradually changing this place to an Inn, but this will take more time. I think you will be able to get some sides of the “Cultsville, U.S.A.” in Playboy. It is not all wrong. Besides Luther and I well covered the field years ago.

Going over all the institutions known as “Meditation” Sam is more won by the attitude, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” As “Logic” consists of heeding the words of important people, many would gain by reading what Lord Russell said about Meditation years ago. The body is treated always as a percept excepting by the Existentialists; but the mind is treated one moment as a percept, the next as a concept, and back and forth to please the “important” person, i.e. the speaker whosoever he happens to be. This is also “Logic.” Paul Reps has won an interminable number of debates by the simple device of showing that the other person was constantly jumping from fact to concept to abstraction and back and forth, using the same word also. This is now called “General’s Semantics.”

Oliver sent me a nice note of acknowledgment. As one does not know which way the Generals will turn, one wonders what they think of OLR’s attitudes on the “Psychic World.” The refusal on the part of nearly all contemporary pseudo-philosophers to consider the devices of Keyser and Spaulding has resulted in philosophy being relegated to the dumps. So there are no standards, just rampant emotions and that is what so many of the young do not want. I don’t wish to infer that there are not new hostile forces and persons. Of course there are. But to have two well-knitted families end homes, all ersatz but all providing all desirata which are presumed to constitute family.

There is another side and this will come out when the university has seminars from which Sam will neither be excluded nor refused the floor and for the moment I shall refer to them under the word “spiritual” which is undefined here for a purpose.

Having successfully pointed out the multi-ordinary use of the term “Confucianism” in class one will be able to proceed. The professor also accepted the hard, hard fact that Sam was involved in the Sun Yat Sen movement (still accepted by some Chinese, but nevaire by “experts” until yesterday).

One realizes fully that any clarification of one’s position will be immediately used as a basis of criticism. But the hard, hard facts and the reactions of human beings, real ones, will, sooner or later, arouse some people to accept these facts and these persons. Radium would never have been discovered, much less permitted to play a role in the pure sciences if the type of people known as the Establishment had their way. I have already told you I think, what happened in circles against Frederick Soddy, and his immediate success only resulted in a later reaction which led to his untimely old age—one of the tragedies of science. A “beaten Galileo” is treated as non-existent.

Next week I shall probably put on two “scenes.” One will be at the University where I shall come, no doubt, in the guise of a dervish. As dervishes are excluded by the “only in America” East-West Congresses, it is time to make a scene. Sooner or later this will also reach Don’s associate who is in charge of the East-West congress in Hawaii, Jews and theists most welcome! Others have to have “credentials.” So Sam will show some of his “credentials” in public. Why not?

The other will be with the young. At the party the other night there was a young women who also knew Ruth St. Denis. More of this will come out. And as soon as there is enough dry water, we shell go to the young and do! Yesterday ten solid couples and two extra men as musicians, all as real and with as many votes as self-important persons. In the hospital and finally in the morgue they are no different.

But on the positive side, Vocha, there is something more. There is the whole universe of Heart and we are working in the direction both with words and acts. No use writing on this, but it is all demonstrable and all patently avoided by older people. As Sam has been writing, his campaigns to be a Pied Piper have failed miserably—only the young show up. If the forebodings are correct, there will be more and more and more. And my forebodings in poetry are gradually being published.





March 9, 1969


My dear Vocha:

The week has been so pregnant with events that last night I retired at 7 and slept until 6 this morning. I am making copies for both Lloyd and Russ, and it does not matter whether they see that one is “negotiating from a position of strength” or not. And inasmuch as some people are very much more equal than others—if the others “exist” at all, the very exigencies of the time impel, if not compel one to enter into the arena.

It was certainly not Cassius Keyser and I doubt whether it was Alfred Korzybski who proclaimed a psychology based almost entirely on value-judgments and personality criticisms. Nor can a way of life be scientific if it exempts its followers and even more its leaders from its own provisions. And the assumed right of privileged s.r.s shows that the ETCemanticism is theological in the Comtean sense and has not even reached the metaphysical state. The public behavior of its High Priest-Pope places him in a delicate position.

I have during the past two weeks met one after another university professor, all of whom are in movements against the temporary president of San Francisco State, and each one has granted one the courtesy to speak and none have indulged in personalisms, so dear to the high priests of ETCemantics. Not only that we reached an agreement in each instance, in the one case the professor willingly retreating; in the other instances it was only necessary to become acquainted—one after another after another, real professors or real subject in real universities in this presumably real area.

Not only that but the telephone is ringing more and more both in San Francisco and Novato residences; the attendance at lectures goes up; the increment advances; and the invitations to speak, at almost every institution not having an ETCemantic head, shows that there is a humanity and even humanism. Sooner or later Lloyd will have to choose between the cosmic Humanism of Reiser and the Value judgment ETCemantic dialectics.

Cora Williams. It is young people who are doing this research and they are all opposed to the value-judgment dialectics of the editor of ETC.

Agent. I am giving a birthday party to one of my disciples this coming Tuesday and will place the letter in her hands. She has friends and relatives in high places in the publishing house business.

Articles by me are now being welcomed but I do not have enough secretarial help. And it is easy to resurrect one after another the themes a prior rejected by the high priests. But mostly anecdotes of my life are wanted. These are going over big in my Pied Piper campaigns which reach only the young but more and more every single week, actually.

The meeting with a Prof. Williams Saturday was in such contrast with our American, English and German “experts” on Asia, and now I am sure of Americans who did not learn from “experts.” (All articles in Etc. are of course, from “experts.”

In copying the article on Buddhist Logic from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society I do not find a single “expert” in this region listed as a Fellow, only this rejected person! And I have already evoked some surprising statements from friends of the General that he would not reject articles on non-A logics. But he has. Now I am in a position to write all over the world and am also going to present it to a few congressmen, that in America “we” are not interested in non-European logical systems, and much prefer prolonged “green tables” to any kind of communication on a humanistic, if not human basis.

When one of our cars is available I shall certainly go to Humanist House and ascertain if Asians are human and if an article on Asian systems of Logistics would be welcome either as a lecture or printed subject-matter. The dethronement of Aistotelianism has meant very simply the restoration of Sophistry, and problems are never solved, and they can be solved.

I am now ready for a public campaign unless some sort of letter is written to me. The long—years of it—of personality judgment, sneers, scoffs and derision also happened to others. And it is only that the leader in this approach has been made on the one hand head of a great educational institution, and on the other hand one constantly meets only protesters, but professors and dignified intellectual that are excluded by ETCemantics.

Now on the position side. A philosophy of love, tenderness, compassion, forgiveness, is only of value if demonstrated. Samuel is demonstrating a moral purification through the dance, inherited from Ruth St. Denis (which cawn’t be but it is) and it works. One is next ready to champion William James who certainly cannot be accepted by the systems and in re-reading him I find even stronger encouragement than in reading AK. And Sam will not be excluded from the floor or scoffed next month at UC.

One has had nothing but lovely letters from ones God-children or lovely contacts with the local one. So one is becoming now an ersatz grandfather. We gave one public demonstration of overflowing a meeting when the manager did not believe one could do it. Now one has a longer and constantly growing following, people who want both subjective and objective truth. At Sonoma State it was noted that every statement made by this person was exemplified by subject matter itself, which might be controversial. But the methodology was not controversial (despite previous years of priori rejections by the “free speech”—wallahs). That is over.

Paul Reps will be at Stanford soon and I understand Sam Lewis may follow. My health has been fine. But still have legal problems needing attention. It may mean the result and choice between comfort and actual wealth. I am not worried but after all what argument better than the $$$?





March 15, 1969


My dear Vocha:

It is not yet dawn. Had to go to bed early last night because of a slight case of flu, slept vigorously and feel well excepting for a slight cough. Or maybe it is because of too many things mentally. The rejection of all Asian culture (I mean of Asians) by Etc. has meant one could fall back on one: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This is an awful non-atomic bomb to us but I had intended to use it. I am among the few fellows of the Royal Asiatic Society out here. I do not find any of the “experts” on Asia listed in the membership. You have to pass an examination on Asian-Asian culture to become one and this is too much for most “experts.” But this does not nullify that “the enemy of my enemy if my friend.”

Encountering a splendid article on Buddhist logic and how it could be used to face, if not solve problems, I was ready to circulate it far and wide and tell the world that it was a terrible thing that the Generals of Semantics would have nothing Asian despite that the Generalissimo is half Asian himself; and copy the article in question and circulate it. Then I got a surprise phone call from Russ Joyner and have called off the warfare, at least temporarily. I have more than enough to do always.

The article in Playboy is too long to copy. Of course I am sneered at. This is “liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up” but in the end the writer finds the “company” in which he has placed me too terrible even for this one. At least he has admitted I am a living human being.

I am about to write a friend at Penn that a remarkable thing has happened, four professors in a row have accepted my verbal reports concerning Asiatica and one comes from Penn. There, but not in California, you have to have studied with Asians to become an authority on Asia. And I shall follow this up with an article on Pakistan! This man was long at San Francisco State and so knows all about Dons and Don’s. He said there were no authorities on Islamics and tried to close off a debate when I arose and said, yes, there were no authorities on Islamics accepted in this land but I was an accepted authority on Islamics in Islamic lands.

I then proceeded to solve a debate between the various Pakistanis in the room who were fighting each other. (My temerity! my bombast!) While the Americans gawked and snickered I ended by giving answers that were accepted by all the Muslims and the professor. The idea of a peasant interfering with such matters! This, of course, is typical.

Now with the impasse in Pakistan I shall draw upon my diaries and files (veddy unscientific you know) and have no doubt at the results. In fact the other day they permitted a student on the air—not really on the air but at a public hearing—to say that there were no silent majorities, there were just the majorities that the fourth estate ignores, that every revolutionary and radical was at once given the air, that many were not students at all and that the students were and are being by-passed. This has been Sam’s experience on the various campuses of which he has visited several. The very sweet groundwork for ETCemantics!

The story is out that Sam’s philosophy may not be acceptable, but that his methodology of always using referents was and is. It is on this point, that of using referents, that Asian logics differ from Aristotle’s but it is also on this point that ETCemantics has refused to accept either this sterling fact, or the alternative that Sam Lewis says it is. I do not want to go into the latter, but Russell is getting a copy of this.

Now my colleagues have their own publication. It is called The Oracle. And it may have some things of mine, beginning with a prediction that came true—most of my predictions did come true. It stands in contradiction to the “famous” and “important” people whose predictions do not have to come true. Thus Cayce and the earthquakes to destroy California! Well, having weathered a few more earthquakes than most people (facts are not important, people are) it is very confusing. But I have given up the prediction business after being almost 90% correct because you ended up with no friends at all. Besides for a Zennist this moment is the important one.

I have taken some steps about an agent here but can promise nothing. Involvements have become more complicated because now letters are answered. There is a Prof. in Oregon interested in real manuscripts of or about real Zen masters. Then Lottie is in town and the matter of publishing Nyogen’s works is still up. We have written Tuttle to find out what happened to the manuscript sent him because others are interested.

Shortly we have a plethora of birthday’s including Gavin Arthur’s. Sam may meet some of the “Zen” experts, inclining all the Etc.-Zen experts at Gavin’s, at least he has invited them. This time, a position of strength. Sam has a goodly following and growing. There will be no more “liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up.” One can be kind, gentle, forbearing but is no longer a door-mat for the “important” people and one may give them either a Zen or Dervish technique.

You are correct about problems not being solved. Whitie and I thought that kingdom had come when Science and Sanity was published. I successfully applied it twice to groups, only scientists. That alone was enough to get on Etc’s blacklist. I still have such problems as Vietnam, “The Silent Spring” etc. which could be faced with the matrices of AK but not now, darling, not now. Only Russ is very fair and fair-minded. And I think he will realize the dangers of articles being published elsewhere on non-A logics and their potential applications to problems of the day.

The probability of expansion in the Haight-Ashbury district may mean getting publicity but it also means putting the foot down. “Everybody” wants to get into the act and for free; I don’t mind teaching Dervish dancing for nothing but I shall have discipline, or else. For instance no drunks, under no circumstances.

Another thing happened on the same day that Russell phoned. There is another man whose name has been in the papers a lot, another one of the many “messiahs” of this region. He was going to destroy Sam by bringing in a real Guru. He had as much “reason” for wishing to destroy Sam as the Generals have for rejecting the articles and persons from this source.

This “messiah” has lost all his wealth or rather all his control and has had to appeal to the public to put on a “thing” to rescue him. But his followers have been coming to Sam one by one, generally secretly but also to his public meetings, now overcrowded, but only with the young, darling, only with the young. Sam has made no effort to convert or convince them, having enough to do.

One reason I did not sue Playboy because my brother is in entanglements with the Estate. So far, by playing it coy there has been a raise in the allotment. Of course all the people who reject articles will be glad to take this burden from Sam! Also there are two different campaigns to bring me out in public for pay and believe that a bird in the hands is in the hand this may be the better course.

So today with more income and many more followers one can proceed on a positive campaign. The question of whether we are to have General Semantics or General’s Semantics will be settled for there is absolutely nothing in the way now of having an article published on General’s Semantics and Vietnam. It would be published and perhaps by more than one source. Based on facts, of course.

At the other end is the hard situation that the young are seeking love, appreciation, consideration, tenderness and friendly advice. One has to be parent, psychiatrist and a lot more and is succeeding. I think there are also some enclosures.





May 30, 1969


My dear Vocha, Mother Divine:

I guess you not only come by this title rightfully but with the passing of Ruth St. Denis also you inherit it. Sam has been going through a series of climaxes and these may become ones Norma—why not?

One of these was an anti-climax. Just had a scene because of some obeisance to John Cage who is a sort of composer and has made a lot of notoriety with his far-out arts. I see nothing in them but chaos and if it is “wrong” to oppose chaos then Sam is not only “wrong” but will follow such a “wrong” path. After some unlovely episodes Sam picked up the booklet on Sound which is so full of the proper cosmic approaches one could not say a word. One is not for one’s negativities but perhaps more or all of them are based on art or science.

Then the inheritance from Nyogen Senzaki. One is the constant diatribe against speculation and the constant runs with those love speculation and accuse you of lack of love and consideration if you do not assent to every speculation coming out of their egos. I have never found a single one effective but during the times of negativities one becomes very unpopular and perhaps this is best anyhow.

The other thing inherited from Nyogen Senzaki has been his papers. It is all “right” for a Paul Reps or Ruth McCandless or Robert Aiken to become a joint author to Nyogen Senzaki by putting up money. That is just, noble and proper. But for Sam to make on step forward with Senzaki’s papers, that is presumption, egotism and confusing. It is so. Of course Soein and Tan-san and others think if Sam does one thing that is wonderful, that these others never had any Zen experience anyhow and it is only their egos which pushes them forward.

One used to make much of Emerson s mouthtrap inventors, but now there is a slow movement toward Novato. The first important element is an editor who has even printed some of Sam’s stuff on Vietnam. Maybe millions of Vietnamese—whom Sam has presumed to be in the human evolution—are suffering and more than suffering, but the important thing is that we desist from Carrots who are not growing organically; or grow the wrong kind of Bean sprouts; or do not construct our sentences correctly—these are the important matters. Let us have wars, disputes, etc., etc. These are not our (?) concern.

Got so high the other night that the whole audience responded in love and ecstasy. It is notable that there were not middle-aged people there and excepting my very faithful Krishna Das, hardly any of the disciples in their Thirties!

Sam must now get ready for the coming of Master Seo, Pir Vilayat and Khawar Khan, one’s God-daughter. But what really matters is his adherence to the wrong pronouns. Never mind important things—the self-important things are more important! But behind this is a place for cosmic improvement. It is coming out. It is real in the sense that all human beings are real and not just vague forms in somebody s thought.

My friend John could not get into Denver this summer so I am sending him to Russ and told him to ask about Oliver. This may be a good door opening. Today nobody wants to really face serious problems with seriousness but none of my “good friends” stand in the way of a serious approach to Vietnam, or to food problems, or to the campus strife or anything.

You remember years ago when I sent you a book on the salving of sunken ships and the kind of logistics needed. One has not changed. And now there is a new approach to evolutions and it has some sense. And Sam has some data.

No wonder my new found friend, the editor, wants all the things that have been rejected by Me-Important and “I”-important who always criticize Mr. Nobody for this egotism. I have oodles of things—not only Vietnamese Buddhism but even worse shockers.

The day of superficiality is over. Daniel was excellent received on the Berkeley campus—other things are going on besides and surface drama which gets in the papers. This is so big I am overwhelmed but then I am always overwhelmed. And in the midst of this I have placed a whole field—okra, all kinds of squash, and transplanted various kinds of Broccoli. Between times working on the commentary to Inayat Khan’s “Cosmic Language” and correspondence, I did get one free night—a free night, not a free day. Such a thing as a free day is out of the question excepting for health. Lots of suggestions but no help and am so used to that can only laugh.

Well, glad you can get away from some things but don’t envy you. Will cross your land in August but now that you have gone no need to take the train.

One more person to the Khankah—Fatima away soon; Mansur away and returns only to join Vilayat Khan and with Vilayat, Seo and Khawar Khan coming can hardly look but expect to live through it.




P. S. There is a Japanese Photographer who has become a sort of press agents. He has seen my work, he thinks it is wonderful. The idea of peace through religion and the actual acceptance of all faiths and no superflage has impressed him. He has gone back and forth across the country.

It is some four years since I presented this idea to Paul Reps. No good. When somebody else presents it, marvelous! But The Temple of Understanding is stuck and I am not stuck. Discussed with Mel today more spiritual dances, both Om Namo Shivaya and next real Jewish, real mystical dances.



910 Railroad Ave.,

Novato, Calif. 94947

June 11, 1969


Dear Vocha, Mother Divine:

One answers your letter of the 7th in high spirits and also thanks you for your Los Angeles Phone number. The next few weeks my geography will be uncertain but much more time here than in San Francisco. Gwen is back and all things are going along beautifully in both places. Also Mansur read your letter today.

I am purposely sending Lloyd a copy of this—not that I can ever get an article in Etc. One of the great honors of my life was to have been bowled out for not speaking when the top scientists met in Berkeley a few years back. After that I was never ashamed, but people who are “on the side (?) of science” are so different from the scientists themselves.

Have not even had a night off and will not till tomorrow for a long time. Articles concerning me appear in the new Oracle and Planet News, both of which have given me long interviews. My letter to Playboy was published and this shows that there are editors who accept honesty, integrity and objectivity and do not judge on the (de)merits of personality. But your letter plus Mansur’s report shows that something must be done for we have lots of material that will interest OLR and he shall get it.

Had to write Pondicherry that it was no “New Age” thing to defend oneself and try to sell oneself while ignoring others who had the same aims, objectives and same philosophies. The way the dualists, dialecticians and analysts have seized the word “Integration” without any of the contents or promises is remarkable. Indeed the phrase “New Age” is also being treated in the same way. It seems even people who proclaim that words are not the things they represent indulge in this game, a sad and sorry game and certainly not attuned to the word “science” the way the magazine Science uses it—always objective material, references and referents and a minimum of ego-interpretations.

Anyhow I expect to go to New Mexico to have a “post-graduate Whiteman-Lewis career” with the addition that these people actually accept that I have lived in Asia, met Asians and may know something about it, it is certain that the University of California has blacklisted a number of “experts” who turned Sam down at every step. Of course the “experts” are still accepted in the old places but this will not be for long.

Perhaps the climax came when I entered Prof. Lancaster’s office. Unlike his predecessors and the “experts” and those who admire the “experts” he had already accepted Sam’s objective reports. And shades, no lights of marvel, he was a discipline of Nyogen Senzaki and was around during his last days!

This most welcome event came in a train of other welcome events in which both Daniel and Murshid are involved.

Rainbows and pots of gold! This is the great virtue, of course. My income increases and there are hidden angels. Several of my disciples have excellent plans end outlooks and they are turning objective. The way in which this person has succeed with “Hippies” is going to make history, not because of itself being eventful, but because the problem-shakers simply refuse to investigate. This being the non-lab-”science” which emotionalists love. Indeed the geography of my audiences enlarges and the age increase slightly.

My brother is in the hospital having what he regards as a capital operation. He is reconciled to the hard, hard fact that his passing will leave Sam, for Sam’s purposes and standards, a wealthy man. Already the rumors are out. But the money will be used either for traveling or building up a home.

Another thing will be to get out all the material which has been rejected during the years by Etc. and others. The great problems of the world such as malnutrition, low standards of agriculture, increase of world’s water resources, unemployment and a lot, lot more, including those arising from “Silent Spring” will be aired. Also a sterling defense of the “Multiversity” of California. The young want facts, their elders “opinions” from the right people, with some division over whom the right people are.

A short trip south may mean seeing Carroll Parrish and also some small gifts to UCLA. I am not anxious to raise my standard, and am also wise in not throwing money away, but nearly all my disciples have become gourmet cooks! It is marvelous, to say the least.

When I return I have two conferences at the University Extension. One is on Vietnam. Prof. Nottingham of Long Island U. gave me an “A” just for sitting in the class and this policy is promised also by others. Then I am ready to submit my poetry to the class on “Creative Poetry from the Study of Oriental Philosophy.” But the big thing is to note Lancaster’s plans. He will accept anything I have from Shaku Soyen, Tai Hsu, etc. etc. One can let the dead bury their dead with regard experts.

Saturday night at a meeting of “Frontiers of Science” and there met another “Julie Medlock,” a woman ex-newspaper reporter who had the audacity to be present where history was being made and got the same coup de grace as all of us have, but it will not continue much longer. Honesty, integrity, objectivity—the younger generation want and the younger generation are going to have unless we are thrown into limbo. “Objectivists of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your enemies and they are enemies of each other.”




P.S. After writing Daniel came in. He now has two full time paying jobs—one in music!



June 13, 1969


My dear Vocha:

Thank you for your last letter with some very valuable suggestions which immediately “took fire.” I shall leave it with Mansur, as Moineddin and I leave shortly for Los Angeles. This letter itself will probably be dropped at Las Palmas, for it is certain we shall be stopping on Cherokee in Hollywood for an important contact. I shall also get a message to ancient Prynce Hopkins for everything he wanted and dreamed in life is coming true and largely in connection with some aspect of my work.

Now Harvard has accepted my Zen-material background and sooner or later we are going to get out non-Etc.-Zen and no nonsense. The letter from Harvard coming immediately after the Lancaster interview opens the door wide for honest, objective studies in real Mahayana without any more interposition of fameux, especially English fameux. And I have just told Mansur I shall see he is “healed” when Huston Smith comes here.

Next Wednesday I shall attend the introductory seminar on Vietnam. No more of this “liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up!” I shall bring at least one of Phra Sumangalo’s letters and the corroboration of the other “Ugly Americans” will effect some serious, impersonal studies which will promote understanding if not peace. As soon as any answer comes from General Lansdale, I now have the doors open at Berkeley, and other local colleges (University of San Francisco and S.F. State despite Don or all the “dons” in the world).

In going over real Asian notes I came upon the following in I Say Sunrise by the late Talbot Mundy:

“Words and phrases are such vague and inaccurate symbols of thoughts that even French, which is said to be our most accurate modern language, became the favorite medium of diplomacy—an art whose practitioners delight in undiscoverable, deadly meanings and even deadlier evasions….”

While Lloyd gets a copy of this I am not going to waste any more time. I have the young with me and more and more and more and more. And the day of a priori rejections is over; and even more so the day of determining “truth” by the personalities involved instead of by objective factuality alone.

I have to see Vilayat Khan this morning before departure and can easily adjust to his plans. I am not interested in the politics but am interested in the legal moves. With a rising income, growing following and the possibility of considerable increase emoluments sooner or later I must have legal protection. Other than the plan to join the a reactive poetry class there are none now but there is now an agent working for me secretly and silently. I shall no doubt see Harry and as soon as possible.

Love and blessings,



P.S. I shall also make endowment to UCLA through Carrol Parrish as soon as possible.



June 18, 1969


Dear Mother Divine:

Arrived this afternoon and found your cordial letter with material on calligraphy. This will come in handy at the Fall semester. The only way to write a good term paper is prepare way before hand.

When thieves fall out the honest men may get their demand; when generals fall out the yard-birds may be permitted to testify. On my return from L.A. and vicinity I found Etc. with a debate (?) between Generalissimo Rappoport and Allen Walker Read of Columbia. The subject of Rappoport was “The question of Relevance” and it is on excellent expels of a General’s Semantics A typical sentence is “This mental image is contradicted by facts, which can be checked by anyone who will take the trouble.” He does not give a single fact. A General never has to. At least in Nyaya Logic you cannot make a statement without offering at least one fact but a General is a General is a General and as for a Generalissimo, no man may dare stand up.

The article is full of general sociological metaphysics, and at the same time many of the conclusions are “true”—i.e. we agree. Only this part of the “we” is neither a General nor a ???

Rappoport is full of sympathy for “Buddhists” but I never found him or any General of Semantics paying the slightest attention to the human beings who are Vietnamese Buddhists. After all wasn’t Buddhism an invention of an Englishman who has since gone wrong since he partook of marijuana—or was it peyote? It does not matter. He has gone wrong.

As for that I shall probably be in on the seminar on SE Asia with some historical documents—the worst kind of referents! I think I wrote you about Lancaster. More is coming. Carroll Parish was away but his office greeted me most cordially.

So far I have not found anything in Allen Walker Read with which I differ. I doubt whether the other Generals have studied all of Science and Sanity. I have seen no evidence of that!

The debates over DDT continue. I was ineligible to speak on Silent Spring being only a retired professional spray operator. Any good nurse, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, policeman or anybody with a PhD. in anything, they were all eligible. Free speech you know. And as applying Science and Sanity to this discussion, nothing must interfere with noblesse oblige, not even in a democracy. And entomologists do not have many votes. So the debate continues and the whole thing could have been solved if Korzybskian matrices had been applied.

Now the doors are open to articles to show that present G.S. does not want to solve problems, only to keep the pots boiling with articles. Just like others. And the door is also open because a permanent English nobleman has thrown the whole problem of world agriculture on to the fore4nsic table and this time I want be a priori’d and very gradually my research will be made known.

Going over Read I am totally satisfied but just assure until there is a public bang-bang the Generals will not permit a peasant to say anything.

My trip South was gorgeous—new contacts, all kinds of people, all kinds of kind people generally concerned with bringing East and West together without any “experts.” But now my people are going to Colorado for a mountain retreat. I am sending this to the Desert and hope it reaches you there. Have not read the rest of Etc. excepting a book review on Bali, original edition 1936, by
Coverable. That is where Etc. is. 1936.





Garden of Inayat

October 1, 1969


Dear Vocha;

This is a sort of apology. Several days back I wrote at length in answer to one of your letters and failed to mail it. It is in San Francisco, I am terribly busy excepting that now “the sheaves are coming in.”

Yesterday I received a letter from Lloyd and have refused his protestations of respect. He has failed utterly to accept any contributory article, and with both the G.S. and Humanist movements locked up in his person, he is the last person in the world (he gets a copy of this) to pretend to believe that “words are not things.”

What has happened is this: there are more and more calls for my time and accumulations of purported knowledge by more and more people. I do not know how I can fill these dates. My recent trips have brought nothing but favorable responses and it is only in San Francisco that one has remained a door-mat and whipping-post.

There is nothing easier than finding fault and there are professional people also for that purpose. Years ago I said to my friend, Robert Clifton (Phra Sumangalo), “Grand Phra, you and I aren’t are mere nobodies. Together we have not been able to get 30 people to listen to us in this city. But I do not think there is a king or prime minister, or cabinet official or university president or professor or holy man or for that matter peasant from one end of Asia to the other whom you or I cannot meet if we have not met them all ready. But who here believes us!” “Too true, Samuel, too true.”

He lived 15 years in Vietnam. Could he get an audience in Vietnam? We prefer war and catastrophe to listening to the “wrong man.” And it is for that reason that I am furnishing as many as I can with Encyclopedias of Buddhism. We have the audacity to interfere with the private affairs of exoteric nations and pay no attention to their history, religious, folk-lore and ideals. That is “U.S.” And the young want none of it. Without two weeks I may be in the hearts and minds of a lot more of young people. And the day is over when the self-entered, the proud, the domineering can misuse words such as “liberty,” “humanity,” “democracy,” etc., and etc. and keep poor “peasants” only as door-mats and listeners. Lloyd has to face this and a lot of others.

I have no ill-will but will not permit such people to permit attacks on my personality as substitutes for honest debates on serious questions. The problems remain and will remain until we can discuss passionately or dispassionately without indulging in personalities.

And what is needed is a good public thrashing, and when the President of S.F. State is compelled to express his religious views, most of his so-called “followers” will have to desert him.

Why, even all my filthily complexities are being straightened out and a lot more. And the day is over when the proud, the self-centered, the pompous can any longer a priori reject and add to such rejections an attack on the personalities they deride.

Humanism demands the use of human worth. We are going to get it in Cosmic Humanism, not in the Aryan verbalisms being used to cover narrowness.

Love and blessings,




November 28, 1969


Dear Mother Divine:

The other day Mansur received a letter from you in which you affirmed your remaining in Hollywood for a while. In your last the interpretation was that you were coming to San Francisco soon. My vacation provided me with a new schedule and a provisional day off. I also hoped to use that day to watch football on TV. It has not worked out that way at all. Always emergencies.

I think we have new reached a plateau and the young people who have lived, are living at 410 Precita also wish to have a sort of family commune. It has been very difficult to get them to accept their financial obligations, the chief reason—and it is a reason, was that one had her car smashed, another his car in difficulties and the third, the car stolen. It has not been “paradise regained” but a better sense of responsibilities. And as soon as they began to accept their financial responsibilities Sam got a swelling of the check book.

Se we had a glorious joint thanksgiving dinner, twelve persons with Sam, Mansur with his relatives. It is so glorious to have a happy and loving family with the best personality relations one could expect, and such excellent relations of each to each and all to all. No wonder there is now a “leak,” so far confined to New Mexico and the Massachusetts areas, but this may be augmented. And as I used to write to Art Hoppe, my efforts to become a Pied Piper have failed miserably, only the young show up.

My meetings are not large but there is either a steady attendance or a slight growth. Dancing is action, singing together is action and the young want action, not sermons, theories, harangues. It is laughable how so many write of a “generation gap” which has caused me to add to my Reality vs. “realism,” Facts vs. factions.” The most outstanding of the latter being the Vice President versus the commentators.

On the last Moratorium Day I had the audacity, temerity and extreme bombast to be entertaining a real Vietnamese who invaded my home without notice and was received with love, veneration and joy. This is something Americans “cawn’t” do. Then a few days later I received some appeals from the Vietnamese Buddhists and in January will take this up. We have given the Vietnamese the “democratic” choice between outworn Christianity and reactionary communism, and they cannot even determine who is to assassinate them, though now the “Christians” are in first place (Pinkville).

I did sent a copy of The Encyclopedia of Buddhism to Carroll Parish and had a nice letter from him. The idea of studying the actual faith of Asians, especially Asians whose countries we invade is atrocious. Haven’t we got enough English and German experts! I still believe that every people have the right to their own superstitions.

My relation with real Buddhists is awful! Why, there is new a lady Roshi (shades of L. Adams Black) in San Francisco. An she was the disciple of Phra Sumangalo, my friend who lived only 15 years in Vietnam and our absolute, adamant refusal to accept his reports is behind this whole miserable conflict. Eye-witnesses are not welcome; “lie-witnesses,” i.e. members of the Fourth Estate, they can do no wrong.

The meeting with Kenneth Roshi was not particularly different from that with Roshi Yasutani, but why bother with facts? Why make any exception?

Meanwhile the philosophy classes at “Hayakawa State College” are studying modern religious movements and we have taken up Tibetan Buddhism. Here we have thrown “realism” out the window. Yes! An actual Tibetan Buddhist has been consulted!! Yea! How come? One of my disciples went to see him and he came back with techniques, net sermons, grandiose metaphysical or humble-Meee!

This class is the most free or fall groups I have ever encountered, all views are welcomed and no personality squabbles and none of our hypocritical presentations to democracy and free speech. But such an event at “Hayakawa State College” cawn’t possible be news. It would upset everybody, even Vice-Presidents and the Super-encyclopedists called “commentators.”

In the meanwhile the Poetry group which I have joined has shown even more remarkable trends. They are actually moving into new dimensions. I can see this but I hear it in the choral groups. Although he does not know it we are demonstrating Dane Rudhyar and not, most certainly not, John Cage!

I have submitted a few of my poems drawn from real scientific studies of real events and real characteristics of real nature (nothing like Extensionalisms). I can do more and my disciples listen to my talks on “The Harmonics of the Chemical Elements.” Finding real beauty in real nature may convince scientists but it can never touch the dialecticians who dominate what is supposed to be “thought.” But with the success among the poets and the young and infiltrating the philosophers, it may be possible to illustrate some real wisdom of real nature. (The scientists are demonstrating this aesthetics with the ultra-microscope—no “existentialists” and dialecticians and commentators there!)

Anyhow I am preparing, so to speak, for two grand tours, one philosophical and the other scientific, but we can discuss that later. Am always busy but guess I cannot complain. (Written in Novato, will return in three days to San Francisco.)

All is wonderful in Novato, superbly wonderful and the mutual love and cooperation beats always anything anywhere.

Love and blessings,




November 28, 1969


Dear Vocha:

About an hour after I had written to you but not mailed, a phone call came from San Francisco that there is another letter from you giving Books in Review return address. I have therefore changed the envelope here and am getting this off.

A funny (or unfunny) thing has happened that my bank account was attached because somebody with a name something like mine had reneged on a note and apparently without investigation or notification I was it. This really demands an apology.

It has been very beautiful in Novato and warm in the day time. My week is “long” now because of the Thanksgiving holiday but there will be a “short” two weeks to follow because of the coming joint meeting or classes of the University of California and San Francisco State. There are now no European “experts” on ?Asia? standing in my way.

I used to write Arthur Hoppe of the San Francisco Chronicle anent Vietnam: “Kill them all; the Lord will know His own.” I see this policy has been adopted or has it?

Tell Harry and Jack I am all tied up until sometime in January and then there is a “must” visit to L.A., etc. I have a lot of books to purchase but no time. There are constant processions of young people to both addresses. The next generation will simply laugh at the subjectivism of the present and passing prevalent “realists.”





Nov. 30, 1969


My dear Vocha:

I have returned to San Francisco and am sending you this letter in duplicate. There is nothing wrong except one matter in which I have failed entirely. People do not realize that it is possible to have a surplus of money and no time. Of three others who have been my secretaries it must be said they are all working now, which has cased my financial burden somewhat. Also the people that live in both houses are now entirely aware of their financial obligations, so in both instances these pictures look comfortable if not rosy.

I realize you are on in years today and I have not been disturbed that you did not reach San Francisco, only I was uncertain whether to write or wait. Fortunately I can laugh at some of my own dilemmas—for instance now correspondence both from far and near which shows that sooner or later what is objectively right will be accepted by more and more people. This characterizes more than anything else my present existence. There is also encouragement to write my memoirs, which will be a diatribe against the passing subjectivisms mislabeled “realism.”

In one special case I kept on writing Art Hoppe “Kill them all—the Lord will know his own.” This comes from medieval history. Or does it; I have always held the people of Vietnam have been forcefully given the terrible choice between Communism and Christianity, or rather who do they want to have them liquidate themselves, the Communists or the Christians. In addition to what I have written above, I have now received a number of letters from the real people of real Vietnam, and unless there is some obstacle expect to put on a program of some sort for the real majority of people who, we seem glad to liquidate either by force or propaganda.

I think I have told you that there is a New Zen Roshi here, an English lady; she was friend and disciple of my dear friend the late Phra Sumangalo, the first real victim of this Vietnamese tragedy. There was a program on the intellectual station here, KQED, moaning. I went to them years ago with authentic documents concerning Vietnam but they brushed me aside because these documents had some theoretical material offensive to the great English expert on the Far East who was also, among other things, the founder of Etc.-Zen. No doubt Etc.-Zen has long since been repudiated, maybe.

I have submitted three articles to The Oracle which for practical purposes is in my hands. I should rather wait until they are published, and I have reasons to believe some of them will be published. And I am preparing more such material, It is become totally inconsequential whether “realists” of any camp want actualities. But a few more Pinkvilles, which I have predicted on and on and on, may cause a few elder persons to accept that an eye-witness may occasionally know as much or more than an ivory-towered commentator thousands of miles away. I am not particularly happy over winning debates in public based on the great abyss between parlor science and newspaper science on one hand, and laboratory science on the other. I am sure AK meant laboratory science. Too bad the GS people are in such on awe of the word “science,” with or without content.

According to my present program I should be in Los Angeles by the early or middle part of January. I should remain here until March when I must go East, and perhaps to Turkey. It is a mockery on our culture that an American having access to facts, knowledge, and information must go abroad to get an audience. Fortunately it will be a real summit audience of real leaders of the real objective world.

Outside the paucity of time everything is progressing form me just as if life’s outline had been blueprinted. I am being accepted more and more by young and by intellectuals in every direction. I shall therefore wait in patience either for a letter or for your personal appearance. The people in both homes join in sending love and blessing.




Jan. 4, 1970

Vocha Fiske

Books in Review

3010 Wilshire

Los Angeles, Ca. 90005


Dear Mother Divine,

A happy new year and please excuse me if I am going to refer to some other woman as Srimati.

The year starting off most suspiciously. We had 80 people at this house for Christmas eve, two middle aged, all the rest young. It was their affair. The decorations, the lighting, the program, etc. Sam, praise to Allah, was able to act as treasurer, but not as boss man Guru. New Year’s eve had 100 people due to the cooperation of the Vajrayana Buddhists. I have never experienced anything like it in my life. It was followed immediately by Moineddin’s birthday. Fatima made a “pizza,” and neither have I experienced anything like that in my life either. What a way to start a new year’s wonderful!

My financial affairs are now in top form. Mansur and I are preparing to attend the session of all the world’s religions originally scheduled for Istanbul, now for Geneva. This time “Professor von Plotz” and “Dr. Shnozel” are not going to attack my credentials. Besides, the Dances of Universal Peace are moving on with such rapidity that there is not a dull moment day or night—dreams and inspirations during sleep, but the last two nights I have really slept, and never felt better than at this dictation.

I have purchased three copies of Miss Ruth, one for each house, and one for the American Society for Eastern Arts, whom I shall visit shortly. I am sending a carbon of this also to Walter Terry, care of the publisher. It will be necessary no doubt to purchase all of his books, and if there is a copy available at Books in Review please tell Harry and Jack, I want all of these.

Fatima has been so inspired by this work. She realized and I realize that our genre is derived from Srimati Ruth. Of course, coming from the land of Isadora Duncan, and knowing about her from early childhood so to speak, I am interested in Walter Terry. It certainly is karma, important or otherwise, that every time I change my religion and sometimes my politics, Mother Ruth was there before me. Never once did she have anything to do with my changes of attitude and yet every time I changed, finding myself in a new fold, there she was.

I am not going into this. At her studies on Cahuenga long ago she showed me how to pick the dances out of the ether. Despite H.P.B. and her “akashic records” I do not know any theosophists who followed therein, but I do find, have found, and am finding, the dances in the universe itself. Hindus make a lot of the Divine Mother, and we disregard Homer’s “Sing Goddess the wrath of Achilles,” which I once knew in the ancient Greek. The Goddess is still singing, and it is most wonderful too that Fatima is following here in the footsteps of her Murshid who is following in the footsteps of Srimati.

This letter will be followed by one to Walter Terry. I do not know what I want if anything. But the Dances of Universal Peace are now progressing in all directions, and I shall soon be meeting Vilayat Khan in Hollywood to discuss their future. I am not concerned with this, for Mansur and I are preparing to attend a parliament of the world’s religions which has accepted these dances in principal at least. Besides, amid the rejections, they have been accepted already by enough groups to warrant their success, their place in history and in art, and their effectiveness in my program Joy Without Drugs. I shall not write to Walter Terry until I have actually completed the reading of Miss Ruth. As you know, I have her picture, with her writing in my front room. And another with Ted Shawn in my hall, and no other pictures except those of well known spiritual teachers in the house at all.

Other than my incessant busyness, there is hardly anything more to report, nor any need.

All love and blessings,




Jan. 6, 1970

Walter Terry

c/o Dodd, Mead and Co.

New York, N.Y.


Dear Mr. Terry:

I have before me a copy of Miss Ruth, a very unsatisfactory back. If it had been satisfactory, it would have been atrocious. How can one verbally analyze a sunrise or, better yet (which I have seen personally) a dawn in the Himalayas, or the upper flows of a river, or a partly cloudy sky, etc., etc. When you say the late Miss Ruth was half Mick half mystic you have said everything. The rest is embellishment and you know it, but there had to be embellishment.

Three copies of Miss Ruth have been purchased, one each for my two respective homes, and one for the American Society for Eastern Arts with its headquarters in this city. I was born in this city years age a little after Isadora Duncan and Nila Cramcook, and Harold Lamb, each of whom has made a mark while I am unknown. In my last conversation with Miss Ruth I said, I have started the Dance of Universal Peace at Fatehpur Sikri in 1962. She said, Ted Shawn and I did the same thing in the same place 30 years previously. I think we understood each other perfectly. No physical resemblance of any kind; I am short and solid, and yet she treated me, especially in her later years, as if I were her flesh and blood son.

Perhaps I would not dare to write this unless Vocha Fiske, whom you have named, was my very best friend, and has been my very best friend for many years.

In a conversation some years back I said, “Holy Mother, I am going to revolutionize the world.” “How are you going to do this,” she inquired. “By teaching little children how to walk.” She arose majestically to her full height, pounding on the table with her fist, “You have it; you have it; you have it.”

I am now teaching young adults how to walk. I am now having rather small classes, it is true, on spiritual, esoteric, and mystical dances, all of which can be explained semantically, no nonsense. All my life was determined, perhaps predetermined, by the joint tour of Miss Ruth St.-Denis and the Sufi Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan in 1911 (I believe). I have learned from each and both how to draw inspirations form the universe, though the only thing of mine published, and that by friends, has been The Rejected Avatar. I am enclosing a copy of this, not because of its intrinsic or extrinsic worth, but because it exemplifies the source of inspiration, the Divine Mother, whom to me Miss Ruth exemplified on the flesh.

There is an autographed picture of hers in my living room. The only other things on the walls are credentials from the real masters of the real Orient, and no nonsense. And on the altar, so to speak, pictures of actual Masters whom I have met and who have been either my “Gurus” or friends.

For some time we were in the poetry groups of Malcolm Schloss in Hollywood. Evidently her very presence activated the muse to bring the same sort of inspirations to me on the Dance as in Poetry, and this is now being exemplified in the daily life, in the growing following, and the occasional grapevine reports which may soon catapult either this person (not important) or the Dances of Universal Peace (most important) onto the world scene.

In my seventies today, I can certainly say there is physical and mental vigor, perhaps more. But it has been Srimati Ruth St Denis who showed me how to “see” and draw dances out of the cosmos, out of the akasha, out of the alayavijnana. At the Psychedelic Conference I spoke 5 times on “Joy Without Drugs.” It was unheeded by warring factions anxious to get at each other’s throats, but today it is becoming objectified.

Looking over this book, regardless of the intellectual, dualistic remarks, I intend to order others of your work. I used to lecture on “Isadora Duncan and Nijinsky.” This brought me no satisfaction excepting the friendship of the rather bizarre daughter Kyra of the great Russian. With a solid background in Oriental Philosophy and Mysticism, I see the human body as the temple of the holy spirit, and activate it. Miss Ruth to me was, above all, the divine temple itself, appearing in human form.

While in a certain sense this is a request to quote from your work, I shall not do so without your permission, and will gladly furnish any information should the occasion arise.

Most faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis



Jan. 25, 1970


My dear Vocha:

Your delightful card of the 22nd is here. I had not intended answering, as living situations good and bad, both increase, and I am fortunate to have even an hour surcease at any time. My brother is in the hospital under surgery, and this will be mailed before I find out what the situation is. The way matters stand, if he does go I shall slowly or gradually become quite wealthy, which is the merit of the passing culture, no matter what people say.

Yesterday morning we attended Indian Independence Day celebration. It was shocking. The Indians themselves had taken over. There was hardly and “expert” or an “near expert” in the audience. The second speaker was our old friend Dr. Lal. He was scheduled to speak on science in contemporary India. He lost the audience; he spoke on humanism. As the organized humanists do not recognize Indian cultures the Indians in turn are very cool to it. No doubt we shall sometime have integrationalists who integrate. I think we are coming to it, but not yet.

Of course Dr. Lal was right in his appeal for morality and humanity, but while the humanists themselves have little inclination to include humanity, such appeals, though morally and logically correct, fall on deaf ears. It is remarkable how many people expect the others to listen.

The main speaker I had come to hear was a Dr. Stout, and I established immediate contact by the semi-trickery of mentioning people whose ideas I have appropriated, real scientists doing real things in the real world, not hyperbolic archetypes. In fact I left confident that if the whole literary-humanist culture turns one down it does not matter. The scientists themselves do not think the way humanists and the newspaper verbalize them to be thinking. All one has to do is to read the articles in Science.

I have kept all my real scientific notes from all over. Art Hoppe today pokes fun of those devils, cyclamate, the “pill,” etc. It is subjects like those that I have dreamed of some organization, calling itself semantic or otherwise, would discuss dispassionately.

Surrounded by quandaries as above and otherwise, life has become delightfully complex. It seems that youth, and others elsewhere, want Sam. I wish to get over a scheduled trip to Europe so as to fulfill these invitations. Yesterday I had to skip my class on Southeast Asia. Professor Richard Kozicki, in whose class I am enrolled, actually lived in S.E. Asia with the people thereof. Not only that, he has annotated all the literature published by the various professors and campuses of the Multiversity of California. He is a true Integrationalists, and not an exclusive verbal bastard using this term. I think he will accept my report of the proceedings of India as part of the term program.

Everything else is proceeding, and I mean proceeding. Not a dull moment, and please excuse me if this letter is not too clear, for I am utterly swamped.





Jan. 30, 1970


My dear Vocha:

Thank you for your post card of the 27th. From one point of view I am hopelessly overworked, but if you want to order any books for me through Harry and Jack, okay. I am not only overworked, but have dangling over me the situation of my brother’s health, when either recovery of ill-health could radically change my whole situation. No doubt it was necessary to go through all the phases of rejection by important people.

I still see the two cultures of Lord Snow—the scientific culture in which solutions are worked out by an amalgamation of logic and human experience, and the “other culture” in which pseudo-solutions are presented because the persons involved are important. Indeed I am now getting ready to write to Perry Stout at Davis, both regarding real food problems of the real world and the logistics of materials, chemical or natural, used for plant protection. The career continues to show practically 100% acceptance by scientists and a slight, very slight acceptance by those of the “other culture,” the literary-humanists who determine by personality and personalisms.

You can understand my almost sardonic laughter at the usage and misusage of terms such as pollution, ecology, etc., which have been taken over by the literati, adding endless confusion to the problems of the day, knowing that what they write will be discussed publically and otherwise, and realizing what scientists do is very seldom considered in the forums of the literati.

Beside the uncertainty produced by my brothers ill-health, there is a “conspiracy” to make me famous. More and more people have the nerve to accept my geography, to accept the claims that when I say I have been to a place, I have actually been there. But of course I am meeting more and more persons with the same background, with the same sort of objective experience, and with the same sort of rejection by self-centered “experts” and authorities. Indeed, it has become a most welcome annoyance to find oneself the un-victim of objective facts and experience.

Art Hoppe of the San Francisco Chronicle now realizes the deep significance of my letters to him: “Weep for the Biafrans.” I myself saw more starving people in a single small corner of Pakistan than all the reports from Biafra, assuming these reports are correct. You must understand that the Biafrans are potential rice-Christians while the refugees in Pakistan were “fanatics,” that is they belonged to other than those who accept the Judeo-Christian ethos, whatever that means. In fact, a little financial boost, such as may be possible if my brother leaves this world, would lead to the publication of “Eye Not-Witness” or something of the sort. It is certain that the young people in ever-increasing multitudes are accepting both the facts of my life and the caustic remarks from this tongue.

A number of years ago I was permitted to say a few words at the Psychedelic conference here. This was largely due to the presence of too many factions, with too many outlooks, and of course the rejection of real integrational positions, by all forms of analysts, dialecticians, etc. One of the leaders of the forum was a Professor Richard Alpert who was not only a top researcher at Harvard, but also a scion of a very wealthy family. At that time, I did not have a chance. But now former Dr. Alpert, having assumed an Indian name, has come out flatly in public for this person. This at a time when another person is ready to film one both in class and in public efforts, in such a way as to produce fame. It may not astonish you. It is most edifying of course to find that there are now many more people who prefer reality to “realism.” And in such case, I am the anti-victim of efforts of others and by others who are tired of delusions and phonyness, etc. This last week one of the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle published the outlooks of young people on their own problems. With all the experts and authorities, someone thought it would be a good idea to let the young speak for themselves and they did.

I am not going to make any attempt to argue predictability is important in life. I have been saying that it was time for the silenced majority to be heard, and if they are heard, and as they are heard, I felt that that alone would do much to clarify many real or presumable problems of the day.

Monday I shall have a secretary for my dance work. This will be a great relief. Tomorrow I shall be seeing Prof. Kozicki again. It is such a boon to find more and more of the young professors working with reality instead of “realism.” I suppose the future generations will recognize, they may have to recognize, the accuracy of predications and the folly of accepting conclusions only because they come from important personalities. It was remarkable how the young stood almost solidly for objective honesty above all else. I think youth can and will speak for itself, and when and as it does, I see infinite hope for Whitman’s America. I do not know how clear this is, for everything I now do is under pressure.

Love and Blessings,




February 3, 1970


My dear Vocha,

Your letter of the 31st is here. I am still overwhelmed but health and finances are in good shape and I have had some of the needed rest, via sleep. And it does not help too much if I need a vacation and help, that the vacation does not settle what is here.

The immediate result of India’s Independence Day was excellent contacts. Friend Lal went to India as the guest of the government and Sam went around mingling with the people. Friend Lal is a welcomed speaker at the groups which verbalize “Liberty,” humanity,” democracy,” etc. He does not have to mingle and obviously he has not and the result has been a great deal of resentment from the students. He attacked the caste system but gave no sign of having mixed with the multitudes and this person has mingled with every sort of caste and outcaste there and has been an outcaste here. It is now too humorous to cry about.

That last spelling is in memoriam Bertie. I read all his early works and have never been “forgiven” by the generals who had no capacity for that. But he also was able to lecture on “democracy” and “humanity” without mingling. I admire intensely his works on mathematics, logic, the basic sciences—there he was definitely in the science camp—but his stuff on sociology and sex and philosophy showed him as a leader of the literary-humanist group.

Incidentally the leader of Great Books wants to see me. If Mansur is not working I may take time off as soon as my housekeeper returns. As for Harry and Jack, they may ship or hold but I can promise a good order.

I was telling David here of the need to increase my scientific library. Increased contributions to the Academy of Sciences and was terrifically responsive to the two new scientific books ordered because of the literary style as well as their information. I am appalled at our custom of having the commentaries taking over nearly all the scientific programs on the air and overflow them with emotions and verbal idolization.

Wrote Art Hoppe a paper, “Pollution yes! Solution, no!” The literature on DDT is terrible. I have not seen a single report showing actual contamination as I have seen, continuously in Science, reports on atomic fall-out, etc. Why, I have read articles that there is not an animal inexistence that does not show signs of DDT contamination. And when I get up to debate, unfortunately I always win because of the complete lack of logistics and proper information on the part of emotionalists and it is the emotionalism which is, to me, the great pollution.

Sunday I had the audacity to compel critics to define pollution and not one could. They all claim to be conservationists and are filled with propaganda, etc., and constantly jump the subject under consideration. And if that is not a “pollution” I do not know what is, or isn’t.

Among my “sins,” which are innumerable—I mean those for which there is no forgiveness—one was learning speed-reading from T. Roosevelt and W. Wilson, both Presidents of this country.

Now as to what’s happening. My dance classes are so overflowing I may have to start others, organize legally or otherwise. Also there are more dances. They just pile on me. That is the easiest aspect of it.

In the last few weeks no less than three persons separately are trying to film my work. It has gotten out. Dr. Richard Alpert, now lecturing as Baba Ram Dass, has acclaimed them. We see him tonight. He has all kinds of connections, quite separate. We have been joined by a teacher of Indian dancing who is not so exclusively-”democratic.” So far the only democracy I have even seen from certain quarters is in the funds collected. But you should have seen the greenery for Ram Dass—all these “rejected” hippies. They have far more money than their detractors, and it is silly to find them blamed for the closing of stores and the running down of businesses.

The New Age Food Chain is being started. They are overwhelmed with customers, and profits, mostly coming from the same young people whom the press derides. And my easiest prediction was that propaganda never stopped children from growing up. You can be sure the “generals” dissent. And it looks now, if I ever get my Europe trip off my back, I shall easily establish a Trans-Semantics Society in which we won’t use words to prove that words are useless—we communicate and that is equal a sin to having studied and understood the early Russell.

This will also upset the Freudians and anti-Freudians alike and the worst thing I could do would be to sign up for a course on “Gerontology.”

I am going to let David read your letter. We are concerned with color, lighting, etc. Gwen-Zeynab is doing fine at the Rudolph School. We have lots of colored candles and this house is being brightened and illuminated.

The class on Southeast Asia is marvelous. No editorials, and I think I told you the professor has the “unfortunate” background of having lived long in Asia with Asians! The only difficulty now is that quite a few professors are willing to accept that the little man who has been there just might occasionally, rarely it is true, know as much on something as the big man who has not. Anyhow I got another kind of Zen delegation and am beginning to unload unpublished manuscripts, all turned down by the big boys, and I am not worried.

If Books in Review has anything along the art lines you have described, I want them. perhaps the chief reason for a surplus is the inability to find time to go out and shop!

As there has been no word from Europe I am pretty sure I shall be here at March 10. I don’t think the semester will be over that soon either.

There are more things but tempus does not fugit, it just zeroes.





August 3, 1970

Miss Vocha Fiske

Zen Center

300 Page St.

San Francisco, Ca. 94102


My Dear Mother Divine:

I have your very pleasant letter of August 1. You are entirely correct that the outer outlooks are changing and changing rapidly One is getting more and more letters from more and more distant places. One also realizes that what one does in one’s home town will not be taken seriously until there is either a dramatic outlook or something very newsworthy, important or not important.

I am now being approached by publishers and writers, and the very fact that the so-called “good people” have turned me down make them all the more interested.

I am re-reading The Manhood of Humanity. The temptation is to write to Lakeville. There is no faith in Etc. Semantics has not been used to help solve or even clarify some of the complexities and problems of the day. But if one reads scientific articles, there is a definite use for some sound system of logistics. I find there is and organization in Oakland dealing with logistics. But there is no time in my life today to expand interests in even the most worthy causes.

I was living in the midst of the woods in New Mexico; like Emerson’s hypothetical inventor a number of people found their way to my doorstep. I then felt that when I returned to society there might be an even larger number of personalities beating their way to my front door, and this is exactly what has happened, is happening, at this writing. Hardly a dull moment, and more and more plans for movements. My meetings are now being excellently attended. The quality of education of the newcomers is very high. In addition to that there is real interest in promoting efforts toward world peace—not the stupid nonsense of verbalizations which have been substituted for realities in dream vagueness, getting nowhere. Efforts to bring Arabs and Israelis closer together have been succeeding at such a rate I am amazed and almost stupefied. The only ones not interested are the so-called peace-mongers who have substituted mottoes and maxims for human endeavor.

Last night was glorious and sad. It was glorious because of the quality and quantity of the audience. It was sad because no people have more ignored the suffering of the actual inhabitants of Vietnam than the so-called American Buddhists. There is not common denominator among these American Buddhists, most of whom are not on speaking terms with each other. Many do not even recite the Tri-Ratna. Few are concerned with the problems which aroused the comfortable Prince Gautama Siddhartha and led him to offer the world the most profound teachings. Escaping is not wisdom, but many think it is and maybe they are right. But I personally prefer to be directly sympathetic and compassionate with and to human suffering. I have seen too much of it; I have been directly caught in it.

The whole picture of what is going on today is directly contrary to the situations of the previous two generations. More and more seekers come to these doors, now including University professors. The day of shams is to me over. I have been approached by publishers, literary agents, and writers. I am finding the moral laws operate. I feel very much like Alice at the end of the Wonderful story when she found that she had only been dealing with a pack of cards. I am satisfied; I am quite willing to let people who wish to live with their limitations continue that way. The youth of today are so different. They want happiness and are spreading happiness. They want wisdom. They do not agree with their elders who beguile themselves and others.

I have found some very valuable art works in the packages willed to me by the late Nyogen Senzaki. I gave one to Kennett Roshi in Oakland, with whom I am on excellent terms. I believe her disciples understand love and compassion in their true sense. Her movement is growing rapidly and has in the membership the most brilliant type of young and joyous people I have yet encountered. As the popular song says. “Can you ask for anything more?”

I have also written to Professor Lancaster. If he wished some of Senzaki’s former possessions he will get them. Otherwise they may go to our good friend Carroll Parish in LA.

Written under great time-pressure.

Love and Blessings,




Aug. 11, 1970

Miss Vocha Fiske

Beresford Hotel

635 Sutter St.

San Francisco, Calif.


Dear Mother Divine:

I don t know if this is the kind of letter that should go to a Zendo, but it is quite evident that every time I move in a Samuel Morse direction, there is success. It is so evident to me that we have two cultures—and that the non-scientists are very sure they are on the side of “science.” Indeed if parlor-scientists were compelled to read the magazine Science published by the AAAS they would be more then shocked at the conclusions of the laboratory-scientists.

Last week I received in quick succession a very fine letter from the Editor of Science and unexpected laudation from some Chemistry professors. They all highly evaluated my researches and knowledges on subjects which the elite rejected on the very noble, logical grounds that I am the wrong person. Or, as I tell the young, problems are complexities which can only be solved by the “right people.” I have received a beautiful apology from one of the master-literati who always snubbed my reports. Now I have written to one of the local Rabbis, a grandmaster in receiving peace awards, who has never answered any letter written since 1967. And I have told him that my letter to him would be published. And I am going to simply have published letters to a lot of people who have given me the a priori snub in the past and thought it a social virtue. We are doing, and I mean doing, in our efforts to bring peace in the Near East. Oh we are doing, and I mean doing; and the fact we are doing is winning the plaudits of more and more young people, so that I am busy every hour of the day and night here in San Francisco with “impossibilities” because according to the important I simply cawn’t be doing it.

Our next mission apparently is to go East. At this writing it would appear I may be taking my young secretary Joan. She has a car in New York, and this would solve any problem about rental. I have a lot of incomplete business, including the revival of Keyser s teaching, which the “democratic” proper people know it is impossible for me to have. But although they must be right because they are they (logic) the philosophy departments of both the University of California (Berkeley) and the University of Southern California now want me.

In addition to that, the editorials in this week’s issue of Science are all on subjects about which I have spoken in my own home (the liberty, democracy, humanity, and peasant shut up groups won’t even give me interviews), and the only difference between the conclusions of the scientific-scientists and myself is that they have been more explicit and written longer articles.

We have a common fear that the literati are going to make it most difficult to clean up pollution. While much money is being spent to invent smogless cars, we pass endless smokestacks belching endless poisons into the air, while the commentators and editors say we are all to blame. Unlike these grand experts, the present issues of Science are pointing out specific instances of specific kinds of pollution and poisoning produced by specific industries. It is quite evident that the scientists are being misled by their doubtful conclusions, as they refuse to blame everybody. Inasmuch as it is impossible for Etc. to accept an article in this field, I am going to write on this subject as soon as my editor contacts me, and we are going to do something.

I haven t the slightest doubt future generations will compare me to Samuel Morse. I think we have come to the end of the dominances of “democratic” institution’s champions of a priori rejections. I never wished it this way, but things are moving and moving rapidly.

Bryn and I discussed yesterday about the black-balling of Frederic Soddy late in his career. I was amazed and delighted to find that Bryn placed Soddy in the highest ranks of the worlds thinkers, where I have always placed him. Instead of accepting his conclusions, we are permitting endless problems to run rampant. Bryn and I agreed that there are no problems other than ego-rejections of people with answers by those in power, especially the literati or what Lord Snow calls “the other culture.”

Therefore after Bryn left I turned down offers to write or speak on pollution. Among scientists this means one sort of phenomena and their complexities. Among the “smart people,” including sociologists, it means something quite different. It takes two years for a scientist to get a paper out which might solve a problem; it takes five minutes for reporters to produce smog in the psychic and mental atmospheres.

The more I read AK the more I see the need not to revise him but to present him to an American public. I have no more time to waste on high priests and generals who judge by personalities instead of by knowledges. The recent exposure of breakfast foods was almost predicated by him, but of course it is only little people who have to obey the traffic laws. Personally I think this is both sad and unfortunate.

My dance career which the “polite people” know I couldn’t have gotten from Ruth St. Denis has expanded just as rapidly as I can assimilate that expansion, and there are many signs it night expand more this coming weekend, whether I am ready or not. Older people simply cannot accept it that there may be a generation as honest and as objective as the little boy in the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” They are creating all kinds of legends to excuse their inabilities to accept honest, objective communication as a reality. And, if this growth continues, I shall certainly be able to finance a trip for two persons, even without help.

There are rumors now also that certain very very smart experts, who blocked me at every endeavor are conceding they may have been wrong. I am more interested in solving problems than in doing a complete Samuel Morse. But every time I take out the hammer I either get an apology or a victory. I don’t like it, but I guess the world is that way. I have again had to give up the idea of a day off, but good things are happening exceedingly rapidly and no longer living in the woods there is a constant parade to this mousetrap inventor’s domicile.

Love and Blessings,




August 27, 1970


Dear Mother Divine:

One must thank you for your last from Hotel Beresford which will be shared by Mansur and others. There is nothing so easy as The Tyranny of Words. To answer all the requests to keep cool and “take it easy” would keep me perpetually busy. After all I lost my dearest and best friend who lived long in Vietnam and ultimately died of a broken heart. All the “good people” refused to give him interviews or hearings—the churches, the anti-churches, the “peace” organizations, the patriots, everybody turned him down and his seemingly bizarre report was corroborated absolutely by the retired secretary of Secretary Dulles.

This man, incidentally, is the only senior person outside a university campus that has permitted this one to give in situ reports. Our whole culture of what I call “gappists” is united in turning down us “Jude the Obscure” from speaking or reporting. I have already told you that the scientists have answered and there is entire agreement on pollution problems and not a single non-scientist!

But the situation is so out of hand. We are prospering. My “Dances of Universal Peace. The heritage so to speak from Ruth St. Denis—whom all the “Good people’ know I could not have known—has broken out in two directions. One is the filming and this project may become world-wide—excepting of course in San Francisco! Money has been raised and six men are departing soon to meet “non-existing” Asians, who ain’t because “important” people said they are not and that closes the subject—for the “good” people, the churches, the anti-churches, the “peace” groups and such.

Now, when the scientists, the AAAS met, I got the same balling out the “good people” give but for the opposite reason—for keeping quiet. But the silenced point of view is exactly the same as is now being taught by one of the top philosophers at the University of California and my chief local disciple has arranged for my meeting and even speaking there. A copy of this is going to both Russ and Lloyd, and I have become totally indifferent but cannot prove this indifference is right.

The rereading of AK Makes me feel that he and Mark Twain have been the two great American heroes neglected today while we go off in false directions, for or against French and German thinkers. The last debate I won—and it was not pleasant –came because there was a Deweyite in the audience who immediately arose and championed me no end. Maybe that is that first time.

By agreement with a very, very important person I agreed to work for peace in the Near East while he worked for peace in S.E. Asia. I remember the time when I broke up a meeting by “respectable” by bringing in a picture showing Princess Poon and the Pope. No one asked me how I could get such a letter. But the Princess knows what I am doing and one of the paper secretaries at least acknowledged my letter—which is more than “good people” do.

Now all my secretaries have good paying jobs—all rising out of the “impossible madventures. A team goes to Asia this week to film and Mansur is in charge of film work here. Daniel has been entirely successful in Arizona and is awaiting the return of the wealthy publisher who wants all my things and will not doubt accept what I write on A.K. etc—although it is barely possible that the #1 Humanist will accept a real human being on a real problem.

For the one man that listened to my plans for the Near East was a Swedish gentlemen whom I had the audacity to be traveling with in the Near East, the top local representative of the UN, whose name is Gunnar Jarring. He had the effrontery to tell me that my plans were the most complete, valuable and sane things he had ever seen. He could say that. This also from the retired secretary of secretary Dulles, but not the “good people,” not them, they know I am a braggart, pretender and phony. And so the young come more and more and when I tell them something and tell them who turned down my reports or chased me away they cheer to the rafters.

I am calling off my very well attended Wednesday night meetings, but this challenge has brought a reaction for a larger hall, larger audiences and more money! They young actually prefer the little man who was there than all the ivory-towerists who determine public attitudes.

And all this while Gavin, Ed and Moineddin on and off in hospitals. But I have wonderful disciples who are calling on them knowing that Sam has not the time himself—at least “Allah” has assured me of good health.

Then Melvin and Jonathan decided to practice what Sam preaches and it worked so well they got caught. The little people, the peasants of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic backgrounds, Israelis and Arabs and Palestinians are dining together. This was the first step and this very “impossible” daring—impossible because it came from the “wrong” person has flooded. The dinners have been over-subscribed and money is being promised by my non-existing Sufi brethren.

The retired secretary of Secretary Dulles is away on his vacation. He is the only local man that ever listened to me and he even broke with his colleagues, “big” people in Washington. But I have the ears of at least one Senator and may be living with the mother of another Senator when I get to Washington.

Phones ringing all day long, both houses and invitations, more and more, especially long distance calls.

All the top Protestant and Jewish representatives at a real international peace gathering flooded me (Sam) with apologies. And over in Berkeley they now recognize that I have been collecting data on the accomplishment of US professors and departments to help solve the actual problems of earth.

I started to put up a thousand dollars for a peace scholarship. I know that complexities would hold it up but the chances are tremendous that this will becomes a real undertaking for real people—not the opinions of the “gappists,” so divided among themselves. This leaves me very high at this writing.

My latest dance ventures have been overwhelming also. The young come to me more and more and more, and the professors whenever I can contact them. So plans to go east are forming and welcomes are awaiting. So you can understand why I call myself, “Timon of San Francisco—in reverse.” Wait and see. I have nothing to lose—but a priori insults from the “proper” people and they are fading away. Even everybody is shocked by my latest debate with Alan Watts—no, it was on problems of Plant Physiology which is outside the ken of the “big” people who occupy the floors and write the articles on involved subjects. I am always forced back into Lord Snow’s matrix. Some day I hope I am wrong; some day I hope some non-scientists or parlor-scientists will let me speak before throwing the book.

Tired but high.





Sept. 21, 1970

Miss Vocha Fiske

c/o Books in Review

3010 Wilshire Blvd.

L.A. 90005


Dear Mother Divine:

I am delighted to have your letter of September 10. There is no excuse for the non-delivery of the first effort. This house is a sort of drop for all kinds of letters from all kinds of people. A postman is not supposed to subjectivize, however, there is constant change of deliverer here, and at least we have the letter.

I accept everything but the aphorisms. Words do not say. If you had been a mother with a dozen children all in danger at the same time you would know very well that life would depend on your activities, and not on advice. I have gone through the last two weeks with two nights sleep each week. No day off; no time off, but at this writing in excellent health and perfect spirits.

The day is over when problems can be “solved” by selecting some insignificant person and giving him a whack. Regarding Mitchell. If I read an article from or by a young person and differ from him, I am willing to give way. If I read articles about young people by oldsters and should be agreeing with them, I become skeptical. For better or worse I accept the writings of youth about youth and reject the writings of others about youth. Young people are coming to me more and more every week. The house is packed. Young people accept and old people sneer at the simple hard fact that Gunner Jarring gave me hours and agreed with my proposals. Older people, the realists won’t even give me a chance to talk and I am letting myself now become a mock-martyr. I am leaving Friday for New York and will be welcomed at Ithaca (Cornell), and for New York and will be welcomed at Columbia.

My friend the editor-publisher is now ready for anything from me and I am going to let the realists, so-called, sweat. We are going to have a better world based on facts and the experiences of even the most “unworthy.”

I feel like a mother with a dozen children all ill at the same time and that I have to look after and am doing just that. In excellent health and ready to upset any seminar on gerontology by middle aged people. We are constantly getting wonderful letters from all over the world of “God and Rand-McNally” and will take every advantage of subjective rejections by “realists.” My home is being invaded, or rather my homes are being invaded, by more and more young people who want peace in this world, and who want facts that are facts, and do not like opinions of ivory-towered or diamond-encrusted “experts” who dominate our press. Lord Snow is right and all the parlor scientists in the world can’t change it. I wish parlor-scientists could be compelled to read the lives of Charles Darwin or Marie Corelli or Frederick Soddy. But I have no more time for that nonsense. Nothing but classes and joint Arab-Christian-Israeli dinners. Shunned by “realists” as impossible. And we are even getting apologies, as I have already, from Rabbis. I think it is a new age. We can’t solve crime by excluding eye-witnesses, and the common practices of the dominant “realists” is to exclude and even torment actual eye-witnesses. Boy, don’t I know it.

Look at my former secretaries. Daniel came to me on love and trust and began working at $10 a month. He has now a good job with our editor-publisher in Arizona and may even have a home. Mansur is connected with the filming and recording of the work which began around this person, and he is now helping me financially and in everything. It is hard to believe. But I think anybody not a “realist” will accept that.

On the negative side, I have had Moineddin in the hospital and my cook, Leslie, and others, ill. But these very illnesses have opened the doors for great possibilities in the futures which look wonderful. It has perhaps been very good that even that best of my acquaintances would never let me tell of my objective experiences. Those persons who have been foremost in imposing the psychic, occult, and mystical have also been the foremost against any reports of geographical, scientific, and social experiences. That day is over. I have no ill feelings. I have taken the apologies of some of the biggest men in the world, and I mean just that, and gone right ahead to work for peace and understanding.

It is no doubt awkward to have the religionists accept one’s social and geographical experiences and the humanists reject them. So be it. I am sorry I haven’t time to write further; everything is coming, and I mean coming, lovely, and we leave Friday morning. The crops are the best evidence against the “realists” who are the champions of staying away from reality in every form.

Love and Blessings,




October 25, 1970

Vocha Fiske

c/o Books in Review

3010 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, California 90005


Dear Mother Divine:

There is almost no bad news. There is a traffic jam. Like a lot of latent seeds all blossoming at the same time. Also the great problem is concerning rest. But I have friends at Westport in the southeastern part of Massachusetts, and we had two days off. We also visited the Herz family whose son Hassan is at the Khankah, husband of Jayanara. Our visit to Boston and Cambridge was entirely successful. Fine visits to Harvard and M.I.T. Excellent response in the dance programs. Wonderful new-age restaurant. Years ago it was the duty for every Harvard man to try to look like every other Harvard man. Now it is the duty to look different. It was a University of California, only more so. On top of that, the weather has been marvelous—not yet down to 50 anywhere.

At Cambridge I called on my “Black Christ,” Karmu, who has adjusted our bodies and minds wonderfully.

Well, you have reduced your possession, but here little me is on the way to controlling, if not owning, as many as four motor cars, let alone other things along the same line. Our peace efforts to bring the Israelis, Arabs and Christians together have won the goodwill—guess the whole world and the one you would think last is pretty nearly the first. That is to say, we have with us not only many professors at San Francisco State, but the grapevine is that at the Don of Dons is also with us!! Apparently he doesn’t know that Sam Lewis is the power behind the power. Nor was my name mentioned to him. So anything can come of anything. Had a most beautiful birthday party at a new-age restaurant in Cambridge. It seems wherever I go I meet friends and have hardly any time for my old relative and pals. Maybe it should be that way. In fact, my chief complaint is the recessional of something to grumble at.

At this writing, I hardly know my own itinerary, but wish to be back by the middle or

Love and love,




410 Precita Ave.

December 1, 1970


Dear Mother Divine:

This is in answer to your letter just received from the Zen Center. No attention will be paid here to international matters. We are so busy and the hardest thing in life is to impress others. Wali Ali is now on the Berkeley Campus to lead in the very dances you have written about. Jemal-ed-din is in his office in another part of town and is preparing to go to New York, leaving on the 5th. I shall leave your letter for him to see and we may answer jointly or separately.

The reason for this prompt answer is not only because I shall be speaking on the Berkeley campus tonight if things work out but I shall be speaking under the very auspices which will interest Russ who is getting a copy of this. It is astounding how a letter from a disciple who is teaching in the English Department was like the other side of a coin, as if a coin had a questioning side and an answering side.

The disciple is very active and even more optimistic. He not only sees changes taking place but is doing, doing, doing. He is very active and almost non-verbal, and in his reports he says he is very successful. No doubt I shall see more of this tonight. But I am amazed in going over his detailed letter how much he is trying to do, to do and not to plan what Russ wished.

The ruckus at San Francisco State College shows how far realism is from Reality. I have been attending courses at the Extension where if fifteen persons pay they can have almost any course they wish. I have attended so many classes on American Anthropology and Archaeology and was astounded at the absence of Negroes and Muslims. On the surface it looks as if they wanted others to pay for courses where they could be teachers, with or without credentials.

Well, my disciple tried to get 15 students to go into my work and got 50. It s not only dancing, but it is Oriental-Oriental philosophy. A European professor of Oriental Philosophy (an “only in America” institution) kept me off the campuses in Northern California and another in Southern California. This is “realism.” In the meanwhile I am almost under contract for my autobiography and it is Sam, not the publisher who is holding back. Those stupid Asians and of course all Geeks have very different ideas from our “experts” do. And I am now coming out openly and may in publication mention that “only in America” have we accepted lechers and drunkards as “experts” in Orientalia—and a lot of other things.

But I must first deliver and as things look think I shall deliver. But what then? I have no concrete plans being too busy in my own affairs, but after this week should get my disciples—and I think that even Lloyd may accept that sometimes a humanist can accept the reality of human beings, that they can get together with Russ & Co. and promote the very approach that he wished.

Am rereading for the seventh time Manhood of Humanity with utter delight.





Dec. 13, 1970

Miss Vocha Fiske

300 Page St.

San Francisco, Ca.


Dear Mother Divine,

I guess I should be thankful for Allah and Saul. It is so easy to say take it easy. This does not stop the telephone nor people coming here at all hours. In fact I have one young man here just for that purpose but he can’t stop everybody either.

Added to that there is a great division between myself and the young. I will accept almost any kind of alliance or misalliance between the young. I am not trying to establish any sex norm. But when I don’t put my foot down it seems that some of them have become more interested in separation and even divorce. In other words, my objection to the misalliances are simple and unfortunately they tend to promote egocentricities. And these people constantly disturb me with their difficulties.

Financially, the skies look very bright. Mansur is doing very well. My godson is doing very well. The general picture is excellent. The meetings at the University of California have been marvelous.

There is going to be a benefit Bazaar for our work at Sausalito next Sunday, the 20th. It is keeping many people very busy indeed. Moi aussi. At last some of my disciples have discovered that I actually am overworked and that I am not just making noises. This of itself is a great gain, but I am also getting nasty. I am telling people I am not equipped to be an expert on Zen. If I were a lecher or drunkard I would be a famous teacher of Zen; I am not. The young people are honest, sincere and enquiring. They may be selfish or unselfish, but they are not easily bamboozled. This is keeping me very very busy. It is very easy to suggest, but it is another thing to get actual help. Hence the Bazaar next week. But even there unfortunately the person whose original idea it was has walked out on the whole thing leaving it to the efficient Saul and others to carry on, which they are doing very well.

Love and Blessings,