Studies in Comparative Religion Correspondence

June 12, 1968

Studies In Comparative Religion

Pates Manor, Bedfont




Beloved Ones of God,

This will acknowledge the circular of L. Werry. I wish to say I am very satisfied with this publication, and on my next remittance which will no doubt come next week, I intend to write in some detail on this particular subject; also sent you a much larger remittance than previously.

The writer is both a real Sufi mystic and a real disciple in Zen, having sat at the feet of well-recognized masters in each; he is also a realized disciple of the late Swami Ramdas of South India,

During the last year an ever-growing audience of young people has been attending the lectures and sessions given here and elsewhere. As Al-Ghazzali says: “Sufism is based on experiences, and not on premises.” The fact that scholars have been very slow in accepting it, in no way impairs man’s realization of divine wisdom, or his effectiveness in impressing young seekers. In fact, there are many, many signs of further growth in this region. I do not wish here to comment on the spiritual sides of the Hippies, but would be glad to do so if requested.

The writings of Frithjof Schuon are especially appreciated. In fact I am recommending “In the Tracks of Buddhism” to many friends. His “The Sun Dance” is especially appreciated by one who, in addition to the above, has shown considerable interest in field anthropology, and in folk dancing.

The articles by Henry Corbin and Seyyed Hossein Nasr strike recordant notes. These will be read by the mureeds. Sufism here is presented in a universal manner, and also takes into account the efforts of the great Moghul Emperor Akbar. While I intend to subscribe for the followers of the late Sri Aurobindo, they have overlooked the work of this great emperor who tried so hard to bring the various peoples and religions of India clover together.

I must, however, write in other terms of the article on “Jonah” by D.M. Deed. Years ago I did considerable research on this subject. Unfortunately a fire in 1949 destroyed all my records. There was also a book or article holding that the myth of Jonah was based on initiatory rites. Although this was not included in my thesis, written before encountering the book, there is much to support such a claim.

Mr. Deed has overlooked many excellent Jewish writings and commentaries on this subject, especially the Parke of Rabbi Eleazar. I believe there are some materials available at the Royal Asiatic Society on this subject.

My personal contribution was to collect and select a number of Puranic items which come so close to the text that one may conclude they were both derived from the same general source, indeed there are many parallels bet wean ancient Hebrew and Hindu literature, especially from the standpoint of myth that there is still work to be done in this field.

As most of this research deals with the first parts of the Book of Jonah it does not necessarily contradict this article. But I am inclined to believe we have still much to learn from myth, folklore, Purana and mysticism.

I am very glad that Donald Bishop has done an excellent work from the universal, all-comprehensive viewpoint. I am confident that history is moving in his directions.

Assuring you of a further corresponded with remittance in the near future, I am


Samuel L. Lewis



15 January, 1969

Studies in Comparative Region

Pates Manor, Bedfont,

Middlesex, England


Beloved Ones of God:

I have before me the request of Mr. L. Werry, your circulation manager and am enclosing at this time a remittance of Forty-two (#.00) Dollars, for three years subscriptions each to:

Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110, USA


Rev. J. Eugene Wagner 135 Ninth Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94118, USA


Rev. Dr. Deville Warwick 1551 Octavia St.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94109. USA


Now, Beloved Ones, I am very satisfied with your publication but I am not satisfied—and this seems to be most common under the so-called “Judeo-Christian ethic” of letters never answered, inquiries ignored, and articled shunned. The most extreme case in my own life was that after thirty-one rejections of an article on “Vietnamese Buddhism” it was accepted by Dr. Huston Smith of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This is an example and more will be given

Time Magazine is editorializing on the impasse at the Paris conference. I personally have never had the slightest difficulty in communications with Vietnamese, regardless of their “politics.” Unlike most Americans I accept much in Spengler, and have also studied higher mathematics and all that it connotes in the various fields of Infinity, Non-Euclidean geometries, and what I call “psycho-spiritual art” on which you have had a number of excellent articles. When one reaches a certain stage in “spiritual evolution” he has no trouble communicating with anybody or being reached but anybody making such an assertion is brushed aside as if it were braggadocio or bombast. And so we have a culture in which anybody can write on Mysticism but the realized Mystic and every attempt to be objective here is regarded as a black mark. But no more. A whole new culture has arisen. Which is as objective in the field of religion and psychological and Para psychological experiences as in the purer “Sciences.”

It did not take long to communicate this to Prof. Huston Smith above; others ignore it and do not even examine one’s claims.

When Prof. Nasr asked if I could help you, I was fortunate, by an interposition of Divine Grace, to have accumulated funds and had an increase in my monthly allotment. At this time there is a story, and those who deny there are living legends (which means most people under the “Judeo-Christian ethic”) will have to face this. Alarmed because I could not harbor a Vietnamese, it was determined to change this house into an Inn. Just before Christmas Eve a young girl sought refuge. It was too “biblical.” We had some wonderful celebrations on Christmas and New Years which shall be related—a scientist wants facts, a writer on most other subjects wants personalities and prestige! It turns out that this girl was not a waif at all and she has given a small endowment making it possible to send this amount and more will be sent when I was considered as a flesh and blood human being and not merely as a check-writer, the usual custom!

A few years ago, scorned and rejected, I made friends with a Christian prelate who decided to operate a school based on spiritual and mystical experience and not on any sort of theology. He was even more of an outcast than I was and today by Grace of God he is operating a whole group of hostels, has a growing number of followers and the experiences. The living experiences of his followers would put to shame any of the shams masquerading as “Zen Buddhism” which in toto evince no examples of Satori!

I had at my Christmas meeting the aforementioned Dr. Neville Warwick (not his name, his father having been an Asiatic and colleague of Dr. Alexandra Davida Neel). We are adapting spiritual dances. We used largely Dervish Dances given by a Dervish who is not a dervish because he was born here!

On New Year’s Eve. Dr. Warwick gave a long Puja and so far as I am concerned, very effective though either my imagination or my extra-sensory perception or perhaps Prajna itself is developed. We also on that occasion gave a number of Yoga Dances, the joint heritage from the Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan and Miss Ruth St. Denis who gave them in 1911 in this land and to whom I have been respectively a disciple (rejected by the “Judeo-Christian” ethic.—whatever that is). Now it is becoming a mockery because the young are coming in greater and greater numbers toward real God-realization with living experiences. The campaign. “Joy without Drugs” has been totally successful and the number of disciples and applicants has increased just as with my Christian colleague.

I have no time now to write articles which are ignored or rejected. The other person whose name I have given you. Dr. Rev. Eugene Wagner has lived in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the worst background for acceptance under the passing culture. This day of shams is over, and before the Living God, we are passing into a New Age.

I am using all your articles and all books by your contributors. I haven’t a single criticism of anybody excepting that the only existence I seem to have is when I write a check.

For forty years I did research for the late Dr. Henry Atkinson on the religions of the world, to see what they could contribute toward World Peace. His “Judeo-­Christian” staff refused even an interview. But this accumulated knowledge was accepted by The Temple of Understanding and they recently had a conference at Calcutta attended by some of my disciples and acquaintances. This institution has accepted both the objective studies and contacts with spiritual leaders actually made in person. A subject I am not going into further here. Some day my autobiography will be published. The man who can listen to God, so to speak, “Is scorned and rejected by man” but the young are so different: it even makes one a hero.

I present here the Mysticism, the living Mysticism of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. I had to study the Kabbalah because I once was secretary to a scholar who worked in that field.

Islam. I am now, by Grace of Allah, doing with Dervish Dances exactly what Moineddin Chisti of Ajmir did with music and singing. And I am too busy awakening the young to the Reality of God to write any more articles for reviews by editors who have not had cosmic experience. These Dances are of two types: those based on Zikr and those on Wazifa and the Sifat-i-Allah.

Buddhism: The manuscript of the late Tai Hsu has been sent to Tuttle for possible publication. At least I sat before this Master. At least one of the late Shaku Soyen will follow (not his book). And then others. The symbol of the late Nyogen Senzaki is now on the wall with credentials in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. And I enjoy the great friendship with her serene Highness Princess Poon Diskul, President of the World Buddhist Federation.

Hinduism. I am not going to relate here my relations with the late Swami Ramdas, my guru, nor with many holy men in India. In a few days Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda will be here and we intend to support him in force. I am also invited to join with the Hindu students who have their own organization now without the grace or disgrace of a number of university prowessed people who have never had the deep experiences. “When the gods arrive the half-gods go.” I am pleased to say here that this will take place on the campus of the University of California, my Alma mater, and some great things are going on there.

Also there will be a source at the Extension which I shall take shortly in this general field.

Christianity. I am lecturing on Mysticism and interpreting the scriptures according to “water,” breath and blood.” Sure, I have had the breath-experience and breath-knowledge of a Great Saint whose excellent article has been published. But if a person in this year 1969 offered such an article as objective experience, he would have had hard sledding. I applause Phillip Kapleau in toto and all living experiences in any way to God which is an actuality. My person relations with living Christian mystics has been and different than with other living Mystics. Tat Tvam Asi.

I am steeped in the Lanes, the Pooles and the Lane-Pooles of your land and also in the novels of Flora Annie Steel and my experiences at Fatehpur Sikri bear this out. The poetry of Sir Edwin Arnold has inspired epic poems in all faiths. All rejected until a friend published “The Rejected Avatar,” copy enclosed. These poems are based on the respective mysticism of the great faiths, coupled with examination of the affairs of the day and the predictions have an accuracy not found in Blake or Nostradamus and by this time there is total unconcerned.

In the Orient I was called upon to lecture on the depths of their religious and Philosophies. My God-daughter won first prize in an international philosophical contest for which the writer did not have “credentials.” But he wrote the paper which won the first prize!

The same took place here when none of the Orientalists could answer some complex questions but by Dr. Singer of Chicago U. There was one person into audience who could and did. He was never invited again. This thing is very annoying.

Love and consideration do not mean being negative. The Christ that I have seen and I certainly believe that it was pure vision, is identical with that of Khalil Gibran. But pure vision is not wanted, only articles. Fortunately there is a moral order and my disciples and friends have gained control of a local publication called “The Oracle” which is attracting much attention and which is objective. Not subjective and dialectic. What are person’s opinions? The bible may say. “The Last shall be first and the first last.”

Nevertheless I have nothing but the warmest admiration for Dr. Schuon and Marco Pallis and your chief writers and your writers not so important yet. But why not more consideration to the living experiences of the living, sometimes, somewhere!

“Lo God is here. Let us adore” is fine for a hymn. “Allah is closer than the neck-vein” is wonderful—to quote! From Paul Brunton I inherited the way-of-Breath, the way-of-Heart, the way-of-the Eve. They are demonstrable and demonstrated. I wish that some time a person so far away could be given objective consideration. But I am not buying space. I love you all, and hope that this may be more than mere cheque-book consider tie.

Love and blessings.

Samuel L. Lewis



Studies in Comparative Religion

January 20, 1969


Dear Mr. Lewis,

Thank you for your letter of the 15th inst., and three subscriptions to the journal, together with your cheque for $42. I am sorry if my letter-writing has appeared to be spasmodic. In fact the journal cannot afford a full-time staff and I am never really up-to-date with my correspondence. Because we are publishing at a loss I have to do all the work with only one assistant, and as I have also two other business concerns in order to earn my living, I find it next to impossible to keep pace with everything. I am sorry if you have felt that we have neglected to reply to letters etc., and this was certainly never our intention.

Thank you also for your book of poems, which I shall certainly show to Dr. Lings whose poetry we have ourselves published, as you know. I find that when it comes to traditional writings there is great difficulty in finding editors willing to publish them. At times I have thought that there is almost a conspiracy of silence where the more erudite things of the spirit are concerned. We send review copies of all the books we publish to the national papers, but they are almost never noticed and I have sometimes wondered if it is worthwhile. Even a book such as “Sacred Art in East and West” was ignored by the national press here and only a few specialist publications noticed it. I am not surprised to learn that you submitted one article thirty-one times before you found a publisher. Many of the articles we publish would not appear at all if it was not for Studies in Comparative Religion.

I see you mention Paul Brunton. I met him many years ago when he was visiting England and was living in New York. I have heard that he subsequently left New York but I suppose he must be over seventy now, if he is still alive. Swami Ramdas came to England but I did not see him; I believe Marco Pallis and Martin Lings and others met him, and that he also saw Mr. Schuon who was over here at the time. Most of the other people you mention I do not know.

I have been fortunate in obtaining material for a number of issues of the journal ahead and we have some first-class material which will appear in the next three or four issues. We are also including some further translations from the writings of Rene Guenon, including that on the symbolism of the fish. Lord Northbourne has written an excellent article entitled “A Glance at Agriculture” dealing with food reform and allied subjects, and Philip Sherrard has written on the place of Jung. In the traditional field. These are only a few of the articles that I have in hand.

Towards the end of last year I had wondered whether we should be able to carry the journal on, but now I am happy to say there has been an improvement, and through the generosity of friends, we are safe throughout 1969.

Thank you for writing. I always read your letters with interest and I am eager to hear what is going on the in U.S., even if I am somewhat slow in replying!

With best wishes,

F. Clive-Ross



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

16 February 1969


F. Clive-Ross

Pates Manor,

Bedfont, Middlesex


Beloved One of Allah:

It is some time since I have heard from you and an answer has not been forthcoming. One is busy seven days in the week, having a class every single day and occasionally more. More and more disciples and applicant, more and more time needed for conferences, and very, very little help on any level. But praise to Allah, with the spiritual practices one has received from one’s Pir-o-Murshid, one is now capable of drawing the atmospheric energies and baraka, and to assimilate the Sifat-i-Allah, so that the proclamations of religion become realities, all the time.

I am an this occasion enclosing a small cheque, but it is my intention to vend further moneys, inshallah. This is a new day and age. One has a program thus:

a. Sunday night, the Dharma. This includes the Yoga methods of Lord Buddha, sometimes slightly modified by Sufic additions, sometimes not. Also teachings in the Upanishads and Swami Ramdas.

b. Monday night. Sufism and elementary Dervish dances.

c. Tuesday afternoon. Christian mysticism drawn from the Scriptures with spiritual techniques. Class progressing very rapidly. Actualities, not pseudo-devotional altitudes to “saints” of the past. Ye Are Gods.

d. Wednesday nights in a town 15 miles north, a compendium of teachings and both Dervish and Yoga dances. Very large group, beautiful young men and women, constantly growing in attendance.

e. Thursday night at the Khankah, Novato. Special instructions in Tasawwuf— Dervish dancing(advanced), the sciences of Breath and Contemplation (Mushahida) and Tawajjeh.

f. Friday night. To the “Hippies,” Haight-Ashbury district. A program so akin to your polities and article that nothing need be added excepting now the introduction of techniques, a mélange of Lord Buddha (Not “Buddhism” and Sufism).

g. Spiritual dancing. Dervish, Yoga and Mystery dances depending on mystical and occult teachings and awakening. Very well attended and excellent response, but for initiates only.

To save time copy of letter to Dr. Nasr enclosed. I hope to cooperate more financially and otherwise but now have two big legal suits pending. May Allah bless you and all your colleagues.


Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti

(Samuel L. Lewis)


P.S. The money is subscription for Mr. Paul Reps, Paauilo, Hawaii, 96776. Also one of my probationers wishes to visit Europe this summer and would like to call on Murshid Schuon. Can you furnish his address?



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

8 July 1969


F. Clive-Ross

Studies in Comparative Religion

Pates Manor, Hatton Road,

Bedfont, Middlesex


Beloved one of God:

Your card of June 13th has been received. One can readily understand both that you may be behind with the journal and why. Here one is faced with a New Age perhaps both symbolically and actually. It is certain that thousands upon thousands of young people, and perhaps nowhere more than in California, are turning to the search-of-the-soul and far more seriously than their immediate predecessors. What is called the generation gap is nothing but inner urge expressing itself more forcefully.

My God-daughter, Miss Khawar Khan of Punjab University was here recently and may return again en route to Reno, Nevada. There was an immediate attraction between her and the mureeds who were here for the day. We did some of our dervish dances and chants, and will give her a fuller program later.

Miss (or shall I call her professor?) Khawar Khan graduated from the American University at Beirut where she went so she could perform Hajj, which she did. She has been teaching at the Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan, and is working now for her doctorate in philosophy.

She told me her (and your) very good friend; professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr is now at Harvard University. It is possible, Inshallah, that he may come here later on. I have been on very good terms with the Department of Near East Languages at the University of California in Berkeley but have extended friendship by my presenting both the Department of South Asian Studies and the Department of Far East Studies copies of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism as my golden anniversary gifts. I was in the class of 1918. I think it would also be well to extend subscription of “Studies in Comparative Religion” to the Department of South Asian Studies, Dwinhelle Hall, University of California, Berkeley 94720. Could you send them complete sets and charge the bill to me?

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan was also here recently. We forbear advertising and had a very large audience, nearly all-young and performed first dervish dances, then my own chants, and mantric and spiritual dances. These are now being choreographed and written partly at his request, partly at the request of others. We believe we can use dancings and chanting to bring people together spiritually and otherwise.

Our position is and has been, that of Iman Al-Ghazali, that tasawwuf is based on experience and not on premises. We believe that sooner or later the whole world will accept this definition whether the approach to spiritual illumination is by this means or another.

The remarkable thing is that we put on our performances which also included both Israeli and non-Israeli Jews in a Christian seminary:

We shall, of course, be most interested in “Letters of a Sufi Master.” One of my hardest jobs is teaching, instructing and organizing a rapidly growing movement. For the soul seeks its own. And I am leaving shortly to give another discourse on Rumi or Shams-i-Tabriz in the celebrated Haight-Ashbury district. The response is excellent: far better than among mature audiences.


Samuel L. Lewis

cc-Prof. Nasr



26 August 1969

F. Clive-Ross

Pates Manor, Bedfont

Middlesex, England


Beloved One of God:

A combination of circumstances impel this letter. At the moment God-daughter Miss Saadia Khawar Khan is with me. She once won first prize at an All-Asia Philosophical conference. The paper was written by this person who has not credentials and it is time to write some credentials. One would imagine that persons with super-consciousness, who have active Kashf or Prajna, would recognize this. Certainly Dr. Radhakrishnan did. Certainly the followers of many Indian super-cults do not. They don’t recognize each other’s so their refusal—generally in the name of universal religion, means nothing. There has been too much of that and now there is a reaction in this land.

There are many bright young people who are spiritual seekers. They have money and intellect and intelligence. They have found their money is wanted but their intellect and intelligence have been spurned and they are planning their own Shangri-La instead of contributing to this or that super-super transcendental Indian cult, which does not recognize other Indian cults. They are very serious and are planning a world tour to the shrines and tombs of saints of all faiths—and no nonsense and none of this “integrational” stuff which is most selective.

They and their friends have accepted my own Dervish and Mantric dances and already a summer school has been organized because they believe that this person has knowledge of tasawwuf and yoga. And I think Miss Saadia Khawar Khan will testify and also she has written to Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr in this respect.

As I am now well in my seventies before Allah I do not think it is necessary to hide any more than soon I shall be celebrating my fiftieth anniversary in the study of tasawwuf, and a few months later in Zen. I have just received a fine letter from my Zen Master and despite all the intellectuals and cults, when the Kashf and Prajna are awakened it is not necessary to say anything at all. Dr. Radhakrishnan and this person could perform the Mahamudra meditation together and become one; and the experiences of hal and makam may have been many. And certainly today there is a mounting following, accompanied, alhamdu lillah, by better financial conditions. But this money can no longer be shared because the universal religionists, the integrational movements etc. have refused to accept either the cosmic dances or the real of fancied spiritual experiences and attainments.

There is a mounting acceptance in America of Phillip Kapleau, not only the first American who has successfully proved his attainments, but the first to be accepted in the American-American approaches to Asian wisdom. It is only the cults and separative integrational movements which do not accept him.

In the meanwhile the acquisition of two books shows the difference between modern pretense and divine wisdom. The first is another book by Sheikhs Idries Shah in which he mentions a number of European experts in Asian philosophy to support his contentions. He does not name a single living spiritual Pir or Sheikh of which this person has met many—contrasted with a work of the Gibb foundation on Junaid which I find more than edifying, it touching the very core of my being.

There are certain “sins” for which atonement is difficult. I was born in this city, at least fourth generation American. I did meet a Sufi teacher early in life and did not meet an Imam until I was 50 for which no atonement seems possible! But I tell you now, my friend, I was visited by the mysterious Khizr many years ago and my poetry, though rejected, and the vitality at the age of 73 astounds the critical-minded good people who are upended by the hard fact of a vigorous mind in a vigorous body. And mountain climbing Yoga which consists not of Indian but of Sufi exercises.

Miss Khan has written to professor Nasr. And I shall add here one more item, which some of your colleagues have refused to accept, whatever that means: A few years back Sidi Abusalem Alawi came here. I was just told a Sufi teacher was coming. Nothing else. But I brought a picture of his great Pir-o-Murshid, wore my dervish robe, and offended and astounded the audience by translating directly the third part of his speech although in the ordinary state I know no Arabic. When he was asked if he would establish a Khankah here, be said no because a man in the audience had the baraka. The audience walked out. But now the new generation is walking in and the blessings are given, actually given in my Zikr dances and no nonsense. And I believe the day is over when people who have a priori rejections can apply negatives to their fellow men without evidence.

It will be very necessary to subscribe fully to Studies in Comparative Religion for several groups. All excepting the integrative schools which will not accept the existence of tasawwuf. They all want financial support but never accept one’s process or accomplishments, and there is now a reaction. One group of young Americans is planning a world-tour of shrines and holy places to start their own Shangri-La in this country. They have their own land their own money, their own following and do not have to applied to the ignorant others to send them money. They have the kashf, the prajna and know what to do.

No doubt there are forms of Sufism (!) without Allah. But I have just written at length to the Muslim Students who are very self-centered and also may enclose copy. There is no fooling with this person about La Illaha El Il Allah!

There has not only been a movement of young persons toward this putative (or real) Murshid, there has been a constant gain in contacts of various professors of religion and philosophy at the various American universities. Whenever and wherever an American (or an Asian) supplants an Englishman or European, one is in. Not that all Englishman and Europeans stand aloof but by and large they have been dialecticians and not mystics at all and do not comprehend awakening processes. One exception has been Prof. Cunze and I understand he is now in your general region. I found he had a much more profound and to me comprehensive understanding of Buddhism and of the Dharma in general than most intellectuals. But there is now a movement against dialectics among the professors themselves and partially under the impetus of Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T. and partly because it is true and right, they are turning to those with mystical experience. One local professor has gone to the other extreme of accepting every paper written by this person accepting that they are all based on personal experiences and not speculations—which is certainly true.

Gradually one is bringing out “Saladin” written from the standpoint of fana-fi­Rassoul. Some Indian epics are now coming out and have been accepted by the Bhakti­Vedantins, the Shivananda people and the Sri Ramakrishna Vedantins but not by the Sri Aurobindo followers.

All of this shows the practical need for subscriptions, even to the earliest copies of Studies In Comparative Religion. The whole tenor here today is toward basing religion on human experience in a manner comparable to our basing the rigid sciences on human experiences—perhaps in a different manner but still parallel.

There will be more communications along this line. Sooner or later that which is true, that which is honest, that which is the result of the conscious endeavors of man will triumph over both rejections by ignorant egocentrics and the dialectic speculations of the learned (so-called).


Samuel L. Lewis



Sept. 27, 1969

Editor, Pates Manor

Hatton Road, Bedfont,

Middlesex, England


Beloved One of God:

From a certain point of view we live in a world of wonders. Recently I was invited to visit Lama Foundation in the state of New Mexico and taught—if you can call it that—spiritual development through dancing and chanting. Although the visit was successful I returned utterly exhausted. In a few days I shall be 73 years old and have had only 3 free days until the beginning of this month. A short but beneficial vacation followed and then not only new inspiration but more doors opening.

A determination was reached to visit and attend the next conference of The Temple of Understanding. I have intended, inshallah, to have with me my esoteric secretary Mansur Otis Johnson who is also the prize pupil and friends of the better known Professor Huston Smith. All the news points in the same general direction.

a. Along with my goddaughter Khalifa Miss Saadia Khawar Khan we had refused to attend the Muslim Students Assn. National gathering on the grounds that they were too concerned with politics and superiority complexes and not enough with Allah and Hadiths. A strong letter received a surprising commendatory reaction that the majority who attended were in full agreement. But I am not stopping there and intend to go on and present some of the Hadiths at the meetings of The Temple of Understanding Miss Khan incidentally tremendously admires the work of Frithjof Schuon, a man whose works I am continually studying.

b. Yesterday morning a class in Dervish dancing was opened for young people in this city. Most of the dances were based on Allah, but I also gave one on RamNam derived from Papa Ramdas who was also a great admirer of Dr. Schuon.

c. Last night Rab Schlomo had his gathering also based on spirituality through love dances. We are wonderful friends demonstrating that there is a grand area of love, devotion, and harmony beyond all differences and distinctions that divide men.

d. Yesterday I was invited to come as “expert advisor” to a new course on living religious at the controversial San Francisco State College. Prof. Jacob Needleman, who is much more of a guide than a teacher, is another veritable Huston Smith, and they also are very good friends of each other. Dr. Needleman gave very special attention to Studies in Comparative Religion and this will no doubt be followed up by action, research, etc. We are agreed however that business can be better done through Fields Books Store in this city which carries your blurb notices and also the works of your chief contributors.

I think this day is significant, and I am also sending a copy of this to Prof. Nasr. The tentative program of The Temple of Understanding indicates a visit to Tehran.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Feb. 8, 1970

Tomorrow Publication Ltd.

Pates Manor Hatton Road

Bedfont, Middlesex, England

Beloved Ones of God:


I have your invoice no. 01013 and enclose personal check for $10. If this is not the right amount please advise.

We are already putting this brochures to good use and enclose copies of two letters as corroboration. One has had to follow so to speak as if streams of Dharma from former lives were manifesting toward perfection in different directions. I am at the present time not only giving instructions in Tasawwuf (Sufism) but also have a class in the Christian Gospel of Saint Thomas and tonight start an exposition of the Taittiriya Upanishad. This will be presented in such a way as to invoke greater insight on the part of the audience, let us say in a general direction of Sat-Chit-Ananda.

After years of endeavor, stories are beginning to seep out, chiefly through the work being done in and through song and dance. There is a lot of excellent drama going around. But I am assuming it will be possible to call on you early in April, after the conference of The Temple of Understanding (copy of letter to Ajmir enclosed which refers to this).

“Nature and Function of the Spiritual Master” absolutely exemplifies the present life. I realize that claims in this direction may be subject to criticism, but something more is needed than endless abstruse articles and lectures, not supported by living evidence. The quotation from Schuon “No one will meet Allah who has not met his envoy,” has long been illustrated by my poetry, nearly all of which has remained unpublished. But the whole trend is now in the opposite direction at a place where Grace and good karma seem to be meeting like the joining of rivers.

Most faithfully and cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

He Kwang



March 10, 1970

Mr. V. Clive-Ross

Studies In Cooperative Religion

Pates Manor, Hatton Road,

Bedfont, Middlesex, England


Beloved one of God:

I have just re-read Nature and Function of the Spiritual Master by F. Schuon. I am not so much concerned here with the teaching in this work as with the simple fact that this depicts almost exactly my present-day methodologies. There is a vast difference between verbal claims of integrative outlook, and the pragmatic applications of such an outlook in actual spiritual instructions given to disciples on the spiritual path.

At this writing there is almost a complete reversal of events and attitudes. A few years back, the cults were interested in the unusual and the universities barred them. Today it is exactly the opposite: The Universities accept what is evident, and the cults bar what is annoying to them. This is a most hopeful sign of a New Age which is dawning, particularly in this country, and most of all in the Western regions of this country.

I expect to come London about the 7th of April. I shall either bring with me, or send to you before hand, a copy of a new publication on “The Sutra of the 6th Patriarch” and “The Diamond Sutra” as arranged by the late Evans-Wentz and my lifelong and very close friend Rev. Joseph Miller of this city. Although Joe goes around mostly as a Mahayana Buddhist, I can assure you he is an absolute universalist in philosophy, in training, in outlook, and in spiritual realization.

At the moment, it would appear I shall be given those opportunities at the convention of The Temple of Understanding  barred previously because of the dominant egotisms and emotionalisms of those in control of presumably international convocations. There is nothing personal in this. It is simply that outlooks of previous generations were quite limited whatever their verbal pronouncements may have been.

Whatever the outcome of this forthcoming journey may be, it is certain that my own private career is at an end. Both my homes are now being “invaded” so to speak by cameramen, klieg lights, and sound equipment; and while we cannot be assured that this is going to bring either fame or regeneration, this very fact demonstrates that sooner or later what is true, what is just, what is noble, will not be hidden forever from humanity.

With all good will, and hoping to see you in the not too distant future,


Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. It would be wonderful if I should encounter either Dr. Schuon or one of his disciples at Geneva.



May 28, 1970

Mr. F. Clive-Ross

Studies In Comparative Religion

Pates Manor, Bedfont

Middlesex, England


Beloved One of God:

This is just a short note. So many things are going in excellent manners that they far overshadow obstacles.

On the practical side of life, I find that many of the young people interested in spiritual studies also wish to open up book stores and sometimes printing establishments. In this they find for practical reasons the need also for books on the psychic or unusual. I am therefore asking that you please send us several of your book lists and we may act temporarily as go-betweens so you may have more outlets in this country. This is easy and natural and comes in the course of our daily affairs.

When I reached Boston I found “The Encounter of Man and Nature”. Three copies were purchased, and also I have read this, to me admirable work, three times. I am delighted that it has been dedicated to Marco Pallis, whom we may regard as a living Bodhisattva.

First I wrote an introductory comment and then a review from what I believe are constructive, harmonizing, outlook; if you would like a carbon of this we should be glad to make it for you.

Our audiences are growing. Our outside contacts are growing. Mansur and I leave tomorrow to conduct our own summer school in the state of New Mexico. We have been helped in all our efforts by Baba Ram Dass (Dr. Richard Alpert) who is having a book published on modern spiritual movements. We shall soon know more about this and will advise.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



July 13, 1970

Mr. F. Clive-Ross

Perennial Book Service

Pates Manor, Bedfont, Middlesex England


Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam-Aleikhum! All praise is due to Allah, Who makes possible final victories whether in lesser Jihads or greater Jihads.

For some little while I have been planning writing you a letter or article called “Peaks and Lama.” This is not a pun; this is an actuality, although I am sure our good friend Marco Pallis would have enjoyed every moment of his stay in a spiritual commune high in the Rocky Mountains. Here the word Lama is probably derived from a language of native Amer-Indians living near Taos, New Mexico. The mountain on which Lama is situated remains a holy peak to the natives of the region and there is extreme cordiality and co-operation between the aboriginal peoples and the spiritual Americans who have established a successful commune high in the Rocky Mountains.

Actually these people already call me Murshid. Also one night when a play was presented called “The False Guru” some people in the audience shouted “What do we care for a false Guru, when we have a true Guru in the audience.” And they so stampeded I had to get up and lead them all, actors and audience, in spiritual dances. You won’t read about such things in the press of course.

Later I called on the actors. They have been specializing in Greek drama but are planning to put on later, themes drawn from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Without going into further detail, there is every sign of our coming into a new, and really spiritual, age.

But the reason for writing is quite different. While I was conducting a rather successful summer school in the State of New Mexico, Pir Vilayat Khan was conducting a quite successful summer camp in the adjacent State of Arizona. And, he happened upon a man who had been looking for Sufis and did not know any were around. This man, Walter Bowart, wishes to be a publisher of spiritual books. He has great hopes and dreams, and apparently some fortune to back it up. In any event, he is leaving now to go to England. It is all like a dream, or series of dreams. Your book list excited him, but besides books and spirituality, his next greatest interest is: Glastonbury. So Mansur and I gave him your address which he has seized with avidity, and we are hoping he will be in your presence soon. Of course there is lots more of interest and excitement going on, but we think this is enough for one letter.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



Studies in Comparative Religion

August 13, 1970


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your letter of the 13th July and I was glad to hear you news. Since then I have received a visit from Walter Bowart. He came with a friend last Monday week and spent the afternoon with us, purchasing a number of our publications and leaving me a copy of his new journal “Omen.” He has since left for the Continent and will be passing this way again in a week or so.

There is little news my end. We are publishing Lord Northbourne’s new book “Looking Back on Progress” on September 24th. There is a good demand for “Letters of a Sufi Master” since it appeared this year and I think I will probably have to reprint before very long. Another issue of the journal will be along in the near future.

With thanks and best wished.

F. Clive-Ross



Sept. 1, 1970

M. F. Clive-Ross

Pates Manor, Hatton Road,

Bedfont, Middlesex, England


Beloved One of Allah:

As-Salaam-Aleikhum! Your Spring 1970 issue came at a time of climax but not at a time of tragedy. So many things are happening one does not know where to begin, or end.

There are many people who believe they know something about Indian metaphysics, and that whatever you tell them they will react. For practical purposes I have lost my secretaries, but what has actually happened is that each of them has gone into a higher dimension.

1. The “Dances of Universal Peace,” rejected by the “world” groups excepting The Temple of Understanding, have spread so rapidly this alone would keep me busy all the time. One of the disciples began filming. Than the Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan came, so we amalgamated. But we amalgamated not as a joint personal venture, but as a universal venture, to take into consideration the present picture of spiritual movements in this world. And while the emphasis has been on the young, it is also necessary to get the whole world out of subjective “realism” into objective reality. So the disciples have gone forth, and are now filming in Asia, and there is every sign we shall have films and records very much needed to promote proper East-West relations.

Otis Mansur Johnson has remained as technician for this glorious project, very necessary for the world. And besides this, we are getting more and more letters from pretty firm spiritual movements in many lands.

2. The second secretary, Daniel Lomax, is now working for editor Walter Bowart, whom you have met. But his efforts, both in regard to spiritual dancing and spiritual Oriental philosophies have been entirely successful, Alhamdulillah! Many people are either tired of, or dissatisfied with, grandiose intellectualism, or hyperbolic emotionalism as manifestations of spirituality. While we cannot and dare not claim that Sufism is the answer, we do believe it is an answer. And the very fact that a number of pseudo-authorities on Asia have previously stood in the way is helping us no end today.

3. This person went to the Near East with a plan for peace there, which came out of mystical experience, real mystical experience. God, so to speak, most have favored it, for quite by accident he become a traveling companion of a Swedish gentleman who represented the United Nations in that part of the world. His name was Gunnar Jarring, and you read such about him in the papers today.

Much stimulated, one went ahead and had the approval of Israelis, Egyptians, and Saudians. End of approvals!

But God, so to speak, still years later seems to favor peace in the Holy Land. You know a little of the events in Geneva under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding.

But there is a new type of youth today who have universal outlooks, the youth predicted by Bulwer Lytton and H. G. Wells, and Sri Aurobindo and others. They have already gone ahead. They are rapidly going ahead. We have had a very successful joint Israeli-Arab-Jewish-Christian dinner, and there are signs of further undertakings, further efforts along this line. For the first time, indeed, the radio, television, and press are showing interest. This is wonderful. The next dinner has already been over-subscribed. This involves my third secretary. Regardless of politics, and neither despite nor because, we may be seeing the manifestation of spirituality and humanity which too many of the passing age cannot comprehend, but neither can they prevent it, praise to God.

Our world is expending in every direction and later we shall take up the matter of purchases, etc. Everything is running along we believe as God wills.

Love and Blessing,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi. Ahmed Murad Chisti


PS. One was so concerned about the projects involving one’s secretaries that personal news was overlooked.

One now has the approval of two Rabbis of Jerusalem in one’s efforts toward peace and understanding. It would be glorious if one had the approval of two local Rabbis, or even two American Rabbis.

So far as Christians is concerned. One is very busy with lectures on “The Three Body Constitution of Man according to the First Epistle to the Corinthians.” This is being taped and recorded. It will either be sent to the Presbyterian Cathedral in Washington for publication or to our good friend Walter Bowart. The lectures are given on Saturday mornings, and the hall is packed, packed. All young people. Many have had mystical experiences. Their faces are filled with Light and Beauty; it is wonderful. And this is the sort of thing that is going on, more to be feared than all the property-destroying and thought-destroying so-called revolutionaries who always get newspaper coverage. But I think we shall soon see some changes here. It never occurs to the press that many wealthy young people may be involved in spiritual movements.

Many of these young people are involved in organic gardening and related industries which are prospering highly in a time of presumed economic difficulties. Maybe God wishes us to be natural, and maybe that maybe the outlook in the future, inshallah.

Along with this of course are constant interviews with young people who seek to go on the spiritual path, and of course counseling work, but from a supernal outlook dialectics and no



Sept. 20, 1970

Mr. F. Clive-Ross

Bedfont, Middlesex,


Beloved One of God:

This is to acknowledge your brochure “Perennial Books.” This acknowledgement is made because my new secretary, Sitara, and I are leaving shortly for the East Coast and will present this to various persons and dealers we shall be meeting.

There may be something more than irony in saying that God-Allah may approve of what we are doing. The meetings are better attended. The financial situation is much better, and two former secretaries, one being Mansur Otis Johnson, have new excellent paying positions in enterprises arising out of our spiritual efforts.

There is considerable interest here in Martin Lings. It is unfortunately symbolic that Martin Lings does not accept what Sidi Abu-Salem Al-Alawi proclaimed here publicly. The writer was scoffed and derided by nearly everybody in this region, including the audience for Sidi Al-Alawi. But almost immediately after he proclaimed that Ahmed Murad was a true Sufi things began to happen, happen as rapidly as it has been possible to assimilate.

We have been very successful in our joint Israeli-Arab-Christian dinners and social affairs, and also in joint Sufi-Yoga meetings. This at a tremendous increment of acceleration, even in the last week since writing you.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



October 25, 1970

F. Clive-Ross


Studies in Comparative Religion Tomorrow Publications Ltd.

Pates Manor, Bedfont, Middlesex England


Beloved One of Allah:

As-salaam aleikhum! This is being written in New York City. We are in this part of the country on several missions, and our program has been enhanced by several others:

1. The program to promote joint Israeli-Christian-Arab dinners and peaceful interchanges has been most successful. It is now attracting much attention, and the last report also indicates, considerable money—that is, in California.

2. We have been to Cambridge, Massachusetts and were cordially received by the secretary of Dr. Cantwell Smith, who is away, and also by Dr. Huston Smith in person. Are they on your mailing list? If not, we should be glad to subscribe for them. Also for Dr. Joseph Blau, who is now Dean of Religious Studies at Columbia University.

3. Every effort to promote our spiritual dances to the young has been successful. On our return we shall probably establish a separate department and seek proper secretaries.

4. The filming, which started with my Dances of Universal Peace, has now also included the work of many persons retarded as spiritual teachers. Also, the ceremonies of Sufis, in particular in Iran and India.

5. The manuscript, “The Three-Body Constitution of Man According to Saint Paul” is now being reviewed, and if no one else wants it, there is a possibility that Walter Bowart will publish it. He is now asking for all my things.

6. There are several underground peace movements going on in this country presumably based on spiritual principles and making considerable headway.


Samuel L. Lewis



Nov. 21, 1970

Mr. F. Clive-Ross

Perennial Books

Pates Manor

Bedfont, Middlesex England


As-Salaam-Aleikhum! The summer 1970 issue of “Studies in Comparative Religion” arrived at a time when both conditions and events propose an immediate response. The book reviewers Whitall Ferry and R.N.J.A. seem to me honest and objective. No doubt some of the writers also, but I am not concerned in reviewing the writers at this time. I am concerned in doing something for Sufism comparable to what Phillip Kapleau has done for Zen. I am not in the least concerned with the rejection of all and sundry of Imam Al-Ghazzali’s statement “Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises.” But so many writers, pretending or actually accepting Al-Ghazzali, have nonetheless gone ahead with premises and dialectics and subjectivisms, and whatnot. I am not in the least concerned with any subjective reactions whatsoever of anybody, famous or not famous, scholarly, or literary.

A Sufi is told he has to be an orthodox Muslim. I know many orthodox Muslims who reject so many teachings in Holy Qur’an and Hadiths, who have become, so to speak, an inquisition, an institution defending religion, only unlike the Roman Catholic inquisition they are not a constituted body. And there is a far cry from the verbal positing Of La Illaha El Il Allah and thoughts and action based on the assumption of ego persistence, and most especially where my ego differs from your ego. I was taught that a Sufi could see from the point of view of another as well as of himself. I not only was taught, and was told, that Sufis have certain types of actual experiences, but the wretched Allah, so to speak, without consulting the authorities, authorities in a religion that has no authorities, seems to have lifted veils. And actual Sufis including Sheikhs, Murshids, and Pirs—many living today—had the audacity to accept this person as a fairly advanced mystic, to seat him by their side, and to accept what the scholars of the West, some claiming to be Sufis and some just self-constituted supreme experts like the late Prof. Arbury and his very well educated in intellectual matters disciples and friends, but exceeding ignorant of mystical processes, rejected.

I am now engaged in re-writing for the steenth time “Six Interviews With Hazrat Inayat Khan.” Noble? Persons have asked for this material again and again and again, and I do not recall a single one of them even having the courtesy to return the rejected notes! But now I am writing up the incidents which produced these six interviews, wherein Allah, the Gracious and Merciful, without consulting the Imams, the experts, the authorities, the book-writers, and the self-esteemed, dared to lift veils, beginning with the manifestation of Khwaja Khizr and continuing onward as if one had been a Qur’anic Hafiz at a time early in life long before one had studied Holy Qur’an.

This audacity on the part of Allah, to Whom be all praise, will undoubtedly shock a lot of self-esteemed religious persons. But this is a new age, when experience and objectivity are being accepted in mysticism as in science (vide Kapleau). And love communicates much more easily and effectively than do words or even strident emotions, the great tools of those who do not function beyond emotions.

Fortunately our good friend Mr. Walt Bowart in Arizona has asked me for reports, and I am first writing on the visit of Khwaja Khizr, and will send you shortly a carbon of the draft when the final version is typed. I am not asking anybody on earth, and I do not have to. My meetings with masts sad madzubs utterly throw into the shade such a work as “The Wayfarers” by Dr, William Duncan, quondam associate with Irani Meher Baba, who made lots of noise but does not seem to have changed human hearts.

What Kapleau has done for Zen, I hope to do inshallah, and I mean inshallah, and I mean inshallah, for Tasawwuf. I am no longer concerned with the rejections by subjectivists, scholars or not. Besides, the successful operation of Divine Love, especially with the use of Sifat-i-Allah and Wazifas is going to manifest before the world, is manifesting. It was long foreboded to me inwardly by Kashf that the use of Wazifas and the Sifat-i-Allah (with or without the Daroods) would and could be used to clear psychological, psychic, and moral defects and problems, and this is going on although we are not keeping records thereof. Hearts are becoming their own records.

In his early teachings Hazrat Inayat Khan presented Sufism as consisting of fana-­fi-Sheikh,
fana-fi-Rassoul, and fana-fi-lillah. I do not find any differences here from the article by our good friend Seyyed Hossein Nazr in this issue. There are many writers gaining their livelihood by telling us all about the Zen experiences of Chinese of another age, and there are other scholars who have desired some fame for telling us about the great Sufis of another age. But the hard hard fact fact that there are more disciples in Tasawwuf then in all other schools of esotericism combined has not yet made the proper impressions. Only with the facilities of world travelling and with the rather recent successes of my disciples and associates, we are going to blend the worlds of Allah and Rand-McNally, and probably deflate subjectivities, speculations, and dialectics.

In my forthcoming report I mention that Khwaja Khizr offered me poetry. I have written some poetry which has been published and most of it, published and unpublished, is in various grades of fana-fi-Rassoul. It may have been unfortunate and it may have been a blessing that the late Thomas Merton was on his way to see me when he died. I say it was a blessing, exposing a world that judges subjectively but immediately changes because of so and so. I cannot be a Muslim today and believe that Allah loves his creation more than another loves her offspring, so I am a Mohammedan, one who reveres Mohammed as Amin, Ahmed, Nabi, Rassoul, and Khatimal Rassoul. I believe in these things not because the orthodox have said anything, nor the Sheikhs of Sufism, nor anybody, but because, in accordance with that greatly praised and greatly ignored Al-Ghazzali, my Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises. Therefore I am going to send you under separate cover at least one part of the epic poem “Saladin” (you can have all the rest of it if you wish) wherein Mecca Shereef had the audacity to manifest as a heretic to a person whose ancestors were not Muslims and who did not study under Imams. Not only that, the poem proclaims Mohammed as the grand Guru of all faiths, and I mean of all faiths, and it is so written in the poetry. Positing him as Khatimal Mursaleen.

What is more, after such experiences (or imaginations, if you want to call them that; or delusions, or hallucinations) this person found it very easy and simple to explain the depths of any and all religions. He has done that to the satisfaction of the grandmasters of all of these religions.

A side issue is that his disciples and associates have successfully brought Israelis, Christians, and Arabs together at a time when the leaders of the world are fomenting hatred, excitement and war.

We have been using singing, dancing, walking, and devotion to raise the consciousness of a growing number of young people, without following any paths of orthodoxy whatsoever, and without deflating these paths. We have recently obtained some of the best works concerning Abdul Kadiri Jilani, Sheikh Shahabuddin Sohrawardi, and others. But it is possible to teach and explain when one has had the experiences (vide Imam Ghazzali) and may know from direct experience and not from any premise, something about hal and makam.

I am not here going to repeat the last two paragraphs of Sura XVIII, and when I do will use Yusuf Ali’s translation which is at my Khankah. I think it is time to get this Sura and some other teachings of Holy Qur’an out in the open, and it is just too bad if analytic Islam, whether it be of one school of Sharia’ or other, does not fulfill the revelation. For the most part, Islam has been condensed, solidified, crystallized, and the Way has been made into a narrow path from which most of humanity has been excluded. But I say with Shah Latif that Allah is our lover not our jailer, and it is time to bring this out to the world. It is not only time it is manifesting. It is manifesting in an age when a few of us actually hold “There is no power of might save in Allah.” And despite, or because of, all of the above we are now devoting our energies, our faculties, and even our wealth to help the poor unfortunate people of East Pakistan who are the beloved of Allah even when they do not accept our version of revelation. We believe the true spiritual teachers like the Sun, give out, and don’t demand.

Someday I may write about my mystical initiations into the Rifa’i Order. These records were not destroyed as were my earlier ones. And following the teachings of “The Cave” the same sorts of experiences have come as have come to devotees of other countries and of other earlier times. I have the audacity to interpret the Prophet, that when he said Allah was neither of the East or the West, he meant just that, and also he is neither of the Past nor the Future. I do not believe that Allah has restrained his blessings or guidance, and if prelates and intellectuals do not see it, then they don’t see it, but Allah is not affected by their lack of vision. We not only sing and dance La Illaha El Il Allah, we sing and dance Ishk Allah Mahbood Lillah. And we have not had the least trouble from anybody in proclaiming the historical Mohammed. It is only the dishonest subjectivists that foment and continue trouble and agitation.

We shall keep you informed. One is reminded of meetings with the Khalandar who said he was greater than the writer in everything, and I said, “Yes, all but one thing.” He repeated his claims. I repeated. Then he asked “What is that”? I said, “I am a greater listener than you are.” The next day he caught me teaching his Murshid. We became very good friends.

And today departments of Universities concerned with Near East Studies are becoming very good friends. Also have established small scholarships for students so enrolled to work for peace in the Near East. Kashf, Ishk, Shahud, and Ilm are to me realities. Allah is closer than the neck-vein, believe me.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Sufis Ceylon Correspondence

[ca] October 1, 1964


All Praise            is to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds, who makes it possible for a few persons or even a single one to carry His Message to people who are ignorant in spiritual matters and being learned otherwise, do not realize their ignorance in the sciences of heart.

Last week some of your material was read at the local Yoga center—this on request, to, not by the writer. Present also was a real Buddhist Master from Korea who greatly appreciates the article on Zen published by your good selves. This “Zen” also is so different from the travesty articles appearing on our book­shelves which have so little to do with spiritual liberation.

That the nature of this very universe is Rahm was pronounced by another Buddhist Master from Nepal in his presence and this master automatically accepted the Bismillah. This shows the Unity of Masters and the Unity of Spiritual realization.

In the outer world some most important scientific material has come into these hands, also opening up for a huge cooperative scheme involved the Integrationalists of East (Like the Sri Aurobindo movement) and the West, and also quite a few Sufis—many lands—all coming together on a potentially gigantic project based on Rahman but applicable to the surface of the world in accord with the latest scientific principles.

Last week this plan was accepted here by the Arab leaders and also the Sufi poem, Saladin, written through these hands, to be shown soon, inshallah, to a Prof. Sukkary visiting from Cairo University.

The next day was the complete acceptance of this person by the leading Orientalists after years of rejection from sundry persons, mostly Englishmen and Europeans, who have dominated Asian and particularly Islamic culture in this country. Now this person’s thesis on Tauba has already been accepted, and also he may serve on the committee for the centennial of the late Mahatma Gandhi. For the Americans and Asians have come together without any diplomats or newsmen from anywhere, and have come to total agreement.

In the final session the subject of Indian poetry was the theme. One man asked what was the resemblance and differences between the mysticism of the Vaishnavis and Sufis that produced the resemblances and differences between their various poetries. When no one could answer (and the audience included some of the top Orientalists of the whole Western world), this person gave his explanations from experiences and these explanations have been accepted. There is a scholar in Tasawwuf at the Chicago University and he wishes the writer to correspond with him. This will involve several types of spiritual poetry all based on actual experience and to some slight extent on knowledges of basic mystical literature, Indian and Islamic.

Thus after years of effort, the doors open. But my first spiritual teacher, Hazrat Inayat khan, says it generally takes about forty years in Zikr and Fikr to see the objectification. Now it has come.

Whatever has been the dream of Akbar or prince Dara Shikoh or Kabir or Nanak Guru, it comes out when the sincere scholars wish realities and not speculations.

Also we are preparing for the advent of a new Ambassador from Sudan who is expected here in June, inshallah. In that country nearly everybody has some tarik discipline.

Love and Blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



20 November 1964


My dear Brother;

I have just read in “Anjuman” about publishing books or articles on Tasawwuf. No details are given but I should appreciate any information therein, and also if these books are in English, and if available, and how could they be sent to the United States.

For your information, though born here, this person has been accepted into a number of orders of Dervishes, two in the near East and about six in South Asia, is a full-fledged Murshid in at least one, and Khalif in at least one more and has been sent to the United States as did Moin-ed-din Chisti to plant the seeds of the divine Wisdom in strange peoples, that is, those strange to this wisdom.

It is only now after many years and hard effort that there is some response. One has been helped by the appearance of Seyyed Nasr in this country. He is now head of the Department of Islamic Studies in the American University of Beirut. And next year, inshallah, we shall collaborate on “The Revitalization of Islamic Philosophy” to be presented at a conference of all religions to be held in California next year.

This week also I met Prof. Badeau, former Ambassador to UAR and now head of the School of Near and Middle East Studies, California University and he shows many signs of acquaintance with Tasawwuf.


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



9 February 1965


Dear Sufi Sahib,


Thank you for your nice letter addressed to us asking for information regarding books and pamphlets on “Tasawwuf.” We regret very much for the delay in acknowledging your letter of the 20th November 1964, in response to which we now enclose pamphlets on Sufism and a copy of the Kalvath Shan containing writings on Philosophy.

The spreading of Sufism in the West, particularly in the States is a long felt need. Already Vedanta and Buddhism are fast spreading in the West and are doing yeoman service through their various missionaries situated abroad. We feel that the State is yet to taste and relish the depth of Sufi Mysticism and its spirit expressed and revealed through writings and poetry of Sufi mystics. The task you have undertaken in trying to plant the seed of Sufi Mysticism in the States requires every support from the Muslim World. Our best wishes and prayers go with you and may His blessings be showered upon you in abundance.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter, book and pamphlets. A reply from you will be much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Fuard Uduman.



772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

February 18, 1965


Fuard Uduman,

Kalvath Shan Publications,

Range Estate,

Wattala, Hunupitiya, Ceylon


My Dear Brother in Allah:

Praise be to Allah for your letter and the enclosures which came at a time when things were complex and climaxing in the private life. Indeed on that day a letter had been written to my Pir-o-Murshid in Pakistan and the sign came definitely not to mail it when your booklets arrived, and also some other matters which shall be detailed. You may extract from this in any way you wish.

You will understand that it was necessary for some “free” souls to be born in this Western world to pioneer the awakening of mankind to spiritual realities, not in sermons, not in exhortations, not in books but in the opening of the heart-consciousness as actuality. And you must also understand that there have been but two courses for such persons so far—death from broken hearts, or life as a social recluse. But this person, set to function as a Jelali, on the surface seems to be operating contrary to many precepts and protocols laid down for spiritual people, the precepts coming from the scriptures or their teachers; the protocols coming from the metaphysical and fraudulent people who always draw more crowds.

One shall not here commiserate on anything. A few weeks ago a psychologist came to the writer: “You need therapy. I know you are a realized soul, but you think people won’t listen to you. You are mistaken, I shall show you.” This week this psychologist approached the writer: “I owe you an apology. I have now met some real Masters from the real Asia and I have witnessed what all of you must experience.” For there has of recent days been the beginning of a flow of wise men from other lands of Asia and in each instance there was mutual immediate recognition and in each instance these Masters have found it most difficult to reach the American public and hardest of all those who have been hypnotized into believing they are studying or practicing spiritual methods which lead to emancipation.

Toward the end of last year this person went on an important tour which incidentally brought him into contact with several Americans of the same type, all compulsory recluses because of the behavior of our fellows. And the Vietnam situation is nothing but an objectification of this. For all the problems of Vietnam were made known to this person, not by anything mystical or occult, but by his close American friends who were simply not believed. They had all gone to Asia, put on yellow robes, circulated among all the schools of Buddhist, and unanimously were rejected in this land. These are things on record and during a long life I do not know of a single tragedy that has befallen mankind that was not introduced either by one’s own fellows or by the lifting of the inner veils—this covers a long life, a long history, but never once that Allah did not warn and the warnings went unheeded. This is the life of nufsaniat-samsara.

This person returned to San Francisco to attend a public meeting given in honor of an important Indian political leader. To the dismay and even disgust of the audience this leader said: “Why, you are the man I came to San Francisco to meet. I travelled five thousand miles just to meet you:” It was true but the majority of people there did not, would not believe it, and this is true especially of those who pretend to believe in the law-of-karma.

The writer said boldly: Me Heng Dara Shikoh. This is a long and complicated history and it is remarkable how those people who delude themselves into believing they believe in reincarnation are the first to reject evidences of it. The long history of relations with Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Sani Nizami at Dargah Nizam-ud-din Auliya in Delhi are evidences of it.

You will find enclosed picture of self in the robe given first as Khalifa and then as full Murshid in the Sabri-Kadiri-Chisti Order, head-quarters Salarwala near Lyallpur, Pakistan. When I returned to India in 1962 the first place visited was the Dargah Nizam-ud-din Auliya. No letters, no communication, it was about 10: 30 at night and there was the Pir-o-Murshid, his brother and mureeds waiting.

A few days later I returned (the intervening history has to do with my most excellent friends Hon. President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda) . We went to the tombs of saints and in each case, there was an open communion and communication. This always happens but not always with living witnesses.

In front of the tomb of Amir Khusrau the saint appeared, gave me this robe and said: “You are the Successor of the late Mohammed Iqbal, in the succession from Maulana Roum.” And this robe which was in open vision, was being made at that time in Pakistan while the body was in India.

This is also mentioned because the writer is copying his poem “Saladin” which is a vast epic and which, inshallah, will be famous after my death. Part II has to do with the living experience of Miraj in which Khatimal Nabi  played a dual role, acting as Vergil in Dante’s poetry and also in full capacity as Insaan-i-Kemal. So the confirmation of the poetry of Maulana Roum.

Khizr. This person went away to die in the wilderness mar r years ago. By Grace Khwaja Khizr appeared and offered him poetry (as above) or music. The music since came, first as the embodiment of the Flute of Masnavi and then as the Flute-of-Krishna which has been demonstrated many times. But the evidence is that as time has gone out, excepting the eyes, the body has not aged at all, and from the ordinary point of view appears miraculous, while in truth it is Divine Grace and nothing else.

Mohammed manifested at the end of the period in the wilderness after all the Messengers of God appeared before these eyes in broad daylight, but Mohammed in double and the same robe as above conferred, but not believed—as, of course, there is no way to communicate with people who have not had the veils lifted. It only resulted that when my first Pir-o-Murshid died, his wishes were ignored, though both the then living Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Nizami in Delhi and this person were given exactly the same instructions.

Papa Ramdas. This is very difficult to write as only laughter or tears can convey. Once three different persons within two weeks said that this person should meet Swami Ramdas. They did not know each other and could give no details. But they could not accept this person because of his Jelali covering. Then Ramdas appeared suddenly also in the middle of the day and said he would come in one year. And in exactly fifty two weeks he arrived in San Francisco. The three persons did not accept him and this person had no choice.

This history will not be recorded but in 1962 while at the Ashram in Kanhangad in the north part of Travancore-Cochin State, three mornings in succession this person awoke not as his known self but as Ramdas. So he went to Papa and said, “It is time to go.” Papa said, “Yes it is time to go.” But this person knew then mystically it was time for papa Ramdas to go.

Nyogen Senzaki was a Zen Master in California whom the writer met just six weeks after he met his first Sufi teacher (Murshida Rabia Martin), and these few days chartered a strange course of unity and division in the spiritual disciplines. But in America, excepting a few old disciples, the people who take up “Zen” reject this person. The Masters who have come here have accepted him and those who are not masters reject him, but they do not reject the Triratna; so it is clear.

As soon as he came to Japan not only were all the Zendos open to him but he had the “Satori” in both the Rinzai and Soto Schools. When he returned to California he said: “When Sogen Asahina and Sam Lewis met were there two, one or no people in the room.” “Let us have some tea.” Then this person knew that Nyogen Senzaki would soon leave the earth.

Sometime later he met the secretary of Senzaki-san and said: “One word in your ears and the enlightenment.” The lady came up and put her ears near his lips. He repeated the words of Nyogen Senzaki and she had the Satori. Only now as many years have been spent for the sake of the records this is mentioned,

When this person came to Dargah Data Ganj Baksh (Al-Hujwiri) in Lahore in 1960 it was very noisy, there were all kinds of celebrations by all kinds of Sufis ignoring each other. This person went into an alcove, practiced Murakkabah, and to his amazement he was enfolded in the consciousness of the saint and this also happened always there and also elsewhere. Whenever this person went to the Dargah or Mazar, there was always open communication.

Later he began going regularly to the tomb of Saint Mian Mir who gave him the instructions: Allaho Akbar = Peace is Power, and gave him the secret of the two conditions which also appear in the Udana of Lord Buddha and in the “Secret Sayings of Jesus” which you have published.

So recently with all the trouble in Southeast Asia and with the rejection of each other by all Buddhist groups here—they reject everything including each other—this person sent out a challenge. It was that if Buddhists would practice the teachings of Lord Buddha by any of the basic methods a small Sangha could bring peace in Southeast Asia.

Now this person wrote that he knew four methods of Buddhism that could be used to bring Peace:

a. The Jhanas

b. The Cosmic Monism (Avatamsaka)

c. The Ko-an method

d. The Mahamudra Meditation

This person has now, despite or because of his Sufism, been initiated in all these methods, and part you will find in the pages of “Saladin” and part can be substantiated by human beings.

Most of the popular groups that are deceived into believing they are studying Dharma of course reject and do not practice any of the above, nor study the Buddhist scriptures but are concerned with the person who is their teacher and with other egocentricities. But the top lay Buddhist is Princess Poon Diskul of the Royal Family of Thailand and she also has the cosmic outlook and accepts all faiths and we are very close.

So this person sent the challenge and the World Buddhist Federation, instead of rejecting it, asked permission to publish it, for it means that the Buddhists must practice or accept responsibility. This person knew that Mahatma Gandhi would die one year before it happened because in the Mushahida it was shown that Gandhi had been two courses—he could either follow Lord Buddha and walk through the streets of Kashmir with followers, or accept martyrdom. Lord Buddha always stopped wars, his followers do not follow.

But also the communication was in the Gatha form, for the theoretical Buddhists say that when one has Enlightenment or Wisdom he can compose sutras, and this person whose Gatha was first accepted years ago by a visiting Zen Master has been refused permission by all who pretend to be “Zen Buddhists” here in America, to read and tell of the vision of Tathagata which prompted it.

Only this is a long, complex and fruitless history of meeting dualists who call themselves Monists and non-dualists and who have not only never experienced identity with others or with the Universe but even deny the possibilities.

So your Zen affirmations and your Vedantic quotations and most of all the lines from Maulana Roum.

All over Asia wherever this person has gone either he has already been accepted or will be, and he has no mission other than that laid down distinctly and exactly in your brochures. In the Ocean the waters that came from various rivers commingle and are one. Jesus said: “I am the Vine and ye are the branches thereof.” Abdul Baha said: “People of the world you are as branches of the tree and leaves of the branch.” In my profession I am gardener and horticulturalist. In science there is no room for self and dualism.

The Mahamudra Meditation is nothing but Mushahida excepting for language difference, but Mujahida, ah, Mujahida!

With all love and felicitations and good-will and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

March 2, 1965


Arthur Osborne,

Editor, “The Mountain Path,”

Sri Ramanasrmana, Tiruvanamalai, Madras, India


My dear Brother:

It is always with joy and a fascinating contentment that “The Mountain Path” is received and the January 1965 issue arrived yesterday. The term “fascinating contentment” means that there is principally and primarily heart agreement, but there are also those disagreement which permit the head as well as the heart to function. And there is either a remarkable harmony or a total hiatus between those who write articles on “One Mind” and the observer who finds this “One Mind” functioning. The differences come that here there will be objective illustrations. Unfortunately objective illustrations are objectionable to dialecticians and non-mystics who are trying to prove what they have not experienced, and one who has facts to support his subtle or cosmic philosophy is branded as an “egotist” while the dialecticians with innate self-praise continue to differ from each other, as they must.

In the private (?) life I am a scientist. No scientist would receive any attention if he claimed that Physic was greater than Biology or that Geology was greater than Anatomy. The actual operations of the mind have for analyzing and qualifying purposes worked out there several sciences. But at the same time there is now a world movement which is looking for total Integration knowing that Nature (Prakit) is one.

This world outlook is in two parts for its original basis assuming that the physical methods of the “West” are superior but also that India has a cosmic psychology which may lend to the benefit of mankind. But the confusion among and between manasic, mana-vijnanic, vijnanic, alaya-vijnanic, ananda and prajna processes make discrete philosophies rather complex on the verbal level.

When one arises above ego-mind he will express himself better in some form of poetry. The Vedas, the Gathas of many peoples, the hymns of the Early Buddhists, of the Hebrews, the Song of Hakuin, the Gatha of the Sixth Patriarch and the great Epics attest.

But now that you have recognized “Kalvath Shan” and their stress on Maulana Roum (Jelal-ud-din Rumi), mere statements by anybody carry no weight except with those already satisfied, which is very good, but not otherwise.

I am a scientist and called upon to attend two world congresses soon in the Southern part of California. The first will be of scientists and anybody not having had experiences, will be cautioned to maintain silence. The second will be of the leaders of the world’s faiths and here again those without experience are going to be cautioned to be silent and listen to those who have had the experiences. So long as more opinion, complex dialectics, ignorant-faith, learned-faith, awakening-faith, prajna and complete awakening are received as equal there is going to be trouble. We will not solve any problems but we shall be very pleased with ourselves.

It is peculiar that while the world has retained much of caste-distinctions, despite all laws and assumptions and even among the mystics it is only long after death that a Hui Neng or Kabir is honored, among those who are regarded socially or intellectually as equals, you have complicated collections of sudra-thoughts, Kshetrya-thoughts, outcaste thoughts and sannyassi thoughts combined. I mean I call those people outcastes who have has no vision of Oneness or Divinity, or at best sudras; or rather they are sudras who can perform the worship as ritual without any insight as to its meaning.

Buddhism. The difference between a Karma-Yogin and those who write on Karma-Yoga will now be illustrated. The charge made that the Buddhism world was not producing Anagamins, Srotapannas, Sakrodagamins, etc. was taken up. There is a complex war in Vietnam. Why isn’t it stopped? If there were Anagamins and Srotapannas what is all this nonsense about “peace?”

The next step was to express this in Gatha form. From Mohammed with his charge to produce another Qur’an to Hui Neng who could give a Gatha without attending any meditation practices, the derivative people vaunt the personality but cannot use the method. The Vijnana-Gandharva stage of evolution is almost entirely missing among Buddhists who jump from man to deva and then devaluate the deva.

The heads of the World Buddhist Federation, not being dualists, not being essayists about “One Mind” have accepted and will publish my Gatha, taking up your charge about the “absence” of Anagamins, Srotapannas, etc. But the “Diamond Sutra” definitely lays down that Bodhisattvas do not operate from the worlds of self-consciousness. Stream-consciousness is different from crystalline-ego­consciousness, and still is not necessarily ocean-consciousness.

Francis Allen. This article would never pass at all in a scientific class. It is based on nothing but the writer’s opinions, not backed up by even cursory observations. There are in San Francisco headquarters of “Buddhist Churches in America,” “Buddhist Congregations in America”—the former is essentially “Pure Land,” the latter “Lotus,” but both are much broader. Francis Allen seems quite unaware of either Pure Land (several schools) or Lotus (several schools). The four main categories are purely subjective.

Now a copy of the Gatha-peace plan was sent to Dr. Malalasekera, founder of the World Buddhist Federation, and shortly after receiving it he came to San Francisco. The writer’s first teacher in the Dharma was Rev. M. T. Kirby, disciple of the Great Shaku Soyen. He taught “Moksha,” he illustrated Moksha, he had experienced Moksha. So when one hard Dr. Malalasekera who came to San Francisco immediately after receiving the Gatha, speak on “Moksha” it was a joy and blessing.

It is forgotten that Lord Buddha was a Hindu; the Indians were—and from your articles are—concerned with Dharma-Artha-Kama-Moksha but they had no evidence of Moksha any more than Theravadins seem to evince Anagamins and Srotapannas today. It was to return to the Sanatana or Arya Dharma with Moksha that Buddha offered his Dharma. In other words we have today too much “Buddhism” and too little “Mokshaism.”

It was M.T. Kirby who first started classes in Zen, although he was functioning for the Pure Land and other schools as a Universal Buddhists. He also taught the scriptures. When he left San Francisco he turned affairs over to the late Nyogen Senzaki.

Now there is a lot of material called “Zen” and the majority of it has nothing to do with Lord Buddha or the Buddhist scriptures and what is called “awakening” by them establishes neither vine-consciousness or stream-consciousness or ocean-consciousness. Most of so-called “Zen” in America has nothing to do with any scriptures, but begins with the successors of Hui Neng and goes on to Japan, being very selective and omitting all references to India. There is no Pancha-Sila and no Vijnana, and there is such a split among those who think they are following “Zen” that you can say anything. Anybody who has had the satori experience is out—he has no place among most of these people. They will accept only conformations of their positions.

Some time ago a man attacked this person in the same of “The Masters of the Far Fast” and a psychiatrist being present said, “You feel rejected, you need psychiatry, I shall help you.” This person noticed that when real Masters came from the real Orient, contact was established immediately with this person and others, like the critic, took a far turn, they either kept quiet or did not show up at all. Then the psychiatrist said: “I apologize, it is not you, it is the public that needs the psychiatry.” For there are certainly Masters coming and the writer had the pleasure of studying real Zen (Linchi, Chan) under Master Tai Hsu who was the teacher of at least one of these Masters directly and of the other two at least indirectly—they met him.

Despite Dr. Malalasekera speaking on Moksha, there is today very very Theravadin teachings. In fact it is held to ignominy especially by what Francis Allen calls “Neo-Buddhists who are chiefly motley lots of people who reject Christianity and often morality and seek some over.”

As to Tibetan Buddhism. It is morally wrong to throw barbs out blindly without explaining. Christian Scriptures (but not our Christian friends) posit the psychikos and pneumatikos and Hindus the subtle and causal bodies. No doubt some Tibetans or even most have been more concerned with the subtle phenomena than with enlightenment. But does Francis Allen know about Mahamudra? You have already published the viewpoint of the Dalai Lama so no further consideration is needed.

Karma Marga. Since this is an editorial and you have quoted Jacob Boehme, I wish to refer to Mohammed. People who practice the way of life of Rassoul Mohammed have no time to write Articles on “Karma-Yoga.” Buddhists claim, in some schools, that Nirvana and Samsara are identical—words, words, words, backed by nothing but continuous affirmation.

The Revelation came to Mohammed and after that in his private and public life he was outcaste, sudra, vaisaya, Kshetrya, Brahmin and sannyasin all in one person. He fulfilled all the functions and did not make distinctions and did not talk about a oneness that was not oneness. He found God in everything and everyone and performed Akhlak Allah.

The conclusion about the Ramakrishna Mission, “Since this is a new departure in Hindu Spiritual discipline” is not accepted. This was the early discipline of Indian society which fell into decay after decay. Originally there was division of labor and no outcaste, and there was a difference between the ritual priest and the spiritual attainer. The sastras have obliterated that and the smirti has overcome the sruti. Lord Krishna was a cowherd and this, not being too respectable, it had to be minimized. The cowherd ought to be the most respectable of professions. The world is suffering from lack of proper foods because not enough people know how to produce sufficient food by methods long since, discovered and practiced but not applied since being a herdsman or tiller is not too “respectable.” Tolstoy knew better than that.

Most Articles illustrate the outcome of actual spiritual experiences of actual people. It is only when ananda, moksha, prajna are placed “democratically” alongside speculations and dialectics that trouble follows. And if we are going to criticize the Theravadins for not producing Anagamins, Srotapannas, etc., the same Occam’s razor should be used on all.

I therefore cannot see where there is room for the slightest criticism of the late Joel Goldsmith whom I have never met, when there is evidence of his “having reached the other shore.” I therefore cannot see the slightest excuse for “The Spiritual Tradition of Presbyterianism” because the term “spiritual” as here used and used by the generality has nothing to do with actual rebirth or attainment or the inner values of the Bible, either the Hebraic or Grecian portions. Such a person could find no place among those who are presumably spreading principles of universal consciousness.

Islam. This criticism is made because it leads to “Esoteric Aspects of Islam.” Like the scientists, practically all the Indian writers have given illustrative material. Whether one accepts Ananda Mayi or not, the review is based on illustrative material, not more ego-assertions backed by nothing.

Aspects of Islam. So I come to this most harmful article by Abdullah Qutbuddin with his “A World-Sanctifying Religion” based, not as so many illustrative articles on spiritual attainment, but on more egocentric dialectics which have nothing to do either with history or spiritual awakening.

Qutbuddin Sahib has shown the superiority of Holy Qur’an over the daily lives of Christians and Buddhists. And I can prove the superiority of Dhammapada over the private lives of Hindus and Christians; and I can prove the superiority of the Bible over the private lives of Muslims and pagans.

We have a totally different “Islam,” surrender to Allah Who is closer than our neck-vein, in Whose presence we always are and Who is in all, through all and with all. And I proclaim without stint the vast superiority of politician Mahatma Gandhi over politicians, King Sauds and other “Islamic” rulers, who exploit their people, seize their women and perform unspeakable acts, excused because they are “Muslims.” It is time to return to Allah and forget “Islam”; it is time to return to God and dispense with much “religion.” Your illustrative articles are too far about comment other than to wish all love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



March 3, 1965

772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif. 94103, USA


Kalvath Shah Publications,

Range Estate,

Wattala, Hunupitiya,



Beloved Ones Of Allah:

My first Pir-o-Murshid, Hazrat Inayat Khan, used to tell us: “A Sufi is one who sees life from two points of view, himself and that of another.” Now this person has been quite a long time under spiritual disciplines starting his pursuit in Tasawwuf about 1920 and his practice of Zen in 1921, and he has reached no conclusions other than those that appear in your publications. At the same time because we are facing two situations today—problems of world peace, and of cultural exchange, he thinks it is only fair to enclose copy of letter to the editors of “The Mountain Path,” and also to enclose copy of this to them.

This person came under the influence of Paul Brunton many years ago and also had the diksha from this man, without any words, without verbal communication an in six weeks had the samadhi under the methods of Sri Ramana Maharshi. But he at no time has had any vision of the Maharshi, and he did have the diksha—without words, at long distance, from the late Swami Ramdas. Indeed when he was last with Ramdas in 1962 three mornings he awakened to find himself as “Papa” and said: “It is time to go” and Papa said, “It is time to go,” and he left knowing also that Papa Ramdas would not long remain in this world.

He had the same experience with the Zen Master Nyogen Senzaki in California, before that.

Now, my beloved brethren, there is a difference between the real attainment and the lectures about it. And especially a Western man does not get recognition and does not care either. For there is a clear path wrought by Hui Neng and Hakuin in Zen and Chan-Buddhism, by Kabir in India and by multitudes of dervishes that they get no acceptance, they even get rejections in their life time and then they are acclaimed by the future generations who go on rejecting the wise of their time and this has been the history of the world.

Last night some words were read from my epic poem, “Saladin” about Ram-Sita. In the pursuit of fana-fi-Rassoul, when this person was under the direct Guidance of Mecca Shereef he was shown (Mushahida) the eminence of all the so-called “Avatars” of India and made to accept them from and on their level and not from his tradition, personal views or the opinions of the community. The poem read was the stanza about Ram-Sita and the audience was of Yogi-chelas to whom this person never speaks of tasawwuf. And they were very much moved, but at no time could he tell them: “My Sadguru is Mohammed, Mecca Shereef, Khatimal-i-Nabiin,” for they are not ready and would be unsettled. Likewise the so-called “Muslims” have their private affirmation which they call “Islam,” each his own and thus the world is divided.

There is in “The Mountain Path” a title of “Paths to Self-Realization” and there is no criticism of it at any point. But this is a scientific age, this is an objective age and this person has met self-realized people of many schools, many paths, and also has had the Moksha be many methods, which advocates of certain schools do not always recognize.

I have before me “Tazkiratul-Auliya,” Memories of Saints of Farid-ud-din Attar. These are to me, half-saints. They fulfill La Illhaha, or fana, or the negative Nirvana. They do not fulfill the Baqa.

Now the Baqa is usually the attainment on the Seventh or Highest Plane, and when one has that Baqa he is Mukta, liberated, and these are the wisest and best. But Allah made the Heavens and Faith and Allah is the Light of Heavens and Faith. And the Divine fight is in the smallest thing of earth as well as the biggest thing of heaven.

Here science differs from Advaita philosophy. For science demonstrated by the ultramicroscope and the infrared spectrum analysis that Allah is the Light of the smallest of earth, while Advaita advocated, in practice that Allah is the light of the illumined. Thus, while Ramana Maharshi was undoubtedly an Insaan-­i-Kemal, he has not yet brought, like Buddha, a string of illuminated souls, and he might yet have a string of illuminated souls (silsila).

The great Avatars of India and the great Prophets of the West who were illuminated yet had to withdraw from earthly functions sometimes for a spell, sometimes for a life, and thus the advocated of Advaita do not see “The Light of God” in the midst of the creation. This point is brought out by the Sufi Sage Abu Said Ibn Abi’l Khayr who said the he true Muslim would eat and drink, marry and beget children, do business in the market the same as everybody else and not forget Allah for one moment.

It was Mohammed who could, without resorting to Khilvat, function as harijan, sudra, vaisya, Kshetrya, Brahman and sannyasin all at the same time, in the ordinary daily life, who thus to me becomes the exemplary human being. This person makes it a point of honor to get dirty hands by doing dirty work and still maintaining Zikr. He is adding to his skills to help improve, inshallah, the agricultural standards of the world and when he goes forth it will be both as devotee and as a practical, with dirty hands and no tongue at all the Karma Yoga.

This is a challenge and a blessing, a communication and a prayer.

When Isa and Peter were on the seashore Isa said: “Peter, you saw the pebbles and pearls here which would you pick up.” “The pearls, of course.” “You are far from the kingdom of heaven.”

The ultramicroscope, the infrared spectroscope make no distinctions between pebbles and pearls measuring the Divine Light in all. It is here where I differ from our Hindu brethren. Science is today ahead of so-called Advaita. As you have published the heart is the Arsh throne.

Love and blessings from

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti


P.S. I have written about you to my Pir—o-Murshid and others. Will give you names if you so desire.



March 9, 1965

Syed Mazhar Ahmed

Haji Nisar Manzil

Dargah Sharif

Ajmir, India


My dear Brother,

As-salaam aleikhum. Any letter from you brings joy and inner glow. The package  also will be used. The last one of dry roses was used in healing and purification for a young mureed here, and very successful too. One feels the baraka in these gifts, and they become effective.

There is no zakat to pay here and it is only proper and normal either to send funds either to your Shrine or to that of Nizam-ud-din Auliya in Delhi, for these are the repositories of the heart on earth. The other is that of data Ganj Baksh (Grand Sheikh Al-Hujwiri) at Lahore who also preceded our Nhawja Sharbi Nawaz.

But it is one thing to worship a Saint, another to worship at his shrine and still a third to draw upon him for inspiration and guidance.

The very next project is a paper on “Purification and Repentance in Islam.” This will be drawn largely from “Kashf-al Mahjub” of Al-Hujwiri (Data Sahib) and is to be presented at a conference of all faiths to be held here in the State of California this coming September. I shall have as colleague at that conference Seyyed Hossein Nasr who is professor of Islamics and Near East studies at the American University at Beirut, Lebanon.

Already Allah has given the inspiration, for the difference between the tasawwuf and ordinary religion is that one gets perpetual guidance and inspiration even though he lives geographically, so to speak, at the end of the earth. Al-Ghazzali said that tasawwuf consist of experiences and not logic, and if one has not lived through the ahwal and makamat, he cannot justify himself toward the world and before Allah. before his nufs he can justify himself and this is condemnation, not justification.

Also from Al-Hujwiri will be drawn material on Mushahida and Mujahida, but one has lived through these also. Today there is a witness here fo a man from Sudan whose father was a great teacher at Kano, on Nigeria. He hopes we can build up connections between the spiritual brethren all over the earth and with Allah’s help this will be done. At Kano he says there is a school where tasawwuf is taught in English and where and American believer would be most welcome.

Now there has arisen in Ceylon, Kalvath Shan, or Abode of Meditation. They are on range Estate, Wattal, Hunupitaya, Ceylon. Already their publication has received nothing but praise from many parts of the world. They are giving out teachings of perfection and wonder, in English, which has not been done much. All these things are very encouraging and point ultimately to the establishment of spiritual brotherhood on earth.

The great contribution of Islam is not something different but something final. This comes in baqa, and in Ismi Azam, and by these words and what they mean inwardly and outwardly man can be reborn, revivified and stand firth and strong under all condition. In the praise of Allah it is not necessary to condemn or exclude, and with the widening of the heart there is room for all for Allah is Rab Al-Alimin.

One can understand with many pilgrims you are very busy. It may surprise you to learn that the peace program for Southeast Asia coming from these hands and heart has been accepted and published. The whole Western world may have despised the approach but the leaders in that region appreciate the universe of heart [?].

The practice of Akhlak Allah and Zikr and Fikr rescues one of the loneliness of “The Cave” and enables one to be firm, strong and alert though in the midst of “spiritual strangers.” The conferences which are coming this year in California, inshallah, shall give scope for spiritual expression which has not previously be permitted. It requires patience, steadfastness and insight.

My love and blessings to yourself and all the brethren,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



31 March 1965


My dear Brother;

All Praise is to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, and Rab Alamin, meaning not only all “worlds” but all “worlds” of knowledge and wisdom. The receipt of the book of poetry came at an excellent time. For tomorrow a new restaurant is being opened and special dinner by my newly found friend, Hassan Hashim, from Sudan. As you may know, practically all the people of this land are disciples in Tarikat. Therefore readings of these poems would be quite in order on this occasion.

What is remarkable is not the spirituality of the poetry so much as the success in using English as the vehicle. There are many spiritual poems in this world and some day this person may tell of his visit to the tomb of Amir Khusrau in New Delhi and what happened there. This great Diwan changed the center of gravity from Persian to Urdu, and now this may be the first step, inshallah, to change it to English.

True, the writer has used English but in epic poetry only and it is very difficult to find any publisher for epics especially from an unknown person, though now after many years efforts slowly there are changes and signs of greater change.

Why should a person be born in this part of the world where the ideals, ideas and ways of life have been so different? It has required more than patience. It is only recently that it is very noticeable here that the real spiritual people from Asia are not welcomed, and the pretenders are. But there are more and more real spiritual people coming here among whom the above mentioned Hassan Hashim is but one.

If the reading is at all successful the poems will be brought to the annual Arabic cultural conference which takes place here all day, Saturday, April 3. There will be at least one man from the University of Cairo, of which institution this person was long an honored guest.

One is interested in finding listed, “The World University Development Program,” no address given. For this month also attention was called to the formation of a World University in New Delhi, two of whose trusties are Pakistani Sufis. It seems that the dream of Akbar will ultimately come true, what the world may surmise. I do not have ain-I-Akbari, but do have Dabistan, a later product of the Mogul Court.

There is at present a fierce struggle going on between European “Orientalists” and those who have lived with and studied with living saints. The former place all the Sufis in centuries long passed. This is nonsense. This week also the writer received a letter of approval from a college in this State, that his paper on “Tauba” had been accepted, was not only being published but also translated. This matter will come to public attention in the month of September, inshallah, when cultured leaders of all faiths will be meeting in this State for a conference on all religious. This person doubts that he will have any difficulty, for he has not only studied all the scriptures, but by grace, had inner realizations thereof.

It has taken over forty years for this to happen, but today this person is Murshid of the Christi-Kadri-Sabri order, the last meaning that one must be patient in all things, above all things.

Attention to this world will be brought to one’s book dealers also. There are few people who know Islam here at any level, but if there were the inner Islam, they would be attracted. It is only by extreme patience for the public believes that other faiths lead to spiritual realization but not Islam. Yet in some universities it is now taught the opposite, so we need have no fear, only more patience.

Love, blessings and thanks,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Dr. K. M. P. Mohamed Cassim, PhD

P.O. Box 11

Veyangoda, Ceylon

December 20, 1969


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis



Dear Friend,

We acknowledge with grateful thanks the receipt of your (interesting letter dated 9th November, 1969).

We feel that spiritual freedom is the common aim of all people and hence, we spread the message of philosophy to all who are sincerely interested because we are of opinion that mutual exchange of philosophical ideas and aspirations will create spiritual understanding and Co-operation. We feel nothing in the world can give us happiness except our Self-knowledge through which we liberate ourselves. The urgent necessity and the spiritual importance of realizing our true “Self” should ha stressed and explained beautifully so that we can manifest the Light of Unity. We must always remember that liberations is a state of ultimate perfection when the ego becomes merged into the over soul.

We feel that to unfold our divine nature rightly, we must have the capacity to meditate correctly and this meditation will purify our hearts. Then we will be able to uplift our hearts to that realm of divinity which provides bliss and liberation. By concentrating our whole attention in self-contemplation, we spontaneously train our minds to have a glimpse of the Infinite. We must fully realize the fact that we are not the physical bodies or minds but in essence we are divine and this divinity can be experienced directly when the mind is still. To live always in a state of stillness is the right a method of mediation and then life a will be fall, of joy with inner freedom.

We feel that, an aspirant must develop his physical body and mind side by side along with his spiritual progress. The body and nervous system should be kept strong and healthy. The mind can be trained efficiently by regular meditation. Life without meditation is full and to enjoy life fully one must purify the body and the mind. We all seek happiness, but we can have real happiness only in mediation because through meditation alone we are able to contact highest spiritual vibrations which purify and vitalize the whole body, nervous system and mind. Life is so sweet and sacred that we must purify ourselves from moment to moment by constant meditation. There is great pleasure in leading a pure life. Perfect peace can be experienced in profound meditation. The best way to be happy is to purify our mind. Our physical our minds. Our physical bodies and minds are instruments to be developed and used carefully for self-realization.

We are now reaching a stage when there is the possibility of a new life as unseen dives forces are working at a tremendous speed for the virtual benefit of all. We can feel now the inside power inspiring us and guiding us to realize Supreme Consciousness. We need not suppose that this age is ill-fitted for the discovery or great truth. Let us have a firm and an ever-increasing faith that mankind is on the road to a higher spiritual development. May the divine light shine upon us at every step and illumine our meditative path,

With best wishes and fraternal greetings,

Your in Universal Service,

Perfect Peace Lodge

(Signed) KWP Cassim




Dec. 28, 1969

Dr. K. M. P. Mohammed Cassim

Founder-President Perfect Peace Lodge

P.O. Box 11

Veyangoda, Ceylon


Beloved One of Allah: As-salaam-aleikhum:

Of all the presents received this season, your own stands easily in first place. There is such an agreement one hopes you will accept the program that this material will be used far and wide. When this person left Egypt some years ago he carried a potential message from the Sahib-i-Dil of Egypt to those of South Asia. This mission was only partly successful. The religious world as a whole seems to be bound in outer forms and conventions. The followers of each faith point to the superiority of the sayings of their Teacher over the behaviorism of the followers Teachers. In the end, outer religion takes on only two forms:

a. I am as good as you;

b. I am better than you.

There is a certain amount of freedom in this land, and especially around the universities which are subject of so much contention. There—but practically never elsewhere—one has been able to prove logically, extra-logically, and super-logically that all this presumes without any substantiation that the ego (nufs) exists and that God (Allah) has to be proved. This means in fact that religious people in general cannot prove to others the validity of their own scriptures. Whereas if we accepted for example, the first words of the Hebrew Bible (just for example) the assumption is that the Deity exists, but there is no substantial support for any declaration that the ego-individual exists, or if it exists, persist.

This strange ego-assumption has even extended into the areas of verbal Sufism. Verbal Sufism has became popular because it has accepted the Western materialistic anti-Christ methods of the Scribes. And when one faces something called “Sufism” which does not stress Allah, which often stresses something very different, it is not always easy to present one’s own theme. But when I look to your documents, I find very solid ground on which to stand and from which to operate. Or, as Al-Ghazzali has proclaimed, “Tasawwuf is based on experiences, not on premises.” It therefore becomes almost annoying to have to present any statement or view verbally connected with something called “Sufism,” based on premises, any premises.

I find myself in total agreement and accord with what you have written and can only hope and pray that something of this kind will receive some attention, if not appreciation, from the world. This happens to have arrived at a time I had begun resuming my efforts on what, inshallah, will be a masterpiece, viz. “Rassoul Gita,” of which the first lines are enclosed. This is being written, one feels, in what you call fana-fi-Tauhid, which I have known as fana-fi-Lillah. It is most refreshing to find you using the real Sufi terminology, which is the basis of my own efforts here. One also accepts your, to me, deep interpretations of the Pillars. These have become so institutionalized as to be vapid. What I have been doing here would be called innovations. I believe that the Light of Allah is neither of the East nor of the West. Neither of the Present nor Past. Neither of any time nor space nor condition nor conditionality. We repeat the Bismillah incessantly here; we repeat the sacred phrases and make then the basis of our lives. And we have been rather successful in convincing many young Americans not only that Alah Is, buth that he is Rahm (and perhaps Ram), but mostly that he actually is All Mercy and Compassion.

The direct experiences of Americans no doubt contradict some of the dogmas of orthodoxy. However, with your fine statements I see no need to look elsewhere for words. I am therefore sending copies to certain persons of esteem and importance in the world of Islam and Tasawwuf. I shall also use them to combat some very strange presentations, verbally and legally called “Sufism” not based on these principles, not even based on Holy Qur’an, and based on assumptions and experiences far different from what we find in Hadith and in the life and example of Mohammed, the historically best known of all Prophets and Messengers.

Love and blessings from,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



July 12, 1970

Dr. K.M.P. Mohammed Cassim

Veyangoda, Ceylon


Beloved One of Allah:

We have before us your splendid materials on the significance of meditation, and also your letter of 18 April, 1970. We have not been able to handle all our correspondence due to increased need to travel, growing number of disciples, and constantly adding opportunities, due to Divine Grace and Blessing.

We are going to make use of your “Significance of Meditation.” Indeed our speaker tonight is Master Seo Kyung-Bo from Korea. As we have had many forms of meditation placed before us, and as some of those do not seem to be as pragmatically sound as the theories proclaimed, we intent to use the meditative methods of Pir Vilayat Khan. These are pragmatically sound, and seem to fit the needs of the day without in the least detracting from any successful systems inherited from the past.

At my summer school in the state of New Mexico I presented elements of all the Buddhist systems of meditation from the early Jhanas to the theoretically highest Maha Mudra. I think this was almost the first time this has been done for centuries. All the more significant because they were offered by a Sufi, not by a so-called Buddhist. The Buddhists are very very much divided and this causes them endless confusion. On the other hand, the work of Pir Vilayat Khan is integrative and practical.

No matter what you read in the press, we can assure you there is a spiritual revolution going on in these United States, and going on at a very rapid pace indeed.

Thanking you for your material, and with all Love and Blessing,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Sufis Europe Correspondence

July 26th 1954

78 Anna Paulownastraat

The Hague


Dear Mr. Lewis

On this 13th of august 1956 I received a letter from you, dated June 30, 1956 from Hong Kong when you were on your pilgrimage to India. In that letter you write “There were also many other papers, either not found or not looked for in Mrs. Martin’s house, when she died. I knew about them but her daughter would not let me look for them, and some of them were very precious.”

Since that letter of your I have been trying to find the name and address of Mrs. Martin’s daughter. Mr. Reps whom we met last summer did not know her married name nor address, Shamcher Beorse whom we saw about two months ago did not even know that Mrs. Martin ever had a daughter. My brother sister-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Willebeek LeMain (Bahadur and Sohagan) who went years ago as mureeds to California were often in Mrs. Martin’s home and they have a faint recollection that her name as a married woman was Cohen. Is that true? I intended to inquire most carefully about those papers you speak about, but what can I do without knowing her name or address? We found an old address of Mrs. Martin (dated 1923), Kearney Street room 308 San Francisco (Cal) but one would hardly think that this address could be of any help to find the whereabouts of Mrs. Martin’s daughter.

We did not speak about those lost papers to anyone but we feel it as a duty to do every effort possible to collect what precious papers there may still exist before it is too late.

As we now know that you are back in California we kindly come to ask you if you can help us with the name and address we need so badly for further research. We are glad to know you had such an interesting time in India.

With all best wishes and kind regards also from my husband.

Sincerely yours,

Saida H. van Tuyll van Serooskerken


PS. As we can only find two addresses of yours I am sending this letter to both addresses and hope that at least one of them will reach you.



78 Anna Paulownastreet

The Hague

August 22, 1954


Dear Mr. Lewis,

Many thanks for your kind reply and for the address of Mrs. Mehdi. I have at once written her and hope for the best. It seems a shame to think that important papers and manuscripts of Murshid should be lost or remain neglected in forgotten corners. the research work is often tedious and disappointing but has sometime met with unexpected results.

The research of Murshid’s 22 lost gramophone records in India is even a far greater difficulty as in India there were three famous musicians with the name of Inayat Khan living at the same time as our Murshid and of each of them gramophone records were made.  Yet we have now been able to retrace one of Murshid’s records and we know about the existence of a second one in a private collection in that country.

We are glad to know you had an interesting time in India and that you are being helped by Chistia leaders. it is of great interest to learn Urdu so that one gets an insight into their old scriptures which have never been translated till now.

With many thanks and kind regards from both of us

Yours sincerely,

Saida H. van Tuyll van Serooskerken



April 16th 1960

78 Anna Paulownastreet

The Hague


Dear Mr. Lewis

Many thanks for your letter receive two days ago from which I gather that you are going to travel once more to the East.

To my great regret I have to tell you that my husband Sirdar has passed away about two years ago. His center is still here and is being continued.

As far as I understand, the “Sufi-Headquarters” in Geneva is republishing all Murshid’s books and in them are included many papers as yet kept unpublished. I add a cutting from the catalogue of the publisher. I have seen Volume I of this series two weeks ago.

From the contests of your letter I understand that you are unaware that Fazal Inayat Khan lives in America. He is the grandson of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan and was a friend of Sirdar and mine.

Though he is only 17, he is grown up and is already married and father of a one year old son. Fazal is a son of Hidayat Khan, Murshid’s second son and he does not belong to any of the divisions of Sufi-groups, yet a Sufi by nature.

His address is: Fazal Inayat-Khan

450 Cossacks place

Glendora, California

I wish you all the best on the journey you are understanding

With kind regards,

Sincerely yours,

Saida van Tuyll van Serooskerken



Sufi Movement   

International Headquarters       

11 rue John Rehfous


2 Oct. 1961


Mr. Ahmed Murad Chisti c/o Mr. S. Agrawal

45 South Ave

New Delhi, India


Dear Brother,

Thanking you for your kind letter. I have forwarded your very interesting letter to Pir-o-Murshid Musheraff Khan, the youngest brother of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and the present head of the Sufi Movement, 27 Fred. Hendriklaan, the Hague, Holland.

Under separate cover I am sending information about the Sufi books. With kindest regards,

Yours sincerely

Munira Meyer



24 Banstraat

The Hague, Holland

20 Oct. 1961


Dear Mr. Ahmed Murad Chisti,

Assalam Alaikum.

I have received your kind letter, dated 29 August 1961, sent to the Secretary General of the Sufi International Head Quarters, Geneva, who has forwarded your letter to me as the present head of the Sufi Movement, founded by my revered brother Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. Our work in the Western world has been carried on from 1910 according to the instructions of the Founder; all this is administrated by the International Headquarters of the Sufi Movement in Geneva. The whole teaching of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan is purely based on the awakening of the individuals for the inner culture, by the value for the spiritual higher evolution. It is not based on any sensational outer propaganda.

Our experience about the American public is that they are for advertisement and anything—even the inner cult—they like to expose in a commercial manner. We believe that the true spirit of Sufism would be abused by adopting such a way of exposing this noble teaching in the outer world, which is not ripen enough to digest it. Such a kind of activity remains on the surface, it is just like a firework. This is our own experience in the Western world. Therefore, according to the instructions and regulations given by Hazrat Inayat Khan we have reserved this spiritual divine knowledge, which is meant only for the ripen ones, from being ridiculed by the playful children. We have to live up to that ideal in order to spread the Sufi Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty in the wide world. Our Master has inspired us for the spiritual work to go quietly, unassumingly and modestly on this deep philosophy. The Western nature is often for the outer fancies, but Sufism is not based on the fancies.

I was pleased to hear that you take interest in the now published complete works of Hazrat
Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. Underneath this letter you will find the address in India where those books are available.

Wishing you every success,

with Allah’s blessings


Musheraff Khan



Banstraat 24

The Hague

9 Jan. 1962


Dear Ahmed Murad Chisti,

Herewith I acknowledge your kind letter dated 16 Nov. 1961. Also your former letter I received and I answered you c/o Mr. Agrawal, New Delhi. By now this letter must have been forwarded to you.

I am very glad to know you are American and seeker after Truth, and you are already Sufi. A;; this I know has given me very great joy. In answer to your last letter I would like to let you know that your points of view are very much alike to the Sufi Ideal. Sufism is divine wisdom, it is the essence of all religion; it is considered the most highest attainment in Islam, whereupon the Holy Prophet has given a key to the inner divine knowledge as well as to the mysticism and that key is this: as it is said: none exist save He. Whoever will respond to this key, the inner mystery of
at-onement will unfold to him! Among the Sufis the music is considered: Giza-i-ruh (means: food of the soul); it is most favorite as a means for the higher spiritual development. Of course, the world nowadays needs very much this divine message. And God certainly is preparing mankind to open their heart to listen to the voice and the message. The Sufi therefore puts himself in absolute reliance in Him, serving Him, and by that trying to be a useful instrument for the cause. he is the knower, he is then one who decides where our place will be, and when He will call us for the duty He needs us for.

Therefor, have patience and [perseverance, both are needed on this path and put yourself under His Divine Guidance and surely in doing this will you find inner satisfaction and your duty towards mankind will be shown to you.

With Allah’s blessings


Musheraff Khan


Sufi Movement   

International Headquarters       

11 rue John Rehfous


30 April 1962


Mr. Ahmed Murad Chisti

c/o Embassy USA

New Delhi, India


Dear Brother,

In your last letter of Jan. 23rd you were mentioning that an Ambassador from Holland has stirred up many people to an interest in Sufism and Hazrat Inayat Khan.

This former Ambassador is our General Secretary, who is living partly in Geneva, partly traveling. He is really a very devoted mureed of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and the last years he has devoted himself to the new edition of the works of our Master. Vol. V has now appeared and Vol. VI will appear soon.

Hazrat Inayat Khan has said: “There will be no peace in the world before East and West will understand each other.”

It is wonderful that you like to cooperate with the followers of Hazrat Inayat Khan. We, his Western mureeds, are trying to spread his words of wisdom in the Western world. This is not so easy in this time of general disharmony, but we have very devoted disciples, and fortunately also a large group of young Sufis, our Young Sufi League. There are Sufi families of which the third generation is now coming up.

Our experience is that the Sufi training by assimilating the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan, by spiritual exercises and meditation has a very beneficent influence on our lives. Not only it is deepening, peace giving, harmonizing, but it gives vitality, good health. His words are living words, gradually by reading and rereading them you discover more and more the wonder of it. We are very thankful that we have come in contact with his Message.

Hazrat Inayat Khan was a great healer, also his cousin Ali Khan and the present Head of the Sufi Movement Pir-o-Murshid Musheraff Khan. His Prayers are a great help in healing, in changing difficult circumstances. I have been witness of many wonderful cases.

I hope that God may bless your work in India and in America for the spiritual enlightenment of the world.

Yours faithfully,

Munira Meyer



March 30, 1963

78 Anna Paulownastreet

The Hague


Dear Mr. Lewis

Thank you so much for your kind letter of Feb. 24th. I am glad to know you visited India again. It is worthwhile for every mureed to have been there.

My husband and I were in India end 1949 until median April 1950 and visited Murshid Inayat Khan’s tomb several times. I regret to have to disappoint you concerning what you write about our Murshid’s passing away in the arms of Hasan Nizami; it is not correct. Here are the actual words of Miss Kismet Stam who was with Murshid during the whole trip as his secretary and who stayed with Murshid in Delhi in the same house when Murshid passed away. These are her words:

“Murshid has passed away in the South room of Tilak Lodge, Daya lane, the 5th of February at 8:20 o’clock in the morning. Mrs. Shastri (an American lady married to an Indian Doctor who often came to the lectures) has been asked to come, and she has later brought Ahsan ul Huq and Hasan Nizami. Neither of them knew that Murshid had returned to Delhi since he had left for Lucknow on Dec 20th, nor of the illness, sa Murshid had not wished it to be told. In the afternoon late they have come back with the Imam of the mosque, and have accompanied him to Nizamuddin.”

In handwriting of Miss Stam I also find these words: Only once Murshid has visited Hasan Nizami.” But what she reports is that Murshid was not very favorably inclined towards Hasan Nizami. I have here a little book written by Hasan Nizami for the education of his son (when he was about 10). It is in Urdu but I can read it well. It shows clearly why Murshid held that opinion. My husband and I have met him (Hasan Nizami) at Murshid’s tomb before we left India.

Have you been in Ajmir (Rajasthan) at the tomb of Moin-ud-din Chisti? It is the most important place of all and Murshid stayed at that tomb for 10 days, all day long, before returning to Delhi. We stayed there twice for several weeks and if you were never there you will no doubt have to go there one day. Murshid put it as a duty to me to go there on the first day I met Murshid in Rotterdam February 1921. o we went especially to India to accomplish our duty. It was beyond all expectation.

As to receiving initiation from several Murshids I do not know what to say or think about it. Murshid himself gives the answer about it p165 Volume VI of the “Sufi Message.”

I agree with you that someday the whole world will become one brotherhood and will be benefitted by the Sufi message.

All best wishes to you and kind regards

sincere salaams from

Saida van Tuyll van Serooskereken.


Sufi Movement   

International Headquarters

11 rue John Rehfous


2 April 1963


Mr. Ahmed Murad Chisti 1088 Fulton St.

San Francisco 17,



Dear Brother,

Hearty thanks for your interesting letter of 17th March.

We follow under the guidance of Pir-o-Murshid Musheraff Khan, the Sufi Movement founded by Hazrat Inayat Khan, our beloved Master. And all the instructions and papers as Gathekas, Gathas, Githas etc. have been preserved and are followed in accordance to his wishes.

We don’t bother about others following their own way, but of course for the outer world it is rather confusing. Hazrat Inayat Khan said that out of respect and devotion to his Murshid, he had called his Message the Sufi Message and his movement the Sufi Movement. But it is a new message for this time. And he always asked us helping in spreading his Message.

His brothers and cousin are the nearest mureeds since the beginning and trained from early youth in an esoteric way, who followed our Master without any hesitation to America and Europe. We are very happy that his youngest and beloved brother is still among us to help and guide us.

The more unity there should be the better for the spreading of the message. This has also been felt by several old mureeds who followed their own way after the passing away of Hazrat Inayat Khan, but joined us later on.

The Message will continue and follow his own way even if people don’t understand, work against and criticize, said Hazrat Inayat Khan, that is our consolation.

Of the new edition Vol. VII has appeared. Many unpublished lectures of Hazrat Inayat Khan have been taken up in the new edition. Vol. VIII will appear soon.

Wishing you inner happiness and blessings of God,

Yours faithfully,

Munira Meyer


Sufi Secr. Hilversum

Hermelijnlaan 49


20 August 1963


Sufi Ahmed Murad

1088 Fulton St.

San Francisco 17, Cal.


Beloved One of God,

It is a long time since you heard from me! But now I am able to send you some good news. Pir Zade Vilayat Inayat Khan has given his permission to send you some Gathas. I tried to get them for you, but they do not exist in Holland in the English version and I could not get them at Suresnes. Now we started to make stencils and from the stencils copies, but this takes a lot of work and therefore a lot of time. When the first number of the first Series is finished we will send them to you.

Enclosed you come upon three papers, called Undertaking. On behalf of Pir Zade Vilayat I have to ask you to sign them, after reading them carefully and to return one of them to the Secretariat Universel, 23 Rue de la Tuilerie, Suresnes, Seine, France and another to the Sufi Secr. Hermelijnlaan 49, Hilversum, Holland. The last one you can keep for yourself and put it with the papers, so that they can be returned to Suresnes or Hilversum after your passing away from the earth.

Also I enclose two papers concerning Brotherhood, which you can perhaps use in your work. Personally I do not see the necessity to systematize Sufism, then the rhythm and the poetry of the living Words of the Masters may get lost.

God bless you.

With kind regards,

Madelon Andre De La Porte



58 Harriet St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

November 19, 1963


Madelon Andre de la Port

Hermelijnlaan 49

Hilversum, Holland


Beloved One of God:

You will please pardon me for not writing sooner and signing the paper enclosed. One copy was sent to Pir Vilayat. But it seems that Allah has His ways of doing things. For one has been partly successful in getting former initiates of the Sufi Order to release papers they have held and not used. There are many such people yet both in Europe and America.

First the entire three series of Gathas were received. There is no sense spending time and money to mail papers from your end. But for the sake of harmony and not just using the word “harmony” some actions have been taken.

Then a whole collection was released including all kinds of subjects. These included a fair portion of the teachings given to the late Murshida Rabia Ada Martin and never used either by her or anybody else. They are in no particular order, quite incomplete, need to be annotated, indexed and available for those in the higher stages of spiritual unfoldment.

Next came news of a spiritual brother that he will soon be in California on both spiritual and scientific missions. He is my brother in certain orders but under the Pir-o-Murshid of the Chisti-Kadri-Sabri order I am his superior and directed to give him Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings.

Also more recently still news has come that my Khalifa, Miss Saadia Khawar Khan may be in the United States next year and will establish a Sufi Centre. This will probably be in Washington or Los Angeles. She was given Bayat first under the rules of Hazrat Inayat Khan, but was given recognition by Pirs and disciples in many schools.

In the meantime long correspondence has been opened up that Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan also had a Khalif in India and also had some disciples who had no connection with Europe. These people now look to me. They used to have meetings when Kismet Stam was in Purdah so she knew nothing about them.

Originally Pir-o-Murshid sent me to bring the Message to the intellectual people. But this was recognized by nobody within any of the offshoots of Sufi movements. Today, both in the East and West I am recognized by the intellectual people and there are some possibilities here which may be made public next March.

Then there was another path of disciplines, which may be called “Buzurg,” although it is not exactly Buzurg either. Still there was never any effort to set oneself up as a Murshid and even after being publicly acclaimed as “Sufi” there has been hesitancy. Groups of rival organizations using the term “Sufi” can be confusing.

The world is suffering from the tyranny of words and this presents obstacles. The original Bayat was given under the Four-School Sufism before there was any headquarters at Geneva. As a disciple in this Four-School Sufism there has been general recognition. But the primary signs for recognition do not of themselves compel any acceptance of Four-School Sufism. Besides God has led me to discipleship of acceptance by many Schools of Sufis in all parts of the world.

One cannot compel others to accept what appears in “A Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty” under the caption Concentration:

“Perfection is reached by the regular practice of these concentrations, passing through three grades of development:

Fana-fi-Sheikh—annihilation in the astral plane.

Fana-fi-Rassoul—annihilation in the spiritual plane.

Fana-f i-Allah—annihilation in the abstract.

“After passing through these three grades, the highest stage of Baqa-i-­Allah (annihilation in the eternal consciousness), which is the destination of all who travel by this path, is attained.”

These are among the early teachings of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, printed and published for the world to read, if not understand. They are fundamental to that Sufism of which it is said, “God alone was the Founder of Sufism.”

God bless you,

Samuel L. Lewis



70 Boldmer Road,

Bastcote, Pinner, Middlesex.

16th April, 1967


Dear Mr. Lewis,

I am writing to thank you for your letter of 11th April which I have duly forwarded to my father who lives in Southampton. He will be interested to learn of your proposed travels and activities in which I am sure he will join me in wishing you all success.

You are quite right in assuming he must be well on in years. He will be 84 this year and is beginning to feel his age. Both he and my mother (who has a bad heart) hardly leave their own home now and they were forced for health reasons to give up entertaining some two years ago. So unless you yourself propose going to Southampton on other business, there will, I fear, be little likelihood of your meeting them again. My Father may, however, write to you direct. You probably know from Mrs. Ivy Duce that he is a keen follower of Meher Baba.

I don’t think there are very many Sufis in England at the present time. I myself am not a active member of any Sufi group, chiefly because I had a sickness of the various factions and controversies and preferred not to become involved any more.

As a busy working woman, I have to limit myself to reading books and hope Erica (who speaks very kindly about you) has not given you a misleading impression about me!

I note your English address. Banstead is at least 1 1/2 hours train and tube travel from Eastcote, which makes me hesitate to suggest your coming over to tea one Sunday. (I have no motorcar, so always have to refer my guests to train traveling and walking.) However, if you would like to come along, please do not hesitate to let me know: apart from the last fortnight in May, I shall be here.

If you are proposing to lecture one evening in London, perhaps I might be able to attend such an occasion, and thus have the opportunity of meeting you.

Sincerely yours,

Joyce Sita Best



Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

April 17, 1968     


University of Islamabad

The Secretary General, Sufi Movement,

11 rue John Rehfous,

Geneva, Switzerland


Beloved one of God:

There are now two books before me, that is Volume XII of “The Sufi Message” and the original version of “A Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty.” In the latter one read:

When I arrived in San Francisco I found much to interest me there and my desire for the revelation of truth had its outlet.” Did it? I wonder. Before God, I wonder. What outlet?

One page 153 of Volume XI there are five purposes set forth and in view of these five purposes I personally became a disciple in the Sufi Order in America. I do not know and did not know that the Sufi Order could be dismantled or that a person given Bayat, did not have to be recognized.

Although it is said that a Sufi is one who sees from the standpoint of another as well as of himself and I have met many such people, it does not see that this holds in the West. I am not so much concerned with its being abrogated as for the need of a school or organization of entity where the five objects, set forth in “Confessions” may become operative in life. And, indeed, there are still alive one or two persons whose names are on file, who became responsible for the establishment of this Sufi Order. As for the five purposes, they seem to have become moribund.

I am not concerned with this. I have signed papers of affiliation and nothing has ever been received. We act as if God-Allah did not exist.

This year there will be a conference of the top religious and spiritual leaders of the world and they are going to do many things which Hazrat Inayat Khan called for but which the disciples of his disciples have ignored. This, to me, is not a very good way of demonstrating, “to Thee we give willing surrender.” To whom and what do we surrender?

But now one has received word that there will be a seminar under the auspices of the University of California here on “The Living Religions of Asia.” We shall surely attend, Inshallah, and we shall surely be admitted, inshallah, and we shall surely be heard, Inshallah.

We shall also introduce the five objects of the Sufi Order as appear in the “Confessions” and we shall surely, Inshallah be able to teach or demonstrate each and all of them. Only this is not a very good way to promote the first objective:

(1) To establish a human brotherhood with no consideration of caste, creed, race, nation or religion; for differences only create a lack of harmony and are the source of all miseries.

With the repudiation of this first purpose, the abrogation of the rest become matters of form. Only God-Allah is not keeping quiet. He selects whom he will select as He will select and if one organized group does not give the Message to the world then another group, organized or unorganized will surely do so. One regrets that after all the efforts of Hazrat Inayat Khan his relatives have taken the lead, not in spreading his Message, but in abrogating it. Or perhaps they will come to the first door of tasawwuf, which is tauba, and lay down the ego (nufs) and listen, and listening learn.

God bless you,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Sufi Movement

Southern California Branch

May 8, 1968


Dear Samuel Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti Lewis,

It was with interest and enjoyment that we have received and read your letters to me and copies of your letters to several other people.

Probably, due to my lack of understanding, I have not really comprehended any one of the letters you wrote. They seem to be without a clear thesis and also grammatically follow higher, probably spiritual, laws which I cannot decipher.

You will excuse my return to you of all these letters for lack of comprehension. Please do not hesitate, if you wish for me to know something, to write to me in the language us simpletons can understand. By the way, Negroes are not barred from initiation and there are Negro mureeds. It is also important to remind you that although I probably should, I do not know you, nor who you are or what you are or how you are, except from hearsay, which one should never trust. Thus, please explain to me about yourself, your connection with Sufism, your plans and goals and of course, whatever it is you may wish for me to know or do.


Fazal Inayat-Khan


Hoping to hear from you!



Fazal Inayat Khan

1450 Cossacks Place,

Glendora, Calif. 91740

May 14, 1968


Beloved One of Allah:

It is very hand to write a letter when there is no common agreement. We do not even meet on terms. To resume a position in a movement without any comprehension of the terminology is a delicate operation. One has to accede that words do not necessarily all have the same meaning and no one should be bound by words.

The term “Sufi” was not invented by Hazrat Inayat Khan and you, my young friend, though a scion of this Pir-o-Murshid were not his Mureed. In Sufism, until it was introduced into the Western world, nobody ever assumed this term until he underwent not only processes of initiation but also evidence from his own awakening that he had reached certain stages of attainment. We have now displaced this with the world “humility” used so often by people who have lost the faculty of accession to others. So the whole world is disturbed.

There are only two definitions of “Sufi” in the writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan: (a) one who sees from the standpoint of others; (b) one who is God-conscious. If there are any other definitions I should like to hear them, but you, my friend, in taking a title or position in a “Sufi Movement” are responsible for the understanding and I, whose positions and titles have been abrogated by man—not by God—am not so responsible.

This person began this early training in tasawwuf some time before the establishment of any International Headquarters anywhere. He received the Bayat but not only that he evinced the inner experiences which placed his feet firmly on the path to God, with God. One cannot hold you or anybody in particular guilty in a culture and age where everybody is permitted to speak on mysticism but the mystic, the one who has had glimpses or more of the stages and states of consciousness.

One had to go at the same time from persecution to persecution and at the same time, experience the lifting of veils. And it was with great astonishment, on going to the Orient one had exactly the opposite reception as in this part of the world. The two are irreconcilable.

Having had two illuminatory experiences before meeting Hazrat Inayat Khan again in 1926 at the Beverly Hills Hotel he granted one interview, than demands from this person six more, which made him the object of anathema, jealousy, envy and God knows what, so it became natural for the corporation officials both in America and Europe to disdain the communications and instructions; and what been gained?

We are now about to establish a School for universal spiritual instruction. It will not have the title of “Sufi” unless those who take the helm demand it. So far it has been the other way. Letters from Shamcher Beorse and Paul Reps, two of the still living disciples of Inayat Khan, agree in detail with the spiritual instructions of high living Sufis whose very existence is by-passed in the Western world, it is bases on the experiences in God-consciousness and not on the worlds which effect those experiences.

Inayat Khan told Rabia Martin: “Do not teach what you do not know.” But beyond that is unfolding and enfold love—which is the actuality. The three methods presented by Paul Brunton—the eye, the heart, the breath, are used here.

Your sainted grandfather gave me very detailed instructions on how he wanted his temple built. The reports were discarded both here and in Europe. He gave detailed instructions on the use of the Gathas. The reports were never accepted. He placed confidences in this person and the result was, on submitting them, that even the wording of the esoteric constitution was changed. You do not know these things; you were probably not even born when they happened. But Mohamed said: “Act as if in the presence of Allah and know that if you do not see Him, verily He sees you.”

Pir-o-Murshid said, “The message is in the sphere” and corporations say that the Message belongs to them. Very good. No argument.

But Sufism has always been based on the attainment and experiences of states and stages of consciousness. Now the term is used otherwise. So there comes a division between the God-seekers and God-realizes and those who are bound by legalities. This has been the downfall of every faith.

Everything but one of all the instructions of Hazrat Inayat Khan have come into objectivity elsewhere by other people—many of these other people are representatives of what used to be called Sufism. The Western world has inherited the title but not the content. One must remember, “there is no compulsion in Sufism” and all souls are the beloved ones of God. This is being demonstrated here and by being demonstrated one means that and nothing more and nothing less.

Volume XII has a story of the son of a Sufi who wanted to be the disciple and even successor of his sainted father. This is written; lots of things are written. These are not the bases for mental or emotional sermons; these are the bases for the awakening of the soul. Fortunately not being bound by books and organization God releases me, but you, my young friend, become responsible before God unless you are willing. And God helping you, I hope you will be willing to walk on the real Pathway to the real God, with the real God who is in and out and about you.

God Bless you,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Dr. E. E. Van Tricht-Keesing

Ellecom (Gld.)

Laan Van Avegoor 18


April 20, 1970


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti Samuel Lewis

410 Precita Ave, S. Francisco Cal. 94110

Or 910 Railroad Ave, Novato, Cal. 947473


Dear Mr. Lewis, Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti,

Your name and two addresses were given to me by Mr. Bryn Beorse, so I am sending the same letter to S. Francisco and to Novato, hoping that at least one will reach you.

I had asked Mr. Beorse for people who have met and known Pir-o-­Murshid Inayat Khan since his first years in the West. Being a mureed, author and historian, I am asked to write a historical biography on Murshid’s life and work. Apart from published biographies and memories, and several collections of unpublished memories, I have to make things as complete as possible by interviewing people who have met Hazrat Inayat Khan; also non-Sufi’s, like the son of Dr. Maria Montessori, the Dutch poet Adriaan Roland Holst, Salvador de Madariaga and others.

Therefore I am enclosing some questions, just as I did in my letter to Mr. Beorse. Of course anything you remember, and want to tell about is most welcome, these questions are just to give you a start and a hold. Anything about the first years is worth much, as little is known about it.

Looking forward to an answer yours truly,

Kamila van Tricht-Keesing



April 26, 1970

Dr. E. E. Van Tricht-Keesing

Ellecom (Gld.)

Laan Van Avegoor 18



Beloved One of God:

I have before me your request of April 20. I have just returned from a very successful visit abroad. Briefly, all those things which Hazrat Inayat Khan requested of me as outer undertakings, are coming into objective manifestation. I shall not write here about inner matters.

But I have to start this letter off with a warning. Three times in the past I have received such requests. And three times in the past I went to great lengths. And three times in the past my reports were utterly ignored; not even acknowledged. These requests came at times when there was some leisure, before two tragedies, tragedies only in the sense of fulfilling your requests, occurred:

At the request of Hazrat Inayat Khan I took severe pains to collect everything I could to help perpetuate his organization. The reports were totally ignored. The original papers and most copies were seized by Mrs. Ivy O. Duce, who is regarded as a Murshida by the so-called Sufism Reoriented. Almost immediately after that the sacred house in Fairfax, California, burnt down with many of the original records and all my research. So I am compelled often to rely on memory.

1. I have the original writings of the late Nyogen Senzaki which include first his version of his meeting with Hazrat Inayat Khan. I was also personally there, being the one who introduced these two worthies. My personal reports may not be so important, but as time goes on one loses zest in recalling past events, and asks for no forgiveness.

2. I can assure you that Hazrat Inayat Khan would not have wished anything that came from Mr. Bjerregaard. This man, seeking name and fame, used Hazrat Inayat Khan to boost himself with very questionable results.

3. I met Hazrat Inayat Khan physically on June 21, 1923. My first interview with him was exactly at noon on that day. I remember this very distinctly because when I entered the room I saw nothing but a tremendous great light. This report was rejected by the various persons who surrounded him, and personality judgments have resulted in the refusal to accept either my own mystical experiences or the details of our various interviews.

I know mostly about the late Rabia Martin who was his first Murshida and whose name has been obliterated from most of the records. I tell you very plainly and frankly before the living God that Rabia Martin was selected to be his successor, but she refused to accept any of the conditions laid down for her either as message from Hazrat Inayat Khan himself or in the teaching especially for the Murshid, producing an almost impossible situation.

Yes, I can fulfill details, but I must be assured that will be considered seriously and not subject to reviews and value-judgments as has been in the past. I am today a very busy man, fulfilling the functions and prophecies as laid down by Hazrat Inayat Khan himself, and moving from the local scene to both the national and world scenes. As I am not paid for these efforts, I must exact from you an oath that you will accept what I write or I will not write further.

There is one difference today between making any reports which will be thrown out at the recipients choice, and those of the past:

During the course of years I have met some of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s schoolmates, his close associates in India, and persons who were present during his last days. Oriental customs and the separation of sexes meant that during those last days neither female nor European was with him most of the time. Indeed I still have as a disciple one of the men who was present just before he died, and I have met many persons present during his last days.

Sternness is not part of my nature, but the past experiences have shown the futility of efforts where these efforts are not appreciated. I would far prefer love and consideration than funds, and if I am assured of love and consideration I can assure you of my heartfelt cooperation.

Most faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Dr. E. E. van Tricht-Keesing

May 12, 1970


Dear and revered Mr. Lewis, Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti,

Many thanks for your letter opening with Murshid’s beloved way of addressing his audience. I don’t know whether I, being younger, may address you with these words. I remember Murshida Salima van Braam—you may have met her—beginning her sermons with the same “Beloved ones of God.”

As for some of your remarks: Murshida Rabi’a Martin is not forgotten in Europe; all the older mureeds remember her. Murshid mentions her in his memories (called “Confessions”) Only yesterday I discovered that “Rabia” was the name of the first woman Sufi in the East.

It gave me a shock to learn that all you had collected got burnt, but on re­reading your letter I saw that copies are saved, but in the possession of a split movement. These saddening splits, and strife about succession we had in Europe too. From your letter I guess that the split is rather severe and that you are no longer in touch with Mrs. Ivy Duce. So I’ll try to get the data of the first years by searching for press references and maybe the archives of Universities where Murshid lectured and performed.

What you tell about Mr. Bjerregaard is just what I guessed when I saw a list of his works and the note on his life. It is certainly interesting that the Omar Khayyam book is not in the Library of Congress catalogue, and that even Pir Vilayat has no copy.

Next winter I hope to go to India. There is a booklet by Ronald Armstrong about Murshid’s last journey to India and a Dutch Mureed, Kismet Stam, was there at the time. I feel I ought not to say too much about intimate moments of great Soul’s life, and although dying is partly a mystical experience, it is also one of the most intimate things in personal life. So I leave it to what comes to me; I don’t ask for it, but if it comes my way, I take it to be Murshid’s wish.

As for your own experiences—I always keep in mind what Murshid said in many instants: all people are different and at a different stage of evolution, so what is true for one is not (yet) true for another. What you write about the first meeting is, often in a lesser but always in a similar degree, told by other mureeds. I am very interested in what Murshid requested of you as outer undertakings. Of course nobody can ask somebody else about his inner evolution; there is another word Murshid kept repeating: as soon as Truth is put into words, it is losing its essence, as the infinite cannot be put into words. His schooling with his own Murshid was almost without words.

Now I leave it to your inspiration whether I am to be trusted with your memories and whether a copy (or photocopy) of the late Nyogen Senzaki’s tale about meeting Murshid (I think Murshid mentions him in a place where he says (I am citing by heart and not literally, as I am writing this letter away from home and library) that in California he talked with a Buddhist who has read many books. I have found the name of Ruth St Denis’ autobiography. But if you will honor me and answer some of the questions of my former letter, it will be a great help. If you resolve not to do that, I’ll respect your conclusion.

But hoping to hear from you

Most faithfully,

Kamila van Tricht-Keesing

May 17, 1970

Van Tricht,

Laan van Avegoor 18

Ellecom, Netherlands


Beloved One of God:

You have made a number of requested which I think are noble requests. Personally, I think it is more important to build up the Sufi message, a message of the day, to be interpreted (my interpretation) as to give full support to the present living Pir, to work for truth insofar as it is reflected in love, harmony, and beauty, but not to work for seemingly objective exactitude when it can cause pain or open up old sores. No doubt many of us suffered when personalisms and personalities were given priorities over exactitude. There is a saying that a Sufi is one who sees from the standpoint of another, as well as of himself. But when A meets B, and tells B something which C does not like, and therefore seeks to hide, we pass from the realm of honesty and communications and act as if the world operated for the benefit of privileged personalities. I think in Nirtan, Hazrat Inayat Khan says, “Truth in the end will win.” Of course it will. Persons seeking power and prestige may sit as if in a master’s seat for a while, but never permanently.

I do not known Mr. Armstrong’s book on the last days of Hazrat Inayat Khan. I do know that secretary Kismet Stam was not usually with him because of Asian customs and behavior patterns. We may not like those patterns but they did exist.

There is another aspect to the last days of Hazrat Inayat Khan. If he gave me confidences, and he did give me confidences, it was because of spiritual initiations. These initiations were not accepted in the West. These initiations were accepted in the East, so to speak, almost university. It was because of them that Hazrat Inayat Khan gave me long interviews in 1926. These interviews were not sought by me; they were sought by the late Pir-o-Murshid. Even Kismet Stam, who was outside the door, did not always accept them. But Paul Reps, who was even inside, and who should from direct evidence have accepted them, has now at long last, after many many years, had to confess that the statements of Hazrat Inayat Khan operate objectively whether personalities accept them or not. This brings up many complications.

You get a certain picture of Hazrat Inayat Khan in the writings of Herbert Rosenthal and others on Indian music. You get another picture on reading Havelock Ellis. And I think Edith Ellis also wrote about Hazrat Inayat Khan, though I do not know her work. She was a disciple at one time.

We shall be glad to send you Nyogen Senzaki’s reports.

We can dismiss Mr. Bjerregaard. I do not know Ruth St. Dennis’ written reports. I did know Swami Pramananda. Swami Trigunatita perhaps met Hazrat Inayat Khan prior to his coming her in 1923, but later he was the victim of an assassin’s bullet.

I do not know, nor do I remember too much of what happened before 1920. The division of India into Pakistan and India also plays havoc with research. Persons who were living at that time have often for some reason or other altered their attitude in life because of selfish or unselfish motive.

As to intellectuals, Hazrat Inayat Khan wanted me personally to carry the message of mysticism to the intellectuals. This commission was not recognized in either Europe or America. It is functional today. It is become most awkward that people, who verbally refer to love, and harmony, and beauty, are not always among those who stand in the first ranks of objective practitioners. Nevertheless, at this writing everything is going very smoothly in the direction of his wishes.

I have some of the 1926 press talks at the Khankah in Novato and am taking note to send them to you. There may also be some miscellany there.

I do not know if Mrs. Ivy Duce preserved the original records. I was authorized to keep the original records and give her copies or give her the original records and give her copies. She demanded everything. This is a very sad tragedy, but perhaps not the only sad tragedy, for in the end it brings deleterious karma. Hazrat Inayat Khan thought that human consideration was the highest and finest of all morals. I cannot compel others to practice it. But when it is practiced it brings the most wonderful fruits, and so a seeming old age is being crowned with many beneficent fruits of love, devotion, and integrity.

You will excuse us that we cannot write further now, for I have a summer school due to start in the state of New Mexico and most of the disciples here are concerned with Pir Vilayat’s forthcoming visit and summer camp.

God bless you,

Samuel L. Lewis



Dr. E. E. van Tricht-Keesing

July 16, 1970


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis,

Sufi Murad Ahmed Chisti,

410 Precita Ave,

San Francisco, Cal. 94110 USA


Dear and revered Mr. Lewis, Sufi Murad, Ahmed Chisti,

The copies of 1926 talks with Pir-o-Murshid your secretary sent me are most interesting and will be a great help for the later chapters. I’ll write separately to Mr. Meyer to thank him too.

May I ask a few more questions? What did Murshid tell you about Ruth St. Denis? He describes his tour with her in his autobiography and gives an amusing account of the last conversation with her, when her interest had shifted from Indian art to Japanese. But she does not mention him in her book, although some remarks might be referring to things he said. What could be the reason of her silence? She gives the impression of being rather self-centered and more in love with mysticism than realizing it; and she saw herself more or less destined to world-saving. Our Murshid appreciated her strong personality, but was critical of her imitation Indian dances. Besides: he spoke English with a strong accent and, like many other self-centered Westerners, she adored assimilated Indians with an impeccable English accent. These are some things which might be the cause of her silence. A more kind guess: She heard of his fame in 1925/26 and wanted to spare him the role of a musician in her trail. Anyhow, her book was most useful to me, as she gives short pictures of people Murshid met in 1911.

The other name mentioned by you was Herbert Rosenthal. I could not find any book by him, neither in the great American nor the British catalogues. I found many Rosenthals and several writing about music, but no “Herbert.” In which newspapers did he publish?

Pir Vilayat had a short Summer school in The Hague. It was good as in old days in Suresnes. I had the privilege of reading the very clear and impressive description of Murshid’s singing in Paris in 1913 by ‘Anunzio. As soon as I have a good English translation I’ll send copy to you and Mr. Beorse. It might take some time, as the work and research are growing daily. Two of the Debussy-biographers got interested. Did Murshid ever speak about Debussy with you and about Mr. Bailly?

In November I hope to go to India. If you feel like giving me any advice about what to do, hear, see and what not to, you are welcome.

Wits love and reverence,

Kamila van Tricht-Keesing



July 20, 1970

Kamila van Tricht

Laan Van Avegoor 18

Ellecom (Gld.)



Beloved One of God:

Your letter of the 16th reached me at a time when one has to face the actualization of “May the Message of God Reach Far and Wide.” I am exceedingly busy, but praise to God, not a negative note on a vast horizon.

In regard to India, I feel that we must co-operate with Vilayat entirely and I do not like to make any suggestions that would interfere with his work. However, there is the family of Faiseddin Nizami, town-planner, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad Andhra, which was very close to Hazrat Inayat Khan.

The Rosenthal that wrote about Pir-o-Murshid was a Gertrude not a Herbert. She was very emphatic in his favor.

Yes, Hazrat Inayat Khan told us he had originally gone to Europe at the request of the composer Debussy. And later he went to Russia at the request of the composer Scriabin. He certainly did speak several times about Debussy.

Ruth St. Denis was closely watched by a number of very jealous press agents. She said many things in private about Hazrat Inayat Khan. Indeed she constantly referred to him. But you are right in that she was more in love with mysticism than in realizing it—absolutely right, although I do not think this is important.

We are in a New Age, and while some of the older Mureeds may not like it, and some will, I am so enthused about Pir Vilayat and his fearlessness and daring that I gladly stand aside for him, and see no reason not to.

As I had met many Indians before Hazrat Inayat Khan came here in 1923, there was no difficulty in my understanding him. But there was one difficulty: I found my notes were more extensive and complete than those of the official stenographer, besides which, I knew the Sanskrit and Urdu words he used. But ego was triumphant; my notes were thrown out, and incomplete copies became official.

He corrected this somewhat in 1926 by making me his public stenographer. He would glance at my arm to regulate his speech, and I never missed a single word including the foreign ones.

As I have said before, I am sorry all my notes were destroyed in 1949 excepting those seized by Mrs. Duce and either secreted away or destroyed also.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



August 1, 1970

The Secretary General Sufi Movement

11 rue John Rehfous

Geneva, Switzerland


Beloved Ones of God:

One realizes that there are not today many persons occupying physical bodies who were given Bayat by the late Hazrat Inayat Khan. One has had to watch since his withdrawal from earthly activities a number of very strange developments, developments not only strange in themselves but apparently quite contrary to the teachings. Here one is not setting himself up as a judge, but wonders what ad­vantage there has been in establishing behavior patterns not in accord either with his esoteric or exoteric teachings and also not in accord with the methods of traditional schools.

We have no intention of indicating any right or wrong, although one historical fact stands out and not all documentary suppression can change that: that Rabia Martin was his first disciple and also the senior Murshida of the Sufi Order.

We are not going to defend the late Rabia A. Martin, but only point out one very simple but hard material fact: that she had a lot of teachings given her directly by the late Hazrat Inayat Khan, many of them dictated in or around 1911, and others dictated during his visits to that country in 1923 and 1926.

We do not know the reason why in the republishing of “A Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty” this sentence-paragraph was omitted: “The Sufi method of realization—the study of Shariat, Tarikat, Hakikat and Marefat, also the practice of Zikr, Fikr, Kasab, Shagal, and Amal is claimed to be the easiest, shortest, an most interesting for spiritual development.”

During his lifetime the late Hazrat Inayat Khan asked the writer to collect all of his miscellany. It is remarkable that practically no disciples either in Europe or America accepted the hard fact that Hazrat Inayat Khan sent for this person 6 times. There were only two eye-witnesses: the late Kismet Stam and the still-living Paul Reps. Paul Reps has confirmed these interviews and also what he knew of the transpirations.

At the death of Rabia Martin the so-called Murshida Ivy O. Duce seized everything she could lay her hands on, and was for the most part successful. Valuable historical and spiritual records may be entirely lost. But by the grace of Allah, to Whom be all praise, a mass of esoteric materials is in this person’s hands. And they cover a considerable portion of the items in the deleted paragraph referred to above.

As there is now in existence one publication which has accepted the facts of the interview, (without knowing the contents) and another which it is expected will be in operation before long, there can be no complaint if this person turns over to either of them records which apparently you have not been willing to accept as existing. This is not my personal conclusion, but I have no right to leave this world and suppress any material or document from the late Hazrat Inayat Khan, who after all was my initiator, and not only my initiator in the first grade, but also in the grade of Sufi.

One must also call to your attention that immediately under the paragraph now deleted one may read “Sufism contains all branches of mysticism, such as psychology, occultism, spiritualism, clairvoyance, clairaudience, intuition, inspiration, etc., but that which a Sufi particularly wishes to acquire is not necessarily any of the above-named powers; because the object of all these powers is toward greater individuality, and individuality itself is only a hindrance on the Sufi’s path towards the accomplishment of his highest perfection.” Therefore it is very strange to this person, Bayated by Inayat Khan, that there should be today in existence several legal corporations bearing the name Sufi in title, but teaching to the contrary.

We, of course, cannot stop that or them. But the writer was given higher initiations both privately and publicly by known Pirs of the great Sufi Schools. And they asked him to include in his work just those items and elements which Hazrat Inayat Khan verbalized in a “Sufi message of Spiritual Liberty.” One feels therefore that he is pursuing the spiritual path in doing just those things, and he is also in a position to offer friendship, fraternity, and brotherhood to and with many of the Sufi Orders, still functioning and functioning quite successfully in this world.

Most of the Material which has been in the possession of the late Murshida Martin was in her possession even before the first Sufi organization in London. And in going into details one finds the practices: Zikr, Fikr, Kasab, Shagal, and Amal, detailed. We of course do not know whether there was ever Sangithas Series III written for the Pir-o-Murshid. But we have the essential details concerning these esoteric practices, far deeper than anything in the Gathas or Series I and II Sangithas.

We are certainly not going to suppress this divine wisdom. Our idea always was to coordinate it with the Gathas and Sangithas. The late Hazrat Inayat Khan told this person in 1926 that the possession of the papers and the practices made it more possible than anything else to spread the message of God in the world.

We cannot of course compel any legal entity to accept, much less enforce, love, harmony, and beauty, or any aspects of divine wisdom. This is in no way a threat; it is just a bit of information. We do not know how you feel, but we do know the Message of God and the teachings of love, harmony, and beauty are now spreading in this region at such a rapid rate we are now unable to handle it. But we feel that what belongs to God belongs to God (Allah). We certainly can share the divine teachings with others such as the Sufis of Ajmir, New Delhi, Lahore, etc. We are not going to permit if we can help it, any of the divine teachings of the saintly Hazrat Inayat Khan to be suppressed, to be hidden from mankind.

This is not a threat, we repeat; but we are open to suggestion. We are open to anything that will help promote the message of God and the establishment of One Single Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God.


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti


Mashaik Fazal Inayat-Khan

Representative General Sufi Movement

Temple Hill, Dockenfield, nr. Farnham

Surrey, England

September 25, 1970


My dear Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti Samuel Lewis

Your letter of August 1, 1970, to the Secretary-General of the Sufi Movement has come to my attention. Undue delay in replay was caused by the fact that the Secretary-General Murshid Hazurnaras van Pallandt is ill. I will try to reply for him.

1. There are today in the Sufi Movement active and following its present leadership over 21 people who received Bayat from our master Inayat Khan.

2. There are several sentences, words, phrases and even paragraphs added and deleted out or in all the works of Pir-o-Murshid published by Barrie and Rockcliff. Although I do not personally agree with all of these changes, I know personally why they were made, who made them, and we have a record of the changes. Actually most of the changes of deletion were made following the wishes of the master himself. Certainly the sentence you describe also was deleted by his own wish. In fact he did not even desire this book to be reprinted but since we cannot prove this in a way the world thinks of proof, and since we wanted to bring to the world his entire message, unadulterated, we did republish all his message including for instance Vol. VIII which was never published before. It is difficult to criticize what was done. The deeper you get into it, the subtler it becomes and since I have been elected to lead the Movement I did investigate most of the changes which were all committed between 1958 and 68. So far, none of them are actually changes of a definitive nature or alter the words of the master except there where we have a record of his wish to alter this words. The changes were primarily one of editorial policy of publishing what the master wanted brought to the world and what he wanted hidden. I would estimate that for every word hidden over 1000 were brought out. But from the deepest of my heart I can honestly say that the Sufi message series as published today represent the most correct, complete and harmonious printing of the words of the master. If you ever quote this letter, please do not quote it partially or out of contact: My reverence and respect for the words of the master prevent me from making many more changes which would for instance render a better quality of language. Really this what is published is as pure as pure can be.

3. About the direct teachings of Rabia Martin given to her by our master. We have in Headquarters a collection of the teachings given by Murshid to his mureeds. If you can provide us with the once given to Rabia it would be welcomed (If we do not already have them) and you would fulfill your duty as a mureed of Murshid since he asked all his disciples to send into Headquarters all private teachings he had given. Many are finding themselves presently in publications.

4. Kismet Stam is still alive; she is not “late” as you mention. Nevertheless I gladly accept that Murshid called for you 6 times. After all you obviously had a great task to fulfill.

5. You must know that no one except the Headquarters of the Sufi Movement has the right of publishing any part of the Sufi Message. Murshid personally wrote a contract giving all his copyright to Headquarters; this is legally watertight. Also all his mureeds know that many of his teaching were not to be published. Those who violate this go directly against the expressed orders of the master. No one can  afford to do this. If you have the grade of Sufi that is the eighth degree in Sufi Orders. This is a lot of trust and responsibility. So far you have done good work and I certainly encourage your work among the new generation. But as a Sufi of Inayat Khan I for one and many others except you to live up to that rank and not violate the orders of the  master. If you have things, teachings, papers, whatever, let us have a copy and if it should be published we will publish it. We do not suppress any part of the Sufi message.


6. This legal entity you are talking about was founded by the master, formed by the master and given its role in the Message by the master. Try to realize that and work with it, not rebel to it. I am probably more of a rebel than you are and completely against organization. But I do not overrule Murshid Inayat Khan because I am not so presumptuous. Let us work together Sam in harmony and in the framework of the Order and the legal forms and the rules made by Pir-o-Murshid. I am and have always been ready to work with all on that basis. Are you?

7. You have no authority to distribute Sangithas. If you are doing it you are violating Inayat Khan’s rules not mine. You will have to account for it to him someday, not to me. Are you ready to face the master?

8. If you have any complaint against any of the corporation (made by the Sufi Movement in compliance with the wishes of Hazrat Inayat Khan) you should express them to me. The organization is in my hands. I am open for criticism (if it is constructive), suggestions, advice, (if it is inspired), and all other forms of expressions to my task. The organization should be only a tool to serve the Message. It should be subservient to the workers, totally flexible to the work and the need and responsive while responsible.

9. I have no doubt that you are doing good work although it might be mixed. It was a pity that in our contact in Frisco you were so tough, anxious and showed off this Ishk Allah group song which was not understood by all the square people present. But as I told you then my heart is open, my mind is receptive, my soul is dedicated by Allah to this work. There is no reason why we cannot spread the message, each in  his own way and style, yet in harmony and peace. I appeal to your higher nature to understand the neoclimate (?) reasonableness of this letter.

10 My reverent Sam. Watch out what you do with the inner teachings of Murshid. One cannot jest with the word of God.

My loving and respectful greetings to you

Fazal Inayat Khan


Please write to me directly in the future. Although I travel a lot, I shall always endeavor to reply to you as soon as possible. Let us have contact.



October 4, 1970

Mashaik Fazal Inayat-Khan

Khankah Abadan Abed

Temple Hill

Dockenfield, nr. Farnham, Surrey, England


Beloved One of God:

As one is away from home traveling, there is a sort of excuse for not answering you in full. One was given Bayat into Sufism long before the establishment of the International Headquarters in Geneva. Indeed, the matter of Geneva was not mentioned by Hazrat Inayat Khan to me until his 1926 visit. One has written many times about the instructions of Hazrat Inayat Khan to me personally, and one has not even had the courtesy of a personal response until your letters came. Indeed, one had given up all thought or idea of being connected with any Western school calling itself Sufi when one went to the Orient in 1956. The extreme difference in the reception one received from holy men of lands afar and the dualistic behavior of Westerners so great that one began devoting himself to practice. It seems also that Allah approved this, and to these practices were added many of other practices of many Sufi schools. These collectively might all be called Ryazat.

In the course of one’s wanderings, one met a man who was present at the deathbed of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and he was so amazed by this person, he asked him to become his Murshid, his own teacher having died; his own teacher had been a Khalifa of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Conversations with this man and also with Pir-o-Murshid Hassan Sani Nizami confirmed what Hazrat Inayat Khan had said to me.

Our first instructions were that Allah alone was the founder of Sufism. According to Imam Al-Ghazzali, Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises. According to the Sohrawardi School, knowledge of Sufism depends on hal and makam. These studies had already been absorbed before the meetings with Hazrat Inayat Khan in Los Angeles in 1926. These meetings were based upon my own interior development—rejected alike by all sorts of Americans and Europeans; later confirmed by every Sufi teacher of every school I have ever contacted, and I have contacted plenty of them. The original Bayat proposed one became a brother of all members of all Sufi orders. Amin and Amin. The Sufi teaching is: ᾀ?There is no existence save Allah.” I am not yet ready to accept a change in this teaching.

There is a teaching, if you would read some of your grandfather’s works where he relates that Mohammed berated his grandchildren for calling a slave by his first name. He said: “Call him uncle.” This is what the blessed Mohammed taught. I see you do not agree. I personally believe that Mohammed was the effective founder of Sufism, and that all Sufi orders, and perhaps all Sufi experiences can be traced back to him. Yes, there are other divine ways, and if you will read the heading, this person has been accepted by Zen Masters as a Zen Master, and one has a Zen stick.

I personally introduced the Zen monk Nyogen Senzaki to your sacred grandfather. This actual occurrence was rejected by members of Sufi orders in Europe, God bless them. My spiritual reports were rejected by European and most Americans, God bless them. I certainly am not going to take any more trouble of writing them out.

At San Francisco, I was told to get out of your meeting as soon as I entered the door; God is my witness, and perhaps your sacred grandfather also. How many times have you actually seen him? You are asking a validated Sufi teacher, whom you call by a nickname, to crawl at your feet. All right. I think it is funny—I am not angry at all.

I went to a meeting of the religions of the world this year at Geneva and when the sessions were completed, every leader of every religion of the world accepted this personality as a real mystic. Do you want their names? I am now working for the Temple of Understanding. Your sainted grandfather spent hours with me on his ideas of a universal temple. Almost unanimous rejection of the report. So I have gone elsewhere. This was partly at the suggestion of Mr. Paul Reps, who was a witness—mostly outside the door, but sometimes inside the door—at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1926.

I cannot demand of you that you accept the mystical experience of a mystic. I certainly will send you nothing unless I am assured that what is sent is respected. The Sangatha teaching, of which I do not have copy, says in the end, there is one moral, and that is human consideration. I cannot demand Sangatha instructions from you. If you can prove to me, in the name of Allah—and I mean in the name of Allah— that I have no right to share Sangathas you will get an apology, but it has to be in the name of Allah. This person was not called a Sufi until after the experience of God-realization and by Pirs and Murshids of at least five orders. No legal entity had any part of it. The cause of God is the cause of God, period.

You have been kind enough to write to me, which is something new for any representative of any European Sufi movement. You are not the only European Sufi leader, so called. At least I have avoided or escaped the barbs of Idries Shah and others. Now, we are working for human brotherhood. We are in contact with all the Sufi orders that we have to be in contact with.

The prayer ends, “One single Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God.” That may be your belief; it is my life.

Your sainted grandfather wanted me to be an exoteric leader. The various so-called esoteric leaders have all rejected this, God bless them. Now I am speaking at, or am engaged to speak at, one University after another exactly as Hazrat Inayat Khan told me would be the case. It is happening. Maybe it is happing because of Hierarchal blessing and approval.

Although in your letter you have concluded that this person may have reached the eighth degree, if we had to attest to realizations s laid down in Volume X of the Sufi Message, it would be a pretty story. But I am not seeking recognition; I am seeking fulfillment of the spreading of the message. I led a thousand young people in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in Dervish dances before leaving that city. Even the newspapers have to accept our accomplishments today. More is coming, much more.

I do not know a single mystical religion which does not emphasize Grace. Do you know what the work Inayat means? Last year I celebrated my fiftieth anniversary of induction into the Sufi teachings. At long last my writings are being published. At long last my work is being accepted, but I have never set myself up to be esoteric leader in the West. A little later, perhaps, I may write again on the six meetings with Hazrat Inayat Khan, but I am almost sure you will not accept them because they are based on profound mystical experiences, and I shall equally apologize if you do accept—not the person, but the experiences, because Sufism is based on experience.

My mission now is to fulfill other mystical experiences, the nature of which had, until this year, been rejected by practically every so-called spiritual teacher of the Western world and accepted by practically every spiritual teacher of the non-Western world, Amen. But accepted or not, everything is coming true today, everything, Alhamdulillah! And when the obvious is not accepted, how can one request that “occult” experience be accepted?

The teaching of the Sangathas is: the teacher see the merits of the pupil. It does not demand that the pupil see the merits of the teacher. How can I send these papers to you under such circumstances? Besides that, I got them from Rabia Martin and not from any organization.

I am going further. I am teaching disciples esoteric practices not found in the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan without abandoning these sacred teachings.

I am working on word peace plans, or at least plans for Palestine, inshallah. These include concessions on the part of the various groups involved. Now you have written to me, a comparative stranger, in the name of Allah, in the name of Love, Harmony and Beauty, and made demands on a subject of which I know nothing at all. I have never seen any letter asking me to give up any of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s materials. Most of the originals were seized from me, also in the name of Love, Harmony, and Beauty, by Mrs. Ivy Duce. Fortunately, she could not tell which manuscripts were your sainted grandfather’s and which were mine and kept a number of my manuscripts, which she felt came from Pir-o-Murshid, and returned a number of Pir-o-Murshid’s writings which she thought came from me.

I cannot demand, and I’m not even going to ask you, to accept any of the contents of the six interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan. No doubt, if you could follow Salat and address Allah with all “humility” this might be done. All the Pirs I have met received their titles from inner experiences and God-realizations. We cannot demand of you or any organization that it base itself on God-realization but in Allah is our strength, our devotion, our hopes, our aims, and our aids.

Praise be to him.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti


P.S. This letter will be followed up with a more complete answer when there is more time available, either when I return home or before.



Samuel L. Lewis c/o L. Less

27 W. 71 Street

New York, New York 10023

October 5, 1970


Mashaik Fazal Inayat-Khan

Khankah Abadan Abad

Temple Hill

Dockenfield, nr. Farnham Surrey, England


Beloved One of God:

After long and serious mediation, an answer more fully to your letter of September 25 is being written. It is not too easy, because a Sufi is one who sees life from the standpoint of another, and you have asked that I see life from your standpoint without any consideration of my own. This is complicated, for Hazrat Inayat Khan, whom you certainly never met in the flesh, sent for me six times—he sent for me, I did not ask to see him. This made Kismet Stam very angry, and she poured her wrath out on me—a beautiful manifestation of love, harmony, and beauty; and your sainted grandfather made her apologize. For the basic reason for his sending for me was because of deep mystical experiences which the good people of Europe and America have chosen to ignore and all the holy people met from Japan to U.A.R. inclusive—a lot of them—concluded otherwise. These curious Asians seem to believe that knowledge of mysticism is based on personal experience, a point on which a very large number of Europeans and Americans differ—God bless them.

It is certain that so many actual saints, whom I can name, meaning I can name them, accepted these mystical experiences and backgrounds and the interpretations. Nor do I choose to write now again, “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan,” because they have been written again and again and again, and never once were they even acknowledged by the Europeans who demanded them, God bless them.

I am not quite ready yet to repudiate the lessons on “Moral Culture,” which have been published. But I can hardly expect personalities who do not accept the Ten Sufi Thoughts and the Three Purpose of the Sufi Movement to be bound by Moral Culture. One of the grand sheikhs, a founder of one great Sufi Silsila said: “Consideration consists in showing consideration to others and never expecting consideration from others.” And Rabia Martin used to say: “It is not what others do to you, but what you do to others.” By these standards, therefore, you have highly honored me, honored me more than I expected, because you are asking, even demanding, consideration from me and not showing consideration yourself. I do not know if I am that worthy, but the whole tenor of your letter indicates you expect this person to be that worthy. The standard of behavior you asked is that innately you expect saintly consideration and action from this person, while showing no signs of it yourself.

As this letter will be published, for the benefit of the readers, I am adding some hard facts based on actual experience. In 1923, I took notes from the lectures of Hazrat Inayat Khan. A public stenographer was hired, who missed all the Asian words your sainted grandfather used. My notes were thrown out, and the others became official. On his return in 1926, Hazrat Inayat Khan asked me to be his public stenographer—contrary to the wishes of the then existing corporation, which controlled the Sufi Movement. He was very determinate that his words be kept intact; that is the statement of Hazrat Inayat Khan. He would concentrate on my arm, and I never missed a word, especially the foreign words which were occasionally and necessarily used. You have asked me to accept the decisions of a private corporation, indeed of several private corporations, which have chosen to go contrary to the will and wishes of Hazrat Inayat Khan. These are your statements. I have no such agreement with any corporation whatsoever.

You have stated without any evidence whatsoever, that changes were made by the wishes of a man whom you never met in the flash. You have given no evidence. I am not going to quote from your letter; I am going to publish the whole thing. Who are you to make such a statement to a man to whom you have given no consideration whatsoever.

3. This is in answer to statements regarding Rabia Martin. Your sainted grandfather dictated at least two books to Rabia Martin, which she kept as personal property. This was done in 1911. He also wrote out a number of notes which I accidentally happened on in her office after she died. These cover many items, of which the International Headquarters was either never aware or refused to accept. Amen. I do not see how I am fulfilling any duty of a mureed by sending things to a group which has not accepted this person. By initiatory processes, and not by elections; by initiatory processes followed by ceremonies in public view, I have been instituted as Sufi, as Murshid, and also as Khalifa in some other orders, based on mystical and spiritual experiences, validated by well-known Sufi Pirs and Murshids, upon whom be blessing.

I have never been at and Sufi meeting at any order where I was not placed above the Khalifs. This is a long story, and you do not have to accept it, so I am not going to tell it. If you would vouchsafe you would accept it, I would write.

5. I do not know that no one excepting the headquarters of the Sufi Movement, has the right to publish anything of Hazrat Inayat Khan. I have already seen things published, and you’re not going to do anything about them, you haven’t. I don’t think you know anything about copyright laws. Certainly I do know that many of the teachings were not to be published, but this has already been done. Apparently corporations of non-mureeds can publish things of Hazrat Inayat Khan which he wanted kept as, let us say, Githas, but mureeds mustn’t. So I guess I’ll be a non-mureed and go ahead and publish, and you won’t do anything. For we have a prayer, “May the Message of God reach far and wide.”

You have said that being in the eighth degree there is trust and responsibility, but I have already been publicity ordained as being in the tenth and eleventh degrees, and in the name of Allah, the Merciful, the compassionate; I repeat, in the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate, and in the name of all the holy ones who form the embodiment of the Master the Spirit of Guidance, this can be confirmed also by experiences, and I mean experiences published in volume X of the Sufi Message. And if you think you can fool with things, you had better learn something. Your behavior to a validated Sufi Murshid, to a much older man, who had acquaintance with Hazrat Inayat Khan shows how little you know about him and his mission.

As grandson of a very great man, I have the vanity to hope to direct you on the path which leads to self-fulfillment and God-realization. You have asked harmony form me without asking for a single fact so far. If you knew anything about Sufism, if you know anything at all, you would know there are grades of self-effacement. The first grand group of self-effacement practices is fana-fi-Sheikh, to become effaced in the living teacher. On February 7, 1930, when this person was in Khilvat, the spirit of Hazrat Inayat Khan appeared before him and opened what is called the thousand petal lotus. From then on for fifteen years, we were in direct contact with each other. And then fana-fi-Sheikh was completed, and one entered fana-fi-Rassoul. I say this in the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate; in the name of all the Holy Ones who form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance; and in the name of a multitude of Sheikhs and Murshids whom I can place and name, who I have met in the flesh; may Allah bless them all.

The basic experiences in fana-fi-Rassoul are in my poetry. I presented one of the lesser poems at a peace conference in Geneva to the head of the Birla family of India and he accepted at once. He did not have humility. People with humility don’t accept; I do not know why. Changes in the private life may make it possible to publish these poems written in fana-fi-Rassoul.

My experiences in Delhi in a company with Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Sani Nizami, more than confirmed the state of this person, the makam.

7. Who says I have no right to distribute Sangithas? Before Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, I demand to know by what right, and I am not fooling. You had better learn the very first things in morality and honesty. You had better learn about hierarchal law. Did you write out commentaries on the Githas before you accepted your title? You are not dealing with a schoolboy. You are dealing with a person who was appointed by your sainted grandfather as “protector of the Message.”

All my records and papers except a few were destroyed in 1949, but I do know, and you dare not challenge me—you dare not challenge me—that your sainted grandfather said: “Whatever is done to the Murshids and Khalifs in my order, must be considered as done to me.” And this statement is going to be published along with this whole letter.

9. Of course my standard is not that of the non-initiate. You have said, and I quote: “There is no reason why we cannot spread the message, each in his own way and style.” In the suppressed Sangathas, it is said that there is no Message, only a call to praise Allah. Yes, anyone can praise Allah in his own style, but La Illaha El Il Allah. You had better read and consider the many passages in Gayan, Vadan, and Nirtan.

Now, for your benefit, for your personal benefit, and I dare you to show it to your father, I dare you—you are too frightened; while your uncle Vilayat was still calling himself Pir Zade, I asked a number of holy men, Sufis and saints whom I can name, what they thought of the relatives of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Every single one of them without exception repudiated all your relatives but one. Every one of them said they would accept Vilayat Inayat Khan. He did not know this, but he is going to find it out, for he has met some of them himself since. Without exception, the living holy ones who constitute the chain of masters and Sufis all said they would accept Vilayat Inayat Khan, and this before he went to Ajmer. I say this in the name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate, in the name of all the Sufism chain, and all who form the embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance. Tell this to your father.

I became a disciple in Sufism when there was no literature from your sainted grandfather, but magazines which have since been suppressed; and a Sufi Message of Spiritual liberty. I personally took the Bayat under the terms of a Sufi Message of Spiritual liberty before there was any corporation interfering with spiritual experiences. Legally even, therefor, I am not bound by any changes that were made. Not only that, but I have some of the original writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan on the subjects of Nimaz, Kalama, Zikr, Fikr, Shagal, and Amal. Under Laic law, under common morality, there is no way to prevent a person entering into a valid agreement and paying monies to have that agreement nullified without notice, especially by parties who were not originally involved in that agreement. I say, therefore, in the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, in the name of the Prophet Mohammed, in the name of all the prophets and all the Sufis in chain, that no man-made corporation has any right to interfere with spiritual contracts, and you had better learn this.

In the teachings on Moral Culture, there is the “Law of Reciprocity, the Law of Beneficence, and the Law of Renunciation.” I must reject your defiance of the Law of Renunciation. So, in the name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate, I big you to consider Tauba, the first state in official Sufism, by which the personality gives up his ego and surrenders. One hopes this is possible for a grandson of Hazrat Inayat Khan; one hopes it is possible that he learn spiritual morality and spiritual awakening, which will come ultimately, but not by superficial niceties.

It seems that Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, to accept the full terms of Khatum. If you could ever get to accept Khatum, you would know that Allah speaks through, in, and with man. And I can assure you, when you face those tragedies, which by your impudence with the moral law you will ultimately have to face, if this person is still on earth, he will give you every consideration.

It seems your letter came at an excellent time for your uncle Vilayat arrives in New York in a few hours. Now I am going to show him your letter and this answer. But your uncle already accepted; he is accepted by the heads of Sufi orders; he is accepted by the universities, and he is accepted by a multitude of young people, may Allah bless them all.

The day before I left San Francisco, I led a thousand people in Dervish dances, not those of the Mevlevi. I was instructed in spiritual dancing by the late Ruth St. Dennis who originally accompanied your sainted grandfather in his first tour of the United States. But why go on? I cannot make you accept facts, nor have I intention to do so. When your heart is awakened, you will accept Khatum and Salat and Saum. May Allah bless you and bring this about soon.

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Sufis USA Correspondence

Dolphin Enterprises, Inc

318 SW 102nd Street

Seattle, WA 98146

February 21, 1968


Dear Blessed Friend:

Thank you so much for the beautiful letter that you have sent to me. It was so comforting and healing in its very context. We went over to see Shamcher and his fine family last Sunday. He certainly thinks a lot of you and he also tells me wonderful things you have been doing. He also tells me you work a lot with the young people, and that is really a great task and you are doing a good work, as they are our future generation and the results of the world will be in their hands. Shamcher has helped me a lot with the different spiritual ideas that he has that are in the mastership class.

He shall look forward to your coming here in March. Also, if there is anything we can be helpful about, please let us know. It is marvelous your work, too, with the intellectuals, for that is a great way to help. When you come here, too, I shall be glad to offer you the hospitality of my home, as we have a guest room that would be yours at this time. However, if you wish to stay at a place in the city, (I am outside of the city,) we can find you the right accommodations.

Your work with the Buddhists is remarkable.

We all are looking forward to seeing you, and kindly let me hear from you again, as the solace you gave me is “out of this world.” We all need solace when hurt, and also kindness to keep the heart going and to know it is the Shrine of God.

Wishing you the very best in all things and also happiness, we remain

Sincerely and cordially yours,

Sitara Dolphin



Sufi Movement

Seattle, Washington

March 29, 1968


Mr. Samuel Lewis

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis;

The copy of the letter which you wrote to “Bhakti-Sheikha” and sent to us was received yesterday, and was completely mystifying.

We have never met any of the people whom you name in this above-mentioned letter, nor, in fact, have ever heard of them prior to this.

We have heard of Vilayat, but have never met him, nor have we ever attended any meetings wherein his cause was furthered, nor have we encouraged his claim in any way whatsoever.

There is a Seattle Sufi Center in existence, and we are all loyal to Fazal Inayat Khan, each and every one of us. None of this Seattle group of members in good standing have attended a meeting such as you seem to refer to. We have heard of a Vilayat sponsored group that used to meet here in Seattle a few years ago, so, possibly this may have been revived. However, please do not connect us, nor any of the Seattle Sufis with these other people whom you mention.

We are sorry that you have apparently been misled, and, since we know nothing of these people, nor of this matter, find nothing else to say. Please be assured that we are not angry with you, personally, as it is obvious that there is a mistake here somewhere, that you connected our name with these people, whoever they are, and that you included us with possibly other recipients of the copy of your letter.

We agree, however, with many of the things that you stated, as we have no patience with false pretenders, ourselves. We would suggest that if you know of would-be Sufis in Seattle who are disenchanted with Vilayat, that you inform them of the true Sufi Center which is very much in existence here.

Sincerely yours,

Martin E. Dickenson



Dolphin Enterprises, Inc

318 SW 102nd Street

Seattle, WA 98146

June 1, 1968


Dear Sam:

Is it all right to call you your name as this, as I do not remember your Sufi name exactly, as you would wish to have it called.

Your letter is very fine and I also am happy to know you will be up this way again. Your trip here before was very helpful to me, especially, as it helped me in many ways, chiefly, to forget the “lemons handed me in the Sufi and try to make lemonade with the lemons at night” An old saying, but a good one, in my estimation.

Also, I am doing the exercises you gave me and they help me a lot. It is certainly good to know that you had a wonderful attendance with the group; hope that keeps up, and there will be more and more who come to you seeking and Getting Help Needed.

I saw Mary Lou Matchett, and told her to write you. She is having a time so any help you can give her will be appreciated. May I ask a favor of you? I have a very dear brother, Reid H.Cofer, Tuck, Ga., and he is seriously ill, so will you have prayers for him? I believe in the power of your prayers so much. I saw Shamcher. He is planning on having Vilayat here July the fifth. I told him I did not wish him to have Vilayat to say he was head of the Sufi Order, as it caused all the trouble in the first place, and it is not true. I wish you would especially tell Shamcher how you feel about that too, as it is not right to claim a name you do not have legally. I may not like someone who is president of our country, but I do not say the man whom he beat at the polls is president, as it is equally not true. Well, let me hear from you, you know you are always welcome here, and Shamcher probably wrote you of some, plans, (not yet made) but in the mind, and maybe I shall be down in ‘Frisco for a little while.

With best wishes, always,

Sitara [Dolphin]


So glad you like the eye drops!


1500 Arlington Blvd. #210

Arlington, Virginia

July 22, 1968


Dear Mr. Lewis;

My dear teacher, Pir Vilayat, suggested that I write to you to obtain a copy of the “spiritual exercises.” He said you were going to put them in order, so that others could benefit from them.

I do think this is such a wonderful idea, for at retreat so many people do not take notes at all, and it would be wonderful to be able to have them intact so they could be distributed. They could then be easily referred to without wading through all lecture material.

Pir Vilayat has said that he found his time in San Francisco so rewarding. He is looking forward to his return.

 Do know that you have many friends here. We are all one in the work. We should be so grateful to you if you would send along a copy of the practices … when you are able.

Very best regards to you.

Sincerely yours,

Alice P. Margraf

If there is anything I can do to help you—please let me know.


Dolphin Enterprises, Inc

318 SW 102nd Street

Seattle, WA 98146

August 10, 1968


Dear Sam:

I thank you with all my heart for the wonderful books that you had sent to me. I took one with me South, and it was a reservoir of comfort. It is a marvelous set of books. May God bless you for your generosity.

Thanks, also for your wonderful letters. They have proven to be a source of comfort and solace. My brother passed on and as I loved him dearly it is hard to take. However hard I try, I still have tears in my heart.

You are proving a great and wonderful teacher to many, and also the work you are doing is such a benefit to those who need it and will accept it. As the saying says: You are really due for many stars in your crown.” I am also so glad that you and Vilayat are doing so much to carry on our beloved Inayat’s plans. Vilayat has had so many blows in the Sufi path and also he should reach the blessings, too. I do not hear anything about the Sufi people here, they had a summer school.

The trip South was very precious as so many of the relatives were there, and so many new ties again formed. I have a brother who is a surgeon, too, and he is so busy that he really does not have time to do the spiritual things he wishes to do. I visited all of them and had a great revelation of kinship established. It might be a door to the Sufi philosophy if again we’re there.

I do not know when I can come to San Francisco. The doctor who is interested in the eye drops is so busy this time of year. There was an article in the Ozark Gardens about the eye drops. I shall send one to you, and see what you think of it. I am so glad you and Mr. Hunt like the eye drops.

You are always welcome to come here to stay when in Seattle. I hope you can come and establish a center. I saw some of the hippies on the street when in Atlanta. They seem to be well behaving youngsters.

Keep up your good work and let me hear from you again.

Thanks again for all your good work and kindnesses. I am using the practices.





1500 Arlington Blvd. #210

Arlington, Virginia

August 15, 1968


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Please forgive me for not answering sooner but we have been on a little holiday and have just returned.

It was so good of you to forward the practices. I shall have copies made and get them out to the students. Do please send the rest when you are able for so many can benefit. Obviously you were far better organized than we. Which brings me to an interesting point in your letter. It is true that due to the fact that Pir Vilayat must travel so much he simply cannot attend to all the internal coordinating in this country. This will be quite a large job.

He did not mention the fact when here that you would get us organized … however, he did say to write to you, so undoubtedly he knew that you would mention the fact. Will you now have some instructions for us? Will you be sending us a bulletin of any kind? Also will we be able to keep in touch with Pir Vilayat’s itinerary through you? Sometimes it is so hard to get in touch with him when necessary. Also do you have a special format that you wish us to follow for our meetings?

We feel so out of touch here. Perhaps you will be able to make us feel more integrated.

Thank you again. It is a very good thing to know that so many eager Seekers are benefitting from this work.


Alice P. Margraf


P.S. One of the mureeds is trying to get the information requested.



Dolphin Enterprises, Inc

318 SW 102nd Street

Seattle, WA 98146

September 12, 1968


Dear Sam:

It is so good to hear from you. Your letters always have a wonderful atmosphere, I would call it heavenly. I am so glad that you are busy in such wonderful work, also your health is so wonderful. Keep up the good work I am also very busy. I am sending to you one bottle of the Dolphin Eye Drops as appreciation of your wonderful and great book of Ramdas that you had sent to me. I love them. The book, the “World is God” is really so outstanding and yet so simple that I feel in love with it, and cannot read it enough. I shall write to him and thank him, also. These gifts are eternal and not a flight of a day.

I know Shamcher would have enjoyed hearing of the debate between Gavin Arthur and Dane Rudhyar. I had them over a Sunday before last and we had a nice time. We have not done anything about starting a center, as Shamcher is over there in Bremerton and I am outside of the city, so we are at a standstill. Shamcher wrote that we could probably start when Vilayat comes soon in January.

By the way, there is a distributor in San Francisco, (If you would call them up, they would let you know the stores who have the eye drops on hand) Their name is Landstrom Co., 420 Talbert St. Daly [City] and P.O. Box 34045. They would have their salesmen be more on the alert. Telephone Ju-4-1859 I wish I could come down and see all the wonderful work you are doing. Also, give Bhakti my love, she is something Special with me.

Love and blessings to you all.




410 Precita

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

October 29, 1968


Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Badford Avenue

No. Hollywood. Calif. 91605


Beloved One of God:

It is not only necessary for me to write to you, it is very important that some kind of acknowledgement or answer be given.

I understand that Pir Vilayat appointed you as General Secretary for the United states. He wished to give you certain authorities and responsibilities. Outside the sphere of love, harmony and beauty, I am also compelled to concur, because my own work and affairs have gotten out of bounds.

When Vilayat was here, God showed that the number of disciples would double—and this has happened. While I do have a complete set of Gathas, I do not have all the other papers. I do not know what Vilayat’s plans for the distribution of these papers are, but whatever he decides, one concurs.

In the first place, it takes considerable time and attention to be a murshid to over 50 mureeds. It takes more time and energy to lecture to the general public and to help prepare others for bayat. On Sunday October 20 we opened our Khankah in the city of Novato in Marin County, some 30 miles to the north. This is only 2 miles from where the Pir dedicated his International Meditation Center. We had about a 100 people attend: also participating in the program which consisted mostly of dervish and yoga dancing.

In 1911 Hazrat Inayat Khan and the late Miss Ruth St. Denis traveled through this land. The program centering on yoga and spiritual dances. This and many other things are being put into effect here. Last night we gave a ritualistic form of the healing service and also a first outline for a pageant formation based on the Sufi Symbol.

I should be sending you all letters of inquiry. Also copies of all materials Pir Vilayat gave when he was at Novato.

Two of my disciples are now probably with Vilayat at Calcutta, attending a conference of the world’s religions—the real religions of the real world. This may bring to manifestation several of the dreams and ideals of Hazrat Inayat Khan.

With all love and blessing and assurance of cooperation in every respect, sincerely.

Samuel L. Lewis


Sufi Order

No. Hollywood, Ca. 91605

October 31, 1968


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your very kind letter. It was heartening to hear confirmation of the expansion that your Center is enjoying. Our mutual friend Bhakti told me about your increasing membership and many activities and how much she had enjoyed her visit. I can understand how busy you must be.

Pir Vilayat recently mailed from India a projected schedule for his next tour of the U.S., listing San Francisco lecture dates as follows: January 2: Samuel Lewis Center. Jan. 3: Asian Institute. Jan. 4-5 Hippie Camp.

With planning and cooperation we hope to work out a well-organized itinerary, relieving him from unnecessary travel details. Enclosed is a copy of a letter which he requested me to mail to each Leader in various Centers.

Pir Vilayat is also hoping to conduct a Youth Camp the latter part of December. When arrangements have been completed information will be mailed to the Centers with applications for young people between 18 and 28 years of age who may wish to attend.

I am at your service regarding any information you may request. Flyers for publicity are in the course of re-print and I shall send you some when available.

With all good wishes and kindest regards,

Very cordially,

Suzanne D’Mitrieff




410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

November 3, 1968


Suzanne D’Mitrieff, Secretary Sufi Order

6904 Radford Ave.,

No. Hollywood, Calif. 91605


Beloved One of God:

Your very welcome letter of the 31st has arrived. The letter from Pir Vilayat will be shown to the secretaries. We do have two lists, i.e. of those having had Bayat and those interested, including several applicants. As to those interested in public lectures let me explain:

There is now an independent movement lead by two disciples, one of whom is already a Teacher but given no title. They are working at San Francisco State College with the theme: “The Spiritual Teachings of the Orient as communicated by local leaders.” The audiences are fine, both quantitatively and qualitatively. They are also working with a new publication, “The Oracle,” a large section of which is devoted to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan’s writings.

There is another independent movement more or less connected with Mr. Paul Reps which meets next Sunday and we may go in force. Mr. Reps was Hazrat Inayat Khan’s “chauffeur” but also confidant. While he is out on his own and reaches an independent audience it is more or less of the same type being attracted to these meetings, but the median age is slightly older.

One had about 30 disciples when Pir Vilayat came here and God, so to speak, said the number would be doubled. I have now reached an absolute of being unable to direct any more persons and am holding back for two reasons:

a. I should prefer Vilayat name those capable of being Representatives, Naquibs, Sheikhs, etc. to assist in the work.

b. An engineer-scientist is overdue who said he wished to organize my efforts which are in four fields:

I. “Ordinary” Sufi work.

II. Commentaries leading to proper coordination of The Complete Ryazat of Hazrat Inayat Khan, a very delicate work with plenty of material left by the Pir-o-Murshid but not incorporated into the “official” studies.

III. Piles of materials, published and unpublished from other schools of spiritual development; as well as Sufi miscellany from other schools.

IV. Scientific research in the fields of water and food production problems, covering mostly desert reclamation and the food problems of real Asia.

There are some amusing situations in that about five persons taking Bayat started out enthusiasm and then withdrew; then the real problem of the real life intervened. Added to that is the geographical movement of several mureeds. This point should be then up with you or assigned. Vilayat does not wish me to be active elsewhere and I am physically and mentally unable anyhow, so there is nothing but harmony at the administrative level. The problem is what to do about these persons?

All of this is mentioned also because medium age here is not more than 26, perhaps even two years less. There would be no problem about getting enough persons to attend a youth camp if we had place and time.

Another thing is more important. The Pir dedicated the International Meditation center at Olompali Ranch, two miles north of the city of Novato, which is about 30 miles north of here. The then director was not very affable, but the generality were. This director is now in India and he is going to be compelled either to accept Pir Vilayat or lose both the Ranch and his following; he is not a man to face realities.

The compounded visions of at least six persons plus the direct Guidance from the Living God corroborate the Pir’s blessings. And all the above is written because of the strong probability of having unusual audiences both in size and character.

Not only first the Dervish dances have been presented here; then Yoga dances and new dances and pageant forms based on the symbols of Gathas, series I, Naqshibandi, terminating in the pageant of the Sufi Symbol-star, crescent, heart and wings, the first lesson given yesterday. The termination to this writing is the manifestation of a degree of love and spiritual awakening which our Founder never experienced, and it is with a degree of shone (kham in the Sufi language) that one finds oneself surrounded by a group of loving and beautiful young people, nearly all taller and some considerably taller than this body but united with such love, brotherhood and fervor that one never expected it and now one finds.

There will be two sessions today, one on Dervish Dancing in a public place; and the other the Dharma instructions based on the religious of India and the Far East in which this person is also an accredited teacher (guru or roshi).

Inasmuch as there is now a staff, though unorganized, I shall accept anything at this address and also give the special names of those who are undertaking various projects.

We shall have a work party at the Khankah,

The Garden of Inayat

910 Railroad Ave.,

Novato, Calif. 94947

On Sunday, November 17. It is also the occasion of two birthdays. We shall repeat “The Birthday Dance” and “Dance of Love and Brotherhood” and also present “The Khankah Dance.” This is an elaboration of “Opening of the House Dance” having four couples and Murshid. These dances are all based on the use of Sacred Phrases and also Gatha teachings. They are bringing out the original mission of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Miss Ruth St. Denis in their tour of 1911.

We have a guest room at the Khankah but there are also other provisions for the Pir when he arrives.

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Samuel L. Lewis



Daniel c/o

Samuel Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

November 24, 1968


Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave.

No. Hollywood, Ca. 91605


Dear Mrs. D’Mitrieff

I have read your letter and am looking forward to the arrival of the Pir. He is often in my thoughts and meditations, as it was he who initiated me into the Sufi Order.

As requested in the Pir’s letter, I am enclosing a list of mureeds initiated by Murshid Samuel Lewis.

A list of sincerely interested persons will follow. With all good wishes,


Daniel (Dennis Lomax)


Sufi Order Initiates, including some mureeds accepted without formal initiation.


James Pickard/ 263 Morningside Dr., Corte Madera

Stanley Quantz (Amin) / 263 Morningside Dr., Corte Madera

Katherine Erickson/ 263 Morningside Dr., Corte Madera

Marion Doyle (Sharin)/ Rancho Olompali, Novato 94947

Kris Stenz/ Rancho Olompali, Novato 94947

Robert Rowell (Dara)/ Rancho Olompali, Novato 94947

Virginia Herz (Jayanara)/ 910 Railroad Ave. Novato 94947

Carl Jablonski (Moineddin)/ 910 Railroad Ave. Novato 94947

Pat Jablonski (Fatimah)/ 910 Railroad Ave. Novato 94947

Otis Johnson (Mansur)/ 910 Railroad Ave. Novato 94947

Jemila Johnson/ 910 Railroad Ave. Novato 94947

Sigmund Herz (Hasan)/ 910 Railroad Ave. Novato 94947

Dennis Mcginley (Hussein) / 910 Railroad Ave. Novato 94947

David Hoffmaster/ 1226 De Haro St. S.F.

Marcia Pavelic/ 1226 De Haro St. S.F.

Susan Gancher/ 240 Redwood Hwy., Mill Valley

Doyle Wagner/ 249 Mather, Oakland

Diane Ferry/ 249 Mather, Oakland

Brian Carr/ 1420 Fifth Ave, S.F.

Sheyla McKendrick/ care of Samuel Lewis, 410 Precita, S.F. 94110

Duncan Pierce (Krishnadas)/ care of Samuel Lewis, 410 Precita, S.F. 94110

Clark Brown/ care of Samuel Lewis, 410 Precita, S.F. 94110

James Simmons (Akbar)/ 320a Bocana St., S.F

Frank Tedesco/ 455 Hudson, Oakland

Luigi Xifano/ 120 Bulkley Ave., Sausalito

Tom Mason/ 159 Alder, San Anselmo

Virginia Good/ 159 Alder, San Anselmo

Ginger Hubbard (Padmani)/ 217N Williard, S.F.

Susan Morgan (Vashti)/ 1546 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo

Philip Davenport/ Regal Ark L Boardwalk, Larkspur

Clara Davenport/ Regal Ark L Boardwalk, Larkspur

Sibley Cogswell/ 445 Center Blvd., San Anslemo

Dan Taylor/ 445 Center Blvd., San Anslemo

Bob Cogswell/ Ramona Ark Boardwalk, Larkspur

Renee Sager/ 4330 17th St., S.F.

David Whitaker/ 4330 17th St., S.F.

Jessamine Cogswell/ 291 S. Strawberry Dr., Mill Valley

Deborah Churney/ 266 Noe St., S. F.

Linda Watts/ 266 Noe St., S. F.

Bill Offerman/ 266 Noe St., S. F.

George Matthews/ 266 Noe St., S. F.

Arnold Passman/ care of Greenberg, 1330 N. Harper, L.A.

Colin Rognlie/ 437 Cole St., S. F. 94117

Melvin Meyer/ 437 Cole St., S. F. 94117

Dennis Lomax (Daniel) / 437 Cole St., S. F. 94117

Faune Lomax/ 437 Cole St., S. F. 94117

Jane Gaboury/ 1314 Arch St., Berkeley

Ruth Wintheil/ care of Auger, 71 Washington Place, N.Y., N.Y.

Tom Sager/ Box 27301, S. F. 94127

Barbara Moffet/ Box 151, Bolinas

Sheika Vera J. Van Voris/ P.O. Box 974, Soldedad, Calif.

Marc Gold/ 402 Broadway, S.F.

Laura Mathieson/ 55 Foothill, San Anselmo

Nancy Silver/ 826 Spring St., Sausalito, 94965

Howard Mussel)/ care of Samuel Lewis, 410 Precita, S.F. 94110



1500 Arlington Blvd. 210

Arlington, Virginia 22209

December 4, 1968


Dear Mr. Lewis:

I shall not attempt to excuse myself for the long delay in answering your kind letter with the enclosed material. I realize that this seems terribly ungrateful, however please know that your act was not unappreciated either by myself or others. Thank you so much.

Your letter was terribly interesting. It seems that The Sufi Order is simply growing by leaps and bounds all over the country. It is quite amazing and Pir Vilayat is so fortunate to have so many people who are truly dedicated to this work.

Some time back I had said someone here was trying to get a line on as many of the group leaders addresses as possible for you … but then came a letter from … I guess it was just then really beginning to function … the Secretariat in California … so naturally I figured from that point on all “alerts” as to orders from Pir Vilayat would emanate from there.

He is due here this week end. For only two days. Consequently we are going to be able only to book him for consultation periods mainly with his students. It will be so nice to see him again. Let us hope that he is well.

 I’m in hearty accord with you in your interest in The Temple of Understanding. So many of us feel a deep significance relating to its completion. I attended the first meeting here in Washington of the representatives of the different faiths. I visited privately with the Reverend Piyananda and we had a lovely talk. I told him I’d send a list of names of those who would most likely be interested in joining his people and several other groups for Wesak next spring.

Thank you again for your kindness. I do hope that all goes well for you and all the students.

Sincerely yours,

Alice P. Margraf


Garden of Inayat

910 Railroad Avenue

Novato, Calif. 94947

January 9, 1969


Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Avenue

North Hollywood, Calif. 91605


Beloved One of God,

There is an aspect of life at once dramatic, terrifying, grandiose and beautiful; and it is certain that the dramatic dominates the moment.

Two of the very top sciences of the Sufis are Mushahida and Mujahida. Mushahida has been translated as “Aweful Contemplation,” and Mujahida as the Greater Jihad. In Mushahida one holds the whole universe so to speak in the palms of vision and can see and know whatever God wishes him to see and know. In Mujahida one wars against the ills of the world by taking everything as if within himself and brings about what he wishes by self-correction. It is this which Pir Vilayat calls “the Path of the Master.”

I am not going to measure the Pir’s prowess in spiritual attainment, nor is there any need to do so. When he was here before he dedicated International Meditation Center on The Ranch which is about two miles north of this place. It is very likely that this was because of his Mushahida development. He was invited to the Ranch. The leaders there have identified cosmic consciousness and drug experience. They have tried to involve the Pir in this, a very foolish thing because of what transpired there almost immediately after. The hardest people to convince of the real value of karma and the moral law are those who boast their attainment publicly. At the same time these people are invariably unable to judge the spiritual stations of others.

Hardly had he gone when Dara, one of the disciples who was with him in Calcutta, left this vicinity. I do not know the circumstances or details but have been promised a letter written to me as soon as possible.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the day after Dara had departed and two days after the visit of the Pir, the authorities descended upon the Ranch, took into custody Mr. Don McCoy, the original leader and financial supporter, and his closest associates. I do not know the details yet—at this moment more news arrived, but until tonight after this is mailed the reports cannot be confirmed.

There is no denying that in many senses a New Age is here. Also that Pir Vilayat is one of the leaders in this New Age. There are very few people—most claiming “honesty” who have been willing to accept the bare facts of my contacting many of the representatives of the real spiritual hierarchy living in earth bodies. I believe without exception they were favorable to Pir Vilayat and inimitable to the wealthy endowed corporations opposing him. I can support this with facts, events and names, but there is no need to waste time on closed ears and closed hearts.

The New Age has been foreseen by those with divine vision, not drug addicts. In one of the early issues of the defunct “The Sufi,” Hazrat Inayat Khan made a number of predictions. These were later withdrawn but portions of them appear in one of the written volumes as if parts of a later teaching not on this subject. It will take a little time to find out exactly where but these have been pre­served and published.

During the middle of the depression I received “Book of Social Directions.” The accuracy cannot be measured because all copies have been lost or stolen. After that the inspiration was called “The Garden of Inayat.” This covered some of the same themes but with a full synthesis of all subjects connected with the universal worship. On the one hand all this material has been lost or stolen. On the other hand I have personally fulfilled its requirements by having met in earlier years the spiritual representatives of all faiths, including even leaders in Chinese mysticism—Chinese leaders in Chinese mysticism, not Western writers on the subject. Here I can say that this part of the life was accepted by Mrs. Judith Hollister and Mr. Finlay Dunne, Jr. of the Temple of Understanding.

After that there came “Introduction to Spiritual Brotherhood” which was a higher phase of the same theme. Although it too was lost, stolen or appropriated, the spiritual sight at the time of writing was much keener. We have found one dim carbon of it and are copying it chiefly for Mr. Shamcher Beorse of Keyport, Washington.

 It becomes very evident to anyone reading it that it foretold many of the social developments and considerably more. However I am hoping that the manuscript will stand of itself.

Pseudo-mysticism and metaphysics have substituted egocentricity for Theo-centricity. Certain persons or a person are usually lauded and God is by-passed or introduced as a Being under their compulsions.

In view of the hard facts that “Introduction to Spiritual Brotherhood” has been portraying each of the present developments one may be called upon to do more. Anyhow I leave it to Pir Vilayat to make his own judgments. If he is possessed of the faculty of Mushahida as well might be he may stand out as a very glorious personality in spiritual history if not more, inshallah.

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Garden of Inayat

910 Railroad Avenue

Novato, California 94947


[to Mrs. D’Mitrieff]

January 10, 1969


Beloved One of God,

We do not know if the drama that is occurring at Rancho Olompali is being reported in the newspapers in your part of the state. A program is scheduled for one of the national channels this evening. It will, of course, give only one side, but that is the side that is not usually presented. We always hear the side of the police and the authorities.

Our interest is that Pir Vilayat has seen great possibilities for a truly international center for meditation in these parts, and there is some information that he has proposed a home for himself there.

Mr. Don McCoy, founder of The Ranch, is at the moment in custody. The real and the nominal factors in his arrest and also in the arrests of some of his associates are totally different, so different that it needs insight even more than logic to ascertain the truth.

The awkward factor is that Sheyla McKendrick and Dara Rowell, who were with Vilayat in India are playing strange and totally different roles. For the moment we are assuming that the Pir will be interested in a report, and would rather give him a report than keeping him in darkness. But we do not wish to influence other than in reporting.

Dara has left this State, apparently totally disgusted with the affairs of The Ranch. This has not interfered in the least with his attitude and devotion toward either the Pir Vilayat or Murshid Sufi Ahmed Murad. He is going to the State of Ohio. If he is not too far from Cleveland we would like to direct him there. If there are new centers in other parts of that state it may also be convenient for him to contact those people. This is an open matter.

With regard to Mrs. Sheyla McKendrick. Last night we did some studying in the book “Health.” All signs point to mental derangement due to drugs. This soul needs love, tenderness and consideration, and at the moment is totally impervious to love, tenderness, consideration and response to anybody whatsoever. She is at the same time in an extreme case of egocentricity, and falsely imagines herself to be God-conscious. We are even afraid that she may have played the role of a betrayer. This is of course unconfirmed, but all signs point to it.

There are two better reports, a) several of the local disciples may be appearing at your meetings; b) there is already much enthusiasm about the proposed summer camp in Colorado.

All love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti




410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

January 20, 1969


Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Avenue

No. Hollywood. Calif. 91605


Dear Mrs. D’Mitrieff:

We certainly enjoyed the visit of Pir Vilayat. Among others, he was kind enough to initiate my wife, Faune.

He instructed me to send you addresses of those interested in receiving regular mediation instruction.

Dennis Lomax (Daniel)                           Benefsha Berliner

Faune Lomax                                          176 Sixth Ave., San Francisco 94118

Paul Pognlie

Collin Rognlie                                         James Simmons (Akbar)

Box 123, Lagunitas, Calif.                                   320a Bocana, San Francisco.


Krishna Das

Melvin Meyer

410 Precita Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94110


I am sure there are others who would like to receive the instructions, yet who have not communicated their addresses to me. If you would like to send me extra copies for them … or I could copy the instructions for others … or as you instruct.

Also you may either mail the instructions to the individual addresses above or mail them all to 410 Precita and we will distribute them … all of the above regularly attend meetings.

I personally would like any photograph of the Pir and of his father and I am sure of other who would appreciate them. The Sufi order flyers with those photographs and information are in short supply here, that is, the few which the Pir himself gave out.

If I may be of any service to you, I am





January 22, 1969

Miss Margaret Leach,

330 East Liberty Drive,

Wheaten, Ill. 60187


Beloved One of God:

I have before me a paper on “Youth Seminar organized by the International School of Meditation.” For your information I am one of the last direct disciples of the late Hazrat Inayat Khan but since have been initiated into about eight schools of Sufism as well as into other schools of spiritual development.

We have new a thriving and growing School, mostly young people and several also involved in spiritual striving through mountain climbing. When Pir Vilayat was here I designated one of the disciples, James Pickard of Corte Madera, Calif. as my representative.

But the Esoteric Secretary, Mansur Johnson not only wishes to go but has a station wagon which can accommodate several persons.

We should like both application forms and details, because we wish to cooperate in every way.

Esoteric Secretary Mansur has been tape-recording the Pir’s lectures.

James lives with Amin Quance who is a Sheikh designate and who has lived also in Nepal and travelled far and wide. Most of the disciples here are under 30 and would therefore be eligible, but the enthusiasm is very great. Pir Vilayat appeared very suddenly in this house and without any advertising over eighty people showed up—just Allah and the grape-vine being at work.

Thank you for any information and assuring you of full cooperation,

Loves and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti

(Samuel L. Lewis)


330 E. Liberty Dr., #2

Wheaton, Illinois 60187

January 27, 1969


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti:

Thank you so very much for your letter of January 22 and your expressions of interest and enthusiasm in the Youth Seminar this coming June 21-29. I am glad to hear that Pir Vilayat’s visit there was so successful, although I expected it—knowing him!

I have noted your request for application forms and I will mail them to you as soon as they are ready to mail out, which I expect to be in about two weeks. I will send further details at that time also.

Thank you again for your letter and you will be hearing from me again soon.

Love and Peace,

Margaret Leach

(Miss) Margaret Leach


Dolphin Enterprises, Inc

318 SW 102nd Street

Seattle, WA 98146

February 17, 1969


Dear Sam:

I wish to thank you and your group for your wonderful prayers. Shamcher told me how wonderful they and you were. I am getting along better but am having to recuperate, and it is a little slow, you now I am an impatient person.

Shamcher told me, too, of your wonderful work, and how gloriously you are handling it. We are so proud of you. I might say also that this world and Heaven also must be proud of you and glory in your wonderful work.

Too, I wish to thank you for the glorious books you sent me, and the practices you gave me, and one, especially that you gave Shamcher and he passed it on to me. I love them all.

I wish that I could come down and see your wonderful group and also join in the services as a listener, but it is impossible at present. Keep up the good work, I consider you our outstanding Sufi of the world today.

May God richly bless you and give you the desires of your heart. Yours most sincerely and cordially,




Dolphin Enterprises, Inc

318 SW 102nd Street

Seattle, WA 98146

April 25, 1969


Dear Sam:

We are really getting some things done: a person who belongs to the Dickinson Center called me up and wished me to help her. So, she came over and Shamcher and I are helping her; She had started a center, and they have given her the same treatment that they gave me, so she felt let down.

They are also going down to San Francisco, (the Dickinson bunch and Rosenburg group) and try to win all the Sufis to the Fazal group, or their own. It is to be the 20th of June, so be on the alert.

I wish your prayers for Shamcher as he seems to be ill and so tired, and he talks to me as if he would just as soon “go over “ as to stay here. He as been such a help to me, (I do not know if I could have born the”: gaff” without him.) He really needs special prayers, and I know you think of him as I do, an indispensable person, we do not want to be without while he be on earth.

I have told Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht, of 24015 19th Ave., Bothell, Washington of you and your work, so she wishes to have you come to their center when it to going good. Also, Vilayat. Shamcher and I are very happy that she is so happy over being, able to contact us.

Wishing you the very best, I remain

Your true friend,




April 26, 1969


My dear Sitara:

I am dictating this to Mansur my esoteric secretary. He has just copied the Sufi Thoughts. It is sadly remarkable that many persons after taking bayat forget these as being elementary. They are to some of us quite fundamental, and it, a wonderful to find the young people practicing, “Draw us closer to Thee, every moment of our lives,” as in Saum.

One had just received a favorable letter from Shamcher. Now you have asked us to pray for him, just as he has asked us to pray for you. In a little while the dancing class will start. We have ceremonials based on spiritual practices, and this includes a use of Ya Shaffee Ya Khaffee. What we are doing is putting into practice the psychic teachings drawn from the Gathas. They are most effective. In fact, we have through our ritual done a considerable amount of instant healing, though that is not the prime reason for our immediate work.

Mansur, my secretary, may be leading a cortege or caravan to Colorado this year to join Vilayat. Praise be to Allah money has been provided and more than provided for this affair.

Please do this practice: with tasbih (beads) 101 times Ya Haya wa Khayyoum. This was given me by my living spiritual teacher. It has enabled me to work all the time and retain strength, vitality and inspiration.

The other day something funny happened. Mansur and I were having a Chinese lunch. The fortune cookie said that Samuel would go on a long distance business trip. We came to this house immediately after and there was a letter requesting I go to New Mexico. It required an immediate answer. The next reply from them will determine when I may go to New Mexico. Once this is out of the way, we can determine when I should visit Seattle. As the weather in Seattle is “easy” for me, the time for my visit does not matter in this regard.

Mansur is going to New Mexico himself shortly, and on his return will arrange the cortege or caravan for Vilayat in Colorado.

Praise to Allah, everything is going better today in all directions than at any time in life. I shall always be glad to hear from you and cooperate in every way possible.





410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

May 11, 1969


Margaret Leach,

330 E. Liberty Drive

Wheaton, Ill. 60187


Beloved One of God:

In the enthusiasm for the Summer Camp the key-stone of the Arch has been forgotten and I beg you with all my heart to put in that keystone which is God (Allah.) Please do not confuse the God (Allah) with traditions of solemnity, over-sobriety, parenthood and sin—that is a fabricate concept whose day of usefulness is over.

It might be better to accept the Indian Sat-Chit-Ananda, Being-Consciousness­-Bliss but not these words as words; only these words as indicator of the awakening of heart. We are the most un-solemn group of Sufi-Sufis in the world. I say Sufi-Sufis because those who are Sufis by tradition and dictionary definition recognize us. But today, and especially in America, any group can take any title, get it recognized legally and do anything without regard to the traditions of other peoples.

We may have a station wagon, we may have a caravan and we are going to unload on you problems for which you are not the least prepared:

a. Non-mureeds or new mureeds who have never had devotional training.

b. People who are sickly and can hardly walk, much the less climb.

c. Those not used to high altitudes.

d. Those not used to meditation and silences.

e. People over 28.

f. Those with infants.

g. Etc.

Now this person is a veteran not only in the spiritual life but in the outdoors, in forestry living, and has been at least twice in the Himalayas which is much more important in the consciousness of Americans than a hundred experiences in God-realization; or is it?

Please do not confuse us with the sober traditions of this or any other people. We have started on careers of Spiritual walk, Spiritual Dance, Spiritual ceremonies and the re-awakening of mystical and esoteric sciences. But our keynote is God (Allah), and I beg of you to emphasize this and not forgot it.

We want to cooperate, but we want to cooperate for a divine purpose.


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti


P.S. While you are preparing and having your summer camp the enemies of Vilayat are preparing to convene here in San Francisco.


Sufi Order

6904 Radford Avenue

No. Hollywood, Ca. 91605

May 14, 1969


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis

The enclosed “Notice of Meetings” is being sent to all Leaders and voting members of Sufi Order.

Although the business proposed for these meetings is largely routine and organizational in nature, Pir Vilayat will be present for the Meetings and for informal discussions with members after the official business is concluded. If possible you may want to attend the meetings in person and you will be most welcome. Otherwise we will appreciate your giving your proxy to one of the members who will be present. I will send you later a Proxy Form, and list of those expected to be present.

With kind regards and sincere wishes for your increasing success

Cordially yours,

Suzanne D’Mitrieff, Secretary.



Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti          

May 17, 1969


Suzanne D’Mitrieff

Secretary Sufi Order

6904 No. Hollywood, Calif. 91605


Beloved One of God:

Your letter of the 14th announcing a meeting for June has been received and will be shown shortly first to Mansur Johnson, the esoteric secretary, and then to others. Mansur is about to leave here shortly, and will return later to participate in the session of the International School for Meditation directed by Pir Vilayat in Colorado.

At the moment there is some enthusiasm for this session and it becomes a question of who is available to come to North Hollywood.

We are now in a position to give full cooperation, both because of our constantly growing movement and my own (at least) better financial position. But also my aides, Mansur and Daniel Lomax are both in much better positions today, praise to Allah.

At the moment I have nine sessions a week in this general area. With all love and blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis


PO Box 867

Bothell, WA 98011

May 20, 1969


Dear “Sam Lewis,”

Hardly know how to address you or what to say but compelled to come here and write to you even before I finish “The Inner Life.” Shamcher gave me many things that come from you and it hurts to think that from July last until February I was in Menlo with my Mother (who was dying of cancer) (At that time was still trying to wait out in hopefulness help from the group in Seattle.) You made many things clear to me and remembering that all of this is new to me (2 years in July) feel that I learned more from your material that I have in this time. May I see you when I go down again?

Vilayat will be staying here at the house for a few days after his Colorado camp session. Do hope that he will find things as he would like them. At this time would like to tell you that at Any Time if you are in the area I would be most honored and flattered if you would stay here. We are quite a ways out but really only 16 miles from the center of the city. There is little that I can do to repay you for all this material, was a year with nothing new at all and lost members, etc, etc. Long story but all of it past and perhaps necessary to spark me to give others the chance it seemed I could not even get for myself.

Sitara and Shamcher have been so good to Jerry and me, poor Sitara needs our prayers, the hurt from last year nearly broke her health. We were out there Sunday for healing Service.

Think that, we have the beginnings of three centers started in the Seattle area(counting this one) Doing things a little differently and feeling most inadequate, but doing the best I can.

Most Sincerely,

Hamidan/Charlotte Brautlacht


Shamcher says “Sam Lewis” all in one breath, so tell me what I should call you.



May 23, 1969

410 Precita, SF 94110


Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothwell, Wash. 98011


Dear Hamidan:

This is written on official stationery just to show the spiritual names. One is usually called “Murshid” or SAM here but in the Orient mostly “Sufi Sahib.” One is also being called more and more, “Dr. Lewis.” One is not particularly attached or detached from names.

Now we are very busy here, all the time, seven days and six nights a week and it is only human egotism that requests one to change for there is constant good health and a strong feeling of Divine Guidance. Shortly one must write a letter in regard to a meeting in North Hollywood called by Vilayat whether this person goes, or a legate or a committee. Ordinarily this would be easy but we also have to arrange for a car or entourage to join him in Hollywood.

Both the esoteric secretary and financial secretary now have outside jobs and the involvements are of such a nature that each is fulfilling his purpose of life in this which leaves one terribly short-handed, although there are signs this will change. We are getting the Gathas, Series II ready for you and have asked if you could list what papers you have there. We are missing some Githas here.

Vilayat expects to be in San Francisco on June 12 but we may not cooperate in this meeting as it would interfere with our programs. But his “official” visit on July 2nd is especially welcome. There were almost a hundred people at the last Wednesday night meeting, the largest yet. And the total number of persons has now approached some 200, which is more than one man can handle efficiently.

Yes both Sitara and Shamcher show all the positive spiritual signs.

I am expected in New Mexico in August and my plan for the Fall is not yet made. It also may depend on Vilayat’s visit. All kinds of things are happening and we are now witnessing the day when “The Message spreads far and wide.” God bless you

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



410 Precita, SF 94110

May 24, 1969


Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Bedford Ave.

No. Hollywood, Calif. 91605


Beloved One of God:

Today I received some materiel in regard to the “Sufi Order Constitution” and the general plans of Pir Vilayat. Last week a personal let or came urging that I come in person to the meeting in June, or else send a delegate with power of attorney. I as unable at this time to determine exactly what I may do, excepting to give full and absolute cooperation to Pir Vilayat.

I am again working full time seven days in the week with hardly a night free, but am in the best of health and do not face any financial difficulty. We have been giving some attention to the Colorado camp. Mansur may be calling on you either en route to New Mexico or on return.

One has to ask some advise, or rather share with you. If one came by plane or train there would be the question of where to stay, etc. If we came by car this would not be a problem because I know several very reasonable hotels in Hollywood where we could stay and which would also have access to restaurants I know quite well. I do not know whether this would be a good idea or not. But in any case it is necessary to know exactly what hours will be needed for meetings—morning, afternoon or night and on which days.

I was in the confidence of Hazrat Inayat khan in regard to constitutions but all that materiel was either fraudulently seized or destroyed in a fire some years ago. I am hesitating to make any proposals or suggestions either on memory or precept. Vilayat has made some rather “revolutionary” departures, and this is entirely in accord with the teachings. I shall not act as a brake.

In addition to that I was officially initiated at Ajmir in India in 1956, and have had other official initiations and ordinations in the Chisti Order, but these would have nothing to do, presumably, with any legal steps that might be taken.

What has happened is exactly as seen in the visions when Pir Vilayat was here, the growth from 30 to 60 mureeds and now from 60 to 100. This has been accompanied by the reappearance of several recalcitrants, but now the total audience per week is about 200 persons. One does not know how long this will continue but it is making imperative the official ordination of at least two Khalifs and perhaps other spiritual assistants and associates.

In addition we have control of a paper called The Oracle and I have been personally approached by several young editors and am behind in every department of my work on account of the absence of secretarial assistance. But for this an organization is really imperative.

Following the copy of extracts there will be a quest on as to how many “local centers” we should have, and at what membership. One may act in several different ways. I personally was given the work of esoteric secretary by Hazrat Inayat Khan (but not permitted to function) and also to spread the Message to the intellectuals. This last is now proceeding very nicely indeed. The main obstacle is the existence of pseudo-mystics and the awkward problem of some associations with pseudo-mystics. This item can either by be-passed or faced to the full but I can assure you that a number of professors of Oriental and Western philosophies both have become most suspicious of pseudo-mystics and are on record today.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita, SF 94110

May 30, 1969


Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave.,

North Hollywood, 91605


Beloved One of God:

Recently a letter was written asking exactly what times meetings will be held in your house when Pir Vilayat is here. At the moment this person works seven days a week and is fortunate to have a free evening, though that is very seldom.

A personal letter was received from Pir Vilayat asking me to come to North Hollywood in June and also to bring such associates as might be important. I had in mind the Khalif Designate Moineddin Jablonski. But there may also be Philip Davenport, author of The Oracle, a new publication which is making rapid strides in this region.

No doubt Vilayat has in mind that I was the confidante of his father in matters pertaining to organization. Hazrat Inayat Khan spent long hours both in 1923 and in 1926 on these matters. What he said was rejected—it is only egotism that rejects. It is hoped that we can work in spirit in the real Sufi manner.

This person happens to be one of the few Americans who was designated as a sufi by Sufis. It comes out of spiritual realization. And today that is being reflected in the rather rapid and successful growth of the Movement in these parts with overtones elsewhere.

I was officially appointed in 1923 but the papers have long since been lost and legal groups, using the term “Sufi” have not accepted this. Our work is with God and toward God in God-realization. When anything else is put above it or even alongside of it, there is a question of blessing and success. The words “Love” and “Harmony” and “Beauty” are raucous noises unless they are applied with full meaning.

God bless you,

Samuel L. Lewis



June 6, 1969

Suzanne D’Mitrieff


Mr. Samuel Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California


Dear Friend:

The enclosed Proxy is what Pir Vilayat had in mind as “power of attorney” and delegating someone in your place in his letter to you dated May 16 of which I received a copy. You return the proxy form to me before June 15 only in case you would be unable to attend the meetings in person. No one else can come in your place.

At the Trustees’ meeting last January plans were discussed and approved for organizing the Branches in various cities and it was expected that this could be accomplished by April 1, but the time was too short. The by-laws require that notice be mailed 30 days prior to the date of the meeting. When Mr. Ingebretsen, our legal counsel and Trustee met Pir Vilayat in London last April they agreed that, for the time being and to meet the requirement, Pir Vilayat would simply send a letter of recognition to each Leader thereby establishing that person as a voting member. This he did.

Until Charters are issued you are the only voting member from your Center entitled to attend the meeting. I do not have the application forms mentioned in his letter to you (last 2 paragraphs) so nothing can be done until Pir Vilayat gets here, concerning the formalities involved. This applied to the other Branches as well whose Leaders have been recognized and who already have indicated they will not be able to attend the meetings. It appears that the Members’ and Interstate council meetings will not be important and likely of short duration, in view of the absence of every one excepting you, if you decide to come. The meetings were called in strict observance of the By-laws of the Sufi Order Corporation. I asked Pir Vilayat in a telephone conversation last Wednesday if Bhakti or Jalelah would be allowed, as prospective leader, but he said that I would have to refer the matter to our legal Counsel. He is out of town and will not be back until June 14. We have a retreat scheduled at San Jacinto June 14-15 and will be very late returning home on Sunday night. Or early Monday Morning.

The meeting is called for 2 p.m. on June 16, as you will see by the proxy I am sending herewith. Immediately following the Members’ meeting, the Board of Trustees will proceed with their annual business meeting which we expect will take the rest of the day and possibly evening. This meeting is limited to the three trustees mentioned in the proxy and includes of course, Pir Vilayat, the president. I know of no hotel in this residential area and my home is not easily reached by public conveyance.

With very kindest regards


Suzanne D’Mitrieff



Know All Men By These Presents:

That I, a Voting Member of Sufi Order, a California corporation, and a member of the Interstate Council thereof, appoint Suzanne D’Mitrieff, Pierre Crosby, or James C. Ingebretsen or any one of them, as my lawful proxies with full powers of substitution, to act and vote for me on all matters as fully as I would be entitled to if personally present, at the following Meetings and at any adjournments of said Meetings, namely: 1969 Annual Meeting of the Voting Members of Sufi Order, to be held at 6904 Radford Ave., North Hollywood, California, at 2 P.M. Monday, June 16, 1969; and 1969 Annual Meeting of the Interstate Council to be held at 4 P.M. on the same day and at the same place.

I hereby ratify and confirm all that my said proxies or any one of them, may lawfully do in the premises.

Witness My Hand this____day of__________1969




Note: Pir Vilayat has suggested that if you are not going to be present at the Meetings, he would prefer that you give your Proxy to any one, or all of the above California Voting Members (each of whom is an Officer of the Order itself, and of a local Branch), rather than to him. You may, of course, name any other Voting Member you’re sure will be present (in which case, scratch through the names above, interline your choice and initial it. Please return at once so we may be sure of a quorum. Thank you.

Suzanne D’Mitrieff

Secretary of the Order



410 Precita, SF 94110

June 6, 1969


The Secretary,

“Fazal Manzil”

23, Rue De La Tuilerie

Suresnes, Seine


Beloved One of God:

Thank you for your note. One realizes that Pir Vilayat has a crowded schedule, but also this person has a crowded schedule. There is a whole New age here and for some of us this is not a more emotional upsurge, but a total change which is found in the Sphere itself. It is almost forty-six years to a day since the first long interview with Hazrat Inayat Khan and yesterday saw a marvelous manifestation of what he wanted—the mystical teachings presented to important intellectuals.

This move has been going on more and more rapidly recently at a very time when the leaderless young of this area are turning to this person. Returning from the Orient in 1962 one found the same stone walls, and then after a strange illness things change and still change.

We are putting into practice; “Say: Allah and Allah thou will become.” One has a large and growing following and there is a necessity to organize. And particularly so because one has been called to visit other states, and write more articles. The Brotherhood of Man to which one was especially dedicated does not form from special leadership, narrow nationalisms and even less from seclusions by human ego. God (Allah) is in All and All in Him. And God is Love, Mercy, Compassion and Wisdom and not any concept of human beings, though the concepts are not necessarily wrong.

When Vilayat comes here on 2nd July we should have a large meeting of disciples as well as of non-disciples. We have completed what was requested when he was here before.

Love and blessings,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

(Samuel L. Lewis)



June 30, 1969


My dear Hamidan:

This is a tragic, comic letter written in haste. Yesterday my Khalifa and God-daughter, Miss Saadia Khawar Khan reached this city for a short visit, and we took her to the Meeting presided over by Fazal. It was tragic. At the end we did a little chanting and a stranger said, “Why didn’t you do that earlier, to put some life into this meeting?”

About half the audience was composed of my young followers and many of the older people were also friends and associates. The general feeling was that it was a funeral service! There was no life of any kind.

We meet here tonight but tomorrow night we shall try to attend Fazal’s lecture. It is a rush-rush all the time. Saadia put on a fashion show of Pakistani clothes and then attended the first part of the Dervish dances at Novato (the Khankah.)

The news from Colorado is uniformly favorable in every respect and we are awaiting Pir Vilayat. There is also now a leading scholastic authority on Sufism (Dr. Syed Hussain of Tehran) who may be here soon.

There are several with deep vision among the disciples and what they “saw” can hardly be reported. It is tragic indeed how this young man who has never either studied or faced life should dare to present himself, or have himself presented to the public as a “leader” among Sufis. Why, the recent President of India, the late Dr. Hussein was a Sufi and he never dared to say or do what this unfortunate young man has tried.

Love and blessings

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti


Thanks for the Material. There is growing love and enthusiasm for the Pir among my disciples.


Charlotte Brautlacht

P.O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash 98011

July 13, 1969


Dear Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti,

That is a lot of name—and speaking of names Pir Vilayat gave me further imitation and changed my Sufi name to Atiya. I am not too sure what it means yet but he said he would write and tell me later. Everyone here loved him and many were reduced to tears of pure joy. It was a most beautiful meditation here at the house and we had 46 here which was about all we could hold in the living room and hall. I recorded this not as well as could be done another time as we have a better “mike” now but the tape from the unity church is wonderful. Oh yes, tapes—could you and would you record some of the chants and music of your wonderful group for us if we furnish the tapes? I do not have any of the things that we would like to have to give our people here. The group at Dickensons was very “long-faced” and my un-long one didn’t somehow fit into things especially—well it just isn’t a pretty story or really worth telling so will not bother, your “chants” and Dances sound most wonderful. Shamcher tells me you have wonderful old musical instruments too—would you tape some of these wonderful things for us who have not had the chance to hear things like this?

When I get down there to settle my mother’s estate may I visit your group? Could we see some of these dances and perhaps learn some. There is a real feeling of dance in the Sufi prayers (at least it feel’s this way to me.)

About Fazal: he is very young and in spite of everything I am sorry for him. It has gone to his head and he has had very very bad advice, he has used people badly but feel he is being urged to do this. Had this happened to him in 20 years after study and perhaps the teaching of one like Pir Vilayat—such a waste.

The Unity Church is going to allow us to use their chapel for our universal worship and brotherhood meetings, this gives you an idea of how impressed they were with Pir Vilayat. Isn’t it wonderful?

Many many thanks for your letter

Atiya (formerly Hamidan)


P.S. Your letter dated 6-30 and went astray, came today.



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

July 15, 1969


Charlotte Brautlacht,

P. O. Box 867,

Bothell, Was. 98011


Beloved One of God:

Thank you for your letter of the 13th. Yes, the former letter was addressed wrongly and so was slow reaching you.

Yesterday I gave the list of Sufi names, some with meanings to one of the disciples and has been misplaced. But Atiya was the name of my host in U.S.E. who used to translate for me while I was living in Cairo.

When Hazrat Inayat Khan came to this country in 1911 he travelled with Ruth St. Denis who danced and several of his first talks were on “Yoga Dances.” Receiving the spirit from each of these personalities, so to speak we are now putting them into operation. And especially since Miss Ruth died that spirit has descended in full force. In fact Vilayat has sent far one of the disciples to carry these dances elsewhere.

The way Fazal acted here and permitted his group to act would give one the right to at least citizen’s arrest. I kept quite at the time. There were too few people present. The young people were mostly mureeds and at least half the elders old friends. It was not worth a disturbance, but the way the tern “Sufi” is used, or rather abused and misused could bring open trouble some day.

It is most difficult for one to carry on. There is no regular secretary. The whole burden is on these hands and unwittingly those closest to one took on other burdens, too. And we have been compelled to meet one emergency after another. For example Vilayat, my God-daughter, Fazal, Guru Nataraj and Swami Chidanananda Maharaj all descended upon us within a week, and this person cannot see his way even to a half-day a week off.

The first steps have been taken for a new dance-secretary-and now another disciple is coming here especially to learn and this will take more time from a person who has none.

Pir Vilayat did not do any outside speaking here. We have a good group and Peter Vanderlinden brought some friends and this quite filled our hall without any advertising—there were over a hundred dancing!

I shall take this letter up with those concerned with the dance techniques but there is a danger of overlooking Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teaching and also the basic Sufic teaching from which they came. One has to be careful, but there is no doubt that the original message to Hazrat Inayat Khan was: “By the power of thy music, unite east and west.”

Please let us know beforehand when you maybe coming. We do not have much spare room here in San Francisco, but we do have plenty at the Khankah most of the time. And you will certainly will be welcome.


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Suzanne D’Mitrieff

July 26, 1969


Mr. Samuel Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California


My dear friend

As always, your nice letter is appreciated. And I am happy to answer.

At present, as you know, Pir Vilayat is in Colorado and he will go from there to Seattle for one day, planning to be with you in San Francisco July 2. From where he will leave to return here July 3. He is due to fly in on P.S.A. On a flight leaving San Francisco 1:40 p.m. and arriving here, if on time, 2:25 p.m. He has a lecture at East-West Center that night at 8 P.M. I can easily understand how much you would like to have him for a longer visit.

It seems that Fazal, by accident or design, is preceding him in about every city that Pir Vilayat is scheduled to be. They were in N.Y. on the same day and will be in Dallas also on the same date. He seems eager to get support and establish himself. Still, he is a usurper of a title to which he has no right.

In reference to the books, I cannot give you definite information as to the procedure until after we terminate the Trustees’ meeting, which was adjourned to July 6 at San Jacinto. Since the Branches in various cities will soon be organized, to be autonomous, a regular pattern will be set up for the handling of books, printed lectures etc … It will be simplified as much as possib1e, for bookkeeping purposes and swift delivery of the stock. I shall relay all pertinent information on this issue as soon as possible and cooperate with you in every way.

It was a pleasure meeting you and your very nice disciples. Those young people are eloquent testimony to the wonderful work you are doing.

With sincerest good wishes


Suzanne D’Mitrieff



August 3, 1969


Dear Murshid Samuel,

This is the machine that is being used to type up the Memo on succession for Vilayat. Because this must be done at this time, your so wonderful invitation must be passed up at least until this is finished. As I told you before there is limited us use of a Xerox machine and at this time will be using all of my allotted pages for this material.

When this is complete I will list the Gatha Series II I have and you will then know which we do not have. At that time you will be sent all of the copies of the very old “Instructions for Cherags” that came from Shamcher. There are many things incomplete but so much more than was within reach before.

Yesterday, in the beautiful chapel at Unity Church in Seattle we had our first really public Universal Worship. There was no camera but a picture should have been taken, even the carpet is of golden color, the flowers were already there and golden hued. We lacked only our hanging lamp and will have it next time I’m sure. Permission have been given for our Service the first Sunday each month—such a beautiful answer to prayer.

It is so good to know that after all of our problems we have found so many “beautiful people” and doors have swung wide at each step. Shafayat grows stronger each day and my son George (no Sufi name yet) is working with him on healing each day. So many need his prayers and healing that flows through his hands.

Shamcher looks so well we are so grateful,

Most Sincerely,



Charlotte Brautlacht

Bothell, Wash. 98011

August 9, 1969


Dear Wali Ali,

Think it would be wonderful to have a visit from Murshid S.A.M. which is a rather different way of writing out his long Sufi name—Good idea. Does he realize that this is really out in the country, close to the city (17 miles from Seattle) and about 1 1/2 miles to the village? Vilayat really liked it out here, and I was very bossy and saw that he did get time to be by himself and recoup a little after Colorado—He was still going strong but his body was much too tired—-He really needed that little bit of rest he got here.

I have finished the first draft of those papers for Vilayat and finding so many “goofs” that must be fixed, thank heaven this is a paste-up type of thing. Think that Shafayat and I will see Shamcher this afternoon unless his sister arrives. We must take a ferry from here as we do not have bridges as you do down there. Otherwise we could see him more often.

Oh yes the name is Atiya and there is still the mystery of what it means. No one seems to be quite sure and Pir Vilayat didn’t say, just that the name Hamidan was terrible and not for me. If you find out what it means how about a clue.

Do let me know when we can expect him and what plans if any he would like me to make for him. Here again he does realize we are a very small group and not yet very knowing about many things?

September is one of the nicest times in the Pacific Northwest. August just isn’t the time to come here too humid and hot. Today is a “cooker” and everyone else is asleep.

The New Mexico trip sounds like, quite an adventure. They are so lucky to have him for so long a time. Do let us know now as quickly as you can.

As ever,




410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

August 25, 1969


Charlotte Brautlacht. P.O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


Dear Atiya:

One has before one your letter of the 9th addressed to Wali Ali. Thank you for the information. The plan is to leave here on September 13—and one just remembers that is Hejirat Day, the anniversary of the departure of Hazrat Inayat Khan from Indian in 1910!

The situation is this: One needs a vacation and would like to travel with Mansur Johnson, the esoteric secretary who has his station wagon. This assumes two things: that Mansur will not be working then (he is now;) and that would be a satisfactory way of both travel and welcome. But if this is not satisfaction one will come by plane.

Actually there has been continued action. Two weeks in New Mexico brought the most wonderful response from a whole group down there and a promise of a Summer School next year—limited because of accommodations. Then one had to speak in a neighboring city of Sunnyvale to an audience somewhat more mature in age but astoundingly with the same cordial response. This has never happened before with mature people but is happening now.

One not only had a most wonderful welcome from mureeds but yesterday one was astounded by the number of new faces joining in the chanting and dancing at the Khankah.

There is one policy which I pursue: the smaller the group the more intense the communications. One is therefore not at all concerned with the size of a welcome or of an audience. One even gave the Mountain Climbing practices to the people in New Mexico. Sufism has the answer to a tremendous number of problems. And some day the world will have to accept: “In God we live and move and have our being.”

A copy of this is being sent to Shamcher. With all love and blessing and awaiting your reply.



Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita

San Francisco, CA 94110

September 3, 1969


My dear Atiya:

This is written in the middle of “excitement.” One’s return from New Mexico was greeted by older people for the first time and then things began to happen.

First, my God-daughter, Miss Saadia Khawar Khan of Lahore, Pakistan is there. Besides being my disciple and Khalifa she is also a Chisti Sufi in her own right. Our single and joint efforts have been received gloriously. And this Saturday and Sunday we shall be putting on publicly here the Dervish Dances. The first impetus came from out astrologer friend, Gavin Arthur. But then it took hold.

While this was going on a delegation of young people asked us to take over a Tuesday night program which I shall have to do next week, along with a Pakistani costume display by Saadia. After that she will leave for Cornell, Ithaca and I for the northwest, riding with my esoteric secretary, Mansur Johnson.

The reason for this is that Mansur has been going through a dramatic tragedy and we both need to get away.

In any event we should be in your vicinity well before September 13, Hejirat Day, which is the anniversary of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s departure from India in 1910.

If you can send us a road map, please do so. And at this writing I may even have another disciple but we use the stations wagon for sleeping quarters also and there is no special financial problem at the moment from this end. Our work is expanding complicated by life’s problems. Some of these are very nasty, and some as the above, are very pleasant. Also we are preparing a young disciple to go to India to study the dancing there.

It is also a time of learned inspiration even though a vacation is solely needed. I am only hoping nothing more intrudes. I should prefer to tell than to write.

Love and blessings.




September 8, 1969


Dear Atiya,

I wish to thank you for your letter of the 5th and the map. There has been a slight delay on our departure here. We shall make every effort to be in your vicinity on the 13th, but I am pretty sure, inshallah, we shall have arrived by the 14th. Things are just happening. We put on our first public performance of the Dervish Dances yesterdays and it proved to be very successful, praise to God. We are repeating the performance along with a Pakistani clothes display before a larger audience tomorrow night. As soon as that is over„ we should be on our way. We have to stop at Mount Shasta both going north and south, otherwise there is nothing on my program.

This vacation is badly needed. One has been overworked. The interest in Sufism is growing in many directions. The number of applicants is increasing; also the call for more lectures. It seems to be part of the New Age. I shall have with me Mansur and Saul. We have VW stationwagon and both of them will drive. The date of my departure south is at the moment quite indeterminate depending to some extent on plans you may have initiated. Anticipating a wonderful visit.

With all love and blessing,



910 Railroad Ave.

Novato, Calif. 94947

October 5, 1969


Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave.

North Hollywood, California 91605


My dear Bibijan:

This perhaps is an apology. The chief reason, perhaps the only reason, for not sending you properly signed papers is that it has been impossible for us to get together here. The differences are geographical, social and occupational, and not personal.

I was called upon to visit the state of New Mexico, and so successful was that enterprise that a summer school has been established for me next year. This will not be in competition with anything Pir Vilayat does. It is already a closed group with full registration and mostly people over thirty.

On return here, it became incumbent for my health to take an enforced vacation. It may be difficult for anybody to work continuously 7 days a week, and perhaps especially so for a mature person. I have had exactly half a day off since my return, and that due to the sudden appearance of an old mureed. Even at this writing there is an absolutely filled program covering every day and night at least for the next two weeks.

I am not going to quibble over the constitutions esoteric or exoteric. There is certainly cosmic laughter over the refusal to accept this person as exoteric leader, which has basically nothing to do with the esoteric elements of Sufism, either in tradition or in written documents. It is certain that I am now consultant at local universities on oriental philosophies and mysticism. This is going to come out more and more within institutions in coming days and perhaps thenceforth in life. Perhaps without question I am the first person in the history of the world to have had the divine realization in all three directions indicated in the literature of Hazrat Inayat Khan.

It is very interesting to find that Hazrat Inayat Khan is now known as “the author of the 12 volumes.” It is also interesting to find that non-Sufis accept the very simple fact that I was a disciple of his. Now it is coming out for the next 5 days there is expected to be a conference of all the real or reputed spiritual teachers and movements in this general vicinity. Certainly the audiences are ready even if the speakers and representatives are not. This State was fore-destined to be the locus of the new spiritual age.

All this also may be in preparation for the forthcoming Parliament of Religions to be held in Istanbul next spring. This time, inshallah, I expect to attend in person, and in capacities which a slight honest objectivity would accept. I do know that we are on the verge of a general expansion here, and for this the necessity of signing legal documents. I will therefore try to get some people together, and if one cannot show up another’s name will be appended.

On the surface, the chief obstacle in our way has been the necessity for a number of disciples to move, change their addresses etc. This of itself bodes no danger. On the contrary, I think it means the establishment of more spiritual centers etc.

Our methods in general follow those of the Sufis of the Chisti schools. I am sorry, and perhaps in connection with this, that a visit to Southern California has become difficult. I shall keep you informed both of the results of these two endeavors mentioned herein and others. In addition to this, my poetry, almost universally rejected in the past, is being given serious consideration within “the halls of ivy.”

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



Dolphin Enterprises, Inc

318 SW 102nd Street

Seattle, WA 98146

October 12,1969


Dear Sam:

I wish to thank you for your visit and the comfort and pleasure it gave me. You are one of the luckiest men in the world to have two such wonderful young men helping you. Mansur, one of the best secretaries I ever met. He can write your letters perfectly as you give the words you wish, and without dictation. Paul, one of the best in helping you with your health. He is superb. I enjoyed every minute of your stay.

I wish you also would write to Charlotte Brautlacht, as she thinks a lot of you, too. We all enjoyed your visit. Too, I enjoyed the beautiful dog. I think he is “tops,” too.

I also am still enjoying the vegetables. They are also “tops.”

I surely hope you will honor us again with your visits. You are always welcome at my home.

Too, your talks or your sermons were wonderful. Shamcher thinks you are A-1 too.

By all means keep up your good work. I think, as many others, that you are doing a truly amazing work. And with your young people who are the ones who will carry on when we are in the Beyond.

Gratefully and sincerely,



P.S. Give my very best wishes to Mansur and Saul.



October 15, 1969


My dear Atiya:

You must excuse this person. He has not had a single day off since returning and in going over the schedule, he has a single night, Fridays! It is too much and something has to give. Now Sunday night we have Dharma teaching, Monday night Sufism in San Francisco, Tuesday night poetry class, Wednesday night public meeting in Marin County, Thursday night intermediate and advanced esoteric class; Friday night free and Saturday night dancing class.

The last is now being well attended and although there is a small charge, the income has been more than expected. But the purpose of this income, to pay secretaries, has not fared so well. Mansur has his problems and his opportunities. My San Francisco secretary is occupied variously, so we are gradually putting out calls. And on the whole the combined income of disciples has gone up!

Then we have the call to attend the next Parliament of Religions which is scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, next spring. Mansur in Novato and Wali Ali in San Francisco are occupied with that. But there is now also a growing number of applicants and the possibility of having a study class also in the City of Oakland. This person, as murshid, simply cannot find time for writing, correspondence, lectures and most of all very necessary interviews.

Note must be taken here to have Irfan sent you. If this has been done, the next step. A catalogue of all available papers in being made now. We are putting the applicants to work.

There has been a complete turn in the response to my poetry. Also this person is now the consultant in and for classes on Asian philosophies and modern mysticism. This is a complete reversal from a generation back when we only had Englishman, Europeans and Asians with European educations as “experts” and they certainly made messes of things. All intellect and not too much of that, either, and the young are disgusted with their egocentricities.

Last Wednesday one was given an hour on a big program for all the real or reputed spiritual leaders of the area and came out quite well. This week one is scheduled to face a representative of Meher Baba. One does not know what to say but there are several alleged Avatars and Messiahs now working, and confusing. But they do get publicity and some following.

This weekend there will be a two-day celebration of the birthdays of a disciple and myself, the dancing class here with a special session; and an official gathering of disciples on Sunday about which Murshid is to say nothing, just way. But there is now more to do in both homes, a marvelous spirit. I am sorry however that there is delay in the printing of photographs partly complicated by a series of motor car accidents.

My biggest jobs have been the care of the Garden of Inayat and the commentaries on the writings, and these are so time-consuming, but perhaps rewarding projects. But they do take up time although each, in its own way, has led to an increase of bliss and exaltation.

Fortunately God is, and He does respond as Khatum says and I am to take Saturday as a free day after this week and Sunday as a pliable day. We all feel there will be an increase in our work quantitatively and qualitatively.

 We have the tentative schedule of Vilayat. As matters stand it will be very easy to get him larger audiences than before, without any effort.

We greatly appreciate your courtesies and hospitalities, Mansur was able to see much of the grandeur in parts of this great country which he had never even envisioned before.

Love and blessings from all of us.


Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Samuel L. Lewis


Sufi Order

Seattle, WA. 98133

October 17, 1969


Dear Murshid S.A.M.

Wanted you to be one of the first to see this new paper that Shafayat is making for us here. He is rerunning this new and taking out the typing and using regular type instead. I for one am very pleased with it. The P.O. Box is of course the one we keep to hold down the just plain nosy ones who are not really interested just snoopy. I wrote of it to Vilayat too and hoping he will approve.

Think that your idea of cataloging material you have is wonderful if I can get a little help on the same thing up here we will do the same. Really do try to get as much as I can done but as you know have a family too that takes a good deal of my time. George is in the “U” this year too and not here to kelp as much as he was before.

Hope to hear from Paris soon and have the cut so we can run off some of the material and have it marked with the seal of the Order.

There were over thirty at the service Sunday at the church most were people we had never seen before as most of our people were unable to attend. Am hoping that this is a sign that there is more interest and that things will start moving up here too. The other group (with Fizzle]) have given Sufism a rather twisted reputation up here aid it will take some undoing. They cannot hold the people they attract with the message. It is really a shame as they work very hard,

Hoping that your meeting with the other leaders will be all you hope for. For me it is better not to plan ahead on what needs to be said as it never comes out that way anyway so just speak as the spirit moves me.

Was so pleased to hear from you and that you are giving yourself at least some time to rest. No one should try to go constantly. The tapes we made up here turned out well and very glad to have them. Hoping that my next letter will be on the new paper as well. Will you tell me truthfully what you think of it?





October 24, 1969


My dear Atiya:

Thank you for your letter of the 17th. Your letter-head arrived in good time. Our main problem has been lack of hands and the main reason for this is that so many disciples and applicants have been obtaining paying jobs. In fact Hasan, who lives at the Khankah, took up the matter of establishing our own printing plant even if this involves a whole building. This building can be used for various non-dwelling purposes.

The absence of secretarial help may not be the worst problem but then promises are not readily kept. I have asked about “Irfan” and we have only a single copy here. The one secretary is overworked but very good- natured about it.

The birthday celebration covered two days last week. It was actually a joint affair, for a disciple who has the same day and also on this occasion for a young applicant who is a stranger here. We put on the birthday dance among others. It is an application of the principles of “Dance of Love and Brotherhood” on a much larger scale.

I have never experienced such love and devotion. Excepting my friend, Bill Hathaway, whom Shamcher knows, his lady friend and one single invited friend, all young, about a hundred! A pile of gifts and there must have been excellent food. I stuck just to two or three dishes, my vary favorites. And it was sunny and warm after a storm!

I am glad you have gone ahead. The other people are going nowhere, for they have not the Divine Grace,

 Have had two “fights” on my hands. One with a group which is very modest, calling themselves “World Union.” They have never permitted me to spark on any of the subjects on which I have been trained and when Vilayat appeared cut off the question period. Against them I am supporting The Temple of Understanding started near Washington, D.C. They had a large world conference last year in Calcutta. Vilayat was there. Their next conference will be next Spring and I am hoping to take at least Mansur with we. One feels very good about it.

The other is with the Meher Baba people. They had a speaker at the San Francisco State University last week and I kept very, very quiet. I have been told I may make comments today and am especially using the poetry of Farid-ed-din Attar, real cosmic poetry…. Incidentally the poetry class under the auspices of the University California has accepted what I have offered and there is more to come. So I read last Wednesday and with telling effect.

Yes, will report on your paper. The colors on this one would stand out better on different backgrounds. We have made many Sufi symbols with color harmonies. And incidentally are working on the Pageant of the Symbol in the dancing class. I am sure you will continue to draw from the public, inshallah. Remember me to George and everybody.


Murshid Sam

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti




November 5, 1969


Dear Murshid S.A.M.

Sorry to be so long in sending these things that you wanted right away but since I had your letter I had a note informing me that Vilayat was coming this was news to me so now know what you were talking about if your last letter.

This is some of the paper that Shafayat is printing and does have to make the machines pay for themselves and give him some kind of a living. We want to be able to have all of the materials that Vilayat will need for new Centres as they are started. The prayers are being rerun and improved (the printing of course) we think that legal sized paper will make the thing more useful as well as attractive. All of these thinks cost money and you must realize that George has only a very moderate job, not position. All of the things here have come, because there is a need here for us to do this work, of this I am sure.

These people from the Movement group here in Seattle have started out on me now and guess they will stop at nothing. They have stooped to attack character, mine-Vilayat’s-Shamcher’s, even Sitara, then called her to tell that they would save her from My Evil Ways. We are doing Black Magic, and assorted goodies as well as giving out to the public the Gathas. Well, somehow am not getting very “up-tight” about any of it. So far all these wonderful things that have happened have come almost of themselves—the church, people, the press, etc. and cannot start worry worry thing at this date. When Right is on this side we cannot do anything but go ahead.

Poor Sitara was all upset and it riles me, those cowards, venting their spleen on an old woman who loved them in spite of herself. They called all of the “weaker links” but none of the strong ones. You can bet that Shafayat won’t get called. They called George while I was at the Church Sunday and he was waiting for a Telegram from Vilayat about the arrival time so I could announce the lecture. George is a gentle soul and no match for them. To him all are sweet, good, kind, and loving. This is great, except it just isn’t that way.

Would greatly appreciate your sending the Sangathas and Sangithas that Shamcher sent you all will be returned promptly.




P.S. Material separate cover 2nd class mail. Sent only a few more prayers as they need reprinting.



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

November 8, 1969


Mrs. George Brautlacht

24015 19th Ave.,

Bothell, Wash. 98011


My dear Atiya:

One does not except rapid answer to letters. We all have problems. Here a child was born to the housekeeper, Fatima and Moineddin Jablonski, who are my most advanced mureeds and this has necessitated both hospital absenteeism and visits. The child is most beautiful—actually we have a whole procession of such infants and more coming. The oldest, the child of my goddaughter, Nancy, will be one year old this week. The next, Shireen, has shown remarkable spiritual ability. Her first words were “Allah! Allah!” I have no doubt that saints are coming into manifestation today.

There have also been numerous problems arising out of the Summer Camps, but I think many of them were tests for me, personally, and on the whole they have resulted (with a little drams) in the spiritual elevation of several of the persons concerned. If we had taken these matters literally and analytically the situations would have been awkward. Any fool can be literal and analytical, but there are always unseen and perhaps super-scene factors.

I am enclosing a copy of a letter which shows some of the external situations to be met here. The prediction made in Portland, Oregon, years ago, that the rival churches would disappear and in their place would be a multitude of rival “universal” religions is now coming true. But in this perhaps God also has something to say. My own work is expanding to the limits of capacity, and again I have no free time—an increasing number of interviews and counseling sessions and a slow but steady increase in the totality of persons in the combined audiences.

Tomorrow I am starting my second dancing class, and soon will know how to handle [it] but we are behind in our Gatha instructions. The most advanced have their economic problems, all of which bode favorable futures at present-day sacrifices.

Now Pir Vilayat was agreeable that I use “citizen’s arrest,” etc. in case there are further troubles. As in the case of Meher Baba (among others) the success of the other side always depended on non-publicity, keeping everything in the dark and assuming that there was not enough money and time available for legal action. But this is no longer true and I am personally angry enough at the Fazalites to even jump to Seattle if necessary. This is not only from the person side, but it is time to get Sufism out into the open. It is kept hidden by numbers of selfish people.

The Dervish Dancing is growing in effectiveness and it is real. At the moment anybody can called himself a “Sufi” and get away with it. This destroys definition and we go back to “Alice in Wonderland:” “Why a word means exactly what I mean it to mean, just that and nothing more.” It is ridiculous to have Sufism without God. Even Sufis have said “Sufism” is a lie because the attention is then to “Sufism” and not to God (Allah).

The dancing class proved to be a success somewhat beyond expectations and there will be another class today. The difference is that the Sunday class, being in the daytime, will permit walking. Our basic impetus came from Pir Vilayat and his mention of “The dance of the spheres.” We have started out very well.

I must encourage both your plans and accomplishments regarding papers. There has been some neglect of Gathas and Githas and I do not even have a full set of the latter and other papers. No doubt in turn we should see that legal papers are properly signed but I have not been able to get together at one time the three men who are supposed to sign any legal document. If the dance and other classes continue there will be sufficient funds to help on any office whether in North Hollywood or Suresnes.

“Trust in God” is a wonderful phrase. But we can make it more real and applicable if we seriously take the prayers into account, in particular Khatum. We are also beginning to stress the Gayatri in Vadan and “The Bowl of Saki.”

It is a beautiful today and the mal-predictions about weather have failed. We are also concerned with plans for Christmas, etc. I must write an article, “Jesus Christ versus Santa Claus.”

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

S. A. M.


Sufi Order

November 12, 1969


Dear Murshid S.A.M.,

Have just finished sending out the invitations to the meditation that Vilayat will do here at home the day after his lecture at the church. We plan to get some pictures this time and hope some will turn out. Yesterday we got a key to that beautiful church—an act of faith if I ever saw one. Hope to pack it this time and it is a very large church. Please do not worry about the “Fizzleites” Haven’t managed to get too “up-tight” about any of it. Sitara was quite upset and that is that. One thing they will not tackle me, behind my back perhaps they will say and do many things but not to my face or in my presence. Martin Dickenson and I have had it out a few times in the past and he came in second, he wouldn’t dare risk an audience would hurt his “public image” which is really the only thing he cares about. I’ve known this guy twenty years and the esteem of the public is The Thing–He really isn’t a bad one just an ambitious wife who is a shrew and suffers from many frustrations and delusions of grandeur, who has always made him feel like she was doing him a big favor allowing him to call himself her husband, long story. Not important.

Still haven’t been able to get the complete list on the “papers” that we have here. Takes time and will get finished one day. Our papers were picked up by the Atty. when he was here in Seattle a couple months ago. It was very important in this case that everything be in order so nothing can be said about our legality. We have a very good thing going at the church and cannot afford to have anything out of order. After Pir Vilayat has returned to N.Y I can get back at the task.

The LA office tells me that the symbol on this paper is no longer to be used by the Order only the Movement but surly hope that a new one isn’t needed for the altar, seems like weeks were spent (by me) making this one. It stands as is at any rate until Pir Vilayat says it has to go. (Woe is me!)

An enclosing a clipping from the Times last night, also a picture of our Altar in the chapel. There is a lovely one of Shamcher and me. We are getting a reprint for you, a close up More later—





November 16, 1969

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


Dear Atiya:

Beloved one of God. Thank you for materials sent here. I had better begin by confessing some “sins.” It has taken me a long time to get together the three men to sign the articles of incorporation, and after getting them together and having them signed, it has been misplaced. If we do not find it we may have to ask Bibijan for some other papers.

Actually the overall picture at the moment, reinforced by the news etc. presents a very optimistic picture. My main problem, if you want to call it that, has been to get the esoteric papers as Hazrat Inayat Khan wanted. Between the breaks in the order and the very strange behavior of Mrs. (Murshida) Ivy Duce I have worked short-handed, but still so many requests were wade of me by Hazrat Inayat Khan that one keeps on working incessantly to complete the various missions as he wanted them—corporations or no corporations. But outside the dearth of esoteric papers the negative items are very small.

For example, a group of disciples are working to build a kiln at The Garden of Inayat. As Hazrat Inayat Khan said “The Message is in the sphere.” Without particular conferences so many disciples seem to be seeing so to speak with their third eyes, seeing the same thing, that a great deal of progress has been made without any need for conferences and discussions.

I mention this because on the world scale the same thing is happening with Vilayat’s programs as with my own, that there is almost nothing to be said except cosmic harmony. Out of this much can come, inshallah.

If I have been troubled on one side by the lack of papers, perhaps not too important, I have also been concerned on the other side with the support Bibijan should have clerically and financially, and especially financially. Money is not at the moment, praise to Allah, our serious problem. Clerical help is, etc. We have now a pretty firm nucleus of devoted disciples. I think all those people who went to Colorado last year all are well integrated to and with present programs.

My main adjunct here has been the spiritual dances. Although there are two classes, both are now so full that I shall either have to raise the admission fee for newcomers or start another class. At the moment this is impossible on my program until the end of the year. I attend three classes at the local universities: Poetry, Arabic Culture, and Contemporary Religious Movements. All have taken a most surprisingly and agreeable trend toward universality and spiritual awakening. I do have the same situation with Mrs. Duce as you have with Mr. Dickenson. There have been surprisingly a large number of woman in so-called spiritual movements far more concerned with power and leadership than with inner awakening. No one knows this better than other ladies who themselves have had the wonderful experience. But all of them together are a mere handful contrasted with the growing army of at least partially enlightened young people.

One of the beautiful stories here is my relation with the Christian Father Blighton. I met him years ago when practically all his disciples had left him and he was under attack by a number of prominent society “ladies.” These woman have made it their habit to invade, and annex or try to destroy every new quasi-spiritual movement. I said I would pray for him. At that time he had 6 disciples, 3 of them false; at that time I also had 6 disciples only 3 of whom have withdrawn but thank God not false. He now has a following of about 150. His financial assets have multiplied manifold. But the great thing is that he has had at least 20 cases of enlightenment in the past two months.

More dramatic perhaps was SAM’s reunion with Rabbi Shlomo from Jerusalem. Everybody knows that a Jewish Hassid and Islamic Sufi must be on very bad terms- “it is the order of the day. Fortunately this time there were a number of Sufi students along with Shlomo’s disciples who could witness our mutual love and veneration. Indeed we intend to join him on his return. (The same is true of course of my own relations with spiritual leaders, real spiritual leaders, of several great religions.)

This is all part of a cosmic program which may, inshallah come to fruition next Spring when the leaders of the living religions should be meeting at Istanbul, Turkey. I think in this Hazrat Inayat Khan’s dreams (and also Akbar’s) way be coming closer to external fulfillment.

The symbol of heart and wings is mentioned in the literature. Originally the Order—as distinct from the movement—had other symbols. My main interest at the moment here is that last night we completed our pageant on the symbol. One man takes the part of the star, one woman of the moon or crescent, five or six girls as the heart, and eight men as the wings. The first impression is that these movements do inculcate love, inspiration and power. By this also we seem to be building up a marvelous oneness in the direction of constructing “one single brotherhood in the fatherhood of God.”

Love and blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis



November 18, 1969

Sufism Reoriented

1290 Sutter St.

San Francisco


Beloved Ones of Allah: As-salaam-aleikhum!

Just to tell you that these two enclosures: The Prayer of Repentance, and My Work, Both By Meher Baba will soon be published in The Oracle. They are being reprinted from “Divya Vani”, January 1968.


Wali Ali

Melvin Meyer (Wali Ali)


[handwritten reply on same letter]

Reprinting of these items is not permissible without written consent from Adi K. Irani who is the sole licensee of Baba’s works.

Address: Adi K. Irani

King’s Road

Ahmednagar, M.S., India



November 21, 1969

Mrs. Susanne D’ Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave.

North Hollywood, Calif. 91605


Dear Bibijan:

I am at long last sending you a copy of application, properly signed I hope, by five of us. Naturally, we are very anxious to get going and also anxious to follow through as Pir Vilayat said, leaving legalities to him.

The two problems—if they can be called that—that I have been concerned with are:

The receipt of the proper study papers.

The financial indebtedness either to your office or any other headquarters.

We have already established a bank account separate from others to cover exigencies and emergencies.

At the present time I am definitely overworked but the main reason has been the growth of our efforts, public and private. I think we have now a substantial body of loyal mureeds (disciples).

Can you please send us two copies, or more, of Pir Vilayat’s winter schedule.

Love and blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis


Ignacio Vaccaro

Counselor At Law

11 Park Place

New York 7. N. Y.

November 22, 1969


Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht 24015 19th Avenue

Bothell, Wash.


Dear Madam:

Please be advised that I represent the American Society of the Sufi Movement as General Counsel for all its affairs.

Mr. Dickinson, of the Seattle Center, informs me of your contemplated release to the general public-at-large of confidential material belonging to the Sufi Movement. I must inform you that all such material is copyrighted and remains its exclusive property. Accordingly, you may never publish any Sufi material, whatsoever, to the general public, or otherwise, without the express consent and approval of the Sufi Movement.

Furthermore, your proposed release of Sufi material is a serious breach of trust and a violation of all of the rules and regulations of the Sufi Movement. Since you are a member of said organization and have bound yourself to all of its rules and regulations, you would have no defense in a Court of Law or Equity for violation of a sacred trust, disclosure of confidential information, breach of contract and breach of covenant.

It is to remind you of all of this and to urge that you consider very seriously the consequences of your act, that this letter is written.

I am certain that upon sober reflection, you will have reconsidered, and therefore am suggesting that you do the following:

1). Immediately upon the receipt of this letter surrender and return all Sufi material in your possession or control, as well as any copies thereof, to Mr. Dickinson.

2). That you reaffirm in writing not to reveal, publish, disclose directly or indirectly, the confidential matters entrusted to you by the Sufi Movement.

The aforesaid declaration should be forwarded to my attention and a copy thereof delivered to Mr. Dickinson within five days after receipt of this letter.

However, you are also further advised that in the event of your failure to do so, I shall proceed with all steps necessary to protect the rights of my client in this matter.

Kindly judge yourself accordingly.

Very truly yours,

Ignacio Vaccaro



Sufi Order

November 24, 1969


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California


Dear Samuel:

This will acknowledge receipt of the application for recognition of your Branch in San Francisco. I do not yet have instructions for forwarding the Certificate of Recognition but I assume that this formality will come in due time after the next meeting of the Board of Trustees which be held next January while Vilayat is in California.

I have enjoyed and appreciate all your recent letters which keep this Office informed about your activities, plans and other very interesting news. I have had much correspondence lately relative to Pir Vilayat’s November tour and I hope you will forgive my long delays in writing to you.

We are preparing our local program and as soon as it comes off the press I shall send you some copies. The long-promised instructions and monthly bulletins will soon be available. I have just received a sample of the format. The material will be issued from Europe, the binders were purchased in Germany and probably have been shipped by surface mail to this office. I do not have the rest of the details.

As for the other question in your letter regarding the financial obligation of the Branch to the Order, I am sure that this information will soon be forthcoming. It won’t be long now until Pir Vilayat will be with us all in person.

With best wishes for a very Happy and inspiring Thanksgiving




Sufi Order

November 26, 1969


Dear Murshid S.A.M.

The copy of the letter enclosed will explain itself. I have a receipt for the material that the Movement sent me. Somehow I’m just not “Uptight” about it but turning the matter over to the Order’s attorney—as well as my own. I’m getting a little tired of all this.

Am sending a copy to Suzanne and wish that wasn’t necessary. These things bother her a great deal. Have you had this sort of thing, what did you do? Somehow I know these people will be the ones who will destroy themselves.

Pir Vilayat will be here Monday and hoping that by that time I will have heard from my atty. But really doubt it because of the holiday. Nice timing on the part of some people, but it is not going to change a thing. He has had so much of this kind of thing.

Really not in a mood to chatter as this annoyed me at a time when there are so many things that must be done. Oh yes, Pir Vilayat will lecture at the “U of W” and this is something that “Fizzle” would never be asked to do.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers although I know right is on our side.




P.S. Sending Mansur’s manuscript back to him separately—Shamcher let me read it. Oh yes, it is the Sangithas that we want back once you have copied.



November 29, 1969


Dear Murshid S.A.M.

Just a note on a scrap of Jerry’s paper; Just talked to Shamcher and he was not too happy about my telling you of the letter because he was afraid you would try to take some of it into your own hands and this is not what he wants done. I was pretty irritated for a while but it doesn’t really matter. Pir Vilayat will be here tomorrow or at latest the next day and he can make the final word. I have meanwhile turned the whole thing over to the attorneys and I do not intend to back off until I have scared the squeaks out of their pockets. It gets old always being on the receiving end of a lot of nasty talk. It will be taken care of and Mr. Dickenson too will be put into the proper place, depend on it. I’ll keep you posted as things transpire—and do not feel worried God is on our side so we cannot fail.




P.S. Sent a copy of that letter to the women in Holland!! without comment.



November 30, 1969

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


My dear Atiya:

This is really a diary entry. A copy is being sent to Bibijan in North Hollywood. She has been kind enough to send me copies of Pir Vilayat’s schedule. As matters stand we shall have to get a hall. we have not enough room in any of our ordinary meeting places. We may however be able to obtain room at the Seminary in San Anselmo where we meet every week; and unless there is a change in schedule there, will be an ersatz audience at San Francisco State College, without doing anything at all, However, it will be a very very easy matter to do something, inshallah.

I do not have any days off any more and seldom even an hour, but this is a comedy rather than a tragedy, so do not weep.

We are rapidly completing our kiln at the Khankah. The cost of the electric and gas lines to the kiln will also be shared by Hasan Herz, a professional printer who has his equipment there. But Hasan is now working at the New Age Food Company, sellers of organics, etc., which is prospering so rapidly the owner is hardy able to control his own schedules. Incidentally, they are now selling Dolphin’s Eye Drops.

I have talked to Hasan about the proper coordination of our mutual efforts, especially as he is also interested in getting modern machine duplicating devices. He has agreed to coordinate with any program you institute.

On account of the Thanksgiving Holiday I had one day’s respite this week, but on this Sunday expect a very full dancing class. The latest inspiration has been to institute Dervish square dancing based on a combination of the elements of American squares while reciting suitable sacred phrases. It was started on Thursday with 8 people from the Khankah, and our treasurer Daniel Lomax who is a musician. It has already engendered much enthusiasm but this letter will be mailed before I can make out another report. However, I shall keep you informed so that Vilayat will know what we are doing.

I have also received a long paper from Ajmir in India on Dervish dancing which went from Turkey to Durban, South Africa, to Ajmir, to this place! It is possible that this may be published in The Oracle. I am also very busy getting out articles for The Oracle. And a lot more which will be reported later.

Love and Blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis ( S.A.M.)



December 1, 1969

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

24015 19th Avenue

Bothell, Wash.


My dear Atiya:

“Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people.” I am sending a copy of this to Bibijan in North Hollywood. I think Vilayat will understand what I am trying to do. We have a verbal agreement, made in Bibijan’s house, and I think there were witnesses, that Samuel should have a degree of spiritual freedom and that legal matters should be in Vilayat’s hands. Even if my ego wished otherwise, I am so absolutely snowed under with work, that it would be impossible to change it, nor do I intend to change it, unless he asks me to.

This all comes out of the refusal of sundries to accept my reports of the meetings between Hazrat Inayat Khan and myself at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1926. Our first Pir-o-Murshid wished me to study all his documentaries and to act as a sort of “defender of the message.” This was neither acceptable nor accepted. It is almost tragically amusing, or if you will ironic, that this should happen among people who verbalize “To thee we give willing surrender.”

In the meetings held in 1925 and 26 amongst much discussion and hostilities, every effort was made to clarify the differences between the Sufi Movement and the Sufi Order. The Sufi Order is for disciples, disciples who have gone through a Bayat—sometimes called initiation sometimes not. The Sufi movement has three branches. One become a member of the Sufi Movement either by payment of a fee or by some voluntary act. A person become a member of the Sufi Order by a solemn vow based on the phrase “God alone was the founder of Sufism.”

I have protested, and will continue to protest against any assumption on any grounds whatsoever that a legal organism has spiritual validity. There is a lot of material in both “The Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty” some changed in later issues some not. This is public property. Mr. Vaccaro has no more right for his contentions than to demand a legal authority over the use of either the word “God” or the word “Allah.” The term “Sufi” appears in the Encyclopedia of Islam. It has been used for centuries. There is no way I know by which anybody calling himself a Sufi on any grounds whatsoever can validate this by any kind of agreement with a legal organization. The very basis from which this attorney proposes he has authority is more ridiculous than false. He is almost contending that no one has a right to prayer without seeking some sort of legal sanction. The main thing I am concerned with here is that Vilayat has been put to trial in a career full of trials. If this shyster attempts to use the words “love, harmony, and beauty” he will be laughed out of court. Perhaps this is also illegal. Of course I am ready, but I am ready both to arm or disarm, whichever brings about the greatest harmony and effectiveness.

At this moment I am absolutely and unconditionally for you and with you.

With all love, prayers, and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



December 16, 1969

Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave

North Hollywood, Ca.


Bibijan Beloved One of God:

There are several matters to be taken up here. I expect to give Bayat to at least five persons before the end of the year. These people have been working for us instead of paying the expected Bayat fee, but it also happens that both attendance and collections have gone up. We have a fairly operative Sufi Order bank account and are able to pay Daniel a modest sum from it. But I am always concerned with operations of the Movement and Order and two things which I am almost harping about:

a. our receipt of Githas and Sangathas

b. our payments to you and/or the headquarters in Suresnes for services rendered

There is also another matter which I think should be clarified, and that is the inclusion of Vilayat’s method in or out of the esoteric instructions, but to be clarified in any case. Personally, I do not accept the crystallization and congealation of Sufi esotericism around the personality of Hazrat Inayat Khan alone. One reason for this to begin with is that I have in my hands a number of his practices which are not included in the Sufi Order material. Many of these came from other schools of Sufism. This openness from the past I would extend to Vilayat, but it is also true I shall accept any decision or policy as to this. That is personally I refuse to call him Pir and not extend to him the prerogatives of the Pir.

No doubt this will “shock” some of Vilayat’s critics and egocentric opponents who have substituted their own selves for God.

Outside of this, outside of life’s usual and unusual problems, the whole situation here is beautiful, really beautiful. Some time ago we made a list of dormant and recalcitrant disciples. Even at this date a majority of these have already either sent Christmas greetings from far and wide or sent representatives to attend our meetings. The Sufi meeting last night was packed. I do not know when we may have to get outside halls and meeting places. It will be very easy to get meetings at either the University of California or San Francisco State, but I have no wish to do this if Vilayat wishes to meet persons rather than crowds—I leave this up to him.

Mansur and I have made the first inquiries concerning air flight to Burbank and Hertz rent-a-car service for those days in January it would be most important for us to attend public or private sessions.

With all love and blessing and Christmas greetings,


Samuel L. Lewis


Sufi Order

December 1969


Dear Sam,

Please don’t worry about this situation up here. Everything is under control! These people are not going to give me or any of our people any trouble so please don’t let this stay on your mind.

Pir Vilayat had a very productive short visit here and made a wonderful impression on Campus “U of W.” We got good tapes of both the lecture and the meditation (here at the house). There were 65 people here and not a sound on the tape showing the attention of the audience.

What do you think about “Fizzle’s” father leaving the movement? Rather casts a nasty reflection I’d say. I sent a copy of the letter from that attorney to friends in Holland, and things like this black a lot of eyes. Somehow feel that everything will be taken care of and I need not worry at all.





Sufi Order

January 3, 1970


My dear Samuel:

Please accept my apologies for the long delay in answering your last letter. There has been so much to do and I have little help. I am sending you the program which is for only 3 public lectures. The event at the I.C.C. Festival on Friday Jan. 9 concerns Vilayat only in giving a 20 minutes’ address, followed by a short period of questions and answers, as he is to be followed by another speaker and the Annual membership meeting of I.C.C. for election of officers is scheduled at 9.p.m. We shall not be attending the all day session of I.C.C. on Saturday because we are going to San Jacinto for a Retreat, till Sunday afternoon. As soon as the guests depart at 2 p.m. we have a special meeting, only for the Board of Trustees Vilayat, Mr. Ingebretsen, Mr. Crosby and myself. We shall stay on at San Jacinto overnight, and the next morning Mr. Ingebretsen and Vilayat will take off for the rest of the day to attend to some legal matters. On Monday night we have a meeting with the Faculty of Blaisdell Institute in Claremont, with lecture for the students and question and answer period. This is not open to the public, not even our Mureeds.

January 16 is reserved for you in San Francisco. I do not expect Vilayat to arrive in Los Angeles until perhaps Jan. 8; he will be possibly stopping in New York en route and if he gets here on the 7th it may be quite late. When I heard from him two days ago he still did not know his exact time of departure from Europe, Jan 5 or 6th.

I have been arranging for the Retreat at San Jacinto, for which most reservations were made as early as Nov. and first week in December. The fee this year is $ 35.00, which includes 4 meals tuition and one night stay. There is no more accommodation left at the Academy, most late reservations will be for overnight stay at the hotel in San Jacinto, for which Mr. Ingebretsen makes a slight allowance for the extra cost. There will be 4 people from your area attending the retreat. I received their reservations early in December. The attendance is limited to 37 persons which includes those at the hotel.

Wishing you the very best for 1970





January 4, 1970


Bibijan, Beloved One of God:

Happy New Year. The old year ended on a rather high note. We had 80 people in this house on Christmas eve. We had about 100 at our New year’s eve gathering in Marin county. There are many signs of growth for this coming year inshallah, but I am waiting more exact schedules and policies, in particular policies from Pir Vilayat. I understand that those who try to start some disturbances in the Northwest have been properly taken to task.

Something of the same kind has been occurring with regard to so-called “Sufism Re-oriented.” Anything called Sufism not based on love, harmony, and beauty, or even more so on the existence of God is by its very nature, a fraud. And the New Age is not accepting frauds. This indeed is coming to a climax at the local colleges and universities.

I have made preliminary arrangements to fly south with Mansur and to cover all the functions necessary or advisable in your region. The length of stay will therefore largely depend on the business at hand. Some of my young disciples have asked about attending a retreat. I have no details about this, but certainly no objection to any and all coming south at this season. If so, regardless of other plans, they may be carrying messages for me.

Our dancing program has been particularly successful. I am more than willing to cooperate here in and for any matters that Vilayat thinks are needed for the cause of God.

With all love and blessings.


Samuel L. Lewis



January 5, 1970

Susanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave.

North Hollywood 91605


Dear Bibijan:

I have received rather belatedly a letter from Suresnes advising of a small change in plans of Pir Vilayat. This tells me nothing of the hours of arrival or departure here and presumes one public lecture. This may be in my home or in San Francisco State College or in the San Francisco Theological Seminary in Marin County. In any event I shall be on the phone shortly and will then call you sometime after six p.m.

I am enclosing copies of two letters which I have written, and also a copy, it may be an extra one, of “The Inner Secret of Sufism.” I do not know whether this was sent to you before or not.

I am unable to tell at this time whether I am expected to be in Los Angeles in the next few days or not—whether there will be a meeting or not, etc. One reason for writing this is a surprisingly long letter from a director of “Great Books of the Western World” which has offices in West Hollywood. This could be a very important contact and one which I believe should be followed up whether in person or otherwise.

I feel I should, indeed I vast, make a visit to the Los Angeles-Hollywood region in the not distant future.

Outside the public lectures, the organizational matters, etc., there is the forthcoming convocation of The Temple of Understanding. I personally have a great program which has remained inside of me for over 40 years, and it is time to bring that out today, inshallah.

Love and Blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. To be followed by telephone call.



February 9, 1970

Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford

No. Hollywood, Ca.


Beloved One of God:

When I was in the hospital a few years back there began a series of visions and they are continuing even now. In the first series of visions there were three grades, from 6 disciples to 30, from 30 to 60, and from 60 to 100. We are in that last sector now. One does not know what is the most remarkable: the return of the “unfaithful,” or the ever-increasing number of applicants.

For practical purposes we are establishing three centers: San Francisco, central Marin and north Marin (the last around the Khankah at Novato.) These will all be considered part of one center legally unless it becomes advisable to do otherwise.

But I am also invited to establish a center, at least one, in the state of New Mexico, and potentially also in the state of Massachusetts, and around West Hollywood, though at this writing it may be tentative, I am concerned however with the proper arrangements of dues and obligations. We ought to arrange to settle some financial contribution to your headquarters. In turn, we await, and I do not want to write about it anymore, certain   esoteric papers. we have the esoteric constitution on file and it is essentially the same as earlier documents of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and also the explanations to me personally by the founding Pir-o-Murshid.

All the three centers are cooperating toward a Spring festival. The second series of visions were concerning the dances. These are still coming in ever-increasing quantity, and the attendance at the dance classes is very satisfactory. It does bring up a question as to how far the teacher can preside over esoteric classes and still be dance teacher and choreographer. As to the Gatha classes, considerable progress has been made, but soon there will have to be Gatheka classes for candidates and new disciples. As the Bible says, the harvest is ready but the workers are few. Still the dance classes are attracting attention and the events are fulfilling the predictions of Hazrat Inayat Khan. He wanted me to go to the intellectuals. What he wanted was rejected by organizations, and it does not matter, for now the intellectuals are coming toward this person, and more and more and more. What is the Will of God is the Will of God, and man cannot change it,  though often he tries and often in the name of God Himself.

But I am not going to pressure for anything. As soon as the Spring Festival is over it is hoped that Mansur and myself can go to Geneva to attend the conference of The Temple of Understanding, but it is equally certain that I shall be invited to visit many universities in the Eastern states before returning here. As the Gita teaches, man’s duty is to action; and to leave the fruits of action to God.

Anyhow, inshallah, I shall try to visit the general Los Angeles area before leaving this country.

Love and Blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis



February 14, 1970


Dear Murshid S.A.M.

Have been going to write you for days now, Shamcher just isn’t nearly as well as I’d like to see him, neither is Sitara, both could use your best thoughts.

As you may know I’d not feel really cut off from you as your wonderful letters that go to Shamcher make a circle (most of them) and he sends them to me for safekeeping. They go in the file. About the Sangathas, I have an idea let me see what I can do, if it works out you surely know that you will get a copy. I am going to list my Gatha II one day next week as I know we do not have all of them. Think that most of III is there could you fill us in on it if they are incomplete?

You will delight to know that we have a teacher at the Everett J.C. who teaches Mass Media most interested and buying material and quite sure he will soon be initiated. These are the people who can spread the Message. Dr. Snow still holds out but think that he too is “hooked.” We grow rather slowly but we lose none.

I had quite a bout with kidney stones and the Dr. very upset to find that when I went is the second time for E-ray(due to some peoples help) both were gone. Poor Dr. nearly blew his mind— I told him this time it was he who didn’t understand.

The estate will hasn’t settled but the attorney writes it would be very soon now. This will untie my hands a great deal as sometimes things get pretty squeezed around here.

I haven’t made the new cloth for the altar and wish there was someone else who could or would make this one. Bibijan says we should not use the old emblem (one the Movement uses.) Seems rather silly to me but I’ll go along when I some find the time.

Time now to start thinking about getting a garden in and Shafayat says he will bring in a few loads of old rotted manure and fix the soil up behind the garage. That which you pointed out and really is best is still under about a foot of water. We will use it for short time things that like the water. I’m starting seedlings this week in the greenhouse (along with my begonias.)

Betty Brewster is nearly walking now—and that to the Drs. who said she had M.S. and there was no cure. Shafayat has worked with her so much and has her where she can help herself. Now it is a matter of her learning to walk again (after 5 or 6 years.) So score again for the fools of God.

Our best for your continued wonderful success.

Remember out most beloved Shamcher, he needs all of our help at this time. There are those who want him gone and we must win.





February 16, 1970

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


My dear Atiya:

One is well but very tired. At the moment one’s chief Khalif is ill and one’s brother remains in the hospital after undergoing a series of operations. The otherwise full schedule has become over-complicated by a number of events including the giving of Bayat to a second group of young people which is going to make our roles rather large and cumbersome.

Much of your letter is regarding others well and unwell. I myself have an eye trouble. The doctor (optometrist) said I should have another examination after the return from abroad. All efforts are directed toward the conference of all religions to be held now in Geneva at the end of March.

You will find enclosed a check for $10 covering the mimeographing of the healing practices from Pakistan. I hope you are able to benefit from knowledge of dietetics. Here we are going in more and more for organic gardening and the fruits thereof. This is a complex subject about which there is little time to write now, but all good news, very good news.

We shall include Shamcher in our meditation tonight. Today we sent him a clipping from a local newspaper regarding salt water conversion and its use in desert reclamation. I am trying to find some time to make a hurried trip to Los Angeles. There has not been a day off this year or anything like one; not even a half day. But I guess that can’t be helped.

Love and Blessings,





410 Precita Ave.

February 17, 1970


Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Redford Ave.

North Hollywood, Calif. 91605


My dear Bibijan:

I am hoping, inshallah, to come to southern California shortly for a few days visit along with Mansur. If  he cannot take me I may fly and will let you know later.

There are several things to clear up in preparation for the trip abroad to attend the conference called by The Temple of Understanding. As written before, Vilayat and I have complete agreement on policy and approaches. During the stay there I would call on Mrs. Nusi McClellan, if that can be conveniently arranged. She plans to come here at what to us is a most propitious time, a combination of a Spring Festival, the celebration of a number of birthdays, and a farewell for Mansur and myself before we go abroad.

Last night seven more persons received Bayat here. Our waiting list in San Francisco is now down to one or two persons. This does not apply to the situation in Marin county of which I am not too sure. But it is certain that our membership is now around 100 and the total attendance at meetings is definitely over that number.

A visit would necessarily be short but I do not wish to do anything in the Los Angeles area without your being informed.

At this writing there are probabilities inshallah for Sufi centers in the states of Massachusetts, New York, and New Mexico.

I shall have my own summer school in New Mexico. I am discouraging local disciples on this point unless they are over 28 or have children in which case they will be welcomed at Lama Foundation in New Mexico. In San Francisco alone 18 persons have signified their desire to be with Vilayat at his summer school. I expect even more than that number in Marin county.

Love and Blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. I am very tired at the moment and have to face that Shamcher near Seattle and Khalif Moineddin have been unwell; and my own brother in the hospital between life and death for some time. But I guess one has to face such things. Still one can praise God for one’s own health and strength.


Sufi Order

February 23, 1970


My dear Samuel:

It will very nice to have the opportunity of seeing you and Mansur shortly. Will Jemila be accompanying you? I have been corresponding with her regarding the handling of the “Meditation Instructions” ring books, and she mentioned her hope of being able to come to Los Angeles at the end of this month. I look forward to meeting her.

The copies of some of your correspondence which you have the kindness to send me provide much interesting and helpful information. I take this opportunity to thank you for your thoughtfulness and consideration.

Mrs. Brautlacht mentioned making copies of some healing data for you. And you refer to some healing notes in a letter to Sheika Vera Van Voris. Healing is one branch of spiritual work which always has greatly interested me. I would value any information you might consider I could be entrusted to use rightly and being ready to receive.

Pir Vilayat will return to Suresnes March 1. I hope to receive soon confirmation of the dates and length of his stay in California in June. The annual meeting is due on June 15, I have heard in an indirect way that the Youth camp is scheduled for June 14 to 21. I wonder whether the Annual meeting date be changed. I need to know soon as I have to send notices 60 days ahead of the Meeting to the Leaders and representatives of the interstate Centers, or rather Branches.

Looking forward to seeing you soon



Suzanne D’Mitrieff



March 2, 1970

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


My dear Atiya:

We have your letter of February 27 and shall also arrange for some kind of healing service for Shamcher. This is very hard for me personally and impersonally. It comes at a time when many doors are opening and I am not talking figuratively. The correspondence is increasing, The invitations are increasing. The opportunities are increasing. Mansur and I expect to leave here toward the end of the month to be in Geneva, Switzerland, by March 30. We are attending a conference of all the world’s faiths. I may or may not present the universal worship, but I shall certainly imply it. I do not know at this writing how much time will be alloted. I am certainly opposed to anymore conferences of oratory, emotion, and resolutions. It is action that is needed, not egotistic appeals.

I have had no days off this year but Mansur and I made a hurried trip to southern California. We arrived just at the right time as our brethren were arranging a rehearsal for the universal worship. But I did have time to discuss matters seriously with Secretary Bibijan. We both feel and do not like to be critical that Pir Vilayat has given too much time to travel and not enough to organizational settlement. On the one hand Bibijan requires financial help. Our collections are ample but there is no provision for distribution thereof. And on the other hand there is an absence of spiritual papers needed in class studies, and again no provision made for this. It is very awkward. We should like to share our material blessings with Bibijan in an orderly and legal fashion.

Then our work in dancing is progressing so rapidly and remarkably that it keeps us more than occupied all the time—as above, no days off. In addition, Pir Vilayat proposed filming of the dances, perhaps an excellent proposal. But now somebody has gone ahead already and pilot films will be made this week. I have just learned that certain disciples have made arrangements and have failed, but I can report that other disciples have made arrangements and are succeeding, praise to Allah. It is hoped that the primary work can be completed before Mansur and I leave the country.

In addition to that, all signs point to a successful Spring Festival. The inspirations, inner and outer, are augmenting. The class attendances are excellent. The inner responses are beautiful and noble, and what was foreseen in vision is taking place actually about the rate consummate with my own abilities. No doubt the message of God is to reach far and wide, and is reaching far and wide.

I am to be in charge of a summer school in New Mexico in June. Mansur and I have been invited to Boston and to London. We have other invitations which we may not be able to fulfill. Too many. And all the time the work must be carried on here and elsewhere. All pictures and forebodings are of the same general type. It is only a question of our ability to fulfill them.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



April 4, 1970


My dear Bibijohn;

We wish to send you the best of greetings from a distant land. All kinds of wonderful things have happened. For instance, while we were in Switzerland conversing with some Asians, we saw Vilayat leaving the hotel and quickly grabbed him to his surprise. He remained there only one day more. While all the notables were introduced once and this included some of the greatest people in the world, Pir Vilayat was introduced twice, a signal honor. Indeed, this person was introduced once next to the last. The conference at Geneva was a success, because leaders of all the world’s religions met in amity. Each tried to increase his own understanding. Many were very sincere in wishing to promote peace—not the cause of peace, but peace itself, and I think some headway was made.

As matters stand we hope to attend the further convocations of the Temple of Understanding, no matter where they are held henceforth. One had a decided advantage, that although one was almost unknown the beginning of the conference one knew something about everyone of the 14 religions which participated in a united prayer. Mansur and I were therefore able to meet and greet everybody and on cordial terms and this itself is accomplishment. And if we can get them to invite more of the youth, it is possible that he whole world will be taking a step toward peace and understanding.

I myself will be directing another summer school while Pir Vilayat is having his. We are in substantial agreement: I will take only a few mureeds, over 28 in age and having children. Otherwise, full support will be given to his rather short summer school, whenever and wherever it is to be held.

We were also fortunate in coming to London in finding our first host on most friendly terms with Vilayat and in full support of his forthcoming efforts here. We have also met other personalities who are advanced in Sufism. They are all in agreement against Idries Shah who is so against Hazrat Inayat Khan. The conclusion is that he is a phony and a faker. He can only attraction the ignorant.

It is curious that while have spoken to Vilayat about the need for having some sort of financial  understructure, when we arrived at London there was a cable informing me that my brother had died. Unless something unforeseen intervenes, I shall after return send you a small monthly stipend, unless, as an organization, the Sufi Order asks for some other arrangement. This may not be immediately, but, I believe after July it can easily done. Pir Vilayat has also been concerned about your burdens.

We are next going to Boston with an uncertain stay and then return to California. Generally speaking, we are attracting the young everywhere.

Love and blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis



April 27, 1970


My dear Sheikha:

This is a week of joyous turmoil. One does not know how things will come out. We went to Geneva and met the real top leaders of the real religions of the real world. We were the only ones that could commune and communicate with all camps and that gave us a tremendous advantage. Samuel became known as the man who wrote the longest letters but made the shortest speeches. That was fine because some of the minority members made up for it by long harangues on the need for more love and compassion but their love and compassion did not extend to their immediate audiences.

Great steps were taken toward real understanding and there must have been some wise leaders. For they selected the very finest heart-minds to constitute the Board of Directors.

A lot of legends disappear. It is not religion vs. science; it is religion and science against dialectics and literary-humanism; of fact versus opinion. The press did not cover the convention very much. Yes, some of the European press and this person had his picture taken over and over. And it was a surprise on reaching Boston to see one’s picture in tile very first store one visited.

We have taken great strides toward a real Peace in the Near East and may follow that up. As soon as one reached London there was a cable that Brother Elliott had died. We had become reconciled and he is satisfied that my increased allotment will be used for travelling. We were so successful with the young, and with our colleague, Clive-Ross, a crypto-Sufi and historian. We hope to have a team tour England in 1972, inshallah.

We met some top Orientalists too, very different from our local “experts.” Of course no “expert” showed up at Geneva. They would not have had a chance. “Realists” have no place in realities. And the views of the top Orientalists against our local “experts” would make some of us flop and flip. And I believe some of the real Orientalists (e.g. Marco Pallis) are saints. Anyhow we also met Dr. Syed Hussein Nasr of Tehran, our colleague. And we had a very happy encounter with Pir Vilayat, quite unexpected.

Our Boston venture was a surprise—larger audiences than we had planned for and unexpected income outweighing expense. This was so good we hope to go again in the fall.

The death of my brother will, no doubt, vastly increase my allotment. But I find there are three young orphan cousins about whom I did not know. Five females and no males around. We meet tonight. I am forgoing any legal entanglements because I understand I shall recover properties taken from me. There is already pressure for an autobiography. What is one going to say, when everything the brother did was right—including gambling, stealing, forgery, etc. etc. and everything Samuel did was wrong, including a desire for the “wrong” type of education! But it is all over.

We may do something for Rudolph Schaeffer but the rest will be toward working for world peace and the solutions of some food problems.

We got such a grand welcome, it was amazing, but could not greet everybody. The whole trip was foreseen and one can laugh at the ESP convention which we missed. Everything was seen and foreseen and came out exactly so.

We have been asked to write about Hazrat Inayat Khan. Three times this was done and landed—in the waste-basket, so I am demanding an insurance: either money or an absolute oath to be taken seriously and I mean particularly the latter.

And on top of the usual plus the family plus legal and financial matters we have a big May Day Celebration (welcome and home-coming) and a wedding this week. These will be deliberately at Fairfax in the Deer Park Picnic Grounds and after it is over will notify the Meher-Barbarians.

They were not welcomed. There is a moral law. Coming out for “Sufism Re-Oriented,”  it was not surprising that the actual Sufis vetoed their coming to Geneva for a summit spiritual conference. But there was another reason: The Baha’is, Aurobindo people, followers of Anandamayee and Ramana Maharshi and others could all come out for a new super religion and then squabble over personalities. Not of these are historical movements and few are devout and they are mutually opposed.

We had fourteen prayers together given in the grand Cathedral of Geneva, fountainhead of Calvinism!

We made so many new friends and acquaintances all like stories, too long to relate. I give a short talk this week at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo and a public address on the 8th at the Metaphysical Library at 420 Sutter St., H.G. White &Co. We are plus friends and also both in opposite to Lady U No Who!

It is too early to present a program. We should be in New Mexico in June. Recognition plus a potentially vastly increased income must bring a new type of life.

Love and blessings,




May 5, 1970

Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Avenue

North Hollywood, Calif. 91605


My Dear Bibijan:

This is a partial reply to your letter of May 3. It will be impossible for me personally to attend any convocation during the month of June. A small caravan is going to leave here late this month to attend a Summer School at Lama Foundation in the northern part of New Mexico. This will be for practical purposes a Sufi Summer School. I have shown preference to disciples with children and am encouraging all others to cooperate fully with Pir Vilayat. There is much optimism.

I expect Daniel Lomax to attend the conference, and possibly Khalif Jablonski, but I am not sure of the latter. We cannot entirely denude our Khankah of personnel. But we wish to cooperate in every feasible way otherwise, so your letter will be shown to others, even if they have received independent copies.

Three disciples here, Fred Cohn, Phillip Davenport, and Wali Ali Meyer, are doing everything possible to help Pir Vilayat. Wali Ali is my esoteric secretary. He will be leaving here at Pir Vilayat’s disposal and disposition. Another Mureed is moving into the house to look after our office when we are away.

I will see that Daniel is properly provided for, and is also empowered to write out checks from our local Sufi Order to the headquarters. We shall try to keep in close touch with you as possible in the remaining short time before our various departures.

Love and blessing,


Samuel L. Lewis



May 5, 1970

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P.O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


My dear Atiya:

I hope this finds yon well. It is very difficult to keep contact with everybody, nor is it my function as Pir Vilayat has already selected certain persons to carry on certain functions, and I see no reason to change that. Neither can I keep everybody informed of the dramas of life, some of which have turned out quite pleasantly from certain points of view. Our reception at Geneva by people of the highest levels demonstrates that the people of the highest levels are of the highest levels. We participated in many undertakings, but if we keep sticking to what has been done, we may not be able to perform all that is before us. But one of the surprises of the convocation was to see Vilayat trying to go out a door just a few feet away from us. He was most agreeably surprised but did not stay as he has a very full program.

When I reached London there was a cable stating my brother has left this world and this should and may amply increase my present income. The question arises what is most beneficial use of such an increase, and this involves the possibility of publication of my poetry and other items. And this involves the potential expansion of our outlay in printing and duplicating facilities.

It happens during this period that a number of disciples including Hasan Herz of the Prophecy Press Works in Novato, has also been blessed with a considerable increase in income, and he also has been concerned for parallel reasons with the expansion of capital equipment.

However, we both feel that we should not buy anything or do anything that would duplicate your efforts. We are not seeking any material aid but we do not wish to shun advice, so if you have any suggestions please send them on.

We are also involved in summer school programs. I am going to have a small summer school, lasting at least one month, in the state of New Mexico. About 10 disciples may join, but our major efforts have been to promote Vilayat’s summer school and that we are doing at this time, and the outlook is very fine, praise to God.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



May 9, 1970

Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave.

North Hollywood, Calif.


Dear Bibijan:

Murshid asked me to write to you. Last night he spoke at the Metaphysical Book Store at 420 Sutter Street in this city reporting on the recent convocation of The Temple of Understanding in Geneva. We learned from the operators of this meeting place that Pir Vilayat is scheduled to speak there in the first week of June. Naturally this pleased us very much, and Murshid has said that he wants every effort made for there to be an overwhelming turnout for this meeting. I am confident this will happen.

Murshid will be at Lama Foundation in the state of New Mexico for the full month of June teaching a summer school there. This school is already full, almost entirely with people who are not from San Francisco as this was both their wish and Murshid’s. No more applicants are being accepted. At the same time he is wholeheartedly encouraging attendance at Pir Vilayat’s camp in Arizona. I am personally coordinating much of the arrangements for this camp with the help of a number of disciples in this area. Everything is proceeding very well, and I expect to be able to send your group the necessary information in about a week.

Daniel Lomax will be attending the business meeting in Los Angeles. He will have Murshid’s proxy.

During Murshid’s absence from San Francisco I will be in charge of our work in the city. If there is any way which we can cooperate with you please feel free to communicate your needs.

much love,

Wali Ali

Melvin Meyer (Wali Ali)

secretary to Murshid Samuel L. Lewis


Sufi Order

May 10, 1970


Dear Daniel:

I shall be issuing certificates of initiation and therefore require the names, and address if possible, of the members of your Branch of Sufi Order who have received initiation from Pir Vilayat, whether in San Francisco or at the Youth Camp last summer in Colorado, or last January. Mr. Ingebretsen also has reminded me recently that the names of Initiates be entered in the Membership records of Sufi Corporation Minute Book. Date of Initiation, when available, would be welcome.

I hope this will not cause you too much trouble and I would not ask except that it is requested of me and in accordance with the rules.

I am still hoping you may be able to come down for the Annual Meeting, but as Mr. Lewis mentioned, if because of his absence you are not able to be present, will you kindly return the proxy just so we receive it a day or two before the date of the meeting. Again this is part of the regulations.

Thanking you for your always willing and appreciated cooperation and with warmest wishes





Mrs. Suzanne D’Mitrieff

6904 Radford Ave.

May 11, 1970


Dear Wali-Ali:

Thank you for your letter just received. You mention that Pir Vilayat is expected to speak at the Metaphysical Bookstore the first week in June. This seems to conflict somewhat with the present schedule I have: (Please check.)

According to a letter received last Saturday from his French secretary in Suresnes, he is expected to return to Fazal-Manzil from Germany on June 1st. Leaves June 2 for the U.S. Is due to arrive in Los Angeles June 3.

Pir Vilayat will fly to Sausalito on June 7 for the day outing arranged by Fred Cohn, and return here June 8 in the morning for the Annual Meeting to be held in the afternoon. He will be lecturing on June 9, 10, 11 at East-West Cultural Center and attending an all-day workshop on Friday for professional people only. There will be a retreat at the Presbyterian Conference Grounds on Saturday A.M. June 13 through to June 14 noon, when he will leave for the Youth Camp.

I met Fred and Julie last Thursday at the Studio where I enjoyed seeing the first fragment of their film and we discussed the arrangement for Vilayat’s flight to Sausalito on June 7. I am preparing an announcement of the program which should go to press middle of this week and will mail you some copies as soon as they are ready.

With warmest best wishes





[marked May, 1970, likely from Attiya]


1. Mr. Beorse said you could tell about Hazrat Inayat’s meeting with a great Japanese Saint (Who?) in San Francisco. Please do.

2. I asked Mr. Beorse whether any non-Sufis mentioned a meeting with Hazrat Inayat in their published memories and suggested the widow of Mr. Henry J. Harris, the theatre director drowned with the Titanic. He did not know about her, but wrote: “ Ruth St. Denis, the genius dancer of the US has probably written about her important meetings with Hazrat Inayat. Sam Lewis would know that.” Do you? (Anything printed I can get at our University libraries or, if it is too rare to be posthandled, I can go to London and see things at the British Museum)

Do you know any details about the plans for a performance with Mr. Harris?

Have you got a copy of Mr Bjerregaard’s “the Sufi’s, Omar Khayyam and E. Fitzgerald?” Is it a play or an essay?

3. How did you meet Hazrat Inayat for the first time? When and where? (of course nobody remembers dates of his own life very exactly, but as I have a chronology of places visited, I can connect things). Any impression, also other people remarks are of value.

3a.The first lecture was held at Columbia University, probably at the end of 1910. Further a tour to Los Angles University and Berkeley University are mentioned and one to Seattle. Persons met are: Swami Trigunatitta, Sw. Paramanananda , Baba Bharati, Rama Swami (who for some years stayed with him as a tabla-player and is said to have written a musical play with Murshid;) and C.H.A. Bjerregaard, whose book is mentioned sub 2b. – Do you know any details about these and (or) other people of the period?

Do you know (about) any people still living who can give information about the Russian period (or about 1912 in England, 1912 and ‘13 in France?) In Russia, 1914, A Message of Spiritual Liberty was published, as Murshid’s first book in the West; the name of the coeditor is H. Balakin and the biographical introduction is signed Tserclaes. In 1915 the coeditor of the “Confessions” was M. Bloch and the introduction by M. Bailly. Do you know anything about these people? (I have heard about Serge Tolstoi and the play “Shiva,” of this play there is a copy in Holland)

5. I am enclosing a copy of a letter written by Murshid to the mother–in–law of his brother Maheboob Khan, later Shaikh-ul-Mashaikh.) Has the first remark (“at first they did not let me come in”) something to do with color bar? Is this Cleveland Hotel still existing?

5a. Have you got any letters by Murshid?

5b. Could you tell about reactions of other people? (As I am writing a historical biography also negative utterances are to be analyzed; Murshid himself knew that many people did not understand.)

5c. He spoke mostly at Universities, but often mentions that many intellectuals don’t grasp his meaning. From interviews I’ve learned that he often had a good contact with workmen (who don’t write memories.) What kind of people were attracted to him in the U.S.? What kind reacted in a negative way?

6. He always talked with an accent, but in the first days also had difficulties expressing himself in English (is that the reason of a coeditor for the first books?) The first performances were mostly musical; can you tell anything about the change from musical performance to teaching and talking?

7. Did you hear the 1926 radio-talks? How did they work? What did people say?

7a. Have you any press clippings?

(I’ve got a copy of these questions, you can keep or destroy this list as you wish and anything more or else than happen to ask is most welcome.)



May 23, 1970

Charlotte Brautlacht

P.O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


My dear Atiya:

Thank you very much for your letter with the enclosure. This matter is really not in my hands. I have today so much to do that one constantly gets tired.

My financial affairs are in a strange situation, and this being strange, is hard to write about them. Not troubles so much as uncertainties and new factors coming into one’s life. And I certainly cannot burden others when things are not clear to myself. Besides that, while things did not necessarily come as I had been told, neither is the contrary true.

There is no question but that sooner or later the Message of God will be spreading far and wide. The whole picture today is very different and almost universally optimistic. Both Pir Vilayat and I have some rather large projects. Sometimes they are separate and parallel; sometimes they are joint, sometimes they may be different but I don’t think this matters at all. Mansur, Saul, and I will all be leaving shortly for Lama in New Mexico where I am scheduled to conduct a Sufi Summer School. This will be different from Vilayat’s project, which is a camp. Many of the local disciples will be going to the camp.

Another, and not unwelcome intrusion, has been the return of what I call early mureeds. It is like a beautiful story. I do not even know the meaning of it, but there is certainly something deep in the human heart that once he sets his feet on the path of God something impels him to continue on in the face of many obstacles and vicissitudes of life.

I am not going to see Vilayat in Hollywood but am sending Naqib Daniel. I will not even be seeing him here, but expect a large turnout. At least it looks that way.

Your letter will be turned over to Hasan Herz, the printer, and Phillip Davenport, the editor. They can give better evaluation. But my needs depend to some extent on the policy that will be set down forthwith when the business meeting is held in North Hollywood. I am far more anxious to get things done, than to establish policies.

The total attendance per week keeps on rising. I have had to transfer my Thursday class from the Khankah because there is not enough room. I may even have to transfer my Wednesday Seminary class because there is not enough room. It would seem that Allah has something in store for us, the nature of which may not be clear, but it certainly seems quite evident that the Message of God is to spread far and wide illuminating and making the whole humanity as one single brotherhood in the fatherhood of God.

I will be gone for the whole month of June at Lama Foundation in New Mexico where I shall be having a Sufi Summer School.

Love and Blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis


Box 444,

San Cristobal, N.M 87564

June 13, 1970      



North Hollywood


Beloved One of God:

Today a note was received from Daniel Lomax but no reports. I am anxious to cooperate in every way possible. The first is monetary cooperation. I have been holding off, awaiting any decision that would be in accordance with the constitution of the Sufi Movement or any appendage. Our present plans are to leave here on June 30th, taking two extra days to return to the San Francisco Bay area, calling on you on the way if this can be conveniently done?

The departure period showed a continuing increase both of membership and interest. The Holy Man’s Jamboree, which took place in my absence, attracted a number of people and I must prepare for them when I return.

Pir Vilayat has granted so far as he could my only personal requests.

It is almost obvious that there will be some disciples in this general area; in fact, I shall be giving my first bayat here shortly. I do not know how this is supposed to be handled and do not want to set up independent efforts?

One can easily arrange now for Pir Vilayat to have a summer school in several parts of this state without any difficulty whatever. Besides that, at least two of the persons who appeared at the Holy Man’s Jamboree in San Francisco will be in the Santa Fe area shortly.

The dances continue to draw attention, but I do not wish anything to detract from the cause of God or set me up as an independent hero personality. The behavior of Pir Vilayat at the San Francisco meeting has my absolute, hearty approval. It is only a question of how many hearts he reached. I feel he has the spirit of God in him and have no suggestions as to what he might or should do from this point on, provided his health is maintained.

I shall soon have to make reports to India and Pakistan at several levels.

The whole life seems to be an objectification of “May the Message of God reach far and wide.”



June 24, 1970


Dear Samuel:

This will be a brief reply to your letter as I notice by the calendar that you will be leaving Camp in NM next week, so I must rush to mail.

My time since Pir Vilayat’s departure has been occupied in sending many requests for books, Meditation Manual, mimeographed lectures, which poured in at the Seminar for professionals at Pacific Palisades; it was a great success, some stayed for the retreat following. Some people ordered entire sets of Sufi Message books. Also the two ministers from Unity in Kansas City are arranging a 3 day program for Pir Vilayat next November.

Daniel would hardly have had time to send you a full report of the Annual meeting as he came through here a few days later on his way to the Arizona Camp. He contributed much to our meetings, having a thorough understanding of organization problems, and Shamcher’s help was also valuable. Many questions were discussed and answered. All was recorded on tape so that in the event of doubt the decisions can be checked.

I am sure you have accomplished a great deal during your month’s course of instruction. There is more time for orderly unfoldment and assimilation, than in a few days’ concentrated teaching. I shall be interested to hear about your activities in detail when you stop over on your way home. I have so much to do yet winding up the work as usual after Pir Vilayat leaves that I should certainly be at home unless some unforeseen circumstance would take me out of town.

With hearty good wishes





Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011

July 10, 1970


Dear Murshid S.A.M.,

We are going to put out a newsletter each month under the title “Sufis Speak” and we would appreciate something from you about your summer school. Perhaps someone could do this there and we could have from you something which you would like to say to go out to all the Sufis even some in other parts of the world. We would like you to send us names and addresses of those who would be interested in getting this as well. Perhaps we could use some of your poetry from time to time with your permission of course.

Do you have someone there who could do something on Pir Vilayat’s Youth camp? Suzanne is going to keep us informed as to the activities of the Pir and these will be reported each month. It will take a little doing in the beginning, but know that something like this will be well received and I know that I would be very happy to donate my time and effort. Shafayat will of course print it and I’ll depend on others to help some towards the cost of mailing etc. when the thing gets going. What do you think?

The Message has the little paper that the Dickensons put out, but it is mostly quotes from the past and we want to make this a living growing thing full of what is going on among us in our own areas as well as other parts of the World. Hayat Bowan at the place of the tomb in New Delhi will send us things from there and I have lot of letters to send out and many have yet to be answered.

Feel so sure that I will get a good response from Holland too. There are many Sufis there who are not part of the Movement. We will even print some of their things if they are sent as long as they do not throw rocks. We sent this to reach all who are on our path regardless of what they call themselves.

All material should be set up with one-inch borders and we will not edit but simply cannot print something that will bring problems. Everything must have a signed permission to print slip by the author. We will use this size paper to start anyway. There is little time, so see what you can do for this time. After the thing catches hold then I want to print copies of the official papers that made Vilayat a Pir and head of the Order. First we get people reading us and then we give them something to read. What do you think?

Perhaps we could get things from others in other Orders too in time … who knows…. I’d like everything signed with Sufi names if you think that is the right way (it would seem that way) Shamcher thinks it is a very good Idea. (He seems to get much better as the days go by.) I need a new typewriter too but one day that stupid Estate will start to pay off. My Mother passed away Dec. 8, 1968 and the things aren’t yet trans. The stocks, well they cost me a fortune in taxes and by the time I get them … well who knows? So far each problem has gotten taken care of for me. I do think things could move faster. I do hope that things will go better for you.

Please let me hear from you as quickly as possible.





410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, 94110

July 11, 1970


Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 96011


My dear Atiya:

I am answering your letter of July 10 immediately. I have no time to interpose either criticisms or analysis. I have bought recently three books put out by those who stand in opposition to Vilayat, and they are puerile to say the least. Therefore, I stand almost unequivocally, even blindly, for any positive steps by anybody for the cause of God. The only question is how to help.

Many items in your letter may be answered by esoteric secretary Wali Ali Meyer. Between the camp and what took place at Lama in New Mexico we have moved into a new dimension. Part of this has been manifested in the Rose Dance, based on the esoteric teachings of Abdul Kadiri al Jilani, who in some senses was the greatest of the Sufis. I presented this first at Lama, and then in San Francisco, but Wednesday night we had in the audience a young girl whose grandfather was a Pir in the Kadiri School, and she was so won over that she is now staying with some of the mureeds.

To put it briefly and bluntly, everything is proceeding beautifully, rapidly, and amply, praise to God!

We therefore stand ready to cooperate in every way possible. Steps are also being taken to have a larger and more proficient secretariat. Daniel Lomax, who has been a Naqib, and financial secretary, may soon be moving to Tucson, Arizona, which may also become the nexus for all future summer schools operated by Pir Vilayat. I am neither emotional nor mentally involved, but am using the heart in all its glorious aspects to further the cause of God. And I find the more we can work for and with others, the more satisfaction comes into our own lives.

Mansur is concerned with the television recordings of the work of Pir Vilayat, myself and
others. He is exceedingly busy. Saul is even more busy in operating as an herbalist and Hakim. I am getting am average of 50 people at my San Francisco meetings, and 100 at my Marin meetings, and we have not even started. There are also possibilities for the East Bay.

I expect shortly to send Shamcher a Xeroxed copy of surprise communication from Paul Reps. He was outside the door during most of the interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan in 1926, and he was inside the door in those other cases.

Love and Blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis



July 21, 1970


Dear Murshid S.A.M.

Hope that you don’t find this little effort too little but we wanted to get this first bunch out this month. I’m sending these three copies and hoping you will let me know how many you would like there. The piece by  Wali  Ali arrived beautifully done in plenty of time but still haven’t heard from Mansur do hope he will have the copy to us soon so we can get going on the letter for next month. Couldn’t someone find time to do a nice piece on your garden at the Garden of Inayat? The kiln and its purpose? From time to time I’d like to include as many of your activities as I can. Yes we hope that “the Message of God reach far and wide” but let it be that and not a lot of other things that fool a lot of people. The Movement is far too interested in funds instead of people. Fact is and I know they would rather exclude any who are not of their “class” whatever that may mean. Martin Dickenson told Vilayat some very unlovely things about me. They told Sitara I was a peasant and she should , being also of the “upper Class” not lower herself by such an association.

I do hope that now and then you could find time to write something for us. We want to print things from “real and living Sufis” not quote some long dead though not forgotten Sufi of the past. These things are mostly around for those who are interested enough to hunt them out. People want to know what is going on now.

Shamcher wants us to go with him on his trip East so must plan ahead so others can hold down the fort while we are away. The Newsletter must be ready to go even [if] it takes a short time to print, it has to be put together and addressed as well as mailed.

Our garden on the other side of the creek is really growing and even though it was quite late (because of standing water) is starting to produce already. The other one needs constant watering and much cow manure, but putting almost everything we eat on the table. You were very right about the soil over on the far side, things just grow, no water or anything.

I would appreciate your sending any names of others who would like to receive the newsletter, (Perhaps Wali Ali might do this for you too. ) Any special thing you would like the Sufi world to know about might swell attendance for special visitors etc.

Shamcher sent me some of your latest letters to read (and return of course) and cannot begin to say how happy I am that all is going so wonderfully well there too. Wish we were able to do more but everything takes time I guess. For now my biggest job is getting this Newsletter off the ground and getting real important News in it. I especially want to have a backlog of things I can “fill” with when I need them. Small quotes I can print, —Poetry ??? new things not old stuff everyone has seen. Hint Hint….

I am writing Hugh Lynn at Virginia Beach. He is under the impression that he met Pir Vilayat At Martin’s house. So I included a picture as well as a notation that the one he met was Fazal who is neither Murshid or Pir and these are coveted titles one doesn’t give to oneself. Martin is one of the wheels in that organization as well as one of Fazal’s chief advisors. I advised Hugh Lynn to see Vilayat or even hear one of his tapes before rejecting the idea of his addressing his group.

Did you know that Vilayat is going to some teaching for Unity ministers? I’ll have something in the newsletter about this next time.

Must fly—dear Murshid and I hope you are pleased. As ever




August 1, 1970

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 7168

Seattle, Washington 98133


My dear Atiya:

Before returning to San Francisco from the Garden of Inayat I received a directive and then recognized at once on the receipt of Sufis Speak, that I was to go ahead. So you will find enclosed a carbon of the letter being sent to Geneva. I do not know whether these people will do anything, and am quite indifferent. But I do now have a young friend in Geneva and also a few very powerful friends there.

I have been so over-worked, and it is only the Grace of God that is upholding me. But this Grace is quite evident, for the health is unusually good, and at this moment the vitality is very high. There has been some suspension of activities at the Garden of Inayat. Two of the girls are away doing special studies in ceramics and pottery. Mansur has been working chiefly with Fred Cohn, who has been at various places with Vilayat, and has also been covering several of the spiritual gatherings in this land.

The reports of Fred’s doings are too long to write about, and Samuel is getting more and more long distance telephone calls from all kinds of people asking him to attend jamborees and gatherings in many parts of the country. In addition to that, he has had to have more interviews with more people either as outcomes of the summer school in Arizona or other activities of Pir Vilayat. As written to Shamcher, Pir Vilayat, Paul Reps, and Baba Ram Dass, all seem to be relying on Samuel to carry on heavy spiritual duties in this country. Taking into consideration the items in the letter to Geneva, and what you are doing, I shall have to find a secretary who will copy all the non-esoteric items I have from the late Hazrat Inayat Khan, including his explanation of the Islamic prayers. I think these will be valuable adjuncts to your publication.

There is no question if that you travel with Shamcher you will be meeting more and more young people and perhaps intellectuals. I do not have spiritual gatherings at the Garden of Inayat any longer. My last talk was to remind them that our constant repetition of “May the Message of God Reach Far and Wide” is now in operation. We meet instead in the town of Corte Madera, which is between Novato and San Francisco. However, the disciples who live in Novato will use the Garden of Inayat, and the meditation room will be re-adopted not for classes, but for exercises in concentration (Murakkabah).

I hope to get Khalif Moineddin, who has been ill, to work with me in laying out whole streams of practices in Concentration. The principles are in part in the Githas on Murakkabah, and in part in the Miscellany in my possession, which have never been used. Now we must use them, and you will be informed when these things are ready, even if only ready for the first grades.

I believe Wali Ali here, and Bibijan in Los Angeles, are in better position to handle matters concerning Sufis  Speak, but I am also showing this now to our printer Hasan Herz who lives at the Khankah.

The number of long distance calls increases. I have refused to go to Colorado. I do not wish to go to Portland, Oregon, but I may not be able to turn down an invitation to Los Angeles. I am waiting for details. This week I took off my second day of the whole year.

In addition to all the other activities, we have two tremendous projects:.

To endeavor to bring peace in Palestine through human beings. So far we have been very very successful, but naturally it is a time consumer and energy consumer.

The work of explaining mystically the First Epistle to the Corinthians with special emphasis on the psychic body, its functions, and its growing importance in the lives especially of the young. When this work is completed I may have to go to Washington, D.C., either by invitation or design.

I now have three dancing classes, and we may start one or two more. In addition, the women’s dancing class has made so much progress they wish me to attend their coming sessions. The emphasis will be on the conscious functioning of the psychic and spiritual body in and through the dance. The basic principles are in the poem “The Rejected Avatar.”

Hugh Lynn is a very nice man with a quite superficial knowledge of the psychic body and none at all of the depths of personality. The whole group is responsive to psychism but does not understand mysticism at all.

We know Vilayat is very busy, and we are very satisfied. But we are also very busy, and we hope we are all doing what Allah wishes.

Love and blessings,


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



August 4, 1970


Dear Murshid Sam,

Thank you for your letter and copy of that “Hot” one you sent Geneva—I doubt if it will do any good just hope they don’t decide to sue you for papers they claim belong to them. I’ve never seen or heard of such “spiritual people.” Are they suggesting that we join the Movement? I guess I’m far from truth but when I left them I did just that. Martin and his gold plated letters on his black robe. I just couldn’t believe it. Fazal gave them to him, which shows you even he knows what martin really wants.

Hope you can read this scratching, am always in a hurry.

What I wanted to know is knowing how many Sufis Speak you would like. We want them “far and wide.” Have Wali Ali send names and addresses and check against  those already sent. I’ve sent some to Holland, England, India, Switzerland, as well as hundreds in USA; we have the stencils and postage is a big item but so it goes. Feel strongly this is what we are to do. Thanks Wali Ali please I’ll try to write him myself. Got Mansur’s paper yesterday. It will be in the next one.

We set up a names sheet for names and addresses so each time will be much easier to send out—no more hand addressing except for one single typewritten list and so it would help me if you’d send at that way but if you can’t, anyway will be fine.

We may be down there in a week or so as I feel I have something I’d like to show you too about the spiritual dance.

My own health much better than it was I had a long problem). Anyway, I’ll let you know about the trip if we can make it. We’d like to bury Shamcher but must get him to agree first.





August 9, 1970

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


My Dear Atiya:

Your very welcome letter of August 4th is here. I am only answering under a presumption that you may not be coming here, or that if you do come Shamcher may be coming with you.

It is beyond my capacity to answer most of the things you have asked for. I have only had two days off all year. My chief Khalif has been sick for two months. Secretary Mansur is working for Fred Cohn, who is filming all our undertakings. I expect to see Fred tomorrow to discuss the possibility of his visiting Ajmer and other sacred places with Pir Vilayat.

Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Lomax is now in Tucson, Arizona. Disciple Phillip Davenport in seeking a campground for Pir Vilayat encountered one Walter Bowart, who became a mureed. He is a wealthy publisher. He has been away on a most important trip to England and maybe Europe. He wants everything. It would have been hard enough to have given him everything with the secretaries I had.

While the search for secretaries is going on, there are at least three promotional endeavors. The one to finance Fred and Vilayat has been at least partially successful. The other two are new. They put me under no obligations excepting that if successful I shall have to travel.

Pir Vilayat rightly expected me to look after those people to whom he gave Bayat, from this region. But his disciples in other regions have been coming to meetings or for esoteric counseling. They in turn are bringing strangers at a time when the natural attendance at the meetings is increasing. Last week a professor from the University of Southern California opened the door for Sufism at his institution. Today I learnt that the philosophy department at Berkeley is also interested. It is utterly impossible to fulfill all those possibilities unless help is forthcoming. This is not a request for financial assistance—there is every sign of that.

We have taken on two huge new projects. The mystical interpretation of The Epistle to the Corinthians in order to explain the three-body constitution of man, and the solution—which is very easy—of the complexes of psychedelics. The response has been beautiful; the inspirations most lofty.

We have also endeavored to bring Peace in the Near East by having Arabs, Palestinians, and Israelis meet each other. All the first endeavors have been most surprising. This is too long for me to write about now.

We have had two dancing classes. On return from Lama I started a third which has been successful. This coming week I shall have to attend a fourth, and also at that meeting considering establishing a fifth. The dancing classes are being very well attended and help solve our financial needs.

This week also two hours was spent with my attorney to consider the incorporation of the movement here. This is not only Pir Vilayat’s wish it is the wish of my associates in Pakistan. Once this is done we shall have a board of directors, and then a business office which would consider all you have written about. But if you come here you will be introduced directly to those whose functions it would be.

The paper on “Ecstasy” is one that I found in Murshida Martin’s miscellany. I have several such papers and my intention has been either to send them to Pir Vilayat’s colleagues in Europe or to you; or, if it is beyond your capacity then to Walter Bowart.

I am not the least concerned with those people in Europe. We have already discussed with the lawyer the possibilities of Sufi being a factual or a fictitious title. It is factual in our case because it fulfilled the terms of the Encyclopedia of Islam. It is also legal because Pir Vilayat attained legally the blessings and good will of the top Sufi Pirs of the Chistia School. This Idries Shah has challenged all of us, but has avoided any reference to any connection with the historical Sufi Schools. He is trying to offer Sufism without Allah.

As so-called Sufism Re-Oriented has not stopped Vilayat within this state, I see no reason why we cannot go ahead. If Fazal, or his lackeys, were to go into court they would be soundly thrashed. Bear in mind that Pir Vilayat was the only person twice called upon to take a bow when the real leaders of the real religions of the real world met in Geneva. The Lord is My Shepherd … Whom Shall I Fear.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



August 17, 1970

Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht

P. O. Box 867

Bothell, Wash. 98011


My dear Atiya:

In the last correspondence from Shamcher or you I don’t remember the matter come up of sending Jerry ten dollars, which is now enclosed.

It is humorous and serious that now I am filled with “uncompliants.” Two secretaries have good outside jobs. At least six disciples have been absorbed by the New Age Food Stores which sell natural products. Those are expanding at a rapid rate. The number of attendants at meetings increases. The number of applicants for Bayat increases. The interest in all our activities increases. God is giving Samuel new dances. But one Khalif has been ill and the other often absent. This compels the Murshid to over-extend himself. The day you came last week was followed by interviews up to 6 o’clock with no break.

The first time the Sufi Order treasury has a surplus. But there has been a delay in our organizing and so in a delay with regard to the material you sent. This is a time when our efforts to promote peace and good will are just running ahead of us at a rapid rate.

Some weeks back Murshid gave a short talk to the disciples on “May the Message of God Reach Far and Wide.” This was followed by an explosion. And even new dances are coming at such a rapid rate I had to appeal almost dramatically for help in this direction. I understand two disciples will be helping.

Tomorrow night I sup with my goddaughter and her husband Ralph Silver. He has been very successful in raising funds for Pir Vilayat. And praise to Allah, we have had nothing but success in all our efforts toward world peace and toward uniting East and West through music and dancing. And a lot more is going on, a lot more, so that an appeal must be made for help. It seems almost ironic a that when we had little money so many people wanted to volunteer, and now that money is coming in and we have endless amount of tasks we do not have so much office help but I am sure this will pass and then we can continue in what you wanted.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



September 13, 1970


My dear Atiya:

One greatly appreciates your letter of the 5th and also “Sufis Speak.” It is absolutely impossible and I have made a great failure here—the inability to get people to come and help. One had two days off after the return from Lama and took off Friday afternoon to pick apples. The chief Khalif has been ill for months and the housekeeper for weeks. There are more and more applicants, more audiences and more money. But not helpers. It seems funny when I started out everybody wanted to help and nobody to give money; now getting help is most difficult complicated by other illnesses, quite a few, And more classes and more invitations.

On the international scene, praise to God, there has been nothing but success-Geneva, Jerusalem, Teheran, Ajmir, New Delhi and Bombay. But the amount of work to be done, already overwhelming, now drowns me. And if there is not sufficient help soon I may have to disappear. This is morning, after I have made appeal after appeal for help, nearly all the disciples are going to the choral singing, and I may let them. I have not even been able to get disciples to make announcements asking for help.

The two former secretaries are having good jobs and are helping out financially. Wali Ali is both successful and overburdened. The new assistant secretary, Sitara (nobody has a monopoly on names) may be going with me to New York.

The joint Israeli-Christian-Jewish dinners totally successful both in Jerusalem and here. The efforts for filming going grand. All excellent news but no help.

My friend, Admiral Evenson who is one of the few persons who even gave consideration to the peace plan for Palestine is delighted with Sufis Speak (he is an acquaintance with Mrs. Duce and was a close friend of the late Terry Duce).

I may have to meet some close to Fazal in New York. I shall do what Pir Vilayat suggested.

Jemila who is a sort of secretary to Pir Vilayat told me that he wanted to consider his things exoterically, not esoterically, and that the public should have access to them. So this gives you leeway. And with the Fazal situation I am all for that.

Piles of requests, all kinds, so please excuse me for not writing further.

Love and blessings,



P.S. Lama foundation, of which I am Guru, has a two-page picture in National Geographical Magazine, and was given at least ten shots last Tuesday on the Columbia Broadcasting System.



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

September 16, 1970


S. Bibijan D’Mitrieff,

Chief Secretary, Sufi Movement


Beloved One of God:

I am writing early in the morning and will turn this over to Wali All new the chief secretary here for mailing and send copy to the Fraleys and also to my spiritual sister, Mrs. Harris, in Pennsylvania. You will have to excuse mistakes for there is no spare time whatsoever, and there is very little detrimental. True chief Khalif Moineddin has been in the hospital for weeks but there are signs he may be released soon. And the housekeeper here has been ill and also several mureeds. Outside of that the news is terrific.

The part Vilayat may have to be play in the world may become tremendous. We have had nothing but the best news from abroad. Previously Vilayat was the only person who received two compendiums when I was at Geneva. The outcome of that conference is utterly bewildering, made ironical by being excluded from the news. We have had Sufi-Israeli dinners in Jerusalem and the welcomes in Iran are more beautiful. The Indian government seems to have given even a sort of willingness for Vilayat’s efforts and my godson reports nothing but wonders also from Geneva. We are getting more and more support from real religious and spiritual leaders.

Our two projects seem to be the filming and recording of dances and spiritual ceremonies; and bringing Israelis, Arabs and Christians together. This has been extremely successful here. Senator Tydings with whose family I may be staying in Washington, has won the primary election. The one man outside of California who approved the program I had for Palestine is Dr. Gunnar Jarring whose name appears in the papers much today. There is a growing movement among the young and the Arabs to foment a peace.

Last week the National Geographical Magazine had a two-page picture of Lama Foundation in New Mexico of which I am “Guru,” and last week they were snapped at least ten times on TV. Mansur is now fully employed at a good salary in connection with the above and is helping Murshid. Daniel is doing fine in Arizona and his employer who has met Pir Vilayat just returned with a long, edifying report.

Two weeks ago Samuel revolted. He was getting larger and larger meetings and smaller and smaller collections. Immediately people came to his aid and our first meeting in Sausalito, instead of San Anselmo, had an unusually large collection. Indeed there is enough money to help out on the next trip and we are expecting to leave for Ithaca, New York shortly.

The news from both the New York and Boston areas is most favorable. People are coming to the dances and they want to learn about Sufism. All meetings are growing in attendance.

Sunday we celebrated Hejirat Day with a larger audience than usual and Monday sixteen new mureeds given Bayat! We have a very large following and growing all the time. You must understand that not only are days off almost out of the question but even hours off. One must thank God for good physical and mental health.

There will be a meeting this week to consider our financial situation. It is situation rather than problems. We have not completed our legal work and our chief concern about you is to see how we can help financially. We have been greatly helped by Seattle turning out the pictures of the prayers with movements. But we also have to make tasbihs for new disciples (and old.)

We are getting help from a Sufi family from Afghanistan which operates a restaurant in Oakland. If you ever come this away; if any disciples come this way we should be glad to take them there. The meals are large but the prices rather moderate, and the atmosphere the most comforting we have ever found in an “inn.”

We are also trying to establish a “Peace Scholarship” at the University. My own income has been rising, but there are the needs to operate households and do something for secretaries—two get free room and board, at least. But perhaps things are as God wishes. On Thursday night in Corte Madera, Marin County, we have four classes but during my absence we will consolidate them a little. There are also several classes here besides public gatherings.

One feels God is with us and we are in constant praise. May run into some of the Fazalites in New York. The last time I was accused of lack of compassion was when severe measures were taken to two men. These men are now among the very best friends. Compassion does not consider of being naive and weak and since Vilayat gave some suggestions and instructions one feels one must go all the way. Samuel has no time to subjectivize him, only to go into operation.

We may be using his papers soon. His speech at Calcutta two years back will set him among the immortals. And in my absence permission has been given to start the drama class he wished.

But Monday night was the saddest and most joyous speech. No more family. It was beautiful to have 30 disciples. Most of them have grown and grown in all senses. One had to cry. Hazrat Inayat Khan never had such disciples, wonderful, vigorous and beautiful and more and more of them.

The present situation is this:

Moineddin Jablonski, the Khalif, ill but recovering.

Akbar Simmons, the Khalif, at the University of California but cooperating.

Sheikh Amin Quantz of Corte Madera busy all the time with a good livelihood now and an excellent “Garden of Allah.”

Sheikh Wali Ali Meyer (just appointed) chief secretary both for the Sufi Movement here and also for the Summer Camps of Pir Vilayat.

Naqib Daniel Lomax, doing fine in Arizona.

Naqib Mansur Johnson, very busy on the “international” projects.

Love and blessings,


Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Sufi Order

6904 Radford Ave.

No. Hollywood, Ca. 91605

September 20, 1970


Dear Samuel:

Just a short letter specially to wish you a very happy and successful trip to the Eastern states, and to thank you for your thoughtfulness in sending me many glowing reports and much information which keeps me in touch with your work and life at your so active Center. It is a joy to hear about the progress being made and the spreading of the Message to yet more areas. God grant you continued good health and strength.

I am quite busy preparing for Pir Vilayat’s visit next month and November through the Eastern and Southern cities, that is sending dates, program, publicity material etc. ahead of his arrival. Also notifying people in smaller towns within short traveling distance of the cities where he will speak.

Hoping those faithful workers who have been ailing will soon be completely recovered, and with all good wishes





October 8, 1970

To Fazal


Beloved One of God:

One hopes you will turn to God. Sri Krishna taught to be equiminded in pleasure and pain; Mohammed said so often, “be not angry.” So by control over emotion one has a certain type of mastery. “Ruler is he who is ruler of himself.”

Yes, the correspondence will be published unless, of course, you turn to God-Allah and become a true devotee.

One cannot make you listen but in time, inshallah, you will. I am hoping there will be the change in heart which will make you become a disciple of the spiritual succession and a true salik.

God bless you.

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



October 21, 1970


Dear Wali Ali,

Thank you for the poetry. Will use one each month, naturally I’ll use Murshid’s name. Sham (the man) sent me those fantastic letters. Hope Murshid is bearing in mind that Fazal has referred to the Order meaning himself. He isn’t the Order nor does he speak in any way for it. I have the papers proving this. I’ll send you one. Tell S.A.M. That I think that he should give Fazal a bit more rope and get a few more delightful letters to use for a charming picture of Love, Harmony, and Beauty.

The latest is Fazal is trying to bar Pir Vilayat from his father’s tomb. In court. That injunction we print, should it come. Right now we are courting the Movement and are printing a “lovely” letter sent in by M.E. Dickenson. Can’t say he didn’t ask for and even demand it. He demanded of Shamcher we print the inset. We print it all, and say nothing. Have a couple beautiful letters for others we run with his. Without comment.

I also have from Pir Vilayat the famous “white paper” put out by the Movement. I’d like Murshid to have a copy but we must be careful, everything is so costly and we have so little to do with. Oh yes, sent Murshid 200 initiation booklets. I had quoted Jerry (Shafayat) at 5 cents each. Well, that was what he said but just between us it cost him far more than that to make and we just can’t have him doing it. We could lose a willing worker that we really need. Anyway, the $10.00 didn’t come perhaps it was forgotten. Up here there is little work and like one big depression, over 14% out of work. So-o-o anyway, tell him please pay him but don’t quote me.

I was in Cleveland with Pir Vilayat and saw Jamila there. Had a letter from Mansur with a not for S. S. can’t read it why can’t he type it. Can’t spell names wrong People resent it!

About S.S. tell any who want it they must write as all who haven’t will be chopped as of last issue. Very few of your people have written in only two or three. Best give them the word. Any help toward costs is appreciated also as so many can’t do anything in this area. Do you have any Brightly colored pictures of S.A.M. or any of the places he has been teaching. The soft tones just won’t come out in good color. They may seem bright but the machine will not pick up pastels. We use them for black and whites. Have a rather nice one of Pir Vilayat taken at Cleveland small but sitting teaching, quite effective.

Hear you have been ill sorry we didn’t know. Have quite a fantastic healer in Shafayat. Pir Vilayat gave him that name with good reason.

Plan to pick some news of Sam from his letters (from Shamcher) for S.S. send me whatever you can about this time of the month as I’m putting the thing together now. Have a couple great letters really and a few little goodies.

Thanks again for the poetry. I’ll pick one for this time will try to tie it in with something else. My love to all,




October 27, 1970

Charlotte Brautlacht

P.O. Box 867

Bothell, Washington 98011


Dear Atiya and Beloved Ones of God:

Praise be to Allah, the guide, protector, and inspirer of humanity. This has been a very busy season, and it is very difficult to write on what has been going on, is going on. The report will begin on the interview and lecture of Pir Vilayat Khan. The interview was perfect from a mystical point of view. It was not like meeting anybody, but looking into a mirror and getting answers as if there is a two-headed superman conversing with himself. Praise to God, we are so close. The chief difference is that his actions are international and mine, for the while, are in this country.

I am glad to say he confirmed absolutely exactly what the holy men in the East have said. He has also been visiting holy men, and now he definitely knows what might be called "the pressure differential" which gives one strong impressions of spiritual status. In fact, we were so close here that it was not necessary to say much. It does mean, however, that I can go ahead and travel anytime  working for the cause of God. We left his room very comfortable indeed.

But it is the night lecture that I am immediately concerned with. It was tape-recorded, and I have asked Hugh D'Andrade if he could send it to you or type a copy for your publication. Personally I believe this is a matter of first importance. For me it establishes that Vilayat is a man, not a flesh and blood pretender of inheritance to the kingdom of God. There has been so much harm in the world from those who have evaluated flesh and blood. But I don't think anything I say can possibly convey as much as his own words. His own words show a remarkably developed man who can speak to western audiences, can appeal to western audiences, and can almost, in a sense, enlighten western audiences. Shamcher knows I am a tough person, not easily given over to open praise.

We are in entire agreement concerning various Hindu teachers and gurus. They are quite capable of elevating Americans, certainly far above Timothy Leary with whom we have little affinity, or Steve Gaskin, who has much love and emotion but is not yet aware of the higher planes. Pir Vilayat took us through each plane, and I think positively, clearly, sensibly. There was a criticism that he did not present enough love. You might just as well say that of a physician who administers a strong medicine badly needed to help his patients. I think he gave most of the audience exactly what they needed. In so doing, he naturally went too far upstairs for some. Sufism has been defined as di¬vine wisdom—in other words, here the note of wisdom, if one can call it that, is above and beyond the note of love. Wisdom has lower aspects; the word "love" has so many aspects the word itself may be confusing.

This criticism is invalidated so far as this person is concerned. The latest news from India has been soundly corroborated by persons in the audience who, like this one, have been disciples both of Hazrat Inayat Khan and the late Swami Ramdas of Kanhangad—not to be confused with Richard Alpert (Baba Ram Dass) or others who bear the same name.

Samuel did not feel it proper to operate as an inferior to or even as an equal to certain personalities now going around as "spiritual teachers." We are definitely involved in efforts to bring peace in the holy land; to present dancing and related arts as means to increase the conscious awareness in ananda-love-joy; there is a great need to present and explain the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan; there is a greater need to give to the world the deeper esoteric sciences, such as contemplation, or in Sufi terms, Mushahida; on top of that, praise to God, Walter Bowart of Tucson, Arizona, wants everything.

Everything means everything. But very few have any grasp of the quantity of work on the material plane and how much more difficult it is to present the super material. We stopped off at Westport Point in southeast Massachusetts, and there laid down part of our program for the coming year. This covers cooperation with Richard Alpert—Ram Dass, and this can have one of many results. This man has been boosting Murshid Sam and one feels very good. In general, Vilayat and Samuel have had the most cordial relations with identically the same Americans.

The other big project is organic gardening. There is no difficulty here but one—the danger of disciples not properly organized or organized into departments.

One sees great possibilities in organic gardening, public dancing, esoteric dancing, Zikr, ceramics, folk fine arts, and work with fabrics. At least these. It is not easy to give instructions in concentration. The word is received. The practices are received. The disciplines are received. And then the mind, distracted so often by "goodness," seldom by evil temptation, unconsciously produces roadblocks. This person has had it very clearly in the inner life to become an organizer. He does not believe he is fit, but God-Allah says that is why. That is the way he can  grow. We are to become perfect in the way God Allah wants, not in the way man requests.

Pir Vilayat will conduct a meditation this afternoon after which he must go to France. But he will be on the West Coast in November, and we have already booked passage to leave here on the 9th to attend at least two sessions. One of these will be in connection with dancing, and we expect a very large audience in Sausalito, California on the second Wednesday night in November.

Samuel is feeling particularly good, especially after a visit to the most wonderful Negro he has ever encountered. His name is Karmu. He has abilities and knowledges of herbs, cooking, and diet, magnetic healing, mental and psycho¬logical treatment, moral regeneration—in a sense about everything. He has certainly won the hearts of the few mureeds we have in these parts. Secretary Sitara, who is writing this letter, will remain on the East Coast for a while and also attend at least one of Pir Vilayat's seminars or retreats in November. I shall ask her to keep you informed.

In general, although we have a quantity of news, it has been most successful and satisfactory in all directions, and that means many directions. Pir Vilayat has also given us some introductions here which we have to follow and which could be very very helpful—and I mean just that—in promoting the Dervish dances and Sufi Movement. There is much more.

The only real problem is how to get everything done on a 24-hour day. At the moment, and it is very strange, we have a plus in money and a minus in a lot of other things, the opposite of the rest of the world. Personally, I am holding back, hoping to have secretaries and assistants who can be granted financial security. The news from San Francisco in particular has been excel-lent. It is only time and the pressing of other matters which keep me from writing further.

Love and Blessings.

Samuel L. Lewis



December 4, 1970

Sufis Speak

P.O. Box 7168

Seattle, Wash. 98133


Beloved Ones of God:

It is very difficult to comment on the latest issue of Sufis Speak. The whole life is taking me into the hal or ecstasy; even physical work, personality problems and oppositions do not bring me down to so-called normalcy, and your publication tends to take me further in the direction in which I am compelled to assume Allah wishes us to go, and I mean us and not the person alone.

There has been a criticism from Mr. Begg at Ajmer that the disciples of Inayat Khan do not know enough about the great Sufis. The purpose of life is to find about our own selves. Sometimes we may grow because of our devotion to or study of Saints and Masters who have preceded. But it also may be by the Grace of Allah that they manifest to us, and this is a Grace, and not a individual undertaking. In this I think our good friend Begg is entirely wrong, and whether it is analysis on my part or spiritual zeal, I am finding nothing but ecstatic trends as I read your latest issue. It is by the Grace of God, and not by our own efforts, that we come to liberation.

Some months ago I told a few mureeds at Novato that we should soon be seeing “May the Message of God Reach Far and Wide.” Beginning the next day things began to happen … and how. Secretary Mansur left the Khankah, and not only that, I was deprived of help (this is not a sad story; he is a faithful mureed though this has not helped me personally.) Khalif  Moineddin landed in the hospital and was there for a long time. He returned on Thanks giving.

The number of disciples is increasing. The number of applicants is increasing. The growth of many disciples is marvelous. We just had a successful conspiracy to put on a surprise welcome for the return of Moineddin, the Khalif. It was successful qualitatively and quantitatively, to add no more. It would seem that Allah, so to speak, is manifesting constantly, not only to the Murshid, but to several disciples, and most significantly. Before this happened, I told David Jamil, Pir Vilayat’s representative, that I was conspiring to give the Pir a gigantic welcome, and that this would be a rehearsal therefor. And the rehearsal was most successful in every direction.

Then we got news that Pir Vilayat intends to be in this region a few days more than we were originally told. At least one of these days will be spent in Oakland. But this week I spoke at the University campus in Berkeley for the first time. It was a very stormy night. Students were supposed to be cramming for their finals, and when I went to the rostrum there were about 12 people in the hall, but in five minutes to place was packed. I spoke on Sufism and we had questions. To me it was a marvelous affair. We ended with singing, not dancing, but I am to speak again next Tuesday. All of this will help Pir Vilayat very much.

Our next effort will be partly toward our Christmas period, and partly to a planned Bazaar for December 20. This Bazaar reputedly to raise funds for our peace efforts (Hallelujah: the three rings,) for my person, and for the suffering people of East Pakistan. In the meanwhile, arrangements have been made to give me a dinner at the new ashram of yogi Bhajan in San Rafael, California. This is only a few minutes drive from the Khankah. The Yogi is a little disappointed that I have refused to take over a peace movement in which he is interested. But the first meeting of this peace movement was chaired by a man who has constantly refused to grant me interviews or answer my letters. It is hardly a way to get another person to afford either time or money. I hardly know a peace movement which accepts history.

Inwardly I feel very strong, and the health is not bad taking all factors into consideration. There is a tremendous amount of mail to be answered, largely due to the growth in quality and quantity of our contacts in this country. As soon as this is out of the way, we will again work on the “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan.” I am feeling very strong about them, with full realization that as soon as they are published I can become a controversial personality. The Sufis of the Orient have absolutely accepted what most students of Sufism, intellectual or esoteric, have refused even to consider. It has taken me a long time to fully understand why Hazrat Inayat Khan, without a word, lifted me up and said, “I initiate you now for the sixth time in the Sufi Order.” It took me a long time to understand this, though in the meanwhile, one has reached much higher grades and initiations, both through actual ceremonies, some in the presence of hundreds of people, and through mystical awakening entirely in accord with what is written in the book in this subject published in Volume X of the Sufi Message.

If Hazrat Inayat Khan wrote only theory, all statements about him would be ruled ineffective unless there were objective examples. I have hardly met a disciple who has accepted what he said: “It is the mureeds who make the Murshid.” My defense of Jesus Christ against Christianity, and of Mohammed against Islam is being accepted more and more and more; or as Pir-o-Murshid himself said, “These men came to be examples, not to be worshipped.” The same is true of Hazrat Inayat Khan. And one reason I uphold Vilayat is because he has held his father up as an example but not as a God. There must be room for all of us to grow. There are no ceilings in the cosmic universe, though many people, metaphysicians and claimants, have tried to construct them.

I do not know what to add here except to express extreme appreciation for the last issue of Sufis Speak, and to assure you we will send you a carbon of our first revision of “Six Interviews of with Hazrat Inayat Khan.” There will still have to be a further corrected version before it can be published.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Temple of Understanding Correspondence

772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

August 12, 1965


The Temple of Understanding

1420 New York Avenue, N. W.

Washington, D.C. 20005


Mrs. Hollister and Dear Ones:

An event has taken part in the private life which may in time become of significance to you and others. When we are ready to study the real Indian cosmic philosophy we shall know there is a semantic-psychological level of conscious functioning which can be translated into English as “Understanding.” The Sanskrit term is “Vijnana” or “Vijnanavada.” It is not necessary to go into detail. All religions actually teach it in some form, and the only point to bring up is that it is functional and more universally functional than we yet realize.

This was demonstrated in the former report of the meeting, and in a sense, instant recognition to, from and with Hon. Zafrullah Khan. And it was more quickly demonstrated recently at the Buddhist Conference which took place at Asilomar in Monterey County, California which was under the spiritual aegis of Bishop Shinsho Hanayama. He extends to you his greetings and blessings and was very happy over my personal interest also in “The Temple of Understanding.”

The Buddhist conference in essence ends a struggle of years that the Dharma be established in the United States. One religion may or may not be better than another. When we speak of “Judaism” we speak of Judaism; when we speak of “Christianity” we speak of Christianity. But until recently Buddhism involved in our minds not Lord Buddha, not the Buddhist scriptures, not these “five hundred million people” whom Dr. Malalasekera claims to represent—it involved in our minds one of several persons, generally Europeans or Englishmen, or a very astute Japanese linguist whose questionable translations have had to be revised by men who know more about real Buddhism (in any of its various forms) or about the languages in question—Chinese, Sanskrit, etc. It is not that these people—Europeans, Englishman and this Japan scholar have done any “wrong,” they have simply been questionable pioneers. We are passing from them into an ago which is studying Buddhism with the same honesty, the same sincerity as we study the Western religious and the Western sciences.

Prof. Richard Robinson of Wisconsin University has claimed that he ought to be recognized as the top authority on Buddhism in the United States. The metaphysical, the popular people and those with leadership complexes have challenged this claim holding it is based on egoism—it never occurs to them or others that their objections may be based not only on egoism but on ignorance also. Dr. Robinson has long since convinced the Americans who teach Asian subjects in our universities that he might well be the top authority on Buddhism; he has convinced a number of Orientals, and it is only those cultists who do not study Buddhism or Buddhist scriptures but who are permitted to function under our “freedom of religion” that hold out. It happens they have large followings and generally the questionable blessings of the press, radio and TV.

The American public, misled or pioneered by a number of dramatic personalities—none of whom recognize each other—has not only the most bizarre misconceptions of the Orient, it has resulted in a complete misunderstanding of those very lovable but unfortunate people, the Vietnamese. Prof. Robinson has been able to communicate with the Vietnamese also because of his functional ability in “Understanding” as above. If he has not convinced the press and TV he has convinced our university leaders and now also some of the men responsible for training the Peace Corps candidates.

From my point of view he not only knows more of Buddhism and a goodly chunk of what we call “Hinduism” than a lot of people, Europeans and Indians alike, who have their various culture throughout the country. It is not necessary to present any negatives but to know and recognize the power of the positive, especially when the positive is true and the true is positive.

At the lower (is it lower?) we came to a clear “understanding” of the Vietnamese. At the more important, a very clear picture of the “Vijnana” as well as of the “Prajna” Buddhism into which one need not go. As we come to understand the Orient through real communicators we shall come to both Understanding and Peace.

It was my function to introduce Master Seo, head of the Buddhist Churches of Korea, to Dr. Robinson. What may come out of this is indeterminate but a very close mutual bond was established. My own connections with Dr. Robinson are deep as his teacher was my close friend for years and the American rejection of this man has more to cause the turmoil in S.E. Asia than anything else. Americans love the fictional “Ugly American.” A lot of them, the late Prof. Burdick above all, have had nothing to do with those Americans who lived and worked in S.E. Asian and the more successful, the more shunned. It is only now at the tremendous cost of money and lives that someone like Prof. Robinson is recognized.

Just before the conference Master Seo initiated me as the equivalent of “Zen Master.” This has been written out in Chinese. At the request of another Buddhist teacher he gave the ceremonial ordination last Sunday and another scroll. This was recognized at once by the best real Japanese Zennist here, and by Chinese. But my next stop is not in accord with tradition—I am going to cooperate not with separate Zen groups here, I am going to cooperate with our good friend Bishop Hanayama.

When E.G. Browne (A Year Amongst the Persians) came to the tomb of Shah Nimatullah, the guardian said, “Among the Gnostics there is no differentiation in sects.” This is not too different from what is real in Emerson in the West or Rumi in the Near East.

There has been some discussion whether the spiritual experience of Sufis was or was not the same or different from the spiritual experience of the Far East.

This person was long ago initiated and ordained as a Sufi Murshid which is recognized in all parts of the Islamic world, but not by these American universities which have British instructors in Islam (this matter will be taken up shortly here). The rejection by those who have not the “Divine Wisdom” is, of course, of no account. These men in turn have been challenged by other recognized professors who have undergone the Sufic disciplines and had the resulting Sufic experiences.

It is very trite to say “God is One,” “Truth is Universal”; it is another thing to be recognized East and West by the spiritual leaders. This recognition has been universal in every country of Asia visited, and every Asian leader contacted. But it is one thing to be recognized as a truth-seeker and another thing to be validated as having, let us say, direct experience in cosmic fulfillment. One need not go into that here.

The Universe of Heart and the “Heart Sciences” are largely missing from our functional consciousness and there is a far cry from Dr. Sorokin’s excellent books to communing and communication with holy men and peasants where there are language barriers. But it can be done, has been done and God willing, the Temple of Understanding may demonstrate this.

Next week the first steps will be taken in a lawsuit to recover a large family legacy. Any settlement will leave the writer free to go anywhere on earth. All his affairs abroad have been prospering. It is only in America where unfortunately we hide behind false facades that there are frustrations. The diplomats meet and argue; the scientists and children communicate and harmonize. In the universe of God there are no enemies.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

July 19, 1966


Judith Hollister,

President, the Temple of Understanding,

661 Steamboat Road,

Greenwich, Conn.


Beloved One of God:

With the Newsletter of June before me one comes to what itself may become, and indeed is a great source of misunderstanding—the coining of phrases, aphorisms and mottoes—and the fulfillment by action.

At the moment one is preparing to give a lecture on “Vietnamese Buddhism.” This is to be a lecture on Vietnamese Buddhism and not on the foreign policy of the United States. It will be no more concerned with the politics and complexities of the situation than a lecture on the geology or fauna of the region. But unfortunately the reports of anthropologists and correspondents from the same places do not even agree on methods, not to say logistics and conclusions.

A life-long student of real religions of real people I have long known of the synthetic behavior pattern of Orientals as against the analytical pattern of Occidentals, especially Americans. For instance in the first course we had in Comparative Religion held in this city about 1920 we were told of the “Lotus Society” in China which synthesized the “Five Religions” of the region (we call them five): Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. We say (vide supra): “Test all things, hold fast to that which is good.” We say, the Chinese did and did not bother about saying. And this is the first characteristic also of the Vietnamese who have established selective or eclectic faiths not in conformity with our traditional sectarianism.

And this is mentioned because this Oriental tradition is quite in harmony with most of this “Newsletter” and the remarks of Hon. U Thant.

Indeed my introductory remarks will be largely on the differences between the analytical and synthetic or eclectic approaches. And our whole culture excepting a few universities have refused to examine this approach. So it is “Sarkhan” of Burdick and Lederer all over. And “Sarkhan” being the basis of our politics and policies, it is impossible to take sides between conflicting subjectivisms and one will therefore hold to the actual faiths of actual peoples.

The great thing about “The Temple of Understanding” is that it is being planned in the United States and may become a contribution to the World’s spiritual elevation, following no doubt in the abortive efforts of the Great Moghul Emperor, Akbar, but following without a doubt. And the fact that it is being planned itself will ultimately appeal to these people. While if we persist in analytical approaches we shall not, we cannot win the hearts of the Vietnamese and other Orientals.

In passing tests before real Zen teachers—Sogen Asahina in Japan and Seo Kyung Bo here, remarkably they said the same words: Christ and Buddha Are One. Of course this is true but the religionists don’t want it that way and the young do want it that way and the young are going to get it that way and are getting it that way and we are going to see a sort of “revolution” in which consideration of human beings supplants a hypothetic “compassion” or “karuna” which remains in oratory but not in daily life. That is over.

One need not go into the contents of The Encyclopedia of Buddhism. I can assure you—I repeat I can assure you, that the great majority of both institutions and persons recognized as “Buddhists” have only the vaguest connection therewith. Practically none of Lord Buddha’s teachings are offered in the most popular meeting houses of the important Buddhist groups. But the same is true for the religions of the day. It makes one agree here with the late Meher Baba who said, “I have come to abolish religion. I have come to abolish religion and bring God.”

I have no such attention but whatever the teachers are, the first obstacle one meets and these is no question that one’s very use of the word Dharma goes not too lightly with those who say Dhamma, etc.

It has been remarkable—why should it be remarkable at all?—that one has been given interviews by so many new professors on the campuses or through correspondence. This did not happen at all before. We are coming out of an era where Asiatica was taught (???) by important (?) graduates of British and European institutions. Some are still must important in this country and I can point with pride that all but one of them has given this person vetoes, a whole string of vetoes over the years. And what British and European professors of Asiatica have to do with the cultures and wisdoms of the Orient I have never been able to learn. Certainly they are not devotees either, and when a non-American, non-Asian, non-devotee is paraded as an expert, we can only see the operation of moral laws to human dissatisfaction.

The new type of professor is honest, impersonal scientific and objective. One meets more and more of them. In the field of Buddhism along there is now a grand effort to bring actual teachings and not empty ritual and endless speculation by self-important people. Oh, that will continue, but it is fading. Youth wants truth.

In my next letter I all send some extracts from the late L. Adams Beck who reached the heights despite of her biological backgrounds. One hears of many cases of spiritual awakening even among Western persons. But unless they lead in some particular direction (and so divide humanity) they are under-stressed. E pluribus unum.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 94103 Calif.

October 27, 1966


Mrs. Judith Hollister

Temple of Understanding,

Steamboat Road,

Greenwich, Conn.


My dear Judith:

I am very glad to have relations established with your office in Washington. The whole life has been devoted to the study of the depths of all religions, and now I am seeing come true what appears in one of my poems on “The dream of Akbar.”

There are some oddities in this life between being almost constantly rejected by Americans and equally accepted by Asians. On the other hand there have been the instructions in Love, Patience and Brotherhood and any resemblance between these words and the ordinary emotional use is coincidental.

I have been called for my memories by my present superior in the Dharma, Rev. Seo, who is now at Temple University in Philadelphia; and also by one PhD, Dr. Kelley here who teaches “The Philosophy of Religion.” He has already accepted my Kamakura experiences which are generally rejected—excepting by the actual Masters. We are so dedicated to names and intellect that we do not conceive the values of Love and Devotion.

I must tell you now even if it be off the record, that the recent deaths of Blythe and Daisetz Suzuki will do much to clarify the haze around what has passed for Zen Buddhism. The theory of Zen is that enlightenment matters, not doctrine.

But I am also seeing the Enlightenment occur right near here where a Christian has been able to take men from the gutter and transform them into saints in a short while. It is miraculous. Both Master Seo above and Roshi Asahina in Kamakura taught: “Christ and Buddha are One” and they meant this from the depths.

On the personal side I have had the doubtful “E. Phillips Oppenheim” career that whenever there is a crisis in Asia, my personality is involved. But if we want solutions these will come not by counter-personality efforts but by prayer, love and devotion; therefore I look upon The Temple of Understanding as the peace movement.

God bless you,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

He Kwang, Zen-shi



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

January 13, 1967


Mrs. Dickermann Hollister

The Temple of Understanding

Greenwich. Conn.


My dear Judith:

And he shall turn the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi LV, 6.

Thus endeth the Hebrew Testament and some day, please God, it will be permissible to accept Scriptures.

There will be another meeting of “Society for the Scientific Study of Religion” in this region. The scientists study Religion, the clergy concentrate on pleasing their congregations and each other. And I am indeed sending copies of this to the Episcopalian Dioceses and also to Rev. James Pike because they are concerned with your efforts and I believe, most seriously.

When the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion met in Berkeley a few years ago, before the proceedings a most beautiful young woman sat next to me. She was a Sister (Nun). Soon we were laughing and chatting like two children. The mother Superior was astonished and eaves-dropped. She was even more astonished to find we were discussing the Crucifixion and Resurrection as realities in our lives. In the Sister’s case that was part of religion, in my case it means exclusion from “religion,” or rather from the church structures. And I am thankful that there are groups like the Scientific Study or Religion, and more, that take seriously cosmic experiences in man, through man.

I have arisen from the sick bed and had my fourth, in this life, experiences in Crucifixion and Resurrection. I was first astounded by the power and magnetism that came to the Voice and yesterday, despite my age, the ease with which heavy plants were carried in the Greenhouse. But while evidences are of concern to scientists, they are of even more concern to the young who take their fling at the Hippy Movement to seek the Divine Experience which is not only excluded by many churches, but one can often expect hostility and anything but the morals of Jesus Christ.

I am going to “resurrect” my poetry which long foretold the events of the day, and pretty exactly. The Hebrew poem, was, of course, rejected by the synagogues. Then one was directed to write a Christ-poem (1942). It portrayed the events of 1945-167 pretty exactly and, of course, was rejected by all the clergy who received copies. Each fears for his individual separated institution. They often do not conceive the integration and unitive outlooks which destroy nothing. But some are concerned with The Temple of Understanding and it is not only that one sends copies to Rev. Pike and the Cathedral here but one may send copies of the poetry to the Seminary of the Protestant Episcopalians in Berkeley where they have the cosmic outlook.

But whereas the rejected poems portrayed the events of the day pretty exactly I was able to reach Mrs. McTaggart, Director of the World Federalists in this city and give her a blow-by-blow account, because I had full information from the UN officials who had to patrol the Gaza strip. From the scientific point of view this is the most valid form of information, but from the Madison-Avenue dominant structure, Scribes-Pharisees structure called “civilization” this is the worst source of material for “channels of communication.”

Our present culture would rather die than by honest. Only it cannot compete with its rivals in dishonesty. Point by point the enemies of the United States are separately sitting on teachings of Marx and Lenin on one side and of Prophet Mohammed on the other. We could do nothing because we have long ago surrendered to the dialectical approach—that is, one portion of our culture has. The scientists have not. They want “truth” even if means just plain, simple facts. This “truth” may or may not be “exiting” and in the end it will win. The triumph of “science” over “religion” has nothing to do with science and religion but with objectivity over subjectivity and with pragmatism (which we have destroyed) over dialectics.

During this period I had the personal satisfaction of winning over one of the real Muslims in the United States. This has nothing whatsoever to do with what passes for “Islamic Culture” in our universities, which is in the hands of non-American, non-Muslims, dominated by a wealthy Englishman who, through financial contribution heads the “research” at Harvard university and, although neither American nor Muslim, dominates the degrees and teachings in this land and almost “only in America.” We have never given the Arabs the opportunity to present their culture and sometimes, in our efforts at quasi-fairness we have therefore restricted Jewish culture—but the non-America, non-Asians are still in the saddle.

So we see now that the Peace Corps is leaving more lessons, a sorrow lot for a group that was considered infallible to begin with. We have, Judith, three kinds of Love in our structure; Madison-Ave.-Love (?) which is all dominating; Hippy-Love which is a revolt against Madison-Ave.-Love and Christ-Love which still holds in certain hearts but not enough in lips.

The continued policy of listening to everybody and anybody but eye-witnesses (vide “Sarkhan”) is going to keep our country, and the world, in ignorance and confusion. I have therefore addressed myself to the President of India. The Indians never accepted the “Only in America” policy of having Germans control the chairs of “Oriental Philosophy” in this land and gradually the Germans are being displaced and replaced by Americans and Indians who work together. This is as it should be. But in the Near East?????

One can only call attention to the names of those Muslims who have acceded to The Temple of Understanding and compare them with the list of “professors” of “Islamic” culture in this land.

Beginning with the late Henry Atkinson in 1928 I have devoted all my life to the subject of “peace through religion” and hope, some day, please God, to get to the ears of a few clergymen, any faiths. Locally the Muslim leader is no different from his Hebrew and Christian colleagues. Anything but the “truth, whether eye-witness of heart-witness.

All religion, we are taught by Anthropologists, veers between Ritual and Vision. The Holy Book may say, and we love to repeat Scriptures, “the people without vision perish,” but we are not going to the Vision, yet. Everyone has to have its own separative Ritual or else?

The Hippies start out with Vision. They find, however, the Vision is limited, they want the unlimited Vision which Tim Leary and Alan Ginsberg cannot give them. Leary does not know but Alan knows there is also an Unlimited Vision. All the Hippies accepted Prof. Huston Smith at MIT and I have no more trouble with Huston than with you—the heart and ears are open—both ways. This is not, of course, present day “religion” but I believe it will be the religion of the future. I do not know any scripture which does not proclaim Hearing, I know of practically no religious institution today which does.

The doors of India being the widest open (vide Walt Whitman), these can be used as a prop. My next step is the Arab Leader here who had to take refuge from the mob. As in politics there are no major premises and only series of emotions backed by pseudo-logic, one takes Refuge in the Refuge which ultimately means so far as I am concerned Divinity as exemplified by The Temple of Understanding.

Going to the scientist and industrialists I have been as successful in promoting my Project: The Garden of Allah as stymied by the press, foreign office, churches and “sociologists.” I shall continue. It is possible to unite people through heart—and practical efforts. science will win over “religion” simply because scientists have ears and religieuses do not. But Science will have to recognize the Universal God and here I find even my friend, Mrs. Ruth Fuller Sasaki is not so far, let us say, from His Holiness the Pope.

I have written about Princess Poon Diskul, President of the World Buddhist Federation. She challenged me to a debate and I thought I had lost. She then said—something “experts” never, never do: “Now let me hear your point of view.” I expressed about the same view as The Temple of Understanding. She said: “No more debate. That is my point of view also.”

Love and blessings.

Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

April 22, 1968


The Temple of Understanding. Inc.

1826 R. St., NW

Washington D.C. 20009


Beloved Ones of God:

A few days ago I received a beautiful letter from your Mr. Dunne. To me in an ego sense it is very ingratiating that a person accepts the objective experiences and objective reports from let us say, an unknown. This is the curse of our land, that ideas, suggestions, etc, must come from prominent people and at the same time we verbally insist on democracy and then go out and fight for it. This has produced dismay in so many lands, among so many people.

There is one name omitted from the list submitted and that is Lama Anagarika Govinda. It was presumed that he was coming to the United States next month (May). Now we are told he will not come until September. And I am glad arrangements are being made so that he will not become a show-piece.

But the home of the Lama is in Darjeeling itself and presumably arrangements can be made for his attending any preliminaries, if not the conference itself.

We are also going to have Dr. Huston Smith coming here who is a prominent authority on many religions and is one of the few actual universal men—many use this term but hardly demonstrate it.

At the time I met Dr. Smith my slogan was “Joy without Drugs.” This slogan has now drawn a constant growing stream of young people—the old and self-satisfied never come for which one is grateful. It also includes some of Huston Smith’s top pupils.

This stream includes some young people who have achieved success or wealth and I am hoping to prepare a disciple to act for me this Fall. I have proposed she make a survey for spiritual woman while in India. This will include both Judith and one Julie Medlock, perhaps the worst treated of all the “Sarkhanians,” to adopt a term from the late Prof. Burdick. I believe with my whole heart that mankind will be meeting with mankind beyond any boundaries, narrow or otherwise, and the young are demonstrating it

God bless you,

Samuel L. Lewis



[To Temple of Understanding? Page 1 is missing]

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

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

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

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

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

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

As I personally am enjoying being a perpetual enrollee at the U.C. Extension and will appear on the Berkeley campus only in this connection, the possibilities for my resumption of inter-campus hopping are small. But I think it should be done.

Asian Understanding. Recently I was summoned to present suggestions of personalities which might result in better understandings with Asian peoples. I am not going to say more of the self, but after meeting Prof. Orr at UCLA, at the end of a long string of very successful interviews with scientists from the various computers who had been in Asia, the whole program has been too vast. Prof. Orr has been in charge of the Mekong River Development, and he is not the only UC man to be called into a position of importance. But he did ask me not to advertise it at that time.

Food Problems of Asia. More U.C. men have been involved in high level operations than we realize and I have agreed with the staff at Alumni House to keep a very careful record next time I go abroad, of all the alumni who are functioning and often at the highest levels.

Frank Tedesco above has had an interview with Prof. Brynner of the Department of Near East Languages and there is a possibility of his being sent on scholarship to either the American University at Beirut or that at Cairo. (I have visited each of these.) If this goes through I hope to have him properly briefed to contact Alumni members especially in U.A.R. Therefore copy of this goes to Prof. Paul Keim in Engineering.

In other words I have two areas of contact, one an interest in promoting Folk-Lore research and the other in promoting the status and stature of the University of California, in both a particular and universal sense.

Local Folk Lore. I shall not be enrolled in the Summer session; going to Seattle, to the University of Washington and to Vancouver, B.C. to stay with an aged uncle. His father, my grandfather, played an important part in the history of California. He was full of folk stories and unbelieved. After his death I verified everything. Now I shall try to get materiel from my uncle who is about 90, maybe more and in good mental health and will be glad to take notes and reports to you in full.


Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

July 13, 1968


The Temple of Understanding

1826 R St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20009


Beloved Ones of God,

This is like a book of myths and it will become a “myth” in the real sense. For no other purpose was I born, and for no other purposes do I live and die. And now the wheel-of-the-law turns, and even the “good karma” operates and this is written with as much joy and optimism as one has ever had.

It is significant that the scrolls should arrive just as I was giving instructions to Dara. Dara received this name on account of the Moghul Prince martyr, Dara Shikoh. And it is going to compel real humility upon all the pretenders and charlatans of “universal religion” who worship with nobody. At least this person has worshipped in temple and church, in synagogue and shrine and has taught from the podiums and rostrums of each, a requirement not demanded from the intellectuals and poseurs who have long led and misled the public. It is not necessary to remind them that there is a moral law.

Dara’s principles and associates are very wealthy. He and another disciple, Sheila, have been prepared to go to India first for The Temple of Understanding and then to see the by-passed by all “good universal religionists” of President Zukair Hussein; then to call on Julie Medlock, bringing with them such things as she wants. And despite all the “experts” most fortunately one of the top collectors of customs is a friend of mine, etc., etc.

It was Mr. Paul Reps who first requested me to contact Judith who presented the idea of a school for spiritual teachers of all faiths, actually, not poseur and PhDists to whom God is an after-thought if a thought at all. And I ran around and saying, “Unless the Lord buildeth the house they labor in vain who build. But if the Lord do build….”

Then Sam went to the place and gave the spiritual dedication. Then Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan offered his services and dedicated International School of Meditation which is not based on privileged me-s and thee-s but on the actual schools of Meditation. I believe Reps, Pir Vilayat and myself have been initiated into every school of Meditation, and now the good Lord is providing the means, praise to Him and these means will not necessarily be accessible to the intellectuals who put mind above God, and who insist, despite Lord Krishna, on manas and ahankara. That day is done.

The Three Wise Men of the West are millionaires and wish to devote their loves and assets to spiritual causes. Unlike the “free speech” people Sam was permitted the floor and his spiritual credentials were accepted as they are not by the “moral and spiritual” verbalists.

It has taken forty years to have Vilayat meet this person face to face and he found more love, spirituality and brotherhood than he found anywhere else. The New Race, predicted by Sri Aurobindo, but not yet accepted by the followers of Sri Aurobindo, is here. They are all for The Temple of Understanding and with hearts, minds, members and money, God willing we are on our way.

I immediately took Dara to have one scroll framed and it shall go on the wall here, here where spiritual teacher after spiritual teacher will come. For no sooner had Vilayat Khan gone then Grand master Seo came, and today my closest friend has gone off to meet Roshi Soen Nakagawa the great Zen Master (who also accepts the credentials of this person). All this in line with reports from and about dr. Radhakrishnan, etc.

We are losing no time excepting that Pir Vilayat rather suggested they take a different route from that proposed by your good selves. But still I should like copy of it. These people at least have the monetary assets. They have already started on this trail.

Fortunately I am able to put into practice what other schools do not: teacher and pupil are one, a fundamental of Sufism and a point of departure from many other schools. We practice this oneness, first introduced by the great Zen master Shaku Soyen whose records I personally have.

I wish to get these people of as soon as possible—naturally there will be delays. But I want them to be assured of accommodations at Darjeeling, etc.

In the meanwhile Lama Anagarika Govinda is coming—date uncertain. And I am also awaiting, as advised before, Dr. Huston Smith of MIT, the one outstanding scholar who has accepted the reports of this person. It is new age, an age without pretense, and age of Heart, and age of Love.

On Christmas day we merged into Lord Jesus and when Sufi Vilayat was here into Lord Krishna. Some day we shall accept the spiritual teachings objectively and impersonally and that will mean the end of wars and this nonsensical “excitement” which rules and ruins.

I am not here to talk, but to do; not to promise, but to act. I have so far not asked for any material help for this ego, but first God, for God in the form of The Temple of Understanding.

Dara and I also called at the office of retired Bishop Hanayama. He is in Japan. As soon as he returns I hope to see him on this matter.

With all Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

December 23, 1968


P. Dunne, Jr.

The Temple of Understanding

1826 R St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20009


My dear Peter:

On the eve of a very important spiritual holiday your gracious latter of the 18th is being answered. I also take this opportunity to move in a new direction to bring the real religions of the real world together and in this it would appear that there is the good egocentric dialectics, excellent in their day but no longer part of general culture.

I understand you have not been well. My missions and duties require attention to disciples who are unwell and some others. We just had an occasion to listening to another pompous big man who is paraded as a Superman and was excused by his entourage for being too weak to meet thus. This is an old game. The “Bigs are always privileged and the “Littles” are always blamed. And it was with some delight I heard a Christmas Message from an outcaste Christmas, “The last shall be first and the first shall he last,” something which dialectical metaphysicians reject even more than the Orthodox.

I am taking this opportunity to make a carbon for our good friend, Swami Ranganathananda. I suppose I have my private reasons for recognizing or regarding him as a superman. For he and his colleagues operate both as the first and last and their very manifest activities as the last will ultimately put to shame the real or pretending leaders of the day who are totally unable to wash poor peasant’s feet or clean outhouses. (I am talking actually and not symbolically. The metaphysical people only speak symbolically, They are unfit to do outcaste’s work.)

We heard Dara Howell’s reports and it will be taken seriously by the young. We are doing, not prating. The young here are organizing and not always destructively. You hear about campus revolts (mostly fomented by older outsiders) but you do not hear of the constructive work of the young. They now have some very successful constructive publications and we hope to get the editors to take seriously—and I mean seriously—both The Temple of Understanding and Auroville. Elders will walk and young will do; elders will plead for others, always others to make sacrifices; the young will “do it themselves.” This is an element of the “generation gap” never reported.

I have just been rather successful in getting a leader of one of the quasi-metaphysical groups adept at praising, poor in doing, to recognize that there is nothing particularly noble in editorials and sermons. This is a hard job. The “big” people must lead even if they have no followers. With them the first shall be first and the last last.

In my early days as a Sufi and as a scholar of all the real religions of the real world I was included in all conferences dealing with universality. As I grew in knowledge and what should be called “wisdom” I became excluded. Our good friend, Dr. Huston Smith was willing to accept that this person has solved koa-ans (in which he failed), but in the public meetings it seems that famous persons who have never submitted to real Zen disciplines are always called upon to speak. This took a climax when The Humanist had three very famous professors write on Zen which obviously none had really “studied” and the editor accepted my quite objective response based on facts, experience and data, such as one uses in the scientific field. Among the dialecticians and metaphysicians this is always call bombast and egotism and one is rejected because of bombast and eroticism.

You can understand why it is necessary to appeal to the young not to follow their elders who base all their efforts on dialectics and so seldom on “The Meaning of God in Human Experience.” There are more Sufi devotees than all other mystics combined but this does not work in with the schemes of so many private individuals each appealing for funds to support their very exclusive “universal religion.” And it is these private “universal religions” which stand today as road-blocks to The Temple of Understanding. I do not know any advocate of so-called “universal religion” who has worshiped in the edifices of the faiths he claims or they claim to follow and this person has not only worshipped but pulpitted.

The Dances of Universal Peace are progressing so rapidly that it may be necessary for one to come to Washington some time. The successor in this field of the late Ruth St. Denis (ignored by almost every organization dedicated to “universal religion.” One is turning out both Dervish (based on objective elements) Dances and Yoga dances (based on art-forms and spiritual experience), and has now a whole group of symbolic and Tantric forms. They will be given to the young. They are being accepted by the young and more and more.

Your letter will be read Novato. We expect not only Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj, but also Pir Vilayat Khan. We are doing.

The Humanist which does not make verbal claims is accepting my objective work in Zen. Real Zen. Last night I sent to Novato the ceramics used in the Tea Ceremony by the late Nyogen Senzaki. There is a whole history here, too. The Humanists do not make claims and include; the various “universal religion” groups make claims and exclude. No one has permitted anything on Emperor Akbar—this shows the very low “moral and spiritual outlook” of those making verbal claims.

The years ends tomorrow night when we shall celebrate Christ (not Christmas) by a Darshan or whatever name we may call it with a manifest experience of transmutation if not transfiguration. The Sufis practices fana, self-effacement and in the state of fana-fi-Rassoul, effaces himself and actually effaces himself in the divine ideal. Beginning with Mohammed one is now the instrument for Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Buddha, Moses and Jesus as well. The great Ramakrishna could see “God” better than he could see his fellow-man. This one has not reached that stage but he is able to practice and demonstrate self-effacement and bring blessings.

While “superman” has the privilege of becoming fatigued, this man gives practices to his disciples to overcome weaknesses, not dualistic sermons; even leas dualistic sermons called “Advaitic” but calling on the Names of God in such a way as to bring the Attribute of God needed to help the suffering disciple or non-disciple overcome the immediate cause of anguish of pain. This is done, it is not preached.

In these cases of fana and Darshan one becomes the living instrument of the divine qualities which manifested in each of these Perfect Men, maybe only momentarily but really real. So one has been writing “When the Gods arrive, the half-gods go.” One welcomes the dialecticians and metaphysicians but the corresponding practice is not observed. Now the young know it.

A very simple example is this:

Stand as the Five Pointed Star. This represents the Birth of Christ, the Star of Bethlehem.

Stand as the Cross. This represents the Crucifixion. Then the devotee makes an almost gymnastic dance step: “Christ is born and Christ is risen.”

We have a whole gamut of Dervish and Yoga dancing; ceremonials of several traditional religions and a lot more and more coming, God willing. This is all inclusive from above, and with the youth all inclusive from below. Some of these will be performed for Pir Vilayat Khan (all if he wishes), some for Swamiji (all if he wishes), but it means an open conflict with people whom I should like to have as friends. So far they will have none of these things, and they even ignore the historicity of Emperor Akbar and Prince Dara Shikoh.

With the Darshan there is the actual outpouring of Love, Magnetism, Healing Power, Tenderness, Compassion, Strength, and Atmosphere. This is my Bethlehem and I am hoping others will join in benefiting from its blessings.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti

Rev. He Kwang



410 Precita

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

February 8, 1969


The Temple of Understanding

1826 R Street NW

Washington D.C. 20009

Attention: Finley Dunne Jr.


My dear Peter:

There has been no news from you this year. Personally I am not troubled. There is certainly here in California a New Age, in which honesty, objectivity and facts are far more important than the personal prestige of the speaker. Indeed, it is on this point, and perhaps on no other, that the so-called “generation gap” is founded.

Saturday mornings I am attending a class on the influence of the traditional religions of Asia on modern political movements. Dr. Noronha, who opened up the seminar, is the first professor who has come out with the historicity of Emperor Akbar. The various Englishmen, Germans, their American successors and prejudiced Indians have kept us in total ignorance of so much of the real history of the real Indian and the real Orient that it is appalling, but the New Are is here.

The instructor this morning will be Dr. Nottingham from Long Island. I have long admired her from distance. I was as much delighted with her as with my good friend Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj, and this is saying a lot, an awful lot. Indeed, she is using “Lotus in a Sea of Fire,” for Vietnam. This is the first time practically; we shall have the opportunity to listen to an American professor who listens to Asians for information and knowledge. This is not a step; it is the indirection, not right direction. I am so pleased over this after a life battling that I am going forward to the young with glorious optimism and have been received by the young with glorious response.

My dervish dancing, dedicated to The Temple of Understanding is beginning to receive public response. Indeed last night, for the first time, I not only presented dervish dances but a Hare Krishna dance.

I am having my chief secretary, Mansur Otis Johnson, going over previous notes on “Spiritual Architecture.” I am not worried about form. The day has at last come when mystics are being permitted to speak on mysticism and Gnostics are no longer barred from public platforms.

My classes in Sufism and Dharma are definitely reaching more people. The class in Christian mysticism, based on the bible and not on book reviews, is not only growing in attendance, but one finds in the audience an increasing number of young people who have had real Christ experiences. There is also an overtone here that I may be asked to speak soon at one the most important theological seminaries in this area.

Tomorrow I expect to have a Jewish Sunday school class listen to a talk on Sufism. I am not worried about that. I am worried whether they will accept the validity of their own prayers.

At this writing both the so-called synagogue and the so-called mosque are so overlaid with politics, I prefer humanists and skeptics. While it seems that most of the world accept the word “God” as gimmick, to a Sufi this is not a reality, this is the reality.

I am also working on a manuscript “Introduction to Spiritual Development in the New Age.” It accepts Bulwer Lytton, Marie Corelli, H.G. Wells. Sri Aurobindo, the Roadha-somis etc. etc. The mystic has a universal view, which is all-inclusive and not just selective.

Sooner or later I hope to see the fulfillment: My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis


Temple of Understanding

1826 R Street NW

Wash. DC 20009

Feb. 13, 1969


Dear Friend Sam:

It is after hours. The young women who do all the work around here have departed, and I have a few minutes to kill before starting for home myself. What a chance, says I, to dash off a few words to Br’er Lewis, who is so faithful and interesting a correspondent. I probably won’t finish this tonight, but it will be waiting for me in my typewriter tomorrow morning. You may, ‘tis true, see me in two moods in one letter, but I should think that would seem perfectly normal to any real devotee of Zen, not to mention Sufism. The pluralism of life is not only around us on every side, it is in us. Each of us is part Jekyll and part Hyde, a Yin and a Yang, angel and devil and often many-faced like so many of the Gods.

If we would only recognize that we are plural within ourselves, we would be less troubled by what is called the generation gap nowadays. The gap is not really between people under/over thirty. The gap is between our hopes and promises and what we have been able to achieve. It is between our morality and our performance. For instance, our moral tradition tells us to be kind, but daily living often forces us to be cruel or at least thoughtless. Morality says we ought to serve mankind; life insists that we make money, and does not ask how much service we have given in the process. (I hasten to insert here that I have never made very much, but it has been more a matter of not caring than any revulsion against the $$). So our children look at us and cry out that we are hypocrites, preaching one set of values, and pursuing quite another. Hypocrisy seems to them the worst of evils. They shout that we ought to “tell it like it is.” But when it comes down to deciding what is, they don’t know any more than we do, and as for being true to their morality, they are not doing any better in that area than we do. Look at them any day, preaching love and practicing violent cruelty. What they need most is the same thing all the rest of us need: an understanding of their own inner dichotomy, and of the fact that their supposed sincerity and commitment is just the same as ours, no better and no worse, because to be split between opposing forces of good and evil, of kindness and cruelty, of courage and cowardice, of beauty and ugliness, is precisely the human condition.

Now it is another day, dawning bright, windy and cold, which is just like me except that I am not cold. The argument above still seems valid. The great mistake some young people are making today—the ones at least who are getting the most publicity—is in assuming that they know better than their elders. This assumption is mistaken and arrogant, and really demonstrates nothing except their immaturity. Their arrogance shows itself most markedly in their apparent willingness to subvert the carefully constructed processes of democracy, the rules, imperfect as all rules are bound to be, which make it possible for issues, needs and demands to be rationally discussed among equals in a free society. It is true that at times those in the seats of power have used these rules to head off reforms that were needed. This does not mean that the system is wrong, it means that human beings are wrong; every generation should charge itself with the duty of mending the moral bases of conduct so that the system will not be too grossly misused. The mistake is to assume that the system we call democracy is what is at fault. Some of them would replace it by the only real alternative, which is some form of non-freedom. Perhaps they think that if, under democracy, people are wicked, they would be less wicked in a communist or socialist state. This is simply not so, as a glance at Russia should demonstrate to everyone’s satisfaction.

What is needed is less rebellion for its own sake, and more efforts to change the wickedness of people, by means that have a reasonable chance of succeeding. You cannot change people by imprisoning deans, shouting unacceptable words childishly or befuddling your mind and poisoning your body with drugs. The real solution is in the area of love. We need to recapture the joy of religion, the humility and human kindness that come from self-knowledge in communion with the Infinite. We saw this in a striking way in Calcutta. I enclose a message that embodies some of that feeling.

Let me hear from you one of these days. I want very much to know what you are doing, where your yoga is taking you. Also, what is happening to the Novato people. The last I heard, they were being carted off to the dungeons as narcotics law violators—how sad!

Best regards

Peter Dunne


PS. This is not quite fully responsive to your good letter of Dec. 23. In that, you remarked that elders talk and young do. What do they do? Protest against wrongs? OK, I’m for that, up to a point, and the point is when they offer something better. It must be better, not merely different. The idea that blacks should study Swahili, for example, when what they need, for heaven’s sake, is to learn English!



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

February 17, 1969


Finley P. Dunne Jr.

Temple of Understanding,

1826 B. St., N. W.

Washington, D. C.


My dear Peter:

Your letter of the 13th has just arrived and along with it other mail. The complete break in the last few days shows to me that there is a definite trend in the universe. Finding myself speak in rapid suggestions to the young Hippies, finding Dr. Nottingham thoroughly honest end objective regarding the conditions in Buddhists countries today, being invited by Vietnamese to speak on Zen, and having my name mentioned in Playboy, coming in on an already full program means the cancellation of some speaking dates this week and of others next week. There is no time to breathe but there are few real obstacles contrasted with the life of the past.

Although not mentioned in Playboy, the death of Meher Baba and the withdrawal of Krishnamurti from this scene may open more doors. I am particularly interested in the news from Paul Reps who tells me the rise of Joy movements. As we do not study Buddhism, excepting superficially, we do not realize the importance of Joy in this religion. Among the books which we do not study are “Psalms of the Early Buddhist Monks and Nuns.” The theme is Joy. And in my talks before the young Christians the theme is Joy. And they are getting Joy (the beatitudes) and not so much “sin” which has been ground into them through the centuries.

All my themes are in the Scriptures, most definitely so and the basic theme, “Joy without Dugs” is attracting the young—the old know too much. They judge by externals.

Actually it is not a generation gap at all. It is a gap between the manusha and gandharva written in our terms which do not fulfill the situation at all. In class the other day I said Americans are completely unable to listen to Asians. In the discussion which followed the young in the class said that American are completely unable to listen. Of course there is a kind of generation gap here, of a different kind. And my work now is to show the difference between manusha and gandharva, of the mental state and super-mental state (Sri Aurobindo) and of the intellectual end the Jinn-genius (Hazrat Inayat Khan.) But as the intellectuals control the culture, we find the gandharvas among the young protesting.

I wish to make it clear that I have been an eye-witness of a number of the so-called “campus revolts.” The press, the TV, the publications, never interview students, do not tell what is going on in the classrooms, in the laboratories, in the studios. There are few campus revolts actually. I was in a campus revolt once at San Francisco State. It never got into the press. It was not led by dissident non-students, there were no outsiders, no news reporters, nothing. We won. We wanted equal rights for the Negroes and they got the equal rights and it was hush-hushed. Now they want special privileges and there are professional agitators. They telephone the press, the TV and radio and do their stunts. They are not campus revolts at all.

The other day when I tried to tell an audience that all the “demands” of the Negroes (led by off-campus persons) have already been met, that these courses are given at UCSB and UCLA, the whole audience, “liberals” and “conservatives” joined in ignoring it. None of the emotional people want facts. I have just had a sort of acknowledgment from Time on another issue to the same point; facts are not wanted, just explanations of why there is disturbance, and it is the people outside who are being disturbed. I am still enrolled at the University.

The difference is that Sam Lewis is doing, all the time. Love is neither doting or being negative; it is wise guidance. This morning we went over my pictures. Some pictures are of places where no outsider has ever gone, such as before the ashes of Lord Buddha in Japan; on top of the real sacred mountain, etc. I did not take pictures when I was guest at the Imperial Palace either in Japan or Thailand but the “important people” said I was lying and they were believed.

In watching the Negroes (off the campus) and Dr. Hayakawa (on the campus) on television one could see all were below what the Hindus call “manusha”; all showed the sub-human level, no calmness, no consideration. Dr. Hayakawa is an atheist and apse facto he rejected all reference to any religious persons whomsoever. He published articles on what he called “Zen” writer by Alan Watts end the late Aldous Huxley. Then he broke with these men on the question of psychedelics, a priori rejecting, which is his wont.

Now as to the actual young. Please. If you sew the TV programs before S.F. State you would have recognized that it was not the young people that lead them. Twice men told me they were going to the campus and start trouble; both told me they were leaders of the social revolutionary problem end both got on TV. How many actual students have been on TV? And during the Berkeley revolt a few year s back, not a single member of the Student Body was ever on the air or in the press, and the only professors those in revolt.

I have humorously suggested leading a delegation of Jewish students to Howard demanding courses in Yiddish, and that they should make Sammy Davis a PhD.

The Upanishads teach that each grade of evolution shows a stupendous increase in the capacity for Joy. We not only give the text, we give the techniques. My spiritual poetry, rejected in the past, is being read before the young. They swallow it big and want more. I got tired with rejection slips. One poem, “The Rejected Avatar” has been published. If you want copies of my rejected poetry—all epics, you would find the penetration into the deepest recesses of the cosmos, and nearly all the predictions coming true.

Alan Watts called me publicly and privately a liar and was believed. When I came to Kyoto, Mrs. Sasaki asked my companion: “How did you find me?” He said to her, “He (pointing to me) find me.” My dear Zen brother had seen the Prajna in operation, not talkie talk. Then she said, “What did Sokei-an teach you?”

“I cannot tell you. Nothing secret. Nothing esoteric. Nothing like that but if I began talking I doubt if I could stop in ten thousand years, actually. I will tell you one thing. After each lecture he permitted six and only six questions. In answer to a single question I saw the rise and fall of Mussolini and Hitler, the Second World War, the peace that followed; just from the answer to a single question. How can I tell you all the answers to all the questions in one night? And does this tell of what he imparted in either his lectures or mediations? All I know is that when I left him I understood all the scriptures of the world.”

“I believe you.”

Well some of these things are still on record and I think I’ll have my Jewish epic sent you and then the Christian one. This for a start. I am not dwelling in a remote portion of the universe, but neither am I stuck with the subjectivities we call “realism.” The revolts could be stopped overnight by the simple device of not putting them in the papers and TV. We want excitement, nothing but excitement. Ideas are not wanted. Sarcastically I say that years ago only a million dollars cold make suggestions; now only a million votes.

Now as to Novato. Sheila McKendrick and Don McCoy are receiving their fruits. Both are in trouble, constant trouble. With Dara Buzz Rowell, it is the opposite. He has gone to Ohio. He has had the illumination experience and so telephoned me. He is beginning to understand through Samma Drishthi.

This week I must stay in San Francisco but next week more in Marin. I expect to give another Darshan. In the Playboy article the writer, otherwise the usually sophisticated newsboy outlook, says Sam put on a look like the Buddha at Gumps. I cannot see myself but I know how one feels.

I am teaching the Walks of the Messengers of God. Some are very difficult. They inculcate the same virtues. Last night the walks of Avalokita and Kwan Yin. And it produced those qualities—Mercy end Compassion. Tonight I do this by Bismillah Er-Rahman Er-Rahim.

Also by the Sufi methods, quoting the desired Name of Allah we awaken those virtues. The young respond; how they respond. Their elders sneer and refuse to come. What can one do? One does, and it may be “freely give, freely receive”.

Daisetz Suzuki and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan both proclaimed the supremacy of Prajna. But the former showed no signs of having and the latter all signs. It means the immediate grasping of a situation in its fullness with cause, movement and effect together, and the seeing of every event as a cosmos and every cosmos as an event. It pierces time and space and conditioned existence. In “The Day of the Lord Cometh” you have deep kabbalistic explanation, drawn from the Sepher Ha-Zohar and not from commentaries, mostly from non-Jews, and entirely from people who do not know the Kabbalah at its depths.

To help Novato God came to my assistance in finding I had a copy of some of my “prophetic” research. All my writings were seized from me by “good” and “important” persons who kept most of them until a few years ago. I was a social outcaste in every way and they, the “good” people tried to destroy me. At the darkest moment my father, for the first time in my life, came to my assistance and it has all been uphill since.

Or, as I “insulted” some of my friends who asked me to send them some money so I could meet the great ones of the word: “You are asking a mean who has been guest of honor at the Imperial Palaces of Japan and Thailand and had tea in the Presidential mansions of Pakistan and India to send you money; what for?”

It took me five days to become a guest of honor in UAR. Six days in Japan. The Japanese government sent me a Rolls, the Egyptian a Buick. Was I gaining or slipping?

After the poetry I think I’ll send you copies of some of my pictures. I work every day all the time but also teach and practice spiritual walks. Young girls, coming a few times, are able to climb mountains. When I tell this to older people they are furious. But then when the Cayce people came and told them that many ills could be cured by jogging, they applauded vociferously, but did they jog Peter? It is more than a generation gap, it is the gap between asura and manusha and gandharva of every age.

Finally I begin giving instructions in Mushahida, dearly contemplation, having performed it. It means complete vision of the whole world, over time and space; in the past it also meant complete rejection of the personality by friend and foe alike. So I have returned to “my knitting.”

Love and blessings,




Feb. 18, 1969

Mr. Finley P. Dunne

Temple of Understanding

1826 R Street

Washington, D.C. 20009


Dear Peter:

Last night after having written you at length I had a strange dream. On the psychic side it resembled Lord Tennyson’s “Dream of Akbar” but it had no negatives in it excepting that sooner or later the men who have set themselves and others up as “experts” on Asia and who exclude all references to Emperor Akbar will sooner or later have to face the consequences before the world. It is bad enough to lack moral integrity but it is far more objectionable not to have worldly knowledge.

An “expert” on Asia does not have to have much knowledge. The general requirement has been that of language. Being able to speak Russian does not make one an expert on Russia. Being able to speak Persian or Hindu or Thai makes one an expert on their cultures; still being able to speak Japanese does not necessarily make one an expert on the culture of that country. I think Ruth Benedict understood the Japanese people. I do not know whether she knew the language.

We have absolutely no standards and we are trying to measure the world without standards.

In the dream I was told to offer you good cheer. It may not be that God is in the heaven and all’s right with the world. It may be that God is. You do not have to accept this to be a delegate to a conference on Asia or on Asian studies. Sooner or later the fact that Playboy has recognized me as a Sufi outweighs a multitude of rejections by what I call “Professor Von Plotz” a compendium of University graduates chiefly but not necessarily of European professors, and of their American chelas who having studied under than lid not require Asian mentors.

There is much confusion today about the young. The long-haired, the partakers of psychedelics, and the campus-revolters are lumped together without evidence. I am old enough to have experienced Hyde Parks in both New York City and San Francisco which existed before the days?? of liberty democracy and freedom! The radicals were then permitted to blow off steam in public places.

Now the United States has accepted the Marxist verbiage of left, center, and right, and of class. These words are used without reference to anything by whomsoever along with a number of doubtful sociological terms which I neither understand nor accept. This sets one up against the whole culture. Added to that I have been practically debarred from nearly all East-West conferences in this land and equally welcomed elsewhere. I am not going to protest. The young accept the facts that I have not only studied the religions of the world but have preached in temple and synagogue, church and mosque. Nothing has been more offensive to our “experts” in Asian culture and I can name them. Leadership and darkness.

I must it clear for the last time that the revolutionaries hampered by our abolition of Hyde Parks invade campuses and will continue to invade campuses. This has practically nothing to do with the affairs of the enrolled students.

In your report one finds neither Prof. Nasr of Tehran nor Dr. Radhakrishnan present at the Calcutta proceedings. Here are two men who I can face eye to eye and heart to heart. But I can equally be debarred by the students of their students, and have been. This is the end of my negative report.

Both Dr. Nasr and Prof. Radhakrishnan accept the God-experience as the most vital thing in existence, as the very purpose of our being. Both have been welcomed by Indian Sufis as among the great ones of the day. But publicity alone does not mean greatness. I must call now attention to those I consider my real colleagues who accept and experience God and who are trying to do something about it in this world. I am sending Mr. Clive Ross, Pates Manor, Hatton Road, Bedfont, Middlesex a subscription for you for Studies in Comparative Religion. I shall make this retroactive so you may have the complete files. Among the chief contributors to this publication are Marco Pallis, Frithjof Schuon, Titus Burckhardt, and René Guénon.

These and other writers are concerned with the spiritual awakening of themselves and others, and not with dialectic and analytical reviews and comments by persons who have not had such experiences. A book reviewer is not a creative writer. He adds nothing to our culture and only too often has been successful in establishing harmful barriers.

This Spring the University of California will have a seminar on Mystical Experience. This time I do not think they will debar Samuel L. Lewis, SAM, Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti, venerable He Kwang. I began with reference to Tennyson’s “Akbar’s Dream.” I live in, for, and with that dream. I am now imparting spiritual and mystical teachings through walking and dancing which though referred too glibly by Playboy were referred to and not a priori rejected. This following the invitation to speak on Zen Buddhism by the Vietnamese shows that the universal outlook cannot be smothered forever.

I am no longer going to try to attend conference unless welcomed. Universal love does not mean to condone ignorance. One prays for the awakening of those dialecticians, prelates, and philosophers who have so for successfully dominated and prevented cordial East-West relations. Heart is universal. The young will accept Whitman, the young will accept Christ, the young will accept Buddha, and horrors through this person will also accept Mohammed.

I would tell you more Peter that if you were to establish a chapter in California it would be the young who would flock to The Temple of Understanding. With the seniors it is words, with the juniors it is love and understanding. It may be strange that a Sufi should be championing the cause of the late Sri Aurobindo but a mystic does not submit to boundaries, divisions, and wall-distinctions.

With all love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco 94110

February 26, 1969


The Temple of Understanding

1826 R Street, NW

Washington D.C. 20009


My dear Peter and staff:

This in a sense is a surprise letter. Yesterday I visited the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Being a member of the class of 1918, I am rather on a bound to give a gift of $50 or more. The details need not concern you here, but to my surprise one of the officials felt that such a gift would accomplish more if donated to The Temple of Understanding.

I am unable at this writing to vouch any exact sum due to income tax obligations on the one hand and further family litigation. However, the ides of February indicate, inshallah, the joint possibilities of a lesser tax payment on the one hand and an increment of estate allotment on the other. Naturally, I intend to share this.

The university officials, having witnessed the joyful reunion with Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj, now realize that I have at no time been bluffing. They would accept, as the staff of the Indian consulate proclaims, that “Mr. Lewis knows more about India than any other American.” This is vehemently denied by the various “experts” on Asian culture who regard university honoraria as superior to spiritual attainment or travel adventure.

My whole life has been concerned with the promotion of better American Asian relations. I am not going here to refer to previous history and attainments. It is very unfortunate that “experts” simply will not accept facts on any level. I was left with the awkward decision concerning the merit of these “experts,” whether they should be recognized by the universities. My judgment compels me to issue a negative. It is tiresome and ironic to be recognized by the Asian teachers (if any) of the “experts” and to be belittled by their pupils. The only weapon has been patience and now the harvest is on the horizon. Every day new doors open, even in the last two. I should like to have shared with some of these scholars. Some have been quite willing to accept my research papers and my money and let it go at that. But now with the decision making in my hands, I can no longer permit any vetoes on the historicity of Fatehpur Sikri or President Z. Hussein, etc. etc. etc. The world cannot remain half free and half dialectic.

The officials are interested in my proposal to restore Fatehpur Sikri. Why not?

Korea. I have been asked by Master Seo Kyung Seo to see if I can get an affiliation for him with the university. He is a master in both Zen and Ch’an—all schools. He is also my Roshi. I have ceased to look for any consideration from private bodies or organizations, but there is a good possibility that the university of California may be receptive.

Vietnam. On the one hand I have been asked to lecture on Vietnamese Buddhism at the
Monterey School of Languages. On the other hand I have obtained the address of Lieutenant General Edward Lansdale, a former associate, who, next to General Westmoreland, has been our chief army commander in Vietnam. At least the fact is accepted by those who accept the facts, and I think the sky will be cleared of much of the nonsense that the opinions of important people who were not there must always preponderate over the experiences of unimportant people who were. This country, this world, cannot remain half free, half dialectic.

Although this is prior to the forthcoming seminar on mystical experience from which, this time, I shall not be barred. This, the above items and much more, will enable me to support publicly The Temple of Understanding (much more here means much more and prevents me from writing a longer letter).

Love and Blessing,




410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

April 8, 1969


Finley P. Dunne Jr.

The Temple of Understanding, Inc.

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20036


My dear Peter:

Thank you very much for your reports, sent to an old address. I have been living at this place for nearly two years and also now have a Sufi Khankah at 910 Railroad Ave., Novato, Calif. 94917

The dream of a Temple of Understanding is most marvelous. To cast a negative note might be unfortunate, but “unless the Lord buildeth the house they labor in vain who build.” Dreams may be long lasting, they may come from the ego and again they may come from the divine spirit. I believe, but cannot prove, that there is something in the universe. “My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples.”

I am glad you have gotten on the track of the World Congress of Faiths of many years back. It was an effort to bring representatives of religions together in some way. In America, and especially in America of all lands, there has been a substitution of calling in famous or select people instead of the representatives of these religions and have conferences of note-worthies which have accomplished little or nothing.

In 1928 I met the late Dr. Henry Atkinson who also had a similar dream, for the sake of world peace. It was called “World Conference for International peace Through Religion.” It failed in its purpose but did have the merit of calling in representatives of religions and not famous people. Emotional appeals are not divine visions: emotional appeals touch the surface and when non-devotees are called in—and this has now been done—to support an effort to have the in—and this has now been done—to support an effort to have the peoples of the world join in prayer and devotion, obstacles are automatically set in the path.

Today I am being permitted to repeat Azan at the University of California. True this is a call to prayer of a particular religion, but it is a call to prayer and when you accept as important persons who do not believe in prayer or call to prayer to support The Temple of Understanding, there is in the inner worlds a negative note. We cannot both have “God” and not-God at the same time and achieve an aim. There must be the utmost devotion, concentration and consideration.

I am receiving today considerable literature calling attention to the feet that there is a new, more evolved type of humanity coming into manifestation, and perhaps more than just coming into manifestation. This brings to the focus the possibility that the divine vision may appear in many. Only it is yet that those who have done this one step ahead—and recognize the existence of those with vision, are still paying too much attention to “Not-God”—worldly and political institutions, and there representatives and headers who have been adept in keep people apart, not in unity.

The efforts for “Universal Peace Through Religion” failed and this group was reabsorbed into its parent body, “The World Church Peace Union.” Much of this failure was due to the rise of a rival institution which began with the theme of restoration of the World Congress of Religions and it also had its headquarter in Chicago. But they called in non-devotees (as most unfortunately you are now doing) and it ended in a series of brawls and nothing more.

A little later came “The Banner of Peace” movement from the Roerich Museum in New York. They held a real world conference in which famous people and politicians dominated. The result was not only the demise for “The Banner of Peace” but the destruction of all efforts of Nicholas Roerich.

There is no greater dream than The Temple of Understanding but when God is not put first and famous men are paraded, especially men who have no particular beliefs and who are off in strange tangents, where is the divine visions?

Divine vision in this direction is presented in the bible in several books and in “Saddharma Pundarika Sutra.” The acceptance of all religions may or may not be fundamental, but the pushing of personalities representing no particular religion, only themselves, can lead again to the same failures as above.

I have before me World Union from Pondicherry. It advocates and I think rightly, that there are more evolved souls in manifestation. Yes, there are, Peter. And right here one runs up against a hard dilemma. The Jewish religion, in their prayer book, calls for the restoration of the Oracle. There is a so-called “homeland” now in Palestine, but no temple and much less an oracle. Man plays with things, even the things of God.

There has just been a lot of to-do about potential earthquakes here in California. These “warnings” come from important people; the fact that they are not substantiated or substitutable does not change the tendency to react to important people. One of my next steps here, and if as a people we were honest which unfortunately we are not yet, is to gather the young people with vision and help them and listen to them, a faculty seldom found in mature Americans, i.e. listening.

This week may appear The Oracle and in it both one of my actually “prophetic” visions, and not trivia. There were a number of these visions, all rejected and all manifested. In a few generations the hard, substantiable facts will be considered alongside verbal emotional appeals. The Bible may say. “A people without vision perisheth.” We love to quote; the “generation gap” wants facts, not quotations. Or as a Sufi has said, “Exploration is the habit of the wise; quotation of the ignorant.”

“The Dance of Universal Peace,” first a concept and then a heritage from the celebrated Ruth St. Denis is proceeding apace. We now have series of dances either based on actual Dervish dances, or on the sacred phrases of Islam. This was followed by Mantric dances, using phrases from Indian religions. This has been followed by a compendium of dance and ceremonies not only from various religions, but involve a restoration of old “pagan” rites. But all are based on the existence of God (or the equivalent) end the repetition of sacred phrases.

The theme has also involved the experience of Exaltation and Joy and it is totally different from traditional religion and metaphysics in its conscious affects on the persons participating. The idea of “Joy without Dugs” offered some year back is now penetrating the consciousness of the young. My following is as yet small, but every single week this year the totality of audiences greater than the week before. And I am being called in to give lectures on the mysticisms and spiritual experiences of the real religions of the real world, which involves the real humanity and not just the thoughts or ideas of some important people.

This forthcoming Saturday and the next there will be a seminar at the University of California, or at least it is programmed on cosmic consciousness. At the moment one faces the question, “Are we going to have book-learning or the experiences of individuals?” As my friend, Princess Poon Diskul Pismai says: “All Americans know is books, books, books, nothing but books.” Her Serene Highness is a top Buddhist; I am a presumable Sufi. Our purport debate stopped abruptly when I spoke and she said, “I agree with you entirely.” Unfortunately you are now heralding a person who does not accept any such approach at all and if we are going to have a Temple of Understanding, I think we must emphasize both Temple and Understanding and not repeat the same mistake of emotional appear from some famous person who accepts neither Temple nor Understanding.

Sunday there was a picnic of the Hindu students. Not present were the “experts’” on India, the important men and women called in for all public affairs (but never when the Indian Foreign Office has anything to say). It was a surprise to find that none of these people are fellows of the Royal Asiatic Society. They have not passed; they do not have to submit to realists.

I have at the moment a class on “The Gospel of St. Thomas.” This reaffirms the theme, “A little child hall lead them.” At the present time American psychologics is so operative that it is possible for a lamb and lion to lie down together, but never for a little child to lead them.

You were right in asking the young at Calcutta to submit ideas. Unfortunately they do this only in their own gatherings. They are not reconciled. I might find a dozen young seers and seeresses, but they are all afraid to express themselves to seniors.

It was months before I could elicit a report from Mrs. Sheila McKendrick on her trip. But now we are preparing another disciple, a young girl dancer and I believe she can take the message of “Dance of Universal Peace” both to President Hussein and to Pondicherry, to say the least.

The idea of the Temple without the Divine Vision may not or may come to manifestation. The world is today filled with groups claiming “universality” and the “integrational approach,” ignoring each other. This is because they are still under the control of people who rely on individualism and analysis.

A meaning is not “spiritual” because it uses this word. A meeting becomes spiritual when there is spiritual realization among those in attendance.

This is no doubt a firm letter. One has failed when one has presented views or even reports without firmness. And one has seen innumerable failure. If we can stick to God and leave out the “famous people” we are going to have this Temple. But if we are repeating the same old programs of calling in “famous people” with strong but limited emotion appeals, it means a delay of bringing the people of the world together. Non-Americans are not always enamored by our particular heroes and heroines.

As my spiritual brother, let us say, said: “Religion must be the cause of unity of the entirely race, or else it is not worth the name.” Please follow this and not the divisive, emotional call of important persons who divide and help keep the world divided.

God bless you,


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



May 2, 1969

Finley P. Dunne.

Temple of Understanding

Washington, D.C.


My dear Peter:

There has been an article in the paper about one of the Shankaracharyas of India protested against the termination of caste. As we do not study Sankara we do not realize that this great sage taught an almost absolute Monism which our culture as yet does not accept. Nor am I going into this, for it will still take some time before honesty and impersonality will prevail in the region of non-sciences.

After a long time The Oracle, a local paper, will appear. This is being published by New Age types—not so-called “New Age” types dominated by their elders and social superiors, but by the young themselves. As matters have progressed practically all of them have come at least partially under my tutelage. It is even possible that The Oracle will become an “Oracle.”

As American culture (and others) are still dominated (excepting in the laboratory sciences) by éclat, noblesse oblige, and social importance, we have already given some attention to the totally false perditions of Edgar Cayce and Meher Baba. Emotionalists will do proclaim Nostradamus and Blake whose works I am unable to evaluate as they worked with symbols. But my own predictions have invariably come true and when one is a seer, actually, he has to face almost every kind of ignominy.

Recently a book appeared on Chinese Buddhists. It is a good book, but it mentions that one Dr. Trebitsch-Lincoln disappeared for a number of years and “nobody” knew where he was. Well, this person did, although my records have long since been destroyed by fire. I do know that this “unworthy” made a number of predictions all of which came into manifestation. And until we become more impersonal and direct we are going to remain in confusing. Science leads because laboratory discipline demands objectivity and honesty; in other lines these are not so demanded.

There is already a sort of “revolution” in another field—the displacement of “famous” Englishmen and Europeans as mentors and “experts” in “Oriental Philosophy.” Two of your closest colleagues who told me their stories are not going to be happy if you retain this type of person as associate and advisor especially when this type of person does not accept the moral standards of the religion (or religions) upon which he lectures.

I am now able to go to the local universities and colleagues, have interviews, exchange ideas and give literature to them. This was not possible a few years back. But I still hold valuable documents, mostly Buddhists which have been rejected and we are now seriously considering going into the publishing field. We do not wish this but when famous-A and famous-B and Infamous-C can easily get their writings published and the actually commentaries of great sages are rejected, what are we do to?

Hazrat Inayat Khan left detailed instructions on his plan to build a temple where all religions could unite. His disciples refused absolutely and adamantly to accept that he gave these instructions to this person. This is the way of “selfless” and applying Sankara’s teaching that Brahm is in all of us, if indeed is not all of us.

Seven of us came together with the purpose of establishing a spiritual commune called Khankah (a Sufi term). We agreed to meet again in ten days to see how we could raise money. We did not meet again: in ten days this whole was purchased and is clear. We depended on “God” and spiritual insight which is called Prajna in Sanskrit. I am not going to explain Prajna which all the Asian professors of Oriental philosophy proclaim and hardly any English or European “experts” on any Asian philosophy until the recent alliance between Schon, Burchard, Pallis and others. Or as lord Buddha (but not “Buddhists”) proclaimed: “All men have perfect wisdom and enlightenment but do not know it; I must go and show them.”

Now this your we have had the strange career that the total audience each week has increased and also the financial returns have slowly mounted. There could be a lesson in this for those who believe they are connected with spiritual movements. The successes have aroused the dormant real “Oracles” to come out, for there is this type of personality. And many are there who exemplify the predictions of Sri Aurobindo but the followers of Sir Aurobindo not only want to lead them—who may be more advanced spiritually but in turn they are looking to the U.N. and other quasi-political bodies for encouragement, and not to “Supermind.”

All of this has been on paper but one received calls from two different Western States and is considering going to New Mexico where a group of young people have established a commune and are opening doors to the spiritual practices of all religions and no nonsense.

I now have a goodly following of about a hundred, not all disciples but all who join in the Dervish and Mantric dances and real mystical exercises. Sunday we are going to have a combination May Day and Wesak and wish to restore some of the purer traditional rituals. For it is also our intention to restore All-Saints day and get rid of this horrible blackmailing by little children with their “game” and no more Saints.

Indications are that there may be as many as 200 people coming and there are the proper dances and rituals, all of which have grown out of the original intention to have “Dance of Universal Peace.”

Much may seem to depend on the sale of The Oracle but if there is any success I hope to get them to publish something about The Temple of Understanding and I am now in an excellent position to lecture on this publicly. But one looks for no encouragement from the established churches excepting that some of them are facing crises.

The first uses of the hall donated by the San Francisco Theological Seminary have brought a substantially larger attendance and it may thus be possible to have them accept a lecture on The Temple of Understanding. The Protestant Episcopalian Church is rent, not by poor attendance but by factionalism and this has affected its social work. But here again halls and class rooms may be offered free and after June I expect to accept them.

It is only now that the young, wishing to rid themselves of the egocentric and sectarian leadership of elders have begun their own organizations. It is tragedy that we are misled by words and news. “Environment” is now the devil but no-one can explain what they mean. A very large section of my present following is made up of runaways from well-to-do families and there are possibilities of inheritances and even donations from these parents when they find where their “drop out” offspring are finding themselves. But elders, the press and TV will continue to blame “environment.”

The sad thing, Peter, is that parents, and particularly mothers are sadly lacking in love and compassion. As they control votes and purse-strings, few dare to bring this out. My oldest and best friend is here and she was amazed by the mutual love and compassion and by the eagerness with which the young grasp spiritual teachings. This was illustrated in our last lesson not only by dances but by walks along the lines of Rama, Krishna, Moses and Jesus, among others. Our whole theme is “My House shall be a House of Prayer for all peoples.”

I am sorry that so many well intended people and movements still have faith in traditional institutions rather than in a Living and Loving God, and in the psychologies of power rather than Insight and Wisdom. Too many of the campus revolts are merely efforts to exchange Power, not to introduce Wisdom. In Love and Wisdom we can unite.

God bless you,




410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, Calif.

June 2, 1969


The Temple of Understanding

1886 R St.

Washington, D. C. 20009


Dear Peter and Friends:

Today we go to the University of California to place in the libraries of the Departments of Far East Studies and also of Southeast Asia Studies copies of The Encyclopedia of Buddhism that are available. To some people this will be a great gift; it is not actually a gift, it is a protest, a cosmic protest. It is a protest against the current attitudes that important people are important and not important people are not important; that excitement is the summa bonum of mankind, and that there are ways out which may be universal, impersonal and effective. But if there are ways out in which universal, impersonal and effective means are used, and they succeed, it will not be because of any support from the various divisive, analytical and dialectical groups which keep humankind apart, each from the others.

Behind this presumable gift is a most tragic history and we are going to continue tragic histories so long as important people are important and unimportant people are unimportant. And this is where the so-called “religions” agree, in the principle, but with a totally different selection of who are important and who are unimportant.

My heir is still a chair, a chair in which the late Phra Sumangalo sat (Dr. Robert Clifton) and told me about Vietnam. It has happened and there will be more Vietnams and more Vietnams and more Vietnams because important people are important and unimportant people are unimportant…. The climax came when a most beautiful letter was received from General Edward Lansdale, now retired and living in Arlington, Va. He was one of our top commanders. He was also one of my real heroes.

I am not here going into personal history excepting that I saw the termination of the World War II before it began. There is such a thin as Prajna, which is most wonderful when it is proclaimed by Mr. Radhakrishnan or the late Daisetz Suzuki, but it is not for little people, even with cosmic vision. Very slowly my poetry of cosmic vision (that which was not destroyed in a conflagration) is coming out.

This cosmic vision came from sitting before one Sokei-An Sasaki (a particularly unimportant person) from whom the Dharma transmission was received. The last person to attest to this has been Master Seo Kyung Bo, now being called “Bishop of Korea” who will be here shortly. But although one passed #1 in a competitive examination on Buddhism or Dharma before him, the important people are still important and the unimportant people are unimportant and the karma, the effect of this on the institutions of the past is that they are sooner or later going to pass away. The institutions will go and the teachings of Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, etc. will remain, for they are eternal.

The contrast between a most important national-international respectable organization and the young is illustrated: The “Big” people asked me to send ten dollars so I could meet the illustrious of the world. I wrote: “You are asking a man who has been a guest of honor at the Imperial Palaces of Japan and Thailand and had tea in the presidential mansions of India and Pakistan to send you ten dollars; what for?” I have never been forgiven—that and the young seeing I have been successful in getting pro-Israel and anti-Israel Jews, Muslims, and Hare Krishna people to dance in a Christian seminary. Horrors! That would never do! But the young want and before the living God, they are going to get.

I have decided therefor to cancel all contributions and subscriptions to all other non-scientific organizations. Not a single other one will accept that if they recognize my work they get money. They not only want money but they want recognition and refuse to give. This is our “moral and spiritual reform” people whom I shall not name.

The heritage of Ruth St. Denis remains. The replacement of European and English “experts” (“only in America”-experts) on Asiatica, is bringing in a real new age of honesty and objectivity. The last conference on “Asian Philosophy” here, by Europeans and two Asian-Christians plus cocktails at every meeting will no doubt facilitate the downfall of ego-specialism that has passed for “world culture.”

I shall try very hard to consider cooperation with your next Summit Conference. As my income has very slowly but perceptibly been mounting, as the audiences grow, as the young come and bring others and as social attention has been now given, it should not be difficult.

The same thing seems in the offing for my poetry. But one can only do so much. The replacement of Oriental culture by very exclusive mutually antagonistic cults calling themselves “integrative” movements will be laughed out of existence. I can assure you that even books on Taj and Arjunta will be different in the future, covering what has been omitted and at times even purposely omitted by writers and subjectivists.

 I am also writing on a world scale. Phillip Kapleau’s Three faces of Zen take that subject out of subjective, personalistic dialectics into the worlds of human experience. The same will soon be true of all wisdoms, eastern and western, scientific or non-scientific. So now Dances of Universal Peace will be dedicated to the Temple of Understanding and all the very separative, separating Integrationalist movements will have to learn there is a moral law and that “Whatsoever ye do to the least of these my creatures, ye do it unto me.”

Love and blessings,




410 Precita Ave

September 22, 1969


Mr. Finley P Dunne, Jr.

1346 Connection Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20036


Dear Peter and Friends,

There is a motto, “The time is now” and inshallah, the time is now. The time is come when a mystic will not only be permitted to speak on mysticism but will be permitted to function and listened to. Ever since Phillip Kapleau’s Three Pillars of Zen and its proper acceptance in high places the signs are coming into a world of honesty, integrity, impersonality, and impartiality, in the non-sciences as I the sciences; and that the experiences of man, even of unimportant people will be given at least equal treatment to the dialectics and speculations of “important” people.

The Bible teaches, “In the hour ye least think, the son of man cometh,” and it may have pleased God-Allah-Brahm to have selected a woman, a housewife, for His work. I have been away on vacation with my esoteric secretary mansur Otis Johnson. He has been very close to Dr. Huston Smith. In my absence Huston wrote that he will be away until well into 1970. We also met several friends of The Temple of Understanding and Judith while we were travelling.

A few years back I had a mystical-mystical experience, not a dialectic or dream-pantomime of a “Aldous Huxley.” In that God, so to speak, told me I would become spiritual leader of the Hippies. The night of my departure I led at least 150 young people in a public dance or series of dances, those dedicated to the temple of Understanding.

But before I left I had another mystical-mystical experience, not a dream-pantomime of a psychedelic, to now join you and Judith and all your wonderful colleagues to attend the next session of The Temple of Understanding no matter where it is held on the face of the earth, inshallah. At that time my god-daughter Miss Saadia Khawar Khan was with me; she is a full Khalifa in the Sufi-Sufi Chisti Order and has been so recognized by the living Saints of the real world who can be named and placed. Although I feel I have or can easily get enough money for Mansur and myself, Miss Saadia Khan promised almost for us extensive financial aid should we need it. But I must add, my financial affairs are in much better condition, and I certainly have, praise to Allah!, enough excellent banking and other credit to carry on. Besides this, again praise to God!, my affairs in other directions are succeeding in many several directions at the same time. So the question becomes, what, how and when, shall we do?

In 1929 I began working seriously for the now practically defunct World Church Peace Union. I had mystical-mystical experiences then, and a few of those notes have been preserved. These notes, mostly poetical or visionary, certainly predicted almost to an exactitude the proceedings of your conference in Calcutta. I am particularly interested because at least one of the Parsis came out in the end with an encomium of a great Sufi. I am tired, hopelessly tired, of hearing the verbal tributes to East-West conferences and agreements. I am not only going over notes and knowledges of a long life, but my present program, if you want to call it that, is being based on the compilation of notes from Walt Whitman, Sit Richard Burton, the Sufi Fareddin Attar, and the still living Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan—no more blatant egotistical exhortations of East-West harmonizations but actualities backed by writings and deeds.

In the past twenty years there has been a plethora of organizations verbally devoted to East-West integration. While the most obvious is the inheritance of Dr. Charles Moore at the University of Hawaii, the same remarks may be applied to a large number of mutually antagonistic organizations, not movements organizations, collecting money and prestige for pseudo-world movements. None of them permit anything like the actual accomplishments of the actual Sufis of the actual historical and mystical world.

This is becoming clearer because there are now more and more persons born in India who have real integrative outlooks. The two kings who stand out clearest in this picture have been Emperor Akbar of India and Suleiman the Magnificent of Turkey. Try to get a word about either of them in Honolulu or any of these so-called East-West integration organizations; just try! But now Indian musicians are not only playing a greater role in the affairs of California, but they are bringing to the fore the accomplishments of the great Akbar ad the musician Tanzen. And as the public and especially the young begin to find out what has happened, they are congregating more and more to these representatives of actualities and less and less to the money-grabbing fame-seeking “important” people whose success depends on their beclouding history and actualities.

Sufism is the religion of the heart. My own meetings here with Rabbi Schlomo, Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda, Asoke Fakir, etc., etc., etc., demonstrate that the world of heart is above and beyond dualisms (and this afternoon I resume my class on Christian mysticism at a local seminary). And of course the spectacle of Israeli Jews, non-Israeli Jews, part-Jews, Hindus of various cults, and non-believers joining I Sufi dances in a Christian seminary is the champion not-news of the day. But in all this we are keeping The Temple of Understanding in view, and the time is come for this preaching egotist to apply his own philosophy to himself, and to work with you on any and all levels possible, feeling assured that we have the spiritual aspiration, the mental accumulations, and the physical and financial wherewith to do so.

I am therefore going over my notes—the few preserved of 1929. I have gone over the reports of your convocation and feel sure with the help of the living God we can go upstairs; and inshallah, will go upstairs. Even such things as Lord Tennyson’s “Akbar’s Dream” will be brought out.

I cannot make this shorter. To make it longer would make a virtue of verbosity. I can almost parody Browning “God’s on his earth, all’s right with the heavens.” But I am leaving to you for suggestions, advice, etcetera, and promise all possible cooperation on all levels. I am sending copies of this to certain persons who are in favor or The Temple of Understanding. It is easy to say more; it is important to do more.

Love and blessings,




410 Precita Ave

September 26, 1969


Mr. Finley P Dunne, Jr.

Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20036


Dear Peter and Friends:

This will acknowledge the summer ‘69 newsletter. It is our hope, inshallah, that we attend this conference. I am assuming that there will be excursion rates from Washington or New York. Arrangements would be made at this end to join you at any convenient place.

There is both a personal and impersonal aspect to this. Long efforts have been made to bring Dr. Seyyed Hossein of Tehran and this person together, and if “Mohammed has to go to the Mountain” this is quite in order. Another item both personal and impersonal are the notices and pictures of Her Serene Highness Princess Poon Diskul and his holiness Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj. These are two of the very best friends I have on this earth. These friendships are important because they represent points of view different from the cultures of my place of birth and the cultures foremost in my heart and mind. I notice also the item regarding Dr. Mahmoud F. Hoballah who was very kind and courteous at our own meeting.

I have received a letter from Huston Smith (we are an excellent terms) that he will be out of this country until July of next year. Whether this means his presence or absence at the conference I do not know. But I expect to be traveling with my esoteric secretary Mansur Otis Johnson who has been very close to Huston.

There must be something in the wind. Two sudden items and appointments on this day indicate the growing trend towards spiritual universality. I have gone thoroughly over the notes of the last conference and hope that we can reach both in policy and devotion some common ground for bringing the peoples of the world closer together. This is also giving me opportunities to mention The Temple of Understanding etcetera. I am sure the day of exclusion by the self-important is a thing of the past.

My own program tentatively is based on items from Walt Whitman, Alfred Tennyson, Sir Richard Burton, the Sufi poets, our mutual wonderful friend Dr. Radhakrishnan. Here I wish to pay tribute to his teachings rather than to his person. We have had too much personality adulation and too little devotional respect, but my work is to do rather than to preach, and at this writing it would seem that Allah himself is encouraging both this person and the world around him.

Love and blessing,




410 Precita Ave.

Sept. 29, 1969


Mr. Finley P. Dunne, Jr.

Executive Director,

Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20036


My dear Peter:

Your letter of the 26th indicates a common enthusiasm. This has been so great that it was only by restraint I did not telephone. I am glad I did not, because events are demonstrating the Biblical dictum “Unless the Lord buildeth the house, they labor in vain who build.” But I firmly believe with my whole heart and being that this is the time of demonstration both of this and other Biblical quotations.

All the efforts for the World Church Peace Union, the Roerich Foundation, and others which followed brought on the one hand an accumulation of historical data and perhaps philosophical profundity, and on the other a direct insight from experience into the depths of wisdom upon which each and every religion is actually based. I must add to this the ancient dictum, “When the Gods arrive the half-Gods go.” It is with no joy that one sees the half-Gods go. They are still above the “normal human being” but handicapped by that nuisance-vice “humility.” They have stuffed cars, and having stuffed cars, in the end most unfortunately others cause to listen to them. In fact the church editor of the local paper himself published a sermon last week on the uselessness of sermons. But the self-styled “humble” are unable to comprehend this. I am not talking in abstractions here, for the news follows:

1. I have already written Dr. Malalasekera in Ceylon to send you (and others) copies of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism. This work has the merit of having been written and being written by communicant devotees and not—as is the present Encyclopedia of Islam for example—by humble authorities. I am especially interested in this to atone for the death of my dearest friend the late Phra Sumangalo who lived so long in Vietnam and whose warnings went unheard with consequences that you well know.

2. I have been invited by the local college to attend its sessions on “Modern Religious Movements” as an expert and authority. This is one of the few occasions in my long life that in this country the speakers will be devotees and not presumptuous PhD’s, etcetera, who have done so much to lead our people astray regarding the nature of exotic faiths.

3. The young, many of whom believe that God can be known through deep experience, are planning a seminar here for all spiritual teachers in this vicinity. The merit of being a Sufi is that one has the most loving affection from and to the Chassidic leader; and from and to various representatives of the Dharma who are always on speaking terms with each other.

4. I had hoped that one of my disciples who has some money would volunteer also to attend this conference at Constantinople, and I have been amazed at her own alacrity and enthusiasm to join.

This morning I spoke to the local Turkish Consul who has expressed his interest. We are presuming that we should be paying our fare to New York or Washington, and have a chartered flight thence on. This of course is just a presumption, but we shall work on this theory until we hear otherwise.

There is some amusing gossip going on that I have been to Asia, sat at the fact of various masters, and then repudiated them. Actually, in the last few days, I have received a cable from my Sufi teacher and air mail letter from my Zen Master and have informed both of them about this forthcoming convocation. Fortunately also one finds at the colleges and universities open-hearted, open-minded instructors with no presumption and no humility (thank God). The doors are opened for further efforts in many directions therefore. I think this is enough for one day. I am sending carbons of this to some who may be interested.

Love and blessings,




October 8, 1969

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20036


Dear Peter and Friends:

Things are happening so fast here. On the positive side, much of the news is in the carbon to Anandashram in India and on the negative side to Dr. Chaudhuri here. It is symptomatic that most of the clergy, Christian and non-Christian, who have signaled their acceptance of The Temple of Understanding, have steered very clear of my person. In his case every time I have suggested a subject he has accepted the subject and then brought in an outside speaker or given an address on the subject himself.

And it may not have been surprising that when the spiritual leaders met Sunday—I came too late—it was to learn that all the other Indian leaders voted to coordinate with “Sufi Sam.”

Tonight my keynote may be: “Youth of the World Unite! You have nothing to lose!”

For years I practiced Gandhian non-violence and then forced, I went out, “Therefore fight, O Arjuna.” Six apologies in two weeks and last night I heard one of my worst road-blocks excoriated at the university! The doors are opening because they were meant to be opened and I may be having an auditorium, not a church or hall.

But I have become very tough on my followers saying it is absolutely necessary to join in the movement to see that The Temple of Understanding is established and they are going to see this. There are more and more meetings and movements and I can assure you every effort will be bent to accept humanity, to accept history and to work toward common ends.

Love and blessings,



910 Railroad Ave.

Novato, Calif. 94947

October 22, 1969


Mrs. Judith Hollister

The Temple of Understanding

Steamboat Road

Greenwich, Conn.


My dear Judith:

It is with extreme love and good-will that this letter is being written. I understand Peter is away, hat there is neither a request here nor any need to answer.

Years ago a spiritual teacher travelled with the theme “I have come to bring you the Message of the living God.” There is no need to travel with that theme; rather, that theme is traveling. Hazrat Inayat Khan used to say, “The Message is in the sphere; if I did not bring it, somebody else would.”

It is now over 40 years since I had the vision of the theme which has become The Temple of Understanding. We have a framed picture of it in our dining room. The theme “My house shall be a house of prayer for all people” proceeds, I believe, from eternity. All efforts, all concentration point in the direction that my secretary, Mr. Mansur Otis Johnson and I will be joining you in Istanbul, if not before.

This letter is a blending of downright comedy and divine purpose. A number of years ago winning a law suit with my brother, our attorneys tried to reconcile us, and I said, “He will either give me another double-cross or become my best friend.” Praise to God the second happened. Since that time our mutual independent incomes have both increased, and after 50 years, for the first time, he gave me a birthday greeting.

Of course many “grand” organizations would like to share my wealth, at least putative wealth. They will not accept a very slight condition—that they accept the facts of history and of life. I asked once one of your pretended admirers to lecture on the late President Zakir Hussein of India. I received 100% refusal and tore up the check I had for him. He is one of a large number who have adamantly and absolutely refused to accept the historicity of the Mogul emperor Akbar. All of these people stand for “love,” “brotherhood,” “world union,” etc., etc. They would be glad to share in other people’s wealth but not on the condition that they accept historicity, scriptural teachings, and human devotion. So positively and negatively, I am keeping my money for this trip, and others have only themselves to blame.

Socially and institutionally the break came when this Sufi met our mutual friend, Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj. When the professors and students saw the mutual love and affection between a putative Sufi and a putative Vedantist they realized that there is something in the existence of the divine spirit and the objective manifestation thereof. Following that, the doors of a number of universities began to open, and in turn I have gifted them with the fascicles of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism. I have also written my good friend, Dr. G. Malalasekera, concerning further distributions of this encyclopedia, including one for the Temple of Understanding.

Perhaps it would be better to get this encyclopedia rather than to contribute any more to foundations which provide leadership, theoretical philosophy, leadership, world outlook, leadership, universal programs, and leadership-leadership-leadership. The great sin of Americans has been that we are quite capable of accepting, “The lamb and the lion shall lie down together,” but we are adamant in our absolute refusal to accept, “A little child shall lead them.”

I have humorously written a noted columnist that efforts to become a Pied Piper have failed miserably—only the young show up. I guess I have met about 2000 of them in the last two months; they have a new outlook. As I wrote Peter, I mentioned The Temple of Understanding in my own public mass meeting, and my theme has become, “Youth of the world unite, you have nothing to lose.” In the Logia Jesus Christ has said over and over again, “Seek for me in children.” I personally certainly see an increased increment of the manifestation of the divine spirit in the young.

Last week, I attended a lecture on Meher Baba at a local university. The San Francisco situation is that there is a veritable parade of claimants to the Messiah, Avatar, God-Realized, Maharshis, etc. There does not seem to be any evidence of a great spiritual realization among their various entourages. But the fact is that this theme is out. We are passing into a world of integration, and I do not mean the word “integration”; I mean the processes of integration—something quite different. Verbalists may confuse, are confusing, by their misuse of this term, while their egos stand out prominently. Our leading atheist, a champion in the use of the word “integration” has just received an encomium from the World Council of Churches!

After being rejected or ejected by the various groups dedicated to universal brotherhood, world union, international understanding, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, I have been invited to speak this week at the local university on Sufism. The hard fact that there are more disciples in Sufism than in all the other mystical and esoteric movements united is not yet part of our culture. Here one could almost make a pun, “Damned by those that dam,” but that is not the case at all. Leaders must expect their own karma, if not more of it.

My birthday celebration was by far the most glorious of what with most people would be a long life. Excepting 3 personal friends, the whole audience was of young people. The greatest gifts were a marvelous drawing by my housekeeper Mrs. Fatima Jablonski, and the chorals is of my mistro, Mr. Bill Mathieu. Each is very significant in the blending of spirituality and integration. The chorals have been inspired by a blending of the methods of Pir Vilayat Khan, Dane Rudhyar, modern musical theories, and the spiritual dances.

It is remarkable that these dances derive no doubt from heaven itself, and following both the philosophy and the methodologies of the late Ruth St. Denis, are increasing in number and effectiveness. About 50 young people showed up at my free dancing lesson last Saturday. I guess it must be the divine will that these dances be dedicated to The Temple of Understanding, because of the cold receptions, if not downright rejections, on the part of leaders and groups with a putative common universal outlook.

The same things are going on at a poetry class under the auspices of the University of California. My “The Rejected Avatar” was received in a manner symmetrically and diametrically opposite to the way my writings and person have previously been rejected. Not only the young people but the professors and other leaders openly accept the cosmic experience of mystics. Mr. Johnson himself is a close friend of Dr. Huston Smith and we are all admirers of Philip Kapleau. The day is over when interminable lectures or elongated silences are accepted as substitutes for the grand awakening. One touch of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Renascence” of a whole library—and it would be a pretty big library at that—on Zen which have nothing to do with the Samma Dhyana of Lord Buddha.

It is noteworthy that the textbook at San Francisco State is the work on Buddhism by our very good friend Walpole Rahula, As you know he is a grand man. I leave to others to write books and lecture on what they and their audiences call “Zen Buddhism”; next Sunday I open again Dharma Night, and shall present the Jhanas of Lord Buddha. To bring out an increase of capacity for love, joy, and peace, exactly as Tathagata did.

This is coming at a time when mistro Mathieu, mentioned above, is preparing a choral Christmas program. This will be offered freely to any church in the general vicinity which will accept. These are applications of “The Message of the Living God.” We do not propose and I am sure you do not propose the abolition of any extant institution, but rather more mutual respect.

Until the first of August I have had exactly 2 free days all year. The time program has been relaxed, the duties have not. We are presenting to the world, i.e., to the young, the Living God, bringing love, generosity, and vitality—I mean actually; not symbolically or theoretically. When the young see these things in a putative, super-annuated Pied Piper they respond, how they respond!

I think you will agree Judith, that there is something like a grand design moving toward manifestation. Sunday next we open our Dharma Night, and as soon as possible after that we may celebrate a Vietnamese Night. This will have little relation to the politics of the day. Its purpose is to increase friendship and understanding. I desire neither to oppose or expose the so-called “integrationists,” but before God, we are integrating.

I had to write one rationally known organization whose membership is $10 that I was sending them $25 where I could easily have sent them $100. We are accomplishing. We have Christians of all kinds, former-non-believers, Zionist and non-Zionist Jews, Muslims, and members of Indian spiritual movements dancing together. Hopefully, the number of “blacks” partaking in these dances is increasing. We have no distinctions—one of my God-children is Jewish, one Pakistani Muslim, and the third an American mulatto. While others talk, we do.

Therefore, you may not be surprised to learn we are now putting our hearts, our souls, our thoughts and our finances toward making a success of The Temple of Understanding in order that, “My house shall become a house of prayer for all people.”

With all love and blessing,

Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco

Nov. 2, 1969


Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D. 6. 20036


Dear Peter and friends:

This is a most encouraging letter. There is a passage in the Bible which reads, “The Stone which is rejected is become the corner-stone.” That is the story of my life. There is a law of compensation or karma, or justice and adjustment and the blind and blank refusal of seniors even to grant interviews is now being counterbalanced by the willingness of the young to accept almost anything that comes from me.

I may send a copy or two of this to others but I am not looking for anything. After the long history with the World Church Peace Union, the Roerich Museum, and others which I can but do not choose to name, it has been nothing but a series of mockeries and self-aggrandizement that has stood in the way of human brotherhood and understanding. When Hon. U Thant was here he said, “What the world needs is a moral and spiritual revolution” and the applause was terrific and all the cardinals and highly placed prelates of many faiths applauded. And all I could see was chaos and confusion, slightly mitigated by the remarks by Dr. G. Malalasekera, that what was needed was a revolution inside of each and all of us. Of course, the cardinals and metropolitans and prelates and rabbis did not join. They were on the side of “moral and spiritual” revolution which would only confirm their positions of leadership.

Some time ago a very well known American philosopher (America does have some good philosophers) urged me to forget everything and concentrate on the universities. While he was right I did not have to seek at all. There are plenty of young people in and out of “schools” who want objective honesty, hard facts and also disciplines which can lead to their self-fulfillment. While the rumor has come out of the class I have on Christian mysticism that it is the best theological class the students and participants have ever attended, and that is the very least of my efforts. It is only mentioned to show that I am not supported any one particular religion, but the ways of devotion, reverence and spiritual growth.

I have tried in vain to get those who claim to be universal to grant an interview. It illustrates the futility of our “Judeo-Christian” ethic. But it also gives me a tremendous power by default.

I attend three university classes: poetry, archeology, and philosophy. The archeology class has requested the performance of the Dervish dances. These have been rejected by everybody else to whom they were offered, and most often a priori rejected, because that is the wont of those who verbalize “moral and spiritual reform.” They will not even discuss the matter. But my 1965 theme—which was presented before the university—the “good” people will have none of that—that we could have Joy without drugs, is making tremendous headway. And it is possible that this month there will be a joint meeting of classes of San Francisco State and the University of California for this purpose.

The Philosophy class is studying the real modern religious and “esoteric” movements. The subjects are aired. There is none of this platform immunity and pompous superiority. The speakers have to be clear. True, after some discussion about Meher Baba I threw the word “Baha-ullah” at the Teacher and he had to pause in his tracks. I am not a supporter of any particularist, but least of all those particularists who verbalize themselves as “universal” or “integrative’.

Last week I brought a copy of The Oracle to class. This is a local “underground” paper which has almost fully accepted both my person and efforts. I repeat here in passing, that the young simply will not have the old who almost unanimously have rejected my visits (among many many other things) to the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo or to Dr. Radhakrishnan in New Delhi. Now I am afraid because the young are pointing me out and look upon me as a sort of local “aint-Messiah.” My “Youth of the World unite, you have nothing to lose” is making rapid headway.

Next week I shall bring in the material of The Temple of Understanding. I think they are ready. Certainly the instructor is.

The opening up of the class on “Dances of Universal Peace” has overwhelmed me. There is not enough room and after next week I shall have to divide it. I don’t want a larger hall because there must be individual contact. We teach the realities of religion through the dance. What was good enough for Prophet David is not too good for me. Even Jesus referred to dancing. And the rejected theme, “Joy Without Drugs” is now getting the young to laugh at their elders who simply reject everything along with the pretended opposition to vegetable derivatives which may actually contact some secrets of life. (I do not wish to impose on scientist Margaret Mead here.)

Our problem in getting ready to join you is not money but time. While all the “superior” movements cry about a need for funds, I have full trust in the “Mercy and Plenitude of God” to consider any alternative. The only other alternative would be to send money on to you but I am holding it for the time being for the fare to the next conference.

The same thing is going on for the poetry class. At least there is a poetry class which permits me to submit my poetry! And no funds solicited for others! So in addition this coming Friday I shall resume my work in the Haight-Ashbury district. Six classes at night per week, and now at least four day classes besides interviews and conferences and counseling.

Next my “revolution.” While others are talking about “revolution” I am starting one here—we are not going to have a Christmas tree. We are going to construct a Cross and have it embellished and do everything in the traditional fashion excepting substituting the Cross for the Tree. (Of course one could make a pun here, too, if one knew many languages.)

Beyond and behind are the seeking of ways to bring peace, real peace in certain parts of the world. I have invited a Vietnamese friend to come here and will let him speak.

In former letters I mentioned we had Israelis, anti-Israeli Jews and mixed bloods, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and unbelievers dance together. There has more recently been an infiltration of “blacks.” It has infuriated both “integrationalists” and separatists when I tell them I have three god-children—a Jewess, a Muslim, and a Mulatto. That is worse than attacking them. To illustrate what others talk about hasn’t been and now it is going to be and nothing else. For God loves everybody regardless, by which I mean regardless and not some doctrine or theology.

Both my homes are being invaded constantly. One long quoted Emerson on the mousetrap inventor and it came just as “The stone which was rejected is bed me the corner-stone.” I think I am ready.

The next step is with my poetry and I’ll see that you get copies. I do not evaluate it but the Jewish epic was rejected by the synagogues, the Christian epic by the Churches with one slight exception (Fosdick); the Islamic epic by the mosques. The Hindu epics have come out a little better, but not too much. Now the demand is for them and they will come out and as they can only coalesce with and from The Temple of Understanding, I think there will be results, God willing.

It is not so easy in saying, “Thank you for letting a mystic speak on mystical experience.” But slowly even this is coming out. We do permit scientists to speak en scientific subjects and even musicians on music. It may be part of the “moral and spiritual revolution” to permit a mystic to speak on mysticism. Anyhow I am being permitted to present my Blakeian things at the university. In the 21st century no doubt, the churches will permit this. At least one hopes that.

Nothing is going wrong, only the avalanche and deluge which were distinctly foreseen are coming to manifestation.

Love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



Nov. 16, 1969

Mr. Finley Dunne, Jr.

Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20036


Dear Peter and friends:

It is not so much that I am loquacious, as that there is a multiplicity of signs indicating that God Himself so to speak wishes to have His house of prayer for all peoples.

After writing, but not mailing on November 12th I returned to San Francisco very delighted by the joint meetings with my colleague Pir Vilayat Khan. It is also wonderful because Rolland Gammon was my host when I was last in New York in 1960. It would seem today that a number of us are working together toward cosmic love and brotherhood while others are organizing, appealing for public help, especially funds, and establishing rival organizations with the same presumable goals.

Over 40 years ago I challenged the late Ali Khuli Khan of the Baha’i Movement asking what was the difference between having 700 rival churches and sects and 700 rival purported “universal brotherhoods.” Most of these “universal brotherhoods” seem to deny the direct God experience or to restrict it, in acceptance to a few specially privileged persons.

The meeting with Rabbi Shlomo was repeated here last night when his Reverence Thich Thien An suddenly came to this house. The title Thien corresponds to the Japanese Zenshi as spiritual teacher in the meditation school. The result of this and similar incidents indicates that despite all the organizers, very specialized “brotherhoods,” etc., there is a real trend toward practical universality, and I am writing this with total encouragement and a feeling of assurance of your our ultimate success, God-willing.

Love and blessings,




410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

November 22, 1969


The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D. C. 20036


Beloved Ones of God:

That same mysterious trend which took place last week continues. Within a few days, most loving meetings with a Chassid Rabbi, Vietnamese Master and Hindu teacher of spiritual dancing. And today a meeting with an English lady who has become a Zen Roshi with a meeting any time with a Tibetan Rimpoche who is settled in nearby Berkeley. And on top of that a plan to spread spirituality among the Negroes to lessen the racial tensions from the highest possible aspects.

We have tentatively agreed that the moneys collected in the dancing class are to be reserved for travel for The Temple of Understanding. This work has started out so surprisingly successful that it would be easy to establish a whole institution, and unlike the organizations which verbally proclaim “integration” we practice integration however it be interpreted.

While this is going on my Christian mystic colleague has been entirely successful. He started out a few years ago with about three faithful (some disloyal) disciples and now has eight flourishing centers and more to come. This is one of the few, if not only Christian organization which depends on inner experience and some of them have had that same Christ-experience which is to the end that only The Temple of Understanding can promote peace in the Holy Land and elsewhere.

While I am planning a Vietnam day, chiefly for Vietnamese Buddhism, this has been uncovered in Vietnam itself. They have a program which falls in so much with your own and if you can have made contacts there I shall take it on my shoulders. Besides this, when I do come to Washington, it will include a visit with the top retired general from Vietnam, who is an old colleague.

Legally we have joined full force with Sufi Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. We wanted to join others but all have refused any references to the great Moghul Emperor Akbar, etc., etc, But the whole trend in the universities is toward integrative (not verbal) integration, and on a massive scale. I see this every day. It is, thank God, beyond me. Brotherhood is not going to come by me-important-leader but through the union of human hearts.

Love and Blessings,




Dec. 1, 1969

Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C.


Dear friends:

This is just another progress report. You will find a copy of a letter to an old associate who is now in Washington, D.C.

Tonight we are scheduled to entertain some Turkish servicemen who are visiting this city; we shall try to get as much information as possible which may be of value when we go to Istanbul, inshallah.

We have also received some excellent material on Turkish Dervish Dancing which we hope to publish here soon.

Love and blessings,




Dec. 13, 1969

Mr. Finley P. Dunne, Jr.

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C.


My Dear Peter:

We have not heard from you for some time, but of course it may not yet be in your plans to give us further information regarding the Istanbul convocation. We are working full blast on the assumption that the program will come to pass as scheduled.

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that much is going to be settled by the young people, and that the so-called “generation gap” is not so much an age division as one between egocentricity and universality. My earlier “Youth of the World Unite; you have nothing to lose” was no doubt reflected in the great “sing-in” which took place in this area a short time back. I believe equally the young people are ready and willing to worship together.

My own group has celebrated the neglected Enlightenment Day of Buddhism. We have just celebrated Chanukah. We are planning a Christ—not a Santa Claus-Christmas here. We are going ahead with the general hymns of all religions as instituted by my colleague Pir Vilayat Khan. And our Dances of Universal Peace are going ahead unabated.

One becomes indifferent, one has to become indifferent, when after working 40 years for world peace through religion, only the Friends accepted my reports. It is most unfortunate that in this land of ours what is called peace can only arise from the suggestion of well-known characters. True, this seldom, if ever, accomplishes anything. This is very difficult because in going over Handel’s “Messiah” the words appear “Every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low.” Something which traditional religion has rejected practically into to, and in turn will be rejected until it accepts the seriousness of some of the scriptures it presumably reveres.

The class on the new religions is opening up many doors, closed by the prevailing, or rather, the passing-cultures. So long as religion is concerned with doctrine and dogma, quite apart from the teachings of Faith, there is no other way. I cannot compel Christians or Jews to accept literally or even figuratively the shuvo of the Bible. Unfortunately the new faiths are not based always on love compassion, generosity, etc., etc, and more than the conventional groups. It may be saddening; it will be effective.

But I am writing to advise you that our next venture may be the welcoming here of a Sufi from Palestine. This will be most unusual no doubt. Now there is so much concern with the problems of the Near East, which is a double problem. It is a problem of events; it is the problem also which may be called semantic problem—that is the pressure of important persons and groups is more important than sound facts.

For over 40 years I have been advocating international or non-national holy cities. No exceptions. We joined in greeting a man from. Mecca; we joined in greeting a Chassid from Jerusalem, and we will join in greeting a Sufi from Jerusalem. This may not be the conventional pattern, but in the end, I can assure you, the young people will rise in multitudes to transcend the verbal nonsense of prevailing groups.

I may send a few carbons of this letter out, but have become quite pessimistic. I have no intention to try and convince any religious group that “Every valley shall be exalted, and every hill laid lair,” etc. But I can assure you that one of my colleagues, who has put this into practice, has been successful beyond his wildest dreams. Sooner or later the success may bound and rebound, nationally and internationally. The young are not dumb. The young are not irreverent. Current education has no doubt made them assume broader outlooks, and, I believe that they will readily join in a vesture which promotes universal reverence, and by promoting universal reverence will either awaken or shame the traditionalists into more objective stances without depriving them of anything at all.

Faithfully, and with Christmas Greetings,



Dec. 29, 1969

Mr. Finley P. Dunne Jr.

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D. C. 20036


Dear Peter:

I was very glad to have your news this morning. My own recent experiences with the Turkish visitors to this city fully confirmed your report. As a side issue, it will be far more comforting to be meeting in Geneva, where I cannot only present any program or talk in conformance with the general purposes of The Temple of Understanding, but where I shall be in a position to cooperate even more fully with Pir Vilayat Khan. In the letter attached I refer to research on the religions originally suggested by the late Dr. Henry Atkinson. Among those which he specifically designated was the Taoist outlook. It is droll no doubt to find the Chinese have concluded some understanding on my part of Taoist principles, whereas Westerners who have become “experts” on Taoism have concluded the opposite. The Gita also teaches that those who find action in inaction and inaction in action have truly found.

I have dared to compare a meeting with Pir Vilayat Khan some time back as that between Gurnemanz and Parsifal. I have seen no reason to change this at all. It is certain that consciously or unconsciously Pir Vilayat Khan is promoting the program of universality in spiritual dancing much better than my own ego could have. To quote history as was said of William Pitt the Younger, I have said, “He is not a chip of the old block, he is the old block himself.” For the wonderful thing about Pir Vilayat is that despite the handicaps of prominent birth, expected prowess, etc., etc., he is accomplishing things in and of his own right, in and by his own prowess, which to me is most marvelous.

In a summation there seems to be no question that the young, our young America, will accept more and more the aims, purposes and objectives of The Temple of Understanding, and I await in “excitable” anticipation further information or news from you.

With all love and blessings




Jan. 19, 1970

Temple of Understanding

Washington, D.C.


Dear Peter and Friends:

I should appreciate it very much if you could send me some kind of information as to when the international conference will be held. I am not so concerned about the place or any details, but it is impressible at this time to arrange any lasting schedule. I have been variously invited to London, New England, Cornell University, the Boston are complex, New Mexico, etc. And it is most difficult to establish any program at this writing.

While I am enclosing a copy of letter to a former employer, I can assure you that the present potentialities are much greater than anything verbalized therein. In fact, my own brother lays before me a program which, if it can be successfully instituted, would enable me to put in full time and effort and perhaps more.

The second meeting with Vilayat filled our auditorium to absolute capacity and made him feel very happy. He also feels that I am taking a lead off of him by appearing at the forthcoming conference. Last night our dance program was enhanced by the appearance of an Indian lady who is quite well acquainted with the art forms both of the north and south of Indian and also of the Islamic communities. And tomorrow morning, inshallah, I am having breakfast with an Arab citizen of Israel to whom I think I have referred in the letter to the Smiths enclosed.

Love and Blessings,




The Temple of Understanding, Inc.

January 28, 1970


Dear Sam,

We are very happy to have your acceptance of our invitation to be a participant in the second Spiritual Summit Conference.

I enclose herewith the Conference program as it currently stands, hoping you will give thought to the subjects with which you particularly wish to concern yourself.

We need to know as soon as possible what travel arrangements you are making and what actions the Temple of Understanding needs to take regarding them. We also need to know answers to such questions as to whether you would be willing to share a double room at the Intercontinental Hotel with another participant.

Please let us hear from you as soon as possible. With warmest regards.




The purpose of The Temple of Understanding is to construct a building in Washington, D.C., to be a symbol of understanding among the major religions of the world and through education in them, to further man’s awareness of his essential brotherhood.



410 Precita Ave.

San Francisco, 94110

February, 6, 1970


The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D. C. 20036


My dear Peter:

It is with great delight that I have your letter of the 28th. I am hoping to have with me my secretary Mansur Otis Johnson who, as I have told you before, has been a pupil of our good friend Dr. Huston Smith, and also became very close to him. At the moment we will plan to fly as quickly as possible (or convenient) from here to Geneva, stopping on our way back, first to London, and then at various places on or near the Atlantic seaboard. At the moment these definitely include the Boston-Charleston areas, Cornell and Pittsburgh Universities, Washington itself, and perhaps Philadelphia (Temple and U. of Penn.). But this matter of return will be discussed with you and much will depend on the aftermath of the conference.

As to the speakers and program, I am delighted. As to my own personal point of views I only know two ways to bring about peace (there may be others), love and business or trade. I see nothing whatever but confusion arising from the various dialectical philosophies, economist and anti-communist and non-communist, or emotional oratory and “the tyranny of words.” Now I feel like Perry Mason, who takes advantage of the prosecution to open testimony. I think I have had two days off since my vacation last year, which was to establish one free day a weak. I am lucky to get an hour off, but the time is coming when mystics will be allowed to testify on it is certainly happening here in the universities. It is not happening with rare exceptions, in the churches, and new age cults, mutually exclusive. One is functioning continuously in a high state of consciousness, making this possible. True, my work is very varied: gardening, scientific-scientific research, spiritual writing, lectures and classes, and most particular, the “Dances of Universal Peace.”

If I have anything to say it will be to mention the Great Moghul Emperor Akbar who did so much to endeavor to bring recognition between one faith and another. This has simply not been permitted here. Especially by those whom I call “the good people.” Actually it is ridiculous. Akbar worked all the time, and seldom slept at all. The state of super-consciousness is posited as theory by a lot of people and those who do not have it simply will not recognize it in others, which does not matter at all. When one reaches a certain state he may go on interminably. In fact, I am lecturing this Sunday on the Taittiriya Upanishad, having in view the actualization of the super-conscious or super-conscient, if you are a follower of Sri Aurobindo, and no nonsense, actual experience.

I am now on excellent terms with the professors of Oriental Religions in the universities in this region, and there is no question that they shall open the doors for me after peregrination to Geneva, inshallah.

I notice that youth is mentioned. I have been drawing constantly enlarging audiences of young people who want truth and experience, and not dialectics and logistics. The very fact that their elders have so universally turned me down has become a great though unfortunate boon. Dr, Richard Alpert who in several senses is now my colleague has been drawing very large audiences, and collecting very large sums, almost entirely from the young, and they certainly are turning in thousands of dollars. This is no doubt indicative of what is coming. Both Dr. Alpert (Baba Ram Dass) and others are collecting materials on the actual spiritual practices of the actual mystical schools of the day, and no nonsense from dialectical European-educated or mis-educated “experts.”

Today I received a copy of Krishna: Myths, Rites, and Attitudes. I already have now two Krishna-Radha dances; one Hare Krishna dance with variations, and continually growing numbers of dances dedicated to Ram and Shiva, a strange panorama of inspirations coming to a Sufi, but strictly in the genre of the ignored Emperor Akbar. These have also been asked for now by two institutions in greater Los Angeles.

All the above will be synthesized no doubt this coming summer in the state of New Mexico where a new type of society is manifesting, based on actual spiritual principles and practice, not sermonized karma yoga.

Well, for an old fellow my health is very good, finances seem to be under control, and after over 40 years patient waiting, inshallah, I may be able to present a program of universal harmonization which does not require the constituents to give up anything to unite in a universal harmony.

With all love and blessing and the possibility of this being followed up as soon as convenient.

Love and Blessings,




410 Precita

February 17, 1970


The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20036


Dear Friends,

Having the note from Peter Finley I realize you may be very busy but I am hoping the request for two persons, one double room at the Intercontinental Hotel will go through. Does this have to be confirmed by us? Or by travel agent?

I am very pleased that you have selected The Practical Requirements for World Peace as your topic. For forty years I did research for the World Church peace Union when the late Dr. Henry Atkinson was alive. Neither his successors nor any church has accepted these reports, and excepting the Friends and the Unitarian-Universalist Church in New York, one has been almost universally snubbed. And now the moral law is in operation. Already one has a summer school offered him to do as he would, and offers to publish his writings and findings. It can almost be said that the Generation Gap is working, that the “establishment” people are afraid, and the young welcome. This is wrong, but so long as the churches reject that “every valley shall be exalted, and every hill laid low,” etc. I do not see how this can be changed. Too many want to change others.

I am sending a copy of this to the American Friends of the Middle East, no longer with any expectations but with a door open. I had planned and still plan a meeting wherein Arabs who have been or are citizens of Israel and people who have lived in Israel and withdrew for any reason can come together without a number of State Department official, newspaper experts and other speech-makers making long harangues, ending in another Kellogg-Briand pact. But God evidently favors this for I have found a new neighbor here, another Arab who was forced out of Israel and yet is on bad terms with other Arabs because he will not, cannot hate anybody.

So long as churches refuse to grand interviews, I do not see how they can claim to be working for peace. Excepting for the carbons of this I have no more time to ask any church anything—too many young coming to me at all levels and at all times. One continues to give lectures on and for the World Scriptures based on something more than dialectics.

When it comes to “intercommunication among the religions” which is Judith’s topic, no man on earth has been more successful and no man on earth has been more spurned, but that day is over. In an extreme case we have seen the visit of Dr. Richard Alpert, travelling as Baba Ram Dass, addressing thousands of young people and collecting thousands upon thousands of dollars, and not a word in the press.

I am for your (or our) program. Every bit of it. But I am a Pragmatist and mean to do, not just verbalize.

Love and blessings,




410 Precita

Feb. 20, 1970


Dorothy Rapp

Temple of Understanding


Beloved One of God:

Thank you for your note of the 14th. Yesterday the first steps were taken for passage for Mr. Johnson and myself so that we might arrive in Geneva on the 30th.

In the same mail I have received my Diner’s Club International Directory and the International (among others) is one of these which accept their credit cards. We have assumed that you may be booking our room and we will be paying for it.

We are also arranging to copy notes accumulated over a number of years originally intended to be presented at a conference of the World Church Peace Union many years past. The conference never took place. The notes still held good, and many more have been added. All of those should be of interest to The Temple of Understanding whether they are presented at the conference or not.

Our present plans include flying to Geneva almost direct—short stop-over in New York. Then if it is advisable or necessary we can come to Washington or visit other places on the Asian tic see bound later.

Love and Blessing,

Samuel L. Lewis



February 27, 1970

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

You will forgive me for not having come nowhere near matching your magnificent outflow of literary letters. I read them all with greatest interest, and then shudder and quail before the magnificent flood tides of words which I could not hope to equal.

Let me say now only that we are indeed happy to look forward to your participating in the Second Spiritual Summit Conference. I have just returned after two weeks in Geneva, where I was making arrangements of various kinds. Like everybody else in Europe, I caught the flu which still has me wobbling a little one legs, but the spirit is still willing even if the flesh is a weak.

We have reserved a double room for you and Mr. Johnson for the night of March 30 and thereafter. We shall be delighted that you will be paying for the room. This is only because the majesty of our concepts is not matched by our bank account.

I shall be looking forward to you and seeing you in action. I suspect we are both happy members of the Pragmatist Club. With best wishes





March 2, 1970

Mr. Finley P. Dunne

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Conn. Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20036


My dear Peter:

Thank you for your letter of the 27th. Perhaps some discipline through the years and real Zen training promotes the ability to take advantage of every moment. Actually, I have not had any days off, but Mr. Johnson and I did go to Southern California to complete our responsibilities in that region.

Whether it is the grace of God, or natural good health, to which must be added the marvelous weather encountered all along so far this year, one is in very high spirits. There has been nothing but encouragement in every direction. In addition to that, I have found that the Hotel in Geneva, and also the one booked for in London belong to the Diners’ Club International Directory. So it would appear we shall be financially fortified on the trip throwing responsibilities nowhere else.

The only complication in considering all things, which is very little, is that my brother has been very ill for a long time. Either his recovery or demise would be most helpful, and this may terminate any extended tour.

I shall be visiting the offices of “Studies in Comparative Religion” in London. These are the colleagues of our good friend Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr of Teheran. Also a group of young people who seem to resemble remarkably the youth of this region. Their headquarters in London is called Gandalf’s Garden, and they are arranging for me to lecture, or even to teach.

But the same thing is true of many sections in this country now. I do not have the time to answer all inquiries, for a summer school has been offered at the Lama Foundation in the northern part of New Mexico, where I shall be teaching and writing and prepare for further work in this country especially. But my program will also be affected by the proceedings at Geneva, and by any personal requests from Mrs. Judith or your good self.

Love and blessings,




March 9, 1970

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20036


My dear Peter and friends:

This is a progress report which, I think from the contents, you will find quite in order. I shall buy my ticket this week, leaving here for Geneva on the 28th which means a stopover in New York City for Easter Sunday and am writing the Universalist Unitarian Church in regard to attendance at a service there. Presumable plans are going to London at the end of the Geneva conferences, then to Boston, and then to San Francisco. It is beyond my immediate financial capacity to visit other places and even less within the time capacity. There is going to be review of the status of the relation of my brother and myself and the family estate, and therefore my return could easily lead to financial benefit among other things.

I have received a letter of introduction to the Indian delegation. But I have already chosen to carry with me a small brochure of Vice-President Giri, which may be very handy for the occasion (I also have with me a booklet of quotations which could be helpful).

But the main reason for writing is the wonderful outlook now for “The Dances of Universal Peace.” An educational television station has shown interest. This came right after my talk to what I call “the family” of disciples, that from now on in life privacy would be a luxury. The first filming definitely impressed the station. This week both my homes shall be visited by photographers and sound men. Also, understand they will send a team to photo etc our Spring Festival which will be an exhibition of “Dances of Universal Peace.”

I have also received a very nice letter of apology from the local protestant Episcopal cathedral. They have always avoided giving me an interview, but then so has everybody else. But there is always a hope that children, in this sense, can grow up. It is therefore possible that they will open the doors for my report on returning. All of this, and more, encourages optimism. But I wish to work in harmony with the staff and chief participants, believing that God Himself uses human kind as instruments for His benign purposes.

Love and Blessing,




Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva

April 11, 1970


Dear Peter and Friends:

In a more sober hour one writes not an “evaluation” but a prospectus for the future of the Temple. An evaluation assume some sort of private prowess. We have moved in three circles of people with universal outlooks. The danger is that despite their purposes and claims they do not always recognize the existence of each other. One is not called upon to make them accept each other. The Bible says “all rivers flow into the sea” but rivers do not for the most part flow into each other. And some of the worthies of the convocation are either now in Great Britain or will be here and carry on.

Gandalf’s Garden is the home of the young “Hippies” of universal outlook and there someone has quoted from Joel that old man will have dreams and young man visions (or the opposite). I think this is important. My chief negative note at Geneva—and this does not concern the events but the sideshows—was that people who would not dare say anything to a great person like Dr. Radhakrishnan criticized this comparatively unknown for exactly the same outlooks and words. So long as there is “noblesse oblige” and personality kowtowing there is not understanding. And besides this it will not now attract money. I think money can be attracted toward the edifice; I do not believe it can be attracted toward any sort of personal aggrandizement or belittling. “Every valley shall be exalted, an every hill laid low.” We cannot at the same time uphold the “truths” of the World’s Faiths and contradict them.

The chief request would be to have the names of the person or committee to whom suggestions and reports are to sent, thus relieving Washington correspondence, either to Father Haughey or others.

Tonight we sup with Muz Murray, who is in a sense the “guru” of the young new age people. There is a fair sprinkling of seniors among this group. He seems very close to Pir Vilayat who will be here shortly to conduct a conference. There is generally a good feeling about this conference. A report of any progress or a success would, I believe, be better presented to Father Haughey, or alternate, to those who will be concerned with the efforts of other groups in the same direction as The Temple of Understanding, or who may actually be persuaded to join it. Anyhow we shall plant some bugs tonight we hope.





410 Precita Ave.

April 26, 1970


Mrs. Judith Hollister

The Temple of Understanding

Greenwich, Conn.


My dear Judith,

There is no question that the attendance at the conference in Geneva will have become a turning point in life. Sometimes there exists within one hidden faculties and potentialities. Even to make the slightest assertion is regarded by what are now called “establishments” as sign of gross egotism. The way things have turned out there is a growing demand for the writing of one’s own autobiography.

This whole thing can be summarized in the phrase, “The stone which is rejected is become the cornerstone.” One cannot compel religionists to accept their own scriptures. If they do not they are doomed by the very moral law they acclaim but seldom practice. This is a New Age of objective honesty, a New Age in which hypocrisy will be barred; a New Age in which whatsoever one claimer he will have to live himself and not demand from others.

If I had returned here to start a destructive movement of any kind all the press would have been in attendance to see crowds of youth welcoming their “Guru.” And one thing is certain and that is that my young followers are full of light and life and élan vital which will become the wonder when stress is made upon facts and actualities. Everything on this trip turned out beautifully as if there were a cosmic moral law in operation, and maybe there is. I have no doubt whatsoever that we are going to have a Temple of Understanding and a temple with understanding.

The invention of the symphony did not terminate the use of solo compositions. The grand orchestra of the day has not abolished the musical instruments, but has used than. And I am very thankful indeed that there was no proclamation of any verbal “universal religion” which only proclaims some ego and abolishes devotion and piety. Those things have to be renovated and not destroyed, and the young will do just that.

My first theme at the conference was peace in Palestine, and I received help from the outset. At the end of the conference I was approached by two different persons with practical measures to bring this about; to end this pious hypocrisy of wishing and begging which operate as if they were constructive values.

Our last night in London was amazingly successful, so such so that we hope to visit England again, perhaps in two years. Our last night in Boston was so successful that we plan to return in the Autumn. The young are hungry and looking. They do not want any more barren leadership. They do not want any more religions which reject their own scriptures. They will accept Christ; they will accept Buddha; they will accept Mohammed; but they will not accept hypocrisy and ignorance. Some churches realize this.

I think Mansur and I were perhaps the only ones at Geneva who could and did have cordial communications and relations with all 14 groups who participated in the united prayer. And it was like a miracle that those personalities whom I personally felt were the best fitted to become the leaders, were the very personalities selected to lead. Or as one of my spiritual mentors said, “Leader is he who is leader of himself.”

When I reached London there was a cable announcing the death of my brother. This man devoted his life to placing barriers before me and was externally successful. There was nothing else to do but try Lord Buddha’s moral principles as laid down in the very neglected Buddhist scriptures. I can assure you this operation, this attitude, was successful.

I have no doubt that a number of organizations which have adamantly refused interviews and information will be glad to share my potential forthcoming wealth. If today I overlooked their attitudes I should be losing respect of the young. Surprisingly, several of the leaders tried to convert me to their own points of view without any consideration of my past or knowledge or research or anything. This included some very wonderful personalities whom I deeply love and venerate. But this is a New Age, an age in which real honesty, morality, and objectivity will dominate.

About a month from now I expect to go to the state of New Mexico. In the northern part of that state there are a number of communes, spiritual and not spiritual; there are a number of spiritual movements, communal and not communal. There is one thing clear and that is that the young wish to worship together and will not accept traditional barriers. Many will accept traditional religions, traditional rituals, traditional worships, but they will not adept barrier. It is those people who are sending for me to become their Guru, so to speak. And it is with and among such people that there is a possibility of establishing a model Temple of Understanding without asking for external aid.

In another sense either God is with me or there is a real moral law which really operates. Not only does it appear that my income is going up, but also that the various incomes of my several disciple is also on the increase. And the presentation of Dances of Universal Peace, frowned upon by the various exponents of separative groups, are going ahead full blast. So I see nothing but hope and possibilities here.

Therefore as matters stand we should be in attendance of all further convocations of The Temple of Understanding and also to give full cooperation in whatever and wherever such cooperation is important—this to be determined by the new board so wisely selected and not by us. With all love and blessings and best wishes,




May 9, 1970

Mr. Finley P. Dunne Jr.

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D.C.


My dear Peter:

It is said in the Bible that unless the Lord buildeth a house, they labor in vain who build, but I have a strong feeling that the divinity, by whatever name we may call Him, is in favor of our common efforts.

Last night I gave my only public address at this time on The Temple of Understanding. The audience was composed almost entirely of young people, not only my own followers but strangers were there. Indeed the small number of mature people there were also old friends. I made it clear at this time that I was not seeking any sort of help, but the promoter of these occasions was so pleased he wants me to appear again.

The only point to mention here is that I told them and I tell you now what was inferred at Geneva that we are prepared to construct a model in northern New Mexico this summer. It will not be an architectural model, it will be an operative model to be used for prayer, meditation, and devotion, by individual or by group. Indeed if we had a picture of the proposed model we might even make it something like that.

I tell you Peter, that the basis of the present revolution in this country is spiritual and not political or even economic. It has been coming for a long time. It is a revolution which sociologists and economists of all camps, decry, because it is not going their own way. Even now some of the churches in this city realize this. One of the simplest of simple facts is that youth wishes to worship with other youth. They do not wish to be divided from each other; Love, brotherhood, and devotion can became empty terms if they are not operative.

I only have a small time before leaving here to conduct a summer school in the state of New Mexico. There is a limited enrollment and the director would rather I meet new faces. This is all the more welcome because I wish to cooperate in full with Pir Vilayat Khan who is planning his own summer camp in the state of Arizona. Even now some of my disciples are busy in this direction. We are hoping to have a really large camp, though it will be of short duration. Pir Vilayat will also visit this city during my absence, etc.

I am also only giving another talk here to divinity students, and will also try to present the matters concerning The Temple of Understanding to the San Francisco Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian institution to the north, not far from my general headquarters.

I am particularly concerned with the beatitudes of Jesus Christ and now am prepared to conduct a form of meditation basically Zen (and no nonsense) but using these beatitudes as the subject matter.

There is another situation now working in my behalf. Forty years effort for the world Church Peace Union, and more recent endeavors for The Temple of Understanding have not brought me interviews from any local cleric excepting Bishop Hanayama. Even those verbally attached to The Temple of Understanding have refused interviews. Seizing the opportunities in Geneva, I am working for a peace program for the Near East, and in the past weeks all signs report progress. Indeed, my friends are now operative, and they are asking why clerics have refused me interviews. I am pleased to say there is a break, enough of a break to keep me occupied until I leave for New Mexico.

On the other hand, all the university professors contacted have been favorable. Those purportedly working for peace seem also to be working for understanding, and thus for “The Temple of Understanding”. I feel that the present dramatic situation may be resolved at a higher level in the direction of real peace, in the direction of the semantization of the beatitudes of Lord Jesus Christ.

Love and Blessings,




The Temple of Understanding

May 11, 1970


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Sam:

I want you to know that I am very much aware of you and your very valuable activities. As you know, our major objective is to try to bring about better understanding among the religious traditions of the world, and this means understandings at every level, from the senior priesthood to the masses of adherents of the religions.

Essentially, we hope that people belonging to any religion, including Christianity, will develop some comprehension of the basic doctrines and the underlying sanctity of other religions. Of course, this does not mean that we are asking them to abandon their own inherent doctrines. Far from it, we suppose that understanding of Buddhism by a Christian will make him a better Christian, or at least a more thoughtful one.

You yourself have been something of an explorer among the world’s religions, a universalist (not capitalized), and a scholar. Your scholarship is potentially very important to us, and I want you to know that we respect it deeply. I thought you contributed a great deal to the conference in Geneva, as did Dr. Benz, Dr. Jurji, Dr. Ariga, and the others who were there, not as representatives of particular religions, but because of their scholarship, to help us evaluate what developed and to guard us against erroneous conclusions and unwise policy decisions. It would be very helpful to us if you would give us your personal overview of the Geneva Conference.

I just received the copy of your letter to Princess Poon. I have no idea to what you refer when you suggest that “a representative of lust, greed, and anger” was named to become more active for The Temple of Understanding. Perhaps you would be good enough to let me know about this in a confidential manner.

The purpose of The Temple of Understanding is to construct a building in Washington, D.C., to be a symbol of understanding among the major world religion and through education in them further man’s awareness of his essential brotherhood.

Last week I had the pleasure of calling on Dean Krister Stendahl at Harvard, who told me you had reported to him on the Geneva Conference. He is as much impressed as I am by your extraordinary epistolary gifts.

Finally, I am sorry to hear about the death of your brother, but glad that you will now have enough funds to carry out your work in a creative and productive fashion. One way you might help things along would be to send a contribution to The Temple of Understanding. The Conference cost us a good deal more than we anticipated, and we are in great need of operating funds at the present time. I wonder whether you have any suggestions for fund-raising in the Bay Area?

Please let me hear from you. I shall be participating in a very substantial WESAK at the Buddhist Vihara here in Washington on May 16. I thought you might be interested in the news release we have published about it.

with warmest regards,




PS. In all of the above, I failed to answer any part of your kind letter of April 10, from London—mea culpa. I don’t know how exactly to answer your question as to when it may be most beneficial, from the standpoint of The Temple of Understanding, for you to come this way. The best thing might be for you to plan according to your own convenience, and let us know. I think you’ll have a good and interesting summer in New Mexico. I can’t find Lama on the map. Could it be in Alma, in my beautiful white mountains: Mogollon Mountains?



May 18, 1970

Mr. Finley P. Dunne Jr.

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D.C.


My Dear Peter:

I want to thank you for your letter of the 11th. I feel it is a duty to report in full without asking for too much in return. I am at the moment rather free in a geographical sense, and tomorrow will know better how much more free I shall be in a financial sense.

There is one negative note and it need not be referred to again. There have been, especially in this area, but also occasionally elsewhere, pretenders and superficial scholars who have been bolstered as “experts” so that the public is under the impression they have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge. I forego naming them. Once, one of them arose at a meeting dedicated to Mohammed Iqbal and said “I am very glad to come here to address you on the greatest of all Asian poets, Rabindranath Tagore.” Silence. A few weeks later a prominent citizen began a meeting in praise of this celebrity. A small voice from the back of the hall arose, “But papa was wrong, papa was wrong on every single item.” The young girl walked forwards addressed the audience and pointed seriatim where the learned gentleman was wrong. He was never called upon again. I think we can leave the dead bury the dead.

I am amazed and delighted with the reactions of Lowell Ditzen to one of my spiritual poems. He has offered to co-operate about it being published. While I am delighted, I am for the moment far more concerned with peace in the Near East and the building of The Temple of Understanding. I am, however, sending Lowell a copy of the cosmic poem which preceded the one sent to him. There is a possibility of this being published with still a third poem, all in the interest of promoting peace in the Near East. I am also fanatical in this, and have sidestepped any demonstration of news or knowledge concerning the peoples of Southeast Asia for this reason. Also as a gentleman, I wish to cover up some of the sadder events in the life of Her Serene Highness Princess Poon Diskul. We can let the dead bury their dead. I am very happy that Lowell participated in Wesak Day.

I am a sort of historian of Buddhism in this country. Buddhism offers a most superior ethic; with Buddhists it is often otherwise. The best Wesak celebrations here also have been in Christian edifices, and I think there is something very significant in this. Mansur and I visited the Vihara in London, also a Rinzai Zen Temple, also Marco Pallis, and the Royal Asiatic Society, and World Congress of Faiths. Nothing but satisfaction all along the line.

Yes Peter, I hope to establish a model at Lama in New Mexico. I want to present to the young people there all the things for which Judith and you stand. I am becoming more and more confident. Everything here is growing: number of adherents, number in audience, and a constant flow of creative activities so stupendous they make one’s head spin. This is a real New Age when we look deeply into it.

Next morning. It was necessary to stop suddenly, and in the ensuing hours much has happened. I had occasion to write to Senator Ribicoff this morning because of his remarks on the generation gap, but I did this also because he is Jewish. At long last a local Rabbi has assented to an interview. Fortunately, before our appointment I received a telephone call that an Arab, who is a citizen of Israel is returning here shortly to try to arrange some sort of meeting to be attended by Jewish people of several views, some Arabs, and some Christians. This led me to have a short conference climaxing the efforts of Mr. Norman Laurie. Norman gave me a whole half-day after the conference; it was marvelous. Fortunately the willingness of Rabbi Spicehandler to change his attitudes and views for the sake of peace and a universality in God, was most marked and wonderful, and this may enable us to accomplish something both useful and pragmatic.

Although I did not mail the letter yet to Lowell (carbon enclosed) I think I shall now enclose to him the Jewish epic written before “What Christ? What Peace?” Actually it is astounding and wonderful to find oneself accepted after years of almost absolute rejection in one’s own milieu. But now I am going forward with hopefulness and self-assurance and wish to follow this us by activities and accomplishments.

Many of my disciples are now getting ready to go to Pir Vilayat’s short summer camp. We have every assurance that this will be a success, and it will affect my mark when I return. The main question to me is how to cooperate fully with others, not to get off the handle, and not to got the ego so far forward that it may stand in the light of the full accomplishment of The Temple of Understanding.

Love and Blessings,




May 28, 1970

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Sam:

I agree with you that it is news when a man bites a dog. That is why I always bite dogs, and when the K-9 corps sees me come, they scurry to shelter. I have asked them to change from German Shepherds to Dachshunds, as the latter are much tastier.

I don’t know what to do about the people in various religions, including Islam, who are determined that their particular form of religion is the only one that has any value. You may remember that both Sir Zafrulla Khan and Dr. Sami Makarem were attacked at Geneva as not representative Muslims. My rule is that anybody who has the necessary credentials, and who says he is a Muslim, is a Muslim. I say I am Christian, although if you tried to decide it on the basis of attendance at church on Sunday, you would have a hard time proving it. So I say, let the dajjalists go jump in the lake at Disneyland.

As for God, I find myself rejecting the notion that He belongs to any one sect. If He is a God worthy of our worship, He has to be God of all mankind. Once one gets that firmly established, one will have no difficulty in feeling love for people of vastly different political, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

Incidentally, I will be interested to see some of the films you have been doing. As you may know, John Haughey and his working team are exploring the possibilities of a whole series of movies about the world religions, perhaps to go on TV, perhaps to be shown in high schools. There is no firm unifying theme as far as I know, but we must eventually arrive at one. Let us know about any of the material that you and Dr. Warwick are developing out there. We would like to see it.

The purpose of The Temple of Understanding is to construct a building in Washington, D.C., to be a symbol of understanding among the major religions of the world and through education in them, to further man’s awareness of his essential brotherhood.

From what you tell me about Lama, I would love to be there with you. If your location is where I think it is, it is lovely country. I hope you will all have a chance to pay a visit to the Zuni Pueblo and that you will come upon a Navajo girl in velvet jacket, multiple skirts, deerskin moccasins, silver belt, and turquoise necklace and earrings, herding her sheep and goats from a pinto pony. You suddenly see life in a different perspective.

Blessings on you, and let us hear from you again.




PS. I enclose a picture of the architect’s model for The Temple of Understanding: 6 wings, for 6 “major” religions. I have an idea this will change to something more flexible, so that the religions of mankind may all be included.



Box 444,

San Cristobal, NM 87564

June 7, 1970


Temple of Understanding

Finley P. Dunne

1346 Conn. Ave. NW

Washington, D.C.


My dear Peter:

Your last letter to me was evidently delivered to the right time and the right place. Here they have already built a meditation room, so to speak, with some of the architecture of the Amerindian kiva. And the basic ceremonies derived from Hebraic and Indian sources—I mean East Indian. There is a meditation every morning at 6, each meditating in his own fashion. At 7 we all meet and have a sort of service: a silence, Essene prayer, a Buddhist yoga practice and a chant which is selected by the person in charge. I think already we have had chants from all the great religions.

Under the circumstances there has been no problem about presenting the ideas for The Temple of Understanding. In fact it has been the other way around. One enterprising person has suggested that if the youth of the land can congregate to hold protest meetings against, why can’t they have protest meetings for. They say if you can furnish the ground for a meeting they would do all the rest.

Today marks a change in my life. The difference between a Sufi and some other people is that they have a telephone to God. The Sufi also has a phone to God but he also has one from God. It is only a little over three years when I was flat on the hospital bed and the voice of God came and said, “I make you spiritual teacher of the hippies.” I was flat on my back and remained so for a few days. During that time I had visions of the growth of my work from six to thirty disciples, from thirty to sixty and from sixty to hundred. Then the intimation that my private career would be over. It is certain today that my disciples are working with the Holy Man’s Jamboree in the San Francisco area, and for the first time I find myself personally the object of a pilgrimage.

The dominant aspect of this pilgrimage is to witness and participate in Dances of Universal Peace. But I shall certainly seize the opportunity to speak constructively for The Temple of Understanding. The doors are also open in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. I have a very good friend and colleague, Dr. Archie Bahm, at the university. The result of either of these events in this state and in the San Francisco area mean that I shall be called on to work on a larger scale. Fortunately, praise to God, my income is ample for myself alone. It will be necessary to work on a much larger scale and for this some kind of organization will be necessary. I once wanted to help the “World Congress of Faithsᾀ? who put me under a man rather famous who did nothing. I refuse henceforth to be under anybody famous or not famous who does nothing.

The other morning before your letter arrived I had one of those grand inspirations: to write my commentary on St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. I have lectured on this work at a San Francisco Seminary but would address the commentary to our good friend, Lowell Ditzen. You see, St. Paul says man has three bodies and Hindu metaphysics says man has three bodies. When I broached this to Huston Smith. and asked, “Don’t you realize that both Christianity, or rather Paul, and the Hindus are giving us the same truth?” Now, of course, Huston is in sanctuary. We have to go to the Boston area in the Autumn on other but quite related affairs about which I shall keep you informed.

Film. Working separately, our good friend Vilayat Khan and my disciples had started the filming of my dances and parallel achievements first of the Buddhists and Hassidic Jews (with both of whom we are on good terms.) We joined forces. Unfortunately, a man who was close to us socially horned in on the deal and has in my absence turned it in to a promotional racket, leaving the doors open for those very Dajjals against which you have correctly written.

My next grand inspiration after that concerning St. Paul above was that glorious emotions solve no problems. Nearly all the new cults and religious movements or anti-religious movements seem to be based upon the hypothesis that if you have a grand emotion you can save the world and yourself. Unfortunately, the grand emotionalists only agree in that they call this state expansion of consciousness. It is no more expansion of consciousness and no less than dry ice becoming carbon dioxide gas. Glorious emotionalizing has nothing to do with the spirit at all.

I think it is on this point I must agree with you entirely that religion in practice must be based on some form of devotionalism and not emotionalism. My present objection to Christianity is that the Bible begins, “In the beginning, God.” And religionists begin, “I believe.” I don’t know where this “I” came in. I don’t know where it started or how it started; but certainly my proposed commentary on St. Paul’s Corinthians is based on the assumption that we have a valid Scripture given by a man who has told us his own basic experience which led to his missions, literary pilgrimistic.

I have twice completed my Buddhist training: once before Roshi Sogen Asahina in Engaku-ji Temple in Kamakura, Japan; and once before Master Seo Kyung Bo of Korea, when he was staying in San Francisco. I haven’t the slightest doubt that Philip Kapleau would have accepted the experiences. But I do not know whether he would have accepted the remarks, the actually same remarks, given by two Buddhist masters of two races at two different times: If you want to realize Zen in the fullness, complete your realization of Jesus Christ. It is quite evident on this point that the world’s top masters don’t always agree with the experts.

I myself have found it possible to worship with all peoples. What is largely missing in Christianity today are techniques and not Billy Graham’s emotional outpours. My work for the coming season will be in the restoration or renovation of the symphony-antiphony responses similar to those of the early Christians. Jesus Christ himself said, “I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.” In the name of fulfilling the Dajjals come to destroy. There are untapped values in the ceremonies of many, maybe all, religions. The way cathedrals are built, the possible echoes and re-echoes from chanting and singing have endless latent values. I don’t think mankind can improve on them. Architects may be just as inspired as clergy men and poets. What we are proposing is to revive, to resurrect, to reawaken, only we are doing this through the dance without replacing any earlier forgotten or by-passed methods.

My Buddhist training of recent years has been in the Avatamsaka (Kegon) School. The principle teaching of this is that the Divine Light is in everybody. Just compare it with the first chapter of the Gospel of St. John. Fortunately, some of the young people here have also discovered this. What good is there to replace; we may be fulfilling and fulfilling isn’t going to hurt anybody’s prejudices.

Vilayat has proposed a Universal Worship, involving elements from ell religions in a rather ritualistic manner. Here the young people have already put into operation the same principles which leaves everyone free for his own divine inspirations, and it is marvelous. I do not wish to impose anything here, buy rather report something that is being done with success. As I reach more young people here I shall be able to report with more details. I think The Temple of Understanding is in full accord with the spirit of the age, and if we can channel the energies of the young constructively to this end there will be an achievement. Or, as written before, if we held the next conference in this country, we can easily get caravans. I think I have already written Heidi on this subject, etc.

The young people here like the plan for the temple. The reaction was much more favorable than that given at Geneva.

Love and Blessings,




The Temple of Understanding

July 28, 1970


Dear Sam:

This is such a long overdue answer to your excellent letter of April 26th, and I apologize. But after the Geneva Conference I came home to a very severe attack of bursitis, making it impossible for me to use my right arm for almost a month. Then this was followed by a visit of our married daughter from Japan and her little daughter, our first grandchild, whom we had not seen. And so it’s only now I’m finally catching up with the huge backlog of mail.

But you won’t mind because by now you are in New Mexico, and I am sure your mind is on many other things. As I wrote young Chotsy Wallace recently, it was wonderful to meet you at last in Geneva, and aside from your obvious knowledge, you exhibited a quality that instantly endeared you to me, a sense of joy! The large lovely twinkle in your eye across the crowded room read to me, “Maybe no one else in this crowd understands you, Judith, or sees your particular vision—but I do!” And who, especially one as inadequate and basically slay (which no one believes, but it’s true) as myself, doesn’t need such a twinkle with such a message at such a moment?

We so longed to have more of the young there. That is as it should be, and I share your feelings about them. But again (contrary to what many suppose), we are not millionaires. My husband and I live simply, and I am the cook, waitress and cleaning lady. The Temple of Understanding does not find it simple to raise funds to build. Large sums, as you know, are generally in the hands of the “Establishment”, and they feel we are anti-Establishment. So it goes. But something (?) saves us in the nick of time, when we sometimes don’t know how to pay the rent!!

Now, Sam, a question. If you were to scan the world, from Brooklyn to Bangkok, to choose the most dynamic religious (?) seers who could talk to the American student, whom would you suggest? You know the field far better than I, and I’d appreciate your suggestion.

If Chotsy is near, or your young companion Mansur, give them both a bear-hug from me. We’ll keep in touch, and let’s hope your summer is the real spiritual adventure I suspect it will be. Again, so glad you came to Geneva—you contributed more than you know.




Novato, Calif. 94947

July 30, 1970


Finley Dunne

Temple of Understanding


Dear Peter: In re Chet Huntley.

During the years when this now retiring commentator lived in Southern California we were constantly crossing each other’s trails.

His last efforts were to try to convince me to join a movement which claimed to unite all religions. I was unable to join this movement, because it ignored the simple fact that there were other groups also trying to unite all religions. But the fact remains that Chet had and I believe he still has a universal outlook. This may give you an idea of inviting him to further gatherings under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding. I do not wish to undertake this myself owing to the load of work on my hands of which the copy of letter enclosed gives an example. But this also may be a suggestion to you.

Love and blessings,




August 3, 1970

Mr. Finley P. Dunne, Jr.

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D.C. 20036


My dear Peter:

This is an unusually bright Monday morning. My meetings, though small, are getting larger and larger. I had visitors yesterday from three parts of the country asking me to visit their respective areas. The one to the Southwest will be delayed until Winter, but those on the East coast are receiving more consideration. In the meanwhile long distance telephone calls that I am wanted in Portland, Oregon, and in Los Angeles, and at least so-called underground personalities have informed me they are coming here.

I fact the only kind of oppositions are amusing—A. the Press, which will not accept anything unusual; B. The so-called “peace” and “universal” groups, which absolutely give one no consideration. I don’t think either of these matters.

I keep on getting more hints that my efforts will be publicized, and if they are publicized too soon, I may not be able to keep up with the demands. It is certain that the young are accepting without question my heritages from the late Miss Ruth St. Denis.

This morning we must make first efforts to incorporate. I have never wished this, believing in the brotherhood of men, but when this “universal” organization and that “world” group rejects not only my personal efforts but rejects the actualities of history, this independent stance is necessary. Fortunately, good-will is increasing on university campuses and wherever objectively and reality are prided above realism.

There are several things noticeable. One is the hard cry for love. The second is that the young want to worship together. They will accept sectarianism or universalism, and prefer traditions to novelty, but the togetherness stands out.

Several persons rather independently are planning a joint Sufi-Israeli Hassid spiritual endeavor, using music and dance, etc. We have Jews, even Israelis, chanting Allah, and Christians and Muslims joining in the Shemah. This Cawnt be, but it is going to be made public despite its rejections by the press, etc. And while this is going on more and more publisher’s representatives come to me. I mention this only because at this writing all my intensions are to promote The Temple of Understanding above all else. And there is a general favorable agreement to this among all these newcomers.

The next project after incorporating will be to provide for my travel fund, so I can visit the East Coast along with Mansur, we hope, say late in September. This whole thing is trying on me because of having to change the career of a spiritual teacher to an organizer and executive, but I feel help is coming. Bob Kaufman has been attending all my public meetings and he is more than enthusiastic. I think this is the best thing that can be said.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



Aug. 9, 1970

Mr. Finley P. Dunne Jr.

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C.


My dear Peter,

This is a beautiful optimistic Sunday morning. We have had problems. We have had problems simply because what are known as establishments will not accept the teachings of the Bible that “Every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low.” The establishments simply do not accept anything coming out of Ephratahs. A number of years ago His Holiness Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj gave a tea for my sixtieth birthday. A celebrated Indian philosopher came in and without an introduction attacked me personally for coming from a country where credits were given in what was called Indian philosophy by German professors. He made no inquiry. He did not know that these same German professors had been successful in blockading even my attendance at inter-religious conferences, etc., etc. We can skip that now.

The swami Ranganathananda did something I have never done by those who verbalize a Judeo-Christian ethic. He said, “Wait till you hear his point of view before you criticize him.” I asked the Indian, “Which would you rather hear, the flute-of-Krishna or a discourse on the Chandogya Upanishad right off the cuff?” The Swami said, “He means exactly what he says.” The professor apologized.

Now no establishment organization has ever been willing to accept any articles by me on the Chandogya Upanishad—this includes the Vedanta publication in this country. But I did upset a meeting of the top Orientalists in the United States when it was found out I was the only person in the audience who could answer some questions propounded by the famous Prof. Singer of Chicago University on Indian Mysticism. I was never forgiven for that either, and have never been invited either by those people.

I am enclosing a copy of a letter written yesterday to the World Congress of faiths. I wanted to join them. I even wanted to represent them in this country. They may have changed; they may have accepted that there are Bethlehem-Ephratahs. I hope so. But we had to incorporate to avoid paying income taxes, etc. So we accepted unconditionally the Sufi Movement of Pir Vilayat, although even in the past two weeks our work has expanded so rapidly as to produce quandaries.

But God be praised, these very quandaries may provide answers to the request of wonderful Judith. Although my program has been full, we have added two more projects. One has been in connection with lectures on the First Epistle to the Corinthians on the three-body constitution of man, and the clarification of a multitude of complexes connected with the psychedelic experiences. The audiences are packed, all young excepting seminary students. The fact that my two chief secretaries now have outside jobs is delaying turning the material over to Lowell that I wished to. Peter, there are no problems. There are just egoistic individuals who do not accept Bethlehem-Ephratahs or that valleys shall be exalted or hills laid low.

(Every letter of mine written to a scientist on pollution problems has been answered. No a single letter on this subject to a non-scientist has been acknowledged. The scientists, and I also, are very fearful that the confusions being spread by editors and literati may produce tremendous destruction when there are many available answers at hand.)

The other additional adventure includes our efforts to bring Arabs and Israelis together. This is the chief type of “not-news.” The editors simply will not accept it. Our preliminary meetings have been totally successful. The young do not want to fight each other. The young want to understand each other. The young want to pray together and play together, and their “leaders,” including a lot of famous men, practically forbid it. Our good friends of the World Congress of faiths bring Rabbis and Imams together, who then turn to their respective holy edifices and forbid their congregations from intermingling. This is what the young people are horrified by. In Sufism itself there is only one sin: Hypocrisy.

Our young people, meeting together, wish to organize, even incorporate. They are not sure that the present constitution of the Sufi order, as arranged by Pir Vilayat, provides for their present undertakings. They have asked if they can organize in some way connected with The Temple of Understanding.

They do not want money. On the contrary, all our efforts in the past months to raise funds have been successful. They are very proud. They think they can raise funds for this or any allied purpose. Therefor we are anti-establishment in that we wish to bring you money instead of begging it. Only it must be done legally.

I have previously asked that provisions be made for more young representatives at the next conference. Rob Kaufman, who has been attending all my public meetings, is also going to write to you. I also enclose copy of letter to Shotsy Wallace, with whom I do not agree.

These things have happened so suddenly and forcefully I am writing under pressure. I have had to write other letters to “good people” who seem to have the keys to God excepting funds. The young people believe that when you have the keys to God you will have the funds, and intend to prove it. At this writing I have no less than four promoters to consult with during the coming month. Even without their help I have been working and my disciples have been working so that if necessary we can visit Washington this Autumn.

I believe Judith’s heart is absolutely in the right place, and I believe now the good, omniscient, omnipresent God is going to help in this work. Every valley shall be exalted, every hill shall be laid low, the lamb and the lion shall lie together, and we might as well throw away our “humility” and let these little children lead us.

Love and blessing,



Aug. 15, 1970

Rev. Henry Babel

Pastor, The Cathedral of St. Pierre

1 Rue Pierre Fatio

Geneva, Switzerland


Beloved One of God:

You may remember the writer—the little bearded American who attended the conference of The Temple of Understanding earlier this year in your city. I am sorry I cannot empress myself in French very well, but when you answer you may write in your own language if you wish.

It seems that the Living God has given blessings for all dreams and undertakings since the spring of this year. While the conference was going on, my brother died and this has led to an increase in income. After the conference more and more young people came to my meetings and gathering, first in England, and then in various parts of the United Staten, and there is nothing but constant increase in attendance at meetings, in increased collections, and in the efforts of growing and loving disciples to cooperate in every manner. But many of these forms of cooperation are spiritual and cosmic:

1. Two teams of friends and disciples are leaving for the Orient, for various parts of Asia, to take films of undertakings and religious ceremonies which depict the present status of devotion. One team will go to Jerusalem first, and all will gather together in India, and then again separate. Later on one of them hopes to go also to your city. I think this will be headed by disciple Phillip Davenport who was previously editor of a local spiritually oriented paper called The Oracle.

2. A group of disciples have organized a movement bringing together Jew, Christian, and Muslim, Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian, to work for peace in the Near East, with special emphasis on the Book of the Prophet Malachi. They believe they can raise funds and more, and feel very self-assured. They wish to work for and with The Temple of Understanding, and believe they can raise all the funds necessary.

At Geneva, I pretended I was an incarnation of “Nathan the Wise” of Lessing, but my friends have rightly given credit to Boccaccio and his “The Three Rings.” At the moment I am expecting a loan to start a scholarship for peace based on this theme, at the University of California in Berkeley. I not only have backgrounds in all the religions, but have studied soil science, water resources, desert reclamation and social institutions.

3. I am now lecturing on “The Three Body Constitution of Man” based not on Indian teachings, but on St. Paul. My lectures are an “esoteric” interpretation of Paul, with a very stern defense of him. I believe when we recognize the existence of the three bodies, we shall find that all psychedelic experience belongs. But I am following St. Paul in emphasizing pneumatikos as against psychikos. However the stress is following Paul on Love and we have the mind of Christ

These lectures are tape-recorded, are being edited, and will be sent to Rev. Dr. Ditzen in Washington, D.C.

4. A very wealthy publisher has recently joined the Sufi Order and has offered to print anything I write, etc. This covers many subjects during a long life. We should prefer working with Lowell Ditzen, and very fortunately a few Presbyterian clerics have happened into my meetings and been won over. The largest of these meetings takes place in the San Francisco Theological Seminary, which is a Presbyterian institution and where I myself once taught Sunday school.

The actual proceedings at Geneva followed in detail visions I had years ago when working presumably for the World Church Peace Union. I worked voluntarily for this group for forty years, and when the early leaders died their replacements did not have the courtesy to look at my reports. But I am not worrying about it. I am much more concerned with “We have the mind of Christ.” I think this can be incorporated into our culture.

Later on you may be visited by one or more of my disciples, after they have been to Asia. We are so delighted with the prayer proceedings, with the infinite possibilities of love and devotion, that we can only praise Cod about them.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



Aug. 23, 1970

Mr. Finley P. Dunne Jr.

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C.


My dear Peter,

Friday I wrote a letter to Lowell Ditzen and wanted to hold it up for another report. I think the contents of this letter may rationalize the situation that I do not have and do not want days off. It seems so to speak that God Himself is not only inspiring but is invigorating this personality.

At last, I was able to give my commentary on the 12th Chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Its very theme is so close to Sufi teaching, and supports our contention “That God Alone was the Founder of Sufism.” Although it has been tape-recorded, I also may check the Hebrew version of the scriptures, or barring that, the Concordance.

This lesson is the high-water mark of the look. It leaves me thoroughly inspired and re-invigorated. The underlying theme is “We have the mind of Christ.” And on this I will not compromise.

The spiritual dance classes are progressing and expanding so rapidly they are out of my control. But the objective is to get young people to repeat phrases of recognition and praise to God, no matter what language, no matter what religion. I guess the numbers are expanding from 100s to 1000s.

In the meanwhile, disciples have joined with Pir Vilayat Khan into expanding TV recordings which began with my own efforts. This alone is a tremendous undertaking. During this time I have had an unusual difficulty. My former secretary Mansur is now employed full-time in and with the above. Another secretary is now down in Arizona, and functioning as a spiritual teacher, and all reports show success. He is being employed by a very wealthy publisher, who probably will give you all the publicity you wait.

There has been nothing but success in the efforts to promote peace for the Near East. The meetings are entirely in the hands of young person, and I think one of them, Jonathan Lewis, has written to you. At the present time, our problems are certainly not financial, and it may interest you to know that Bob Kaufman is a volunteer worker, and if there are financial improvements with the dirth of help, he may even be on the payroll.

It also looks at this time that we already have enough money to cover a trip for a secretary and myself. We shall have to go to New York to pick up her car. I must say that there is much enthusiasm now for The Temple of Understanding among the young. The young want to help. Their elders, including some “establishment” churches, seem to have wished The Temple of Understanding to further and promote their own interests. I am not against that. I am not against that at all. But we must, I believe, further the objectification and material manifestation, inshallah, of Judith’s dream.

    Love and blessings,




August 31, 1970

The Temple of Understanding

1346 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D.C.


My dear Peter:

Just a rush note. Our teams are leaving for Asia to take films of holy places and spiritual ceremonies. I believe they will be directed by our good friend Pir Vilayat Khan. I have lost Mansur, who is busy editing the films and records.

My second secretary has now a good job in Arizona, and we believe his publisher-employer will do everything to cooperate with both your efforts and mine.

My local secretary is very busy promoting real joint efforts between Jewish (including Israeli) and Arab and Muslim communities, with Christians assisting. We even have the radio, and TV people interested, which is something, and will keep you informed.

His other efforts are connected with the lectures which are being given to large crowds of young people, and copies sent to Lowell Ditzen as soon as available. It is really wonderful, praise to God.

And my new secretary and I are hoping to leave for New York first, then to visit the East coast by October, inshallah.

Love and Blessings, Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. It is noteworthy, and it will become part of history that one man gave me four hours to listen to my plan for the Holy Land. His name: Gunnar Jarring. This is going to become part of my autobiography and maybe of history itself.



The Temple of Understanding

September 9, 1970


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Murshid:

Late last month Mrs. Hollister and I received a letter from Jonathan Lewis, and as you will see, I wrote back to him at the address he had given. Apparently he is no longer there because the letter was returned with the notation that the addressee was unknown. Perhaps you will be good enough to see that he gets it.

I gather from his letter that he is one of those who are working somewhat under your aegis to bring about improved personal relationships among Jews and Muslims, as a way to promote a peaceful settlement of the Middle Eastern situation which now seems so desperately out of control.

Many blessings upon you.





Novato, Calif. 94947

September 12, 1970


Finley P. Dunne Dr.

The Temple of Understanding

Washington, D. C.


Dear Peter:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. This is written pre-dawn. There has not been any time off excepting yesterday we went and picked apples for exercise and “economy.” And nothing but good news, real historical news which will no doubt be incorporated into history but not-news, we do not do things that way. And it may cause a revolution but not a series of violent acts by groups who also do not accept real history but have a different type of subjective “realism.”

All plans to bring Israelis, Christians and Arabs together have succeeded to date. We had the most wonderful reports from Jerusalem. We had the most wonderful reports from Geneva. We have had the most wonderful reports from Teheran and our groups will meet together soon in India, and also the most wonderful reports.

We have not yet succeeded in getting a simple newspaper in this region to accept anything, and this is particularly ironical because all the persons involved are from Marin County, north of San Francisco. Also the one man who has stood by me through thick and thin, the retired Admiral Evenson, who also has a Washington background—but not-news, we don’t do things that way!

I am also through the lectures on “The Three Body Constitution of Man according to St. Paul” and this will go to Rev. Lowell Ditzen. And it will show how we can resolve and solve all psychedelic problems, or shall I saw, “Pseudo-problems.”

We “lost” an election in Chile and will continue to lose so long as we adhere to mini-skirts, whiskey and hard liquor and stories of violence. Years ago I found nearly all Asians would accept our economic structure, but now our “morals.” Well, I have met more actual human beings who are Asiatic than perhaps all the news reporters combined.

We shall, with God’s grace, have pictures and sound recordings. And next week I have been included in a Holy Man’s gathering in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Then we leave for New York, then Boston and then Washington. And at long last, it seems I am gathering secretaries again. Mansur is doing wonderful and cooperating.

Love and Blessings,



The Temple of Understanding

Sept. 18, 1970


Dear Sam:

Praise God indeed—as declaimed in yours of Sept. 12, received just today. You didn’t put any street address on the envelope, but with God’s praiseworthy help, the Post Office found us. Sometimes we seem herd to locate. I get an angry or frustrated letter every now and then from some subscriber who comes to Washington and can’t find “Temple of Understanding” in the telephone book, although it’s there in clear if discreet type.

We are of course looking forward to your descent to Washington (after attaining the zeniths of New York and Boston). I want to hear all about your maneuverings of the Israelis, Christians and Arabs, a trio finding a true avatar in your good self. I wonder what effect the highjackings will have. It might in the end be good, a kind of purge, painful but clarifying the issues in the poor, unhappy Middle East.

It is inevitable that you will get no attention from the newspapers, which have long believed that nothing matters except events. A meeting is not an event. A murder is an event. So the murder gets the headlines, unless an event occurs at the meeting. So all we can do is to think of ourselves as educational, and realize that our quiet influence day after day on the people who will listen to us is the greatest force operating in the world. Patience ought to be our watchword, even if it’s hard to sustain.

I don’t think we lost an election in Chile. When the masses of people feel they are being used by their elite, and when there is no response to their efforts to get out of the gutter, they are liable to fall for extremist solutions, among which the communist line is in the forefront. They know it means cruel dictatorship, they know it is a fraud, they know it denies both God and human nature, but for a moment it looks better than what they’ve got—and I believe, in Chile they don’t really truly think Allende is an honest-to goodness commie. Hell, he’s a Chileno, not a Russian or a Chinese. The question is, where do they go from here? And it’s not our question to decide. It’s the Chilenos’.

Best to Mansur.





Some suggestions for Judith Hollister and the Board of Directors of The Temple of Understanding.



One suggests the establishment of a person or group to act as parliamentarians secretary to the chair or chairs. The person should be qualified to rule on points of order or even points of information when proposals are made which ignore the principles, especially of those religions that have scriptures. And especially that have scriptures studied in courses on comparative religion, etc.

For instance, one heard a vociferous debate between two men, one from India and one from Lebanon, on the nature of Buddhism. From a real Buddhist standpoint they were both very much misinformed. It is necessary no doubt to have not only some knowledge of scriptures, but also of the logics and psychologies of Oriental religions. The one objection this person had was to include Alan Watts as an expert. Not only is this man anathema to many Asians, but it would be actually a rude procedure to have any non-devotee represent a faith without their approval. There have been may fiascoes I the past and I can give you detailed information.

The Parliamentarian may be more than one person, and he would be limited to ruling on information and points of information. This would dispense with some quite unnecessary wastages of tame, when some enthusiastic but ignorant persons introduce proposals either in accord with their own personality inclination or with their particular religion.


Bureau of Information

There was a lot of time wasted in and out of committee with the statement: “We ought to have….” This “we” also meant simply that the person uttering the statement did not know. When such a statement is made, the chairman, either of particular committees or of the committee of the whole, ought to ask: “Does anybody have this information?” But usually it happened that when some person, especially a prominent person, made this statement, “We ought to know,” the chair assumed that nobody present had that information. This itself is rudeness, although unconsciously so. There were many people of vast erudition as well as vast spirituality in the audience. Now a communication which could be made in a few seconds has to go through organizational dynamics and left up in the air. This in turn adds to burdens of the central headquarters and very valuable information which could have been presented readily may require months of very arduous efforts to obtain.

Of course there can be a committee or bureau of universal information. A few persons like Dr. Jenz, Professor Jurji, and myself, I think, can cover all of this. But I am quite willing to operate either directly or under and I mean under Father Haughey.


Sher Singh’s proposal

After the meeting, Dr. Nasr said he had opposed the admission of the Baha’i and one rather cultist group. When he UN had its convocation of the religions of the world, they ruled that the Christian Scientists and Latter day Saints were not Christians, because they had other scriptures than the Bible. If they had been accepted as Christians, the Muslims would have asked: “Why aren’t we Christians also, for we also accept the Bible along with our later Scriptures?

There should, therefor, be some distinction, following the UN ruling and also following the Hadiths of Mohammed that each culture had its own scripture or revelation. But this might mean that there are revelations without scripture, and thus validates Dr. Roberts’ proposal to include African non-scriptural faiths. Only a question arise here about also including new Japanese non-scriptural faiths and the Church of the American natives. I am not proposing anything, but there should be a clarification.



On section C under Purpose, it states: “to bring our mutual spiritual forces….” Now what are these spiritual forces? They are presented variously in and by and from different faiths. They should be accepted as functionally real and as fundamentally different from intellect and emotion. Here we run into a difficulty that if a person of prominence presents an interpretation and a person on non-prominence presents the same interpretation, there may be entirely different response; and this would evince a non-acceptance of spirituality. This does not seem to happen at The Temple of Understanding gatherings, but it has most certainly happened at the World Buddhist Convocations. They accepted Prajna when presented by Dr. Radhakrishnan.

They did not accept it when presented by others. Now “Prajna” means that every man and woman is essentially enlightened and thus has the possibility of representing the whole universe. To me Buddha-mind and Divine-mind are the same thing, but I am considering the functions and not the metaphysics or theologies. Sublime inspiration and vision are both possible and functional. What has happened to Judith may happen to others, may be happening to others, and especially to the young.


The Temple of Understanding

In an esoteric sense, this has been presented in the Hebrew book of Ezekiel, in the Christian book of Revelation, and most of all in the Buddhist Lotus Scripture. It also came to me in a sense as to Pir Vilayat Khan through his Reverend father. But his father showed me a methodology by which funds could be raised and a structure built without being involved and over-burdened with fund-raising by traditional methods. I have already participated in the rapid erection of the Buddhist Universal Church of San Francisco. I am now prepared to work for a miniature Temple of Understanding with and among the young. We cannot have it both ways, acting as if we were vehicles of divine guidance and also as if we were ignorant of divine guidance at the same time. Fortunately, Dr. Spicehandler was very receptive to ideas based on practical experiences and suggested I report to Father Haughey which can very easily be done. I also pointed out to Rabbi Spicehandler that the Hebrew people long had the ark and then the temple. There are still too many people who adhere to the old “capitalistic” method of raising funds first, rather than attracting them. The young people recently attracted so much money without any effort that I am sure if we approach Richard Alpert (now known as Baba Ram Dass) or similar representatives of the New Age, including the Beatles themselves, we can easily raise the funds. Indeed, it has just come to me to ask the Beatles, but I leave it at that point.





“Africa vs. The Young.” There were two presumable programs for next year:

1. That we should express our internationalism by meeting in some part of Africa.

2. That we should include the youth.

Although at the time I was much won by the charm of Dr. Roberts, I feel very definite that any movement away from the Washington concentration could inhibit The Temple of Understanding itself. I do not believe that a splendid idea should be smothered under an avalanche of “ands,” “ifs,” and buts,” etc. Even now, there are quite a number of people who never talked in open session, but often at cocktail lounges, etc., who are not enthusiastic about the temple—what are they here for? They believe and practice a sort of social brotherhood and internationals. This is no doubt excellent, but I do not think we are here for that.

There is an extreme danger of the side-shows overwhelming the circus, and here we are facing what is to me a very serious problem: When a person receives a divine inspiration—and to some of us Judith has received a divine inspiration—it should be kept in the foreground at all times.

An African venture, no matter how worthy, would involve a large expenditure both by the temple itself and from those of us who would like to contribute to the Temple having to consume our resources in travel.

On the other hand, the young could supply quantity and quality of personality and quantities of money. Given them the opportunity, they would do it. The one obstacle I definitely ran into was a blank wall in the minds of certain older people, who look upon youth too subjectively. They have an unfortunate instinct that youth consist of a mass of sub-humans who must be led if not mis-led. I wonder how many people actually know that one of the greatest of Great Britain’s Prime Ministers was the youth Wm. Pitt, the younger. There are a lot of William Pitts today. They have broken out in music and song where they are not stopped. They have not broken out elsewhere, because they are stopped. But our own immediate experience of the past month has witnessed the phenomena of youth breaking out in new businesses where they are not stopped, and where they are prospering beyond even their own dreams.

Personally, and of course this is a limitation, I am all but dismayed by the oratory of very, very lonely old people, impassioned appeals for love and compassion, which they did not recognize in the audience. this stands in marked contrast to the one suggestion we accepted from the young, the holding together of the same ribbon. To me, spirituality consists in listening and not talking. And if The temple of Understanding or any other group today embarks on any international or spiritual undertaking and does not make youth complete partner, the young themselves will take over and do what their elders are talking about.

Or they may for further and by-pass and establish universal Temples literally appropriating or misappropriating Judith’s dream. She’ll get her dream alright, but not necessarily in the manner some expect it to manifest.

Trikkannad, Sri Premanand Correspondence

The Garden of Inayat    

910 Railroad Ave.,         

Novato, Calif. 94947

May 30, 1969


Sri Premanand Trikkannad

1850 No. Cheroke Ave.

Hollywood 28, Calif.


Dear Ram:

Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram.

It was with great joy Sam received a letter from his other self known as Satchidananda. We are so happy to have a grandson of our Beloved Papa here in California.

We are essentially a group of Sufis and we study Sufism. But what is Sufism? It is the conscious recognition that God is Love and as God is Love, what is needed is this conscious recognition.

Two years ago Sam was on his back in a hospital. He had never really been sick in this whole life which is not a short one and God (Ram) appeared and said, “I make you Spiritual Director of the Hippies.” Living in California you must know something about the Hippies but Sam believes many of them are reincarnated Indians.

For instance we once had a protest meeting and a communist spoke on social philosophies and only five or six applauded. Then Alan Ginsburg started chanting Hari Krishna and the whole audience joined it. Four hundred people, not all students, at the Universal of California became the center of world news, and three thousand students on the campus itself chanted Hari Krishna and it was not news at all. And many, many more chant today. In fact Sam has a dance based on it.

There is a saying of my first Sufi teacher, “Heart Calls to Heart and Soul to Soul.” A few weeks ago we had a Maypole here. We put in a Maypole and also celebrated a Buddhist Wesak and had 150 adults and some children. This The Garden of Inayat has ample room and we are next putting in a children’s playground.

There is a question how to let the children join in with dancing and singing and as Sam has reached a state where Ram is real he is always listening. “And we put on a “Follow my leader” dance. “Follow my leader” is an old European-American game but it is not too different in principle from some Indian customs. All the children joined and now Sam is facing a strange situation, that after dancing and singing RamNam they want to become disciples. He has had no provision for this but “Heart calls to heart’ and soul to soul. So without any effort we do the RamNam along with the Sufi Zikr and many spiritual dances, all in the Name of God.

This week we have put papa’s works in the library of the University of California. We may want more for this is the library of South Asian Studies. The big library is also directed by Leila Chandra whose ancestors came from Delhi. We are having no trouble excepting there are too few of us and too much to do and there are more seekers and few able to attend to their basis spiritual needed.

Some of us must visit Hollywood soon—the actual day and hour is not fixed but it will be toward the middle of June. May we visit you? The hotel where Sam has been stopping is almost within walking distance. This person knows central Hollywood very well indeed.

We are using music and dancing for spiritual attainment. There is now a great revival of interest in Miss Ruth St. Denis who was my spiritual God-mother. She was hostess to Hazrat Inayat Khan a long time ago, in 1911-12 they toured this land with the theme, “Yoga Dances.” We are now bringing the young people nearer to God by singing and dancing. It is very difficult; it is difficult because this person has not only to be Guru-Murshid and Master of Ceremonies, but when the chanting comes he enters the state of spiritual ecstasy and has to depend on Divine Guidance.

When one returned in 1962 everything was gloomy and one had to face every kind of obstacle. It was only by Divine Grace, when one was hopeless on a hospital bed and received the Sign and now the young come and more and more every week—still not too many but as many as one can assimilate for there is no such thing as an “audience,” there is a collectivity of Souls, every one of whom is a Ram, or a Sita, or a Sita Ram.

With all love and blessings and hoping to be able to call on you soon,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



1850 N.Cherokee Ave

Hollywood, Calif. 90028

June 12, 1969

Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram


Beloved Friend:

Pranams. I was extremely happy to receive and read your interesting epistle of 30th May and regret I could not reply earlier.

Before I proceed further, I also want to thank you for the beautiful book the Rejected Avatar. Again, before I further proceed, I have a problem and wish to have your help. Two days back while I was mailing our office letters, accidentally I dropped in the mail box the envelope that carried the booklet Rejected Avatar. The envelope contained many of my personal papers, including some prayer sheets belonging to the Anandashram of La Crescenta, here and also a copy of The Vision that I had received from our Ashram in India. The envelope has of course my address upon it and has its return address as that of Prophecy Press works. I tried my best to get the envelope but could not succeed. The post office authorities said it would come to me since it had my address but thus far it has not and I cannot afford to lose the prayers sheets that are the only copies belonging to the Ashram.

I am sending a copy of this letter—this first page—to Prophecy Press works to mail back the envelope in case it returns to them. However if you are in direct touch with the Press works, I request you to kindly do me the favour of instructing them to safely mail me the envelope. Thank you very much, Brother.

I shall now start writing in detail about us in next page. Of course I am very sorry for starting our acquaintance with giving you trouble.

I am grateful to Revered Swami Satchidanandji for having sent you our address. We are of course eager to meet all our Ashram friends. It’s the supreme Grace of the Divine Master, our Most Revered Papa that I and my wife are blest in being in touch with all of His devotees this side of the world. Here in Los Angeles, too, we have some dear friends who are wonderful in their deep faith and devotion. You must have of course heard of Anandashram at La Crescenta where the gracious Mother Gayatri Devi showers love and grace on all alike.

I was interested to read about your activities there. You might be surprised to know, but I have met you in Pujya Papa’s Ashram in India. In fact I used to live there when you visited the Ashram. Remember when Papa used to have his noon nap, you expressed the wish to remain seated in the room while as normal all would leave the room. Indeed, Papa was most wonderful in every respect and I have been most blest in having come to His feet—the blessings of which are powerful enough to sustain one through millions of rebirths or lives—though Papa has declared that “He who has seen Ramdas has no rebirth” but at the same time as He put it, “For the fun of it,” it indeed is a privilege to come in human body and enjoy the Leela of the Lord, to bask in the radiance of the grace that His saints pour.

I do hope you will give us the pleasure of your company whenever you are in Los Angeles, Our Telephone Number at home is 469-3207.

I felt great joy and pride to note that you are promoting the works of Beloved Papa through University of California. People follow all kinds of difficult yogas and paths but the straight and simple one of chanting the RamNam. There’s a group here, followers of Krishna Consciousness that sing and Dance the Lord’s Name on the streets of Hollywood Boulevard.

I shall close now and hope that you will be in touch. I have to request once again about the mis-mailed envelope which I hope will come back.

With kindest love and Pranams to Self from Sheela and Prem,

Ever yours,




Garden of Inayat

Novato, Calif. 94947

June 20, 1969


Premanand Trikannad

1850 N. Cherokee Ave.

Hollywood, Calif. 90028


Dear Ram,

Returning home we found your letter and also the sheet for Prophecy Press works. The Prophecy Press works is now located on this grounds; the manager, Mr. Hasan Herz, is now away at work, and will be shown the sheet when he returns.

Allow us now to express our joy and gratitude for your loving hospitality. By “your” I mean all of you. Speaking for myself it was like coming into a home, only with the most loving atmosphere. And I only can repeat what was said before, the trip was astounding rather than good. It seems that Papa’s teachings manifest everywhere.

We have made some conclusions such as more visits. There is now a large and growing following here. Not only does Zaynab wish to visit you, but her private affairs warrant periodic trips to Southern California. Besides—and it is indeed marvelous—she has had a grand spiritual background. It is only that there has been some confusion between drug taking and mystical experience. This confusion is quite prevalent in our present culture, and our work is to show the humankind that mystical and love experiences far transcend any change of consciousness due to artificial means.

On our return to Marin County we had a large meeting on Wednesday night. At the present time my policy is to restrict Sufi instructions to adults, but the RamNam to everybody. Thus the children have been drawn in and this may become most important because, alas, these children have often been seduced by psychedelic drugs. One can see the changes in the audience as they chant the RamNam.

Moineddin has also began chanting the RamNam in his classes exactly or as near exactly as you do, and is done in Anandashram.

We are also planning to send Fatima, Moineddin’s wife, to La Crescenta when Mataji returns if not before. Besides there are some business matters, so to speak, which will warrant more social as well as spiritual contacts.

With all love, blessing and thanks,



P.S. When I return to San Francisco I shall no doubt write to Anandashram, Kanhangad and will send you a copy.



1850 N. Cherokee Ave

Hollywood, Cal. 90028

July 6, 1969


Om Sri Ram Jai Ram jai Jai Ram

Beloved Friend,

The thanks is not due to us but we extend our heartfelt thanks to both, your noble self and Murshid who blest this home with your visit and stay.

It was most thrilling to read that you have introduced the chanting of RamNam—the Holy Name that is beyond the barriers of all religions. It is a most auspicious hour of morn that you have chosen to vibrate the atmosphere with the power of the Name—the hour when perhaps all minds are fresh from peaceful night’s rest and thus easily accessible to grasp the fullness of the name before they delve deep into the hum-drum of every-day life.

We look forward to the visit of your noble partner Fatimaji.

Revered Shri Swami Chidanandji Maharaj of Rishikesh is presently in San Francisco. He is available on phone:386-1990. Do try to meet him whenever convenient or possible. He is a wonderful personality.

We enjoyed a nice weekend at the University Campus of Santa Cruz where we have a good friend of ours. Due to the summer vacation most of the students were away it was a sort of solitude.

We are continuing in the way of life as God has chosen for us and are immensely happy and at peace. We trust its same with you all there. Please convey our “Namaste” to all brothers & sisters of your group.

With our kindest regards and love,

Ever yours,




1850 N. Cherokee Ave

Hollywood, Cal. 90028

July 6, 1969


Om Sri Ram Jai Ram jai Jai Ram

Beloved Friend,

Pranams from self and Sheela. It was our great delight to receive your very kind letter of 20th June. I am sorry for the delay in replying the same—we had been busy and also out of Los Angeles during the weekend—we returned only this morning.

I have since received the envelope containing some personal papers which I had by oversight dropped in the box.

It was indeed joy for Sheela and me to have had the joy and privilege of enjoying your company and that of Shri Moineddin. Do please always call on us whenever you and or any of your company visits Los Angeles.

I have also received a beautiful letter from Shri Moineddin to which I am replying today.

Revered Shri Swami Chidanandji Maharaj is now in San Francisco. He would be there till the 18th of this month and I am sure you and your friends would love to meet him a he is such a wonderful person. We most anxiously anticipate his divine presence in this house during his visit to LA on 19th July onwards. You may contact him at the following telephone number 386-1990, at San Francisco.

We are receiving Pujya Mataji Krishnabai’s letters once a month. It is our greatest blessing to have come in Their Holy contact, thus to bathe in the eternal spring of purest joy, and peace. Oh! their very remembrance opens the flood gates to boundless joy. I do remember your visit to our ashram and how Beloved Papa enjoyed your love for the children there and they would gather around you, dancing and playing and no language was a barrier. It gave me immense delight to hear from you that you often send remittances to our Ashram. Every such great institution in India have their representative-institutions here in America except that of ours which has its center and all branches within its four walls in the Anandashram in India - thus it never expects nor anticipates to raise funds through any of branches or sources or representatives—such is its complete surrender and dependence upon the Divine Will and Providence. It is our most ardent yearning that God willing we shall be blest to be in position whereby we may send regular contributions to the Ashram that serves the most needy in a most unassuming manner—in Mother Krishnabai’s own sweet way “Let not your left hand know that your right hand gives.” Indeed, Brother I am glad to have known you are doing so much for the ashram and we hope we all shall keep up this great and noble service. I always feel a contribution to the ashram serves the multitude because Ashram serves the needy to its last penny.

So the Word is awakening: All Glory to Supreme Ram and to His devotees who spread His name. I was thrilled to read in your epistle as also that of Shri Moineddin that he is awakening RamNam in the hearts of the young souls at that auspicious hours of early morn.

We shall be only too happy whenever Shrimati Fatima visits LA and gives us too the joy of her company.

I hope you will continue giving us the joy of your letters.

His Grace all is going well. With our loving Namaskars to Self, Shri Moineddin, Fatima and all the noble members of your group.

Ever yours humbly,




July 12, 1969

Premanand Trikanand

1820 No. Chrrokee Ave.,

Hollywood, Calif. 90028


Dear Ram:

Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram!

This morning Sam awoke with the words: Prajna, Prema, Purna! This came after hearing and Chidanandaji Maharaj. We thank you and Sheela for your fine letter and immediately telephoned. There is such a difference between the deva-souls in young bodies and the manushas who only too often are caught in the samsara of wealth, fame and loneliness.

After returning we heard as so-called “Sufi” and colleagues and during the question period one of the least of the disciples asked, “I thought Sufism was the religion of Love.” “That question is better than all our speeches” came the honest answer. But then there are some who have to make speeches and it becomes ridiculous when these speeches are called “Yoga,” and the young people know that. They want God and these elders want leadership and the God-worshippers join each other and the leadership-wallahs are each in his own private compartment.

Now Swamiji game a perfect speech explaining real Yoga. The soul longs for God because Atman is Brahman. Much of the talk—and it was very long—was a criticism of manas and ahankara, this is exactly the Gita teaching and is exactly not what is being only too often given to the American people as “Yoga”-complex, subjective philosophies. The young are not going for that any more.

When Swamiji entered the lecture hall a number of us rose and greeted his with RamNam. This set the pace. It made him feel very happy; there were a lot of young people reciting RamNam with love and joy.

Yesterday morning Sam wrote up the RamNam and Ram-Sita dances which the Dervish dances are now destined to go all over the world. This is very different from the lecture-wallahs. They must lead, and we must unite and we do unite. We had not only Christian, Jews, Muslims and Hindus uniting but even Israelis from Palestine! One of them wore a Sari!

Everything is different today.




December 20, 1969


Beloved Premanand and Sheela:

Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai! Jai! Ram!

Thank you for your Christmas greeting. One is too busy here to send out cards. It is evident that the universe has some pressing duties for one to fulfill and in a sense, all of these “commissions” so to speak, are in the name of Divine Love and Understanding.

One has a larger following and with them more problems—also more blessings. For while the world brings problems from within it brings more blessings from within.

Our work in the fields of music, chanting and dancing increases, and the quantity of disciples is well balanced by the quality. Intellectualism yes, but it is always second to love and devotion.

One of the disciples wishes to take up professionally the selling of Papa’s books. And going over the work of all the holy men (and those not so holy) from India, one finds that Papa alone seems to have been immersed in the Divine Consciousness. And this consciousness is not apart from anything. It includes all things and all people.

A crowded schedule does not permit bur visiting Hollywood until sometime in January.

Love and blessings,




Feb. 20, 1970

Premanand Trikannad

1850 North Cherokee Ave.

Hollywood, Calif. 90028


Dear Ram:

Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram!

Secretary Mansur and Sam will be leaving here sometime next week for a very quick trip to Los Angeles and Hollywood. At this writing it is difficult to give details for the time will be determined by events which have not yet transpired.

There are two opposite factors for this sudden journey. One is that Sam has hardly has an hour off much less a half-day, much less a day off, this year, and there are no signs for any spare time unless by such a radical geographical move. So we are going to take this radical geographical move.

However there is no tragedy in it at all. The number of disciples are constantly increasing. When the American Dr. Richard Alpert, now known as Baba Ram Dass, was here, thousands of young people chanted the RamNam. Yes, other Indian sacred phrases were used but not so many, and not so emphasized. Sam has been saying that many young Americans of this area are re-incarnated Hindus. He not only has no reason to change this opinion, but there is a constant growing number of young people who seek information about mantrams. There are even many young Americans who have become what we might say, fanatical, although such fanaticism can hardly produce any ill in the world.

After Sam and Mansur return here they plan to go to Geneva, Switzerland to attend a conference of the world’s great faiths. It is under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding whose headquarters are in the District of Columbia. There seems to be little question that the young people in ever-growing masses are seeking God, brotherhood, and universality, and shun those persons who seek to divide them into rival camps. This may be the whole toner of the day; of the age.

We now also have a very large number of dances, all based on repeating the Names of God, and they are beginning to attract public attention. To us there is no question that much of the present so-called depression is based on the fact that the young people simply will not eat the foods, buy the clothes, or behave as their elders have. As we are connected more or less with a chain of health food stores, there is growing prosperity among us.

Love and Blessings to Sheila and yourself, and assuring you will be getting a telephone call Monday night or later.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

Tucson Correspondence

Daniel Lomax

20 August 1970


Murshid Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Beloved Murshid:

We are still staying at the Bowart’s guest house, looking for a place to rent or buy. Thus far the most promising find is a church: “The church of God of prophecy.” It may well be feasible to purchase. In addition to the normal large meeting room with pews, it has five class rooms we might convert to living quarters. Tomorrow we go to investigate more thoroughly.

Danny Duggan and his son Howard have requested Bayat. Danny, an associate of Timothy Leary, first came into contact with Sufism through a meeting with Ouspensky, then through reading Idries Shah and Hazrat Inayat Khan. It was he who introduced Walter and Peggy to the existence of Sufism and, though without a teacher himself, convinced Walter of the necessity of a teacher.

I intend to hold the initiation on the return of Walter and Peggy.

Today we met Na-nao, who has been staying, caretaking, the Bowart’s ranch at paradise. He is a teacher of Zen. He associates himself with “mountain Zen,” and is a friend of Gary, Alan Ginsberg, and Alan Watts. We exchanged versions of the Hridaya sutra with much enthusiasm. He sang it in Japanese with strong resonant voice, and listened intently to my English recitation. He took a copy of the translation to present to a publisher friend who wants to print and distribute some version of the sutra. Also we went over the Sanskrit version of the sutra, which he wishes to learn.

His presence was calm strength.

There is a small Muslim community in Tucson and we hope to contact it soon. Also the sales manager at the realty office we are dealing with is Jewish and a philosophy PhD, through whom we may contact the Jewish community.

We have received your letters (3) including the informative copies. Please send more as convenient, in fact let them rain upon us that dharma may grow and flourish in this southwestern desert.





Aug. 24, 1970


Route 2, Box 257

Tucson, Arizona 85715


My dear Sheikh:

Your loving letter of the 20th is before me. First, I wish to make it clear you have the absolute confidence of your Murshid, and I trust also, of Allah, in whatever you are doing and planning. It is very difficult to write this letter for on one hand there is a tremendous shower of divine love, and on the other hand there are trials of types never before encountered. This is no doubt wonderful for spiritual development, but is very trying.

Mansur is busy with an outside job. Moineddin, alas, has just been transferred to the U.C. Hospital. His condition is serious enough to have warranted attention from the very best psychics I know such as Freita locally and Helen in Klamath Falls. Helen is coming here soon. Fatima has been behaving wonderfully, but I am going to the Khankah tonight because I feel some needs. I have been in San Francisco most of the time recently because the work has been piling and piling and piling.

The attendances are slowly increasing. The number of applicants is increasing. The Gatha classes have reached a high-water mark. There are many applicants. All meetings are better attended. One is giving a public lecture in Berkeley shortly at Shambala back store. One has also been invited to the Berkeley and USC campuses. I do not know how these things can be arranged, but at this writing the problems are not financial—praise to Allah for that. Frank is doing a wonderful work, and for reasons unknown to me God wishes me to unite with him in concentration efforts.

I entirely approve of all your efforts, and all your undertakings and all your reports. They are very stimulating and wonderful. I hope you can imagine now how this super-animated Murshid feels when he leads long lines of man in Allaho Akbar or Ram. It is so totally different from the past that it looks as if inconceivable, but it is happening. So are new dances. New dances are pouring in, but no secretary for this department.

The Saturday night dance class is now slightly over-attended, but I am taking this as a divine sign. The Sunday class, where the admissions are somewhat higher than the Saturday class nevertheless has a much larger attendance. Murshid is also now invited to help the women’s dancing class, and while he would like to have refused, the dances are there in the Ether, so there is nothing one can say. Ayesha is doing noble work, both in the office and in class instructions. Her past psychic development is now being integrated into the spiritual work. And Vashti has assented to starting a new study group, or even a new Gatha group, in Mill Valley.

Murshid was invited to dinner by Khalif Akbar and Doyle. The type of victims one meets in their home is so wonderful Murshid was all but thunderstruck. Khalif Akbar realizes now his responsibilities, especially with Moineddin being ill, but he has also had some of the most wonderful mystical experiences that have ever concurred to any American.

I am holding up the mailing of this letter while writing to Lama so you can have the carbon therefore.

Love and Blessings,




September 15, 1970

Walter and Peggy Bowart

Route 2, Box 257

Tucson, Arizona


Beloved Ones of Allah:

Thank you for your very long and most interesting letter, which has inspired me no end, a statement which is verified by the copy of the letter it inspired. It is so easy to use words with or without meaning. I think the meaning is verified by what has been written to brother Clive-Ross. It also gives you some directive as to elements in the earlier position of my life. I know damn well you can write trivia, sign a greet name, and they are accepted; and profundities under your own name will be rejected. But this very pattern of elders is now making are a hero among the young.

We are getting ready to leave for the East coast, that is Sitara (formerly Joan) and Murshid. You know her as Joan Tessler; she was at the camp. She wanted a spiritual name and with two more Joans coming into our meetings it became very important. We went to the excellent Khyber Pass restaurant operated by operated by our non-existent Sufi brethren, whose meals are marvelous for non-existent people, and they gave Joan this name, which pleases both her and the Joans who come to our meetings.

We have been entirely successful, praise to Allah, in efforts to bring Muslims, Israelis, and Christians together. It seems quite evident that the Will of Allah has not very much to do with the Islamic religion on the whole, and yet there are Sufis, multitudes of Sufis, who are beloveds of God. We not only find it among our Sufi brethren of the Afghan Khyber Pass restaurant, we have nothing but that in the reports of the brothers who have gone to join Pir Vilayat on his pilgrimages. There has been nothing but a long string of successes and beautiful greetings, so contrary to the a priory conclusions of dualistic egocentrics who insist that God and His saints must operate according to their private subjectivities. It has never worked out that way and it never will.

I am also nearly complete in the lectures on “The Three Body Constitution of Man according to St. Paul.” St. Paul, and apparently all Saints of all religions, have had the temerity to reject the dogmas of those faiths which claim to acclaim them. These lectures will be re-presented in Washington, D.C., but we are ready to send then to you in some form or other if you wish to have them published.

Yes Martin Lingo himself told me his chief work is out of print. Your Glastonbury experiences are almost typical of the day. I think they will enable you to appreciate more what Pir Vilayat has been doing, is doing, will do. One cannot compel psychics and metaphysicians to accept the visions of mystics, but I believe there is still hope in Muz Murray, and that someday, inshallah, he will find his way toward and into the light.

We see much more hope for some of the spiritual centers in the U.S. Lama Foundation has a two-page in The National Geographical Magazine. It was mentioned at least 10 times on last Tuesday’s CBS program. Our efforts to bring Jews, Christians and Muslims together are succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. Murshid never gets a day off, and is not only lucky to get an hour’s sleep, let alone a night’s sleep, but is constantly experiencing the fullness of life, true life. Our hardest problem has been the ill health of several mureeds, including Khalif Moineddin Jablonski and many very close to Daniel.

We have had a very successful revolution. The attendance at the San Anselmo meetings went up; the collections went down and down. Murshid thereupon refused to speak there anymore. We received immediate cooperation and backing. We began our meetings at Sausalito at the Art Center with a large attendance and large collection. All meetings are having better attendance. Last night, sixteen new young people received Bayat. They are wonderful. Everything is grand, even though it means no rest. But the health is good praise to Allah.

I have one amusing conflict. God-daughter Saadia Khawar Khan at Ithaca (Cornell) N.Y. is planning to get married and wanted Murshid. Mureed Diane Ferry at Santa Fe is planning to get married, and wanted Murshid. Ordinarily one would be expected to go to New Mexico but we are stopping at Cornell an our way to New York.

The demand for the Dances is tremendous. The secretarial help is very sparse. Mansur has now a full-time job and is very helpful. Indeed the treasury has a surplus. This must be Allah’s Will, but we need more money for the secretaries and so this septuagenarian is working all the time with much larger classes.

Next week we are joining Yogi Bhajan in a big celebration in Golden Gate Park. Everything is moving tremendously. All the news from abroad most beautiful, marvelous. It were to praise God, from whom all blessings flow, we would be so busy as to be exhausted. Anyhow we are very busy, but not exhausted. The spiritual teachings have medicine for every illness and weakness.

Love and Blessings,




September 16, 1970

Walter and Peggy Bowart

Tucson, Arizona


My dear friends,

Welcome back. I favorite metaphor—that I feel like I’m water skiing and the important thing to do is just hold on and flow with it … and not look back … is getting almost inadequate to describe the stream of events at the present time. In fact, I’m being picked any minute to go to Berkeley to meet with some people about financing of our peace group—Hallelujah, the Three Rings—in connection with the starting of a Sufi School. This is being somewhat sponsored, inshallah, by our friends at the Khyber Pass restaurant.

So I won’t even try to tell you what is going on. But everything seems to fit with Murshid’s Zen name, He Kwang (Rising River).

I haves a couple of items of what might be sailed business to take up with you. The lectures Murshid has been giving at The Holy Order of Mans will be completed this Saturday. 10 lectures in the series. The meetings have been very very high, the atmosphere super-charged with peace, love, magnetism. Bear this in mind when you see the words … that they have been the trigger to a very grand response. Now I’ve been editing these lectures for possible publication. My editing has been very slight … and therefore the style might be called chatty, but the life of the lectures hasn’t been tampered with and I feel this is most important. It may be two or three weeks before I will have finished with the whole set—which I expect will run some 120 typewritten pages single spaced, but double spacing for paragraphs and questions. In my judgment these are very worthy to be published. If you are interested in considering them I will send along what I have to date, and the rest when they are finished. Then your opinion will be most welcome about changes or whatever, or even if you’re not interested.

After these lectures, when Murshid returns he will do a series on the newly discovered gnostic Coptic Gospel of Jesus according to St. Thomas. This is a very transcendental scripture, and his commentary on these sayings of Jesus takes the form of explication of koans. A future possibility.

Also … a separate thing entirely. Shamcher Bryn Beorse, a disciple of Pir-o-­Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan has written a book which be thinks you might be interested in publishing with new age illustrations. I have only read a very small section of the book so can neither recommend it or otherwise. Shamcher, however, as a person, I can more than recommend. Daniel also knows him. He is dickering with some establishment publishers but he says they want him to cut the sections dealing with mysticism and S.A.M and leave in only the economies et al. These economic portions have been highly praised by leading economists. I am sending along his manuscript, as per his request, under separate cover.

We just received a beautiful letter from Phillip from Iran-Isfahan where he had a wonderful experience with a Sufi Sheikh who apparently recognized our Murshid in him immediately. All the news from the Orient is excellent. Thanks to Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s cooperation the permit for filming in India was received—India has gotten suspicious of filming of religious events and just booted the BBC from the country.

Hope to write a more personal letter later. Loved yours, and love you all of course; my love to Daniel, Faune, Abrahma, (misspellings are pretty accurate) Danny et al



Daniel Lomax and Walter Bowart

Omen Press

Box 12457

Tucson, Arizona 85711

October 1970


My Dear Daniel and Walter:

We have been very busy here in New York and have neglected to keep you informed. Even now in this special letter I am not sure of how efficient I have been or shall be in making matters clear to you. Perhaps it was because we ourselves were a little mentally vague, but vague when the intuitions were very clear and directive.

The day is over, and I think over forever, when self-smart people can prevent one from speaking or attack him personally in public as excuse for not giving him the floor. It is quite a reversal to have had very long and cordial meetings with representatives respectively of the Columbia Broadcasting Company and Associated Press. As to the former we shall not know much until after our return to San Francisco. Peter Kahn will be coming back with me, and we have a full schedule already, without giving one much time to recover.

But the new secretary, Sitara-Joan Tessler, will remain on the East Coast for some time to follow up a number of what to us are important matters. These cover practically every subject with which we have been involved.

There is no question now that some attention may have to be paid toward biographical or autobiographical sketches. I may have to write again “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan.” No doubt this materiel would more properly be published in Seattle. The subject matter is very close to their policies. But if Walter wants this, it means giving to the world some information which belongs more properly to students of Sufis. In any event, the publication would interest I dries Shah sometimes confirming, sometimes correcting his attitude.

We find that there is a tremendous amount of interest in peace, both in New England and New York City. True, the politicians here, but not in New England, are demanding more help for the Israelis. It is not generally known that the Zionist movement in the beginning was largely promoted by non-Jews, nor that at the present time there is an exceedingly large proportion of people born as Jews who are either anti-Zionist or who have left their religion entirely. I used to say humorously that someday there will be thirty world religions and the leaders in all of them would be men named Cohen. I know three such groups here. But recently when it was published here that there is a new yogic center in Connecticut with an Indian swami, the president of that group is also a man named Cohen!

Personally, I believe many people complete their cosmic evolution by being born in Jewish families just as in former ages they were supposed to be born as Brahmins (vide, what Buddha said about Brahmins). With the dramatic success of our friends in San Francisco and vicinity in promoting peaceful gatherings among Israelis, Arabs, and Christians, we must face the tremendous possibility of successful peace efforts. I myself expect to see soon an old colleague, a retired Lieutenant-General who is devoting himself to the solution of the Vietnamese complex.

Then there is the growth of the dance efforts. It is very easy to get the young people interested. Personally I led about a thousand in Golden Gate Park at the equinoctial celebration headed by Yogi Bhajan. It is most difficult to get these dances out, to do the typing or copying, the teaching, the obtaining of halls, and meeting places, etcetera. This is only one aspect of it.

We now have a rather successful women’s dancing group, and these dances are becoming very very important. In some sense they represent the return of the women’s mystery. As an old hierophant this was within my legitimate and dharmic functioning. I am totally amazed myself with this strange ability of absorbing from the akasha. Some of these dances seem entirely new, some seem to be restorations of the ancients, and some seem to be derivations from Sufi constitutions. When we are able to listen to the voice of God manifesting constantly in our hearts all sorts of wonders come.

We have cross-trailed Pir Vilayat. One thing is certain: we are not duplicating each other. Our fields seem quite different, and if there is any question it is how to bring them together. The only criticism here is that the halls where he speaks does not hold enough people. Halls are difficult in New York, easy in Marin County. In fact, I am half expecting that our homecoming on November 11 will have a large attendance. This will be at Sausalito.

Vilayat is now working more in the field of counseling and some in meditation, while I am trying to bring out his father’s teachings plus all the above, plus organic gardening. I don’t know how this can be done; there are only 24 hours in the day and 7 days in the week.

The weather has been quite good here. There is growing interest in Oriental matters with Indian movements especially gaining ground. all except the Vedantists. They are not reaching the young; they’re not reaching. We don’t have to go into that, do we Daniel?

On my return we shall have to arrange some kind of secretariat, although that may have been done for me; nor do I know much about the present financial setup. The letters are very encouraging and also the telephone calls. We stay through the election, then to Washington for a few days only, and must be back at least on Sunday, November 8.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



October 25, 1970

Walter Bowart

Omen Press

Box 12457

Tucson, Arizona


Beloved One of God:

One appreciates very much the Omen letter of 9 October. You certainly have permission to publish the first lecture on “The Three-Body Constitution of Man According to Saint Paul.” Indeed, one feels strongly the need to visit you so as to lay out proper program for literary writings. As matters stand, it may be necessary to cut out the presumed visit to Washington at this stage. There are no obstacles, but three people cannot carry on ten successful missions.

We were quite successful in reaching the proper departments at Harvard and M.I.T. in Cambridge. We were even more successful in presenting the spiritual dances. We were not prepared for our reception. My former host is now engaged in other matters, but all of them are more or less spiritual. The mureeds who have been living near Boston wish to return to San Francisco. This means we must establish a dance department, a secretariat, etc., and also work toward the possibility of sending one or more persons to the East Coast periodically, chiefly for the dances and the Hallelujah! The Three Rings endeavor.

Vilayat will be here shortly and has promised an interview. I have not tried to impress him too seriously because I have very broad backgrounds which might be confusing. But I am considering presenting to you “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan.” These interviews were typed again and again for various splinter movements, and not a single one published them. It is awkward because one received corroboration in India and Pakistan and perhaps even beyond that. In the paper on the three bodies, I emphasize that no religion accept scriptures fully, but each selects those that support its contentions and ignores or omits the others. The same thing is happening in modern movements. I do not know whether to be shocked or elated by the failure of the “new” spiritual teachers to accept holy scriptures.

There is not only heavy mail to answer, there are heavy and important interviews yet, and we are awaiting our host, Mr. Lonnie Less, disciple of Vilayat Khan, to consider remaining here or proceeding to Washington. For the first time I feel it might be more necessary to return west.

If there is anything of importance in the rest of my mail, will write further.

Love and Blessings,



Nov. 16, 1970

Daniel Lomax

Walter Bowart

Omen Press

Tucson, Arizona


Beloved Ones of God:

I have before me your letter of November 3. It is very awkward to have to delay the answer for in feeling and form this is a most important matter. Indeed, one had just dictated a letter to Dr. Seyyd Hossein Nazr of Teheran, Iran, with a copy for you. This will give you some idea of some of the backgrounds of the writer, and this seems more or less in line with what you want.

Unless it is specifically stated to the contrary, I feel it is thoroughly right for you to publish anything from this person. Naturally, the writer has his enthusiasms and preferences, but readers and reviewers also have their enthusiasms and preferences. In fact, one of my manuscripts is now being published at Novato.

I do not feel it is my work to evaluate literature. Last week we had a committee meeting for Hallelujah: The Three Rings, and what Murshid emphasized most was the adulthood of the persons involved. The Sufi teaching is “Murshid and Mureed are one.” Jesus taught, “I am the vine and they are the branches thereof.”

According to my present program I should like to be with you for a six-day period if possible according to plane schedules, leaving let us say on the morning of the 10th of December and returning here for the evening of the 16th. This is very inexact. It would of course cover one weekend. You could make any arrangements for lectures. On the whole I feel the need for a full dance program in a short time, using the days for personal instructions, interviews and a short trip. But it may be that there are other things which would support the idea of a longer visit, and this would mean leaving here earlier, especially if we took a trip to Albuquerque. In any event, I should like to be back for the evening of the 16th, because on the following Wednesday night we will have our Christmas celebration. This is a very big program.

As for Daniel. The way God is working, and I am not sure that we have given you all the information, is that there are scientists who have reached deep stages of consciousness, and we not only wish to keep you informed but to enable you both to cooperate and work on your own, without any special supervision.

Murshid is not concerned whether Vilayat or others are fully concerned or cognizant of what is going on. We are sure Allah is.

We have worked out programs if the halls are too small or the audiences are too large. Our latest departure are making our Saturday night class very highly mystical, and our Sunday afternoon class very highly occult and astrological. Murshid has not had a chance yet to evaluate the Saturday class, but next year may advance the admission fees for the other classes, and encourage people to come Saturday afternoon. It also means training Wali Ali, Marcia, Amina, Peter and Charlene. All of this takes times.

Fortunately, Murshid is in good form physically and mentally, but there is also the deeper need of restoring the esoteric sciences. We are gradually restoring the mysteries through the dances. The next step will be the cooperation between the persons in the dance class who are not in the choral group itself. Those dancers not in the choral group will be trained in rituals; those rituals can be very effective as two or three recent demonstrations have proven, but all this means time and secretaries, and unfortunately there have been two pressure on Murshid: a. for personal interviews—these are very necessary but have to be limited; b. the exceeding irritable offers for vacations, retirements, and “rests” at a time when there is so much to do and is in excellent form. The more one complains about having too much work to do the more offers one gets for rests and relaxations. And this has become exceedingly irritable. The whole picture of the world today is that there is recognition of various states of consciousness. Hindus come over here and really take the young much higher than Leary can conceive, and I mean conceive, but they only take the young so far.

As Hinduism is presented it has no great moral code. It has no room for repentance. It offers salvation by bathing in the Ganges, by kneeling at the feet of some person who is highly over-evaluated; it encourages idolatrous art; it teaches exactly contrary to Jesus Christ that by muttering un-intelligible phrases one gets sooner to illumination. No doubt these false teachings come into public prominence more through the Hare Krishna people. No doubt these people are needed to counter-balance the Billy Grahams and upholders of the so-called “Judeo-Christian ethic”.

We have already sent you the teachings of St. Paul on the three-bodies and would like if you could give that some early attention. Please write on paper all these things you wish to discuss with Murshid. Please write separately the names of all persons you would like him to meet. If there is anything that does not belong to these two categories please write before we visit.

This week we have to celebrate Shirin’s birthday, and next week thanksgiving. In the mean while anything can happen.

We received the beautiful photograph album!

Love and blessings,




Nov. 21, 1970

Sheikh Daniel Lomax

290 North Meyer Avenue

Tucson, Arizona 8701


Dear Daniel,

There are a lot of things to take up with you, and there is almost a sense of humor also when you write you have two places for me to stay. At this writing it looks as if I shall have to make two trips—that is to say there are so many pressing matters that I should visit Tucson before Christmas, and then come again. But if it is inadvisable to make a short visit I would prepare my schedule to stay a long time … or make a second trip after the visit of Vilayat here.

The reason for an early visit is largely because of the presence of many scripts already for publication and the need to work out schedule both of time and subject matters with Walter. But it is equally true that we must present spiritual teachings in your hands, both of Sufi esotericism and dance material. Both of these are going on, and as at a rapid rate as possible for a person who is constantly occupied.

There are some hazards, both good and bad. For example, the tragedy to East Pakistan and our concern therewith. Some time ago Peter Odin was interested in having a longee made for himself. This is a type of tube kilt worn in East Pakistan and Burma. Sheikh Amin has some of them which he wears on occasions. But I am going to take this matter up seriously because I think some of the girls (or even the fellows) could spend time valuably making longees, especially for the victims of the tragedy. The staff of the Pakistani Consulate very much favors this.

At the same time there is, from my point of viewer, total and absolute success at the choral group. They are considering taping and plating their work for public presentation. I have suggested that if we were to do this for the benefit of the sufferers of the tremor we could on one hand be raising money and on the other gaining valuable publicity. But apart from this, I am absolutely enthusiastic over their efforts and accomplishments.

Moineddin is expected home this week, and I should like a good program from them for him. Then there is the affair of December 20, which is a fund-raising day for several purposes. Then there is the Christians program. And after that the visit of Vilayat.

For both selfish and unselfish reasons I am all for as large a program as possible for Vilayat. David Jamil has made some timid proposals. Personally, I back them absolutely, and we are going to take the matters up further when he comes this morning. As I told Vilayat himself, I have no time for subjectivities, and am for any kind of action; the more the better. And today the audiences are increasing in number, the collections better, and the number of applicants rising.

But while this is going on, one of our newer disciples, who is a professor, has arranged two meetings. For me at the University of California. On the whole, the relations with the adversity are complicated and excellent, but it means I cannot leave here until December 9, and cannot stay long. So I am leaving it up to you whether I should have a short visit in the near future or wait until after Vilayat’s coming (Jan. 7-14) and make it for as such as a month. I should like to hear from you both on this.

There is a very good esoteric constitution, but where are the papers for the higher grades? The first thing to be done for Walter and you is to send “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan.” Actually, these are revolutionary; they will definitely cause a stir, but I think they should be published once and for all.

The next thing is to clarify the whole work of commentary which is placed in my hands, and a lot of other things. We cannot be responsible for egos that set themselves up as spiritual leaders. Roughly speaking this person was rejected by practically everybody in Europe and America, and accepted by practically everybody in Asia and North Africa! This is going to be an outstanding thing. It is also closely related to a war that has been going on among the intellectuals of Europe. On the one side there are those dialecticians and egocentrics who stood close to the late Dr. Arbury, and in general intellectuals, subjectivists, and dialecticians. On the other hand there are those who have had actual Sufic training like Professor Burckhardt, F. Schuon, and Marco Pallis. It is time we should hear from mystics about mysticism.

But I am daring to take the same stand for Sufism that Phillip Kapleau has for Zen.

The follow up of the papers on the interviews with Hazrat Inept Khan cover the matter of the restoration of the Sufic esoteric sciences and the teachings for the higher grades. I am now lecturing here on Monday nights on “The Path of Initiation” from Volume 10. I think I have written already on this subject (I was just told you have copy of this commentary). The next thing is to continue and our first effort hors win be to place in your hands the papers on fana-fi-Sheikh, just written.

This is brought up some questions about our organization, both as a financial structure, and relation to traditional Sufic esotericism. I feel entirely in accord with the points of view printed by Halim (Frank). I am entirely satisfied with him and with a lot of other young people; it is wonderful; it is marvelous.

We are also going to do work in the fields between astrology, psychic sciences, and mysticism. All of this keeps us very busy, and this person especially.

The return of Moineddin this week may mean the lifting of certain veils. Fortunately my own health, physically and mentally, is quite good. It is time that presents difficulties. But our very success has presented also a complexity, that there are other people who are now pretending to be Sufis, and using terms and making claims utterly fraudulent. I am not over concerned simply because we have a lot of disciples who are concerned and who are very capable. On December 20 they are putting on a fair in Sausalito for the benefit of many of our projects.

Well, I am also a grandfather again. Nancy has brought forth a little boy. That makes us almost, almost, but not quite, even.

Love and Blessings,


UN Association of San Francisco Correspondence

910 Railnoad Ave.,

Novato, Calif. 94947

August 28, 1970


United Nations Ass.,

465 Post St.

San Francisco 94102

Peace in the Near East


Dear Sirs:

I believe I was once a member of your organization and also of several organization in the Same field. None of them would ever program me and efforts to have interviews with officials were all a priori rejected. Maybe this is of the past.

I used to go around saying that the two greatest achievements of my life were the honorary visit to the imperial Gardens in Japan and a free dinner from Armenians. Then I added the thirty-three (33) rejections of my paper on “Vietnamese Buddhism.” This was finally accepted at the Department of S.E. Asian Studies, University of California.

A few years back my income began soaring and a none of the “important” organizations would ever listen. I decided to work for world peace—actuality, not empty phrase on my own with the principle to eat, pray, and dance with people which has become quite easy.

The “good-son,” so to speak of the late Ruth St. Denis, my “Dances of Universal Peace” are spreading very rapidly and a team of my associates is leaving for Asia to film and record the work of my associates, though not a single organization in San Francisco will accept these associations—excepting the young people. They are coming to my meetings in hundreds all over the Bay Area. Participating in “Dances of Universal Peace.” These dances are spreading very rapidly in many parts of the land.

For years I have been working for peace in the Holy Land. The major premise being Boccaccio’s story of the Three Rings. And its sequel blessings “Nathan the Wise.” In fact I attended a peace conference in Geneva early this year where representatives of all the world’s leading religions met to discuss peace and my verbal role as an incarnation of “Nathan the Wise” was taken very seriously when the conference ended.

It is a great irony but only three men outside the University of California and “American friends of the Near East” would even consider my putative program. All were officials of the U.N. One man gave me four hours and said my program was the sanest and most sensible he had ever encountered. His name was Gunnar Jarring.

Now we are hearing about a presumable U.S. Russian a peace program passing the U.N.

I am no longer concerned with calling on people and being thrown out which has been my experience over many years. I am reporting this to you because you are supposed to be working for the United Nations. Now a counter proposal has come from the very person who would never grant me any consideration to have a joint American-Russian policing form which would automatically under-cut the U.N.

Changes in my private life have resulted in a great increase in my personal income and I am hoping to establish a peace scholarship for the Department of Near East Languages at the University of California in Berkeley.

It is regrettable, exceedingly regrettable, that all news media of every sort of political suasion and every new and old school of dialectics knows all the dramatic events taking place outside the buildings on the Berkeley campus, while the great achievements of laboratory, studio, and class room are totally by-passed by all of them. And my peace program for the Near East takes into consideration the researches and achievements and the personnel of the total of the University of California campuses.

In the meanwhile we have gone ahead. Last night a joint Israeli-Arab dinner hold in San Francisco was a total success. There will be more of them.

And I am preparing to go to the East Coast and also Washington where I am hoping to get some important Americans out of subjective “realisms” into objective reality. I do not believe the world can exist half free, half dialectic. At this writing I am finding the young with me all over.

This is a report and I am pleased to add that an important radio station (not one of the so-called liberal ones) will soon be reporting on our achievements.


Samuel L. Lewis



United Nations Association of San Francisco    

World Trade Center-Suite 257 D

San Francisco, Ca 94111

September 4, 1970


Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

This letter is in response to your letter of August 28, 1970. Forgive me for taking so long to answer you bit we have just moved our office and my time has been extremely limited.

I would be interested in learning more about your endeavors. I am not quite sure what your plans are as this is the first I have heard of them. If you have time perhaps you could me more explicit information about your programs.

Your truly,

Gerald Yoachum

Executive Director



Sept. 6, 1970

Mr. Gerald Yoachum

Executive Director United Nations Association of San Francisco

World Trade Center—Suite 275 D

San Francisco, Ca. 94111


My dear Mr. Yoachum:

I am very happy to have your letter of September 4th. Let me say that at this writing I am absolutely and questionably in favor of what the United Nations has done, at least in decision-making regarding the Near East. But I do not think it is possible to have peace in the world when the opinions of big people are news regardless of facts. Indeed, I am so biased as to believe that kowtowing to opinions itself is one of the greatest causes of turmoil as the present time.

When I was at Geneva early this year there were several challenges to “great” Sir Zafrullah Khan as to what he had to offer excepting emotion and oratory … and he sat down. But that is the type of person who is welcomed everywhere, and whose very beautiful speeches are applauded by everybody and affect the lives of men not one whit. Even locally, and many other places, persons, persons who are regarded as in favor of the United Nations support of oppose various contending parties in the Near East, and so the word “justice” today has no meaning whatever.

In the year 1928 the then living Dr. Henry Atkinson of the World Church Peace Union same to this city and was so satisfied with our interview that he asked me to continue my studies of the religions of the world. I have continued. I have spoken from the pulpits of five of the world’s great religions—elsewhere of course. In my home town it has been almost impossible to get an interview at any level whatever, although Bishop Myers is considering it. The local Rabbis will not give me a chance, but I have two Jerusalem Rabbis strongly with me. The local ministers also demonstrate their “Judeo-Christian Ethic” but it is quite possible within a short time I shall be speaking from a Cathedral in Washington D.C.

I was once employed by the now retired aged Russell G. Smith of the Bank of America and he and Mrs. Smith know a little about me. But the world Church Peace Union threw out my reports. This is not however a tragic letter. Upon examination they were all accepted by The Temple of Understanding in Washington, and sooner or later some Americans may accept achievements of other Americans.

In fact the program for the Near East was part of a larger program of “How California Can Help Asia.” Page after page has been given to the questionable Aswan Den, but what Americans have done, have actually accomplished in the Near East, or for that matter on the whole continent of Asia, is not news, and this to me is a crime.

In 1930 I proposed that all religious holy places be de-nationalized and de­-politicized. After the UN was established I felt that it, or some co-coordinative or subsidiary group should in some way be given jurisdiction over the holy places of all religions.

The peace plan which I proposed and which was accepted as wonderful by Mr. Gunner Jarring and separately by at least three other UN officials, included at least mutual recognition of all religions by each other and even the establishment of a Papal residency in Palestine.

As part of the program “How California Can Help Asia,” I know what the graduates of the multiversity have done, can do, toward the solution of water, desert, and soil problems in the Near East. This was particularly true of Professor Paul Keim who accomplished wonders, actual wonders hardly known anywhere. But the same is true of the multiversity in general, that campus riots or ingressions become news and great accomplishments are ignored by the press. Yes, the State Department did give him a little recognition; the recognition ended there.

Both Paul Keim and an Iranian Professor, separately, worked out methods of the construction of adobe homes with plumbing and sanitation, at low cost. I have ream after ream of records in my files, and the only organization in San Francisco that ever let me say a word was the Commonwealth Club and that under my good friend Ret. Admiral Evenson of Belvedere.

I was once sent on a peace-feeler mission between Pakistan and India and was excoriated for even trying. Then the nations met with Kosygin at Tashkent. Now I am becoming a hero with the young, because older people simply wouldn’t let me speak. My paper on Vietnamese Buddhism was rejected 33 times. Then I met other Vietnamese Buddhists whose papers were also rejected, until I met Prof. Richard Kozicki at the university of California. Since them I have been working for peace in Palestine.

The hard fact that Mr. Gunner Jarring and later his associates thought my plan was wonderful, coupled by its rejection by all the peace and religious groups in the U.S. has not stopped accomplishments. My young associates have recently been most successful in putting on joint Israeli-Arab-Christian dinners with prayers. I understand that the American Broadcasting Company has now accepted these faits accomplis.

The welcomes finally received at Geneva from the real leaders of the real world’s religions, and the later receptions from the youth, wherever the youth were approached, makes me feel certain that something will be done, and that we can rise above our dualistic hypocrisy concerning “democracy’ and continued rejections of eye­witnesses of historical events.

At the present time I have lost my two chief secretaries who have been rewarded with lucrative positions in connection with my own efforts. One of these is in “Dances of Universal Peace,” my inheritance from the late Ruth St. Denis, etc. A complete writing of my program would be difficult but I am hoping to have some of my  young friends go over my files and pull out stacks of university brochures which have been ignored by press, radio-TV, and so-called national magazines. But I am optimistic enough to believe we can have peace in this world on two simple bases:

A. Facts should be considered as more important than subjectivities about them by important persons.

B. Facts should be evaluated not on reactions to personalities presenting them.

I am very much for one world. I have lived in many lands. I have had no trouble with strangers anywhere, no matter how exotic we may claim them to be.


Samuel L. Lewis

Universities Correspondence

University of Washington

Department of Philosophy

Seattle 5

January 28, 1952


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your interesting letter which has been forwarded to me by the Cornell Press. One of the pleasantest rewards of authorship is the getting of letters from readers sufficiently interested to take the trouble to write.

The questions you raise are so vast that I hardly know how to begin to answer them. My ignorance of Oriental philosophy is profound, though I have tried hard to learn what I could in that field. One difficulty that I find is that so much gets lost in translation. The exceptional translation that really takes one behind the scenes, as it were—like the recent The Art of Letters of Lu Chi, translated by E. R. Hughes (Bollingen, 1951)—shows how much one is probably missing in using the available English versions.

As to my own writings, you might be interested in Critical Thinking (Prentice-Hall, second revised edition just published). This is a text in logic and scientific method, but my own standpoint shows through. My only other book is The Nature of Mathematics (Harcourt Brace which is more technical, but still, I hope, readable. The rest consists of papers in technical journals.

I hope this information may be of some use to you. Thanking you again for your interest.


Max Black



60 Harriet St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

September 12, 1954


Dr. Charles Morris

University of Chicago

Chicago 37, Ill.


Dear Professor Morris:

Some months ago I received a letter from you which has resulted in a first reading of your “Paths of Life” and “The Open Self.” I must stress this point because I feel they should be re-read for two quite different reasons: (a) So that there should be a clear understanding of your thesis and its adaptation to the ends you seem to have it view; (b) Your style. It is almost a melodious prose and it bears a marked resemblance to the literary form I have adopted and hope to see in print before many months, of a “gatha” cadence to present deeper teachings than can usually find a response in formal literature.

I cannot underestimate this last. For example Korzybski has declared that there is no marked line between emotional and intellectual reactions. So much propaganda today is either over-emotionally or dry-ly logical that it fails of its purpose. But there is a higher type of emotion which manifests in the arts and I believe that you have corralled these emotions in your writings—a rarity, but invaluable accomplishment.

I have been engaged for many years—in a rather unknown way—to bring East and West together, especially by building rapprochements among the intellectuals. The most important of my unpainted works will shortly be sent to Vice-President Radhakrishnan, whom I have found a kindred soul.

Today I am torn between two entirely different methods to bring East and West together. The one has been loudly acclaimed and has a consistent record for failure. It includes the work of the State Department, much of the press, books like “Richer by Asia,” and the well-meaning but totally ineffective efforts of Professor Northrop. Through my connections with the American Academy of Asian Studies in this city and a number of collateral undertakings in this region I have both been meeting many Asiatics who visit these parts and am able to pursue much of contemporary writings, in books, in newspapers and periodical forms. The reactions by “Asiatics” is too often miles away from anything that appears in a large portion of the American press.

On the other hand I can note with whole-hearted approval the work of Michener, Reiser and yourself, not always effective in the press, but hitting the work with the audiences it would reach, producing same real, but lasting effects.

The reactions to the reading of your works may be allowed from three different levels. Each of these levels in itself also contains something from the East and West, especially where the poles of the world can be brought together.

The first philosophical studies I made were under the influence of the late Professor Cassius Keyser of Columbia. I was fortunate to be able to study Solid Analytical and Fourth Dimensional Geometry under him. During the course of years I read and re-read his works many times and was privileged to spend a day with him about six months before he died. The greatest impressions he made upon me were to essay to erect logical systems upon different mathematical bases, so that the proper logic be used in its field in a manner comparable to the use of any branch of mathematics in its field (accountancy, bridge-building, navigation, infra-atomic phenomena, statistics—all with different “mathematics” and ergo, different logics). And as we are both anti-Aristotelians I am not going to make any errors, such as I find constantly creeping into “ETC.” of utilizing A-logics and A-psychology to disprove A-philosophy!

Keyser’s, “Doctrine of Doctrines,” in my opinion should become a “must” in any course on real scientific philosophy. Your works are most definitely adaptations of such an outlook. You have given us some most faithful “maps,” and not only are they faithful but useful.

The same conclusion is reached from the standpoint of Sufism, the Oriental philosophy which I first studied (Mahayana Buddhism came very shortly afterwards). The Sufi teachers hold that a true Sufi is one who sees from the point of view of another as well as of himself. This ultimately reaches the same position as does Keyser in his “Doctrine of Doctrines.”

Again under the impetus of Keyser I began re-studying the Calculus when I was in my thirties and the psychological result has been fruitful. In one of his books R. Rolland footnotes that there are some very remarkable parallels between the higher echelons of branches of “Oriental philosophy” and what we today call meta-mathematics. The combination of Samadhi-experience with the higher mathematical outlooks is a rarity and I have not met anybody (also) who has had them both, although some, like Prof. Stromberg of Caltech come pretty close to it.

The map-territory description of Korzybski has become standardized and I have also listened to its explanation by our good friends “Don” Hayakawa and Vocha Fiske. But the integral psychology impressed upon my consciousness by the re-studying of the Calculus, plus more recent peregrinations into various facets of Mahayana have pretty well fixated me into the position: map-territory-­analysis: territory-map-synthesis. Can we have a Synthetic-Protective philosophy? Can we have an Integral-Calculus logic?

The answer (to me) is unquestionably and undoubtedly “yes.” Not only can we, but we must. I do not see any peace in the world, let alone among college professors, until we embark more forcibly upon such adventures. But be that as it may, there is no question in my mind that your “maps” and my “maps” fit into exactly the same territories or universes. And since this is so, and if we keep this to the forefront, the commentary I wish to make next can be accepted in good faith. Furthermore, those things which are difficult to prove should never be over-accentuated in literature.

The map-territory analogy may hold for analyses of quasi-tridimensional genera. If carried too far we land back into Aristotelian logic. Yet every art student, compelled to occupy a different seat, will offer a different description of a model. Not only that—as he is not mere machine—there will be different factors which effect his work. So it becomes a question, in the art classes, as to whether the student is not actually making an analysis of a quasi-­quatrodimensional form. In any event, we can, by observing, establish both the maps and territories/and/or the analysis and the synthesis at this point.

But when we pass from the simple analysis of a solid which can be depicted by Cartesian or formal plane-graphs, we are compelled to use other methods as in Physical Chemistry. There we find our mathematics of not such a simple order. We must establish either tri-dimensional graphs, of the triangular systems which take their place on sheets of paper. Other you will find in necessary—and we so do find it in books on Physical Chemistry and Statistics, that there are pages upon pages of graphs. The eye accepts them as such, but the mind is compelled to integrate them in order to follow the reasoning of the author.

If one were to make glandular analyses of people—and I have been a clinical clerk both for physicians and psychologists—they could easily establish how the life-force, whatever that is, is divided in its operations between the different glands, so that the total is 100%. By this method we find ecto-, endo-, meso-types, etc. But this does not tell how strong that life-force is. Irrigation water may be run off into different ditches proportionately, which gives us no idea as to the quantity of water.

So you can easily make a map of different classes of people and analyze them. And, if it does not shock you too much, at first hand your methods here seem to resemble those of an astrology more than they do of a scientific statistician. Thus you make a map of Mohammed. New read “The Ideal Prophet” of Khwaja Kemal-ud-din of the Mosque at Working and you will find not a map of Mohammed, but an atlas of Mohammad. You give a map, he gives an atlas!

The atlas which he gives of Mohammed is much like the map I give of the Mogul Emperor Akbar. You offer a theoretical Maitreya (or maybe not so theoretical), I at least present a man of whom we have both historical and literary knowledge. He is well balanced between the physical, mental and spiritual aspects; but an idiot might theoretically be so proportioned. A person of I.Q. 40 and a person of I.Q. 140 may be proportioned or not proportioned.

There is no question in my mind—and this conclusion has been reached by all those who have studied Akbar, that he was equally accomplished in physical-material, intellectual-artistic, and spiritual-ascetic aspects of life. But his physical, his material, his intellectual, his artistic, his spiritual and his ascetic accomplishments are reached very high toward the degrees of human perfection. Here is a man surrounded by wealth and with many women in his harem. Here is a man who knew how to overcome sleep and spend long hours in deep meditation. Here is a man who established workshops and laboratories way ahead of his time. Here is a man who did more to promote the arts of the sub-continent than anyone else, ever. Place him among the ascetics, he is high; place him among the gourmets, he is high; place him alongside any of the rulers of the Renaissance period in the encouragement of arts, he will top them. So I can go on, and on.

My “Akbar” looks in one sense something like your Maitreyic man. He also resembles the Maitreya of the Roerich Museum, etc. But so does the “Prophet” of Kemal-ud-din. He does not belong in the class of ordinary human beings at all.

Now I pass for a moment to an Oriental analysis which gives out such words as Naraka, preta, raksha, asura, manusha, pitri, deva, bodhisattva, etc. Can you analyze the lost types, such as the manusha (intellectual man), pitri or genius or gandharva (the over-man), deva or bodhisattva (the superman or higher), without taking into consideration the level or order or quantity of life-force, etc.

Putting it another way. If you substitute a cross for a single line, you have both vertical and horizontal methods. Will either alone suffice? Thus, there is not only a marvelous tolerant teaching in your writings, there is also a danger of a limitation which I do not think you want and certainly do not want to convey.

So far as the Western world is concerned at the worst I may be appalled at the look of complete objectivity and experience in the fields roughly implied by “mysticism” and “yoga.” In the scientific world—and I have done some satisfactory objective research—there was always a referent and a consistency between the mathematics, login and psychology. You did not combine one order of one of these with another order of another.

There may never be a literary method for communication of “truth.” But at least there should be an internal consistency on the way. And to pass from an Akbar or Mohammad (two men from the past concerning whom we do have sufficient data) to let us say a Sokei-An Sasaki of the near present, I also doubt whether the latter man who seemed to be to be above the “average” or “manushic” type in all facets of human life, could be possibly described within the framework you have presented.

Maybe I have mis-read. In any case this commentary is partly refuted by the implicit literary schemata which are quite esthetic and ebullient, and this is something. Maybe we are really nearer than any difference would imply.


Samuel L. Lewis



The University of Chicago

September 27, 1954


Dear Mr. Lewis,

I was interested in your reactions to my books, and in the statement about your own work. I will be glad some day to have a chance to read some of your writing. Though I know little of the details of Akbar, he has been one of my “symbols” for many years. I hope you plan a book on him. We need such concrete examples of union in multiplicity.

I think of y work as simply one among many forces trying to give shape to a personality ideal for the man of the future. I certainly do not believe that the looks you need catch with accuracy the full depth and range of the human person. As you rightly say, they give a map or framework—similar in some respect to the Hindu doctrine of the gunas. But if levels are brought in I believe that the scheme is capable of much more subtlety than might seem to be the case. I can, I think, say much of what Aurobindo in the Synthesis of Yoga says about the gunas in my own terms, provided we add a series of levels. Perhaps this is something like what you had in mind. Certainly, as you say, mere proportions or profiles are not enough.

I was amused at your comparison of my methods to the astrologist [?] the “scientific statistician.” For as a matter of fact, I have been in recent years using statistical methods on the Ways to Live data. My next book will deal strictly and scientifically with the problem of the measurement of values in and across cultures, and with the isolation (by factor analysis) of the primary dimensions of value. If all goes well, I will finish it by June. The key analytical work has already been done.

I thank you very much for giving me your reactions. And I send you my best wishes for your own work.

Sincerely yours,

Charles Morris


Harvard University

Research Center In Creative Altruism

Pitirim A. Sorokin, Director       

8 Cliff Street

Winchester, Mass.

March 16, 1956


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

60 Harriet Street

San Francisco 3, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

I wish the fullest measure of success to your tasks and your planned travels. If by chance you happen to be in the neighborhood of Boston, I would be very glad to meet you and to talk over the matters of common interest.

At the present time, among other things, we are busy here with organization and incorporation in the State of Massachusetts of a new (national) Research Society in Creative Altruism, which is expected to do the work of this Center on a much larger and deeper scale. Since for its development such a Society would need necessary minimum of funds, at the present time we are making some efforts to secure such funds. Whether or not we shall be successful will be shown during the next few months.

With best wishes,

Sincerely yours,

Pitirim A. Sorokin


P.S. At the end of March my new volume, Fads and Foibles in Modern Sociology and Related Sciences, is expected to be published by the Henry Regnery Company of Chicago. In May my other volume about American Sex Revolution is also expected to be published by the Extending Horizons Press, Boston.



Philosophy East and West

A Quarterly Journal of Oriental and Comparative Thought

Charles A. Moore, Editor

September 21, 1956


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

c/o J. L. Rockwell

1011 C. Street

San Rafael, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

I appreciate your sending me your long letter of July 21st, 1956, and I also appreciate—in the other sense of the word many of the points you make with reference to the fundamental principles which are of most importance in what you call operative or actual Buddhism. All I can say is that some students in the field are more interested in the philosophical or conceptual background of religions, whereas others are more interested in the actual practices, motivations, goals, etc., of those who follow the religion in their lives. I think there is a place for both of these points of view and interests, but I agree with you that those who are interested in the more conceptual side should not lose sight of the other influences and principles which guide the lives of Buddhists, Hindus, and Christians.

There is one point in your letter upon which I would like to comment, primarily to ask for further explanation and reference material at your leisure. At the end of your letter you say “It is not that Mysticism depends upon phenomena, but phenomena do occur, and perhaps cannot help but occur. Only they are of an entirely different nature from those of what are known as psychism and occultism.” In my own experience, I have had great difficulty in clearly demonstrating this difference to critics of Oriental thought and philosophy in general and mysticism in particular. As you know, much of the criticism against Oriental thought and against mysticism generally, especially Oriental, stems from the emphasis upon the occult claims of some of the adherents and propagators of those religions and philosophies. I feel that such people in the area of Los Angeles do more damage to the cause of Oriental thought and of substantial and significant mysticism than perhaps any other group of people in the world because of this particular emphasis. I also realize that most orthodox Hindus will have nothing to do with the occult as such—and that this is one of the reasons for their not being interested in or cordial to theosophy much of the time.

I would appreciate your comment upon the subject and further elaboration of the way in which you would explain and illustrate the significant distinction between the two types of phenomena and an account of any success you have had in convincing people of this difference.

Very cordially yours,

Charles Moore



Box #31, El Paseo

Mill Valley, California

July 10, 1957


To the College of the Registrar

College of the Pacific

Stockton, CA


Dear Sirs:

I have before me a letter which reads in part:

“Under instructions from the Graduate Council of the Academy, I regret to have to inform you that your application for admission to studentship has not been accepted.”

This is very interesting. When a person asks to take instruction at any American institution of higher learning, I did not know they had to submit to a group of graduates and that without any hearing of any kind whatsoever.

I myself am an American of several generations and have had most of my schooling here. While not a graduate my knowledge of Asiatics, or more properly of Asian philosophy, history, religion, and art has been sufficient to have been greeted at all levels, including the highest in Japan, Thailand, India and Pakistan, and at the highest in Burma where I did not stay.

I could give many references but offer for the moment just one: Professor A. Mohammed Siddiqui, head of the Department of Islamic Studies, Punjabi University, Lahore, whose guest I was. I may say also that neither he nor his comparable companions in other countries, whom I could name, would agree with the policy of these members of the “Graduate Council,” whosoever the are.

Which has not stopped the American Academy of Asian Studies (so-called) from accepting my voluntary contributions of moneys, books, radio, and the very research notes which would prove offhand that I have had more than the equivalent of credentials to this institution.

I have recently been on a tour of the actual Asia, the whole purport of which is known to many members of our Foreign Service. If I were to photostat the above and send it to them, I doubt very much if they would look too kindly upon an institution which you have taken under your protection. I am not protesting your policies. But this is strange, and if it continues i do not think the graduates will be looked upon too kindly in the actual Asian lands.

I myself, an old Californian, have always had the best of feelings toward your University which has done so much for this State and also produced that greatest Christian, Dr. Bromley Oxnam, at whose feet I once sat years ago, and whose teachings I shall always remember.


Samuel L. Lewis



College of the Pacific

Stockton 4, California

Dean of Graduate Studies          

July 25, 1957


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

Box #31, El Paseo

Mill Valley, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Your letter of July 10, addressed to the Registrar, College of the Pacific, has been referred to me for reply.

First, permit me to say that the Graduate Council of the American Academy of Asian Studies is not a group of graduate students, as you apparently suppose. The Council is a committee of professors who assist the dean of the Academy in matters of admissions, curriculum, and individual student programs.

Then, you probably realize that any college or university has the right to reject the application for admission of any prospective student if, in the judgment of the administration, that college or university is not likely to be able to serve well the student in question. I have every reason to believe that it was on such a basis that your application was not accepted by the Academy.

Sincerely yours,

Willis N. Potter

Dean of Graduate Studies



106 Ethel Ave.,

Mill Valley, Calif.

September 2, 1958


P. A. Wadis,

K. T. Merchant,

c/o Elphinstone College,

Bombay, India


In re: “Our Economic Problem

Dear Professors Wadia and Merchant:

A number of weeks back the writer suggested an interview with either the local Consul-General of India or one of his staff in order to submit what he considered fundamental answers to the problems besetting your country. This interview is now not necessary for your book includes about everything that I might have thought of. The material is arranged in an excellent manner, the book was very readable (to me) and there is little that could be added.

Unless I have misinterpreted, you have offered and “open” rather than a “closed” system and dynamic, rather than static approaches. Many economists no doubt use the terms “open” and “dynamic” but an examination of their points of view proves otherwise.

You may wonder why an American should be concerned with such matters. I suppose I am one of the few persons who has devoted himself to many facets of Oriental, and especially Indian culture and history. This covers many fields: history, archaeology, art, philosophy, religion, economics, agriculture, etc., etc. but not languages. In these respects I am not a tyro.

I did stay in your country about three months in 1956 and was welcomed by all kinds of people from Cabinet ministers to peasants, from professors to harijans, from the highest ranking holy men and Sufis to business men and felt quite at home. The one thing received universally was hospitality. I neither know nor care whether this was unique but it did happen.

The name of Professor Wadia has been known to me a long, long time. I was more interested in economics and politics early in life. But always having a world rather than a local outlook, I read the books written by him in collaboration with Professor Joshi. My objection to the narrow study of economics, as well as anything else, is that it tends to narrow our appreciation of nature, man and the universe.

Long years of study and discipline in both Oriental methods and almost contemporary scientific and mathematic teachings lead me to conclude:

All bodies, forms and beings in the universe tend toward a state of stable equilibrium.

This sentence seems to harmonize alike with the teachings of Buddha and Newton and with the general outline of social history. It finally brought me to the acceptance of the “New Economics” which flared for a moment like a brilliant Nova and then disappeared—or did it? Anyhow I must go along entirely with the last chapters of your book which contain prescriptions which I believe will cure the world of its dangerous and/or adherence to communism or Keynesianism which seem threatening to engulf us all.

Around 1954 I wrote “The Integration of the Ancient and Modern in the Solution of India’s Problems” while studying with one Satya Agrawal who was then teaching at the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco, and the University of California in Berkeley. Through him I met Prof. R. L. Parks whom I believe is doing excellent work at the latter institution.

Among Americans I consider Prof. Kingsley Davis as one of the best. But our hampered philosophic and psychological outlooks seem to prevent us, as a nation, to grasp over-all views.

I met Villabhai Patel years ago and one thing impressed me: his assertion that the problems of India should and could be “solved” because in that many of the world’s problems could be “solved.” I believe your “Our Economic Problem” goes a long way toward fulfilling Patel’s dream and perhaps the wishes of many of us.


Samuel L. Lewis



The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois 60637

Department Of Economics

August 3, 1965


Professor Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, California


Dear Professor Lewis:

Your letter is written out of a background of extraordinarily rich experiences. That your experiences should provide so many insights that confirm the kind of thinking that I’ve tried to set forth in the book gives me a very special pleasure.

I’ve not only read your letter once but I’ve read it a second time with great care and I’ve gained a great deal from it.

Last March for three days I had the privilege of sitting in on an evaluation of the last 5-year plan of Pakistan and then a critical evaluation of their next plan, at which the top individuals of the Pakistan government responsible for this part of their public enterprise were present as well as the American economists who have been involved. In recent years the agricultural sector has been making considerable progress in terms of production and they become quite optimistic in what they think they can achieve during the next 5 years. Without sharing this optimism, I did learn a great deal and my feeling is that the growth in West Pakistan is real and can probably be maintained if they succeed in making available increasing quantities of fertilizer, nitrogen largely, and the additional tube wells turn out to be really complementary to the old irrigation water systems. In East Pakistan, however, I’m afraid that the very considerable increases in production in recent years may be in large part due to good weather. But it is impressive. They should now be exporting very considerable quantities of rice and the amount is going up rapidly.

I may very well take off a month to try to help the Indian government sometime during the next year, if help one can even under the best of auspices.

I do hope you keep advancing your insights for they very much need to be part of the picture as we learn from our experiences and our many mistakes. Thank you for writing.


T. W. Schultz




410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Ian Stevenson

Department of Neurology and Psychiatry

School of Medicine

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Va.


Dear Dr. Stevenson:

I have read with delight the article on Reincarnation appearing in the December 17 issue of “National Enquirer” and wonder if it is possible to open up correspondence. I have by now become very skeptical not of psychic phenomenon but of persons and groups purportedly engaged in this field.

When I was living in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, His Holiness, Pir Dewwal Shereef, President of the University of Islamabad, asked me to contact groups in America engaged in what they call “spiritualism” (actually Ruhaniat which is somewhat broader: that they wanted cultural exchange; that they had already provided a considerable sum for that purpose, allocated and not to be used otherwise.

After returning to this country I wrote to three very well known institutions purportedly engaged in “Psychic Research,” and certainly very votive in seeking funds. One did not answer at all and two others are so concerned with the preservation of the traditional religion that they did not want traffic with Asia or Asians (but they still seek funds for “psychic” research, you can bet.)

I also contacted several authors whose books have created stirs but none of them replied. This contrasts so clearly with the methods of scientists who seem so anxious to get any objective data, no matter how small, to fit in with their investigations.

I remember the time Lottie Van Stahl came to San Francisco to read auras and found practically everybody at fault. I was thankful she had not read mine which, according to various clairvoyants, ranks in the top classes. This would have at once stirred the audience against one. We cannot have objective studies and personalisms and our society, as a whole is not yet ready to abandon personalisms (nor are some others either).

A number of years ago I was staying in the home of Roderick White, brother- in-law of the celebrated “Betty” in Santa Barbara. It was shortly after her death and the spirit of the late L. Adams Beck appeared. “I have come to restore your memory of best lives.” “I don’t believe in Reincarnation.” “I have not come to discuss philosophy; do you wish this memory willingly or unwillingly.”

The Spirit then began working on my “pituitary” or shasrara, which had already been opened in the course of my Sufi training and first dictated a whole life. All the elements of this have been investigated and corroborated. In Asia they want to know why you know; in America what is your social or some other standing.

I shall forbear the rest of my personal phenomena but one. Once when our good friend, Gina Cerminara was speaking on reincarnation a bitter fight took place between two “respectable” members of the audiences, the type that is permitted to speak anywhere. Unable to reach a conclusion they turned to me and when I said, “What do you want me to say? I remember my former lives.” If this had been a scientific convention it would have led to other matters. Instead there was a pall and a silence. And so long as psychic research remains a metaphysical art it will be thus.

I have lived all over Asia, mingled with all sorts of Asians, some having most remarkable faculties, but have been unable to give objective reports. The scientific data in my diaries—agriculture, chemistry, mineral resources, is acceptable and accepted. But the data on other matters shuts you out unless you fight furiously for the right to speak in a nation where so many people—very “humble” of course act: “Whatever you can do we can do better.”

I also once was paid for research on the real Jewish Kabbalah which presents reincarnation from another view. (This knowledge also shuts one out form the “best” circles.)

I have my diaries and data and many sorts of contacts. I am, Doctor, the first person in history to have been validated both as a Sufi Murshid and Zen teacher. The old refuse to examine this, shut out a priori. But now I am surrounded by reincarnated Indians, known as “Hippies” who cannot be other than they are because they come from another culture which we are loath to examine.

I have never made a complete report to Dr. Gardner Murphy, the one man who was willing to accept objectivity and who knows some about real flesh-and-blood Asians. I am very much interested in your work. In the Orient my knowledge of former lives places me in spectra in class … above; in this country one is an outlander, but now with the growing number of young who remember, one becomes a hero. Neither of these is honestly objective but they counterbalance each other.


Samuel L. Lewis



410 Precita

San Francisco, CA 94110

July 10, 1967


Department of Oriental Studies

Wisconsin University

Madison 5, WI


Dear Sirs:

Phra Sumangalo Memorial Fund

Some time ago I mentioned to your Dr. Richard Robinson the possibilities of establishing a fund. Phra Sumangalo, known better here as Robert Clifton, was friend and mentor to Dr. Robinson and my close associate for some thirty-five years. It was my original intention to establish or leave a fund in his name which could follow up Oriental researches. No answer was ever received and a complex of private matters in the last year have included these items:

a. A great increase in my own annuities.

b. Agreement with my brother should he pre-decease me, that half of my increased allotment would be assigned for Oriental Studies.

c. The receipt of all the papers of the late Zen monk, Nyogen Senzaki.

d. A further donation from his last disciples here of the Sangha library and a number of manuscripts, including the works of the great Masters, Shaku Soyen and Tai Hsu.

I am not going into private matters but long efforts to make my person known were invariably rejected to no purpose. The strangest case was some thirty-three rejections of a paper on Vietnamese Buddhism, itself the original joint effort of the aforesaid Phra Sumangalo and myself. But on the week of the last rejection I met Dr. Thich Tien An, a real “Zen” teacher from Vietnam who is now teaching at UCLA.

Legally I am therefor transferring the idea of the Phra Sumangalo Memorial Fund to the University of California at Los Angeles, with the possibility or probability of scholarships according to my own ability; or later by an agreement which incidentally is in accord with my own father’s last will.

Nevertheless I am now hiring secretarial help, instead of an immediate establishment of a scholarship and will gladly share the writings of the Chinese Tai Hsu with any university that wishes a copy. We are also going over the writings to Roshi Shaku Soyen to ascertain if there is any material not included in his “Sermons of a Buddhist Abbott.” There are a good many more things also in his collection.

I am also helping a new group in Studies in Comparative Religion in London, headed by one Clive-Ross and containing scholars of note who have studied the various Oriental philosophies directly with the “spiritual” teachers of Asia and not necessarily through the universities. Still I wish to cooperate with universities, only it must be objective and impersonal. I am, in fact, perhaps one of the few or the first person in history to have been ordained and initiated both as Zen Teacher and Sufi Murshid.

I previously had the experience of having brought back the Lesser Upanishads to go around begging before I found somebody who would accept the fact that these were in my possession. Then a teacher at the University of California in Berkeley was kind enough to grant an interview and he, of course, received them after I had copied what I wanted.

I also have some Sufi notes copied out of books now out of print. I hope to show them to Dr. Huston Smith of MIT when he comes here. This is quite beside my own notes, my creative writing or the teachings received from living teachers.

I am now planning an entourage to go to India in 1969. I should have preferred to work in and through Universities, but now preference must go to the University of California in Los Angeles, which is not only in my father’s will, but because there is an instructor who would be glad to have either the original or copies of materials in my possession. And, of course, in time moneys will be so supplied. I would much have preferred giving these things to Dr. Robinson.


Samuel L. Lewis


University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia 19104

Wharton School of Finance and Commerce

Department of Economics          

April 18, 1968


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your informative letter in response to the symposium I arranged, recently reported in Asian Survey. I personally have learned very much from your letter although I see no obvious changes that your letter calls for in the major conclusions of my summary of the three papers.

With respect to what I interpret to be the main reason for your note I concur fully. There is a tremendous amount of underdeveloped area expertise in this country on the part of persons whose primary professional interests have no regional limitations. There should be more opportunities for those of us who are really committed to a region (even within a discipline) to exchange views more often with the agronomists, the engineers, the planners, the botanists, etc. who have spent intensive study or consultant periods in a region. I am happy to report that discussions are beginning in an effort to “fill the gap between those academics doing research on South Asia and those academics engaged in advisory development activities in South Asia. How and when is still far from certain.

Sincerely yours,

Wilfred Malenbaum



410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

November 1968


Editors, The Humanist

Dept. of Philosophy

State University of New York at Buffalo

4244 Ridge Lea Road

Amherst, NY 14226


Dear Sirs;

In commenting on “Three on Zen” in your November 1968 issue one is placed in a peculiar position, that if he uses logic he may be criticized by someone saying that logic has no bearing on the subject at hand. If he does not use logic he may be subject to many sorts of replies.

Basically I should be in accord with Bernard Phillips. It is stated that he has edited the writings of D. T. Suzuki. I shall accept his relation with Dr. Suzuki. The question is, will he, or others, accept that this person has a similar relation with the writings of the late Nyogen Senzaki. For your information, the great Roshi, Shaku Soyen, visited this city (San Francisco) in 1906, bringing with him two young monks. One very well acquainted with English has become famous the world over. The other, very well acquainted with satori-experience, is not so well known. I am the last living person who was acquainted with Senzaki-an during the twenty year silence imposed on him by the Roshi. And of course, I was acquainted with him both in the San Francisco and Los Angeles Zendos.

If there is any further question about my status, Dr. Phillips is at liberty to consult Master Seo Kyung Bo who is his colleague at Temple.

The statement of Dr. Williams “Second, from a deeper point of view, it is the heart and essence of Buddhism…. As Americans for the most part are not very serious students of oriental philosophies, one must point out that Tathagata Sakyamuni did not teach Buddhism. He gave Arya Dharma. The central elements of Arya Dharma are the four-fold inquiry into causation, and the eight-fold path. It is not surprising that many leading Buddhists say Americans can never understand their teaching because they do not wish to involve themselves with the subject of suffering, etc. It was the inquiry of suffering that led lord Buddha to enlightenment.

While I would not wish to declare that suffering and liberation are the foremost facts in Lord Buddhas Dharma, there is a tendency to over-emphasize either at the expense of the other. And in reflecting on “Zen and Humanism,” I should say superficially these subjects meet as to suffering; whether they meet or not on the subject of liberation is open.

The general tendency among Humanists has been to support to the full Galileo as against the Inquisition. But when it comes to bizarre experiences including Zen, there is not always so much avidity towards accepting human experiences, living human experiences.

On this point I beg to differ entirely with Dr. Phillips when he says “Zen is religion, which is to say it possesses what humanism lacks, namely cosmic rootage, or any rootage? Dr. Alan Watts says Zen is not a religion; the late Mrs. Ruth Fuller Sasaki says Zen is a religion. There is a general tendency in all three articles to hold that “Zen is Zen.” My objection to Dr. Phillips is that he is constantly quoting ancients and emitting any references to moderns who have had Zen experiences.

The same criticism must be leveled at Prof. Ames. He is constantly running into the past. If Zen is to be valid it must have living exponents with living experience. It has just that. To support this statement I refer to, among any others, the aforesaid Master Seo at Temple University: Dr. Thich Thien An at UCLA, Roshi Sogen Asahina at Kamakura in Japan, and the more ubiquitous Roshi Yasutani, etc—by which I mean etcetera because the piling up of more names does not make the Truth more truthful.

I must call to your attention that in the last days of his life the aforesaid Nyogen Senzaki recognized a considerable absence of compassion in a large sector of what is known as “Zen Buddhism” I did not find this absence among my Vietnamese friends, nor among my few Ch’an contacts.

When Dale Riepe calls Alan Watts, “a California Zen master” he leaves all subjects undefined, indefinable, and indeterminate. In general science requires a few referents; persons, events data, etc.

Dale Riepe also says “But the Zen Masters presumably do not understand that the concepts of science…,” he is referring to his “Zen masters,” and not to actual ordained heads of monasteries and teachings. Nevertheless, my own personal experience supports Prof. Riepe in many points, and from the ego-centric stand point, I am fully in accord with him. Perhaps this is as it should be.


Samuel L. Lewis



February 28, 1969

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, California 94110


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your letter and Buddhist tract. I am appreciative to know that you are interested in my book review and that you have had some background in Chinese Buddhism. I imagine you must be associated with the Buddhist Universal Church in San Francisco.

I would appreciate seeing the manuscript of Tai Hsu, though I do not know when I would get to read it as I am preparing for a project in Japan. I think you will find the review book of great interest to yourself.

I am sorry you have your problems with Mr. Hayakawa, however we also have our own. This is the world of sufferings as Buddha has proclaimed and one can only hope that he himself has arrived at Suchness so that he may accept and relate to people for what they are and not as he would like them to be.

Thank you for your note.

Yours sincerely,

Alfred Bloom, Chairman

Asian Studies Committee

Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif. 94110

March 3, 1969


Alfred Bloom,

Chairman, Asian Studies Committee,

Department of Religious Studies,

College of Liberal Arts, Eugene, Ore, 97403


Dear Professor Bloom:

I wish to thank you for your letter of February 28. We shall send you under separate cover a copy of the book by His Eminence Tai Hsu. This has been sent to Tuttle & Co. in Vermont, and not being returned we presume it is being kept for publication.

We also have ready to submit to Tuttle:

1. Short Cut to Za-Zen by Ho-Shin Kawajiri, disciple of Shaku Soyen

2. Autobiographical notes on Shaku Soyen with supplement by Nyogen Senzaki

3. “Buddhism of Vietnam” by Thich Thien An

4. “Text for Zen Buddhism” by Dr. Kyung Bo Seo.

Dr. Seo is my present Roshi. He was also a disciple of the late Master Tai Hsu. There is also in San Francisco the Venerable Too Lun, another disciple of the same Master. He specializes on the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch and Diamond Sutra.

I worked eleven years as a volunteer at the Buddha Universal Church and Dr. George Fung has been my physician—perhaps with some success because I have not had a sick day since he discharged me. But they do not go into the “depths” which Master Too Lun does.

There is an excellent article on Buddhist Logic in the anneals of the Royal Asiatic Society of last year. My teacher in Philosophy was the Columbia University Mathematicians, the late Cassius Keyser. He introduced me to Korzybski, the teacher of Hayakawa. The latter and his associates have never forgiven me and have rejected all articles on the man whom Korzybski called the “Maestro,” also all articles on Asian logic, also all articles on all subjects.

When Dr. Huston Smith was last here he mentioned he had not passed his Ko-an. When this man returned in 1957 he called on Nyogen Senzaki. “When Sam Lewis met Sogen Asahina were there one, two or no persons in the room!” “Have some tea….” With Yasutani it was even shorter: “Have some tea” (from him).

When Huston Smith praised Phillip Kapleau I nearly started an uproar by applauding loudly. There is no reason why experience in other directions should not be as objective and impersonal as in the sciences.

My first teacher in the Dharma was one Dr. M. T. Kirby (Sogaku Shaku). He was a disciple of Shaku Soyen. He told me the whole story of his enlightenment. This was rejected by all the “experts” on the ground that people attaining satori never told. He taught me the Sanskrit terms and the Theravadins have never forgiven me for that.

He became the teacher of Dr. Malalasekera. He introduced me to Nyogen Senzaki early in 1920.

I do not hold to the abolition of scriptures by certain Zen groups, and less with the “only in America” enigmaticisms which pass for “Zen.” But I am asked to submit real Zen stories of real Zen teachers I have met in the objective world, to be sent to England for publications.

I am now awaiting details for my next lectures on Vietnamese Buddhism.

I use the Jhanas here as the start for all people who come to this house. It is called Mentorgarten, the name proposed by Shaku Soyen when he visited this city in 1906—his idea was for Americans and Asians to establish cultural exchange through social equality.


Samuel L. Lewis



March 15, 1969

Prof. John Shover

Dept. of History

University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pa.


My Dear John:

As-Salaam-Aleikhum! It is rather under a confluence of happy circumstances that this letter is being written. I had been thinking a good deal about corresponding when a circumstance made it a musts

This morning I am going to hear a Prof. Williams, who used to be connected with Penn., give the concluding talk in a series on the influences of the traditional religions of Asia on modern developments. I must say that all of the instructors are open, above-board and objective. This is in marked contrast to the so-called “experts” of the past two generations. Nearly all of these “experts” had axes to grand, to which there is no objection, but they censored the most obvious facts which is reprehensible. One truth European-born “expert” positively refused to permit students to refer to the late Duncan McDonald and this was typical of two whole generations. Indeed I was blacklisted by a number of important institutions and only very slowly have been getting back into “respectability.”

A single incident on the Berkeley campus caused the new leaders in departments of Asian Culture to reverse the trend. They have also agreed to review copy of the paper I expect to send to Professor Williams based on my own experiences in Pakistan which might presumably throw some light on events there.

It is remarkable that a person who has been excluded and is still being excluded from conferences on Asia and in the field of universal religion should be regarded as totally qualified by the founders of The Temple of Understanding which is now in the course of construction near Washington, D. C. Also during the past year a very sound friendship has been established with Prof. Huston Smith of M. I. T. Aided by the fact that my chief secretary, Mansur Johnson, has been one of Huston Smith’s prize students.

My few relations with Penn have been very cordial. There is only deep respect for old professor Norman Browne. I suspect from remarks that Prof. Williams has been associating with the American University at Beirut, an institution for which I have the highest regard.

At the present time my god-daughter Miss Saadia Khawar Khan is at Cornell. She is on the staff of the department of Home Economics university of Punjab, Lahore. But she also matriculated at Beirut. I am therefore making a copy of this letter for Prof. Williams to facilitate a possible meeting with Miss Khan when she comes here later on.

She is my Khalifa in Tasawwuf. She also won first prize at an International Philosophical gathering for which I did not have “credentials.” I wrote the paper; she won first prize!

You are perhaps fortunate in being transferred from San Francisco State. Behind all the news and furor are nothing but personalisms. Everybody wants to get into an act. All the non-student has to do is to get to a microphone. There is very easy for a non-student and very difficult for a student. Unfortunately I committed a “sin” early in life for which there is no forgiveness. I was a student and disciple of the late Cassius Keyser of Columbia, professor of mathematics and philosophy; friend and mentor of the late Count Alfred Korzybski, Hayakawa’s teacher. Don has never forgiven me for this, but privately the pressures of the moment are too much. I understand he is relenting. He had better.

Having lived with Dervishes it has become a simple matter to open up classes in Dervish Dancing. I started with my own disciples. The number of these disciples is on the increase. The attendance at my lectures on the real cultures of real Asia is on the increase. Doors automatically shut before on the various campuses are now as open as they were shut.

(There is a droll twist to this. My brother and I have no heirs. We are tentatively agreed that in case he pre-deceased me one of our heirs would be a department of Asian Studies on some campus. You have no idea how hard it is to get interviews and my final will has been held up because of refusals even to grant interviews. This will include some professors who both you and Dr. Williams know!)

The methodologies in Dervish Dancing are “new” in the sense that they are the synthesis of dances and ceremonies which I have attended. But one does not stop there. Having a knowledge of Asian esotericism I am able to include what might be called moral and psychic culture in and through these dances. A whole field of Islamics is thus imparted, and rather successfully. Yet this comes at a time when one is also giving lectures on Christian Mysticism. I do not mean by this book reviews and abstractions of Saints of earlier periods. Without going into other details we practice the phrase Ya Hayy! Ya Hakk! This is the epitome of my program “Joy Without Drugs.”

As to my coming East. It is time not money which is needed. I have today a very full program, a growing number of disciples, and opportunities for writing previously rejected or ignored. In fact I am working on some of my own notes with stories of living Dervishes and Madzubs for possible early publication. In addition, my own disciples now have control of a local issue, The Oracle into which it is not necessary to go, but this is going to reverse once and for all the previous series I have had of a priori rejections.

I am in a sense sorry about Ayub. Americans know so little of his accomplishments. Among other things I have been a guest of the Basic Democracies. One of the leaders in this has been Begum Ayub Khan now living in Abbottabad, one of my two Pakistani homes. Her late husband was at one time Council General here. By neither my relations with the Begun nor the fact that I visited the Basic Democracies has led to the acceptance of any paper from me. I am not of course a sociologist. But I have read “Researches Into the Castes and Tribes of the Punjab and Northwest India.” I have lived in the country described by him. And I have found after many years the same institutions and folk habits. In a really objective world such reports would be welcomed.

[next page(s) missing]



Harvard University

June 8, 1969


Dear Mr. Lewis,

Please forgive this scrawl. I have been in Asia for 2 months and I am trying to catch up on my correspondence.

The only manuscript I have received from you is from Tai Hsu: Lectures in Buddhism, which I already own as a printed book, published in Paris in 1928. Do you want it back? If you have another manuscript, in which you recount your own experiences in Chinese Buddhism, especially with regard to Trebitsch-Lincoln, I would be glad to see it. You imply that you know where he was between 1928 and 1931. Do you?

Thank you for the nice things you say about my book. I appreciate them.

With all good wishes,

Holmes Welch



June 29, 1969

Donald H. Bishop

Department of Philosophy

Washington State University

Pullman, WA 99163


Dear Mr. Bishop,

It was very enjoyable to read your article, “The problem of Religious Three C’s” in the current issue of the WFB bulletin.

At the present time I am assisting in various researches in Buddhist-Buddhism (to be distinguished from the “expert”-Buddhism (?) so prevalent in this land. This of itself is a very large subject. All I can say here is that my first teacher was one Dr. M.Y. Kirby, later to become the Thera of Dr. Malalasekera, and that I must be one of the few Americans who studied the literature of the Open Court publishing Co., etc., etc.

Apart from this I have been trying for years to see a return to the policy of the 1893 Parliament of Religions. It is an excellent career if you want to be a martyr. we have had innumerable so-called “parliaments” and “conferences,” generally made up of carefully selected personalities, often those who in no ways represent any faith at all. More often the real representatives of the real religions of the real world are excluded, especially by the officials of the University of Hawaii. I shall not go into this.

My very good friend, Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj did hold a real conference of the real religions of the real world a few years back at Calcutta. The conference was kept open until every group presented its case and also faced the gamut of criticism and opposition—something we have abrogated in so-called “free America.” And I long to see the return of an American-American institution, i.e. the Parliament of Religions.

This is a long, long history into which I shall not into here excepting to say that in other lands—and slowly here—one’s credentials are being accepted, they being objectively true, not based on prowess but on deep experience.

But I wish to call your attention to the work of Mrs. Judith Hollister and her friends of The Temple of Understanding. They made some attempt to restore the American-American institution of 1893, but to do so had to meet in Calcutta. And I hope you know, or will learn about her efforts.

Personally, I have long since given up the conference method with its selected speakers from the State Department and often from the press, and its exclusion of many actual spiritual leaders. Plus the awful institution of self-praise which accomplishes nothing.

We are here working on “Dances of Universal Peace” drawn from the religions of the world. The young recite the sacred phrase of living, and now also from by-gone faiths with suitable movements in walk and dance. This awakens the inner spirit. They have found by practice, especially with a suitable “guru” that they reach states of joy-consciousness far superior to anything derived from mineral or vegetable sources, and so are finding the realities of depths within themselves.

The principle was inherited from my “fairy God-mother,” the late Ruth St. Denis, and has been dedicated in part to The Temple of Understanding and in part to leaders in contemporary India.


Samuel L. Lewis


PS. I have just read the editor’s note below your article. It is very whimsical. Aiem Sanghavasi and I are very good friends; her Serene Highness Princess Poon even closer and they have never replied any letter from me nor published a single extract!



June 30, 1969

Holmes Welch

East Asia Research Center

Cambridge, Mass. 02138


Dear Mr. Holmes:

Thank you for your letter for June 8. It is with some regret that one must report my early records were destroyed in a fire in 1949. And others of my Buddhist materials were offered to a well know lecturer who merely appropriated them and they disappeared sine die.

Trebitsch-Lincoln stayed around San Francisco for some time and found himself entangled with the Japanese community—perhaps for good reason. So he went to China and became involved in the Tai Hsu movement. He used to write here regularly.

I shall go over the materials here, or have someone do this. I have a good many things from the late Nyogen Senzaki and one of my disciple will also attend to that materiel. He is now studying with Mr. Lancaster at the University of California.

The chief disciple of Nyogen Senzaki was then one Paul Renandez (Zoso) and he received letters almost to the time of “Dr. Ruh’s” death. Trebitsch-Lincoln also became dissatisfied with Ch’an intrigues and then went to Omei Shan. I do not recall the year but he was on the sacred mountain in 1936 when the defunct “Literary Digest” gave him a big write up, mostly concerning his warnings and prophecies, which came pretty well to objectification, far more than any superficial “Jean Dixon” stuff.

I could use that Tai Hsu manuscript for Mr. Lancaster as above.

One Rev. Too Lun, a disciple of Tai Hsu is now holding forth in this city and doing very well indeed. Another disciple is in New York City. My own present “Roshi” is Mr. Seo Kyung So and I shall be glad to send you any of his writings. His specialty is “Korean Buddhism”

Reading several works on the history of Chinese Buddhism, especially by western scholars, they are all based on the suppositions, to me totally false, that the Dharma is based on deep speculation or thinking apart from human experience on this point I absolutely dissent. And so long as we adhere to intellectualisms we shall find impasse between our Hi Shih’s and Daisetz Suzuki’s who may have been grand scholar, but hardly “satori-wallahs.”

I did eleven years “flunky work” toward the building of the now rather famous “Buddha’s Universal Church” here in San Francisco, but nothing profound has come from it.

The latest issue of the World Fellowship of Buddhists News Bulletin has an editor’s note:

“It is a paradoxical truth that, whereas scientists can be united, can think beyond their nationalism and can admit their fallibility and the limit of knowledge, religionists cannot, because they dare not. What we need today, therefore, is religious people, not religionists….”

If the WBF Bulletin only followed its own advice, we should have a better world.

My own dearest friends for thirty-five years was the late Phra Sumangalo and not a single of his earlier colleagues who’d furnish a single item either for myself or for the Encyclopedia of Buddhism! And a few of his later colleagues did that but never to this person. We had a conference on spiritual experiences here. There were five “Buddhists,” so called. They agreed on two things: there is no God; and they would not talk to each other!

When I left San Francisco in 1930 I think Trebitsch-Lincoln was still here or he had just left for China. I was then in New York, and studied with the late Sokei-An Sasaki. During that period also the Zendo moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I am trying to work for The Temple of Understanding in Washington but at the latest report they had substituted a well known “expert” for the spokesmen of the Dharma. In seems that yet egotism is triumphant but not for long. A new age is here.


Samuel L. Lewis



Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department of Humanities

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

September 15, 1969


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

410 Precita Avenue

San Francisco, Calif. 94110


Dear Sam:

It has been informative to keep abreast of spiritual developments, especially those centering on the West Coast. Tomorrow, however, I leave for the full academic year abroad; I let you know this to save work for your secretaries—items that come this way before July 1970 will not be likely to reach me. I look forward to being in touch thereafter. I hope it proves to be a very good year for you.

Most sincerely,

Huston Smith



410 Precita Ave.,

San Francisco, Calif.

December 8, 1969


Dr. O. H. Dodson, Director

Classical and European Culture Museum

University of Illinois

Champaign- Urbana, Ill.


Dear Dr. Dodson:

“Kang Translates Sumerian Tablets”

This is a headline in the latest issue of The Asian Student published in this city.

Some of us are quite interested as we are preparing to enroll in a course Ancient Civilizations on the Mediterranean, which is being directed by Dr. Andreina Becker-Colonna of San Francisco State College. Actually this course is being given by the extension division of the University of California and is a sort of joint venture of the two institutions.

Any further information that can be supplied on the above subject during the forthcoming semester will be of interest to ourselves and our instructor. And we are ready to pay for any available brochures.

Thank you for your attention.


Samuel L. Lewis



Jan. 24, 1970

Mr. R. C. Zachner

All Souls College




Dear Mr. Zachner:

Yesterday I came upon this book, with the most interesting title, interesting because the writer who is a Sufi Murshid is going this morning to sit at the feet of the Vedantist Swami Swahananda. How come?

Yours is not the first book with this sort of title (Hindu and Muslim Mysticism) valiantly backed by deductions from writers of other ages, having practically nothing to do with the objective world of humanity of the day. And very little to do with objective data connected with the subject matter. When I was living in Cairo I came upon a textbook on Sufism, at least it was called that, used at the American University there. Having encountered a Sufi center within walking distance I tried to arrange an interview between the writer of that text and the Sheikh of that center and was peremptorily dismissed. I am certainly not going to demand special treatment, but there is no question today that the so-called Judeo-Christian ethic from which such behavior stems is headed for a downfall.

Without going into details, I had to watch the rising tide of resentment, and then see with my own eyes a mob attack on the American Embassy. It is only now, after many years, that in this country very feeble efforts are being made to admit the existence of objective Sufism.

Today you must be aware of “Studies in Comparative religion,” Pates Manor, Hatton Road, Bedfont, Middlesex. Sooner or later the existence of these writers will have to be admitted. The young will go a step further and accept their honesty and perhaps their insight. Frithjof Schuon in particular is playing the exact role here that the discovery of Uranium played in the history or atomic transmutation, and even of basic science.

A number of years ago I visited the offices of the Royal Asiatic Society in London and asked, “What have you on Prince Dara Shikoh?” “Never heard of him.” “Please look him up….” “O, Mr. Lewis, we apologize.”

The historical existence of Prince Dara Shikoh, and to some extent of his grandfather the great Emperor Akbar, unfortunately disproves your whole book. The great Orientalist Stanley Lane-Poole did some excellent work in this field. I also seem to be one of the few Americans who read “Researches into the Castes and Tribes of Punjab and Northwest India” written by one H. Rose of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1896. In 1956 I visited much of the same country and found a slight partition, very little change. Of course I mingled with the people. My notes are still extant, but it has only been in the last two years that they have been accepted.

As I write, I find a totally different type of University professor in this region, men whose determinations are based on objectivities.

The great Imam Al-Ghazzali wrote, “Sufism is based on experience, and not on premises.” We might as well bury him and that. Stores and stalls are filled with works based on premises and not experiences. When Phillip Kapleau’s “Three Pillars of Zen” appeared, I danced with joy. “Now mystics can write about mysticism, and students do not have to listen always to the dialectics of subjectivists.” This is one of the things that is now happening in the United States, and particularly in the Western part of the United States.

Today our youth are demanding experience, not opinions, in the psychological and religious fields, just as is absolutely required in the scientific fields. They not only want it from others, they want it for themselves—as in the scientific fields.

I do not know whether you know the story of the last meeting between Emerson and Carlyle. I do not know whether you are aware of Emerson’s diary entry that he thought that if Buddha and Pythagoras and Jesus and Mohammed and others came together, you would not hear a sound from them. I do know I personally helped to introduce the Zen Master Nyogen Senzaki with the Sufi teacher Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. I do know, first hand, that the meeting exactly fulfilled Emerson’s supposition. I do know that in addition to their joint reports of having entered Samadhi together, Nyogen Senzaki later wrote and spoke on their having a common understanding of nyaya logic which is somewhat different from our Aristotelian heritage.

I did not know then that the same was to have occurred to me personally in my meeting with Roshi Asahina Sogen at Kamakura, Japan, in 1956. And then on and on and on and on: facts, facts, carefully annotated. And I think it is time to rid ourselves of that horrible legend that a true mystic has to keep quiet. A true mystic is supposed to keep quiet while scholars, informed and uninformed, write books which the public is supposed to accept.

When the professors at the University of California in Berkeley saw the greetings between this Sufi and Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj they did a double take, and I am as much in today as I was not previously.

There are a lot of books emanating from writers, some of whom claim to be Sufis and some not; just as there have been many books on so-called Zen, mostly written by outsiders. The difficulty here has been the stubborn refusal to recognize the egocentric predicament; the almost universal assumption that “I” exist. All realisms are based on this assumption.

There are holy men in the Himalayas, who may be called Munis, but whom we can hardly classify as Sufis, Vedantists, Yogis, etc. I can refer to many books to support my stand. In the end it is living experience that counts, and I dare to state right here that there is very little difference between dawk, dharma transmission (of several varieties), real Hebraic mystical Kabbalah, etc.

The Upanishads are full of lines of decent of teacher and pupil. In actuality, this is most important amongst Sufis. Absolutely in those who belong to what might be called the traditional schools (a very awkward term) and others. Indeed, the Sufis to me seem much more sound on this point than most Hindus. They are, however, not more sound than certain tapes of Zen and synthetic Mahayana schools. I won’t go into the latter: there are too many books in the way. Both Zen and Sufism teach the need of unlearning and mental purification. Without them we can verbalize till doomsday and get nowhere.

On the other hand, no matter what the school of mysticism, the ultimate reality is found to be the source and essence of (actuality, living experience, not deduction) light, life, wisdom, beauty, power, etc. They are all there together so to speak in God Allah Brahm.

After the publication of “Three Pillars of Zen” Kapleau’s teacher Roshi Yasutani came to this city for a single purpose. We sat down together, glanced, drank tea and both departed. Hazrat Inayat Khan, a Sufi teacher said, “Heart speaks to heart and soul to soul.” The Bible teaches about urim and thummin; Sufis emphasize hal and makam.

We are most fortunate today in having a number of young Americans who realize in various degrees the similarity of mystical content. I myself emphasize the gradients of the Upanishads, that teach spiritual development through the dance and music.

I am sorry in a sense that a work has been written with this title with very little insight into either of the parties verbally inferred. Just before leaving India the last, I was a guest of honor at a celebration at the Dirgah Nizam-ud-­din Auliya in Delhi. I was a guest of honor in one pavilion, and whom do you suppose were the guests of honor in another pavilion? Pundit Nehru and Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. The life, prowess, profundity, and noble personality of the retired president of India alone compels some hesitation in accepting so much of what you have written.

We all end in the universal consciousness. I leave the fruits of action to Sri Krishna, though my name is with all love and blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis

(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)



January 26, 1970

Center for Religious Studies

Harvard University

Cambridge, Mass


Dear Sirs”

In re Hindu and Muslim Mysticism by R. C. Zachner

Years ago I visited your institution and Dr, Slater said, “We would like to know all that you know that we do not.” But nothing seems to have come from it, and a mystic does not enjoy entering into arguments, often quite useless with dialecticians and linguists. There are many learned men in the world, but that does not mean that they have had the living experiences in the subject matter which interests them. In the sciences, yes; and I am optimistic enough to believe that the same impersonal objectivity can be pursued in all walks of life, and when it is I believe we shall have a better world.

The appearance of Three Pillars of Zen caused the writer to jump with joy. At last a book by an American who has had the spiritual realization, rather than long abstruse dialogues and dialectics by famous literati who have not. Indeed, the appearance of that book was followed by a meeting the following year with Roshi Yasutani, and the establishment of friendship with Dr. Huston Smith. It was not necessary to converse with the Roshi—we understood each other at a glance.

Strictly speaking, Sufism has been the field which has absorbed more time, more study and more mystical realization. I am not in the least concerned with either acceptance or rejection of these endeavors, or the life that came out of these endeavors, because any follower of Dr. Arberry or anybody else has chosen to ignore them. I have lived in many parts of the world, met many realized mystics of many schools, and associated at many levels with types of humanity not always welcome at institutions of higher learning. But I believe that day is going, and tomorrow night I am meeting Prof. Richard Alpert, now known as Baba Ram Dass. I do not know whether this meeting will affect the psyches of writers who have selected theses without any examination of the objective world. But I am certainly tired of works like the above which are not only confusing and abstruse, but most unfortunately are welcomed in some halls of learning.

After writing the author, in the belief that he would not welcome my criticism, I again re-read sections in “Eastern Religions and Western Thought” which are so contradictory in every level and on every subject to the conclusions of Mr. Zachner, that I am wondering how the world could seriously accept each of these outlooks without seriously contrasting them.

Of course I cannot compel others to accept the dictum of Imam Al-Ghazzali “Sufism is based on experiences, and not on premises.” Nor am I appealing any more for admission to forums from which men of my outlook and experience have been excluded in the past, for a number of very common-sense reasons:

a. A number of institutions an professors, moved by curiosity at least, are opening their doors and floors to mystics, and perhaps also to pseudo-mystics and charlatans, giving them the opportunity to express their point of view without having the door slammed in their faces.

b. An ever-growing number of young people have been interested in mysticism, pseudo-mysticism, psychism, and “far-out studies,” and fortunately or unfortunately they prefer especially those who are never given any opportunities by their elders.

c. A greatly increased income with possible further monetary increase in emoluments is going to speak for itself, this being most unfortunately the key which can be used, and certainly is going to be used by the writer and others.

It is very difficult for a mystic who is supposed to be motivated by love, generosity, and humanity, to write in this way. But evidently the so-called Judeo-Christian ethos (whatever that means) does not always take kindly to alternative, not to say conflicting views. Such an ethos will sooner or later run against the moral law as presented variously to the world by saints and sages of all times and climes.

The subject is further complicated by the appearance on the market by works purporting to be on Sufism, as there are works purporting to be on Zen, not based on experiences in Universal consciousness. One only hopes that the rising generation, which is far more motivated by both curiosity and honesty than power outlooks and prestige outlooks, will open up doors and hearts. At least I am scheduled to appear at the next conference of the religions of the world as programmed by The Temple of Understanding

I intend to take full advantage of obscurantism and narrowness, not to say prejudice, to open up more and more to our young people the knowledge of living mystics of all kinds. And not particularly seeking an answer or reply, but I am wondering if your institution is accepting works like that of Mr. Zachner, even as literature, would permit an alternative. I can assure you that more and more colleges and universities in the Western part of the United States are now awakening from subjectivity into objective reality in the inner sciences, as they must in the outer sciences.


Samuel L. Lewis



910 Railroad Ave.

Novato, Calif. 94947

February 18, 1970


Dr. Sharabi

Georgetown University

Washington, D.C.


Dear Dr. Sharabi:

As-salaam aleikhum. You may recall me as the little man with whom you spent some time when you were in San Francisco years ago at the time of the U.N. decennial. I also brought some disciples to hear you when you appeared at the University of San Francisco not quite so long ago. It is noteworthy that on that occasion there were very few members of the San Francisco mosque in the audience other than Arabs. There were far more Arabs in the audience who do not belong to the mosque for various reasons.

When you were in San Francisco I showed you the first pages of the epic poem “Saladin.” I am having a copy of “Saladin” sent you along with its predecessor, “The Day of the Lord Cometh.” These show respectively a Hebrew and Arabic interpretation of the Palestinian complex. They also belong in the same honorium of being rejected alike. It is the same type of thing that is causing me to write to you, sending a copy to “The Saturday Review” rather than write to the editors and sending you copy.

This time in life is very auspicious and propitious. I have little use for a culture/complex which is based on over-evaluating and de-valuating personalities for subjective dialectical anti-rationale. I had a friend who live long years in Vietnam, who thought he could save this country visited it twice and was turned down by everybody excepting a single Washington editor. The press, the state department and all the “experts” rejected him. We are now paying a terrible price.

At the present time I am enrolled a class studying Vietnam—not studying the editors, the commentators, the ivory tower pompous individuals who never mingle with the masses, although they are full of advice. Every person in the class is what I call “an ugly American.” All of us, including the teacher, have lived in one or another of the Southeast Asian countries and we can discuss dispassionately the humanity of the region, the problems, and potential solutions but not from any subjective dialectical dualistic antihuman standard.

My interest in Southeast Asia has been incidental and coincidental. My interest in Palestine has been fundamental and life-long. I did forty years research into the religions of the world and their possible usage to promote world peace. Excepting for the friends I have been disdained, ignored and even maligned. But La Illaha El Il Allah. And as the Arabian Nights say, “There is no power or might save in Allah.”

At this moment my secretary Mansur and I are preparing to attend an international conference of the world’s faiths. I am going as a representative of the Sufis. I do not mean the super-educated, Western, “realists” who have studied books and languages under Dr. Arberry and his colleagues. I mean a person who has had the experiences of fana-fi-Sheikh, fana-fi-Rassoul and fana-fi-lillah. The poetry is evidence of fana-fi-Rassoul. I am now working on Rassoul Gita which will bear evidence of fana-fi-lillah. I hope to be heard at Geneva in the near future. After that, I shall return to the United Sates and shall visit Washington as the directors of The Temple of Understanding request or desire.

I have worked for years on the principle that we should have Arab culture taught in this county by Arabs—so far, not too much response. The horrible slogan “Peace with justice” stands in the way. The greatest authority on Arab culture out here until recently was also head of the Zionist movement! If we had any idea of justice at all we should be having an Arab secretariat at the U.N.

I have lived in Egypt as well as in other Islamic lands. I protested vehemently against the drivel taught at the American University in Cairo anent Sufism. There was a strange series of incidents in my life which brought me in close touch with the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University. They kept on begging me for real cultural exchange. The Foreign Office snubbed the idea. I myself had to witness the mob attacks on the Belgium and American embassy. On the whole we still do not have Arabic culture properly taught in this country. Cultural exchange with communist Russia, yes! cultural exchange with the Arabic civilizations, ridiculous!

I am pleased to report, however, that the situations at the local San Francisco State College and the University of California are today totally different, and until this call to go to Geneva I have been studying various phases of Arabic culture.

I have lived in Cairo. I have walked on foot through practically every street in that huge city. I have visited a multitude of mosques. I came to Cairo already a member of the Chistia and Naqshibandi Orders of dervishes and left also as a member of the Shadhili and Rifa’i Orders.

One might assume that a born “Nathan, the wise,” that is, a scion of a Hebrew family by blood, and one who has come to accept like Mohammed Asad Mohammed as the last Messenger of God might be a fitting person to operate at this time. Not only am I fairly acquainted with Islamic cultures and history but also, not only from heritage but from actual employment, had to do deep research into Jewish philosophy and mysticism might be a proper person to be heard at this time.

I am not here going into my visits to Pakistan and India. It would be too long, but facts can never he hidden forever. I came back from Pakistan with the instruction that my life mission was to get 50,000 Americans to say “Allah.” It looked impossible. But I have had those mystical experiences which mystics have and which the literati disdain. I arose from a hospital three years ago with a vision of what was to come and it has come. I now have almost a hundred disciples. I now have succeeded in getting even thousands to repeat “Allah.”

I am teaching dervish dances which may horrify some Muslims but are attracting the young who are seeking the living God. They all joyfully join in saying La Illaha El Il Allah! Ya Hayy Ya Haqq! Mohammed Rassoul Illaha! The marvelous thing, about this is that among my growing numbers of followers are persons of full Jewish blood and even ex-Israelis. The backbone of my strength comes from persons who are partly Jewish or who have married non-Jews; also at least two blond women who were raised with Jewish families.

I am now being called upon to visit institutions in other parts of the land. My God-daughter Miss Khawar Khan is at Ithaca, (Cornell University) with a complete copy of Hadiths and Commentaries by our living Sufi teacher.

The stubborn refusal of all those people who think they can tell people with whom they have not mingled what to do, to accept the traditions from Boccaccio and Lessing is appalling.

I myself worked out a plan for the Near East which was accepted especially by the U.N. by Arabs who were citizens of the UAR and Saudi Arabia and Israelis. It was snubbed and disdained by our Foreign Office, by the Carnegie Peace Foundation, and by those unfortunate persons who believe that slogans can solve problems. But Allah is, and Shahud can be learned by mankind when we can physically, psychologically, psychically perform shajda.

That is enough now. It may take a little while to get my poetry into your hands, but, inshallah, we shall do it. Allah Mubarak.


Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



February, 28, 1970

Prof. N. P. Jacobson

Winthrop College

Rock Hill, South Carolina



It is not always pleasant to write in a somewhat dualistic manner to anybody. The writer would not dare unless he had actual experience to support his contentions. One has had at least 60 units of college laboratory credit; and many more in college lectures on scientific subjects, without taking any book or travel research into consideration.

Co-extensive with this has been studies in the depths of religions. I am not working on any supposition that knowledge is different if the field of endeavor is different. Perhaps my weakness may be due, or my strength may be due, to meeting one Dr. M. T. Kirby when I was a pretty young man. He encouraged a kind of parallel between religious and scientific research, both based on cosmic rather than individualistic approaches. I have never seen any reason to change this, though in general religionists, especially sectarian religionists, will not accept it. We have out here Dr. Lewis Lancaster who is teaching Buddhism a priori-ing the logic of Dignaga; while almost all the rest of the world is naively assuming either the logic of Aristotle or downright sophistry, based on the psychological assumption of an ego even when verbally or pseudo-logically denying it.

In Buddhism alone Dr. Kirby pointed me in two different directions, both of which I have followed. One of these is to practice the Jhanas. I find the Jhanas very successful pragmatically. But I also find that each success in a Jhana alters the personality, thereby confirming both anatta and anicca. While Buddhists naively assume—and it is a damned assumption—that we are subject to change, too often their operations are to the contrary. Dogma has been substituted for human experience and while there are nice words these words are not confused always by human experience.

In the spirit of modern science, as well as in accord with Dharma, I have totally accepted all and everything coming from Dr. Phillip Kapleau. But I dare to controvert the late semi-Pope Prof. Daisetz Suzuki who once wrote that Prajna, not Dhyana, was the basis of Zen. Poppycock. Absolute poppycock. Prajna (called Panna in Pali) has been badly mistranslated as “wisdom.” Millions repeat the Prajna-Paramita Sutra without knowing what they are doing, without understanding what they are saying. I have already tested the WBF: when Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Buddhist or non-Buddhist though he be, uses the word Prajna everybody runs to cover. When another ego uses the same word, it is a totally different matter, proving there is a gap between Buddhists and believers in dukha, anatta, and anicca (where I place myself).

When I was visiting Kamakura in 1956, and the universe opened up (it has often opened up) the attendant told me I was already two grades above Dr. Daisetz. Of course the “anatta” people are not going to accept that! But it is remarkable that I was taken on a cave tour to caves visited by the late L. Adams Beck and the late Sokei-An Sasaki, and was told “Daisetz was never here; he does not even know about these places.”

I must call to your attention here, Bodhisattva, that whether it is science, religion, mysticism, or adventure, I notate and annotate, which ought to bring a person a little closer to finding a scheme for relating science and religion. On page 4 you state: “All of your respondents in Southeast Asia bear out Kenneth Inada, a Buddhist philosopher now at the University of Buffalo, who remarks as follows: “Buddhism is the most thoroughgoing naturalistic discipline the world has ever witnessed, though it is unappreciated in this light for the most part.’”

The introduction of ego-element is not to my mind in accord with my Buddhist procedures. And if you read the present issue of Science 13 February, in the articles on scientific writing and elsewhere this subject of the introduction of the ego is variously discussed. Now suppose my experience is different. For 33 years I was perhaps the closest friend to the late Phra Sumangalo (Robert Clifton) who lived every land in Southeast Asia, without exception. I have also the materiel from Thich-Thien-An, a great scholar in the synthetic Vietnamese Mahayana. I have been the guest of Her Serene Highness Princess Poon Diskul, and she has been guest. We should be meeting soon at Geneva for purposes other than controversy. I am not a “general semanticist,” therefore I always use a referent. This is also pertinent to Nyaya logic which has dominated many Asian minds. Whatever the difference between Nyaya and Aristotelian logic are, they have formed a wall, an unnecessary wall of misunderstanding.

It is only a blatant braggart who would dare to say that anything is “the greatest the world has over witnessed.” By what standard? On what basis?

Dr. Phra Sumangalo left here several disciples, one of whom Rev. Iru Price has gone over hook, line and sinker to the rather famous Lama Anagarika Govinda who declares that he never met a fully illuminated soul anywhere in Southeast Asia. This watakshiwa has not illuminated souls in Southeast Asia. As a scientist, who is to be believed?

On page 5 you have written, “The Buddhist way of thinking always begins with analysis of reality….” I do not know what is meant by the Buddhist way of thinking. When Grand Master Seo-Kyung-Bo of Korea was this way and he gave all of us examinations in our putative knowledge of the Dharma, this person came out number one. I certainly shall not impose an anybody the Avatamsaka-Kegon teaching that all of us are illuminated to begin with; or how this works. I do know I was accepted immediately at Nara, as I was at Sojiji, as I was at Kamakura, as I was by the Shingi-Shingon devotees, etc. I personally believe, but I do not impose, that there is one cosmic Dharma. I personally believe, but do not impose, that the Lord Buddha himself taught 8 aspects of samma, which is not analysis, which is as far from analysis as one can conceive, being in every respect diametrically the opposite; being universal, cosmic, and unlimited. It is this outlook which to me substantiates his being called Tathagata.

Buddha Himself enlightened people by his Glance, his Darshan, his Samma Drishthi. Of course I never had this glance directly, but certainly the persons who made some of the pictures in the Arjunta caves must have had this experience of emancipation and deliverance and no nonsense. No analysis, no dialectics, no metaphysics; actuality.

I do not know how much scientific background you have had. I have always felt that Dalton’s atomic theory was based on his conditioning as a Christian, looking for a soul-entity. I have also believed that many of the cell-theories were based on the same approach, looking for soul-entities. Yesterday, fortunately, somebody placed in my hands material regarding Haeckel’s theories of the cell being functional, rather than individualistic. This would at once show how close real science and real teachings of Lord Buddha come together.

The discoveries of radioactivity, of atomic transmutation and transformation, and the modern doctrines in the science of Physics—I mean a science and not an empty word called “science”—demonstrate here the superiority of a tradition which certainly includes and involves Lord Buddha’s teachings as against the individualism of the West.

It is so easy to say that Buddhism arose in India. If we leave it there we are caught in a compound of words and confusions. This India had an actual Ultimate which is called the Dharma. Analysis of the Dharma is not the Dharma any more than a derivative of a function is the function itself (with a certain exception). All the Indian systems posit the existence of worlds seen and unseen; of entities human, sub-human, and super-human. The original terms are still found in Mahayana, insofar as Mahayana seems to have been originally written in Sanskrit. The Pali terms etymologically are comparable if not identical; but the explanations are sometimes neither comparable nor identical. How do we know which is the true Buddhistic system of explanation? How can we explain this? Science is based on certain types of human experiences which can be confirmed by other human beings. There is no room for dogma. But in certain types of Buddhist teachings there is not only room for dogma; sometimes there is nothing else but dogma. And in some Theravadin teachings where analysis is assumed without any background or proof, the explanations do not always explain.

For example, the common Theravadic interpretations of earth, air, fire, water, etc.—how can they be proven to be true? On what basis? Before you indulge in the very anti-Buddha practice of making samskaras (or its Pali equivalent), let me tell you there are explanations here, but they are not explanations which have been properly examined by Western scholars who have not delved deeply into the Dharma or into themselves—in the end these may be found to be identical, a single process.

You have quoted a single Ceylonese philosopher. How can one know that he is speaking either for the majority or that he represents the views one would have who has attained a realization in Buddhi?

Of course I agree thoroughly with Dr. Radhakrishnan, which does not prove we are right, simply that I agree with him. The WBF has recognized and honored Dr. Radhakrishnan; so have many Hindus. So have many Sufis, in India at least. His methods are not the methods of the analyst, quite the contrary. Those who are deeply versed in the Upanishads, from the actualization thereof and not from an analysis or speculative interpretation, by becoming the subject matter itself, would hardly agree with individualistic interpretations of any kind.

I do not dissent in the least from your social interpretations, but a blank statement on page 13, “Forty different forms of meditation,” are footnoted with a reference to Buddhaghosa. I do not see any forty types of mediation; what are they? Again, before you react, I own and have read “The Path of Purification” many times. And, above all and under all, we practice Jhanas here, we practice the Jhanas and they lead to changes in personality. We actualize, we realize greater scope for love and joy and peace—actually. This is today a common occurrences among living human beings, all young no doubt.

When I was in Hong Kong a number of years ago I met a Dr. Leung, who claims he was thoroughly versed in all schools of Mahayana. He was also a very successful medical practitioner. He told me had received a PhD in nuclear physics. We discussed the behavior of light in various types of sugars, and how much these seemed to resemble Yang-Yin and other cosmic hypotheses. We predicted that the next Nobel Prize in Physics would go to a Chinese. Before I returned home this actually happened. There are realms where apparently different types of human behaviors, human psychology, and human philosophy, meet. It would be well to look into the types of mind found in higher beings, be they human or non-human. For instance, I personally see a vastness in the Surangama Sutra which even my old friend and colleagues Dwight Goddard could not fathom. When areas of consciousness are awakened, actually awakened, and when one enters into higher states of consciousness well within the scope of practicing devotees, the outlooks become transcendent.

Anyone who dares to say that the Nirmanakaya, the Sambhogakaya, and the Dharmakaya are not only realities but the reality, can easily of course be accused of egotism. But what about the egotism of the ignorant? Of those who write on such subjects without any experience? Buddhism remains apart from science because science demands some experience on the part of those who choose to represent it. Science is trans-personal. Buddhism has become unfortunately most individualistic, and while it remains there—I have written before—I can now call myself a Buddhist.

But I do not believe there is any such gap between the Dharma and science. The Dharma is the whole from which we may derive science, religion, philosophy, art, anything. At least that is my view.

I am therefore not opposed to your analysis. It is perhaps as good as any analysis can be. It may even be perfect analysis. But I do not think analysis has any place here whatsoever. No doubt my point of view will be attacked by traditionalists, by sanctimonious monks, by sanctimonious non-monks, by individualists of every sort. So be it. I guess I am the elephant which the six blind men described differently.

I am going soon to Geneva to the conference of the world’s faiths. I shall not attack any religion. I shall uphold devotion. I shall justify any actual practice of any forms of meditation, but not description, gossip-reference, or the summoning of ghosts to disprove what the actual humanity in the audiences my say. Above all, I shall not throw around loosely the word Compassion as a weapon to show that the other people are in the wrong, ever.


Samuel L. Lewis

(He Kwang, Zen-shi)



March 8, 1970

Mr. Deepak Merchant

c/o Operations Research Dept.

Cornell University

Ithaca, N.Y.


Sahib-j i:

The writer is an old friend and correspondent with your esteemed father. He is taking this opportunity to write to you, although writing alone may not be sufficient. Still, the enclosed correspondence may be helpful.

I am particularly stimulated at this time because an article has just been published in “California Monthly,” a publication of the University of California and particularly its alumni. I am enclosing a copy to show you the outlook of a man world famous for his researches in Physics and Astrophysics. I have not met this esteemed gentleman because nearly all my work is done in Asiatics and food problems.

I am now on my way to a conference of the world’s religions to be held at the end of the month at Geneva, Switzerland, and your esteemed father has cooperated by giving me introductions to certain members of the Indian delegation, although it is quite possible that I also know other persons of the same general nature. I have been all over India and have studied pretty thoroughly the various religions of the world.

I have been invited to Cornell, but neither my present financial resources nor my spare time permit this at this writing. I have to go to Geneva, London and Boston in turn, and then must return to this city (San Francisco) because of legal involvements; if these involvements are faced they may well benefit me financially; if they are bypassed there will be other complications.

I am writing this, asking you to do me a favor if you can:

My god-daughter, Miss Khawar Khan of Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan, is also enrolled at Cornell in the department of Home Economics, dealing particularly with fabrics, clothing, and related items. I am wondering if it would be possible for you to look her up. I must advise that she is a devout Muslim, although she has, under my influence, been moved somewhat toward a universal outlook. In order to promote real peace in this real world, I am supporting this universal outlook, and have at least vague hopes that the world also may move in this same general direction. Without it I can hardly see any approach toward actual peace between warring factions, philosophies, and humanity. But in stating my position, I am merely stating my position, and not demanding its acceptance by others. No doubt, in your country there are many others of the same outlook, including of course the late Prof. Wadia, your father’s very wonderful instructor and colleague.

If there is success at Geneva, or if the legal transactions in this area terminate to my satisfaction, or if I receive external financial assistance, I shall also be leaving as soon as possible for Ithaca. At the moment I am dependent almost entirely on my own resources which are limited, but at this writing an interest in my spiritual work has been instigated at an educational television station, and the next few weeks also may determine an outcome which also may change my status socially, intellectually, and financially. But this as we say is in God’s hands at this writing.

I hope you are enjoying your stay in the United States. If you come to California we shall be glad to see you, and also to host you, without any further obligations on your part.

Miss Khan’s home address is 215 Fall Creek Drive.

Sincerely and cordially,

Samuel L. Lewis



March 14, 1970

Dr. H. Sharabi

Georgetown University

Washington, D.C.


Beloved one of Allah:

One appreciates very much your comment on the poetry sent you. Someday no doubt people will see that there is an Islam surrender to a living God, a Deity who is reality, and of whom my disciples, constantly growing in number, in forever and attitude, say, “Ya Hayy, Ya Hakk!”

As corroborating evidence. I have a disciple here named Hasan who has a printing establishment. He had to discontinue his work to earn his livelihood. But Allah, to whom he all praise, has seen it that he has received recently a large boost in his salary, and at the same time, financial assistance from his wealthy parents. He has already proposed the publication of these poems, together believing they belong together. We have been taught that a Sufi sees life from the point of view of another, as well as of himself. And the deep understanding of real Hebraic mysticism and spirituality only strengthens the standpoint of pure Islam. Indeed today I have a number of persons of both Jewish and part-Jewish ancestry who joyfully repeat Kalama.

It is also notable that young Americans, many young Americans whom I meet, know all about the story of The Rings given to the world by the Italian Boccaccio, and its sequel “Nathan the Wise” by the German Lessing. In the days of Hitlerism everybody was referring to them; but today they are smothered out of sight.

But with firm belief in the Living Allah, and His Messenger and Prophets, I am personally preparing to go to Geneva to meet with the top religious and ecclesiastical leaders of the world at a conference with the working label of “peace through religion.” With firm belief in Allah, and with a conscious awareness of the descent of Baraka through the seal of the prophets (on whom be peace!) my disciple Mansur and myself will soon be leaving here, to return within a month.

In the meanwhile I shall take these matters up further with printer Hasan and will keep you informed about matter referred to here, and related subjects.

Most faithfully,

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



Geneva Swiss

April 4, 1970


Center of Religious Studies

Harvard University

Cambridge 38, Mass.


Dear Sirs:

The writers are both close friends of Professor Huston Smith of MIT. We are now attending the final sessions of the conference of The Temple of Understanding about which, no doubt, you have heard.

We expect to arrive in Boston shortly after the middle of the month and are enclosing copy of letter to our host. This letter includes names of various well- known people, some of whom have been our friends for many years; some of whom we have known through correspondence or reading; and some of whom we have just recently met.

We hope to visit your center, even if it be only for a casual occasion, or for a serious one if you so desire.

Samuel L. Lewis

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



May 8, 1970

J. G. Wilson

Lecturer in Philosophy

University of Canterbury Christchurch

New Zealand


Dear Mr. Wilson:

I have before me your article “Sankara, Ramanuja, And The Function of Religious Language.” It is difficult to determine whether a reply is warranted, whether a reply is acceptable, what common or uncommon grounds are made, or rather assumed: whether you are really attached to Ramanuja or hold to your statements, “This should remind us—an important point when discussing attempts such as this to put in modern terms what function religious discourse is really performing—remind us that what religion does is provide us with an ideal, an inspiration; and occasionally, a man who lives up to this ideal to a remarkable and inspiring degree, a Buddha, a Sankara, a Confucius, a Jesus or a Mohammed. It does not guarantee—or at least has never in the past claimed to guarantee—complete and immediate transformation for all men.”

Being in substantial accord with Sankara and not always with Ramanuja, I find it difficult at this point to comment. You yourself have listed Sankara as being in the highest level (to which I assent) and have not placed Ramanuja in that category.

I have just returned from a conference of all the world’s faiths recently held in Geneva, Switzerland. This was an actual conference of the world’s faiths and their leaders, and not one of metaphysicians and literati. There I met again my good friend Swami Ranganathananda of the Ramakrishna Mission. For years he has been to me personally and privately the Vivekananda of the age, and he certainly functionalized Vivekananda at the conference. To me the conference was one of and not about.

Swami Ranganathananda not only fictionalized Vivekananda, but told us about his own “The Message of the Upanishads” which we immediately purchased. I cannot impose on anyone the existence of cosmic harmony that may exist between persons of presumably different backgrounds. There is a theory that people who reach the highest levels will always agree with each other except perhaps on verbiage, while Swamiji played the role of a Vivekananda, the writer, an unknown, was able to communicate with all the delegates representing many different religions because of some insight or knowledge, or even perhaps because of spiritual attainment.

One cannot help contrasting the functionalism of the Ramakrishna Mission representatives, who adhere more or less to Sankara, with the functionalism of the followers of Sri Aurobindo who lean toward the Ramanuja outlook. The Sankara people function like Whitman, “In all man I see myself.” The Ramanuja people practice forms of dualism which may be called advaita but are certainly not advaita either from the standpoint of Sankara, or from absolute spiritual attainment.

Assuming the promises of the Taittiriya Upanishad, or the 5 sheaths outlook, the late Sri Aurobindo has been called a Vijnanavadin, whereas to me and others the late Sri Ramakrishna an some of his followers embody and illustrate the complete Anandavadin outlook which, according to this Upanishad, would be superior to the Vijnanavadin. And when you add to that the fact that the Vedantists are either followers of Sankara or of Ramakrishna, operate as if there were no differences and distinctions dividing men, one has a right to question whether Ramanuja, and after him Sri Aurobindo, were not operating from a lower level.

There are some items which I think have been omitted from the Sankara outlook: a. The influences of Mahayana Buddhism and particularly the school of Nagarjuna; b. The evidence from Sri Sankara to majestic poetry further substantiating the Anandavadin outlook; c. The probability that he was a jivanmukti.

On this last point you seem to differ in your argument and agree in your conclusion.

If we take the Upanishad in general into consideration they seem to be based, and I believe they are based, on the ability of humanity to become completely realized, even while dwelling in this earthly body.

A point of departure perhaps. But you have brought the questions of Christianity and New Testament into this discussion. Here I am calling to your attention an event of last year when I pointed out to Dr. Huston Smith of M.I.T. that the three bodies often discussed in Indian literature might be the same three bodies as are mentioned in the Christian Scriptures. I was a little surprised to find he had not given this much thought. At that time his conclusions were reached as a philosopher and metaphysician and did not arise out of his personal experience. But I understand that he has since become a chela, submitting to Indian disciplines.

I call attention to the fact that prowess in spiritual awakening may not be based on intellectual backgrounds, but for the most part a goodly portion of our culture operates as if this were so. A Whitman for example would be given small scope before gatherings of intellectuals, even if be had the knowledge, inner or outer, which bright clarify the dilemma.

I agree with you thoroughly when you say, “I believe a study of Sankara can clarify the issues involved in the Christian controversy.”

A number of years ago I was given an examination by the first cultural attaché at the Indian embassy in Washington, just established. When I presented myself as a disciple in Sufism he asked me about Ibnu-l-Arabi. When I spoke to his on the identity of Ibnu-l-Arabi and Sankara he came and embraced me. But the report of this experience was until recently denied by nearly all these intellectuals who have been regarded as authorities in these fields. Later experiences, both geographical and mystical, definitely substantiate my stand, but these certainly will not detract from your article or its conclusions.

I am hoping that the time is nearing when the experiences of human beings will be evaluated alongside or even above the speculations of others. We have seen this in the writings of Phillip Kapleau on Zen and now of Swami Ranganathananda on the Upanishads. I believe just as Jesus Christ’s “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” all aspects of Divine wisdom, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


Samuel L. Lewis



Aug. 29, 1970

Prof. Andreina Becker-Colonna

Professor of Mediterranean Archaeologies

Dept. of Anthropology

San Francisco State College


My dear Dr. Becker-Colonna:

As matters stand I shall not be registering for any courses at the local universities this coming Fall for a rather dramatic and even historical reason. I used to go around saying that the greatest achievements in my life were being a guest of honor at the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo and having a free dinner from Armenians. Then I added also receiving thirty-three rejections for a paper on Vietnamese Buddhism.

Factors concerned with my family history have so changed external affairs that I now have a solid, good monthly income. This led me to go to Geneva to a conference of the world’s religions, since which time many doors have opened, are still opening. The real leaders of the real religions took very seriously the statement that I was an incarnation of Lansing’s “Nathan the Wise,, and this Nathan-the-Wise career is now going on with much drama and still more success for which there is constant praise to God, and no nonsense about it.

The increase in my income made me feel it proper to devote energies toward peace. One of the very top personalities connected with the history—not with the news but with the history—of Vietnam, said he was writing on the events of that unfortunate part of the world, and by agreement I felt it proper to work for real peace in real Palestine.

I believe absolutely in the Holy Land, I believe it should be a non­political state where the three great religions should be participating and co­operating. But this is out of hand.

Only three or four people took me seriously. But chief among them was a Swedish representative, a delegate of the UN, who told me my project was by far the most sensible he had ever encountered. He may have said so, but then the churches, the peace groups (so called), etc., differed. I have no intention to go over that part of my life.

Then we have already had a joint Israeli-Christian-Arab dinner and it would appear we shall have more. This picture looks very beautiful, or as I once told a great throng, “Youth of the world unite, you have nothing to lose.”

In the meanwhile, the Dervish Dances and my lectures on the Oriental philosophies of Orientals are attracting greater and greater attention, both among the young and in the Universities. Everything is expanding, and I am hoping to leave for the East Coast late in September, inshallah. I mention this because we are still concerned with your project for visits to Arabian cultural centers and archeological remains. I shall fight for cultural exchange with the Arabs. We have cultural exchange with the Communists, and are spending billions of dollars also to prevent them from expanding. We have very little cultural exchange with non-Communist Asia.

Everything looks good and I am terribly busy. Best wishes to you and your wonderful students,

Samuel L. Lewis


Sept. 20, 1970

The University of Chicago Press

58th St. at Ellis Ave.

Chicago, Illinois 60637


Dear Sirs:

You will find a check for $15.50 enclosed. We are really in a quandary, and we certainly do not wish to play any dualistic games with you.

For example, the very well known Dr. Martin Lings of the British Museum refuses to recognize we are Sufis, but Sidi-Abu-Salem Al-Alawi, once visited San Francisco, declared this person a Sufi, lost his audience, and from that point on our work has been very successful here—among the young. Indeed, while at the conference of the religions of the world which took place in Geneva earlier this year Dr. Seyyed Hussein Nasr asked why this person was not permitted to be present at certain gatherings. If it was impossible to convince a Martin Lings what can one do with a late Dr. Arberry or living Montgomery Watt? One is not even going to bother.

Imam Al-Ghazzali said “Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises.” And not all the PhD’s in the Western world are going to change that. My work with Dervish Dances not only excited interest here, but aroused money, real money from people who want real things going on in a real world, not in the minds of subjective professors, no matter how great. Dr. Nasr, and at least one leading Presbyterian prelate, and more than one Rabbi, have been of great assistance in promoting the filming of holy places and sacred convocations. They are being filmed and recorded, and the American Society of Eastern Arts here has expressed a willingness to examine them.

We have been very successful before Allah-God but not before the press in our joint Israeli-Christian-Arab gatherings here, and are programmed for joint Yoga-Sufi gatherings. These are all quite in accord with valid historical mysticism, and sooner or later the historians of religion may accept them. But we ask nothing; we have our own publication, and thank God and praise Allah, our financial situation is so improving we hope to establish a peace scholarship at the University of California, Dept. of Near East languages.

But our real enigma is with so many growing centers and so much need for study on the part of the young people who are interested in mysticism and not on Omar Khayyamish lectures about it and about, that we really may want a number of subscriptions, whether you recognize us or not.

We appreciate very very much what you are doing, but agree with the great founder of the Sufi Sohrawardi school, that consideration consists of showing consideration and never requesting consideration from others.

Love and Blessings,

Samuel L. Lewis



Nov. 17, 1970

The University of Chicago Press

11030 South Langley

Chicago, Illinois 60628


Dear Sirs:

I am deliberately taking advantage of the communication from Ralph Wendell Burhoe. Yes, I am interested in what I call religion, and in what I call science. But I find, generally speaking, this means that I should contribute money to the publishers of religious magazines. I have a background in science; every article I have ever written on pollution to a scientist has been published or acknowledged, not a one to a non-scientist has ever been even acknowledged.

I used to consider it one of my greatest accomplishments that my paper on Vietnamese Buddhism was rejected 33 times. This is norm to our “Judeo-Christian Ethic.” It won’t be rejected any more because the Vietnamese Buddhists have started their own publication in this land, and I am going to send them some money shortly.

Once I attended a conference of The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. A terrible row took place between the leaders. When it was all over I said a few words to the chairman and he said, “Why didn’t you speak; you had the solution; why didn’t you speak?” So I wrote the papers demanded to the chairman and each of the antagonists and following the usual “Judeo-Christian Ethic” never even received an acknowledgement from any of them.

Now I am the first man in history, if you believe in honesty and in history, and I mean history and honesty, to be publicly instituted as a Master in Zen by a Zen Master, and as a Sufi Murshid by a Pir-o­-Murshid of several Dervish Orders. Both of these have been confirmed by leaders in the two respective faiths.

Of course this can’t be, because it can’t be, because it can’t be. Emerson would have differed. Al-Ghazzali said that Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises. So if you write an article on Sufism based on premises, or if you write an article on Zen Buddhism based on premises, it will be published. Phillip Kapleau has smashed the egocentric dialectics which has dominated the literature of Zen Buddhism and I hope, inshallah, to do the same for Sufism.

Not being under the “Judeo-Christian Ethic” I am not demanding anything. I have a publisher for my articles; now. But I will no longer send one cent to any group that will not accept the solid, substantiable fact, that I have been publicly ordained and initiated as a spiritual leader in what egocentrics and dialecticians consider as separated faiths.

I am today meeting more and more scientists who have had adventures in fields of consciousness which may be regarded as the domain of mystics. Anybody can write on mysticism except mystics themselves. If they attempt it, it is maintained it is self-evident and self-explanatory they cannot possibly be mystics. So I withhold my dollars, which I can afford to give you, until I can be addressed by you, as sincerely yours,

Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti



November 18, 1970

Dr. G. Kentwell Smith

Dept. of Religious Studies

Harvard University

Cambridge 38, Mass.


Dear Dr. Kentwell Smith,

Although we have met but once and corresponded a little I am presuming it is quite in order to send you some information which may, Inshallah, be of interest to you. It’s a very hard thing to impress it seems to be that although Al Ghazzali said Sufism was based on experience and not on premises, a very large number of writers have been quite successful not with their experiences but with their opinions. And it is quite possible that the best of opinions cannot throw very much light on actual experience. In any event, I am enclosing copies of letters which tell what is going on and some day future generations may look with a degree of amazement on a generation which seems far more concerned with opinions than with facts.

In any event, all those efforts which have consumed years of life and study and research are now succeeding.

I visited Dr. Bernard Lewis in London shortly after my brother’s death with the enigma of what to do with an income much larger than I had ever had and being a dervish in the minds of the dervishes, although not always in the minds of the scholars, I even had in my mind if there were continued rejections of my work in this land, I might even set up a scholarship for Doctor Lewis, although I did not tell him so.

Recently my former publisher Mr. Phillip Davenport was asked by dervishes in Iran what I had been teaching him, and when he chanted Zikr, which he does beautifully, they said you must have had a real dervish as teacher. In any event, totally successful locally in teaching dervish dances to the young I have embarked on an extensive career of Zikr instructions to disciples.

I am making no attempt to acquaint what I called establishments with the existence of Sufis. Last Sunday there was a large spread concerning the Maribouts and Mureeds in Senegal. There appeared to be millions of them just as there are millions in other lands. I am totally opposed to our neglect of Arabic culture which does not wean I am necessarily support any group of Arabian politicians, nor for that matter any group of pro-Israel anti-God politicians.

Our joint Israeli-Christian-Arab dinners and parties have been overwhelmingly successful here, not news. But then again a man who won the interest of Gunnar Jarring and was summarily dismissed by most churches and peace groups does not expect otherwise.

My last piece of business will be to try to establish a peace scholarship at the University of California at Berkeley, Near East Languages. It is quite possible God-Allah, or some mighty power is in favor of this, for my affairs social and financial are improving, and I hope to interest other people in these efforts. In any event, the young are coming more and more, and they are also doing great things that are ignored by press and publications. Even President Nixon knows better.

In writing this I am not asking any consideration or assistance other than success on our part for a certain elite to a demand for your books and writings.


Samuel L. Lewis

(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)

University of California Correspondence

The University Of California

Clark Kerr          

Chancellor at Berkeley   

April 23, 1957


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

#31, El Paseo

Mill Valley, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you very much for sending me a carbon copy of your letter to Chief Justice Warren on the subject of research by the University of California. It is good to know that my article on Research at Berkeley found so informed and interested a reader. I realize, of course, that in singling out certain of the innumerable research projects carried on here I might appear to be slighting others no less worthy of mention. However, the limited space available for the article made selection and compression mandatory. As you undoubtedly know, the fine work of the College of Agriculture and the Agricultural Experiment Station has been featured in numerous issues of the California Monthly. Also, research being done in the College of Engineering was publicized in a comparatively recent issue.

I hope you will continue your good work as an advocate of the University’s research contributions to society.

Sincerely yours,

Clark Kerr



Morland House

16, Sharia Kemal ed din Salah

Kasr el Dubara

Cairo, U.A.R.

Nov. 22, 1960


To the Near East Department

University of California, Berkeley, Calif.


Dear Sirs :

I have been in this country now nearly three months. I have been functioning as a sort of roving alumnus for the University of California, and also have taken upon myself the task of acquainting peoples of various countries with the work being done by agricultural research stations in the United States.

This work is highly appreciated here and I have been publicly thanked by the Ministry of Agriculture. Besides that I have met many Californians beginning with Dr. Paul Keim who is in charge of certain rural resettlement projects; Dr. Hasan Bagdadi, Minister of rural cultural Reform; Dr. Azauni, director of Horticultural Research, University of Cairo, etc. etc. I occasionally report to the “California Monthly” in this regard.

Some of you have met me on rare occasions at 2030 Broadway either at lectures in the presumably defunct A.A.A.S. or at Islamic meetings or even at the gatherings of the World Affairs Council.

I have sent out feelers then that I was a Sufi, a member of Dervish Orders. I do not think this was taken very seriously. Now my success here has been almost entirely due to these two factors, being an alumnus and being a Sufi and neither one of them is more objective and factual or important than the other, but it seems that certain types of minds do not relish objectivity.

I am now asking in all earnestness and sincerity to grant an interview on my return, whenever that is either in regard to my studies and researches as a whole or the quite different matter of Sufism.

If anybody wants to know about Catholicism we send him to a priest; if he wants to know about Judaism we send him to a rabbi; if he wants to know about Sufism we send him to a book or an “authority” who usually knows very little. In fact I am taking up now for the second time and most seriously this exceedingly blind spot in our educational system of going to non-American, non-Muslims for “materials” on Sufism. At the present time I do not know of a single “authority” educated in Europe, or connected with Yale or Chicago who has ever answered any letters.

There are 50,000,000 Sufis, perhaps more and they are in entire control of several governments and any further inhibitions in this field by non-American non-Muslims will be taken up with the proper authorities. There is no objection on my part for Americans, however educated, to take any negative view, provided they recognize the living status of millions of people—from Prime Ministers down to beggars and more up than down.


Samuel L. Lewis


University of California 

July 29, 1963


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

1088 Fulton Street

San Francisco 17, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

It was nice hearing from you after so many years. I would be pleased to discuss your experiences with you in Davis or elsewhere whenever we can get together. As you probably know, I am away a good deal of the time and so you are not likely to find me in my office.

Since seeing you I have been in Pakistan on three different occasions, have spent six months in India, and various lengths of time in a number of other countries in an attempt to find out what we might learn from areas where irrigation has been practiced for thousands of years.

Dr. Ayers is now located in New Delhi, India. I was interested in your remarks regarding California graduates in Egypt. Just recently at least a dozen research workers and professors from the University spent varying lengths of time in Egypt helping with various phases of academic and research work.

While in India and Pakistan I became well aware of the problems of cooperation and administration, particularly with regard to pushing forward a reasonable program in the field of agriculture.

I am just reminded that Mr. Schoonover will be leaving for Egypt in a very few days where he will teach some aspect of soil science in the University of Alexandria.

Your remarks about the salt tolerance of the date palm brings to mind that there are a number of crops in India, such as the mango, breadfruit, papaya, etc., that should be investigated for tolerance to both salinity and water logging. Just by accident some farmers do well with some of these crops, but there is not much knowledge commonly available to help direct farmers in their planning.

Your notion of establishing an “Arab City” in the Coachella Valley is a very interesting one and I hope it succeeds. It would be a concrete expression of our interest and good will toward the Arabs. If I know a Moslem well enough I generally make quite a thing of visiting Mecca (in the Coachella Valley) with him and then calling him Hadji, etc.

You may be sure that I would be willing to help handle inquiries from Pakistan provided they are in my field of competence. I have some friends and some professional connections in Pakistan with whom I carry on a more or less regular correspondence. Some of this apparently is for the same purpose that you have in mind, but if this can be expanded to be helpful to you or to other Pakistanis than the ones I am now working with, I would be most happy to be helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Milton Fireman

Extension Soils and Water Specialist



University of California, Berkeley

December 18, 1963


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

58 Harriet Street

San Francisco 3, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

I am sorry that letters that you have written to members of the Berkeley faculty, other than Dr. Gumperz, have not been acknowledged. The participation of members of the faculty in conferences is a matter of their own interest and election. I quite understand your concern to establish better communication bearing upon Asian affairs. Perhaps the suggestions that you are making to Professor Fireman of Davis may be productive. I would suggest that you might obtain a better response from specialists attached to universities if you approached them in a more conciliatory way.

Sincerely yours,

E. W. Strong

Chancellor at Berkeley



University of California Agricultural Extension Service

Davis, California 95616  

June 9, 1964


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Your kind letter of May 27 with the copy of a letter dated May 23 addressed to Professor
Revelle arrived during my absence—hence my delayed reply.

I appreciate your consideration in sending me a copy of your letter to Revelle. I am quite interested in Pakistan and appreciate every bit of information I can get on conditions and programs being planned or put into effect there. In fact, WAPDA is presently trying to interest me in a rather large-scale “pilot project” in the Punjab. I am interested in the objectives and in the set-up, particularly since I helped write the project, but I am awaiting more information on how the project is to be financed and administered, how long it is to be carried on, and what support it will have from the Government etc before I make up my mind about it.

As you are aware and as you mention in your letter to Revelle, American engineering companies are doing a great deal of good in Pakistan and Iran in particular; however, much of this is being done by extrapolation of information gathered in the United States or elsewhere to conditions in these countries. To make projects most valuable to the countries concerned it is necessary that some of this information be correlated with and checked against local conditions. That is, while fundamental principles apply universally, their applicability to local conditions depends upon the local technological level, the economic condition of the farmer and the country, the local level of production, etc. For these reasons, practices that are quite feasible in highly developed countries like the United States may not be feasible in countries like Pakistan. And on the other hand, practices that we have found not suitable to our conditions may be most valuable where economic conditions and education are so different. In particular, I am of the opinion that the salinity and alkali levels that are considered intolerable under California conditions may not be intolerable under present conditions in Pakistan. Hence, the criteria, methods, etc., should be re-examined for potential applicability to less developed countries and these cannot be adequately examined in the United States, but must be done where conditions are similar to those where application is intended. This is an area in which I am most interested at present.

Furthermore, I am fully in accord with your concern that the sociologists and technologists do not seem to be working closely enough. In many cases what one group does is relatively ineffective because of lack of cooperation with the other.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in furthering your most laudable objectives. I wish you success in your efforts.

Milton Fireman

Extension Soils and Water Specialist



June 23, 1964

Department of Near East Studies,

University of California,

Berkeley 4, Calif.


My dear Dr. Brinner:

You will find enclosed copy of a letter from my god-daughter, Miss Khawar (Saadia) Khan. Her original plan had been to come to the University as soon as possible. Now she has been called on to participate in the top councils relating both to studies in Islamics and Philosophy for several countries of Asia, and also for the reinvigoration of education in Pakistan. At the same time I have been asked to participate in parallel efforts to bring the Muslims of different areas together on the basis of intellectual and spiritual understanding.

I do not know whether these efforts are coordinate or rival. At the end there is a foot note on “Muqadimmah.” I found it advisable to leave copy of this work in this region where there are several disciples in tasawwuf. The footnote will be followed shortly by the first visit on this trip to the White Memorial Library in Cleveland, an institution visited many times now.

But since the last visit (1960) I have been the guest of top intellectual groups in both the Near East and South Asia. And while this has been going on, indirectly I have also been advised of a sort of renaissance in Iran. It will therefore be advisable for me to go carefully were the literature in the White Collection.

This collection has never been properly annotated and a compromise was made between two quite different library systems with tragic results. Only specialists can find what they seek quickly and I have never met any librarian who had an overall picture of Asian literature as a whole (this does not apply to the Library of Congress).

I am assuming that your department is acquainted with the work of Ibn Khaldun—or will make efforts in that direction if not already done.

Some of the Pan-Muslims of South Asia have ignored or chosen to ignore the efforts of the Pan Arabic Congress in Cairo, etc. It has been the Arabs rather than the Pakistanis who have submitted real practical “peace” proposals. Although I was in Cairo when Ayub Khan visited there, the reports of agreements and differences were reported much better than any other news items I have ever seen, from those areas.

The acceptance of “Muqadimmah” will be a jolt to the “dialectical” theologians, and a rejection of it means a jolt to their “Islamic research,” which, as Dr. Cantwell Smith and others have observed, is largely apologetics and not research at all. And it is this I am fighting tooth and nail.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 94103, Calif.

July 14, 1964


G. E. Von Grünebaum,

Department of Near East Studies, University of California,

Los Angeles, Calif.

Dear Professor Von Grünebaum:


In re: “Modern Islam—The Search for Cultural Identity.”

This book has been read completely and so far as a first reading is concerned, one finds oneself in entire accord, so much so that even a commentary seem redundant. But more than a commentary, a good deal of the material was to me, semi-autobiographic.

I have visited India and Pakistan twice, and stayed six months in Cairo. Some of the characters and much of the literature is known, and besides I have been studying the cultures for years, a fact mentioned merely to corroborate what you have written.

There is, however, another side, that I am being involved in movements more or less associated with the title and thematic material, and more, rather than less these past few months. My god-daughter is still planning to come to the States and I hope to take this up in detail when I return, both on the Berkeley Campus and with the Graduate Studies Section in San Francisco.

This god-daughter, Miss Khawar Khan, has already published a text-book on Urdu and working with the Islamic Philosophical Society of Lahore has been commissioned to take part in philosophical revival movements. This has brought her into partial collaborator with one Dr. Nasr of Teheran and he, in turn, has had his latest book published by Harvard University Press and is in touch with Dr. Slater there of the School for Religious Studies.

While this has been going on there has been a continuance of efforts along lines you have described. There is even here in Cleveland, where I am temporarily staying, a to me conservative, if not reactionary effort to introduce Islamic studies here along very restricted lines, and these efforts have succeeded only in further dividing the Islamic community here. (If there is anything far from human brotherhood, it is found in the so-called Muslims in this vicinity.)

I did have a long interview with Dr. Quadrullah Shahab on this matter. He favors modern cultural tendencies and realizes that many missionary efforts are obscurantic—as well as competitive.

There is anything annoying and that is so far as Pakistan is concerned the identity of Islamic and Urdu movements. The set-back in Bengal (East Pakistan) has not affected this much.



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 30 Calif.

October 23, 1964


David A. Wilson

Department of Political Science, UCLA

Los Angeles, 24, Calif.


Dear Professor Wilson;

Thank you for your letter of the 24th.

It has been my usual custom to visit Hollywood Around Thanksgiving and it is my intention now to try to see you about Monday, the 23rd.

The reason is recent developments in SE Asia and private news which has come to me, originating with Princess Poon Diskul of the Royal Family of Thailand and now the President of the WBF, World Buddhist Federation.

My two hosts in Thailand sere the aforesaid Princess and the late Phra Sumangalo, founder of this WBF. I was closely associated with Phra Sumangalo for about thirty five years and some of his associates are now in this city. I intend to get as much material as possible for you, or to check on any factors I have which ought to be of historical record. For instance the whole history of SE Asia is found in letter of the late Phra Sumangalo.

The matter also concerns the strange behavior of American agencies toward Asian anti-Communist groups, several of which are also among my close associates.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

November 4, 1964


Prof. Paul Keim

Engineering Building

University of Calif.

Berkeley 4, Calif.


Deer Paul:

The complaint letters written previously have long passed the academic stage. The news item that old South Hall will be refurbished or rebuilt will cause an active demonstration on the part of this person unless he is given some sort of interview—not satisfaction, not “apology,” nothing but a simple plain interview.

I have already written to UCLA stating my presence on their campus about the 23rd. This was fortunate for the most receptive commission comes from the World Buddhist Federation who meet next month to establish new leadership and prevent the communist takeover of their organization which has been partly successful.

Up to this time practically nobody has presented the views of the Vietnamese, never mind their religion, culture and outlooks. And the same non-recognition extends to other lands. On this coming Sunday I am to sup with a friend who has lived in Cambodia; known Norodom personally and has also, like the fabled “Anna,” tutored the children of the royal family of Thailand.

We had already made this engagement before the commission was received. Present also will be a Korean Buddhist leader, a Chinese Buddhist “Master” and others. And also I may be with other Chinese on Saturday night and Sunday morning. All of these people are anti-communist and equally ignored by the press, State Department and by “experts” in “international relations.”

As I have said, the corresponding department at Harvard University granted me six interviews when I held no commissions. So after returning from Los Angeles, unless advised to the contrary, I shall write a full report to the Board of Regents. The Governor will be easy to reach because of connections. So far one has tried to keep out of politics but I do not think Republicans are going to look kindly on a Director of any “Institute of International Relations” who has no time for interviews but plenty to assist in a political campaign.

During the past week the head of the Indian Form Bureau Delegation was here. I am sorry to report he fell into the hands of his countrymen, one of whom took him through the campus without his visiting any departments or buildings at all. His objective data, however, is not of the types acceptable to the Institute of International Religions who seem to rely only on communicated deductive or inductive abstractions and not on in situ reports.

Most to the point—and Allah must be with me. For waiting along Montgomery St. in San Francisco I ran plumb into the representative of “Pakistan Times” who is in this city and will remain here for some time. In the past one has thought of writing to “Dawn” of Karachi that the representative of the University of Islamabad has been refused even an interview with the Institute of International Relations. Than emotional people would not only have published it but would have started a riot before the USIS and our embassy, I know them.

But with the receipt of further information and developments of the University of Islamabad and with this press representative here we are constantly going to draw up a strong protest letter. Fortunately I believe both the congressmen from this city will be sympathetic and I notice Baldwin has been re-elected. He has been most cooperative and interested in my projects. A letter has also been written to Asia Foundation about the Buddhist commission. And I know if I bring the Pakistani newsman there, there will be an instant interview and no lame excuses.

Who pays this Institute of International Relations! Fortunately being a free man I have nothing to lose, but what I want is a meeting, not publicity. We are not going to stop communism in Asia by continual subjective dialectics of our own choice.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

November 10, 1964


E. W. Strong, Chancellor

University of California

Berkeley 4, Calif.


Dear Chancellor Strong;

In re: Refusal of Courtesy visit by a representative of a foreign university.

It is not possible to withdraw request for an appointment with somebody, anybody at the so-called “Institute of International Studies,” which is, after all, a subsidiary of a public institution, supported by public funds.

On the last day of my visit to Japan I was honored by a great tea given by friends of the Emperor himself and a document also was placed in my hands. This document was an appeal to the Buddhist leaders of the world to unite culturally and also not to be entangled with the polities of nations who were determined to upset the economies and traditions based on spiritual philosophies.

This was necessary because the then Vice-President of the United States who had just visited Japan, was in his private life a leader of a massive organization purporting to combat communism through efforts of Protestant Christianity. This was the factor, censored from the American public, which brought so many anti-Nixon riots which were not anti-American riots and which Khrushchev quite properly disclaimed.

The massage—the contents of which also became known to Asia Foundation of this city—finally found its way into the hands of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who happens incidentally to be a personal friend and spiritual colleague—if you have any doubts you might contact I. Pande, the Indian teacher in the basement of Dwinhelle Hall. Dr. Radhakrishnan then went to Japan and was given a rousing welcome.

Now after many years, the leaders of the anti-Communist factions in the Buddhist world have taken over the World Buddhist Federation. And incidentally the Christian churches here have had the integrity and decency to recognize the Vice-President of this World Buddhist Federation as the spokesman for his religion which he officially is.

In addition the writer has met an important newspaper man from Pakistan. If his paper should publish that this person, as representative of Islamabad University has been refused a courtesy appointment by the so-called “Institute of International Relations” at Berkeley it could lead to recriminations. This is the last thing wanted. There have already been attacks on the USIS in Pakistan for lesser causes.


Samuel L. Lewis



University of California

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco 3, California

November 11, 1964


Dear Mr. Lewis:

Professor Lipset has forwarded your letter of September 8 to me for reply. As well, I have received another inquiry about you. Let me simply say briefly that this Institute is primarily concerned with social science research; that the University of California is establishing a Center for the Study of Arid Lands which will no doubt include the problem of salinity as part of its proper concerns, and Asia will be one of the main areas for carrying on research. In addition, last year we discussed this very problem with AID which has plans for desalinization projects in Pakistan.

I am delighted to know that you have both intense interest and strong feelings about the need for such programs, and I share these sentiments fully. I hope you understand, however, that we are first of all an academic institution and not an agency of government.

Sincerely yours,

David Apter

Professor of Political Science

Acting Director



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

December 5, 1964


Dr. Seymour M. Farber

University medical Center

Parnassus & Third Ave

San Francisco, Calif.


Dear Mr. Farber:

How California Can Help Asia and How Not To Do It.

At the time you first tapped me on the shoulder at the Unruh meeting in the Sheraton-Palace I was under a difficulty because representing a foreign university (University of Islamabad), I had been unable to get any courtesy meeting from those involved on the campus of the University of California. Scientists yes, and thoroughly, even from those branches of the sciences akin to your own where I have no background.

When the Alumni Association asked for funds for life memberships I was one of the first to come forward. And the only thing I came near to asking for anything was because, as an alternative to going to Asia I had a plan to write on “Great Research on the University of California Campuses.” And I can assure you, Dr. Farber, that even now, in the pursuance of the programs common to my own life, and following your “Food and Civilization” conference last may, I am finding more and more wonders, though often the research is technical, and so “unexciting” that I am fearful of some laboratories being closed while other funds are being channeled into “researches” distinctly private, personal and subjective.

For at the moment there is more than a danger of a scandalous situation being aired before the Board of Regents and the Governor himself, and only quick action will prevent this, for I a not the only person who has been in a sense victimized by salary drawing specialists who will not grand interviews.

In “Asian Survey” it says—and this is public record on a public document: “The Institute of International Studies, established in 1955, to give direction and purpose to an area of rapidly expanding interest, carries on organized research in comparative and international affairs, provides facilities for research to individual scholars and serves as an administrative agency which assists in the development of new research interest among the faculty. Programs of the Institute are carried on through carious Centers and Committees which deal with diverse areas of the world including Japanese,, Chinese, Slavic, South Asia … and African Studies. In addition to the various studies to be undertaken directly under its aegis, the Institute is to be the primary agency on the Berkeley Campus to facilitate and coordinate comparative international research programs.”

Then a list of names is given, which is no use repeating because they will neither grant interviews or even answer letters and inquiries. And in view of the international situations this matter is not going to lie still.

In my 1956 visit to Asia I had such an astounding career, details appearing in the kept diary, that I wished to present it to the UC Berkeley, but got nowhere. I was the guest in Japan of a man who was a veritable Pooh-Bah, who selected the Prime Ministers, and through whose intercession I was able to visit the stupa over the ashes of Lord Buddha, the Royal Cemetery and the Palatial Grounds and Botanical Gardens in Japan, all details kept. I then acted as his messenger through the Buddhist countries in a first abortive effort to prevent infiltration by the communists—which incidentally succeeded. The State Department not only paid no attention but challenged my reports. Fortunately Asia Foundation acted and reacted otherwise. The message was carried to my good-will, dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the famous philosopher and now President of India. He then went to Japan and was received royally (literally) so the message was not an entire failure, but has had its aftermath, now.

Although I have been utterly unable to present any facet of the above to the so-called Institute of International Studies, the whole thing has been accepted by UCLA, and later on I am going to bring them documentary materials which will be of interest and importance, but this at once brings up the challenge as to for what is this “Institute of International Studies” established?

Whatever my career of 1956, it was dwarfed by the events of 1960-62. Before leaving this country I was given six sessions at the Institute of International Studies on the Harvard Campus at a time when I did not carry the credentials I now have. And this brings up another question, too.

Actually I represent far more than the Islamabad University which is on my card, but first because of our subjective “conflict of interest” and second, because this is the only institution which is compensating me, it is left that way.

There are certain courtesies expended to representatives of foreign universities. On my last return, before establishing a home I visited UCSD, UCR, and UCLA with nothing but absolute cordiality, candor and the discovery of excellent research work both under way and already accomplished by your colleagues. It is so vast that it almost stupefies one and I have discussed this many times at the Alumni House, Berkeley.

(Here it is awkward that “Asian Survey” published at Berkeley with UC funds, seems to have by-passed in almost every respect the actual researches, accomplishments and even visits by some of your topmost men. Indeed I am going to mention, but not necessarily stress, the continues use of materials from either foreign lands or “foreign” universities, when so many of your colleagues have done more, seen more, and know more than writers of articles. These articles of themselves are not to be criticized. But who puts up the funds? Why? And for what purposes? We are largely ignorant of Asia because when we send men to Asia their colleagues in the humanities pay no attention and this alone is serious.)

As I have already told you, Islamabad University is not seeking funds—indeed it is oversubscribed and President Ayub Khan is on the Board of Directors. This fact will be communicated soon to the Pakistani Embassy before the UN meets here in 1965, if it so does. Nothing but a courtesy meeting in this respect was asked for, and this has been denied.

In several visits to the various offices held by the Institute of International Affairs, the most I have been able to do is to get to the research scholar for African matters. He and his colleagues act as if I were seeking some favor, and as several of them are “foreign” professors—no objection to that—they do not take into consideration the various ramifications of the University of California on its several campuses. I am not again going to ask for a courtesy meeting. The professor I charge of the African research to whom I have been assigned, could not name a single person or instructor in Asiatics to whom he could send me. This is not Love’s labor lost—it is a matter which will be protested. It did not take me four hours on the UCLA campus to accomplish all that I have tried for two years to get at Berkeley, and this is certainly going to be passed on to the Board of Regents and Governor unless there is some kind of correction.

This person is not interested in any job now on any campus at any level and has not asked for any grant or anything because his freedom is the most important asset in the promotion of good-will between real California and real Asia, between America and real Asia.

Now we have come to some more recent serious events.

In view of the accomplishments of 1956 I have been asked recently to represent the new Board of Directors of the World Buddhist federation. They have seized power to keep the communists out. The head is Princess (Royal) Poon Diskul, a granddaughter of the famous King Mongkut who incidentally bears some of his characteristics. This ought to be of concern to the Institute of International Studies and to Prof. Scalapino, who has yet to answer a single inquiry or communication at any level. The complex of South Vietnam is too dramatic to be by-passed and I have not only met in person one of the great spiritual leaders of the Vietnamese, I have met now too many persons, important or otherwise, who have been down there. the transference of this material and confidences will certainly be reported officially.

Or, to skip to an incident the other day. The deputy leader of the Congress Party in the Indian Parliament, Sri Surendra Ghose, upset an audience by pointing his finger at me: “Why, you are the man I came to San Francisco to meet. I came five thousand miles just to meet you.” This was at a public gathering. Why did he come to see me? At least here I can say there is complete good-will with the whole staff in Dwinhelle Hall covering various branches of Asian and Near East languages and culture. Why two distinct policies on the same campus? Which is the real research?

Finally, Prof. David Apter had the audacity two write: “The University of California is establishing a Center for the Study of Arid Lands which will no doubt include the problem of salinity….” You know, Dr. Faber, what I have been doing. I went to Pennsylvania this summer for fertilizer and Tomato work. Then I visited (re-visit) the research station at Wooster, Ohio, meeting more and more men who are acquainted with Asian agriculture and coming up with a top answer which I am unable to communicate to Prof. Apter, excepting by meeting but which will certainly go—I think it has gone—to Prof. George Mehren in Washington. Then I spent a whole week at the library of the Garden Center, Cleveland, collecting all the data available in literature on these subjects. Then stopped off in Texas to get Texas A&E material. And now in the visit to UCLA have obtained the finest element in my plans to help Asia, and the finest and latest technical accomplishments which will certainly help the United States and certainly “How California Can Help Asia.”

It is ridiculous that any people should have vetoes on censoring accomplishments, accomplishments which will be of greatest value to our country and the world.

A little later on I am going to UCLA again to follow the above, and perhaps UCR also.

And if you were to ask me to draw up a plan and name names, it would include so many of your colleagues close at hand whom the public does not know. There is hardly a problem that has had not its answer in the researches of University of California campuses in this direction—supplemented slightly by some USDA work and that done at Saratoga. If the so-called “Institute of International Studies” were engaged in real research on real problems they would certainly grand interviews.

Nothing here is in reflection to or on the great work being done at all levels by all persons on all campuses other that the above. And one does not like to add to confusion to involve some parties who are at least partially guilty for this situation because they are now in the front headlines on entirely different matters.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.,

San Francisco 3, Calif.

December 10, 1964


Dr. Carroll Parrish

Administration Building

University of California

Los Angeles, Calif.


Dear Dean Parrish:

Whether one believes in “Buddhism” or not, there are laws, perhaps inexorable laws behind the operation of this universe. The failure on the part of this writer to take seriously the warnings of Dr. M. T. Kirby of Japanese plans on the Hawaiian Islands, followed by the bombing of Pearl Harbor made a deep mark on his consciousness and a resolve to be of service of my country whenever any such warnings came. Instead of being a “hero,” it has been a life of utter frustration, of almost unanimous rejection of warnings (and not mere “advice”) followed in every instance—I do not know any exception—of either infiltration of subversive groups into hitherto friendly countries, or the mobbing of USIS and Embassy buildings.

The single exception has been the Military Intelligence, to the degree that my name was enrolled in the “heroes” book at Fort Mason just under Carlson’s Raiders, in 1945. And since then only the military have listened to anything with two exceptions after the fact, that State Department officials were then heeded. And my fourth, and I hope last, accidental running into communist nests was so horrible I do not wish to live through it again.

Even now I am the on-the-record representative of four anti-communist centers in various parts of Asia which has been for the most part treated very lightly. Not a newspaper or radio station in the US has given me any sort of interview even, and every article to every magazine has been rejected. Now let us on to better things.

Thanksgiving Day was spent with a man seeking knowledge of deep Buddhism. In the search therefor he has been in Vietnam and I hope to have him visit me. In this city are representatives of nearly all Buddhist Schools, or else in this vicinity, and I guess all told we cannot draw thirty people. But when something real is wanted that is different. For example the neglected Karl Phillip Eidmann, etc. Also disciples of the late Phra Sumangalo who have been in various parts of S. E. Asia, including Laos. They have been even more unsuccessful in getting anybody to listen to their stories.

Reaching Santa Barbara one Mrs. Evans came up to my companion and myself. “I have the copyright on Dr. Evans-Wentz books and am proceeding to Hollywood to get funds to put “The life of Milarepa.” This was the great Tibetan saint. Mrs. Evans and I have the same mutual friends. I told her I could get her in touch with the Buddhist leaders all over the world.

On my first night in San Francisco I was inducted into a group at the first rehearsal of “The Birth of Lord Buddha.” It is not a Buddhist group. Few of the “Buddhist” groups here have anything to do with either the historical Buddha or Buddhistic literature. Nor is there any standardization for the selection of a Buddhist prelate. One is interested because the World Affairs Council has put on programs of “Thrust and Counterthrust in Asia” which is mostly verbal. Our “counter-thrusts” fare for editorial columns and applauding audiences. But before one could even suggest taking advantage of the Milarepa theme above or this already MGM has sent out a scout.

The failure of the Japanese to give a real historical version of Buddha, and the possibility of “Milarepa” are infinite. Nicol Smith may be here soon and I wish to contact him. He also belongs to that fairly large number of “Ugly Americans” whose warnings go unheeded. The writer of “Burma Road” was by-passed and we lost Tibet.

Finally I have heard Admiral Harry Donald Felt speak on the whole picture in S.E. Asia. I do not know whether you agree on “One Chain of Command.” After having handled secret papers in the War, I have never been reconciled to the privileges given to the press, many of whose leaders vaunt to dictate military policy.

In any case the Admiral was kind enough to be willing to review a paper on “The Buddhism of Vietnam” which I hope to write shortly but there are still some obstacles to overcome.

Years ago I ran into the so-called “American Academy of Asian Studies” which, like alas, a number of other “American” institutions employed Europeans to lecture on Asian cultures. I ran afoul of every one of them and they succeeded also in getting my name blackballed on at least three institutions of higher learning in this country.

When I reached Japan I was amazed to:

a. Admitted immediately into Zen monasteries—no waiting, ever.

b. Satori experiences

c. Visits to the Royal Cemetery, ashes of Lord Buddha and Shingi Shingon esoteric temple on Mt. Takao.

d. Guest of Honor at the Imperial Gardens and Imperial Botanical Gardens. On the last day in Japan I was given teas in turn by

a. The Ambassador of Pakistan.

b. The colleagues of his Imperial Majesty*

c. The Japanese Travel Bureau which has not only accepted but instituted all suggestions.


*Baron Nakashima entrusted me with a document sent out to establish a liaison between Buddhist schools to prevent communist infiltrations. Although I was publicly denounced in this city for making this claim, I met my friend, Wm. Eihlers of Asia Foundation, in the pursuit thereof, so one can testify.

The denouement of this mission was to extend invitation to Dr. Radhakrishnan to visit Japan, and this mission was accomplished though not a member of our foreign service would believe it, then.

As an interlude. If anybody doubts my relation with Dr. Radhakrishnan or the spiritual leaders in India. My return to this city was necessitated by the visit of Shi Surendra Ghose, Deputy Leader of the Congress Party in India. To the astonishment of an audience, unfavorably conditioned by the so-called “American Academy of Asian Studies,” Sri Ghose pointed his finger to me and said: “Why you are the man I came to San Francisco to meet. I came five thousand miles to meet you!”

He has accepted my “Dance of Universal Peace” which may be discussed with your Department of Musicology on my next visit.

Princess Peon Diskul had been my guest here in San Francisco and was one of my two hosts in Thailand, the other being Phra Sumangalo. There also I met one of the spiritual leaders of the Vietnamese who, to my surprise, embraced me. Because although it has not been taken seriously, I know something about the form of Mahayana which exists in both Vietnam and Korea (rather similar) which will be the basis of a paper for Admiral Felt.

It will have to be made as simple as possible. Very difficult unless one accepts Spengler’s teachings. But for every American who accepts Spengler ten accept dialectical approaches.

Finally—and this is not pleasant. I have taken full advantage of the troubles on the campus at Berkeley. Refused appointments and with practically no answers to letters from either “Asian Survey” or the so-called “Institute of International Relations” I have told them point blank that it was now a matter of total indifference whether they gave me any appointment or not, that the matters would be taken up with the Board of Regents and the State Legislature. The result was an immediate appointment, taking place tomorrow.

However I am going to protest in no uncertain terms about “Asian Survey.” The money for that publication is put up either from public funds or from people who wish to subsidize the University of California. On our several campuses there are many men who have been to that part of the world and accomplished wonders. Do you see their articles published? Years ago I presented to the Alumni Association the idea of a “California in Asia,” something like “Princeton in Asia.” All over I found graduates doing marvelous things—unknown to the public at large. I wish to see “Asia Survey” modified to give room for articles by or about University of California personnel in the Asian field.

Copy of the paper for Admiral Felt will be sent to you.


Samuel L. Lewis


P.S. Am taking part in panels at the Blaisdell Institute, Claremont, next September, on the world’s great religions.



2538 Channing Way

Berkeley 4, California    

January 5, 1965


Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

722 Clementina

San Francisco 3, California


Dear Mr. Lewis:

When I saw you some weeks ago I promised that I would follow our conversation with a letter giving you the information which you requested. I am now back from leave but before I write you I would much appreciate it if you would come to see me, as Dr. Apter has asked me to discuss some of the matters which arise from your letter to him of December 19.

I shall be happy to explain fully the position of the Institute of International Studies in relation to the various matters which concern you and would appreciate it if you would kindly telephone (845-6000, extension 4064) and let me know when it would be convenient for you to call here.

Yours sincerely,

David Brokensha

cc -Dr. David Apter



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

 January 14, 1965


David W. Brokensha

Institute of International Studies

University of California

Berkeley 4, Calif.


My dear Mr. Brokensha:

One left your office very satisfied with the agreement reached but not so satisfied with my own personal behavior. But after recollecting the missing pieces can be put together.

If you will look on page 53 of this issue of “Newsweek” you will find that Ford Foundation has given grants to Columbia and Harvard Universities for their Schools of International Affairs. Anything written here can be discussed, and events prior to 1960 have already been discussed at Harvard. But my whole life is concentrated on “How California Can Help Asia” and is of such a nature, that if successful, the materials collected and the objectives in view could be of great assistance to those interested in collecting funds for any and all purposes germane to those efforts.

A few months back the Alumni of Columbia University met in San Francisco and at that time I met the Hon. Roger Hilsman and the Hon. J. Badeau, and our interviews were very cordial and to the point. Both of these men have had considerable experience and it was rather a pleasant surprise to get along so with Hillman whose TV and press announcements have been so equivocal and indeterminate.

Then I remembered back. They were engaged in “Thrust and Counter Thrust in Asia” and I had just been called in for the fourth counter-thrust mission by Asians and this is the first time I was able to deliver a message from anti-Communists of Asia to Americans, and in this fourth effort have been most fortunate in new contacts, ending with an into view at KPFA who have promised to review my “The Religion of Vietnam” with a proviso from them, that they may wish to include other adventures of Asian knowledges.

To be more successful than my fellow-countrymen in mingling with Asians or addressing Asian audiences is one thing. To step unwittingly into communist nests or to be followed by communists is another. In India, when this happened, the foreign service thought I was putting on a stunt. I was saved because the then head of security in India was a fellow Sufi.

In Pakistan I was warned about communists first by a Christian missionary who was asked to leave the country as a trouble-maker; then by my fellow Sufis in Intelligence. And when I ran into a communist nest unwittingly again the Embassy at Karachi point blank refused my report thinking I was putting on a stunt to atone for some stupid mistakes they had made. It was no stunt. For example one Ismael Nur, then head of the film industry in Lahore, was the head of the communist underground, etc.

When it was over the Intelligence official at Lahore agreed I should never carry any credentials with me that might endanger my life. I do not wish to go over the most terrible experiences but there are collaborating witnesses and I am not going to inform Consul-General Ahmed nor remind him where I previously met him either.

From almost the moment I returned to Pakistan in 1961 Pir Dewwal Shereef, a Sufi leader sent for me. He had agents come to me constantly in every part. When we did meet, outside the Sufi instructions which need not concern you, he and his colleagues had already outlined a complete counter-thrust campaign, to use the term of your Columbia U. colleagues, and asked me to act as their American agent.

They were also in agreement that I should not carry any endangering credentials—I had to go to India after that, or any incriminating papers. Besides, Sufis do not operate that way. And if I have not the details in earlier diary entrees I can supply names and places and details of other counter-thrust efforts by Sufis, all of which would be welcome at Columbia, if they are not at California and this person is not going to force any issue.

I have plenty of correspondence from colleagues I this regard and whenever my closest friend, Major Sadiq comes here, or an assign because he now has a big job with the Central Government of Pakistan, the above can be substantiated.

My first “counter-thrust” series of experiences came upon me in a number of episodes rising out of the first effort in Asia. The late secretary Dulles approved of a plan to work for better international understanding in the field of Horticulture. (This has been superseded by efforts in the food field, and here I can supply a long data list covering subject matter and the names of colleagues on most UC campuses.) It brought me in immediate contact with one Baron Nakashima, since deceased.

I did not know that Nakashima was the “Pooh-Bah” of Japan, being the top Genro, the top lay Buddhist, the top Horticulturalist and the biggest political person in Japan. This was later substantiated on the visit of the former Prime Minister of Japan (Kishi) to this city.

This person was tested in every respect in Japan and it might bring up a question to an anthropologist, whether there is any difference between social and mystical initiation, how far do they overlap, how far are they identical and how far are they totally different? I do have substantiating photographs, but did not take any when I was the first humble guest of Honor at the Imperial Gardens, both the Palace and Botanical gardens of his majesty, the Emperor. Besides, then I have seen many monasteries from the inside and “graduated” in Zen Buddhism, etc.

The upshot was that Baron Nakashima sent me on an anti-communist errand which was successful to the degree that more recently princess Poon Diskul and her associate, Aiem Sangkavasi asked me to continue that work. But I had already met Princess Poon in San Francisco where, almost fairy-story-like I had helped a princess in distress and I can assure you that Princess Poon Diskul is very much like a fairy-princess anyhow.

I am hoping to continue this with a meeting with Prof. Scalapino. Being primarily a scientist and data-collector, any materials I have can be properly interpreted by men in his field better than by a roving adventurer like myself. It is only that my whole life is built on “How California Can Help Asia,” with ever growing response abroad, but very slow recognition that somewhere we have failed to establish ground-work friendships with Asian peoples.

Appreciating your kindness and efforts to end misunderstandings,


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

January 15, 1965

Dr. Caroll Parrish          

Administration Building, UCLA

Los Angeles, 24, Calif.


Dear Dean Parrish:

In: re: Institute of International Studies.

I have before me copy of “Asian Survey” published by this Institute which has headquarters in Berkeley. It has taken me over two and one half years to get a simple interview in one case, and a letter promising an interview in another instance. This came only after a threat to take the matter up with the legislature and even with Congress.

It says on the blurb that “The Institute of International Studies … carries on organized research in comparative and international affairs … etc.” In the interview finally obtained one find in practice that there is no such thing, it is an almost private matter responsible only to the Chancellor, so I am told, and that the bulk of its money comes from private sources. Neither Dr. Lipset nor Dr. Apter has ever consented to an interview-which, I believe can lead to serious consequences. In the case of Dr. Saalapino a meeting has been promised.

Now I must call to your attention two matters, one personal and one quite impersonal and it is the latter in which I am most interested and also most ineffective. A hint has been dropped to Mr. Ericson at Alumni House and he is behind me, in fact he may take the lead toward promoting intercampus cooperation and integration—which was the reason for my calling on Mr. Wilson recently.

On the personal side. In 1947, I believe, I was sent on a cultural errand by some dignitaries of Hyderabad State, then still independent but under Indian control. Arriving at Washington I was give a severe cultural, not personal examination and passed gloriously. I then went to Penn U. and met Dr. W. Norman Brown, perhaps the dean in Asian studies in this country, or maybe anywhere. All that was asked was backgrounds. Then incidentally met Dr. Norman Kingsley for the first time who later came to the Berkeley campus.

On the editorial board of “Asian Survey” in addition to D. Norman Brown are Dr. Guy Pauker whom I have visited several times to entire satisfaction; and Dr. Richard L. Park, now at Pittsburgh University. In the cases of Brown and Park this was before actually going to Asia.

Now as to backgrounds. When I met Princess Poon Diskul for the first time she was teaching at the Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco which was then under the famous-infamous Alan Watts who knew nothing about Asian history but could give out degrees. As he would under no circumstances let me express myself I discussed personally in his presence, with Princess Poon Diskul the person of Townsend Harris, the Ayuthia Chronicles and Pali Literature.

When I was with the American Foreign Service in Lahore in 1961 at Thanksgiving Dinner I was the only person present who knew the history of the hinterland. There were all kinds of men with all kinds of degrees on all kinds of subjects, and none knew the backgrounds.

Apart from reading, in 1956 I attended a convention which was once written up—rejected as usual called “The Health of a Nation.” I was the only outsider—Americans never attend such affairs, when Papa Tara Singh made peace with Prime Minister Nehru. It was never written up and besides excepting a few specialists nobody seems to know about “Sikhistan,” an actual political country until about 1846.

This is only one of innumerable instances of my incidentally or unwittingly being present when “history is made .” The natural is that an institution dedicated to international research would at least record eye-witness reports. This has been granted at Berkeley, not because it was asked for, but in a counter-challenge. Because at the moment I have been more interested in the impersonal requests—a point I failed to put over. But years ago in these rooms with the late Phra Sumangalo (Robert Clifton) we discussed how easy it was to meet a Prime Minister or high dignitary, how difficult it was to get the matter recorded.

And later when I was in Thailand and sent to the Chief Mahathero and he showed me documents signed by President Eisenhower. I went to the Embassy and they insisted the documents were forgeries, which they were not. If that happened today I would do just as I did to compel an interview with the Institute of International Studies.

My Real Mission. The same day I visited, at last, the Institute, there was another mission to obtain speakers for a conference on Salinity. I not only met the right person in the right place in the right time but was told that most of the specialists in this field are now at Riverside. This shows the acme of proper intercampus cooperation, activity and research. Excepting geographically the Agricultural Departments are one and I understand the same is true of Cancer research, both laboratory work at home and applied research abroad (as in Indonesia.)

My life-theme “How California Can Help Asia” if completely formulated would do much to advertise the fine work done in hidden nooks and crannies of the University of California, all campuses. This also was achieved on your campus.

But when one comes to “Asian Survey” put out by Institute of International Studies, University of California and looks at the names of contributors, they might be anywhere. In other words, “Asian Survey” is a fine, cultural magazine, like “Pacific Affairs” etc., etc. which might be put out by any private commercial venture in this field.

There is practically nothing in all its pages of contributions, social, political, scientific or otherwise done by graduate specialists of the University of California.

Before going to the Institute I dropped in on Mr. Ericson, Alumni House, who discussed with enthusiasm the Cancer work in Indonesia. This is one of the things I am not only in entire accord with but am disgusted with the whole Foreign Service and the Press for overemphasizing forms of “foreign aid” not requested by nationals abroad, and for de-emphasizing cooperative movements requested by such nationals. Indeed last night I met the head of Near East Foundation who has carried this one step ahead, into practice.

It seems to me—and I am sure Mr. Ericson would support this contention, that “Asian Survey” should not only be open to all work done in its geographical field by professors, scholars and researchers, all departments, but that this should become a must for them to have it on record.

In the history of the world, or in the history of the University, it is a small matter whether the writer, as an individual, is recognized. But it is a very serious thing that when men go abroad on sabbatical, or on official university business, or on official but non-university business, some record is made thereof to be at the disposal of the actual research scholars.

While the “Death of a Nation” is one personal example, I run into all sorts of things of this nature. In keeping laboratory records all things are taken into consideration, no matter who or why so long as the what is made available. I do not know whether this point can be made clear. Private research is not something I think legitimate on the campus of a State University, unless for a particular social purpose.

If the points above were to be accepted, as a person I would be willing to go further and contact legislators and congressmen to see the value of increasing stipends for the University, for real impersonal research. And I should like to see reviews of Mr. Wilson’s works, or student reports, or anything pertinent to the above subject at a clearing-house depository.

There is a vast hiatus between the real Asia and the abstraction so often substituted therefor. In a short while I expect to meet the Ambassador from Cambodia who is visiting this city. This will be at the World Affairs Council which is become more and more aware of the lack of valid knowledge in the hands of the public.

As you know, my main objection to the deposed Chancellor at Berkeley was his exclusion of Asians from panels on Asian affairs. There is here an “American-Asian Friendship League” just encountered, when there are serious speakers and serious discussions.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

January 21, 1965


I. Pandey

Department of Near East Languages

Dwinelle Hall

University of California


Pandey ji;

So many things happen in one’s private life that it is very difficult to follow social courtesies. And indeed when I come to Berkeley and especially to the University, it is with difficulty that I can cross the whole campus, there being so many items of interest or importance to take up with different departments. But I was sending a copy of this to Prof., Robert Scalapino who is editor of “Asian Survey.” For practical purposes I shall separate the news into countries;

Japan: A lady who has studied Oriental philosophies for years visited San Francisco this week. She has obtained rights over Evans-Wents’ works and at the moment is planning a cinema on “The Life of Milarepa.” She has been very much interested in meeting people with Buddhist backgrounds.

You were present when Dr. Richard Robinson spoke last summer, so you are aware that I have had these backgrounds. But this was one of the few occasions to be able to tell how this person visited the Royal Cemetery, the Imperial Gardens, etc. when he had no “credentials” from the usual acceptance of “credentials,” his studying being off campus or with actual Japanese, and Chinese. The practical experiences, especially from the monastic and social views were important because this lady and her colleagues do not wish to repeat the mistakes done in the Japanese version of “Buddha” which was more Hollywoodian than authentic. Also this has been the best encouragement for my “The Lotus and the Universe” which will be based on personal experiences and not on speculations.

Vietnam. At long last has there been some acceptance of having knowledge of these people and their religion in particular. I was able to explain this to Dr. Chaudhuri that Indo-China meant the assimilation of Indian and Chinese cultures and so long as we look upon these people as misplaced Europeans we can never reach any agreement. We know neither their religion nor cultures. It is possible that I may appear on KPFA in this regard. I keep in close touch with friends who have been there—none interviewed, none have letters answered by the State Department, etc.

Thailand. All my suggestions have been accepted by the World Buddhist Federation and this means another royal welcome when I return. By royal welcome I mean literally and not figuratively as was the case in visiting your country.

Pakistan. In my private life I keep on being consulted and was about to give it up when a letter of recognition came from the Embassy at Washington. After spending weeks in Islamabad going over the plans for a University the consul-general, for quite separate reasons, refused to recognize my person. Now my friends have been very successful in this recent election and I await details.

Congresses on World Regions. A letter came today concluding my appearance on a panel to be held at Claremont College this coming September. I shall give all the details to Prof. Brinner when I write my briefs, due in March. This has reacted and I must tell you a story:

[next page(s) missing]



January 22, 1965

Mr. Samuel L. Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco 3, Calif.


My dear Mr. Lewis:

Thank you for your interesting letter of January 14. I have much pleasure in confirming our conversation, and saying that the Institute of International Studies will be happy to provide you with an experienced graduate student who will go through such papers as you make available, and will make a preliminary report on their contents and with recommendations where they can best be used. Professor David Apter, who has authorized this help, joins me in expressing our thanks for your willingness to help.

You appreciate (as you indicated in our conversation) that we shall not be able to do this immediately. One factor in the delay is that we are reorganizing our Center for South Asian Studies; when this is done, I shall take up the details of working out our arrangement, and you will be hearing from me later in the semester.

With best wishes, and the hopes that your long efforts to establish ways for California to help Asia will eventually be successful.


David W. Brokensha


cc: Professor David E. Apter



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

March 7, 1965

Dr. Caroll Parrish          

Administration Building, UCLA

Los Angeles, 24, Calif.


Dear Dean Parrish: “Snow all the year around

Now you asked me about Princess Poon Diskul and in the last few weeks letters have been flying between her associate Hon. Aiem Sanghavasi and the writer. And the Gatha (poem) on a Buddhist peace plan is being published. There is a long history behind this which comes out of my pseudo-witticism: “East is East and West is West and never shall the Oriental meet the Orientalist.” (I was the last guest of honor in Kipling’s workshop in Lahore some time back.)

A number of years ago, speaking to Dr. Bryant at the USIA in Karachi: “I have written a paper on Maize Growing in Hazara District which will no doubt be published if it has not already, but no attempt was made to write on their Religion, Folklore and Ethnology of these people because I know it would be rejected.”

I agree with you.” And that, Dean Parrish, was before reading Lord Snow, and yet it is illustrative of everything, not only the complex which is maintained—a la “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” in Southeast Asia, but it is going to manifest elsewhere, because it is almost impossible for real “Ugly Americans” to get hearings anywhere, but most especially the press, and the State Department.

Information has just come that “Los Angeles Times” has at long last published and article on the Buddhist point of view from Vietnam. The truth is, Dean Parrish, that there are three enemies of American foreign policy: Dale Carnegie, Jesus Christ and Oswald Spengler and the greatest of those is Spengler. We pretend to be fighting Marx—with dialectical weapons only, anything else would be “unfair.”

Many years ago in these very rooms my now dead friend who knew everybody intimately from Bao Dai to Abdul Rahman Tenggu, and from the Laotian royalty to the Buddhist monks in Singapore sobbed in vain over the utter inability to get any hearings anywhere—until it was discovered he was a third cousin of Senator Fulbright by marriage. He was so disgusted he left America forever and died of a broken heart. But it has taken years of hard fighting to make a few of your associates on the Berkeley campus even accept that I knew such a person and had some very good first hand information about the causes of troubles in the region involved.

But I have to repeat, this is not a single incident and no American, other than a newsman, no matter how much he knows, has much of a chance to be heard.

My friends have outlined to me a huge program of “food in exchange for gold.” They have outlined it because they have been engaged on it on a small scale. If they can get American capital interested either in

a. Agricultural and fishing development, or

b. Mineral development,

they say they could have made it and know all the details for the possibilities of capital investment and returns in exact places.

My personal program has been changed, going back to college on Mondays and Wednesdays and on the first free Tuesday went to the World Affairs Council, to find that the speaker was Karl Brandt. And in his talk—which was on the general field of answers to world food problems—he talked much about investment possibilities, that people are coming to him. So an incipient appointment has been made with him, depending on mutual free time.

I do not know if one can integrate African development in such a way as to combine engineering, agriculture and mining development but the seeds are there. And this would be the first purpose in bringing my Sudanese friends to your doors.

My change of program came because I am now taking up landscape design and am learning first, concrete mixing, masonry, etc. No more troughs and hand mixes but meanwhile these knees are in fine condition. To learn by doing may be of help in some future projects, I hope.

If we come Thursday will go to your office first either for an appointment or any other mutually satisfactory arrangement. And I can see, too, where a lot of UC research, in a hundred fields can be applied, whether the social science departments recognize it or not.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

March 19, 1965


G.F. Von Grünebaum

Near East Center, University of California

Los Angeles 24, Calif.


In re: Sufis and the Multiversity


Dear Professor Von Grünebaum:

You will find enclosed the draft copy of paper on “Repentance” to be used, inshallah, so the afternoon presentation from the Islamic or more specially the Sufi point of view at the conference on the world faiths to be held in Claremont this coming September. But because of the coinage of an excellent term by President Clark Kerr I am sending you some news which does not usually go through regular channels and which may have some bearings, one hopes, into a somatic manifestation of this term within and among the various campuses of the university.

This person has long been influenced by Padisha Akbar, the Great Mogul, has visited Fatehpur Sikri on various occasions and has in his possession copy of “Dabistan,” the first work, in a sense, in cooperative religion. On the last visit I danced there and this dance was altered into “The Dance of Universal Peace,” inspired by my “fairy god-mother” Miss Ruth St. Denis. The dance itself has already been officially accepted by representatives of the Government of India. It is based on an eclectic synthesis from the actual rituals of the world’s leading faiths.

This universal Sufi point of view in not only inherent, sometimes explicit in Sufi philosophy and poetry but has come to the surface in the rise of an institution in Ceylon which turns “Cooperative Religion” and especially mysticism into a Multiversity subject. But another step has been taken recently, of which I must furnish come details.

On my return to this area in 1957, having had some unusual experiences (plenty of data on file), only the then living former Ambassador Henry Grady and Asia Foundation accepted these reports. Ambassador Grady himself had associated with Sufis in India and elsewhere and his widow, Mrs. Grady, can still attest to this. But the influence of the then functioning Rom Landau vetoed all efforts to get any hearings. Landau himself was either a student of or an associate of Arthur Arberry and all of Arberry’s associates (Watt, Gibb, etc.) have refused adamantly to give any consideration to living Sufis. I could offer whole history of what has happened to my “brothers” but these do not concern the University of California.

The world University itself arose in the mind of Prof. Oliver Reiser of Pittsburgh University. He and I share in having been student-disciples of the late Cassius Keyser of Columbia whose mathematical philosophy and especially that of integration we have applied, in theory, to many problems.

Somewhere around 1956, visiting the first Indian Embassy as a representative of the Sufis of Hyderabad, Deccan, I was challenged about Moineddin Ibnu’l-Arabi and surprised them by talking on “The relation between Ibnu’l-Arabi and Shankaracharya. From this point it was easy to synthesize the Integrational outlooks of the disciples of Keyser, the Sufis and the Vedantists (all branches). But this ability had divers effects—on the one hand it lead to easy and simple contacts, social, official and spiritual with top Orientals, at the other pole it found me opposed by the vast majority of “Orientalists,” but the latter negative state is changing rapidly.

I had been working, aside from personal efforts, to promote integration of research results on various campuses of the University of California. It looks like boasting to say: “Give me an Asian problem and I can point to some U.C. campus and show you the solution either in printed pamphlets or in purpose or both.” I am going to give one example here, after some preliminary reports.

This person was successful in bringing the attention of the work of Prof. Reiser to President Radhakrishnan on the one hand and to several Sufis on the other. Now all these people and many others already contacted have joined to establish the World University in New Delhi and I personally had nothing to do with it other than introducing these people on to the others.

While this has been going on, this person’s “Peace Plan” for S.E. Asia has been accepted in Thailand, is being or has been published and lots more. The work and especially the experience of this person in bringing Buddhists into contact one with the other in the eastern part of Asia and Sufis in contact with each other in the western part of Asia is on record, and during the fracas on the Berkeley campus, I am thankful to having been able to get acknowledged so historical records which are on my films—both by communication and autobiography, can be used when we wish to write objective histories.

From the Sufi angle there is little need to pressure for the Claremont conference will bring out many things into the open. But to my surprise the Board of Trustees of the World University not only includes many men I have not but two prominent Sufis, who are not in the least like the Arberry-Gibb structure.

For some time and especially since meeting Dr. Appleman on your campus I have hoped to have more correspondence between Algaeologists, whose work for the main part has been disjunctive. I had just written to Dr. Milton Fireman at Davis hoping that the first U.C. Multiversity project would be to bring the Algae research under one heading, etc. But three days after the letter was written two separate communications same here that Algae research was the first project to be undertaken by the World University, which means that there will be the Multiversity method, integrating and bringing into cooperation the various disjunctive efforts. And I am hoping that those who receive copies of this letter will both recognize the Multiversity in operation and the neglect to many excellent people on all the campuses who have solutions to many real projects and problems.

Encouraged by the very cordial attitude today of your confreres on the Berkeley campus, I interrupted two classes last summer to call to their attention that the problems they were discussing had already been handled, respectively by the now forgotten Profs. Ryder and Hopper. The constant change of personalities brings to each campus men who do not realize what has been done beforehand. Fortunately in these instances recognition was given—which is quite different from recognition to the ego-personality. In other words I have been campaigning for a Multiversity and whatever else we may think Prof. Pepper was a pioneer and a sort of lone pioneer in his work.

Last month there came into my life a man from Sudan, where nearly everybody belongs to at least one Sufi order (despite Arberry, Gibb & Co.) and it did not take long for mutual recognition. This was followed almost immediately by the complex between Israel, the Arab world and West Germany. My friend, Hashim, has lived in many parts of the North East and in at least six African countries. We discussed the water-problems especially and those of the Nile in particular and after he gave me his personal experiences, I pointed to the map and said. “This is the crucial point. We can check-mate Nasser if he turns against us, and at the same time help Sudan without any especial foreign aid appropriation.” He corroborated the point.

A few days later I went to the Berkeley campus to visit an engineer, name temporarily withheld, and said I believed that a dam at a certain spot could save Sudan, save Abu Simbel without cost and put the United States in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Imagine my amazement when he pulled out of the files a complete survey covering all technical and economic points, etc.

It may or may not be beside the point that the press in the United States has under-evaluated the accomplishments of the West Germans and of our own people and over-accentuated the efforts (not the accomplishments) of the Russians. But here again we come face to face with Sufis, as I have in so many places, who wish to be friendly top and be befriended by the United States, and are ignored, at least officially. Fortunately I was able to introduce my friend Hashim to Admiral Everson of the American Friends of the Near East and he in turn has already introduced him to some other worthies of this region.

In face of this—recognition by Americans of importance, it is time to overrule and override the subjectivities of British and other linguists and meet, even if we do not agree with them, living people and work with them. Hashim thinks I should go to Africa, either to Sudan or Nigeria (Kano).

It will also interest Prof. Appleman that Hashim has a tremendous background on complexities involving the Israel-Arab fracas and we both feel there are ways out, which have not been considered, when we emphasize water problems and their solution first.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

May 21, 1965


Dr. Clark Kerr, President

The University of California

Berkeley 4, Calif.


Dear President Kerr;

In re: On the Establishment of A Multiversity.

It may seem a super-ambitious proposal for a person to write on this subject. But this year by a wonderful combination of circumstances and personalities one finds oneself integrated into a World University to be established in New Delhi, India, including in its program nearly all the projects of a personal life, of the careers of a number of persons connected with universities in many parts, and in particular, for its first efforts facing food problems in general and those of Algae research in particular. I shall have reason to write on this latter further, either in a communication to your good self or to the Botany Department on the Berkeley campus, and perhaps to others.

As a retired horticulturalist my first trip around the globe was changed from that of plant exchanges to seeking for solutions to food problems. And on the following one, in 1960-2, not only did one contact key personalities and was given what each thought was the most important problem of their respective countries, but at the same time one met many fellow Alumni persons, both nationals and Americans. And on return to the States, before a home was established, the campuses of San Diego, Riverside and UCLA were visited, very cordial meetings were held both with research men and professors emeritus and the idea was born “How California Can Help Asia.”

This rather broad idea has been both hampered and helped. It has been helped most by continual growth of new and important contacts both at home and abroad, by cooperation to and from men who have been either UC graduates or former instructors now on other campuses; and by similar careers to and with those men, usually professors but sometimes laymen, who have had most harmonious (with the ego-self) careers, like Dr. Schoonover, now retired, at San Rafael, and Prof. Hilton Fireman whom I understand is leaving the Davis Campus.

It has also been helped by meetings of career personalities mostly connected with the USDA, and with a few men on other campuses in this state. The Agricultural Departments of State and County, the Chambers of Commerce and many industrialists in engineering and food production have been most cordial, but often because of common frustrations as well as common goals.

Frustrations and hamperings with people who have been abroad, as well as those of your good self, seem to follow definite patterns and some of these can be clarified by a different type of organization, such as those you may now be considering. And as I have seen an “ideal” organization at the National Research Center in Cairo, UAR, and as one such is planned for the forthcoming World University at New Delhi, this letter is being written.

The grid-organization. This was first encountered a number of years ago at Pennsylvania where the summer school was under the aegis of Dr. Norman Brown and where also I met Dr. Kimberley Davis, long since transferred to the Berkeley campus. It has been in operation since in many places and it proposes or requires instructors covering the same general area, but teaching quite different subjects to confer in some way and also to work out lists for students who intend to have careers in certain areas. This seems to be followed more and more by some. But not by others.

The difficulty encountered is that as the University has grown, there has been specialization to the extent that each campus does not know what is going on elsewhere. The Agricultural Departments are kept in close touch with each other from campus to campus; the Botany Departments are not and this will become the subject for a most important letter as inferred above, for this will be communicated also to Botanists in other lands as well as to those on the several campuses of the University. Indeed I expect to see some shortly.

There is a need therefore for some kind of exchange or integration, on a multiversity idea. I am also going to visit the Pomona-Claremont complex on this insatiate trip for quite different reasons, where, instead of a multiversity there are cooperating colleges.

Whatever the future be it is certain that I have been recalled to Asia and will go intensively into the work of alumni people abroad, many of whom I have met and will meet in the course of daily talks. Excepting “Princeton-in-Asia,” few universities have kept in touch with their graduates and here we find far more U.C. men working, often in top positions, who could become the nexus for promoting better international relations, correcting serious social mistakes on the part of the foreign office, etc.

Indeed Monday the writer is visiting S.F. State to contact returned Peace Corps people who have not had such happy careers, and who, wherever they have gone, are totally unaware of the excellent work done by the great universities of this country abroad. In a personal private career I have encountered Kansas State, Washington State, Ohio State and Tennessee, at least, in addition to the University of California. There is no clearing house achievements, the public does not know what is going on and State Department policies over-emphasize the work of certain agencies and by-pass that of others.

As illustrative material and to close one must call attention to Southeast Asia. It is pitiable that the foreign offices and the press ignore the contributions of the Universities, and while I have in mind the agencies of UCSF (hospitals) and UCSD (Scripps), undoubtedly there are many which a single traveler does not contact.

This morning there is a grand protest on Vietnam. The write has refused to attend because of the dearth of speakers from Southeast Asia, in particular nationals. But Prof. Robert A. Scalapino, editor of “Asian Survey” has refused to attend, verbally on the same ground, but he has refused adamantly and persistently to answer letters or to interview people who have actually been in Southeast Asia, often in important posts.

“Asian Survey” should be the key publication to cover the problems of the areas involved. It has had excellent articles, but often as not these have been written by non-Americans, often non-American, non-Asians, from and in distant places and there is no way by which the knowledge of the several persons or departments operating in, for, and with S.E. Asia can get together and so “Asian Survey” is not Asian Survey and the combined integrated knowledges of that region remain apart, and aloof, and no one is more to blame that the very editor who is keeping away from a meeting manned by others who also are indifferent to direct experiences.

A very good book was written on Thailand by Mr. David Wilson of UCLA. But when it came to problems I wrote that many of these problems had been faced, if not solved by a team from UCSD. This is neither common nor uncommon knowledge. Several years back, in receiving a legacy, I paused to talk to Dick Erickson of the Alumni Association of two possible careers—one becoming a reporter going from campus to campus telling of achievements thereon; the other going to Asia. The latter was selected but in the course of working for “How California Can Help Asia” there have been and will be visits to different campuses.

But one cannot go to Dr. Scalapino and tell him that such-and-such work is being done on this campus or that or what one knows. It is most unfortunate that this man who does not answer letters or grant interviews is demanding high standards from others.

During this Southeast Asia crisis, the writer wrote a proposal to the World Buddhist Federation which was accepted. He then wrote to Dr. Radhakrishnan, president of India, whom he knows quite well and received a commending answer. Then Dr. Radhakrishnan wrote his own ideas to the State Department which is giving them some consideration. But neither one’s contacts, career, first hand nor second hand knowledges can even be broached to “Asian Survey” and instead we have campus dramas by groups which, while opposing each other, seem equally unconcerned with factual information.

This dual situation was discussed years go with top people in the USIA and is also the subject of Lord Snow’s philosophy, that with the scientists objectivity and cooperation is almost universal, with the non-scientists quite otherwise. Only now you have the excellent pattern of the Agricultural Departments which ought to, in my mind, become the basis for the Multiversity programs without seeking any other external ideas—you have them already in operation.

If the social scientists (like Burdick and Scalapino) were compelled to respect their colleagues of other departments covering the same areas, or on other campuses, covering either the same studies or same areas, there would be no need for subjective conflicting non-solving debates, not to say mob-gatherings on or off the campuses.

A number of us Ugly Americans who have lived and worked in S.E. Asia have locally pulled off some stunts publicly and the State Department has commanded us. Fortunately the Institute of International Relations has shown some interest. All of us are closely connected with one Robert Clifton who lived and worked in every country in S.E. Asia, and we have letters on file, etc. which will go ultimately to the institute. My closest colleague has been all over Cambodia and Laos, and taught English to the Royal Family in Thailand, and we have gathered a number of equally ignored personalities. But I have found them everywhere.

Historically research, should, like scientific research, be based as much as possible on in situ events from first-hand observers. Personally now there is no axe to grind for the recent meetings of the American Professors of Asian Studies held in the Sheraton-Palace hotel were dominated by Mr. Richard L. Kirk with whom I am in excellent position to cooperate. And not only personally but there are signs of funds on the horizon which are going to make direct exchanges between persons, institutions and governments of South Asia and SE Asia and the United States easy. But so far as U.C. is concerned I have to go to other campuses. This should not be.

The integrated grid-organization, already existing between the Agricultural groups should be extended.

And I can tell you, Mr. Frexy, that there in “more gold hidden in those hills” on the campuses than even the wildest enthusiasts may surmise. Abroad the University of California is known for its contributions to the destructive sciences (atomic research, space, etc.). The truth seems to be that so many departments have contributed to so many sciences not even sycophants can keep up. And if these efforts were better known campaigns for funds from any and all sources would be easy. I hope you will give this some consideration even if you do not always otherwise agree with.

Yours sincerely,

Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina, St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

May 28, 1965


Dr. Carroll Parrish         

Administration Building, University of California

Los Angeles 24, Calif.


Dear Dean Parrish:

I am leaving this city tonight to visit several universities in the southern part of the State. That to Riverside is essential to “How California Can Help Asia” and deals largely with food problems. That to Claremont will be preparatory to the conference on world-religions where your Dr. Von Grünebaum will play a leading role. But one must visit UCLA for other reasons:

Correcting Peace Corps Misinformation. Dr. B. Lewis.

I met Dr. Lewis recently who teaches Anthropology and other subjects at San Francisco State. She told me she was a graduate of UCLA and knew you. Sometime after that I attended a luncheon of the World Affairs Council in this city, where several Peace Corps returnees told of their frustrations and I was particularly concerned with the man who went to the Moros. He found that the “Islam” of humanity bore little relation to the “Islamics” of universities.

We have two distinct types of Islamic instruction in this country, roughly one admired by the Asians headed by Dr. Von Grünebaum and the other admired in general here, headed almost entirely by persons of English vintage or scholastic credentials. These are mostly brilliant men, highly regarded in this country and among themselves, but not recognized in Asia or by the British Museum or even Royal Asiatic society. This has not prevented them from being called in as “experts” by the State Department.

As the returnee from the Philippines is now enrolled at the same San Francisco State I am hoping to bring Dr. Lewis and him (Louis Webb) together today, and if not, after I return. You must understand that a very large portion of “How California Can Help Asia” consists of bringing the question-people and answer-people together. This is seldom done and so we have these elongated impasses (as on the Vietnam debates) where nationals of the areas involved and Americans who lived and worked there are excluded—so the arguments continue.

And likewise there will be more Peace Corps frustrations because there is often a great hiatus between “expert”-briefing and factual information. Or between the social scientists and anthropologists. If Dr. Lewis can be brought to the fore and some of these enthusiastic Peace Corps clerks could meet her and others like her we might make some positive contributions.

I have long been recalled to Pakistan and other lands but not to be in a hurry to collect all data possible. At the UC (all campuses) conference on Food last year Dr. Revelle, then at UCSD brought up the problems of Salinity in the Indus Valley. An excellent presentation followed by almost no action while more and more land is being withdrawn from cultivation and we sob and sob and cry for funds to no end.

There are four potential approaches to the Salinity Problem and all were originally brought to my attention by Dr. Milton Fireman, who wanders about a good deal. Some of these answers lie in Riverside, some in personnel mostly in this part of the State, and the fourth on your campus, i.e. the use of Algae to clarify sewage, etc. I am hoping it will be possible to visit the Engineering Dept. on your campus to get details. They may seem small here but they are of vast import.

Another thing which irked one was the lack of funds for Dr. Appleman who does Algae research. The AAAS has also complained on this and the lack of cooperation between scientists. I hope to take this up also in detail on the Berkeley campus when I return. But another reason for leaving the country is the foundation of a World University at New Delhi in India, with which I am at least off the record associated.

Their very first project is on a continuation of Algae research . If we can get the various scientists on the five campuses that I know about—San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, Berkeley and Davis together as the Agricultural sections are already together it would be for the good of humanity on a vast scale and a big talking point for funds for your campus. This matter has also been broached to Prof. Mehren, now Asst. Secretary of Agriculture in Washington.

It may not be necessary for me to have a long visit but I should appreciate cooperation in the visit to the engineering department and, if you desire, a short meeting with your good self.

We Ugly Americans put over a stunt here: the restoration of the pilgrimage to the statue of Lord Buddha in Golden Gate Park. It was on the surface a religious action, but actually it was a gesture of real friendship with the real people of real S.E. Asia and the State Department later uncovered our “plot” and was pleased, Working with ideas is one thing, working with human beings another.


Samuel L. Lewis


University of California, Berkeley

Department of Near Eastern Languages           

Berkeley, California 94720

June 1, 1965


Mr. Samuel D. Lewis

772 Clementina St.

San Francisco. Calif.


Dear Friend:

I am thankful to you for your very kind and meaningful letter. I also thank you for giving me the pleasure and privilege of reading your beautiful poems which unfold the underlying eternal truth of life and Universe. I enjoyed reading them and gained some insight into the mysteries of the higher self. It has been a great pleasure indeed to have found you here in America as a source of spiritual inspiration. It must be verb; hard for ,you here as this world is very much out of tune.

My short stay here in America has been very interesting. On 9th June I am flying back to India via Japan and shall be there by 20th of June. Before I leave your crazy world and the beautiful country, I would like to see you. I hope that you will be able to find some time to look up for me in my office and have lunch with me.

With kindest regards,

I am Sincerely yours,

Induprakash Pandey



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

June 20, 1965


Richard F. Erickson

Editor, California Monthly

Alumni House, University of California

Berkeley 4, Calif.


My dear Dick;

I think I have reported to you the strange and unexpected successes following my visits to campuses UCR and UCLA. The dream or hunch that given an Asian problem one could find the means and the persons on the various campuses has been fulfilled in so far as one person can look into such matters. But ending with finding that top people in Washington seem to know what the public, or even part-of the Administration, does not seem to know, brings up a moot point. Or my saying that many departments may be having Seaborgs and Tellers without the world being advised is more than a saying.

It is most unfortunate to me that the public gatherings on “Asia” and “China” resulted in nothing. Public and apparently university funds were spent abroad (both outside the campuses and outside the country) in contradistinction to the UCSF conference on “Food” last year which combed the campuses for its speakers, “experts” and information. Why did not the recent Chancellor on the Berkeley campus follow the policy of Dr. Seymour Farber at UCSF?

The recent reports indicate that sanity is much more wide-spread than eccentricities but lacks news-value. The press and radio have thoroughly distorted and contorted situations. Both the “Food” conference as above and the Asian Conference held at the Sheraton-Palace by ex-Berkeley Prof. Richard Park show what can be done if we look into our midst for solutions to problems instead of calling on newsworthy personalities from anear or afar.

As the men whom I have met were also concerned with this lack of acceptance of information and of their personalities on the Berkeley campus they were impelled or compelled to extend a certain sympathy to the FSM movement without in any way being under protests against or government or society or anything else.

But before writing further—and I cannot perhaps entirely defend the article copy enclosed, I would like to see you at your convenience, but not in the immediate future. Hollywood Citizen News is one paper that has been willing to give interviews and instead of accepting the immediate report of a team of technicians being sent abroad from UCR and UCLA they have asked for more biographical notes and also about the road-blocks which do exist on the Berkeley campus. I am more than ever for exchanges between campuses and departments.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

September 14, 1965


Dear Carroll Parrish      

Administration Building

University of California

Los Angeles 2 4, Calif.


Dear Dr. Parrish:

Well, Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul Pismai has come and gone and you can bet that the comic opera situation which you might have surmised when we two leprechauns got together, occurred.

She was in this City only a few hours attended by two of her sisters and Hon. Aiem Sanghavasi. She was to appear at the Buddha Universal Church in this city. There were two long lines of dignitaries awaiting her and when she espied me among the hoi polloi in the background, she rushed forward like a little girl beholding her brother with two arms extended and pushed some of the dignitaries out of the way, to greet me first of all, even before her special hosts! Although this was her doing and not mine, I received the brunt of a lot of hard looks and worse which does not mean a thing. Talk about Buddhists and Karma! None of the Buddhists here with one exception study Buddhism, they all have their cliques and cults.

Aiem was forgotten or overlooked which gave me a splendid opportunity. He was the first to greet me in 1956 and we have been carrying on correspondence. Both her and her Serene Highness know about my special mission of 1956 which was a great success although totally ignored by the American Foreign office—Asia Foundation accepted it and was in on it.

Her Highness told me she was in Los Angeles only a few hours, so possibly did not meet you. You can surmise the purpose of this mission. Our public, the press, and almost everybody knows so little about her and because of her unbecoming front she was ignored by the “best people” when she was here. Besides, they are too engrossed in the “beatnik” versions of nonsense which pass here as religion.

This is not the first time this experience has happened to me. I am trying to see if I can get an opportunity to serve my country. The Kashmir complex is even closer to me as the armies are now fighting on the land set aside for my experimental garden! I have been all over the ground and know not only the Indian and Pakistani but also the Kashmiri point of view. I was also sent on a peace mission from Pakistan to India in 1962. Our Foreign Office positively refused to recognize it, point blank! This is diplomacy.

My autobiography has been sought and publication promised, but how am I going to fit the Princess in it ? We are so strong Realism, we cannot see reality.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

October 17, 1965


Charles Y. Glock

Professor of Sociology

Director of Survey Research Center

University of California

Berkeley, Calif. 94720


Dear Prof. Glock;

I have before me the Newsletter, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. I am a member of the AAAS and have already discussed the forthcoming sessions with Dick Erickson at Alumni House.

I should like to attend the SSSR session, or will advise if this is impossible.

At the present time I am working on a “peace proposal” for India and Pakistan. I am in a sense, a spiritual brother of President Ayub and have sat in meditation with President Radhakrishnan in his own house.

I am a life-long student of religions and at one time was associated with Dr. Henry Atkinson of a defunct Carnegie Institution, which had the theme, “World Peace Through Religion.” After many years by 1957 I had been able to secure for Dr. Atkinson much background material which had not been available to him but the organization in question has long since been “re-amalgamated” into its parent Carnegie Peace Foundation.

I should like to see you some time at your convenience.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

November 4, 1965


Dr. Carroll Parrish

Administration Building

University of California

Los Angeles, 24, Calif.


Dear Dean Parrish:

I am enclosing copy of letter to an editorial writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. For the first time a Thai point of view has been published concerning the affairs of S.E. Asia. It has been impossible for me, as an individual, even to present such a view and I have been on the verge of writing “Eye Not-Witness.”

You will realize that if such a book were published abroad there would be attacks on this Nation from every quarter. It was very easy for me to confer with Dr. Malalasekera and Hon. Zafrullah Khan, erstwhile candidates for the Presidency of the U.N. It was almost impossible for me to communicate even to eye-witnesses just as the eye-witnesses to the welcoming of Princess Poon Diskul could not accept what they themselves saw.

It would be a luxury to write on “Reporting in politics and Science.” I received a small scholarship from the Botany Department, based on my actual experiences. As I do not take, but give to UC, I signed up in the Anthropology Department and now the teacher has asked me to take over for one or two sessions to sit in the place of teacher, whereas certain departments—and all the press have a prior rejected the possibility or the fact of being an eye-witness. It not only illustrates our two cultures, it illustrates much more.

One of the things which stopped my writing “Eye Not-Witness” was the receipt of a letter from the secretary of Congressman Mailliard. This gentleman sits on the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representative. He has published a long report on the split between Russia and China. I wrote, “I know all about it, I was one of the conspirators concerned but was sent in another direction.” It was only after four vain attempts to warn the Embassy at Cairo of an impending mob-attack that one Mr. Scout, the political attaché, would interview me and I not only told him about the portended split between Russia and China, I offered him some objective, collaborating evidence right in Cairo itself.

It has not only been in Cairo but in Peshawar and Rawalpindi that I have been involved in anti-communist movements. The one thing they have in common is the functions of the Sufi, something rejected on your own UC campus, though the security of the United States is involved.

At Peshawar long hours were spent on efforts to get American recognition of the anti-Communist movement there; and also to propose a rapprochement with India to prevent the communists from benefiting from the split between the two Nations of Pakistan. Were it not for the appearance here of Prof. Richard L. Park last summer I should have gotten nowhere either.

Fortunately I have now one introduction to Ambassador Goldberg. But besides the personal aspects of the above is the constructive program. If there is one negative united front against me—which seems paranoiac—it is still more adamant against any constructive measures which might produce peace and rapprochement.

I am mentioning this in the first place because my “Project—The Garden of Allah” has almost the same philosophy as Prof. Orr is applying in the Mekong Delta—science, technology and knowledge of local religions and customs.

In the case of India and Pakistan the main problems are desert, salinity, water-supply, locusts, plant protection, etc. All the problems save desert reclamation have long had their “doctors” on UC campuses—no exceptions whatsoever. Now UCR has a Desert Reclamation Project and one of the great desert specialists has recently moved from the Sahara to Escondido. It is my present intention to visit both places during intercession, unless there is recognition either from Ambassador Goldberg or one of the local congressmen who is interested.

I am a spiritual brother of Ayub and a personal friend of Dr. Radhakrishnan in whose home I have sat in stage of deep meditation, and between us is excellent understanding. Unfortunately here people will not even look at letters received both from Radhakrishnan and top Pakistani officials. In this they are giving aid and comfort to the very communists they really loath.

The ridiculous situation is that we are handing carte blanche to China, a big section of Asia simply because officially and unofficially eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses are by-passed. I am hoping to explain some facts to the congressman by the use of maps, if they can only delete editorial reports from their minds.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

December 7, 1965


Dean Carroll Parrish

Administration Building

University of California

Los Angeles 24, Calif.


Dear Dean Parrish:

The other day I had reasons for writing to the Alumni Association on “World University, Multiversity and University.” This came as an aftermath from on one side an appeal for a “World University” in another State, and a criticism of the University as a Multiversity by the State Colleges.

It was followed almost immediately by another appeal for another “World University” and for a semi private matter about which I had intended to write you anyhow.

My friend, Mrs. Lottie Van Stahl, whom I had not seen for a dozen years, came to San Francisco to speak on her psychic faculties, her career and her present work as a research subject by the Department of Parapsychology connected with the hospital on your campus.

We had the same complaints that in general those institutions purportedly dedicated to research in the “Psychic sciences” are all egocentric, they do not recognize each other and they are all making public appeals for funds. None of them have given Mrs. Van Stahl any leeway yet most of her life she has been working with criminologists and police departments in many lands. And none of these groups have answered any letters written by me in behalf of the University of Islamabad in Pakistan.

Recently Prof. Rhine has been given a headline here in his appeal for funds in what he calls “Parapsychology” which limits research and investigation to certain narrow fields which he has delineated. This stands in contrast to what Mrs. Van Stahl tells me is the fine work done by your Department of Parapsychology.

In the meanwhile I have made excellent contact with the Research Survey School at Berkeley, and it has been my intention to get as much material as possible from this department of Parapsychology at UCLA and turn it over to the Research Survey in Berkeley. This is well within both my “How California Can Help Asia” and the partially purposeful, particularly actual discoveries of research at all levels on the different campuses, but not always known to each other.

Now we have on one hand the criticism of the State Colleges as to funds and the campaigns by questionable authorities who can appeal to the public while so many wonderful lines of research on the campuses may be languishing for lack of funds.

While purportedly connected with the original “World University” which was to be established in New Delhi, India, I see on the one hand several individualist (!) “World Universities” being constructed and none of them have the universalities in any direction of the “University of California” in its larger aspects.

I had to visit the Berkeley campus this time as representative of another Asian institution than those whom I have represented in the past and the business was conducted rapidly and successfully. This is a World University function.

Now the only request, if it be a request, is that you may be aware that my next visit will include calling on the Parapsychology Department with the double purpose of aligning them with colleagues in parts of Asia (refused by Rhine and others who seek public funds), and with the Survey Research Bureau, provided this is not being done at the forthcoming meetings of the AAAS which take place shortly.

I do not think the State Colleges—against whom there is no criticism and from whom there is excellent cooperation—realize what is going on on the various “UC” campuses individually and collectively. A copy of this is being sent to the Alumni House, Berkeley and anything in it may be used by them or your good self in any way you feel inclined.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

February 12, 1966


Hon. Clark Kerr

President, The University of California

 Berkeley 4, Calif.


Dear President Kerr,

Asilomar Conferences on “Asia” is “How California Can Help Asia.”

This letter is in a sense a durge and the original durge was not mailed owing to the appearance of “Sarkhan,” the sequel to “The Ugly American,” one of whose co-authors long served on the Berkley campus. But the ironical situation is that this very service, this very effort of a campus underling seems to preclude and exclude participation in a high level conference. When after last year’s meetings Pakistan and China entered into several treaties and this person was questioned, he said, “Why not? they are both excluded from our conferences on “Asia.”

A number of years ago, being able to retire from gainful occupation, the writer began a career on “How California Can Help Asia” which became, in effect, how the University of California can help Asia. For there is hardly a problem from Japan to the Arab world inclusive, covering the whole continent outside the Iron Curtain which has not been solved, actually solved by either present day or previous research or the efforts of Alumni nationals of that part of the world. But these efforts and achievements seem to be quite unwelcome at the Asilomar Conference.

And it is a sad thing that while there are dozens, more than scores of processors and graduate students on the various campuses quite capable of dealing with problems, they are not only not invited to seminars, but seldom do their names appear in articles in “Asia Survey,” a publication of the University but hardly by or for the University. Still, that magazine, while restricting its writers and excluding achievements of your staffs, is not nearly so closed as the conferences have been.

One has long dreamed of conferences on “Asia” when men from the different campuses could come together and exchange their experiences and opinions. But alas, in practice, opinions are much more important than experiences and the grand experiences of your savants are hidden from the public while the very questionable opinions of non-American, non-Asians (including even communists) are to the fore and are discussed as if the future of the grand continent were in the hands only of Aryan peoples from all over the world, covering every non-Aryan opinion provided there are enough laudations of the word “democracy.”

One of the oddest incidents came after complete failure in trying to get some local Chinese to appear at the conference labeled “China” and rejected on the ground that none of them could speak good English, a whole flock appeared and participated in the Asian Studies Conference at the Sheraton Palace last year.

No doubt it is very entertaining to listen to newsmen and commentators, British diplomats and communists, European Ambassadors and American publishers, but on a second look one can see that these conferences have hardly solved, and in another sense have hardly touched the whole complex of Southeast Asian conflicts or the terrors that beface India at the moment.

In a previous year this person visited UCLA to call on David Wilson who has written an excellent work on “Thailand” but chose chapter on “Problems” was not exact. For what that writer called “problems” and what all our commentators and editors are calling “problems” had in large part been dealt with by teams sent from one or another of the campuses. As the work of these teams is reported neither by the press nor pulp magazines nor “Asian Survey” one can hardly blame anybody. But it is a pity that scholars, professors and research works who have been to Asia and done excellent work are excluded from seminars. And it is still more a pity that there are funds available for the types referred to in the first paragraph on this page.

It seems to be a public policy that a person becomes an “expert” not in the degree that he knows the subject matter, but to the decree of the quantity spent for travel expenses. And while one does not wish to protest against these expenses, I believe, Mr. President, that it would be both wisdom and economy to invite more and more of your own staffs to participate in Asilomar meetings.

On a later venture to UCR I met so many men who had been to Asia that all they wished to discuss was “How California Can Help Asia” and not on my errands of the time. This led me to Prof. Orr who has been selected by the President of the University States to held the Mekong River Survey and I said to some people, “What is it that causes the President of the United States to recognize the worthy on the California campuses whom the President of the University has not yet recognized?” This is, of course, an unfair statement for questions of security may be involved.

One of the greatest problems of the day appears to be the food situation in India. I met Prof. S. Chandrasekhar on the Riverside campus at the Dry Lands Research Center but though evident the Indian Government knows about Riverside research—and so many professors at Riverside have been to India, how can one make it possible for one or more of them to appear at a Seminar labeled “Asia” and be given equal status with diplomats and newsmen, especially from foreign parts? This, one submits is unfair and brings us back to “Sarkhan.”

The solution of the complex of South India and Southeast Asia has been delayed because those Americans, nay those Americans who staff your several campuses have not been brought into the public arena. So our people remain in ignorance. And one cannot afford to bombard Senator Fulbright when the obvious answer is so simple, right at our feet, but heretofore has been ignored.

Two other sides of the picture are even uglier but perhaps outside your jurisdiction. With about ten Asian Consulates in this City not one of them was properly represented at the last Asilomar Conference. It is hard to understand why. It causes Asians to ignore our exhortations to liberty, democracy and brotherhood because the actions belie the words.

Or, giving my own history as an example—it is just the experience of one of a vast group of “Ugly Americans.” In 1256 I was sent on an anti-Communist Mission to the Buddhists of Asia. It was a successful mission. It ended when Dr. Radhakrishnan of India was sent to Japan and was royally received. He became one of the Top Three of Buddhism when the International Conference was held sometime back. My own very close friend, Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul, became the President of the World Buddhist Conference. This should be history and later will become history.

In 1962 I was sent on a peace-feeler mission from Pakistan to India and again this led to the home of Dr. Radhakrishnan. But the American Foreign Office which spurned the fist mission became openly hostile as to the second. The result is that Asians are sending for my autobiography and notes.

This is nothing compared to what happened to certain of my colleagues and we are in the Vietnam complex because policies are determined by personalities and not by events.

In the scientific field—and this was exemplified throughout by the recent conferences of AAAS on the Berkeley campus—the first move is to get facts, records, data, etc. Conclusions come thereafter.

A thorough or a brief examination of the researches on the campus, the work of graduate scholars, the endeavors of the present time, indicate that there is hardly a problem of real Asia left untouched. But when will this be recognized by the public? Or the government?

Here is your opportunity and one hopes something will come of it.


Samuel L. Lewis

Now representing directly or indirectly:

University of Islamabad, Pakistan

Pushtu Academy, Peshawar, Pakistan

University of Tehran

World University, New Delhi

University of Bangalore, India



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

February 22, 1966


Richard E. Erickson

Editor, California Monthly

Alumni House

University of California

Berkeley 4, Calif.


Dear Dick:

There are two things which make one feel very proud this morning, the February issue of “California Monthly” and “my day” on the campus yesterday, the details of which are too “grand” to relate and support in every way the tenor of this issue. I hope you will bear this in mind when some seemingly “critical” remarks are made. But both the “following” and “critical” remarks have in view the coordination of the efforts on the various campuses and pride in Berkeley is extended, not diminished, by pride in Riverside, Los Angeles, Davis, etc.

The “following” discussions were on my recent visits to UCR and UCLA and, in discussing with various colleagues on the Berkeley campus there was the general acceptance of furthering of “pride.” Prof. Seaborg does not lose in luster by having colleagues of equal rank in other departments on other campuses. And in discussing both with professors at Berkeley and UCLA alumni here there was some question whether articles on either UCR or UCLA would be sufficient, yet we agreed books would be out of the question now.

But the dream of glory of the “Six Campuses” is marred by news headlines, of resignations, etc., particularly at San Diego. And, so far as my private life is concerned the sympathy is all on the other side. Nevertheless there is no intention of calling either on the press or on political representatives to “right” what I consider a grievous wrong.

When I returned from Asia, before settling down I visited in turn UCSD, UCLA and UCR. Especially at UCSD and UCR I met a number of professors, mostly emeritus, who had been to Asia and these meetings were so harmonious, so hopeful that I returned to the Bay region with hope and joy, only to receive showers of cold water from and in every direction.

When the University of California took over the directives of seminars on “Asia” either at the Berkeley campus or Asilomar or elsewhere I had vast visions of the various professors whom I had met coming to a public arena and let the world know what they had done. Alas, it was not to be. If there have been any types excluded from conferences labeled “Asia”—most of which have little to do with objective Asia—it has been University of California professors, research workers and Asians themselves. An institution which has thousands of dollars to import “experts” on “Asia” from Europe, and also a British communist, but which ignores its own specialists, is not always to be commended.

When David Wilson wrote an excellent “History of Thailand” I found the work impeccable excepting the chapter on “Problems.” I wrote him saying that practically every one of these “problems” had already been given consideration and were often solved by colleagues on other campuses. On the whole I have been able to get your colleagues on campuses other than Berkeley to recognize this. And it is a great pity, nay it is downright tragedy, that with all the meetings labeled “Vietnam,” etc., hardly anybody is talking about objective realities, all our discussing their private philosophies and politics, ignoring mankind.

Recently I have written President Kerr hoping that at the next seminar on “Asia” he would have on panels some of his colleagues who have done real work in real Asia and not spend money on important “experts” and diplomats” from Europe and England informing (?) us about “Asia,” its problems and the solutions thereof.

In this so called “democracy” wherein the eye-witnesses are smothered by experts, it becomes an open hazard when the heads of a splendid institution like UCSD have to submit their resignations. But in all these complexes on Asia and in particular Vietnam, there has been a notable lack of attention to the splendid work done on all campuses by so many dedicated savants—none of whom seem to be recognized at the conferences on “Asia” and evidently not recognized otherwise either.

My dream has been to see editions of “California Monthly” like those of this month on Berkeley. My dream has also been to see other issues of some publication on the equally splendid work at UCD, UCSB, UCLA, UCR and UCSR. No doubt it has required a shock and maybe more than a shock to bring such matters to public attention.

I do protest, and shall protest on any more seminars on “Asia” which exclude all references to all work done by your splendid colleagues at UCSD. If I were to attend Alumni meetings and bring this up it would cause quite a stir and this I do not wish to do. One is still too busy evaluating the AAAS sessions at the end of last year and preparing to bring VIP visitors to the Berkeley campus.


Samuel L. Lewis


University of California, Berkeley

The General Library

Berkeley, California 94720

24 February 1966


Mr. Samuel Lewis

772 Clementina Street

San Francisco, California 94103


Dear Mr. Lewis:

This is a belated acknowledgment of your kindness in having given to the Library of the University of California through the Department of Near Eastern Languages 33 volumes in the Persian language. Because the Gift Division has been in the throes of moving both its office accommodations and its storage area within the Library Building during the months of December and January, we were unable to pick up any incoming gifts. The Department of Near Eastern Languages sent to us last week the volumes which you have given. We are greatly indebted to you for your interest in providing us with this unusual and valuable material. We are endeavoring to build up our collection of books written in Persian and appreciate very much the support you have given us in adding to material in this field. The interest of donors like yourself in building up the collection of the University Library to its present preeminence, is a very valuable asset to both the Library and University. Thank you very much indeed for your gift and support.

Very sincerely yours,

(Mrs.) Helen C. Brenner

Head, Gift Division Acquisition Department



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

March 27, 1966


Dear Dean Parrish:

One may visit your campus in about two weeks but if I come to your office it will be just perfunctory.

A number of groups here are interested in the collection of Mr. J. Davidson of the Art Department and I may drop by the give him details. The same is also true in a lesser extent of the Department of Ethnomusicology.

The morning paper has a long article by or about Vice-President Humphreys. This State, at least, is full of people who know considerable about Asia. For one I have not gotten a single newspaper to make a single visit to a single campus to follow up the matter of actual accomplishments abroad. The nearest is Mr. Braden and it would be very impolitic, in all senses of this term, to approach him now.

Actually one is quite nervous became as soon as legal matters are straightened out one returns to Asia and one has to meet the question from editors, “Why don’t your countrymen accept your articles?” and no matter what one does this will be used as anti-American propaganda.

When Mr. Humphreys was in New Delhi the editorials of the day praised the Tashkent conference and when Mr. Morse was there they praised Mr. Morse.

At the same time I never saw a more tragic event than the so-called “Peace Parade” here. I want peace through love, fellowship, camaraderie and mutual understanding and there is one very hard fact, that the trouble was started by a deliberate infiltration of Buddhist monasteries by communists. (Vide “Sarkhan.”) Unfortunately it was answered by a deliberate attempt at Christian counter-propaganda and the masses who are Buddhists would lose either way.

It is nonsense when the Vice-President says we have not enough “experts” on Asia. I met many, many when the American professors of Asiatica gathered at the Sheraton Palace last year. It was not covered by the press! For twenty years I have been saying: “The real world war is between the professors and the commentators.” I have not changed.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

April 18, 1966


Dr. Carroll Parrish

Administration Building

University of California

Los Angeles 24, Calif.


Dear Dean Parrish:

I have been on your campus recently and the business was concluded so rapidly that one went on. It is impossible to convey to our culture certain elements of existence, posited in the wisdoms or religions of the Orient but effaced from our traditions. In other words, while thinking of Mr. Davidson of the Art Department I ran into him at the entrance to the elevator and we concluded our affairs very rapidly. However the end is not in sight for immediately afterwards another event took place which will redound to his benefit. (He had already performed a mission which was conveyed to him.)

I do not know how much you are aware of the One Mind teaching (it appears in St. Paul too but it’s not part of Christianity), and it is difficult to impress upon closed minds and ears.

Within twenty four hours I was approached by a wealthy Hollywood dowager about a possible organization for the studying of Asian philosophies and religion—not the superficial churches and cults and ersatz movements which dot the panorama, and still less the blind acceptance or rejection of personality philosophies of brand names, English or otherwise, but the actual study of actual Asian “wisdoms.”

You will notice in the copy of letter enclosed mention is made of Prof. Richard Robinson of Wisconsin who I have named temporarily as heir-at-law because of some complicated tragic events which involve more the whole Vietnam imbroglio than our private lives. He is the one man who has been designated by the universities and by the real Buddhists as a savant in this direction.

One is busy writing two Buddhist autobiographies based on experiences within and without and there is no question that the outer experiences which even a skeptic should accept have run into more road blocks than the inner ones (Satori, Samadhi, etc, etc.) Recently when the Grand Master of Korea was here he designated this person as his representative here because he found him more versed in any and all phases of the Dharma than others. This is old hat and I am not going to add to it here. Some events will appear in the second autobiography (‘The Lotus and the Universe”) which will not appear in “Dharma Transmission.” The future generations will look askance at the a priori rejection of factual evidence by our contemporaries.

Although “God is dead” and “Buddha never was,” on Wesak Day I shall publicly dedicate the picture of my “fairy godmother” (Ruth St. Denis) as the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin, and shall make copies to send to all the world (yourself included) as a gesture to world peace and under-standing.


Samuel L. Lewis



772 Clementina St.

San Francisco 3, Calif.

May 17, 1966


Sidney Cohen

Department of Medicine

University of California

Los Angeles 24, Calif.


Dear Dr. Cohen,

Last night I watched you on TV and was very much interested in your remarks. Then I find you are among the chief speakers at the forthcoming LSD conference in Berkeley.

You will see on my card that at the moment I represent the University of Islamabad which is being constructed at the capital of Pakistan. This University is peculiar in many ways—for instance it is over-subscribed. But its main peculiarity is that the entire Board of Directors are disciples in Sufism and several of them are advanced mystics, in what used to be the definition of mystics, i.e. those who have experienced higher states of consciousness.

Among my instructions were to contact people doing research in “Spiritualism” which covers a much larger ground that was heretofore recognized. Roughly speaking it would mean experiences at any higher level than what the Indian philosophies call the manushic stage.

The directors wished to use this grand field as a portion of a potential cultural exchange program which would bring Asians and Americans closer together.

After writing a paper on “The Ten Stages of Consciousness” from the Zen-standpoint (not literature but deep experience) one did receive copy of the late Nyogen Senzaki’s paper on the same subject. But this person’s knowledge came therefor what in Zen schools is called “transmissioned.”

The differentiation between different schools of mystics is