410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
January 2, 1970
The Temple of Understanding
Attention: Mr. Finley Dunne, Jr.
My dear Peter:
A very happy New Year to you. This is my diary entry written at Novato, the Sufi Center. Someday, no doubt, and I think it will come soon, when a mass of people will get out of “realism” into Beauty and then our existence (not our “rightness”) will be accepted. Yet even on this point great progress has been made.
Unlike the scions of “universal religions” (of which there are so many, mostly mutually exclusive), we celebrated Lord Buddha’s Enlightenment, Ramadan, Chanukah, and Christmas, and for New, Year’s Evening we had, at midnight, a Vajrayana Fire Ceremony given by my good friend, Rev. Dr. Neville Warwick. This is of a tremendous real cosmic significance, totally different from the “universal” and “cosmic” presentations by PhDs and intellectuals, but these are rapidly being put in their places with or without “humility.”
If one can operate as one did yesterday showing the functionalism of a people without vision perish with the vision, the future is assured. True, one did this on the “low” and “shocking” level of calling one football play after another, to the amusement of disciples, but when this has been on a high and functional level, it has been universally rejected, especially by the important and mighty. But the day of tossing out “Bethlehem-Ephratas” and Kabir is over. And one has made considerable progress in and with universities, if not with the very separative “universal” cults!
There will no doubt be a show-down next week at San Francisco State College where the renowned Dr. Hayakawa presumably functions. At least unlike the “universal” cults, I shall be permitted to speak. This is the least of it, for Christmas greetings coming from so many lands shows a type of universality absent from the “universal” and “cosmic” separative cults.
The most interesting card came from Vilayat Khan’s secretary using the same, copied or coincidental of that our good friend Roland-Gammon of New York. He was the only cleric in the whole land who gave me a farewell greeting before I left last for Asia. “Big” people judge by externals but the “little” people” have a different viewpoint.
I had eighty young people for Christmas evening—without a tree but with a cross. And about a hundred on New Year’s Eve and between times more and more strange visitors, all young and seeking.
Vietnam: I have recently received copy of publication from Dr. Eliade of the University of Chicago. It is so different being immersed in Reality and not in realism, taking into account the institutions of both the masses and scriptures and being so unlike the dialectic subjective presentations of “Asian” religions and philosophies, characteristic of the immediate past.
I may sign up for a course on Southwest Asia (where I have the un-credential of having lived and mingled with the masses) but the professor and I have long come to a most amicable understanding. I also have the encyclopedic “Asian Drama” of Gundal which may (or may not) become a text. There have been a few but most satisfactory relations with the University of Chicago, and if they get certain financial backing from Los Angeles I may have to send them some of the properties of the late Nyogen Senzaki.
There are, of course, two kinds of “property,” physical and “dharma-transmission,” the latter being sub species eternities. But one is much encouraged to see that there are more and more persons in America who have discovered the importance of religion cum superstition as determinative of the psychologies of Asians who are neither dialecticians nor “realists.”
Palestine: I have heard from another of those many groups purporting to be working for peace in Palestine confessing that they have no program. Well I have, covering everything from religious understanding to the study of water resources and desert reclamation. But first we must inculcate the spirit of devotion, even if this means religion cum superstition.
World Peace Through Religion. I find there is another organization with headquarters in Boston. After the long experiences with the World Church Peace Union, with Dr. Weller, with the Baha’is, Roerich, etc., one wonders when and whether we can get to the scriptures with “a little child shall lead them,” or a lady housekeeper! And you know what I mean.
Postscript to follow.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
P. S. Yesterday some time was spent with my travel agent. She informed me that there would be one stop-over in the United States, and one either coming or going in London. I do not know whether there would be any advantage in coming to Washington first, but there might be afterwards to discuss future plans.
There is in England a real integrative movement (not verbal but actual) called Gandalf’s Garden, and I am also a member of the Royal Asiatic Society, etc., etc. On the whole it might be of advantage to be there after the convocation, but much depends on timing and reservations.
As to Washington, it might be wise to call on General Edward Lansdale afterward, considering both the plans and programs for The Temple of Understanding and future programs.
With the change of site one hopes Dr. Walpole Rahul will be in attendance, etc.
I have just received a copy of Miss Ruth by Walter Terry. It is also called “The More Living Life of Ruth St. Denis.” This is very timely. This lady had been my inspiration for years and the spiritual dances of all faiths is attracting as much attention as one can possibly give.
In the case of the Sri Aurobindo Movement to whom I had originally offered dedication which they spurned, there has now been an apology and retraction. But their extremely exclusive “integration” has lost them considerably attention in this land. They are not even programmed for the immediate seminar on living religions, and were hardly considered also at the “Holy Man’s” jamboree. We cannot have inclusiveness and exclusiveness both at the same time and same place. The retraction, of course, was accepted, but this does not include their local groups which remain exclusive—too bad.
My theme for Christmas had been “Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain laid low, etc.” When the “humanitarians” and “humanists” accept the human race, we shall have peace and contentment, and the youth are working for just that.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
January 5, 1970
Vera Van Voris
Soledad, Calif. 93960
My dear Sheikha,
Something like a miracle has happened—and I mean a miracle, and I mean has happened.
I failed to copy the healing material on file at Novato and was much concerned about it. The side note practices are few in number but great in importance. True, Hazrat Inayat Khan left with Rabia Martin a lot of material which I laboriously copied, and which were un-laboriously seized and kept by Mrs. Duce. She did return some of my own things and in the strange selection of material she did send me a lot of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s notes (under the impression they were mine) and kept a lot of my notes (under the impression they were his). Such is the wisdom of the unwise.
I have several volumes of my own autobiographical field notes; some what we call insitu reports, and some manuscript elements for possible publication.
In going over these notes this morning, Saul, one of my disciples, discovered a notebook which I had always thought missing. This notebook includes among other things the dictation from Pir Dewwal Shereef, president and founder of the University of Islamabad.
Chief among them are the healing notes, much more discrete and full than the miscellany I had had from Hazrat Inayat Khan. In other words, there are distinct practices for discrete diseases. I shall have these copied either soon in a rough form, or later in a careful form because of the early arrival in this region of Pir Vilayat Khan.
We have never discussed this fully, but on principle I am quite in favor of what Pir Vilayat is doing. We say “God alone is the founder of Sufism.” And the restriction of it to any person, Hazrat Inayat Khan, or other, can be more atavistic than the restriction of theosophy to H.P.B. etc. I am not only in favor of the policies of Pir Vilayat, but am delighted over the great Sufis whom he has been utilizing for subject matters for his lectures. He writes he will only be here on a single day, Friday, January 16, although I may see him, before or after, elsewhere.
If you have a specific health problem please let me know, but if it is general I shall be glad to send you what might be called the shifayat of Pir Dewwal Shereef.
With all love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
January 11, 1970
My dear Vocha;
So much has happened this last week that it is necessary to record it. Most impressive has been the correspondence coming at the same time from Julie Medlock and Bryn Beorse. These people, like myself, have been “all over” and met all kinds of people and had been eyewitnesses to events which may be recorded as history but never as news and I think we are all champions of being rejected for our impertinence of being present when events occurred. And we stand in contrast to the superficial meandering of the present Vice-President. And I can assure you that neither Mr. Nixon nor Mr. Agnew nor Mr. Humphreys or and nor anybody in the same category have been where Bryn and Julie and I have been. Fortunately the future historians have their ears and eyes open and are not being so moved by the phoney history-making of superficial politicians.
Friday closed with an attack on not only several noisy cults but on the Humanists and the Humanists above all. I dared not speak but why should I until I am in some way equal—I don’t mean equal in the true sense, but equal in that when I have been an eyewitness I be heard equally not to other eye-witnesses but to speculators and commentators and “experts” who do not have to be present.
Nonetheless when I returned to this house and examined my mail I feel that there are far worse people than the Humanists whose chief fault is not their philosophy but their innate exclusion of most of the human race. That is why I stand with Oliver Reiser who actually recognizes the peoples and the cultures of other times and climes which the “Humanists” of the day certainly do not.
One was the literature sent me by the apologists for theologians who are so concerned with “Ethics.” This does not seem to have anything to do with human behavior at all. At best it is an attempt to apply Aristotle’s measures to anything and everything. If you don’t accept God you are impossible and if you accept God you must be warned He broke all of Aristotle’s logical dicta. I don’t know what they are talking about except they seem to have the moat exclusive of all the exclusive debating societies so concerned with “democracy.”
Then there are the older people who are leading “The New Age.” Every one of them a “general.” In the name of “integration” they are compiling every sort of cult that has anything to do with a thing and which is hypocritical. They have stolen Oliver Reiser’s vocabulary and talk about the “world’s religions,” limiting themselves to abstracts and abstractions which depend upon the social importance of the person who is author or speaker.
All three: the humanists, religionists and “emergent “ people agree in regarding themselves as more equal than others; in using the term “ethics” and in disregarding any comment or criticism from others even though this involves only facts and not opinions. Indeed a factual criticism is even worse than an opinion-criticism. And the “internationalists” are the worst in rejecting actual history, or histories. They are extremely selective with themselves at the helm.
No wonder then that a close friend of Bryn, coming to my meeting in Marin County Wednesday said: “You have not only started the year right, you have started the decade right.”
While it is too early to evaluate the letters sent out in re Ruth St. Denis, it is already working. We are going to have tonight (unless there is a sudden change) a dancing teacher who has proposed to carry a step further the goals of Srimati Ruth and objectify them. My own dance classes are full, and if I can get rid of some ego-problems it could even lead to my becoming a professional dance teachers or teaching others to so become.
This coming week the cards may be on the table for Vietnam. At least the instructor is well aware of our rejection of “Ugly Americans” and the sobbing, hypocritical nonsense about “peace with justice.” I am making notes from Gunnar Myrdal’s “Asian Drama.” While he has some facts wrong I am amazed with his conclusions, based on the very erroneous supposition that “anything you can do we can do better” common to the Humanists, religionists, new age (?) metaphysicians and many sociologists and economists, especially regarding cultures with which they are not acquainted.
Today the papers are bogging about Biafra. I was against the whole African settlement based on the establishment of “actions” because certain peoples have been conquered by the same imperialists. But if a man who has participated on events and been shut up, what right has he to propose on peoples and events with which he is not off hand acquainted? We are all murderers and we shall remain murderers until we adopt international affairs, etc. the same ethic as in jurisprudence, relying, at least occasionally on eye-witnesses and victims and not on superficial, supercilious commentaries of important personalities.
While I am preparing my Vietnamese notes—and remember I shall soon be seeing, I hope, the retired ground general of the U.S. Army, a very good friend, I am now already for an experience. An Arab who is an Israeli citizen and a Sufi (I am told) to boot, is coming there. We shall go around and call on the “peace” groups, the press, the radio-TV stations, the churches and the “good” people in general and make notes of our rejections, and then see that they are published even at our own expense. I think I may be able to get one of the many rival groups working for understanding in the Near East to take some field notes, at least. At least I have a program, one filled with notes, annotations, facts and a minimum of high ideas from important persons.
I remember Fischers’ Richer by Asia, a most superficial work of an important man who, visiting the continent learned something, not very much, but more than other “experts.” It was easy to predict what would follow: Vietnam, South Asia, and the Near East. Maybe more. And at least the Consul General of Indonesia did send for me and another Asian Consul-General has sent for me. What? With all the experts?
But as Bryn’s friend has said: “You have not only started the year right; you have started the decade right.” I am awaiting Bryn’s book. If even ten people read it, it will start something—My trip south delayed until I get a green light from some colleagues.
Love and blessings,
January 13, 1970
My dear Professor Needleman:
In my talk here last night I said there was too much drama going on to have any time for “excitement.”
I am enclosing two brochures of the Muslim Students’ Associations—these arrived yesterday—with a comment on one of them. Strictly speaking this comment is not directed against the Prof. Siddiqui or Prof. Nadawi. It is directed against the whole tribe of egocentrics and solipsists, people who like Descartes who’s “I think therefore I am” was based on an innate assumption of “I am.” My real anger is against the writers of Religious Studies of Cambridge University Press. I should be glad to turn this over to you with several other “intellectual” publications. Nothing but solipsists, egocentricities, and dialectics.
No doubt this decision, and the present psychological mood, was stimulated by receiving Nov. 1969 of “History of Religions.” Nearly all the writers confessed that their dialectic and philosophic conclusions were contrary to the opinions of devotees, either brought about by their mingling with the common people of Asia; or their uncovering of diverse explanations in Chinese literature. These are the types I should say are “humble,” who know what humility is. And this common undertone from Prof. Kliade and his associates causes one to be optimistic on the one hand, and stern and stubborn on the other.
The morning began with a necessary visit to the Zen Mission Society, 149 Arkansas St., of this city. I am having their problems taken up with Prof. Lancaster, Dwinnelle Hall, Berkeley. He is one of many of the new type of professors I am encountering who also have the Eliade rather than the egocentric-dialectical outlook.
I am still awaiting the coming here of a Palestinian Arab whom, I understand, is a Sufi, and has accepted Israeli citizenship. I shall do everything possible to bring you two together.
I am also perforce reserving time for the coming of Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan who will be speaking in San Anselmo on Friday. I realize you will probably be away when this letter reaches your home, so no early response is needed. This may be regarded as routine report, but many of my days are very similar—too much drama to have excitement.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
January 17, 1970
Dear Mother Divine Vocha:
It is the New Age. Last night Vilayat Khan came to San Anselmo and without any fanfare we had at least 150 persons, and I doubt whether there were ten over 35 or even over 30 in age. We demonstrated and I mean demonstrated the heritage from Ruth St. Denis and Dane Rudhyar. No nonsense, and we even had some discussion on the New Age. And while the press and “important” people are shivering over pseudo-problems, I tell you even the New Age people of New Mexico were there in the audience. It was in some sense the most tremendous outer event of my life and it has to be glossed over. The day of “liberty,” democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up.”
This morning I shall copy notes from Gunnar on Southeast Asia and bring them to class. This professor is actually carrying on the work which I had outlined on “How California Can Help Asia,” all objective, all factual, even annotated but impossible (French pronunciation) before establishment groups. They want well-known speakers and I cannot repeat too often Russ, “Do not let facts disturb the issues.” But how facts are going to disturb the issues and even if it were not true—and it is—that “older” persons had not summarily rejected this and other persons (a la Julie Medlock), the young love to hear whether they are stories or pseudo-stories and mostly they are really real stories which “we do not want to hear.”
Well we do need an impersonal, quasi-scientific Logistics. In the classroom I am always winning discussions, over counterbalancing my being precluded from floors by “les respectables.” But we need not dwell on that.
I think I wrote Walter Terry, but I do know I wrote Harry and Jack I want his works and you can tell them that. The financial situation is also breaking through. The New Age Food Company has been eminently successful, and both Moineddin and Hassan have come in for unexpected raises, and it looks like more. Also Mansur is really trying and if we get together—difficult now because of work hours, our total incomes have gone way up. And this without considering certain beaks which may come in my private life, etc.
In the audience was the Arab from Israel who has some plans for Peace in the Near East. As usual, we listen to everybody but the people themselves. We are responsible for Biafra. A person like myself, or better Julie Medlock, can protest forever. It has been useless. Policies are God. Period. But having seen 600,000 (I mean actually six hundred thousand) refugees in one place I am not moved and after all genocide is only a crime if against people of certain religions. Or is it?
One has to fight. Lord Snow’s “The Two Cultures” is obvious, but you cannot get generals to permit open debates, and as for the “peace” groups: Well we still do not have Assouan. And I have piles of stuff on desert reclamation and salt-water conversion, not just one type, but many types. You would think that those who claim to be battling for “science” would at least open the doors or floors! What a differences when one meets the real scientists. Snow’s “The Two Cultures” is so obviously obvious.
I had broken off correspondence with Oliver to mail the letter from here and am sending copy to him and also Lloyd. There is now a great cry about world food problems (full of emotion). Of course I agree in birth control and am actually flabbergasted that the pull causes cancer. But this is “science” and a peasant cannot say against “science. Everything causes “cancer” but we haven’t found a cure and being “scientific” we don’t have to examine cultures in which cancer does not appear at all. This would really put the fate in the fires. Anything but Keyser’s “Rigorous Thinking.”
I had written Oliver about invitations to Eastern universities. Now I am overwhelmed. Only it is not true that a person is without honor in his own village and recognized elsewhere; it is definitely an age break, and as I have written; it is time to have a real scientific philosophy based on considerations of Lord Russell on “in”; AK on “is” and Spaulding on the ego. I could even get this accepted here today—on the university campuses. And my World War III, predicted and I mean predicted in 1920 that the real world war would come between the professor and the commentator is not only on the horizon, it is here.
The same facts, the same material, etc. and Lord Snow’s cultures: (a) factual people; (b) important people.
Next Saturday I may have to go to a meeting on India. When I get my autobiography or biography I can have related my meetings with VIP’s from that country. But one is never forgiven when one is the only American to get certain interviews. Or is he? The young love these stories and would even if they were not true and they are.
Sunday plan to go around to the “peace” groups, the press, the radio, TV, the religious and anti-religionists and keep a detailed account of our rejections. Or maybe we won’t get rejected. One becomes optimistic, at last. Maybe we shall accept facts; maybe we shall listen to eye-witnesses; maybe we can forestall future Biafras by getting out of “realism” into Reality. Well, I have to start on that now.
Samuel L. Lewis
Next Sunday, India’s Independence Day. Meeting loaded for me this time. Old friend Lal among the speakers. No more “expert” nonsense.
January 20, 1970
c/o Books In Review
Dear Vocha Mother Divine:
Thank you for your letter of the 18th. This may be the year, if not the decade, of the counter-balance. The rate at which I am now being glorified is almost as rapid as the rate with which I am being accepted and even honored. It is not only the young who admire the persons rejected because-because; but there is a totally new type of professor in the universities who faces reality and rejects the “realisms” of no matter who. Best example is my sitting before Prof. Kozicki. I found he has tabulated all the books which I have severally examined under the theme of “How California Can Help Asia.” His chief under-theme last week was the vice-president. The various elites will grossly evaluate his totally inane tour. You never hear of Johnson or Humphrey or vice-president Nixon or princess Jacqueline anymore. They dominated the news, hut “only in America.” The small space which each and every one was given in the actual Asian papers would no longer horrify serious students, because that is what they expect. It is only “realists” and subjective dialecticians that may have paid any attention to these tensile shows. Even Fischer, whose works on Russia and Europe I admired, wrote most superficially about Asia.
Until a few years ago Prof. Kozicki would not count, because he could not count under the old dispensations. Instead of having sat ”at the foot of the Master”—whatever that means—he lived in Burma and Malaysia. He actually lived with the people—no “The Ugly American” top-level froth. Why, we recognized each other at first sight with complete understanding. I am more than delighted or amazed. I feel suddenly on the side of the “ins,” or as I sometimes put it “the silenced majority.”
I don’t want to report on all these today’s pleasantries which are also reactions against yesterday’s frustrations. Perhaps the most serious event in my life is that my brother is undergoing a capital operation. We are totally reconciled. He fully realizes that his early demise will place me in a most comfortable position, exceedingly comfortable. And this comes at a time when many doors are open in many directions.
I have just come from “The Academy of Science” at Golden Gate Park where this year I took out three memberships for three of us. (The other person living in this house attends the Rudolph Shaeffer School.) The top people at the Academy have appreciated my scientific work in scientific sciences, and it was they who led me to join the AAAS. I have also purchased a work just published by one of them.
I must say, at the California Academy, and from the writings of the editors of AAAS, I feel as comfortable as I used to feel uncomfortable. Everything in their gestures, logistics, attitudes, only tends to prove Lord Snow’s “The Two Cultures.”
It is too early to anticipate what may come next. The field for organic gardening is wide open. And now when Bryn’s book is published I know pretty exactly what to do, although this would include the pursuit of his own suggestions.
In addition to this, I have had my interview with the Arab from Israel. The projected visit to the important people is being delayed while he completes his semester at Fort Worth, Texas. But he has already been accepted at San Francisco City College to begin with. He intends to bring together all the Arabs he knows who are, even though perforce citizens of Israel, and also Arabs who are opposed to all forms of attrition, Fortunately, here I have the good will the top brass, and intend to do something about it.
Azam immediately felt that Sam is the person who can help promote real peace in the real Near East. There were several other persons present at our meeting this morning and there was remarkable concord. No doubt I may have to visit the East Coast or even Europe before our program can get underway, but my whole life has been concerned with this subject. I think you realize that I have squawked over my rejections largely because the rejections given to Robert Clifton and myself have been followed almost immediately by wholesale slaughter, attrition and tremendous outlays for which nothing is gained in return.
Last Friday when Vilayat was here, the hall was packed, although the meeting had neither been programmed nor advertised. I could write on endlessly in this manner. As Oliver said, I should work in, with, and through the universities; and that is what is being done now, and most successfully. No doubt there will be more to follow.
We have been joined by an Indian dancing teacher who took over Sunday night and filled in a great gap. The attendance at all my meetings, though still comparatively small, is even more surely continually increasing, and the weather has had little effect. I can say just one thing: the world is going to get out of “realism” and into reality. This is the New Age.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
January 26, 1970
Pir Vilayat Khan
This is a diary entry rather than a direct personal letter. There is absolutely what your sainted father told me in 1926 coming into manifestation in all directions. I have to pray to God not for health, but for equilibrium.
1. I think you met Azam at the San Anselmo meeting. Although he is a citizen of Israel, he is a disciple in Tasawwuf. We spent some time together discussing the possibility for peace in the Near East, and also for the use of spiritual instrumentation therefore. I have already met the hierarchical representatives in Egypt. I have already gone over such matters as salt water conversion, desert reclamation, religious conciliation, etc. This will be followed by a letter to a leading U.S. Senator who has been an ambassador abroad.
2. Summer School (or schools?) I laughingly told you I would be reaching people over 28. There is already one solid bona fide offer for the state of New Mexico, but this time I have been invited in full capacity as a Sufi Murshid. I could not give any valid answer because of facts and factors mostly mentioned below. I have also had offers from the states of New York and Massachusetts to say the least and I mean the least. I am afraid to look further.
3. Baba Ram Dass. He was at one time a Harvard professor, Richard Alpert, of a very wealthy family with a combination of hauteur and haughtiness. Although he took the drug outlet, it led him to a career in Yoga; I do not know what type. But he is here now in San Francisco lecturing on Tuesday nights and I expect to see him tomorrow. At least one of his former associates is now a candidate for Bayat. I understand he is on a fund-raising campaign, very funny for a scion of a wealthy family, but I know no details. It is just possible that this fund-raising campaign may be of benefit to at least one of the summer schools referred to above.
4. Finances. Our next family meeting at the Khankah this week is faced for the first time with considerable increment in income. Allah, upon whom be all praise, has seemed to be looking kindly on several of our ventures, details too long and complicated to consider at this time.
5. Family situation. Your father said, “Give me heaven or hell O Lord, but not purgatory.” That is just where I am at this moment. My brother after fifty years enmity is hovering between life and death. The enmity is gone, Alhamdu Lillah. If he continues on I haven’t the slightest idea as to whether he will help me or not. If he passes away, I shall receive to begin with at least one more considerable legacy. If his words were correct, and I am not yet counting on that, at least two more. This would mean the establishment of a good secretariat here, and possibly of a print shop and organic farm.
6. Neophytes and candidates—So many now that I do not wish to write further. I am indeed hoping to get Githas, which I do not have (I have many but not all) and Sangathas (if possible in cooperation with Atiya). That is all I have time for now.
Love and Blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
February 7, 1970
My dear Vocha:
Of course I was kidding when I spoke about a “conspiracy” There is no more conspiracy “for” Sam than there was one against his (with one exception—there was a party at which a number of “worthies” attacked me as unworthy and said I should not be permitted to speak because I really did not know. Than it was betrayed and it causes one now to write here and again about the “silenced” majority.
I shall see my brother Monday. If he is better will take off to L.A. as soon as possible, perhaps before you come here, both to get a rest and to conduct some business. Dr. Hawkins at UCLA wishes to see me in re Ruth St. Denis and my present work in dancing. We are very successful and I have reached the limit of a capacity until I can organize. (See below). We are planning a spring festival which will include about six joint birthdays with Gavin in the #1 spot. Just telephoned Gavin and he has accepted.
The campaign of former Dr. Richard Alpert of Harvard to raise money for his researches on real Oriental philosophy, etc, has been most successful. You should see the young gather—thousands of them. All this nonsense of “Middle Class America.” He came from the wealthy upper class and a very generous portion of the Hippies too and the way they showered him with greenbacks! While others are pining and moping, and practicing “self righteousness” the young people in ever increasing fashion are expressing their freedoms and their fights for freedoms. And this person is to be included not only in his book but in another being compiled in the Boston Cambridge area. Can’t keep up with the requests.
I am waiting for Mansur to find whether he will go to Geneva and other places on return. We have contacts in London and about six universities on the East. But it is not all that bad—the relations with University of California (in general) and S.F. State have gone up. Everything is almost reciprocally opposite of previous years.
I am interested in your semantic report. What a difference between our contacts and correspondence with lab-scientists and other “scientists!” Emotions and even mobs and no clear definition of “pollution” and terrible nonsense about DDT—the nonsense about DDT is even worse than DDT itself, but then the “proper” people are proper. I have been writing, “Just as in past years it was evident that the trouble with the Asians was they knew so little about Asian Philosophy, that marvelous discovery of graduates of British and German universities, so today the trouble with lab-technicians is that they know so little about Science!” It is Frederick Soddy all over.
That great chemical genius applied for a Carnegie scholarship in Science. He was told by the University-Glasgow, I believe, that Andrew Carnegie had indeed endowed them liberally for scientific courses and that they had divided the money, 10% for natural science and 90% for social science. So there was not much available. He then went into economics and came out a very brilliant and very embittered man. He was, to me, one of the most logical and maligned persons who ever lived and even his real contributions to the real sciences have been underscored! I have had his career before me but have a sense of humor which he did not possess.
My dancing classes are now full, and I may have to start others as well as authorize teachers. There are two separate movements to get them on TV, and both proposed to me. My “plan” is to go to the international conference in Geneva where this time I shall be permitted the floor before being attacked—if indeed I am attacked. People who resort to personality criticisms are not only deficient morally but the young will have no more of them. That game is for the “old ladies.”
Then there are the psychological problems. If we had any decent type of philosophical organization, semantic or not, we should know that children are concerned more with food than with sex early in life. We want to give them sex-education but not dietetics and bodies are filled with poisons—bread, cola, white sugar, etc. I believe those products manufacture chloro-carbonates in the body, these often resembling DDT. But try to explain this to any newspaper scientist or parlor-scientist. All you get is an attack on the person. And then one reads in Science totally refreshing whether editorial or complex research. Honest, logical, etc.
I am glad you have set a date and will note accordingly. We had a big family birthday party this week—Hassan and plan no more until the Spring Equinox as above. But I find that March 10 is already marked on the calendar. Tuesday is now my theoretical free day and we shall see who is available to pick you up if necessary.
Tomorrow class on Southeast Asia—so different from the “experts” “commentators” and VIP’s. We have on our list a volume of Current Literature. So different from what one reads elsewhere. It is not necessary to have facts, it is only necessary to “explain” them. After all haven’t our editors been successful where the military have failed?
There are too many interesting (to us) letters and contacts today to be moved by the emotions of the press or the TV programs. You will be seeing for yourself.
February 8, 1970
Kanhangad Post Office
In re Krishna: Myths, Rites, and Attitudes, edited by Milton Singer
It is not often that one would dare to recommend a book to a spiritual center. There are circumstances, inner and outer, which make me feel this book should become better known far and wide, and we will make some effort to have a copy sent to you. There are two quite different factors working here, at least. I have already met Dr. Milton Singer at a conference in the Sheraton-Palace Hotel here, in S.F. and I was able to answer, presumably, some of his abstruse questions. I find that my own social and adventurous experiences in India, few as they were, entirely in accord with the notations in this book. They are also quite in harmony with what is being done at Anandashram and in the houses of Papa’s devotees, not to mention others.
But the amazing thing is the flash and rush of inner inspiration coming to this person at the present time. One is actually overworked—nothing like a day off this year so far, and no sign of any. But it is just at this time and under these circumstances that the heavens themselves seem to open up and the Divine Mother in the form of the Goddess of Creative Imagination and Direct Insight keeps one busy, even in the midst of dreams, meditations, and relaxations. What is remarkable is the very close concord between these inspirations and the whole tenor and methodology of the Bhakti mentioned in this work. Sam is not especially a Bhakti. He is a Sufi, or may be called a Sufi, but in the universal sense, and perhaps in the sense that he is like a reincarnation of the Mogul prince Dara Shikoh, which has been mentioned before.
We have now two Krisna-Radha dances. One Hare Krishna dance with many variations. A constantly growing number of Dervish Dances of all sorts and of Ramnam dances. These keep pouring in through the personality. While it has been sadly amusing to find both the idea and the specific creations rejected by the very people you would imagine would be most interested, the whole thing has caught on so to speak, caught on within the universities, both professors and students, but not yet caught on with many who regard themselves as devotees. Perhaps this does not matter. In fact, seeds have been sown with the Indian students themselves. On March the 21st, we hope to have a huge Spring Festival, externally associated with the birthday of one Gavin Arthur, who was much drawn to Papa when Papa was here. Actually it may be the introduction of our work to larger groups for filming and recording purposes. But like the Gita says our duty is to action, leaving to Sri Krishna the fruits of action.
At the moment Sam is concentrating on the work he must do in cooperation with The Temple of Understanding. This group is planning this temple to “Be a house of prayer for all peoples.” Spiritual and ecclesiastical leaders of the world will be meeting at the end of March in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. It is most fortunate that Sam has friends among the leaders of several faiths, and also has the good will of Mrs. Judith Hollister, and Mr. Peter Dunne, Jr., the directors of this effort.
We have now a dance secretariat here to properly choreograph the dances and put them in a literary form. This is only the first step. Hazrat
Inayat Khan, the Sufi said, “Mysticism without devotion is like uncooked food.” The simple fact is the young Americans are devotees while many of the directors of churches, cults, sects, and societies are still too concerned with leadership and not with spiritual realization.
In this very situation there is nothing but hope. As written before, there is a new day in this America, a new day in which the glorification of God and the repetition of sweet Names is becoming part of our social structure. Isn’t this wonderful?
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
February 12, 1970
Dr. Oliver Reiser
Department of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh 15213
My dear Oliver:
“The old order changeth, giveth place to new….”
It is spring time out here and with two exceptions totally bright outlooks. One of these has been the demise of the underground paper The Oracle, which was to have printed my articles. The other is the suspense of my brother holding between life and death, a sharp turn in either direction being beneficial, but his continued situation, eating up his capital and keeping me in suspense.
The immediate cause for writing at this point is an article enclosed—”Applied Logic Corporation” published by Wall Street and U.S. Business. This article fulfills the predictions of the late Prof. Cassius Keyser in our long tete-a-tete which took place shortly before his death. The Etc-emanticists refused absolutely stubbornly and adamantly either to recognize that I had been a student and disciple of Cassius Keyser or to accept anything specific thereon. You can be a “good” semanticist and deny predictability. It has little to do with what you are and little to do with what you know.
Today my immediate following is in the neighborhood of 100 young people, and I am being greeted more and more by university professors and honored as a “doctor.” Not only that, I may be taking over the leadership in the new-age communes. This is a long story but some of the side facets must be told here.
I expect to be leaving at the end of March to attend an international peace conference wherein I shall be permitted to participate. Before that we may have a Vietnam session in my home at San Francisco at which the chief speaker will be a Vietnamese. In the meanwhile I am enrolled in a class on Problems of Southeast Asia, a very odd class; the professors and most of the enrollees have lived in Southeast Asia. I think among and between us we have covered every country of that region. There is none of the old age “what do you think”; the discussions are based almost entirely on what do you know. Many in the class have been totally frustrated, never being permitted to present their first hand research and experiences to others. It is this sort of polluted nonsense which stands in the way of the solution of problems.
I think the term philistines can be applied alike to the press, diplomats, religionists of practically every view, humanists, so-called semanticists, and metaphysical people in general. As I have so often written, “eye-witnesses are acquired in law courts, and in the discussions of science; elsewhere, opinions may dominate, provided they come from the “right” people.”
I had a long session yesterday with the number 2 man from Lama Foundation in New Mexico. He is a withdrawn, a dropout, electrical engineer and physicist. He has not given up his allegiance to the scientific methodologies. Quite the contrary. But he has been unable to straddle the two cultures as depicted by Snow and Korzybski. He is sick of the misuse both of the word science and the social, to him, misapplications of it. He is also very active in promoting Dome Architecture which could greatly cut the cost of housing and which is therefore anathema to establishments. He is also exceedingly active in organic gardening.
The old Aristotelian heritage is based on the assumption of the existence of the ego self. The thought in the minds of anti-Aristotelians alike is Aristotle. The summary rejection of my proposal to examine alternate forms of logistics. At San Francisco State I smothered my opponents rather than dualistically defeat them by mentioning two Asians systems of logistics. One of my disciples who also lives with me in San Francisco is studying what was originally known as Zen Buddhism with Prof. Langcaster at the U. of California in Berkeley. Prof. Langcaster has presented the dignaga system of logic and is turning down all answers to all questions based on Aristotelian methods. He says they do not work; they cannot be applied to Asian cultures. I believe he is absolutely correct.
It is only so that we can become free from egocentricity, a subject avoided by all those over-influenced by Aristotle whether they like him or dislike him. In neither case are they free from him.
Sound. I do not know whether an Etc-emanticist could understand the difference between “tone” and “note.” A musical sound consists of a fundamental and overtone. We are building up choral responses on this principle. No doubt it was Dane Rudhyar who brought this to the attention of many, but I had long before that studied Helmholz (almost unpardonable to certain people) and we appreciate the music and the musicology of the composer Wexbern based on the laws of nature.
It was not therefore surprising to appreciate the discoveries of the great soldier scientist Mosely whom the late Bertrand Russell so admired. I believe though I do not know how to prove it—in fact I have always believed—that various kinds of vibrations could have overtones which Mosely discovered. I believe that this system of fundamentals and overtones may be found to work in many directions. It also supports the non-identity doctrine of Alfred Korzybski which his successes have repudiated.
Cell. Much of the discussion with my engineer colleague from Lama was on the principle of the “cell” replacing the individual ego. We discussed it from 3 points of view:
First, there are the electrical cells. We have been setting them up in series and in parallel and have studied these to some extent, but neither of us knew of any experiments of carrying cell connections into a higher dimension or crossing them in various ways which would set up “behavior patterns” so to speak. In any event we agreed that the system or society was replacing or could replace the individual.
The next consideration of the cell was in biology. And most of all in embryology, botanical and zoological. I will not go into this here. It is regrettable that philosophers of the past and existentialists in particular misappropriate words and presented these misappropriations as thought.
The third consideration was the cell, so to speak, as a unit in society, any kind of society. I do not wish to go into this either here excepting to indicate that my older theories of the possibility of a multi-dimensional society are now taking place. The super imposition of the cosmic philosophy and psychology of India on the social, scientific and literary contributions of the West can be, I think should be, and for my present experiences there are indications that this will be the foundation for New Age outlooks.
I believe that this outlook is entirely in accord with your approaches and even more so with the various outlooks of Archie Bahm who is getting a copy of this letter.
Economics. The purchasing power of the young people has been over-looked, and it is contributing to certain aspects of present day upheavals. No matter who you are or what you are, especially if you belong to some branch of the white race, you are middle class. I do not know what this term means any more. The word was borrowed from Europe and misapplied to American and other institutions. The number of dropout and runaway scions of the wealthy is tremendous and ignored. I have one in my own home in San Francisco. This takes on two aspects here.
Richard Alpert has been around here. He has been lecturing as Baba Ram Dass and acts as if he were a character from “A Catcher in the Rye.” He has been very very successful in drawing huge crowds of the young, not mentioned by the press of course. Thousands upon thousands and everyone offering $2 each. Where is the money coming from? It is not being spent on the pseudo-luxuries and over advertised questionable products of sorry industries.
My own immediate group is involved in the New Age food stores. They are very very successful, growing and growing and attracting the young everywhere. They are being organized. This also involves organic gardens and farms. They are being organized.
You can understand—hats went out of style; neckties are out of style; Brooks Brothers and Hart Schaffner Marx are going out of style. The communal Volkswagen replaces the individualistic motorcar. Etc., etc., etc. There is a definite difference between the situation and the depression 40 years ago. Then it was that the chain store and similar outfits prospered. We had to adjust. But now it is the “outlandish” which are prospering, and it is difficult to adjust because these facts upset us.
To sum up the personal at this point, the skies are very clear, it is springtime here, more like what you would find elsewhere in May, and so many opportunities in front of one in so many directions; respect and leadership and the growing regard from an ever-growing number of young people.
The Tyranny of Words. Years ago my colleague Luther Whiteman and I wrote on “The Tyranny of the Tyranny of Words.” The confusions continue and just as we have “middle-class” now the sociologists, the politicians, the press, the advertisers and all those whom A. K. deplored, having taken over the words “ecology” and “pollution.”
For instance, we had a definite ecology—that is biological ecology—in San Francisco. Eucalyptus trees were imported from Australia, planted everywhere and destroyed the natural ecology—that is “ecology” as defined by scientists. The Eucalyptus or gum is a fast growing tree, good for wind-breaks but not for fuel or usage as a hard wood. It kills out all other plant life around it and in this sense is individualistic—contrasted with the oak which is quite social. The Oak is a “climax” tree in the part of Marin county around here (Novato), but the sociologists, the press, the literati, not only do not know about ecology as a natural science, they can’t even understand it. They have stolen the word and everybody is discussing the word without solving any problems.
Pollution is in even worse repute. Snow’s other culture has taken it over entirely; and we shall probably face it like we are facing smog. I can’t expect the sociologists, the press, the Etc-emanticists and others to accept what was done in your city of Pittsburgh. This would spoil the show.
In the particular instance of sewage disposal, I have done some research and had intended to do more when I was stricken in 1965. If we can get the literary humanists out of the way; if we can accept the conclusion of Korzybski’s Science and Sanity, this problem will be solved at two levels:
A. the clarification of the meanings of the word,
B. the wide-spread application, first of those methods which have already been successful, but which are blocked by the so called channels of communication.
You see, Oliver, despite my acidogenic and sardonic remarks of the past, I am essentially an optimist. I don’t have to appeal any more for the floor and have no interest in public quarrels where the importance of the speaker is a greater factor than any effort to solve problems. But this day is passing. We have a new kind of humanity when one newspaperman went out and interviewed the young people as to what they wanted, he got entirely different answers from them (the young) than appear in Newspapers, the radio and TV I think we’re going to solve problems, but we are going to have to get the mental smog out of the way first.
Samuel L. Lewis
February 13, 1970
Mr. R. L. Adamson
Aquarian Arcane College
Box 16, Post Office,
Liverpool, N.S.W. 2170
Beloved One of God:
Your Contact bulletin and your letter of the ninth (2170) are very much appreciated. I am also delighted that Surendra Mohan Ghose has recommended me. I wish that other people connected directly or indirectly with the late Sri Aurobindo were so open. They have not left me in any dilemma. I have seen the karma of all the great ones, real or pretended, who in practice overlook history, overlook humanity, and in the last analysis are stuck with words, words, words.
Having had years of training in actual Karma Yoga, by which I mean hard work, very hard work in the spirit of reverence, all day long, and more than all day long, I did learn some things which I do not find are generally accepted: that others are also working very hard, working day and night in what each and all feel is dedication to the Divine Spirit but these people are never accepted by the others. Even those who proclaim the loudest about brotherhood and universality are adepts in ignoring the work of others of the beloved children of God.
Yes, I had wished to dedicate my “Dances of Universal Peace” to the Aurobindo movement. His Excellency Surendra Mohan Ghose not only accepted them, but more. But others in the Aurobindo movement snubbed them. They even went so far as to write in derogatory terms of their own colleagues, and I have this writing in my files. These dances are going on, and they are now dedicated to The Temple of Understanding whose headquarters are in Washington, District of Columbia.
I am planning, inshallah, to attend an international conference of the religious and spiritual leaders of the world next month, inshallah. I am on excellent terms with many of the leaders of various religions and have done something which I find very few people in the world have done: worship in humility and I mean worship in humility in synagogues, churches, temples, shrines, mosques, and all sorts of holy edifices. I have felt myself at home each and all. I have felt myself in complete harmony and union with the devotees of each and all. About the only result of this is to be considered an egotist, a braggart, and a bombast even by those who proclaim “world union” etc. I am still under some agreement with Socrates, “Only God is Great.”
It is remarkable how many, both persons and organizations, claiming universality and seeking memberships and/or funds, refuse to accept the historicity of the great Mogul Emperor Akbar. I am not going into details on this subject here. For over 40 years I have been caught in all sorts of movements and efforts verbally dedicated to universality, verbally so dedicated.
Today I am in an awkward position which may even become an enviable one. In the highlands of the state of New Mexico in the Southwestern part of this country, I met many young people, followers of Meher-Baba, the Bhaktivedanta movement, Yoga movements which taught the Yogas of union with God and not Madison Avenue hogwash, etc. They have decided to establish their own Shangri-las because they claim they have the money, the aptitudes, and the holiness. I was non-committal at the time, but now I have been sent for to become the Guru of that part of this country. At least later on I hope to go there and function, believing that with God’s help something may be accomplished.
The term Master has been applied and misapplied. There are two forms of Zen Buddhism in operation:
a. One based on persons and institutions
b. The other based on the personal experience of Samadhi which is sometimes, but not always, connoted by the Japanese term Satori. The Zen of spiritual experience is also found in Vietnam and Korea. And among the Chinese disciples of Venerable Hsu Yuan and Venerable Tsi Hsu (I have sat before the latter). Their Zen is one of cosmic attunement and attainment, not of ritual, not of important names, not of books, but of Being.
The term Master is used among Sufis (the Hebrew word is Rabbi and there are corresponding Arabic terms) to one also who has passed through experiences of cosmic union and attunement. Such persons often go around in the most humble guise. Adulation, popularity, and social prowess mean nothing to them. In other words, I personally find a great deal of difference between those people who have experienced Universality in actual “expansion of consciousness” merging into and with the All.
Years ago I studied with a Zen teacher who neither regarded himself as a Master, nor permitted others to so regard him. His name was Sokei-an Sasaki. After six months with him, I found I could understand all the scriptures of the world, and no one, and I mean no one, anywhere on earth has disproved this, though I do not go out seeking laurels therefor. But he showed me (and others) how to tell the spiritual grades of everybody up to one’s own status.
This is also presented in the Upanishads and in some works on Mahayana Buddhism not particularly studied. According to Indian cosmic metaphysics, there are innumerable grades of evolution with all sorts of outlooks which we might verbalize as mineral, vegetable, animal, asura, manusha, human … and so on until one becomes The Grand Man.
Thus God-consciousness can be conceived either as the consciousness of the fullness terminating our perfectibility; or it can be regarded as all the varieties of grades and forms from the most hardened material to and through the most sublime of sublime.
In all the mystical schools I have had training in, one is not regarded as a Teacher until he himself has one or more pupils who have experienced spiritual awakening.
Today there has been considerable success in raising the capacity of more and more young people to higher consciousness of bliss and exhalation. I do not want to set this up as a standard for others. The late Meher Baba has said, “I did not come to teach, but to awaken.” I think this is a very good statement, whether he exemplified it or not, whether his disciples manifest it or not.
I also have a Korean Master, and I am proud to call him Master. He has especially initiated me in the Avatamsaka or Kegon School of Buddhism which teaches that the Universal Light is reflected from everything and everybody, to everything and everybody, through everything and everybody. Philosophically, and above all mystically, this is not so different from the more profound aspects of Sufi and Indian meta-philosophies.
There is a great deal of difference between meeting actual human beings and discoursing or dialectizing about those we have not met. I have also met many whom I regard living Saints among Christian monks and nuns. One can tell this by the Light that emanates from their eyes and by the feelings that come from their hearts. Having met many such people, I am not always too enthusiastic about those who seem merely to intellectualize on the subject.
With the Sufis in particular, love is regarded as most important, Love that is living, communicable and sharable. As the Bible teaches us, although it is not part of religion at all, how can we love the God whom we have not seen when we do not love our fellowmen who we have seen? Therefore my work is to elevate this love-consciousness, and apparently there is now some acceptance of this in the lives of a growing number of young people. It is therefore with a considerable spirit of optimism that I expect to go to Geneva to commingle with religious and spiritual leaders of all faiths. And I can assure you, beloved one of God, that I do accept their spirituality and their leadership, and their inner accomplishment whether they took a similar or dissimilar path to their present day attainment. My immediate objective is to help promote a spirit of good-will between these people, some of whom who are to me advanced souls and some of whom are to themselves advanced souls. It does not matter. I feel that if they can respect each other—not accept but respect—the world will be much closer to a maturity.
We do accept different degrees of doctorates—bachelor, Master, etc.—in the intellectual sphere. I think this is absolutely right. I also believe that people who are truly humble will accept it when they meet persons who are proclaimed by themselves or others as being advanced. I see no humility, quite the opposite, in denigrating the titles and positions of others. To me, showing such respects is one of the highest forms of humility.
My Sufi teacher said, “Leader is he who is leader of himself; ruler is he who is ruler of himself.” But I am not yet ready to hurl epithets, maxims, slogans. Anyone can do that. My hope is to raise the consciousness of human beings in love, bliss, and joy. God bless you.
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
[Circa February 20—Ed]
My dear Sheikha:
Thank you for your letter of the 15th. I am very glad you are going ahead with your various aims in life. I shall pass the cancer information over to my Hakim here. I know some things about the Manzanita. My own theory is that practically all plants are either edible or medicinal or “poisonous” and the last term has a definite esoteric meaning. A little later we may be having an herbal library here.
As to Murshid’s works. At one time they were all handled as you suggest by the late Mustafa but after Rabia Martin died her successor ignored them and they finally perished in the fire of 1949. Some of his works have since been annotated or indexed by the young disciples.
I now have audiences including over 100 people every week, excluding the class on Christian mysticism because they belong to another spiritual Order. The total number of disciples is also near five score. This keeps one very busy, but there are marvelous compensations. Once Rudolph Shaeffer said, “Sam, where did you get all those beautiful boys and girls?” I had hardly given it a thought, but certainly there is an Alchemy at work, only now it is not only Alchemy but beautiful young men and women come here for study and Bayat. Seven received Bayat last night. The hardest thing in life is to have to deal with each and all as if everyone was the Beloved One of God. This is very time consuming, but I am required to sleep; that is about my only recreation. Nevertheless, health is pretty good for an old codger. I have at the present time my chief Khalif, my close associate Bryn Beorse, and my brother, on the sick list.
I do not know exactly when Easter occurs. Our plans are for a grand celebration on March 21. That is Gavin Arthur’s birthday. We have a whole string of birthdays that week. We have many spiritual dances now, many, and they are becoming known elsewhere. I do not know exactly how to handle it with a shortage of secretarial help. That of course is not the worst thing in life.
At the end of March my esoteric secretary and I expect to go to Switzerland to a conference of the world’s great religions. In the past I have always been debarred by some well-known ignoramus called an “expert.” I don’t think this will happen anymore. Everything is different today. After my return I shall have my own summer school in the state of New Mexico while Vilayat will have his in Arizona. He is taking only unmarried young men and women between eighteen and twenty-eight. This leaves to me the mothers and fathers, and those over 28. There is only harmony on every front.
Today we discussed putting on a Passover Service. I presume Easter would come about the same time. I have only Christian ceremonials, and do not know how to work them in, as I also have the occult ceremonials such as the Sun dance, Moon dance, and Wheel dance. The Dervish and Mantric dances have expanded in number and popularity, perhaps also in importance.
There are a number of other projects going on keeping life to the fullest. Have not even had half a day off this year, but then the comedies are far outstripping the tragedies.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
February 28, 1970
My dear Oliver,
This is really the diary entry. The whole calls for “excitement” and one meets with “excitement” and just at the time one is working for an appeal for peace based on quite different principles than oratory and personalisms. And the working program of, “Keep a loud ear and a soft tongue” is bringing one into contact with more and more young people and receiving not only respect but every week a larger following. And my chief secretary will be accompanying me (as he just did) there may be lots of mail unanswered. And yet that is increasing even more than the personal contacts.
Not even a half day off this year, it was necessary to get away, with a full month before we should be en route to Geneva, and a full program. We are going to limit ourselves to Colorado and New Mexico during the summer which still leaves April and May open, this largely depends on my God-daughter who is at Cornell. If she will make the financial arrangements I shall visit her there and take in much of Pennsylvania and Washington. Or if we got other financial help—I am just able to cover Geneva for two.
Although this may not appear on the surface, Project Prometheus is also behind my present psychologies. While others are saying that we cannot solve any problems without doing something about “food” and “poverty” I see the need of overall, integrational approaches. Now the words, those dammed words, Ecology and Pollution been taken over by the Philistines and you can get that the official semanticists and humanists will echo while praising the empty word “Science.” I have had occasion not only to spend some time with Vocha Fiske but with ex-Exceterists and with laboratory scientists. They are all looking for a solid impersonal, quasi-mathematical logistical approach and the termination of the personalisms, which, however named or misnamed are dominant.
There is now an underground of former disciples of Count Korzybski who have plenty of money and prestige and who are seeking to establish a form of G.S. based on the mathematical principles in “Science and Sanity” bypassed by the Etceterists. As I see the New Age, it is based among other things on a somewhat higher order of mathematics than that of Euclid. I have objected to Julie’s doodles as representing anything noble. The artwork in the now defunct The Oracle was definitely of a higher order, and my housekeeper, whose background in mathematics is not particularly high, is definitely continuing in the same genre as that of the later Spanish Muslims at Granada, only more up to date. Our culture’s refusal to accept Spengler while engaging in forensics over the Euclidean Karl Marx is to me one of the factors in present day confusion.
While listening interminably to the young, I have been able to inform them on peoples and places where controversial subjects have been solved. Our excitement-wallahs will have none of this. It is not only useless to try and inform the emotional, but it is useless as more and more young people especially are both reopening and corresponding.
I have always felt that the Christian “soul” theory was responsible for Dalton’s atom. A Buddhist approach, which we simply ignore, would give us a different sort of world. My recent conversations with laboratory scientists have convinced me it is useless to deal with various types of Aristotelians (including so-called anti-Aristotelians) all of whom have been conditioned by the Christian thing-soul doctrines. I had resolved to return to Ernst Haeckel when Vocha placed in my hands books covering his work, and also some other works once owned by the late Cora Williams. While the gift alone was encouraging, the contacts of these works have given me the key to an overall Project Prometheus article.
If the present outlook continues, I shall be taking my secretary, Mansur Johnson, with me to New Mexico where we shall have our own “shack” and where I shall be able to dictate a paper which may amalgamate Ernst Mackie’s materialistic monism with Indian cosmology. While this looks ambitious, I have the various elements already, let us say, in my cortex. And I have been encouraged by little brochures sent me by Russ Joyner.
Of course the immediate peace project involves, let us say Project Krishna. I may be writing other letters today and will enclose copies thereof. But this morning I go to the class on Southeast Asia and am very much encouraged by recent contacts in and out of class with both students and teachers who are impersonal, objective, and not brain-washed.
Vocha will be here on March 10 and we have a place for her in Marin County, and she has another place in San Francisco.
Another item which I find encouraging is a book review in the current issue of Science on “A Geometrical System.” The reviewer is one Ernest A Moody of the department of Philosophy at UCLA. I have just visited that campus and will have to go them again from time to time for both personal and impersonal reasons. But finding a professor of philosophy so interested in mathematics also encourages a revival of Keyser and some kind of visit, however short, to the Columbia campus in New York.
The main subject discussed with Vocha and others has been the impersonal, objective approach to subjects under discussion. I think this largely establishes Lord Snow’s The Two Cultures. Just as a good Roman Catholic used to infer that the church alone could solve problems, so now the public temper is that sociology alone can solve problem. I have been particularly annoyed by the growing number of articles by so-called “social scientists” on the defects of laboratory scientists. I must say that since my return from Asia in 1962, I have had exactly one laboratory scientist refusing an interview, and none where harmony and understanding did not prevail. As to the social scientists, not even 25% have granted interviews, and whether we reach agreement or not is largely due to the handling of words rather than thought. So no matter that anybody says, Snow’s two cultures still prevail and I am in the very proper or improper position of pointing an accusing finger at the literary-humanists for encouraging “excitement” rather than working for peace and understanding. End of diary entry.
Sam L. Lewis
March 8, 1970
My dear Shamcher:
The last news was that you have not been very well. We have done some healing silences made all the more necessary because my reconciled brother has also been in a semi-comatose state. We are therefore addressing the envelope to you and family.
In one sense we have a lot of news. I am now preparing to attend the conference of the world’s religions. Mansur and I are scheduled to leave here on the 28th, flying directly to Geneva. After that we go to London and then presumably to Boston on our way back. The conference at Geneva is one of the world’s religions, with emphasis on peace through religion. One cannot of course compel the leading religions, or anybody, to put forward a program which will end actual hostilities. But now, after a life’s effort with constant doors shutting in my face, at least I shall be heard, which is something. Indeed my program is quite simple; we cannot have peace in the world so long as certain persons, parties, or factions refuse to listen to others. It is not a question of right and wrong; it is a simple elementary fact, that when anybody is shut out, war becomes inevitable; therefore my theme is not going to be “love ye one another,” it is going to be “respect ye one another.” Only this time it will appear I shall be allowed to say that.
Pir Vilayat is flying in exactly the opposite direction, but he has given me his blessing. So have a lot of other real people in the real world. Sooner or later we shall have to accept that facts and human beings are more important than ideas and ideals, not matter how wonderful the ideas and ideals may appear to us on paper, just on paper. You cannot insult anybody and have peace. Pir Vilayat has not only sent me a blessing, but a picture from Konia in Turkey of the Dancing Dervishes. I hope to show this picture to Gavin on account of the colors of the robes the performers are wearing. They perhaps have a cosmic significance.
On March 21, we are going to celebrate our Spring Festival, and along with it, Gavin’s birthday. We today have many of the dances of the spheres, and the world is going to accept them, although I have some doubts about those people who call themselves “occultists,” who are often very ignorant people trying to compensate for their ignorance by making abstruse claims. At least we can demonstrate. At least we can not only demonstrate, we have.
Last week there was a pilot picture of the Marin disciples doing spiritual and Dervish dances. This will be repeated this week, followed by an “invasion” of this house recording our daily lives, our actual spiritual practices and methods, and a lot of other actualities a priori rejected in the past, but praise to Allah I think that day is over, and perhaps over forever. And I think it can easily be demonstrated that the experiences of little people have at least equal validity with the opinions of the big, who in the end may turn out to be not so big.
I have received a very fine letter from my friend Dr. Merchant in Bombay who mentioned you. He has also given me the name of his son who is matriculating in Engineering at Cornell, and I hope to contact him soon. At this time it does not appear I shall be going to Cornell—too much on the program and too many financial uncertainties. (legal, etc.).
I have written to Prof. Merchant and will send you a copy of correspondences, as soon as you are well, Inshallah. This correspondence also is being shared with Professors at the University of California. The present instructors not only are not turning me down but welcoming both my person and my reports; perhaps one was not ready in the previous era.
But I also have to contact next Dr. Charles H. Townes, a Nobel Prize winner in Physics who has written “The Convergence of Science and Religion” in the most recent “California Monthly.” I will send you a copy of this as soon as you are well. There is such a vast gap between the actual scientists and the actual progress in laboratory and research science, and the literary reports given by writers, editors, and commentators, that this gap alone is to be a worse problem than the actual or suppositious problems of smog, water, pollution, ecology, etc., etc. It is only that I have to concentrate more or less on a peace program for the nations and religions of the world, which Inshallah will be heard now, and no more nonsense rejections by the high and mighty who have been proclaiming themselves; or as used to be said in humor concerning Prime Minister De Gaulle, “Après la deluge, moi.” I think all our editors and commentators are proclaiming, après la deluge, moi. Yes mobs against the French selling guns to Libya, but not against the United States doing the same for Jordan.
In other words, all the pictures look bright, all the horizons look bright, and I am praying for your recovery so that you can join me in this and several other equally valid projects progressing on the surface of the world with real human beings who are doing real things, unreported by press, radio, TV, and leading magazines.
Love and blessings,
S. A. M.
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
March 11, 1970
Sam was influenced to maintain a diary after reading the works of Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Papa Ramdas. But in retrospect it must be said that the more one considers it, there is no diary; there is only the fulfillment of the divine life in and through what would appear to be an ego-personality which is nothing but a mode of God Himself expressing Himself outwardly. And daily Sam seems to find that there is really nothing else but this divine life, and this in turn, so far as he is concerned, gives much greater value to Papa’s works, especially the earlier ones.
No doubt there is a time for all things. And now instead of lapsing into the presumable securities of old age, Sam’s life is becoming more and more public. It has even become public enough to warrant an apology from one of the leading divines of the region. No doubt it requires considerable patience when one’s theme is, so to speak, “The stone that is rejected is become the cornerstone.” One cannot understand why persons who preach morality and love and brotherhood are among the forefront of those who purposely neglect.
One of the great folk stories of Europe is called “The Goose Girl.” Everybody is awaiting a deliverer who is supposed to be a princess. On the day of liberation, when the gates of the Great City are opened, nobody enters but a country Goose Girl who brought her flock every day at dawn anyhow. After much drama, too late of course, it was discovered that the Goose Girl was really the princess who had been kidnapped when an infant.
Sam’s theme which may now be presented to a conference of great spiritual teachers and ecclesiasts is not going to be “Love Ye One Another.” Sam is amused by the number of people in audiences who interrupt saying, “Why don’t you preach and teach more love?” not aware that rude interruptions are self-evident demonstrations of the lack of love and the dominance of a dualistic outlook. So Sam will present instead “Respect Ye One Another.”
This is very difficult, for Sam has as his ko-an, so to speak, the first words of Handel’s Messiah “Every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low, the crooked places made straight.” But how is a little valley going to express itself amid a throng of mountains who because of their very nature are unable to bow before each other. Nevertheless, this will be the theme. And as the time approaches, the presence of Divine Grace becomes more and more evident, both in the daily consciousness and during sleep at night.
The Krishna Theme. This is long and elaborate. The first step is to distribute or sell more copies of Sam’s The Rejected Avatar. But it is becoming evident to more and more persons that although Sri Krishna is the theme, he himself has been rejected. Now it is very easy to convince anybody who is not an “orientalist” that there is such a thing as counterkarma, and the great danger of the moment is the overwhelming willingness by the young to accept everything Sam says; and when it is true or they believe it is true, to go all the way. And it is chiefly among people who claim a “moral” outlook that the rejections prevail—all other doors are open. But even this is coming to an end for Sam has just received a beautiful letter of apology from one of the leading divines in San Francisco.
Sam has also received from Dr. Milton Singer an autographed copy of his latest book on Sri Krishna, and this man is perhaps the top Sanskrit scholar in the United States. But yesterday, one of Sam’s secretaries discovered a sacred Sanskrit book on Sri Krishna in a second hand book store. It had been placed on the market by the now presumably defunct American Academy of Asian Studies who had hosted Papa when he was in this region. But this institution was adamantly dedicated to one theme: personality leadership. The resulting karma was melodramatic and awkward. Only today the universities themselves are open and, as reported before, Sam has already put some of Papa’s works in the University of California and certainly doors are open all over.
Tonight we shall give the last rehearsals of one of Sam’s ras-lila dances. The technique is simple. The steps are easy. But without extreme devotion it is utterly impossible to perform. The same perhaps pertains to the Hari Krishna etc., dance which has already been photographed.
This brings one to the most dramatic element of the present life. Three years ago when Sam was flat on his back in the hospital, there was a divine visitation with words and visions. All the words, all the visions have now manifested. But the door did not close, and the next steps in life are evident.
Last Thursday in this house and Monday night at the San Francisco home, Sam gave his farewell addresses to privacy and tranquility. There is no time now when interviews are not sought, when office work is not done, and when there are other aspects of both spiritual and material business. For the next 5 days in a row at least, there will be cameras and sound equipment recording the spiritual dances, the sacred lessons, and the daily life of a man who was marked for spiritual leadership by so many holy men and egotistically rejected in previous years with a single exception—these all being a priori rejections.
Actually the whole thing is funny. The whole thing is ridiculous. For instance, the Sri Aurobindo people have been pushing the poem “Savitri” on Sam. But they were the foremost to reject his poetry and not only reject it, sharply criticize Sam’s efforts. Sam has asked one of his own disciples to compare Savitri with one of his epics. The man said “They are the same kind of poems, but yours is clearer and more profound.”
It is certain that in Sam’s cosmic realizations, as verbalized in his poetry, we come to the fulfillment and perfection of “Every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low.” To find galaxies in an atom; and all the super-galaxies and constellations and universes together forming a small portion of divine reality seems to be beyond the conscious scope of most of the people today who toy with the world Yoga.
Sam is taking with him as probably was written before any brochure of vice-President Geary. It is not only as Walt Whitman said, “In all men I see myself,” but it is all a teaching of the Real Religion which is behind all of the particular religions that everything is reflected in everything. The Gita, the Upanishads, the Prajnana Paramita Sutra, the Johanni books of the Bible, and the actual sacred traditions of the Jews support this same theme, this universal theme.
In “The Rejected Avatar”:
“The strong say yes, to God
The weak say no to man.”
This habit is so ridiculous that the young are laughing today at all the pretenders and dualists who offer their private formulae as solutions to problems of the day. They do not understand that their individual separations are the basis not only of these problems but of the existence of problems in any form.
One cannot go much beyond this because Sam’s theme is going to be “Keep a soft tongue and loud, very loud ears.” (e.g. as the Tibetan Saint Milarepa).
No doubt efforts will be made to report further from either Switzerland or England late this month or early next.
With all love and blessings.
Samuel L. Lewis
March 12/13, 1970
Mr. R. Joyner
507 Sansome St.
San Francisco, Ca. 94111
My dear Russ:
At the moment there is nothing like spare time, complicated by the fact that most of my very fine young followers feel I lose caste if I walk; while I feel I lose time seeking for parking places etc, in your vicinity. On rare occasions I am able to sneak away and carry on most necessary personal business and I do have most important personal business in your vicinity.
The lady whom I call Mother Divine has placed in my hands “Korzybski’s Concept of Man” which was a lecture of Cassius Keyser in the year 1922, and which was published by the Institute of General Semantics in 1946.
I was not aware of the Institute in that year, but I am quite aware of the original lecture and I had naively assumed that a logic and logistics based on this lecture would be welcomed by the ISGS which has not been the case. But I have no intention of going into forensics or logistics at this time. I am developing my own personal philosophy which for want of a better term I am calling “Bragmanics,” or maybe that is the best term. My youthful audiences listen with glee to stories of accomplishments and also stories of a priori rejections by many important persons and groups, solidly wedded to words, words like liberty, democracy, humanity etc, etc. But now the fat is in the fire so to speak.
I am all prepared to attend an international peace conference where they permit the unworthy as well as the worthy to state their views. Someone has discovered that you can’t establish peace by crushing and squelching. I realize this is not a very popular view and it is often quite in order to prevent the unqualified from interfering in discussions which purport to solve some problems. But while this has been going on some people have had the nerve to assume that even the most unworthy may have a rationale, and that they cannot always be stopped from presenting their case even if they are entirely wrong. That is to say, they are permitted the floor; they are permitted to state a plausible point of view and their egos are not attacked for daring to express an opinion.
The combination of a situation of accomplishment on one hand and rejections on the other hand by what have been called establishments is now making me both a folk hero and a personal hero to an ever growing number of young people. Three different persons or groups so to speak independently felt my work should be televised. It is now being televised, though when, where, and how it may be shown is beyond my present picture, because I am concentrating on attending a world peace conference, a conference where the floor is open, and where referents are required from the worthy and unworthy, and the passing of great names coupled with emotional chairmen will not avail. Anyhow, the directors of the pilot efforts have actually demanded I express in full both my experiences and opinion, and these may be published sooner or later.
I am not forgetting here Keyser’s lecture on Korzybski. I can overlook here that all efforts on my part to get this knowledge better known in this region have been brushed aside in the past, but that past is passing, and sooner or later armed with the great American virtue ze-dollar, I believe we can establish forms of communication that will communicate and not just please certain types; of personalities who operate as if name calling, proper name calling of course, hold the key to solution for everything.
I find after many years that my basic logistics has not changed; that I still am operating under the principles and premises of Keyser’s philosophy; and today, people are listening to me, chiefly the young and university professors. This for me is sufficient. But my point of view is of no value unless it is properly pragmatized.
The public exhibition last night under camera klieg lights and sound equipment did not touch my ego so much as the breakfast I made for Mother Divine Vocha Fiske this morning. Of course Vocha had a full view of rather successful efforts and also she, having been connected with stage and screen and speech arts, was better able to judge the worthiness or unworthiness of these efforts than most people. But now I am preparing to work even on a world scene and of at least being cautious enough to know peace is not obtained by mud throwing on the part of anybody. I also feel that the day of lamentation over the rejection of Cassius Keyser’s points of view is over with considerable regret that the so-called scions of A.K. have failed to examine those basic teachings upon which so much of science and sanity was fundamented.
I am having this brochure of Keyser copied. I am going to use it. I am going to have it distributed to many of the leading philosopher of the area. After all these years I think it is still most wonderful, and I am hoping, in fact I know, that the young people of today will easily pass through real differentiation, partial differentiation, and other sound principles of mathematics and logic to seeing how such principles can be incorporated into higher and perhaps less than higher education, and into the thinking of the day.
I am finding many of the scientists of the day writing splendid articles on philosophy and psycho-logistics research. Their methods, their schemata, and conclusions are often far from the methods, schemata and conclusions of parlor-scientists. I have always differed from Julian Huxley, the saint-pope of those who do not believe in saints and popes, who wrote Religion Without Revelation. I believe in exactly the opposite point of view: revelation without religion. This has been enough to exclude me without any question from audiences dominated by those who admire the saint-pope as above, but now bringing me into contact with much larger audiences of refreshing young people and frustrated university professors. As I am leaving for an actual world conference, I should at least be able to express whatever might be expressed without any name calling or word throwing. How many of the problems of the day are actual problems and not verbal ones may be difficult to determine. It would seem that every sociologist knows more of problems which we should imagine could be handled by laboratory scientists and so we are faced with a most curious situation. According to the customs and laws of this land no one presumes to say anything about the diseases of the flesh of human kind, but “everyone” is allowed to discuss endlessly diseases and problems of the bodies of plants. I am unable to understand this. It is even worse, because I have studied the plant sciences. I have even cured sick plants, and this alone bars me from respectable discussions on Rachel Carson’s “The Silent Spring.”
The so-called open forums on “Silent Spring” gave all the doctors, lawyers, “Indian chiefs,” law-enforcing officers, psychiatrists—indeed everybody but gardeners and etymologists—the right to dispute endlessly on subjects for “which they had no backgrounds. That was only the beginning. Now we have “pollution,” “drug,” “ecology,” etc., etc., in which social prestige or a university degree on any subject whatsoever gives one full right to say anything at all; while the pragmatism of those actually engaged or involved in these problems is of no avail.
You see Russ, I am nor in an excellent position to speak or roar whether it be on the Judeo-Christian Bible or the literary efforts of Count Alfred Korzybski or the historical existence of Wm. James and not only the young but more and more professors of actual philosophy will listen, so I am about to leave this area in great hopes not of success abroad, but of ability to have a communication system which communicates and does not resound only to the public or implied praise of those who write articles on the subjects. One of the greatest achievements or rather pseudo-achievements of this present age has been the ability to have articles accepted labeled communication which actually do not communicate anything.
The other night when the reports cams in about Laos I had a friend in the house who had lived in Laos etc., etc., I asked him shall we laugh, cry, or roar? Yes, he said, shall laugh, cry, or roar? And it is tragically amusing to be informed of the non-arrival of the wounded of the surreptitious battlefields at the American hospitable in Laos. While this is no doubt an extreme case, it is no doubt a typical case. So we are left not only with problems of pollution etc, but with the greater still problems of the words used in and by the press and by inference in public discussions. In all this it has been as you have declared, “facts must not disturb the issues.”
Now it is my opportunity, and your colleagues have given me absolute ample scope, to bring out in public the conclusions of A.K. in Science and Sanity and use these as bases for public and private utterances. And with emotional disturbances and value judgments, this leaves everything in my hands for accomplishing what I have been hoping to accomplish for many, many years.
In conclusion, I shall not indulge in value judgments in which your colleagues are so much more proficient than I am. I certainly do not believe, nor will I accept that value judgments can in any way promote the cause of peace in this world.
Samuel L. Lewis
March 14, 1970
Mr. Shamcher Bryn Beorse
P.O. Box 142
Keyport, Wash. 98345
My dear Shamcher:
I am terribly relieved to find you are in good spirits and in good health. This was been “exciting” rather than trying. The cameras and sound equipment people are now in this house. They have already been at the Khankah in Novato. They have already made both a “dry run” and “trial run” of the dancing classes and public meetings, and there will be more of this. This is to be climaxed for the moment at the Spring Festival to be held next week, which is also Gavin’s birthday.
I do not know how much of this comes out of Pir Vilayat thoughts or wishes, but one hopes it may be integrated with his general plans. It is certain that is a slow but continuous growth of effort in all directions.
This morning I faced a test on Southeast Asian history. The professors and most of the class have lived in that part of the world. The class discussions were based on reality and not on “realism” on our mutual experiences, never on our opinions or thoughts.
I have had to keep in close touch with Oliver Reiser because of favorable turns in events.
I have met Karl Brandt and admired him greatly. Unfortunately, opportunists organized Stanford Research and many people contributed to it, leaving Karl Brandt, in actual, not relative poverty. He is the chief professor I have met outside the multiversity of California whom I have felt knew exactly what was going on and exactly how to deal with problems, but of course the editors and commentators and sociologists are in the way. I have also had to fact at this time the precarious condition of my brother Elliot. An enemy for most of his life, he discovered the futility of it. His departure would leave me in very comfortable circumstances indeed, and he is also satisfied with my presumable plans with much increased income.
Of course the big thing is the preparation of Mansur Johnson and myself for Geneva. I have had very cordial correspondence with Prof. Merchant, but he did tell me he had not yet had opportunity to read your book. I have also received a most cordial letter from Georgetown University in regard to my great epic, Saladin. This from one Dr. Sharabi who previously was connected with the UN and now teaches Islamics; one of the very few Arabs in this land teaching “Arab Culture.” He wants me to publish Saladin, but already Hassan, my printing disciple here, has approached me on this subject, and while here also, I would be glad to help him financially, his own family has done so, so far.
Saladin would be published along with its Hebraic predecessor “The Day of the Lord Cometh.” This is based on the actual mystical Kabbalah, and not on the drivel of non-Jewish pseudo-occultists. The combination of these would corroborate that a Sufi is one who sees from the standpoint of another as well as of himself.
Saladin was originally to have been dedicated to Paul Reps. He, rather rudely, brushed the idea aside, and not only that, reverted first to his name of Paul and then very modestly, of course, to the name of Reps alone. But I feel it will someday be regarded as one of the great poems of the age, and the combining of these two works may do much to take us out of “realism” to face the realities of conflicting parties and living personalities.
From what you tell me and what you feel, I believe your life’s work will be accomplished. I hope your health will be in good enough condition that you may be able to see some of the results yourself. One does feel awkward when one’s closest colleagues are withdrawing from manifestation. But this has to be. Vocha Fiske is at this writing at the Khankah, and considering her age, in excellent condition. She has been present at the public meetings, and has remarked on the growth in response, in joy, and in love of the various young people who have in recent times been drawn into the orbit of the Sufi movement.
I guess there is more. This letter is to be shared. But I wish to also answer other persons.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
cc Pir Vilayat Khan
March 14, 1970
This morning we had our final exam on the affairs of Southeast Asia. It was a most enjoyable class. The majority of the enrollees and both teachers had lived in some part of Southeast Asia. There was none of that “expertism.” “Experts” resent intrusions and the State Department depends on “experts” so we have the final reductio ad absurdum between the Vice-president and one type of “expert.”
In the previous generation there were two types of “experts: “(a) newsmen and reporters and writers—the “scribes” and we still have them. They are all gods, and one mustn’t although the Vice-President wants to be a rival god. Then there are the graduates of certain universities. They are so great in expertism they don’t have to go anywhere near the place.
In the past I have had all these classes of “expert” against me personally. But so have practically all the “Ugly Americans” who enrolled in this class. It was so different. If a person said he was there we listened and accepted. If a man had ideas, no matter how wonderful the ideas or the person, he was not permitted to speak, only facts and no value-judgments. I think all of the class believes this is the way to pace and understanding.
Anyhow the great religions of the world are meeting soon and some of us are going to be given the floor. We had to pass another kind of examination also based on knowledge, not on opinions. Oh yes, there have been a lot of great people with opinions and they have been listened to with adulation. But as we have no peace, as we have wars, some people are willing to listen to those who have had experience and knowledge. So I am going to a top level conference and will be meeting with top-level people. My job is to get them to listen to each other; my speech will be on “listening to others.” And so I have hopes.
The “important people” of any age are usually not the “important people” of the previous age. But now the young want facts, understanding and no wars and their elders want opinions, policies and “victories.”
My program of peace by praying, eating and dancing with others makes sense with the young, only it means actual praying, actual eating, actual dancing, and not lecturing about. There are a lot of people who can “lecture about.” I don’t know what they have accomplished; they may have accomplished. I was criticized because the man I am representing is not, as I said, the Vice-President of India. He is the President of India. Why, he even asked that I present his program, although I have a private introduction to the Indian delegation.
The next few days, the spring festival, then off to a summit conference where I shall be listened to, God willing. Then to meet the young in so many places, I cannot look ahead, too much. In the meanwhile my brother is between life and death.
Hope to see you next Saturday.
P.S. Now I am in IT. The camera and sound equipment people are here. An important letter from Bryn; another from Georgetown University.
March 15, 1970
Mr. Art Hoppe
San Francisco, 94119
I did something which used to be absolutely unforgivable. I studied mathematical philosophy when I was a young man. Then I did something almost equally unforgivable: I read H.G Wells instead of editorializing on him; this keeps me in the peasant class, unfit to get into gentleman’s arguments, for which I thank God. As the first stage to understanding H.G. Wells—understand, not editorialize—you have to know about flatland. In flatland, everything has two sides, just two sides, no more than two sides, and anything else is inconceivable.
Despite certain rumors about out superintendent of public instructions, there seems to be some evidence in favor of Darwin and evolution. Anyhow, some items in the universe are subject to change. For instance, yesterday we completed the course on Southeast Asia. Nearly everybody in the class had lived in Southeast Asia. Nobody in the class has ever said or done anything, or experienced anything which could affect the psyches of the respectable, either these close to the White House or in any way connected with the press. Certain things Art, just isn’t done. I remember one time I was enrolled at what was called the American Academy of Asian Studies. There were two factions; one which believed English educated people know most about Asia, the other that German people know most about Asia. The geeks of course weren’t consulted; they are still not. In the class just closed, everybody had met geeks and therefore were ugly Americans, and therefore were not fit to get into any discussions of gentleman. Well I went to real Asia and almost got thrown out.
The Asians didn’t like it that I had studied under Englishmen and Germans. I never found out whether they despised the Englishmen and Germans or merely wanted their jobs and salaries. Anyhow, when they found that the Englishmen and Germans had no respect for me, I was welcomed all over the continent, everywhere.
Now we have evolved to the stage where Americans who studied under Asians have those jobs which used to be monopolized by Englishmen and Germans, and also a few Asians are in. We have moved ahead into H.G. Well’s three-dimensional world. The trouble with us three-dimensional people is that we are sometimes intolerant about two-dimensional people, whether they are editors, commentators, or vice-presidents. Besides, I have personally been the guest of imperial families, holy places, and universities which do not invite American vice-presidents or European professors of Asian studies. I have also found that several other Americans have been to such places, where they cannot tolerate editors, commentators, and vice-presidents. No doubt this shows the intolerance of “democracy.” A real democracy might tolerate editors, and commentator, and vice-presidents.
But some students have suggested we might go even further. We might go into Well’s fourth dimension. This would mean that we would not only open the doors to those whom we do not tolerate, and who do not tolerate us, we might open the doors to everybody.
Anyhow, I get balled out. The men I am representing at the forthcoming peace conference is not the vice-president of India, he is the president of India. The manuscript said vice-president, but now he is president. Some of my best friends have been president of India, and some presidents of India have been my best friends. I realize that editors, commentators, vice-presidents, experts etc., etc., could never stand for this. The young people are quite willing to accept that their elders have b.o. They are even willing to permit than to come to conferences where they might learn something from somebody, but this looks too much like a miracle. One thing that the two-dimensional people, like the vice-president and the commentators and the editors and the experts, don’t seem to understand is not only that there may be an Wellsian three-dimension or even a fourth-dimension, but that youth matures, if it has not already matured, and that even the Queen of Hearts cannot prevent younger people from growing and beyond growth attain power, wisdom, and authority. I realize that this is written under stress, with a dying brother, and every facet of my life under klieg lights. Some darn fools are convinced that the little people who have been there should be permitted to express themselves despite all vice-presidents, despite all commentators, and despite despite.
It’s a brave new world, Art, and I am sure you appreciate that.
We are now all ready for the Spring Festival in which Gavin Arthur will be honored. We are all ready for a lot of things, and remember Art, though geeks may not be our equals, there may be a lot of hidden gourmets among them, and we can’t overlook that.
Love and Blessings,
March 22, 1970
Mr. Art Hoppe
San Francisco, Ca. 94119
I was just about to write you a very unfair letters due to the non-delivery of this morning’s paper but alas and o-joy, the paper has arrived and I think I shall write Sam Yorty and send you a copy.
Yesterday, we had our Spring Festival and Gavin Arthur’s birthday together. He was born on a March 21. Never mind the year: between the new math and modern technology it is no longer necessary to miscalculate such matters especially for effete brains to try to do so. Well Art, this silliness of trying to be a Pied Piper came to its denouement. I am told there were about 250 people there, practically all young, not counting babes in arms. We did a lot of things not so much verboten as impossible because the various liberty, democracy, humanity, and peasant shut-up people have said they were impossible. But I think I have the 1976 voters in my hip pocket. Only I do not know how to deliver them. And it would be silly to ask for advice.
It has been a very active week. Some of the time was spent with men educated in the laboratory sciences. You must know, Art, laboratory science is but a small portion of “science.” Laboratory scientists are outnumbered and out-eligibleized by newspaper scientists and parlor scientists. Besides that, they are always eager to get information and even knowledge.
But to come back to the young who are much score beautiful, much more alert, much more capable, it was certainly both, productive and predictive. What are we going to do in age when honesty and objectivity are factors in life? I leave this problem to you. Pretty sneaky, isn’t it?
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
March 24, 1970
Mr. Bryn Beorse
This is really my diary entry. The dramas continue in full speed. At this writing three out of my four closest relatives are in hospitals, and at least two hovering between life and death, and in my brother’s case both legal and financial matters are involved. No doubt illness voids enmities and there is no ill-will at all but surely interpretations, and even the executors cannot asks firm decisions when there is no assurance of life, death and invalidism. But my local cousin and I agree that we have to pursue our own paths and it will be worse if we are over-concerned.
It is ten days since Gavin Arthur criticized me because one of the top European Professors of Oriental Philosophy felt I was and am a danger. I get my audiences laughing: Shaw, asked what he thought of Ingersoll on “The mistakes of Moses” replied that he would first like to see Moses on the mistakes of Ingersoll. And our passing crazy culture would worship some European professor (including Englishmen) on their presentations of “Asian” philosophy but would not permit any Asian to lecture on European philosophy. But now two of our top orchestral conductors, interpreting European music, are Asians, very popular, very successful, no doubt.
Anyhow on Saturday we celebrated a joint Spring Festival and Gavin’s birthday and some 200 people participated—I mean participated. There were others present, including quite a few technicians. We performed a lot of the elements of “Dances of Universal Peace” and also the astrological dances for Gavin as suggested by Pir Vilayat and lots more. One group put on a special woman’s dance; another a “psychic drama” and there was choral singing based on principles coming out of Helmholz and Dane Rudhyar. Gavin raved—he has never permitted me to express myself, nor have a lot of others, including all the European professors of Oriental philosophy of which the passing generation was so proud.
I have only a few more days left before leaving, for Geneva where it looks like I shall be permitted to speak. My whole approach to Peace is so different, based on concessions, no demands. There is a grand history behind this, years of research, rejected by about everybody that was anybody. But they are passing from the scene. The humanists, sociologists, press and all dialecticians and existentialists are one on the theme that you have to have “important” people to present “valid” plans. If the people are not important, out! And this has set the scientists who are objective against the literary-humanists who are subjectivists and personal. And just as “Asian Philosophy”—an invention of Europeans; so the trouble with the scientists is that they have never studied “Science” from the press, the parlor philosophers, and, of course, the top commentators.
At times one feels like a mixture between Edmond Dantes and Samuel Morse. I have written on this before but now the situations are so droll as to be utterly risible. Now all the non-laboratory scientists are discussing pollution and sewage. During the course of my life, especially when I had literary assignments, I found a most complicated system or a total lack of system of sewage outlets in this city. Later jobs made it very clear that money could be made from waste products of all kinds. In 1967 I was ready to go to England, having excellent introductions, to study sewage disposal, when I became ill. Now I find the commentators, the press, the sociologists, the literary-humanists, all discussing problems that could be reasonably solved by scientists if the scientists were given any opportunities.
The most ridiculous situations came on the air in the last two weeks. A scientist testified that the dangers from alcoholism were about 40 times as great as from all drugs—however defined—combined. He was immediately followed by the president of a local TV station who editorialized on the dangers of drugs. The next day there was a review of how London got rid of smog and pollution, and the program was followed immediately by a warning from a local TV president—I don’t remember whether it was the same or another—on coming doom due to smog and pollution. Well, when I was with Oliver Reiser he showed me how Pittsburgh had gotten rid of smog and pollution, but do you think I could have been given the floor here? These things must be decided by “experts,” whatever that means, and “experts” seems to include about everybody but engineers and laboratory scientists.
Whatever else may be said about our colleges and universities, they are turning out some students who are interested in facts and objective evidences. I have seen very little evidence of starvation in the world; I have seen overwhelming evidence of mal-nutrition. Why, I have lived in places where from press and radio were reporting famines, and I was being overstuffed. This is getting me in good, mostly with the young, but now with more and more university professors
The course that just was completed on Southeast Asia, where the class and teachers were all “ugly Americans,” points the way to a happy future. There is no reason why the rest of our culture cannot be objective like the laboratory scientists and presumably the law courts. The young know that. The young want that.
Yesterday a joint interview with my friend Fred Rohe at the New Age Health Food Store was recorded. It was under very difficult circumstances. There was a constant parade of customers, even during the hours when trade is supposed to be lax. Three mureeds now work in that store, and two more are to follow. Fred, like myself, is what should be called a “cosmic humanist.” We don’t talky-talk; we accept all the peoples of the world and at least beginning with the stomachs of all men were potentially created equal; we have the same attitude actually towards the heart and minds of exotic people, and not chitter chat. We can and do listen to Vietnamese, Cambodians, Afghans, etc. Really.
You can see that there is a vast difference between gobbledygook and the expanded human heart. We are going to have life. We are going to have it in food as well as in mental activities. There is a whole realm here based on the actual study of actual nature—chemical, biological, etc.
In at few days I leave for Geneva. I shall be presenting among other things the views of President Giri of India who is also a self-proclaimed “cosmic humanist.” The cosmic humanists differ from the American humanists in that they believe that Sri Ramakrishna and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan were human beings and had contributions to give to the world—not necessarily “right” contributions, but they lived, and to mention that they lived seems to be offensive equally to the religionists and humanists. But not to the young. Like Margaret Fuller, the young accept the universe, and here is the great hope.
On the financial side, Fred Rohe has been overwhelmed with unexpected and unsuspected profits. The same has happened to the noted Johnny Weismuller in Hollywood. Vocha has been eating at Johnny Weismuller’s.
You do not hear anything about sugar or cola drinks or complicated pastries or heavy liquor, etc., etc., etc., being causal in regard to cancer. The difference between the superficial emotions and the very sound “rigorous thinking” of Cassius Keyser is so evident. I am going to get Keyser out, if it is the last thing in my life and I hope I can stop at Columbia University before I return.
But I am not assured. I have some big jobs in England and in the Boston area, and have to be back within a month, earlier if emergencies arise. No doubt a man is not without honor, excepting in his own country but it is an easy step to become a demagogue or mob leader in view of the autocratic behavior of certain personalities who have barred the way to any form of self-expression, not only from this person but from others. And sooner or later this may become public, or a scandal. But it is also possible that the heroes of the passing age may become the butts of the coming one. A priori rejections, scoffing at human beings, turning the audiences on unknown persons, are hardly the ways to a better life.
Nevertheless Shamcher, we are working here on the positive side. Last week I was called to a mental hospital and permitted to operate, so to speak, even for a few minutes, and even to my surprise, rather successfully. The famous Fritz Perls is dead. Very popular, very pseudo-profound, and not so successful. But really humble enough to admit it.
I do not know when I shall be writing again. I am trying to keep the mind clear, but with growing audiences and with increasing response it is necessary to have positive presentations from persons and to end hero worship and mockery passing in the name of science.
I do not know how much is being communicated here. I was very happy over your last letter. I believe the cultured of the world are getting together, and I know the young are. There is more hope in these things than in all the scare propaganda of semi-ignorant emotionalists who control the channels of communication.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
March 27, 1970
Mr. Lloyd Morain
156 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, Ca. 94104
My dear Lloyd,
I am sorry to have missed you when you visited my commune so to speak, in Novato. It is not even the same as when you permitted me to speak at Humanist House. It is not even the same, and will continue to change. Fortunately at the moment things are in expansion. There is growth in every direction. We had over 200 people participating in our joint Spring Festival and Gavin Arthur’s birthday. It has been enough to take Gavin out of “realism” and place him in the midst of reality.
As I shall be leaving the city shortly it was necessary to introduce Vocha to one of my closest friends, a disciple in Japanese Zen which has little relation to ETC Zen. I am not going over that; people love their dreams, and I have decided to let them have them. There are others who want realities and in their presence one can breathe and speak.
I have recently subscribed to a Humanist publication and was amazed how great the area of agreement is. But I also realize the folly of working with groups who judge from personality evaluations rather than from knowledge.
But I am not going to press that either. I am going off to a peace conference in Geneva where I am thankful they will permit one to have the floor before they bang-bang at his person. Then I am going to visit the British hippies and also continue my scientific-scientific researches into fertilizers. At least today I can sit back and laugh at the emotionalists who monopolize discussions on subjects upon which they are not grounded at all.
I find in general that young people are open, objective, sincere, and in a sense, scientific in their outlooks. Besides this, some of them have gotten their science from laboratories and not from books.
The magazine to which I submitted real semantics versus general’s semantics has gone out of business, but yesterday I saw the former editor and he is going to make every effort to see that it is revived. Of course this may not be necessary. It is a terrible thing when one has to rely on mob support rather than facts and reason, and I think you know what I am talking about. I can assure you it will never happen again, and I mean just that. We are living in an age of utter emotionalism which is also an age in which the minds of men have progressed sufficiently to enable them to solve the problems of the day if only those who belong to what Lord Snow called the non-scientific culture would get out of the way. In the future I am not going to ask; I am going to demand that I be given full opportunity to present my case before any more value judgments or personality criticisms come from certain or any quarters whatsoever; there is nothing noble in it and it is not pleasing to know it is going otherwise but it is up to you, not to me.
Last week I was sent for to visit a mental hospital. I have never visited mental hospitals. I have seen your presentations of Fritz Perls and Carl Rodgers and others. I have considered this outside my fields. But to my amazement there was considerable success in bringing the girl down to normalcy during the period of my visit. A lot of things are like that, and a lot of things may be like that. I think we are living in a new world of honesty and objectivity. At least I hope so.
As I am going to a peace conference I have no joy in indulging in forensics, but I have even less in not being given proper opportunity to present my position objectively and impersonally before being bombarded.
Samuel L. Lewis
April 2, 1970
My dear Shamcher,
Well maybe this old bearded operator is making good according to your predictions. Here I am amongst some of the top personalities of the whole earth and quite standing up, more than standing up. I have the supreme advantage—and it is and advantage—if knowing something of all the races and the religions, and there is no stupid “expert” to prevent one from expressing himself freely. And none of the horrible personality judgments characteristic of a short while back. When you consider the very large number of nationalities represented and the large number of religions, but not the large number of races; if one knows how to play ones cards, one is able to get along very well without being in the slightest way diplomatic. A diplomat is one who makes lengthy saccharine speeches, carefully modeled, carefully coated and having no depth, and then there are persons with depth; you may be happy to know that this person is known now as the one who writes the longest letters, but makes the shortest speeches but always to the point.
When the worthies were introduced earlier this week one was surprised to find oneself included although next to the last. When the worthies were introduced earlier this week, you will be delighted to know a single person was introduced twice, an honor accorded to no one else, and that was Pir Vilayat. Secretary Mansur and I are in a conference with one of the real great orientalists, namely a Dr. Benz of Germany when I espied Vilayat about to leave the hotel. He was amazed to find me grabbing his cloak, but that is the way it is. And there are so many persons here whom I have wished to meet and whom our “only in America” orientalists could never meet that it is amazing.
I do not count Princess Poon, head of the Buddhist delegation. But I have been successful in placing a copy of the Diamond Sutra published by the late Evans-Wertz and my very closest colleague Joe Miller—this has been placed in the hands of the representative of the Dalai Lama. Joe is very much like me, having taken deep journeys into the heart of the cosmos and being spurned by our “only in America” experts in Europe and England and the press. Indeed there is great hostility in those Europeans and Englishmen who have been dominating so many of the Asian studies in our country from Harvard to California. And among the actual professors of real oriental teachings, I have met so many like Dr. Jurji the Lebanese at Princeton.
I’m sending a copy of this to Gavin and he might as well know that I will have nothing more to do with any person who makes any remarks about my policy for Palestine. Every Christian from the Near East has accepted it. Even the representative of his Holiness Pope Paul has accepted it. And the chief rabbi has given me a profound apology and may take it upon himself to write to some of the rabbis in our land who have adamantly ignored all letters, while hypocritically demanding that Arabs and Zionists sit down together.
I have met pacifists from Egypt with whom there is entire agreement and encountered points of view totally and absolutely excluded by our press and TV.
This is only one of the items. I am now in a committee, headed by some of the top men of the world, making a study of contemporary organizations, verbally proclaiming themselves to be world movements or international. Actually nothing but cliques. We have some right in San Francisco. They exclude any reference to Sufis and great historical personalities who were Sufis. Why even the mayor of Geneva welcomed the convocation in the name of Emperor Akbar.
In my last I mentioned our successful spring festival. A large crowd of young people gathered to wish Mansur and Murshid bon voyage. And when I proclaimed myself the spiritual leader of the hippies, there was quite a response, although the matter is still to come up because while everybody is crying about the young there are so few here, I think something will come of it.
I am to meet the young in London and then in Boston. The exact time of my return now will depend on the status of the air fields. I do not see any difficulty pre-vision or kashf has been pretty good. In fact I have a paper written in 1936 which pretty well foreshadowed what is going on now. There is much spiritual optimism in the personality. This is strengthened by the presence here of Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj whom I consider one of my greatest friends. When you bear in mind that Swamiji and Vilayat have been the two most honored persons here, and that they are excellent friends of each other, sooner or later spiritual vision and spiritual insight will have to be accepted.
I am still exposed to a lot of pessimisms. There are some movements (the Papacy is among them) that seem to preclude spiritual insight and foresight. But there are enough people of heart that sooner or later this may be effective.
There are some controversial subjects. Last session which I did not attend was marked by the obstreperousness of the synagogue representatives. This time it is the Muslims, particularly the more orthodox. Last night we heard a representative Druze. He was immediately and uselessly attacked by a leading orthodox Muslim. One of the Rabbis was astute enough to jump into the breach and be friendly. The Druze theories are not far from Sufism and we each recognize each other—heart and spiritual awakening.
The other chief Sufi speaker Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr addresses us at lunch, so I am leaving this open and will add more later on.
Dr. Seyyed Hossein gave what to me is a perfect speech. He really believes in the living God; he accepts all religions regarding the Islam of Mohammed as the final revelation, but also accepting a greater Islam which includes all religions, all prophets. He quoted the Upanishads as much as the Qur’an, the bible a little less. He did not mince words. He sounded almost like a divine oracle. One only hopes that something will come out of this, for there is still an awful amount of gush and sentiment.
After we visited the Calvinistic cathedral and now Murshid has to consider some vital matters as the standing committee will be meeting shortly. So we close here with love and reverence.
April 5, 1970
Dear Wali Ali:
The conference is closed, but we still have some meetings and reports. How long they will take one does not know. The diary entries will be sent to Novato, and after they have read them, turned over to you. I have sent special greetings to Swami Swahananda at the Vedanta Center. Copy of this to Dr. Chaudhury.
It is unfortunate that not only the Aurobindo Movement but its various rivals were not only excluded, but the direct reports showed definite disintegration. I do not know how one can include and exclude at the same time efforts in such directions are doomed. Indeed my work on my return will be in a positive direction. And we shall also write some other letters and enclose carbon, not diary entries.
Physically Murshid has not been too well, mentally in excellent shape. This morning Mansur has an appointment with one of the new young girls that attended this session. There is much crying about youth, and I must say that the few contributions that were permitted, were excellent. They were far more excellent than the contributions of the many orators who told about universal love, whatever that means. I think the young are tired of “universal love” and would like a little humanity if not more so. Older persons are often self-beguiled by their oratory and emotions. Fortunately this type of older person is so self-divided or played such a minor role here that, excepting numerically, it did not count. It is only that the large number of such persons who contribute nothing but hand applause in the wrong places somewhat overawes the young who want to participate. I told one delegate I thought applause was from the devil. Somebody makes a speech and then out of courtesy of ignorance, the “old ladies” applaud. This makes it more difficult for anyone to express a contrary opinion. In other words, only too often the kick-off becomes the goal; serving the tennis ball alone scores a point, but toward the end of the conference sobriety began to prevail. Without it there would have been confusion and conflicts.
I am especially pleased with the extreme turnabouts by the Rabbi of Jerusalem and the leading American Presbyterian. It will facilitate our efforts toward bringing some sort of peace and understanding in and for the Mideast.
One of the funniest things that happened was Mansur and Murshid doing a portion of the Nembutsu dance for the Japanese. They were delighted. We got a lot of people delighted, me thinks. I only hope I’m not too optimistic.
My brains are washed, so I send
Love and Blessings,
April 5, 1970
Ramakrishna Vedanta Mission
2963 Webster St.
San Francisco, 94133
Warmest greetings after a series of events long foreseen, that is the conference of the world's religions. What was most clearly foreseen was the conference itself (and perhaps the personal part) and the clear manifestation of the great Vivekananda in the roll performed by your splendid teacher and my very dear friend, Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj. I had long visioned and previsioned this wonderful man performing the identical part that Swami Vivekananda portrayed at the World Congress of Faiths in 1893. And if it had not been foreseen, it would have been indeed truly astonishing.
Swamiji has always spoken about his predecessor. Now I feel I may do the same for him. Anyhow, he is on the Board of Directors and all look to him for wisdom and guidance—excepting some members of numerically small Indian minorities who were permitted to consume time, and why not?
It was marvelous that the world's leaders, spiritual and laic, should come
to gather and discuss the problems of the day and consider how the religions
may help solve these problems. And all the greater religions certainly
contributed a peace and friendship for each other. Indeed we had an
assemblage of prayer.
Excluded were the newer "universal cults" beginning with the Baha'is. All these groups, paying sometimes lip service to the traditional faiths, and all ignoring each other (of course) were considered as not contributing to peace and humanity. Each has its presumably supreme leader who is elevated instead of "God," and not only does each permit its own narrow personality adulation, but they have in many cases removed prayer and devotional meditation and certainly rejected so much of Divine Wisdom that the intelligent and intellectuals alike agreed that they should be excluded.
There was general acceptance that prayer and devotional meditation are
requirements, or else there is no religion at all. It was equally assumed that
the prayers, devotions and mediations should be of universal nature, although
presented in the forms of universal religions. It was felt for the most part
that man has no right to abrogate traditional methods, although the door is not
closed to editions which are universal and not ego-centric or persona-centric.
The person coming closest to breaking this was the Sikh leader. His adulation
of Guru Nanak and his scriptures were all but
regarded as ego-centric efforts to replace what are known as the great scriptures of the world. He was a borderline case. If any of the more recent prophets and pseudo-prophets had been permitted to obtain a place in the conference, I think the Muslims who were certainly divided would have united and walked out—thank God this did not occur. In fact we have very definite news of the disintegration of the various competing verbally "universal religions," which in practice are often more exclusive than traditional faiths. They do not know it, you cannot tell them anything, you cannot advise, so their counter-karma is handling them.
On the personal side, Swamiji placed this one where many cultists place their hero-leaders. He did this openly at breakfast in the presence of some of the greatest men on earth. It may be demonstrated. Appearing as the guru of the hippies and the young, I was so accepted.
Outside some of the small Indian minorities, Swamiji was more than Vivekananda. He was more than Vivekananda, because to begin with the Sufis and the Buddhists acknowledge him. The Board of Directors acknowledge him. I think nearly all the Christians acknowledged him. He did not acknowledge himself. He kept on proclaiming Vivekananda. He is perfecting what Vivekananda started. Fortunately my young secretary can confirm my early high expectations of regard, that he could see them in manifestation.
We are preparing to leave for London/ We are preparing to lead the young towards spirituality. We are leaving this place in more than hope and satisfaction. We do not care anymore if the so-called universal cults and universally rivaling organizations ignore us. They have ignored God. They minimize divine guidance. They do not accept the wisdom of the Upanishads; indeed they do not accept scriptural wisdom. Still worse, they abrogate the divinity of man, the Tat Swam Asi and the Atman = Brahman. There is no question that the whole world is now being elevated at least a step in this direction.
I may extend a telephone greeting to you on my return, although it looks that my program will be very crowded indeed. Love and best wishes,
Samuel L. Lewis
Beloved One of God:
This is perhaps the most serious letter I have ever written. We are not going to stop wars by hypocrisy, by ignorance, by blatant claims. We are not going to stop wars just by listening to big and important people. These big and important people often include the very ones who fomented the wars.
I think the very first man I met here was the papal delegate. We have gotten along fine. I am called the man who writes the longest letters and makes the shortest speeches. I gave up the Zen robe and stick to dervish clothing. Even that and the beard attract a lot of people. I should not be surprised if my picture has appeared in every country in Europe, and maybe, just maybe, sooner or later in some American publications. It will certainly appear in the pictures that the Temple of Understanding makes for its displays. I think hypocrisy and self-aggrandizement are just as great evils as war itself.
I shall either send this to you in duplicate or ask you to make copies of it. I want some copies in the hands of the Rabbis of San Francisco, but first telephone Ted Riche.
Almost the next person I met was the chief American Rabbi who was sent here, and before I could state my case he offered me his profound apology, especially when I told him not a single rabbi in America has had the courtesy to answer a single letter in the last 5 (five) years, while hypocrites and scoundrels yell at each other about sitting down at a table. Within three days the Rabbi from Jerusalem was apologizing. The Muslims are quite divided; and so what they do and say are received with mixed feelings. The spiritual Muslims are far more tractable than the Rabbis. The non-spiritual Muslims are the very worst people here. Of course one hears lots of talks, often very long talks, about universal peace and love. Others are supposed to listen, but do not anymore.
My every word was listened to with sober attention and cordial appreciation. The Lebanese are far closer to me and I to them. They not only understand, but 2 or 3 of the Lebanese are among the most educated here. This is particularly true of Dr. Jurji of Princeton whom I have wished to meet for a long time. Second to him is a Dr. Malik who lives in Geneva.
I have outlined my plans. When I return home, we may act. And we can write to Rabbis of Jerusalem. The general feeling is that there are a large number of American Jews who have become adept at stirring up trouble, and not wishing to end hostilities. It is so easy to blame. It is almost as easy to enflame. And this I regret to say is true of some people, Jews and Christians, who have had the audacity before the almighty God to accept peace awards. I don’t wish to say that these are the only people who act as if God were not, or were not looking. No wonder youth turns away from religion. But youth is not turning away from spirituality; youth is departing from the self-misled who play selfish games in the name of God of course.
So next to being known as the man who writes the longest letters and makes the shortest speeches, I am known as a man of action and also as a potential coming spiritual leader of the young people, not only at home but everywhere. The time will come when my native city will not be ashamed of the person to whom they would not listen, to whom the floor was bared and sometimes attendance to meetings was barred by respectable so-called institutions and organizations and “experts.”
I would have to go over other notes which I do not wish to do now to tell you of contacts. For example with the Birla family, the richest and most devout people of India. With the Indians of Hindu and Christian persuasion alike. And most of all with our presumable spiritual brother, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. I can name 10 people, meeting whom pays for this trip. And I think Mansur will concur.
To begin with, I am perhaps the only person here who feels thoroughly at home with those of every race and religion. Princess Poon keeps on treating me as if I were little brother. But I did at least put a veto on Alan Watts. I know what her opinions are. Fortunately, I have made contact with all the Buddhists of very varying outlooks, including the representative of the Dalai Lama. But the Theravadan from Ceylon is the most magnificent representative of his particular outlook that I have met. He has won considerable respect.
Of course the great man of the conference is Swami Ranganathananda. He is almost wisdom itself. But it is most wonderful not only to meet and know the spiritual elect of the world, but to see them mingle with each other. I think there is considerable spiritual love and brotherhood, except among the blatant representatives of very small faiths, who try to atone for their small size by taking up more time and speaking more loudly. And of course their themes are always love and brotherhood with no consideration for the audience, an audience filled with saints and humanitarians.
Mansur has the autographs of quite a few here. This is going to make it much easier for any one of us who goes on a grand tour.
The best American is James Roberts of Howard University. He is only inferior to Swami Ranganathananda in that he has studied under Swami Ranganathananda. I think his influence is great enough that the next conference may be held in some part of Africa. I may try to reach my God-son Norman McGee, Jr. in New York when I return. I am also willing to start a fund now for George Matthews and any other colored person who becomes a disciple within the next year. They could, of course, be accompanied by others. This opening up of African peoples is more than a grand gesture. Those who dominate the conference, and by this time this includes Murshid, want vigorous action and I think we are going to have it. As soon as I get out of debt for this trip the travel fund will be started. There are various reasons for increasing this enough to permit Mansur (if he wishes) and George to move not only to Africa next year but within the confines of the United States this year. My brother and I have already agreed that should he die in the near future a good portion of my increased income would go to travel fund. If not, I think the dancing classes will increase to raise money for this purpose.
There is another reason for an increased travel fund. There are in the offing projects for Telstar (satellite communication) and it is possible that Mansur could be involved both as technician and as spiritual representative. A chapter has been completed in the book of his life which began when Jemila left him. I am hoping he realizes, and maybe he does, that there is now a career, even a world career before him.
When we get to England, if not before, some letters may be sent to those persons who scattered scurrilous rumors about me, on the other- hand please telephone the metaphysical library at 420 Sutter saying I hope to be available for any night at all in the month of May unless the present airfield strike prevents an early return. An overflow audience would not matter. I shall also contact the cathedral and give them first a short report, but I wish also if you would get these contents into the hands of Amin, so he could notify Dr. Cum.
This matter may be facilitated by the fact that the chief chairman of this conference is one Rev. Ditzen who is one of the top Presbyterian prelates of this country. He is glorious. In general, the Christian ministers here are on their good behavior, and the rabbis as above also on their very good behavior. It is only the minorities who try to compensate and they become annoyances.
I did have the inner vision and inner feeling, but it is much harder to accept than earlier pre-visions. The Bible may say about dreams and visions, but respectable clergy don’t want that so they lose their youth. There is no trouble about the very few youth here, but they are too few.
Well I got all the reports about Sheila. Of course they are mostly comic, and there is agreement that she is an Irish fay. Her presence as a young person was welcome. Many of the older people realize they have not opened the door to the young. The few young are listened to, but one could almost say—period. On the other hand—and this will also shock all the respectable people, it has been boldly presented that the sex and psychedelic adventures of the young are part of the spiritual life and must so be recognized, that sex has many different meanings among the young and sometimes much finer than among their elders. It is karmic that in this city of Calvin, puritanism has been criticized severely and the Presbyterians them-selves are atoning.
For many reasons therefore, it is important to prepare several disciples for participation in important conferences. However, this does not mean now necessarily those in California. When we reach Boston, the whole thing will be presented to the young there.
It is going to be a hard thing to convince clerics of most faiths that for whatever they sow, thus they reap. They have to learn that they are not exempt from Emerson’s law of Compensation nor the ethics of the Bible which is not to be confused with the empty verbal “Judeo-Christian” ethic, a most narrow and untrue outlook.
I don’t wish to say here that Jews and Christians are necessarily worse than followers of other faiths; sometimes they are much better. But if religion continues to tolerate hypocrisy, it is doomed.
Another thing to be taken up here sooner or later is the question of all the “world brotherhoods,” world movements, international blah-blah who have not anybody from Africa ever on the board if directors; in fact, the one negative point there is at present unanimity on is there should be no super-religion. The various super-religions all have their very private super-popes, hand-picked, and this is well-known—they’re going to flop. Not even the purest and perhaps earliest of them, the Baha’i movement, has presented no case here so far, and it at least is moral. Not a single Indian avatar super-rishi or world saviour has been represented, not any counterpart from other lands. Blatancy and ignorance has no place here.
Even in my most tense operations I usually have times off with diversions as you well know. Perhaps it was not too wise to squeeze out every moment, but at least I have done that, for better or worse. My humor, that I only have solutions not questions, is really being accepted seriously here, and this means a careful preparation of a synopsis of accomplishments, reactions, plans and contacts. At least I am not at least one standing committee, and will try to do come-thing about it.
At times I really act my age here and am so accepted. The saying found in the Bible, “The stone that is rejected is become the corner- stone” has been the keynote of my whole life. When I was an infant palmists made correct predictions, three of them. Otherwise, psychics have correctly delved into my past and almost entirely missed the future, but that does not matter. We shall let you know when we are to arrive in Boston and you may send any mail there. I especially want to learn about any letter from Wells Fargo. I cannot be writing to each individual; in fact, it was only because I am not well enough to attend the banquet tonight that the time is being consumed here and Mansur has been kind enough to remain with me.
It is cold here but not too much so. However, the news is that it will be cold in England, so we are prepared. The conference ends tomorrow but we will stay over another day. There may be extra meetings to prepare for next year. Now people are expecting me to speak. This also means a revaluation of time and money and an increase of hope.
You are free to share this with whom you will, but I don’t wish to present any idea of bragging. The present wars are serious, combined with the refusal of important persons, organizations, even the press, to grant in interview. What is going to happen, and I have foreseen this, is the leading of youth protest parades demanding interviews; of course, if the world press gets out and my picture appears, it will be a different thing. The terrible contrast between absolute refusals and the open doors at the highest levels will sooner or later have its effect, but it is not aggrandizement, it is the effort to bring about real peace, through, by and with people of every rank, race, and station that I wish to accomplish. Fortunately, I am sure to begin with that I shall be more than welcome on the several campuses of the U. of C. and also at Hayakawa State. I have already written a letter to Russ Joyner who is one of Hayakawa’s associates, besides sending him carbons of earlier reports.
With the cathedral sending me an apology, with the Rabbis here being really apologetic and repentant for the behavior of their associates and being regarded as “one of-them” by so many of the world leaders as I foresaw, a new career will be opened. But I wish to go to Lama along with Mansur where we may be able to write out plans and projects and at the same time teach the young who want to learn instead of trying to appeal to their elders. The only person here who tried to dualize me is a Jesuit whom I beat by shoving a profound appreciation both of his person and his methods, and no nonsense about that either. I think my mind is about run out.
Love and Blessings,
St. Ermins Hotel
Caxton Street, London, S.W.1
April 9, 1970
My dear Fred and Corinne:
I do not know whether you have acknowledged my last or not. At my request, no mail is being forwarded. We have been going through a series of revolutions, so to speak. The first came at a world peace conference, mostly in the hands of prelates and spirit al leaders. They were gathered from all over the world. There were some scientists among them. The first thing the conference made a mockery of was that there was any struggle between scientists and religion. This verbal warfare is nothing but a myth in the hands of the press and literary people who are neither scientists nor religionists. They keep up hollow verbal drumming which has no place in actuality.
One thing is sure: everybody was permitted to speak. There was no indulgence in personalities, or rather it occurred only once, splitting the Muslims who were divided and giving the Rabbis some splendid opportunities. I had the rare experience of receiving innumerable apologies from colleagues of persons and groups who have previously shut doors in my face. It now would appear that I may play a leading part in future convocations. I can’t want to go into this subject here, but it is quite possible you will see my bearded face in leading publications.
The second revolution care when we reached London. A cable announced the death of my brother. As with my father before him, there was death-bed reconciliation. This would increase my income substantially, enable me to travel and to back the publication of my poetry; and do other things.
The third revolution will take place today. We are going next to a social gathering at the Royal Asiatic society, and then to one at Gandalf’s Garden, the spiritual hone of the hippies here, or the home of the spiritual hippies. They have already some renown. I doubt whether we will have much freedom after tonight, there being possible all kinds of invitations until we leave on the morning of Thursday the 16th.
Perhaps it has been a good thing that I have been foreclosed, and barred, and rejected, by all sorts of persons and organizations. It has made one develop mettle. Certainly one can hold one’s own in sober discussions at the highest level and no nonsense. My secretary will be taking his address and autograph book with him. He has already many voluble autographs from many parts of the world. He is one of the few young persons who participate in this peace conference. Next year we hope to have many more. One has therefore become indifferent, totally indifferent, to the snubbers. On to other hand, one has become no more and more successful in gaining the good will of the young. Future schedules and programs are quite uncertain excepting we must spend a month in the state of New Mexico, where a summer school is waiting for me to conduct it.
April 11, 1970
I held out slightly before acknowledging your letter seat here because of newspaper forenotices of an article which has now appeared and which we enclose. However, we hall go through the papers very carefully to see if there is something else before it is mailed. There are some excellent articles on the Huxley family, but I am not going to cut them out.
Last night we supped with Muz Murray, the director of Gandalf’s Garden. We are to go there once more before we leave to give an initial demonstration of our walks and dances and will be leaving immediately after that, Thursday morning, for Boston. We shall probably telephone from Boston to determine our return date to San Francisco. There has been some confusion. The hospital assured me my brother was doing well and within a few hours he died. They had a cable sent asking for my permission to have a postmortem examination. They went ahead without my permission and with the strenuous opposition of the resident cousin who is presumably Elliot’s chief heir. Presumably, the funeral has taken place. Nobody wanted to interfere with my work.
Last night I read what the people of Gandalf’s Garden thought of the late Meher Baba. It was mostly a rehash of Baba vs. Brunton and said very little. It is certain that Baba some has not taken, because his followers have convinced the public rightly or wrongly that devotion to Baba is superior to morality and consideration. On the other hand, Pir Vilayat has made good here as he did in Geneva. He is having a real inter-faith seminar soon. The people begged me to stay, but if Pir Vilayat and I are not together we can simultaneously be reaching different audiences which is what we both want.
We have left the chart with Muz and it should be delivered by the end of next week. I must say that the aspects have certainly been borne out by what has been happening to my colleague; even if some items are not exact, they certainly have been substantiated by hard but simple facts which is the best criterion.
Much of our work here is to follow up the advice and introductions of Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who is regarded as the world’s leading intellectual authority on Sufism. This will consume about half of our remaining time. We have been to Kew Gardens and will go again. And today await a telephonic call from my dearest Buddhist friend here.
The weather has been almost but not quite miserable: cool but not cold; always portly cloudy, touching rapidly rain hail snow sunshine gloom brightness and Seattle temperature.
Of course life will never be the same and I knew it would never be the same. On the one hand, acceptance at top levels, and on the other the presumably increased and increasing sources of income will make one re-evaluate and rearrange all his affairs.
Samuel L. Lewis
April or May, 1970
(No date given)
This letter comes from a different address, for Sam may have to give up both the idea of any permanent home or it’s opposite to do as Ram directs henceforth. He is staying (with his secretary Mansur Johnson) in the home of Richard Harvey at the above address. Richard Harvey operates this as East-West House and is also owner of the Sphinx Book Store, in Harvard Square Cambridge, Mass. He has asked Sam for suggestions for books to sell and so Sam is writing this letter and making a small enclosure asking that you send him your catalog if possible at the earliest possible date and also copies of The Vision for distribution and sale.
There is a spiritual awakening in this area very such like in California and Richard is the catalyst—there is no exact leader. We have already met some remarkably spiritual people here and have engagements to meet more in our short stay.
On 28th March Sam and Mansur left San Francisco to go to Geneva. Switzerland, where there was a conference of the religions of the world to discuss peace and understanding. This was under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding of Washington, District of Columbia, in the United States. Their objective is to build a temple which shall be “a house of prayer for all peoples.” This was one of those rare occasions where and when the religions were presented by their own devotees and representatives and not by some carefully or carelessly selected intellectual spokesman. The idea and fact are themselves most wonderful. One day we had fourteen prayers offered in succession—the actual prayers, the devotions, and not the metaphysical exhortation which the manas-ahankara people have quite wrongfully substituted.
It was the top intellectuals themselves who labored to see that love and devotion, not exhortation and emotion, dominated. And it was so. The dominant figure was our very good friend, Swami Ranganathananda of the Ramakrishna Mission. Sam has always called him the Vivekananda of the age. He has immersed his whole life in Vivekananda but now he has functioned as Vivekananda. He was probably without a peer. He was so recognized chiefly by Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr of Tehran, Iran, who represented spiritual Islam (and so Sufism). When the supreme personalities of different religions meet in amity and devotion a certain goal has been reached.
It is hoped we can go forth and have such goals, and God willing, we shall have such accomplishments. Sam was better received than any of the newcomers. He was most fortunate to meet and greet the representatives of His Holiness, Pope Paul, at the very beginning.
Almost immediately after that we met the Birla family and placed in the hands of the Senior Birla copy of “The Rejected Avatar.” This must have affected him. Certainly the next day the Junior Birla came to greet and thank Sam. They had paid for a whole delegation of Indians of various views so that the minorities like the Jains, Sikhs and Zarathustrians (Parsis) were accepted as equals. But the modern movement rising from the comet-light bearers were not present. There are too many of them. They have not yet been socially and historically effective and they are too much in competition with each other. This has caused some disturbance at other convocations, worsened by the fact that the contenders all verbalize “love” and “compassion” and act as if they had monopolies on these words and the processes involved. Their exclusion may not have been entirely just but it did mean almost universal harmonization, which itself is a grand step forward.
Then Mansur and Sam went to London chiefly to meet the young spiritual people whose center is Gandalf’s garden. They are so much like the young in California that we were thoroughly at home.
We visited the World Congress of Faiths and the Royal Asiatic Society and then our good friend and colleague, Mr. Clive-Ross at Paths Manor. This was a delightful visit with a delightful man. He then urged us to call on his colleagues, Professor Martin Links and Marco Pallis. Marco Pallis impressed us as being a Bodhisattva and joy broke out all over when he told us that Papa had stayed in this very house! Everything in London was like that, but the weather.
After ten days we came to Boston and have begun presenting our spiritual dances and meeting some highly advanced, little known people. We are in the midst of such adventures now but wish to get out this check so that you can ship The Vision as soon as convenient to this address.
When Sam reached London he learned that his brother had just died. We had been enemies for years but Sam has been trying the “Buddha” method. It did not convince some of the leading Buddhists. They want ritual and theology, not demonstrations. But Sam’s brother died as a brother and there is now family amity. We shall not know the details until we reach San Francisco perhaps at the end of the week. But it undoubtedly means an increase in Sam’s income which will free him further for travel and other purposes.
Among the persons met here is Karmu, a spiritual healer and psychologist of the Black Races. He has already renovated Sam’s body and re-awakened his inspirations.
Love and blessings,
Sam L. Lewis
May 11, 1970
It is time for a diary entry. We are not only busy with the usual but with the unusual also. The unusual will interest you most. There is such fervor for Pir Vilayat Summer camp. It is not so much enthusiasm as interest and exceedingly fortunate success in arranging for it. I have no part in it for the reason below. There is a wonderful type of young man functioning today, and they have in addition to youthful élan that practical aspect of applied intuition, so important in spiritual philosophy but so lacking among elders.
I understand that Vilayat wanted 150 to attend. There is no doubt that this will be easy. We have sent out two teams—one to survey ground and make preliminary arrangements; another to try to raise funds for television piloting. Our main problem has been the maintenance of skeleton crews to remain here but even that has not been too great. At this moment only hope.
The Summer School for Samuel in New Mexico is closed so far as enrolment, schedule, routine, etc., are concerned. We just have to go—for the whole month of June. Added to this will be the work in growing organically fed vegetables and the obtaining of raw milk. This school lasts much longer than Vilayat’s camp.
Daniel Lomax, physicist and musician, will probably go to the meeting in North Hollywood when Vilayat calls for the national gathering. I understand he will come here first and speak at the same Metaphysical Library where I addressed the group last week. The audience was almost entirely young. Older people do not care for facts and there is a big paper article today about a rival congress in Japan which has not the real world leaders at all, strictly “establishment.”
The immediate outcome of the talk was that we shall summon a closed astrological conference—no public and no charge, astrologers only, to demonstrate one portion of “the whirling ecstasy.” There are some very intelligent persons now operating, far better than the “experts” of the past. We did discuss Pluto and Saturday night the second phase of the Pluto walk was presented, and this coordination of that with the “Toward the One” outlook of both individual and group.
This in turn is related to the new “communal” psychology. At least our communes have been successful so far and when we add to that the growing interest in organic and healthy foods, the whole scene is of a real New Age.
Vocha Fiske is here. She has done rather important business in the field of Japanese art and may have to go back to Japan for a combination of commercial, spiritual, and aesthetic interests. She attended the Wesak last night with us—very dull, ritual, superficial. I had to report to them the doings of their own leaders.
There is hope. One Rabbi here has consented to an interview. I am totally indifferent. The leaders pretend they want peace and then offer any excuse not to meet each other. The almost absolute success with the real leaders at Geneva is in marked contrast to the “expertism” of establishment clerics. Anyhow the young will have no more of them, that is certain.
This whole university outlook is helping me. There are now American professors of Orientalia functioning and they are far more tolerant than their “humble” predecessors of English and European vintage. These men would not grant a person-to-person interview on any grounds. They were superiors. Period. A few are still around keeping Sufism out of our culture. But now the university jobs are either in the hands of Asians or of Americans who have submitted to Asian discipline. Why even Baba Ram Dass, in some respects my chief colleague, intends to become a disciple in Sufism!
There are now enterprises for me in the Boston, London, New Mexico and Washington areas. If Pir Vilayat wishes me to go to Cleveland, this also will be added. There is still family business, the nature of which is not clear. Although my brother left me out, there are no males around at all—five women cousins and the doctors (especially) and lawyers are taking advantage. The exact amount of my income is not clear but last month it was more than ample. Some of this must be used to support Vilayat’s camp—at least at the beginning.
We now have one couple engaged in TV pilot projects; another in bringing out a new type of Sufi chant; another group in women’s dances, very spiritual but not “Islamic”; another group in the drama. This besides the possibilities in ceramics and printing. Recently I wrote to Atiya to forestall duplicate purchases, but there are some details which Vilayat himself may settle by presenting what he wants—I shall be away but there is full trust (as above) in so many young men that it is almost tearful, after what Pir-o-Murshid had to undergo. Everything is New Age.
On May 24 another farewell party plus the birthday of Daniel Lomax, Naqib and financial-secretary.
Mansur and Saul will go with me to Lama, and there will be a third driver. I am not thinking of anything beyond July 1st, but hope that Vilayat will lay some grounds for Pir-o-Murshid’s birthday celebration, which will also be my homecoming. But it does not look as if I shall be around very long anywhere unless there are plans otherwise. We are already looking for expansions. All outlooks are most hopeful, praise to God.
We may be concerned with your health and that of others. I have not brought together all my materials. Saul is studying both Herbology and “ancient wisdom” which will culminate with Avicenna. Then we must coalesce this with the work of Dr. Nasr, the other “summit” Sufi leader. This is an enormous project.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
May 18, 1970
Mr. Shamcher Bryn Beorse
Keyport, Wash. 98345
My dear Shamcher,
I was very glad to hear from you chiefly because there has been some concern for your health. We do not need “excitement” anymore. That is what is wanted, was wanted; that is what we have.
It is necessary to retrace one’s footsteps finding today that nearly every abandoned project was indeed the right project. The compulsory pressures of egocentric individuals is no doubt effective against upstarts and presumably bombasting little people. But as Pir-o-Murshid said, “Truth in the end, will win.” If I have to abandon anything now, and I do have to, it is for quantitative reasons, not otherwise; I am simply unable to hold on and hang on, even with no failures in sight.
For example, we had a long distance call from Holland the other day regarding Pir Vilayat’s coming. I shall not be here, but the only way I can justify a number of my aims and undertakings, is to have him succeed and absolutely succeed in what he is trying to do—no comment, no intellect, no ego. So there is a side undertaking here for the Arizona camp. Personalities aside, it would seem that Allah favors such an undertaking. If here there is a good pitch of excitement, well I am for it, and imagine you are for it too.
There are only a few days for Mansur and Saul and I to prepare to go to Lama. Evidently Allah favors this too. Saul has been very fortunate in his private affairs. I am collecting as much material as I can conveniently do to work with Mansur at Lama. But we also have the overall efforts both in establishing, coordinating and maintaining a spiritual commune and likewise an organic garden.
At the present time there is an overall increase in the total income of the disciples here due to the successful enterprise of the New Age Health Foods Stores which sell only organic and natural foods. In the midst of so-called depression this business is teeming; there is an overflow of customers; there is a tremendous preponderance of demand, but the supplies languish. We are going to do everything possible. For me first this will be in New Mexico, then perhaps Colorado, and then locally on our return.
The next few days may be outwardly revolutionary in my life. I do not want to anticipate. The present state of the stock market may affect my expected increase in income, or it may be otherwise, but I do feel an increase and exactly what I do not know. One reason for this comes from visions and intuitions all of which have been uniformly correct to this point. There has not been a single event which one did not see coming and mostly happily coming.
Combined with this is the fact that today I have on the agenda an interview with a local Rabbi. I am not expecting any miracles, but at least this person is willing to sit down with me, a rarity among those who uphold what they call the Judeo-Christian ethic, something of which I have little understanding. I have hardly any idea of what it means, but at least I am being granted an interview.
There are two revolutions here so to speak: the one is the human that it may be possible, inshallah, to get people to sit down with each other, especially those people who are yelling the loudest that the other fellows will not sit down with them.
The second is that I have given considerably more thought—and I hope it is thought—to the economics, logistics, and ecological problems of the regions involved. This ecology, however, arises from a presumed knowledge of the botanical sciences, and not from sociology, although I think sociology may benefit.
I shall know tomorrow no doubt about natural increase in income and intend to promote a scholarship on the Berkeley campus. It will integrate the work of the Dept. of Near East Languages with the efforts of Paul Keim of the Engineering Dept., your friend Dr. Howe, and of course, the dry land agricultural departments of the several campuses. This very approach should further full-time employment and do much more. I have piles of research notes and when the time comes, could keep several people busy. I still have several letters and matters to take up with the University.
And while this is going on, all the matters connected with and stemming from the Temple of Understanding. I have received at least one long distance call from Holland, and am also besieged to write further of the last wishes of Hazrat Inayat Khan. While the persons concerned are very “right” I am now taxed to the utmost of my abilities, the only recreation being an occasional dinner. It seems droll that as my income goes upward the possibilities for external enjoyment recede, and maybe this is as Allah wishes.
Disciple Hassan Herz is working on the possibilities of increasing our printing establishment along with others. At the same time, I have received my first offer for actual assistance in getting my spiritual poetry published. It is most welcome of course, so it is a little hard to realize fully the complete turn in events and attitudes arising at this juncture.
While this is going on, we have to also prepare for the personal appearance of Pir Vilayat in this city. I shall not be here at the time, but the instructions are to make this his home. It is not only instructions, but there is overwhelming interest and cooperation without anything being said at all. Isn’t that wonderful? Then there is the work of Naqib Daniel Lomax who will be attending the meeting called for North Hollywood concerning the business affairs of the Order. Daniel has my full confidence. My concerns at the moment are two: one, the establishment of a proper financial organization to support the present secretary, and to systematize the work.
The other is to see that we have those spiritual papers in accord with the esoteric constitution, as already published by Pir Vilayat. I am not opposed to changes in the constitution. I am opposed to repetition of the terrible situations I had to face in the past where constitutions ran one way and policies another way, and the most egocentric excuses were made therefor. I am absolutely open whether the writings and teachings of Pir Vilayat should be considered exoteric or esoteric. I will accept any decision without demur. Perhaps I am over-leaning towards systematic.
The original notes of Hazrat Inayat Khan which he gave to me and which were later seized by Mrs. Duce, show that the original constitution as he wanted it was never put into operation. Here all I want, so to speak, is to have a working organism.
The correspondence from Holland does bring up two sores, which I do not like to face now, i.e., the complex interposition of Murshida Martin and Mrs. Duce (Murshida). But the reason I do not wish to be further entangled is that there is so much positive work going on:
For example, even now it will be necessary to increase the dancing classes locally. I am leaving for Lama to establish what is potentially a Sufi center. And there is the whole complex of Richard Alpert, now known as Baba Ram Dass. At the Psychedelic Conference a few years back, he and his colleagues pooh-poohed my remarks that there was a word in Sanskrit at least for every odd experience each of them had had. They pooh-poohed me no end. Then Alpert, Ginsberg, Leary, and Huston Smith, four of the top five at the conference, went off to India and learned I was correct. Now Huston Smith is away getting further instruction and Baba Ram Dass is preparing to go to South America to study under a Sufi Murshid there whose fame has already reached these shores. This is a very favorable counter-balance to the movements in behalf of the Indian un-God-realized “Avatars,” more of whom are coming here soon. But there is a silent acceptance of this person as being a sort of Khalifa of Baba Ram Dass, and so the doors are very wide open, taking me to the full.
As if this were not enough, there is now the whole peace movement. Being presumably mortal, I have had to choose between throwing my eggs in the Near East basket or Southeast Asia basket. Oh, I was on the ground floor of the latter all right, perfectly safe because the press and State departments do not accept anything from mere mortals. Besides this the vast majority of the small number of actual number of ugly Americans who have actually lived there, have long bowed out. They (or shall I say we) know the Cambodians, the Vietnamese, etc., as living human beings and not as zoological specimens. So from the standpoint of sanity, alas, it is better to be concerned with the Near East, and that is at least what I am attempting to do today, inshallah. I think this is enough for the moment, although I can assure you it is not covering all the activities going around in this vicinity and in this house.
Love and Blessings,
S. A. M.
May 19, 1970
Mr. G. John Champoux, and
Mr. Hieronymus Golgotha
392 Cherry St.
Holyoke, Mass. 010140
I have never before received a letter that could be answered figuratively that the correspondent was 100% right and 100% wrong at the same time. This is because we have been under the influence of Aristotle and have ignored the criticisms and suggestions of the great modern philosopher Bertrand Russell and others in this regard. For from the standpoint of the Sufism of Sufis, much be cleared up, whereas from the standpoint of contemporary cosmic astrology, one has nothing but elation.
Sufism is the science and art of pants becoming aware of the omniscience, omnipresence, compassion and glory of the One Being Who alone exists. And this is proved through the demonstration of the awakening of man’s own inner spirit which has been an uncommon and can become a common experience. Idries Shah, it is true, has written about the existence of Sufi Orders, and especially about Orders to which he does not himself belong. This is nonsense. What is more, he has indicated and sometimes averred denials of other personalities who might be spokesmen for Sufism because of their representing these very Orders.
You will please excuse me if I cannot write at length on this subject being an extremely busy person. I must refer you to the Sphinx Book Store in Harvard Square, Cambridge, where you can buy the works of Hazrat Inayat Khan who has been somewhat successful in introducing some forms of Sufism into the West. Later on this year no doubt, Dr. Richard Alpert, sometimes known as Baba Ram Dass, after the training in another form of Sufism. Although I personally have had the disciplines of many of the Sufi Orders it is only now that there is any recognition of simple but hard facts. Indeed if you went to certain universities you would probably end in confusion, receiving interpretations out of line with the interpretations from other sources. The ultimate teaching is that God alone exists. However, if you wish to know more about this we can help you up to a point.
My present plans are to come again to the East-West Center in Boston as soon as suitable arrangements can be made.
On the other hand, Holy Qur’an distinctly states “God is the Light of the Heavens and of the Earth.” Contemporary scientists do not usually study the works of Kepler and Newton, but merely extract such items as pleases their vanity. Even at this time I believe only about 25% of Newton’s writings have been translated from his Latin into English. The astrological writings of Kepler have been largely ignored; those of Newton almost totally ignored until this time.
I am turning the two natal horoscopes over to one of my disciples to have him re-copy them onto a color-wheel chart form which will facilitate an interpretation. In Sufism, there is the development of the intuitive faculty and forms of sight and insight which are not yet part of our knowledge. The rise of metaphysics and the psychic sciences opened doors, but opened them only up to a certain point. When the inner eyes are opened one is not limited by either the known or presumably known sciences of the laboratory technicians, the metaphysician, or the psychics. None of them are wrong, but there are gaps and exclusions from each and all of them, and this leaves a grand universe to be explored.
Now from another point of view everything is beautiful and wonderful. We have a spiritual dancing class here. Basically this glass was established for what is known as spiritual development, and basically this spiritual development was along lines more or less traditional of Sufis. But we also have a prayer and it is more than a prayer, “Open our hearts that we may hear thy Voice which cometh constantly from within.” Unlike the metaphysician, the mystic must actually hear the Voice of the Universe and also make himself the instrument thereof. It is a cosmic not a personal game. No doubt the Voice of the Universe knows a good deal more than personality. Than have been a number of personalities who have been playing games, nothing but shallow egotistical games, and Alice Bailey has been one among others very astute at this. Her prophesies were invariably wrong which has never precluded her being included from the lists of the presumably great. This has caused, will cause, endless confusion. The Jewish Bible regarded those as criminals who made wrong predictions. We regard them as heroes who make any effort at prediction whatever, even when these are 100% wrong. There are higher faculties in man, of man, and with man, awakening direct sight and insight to the extent and degree that “the Heavens declare the Glory of God” in, with, and through human personality. I shall make no effort to prove this logically or otherwise here. One of the disciples was rather astute in Hatha Yoga and has seemingly discovered that there is a center above and beyond the physical body which is operative. The same week I came to a conclusion that this center also was connected with Plutonic forces.
We operate here—disciples only—giving every initiated pupil first a walk consummate with his ego, and then one related to his spiritual development. But our operations indicate that the Plutonic consciousness is group rather than individual, is of the sangha rather than of the person. When we tested it this also proved to be correct, although we have no doubt that our test might not be accepted by a number of teachers and organizations acclaiming spiritual development which they do not have. We are not concerned with this. We are concerned with the fact that the Heavens in certain respects are opening up, are so acclaiming the glory of God, and manifesting in, with and through dedicated individuals.
But the group consciousness is now becoming evident and effective through a new type of commune, and I should say that the Plutonic influences are communal influences rather than individual ones. I am therefore turning your letter and charts over to one of my disciple who is an astrologer and you should be hearing from us as soon as convenient.
God bless you,
May 25, 1970
My dear Art:
While you are advising the stock market—which needs it badly, I am being kid-napped by the younger generation. All ready to be given a test by life itself instead of by Dr. Pompous and Prof. Apriori Rejection. It can go either way. But regrettably I am being sought for more because I have been snubbed, rejected, and insulted publicly and privately by the leaders of “Liberty, Democracy, Humanity, and Peasants, Shut Up.”
This is very unhealthy, of course, but the game is up. At a real summit conference in Geneva when cards had to be put on the table there was a notable absence of “experts” and I don’t know of a single “peace award” winner that has had anything to say about either Cambodia or the Near East. They just pocket their honorifics and the money that accompanies them and disappear. This has been going on for a long, long time.
I am wondering how many of the “experts” of the day can say anything about Cambodia. And there is almost universal agreement to ignore all Americans who have lived in that unhappy land. Why at Hayakawa State College there is an important professor who a little while back received letters of introduction from us, but who cares what she has to say? This interferes with “expertism.” And, of course, we could not possibly have issued such introductions!
Well our farewell party turned out most satisfactorily, more young people. Every week more and off to become their “guru” with introductions to here, there and there. Mostly this concerns organic gardening. It has not reached the ears of the “experts” that organic gardening and anti-pollution measures (in the scientific, not in the “sociological” sense) may actually be most profitable. Wall St. can’t accept that but many of my friends and followers are showing up with more dollars honestly earned. And if you want to meet the young—go to an organic gardening establishment (but don’t let facts influence you).
Now it seems I am being “discovered.” Two doors are opening and I don’t know which one may be entered. The great Dr. Pompous and Prof. Apriori Rejection will have something to explain to their entourages but I am too concerned with the young. And in the mean while both my rejected (of course) peace programs and poetry are now being read with considerable interest and there are movements on foot to publish them. The cheers of the young are more edifying than the jeers of their elders, and it works both ways, at least.
I expect another big party on my return on July 5, but will stop all of these until we have some kind of peace.
It is funny. I have never been on the rolls of any poll, Gallup or otherwise, or even on small ones. But the silenced majority is gradually speaking and this is a most wonderful sigh.
Samuel L. Lewis
Tuesday May 26, 1970
The Temple of Understanding
1346 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D. C. 20036
My dear Peter;
This is really a diary entry and does not require any response from you. Things are happening so fast in my private life, faster than ever.
On the negative side, I find I am under attack again from one of those groups which in Islamic terms would be called dajjalists. Our good friend Dr. Nasr was not favorable to their direct participation in the assemblies for the Temple of Understanding. Each of them has a particular and sometimes quite narrow view, of universality. When two such groups appear at once at a conference under the auspices of The World Congress of Faiths, the meeting ended in a brawl—nothing was accomplished. The same was also true of other meetings to which one need not refer to here, nor are there any negative notes.
On the contrary, when the opportunity is given to reply, I hope to avail myself of the opportunity to put in more than a plug for Temple of Understanding.
If there were two items of “unfinished business” they were the inclusion of African cultures and of the young. There has been present at my last meetings a Yoruban and in the periphery people from Kenya and adjacent lands. While I have been a tyro in the study of African cultures, these studies have been real, not superficial, and I have sufficient direct contacts within the universities to follow up, and perhaps help fulfill, programs in this general direction.
But it is concerning youth that is the main subject here.
While there is a saying, “When dog bites man it is not news; when man bites dog it is news.” Actually the contrary holds true. Everybody but the young themselves have been given the opportunities, if not open invitations, to speak or write on new outlooks involving youth. As an eye-witness to many of the dramas of the day, nearly always unwittingly, I should say there is little resemblance between the facts of events and the reports thereon.
I began my recent work under the theme “Joy Without Drugs.” We just had a party here, attended by 50 young people performing the spiritual dances. My total attendance has increased every single week since the beginning of the year, no exceptions. One of the results has been that my work is becoming more and more televised and recorded, and along with that the efforts of my spiritual colleagues in other faiths. But what astounds me is the very high development in the conscious efforts of young people, belying nearly all the articles written about them by their elders, and instigating among other things the idea of a “children’s crusade.” My own disciples in particular, and with them the disciples of Pir Vilayat Khan—actually the two groups are not distinguishable—show tremendous advances in the application of spiritual energies locked by what are called “establishments” which includes all dialectical extremists.
At the moment many of these are integrated in films now being privately shown. I must say I am totally amazed with the internal genius of my young disciples, all under 30, with a median age of about 25. What they have done, what they are doing, is now on record, and there is a fund-raising campaign in their behalf in which some prominent persons and groups are at least interested.
The films show the dances and ceremonies both of the Chassid Jews and the young disciples of Sufism. At a time when their elders are practicing ethnocide on each other, these groups are showing love and humanity to each other. This matter is being taken up elsewhere, as in the letter to Father Masson, etc. But we also have on the film the work of my vajrayanan colleague Dr. Warwick, who comes from the same school as the late Alexandra Davida-Neal.
Talking to Dr. Warwick yesterday we both agreed that what was necessary was to explain and integrate our mutual endeavors to bring to manifestation the innate spiritual faculties of humanity. This is something the young people want all over, and I mean the young people and not the literati who write about then,
I have suggested that this could best be done by dedicating the films to the Temple of Understanding, or at least including an explanation with emphasis for the Temple of Understanding. On this point Dr. Warwick agrees. And I shall keep you informed about progress.
I am about to leave for Lama Foundation in New Mexico, where I have said we hope to establish a pilot Temple of Understanding. It will be a test on my prowess.
In my absence, there will be here another what is called “Holy-Man’s Jamboree.” It will include Pir Vilayat, a Guru in Kundalini-Yoga, and representatives of at least two of the many rival schools proclaiming a particular Indian as the Messiah or Avatar of the age. I will be away but I am hoping that there will be some emphasis on Temple of Understanding. I have already interjected this into Wesak Celebration.
I must say that everywhere the young people want to worship with each other, alongside each other, and they are not so interested under what ritual or religion. They want togetherness and brotherhood. This has been most emphatically expressed. And so far as the youth are concerned here I am leaving on a higher note than I have ever been able to attain in previous years.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
May 26, 1970
This is a sort of hasty farewell letter. I am going off to conduct a summer school, everything arranged for me: enrollment, funds, program, everything. No doubt at least indirectly this has been possible through the efforts of Richard Alpert, known as Baba Ram Dass. But it is also quite evident that one has the good will at least of a number of prominent Asian philosophers and holy men, and I mean Asian philosophers and holy men and nothing but Asian philosophers and holy men.
When the cards had to be placed on the table before the real spiritual leaders one was not shut out a priori. Indeed one took every advantage of the differences to work for peace and good will pragmatically, not just verbally.
But I am writing this because yesterday there was a preview of film. Most of the scenes were either of myself or my most active disciples. But some were of spiritual colleagues, especially your neighbor Dr. Warwick and Rev. Shlomo of Jerusalem. The very impact of the past month is forcing open doors of the lofty, the proud, the conceited, who have habits of refusing interviews or giving others an opportunity to speak before lambasting them with criticisms. And while the worst of these no doubt has been Dr. Hayakawa, there are enough of them, and I think all of them will pass out of the picture.
One thing I do which the lofty, the proud, the conceited, do not do, and that is give free rein to youth, free rein in everything. Youth is recognizing this.
In my absence youth will have another “Holy Man’s Jamboree” where actual, or self-styled spiritual personnel will gather before the young, the frustrated, the heart-hungry. Pir Vilayat will no doubt represent Sufism, but if he does not there are now available a number of young people who can do this. When the Gods arrive, the half-Gods go.
But I am writing this because you appeared in the film. There is no explanation, but the picture of you is excellent. Now we have to have explanation, only at this time the producer has gone to New York, both to try to arrange funds and to contact some of the most important people in this field. I am leaving it to them, the young. I am satisfied they will know how to carry on.
As to others, let the dead bury their dead.
We had our last birthday party here, excepting the one on July 5 to commemorate the birthday of Hazrat Inayat Khan who brought Sufism to this country. We are doing this out of protest for we all feel the present administration is entirely wrong in their attitude toward the living people of Asia.
Love and Blessings,
June 2, 1970
San Cristobal, NM 87564
Rev. Dr. Neville Warwick
1551 Octavia St.
San Francisco, Calif. 94109
There is something going on like a mystery, and maybe it is a mystery. It should be of especial interest to the mountain-climbing yogis.
In the first place I do not know whether it is a story or a legend that led to the acquisition of this place by my good American friends. I do not know and I have not asked how they came to perform certain rituals that look like either Vajrayana or kachina (I do not know if there is any relation between this term as applied here and that found in Pali literature and rituals.) To me it has always been a source of wonder.
I have before me copy of Early Madhyamika in India and China. The writer is one Dr. Richard Robinson of the University of Wisconsin, a long-time friend of, the late Robert Clifton (Phra Sumangalo). On page 10 he quotes from D.T. Suzuki’s Reason and Intuition. I am not acquainted with this particular book. I do know that Daisetz championed prajna but seldom used it. I equally know that my own efforts to promulgate and practice prajna have run into storms of reproach from a number of conflicting camps and personalities to whom I sarcastically refer as being “anatta” Buddhists.
I have never accepted the divisions of the Dharma followers. Just as I had to see in later life Phra Sumangalo die of a broken heart because of the Vietnam situation, I had earlier in life to witness the late Dwight-Goddard die of a broken heart because of the mutual conflicts and animosities found among especially the Buddhists in the West—here the Vietnamese have shown considerably more wisdom.
I came to this place to be tested by life itself. I have to operate as spiritual director and also to some extent as director on worldly matters such as programming for work and building up the crop gardens and disposing of surplus, etc. It I am to be judged I am to be judged by life and not by conflicting dissidents who seem to feel that if the world does not go in their direction, it is going wrong. I hope to meet a few honest Buddhists, that is to say those who after asserting that Tathagata presented 84,000 Upayas, they themselves will actually accept 2 or 3, but even 2 or 3 seem to be beyond the range of some very self good verbal practitioners of the Dharma.
My first talk was entirely selfless and prajna; it was not planned, it was spontaneous. I told them that one of the purposes of my coming here was to instruct in the practice of Mahamudra. I felt that all the themes of the late Nicholas Roerich were correct, excepting that the Himalayas were necessarily most sacred and other mountains profane.
It is to me horrible nonsense to speak about many Buddhas and not accept their manifestation, especially among peoples with whom they have had no connection. There are wonders in southeastern United States. I do not believe it was possible to establish complex irrigation works, cotton growing, etc. unless there appeared among these people some great perfect enlightened one. While many of the races and religions seem to have disappeared, the spiritual line has persisted to this day. I find also that some of the natives regard this as a holy mountain. A hermits hut has already been built but nothing done beyond dedication. I said I would teach them the jhanas, that the jhanas would prepare them for the Mahayana and that owing to the condition of the world, the manifestation of a whole new age and their own personal and collective desires, the Mahamudra would be normal and natural. I do not expect to do this all at once but the directives are clear.
I am already overwhelmed. Most excellent contracts at Albuquerque and Santa Fe. New ones in the Taos region will be easy, often automatic. How to bring these people together? No more separative sectarianism. No more analytical cults, but the broad outlooks of cosmic vision. The events seem to have their own logic. The lowest portion of this ground is 8,000 feet above sea level. The little I have seen of the land higher up, the more profound pure and noble the atmosphere. So my work is cut out for me.
On the other hand, the already patently manifest love and joy is as great as any encountered anywhere. It will be easy to make the Lama Foundation the site for pilgrimages, even to become holy ground. I am not going to anticipate, I am going to feel and work, but I thought you should know and I thought that sooner or later there should be contact between your own group and the people here. In addition, the organic garden efforts should excite Terry and, it possible, he might be induced to come here sometime as a fore-agent.
I may not write further but should see you as soon as possible after my return. We do not have any newspapers or radio here. This should make the practice of Mahamudra even more effective.
Samuel L. Lewis
Box 444, San Cristobal
New Mexico, 87564
June 2, 1970
Rev. J. Eugene Wagner
135 Ninth Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif. 94118
There is a series of transcendental experiences going on, the nature of which is not clear, but the last thing wanted is analysis. It began with the break-down of the car in which we were driving. Sufi Inayat Khan said, “Pleasure breaks and pain opens up the way for inspiration.” Any conclusion, logical, or illogical would be superfluous.
We were almost immediately picked up by some roving Hippies and brought to a friend in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There we also met our friend, Prof. Archie Bahm who is a marvelous East-West person, a little closer to humanity than the better known Huston Smith who is now in seclusion in the Orient. Before the days were over the doors opened wide in Albuquerque and I may stop there a little before my return—by plane or car, I do not know.
We then went to Santa Fe and ran plumb into a spiritual commune and that door opened wide. Then we came to Lama which may well become the center of a sort of American Lama-ism. While I am here to present Sufism it became obvious that something more is in the wind. Both Sufism and Mahayana teach the transcendental intuition (kashf or prajna and there is no nonsense.) It is operational and it has made me bang down hard on rump-ritualism called “Zen” which ignores in toto Daisetz’ dictum (he was not correct) that Zen is Prajna and not Dhyana. My theme and it is going to take some kicks to make me change is that the real Mahayana is Prajna.
I had already planned to teach the Jhanas here, devil may care, and no nonsense. I glory that the “anatta-Buddhists” of all camps have disowned me; the Mayahanists because I teach the Jhanas”; the Theravadins because I say that every meditation is an anicca process which alters and even transforms the person, so that he is no longer the same entity after even an abortive attempt of meditation and to this “heresy” I will cling or maybe it is nothing but the application of the Bodhisattvic vow, so shunned by all the elite.
The Qur’an teaches that the Divine Light is neither of the East nor West and I presented that therefore the Rockies were as Holy as the Himalayas, and that this was the place to present the Mahamudra Meditation. I said there would have to be a mountain lookout, and was amazed to find that the mountain lookout had already been built but not dedicated nor used. So I begin tonight with the Jhanas, to go on to the Avatamsaka methodology and then to Mahamudra for which this high mountain place is well adapted.
To get ideas I have found a book in the library Early Madhyamika in India and China. I have found it is written by our good friend Ricky Robinson. But I find myself way off at the beginning. He seems so concerned with dialectics. He seems so unconcerned with mystical or transcendental experiences. Yet he also seems concerned with differing from other writers in the same field, as if only linguists and writers understood the substance of Mahayana. He constantly uses the term “trance” when he should be using the phrase “transcendental” or for some other purpose. But “trance” is a lowering of consciousness, while “trans” is an expansion of and raising of consciousness. So far I find both him and his colleagues friendly or inimical, over-concerned with forms of dialectics. Yet on page 10 he quotes D.T. Suzuki on prajna (I think Suzuki is verbally correct) and then he immediately offers Bertrand Russell, “Bertrand Russell has stated the opposite view point”; what the devil Lord Bertie has to do with anything Asian I don’t know. He himself wrote History of Western Philosophy and he himself disowned any positive knowledge of orientalia.
I am constantly harassed by well-intentioned people who interpose that Hegel or Gurdjieff or Krishnamurti or President Nixon or my next door neighbor might differ from me. No speaker can proceed rationally, because there are always opposing views to anything.
I have to decry this method. Where are the bhumis or parimis (or paramitas). They are essential to all Buddhism and perhaps to all dharmas. They rise out of human experience and measure human experience. This has nothing to do with dialectics or measurable Aristotelian logics, which by their very nature belong to maya.
I still want to read the book. I see ahead there is a chapter “Mysticism in Early Madhyamika.”
There is another heading, “Nagarjunism and the Prajna Paramita Sutras.” These are excellent titles, and I think the perusal of this book will be valuable.
But I would not be writing this would it not be for the very solid sound fact that the ego consciousness is being constantly lost and certainly was when I outlined the plans for the Mahamudra meditation. I am sending a copy of this to my secretary W.A. Meyer which he may hold or give to Master Seo or copy or do anything with. I am also placing a carbon in the hands of my good friend, Prof. Archie Bahm in Albuquerque. This is all for the moment, but I think you will hear from me both on the progress toward a Mahamudra meditative center here and a critique of sorts to Ricky. I shall not write him at this time. Best remembrances to your family, etc. You may share the above with anybody you wish.
Rev. He Kwang
San Cristobal, NM 87564
June 3, 1970
Dear Khalif and Beloved Ones of God:
It is very difficult to keep you informed of everything that is going on. There are certain things written in the book of life and they are coming to pass whether we as individuals want them or not. Hazrat Inayat Khan said that the Message was in the Sphere. In his last lectures—which were never heeded—he said that the sun shone elsewhere in the world than Suresnes. At least Vilayat definitely has this spirit. But I must go further and say that the Message is manifesting in so many directions one has to adjust to opening and widening doors.
For instance I had already in mind going to Santa Fe next Tuesday for and in the daytime. Now it appears Josh has scheduled a meeting in Albuquerque for that night. I am inclined to accept this as a forerunner for other matters. In fact, we leave here on June 30th and my concern is to be in San Francisco on July 4th, which gives us two more days time on return. I wish to use part of this for at least an overnight visit at Camarillo and possibly a little time with Bibijan at North Hollywood.
Now as to initiations. It is alright to take them theoretically. When Jemila left I knew this was Mansur’s initiation. I saw everything that was to have happened, and the book was closed when we returned from Boston. Then the car broke down, and I knew this was another initiation. But this time his foresight has been awakened. It came very clearly to me what Pir-o-Murshid said, “Pleasure blocks but pain opens the door to inspiration.” But this time it was like two doors, one for him and one for me.
My door is seen in the increased dance inspirations, in the absolute harmony with the diverse plans of young people in this state and in the ease I am getting transmissions.
His thing is so clear to me and his plans for New York and I presume Boston seem to me to be totally in accord with the spirit of the Message that I am delighted. While every pain and sorrow is not an initiation, those that come upon us suddenly and where there is apparently no moral sin involved, the initiate is paying a karmic debt and removing samskaras. This means an elevation on the spiritual path and in and toward hierarchical functions.
I am not courting suffering, but as a Murshid I have to be aware at all times of the awakening of the disciples, whether by the positive experiences of Fatima and Akbar or the negative ones of Mansur. These may or may not happen at any time as it is said, “in the hour ye think least the son of man cometh.”
Basira has gotten into the spirit of this place very well. Kay’s plans and the need of this place harmonize immediately. Bill is already functioning in the musical field, and I believe everything will progress. Saul’s work as hakim has become necessarily practical. I do not know how well Selima is functioning but I can say that all of the little children are behaving much better than anticipated—and I mean all of them—and I do not mean to apply this to other little children here, which is not always the case.
I may have one interview before Saturday, and after that will be open for more of them. There certainly is an absolute, not relative, spirit of love, harmony and beauty here. After two lessons from In an Eastern Rose Garden we open with The Mysticism of Sound tonight.
At the moment I should say the whole program, both the one in vogue and the one planned, work in more closely to the ideals of theTemple of Understanding than to what Vilayat seems to have in view, though I cannot be clear on this point.
They want a kiln built here. It would have to be in the summer. With Shirin away and with James foreseeably staying in Marin County I do not know how we can help, but you can show Shirin this letter. The only copy goes to Wali Ali for the permanent file. That is all I have time for now—children’s dancing class shortly, then the adult dancing class.
I received a most satisfactory letter from the estate. I received a small but substantial increase and would have to submit estimation for any further allotment for care of eyes or teeth.
Love and Blessings,
San Cristobal, NM 87564
June 3, 1970
Temple of Understanding
My dear Peter:
I believe it was St. Paul who said that he did nothing but only the spirit of Christ within him. In a certain sense, consciously, unconsciously and superconsciously, this seems to be going on here now.
A copy of a letter sent to Anandashram in India tells a little of what is happening. I think the strongest support of any claim that the spirit of God is working through me is that I am seeing it more and more in others. I have not the slightest doubt that we may have a miniature Temple of Understanding here. The present meditation room is a blending of the rites of Indians around Taos, Vajrayana Buddhism, and mystical Judaism. The ceremonies are different everyday and are adopted from one or more religions by the person in charge that day. No doubt there is a validity in Vilayat Khan’s efforts to have a universal worship, syncretic and eclectic. But this is rather synthetic and integrative, quite unbound, yet within the scope of existing religions, yet bringing in the spirit of the new age. This is only the beginning and as I have said, I wish to work under harmony and unity.
There have been films taken of the work chiefly of my dancing classes, of my disciples, of the Vajrayana Buddhists, and the Hasidic Jews. One critic has said, and I think rightly, that there is no amalgam. What I had proposed from the very beginning was to use this film to support The Temple of Understanding. It would synthesize and syncretize. It is also peculiar that in the room where I was personally interviewed in Novato, your emblem was on the wall. Any reference to it which may have taken place has been so far deleted. I think we can all work to and for a common purpose in supporting The Temple of Understanding.
I am introducing here and developing the Dances of Universal Peace. Sunday the doors will be thrown open to young people from Santa Fe and Albuquerque and later we (Mansur and I) should appear in those cities before returning to California.
We have no newspapers or radio/TV here. We hope to build up a communicative atmosphere of peace. Where I differ from the many groups that sincerely or insincerely claim to represent universality is that we do everything with devotion here. It might be called “karma yoga.” But if you went into the library you would find more books on the accomplishments of Christian saints than on any theories of Indian writers. No doubt there is some Indian influence here and it should be welcomed, but it should never be permitted to throw out the creams of our own traditions. It does not matter whether you answer this or not. I feel it is my duty to keep you and others informed until I return to California.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis & Mansur Johnson
San Cristobal, NM 87564
June 3, 1970
Dear Ram: Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram!
There is indeed a spiritual revolution going on in this country. Sometime ago Sam wrote that when the well-known Allen Ginsberg was in this region hardly a handful supported the idea of a social revolution, while thousands of people, nearly all young, repeated mantrams in joy and welcomed a spiritual revolution. This revolution is going on partly leaderless, but those who have been summoned by the young to be leaders or gurus are without exception those who were rejected previously.
Years ago Sam confronted a Baha’i leader and asked him what would be the difference between 400 conflicting religions and 400 conflicting universal brotherhoods. He gave the usual egotistical answer: “They should join us.” So now in the world there are a growing number of very verbal, verbal, verbal “universal brotherhoods” based on Me Power, Wealth, and God, God Being the Most Junior of the Partners. When you mention another group they say: “They should join us.” The result is that among seniors and authorities there are an ever growing number of new groups all pretending universality, all collecting money and seeking fame, and claiming to be doing this in the name of Deity. Hazrat Inayat Khan, my first Sufi teacher, said, “Good aids good, while evil fights evil.” With almost a single exception these so-called universal brotherhoods have refused to accept any report concerning the Temple of Understanding. It is annoying and interfering.
Anyone with any sense of morality, any sense of morality, would see that there was the same inspiration behind Bulwer Lytton, H.G. Wells, Sri Aurobindo and many, many others, pointing to the “Coming Race.” It is here now. I am living in a spiritual commune, in a part of the land where there are many spiritual communes practically all confined to the young. When they succeed they are by-passed by the channels of communication.
Last year Sam met a number of young pilgrims who had been to India. “We are going to build our own Auroville. We have our own money, our own land, our own aptitudes, and we are devotees, not politicians.” That is the feeling of the whole countryside here.
There is a magazine in India called “The Mountain Path.” The editors have claimed that to have enlightenment you have to go to Arunachala. They are not satisfied with the Himalayas. Sam always calls himself a heretic and a renegade because he bathed in the Godhavari instead of the Ganges.
Mohammed declared in Qur’an that the light of Allah was neither of the East nor of the West. Muslims proclaim in words that there have been many messengers of God; Buddhists declare (in words) that there have been many Buddhas. All words. There is every indication that the southwestern part of the United States was blessed in ancient times by enlightened souls. This is a subject of marvel to the anthropologists, and one of annoyance to the “Universal brotherhoods.” Indeed the mysteries have been as well preserved here as in the Himalayas. A much larger portion of the descendants of the natives have had access to them, and they regard this Lama as a holy mountain.
We are dedicating and renewing this holy land. After a number of abortive efforts on the part of certain verbal universal brotherhoods to establish themselves here, using and exploiting the contributions of others, the young are doing these things themselves. They have tremendous vision and they work in unity with or without leadership.
Sam received a surprise as soon as he entered this state. There are tremendous numbers of young people who wish universality, universal universality, and not special leadership. You can get them to chant mantrams more easily than inviting them to a meal. Already Sam has been sent for in two parts of this state. While he foresaw this by prajna, still he was surprised. The young have no response to the ego pseudo-leadership of seniors. Yes, they may even accept not me power wealth God, but God power wealth me, which is something most of the pretending world and universal groups will not accept. They will refuse to relinquish leadership, and they are crying for moral resurrection without showing any signs of being willing to relinquish leadership.
Sam has never sought to be guru; he wanted to join in brotherhood efforts. But the consistent refusal by the ignorant to accept the existence of Sufis, to the historical roles they have played, and their high moral and mystical attainments have made it necessary for Sam to abandon all efforts to work with them, rivals as they are to each other. He may be compelled to fill the role of a guru in the absence of real spiritual leadership.
When Sam was initiated into esoteric Buddhism, something the so called moral-spiritual leaders refused to accept, refused to hear, he was ordained as Protector of the Dharma. So now he is restoring the Dharma beginning with the love-joy-peace jhanas of Lord Buddha. They are acceptable; they work. Sam has run into such love emanations and love personalities, all young people, in this state of New Mexico he is more dazed by that than by the high altitude. When in Geneva a man offered to come to California to organize his work, he knew this must be done.
We are going to have, evidently, two sorts of initiation. One will be rather open, making use of either the Ramnam or the Islamic kalama—no more; that should be enough for many people. If after this sort of probation they wish further training (I am not sure always that training alone brings the divine grace), they will have it.
Sam’s koan so to speak for this incarnation has been The Stone That Was Rejected Is Become the Cornerstone. Everything is in marked contrast to his two returns from Asia.
This coming week there will be a Holy Man’s Jamboree in the city of San Francisco. Unlike previous “universal religion” convocations the Sufis will be represented; also, Shivaananda, Yogi Bhajan, Sai Baba, and possibly Sri Aurobindo. Unlike the followers of Sri Aurobindo, we invite others, we include others; in God’s company all are welcome, all belong. Although Sam will not be there, it is his disciples who are promoting it. Thousands are expected. This is the trend of the time.
Besides this disciples are now visiting various parts of the country and they are introducing Sam’s spiritual dances. We hope to bring all these elements together for The Temple of Understanding. Here they have a remarkable blending of elements from all the religions, not in philosophy, not in sermons, but in devotional ceremonies with the same universal themes of love, joy, and peace.
Before he leaves here Sam expects to institute the Mahamudra contemplation. He has used this himself a little. To restore the Dharma means to restore the dharma. In teaching spiritual dancing Sam has said, “It is absolutely necessary to adhere to the mantram; it is not so necessary to adhere to the techniques of singing and dancing but never change the divine words.” Everywhere the young love this. And if there does not arise a leader who will lead in the name of God and not for his ego Sam may be compelled to play a larger part in world affairs. There are already legends going on, especially in the last few years.
There is no special stopping point. Business and other matters may not be attended to until after his return. The Bible says, “A nation without vision perisheth.”
From four different sources, all mystical, in the past two weeks have come signs to restore certain elements of Christian mysticism which have either been discarded or forgotten though not entirely. We hope to have a universal, all inclusive cosmic approach. When Sam was asked what his position was, he said, “The highest point on a ball.” The young all recognize this and laugh. As to others one leaves them to their own devices. You should see and hear how these people praise God and work hard in love and mutual respect.
Om : Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram!
Samuel L. Lewis
San Cristobal, New Mexico 87564
June 6, 1970
Mr. Rudy Olsen
166 Geary St.
San Francisco, Calif. 94108
My dear Rudy:
So many things happen in life. George Bernard Shaw once said, “I hope someday to convert a banker to socialism, but a banker’s clerk, never!” In a somewhat parallel fashion one hopes to get some people to accept one’s outer experiences, but those over 50 almost never! Didn’t one very respectable group accept my totally fanciful escape from Russia, but never would let me speak on Asia! They are nice people, without a doubt, but I don’t know what nice means.
It was all very fine for the “good” people to refuse to accept my reports on Asia—that is the way “good” people behave. But this Spring I was at a convocation of all the real leaders of the real religions of the world and it was different. The very first hour we met the personal representative of His Holiness, Pope Paul. We met our very good friend Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj; we met the top Sufi representative who represents Sufis and not ersatz corporations (Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr); Princess Poon, of course.
We were the only ones who had contact with all groups, all representatives, all religions. There was no pretense. No verbal “brotherhood of man” excepting from the Sikh leader who was constantly lecturing on Love to an audience of notables who showed much mutual respect for each other, all around.
Of course the American papers did not cover it. So one wise man said next time we should invite a communist and then the press would give us cover.
Anyhow the young accept and their seniors talk about love and brotherhood and do not grant interviews. So here I am in a spiritual commune way up in the Rockies where they practice, practice, practice what others preach, preach, preach but would never think of practice. It is marvelous. It is the New Age. It is the New Age without Abdul Baha Avatar, Sai Baba Avatar, Meher Baba Avatar or any Messiahs. Just human beings who demonstrate lover and humanity, and worship according to the forms of all religions and don’t waste time on endless lectures, comprehensible or not comprehensible.”
But that is not why I am writing. You can’t reach people over 40 and you can’t not teach those under so I am gaining constantly followers; London, Boston and now here and no doubt elsewhere. Hundreds have participated in my dances. The “good” people won’t even look at them, God bless them.
When we got to Santa Fe I was introduced to George who has a very successful commune. You can bet it is not in the papers. No sex, drugs, and success, so not news. Never in the land of “freedom.” I asked him what his profession was and he said, “Astrologer.”
So I gave the walks of the seven planets which do not interest the “good” people. The young there all laughed. They enjoyed it. So tomorrow we are going to have a grand session here on “Astrological Yoga” and “Astrological Dancing” which the “good” people know I can’t have thought; the principles came from Ruth St. Denis whom the “good” people are sure I never knew although her pictures are in my house where others would have Christ or Buddha.
Everything is happening to me. Everything that the “good” people rejected is now coming out into the open—my writings, my poetry. My work is being televised with the possibility of it being exhibited. Everything is expanding including income, praise to God.
But I no longer have spare time—classes, interviews and garden work, and life is full, up to the brim.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
Box 444, San Cristobal,
New Mexico, 87564
June 10, 1970
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
As-salaam aleikhum, and to all the brethren.
Your letter touched the heart and please continue that program. We have done three of the Jhanas and I hope to finish them soon to go into the Mahayana meditations, not Zen, but scriptural and Prajna.
On the negative side, the turning of a spiritual film to a promotional matter involving promoters, etc., means clamping down hard. But it is not only from this point of view but there are health hazards. This is not Chesterfield-Hilton. There are many ill at this time and if hardy souls and bodies are unwell how about tenderfeet? I know what will happen.
Just as the doors are opening to potential cooperation on a large scale from prominent groups, “we” have to include all sorts of opportunists who are glad to get on the band-wagon. But it is not going to be. Today they turned away somebody who came here for psychiatric help from this person. There are no such arrangements, the rules are clear, and besides I get nothing for looking after the woes of the generality.
I am returning almost in terror of the labors before me. We have to organize in some way. I have a clear picture and I am glad Vilayat felt the spirit of his father on Precita Ave. But not only is the spirit still there but the actual items of memories, how and what. We cannot turn the Message of God into a commercial, opportunist enterprise. If we do Murshid will be drafted into a larger non-commercial filming which may have endless finance behind it, too. All I have to do is write a letter. I should prefer otherwise. We either follow God or ourselves.
I understand the Holy Men’s Jamboree was a success but I know this will bring more people to our doors and closer cooperation with Steve Gaskin and I am filled up now. Our meeting Sunday was a success. People came hundreds of miles to meet Murshid.
Then there has been unexpected help. Jessica who used to be at Olompali is in Albuquerque and will cooperate with Josh. The audience was excellent, in everything.
We had the same experience at Santa Fe as before. Then we saw Doyle in the rain. We missed Diana and ran into her in the street. Diana was happy to join us. This was an excellent group, more advanced than any beginners met so far and the response was equally so.
We shall have other business to take up with Diane before returning. The question is what to do with these people, but I am waiting reports from Daniel about the business meeting. There is no question about “May the Message of God reach far and wide.”
If possible I should like Marty or somebody else to pick grape leaves for the Gossip restaurant.
We have had sufficient rain here to encourage the gardens—flowers, trees and vegetables. Tomorrow it will be back to the potato patches.
Love and blessings to everybody,
Samuel L. Lewis
June 11, 1970
My dear Gavin:
I feel like Paul Brunton only it is the Rockies, not the Himalayas. I understand I am on the side of the tallest mountain outside of California and Colorado.
My career continues to be like that of Samuel Morse with some spicing from Samuel Clements. Only there are mixtures and today one has to be compassionate in receiving apologies from this person and that group who either has refused interviews or the floor. And this career of having been a priori’d by the important and self-important is adding to popularity.
The young here are wonderful. And now visiting both Albuquerque and Santa Fe I have two new groups. The one at Santa Fe received astrological walks and dancing and they are progressing very nicely. A whole pilgrimage here Sunday to meet Sufi Sam.
Of course I missed the Holy Men’s Jamboree. I understand it was a success. I don’t know how many holy men were there but just enough to put the “experts,” if there were any, in the shade.
I have a lot of work to do. Evidently Allah and Sri Krishna are on my side. But I’ll have very little spare time when I return, and am going ahead with the same missions I always had in mind, but this time receiving respect and cordial cooperation.
Samuel L. Lewis
Box 444, San Cristobal
New Mexico, 87564
June 16, 1970
One is reminded that the diary has not been kept up to date and one seizes such opportunities to act as if one were writing a letter but actually all is for the record.
Fudo stalks again. In a time of strife when anybody but the Vatars, Sadgurus, Mahatmas, Mahashias and such can recognize samsaras, people are either looking to the “elect” of the past or the “select” of their subjective futures and the principle that one should work out his own salvation, with or without diligence, is anathema to the aging, and delightful to the young.
I have just written a Fudo letter to one of the “Word Bosses” carefully self-selected, two of their cabinet being in San Francisco, one in England and the rest in India. God is rather a nuisance to dare to interfere with the “divine plans” Me—I leader. Of course the young had a jamboree in San Francisco and crowded the place. I think only one Avatar was represented, but not being there I do not know. Some upstart had the audacity to tell the young that they were the beloved ones of God or Bodhisattvas or some such nuisance-nonsense and that carried the day. And this will be followed up in this region about which I may be able to tell more and add to this when I return.
This whole countryside is being filled with communes and ashrams. Some of them pretty good. But there is some problem about Buddhism. The only point I differ from these New Age people is their attitude on tea and coffee. They are letting me have coffee, but it is notable that several Buddhist leaders have refused to come here unless they could have tea and it is a pity that this should be the bone of contention. In the case of the Tibetans it has been downright refusal despite the name of this place and its situation high in the Rockies.
Yesterday an offer came from 125 Waverly Place and that has prompted me to write. I have written Warwick; so have they. No answer. I don’t know what has happened to Master Seo. What is more to the point—I have changed practically the entire Buddhist world. I teach the Jhanas and they work, believe me they work. Now I am in Mahayana meditations (not Zen) and this is preparing them for the Mahamudra. I am not playing games. But there will be a real Zen Master here shortly, the only Buddhist who has accepted offers.
This place is prospering and some of their neighbors too. But the whole land is spiritually hungry and looking for leaders. And now the name of “Sufi Sam” is spreading like wildlife.
The dominant theme is Kundalini. I am not opposing it but opened up my talks on “Love” and will keep on. The Kundalini Yoga people are upsetting the establishment and Love is going to upset them, believe me.
So many things are happening. The class at Santa Fe went deep into esoteric astrology and we may do more here Sunday. All along the Rio Grande the young people are seeking out “Sufi Sam.” Perhaps it is, “my time has come.” It gives little time for rest or reflection in a place most adequately equipped for rest and reflection.
Tonight we go more deeply into the Mahayana meditation and next week Mahamudra. Some want Tibetan teachings but I’ll not give them. There are teachers around; strange to say most of these inquirers live in Berkeley, of all places.
Our choral and dancing work seem destined to spread. Dane Rudhyar here next week. I think we’ll surprise, if not amaze him. He will have to learn that the New Age consists of human beings, not of thoughts. Have really pitched in to the Sri Aurobindo people because they proclaim one set of principles, practice another. The work of Yogi Bhajan has not caught on as well as his “pitch.” He has money and advertising but that does not win hearts. We are concentrating on Love, plus wisdom and that should attract enough people.
Mail is irregular and one does not care and as for news, you don’t get it even if you have a newspaper, only local stuff.
Love and Blessings,
San Cristobal, NM 87564
June 17, 1970
Pir Dewwal Shereef
University of Islamabad
Islamabad, West Pakistan
A salaam Aleikhum! It is a long time since one has attempted to write. The experiences favorable and unfavorable which have occurred in the last nearly seven years are now resolving themselves into a grand symphony. No doubt everything has happened, is happening as Allah wishes. One finds oneself in a rather strange universe in which neither orthodoxy nor heterodoxy seem to matter very much, but there is a more and more constant Akhlak Allah, and this Akhlak Allah becomes even more natural than necessary.
(One has among one’s records a number of different interpretations of the meanings of La Il La Ha El Il Allah. These interpretations are not very much in accord with what is known as “Islam’s but are absolutely in accord with the Hadith, “Allah has sent down Holy Qur’an in seven dialects and each has an inner and outer meaning.”)
The first part of the life which lasted almost five years was like a sojourn in The Cave: whatever one’s intentions, whatever one’s commissions, whatever one’s wishes and ambitions, they neither failed nor succeeded. It is easy to presume that one can go into another land and by his mere presence convert a lot of people to whatever he wishes. It is easy to dream of the ignorant converting the intelligent, but this is nonsense. It requires intelligence to convert the intelligent.
About five years ago one reversed one’s habit of peacefulness and non-violence and brought suit against a member of one’s family. The suit was never terminated; not only was it settled out of court, but it has resulted at the lowest level in a much larger income which keeps on increasing, until at this day it is about four times as great as it was when one was in Pakistan, Alhamdu Lillah!
Just before this change one suffered from an infection, to main poisoning to be exact, and when one was flat on his back in the hospital the voice of Allah appeared and said, “I make you spiritual teacher of the hippies.” One may surrender to Allah willingly or unwillingly or one may refuse to surrender to Allah; but then one is flat on one’s back, one has not even a choice.
This was followed immediately by a series of visions and every one of those visions has now come into outward manifestation, down to tiny details. Now this is in harmony with the predictions or commissions of several Pirs and holy men that one was to get fifty thousand Americans to say and repeat Allah and believe in him. This of itself looked immense and when one considers in the past that this person was a recluse and an outcaste, it looks even more ridiculous. But so did the outlook no doubt of Siddiq when he was in the Cave with the Blessed Messenger.
One began teaching spirituality through the Walk. This was a grand adventure during which 3 of the original 6 disciples deserted this Murshid; but it is remarkable that one has not had 3 desertions since. This method was blessed by the late Miss Ruth St. Dennis, a very spiritual dancing teacher who knew how to receive inspirations from the very space itself.
The Walk developed in two directions: extensionally and intentionally; in the extensional walk disciples learned to climb hills and mountains and walk long distances. The sacred phrases needed for these are comparatively few. But then the question arose: if the Sifat-i-Allah and Hadith can be used to help one walk long distances, climb mountains, and work without fatigue, cannot they and other Sifat-i-Allah and Wazifas be used to help mankind in his greater education, purification and development? So now we use many of the sacred phrases in psychic and moral procedures. These take on two entirely different aspects:
Moral Development. By applying the divine qualities to mankind one helps to remove the evils, the short-comings, the impediments, and all the grosser aspects of being. A sacred phrase is better than a chastisement. A chastisement is a reliance on man; a prayer or devotion is a reliance on Allah. All theories, doctrines, and orthodoxies aside, the simple fact is that these methods work.
When I told some Muslims what I was doing they said, “Muslims will not approve of this.” I answered, “It is not a question as to whether Muslims will approve of this, it is a question of “does Allah approve of this?” I live in a district where there are some Jordanians and Palestinians and they are amazed and approve.
The next phase seems to be coming—that these methods can be extended to deal with psychological problems. Without going in to details there were two such instances just before I left San Francisco about a month ago and both tamed out successfully, Alhamdu Lillah!
Psychic Purification. The great pseudo-problem—and it is a pseudo-problem and not a real problem—is that the young people in this part of the world and others are resorting to the use of products of the vegetable world to open themselves up or to be opened up to what might be called the subtle world (following an Indian termination} or possibly to malakut which has been variously interpreted. The simple fact is that this is so. The soul of man knows very well that the material world (nasut) is only one of several planes of existence. All the common or uncommon sense cannot change this. In the last days of his life the late Aldous Huxley concluded that this hidden world was reel. It was also known as faerie by the Celtic people. It was considered variously immoral, illegal, insane and perverse to have any dealings with it. People diatribe against materialism, but keep themselves bound in it just the same.
There have been many predictions supporting the principles of psychic and spiritual evolution. One began with the theme Joy Without Drugs. It is so easy to have a formula, words. Then the question came, how to implement these words with actualities?
It is one thing to say La Il La Ha El Il Allah. It is beautiful to say, “As man takes one step toward Allah, Allah takes ten steps toward him,” but how about the actualities? This is exactly what has happened.
Now one is daring two tremendous things: the first is based on a Hadith, “In that day will the sun rise in the West and all men seeing will believe.” It is true that the Blessed Messenger said, “Seek wisdom even unto China.” But try it. And you will have down on you almost all the Islamic world accepting most fortunately the most advanced sages and seers. I shall refer to this later. Well the voice of Allah came to me and presented more visions of dervish dances. These dances are based only slightly on the methods of the Mevlevi School. They also have in them elements of the Rifa’i and Badawiyyah Schools. And along with them the operative aspects of kashf.
One of the strangest things in my life is that I began studying “Kashf-al-Mahjub” in 1924, and it was not until 1962, after I had visited Dargah Data Ganj Baksh many times and had many direct communications from him, that I realized Data Sahib and Sheikh Ali Hujwiri were one and the same maul but even now I see how the kashf develop into shahud and mushahida, a subject beyond the scope of this letter.
So we began dervish dances and everything has followed exactly to details of what the Blessed Allah showed in vision: the growth from 6 to 30 disciples, from 30 to 60, from 60 to 100 and then the aureole burst into another dimension. I have not yet organized to that dimension. One was entirely satisfactory in a conference of the leaders of the world’s religions where Sufism so to speak was represented by our good friend Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. After that, one was entirely successful in communicating the Sufi dances to the young in London, England; Boston, in the Northeastern part of the United States, and now in the Southwest.
Then the question arose of this body and other bodies being overworked, whereupon the wise Allah intervened and gave the commission, that Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti would be called upon, Inshallah, to play a role in the United States similar to that of Saint Moin-ed-din Chisti in India. Although the vision was clear, it was so daring that one could not face it but instead surrendered himself entirely to Allah and from that moment a new type of Qawwal was born.
So during the dancing classes we intersperse the rest periods with chanting, although we have one grand Wazifa chant (Subhan Allah, Alhamdu Lillah, Allaho Akbar) used during the walks and kalama chants during the dances. These are apart from the new type of Qawwals. One must say here that although many Muslims will resent these, they seem to have the entire approval of Allah, and hundreds and hundreds of us “kaffir-feringhis” are chanting the praise of Allah in Arabic, and also the wise or Rassoul Lillah!
Now the next thing is the revolution in the Western music of the way from popular music. The inspirations from Allah seem to blend in these modes with the chantings of sacred phrases.
Now we come to the next phase. A disciple, William Mathieu, joined us. I am at this time giving him the spiritual name of Alla’ud-din, using our good friend, Dr. Alla’ud-din Siddiqi of Lahore as putative Godfather; we are also sending a copy of this letter to Vice-Chancellor Siddiqi.
One has, so to speak, several missions and commissions from Allah about which one does not wish to speak here as they would be digressions. One sees the need of a return to Pakistan, Inshallah, in 1972 or 3 (unless Allah directs sooner and money is forth coming) of bringing a group to Pakistan, and especially to the Universities of Islamabad and Punjab and presenting this material; this would not only better American/Asian relations but would do much to raise the consciousness of the young as that they would realize whatever experiences are derived from so-called drugs, these are very little when contrasted to the experiences of kashf and shahud.
In the meanwhile there has been some filming of our work. Unfortunately at this writing the filming has included rituals, and personalities quite inimical to the Cause of Allah or to the purposes to which this personality is devoted. In the meanwhile two other groups have in mind the filming of modern methods of seeking and serving Allah (God), one from a universal point of view and the other from the point of view of already established religions, and in both these instances there is excellent personal relations to and with Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti.
While I feel to be working much more for the Mohammed of Jill (insan-i-kemal) than for the orthodoxed version of Mecca Shereef, evidentially here also Allah is with me; we went into a bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and saw Miskat which I purchased immediately, and on my return to San Francisco I am commissioned to write on the coalescence of the moral teachings of my first Pir-o-Murshid, Hazrat Inayat Khan, with the Hadith. This will be in part a labor of love and joy in another a directive to the very questionable situations in the world today. Fortunately, I have three wonderful secretaries who are very devoted. I also have two remarkable young men serving as Khalifs, and at least one young man and one young woman almost as advanced. Their dreams, their visions, their outlooks, their high standards almost cause one to weep.
This is written high in the Rocky Mountains, in a place more comparable to Nathia Galli than to Murree, some 9,000 feet up. I shall be returning to San Francisco at the end of the month; I shall be returning expecting large audiences. One must fulfill the commissions and amr’ given to one by Allah and the Pirs who represented Him on earth. Although well on in years from the worldly standpoint the mind is such that this letter was dictated without pause and the body also is remarkably active. Alhamdu Lillah!
Please give love and respects to all of your colleagues and especially to my very good friend, the Brigadier.
Love, Blessings and Respects,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
June 21, 1970
Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai, Jai Ram!
There is something strange going on in life and although Sam has seen it all in the spirit before; when it happens it is just as strange as if there were no forebodings.
Sam is becoming wealthy by a very strange process. He has never tried to accumulate money and doesn’t believe that wealthy is significant. Before his brother died we discussed what would happen and it is happening. So many people want money for Yoga research and mystical research and occult research. And when Sam writes he has some materials they always reject the materials but want his money anyhow and they keep on asking for the money, but never, never accept his spiritual reports, no matter what the evidence.
Sam has discovered there are two kinds of movements today: the one kind in which the spiritual teacher or Guru acts like the sun and gives and gives and gives, and asks nothing. The other kind is like the Superman of Nietsche—they want money, obeisance, servitude, even slavery and they always treat other people as lesser beings. And we find both of these in the world and especially in California and India.
While the true Guru blesses and gives and hears and soothes, the other type advertises their virtues, only their virtues and never accepts the virtues of others, only their money! And they name certain persons whom they consider vastly superior and expect the world to bow before those people and if anything goes wrong they say that it is because the world has not accepted their special Holy Man. There are so many; they come and go and stress emotionalism. If you mention “God” or “Ram” to them, they wince. They talk about the divine life, the spiritual life, the holy life, and it is very, very restricted—just to them and their colleagues and some they select at random.
Now the Upanishads has the way to determine spirituality and this was also taught to Sam by some very real Masters. And now Sam is communicating it to the young, more and more. The whole upper portion of the Rio Grande Valley in the southwestern part of the United States is filled with new types of communes and mostly they have a spiritual basis, all over. Multitudes. To Sam they are the New Age; they are the “race” predicted by Sri Aurobindo and Bulwer Lytton and H. G. Wells. They have real Yoga, real devotion and not endless philosophy about and about. They are worshippers, they are devotees, they are real Karma-Yogins with touches of real Bhakti.
Last night there was a dramatic group visiting Lama where this is written and they presented a play, “The False Guru.” For one hour beforehand, Sam put on Sufi (dervish) dances. Then after the play some of the devotees began the Ram Nam dances. And somebody called out, “What have we to do with a false Guru when we have a true Guru in our midst.” And all the people, mostly young called on Sam and he presented a series of Ram Nam dances in which hundreds participated. And when it was all over the dramatic leader who played the part of the false guru came to Sam, knelt at his feet and invited him to visit them. This may have been coming, it was seen and foreseen.
The letter will be written before the day’s program where and when hundreds of young people from all over the upper parts of the Rio Grande will be coming to Sam. And then Tuesday and Wednesday, Sam will be visiting them and presenting the spiritual dances. The older people do not want them and besides they belong to a passing evolution. The world is advancing, humanity is advancing, and with all the bad news, “I come. I go. When Dharma decays I come.”
Today there is also another Holy Men’s Jamboree, as they are called, in another part of the Rio Grande Valley. It is so different now. And before Sam leaves this State (New Mexico) he will be given a special send-off. And the same will be true about his return to California.
Now also Sam is receiving the most wonderful letters from so many distant places. They realize sincerity if not wisdom. Sam is still a believer in “La Illaha El Il Allah,” there is no deity but Allah, although this is interpreted in the Bhai manner;
“Allah, Shiva, and God-Nam,
And those who are substituted men’s names (and sometimes women’s names), and only arousing emotions and thinking they have reached the Goal, will pass away as they always have. Love alone is eternal and emotions are passing.
This coming week Sam will teach the Mahamudra, to help people attain peacefulness and spread that peacefulness with wisdom through the world. Sam knew this was coming. He has to give up the “lonely” life which was forced on him for a life of some social consideration, also in a sense forced on him. But we surrender to God. We do not say or pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”; we seek that this be the way of life for all.
Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram!
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
June 21, 1970
Mr. Arthur Hoppe
c/o S.F. Chronicle,
San Francisco, Calif. 94119
A friend of mine whom you know said that the trouble with this country is that there are no more legends and no more legend heroes. Well this is not entirely true of “Timon of San Francisco.” The young people are attracted to him partly from what he knows and does and even more because the VIPs of S.F.—and some other places—never let him express himself fully. It does not matter what he knows, “they” have no room for “Timons.”
So it looks as if I shall be returning early in July and it does not matter whether the important people accept that one is now known all the way from the Colorado border to and including Albuquerque, a longs stretch, something like the Nile, but wherever one goes one is welcomed and more and more people make pilgrimages here (Lama Foundation) and invite one to visit them. It is in such contrast to “realism” that there does not seem to be room in this world for both the “realistic” outlook and the “legend-making.” I am kept busy all the time.
One of the most “unrealistic” things I do is to sit with the college students and ask them to express themselves. It is most interesting and sometimes most rewarding. I have not yet written on “what college students are thinking” that is for the literati and “experts.” But they would not understand my kind of lip service which is very effective indeed and rather shocks the “anti-Victorians.”
The one thing the young seem pretty well united on is that they were not born to be cannon-fodder in faraway places. Nor are their lives dedicating to “correcting” the Ecologies, of far-away lands. Some have been in the Peace Corps and they don’t know what it is about. They never did find out. Anyhow I am awaiting for my “crew” next week to continue to take pictures of my work and what is happening here in the Rio Grande, absolutely “unrealistic” and just as factual as it is “unrealistic.”
Later. Usually large audience considering the “competition” of the Holy Men’s Jamboree down the valley. It would appear that my methods of “Joy without drugs” is going over—with the young and I even got a visiting cleric to see values in them., Guess I’ll have to return to “rest” after an unusually busy time here.
Samuel L. Lewis
San Francisco, Ca. USA
June 22, 1970
Prof. U. Darrani
Departments of Physics and Engineering
University of Peshawar,
Peshawar, W. Pakistan
Beloved One of Allah: Asalaam Aleikhum!
I have just been reminded by a sudden visit from Christopher Hills to this place that a letter should be sent you; Lama Foundation, where I am staying, is very high up in the Rocky Mountains and compares perhaps more to Nathia Gali than to Murree. But there is no town here. The nearest city is about 25 miles away. The word “Lama” is of Amerindian not of Asian derivation. Indeed this mountain seems to have been sacred to some of the natives of this region, and the founders of this group are perhaps as well attuned to the Pueblo Indians, as they are called, as any other group.
It will soon be eight years since the return from Pakistan, during which time one had to go through the trials, tribulations and vicissitudes of The Cave. But in the last three years after a deep experience of pain and vision both, it seems that the whole of life is progressing exactly as numerous sages have predicted and exactly as seems to be “revealed” in states of exaltation. To put it briefly, today one is in a far better financial condition; one has about 100 disciples and is constantly drawing more and more audiences.
As you know there can be a vast difference between a verbal “Islam” and a continual response to the divine will in all things. It should be obvious to everyone that the actual will of Allah is often contrary to the wishes, whims, and desires of human kind, including the pious.
It might seem boastful to declare one of operating on a plane comparable to that of Saint Moin-ed-din Chisti. But the fact is and it is a very powerful fact that we are attracting more and more and more and more young people through our chants and dances. If you came here you would even hear young children chanting praises of Allah while the pious self-proclaim their own superiority.
You will excuse me if I do not furnish too many details. I am sending a copy of this also the Khawar, who is in the eastern part of the United States. She has begun to realize that this Murshid has a tremendous mission. We have a small, but quite successful Khankah in the city of Novato, California, some 30 miles north of San Francisco. In times of stress, turmoil and confusion, more and more mureeds are finding at the same time material prosperity and inward inspiration. For the moment the inner inspiration which concerns me as a person most is that of the singing and chanting. One can foresee another visit to Pakistan, Inshallah, perhaps in 1972. In any event it should be after Khawar returns and at her convenience.
This letter is written from the State of New Mexico in the southwestern portion of the United States. One was invited here as a Murshid and is beginning to be called on a large scale either “Murshid” or “Sufi Sam.” S.A.M. is both the hold-over of my original nickname and the initials of Sufi Ahmed Murad. One was given a commission, so to speak, to get 50,000 Americans to chant Allah; it seemed impossible. But after I left San Francisco to come here there was a so-called “Holy Men’s Jamboree” of, I am told, 1,500 or more young Americans and they were entirely won over by my colleague Pir Vilayat Khan (oldest son of my original teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan, and my representative, my esoteric secretary, Wali Ali Meyer). It will be several days before I return to that region, but on the 5th of July we expect to celebrate the birthday of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
The visit of Christopher Hills has brought up both a positive and negative theme. The positive theme is that we need your writings. I am willing to send on any amount that will more than cover the shipment to the above address. I would like an estimate and will see that the money is in your hands before a shipment is made; this is a different world today. You hear about the excitement and turmoil; you do not hear about the grandeur and idealism of an ever-growing number of young Americans who are far more God seekers than their predecessors.
I am presenting a sort of universal Sufism with Mohammed, Mecca Shereef, as insan-i-kemal following Jili. I also in my person—which may be very limited or may not be—see (shahud) him as Khatimal Mursalleen. In these days when so many can speak on mysticism that mystics have little opportunity, this hardly inhibits the connection between the devotee and his ideal. Basically I use three methods, 1) walk; 2) dance; and 3) chant. The walk came first, and it covers everything from ordinary walking through all grades of tasawwuri to Akhlak Allah. This is a long and profound subject which I shall not discuss here. In my poem “Saladin” the Messenger of God appeared in all capacities up to the most profound; but we also chant both “Ya Mohammed Abdul la” which is to say, Mohammed is a perfect karma Yogin—I mean example by working, not by writing books about it; example, by being one among humanity, not one so superior and even separate from the rest of humanity.
My personal secretary Mansur and I have been to a conference of all the real religious leaders of this world. By heart, by intention, by wish and by desire finding our good friend Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr very close to Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj, both freedom and bondage brought the same conclusion. The one theme I had to accept from Dr. Nasr was the warfare against the lying dajjals. Philosophy and claims aside I personally have had to suffer such persecution from such people I am very glad today there is also a rising movement against dajjallism which may be the curse of the world.
I had already felt inspired to write against that which Christopher Hills stands for; there are so many audacious and presumptuous persons and groups denying La Illaha El Il Allah. We seem to have yoga without God, spirituality without Allah, and self pro-acclamation as the goal in life with a growing multitude of rival claimants all establishing themselves in the highest position; all ignoring each other; all disregarding traditional religions; all talking about complexities and legal organizations with themselves in the highest posts, of course, as the way out. A lot of them. Instead of love for humanity they all seem to agree that most of human kind is inferior and just waiting for leadership themselves—.
Where I have not been persecuted by such people I have seen their most ridiculous downfalls. The last actually occurred in this part of the world a few years ago by a group in which Christopher Hills was also connected, but which excluded absolutely—and I mean absolutely—all Sufis including saints, poets, and historical characters and a number of other real spiritual characters and movements in this world.
Among the things I learnt from Hazrat Inayat Khan was that a teacher can only be judged by the advanced development of his disciples. I have seen so many marvelous comets go by, including such characters as Ramana Maharshi of Arunachala. I have seen so many proclaiming, self-proclaimed or otherwise proclaimed personalities often with large temporary followings, but I have not seen the transmission of dharma or the descent of Baraka. And although I cannot compare myself to those wonderful characters, there is one thing that is sure and that is the descent of Baraka first to my leading disciples and then now to more and more of them.
Years ago when I was despised I came upon a so-called “hippy” named Carl Jablonski and saw the Sufi symbol in his forehead. I knew immediately he was destined for spiritual leadership and in the course of time he became my first Khalif. I have another Khalif of a different sort, a man part Irish, part Chinese, a mixture of East and West, who because of his physical prowess was given the name of Akbar. His progress has been on a different line but it has been marvelous.
Now we are presenting a new type of Qawwal based on modern developments in music but using mostly the sacred phrases of Islam. Traditionalists may gawk, but when you find young Americans running around singing:
“Subhan Allah, Alhamdu Lillah, Allaho Akbar,
La Illaha El Il Allahu,
… other Wazifas and sacred phrases.
Those bigoted Muslims are self-deceived and deceive others when they say there is opposition to Mohammed. It is easier to get the new type of Americans to chant “Mohammed a Rassoul Lillah” than to sing patriotic songs. This is the New Age. One has also assumed the role of a loving grandfather. At first it seemed very daring. Now it has become a most successful career, Alhamdu Lillah! So you can see that your writings would be most welcome here and perhaps more than welcome. I am today overwhelmed by the invitations and huge possibilities of winning the young people of the world to a true spiritual life. Or as is said in Hadith, “In that day will the sun rise in the West and all men seeing believe.”
Love and Blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Lama, New Mexico
June 24, 1970
Mr. Art Hoppe
c/o S.F. Chronicle
San Francisco, 94119
You must remember I am Timon in reverse. Nobody would ever let me talk, or if so, pay no attention. Tra-la-la. If problems can’t be solved by the “right persons” then they should not be solved at all. They must be beyond (?) men’s ability. I remember once when I went to an AAAS conference (American Society for the Advancement of Science). I kept my mouth shut and the scientists went at each other. When it was all over I talked to the chairman and he stood aghast. “Why you have the solution! You have the solution, why didn’t you speak?” This could only happen among lab-scientists, who haven’t the decor of the parlor-scientists who are respectable.
I have been reading Mark Twain and it is simply remarkable. The more I read the greater he stands out and you can understand why I took the nickname of “Puddinhead” from “Puddinhead Wilson.” And everything is coming as in the script exactly as it is coming in the script of his “A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court” for Southeast Asia. The script can never be wrong.
Well Timon of San Francisco has returned from going over a big stretch of New Mexico and meeting a lot of young people and listening to them. This is the “worst” way to find out what is going on in the minds of college students but the simple and horrible fact is that one has been welcomed everywhere and more and more and more. And next week the finale and then home. And when I talk of Asia and things Asian the numbskulls all believe me. This could not happen in “Asia” (of the respectables) but it did happen all over the Asia of God (whom many do not believe in) and Rand—McNally whom they ought to.
A very Important was here, one of that ever growing tribe of “world saviors” and he went to S.F. where he probably got a big reception, but not by and from the young. He is so great he does not have to visit a place to be an “expert” on it. At that time there was another “Holy Man’s Jamboree” going on, well Madison Avenues, and the huge crowd diminished from 10,000 (in the press) to 300 stomachs, and most of them were not attracted at all. But after all an “expert” is an “expert.” Only now I have an alliance with the University of California to work on a real peace problem of real human beings and have the best of cooperation—which can’t reach the press. But every now and then some respectable rabbi or minister apologizes.
I just have returned from another of those horrible adventures with a successful commune. We discussed soil, water and reclamation problems. I remember once trying to get into a summit soil conference in another part of the world. When I finally reach the sanctum, I was greeted, “Where have you been? We have been waiting for you.” This shows the difference between the lab-scientists who research and the “parlor-scientists” who don’t have to and listen to the TV commentators who have replaced God.
I am waiting to be televised myself. But it is not only locally in New Mexico and by the young; the mail gets thicker and more favorable. The coffers are doing nicely, and we are going to have a big picnic in Precita Park on July 5th. It probably isn’t worth coming to, Just Pied Piper and he young. But the young grow and grow and grow in numbers.
Now I have just read: 10 top leaders discuss: “how can we avoid another Vietnam.” Well I once went to a very respectable meeting in S.F. The state department official spoke half an hour, the chairman spoke another half hour, introducing the translator who had just 5 minutes. Then it broke up and I talked to the Vietnamese. I was never invited to that group (very respectable top hat, again.)
Any American who is steeped in Jefferson, Emerson and Mark Twin can’t ace the dialecticians (of all caps) and existentialists and commentators who control our culture. I have eaten, danced and prayed with all peoples. I do so here—in fact just did at the commune visited, only we didn’t pray. I am sending a copy of this to Congressman Phil Burton.
Anyhow I discovered a great dramatic company in the State (they have their own commune), and they told me their plans. If they are given any cognizance we shall win the hearts of hundreds of millions of Asians. Our USIS is great for Tenseness Williams, that is it. That is “American” culture. They may want Jefferson, Emerson and Mark Twin but “we” know better, etc. We give them Tennessee Williams! Fortunately I have enough entries on the campus at Berkeley and this will be followed by Santa Barbara and Los Angeles and then others. My world war has always been between “the professor and the commentator. After oodles of years I have seen no reason to change. Maybe same day S.F., will at least listen to their Timon in reverse. I got top apologies (meaning Nob Hill) recently.
Samuel L. Lewis
Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 1970
Beloved One of Allah;
As-salaam aleikhum. This is a sort of report that we hope may blossom, inshallah, until we can give more open support and cooperation. There is no question, Allah be praised, but that two are now doing a work comparable to Ajmir Shereef in this land and all the criticisms and denunciations cannot refute the fact of the accomplishments. They would be astounding excepting that Allah has revealed in hall, in makam, in vision, and in kashf, almost everything that has happened, is happening. There is every promise that our departure from this Spa will be a tamasha and also our return greeting in San Francisco. We have succeeded in this Rio Grande Valley where “top” ?Holy Men? have failed and where also another one of the self-proclaiming World Leaders has made no dent. He has gone to San Francisco where he may be greeted by multitudes although the number of World Leaders, Messiahs, Avatars, Sadgurus, Maharshis, etc., is growing so rapidly that one cannot limit them—more and more, all proclaiming.
The difference between the emotionalist and the mystic is vast. The emotionalist meets somebody and has what for him is a transcending experience, and it usually is. But when it is all over he has hal but not makam, he doesn’t grow and he thinks others are his inferiors and that he has a “world message” for them. In general the Leaders whom the divided emotionalists support have laid aside Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount.” They are so superior they can dispense with the moral order, and often do. But few know the depths of any Oriental Wisdom.
The other night one faced the followers of various Indian sects, all hopelessly divided and said that when one is self-proclaimed and does not have illuminated disciples, it was worthless to discuss the persons. They make noise. This person has achieved the descent-of-baraka and the dharma-transmission and will go on in history as one of the few who did. He said he would continue to work with his hands to do menial jobs, make mistakes, and is not asking Allah to forgive any of them. He is willing to accept any proclaimed or not-proclaimed “guru” who has an illuminated disciple. This person refused to be called “Murshid” or “Sufi” until he had an illuminated disciple and then was proclaimed by Sufis at public gatherings, and no hush-hush or secrecy. This is not accepted by emotionalists or those who become “Sufis” by joining the “right” legal organization. They are entitled by common or public law to be known as “Sufis” but this one who passed the tests and received the Bayats, too—it is not funny, it is not tragic, for the descent of baraka comes out so clearly that the young are accepting it more and more and more, all over, keeping this person joyfully occupied forever.
The extreme success in our music and dancing made us consider visiting Ajmir in the future, inshallah and giving you every consideration, i.e. financially, in turn for your hosting us.
While this is still a dream it is time rather than money that stands in the way. Allah has been inspiring us so much and when we place these inspirations before the young they respond so much that it will be necessary to establish Centers in this State of New Mexico and it would appear, inshallah, elsewhere.
Pir Vilayat Khan has already been given the Baraka from Ajmir and he too, is working on the music and dance program as would benefit the son of a saintly father.
But in touring this State we ran into several interesting facts and factors:
a. Those purported Indian teachers who are so welcomed by the important organizations are at loggerheads.
b. They dogmatize.
c. They have nothing of the fusing of divine and human love common to the Sufis.
d. This person is already known for his tolerance whether he has it or not; the young think so.
e. We happened upon a small spiritual dramatic group which is planning to produce dramas from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
This last, of course, has already been rejected by the so-called “Word” group. They are now out for “scientific yoga” as if Union with God were a matter of human effort and not grace. And they have self-selected the “world leaders” legalistic methods. We realize that between our refusal to be bound by common or uncommon law and our proclaiming the Divine Grace, the doors may continue to open for us all over the world. But we do have in mind a grand celebration at Fatehpur Sikri. I have visited that place twice and met the Wallis of the Selim Chisti family.
All of this is too soon to put together, but Allah guides whom he desires and as I have perhaps told you, one big job ahead is the fusing of the Hadith with Hazrat Inayat Khan’s moral teachings. No denunciations, no criticism from others can stop a divine work. Everything we have been doing seems to be having the Divine Grace, alhamdu lillah and we are thinking of you all the time.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Box 444, San Cristobal,
New Mexico, 87564
[June 25 or 26]
Mr. Ted Reich
1201 12th. Ave. #5
San Francisco, 94122
Here I am high up on a mountain sacred to the Aboriginals but not to the authoritative cults who select their mountains and get everybody to believe them. This is the highest mountain outside of California and Colorado.
It is dawn but I am writing anyhow in the half light. Things happen. Sunday there was a Holy Men’s Jamboree in S.F. and on the same day the misguided youth came miles to see Sam. It was not his whiskers, and thank God and praise Allah, nor his money. It was his dances. Anyhow some heard that he would present the astrological dances which is very dear to the “experts” on my cultism. It was so successful and they want us back. You can see how far misguided youth has strayed!
Then we went to Albuquerque which I like despite the spelling and not only was a meeting arranged for me, but a representative of Father Blighton was there and also a girl who once lived at Olompali and whom some of my followers know. Evidently the young seem to think it is better to go to an unexpert and get the works than to an “expert” and be squeezed. All we want is your money, your allegiance, your intellect and your prowess and maybe, maybe, maybe, we shall find you fit for the supremest occult esoteric path, the Hushites, whom we represent. And all the old ladies applaud and dig in but not the young. They don’t dig digging.
We have a large organic garden here and it is growing. And they are making adobe bricks for more houses. And they join in Sam’s dancing and spiritual philosophy classes. Vacation! And some of my folks are ill and a few of the others but the time is coming and the New Age is not going to follow fogey-ism or foggy-ism. And no other church has apologized. It is great. You come out for “moral and spiritual reform” and are too busy to see anybody about anything accepting your leadership!
They have been very kind. I long conceded on diet if they would let me have coffee. Unfortunately some Mahayanists and Vajrayanists would not come here because they don’t permit Tea. This is the only point where I differ.
Lama is about 28 miles from Taos. Two ridges north, then a sign and a dirt (mostly) road which is not too hard to follow. The only thing hard to follow is
Yours, with love and kisses,
Saturday night June 27
Dear Wali Ali:
This is the diary, but after this it will be addressed to the Sufi Movement. I was unsure who was to open the mail. If and when Zeinab occupies the house, while it would be more in order for Charlene, any mail from here must be opened, as news, or as requests.
We went out for a long drive today to pick up one of Leslie’s friends who lives just the other side of the Colorado border. This gave me plenty of time for meditation. But you will also get a very good idea of the mystical and spiritual state of the moment when the letter is written (inshallah) tomorrow. Ralph was complaining about the lack of unity and integration and now he has persuaded Fred to introduce outside interest.
It is very difficult but both Fred and Julie have taken Bayat and now they include—through outside pressure—those who are certainly not Murshid’s colleagues. This must be corrected. Otherwise not only would they not be permitted to come to Lama but we might have other people come.
You can take this up with Vilayat. We are either serving the Cause of God or personal and personality interests.
I am very happy over the possibilities from the papers. But before any copying is done we must clear also with Hassan. It will keep a secretariat busy and then the teachers and then some.
I had faith that Peter would pull through on the transportation.
Shall write to Santa Barbara tomorrow.
No telegram from Jemila yet. Nathan is well cared for. Indeed we went out originally for him and the same next week. I feel he is doing very fine—wish I could say the same with some others—but then one does not expect miracles from children, always.
You are getting the spirit of the Message in being busy. All in all feel very fine and under divine inspiration.
Love and blessings,
June 27, 1970
My dear Uncle:
We are preparing now to leave soon. Should be back in San Francisco on July 4 and have planned a big picnic and dance on July 5th in the park just across the street.
Everything is going fine. I have five dancing classes a week in this state and will end Tuesday in Albuquerque with a giant picnic dance, then we return, slowly but surely.
The work I have done abroad is now being recognized. I am also being filmed and there are better and better chances for success. This also means going with Mansur to Washington and Boston later in the year.
It is over 8,000 feet here (the lowest part of this place). I have now adjusted. My health is excellent. Saul has made a study of healing herbs and also contacted the “Indians” at Taos who have given him help. I have had arthritis but no more. They say I work harder than many much younger people. I only do it naturally.
Have to fertilize the fields here which I like and also water the garden. This is now a permanent summer home for me if I wish it and soon I may have “homes” so many places.
I have now missions which others have derided but which I keep on plugging for. I know more people in many parts of the world than most people do, and now there is more satisfaction, almost everywhere excepting in the S.F. Bay region. But there the young love me, more and more.
July 3, 1970
Shamcher Bryn Beorse
P.O. Box 142
Keyport, Wash. 98345
My dear Shamcher;
I have just returned and there is so much to report that although it is already late at night I should hardly think of sleeping before getting some things off.
1. You will find copy enclosed of a letter to Ajmer which contains some news. There have been pictures taken both of the work Pir Vilayat has been doing and what I have been doing, and also many disciples. There has been some complication here due to pictures of groups purported to be spiritual (as well as some who are) without taking into consideration the personality relations involved. I have made it rather clear that I cannot be associated with groups and movements which not only have no use for my personality but have actually been antagonistic toward my efforts. Fortunately those unthinking persons have changed their attitudes and instead filming will be devoted largely to different aspects of Sufism both in the East and West, and also with spiritual groups with whom we are on excellent terms.
2. The taking of films and records at Ajmer should interest my friend Dr. Robert Garfias who is connected with the Department of Musicology at the university. It will be rather easy through this and other channels to get our work presented, but chiefly first at the universities of Washington and that of California at Los Angeles.
3. I have met several hundreds of young people along the stretches of the upper Rio Grande. I already had one disciple in Santa Fe and another at Albuquerque in New Mexico. Their response and cooperation was marvelous. I also have one new disciple at the Lama Foundation which is about 25 miles northeast of Taos in New Mexico.
4. This brings up matters of organization. We had a very pleasant meeting with Bibijan but at this writing I have not yet seen Daniel. If there is a God, as we believe, and we keep on praying as we do, “May the Message of God reach far and wide….” we should not be over-surprised, that this is happening in the objective world.
5. I have also seen Sheikha Bhakti who was both up and down. As I love her very much I don’t mind this, but her attitude impressed me that you must be doing, are doing something wonderful.
6. The reports from Arizona are so excellent that they may even require a visit to the Northwest later on. Everything seems to be moving in the directions that both Atiya and yourself have been praying for. It is so excellent that I am rather awed emotionally and so will write again later when I have sifted through the news and calmed down.
7. I have a very fine letter from one Dr. Dael Wolfle of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. One June 30 he was transferred to the University of Washington as professor of public affairs. I hope you can meet him sometime, introduce yourself, and tell of your backgrounds. He is to me a very top number one liaison personality between science and philosophy on integrative levels.
Love and Blessing,
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif.
July 7, 1970
Pir Vilayat I. Khan
The Sufi Movement,
Beloved One of God:
As-salaam aleikhum. We returned here on the evening of July 3rd, so as to celebrate the first birthday of Samuel Vilayat Pickard, and then in turn the birthday of your sainted father. About a hundred persons showed up—it was a miserable day, cold and windy and the 5th of July! It was also marred by illness which threw most of the activities in my own hands. I was tired and very dizzy, but this morning’s meditation made it clear that this was due only to the fact that I had been living at 9,000 feet elevation (or more) for some time and had to readjust to sea-level. And this psychological healing is now affecting the body. However, other than this one returned in robust condition.
We have to face some hard facts, but I have told Bibijan and others that this person was interested in actions and was leaving policies to be determined by others. If consulted good, if not consulted equally good. Hundreds of young people all over the upper stretches of the Rio Grande River have attended meetings and dances and it is necessary to appoint a disciple, at the moment unofficially, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as resident representative. It was there especially that hundreds have been to meetings and there is a tremendous spiritual hunger.
But I can more readily accept restrictions—for my own health and safety—than to extend all over. Indeed I am afraid to open mail because intuitively I know it contains invitations.
Last night we had a fine meeting, attended by several of your disciples from other parts of the country who are making short stays here. But on the same day this house was visited by a young man who had been to Geneva, the youngest male there, and he was so attracted he came all the way to San Francisco. Also a letter was received from a member of the Papal Secretariat, in re peace in and for the Near East.
It has been evident for many years that one was to work for peace in the Near East. All the plans were laid and then scuttled by a lady claiming to be a “Murshida.” One had to begin all over. And evidently God wishes it for now this house is being invaded by spiritual seekers who, on closer examination are often dissident Israelis, or disciples of Hebraic mysticism, and this in a district with a large population of Jordanians and Palestinian refugees.
To me it is evident that there will be two classes of disciples, and your actions bear this out. I do not know whether you are acquainted with the Warisi school but what you are doing is in entire accord with this Order.
Financially there has been an improvement and I am setting aside funds for a real Peace Foundation, and am receiving all cooperation. This is going to get us “in” with universities and inshallah, more to come.
Whether it is politic or not I have been saying that as great as Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan was above this person, the disciples of this person stood above the disciples of Hazrat Inayat Khan. When I look at men like Wali Ali and Daniel Lomax there is a tendency to weep, contrasting them with the associated of your blessed father. And the same is true of the very stalwart men at Lama Foundation. It is a new age, and the women also are full of real, dynamic love.
We had three types of Love demonstrated at the celebrations:
a. Brotherhood and compassion as illustrated by the dances and rituals.
b. Personal love, as between Shireen and Jelaludin, who are to be married this coming week-end, inshallah.
c. Sacred love as illustrated by some of the devotional songs.
With a hundred disciples now I do not know how to act but there will be, there will have to be, delegation of authority, etc.
Two big misunderstandings have been cleared about films. Before Allah I cannot and will not be associated with leaders of narrow sects who are not only narrow but do not accept the existence of “God” nor the practice of the Brotherhood of Man. But the news that you may be going to Ajmir, inshallah, is most encouraging. Letter has been written to my colleague W.D. Begg there and today I have to write to a khadim.
I have also met a dramatic group. These people are now concentrating more or less on Greek dreams and Molieres, as stop-gaps to preparations to putting on “passion-plays” derived from the “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata.” And this, coupled with your program for Ajmir means at long last we are going to have real East-West cultural exchanges without any more “experts” standing in the way. I have written Shamcher on this and other matters because this is going to affect favorably our relations with the University of Washington in Seattle.
We shall have a sort of esoteric council meeting this week and then later there will be organizational efforts (this person not present.) As things look after Hejirat Day one may have to visit the Eastern Seaboard.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
July 13, 1970
Mr. Art Hoppe
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, Calif. 94119
I assure you that yesterday I made history. History in the life of “Mr. Timon of San Francisco.” And the time is coming when the simple citizen who has access to facts will be listened to, whether it is by some sub-agent of the foreign office, or some newspaper, or some ombudsman. I am all the more “excited” because my quondam friend Chet Huntley is retiring, and when he gets off his lofty perch and quits the “untouchables” for the human race, I think I shall be able to reach him.
On the surface the evening was given over to Korean Buddhism. Hester Seo Kyung-Bo, a real Master of the real Far East, addressed us. The difference between Korean Buddhism and Vietnamese Buddhism is this: we listen to the Koreans and we tell the Vietnamese.
Master Seo and I sat in the two chairs occupied years ago by the late Robert Clifton and myself. At that time he poured out his final words to me having been shunned by the press and foreign office alike. So we are spending billions of dollars, to which I see now Viscount Montgomery objects, but we must fulfill the final chapters of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
Ten Congressmen may write for Coronet on how to prevent another Vietnam, whatever that means. But 10 simple Americans will have access to actual events and continue to be snubbed, until we quit this damn nonsense about “democracy” and listen to human beings, just for an occasion.
My small basement room was packed. I do not advertise anymore. Slowly but surely the young people are finding me out, and now in several parts of the United States, and a little bit abroad. In the audience was Bob Kaufman. He represented the male portion of American youth at the conference of the world’s religions, the real religions of the real world in Geneva, which was not news—no communists there, so it wasn’t news. But while this was going on believe me, Art, this person is getting better and better letters from the real VIP’s in the real religions of the real world, working for something which resembles peace, whatever that means, before the days of semantics, whatever that means.
The audience of young people learned something about facets of Buddhism unheard of by those nice people who look to Alan Watts, etc, for their information about what is known as “Buddhism” but not in Asia, Art, not in Asia.
Actually, the meeting was also a scheme to get some of us together who are thoroughly opposed to genocide, whether it is by the Jews or on the Jews; whether it is by the non-Jews or on the non-Jews, e.g. in Vietnam.
Today we are taking the first steps toward ending the horrors in the Near East. I have worked in this field for years and years. I have the backgrounds, the history, the facts, but come from the wrong side of the street. Fortunately, as one does meet humanity, one sometimes has some success in getting human beings to come together, and the chances are we may succeed in this. Although the majority of clergy of all faiths are “too humble” to have anything to do with this kind of undertaking, I do have the ears of one local VIP clergyman, and we hope to start there.
My financial affairs are in very much better condition today, and the chances are very great that all the lying peace-mongers will ignore me; the University of California will not.
There was a wealthy publisher in the audience, and he is going to take all my substantial facts and the substantial facts of others. It is easy enough today to write even a book which would make Zola’s J‘Accuse look like small potatoes. But that would be of no benefit to humanity. I am working for peace, not fame—or infamy. Or to put it in other terms, Timon of San Francisco (in reverse) has returned. It no longer makes any difference whether he is snubbed by the “Good” people or not. We are fighting useless, interminable wars, with honorable citizens receiving peace awards and then disappearing. How long this will continue I don’t know and don’t care. But we are facing this danger—that youth, hearing I am turned down and turned away, is making a hero of me, and that is not the way. We are going to have peace when little people are permitted to mingle with little people, and when big people (who are no bigger before God) listen occasionally to the little people.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif.
July 17, 1970
Mr. Arthur Hoppe
c/o San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, 94119
Some chapters in the life of “Timon of San Francisco.”
Well, yesterday some of my young friends started a campaign to raise funds for me and “ordered” me to stay away from the meeting. So I remained home and was amazed to receive a long distance call from New York. I have been invited to a very top level “spiritual” conference. How I got into that I do not know.
When the Hippies started out and called for a “Holy Men’s Conference” I constantly annoyed them by asking who was on the committee which made it impossible for me to attend. They did have a conference this year while I was away and apparently will have some more.
I demurred because I have the effrontery to believe we can have peace in the Holy Land by bringing the little people together. If we don’t, the communists probably will and our “big shots” would prefer to let the communists try rather than let an insignificant unknown take the laurel. I am not fooling in the least and can furnish stacks of names!
So tonight we take another step in getting Arab and Israeli peasants together at the House of Love and Prayer on Arguello Boulevard, We have a lot of cards in our hands and maybe access to that greatest of virtues, $$$$$$$.
We have passed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, laws against “genocide” and have the Supergod, the U.N. and wars and murders continue. But now the “little people” are acting.
My appearance at Geneva among the really big caused no stir but when I told them I was the incarnation of “Nathan the Wise” when the conference was over, nobody was laughing. Why even a secretary of His Holiness, Pope Paul, has replied to endeavors to bring peace. But so far, not a word from the “tolerant,” the ?Peace? groups, etc. Swonderful. Send them some money and … and the genocide continues.
But praise Allah, God and Ram all in one. I now have enough virtues (Bank of America and Wells Fargo) to make it possible to go to Washington and have contacts where I am not supposed to have them, and after thirty-three rejections on “Vietnamese Buddhism” I am being very cautious, especially with the “tolerant.” But I am gaining allies on the U. C. campuses. I am willing to die for peace and will continue to mingle with hoi polloi, but I think something is going to come of this.
Besides haven’t I a wealthy editor-publisher who wants everything les importante rejected!
Faithfully and hopefully
Samuel L. Lewis
cc Herb Caen
cc Gavin Arthur
July 19, 1970
Mr. Art Hoppe
c/o San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
Episodes in the life of Timon of San Francisco (in reverse).
I am not the original Timon of San Francisco. His name was Hugo Selig, and we were close friends until his death a few years ago. After having been a successful piano salesman, he left this region and became famous in various parts of the central and southern coast counties, and even in Las Vegas.
His closest friend was the late Luther Whiteman who was my senior partner for years. Together we wrote a book called Glory Roads on politics in California. It was a very bad sales effort, but 90% of our predictions came true, perhaps all of them. In certain halls of ivy I have gained a reputation, a reputation for honesty and objectivity. But I am no Jean Dixon, and honest objective methods are still shunned if they do not come from the “right parties.”
But I am not necessarily a pessimist. The other night I went to the Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park and we saw a picture “The death of Lake Erie.” The conclusion of most of us was that we are going to lose Lake Erie and Lake Cayuga and San Francisco Bay so long as the literati, the editors, the supreme generalissimos of the commentators, and essayists in general keep on bombarding the public on every subject. Their general theme is that “Everybody is to blame” whereas it was quite evident to us laboratory scientists that factory gases, sewage, and factory discharges are the culprits, and the culprits want it to be spread abroad that “everybody is to blame.” That is their oyster and we shall probably lose San Francisco Bay, until and unless the scientists are permitted to speak on subjects on which they have been serious scholars.
(I know enough to keep quiet. I have lived in London and Pittsburgh which have cleaned up marvelously. I have even lived in Cleveland at sundry times, and so had rather firsthand knowledge. But after “Silent Spring” a poor dumb professional spray operator and organic gardener like myself has enough sense to keep his mouth shut among the elites.)
For many years I called myself Puddinhead Puck, being a blend of heroes from Shakespeare and Mark Twain, but now!
Within a space of four days I received five different communications from sundry parts of the United States urging me to go to Boulder, Colorado. I tell you, Art, something is doing, amid and from the young. But I cannot spread myself any more.
Perhaps the only person on earth who is recognized by Asian-Asians as a scholar in their various philosophies (some of the top people in the Royal Asiatic Society accept this, and a few others; it doesn’t matter), I found myself within a few hours at over-crowded meetings first of young people under Jewish auspices and young people under Christian auspices. I tell you, Art, the young want objectivity and truth, and no more of this crap nonsense such as appears in an article on India in today’s paper. They want it and they are going to win it by attrition.
The young are going to win, not because they are right, but because they are going to live. They don’t want war. More and more of them firmly believe in objective honesty.
They are very dangerous; far more dangerous than a “New Left.” The so-called New Left has a simple solution: kill all the villains who are often their blood relatives. The New Age people want objectivity and honesty. I am very optimistic because I believe the young will live longer than the old. That is all. The young have an ability to think through the problems of pollution, soil preservation and reclamation, and even slum clearance, because they have simple capacities, totally outside the “realisms” current in America and the Communist countries.
The main thing the youth are going to insist on is the ending of horrible wars. I would rather let them speak. I become popular simply by an ability to listen to them. Nothing more and nothing magical.
But a surprise air mail letter from the wealthy publisher who says he will print everything I give him makes me feel the time is coming when all I have to do is print copies of letters to the famous people who make all the noises and do nothing more. It is easy to write editorials condemning millions of people such as the Hindus in today’s press or the Arabs, or the Cambodians, or the Hausas. None of these operations set forth efforts at peace and good will.
I tell you, Art, my message “Youth of the world unite, you have nothing to lose” is coming into being. The generation gap is simple: the young have open ears, the aged have not. That is all.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
July 25, 1970
My dear Gavin:
The impending death of Ed Hunt suggests I write to you. I have had absolutely no time for anything since returning from New Mexico. It is true that the “crazy” young of the day have accepted everything I am doing, not only in the dances but in everything else. It is a “screwy” new age, which pays no attention to the “experts” of the past.
The death of my brother, followed by complications and the rise of the New Age industries has promoted the financial situation not only of myself but of many close to me. True, my chief lieutenant (khalif) has been ill for some time. This has caused real loving disciples to see the seriousness of my position.
My Summer School in New Mexico was entirely successful. The coeval camp of Pir Vilayat Khan was also successful. We may not have a permanent summer camp, but one thing is clear, a rather wealthy American has been in search for Sufis which all the important European experts know don’t exist. True, I have met many—but I don’t count. I did not graduate from Heidelberg or Glasgow or Cambridge, or even Harvard.
At Geneva I was asked why didn’t I appear at the gathering of the religious leaders right here in California. “Oh, I was vetoed by Prof. Von Plotz and he could not possibly be wrong. But the days Professors Von Plotz and Shmercase and let us say, Landau, is over, absolutely over. And near liars of self important men are passing away. The young want truth and objectivity.
My secretary could not but contrast the welcome we received at the Royal Asiatic Society with the non-welcome here in California and especially in this bay area. But that is past. Some damned fools let me speak, listen to me and are convinced both of my philosophical backgrounds and of the spiritual dancing I have to offer. Fame is transient and popularity which is based on externals will not last.
Independently three men, Pir Vilayat Khan, Paul Reps, and Baba Ram Dass planning to go to Asia said they are leaving the spiritual future of the U.S. in my hands. Of course this is contrary to those very nice European professors of Oriental (?) philosophies. But that was only the beginning. I have been getting long distance phone calls and what has stopped it is that Ralph Silver is going in person and he has been most successful in raising funds for films which will show the real Oriental philosophies of real Orientals to the American public, including our spiritual dances which have gotten beyond our control. Not seeking fame like “les fameux,” this is most welcome.
In other lines they are now letting me speak before blasting me, which was a habit of the previous generation. It is so easy to blast; it is so hard to listen. Not only have the initial stages of getting Israelis and Arabs together succeeded, but I have been receiving inquiries from Roman Catholics asking what I have been doing. It seams that only the “narrow-minded” listen before they condemn.
But now there is a wealthy editor who is both a Sufi disciple and devotee (along with his wife) of Gilbert and Sullivan! One of the first articles I expect to submit is “General Semantics and the non-solution of scientific problems.” Then I shall be writing wither on Sufi mysticism or the story of my life, which interests only the narrow-minded who have some curiosity and not the “tolerant” who have shut doors in my face. But that is over.
In September I have called for a very private meeting of astrologers, to demonstrate walks and dances. Those who have denied my prowess are not invited. There will be no charge but the audience is to be limited to practicing astrologers.
There are at least two underground efforts to organize occultists and align them with scientists. Dame Sybil Leake tried that, veddy exclusive, and of course, mystics could not join. I am very glad today. I have given Gina the works for talking about the ethics” of occultism. The day of pretense is gone, I work seven days a week but hope to have a day off next week for reasons of health.
In New Mexico about 200 young people found me in the midst of the woods. Now I am not in the midst of the woods and more and more people are seeking me out. All except the “fair-minded,” “tolerant” experts, who are hold-overs from the ages of darkness.
Everything else is of the same genre, the same tenor. We are moving and at a rapid rate. I have so many classes; I can’t keep track of them but have the most wonderful followers and disciples. We are in absolute alliance with Pir Vilayat Khan and files and tape recordings from many lands and apparently more to come. When God is with you, or you are with God, not the whole world can impede progress.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
July 25, 1970
Prynce C. Hopkins
1920 Garden St.,
Santa Barbara, Calif. 93101
My dear Mr. Hopkins:
I have before me your letter of June 25th. Since leaving Lama in New Mexico I have not had a single day off or anything like it. I could not stay in Santa Barbara beyond a very brief visit with Mrs. Connaughton. She is a friend of some fifty years standing and has seen me through thin, and now, praise to God, thick. For the last two years have shown that with each endeavor there has been at least monetary satisfaction and now a growing group of young people have expressed satisfaction with what I have been attempting.
My main work of the present has been Dances of Universal Peace. The ideas and principles were “inherited” from the late Ruth St. Denis. A disciple decided to throw his “all” into taking pictures but this project has been snowballing, and I should say in the “right direction.” There are many wonderful personalities on earth about whom one does not hear and who are doing what the editors, commentators and moralists are always talking about. This is just one small factor.
Evidently my appearance is Geneva, an unknown then, among the top spirituelles of the world must not have been in vain. The youngest person in attendance has come all the way here. True in California we have a lot of “experts” who could not come before any real congregation of learned persons. They have not all departed from the scene. It was a matter of no small concern that in my home state professors of European, especially of German lineage, should have the prowess to limit even my appearance at East-West conferences. This also holds for the University of Hawaii although there it is persons of Jewish, not German or European lineage, who are able to block this person.
The silly about all those bombastic egotists is that they have roused opposition both among the learned and the wealthy. The University of California, especially the Berkeley campus, has been roused by excellently press-agented “Orientalists” with little depth of background. But now a rather wealthy man has come into our limelight. He was hunting for the real mystics and he believes he has found them. And when I gave him letters of introduction, he seized and acted upon them. And this house is being visited more and more by persons who seek East-West understanding, and this is in total contrast to the last two generations with their socially-acceptable “experts.”
Everything has hanged favorably the past two weeks. The efforts to bring Israelis and Arabs together (wrong person, of course) is progressing. My prayer with the lines; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven excepting in Vietnam and the Near East” will probably be broadcast before long. And first three men of some note: Paul Reps, Vilayat Khan and Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) all notified their audiences they were leaving this land and should look to Sam Lewis!
The classes are growing; two secretaries lost to enumerative employment, and now the best disciples have come together with plans to help their “guru.” This is the best period of life.
In my own district I am known as the anti-litter champion, doing, not screeching. I wrote a strong letter to Dale Woelfl of “Science” calling attention to the danger of pollution of the English language by commentators and ivory-towered “experts” dominating the air-ways and literature. We saw a picture, “The Death of Lake Erie” (which now should be called “Lake Eerie”) and the comments were horrible. “We are all to blame.” I have blamed smoke-poisons, factory discharges and sewage. “We are all to blame” is the standard nonsense of establishment-defenders.
Fortunately this week Mr. Woelfl’s association, Phillip Abelson, has an article on the mercury poison dischargers, a real specific. And I read in the papers today that the Department of Justice is getting into the art.
We are not all to blame. I have four times in my life been engaged in land-clearing projects with ecological factors being considered. I am now asked to start another this winter, elsewhere, of course. The organic gardens I am connected with are beautiful, and the crops large and tasteful. More and more disciples are being employed in health-food stores, so we are prospering. More and more telephone or mail inquiries to attend national convocations of “holy men.” More and more letters from foreign parts. Nothing bad but quantitative difficulties.
And more and more classes, and larger ones of young people who want the real Oriental philosophies and wisdoms. And now a class on Christian mysticism, to a wonderful start. Only surpassed by meetings on Jewish mysticism in this area where I sit in the audience.
“Goddess” Margaret Meade has damned the communes. Those I have been connected with are prospering. Others are written up, when they show signs of failure, sex or drug-abuse, but the successful ones! But this is true of India also and of Egypt where they were established Americans, not by Ruassians!
But all efforts are being submerged, I hope, in campaigns for peace, for peace with understanding, not “with justice” (which even Hitlers can accept).
This is a flyer being other activities. If, as and when I can move next time, I shall write ahead.
Samuel L. Lewis
July 31, 1970
Box 142, Keyport, Washington
My dear Shamcher:
This is really my diary entry. Qualitatively things were never so good. Quantitatively, I am in a quandary and perhaps this is for the good of my soul. Today I must telephone my attorney about organizing legally. I understand this is what Vilayat wants, but I have not seen the official report of the meeting. I am not so concerned about planning as in putting the plans into action. I was given the same instructions in Pakistan and, within a short while, we may be” doing. But today I am trying to get a few hours off. I have had no leisure whatsoever since returning from New Mexico. Nearly everything is proceeding favorably but nearly too much.
Vilayat said our group should be known as San Francisco, number 1, permitting others, presumably Peter, to have his own organization. On the day I was taken officially to the dargah Data Ganj in that Lahore I ran into three different Chistia groups in that city alone. I certainly ran into several Naqshibandi and Kadiri groups also. So there was no precedent for not permitting as many Sufi groups in this region as they want to establish themselves.
Besides this I now have about 100 disciples here and have not yet learned to look after so many. Therefore anything Peter or anybody else may do independently is more than welcome.
Daniel is leaving shortly for Tucson, Arizona. I had had only one comment on Pir Vilayat’s summer school and that was it should either be in session longer or become a more permanent institution. I understand that is exactly what may happen. But the first result has been that several persons have come up here from Tucson to study with me.
Our work is also expanding. Disciple Fred Cohn has been traveling with Pir Vilayat and also with his team of technicians, taking pictures etc. The news is overwhelmingly favorable, and too long for me to relate. One of his reports was on the activities around Denver and Boulder, Colorado. It seems that holding Holy Men’s Jamborees has become a sort of American institution, more are coming, and I do not know how to adjust.
Gavin Arthur was also pulled into the Colorado celebrations and he wants to get on the band wagon. Why not? He told me he is saving all my letters and they are to be filed with his memoirs which will either be purchased by or accepted by the library of Congress when he dies.
The other day I was writing, asking for an appointment with the Episcopalian Bishop Myers, and suggested the possibility of a joint Sufi Hassid program to help promote peace in the Near East. When we got to the final paragraph the telephone rang and the man said he is coming Saturday to promote such an idea. An hour later Rabbi Carlebach of Jerusalem telephoned from New York for the same purpose. In the Healing Service it says, “In unison with the will of God, we will to have peace.”
This place is too small for our meetings. In my last talk here I said, “We have been repeating ‘May the Message of God reach far and wide;’ now it is happening.”
Although my meetings are numerically small, there has been constant and steady increase. I had been preparing for about 60 or 70 of the Marin County gatherings, but now the auditorium is so packed, dance programs are difficult. We now have three dance classes and are planning more, exclusive of those being started in Arizona and New Mexico. Also exclusive of those being started in the East. Peter, a roving disciple, has been working very closely with Pir Vilayat and Baba Ramdas. It is wonderful to say that things have been growing out of hand and now not hundreds but thousands are repeating our sacred phrases.
I think I told you that independently Baba Ramdas, Pir Vilayat Khan and Paul Reps have placed the United States, so to speak, under my tutelage. Now I understand this is also partially true of one who calls himself Baba Ramdas. I do not know who he is but understand he is under the influence of Sai Baba, who also calls himself “Avatar.” Our colleague, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, does not think there is any gain through so-called people. Instead of bringing humanity closer to God, what generally happens, what has happened already is that followers of the different pretenders get into brawls with each other.
One aftermath of this is that Finley Dunne, Jr. who is directing the construction of the Temple of Understanding feels there is no place for what he calls the dajjals in universal efforts. They all proclaim personality as substitutes for moral and spiritual achievement. Anyhow I cannot turn down the rising groups who wish to counter the Meher Baba efforts.
Tomorrow I shall give a revolutionary talk on the three bodies as they are mentioned in the works of Saint Paul. O, they are there, all right. There is very little that is new in The Soul Whence and Whither, but what are you going to do when scriptures are hopelessly mis-translated?
My lectures are being taped and transcribed and they are destined to reach some very important persons and institutions.
There have been changes of personnel in San Francisco. It is rapidly becoming a true Sufi Center. The esoteric secretary, his assistant, and a housekeeper should be living there. There are also two or three voluntary workers. They are also delving into esoteric astrology.
We have gone far ahead with our astrological walks. On September 11, I am scheduled to meet with some of the astrologers of San Francisco to go into this subject and have the full cooperation now of disciples who realize what is being achieved, but also the personnel who attend meetings is improving in quality as well as in quantity.
We now have much more and better printing equipment here. It is being used professionally with the New Age stores. I guess you realize, especially in view of the recent exposes, that the public is becoming more and more aware of the viciousness of Madison Ave. I don’t think there is another country in the world with any intelligent background that has been deceived to believe proteins come especially from grains.
O yes, there is a law for the maximization of proteins. The Rockefeller Foundation has discovered this for rice in the Philippines; the Egyptians have discovered it for wheat, but of course we can’t make public any achievements of Nasser and Co. It just mustn’t be done. A Texan farmer has also discovered the same law as the Egyptians have. You can guess what happened to him, but now with Nader and Co. active we might learn a few things.
Only the young people already know what Madison Avenue has tried to repress. The New Age and health food stores are prospering and expanding at terrifically rapid rates. This, of course, is not news; this mustn’t be news. But a lot of my mureeds are working for such stores. Their total incomes are increasing and lots more is coming from these same general directions.
My health at the moment is excellent. Mansur and I encountered a Negro saint in Cambridge, Mass. He has sent me some of his medicine via the Fred mentioned above. Believe me it works. I am in tip-top shape physically at this moment. His work has been filmed also. I don’t want to say anything more about this, because we would be writing endlessly.
One of the great difficulties before me is the realization I have in my hands practically the complete esoteric practices of the late Hazrat Inayat Khan. I have written so before, but the work of coordinating them and relating them to the official papers is a most difficult task. We had our first meeting of the higher papers last week. I have called attention to the fact that a sentence which appeared in the first edition of “A Sufi Message….” was obliterated. It referred to a number of practices. I have so many details it is an overwhelming job both literally, I mean literally, and practically. For each one of them requires long periods to attain a realization. It requires a great deal of wisdom to impart them and more to fulfill them. In the end this will destroy the efforts of people like Fazal, Idries Shah, and Mrs. Duce. But it is not so easy to get them in intelligent shape, for one would have to explain to a secretary a most difficult task for those who have not had spiritual awakening; but I can assure you that the real living God is going to see that this be done ultimately and properly.
In the meanwhile our relations with universities are improving, and ultimately I see much hope for our future in many and perhaps all directions.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
August 2, 1970
Mr. Finley P. Dunne, Jr.
The Temple of Understanding
1346 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
My dear Peter:
This is really my diary entry. Ordinarily I would be sending it to Arthur Hoppe of the local S.F. Chronicle, whose columns are syndicated, but he is away.
I call all of this “not news.” The historian of the future will look askance of the litterateurs of the day, who measure the value of the article by the social prestige of the writer. There are some horrible crime trials now going on. The public and the press depend upon the eye-witnesses, but elsewhere????? In fact, I don’t know where to begin.
1. Our efforts to bring Arabs and Israelis threaten to snowball. We have Jews saying Allah, and Muslims repeating the Shemah. You would imagine some editor might be interested. Ha. Ha. But this morning I met a new underground editor who wants everything from me, and he will get it.
We have an elaborate program to bring Jews of many types, including Israelis, and Palestinian exiles of many types, and others together. I have notified the local Episcopalian Bishop Myers. I think I told you already the friends of the late Thomas Morton are interested. The only violence I am presenting is that I will have no commerce with all those societies of any kind who wish to continue an old age or bring in a new one by abolishing the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospel of Saint John.
2. My threatened revolutionary sermon came off marvelously. The hall was packed to the gills as we say; all young people. I explained the three-body teachings of St. Paul as indicated in Chapter 2 of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, and indicated I would go into further detail when we came to Chapter 1. As I told you before, oven our good friend Hunt Smith has not been so aware of the parallels between the serious sides of Christianity and the serious sides of Hinduism. On top of that, one of my disciples is presenting the Hebrew Kabbalah, ant I mean the Hebrew Kabbalah and not the dash trash submitted by goyim with the same title Kabbalah, and all of us are very close together.
3. I have been receiving rather enigmatic long distance calls. I am wanted at all kinds of so-called Holy Men’s Jamborees In addition to that, a friend has planned a joint Sufi-Jewish program. I would do this only if full credit is given to The Temple of Understanding, and there is some possibility that this may be done.
4. Besides the underground alluded to above, may own spiritual companions already have one publication out, and are promising another one. So altogether the doors seem to be opening both to give public lectures on and for The Temple of Understanding and on and for all my endeavors, which have the marvelous virtue of always having been rejected by about everybody. I used to say that my two greatest achievements were my invitation to the Royal Palace Grounds in Tokyo and a free dinner from Armenians. But I must add to this the 33 rejections I received from the American press, all schools.
Talking seriously with people, it is now a race whether peace will come in the Holy Land by encouraging people to be friends with each other, or else wait till the Communists rouse the revolutionaries to overthrow all governments. I think, with God’s help we are going to win. I think, with God’s “help, we are going to show the blind traditionalists of all schools that the world has no choice but between love and chaos, and I am quite confident that the young in vast majority will support the spiritual ways.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
P.S. I shall soon be sending Lowell the transcriptions of my lectures.
August 4, 1970
Box 142, Keyport, Wash.
Liberty, Democracy, Humanity, and Peasants, Shut Up!
This is a diary entry but it marks the beginning of a great change. Sometimes I call myself “Timon of San Francisco, in reverse.” None of the important organizations here ever let me speak (excepting the Commonwealth Club). I am held in contempt, but this is making me a hero. I don’t want it that way but can’t help it. A big man is a big man. Period! Eye-witnesses in law courts, but elsewhere? Scientists let any researcher speak but elsewhere you have to have credentials and proofs and believe me the number of people who have been there and gotten the same boot are flocking to this house more and more.
It is noticeable that all the dialecticians from the newer, newer left, to the super-Birchers; the religionists, the “humanists,” the “peace groups,” etc., all are united on the above motto. At Geneva I had to watch some of the well-known world diplomats whom no one would dare to approach here held in utter contempt. Emotionalists, orators, smoothies may be most welcome at our “peace” meetings, at our religious and anti-religious and philosophical gatherings, but when they had to lay real cards on the table, it was different. To have a peace conference which, like jury trials, demanded—the sheep and goats were quickly separated and since then, boy, my correspondence! And the youngest man at the Geneva conference was so moved that he came all the way to San Francisco and comes to all my public gatherings. But let a religionist, humanist, philosopher, “peace” advocate—it spoils the show. Facts always spoil the shows.
My present mood began with my purchasing another copy of Manhood of Humanity by Alfred Korzybski. I made the greatest error possible for which no forgiveness is to be tolerated! I purchased this book originally at the recommendation of my math-philosophy teacher, Cassius Keyser. That was like yelling, “Heil, Hitler” at a synagogue. Never, never, never, never forgiven! And as I re-read it I can see clearly how it is possible to clear up some of the problems such as DDT poisoning; indeed all the confusion arising from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring; all the various aspects of pollution, etc., etc., and more etcs. From this Korzybski worked out what I considered sound logistics and Luther Whiteman and I, knowing this book, were pitted to write a review on Science and Sanity when it first came out. Period! Jamais, encore. Read the above title.
But the same behavior pattern all over. The “big” people want to listen to “big” people. The “solution” of problems is to find the right “big” person. It has nothing to do with logic or logistics and so even now we have smog, pollution, etc., etc., because the “right” Big Person has not been found. But when I talk with or listen to scientists, I mean those who have, had laboratory training, etc., there is nothing but pessimism because the Big people can’t find the Right Big person to solve the problems. I have been to Pittsburgh and London and seen what has been done there. And I was working on sewage disposal problems when I got ill a few years ago. But not being a “big” men, but a Hardy’s “Jude the Obscure,” oh, well, perhaps it was just as good I was then stricken.
Now the underground press is seeking me out, and you have started your own sheet, so to speak. But there is Walter whom you may be meeting. He was seeking those versed in Oriental-Oriental philosophies and bang! But he is both a publisher and a man of more than ample means and he wants everything! The idea that a peasant should be permitted even to get an article published, let alone try to cure problems like “The Death of Lake Eerie” is unthinkable, inconceivable, impossible, but it is going to happen.
It is not only the underground, but some over ground publishers. I have had two more promoters approach me to raise funds so that my silenced endeavors will be made known. Or at least my facts or views published before the boom is landed on my person—the great fame of all establishments and also the “new” groups who want to kick out the “ins” and carry on the same policies.
And at the same time people from several distant parts of the country are coining here and more and more invitations and more and more. And then all the Peasants who have been shut up! There are lots of them you can bet. And on top of that, more and more invitations to more and more universities. This is, of course, impossible and inconceivably, but it is very, very true.
So there is the whole world of trying to apply Korzybskian logistics to the world of scientific problems which etc. verboten because, because, because, because.
And the number of people who have been to Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos who find these steps! After all Robert Clifton came to me several times and we are spending countless billions because peasants are supposed to shut up and he died of a broken heart and the fighting still goes on and on because “A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court” says that. And that is the script.
And now I have had the damnable impertinence to get part-Jews who are part-Christian or part-Arabs to start a peace movement for the Near East. And this is going ahead because although peasants are supposed to shut up there are too many and every step toward bringing human beings—verboten by the foreign office and the churches and the “humanists” and the “peace” groups, is succeeding.
And this without any diminution of our “regulation” programs. And we are taking films and other evidence which every laboratory-scientist would accept and which even the parlor-scientists cannot regularly reject.
I am sending copies of this to Lloyd Morain and this is not all that is going on. It may be “Let the dead bury their dead.” I no longer care. Too much and while people may visit Emerson’s shoemaker in the middle of the woods and they did, boy, what happens when you have a front door and a telephone and mail can reach you. And articles soon to be published. And let the religionists and humanists, and “peace” groups yell. We are going to have peace and understanding, not Justice, whatever that means but peace with understanding. And the young are coming and coming and coming and now the universities. Watch and see. Facts may be as important in the coming society as among scientists and for jury trials.
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
August 7, 1970
Rev. Lowell R. Ditzen,
National Presbyterian Center,
4125 Nebraska Ave. NW
Washington. D.C. 20016
My dear Lowell:
This is really my diary entry but often these entries are turned into letters. For the revolution has come and with God’s help it will proceed. Last Saturday I spoke on the Three-Body doctrine from St. Paul in the commentary on chapter 2 of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. My two criticism of general Christianity were:
a. The replacement of “In the beginning God” with “I believe.”
b. Mis-translations by egocentric or intellectuals who did not have the Pauline experiences and outlook.
This Chapter ends with “We have the mind of Christ” which is my theme for the morrow and I am very fearless here and have been defying everybody and winning the support of an ever growing number of young. God bless them.
The lecture was thinned out Wednesday night at the San Francisco Theological Seminary (Presbyterian) because much of the time is given to “Dances of Universal Peace” which are ignored by all the “proper” people and most of all by those who claim university, integration and world-outlooks. These inheritances from the late Ruth St. Denis are growing and winning. And at the end of the lecture I was approached by one of your colleagues from Minnesota who was more than delighted and said he had tape-recorded it.
I did not ask him for a copy for my Saturday lectures are being taped. We have to edit them. I am short of secretarial help, as two of my secretaries now have outside jobs. One is in connection with the filming of my dances, the work of Pir Vilayat Khan and also other associates. The other secretary has a job with a very wealthy publisher and on his return we may, God willing, have more funds and my writings will be published.
The day is over when I can brag that the two greatest achievements were “Being a guest of honor at the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo, and having a free meal from the Armenians” I am now adding, “thirty three rejections of my paper on Vietnamese Buddhism.” This is our ?culture? “right,” “center” and “left.” We are greater than “geeks”?????
This having the mind-of-Christ is our central theme. And my incipient “Nathan-the-Wise’s efforts at Geneva are progressing rapidly. Of course you do not expect anybody who has had thirty-three rejection’s of a paper on Vietnamese Buddhism to try to do much at home. I have almost reached the Episcopalian Bishop, who has indicated he will see me in September. But as soon as the commentaries are completed I am hoping to get them in your hands and even come to Washington.
Everything is moving, especially money. We have done the impossible and therefore unprintable. Vice, pornography, tempering with funds … news. Getting Muslims to say the “Shema” and Jews to repeat the “Bismillah” can’t be news. It is impossible. Man bites dog isn’t news because it never happens! But we not only have gotten Arabs to repeat the Shema and Jews to repeat the Bismillah, we have at least two fund-raising campaigns on to promote peace through human beings mingling and praying with each other.
One man who is quite a promoter believes this is most wonderful and assures us he can raise any amount of money. He would like to work under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding. The only thing we do not want from them is money. So Peter gets a copy of this. Only we want to make our actions legal. Indeed not only has my income increased since Geneva but expenses have gone down, and there is tremendous optimism and some success in raising money.
I received a beautiful letter from Judith but things have been happening since. Everything and everything wonderful. We did not get any answer from Norman Lourie but besides the above have been planning another funds-raising campaign in the general direction of this goal. The human beings of this world want peace. I have given up trying to convince the State Department or press, and can ignore the latter because of the colleague who has the publishing house and wants everything I have done, or think. That is why I call myself “Timon of San Francisco—in reverse.” There is nothing a “peace” group in the city or hardly a cleric who will grant an interview.
But the universities are different. I am trying to raise my own scholarship for Peace at the University of California. A thousand dollars today will be easy but it will bring shame on those who will not even grant interviews (the Judeo-Christian ethic). There is nothing but progress in all directions and the directions are many.
Samuel L. Lewis
cc The Temple of Understanding
cc Herb Caen, S.F. Chronicle
cc San Francisco Theological Seminary
August 9, 1970
Mr. Herb Caen
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, Calif. 94119
I am going to send you some “not news” It is about the not-newsy young people who are only noticed if they are caught with grass or pornography. The fact that they haven’t been convinced that grass is harmful and booze delightful is making an ever-enlargening gap which ought to be called not a generation gap but a degeneration gap. I have just received from England a series of pictures of Rabbis and Imams together. When a Rabbi meets with an Imam that is news, but when a devotee of the Rabbi’s congregation and a devotee of the Imam’s congregation worship together that is treason of absolutely the worst kind, and no question about it, it is treason. Well some at us have had the audacity to try to get Israelis and Arabs to associate with each other and even to worship together. Of course we have been successful. We have been amazed at the success. But we are quite aware that this is absolutely unprintable. Only we are going ahead anyhow.
This person went to Geneva to a Conference of the World’s Faiths, and he was permitted to speak, which is never done in the good San Francisco where he was born. Now we have determined to try to get Arabs and Israelis to recognize each other as human beings. It is not only easy; it is being followed by a successful fund collecting. The dear old Rabbis and the dear old Imams will gather together, will worship together, and will go home and warn their disciples and congregation that they must never think of doing anything like it. Thus the degeneration gap. But we have been most successful is getting young people to recognize each other as children of the living God, and going on from there, and not only doing that, but have been very successful in collecting funds to advance such a program. If one as of us should smoke marijuana or raise the red flag or the Vietnamese Flag this would be news. Tomorrow it is going to be news anyhow. This the degeneration gap.
August 11, 1970
Mr. S. B. Beorse
P.O. Box 142
Keyport, Wash., 98345
My dear Shamcher:
This is really my diary entry. I don’t know if yesterday was typical or not. Yes, 200 people did find their way to see me when I lived in the midst of the woods at Lama. I don’t need to try to convince any hard-shells of facts; they simply do not accept them. But yesterday I did write a local Rabbi who had received a great peace award and who never ever answered a letter after 1967, that my letter to him would be published. And I am sending a copy of this of Lloyd Morain, for my next letter to him will be published.
I feel very much like Samuel Morse—I don’t know whether there is anything in a name or not. He sued all his detractors and won every case in court. I have no such intention, but I am sick and tired of a culture that believes in that “problems” are complications to be solved by the “right people” and one-way to determine who the “right people” are is by an election. All afternoon, both before you came and afterwards, was consumed in interviews. I did not have a single moment of relaxation nor even to continue or writing. But I tell you, Shamcher, behind all those interviews are the situation that individual’s problems are not solved by “nice articles” written by the “right people.”
One of the later interviews was concerning Vilayat’s health. Although the report was apparently very damaging, I cannot see how he could both have the affliction claimed and the enthusiasm he is evincing. I may go downtown this morning concerning travel arrangements of disciples who expect to join him shortly. We are going to have, we are having, real cultural exchange with real Asians. As I told you, I would keep Robert Garfias informed later, and naturally you. I am not a pathologist, but I cannot see how Vilayat can both have the affliction claimed and the stupendous inspirations and achievements.
A good deal of time after you left was spent with a man who both wishes to raise money for me and see that my articles are published. In 1967, I won a law suit with my brother. The lawsuit not only lifted me from poverty, perhaps for the rest of my life, but also brought a revolutionary change in his attitude, so that when he died I was one of the few persons who were on speaking terms with him. And his death also brought an increase in income.
I was going to England to do research in sewage conversion plants. Oh, I had all the introductions. I evidently had the backgrounds. I think I wrote you that some chemistry teachers in this vicinity think I was one of their prize pupils, although this will not convince dialecticians and semanticists and literary experts. My career as a professional spray operator barred as from speaking on Silent Spring. This interviewer wanted are to write on pollution. If this were a sane nation the literati would listen to the scientists. But the literati want to do all the writing, and they think it is a joke that a person like myself writes letters to them. If one or two of them would publish anything this would not happen. But henceforth I expect to publish my letters to them, and about the only answers I expect are personality attacks, which is their custom.
I am neither for nor against the President on Near East and pollution. But I am totally against the present literati who measure a man’s philosophy by his relations to the way French peasants sat in a convention held after their great revolution. All the literati seem to be dialecticians, existentialists, or Manicheans, and anyone who dares to think actually in integrative or multi-dimensional terms is scorned, excepting….
Life is refuting my former critics. Not by logic, not by morality, not even by facts, but by the simple situation that a number of promoters think I have something to offer and want to help raise funds. My god-daughter’s husband has been successful in raising funds for our films and also for Vilayat. Perhaps my next communication will be more on this subject. You will understand why I call myself “Timon of San Francisco in reverse.”
Years of research for and towards world peace by unconventional methods has brought me an ever-increasing number of contacts in what I call the world of God and Rand-McNally.
The meeting last night also showed an increase in attendance. I have no intention of trying to reach older people any more concerning my heritages from the late Ruth St. Denis. Facts do not interest them, and I have no intention of trying to reach older people anymore, excepting those who themselves were mocked, end of courses there are many of them too.
Every sign indicates there will be success in the trip planned to go east. The refusal of our culture even to accept the existence of Sufis because Prof. von Schnitzelbaum and Dr. Schnorschnor and such deny their existence is causing laughter among the young. I don’t know any more legendary teachings than that of the “realisms” common to Russia, the U.S. and China (vide ”1984”) I am also being asked more and more to go into the subject of communes, but I am more interested in efforts to promote real peace among living beings, I do not know a single group in San Francisco that would open its doors to me, although the Episcopalian Bishop is equivocating, and at a time when more and more respectful letters are coming from afar, all over the world. This does not apply to the young. And some day, by God, we are going to have something like Korzybski’s semanticism despite alike the publishers of the hour and the Generals who have taken over Korzybski’s teachings, and ruined them. I am hoping before it is too late that Lloyd had better become humanist and quit a lot of nonsense he has imposed on me and let others impose on me. But he is not the only one. The world is full of Hardy’s “Jude the Obscure” and the younger people are welcoming the Judes and ignoring their deriders and this is what is keeping no busy. Facts are going to be determinative, and the big Isms are going to have to join the rest of humanity.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
August 14, 1970
Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram!
There is no spare time in Sam’s life and the affairs have become so dramatic that one does not wish to read anything but sacred tests. It is not devotion; it is the way life is. Thus last Monday afternoon five hours were spent with appointments, usually sudden ones, four people are coming longer distances to see Sam and in their opinion, to seek God. Older people will not accept this and when some come—which is seldom, they are amazed.
At the same time, Sam has lost two secretaries. Our work is prospering now, praise to God. There is a new diet of diets and natural food stores are prospering and many of Sam’s disciples are getting goodly paid jobs. And in turn these stores are advertising what Sam is doing.
Then our efforts in the field of mystical explanations of religions, beginning with Christianity, have been successful. Our Wednesday night meetings, held in a seminary-auditorium and now packed. And God, so to speak, is giving Sam new dances all the time especially Sufi and Ram Nam dances and the young not only love them, but are having the effects in greater joy, even ecstasy, and psychic and moral education.
The only people who will not accept this are the various “world” and “integral” and “federal” groups who are also in competition and trying to introduce God-less Yoga. And when the real Yogins come, and they are coming, they attract far more. So what is called the “underground press” has been giving Sam plenty of publicity.
This in turn has led a group of disciples to become professionals in taking films of spiritual movements. They have already traveled far and wide and their next project is to film Sufis whose very existence our cultures have denied; or else they have been downgraded by many who claim “universality.“ But the efforts to raise money have been successful. All the pretended “universal” people cannot efface the history of Akbar.
Sam had to take harsh measures with his local god-daughter’s husband and now he is Sam’s best help. He has come to realize that God-experience is either real or effective and more and more people are drawn to it, and that the only universality there is an all-inclusive one. So it is very ready to read Papa Ramdas’s works and also to get people to repeat the Ram Nam. Thus between Sufism and Ram Nam Sam is busy all the time.
The other day Sam again met the famous Alan Watts who has now become a seeker. Sam supposes the main difference is that Sam who is older has much more vitality. This is a grace. It is very difficult to convince intellectuals about Grace, but the young see it and are satisfied.
But now the universities are sending for Sam to speak on those aspects of Oriental wisdom which are excluded or barred by those who pretend to be universal.
The disciples of Sam are young, handsome, intellectual and depend on Prajna. They are working to bring Jew and Muslim, Israeli and Arab together. While everybody else emphasizes war and differences, they are going ahead and so far have been surprisingly successful. They wish to work with and for the Temple of Understanding.
Another group is preparing to come to Asia. Sam has written about this before. They wish first to photo and record the “non-existing” Sufis and Dervishes. Then come to India and Sam has suggested the Shivananda Ashram and also Saint Rehenad Tyabji in New Delhi. But some want to come south and especially visit Anandashram. They may be writing to you in person, but their schedule is not clear. This is partly because they do not know which holy places will welcome theme.
After Sam visits the universities in California he will have to go to the Eastern Seaboard. There is a growing interest in things spiritual, cosmic, and divine and unlike many of the “Yoga” movements in this country, Sam has the mystical or cosmic outlook.
But Sam also emphasizes that all great prophets taught almost the same things and the emphasis on the three-body constitution of man and the utilization first of Love and then Joy and Peace as cosmic attributes and functions are succeeding. It is a new age which the evolved souls so predicted. Only they will not accept the leadership of the older dualistic manas-ahankara people.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
August 16, 1970
Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram!
A little incident last night prompts this letter. Sam told his two secretariats that H. does not want to read any more fiction or news or anything but the writings of Papa Ramdas. In an “exciting” life everything that happens is more dramatic and more interesting. The Chief Secretary and the personal secretary who live here said the same, they are reading Papa all the time. But the housekeeper said, no, she was reading Sri Ramakrishna all the time. Sam said, “That is the same thing.”
It is interesting and it will be recorded in history that we ignored what disciples in Sufism should be reading while the many growing Indian groups read otherwise and often emphasize otherwise. Indeed, while Sam has been totally ignored by certain Indian groups claiming “universality” he is receiving more and more letters from other Indian groups who now recognize he has a growing following and may also have some money in which all of them are most interested.
While the Indian so-called “spiritual” groups ignore each other and some now recognize Sam, the people at the Indian Travel Bureau treat Sam as if he were a holy man. We have had such cordiality and courtesies from all of them. It is most wonderful. And one of Sam’s chief disciples, Phillip Davenport and his god-son Ralph Silver are preparing to leave. Phillip was editor of a paper called “The Oracle” but trying to run all departments, it failed. We are not now worried because a very wealthy publisher has joined us and is expected back next month.
It is too bad that the “universal” Indian groups ignore our existence and also that of each other. We are teaching Tat Twam Asi and Atman Is Brahman while the Indian “universal” groups teach otherwise and are very selective. But the young want universality. And while some of the very exclusive “universal” groups are calling for “scientific Yoga,” Sam, immersed in Papa Ramdas, is getting more and more material for “Dances of Universal Peace.”
Initiated into the akasha by Hazrat Inayat Khan and Ruth St. Denis who first brought these teachings jointly in 1910, the dances are rushing to Sam all the time. He was invited to a woman’s dance group (his disciples) and while with them gave a second “Ras Lila” and then “Krishna introduces Rukmini to the Gopis.”
Then last night came more Dervish dances and a Ram-Sita (the second with this name). Sam does not lecture on Brahmacharya and even less against the animal side of man. He emphasizes constantly the spiritual side. We are all singing our divine phrases and repeating the Divine names, mostly Allah and Ram. And Sam also received a letter from a loving disciple in Pakistan who praised Allah and Ram equally!
Then we are having meetings for Peace in the near East. It is all by Sam’s disciples. While everybody else was rejecting Sam one man praised him no end, and that is Gunnar Jarring whom he has met, and is now in charge of the peace efforts. The “big” people never let him say anything nor do the “universal” people. But now the young are not only accepting the spiritual guidance but find that is the best way for their own ideas, plans and even for the raising of money! While so many who claim they are the leaders of the future and therefore should have money, we leave everything to Allah-Ram. And one after another of the disciples has been getting goodly paid jobs this last week. It is like miracles. We never begged Allah-Ram, we praised Him but we did repeat the Sufi Mantram, “Al-Mu’ti” which means “God is Provider.” And it is coming true.
So Sam asked Allah-Ram: “Why is it, that while Sam thinks Papa Ramdas was perfect and yet withdrew, that this person who lives and works in the midst of society is being so helped.” And Allah-Ram answered, “Because you see Me in society as well as in retirement; you see Me in wealth as well as in poverty. And you don’t make any distinction but just see Me.”
Now we are having all kinds of Indian movements coming here and Sam rather welcomes them because negatively he is very much opposed to the dominant religion. At the same time he is giving lectures on “The Three Body constitution of Man” as is presented in the Christian scriptures, and has a large audience regularly. We are preparing this for publication and things look very well indeed, excepting.
After awhile we shall have to ask you or your publishers in Bombay the best way of marketing books on a larger scale. We have already succeeded in our relations with Ashraf in Lahore. Things are changing so rapidly Sam is dizzy, and two former secretaries now with good outside paying jobs! And it looks as if Sam will have to take his new secretary to the East Coast soon.
The soul of man seeks God-Ram-Allah and not all the emotions and propaganda change that. There are so many evolved young Americans and while they are included among the “Hippies,” they are very different from their elders.
Once Sam was with a Holy Man in the Himalayas and the Holy Man proclaimed his superiority in everything, and Sam said, all but one thing, that he was a better listener and better pupil. None of the proclaiming Indians or their disciples has the ability to listen. The young here have the ability to listen. The Buddhist Scriptures say: “Thus have I heard.” The Jews say: “Hear, of Israel.” The Hindus verbalize “Vac” but the willingness to listen is not so evident. So we evince it, we listen and it is most wonderful and rewarding.
We have started off with Divine Blessing to work for peace in the Near East. It is a long story. As the “important” people do not listen the young people have taken over, Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians and Muslims and they all recognize the One God and begin there and go on. It is amazing and wonderful. This is one group of Sam’s disciples.
The second, referred to above is preparing to film and record spiritual affairs, but mostly with Sufis because the “universal” people ignore the Sufis and Fatehpur Sikri. We wanted them to do it and now have the money! So we are turning it all over to the young beautiful and enthusiastic New Age types.
They are turning to Nature; they are turning to God and God-consciousness. They want the Ananda and not lectures. They want the Yoga of union and not ego-Stressing. And it seems to be coming at a rapid rate.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
August 21, 1970
Miss Patricia Martin
296 Waltham St.
West Newton, Mass.
My dear Patricia:
I was most happy to hear from you and accept the fact that you may have to remain in New England for a while. This is going to be a very funny letter. We are going through rapid changes. They are almost story book-ish. At the present time I am down to one and a half secretaries.
Sometime back while Phillip Davenport was looking for a place for a summer camp for Pir Vilayat he encountered one Walter Bowart in Arizona, a man who himself was looking for Sufis. Then, like in the cartoon, “then the fun began.” I leave out details. Daniel Lomax is now a Sheikh in Sufi teachings; he has his own center down in Tucson, Arizona. It has started out so rapidly and marvelously, even he has a hard time to keep an equilibrium.
The dance work has progressed so wonderfully we have had pictures taken. The film enterprise has grown tremendously. Fred Cohn has traveled all over, and is now going with Pir Vilayat to the Orient. Mansur is now a paid secretary for this enterprise. Not only that, Phillip Davenport is preparing to go to many parts of Asia and my god-son Ralph Silver already has his Visa.
The dance work is expanding in every direction. I have not heard directly from Peter, but know his work has also mushroomed. Only at this writing it is possible that Jemila, who is returning, maybe willing to become dance secretary. I had hoped originally to train Marcia, but she left this house of her own accord in rather peculiar circumstances, not clear to me. She has jumped into African dancing but her past escapade with Yoga Dancing, Indian dancing, and my work, makes me wonder. In any event, we have to seek both teachers and secretaries.
An appeal for help has partially succeeded for San Francisco, but the need for work is much greater at the moment—three people going to Asia, and I am a veteran in long distance air travel and living in Indian and Pakistan. So this keeps me very very busy, although quite joyously so.
In the meanwhile, my own personal financial affairs have improved. Much more important; many disciples realize that Murshid has not only had to do very heavy work, but to bear heavy financial burdens. They have now come to my help. It may be coincidence, it may be a sign of Allah’s approval, but the New Age food enterprises has expanded so successfully that I think today at least ten disciples are working for Fred Rohe. On top of that Frank, who took over Daniel’s secretary-treasurer work has been offered a restaurant job with them should this take place.
Briefly, the present picture is: more disciples, more applicants, more outside invitations to speak (including Universities), more money, more work, and….
We are out of copies of the dance material here, and have no one available at the moment. Murshid even had to stay in San Francisco this week—so much to do. Next week we shall check the Khankah files and also seek a dance secretary. It will possibly be Jemila or Amina. It is very important that both you and Richard have copies. The next step may be to have them duplicated or printed in some form. The Sufis at Seattle already have a sort of publication and Hassan at the Khankah has now a real printing establishment.
But new dances keep on coming, we have roughly elementary class Saturday afternoon, intermediate Sunday afternoon, advanced Sat. night. But in addition Murshid has been asked to help with the women’s dancing class on Wednesday mornings. The work of this group has been complicated by first Jemila’s going away and then Julie’s becoming a mother. Suzanne is now carrying most of the burden. Besides this, the group is much larger than I had envisioned. To make matters humorously complicated, I cannot go to any meetings or groups without seeing new dances in the ether, and no secretary for them.
However, next week I hope to get Marin help as I have had San-Francisco help. Mansur has a full-time job. Moineddin has been ill for many many weeks. Ayesha has been working wonderfully for me, and now even has her own Gatha class. Vashti is young in years but old in membership, may be starting a center in Mill Valley but she is not in the women’s dancing class.
My god-daughter who is at Ithaca (Cornell) has long asked for me to come east. I shall certainly have money late in September if not before—that is if nobody helps me out. We have invitations also from your area, from New York, and from Washington to say the least. Then I asked our new assistant secretary Joan if she could come. Most fortunately, praise to God, Joan has to go to New York to pick up some things, and more fortunately she has her own car there. So as soon as I complete present obligations, we should be coming east, inshallah. These obligations include a Berkeley lecture and a very special one for astrology teachers. Our astrology dance work has expanded along with the more spiritual work. I also hope you can meet Karam. He has helped me in many ways.
Yes, my next venture next week shall be to see that you and Richard get everything that is necessary. I understand there are several who would like to volunteer but then everybody else has jobs—good outside paying jobs! Fortunately there are many applicants for Bayat and they must either pay us money or work, as Inshallah you should be hearing from us fairly soon.
We all send Love and Blessings, and especially my new housekeeper, the mother of Asa, whose name is Leslie.
Samuel L. Lewis
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
August 29, 1970
Dr. Huston Smith
Department of Humanities
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge 39, Mass.
My dear Huston:
One is writing knowing that your office may receive this before your return, and will hold it for you. The report here is like a composition of fairy stories or complex folk lore. I am seated alone in an office dedicated to the spreading of Sufism with my chief associate in the hospital and the absence of secretaries for very favorable reasons!
For instance, Otis Mansur Johnson is no longer with me. His wife, Dickie Carolyn left him, but please, no samskaras, that would be the worst thing showing the vanity of dualism with which we are so imbued. She is now chief secretary of the Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan, my closest associate.
Mansur went to Europe with me to the session of The Temple of Understanding and did quite good. Then also to Lama Foundation in New Mexico. Now he is full time employed on a venture which grew out of “my” own endeavors, Dance of Universal Peace. This was long discussed with the late Ruth St. Denis and the first steps began before she died, spiritual walking. The class which included Otis progressed so well we tried spiritual dancing and whang!
We began with Dervish dancing and then added Mantric dancing and on and on. I am busy all the time both teaching and receiving and this goes on seven days a week while we are trying to organize the Sufi Message. Then in a row Paul Reps, Richard Alpert and Pir Vilayat Khan—all separately, practically told me they were leaving this country to Sam, and helped spread the dancing. We have been entirely successful in Arizona, New Mexico, New York and New England.
While the “big” and “important” people refused to have anything to do with the dances or this person, evidently God-Allah-Ram thought differently. While at Geneva I learned that my brother had died. We had been enemies for 50 years, became friends, and he died almost alone leaving me in good financial position, alhamdu lillah.
Meanwhile the universities began to change their attitudes. So long as “Oriental” studies were under Englishmen and Germans and other Europeans I not only did not have a chance but was actually black-balled. The same applies to Hawaii whose East-West Center is controlled by those of Jewish outlooks. Not all Jews have the Jewish outlooks. I went to hear the Chassid, Rev. Shlomo Carlebach and never saw so many crosses! True, not sarcasm.
I worked forty years for the World Church Peace Union, my own expense and studied all the religions—although most “experts” on “Oriental Philosophy” not only refused to accept but actually opposed and blackballed me—but no samskaras, please. It is God Who does all work. All this knowledge is now at the disposal of The Temple of Understanding and Mrs. Judith Hollister and “Peter.”
At Geneva I think every single group either talked or dined with Otis and myself, and the “play” of begging “Nathan the Wise” has now broken out, really. For instance this week my disciples were extremely successful in an Israeli-Arab dinner and they wish such ventures to be in connection with The Temple of Understanding—this their idea. The next planned dinner is already oversubscribed and a radio station—not a “liberal” one, is going to advertise our efforts! The “liberals” like to play it Cool and have. Man bites dog—never news! But I think one news reporter has now acknowledged these efforts.
The Lama visit entirely successful and they are all for the Temple and so is New Mexico and your colleague Archie Bahm at the University of New Mexico.
Then things boomed. My local editor lost his paper and found a wealthy editor who was looking for Sufis! He is returning soon. He grabbed another secretary and this man who also knows Sanskrit is reaching those intellectuals who are dissatisfied with Gurdjieff and Sabud. The third secretary was in the above ventures.
During all these years while everything was turning me down, one man gave me four hours and thought the “plan” I had for the Holy Land was the most sensible thing he ever encountered. His name: Gunnar Jarring. But I am not alone. My colleagues are research scientists of the University of California, not recognized, but I am going to get help pulling out documents.
At both my homes the telephone is now constantly ringing, and a growing number of long distance calls and visitors. The dances are spreading; our peace efforts are growing; I have the most wonderful groups of young.
Also giving lectures on “The Three Body Constitution of Man According to St. Paul. Very well attended. Beautiful large audiences, all young. Being tapped and will be sent to Rev. Lowell Ditzen in Washington. No free time, no dull time, and God be praised, good health.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
P.S. Should be in Boston area in October.
September 4, 1970
Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram!
Sam had thought he would be through writing you and perhaps have a schedule, but with Ram it is different. One’s position may be explained very simply: that what man does in surrender to God, or with inspirations from God-Ram, will succeed in the end, and all the efforts of the manas-ahankara people will in the end prove empty. This has been Sam’s experience for a long time but it is becoming more and more evident.
There are a growing number of presumable spiritual centers in this land and some of them no doubt are quite spiritual. But when a national survey was taken the Lama Foundation in New Mexico was selected as the finest, and you will see two pages in the current issue of the National Geographic Magazine dedicated to it. This is the place which regards Sam as the American Guru. The people there work very hard and chant Divine phrases all day long. It is really wonderful but we did not know the world would recognize this. Our praises to God, certainly not to ourselves.
This surprise publication comes at a time when Sam, praise God, in the best of health, has hardly time to eat or sleep. It seems everybody but those who verbalize universal outlooks and world missions are accepting what he is doing. More and more real spiritual and Yoga teachers are coming from India. They not only wish to establish friendship and alliance with Sam, they are being given more and more time on radio and television, when those who verbalize and only verbalize, are not being recognized at all by our culture.
In the last report, Sam mentioned the Sarasvati meditations. These are not only going on, but Sam is having dream manifestations instead of sleep, more and more and more. We have a Ram Nam dance for 4 people; another one for 5; another one for 6; another one for seven or more people. They are all very different excepting in the words chanted. There was a demonstration of the Ram Nam for 5 people the other night and it was amazing and wonderful how it was accepted at once, and the joy that shone in the faces of the participants was truly marvelous. We have been invited to repeat this at a public festival which will be held shortly. It seems that the time has come when the human soul is finding more Joy in chanting Holy phrases and in praising God, than in anything else.
Sam is now receiving more and more invitations, invitations from about everybody but those who proclaim “universality.” His disciples and friends are presenting spiritual dances in many parts of America, and it seems at this hour too the most successful real Yoga Gurus are coming here and making alliances. Perhaps this is what God wants.
At Lama Foundation everyone is called upon to chant or compose melodies. One beautiful soul created one based on the Biblical quotation that every man shall dwell under his vine and fig tree and there will be war no more. At our Sufi Khankah we have a single vine and a single fig tree. This year the vine gave ten times as much fruit as it did last year. It was amazing. And the fig tree is so weighted with fruit despite the harvesting we are so over-worked that a slight neglect has in every instance meant a broken branch from the weight of the fruit. And while we are over-worked and suffering from losses—the chief caretaker very ill and the chief secretary having a very lucrative position, we have to call in help to harvest the most wonderful crops we have ever seen.
While all this is going on, our efforts in promoting real peace among the real people of the real world is progressing at a tremendous rate. All efforts to get Jews, and Muslims, and Christians, Israelis and Arabs, to join together in prayer and meals have succeeded, and more than succeeded. And the reports from the disciples who have gone abroad are perfect—not excellent but perfect. It would seem only those who advocate world brotherhood under their leadership are not concerned. But Ram is concerned, beautifully concerned.
There are now many demands for studies in real Sufism—not intellectual lectures by professors, but spiritual philosophy based on Love and Divine attunement and attainment. The soul longs for God. We are not removing the priests of this world to substitute non-devotional intellectuals.
Sam has just completed reading much more about Sri Krishna from every source. And this has resulted in other dances. And add to them those dances based on the pure Islamic recognition of Allah and His Divine Attributes, you may recognize that wonders are being set in the Western world. You only read the negative reports about “Hippies.” The young people of this land have greater hearts and more and more and more of them are so manifesting.
It would appear that Sam will soon have many more disciples in Sufism, but he feels also the time is come to get more and more Americans to chant the Ram Nam, whether in the dance or otherwise.
Sam will probably leave this part of the country late in the month if God so Wills. He feels very funny. The American Baba Ram Dass, the American Paul Reps, and the Sufi Vilayat Khan, all left this country and said Sam should take care of it. Perhaps each was expressing Ram.
Love and Blessings,
PS. The above letter has been copied and copies sent to several people, but this is for you only, but you are not restrained in any way. There are many legends and folklore stories in this world which often are true although it is not always easy to accept them as true. Early in life Sam had a breakdown and during that breakdown he was visited by all the Prophets of the world and the almost legendary Khizr and Elijah. The truth of these visitations is now coming into manifestation, for the gifts of poetry, music and dance, and the grace of longevity and good health, are not only here but are otherwise inexplicable.
September 7, 1970
My dear Vocha:
The games are over. There are a lot of champions in “value judgments” who without legal qualifications are quite capable of pointing out faults of others. Mr. Anderson was here last night and our reactions were almost identical. I did not so express myself; I was testing myself, not him. But the day is over forever when grand and glorious personalities and especially self-grand personalities can dominate the arenas of serious problems.
I have noticed how frightened my scientific friends are of the trends of the times and the extreme agreement both from and with them stands in terrific contrast to those of Snow’s “The Two Cultures.” I myself was amused to find a group of chemists, or rather Chemistry professors telling Sam Lewis they thought he was quite capable of dealing with pollution problems, but one has no time to waste and especially on sociologists and parlor-scientists—who are wonderful in personality-judgments and in the social evaluation of the compounds of chlorine and hydrogen.
It has been a very, very trying time and the worst elements come from those who urge one to “take it easy” or telephone to find out how my sick colleagues are getting along. Over-worked, we are stuck. My chief associate has been in the hospital for sometime (Moineddin). My new secretary in Novato is ill. The housekeeper here is in the hospital. Fortunately a young girl when I know and met again in Albuquerque was so convinced of both the dances and international messages that she is here doing voluntary work.
We are not suffering financially. Daniel is going excellent work in Arizona. Mansur has had such an increase in his private income he is contributing more than generously without our asking: A large number of young people wish to become my disciples. They prefer to know a little about Asian-Asian philosophies than to the beautiful constructs of popular “experts.” And the reactions from Geneva are tremendous, by which I mean tremendous.
Godson Ralph received a most warm welcome in Geneva and also in introductions for his further work. He has accepted what none of the “good” people of this area would accept—introductions to some of the very top people of India and Pakistan. Disciple Phillip had a beautiful welcome in Israel. And we confounded impudent braggarts, have succeeded in bringing together not only Jews but Israelis with Arabs and Christians with joint dinners, dances, and prayers (the last will horrify the “humanists” who exclude almost everybody else). This is going on space and at last the American Broadcasting Co. has accepted facts as facts.
In the meanwhile National Geographical Magazine, making a study of all the “spiritual” and “commune” groups of the country has a two-page picture of Lama of which Sam Lewis (that breast boaster) is Guru. We have regular traffics with then. Down there we gang about “every mean having his vine and fig-tree and there shall be war no more.” I don’t know about war—see below. But both the Vine and Fig-tree gave about Ten Times as much fruit as expected and we have a busy time picking the figs with one man one in the hospital and another working outside hard for us. I don’t expect to convince parlor scientists of anything but my teachers in those sciences which are based on laboratory research are all for this and for this person.
Our crops are so prolific—at a time we have no help, and the cooked squash and cheese has gone over tremendously. I have one part-time cook who is also my financial secretary but it seems he also is on the edge of opportunity. Our “impossible” joint dinners of Israelis and Arabs caused some investigations—actual not “sociological” and we uncovered a restaurant where the cooks are Moors. What a meal! And what a welcome! No semanticists, no sociologists there. They would have said it was a put up job.
In the meanwhile I have at long last received a favorable letter from a non-scientific group in San Francisco. It is the one studying the actions of the U.N. Unlike the “good” people, the ones studying “peace” efforts and the sociologists and verbalists, they accepted the hard-hard fact that I may have met Gunnar Jarring and they wanted more information. Fortunately I have fellow grog-house companions, graduates of the University of California who have accomplished wonders—not news—it just isn’t done.
On top of that as our plans to go to New York progress, I find that instead of seeking an invitation to Columbia I am being sent for! This is impossible but it will give every opportunity to revive Keyser and thus the historical Korzybski without the “generals” of semantics. And with my editor returning this week, boy, what a world and what a life! Maybe the negative disciplines were necessary.
The dance classes are full-time. Unfortunately the one person (Marcia) who I wished to train has disappeared, but there are others. It is only regrettable that Julie Medlock and her associate have refused “Dances of Universal Peace.” But I think I can get one church to review them and possibly ????? one here who does not follow the “Judeo-Christian ethic.”
That is why I call myself “Timon of San Francisco, in reverse.” The young are delighted that their elders turned me down a priori—this is a dangerous but factual situation. The only time I was ever permitted to speak was at the University of San Francisco on “The water Problem of the Near East.” When I finished the chair declared the meeting adjourned, that the problems had been solved. You did not have “scientists” (????) there, but most of the audience was composed of engineers and their wives and a few Catholic monks to see that I had protected their interests. I still have those notes and looking for somebody to put them together.
In the meanwhile relations with universities continue to improve and maybe that is all that matters.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif.
September 8, 1970
Anandashram, Kanhangad Post Office
Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai, Jai Ram!
Sam has been so busy he thought he would not have to write anymore but Ram has ruled otherwise. Another sleepless night after Sam spoke on the dangers of accepting Samskaras. And it was not that kind of night at all—the whole night nothing but visions and pictures of new dances, all based on the Sufi Zikr and Ram Nam, and this after so many others have come, and Sam does not even have a dance secretary. Indeed the task was to show the danger of reacting until one had the complete picture.
Sam’s chief associate is slowly recovering. His former secretary is earning so much he is contributing largely to the work here. The replacement may become a teacher. Our work is growing, young people coming and others spreading the divine message all over that country, Sam means the divine message, not their leadership. The karma of those who proclaim self-leadership is evident.
They all proclaim universality and limit leadership to Englishmen, Hindus and Americans! They reject the great Akbar, the Sufi Emperor who did so much for the dance. Sam has read the Ain-i-Akbari and Akbar Sam and Dabistan as well as the whole of that Mahabharata and Ramayana and the self-leadership people to accept a paper on the relation of the Jewish to the Hindu mysticism. He had discussed this with Paul Brunton. The self-leadership people all derided it and the University of California offered him a PhD degree for the same thing. And the time has come. The self-leadership people have conveyed a congress for scientific yoga. This congress is meeting now in three different parts of India that Sam knows of, maybe more, and each ignores the others.
In the meanwhile there is an underground effort to promote God Is Love among the young people of this country with Yoga and also Sam’s dances. They do not praise you for your money and ignore your heart and—just the opposite. And so the New Age race is rising and will not accept that leadership of the self-declaimers with their God-less, love-less “Yoga.”
So some real Yogins, self-realized men have come to San Francisco and are going to have a celebration. They are so different from the self-leadership people. They do not want Sam’s money, only his love and cooperation and dances, and this will win, for Sam’s disciples are now moving and some may be in India. It is a real New Age with God-leadership, not self-proclaiming pseudo-leadership.
Why, even the local representatives of the United Nations have shown interest in the place for the Near East—which none of the self-proclaimers would even look at and our joint Jewish-Christian-Muslim dinners have been surprisingly successful! The soul recognizes the soul and as the Love in man begins to express itself we rise above differentiation.
Sam is now beginning also to give out the Ram Nam in addition to the Sufi teachings. It has become most effective. We were called on to dance at a public festival yesterday, just the Sufi and Ran Nam dances and were surprised at the public response. A strange woman appeared and without permission took over the microphone and chanted loudly—the Ram Nam! You don’t hear about these things in the press.
Slowly but steadily our audience increases and now some slightly older people also. But in the dances mostly the young and the younger. Many of the children of this district are reciting the Divine Names—it is like a miracle.
The Ram Nam and Sufi dances follow particular principles but not patterns. They also involve what would be called “occult” principles, and the new dances for women are all in circles excepting those dedicated to the Divine Shiva which are in a Swastika formation. Then there is another type of Krishna dance. Sam has now completed Volume I of “In the Vision of God.” He does not have other volumes of this. We give these books away and are happy to do so, for we want more and more people to know about Papa.
But Sam has now completed reading all the Sri Krishna literature available. We have an intense Ras Lila and a lighter one but Sam has seen “Sri Krishna introduce rukmini to the Gopis,” and another “Sri Krishna and his wives.” He has been holding back but Ram wants it so Sam will do as Ram wants. All the young people now love Sam but the men and women; it is so different from previous times.
The importance of the Om Namo Shivaya and Ram Sita dances has not been lost but there is only so much time. Sam is nearly through his lectures on “The Three Body Teaching of St. Paul.” This also the “important” people would not consider but it is a New Age and the Truth common to all religions is offered not as the empty noise-word “Truth” but with actualities and this we hope may be published. This is to entirely different young people of this area. Then Sam will no doubt go to the East Coast of the United States.
Then there is another thing. Sam reads in Papa how he lived such a stringent, self-sacrificing life and now Sam has some comforts. But Ram says that he wants Sam, whose body is in the mid-seventies, to live that way. He lives in a country where sex, semi-nude woman and especially heavy drinking is prominent. And where everything is blamed but heavy alcohol for the ills of the time.
But Ram is great and wise and patient.
P.S. All one’s visions, all one’s forebodings are coming into manifestation. It is a wonderful world.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
September 26, 1970
Shamcher Bryn Beorse
P.O. Box 142
Keyport, Washington 98345
My dear Shamcher:
This is one of those rare times when there are a couple of hours in which there is nothing on the program. I arrived in Ithaca totally worn out; a half-day off in September and very few nights’ sleep. These nights were filled with visions of dances, and most of these dances have now been presented to the young people. Toward the end of that period, there were a few visions, and these visions have manifested, making one feel much more assured of the visions he now has, all of them favorable.
I have written under separate heading to Gavin and Lloyd Morain who, while no longer in agreement, both consider me unworthy until recently to speak on subjects. This was a common attitude in San Francisco anyhow. It made one a sort of martyr. The late Doctor Baker discovered a pattern that from childhood I had something to say and was never permitted to say it, but her efforts to get people to let me speak failed. Once indeed she had a noted sociologist at her house and the place was packed. When I challenged the sociologist, the whole audience was amazed and hostile that I should dare challenge him. But the speaker declared in the end that I was right, that I was far more up to date on the subject. So he lost the audience. This was my pattern for a long time.
The karmic reaction to this, of course, is a generation which is antagonistic to their forbears; so adept at prejudgment as their forbears were to me. It is ridiculous and insane but true.
Now the doors are opening for me everywhere. I am getting into Columbia U. without even trying. I ran into extreme hostility here to what is called “Semantics.” Lloyd Morain and Don Hayakawa are regarded by most philosophers as they probably should be regarded—superficial pretenders.
Now my visions and information have run into each other—that I shall be welcomed in New York City and that this will be followed almost immediately by the appearance of Pir Vilayat and that he will be addressing huge audiences of respectable people.
I feel much more confident of a program for Palestine based on human friendships such as no humanist wishes to conceive. The program of joint Israeli-Arab-Christian dinners in San Francisco has started marvelously. I shall make every effort to re-contact Gunnar Jarring but now I am going to have contacted some powerful personalities and interests which has shocked into sanity those groups and personalities who always gave me the a priori shove-off. I almost see it coming. The last news from Asia was marvelous.
It has been a trying time. My chief Kaliph has been I the hospital. I had to give him an extreme psychological push which seems to have been effective, praise to God. My housekeeper has been ill. My first replacement secretary has been ill—my new replacement is marvelous. The attendance at all meetings has increased. One has almost one hundred active disciples, and I mean active, and only in the San Francisco Bay area.
I remember one night when I gave a short talk on “May the Message of God reach Far and Wide.” The next day Kaliph Moineddin was ill. The next day after that secretary Naqib Mansur got a very good paying job on the films which have arise from the joint efforts first of Vilayat Khan and myself. Then I was beseeched by applicants for Bayat. It is a whole new picture in everything. We are far beyond this age. We are far beyond in mysticism, in occultism, in astrology, and in lots of other things, lots of other things.
Before leaving I joined Yogi Bhajan in Golden Gate Park and led about a thousand young people, first in Dervish dances, then in other spiritual dances. One of my disciples tried to introduce my work into the University of California. It did not fit the program, so they changed the program to fit him! Nothing but good news and more of it in all directions. I thank God for the rest of the last few days. I shall need it. I see all sorts of doors opening. We are going to climb out of subjective realism into reality, Allah be praised.
My new secretary here has been given the name of Sitara. She also uses the eye drops.
Love and Blessings,
September 27, 1970
Ithaca, New York
My dear Gavin:
Tomorrow we leave for New York. The time will come when my articles will be read and they have the virtue of multitudes of a priori rejections by the “respectable.” It is not that the person has been “right” or “wrong,” it is that he has been denied the privilege of expressing views, and in their place an attack on his personality. This is the almost unanimous attitude of the “good” people, the religionists and the anti-religionists, the metaphysical and the non-American, non-Asian “experts” on Asia. They simply refused one the floor because because and this is making me a hero.
I arrived in Ithaca to find myself a guest of a professor of philosophy at Cornell and his attitude toward Semantics was truly surprising. It was so negative that one could hardly respect it. But the absolute refusal of the Semanticists to accept anything from me and their pattern of personality insults in public will weigh against them in the future. I never wanted it that way. In the beginning the Whiteman-Lewis articles on Korzybski were accepted and praised. Then the self-centered non-scientists got control and from that point on…. I wish it were not that way. And you cannot understand how I reacted when the scientists oiled me out—for not speaking.
More recently every article on “pollution” sent to a scientist was accepted and not a single one to a non-scientist was even acknowledged. So be it. I now have an editor who wants everything from me.
I had hoped to be allowed to speak at Columbia because of being a disciple and to some extent a friend of the late Cassius Keyser. But I am already programmed without my doing anything! They accept facts and the “good” people attack personalities.
Then I have an appointment with a top Jesuit. It seems that all the “good,” “fair-minded” groups have refused to permit me to say anything on Palestine. Received so many apologies this year; they are still coming in and our joint Arab-Israel-Christian dinners are succeeding. The youth of the world are joining—each other. Even the radio and TV people and the Oakland Tribune have accepted that! Next I hope to contact Gunnar Jarring again. I could not possibly have met him—on this the “good” people are agreed, and they are also disappearing. We have had enough “goodness” from the churches, the “humanists” and the metaphysicians.
Missed Norman the last times in New York but his father assures me he is there now. Wait until we put on the Astrological dances ! Boy, that will be something. They are in “Dances of Universal Peace” programs and the young are waiting, lots of them. Led a thousand in S.F. before leaving, all young. No “good” people around who are so wonderful at character dis-analysis. That day is over, and maybe forever.
Our appearance at Geneva where we saw some of the top diplomats whom all the “good” people welcome followed by the acceptance of those who have something real to offer has been followed by action after action. Why, even the University of California is putting on some of my teachings, so shunned by all the “good” people.
And my Peace Scholarship has been started and I think it will grow. It also gives us the chance to meet a lot more important persons. Indirectly I have learned even President Nixon is interested though I have no assurance I can take him away from “goodness” and “realism” to reality. But the latest news is more than hopeful.
I don’t mind being attacked or criticized, but 90-98% has come from those who have refused to permit one to speak. Their refusal is of great help today. I tell the young the names and positions of the “good” people and they roar welcomes.
Richard Alpert may be in S.F. in my absence. I expect to meet Vilayat Khan in New York. Many are waiting in Washington but first we went to go to Boston before it gets too cold. The first two days here very hot, but last night thunderstorm and today rains. It is clear now in the late p.m. and we may go out a walk, or ride.
Despite all that is said above, there is not only no resentment, there is a Puckian appreciation for all those personalities and groups adhering to “liberty, democracy, humanity, and peasants, shut up!” They have made me what might become a national hero to the succeeding generations. Why, I am even going to speak to some Cornell students tonight, quite off schedule.
I think the day is over when meetings are to be held with all power to the chairman and to the speaker whom the chairman glorifies as if in some way they were superior to everyone else. I am even hoping to bring back to this country certain persons whose prime sin has been that they were actually eye-witnesses of historical events. If anyone tried to apply any kind of logic to the news media, they would find nothing but contradictions. The result is that younger people almost entirely do not take the press seriously. And at long last we have millions of young Americans who take human beings as human beings and have humanitarianism in their hearts—totally different from the past generations, all camps.
I can’t promise to write much after this, for I begin tomorrow night with a crowded schedule in New York. At least I have the satisfaction that I shall be permitted to speak and will be judged afterwards, not beforehand.
P.S. I realize you have been in bad health. I do not hold this against you or anybody. I am not going around criticizing and analyzing people, but criticizing and analyzing situations, which is a totally different profession.
October 3, 1970
c/o S.F. Chronicle
San Francisco 94119
Well, it is coming true, “Timon of San Francisco—in reverse.” There is here a young man named Bob Kaufmann who met me at the international gathering in Geneva and was so impressed he came all the way to San Francisco. Now he is enrolled at Columbia and he has a big meeting in tow for next Tuesday night.
In 1960 much time was spent with one professor, Dr. Joseph Blau, on “How the Philosophies Taught at Columbia can help the world.” It was this attitude which was the base of “my” Peace Program which so impressed Gunner Jarring. (All others gave the boot, in the name of “democracy.”) But it seems that Bob is an in-law of Dean Hovde and we had a double-delightful time. For we have both exactly the same background—no dialectics, no European philosophies or existentialisms and plenty of American-American teachings which are almost totally unknown by the press. I mentioned Blau to him, “My best friend.” Not only that but Blau is back here and I hope to see him Tuesday.
Tuesday I am also to see former Ambassador Bedaeu who used to be in UAR and whom I met previously. And in the meanwhile the secretary of Gunnar Jarring has written me another “impossible” but true letter saying he does not meet private individuals and then in her hand-writing (not typed) she has put down his room number! Well Art, despite all the press, “good” people, “peace” organizations, and “experts” I know a few people and will first see Bedeau and then go ahead.
I have also contacted Father Haughey, editor of the Jesuit “America” and he is so anxious to see me, and of course, the usual, “impossible” long-distance calls which go on and on. The news is definite. “Timon of San Francisco” has been so unwelcome in his home town and the impressions upon people who listened to me is so friendly it is impossible to reconcile, so that is that. I am to see him Tuesday afternoon.
In the meanwhile I have begun the “peace” groups over again. As soon as the first one found I was not seeking money they reserved. I am working for peace, not funds, but I am not going to share any funds with all the rival “world brotherhoods” and “universal societies” which make mushrooms look like imbeciles.
There is no question but that the young want to get rid of war and hate and the press does not seem to understand anything else, only they are divided upon whom to hate.
Late last night I tried to crash into a big mass meeting and was soon surrounded by friends from all over the country. It was miraculous. I have no idea how it came to be, but just missed Allen Ginsberg who says he wants to see me. Someday I hope he will listen to some of my poetry. My rejected poetry is going to be published by friends in the business and I haven’t the slightest doubt about it. It will live.
November 27, 1970
Beloved One of Allah:
As-salaam aleikhum. The stone which is rejected is become the corner-stone.
There are certain things written in the cosmos. Once there was a meeting in a town between here and San Francisco in which several “famouses” and not so famous decided that I was not qualified…. So they joined others in keeping me from ever speaking. And generally speaking I had to go through years of “Liberty, democracy, humanity, and peasants, shut up,” which was so contrasted with the outer and inner experience of Asia, especially the outer ones, that it absolved one from any accusation of psychological aberrations. And since that period the psychiatrists have concluded that many cases of “persecution complex” were actually due to operations of people who lived by persecuting and deriding others, rather successfully too.
“Jude the Obscure” may be a work of fiction but one has encountered it so often. And now the determination is to do for Sufism what Phillip Kapleau has done for Zen, the real Zen. Indeed I visited the Zendo of Roshi Taisan in New York and was amazed with the types there, all seemingly young people who have had satori or even moksha. So one is very careful not to insist his way is “the only way.” Indeed one meets so many people who acclaim Buddha because he affirmed (they say) 84,000 ways to enlightenment and you can read in their publication excellent criticisms of all the others.
Recently I wrote a part of what I called “Buddha’s Path to Peace” and was immediately scolded because I said something contrary to “pattimoksha.” No doubt this is true. But I long have discovered that if you used Sanskrit terms you are considered a heretic by the Pali devotees who verbalize “84,000” ways; and if you use Pali then you are a follower of “low scriptures” add not to be taken seriously. Only the person who criticized me and used the Pali texts claims to be a Mahayanist! This is quite “normal.” What I call “anatta Buddhists” are better qualified than other people in publicizing the short-comings of “other” people. But this very complex situation makes one feel justified in adhering closer to Sufism than to any form of “Buddhism” without holding that Sufis necessarily have higher experiences or more of them. They simply recognize each other more willingly!
Mr. Walter Bowart wants everything from me and especially what has been rejected by others and especially the “famosuses” and elite. I remember once a debate between two accepted persons referred to in the first paragraph debating on reincarnation, with plenty of name-calling and emotion. They finally asked me to present my views.
Oh. I am not qualified to speak on this subject. You see I remember some of my past lives and can tell you exactly where I lived because in this life I had to visit the place. I can give you all details which can be corroborated. I am no writer of “Bridey Murphy,” I do not have “credentials.” (Later I received almost the same treatment from a published lecturer but his principal accepted my data. In Asia!…
I am now writing “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayat Khan.” I have done this three times before and all the “good” people who asked for this material waste-basketed it. They neither returned nor acknowledged it. This is what some of us call “The Christian-Jewish ethic! But now I am submitting it to Walter Bowart.
The reason why Hazrat Inayat Khan sent for me is the simple fact which no “humble” European professor of Asiatics would even listen to until lately, was the manifestation of Khwaja Khizr. Of course, this is wrong. Of course if can’t be. Of course it only shows this person is a bombast and therefore unworthy. And there are various groups associated with me like the late Arberry, Watt, Landau, Von Grünebaum, Spiegelberg and others who would no more consider this than openly perform a vicious act. But the day of “realism” is over. The day of reality is here.
The robe which was given in the mystical experiences of 1925, and again at Ajmir in 1956 and at Nizam-ed-din Auliya in 1962 was shortly after that given to me outwardly in the presence of hundreds of living persons, all disciples of tasawwuf and I am wearing it at this moment. The choice given by Khawaja Khizr of music or poetry has manifested outwardly, objectively and is being accepted by hundreds of young people: Even Dr. Cantwell Smith is not sure of his former attitude and his secretary has been won over entirely.
The practice of kashf which is the same as the Hindu Prajna, has led me to finding a newly reprinted copy of L’Awarifu-l-Ma’arif, and along with Futuh-al-Ghaib, etc., we have some marvelous Sufi books. But we agree with the Zen Buddhists and the transmission of Baraka is not in principle or essence different from the dharma-or transmission. The dharma-transmission has been confirmed by Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hindus whom I can name and give details which means passing the lie to the “realists” who have controlled so much of the teaching of Orientalia. And Prof. Singer of Chicago accepted my “solution” to certain problems. Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda would have laughed at these great manas-ahankara people who have long dominated the teaching of Orientalia in the West.
My main theme has always been that of Imam Al-Ghazali that Sufism is based on experience and not on premises. (So is Zen, so is Kabbalah). But this theme and thesis must be laid aside for the famous and the entertainers who delight everybody by writing books with appropriate titles. These books are nicer than science-fiction and have roughly the same values.
Cross-trailing all this has been the connections with the late “Srimati-ji Ruth St. Denis.” One of her old friends was here last night and saw the demonstrations. People talk about akasha, “world mind,” alaya, etc. But God help the one who so functions; or rather God bless him. For it is demonstrable and can be shown to anybody who hasn’t studied Oriental philosophies with the manas-ahankara crowd. The alaya is and is so real, and the deeper leaders in forms of Buddhism encountered in life all agree. No problem with them, only with the book-writers and lecturers.
Now these endeavours and others are being accepted in universities. For there are demonstrations which overthrow argument and the Watts, Arberry and Von Grünebaum crowds will go and the hard truth that Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises.
There has always been a pseudo-question whether the hal and makam of the Sufis; the urim and thummin of the Hebrew Bible; the paramitas (or paramis) and attainments in Buddhism may be the same (or otherwise). The intellectual considerations and dialectics of these have questionable value. And a work paralleling that of Phillip Kapleau would receive some attention.
In reading such different works as those of the late Swami Ramdas of South India and Ghazali of Iran one is struck by the higher humanitarianism of these noble persons. And this has given us the impetus to feel for the sufferers of East Pakistan as well as for the unfortunates of the Holy Land and perhaps Vietnam.
There is an implication here that accepted or self-accepted “worthies” have to face the karma and the same is true of “leaders” and misleaders of humanity. Compassion grows with the living heart. And now it is time for mystics to say something about mysticism and they are going to be accented by the young and the “New Age.”
The work laid down for this person by the late Hazrat Inayat Khan was rejected by his “legal” successors who are also divided. And there are now plenty of writers and groups calling themselves “Sufis” quite apart from mystical awakenings and makamat. I have my diaries but the single visit here some years ago of Sidi Abu-Salem Al-Alawi is enough before Allah, Ya Hayy—Ya Haqq to support what must now be done.
Faithfully and sincerely,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
This is the anniversary of the Forgotten War. It is also the day when you upended me entirely with your plagiarized editorial: “… the News Editor, who culls real stories from the real news so that readers may be kept informed of the real state of the real world.” I feel like Guillotine under the Guillotine and being a masochist, what more can be asked?
This inflamed me (“realist” word for inspired) that I have written the American Friends of the Middle East and Senator Cooper. Senator Cooper is the only Senator, I believe, who has lived in Asia with Asians and is the one Senator who accepts my reports, even if they are in situ and not ivory-tower.
I had worked for years to bring Jewish and Islamic spiritual leaders together, but you know, the lamb and lion might lie together but we are not going to let the little child or the nincompoop lead them.
So when a Jewish mystic comes to San Francisco and meets all the “humble” big people who accept peace awards and have no time for the less-equal, he found himself so less equal among his Jewish non-brethren that he even taxi’d to this place! Imagine that? Straight out of Jerusalem to Mentorgarten.
And you should have heard us fight-just like Emerson predicted. We did not even have to say: “Love, Not War.” We had the instant recognition just as I have had all over the real Asian world from Japan to UAR inclusive. Hearts meet hearts, hearts love hearts, hearts understand hearts; and this interferes with editorials and dictums and “realism” and all that stuff which is shoved down our brain-washed minds.
All the Muslims press is the same: Allah is against the Jews, Allah is about to destroy Israel which He has already cursed, but if you have to go to a restaurant, be sure it is kosher.
Samuel L. Lewis
December 8, 1970
We almost had a riot here Sunday. Late in the p.m., Bill Hathaway phoned and I found he was munching a sandwich. I told him to come at once as we had an open house on Sunday night. Actually I had some fried chicken and Vermouth. I always have the last in case he ever shows up.
When he arrived, I took him into the kitchen where there is a chief domo and four beautiful girls and they had to line up and kiss him. Then we went down stairs and there was a mob scene. I don’t know who was the most anxious, Bill or the girls. But the fellows also got in line and Bill had a hard time keeping decorum and nobody cared. It is a New Age here and anything resembling older pattern behaviorism simply isn’t. Bill stayed and met my old friend Ted Reich and also the grand psychic Freida, who is a marvel.
Everything else is different. The Asian-Asians are all for me. I have to join them Friday night in Sam Rafael. And today two different missions at the University of California. They are letting me speak. They are very different from the “experts” who know all about my character but nothing about whatever my knowledge happens to be. Not only am I speaking but the Alumni Association is interested in my Peace Program—newspapers, diplomats and “experts” keep out!
We are stacked for the Christmas season. On the 20th a big benefit in Sausalito and then birthday parties. Disciple Phil Davenport is back from his tour of Asian-Asia. We have films which will produce a better understanding between Asian-Asia and the U.S. No experts.
My closest relatives invited me to a big party at the old family home on 9th Avenue. This was always verboten. My parents never let me have parties, only my brother; and I was kicked out so many times; every time my brother committed a crime I was expelled. And the younger have found this out. Besides my chief cousin happens to be a democrat and a politician.
Big programs to the end of the year. Then Vilayat Khan will be here. Then I must go to Arizona where an editor-publisher wants my stuff. He not only is not giving a priori “Christian-Jewish ethic,” he is already publishing some of my things without asking permission. And this at a time when more and more people want to come to my dances and some folks are finding my primal inspiration was the late Ruth St. Denis. It could not be, of course, but it was and is.
So we won’t have an astrological gathering until February 15 and that strictly invitational. My first Sufi teacher had been an occultist. But as the “good” people would not accept that I know any occultism, I have waited and now the young are ready and others will not be excluded but before slam-banging at me they will have to learn what I have. This is the New Age, where sometimes people listen before they condemn.
The Garden of Inayat
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
December 9, 1970
Coopera, the Mall,
Lahore, West Pakistan
Beloved One of Allah:
As-salaam aleikhum. One has returned to the Khankah very tired and very elated. The health is very good and age is not disturbing. But there is no spare time and not enough help. One theoretically has two free nights, but works seven days. Last night we went to the University of California and presented the Dervish Dances. The previous week one spoke on Sufism.
It is surprising and wonderful what has been happening. Two persons had been successful in keeping this person off the University. They were deadly enemies of each other. One, pretending to be a Sufi has been supporting the Dajjal, Meher Baba. The other was successful in helping reorganize the Mosque in San Francisco. They never would permit me to speak. They followed this non-Muslim until he failed them. But no repentance, no reconsideration, and no culture.
One does not know who is responsible but here one finds a complete “Al-Hadith” in English, another copy of Holy Qur’an by A. Yusuf Ali; both “Ali the Superman” and “Maxims of Ali”; more “Khawaja Gharib Nawaz” and Al-Ghazzali, Jami, etc. We are not recognized by the official “Muslims” and do not care.
We have taken the suffering of the people of East Pakistan very seriously (the elections not so). Secretary Wali Ali has been much moved by the writings of Ghaus-i-Azam and we both agree that if Muslims were to spread his teachings and those of Al-Ghazali it would modify the emotional influences both of Gandhi and the Indians here. We respect Gandhi but his non-violence is not enough. I personally have never accepted “God and non-violence” because I reject all “God and….”
The first rejection came from my studies and knowledge of pure logic. Infinites cannot have “And.” Both Muslims and Hindus falter in this. There is no “and” in Infinity and spiritual awakening. One has been in “hal,” let us say much, but really fana, the ego being effaced and something very strong emanates from the personality.
Friday one has been sent for to present Dervish dances to followers of a group influenced by Hindu esotericism. There is no question but the young want esotericism. The esoteric sciences can be revived and it is my work to do this. There has not been the slightest objection to Mohammed. But the substitution of the term “Muslim” to people whom he did not call “Muslims” and the by-passing of those whom he called “Muslims” brings up some very nice points which theologians avoid. Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus did not do certain Sunna or Sharia practices. I am not against Sharia but I am against anything saying that that is the only way to ultimate spiritual development. All things are in Allah’s hands, not man’s. Surrender to God means in the end freedom. Methods may be used on the way but more than one method has been used in the past. It is this narrowness which turns man against man.
At the same time there is Rahmat which I personally hold as superior to anything else. I am glad to differ but one wonders what happens to those ignorant people who excuse themselves by saying others are not Muslims because they do not behave exactly as is written or traditioned. Allah is to me closer than the neck-vein and that means that and nothing but that. And it seems that this one has Guidance in everything, alhamdu lillah!
It has been exceedingly difficult for a person who finds in the published Hadith teachings so totally different from those of so-called “Islamic Communities” that there is no reconciliation. The people of the Mosque in San Francisco—and some elsewhere, say that as this one was not born a “Muslim” he could possibly not know what they know (and Prime Ministers to the opposite notwithstanding).
I now have three different short versions of Hadith and they all seem to agree and to differ from the common (?) nufs and Islamic outlooks (so-called). For example before me: “It is better to teach knowledge one hour in the night, than to pray the whole night.” But I shall not quote further. Finding fault does not introduce constructive measures.
The audiences in Sausalito, which is just north of San Francisco, are gradually growing. And there is every sign of increase, inshallah. But today to my surprise there is a large item in the press, for the first time I can recollect, with pictures of two of my most faithful disciples and also with this person teaching a group of young women. There are several mistakes but they do mention we are trying to raise funds for peace in the Near East and for the East Pakistanis.
They do mention belly dancers and Tarot which to my knowledge are not part of the program of the benefit and certainly not part of anything this person is trying to do. One did mention more of the Spiritual-Hierarchy last night and also of the differences between the Sufi-Hierarchy and the today “popular” proclamations of this Dajjal and that, so popular in this land and most of all in this State. I say against both Muslims and non-Muslims alike that the most fundamental principal is Rahmat and Allah has compassion for His creation and keep on emphasizing that and demonstrating that. This is the primary teaching in the spiritual walks and dances.
I am now teaching a Universal Islam through walks and dances—not through theology. They help to demonstrate Mohammed as Khatim al-Mursaleen. One can have the experience though in a rather simple way. It does not deny or exclude anybody or any faith; it shows that Mohammed was sent to the world to complete and perfect and everyone can prove that by himself and it works; before Allah it works.
For diversion I have been reading Memories of Babar. This version came from “The Book House” Urdu Bazar, P.O. Box 734, Lahore. This work was originally published in 1909. I have always been a great lover of the Moghuls and cannot tell why; something very strong within the consciousness and I have always been critical of Pakistan for not putting out a cinema on Babar. This life goes along fine with Al-Ghazali’s “Counsel for Kings.”
Now with the newspapers at long last mentioning our work—though the article is full of misprints—we can do something. We are not at war with the Indian influences here. We let them go ahead but we have moral teachings which they do not have and human consideration and beyond that the operations of Ishk and Rahmat and no nonsense and this is being felt more and more and more.
One would appreciate it if you could investigate and let us know if this Book House is still functioning. On the whole we are in a somewhat better financial position, but we will not bow to beggars. Today we need money to promote a real peace plan in the Near East and to send things to East Pakistan. We already have Longis and P.I.A. has been more cooperative.
Last night I had the largest group of young Americans chanting “La Illaha E1 Allahu” (three times); “Mohammedar Rassoul-Lillah (twice). This was done with strangers in the city of Berkeley the night before. I have no time for Orthodoxy, I have nothing but time for Kalama and Zikr and tonight go ahead with the “science” of Zikr which is both practical and effective, actually and no nonsense.
And gradually we introduce the Akhlak Allah and this is also effective and beneficial. In a word there is no bad sense but the good things piling up beyond capacity. The Khalif is now getting better. If he cannot work I shall have him studying the Hadith and the esoteric sciences and inshallah we are going to give them to the world regardless of priests and rabbis and imams and all the Orthodox who divide humanity.
We have on our program the presentation of spiritual Islam to top Israelis. Many of them do not believe in their own religious traditions. Ben Gurion practices Yoga and is more or less a Buddhist! And when I relate my anecdotes there is nothing but applause and appreciation and from more and more of the young.
This is, one hopes, an encouragement, an encouragement in most trying times. This land has not been gracious to Asians, and in particular to Muslims, but Muslims fail to see the points of view of others and resent and react, quite contrary to the great teachings. There is nothing more wonderful than the Chisti-Sabri-Kadiri silsila and the Baraka of Khwaja Khizr. This may become known soon, inshallah, making one a most controversial person. But the question is, how effective.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
December 14, 1970
Dr. Oliver Reiser
My dear Oliver:
I have not heard from you for some time and hope you are well. When Science and Sanity came out my collaborator, Luther White man and I wrote a most favorable report. We were “in.” Then The Tyranny of Words” came out and we wrote a most critical report. We were “out.” No kind of sound logic had anything to do with it. It is “Why we behave as “human beings.”
The semantic movement might have become scientific if it had accepted the philosophical approach of New York University with its purported, or real solution of the egocentric predicament.” As a culture we definitely prefer the predicament and so do most “cultures.” Egocentricism is so pleasing.
There is a campaign on now for a billion dollars for “cancer research.” Years ago Nicholas Roerich found cancer did not exist in some parts of India. So he collected millions for “cancer” research and a clinic was established in another part of India and nothing ever came of it. They did not examine the people who never had Cancer nor sought why. And I was told recently that there is no cancer in several parts of Asia.
But then there is the “egocentric predicament.” One must not trammel over certain personalities even less than over certain institutions. They are super-sacred. Honesty, objective research is wonderful but the researchers do not always have control, especially of the funds. Therefore any Project: Prometheus must suffer until a more objective outlook is attained.
I am now being treated on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley almost like a hero. They accept all objective reports and now on many subjects. My old friend, Bryn Beorse of Keyport, Wash., (near Seattle) is even getting some of my earlier poems published. They were given exactly the same treatment by the “famous” as reports on different parts of Asia were given by the elite. But this day is over and instead I fear reactions more than rejections. Next month I have to visit Arizona to a rather well-heeled editor publisher who has already started to print my manuscripts, date of release uncertain. This is a far cry from the past when my name meant a rejection.
The terrible obstacle to Project: Prometheus is that this term, like “ecology” and others have been stolen by the salesmen and those classes of humanity deplored by Alfred Korzybski. The ego is important—not what is said by who said it. The worst situations are around ecology and pollution. The very liquids which are needed for certain purposes are treated by editorial writers as “poisonous.”
Well I seem about to go into the “ecology” and perhaps mushroom businesses. I find there are many very well oriented people who even see profits in some fields of cleaning up the environment. But there is no place where one can have (yet) impersonal, objective discussions. And objective quantitative chemical analysis is shunned. And the men who could help most are out of work while the editors and “experts” fill the pages. And of course, those “ecology” stickers, adding to the very problems.
Project: Krishna. The situation is even worse, or better. I know of at least five competing “world” organizations in India. Christopher Hills is following in the path of Dr. Zitko but the approach-scheme is so delightful a lot of people are following. When I say “in India” you can guess how many in California. All either “world” or “galaxy” groups, and going after income-tax exemptions because, because.
My chief colleague came back from India. You may not like the objective report on Pondicherry so I shall not send it. He confirmed even more my optimistic reports on certain places. I hope to present these to the University of California in March—there one can without personality attacks or recrimination report facts.
These “world groups” are even more adept in a priori rejections than the older religious organizations. They accept absolute surrender and will not compromise and they talk about “freedom.” There are going to be more failures just as there have been in the past. And nobody must ever criticize the “important” excepting hard-boiled business men who at least have one form of sanity.
I now have five concurrent careers and making headway in each. But I notice others who have been given the “Jude the Obscure” treatment and are getting together. Real scientists are out of work and their social functions are taken over by promoters and fund-raisers to no end. But now even the press is noticing what we are trying to do.
On the surface my affairs may rise or fall by the bazaar we have next Sunday at Sausalito, Calif., just north of here. But in the meanwhile my former secretary and god-son have gone ahead and been very successful in their promotional plans and so are others. When we have even a phase of objective reporting in the “social” field as in the objective sciences the world will improve.
There is lots more going on, very optimistic but I am overworked but with the young and universities accepting—it does not matter.
Samuel L. Lewis
December 25, 1970
Mr. Art Hoppe
San Francisco Chronicle
Saw Francisco, Calif.
The Unsad Story of the Return of Timon of San Francisco (In Reverse)
Now we can release the whole thing, excepting of course for the psychics and sears who never accept real predictions which come out exactly, when they are from the wrong persons.
The preview came last week. While my chief secretary was pushing my program he was approached by Generalissimo of Semantics. Semantics is supposed to be an art and science which carries logic to its logical conclusions. According to the late Alfred Korzybski it should be super-logic, always demonstrable, and always having facts behind it. But the Generalissimo has improved even that.
The Generalissimo has a remarkable record of deflating and exposing all “pretenders,” and of course I am in the top rank of those. When my chief secretary told him he was studying Oriental philosophy, the Generalissimo declared: “My grandfather was an Oriental and a skeptic; therefore all Oriental philosophies are wrong.” (That is, according to the Generalissimo, who is the champion of champs, especially on keeping his own records.)
When he learned that Sam Lewis was teaching Oriental philosophy it was a little awkward because the previous occasions he has accepted articles on the “only in America” Oriental philosophies written by drunk and lechers who have great prestige—that is their books sell—but this was only the preview. Last Sunday, despite the inclement weather, we had such a wonderful Bazaar in Sausalito, attended by many hundreds of people and dollars—not only by people, but also by dollars. There are a lot of young people who have curious ideas that there are some real values in Oriental philosophies undiscovered by Generals and Generalissimos of Semantics. Indeed the affair was so successful we have been asked to repeat in May.
This was followed by a very successful Christmas party in Sausalito Wednesday night, and another in Corte Madera on Christmas Eve, and another in Novato tonight. It is quite evident that the young do not have particularly high regards for Generalissimos.
In the meanwhile we received a large advance payment for my auto-biography and stories, especially stories of the leaders of the various “liberty, democracy, humanity, and peasant-shut-up movements.” In addition to this, we have been approached by so many “peasants” who believe neither in Generals or Generalissimos, military, semantic, or otherwise. In fact, the young people don’t seem to wish to confirm and conform to religionists, humanists, ethical culture people, and all their “nice” elders who delight is being divided. The young seem to believe that in union there is not only strength, but wisdom and harmony. They see examples of it in science and technology, and they want to apply it to other aspects of life.
I think I received everything I wanted this year without even asking. It was truly marvelous.
It has been so evident to me for a long time—and I have written to you on it—that I night have a career something like that of that other Samuel, i.e. Samuel Morse. Well, everybody turned him down (just like me), and then he proved his worth, although he had to do this in the law courts. I did not wish to do this. Besides, I am getting paid to write stories about the high and mighty, who are so devoted to words that they can earn their livings exposing the worthlessness of words—which they do verbally.
At the same time we are working for actual peace, not verbal peace, not emotional peace. My representative has left for the Near East with my proposal. Now a lot of people want this. But it is nothing for me just to give them out. I have done this many times in the past and gotten exactly nowhere.
At the same time, it is evident that many groups of young people are seeking world peace, and unlike their elders are inviting this person to participate. They do not seem to accept the prerogative of a priori rejections which has so long been the standard procedure of the now-disappearing dominant groups. In fact, I have so many invitations now I do not know what to say at all, but at least the young people, unlike their rapidly disappearing elders, wish to hear what I have been trying to do, which is something more than the now-disappearing dominant liberty-democracy-humanity and peasant-shut-up groups—the divisors and the dividers.
So I am facing a new year with joy and hope, and can readily forgive the sins of persons who might have become my friends but at least didn’t have to become my enemies. Of course I am going to write up about them, unless…. I am being paid to do so. I think we can have a world without any more suppressions of what one might call the Judes-the obscure (vide Hardy). Those silly games are over, but if we are working for peace no can also overlook the short-comings of the now-disappearing dominants. And if we can’t have peace—at least we can have more good will to men and with men, and stop demanding it from them.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
[date and first 2 pages missing]
Fana-fi-lillah was for practical purposes shown to be identical with Akhlak Allah. This is a very difficult practice to act as if always in the presence of God. Mohammed said: “Act as if in the Presence of Allah and remember, if you do not see Him, verily He sees you.”
Now the subject is double. This became clear to me at the shrines. In introducing or rather re-introducing the Kabbalah one finds today the commentators miss the whole subject of the Shekinah which is mentioned in the books of Moses and used by Moses. Orthodox Jews tell me that Shekinah is the same as shrine.
I have been to many shrines, but the most effective for me have been Data Ganj Baksh (Ali Hujwiri), Boula Shah, Nizam-ud-din Auliya, and in my particular case Mian Mir at Lahore, There I learned many phases of Akhlak Allah and Tasawwur, such as does not appear in print so far as I know. And whatever was learned was also learned by others. Instead of setting up ego-rejections they have tried what was advised and statements have been confirmed. And the only ways you can learn or anybody can learn is absolute trust (which I do not seek) or direct experience which is preferable but everybody cannot go to shrines.
Nevertheless by mastering Tasawwur one can communicate it and as the fana-fi-lillah can be demonstrated Akhlak Allah it can be most important.
That is why it is taught “No monkery in Islam.” All the experiences of Christian mystics are true and even many of their explanations, but they divide the world into holy and not-holy places where as the full Mystic sees God everywhere in the market place as well as in the sanctuary. And in the practices of Tasawwur one finds this to be true, but nobody can compel an Inquisition to look through Galileo(s) lenses.
I joined an Islam group the other day and I notice they are pretty strong against monkery. As our sciences corroborate the teachings of the Prophet on “Light,” and as laboratories are demonstrating light-in-all-things, devotees can therefore find the Divine Light everywhere and the is no need to divide the secluded from the social life. Whereas Prophet Mohammed taught, inshallah, I hope to demonstrate.
There are those who have enough sense not to repeat that phrase, “Higher truths” and do some practices. Then they can find out for themselves.
I do have the complete Ryazat of Hazrat Inayat Khan as written down in 1911. As it is rejected that I have such papers and as they do not belong to me personally I am going to divide them as follows:
[date and preceding pages missing]
The sections on Kalama and Nimaz will be sent to Pakistan, and perhaps sent for publication, in part to clear the name of our Murshid. The explanations on Kalama and Nimaz (especially) are not too different from those received from North Africa, but my home was burned with these materials.
The explanations of Zikr, Fikr, Kasab, etc. and especially on the chain of levels from Shariat on will be placed aside and either used by me personally (which I do not want but if they are going to be rejected will be used) or sent to some of the Pir-o-Murshids of Pakistan.
For, for my final term paper I am going to present my own mystical experiences insofar as they fall within the subject-matter of the class-room. The rejection of universal Brotherhood by those who verbalize it shows that on the Day of Judgment they will have to face some peculiar forms of moral adjustment.
There is one thing more about Shrines. It may be personnel and it may be universal. I was affected far more by Sufi Shrines than by Buddhist or Hindu Shrines. I have been to many Buddhist shrines where entry has to be earned as in L. Adams Beck’s novels—but I was there. I have also been to Hindu shrines not usually visited by Westerners. But in none of these was the Magnetism (or Baraka) nearly so great as at the Sufi Shrines. Yet the two greatest places of Magnetism-Baraka were Mosques which anybody can visit—and I do not wish to infer they had the highest Magnetism-Baraka. I have been to the tomb also of Imam Shafi, one of the great legalists of Islam and although it is also used by Sufis I did not find the Baraka as great as elsewhere. This all validates the Mosaic Revelation, long abandoned by the synagogue. And that is why I persist on holding to a Sufism in which Adam, Abraham and Moses were among predecessors of Mohammed.
I know only too well practically everybody descended from Hazrat Inayat Khan would reject his most sacred teaching if I stuck my name to it, as many have already accepted my teachings which were unsigned, assuming they come from Murshid. This shows the weakness in attunement.
The God (Allah) that I am going to “fight” for today is to me both Absolute and relative Reality.
God Bless you,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Samuel L. Lewis
[date and preceding pages missing]
Hazrat Inayat Khan left three types of teachings:
a. Original ones of 1910-1912
b. Those which emanated from him after he came to Europe, roughly 1913-1923
b. Those given out with the headquarters in Geneva and Suresnes, France, roughly 1923-1926
It is of the first I wish to speak.
There he began with Kalama and as Kalama, at least under his interpretations comes closest to the points of view you represent, I may someday go over his materials. I have used Kalama to good effect and have been at least listened to and generally accepted in Pakistan, to throw light on what I openly celled “Monkey Muslims.” In India it was not necessary to do this, there one meets the “Brethren-of-heart” and they function differently.
Besides the Indian friends and disciples of Hazrat Inayat Khan who were with him during his last days, have a different view and different stories from his disciples.
In his A Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty he mentions Zikr, Fikr, Kasab, Shagal and Amal, but in his earliest papers he begins with Nimaz and Kalama and has left commentaries on these. He also has introduced a number of esoteric sciences. And he left the door open for what I call Murakkabah (lessons left), Mushahida (no lessons) and similar methods including Meditation. And from the Silence I was instructed in Mujahida.
The getting of at least a glimpse of such methods and inner sciences now suggests the writing of a dictionary or the submitting of explanations which can be used in a dictionary. (I have already been approached on this subject from planners of a new encyclopedia of Islam.)
Friday night I am giving my first lecture on Kabbalah by which I do not mean a lot of esoteric nonsense. I had to copy the whole of Sepher Ha-Zohar and in doing so copious notes and references, and find totally different materiel from that in most books. Roughly speaking I shall speak on:
Aleph = Kemal
Shin = Jelal
Mem = Jemal
Also on Pardes, the four stages of interpretation.
Because there were not available papers when I began the study of Sufism, we used Kashf-Al-Mahjub as text. I cannot say I understand it even now, but when I visited his Dargah in 1960 the following happened:
[date and preceding pages missing]
There were three groups of Sufis there all trying to out-noise each other. So my colleague and I retired into an alcove and after some silence I said: “I can hear nothing. I am wrapped and rapt in the heart of Data Ganj Baksh. (Ali Hujwiri) and I was able to recite the nature of the state. After that it became easy to be absorbed in Saints and I can thank God that there are scholastics here who will listen. Indeed when the scientists met here last year I was asked to speak on “The Saints in the Industrial Life of the Day,” a subject accepted by the scientists and rejected by non-scientists who are always saying scientists are irreligious.
My initiation into the Rifa’i Order was the most dramatic and I have participated in ceremonies which were either Christian or pre-Christian. Even now as I am studying Ancient Egypt again the writers say that the people of the area still practice any ceremonial. I was more successful with my guide at Thebes than with my reputed spiritual brethren and especially with experts. I explained, and he accepted the relation between the Sifat-i-Allah and the gods of the ancients and I know this is becoming more and more truth.
Incidentally the goddess Mast = the Hebrew emeth and in the real Kabbalah the question is brought up, how come we say emeth (feminine plural) for Truth instead of masculine either singular or plural.
Fortunately Saturday at the University of California we shall be considering the experience of God as a reality, a reality far beyond the conceptions and discussions and opinions of the still intellectual man.
When I introduced Hazrat Inayat Khan to the Zen monk, Nyogen Senzaki, they entered the “State” together. Years later the same took place with the Japanese Zen master Sogen Asahina, and since then union and attunement with spiritual people in many places. Now, alhamdu lillah, it is happening right in my own native city and within walking distance from this place.
Hazrat Inayat Khan wanted all his Khalifs and Murshids to write commentaries on his papers. This also was abandoned, and this has left this career in these hands. The world is awakening. I am writing this in hope, in joy and in love.
(letter to Gavin?)
Nyogen Senzaki used to teach that the Theravadin Buddhists said and the Mahyanists did. Elsie Siegrist says over and over, “Prayer is man talking to God; meditation is God talking to man.” There is something wrong here. If man can listen to God, why are we hung up? The point is that man can but does not listen. Here we teach the listening.
Every Sura of Qur’an but one begins: Bismillah which means “listening to God.” The Christian Bible says; “Let him that hath an ear to hear, hear what the spirit sayeth.” The Jews pray: Shema (listen). The Buddhist Sutras (having “experts” we do not study and have no need to study), begin “Thus Have I Heard.”
Truth is as near and simple as that but Ego-me, Ego-expert, Ego-big man must talk; and “isn’t he wonderful” remains the bastard answer. Naturally the world is hung up and will remain hung up until we accept God, humanity and “love thy neighbor”—not the words, those terribly, ghoulish words, but the process. Words have saved nobody. It is time to do. We do, here.
Love and blessings and will hold open Sunday, June 16 or other days be arrangements.
Samuel L. Lewis
Gavin: Our continued use of violence on Television and Cinema will result in our continued use of violence in society. Our hypocritical Vice-Presidents show the low to which this country has come.
But this is not why I am writing. It is evident from the above that we don’t agree with each other on areas to be criticized.
Now I have found that Thea has a double illness, very sudden, but not necessarily dangerous. It has two parts and even she does not know: affliction to her eyes and affliction to her emotions. She has been going to the occultists often and is frightened but does not know if there is a cause-and-effect. So she has cancelled all her plans for everything at the moment.
She used to telephone me and I had not heard from her so I tried last night. This ends for the nonce any expectation of anything from her in either language or astrology. Of course your own chart was not favorable at the moment for yourself and there may be another way out.
Today I am going to purchase more copies of Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. In thankfulness for recovery and for improved financial status I am buying innumerable copies to be sent all over the world.
But I am wondering when and whether people will take seriously either Eno or the Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra? If the latter is right, why any need for long meditations? Or for retreats? My retreat is right in the center of the heart, here.
I agree with Gavin that Edward Carpenter in Toward Democracy actually gave us the Western correspondence to the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch but I am leaving it to him to teach that. As nobody is teaching the Sutra I shall have to. But if somebody else does, I shall not.
We are going to have more wars and confusions. We study everything but the scriptures and the methods laid down by them. Fortunately there are many living hearts in the wide world and we are contacting each other more and more and more and the Hippies will join. But for me, no separative church, congregation, movement. The Bible (and Sugrue) teach, “There is a river,” and Buddha taught the river-consciousness which very, very, very few “Buddhists” accept. No fixed group separating from others. Brotherhood of man, yes.
A man came here and said he was working for peace in Vietnam. “How many people in this room do you love and trust?” What has that to do with it?” “How can you pacify Vietnam when you will not even pacify yourself in and with this audience?”
I have hopes for this world, Della, without the “experts,” newspaper men, State Department and all the war-makers who certainly cannot be the peace-makers. The New Age is upon us; I have nothing to lose, perhaps the whole world to gain. This is written in joy.