January 9, 1963
The Judith Tyberg Story. On December 31, around 3 P.M., I reached the Ashram in Hollywood, feeling that my whole trip south had been in vain. I was blessed by David, the grandson of Pir-o-Murshid, walking out the door as I entered. He is a beautiful boy, and I was able to give him a blessing before Clare, his mother, came. I don’t think she would have liked it—and I know she would not have understood. It is not necessary for her to become other than what she wishes to become, or even for the boy to go on the spiritual path. But the fact is, that David has been placed in the care of Judith, and that is something.
I was able to tell Judith what I do not tell others. Secrecy is not a vow imposed by God or Teachers. Secrecy is an enforced condition by the uninitiated, who insist that the Gnostics behave in certain manners, and whenever a Gnostic breaks this mob-rule, he is in trouble. Judith went so far as to say that her meditation room was inhabited by Masters and Saints, and she wanted me to go in there, which I wanted anyhow.
In five minutes, I was given an “initiation” which she explained later has to do with the Third Eye. From my point of view, this place is a real Ashram, and will have to be treated very delicately.
The Gina Cerminara Story. The “luck” changed immediately. I received a phone call from Thea’s friend Knute, and then Gina began to call regularly. She gave me several names (I met some of them that evening), but especially a Mrs. Higbe of Whittier, a disciple of Professor Rhine, to whom I shall address myself shortly.
Then she arranged for me to go to the home of Marshall Hughes in Studio City, in her stead that night.
The Saladin Reps Story. When I came, I felt strongly drawn to a woman named Helene Tardul, 1601 North Geness, West Hollywood. We spent a good deal of the evening together. I met a number of persons interested in psychic research and also in getting funds. “Puck” wonders, if these people have such powers, why can’t they find the money? Not only that, there were several seers, mediums, and psychics present.
Helene has a protégé named Francesco, a ballet dancer; or as I might say, a Neptunian or Deva-type. When he insisted he is not understood, I told the story of my meeting Karo Nijinska, and telling her that “I understood Papa.” This was accepted, and Francesco is very much a Nijinski type. During the evening, he got into a fierce fracas with one John, the pal of Marshall Hughes, the host. It was a real “deva-asura” combat, which does not mean, however, that God is for one or the other. The later upshot was that in resentment against John, Francesco felt empathy from me, which was at first refused.
Effort was made to give a healing treatment to Mrs. Hughes, the mother. As she is a Protestant, I knew no way at the moment to give her a breath or a phrase which would help her—an allergy sickness in the arms. This will be followed up if possible, but it won the goodwill of Marshall, the host.
At one o’clock, I asked Marshall how was it that he had arranged a Kwan Yin hanging and a Buddha at the head of the stairs, and he told me that was because of his friend Paul Reps, and I nearly fell over.
In a few minutes, it came out that when Saladin was divorced from Susan (Birgit), Helene stepped into her life—I bet I met her before, but would not say. Then Estelle came, marriage, divorce, and back to “Girl-Friday” Helene. For 20 years, whenever he wanted some mothering he came to her. And so on.
After we talked about other things, I suggested sending for the poem “Saladin” and I would take care of it as soon as I returned. And as soon as I returned, in the next mail there was a letter from Khawar—suggesting the return of the manuscript—right to the dot. And two days later, right to the dot, a letter from Saladin. And in it, also the name of his local publisher.
I have already made some preliminary steps to get some day in typing.
The Ted Reich Story. Ted has been telling me about an awakened interest in spiritual Judaism, and at the same time, he has been deeply involved in Theosophy and Buddhism. Yesterday, January 8, I spoke for one hour at the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design on “The Interaction of the East and the West in the Arts.” The lecture—entirely under inspiration—began with a free translation of the opening of Genesis: “At first in principle he—the Gods thinked the essence of spatialities and the essence of form.”
The lecture went on, mostly dealing with the symmetrically opposite approaches of the Mediterranean and Chinese people; and interludes of the circularism of India.
After the talk, I was surprised to be besieged by several Jewish women who had been in the audience, and they begged me for more. They wanted to know (a la Ted) about both Judaism and Buddhism. So their names were recorded, but when I arrived home, there was an invitation from the Buddhist-Taoist Assn. (Iru Price), so I am holding off decision.
Meanwhile, saw Ted to tell him about the above incidents. And in turn, he told me about some of the psychic research people here who wish to know about Sufi Inayat Khan. So an arrangement has been made for tomorrow night.
There is a certain feeling of adventures in new directions now.
Tsong Kapa. Edward Connaughton sent me a scroll to be sold and I looked up Chingwah Lee—and met him in the street. If this can be sold it would give me some money for a part-time secretary or other purposes.
Ted also gave me Carlton Kendall’s address, and about Lottie Fernandez. It would seem in general a lot of my very old friends are coming back into my life.
Most of the things that have followed are connected with Ted Reich. Lottie Fernandez has come out of her hole, and appears at the TS on Tuesdays. I hope to see her and arrange a meeting with Della Goertz. One does not know if there is any advantage in bringing the Rinzai and Soto people together. Tomorrow afternoon, I go to the Buddhist-Taoist Assn., which is Chinese and Americans, but contains more mature people, and some I knew at an earlier period. The Chinese Buddhists are as divided as the Japanese, but the Japanese differences are based in part by analytical selection, and the Chinese by synthetic selection (like the Brahmo Semaj.)
Last night was spent at the home of Mrs. Charlotte White, 556 Spruce St. It was complicated because she, her friend Pelle, and her closest associate, all wanted to learn both about Sufism and psychism, and it took about two hours to integrate them. However, these are functional people whose psychism depends neither on mediums nor trances. Yet they all want me to meet a leader here, a Dr. Haley. This is indeterminate on my part.
Ted loaned me a copy of “Atomic Suicide” by the Russells. I had met Walter two or three times in 1946, very long sessions. He is a sort of mystic, and certainly has a cosmic vision. He was very anti-Atchabelli. Besides, his work is remarkably impersonal. A single reading does not impress, and the authors distinctly ask readers to read at least three times. I am not enough advanced in physics and cosmology. But their warning seems well taken, and I believe they are near some of those principles which, if accepted, might lead to the eradication of cancer and other virulent diseases.
Ted and I have talked this over and we agree that until our sciences accept three bodies, there will always seem some very unsolvable problems. It is necessary to follow this up. Ted has also located Paul Reps’ publisher, and has prepared the way for my visit.
I am at last “getting it” in the drawing class. The lecture did go over from the extremely warm welcome received. I shall go slowly about following up because it is impossible to meet everybody socially. Tonight I am going to visit my old dancing class, but whether this is resumed is questionable. Life shows at the moment the rejection of reports by a lot of people I thought would receive them, but a much larger acceptance by people I did not know before. Between the blank walls met by psychic researchers, people with streams of unhappiness and inhibitions, and the searches for God and spiritual freedom, the outlook is favorable at the moment. It does involve some radical changes in my social life, but some of the welcomes given by my very oldest friends here more than compensate for the displacements of others.
This is the diary entry. The best laid plans of mice and men often come up with other answers. The most ridiculous situation is that two efforts to see old friends in the T.S. have resulted only in their preaching to me and not listening to where I have been. I look over the names such as Alice Bailey, Krishnamurti, and Manly Hall, none of whom has done anything but surfeit us with words and cause confusions. The worst thing is to mention “Jesus Christ.” It is a shame and an annoyance, the way they wince. After two such experiences, I almost regret the need to go there again and see Lottie Fernandez, who was for so long my sister in Zen. On the other hand, I have escaped without being asked to speak. If I am asked to speak, the conditions are impossible—I intend to sweep the corridors of these intellectual rotters who make spiritual cognition impossible. They grow old and feeble and next to the words “God” and “Christ” they fear to hear the word “Shangri-la.” “If you have him, I no want, but if you haven’t, I want.”
In the meantime, there is a strange conglomeration of materials and persons in regard to psychic and occult phenomena. The letters from Pakistan and from Reps (Ireland) coming together; the reports to Whittier and locally to H.G. White; the report from the latter and other events form a huge pattern. I am waiting for a call from Ted which may lead to more local meetings.
Then there is Fritzi. I went to see her, and instead of putting me on for a lecture, she has offered me the whole place—just like that. I was not ready for it, but the way she expressed herself, I cannot refuse. One does not know whether this is because she has been convinced I have a message—or she has been given occult guidance—or she wants to put it over on La Duce—it is probably all three. The old Hindu “The enemy of your enemy is your friend” sometimes works ironically. There is almost complete slate-cleaning here now from the days I was accused of suffering from paranoia. My enemies always had lots of enemies—they were just the sort of people who did that, only I am not a masochist, and rebelled. But this rebellion has over and over again fomented other rebellions which “threw the rascals out.” La Duce has few friends here.
It is possible a letter will be written in regard to KPFA. “Communists, yes, Muslims, no.”
In the meanwhile, is that peculiar general situation of the difficulty of presenting to anybody I know well about my trips abroad, or even the journey to L.A. I ran into Walt Baptiste. “I have a Pearl of Great Price.” “May I see it?” It is the question of salvation. The theosophists and others either refuse to look or deny, but mostly are too self-centered. One can come and have all the healing in the world. It becomes a secret, not because it is a secret, but because people won’t listen or accept. So Walt got in five minutes what, with the exception of Sheikha and Ted, I have not been able to give away, show, or demonstrate since I returned. The result can only be laughter. The challenge is a blessing, and by being challenged, I gave to Walt and blessed him. Other people will wonder why I pay attention to him. The doctrinarian “Brotherhood” gangs again.
It is going to be necessary to add to the section on “The Problem of Evil,” and bring in semantics. As writing is by intuition or guidance, there is no intellectual plan beforehand.
Puck says: “There are just two kinds of news: Crime and Commentaries. Anything historical is not news. William Winter is publishing his sheet—it may be valuable.
The relations at the Schaeffer School are excellent. Now it can be told: “Rudolph and I were friends for years, but with the advent of Chaudhuri and Spiegelberg, he fell under their spell and the school was being used for Aurobindo and pseudo-Indian propaganda. The stuff these men turned out and the “modesty” they did not show was enormous. I was simply pushed out of the picture.
“Then the fun began.” Corinne began denouncing her father and wouldn’t budge. I think the staff would have liked to have thrown her out of the school. But the Directors thought otherwise. The rich Christians and modernists who support the school financially were fed up that all Indian Art was ipso facto spiritual, and most of their art was not. Caught between poverty and reason, Rudolph capitulated or retreated. He still has the friendship of Haridas, etc., but no more such lectures.
He was not present when I spoke, but the wonderful response of the audience is the turning point in my San Francisco story. There is only one way to go—contrary to Jeffers, and that is up.
Three big situations discussed with Admiral Evenson, most dramatic of which is the possible open forum of Bishop Pike on Palestine. We may start in as “amicus curiae.” This is on the agenda.
The opening up of real San Francisco doors may impel or compel change in the social life. These people who do not wish administrations will simply go without them. One doesn’t have to laugh at illness but no more crying either. If people want their pains, let them have them. Christ came to give food, healing, and joy—now everything else is on the agenda, but not on mine.
Tonight another Buddhist meeting—which will be friendly. Thursday night “Puck Senzaki” will go to the Chaudhuri meeting to hear an American Swami tell of “Spiritual Experiences in India.” One does not know whether it will be real or flim-flam, but why not? One remembers the times Senzaki came and took over and “busted” the meetings. These “spiritual” people know nothing of effacement. And less of attainment. When the twain are one … etc. But don’t quote Jesus; it might get you somewhere. I sound like a Christian. It is only that one chooses the weapons closest to hand.
This is really my diary entry for January 20. I have long since concluded to follow what appears in O’Neil’s “Lazarus Laughs.” I have been initiated into the many kinds of laughter by the Zen method, and while a lot of people are going to deny this this is called non-egotism, when you deny somebody else), the laughter works. I had seven kinds from Senzaki and then the eighth kind given me in secret by a dying Zen devotee. I am under no restriction about sharing it or not sharing it—or for that matter any kind of Zen laughter.
Paul Reps has most of it naturally and he can have it all just by meeting me in person, not even having to ask for it. Only once in my life did I try to confer the Zen-Dharma on anybody—of course I ain’t got it—but it worked immediately. To tell these things is egotism and not to tell is to destroy history so I’ll take the charges of egotism and let it go at that.
The reason is that I met a lady this last week who has long been in Zen. She has had nothing but tragedy—nobody would believe her. She was judged insane by friend and foe alike. The only thing is that Zen Masters (the real ones who don’t appear on TV, radio or book columns) come and go and that saved her. Well her inner story was almost identical with mine excepting on one point: “I failed but you passed. I can see you passed.” Now I will go and give her all she can receive although this is an awakening and not a giving.
The actual cosmos as viewed by all mystics is the same, but the intellectual report that it is the same is of no value. It is like comparing blue-prints and finding them alike. This builds no houses. I have spoken twice here and the effects were the same—people in the audience spotted my “secret,” but when I have gone to religious or esoteric groups I can expect either silence or rejection.
Thus the other night a Swami was telling the audience that you can judge people by the glint in their eyes. And I looked around the room and saw solemnity and seriousness and that rapture which comes when a speaker ecstatizes the audience—but no glints—not a glint in that room. Excepting, of course, in the swami himself.
When I was with Swami Ramdas I ran out of the lecture room to play with the children outside. This sort of thing would scandalize the “old ladies” who go to “spiritual” lectures; but the Swami knew what I was doing and said that when one can play with children as their equal he must be spiritual. I can see the audiences ogle and applaud anybody who says that to play with children is a sign of spirituality but I can’t see the audience running out and playing with the children. I know a few who do and of course they are marked down immediately.
The next thing that is noticeable is the number of excellent letters I get from abroad. Every time somebody says “nix” to me here I can be sure I’ll be getting a letter from some faraway place lauding me to the skies. Sometimes I send the envelopes to my attorneys who collect stamps but the return addresses themselves are something.
I am about to get into judicial history here. A young protégé of mine is in trouble. I just had to fight, the usual thing. I told the party that never once in my whole history in San Francisco have I been permitted to intervene in behalf of those in trouble with law courts, with hospitals, with mental institutions—I have never failed because somebody blocked my path—and then lost out of course. The last was the committing of my mother to a mental institution—done in my absence. I have determined to appear as “amicus curiae” and am willing to have my fingers burned—they are always burned by those close to me anyhow, and nothing was ever gained. Even Dr. Baker, who got very close to me, did not let me pass a certain point, and it ultimately was a factor in her own death.
And while this is going on, I get letters of encouragement, or the aftermaths of incidents abroad, when I wasn’t only permitted to participate, I was actually called in. They are not so important or big, but there were no failures. And it is, to me, laughable and silly, that twice now the very top American scientists have called me into their conferences. Asians do it anyhow, but this is not Asia. And I am nowhere in the sciences to where I am in the “occult.”
It is time now to record some of my own “prophetic visions” on the war. This, strange to say, flopped with all the esotericists, but not with the Army Intelligence; how come? Now there is a big fight going on, as if between the professors and the publishers, and I have jumped in full on the side of the professors. It is too early for an answer, but I can smell it coming. And it is time to tell these things to close friends. After 12 years here, I got one friend to read one poem—it was hard and trying, but the reaction was what I feared, too much. If the party had read it when I wished, it could have been received without emotion. This has to do with Christ, healing and world events.
I have seen the Christ healing, both in the empyrean and on earth, only that on earth was by others—names, dates, events. I am willing to bet, too, that the despised AMA will take these reports before the “good,” ”the “spiritual,” the “divine healer,” etc. The case of Oral Roberts is better known in India and Pakistan than here—I am not sure of this man, but prefer his methods to those of “theorists” (but here I can be entirely wrong).
Now Fred, at the present time, I do not see that the worst enemy is death, and certainly not the microbe or virus. Reading Russell I have a complete picture. But alcoholism is standing in the way, and I find more people turning to drink, or even dope, than before, either running away from it all or experimenting. Paul Brunton distinctly lays it down that there are the ways of the eye, the heart, and the breath. One Yoga teacher here challenged me, and of course, I gave it to him. Christ said, “Freely give, freely receive.” What is going to happen now will be dramatic, but the laughter comes, and not as in the first lines of “The Merchant of Venice” either. It is the most serious laughter there is. Someday I might tell you that it solves all sex problems, but today I think most people prefer the problems. If it is not complex, it can’t be true???? End of diary for the moment.
January 22, 1963
This will probably be my last letter before resuming the typing. I have inferred, or written about the forms of laughter. Copy of a letter is enclosed, which really is also based on laughter. I visited the church offices, very business-like, and about as much like a church office as a drugstore is. That is their business, of course. The modern method of greeting a stranger is to turn on “charm,” which means grinning and even gritting the face and beginning with a negative. I therefore decided against talking with anybody there but the minister.
Now this church is having a series of talks on “The Limits of Consciousness” in which a lot of popular intellectuals—none of whom would be welcomed on the Berkeley campus—are going to explain what they have never experienced. Actually, there is a sort of war going on. It came out in “Time’s” review of a book which was written by two professors on atomic warfare. One was Prof. Burdick. I have sarcastically written “Time”: ‘Fiction, yes; fact, no.” The University has replied by a very favorable report on Burdick. What “Time” says is non-scientific or anti-scientific, the scientists in Berkeley are scientific. This illustrates the “war,” as the British philosopher C.P. Snow calls it, between the literati and the scientists.
Here the literati have it all over the radio stations, especially the controversial ones, causing the university of California people to form a sort of cult or clique—which is not necessary at all.
I am just wondering whether Scholefield will answer. When I wrote Pike from abroad, he answered, but some of my letters are with my luggage, not received. However, the important thing is the laughter. There will be no more recoil. And on this note I shall begin my new transcript. It is also a period marked by strange rejections of some old friends, counterbalanced by new welcomes and that most delightful of all experiences—having friends from still an earlier period of life come back into one’s orbit.
Since the last letters concerning Major Sadiq, it would seem I am on the right path in basic things. On January 30, I shall be at the luncheon where the Consul General of India is the Chief Speaker and then I open my mouth.
Just had to write a letter to Princeton while reading a book in which they say the “dervish orders have largely died out”—yes, with a President of Pakistan, a Vice-President of India, a Prime Minister of Malaya—gee, it’s great to have a sense of humor.
Love and blessings,
January 28, 1963
Diary: A surprise visit from Bill Hathaway brought an interpretation and the realization that the record has been neglected. It this certain that behind events there is a very harmonious pattern. My horoscope as originally interpreted was that life would be filled with two favorable and one unfavorable event, but at the present moment it looks more like three favorable to one.
On January 23 at night I had a long, complex lesson to give the diksha to Walt Baptiste. The dangerous situation of growing on in years with an ever accumulating depository of esoteric practices and no outlet, has to be relieved. On Thursday I gave him the Mauna Yoga diksha combining materials from Ramana Maharshi and Pir-o-Murshid. Later I was reading in Ramana Maharshi, and found I had done exactly correct.
The Maharishi’s interpretation of the Centers is in accord with Naqshibandi and not Tantric teachings. This is a wonderful relief, because all the talks on Yoga I have heard are devoid of actual cosmic love. It is certain that the Maharshi has it and Swami Ramdas, but in general the Patanjali people do not have it and any excuse of Jnana is not true, because the God-realization brings all the qualities.
Thursday night Della came with me to the Ashram to hear Swami Kriyananda. He was supposed to talk about Yoga for the contemporary world. The “Zennists” always read questionable translations from enigmatic Chinese of any period and Swamiji read from Christian mystics of another period. How the delightful love-experiences of Christian saints, particularly women, bolsters up Raja Yoga I do not and cannot see. And the old ladies in the audience, who might conceivably reach God-consciousness by some of the means the Christian saints used, will never go through the Patanjali disciplines, so the audience is left astounded, even delightful, and empty.
Friday received the finest letter from Vera. Also a delightful one from Helen Tardul in Hollywood. So I have revised the 10th and 11th cantos of “Siva! Siva!” these being on music and dance, and sent them to her.
Also received a most important appeal from Elizabeth Tyler in Cleveland. Her husband had a stroke. So send my instructions to her and gave her the exercises to develop her own physic and healing faculties. After the visits of Pir Zade and Bryn, I could see a gap, but neither of them can give the esotericism and deliverance.
Della did not show up to visit Lottie so saw her Sunday and am now writing at length. Lottie is a “victim” of the same horrors I had to go through, and praise Allah, I can help and encourage.
Shasta Ewing showed up at the Thursday lecture. This is a sign that she is seeking and she probably will go around seeking and get nowhere. Her antipathy to A.W. is understandable but how to overcome him, or it, is beyond her.
Madelynne says I am improving and there is no question but that spiritual deliverance has affected both body and psyche. Gong to her twice a week—class and private. This week Magana wants to see me also.
I am glad bill showed up. Seeing Ted Reich regularly and have read The Bead Game which was given to Thea for her birthday. Also read Graves and Ted else gave me Alsop’s article on “Pylos.” I wanted to see Bill to lay before him a reject which would get his attention. His world, so to speak, has gotten smaller and smaller, and if he can be influenced to see a larger universe he might find some place in it. A big man cannot fit into a small bed.
There has been a monster and useless conference on the problems and opportunities of women. All things are faced analytically and intellectually. Puck is amused by ladies arising and saying they are different from men and must have opportunities and only one used an intuitive or non-intellectual element. They were either logical and precise or else that awful emotionally-cum-cliché method: “We are equal or better than men because we are equal or superior in creating and using clichés.” I have no doubt about it, but what does it prove?
Bill discussed Judith, whom he has seen and I told him that Judith had faculties, even on the verge of Delphic Woman, and we must be careful. It would seem that womankind could recover its or her faculties, these useless conferences would be unnecessary. Ted showed me a book by Percival Lowell on Occult Japan wherein the oracles functioned. It was the disjointing of the Oracle in Japan which destroyed her exactly as it was in Greece and nobody looks into such matters. Who was Saint Elizabeth?
He also was delighted in David and almost shocked by Clare. He also got Gina’s address. The details here are old and corroborative.
The need for revision and emphasizing the ego-centric predicament first are evident.
Ted has discussed Sepher Ha-Zohar and I have found it at George Field’s. I may be reading it while working on the manuscript and it also may affect it. We simply do not know the Bible and we play loosely with it. The inner side of the Greek myths will be evident when we integrate Graves, Jung and Campbell. The inner side of the Bible will be evident without this, but until I get a sign, it is beyond my capacity.
Vera reports on fana-fi-Rassoul, which is most important. I am now more anxious than ever that Major Sadiq comes. Each corroborates the other and this corroborates me better than anything else.
Wednesday night I went to see Charlotte White and met her husband, Clifford. She has keen insight—on two planes and thereabove is blind. She is Jewish, turned Catholic and pretends to resent my anti-Semiticism, but all the while she is displaying herself. But while she is serious, I am amused. I hope to see them again. Friday night visited Natalie Cecotti who was with me, who is moving to Hollywood. She has already heard from Gina and I have already written to Aramdarya about her.
Letters arrived: Gina—the Reeves are in Honolulu—and one from Matz family.
It is easy to accuse one of manufacturing drama, but it may equally be that drama is around us. Anyhow Tuesday night, contrary to my own will, I went to Magana’s class on the Mudras. These ceremonies, actions, etc. are difficult because when the words are expressed I experienced them and got into “states” which were not easily sloughed off. But the dualistic prayers attached have little impression. One does not want “things” or favors; one sometimes wishes to get above wanting.
This negative state disappeared Wednesday morning. All the Mudra-words centered around the Lotus. Here am I writing, The Lotus and the Universe. Just as in previous years Pir-o-Murshid manifested and said, “Be a Flute” and opened the doors to the cosmic universe, God so to speak manifested and said: “Be a Lotus. You feel, you can’t both write The Lotus and, the Universe and accuse Koestler and not be a Lotus. Be a Lotus and be blessed.” So here I am, writing now from the “lotus point of view” a against the “robot point of view,” and it is transforming the manuscript and will require, no doubt, extra revisions, but at least there is inner satisfaction and joy.
Then there was yesterday. I knew something would happen when I went to hear Consul-General Menon at the World Affair’s Council. It turned out to be something very different. Coming early there was only one man present. Ha said, “Us being the only men, let us sit down together.” Actually the late arrivals were as many men as woman. Anyhow we sat down. What is your name: “Garst.” “Any relation to Jonathan Garst?” “I am Jonathan Garst.”
There I was, never met the guy, carried his fertilizer plans with me, got into long discussions in Egypt, turned the whole thing over to the Pakistanis, abandoned it in India, etc. But I guess I can’t be too chagrined for he has abandoned some of his own ideas, too. He had written he was going to Poland and Iron Curtain countries, but recently he has been to Central America. So after a long time a pen-pal appears, just like that, and I am supposed to be manufacturing my dramas? Why do these things happen to me—thank God!
Saw Miss E.E. Pence and met Gale Darling, “my fellow traveler.” Will ring up Gale.
Norman has now moved in and two women will share the front upstairs. No housewarming for the immediate present.
Victory? For the first time in my life an “expert” has admitted he made a mistake, On 26 January Donald N. Wilber of Princeton, N. J. (140 Quaker Road) conceded that there may be Sufis. He made an over-all statement in his book on ”Afghanistan” that they were few, unimportant and fast disappearing. Now he wants to know more because he is writing two books on Pakistan. My point is simple: you can reason with American “experts” on Asia (except Northrup), you can’t reason with Europeans, they are adamant, ego-centric and wrong.
Wilber also explained something, to me: Why had I so violently and whole-heartedly supported Richard Frye of Harvard against Northrup of Yale? I have been most uncompromising, and had the most wonderful friendships with Frye’s students and animosities with Northrupians and friendships with those that despise Northrup—i.e. real Asian Philosophers. Frye is a Sufi! Why do these things happen to me, thank God.”
It is quite evident that God, so to speak, wanted me to keep this diary and it is equally certain that there is “something brewing.” The last letter from Major Sadiq quoted that “Major Sadiq and the Pir of Dewwal Shereef are one” the absolute justification of Pir-o-Murshid’s, “Murshid and Mureed are one.” Have had to write at length to Vocha Fiske that I dare not change my role—failure does not matter.
I certainly took up the dharma-karma of Paul Fernandez who followed the same pattern and is not “among the elect” in the next world.
Continue to bait the KPFA apologists. With A.W. practicing both adultery and dope-experimentation as well as indulging in alcohol and all the “experts” writing in “Cosmic Consciousness and Drugs”—and no criticism permitted, the following doors open:
a. Japanese professor coming to UC to lecture on the real religions of real Japan. That will be something.
b. Am to draw up a letter to the Episcopalian Seminary on Berkeley in re: Mysticism. Not sure of carbon copies.
One reason for this is that Swami Kriyananda in talking about Yoga for today offered little besides postures which old ladies simply cannot perform and quotations from Christian lady saints. I am all for the latter, but why then the postures? and the Karma Yoga? and Raja Yoga? and Beatnik Yoga? All that is given is aphorisms,
Last night went as “Puck of Pukhtunistan” to folk dance party and met many of my old friends. It was like a get-together—Simon, Frank, Clara, Shoshana, etc. Not many strange faces. But best of all, Martha Curtis. It is curious that I helped her in her first lessons years ago.
Now it comes out that she is really a spiritual seeker—might have guessed that, and friendly will be resumed, I hope, on a high plane.
Another session with Ted Reich. It is wonderful how far and high a friendship of 40 years can continue on all planes, in all directions. Am to ready his Graves Hercules and then other works. Finding lots in Graves but different from him in re Jung. The two must be integrated.
Letter from Shamcher Beorse. I am always his brother when he is in trouble and Pir Zade is his brother when it comes to the harvests. I take this internally as a great recognition. No mention by him or from Cleveland of each other.
Paul Reps sent Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Am copying Tantra material at the end for the Baptistes. This whole “Lotus” cycle is blossoming so wonderfully, it is hard to realize—differing from Kriyananda, I am “eating my words” and, of course, getting the blessing. Maybe the publishers and public will accept a book on mysticism about mystics by a mystic” There’s always a first.
Must also see Simon, in re my agricultural work. He has aged. No love, and he is one of the few young men in whom I had recognized no faults or weaknesses and who succeeded in what he wanted to do. Something wrong somewhere.
Martha put up the question, where are the Christians giving out spirituality? “Anything you can say I can any better,” but then people read Upanishads which they don’t understand and don’t read “The Gospel of St. Thomas” which is one of the clearest of scriptures—also one which would utterly destroy nearly all present religious trends. As Fudo is not to take off his mask, one must wait.
This is not so much a letter as the diary entry of the time. One day in Lahore after I had been given healing instructions I felt drawn to the Naqshibandi Khankah where my friend Haji Safraz is Murshid. After the Zikr my friend Shamsuddin approached me and told me that there was illness in the house of our friend the Nawab and asked me to go. When we got there nobody was home, but after a while the Nawab came in with his sick son and I tried various healing methods and soon the boy felt well. This was not forgotten.
Now you can understand why my life is full of laughter and warfare and it is hard to distinguish the two. Pir-o-Murshid said, “It is the mureeds who make the Murshid” and today he is being acclaimed far and wide in Pakistan because it is Ahmed Murad who has made Sufi Inayat Khan and there is a rising demand for the writings of PoM But please don’t send me any money for books. This will require careful campaign and before doing anything I may need a lot more advice than money. This is not an opportunity to reach 200 new mureeds; it may become an opportunity to meet millions of people and just that is meant and no nonsense.
Of course SAM is back at the old stand too. When Shamcher has a problem you know where he goes and when he has time or money you know where he goes, but it is exactly the same tack Rabia, poor soul, followed and I am so used to it it does not matter a bit.
But you will have to wait and face one thing: Saladin is going to become immortal, inshallah and you are in. For instance recently Eric Barker, who won prize as being the best poet in a national contest, could not go to New York to get the money. So I meditated and returned to folk dancing taking lessons from his wife Madelynne Greene, so I could give him money by this method (Allah is wonderful). Last night I asked Madelynne whether Eric would be at the Summer Camp which I hope to attend and she said probably yes and there would be poetry readings. Did not even have to bring the subject up (Allah is wonderful, or maybe Ramdas’ Ram). So I told her of the coming arrival of my lost luggage with his poetry—including “The Rejected Avatar.ᾀ? Frost may be dead but after I am gone you are going to see somebody else acclaimed, inshallah. I am also waiting, of course, for the “Saladin” manuscript.
I had a strange meeting with one Jonathan Garst whose “agricultural plans” I carried for thousands of miles, but whom I had never met. Also some good friends are coming back. Also those metaphysical ladies who gush all over and from God Allah protect me. Although in my writings I am vehement about scribes and Pharisees, in my private life I have to deal with these Scorpios whose hearts and souls are in their tongues; also their sex organs. Of course they are “undernourished” but they want to “feed” everybody else.
My luggage contains manuscripts, diaries, some clothing and all my spiritual insignia. Also a box of minerals for assaying and evaluating. I feel now that all my previous problems are essentially settled and now I turn with new face. Sooner or later may have to face Ivy. Gave Admiral Evenson, who is one of Terry Duce’s best friends, my duplicate books from Lahore. He was the first one to acclaim “Saladin.”
Drawing improving and joined class on the history of art. Was indeterminate but enjoyed first lesson. Can now see the Yang-Yin universal operations, and then some; or Jelal-Jemal and then some more. As the mystery monger says over the radio: “Won’t you join me?”
[Sentences written on top one another and not readable—Ed]
On February 5, 1927 Pir-0-Murshid died and on February 6, 1962, Robert Clifton (Phra Sumangalo) died in Penang Malaya. We had been the dearest and closest of friends ever since we first met, 30 or more years ago—more because he was in Japan in 1930-31 when I was in New York, and we had met before that. I have always considered Saladin and he the nearest to me.
Many of the things are being recorded in “The Lotus and the Universe” but this is for the Diary:
Robert: Samuel, we ain’t got IT.
Samuel: Robert, we have got IT.
Now Avalokitesvara is gone and that scrounge Fudo is, Fudo with his toughness, his abruptness, his lack of tact. Fudo with his exuberance, his vitality, his increasing health as the years go on, and his wonder and wondering.
Gale Darling telephoned and asked for a delay which is fortunate as by that time I hope to have reclaimed my luggage with robes, testimonials and diaries. I am still a little chary of Editha. She has stood me up physically and mentally in the past and her attitude toward Vera is one which God, so to speak, has warned me against. I am most uncertain about these metaphysical ladies.
Letter has been written to Ansar Nasri to send “Saladin” to Lahore so that the various Pirs and Murshids may know about it. Shamsuddin has written that all the Sufi Murshids hold me in love and veneration, and that this has boosted the stock of Pir-o-Murshid no end. Besides Rabia seems to have had quite a few mureeds and they all talked about Inayat Khan. All seem to be dead now, and this in a strange way adds to my éclat.
Shamcher Beorse has suddenly become very cordial and cooperative. All the more because Vilayat and Maheboob are at each other. But as neither are recognized in the Orient I want to see Shamcher go. He is going to give an eye-opener if he visits Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Sani Nizami—who met the family; and an even bigger one if he moves to Pakistan. So it is to my selfish advantage to give him every courtesy and cooperation.
Now the papers come out more for Salt Water Conversion and Senator Clare Engle has cross-trailed me in a very strange fashion, which is a record of the Third Eye rather than the diary. Rumor is he is slated for the Cabinet.
Working assiduously on “The Lotus and the Universe.” So have put Phra Sumangalo in the right place. Read two chapters today to Lottie Fernandez. After all I do mention both her late husband and her home, which will later become the permanent Rinzai Zendo here. These relationships are very difficult to annotate as they are beyond the realm of karma, cause-and-effect.
At last have date to see Asst. Pastor at Unitarian Church this Friday, 2 P.M. They have been letting everybody speak on mysticism but mystics and the chief theme has been “Cosmic consciousness and drugs.” Watts, Huxley and Isherwood cannot sustain themselves on “the heights of the Himalayas.” When are we going to turn to Asians to tell us about Asia?
Went to Zendo Sunday. Very good. Find can meditate and hold body and mind in proper inner posture without difficulty. Zendo is growing, mostly young people. Was the only one person there, and only one or two middle aged. Excellent sign. Suzuki, of course, best but “betrays” with his smiles. “Laughter is wisdom.”
Bill Hathaway called while I was visiting Lottie.
February 17, 1963
The two big things of the week were the news of the arrival of my luggage and the death of Phra Sumangalo—Robert Clifton. The luggage will be picked up in a few days. There may be some customs entanglements. Ted Reich wants to see the ore samples, which is fortunate, because Conlon and Co. are no more. The Mining Bureau also would thank me for some pieces, which should be possible, owing to the size of the samples.
Phra Sumangalo was a veritable Avalokitesvara. We are not born as incarnations of Bodhisattvas. We fulfill the roles. Paul Fernandez was Fudo before me and his death left a vacancy. I was pushed into it by both Buddhists and Sufis, in a remarkable way, and there I function. I think Grandphra understood this. We had two memorable conversations when he was last here:
“Robert, you and I are mere nobodies. Nobody listens to us, we can’t get audiences. But there is not a king, prime minister, cabinet official, professor, university, holy man … or peasant from one end of Asia to the other whom either you or I could not meet, if we haven’t met them already. Only nobody would believe us.”
“Too true, Samuel, too true.”
Or: “Samuel, we haven’t got IT.”
“Robert, we have got IT.”
When one becomes another—excepting for the difference in Bodhisattva roles, what can one say? We talk compassion, we read about it. Robert was in part a victim of Dulles cruelty, causing him a heart attack after he came all the way here to warn us. Not an editor or official interviewed him. Now we are losing millions of dollars and endless lives in S.E. Asia, and the end is not yet, nor the end to the State Department rejection of the Declaration of Independence, in which nearly all of the press joins. To be forewarned is to be forearmed; to be a forewarner is to end like John the Baptist.
The Chinese Services, Buddhist Ass. of America, were nothing like what one reads in books or hears from lecturers. But then, living Buddhism is not. There was scripture chanting and psalms and processions with Mantras, the last being to Kwan Yin. Then real meditation and final vows and a lecture. This was given in Mandarin and translated into Cantonese. Few spoke English, though I was very welcomed and warned about “spurious Buddhists.” Same old stuff all over the world, but we have our “experts” and KPFA, we don’t need no Chinese to explain nothin’. This is called “human relations.”
Today the Zen Parinirvana Day. Kato knew Clifton from Sojiji. Thank God or Buddha that we have real Buddhism and Americans who trust Americans and Japanese more than they trust Englishmen or Germans in regard to the Orient. It is a beginning and maybe more. Even the University of California has been discovering that.
The Chinese made use of the Lotus Symbols, so…. And this after I have completed my Buddhist section. The Sufi section is being radically revised and rewritten.
February 21, 1963
It is evident that God has something in store for me. On Tuesday, picked up luggage with notes and transcriptions. More clothing was stolen or lost in Pakistan, but I am hoping my notes are complete because they cannot be replaced. Rubbers there, so will not have to purchase.
Called on Lottie and read end of Zen section of manuscript. She enjoyed it and said Mrs. Sigeliev wants to see me in L.A. Will make arrangements.
Also saw Admiral Evenson of AFME who not only accepted chance to read a draft of the first chapter on Sufism, but has asked for more information on both Islam and Sufism. As his closest friend is Terry Duce, this is the end of an era. Don’t know where the Duces are but on March 9th there is to be an AFME dinner and will go.
Received commentary letter from Justice Douglas and now writing Chancellor Strong at Berkeley for interview. There is to be a big symposium on Asia at Asilomar in May. So far been denied the floor all over. But Monday night at Gale Darling’s three of us had been in India and all three of us have been refused permission to take part in a local seminar on Indian Village life. People who think I am capping do not realize how far we are from reality. A symposium on “Indian Village Life” with no Americans who have lived in Indian villages permitted. This is old, old stuff and we wonder why people vote for Krishna Menon. There is no doubt but that “Prof. Von Plotz” has been there (in the classroom, not the village).
Tuesday night at the end of Mudra class, Magana evoked Lord Krishna and I became the flute—for the first time in the West. Thank God she understood. Sometimes I wonder whether I should look up Amelia, but that lady has become a devout Christian. The eye brightened very much and this is a sign.
Wednesday night I was assigned, of all subjects, “Christian Influence on Japanese Art,” the one topic on which I might rank as an expert. Right out of the blue, or blew. As my notes are in my luggage, all I have to do is copy them. But Rudolph said he reserved my letters.
Added chapter on Pir-o-Murshid to manuscript and am in middle of the last part, devoted to Sufis and Sufism.
Note for Saladin. Scene: Cleveland World Affairs Council.
Topic: the Future of India.
Professor: “I suppose the next speaker will tell us he has been in India.”
Professor: “I suppose he will tell us he knows President Radhakrishnan.”
Samuel: “Yes, I know President Radhakrishnan very well.”
Professor, sitting down, “I thought so.”
I still don’t know what this means excepting it is “standard procedure” but “only in America.”
Had a nice letter from Swami Kriyananda and may copy poetry for him. Also for Magana. No rest.
There has not been a diary entry for a month. All the spare time possible was put in at the Buddha Universal Church. This building used the exact principles that PoM left with me and it has been completed, following those principle, while the only attempts to build a Universal Church by mureeds have been abject failures. Where and what is God?
In the meanwhile I have discovered in writing The Lotus and the Universe that the Lotus sects have been omitted. Robert Clifton died early in February. There were services for him at the Buddhist Society of America on Waverly Place. It saw the Lotuses and went through the lotus ceremonies and recognized it was the Tien Tai sect. Thus there is no connection between the Buddhism that is practiced in churches and temples and the radio-Buddhism or book-Buddhism.
Later went to the Buddhist headquarter on October St. and could get no Lotus material. The same elsewhere when the intuition sent me back to Waverly Place and I met the chief monk who speaks English and he gave me a manuscript which was exactly what I wanted and needed on the Lotus Gospel (Saddharma Pundarika Sutra).
Must now write Dartmouth for permission to use it. It is an excellent piece of work.
In the meanwhile have been inducted into the Mudra class of Magana. Much progress. The Flute-of-Krishna spoke just when she wanted it. Two pictures inspire, one of Pan with Lotus-eye, Third Eye and five noses (for five breaths). Another on Saraswati, the humanization of the Vina with the seven flute holes made to correspond with the seven chakras. It will be some time before these are done.
The death of two people connected with the Indian Consulate meant a day at their funeral. Then copied my The Rejected Avatar. One copy to Magana for her work. Another to the Consulate but Bhat was out and will have to see him again. Will also resurrect “Apollo and Cassandra” for Magana. Then other words.
Next step is to copy some of the poetry to embellish The Lotus and the Universe.
Sufism. In the meanwhile met Mr. Mawlawi who took over the place of Mr. Mehdi. He is a descendent of Jelal-ud-din Rumi. Instance recognition. Loaned me the book on the whirling Dervish. Will make copies when he returns it unless I can locate enough here.
Tonight dinner for him. “Heads I win, tails you lose.” Rom Landau and Meher Baba are the most bitter enemies if Mawlawi comes out. Rom is going to be given a shocker. But also it is possible that Terry and Ivy will show up. May take my picture as Sufi Ahmed Murad. If Ivy does not show up will have a clear field and if she does she is going to see this picture. Been reading God speaks the most contradictory work I have ever perused. After a hundred pages explaining God it says that He is not explicable, should never be discussed, etc. They have blue-printed him just as the metaphysical people blue-print super-man, etc.
Mrs. Sigeliev wants to see me in L.A. Will make arrangements. One visit with Gale Darling and two friends. La meme chose—all of us refused admittance to seminar on Indian Village life—and all of us have lived in Indian villages!
Banging Away: U. of Pacific is trying to explain why they did not let me enroll. As Chaudhuri told me another story, I let it stand. Well their graduates won’t be recognized abroad and from what I understand, not much in this country. I am still warring against European professors of Asian philosophy. Besides I am backed up.
When I told the story to the secretary at the Arab Information bureau found she is another victim of that crazy pattern: American graduates in Asian Subjects are downgraded and European graduates in Asian subjects are upgraded—and in Asia it is exactly the opposite.
KPFA is now willing to give me an interview. May call next Friday. Had a very nice note from Chancellor Strong of UC saying I might have an interview any time. Evidently the letters were well received for the secretary was most cordial. Interview on Friday, March 15, 10:00 A.M. This will be in regard to the Seminar on Asia in May at Asilomar. As a man I would not have a chance going through the regular channels. But also am sending for press credentials from Pakistan—as a news reporter I could get in where angels never dream of treading—protocol.
Saw Sam Newson who is going to Japan. When I told him: “I am going to another Asian conference. You know, one of those gatherings where those who know sit in the audience and listen to long harangues by those that don’t.” “Exactly, and that’s why I am going to the Orient. I have had enough. It is a useless waste of time.” So our real American experts on Asia are fed up by phonies, newspaper men and Europeans demanding more money for their own research. This is the seventh conference on Asia that I may attend, and the fact that most of them ignore each other is self-evident proof. This is my last effort, inshallah.
Fairfield Osborn comes to town while I am reading him. He has already outlined the exact philosophy which I propose to use in “How California Can Help Asia.” Not optimistic in the political field. Those who do real help ignored for the noisy ones. Hope to see Paul Keim—will write to him today, after I see Strong.
The Lotus and the Universe. Will go over poetry and pepper the next version with some, to prove shy point. Otherwise have discovered how the Philistines insisted there was no possibility of transmutation and they ran to cover. This going over Max Hoefner’s library. He is in a worse position than I am, and he is logically on even better ground.
With the AFME-Mawlawi dinner tonight and the big Buddhistic colloquium tomorrow night it seems new forces are entering my life.
Called at Thea’s the other night to get report on Aileen Garrett’s program on psychism. She turned it off, said it was phony. Of course it was phony. One by one the truth comes out.
Phoned Charles Sieferth. He is ill—will try to see tomorrow.
My dear Jack:
This is as much my diary as a letter and I am going to ask you to abstract as you will. There have never been so many Buddhistic affairs in all my life. Between volunteer work at the Universal Church and the ceremonies for Phra Sumangalo anal collecting materials for my book, I can assure you I cover only a small number of items.
Universal Buddha Church. The formal opening ceremonies took place on Friday, March 1. Besides the entire congregation there was an overflow audience of about a hundred people. Both that weekend and this a multitude of visitors have been coming and large donations are being received.
Cables and wires came from all parts of the world—literately. Three Chinese mainland Preceptors sent greetings as well as many from Taiwan. I was more interested in the greetings from Penang, Singapore and other places which had been under Phra Sumangalo. President Kennedy also wired, but I think this was lost among a stack of others.
There is a contradiction in their Buddhism. On the one hand they announce that they have the Pristine Orthodox Teachings. There are two valid “pristine orthodox teachings,” one which includes the Benares Sermon and the other the Avatamsaka Sutra. They meant neither. Instead of the Three Jewels they place family fealty first which is not Buddhistic. They also announce their main scriptures are the Diamond Sutra and the Hui-Neng (Sixth Patriarch). These are certainly not “pristine orthodox.” I have begun ribbing them softly.
One way is that I have found my picture at the Stupa on Mount Takao in Japan with the ashes of Lord Buddha. I had been the only outside to go there, and I think you know some of the history. If not, it will keep now.
Between the Fung effort and the general tenor of affairs there has been an immense growing of studies in real Buddhism here.
The Buddhist Assn. of America, 109 Waverly Place. They gave a service for Phra Sumangalo which I attended and reported. Later I met Ven. Shih Sheng-Kang, who speaks English and gave me the Lotus material I have been seeking. I call this a Tien Tai (Tendai) sect and I see no reason to change after the services last night. They have a new compendium of Mahayana Scriptures which is to me the best yet seen. The others take such abstractions and selections that one does not get a picture.
The Buddhist-Taoist Assn. is 146 Waverly Place (The Zendo in New York is also Waverly Place!) Here Iru Price holds forth. Last night, March 8, they gave their regular service and a special memorial for Phra Sumangalo. This ceremony was given by three Americans—Iru Sushiddi (Goode) and James Wagner. I have known about Wagner for years but never met him before. I was at the last service by Sushiddi before he left for Penang four years ago.
Sushiddi’s interpretation of the Eightfold Path is the only one I accept against any, all and sundries. It has no dualism and assumes that the orator (i.e. the Buddha) has had Enlightenment. People simply don’t know what the Turning of the Wheel-of—the-Law is and make linear and dualistic explanations which tell us nothing.
All the people at both these Waverly Places know about you and send their greetings.
On Wednesday night there was a joint meeting between the Buddhist Association, the Soto Zen Sangha and the Neo-Dhamma Group. As I attend Art School I did not go. The Neo-Dhamma Group is made up of Americans and I am inclined to think they are elementary, philosophical and Hinayana. Very moral, fine, etc. but on the “outside.”
Last night was also the Chief Monk of another group, entirely Chinese. He came here to mediate for world peace. I met him at the former services. He talked in Mandarin which had to be translated for the Chinese here too. He is very tall, majestic, noble and peaceful.
The last Chapter in my The Lotus and the Universe will be on Peace and will be against all philosophies, dualisms and emotionalisms, or, as I say: “Every ten years a Noble Peace Price, every five years another war.”
“Who can replace Sumangalo?” I gave two short talks:
“When I’m gone, you have the Dharma with you. Work out your salvation with diligence.”
“Salutation to Samantabhadra Bodhisattva who, by reincarnating, demonstrated Dharma for us.” (Please publish this as my obituary on Phra Sumangalo.) (Although invited I saw no reason for an emotional harangue.)
Will obtain more news from the Buddha’s Universal Church and pictures when I can. I have some around but am over busy—the above partly explains. And this Sunday we go to 109 Waverly Place for Services and luncheon. All the Buddhists—English, Japanese and Chinese are beginning to draw closer together. I don’t know yet but the Universal (?) Church—
Faithfully and cordially,
P.S. Remember, Phra Sumangalo was Samantabhadra and this piece of toughness is Fudo.
March 10, 1963
This is my diary entry. I have just completed the sixteenth chapter of the revised “The Lotus and the Universe” and am under inspiration to write just two more which will be entitled “Shangri-la” and “Peace.” The last chapter has an extra carbon for Chancellor Strong at U. C., visit this Friday.
The last few days saw many visits with the Chinese Buddhists and I now have a fair, objective picture of them here–nothing at all like what you can read in any books. There are four groups, three of which work fairly close together. They are also working with the Soto Zen, but not other Japanese Buddhists and with the American Neo-Dhamma Society which is philosophical only. Outwardly, there is intense competition between these groups and the Chinese Universal Buddha Temple. They undoubtedly have more love and compassion, but the Church has the scriptures I admire most.
The number of visitors to the church is remarkable, but the papers have been criticized for not giving them more space. This is fortunate, because, on the one hand, it would offend the Christians and on the other the rival sects.
Della Goertz and I walked downtown and we passed the Grace Cathedral which, after all these years, is not complete–in stark contrast to the Buddha Universal Church, self-built and financed on the same plan that Pir-o-Murshid told me, and functioning well.
The services were quite different at the Buddhist Association of America, consisting mostly of chants and a few mantras. After that we had a fine “monastery” lunch and then saw an American take the pledge. Dr. Katzoff came in–I haven’t seen him for years–looking mighty well for his age.
By this time my name had gotten around. There are three or four people whom I hardly know who go around saying I am a great sage or master and this, evidently, is being believed by some. In any case, I shall be invited to join the Asia-American Friendship Society of whom I have hardly heard. This about completes my effort at alliances with Asian-Asians excepting the Armenians, and even there I have previously stepped forward.
This week I plan to visit the Indians, Indonesians and Arabs before calling on Chancellor Strong. Received a reply but no comment from the Secretary of the Prime Minister of Malay. This may mean my presenting the Indonesian program to Strong or the World Affairs Council and here I shall also have the cooperation of “Asian Survey” on campus.
Typing is very difficult because of intervention of states of semi-ecstasy plus absolute recall of events clearer than in the diaries. Will probably make a carbon of next chapter for Saladin. Will present my Buddha lecture from Japan next to the Japanese here.
Diary: March 15, prior to visiting the University of California and KPFA.
Mar. 10. Met Dr. Katzoff for the first time for years at the Buddhist Assn. of America, Chinese. He told people that I knew everything and soon I was explaining Bodhisattvas to a lady and the Chinese listened in and found I did know things about their faith. So I have invitation to return this March 16, Also to join the Asia-American Friendship League.
This week called twice on American Friends of Middle East with reports and some magazines. Once to Arab Information Bureau with copy of Pakistan Review having my article to unite East and West through spirituality.
Twice at Indian Consulate. First time with “Krishna Poem” for Bhat; next time in regard to Asia Seminar in May. Ambassador may come. Same matter to Indonesians, not so impressed. They gave me book on religion of Java and it has no relation to anything else anybody ever wrote. Author Clifford Geertz at U. C. wrote Prof. Lipset about him and may also try to call on him. The views of a man who lives with Asians always tremendously different from views of economists.
Go this March 14 at lecture on Near East when speaker said religion does not pay a part in peoples’ lives. This is the same old stuff but out by anti-American dialecticians. My views on Yemen did not impress him much, but they did impress the Standard Oil representative who has also lived among the people.
Terry Duce was there, to my surprise, but also. He has just come back from Kuwait. That is why Ivy has not been around.
Gave Magana my draft on Spiritual Music. Cleaned out my old papers and many Gathekas I wrote because these have become top-heavy.
Two beautiful letters from Pakistan, from Shamsuddin Ahmed of Lahore with news from Sufi Barkat Ali and five Murshids and one other Madzub. Also from Anwar Hussain at Rawalpindi with instructions from Pir Sahib to do exactly what I am both doing and planning. Only news is that Pir Sahib has been most successful in raising funds. Fifty million Sufis cannot be, but fifteen million rupees—that’s different. Now what can those experts on the Orient who deny the existence of Sufis get this money for themselves?
Visited Poly and directed to School Board for help. Asia Foundation (Metz) tells me to contact Ford Foundation for further help—scientific equipment and shops for Islamabad U. Will mention to Strong at U. C.
Redraft of The Lotus and the Universe completed. Took my Buddha-Stupa pictures to the Japanese Buddhist Center and also to the Chinese Assn. They both recognize now that I have been the only American permitted to go there and want more pictures. Will have to go over my effects. Two long reports to Jack Austin. The “ghost” of Phra Sumangalo with us. Now I have met James Wagner after all these years.
Other Chinese not cooperating with the Fungs. Will see which is the “true” Church. Meeting more and more wise Americans, but all “loners.” Still this is wonderful. Telephoned Mrs. Digman, formerly Mrs. Wishart. She is just completing drama, etc. So want be able to see her. Trying to find Caesar Attell for the California Historical Society.
The Seven Faces of the Prophet
1088 Fulton St.
San Francisco 17, Calif.
March 17, 1963
48 J. Model Town
Lahore, West Pakistan
My dear Friend and Brother:
As-salaam aleikhum. You may understand now why I do not call myself a Muslim but an inshallahist. While originally a Muslim meant one who surrendered to God, it later came to mean mostly those who accepted Sharia and finally those who followed openly or blindly an Ijma, the source of which in not only unclear, but often has nothing whatsoever to do with revelation.
The difficulty of translating Holy Qur’an will be offered here, not with any idea that it will be accepted, but to point out a totally different direction toward understanding simultaneously a mass of accumulated knowledge and one’s self. The arrival here in San Francisco of one Farooq Mawlawi, a direct descendent of Maulana Roum, has stimulated the first effort toward an explanation of that portion of Holy Scriptures which it has been given to me to explain.
The translation of Er-Rahman and Er-Rahim into other languages has resulted in the use of terms quite unrelated to each other whereas it is obvious that the root Rahm is common to these two words and they must have some related function. Offhand I call them “the Compassionator” and “the Compassionating” without holding too fast to these words. To explain further:
I call Mohammed the example of Er-Rahman and Isa the example of Er-Rahim and it comes out in their prayers that Mohammed begins with praise toward God and the concern is with Allah; while Isa is concerned with mankind and says: “Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts.”
Or, in the practical life I am called upon to bring man to a greater spiritual realization following Mohammed; and also trying to increase the world’s food supplies, following Isa. There is no contradiction but this takes Er-Rahman and Er-Rahim out of the realm of the abstract into the concrete and practical. Therefore any problems or questions which have no relation to Fateha or “The Lord’s Prayer” are outside my duties in life and from this point of view, your eager friend Afridi has tried to place before a dervish something without showing the relation of it to Allah or revelation.
One of the besetting sins of Muslims is their idols and these idols are chiefly: Islam, Qur’an and Hadith. For the term Islam has no relation to surrender or peacefulness and means in practice the extension of one’s will; Qur’an is used without regard to its content and Hadith even more so. The result is that religion is far from religion and not a single reform whomsoever, whatsoever has gone back to Fateha which is supposed to be repeated many times each day that blind followers of Sharia cannot off hand even tell one how many times they say Fateha and this is called “devotion.”
Now Mohammed has said in Hadith that Holy Qur’an was given in seven dialects and each of these dialects have an inner and outer meaning. At one the Mullahs will cry in horror saying this means the abandoning of Sharia and ultimately we fall into Shiaism or the Qarmati heresy. This is nonsense:
For the basis of Holy Qur’an was revealed on “The Grand Night” and in the Grand Night experience Mohammed travelled the universe and saw the seven facets of the universe. Therefore he was trying to give man a synopsis of this universe. And when we say in Fateha, “Rab al-Alamin,” and then refer to some presumable astronomical data or phenomena we are limiting Allah to the creation of this world (Nasut). Besides the first step toward ignorance is suppressing Islam to make it conform to Sharia; the next to make it conform with Ijma; and finally to nufsaniat our individual explanation of things. And while no doubt we have a perfect right to explain many things from the individual standpoint, we are now so far from Islam that we can only make a travesty of it.
One must inform our friend Afridi, that so far as a Sufi is concerned he is interested in Lahut-Jabrut Malakut-Nasut, the last least of all. And to select some polar-earth relations without regard to what Qur’an itself says concerning light; or what Al-Ghazali has given in his work is to suppress our operations to this world and to this world alone.
As I am not constrained to follow Al-Ghazali and as I am directed to follow Data Ganj Baksh, instead of being disturbed by Al-Afridi I am taking this opportunity to give my first exposition of “Kashf-ul-Mahjub” and shall comment on it as I see fit, though I may stray far in order to give my version of Afridi’s paper, remembering it is my version. Nor shall I use such words as “logical; “reasonable,” etc. because unless the subject-matter impresses the reader the whole thing is nufs. Whether I write on nufs further depends on what may be impressed during the writing that proceeds:
Text: The apostle said: “If ye knew God as He ought to be known, ye would walk on the seas, and the mountains would move at your call.” The great division between the people of reason and the people of insight is that the former are compelled to accept this literally or not, and end by becoming hypocrites. They dare not deny what is presumed to have come from Mohammed and they usually end by saying, “Weak hadith” or a challenge but their own egos they do not challenge. And I say, “If he knew God as He ought to be known, you would walk on the seas, and the mountains would move at your call.”
The difference between the mystic and the scientist is that while both study phenomena the former studies them either in relation to the whole, or in feeling toward the whole while the latter studies everything apart. The Prophet on the Grand Night saw the Seven Aspects of the universe and then he gave the Qur’an, knowing he would have to offer it in the Arabic language and to most ignorant people. For revelation cannot be complete unless it is given to and understood by the most ignorant. This last is clear in the teachings of Isa. Isa did not give his teaching to the ignorant but to the fairly learned and to complete revelation it had to be offered to the most ignorant and at the same time allude
to the highest wisdom.
After preparing for interviews at UC and radio station KPFA received a long letter from Anwar Hussain, ‘pindi, instructing me to do just that. The Pir has collected 15,000,000 Rs. for the university and expects my cooperation. Reported to Metz, Asia Foundation and he directed me to Ford Foundation to get equipment for labs and shops. Will do soon.
Interview with Strong very important:
a. Buddhism. Protested against the appearance of Daisetz Suzuki but that worthy is ill. Have now written long letter calling attention to existence of Vice-President of World Buddhist Federation, Paul Fung, in our midst and written a long send-off for Paul. Besides as I am personal rep. of Sogen Asahina at Kamakura can back this up by showing credentials. Also mentioned Eidmann but Paul should appear.
Saturday attended Buddhist Assn. services in Chinatown and lunched. Must write as other Americans who go not interested in Buddhism but in social affairs. Saw Della. Suzuki going to Japan but not until another Zendo is opened in Monterrey district. Talked to George Fung Saturday night. Very cordial, so am sending him letter in re Paul.
b. Sufism. Strong approved of relations with Islamabad U. and am writing soon. But also received letter asking for information on space. Instead wrote first commentary from Kashf-ul-Mahjub, saving one carbon for Mawlawi, others to go to Pakistan.
Need to settle once and for all methodology. Wrote Saladin in regard to European situation, but immediately after letter was completed door bell rang and in came Bryn.
c. Beorse. Evelyn left with people named De Sablo, 1329 H St., Sacramento. Sending carbon to Vera in case she desires to call there. Bryn satisfied. He would like to contact Jon. His plans to go to Pakistan still open and we had two long discussions:
1. He favors my writing to Pir Zade and he approves my desire to use a Gatheka-Gatha method (not necessarily Githas yet) to spread Sufism in Pakistan by a modern method. He thinks that Bhakti should unload papers which do not belong to her. May write Aramdarya first. Otherwise will simply see what Edward has. Have also written to Bill to contact Edward in this regard. Edward said I could have his papers any time.
2. Terry Duce spoke last Thursday on the need of desert research and reclamation. Told Bryn I thought we might make connections for him either with Islamabad U. or with the Pakistan Govt. Bryn has been working on Salt-Water research. Long technical discussion and total agreement. But also found an old letter from U. C. on desert research. This means a long letter soon to Terry. Pir-o-Murshid’s transcendent instructions to make friends with Terry’s friends now turn to reaching him. After diary-entry will visit American Friends of the Middle East and then possibly Mawlawi. It seems doors open rightly.
Alumni Assn. Accepted with enthusiasm my plans for international and also presenting this at the Asia Conference. Called on Paul Keim later and he also endorsed.
Paul Keim, Engineering Dept. He reports failure of Foreign Aid. Asked me about soil and crop program and he accepted my suggestions which will go into official report. Will take this up with Egyptian Consulate this A.M.
Anthropology Dept. Etc. After leaving Strong went to this department to show them copy of The Religion of Java by Clifford Geertz. This is another one of those things. This book was published by U. C., written by a U. C. professor who lived among Asians and has written a detailed, factual, objective report and it has no standing! Fellow victim, fellow-sufferer but the ladies there did not exactly embrace me physically. It increases my prestige when I find these things out. In the other parts of the campus Geertz is unknown, just a long string of the real Americans who go to real Asia and have real findings.
Paul above said, “Sam, do you know what is wrong?” Then he put his hand over his heart. But we spend billions of dollars and get nowhere and here is one of our top foreign aid men in total agreement.
Next step is to meet Prof. Mendelbaum, authority on India. He was away. (Note: Puck had his hand here. Have two friends who work for the department. Honesty is always the next to the best policy. The first is, be successful.)
Then showed the people in the S. Asian and Far East Departments my picture at the stupa of Buddha.
Comparative Religions. Some time ago I placed before Swami Kriyananda a plan for studying Sepher Ha Zohar and comparing it with Indian materials. He wants collaboration but said he could not find a peaceful place—and he goes around as a Swami!
Strong placed before me his detailed plans and this means I can go to California and work on a paper which would get recognition. There is no problem for me.
Chaudhuri. In preparing to meet Strong I found a lot of excellent material on Sri Aurobindo, and planned to send it. Bat I received a letter from Haridas setting forth his plans so have written him in some detail.
The way he was treated at the last conference on Asia was a shame, and I am half afraid it will happen again so will soon be taking this up. People ask me if I am using him, yes. Why not? He presided at the funeral service for the Indian Consulate showing he has official approval. But if Moore or Northrup show up I am willing to face arrest. The counter balance is simply I shall go in the Murshid’s robe and then people will watch. So I am going to write Strong about people with real credentials or else.
On the agenda also is letter to Shahab. Am playing my cards one by one but having them, there is no fear. Now have practically every Asian community in S.F. for me, whatever that means … stopping here.
Visit to UAR consulate excellent so plan for Terry Duce all in order. Check arrived, making up for definite of last two months.
1088 Fulton Street
San Francisco, 17, Calif.
March 27, 1963
My Dear Saladin,
When I was in Cleveland in 1930, I read The Lives of the Adepts by Efleki in French. It made me very lonely indeed because these Sufi saints had had experiences to which my own were akin and there was nobody to talk to about them. It really pushed Rabia and I apart plus the fact that I defeated her in a public examination—there were about 30 contestants. She never forgave me. It is only now that a descendant of Jelal-ud-din Rumi has come here that I could really open up.
In Pir-o-Murshid’s first constitution everything was to depend on spiritual development, but he found that this could not work in the West. In Egypt they have open brotherhoods when there are no Murshids and closed brotherhoods when they do, but all respect each other. This is determined by experiences in fana-fi-lillah which is very definite.
One of my closest friends in Pakistan is Professor A.A. Siddiqui, Punjabi University in Lahore. He has been afraid that because of my Western background I would introduce an unwelcome latidudarianism. The story becomes humorous:
A. I told him that when I should become a Sufi Murshid I would restrict myself to the Azan and Fateha and not even use Qur’an, much less the traditions. This disarmed him.
B. This was useless because in the meanwhile he became a Sufi disciple himself and was a little perturbed that I was not a disciple of Pir Dewwal Shereef. But when I came to Lahore last we were so much in agreement and I was already a Khalif, outranking him in his own school.
In 1956 I spoke at the University on the Sufic interpretation of the Old and New Testaments and in the comment he contrasted me against Maheboob, his sons and Vilayat, saying that they had not even touched the surface where I had plumbed the depths. Now I add to this that Hassan Sani Nizami, son and successor of Hassan Nizami and therefore an important Pir-o-Murshid, considers me as the successor to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. He was with me when we visited the tombs of the Four Great Saints—Amir Khusrau, Nizam-ud-din Auliya, Inayat Khan and Hassan Nizami. If you want details of what happened, I shall tell you. But the substance of my spiritual life can be summarized in my relations to Nizam-ud-din Auliya and the events of Khilvat in Fairfax in 1925. The last have been practically rejected by almost every disciple of Inayat Khan and accepted totally by every spiritual teacher whomsoever and wheresoever otherwise.
In 1923 Pir-o-Murshid gave me a very long interview in which he outlined the need to contact the intellectual people. He said in that private interview, and again in one of the gatherings of all mureeds that we must not appear exotic and must reach folks in their own language and habits. This sent me on a very long intellectual journey, or many journeys into which we shall not go now.
Just as in Pakistan I can teach all Sufism, God willing, from the Azan and Fateha, so in the West I can teach all Sufism from the invocation and the Three Prayers–Saum, Salat, and Khatum. I have long ceased to hope to convert any relative of Pir-o-Murshid to these prayers, but there is always the possibility that one might accept them, just a little, on rare occasions. I am not fooling.
Your report to me shows that none of them believe that God Is the Only Being. They do not believe that “In God we live and breathe and have our being.” They cannot conceive that we are parts of each other as St. Paul said. In other words, what makes a Sufi? It is not a title that you can hand down. The African dervishes do not call themselves Sufis, but agree with Rabia, “I shall be a Sufi, God willing.” And unless they see that Allah is willing, they do not use that appellation. My use of the term is by initiation and not ceremony.
In 1925 I had the first initiation of Khidr and when I was to meet the Pir of Dewwal Shereef I knew it would be a fight to the death. But I did not know whose death. I melted entirely away in his presence. Today I visited Gavin Arthur who is involved in some ESP research. I laugh. Do you think I wait for a letter from either of my Pirs in order to do anything? It is different from kashf or intuition but it works with this faculty.
Now the stream of direction from the Pir of Dewwal Shereef and from Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan are the same. This Pir not only repeated the same instructions, sometimes he even used the same words, as if he himself were merged in Inayat Khan. This is something the family does not, cannot, and will not comprehend. I have been willing, for the sake of love and harmony and beauty to work with them or anybody. Pir-o-Murshid did not make me an esoteric leader, but an exoteric leader, and “leader is he who is leader of himself.”
In the last few days I have gotten complete, satisfactory answers from Princeton and Pitt. Not only that when I visited Berkeley, my suggestion on a world problem was accepted and I know my other suggestions are going through. All signs point to it. I am not worried over the private opinions of people who have not seen the face of God, or Love. The subject with Princeton is Sufism itself, and with Pitt, world harmony and peace. And all my suggestions have been accepted, with thanks, by people who are moving in large arenas.
I was away when the Bridey Murphy stuff became public. I met Bernstein, and liked him, but he has the Shangri-la dream. Not so his closest friend, who asked for Bayat and received it. But it was on condition that he give me no gift of any sort and no thanks under any conditions. Fateha says, “All praise is to Allah” and Saum says, “Praise be to Thee.” Instead of gaining financially by mureeds, I have exhausted my resources, and excepting one wealthy lady in Cleveland, gotten nothing but a little hospitality. I have received much more from friends.
I have already outlined my future at the University of California, and today received my copy of “The Lesser Upanishads” of which there are few copies in this country. This, plus the Japanese material which has come my way…. I would not change if I could. I can’t. If you think there has been any break in ties between Pir-o-Murshid and myself it came just once, and that was my doing, when I could not believe what he was trying to tell me. I dare not interfere with transmission. And if I don’t get any answers from Europe, so be it, but whom do you think loses?
March 27, 1963
My dates have been slightly mixed. Something happened last night which stimulates making a record. This will go in my biography made later on.
When I was studying Organic Chemistry, I took into account many facts and factors not usually observed, discussed them and then added how they affected the technique and results. I learned this , in part, from studying Steinmetz. The result was that my lab. notebook was taken at the end of the term and kept on record as an ideal notebook.
My peregrinations among the scientists have resulted, usually, in my being invited to join them at levels where only Masters and PhD’s come, not mere Bachelors. If I relate these stories to other people they call it egotism. But I’ll relate one because of the aftermath.
I do not know whether Dr. Turki, head of the National Research Centre in Cairo is a Sufi or not. But he invited me at once to a top level secret meeting where I received an insight so different from what the papers say, that it was not until yesterday that I could speak out and be accepted, with one very notable exception. This exception is Paul Keim of the Engineering Department at U. C. When I saw him last week he asked for an overall on the future foreign aid in Agriculture in the UAR. As Professor Ayers came all the way from Rome to Cairo to see me, it is absolutely impossible for me both to record my diary and have events accepted. It is all called “egotism” and this thing goes on and on and on, and the metaphysical and dialectic people reject me and I know it beforehand.
Robert Clifton (Phra Sumangalo) died, leaving a tremendous number of followers and much wealth. Zoso (Paul Fernandez) died, leaving a widow and few friends. But Paul had the Dharma and Robert had not. All the arguments won’t change this, and all the statements of opinion of the unenlightened won’t detract one bit from the truth. And not all the advice, suggestions or even money is going to change me from being the Fudo successor of Zoso to become the Samantabhadra successor of Robert. When I was called to make some remarks on the death of Robert, I arose and said “Namo Samantabhadra Bodhisattva” and sat down. I don’t know whether the audience understood, but the monks all did, and instead of boring the audience with an oration—negative self-praise, I came to the point. This is the dharma.
I have told you when you come here or we meet I’ll give you my real name. But I have as testimonial the robes invested in public. Why?
The events of 1925 were one and all rejected hither, thither and yon. But when I got to Asia it was not so. Only on my revisit it was the holy men who came and pointed out the person who was blessed by this one or that one because they had seen exactly what I claimed in 1925. In our jury system and our scientific system the corroboration of testimony is not only valid, it is necessary; in our metaphysical (dis)order, it is called “egotism” and is rejected.
While those moribund Inayatis are criticizing me and loathing one another, what is to stop me from re-instituting the Meditation on Salaat wherein I can lead anybody toward fana-fi-Rassoul with or without papers. Or to restore one of the two original methods of Pir-o-Murshid, to teach Zikr and not a lot of philosophy and esotericism no matter how worthy? When the day comes, will do.
When you have Sufis walk 50 miles—before Kennedy said anything—to kiss the ground or hail me for my experiences of 1925, what is the comment? They have seen what happened. And then the Khalandar saw much more—and others after him which leads to the event of last night. When a single mureed can arise and said: “I know Thee as Rama, Krishna, Siva … etc.” this person will resign. But I can assure you this cannot happen.
The whole history of Major Sadiq—my steadfast upholding of him in times of dire distress and finally his beholding Jesus Christ, and in a way even few Christian mystics have seen him was the sign for my leaving Pakistan. “It is finished.” “When the gods arrive, the half-gods go.” Like Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Nizami I don’t put on a false cloak of humility; I go and study with others, just as he did. The “humble” speak softly and gently and never study with anybody or take anybody’s advice.
One day in Fairfax we were studying Masnavi and Pir-o-Murshid suddenly appeared and said, “Be a flute.” I became a Flute and this flute has been demonstrated in two ways—as the Flute-of-Rumi and as the Flute-of-Krishna. As the Flute-of-Rumi it has been shown to Farooq Malawi, Jelal-ud-din’s descendent and accepted by him, and “to hell with the Inayatis.” And last night it was demonstrated in front of about ten people, only this time Sri Krishna appeared and told me what notes to produce and this was done. It is done by fana, self-effacement and I carry this inner music and it may be given to the world, inshallah. Besides this Pir-o-Murshid left a Mauni system and I have given this away or it will not be part of the future Sufism as such, so I have returned it to the proper school of Indian traditions.
I have also pulled a fast one on two leaders here who have not recognized me. I have written Chancellor Strong of the University of California a long letter recommending Paul Fung as the Buddhist leader; and Haridas Chaudhuri as the interpreter of Indian philosophy. While these men never recognized neither have they done me any harm, and my work with them will be done if I can push them upstairs. I can go further and almost predict that Paul will fail unless he stops recognizing external positions and Haridas will not fail for he would rather sacrifice his whole being, even to God, than fail. Watch and see. In front of Lottie (Zoso’s widow) I demonstrated to a skeptic that it is easier to conquer a country than one’s own evil passions…. This partly as diary. News may or may not follow.
April 2, 1963, evening
My Dear Aramdarya:
My position at this time is again a testing ground, whether I can hold out at all. Perhaps a wise God has provided me with some setbacks, for I am utterly unable to carry on, and am going away next week to get a new view of life. Even that will not be a sinecure. Everybody expects things of me and only one person is really helping out at all. That is Bill Hathaway of Santa Barbara, who had one Bayat and who also occasionally lived at Fairfax. We are totally unlike each other in everything, but we were probably brothers in former lives.
Near East Complex. There is nothing but good to come from this direction but the quantity of effort is almost beyond me. The Sufi who is here is from this region, a descendent of Jelal-ud-din Rumi, the great poet. We have had two visits. The situation is complex because of my strange relationship with one Yvonne Engel. She is the only daughter of our Senator. When I first met her, I was drawn very close and I may have written to you before that our Suns are practically conjunct. She has had much of the same tragic background, and has been caught in the midst of several complexes which are most difficult to decipher.
Out of a clear sky I learned that some people intend to finance her in a project which I had, for years, tried to get over here and was rebuffed, then, by the “love, harmony and beauty?” Sufis. All I can say at the moment is that it concerns the Near East and now she is beginning to understand me, and Sufism.
Cross-trailing this has been the request for certain articles which I have written. I know beforehand that these articles are going to gain me both friends and enemies, unless, as it was in Pakistan, they are presented publicly by someone else, who will then have to stand the gaff. All I can say here is that the persons whom I am benefitting are all friends of Terry Duce.
India Complex. I have gotten three rebuffs and one effort has not yet been answered. To “avenge” myself I have gone to bat for the leading authority on India, who himself has been rebuffed because he does not toe the mark of an approach which is impossible for an Indian. He simply does not understand what is expected of him; I mean it is something outside Indian consciousness. This, in turn, is making him realize where I stand. But before him I have had the awful experience of seeing two fellow Californians go to India, become spiritually enlightened, and then getting snubbed all over.
For there are many conferences going on here on “cosmic consciousness” and the “great awakening” and while we still have to see many ex-madames lead them, we are only a step away from that, and I am not talking anything silly. Drunkards, promiscuous men, and whatnot are in charge of these affairs, and are being taken seriously by the public.
Buddhism. It has taken me about 12 years to get the leading Buddhist here to understand my own point of view. I have also gone to bat for him, although this may mean my total debarment from certain groups. I accept that. The type of stuff peddled as Buddhism here, and the types of people regarded as “experts” have not only made the rest of the world shudder at America, but the rest of the country shudder at California.
India & Integration. On the world scene my colleagues have been entirely successful but correspondence is not easy. In the meanwhile I ran into a representative of Tagore today and this is going to enable me to present my poem to him. I said nothing but showed him my copy of “The Lesser Upanishads.” This was given to me in India, but is so poor a copy—very atrocious paper—I am going to have to type it. One cannot even Photostat it if I had the money—which I do not. I feel very good here.
Pakistan. Here again I have to help rather than be helped. I am going to have to write out “Moral Culture” and then write the commentaries on it. After that if I can obtain it, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”
The University has required my help but here again this is more typing, even though somewhat successful. Rosy predictions do not get my typing through. I have been given until July 23 for this, which is a sort of spiritual deadline, if I can hold out and I am not the least bit sure I can.
Grapevine. I have written the Reinholds the strange situation. When I said the grapevine was against me, that was “paranoia” but now the grapevine is against me and it is disgusting. The scandal mongers have attached themselves on to a person who was leading the scandal-mongering against me and are having a field day. I have been able to look at these people one by one. The psychologists never pick on the villains, only on the victims. So it is cold comfort that I’m getting a sort of good name the wrong way.
Paul Reps is now back in Hawaii. The grapevine has it that he may come here to see a publisher but no conformation. Since I saw the 600,000 displaced persons in Karachi in 1956 I have never felt comfortable; and since I have met so many actual Murshids and Masters I am unable to conform to a lot of things which look simple but easy.
Yoga. This note is of an entirely different order, nothing but progress and wonder but still a little unresolved.
Bryn Beorse certainly knows some of the relations of this Sufi, Farooq Mawlawi, but I have not told him about this incident. He it too mixed up in his own affairs to have time for anything or anybody else. When he comes down here again I’ll arrange a meeting. There will be a big gathering next month for him over near the University of California.
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad
Of great interest and importance to me personally has been the interpretation of the Lotus by both Iru and Paul which are going to help me no end in “The Lotus and the Universe.” I should be working on my copy for submission to the publishers this week. The Universal Church has used the Lotus-theme all over and I feel very happy about it.
Neo Dhamma Society. I shall not get mixed-up with these people. First, I like the Lotus, as opposed to the Wheel or Swastika as the Buddha-symbol. Next, these people are introducing a dialectical Buddhism and I have a horror of dialectics.
The first efforts of the Theravadins resulted in a long, drawn-out battle with the Zen people here. Then we had one Sister Dhammadina come here and her moral background was no different from that of the men who are lecturing on “Dzen” and “Cosmic Consciousness.”
The Neo Dhamma Society is an attempt by Americans to reintroduce Theravada without a Sangha. This is nonsense. And now, with Paul lecturing on Buddha and sorrow and pain, I see no reason for anybody to unite with such a group. It serves no function at all excepting to satisfy the egos of those involved. And if they have abandoned the problem of suffering, they have equally ignored the process of enlightenment and emancipation from pain. If a Mahayana group deals with the historical Buddha and the law of Causation and the Eight-fold Path of deliverance, there is no place, to me, for a semi-phony Theravada group. But they will probably join in the Wesak Ceremony and I shall report later.
Phra Sumangalo’s two associations, Brian Goode and James Wagner are very busy running around and next time I see them I’ll try to get more news from them.
Japanese Buddhist Association. I am submitting to them, today, the carbon of my talk, “Chinese Influence on Japanese Art.” They may want me to deliver it to some of their groups. As years go on, I am getting an ever-increasing knowledge of both Chinese and Buddhist art. I remember saying it takes 40 years to turn page one. I began this study, however, in 1928. The 40 years aren’t up, but I began the Zen in 1920.
Please let me know about the Encyclopedia.
April 3, 1963
My dear friends:
The one between gossip, sermonizing and news is often very thing and I feel like that now. My whole objection to the teachings of what is known as “Oriental Philosophy” is that words and persons have taken the place of realities and when it comes to the direct insight which is called “Prajna” in Buddhism, a thousand manifestations by the “wrong person” are rejected because a humbug said—and he was well beloved: “that the right means in the wrong hands are wrong.” Opposite this is the extreme teaching of the Patriarch who refused anything wrong but did observe the existence of ignorance. But as the glamour of persons controls so much of our lives and thoughts, we cannot realize how simple or intricate are the affairs of others because we tend to observe and sometimes them by a different standard that we are able to apply to ourselves.
The Heart—Sciences are unknown in the West and the first very slim effort on the part of fellow Americans who here an inkling into them is nothing but the shadow of Christ-crucifixion. But the willingness to accept delightful personalities as the emissaries of the universe has been the source of the tragedies, and comedies of “Mother” and “Daughter” here. Of course “Mother” is not “Mother” and Daughter is not “Daughter” and yet both are. At least there is and admittance of an aeonic karma which has produced the laughter, pain and tears of all of us and we recognized it.
The Music Box is owned and operated by Grace West Frye. When I left she was on Grant Ave almost in the middle of the Beatnik district and there is no doubt that her transference led in part to the downgrading of the area. She had no relation with the Beatnicks other than propinquity, but their common adjacency helped to bring people there. For Grace is a pioneer and a firm advocate in real Folk Arts. Her present marriage to a man half-Greek and with a double Christian heritage plus her own adherence to a sort of folk-lore Judaism keeps both of them in harmony with universal outlooks. This is immediately reflected in the programs here covering almost every period of musical and entertainment and a wide variety of performers and performances not related in the elsewhere. One question I have asked, half in humor and half serious, which nobody here has been able to answer so. How many instruments does Grace play?”
I don’t remember when Donna met Grace but she studied Recorder with her in the past and the rumor was that Grace being up here in part was responsible for her coming to Mendocino. Also her second “wild” husband liked it here.
Grace was always a mother to her classes, but I guess, being older I was more like a brother and in feeling there has been something like it. I know the void in Grace and the difficulty of a type which we may call “Uranian” to find a subtitle mate. I don’t mean “Uranian” which is used by Edward Carpenter and with a slightly different meaning by Astrologers, but it is as near as we have a term in English. They correspond more to the Overman of Sri Aurobindo. The Uranian type of Grace is simple and elegant but very different from what psychologist consider. Even to her present husband who is certainly a Uranian, she is much like a mother.
It was very significant that when Donna showed me her chart, the role of events is evident and my interpretations were both bolstered by what Gavin had told her and from what I see in it. But the chart has limitation in that it only measures the strictly karmic forces and not much the universe of the genius-side of man (Uranian) and nothing at all of the heart side, thought the indicators are there.
One thing I learned from Dr. Baker is that patterns remain until we break them and often they are so big and strong we cannot. Gavin did explain in the basic pattern of Donna’s psyche but the strong urges of sex on one hand and of the heart on another make us difficult and even unnecessary to follow our own “blue-prints.” Her trip to Puerto Rico brought out little excepting more hardship and pain and an almost realization on that she may have to follow a new pattern. It also shows in her chart why she is drawn to Grace and to certain people whom I do not name. I only hope that if she has romance again ether the man’s chart will be drawn up or that the heart rather than the ego or psyche will determine the next step. This is not easy when one has children.
I expect to see her home here which is now rented. She is going to move with the children into a barn on her property and I hope to be helping her in this after this letter is completed—it may be left open. Donna does seem satisfied to be here and the children love it. On the whole I would say she fit in very well with the folks who come to the Music Box where I am staying.
I told both Grace and Donna a little of what I know of Yvonne’s plans and they both like it and feel there is a need for something of that sort. I am observing a lot of the details of observation so I can report more fully when I return—the arrangements of the titles, the décor, the close relations with the clientele and a lot of other things.
It was fortunate I booked ahead of time for within four hours after I arrived all rooms were taken up; Easter has been booked so ahead and after that a cinema company is coming here which will be a great attraction all around. Indeed the question is finding help—cooks, waiters, etc. for even with everybody pitching in, it is not enough and there is not much help available. This is an almost isolate community excepting slightly to the worth, to Fort Bragg.
Donna has a huge car, like a van and I’ll know more about it later, no doubt. The children were too tired. She has Pogo still but I did not check about the other dogs.
I am only hoping to put a touch of courage. I see our society poised between firm pessimism and superficial optimism while I am trying to bring a firm optimism based on the existence of spiritual values—the values themselves and not any talk about them. The glamour of Alan Watts and others has been followed by the very questionable antics of dramatists posing as spiritual leaders, accepted and then behaving as Pied Pipers. This will continue and it is only when we have the victims we are spooked, but it is usual we either become pessimistic or accept another Pied Piper. This is due to the failure of the common religion which even I shudder to consider and at least socially prefer the Alans or the Pied Pipers. But that does not help Donna or the others. If I can bring out “The Kingdom of Heaven is Within” I believe this will be wonderful. And here I go almost like a “father” to Grace’s mother and there may more in it than meets the eyes or the I.
April 4, 1963
Beloved One of God:
For the diary. I am rereading the history of Mathematics, and it is noteworthy that the greatest contributions of the 19th century came through the discovery of inversion and its use. I am not going to explain what this is. Pir-o-Murshid had one mureed who may not have known much Mathematics, but he discovered and used inversion in his creative efforts. He succeeded with God, but he did not succeed very much with man. People want metaphysics or personality, and because he did not offer metaphysics, he did not establish a movement, and because he has certain peculiarities as a man, he has been ignored. But it is a characteristic of every great beloved one of God to have peculiarities. You are either part of the amorphous clay mass or you are crystallized out. As soon as a person is crystallized out, he is peculiar. But it is the crystal that reflects, or even transmits, the light. The clay cannot do it.
Pir-o-Murshid failed in most things. He came to deliver the Message of God, but ended with a lot of people fighting to get control of the Board of Directors. God did not count. He came to present the term “Sufi” and in most parts of the world, the Sufi means a God-realized man, but now it means subservience to a Board of Directors selected by birth or election and not by the processes which even the Masons demand. Actually the Sufi Orders demand it much more than the Masons, but in practice, the people in Holland and Switzerland and Suresnes have established a school for good and bad people, chosen arbitrarily and without regard to either the teachings of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan or any reference to God.
In the North African Orders, you cannot be called a “Sufi” until you reach a certain degree. Pir-o-Murshid also had a degree called “Sufi” and he gave me bayat in it while everyone else denied it. That was years ago, but already then I had the right to be called “Sufi.” It was only after recognition by many persons in fana-fi-lillah that I was publicly acknowledged as a Sufi, and since my return, the reports are that the Murshids and Pir-o-Murshids all over Pakistan regard me as such. I will not relate the opinion of the Indians. Saida was in many parts of India, but I not tell even her of my relations with the Sufis in that country; it will not be believed. People believe in persons or corporations, they don’t believe in the Living God in whom we live and move and have our being, much less have the experience.
Yesterday’s paper had a headliner on the growth of promiscuity. I don’t know whether it is true or not, but I do know there is no “solution” in sight. The Sufi receives two problems from Pakistan. He does not avoid and does not pontificate:
1. The psychological problem was met by the assignment to the mureed of suitable practices in Ryazat. Although in a sense, he was not ready for those practices, he was facing the problem for which those practices are the solution. It was assumed that God had permitted the problem and therefore, God would permit the solution.
This is the Sufi way. It is not the way of many who call themselves “Sufis.” The people in Europe may have legal organizations, but they are not part of one another. No man is a Murshid who does not feel first and then partake next of the pains, trials, and tribulations of mureeds.
Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan said “I learn more from my mureeds than they learn from me.” It is evident that most mureeds did not learn much from him at all.
The death of Rabia resulted from the most flagrant disobedience to the instructions of Inayat Khan. She used to tell us about those instructions over and over. When David, her husband, was ill, she gave a self-praising lecture on the point. The same was true of her daughter Etta. But when she became ill, she took exactly the opposite course and her daughter accused me, and successfully, of failing to heal her mother, when all the time the mother was doing everything the opposite of what Pir-o-Murshid had told her.
To one who was initiated before the establishment of an IHQ at Geneva, it is illegal and immoral to require his obeisance to an artificial order. In 1925, the then Secretary-General failed in his efforts to explain the difference between mureed and member. He was overruled and outvoted, and later Pir-o-Murshid told Saladin: “They have taken my organization from me.” The papers which belong to the Sufi Order and not to the IHQ were seized and became corporation property. No man then and no man since has reached or can reach the God-consciousness. This comes either through following the Pir, or as Saladin has done, inverting—which is very different from reverting. In the inversion methods, often the Murshid appears as the disciple of the Mureed, learning from him; or the mureed turns inside-out the teaching (inverting)—he does not, however, go in the opposite direction (reverting).
The second problem from Pakistan was of a material nature, but the actual was already taken. When one pursues tasawwuri, he knows what the Murshid wants and does it without visible connection. There may be a dozen books called “Mind-World,” but so far, when it comes to the understanding thereof, practically speaking nobody, unless again, one refers to the inversion method.
Baba said: “Let the heart come, let the mind go,” and then gives us a tremendously detailed book of blueprints, telling God exactly what His traffic rules are and threatening Him with jail sentences if He does not obey them. Saladin Reps just gave us some art forms illustrating what the heart can do when the mind and ego don’t get in the way. We prefer the “fun” of having the mind and ego.
Going to a psychiatrist was a method Pir-o-Murshid would have used, to study the modern sciences. The psychiatrist did one thing which nobody else had dared to, excepting the Pirs—study the history of pain and tribulation of the person and see what could be done to pull him out of it. This is something which has gone down now and comes up to study the history of pain and tribulation of persons—and nations—and come up with some kind of answer. Of course, at first these will be rejected—peculiarities again—metaphysics or personality wanted. But in due time the Sufic psychological methods will win out. No IHQ can control them and there are “Akashic Records,” whether they are what HPB said or not.
This person is forbidden to join a sect and no justification by sect will do anything more than keep people apart. The almost universal recognition in South Asia will be followed no doubt, later on, in a campaign to bring all the Sufi Schools together. This will be action and not talk, and the dead will bury their dead.
I was about to write to Saladin when another foment, and I had to call the police. The circumstances around here have been thoroughly complicated add messed up. Yesterday JS called for his things and found his room occupied and he can’t get his furniture. K. who now has it has been trying to make a deal with L. and she been so undecided I could not find out, Norman does not want to move but the circumstances over at Isabel’s are so such more conducive to peace and with the possibility now for the first time of getting help, pay or no pay, can hardly be refused. Besides this offer came immediately after an hour’s meditation at Master Too Lun’s, like a miracle.
Now this has been compounded by my having all the basis materials of POM. But I am astonished and joyful that the best teachings of PoM appear, not in the esoteric papers, but in A Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty. This has not been studied, not only not between the lines but even the lines. Almost every phase gives a lie to the European claims and statements with their Sufism sans Allah.
Last night, no peace and I have written to Iru, copy to Saladin. I see no value in going to forums where people speak on religions they have neither studied nor practiced and what is more don’t respect those who did. When a man said that the Zen with a purpose was not Zen and I gave him a top-dressing: “It is time that a few people listen to those who have had some Zen training and not to a motley lot of ex-patriate Germans, Englishmen and social outcastes. If one took the trouble to study Zen literature or to meditate with a Zen master they would know different. I appear to be the accredited representative of Zen Masters, and whether this is received or not place it alongside a lot of humbug which is now called Zen.”
After the meeting a couple did ask where they can study Zen and I told them but cannot yet favor one group over another.
P.M. This remains a most hectic day and again it may be necessary to call the police. Arrangements with Isabel seem most satisfactory in all directions and we have agreed down to details concerning Kim and Daniel.
For the first time the World Affairs Council has accepted my application for a Seminar on Asia, this after at least four rejections with the phoniest excuses. Have already protested on reports against Pakistan elsewhere. While this is a sort of show, the loss of life, the continued battling, cold war or not, caused merely because our Foreign Services point blank refuse to accept warnings from people on the spot, keeps us in turmoil.
Syria has rejected Lowell Thomas’ report on “Lawrence of Arabia” and rightly so. The mishmash caused by this phony is beyond our conception.
All of this is overbalanced by the materials copied in between from A Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty. One does not have to seek poise, it is right there. That book is going to be my Archimedes lever by which I may move the whole earthy inshallah.
1088 Fulton St.,
San Francisco 17, Calif.
April 17, 1963
My dear Jack:
On: The Buddhist Encyclopedia and Other Matters
Last week I went to the village of Mendocino about 300 miles to the North and spent four lovely days with friends and artists that have established a colony there, yet unspoiled. The previous artist, now arty colony is to the south of here and Mendocino is to the north. At the former place you can hear a lecherer and an adulterer lecture on Zen or Buddhism or Cosmic consciousness; or one of your fellow countrymen by birth tell us what drug produces what samadhi. The respectable people go and go now in large numbers because there is no question that in this region the pervading religions are on the downgrade.
The surprising good time contrasting with years of difficulty caused me to change a method of living. Now the interpretation I have of the crucifixion is that it means the death of the ego; and of the resurrection is that it means the full an-atta life. I therefore resumed a practice I learned from Sokei-an Sasaki of anatta in everyday life, and the abandonment of effort and especially the aiming at success. (Assorted)
The first thing that happened was in going into Fields Book Store—where you can buy an number of books of Zen and Buddhism written by people from almost every country in Europe and a few Americans. Up to this time there was none by any Russian and I saw one by a Russian which I purchased immediately: “Buddhist Logic” by T. Stcherbatsky, perhaps the one man on the whole continent I really respect.
Sometimes I feel like establishing an Arya Dharma Society devoted to anatta, anicca and dukha. It is certain that as mushroom organizations and anti-social speakers are offering all kinds of things called “Buddhism,” the contemporary discoveries in Physics and Cosmology are sustaining this Arya Dharma no end, just as the previous work in Genetics, Biology, etc. did. And later on I have to review the “Buddhist Logic” for you; for I feel it will apply to contemporary Physics and Psychology, and equally will not apply to much which is offered as Buddhism.
I next received a report from Paul Reps who is now in Honolulu, which is enclosed. The receipt of this activated Prajna and I suddenly changed plans and went to the meeting of the combined Bhinest Buddhists, excepting the Fung group. It was well I did.
Wesak Day. In my absence the Soto Zen group took over the celebration of Buddha’s birthday according to the Japanese calendar. I am told it was the largest gathering ever in this vicinity, which confirms my statement that the prevailing religions are going down and people are seeking. Sensei Suzuki is going to Japan, and I’ll find out more later.
It is very curious that while Paul Fung is the Vice-President of the International Buddhist Congress, all the other Buddhist groups have united to some extent here and have joint meeting of all kinds. Leslie Lowe of Los Angeles died in my absence—I have known him for a long time, but not too well. Ira Price has taken his place and here I am more fortunate than you, for the mehta which existed between Phra Sumangalo and myself continues not in his goings, so to speak, and I have the same feeling both without reason and without ego to Price, Wagner and Goode here.
There is a compromise Wesak Festival to be celebrated here in San Francisco on May 5, and it is hoped even Vice-President Fung may attend. All the other Buddhist groups—Chinese, Japanese and Caucasian, are uniting, and I think this is remarkable and the dream of Dwight Goddard, so to speak, has come true. I have volunteered to help and was put on the program.
This is amusing to me because again I have been given the brush-off by the Americans and the professors. But now my relations with all the Chinese Buddhist groups is excellent and they recognize me as the representative of Phra Sumangalo, as the agent for “The Western Buddhist,” and in my own right.
Next week the program will be in the hands of the Neo Dhamma Society which is trying to revive a sangha-less Tipitaka Buddhism, with a combination of morality (badly needed), contemporary cultures, and, alas dialectics. Americans simply cannot face anatta, anicca and dukha and they want to be Buddhists and I want to face anatta, anicca and dukha regardless of any appellation.
In the course of the service Iru held up the first fascicule of the “Encyclopedia of Buddhism.” Well, I have waited forty years, and “Je l‘ai” or “Eureka” or whatever you want.
One looks over the Advisory Board and the Board of Honorary Editors with some (not too much) satisfaction. Humphreys is there and Daisetz Suzuki is not. Edimann is not there and there are more articles by one H.G.A. Van Zeyst than anybody else. He appears to be a linguist and a dialectician, so business is back at the old stand.
In the section on the “Absolute” Brother Van Zeyst has abstracted Buddha right out from India and made him a good nineteenth century German. However he has fairly successfully handled the whole thing from an an-atta point of view. This is followed by a longer and finer historical article by one Yoshiro Tamura who tells us all but Buddhism and then plunks right back to Hegel. No more Samadhi, no more Meditation and of course, no Prajna!
Finally there is another article on the “Absolute” by one Andre Bareau, translated into English. He puts the Absolute of Buddhism back where it belongs, not to Hegel, or to reviewers abstractions from a lot of nonsense, but to the Four Noble Truths and the Udana, and he quotes the Udana and after reading a mass of speculation, you have it in clear language, in language also that I believe is accepted by all true followers of Arya Dharma: “There is, O monks, a non-born, a non-arisen, a non-made, a non-compound, for if there were no non-born, no non-arisen, no non-made, no non-compound, then no escape would be made from what is born, what has arisen, what is made, what is composed.
The article by Bareau is much shorter, more succinct and more apt.
I may give a partial later review of this fascicule. But what I am concerned with, is have you either this or the Buddhist Logic as above?
Sunday I go to the Universal Church. They are announcing themselves as the “Pristine Dharma” and at the same time using the Diamond Sutra and the sutra of the Sixth Patriarch which, whatever else may be said, are anything but “pristine.” Fortunately on May 5 somebody is giving the main sermon on “The Life of the Buddha.” We have had 50-11 speaker—probably more on “Zen,” “Buddhism,” “Cosmic Consciousness’ and nobody has spoken in English on the Buddha.
Theologically I don’t care but psychologically do and here there is a growing amount of delinquency, promiscuity and vileness, for which the churches have no answer. At the same time there is growing interest in the practice of meditation. The “Yogis” are too concerned with postures and the Soto people so far are too “orthodox”—i.e. they do not take into consideration the difficulty facing Americans who cannot do lotus-posture.
Incidentally I now have so much material on the Lotus that I shall have to cut down rather than otherwise in my book. The people in Mendocino wish to print part of it as review material. This is a good surprise.
S. A. M.
Samuel L. Lewis
Beloved One of God:
This is my diary entry. Recently, I had to “reverse my field.” I have had two awkward rejections, the nature of which need not concern anybody. So I began doing something different.
a. Spiritual Music. Completing the typing of “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” I saw it was time to open this up. Then Tuesday night, something happened which gave the sign, and as God has given me some keys, I shall take the next steps very soon. At first it may be only to a few, but if it can be started here, then I would bring it to Mendocino. I never studied the last chapters of this book before, stopping with “Architecture.” I shall return it as soon as possible.
b. Buddhism. Now I find I am in the Wesak Day Program, a huge gathering to take place the first Sunday in May. There was already an immense gathering, the largest in the history of San Francisco, on the Zen celebration of Buddha’s Birthday. I was away.
Also, after waiting 40 years, I have the first fascicule of the Buddhist encyclopedia.
c. The Lotus And The Universe. I find myself in the pleasant, but awkward, situation of having too much material now on “The Lotus.”
d. Editha Blesh came back into my life. She has gotten away from the metaphysical people and told me some awful stuff. But she has not gotten over her habits. Again she struck out blindly against a person, not knowing it was one of my best friends, only this time, it was a man. She is now anti-metaphysical and a member of the Unitarian Church.
e. Rehana. I met Editha at Gale Darling’s home and a good deal of discussion was around Rehana, whom both Gale and I consider the “Mother India” in the flesh, and know Rehana would object to vigorously. But Rehana has had her spiritual come-uppance lately, and although a Krishna devotee, it will be interesting to see how she would react to the Spiritual Music alluded to above.
f. Pakistan. This is a diller. Major Sadiq is now making an effort to come to the United States. I don’t know whether my plans to take another room have any direct connection with this or not. Anyhow, my adopted son, who is also the brother by adoption of the Major’s wife, has met my Khalifa Khawar and fallen in love. I should have wished this, but Khawar did not want a divorcee. Each of these persons has offered me a home—Khawar in Lahore, and the Major Anwar in Islamabad. Have already sent some spiritual instructions, and will add to these. For me, personally, this would be the greatest blessing possible, but we shall see.
g. Islamabad University. The new policy of the American Friends of the Middle East is going to be of tremendous value. We shall see.
1088 Fulton St.
San Francisco 17, Calf
April 22, 1963
Rev. Jack Austin, Editor
“The Western Buddhist”
Memories of a Rice Pounder.
Life got too hard so we decided to go back to the neglected profession of rice-pounding. This was taught to me by one Sokei-an Sasaki years ago, but during prosperity and adversity, one tends to be concerned with self. But while most people have road-blocks, this must-be-different person has a bottle-neck. And belonging to the bottle-necks instead of the road-blocks makes one more than suspect. So we began pounding the pavements a la Sasaki, and to use a popular phrase, “Then the fun began.”
You see by this method of rice-pounding you find yourself surrounded by a world which we might call Prajna. It is not the same as the “Prajna” you read of in books, which is translated “wisdom” and which with equal validity might be translated “madness,” “wisdom,” “chicanery,” or “oofle-doofle-ism.” The difference between this Prajna and all the other “prajnas” or pannas is (1) it works and (2) you lost your ego.
Money. There was not any road-block, only a bottle-neck, and as soon as the Prajna stepped in, the shekels followed. I don’t know whether there is any karma or not in it. So we went out and bought some things and were told one must not pay for a whole month at least. This is our “credit system.” Then the bank statements came in, and oh-me, oh-my, there was a mistake, and I had more money than I thought and went out to spend it, and could not. Oh, yes, I bought things all right, but must not pay; this would be social revolution or something.
a. Must send money order to Japan to “International Institute for the Study of Religions,” so one Jack Austin can get the stuff free.
b. Determined to get copy of latest translation called, “Most Excellent Means of Rice-Pounding” or “Sutra of Sixth Patriarch” by one Hui-Neng or Daikan Enō or somebody, translated by Revs. George and Paul Fung (the last shall be first), so bought two copies and then George said, “Will you send one to Jack Austin?” Already having the copy, will do so you will get it under separate cover.
c. The Buddhist Encyclopedia is out, at least First Fascicule. Have you purchased it? Can you get it? If it is available, will reimburse you, and if it is not available will send from here.
Note: The above don’t come off income tax returns because now being free, white, and over 65, no income tax.
Last Tuesday night attended Mudra Class and since then found a lot of stuff in the lesser Upanishads which are not very available. Besides, the copy sent me is falling to pieces. So I am copying it as fast as possible (this letter started at 6:30am) and finding a lot of material, available or not. This morning or tomorrow will turn some of it over to an old friend who is also a friend of Evans West.
Rev. Iru Price. My Prajna then told me to break an engagement so I visited the Buddhist-Taoist Association in time to hear a long dissertation on Wesak day and plans for a joint celebration on 5th May. The brochure is enclosed. I shall find out tomorrow whether Roshi Soyen will be here then, otherwise I am to go as representative of the Rinzai School. After all I do have the written credentials of the two Roshis at Kamakura which not a single “professional” Buddhist has been willing to even look at, illustrating non-ego. In any event I shall let you know more later.
The talk was very good on this point.
Soto Temple. An urgent telephone call asked me to attend, for on the former Sunday only four people showed up. Rev. K. Kato is now directing the services. There were but 20 people present and he is giving a series of talks on early Buddhism in China. Very informative indeed, but totally unlike the other talks there which were mostly on Prajna.
Universal Church. Before going there and above the above I listened to a television program called “Problems Please” by three clergymen on why scientists don’t attend church and they concluded, “It is a problem.” Well I suspect there were quite a few scientists at the Universal Church and if Paul Fung gives another talk like the one he gave yesterday there will be more scientists and more and more.
Paul gave a talk on the early life of Buddha and I suppose it was drawn from Lalita-Vistara but I have not read that nor “The Light of Asia” for years. I am glad he included the “myths” for in this day we are beginning to recognize the validity of many of these myths. But Paul’s talk was largely concerned with the problems of suffering and sickness and those who go in for “Dzen” never touch the subject. Only I am beginning to feel, “When the gods arrive, the half-gods go.”
It is unusual and wonderful to sit in the middle of a large and apparently comfortable audience listening to fundamentals. Paul calls his teaching, “Pristine Orthodox Dharma.” When I was under Sokei-an’s influence I gave my first public talk on Buddhism as “Dharma, Abhidharma and Saddharma.” Roughly speaking one could identify Dharma with Hinduism, Abhidharma with Hinayana and Saddharma with Mahayana.
April 26, 1963
Beloved one of Allah,
This is really my diary entry and not so much a letter and is actually for Major Sadiq. However I shall enclose some of the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan for your studies—one at a time lease. These may be shared, and also translated. As they were published they are not part of the esoteric instruction but later on, inshallah, I hope to send you esoteric comments.
Yvonne is the daughter of a United State Senator. While she is totally unlike me in any and every way I was attracted to her while she has a girl and it may be—if you accept Astrology—because our sun’s are conjunct. We were both victimized by a very prominent person who is accepted officially as the “expert” on Islam, being as all such “experts” are neither Muslim nor American. We had in common getting along with the same people, fighting with the same people and loving the people from the Near East.
Recently suddenly she decided to give up everything to open a coffee and teashop where students from the Near East first, and then other Muslims could meet. There has been no trouble so far in raising either money or gaining interest but her venture does not stay until next month and she must first have a location. Tomorrow night one of her partners, herself and I go to a big dinner given jointly by all the Arab communities of this part of the world and we feel very good about it. Present will be Farooq Mawlawi, the descendent from Maulana Roum. Yvonne had studied Arabic with his predecessor and has already met him. There is a whole history of very pleasant incidents connected with all this alhamdu lillah.
Indian Poets. I have attended sessions on the poetry of Tagore and Aurobindo Ghose. I have challenged the speaker when they over-emphasized the “spirituality” of these men in such a way that while I lost the audiences I won the good will of each. The American public is tired of hearing that every Hindu is “super-spiritual” and the American public would like the poetry of Tagore and Ghose, and the painting of Tagore if the speakers would present the pictures and poetry and stop trying to make gods of human beings. I left last night amidst the best of good will.
“Saladin” I have been very disappointed because use I left abroad three copies of this poem and have not heard from any of the persons. One copy was left in Egypt, one copy with Ansar Nasri of Radio Pakistan and one copy with Miss Khawar. I have to assume that this copy has been forwarded to me. I had a fourth copy and could not find it. Well last night I took out a Mrs. Carrillo here and to my amazement found that I had left the forth copy with her, she will return it, and then I can get it into a form that it can either be read or even submitted for publication. I have recently spent a little time at an artists’ colony some 300 miles away, expect to be there this summer and to read some of my poetry, including excerpts from Saladin.
Spiritualism. I have written to five organizations in this country and exactly one has answered. They are all busy begging for money and ignoring each other. Without going into detail I learned that Mrs. Carrillo has been taking a leadership with an entirely different group of whom I had not heard and last night I was able to open up better than any time in my history since returning. If there is any possibility of major Sadiq coming here, she will offer full cooperation and perhaps more. She did not know of the Sufic or Islamic spiritualism before and it intrigued her very much. But so much has happened in two hours and we must leave more for Allah.
Anyhow between the news of having the copy of “Saladin” available and the other events of this order, the present moment is very pleasant.
African Students. In this building one meets members of an organization called CORE meaning, “Committee On Racial Equality.” But they are so busy arguing with each other that they do not do much. One of their purposes is to entertain visitors from Africa. Now for reasons that may seem obvious to you I have been particularly interested in Niger and what I call the “Swahilis,” the people of East Africa who have a language and culture somewhat resembling Urdu, psychologically. That is, Muslims came and brought their culture but not their basic language.
I attended many CORE meetings but learned nothing about Africa. Two days ago an old family friend who is a Unitarian told me that the members of her church are interested in hosting African Students. So I have telephoned and inshallah, should see these people soon. I am particularly interested in hosting the Muslims among them and will learn more soon. Everywhere I find people who have all kinds of philosophies, ideals, suggestions, but very, very few who will do anything. You can understand why I really have no spare time.
Asian Problems. There is a conference coming on Asia and my application to attend was turned down. Not a single Muslim on the agenda. No Pakistani, no Indonesian, and Malay represented by a Chinese. Meanwhile I have gone around and today am on most friendly terms with Japanese, Chinese, Indonesians, Pakistanis, Arabs and Hindus but not with most Americans interested in “Asia”—whatever that means. So I pray that Major Sadiq may be allowed to come here soon.
Later. Visited Lowell High School, an institution I attended many years ago and learned a number of things which will be of interest to Pakistan.
Diary way in arrears. Saturday night went with Yvonne and her new partner, Al Goodwin to the very successful Arab dinner. F.L. was there and without ado came to me and attacked Yvonne viciously—the characteristic of those who learn about “cosmic consciousness” at the Vedanta center. Rom Landau also there. This man still considers himself my public enemy #1, so we shall have fun. He does not know Mawlawi comes from a Sufi family.
Sunday morning went to Zendo and heard K. to speak further on Buddhism in china, very excellent from the standpoint of little known research. (On the previous Sunday I heard him speak on Sanskrit influences and after the lecture went up, bowed and said, “Arrigato, arrigato,” thus demonstrating the validity of the Zen uppercut.
Monday morning arose sick and this proved to be a fortune. Addressed the Asian study group at Lowell High and some girls asked me about Indonesian music and art. After reporting went to ferry building, saw the Indonesians and had a fine session. (These people are members of dervish orders despite Landau above.)
Then called at Arab Center. The secretary is leaving and I made first application for Yvonne. Then saw Mawlawi and gave him coy of “The metaphysics of Rumi.” Have already given him my commentaries on Shams-i-Tabriz. The Indonesians returned “The whirling Ecstasy” which I am now typing for Pakistan. In the meanwhile Della has offered to pay me for some garden work and this money will be given to Lorraine to make further copies of “The whirling Ecstasy.” George Fields does not know if it is available and it may take weeks to get.
Then called on Hills to get coffee information for Yvonne. Proved to be very complex subject and must delay, no time.
Then to Indian consulate and got two books, one on mudras which will give to Magana; and other on the Tyabji family, the grandparents of Rehana. Will take this up with Gard Darling later. Very important.
Tuesday very suddenly Mrs. Sigeliev came to town and had to give her most of the day. Lunched in Chinatown—poor meal at high price; then met Master Too Lun who immediately wanted me to join his meditation group. We finally compromised as he has purchased a house near here, but that meant visiting the house. It has 35 rooms and if he rents 20 of them; it gives enough revenue both to pay for this house and for the temple he is building in Brisbane. He wants to appeal to the Negroes and Japanese rather than the Chinese to join him in meditation.
All reports are that all Buddhist groups are progressing in this State, all over, and this means real Buddhists and no more Watsonians and Beatniks. Besides the character of the attendants and even their social positions are not to be sneered at. The Japanese seem to be attracting more of the younger and the Chinese of the older people.
Copying “The Whirling Ecstasy” No time for repose, not even much for prayers and sleep.
May 10, 1962 [1963?]
I am both making this diary entry and replying to your postal, which while it is a time-consumer is also a fundamental.
The arrival of the manuscripts “Saladin” has been followed by a number of minor miracles which I do not wish to delineate here although they would add to the excitement, “glamour” and interest in the biography. There will be a follow-up Monday of a complex sort.
The six conversations with PoM in the Beverly Hills Hotel concerned my three initiations:
a. Khidr; b. Hierarchal; c. Wali.
PoM wished me to write them up. I did, Finis. They were rejected, the reports of our conversations were rejected, the movement split up as I saw it would and ultimately the power, if not the sceptre, would be in my hands. The power is mostly mine by default and not by achievement, because there is practically unanimous rejection of Khatum: Open Thou our hearts that we may hear Thy Voice which constantly cometh from within.
The gifts from Khidr are two, and normally so: Poetry and Longevity. Today they are both manifest. In regard to the poetry I have written to Robert Graves and sent one of the early efforts to Mendocino where it is going to shock the people who think they are studying Judaism. But the shock comes from being totally unusual, and not from going for or against the Philistinism which operates today as “normal religion.”
Before writing Graves I went over the copies I have of early works and the prophetic element is absolutely dominant and it is going to be more dominant, inshallah. Graves repeats Fabre D’Olivet’s theories of inspiration, early Greek poetry, epics, etc. This has already been accepted by Dr. Ghose from Santiniketan.
The repetition of this initiation on a higher plane was witnessed by Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Hasan Sani Nizami and confirmed when I returned to Pakistan. So it does not matter in the slightest what the remaining initiation-disciples of Hazrat Inayat Khan say or opine (they do not think); much less than their disciples who are spreading unconfirmed legends which contradict him. In all the details I could find from Hasan Nizami or his sons or from the old friends of P.O.M. the whole picture is clear and I have also a letter to answer to South India from one of his old confreres.
The Hierarchal initiation will be dealt with lightly here. It was confirmed by various big but “sudden” experiences both with Zen and Sufi people which used not concern us here.
The Wali initiation is the basis of the operations to combat heart-starvation in forward lands and stomach-starvation in backward lands. Either of these are time-consuming and they are the basis of (a) “The Lotus and the Universe” and (b) “How California Can Help Asia.”
With regard the former the Universe is helping. Sunday night I was in the pageant as a Rinzai in commemoration of Wesak and the main sermon was by Brian Goods, disciple of my dear friend, Robert Clifton. Anything he said that bears any relation to the radio, TV, and scholastic isn’t. It is not coincidental, it isn’t. So far as that was concerned, if anybody else on the panel had spoken—and a number of sects were represented—there would be little relation to the Phillistine-paff which operates on TV, radio and press as Buddhism, much less “Zen.”
Brian it, an angel-man though he may not be aware of it. So was Phra Sumangalo. But in talking over with the Americans and Chinese there is a curious acceptance of the Prajna which is to say in Sufi terms, Kashf, which is the continual operation of the attunement of the self-less human mind with a Universal Mind, which is Wisdom, Compassion and Love. This is, the actuality and here the “exotericists” of all groups join.
In Gayan it states, “These two cannot exist together, self and God.” But the dispensing of the prayers is usually accompanied by the dispensing of the fine print. I am regarding the lives of two Muslims—one the grandfather of the lady I regard as “Mother India” and the other of a Saint in North Africa. And they more both engaged in ceaseless arguments about a certain “Islam” whose proponents could quote neither Qur’an nor Hadith. The Mohammed given us by so-called “Muslims” and equally the Mohammed given us by critics have no relation to the autobiography contained in the Hadiths which are on record—which are referred to by both in a sort of off-hand fashion and let go at that. These Hadith confirm the Universe of Wisdom, Compassion and Love.
There is no Sufism which is not operational. This was laid down by Al-Ghazali but writers of both the above camps of ignoramuses treat it syllogistically and dialectically. Suppose we treated Franklin’s kite experience as subject-philosophy; or Madam Curie’s researches. Well, this is what is done with Mohammed, Buddha Al-Ghazali and so many mystics.
We are having locally another cosmic opera. Bishop Pike has attacked the “speaking with tongues” and he is right, that speaking of tongues unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, which is to say the Universal Mind of Wisdom, Compassion and Love is nothing but obsession. This is totally different from Paul who insisted that without the love all was as the sound of brass. But bible-students do not study the Bible. They abstract and select. The whole world is marked by and inability to Integrate.
Now this Holy Spirit may operate through vocal sound—hence poetry; or through music—though I limit nothing. One single man here saved me by instead of ignoring or challenging he said, “Show me.” There has been a whole stream coming from that. I have been able to give to the world Pir-o-Murshid’s Yoga and elements, of the Mysticism of Sound have been demonstrated in my presence by disciples of the man whom I have taught, and to an astonishing degree which none of the Inayati Sufis have gotten. P.O.M. said, “The Message is in the Sphere” and the pseudo-disciples hold it is in the person.
From this you can see I don’t need books, papers, anything but the practices of the Presence of God either by personal effort or by personal surrender. It does not matter. But what is insurmountably difficult is to be called on to be a Khidr Sufi (which is now official), a Hierarchal representative and a Wali simultaneously. I cannot do it and all I can do was the best possible from day to day with no time off.
One of the hardest things to bear is that in the absence of each other, these mutually hating persons, Rom Landau and Ivy Duce, have assiduously avoided each other and pushed their venom at me. This is liable to end now as a comic opera. The presence of the Indonesian dervishes, and of Farooq Mawlawi, the gradual acceptance by the diplomats, and especially the demonstration in Part TV of “Saladin” which has proven to be absolutely prophetic and objective, is going to defeat these machinations, inshallah.
The last attack on me, from another source, has resulted in finding out that the persons concerned have made many enemies. It began with Sam Newson. I said to him, “What about this Asian conference? You know, one of those affairs in which those who do not know tell those who do?” “That’s why I am leaving the country. Then they can’t invite me.” Sam knows more about Japan than practically any other. American and he hides out.
The Conference was on the air and instead of listening to a German Professor tell all about Asia they listened to a retired English diplomat. Then the TV station appealed for funds. I switched to another station which did not appeal for funds and listened to sundry Africans, Asians and Europeans tell what they thought about American foreign policy and American life. Any relation between them and the others is not. What the Asians thought was what they generally think—and no relation to the paff peddled out before the public here. We are losing all over and are going to lose more.
The same is true on the food problems. I won’t go into that. The more campaigns, the more organizations, the less the alleviation especially when the population of the world is growing.
Sound. Your remarks are wonderful and they negate what you wrote previously about holy phrases in English. It is on sounds which have been offered by holy men which have the psychic power. If the words of Jesus had been preserved as the sounds, perhaps the mission of Mohammed would have been unnecessary. But the name of Jesus was not Jesus and when people sing, “Take the name of Jesus with you,” these are unfortunately only noises.
Graves has built a great deal on the very principles you support. There is the seven Vowel Spiritual Name and the Five Vowel Spiritual Name and from these came the seven tone and five tone scales, too. We do not know anymore the origin of do (ut), re, mi, etc. all of which are mantric. They seem to be Latin but ultimately are Indo-Germanic. Mantrams need not be either Semitic nor Indo-Germanic and there are plenty of nonsense sounds too. In the Buddhist lectures it comes out that the originally sound was AH, which is to say the sound of the first letter of those alphabets common to the Indo-Germanic and Semitic speeches, and the first sound of both the Seven-Vowel are Five-Vowel revelations.
The letter “L” makes the smoothest sounds reflected in the Zikr. For Zikr has two meanings—one the remembrance of God and the other the particularizing sounds. The very sounds help the remembrance. In “Irfan” we learn that Allah is not God but the name (sound-base) which God has assumed; or “In the beginning was the word.” Everybody looks for “the Lost word.” I can assure you it is not Om but it also is not-not-Om.
Jesus was more concerned with feeding than with “saving man’s souls” The feeding is the saving. The last lesson of some of the Gospels is “feed my lambs,” “feed my lambs.” There is no hell-fire-damnation stuff. There is very little church-stuff.
In the last century was a Sufi named Waris who did just that. I have his teaching but the only way you can have it now is other to come here or to send some money so I can have it typed. It is beyond my capacity. I could show you the methodology only in person (no cost). Even the late President Prasad of India was among his mureeds—which would shock a lot of Hindus and Muslims both and de refused absolutely by tee philistines who control cultural relations. But President Radhakrishnan knows this and I am pretty sure Nehru does too.
Finally—the Sound-Mysticism in being openly demonstrated now in the Yoga Classes. Reaching a certain point it was agreed that we stop, but there is more living Divine Mother than all the books or theologies or speculations. But we are stopping. Instead the Sound will be transmuted in way or ways more acceptable, a beautiful synthesis, let us say—for the sake of saying—of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan and Sri Krishna.
The shadow of this is in “The Rejected Avatar” which is not quite so rejected now as a poem.
Now as to the food problems. When I came into the top level scientific conference on that in India I was amazed to be greeted by the Hindus: “Where have you been? We have been waiting for you.” We do not understand the Indian mind and we have made it almost impossible to reach it by interposing a bunch of German metaphysicians. But a few scientists who never read the German metaphysicians and who deal with Asians directly know that the only way to help Asians is within the context of their own cultures. The scientists know this, the diplomats do not. It is not an easy world. We are leaving it to the UN instead of God. Now Mr. Master of Names, can you get anything positive out of UN-O and UN-ESCO and UN-ARWA, and Un-and Un-Un?
Somebody has said that the name of Jesus is Yes-Us. It is certainly not un anything.
S. A. M.
May 15, night
Beloved One of God:
This is my diary entry and it has been impossible to keep it in good shape. When the poem “Saladin” arrived I thought it might mean good-luck and it certainly has meant pleasant ironies. After being snubbed for the Asia conference I took revenge.
Chinese. I first either went or was led to the Chinese spiritual groups and am now on good terms with all of them. I remain, too, one of the few Americans to have been initiated into Chinese esoteric Confucianism, or what I prefer to call, Seinism, the ancient wisdom of China. Then I took part in the Buddha celebration with Japanese, Chinese and Americans. The Buddhist movement is now pretty much under control of friends and allies, and has no connection with what passes for “Buddhism” in press and radio, the universities being divided.
Indonesians. On Mother’s Day I took out one Isabel Clark whom I have known for a long time and who had just broken her engagement. We just drifted and had a wonderful time. She told me of Indonesian friends here and I wanted to meet them. Meanwhile I have been calling on any dervish brothers and take books from their library. Now I understand not only I shall be welcome but have been invited to attend an Indonesian wedding. If so, I shall go officially as a Sufi Dervish.
Iranians. My Khalifa, Khawar, asked me to contact an important Iranian Sufi and has again written on the matter. Sunday we wandered into a Baha’i, meeting. I have gone all out for them against “Time” and we had a pretty good get together. Their leaders are Iranians and as they also come from Tehran evidently there is something in the winds. This completes my contacts with Asians from Japan to Turkey and Egypt both included, but still excludes me from all seminars on so-called “Asia.”
Khawar. This is the most ironical of all. Helping her she was boosted as being Public Philosophy #1 and now she reports she was acclaimed as Public Psychologist #1, given long publicity in Pakistan (she sent me extensive clippings) and has been invited to Iran, too.
Now the people who do not realize or accept that it is the mureeds who make the Murshid cannot realize what this means to my face and career abroad. For, every virtue and success of hers is ascribed to my Baraka and not to her personal wisdom.
On top of that she has received another proposal, this time from Iqbal’s son. We had discussed this before and I told her I could not be disinterested because such a marriage would immediately push my poetry forward; for letters from him would help me greatly toward publications. Since my god-son, Anwar has also proposed, this puts me in a strange position for while I have given him a blessing I have given them both suitable Wazifas which will tell their hearts and lead them aright.
Saladin has now been read by the Egyptians and I was most warmly welcomed. They are now believing the spiritual source of my inspirations and are accepting my position in tasawwuf. This will be reported also to Mawlawi, but politically I have been very careful with him.
Monday night I went to UC to a lecture on the relation of Syria to Egypt and sent the speaker copy of Part IV of Saladin. As he was leaving shortly, there was no time for any interview.
This Friday I go again to Berkeley to hear a lecture on ancient Pakistan. I may bring some materials and hope I can find the letter from the Royal Asiatic Society in re: Saraswati River, the course of which has been lost in time. The Consulate, previously cold and antagonistic, gave me an indirect interview today. I answered their questions so quickly I think they were taken aback. Now with the acclaim recently received from Pakistan this is going to be more important. But this acclaim was not for me—following the principle above—it was for Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan whose fame is rising. And as I send even the simple materials I have here it will rise more.
Next week will visit the Consulate again to read articles by some Chistis in the papers. It is quite evident that Sufism is coming forward. The Sufis are too numerous, even too powerful, to be ignored, and it may take Pakistan some time to realize this but this will help in foreign lands too.
It is also obvious that the American prestige, with its dowager attitude toward Asians, brings no love or respect. I am no longer alone, and indirectly am receiving sympathy and good-will from other groups who get the same treatment from the powers that be. Justice means being on the right side, which means the side of the most votes and not on the side of moral principles. Someday, God willing, this will be changed.
Class lesson tonight on Indian art, very different from the metaphysical pamphlets of Sri Aurobindo. The truth includes several views and not empty encomiums.
The interview at the Pakistani Consulate is going to have some merry consequences next week. We shall see.
May 17. God is putting more and more potential power in my hands. I have received a long, cordial and most important letter from an Asian diplomat and if he gets wind of my story, it is going to get around the UN and the whole country is going to get a rebuff behind the scenes.
May 23, 1963
Beloved One of God:
I am taking advantage of your letter of the 20th to make my own permanent records. For while there have been communications to others concerning history and claim, these have been disjunctive. Ultimately I shall have to have a biographer, knowing exactly why I am functioning here rather than in parts of the world where I might be seated on a throne and receiving encomiums and fortune.
Khidr. In 1925 this Messenger of God came to me and offered me the gifts of Poetry and Music and whatever anybody else says, these are now in my keeping. Besides that he invariably confers longevity. And yesterday I rather shocked my Yoga teacher by walking in with two fifty-pound dumb-bells these being the heaviest handy and he fell out of his chair. ”Sam!” I said “Breath.” But this was actually the first effort to demonstrate on the physical plane the actual responsibilities carried on universally.
Because of the manifestation of Khidr to me, into regalia, Pir-o-Murshid game me long instructions. The dream-nonsense about his having real Khalifas is a denial of what he said both to me and to Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Nizami in New Delhi. Besides he instructed me to go over all his constitutions from the very beginning. Which I did. And after his death, there was another esoteric constitution which removed the very basis of position by spiritual attainment. There were two ways in which one could be promoted. (a) By Sama or Zikr or Sound, (b) by States and Stage, which is to say in Arabic, hal and makam. And there has never been any Sufism that was any different and I do not believe there will be any Sufism different. Other spiritual lines, yes, but not Sufism.
The visits of various members of the Khan family to both Pakistan and India were related to me, with the total absence of any manifestation of progress in state and stage. My final spiritual experience in India in 1956 when I was alone at the Khankah not the Dargah, of Nizam-ud-din Auliya, corroborates the above. And when I completed my first tour last year this time with Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Sani Nizami I said: “This means in effect, that I am the successor of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan.” He said, “Yes.” But the same stand had been taken previously by Pir-o-Murshid’s own spiritual brothers (disciples of either Mohammed Moudani or Hasan Nizami) previously at Hyderabad, Deccan.
This was before I was given the full confirmation of “Sufi” in Salarwala. But actually Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan gave me this sobriquet. He did not change my name or anything but told me to look up some papers and when I looked up those papers I saw he had meant that I was to take the name of “Sufi” but I dared not tell anybody.
Tanasukh of Dara Shikoh. These two go together. I do not know if I am the reincarnation of this Moghul Prince or was instructed by him before coming to incarnation and it does not matter. When Abdul Latif challenged me for not being a Murshid I, finally exhausted, gave in and said, “All right, I am a Murshid and you are my first mureed.” I gave him instructions and within a few hours this 70 year old man had the spiritual realization and came back dancing: “I have a real Murshid! I have a real Murshid!”
This gave me great faith and I found it was easy to communicate with the spirit of Mian Mir, the spiritual mentor of the children of the great Shah Jehan. And if anybody doubted it and I sent them to the Dargah they had the confirmations, not in claims, but in the direct vision and realization.
Spiritual Transmission is demonstrable. Nyogen Senzaki shouted a Dharani at me and years later I told his secretary, “I shall whisper in your ears and you will have the complete dharma and immediately.’ And it was so.
Buddhism. With the death of Phra Sumangalo his disciples have gathered in this region. Now I have been appointed to work for the Encyclopedia of Buddhism and this fits in with my program to visit Los Angeles the early part of the next month. All my intuitions were confirmed last night.
But also the younger men want me to lead in a battle against the TV-Radio-Press-University tripe that passes for “Zen” and “Buddhism” and never existed anywhere but in men’s minds. Indeed the leaders of this stuff are steeped in filth—and recognized socially! Now all the sects here have recognized I have received the Dharma.
My next stage is designated by a little note for Saladin Reps. It is a mistake to consider human being apart from one another. Pir-o-Murshid gave me the complete plans for the Temples and these were unanimously rejected by all the so called plans for the Temple and these were unanimously rejected by all the so-called “Khalifas” who were not Khalifs. As soon as the Universal Church was planned I saw it was the same plan as that of Pir-o-Murshid and I went and worked there. Now they are filled to overcrowding, divided their groups into English and Chinese and still overcrowded.
So this Sufi Lone Ranger is now set to work with Master Too Lun on his temple which also will follow Pir-o-Murshid’s ideas while the people in Europe will labor in vain to set up a rival to the Baha’i Temple in this country and it never will attract humanity. “Unless the Lord help, they labor in vain who build.”
Fana-fi-Rassoul. In Salat this is laid down: Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Buddha, Abraham, Solomon, and Zarathustra, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. SAM has achieved his fana-fi-Rassoul in about half of these and some Sufis has seen this. I waited for years for Rabia to have either Jesus or Mohammed appear to her and they did not. But the other day when I was weeding at the Rudolph Schaeffer School the last two manifested and gave me my basic material for “Rassoul Gita” which is to my “Faust” as “Saladin” has been my “Divine Comedy.”
Pike. At times I get irritated that we have to go to India when the Bible distinctly posits a three-body humanity. With the success of my god-daughter, Khawar, I am now able to open up the Three Body Psychology, and it is not pleasant that I have do this from an Indian basis because the Temple in Hollywood will accept it and the Churches will not, Bible or no Bible. Then after they see they are caught, some of them will come out.
When the Methodist held a national assembly in Myrtle Beach they got stuck over a similar issue. I came in the back door and my interpretation was accepted. When one has the communication from and with Jesus Christ, there are no such problems.
Now your problems contain a lot of wisdom for me while you may be having the pain. I had instructions to make a new kind of musical instrument for spiritual healing. I must have a clay or terra-cotta jar of certain dimensions. Those I have seen are too ornate and needlessly expensive. Then I have to attach string to it in a certain fashion. It is barely possible that I shall do this at Mendocino when I go there, and where there are some ceramicists—also musicians. But this music would be for your healing and benefit.
The spiritual healing is much more important. Once I had as injury at Kaaba Allah and the pain was intense and Pir-o-Murshid appeared and said, “Don’t grab your knee, grab your breath.” So I repeated “Ya Shaffee, Ya Kaffee.” And since then when harmed I grab the breath, and in many things grab the breath and thus produce what might pass for “self-healing.”
But there is another method I learned in Pakistan which is called Irfan.
Christian Spiritualism. The Gospel of St. Thomas is so clear that there is need to comment. So far as transmission is concerned I have never asked whether it came through St. Peter or St. Paul so I do not speak with authority. But in one of my forthcoming epics there will be an entirely different Christ. Something like my “Rejected Avatar.”
Yoga. The story got out that this “Rejected Avatar” is a poem of self-pity. So I told of about six Californians all of whom have Indian spiritual awakening and all totally rejected by society. I brought in the Gita translation of one of them and they recognized I was speaking for several persons. Paul Brunton also belongs in this class although he was not basically a Californian. But he had to face Hollywood and now he is a Sannyasin.
On May 30 I shall be in a Yoga pageant at the Marin Art & Garden Center. To this group has been manifested:
a. fana-fi-Rassoul in Krishna
b. Archetypal realization in Saraswati.
But by numinous consent b. has been dropped in favor of a. I tell you, beloved, that Krishna methods would advance in Vedanta and Saraswati methods in Siddhartha.
Rehana is really the Delphic Oracle of India. But she was an oracle, not a seer and we had one difference of opinion that the word was not the thing (semantics.) In her house also there was complete mergence in Lord Krishna, remarkable because she came from a prominent Muslim family. Now she has had the mergence in Lord Krishna and there cannot be any difference.
The subject is this: I said and I say, “Peace” is not a word; Peace is beyond words, beyond thoughts, beyond anything that express itself from below to above. “The thought of Peace is but a thought; thought born of Peace can resurrect the world.”
Jon. He preferred failure in both the human and spiritual world rather than adhere to monogamy. I had it out with him at Kaaba Allah and I saw in London the whole failure. I laugh at his fears of communism.
Bryn Beorse (Shamcher) has gone to North Africa. I saw his worth more in two little stories he told me of his relations with Pir-o-Murshid than in anything else. I have given a long list of people to contact but one is with the key Sufi who is in charge of international espionage, first to save the world from communism, and then to set it on the right path. We knew of the break between Russia and China long before it happened.
The Sufi Hierarchy is a real operational body but its members do not always know each other. They are the protectors of this world. Bryn and Jon never faced each other fully either but Bryn had some idea that “master is he who is master of himself.”
Baha’is. I have had to write them that I believe all knowledge is of God, that instead of God being unknowable, He is the only thing we know. The Gita expresses this in another way. When I was in Hong Kong the Chinese sage and I concluded that the next Nobel awards would be to the Chinese and there have been tremendous advance in Physics all coming out of Yin-Yang application, tested and proven and there is more to come. The very teaching of Baha’ullah are demonstrated there but it proves that God is the knowledge, the knowable and the Knower.
Your Strength. I have about ten times as much to do as I can humanly do but this enables me to do the work of four men. When I was dismissed from and army post, even four people could not do what I had done (I was promoted so there is no sad story here.)
a. Have not gotten Murshid’s records and don’t know how to proceed.
b. Beads for Prayers. I have sent to Khawar for some and am writing again tomorrow. However if illness or weakness persisted, I must send you my own and wait for another string. The best plan would be to leave them at this house (1088 Fulton St. and if you call May 30 (I shall be away) you could pick them up. Then you will get my Baraka, which will be helpful. I was constantly giving these tasbih away before.
c. I have the Burial Service somewhere around and would leave this with the beads. Or I may ask my landlady to copy it. I have already paid her for some typing which has not been assigned.
Rabia used to say: “Bring me thy failures.” In the Murshida, there is no failure but irregularities on the surface of the heart. As one takes out the crinkles and wrinkles thereon, he becomes whole. Salvation mean becoming whole. According to hierarchal law I do not you, carry your failure. I am sorry I cannot re-copy “Saladin” which is the Divine Comedy actually and when published will outlive Dante, inshallah, no as poetry, but as real insight into the real heaven. God is the absolute forgiven. End of record. God bless you.
May 28, 1963
My dear Ruth:
Your voice sounded so pleasant the other night; if I can’t see you, at least I can write and someday I suppose my biography will be written as a sort of life-history of a maverick. I wonder whether you have read the story of Sam Yorti, Mayor of L.A. which is that of a successful maverick. And perhaps like “Trial by Jury,” before the case begins “I’ll tell you how I came to be a Judge.”
I was once seated with the chief Cultural Adviser in Karachi: “I have written a pager on Maize growing in Hasara District. I believe it will be published if it has not been already. But I did not write on the Ethnography, Folk-lore and Religion of these people because I know it would be rejected. “I agree with you.” And I can assure you I have not only been in the same strange lands se Arnold Toynbee and Editor Sulzberger, but had the same hosts. And I can further assure you that whenever Toynbee, and Sulzberger differ I agree with Toynbee, adding that at least two of his hosts grow blue in the face trying to tell them about their country. But it is useless. We have two cultures side by side which have been called scientific and humanistic and not only do the twain not meet but scientists can always meet scientists and find common patterns and humanists can always come to blows to with other humanists (in this sense) and their differences follow definite patterns. But a much better way would be simply to point out the difference between the analysts and the integrationists and I am very, very much not only on the side but actual with the latter.
I remember one in a debate between the Mendolians and the Lysenkoists I got the floor and said they were both right and both wrong. I had an awful time with the chair and the debaters, but to everybody’s amazement, including my own, I carried off almost the entire audience. The Sweet Peas of Mendel were not Adams and Eves and I don’t use the word “environment” in arguments—but light, heart, terrain, ecological factors (which are distinguishable), etc. Years later I arrived at Cairo and saw some Sweet Potato experiments which validated my ideas.
Now a friend of mine may be going to Egypt and I have given him introductions to several top flight scientists. How did I get there? That, sweetheart, is a nice question. Briefly I was in and could be working for the National Research Centre in Cairo which integrates all scientific research. Everybody is in a compartment.
At another time I was in Lyallpur and my host said. “I wish to show you the Eighth wonder of the world.” Well, Ruth I never saw such a mad enthusiast and in five minutes he had a disciples … me. But Washington State is going to solve the world food problems and not conquer space so you may never hear about it. And my views on genetics got a big, big boost up hill. The world’s food problems will be solved when the press gives about 25% publicity to these things as they give to space travel.
I returned full of vitality, enthusiasm and knowledge and for some time worked on my “How California Can Help Asia” but I was urged and urged hard to change to my meeting of great people. This is more important, but wow. In February my friend, Robert Clifton, known as Phra Sumangalo died. Once I said to him:
“Robert, you and I are mere nobodies. We can’t get an audience of over 30 people here. But there is not a King, Prime Minister, Cabinet Official, Head of a University, professor or peasant from one end of Asia to the other whom either you or I could not meet if we haven’t met already, but nobody would believe us.”
“How true, Samuel, how true.”
Don’t conclude I am kidding. It is a laughing joke around Asia Foundation. I came into Indio when preparations were being made for Independence Day Celebration and despite that saw the President, the Chief of Protocol, the head Holy man of the Hindus, the head Holy man of the Muslims and then left, just like that. The American cultural people would not believe it and later when I offered to prove it by inviting them to a celebration they stayed away. I did not see the President and Prime Minister when I left because they were guests of honor in one pavilion and I in another close by.
And now my non-scientific life can be divided into two phases—rejection by Americans, acceptance by Asians, all over, all levels. With the death of Robert his disciples came here and now we have a solid group of real Buddhism. And on top of that, in face of all the experts and book-writers, I have been chosen to join the staff of the encyclopedia of Buddhism and am leaving here shortly to go to Los Angeles therefore. You ain’t heard nothin’.
So I’ll skip to the most remarkable of series of events. Although direct romance always irony-izes—and the door isn’t closed, I got two stories as big as the one below which I am not going to relate. I met Khawar Khan in society and we were drawn to each other by a superlative force as if we were part of each other. Within two months I became two things we do not have here:
a. Her god-father. When a person, especially a woman, is an orphan, she finds a god-father or a god-brother, etc. and these persons become her legal and even moral confidants.
b. Her spiritual teacher. This is something I cannot explain because we have nothing exactly like it in this country and besides, my story is practically never believed by Americans—but always by Asians.
Inasmuch as there are restrictions on women this meant gossip but step by step the whole thing has now reversed. Khawar was the youngest whole professor in Pakistan who is a woman, one at 26. In addition to that she had gone to Mecca which made her prestige rise. One of the stories I am not telling is about Julie Medlock. She begged me to go to an international philosophical conference to face the Russians. I refused; the Americans give me no recognition. So I ghost wrote and Khawar won first prize.
Then I found she was very wealthy although I did not know this. She also owns the property which was Gandhi’s before partition and this may be very important. Now she has won first prize at an all-Asian conference of Psychologists and because of this my own prestige has gone up and up. And now we are both called into two projects on the history of Islam—education and philosophy.
This is just one facet of my life. The rest will keep although I do not have any rest. The story of Khawar’s romance is itself as fascinating as any too. All I need to do is to meet a fiction writer and they can have 100 stories…. Later on I have to go to Middlebar wherever that is, and will stop at Modesto, but with notice—I just came down on a dare.
S. A. M.
(which has four meanings)
June 1, 1963
1088 Fulton St.,
San Francisco 17, Calif.
Hon. Thomas J. Kuchel,
Senate Office Bldg.,
Dear Senator Kuchel;
I am about to leave for Southern California on errands which ultimately may affect American relations with Asia. These today are in utter smog because we will do anything but be simply objective. As you seem to have pointed out, in our desire to battle real or imaginary communism, we have selected their weapons—dialectics and left-center right humbug. We can’t fight them with American weapons; that is passé. The schools demand equal rights for communists and Birchers, but try to read some excerpt from Presidents T. Roosevelt or W. Wilson—just try. The Fourteen Points have been buried far underground and as for “Roosevelt” nobody alludes to Teddy any more.
a. My most distant point is India. In facing Asian problems I have given up all attempts to do anything direct. Everybody wants social reform and I want soil reform. The social reformer each has his own dialectical solution, Marxists, quasi-Marxist or anti-Marxist. Such successes as that of our good friend Paul Keim in UAR. got me publicity and are not copied elsewhere. People are starving because the earth is starving and for no other reasons. Where the earth is not starving there may be an over-abundance as there seems to be in this country.
The last conference here on “Asia” was as all other conferences. There must be at least one British or European diplomat and at least one British or European professor. Without these, conferences on Asia are “unthinkable.” Asians are regarded as exotics. We permit European full scope and will take an inimical speech from a European long before we listen to a different viewpoint from an Asia. Asia has its cultures, Mortimer Adler and “Great Books” to the contrary. The Asians love our Emerson, our Whitman, our Thoreau, but since “Great Books” we have only Europeans and Hollywood “cultures” to give them.
The discussion of the soils of Asia is open to anybody that knows anything about the soils. The dispassion of village life in Asia is open to any social theorist. Having lived in Asian villages has nothing to do with it. In any event, despite all the conferences on Asia and all our listing to Europeans professors of Asiatica—a very common custom, I am hoping that perhaps the Chambers of Commerce or the Farm Bureau and the Departments of Agriculture will get behind a campaign of “Dates for Asia.” This is long and complex and most important.
The press, the State Department and the USIA, one can do nothing. One minute with a Ford Foundation person is worth one year with a member of the Fourth Estate.
b. The other project is that I have been appointed as a research writer for the “Encyclopedia of Buddhism.” The “experts” here are ex-European professors, beatniks and one self-appointed famous dialectical ex-communist linguist-poet. They form an iron wall.
One may study Judaism and Christianity by going to churches. But in the case of Buddhism one goes to the “experts” for years I tried in vain to get an article published on “The Faith of Vietnam.” Rejected all over. Then I went to the Orient, got top-level greetings all over—and I mean top-level greetings. Even one of the spiritual leaders of the Vietnamese showered me with such love and compassion it is hard to convey it.
But no, I was not an “expert.” Reports all rejected. Now the masses of Vietnam, being Buddhists, are in revolt. We are wasting millions of dollars and even GI lives supporting dialectical anti-Communist (so-called) governments and tyrannies. Wilson’s Fourteen Points are moribund exempting in speeches. The United States Government loses face and now considers face-loss as honorable if it only stems the communists.
The Nations of Africa are excluding both the communist and anti-Communist “imperialists.” I have worked for years on two principles:
a. Promote American-Americanism (Transcendentalism, Pragmatism, Neo-Realism, Science and the new Integrative Movements thereof—these are making much headway.
b. Learn the folk-ways and religion of the unaligned countries and try to be their friends.
c. The same tenor covers other fields. I have just been asked to go to Pakistan to engage in some enormous pieces of research larger than the above. I cannot do it. If there is any loss of life in Indonesia, of the so-called “Peace Corps,” it is due to the strange policies we now have—we train these people in languages, anti-communist dialectics (anti-Communist must be dialectical); and know little of our own previous history and nothing of the historical back-grounds of the lands visited in Asia. I know what I am speaking about. If a single American is mobbed in Indonesia I may go so far as to send you a Photostat of a letter from a VIP.
I have cross-trailed actual communists many times and know of their whole plan to undermine the “Peace Corps”—direct experience, but all unusual. You can’t reach unwilling governmental officials. We lost Tibet, Annam, Laos, North Korea, etc., rather than to listen to some of my confreres, all but one Californian, too.
Samuel L. Lewis
June 3, 1963
My dear Della:
It is never my intention to write to anybody in particular, but to select somebody who might be interested or concerned with events. I find that Dr. Radhakrishnan may be here Friday, so I am going to the World Affairs Council today to see if I can get two tickets. I may try to take a young lady who is a disciple of Ramdas; otherwise, somebody from Hollywood.
I am downtown in L.A. for the moment waiting for a telephone call in regard to the Buddhist organization work here. So far, it has been very awkward. The official Japanese group was giving a picnic yesterday, and besides, the different Japanese are not on good terms with each other, nor are the Americans either.
Whereas generally the disciples of Hinduism don’t cooperate and the Buddhists do, here it is often the opposite. Sometime Sundays I go to the Shingon Temple. They were having a ceremony yesterday, poorly attended, but as I had just come from the Zendo I did not remain.
The very nice thing was the Soto Zen temple on South Hewitt St. After very good introductions, I decided to come to the meditation, which was supposed to be from 1-3 in the P.M., but lasted considerably less. I found it easy. Bishop Yamada then gave a detailed technique and I was going to write it up, but they gave me a book and I shall either give it to you or show it to the Sangha. As it is short, I shall probably have it typed and send the original to Jack Austin of “The Western Buddhist” and add, as a sort of commentary, the sermon and talk given by the Roshi. This may not be done until I return.
I have about four American contacts here but they, outside the Soto group, are more, not less, individualistic than the Soto Sangha. It is curious to me, after the defection of my very best friends here, that I need not look for others. Between the old acquaintances of Paul Reps and the members of this Sangha, I shall feel very much at home. Although they seem to be younger, in some respects, than your Zendo or the one in New York, this was equal to the best group meeting I have come upon in my whole life. But instead of contributing to them (and I certainly have far less funds than some people wish to think) I prefer going over my finances and sending whatever I can to Jack Austin, who acts as a go-between between both the Soto Zen groups among themselves, and the Buddhist groups generally.
Especially with Sensei Suzuki away, the booklet will give you good lesson material.
It is raining now and I have to wait in anyhow for a telephone call. I have gotten nowhere in the question of information concerning Leslie Lowe and Dwight Goddard, which is one of the basic reasons for being here. I should leave Tuesday for India and be back, if possible, by Thursday night.
June 6, 1963
This is Indio. The last months have been of work, frustrations and plenty surprises. Where you expect cooperation you get blocks and where you don’t expect at all you get it—opportunities. By this time I have not had much success with Americans excepting farmers and scientists and I have nothing but good fortune in my relations with Asia Orientals.
Asian cultures in the U.S. are largely in the hands of Europeans. No one knows why, but they are. And the stories I have heard about tourists and even Foreign Service people who have been briefed by these “experts” would be delighted excepting they show the folly of trying to win a “cold war” by aiming at those on the side lines and leaving the enemy alone until this mopping operation is completed. If you think I am talking nonsense read what is said about Indonesia, then multiply it at least ten times. Very uncomfortable and just as true.
Urged to work on my memories, I found later that the very people who insisted my stories would sell and that “How California Can Help Asia” was not so important, I have ended up by finding nobody to trust of my own generation—and myself now becoming a leader of sundry Americans who think that the way to learn about Asia is to study under Asians. Anyhow this has brought me recognition—and plenty of it—abroad.
On top of that is the saga of my god-daughter in Pakistan. This is a series of events, from cloak-and-dagger down to seminars for which Sam Lewis hasn’t “the credentials,” and the upshot is that she has become most famous and successful and I am getting the credit for all kinds of things—abroad.
As I am going to art school I stuck pretty much to S.F. but have squeezed a few days to come south (a) on an Oriental venture (b) to come to Indio; (c) to visit relatives. (a.) and (b) have so far been very rewarding.
This valley has two ecological sections only. Howard came south full of enthusiasm and determination but after a while he found he could analyze soil almost at a glance, the corrective program became stylized, and the need for analyses diminished. He then changed over to becoming a soil consultant, which now brings big fees but from very few clients. Indeed if it were not for unusual factors, he might be squeezed out. But his wife has opened a travel bureau, he himself has made be a trip around the world, and from this angle, I have caused to write him at some length when I return, having innumerable suggestions and leads which are being offered only to profession.
Between studies of “Desert Agriculture in California” and the over-all of my experiences abroad, the analyses and problems are remarkably like those I have met, but here we have answers and part-answers.
Some study has been made of salt-tolerant crops. For example Casuarinas make good wind-breaks and they have the advantages of desalting to some extent with the companionate disadvantage that therefore their droppings cannot be used for compost or soil-condition. The Salt goes into the foliages.
When Dates are accompanied by another crop, especially Oranges, the returns on the Dates per acre arise, because there is a commensalism—the Citrus regulate the humidity for the Dates and the Dates protect the Circus against frost and conditions. Because of the shading, and non-selectivity of the soils, one gets only a 50% return on the Citrus, but one gets on the same plot about a 10% increase on the Dates, plus the Citrus return so the over-all profit is much greater.
Without two- or three-story farming a Date Orchid should not be less than 35 acres. It can be slightly smaller if Oranges are added. Benninghoff went further with a cover crop which is used as green manure. I like this system best, as being most economical in two different usages of this word.
The remarkable thing here is that although the Citrus crops are not so salt tolerant, the Dates are, and evidently move enough salt from the ground or regulate the water table so that the Citrus trees prosper. But where Oranges and Lemons are grown by themselves, they get a much larger return for about three years, then between salinity and water-table changes, bang! Only slowly these people are turning to Sugar Beet and other salt tolerant crops.
Where the soil is not salty it is alkaline and this condition is met in part by combination of manuring and ammonium compound fertilizers. But some farmers simply go in heavy with barnyard manure—and I understand, in one case, with human droppings too. The problem here is often one of shall I say the “odor of ordure.” Outside that it is very effective.
I also learned something about Grapes, which do very well and are already on the market, the first of the season.
I am not through interviews but have a lot of information and literature and can now start writing at length for foreign papers. I am quite apathetic about Kennedy’s programs and have expressed my views to the local paper whose editor is Virgil Pinkley—no less. This may mean something in the future but I am not pressing it now.
The last news I have received and the last interview I have had are so ominous in a favorable sense that after a sort of vacation in Mendocino, I am all set to go despite difficulties. Health remains good, etc. Howard sends his regard but says he has heard from nobody but Thunem who visits him periodically.
Beloved One of God:
I have returned but only for two days, then am going to Mendocino. The package with the Universal Worship Burial service, the tasbih (beads) etc. will be left here, for although you have not called for it, it is possible you still may, with “vacation” on.
The trip South was very complex and perhaps as rewarding.
Buddhism. The collecting of materials for the encyclopedia was not easy. Three deaths make it harder to obtain direct experiences but there are some rather elderly people, one of whom I have known, others not known, who have been connected with real Zen or other forms of Buddhism.
Both Americans and Japanese welcomed me and I was at a session of the Universal Buddhist group. This will probably grow as both the Burmese and the Zen People are joining in with the Americans. I also had a long session with one Prynce Hopkins in Santa Barbara. Fortunately he has an autobiography which he gave to me.
He has known Edward Connaughton a long time. I met Bill at his house and we spent 2.5 hours together. With Bill, with a neighbor of his who is a friend of mine and with one woman here I have my toughest situation—the same old problem year in, year out, the same complaints and nary a change in their attitudes of behavior. Bill asked for spiritual help and I am giving it to him. These people have in common sex complexes, unwillingness to meditate or face themselves and still more an unwillingness to change habits. From now on I think I shall demand money for advice unless the people concerned will practice meditation. And I should rather they practice the meditation anyhow, any kind.
When I return inquiries will be made into two Buddhist monasteries here, for a number of reasons.
Indio is the center of the Date industry. My professor in Soil Chemistry lives there and is a powerful figure in the community. I met the chief producers, Date experts and USDA functionaries. But before I left I introduced myself to the manager of the Bank of America—and wow. He is also a former employee of and protégé of the retired Russell G. Smith. Before I left Indio I had the banks, chamber of Commerce and newspaper all for me and the door is open for articles. This is the first time a newspaper has asked me, but praise Allah, it is the first time.
Actually the situation is much more complex and pleasant. They are planning an Arabian city and I am now a go-between on several missions. Ironically in the end they may have to contact James Terry Duce. In my life a lot of roads lead to him, but he is probably either in Washington or Utah State where there are conventions on the Near East.
Pakistan. The letters came. At least Murshids of Four Orders want Hazrat Inayat Khan’s writings. I hope to get more of them from Edward and I still can locate some of the earlier books which have not only gone out of print but no effort has been made to republish them.
Between this, the assignments for the Encyclopedias of Buddhism and Islam and trying to get my writings through, there is no rest, only changes of pace.
Healing. My landlady got a case of flu. It is the first time I have tried to help a stranger in this country. Two hours have gone by and she says she feels well.
Beloved one of Allah:
It is not a very easy task to embody the whole of “The Unity of Religious Ideals” and it is half-ironical, half-droll what is happening—rejection by those under European influences, acceptance by Asians and mixed receptions by plain Americana, The visit to Indio proves that when one listens to the inner voice there can be only success. Dr. Howard Benninghoff my instructor in Soil Chemistry (indirectly in other subjects), is an important man in that district. Through him I had most pleasant interviews with growers, packers, research-scientists. But before leaving I opened my ego up to one man and this was followed by spontaneous introductions and I left there on excellent term with the banks, Chamber of Commerce and newspaper—a rarity, especially the last.
I then stopped off just for laundry and went to Mendocino. Although in one sense there might not be another “Shireen,” there are now two such women in my life, one in Mendocino and the other, my Goddaughter, Khalifa in Pakistan. As D. does not answer letters, she has not made proper arrangements for me but this did not matter as I learned later my paid up contribution for the Folk Dance Camp also covered all my meals, so the total expenses were down, not up.
D. had been in the Watts and Subud camps and seems to have gotten out of them: 2 bad marriages, two attempts at being bilked, and the stymieing of her own intuitive faculties so that there were boobers rather than just mistakes. The only time I really expressed my feelings were to cook a dinner for 30 people at her home in Mill Valley when one Ragavan Pillai was returning to India. Even than it was an unconscious or at most intuitive, not external or ego attraction.
You may imagine my surprise to find all the Buddhist books gone from her library, very few things remaining and these dominated by the writing of Hazrat Inayat Khan! Sometimes one has to wait for years and I did not press the point then, only indicate. Besides there are communications outside of words. D. is too busy now with her own always complicate affairs.
I could not prevent her second and unfortunate marriage because the young man in question had too many of the same characteristics as yours truly. He is an adventurer, not home type. Even at the Folk Dance Camp when I picket out an elderly lady for partner I think we got along because we are both adventure types.
D. has also fallen under the influence of Grace West and if nothing else happened, Grace has uncovered my spirit. This is wonderful and while I did not always get along with all the dancers, a “beach head” was certainly established in Mendocino. How often I get henceforth may depend on D. but besides other things I have plans with and for her 10-year-old boy and between us there is plenty of understanding and harmony.
There were lessons in basic steps, Portuguese, Russian, Irish, Scottish and Japanese dancing. The last I found difficult in spirit because of an intense love for these people—no doubt a heritage from another period.
Mendocino is off the beaten track, full of artists. Called on Hal Reeger, the ceramicists and seemed to have gotten fine with the “far out” people, but even the dancers are a little “out.”
There was not much mail when I returned from Indio but new my desk is over-cluttered,
Buddhism. Attended the meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Buddhists. It is an extreme reaction after fighting all the groups and persons who take their “Buddhism” from Germans, Englishmen or at best Hindus, to find complete and absolute harmony in all directions with persons you have never met before. All of us were under the same influences and all agreed on continuing the work of Dwight Goddard, etc., etc.
Spent two days with Kristine Segaliev. This was on a much higher plane and it is better not to record both her experiences, ideas and own accord. She may move up here on a new venture and it is possible that I shall be carried along, under Master Too Lun. Have had no time to call on him. Paul Reps has half suggested coming here to visit him. He is an exceedingly powerful and spiritual person, and very effective.
Some time ago I planned to have my 1920 picture reproduced and it was then that I got the letter from Dr. Malalasekera. Now some copies have been made. Yesterday gave two to the Japanese American Buddhism Society and planned a long meeting to go over the matters proposed by Dr. M. It is certain that the Japanese are awakening. When Mrs. S. and I visited the Jodo Temple in L.A. it was to learn that they were not prepared for the large attendances to their festivals, etc. This seems to be going on all over—a return of the Japanese and the accession of American to some form of Buddhism.
The visit to the Undo in L.A. was most pleasant and then attended a session (pun—sesshin). So long as I can sit in a chair the length of the meditation does no matter much although Roshi Yamada gave a long talk on postures and Breathings. Breathings I find very easy from past training.
Stopped at Santa Barbara and spent two hours with Prynce Hopkins who gave me what I wanted—his autobiography. We stopped when Bill came in (who lives close by). Bill accompanied me to the station and. we had three hours together. I am a little more successful with him than with some time-stealers, with my demands either money or you meditate. He sees the justice of it and has actually begun meditating more. His plans point to a return to New York.
On account of a special invitation to the Academy of Sciences tonight I shall probably not go to any Buddhism meeting.
Islamic Philosophy. Khawar and I have agreed on a theme, to work on the history of pure Islamic Philosophy and ignore the Greeks. It is amusing that Don Fry, Grace West’s husband, who is at least half Greek, agrees with us and claims that the influence of Greek philosophy has been over-rated. Indeed this puts me in Benny Bufano’s camp. She has assented to this, and now:
a. Princeton University has accepted my or this approach in tote and something will come of it. It is to be noted that the Near East studies there are entirely in the hands of Americans while where they are in the hands of NATO professors, it is useless.
b. “Pakistan Review” has published without even editing my own proposal on this point which I think, is in accord with their own editorial policies.
I was unable to see Dr. Von Grünebaum in Westwood but had a long excellent session with his secretary. But I did have to threaten a young woman “Peace Corps” volunteer when she gave a parrot answer: “Young lady, I don’t know you and I don’t want any thanks, but you had either better order your casket or drop all the crazy notions put into your head by your NATO professors of Islamics and when you arrive at your destination ask the people what they believe and throw your books away.” Fortunately the frightening made her realize she had been briefed very badly, and so with most “Peace Corps” people going to Asia.
Bryn (Shamcher) Beorse called in my absence and it is well to note he was sorry to miss me. There are still some big follows up in North Africa and one of my next steps is to go over Prynce Hopkins’ reports. He also said he was involved with the Dervishes in Tunis and was going to write about them later. It is very curious, how I have followed in this man’s footsteps—these are about 10 years difference on our ages.
Tasbih. Khawar said she had found some and would be sending these. The plan is for me to use them for a while, thus magnetizing them and putting the Baraka into them. The day before I left my landlady (Lorraine) fell ill, and I tried healing her. It has successful and I know the “magnetism” had a lot to do with it—or if suggestion—what is suggestion?
Papers. Bill, Edward and I have had some conference and I have asked Edward for lists before packing a lot of stuff. This has not been received so I may write both of them. I shall not have time to do additional copying for a little while but the pressure from Pakistan grows.
I do not think many of Pir-o-Murshid disciples got the full sweep of his ideas end efforts. The published books systematize the Sufi Philosophy but do not go into its depths, nor suggest too much practice. In the first books such as Sufi Primer and even In an Eastern Rose Garden the line between the “exoteric” and “esoteric” was very dim and a lot of Ryazat were published. But the later works, while far better from a literary point of view, more polished and systematized were also more external.
There are some remarks, entirely untrue, about the part Maheboob played in the spreading of the Message. The final test for a Sufi anyhow, is the spiritual realization. Europeans and some Americans will stick to this trash remaining outside the arcane. The reports from Pakistan linking this personality with Mian Mir are, of course, correct but they cannot be proven by Grecian logic or contemporary psychology.
I ran into criticism at the folk dance camp and kept quiet. But when the Japanese teacher came I immediately found a beach-head, so to speak. Whether others followed I do not know. One Winifred who used to be of us, came on Saturday night with a man and a Hindus. The man told me he was going to propose to her which made me very happy. The Jinn soul is not so readily accepted or understood, and the more talents, especially in a woman, often lead to more misunderstandings. The Hindu’s name was Anand and he came from Mysore. In five minutes we were like that—and this is what I would like to teach Americans, so far with little success. “Heart speaks to heart and soul to soul.”
If one did not get things in focus, one got oneself in focus which is most important.
Cleveland. The reason I have not heard is not pleasant—my two angels and one husband of a mureed all hospitalized and the Sufi Dr. Gordon overworked.
Love and blessings,
June 28, 1963
Beloved one of God:
This is my diary. Ever since I took the determined stand in your room, there has not been a single negative in my live. The path which is called that of the “Master” in “The Unity of religious Ideals,” or in other terms, Jelali, is one into which I have been initiated at least four times, and every move to change it or myself has ended in dismal failure or dismay. While stubborn adherence to rigidity and guidance has never brought failure.
In Santa Barbara not only preliminary arrangements with Bill Hathaway and Edward Connaughton should lead to my receiving the bulk of the class papers of Pir-o-Murshid, efforts near and far have led to my being called a Pir-o-Murshid. This seems in some respects horrible and even degrading, but with the Murshids of at least two schools of Sufism accepting in toto the teachings of our own Pir, this places me in a sense over them, although I have sat at their feet and besides them too. There is no land where I have not been received as a Murshid.
My visit to Mendocino was also dismaying—in the right direction. Donna, a young woman to whom I have adopted a role of “fairy godfather” for years, has denuded her library and has the books of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Unfortunately the man who sold her the books is in the hospital, so I don’t know how it started. But he long since has recognized that Samuel has the stuff which a lot of writers whose books he has been selling have not.
Returning home from Mendocino (but not from my Southern trip) I found a flock of both bills and mail. The bills are all paid but one—left open to uphold the credit standing. The mail is the most favorable yet. Now I have an Indio editor waiting for my stuff and now also another editor wants my occult material. Then a Princeton professor who has compiled the official book on “Pakistan” is coming here. We had a long tussle but being an American, not a NATO Nation, he accepted my facts. I shall not give in in this campaign of “reality versus realism”—failure is possible but surrender never.
I have long since been asked by my goddaughter in Pakistan to cooperate in research on Islamic Philosophy and Islamic education. As to the first I outlined a plan of procedure but I had forgotten that I had submitted a similar plan to an editor. It has been published and I shall take it to the Pakistani Consulate. They have done a complete reversal on me.
Two visits to the Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park have won full cooperation of two men and two women scientists. In the case of the ladies it was just too! They were actually working at the moment on the very problem I wished to get help on—the Fig Industry, and spread out on the desk was that material! Thus the working of Allah.
Last night I went to a debate between Dr. Brandt, an agricultural researcher; Dr. Mehrens, professor of Agricultural Economics and Dr. Dornbush, a sociologist. The latter accepts the tear-jerking UN reports, the others do not. After Dornbush and Brandt got into an interminable argument I challenged the former. He got bit. Mehrens questioned me and the answers came right out, then Dornbush challenged me and got it, and as soon as I sat down Brandt got up, backed my position and the debate ended. It is the first time I have ever been given a chance and this was a high powered debate and select audience. Then I was greeted by and old and trusted colleague who had been to another part of Asia, etc, etc. Khatum is better than a million dollars. God bless you.
P.S. On the 26th tried a healing on a young woman whom I have known a long time. Next day she was out of bed.
My dear Norman:
The other day I went and called on some Africans—which you know. But you don’t know what else I am doing. Asia is much larger than Africa or America, maybe larger than both and certainly more people—and more problems.
I have again been refused entry to a conference on Asia—my money not accepted. This has gone on and on. And in the past three weeks, without any blare of trumpets, I have been called in or attended affairs of Arabs, Hindus, Indonesians, Japanese and Chinese, and most of these people have a very, very dim view of Conferences on “Asia.”
For example Sunday I attended the first successful effort to have Chinese, Americans and Japanese unite in a Buddhist celebration. I can assure you there was nothing in that celebration that anybody who ever attended the American Academy ever heard of and the only former student had to ask a simple elementary question which almost every Buddhist knows and almost every Western student of something called “Buddhism” does not know.
My relations with the Chinese are going up and it makes me wonder about Elijah Mohammed who does not seem to realize that Allah created more Mongols than Blacks and Whites together, for better or for worse. And the starving in Asia are far greater than those in Africa and America combined and we have plenty of guns but no butter for them.
This morning I am going to the Egyptians (Arabs) on an errand which ought not to be secret. But our present policy in this country is freedom of speech for Birchers and Marxists but not for Indonesians and Arabs. Here our good Elijah Mohammed is alive and he knows this and has referred to it. But other “protestants” are not universal, very few people are universal, they only see the harm done to their own kind and not the universal ills.
Dick called my attention to some speeches by the NAACP and my attitude toward them and toward many Muslims is their unconscious or conscious unconcern for depressed classes—they see depressed races but not depressed classes. I still remain about the only one I know who has worked side by side with share-croppers in the South (silently) and with the lowest level of workers in Pakistan (as a Muslim). People don’t do such things.
Right now I may be the man behind one or two revolutions and close to those who are behind other revolutions but there is no use saying anything because one is not believed. I was called on to attack the communists in Asia and refused because I told the Foreign Service they gave me neither money (which I did not want) or recognition (which I did.) So I sent a stand-in who walked off with first prize and the commies are therefore not bothering me. But they did. There is little difference between the bad boys (commies) and the big boys (the “ins”).
But I have a secret (by society not actually) weapon which has raised my fame in Pakistan about ten times since I left. If I called it humanity that is near enough, but not enough.
All my poetry for the last 25 years is prophetic and all rejected but I am seeking Robert Graves first and now embarking in a new direction. The odd is odd and must be rejected, but the fact remains it is all prophetic and now I am amazed myself how much is true. But to be correct does not make one popular.
One of my predecessors who predicted the World War II, etc. down to a little jot had to leave America. They published his predications—all of which came true, but nobody refers to that. More attention is always to the Fourth Estate first and the politicians next—whose predications are seldom true. It was only that during the War the G II recognized some of these predications and asked me to shut up. That was not difficult because nobody accepted anything anyhow.
My only difference is that I see injustice all over and am impelled to work in Asia. I never accuse a rapist of murder or a thief of child-whipping, which does not make me love any of them. So far a politics are concerned I guess my views come closest to Senator Cooper who also had more savvy of the orient than perhaps almost anybody in our Public life—but this is never broadcast.
The difficulty with your campaigns is that the political and economic have been criss-crossed. But this is usual. The other day when on station had a program on Asian problems and begged the public for funds, another station had one on what foreigners thought of us. There were no Asians on the program dealing with Asian Problems (which is true “only in America.”) There were a lot of Asians on the other program and they expressed themselves far in opposition to the “experts.” The chief difference on the Asian program is that the German Professors are out and the British diplomats are in, but the Asians don’t count.
On the other program the chief speaker was Mboya’s younger brother; he was not only the chief speaker but he was the clearest. I am glad we let Africans occasionally speak on Africa—but chiefly on stations which do not seek public support. As to those who seek public support.”
My campaign to KPFA was “Communists yes, Muslims no.” If you read the press Nasser and Sukarno are running for chief public enemies right behind Mao Tse Tung. I did not vote for a long time and I am not registered. We are getting lickings in S.E. Asia and in more areas than the papers report. Actually we have no allies on the continent excepting the Philippines, and, in certainly circumstances, Turkey and Thailand. No wonder I am concerned with other matters and when I complete a certain project will flit.
July 2, 1963
Beloved One of God:
Yesterday the tasbihs arrived from Pakistan. The one set aside for you has not been called for and as there has been no news the conclusion is that you may be ill. I have been very careful not to extend healing practices although in the few cases tried there was been success. I am waiting for Pir-o-Murshid’s papers or for a copy of “Health” neither of which has been forthcoming. The reports at the moment can be summarized briefly:
American Scientist 100% success; Literati 0-100% success
Pakistan Scientist, 0.10% success; Literati 100% success
This position is untenable and now with at least three or four offers to go into “retreats” where I could be freed from rent, do gardening week and my writing, this may be the last month under the pretest regime.
My closest spiritual companion, Major Sadiq, has been hospitalized but it was illness or an accident I do not knew. He talks much but writes little so I have to depend upon those whom he has seen for news. He is one of the greatest moral and spiritualist leaders in the world. Beyond that I dare not go, excepting that if Saladin Reps were to stet me, I should be permitted to divulge “mysteries” and this will not be done through correspondence.
Sunday night I took a lady to dinner, the one who gave me The Whirling Ecstasy. I saw where the trouble lay in my life and when I referred to this book she did a double entendre. One gets tired of this. With scientists a book is a book, a tree is a tree and a star is a star; with others it is always “Who are you?” and “how do you know?”
The events at the Academy of Sciences last week show the futility of trying to reach egocentric people of whomsoever and whatsoever, and the great ease of dealing with persons who are in the sciences. Here I found no difference between men and woman at all. The one class of women with whom there is the greatest companionship and ease is that of those interested in the Orient and more specially of the Near East. I lose two of them at once, both of whom have been victims of than terrible source “only in America,” the European professor of Asiatics.
So far as the scientists are concerned, there has been such harmony and communication, that I must now make the few steps to get basic material for “How California Can Help Asia.” As to “The Lotus and the Universe,” there is now a plethora of material at a time more and more phonies are being published on “Zen-this” and “Zen-that.” I do have the blessing of the Soto Zen leader in American (Bishop Yamada) where communication also was exceedingly easy. But with all the movements and followers I find practically nobody who has pierced the veil.
True, I have contacted at least one wealthy person who placed some cards in my hands but there is a limit to one’s abilities and capacities. The extreme response from Pakistan stands in marked contrast to America. Rabia had more disciples in the Orient than there here and she never told about them. The threads have been picked up and to them I am now the successor in Sufism. Inasmuch as practically all the Pirs and Pir-o-Murshids abroad take this view it leaves me in a strange, paradoxical place. I am compelled to copy all of Murshid things I can, even if there have been publications because of the exceedingly high price for the published books aboard—and even then there has to be guidance. Hazrat Inayat Khan started with six secretaries and I haven’t even one.
On top of that, my wealthy Khalifa is being looked up to more and more. On top of that, the University of Islamabad and the parent Sufi body, the Islamiyya Khidri Ruhaniat Society is not only oversubscribed, it has become one of the wealthiest and more powerful groups in Pakistan. All one has to do is to pack up and could be sitting pretty. But I shall not do that at least until I can get more of Pir-o-Murshid’s writings.
I am the first Occidental to whom the spiritual teachers of have looked to for guidance; I have pictures with the Wali of Multan whom I taught, not realizing at the time that this was to be a precedent. One is almost afraid to copy passages from letters received and I shall make one effort to find a wandering god-son to whom to entrust my diaries, etc., if I have to leave these parts. As Major Sadiq and Pir-o-Murshid Dewwal Shereef have given July 29 as the climactic day I hold out till then.
The possibility of establishing a large sector of Pakistan’s educational system upon Hazrat Inayat Khan’s writing is not only beyond my capacities but is beyond the concepts of those people who think they are his disciples. Concerned with personalities, there is no regard for spiritual truths. Indeed the future world will have to chose between Hazrat Inayat Khan and Sri Aurobindo, or a compilation of the two. We are stuffing minds today, but do not keep people on even keels, so un-sanity increases.
The return to Can Francisco of an Asia Foundation official may, a little later on, change the picture. I do not want to force him and he did not know that I am also a protégé of his superiors. I seldom use names—I did not here until a success was made; and the same at Indio, after a thorough bond made with almost everybody there I pulled a name out which ensures the acceptance of “How California Can Help Asia” in those parts.
The need for me to retain an off-beat character is part of the dharma I am supposed to fulfill here. Hazrat Inayat Khan refused to change Rabia; and Pir-o-Murshid Dewwal Shereef discovered my roll and apologized because he even criticized me. As to the group at Salarwala, as they have the direct insight on all planes, this is perhaps leading to new experiences. One of the Khalifs is a cousin of the Mir of Hunza and wants to be my guide when I return and it happens that if the leaders at Salarwala predecease me I shall have to take on the responsibilities of a Pir-o-Murshid, or rather a roll, let us say—not quite true—on the theme of Buzurg. The Buzurg is concerned more directly with persons and my work is also in the sciences.
The magnetization of tasbihs can only be done by one who has the magnetism. I have given away enough. It has taken months to convince the Pakistani authorities but that is more than accomplished. With the Hindus and with the Muslim diplomats of other countries, there has been most cordial contact, and this covers all of Asia.
There is never any time for real rest or relaxation even though a week was spent in Mendocino. That proved to be a series of spiritual errands. If I were to retreat there there would be a Sufi center almost overnight—but whether this is God’s will or not has been given no meditation.
God bless you,
July 9, 1963
Beloved One of God:
This is my diary. Yesterday I thought I made a bad mistake but the intuition said there would be important mail coming which would need prompt attention. This proved to be true. Saladin sent an emergency asking me to keep certain dates free toward the end of the month. He does not know it but that is exactly the spiritual advice I had from Pakistan.
I have been making effort to get the next room but the previous occupant has failed to move his effects. But now it is clear this should be done for Major Sadiq, my closest spiritual brother, is now making every effort to come here and asked me if I had quarters. As things stand this will be so, so we shall see.
The denouement mail from Pakistan is causing me to make a change in social activities. I have been given the problems of at least six women—actually greater—and in not a single case was anything done excepting taking time and sometimes magnetism. One case has passed the limits of the usual and the woman in question will be in an awkward predicament if she does not respond. For I took her case up seriously and it led to some nice contracts—for me. While this has been going on in Pakistan the situation is exactly the opposite. Both in healing and in counsel I have been extremely cautious and as extremely successful, praise to Allah. The reactions both toward my personality and toward Pir-o-Murshid are the best that could be expected. All I can say is that the women in Pakistan both trusted the counsel and their problems have been solved. One never knows how much of this is personal wisdom and how much Divine Grace.
The possibility of having an article published on one of my “spiritualistic” experiences is encouraging because here the request came from the editor. I know where Major Sadiq stands in this regard and shall again make inquiries for him. But I find that so many non-scientific Americans are too self-centered and have had far too little real suffering to get down to cases.
My friend, Vocha Fiske, has been here, and met with several friends of my old pal, Luther Whiteman. It is curious and wonderful how these people have acted as elder brothers and sisters to me when all the rest of the world stood otherwise. But I have said “non-scientific,” for my associations with both scientists and Orientals are of absolutely a different stripe and I am ready now for some ventures and more than ventures.
The Zen Roshi here has returned and wants to see my manuscript so I shall have to spend hours and hours typing and editing, and while he has it work more on How California Can Help Asia.” Today I am assured of cooperating on both the Stanford and California campuses. My visit to UCLA was on the supposition that Major Sadiq would be coming and at least this was in the right direction. But I did not receive on letter with either advice, predictions or spiritual directions.
The man who ordered Murshid’s books and who, himself has recently become interested in his writings is hospitalized and I have had no word from Santa Barbara on this either. It is an enigma. I don’t know now whether my next trip will be delayed till Major Sadiq comes, or before that but if he is not here by September I shall have to try to arrange another trip, possibly before the next semester starts.
Love and blessings,
1088 Fulton St.,
San Francisco 17, Calif.
July 15, 1963
My dear Dorothy and Haro1ds
On my last visit South I did not have time to call on you. My oldest and dearest friends in Hollywood turned against me, but they have turned against all the rest of their old pals. This bunch centered around my collaborator, Luther Whitman, and in the last few years his friends are the best one can have. They all act like elder brothers and sisters. Luther, it is true, partly compensated for my father’s total lack of personal interest in my endeavors and this is not a tear-jerking letter.
I did make some serious mistakes. I told you of plans to write, “How California Can Help Asia.” I was urged by one acquaintance after another to work on my memoirs and to write also on great people I have met. This may have been a mistake. Every single one of those people turned from me when a critical moment came. The chief ingredient was illness their part, but when I needed help or advice, it never came.
In the midst of that there was a long stern brewing between two of my three closest friends. In the end I was compelled to lower the boom, take good whack at each which upended by their both accepting my conclusions, both are on better terms with me than ever before, but this upset my personal work. Bryn, who is a cousin of the late Tryggve Lie, is the most adventurous person I have ever known, one of the deepest thinkers, and he can help anybody but himself. He refused after years to pay any attention to me, and when his wife finally landed in the mental hospital I told him that for ten years I have been trying to get a big job for him and he paid no attentions.
Despairing of having a family life, he threw himself back into research and polities, has a good UN job, but if it fails he finally accepted a list of introductions from me—and it is a big list and I am hoping research.
My other pal, Paul Reps, is coming in two weeks. It just may be he may help me. I have just enough money for self, none for extra work or secretaries or anything, and have finally given up all friends and activities not connected with science or art, or my personal benefits.
I had better begin with the science story because that is where we left off. So far my interviews with scientists have been 100% fine, with social scientists 25% fine, with newspapers, exactly one went through but that may be the most important. Indeed the newspapers are printing such claptrap on the world’s food problems that it is nauseating and has nothing to do with anything. Subtle uses of “or” and “and” and particles which connect nothing but psychological reactions, mislead the public and stand in the way of our ever solving some practically easy problems. A tremendous number of food problems are as solvable as pellagra and scurvy, and indeed belong in the same logical category. But whereas pellagra and scurvy were tackled by doctors and scientists, the present problems are tackled by politicians and diplomats and newspaper humbug. Thus is Japan a tree-planting campaign means the emperor will plant a tree followed by others; in Pakistan it means editorials and Chamber of Commerce rallies and banquets—the same with the U.N.
My instructor in Soil Chemistry, Dr. Benninghoff, has had more to do with the development of the Indio region than anybody else. I had a wonderful greeting there, the best conferences at top levels, and I know enough about the technical side of these things to be treated very seriously and found that all my suggestions had just been put into practice this last year—they were not in operation before—and have been successful. The end of it was a farewell comparable to all I have had in Asia, the first one in America, and I may be in the midst of a big Chamber of Commerce campaign soon on another matter not related to Dates or Soil Chemistry but to one of my projects close to the American Friends of the Middle East.
In the meanwhile I was getting the usual snubs in regard to the Asian problems. I was refused point blank permission to attend a so-called conference on Asia. The chief speakers were two American professors, one American and English Diplomat. Not a single Asian Consulate in this region was represented on the panels unless the doubtful one of Taiwan. My rejection raised my status, not lowered it.
So I attended a debate on the world food problems. The chief speakers were a Dr. Dornbush, a sociologist of Stanford; Dr. Karl Brandt, a food expert of Stanford; and Dr. Mehrens, head of Agricultural marketing at U. C. Berkeley. They agreed—that they should speak in English. The agreement ended there.
When the impasse became impossible I threw some questions at Dornbush, and this PhD, B.Sc., L.L.D. and PDQ did a topsy-turvy and when he challenged me he was spurlos versankt. The worst of it is that if the other professors had said the same thing he would not have accepted it and he admitted in pubic I was right.
No gloating. The meeting was on food and population. My arguments were that we could quadruple the food supply and I got a lot of applause from Catholic priests who want to use this as an argument against family planning. I am all for family planning and then some.
I understand Dr. Brandt who may play a big part in my book—a larger part than anybody not connected with the UC or USDA research. Brandt agreed to see me at any time. Anyhow I wrote Dr. Mehrens a letter and received the most beautiful and cordial reply I have ever had from anybody. Two days later: Mehrens has just been appointed as Asst. Secretary of Agriculture, in charge of Marketing. Where do we go from here?
Another one of my scientific stories is in connection with Dr. Robert Miller, of the Academy of Sciences, G.G. Park. I had written Miller of my work abroad and had a very favorable reaction.
Now darlings, there are two Americans and I won’t go into details: for every one that sees “Cleopatra” 10 or a 100 see the Aquarium at G.G. Park and you can bet that the press and the USIA and the TV have no time for it. It is easy enough to get a seat at any of the high-pressured movies to getting standing room today at the Aquarium not counting the enormous crowds at the Planetarium, the Science Buildings and even the De Young Museum. This America is not known abroad, or even at home.
July 23, 1963
This is really the diary entry for Sam is keeping a diary, and before going into that, there are two little incidents.
The other day Sam spent a morning with his life-long friend and said, “Everything can be summed up in one sentence: All Tragedies Are Comedies—no matter how you look at them, they become funny, rather than sorrowful. The friend agreed, and it is only by accepting that premise that one can write at all.
The other was that in meditation, Sam was shown to go out into the park on a walk which was done in a spiritual fashion. There are many spiritual ways of walking. Anyhow, Sam carried one of Papa’s books and he opened it, and Papa explained that “Ramdas means servant of God.”
Now this is what Mohammed called himself—Abdallah, which means Ramdas, exactly the same. And Mohammed said, “I am the servant of God. Call me nothing but Messenger and Servant of God.” But the so-called Muslims say: “I bear witness that Mohammed is the Messenger of God.” They do not bear witness that Mohammed was the servant-of-God. Then, contrary to his teachings, they elevate Messenger to make it greater than king or emperor or Prophet or anything. That is not what Mohammed said. Nor what he did either.
In Pakistan, everywhere Sam found a division between those who acclaimed Mohammed as Messenger-of-God and those who acclaimed him as Servant-of-God. And they make the word Rassoul mean what it never meant in Arabic. But Sam was shown that when he returns to Pakistan, he is to reclaim Mohammed Abdallah, which is the same as Ramdas.
In the past weeks, some strange things happened. All the people here who have consulted Sam and told him their problems ignore him, and all the people in Pakistan who do the same practice that he suggests and all the practices have been successful. They all depend on practicing the presence of God and nothing else. So the people there accept and even since the last report, Sam is now regarded as a great Sufi Murshid and this seems so strange. So Sam decided no more to “help” the people here who are in trouble, but to depend on that faculty which is prajna in Sanskrit and kashf in Arabic, which means the awakening heart.
Looking back on the past, Sam has had a lot of what he thought were inspirations and always somebody interfered, and there is no need to go into this now. So he began doing other things, without telling anybody at all, and there are now so many stories, that one has to shorten them as much as possible.
The more Sam attends to scientific and food problems, which is part of his Dharma, the more successful he has been. And recently, one man with whom he has been corresponding has been promoted to a high seat in Washington. Parts of the plans were originally inspired by a man born in India. His name was Dilip Saund and he became a Judge and then a member of the American Congress and then a National Hero but was ill after that for a long time and has made a great name in the history of California.
So Sam decided not to try to help out the widows and orphans and poor any more, but stick to his Dharma and this has been very good. The same is true of his association with the Buddhists, which has become most relevant.
But the big report is different. There is a man in San Francisco who permits himself to be called a Guru and Yogi. And it came to Sam that he must help this man become a Guru and Yogi. But in California, any American who has any spiritual attainment is shunned by other Americans. They will go to anybody who comes from India, or even to Englishmen and Germans, but not to Americans. And now the Englishmen are telling the Americans that drug-taking helps them to attain Samadhi, and the Americans who have spiritual development protest, but the public accepts the Englishmen who have no attainment and ignore the Americans.
While most of the Americans are men, there is Judith Tyberg, who is very wonderful, and also much ignored. She told Sam her studio was filled with Masters and Sam had an experience and this Guru asked Sam to tell him, which he did. Everybody else flouted, so Sam thought this man should become a great Guru.
Then Sam copied the material from the Lesser Upanishads for him, which is mostly Tantra but kept it secret. Then Sam began revising his Indian epics, first “The Rejected Avatar,” which has to do with Lord Krishna, and next “Siva! Siva!” which has been revised with many Yoga systems, and very different from the form in which it was in 1956 when Sam brought it to Anandashram.
One night in the meditation hall could hear the God: “This man must be brought to Ramdas, even if you become his Guru first.” The Voice was very clear. So then Sam copied the Siva poetry and gave him some keys, and that night it was announced that Shivananda was dead and the Guru said that Shivananda had been his master. Sam went home and then a completely different type of Yoga was revealed to him, which combines Indian and American methods, and can be taught to children, beginning with infancy. It will take about two years before it can be recorded. But as this came after Sam heard: “This man must accept Ramdas as his guru”—this will be part of the Dharma.
Love and blessings,
S. A. M.
This is my diary.
There is no satisfaction in looking at what happened to “my enemies.” While Rabia never intended to be classified as such there are certain outstanding facts which remain.
1. She had a number of mureeds in the Orient, she established a name for herself as a Sufi, she never told anybody about them and she stubbornly refused to write her autobiography. Now this is in demand and it is impossible. I am the only one alive who had inkling of her European esotericism; the records are destroyed, and the training would necessarily be displaced today.
It is impossible to write objectively for Meher Baba has no particular standing, unless to be loathed gives one a standing. Rabia not only did not do even simple things Pir-o-Murshid requested, in the end she assented to the displacement of his teaching methods and then was stricken, which was only natural, after one breaks the guidance.
2. Duplicating my own family affairs, now it is Terry Duce’s turn. He was always kind to me, but the aberrations of Ivy deprive him of any protection on the psychic and physical planes. The Baba-ites will have a lot of explanation to do concerning these afflictions which they cannot explain away.
Terry has already been on the fringe or in the middle of two or three of my projects which are inter-related. If he had ever learned that Ivy stopped my “Palestine Plan” he would have given to her and it is very likely that he found something similar in another directions which had the same effect. You don’t have Murshid running around with grave illness close to them.
About 1929 when there were missing papers—which I found—to no end now, Pir-o-Murshid appeared to me and said, “You have everything.” There is no use going into details or to deny the words of Jesus; “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” I now have a complete real Integral Yoga which will take two years to formulate and which has to be studied. It has within it the whole training of children following again Jesus Christ, “You find me in children up to the age of seven years,” Only this is not theology, has nothing to do with theology and is positively demonstrable at all levels.
There is a definite Christian note in it if one accepts—but they won’t accept it—James Fryse esoteric work with the body in four semantic divisions. It covers first every type of gymnastic endeavor, and then the arts—for the moment I only have touched dancing, drama and painting.
Two more doors have opened for me which justifies my dropping some, or maybe in time, all previous social activities. The first and on the face of it most important is the Nawab whose son I had previously “healed” now has a high government position in Sind and has given me an inquiry. Actually it is two inquiries, agricultural (scientific) and Sufism.
The second has been at the Academy of Sciences. Last night I saw a TV program in which a dress designer has affairs with all the women. I intend no affairs but when I look over to women who work voluntarily or for pay at the Academy I am struck by the total difference in approach free those with whom I have been associated.
Factual honesty, to which they all must adhere for their work or research, has a marked effect on character which neither metaphysical nor theological people can understand. It also produces a kind of sincerity without moral training.
In the meantime I have to do a lot of work with Murshid’s “Moral Culture” which has been very effective abroad. I realize that none of his disciples get the drift of it, excepting the one or two whom he mentioned and which all people stubbornly refuse to accept, and thereby proving that they never get the drift of this Moral Culture. Now with the obvious tragic karma before me, and the seeming inability to get any of the deeper papers, I shall be called on not only to delineate this Yoga as above, but to formulate a more complete and integrating Sufi system than has ever been attempted or done. No doubt this will be in and with the University of Islamabad.
With Pir-o-Murshid’s training on Concentration ignored and the formula of Baba on meditation remaining (I have no doubt he cribbed it from Ghani) it is now possible to put this into effect on at least two levels without paying any attention to anybody. Furthermore having now the esotericism of two or three modern schools (at least), these can be integrated with both Pir-o-Murshid’s and the “ancient Sufi” methods, to no end.
I do not know how Saladin will react to this and I have four days in which to receive a “climactic” letter from Major Sadiq as a proof or disproof of certain meta-psychic faculties. Therefore this is a test and record.
Della returned from the Buddhist conference corroborating what I have long written and which has been published; “A lot of things are published or taught as Buddhism which never had any existence any time excepting in the minds of their creators.” Having studied (?) Buddhism with all kinds of people, mostly worse than phonies, she did not have any idea of what the real Buddhist leaders were discussing at the Asilomar Conference. So we have the radio-TV-press “Buddhism’s, death in Vietnam and real discussions by real Buddhists, the contents of which never get into our channels of communication or instruction. My own next talk will be about August 12, and the talk can be “silence” also. If Della, who is intelligent, got so little out of the real Buddhists, how can one deal with an audience less intelligent?
Too Lun is evidently on Sutter & Webster although I have missed him at both places. Christine Sigeliev will be here next week.
Have been invited to go to back MacDonald’s retreat for work as and as I wish to see kin cultivate olive trees have tentatively accepted. Bishop Yamada has refused to help him financially but we shall see. Don’t know how I can benefit from two separate retreats, but we shall see--have not yet meditated.
I saw Dr. Miller at the opening of the Aquarium and he said he would be glad to see me any time. So last week I left with him the copy of the plan used by the National Research Center of Cairo which I shall explain to him. The story splits:
I went to the Academy to get some stuff on the history and “romance” of some of the better known fruits grown here and ran smack into two ladies doing research on just that. Dr. Howell, the Botanist (who was a friend of my mother) has offered to let me use his rooms for typing, so the coast is clear.
The other side deals with the integrative approach to science and I mention it because there is a story, if not a romance. Again my love-life (half of it) has plopped and I am wondering whether if I do marry, to drop all the emotional and feeling side and have a lady who is either a scientist, an artist or
Julie Medlock. I met her in Lahore and tier: are more stories here than I wish to tell. On the one side she is the biographer of Dr. Oliver Reiser of Pittsburgh whose Integral Philosophy I have been introducing all over, and on the other side, she is being financed by my Pakistani colleagues, the stories of big are “unbelievable” in our frame of references. Last Julie was in Ghana. I don’t know where she is now and the efforts of both Reiser and myself have been aborted.
Universal of Islamabad which I represent was not only oversubscribed when I left Pakistan, it has been now so oversubscribed that there is careful planning. Julie’s financial angel is the one responsible but he does not wish his name known. Behind the scenes we are very close.
From this point on the stories are both amusing and disgusting.
Parapsychology. This department is oversubscribed, and you can’t get hardly anybody in America from Dr. Rhine to Mrs. Garrett to “Madame Three-Eyes” to answer letters. It is a bizarre thing to find psychics all around, claiming faculties, ignoring each other and weeping because they have not funds and not one capable of using any faculties to discover money. On New Year’s Eve I was approached by three different groups of “psychics” at one party, all weeping for money, all ignoring each other and none answering my mail. The contradiction of this behavior pattern with that of the actual scientists is so amazing, one wonders if we do behave like human beings.
Major Sadiq is my closest friend. He is planning to come here and will undoubtedly have messages from the University. I have submitted a Campbell & Wong plan to them—they would like an American architect. But here it is they (the university) which have not answered. The Major will have a number of requests for me and perhaps commissions. Anyhow when I return to Pakistan, this side of me is safe both scientifically and financially.
My God-Children in Pakistan. According to Islamic law anybody is permitted to adopt orphans. The age involved does not matter. So I have a godson and god-daughter and a beautiful story connected with each. I shall omit the story of Major Anwar here. He is my emissary in the Rawalpindi region.
Khawar was a beautiful young woman to whom I was immediately attracted. My position in Pakistan (and India, and Japan, etc.) is totally different from here. You could not understand it and I won’t argue the point, that when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and I were both guests to dinner, the seat of honor was given to … but you can’t understand this and I am not going to press the point.
As Khawar was an orphan and I was, let us say, a Dervish, I was permitted to meet her again. Then I did or served some very great favors for her aunt and uncle and after that we agreed that I become her godfather. The relation grew closer and closer.
Julie had gone to-Asia originally to cover an international philosophical conference in which the Russians, learning Asian philosophies from Asians, wiped the floor with Americans learning (?) Asian philosophies from Europeans. The Americans departed and Julie, sent to cover the conference by newspapers was so appalled, she resigned and stayed in Asia.
She begged me to cover the next conference and I, now four times in Communist nests and no nonsense, refused. The Americans begged me and I refused. So we compromised. I wrote the paper and Khawar delivered it and she won first prize and I did not have to face the communists—it is tiresome and dangerous. This made Khawar famous.
Meanwhile another stringy of events brought us still closer together. She owns the property which once belonged to Mahatma Gandhi and it is mine for use whenever I want it. But since I left the Orient things have gone still better. Khawar was the youngest full professor on the whole continent of Asia, and on top of that she is a “holy woman” and on top of that she is very beautiful. Before I left Pakistan I found she was wealthy. Now since she won the award in psychology she has been offered more jobs and has so much money she is willing to support me for the rest of my life—five sources of income and no dependents.
The stories of proposals to her I omit here—all very fictional and I benefit no matter which way.
Anyhow after being rejected unanimously by all the European Professors of Islamics in the U.S., I have been offered a scholarship on the History of Islamic Philosophy. And I had forgotten I had written a paper on this subject—which was published, abroad. All my stuff, rejected here, is published abroad—I mean on Oriental Philosophy.
Buddhism. In the meanwhile I have had a terrific series of battles here. I was unanimously rejected by the press and TV and one of the things they rejected years ago was my paper on “The Religion of Vietnam.” My meeting with the spiritual leader of the Vietnamese was one of the most hilarious and delightful episodes, but it is impossible to get it accepted in certain circles.
Well along this Spring I showed some Japanese my picture before the ashes of Lord Buddha in Japan where even they had not been permitted to go and they did a double-talk quick. After all, this bum has been a guest of the Imperial Garden in Japan, etc., where even Vice-Presidents don’t go excepting…. Oh well.
Anyhow I am now on the staff of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism which does not employ Europeans, Beatniks and ex-communists to do their work—“only in America” we have that nonsense.
Last Trip South was just for Food Problems and Buddhism, “no time for sergeants” but next trip may include some personal visits. I have to await my friend Reps, for introductions before the next step.
My third close friend, Robert Clifton, died this Spring and his disciples came here from Malaya. This is a long, beautiful series of stories, not mentioned here
So you will excuse me if I did not phone. Last trip was the first time I went to L.A. rather than Hollywood to be in the Japanese section, and then to West Los Angeles where I stayed with a very old friend (in both sense), and visited UCLA. This was fortunate for I have laid the groundwork for Major Sadiq’s visit whenever that comes.
Now the Japanese are becoming interested in my book on people have met. The local editor will back me up if the “metropolitan” press does not. But I have one editor in tow—Virgin Pinkley—that is a story in itself.
Poetry. I am revising my work because I have contacted two groups interest. One here in S.F., the other in Mendocino. I spent my “vacation” in Mendocino. I have a god-daughter there, and this is also a beautiful story but not quite so advanced as the one in Pakistan.
I have a god-son, right in this house—he got this apartment for me. There is another one who is probably in San Mateo. All of them are in their 30’s—the right age for “my children.”
This is enough. Sorry I can’t make you get younger—like me. I told you, Dorothy, I had a free method. Nobody in America has accepted it—Nobody in Pakistan has refused it.
S. A. M.
July 29, 1963
This day was foretold by Major Sadiq as being important in life though for the moment the only change is a quickening of whatever has been going on.
Ivy Duce surprised by writing that I could pick up my materials from Don Stevens, if as and maybe so at least a chance will be taken. If the commentaries are there they will be used and no doubt revised because today there is a much greater knowledge of tasawwuf.
Bill Hathaway Was here for a quickie. Edward has been slow in finding his papers and certainly the reports do not tab with those of years ago. It is probable that he has thrown away or misplaced a lot of them. But the Gathas and some Gathekas most, most important. The Githas would be partly revised today. The new world will not accept any long[er?] his teachings on spiritualism because Major Sadiq has much more. The Murakkabah are most important and the Breath-Mysticism, but even this can be worked out.
Saladin Reps arrived Saturday night and there was complete mutual spiritual recognition and understanding. He now comprehends fully my position in the hierarchy and also has been most successful with the Wazifas. He can see that even Pir-o-Murshid’s methods have to be integrated into a larger field. He has sent me all his books and I especially wish “The Unity of Religious Ideals” upon which commentaries will be written and used by many schools until I am permitted to return to Pakistan, inshallah.
Dietary. I have already taken up with Walt Baptiste the basis for a dietary-of-resurrection (see below) and worked out its principles. But Saladin has been studying this for a long time, living on it and is here in California (Chico) for a conference thereon. It may be that I shall visit that conference too. But he is sending me the literature. It has for the moment all the answers that both Walt and I have discussed.
Cancer. We talked over this and sooner or later will approach the Tobacco interests with a theme, ant see what the reactions will be. The presence research is all wrong. We agree there are many dietary methods which can be used, inter alia.
Yantra Yoga. The basis of this appears in “Shiva! Shiva!” and the formulation comes from the art method used in “Le Dessin” but the combinations and the practices learned from ex-Estelle Reps make it possible to have a “science” in the Tibetan sense. I had gone so far as laying the basis of a “death-and-resurrection” walk and since then a dance form has come entirely in accord with Magana’s principles. Add to this the devotional, psychic and spiritual elements and we have something for all children, for correcting postures, etc. The details will be kept to Walt, Magana and Saladin, but already a report has been sent to Pakistan. Combined with the Sufi instructions on malformed children we should in a few generations obviate many diseases. But the combination of the Yantra-yoga with the reports on the dietary research open up grand new fields.
The letter must step. An important inspiration which is enclosed.
August 7, 1963
Nothing suffers so much as my diary in which I am supposed to record events for future history. The two letters from Pakistan made it almost mandatory to add two more correspondents to my list, one in Los Angeles and the other in North England, people who are interested in Sufism. My letter to the PoM was long and my typing rushes at an unabated rate.
Yesterday I called on Connie, Fields Book Store and for the first time did a “Fudo” on one of Watts’ students. I gave it to him. One person said, “I do not like your argument.” I turned to Connie and said, “How do I look?” “You never looked better in your life.” “That’s my argument.”
Actually it is a sort of fana with old Nyogen and I should use it more. Tonight I may run into Don Stevens and don’t know which way I shall act. But old Sensei’s statement that “You hear with your eyes and see with your ears” works and is infallible and is in “Cosmic Language.” I hope Don returns to me my commentary on “Cosmic Language” which was my best work. But I now have a tremendous load of teachings for the future without even integrating all the Sufi work which must be done, University of Islamabad or not.
A Sufi has strange experiences. Not only does he know what his brothers are doing to combat communism—“we” set the Russians against the Chinese and I can give details—“we” also pressured this ban-bomb. And when I was in an office the other day on food problems a wire came from Washington summoning my contact, high level stuff that is “secret” only that no newspaper many would accept it from a “little guy” and the serious man who received it would never give it to the press. So even with kashf sometimes one is way, way ahead. Actually twice I was entrusted by top men and nobody believed me. Don’t we have fun?
A man in this house is ill and another and I wish they would take the Ohsawa diet. Connie and her friends all have good words for him as a person, but with all the long faces I have seen in the world it is going to take more than corrective diet. Personally I believe that malnutrition outweighs starvation anywhere from 10/1 to 100/1.
I received a surprise letter from the White House in re this subject and so wrote. The top boys think they influence me by rhetoric, wrong guy.
Spent three hours with Charlton Kendal who has known me at least 30 years and sees little aging. I arranged my photos yesterday and if it were not for the styles, I don’t think anybody could tell the older. It is only hair-graying.
Several people want to see you and I only have given Connie a little more. She sells your books and this is business, and she is now studying real Zen. The only social engagement I could have for you are at book stores, because I find you can communicate spirituality by the $ and you can’t by the cocktail.
At present spiritually and mentally all seems in order; materially very bad, hard pressed and may have to move—it is a sword of Damocles rather than a fire. It is now clear about everything PoM told me.
1088 Fulton St.,
San Francisco 17, Calif.
August 6, 1963
To Pir Zade Vilayat Inayat Khan,
Fazal Manzil, Sufi Headquarters,
Suresnes, Seine, France
Beloved One of Allah,
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty, the Only Being, United With All the Illuminated Souls Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
Today I am writing two books, one is scientific and every scientist that has gone over my words and works has accepted every point down to the most minute. It is all based on experience and knowledge, there is no symbology or hyperbolism or anything in it which cannot be validated.
And the other book is based on the experience in another direction. Every time something shown to a great religious leader or saint he accepts and already in my notes the greatest of the world’s leaders in Buddhism and Hinduism have accepted it. While the common people go around rejecting, the leaders accept and gradually, in the case of Buddhism, as the leaders come, they get the common people to accept. And here, a Sufi is on the “Encyclopedia of Buddhism” staff because he has the dharma by Grace and nobody can take it from him, Every ego, every ignorant person will reject and especially one finds those who give lectures on karma. And one can list a whole lot of lecturers on karma and they talk and their lives are miserable; they come to unhappy ends, but you can’t stop them. They put their ego-shadows over the light and fool everybody including themselves.
The above Invocation is in two parts. It is symbolic to those who have not the realization and it is truth as al-Hujweri (Data Ganj Baksh) says, to the “arrived ones.” But in the West the “arrived ones” are all spurned by the powerful, the noisy, and perhaps it has always been that way. So we have the ridiculous situation of peoples saying that Allah is the Only Being and asserting themselves without the Grace. If they have the Grace they may assert and if they have not the Grace it is either the karma or even damnation, and as Holy Qur’an says, “Woe, woe unto you who go astray after the guidance has been given,” Yet all through the years it is so.
And the second part of the Invocation refers to Hierarchy. To you people who desecrate the Message by holding that “flesh and blood do inherit the Kingdom of Heaven,” Jesus Christ or no Jesus Christ, the Hierarchy is a symbol; while to the Sufis the Hierarchy is a reality.
For Examples. (1) A representative of the Hierarchy—can give home, place date—told me of the impending split between Russia and China long ago. (2) A Representative of the Hierarchy—can give name, place date—formulated the plan which has led to the tri-party agreement on banning the bomb. There is no symbology in it, these are real Sufis on this real earth and this real time, if we call the outer manifestation “real.” And nobody, be they followers of “flesh and blood inherit the Kingdom” And thus are anti-Christ, or followers of Spurious Sufis who make false prophecies can do anything about it.
Having faced death in 1925 I was saved by Grace and the appearance of Khidr. Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan said, “Yes” and his mureeds said “No” excepting one Saladin Reps. And to those who say “No” it is remarkable that among the real mureeds of the real Inayat Khan we two have not aged, and nobody would guess our age or explain our vitality. People can make all sorts of faces and criticisms, but they cannot explain this vitality.
Today I am to chant and read poetry and both the chanting and the poetry are the result of this Grace through Khizr and the whole world will accept this , inshallah, and the people who pretend to Sufism without the Divine Wisdom are fooling themselves. I say this, because my work is on the Jalali line, for which I have had innumerable initiations, and even the Buddhist Fudo which ignorant people cannot understand. I showed just one picture to the leaders of the Japanese Community and they did what we call volte face so fast. But when one has to depend upon outer things, whether pictures or miracles, this shows absence of faith, absence of love, absence of surrender and what the real Sufis, may Allah bless them, call Absence.
After Khidr there was another experience which your blessed father wished me to write and all the followers of all the groups establishing their private Pir-o-Murshids rejected and I quote his own words from “Rassa Shastra,”
He who was truly a merciful teacher,
Who helped the feeble to fulfill their lives,
Who was an ever-present help in sorrow,
Who grieved with his own people and in the trouble of others,
He was my beloved Mohammed.
He who forgave the faults of the wrong-doers,
Who cleansed the hearts of the timorous and despairing from their fear,
Who vanquished evil with power and with might, (Note)
Who reconciled families long at war and embittered against each other,
He was my beloved Mohammed.
Can you say that? Can your relatives say that? They have destroyed the original constitution, they have changed the records, they have hidden teachings, they have put a healing, by voting as Pir-o-Murshid, and none of them say “Allah” or “God.”
They accept the audacious statements of “Murshid” Talewar Dussaq:
“There is another point: some people who had the privilege of being initiated by Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, when Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan left this physical plane, they thought they were directly in touch with Him and had a disregard of the living Pir-o-Murshid.” Well, your blessed father did just that. In has “Confessions of Inayat Khan” and elsewhere he tells how his own son, Seyyed Moudani, guided him at all times, and he did not follow the direct successor of that Pir.
When I went to India the first time I visited the tomb of a great saint named Dadajan and he immediately revealed himself to me and said, “I will guide you through India,” And for months there was not illness, no bugs, no mosquitoes, no scorpions, no snakes, no inconveniences. Then I came to Ajmir where they were waiting for me—no verbal communication, and nothing but continuous feasting and rejoicing. Then for the only time I get sick and your father who serves Allah and not vote-for me for Murshid Dussaq, appeared and directed me on a very strange errand and I went on that errand and was healed immediately. The Final upshot was that I became in turn the bearer of brotherhood greetings from the Sufis of UAR to those of Pakistan and of those of Pakistan to India all in the same mood while your poor misled people in Europe accept vote-for-Murshid Dussaq and say there is no contact between the Murshid who has gone and the one who is here.
Rabia Martin, who was your father’s first mureed despite all the changing of records by your colleagues, went to your father because she had a vision of Mohammed to do so and she crossed the whole country because she had a vision of Mohammed to do so and that is how the Sufism established itself in America, so help me Allah and the Sufis in chain and you can believe nonsense but on the Day of Judgment I shall face your relatives gladly and Dussaq will not even face me, for he lacks the “smiling forehead” and you can’t do anything about it.
So all the elected Pirs began hiding the papers of which your blessed father said, “What I give you must give to others.“ It is also interesting to note that your father visited a lot of saints. But it never occurs that he learned from those saints, even Yoga methods, and one of these Yoga methods (to begin with) has been passed to me and through me and on to others and you can do nothing about it. The European records have that he visited saints and learned from them. What?
He also had me read over all his constitutions and I also saw a lot of remarks in his own handwriting. Some of these are destroyed in a fire in 1949 and some were thrown away by the family of Rabia Martin and some have been hidden and maybe destroyed by “Murshida” Ivy Duce. But in the ethers they are written.
And as to the Message, in the Sangathas your blessed father ways, “There is no Message. It is just to bring man to the praise of Allah.” But you read record after record by the Votes-for-Murshid people and they don’t mention God or Allah at all, never mind the praise.
Having nothing in one week, there come to me many books including those out of prints; many sacred papers; and now my own commentaries. With these I shall have ten years work to do for the humanity and already many want those things. The Bayat will be by Grace and experience and substantiated.
Your Father’s notes before the first constitution outlined two methods of spiritual advancement and two only:
A. Zikr B. Hal and makam
Being now in the perpetual Zikr there is the right earned besides being on the Jelali path of Mujahida. Your father stressed Mujahida and Mushahida and your confreres don’t even know these terms.
Fortunately, by the Divine grace, I have the ryazat of at least four Pir-o-Murshids of this century, and these will be integrated with the methods of Hazrat Inayat Khan. But today there is even more. In 1911 your father spoke on the spiritual dances and these will now be given to the world, especially in accord with the teachings of Bullah Shah whom your father venerated and whose tomb I have visited.
Despite all the papers on spiritual phenomena and spirit phenomena, those of you who do not have these things wipe off the book. This is done in one direction, and being done in defiance of Allah and his Hierarchy, that Sufism that will spread in Europe will come, is coming from North Africa and not from those who destroy or hide the records and won’t talk to each other while mumbling about the Human Brotherhood.
Your father wanted me to carry the Message to the intellectuals, he appointed me the exoteric leader. You have refused to recognize that, your rivals have refused to recognize that. This is called “surrender.” There is no need now for me to ask for papers, anything. Having the Grace of Allah, to Whom be all Praise, and in tune with the Sufis all over this world and the fana-fi-Rassoul and the fana-fi-lillah and other forms of fana, I must ask you now to be complete, and ignore all requests, for it you cannot go in the one direction, be faithful to the direction in which you go, stand fast or surrender, don’t compromise. Every person finds Truth some day, either in the herenow or hereafter. It is only that there will be, inshallah, a real spiritual brotherhood among real people in all parts of the real earth, accepting God-Allah as the basis, and then the teachings and not a lot of a sides put in to justify some side-tracking. God is the Forgiver of all short-comings.
God bless you,
Sufi Ahmed Murad.
August 11, 1963
I awoke this morning uncertain as to whether to write and then read an article in the paper that a plant which I have grown, Vinca Rosea, provides a “cure” for cancer. Now yesterday I had a long walk to meditate on the Kemalic processes in plants and the Kemalic foods, and it is possible that these Kemalic foods may be Yin or Yang, but I am better able to deal with the Sufic classification. I am as yet unable to determine the Sattva-Rajas-Tamas division for I think (but don’t know) they touch the subtle spheres. But the chemistry and the biology are becoming clear.
While this is going on a visitor to this house has been diagnosed as having cancer and six months and it is poppycock. He has to die because the medical profession is stuck on analysis. When a Vijnanavadin steps in all the analysts unite in denying him and also in fighting each other. In certain quarters I am unpopular because again and again I have stopped the “experts” from fighting each other. The age of specialization.
I wrote to Bertrand (Lord) Russell and called attention to the fact that he was stuck on analysis despite the fact that his own works on logic and mathematics clearly pointed out the limitations. Finding a universal measuring stick he had never applied it to himself which was surprising. I received a nice answer. But it is my colleague, Prof. Reiser, who has supplied the next step.
Life is synthesis of integration, analysis is death. Catching doctors alone you can break them down, but when they get together that is different. Catching scientists alone one never has any trouble, there is no need to break down. My teacher, Prof. Cassius Keyser, wrote The Human Worth of Rigorous Thinking and that, with Indian and Sufi mind-training enables one to go ahead, even prophetically. Murshid brought this out in “The Story of Lot” but how many people can function with the five bodies? If you do, you will at once be misunderstood and often attacked. There is little humility and no surrender among the metaphysical and religious people, but with scientists and “skeptics” one can often get along.
I am waiting for Major Sadiq whom I have not heard from, because I have seen him cure cancer—I mean hospital cases with attendant physicians.
Now this week I was attacked by one mureed whom I had hoped for. Then my landlady gave notice; I must move. Then my landlady disappeared and it may even be a polio case. And on the other hand Pir-o-Murshid came and pointed out that today I have the spiritual poetry, the spiritual music, the spiritual dance just given, and next it will be the spiritual drama because with all prayers people do not make themselves vessels of divine guidance. I sang through the temples of India and may again. I danced at Fatehpur Sikri and will again all over, inshallah. Now I have two people who will listen and it is a relief.
This morning I go to Don Stevens ostensibly to get my papers. But the landlady is gone and the other car had a smash up so I get no help even on errands.
When I revise the commentaries on the Gathas, especially the first series, these will be masterpieces for the future, inshallah. We are stuck with egocentricities, limitations, etc. The other day I spent a long time with an elderly lady who has an art form something like yours but more Vijnanavada. That is her genre. That is not mine. It may be possible like Moses to supply the manna, or like Jesus to divide loaves and fishes but my work is to see that people have food from the ordinary sources and not the magic’s. The ordinary will supply its own magics when we have Vijnanavadins who can comprehend the principles and apply them by hard work, patience and human dealings.
Found copy of “The Integration of the Ancient and Modern in the Solution of India’s Problems” and left it at the consulate. There are always new staffs. Today I know this is true and the hope of the world is largely in India because they recognize the integration. I did not take out the studies on their medical and herbal systems. Actually when we recognize the Kemal in the plants (and elsewhere) the detailed study may not be necessary and it is only at the Yoga Center here where you get any breath training.
There is not one moment repose but there is also the secret of finding the repose in turmoil which none of the writers on Zen seem to recognize. I hope to visit the Chinese temple today, no time for the Zen unless. And had to add two more persons to my correspondence, lone Sufis in the wide Western world.
One can be as honest, as clear-headed, as tolerant, as sincere, etc., but if you don’t rub nice on somebody’s ego, wow. And if you catch somebody whoring, stealing, gossiping, you have made an enemy. They always attack and accuse you, although one may pay no more attention than to animals in similar conditions. Fortunately there is tasawwur and higher practices and I remain here until I can find somebody.
There was a Sufi once in San Francisco. What a life. He was born an Albanian and as soon as he could explain the Divine mysteries in his language he can to go to Istanbul. As soon as he could explain in Turkish he had to go to Cairo. As soon as he knew the Arabic, he had to come to America. Now he learned the English and had to go elsewhere. It is not always easy.
God bless you,
P.S. During the week I received a surprise letter from a Radio Station which, if followed up, could land me in a conspicuous place. But what’s the use? It’s not in my dharma, I am not progressing with my writing, and any report is received other than in plain simplicity.
August 13, 1963
My dear Carlton:
It was nice to see you again and also to know you are “free” in a certain sense. You did find me in a temple or mausoleum of health and it is possible that that temple or mausoleum will become more and more a certain of re-vivification. My “brother,” Paul Reps, is now in the State concerned with the re-vivification and re-novation of the human temple. In my poem, “What Christ? What Peace” which was written in 1940-41, the plan for world peace is based on the resurrection of the body in no uncertain terms and until “man is born a new” not poetically, not symbolically, but actually we cannot have human peace. Man must first make peace with himself.
The alchemy is not all didactic morality. An impure body cannot commit pure acts. The vital forces flow through the breath (spirit) and through life-nourishing foods (flesh), and both of these are derived from the All-Pervading Life. That body has life is seen in the growth and as yet neither botanists nor biochemists nor others have found the secret of this life because our minds are trained in analysis and not in over-all observation. The Taoist is trained in the over-all observation but not in analysis and comes up with different answers. By “Taoist” I do not mean that impossible, metaphorical, ethereal monster coined by European pseudo-philosophers, but living men, usually Chinese.
When I was in Asia I never lost a debate—not one loss. But don’t jump. Did you ever play tit-tat-toe? You can play a hundred games, all ties. There are three outcomes: victory, union and surrender, and I have no idea which percentage of each there were. My final, climactic debate, the one for which I prepared the hardest, was one of absolute and utter surrender. People here do not know how to surrender, they think they are losing something and the parody of Asian spiritual masters given us by the aforesaid European pseudo—philosophers and the American metaphysicians has absolute nothing to do with anything. No one can logically prove that Dr. Radhakrishnan is not a mahatma or a superman and the very fact that he has never out-expressed himself proves nothing. My meeting with him—at a time when he saw nobody else either, was one of utter communion. We had nothing to say. We agreed on everything and did not even have to say it and that is a tall story.
The result of this behavior pattern—victory, alliance and surrender, has been the collation of perhaps the largest compendium of esotericism over to come into the hands of one person, utterly protected because the people around one do not believe it and so long as I am not believed or respected I am utterly protected.
In the last three weeks there have come into my hands from three sources practically all the teachings of the late Hazrat Inayat Khan, my first spiritual mentor. In some of the papers delivered to me was a lot of stuff, esoterically directional, which can be used in distributing disciplines to anybody and everybody. But the disciples of Hazrat Inayat Khan do not know, cannot know (self-will) that in the Orient I have been trusted one, by living teachers; two, by finding in English a mass of Sufic material not available yet.
The same thing is true of Indian teachings excepting that with the Indian teachings I am not under an agreement to keep anything as a secret and sacred trust. And this very permission to share cosmic wisdom has been even more of a protection because people do not believe I have it—at least not until last night. The only other person in the same position is Judith Tyberg and I am a little afraid of calling on Judith. Why? Because she will give me a feast; I am overloaded and she is overloaded and she will give me a feast. And people don’t believe her either. But Walt Baptists asked the “question” just like Percival did at the Holy Grail, so gradually I filter down the Yoga systems like I did the other night with the Hathavada poetry.
I am not a theosophist yet during this life there has been enough experience to validate (a) theosophical masters; (b) the akashic records—e.g. the poetry read. I have no assurance it is not recollection of former life wisdom. The yogis end with the Yantra with is preserved only in Tibetan but now the Yantra has coalesced with the Sufism in delineating new forms of dance patterns and body movements.
That this may be in the atmosphere or ether is clearly shown by examining on one hand the poetry and art of Paul Reps and in another direction the drama and poetry of Mrs. Wishar-Dignan in this city. Reps has been after me with a short-word type of literature which I have not been able to deliver, but in the dance this is being done. And yet the Yantra-Sufic art form will be in the end so voluminous I dare not put it to writing. Actually the original beginning came from a women whom Reps introduced me to who has disappeared from our lives. Like most American women she is utterly unable to understand the victory-alliance-surrender pattern as above.
With the deliverance of the Inayat-Khan material there were some reminder notes. It is not generally known that Rabia Martin was an occult initiate and unfortunately nearly all her materials were destroyed in a fire and the rest disposed by her daughter who had no deep knowledge. But Rabia did give me the Egyptian initiation. When I was in Cairo I came to the initiatory pyramids which are not at Giza and are very, very much older. This was confirmed by the Sufis but not by anthropologists, linguists and least of all the hyperbolic, metaphysical, pseudo theosophists. I found at a glance what Brunton did not find in the Great Pyramid and again, it remains a “secret” because of so much pseudo-knowledge which has been uncritically accepted. Brunton did not have even high psychic experiences at Cheops.
The European esotericism preserved some wisdom which can be traced all the way to the Greeks and again we are aborted, because we do not recognize that there is a universal earth-water-fire-air-ether explanation which can be made of the whole universe, even now. And while we talk about the Greeks being superstitious, we can read in the paper today of the rise of new epidemics and the very high degree of illness latent in our leading physicians. The dictum, “Physician, heal thyself,” does not apply. Even Red China is far, far ahead of us in the treatment of cancer and polio.
Sri Aurobindo, in seeking to use English terms instead of Sanskrit, has made a mess of things. He translate “prana” as life and in this shows an ignorance which is almost as stupendous as his profundity in other directions. In the first place, especially from Indian philosophy, there is the Jacob’s Ladder movement of life above-below and below-above. This is common, in some respects, to Chinese wisdom, to Hebraic wisdom, and most of all, to the science of breath. Prana-Yama means the stopping of breath, not the stopping of life. Adepts can live without ordinary breathing and without eating much, and yet they are fully alive. And this Anglicizing of Sanskrit terms leads to foolishness. We have used the Greek language in our external sciences—Anglo-Saxon will not do; we have to use the Asian words in our internal sciences, just as we use Cotton, Muslim, Damask, etc. etc.
At the Yoga Center, therefore, perhaps more attention is paid to the breath than at most places, and then to diet. When these two are properly employed it is possible not only to preserve health but to restore, even youth and vitality.
The Tibetans, therefore, speak of “The Science”; they do not analyze the person back into the five facets taught by the Indians, or the three bodies taught by all faiths. They treat everything as One.
The essential difference between Esoteric Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism is the environment. The Tibetan forms were evolved to meet conditions totally different from those found in India. In Tibet you have to keep warm and in treating the science of the body, therefore, you have to have a “yoga” that will keep the body warm. The so-called “Agni Yoga” of the Roerichs is humbug. (It is neither Agni nor Yoga and nobody has gone far in it. It is just compendium of more dualistical pseudo-moral trivia which passes for divine wisdom.)
The other side of the Esoteric Buddhism which is common to Japan, China and Tibet has to do with rituals, sounds, the elements as above, the cosmic hierarchy, etc. This cosmic hierarchy is fairly clear in the Japanese version which minimizes the change of language forms and very unclear in the theosophical “esoteric Buddhism” which, by anglicizing the principles, has adopted words from the common languages which do not fit. Indeed better works has been done by Christians on the Bodhisattva.
As soon as the Bodhisattva passes from symbology to reality trouble arises. Buddhism teaches “One Mind” but as soon as one contacts and draws from that “One Mind” he will receive nothing but challenges. Those who have drunk from this universal font, the “One Mind” will always agree. They are not silence but it is difficult to express in the common language. You cannot effectively translate the mantras.
Tonight I may appear at a forum on “Buddhism, Occultism and the [?]. A man who has been actually trained by teachers, masters and Yogis and who in addition has read almost the entire sacred literature of the Orient, is at a loss when he meets Western “authorities.”
On previous occasions Nyogen Senzaki appeared, took over my being, threw thunderbolts and caused confusion. Actually this is the work of Fudo Bostsu and it is no fun. You have to smash everybody, friend or foe, to get rid of illusion and stop talking about getting rid of illusion. There is a vast difference between the thunderbolt and some of the “nice” dance patterns I have seen based on it.
I have here and I’ll set more made, a picture of myself on top of the sacred mountain of Japan—no other Westerners have been there, seated between a Pl. Orientalis and a Pl. Occidentalis with Fuji-san in the background. In a sense this was my Horeb, my Carmel or even my Meru. Fortunately the picture is real and unlike Gurdjieff I can relate how I got there and what happened. But as I was the first non-Asian ever to ascend that mountain, the unusual—which always happens to “the unworthy” is slow to penetrate and thus I have been unable to get anybody to follow. I am hoping that Paul Reps will accept certain introductions and go so somebody can confirm. But the esoteric Buddhism, of reality and realities does not always conform with the written descriptions. The nearest is found at the Koyasan Temple in Los Angeles, and that is somewhat mixed with other teachings.
Now you can see the outlines of what happened from long association with Rabia Martin who gave me the keys early in life and they did not use other keys furnished by Inayat Khan and Nyogen Senzaki. Only she did give the heritage of the European esotericisms so that they can be coalesced with the wisdoms of the Orient.
I shall have to move shortly and this will probably be for the better.
Finally, I recovered the “Esoteric Masonry” of Inayat Khan which has to do with the renovation of earth, first. This is in accord with the now lost “Nabatean Culture” the Sabean esotericism which once dominated Rabia and which also influence the Jewish esotericism (as against mysticism.) The nearest in the Bible is “the mystery of the seed-sowing” of Jesus Christ.
The renovation of earth and the re-vivification of the human body no doubt go together and this is the exoteric work and I have not even touched on that here.
Will be glad to see you any time to mutual convenience.
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad
Your project may be an answer to a prayer or it may be part of divine guidance or both. The University if Islamabad wants me to write a book on “Leaves” and I have a feeling we may be on the way to the recovery of amrita. Some weeks back I spoke to Iru Price about Taoist Herbology and he said he would help me. But he has been moving and then you came along.
Another thing, quite different. In 1923 PoM appointed six cherags and put me at the head of the exoteric work. As soon as he was gone Rabia appointed me cherag against my will. There were six cherags, three of them retired, I was working six days a week and they compelled me to take over the Universal Worship so I was lucky I had Sunday afternoons. And in those days I had to do all my cooking and laundry while living at home. It contributed to my 1925 breakdown.
More recently it came to me if there is to be a Universal Worship it must include Taoism. Zarathustrianism is small and confined to a bunch of money-grabbers. Its best texts have not come down to us, and whatever it has to contribute it is not much. On the other hand I have been initiated into esoteric Confucianism and admire many forms of Taoism. And with your agog-ness I can’t see any “sky” or any reason, if there is to be universal religion why all of this cannot be taken in.
Last night I filed all my papers excepting correspondence. I looked again at the material. I had to sweat blood to get in Rabia’s home and Etta never let me finish. I found a complete Yoga system (or many) and another type of healing system. I have also my commentary on “Health” which includes a lot of etcetera material turned over to Rabia and never used; plus the healing practices from both contemporary PoMs in Pakistan. The healing cum diet school alone would merit a staff working full time. And in between more practices for developing magnetism and healing powers besides the ones I know.
If a certain material event takes place I shall initiate Walt Baptiste who is known as Guru Dev, in the Yoga systems. I was sent to him some weeks ago warning that his Guru, Sivanananda, was no longer effective and six weeks later that Sage died, leaving Walt in a funk.
What is more certain: I took PoM’s “Three Plays” down to him with the suggestion that his wife present them to the public. The changes are highly favorable. They already have the costumes and stage setting for the first two plays. What they needed was dramatic material and here they have it.
Yesterday’s mail shows that for me the Fudo path is right. Now as the fall approaches—beginning next week, I have been admitted to forums on Asia where before doors were closed. I am going to lay it down to Iru Price in re: Buddhism. I love this man who took over from Rev. Phra Sumangalo, but he has not the good-will of the Buddhists in the southern part of the State, and if I seem an obstacle here, I found myself in total and absolute agreement with those people. The Zendo in L.A. is growing great guns and the Bishop (Yamada) is the most wonderful Buddhist (to me) in the U.S.
No doubt I shall have to learn more about the Bodhisattvas. I will not be a “stone-Buddha,” cannot be. This means more negotiations with the Japanese—do not anticipate any difficulty.
Cooked more Rice this a.m. and sealed the rest before moving. My new address will be 143 Second Ave., San Francisco 18. I shall be near quite a few old friends and also near the East-West House.
If there are any letters from Europe I shall tell them that there is no need for anything, that they may seclude the teachings and lessons in any way they wish but the Sufi world will soon have them all. I shall wait for Bryn to write. In one sense he is not to be forgiven—PoM wrote at length on kashf and even Manly Hall—and the Vedas—point out the hrydaya meant the heart-immediate-grasping. I notice that failure comes when the heart is blocked. Last night I felt terrifically strong with a maximum of both pain and bliss at the same time—the pain, the sympathetic or empathic attunement to others.
Today I am afraid even to crack jokes because I find some of them turn out to be too prophetic. PoM gave in the Githas these sciences:
a. Healing (Shifayat) b. Psychic Power (Amaliat)
c. Concentration (Murakkabah) d. Esoteric practices (Ryazat)
The papers on Spiritualism did not impress me and those on Sadhana are really Hindu and I can work out other papers if necessary, covering other facets of wisdom.
I think there are other lessons too. But these omit
a. Mushahida—Contemplation, which is the positive side to the Dhyana of Buddhism and Hinduism.
b. Mujahida—which is the self-purging and is not only moral but “hierarchal.”
The Irfan which I tried to show you, may be above POM’s most advanced teaching that appears in his literature and higher lessons. But in the mss. here there may be other high teachers. You are right when you said I am rich, in this respect now too rich. And I still have all my writing and everything else.
August 17, 1963
This to my diary and I would not burden you with it excepting you have sent “Zen Flesh,” Zen Bones,”
Hakuin. The series of dramas began with an attack on me made by a deviate who entered these rooms without ringing the bell. She came as a messenger from a person to whom I have given Bayat. First this women became an Adulteress and schemed against me, I never knew whether it was because I did or I didn’t. Then she relented to become a Lesbian. The same all over. Now more! And she is becoming a Nun! My fault.
Sunday, I received the box of spiritual papers and it has been necessary tie drop everything to file them and I made most important discoveries which I have reported.
This Week. Constant moving in and Out of persons who do not know whether this place is going to be renovated or re-arranged or anything.
Ex Landlady. One fracas with former sweetheart, last Money night. No sleep. Two days later personal attack. Called police. Nothing cleared up except the lady moved out? or moved out, or moved out.” No peace.
New Landlady. Everything looked fine and I was to start to move today but she was attacked by a rival and banged up. So delay. Only the landlord promised to paint my rooms without costs and Move delayed.
This on top of all else and last night the new tenant had the radio on till 5 a.m. no sleep. Then I got up to work on the files and no matter how much thought I had to do, much more—no help of any kind. And on top of that no paycheck and I may have to borrow money (my own.)
Knowing this is the initiatory process one has to keep equal-minded and stop the nonsense of lecturing on the subjects.
Moving from this neighborhood gets me from the Elijah Mohammed Muslims. Whatever be their stand, I have never met anybody, for or against, who has thought through—all emotions everywhere and nothing but. You can understand why “Puck” wants to write (separate sheet) on The Depraved New World.
The book did not arrive and so not until Monday and between times I have to go back and forth to see my new quarters. Physically fine, and will probably eat Brown Rice and Bean Sprout on and on, but psychically very trying. Also for example, man from whom I ordered Murshid’s books in mental hospital, cannot trace order. And fine time (?) at Buddhist meeting last Tuesday. Only peace at Yoga Center. Brought them Murshid’s plays which think will be produced within a year. If my mind does not heal will merely copy POM’s books for the Orient, this brings solace.
August 26, 1963
Received a long, report from Lahore which is answered only in part here—just enough to cover an aerogram sheet. There is no question that in time Hazrat Inayat Khan will be known as the teacher of the age. His followers did not recognize him and established cults all over,
I may have back—have not looked—memo of his original teachings. The rest was put in a book by Rabia and hidden away. Etta, her daughter, would not let me look and it was never found. But I can tell you that it was in accord with the Four-School Sufism of Hyderabad which in turn recognizes the six world religions of the Universal Worship but not Taoism and Confucianism.
My friend, Major Sadiq, has been hospitalized but it is not clear whether (a) he is ill; (b) had an accident(s) or is helping out with his healing powers.
The confusion reigns in Fulton St. compounded today and the man who was first to help me move had three break-downs in one week. Perhaps Allah knows best, but I have another friend whom I have booked for Thursday, and then definitely the address will be 143 Second Ave., S.F. 18, phone Skyline 2-9387.
Yesterday had an amusing session with Master Too Lun. He began telling about Boddhidharma trying to explain in English and I called out ““Tamo” and everybody laughed. It was a good session because I have seen too much severity in the Chinese and much laughter in the Japanese but yesterday it was real laughter compounded with wisdom. Only the meditation was short and the talk long; but he did not talk down. He realizes that his few Americans are not tyros. This was the only time I have left the house except for errands and emergencies.
But last night I performed another practice. Ramdas went into caves. Now caves according to modern psychology mean regression, the womb, the original conditions etc. So I used the “anti-cave,” going into the light instead of darkness, and expanding instead of contracting. The result was I received a sign to become a Guru and gave my first piece of first lesson today. This can be done in two ways:
a. By a drawing b. By an explanation
but the two are not easy in terms of each other. However both follow the motto I was given some time age: In Thy Flesh, Thou Shalt See God. This is from Jonah in the Bible. It has to do with sex.
I was also given a problem of a young man named Merrill Geerts whom I have known a long time. He brought me his horoscope and I said, “You had a rupture.” From that point on it was easy for me and mysterious to him. For the astrologers do not know and cannot recognize the three bodies and I can see without knowing the astrology what they do not see and wonder at. Anyhow I hope to have him in the class tonight.
There I am learning another type of dancing too—what might be called White Magic, anti-voodoo, but using the psychic forces upward and outward.
One is allowed no rest. If I do not get inspiration I tire and if the inspiration comes, one gets into ecstasy; in either case only so much is accomplished.
September 3, 1963
My dear John:
At the moment I am on the horns of several dilemmas and what causes me to write is not these dilemmas but the series of ironical successes and successful ironies which accompany them.
The most dramatic but not tragic episode of the moment is that I was unofficially asked to move. A friend telephoned and said she had some rooms to let. She accepted my money and typewriter and then refused entry, which means, no doubt, a small courts case, bringing charges. But it was actually extortion, and she took advantage of the fact that I am more pressed for time to do this.
In general I have had some pretty near nasty episodes with women which also have had the effect of causing some men to admire me and also some women who do not like other women, and those involved in particularly to be more friendly.
Then I telephoned a former landlady and she said she had an apartment for me. If so the address will be on the envelope. So let’s turn to better things.
I was asked to write for the Encyclopedia of Buddhism which is a world undertaking. One of the themes is the biography of a friend who failed utterly to warn the United States of the troubles in S.E. Asia despite the fact that he had worked for every government, was known to everybody and was one of the top three men in the whole Buddhist world. The State Department and press ignored his absolutely. They not only ignored him, there was a directive that anybody that would interview him would be fired.
Now in my youth I had another Buddhist friend who warned me that the Japanese were planning to attack Hawaii. While my story was not believed at first, when all my stories were compiled, they caused my name to be entered on the role of honor at Fort Mason—something which none of my old acquaintances would believe. I may have to go there soon because the whole situation is getting complex.
I wrote to the CIA and told them that the release of these letters would be embarrassing to them, did they have any suggestion (i.e., concerning the former Buddhist of two paragraphs above). Before it was time for an answer I learned to my amazement that the decision to accept the Diem government was made by one Col. Edward Lansdale with whom I became acquainted during the war in G 2; I have his picture here and he once had a home in Marin County. Now I do not like it if CIA accepts my reports merely because I am known to then personally. My battle is to get them to examine any American’s reports below pigeon-holing or anything.
Now the last news I had from Pakistan is that there is money there for my biography! I am standing that well in this and maybe other foreign lands.
The fact that I was permitted to visit the Imperial Grounds and the Royal Cemetery in Japan should at least interest if not excite some people in the Foreign Service. But the fact that I have even been entrusted with confidences by the intelligence service of three different foreign governments has never been accepted seriously excepting when in Egypt the mob finally moved in on our Embassy; and Pakistan when it was proven beyond doubt that I really came into a real communist underground cell. The life I saved happened to be my own, but I cannot save the life of my country.
When I wrote Robert Kennedy about Indonesia he wrote back, “I do not agree with you” and on the day I received the letter a mob attacked our Embassy in Jakarta. Series of this sort of thing become awkward when one is asked to submit an autobiography for publication.
The most ironical report I have just came. “Newsweek” published an article on soil problems and salinity. I sent a long letter that the greatest experts on these problems were here in California, almost out of work and unemployed and by-passed when billions of dollars were available for space-travel experiments.
I then received a report from Dr. Milton Fireman, the #1 in this field. Both the report and his letter ask me not to publish it, or copy it for publications, though I may use it privately. This I intend to do in seminars of the World Affairs Council later on—at least I hope so.
But the report itself corroborates every single effort of my own; the conclusions by and large, or small, are identical. The differences are that he visited many more lands than I did, but did not always cover each so intense. It seems that as if AID may be go the way of TCM, its predecessor. Foreign aid experts are sent out; they do a marvelous jobs mid then run into protocol, road blocks, and utter frustration. They report, and they are abolished and instead of cutting down the funds, the funds are even increased and new agencies are set up.
It is not only that these things are horrible; it is that I am asked to write an autobiography. And in another part of Pakistan, despite all foreign aid, I am asked to submit a plan to reduce salinity despite all the above experts and aid. The Americans who have been abroad all meet this frustration and instead of helping grow more foods they are kept busy organizing, teaching teachers, establishing schools and do not see the farms, forests and peasants they imagine they are going to help.
At the same time everything I write is received now with great thanksgiving. Even my letters are published, a lot of people trust me in a number of different directions and the quantitative lead is so great as to be unimaginable. Since, I caught the “experts” in public debate; I am less anxious, not more, to “show off.” This means nothing.
Now while this has been going on—and all on top of my regular program—all these things have been happening:
The party who kicked me out of Fairfax and then defamed me has returned the bulk of my writings, and also some of the research she had. Already this material is honored in Pakistani, and it will enable me to occupy a position of trust and even financial security if I go there—or even if I write from this end.
When I released a very small portion of this material, actually an infinitesimal amount here, it has resulted in my being offered a place to live in Marin County again under most favorable circumstances. I do not know the place or details yet and it may be for the future.
While this was going on I received, among other new things, the latest advances in several sciences by a Frenchman who may far outshine—if his work is found valid—even Einstein and the Curies. It is exceedingly astonishing. I have been asked to help find a publisher but not the University of California. My inclination has been to seek my soil chemistry professor who is down in Indio, one of the “experts” referred to who is bypassed. He was very, very high among the “Who’s Who in Science” which does not mean that he commands any top salary. I don’t know how I am going to do this.
While this is going on—and I have not even completed my memoirs there are more and more signs both of recognition and corroboratory material even right here in San Francisco. Yet recognition is exceedingly slow and the newspapers continue unanimously to turn down everything sent in. It is only that tonight I received an introduction to an offbeat publication in New York which may be publication, not where I want it, but the more I gripe, the more likely is the editor to publish.
My health is excellent, I look fine, but no time for rest and relaxation excepting in the dance-forms and efforts which are also progressing and progression towards a goal.
I am not asking for any meeting, bat I thought a report would be in order.
S. A. M.
Samuel L. Lewis
P.S. The woman to whose house I was supposed to move has not only kept my money but my mail!
September 8, 1963
My dear Uncle and Aunt:
Not having heard from you for some time I am assuming that everything is not too well, but I am so utterly busy, and pretty nearly confused too, that it is only a series of climaxes that impels me to write.
Around 1958 when I was on Clementina St. my friend, Robert Clifton visited me and I said to him: “Robert, you and I are mere nobodies. We can’t get an audience. Congress, the government, the newspapers, nobody pays any attention to us, but I do not think there is a King, Prime Minister, Cabinet Official, head of a university, professor … holy man … or peasant, from one end of Asia to the other whom either you or I could not meet if we have not met already, yet we are more nobodies.” “Too true, Samuel, too true.”
Robert died in 1962 but I have been commissioned to work on his biography. Indeed I am meeting sons of his friends today. He worked severally for the Kings of Laos, Annam (Bao Dai), Cambodia, Thailand, was close to the government of Burma and died a close friend of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Prime Minister of Malaya, and was a Malayan citizen.
The reason for his having become a Malayan citizen is that when he came to warn of troubles in S.E. Asia, the late J. F. Dulles issued a directive that anybody giving him an interview would be summarily discharged. Robert returned to Asia, got caught in the Laos chaos, came back to claim an estate, and then go to Asia. In the course of events he found he was a third cousin of Senator Fulbright by marriage and this got him a very few interviews and this disgusted him more because it was his family and social connection not his knowledge. Yet he was responsible for the Buddhist temple in Washington, and became one of the three top men in the Buddhist world.
Then there is Sam Lewis. True, Sam Lewis’s name is up at Fort Mason on the heroes’ list but nobody close is going to believe that too much. More recently his name has become more and more important in Pakistan. Even a letter was not only published but headlined in the most important English paper in the country (Pakistan Review) and the editorial given to him to send in ideas for social, educational and agricultural reform.
Last week there was a top climax for me. I had to move and am back at 58 Harriet St. below where I used to live. Money has been allocated for my autobiography in Pakistan, and I found the top CIA official in S.E. Asia, Colonel Lansdale, is a man with whom I formed a very close friendship during the war and he gave me his picture which I should be glad to have copied and sent to you. Meanwhile Under-Secretary George Ball of the State Department has gone to Pakistan and fumbled and fuddled where I was a first-hand witness, and even participant in some of the events. So I get on the telephoned and asked an official, “Does one have to perform an act of treason for an appointment with anybody? I am not fooling. I am about to commit treason to save my country.” I won’t go into details on this but the upshot is that everything I have done, and everything I have planned is to be written and I have now an agent to cover … everything, and I mean everything.
Scientific Ventures. All my reports to whomsoever in Washington have been shelved but I did got a cryptic letter from the White House, of all places, telling me about how we are feeding backward people, something I know lots more about than the writer because I have seen it in East Pakistan and Egypt. The general who was in charge of the feeding in East Pakistan became a close friend and we are more than ever associated in this Islamabad University.
I then received a restricted letter from AID which is in charge of some types of foreign aid—so-called. It corroborates my findings in every country excepting Egypt which was not visited, down to the smallest details. The suggestions on every point are the same—drainage, engineering, soil management, crops, etc. If there is any doubt about veracity one has only to contact Mr. Hass, technical assistant to Senator Kuchel, and I can name others, all others.
For it has been strange—that in the face of so-called “Foreign Aid” I have been asked to submit my own plans to the official who is now head of one of the governmental sub-divisions in the lower part of the Indus Valley. Why should he write me, an unknown individual, if things were so lovely?
In the meanwhile I have received an opposite report from a group of food specialists. And on top of that they have sent me reports on some of the latest developments in certain sciences, very technical and still more important than technical.
And on top of that Dr. Robert Miller, Director of the Academy of Sciences, has nominated me for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which will enable me to represent the University of Islamabad. This alone has been a terrible trial for every university in the country which has foreigners in charge of Islamics has turned me down and it is only fortunate that Princeton has Americans and the sheer weight of my contacts abroad has caused them to revise the book they were planning for the instruction of the Peace Corps.
Persons. I never told my parents—they would not have believed me anyhow, and certainly Elliott never, that I have been on very close terms with two local big shots. One is Lucretia Del Valle Grady who is a scion of big California families and the #1 women of the Democratic Party. But the reason for our association is our close connection with an institution in New Delhi, which is exceedingly important there (you can consult the Prime Minister, President and Vice President of India for that) and not because of anything here.
The other one is Russell Smith Sr. who was a close associate of the Gianninis, connected with the world Bank and International Monetary Commission and now head of Asia Foundation—the one place I can go and report. When I said I met the President of India or anybody else they believed it but not so the press, universities, the “experts,” etc. and I am not going into that.
But I never got one introduction from these people. I earn my way. I visited the World Bank when I was in Washington without introduction and the UN the same. People don’t know me and perhaps that is my salvation.
M. T. Kirby yelling to me that the Japanese planned to attack Hawaii (I did not believe that); Clifton on Laos, Vietnam, etc. Nicol Smith of Burma Road, concerning Tibet; I myself on Baghdad and Cairo attacks on our Embassies. Robert Kennedy thanking me for a note on Indonesia and telling me in his own hand that he did not believe in my view and within twelve hours the mob attacked our Embassy—it is getting to be too much. So I got my interview.
It was a repetition, but on a larger scale of my final interviews at Fort Mason during the war. There it was the officials who told me they held my cards. Here it was the opposite only it was amazing—my contacts over-evaluated everything. But after all I have been at the Imperial Grounds in Japan and the Palace in Thailand and I have met the biggest big shots of Japan, Thailand, Burma, India, Pakistan and UAR while visiting and Indonesia without visiting. I do know the history, the cultures of these people—at least they say I do and they have invited me all the time all over and it is becoming monotonous.
Now my autobiography is wanted, the money put up and a delegation of my closest friends—who are also close to President Ayub, are planning to come here. I am getting out the press notice (in Urdu) where I spoke to 20,000 people, my biggest occasion, and will have it translated.
I have addressed universities and specialists on subjects from which I have been excluded here. I have been at top scientific conclaves abroad. I have met top scientists here. (I have yet to get one rejection from any scientist on anything.) I have taught top people on certain technical matters abroad. In some instances I have the pictures, in other cases the press notices.
And here, I was not permitted to attend one Asian conference after another; or when I did attend, the chair, recognizing me, refused to let me have the floor. And America is the only country in the world that hires Europeans to act as “experts” on Asia, We don’t hire Americans excepting two who are loathed in Asian lands, and we don’t usually hire Asians either. And this is known—all the Consuls-Generals here know it and of course the Embassies also know it. And I have been a channel for the intelligence service of at least three foreign nations and it was only because of the mob attack on the Embassy at Cairo and my own (fourth) stepping into a communist nest, that got me even serious consideration.
In Egypt it was declared—I did not save the press clippings either in English or Arabic—that I was a wizard, could perform miracles, etc. and when I protested they said; “Can’t you, we don’t believe it!” And do you want to know something, darlings, they were nearest right than wrong!
A certain person who was once my confidante and then betrayed me—it is a long and horrible story—returned my papers and I found among them my poems written in 1932 on the death of Hitler, the fall of the British Empire, the independence, of India and the return of Jews to Palestine.
I got in hot water during the war because of certain statements I made and on the requests of GII (Intelligence) destroyed (I thought) all my papers. The Colonel Lansdale, the Chief CIA representative in Vietnam was a witness to it. So even my closest associates hardly know me.
I had a plan for Palestine which the confidante who was very influential blocked and when later I met the Swedish an Indian UN top officials they independently told me it was the most sensible thing they ever heard of. But I withdraw from that and also from the Kashmir complex and devote myself to food problems. But I know Asian histories. In 1961 on Thanksgiving Day, I dined with the American colony in Lahore—all the teachers, experts, officials were there and I was the only one who knows the history of the region.
It is only now that I have been asked to place everything into channels which the people interviewing me will arrange. We spend a million dollars a day in Vietnam alone; we have been rebuffed in an allied country, Pakistan; we keep on losing whatever prestige we have (nothing here to do with our Negro question) and an American cannot warn his country no matter what? or can he?
With foreign nations ready to subsidize me and neither of them on good terms now with the United States something radical had to be done and has been. Now it is up to me.
I have not even put in a phone yet. I have my chance. It looks like bragging above. In my last public debate attended where three professors argued with each other, after I got on to the floor they stopped quarreling, one surrendered, one became my friend and the third has a top Washington appointment. And I have not yet reported to Mrs. Grady above, although on account of the Asian affairs I do report to Asia Foundation, the one spot in San Francisco where I may talk—or maybe other doors will be opened—I shall know before the end of the month.
I phoned John Rockwell and sent him a copy of letter to Senator Engle. Both Senators have been cooperative but the two Congressmen here are almost impossible. And do you know who started me off? The own retired ex-Mayor of Los Angeles Norris Poulson! I have been around.
My love, despite all this nonsense,
S. A. M. (as I am getting to be known all over!)
This is Hejirat Day. Ever since Cora invaded my rooms there has been nothing but drama. Jesse attacked Lorraine, my landlady. She fled. Isabel Clarke offered me rooms, then kept my money and a typewriter and would not let me in. Ivy Duce returned not only my commentaries—at least most of them but all of Pir-o-Murshid’s unedited work on ryazat and yogas. This gives me a tremendous amount of material.
Paul Reps has been here and we have visited Too Lun whom he admires. Dr. K. Kato has left for Los Angles. Iru Price has opened his home, 1450 Monterey, a fine mansion dedicated to Buddhism and to Chinese art. Last Sunday were parties for Kato (did not attend) and for or rather by Iru. Materials came from a real seminar by Swami Ranganathananda in Calcutta. Dr. Rahul is speaking there and so I have his address in New Delhi. This is important for reports and also confirmed “The Lotus and the Universe.”
Milton Fireman sent me a long confidential report which substantiates everything I have ever stood for. But it means his being pushed out by AID and a rival plan of a rival Prof. at Berkeley (Tube-wells) being given more money for more foolishness.
The combination of George Ball going to Pakistan and the discovery that Edward Lansdale is chief of CIA in Vietnam caused me to blow up and take a desperate measure. This was successful, praise to Allah. When I was asked to put my cards on the table, I had more, not less than presumed and at least I have a chance now for reports, and for an intermediary who has promised to get my works reviewed if not published.
Major Sadiq and Khawar want my autobiography and will put up the money. Have been to Pakistani Consulate to get more materials translated. They respect me now. Have signed up with two courses of the World Affairs Council. Willie Wise away and only talked on phone with Gale Darling. Feel self-assured if not confident. My friends plan to come here at the end of the year. So far no replies to anything sent out for University of Islamabad. This is “cultural exchange.”
Put on an elementary form of “Yoga Bell Dance” at Baptists. It went over big. But now have had some inner experiences about Sakya Muni.
Mail has not come through. PO negligent about change in address, complicated by having first changed to 2nd Ave., and now here. Had to borrow $250 which the bank gave me on Credit Card, no trouble, no nothing, just like that. Reps very happy over instructions, showing people how to walk. Will try to see Sunny Bloland about this too, but she may be at Madelynne’s on October 6 which will be “Mendocino Night.”
September 17, 1963
My dear Vocha:
I have just run into the most mysterious as of problems. I wrote once and then cancelled the letter as according to Sufi teachings one should keep the secret of one’s friend. And even after I received a scathing letter from Paul Reps hesitated, but the mystery deepens.
I never asked about the dissolution of his second marriage. But Christine Sigeliev gave me to understand there was a long career of doubtful relations with women. On New Year’s even I found myself in the middle of an audience who claimed they were the friends and associates of Reps-san for years. But when I mentioned names he equivocated or oven denied having known them.
He went to Chico for a conference and when he came back he did not want to see anybody else. He refused to visit the Zendo or any Japanese, despite the fact that he told me he had been very popular in Japan; nor did he take any introduction from me which would have been mutually valuable.
On a previous occasion he left a very valuable manuscript with me with instructions to get it published. I don’t know anything about the subject and about publishers. Now he has repeated the same, knowing I am overworked and in neither case was any money left. So I become the depository of unsolicited manuscripts and I will not take the time even to send them to the original authors. This is an imposition, especially on an overworked man.
On top of that he has insisted he will never go to LA again. Now between Zen and Sufism there is let us says a Sixth Sense or sight and my surmise, or intuition is that there are one more or more women in L.A. that have legal claims against him. But the situation is even more complex here in that he has avoided even his publisher in this city and. I can’t make head or tail.
In addition to writing me the scathing letter he told me he is going into hiding, What for? Now on top of that I am getting letters for him.” “Why?
I am interested in the criticisms he leveled because they have come from other sources that I am conceited, opinionated and self-centered. He found out—and it is true, that I broke up some meetings supposed to be on Buddhism when the discussions ran off into the fields of whether Mrs. Paledino was or was not a successful medium, etc. I was asked in Japan to do the Fu-do function. But I notice that neither Reps-san nor any critic will look at the actual written credentials I have from Japanese Masters. I never asked for these written credentials nor from the Sufis but I have them and any “claim” is supported by manuscripts and letters.
Reps was particularly critical because of my use of Arabic words. He gave me his Sufi library and when I copied and used the very words that were in the books he gave me, he troubled me. He did not trounce the author whose terms copied, but me for being incomprehensible.
I both wrote him and told him in person that we have no more English equivalents for these words than for alcohol, cotton, muslin, algebra, etc. He ignored my statements … at the same time he has been advocating the Ohsawa diet and this gentleman is, along with his diet, using Japanese words when we do have English equivalents and Reps is riding along with him. This has made me wonder very much.
And now he is going to hide—what for? from whom?
I have just written a proposal for the exchange of philosophers between East and West and sent a copy to the University of California. I am indifferent, for if they do not answer or answer adverse shall go to the hilt for Reiser. Reiser is more admired by some philosophers than he may know, but the fact is that our so called “cultural program” is full of superficialities and entertainments which please copy writers and publicity people and do not reach humanity at any level.
No answer is needed to the above and I don’t know whether it is a near-tragedy or farce–comedy.
September 23, 1963
Yesterday in rapid order there were a number of experiences and one might even call them “love” experiences, only not in the present context of our culture which uses this word in totally different sense from either the ancients or the spiritualists. For beyond this body is the subtle body and beyond that is the heart-or causal-body, which is one thing to talk about and another thing to experience. And at the recent time the talkers are pretty well against the experiencers who are often forced to keep quiet.
Sangha Love. This is to love the neighbor as thyself. It is not amoral, it is not a maxim, it is not speeches, it is not sermons. The moralizer, the preacher can begin and can end in hypocrisy. So when you say the world is looking for a saviour or deliverer, the world has to look for a saviour or a deliverer because the world takes too seriously the preacher and the moralizer who do not represent in their persons what they are talking about. We applaud the speech but one does not satisfy thirst by listening to a physicist explain the nature of water.
Two ladies walked into the Too Lun monastery, and I know all their faults. But we are at one. It is like one person. You meditate a long time with somebody and you are that person. It is a sort of loyalty more than admiration and it is even more union than loyalty. You can go to the lectures and hear somebody explain about Yoga being “union” and you will not have any union. You will have a lecture or even a demonstration, you will not have a union.
My time in Japan was spent with Kiichi Okudo and we used to meditate together. And we were so much in tune with one another it was like being one person. He usually acted as my interpreter excepting on one humorous occasion when we went to a laboratory and the records were in Latin and I acted as his interpreter. Finally he had the dream of his life when we went as guests of honor to the Imperial Gardens which is the highest aim of the Japanese. Some day you may want to read my diary and it is like living in the dreams. You can also go to Diabutsu on Fillmore St. below Union and meet Mr. Shibata, and it is again the Sangha Love which is hard to explain because you are that person and it is not “love” in our sense.
Christ Love. The difference between the false teacher and the true is that the false teacher corrects others and the true teacher is correcting himself. You may think Sensei is getting after you, but Sensei is getting after himself. If one says “I have the third eye” all the people who give the lectures on the Third Eye or who think they believe in the Third Eye will immediately turn against him. They might accept the book, “The Third Eye” by the man who said he got some experiences in Tibet but if they meet a man who has third eye and says he has third eye they will be against him.
Yet Third Eye is heart-eye. I have said we have physical body, subtle-body, heart-body. When we have the heart-body and heart-eye we have Third Eye, whether this is in heart or in the top of the head does not matter.
Now the Christ-love is the self-correction for the sake of other. Those lecturers who talk about Jesus Christ and Christ-love and have not experienced it are either liars or hypocrites, even though they do not intend to be. There is no great merit in “telling” others what you do not tell yourself.
The Zen-Master is pictured as carrying a stick but the Zen-Master is trying to deliver everybody from the karma, from the pain, from the suffering. He is not a university professor, he is not a popular lecturer who charms people and charms also the money from them. He is a Bodhisattva, a World-Deliverer and he is trying to remove the pain. And when you look closely you can see that the Zen Master is taking on the burden of the pain and the sorrow and the suffering for everybody in the Sangha. The Upanikas and Upasakas may not know it, may not see it, but it is so. Then after he has taken himself to task and finds the remedy he calls the pupil and says or does something.
The devotee may think this is dualistic and that is why you have so many Mondos, that at one point there is dualism and at the next point non-dualism. And this also is not the non-dualism of the lecturers who charm and talk non-dualism and you are left in the dualism with a high regard for the lecturer and a low regard for yourself. This is not the Zen, where the Master is like Jesus Christ, “I am the Vine and Ye are the branches thereof.”
So Sensei wants you to get out of the dualism and he talks about the breath. If you read Paul Brunton he talks breath, heart and eye and if you go to the lectures (especially when you pay), they may talk a little about these things, but mostly they will not. They will charm and when they say “higher truths” everybody in the audience will gasp and think “How wonderful.” But what is the higher truth?
The word spiritual comes from the Latin spiritus which means breath; that which is spiritual has to do with breath. So Sensei says something about breath and you have heard a lot of lectures by M.As and Ph.Ds about “spiritual” things and they have told you nothing about the breath. Now you learn about the breath and you do not associate it with “spiritual” because the ego-mind has been led astray. And if you forget all the lectures and lecturers, whether you may or not, and stick to Sensei you will learn the spirituality and not even know it. And he is concerned always with your pain and suffering and short-comings. There is the Christ before you and you may wonder about a “World Teacher” coming from far away.
Dualistic Love. This was the last experienced yesterday. I was at Virginia Beach and behaved so properly that people thought I was a monk or saint or trying to be. One day a young seeress came and she was too tired to talk and I went up to her and kissed her full, a type of kiss which would not be understood by many because it was a three-body kiss. Here they understand the physical kiss and the subtle kiss and of course, the sex-kiss; but this was a karuna or heart-kiss expressed, like you see the pictures of
angels. And maybe someday I shall explain the embrace of the different beings in accord with their evolution but not here.
Now I could lecture Connie all day and if I gave her this kind of kiss she would accept and understand it. But also she would not understand it. Jesus Christ has said that when you drink of the waters-of-life you will not thirst again. And you can only give this kiss once and it is communion, or else it becomes a craving and self-defeating. It must be the communion or you don’t do it. Yet if I gave this to Connie she would have understood it, but you can’t do that; you can’t treat women in our society one way and in the other, other ways. And this will become more clear when I tell about Too Lun, because she thinks Too Lun writes too much about the miracles. She does not understand the true and the incomplete miracles, which shall be explained.
Bodhisattva Love. This may not look like the love at all because we are in the dualism and this is the Love which takes people above the dualism. But I don’t want to write about it or explain it much. Once I saw the causal and the transformation body of a Lady and I told her friend and that friend, who was also my friend, immediately became an enemy of both. All I was doing was telling about my eye and not about my emotions, but it was misunderstood. When a person becomes a Bodhisattva, you are not concerned any more with short-comings but with the radiance of their person and when you see the radiance you can think of nothing else.
The Master Love. We do not study the Bible. The Bible is no different from the Scriptures, that it contains all the secrets, and what we do not know or like we skip. Yet St. Paul has described many kinds of spiritual people and they have always been like that and I think they will always be like that, world without end.
If I told you I could perform a certain type of miracle you might or might not accept it; and if I gave evidence you might or might not. And if you read my poetry you would see this has been impossible without the Samadhi. But the professors and the metaphysical people and others who cannot do these things say that the miracle-worker never tell – which is nonsense, which is fable, which shows jealousy, envy, ignorance and everything else.
No, Samuel cannot perform what Too Lun performs; if his are miracles they are totally different. But the Western World cannot accept that you must be like a little child. They will even accept the miracles before they will accept that childlikeness. You will hear Krishnamurti or Manly Hall or Swamis and Yogis and they will give you wonderful lectures, and then you will get hungry or thirsty again. You Have Not Been Transformed.
Those who have seen my diaries think I am very conceited and self-centred. I write what happens. So Master Too Lun has written what happens. He is like a child, he does not know all the humbug and boogaboos of metaphysicians and professors and you can listen to tape recordings all day or all year and you are only learning what so-and-so thinks, not what he is or what somebody else is or what you are. But when you come to Master Too Lun you not only learn what he is, but if you listen close you find out also what you are. In other words, not like the popular lecturers and the metaphysicians and the professors. After being with Master Too Lun You Are Transformed.
The miracles may not be different in form, but in the spirit they are different. And yesterday I “cheated” by grasping the Master’s spirit. I did something which you can read about in the Logia of Jesus Christ, but nobody reads those things. We have all these Europeans telling (?) us about ancient wisdom and Asian wisdom, we do not go to the sources. But when I tried the Christ technique with Master Too Lun there was immediate ecstasy. You may not be learning about the breath and you can now read a little about Paul Brunton who learned from Maharshi, but Samuel has already described Too Lun as a “Chinese Maharshi.” And even if it be not so, if because of him You Are Transformed that is the difference.
So all the nonsense of everybody who has been to the American Academy or to the Metaphysical Halls or who have written the books about saints and sages and masters, it is nonsense and even Dr. Chaudhuri dared not face Master Too Lun. We love the word “reality” we don’t want the realities.
The Three Jewels. Only for you this last is not necessary. When you take the oath of the Three Jewels and have a teacher, it is not necessary to move about and at the same time you may move about. If Jeannette lives on Sutter St. that is her way, and if the others go to Bush St. that is their way and these are right ways—and you can learn through the breath, through the spirit and have a great adventure. Then after a while you will observe the differences between the metaphysical-lecturer and the really wise. Nothing in the above is secret or confidential and cannot be shared, even to or with Connie.
September has been another strenuous month. After Saladin wanted me to do a lot of things he turned on me and accused me of breaking up meetings. Having only spoken “in opposition” at two Buddhist meetings this was a surprise but I know who told him. On the first occasion there was an ovation. On the second received back from Dr. Rahul in New Delhi, “I congratulate you.”
Now Vilayat Khan has assented to my using Gathas but as I have these don’t know what to do excepting to feel that I might give Bayats in his name in America. There is no desire to compete.”
Had to come to a climax over these:
a. The rejection of the splendid plans of Dr. Milton Fireman regarding soils, crops and foreign aid.
b. The visit of Under Secretary Ball to Pakistan to find out what one knew already.
c. Letter from Khawar suggesting I write my autobiography.
d. Continued complex in Vietnam.
Heard James Wagner and find myself in substantial agreement. Hal Priebe has also appointed me as legate here. Have met two military men who are objective. Contacted ICA man who wants my reports and may act as intermediary. This keeps me busy on manuscript. Occasional looking into food problem, mostly busy buying books and attending Schaeffer School. My drawings in entomology and horticulture considered satisfactory but what I am getting the “feeling.”
Heard lecture on new brush school of Japan and this is helping toward a universal esthetic. Don’t know how I can carry this all.
The deaths of Swamis Ramdas and Sivananada celebrated by reading of power.
Attending Too Lun as often as possible. He has the five-school approach of Buddhism and still uses meditation. Love Suzuki but something drawing me toward the Chinese. Saladin, Lottie, Christine and Mrs. Digman—in other words, my oldest and best friends, all drawn to the same orbit.
Met one Mohammed Qureshi whom I like very much and who says he will translate my Urdu things. His father has moved to within a furlong or so of Khawar on Multan Road, Lahore. We shall see. Disturbed by reports from Pakistan. The politics makes the country go pro-Chinese and the economics pro-American but you can’t get objectivity here—yet!
Lecture by Dr. Johnson of UC Asian affairs objective and excellent. Small attentive audience—any resemblance to press reports ain’t. Commies planning to take over Mme. Nhu demonstration, don’t like. Will probably phone Nimmy and Iru for advice. Gave Kwok one warning paper.
58 Harriet St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
October 11, 1963
Fort Mason, Calif.
In re: The Dervishes & Counterintelligence
Dear Major Jacquemart:
Argument: Sir Richard Burton and after him Gertrude Bell were of tremendous services to their country, Great Britain, because of their studies of Islamic and Asian cultures in situ, their knowledge not only of languages but of the people and institutions. Burton’s life was most complex and need not be alluded to further. Gertrude Bell made possible the founding of Iraq because of her close cooperation with and the mutual sympathy between herself and the Dervish Orders especially as exemplified by the Gilani family of Iraq.
Lack of Cultural Exchange is the course of more apathy than we can realize. There is not a peoples in all Asia favoring our policy in Cuba because there is not a peoples in Asia among whom one can circulate and learn that in America their nationals are teaching their culture to us. Even in the ease of China, we have at times permitted non-American, non-Chinese to “instruct” us and offer degrees covering their “philosophy” and culture. In the case of other countries it is worse, much worse. Even the Peace Corps receives, in some places, instructions in Asiatics from non-American, non-Asians, a policy which does not appear in any other land ever heard of. One does not know who started this trend, or why it is continued.
The Dervishes number presumably about 40,000,000-50,000,000. The number is hard to estimate because the summation of members in Sudan—the country to be used as a “guinea pig” here, showed about 10,000,000 persons and this was, at the time, more than the total population. It was found that manor persons belonged to more than one Order and so were reported. But so far as America is concerned, this mistake was of no concern for there is not an institution in the United Staten which teaches about them objectively.
J. P. Brown, a member of our Foreign Service, wrote a book called The Dervishes while in Turkey. It is an excellent work and excepting for the expulsion of the Dervishes from that country still holds today. Actually while in this region the instructors in Islamics include a number of non-American, non-Muslims—most of whom deny even the existence of Dervishes today. Dr. Mehlevi the director of the Arab Cultural Bureau in the Ferry Building is a scion of one of the most important of the families mentioned by Brown but not mentioned by the Englishmen, Canadians, Germans and other Europeans whom we have taken as our mentors.
Reason for writing at this time. The recent issue of “Asian Survey” published by the University of California states that the Mainland China government has been sending envoys to Sudan, Somaliland and other American countries where trouble may arise. We have blithely assumed—and there is no proof either way—that the Assouan Dam will be finished without trouble and that the Sudanese may be satiated with the aftermath. In fact there is as yet no absolute proof either of its completion or of mutual satisfaction and the Mainland Chinese could try to benefit from any difficulty if indeed they do not stir up trouble.
Cairo incident. One day three scientists called at my rooms in Morland House, a pension, and told me they were representatives, of the Dervish Orders. At that time I was a member of two Orders from South Asia, though now I belong to at least seven such Orders. After a rather bizarre introduction, comprehensible only if one is deeply imbedded in Sufism, the philosophy of the Dervishes:
“We have come to tell you what we are doing about the communists. The communists are 100% dialecticians you are 50%, we are 0%; the communists are 100% materialists, you are 50%, we are 0%; the communists are 100% atheists, you are 50%, we are 0%. So we are far more against the communists than you are. We want to be your friends, and you do not even acknowledge our existence.”
They then told me of their agents in China and Russia and told me to look out because they have given instructions to their Russia agent to stir up the government against China and to their Chinese agent to stir up the government against Russia. They said I should look for an early eruption. Their leader was one Yusuf Wali, Sakura Villa, Dokki, Cairo and he wants to be contacted—but so far this has not been done to my knowledge, or, if done I do not know it.
In two months a delegation of Chinese came to Cairo, stayed at the Shepherd’s (rebuilt) Hotel and stayed away from all functions where there were Russian communists. My “brothers” pointed this out as the first elements of objectivity. There is another matter which will be taken up below.
A. M. Attia, P. O. Box 236, Cairo, whose office is in the Immobilia Bldg, or was. He is an important member of the Rifai Dervish Order and had gone as Cotton Broker to China. After six months he came back totally disillusioned, wildly anti-Communist and even toying with treason (he told me). But at the time not only did not recognize officially the Dervish Orders but the American University in Cairo which the Embassy depended on, taught the wildest subjective nonsense thereof, which could be refuted in ten minutes by anybody walking through the streets.
Pakistan Dervishes. I am today, among other connections, a Khalif or Representative of Pir Dewwal Shereef who is the cultural representative of many Sufi Orders as well as spiritual leader of one. He is also the acting head of the University of Islamabad which is being built. He is also the spiritual teacher of President Ayub Khan.
Roy Donahue. I was his guest in India anal purchased his book on Indian agriculture which I find one of the best publications. I now have his textbook on “Soils” written earlier. It is more elementary and less practical, but it does contain some excellent “fine print.” I think I’ll give it to Harry Nelson after reading and ask for a session say during Christmas Vacation or at his convenience to discuss this “fine print.” It is in regards to Soil Microbiology, Nitrofixation, Nitrofying Algae, Commensalism, etc.
Reading on special crops covering the “xerophytic” lands from India to Morocco I find specific method used at experimental stations or by farmers which are not always in books on “Soils.” This is more important because Terry Duce, referred to above, brought this out. I have already mentioned to Harry about Cacti, etc. but not followed it up. In Egypt the Cacti are grown—and miserably—in the irrigation ditches.
Humza. I recently met one Renee Taylor who has been there and has become a professional lecturer and also “food faddist.” My objection is that organic gardening succeeds in a different manner when either snow-water is used, or you have volcanic soils. I am already in close touch with a cousin of the Mir who wishes me to go there on my return to Pakistan. But Pakistan is a complex country which has no basic soil analyses and exceedingly diverse and quite un-coordinated methods of procedure.
Program Would be to see if AFME either alone or in cooperation with the Ford or Rockefeller Foundations would launch the program which each of its Directors has now publicly announced and see if you could fit into it. Of course I have not yet motioned your name but have definitely toted that California has the topmost soil exports equipped to handle desert, salinity and related problems.
Water Program. At the moment I am against the Interior Department and favor the approach of Congressman John Baldwin. This would mean putting money into salt-water conversion instead of inland engineering projects for diversion.
Kervan is a French scientist who has written on “Biological Transmutations.” I copied his manuscript and will send it to you shortly for keeps. Made a carbon for Thunen but have not given it to him. There should be things to interest you. He has written now several books, in French.
Indio C. of C. They placed before me a project to got one of the Temples from the Nile and I told them I might try to contact the wealthy organization who would be interested. Now they were all here—at least $50,000,000 was represented at the meetings here and as they have not answered my letters, we’ll drop it. But if we can get the persons and the industrialists concerned with the Arab World into a practical project, maybe you would be interested in getting out of Indio.
In the few moments with Dr. Overton, the President, I said: “Do you realize that the Date is the sacred food of Islam, that Dates could grew all over the lands in which you have interested yourself, that we have the best technicians right here in California and this is what we could be doing?” He assented. What next? I have not mentioned your name but can act as intermediary.
How California Can Help Asia. This seems to me natural, easy and proper. But it has taken me a whole year to write my first manuscript complicated by the events of the day. Now the decks and desks are both clearing.
Tourism. I’ll have to keep “trade secrets” for the moment, as you see these other matters are mind and time-consuming, but I don’t talk in public on these matters, reserving them for travel agencies only. So you can tell Mrs. B.
If anything comes out of the above, will try to visit Indio during the Festival; if not, will try to come off season.
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
58 Harriet St.
San Francis 3, Calif.
October 16, 1963
American Friends of the Middle East,
323 Geary St.
San Francisco 2, Calif.
Fires in North Africa
It has been my “Fools for Luck” experience either to have been at places of impending danger or to have had friends who have been there and the common warnings of us all have gone for naught. Disregarding Vietnam and Laos, I offered to give a story of dangers in Burma—which proved true, and ended in the to me innocent “Asia Foundation” being expelled therefrom. Although I personally was satisfied with this organization it has since added to its policy a study of the native religions of the countries involved (Dr. Gard) and thus opened another door for international amity.
“Asia Survey” in its recent issue has an article warning of Chinese penetration into some lands within your ken. And the other day I was able by the Admiral’s absence from the office to become the host of one Atoubi, a radio announcer from Morocco who proceeded to give me an inside picture of events. What strikes me as noticeable is that the article, the story of Atoubi and the long list of communications given me by my spiritual brothers (dervishes) in Pakistan fit in nicely to one general picture of social revolution.
The first thing noticeable was the quick method by which Atoubi opened up. I am not one who has specialized in the drama-studies of a world called “Islam” with various Europeans who are fair-minded rather than information, but each one alone rather unbalanced. And all of them together will not and cannot tell you how to act in a Mosque, in a festival or even in a private gathering.
For example the Hadith of Mohammed are taught by so few in this land that one has to start out on its own, if he does not know them, to mingle with the “masses.” And a knowledge of the Hadith and the institutes of Kaliph Omar made communication easy and rapid. But what is not so pleasant is to find that the communist, presumably the French, have used these as platforms for “socialism” and “communism” and they are stuck to these exact words just as many Americans are stuck—our dialectician quite agree with pseudo-definitions—and in practice these words come to mean whatever their operatives want them to mean.
Another thing that won the confidence of Atoubi is that in addition to being a dervish and lover of Mohammed and Omar, I have spent some time in the UAR and know it better than many others. Indeed I am in favor of large portions of the Nasserian program,, but it does not fit in with my personal definitions—or lack or use of definitions—of any terms whatsoever.
It is quite possible, according to Atoubi, that the social resolution will dominate both the “radial” war and political loyalties. Both the Algerian and Moorish governments are filled with spies and quasi-traitors. The underground intends to “socialize” and this seems to be more to expropriate French holdings than anything else. There is quite an uncertainty about other forms of capitalistic or private ownership.
What was quite evident in the conversation was a certain hesitancy between the Baath program (which I do not know) and the Nasser (which I do know down to details). Emotionally there seems to be a leaning toward the formula, and this would dean a Castrovian rather than a Nasserian establishment. If so, it is better to be very careful.
Crossing this—and this was due to Atoubi’s own statements, was a series of discussions on soils and their improvement which will be written up in a separate to report. For I warned that the adoption of either the Russian or Chinese programs in North Africa would have similar results to Central Asia and held my point.
Our main difference—and here I seem to be with most natural scientists and against many social scientists, is that I am concerned with the increased productivity of the soil and they are concerned with land-ownership. I have seen Bhave distribute tremendous areas of the most unproductive land and even violent anti-Communists applaud him (because he is stopping (!) communism).
Having listened to Prof. Johnson of the University of California talk on East Asia, and having myself visited many AFME lands, the reports are so totally different from what one reads in the press that it is almost impossible to reconcile them. I have one program, note yet presented, for international alumni associations which would keep graduates in touch with their alma mater and thus form a bridge between America and other lands. You are helping in the education of multitudes but you cannot maintain this form of organization which should, I feel, be established by each university. There is need for friendship on any basis.
I have never heard any criticism of AFME (a little but not much of “Asia Foundation”), but if subversives should become too active, some precautions night be taken. The one great difference here is the results between the Castro and Nasser revolutions. It is quite obvious where I stand, and feel you may be in some agreement.
Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad)
October 19, 1963
This is really my diary and not a letter. Yesterday was my birthday and there has been a happy recurrence all over the world again and again that it has fallen either on a religious holiday or on some commemorable occasion, that I am found among just the type of people I should wish to associate with here, there and there. Here it was with the chief Zen Archbishop. As I am a news gatherer rather than a fixed joiner, one can only so write. But my greatest spiritual experience in Buddhism have all come “from” or “with” Rinzai Roshis, a fact rejected almost unanimously by the Rinzai-wallahs in America and on the other hand my social relations, or my personal reactions to the Soto people has been the best imaginable. No doubt the extreme case was with Phra Sumangalo but even at the party last night I met my oldest and best local Japanese friend—which involves a number of wonderful stories, but of the past.
We had a service Thursday night and there were two gatherings yesterday at the temple but I was too busy writing to attend. Anyhow I showed up at the dinner and noticeably absent from all these proceedings are the various Buddhist leaders with their personal or organized Sangha. The one man who did show up was Rev. Jack MacDonough of Stockton and it is necessary to write at great length on this subject. For it is going to lead either to “Pure Land” or Gahanna and the decision may be in you hands.
I did bring to the dinner three picture of myself before the steps of Sakya Muni in Japan. This became important afterwards because like the Jude Belt, this had to be earned—it was not a nicety, nor a courtesy to a foreigner. One picture was given to the Archbishop, one of his secretary, one of Roshi Suzuki here. I may have more nods for distribution for Roshi Yamada, your good self and others. The item that it had to be earned became must important in the afternoon. So I’ll skip detail of one of the best Japanese dinners.
I warned them not to have me drink Saki, but when all the monks did I did, and later put on a Japanese dance and this changed the whole complexion of the evening, raising my popularly but not in a “holy” direction. Like all the Zen monks I have met, these men did not behave like the “Zen Monks” paraded by the writers whose books cover the stores and who earn their livelihood in writing about “non-existent “Zen.” I have still to meet a mondo-wallah, or an enigmatic sage, but on the other hand have had multi-ordinal communication, one several places at once, or in complete union proving that actual “theosophy” which I suspect all your Ojai people would flee if they had to meet its reality (Irony and cynicism are triumphant at the moment.)
My friend Bella Geerts invited all the Americans and some Japanese to her home and Rev. Jack took ever. I think everybody wanted him to. We spoke at length of his plans for a Soto Zen monastery near Jackson, Amador County. I won’t go into details which may be obtainable from him or from other—for several persons have been to Middle Bar. Nor shall I argue concerning the worthiness of the project.
When he completed, I asked if he knew you, and wow! The fat was in the fire.
While appealing for funds, for social, physical and other help he seemed to have about as much respect for other persons and Sanghas as a newspaper man has. Indeed I had to appeal to others and not to him that there are about four groups in California and that you among all persons were best to contact them. That there was a general Buddhist organization involving a number of groups of different ceremonial patterns if not “beliefs,” and that in addition to your being the recognized leader (by all the actual self-less persons), you were much closer to Rev. Yamada than the Rev. Jack. In fact I guess I “spoke the truth with discretion” by either asserting or pretending that you were the mouthpiece of Roshi Yamada and that if you were not recognized and some degree respected, neither the bishop nor the Zen devotees elsewhere were going to support Rev. Jack who, being “selfless” does not wish to be called “Jack”—he did not tell us what he wanted to be called.
I am almost sorry I brought in your name for after that the selfless married man went to bat on everybody and I am going to put this on record and name names. For I was compelled to Fudo from that point on but also to do it in such a way as not to antagonize everybody, a point at which he far outdistanced me.
Rev. Jack is not recognized by Dr. Kato. Now this man is a very good friend or mine and I have been able to have real Zen-communication and communions with him. Your probably have met him by now or will meet him. He stands in the peculiar position of being recognized on the one hand by all the “veddy-intellectuals” who Dzen, as well as by the actual practitioner of meditation and dharma. He is almost the only one is that dual position.
Next Jack went on to stress his ordination and under-stress the ordination of others. My own experience at Sojiji, Tsurumi, was to be offered robes on sight but this was refused by me for two “reasons”: (a) I know I completed Soto training in a former life (will not go into that now but think I told Gina Cerminara the details—they are in my diary.) The dharma transmission has come three times from Sokei-an Sasaki, Nyogen Senzaki, Asahina Sogen, all stemming from the great Shaku Soyen of Rinzai. But there is not one negative note I can make of Soto and the highest Buddhist teaching ever received—as against the ineffable—came from a Soto Abbot, and in a sense were repeated now.
The coordination of JM came from Rev. Tobase whom I do not hold in practically high regard. He was a jolly social companion, was great with marriages and ceremonies, but showed (to me) no great insight in the Dharma. But when Rev. Suzuki did not regard JM as being particularly wonderful, he questioned whether this was correct for on American soil JM was recorded so a Zen teacher prior to Sensei. It has become a sort of military listing rather than spiritual prowess.
Now I took part in the building of the Buddha Universal Church which started with one lot, one foundation well, one skilled laborer, 30 volunteers and a debt of $300 and has today a very ornate structure with all sorts of luxuries that have only a vague connection with the life of Sakya Muni. But at least they do teach some form of Dharma and wish all being to be blissful, peaceful and happy, in which they are not joined by all the Sangha-leaders here who omit everything that is Buddhistically-Buddhist.
To make this point more secure Jack criticized Sensei’s sending people to Japan for further training and said he had not seen the results. Now sitting next to me was Jean who left San Francisco a most ordinary women and who not only experienced satori and whose whole body and especially whose eyes radiate. Today to me she is the most marvelous of people and was called a Kwannon in Japan to which I heartily agree. This set Fudo into action. I challenged the Reverend. I learned year ago from Sokei-an how to tell the spiritual status of anybody not more advanced and poor Jack had no radiance in his eyes. Never mind humility. By that time I had most of the audience with me—only one or two who look askance at my Fudo-ings, but his Fudo-ing was discipline and instruction in Japan, quite different from egocentric criticisms.
All this time I had in mind the need to have a real Sangha—construction of the Zen retreat at Middlebar. If everybody was so limited, what need for any undertaking and if everybody was a goat and not a sheep, where the money? Where the labor? Where the devotees?
This is not to be little Jack for the project starts off much better than the Buddha temple. But you are not going to get 30 volunteers by criticisms.
Next out of the blue be jumped on Rev. J.E. Wagner. Now early in the evening we met my old friend Shibata-san and I explained the identity of personality in true friendship. (I hope to convert a few Buddhists to anatta.) Now I was hot. He said that Wagner had not been long with Sumangalo. Somewhere along the line maybe, yes, no, I have heard about the Sudden School, which is independent of time, space, and conditioned existence. Well if (I think I’ll pun, the opportunity is too nice) JEW was only a short time with Phra Sumangalo and that delimited him, I have been ever forty years under Zen disciplines, and what does that mean?
The whole criticism of JEW was so uncalled for, so anti-social, so anti-moral, so anti- the whole teaching of Buddhism that when Iru Price was also called into account, there was nothing much to say. I had to agree which meant hypocrisy but I had already told people I was a great hypocrite. This agreement with JM over Iru Price had the saddening result that he suddenly sat up, and from that point on agreed with me on everything I said. It looked as if Iru was a sacrificial lamb whose bones we were enjoying in a communion feast.
This whole thing is awful, but I think it is better for you to read even though you throw the letter down the drain. I am opposed at the present time to any Middlebar undertaking which does not take your person into account both officially and unofficially. I am hoping that Rev. Yamada and his associates realize that Buddhism is not only Buddha and Dharma but Sangha and you, to me, represent Sangha at the moment. There is a certain identity of spirit and personality with Revs. Price, Wagner and Goode because of our common communion with the late Phra Sumangalo. That is enough.
I am still wondering when American Buddhist leaders (?) are going to study Buddhism whether they teach it or not. I carry credentials from Japan which are to be rejected by non-Japanese. What is anatta?
There is one personal note—I have been invited to join in with a Yoga retreat and if Rev. Jack carries the Middlebar project on the basis outlined, I shall not join. I worked with the Sangha spirit with the Chinese and there was not a harsh moment in dozen years.
And there is also the after-Goddard possibility of a retreat in the Santa Barbara region. I did find one Dorrance Goddard living in Thetford, Vermont, and must write him soon.
Excuse this long-winded and somewhat negative report. It is for the record. The worst part of the whole thing, to me, was the finale when Rev. JM listened to me. I should have preferred a rejection. I do not wish to disturb Roshi Suzuki here, but you are free to keep this communication private, limited or public as you are fit.
It would be a great thing for JM to have some humility, otherwise he is going to repeat the history of the late Tai Hsu, the Chinese monk, who wanted a monastery, and he went one way and the Sangha another—result, nothing at all.
One must end with Gilbert & Sullivan (“Life would be extremely flat, if you’re nothing whatever to grumble at.”)
While JM negatives I’ll say:
May all beings be peaceful,
May all beings be blissful,
May all beings be happy.
Sunday was meditating about withdrawal from all groups. Since attending Sunday school as a child I have been treated as a novice almost everywhere and wasted more time listening to stuff I already knew and never being permitted to express, excepting under unusual conditions. But after the service to my surprise Rev. Too Lun summoned me and asked me to explain the Sanskrit terms both to the Chinese and English. This is excellent, for I have no wish to be leader but equally disdain floundering in uncertainty or ignorance.
Lottie goes regularly and Christian Sigeliev is expected shortly.
58 Harriet St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
October 21, 1963
American Friends of the Middle East
323 Geary St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
In Re: Universal Versus Particular Zionism.
Ever since a child I have been moved by the biblical passage. “My House shall be a house of prayer for all people.” It seemed to me at an early age that some Jewish people were destined to return to Palestine. But the history of “Lawrence of Arabia,” the blind following of Ball Peor (Balfour) instead of Moses, the repudiation of all tradition, of all literature in behalf of a small group of political zealots showed that we are still in a world which confuses words with things and clinging to words, assumed the attainment of an ideal.
It has been part of an uncertain career to have been employed by a lady who spent time and energy translating Hebraic scriptures although she was not Jewish. Working for her it was necessary to go into many literary by-paths concerned with materials now relegated either to restricted forms of “Orthodoxy” or else left to anthropologists and folk-lorists. It has also been my lot to meet two real Kabbalists both of whom were not persona grata with “respectable” synagogues. But the pieces of tradition regarding the return to Palestine, Messianism and related subjects fit together in a sort unwritten symphony.
On the other side I have really studied Islamics and to a degree somewhat more than those scholars who are hailed in America but who have no standing whatsoever in the actual Islamic world. The truth need not lie between extremes based on ignorance, but rather in some harmonic integrative pattern which analytical people simply cannot fathom. Their whole outlooks lead them to separativeness and dualism and “I and “you.”
The history of Omar shows one sort of “solution” for Palestinian problems; one which was accepted in its time—but of course is no longer given much consideration either by the non-Islamic scholars who “teach” Islamics nor by the political Zionists, nor by politicians upholding some sort of policy or document which has been intruded into traditions of long standing.
My first effort after 1945 was to have a meeting between the spiritual leaders of Israel and Islam and both groups accepted the offer but questioned whether the other “camp” had real spiritual persons in it. A revamp of this to men very close to General Burns has resulted in very strong favorable reactions.
It is very difficult to establish any sort of “peace” on dualistic grounds, and it becomes wise, if not necessary, to look into some other direction.
At the present time there is more acceptance of Hebraic folklore among Muslims, especially of Arabic extraction, than among Jewish groups officially. Therefore it becomes wise either to by-pass this folk-lore or to accept only such portions of it which are mutually regarded. But in respect to “Nehemiah-ism” we have another out. Why not restore a temple as the Bible says, a house of prayers for all people, but basically a synagogue.
Jordan, I believe, holds Mount Scopus or else it is on terra incognita. Hebraic peoples, returning from their original exile, went to praise God and then to put their own houses in order. The politicos not only do not praise God, have ignored all the biblical institutions, substituted a few Ghetto methods—which they are supposed to give up on return to Palestine, and are headed by a man who seems to be half Yogi, half Buddhist. There is no disrespect in this man’s private beliefs, but does he need any “Israel,” any Palestine for that kind of freedom?
The establishment of a House of Prayer as the Bible sanctions and as was successfully instituted by Nehemiah and his associates will end once and for all a good deal of nonsense. The real Jewish tradition—hidden by the by “Israelis” was that when the Messiah returned the Holy Land would extend even from Jerusalem to Minsky must be repudiated. Indeed all pure Messianism must be repudiated and in this we have the old habit which the Prophets declaimed at for centuries that every man did according to his own liking.
In addition to the Bible, we have the Jewish Prayer Book, and even the Seder Service. Point by point “Israel” has been established with total disregard for these things. And as the “Jews” (who are not necessarily Jews at all) repudiate their own documents, we see more and more of their scions become non-believers of some sort. The results are that abroad, as the synagogues, captivate by “Zionism” ignore the traditions; and as those who return to Palestine seem almost 50% total unbelievers, where are the glorious predictions of other ages?
Giving up hope—although it is still possible—for the spiritual leaders of respective faiths to come together, the raising of funds by Arabs to build a synagogue-temple which will be a House of Prayer for all peoples, may end much of the raison d’être for an independent “Israel” on the lines now constituted.
This may merit some consideration and if one can be of any service toward bringing believers in either the Hebraic or Islamic religions and close associates of Gen. Burns and the UN together in any manner it might lead toward settlement of a status from which murder disguised as political warfare seems to be the only way out, or else—which is in line with present day affairs, the whole world end as “A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court.”
Samuel L. Lewis
58 Harriet St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 2, 1963
Dr. Howard Benninghoff,
I feel like a playwright completing a drama in which there is a role for you becoming the hero, or leading actor. For my diary and other purposes, I wish to detail everybody. For I believe there is a wisdom or justice which can, in the end, terminate events.
There is no question, to me, that we live in a world of C.P. Snow’s two cultures, which have been called scientific and literary, or humanistic for want of better terms. What my conclusions, Science, the journal of the AAAS seem to bear this out to the full. For instance last week I called on Guy Atkinson who is handling some vast engineering projects in Pakistan and not only was there entire accord but also agreement that the United States has been sucked into dialectics by communist propaganda, that we are today largely merely anti-Marxist dialecticians and that the American, if not delightful Jeffersonian and Pragmatic, philosophies have been rejected by the press and journalists and fiction writers. The Guy Atkinson story can’t be told because it does not fit in with the politics and polities of either the political parties or the press or even the universities. It is a simple and direct story.
But the success or failure of the Guy Atkinson efforts means largely a geographical transference of the problem of salinity. And after long sessions with Dr. Schoonover there is nothing I can add. The difference is that Dr. Schoonover and Prof. Keim have been recalled to India and Egypt respectively because the political-dialectics, Marxist or anti-Marxists, does not works and Milton Fireman and Howard Benninghoff are in lost corners when they ought to be handling vast projects.
For it is not even the introduction to this letter that I have been asked for a plan of both engineering and agricultural procedure by a friend who has been promoted to the top technical post in Sind which includes the mouth of the Indus River, while the politicians of all countries concerned, are using piece-meal methods, totally different from that used in the Mississippi Valley, and perhaps being forced on us here with regard to the Colorado.
In any event I have spoken twice in public, and will speak again on the superior methods of the private Foundations as against government, so-called aid or AID, for the letter is disjunctive both in personnel and planning and efficiency often ends in adjournment sine die—and I know what I am talking about.
I have had some personality difficulties, the chief one running on for years when because “I” was Sam Lewis certain plans for the Near Fast were shelved. On the political side, let me say that when I did meet General Burns’s aides, they one and all told me that I was the first sensible person they had met! But by analogy I met a VIP North African who had turned socialist and I asked him, “Why do you wish to adopt for your countries the agricultural system which has failed in Russia and even more so in China, and not adopt the one which has succeeded right here in California?”
Skipping I submitted two plans for North Africa, the second one being an agricultural program based on the fact that the Date is the sacred plant of Islam; and that Qur’an itself has a Sura which begins “By the Fig and by the Olive” which all “good Muslims” ignore, as they ignore everything else in their own scriptures—like a lot of other people. And to submit a program calling for large plantings of Figs, Olives, Grapes and Dates in North Africa is the last thing the political and ecclesiastic religiousness consider.
My plans lay on the desk of admiral Evenson of the American Friends of the Middle East. This week we had a grand session and all the speakers had the same theme: “Get out of speeches and do something.” The main difference here—and this could mean something for you—is that AFME have given up Pakistan and taken over the whole of North Africa.
The terminus of the personality difficulties implied above came, when after the dinner the other night, Mr. Terry Duce, Vice-President of AFME and formerly Vice President of ARAMCO, came up to me (we have known each other for years and this is the first time he approached me—it was always the other way; “What are you doing for desert agriculture?” He outlined his plan—he has the world contacts. The next day I met Dr. Overton, the President, etc., etc.
Now at our gathering were all the people who could have put over the scheme which your C. of C. had to bring Egyptian monuments—men representing untold millions, big men in all the oil companies (e.g. Kermit Roosevelt II), and all backing the idea of doing something. This is the first time I met Overton and he accepted my credentials on the spot. I also saw or met other officials, etc.,
This brings up the next step. I shall write a small addendum to my plan because now the leaders of AFME (and the oil companies, etc.) have come out for doing something for Desert Agriculture and it is not simply brochures of Ayers & Co. We are facing a situation and I am even able to get in the Palestine and Algiers-Morocco complex—this is personal, not scientific. What I should like to see is a master idea for the proper soil and water rehabilitation of the whole Arab World.
He outlined to me his proposed policies for the University (can furnish details) which he wishes to use:
a. To modernize education in Pakistan
b. To cement an American-Pakistani alliance to forestall communism, atheism and “other evils.”
c. To accept as many American institutions as possible which do not conflict with religion.
In addition to that he detailed his whole plans for counter-espionage which were essentially the same as those offered in Egypt, about which some notes below.
Unfortunately, not a single American university which has a non-American, non-Muslim professor of Islamics has accepted the reality of this. Universities headed by well-known non-Americans have snubbed all efforts of communication.
Sufis (Dervishes) in Intelligence Service. I was saved from the communists in India by a spiritual brother who was the Edgar Hoover of India. The Americans never took very seriously my reports that communists hide under religious or “spiritual cloaks.” I have four times been in their nests, all unwittingly, and each time it was a presumable “religious” institution.
In Pakistan some of my brothers who are in Secret Police gave me the whole plan the Russians had (at the time) to stymie our Peace Corps. It was very simple. They sent out “Muslims” who prayed with the people and generally spoke—not necessarily Urdu, but the lingo of the district (see below). They brought them greetings of “brotherhood” and told them about the wonderful life in communist countries. At the moment I have one of the books printed about Uzbekistan which is a hodgepodge of utter sugared bunk, but it just might impress some people.
I actually fell into one of these nests unwittingly—-history reported to the Consulate at Lahore. The Embassy at first refused to take it seriously. There were some complex involvements including my closest friend, one Major Sadiq, who may visit this country this year. The Dervishes who are in Intelligence, etc. actually serve two masters: Their government, and their God. And when it comes to being in alliance with Red China they feel just like Attia above. But again, we don’t recognize the existence of the dervish orders, and so we abandon the field to enemies.
Pushtu Academy is on the surface an institution for the study of the languages and cultures of Central Asia. Dr. Abdul Rahman, the principal, has been in this country and not only likes the United States, but is a firm believer in American ideals and a dread foe of communism.
His whole institution is one of counter-espionage. They know, as above, that Russia sends agents into every valley and sector and studies the local languages. Why can’t this be done by others. But here again, unfortunately, there has been no response or slow response from American institutions, and one cannot write about intelligence and counter-espionage in letters requesting mutual recognition. Actually outside of Columbia University, it is doubtful whether the culture of this part of the world is placed in the hands of Asian nationals. I had a long, successful running fight with Princeton University. But why should there be a fight? Why can’t we learn Asiatics from Asians just as we learned Europeans cultures from Europe?
Financial Assistance. The aforesaid University of Islamabad is oversubscribed. Instead of seeking funds, it is offering, teachers’ positions to Americans—offer not seriously accepted yet, In the case of the Pushtu Academy they would like some financial assistance but one cannot place before our universities the “counterespionage” features.
Minor Report. Mary Army officers, not necessarily in Intelligence, but all members of some Sufi (Dervish) Order, gave me details about Russian military and engineering assistance to Afghanistan and told me their methods of espionage. This is still useless (unless here) because of the non-recognition on our part.
Extra-Sensory Phenomena: The University of Islamabad will have a department devoted to this. Put so far not a single American organization has answered to inquiries for mutual exchange. What is worse there seem to be signs of federal moneys going to Rhine at Duke (who does not answer, except once) and one Koharich who specializes (?) in mental telepathy. In a recent report Koharich is said to have asked for funds to try experiments with Russia (or all peoples).
Now the Dervishes use extra-sensory methods and they not only told me how, I have participated in this type of communication.
During the War I was in difficulty therefore and finally placed some matters before Col. Harris when he occupied the chief post in GII in Fort Mason. I have scattered among my effects some records in this regards, mostly disguised as “prophetic poetry.” If we are to put up moneys for such extra-sensory research, why is Russia selected? and why don’t we even look into the possibility of “people who are on our side” having such faculties?
This last subject could be discussed further, but it is useless until we look into the objective existence of peoples and institutions who could, would and should be our friends. If any point is not clear, would be glad to go into it. But I sincerely hope first some of your contacts will read, The Dervishes by the American, J. P. Brown.
Samuel L. Lewis
P.S. Some pictures and details of my own position may follow.
The overthrow of Diem came just before my visit with J. Eugene Wagner. He is a disciple of Phra Sumangalo with whom I worked closely for 35 years and never one harsh moment (which is a record for SL). If complaints were in order, and they are, the case of JEW makes that of Sam Lewis become very simple. He followed all the rules which Eugene Burdick laid down for everybody else. He became a second “Anna” teaching English to the family of the King of Thailand. He has been both Theravadia and Mahayanan monk, he has lived in every part of S.E. Asia, to wit Malay, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Annam, Tonkin and he has betted exactly 000 in trying to reach the press or State Department. It is his marriage and ordination vows which prevent him from giving up his citizenship like Phra Sumangalo, and it is this sort of thing, rather multiplied, which keeps me plugging.
Since my birthday things are coming more and more favorably socially and one may hope otherwise. My manuscript is complete but needs to be indexed, edited and appendixed for foreign words. The end was very hard because of the events of the day, the appearance of new literature and the visitors encountered here. But I’ll write some stories:
Foreign Aid for Pakistan. This was the subject, and I am guilty of speaking on it. Before me three men spoke: one for more FA, one for less and one against all FA excepting aptitude and draft training. They were all VIPs and did not agree with each other. So the chair announced this subject and as nobody else volunteered, I did—and got lost in the shuffle. One of the VIPs said my ideas could not apply to Guinea and Yugoslavia which he had visited and he, being a VIP, that was what was discussed—and as there were naturally three camps he had two camps against him, annoying even for a VIP. Then one little old lady arose: “Gentlemen, this is all very nice, but you aren’t discussing Asia and Asians. In fact what you have been saying can’t apply to Asia at all. I have lived many years in Asia and what you are debating are your ideas and Asians don’t think that way.
Well Sam Lewis escaped and toward the end there was a hair-pulling contact between educated VIPs, which got very personal. And the man who did the best was out-argued because he was opposed to the “experts,” i.e. the big man who had never been there and a world problem was nearly decided on a committee report of VIPs, all the sociologists to the contrary!
Foreign Aid for Pakistan. I visited Guy Atkinson, who is in charge of the engineer projects. The results were foreseeable. Tell me a man’s profession and I can make the predictions. It was a love meeting from beginning, middle and end. I told the industrialist I was for nobody for president excepting perhaps H. Cabot Lodge because we had gone for “realism” and was spurning realities. “Everybody is a dialectician today, all the candidates, being merely anti-Marxist Hegelists. The good old Jeffersonianism and Pragmatism are gone. Why should we accept “left,” “center,” “right.” The interesting thing, Vocha, is that all the industrialists and formerly military men are for this point of view. They are horrified by this compulsory, left-center-right, and want to get things done. After all Fascism was forced on capitalists by anti-communist dialecticians.
Plans for Near East. I submitted plans to solve three problems in this area. They remain on Admiral Evenson’s desk. Well we had a grand meeting of the American Friends of the Middle East and all the speeches were the same—stop vocalizing programs and do something. There were perhaps about $50,000,000 present, too, E.g. Kermit Roosevelt 2, etc.
Enemies. Now at this dinner were my two worst enemies. In 1956 I left with ten enemies and got this answer through meditation: “Let them fight each other.” It got down to three, my brother (who does not count), IOD (a woman) and RL. In the meditation I got concerning IOD, “Make friends with her husband’s friends.” and this has happened in the natural course of affairs. Now IOD and RL hate each with a vigor that neither has had against me—I was an annoyance, but they were real hostile and both were there. RL is not only a man but one of my “epoops,” European Professors of Oriental Philosophy, he gets all the jobs and misleads everybody.
At the very end Mr. D. came up to me and said, ““How are your plans to solve the problems of Desert Agriculture?” This itself is the greatest compliment—to be recognized. I am now ready to act and my first plan is to pull out of mothballs our great soul scientists whose ideas run counter to Federal dialectical policies.
C.P. Snow. It all comes back to this. Scientists and children cooperate, “scribes and Pharisees” argue. I spoke twice that we had the best science and scientists but did not use them—which is true. This is a long subject.
Nuclear Testing. In about ten days there is supposed to be a debate on what the small nations think, and I volunteered, doubly unwilling. I know “they” don’t want me to speak and I don’t want to speak. But “they” and I are on agreement that I should speak about the Arab point of view. Still nobody here knows the background of Pauling, Reiser, Radhakrishnan, and worse, Nkrumah. Two world wars and the man on the street in Berlin is of more consideration to us than ten Prime Ministers of Afro-Asian lands. This is “democracy.”
Gina and GS. I relieved her “Many Lives, Many Loves” and she was delighted. For before I was analytically critical and this book takes the cake. So I am cooperating. Now some G.S. people are willing to have her speak on Parapsychology. I told her that G.S. leaders do not answer enquiries, that there is money abroad for both Psi-research and G.S. teachings and nobody answers letters. This pleases “Pakistanis” no end. Everybody else is more equal.
She referred me to Talbot and I was hoping he would not answer and he has not. I am making some reports. There is one report coming to me, I understand, but in Urdu.
Aftermath and Prognosis. Never better ever. I can now, if my book is accepted, get it reviewed by the proper people all over the world, without exception. But I have to phone Mr. VIP here first. Ideas about publishers have been given me.
Sufism. I have more work in this field than anybody imagines. But when I met the head of the American Friends of the Middle East, Dr. Overtone, he accepted my “credentials” on sight. It is very possible that he himself has been admitted into at least one of the Dervish Orders. This is still a closed book.
Buddhism. This is all comic operas. I had my friend Della at Eugene’s last night and we discussed the inexorability of karma and the American nonsense of noblesse obliges—which saves nobody. There are so many Sanghas here. I am quite outspoken against one leader because he attacked two other leaders. But it is almost impossible to get the Americans to accept the Sangha point of view—whosoever is attacked, “that is I,” and I only spoke because of my Fudo function.
To harmonize the Sangha, John, Dick and Harry all have the most wonderful ideas for “retreats—each with its own advantages, each ignoring the others, each seeking monetary help, each refusing to do basic meditation and hardly any study of Buddha’s methods. Temporarily I agreed to work for one, rejecting the other—but as reminded, in the eleven years at the Buddha Universal Church, not one real personality difficulty. And these amateurs all have their programs before they start out.
So I finally turned around and asked my friend Della—and she is a saint—“What is the Great Mantra?” She has been repeating Prajna Paramita Sutra for years and could not answer who was Sariputra and what the Mantra was. I demonstrated, but really for Eugene and his wife who were delighted. The Japanese refer to the Mantra and the Chinese to the Mandala and yet they don’t know either the Mantra or the Mandala.
Yoga. Tuesday night I hope to present the Saraswati Yoga, present—not discuss, not exhort.
It requires patience and more than that, but if one holds on and holds up after a while the world becomes small and pliable. Now how to help Vocha Fiske? I think I know an occult method, but it has devotional aspects, not magic.
58 Harriet St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 7, 1963
S.A. Ataullah Shuttari,
6 Marlborough Gardens,
Leeds 2, U.K.
My dear Brother:
As-salaam aleikhum. Alhamdu-lillah for the opportunity given to report and record many things which are in personal history but not on paper so that you may read thereof. A copy is being sent to Sufi Pir Barkat Ali, for in the first place he requested I write to Mohammed Ilyas. But for reasons both implicit and explicit details are given. And since you are a Khalif of the Kadaris, we shall begin there.
I have before me a large newspaper report which has been written in a flowery sort of Urdu that my friends have not been able to translate. It was on an occasion, arranged by my Spiritual Brother, Major Mohammed Sadiq when I spoke to 20,000 (twenty thousand) persons in one place in Lahore Cantonment. And what was the subject? Big Brother. And who was Big Brother? Ghaus-i-Azam. And what is this “kafir feringhi” (as I call myself) doing talking on Ghaus-i-Azam? It was due to the kindness of Kadri Sahib, the Murshid of your Order in Lahore, who has been my benefactor many times. And why has he been my benefactor since I do not speak Urdu nor he English?
When I came to Pakistan I stopped at Multan and visited the tomb of Shams-i-Tabriz. There was a Wali there and he said, “What do you want?” I said, “I have come to teach.” “What?” “Ishk, Ilm, Shahud.” “All right, teach.” So this person from a far away land taught a circle of mureeds about Ishk, Ilm and Shahud and when it was through they all embraced me. I have some pictures taken with them. How come this “wisdom?”
Now I never met an Imam until I was ever fifty years of age, but from childhood studied religion and kept studying all religions. But in 1919 I met one Murshida Rabia Ada Martin and in 1923 was given the Four School Bayat, which centers in your own Hyderabad, Deccan. In 1925 I had a complete nervous breakdown and was preparing for death. I went into the wilderness in khilvat and on the third day Khidr appeared and he offered me poetry or music which was what we call here a “Hobson’s choice,” because today there is both. The poetry in its finest form is in “Saladin” and I may have occasion to send you part IV which may have to be copied for persons in various Arabic lands. This attests to hal and makam better than anything else. But to confirm the appearance of Khidr, there is today little sign of wear and tear on the body which is very, very vigorous and the mind also to some extent. And people who do not accept the personality cannot otherwise explain this vitality.
Three days after that I saw in broad daylight all the Great Prophets ending with Mecca Shereef as Khatim al Nabi—I saw this openly and after that was healed of the infirmities of which there is hardly a trace today. In 1926 Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan confirmed the hal and makam and gave me the name of “Sufi.” But he died shortly and his followers split and I never used this term until it was publicly announced by Pir Sufi Barkat Ali.
During the War there was the service of the Auliya and the functioning with the Auliya and although one does not come out and say, “Abdal” one knows what this means. There are also historical records of the vision Allah has given extending back to 1932—although most of those records were destroyed in a great fire.
For many years I used to teach a lady in this country who was very well placed socially. And when we were studying “Light” she claimed a certain makam and I said, “If you have reached that makes you should be teaching me, not I you.” And as soon as she was confirmed as a Murshida, she denounced me publicly and privately and made my life utterly miserable. It was only then that my father, who had previously denounced me himself refused to permit an outsider to do this. And he died a wealthy man which has relieved me from earthly cares. But the wise Allah directed me not in any of the sentimental slop which passes for Morality, but in the course of wisdoms. “Make friends with her husband’s friends.” And this has been entirely, successful today, so much so that her husband himself now wants the projects I have been working on for a “Garden of Allah” to extend from Delhi to the Atlantic Ocean, inshallah. If you want details will write. For the wisdom of Allah is very real, and operative, though it may come immediately (as it did to me on each visit to your own Hyderabad) or it may come very slowly.
For the work of those who go on the paths of the Auliya, Ansari and Abdals, is a different work, and one has to keep firm. It is in this connection and direction that I stand subordinate to Sufi Barkat Ali and to the Madzub who is his close companion. Since therefore you follow the order established by Ghaus-i-Azam; it is not a legend when he said, “I put my foot on the neck of the all Auliya.” Most people take this symbolically and must because they have neither Ilm nor makam.
There is no love in me for Islam. Islam has nothing to do with love. There is, Ishk Allah, Mahbood Allah. Now why Ishk? Why Mahbood? It is something like Rahman and Rahim, only we call one “Compassion,” the other “Love.” But the principles are the same, operative from Zat to and through the Sifat and back to the Zat. but in the Zat-Sifat there is the beginning condition which we shall Adam and the final condition which for call Mohammed. And no one loves Allah unless he has the love either for Adam or Mohammed or both, in the final reckoning. For Adam is the first and Mohammed is the last, and the love t be real, has to operate up-down like the phases of Rahmat and Hub. When this Love perfects it operates through body, mind and heart and this, in my life has been through the living experiences in fana-fi-Rassoul, whether one expresses it or not.
I did not meet an imam until over so and now when I read Holy Qur’an there are many questions which are asked:
a. What was the Makam and the Hal of Mohammed in receiving this revelation?
b. What was the Ilm involved, etc.
For in Hadith it is said that Holy Qur’an was revealed in seven dialects and each has an inner and outer meaning.
For example Sura 95 begins “By the Fig, and by the Olive.” And in Pakistan there was a tree-planting week and all the “Muslims” celebrated tree-planting week with speeches and feasts. And not in all Pakistan did I find anybody planting a single Fig or a single Olive. That is why I do not have regard for “Islam.” It is nothing but nufsaniat. The Holy Qur’an is explicit and implicit and when it is explicit “good Muslims” don’t follow it, and this is the cry of the world and the need of everybody.
Or again. Many Orthodox refuse the above Hadith which speaks about Holy Qur’an coming in seven dialects and say there is one meaning to the text. Then they translate Rab Alamin as “Lord of the worlds” and they seek Ilm but Ilm and Alamin come from the same root, which shows there is a connection between the divine wisdom and the creation. This also comes in the Hebrew mysticism which says creation came from Chokmah (Hakimat). But the mind of man makes the divisions and so there is no understanding. But when one effaces oneself (fana) and comes into the reality he sees (Shahud) these things plainly and there is no mystery anymore.
It is most interesting your coming from Hyderabad. My first Pir-o-Murshid, Hazrat Inayat Khan, was given Bayat there by one Seyyed Mohammed Moudani of the Chisti Order and then he had the full Four School teaching which he brought to the West. The chief Khalifa in that school (Four School) is Fayaz-ud-din Nizami, the Town Planner, who lives on Jubilee Hills and has been my host many times. I also met the former mayor in strange circumstances (by Shahud).
Unfortunately my visits to Hyderabad always came during intercession so that while I did visit the new grounds of Osmania this last time I was not only too busy but had a complexity of spiritual duties—all quite successful, but many. I did not visit the Nizam because his secretary refused admittance, but I have been to shrines in that vicinity.
Although I had a most mysterious and marvelous greeting at Ajmir I consider the Dargah Nizam-ud-din Auliya my center in India and it is written in the ethers so to speak and the self has nothing to do about it. In a similar way, perhaps, in Pakistan it is the tomb of Data Ganj Baksh, whose “Kashf-al-Mahjub” has been a lifelong study. But in Pakistan also there is a very strong bond to and with Bullah Shah at Kasur and Mian Mir at Lahore, and I have accepted Mian Mir as the intermediary for Ghaus-i-Azam. By tasawwur and fana one can efface oneself and commune and it is this communion—and no worship of any kind—which draws one to saints, living or “dead.”
Tarikat. I have never experienced blind love. I have had the heart-union after vision with each Pir-o-Murshid; and again with Mohammed as Rassoul, the vision came in 1925 as above, the union in 1945—a long story consummated in the poem “Saladin” alluded to. It is a mistake to say there is any blindness in Tarikat. If so, it is not Tarikat. We say: Ashadu La Illaha El Il Allah and then Ashadu Mohammedar Rassoul-Lillah. The Tarikat takes one ultimately into Mushahida when this becomes reality. But there can be no blindness in Shahud and when there is blindness the Shahud is incomplete and when there is experience the Shahud is completed but only to go on to the higher stages in Mushahida.
The same applies to Murakkabah, Mujahida, etc.
Today I have been received into about eight Orders, two in the Arab world and the rest in the Indian sub-continent. But those Bayats all came from experience and union or attunement. And this is mentioned because when I reached Pakistan last my old friend from San Francisco (who is not in tarik, not even religious) took me to a home and there on the wall was a picture of Ghaus-i-Azam with the other grand Pirs, and apart Pir Bu Ali Shah Qalandar. I looked at that picture and saw my future history, and so it was and left Pakistan a year and a half later as a “mureed” of all of them.
Did you know Syed Mahmud who was temporary Minister of External Affairs in India? I met him on a former trip, but did not try to see him again.
Now I have mentioned the lady who became Murshida and then denounced me. She left the Tarikat and followed a false teacher. Now she returned all my commentary writings on Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings. But I found also a tremendous compendium of materials mostly on Zikr and Fikr, some on Kalama and breathing methods and some on other forms of Ryazat. This will be copied for Sufi Pir Barkat Ali. But the Ryazat he gives me are of another order in complete harmony with the history delineated here. I am unable to tell this time how these ryazat will be utilized in the future.
For also when one practices Tasawwuri on all levels he has both experiences and receptivity. It is my dream to have an integrated Islam beginning with a new form of Tarik which is so simple children can use it and it will be based on Azam and Kalama first and then on Fatima, after that on Kashf. But one dare not put any limits on anything nor abolish anything.
It is certain that the present Sharia does not suffice—we have poverty, misery, unhappiness, and everything but peace—instead multitudes of law-suits. But with all this I do not know any alternative to Sharia, only must say as is said in Hadith. “The word of the Messenger can never abrogate the word of Allah but the word of Allah can abrogate the words of the Messenger.” The false Mahdis all come out with new words but I say, you have to go back to Qur’an and stop saying “Back to Qur’an”—for the saying blinds, but the deeds awaken. Therefore I hope to renovate Islam through Bulla Shah first and then to awaken to the spiritual accomplishments of Ghaus-i-Azam and Data Sahib and all the accomplishments of Mecca Shereef in all his capacities and personalities from Ahmed to Khatim al Nabi.
As Al-Ghazali has said, “Tasawwuf consists of experiences and not premises.”
When I was at Hyderabad I asked why the workings at Golconda were stopped. “No more diamonds.” Nonsense. There are plenty of diamonds and other wealth in those hills. And likewise there is a tremendous treasure both in the teachings as we now have them, and also in the heart of man. It is time to resume diggings in the Golconda without, and in the Golconda of the written records and in the Golconda of the heart.
My love blessings and best wishes,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
November 9, 1963
My dear Vince and Jane:
I hope you won’t be bored by a chatterbox. I am trusting that you are weathering a lot of mixed-up conditions and that you don’t mind my conclusion that as goes California Agriculture, so goes the world. I have not been able to convince the so-called “Council of California Growers” but that ends the frustrations—excepting that to be a one-man UN is a hopeless task unless you have something. Well, I have just outlined: Project: “The Garden of Allah” and I am writing to you now because my closest friend, Major M. Sadiq, has written he expects to be here about the middle of next month and wants to tour the State covering all phases of agriculture, including Sheep Industry with which I am not acquainted at all.
Project: “The Garden of Allah” began with another one of those episodes which plague my life. A VIP from North Africa was stranded her just at a time when my appointee was called out of town on an emergency. I got another of those tales—repetition of Pearl Harbor, etc. which the CIA and so-called Intelligence always pooh-pooh, and mostly they happen. As usual communists and near-communists can travel under the guise of being representatives of Asian religions. And so long as we continue to study “Asia Culture” under Europeans and students of Europeans this can continue with ease. The pattern has not changed excepting that there are now three or four distinct social revolutions. I can give yon all details.
I told him that I was not a social scientist but said: “What are you going to do when the agricultural program which has been established in all your socialist nations tries and fails? It has failed every time, it is failing now. You are in California and you can learn more from California than from the whole rest of the world. The very agriculture that would succeed in your country is just that which has succeeded here. For instance the Date industry. Or what Holy Qur’an says but none of you Muslims practice: ‘By the Fig and by the Olive.’ That is the Scripture, but you don’t practice it. You go off and are planning to try what has failed every time.” He had no answer, but believe me, this North Africa thing is not what the papers say, and as we know nothing of the real Islam any more than we know of Vietnamese “Buddhism,” one has to go off in another direction.
The American Friends of the Middle East met here recently. I had already submitted two papers, one on California Agriculture and how it was a model to the Islamic world, and the other on real experts here in California who are languishing when they would be helping the world—the scientists and the sociologists don’t see eye-to-eye. Well all the speakers at their gatherings came up with that it was time to stop speaking and get down to action. And to my amazement—there is always a first time—the Vice-President brought me out and asked what I was going about Desert Agriculture.
It just happens I have been doing all one man alone can do who has, also other interests and no recognition. But by now the whole board of directors of the ASE is interested. So I proposed a joint venture between them and Ford (preferably) or Rockefeller, hiring the real soil experts from California and operating in the lands within their operations (Pakistan to Morocco inclusive).
I have just learned that one Prof. Bocher of Davis is about to leave for North Africa so I have outlined proposals in full, this being a follow-up of correspondence with Dr. Milton Fireman, etc.
Cross-trailing this is that controversy over the Udall Plan. I have found in Congressman John Baldwin of Contra Costa a man after my own heart. He is primarily interested in soil and water problems and not in subjective philosophies. During any peregrinations I hays found even top industrialists agreeing that there is too many dialectical anti-Marxism and too little American pragmatism and so far as I am concerned I shall not support any candidate of either party who is any kind of dialectician. Not one dissenter.
Baldwin wishes to go into Salt-water conversion and that is what I have been preaching to all the Islamic nations; together with the soil programs worked out in principle by Dr. Roy Donahue of Ford Foundation. This Udall plan destroys, if it goes through, the hope of making this State the laboratory for much of the world, and the very examples would be, to me, the best form of foreign aid.
I spoke briefly on “Foreign Aid for Pakistan.” The audience was too divided into hate-one-another “Clay’ plan, more foreign aid and less foreign aid, to face specific reports—which was what I gave. Everybody wants policies and they all differ on the policies. But to me there is no such thing as “foreign aid.” A prosperous California which could be a model to be copied would be the best example for much of the world, and our failures could be avoided, our successes emulated, and the money spent here to good purpose; on the other hand, this semi-socialist came out for private help only. The big Foundations have a continuum, they do not work at cross purposes, they recognize each other, they do not overlap, they do not compete, they mingle with the people (nationals), they respect local religions and traditions, etc., etc. No governmental agency does that, and the governmental agencies have no integrating body excepting in Washington and I know what I am talking about.
This will be followed up. But now that big persons are interested I have been able to follow up. Yesterdays “Chronicle” had an article, “Stock Feed from Sewage” which entirely justifies all my literary research, etc. It fills in a big gap which only those far advanced in soil science have realized. So it goes and by next month there will be more.
Well “Father was right” maybe. The Social Creditors have swept British Columbia, gaining more seats in the legislature than they were prepared for. The Socialists came in second, but lost ground. The Conservatives did not elect a single man. But what these people believe I don’t know and efforts to find out have brought up zeroes.
I am wondering if you could meet Major Sadiq and myself either at your place or at any Diner’s Club restaurant from here down—there is plenty of time to answer.
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
November 11, 1963
My dear John:
The last three weeks have shown a number of incidents that look like a dramatic novel and suggest my seeing you perhaps late next month. It is certain, as you can read, that willy-nilly all my eggs are in one basket now, which can be called “The Garden of Allah” project.
In 1947 I was compelled to move from the house in Fairfax by a combination of concocted lies, a term I may safely use as the persons who have accepted those unsubstantiated lies have, either openly or tacitly, admitted that they should have listened to me before compelling me to leave my home. The situation was complicated because while I had no funds to support my case, it would have meant prison terms for those involved, and this would have accomplished little.
Mrs. Ivy Duce either willingly or unwillingly took it into her hands not only to compel me to leave Fairfax, but having been my one and only confidante was able to block all my plans in every direction. Without going into the nature of these plans, life—or maybe something more than life—lead to the establishment of friendships with her husband’s associates one by one and this moment finds me not only on excellent terms with them but Mr. Duce himself has asked how I was getting along with projects to turn deserts into arable lands.
I had already submitted two plans for this purpose and another program which also can be assimilated into the “The Garden of Allah” project as above. I now also have a growing amount of material for my “How California Can Help Asia” and am on excellent terms with all those scientists whom I have contacted, and even with one or two industrialists.
The Directors of the American Friends of the Middle East, of which Mr. Duce is Vice-President, are now giving serious attention to these projects, which also involve the employment of some of California’s top soil scientists. But by a number of circumstances, I am now able to interest persons and governments in several parts of the world. The officials of AFME have come up, one and all, with no more speeches and more actions of a practical nature. The denouement of this can only come after writing, conferences, etc. but I feel quite exuberant today. My physical health and mental vigor are in top form, and I am beginning, very slowly it is true, to be listened to.
Major M. Sadiq, my closest associate in Pakistan, expects to be here next month. He has now in mind the same projects. Originally he was interested to come and show his spiritual healing and mystical philosophy but he now wishes to study California Agriculture, all phases.
But I am mentioning this because the Major, my daughter and others, in cooperation with Pir Dewwal Shereef are now on some practical undertakings to raise funds for yours truly. Under Pakistani law, moneys may not be sent out excepting for certain purposes. My work is within the scope of these purposes and the aforesaid Pir is both the Principal of Islamabad University and the spiritual teacher of President Ayub and others.
The Major will be interested in all the crops upon which I have been doing research but also on Animal Husbandry—Sheep, Poultry, Cattle. I may drop in at the Agricultural Station on Fourth St. some time soon to get ideas and introductions, but this will not be a special call on you other than to say hello. Here I know pretty well the procedures.
Miss Khawar Khan, my goddaughter, has not only had a series of successes but has now asked me about her coming to this country to get a Ph.D. in certain subjects. Temporarily I have suggested either Washington or UCLA. If Washington, that throws her right back into association with Mr. Duce aforementioned because in addition to his being Vice-President of the American Friends of the Middle East he is also Vice-President of the School for Middle East Studies in that city. If California, UCLA or otherwise, I wish to introduce Miss Khawar to you because I believe she is planning to show films of Mecca and also to lecture on textiles and she will need some special consideration—income tax advice, etc, if she remains in this area.
As my correspondence with the above parties is disjunctive I cannot give details but all the news is favorable. The same is true in my conferences on the Near East from the political to the scientific, etc.
I am also having two “Homes” offered me here soon, one in Marin and one in San Mateo County and about four in Pakistan—whatever that means.
My recent talks have been short and impressive but partly due to the fact that the antagonism that used to be directed toward me (and before me two or three others) is now being directed to other people. This is most unfortunately and is characteristic of study groups. I feel like succeeding by cheating but am taking advantage of this malapropos-behavior pattern. Vietnam has taught us nothing—I am constantly seeing people who have lived there and nobody ever comes to see them or listen to them.
I shall advise when I have dates from either the Major or Miss Khan; or if any moneys are sent me I shall call on you before cashing, as this will involve a new business procedure.
Samuel L. Lewis
58 Harriet St., San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 12, 1963
My dear Hugo:
This in a sense is my diary which is being converted into a communication. For my close friend and associate, Major Sadiq, is trying to come to the United States next month. He is a top spiritualist and healer, but he is also coming on an agricultural mission. This means a detailed movement through California and it will be easy to stop at SLO and we should wish to see you on both the healing and spiritual missions.
A number of weeks ago Ed Hunt warned me that a husband of one of my cousins was very ill, and the cousin denied it. But he died and I met Ed at the funeral and since. Not only age but changing interests have drawn us close—for example, I am a sort of perpetual student at Art School and we are both interested in beautification. So is John Wingate but John is not in circulation.
The death brought into objectivity something which is much absent from the American psyche, which is to say a form of love which is super-physical without ceasing to be physical. I was reading in Inayat Khan how from his point of view the Western world was expressing mores and habits which were nothing but animality glorified in words. The animality was not wrong but the glorification of it in words was preventing Occidentals from realizing areas of bliss and has, instead, pushed us pell-mell into LSD and a lot of nonsense parading as “occultism.”
This period has also manifested the complete wiping out of adverse karma. With ten sets of enemies in 1956 the guidance through meditation first was “Let your enemies fight each other.” This is today true in some bizarre senses. I gave Alan Watts a pile of research and he immediately closed the door on it, would not let me refer to it, and became hostile. Like all the karma-wallahs, he got it. His associates first and then his wife turned on him and now I am acclaimed—and it is disgusting—because I am out of favor with AW, just as before I was rejected because I was out of favor. The public attitude has changed enormously in this and a number of other incidents of the same kind. There is nothing noble in it.
But the big problem has always been Mrs. I. (to hide her identity) and the answer from meditation was to “make friends with Mr. I’s friends.” Not only has this been accomplished but even Mr. I.—who is very important in international affairs—has come to me and asked what I have been doing on desert agriculture. This came immediately after I had outlined my “Solution of the Palestine Impasse” and “The Garden of Allah Project.”
Originally I had a plan for Palestine which was OK’d by almost everybody from Rabbi Magnes on Mt. Scopus to this Arab World but the above Mrs. I. made it impossible for me to proceed. I don’t go into that. When I very quietly outlined some elements to the associates of Field Marshall Burns they all had the same reaction, most favorable. It is now I am coming out very carefully with a revised scheme to fit the scope of the day.
Now, Hugo, the Divine Wisdom operates through the human psyche and human consciousness—it is real and it is pragmatic. And once it comes out with something then there is strength and wisdom. So my schemes are being reviewed now by VIPs.
I am more interested in “The Garden of Allah” program for suitable agricultural development of the whole earth from New Delhi to the Atlantic Ocean. In this the reactions of all industrialists and agriculturists and scientists are favorable. I have still to get a single negative from these three classes of human beings. But the social scientists are mostly indifferent and the political people almost impossible to impress.
Actually “The Garden of Allah” program is full of elements drawn from our top soil experts, who have invariably been given dirty deals. The whole world is most definitely in the two groups which the British C.P. Snow has called “scientists” and “literati” and 90% of the time I can predict the outcome of an interview by knowing the man’s profession. So whereas before Mrs. I. was working against me publicly, privately and otherwise, now Mr. I. is most interested.
On top of that, following the meditative answer above, Mrs. I. has had to oppose nearly all the other people with whom I have had difficulties and I have been on the side lines. By the time Major Sadiq arrives, I should have some reactions, and it is possible, God willing, to have some of the bigger foundations get behind one or two of my plans. I have some top soil scientists in tow whom I have nominated to head these projects.
I have also had word that my god-daughter is planning to come to America. She has been most successful in everything she has endeavored and psychically I am given the credit. It makes no difference whether the personality had anything to do with it or not. Abroad I am given the credit. So now in Pakistan there is both a fund-raising campaign for me and no less than three homes being provided.
The alternative to these homes will be ashrams in this country until I am financially in a position to establish a Sufi Khankah. For both my Buddhist and Yoga friends are working to have retreats in this vicinity and it seems one has to do little to work out one’s salvation on the physical plane.
I have seen Major Sadiq heal blind people. He has also healed Cancer and TB—which word I used because the attendant physicians said so. In the case of blindness there was no doctor around. And the Major has some faculties we hope he can demonstrate for and with you. The “fame” would be far more important to him and he does not charge money to anybody for his services.
Alan Watts has been both praised and blamed for interesting people in Buddhism. The aftermath sees many so-called Buddhists rejecting reincarnation. But this applies mostly to those pseudo-metaphysicians and college degreed VIPs who teach without having studied Orientalia. Today I am seeing others the butt of antagonisms both in the international field and in the occult field. That is to say, Gina Cerminara is out on the front lines fighting. She said my criticism of her book was exemplary although this word hardly fits, for I have just two approaches:
A very clear excellent presentation of reincarnation which appears to me most acceptable and valid.
A very interesting non-violence doctrine, which, although not my own personally, merits consideration and will attract large audiences in many parts of the world.
It is only that the occultists in America have hardly touched the surface. In Asian lands you can go deep and in some places easily. By and large the psychic and occult groups here do not want to investigate Asia because it would prove they are tyros. There is nothing wrong in being a tyro—every budding scientist is. But while the scientists will recognize the more profound people in their hobbies the psychics and occultists do not. And it is amusing to find people who are choosing occult phenomena when I tell them I have met and been taught by my spiritual teachers through ESP which is entirely true, but at levels we cannot both approach in curiosity and humility and at the same time direct the research. Most Americans want to direct, and it is lack of curiosity and humility that stands us badly.
I do not think Ed is so adverse to honest occultism. His reactions to your reports were far more childlike and sympathetic than one would receive from the average “psychic” or “occultist” who would accuse you of egotism or pomposity. That is not only what you are not, but there are more and more cases coming to purview of the same sort. For instance around Master Too Lun, whom I have called a “Chinese Maharishi.” If he had only remained in Hong Kong or mainland China, it would be easy to get bizarre articles published. But now that he is in our midst, the press pays no more attention to him. This story will probably be continued.
I am seeing Ted Reich tomorrow. I left Gin’s Many Lives, Many Loves with him.
There are now no adverse reports. The body is in fine shape, and more subtle if not more vigorous. It is only that the hair is greying.
I am holding off any trips until I hear from the Major, and hope we can visit you together.
S. A. M.
P.S. Gavin Arthur gets in the press but I do not associate with him any more.
58 Harriet St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 19, 1963
Hon. John F. Baldwin
321 Cannon House Office Bldg.,
Washington 25, D.C.
Dear Congressman Baldwin:
In re: Project: The Garden of Allah
One almost congratulates you on reading in today’s S.F. Chronicle an article “‘Cheaper than Udall Plan’ The Low Cost of Desalted Water.” This comes from the offices of the Atomic Energy Commission and the Federal Office of Saline Water.
Some time ago I conceived a book, “How California Can Help Asia” which may still be written. But political affairs, such as set-backs in Cambodia and Somaliland caused me to submit to the American Friends of the Middle East a plan for agricultural rejuvenation based on California methods and California personnel.
Then in short two things happened. A North African VIP visited San Francisco (he may even have been a subversive agent) and told me of plans for a social revolution covering each country West of UAR I asked him if he had studied fruit growing in this State—Dates, Citrus, Avocados, etc. He told me he had not and then I asked him why did he want to adopt collectivist programs which had failed and not other forms of agricultural procedure which had brought nothing but food and prosperity.
Then there were some meetings by the Board of Directors of the aforesaid American Friends of the Middle East (AFME) in which one and all of the speakers called for actions and programs and not ideas. The Vice-President, Mr. Terry Duce, personally asked how I was getting along with “How California Can Help Asia” and its desert development. He after much encouragement from the leaders—who include some pretty top people and Teddy Roosevelt’s grandson Kermit Jr.—details will be discussed.
In the meanwhile I have talked to people including industrialists, foreign affairs students and finally the Chamber of Commerce here in San Francisco. To begin with I have found all classes of citizens from the “leftish” Sierra Club to the C. of C. opposed to the Udall Plan and in favor of efforts at Salt Water Conversion. This left me to come out against all dialectical approaches and some counter-movement to promote American philosophies whether Jeffersonianism, Pragmatism or contemporary Integrational Philosophies. This is also mentioned because all over Asia the Asian peoples want lectures on these subjects, the USIA stubbornly refuses to assent, and we have been kicked out of Cambodia, other lands to follow. These people do not want dialectics in any form, pro- or anti-Marxist and I notice very good reactions in regard to Pragmatism, which certainly is an American philosophy and might even attract many abroad, if we should only try.
But if USIA, Fulbright, Peace Corps, etc. will not inform people about American Pragmatism there is nothing to stop it being applied.
“The Garden of Allah Project” would be a program to adopt many California crops, methods and persons, but on similar line to what is succeeding in India (despite congressional investigations) by Ford Foundation people. It is almost the only but it is the best agricultural program abroad and the fact that it is being prosecuted by private rather than public agencies is incidental. It is the pragmatic application of contemporary scientific knowledge plus (+) the acceptance of native intelligence, aptitudes, religion and folk-lore, from which our Federal agencies keep far away, Cambodia or no Cambodia.
It would be sponsored in part by the AFME and ask for Ford assistance (or Rockefeller assistance) and I have suggested temporarily the selection of Prof. Milton Fireman, now in Davis, for directing the efforts, but have also named Paul Keim of Berkeley and one or two others.
It might take some time. But I have already contacted authorities in several Asian lands. The scientists in UAR are in favor of some form of establishment of Salt-Water conversion plans, the Saudis agree, and the program might be extended. But as written before, the Udall “plan” would not only destroy our natural water-sheds, repudiate all Stuart Chase’s earlier efforts and abolish the selection of California as a model for foreign lands to copy.
Even the Indonesian Consulate likes these ideas for Sumatra, but if we do not do something soon Indonesia will go all the way and more as Cambodia. “What manner of man asked for bread and you will him a stone”—people want food and we give them anti-Marxism. Freedom from Want is not longer a fundamental part of our Foreign policy. The cost for Salt-Water conversion plants at their highest is cheaper than any war, or even revolution. The practical application of such can make even Algeria take heed.
I am in contact with a huge anti-Communist movement which exists all over the Islamic world but which our press and State department refuse to heed. One of its members is coming to California soon to study agricultural methods in this State, covering everything from poultry to citrus fruits. He will be the first of many. It is time to get out of “realism” and into reality.
Samuel L. Lewis
58 Harriet St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 22, 1963
As soon as I heard the news I thought of you. It may be, of course, the worst type of “congratulation” to find your predictions concerning President Kennedy come to pass. Some of us, and this may have included you, thought that, as in the case of Lincoln, it would come in the second term. But there it is and you ought to keep this letter on record because It for one, can testify that over and over again you said that the late Hon. “Jack Kennedy would be the victim of an assassin while he was in office.
c/o to Herb Caen
November 21, 1963
444 Madison Ave.,
New York, N.Y.
In re: Does Foreign Aid Aid?
Dear Mr. Hazlitt:
This is, perhaps, the most important letter I have ever written to you and yet it does not need a reply. Yesterday I made the most vehement talk in my life and also got the best response, but the backgrounds are more important than the ego.
The immediate subject was whether we should give aid to India in its struggle with China and a group of us who had been to Asia sat together for the first time at the luncheon of the World Affairs Council here in San Francisco. We had noticed that our views were similar and now we find that our experiences are similar (a) having been to Asia; (b) rejected by our fellow-citizens who ignore us and deduct from the press, official sources, etc., “popular views.”
All of us have been to Pakistan. All of us have millions of dollars poured into that country for projects which are going into disuse because there is no skilled labor to operate them. Letters to the AFL-CIO to use foreign aid to pay displaced skilled workmen to go to these lands both to maintain existing structures and to train local workmen have been ignored.
Visit to Atkinson which carries on the largest engineering project in Pakistan finds that an enormous amount of money has to be used to institute polytechnic training and even then one is not sure that men so trained—with the “foreign aid” money—will stay on the job. They could get better jobs elsewhere. I have seen no evidence that either Mangla Dam in Pakistan or Assouan Dam in UAR is going to be a going concern because there is not available sufficient and proper skills to maintain such structures in view of numerous other projects going on.
It is just two years ago when I was to Thanksgiving Dinner with all the “experts” we have around Lahore, West Pakistan. I was the only one present who knew the history of the country. I had met one hundred times as many persons as all others present combined. But my presence was necessary because too many of them were employed by rival or overlapping agencies and were therefore not on too good terms with each other.
I won’t go over the personal experiences but if I were a poor observer, then were my various associates who had been abroad, and sometimes to the same places, but always with the same conclusions.
I brought out two things in my speech: (1) That parts of the world which never in history belonged to any “India” have now been annexed to India and we are sending funds and men to defend these artificial boundaries of a non-ally.
I have before me “Toward Economic Communication in Asia” by one Davie Wightman of the University of Birmingham. It lists over thirty international and UN agencies, the major potion of which receive goodly sums from the United States Treasury. Yet practically every one of these projects or commissions is overlapped or rivaled by some more recent U.S. agency.
I came out strongly for financial aid to India—yes through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund etc. I have seen vast natural resources untouched. My present jibe is that India needs to develop its external Golconda (opening up the mines which were simply abandoned) and its internal Golconda (its heart) to the world. We are wrong, no doubt—and to me there is no doubt about it—in even proposing a cultural exchange with Russia which has almost nothing to give us, and rejecting cultural exchanges with Asian nations which have everything to give. But if we are going to offer financial aid, it should come through venture capital to re-open diamond and gold mines, obtain mineral concessions and explore the Mountains—not only the Himalayas. In Hyderabad I found the first office of an internal Geological Survey, but if you mention this everybody goes wild.
The time has come either to get back of the UN agencies or to withdraw from it excepting to finance the tenth in accord with our vote in the upper chamber; in other words, if we are going into the foreign aid business we should stop financing the UN bodies in the same spheres.
If “Newsweek” is correct in this same issue, we are or have helped France financially which will ally itself with China to cut our throat. And if an associate power does this, how about some others? The world has turned, I believe, without humankind and nations receiving external financial help to carry on functions.
I have seen our Four H boys go abroad, mingle with the people, and nobody accepted their reports. And the only Peace Corps volunteers I have seen were accompanied by a number of press representatives. Who was paying those press representatives and why?
We are losing in Cambodia. The last thing we can get into our heads is to accept cultural exchange with Asian nations at any level (we are too concerned with cultural exchange with “Russia”). The whole Buddhist world is dominated by a super-body—I met the leaders in Japan and Thailand and knew them in Ceylon, Malay, etc. Instead of having Buddhism taught by Buddhists, we have even accepted the findings of men who are not even scum. A Japanese spoke at a university on Buddhism recently—everybody knew about “Buddhism” but when he asked where that “Buddhism” was practiced, what were the ceremonies and the organization, not one could answer. Fortunately they accepted him and applauded him. But this is not official.
The whole Buddhist world has become anti-American because of this. At the same time there is at this writing a coup being administered by the anti-communist leaders among the Buddhists to change the leadership. We will probably keep hands off and the communists will not. But I think our friends are strong enough only if the leader comes here; you are going to hear some scolding, badly deserved, that we keep blind to.
I am still not recognized as representative of the University of Islamabad whose Director is the head of the Anti-communist movement in Pakistan and who is very close to President Ayub. This is called “realism.” And it has resulted in Nations accepting Red China simply because we do not look at realities.
We introduce “foreign aid,” over-advertise it, and touch so few people that nationals hardly know of its existence.
Project: The Garden of Allah. This is a compendium of a life of effort. It is now being discussed with the American Friends of the Middle East, who could submit it preferable to Ford Foundation. It called for a clear cut rejuvenation of soils, the sowing of proper crops and a vast program of Salt Water Conversation plants, etc. with the induction of suitable personnel. It is an extension of my “How California Can Help Asia” (not yet written) to stop the spreading of communism to Islamic nations.
We do not study Islam either, and we step on the toes of sensitive peoples. But we can adopt our California methods and hire our California personnel to meet real problems of real people on a vast scale. The Foundations are doing comparable work; this would be an extension of their programs.
This is based on what I have seen.
Samuel L. Lewis
Tuesday Lunch. World Affairs. People are listening. At night held the point at the Buddhist meeting by explaining the Pali Sutta reading, and holding for the existence of devas, fairies, etc. Meanwhile the struggle is being taken up by K. Sigeliev. It has been shown to me unmistakably that the Brisbane venture must be for and with her or else this person is out—there are other places for me but not for her.
The Chinese at the Buddhist lecture all accepted both my remarks and self, so have bought two important Pali Books, Rhys Davids and Buddhagosha. Appointments coming up with Admiral Evenson on December 9 and an editor on Dec. 11. Maybe party at Della’s Saturday night, program awfully full. But now no trouble anywhere.
November 25, 1963
I am writing you but this does not need an answer. It is only to say that I may, or may not suddenly appear in Southern California under quite different conditions, namely that Major Sadiq, my closest spiritual friend may be coming here on a combination of spiritual and scientific purposes; the dates are uncertain and the details also.
The death of President Kennedy found me prepared. My friend, Chester Arthur III, himself the grandson of a President of the U.S. has specialized in the astrological and occult study of Presidents and is either crazy or a “wizard.” As I am always against the Philistines I can overlook his faults, and in this case he certainly kept on hitting the bull’s eye. The prediction kept on appearing in the S.F. Chronicle but CAIII, or Garvin, as we call him, practically placed his reputation on it. As my alter ego is P. Puck, the P. standing for “Puddinhead” or Puddinhead Wilson (Mark Twain) thumb-print fame, I could stand by the insistence of others too. So there was no shock and a control over emotions. Did attend two Buddhist worships but these are fully of calmness and peacefulness without overlooking humanity.
On October 18 was my birthday and it seems that on my birthdays I generally find myself in the midst of VIPs out of somewhere or nowhere. This time it was real Zen spiritual teachers, a big party with both blessings and fun. Since that time the Wheel-of-life has changed and there is no bad news of any kind.
One may start with this possible visit of Major Sadiq. He is a remarkable healer and I would have staked his reputation on a treatment of Aldous Huxley—that is too late, but I have seen him heal the blind. With this exception all the “miracles” he performed were in the presence and in cooperation with attendant physicians, usually allopathic MDs, and attested to legally too. This is somewhat different from most so-called ‘spiritual healers.” He also has other faculties.
We have to visit UCLA and may even call on Sam Yorty, but until I know details, can not say much more.
My own revolt against the Philistines has become a comic opera. Now I am allied and aligned with several other “ugly Americans,” men who have been to Asia, tried to help their country and one and all of us have been snubbed by press, government and “experts.” The other day we joined forces as if by intent and practically broke up a meeting which was discussing whether India or China would have Ladakh and we began defending Pakistan to see what would happen. Before the end the chair and the speakers were utterly wiped out. And there has been more of this stuff. My long battles against “phantasia” for real Asia are coming to a successful conclusion.
One of our next discussions will be on Vietnam. Meanwhile Cambodia has deflected. It wants no dialectics either American or Russian. And Asia is sick of our “aid” cum dialectics and our now wanting to have “cultural exchange” with the cold-war enemy while ignoring all the contributions to civilization of the largest of continents. As I challenged: “What is our policy?”
I have since heard that my god-daughter in Pakistan plans to come here some time next year. Not only that, she is campaigning to raise funds to help me. I am supposed to be representing the University of Islamabad. Pakistan has some queer exchange policies but efforts are now being made to have funds sent me. This is a long but rather pleasant story, from that end. But so far every university in the country which has Europeans teaching Islamics has turned me down; but if the professors are Americans I have a fair chance.
Two weeks ago the American Friends of the Middle East met here and all the speakers themed, “It is time for action and not speeches.” I have already placed three plans for better international relations in that part of the world. At the end of the meeting (and this is a long story) the Vice President came and asked me what I was doing on desert agriculture. The result is submitting: “Project: The Garden of Allah,” a complete agricultural program covering all lands from about New Delhi to the Atlantic Ocean. I have already contacted the best individuals and am working as much as I can to gather data. When I was questioned by the local Chamber of Commerce I not only answered their theoretical questions but named the person who could take charge of corrective processes (all Californians).
Next month there will be a conference thereon. In the meanwhile I completed my manuscript and am making extracts and abstracts at request, and one man locally said he would offer to be my agent and another agent will also be here soon. Besides that I have one or two other publishing houses in mind. One thing I already have—the market.
There is a Chinese Buddhist master here with whom I have been studying but recently he gave a bad deal to a lady from your city—the oldest Buddhist scholar in the country, so I may withdraw. Real Zen Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism also are prospering as never before.
In a few days a Hindu master comes. I have been studying Mudra and Tantra Yoga with his disciple but also contributing. Because I now have the bulk of the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan plus both Sufi and Hindu teachings not in circulation. All of this is encouraging, but I have withdrawn from all social and leisurely life, depending on the variations between these different activities.
Another romance (from way back, resuscitated) soured—actually it was a hold-over from former lives and I just about gave up on women to find several of them befriending me when I needed it most. I don’t know whether I told you Paul Reps visited SF twice. I don’t know whether he is running to or from but he has disappeared again.
Am cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for my former landlady who is now a cripple and two of my pals will be with us. And although I expect to be South next month can give any foreword. Please be well so we can wine and dine once anyhow.
S. A. M.
Sufi Ahmed Murad
November 29, 1963
My dear Shamcher:
As-salaam aleikhum. Your return to this country took me by surprise and one wonders whether you have made connections; or if not whether you would be interested in the big project which is now integrating all efforts in all directions.
I have been working on “How California Can Help Asia” but the present rise of disturbances in the world, and the dangers incumbent thereon has made me conceive: “Project, the Garden of Allah.” And no sooner had I framed this project when news came from Pakistan in two directions, one requiring immediate attention and the other important attention.
The one requiring immediate attention is the news that my closest spiritual brother, Major M. Sadiq is coming here. But although we had planned for a spiritual visit on two planes—healing and lecturing, he is now planning to make a detailed study of California Agriculture. As I had already in the mind integrating “How California Can Help Asia” into “Project: The Garden of Allah,” the only difference is that part of this project could be started in Pakistan.
There is now a sort of world-wide shortlist revolution going on which is not close to either Russia or China. Part of my objections are due to a revulsion against the Caucasians in general plus the fact that the Chinese are basically imperialistic and decidedly “master-race” minded. The real leaders are Nkrumah and Nasser although the noisiest one is Sukarno. And the only ways I know to stop these social upheavals—which are not always revolutions in the true sense are:
a. Learn more about their religions
b. Show them our agricultural know-how.
The first is out, we are totally ignorant of or totally indifferent to the religious outlooks of others, and mostly we are not even interested. Nevertheless for policy’s sakes we ought to find, out how people act.
As to the second. Dr. Milton Fireman made a study of the agriculture and soil conditions of many lands under the auspices of AID. His program was thrown out. We agree on all details. I have suggested to the American Friends of the Middle East this Project and if they will sponsor it maybe that Ford Foundation will put up the money. Such a program would parallel the Ford Foundation program in India which is very successful and works with the religion, folk-lore superstitions aptitudes, outlooks and ideals of the Indian peoples.
I believe if we adopt the same approach elsewhere we shall be successful. I asked a North African revolutionary “Why do you wish to adopt an agricultural, program which has failed in China and Russia and why haven’t you studied agriculture here in California? We know how to grow Olives, Dates, Avocados, Figs etc. and the Chinese and Russians do not. And we have some other crops here which could grow in your land.”
Milton Fireman has run up against Secretary Udall and my own “How California Can Help Asia” has been given a severe blow by his water plans. I have taken this up with several people, and all of us wish to extend the salt-water conversion program. It is an absolute must.
I can’t carry all the details of these projects and even if I “sell” them, I could not, but I know who could and have kept in touch with the proper people.
Early in August Mrs., Duce relented and sent me back a tremendous load of my own researches in Sufism including a lot of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings which were given to Rabia Martin but never used by her or anybody else. Then in October Mr. Terry Duce himself approached me and asked how my projects were getting along. It is his own colleagues and best friends who may sponsor “How California Can Help Asia” and “Project, the “Garden of Allah.” This will be decided next month, at least preliminarily.
Then Vilayat offered to release Gathas to me and I told him this was not necessary. At the same time I signed the paper acknowledging his spiritual position. For why should I try to go around this part of the world as a Murshid and then suddenly decamp? My main work will be in Asia and already the works of Hazrat Inayat Khan are becoming known then.
Also I am learning details of a Khalif Pir-o-Murshid had and during his last days, while Kismet was in Purdah he gave instructions to this Khalif, some of whose friends and relatives now look to me. Rabia knew this man but never told anybody anything about him.
So at the Moment Mrs. Duce his receded and the way is open for Vilayat if he wishes to come here. But he has sent me no inquiry. Tuesday night I am going to lecture on some of the material Pir-o-Murshid explained on the relation between the higher practices of Sufism and what I call for euphemistic sake “Yoga.”
I have a pile of exoteric materials:
a. Those of Pir-o-Murshid shared with Geneva
b. Those of Pir-o-Murshid not shared with Geneva
c. Those of two other Pirs of this century
d. Those of two living Pirs in Pakistan
e. The later Upanishads
Add to that my new methods which integrate form, movement, art, gymnastics, everything into one colossal, all embracing science, beginning with showing children (and others) how to walk. Saladin Reps was here and I gave him many methods of walking.
December 7, 1963
My dear Harriet:
This is the third time his week I have started to write to you and I am going to mail it although it can’t be final, nothing is final. But among Puck’s Ten Commandments, some of which are ages old, is “A gentleman is one who remembers a woman’s birthday but forgets her age” and so it happens that I send thee birthday greetings and love and all that, but I am not going to get out my slide rule or Univac to figure out your age, commandment or no commandment.
What is certain is the uncertainty of seeing you and that uncertainty has become so uncertain and the only certainty is uncertainty. After pledges and a clear program “comes it now” reversing it and also the reversal and unless there is thunder, lightning or death I shall be in Berkeley Monday and may even telephone before you get this, although it is also uncertain.
Three things plopped together: an emergency letter of a god-son who moved to Berkeley, and two important contacts with regard to my projects. I don’t even know if the god-son has a car—if he has will try to say hello also in person. The projects today are all integrated, and they are taking on a tremendous vista, all of life’s works, dreams, efforts, researches and what not being in one basket, called Project: The Garden of Allah, and no nonsense about it.
There has also been a cosmic drama, that I had a most bitter, vicious and irreconcilable enemy, a woman whom I had once taught and she turned against me. The Spirit of Wisdom said to make friends with her husband’s friends, but the Spirit of Wisdom was a leading quicker on the dram than Sam Lewis and all over the world it has happened that her husband’s friends have befriended me, including here as well as there and there. And recently when I got the going over from the Chamber of Commerce I not only had the answers, I had the men who could handle the detail. All are in California and most connected with UC. Briefly it is a food and soil project but it also has recognition of local religions, superstitions and aptitudes.
And just to show you how the Spirit of Wisdom works. Last night was a farewell party to a young woman who is going to India to find God, spiritual liberation and Shangri-la. A Zen Master was to be present and I wanted to give her some wisdom that she did not have to send her money—which she hasn’t, because the spiritual liberation and Shangri-la do not depend on travel agents. This is very unfair to Madison Ave and the BOAC and Qantas pressure adds. Of course my women “friends” were up in arms. Never once have “they” ever permitted me to demonstrate any wisdom, if indeed I have it—but not once in America, until last night.
Well Irene brought one Krishna, and like all real spiritual persons he does not follow the book in anything. For the world is divided into the European Professors who give their Keyserling misviews about Asia and the Miss Cloudnines and having with much difficulty rescued most of those present from the European Professors of Oriental “Philosophy,” it has only been to get them into the camps of the Miss Cloudnines.
Well Krishnaji is nothing like a “Yogi” or “mystic” and therefore can’t be one. He is a Horticulturist and is going down to UCLA, to get his PhD. in Horticulture. He is on exactly the same mission as Damned Sam was in 1956 and is accomplishing what I was trying to do then. It was impossible, a dream, but he is doing it. And we not only talked on scientific and horticultural projects, and on Yoga; we reconciled modern science and Asian Wisdom and this is the first time I have been permitted to do this.
The ex-disciples of European professors and erstwhile devotees of the Cloudnines got some real Yoga, some real Wisdom and wherever they turned the roads were blocked. Krishnaji did not believe in Aldous Huxley or Isherwood or even the Hollywood Vedanta Center which proves how little God knows about “God.”
The fact is, Harriet, that beginning on my birthday and since the stars (or something) seem both inclined and compel the world to beat some kind of a path to my door. For not only have I for the first time been approached instead of approaching the same happened in the mail this morning. Now the rest of my body is catching up to the tongue in being vigorous, active, and full of zest. I can touch parts of my feet for the first time in my life and even weight-lifting goes up.
I am waiting for the coming of Major M. Sadiq to make an official tour of the State in connection with all branches of Agriculture and some other things. Everywhere I run into ignorance about Asia. Last week for the first time I have heard an American who has been there been given the public forum on Vietnam. It has all been newspaper men (American mostly) and diplomats (Americans not mostly), never an Asian and never an American who has lived there. The stories of Cambodia that each American gives me corroborate the others but the press and state department, too concerned with “realism” know nothing of realities, or don’t care. This covers our entire dialectical left-center-right dream world which exists in our minds and breeds hatreds and ignorance.
Then my god-daughter may come next year. This is a long and beautiful series of complexes.
In a few minutes I leave for a funeral. Margaret who was once the wife of Ching Wah Lee has died and there are services. Chingwah has just come back from real Asia and even there he ran into a “revolution” which is going on (which the American newspaper men and European professor know naught of) and if it is successful a very close friend of mine is going to occupy a top position all over the Far East.
December 27, 1963
My dear Vocha:
The year is closing with better auspices for the future but the hopelessness of resolving cold wars. The biggest of these is between Snow’s two cultures and if I were to detail all my welcomes and set-backs, you would find a close, very close correspondence between them. I have to write Chancellor Strong who took me to task blaming me for approaches to his professors. The last occasion was in meeting a food scientist who almost leaped over the table to ask me to call on him at the earliest occasion. And the non-welcome of the social scientists is counterbalanced by the extreme welcome plus overtime from the Alumni Association on exactly the same subjects. I have etched the point where a group of us decided not to endow UC in the Asian field, for we all got the same treatment.
Last Friday night I became a speaker. No virtue, darling. But I have this awful propensity of having my best friends in hospitals. My whole program is disarranged because your “tween,” Major Sadiq went through the same thing in the same way on the same day—ye gods and little fishes, I mean Pisces and whatever sign was preponderating. And Gavin did not show up, either because of King Alcohol, or because his anti-snobbery attitude made him go to the elite instead of ye hoi polloi.
I spoke short and when I got a big applause sat down without completing my speech and then it came out, “That was the best talk Sam ever made” from a lot of people who have never ever heard me talk at all. This opened a door.
Then there are my friends, Walt and Magana Baptiste who are Yogis and got married because each won a prize for having a “body beautiful.” They tried “family planning” so successfully that a child was born, a son was given early in the month (just when the signs were right) and we had a real baby to have a real Christmas.
In the meanwhile John Wingate disappeared and I thought I would be a good Boy Scout and treat Emily. Instead she dragged me to a neighbor’s house and ye olde karma worked fine—I had one of the best Christmas Days ever.
The last chapter of my manuscript is on “Peace” and from the mystical point of view there can be no peace so long as mental gyrations continue—and they will continue. But we can have equilibriums and stable ones at that. This is the nearest, I believe, to peace. I have just returned from volunteering to help in an Arab cultural conference early in March. I will advance 10 years in prowess—all I have to do is put on a Sufi robe and that will make me wise, important and news. Whatever else has been accumulated will be as nothing, but just put on a robe (like in the picture) and that is it. You become an expert or authority or something.
After being buffeted about (I am now enjoying it) on the Palestinian “problem” on two occasions I met men high on the staff of Gen. Burns and they independently said: “That is the most sensible thing we have ever heard,” but who is going to take this person seriously? There is no god but diplomacy and he is ineffable.
Well if I haven’t the “body beautiful” I rather surprised everybody, including myself, by performing an Indonesian knee dance on Christmas eve. All that was needed was a few drinks. On the next night with more drinks it turned out even better. And when one reaches this age and can do a knee dance that is more of a demonstration than….
All Jane sent me for Christmas was a picture of her family which I shall cherish far more than a card. And it was refreshing to hear Emily’s views on Whitie after some other remarks from I think you know who. I sometimes think he was my father in former lives; certainly the flesh-and-blood sire never exhibited feeling.
I am now engaged in an almost hopeless battle. If you think I have been turned down, there is Eugene who crossed Cambodia as a Buddhist monk and only taught English to the Royal Family in Thailand. Do you think he gets invitations to speak anywhere and any newspaper interviews? Now on principle I am sticking my neck out and the worst thing is that it sometimes gives “me’ opportunities I don’t want and he is no nearer getting anywhere.
My former suggestion—turned down 100%—that we have Phillipinos act as our intermediaries in S.E. Asia—is now coming to the fore in this grand cold war between realism and reality. Did Washington snub me! And comes it now…. Those people were drawing immense crowds to their “cultural missions” and we weren’t. Anyhow I have one appointment coming up. Vive le realisme.
The last few weeks, after I had turned back on the social groups to which I had been attached, has brought more satisfaction and appointments than for years, if any time. So this makes me even more gladly wish you a
Happy New Year,
S. A. M.