January 28, 1965
My dear Edward & Angela:
This letter is written in prose but in the heart it is “The Song of Liberation.” There is such a vast difference between the lectures of Universal Mind and the Universal Mind, the positing of the Heart-Doctrine and the experience of the Great Heart that a verbal communication is almost a sin. But for practical purpose this is written knowing that this personality is soon going to be praised for things just as he has been blamed in the past, and the acts and facts are nothing but the operations of the cosmic karma and the cosmic deliverance through him.
My last trip South and the events which have transpired are of themselves a sort of Divine Comedy, and a copy of this is being kept in case you do not see Louise Evans. For all the pieces fit today together in a marvelous charm. Or, if you consider the life, and in particular the personal life as an exemplification of the Divine Comedy, it is certainly coming that way. So we shall skip the journey through the Hells and the Purgatory which you know about anywhere and which will not throw any light on the circumstances of the day. And if we want to praise God, we might do that on any basis for praise, and yet realize that constant concentration on the Ideal may lead to the realization of the ideal. Only from the Sufi-Bodhisattvic point of view it is not personal and there can be even harm if Louise attributes to the person any of the musically harmonious events of the day. The events themselves demonstrate the Grand Ideas of all religions and their perfect culmination.
With all the troubles in Vietnam—which could be ended by a little change in attitude of people who call themselves “Buddhists”—usually meaning they are no more followers of Lord Buddha than Christians are followers of Jesus Christ—this person was selected by the leaders of the World Buddhist Federation. It seems by a happy combination of circumstances the top authoritarian Buddhists of India, Thailand, Ceylon and the United States are either personal or spiritual friends or both; and by the Turning of the Wheel of the Law, as well as the operations of both Saddharma and Karma, this person has been placed in a peculiarly “envious” position as hitherto he was almost a scapegoat.
Because of the comparative ignorance of even our top historians and social scientists on Asia, I made a trip to UCLA and was sent—my corrections and suggestions were accepted as they always are at the top, I entered the office of Dean Parrish and without looking up he said, “Do you know Princess Poon Diskul?” “Who do you think sent me here?”
Now I am not going to theorize on One Mind or the fact that a person who performed the Jhanas according to the Theravadin methods has become, either a Srotopanna or Bodhisattva, terms today utterly strange to so many practicing Buddhists. Nor go into any theories of Alaya which is so operative that Dean Parrish and this person, never having met before, could conduct hours of work in the few minutes we had to spare. This was followed by a number of other events so favorable that they brought a real “Happy New year.”
The “sudden” Zen-like meeting with Mrs. Evans was so like so many experienced in the Orient that it would not have stood out but it was immediately followed by one here for I had to return to meet Sri Surendra Ghose, Deputy Leader of the Congress Party in India.
I do not know who was the most astonished—the two mutually antagonist groups in the audience—the Cloudninists and the metaphysicians who pretend, or Sam when the speaker, pointing his finger at me, said “Why you are the man I came to San Francisco to meet. I travelled five thousand miles just to meet you.” I do know one man who has persistently refused to grant me any sort of appointment walked out in disgust and several others have been filled with anger and jealousy.
But the fact is that the correspondence between Sri Surendra Ghose and myself and others is such that it will be a very easy matter to make connections with Indian leaders if Louise so wishes—again demonstrating the One Mind, the Universal Heart and the Operation of those principles which all spiritual schools accept in theory, though they may shun them in operation.
The meeting with Louise itself was a sort of blending of those meetings I have had with Dr. Radhakrishnan and some of the Sufi leaders. There is a sort of communion and communication in the Universal Mind, and an immediate understanding and sharing. When Dean Parrish as above discussed my credentials I said: “What use are credentials? If you don’t have them people challenge you and if you have them they won’t look at them anyhow.” Well my Japanese credentials I still have, but have given up trying to explain them and my other credentials were destroyed at the Foreign Office’s suggestion because I was being followed by real communists.
Anyhow Louise wished to see some of the collaborating credentials, for this was one of the few occasions when I could tell the story of my climbing “The Mount of Ascents” in Japan which was a real climbing of a real mountain with real spiritual stations and duplicated L. Adams Beck’s The Garden of Vision. But I had already been in the actual “Garden of Vision” which very few Occidentals have shared. For it meant a sort of “graduation” or “diploma” in Zen and I have given up trying to get this across. And this giving up takes up immediately into the next phase.
The difference between the Enlightenment-experience of Lord Buddha and his numerous dharma-transmissions, and the derivative, analytical schools is today so vast that it is very difficult to overcome them. My meeting with the Roshi at Nara—where again I have been one of the few Americans to “pass”—was based on the acceptance of Universal Buddhism and Buddha-Mind. This is reflected in the World Buddhist Federation also and in the next step which took place almost immediately after Mrs. Evans’ departure.
My own work on Southeast Asian relations has met nothing but impasses from the press, social scientists, historians; made all the more ridiculous by most happy conferences with both scientists and mystic-seekers who have been there. These latter two classes who have been in the territories involved are universally shunned.
From the Sufi background I was able to see clearly the type of meditation or contemplation that would clarify the miasma there. These practices are not easy but they are as effective as difficult.
You may know that in the twenties there was a rage for Tibetan Buddhism and there are still a few of my old cronies around. There was come here one Dr. Warwick, who was initiated in the Red Hat School and who knows the difference between initiation and ceremonial ordination.
a. Going to a book store by that happy faculty called Prajna in Buddhism and Kashf in Sufism I found a number of cheap second hand books on all sorts of spiritual subjects which I bought at ridiculously low prices (my financial condition in slowly but steadily bettering). One of these goes into a detailed history of the difference, and resemblance of, spiritual transforming initiations and ritual ceremonies in Buddhism. It explains both the immolation practices which have taken place in Vietnam and the occasionally rash methods of Rinzai Zen.
It repeats ad nauseum the “fierce” method by which Mahakasyapa, expelling he benign Ananda from the Sangha, accomplished the Enlightenment of the latter which did not take place in Buddha’s lifetime. The same process has also taken place in recent times causing the “nice” meta-physical people who have never experienced Enlightenment or Transformation to shun both rigorous methods and the Path I have been initiated into over and over again so many times it is useless to repeat.
This clarifies the whole background by which Marpa trained Milarepa, and as I “know” this within and without it makes not only interest in the Milarepa drama automatic but this automatic interest has been followed by series of events too long to relate and mostly taking place this very month.
b. Dr. Warwick, the sadly rejected Red Hat Monk, has interested one of my mureeds in Tibetan Buddhism and this mureed showed me a recent book on Tantric Yoga. Looking through it I was struck by the innumerable resemblances between the Actual Sufi methods and those of the schools involved.
You must understand here also that I brought back from India a pretty complete amount of Tantric materials which I shared with one old crony; and as my friends have never been willing to listen to my vast experiences, inner and outer of my last trip, I turned these over to a professor at the University of California who not only has “recognized” this person but gotten others to. In general Asian professors and self have almost instantaneous recognition.
The most important of these items in Tantric Yoga was what I found is called the Mahamudra Meditation. I was amazed to find that this was what this person has done many times and which to him has the key to the clarification of the whole South Vietnam and Cambodian pseudo-complex. If ten Buddhists would study the teachings of Lord Buddha and put a few of them into practice there would soon be peace there, but I know that in America yet you could not get ten Buddhists to study the teachings of Lord Buddha, perform either the Jhana meditations or the Mahamudra, or if taking up Zen, reach the stages of the “Higher Ko-ans” which have become mythological.
Another young man, becoming ill, I went to his house to apply spiritual healing. In this I was facilitated by having received some talismanic material from Ajmir. I found in his library the recent The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. I shall write to the publisher to assertion where the translating-authors are and there is no question that they also have had initiation and training in Lama methods. Please note, that no effort has been put forth by this ego-self.
Some spare time is being spent in a drama by a friend on the life of Lord Buddha. Talking to her husband confirmation came about her being able to experience the Alaya-Vijnana which is also the basis of so much both actual Mahayana and Tibetan mysticism. I had suspected that and cannot both contrast this with the vast literature which is being pushed before the American public on things that authors call “Zen” and “mysticism” which have nothing to do with transformatory experiences.
The next step is very simple. The lady concerned was Mrs. Magana Baptiste and it came out that she and Louise Evans were old friends and this makes for the time being a perfect circle.
The need for the Mahamudra Meditation is to me, so great at and I have used it in reverse in portraying a small part in the drama. It seems that the whole of Hierarchy is behind Louise in these efforts and if it were not so, the constant stream of external events, sudden and delightful, would not be taking place.
There was here Master Seo from Korea who deplored the by-passing of all the marvelous Buddhist literature by all the differentiating sects in America; and along with this either the absence of or the rejection by the transformatory experience (Nirmanakaya). But shortly I understand a Chinese master will arrive and I shall check. Louise’s next visit should bear fruit. But please note that not once have I gone out of my way to do anything. It is time for Buddhists to learn—and this is most difficult—that there is no ego-personality, that there is a vast Universal Heart which beats in and through all of us and which is the Nexus of Infinite Mercy, Compassion and Wisdom and the basis of all religion even before the formation of time.
Love and blessings,
P.S. Nothing private and this letter is to be shared.
February 1, 1965
Last night was a breaking and freeing experience. How much it may have been due to your own eminence, or mine, or the combination of circumstances which frees us from material and eccentric limitations I do not know. It is certain that it proved to be a wise thing that I told the story of my meeting with the psychiatrist in Washington that not only made me aware of all bodies but also awakened feminine jealousy and drove me to the depths of hells and despair from which I was rescued by occult and mystical processes, made secret not because they are secret but because others will not listen and insist they are secret—unless, of course, they are “charmed” which makes everything different.
Certainly the eyes were quite open and the Nirmanakayas were working all over the place and the transformations of your apparent self, plus the vision of your “real self” was so evident. Furthermore there was the easy integration of your apparent several missions as part of one great cosmic endeavor, whether you are conscious of it or not.
Since December 28 when a former school teacher rose in my defense until last night there has been a growing break-through—and it had to come chiefly through women. On the 11th I am to go to Iru’s house and listen to the lecture on reincarnation but already I have the contribution of “memory” and of two distinct types of “reincarnation”—ego-evolution and hierarchal-archetypal. I know my position in the latter so exactly and yet this is the very thing which has become incommunicable.
The exception is in the lady who is drawing the life of Lord Buddha from the ethers, under the guidance of Tathagata himself. You must recognize that the immediate result is that she, like Nyogen Senzaki and this person, becomes therefore the subject of discussion and gossip and not of willing acceptance. For a local person cannot possibly be the depository of wisdom. Therefore it does not make any difference whether one calls himself Christian, Buddhist, Yogi or what not, any and all are still so egocentric they cannot see the light in their own neighbors. “Love they neighbor as thyself” is bosh, for the hero or heroine is always somebody who comes from the distance, about whom one does not know too much, and who passes certain social and what is more Freudian tests which you did not pass, so you can’t “possibly” be what you evidently are.
It is going to be necessary and wise to change behavior to Irena for after all, cosmically we belong to the same Sangha and it is only the Sokei-an and Senzaki, and thus Shaku-Soyen Sanghas to which I basically belong. But this has so long ago been attested by the Roshis in Japan and by the cryto-Buddhist of our government intelligence that there is no use going over it further.
But Irene at last got the real insight into the real Prajna-Paramita Sutra, and with it the function of Prajna. This makes it possible to initiate her into Shin—and in my case there can be no obligations of any kind, she thus being my spiritual sister, and so may be presented freely with any form of Dharma transmission.
But the secret is that nobody has the dharma-transmission. It is only when a person surrenders that that produces the circumstances of the transmission which is sanghic, and not personal, and thus one seems to be teacher and one seems to be pupil—something incomprehensible to Americans who cannot rid themselves of ego.
The only thing I needed for release was ears, not ascent and I have failed to get people to “lend me their ears.” Even my seemingly best friends have refused. That night when we first met was arranged in compensation for a number of other evenings when I was supposed to tell my story and was not given the chance. So it was to be my birthday paper and I was supposed to tell. How little I told you are witness of—I told far, far more last night. Emerson said, “My friend is one in whose presence I may think aloud.”
In San Francisco the lady who is writing “The Life of Lord Buddha,” her husband and some of their entourage are almost the only ones in whose presence I can think aloud excepting Ted Reich and Carlton Kendall who are old friends. When I have had to face seeming enemies and ask them, “What is my view that you have been criticizing” they all falter for they have never heard my view.
The joke is our two cultures, which Snow has so well discovered. The joy about being with gardeners and scientists is that one can think aloud, and on almost every subject. For the open mind leads to the open heart, and there is nascent or actual spirituality all through society excepting among churches, ecclesiastic organizations and metaphysical groups, all of whom are too egocentric to permit the universal spirit to express itself.
Goodness never supplants wisdom and seeming kindness is far from cosmic mercy. The resolution to keep away from the Zendo until the Vietnam impasse is clarified is both a challenge and a need directed by Prajna. These people do not and cannot think oneness; they are thinking zeroness, but thinking zeroness is so necessary for many Americans. It frees them from nervous tensions, sometimes from sexual instability, always from Watt’s gross immorality and metaphysical diabolatry, and many ills, difficulties and troubles that beset us. But it ends with Nagarjuna’s negativity and has no room for either the study or function of Trikaya.
I have no intention of lecturing on “Buddha versus Buddhism” because I am already on the panel of world conclaves on religion and from a seat of eminence will be in a position to dislodge all nonsense not backed by experience, human or otherwise. It is no different from the scientists who demand evidence.
The fact that at long last magazines publish my letters is a sign. But this is written because the frustrations we have are in common, and as I see it—vision clear or unclear, your road is most difficult for you are up against the most vicious, diabolic and satanic group in our society.
A number of interruptions and then mail from England and Pakistan. You can better appreciate my awkward position, if you not already clearly understand it, that my position abroad is totally different from here—either people listen before they form opinions, or having already high opinions, justified or not, they listen and call on one for counsel, for information or for what they consider wisdom. If a few people here would listen it would clarify the atmosphere not only for them and for this apparent self, but a lot of situations could clear up. Closed ears always result in closed hearts and the resulting difficulties. Or again, how many so-called “Buddhists” know how Sutras begin!
February 7, 1965
My dear Jack:
I have just returned from six hours of ceremonies in Vajrayana and cannot help observing that one must play close attention to every element of the ritual. I have been well versed in the sciences of the elements which are hardly known in the Western world, either being bypassed or treated in offhand ways. But in Vajrayana one also gets into Akash and Alaya.
Then one notices that the philosophy is very close to Kegon and thus it is obvious why Shingon placed Kegon above Tendai. The general trend is so close to what I have just been reading alike in the Sufi Inayat Khan and in Princess Poon Diskul that although new, it was harmonious to me throughout. Added to that one should say “enlightening.”
This will also bring up a question I may ask of Brian Goode: “What relation has “Buddhism” today to the experience of enlightenment—not just the philosophy but the experience.” I have before me copies of “Metta” from Australia and “Golden Lotus.” They agree in keeping what they call “Buddhism” on the low levels of personal philosophies and metaphysical conceptions. They cannot see that this is exactly what the Lord Buddha opposed—that he wanted men to “realize” for themselves, not speculate on what was beyond their immediacy.
While it will take months to prepare for the parliaments of religion I shall be attending, there is no question that the scientists and intellectuals of the day are not concerned with private speculations and even less of those men who, because they go around wearing robes, have any superiority in speculation or anything else.
“Metta” says it encourages study of the Scriptures. That of itself is wonderful. There is so little encouragement. I have found very few people who could answer any examination on Buddhist—any school—like they would have to answer examinations on history or biology or chemistry. What they know is unimportant; what they believe is important and that made me coin a pun: “What is the difference between Christianity and Buddhism?” Let us pray – and Lotus pray.
The two magazines radically differ on their interpretation of anatta, and they cling to the monkey-dhamma which translates the syllable sam by “good” and it has very little relation to “good.” For Buddha—unlike “Buddhists” wished to take men out of samsara and above those higher stages of being which resulted from “good deeds,” into the world of cosmic realities. But it is only the wayfarers who come here and the recluses who know anything about cosmic realities. Other “Buddhists” are so busy “teaching” they have no time to study.
I can see ever clearer how the Mahamudra could easily clear up the situation in Vietnam, and just before writing I find there is a Vietnamese going to speak on Vietnam shortly. It hasn’t happened before, it will happen now: “Freedom of speech” for men of good-will, i.e. those who agree with us.
I have now completed Har Dyal and the Zen Kawakami but although these are books can hardly “reveal” their contents to most people. The contents simply would not be accepted—every man his own “sangha.”
Old Sensei used to teach that the trouble with Theravadins was that they did not practice the Jhanas Har Dyal state that Mahayana rose out of the experience of those who did. Which is certainly true and valid. Do the Jhanas and you have the transformation; have the transformation and you come up with Ashvaghosha or Lotus Scriptures, at least. Mahayana certainly did not arise out of men’s speculations.
Now a lot of schools are offering “the best in Theravada and Mahayana,” omitting, of course, the transcendental experience of enlightenment. A Moksha-ist is a rarity. What does “Buddha” mean? I wish somebody would prove it. Fung was not reelected Vice President and he does not understand karma, the only thing is he is a teacher. After the long drilling I had on the subject of karma it is hard to realize what people are presuming today. But I did succeed in getting two people willing to study the Scriptures and the Dharma, which is something. Everybody also wants “ordination” and the daisy-chain-gang. The longer you are in, the higher you are in the scale.
Dyal gives a good description of the Bhumis and the work of Bodhisattvas. This certainly came to a glorious climax today. Last night we again sat with the Chinese Master Sen Sei who also knows the Korean Master who has here recently. He accepts my dharma transmission from Master Tai Hsu and at least there is one group. Others simply refuse, thereby exemplifying an-atta.
My recent relations with Dr. Warwick, the Red Hat monk, show the same thing. People have no idea of what is inside him and will not look. The a priori rejection is simpler and more peaceful. So Samsara marches on and words become empty and useless; and the more empty and useless the words of others, the more power is thrown into my hands when I face world leaders. They will have to have life, not words. All of which inspires my re-writing. I think the rejections and objections coming from people in various grades of ignorance clear as much as anything else one’s own path of inspirations.
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
February 12, 1965
Dr. Martin Lings,
Head of Arabic Studies,
Dear Dr. Lings:
I have before me your “Transcendence and Immanence” in the December number of “World Faiths” and wish to express full accord on both your positive and negative expressions. By negative expression I mean your criticism of the late Dr. Nicholson. Until a short time ago this would have been positive lèse majesté in this country. To criticize Mohammed and even Jesus Christ would have been permitted in the name of tolerance but criticism of Nicholson and his famous disciples was not permitted (I know, I have been a victim) and when Dr. Titus Burckhardt wrote that to know Sufism one first had to have some instruction by a Sufi teacher it was pooh-poohed and by-passed. And one thing is certain in my private life I have been unanimously ignored by the pupils of Dr. Nicholson which does not mean a thing.
Fortunately the local scene is much better. Inspired by Dr. Von Grünebaum, or believed with Dr. Burckhardt that the way to learn Sufism was to at least meet a Sheikh, there has been for the last year at long last peace, concord and dynamic cooperation with the Arabians in California.
Or scholastically to call “Maliki Yaum-ed-din” Master of the Day of Doom is as terrible as to call the Jews Christ-killers.
Your comment on Bismillah is at every point well taken. And your remarks are in accord with what may be, inshallah, my first real public appearance. For recently when I applied for admission to a certain university—some have rejected applications due to machinations of personal enemies—I was not only accepted but asked to serve on the panel. My paper will be on “Taub and its counterparts in other faiths.”
But the real reason for writing is because events of the past few days answer an inquiry in your splendid book on Sheikh Al-Alawi.
This person was not in Egypt long when he was invited to join the Shadhili Order and within two weeks he had complete mystical initiation into the Rufai Order. He then brought the Message of good-will between the brothers in Tarikat of the Arab World and those of south Asia. This mission succeeded in every way—and in 1962 I returned home officially a full Murshid in certain Orders and a Khalifa in others—something rejected by my fellow countrymen and local Muslims but that is to be expected.
In 1962 I introduced my Sufi teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan, to my Zen teacher, Nyogen Senzaki. They immediately entered the State together. Each became the disciple of the other. And it was the Murshid that put me on the Bodhisattvic oath. When I reached Japan in 1956 I had the same experience with Roshi Sogen Asahina at the Engakuji Temple, Kamakura, and was able to transmit this Zen fashion to Senzaki. In Japan they told me I was two grades about Daisetz Suzuki in Zen, but Senzaki never recognized Suzuki at all despite his scholastic eminence and his utter ignorance of mysticisms and his vanity about Sanskrit and other languages.
The parallels between Daisetz Suzuki and Prof. Nicholson are in some instances quite eminent and yet in the fields of morality, devotion and fervor each stands out.
Now in your work on Sheikh Alawi you bring up the question of mystical awakening in other Oriental worlds besides those of Islam. I only wish to state here than on each occasion of visiting President Radhakrishnan, we have sat down in the unifying meditation, and the “samadhic” experience has also been granted. Entering India last time the greetings from President Radhakrishnan, Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda and Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Sani Nizami were all immediately, direct, etc. at a time when there were no public interviews on account of India’s Independence Day.
I skip to most recent events. A mystic is, of course, not without honor save in his own country and among his own people. Anybody else could draw a larger audience in speaking of “Masters” of the Orient—whom they have not met—than this person who has met them. And so conditioned have Californians become in this direction than when real Masters of the real Orient come they cannot recognize them.
Three such Masters have come here recently. One is now teaching at Columbia University on Korean Buddhism. All three met this person immediately by that communication which is common to mystics and uncommon elsewhere. And Sunday this person, known as Sufi Ahmed Murad Christi in the Islamic world, was given full initiation into the Red Hat and Korean Esoteric Buddhist Schools and so proclaimed publicly by one of the Masters, who, of course, is ignored here.
One does not wish to pursue the point further unless you ask for it, but your questions in the book on the Grand Sheikh were quite proper … I danced “The Dance of Universal Peace” at Fatehpur Sikri before the tomb of Saint Selim Chisti but this dance has now been accepted officially by high Indian government people. Sometimes I call it “The Dream of Dkar.”
[no date or greeting—Ed]
There are so many frustrations in life but none so great as to obscure not only the immense gulf between the teachings of Lord Buddha and the many mutually hostile groups pretending to be Buddhists here, but even between those groups and the actual lovers of Lord Buddha who are not “Buddhists” and who will never join any “Buddhist” movement which ignores Lord Buddha.
At the poorer levels I am enclosing copy of letter to Iru Price who, with all his faults, is about the only one who even reads Buddha-scriptures. Unfortunately after reading sections he closes the book, makes other selections and permits comments either by himself or the audience which makes the study of Buddha’s Dharma as impossible as it is impossible in most of the mutually hostile sanghas here.
At the present time I know of two ways to foretell the future both of which are definitely portions of Buddha’s teaching but just as definitely not part of contemporary “Buddhism” in this part of the world. The first is the Prajna or Dharma-transmission method and this is impossible so long as we hold on to the ego. It is useless to try to present this to sangha-members who hold on very, very much to the ego and to their ego-group as against other groups and who are in practice the veritable enemies of the brotherhood of man, along with all the separative church and “brotherhood” group, each with its own exclusions.
The other is even simpler, fundamental and should be part of the arsenal of every beginner. At least when I first studied Buddhism I studied Buddhism and not some ego-concoction of personalities who are respected by one or more portions of society—but also more disrespected than their followers can conceive. For it was the study of Karma that took me from theosophy—who posit it but do not study it—to the Buddhists, who then studied it assiduously. And this was still true at the time Robert Clifton was here before his first trip to Japan. Then we studied Buddhism, not a motley of “fictions” as Dr. Robinson calls them, passing for the wisdoms of the Orient.
The Bible teaches (as against Christianity which has very little resemblance) that God is no respector of personalities. Indeed you won’t find the personal pronouns in the original Hebrew. Buddha’s teaching is nothing but a very logical elaboration of what we find in the Prophetic Hebrew but universalized. And if we observe the law of cause-and-effect, nothing happens but what is logically visible plus an increment which is constant owing to cosmic evolution. Put these together, as one Dr. Trebitsch Lincoln once did and you seem to have more occult power than the occultists. Yet it is nothing but keen observation (or Samma Dristhi).
I do not know at this moment what the denouement of my paper on “The Religion of Vietnam” will be. At least the top Buddhist sangha respects this person and at least one sangha here has permitted the tales of actual visits to actual monasteries and actual saints and the actual interpretation thereof. None of the more important self-exclusive groups permit that.
Red Hat Neville Warwick recently came to those rooms and we went over the whole situation of which he has been an unfortunate victim. I don’t know whether you know Mrs. Evans of Santa Barbara (she is also a friend of Prynce Hopkins) but on every situation, every person our presumably separate experiences on the physical, the social, the academic and spiritual levels came to the same result. She pointed out that charlatans have been successful here—and they may continue to be successful but any Caucasian who has “crossed to the other shore” is caput. And I had to listen to the worst attacks by innuendo on the greatest of Buddhists (Senzaki and Sasaki) who have ever graced these shores.
In contrast with this is the attitude of my friends who are rehearsing a drama on the life of Lord Buddha. Every little detail is observed with the greatest of reverence. It is a joy and almost a shock to find some of these friends so imbued with the spirit of Tathagata, and they have absorbed from the ethers themselves the Dharma in its many aspects, down to small details. All of these people practice a meditation which is very much closer to Buddha’s meditation than altered Zen is. It is a living form of meditation, it is a spiritual form of meditation and it has its effect not only on the psyche but on the moral side of the personality.
It may take some time to perfect this drama but it would be wonderful if it could be given before the Buddhist delegates to the UN who will be here in June. At the moment between my friends on one side and the “Buddhists” on the other the gap is too great to consider.
Mrs. Evans will return in a week or so with the manuscript of “Milarepa” which I shall take up with two lifelong friends (who studied the real Buddhism), and with Dr. Warwick. Here again the whole devotional attitude is different. And I am not so concerned with it as with seeing the operations of the karma when so many Americans place themselves above the Dharma and accept any statement of any person they admire over and against the teachings of Lord Buddha who challenged this method, who criticized this method, who would not use this method and who wished each member of the sangha to have his own individual experience and not lean on others—a situation almost impossible to alter.
So any continuances of war, any misunderstanding between nations is obvious. When devotees shun the laws of Karma, of nature and of God, how can we expect conniving politicians to act nobly? We don’t and we won’t. How can we expect others! But the Bodhisattva consciousness is so vast, so noble, it has become incommunicative before those who see only the outward personality.
Yesterday both the governments of India and Pakistan thanked me for efforts in their behalf—these will be on the solution of good problems on a vast scale, and on world peace through the arts, in particular music and dancing. Actually these things are more important than the antics of church originations, whomsoever.
Next week the Buddha Church presents a drama on “Amitabha.” If any other Buddhists (!) attend I owe the world a contrite apology. “To each its own.” I shall report more later.
February 15, 1965
My dear Vocha:
This is really my diary entry. Things happen so fast that it is impossible to record and live them but for the sake of history this is being done.
The stories of scientific events will be omitted here. They form a beautiful background of harmony, brotherhood and friendships that encompass a huge area. The total difference between the social and cultural behavior of all scientists whatsoever and whomsoever, and the metaphysical people who think they are on the way to some grand awakening into a Superpersonality is so vast that it also illustrates Snow at every angle.
The other night I heard a “Nephew” speak on “Science and Buddhism.” He knows so little of either. But spiritually he is my “nephew.” It stands in utter contrast to my conversation with master Leung Tat Sat in Hong Kong, one of those illuminated souls who happens to be a Buddhist, one of those masters in Dharma who happens to be a scientist. The distance between one skilled in Prajna and the metaphysical Americans who are accepted as leaders in Buddhism is so vast, that there is no way to overcome it.
The two other stories run along side by side and I’ll stress the Buddhist stories first. There have in the last two months been three Masters of the Dharma here, and by that I mean Masters and not people called “Masters” by homo pseudospiritualis Californicus. The last took place recently in Chinatown by a disciple of the great Master Tai Hsu. Nyogen and I sat together before Tai Hsu and it was he more than either Shaku Soyen or Inayat Khan who awakened the Great Heart of Senzaki—I saw this complete transformation and Ted Reich here also is another witness. After that Senzaki was what he was supposed to have been.
The Master was talking in Mandarin and not being a “Zennist” although he was speaking in a strange language, being a Prajnaist I did the “dance of the eleven heads of Kwan Yin and he recognized me at once. The Chinese, not being Japanese, also recognized. He also knows the Korean Master who was here, and for a while they studied Dharma in the same temple—I don’t mean they sat like idiots, they studied and studied hard.
The Third Master comes from Nepal and he has given me full ordination in Koran and Tibetan schools which now makes one a disciple or a scholar in practically all the schools of Dharma and Dhamma. I do not know which comes first, the chicken or the egg, but I certainly saw all his bodies, his pure and true personality in the Grand Light. I have no way of knowing whether this is an attainment or a grace and don’t care. There were some other people there.
Not only did he give me the ordination but at the meeting addressed by my “Nephew” he said: “Among those present is Rev. Samuel Lewis. Rev. Lewis has been a student of dharma for over forty years and is one of the few Americans who has attained Illumination. I wish you would recognize him.” So this person stood up before an audience most of whom “know” him but will not listen to him – excepting the newcomers who are exactly the opposite.
At the end of the meeting when the discussions were on he turned on this person’s critics one by one, point by point and said, “Now you have stated your opinions and I shall state Lord Buddha’s opinions, and I shall quote from the scriptures. You can look up the scriptures if you wish.” And he made four such examples … it has never happened before, but it is intolerance because it is the so-called students of Dharma, practically none of whom study the Dharma and some of whom would not even dare to study it who are most adept in pointing out that other people are ignorant. And if you think there is any moaning in those people criticizing Samuel, that criticism is an ocean of love compared to their attitudes toward other students of Dharma in the pseudo-schools which dominate in America.
Indeed when I went on an errand in connection with the next item I was almost appalled. I met a man actually writing out a real essay on the real dharma. He is to speak next month at “The Home of the Dharma.” For once I was stumped. I like to be stumped, but seldom am.
The reason for writing is that the other day two of the students of the Sokiji Temple came to the luncheon of the American-Asian Friendship league. They and a certain member refuse adamantly to listen to this person though they know he has been training for generations. This of itself is of no consequence but in re-studying the Scriptures, if these people permit even the cloud of an unfavorable thought to cross their minds about a Sangha-member it upsets the world. I am not going to try to prove any theory here, especially to Wall-Gazers. But I have seen clearly in the higher chambers of the universe the connection between the Southeast Asian complex and the cloudy minds of so-called Dharma-students who study almost nothing. I am not alluding to a particular school. This covers 90% of the Americans here.
I told one of the Masters, if you want to meet an American Bodhisattva, be prepared to meet a recluse. This is the second instance, and this master, like the previous teacher, but not this one, at Sokiji, found American Bodhisattvas, recluses, overwhelmed by the American metaphysical people who have not learned the Prajna, or the Sciences of Heart.
After the ordination in the next mail I have one of these surprise letters of my life. Now in Japan I was recognized everywhere and was sent on a world Buddhist mission, which need not concern us. So it did not surprise me when the World Buddhist Federation (WBF) sent to me for reports. Most of the “Buddhists” refused to accept this, especially those crying for the WBF. My reports and suggestions were accepted.
But coming across a book on the work of the Bodhisattva by one Har Dyal and reading in Lord Buddha’s teachings not only the exact opposite of what all Theosophists and metaphysicians hold, I find step by step exactly the same teachings in writing that I had from Sokei-an Sasaki in non-verbal Dharma-transmission. For the Lord Buddha delineated the differentiation of grades, how to distinguish the spiritual status of anybody—it is in print, it is there and there was no difference between the non-Scriptural dharma-transmission of Master Sokei-an and the words of Lord Buddha.
Now you must accept on faith and you will that both the scriptural and non-scripture knowledge of both Sokei-an and Senzaki were almost infinitely beyond the mixture of tripe, hashish and teaching given to the American people from other sources. They both, like the great Sixth patriarch, could teach with or without scriptures and everybody who has had the realization knows that the One Dharma is both in and out of scriptures and the Alaya contains everything.
It is such a marked difference between my friends who are working on “The Life of Lord Buddha” and practically all “Buddhists” here, a few Chinese excepted. My friends not only accept the historical Buddha but have reached a development that they can draw from the Alaya also and get things marvelously right and pure, and this plan is a source of constant inspiration, and these people who are my selves rather than my friends or associates are even greater joy than my scientific companions.
So I wrote a challenge to the whole Buddhist world, insisting that the dharma was not being practiced, that the Lord Buddha had the solution to all the world’s problems. I then in poetical form wrote four solutions to the Vietnam situation and accused the Buddhist leaders themselves. This came because my colleagues in India—unfortunately right—have been challenging the whole Buddhist world: “Where are your Srotapannas? Where are your sakadagamins? where your Anagamins?” These things were long ago explained by both Masters Nyogen and Sokei-an but you can’t tell anything to people here, verbally or non-verbally, until recently, with Masters arriving.
But as I know at least four answers within the Buddha Arya dharma I wrote the challenge in Buddhist terms. Not being American metaphysicians or Japanese sartorial artists parading as teachers, they published or rather are publishing my challenge. Not only that, when it gets out—and it will get out, it will fall into the hands of some pretty big people who are enemies of the United States. So I have written UNC and Stevenson and my congressman. The story of my congressman is too long but it concerns the Chinese wisdom-teachings and how they operate—and they do operate. Before the meeting yesterday I debated with Dr. Yu and I think he got the surprise of his life—for I think I have been first American to debate him on Chinese terms. Alan Watts told me I did not understand Taoism and I thought he was right; three days later a Tao master told me I was one of the few Americans to comprehend the Tao. The key is in Spengler and I won’t mention it further. But there are no secrets; there are only people who deny one knowledge and refuse to listen.
Actually not only on the world scene but even locally this may come up in the political events. Why should one be afraid of anybody? In these rooms I once said to the late Robert Clifton: “Robert, you and I are mere nobodies. We can’t get an audience, we can’t get a newspaper interview, the State Department refuses to recognize our existence but I do not think there is a King, Prime Minister, Cabinet Official, college president, professor … or peasant from one end of Asia to the other whom either you or I could not meet if we have not met already, and who would believe us.” “Too true, Samuel, how true!”
Now if you think this is exaggeration. In the same mail that the acceptance of my Gatha answer-questions were accepted I received a letter from Pakistan.
In Pakistan I was and still am openly proclaimed as a Sufi and the work of the Sufi and Bodhisattva are identical. Both follows: “I am the Vine and you are the branches thereof” or “People of the world you are as branches of the tree or leaves of the branch.” I am wanted and wanted badly but must wait for signs. Besides my scientific work is more concerned with dry than with moist lands. The Prajna-teachings operate in Sufism throughout but under another title.
Well Friday night the phone rang and a man from Sudan is here and we made immediate contact, body, heart and soul. “The world stands out on every side no wider than the heart is wide.” The introductions were on all planes and we may be together.
One cannot make or even propose to “Buddhists” the functions of Bodhisattva. The line between the Masters than have come here and the American and most Japanese disciples is so great I do not know how to overcome it. It is only that I had both ordination and initiation to do that, but it is very simple—the ordination and initiation have been rejected and must be rejected by people who do not study dharma, have little Prajna.
One night for “kicks” I turned on the Dharma-eye. Sokei-an taught me that. There are no persons, just various grades of light and shadow. It was too much. I saw everybody as he or she actually is; it is no fun. It is a most painful experience. I know the joy and sorrow; the pain and problems of everybody and I know they will not believe it and I know they will not let me do anything. So why waste time with self-lovers who think they want wisdom when the whole plant world is seeking care; and when nations wish to be raised from their status and are open-hearted, open-minded.
The greatest comedy and the greatest tragedy are in the One Mind, the Buddha-Mind. I have sent for a Soto commentary on “Prajna Paramita” but may write my own out. The Grandeur, the Greatness, the Sublimity, the Perfection that manifested behind the personality known as Nyogen is like the Googol to the world of numbers. You know this and for this reason I write these details.
Soon I am to join in the ordination of another “nephew,” who, being a “nephew” has been unable to recognize his “uncle.” But with several Masters here, real ones, the situation is chronically delightful.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
February 18, 1965
Kalvath Shan Publications
My Dear Brother in Allah:
Praise be to Allah for your letter and the enclosures which came at a time when things were complex and climaxing in the private life. Indeed on that day a letter had been written to my Pir-o-Murshid in Pakistan and the sign came definitely not to mail it when your booklets arrived, and also some other matters which shall be detailed. You may extract from this in any way you wish.
You will understand that it was necessary for some “free” souls to be born in this Western world to pioneer the awakening of mankind to spiritual realities, not in sermons, not in exhortations, not in books but in the opening of the heart-consciousness as actuality. And you must also understand that there have been but two courses for such persons so far—death from broken hearts, or life as a social recluse. But this person, set to function as a Jelali, on the surface seems to be operating contrary to many precepts and protocols laid down for spiritual people, the precepts coming from the scriptures or their teachers; the protocols coming from the metaphysical and fraudulent people who always draw more crowds.
One shall not here commiserate on anything. A few weeks ago a psychologist came to the writer, “You need therapy. I know you are a realized soul, but you think people won’t listen to you. You are mistaken, I shall show you.” This week this psychologist approached the writer: “I owe you an apology. I have now met some real Masters from the real Asia and I have witnessed what all of you must experience.” For there has of recent days been the beginning of a flow of wise men from other lands of Asia and in each instance there was mutual immediate recognition and in each instance these masters have found it most difficult to reach the American public and hardest of all those who have been hypnotized into believing they are studying or practicing spiritual methods which lead to emancipation.
Toward the end of last year this person went on an important tour which incidentally brought him into contact with several Americans of the same type, all compulsory recluses because of the behavior of our fellows. And the Vietnam situation is nothing but an objectification of this. For all the problems of Vietnam were made known to this person, not by anything mystical or occult, but by his close American friends who were simply not believed. They had all gone to Asia, put on yellow robes, circulated among all the schools of Buddhism, and unanimously were rejected in this land. These are things on record and during a long life I do not know of a single tragedy that has befallen mankind that was not introduced either by one’s own fellows or by the lifting of the inner veils—this covers a long life, a long history, but never once that Allah did not warn and the warnings went unheeded. This is the life of nufsaniat-samsara.
This person returned to San Francisco to attend a public meeting given in honor of an important Indian political leader. To the dismay and even disgust of the audience this leader said: “Why you are the man I came to San Francisco to meet. I traveled five thousand miles just to meet you!” It was true but the majority of people there did not, would not believe it, and this is true especially of those who pretend to believe in the law-of-karma.
The writer said boldly: Me Heung Dara Shikoh. This is a long and complicated history and it is remarkable how those people who delude themselves into believing they believe in reincarnation are the first to reject evidences of it. The long history of relations with Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Sani Nizami at Dargah Nizam-ud-din Auliya in Delhi are evidences of it.
You will find enclosed picture of self in the robe given first as Khalifa and then as full Murshid in the Sabri-Kadiri-Chisti order, headquarters Salarwala near Lyallpur, Pakistan. When I returned to India in 1962 the first place visited was the Dargah Nizam-ud-din Auliya. No letters, no communication, it was about 10:30 at night and there was the Pir-o-Murshid, his brother and mureeds waiting.
A few days later I returned (the intervening history has to do with my most excellent friends Hon. President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda). We went to the tombs of saints and in each case there was an open communion and communication. This always happens but not always with living witnesses.
In front of the tomb of Amir Khusrau the saint appeared, gave me this robe and said: “You are the successor of the late Mohammed Iqbal, in the succession from Maulana Roum.” And this robe which was in open vision, was being made at that time in Pakistan while the body was in India.
This is also mentioned because the writer is copying his poem “Saladin” which is a vast epic and which, inshallah, will be famous after my death. Part II has to do with the living experience of Miraj in which Khatim-al Nabi played a dual role, acting as Vergil in Dante’s poetry and also in full capacity as Insaan-i-Kemal. So the confirmation of the poetry of Maulana Roum.
Khizr. This person went away to die in the wilderness many years ago. By Grace Khwajah Khizr appeared and offered him poetry (as above) or music. The music since came, first as the embodiment of the Flute of Masnavi and then as the Flute-of-Krishna which has been demonstrated many times. But the evidence is that as time has gone out, excepting the eyes, the body has not aged at all, and from the ordinary point of view appears miraculous, while in truth it is Divine Grace and nothing else.
Mohammed manifested at the end of the period in the wilderness after all the Messengers of God appeared before these eyes in broad daylight, but Mohammed in double and the same robe as above conferred, but not believed—as, of course, there is no way to communicate with people who have not had the veils lifted. It only resulted that when my first Pir-o-Murshid died, his wishes were ignored, though both the then living Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Nizami and Delhi and this person were given exactly the same instructions.
Papa Ramdas. This is very difficult to write as only laughter or tears can convey. Once, three different persons within two weeks said that this person should meet Swami Ramdas. They did not know each other and could give no details. But they could not accept this person because of his Jelali covering. Then Ramdas appeared suddenly also in the middle of the day and said he would come in one year. And in exactly fifty two weeks he arrived in San Francisco. The three persons did not accept him and this person had no choice.
This history will not be recorded but in 1962 while at the Ashram in Kanhangad in the north part of Travancore-Cochin State, three mornings in succession this person awoke not as his known self but as Ramdas. So he went to Papa and said, “It is time to go.” Papa said, “Yes it is time to go.” But this person knew then mystically it was time for Papa Ramdas to go.
Nyogen Senzaki was a Zen Master in California whom the writer met just six weeks after he met his first Sufi teacher (Murshida Rabia Martin), and these few days chartered a strange course of unity and division in the spiritual disciplines. But in America excepting a few old disciples the people who take up “Zen” reject this person. The Masters who had come here have accepted him and those who are not masters reject him, but they do not repeat the Triratna so it is clear.
As soon as he came to Japan not only were all the Zendos open to him but he had the “Satori” in both the Rinzai and Soto Schools. When he returned to California he said: “When Sogen Asahina and Sam Lewis met were there two, one or no people in the room.” “Let us have some tea.” Then this person knew that Nyogen Senzaki would soon leave the earth.
Sometime later he met the secretary of Senzaki-san and said: “One word in your ears and the enlightenment.” The lady came up and put her ears near his lips. He repeated the words of Nyogen Senzaki and she had the Satori. Only now as many years have been spent for the sake of the records this is mentioned.
When this person came to Dargah Data Ganj Baksh (Al-Hujwiri) in Lahore in 1960 it was very noisy, there were all kinds of celebrations by all kinds of Sufis ignoring each other. This person went into an alcove, practiced Murakkabah, and to his amazement he was enfolded in the consciousness of the saint and this also happened always there and also elsewhere. Whenever this person went to the Dargah or Mazar, there was always open communication.
Later he began going regularly to the tomb of Saint Mian Mir who gave him the instructions: Allaho Akbar = Peace Is Power, and gave him the secret of the two conditions which also appear in the Uddana of Lord Buddha and in the “Secret Sayings of Jesus” which you have published.
So recently with all the trouble in Southeast Asia and with the rejection of each other by all Buddhist groups here—they reject everything including each other, this person sent out a challenge. It was that if Buddhists would practice the teachings of Lord Buddha by any of the basic methods a small Sangha could bring peace in Southeast Asia.
Now this person wrote that he knew four methods of Buddhism that could be used to bring Peace:
a. The Jhanas
b. The Cosmic Monism (Avatamsaka)
c. The Ko-an method
d. The Mahamudra meditation.
This person has now, despite or because of his Sufism, been initiated in all these methods, and part you will find in the pages of “Saladin” and part can be substantiated by human beings.
Most of the popular groups that are deceived into believing they are studying Dharma of course reject and do not practice any of the above, nor study the Buddhist scriptures but are concerned with the person who is their teacher and with other egocentricities. But the top lay Buddhist is Princes Poon Diskul of the Royal Family of Thailand and she also has the cosmic outlook and accepts all faiths and we are very close.
So this person sent the challenge and the World Buddhist Federation, instead of rejecting it, asked permission to publish it, for it remains that the Buddhists must practice or accept responsibility. This person knew that Mahatma Gandhi would die one year before it happened because in the Mushahida it was shown that Gandhi had been on two courses—he could either follow Lord Buddha and walk through the streets of Kashmir with followers, or accept martyrdom. Lord Buddha always stopped wars, his followers do not follow.
But also the communication was in the Gatha form, for the theoretical Buddhists say that when one has Enlightenment or Wisdom he can compose sutras, and this person whose Gatha was first accepted years ago by a visiting Zen Master has been refused permission by all who pretend to be “Zen Buddhists” here in America, to read and tell of the vision of Tathagata which prompted it.
Only this is a long, complex and fruitless history of meeting dualists who call themselves Monists and non-dualists and who have not only never experienced identity with others or with the Universe but even deny the possibilities.
So your Zen affirmations and your Vedantic quotations and most of all the lines from Maulana Roum.
All over Asia wherever this person has gone either he has already been accepted, or will be, and he has no mission other than that laid down distinctly and exactly in your brochures. In the ocean the waters that came from various rivers commingle and are one. Jesus said: “I am the Vine and yet are the branches thereof. Abdul Baha said: “People of the world you are as branches of the tree and leaves of the branch.” In my profession I am gardener and horticulturalist. In science there is no room for self and dualism.
The Mahamudra meditation is nothing but Mushahida excepting for language difference, but Mujahida, ah, Mujahida!
With all love and felicitations and good-will and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
March 1, 1965
As-salaam Aleikhum. One writes not knowing whether one is reporting or seeking advice. One writes because there is a sort of “psychic” climax which may or may not be important. One writes knowing the extreme difference which may be between actual surrender to al-Hayy and something private called “Islam” which may or may not have meaning.
When a mureed is put on spiritual practices, especially the Daroods which you so graciously presented, there are bound to be effects without one knowing whether these effects are the direct results of one’s devotion or the effects of Grace which do not necessarily depend upon fervor or ardor. Contrariwise, if the repetition of Wazifas or Daroods does not change the personality, the circumstances, the inner and outer life of a person, then there is either something wrong with ryazat or the devotee.
It is now some time since my return from Pakistan and the total fruit of effort in relations between that country and the personal self have not been very much. True, money and time have been spent even to the limits of one’s capacity. But the major persons in your country for whom apparently these efforts were put forth have either failed to appreciate what was being attempted, or have failed in their own private lives.
If they have failed in their private lives they are very foolish for Allah is not a man, does not mentalize as men do, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. There is a word kham which has its psychological effect and cannot be measured. But to hide the head does not mean that thoughts are hidden or efforts are hidden. Failure is man’s reaction to something and such failures may mean nothing in the worlds beyond—Malakut, Djabrut, Lahut. In turn one feels ashamed that people who consider themselves “Muslims” are looking at human reaction, human opinions and human failures or successes.
Part II of “Saladin” is just finished retyping. This is a tremendous effort on the part of one who has little sleep or rest ever excepting to proceed with the next step. But “Saladin” though concerned with Islam, Allah and Mohammed is not particularly concerned with Pakistan.
Now suddenly or gradually personality relations with large segments of this earth have changed. When one is on the path of the Auliya, life may go in one of several directions. One direction is to be more concerned than ever with religion, its edifices, its rituals, its teaching. Another is to be concerned with an area as if Allah has entrusted you with the guardianship of an area. Another may be to become mast. Another is to pioneer in awakening mankind where man has been asleep, and this has to do with the evaluations of the whole race. Or one may be sent out with a particular message, a sort of Rassoul without being in any way a Nabi. And others.
This person has been entrusted with two general duties in life, one concerned with the sciences and food production; the other with the awakening of hearts. Both of these will come to a climax this year in California, especially in Southern California.
There will be a scientific gathering in July and this will bring together
all the materials for “Project: The Garden of Allah” but many geographical
applications may change which is the subject for consideration. And in
September one will be on a panel at another meeting in which the audience will
be scientists but the speaker will be well versed in the great religions. It is
then one must come forward as a champion of tasawwuf.
The personality relations in many parts of the world changing, the prospects for peace or otherwise in two distinct parts of the Orient have some to this person’s attention. Whether anything will result of a personal nature one does not know. One of these is non-Islamic (in the general sense). In the other instance Pakistan and Japan have been asked to intervene between Indonesia and Malaysia.
But it is in the Islamic parts of the world with which there is now concern. In the last communication mention was made of a Sufi movement in Ceylon which is trying to reach other parts of the world. Evidently the leaders are educated, certainly more educated than the “missionaries” from Pakistan who make practically no converts—one exception to be mentioned below. Their publications are in excellent English, take notice of the culture of the day, realize that one can reach the educated by appealing to the higher side of man’s nature and their printed forms are the best I have seen from any section of Asia. Now my notice has been called to their efforts in Pakistan itself and here there is a peculiar situation.
Many Pakistani take the wrongful dualistic attitude that “Muslims” are right and non-Muslims wrong in any situation. Wicked Muslims are defended and not so wicked non-Muslims are accused. The Muslims may break all the commandments of Qur’an and Hadith and they will be defended.
But now come some Muslims who are not provincial, who have the world outlook and these same ignorant Pakistanis dare not criticize them because they are always “praising” Muslims—they don’t praise Allah so much. And thus they are caught because the universal Ceylonese and other Muslims increase both the heart and head.
The coming into my life of Hassan Hashim from Sudan has totally changed the feelings of being a sort of exile. True, almost every group which “logically” should have welcomed me has done everything but listen. But now one does not care, and as one does not care, there is growing attention from truth-seekers of various kinds.
Hashim has discovered that this person is not only versed in many sciences and branches of culture more than the average man, but also in many branches of Islamics. But most of all this person knows about the Mahdi and dervishes of his land who have been very important in history a while back and are now coming out again.
This is the first person he has met who knows these things. Also who is acquainted with the Swahili Islamic culture of Africa which your countrymen largely ignore. This has lead to very serious consideration of visiting several parts of Africa. Hashim knows nearly all the lands of northern and central Africa.
But now he is urging me to go to Nigeria. His father established a large school at Kano I inland Nigeria and became the teacher of many eminent men who are playing large parts in the affairs of that new country. He also has told me about the devotion and wisdom of the men of Tarikat there and what is more important, that is one place where instructions in Tarikat are in English. For many of the men speak otherwise Arabic, Berber, Hausa, Fulani, Mandingo, etc. converse in English and English is the language of all the schools of higher education including the religious ones.
Lagos if the capital of Nigeria and its chief imam is a very close friend of mine who once lived in San Francisco and with whom I stayed from time to time in ‘pindi. He has been most successful in winning converts to Islam but not in any of the manners set forth by various schools of Tablighi found in both East and West Pakistan. These people have the zeal to convert themselves and no outward appeal that would convince others. But my Imam friend is entirely outward and successful and has an excellent knowledge of English.
All of this seems new were it not for the fact that my first Pir-o-Murshid wished the spiritual teachings to be brought to all lands and he has his writings in English. Whether anything will come of this is, of course, uncertain. The calling of those conferences in July (on science) and September (on tasawwuf) make it foolish to look ahead.
Today I receive little from Pakistan other than from Shamseddin Ahmed of Lahore. How one can help persons, or a country, without literary courtesy is very difficult. My personal will has been to visit Thailand, India and Pakistan, and possible visit Ceylon but the personal will should not determine one’s future.
Inwardly, while recopying “Saladin” at last there has come a sign as to the literary form of my memories and an inner assurance that this is right. But this will take some time and the publishers have to be satisfied. One can only work with faith and assurance, and prayer.
Hashim has come to some conclusions about this person which one does not like to report, but they are in harmony with what you have sent. One does not like to measure oneself. It is very hard to get any audience here; or rather one gets most favorable responses where one does not seek commendation—from business men and scientists; and are gets little response from metaphysical and religious persons, who are too self-centered. It has been this person’s prayer to meet somebody from Sudan. The prayer has been granted, alhamdu lillah, and granted in a very simple, easy, beautiful way.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti*
* The whole story brings out the meaning of the Sabri School.
March 2, 1965
Editor, “The Mountain Path”
My dear Brother:
It is always with joy and a fascinating contement that “The Mountain Path” is received and the January 1965 issue arrived yesterday. The term “fascinating contement” means that there is principally and primarily heart agreement, but there are also those disagreements which permit the head as well as the heart to function. And there is either a remarkable harmony or a total hiatus between those who write articles on “One Mind” and the observer who finds this “One Mind” functioning. The differences come that here there will be objective illustrations. Unfortunately objective illustrations are objectionable to dialecticians and non-mystics who are trying to prove what they have not experienced, and one who has facts to support his subtle or cosmic philosophy is branded as an “egotist” while the dialecticians with innate self-praise continue to differ from each other, as they must.
In the private (?) life I am a scientist. No scientist would receive any attention is he who claimed that Physics was greater than Biology or that Geology was greater than Anatomy. The actual operations of the mind have for analyzing and qualifying purposes worked out these several sciences. But at the same time there is now a world movement which is looking for total Integration knowing that nature (Prakrit) is one.
This world outlook is in two parts for its original basis assuming that the physical methods of the “West” are superior but also that India has a cosmic psychology which may lead to the benefit of mankind. But the confusion among and between manasic, man—vijnanic, vijnanic, alaya-vijnanic, ananda and prajna processes make discrete philosophies rather complex on the verbal level.
When one arises above ego-mind he will express himself between in some form of poetry. The Vedas, the Gathas of many peoples, the hymns of the Early Buddhists, of the Hebrews, the Song of Hakuin, the Gatha of the Sixth Patriarch and the great Epics attest.
But now that you have recognized “Kalvath Shan” and their stress on Maulana Roum (Jelal-ed-din Rumi), mere statements by anybody carry no weight except with those already satisfied, which is very good, but not otherwise.
I am a scientist and called upon to attend two world congresses soon in the Southern part of California. The first will be of scientists and anybody not having had experiences will be cautioned to maintain silence. The second will be on the leaders of the world’s faiths and here again those without experiences are going to be cautioned to be silent and listen to those who have had the experiences. So long as mere opinion, complex dialectics, ignorant-faith, learned-faith, awakening-faith, prajna and complete awakening are received as equal there is going to be trouble. We will not solve any problems but we shall be very pleased with ourselves.
It is peculiar that while the world has retained much of caste-distinctions, despite all laws and assumptions and even among the mystics it is only long after death that a Hui Neng or Kabir is honoured, among those who are regarded socially or intellectually as equals, you have complicated collections of sudra-thoughts, kasteriya-thoughts, outcaste thoughts and sanynassi thoughts combined. I mean I call those people outcasts who have had no visitation of Oneness or Divinity, or at best sudras; or rather they are sudras who can perform the worship spiritual without any insight as to its meaning.
Buddhism. The difference between a Karma-Yogin and those who write on Karma-Yoga will now be illustrated. The charge made that the Buddhism world was not producing Anagamins, Srotapannas, Sakrodagamins, etc. was taken up. There is a complex war in Vietnam. Why isn’t it stopped? If there were Anagamins and Srotapannas what is all this nonsense about “peace?”
The next step was to express this is Gatha form. From Mohammed with his charge to produce another Qur’an to Hui Neng who could give a Gatha without attending any meditation practices, the derivative people vaunt the personality but cannot use the method. The Vijnana-Gandharva stage of evolution is almost entirely missing among Buddhists who jump from man to deva and than devaluate the deva.
The heads of the World Buddhist Federation, not being dualists, not being essayists about “One Mind” have accepted and will publish the Gatha, taking up your charge about the “absence” of Anagamins, Srotapannas, etc. But the “Diamond Sutra” definitely lays down that Bodhisattvas do not operate from the worlds of self-consciousness. Stream-consciousness is different from crystalline-ego-consciousness, and still is not necessarily ocean-consciousness.
Francis Allen. This article would never pass at all in a scientific class. It is based on nothing but the writer’s opinions, not backed up by even cursory observations. There are in San Francisco headquarters of “Buddhism Churches in America,” “Buddhist Congregations in America”—the former is essentially “Pure Land,” the latter “Lotus,” but both are much broader. Francis Allen seems quite unaware of either Pure Land (several schools) or Lotus (several schools). The four main categories are purely subjective.
Now a copy of the Gatha-peace plan was sent to Dr. Malalasekera, founder of the World Buddhist Federation, and shortly after receiving it he came to San Francisco. The writer’s first teacher in the Dharma was Rev. M.T. Kirby, disciple of the Great Shaku Soyen. He taught “Moksha,” he illustrated Moksha, he had experienced Moksha. So when one heard Dr. Malalasekera who came to San Francisco immediately after receiving the Gatha speak on “Moksha” it was a joy and blessing.
It is forgotten that Lord Buddha was a Hindu; the Indian were—and from your articles are—concerned with Dharma-Artha-Kama-Moksha but they had no evidence of Moksha any more than Theravadins seen to evince Anagamins and Srotapannas today. It was to return to the Sanatana or Arya Dharma with Moksha that Buddha offered his Dharma. In other words we have today too much “Buddhism” and too little “Mokshaism.”
March 7, 1965
My dear Norman:
This is at least my 16th letter of the day and I am writing in what looks like almost Napoleonic fervor. I do not know whether you knew Princess Poon Diskul who was one of the early teachers at the Academy, and it is certain she was almost shoved out of the picture by Watts and Uncle Louis. Neither of them considered either her family or her spiritual connections, nor the fact that this is part of the intense reaction against the United States in the Orient, for Americans seem almost unable to meet people of other races as equals.
Our “cold war” is a mass of idealism, propaganda and delusion. In any event the Princess and her associates have accepted my “peace” proposals which are not dialectical plans to be applauded by some safe and insane committee in Sweden to make one world famous while millions continue in danger of warfare and tribulation.
The immediate aftermath was the visit of Dr. Malalasekera here, overlooked by the press and State Department, as usual, and who is perhaps one of the most gifted men in the world to intervene but who will hardly be acceptable to us. In the meanwhile Princess Poon has caused Mao Tse Tung to lose face—the details of which are kept from the press because “we” want to beat China in an Occidental way—which seems to mean force and bloodshed and not by wiles.
In the meanwhile some of the really peaceful Nations are meeting and Ben Bella is coming out as a sort of real peace-hero. This is going to upset almost every warlike nation—China and US, India and Pakistan, the Arab world and Israel, and Congo and its neighbors. If he accomplishes anything we lose face for in front of the world we have our “Brotherhood” of Christians and Jews” (or blondes only) and we are kidding nobody.
I have seen President Johnson’s horoscope and it has every sign that if he works for peace he will go as one of the great men of history; but if he permits the Secretary of War—I don’t mean the present office-holder but any Secretary of War to dominate him he is going into tragedy, personal but not necessarily national tragedy.
In view of this the need to pay some attention to commercial and agricultural enterprises and get away from al these military efforts which win nothing. For while I see a battlefield victory over China it will destroy neither China nor even the leaders, for they do not lose face by being beaten on the field; they lose face only when somebody pulls a trick on them as Princess Poon just did.
If we beat China she might agree to any terms whatsoever because she has done that before and always came out on top. I am not going into Chinese metaphysics here but have not seen a single sign that Mao is not every bit Chinese, far, far more than the Formosans or the former administration, and he has in him the inheritance of thousands of years of culture. So I am writing another letter on Africa which you can either send on or copy from in writing to your father.
March 7, 1965
My dear Norman:
The talks with my friend, Hassan Hashim of Khartoum, Sudan, put me in part in the position I was thrust into in Lahore when the investors came there. Pakistan is almost entirely in the hands of a combination of man with feudalistic and early capitalistic outlooks, without any sense of democracy, and with convictions at the top that success comes by the exploitation of “masses” by the privileged few. But like the feudal state, and unlike the capitalistic state, the leaders are privileged and do not have to have qualifications. They want to start with heavy industry, then light industry, then folk industry, then natural resources.
My report began with natural resources, then folk industry and gradually up and that is what we see for Africa. Africa is composed of the littoral, most inhabitant by “white” peoples; the deserts, mostly the same; the savannahs most of mixed races, and the rainy sectors, mostly of “Negroes.” But the ethnic analysis has a supreme fault that it implies skills or lack of them, and this does not follow. For it would seen—from very cursory examination, that some “black” peoples as in Uganda and Kenya, are certainly more advanced than the “white” people of Africa or even than very large sections of Europeans. If we look at them from the standpoint of skills, abilities and education, we shall have to change our approach radically and got rid of a lot of dead-wood words which have no meaning either in the hands of “God” or investing capitalists.
Hashim has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia—a little in Kuwait and Iraq; Nigeria, Sudan (of course), Uganda, Kenya, Tchad, Equatoria with inroads to Mali, Congo and other lands. For our present purposes we might as well agree with the Afro-American groups who see the continent or sections rather than the particular artificial nations that have arisen.
A very practical reason for this is that Hashim believes that the more of our people of Africa descent we send, the easier it will be to open these people to rapid development and still easier to stop Mao. We are simply crazy if we think (and I know you do not) that our White-American-Protestants, and our press, can or will stop Mao in Africa. Indeed they are the ones helping him for he can go forth and successfully endeavor to save the nationals from American imperialism.
On January 25th the Christian Science Minister published my warnings about USIS libraries—which did not affect history in the least for the Foreign Office accepts no suggestions from the people; and especially with the now “Bandung” conference unless we really try humanitarian friendship, we, the white Americans, are going to throw the whole world into a dither.
There are her three complete stories which overlap.
a. A Nile program which will go mostly into engineering and agriculture and which we may take up to on the campus. This is more in my field but Hashim says these ideas will go in Nigeria, wants me to go there, and I have already sent out feelers.
b. A development of natural resources program which reveals vast stocks especially of Diamonds and Gold not yet touched. The Gold problem is one of the moment and the proper handling of it will not only stop China but will assure America of prosperity on the lines it has been advocating.
Investments in Africa.
c. A commercial-investment undertaking which would integrate the above into some larger ventures. This comes out of Hashim’s actual and knowledge of the resources and needs of each and all these countries.
I have heard from one source that there is capital available looking for new markets and I have a sort of preliminary agreement but do not wish to take it until we clear. For outside the personal elements, and your father will be interested, Hashim feels that practically all engagements with the naturals of Africa should be from amid our own “colored” people, not just some Uncle Toms with the Peace Corps of USIA, or all through, generally, in every field, and that the white man, especially the White Protestant should stay out of the way. This would not prevent him from investing and earning, but he should not be the front, indeed he will be an “affront.”
As a digression. I am not apposed to sending solders to Vietnam but I am apposed to sending soldiers anywhere out of the country when we cannot guarantee American citizens full rights. These Alabama incidents are keeping our whole country back, especially the investment markets. If we should send our army into Alabama and Mississippi it would change the opinions of masses everywhere else. And this would be the best protection against expropriation by Syria, Indonesia or any other land.
The present would situation would be eased by us if we could add to our stock of Gold and of this Hashim knows much. He also knows where there are good markets for textiles especially and from this point we could take in on.
It is slightly delicate for me because my “Project the Garden of Allah” not only covers parts of Africa but he says it would particularly cover Nigeria and he would like to set up offices in the Uganda-Kenya area, mostly “colored” people, and in Nigeria where my own connections could be used. It is too early and I have not wished to put myself, nor deal myself out. I do see tremendous possibilities and these should be taken up with Hashim and then with your father. For Hashim has connections all over, excepting with a few land on the West Coast…. I am again trying to find my friend who was secretary to the China assembly to cover this sector.
I feel these should all be matters of investment and not of any government pressures. I see no good from the USIA and “Peace Corps” which assume patronizing approaches. And there are no signs that the aptitudes of the Kenya-Uganda region are not only higher than many in Europe but even of sectors of the United States. This would assure returns from regions which depend also on skilled labor.
Of course this is only a sketch, my statements may have loopholes, the vision may not be too clear and there may be wishing. But anyhow it is a first step and we might go from there. Anything above can be used as you please, modified as you please, etc.
Samuel L. Lewis
March 12, 1965
My dear Haridas:
It is with great joy that one accepts the invitation to meet the saint from Bombay, but the marks had already been made on the calendar therefore, and if there are any reasons for not being present they will be indicated specifically in the contents of this communication because of constant activity all around the clock every day without surcease.
Peace and War I. The whole of this person’s life and philosophy was in the balance recently on events which did not occupy such space in the papers. But before relating let me say that this letter primarily is an illustration of the Lotus Symbol as used by Sri Aurobindo, and without the external manifestation of this Lotus Symbol in action the whole letter is nothing but ego expression.
Riots were taking place in India over the language question and if India were no better than America or Vietnam, all claims about spirituality would be voided. This person’s previous experience avowed that there are enough living saints and near-saints in India to have stopped a situation very much like that in Vietnam through spiritual intervention.
But spiritual intervention has taken a step forward because India has two great mystics as President and Vice-President. And your President Radhakrishnan took steps which in the American sense would be “contrary to law and order” and by taking stops contrary to “law and order” he saved untold bloodshed and brought peace by an integrative compromise, something Western people as yet are incapable not only of doing, but of “thinking,” or rather this applies to the non-scientific, “humanistic,” analytical dogmaticians who control press, TV and politics, but not the sciences. The sciences are running pell-mell in exactly the way Sri Aurobindo predicted.
If the fighting had not been stopped, all the materials for my autobiography would have been voided and even if published would have rendered one a laughing-stock, for whatever mystics are doing would have become in the “humanistic” non-scientific world useless. But the mystics have just shown their usefulness in politics in India and thus pointed the way in other direction.
Peace and War II. This started with some challenges to the Buddhist world by disciples of Indian mystics. That great hysterical character, Gautama Siddhartha, was an Indian concerned with Moksha and he did not deny the Vedas as those who do not read his works claim; he pointed out the Marga for those who did not attain Moksha by Vedic methods. Of course when the Acharyas came and pointed Moksha by Vedic methods Buddhism lapsed, because the non-Buddhistic Acharyas were attaining Moksha and the Buddhist Bhikkus of the Theravadins were not and have not since—until the very recent jolts they have had.
Externally this bares claim to Moksha without any evidence is the metaphysical, though not the obvious “cause” for the miasma-samsara in Vietnam. And it is a challenge to those people who are accepted as leaders in something they call “Buddhism” with its samsara-nirvana, which is either the greatest of truths of the merest of humbug.
Present day Zen Buddhism is marvelous in the proclamation of Zero, which is needed by egocentric Westerners, but it does not present the Moksha of Infinity and spiritual realization and that is so obvious because of the three leading so-called “Zen” activities here all adhere in practice to the existence of the superlative and separated ego—a point easily disproved by the Aurobindo activities related below. True we have some real Chan masters here but they differ from Zen:
1. They accept the historical Gautama Siddhartha though they call him Sakya Muni.
2. They accept also the literature which stems from him and those disciples and hierarchas who experienced the Moksha.
In other words there will be no finality in Buddhism until there is the recognition of him as an Indian Avatar and people can argue forever and ever and this has nothing to do with the world around us, call it real of call it maya or call it unreal.
This person took the challenge of his India colleagues and sent it to the Buddhist world leaders. It was a challenge on Moksha but it was also a challenge to the poor deluded people who think they are seeking something called “Zen” which has nothing to do with Moksha and little to do with Dhyana, and has been substituted for the Arya Dharma of Lord Buddha. As they have no evidences of any sort of “illumination” or “liberation,” it becomes delusion.
But this person has passed the “Gatha” test which as given to their great Hierarchy Eno (Hui Neng) So the challenge was sent to Princess Poon Diskul and her associate Aiem, who immediately asked permission to publish it. It will be sent around the world, a challenge to those Buddhists who have abolished lord Buddha and Moksha; also to the whole Western world caught in its miasma of dualisms and duality and leaving no room either for the highest aspects of Mind, or for Heart-Love or Divinity.
Fortunately because receiving the “Gatha” Princess Poon Diskul came out for universal religion. The Buddhists are now doing research on both Enlightenment and Reincarnation, impersonally and as scientifically as it can be done. The effort on politics is, of course, not our concern. The effect on the local substitutes for the real teachings of the real Lord Buddha is having its karma.
For following the WBF concerns there will be a convention on Buddhism in this state in August and it will be done scientifically, legally, and theologically, and not personally. One is pretty sure that the majority of people who call themselves “Buddhists” will not and cannot accept this convention, or prove their points.
World Religion Conference. Two are in the offing and here again the validity of claims to be religions will be examined. There will be no “right” or “wrong” or effort to prove superiority or inferiority but merely to semanticize each Faith so it stands out on its own definitions.
But it is the Aurobindian news which is most important and it destroys once and for all that metaphysical nonsense of divisions between scientists and mystics. For it has integrated the scientist and mystic in the planned World University which is partly under the direction of Sri Surendra Ghose. The immediate impact of the news was too great for me to become calm, for if the Indian outbreaks almost destroyed everything in the life-plan, to be rescued by Dr. Radhakrishnan, the World University has not only confirmed all the scientific efforts but has integrated them one step beyond.
I shall not here go into the scientific problems and their solutions by integrative methods as already invoked. Fortunately—and this may be luck or karma or insight, they have taken both the specific branches of actual sciences, one which has been on my lips and heart constantly and have carried it through in one’s plans. This involves several points:
a. Aurobindo’s Doctrine of Evolution. By deduction this person saw if true there would and must be certain answers both to “missing links” and to the assimilation of Nitrogen and Proteins in such a way that the world food problems could be solved on a vegetarian as well as a non-vegetarian basis. This may appear too technical and involved.
b. The integration of geniuses. According to the Sufi teachings, the terms Jinn=Genius=Gyan=Vijnanavadin is true etymologically as well as metaphysically. Incidentally this is a great mistake in the Buddhistic pantheistic cosmology which has been omitted from the Indian. I have failed to find any term in the Upanishads which is not valid and can be assimilated and used in the coming Psychology. I am not going to write on the Forthcoming Psychology. It is all philosophically in Sri Aurobindo and in the Upanishads.
The manifestation of Nikola Tesla is an example of a Vijananavadin in the Western world, a sign of more coming which is true. A great deal of misunderstanding with the young is due to the fact that there are today both more Asuras and Pitris and Gandharvas in our midst causing all kinds of problems about “sex” when the new seeming misbehaviors are nothing but the “normal” patterns of Asuras and Pitris and Gandharvas, a point which I was not permitted to present to the Academy and which will not go to the World University.
c. The integration of mystics. This is not only a doctrine but a fait accomplis. Externally we see it in the President and Vice-President of India. But the integration of mystics is dual:
1. The World University has already integrated many mystics.
2. Those mystics are themselves integrations of analytical-categorical types of Aristotle and Kant which have put limitations around Western culture and intellectual growth.
The first point is that now we can get out the Upanishadic matrices and apply them to social and psychological problems, as well as in the natural sciences.
The second point is that the very persons who have been my hosts on the two extended trips are on the Board of Directors. Those persons I have tried in vain to get before the non-scientific public. The scientists have accepted these names all over, for it is among the scientists and not among the religions one finds the spirituality of the West.
There are at least two Sufis on the board. One of these Sufis is a direct brother and colleague who leads a complete double life and has been very successful without letting the left hand know what the right hand does. He is on the Board of Directors, indeed the chief financial contributor to the University of Islamabad which asked me to act as their representative here. This last has been rejected and is a partial factor in Ayub Khan going to China (one wonders what he will get there).
The other is Prof. Durrani who, although or despite (?) being a Sufi is the best exemplary of a realized Sadhu I know, who has had a direct understanding of all the spiritual stages and states of the Upanishads of anybody I know; and who first introduced me to the men who have devised the World University. Indeed some of the most innocent personal errands done “by” or “through” me have become important events.
This integration of sciences and scientists, or the intellectual genius and the realized mystics no doubt was one of the visions of Sri Aurobindo. And if you want to symbolize this letter it is nothing but the verbalization of the Lotus at a certain state of unfoldment.
This had to be written immediately because of the date of your guest.
It also means that the next trip will all be under one head and heading. Every time this person is rebuked or rebuffed here—which means a lot—he receives almost immediately some latter of grace or graciousness from a distant place, usually from Asia. One’s modification of Kipling: “East is East and West is West and never shall the Oriental meet the Orientalist” is becoming true—but the East and West (and North and South) are becoming one.
Samuel L. Lewis
March 14, 1965
My dear Oliver:
Yesterday morning, before being able to post your letter, enclosed, the mail arrived early. This was a very busy day mostly concerned with Orientals and among these the Chinese.
I took one of my “Ugly American” friends with me to the American-Asian Friendship League. This man has lived in Cambodia, visited Laos and like Anna, taught English to the scions of the Royal Family in Thailand. He is not “of course,” an expert and nobody has paid the slightest attention to his career. And we sat listening to a glorious seminar on the Orient at one of the nearby colleges wherein the speakers were neither Americans nor Asians, but “experts.”
It was noticeable that after the meeting the Americans rushed away, few gave me any greetings; worse, fewer still greeted the speaker, another “Ugly American,” while the Chinese gathered around me, unexpectedly. There is no question that instead of the “Heathen Chinese” having ways that are dark and vain and mysterious, they are blunt, forthright, tactless, a fact is a fact and until you recognize a fact, what use are opinions? Or, until you recognize a body, what use measuring its shadows?
And it is just there that the hiatus comes between East and West; we do not recognize it, we cannot recognize it, and we are stuck, not only with Vietnam and Indonesia but more and more peoples who fear the Chinese will have nothing to do with us. One of the men who stayed is a Taoist teacher. Once one of our “experts” told me I did not understand Taoism and I assented—I still think I don’t know much; but three days later this Chinese Taoist told me I was one of the few Americans who did. So far, without any exception whatever this person has passed every examination in Taoism given by Chinese and failed in every examination in Taoism given by “experts.”
The simplest answer is—and it was the subject of discussion too, to try to replace analysis by integration, and I can assure you this is almost as difficult as to try to explain some Asian teaching. We all want the analytical, abstractive “shadow.” But there is one thing that stands out and that is that Chinese maintain that one should keep the bold, forthright, factual matters always in front in social affairs as in scientific reports, and this is one of the clashes between cultures.
Now as to Mrs. Tipple’s inquiries. They are easy, become of having contacted persons who have these various answers. It is almost five years when I told the Christian Science Monitor that the main problem today was to get the question people and answer people together—this is true all over, and this will be the marvel of the World University.
Your “Cosmic Humanism” may not have all the answers but it should have many approaches we have not tried. The bulk of Americans, even among the semanticists, judge by personalisms or psycho-logics rather than first accepting the facts themselves, like a jury would.
The bulk of the day was given over to various considerations of trying to get the Asians and Americans together. There was another group visited after the “American Asian Friendship League” who is too busy integrating and exchanging without any “friendship” based on tact, diplomacy and all that nonsense which has never been successful. The contrast is real and important. And it is this second type of people who will be interested in the World University and “Cosmic Humanism.”
Hills sent me much more than the brochures and it will require some handling. As I have said, quite a few of the Trustees are known to me.
I am questioning the “Institute for Psychic & Spiritual Research.” There are so many such institutions in the world, all ignore each other, and any data, objective material sent to them is “lost.” They do not even plagiarize. You cannot make suggestions—Rhine, Cayce, Mrs. Garrett, about six groups in Hollywood, etc., etc., all making appeals for funds and one wonders, if any of these people have clairvoyance why can’t they see the money? Actually one man on the Board of Trustees has access to huge sums and if anybody had enough real clairvoyance to approach him, he would open up!
With my “Peace Plan” already accepted in S.F. Asia and the first proposal for Nile Valley Development already sent to Washington (will be discussed at UC Berkeley, Tuesday), the whole need for more attention to international processes, “Cosmic Humanism,” etc. come to the force. One does not like to work disjunctively. The work so far on Algaeology (survey) and on fertilizers (direct research in every way) shows the practical side of the needs. I am soon going to write to Buffalo, New York in this last regard and will bring your work in.
There is one thing sure—no breaks in Snow’s “two Cultures,” no need to bother, and one can go ahead safely. Analysis is war and Integration is peace.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3,Calif.
March 16, 1965
Rev. Cecil Gibbings,
My dear Brother:
In re: Moved With Compassion.
There is a Spirit of Guidance which constantly guides and enlightens. This is not a piece of philosophy from the works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan although it may be a substitute for, or an identity with the Holy Spirit. But there is a far cry between the functioning mystic and the philosopher and metaphysicians who talk about Mysticism.
About two weeks again a local condition warranted stopping all studies in the Gathas with concentration on the book, “Health” and some lessons have been given. Each of those is accompanied by an exercise. This person gives instructions in nothing without demonstrations or esoteric exercises which enables disciples to have some experiences or realization. And we have just gone over is this objective sense quite a few points in this brochure, with many hero on the agenda.
Perhaps one here takes advantage of your communications to write. For it is certain now, after forty year that the instructions of Pir-o-Murshid are coming into objective manifestation, and they are coming not because he established any organic body called “Sufi Movement” but because, as he said, “The Message is in the Sphere.”
The great psychological blockage in Western people is the almost total inability to be as little children and the great psychological blockage in Eastern people is the almost total inability to be anything else. No doubt we have to become in some respect, like little children. This is an exceedingly far cry from using this phrase as an aphorism for I find that people will do almost anything but be “born again.”
It is many years since my public reading of “Lazarus Laughs” but last night a local Yoga teaching said that if there is one thing noticeable in this person it is that he keeps on getting younger. Not only that but one goes through very similar experiences as those described by Eugene O’Neill in this drama. As we cannot evaluate Love, Laughter and Life above things to which we hold dear, the manifestation of continued or even increasing vitality in a person becomes offensive to many. And if this person were to stay in the Western world he knows, in the end, he will suffer from the Caligulas and the Scribes and Pharisees. He has through the years been ignored by them, when it has not been downright hostility, but that day is over forever. “Leader is he who is leader of himself.”
Nevertheless if one were to tell of his personal woes or of other woes and pile them on, this would be simple compared to trying to got people to observe the truth of resurrection in the body. This has been the most difficult lesson to present and when one shows and glows he is regarded as a performer and not as a sage. It is my saddest story, not that of crucifixion and public ignominy, but the total rejection of the Truth of Resurrection as vital, virile, demonstrative is everybody.
But this very Shame has not been resurrected. There is a “Society for the Scientific Study of Religion” active in this country. It is connected with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as a scientist, not as a religieuse, I was drawn into it. The metaphysical people (Snow’s other culture) are now going to have to face the rise of the indignation by scientists (not that hyperbolical “Science”) and are going to be told off. For scientists are living breath “souls” and as individuals do not accept the egocentric metaphysics or the “humanism” of the scribes which treats them as figure-heads and their compounded knowledge as a weapon of their own private nonsense.
This is an important first step. No doubt churches and clerics have mode serious mistakes, but their critics have made even more serious ones. The late Sir Oliver Lodge claimed that it is harder to prove a negative than a positive—I don’t believe the negatives have been proven at all but they do satisfy the narrow and self-centered. And with the “death” of religion caused during the Darwinian period and later, the religion itself is now being resurrected. It may no longer be entirely in the hands of the clerics.
There has been a disturbing fight along Buddhists; what would happen if the laymen have the spiritual awakening and the prelates do not? This has happened and in general those who hold to Grace in Buddhism can demonstrate their teachings and those who do not hold to Grace cannot and have to rely on dogma and authority. It seems universal. Besides, today clergymen are going into all sorts of activities and in general those activities are toward broadness, humanitarianism and compassion. But this takes them away from the “clerical duties” of other ages and is so throwing theology into the scientific world. This is a most interesting development; it is an activity, excluding the Scribes and Pharisees who do not get into the kingdom of heaven even with millions of ecclesiastical blessings.
The next stop has been undertaken by the “Society of the Study of the History of Religion.” This group has called for a conference on the world’s faiths. It will be held in California. It will not be like earlier conferences where apologists read papers which pleased themselves and their following no end and thought they were praising God. We have that all the time anyhow. But this conference is out to face and try to solve definite problems. As my own assignment is Purification and Repentance, I can only wait until the conference to report further.
This itself was a “death and resurrection.” This person has been excluded from so many meetings it was with timidity and apology that he approached this group. But after sending in answers to an examination on qualifications he was asked at once to serve on a panel. There is another Sufi serving on a companionate panel. The paper will roughly be Shuvo-Metanoesis-Tauba.
But the final step comes now in the death and resurrection of the instructions of Hazrat Inayat Khan. It would only have been egotism which rejected those instructions and it has done no good. Any Western “Sufi Movement” has attracted little attention. Now the British Museum is teaching the truth about tasawwuf and is challenging the scholars and “exports.”
Fortunately for me, the chief “expert” in the academic circles in California himself had the “death and resurrection” or the Paulian experience and now is out in full force for tasawwuf. This in turn reacted and the replacement of Europeans ay Americans in our universities in this part of the world has changed the background. And this whole change in the attitude of our universities of accepting facts, history and spiritual a experiences in place of metaphysics, pompous authoritarian philosophy, etc. has given much encouragement.
The climax to this picture came this week. It demonstrates beyond doubt the existence of the Spirit of Guidance. Especially in 1923 and again in 1926 Pir-o-Murshid asked me to organize the Brotherhood for the purpose of reaching the intellectuals. The Brotherhood sector in Europe was subordinated both to other branches of the work (no objection), but placed in the hands of non-intellectuals who had little vision (great objection). The flight from the experience of Resurrection goes with the unwillingness to Surrender and there is a vast abyss between the “Philosophy of Surrenderance” and the actual Surrendering. For the Spirit of Guidance is “closer to us than breathing, nearer than hands and foot”—not as poetry but as Truth.
This person took two trips to various parts of Asia, was greeted by all sorts of mystics, masters and scientists. Having completed his Zen Ko-an—the solution accepted by the Master, but not by the “experts” and writers and public, his next Ko-an, the one on which he is working, comes from the Bible: Feed My Sheep. This is an actuality.
It seems now that there is a World University being formed, and the Board of Trustees is composed largely of men already met, often on different grounds for different reasons, but there they are working together. Here one must call attention to the “Story of Lot” in The Unity of Religious Ideals where Pir-o-Murshid posits the Vignanamayakosh and the Anandamayakosh. This person has long since reached the stages of comprehension and functioning, but it is also true as one becomes, let us say, a “Bodhisattva,” he both embodies the Spirit of Guidance (this looks like pompous egoicity), but the Spiritual of Guidance embraces him—this is the Grace, it is not fiction, you believe wholly in it no doubt, but it is seldom presented, let us say, as “Scientific Truth” because it is not analytical. The Vijnana is Integrative and the Ananda is unitive.
It is wonderful that there are at least two important Sufis on the Board of Trustees of the World University and I can assure you, my brother, that those Sufis would never pass the tests at Glasgow or Oxford or Cambridge. Their functions are world-wide and each has a very different history, not in the least like the “Orthodox Sufi” of the scholars, nor of the bigoted blind who call themselves “Muslims” and still further from the metaphysical egocentrics. But they are not far from the types of persons alluded to in the section “The Spirit of Guidance” in The Unity of Religious Ideals, a point which will not be dwelt on further, because Western disciples have placed them in the realm of Imagination or blind speculation or blind faith and not in the everyday working world where they are.
Not only is the World University the manifestation of what Pir-o-Murshid wished for his “Brotherhood Movement,” not only are important Sufis (as well as others) taking over the direction thereof, but almost every point on the agenda are those to which this person has devoted life, energy, effort and research. As these things are of Vijnana and Ananda, they are not easily described. The metaphysical view of the “scientist” is so different from the operation of the real scientist. One of your brother clergymen (your church) has written at length on this subject and so far as this person is concerned there is 100% merit—such things as prayer, devotion, intuition, feeling, heart, etc. are part of the equipment of the real scientist, though individually and collectively they may not say so.
And the natural conclusion may be that profession by profession there are probably more scientists attending devotional services than followers of other professions and crafts.
The Intuitive, Integration and Unitive methods have also lead to a peculiar situation. I do not know of a tragedy on earth wherein God has not sent a warner or warning beforehand. To limit it to Vietnam. For years I had a friend who knew all about communist infiltration. He made two trips to this country in vain and everything that he told me in person or wrote (many collaborating witnesses) has come true. When the World Buddhist Federation had its meeting in Varanasi, they asked this person for reports. The communication increased and finally he sent his “Peace Plan” which is not a dialectical, dualistic, apologetic, self-praising homologue, but is based that Peace Is Beyond Understanding, which in Sanskrit is that same Vijnana. Consequently you do not have Peace by intellecting or by emotion or even by “understanding.”
Peace is beyond these. It can be expressed on the Unitive (Ananda) level which can mean only poetry or psalmody and this is what was done. It was not done with any intent, only a personal comment to the Secretary of the World Buddhist Federation. Actually it was and is a challenge to the whole Buddhist world. Instead of resenting it it has been published. This Is the Difference Between the Wise and those who write about “wisdom.”
There is a sad sideline. About a month ago this person was attacked in public in the name of “the Masters of the Far East.” In this same month there has been a regular intrusion of real Masters of the real Far East—all ignored by the metaphysical people, all finding no public reception all filled with Light and Wisdom. Pir-o-Murshid said, “Heart speaks to heart and soul to soul.” This next step is a daring one, it has been tried and twice and with success, too—to teach these Masters. Already the World Buddhist Federation has confessed its shortcomings and publicly. Even the Pope has not tried that! The world is coming toward Unity and Understanding not because or despite humanity but because of the active, real Spirit of Guidance.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
March 22, 1965
The Accra Assembly,
P. O. Box 1627,
My dear Julie:
As-salaam aleikhum, with a good dose of pax vebiscum and shanti, and I know a girl here named Irene which is “peace” in Greek. You are not the world’s worse correspondent for you could not have selected a better time in which to communicate. All the eggs—and one has been collecting “eggs” for a long time, are now in the basket of the World University being established at New Delhi, headed by Sri Surendra Ghose of the Congress Party. There are at least two Pakistani Sufis on the Board of Trustees and this is the first movement I know of headed by any Indian with Pakistanis so interested. One of these Sufis is brother Brohi (we share a Murshid in common), and the other is Prof. Durrani about whom one could tell a lot of stories.
But one has to begin with the Sufi theme for two quite different reasons or sets of circumstances. Sufis are found in many lands and they form a spiritual brotherhood more behind the scenes than evident. They do not necessarily resemble, indeed are often quite different from the abstractions in the British Encyclopedia, so much so that there is now open war between two groups in England, the “expert”-scholars and the actual Sufis or their associates.
One can best explain this by the aphorisms which conclude the little brochure on “The United Nations” coming with the four affirmations. The first of those is “May the Forces of Light Bring Illumination to Mankind.” With the Sufis this is a way of life, not an affirmation and if any Sufi makes this affirmation without having the experience he is considered a pretender. These forces may, it is true, manifest in body, in psyche, in heart or by the soul which is light itself, but one has to have the experience to make such a statement. Sufis, of course, are not the only ones, for the pure Zen Buddhists and others demand the experience but not the affirmation.
According to the mystic point of view there is a short-coming in affirmations, that one is making one separate from the Universal Spirit. When one is identified with the Universal Spirit one may turn out such affirmations endlessly. At the same time when Sufis meet, it does not matter whether they can communicate by language or not, and this brings up two languages, both of which are in entire harmony with the material in these enclosures sent:
Recently Hassan Hashim arrived from Sudan, a land where practically everybody submits to Sufi discipline and is a member of one or more Dervish Orders. It did not take five minutes for us to have complete understanding. He has been pressuring me to go either to Sudan—with tentacles in Uganda; or to Nigeria, in each region there being many Sufis and many agricultural problems.
Hashim was introduced to me by my “god-nephew” Kermit Scott, very active in CORE and in Negro liberal politics. He has been successful as campaign manager for the Congressman from this district; for the assemblyman from his own district who is colored and for the assemblyman from my district who is a brother of the Congressman. The Congressman (Phillip Burton) has a Chinese Secretary and we are long members of the hidden “Third Force” in China which really controls far more business and political power than is known. This was expressed by the overwhelming defeat of William Knowland and to a lesser extend of Richard Nixon. This involves a life-long story, not all elements of which are “spiritual” but even the non-spiritual elements are very close to the views of Lord Russell, so there is no cleavage.
Hashim knows a let about two or three parts of Africa and about the Near Fast. After a conference with him I went to the University of California and laid down my “Plan for Nile Development” to a friend and he pulled out a lot of surveys: “Sam, you are entirely correct. But it is I who have made these surveys and you may have copies of them,” Behind these are plans and motives which could terminate the Israel-Arab imbroglio. I only wish to say here, and it will not surprise you in the least, that all efforts to bring Israelis and Arabs closer together have been thwarted by powerful Christian clergymen and “peace movements” which would lose their functioning if peace were made. No wonder one chapter of my fist auto-biographic book says: “Every ten years & Nobel peace prize, Every five years another war.”
Hashim has me now reading about African lands and this prepared me for your letter and enclosures. But the story of his being a “mascot” shows the whole world trend:
The Mountain Path is a magazine issuing from Arunachala, South India, started by the disciples of the late Ramana Maharshi and is the first effort to bring all the spiritual schools together to work for international understanding. Mostly Yogis, it has the good graces of the Dalai Lama, some Sufis, your friend John Spiers and his associates, the Zen Buddhists and Others.
The editor, Arthur Osborne, challenged the World Buddhist Federation and especially the Theravadin Southern Buddhists for not producing any spiritual men. Then The Fun Began:
The World Buddhist Federation. I have had a very bad career of saving maidens and ladies in distress only to have them thank other men and go out of my life. Actually this is a karma inherited from former existences so it is quite clear and nobody is to be blamed. But among those so assisted was Princess Poon Pismai Diskul of the Royal Family of Thailand though she looks and acts as if fresh out of Hans C. Andersen. She is way under five feet high.
She used to greet me every day with a sort of Hitler salute: “The best Chinese meals in the world are served in Bangkok.” I had then no more idea of going to Bangkok than going to the moon. But before aeons passed I arrived at Book and she showed not the least surprise.
Well I found this Princess Royal the #2 “man” of Thailand and the way she ordered the Royal Family about shows she is certainly a granddaughter of Mongkut of “Anna and the King of Siam.”
I have on file the letters of a close friend who wrote at length of communist infiltrations in S.E. Asia years ago.” He failed on two trips to get any response from the State Department or Press and died of a broken heart. I regret my whole library and records were burned in 1949 but I had letters of villainy on the part of Richard: Nixon before that, and I learned some pretty bad stories when in Japan, never published here.
There has long been a tug of war between the communists and Protestant missionaries. It is horrible and will be skipped. The communists were quite successful in infiltrating into the World Buddhist Federation in Vietnam and Burma and elsewhere. So Princess Poon, not being an American, and therefore not believing in our “prissy” “Law and Order,” seized the books, records and funds of the WBF, called a world conference in Varanasi early this year and went ahead on a high plane.
They wrote to me for reports which turned about all the “Buddhists” here against me excepting the most powerful Japanese one (we don’t teach that kind of “Buddhism,” which is real, we only teach phony kinds which also are mutually antagonistic).
After the Federation met I sent a challenge of Osborne in poetic form as a formula for peace in S.E. Asia. To my surprise an air-mail latter came immediately asking for permission to publish and this has been done.
Now the reason for telling this is that this Peace Plan is multidimensional. It is based on the principle that Understand is beyond the Discursive Mind and Peace beyond the Understanding, which is a Biblical teaching but can easily be explained by both the Indian and Sufi cosmic metaphysics—which ere not part of Western culture.
While this was going on a group of Sufis in Ceylon began issuing a journey for Universal Religion which is universal and all-inclusive and not one of those pompous exclusive groups calling itself “universal” of which we have only too many (or have we?)
In the midst of this Sri Surendra Ghose, Deputy Leader of the Congress Party of India arrived here for a one day stand. He amazed a hostile audience (moi aussi) by pointing his finger at me. “Why you are the man I came to San Francisco to meet. I came five thousand miles to meet you! I don’t go into the backgrounds. But I did ask him for permission to perform “The Dance of Universal Peace” when I next visit India. Permission granted. This Dance inspired by Ruth St. Denis and performed once at Fatehpur Sikri in India, where Ruth tells me Ted Shawn gave the same dance. It is in the ethers.
Sri Ghose is very active in the Aurobindo movement and you may have met him. Now he heads the World University and this also shows One Mind, One World.
During all the turmoil on to Berkeley Campus of the University of California, I have been battling not only for personal recognition but for recognition of latent talent. “Show me a problem and I’ll show you the solution either in written brochures or in some man functioning on one of the campuses.” The way out is to refuse interviews.
I took this up with Dr., Milton Fireman, purport head of my Project: The Garden of Allah and gave him a complete overall report on Algae Research. What was my amazement to get separately from Oliver Reiser and his colleague Christopher Hills, report that the first assignment of the World University was the Integration of Algae Research. In won’t go into the backgrounds here which cover a detailed history of eight or more years.
Then Oliver sent me two requests on soil renewal which I am taking in stride.
Sahara Reclamation Project? I have never heard of it but the research done on “Project: The Garden of Allah” should cover some of the ideas, Not only that, men who are connected with the “American Friends of the Middle East” who are interested in “Project: The Garden of Allah” would also be interested in this. Where can one get data?
As for going back to Pakistan—with Hashim Hassan here I have dropped all plans without dropping any. The Sufi surrenders to God. Having done a tremendous amount of research and traveling I have attained many valuable contacts and considerable good will—in the United States. My chief colleague in Pakistan, Major Sadiq, has gone into polities and left me high and dry, or did he? Very few people answer letters. They give one problems and let it go at that. But with the presence of Hashim I am particularly interested.
Buddhists. The “peace plan” for S.E. Asia reached the hands of Dr. Malalasekera. We had shared the same teacher but I am his “elder brother,” a fact which is not accepted here at all. Nevertheless after he received the plan he stopped off at S.F. a single day on his way to Hawaii. Not a single press or news man but one I brought with me! And he has been one of the most important men in international affairs. (Today’s news is that the “leftists” have lost in Ceylon, whatever that means.)
Here after a long fight a few of us are trying to restore peace and friendship with S.E. Asia through celebrating Buddha’s Birthday at the big statue in Golden Gate Park. Most Buddhism here is a mixture of personalisms, personalities and downright fictions. In August there will be a conference to try to straighten this out. Dr. Malalasekera spoke on “spiritual liberty” a subject totally foreign to his audience!
World Conference of Faiths takes place in September. This person will be on a panel, the first time in this country. Both he and his colleagues are basing their themes on direct experience and not on dialectics or logic. It is peculiar that this person is in the good graces of so many of the top spiritual leaders especially in Asia, but he is not crying about rejections of Americans.
Attacked publicly in “The name of the Masters of the Far East” it was noticeable that the critics stayed away from the real Masters who are here and to whom also I shall convey your reports.
From this point on there are two directions one may take, and perhaps one must take:
Outer: This is not very difficult today. The rise of the free speech movement, the squabble ever Vietnam (nobody cares about the Vietnamese, but people love the squabbles); the fact that there are some Negroes here really interested in peace and/or Africa and they are very close to me, and the fact that we have two complete cultures, one of which is beginning to groan against the other:
1. Scientific (a la Lord Snow). These people are interested in peace and progress but have absolutely no use for the shibboleth “peace and progress” which is used by the other culture.
2. The Literary. All they care about is battle and victory and they select their own battles and manufacture their own victories. Even if the “leftist” press is so tinged. All sections of the press are subjective, dialectic though Anti-Marxist and so much for excitement they haven’t time for facts.
My original “Third World War,” The Professor Against the Commentator is gradually taking shape. I can communicate to and with a growing number of professors. Thus in the same mail letter came from John Badeau, now a professor, before Ambassador to UAR. He is connected with the Columbia University whose Alumni meets here shortly. Years ago I outlined “The Columbia Peace Plan,” a compendium of conclusions reached by studying the philosophies of several of its top professors (many besides Dewey). The deer is still open and wide.
I have no use for “Hawks versus Doves” who do not take humanity into consideration but give us a choice between “live war” and “dead peace.” The great thing about the Accra Assembly is that all my life I have believed that the “lamb and lion might lie down together” but we would never let the little child lead them. Now the little children among Nations are taking this stand and this start. And the total absence of humility among Americans makes it very difficult for them to see wisdom from strange places but there it is. The integration of university students, long accomplished, makes it possible to de things despite the press and all power structures whomsoever.
Inner: This is the real Peace. Words are not peace. Thoughts are not peace. Plans are not peace. Programs are not peace. Peace is fundamental. It is espy to prove it in the science and the real Masters who are here are teaching it in their metaphysics. It is hard is appreciate hard to experience, hard to realize. It is fundamental to all faiths, all religions, all spirituality. It is from this that everything was, or let us say: In the beginning was Peace, and the Peace was with God and the Peace was God, and out of this peace has everything been made that was made.
The difference between Logos-Peace and our “peace” is that our peace is a vacuum, a zero a nothing, a blank negative to the extreme; the Loges-Peace is fullness, is all-inclusive, is brotherhood. The human body is a society of myriads of cell-units working together. The total of humanity (Adam) is a society of myriads of personalities which must work together in and with and under God. Only this must be experience and not syllogistic, truth and not truism. Every Transcendentalist poet of America knew it, every newsman seems to work against it—we must have excitement, excitement is the death of peace. I have my poetry, and the Dance of University Peace. More will be added after I see Hashim this morning.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
March 26, 1965
Dear Harold and Gertrude:
Time and tide pass and one never known who or where we meet in flesh or in spirit. It is not that one tries to keep up with old acquaintances but sometimes our paths may be meeting metaphorically if not physically.
I have just come away from the local Public Relations Dept. of GM and it seems the manager once worked for your brother and even knows a little about you. It was suggested I write to several departments in follow up of the inquiry.
The University of Islamabad is a new institution being constructed at the new capital of Pakistan. Its ground-breaking and cornerstone were under the auspices of President Ayub. The University itself is over-subscribed financially which is not a help for in this country; it is expected that Asian institutions appeal for money and nothing else and that is the one thing that is not wanted.
There are far, far more Sufis in this world than the United States has any idea about and some of those Sufis are far more active in combating real communism than all the editors, commentators and “experts” combined, multiplied by as much as you want. I have now been in four communist nests, all unwittingly, all very safe because they hide under religious garb. They use any religion and I can tell you of what is going on behind the scenes in Vietnam as well as elsewhere but would be getting away from the purpose of this letter.
There is a Pir-o-Murshid in Pakistan who conceived the University and collected the funds. His idea of combating communism has been through raising the aptitude of the people. So they asked me to look for laboratory equipment and shop equipment and also shop instructors. This also is a long story, details can be supplied.
There is one thing we are not aware of, that 60% foreign aid, so-called, is lost because there are not enough skilled workers in the world to maintain constructions. This is also a long, bizarre and nasty story. Of course more than 60% is lost, for about 20% goes into the coffers of politicians.
This last year I returned to school, taking a course in Horticultural Machines. This term I am taking one in Landscape Design. I refused to take an ex in H.M. but instead wrote a thesis on how to improve the course. The two first suggestions made were a thorough training in the use of Garden Tools, from the simplest up; then on Maintenance Tools, from the simplest up. The teacher responded.
Monday, instead of work we watched the GM picture on the use and care of hand-tools. While people are going into pseudo-ecstasy because the Russians are getting out into something called “space” and we are hitting for the moon without sixpence, I went into a tail-spin over this film.
Harold, we have no idea of how few are the aptitudes of masses abroad, especially for re-adaptation into a mechanical age. Everybody talks, talks, talks “industrialization” which means; “Gimme money.” But few want to reach the plateau where the money can be used wisely. Our whole foreign policy and with it all our editorial policies are based on the misconception of the abilities and skills of peoples elsewhere. True, TCM made a world survey on aptitudes and put out an excellent brochure on how to base Aid on aptitudes. It was a wonderful achievement, a wonderful book, wonderfully typed and just as wonderfully pigeon-holed by AID when AID took over from TCM. (Never mind how I get to see it, I get to see lots of things.)
I talked endless with USIA, film section, because they are not allowed or were not, to use films from private industry. Pakistan was plagued by Locusts but one could not use Dupont or Dow or Calspray films, private industry. We are fortunate that Russia is not even in tenth place in Agriculture and any and all related sciences (I did the research personally and can give full details.) One of the easiest, simplest and finest ways to help backward people is to show them how to use simple tools.
After talking to your colleague here it was suggested I write you and you show this to whomsoever you might. Also I can write to your Foreign Office in New York.
One finds oneself totally out of tune with the two main branches of American emotionalisms branded as “thought”—the Hawks who want the Army to smash enemies and the Doves who have dreamy-eyed projects which do not take into consideration the wishes, possibilities and aptitudes of peoples abroad.
Since the establishment of Islamabad, in course of construction, there is now World University at New Delhi going up. There are also Sufis on the Board of Trustees, one of whom is also Treasurer of Islamabad University. The possibility of winning friends through simple technical education is relatively easy and people who don’t read our self-praising editorials will be won by hammers and their usages, saws and how to use them; screw-drivers and pliers and a lot more. I know whereof I speak; I have been there. I have also a lot of frustrated friends, men who have worked with engineering companies abroad. It is all the same story which I also told here and will give you in details if you wish. It is dreary; we know how to make friends with everybody but the people.
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
March 31, 1965
This is a report, a diary entry and an almost sign of relief. The long battle against frauds, charlatans, pretenders, egocentric leadership and the European, especially English pseudo-leadership in Orientalia is beginning to reach a plateau of satisfaction.
The most important note is the restoration of the pilgrimage to the statue of Lord Buddha in Golden Gate Park. This ancient San Francisco institution had to be laid aside, necessarily, by each of the fragmentary leaders who gave out something called “Buddhism,” one of whose disciplines being not to be associated with others who gave out something else called “Buddhism.” Actually it is not so bad and it is worse. There was a Christian pseudo-church closed here because they used the place for marijuana and dope. Here at least two “Buddhist” groups are concerned with LSD, drugs and even dope. There has been no governmental investigation but there is something going on which must be reported.
The cyclic turn of the Wheel of the Law changes geographies and also requires physical movements. In this turning there have come to this city three and possibly four masters of Dharma, the fourth being a man from North China who speaks neither English nor Cantonese and must depend on an interpreter. All of these people have, of course, been rejected by society.
Now there are two types of rejectees who are coming together, there are too many of us: the “Ugly Americans” who are not permitted to say anything about Vietnam; and the true disciples, or doctors of Dharma who have previously not been permitted to say anything about Buddhism. As those people get together and they are getting together, they form quite an array. In one sense it is as if the ghost of Dwight Goddard were working through this personality.
The three Chinese and I share in common, and also with Dwight Goddard, studying the Dharma under the great Master Tai Hsu. The fourth man who was initiated in Nepal, but is mixed Kalmuck-European, was initiated by a disciple of Master Tai Hsu. So this makes us Dharma Brothers. The Korean Master, who is the greatest, perhaps, comes from a different schooling but I think he also studied under Tai Hsu’s sangha.
The need to come together is prompted not only against the charlatanry and immorality (I mean breaking the Pancha Sila, not our morals), but the almost total neglect of Lord Buddha, his literature and teachings. This is at an extreme hard to conceive. Dr. Malalasekera’s momentary coming here with his lecture on “Moksha” was a flashlight which may turn into a beacon. And going over my files I was surprised to learn I have been in the excellent graces of the Theravadins although my physical associations have been with Mahayanists.
The next step is to get rid of ego-personality. This is in two parts: an-atta and the person themselves. None of the pseudo-schools dare teach an-atta. They cannot, and you can go on from there indefinitely and indeterminately.
The next step is ludicrous. It is to teach that Lord Buddha was none of the ego-personality who have been accepted by Americans who want something smooth and easy to salve their consciousness without submitting to Christian disciplines. The pseudo-Zennists have substituted with Dengyo Daishi or Daisetz Suzuki, or by indirection, Christmas Humphreys and that is that. I have been buying copies of “The Tiger’s Cave”—I may have an extra one here, from the Soto School which gives such a different interpretation of Scriptures from that being handed out here, that it is impossible to reconcile them. The teaching of Nyogen Senzaki and the official Soto is almost the same. But now Eihiji-ism has been substituted for Soto to the extent that all who had training at Sojiji are “excommunicated.” I won’t go on from there because we are at the moment dangerously near one or more scandals.
Master Seo is back from Columbia University where he taught that the Moksha of Lord Buddha had nothing to do with the autobiography of Daisetz Suzuki. That charming man was a charming man and as in America charm is two degrees above Moksha, naturally he had a following. But if you believe either in God or Karma (you may believe both), he was as genuine as anybody you can find on Madison Ave. All the books in the world are not worth five minutes of meditation, about which I do not choose to argue, and as the official representative of Engakuji….
It is interesting to know that Master Seo accepted in five minutes what I have not been able to communicate here in fifteen years. Pretenders are interested neither in facts nor experiences. True, Mrs. Sasaki accepted also in five minutes, but with Nyogen Senzaki not even thirty seconds was required. Zen-experience has its own language or languages, and all the mondos in the world are nothing but artificial flowers.
Master Warwick has had even more difficulty than this person. To begin with, although Eurasian, he looks and acts like a Western man. He is treated, or mistreated like a Western man. Both his wearing and not wearing of robes are resented. When I gave each Master Seo and Master Warwick the gist of my peace plan for S.E. Asia, they accepted it because being Masters of Dharma, they know there is only one Dharma.
Our combined efforts have the good-will of the Buddhists Churches in America. I have not yet reported my experiences with the parent-body in Japan because of my initiatory connections with Zen and Shingon but socially it was wonderful and now we are getting a sort of alliance with them here. It is only one step toward summoning you here, but I want your reactions and also permission to mention you and your work to the Masters.
A next step will be the Asilomar Conference. It is not going to be a repetition of the last one where all the Dharma Masters applauded this person and as soon as their backs were turned, he was turned down cold. But if the pseudo-Zennists—three camps—turn one down, this has only brought sympathy from the Japanese. And I think Master Suji here, who knows a lot about the Dharma, would be your ally.
The next step is to eliminate all Englishman and Europeans from being mentors in any and all classes of Asian instructions, which will be followed by the gradual elimination of PhDeism which does not help such. No doubt the Japanese will look not only to no Englishman—Watts, Humphreys and Isherwood & Co. but to the American Drs. Eidmann and Robinson. The only bone of contention may be over the heritage of Clifton, Eidmann being opposed and Robinson being his legate. Both of these men have the goodwill of the American universities but Robinson on a much larger scale. And I think I can tip Asia Foundation here, but you may have a comment.
This will terminate another step, of all the disciples, direct and indirect of Master Shaku Soyen who pleaded for an American Dharma.
Then there are two other dramas going on. The one over Vietnam. I spoke at a mass nothing on this subject but was the only one who spoke on Vietnam! The rest were all negative people. But I did get in the Wesak Day programs and am planning some next steps. Along with that is increased contacts with the students who were in the “Free Speech Movement.” Please don’t believe what you read. This was not a radial movement, it was a semantic movement.
a. Your being in Ojai should make you recognize the coming of Aquarians. Talking to those young folks as if they were Aquarians, reincarnates, and not just young, communication has been so easy and simple that nothing more is needed. Only they are leaderless spiritually. This was a pleasant surprise for which I was not prepared.
b. The semantic element is the unity of thought, speech and action which seems elementary and yet is totally absent from the leadership in our culture.
This brings up the next point: the assimilation of Chinese culture. With all the movements pleading for funds, there is a total neglect of the influential and affluential Chinese community here. Yeas age Alan Watts told me I did not understand Taoism and I assented. Then three days later a Toa Master told me I understood Tao. I was confused. But the continued rejection by Americans, accompanied by the ever growing acceptance by the Chinese made me bolder and I passed a public examination before the Chinese, no Americans being present.
Actually this is but the outer sign of something much larger which it is difficult to communicate in Aristotelian English and which involves a lot in my private life, especially Art Studies. Incidentally the Art School with which I am associated is starting a campaign and I hope to bring those two currents together.
Locally I am next up for a radio station review. There is now a matter of total indifference. One does not have to have any third eye if he is honest, for he sees the operation of karma so deliberately and definitely it is easy to predict anything. All one has to do is to examine events and persons dispassionately. Actually this is the way Sufis teach occultism, without any psychic or Siddhantic elements. You just have to be impersonal and honest as the scientific researchers are.
Then there is the new World University established in New Delhi. It is the synthesis and integration of everything I have ever stood for. There is a vast difference between a group of integrative philosophies (Columbia University, Taittiriya & Brhadaranayka Upanishad, Karl Marx and most of all Sri Aurobindo Ghose) and the delicate personality cults which derive therefrom and upset integration by being analytical. But now the integrationalists from all over the world have joined forces. They include not only scientific research, but the specific research I have been working on; and also provide for the whole world of occultism, psychism etc. And no doubt I shall be able to do with them what I have not been able even to get an interview on here. One is no longer troubled but one can laugh at all the movements seeking public funds to relegate research to personalities and personalisms.
In the meanwhile my draft paper for the parliament of world religions has not only been accepted but is being translated and published. It was the more scum of my own disciplinary knowledge. Once this gets out then the universities are going be demand real scholarship instead of blank personality-instruction regarding the real wisdoms of the real Asia.
On the 9th I am going to a lecture on the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. Although Dr. Paul Fung has done a remarkable bit of translation, he has not, and I believe dare not, give lessons on it. This Sutra is so contrary to the practices of all the pseudo-schools and of some schools not so pseudo, that once aired publicly it is going to change things. No doubt here I shall be anticipating both Eidmann and Robinson. But I have worked as a work cutter, and if not rice-crusher and a potato peeler in an ashram; and without gazing at blank walls at least reached degrees of inner awakening now accepted by so many Masters of the Dharma—and I can name them—that it is ridiculous. But once one has the freedom of which Dr. Malalasekera spoke, he is out in universality and not under any particular world-dividing faith or religion or sect. He is no longer ego-determined but may even be ego-determining. This is what Nirmanakaya means.
Dr. Warwick is an ego-determiner, although one has to find this out the hard way. I think I was the first person to recognize it and him. Things move rapidly at home and abroad. The recognition of the fact of Moksha is now being accepted more and more. It will come to California and America slowly, excepting that first literature and then the universities may compel it. It is hoped that when the Japanese and Chinese cultural centers are established here, there will be more room for the literature and wisdom of the Far East.
I await your reactions and suggestions but there is no hurry.
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
April 5, 1965
Beloved One of Allah:
It is your Murshid’s interpretation, that whatsoever else be true of each Sura of Holy Qur’an, they also represent aspects of mystical stages and states in the life of the prophet. For some time it seems as if he has been in “The Cave,” because of the opposition or lack of consideration by society. But he has also seen this society rent into factions and as these divisions became keener, he found himself being accepted more and more. At first this was chiefly from a distance.
But there is a sort of battle going on between the press and writers, the politicians and the universities. Within the universities there was a division between the scientists and non-scientists and the former had been your Murshid’s friends and allies and daily this is becoming more so. But the non-scientists are tending more and more to the position that every man’s experiences must be taken into account. Heresy in religion is one thing, heresy with regard to the events of the day are something else.
In the last communication mention was made of Julie Medlock, formerly on the staff of “Pakistan Time” and still in a sense connected with it and also working with A.A. Brohi. She asked if your Murshid had a copy of “Project: The Sahara Desert.” Nobody here knew anything about it but some powerful industrialists were interested. On a private errand during the week, on entirely different business, the host, a Mr. Daniel Hoffman, asked your Murshid if he knew about it and then placed it in his hands.
He returned to show it to his Sudanese friend, Hassan Hashim, who was delighted and then arranged to show it to his engineer friend, Prof. Paul Keim. Keim Sahib is a member of the American friends of the Middle East and Saturday was the annual Arab intellectual gathering and dinner. It enabled one to introduce Hassan both to Prof. Keim and many other people. It was a wonderful day, all through.
One of the speakers was Shaky Sukkary from Cairo University, now serving at a college about a hundred miles away. From Sukkary he learned that his friend, Dr. Mohammed Hussein, died suddenly of a heart-stroke in 1962. Dr. Hussein specialized in Moin-ed-din, Ibnu l’Arabi, the Ismailis and “radical” Shias. He was very broad-minded and tolerant. We had been friends many years on very close terms. But it seems that Allah, the Merciful and Kind, wishes the same relations to go on with Dr. Sukkary. He wishes me to go to Sacramento some time with copy of “Saladin.” But this will necessitate going over notes. For example the whole story of meeting the men who started television in UAR, and other matters.
Everything went so well during the day your Murshid said, “Well it has been a wonderful day with friends, but tonight I go to meet the enemy.” For there was a grand gathering of many professors of Asian subjects. Your Murshid decided to attend the conference on South Asian studies. It was a miracle.
When the chairman entered it was Dr. Richard Park, a friend of many years standing. Our lives have cross-trailed as we call it, meeting always mentally, sometimes spiritually but not physically. Also the chief speaker was Dr. Norman Brown, the dean of South Asian Language studies in the United States who was host to your Murshid in 1947 in the city of Philadelphia. Then the head of the committee came in and he was the chief disciple of a very close spiritual friend of your Murshid. Instead of enemies, very close friends and allies.
Then the subject matter was concerning linguistic studies as means of promoting international friends and there were a lot of details. Your Murshid offered to help for Pakistan for we can easily cover Punjabi Karachi and Peshawar as sell as some colleges. So I shall write for details and thus get you in touch with Dr. Park and others, with whom you might be cooperating to mutual benefit. This is one fulfillment of some aspects of your dreams and visions.
In the meanwhile there has been much Sudanese activity. Hashim cooked the most wonderful dinner for a number of us, in preparation for going into the catering business (this is as possibility but not necessarily absolute). And tonight we met the Chargé D’Affair for the education of Sudanese students in this country. He made a very rapid visit and must return to Washington because a new Ambassador is coming. It is probable that one or both of these men will be here in June when the UN meeting takes place. Thus the answer to a prayer to be host to the Sudanese: all of whom are disciples in tarikat.
But the big thing happened this afternoon. There was a mix-up in the program and, your Murshid was sent to the group discussing poetry. The meeting took a climax when Prof. Naim of Chicago University spoke on Urdu ghazals. When the discussion period began someone asked what was the relation of the mystical states which provoked somewhat different love poetry from the Sufis and Vaishnavis. The subject was not answered clearly duo to the lack of knowledge of tasawwuf (there wore several Indians present.) Your Murshid took the floor and it is the first time in his life that an assembly of notables not only listened to him but asked him to answer further questions when the panel experts could not. No doubt this is a pre-reading of what we hope will take place in September when Prof. Nasr arrives. It has taken a long time, because of the hostility of powerful persons. These persons have nullified each other and did not appear at either the Asian or Arab gatherings, so it is with both relief and praise that this report is being sent.
Saturday also your Murshid met one Prof. Hermoz Farhat who knows Dr. Nasr. And Sunday your Murshid ran into a publisher’s representative who said he would be glad to receive the manuscripts, somewhat autobiographical when ready. All these events crowded within less than a week no doubt overshadow other events. But the whole seems to exemplify your dreams and visions of our cooperating on a large scale. Both Prof. Sukkary and Dr. Naim showed intense interest in, if not knowledge of, spiritual philosophy. It has been a most wonderful week and I wish you to share the blessings, and this can be read to anybody. Copy goes to Sufi Sahib at Salarwala.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
April 9, 1965
My dear Sharab,
In one of my “Marvelous Marin” poems are the lines:
“If Spring be here,
Can Winter be far behind,
Today it is mostly wintry. Cold and rainy except when it hails. Mt. Tamalpais has had the worst, but as you go south it is really something. Tia Juana has floods and the rain has been very heavy in all the southern part of the State along the coast. Homes are being abandoned, there are rivers of mud. While I was out it was not so bad, but the good God or a good fairy guided me and after returning home it came down and is still coming down, so the heat is on and this person to the typewriter.
It seems that the life can become more and more like a story or series of stories. The range of one’s interests either grows or is caused to grow by Grace. So one’s geography is as uncertain as one’s duties are certain. And because more and more areas of Africa are coming into the personal orbit, a copy of this goes to Cleveland, to the Tylers and they can tell others if they wish.
The foreign entanglements, by their very nature, keep me out (or draw me into) domestic situations. I begin with
Vietnam. After years of effort I did have one radio interview and spoke before one audience. They are not interested in Vietnam. They were interested in attacking McNamara and the State Department. There was nothing constructive or vital. The only people that responded to my talk were representatives of the Free Speech Movement on the Berkeley Campus. They wanted knowledge and they liked that I mingled with Asian nationals.
Chinese. The Americans still don’t think I am diplomatic with Asian and the Chinese are now more and more for and with me, because I am demanding their right to sit down in conferences concerning their country. Despite our large Chinese colony they are given fewer opportunities than the Negroes in Alabama but you don’t see that in the press.
World Buddhist Federation. Their meeting was dominated by Princess Poon Diskul, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Malalasekera and the Dalai Lama. I suppose if I walked in I would have been on the podium. Immediately after making my first public appearance as above the reports were received from Thailand and in turn my comments are going to Thailand and England.
The whole operation shows the working of the Laws of Reciprocity, Beneficence and Renunciation exactly as in Moral Culture. After years of fighting, Buddhist culture in this country has been turned over to Dr. Richard Robinson of Wisconsin, chief disciple of my life-long friend, the late Robert Clifton. The universities have turned over everything to hi, and he will be out again in August.
Here we have mostly four quite separate groups, all based on the leadership of ego-personalities who will have nothing to do with each other; a fairly large but friendly Japanese group in alliance with one of the most brilliant Americans, Dr. Eidmann, also rejected by society but not by the universities; and the friends of Robert Clifton, now in alliance with the Masters in our midst.
The other night I read a paper on Zen written by an important living Sufi, and Master Seo, the Korean, who was present, liked it very much. It is not at all like the “Zen” of books and lectures and people who have no standing in the Orient. It is very basic, and in a sense, very true. In the world of now, the spiritual leaders of all faiths are coming closer and closer together.
Sufis are so active in many directions, very different from our early years. They are in the biggest projects I know of and in all the things described below.
Ghana Conference for World Peace. The secretary is Julie Medlock, the
lady I met in Lahore. She has been subsidized by a Sufi and is working for
world peace. She wrote me about the Project: The Sahara Desert. I knew nothing
Last week I was sent on an errand for the World University (in which Sufis are active) to Burlingame and there met a friend of my friend who also gave me Project: The Sahara Desert” and “then the fun began.”
The Sudanese. I brought it to my friend Hassan Hashim and he was very enthusiastic. We went to the Arab conference on Saturday and were welcomed by my friend Dr. Paul Keim and many others. It has all the answers to all the problems ever raised by Terry Duce, husband of (Murshida) Ivy Duce. The next day we had to meet an envoy from Sudan, who came to prepare the way for their ambassador. In the meanwhile Hassan has given us a big Sudanese meal, a mixture of Arab and African dishes and one of the most wonderful I have ever had. The Sudanese are more acquainted with Sufism than any other large group excepting the Nigerians. Hassan wishes me to go to Nigeria, and in the squeeze plan between Sudan, Ghana and my plans plus meeting Sufis, I have now abandoned all geographical movements waiting for events.
The Arab Conference. I thought for the moment that this was a highlight of my life. The Sahara Plan, the Nile River Project and social amenities were followed by a program in which one Prof. Sukkari from Cairo University was a chief speaker. He now wishes me to go to Sacramento with my poetry, background, etc. and I await his reply for an appointment. Another speaker talked about music and its relation to religion and spirituality.
The Asian Conferences were going on at the same time. With heavy heart I went because mostly I have been excluded, and the chairmen were among those who have refused ever to see me. But I counted without God, to Whom be all praise.
The chairman was late and when he came in: “Hello Dick!” “Hello Sam!” It was that easy and that sudden, and he also is the man who gave PhD degrees to those professors in Berkeley who have refused appointments. Actually there is a war going on between two camps, and all my friends are in one sector and all my enemies on the other. But now I am getting more active. I have already sent one report to the chairman, Richard. L. Park, now at Pittsburgh U. Remember I visited that institution last year.
Writings. The poetry on the Near East was accepted by Dr. Sukkary. Then during the recesses at the Palace Hotel where the Asian Conference was being held I approached Tuttle’s agent and asked if he wanted my writings. He said “Yes” so I did not even go to others, who were curious. And before the end of the session other doors opened. It was like magic.
Mysticism and the Professors. I do not know whether you are acquainted with mark Twain’s “Puddinhead Wilson.” This man had a funny name because he was always insisting that people could be identified by thumb-marks. In the end he made a speech which at first nobody listened to, and then they found he was right all the time.
But by what looked as mystical I got into the session on “Indian Poetry.” Bengali, Tamil and Sufi poetry were discussed. One Prof. Singer whom I understand to be one of the leading American Orientalists asked the panel of experts: “What is the similarity and difference in the spiritual experiences of the Vaishnavi and Sufi mystics which makes their poetry alike and yet different?”
Nobody could answer and the chair threw the question to the floor. This long rejected person got up like Puddinhead Wilson and there before the leading Orientalists of the United States he gave the answer which was received with applause and then both the floor and panel asked this man to answer further questions which was done. It is undoubtedly the dramatic and cultural turning point of the life. So I was invited to the University of Chicago, which I have always considered as one of the most misled of all institutions! “In the twinkling of an eye….”
Of course this has meant I am not keeping up with magazines. I respect Robert Kennedy … as a mountain climber. His two visits to Indonesia … looked as what he “accomplished”; he can “accomplish” anything in the Orient. When his late brother said “I am a Berliner” we were finished with the common people in the street. They are simply second-class human beings to our writers and politicians and Johnson’s speech is not going to change that. I have already sent in my recommendations, but without any feeling.
I am glad Ruth is happy. Someday she may get a shock. It will come when certain dignitaries get to Cleveland, but I can’t say when. Papa McGhee always wanted to invest in Africa. I am getting more and more information.
Dr. Gordon would like Dr. Warwick. He is the one who invited me into Tibetan Buddhism. He is a non-medical doctor, relying on homeopathy and natural methods. Between the medical and esoteric sciences he has a clearer knowledge, and vision, than most people I have ever met. But he has also been rejected—does not look like a “Master.” But then neither do the other Masters who are here. He, however, is more ordinary than any of them and having more European than Asian blood is given no consideration excepting by those who listen to him.
In addition to the public dramas something else is going on. Too many people say there has been an increase, not a diminution of vitality, as the years go on. This is a demonstration both of Sufism and all it concerns. It is the objectification of mystical experience in and with the personality. Now we have lived—and this one is in the midst of it—when Sufis again are coming forward into the public life and in all sorts of ways, too.
I have not had time to meditate on my future. Excepting UAR personally I am not interested in Africa, but chiefly on account of its size. But there are so many Sufis and they have taken a leading part in converting Negro peoples. This is going on and on right in front of us and this is what stopped Billy Graham.
Now that all the ministers are going to the South and in politics, it is the scientists who are studying the religion seriously. There will be more n this subject. Personally I think it is right that the ministers should be in social service and the scientists should study metaphysics and theology. What is the nature of God? Of Life? Of the soul?
Am taking up landscaping construction work and having a good time, mostly with boys. They are serious and sober and hard-working. I can have a job whenever I wish, but will all the doors now opened, still a little bit dizzy. I can thank God that this week the mail was small.
The weather also holds up flower-planting. At the school we have lots of room and also the greenhouse is nearly ready. Also I am getting consulted more and more with soil and crop problems, that I know much, but others know less. Shall have to go to Southern California a few times, and to other places. Would not have answered this so soon either, but it gives me a chance to get my diary up to date. And this demonstrates the Moral law and the Spiritual Laws, if we want to call them that. It seems funny to have reached a point where all the main affairs of life have been straightened out, one’s erstwhile “enemies” put in their places and all the doors opening.
Love and Blessings,
772 Clementina St.,
April 15, 1965
My dear Edward and Angela:
The book of bitterness is closed. A new cycle has definitely begun, and you, who have been my friends through long years of travail, may feel relieved. A copy of this letter is being sent also to Prynce Hopkins and to Mrs. Berrenberg in Hollywood. It proves, if it proves anything, that adherence to principles and long perseverance, if it does not have its “reward,” at least produces the counter-karma which brings ameliorations, personal, impersonal and cosmic.
But before making a breakdown of stories, it is obvious that there is a huge integrative movement going on. This may be indicative of the Aquarian Age, for something like this is certainly happening. The group has displaced the individual, but it is a dynamic, organic group demonstrating “I am the Vine and ye are the branches thereof” and “People of the world, you are as branches of the tree and leaves of the branch.” Only this is not philosophy, it is not metaphysics, it is definitely operative.
The hardest hazard has not been evil, but the obstacle of facing disciples of great teachers, that each and all tend to worship the teacher and not live according to the principles he announced. This last was overcome when some disciples of Sri Aurobindo Ghose, instead of staying in Pondicherry and worshipping their teacher as guru, have gone out and put his teachings into practice. This has resulted on a large scale in the complete integrative cooperation of Sufis, Yogis, scientists, philosophers and social workers, terminating organically in a World University.
The second aspect has been the manifestation of brotherhood action without the formulation of any organized brotherhood. It is certain that the “coming race” of Bulwer Lytton and Annie Besant is here, functioning without and even despite theosophists, and in part was responsible for the fracas on the campus of the University of California, misreported because “Philistines” cannot understand “Jews” in the symbolic sense, and the traditional Pisceans, which includes communist and conservative alike, cannot understand the integrative, semi-intuitive activities of over-mind and supermind. And we are now banding together individually, collectively and organically in many lands, with the World Universal as the scaffold of efforts.
And the World University includes alike scientists, Sufis, Yogis and social leaders, many of whom I have met in peregrinations and even helped to bring together, without knowing the results of action. So I shall sketch briefly the complete rise in four distinct departments of activity which are now being molded into one, following definite laws of evolution, embryology, etc, etc.
Buddhism. There are two stories here and yet they come close to each other. So far as Vietnam is concerned we Ugly Americans are overlooked alike by all Pisceans, Hawks, Doves and everybody, but we receive a tremendous amount of news which others do not get. This person was asked to operate in behalf of the World Buddhist Federation which has led to many experiences. And here, after long years of effort we are restoring the annual pilgrimage to the Statue of Lord Buddha in Golden Gate Park. None of the vociferous “Buddhist” groups are partaking in it excepting the Japanese “Buddhist Churches in America” and
“When the gods arrive, the half-gods go.” There has been a succession of real Masters of the real Far East here. Our relations are mutually very cordial. One Master Seo has been to Columbia University to take over the work of Prof. Daisetz Suzuki and has since been succeeded by one Master Pei. The Masters and this person have in common having studied under the late Chan Master, Tai Hsu, directly or indirectly, and the recognition of the experience of Moksha. Although I have not yet heard from Mrs. Evans, my own initiation and ordination into the Tibetan Vajrayana has been followed by a definite increase in this direction.
In the meanwhile the American Orientalists have long since officially selected Prof. Richard Robinson of Wisconsin U. as the leader in Buddhist instruction in this country. He was chief disciple of my long-time friend, the late Robert Clifton. This means that although Americans can go and follow this pseudo-leader and that as presenters of “Oriental wisdom” which has never existed but in their minds, our top universities are getting “from realism into reality.” There will be more coming this year.
Science. My two chief ideas in meeting the world’s food problems, that of rejuvenating the earth and of doing more Algae research were independently selected as the two first projects for the World University. From Ghana notice was received of “Project: Sahara” and within a week copy was placed in my hands by another “Ugly American” living in Burlingame. As soon as this copy was received “the fun began.”
The principles were identical with those upon which I have been working for years. Only our geographies differed and I seem to have more specific knowledge and human contacts than the author. But this has started so many balls rolling, among scientists, among Asians, among Africans, among engineers that I forebear telling more; besides a lot is technical.
Sufis are now taking the lead. The World University has top Sufis from Pakistan working closely with Indians of all sorts while the countries wrangle over Kashmir and other border disputes. “The World University” is exactly what Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan wanted for his Brotherhood Movement. Then the Sufis of Ceylon have come out for a grand Universal Religion and Brotherhood Movement.
Then my prayer was answered to meet some Sudanese. All these people, the whole Nation is composed of disciples of Sufism. I have not only run into them but we are planning for the coming of their new Ambassador. Besides they will want the Project for the Sahara desert.
My paper for the panel on the world’s faiths has long been accepted. This takes place in Claremont in September. Fortunately Prof. Von Grünebaum is behind this movement and he carries a lot of weight.
My two old enemies, Mrs. X, and R have nullified each other. They had such mutual hatred that both overlooked me. At the last meeting of the Arabs I made most important contacts and their leader wishes to see my epic poem.
A number of months back I was attacked in public in the names of “the Masters of the Far East.” Within a short time an actual parade of actual Masters of actual Buddhism came here and communication was easy and direct, despite the fact that there was often a language blockage. I am not going into history. One after another made friendships and I was proclaimed a Zen, or rather Ch’an, teacher. When there was objection the Master, who comes from Korea, reaffirmed this. And tonight I am supposed to be in Chinatown as one of the guests of honor among the local literati.
None of this has any relation to what is popularly known as “Asian Wisdom.” No Asian has ever spoken here on “Asian Wisdom.” No Chinese was permitted by the now removed Chancellor Strong to speak at his seminars on “Asia” or “China” and the excuses for not having Chinese speak on Asia or China shows the persistency of value-judgments in high places. Neither the “Hawks” nor “Doves” in the Vietnam imbroglio have paid the slightest attention to Asian-Asians, they just want to get at each others’ throats.
Richard Park & His Confreres met here in the Sheraton Palace Hotel to discuss Asian problems. It was remarkable, the number of local Chinese sages who showed up, all like this person rejected by press, radio, TV and popular assemblages. The whole thing was thrown into the hands of Dr. Richard Robinson of Wisconsin who was the chief disciple of my late friend, Rev. Robert Sumangalo Clifton. Clifton will occupy an important place in the Encyclopedia of Buddhism which is being compiled by Buddhists. Not one of the local “experts” on Asia will be included, indeed they are anathema—but still appear in the churches, TV, etc. They do not appear in the Universities. The Universities have accepted the Buddhism of scriptures and people. This is not a defense of Buddhism or anything. It is merely to show the existence of two cultures and why America is loathed. This is the only country in the world which has accepted non-American, non-Asians as spokesmen for Asia.
This year for the first time, I believe, the G.S. Seminars has a Zen Buddhist speak. The non-Euclidean, non-Aristotelians of China, India and Indonesia are still to have platforms but I have now met in our universities so many men who understand the psychologies of Asians. These men are found not only in the scientific departments but in the history and administrative sections and are gradually moving into the political and economic sections. Thus what I call communication is being established.
The road-block in my final efforts for “Project: Indus Valley Development” has come out of my private life. There will be a contest over the family estate. The amount left is rather small but more than ample for my future movements and for two important bequests. But whether it will take a short time or a long time I do not know. I had told Richard Park I could help him and I have already vowed a sum to Richard Robinson. We both know that if the press or State Department had ever listened to our old friend Robert, there may not have been the conflict of Vietnam. He lived and worked there and reported to some of us. The Press and State Department would have nothing of it and the University of California with its late Eugene Burdick and his “Ugly American” was positively hostile. He was a living being who either proved or disproved the thesis of a book of fiction. He was poison.
Robinson, the perfect Ugly American, has also since been to Vietnam and consorted with everybody. He has done research on Vietnamese Buddhism. When he came to Berkeley while Burdick was still alive, his secretary told me he was in fear of being attacked on all sides when somebody got up and defended him so vociferously everybody else was afraid to talk. I was that person, and today the universities in this country have by and large accepted the objective experiences of an American as against the speculations of Americans and Europeans as representing “Asian Culture.” It has been a long, fierce crusade but it could have only one ending.
As to your Projects—the scientists of all lands can and do work together.
There is no question that Vogt and his colleagues are planning a similar program for Central America to “my” “Indus Valley Project.” The Algae work of Christopher Hills is disjunctive and I have been trying to promote a conjunctive effort here but the chief Botanists at Berkeley have generally been away. I hope to get to the campus next week. In addition to all the above and two guests leaving with a death in the family and a constant sudden appearance of friends from all sectors, organizational living is difficult, but this is life.
As to Vogt’s criticism of Christianity. It is exceedingly difficult to get a clear picture of what the latter is. I am finding people throwing indefinable phrases. Keyser made a careful study of St. Thomas Aquinas and said that given premises you could reach the conclusions therefore and thus he established the “Doctrine of Doctrines.” Our Austrian friends have declared this is tautology. I am questioning the whole gamut of Western psycho-logics as being in a limited and almost static field. You should meet the scientists I have who have been to Asia and understand non-Euclidian psycho-logics from their own experiences.
I’ll hold until tomorrow before mailing.
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
April 22, 1965
Mr. & Mrs. Russell G. Smith,
Box 258. Ross, Calif.
My dear Mr. & Mrs. Smith:
Sometimes one may feel a little ashamed to write after fiascoes. In comparing notes with my lifelong friend, Martin Rosenblatt of Gump’s, we found we had experienced the same unreliabilities with South Asians in business and related matters. In the end one comes to an Emersonian self-reliance and perhaps that is just as well. For although our USIA has abandoned Emerson as a nexus of friendly Asian-American relations, it does not stop individuals from advocating the man and his philosophy as an antidote both to Marxian and Hegelian anti-Marxism which seems to be the order of the day.
One realizes now also that with age coming on and with family interests, you may not be so concerned with international affairs. While the writer is now released from all family problems and seems fairly assured of another legacy—besides other new means of emoluments.
At no time has there been any appeal for financial help as one was involved in what appeared to be four different projects. But all these projects are now integrated into a new “multiversity” being constructed in New Delhi. There is a sort of story connected with it and there is something almost like a mystery. For the World University has on its Board of Directors a number of persons met during the course of several different pursuits, often on seemingly quite different matters, but they all have in a sense a world-outlook. It is unfortunate that in our present anti-Marxist dialectic craze we ignore all the actual anti-communists or those constructive methods which, if applied, would make Marxism impossible. Roughly speaking these constructive methods are ignored by press, State Department and TV and are being advocated more and more within the “halls of ivy” forming a grand network of “not-news” which is going to become history.
One cannot refrain from relating two incidents here in San Francisco. Cutting short a rather successful visit to the Los Angeles region, to meet Sri Surendra Ghose, Deputy Speaker of the Indian Lower House, this worthy surprised everybody including this “Ugly American” by pointing his finger and saying: “Why you are the man I came to San Francisco to meet; I traveled five thousand miles just to meet you.” Some “experts” present were so angry they stomped out of the place in a rage for they had hope to leach on to this World University.
The second comes very close to home. After some very successful new contacts I went to the Sheraton Palace to the Asian Conference in a rather diffident mood. For the organizers included the three men on the campus of the University of California who have never answered letters and refused all appointments. (They do this to everybody, so this is not a case.)
The chairman at the South Asian section came in late and when he opened the door: “Hello, Dick!” “Hello, Sam!” It was our friend, Prof. Richard L. Park who is now a most important man in the universities in all Asiatic studies. He is at Pittsburgh U. where my closest colleague is and the whole picture of life looks like a well-rounded ball.
Fairy stories tell of helping a princess in distress but this person did help a real princess in real distress right here in San Francisco. It was her Highness Princess Poon Diskul of the Thai Royal Family. I suppose in “some former incarnation” we must have been brother and sister. We are both little, rather insignificant persons who have as private mottoes: “Get there!” And we get there. When I reached Thailand, she was all ready for me. I found she was the top lay Buddhist, quite unusual for her sex.
She also headed an anti-communist conspiracy—which is awful because we want to head all anti-communist movements. She became head of the World Buddhist Federation and caused Mao to lose face. She pulled some of his tricks on him which we want we never do—protocol, or something. She and her colleagues asked me to submit reports and suggestions all of which have been accepted over the ocean.
The day my mother died I received notice of free passage back to Asia, and this means Bangkok as ultimate destiny for I should be gone some time, again centering in Lahore, Pakistan.
During all this turmoil in S. E. Asia, neither “Hawk” nor “Dove” seems the slightest concerned with the people of the region. Only there are more and more “Ugly Americans” like myself whom I keep meeting and some of them are not poor by any means. So when you put all the pieces together, plus pride, plus a publishing house which will at least look at manuscripts, the one thing not sought has been outside financial support which would deprive one of freedom.
In the meanwhile my purported, “How California can Help Asia” has been collecting momentum. One phase of it will be sent to Undersecretary of Agriculture, George Nehren; another to Dr. Clark Kerr. This as against the emotional “Mekong Development” scheme which the President advocates and which you can be sure the Buddhist rulers will not want. This is something I shall not discuss here but it does no good to refuse to admit that A has met B, when A has not only met B and A and B are excellent friends. And I can assure you there are a lot of B’s, so to speak, in high places, who will accept any report given them and who have a veto over the Mekong Development projects.
Besides there is no magic in UN agencies. They may have money and justice but they do not therefore have the most skilled personnel at any level.
From this point on everything has gathered momentum, covering a very large territory, but comparatively few Ecologies. Ecology is a new science based on integrational approaches and when one meets these people there is mutual understanding but almost universal misunderstanding by dialecticians and analysts. And it seems that the most important documents get into this person’s hands. Some of them are very simple and easy of comprehension.
One used to say, “When I die, don’t write my biography. Just read F. Phillips Oppenheim, it will be pretty much the same.” But there is more truth than poetry or conjecture here.
I shall be on the panel of a conference on the world’s faiths is September and then, barring legal hazards, will prepare to go away again. With jobs and free passage and perhaps more, the whole picture changes.
Today I meet Jonathan Garst at the World Affairs Council. He is speaking on his program to abolish want through agricultural measures. I took this with me but abandoned it on encountering the Ford Program in India. Since then I have accumulated far more knowledge and details which makes one welcome on the university grounds.
As to those men who will not grant appointments—two of them received their PhDs. from the aforesaid Richard L. Park, with whom I am now collaborating! It is too funny to take seriously. Besides, as matters stand, it will be quite easy to meet all the Prime Ministers in South and Southeast Asia, etc. That is why I still go to school and learn to work with the hands. That is why one often mingles with gardeners and dirt-farmers.
I am seldom in Marin any more. Once a year, in a dancing troupe at the Art & Garden Center where I see my old friend Vince Davidson.
On May 8 there will be the annual Asia American Friendship dinner. On May 9 we have reorganized the old San Francisco custom of a pilgrimage to the Buddha in Golden Gate Park. There are better ways of showing friendships with Asians than lectures, TV programs and oratorical excitement.
The apparent darkness in the world’s affairs can be settled very easily when we take stock of our accomplishments, our aptitudes, our abilities and solutions we have already applied at home.
With kindest regards to you both and to your family and in apology for not being able to accomplish that which was expected with and from colleagues of Asia.
Samuel L. Lewis
May 2, 1965
My dear Harriet:
This letter is written early in the, morning with two points of view: one is that it is a sort of record of a new journey into what “we” call the unknown and unseen, or even the occult; the other is that it is a blending of trying to write words of comfort and at the same time look upon you as a captive audience which has no comeback. However I am well aware of the law of karma that if you become a captive audience to me, sometime in the future I shall in turn become a captive audience to you.
Of all things I shun “the breakfast club cheer” which the superficial radio announcers say bring sunlight into the hearts. To me they bring electric lights to the surface and this is not altogether bad, for we use the electric lights practically but not in and of the heart.
There is such a things as listening to the Voice of God or the Silence. In one respect it is useless because the same super gramophone has been repeating through the eternities. And you get not particularizing but universal answers. This morning I received a sort of pleasant series of answers because both my touch-in-cheek ego and my better self were satisfied at the same time. God has a habit of satisfying the devil and the anti-devil together. No doubt Billy Graham would not like God too much for the divine answers are satisfying the devil also. But who made the devil? No Samuel asked when the kingdom of Haven would come and he got this answer:
When the weaver is permitted to discourse on Kabir,
And the cook explains the teachings of Sankaracharya,
When the carpenter occupies the Christian pulpit,
And the camel-driver displaces the mullah in the mosque
And professor and pundit nevermore use the word humility.
But just as you are now a captive audience to me, once opening my ears to God, I had to continue listening.
The Bible says that the Lamb and Lion lie down together and a little child shall lead them. You know humanity will never let the little child lead them. But the little children know better. They know what the metaphysicians and preachers never can fathom. So I have given my secrets to the little children, as you ought to know, but with all your years and so-called wisdom, don’t know, for this is the secret to the Kingdom of Heaven:
“Rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief,
Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.”
Of course the Bible says that every valley shall be exalted and every hill laid low. This is communism but a communism that is so anti-communistic that the reds would prefer Wall St. I once read a Sufi poem on Zen to a Korean Master, it was the same theme.
I know a lot of people who write children’s stories and collect children’s stories, but Jesus or no Jesus or a billion Jesus saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is with the little children is not going to convert the proud adults who smother themselves in the pseudo-paint of the word “humility.” I am afraid to repeat all the children’s verses which are not in A Child’s Garden of verses written for but not by children.
Even the Free Speech movement has not indicated it would welcome student using skates—although I do see skate-boards on the campus; or skipping to classes along with skipping classes. When I told my Fairy Godmother, Ruth St. Denis, I was going to save the world, she asked how. I said, teaching people how to walk.” She said, “You have it.” Only this would mean skipping, hopping, gliding, jumping, etc. and know what they mean. This would make all the esotericists and occultists and metaphysical people run into hiding.
It is not only that the hairs of the head are numbered, the lines on the face tell and so does everything else. I prefer to psychoanalyze walks. But here I am, with you and others of my friends, captive audiences, unable to come back. Here I yell for the Free Speech Movement before victims of accidents who hear me on the Free Movement Speech.
That ought to keep you and everybody a while. I’ll have to stop and write to Tony. This is too good to let go.
Love and more of that,
May 9, 1965
This is more of a diary record than a letter. One is thoroughly tired after years of effort, with all sorts of cross-currents. Step by step in practically all affairs of life, either the counter-karma is working in ones’ favor, or else there is a providential intervention. For matters not of immediate concern no mention will be made here. The first court hearing in my private life comes on May 21, and then we shall watch whether there will be a court case or satisfactory settlement of family properties. In any event I expect to leave the country by the end of the year to be gone a long, long time.
The cross current of Vietnam and related matters shows the strange schizophrenia of Americans who take one attitude on affairs of American matters (any kind) and Asian matters (any kind.) The Buddhists of Vietnam are still third class human beings, however much we may differ about them.
Friday night Master Seo gave a profound talk and he has now “invaded” the Neo Dhamma and the Japanese groups. The Asian-American Friendship dinner was a huge success. No speeches by newsmen and diplomats on “how to get along with Asians.” We just got along and got along fine.
The present alliance between Eugene Wagner and myself now backed up by all the visiting Masters and near-Masters resulted in a most successful restoration of Wesak Day celebration. Most with Master N. Warwick of the Vajrayana School (and several others), we played the Japanese against the Chinese in such a way that both the Japanese “Buddhist Churches in America” and Chinese “Buddhist Congregations in America” joined and joined enthusiastically. All the Chinese groups were represented but the Fungs—and this is the first time I have known the Chinese to join in with the Americans and Japanese before the statue of Lord Buddha in Golden Gate Park.
Speeches were made by Soto Rev. S. Suzuki and Master Seo (Korean) and Pure Land Dr. Tsuji. This person gave the Rinzai chants. Neo-Dhamma was also represented, so absent were only “Wattsonians,” Nichiren and the Fungs’ “Buddha Universal Church.”
Iru has changed considerably and we shall continue to box him in until either you send a long brochure or come in person. For the rest of us do not agree with his resignation, do not see any course but the one you have laid down, with the only alternative what is being done by Dr. Robinson, which seems to be confined so far to universities.
As the day was beautiful, the Japanese Tea Gardens were crowded anyhow, and although we divided the ritual in two places—one altar being put up, the place was so packed that it was difficult to perform. It could not have been better.
Pictures were taken by both Chinese and Japanese newspapers (the first time I can remember both being present). I’ll try to get some but won’t promise. Have to be in Chinatown Tuesday.
The general over-all is now some attention to both the scriptures and meditation. When I leave this part, it will be with full satisfaction that the ghost of Dwight Goddard can turn in bliss.
Samuel. L. Lewis
S. A. M.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
May 13, 1965
My dear Lim:
This is both a diary record and a sort of examination into prowess, if any, in Chinese outlooks. I was early drawn into the SunYat Sen and the “Five Faiths Movement,” neither of which seem to have any importance publicly at this time but the influences are not so easily wiped away. True, Alan Watts told me I did not understand Taoism and some of your people’s sages tell me I do. But it is not possible to explain discretely organic processes in terms of crystalline chemistry and the English language is unfit for them—yet.
Jesus Christ has said, “I am the Vine and ye are the branches” thereof. But our basic psychologies are Greek, not spiritual, and based on individualisms which contradict the “church” teachings which hold only in a few sectors. When a person or a group behaves like a tree or vine he or they become “incomprehensible.” And a single very important meeting with #1 man has marked a path-way which cannot well be expressed in words and is so easily demonstrable in activities.
You may remember my words: “It is not what your congressman can do for you but what you can do for your congressman.” An American citizen still cannot do for his country. What John Burton attempted became popular treason although it is well in line with early American traditions and ideals. Today the State Department is a super-government that has nothing to do with its citizens and there is no way to reach it excepting by the very means Brother John talked about.
The whole tragedy in Vietnam came from the State Department’s refusal to listen to Robert Clifton who later died of a broken heart. He was not the first nor will he be the last to so die and until there is some public consideration by our Foreign office we will lose face both in foreign governments and most unfortunately, sometimes on the battlefield, too.
The ridiculous situation found “only in America” of a “Brotherhood of Christians and Jews” and government funds being used to subsidize Englishmen to tell us of the wisdom of Asia—one Englishman for the Far East and several for the Near East—has compelled divisions between living humanities. I have failed to warn successfully several provocations which led to attacks on our USIA and sometimes ambassadorial structures and the end is not in sight because the State Department does not trust its citizens. Even now I represent three anti-communist groups of Asia, whom we snub and deride.
The demonstration of real fellowship with Asians came Saturday night at the dinner and Sunday at Golden Gate Park. Somehow or other Asians and Americans joined without any “blessing” from any foreign office. Then came the follow up which is, in a sense, a test of any knowledge of Oriental wisdoms, but which verbalized look not only flat but a contradictory to Jesus Christ’s “Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
Tuesday I called on Ching Wah Lee. We are life-long friends with complete understanding; did not take us fifteen minutes to do two hour’s business. This is the opposite pole from the usual dealings with Chinese and even among Chinese themselves that certain amenities are followed. When you are a separate “vine” Chinese friendships are like what we call in the profession “approach grafting” which takes some time. But when you are part of the same structure or family no time at all.
Then I had to see Dr. George Fung on medical business and told him: when I leave here I intend to take at least a score of his brother’s translation of the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (Wei Lang or Hui Neng). There is nothing to stop me making his brother famous and I mean to do just that.
We have met many times, always with this person, in the “menial” position. Watts never permitted me to bring in any historical or objective reports or my knowledge of Buddhism while I was in his classes, and I was able to accomplish all this and more at the University of California, in a few short sessions. Both Fungs were in those classes (with other Chinese), and they placed the professors far above me and since. I alone went and worked at the church because I wanted to try to understand the Chinese from below, instead of from above. This is still not satisfying because if I ever visited Mainland China I would want to be with, not above or below.
The only time the recognition was granted was when a favor was wanted. They failed to see that asking a favor through me was placing me above and I am above. So much so that the heads of the World Buddhist Federation have taken seriously my proposals for S.E. Asia.
This proposal was sent separately to Dr. Radhakrishnan when I found he was playing a leading role with the World Buddhists (and remember years ago I carried a message from and through all the Buddhists, ending up in his home). Now the State Department is giving serious consideration to Dr. Radhakrishnan’s proposals. And I can assure you I have access to several VIP Asians who may have a lot to say both on Vietnam and on World Peace, and despite the late President I cannot present them to the State Department, and only after his severance to Dr. Roger Hillsman. This is our democracy.
But back to the Fungs. The doors are open for their fame. It is going to be easy and simple for me to present their book to just those people they would like to have it. And even if I be gone for years, their work will be known as part of my “How California Can Help Asia,” usually concerned with agricultural and not cultural matters.
Fortunately the American professors of Asian Studies who meet here have totally different views from those of the press, and State Department. They are in touch with Senator Fulbright and some one of these days you may hear a different story. Dr. Richard L. Park, long at UC, is now regarded as our top Orientalist and he is very close to the Senator. I shall not only write him but must call on him before leaving the country.
The world of the future will be based on “vine-structure,” not on individualisms. This may mean something quite different from the either-or of what is called “Marxism” or what is called “freedom.”
Asian Conference was held recently in the Sheraton-Palace Hotel this city. It was in utter contrast to all the former conferences on Asia, and especially India, I have ever attended—no editors, commentators, diplomats, orators. Americans and Asians sat down together and discussed problems.
Having been barred from four such conferences in a row—money returned or refused—I went with trepidation to the South Asia Section. The chairman was late “Hello Dick!” “Hello Sam!” How does one feel when suddenly he is as “in” as he has been “out?” Anyhow so many doors opened in the next few hours, I shall not detail them.
And in the interim met agent of Tuttle Publishers of Vermont who said he would like my manuscripts. Writing is necessarily so, but the Masters here all approve of my autobiographical writing on real Zen and real Buddhism—experiences, not speculations.
The climax came in the closing section. I was sent to the group on Indian poetry instead of Indian philosophy. I thought it was a mistake. They discussed, at a very technical level, Bengali, Tamil and Sufi poetry. But when the panel threw the meeting open for questions and were unable to answer the questions and threw them to the audience, this person arose and gave answers that were not only applauded but the audience asked the panel, and received agreement, to direct technical questions to this person.
And so this long rejected Ugly American found himself at the very top of the top Orientalists and received the very good-will of Chicago University which I had hitherto regarded as the bastion of intellectualism parading as Oriental wisdom. When the Sufi trademark was thrown at me by the leading speaker I knew I was “in.”
But even this was not so important as the aftermath. My new colleague is Daniel Hoffman of Burlingame—much may come of this later, and he sent me to Consul-General Menon of India. When I came in I was greeted not as a person, not as an American, but as a great spiritual teacher!
The Consul-General has been present at so many meetings where this person was ignored. Then when he introduced Sri Surendra Ghose, #3 man of all India, he heard him point at me and say: “Why, why you are the American I came to meet. I traveled five thousand miles to meet you!” This lost the audience, but won the Consul-General. And he was there when for the first time I have been permitted to speak both on Sufism and the relation of Indian epics to mystical experiences; he is joining his colleagues who now occupy top posts in the Indian Government.
As people here know little of the history of India, know nothing of Sufism and very little of the mystical processes inherent in the true Yogic systems I am not going into those things.
All the other little details of life show a continuum of vitality, activity and even physical stamina. One does not need to go into those things. All the doors are open everywhere, praise to God, if you will. And I must think you for your good-will, patience and tolerance all these years.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
May 18, 1965
My dear Lim:
Thank you for the picture from the paper. I went to a couple of publishing houses and either they did not understand me or had not yet printed it. That picture has, in fact, brought me important invitations.
There are three other Caucasians there, all the disciples of the late Robert Clifton. He was my close friend for 35 years and died of a broken heart because the State Department, under a late and very much unlamented Secretary of State, not only refused to give him an interview but sent out an office memorandum threatening dismissal to anybody that so much as gave him a look.
The man on the opposite end is my most fellow Ugly American for he has gotten less consideration than I have. If he did not visit Vietnam he has certainly been all over Laos and Cambodia—and what he saw utterly contradicted what has been put in the press. He also taught English to the Royal Family in Thailand.
There is one VIP who knows all this and if he comes to San Francisco during the UN meetings I shall try in every way to arrange a meeting between you.
In these rooms Robert Clifton and I planned to have a petition signed by all the Prime Ministers of Asia and show it to the State Department. His untimely death has left this in my hands but it will be much easier than interviewing any of our prominent editors excepting the CS Monitor. Truth (of facts) is of no concern to them. I am not going to repeat the Toynbee material here, which is first hand stuff too.
Today at the World Affairs Council one Lewis Webb of the San Francisco State College told of his failures with the Philippine Muslims. Of course he was unprepared, all of our people are unprepared that go to Asia outside of Japan. Where he failed I succeeded—which means nothing, yet. That is why I am so careful of my memoirs. I dare not even write yet, but I’ll tell one incident:
The Chief Justice of the Indian Supreme Court is coming here. When I met the Chief Justice of the Pakistan Supreme Court (Cornelius) he gave way to me, socially. This, of course, is “inconceivable,” “unthinkable” and “preposterous”—but wait until I return and the University of Islamabad gets going.
As San Francisco State is receiving more and more “Ugly Americans” on its staff this will be easy. And we may map out a program to correct some inequities—to our young people, but this would be submitted to and through you. We agreed that you can reach the Commerce, Interior and Agricultural Departments, but never the State Department. Released Peace Corps personnel are not permitted to make serious suggestions.
When I got down to Chinatown today some of my friends told me they had seen my picture (along with the others). Last night another Chinese group was also represented at the Wesak ceremonies—and we have gotten the Japanese and Chinese together for the first time in our history. The State Department sent a representative to cover the meeting and it is even possible that my picture will get down to Vietnam!
My reason for going to Chinatown was somewhat different. Yesterday I gave copy of “Science Monthly” to Ching Wah Lee because it contains material on the Scythian contributions to art which interested him. But this week’s copy of “Science” has thrown considerable light on Shang bronzes, the very points I used to bring up in class with Ching Wah Lee. There is as yet no sign of the first civilization of your people.
I am leaving for Southern California on family matters and also on three other projects. Two of these cover crops for Asian lands. I have received another letter from my god-daughter urging me to return by the most comfortable route, to accomplish as much as possible and not be in a hurry for this means an indefinite departure from this country.
The other matter is more personal covering my appearance on the platform at Claremont College. Actually slowly but surely my Asian cultural research is being recognized.
Am preparing to go to Chinatown again now on Buddhist matters.
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
May 28, 1965
I am leaving for Long Beach tonight to see relatives. After that to go to UC Riverside, and then Claremont College, UCLA and back not knowing how long this trip will take or what will be done. But I feel quite confident over some recent events.
Recently heard some of the Peace Corps returnees and they have learned a lot of facts of life which anybody not connected with the State Department or Press could understand. Then conferred with others who had even more miserable reports. I do know that I met seventeen successful American farm boys in Pakistan, not a word in the press. As soon as one Peace Corps volunteer showed up he was accompanied everywhere by three un-gentlemen of the press and “wow what publicity” End of mission.
I found another Ugly American, a women, name of “Lewis.” I visited her class while she was explaining the family relations in Sumatra and the institution of maman (French pronunciation) which means “material uncle.” I said I was a “Maman” in Pakistan. When she asked my name and I told it the class went into an uproar!
Today I introduced one of the returnees to her and they are getting together, the woman who lived in S.E. Asia and the government has ignored her and the despondent Peace Corps returned.
It was not an ill wind either. This was at San Francisco State and they are going to have a seminar on Pakistan, of all places. I think Puck should attend and tell them the facts of life. Meanwhile the stories are out—more and more Peace Corps frustrations, exactly the same as those of some professors sent out and of engineers. But you can’t warn, you can inform, you can’t do “nuthin” Also got news from India and Thailand, and some stamps are rolling along.
Next Friday week after returning will try to put on a party at Minerva’s. Have a few enthusiasts and maybe others will join. The kids like Greek, Balkan and Israeli, i.e. line dances. They don’t like American Squares.
After writing a paper on “Yoga Dances” performed a Zen Dance, the first I ever experienced and it came spontaneously. The “theory” is about the same as in the use of the sword. Magana wants me to work on it. Saw Gracie the First at school the other day—she and Leland came to find out something about their plants. They look fine.
The month will end with a bang, will all these “furriners” coming and what not. For the time being I am a Sudanese, and will meet more of them in West Los Angeles (near UCLA).
Most of my trip getting stuff for my agricultural programs. Sorry no time for other diversions. Will see you soon after return.
Riverside, June 2, 1965
My dear Vocha:
I am unable to come to Apple Valley and have also cancelled the visit to Claremont just now. Family matters have loomed up exceedingly involving rather large amounts and it is not only for the sake of money but also for honor itself that one is concerned. But I am writing in some detail to tell you what has happened, is happening to illustrate our two cultures and it may give you some ideas, or data for the coming seminars on GS. For this strange refusal to accept seriously Spengler and now Lord Snow shows an ever growing gap between “communication” and communication.
Just before leaving San Francisco for the first time I have been asked by a person of the “other culture” to make an appointment. There is always a first time. I wrote him “On the Experiences of a contemporary Lafcadio Hearn.” Hearn was the original and most ugly of Ugly Americans, his very ugliness and social malapropos causing him to leave the country, and later to attain fame.
I used to say that “the trouble with Asians is that they do not know “Asian Philosophy,” that super contribution of Europeans and metaphysicians. If they only knew “Asian Philosophy” they would not be in difficulties.” And it is only now, and there is always a first, that a University (Wisconsin) is studying Asian Philosophy and not “Asian Philosophy.” And our culture still uses the Aristotelian linguistics and language and people bumble the orders of abstraction while explaining them.
The whole history of S. E. Asia is the continuance of the social rejection of “Ugly Americans”—who have been there. They and nationals are excluded from all these forums on Vietnam and I doubt yet whether there are enough G.S. people forthright enough to come out on this point. The opposite side is found in Hawthorne’s “The Great Stone Face” which shows our propensity to over-evaluate the socially presentable and the Kennedy Sagas will prove a subject of much interest to future psychologists who may also recognize some of Jung’s contributions (myths, archetypes, etc.).
Just before leaving San Francisco I introduced a Peace Corps returnee to an Ugly American who has information about the religion and peoples of the general area in which he worked, but he learned his “culture” from the pupils of the “finest” experts for that part of the world, often English brand names or their disciples. I hope someday to meet or hear from a Peace Corps Volunteer who does not report frustrations, protocol etc. and again I am skeptical whether the G.S. seminars will recognize the failure to communicate while discussing “communication.” The greatest language barrier came in that these volunteers learned national languages and not the peasant tongues. The most bizarre case was that of a Portuguese Catholic sent to Brazil to a community of German Lutherans! “Communication” is wonderful.
The completely opposite side of the picture is found among the scientists who are not to be confused with the “scientists” any more than “Asian Philosophy” as above is to be confused with the Asian Philosophies. Sometimes one’s very martyrdom makes one a hero, or at least a most welcome visitor.
As professional spray operator, though retired, I had to attend one “public debate” on another on “The Silent Spring” because it was written by a “scientist” and was therefore authentic. Besides, a more workingman or technician is not always socially acceptable (this is true is many parts of the world). The fact I had some background in Organic Chemistry did not matter either.
But by this very social rejection a number of friendships have been established with Entomologists and Ecologists (who are not “scientists” and some of them told me they went through the same difficulties. I have long since gone into biological controls of pests, etc. and wrote a semi-humor paper, “The Silent Summer” regarding the depredations of the Tsetse fly and other pests on cattle, etc. While this sort of thing may be socially unacceptable, it was not written by a “scientist,” it won immediate friendship with the Entomologists and Plant Protection people yesterday.
These interviews were interrupted by the entrance of certain foreign students and these men (UCR) all saw the immediate transference of greetings and speech with a Sudanese, Arab and Hindu within a few moments and remarked on this. Of course this has no relation to “communication” whatever “communication” is. But it is notable and noticeable that children and scientists seem to get along fine without any introductions from diplomats and social “scientists.” And at UCR they have Pakistanis and Hindus, Israelis and Arabs working in close harmony. When “communication” will investigate such hard facts, data and experiences, we may be coming into a better world.
Most of the day was filled with technical discussions. One can flit from one lab to another, from one technician or PhD. to another and have the most lovely conversation, and also help. The help came with personal research reports, field data and the names of persons, some to be seen at UCLA, which will give excellent information for projects with which colleagues and self are concerned. Those are all in harmony with Project: Prometheus and the World University.
But besides this so many of these men have cross-trailed and at every point the gap between the two cultures stand out. This man got along with the Indonesians, that one with the Cambodians, besides bringing seemingly antagonistic students together. Anybody can do this who is not connected with the press or State Department or Social “Sciences.” The hiatus between “communication” and communication is great and so soon as we are freed from actual Aristotelianism and egocentricity, the barriers will be crossed.
Today the Salinity Lab, and tomorrow the UCLA and between Harry Hill. Rush! Rush! Rush! but there is communication even if there is not “communication.”
Love and best wishes,
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
June 8, 1965
My dear Vocha:
I have your letter of the 4th and am writing in some detail for the record. There is no question now that my memoirs will be sought, and I am behind rather than remiss. There are three stories but I shall touch two only briefly.
The family problems will undoubtedly come to a dramatic Dickensian climax. I am to see my attorneys Thursday. If they have certain documents which my uncle said he sent them it will be so Dickensian as to look fictional. I would not even mention this but Corinne has almost exactly the same problem down to little details.
Indeed, after talking to her I suggested her horoscope. She does not know the hour or even within several hours of her birth. When the Schloss case was at its climax I ran through a melodrama at the same time, same days, even same hours. Indeed I went to the Consulate in Lahore saying I was making my will for I doubted living another 24 hours. This aroused them and they investigated and got nothing but verifications for my stories and this turned the tide for me in the Orient.
If there are things in the wind here, Gavin phoned in my absence, affirming an emergency but he was not home last night and I shall not try to contact him in the early hours. If I can get a horoscope of Corinne and compare it with my own this might lead to a sort of scientific verification of astrology. There are too many parallel coincidences in our lives.
I have returned to this city with practically all the answers but this has to be described in at least two ways. The term “scientist” is, of course, an abstraction. Too many of the scientists I have met are full men with multiple interests. And now also too many have been in the Orient. That old day when the opinions of the big man who was not there smother the experiences of the little man that was are coming to an end. Somebody has gotten to President Johnson and now very quietly he is going around at least the California campuses selecting the little men who have been in Asia and already they are on their way to Vietnam.
On the scientific side I have obtained all the principles and most of the detailed information for “How California Can Help Asia.” There is hardly a problem for the whole continent for which after long years one has not both the specific remedies and the persons capable of applying these abroad. It covers everything. If it were a hunch, or an inspiration that California could be the laboratory for much of the rest of the world, the only difference between my position and others is that I could stick my neck out. I have met so many scientists with similar views, backgrounds and the Reiserian philosophy, that I cannot name them all.
Warned years ago in these very rooms by the late Robert Clifton of the communist methods in the then Annam-Tonkin, I returned here having met the men who will head the Mekong River Development survey. Also received a letter from commentator Art Hoppe of the Chronicle stating he thought I knew more about Vietnam than anybody else—which may or may not be true. Actually here “I” is a compendium of equally rejected other Ugly Americans.
All the soil, water, crop, ecological problems perhaps of the whole continent are in my hands. Providence, if not “God” came to my help. Going from Westwood to the Science buildings at UCLA I found the Sub-Tropical Horticultural Garden and met my type of men, in crops, ecologies, Asian experience, everything, and must follow this up. I then went to one of the science buildings and the secretary—whom I have never met—asks: “Do you know Bryn Beorse?”—right out of the blue. From my point of view I know what this means, but materialists and co-called telepathists alike reject valid events so I am not going into it. Bryn happens to be either in France or Switzerland at the moment.
Underlying all this has been the campus battle at UC. Now this person has been refused admittance to so many conferences on “Asia” it is pitiable. Last year one fought a terrible losing battle with the removed Chancellor Strong to have a local Asian on one of the panels. There were no Chinese and only one Asian at the conference on Asia and China. There were editors, foreign envoys, some State Department officials and the usual staff of Scalapino, Burdick and Lipset from Berkeley whom I have been told were the darlings of Clark Kerr and Ed Strong. These men have refused adamantly to debate on Vietnam on the ground that their critics were not there. But they always refused to meet any Ugly Americans who have been there.
On a previous visit to UCLA a correction proposed by this person on the history of Thailand was accepted. (Princeton also accepted some similar proposals.) This led me to one of the Deans who asked, “Do you know Princess Poon Diskul?” “Who the heck do you think sent me here?” This was my first contact with the real U.S. Intelligence (not CIA). None of these men have been rejected by Scalapino & Co. who publish “South Asian Studies,” very, no veddy PhD. by contributors from New Zealand, Michigan, Harvard, etc. And here you have a multiversity with all kinds of Asian students, some Asian professors and a multitude of scientists and engineers who have been all over Asia, excluded alike from the conferences on Asia and from their own publication “Asian Studies.”
All the scientists and engineers accepted the university proposal. This is not an inspiration. It is an experience coming from an introduction of Prof. Paul Keim of UC to the National Research Center in Cairo. This grill-structure operates, and is the scaffold for World University in Cairo which in turn is an application of Oliver Reiser’s principles. It was in operation in Penn when I met Dr. Norman Browne there a number of years back. Browne is now the dean of American professors on Asian studies—”experts,” no relation. I saw him this year at the Sheraton Palace when a new phase of my life began.
Although this new phase began, there is still the “two cultures” of Snow in operation. The scientists and engineers all complained that they wanted the grill-structure but the social scientists would never accept it. Fortunately at UCLA the social scientists have accepted, at Berkeley they most certainly have not. So we have a multiversity in which the powers that be ignore or reject their own geniuses. It is not only in Physics one finds Tellers and Seaborgs and the more I say this the more I win the plaudits of the majority.
Having met the Ugly Americans who have been selected by the President to go to S.E. Asia, and with the accession of commentator Art Hoppe, I have phoned Asia Foundation here and will see them next week. This is the only group here that has accepted my experiences and background. But it is the most important one and it is functional, not dialectic and personal. With all we say about value-judgments, everything almost is determined by them.
But the pile of mail awaiting me was the most propitious of my life. Asst. Secretary of Agriculture George Mehren, of Berkeley and Davis, has offered full cooperation. A detailed letter was sent to him and copies to VIPs in Berkeley of such a nature that sooner or later some of these self-centered “experts” must be brought out in the open. True, they are important in the so-called “free speech” movements but beyond this is the “free thought” movement and so long as value-judgments dominate direct experience, the war between the two facets of Snow’s intelligentsia will continue.
Letters were received from Chicago and Pittsburgh U. which are follows-up of the above. The one from Wisconsin is more important. It was in these rooms years ago that the late Robert Clifton and I plotted and the plot might have succeeded but for his death. Now after years of grumbling and mumbling and fumbling, his chief disciple, Richard Robinson, has been put in charge of both Indian and Buddhist studies in the whole nation, is operating the summer school at Wisconsin U. now, and we are in full accord and open alliance. This will mean the gradual elimination of the nice-faced Englishmen who have been our “experts” for all parts of Asia, Asian cultures, Asian philosophies and Asian diplomacies. Most of these Englishmen have little standing in their own country, Manchester Guardian and the Royal Asiatic Society being particularly critical, but they are our “experts” and they dominated the conferences on Asia and China last year and still dominate the radio-TV programs.
There will, of course, be a break when the UN meets and some Asian Buddhists, Asian Hindus, Asian Moslems take over, for the week. But this does not mean that the British and European “experts” will not resume thereafter, but always weaker. “When the gods arrive, the half-gods go.”
So the exceedingly favorable contacts in the South have been accompanied by the exceedingly favorable correspondence. And my problem has changed step by step, stage by stage from qualitative to quantitative.
Summer will be spent at the greenhouse, City College, in the mornings and I do not wish to leave here until well in August. On June 20 one of the real Buddhist leaders (Murano) arrives who was my host in Japan. Through him I saw Noh Dramas, Ichibana, Chanoyu, etc. free (everything was opened to me there, and this will go into memoirs).
One must accept that the news is always exciting, that history lags far behind, the real devoted research scholars in all fields have difficulties in becoming known and wisdom is never a monopoly. By hard work I find myself now with a majority—not “the majority,” but the fragmented dedicated men who are the backbone of our culture and perhaps all culture.
Love and best wishes,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
June 13, 1965
My dear Norman:
There is something like vanity and egotism in this letter but it may be wisdom and insight. Possessed of an aeonic memory and sensing certain avenues of events which bear resemblance to spiritual clairvoyance but not psychic clairvoyance, one is caught between streams of rejection here and streams of acceptance abroad. But this is not a sad letter at all—step by step one comes into contact with other rejected “Ugly Americans,” or as I also call them “Lafcadio Hearns.” We are all over the place and I am going to let you in not on secrets—they are not secrets at all, but those shut-out by two opposing camps of dialecticians who insist that everybody must be in one or the other of these camps. Roughly speaking this throws everybody into pro-Chinese or pro-American groups, but also leaves a big loophole for the Gandhians and others with whom I am at least potentially allied.
Within a year I should be out of the country but before then my manuscripts, and especially autobiographical manuscripts, will be given some consideration. I begin with the Chronicle’s leading article on present day China with which I heartily agree. To me China looks like Dante’s Purgatorio and the former China like the Inferno and all my experience and contacts corroborate this. Actually I see too much of the world either as Infernos or Purgatorios. The earlier “Paradises” have certainly been besmirched—e.g. Bali and Burma; the coming Paradises belong to the not-news in which both groups of dialecticians or all groups of dialecticians are silent. What I have seen in Egypt and India are seeds of new cultures but others have found them elsewhere.
As matters stand I shall have two big dramas to live through this year which are presented before one goes to recent events: 1. A family lawsuit which must come out into the open. And while the cards, in a certain sense, are not in my hands, the table is and the more things are aired the better it is going to be for me. My attorney has already contacted a “Sam Benedict” type of attorney and one may even presume that underground “my” legend is going around and I know my brother has a very bad reputation. The question is where the law stands and a victory will place considerable funds in my hands over what I now have, may have through writing, and will have, as Muslims say, inshallah. And because there is a possibility of some kind of fame at an early or later date, in one sense I am writing you as a god-son with your full right to object to my political conclusions but not that right to object to my spiritual and mystical experiences. Anyhow I am fairly sure that you will accord to many of the latter and as one of my social philosophy points is that there is both dynamic and static “truth.” My static truth is based on my experiences and logics; my dynamic truth is based on the thesis that other people have at least as valid experiences and that there is a divine spark always in the young and that the only way to esteem the young is to give them full rein.
Thus Mario Salvio has constantly attacked those persons and those policies which have kept not only myself but many, many others repressed. And it is the type represented by Scalapino and Burdick who represent to me much greater dangers than the vociferous pseudo-Marxists or semi-Hitlerians in our midst.
The other event will be my appearance on the panel of a conclave on the World’s Religions to take place this September at Claremont College. This will be once and for all my opportunity to expose such institutions as the so-called “American Academy of Asian Studies” and a lot of other efforts on the same line where Imperialism ran rampant and is running rampant in offering as Asian religions the subjective metaphysics of Englishmen and Europeans which have nothing whatsoever to do with Asians and Asian cultures.
I shall not repeat my struggle with Strong but the fight against Scalapino, Lipset and Burdick is not over and I may have to, in the name of either peace or justice, appear before the Legislature or other body to testify. The last news was their refusal to see me on the ground I did not have written credentials but now I have the written credentials from the University of Islamabad and I don’t think that will matter much but I can work both underground and overground.
I remained out of the Dove versus Hawk fight because neither side would call in Vietnamese. Or for that matter Chinese and when the Doves call in Alan Watts and will not accept the point of view of the Vietnamese Buddhists all I see is a struggle between two groups of subjective-dialecticians which have no high regard for humanity.
I have no use for the pseudo-Marxists. Karl Marx was not only moved by poverty, he associated with Friedrich Engels who wrote a stirring diatribe on the condition of the British working classes between 1840-1850. So far as I know the conditions among them in Germany did not even reach that height until recently. The Marxists-Leninists are followers neither of Marx nor Lenin. Lenin said in the struggle between liberal democracies against autocracies one should support the liberal democracies. But today both the Americans and Chinese support out and out autocracies without any regard to the conditions of working men and peasants. Therefore I am working on food problems and them alone and cannot and will not be mixed up in dualistic anti-spiritual politics and policies which will only divide and hamper the worlds. But I have no intention to brandish the sword against the pseudo-Marxists because there is considerable respect for Engels, and a sort of superman-view of Karl Marx even thought I differ from him sharply. With all has faults he was a humanitarian though he sharply opposed the pseudo-ethics which riles Salvio. And rightly so.
The American Academy, and perhaps to some extent Asia Foundation, were efforts on the part of the banking community (the most conservative socially) to carry on campaigns by various means. But Asia Foundation mingled with Asians and Uncle Louis & Co. have stuck pretty close to phonyism. We have hardly anybody that knows much about any Asian religion, but we also have a totally different “Ugly American” point of view which is invading and conquering our campuses.
I’ll complete the Academy view first. Bringing in sundry Englishmen and Europeans is and has been a common practice. It still goes on. Asians are not permitted to speak for themselves. At the one end WF have pulled some stunts such as the restoration of the Buddha pilgrimage.
The last thing before my recent trip south was to introduce a sad Peace Corps returnee to an Ugly American professor in order to prevent further frustration nonsense which is an absolute. We have to stick to our frustration programs which means a lot of shekels under the guise of “fighting communism” when it is often nothing but glamour and pocket books. Or as Toynbee says, the American foreign policy is based on the existence of the devil. And to fight the devil you appropriate lots of lots and there is little sign of change here. The question is who is going to get that lots.
Princess Poon and Dr. Malalasekera left this city very antipathetic to our society. Your report on the Kennedys is nothing but another stone corroborating our predilection for handsome fronts, whether you read it in the original form of The Great Stone Face by Nathaniel Hawthorne or through all our despicable Madison Ave. mores. The handsome man has it and Lafcadio had to give up his citizenship to become famous.
With this year everything began to change. As soon as I reached UCLA I found tremendous antipathy to Strong and his cohorts. There were men who have lived and worked in S.E. Asia, associated with Asians and been rejected on the UC campus. Today there is not a problem of all Asia in which I cannot point out the research to correct it and the men who could do the correcting on some campus of the University of California.
And it is no good that President Johnson or somebody close to him knows about this and Clark Kerr does not seem to be in the least concerned. When I mentioned the grill-organization which I favor I found every single scientist in favor of it but all said that the social scientists on the Berkeley campus would never accept it. Indeed the other campuses are pretty firm against the stooges who have taken the opposition in both the Free Speech and Vietnam protests. However there are a lot of strong anti-communists and this is because they have been abroad, lived with and mingled with Asians.
The outcome was that I have met a considerable number of scientists who have lived and worked in Asia, become interested in Asian cultures and faiths and who are working on the same or parallel lines in the programs to increase food-supplies. As a rule they are not social scientists at all, and the most rabid are equally anti-communist and anti-Scalapino & Co. Anyhow, somebody in Washington has discovered them, somebody in Berkeley and the press choose not.
Received a reply from ABC regarding my protest to Edward Morgan and he was “shocked” at my snap-judgment. You will remember my protest against the CORE arrest before the outbreaks, and my unwitting happening upon events. But I have been working on Asian problems for years and years and this is called “snap judgment.” And in the same mail a regret for my autobiography from an editor.
Also letters from sundry campuses in regard to my Asian researches.
Now the news from Pakistan is the opposite. As above I have received written credentials from the University of Islamabad. And everything from my god-daughter gets better and better. She seems to be becoming wealthier and more famous and her letters are all a person could hope to get. A few letters from Sufis would make your pseudo-Orientalists ashamed.
In fact I happened upon two more of my non-existing Sufi brotherhoods when visiting the University of Cal. at Riverside and there is a lot more than this. We have superficial attitudes toward LSD, peyote, etc, but we will not examine the facets of cosmic consciousness taught by Sufis and Vedantists. So the Ugly Americans are coming to the rescue. I met them all over the Riverside and UCLA campuses and now got my first hooks into Santa Barbara.
Jim Pike now refuses to answer letters after everything predicted came true. Thea, through Gavin, has sent for my help. I have refused. People should go to those they venerate when they want help. I have to meet people off beat. A picture at the Asia American Friendship luncheon yesterday did it. But if you have a nice public presentation you don’t need credentials and you can be a fraud. And if you are an Ugly American you haven’t a chance—till now.
I do not know what role I shall play at the Religion Gathering at the Cow Palace. So long as we have prayers for peace we are not going to have peace. We will pray and admire ourselves and think we are most wonderful and that “God” is going to reward us and the wars will continue until we accept the universal-humanitarian point of view.
I am gathering materials for a poetry reading at Taj when I next go. These will include Whitman end Burns, “A man’s a man for a’ that.” A biologist would regard all this segregation-integration fighting as moronic. If you want better plants you cross-breed. My spiritual teacher taught that. Personally I am losing patience and also with the so-called revolutionaries who forget the last line of “The International,” “The International Party shall be the human race.” When I lived in the South the colored war heroes had no political rights and the rejected 4-H whites controlled everything, and still do in some places.
Though I know far more of S.E. Asia than the Caribbean I think the Haiti venture far worse. We have rejected all our American heritage and no one reads President Monroe. If the only way to stop Castro is by arms, you will understand why I call this country “anti-theistic.” Of course we are getting in Vietnam exactly what the Mongols go—-no lesson learned. But a Nation which adopts policies fully opposite to those of its Founding Fathers has little to be proud of.
My final note—and you can agree or disagree is that I firmly believe In God We Live and Move and Have Our Being. My meeting with Sufis at Riverside corroborates this and in general the receptions from distant places. I wish you to keep these things in mind. This letter, of course, is emotional and subject to all the weakness of an emotional appeal. Hope to sea you some time during your vacation.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
June 16, 1965
Herbert W. Schneider, Secretary,
International Assn. for the History of Religions,
143 East 10th St.,
Dear Mr. Schneider:
I have your letter of the 15th which is actually a great release. The Sufi is a universal man and to place him in a particular category hampers his functions. Originally I asked to attend the conference and requests were made to me, not by me. However as I have studied and delved deeply into different religions and “taught” them officially and can “see” their points of view, any presentations of “right” and “wrong” is foreign to my nature.
The same sort of release has appeared here when arrangements are being made for the presentation of the prayers of the different religions. Mrs. Dickerman Hollister, President and Founder of “The Temple of Understanding” has asked me to distribute her literature. This is not only a welcome “out,” it enables one to function as he would function in with and not against any religion of the world.
Since we began corresponding two series of phenomena have occurred in regard to Buddhism: the selection of Dr. R. Robinson as one of the chief mentors of Buddhism in this country. He happens to have been chief associates and disciple of a man whom I taught as well as learned from, the late Robert Clifton (Phra Sumangalo). And the arrival of several Buddhist Masters here of various Mahayana Schools all of whom consider this person as one of the best versed Americans in their teachings. And all the while my own proposal for S.E. Asia has been accepted by leading Buddhists of several views.
Also the establishment of the World University in New Delhi which is universal and whose head regards the writer as one of the best versed Americans in various branches of Indian teachings. This was also recognized when the professors of Asian Studies met here in San Francisco. At that time also I was permitted to present a solution of an intricate problem and the solution was accepted by top Orientalists.
Actually the Dervish functions best in the crowd and not on the panel. My only request is to be present, and on any basis. A members of many Dervish Orders, I have also gone through Yoga training, have in recent months been accepted into the Korean and Red Hat schools of Mahayana Buddhism and all this without impinging on Jewish and Christian backgrounds. So you see, my friend, you have done a favor, let me be present and please send information therefore.
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti
772 Clementina Street
San Francisco 3, Calif.
June 27, 1965
John L. Rockwell
1330 Lincoln Ave.
San Rafael, Calif.
My dear John:
I am combining the latest news with an answer to your letter. At the end of this I shall write a semi-legal letter to my uncle with the proviso that the same can be notarized (or not) at his request.
There are some things which are not clear. In the first place, it is most difficult to convey to those near and dear the part one may be playing in theaters of operation totally out of line with the folk-legend attached to the personality. The other is apparently simpler, but even harder to convey:
Although it does not look like it, I am under severe disciplines and one of these is that I cannot and must not leave the country until all legal matters are completed. But at the same time, one does not talk too much about them nor confuse one’s positive efforts with one’s problems. Not only am I under the discipline not to leave here until these matters are settled, but my god-daughter has pleaded that I should clear up and clean up all matters and make my permanent home with her. And this cannot be done if there is anything hanging over.
On the physical side, if I leave here with things incomplete, it would mean an extra visit which would be unnecessarily costly. So I have to assure you that the clearing of the family “law-suit” is first and foremost in my mind and on my agenda, but constantly talking about it is not.
Among the letters Elliott wrote was that he would buy a thousand copies of any autobiography I wrote. I do not know how much this can be held against him and it would be a tremendous shock even to bring into court letters written by some of the most important men in the world.
Most dramatic—whether most important or not—is that I had a short and most important private session with Sir Zafrullah Khan, former President of the UN. Next day, he showed up unexpectedly at San Francisco State College where I was enrolled in a course on the “Problems of Pakistan.” He ended his remarks by saying; “This class, this school, should be proud to have among its members a most important person, the representative of the University of Islamabad (referring to me). And we have already agreed to meet at some indefinite day in Islamabad.
The next day there was an interminable fracas among the Pakistani students, when for the first time in this country, I spoke ex-cathedra, in the role I occupy in many Asian lands. This terminated the debate and all the Pakistanis not only accepted my talk, but all have invited me to meet them again. This may be done today after I leave home on two ventures:
(a.) to meet Hon. U Thant (b.) to go to the Cow Palace to the prayers of all faiths.
I am not even sure that the proposal of Hon. U Thant for a moment of silence for World Peace every day did not come from this person. It was in the proposal made to Princess Poon Diskul and the World Buddhist Federation, and accepted by them. Copy was sent to President Radhakrishnan of India and accepted by him (his personal signature.)
Naturally I shall leave it to counselor-at-law whether he wishes to use ridicule against Elliott by documentary evidence, or by personal evidence. The end of the intercession means at least a verbal, if not an actual, cooperation on the “Problems of Pakistan.” The teachers had, to me, totally objective outlooks. Our differences were of professions, not of philosophies or conclusions. We have been in many of the same places, meeting many of the same people, and with very similar conclusions. Only I have more technical and agricultural knowledge, and while they have questions, I have answers.
Asia Foundation also sent a speaker, and he recognized me at once. My being proclaimed by these people does not hurt in the least.
If I do not get answers from Washington, it is curious that I am now on the mailing lists of so many senators, especially in getting documentaries on Asian problems. But I think I told you I have already met the men who have gone to Vietnam first and then to the Mekong River to make the survey which President Johnson has not explained to the press and public; that these men have lived and worked with Asians, and have almost the same views and experiences as I have. They are the “Ugly Americans” who have been ignored by the “experts,” but who know what is what.
The school courses enable me to organize my knowledge and research. And in turn, this will counter-blast all Elliott’s remarks that I did not deserve a full college education. In fact, this may become a scandal, and I mean just that—following conversations at the registry office of the different universities here.
Another thing: I am sure we can look in vain for any expressions on his part, of love, veneration, or any noble attitude toward either or both our parents. At least I have my mother’s letters, written at an earlier date, on this point.
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
July 2, 1965
My dear Aramdarya:
There are a series of events in life which hear out the cosmic drama in which I have always known the part to be played. Knowing one’s roll, one is accused of egotism but also knowing one’s role means that sometimes one succeeds where others fail. It is God, not man, who chooses the parts, the players and the episodes and each man, thinking it is “freedom” to be able to select his own place comes to but partial satisfaction, if any at all.
Bryn Beorse is coming here and indirectly this is a victory. It is part of life-long theme that others bring me their burdens. It shows that the inner man knows intuitively what the ego-personality does not want to accept. And yet in turn it is not this ego-personality that can help; it is only that the door has been left open to the Infinite and sometimes that Infinite speaks through one. We have our prayers, no doubt, but we leave them as prayers.
I have heard Hon. U Thant twice and his appeal for a “moral and spiritual regeneration” is both wonderful and the most ludicrous statement that could come from a human being. For seated on the platform with him have been the power structures of politics and religion, the very men who have the capacity to lead in the moral and spiritual regenerations and will not, because they will not change their ways of life.
Slowly but surely, stage by stage, one meets the “right” people to help in actual regeneration. No doubt one has to face criticism because those that say, but do not do, are either interested in this verbal nonsense of “moral and spiritual regeneration” or else they insist—again without doing such—on birth and population control. This person not only does not insist but he never endeavors where he has no capacity, faculties, or even interest.
Christ may have said, “Feed my lambs,” but this is seldom done. The whole life concentration on this, within and without, has brought one into contact with persons either of capacity and ability on one hand or of renown on the other. It did not take but a few minutes to establish friendship with Sir Zafrullah Khan, twice head of the UN. We have our prayer, “Khatum,” but we do not take it as reality. As soon as what we say in our prayers is taken as reality we can be sure we become objects of scorn and also achievement. Even the President has found such man whom he has sent to S.E. Asia.
My relations with Mrs. Hollister—brochure enclosed—have suddenly become cordial and wonderful. Today I am to meet a “Witch,” the President of the Witches Society of Great Britain. I don’t know what it means. Life goes on and sometimes one pursues what God wants and in turn there is a return though not always immediately in tangible form.
Love and blessings.
772 Clementina St.,
July 2, 1965
My dear Della:
I was very glad to see you at Summer School. There, in facing an examination you have to face your self, you have to put your answers either on paper or in recitation and in this respect school becomes more spiritual than worship. For in worship—which we have without devotion—you do not have to face yourself. The religious forums all have the same format—the personnel must satisfy each other or their congregation, they do not have to solve any problems or any questions.
We have all these meetings and it is as the Bible says, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” But we want to yell “peace,” we don’t want peace and so a few people who have achieved, if not peace itself, at least the highway thereto, are placed in peculiar positions.
You have heard Dr. G. Malalasekera come out for the Bodhisattvic ideal and your teacher, who, according to the text-books, should be leading you that way, does not. In the achievement of satori, which this person has achieved and which has not been achieved by the people to whom look, whom you associate with, the immediate answer came, as from Roshi Asahina in Japan and Roshi Seo here, Christ and Buddha are One. How are they one? If one does not know it, what do these words mean? If one does know it, why are they said?
This person, being under interminable disciplines but without mentioning this too often, is not permitted to telephone and receive “no!” as an answer. Three refusals closes doors. There may be excuses on the part of the other person but then he is guilty of presumption. We have the Spirit of Guidance in all of us which results in “Prajna” about which all the Buddhist wise talk and the Buddhist un-wise keep silent. Then the un-wise accuse the wise saying that those who know keep silent and thus the wise, coming into the area of the uninformed and ignorant, have a most difficult time.
The Buddha-consciousness is the Universal or Cosmic consciousness. If you had to face an examination in a school you would answer very different. When the tender-love does not work and the tough-guidance is not accepted, the wise take the path of indifference. The Buddha taught—but your “Buddhist” instructors do not—that there is no ego-personality, that separation from the beloved is painful and union with the unloved is painful, and he showed a why out. I am not going into details. Christ did not spent time sitting on his haunches and for that matter neither did Buddha. His history is omitted almost entirely and we listen to one man after another saying anything at all and calling it “Buddhism.” This is our “freedom of religion” and it is a great stumbling block to spiritual attainment. If you had the attainment you would know.
No doubt I was not sent into your life to be your teacher, but at a point in development one knows and understands the position of everybody on a cosmic scale. This can he learned from the wise or from the scriptures. As we do not study the scriptures and cannot determine the wise we remain in ignorance.
You do well to have a sign “Our only refuse is Peace” but inasmuch as Peace is limited to thoughts, to institutions, to persons we do not have the Peace and we will not and cannot until we remove the limitations. And this has become impossible.
You have heard various teachers say “Ji-Ji-mu-ge” but you have not seen it demonstrated by them and you have not experienced it yourself. It is not necessary that you have this experience. Rev. Tsuji said that Americans will not become Buddhists until they experience suffering. And we identify “peace” with non-suffering and the karma of this unfounded thought reacts on us and adds to the suffering of the world and also hinders the Peace.
I am not going to write about Peace. The one-side of the coin which comes in meditation reminds me of the Master rubbing two bricks and sayings “How can you get deliverance through meditation alone?” If you or anybody knows the answers, the world would like it. At least 400,000 people became enlightened by coming into the then physical presence of Lord Buddha. But the power-structures, the sectarian organizations have abolished this, substituted all kinds of formats for his sangha and each goes their several ways.
We do have Masters of Dharma here now and they could explain and do explain. But it is my mission to work on food-problems and not just say: “This flax weighs three pounds” and make an enigma of it. Mondo are enigmas and if that is the way of Christ, the Way of Buddha, I have more than a thousand apologies. But I cannot accept without a fight that the little children have the kingdom of heaven; that we must be born again and go through transformations.
Working with scientists I find universal mutual respect for each others’ experiences. Working with non-scientists this is a rarity. We do not respect each others’ experiences. The scientists seek the truth, the non-scientists look at the personalities. So we find the non-Buddhist scientists following Lord Buddha and the non-scientific devotee following each his own way of life which does not got to deliverance. Self-justification is not deliverance; nothing is deliverance but deliverance itself. When you have that you will know the significance of Peace from whence we come and to which we go.
My time is coming when I must function, let us say, as Sage. This is accepted more and more abroad and was accepted almost immediately by Sir Zafrullah Khan who announced it in class. College degrees do not get one into the Super-university of Heaven and they do not prevent one either. It is only when degrees or ordinations, honoraria and robes are substituted for divine attainment that we shall find, leaving this world, we have not those gifts which one should be bringing with one into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Yes, this is presumption to write so and no apology will be asked for this presumption. But when one has to face the “day of judgment” either in this world or the next, either in the very next second (the theoretical Zen but actually practical never attained) or in the infinite cycles, one will some to realize one has not realized.
Yesterday I received a letter from a friend with whom I have been playing hop-scotch, so to speak, all over the world. He told me his first initiator was Sokei-an Sasaki. This was a wonderful confirmation. After studying with Sokei-an I could understand all the scriptures of the world. Your mentors at the American Academy did not wish to hear this. The recent meeting of all the professors of Asian Studies both heard and accepted. The results are so different. Now real Buddhism is being taught on the American campuses.
You have a lot of wonderful books in your house. The books on social studies, education, history, etc. you could pass if you took an examination. But what about the Scriptures. Jesus Christ may have said; “Seek ye the Scriptures for in them you will find eternal life.” But we do not consult the scriptures and we do not have the eternal life, which is the same as the Peace beyond the Understanding.
Fortunately there are Masters of Wisdom here now. One cannot tell when more will come. The Masters have different external bodies, but the differences do not extend very far. When Kato-san was here he had to confess against his will his acceptance of my relation with his Roshi. Why doesn’t your sensei want to hear that? You cannot have Peace when differentiations are made. When you abolish the differences the Peace will come. Sokei San taught how to recognize the spiritual attainment of all persons up to your own grade.
It took one minute to establish friendship with Sir Zafrullah Khan; it took one breath to establish identity with Master Seo and right is your presence. I beg you consider over those things—the harmonization of person with person without words, without endeavor, by a single glance or gesture. When you know that you will know the Zen.
Dr. Malalasekera came out for the Bodhisattvic function. How many people know it? I wish you would study the Buddhism of the Buddha.
July 3, 1965
My dear Gavin:
I failed to write down your new address or phone number in a proper place. Yesterday there was a large gathering at the Baptists home to hear Mrs. Sybil Leek. She did not speak long but did have private interviews. Unfortunately she did not get the real opportunity to express her mission because questions were directed in such a way as to slant the subject-matter. Anyhow among other things the question of Astrology was brought up by Fritzi and there was a general acceptance of the subject but not necessarily in the manner taught by Fritzi.
Somewhere down the line a young woman approached me and asked if I knew Hugo Seelig. I don’t know what prompted her but when I mentioned the word “Dunite” she brightened up considerably. And along with that she asked if she could contact you and have her horoscope cast, and also have a private interview.
She knows the Wingate boys and it is possible they played together when young. But she told me she had the same relation to Ella Young as Paul and Seth have to Hugo. She also said she was the last visitor to the Temple before it was closed. We could not speak longer because there was a large gathering and a lot of tête-à-têtes of all sorts.
On Tuesday night I am to present a short paper at the Baptists studio on “The sacredness of Trees and Sacred Trees.” This will be based on one hand on study and research, and on the other hand on direct experience. It was asked of me by Witch Leek.
Some of the other matters are discussed in a paper of which copy is enclosed.
The girl’s name escapes me at the moment but she is also a Yoga Student and will seek me out shortly. A lot of other things happened yesterday and recently preparing for a withdrawal from this land as soon as legal matters are settled.
July 3, 1965
My Dear Sharab:
As our Pir-o-Murshid’s birthday approaches, there has been a series of events justifying in every respect what he brought to the Western world. The other day, I laughingly said that I knew a certain man was coming here because I had descended to the realm of super-telepathy. You will note that all the writers on telepathy who seek funds and fame and popular support reject this person’s experiences—and that the afternoon began with my mailing a letter to you and finding yours on return from post.
But the morning was definitely attuned to your life and that of Paul. There is a new Greenhouse, or rather, three big new ones at City College, and I have returned for refresher and research work. We have to start with the mundane work of soil mixing, sterilizing, cleaning pots, dismantling old plastic greenhouses, etc. Our next job is with Tomatoes, to which I have added Eggplant as these are related, etc. I worked steadily from 8:30 till noon without a break, and thereby and therefore, broke that old Ditty, “The old grey mare ain’t what she used to be.” When one gets to work one loves, he is almost like in complete Samadhi, and I cannot help contrasting the metaphysical “Zen is everyday life” with the complete functioning of union with your work every minute. This also is the Karma Yoga, which the lecturers on the subject dare not, and often cannot, do. We may pray—and it is true—”Draw us closer to Thee every moment of our lives,” but there is some distance from functioning.
This real Karma Yoga was followed by a wonderful nap and the errands as above in preparation for the real business of the day, about which I write. A number of weeks ago, we had a party for one Kyra Nijinska, daughter of the great Russian dancer, and it got in the paper, with several mentions of this person. We did have a debate: “A Wit is greater than a Wit-ch.” “You are so right.” End of debate. The functioning in the world at several levels, through what appears to be several personalities, is very normal in the true Mahayana Buddhism, with its teachings of Nirmanakaya. Free from self and ego-hood, one can adopt a mask and function through that mask as if real.
Dawlat used to tell us at great detail how this was done in plays at Suresnes. But what followed was not a play; it was a real-life drama, although at times, it took on a farce-comedy:
Mrs. Sybil Leek is a Witch, the president of the Witch’s Society of Great Britain. She was to have been the guest of honor at Kyra’s birthday, as above, but while I have a 24 hour-a-day schedule, she has a 168 hour-a-week schedule, and it is impossible to change it—this is not nonsense, and is not understood by the generality. When you work consciously on the several planes, you work consciously on the several planes, and those who are conscious of one plane only, simply do not understand.
It was on open house party. I think most of us would have liked a formal speech but there were two metaphysical “leaders” present who have a large following, who constantly interrupted the speaker—even to fight each other, and in their quarrels they were both very personal and very ignorant. It is this type of person who dominates the world of occultism and metaphysics who have been my bane all my life and about whom Murshid has written, “Good helps good and evil fights evil.” But in California the masses follow these metaphysicians and end in a limbo. They judge everything from personality and if a person is not presentable, that one is rejected and if presentable that person is accepted. A point to bear in mind when I come to the end of the story—completely ironical and beautiful.
But the majority present were heart-devotees, not cloudy metaphysicians and Sybil stopped talking and went around interviewing each one of those heart-persons and neglecting the pompous, egotistic metaphysicians who still think they are leaders of the “New Age” when they are not even followers.
One therefore cannot report too much in detail about Sybil. But we quickly agreed that the scientists and occultist were coming together and operating and in the fields in which she is especially interested—botanical medicine and Herbology. As by this time inspiration and research has come which open up knowledge of essences and “Akasha” it is very easy to communicate with both scientist and occultist and it is impossible to community with the metaphysical, muddled, cloud-nine people.
There is something about heart-people which metaphysicians cannot understand—the spontaneous atmosphere of wit, almost levity, which permeates the place, makes everybody act like children without losing their composure and which increases the rate of communication multifold. In other words the Jinn-consciousness comes to the fore.
Sybil called for spiritual regeneration, for delving deep into the personality to recall “past lives” and all the wisdom previously gathered and make it become part of the objective consciousness, etc. etc. This may be divided first into the common or uncommon experiences which lead to organizations, occult esotericisms, spiritual movements, ceremonies and rituals. And the other to the personal uncovery of the real kingdom of the real “heavens” which is in us, no nonsense, functions and not words. And, of course, the world people cannot understand that. The mystic has the open ear, the metaphysician the open tongue and they do not comprehend, or rather the latter does not comprehend the former and “Scribes and Pharoses” do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Anyhow I am to write for Sybil those experiences, which united the spirituality of the vegetable kingdom and my travels and escapades. It only takes one person to accept and this ventures will be written, at first somewhat separate from my memories but were confirmed by the climax as follows:
You will recall our talks about the confusion in this country between the handsome folk-hero and the real representative of spiritual values. Since then I have applied the Mysticism of Sound whenever certain speeches are heard particularly from the Kennedy family. No doubt analysis is partial, and this may give a one-sided view. But the analyses always end in total agreement with your conclusion. I have therefor become especially wary of the tall handsome, suave types, as they represent the Scribe-Pharisees traditions. And I have already written my general—very brief it is true, impressions of the UN and other meetings here.
There was present a tall, dark and very handsome suave person who did not take part in the proceedings. His name was jack Meek and as the party became more and more informal he introduced some negative and skeptical notes. Now this party was to me one of a tremendous family—there has been a great change in certain quarters that the spiritual rejectees now look upon Samuel as a sort of father and when there are a lot of spiritual rejectees in one place, there are a lot of us, and this feeling of father-son or father-daughter relation was so obvious, that brother John picked me out as the gang-leader. He has been challenging everybody but he finally selected me as the chief villain so he challenged me openly and outwardly.
What does one do? Well from the real Zen I learned Judo and I knew what to do—and have had this experience too many times. Samuel challenged John only harder. Now John Meek is a newspaper and advertising man and socially and symbolically represents (on the surface) everything I am against. He was taken aback at being challenged and harder. And he got out his credentials including his spiritual name which he thought was the card in the hole. “And what do you think my spiritual name is?” And I told him and he was amazed!
Here we were, both world travelers, world adventurers and deep, deep, deep in the brotherhoods of Sufis! What do you think of that? Only he has to keep it secret. Anyhow he took down my phone number etc., and Sybil is going to have me write my tree-samadhi experience.
Of course the audience—and this was the first time and there is always a first time, was with me. It is the end of a long period so that now “The stone that has been rejected is become the corner stone.” The time may be short before I leave the country.
Of course you are right that peace and contentment come from within. But the Night that is within becomes incommunicable until we behave like little children and thus enter the kingdom of heaven which means the kingdom of love and understanding.
I’ll keep you informed of the Greenhouse Lie, etc.
Love and Blessings,
July 4, 1965
My dear Fritzi:
I was very glad to see you in harness again. One does not always know how to protect oneself under malefic conditions or events excepting by the Path which is tread by those who enter the Inner Schools. Such persons both obtain protection and develop the intuitive faculty which enables them to forestall and avoid the worst of events.
Besides there are many forms of guidance and protection not only by “spirits,” but by the Spirit of the Universe itself.
When initiates and Yogis get together they indulge in forms of horseplay, which are not comprehended by the laity. This leads to some bizarre social habits which may confuse others. Certainly this was true of John Meek, the business agent of Sybil Leek and when he laid down his credentials as a member of the Inner School, all that was necessary was to whisper a couple of words in his ear to make him realize that only too often “the stone that is rejected” is actually the corner-stone.
Men like Brother Hyde who get as far as some social organization which has some symbolic ceremonies think that that is the end of the line and often it is not even the beginning. The active spiritual Brotherhoods send out emissaries. Sometimes they are in disguise, but more often the disguise is not necessary because they are rejected. However they recognize each other almost immediately.
The only time to talk is when the audience is ready. A person who has been admitted into the great schools of the Orient, has associated with Masters of many schools and faiths, has learned one lesson—and that is, do not behave seriously with people who have not yet opened their ears.
I have known Hyde for many decades and not been able to get a single point over, not even the geography. And in five minutes Witch Leek not only accepted a number of introductions but I am writing an important paper for her covering two subjects: (a) the spiritual life of trees; (b) my own experiences with sacred gardens. The times, places and conditions will be explained in detail. And there is little doubt that this will lead to further collaborations.
Next year, God willing, I return to the Orient where I teach—even Teachers.
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
July 18, 1965
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Smith
My dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith:
I hope you don’t mind another report from your quondam gardener whose life seems to fulfill the fictional careers of E. Phillips Oppenheim’s “Fools for Luck,” only now, though the matters still concern the Orient, the events are, for the moment, taking place here. It seems, one by one, all those things which were expected from Pakistanis and other Asians have to be done by American persons, this and others. But by this strange “Fools for Luck” career, one meets one’s associates without apparent reason.
For example, the men who head the Mekong River Survey. They are the same type of persons as this individual. They have lived and worked in Asia with Asians. They know the real religions of the real people, and are not misled by the folk-lore which has been shoved on the public through radio, TV, and the press as being “Buddhism” or any other faith. There has even been some intermarriage with Asians. And it is more than satisfaction to know that one has fellow Californians trusted by Asians—though ignored by the press, TV, and even top administration of the University of California. (This is true only in Berkeley; the other campuses are well aware of the efforts of the staff, especially abroad.)
During the UN sessions here, it was peculiar that this person had contact with only two men, but these two were the rivals at one time for the Presidency. Mr. Malalasekera was the pupil of the late Dr. Kirby who once functioned here in San Francisco. This “Buddhism” is totally different from most of the cult-stuff peddled here. Fortunately, the Universities are well aware of that, and with Richard Park in charge, he has selected Dr. Richard Robinson of Wisconsin to head the Buddhist Studies in this country. In a few weeks, there will be a ceremony at Asilomar and for the first time—for which we should be most grateful—the real religion of real peoples will be given consideration over a mass of fiction and semi-fiction, which has been accepted by us as representative of Asian peoples.
The other contact was Sir Zafrullah Khan. I went to the Federalist gathering to meet him and again, “Fools for Luck” intervened. I am right up in front in the first row of the photograph, which is being sent all over the world.
Knowing considerably more of the background of this man than most of my fellows, it did not take two sentences when he asked about the University of Islamabad and recognized at once my in-situ description of the grounds. (This was summarily rejected previously by quite a few “experts.”). He said he would go there immediately on the return to Pakistan and see if he could align himself with the institution.
At that time, I was attending a course on Pakistan at San Francisco State University. To our surprise, he showed up, gave a fine talk, and then acclaimed me in class. This is the second time this has happened this year. The first one, in January, it was by Sri Surendra Ghose before a hostile audience—this for the New World University at New Delhi. This second time, it was a most friendly audience.
In fact, these two institutions have a common treasurer. And two days later, the news came that the University of Islamabad has been oversubscribed by millions. You can understand now why this person has never gone around begging. There are certain principles involved in receiving backing. Anyhow, the University has asked for assistance in approaching Ford, Rockefeller, etc. And I know on return it may be that like a lot of AID people, much time will be spent in office organization.
This is the second valid report of my being on a substantial payroll as soon as I return to Pakistan, and apparent poverty here is for a purpose. In any case, report was sent to the University of Chicago suggesting remedial measures for the rather negative Rockefeller Foundation reports.
The whole world situation is very simple—but we don’t want it so. Food: Population complex is becoming worse and worse in the Communist countries, and either even, or better, where there is some kind of free enterprise. I did not have a very enjoyable time in the class on Pakistan, surrounded by scholars in the Social Sciences, but on the last day, they all fell out with each other on conflicting theories. No doubt, a Horticulturalist or Ecologist will have a mass of disorganized information, while an Economist will have a fine organization, but not sufficient information and facts. The approaches are totally different, but may be reciprocal.
The Rockefeller Foundation reports are clear, objective, and excellent, but without remedial measure. My “How California Can Help Asia” is taking shape, and will be for the while, altered into “Project: Indus Valley.” More and more people in Pakistan are looking to my return. Step-by-step, I have found the right answers in projects, persons and procedures in this State. It is unfortunate that our press is more concerned with exciting than informing readers.
The City of San Francisco has just opened three new and very modern greenhouses, where I am spending my time in reviewing, research, and scientific dirt-gardening. This experience will also be integrated into the work in both Pakistan and India where so many doors have opened, one does not know what to do. But one can assert—and there has been no refutation: “Given a problem in Free Asia and one can show the remedial measures by examples in this State, by persons in and from the state, and by research now going on but seldom publicized.
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
Mrs. Marjorie Cooke Artus
45 Tudor City Place
New York, 17, N.Y.
Dear Mrs. Artus:
This is an impossible, or at least totally unlogical letter written by an old bachelor who is now in correspondence with our good friend, Judith Hollister, and if he is “mad,” it is according to the canons of Khalil Gibran.
There is a story in the Mahabharata, that given a choice between having the top legions and heroes of the time on his side, and Sri Krishna, Arjuna and the Pandavas took Sri Krishna. And it is a fact of life, that given the choice of a top social or political or financial support and Julie Medlock, the writer has already made his choice (references Dr. Oliver Reiser, Sri Surendra Ghose and others).
As we live in a world of dualisms, distinctions, and divisions, we do not apprehend or appreciate the teaching of Jesus Christ, “I am the Vine, and ye are the branches thereof.” And how then, does one Branch act when introduced to another Branch? Are we the same, or different, or coordinate, or what? The heart does not function in this arena.
This person who is locally a mere nobody—which does not matter—has yet been a guest of honor at the Royal Palace Grounds in Japan and Thailand, at the Presidential residences in India and Pakistan, and a fellow of holy men extending from one end of Asia to the other, inclusive, perhaps making Sir Richard Burton and Paul Brunton look like tyros, though they were his prototypes.
The scene is Lahore, mis-en-scène of Kipling and Talboth Mundy and the now-forgotten “Mr. Isaacs” of Marion Crawford where the writer’s existence duplicated what these men have fictionalized. The writer has been very successful in reaching the hearts of the masses—against protocol—and has fallen into a communist trap. The “nasty” communists have a habit of disguising themselves as religious missionaries, which is not in our editors’ notebooks. One meets the intelligence agent:
“There is a woman in this city who has the same madness as you have. You should meet.” The next day at Faletti’s Hotel, I meet the biographer of Lord Russell and Dr. Radhakrishnan, almost my ideals; and Dr. Reiser, a very close co-worker.
The mind takes three hours to compare notes—there were three other men with me. The hearts then meet on another occasion, and not even a glance is required.
There is a type of understanding between those on the some path of evolution or grade understanding that is self self-operative. You can fill in the details at will. They always work out. The story splits, to give you information that this is not theory.
Julie told me the story of her going to India, and skipping, urged that I attend the next philosophical conference. “What, and fall again into the hands of the communists! They will kill me, which I don’t mind but I shall have no recognition from America, which I do mind.”
So we conspired and my god-daughter suggested she go. This person wrote the paper, Miss Saadia Khawar Khan went and won first prize and international recognition. Saadia has since been rising and rising toward fame and wealth. At 26 she was the youngest full professor on the continent of Asia, and a Muslim and woman to boot! It is the impossible which always occurs.
Whenever Julie seems to be in doubt or difficulty a Sufi comes to her aid. She has never fully appreciated that this Sufi is my spiritual brother but the geography of our operations is different. We are both connected with the University of Islamabad in Pakistan and World University in New Delhi. My mission to Julie partly failed—the Sufis want her and want her badly. Her “yes” and “no” is of no account because Sufis do not work in the world of dualisms.
(Incidentally I met the Sufis in the Near East through another woman, a full professor too, working for her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, which is impossible of course, and that led to many wonderful adventures, too.)
This week this Sufi is going to be proclaimed a Zen Master which has already been broached by Prof. Link at the British Museum and Idries Shah in his writing. As Edna St. Vincent Millay has written, “The world stands forth on every side, no wider than the heart is wide.”
Sufis follow meditation by activity in the “Fearful Contemplation.” Meditation is the silencing of the mind; Contemplation is the activation of the heart.
Last year I had one hour with my Fairy-Godmother, Miss Ruth St. Denis. “I am going to save the world.” “How are you going to do that?” “I am going to teach little children how to walk!” “You have it!” Then came the “Dance of Universal Peace” which is to be performed at two places in India.
And along with that the reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Answerer.” Of course the people who praise “The Song of the Answerer” do not want any Answerer, but there are many who do. The whole salvation of the world consists of people who have problems, who have questions, who have dilemmas, listening to Answerers, but the real Answer comes from that One Universal Heart.
God bless you,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti
August 12, 1965
O Bosatsu San:
The inevitability of the principles of Karma seldom prevent people from acting each in his own egocentric manner. I have now seen the debacle of one pseudo-Buddhist leader after another, and now equally the victory of at least one Western man who has not been highly regarded by his fellow-Westerners until recently, but is, and has been, highly regarded by Orientals. I refer to Dr. Richard Robinson, and this is a sort of double-header victory in which, psychically at least, you should be, or will be, sharing.
Between Friday and Sunday came the turning point in both of our lives, and it is difficult to say where to begin or end. Buddhist karma teaches that action brings reaction, but it does not say that the actions of a particular person go to him. A typhoid carrier is immune, and one who throws a snowball may hit somebody else. And if this is a report on the karma, or better, the counter-karma of any one particular person, it is that of the late Phra Sumangalo, whose heirs we are, in a certain sense.
Real Ugly Americans have been anathema alike to the late Eugene Burdick, and those whom Burdick fought. But before his death, Burdick saw that the American professors of Orientalia had accepted Rickie as the #1 man in many branches of Asian Culture, and this has gone on now to the extent that sections of the Peace Corps people also have accepted him. The old gangs survive, though ineffective, and the public does not know what is going on behind the scenes, either in the halls of Dharma, or effectively in Vietnam.
I was fortunate to get a ride to Asilomar to attend a Buddhist conference. When I stated it was the best conference I had ever attended, it set off a most favorable chain-reaction, and almost everybody gave half the credit to Rickie, and half to the oncoming Japanese, who are beginning to realize that there is wisdom (Prajna) in Buddhism.
As to Rickie’s themes. They are so totally different from the hodge-podge of “bright boys” and good-selling books which drug the markets and drug the minds, that it could not have been better. He not only has the clearest exposition of the Dharma of any Western man yet encountered, he has succeeded within the universities, and now with the Japanese community, in “semanticizing” the Dharma. He gives clear over-all expositions which omit nothing, leave room for everything. His Pure Land teaching pleased the Jodo Shinshu people, and his Dhyana teaching pleased Master Seo, #1 Korean Buddhist, and myself. For without any pompous declaration of non-dualism he gave a profound exposition of Dhyana and Karun and Prajna and the Paramitas, which were the subject of most serious discussion. There were no personalities or phony books paraded as sources of and for “Buddhism” and other than passing references to St. Shinran and the Buddha, the emphasis was almost entirely on doctrines and their application in daily life.
There were over 300 people there, and in sections. If there are tapes that can be copied, I may try to get them for you, and if there are mimeograph copies, the same applies.
As a side issue, Rickie set forth perfectly the psychologies of the Vietnamese and their use of Prajna, which confounds our military, and will continue to confound our military. I notice a very clear line between those who know the Prajna and those who do not, with complete agreement among the knowers. Also complete bewilderment among the non-knowers.
Things started off very right when I met Bishop Shinsho Hanayama. Not only did our private commitments harmonize, but I like this man very much, and my next step will be historical so far as the Dharma in America is concerned.
Last Sunday week, Master Seo gave me the title of “Zen-shi,” which he said means “Zen Master.” As this was challenged, he formally ordained me Sunday and gave me a Gatha. As to his instructions, I knew them all by Prajna anyway, and he knew I knew them. The denouement will be that I shall be presenting “Zen” in full accord with Rickie, and not with full accord to, or with any, “orthodox” school. Both Rickie and Seo want me to present Kegon-Zen. I have not told them my Nara experience, which is not necessary, but which substantiates full concord and understanding. My Nara notes are in a safety vault here, and I may dig them up, although from the Prajna and Anatta points of view, this is not necessary.
I have had my appointment mounted and pictures will be taken (it is in Chinese calligraphy) and these will be sent to many parts of the world. I sent the news to Dr. Link at the British Museum, and gradually it will sink in. As soon as this was shown to Chinese friends, they acknowledged me and it. When I told the stories to my oldest Japanese Zen friend, he fully accorded. He never attends meetings because he does not regard any of the stuff paraded as “Zen” as being true Zen. The same is true of one of my American real Zen devotees. The Chinese who have seen it have acquiesced, but it is going to split the Chinese community here. I know beforehand who will accept and not accept. The Chinese are split along this very line anyhow.
Perhaps Thursday night we shall have a conference. I had always declared my Zen would be more Kegon than the scrap pieces which have come down as Soto and Rinzai, and which have been wrapped around personalities. Beside, while there is meal-mouthing “Zen is everyday life,” this is not so. Rickie’s Zen is everyday life; Soto here is not and Rinzai is indeterminate. I do not believe that any Buddhism separated from the experiences of Enlightenment will go far.
There has been a book published on Zen experiences, and the writers have glamorized and glorified it. I find nothing in it not true, and equally nothing not experiences and almost nothing which, if my name had been used, or yours, would have been rejected. In true Buddhism, as in Science, the experience stands, the name is unimportant—which nobody knows better than your good self.
Also, in discussing with the Chinese and Japanese, we agreed that the war in Vietnam could easily be stopped—by Jnana, Dhyana, or Mahamudra, but there is no sense in it. It would not change the egocentric psyches.
I am in total accord with everything you have written. My next letter will probably be signed by my latest Buddhist name. I want to get the spelling, slightly different in Korean and Chinese. I shall not use my Mahamudra name, but will use the teachings.
The greatest danger henceforth, is the detrimental karma to all those who will stand in the way of a “Master” deliberately, and dispute with him about the Dharma. This may cause silence on my part to protect such people. Master Seo has only verified what Masters Asahina and Furukawa have written, and what others have said. I must keep away from the ignorant, excepting in meditations.
S. A. M.
August 15, 1965
Dear Adolph and Ave:
Charles has not been here and received considerable attention, Allan Ginsberg received more. But their presentations have been complicated by what I called the real World War, between the professors and the commentators. This comes up at every phase of our culture today and is dividing humanity between those who have knowledge and those who have beliefs. The extreme of this comes in the bizarre situation in Vietnam with the scrip from “A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court” which “we” will not change under any circumstance.
Charles has not only cross-trailed my researches but put me in position between himself and Robert Craves. From this I have been released by Mrs. Dickermann Hollister, head of the project for “The Temple of Understanding.” Mrs. Hollister has received unusually excellent response from all over the world and it is possible that we shall have a real Temple of
Understanding and Peace which came neither from the Baha’is nor from the returned Israelis at Jerusalem.
I wrote Mrs. Hollister a paper on “Living Women Mahatmas” and she got me in touch with some women whom I have never heard of, whom she thought should be on the list. The very first one encountered solved in part the impasses between Charles Olson and Robert Graves both of whom she regards as short-changing women in their circular and “witch” functions. I don’t know whether this charge is correct but there are certain omissions. Besides, some of the earliest Greek poetry came out off oracular transmissions.
I have gone through a wild round of dramas with people who claim to be Buddhist leaders and part of this is due to my full acceptance of Dr. Richard Robinson of Wisconsin as the most conversant with all Buddhist teachings. I won’t give details but already I had been asked to submit “Gathas” which long were a test in real Buddhist inner circles. Wet only have I submitted a Gatha but have written in this form from time to time and my autobiography has begun in this form.
It is this which Charles seemed to be pioneering for, but an appeal is one thing, an effort is anther. And the writing of a Zen compendium in the Gatha form will be a accepted all over the Orient and now in our universities, for there is close understanding today with the Americans who are now teaching the Oriental languages and philosophies and with their Asian co-workers.
This coming weak I have to consult my attorneys for the first time in a legal contest over the family estate. Elliot only forged a will but wrote he had done so and his letters are now in my attorney’s hands. Any sort of settlement—and he is more in a hurry than I am, means I shall have the means to finance my own poetry and any publication thereof will demonstrate some prowess in the Vedic and Gatha forms.
I do not know what the repercussions will be but as there are now associations with all kinds of leaders through Asia, I am not the least disturbed about markets and readers outside the United States; and now with what has happened here this year, with American Orientalists.
Actually Buddhism, poetry and mythology have become luxurious for all one’s efforts are toward the solution of food problems. And this is only mentioned because the reports continue of water shortages in your area. My closest friend who has long been engaged in salt-waster conversion research just passed here the other day and may return. While he has been working in laboratory and pilot stations I have been trying to interest political leaders. Why I had even submitted one plan which was accepted by the Israelis, UAR and Saudi Arabia after the UN officials endorsed it but to receive cold water from the State Department and a veto from the so-called Carnegie Peace Foundation which seems to have the final say.
I do not know any problems for which there are not answers but our politicians, our newspapers and our thought-control groups are constantly yelling about the scientists having too much power. What power scientists have comes from their knowledge and wisdom. The water problem has been basic in my mind and when I returned from Asia to find the candidates for governor in this State arguing over what kind of government Cuba should have it was like entering a mad-house. Water remains our main problem here and we do everything but face it.
Of course the press may have exaggerated the sufferings of your section.
Having three greenhouses at my disposure has been more than one could handle and the Tomatoes have run away ahead of schedule. This may give some ideas for Fall planting or growing them under the warm houses in winter. I am using four or five methods, still too early to give final reports. And by September the greenhouses will probably receive such a load of stuff it is hard to say how we shall proceed.
We sterilize the earth and also the pots. We have all kinds of modern equipment, which one can study. The result is being busy night and day all the time.
The story of Vietnam shows the poets and Buddhists on the same side. There is no difference with the poet’s appeals here but there is a differing when they cry for answers and won’t accept them. Maybe it is too early.
August 19, 1965
My dear Fred and Corinne:
In a short while I shall be leaving this house to see Grand master Seo of Korea. The meeting will be one with indifference for by now one knows only too well the egocentric + or – reactions which only increase karma and solve no situations. I met the Master under situations which dominate the life. Someone attacked me in the name of the “Master of the Far East” and soon the real Master came; I never saw the critic again. There was not only mutual recognition, but also realization that we had all studied under the same Grand Master (Tai Hsu). Our very well meaning but totally egocentric “truth-seekers” will have none of that. But it is curious that at least two of my long-time associates who also met Master Tai Hsu recognize a lot of things. The others are all out for a “moral and spiritual revolution” that diabolical phrase which impedes any change of heart. Change of heart is feared more than anything else.
But I am not worried. Another friend who known my heart, although he is a Christian, now occupies the next room. And Vocha will be with me. This is important because every time Master Seo has bestowed any honorific somebody else has interceded and what he told me in person is nullified by something said in public. It never occurs to these people that this person is also close to some Grand Masters, a dominant factor in life and just as equally has it been true that one has been ignored. But this is not a sad letter at all; at the worst ironies.
End of Cook-Servant Corner. Jesus Christ said, “Let he who would be master be servant of all the rest,” something which is totally and absolutely repudiated through the whole egocentric West, no matter what else be true. The Grand Master Sankara spoke through his cook. The great Sixth Patriarch never even entered the meditation hall yet he had the illumination. But the world will worship Sankara and Eno; they won’t follow them, or Jesus. The stories of the living and recent great Sufis and Vedantists show an almost rigid adherence to the words of Jesus Christ and I could tell story after story of real Master acting in most humble capacities, but never, under any circumstances, using the world “humble” or pretending “humility.” This is for our Western pseudo-messiahs.
I don’t know how many parties I have put on in life and I can hardly recall one in which any thanks was shown—not that one wanted it, but I can recall that in at least half the cases thanks was given to some other man, and also that it nullified any and all efforts to present a spiritual philosophy. Despite Eno, despite Sankara, the cook is a cook, the servant is a servant, and the well-dressed is the one to explain the “spiritual” teachings.
Few weeks ago I was notified that one of my hostesses was on her last legs, only Sam could save her from suicide. So Sam thanked her and another person for the great honor that he was capable of a saving anybody from suicide, that in long social careers neither of these persons have ever bothered in the least to listen to my adventures, much less my teachings and that I would not even send a blessing or prayer, and if the lady wished to leave the world, I could at least send a bon voyage. Two weeks later I met the lady and the intercedent and for the first time they showed human respect.
But this is not a sad story. Yesterday a god-son and god-daughter suddenly re-appeared and I had a fine free breakfast. They are living in Santa Barbara and may return here. Real love and affection, like the Dove from Noah’s mark, may find the Olive branch, though other birds do not return.
The same was true of lunch although this letter is a long, complicated and beautiful story. It will have repercussions around the world of the difference between those who venerate Lord Buddha and the crowds of misled and misleading seekers of Truth who cluster around personalities, personalities who will under no circumstances have anything to do with each other, each with leadership complex and even more a complex of lack of consideration for rivals. When one reaches a certain point even this whole world is his “oyster.”
When the fifth patriarch wanted a successor he asked his disciples to submit a Gatha. Most of them were afraid to and their leader wrote one which has been considered unsatisfactory. This person wrote a Gatha of spiritual realization for the Master of the Master of the current Zen leader here. Will this teacher or his disciples listen? They would rather I sing of offal. That is exactly what they don’t want.
Now I have already begun my autobiography in Gatha form for that is the only way of manifesting one’s spiritual attainment—once written you expose yourself. And when Master Seo asked me for a Gatha it was done. But each time there are others present there is intercession, emphasis on my failings and the Master then agrees with the critics. Only now Vocha will be present, so we shall see.
No doubt I have offended some “Buddhists” here by my out and out endorsement of Dr. Richard Robinson. Our relations have been long and deep and filled with turmoil, travail and pain. We have internalized the whole pain of the Vietnam complex knowing that neither the State Department nor the press nor the public is interested in “Ugly Americans,” the real ones. I have seen Ugly American after Ugly American lambasted, vilified, etc., men who have lived with Asians and crossed the heart-boundaries which separate personalities and cultures. All the real Asian wisdoms reveal has to cross over this heart-boundary and commune and communication.
(I don’t know what the Semanticists decided here but people of heart will continue to communicate. The real Zen says you communicate without words and I can demonstrate this with a matrix from real Indian cosmology, but nobody also knows this.)
You can imagine my feelings when I find Rickie speaking to large audiences and giving out the real teachings of the real Buddhism, the real Buddha and the real Buddhists. He is today accepted by the American Orientalists and by the Asian Orientalists and not by the English and German and European “Orientalists.” He makes no bones about it.
He has the same habit of perhaps exaggerating his positions in the Dharma and then delivering the wisdom when challenged. This is horrible to those people who want a stronger Krishnamurti to deliver them and do not want “wisdom” if the Wise do not follow certain patters long since exposed by Karl Jung.
In “Readers Digest” there is an article about a seeress and she has predicted tragedies for the world, at the end of which there will be a near world-war but a spiritual revolution led by a young man already born in the Near East who will unite all the religions.
We did have here a meeting of many Faiths with the UN and it was full of politics excepting for Dr. Malalasekera who spoke for spiritual liberty and spiritual awakening. Dr. Malalasekera used to debate Alan Watts. Watts was the popular, he won. But it is Dr. M. who teaches the real Buddhism and carries the burden of human suffering. We like Alan Watts, and we like people who can be popular, not those who can bear human suffering.
During that time Samuel spoke a few words to Sir Zafrullah Khan, just two sentences, and the next day Sir Zafrullah Khan addressed a class at San Francisco State College and acclaimed this person. The same thing happened earlier in the year when a famous Indian leader came to San Francisco and told the audience he had come five thousand miles to meet me. That audience did not believe it but the one at San Francisco State did.
Now I will try to put these pieces together. During the moments Sybil Leek spoke to me we agreed on collaboration and I have written a paper on the spiritual and occult side of trees. Many people seek that sort of knowledge. When I first studied with Rabia Martin she was a noted occultist and from her I gained the last threads of European occultism. And then I came into the Sufi wisdom and although it is not accepted in this country, it was easy to have Sir Zafrullah Khan understand it and others; many others. The Divine Wisdom comes to people who are no better, or worse, than the very improbable persona selected by Jesus Christ as his saints.
Then I wrote a paper on “Four Women Mahatmas” and sent it to Accra, Ghana, to another lady who may also be a Mahatma but who is too much like me to bring this point out. All these women are functioning and three of them are decidedly not presentable socially. Yet one is Princess Poon Diskul of the Royal Family of Thailand, perhaps one of the nicest and most powerful persons on earth. She was also upended by Alan Watts who is the socially presentable type.
Another is Rehana, the Witch-Oracle of India, who is despised because she does not follow social customs. Instead of being in purdah, she has all sorts of assemblages. We recognized each other at sight and despite difference of sex and nationality embraced. She had been recommended by that lady in Ghana (a Californian, Caucasian). Another is the Witch herself. There is nothing common among these people but possession of faculties which usually manifest in women rather than men. The last is Mrs. Dickerman Hollister of Greenwich, Conn., who is establishing a Temple for all faiths. When Samuel wrote to the latter, she long-distanced because he had the knowledge she was seeking. And from the Sufi point of view she has a marvelous clear, deep heart-voice. So you cannot judge by the outside.
772 Clementina St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
August 28, 1965
My dear Oliver:
I am today very tired, worn out but this is not a story of hard luck, it is a story of continual ironies, ironies that has become no ridiculous that they provide laughter, not anger. And the continuance of two cultures no matter how you cut them, becomes so evident. Yesterday a small number of us bade been voyages to Vocha Fiske. It was a popular gathering. One of her two closet women friends here is a lady, who though I have met her few times has woven in and out of my life for some forty years. Another is a Chinese lady and if nobody wanted to write a long novel about relations which have entangled us both in parallel dramas it would be a natural.
But the final point was that after everybody had left Vocha showed me a letter sent to her c/o the ship, asking for curtains gifts and if one scanned the list it was exactly what we severally had brought, none of us “knowing” in the objective sense what was wanted, and all of us knowing there is communication at the non-verbal level. Every one of us was acquainted with Science and Sanity and some quite else to AK. But real communication at real non-verbal levels has been made into a mystery, a miracle or an impossibility and thus “coincidence,” etc. by various metaphysical groups who have completely erroneous ideas of scientific research, i.e. at some point of view they review the ego qua re ego and not the data qua re data.
In responding to your letter one must begin with Julie Medlock. The “angel” of Julie Medlock is one A. A. Brohi of Karachi, Pakistan. He is the fiscal trustee of both the Islamabad University and the projected New World University at New Delhi. We are both associated with one of the top Sufi teachers, but in this country, where the splendid literary materials of various British PhDs have been substituted for living beings, living functions, and living operations, both officially and non-officially Sufis are not recognized.
The abstractions of these British literati are accepted as being true with the result that actual Sufis have been declared heretical by non-Sufis and I am not talking nonsense. This cuts the lines of communication between living human beings and increases the ill-will between other lands, in particular Pakistan at the moment. It has had the further deleterious effect that Peace Corps service men and women, going out into the real Islamic world have discovered what they learned while being briefed has nothing to do with the people they have met—sometimes not by the wildest imagination is there any connection. So it has been a long hard bottle to get any recognition for Islamabad University and this always causes the road-blocking personal to seek refuge in some personalism.
I would not mention this but is going over the plans for Islamabad University the Director wanted something very much like G.S. I had already given couples of your work to various persons, and no matter what people say about the non-verbal communication the various recipients now stand on the Boards of Directors of both Islamabad and New World Universities, which were not even on paper when I placed your books with them!
There are two tremendous obstacles in the way of communications. One is that most Asians are not prone to answer letters. The resultant has been the loss of billions—and I mean billions—actually and this is not a figure of speech, in foreign aid. And the Second is that Asians constantly seek refuge for all actions in something they call “religion” and most Americans insist that “religion” has nothing to do with the various complexes which appear today. And when we have people of some cultures continuing to act as if religion was everything and of another culture; as if religion were nothing—religion is not defined here, indeed it is not even definable. You can imagine what sources of frustration there are. Anybody that has gone to our leading engineering firms will get confirmation immediately, but “we” won’t and don’t act that way, especially the dialectical, non-scientific portion of our community.
If logic of justice or even success were important, a short paper on you would be sufficient to get the Boards of either of these Universities active. Islamabad U. has been over-subscribed and wants a teacher on G.S. without knowing what G.S. is, but it is equally true that most G.S. people here haven’t the slightest idea of how Asian minds work. And Prof. Bernard Lewis of London U., in his initial address at Berkeley, stormed at the audience for assuming that “human nature” is everywhere alike. He said he has seen no evidence therefore and he has lived in many lands.
I shall check to brochure Hills sent me which has your name on it. Your name has been recognized in several places in India, both what you have furnished me and others, but communication and confirmation are difficult.
Now the next step is to try to give a pragmatic interpretation of Sufism and this applies to a lot of Asian philosophies, that there is no separation between doctrine and action. A doctrine which does not appear in action is not a doctrine at all; it is not even regarded as metaphysics. The “spiritual brotherhood” is an operation in which persons act as if part of an organic whole; the principle is the same that we can see in biological transformations, that individuals, operating as cells, produce as if in a more complex (I shun here the word “higher”) living organism or entity which goes ahead and seems to carry them along—drops of water in a river or cells in a Volvox, etc. The object is a goal and not necessarily the personality to achieve the goal. This brings us all the way back to your Integrational Philosophy.
In conversing with Vocha’s friends, I remarked that since returning last from the Orient I have had a single visit with a cleric and cannot find any cases of any sciences in any of the fields of my own operation who have not granted interviews. When the Hon. U. Thant remarked that the world needed to balance scientific achievement with a “moral and spiritual revolution” (I heard him twice), I remarked to my companion, “Nonsense. The scientific achievement is the moral and spiritual revolution and there is not and has not been any other. You can cheat on your income tax, you can lie in a public lecture, but you cannot alter your laboratory notebook and succeed in research.”
This might sound like good humanist philosophy but is merely the experience of one man.
As “Buddhists will not study the credo of Lord Buddha, and less follow the moral or disciplinary dictum, there is no way to make clear the teachings of Buddha to our self-centered Americans. For instance I know of groups seeking funds to study (?) deep psychic phenomena, telepathy, and memory of past lives or spiritual awakening. But send them examples of these things and you never hear from them again. The difference between the scientist and metaphysician is tremendous. The former wants data and facts, the latter funds and personalities.
My long predicated warfare between the professor and commentator is out. The professors of the American universities have long since accepted Rickie as their leader. The commentators, TV stations and cults will have none of him. But the Orientals are beginning to discover him. And in his classes we discussed openly the faculties of Buddhists in Vietnam to communicate by thought and by “Prajna,” a faculty common to all but forcefully and forcibly hidden by all the different ego-leaders of various Buddhistic (?) and other pseudo spiritual movements.
Rickie is demanding, and getting, the same consideration, or lack of it, that one finds in all the sciences and now gradually in a lot of our social studies and humanities. But I am afraid I offended some people by coming out so strong for him when I have never so expressed about others.
In a few days my legal matters will come out. My brother forged a will—he always gets away with everything—but my lawyer has his confessions and more. It may take a long time or a short time but any sort of victory will free me forever at this end. In the Orient I am already free. And I have made Rickie one of my heirs, at least on paper. Because he is the one who is bringing East and West together.
I also met such a man at UCLA, an “Ugly American,” who practiced the heart-communion and studied the real scriptures of the real Lord Buddha. Now the State Department has recognized both Orr and Robinson and this is the greatest achievement. The public may not follow but the universities will and by the next generation we shall see the universities teaching real Buddhism and the cults continuing as cults always do, each with their own private messiah. Until, of course, human suffering reaches a point that these is a cry to heaven.
Also, the events of the day—the rampages of rivers, the extreme drought in the Northeast, the outbreaks in Watts, and there will be more—come from our people quite willing to give up the kingdom of heaven if they can only gain this world. Power by any other name is just as dangerous.
There is now a book out by a Zennist who describes Zen experiences. So far all the non-attained have been yelling that the attained never tell and this is a gimmick that works. The attained people I know all played the “Beast” role, and Beauty never could see through these Beasts. Nevertheless, having had the experience of delivering both in the East and West, one can only cultivate patience as regards to the East. When Senzaki died, “they” found what “we” always knew, that he was the Zen patriarch of the age. I never knew a more rejected man, I never knew a more patient man.
Well the meeting might not make any headlines but it will “make history,” although not necessarily immediately. Met Vocha and she and the Master took to each other with understanding. Vocha had just been attending the Semantic seminar on “Communication” and you can bet that very few of the “experts” would understand this form of communication which is immediate, spontaneous and yet deep and sincere.
I don’t want to go much into what she said about the Semanticists who are fine, sincere people living in worlds of concepts, speculations and thoughts but hardly in worlds of action. And no doubt someday when we recognize that ancient Asians might have something to contribute to our deeper knowledge, we shall be on the highway to solutions of problems. Besides, the absence of serious scientists of any kind at the semantic seminar would have irritated Korzybski. “Why aren’t they here?” Talbot did not come; he is a fine sincere semi-saint who has taken himself very seriously. I have seen so many of these men fade away at meetings of real Orientalists.
Master Seo not only accepted my Gatha or poem based on spiritual attainment, he is going to have it published. So I shall send it to Japan, Thailand and some universities. This is perhaps the first time a Western man has had a Gatha officially accepted by a Master of the East (though I have written them before). It is also the first time when a person, presumably trained in Sufism has also evinced understanding of Zen based on experience.
The reaction against my appointment will be drowned out. Nobody is going to knock our universities now. In extreme contrast to a few years ago when “experts” would not even permit me to submit papers and poems, the very few men I have had as associates now dominate the scene and no matter what happens in Vietnam, soon real Americans will be associating with real Asians in realms of understanding, communion and perhaps peace.
This will come out at the next meeting of the World Federalists here. But, here again the meeting is loaded for me as two of my best friends occupy top positions with the Federalists. And yet all one wants is the right to submit his papers or reports without a priori rejections. This whole history has awakened faculties such as reading people’s eyes, voices, facial expressions and other signs we are always emitting. Anyhow I now have one man willing to apply himself to the deep understanding of real Buddhism, as presented to the world by Lord Buddha.
Vocha will take certain things to Japan which will facilitate this and this person, the only Western man permitted to climb the real sacred mountain of Japan will have his explanations (not his person) taken seriously. The eminence of Dr. Richard Robinson makes any ego-claims quite unnecessary. It has required almost infinite patience. Our medical laws are very stringent about the practice of medicine; electrical engineers, who do not understand transformers, would not be permitted to operate; but in the realm of the mystical, all you need is a glib tongue and success either in orating or writing and it takes years to rub that off. The world needs spiritual understanding and the heart-sciences, and this country has hardly touched the surface of even the elementary heart-sciences. Who can build a Taj?
Love and blessing,
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
September 1, 1965
My dear Bryn-Shamcher;
I am sorry I missed you. There are always things coming unexpectedly in a universal life which is geographized here and that is all. The same would be true no matter where one be.
There are no private ventures. My scientific work is more “united with all the illuminated souls” than the social and religious work is. If there is the Message in the sphere anybody might pick it up and deliver it as Mrs. Dickerman Hollister is. But it is my research that has reached the point where a whole lot of us are working not only to the same end but on projects which are separated only in their geographical application.
That Pir-o-Murshid said the heart is the depth of mind is one thing. That it is operating in my so-called “private life” now is like a series of miracles. I am going to see the damnation of a lot of so-called spiritual and universal movements which will not recognize each other. I am seeing the beautiful cooperation between souls who work on the Vijnana and Ananda levels which are presented symbolically in “The United of Religious Ideals.” The time for part-effort is game.
One cannot compel anybody to accept that there are illuminated souls who form the Spirit of Guidance, and once cannot but wonder about the ever growing cooperation between these persons in and from all parts of the world. Today it is New Zealand but concerns West Africa to begin with. The next is the checking up with Westinghouse on Salt Water conversion. The efforts with local so-called “spiritual people” is filled with frustration; the efforts with the scientists, the technicians and more and more now with university professors who are in other departments brings more than satisfaction every day but also the increasing hazard of increasing contacts and heed for correspondence etc.
History has been made in this person who has been officially pronounced a teacher in Zen-Ch’an. This has been done before too but the world did not accept it—until at the end of last year one found a whole series of kindred souls, particularly on U. C. campuses. As we presumably advanced and function closer to or with universal mind, and heart, things happen. Often we must store and share these with future generations but now my autobiography has been definitely demanded. The private conversations with Pir-o-Murshid manifest more and more and more. When people open their hearts to each other this will automatically save themselves and the world.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
My dear Sharab:
Thank you for yours of the 24th. The weather has been unusually good here. We did not have so much fog and once had a surprise rain deluge. Net having been so cold, when it cleared up it did not get too warm. But anyhow with the new greenhouses, I could always work inside. My Tomatoes, mostly just culled found on the floors of those greenhouses, were properly planted, but after being fertilized they ran riot and have so such fruit that it is not even being picked. In fact I may have to ask the students to go ahead.
As I am engaged in a drainage project I have not boon able to keep up with the Tomatoes but there is another elderly man here who is taking over. I am send to Ohio for seeds and conduct a regular experiment later on.
We had a larger enrollment this term and the garden class is quite large, the other classes have more in them and in general this part of life is very lovely. I shall know tomorrow night what has been the result of the scholarship awarded me.
Now in three classes at the University of California Extension, two at night in ancient religions and trees study and another in the day in ancient religion also. I have been advised to get more upper division credits. And today I was successful at long last in getting an appointment at San Francisco State on a peace plan for India and Pakistan.
I think I told you about my upsetting the apple cart when Princess Poon of the Royal Family of Thailand and head of the World Buddhist Federation came here. I have been writing some sarcastic letter about knowing everybody and everything in the Orient and nobody paying any attention. Last week a man was introduced as an “expert,” on Kashmir and could not answer most of the questions. Why not? Because most of the questions were about Chinese politics and Chinese military movements, the speaker had lived in India and knew something about Kashmir but the questions were nearly always on other matters. I wrote a friendly letter to the chairman suggesting in the future that he direct questions to the subject of discussion, not invite an important speaker and expect him to answer all kinds of other questions.
Along the line I began prodding some people who will never grant an interview and got a call today. In the meanwhile my congressman has been convinced and is trying to help me because I seem to be almost the only one who has been entrusted by both Pakistanis and Indians. The State Department has adamantly not answered my mail and there have been two attacks on our buildings in Pakistan. We de not realize there is a moral law which is a law and not a lot of nice verbal barrage which is like alcohol to the minds.
After the State College interview I go to a reception for Mrs. Grady, widow of a former ambassador and a crypto-Sufi. If she recognizes me before certain other people too they are going to be on the spot and I think they have found it out.
Yesterday my friend, Jacob Fuerrhing, gave another concert for the Thibetan refugees. He can play music of every peoples in Asia from Japan to Turkey and is now studying central Asian music. I understand he is joining the musicology department of the University of California, Los Angeles. If so, he may get some surprising contacts.
There is a great difference between Pir-o-Murshid’s teaching and the beliefs that have come. Be taught there is a spiritual human brotherhood and there is a spiritual human brother and a spiritual hierarchy and these hierarchs show up where one least expects and this includes the University of California, at Los Angeles.
Today I received a long distance call from a Mrs. Evans of Santa Barbara. She has the copyright on some of the late L. Evans Wentz’ writings and has written a drama on “Milarepa” the Thibetan saint. I shall be able to get her introductions to Princess Poon and Dr. Radhakrishnan of India both of whom are close to the Dalai Lama. And my pal, who now works across the street, is close to the Maharaja of Sikkim who is one of the chief followers of the Dalai Lama, so it may be possible to have her play properly produced.
In the mean while I have been able to introduce my god-daughter Magana Baptiste introduced to several big people for her play on the life of Lord Buddha. We seem to be very much attuned for every time she presents a dance pattern I am able to work a Yoga Dance from it, and yet she is also a Yogini! Her husband is one of the few people who has pierced my spirit.
They have a gymnasium and between that and the work being done with plants at this writing my body is in wonderful shape, which is almost an awkward thing to report. Of course one cannot make Paul or anybody practice breath exercises. Long training, coupled with practical efforts, seems to have made this body rather strong and long giving, God willing.
You are quite right about the Church of Understanding and more will come. I feel it now. Have written three letters to very important people in world affairs so, despite the trouble between India and Pakistan which has changed all immediate plans, the Wisdom of God will dominate and one has to be patient and pliable.
The next item on the agenda will be the return here of Mrs. Sybil Leek, the Chief Witch of England. I feel something will come of that. Well, I’ll think of Paul when I work in the Greenhouse and take on a “wish you were here” feeling. It is always warm and pleasant there especially as the weather grows cooler.
September 13, 1965
Dear Art Hoppe:
Am I in hot water? And don’t I love it! Princess Poon Diskul, Her Serene Highness, Granddaughter of King Mongkut and President of the World Buddhist Federation arrived. The dignitaries stood at attention on two sides of the pathway for Her Serene Highness, at attention, collars straight and heads high.
And me, mispresentative of hoi polloi in the background, not to be besmirching les élites. The Princess, graduate of the same Leprechaun-Elf University, seeing her fellow alumnus, rushed forward pushing one or two of the les gentilhommes out of the way and extended both hands. The dog-house was in readiness, but this was unexpected.
The Princess, although of Royal Family etc., was conceived while her mother was reading Hans Christian Anderson, as the aftermath of Grimm & Grimm who were not so Grimm. She ain’t no lady and when she lived in San Francisco was not invited by the “best” families. They were too busy studying “Buddhism” under Englishmen and Germans to bother about a totally non-descript “Princess” whose father may have had one or five or five hundred wives. Consequently, the Society Editors ignored her, but she would have ignored them anyhow.
She was my host and guide in Thailand which ain’t according to the rule book. If you go to the top Buddhists you will find this person may know more about Buddhism than all the “experts” not to be confounded with all the excellent teachers we now have in the universities.
Personally, I think she is on an intelligence mission or to try to promote peace in Vietnam. All the top GII people I have met, all the admirals and big shots who have been abroad, know her. They may not “Know Nellie as I do.” For besides being a leprechaun-elf, a royal Princess, she is one of the most profound and powerful persons on earth and the only one I know of who gave Mao Tse Tung a coup de grace—something we must not do. We must write “hate columns” which he eats up, but make him lose face! That’s not in the rule book, or book of courtesy, etiquette and behavior proper!
As one of the few persons who knows all the aspects of the Princess’ life and career, I have enough respect to omit mention of her in my autobiography so far, but she is to me the most interesting people on earth and I can point out a lot of others who think the same. “If you ever go to Thailand, look her up, look her up!”
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
It has happened before, and it will happen again and the very short visit of Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul, marks the embarkment on the full Bodhisattvic function. One must recapitulate:
In talking with Dr. Bryant of the USIA in Karachi, I remarked that I expected my scientific work, though not very important, but my investigations into religions, folklore, superstitions and demography to be rejected and he agreed fully. Now since my return with the exception of those who have been to the Orient, I can count on one hand people who say they believe in morality and religion to have granted any sort of interview; with practically total success with those portions of the community not presumably concerned with “moral and spiritual revolution.”
Indeed, I have just received a small scholarship from the University of California which will put my scientific work here on a scholastic basis. But with a small knowledge of certain science, I have been admitted into world conferences and with a tremendous knowledge of the religions, until this last summer nothing was accepted.
But we must go back to the beginning of the year. I wrote then of unexpectedly meeting secret Bodhisattvas in our universities and I have met more since. They are on world missions and will have nothing to do with Sanghas. I had to leave one of them to come to San Francisco to meet Sri Surendra Ghose, Deputy Leader of the Congress Party of India. He told a hostile audience that he had come 5,000 miles to meet me. One of the top “experts” in “Oriental Philosophy” stomped out of the room immediately. It was fortunate that Sri Ghose was with life-long friends of mine. This audience which is totally sold on “moral and spiritual revolution” would have nothing to do with me.
Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul, made a short stay here. There were two lines of VIP dignitaries to greet here. Seeing this person among the “hoi polloi” in the background, she gave a cry of joy, rushed forward, pushed some of the dignitaries out of the way and extended her two arms. The audience, led by Brothers Fung was furious at me, although I had noting to do with it. I don’t know whether you know this madcap Princess, who is a mixture of Leprechaun, Jinn and Superwoman.
Of course she was not permitted to say much, for Dr. Fung, like everybody else, has his private dharma which you can’t read in the scriptures and he came out flat footed against rituals, ceremonies and everything that the Princess stands for. So, she spoke only on spiritual liberation and enlightenment and the Brotherhood of the Enlightened—not the “Brotherhood of Buddhists” which we aren’t going to get anyhow.
Hon. Aiem Sanghavasi accompanied her and being something like me, a small, socially insignificant person, the VIP greeters and hosts paid practically no attention to him which enabled me to get in a lot of words, if none other than for courtesies sake.
Now the principle of the Siddhis is this; man has no such power, for the ego is Asunyata. But the faith of friends and the disconcern of enemies, gives up a sort of magnetic power which persists just so long as the friends have faith or the critics any-faith. Judo is based on using the strength of the opponent, and when hostility came, it made this person very strong, and he began to function in the super-conscious state. This meant also presuming hostilities and concentrating on introducing my goddaughter to both he Serene Highness and Hon. Aiem. In fact, we not only got all the time we needed, but Aiem agreed to review and even publish the manuscript on which my goddaughter is working; namely a drama on that forgotten man—so much forgotten he is not even called “forgotten man,” vis. Lord Gautama Siddhartha the Buddha-Tathagata. Indeed they were so pleased and this made it worse; for you got both a welcome and farewell greeting which was not on the cards.
The same thing will probably happen shortly when there will be a public reception for a woman who functions as Dowager Mrs. California, and who occupies a totally different position in the Orient than here and has been careful to conceal it.
With this introduction of my goddaughter to the heads of WBF, a sign was to return fully to the Bodhisattvic role. After being placed under the Bodhisattvic vow years ago, I had to study “Bodhisattvas, the Saviors of Mankind.” It was a book written by one who studied in Manchuria and Mongolia. The contents have been largely forgotten but it meant very careful behavior with the Roerich Foundation who self-centered the whole Bodhisattvic methodology and pretended that Nicholas was either a Bodhisattva or a forerunner of Lord Maitreya himself, with the proper karma.
There are no people who are less observant of karma than the religieuses. I know when Hon. U Thant called for a “moral and spiritual revolution: that there would be war-outbreaks. The case of the Kashmir complex is another Vietnam. The American who had been all over the country and associated with all the people was disdained and rejected, although very fortunately, differing from Robert, the CIA finally admitted he knew what they did not. But so far as the public and press and commentaries, it is a continuance of that same old folly: the opinions of the big man who was not there are more important than the experiences of the little man who was.
All this put one back on the Bodhisattva Mahamudra and not being any U Thant, one will not get plaudits but one can internalize Kashmir and work for peace internally. This does not interfere with my Ko-an—which incidentally is going along quite well. But it puts the person to the test. There can be neither optimism nor pessimism but benign indifference.
This can be said because David Kapleau has let the cat out of the bag. There is no reason why religious experience cannot be described personally and impersonally any more or less than any other kind of experience. No doubt religion, also, as Comte taught, must go through the theological, metaphysical and scientific state.
I have had a whimsy when meeting a person who called himself a Buddhist, to ask which Buddha was he following. “Were there more than one?” “Sure, two; Shinran Shonin and Daisetz Suzuki.” The first criticism I got concerning Kapleau was that he was destroying the apple-cart of Daisetz. “Sure, and he is telling about real Zen.” “I can’t believe it. I can’t accept the dethronement of Daisetz Suzuki.” That is about it. We have gone all over this before and I don’t think that Daisetz’ favorite chela is going to be too happy.
There is nothing in “The Pillars of Zen” which cannot be accepted gully as if in good faith. The only comment I have to make, and it is not a criticism, is that most of the experiences indicate a relatively low stage of mysticism. This point comes up in Asvaghosha, but then I am caught short in a world of “Buddhists” who do not study Buddhistic literature, much less having performed the jhanas or bhumis or anything else.
Anyhow, I am very happy that for once one does not have to listen to lectures and explanations of people who have never had ko-ans on that subject. I have been interrupted by telephone calls and learn of internecine war between Sotoists and Rinzai-ists, especially in the Hawaiian Islands. Why not? The local Zendo will have nothing to do with Tsurumi graduates. This is the Buddha and Dharma and Sangha, but then the locals and locales do not repeat any Triratna and it is curious that persons like Brother Iru, who repeat the Triratna are persona non grata with those who ignore basic and unbasic vows!
The passing into Bodhisattvic vow at another level was followed by a person asking for dharma-transmission. I dare not name him now but if it happens it will upset everything that has been going on in this country in the name of Buddhism which is not according to some Buddhistic teaching. This one person receiving the Dharma will, because of his family and social position, affect the history of Buddhism in this country more than a thousand converts. I shall keep silent, for a failure may not mean much, but a success will bring out in the open the difference between Dharma-transmission Buddhism and all sorts of sects, schools, cliques and what not.
I may have written that when my friend, Mrs. Fiske White, left for Japan, she had received a special delivery letter asking for certain gifts, and that the list of gifts was exactly the same, no more and no less than what each of us had severally brought. I told her there was a Zen Master on board and that I knew she would meet him. She sent me a special on landing in Japan that not only she had met this Zen Master, but he introduced her to the captain of the ship who was a upasika.
Hui Neng may have said once or a thousand times, that Prajna was Buddhism and Enlightenment was Prajna. We repeat the words and let it go at that.
Mail has come and it means that one must go ahead in this India-Pakistan dispute where one has all the knowledge, the confidences of so many people in both lands, but not the proper social entrees—which means nothing.
People ask why I don’t do more for “Buddhism.” My Tomato experiments have succeeded beyond expectations. My fertilizer experiments have brought excellent results. The people around the Greenhouse where I do this are so harmonious and cooperative all around. This is peacefulness and peace and nobody needs any sermons. “This flax weight three pounds” is the essence of Zen. People who have never heard of One Mind act and cooperate as if there were One Mind and people who are supposed to believe in One Mind act as if this were not so.
In Japan I had the glorious experience of one mind and my friend going there has already had this experience and the young man who will be shortly has had it.
When there in One Mind there is Peace and when there is other there is Samaras and that is the totality.
May all beings be peaceful. May all beings be blissful. May all beings be happy.
Samuel. L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
October 1, 1965
Dr. Hugh Baker,
Dept. for Overseas Students,
San Francisco State College,
19th & Holloway,
San Francisco 12, Calif.
Dear Dr. Baker:
I called at your office yesterday after a very happy series of occurrences on your campus.
An appointment had been made with Prof. John Shover concerning an approach for “Peace in South Asia.” This approach is based philosophically, on a combination of the principles of Sufism and Pancha Tantra, neither of which, for practical purposes, has been presented to the American public. This despite the fine work of Dr. Ryder years ago on the Berkeley campus.
At the same time the whole program was based on realities—which have only a nebular relation to “realism” and we quickly found common grounds, having a number of social and geographical experiences in common. I am now awaiting his comments before engaging it.
We both also had conferred with Dr. Bryan, Director of USIA at Karachi. These conferences brought out clearly the “two cultures” and the extreme ease for exchange of ideas and values with scientists and the constant roadblocks with the “other culture” which seeks refuge in the work “realism” to the discarding of all unfavorable facts and factors.
It ought to be obvious that when we send forth highly educated moral men like Dr. Graham and Rev. Thurman to peoples with whom they have no heart-linkage, nothing final can be accomplished. But there is as yet little change in foreign policy and none at all in the editorial policy which will receive Asians into the human race like we receive Europeans.
Later in the day I saw Mrs. Lucretia Del Valle Grady for a few minutes and reported the above. This is important for one item in the knowledge of “men of good will” in both Pakistan and India, many of whom had been friends and co-workers with the Grady’s when they were in Delhi and while I agree entirely with the sentiments expressed about them, I know both incidents and personnel to bolster such reports. Only I dare not name them without some assurance for this could complicate instead of easing matters. Suffice to say I was sent on a peace mission from Pakistan to India in 1962, a mission totally rejected by our foreign office which did not even reply to invitations sent (by others) to common interests and good-will between these now conflicting nations.
A good deal of time is being spent at present in University of California Extension courses and it is to be noted that one’s actual experiences are accepted as valid reports. In the past, and this is particularly true of several institutions in this vicinity, you could have all the experience or knowledge of Asiatica and if this was contradicted by the professor you were not even permitted to present a paper, much less have it evaluated. It is this, fortunately dying, procedure which has kept so many Americans in the dark concerning Asia.
At the moment one of the Anthropology courses is discussing “Dreams” and I am next going to present a paper: “Dream-Cultures and International Impasses” which will deal largely with Indonesia. Miss Lewis was out, but her colleagues asked for a copy thereof, which will surely be done.
Again the paper on “Dream Cultures” will be based on Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy has been received theologically and metaphysically but not scientifically, excepting by Sri Surendra Ghose who has already recognized this person. I have no intention of going to anybody and be refused—which usually happens—for this sets up the negative karma in the world and the negative karma always produces more complications.
For some small scientific knowledge of the Orient I have a scholarship to study in a class by your Prof. Nelson of the Botany Department and it is notable and noticeable that in the scientific world there is always immediate acceptance personal efforts and research. This same attitude is gradually creeping into other sections of learning.
Indeed “God” must be favoring my ventures for while in Shover’s office a telephone call came in of an effort to establish locally a chapter of the American Asian Studies which is now under the aegis of Dr. Richard L. Park. We need badly a real clearing house on Asian knowledge based on knowledge and opinions and once this is done we shall not have so much international misunderstanding.
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
S. A. M.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
October 3, 1965
My dear Allen:
I was very happy to get your letter. In fact I have been thinking about you. You see I have returned to college, in fact to several colleges, and one course dealing with “primitive religion” took up the question of Peyote, Mescaline etc. So I have written a paper on “Botanical Factors in the Changes in Consciousness” and utilized both your experience and those of Aldous Huxley.
Actually this was a first paper toward the acceptance of the grand cosmogony of India. Real Indian psychology and metaphysics have not been taught here, but beginnings have been made. Our American professors of Oriental culture have been considerably more serious than their British and European colleagues and are asking for experience rather than dialectics.
As I am a trained Horticulturist and perhaps also much deeper in Indian teachings than people here will accept, this made it easy to write a paper which has already been accepted. Besides I have on my agenda the “search for Amrita” and also for Soma. Some of this is based on the works of the Indian Jagadis Bose and some with my having lived with Arya Samajists in India. There are a lot of other factors, such as the history of Tequila, the use of Pine-needle Tea, etc., etc., wherein I had pretty good teachers (the late Luther Whiteman, the late Nyogen Senzaki, etc.) Two new universities in the Orient have asked me to continue these researches. Now, of course, they have their war which prevents one from leaving the country.
I have purposely written in what looks like enigmatic structures. This is because we do not study the Indian matrices and so miss some great contributions to universal culture. In class (two different classes) the problems are the limitations and expansions of consciousness, and peregrinations into “subconscious” and “superconscious,” realms both of which are enigmatic terms in English. When people wish to learn, they will be taught but this person has no intention of casting pearls before anybody.
Actually I am now doing with dance-patterns what Brother Charles wanted for poetry. Those have already been accepted in and for India and comes from a heritage from my “fairy godmother,” Ruth St. Denis. We now have three or four dances based on principles Charles wished to see demonstrated.
And again in my autobiography I am using the Gatha form which is ancient Indian or Aryan and let it express itself. This form has been soundly approved by the Buddhist Grand Master of Korea who has officially made me a Zen teacher (although I had such appointment years ago from Kamakura). A number of real Masters have been here but the public ignored them outside the universities—which have welcoming them.
The denouement cams when her serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul, President of the Buddhist Federation, upset the proceedings by ignoring a welcoming committee of big-wigs and ran forward like the Leprechaun-elf she is to greet this representative of hoi polloi. I made more enemies in five minutes than usually come in a year simple because she greeted me before looking at anybody else. She knows I know the real Buddhism regardless of all the “experts,” here, there and there.
I am sending copy of this to Brother Gavin who now lives at 1703 Buchanan St. For soon I am going to be in a fight over Astrology. The text books for the course on Ancient Mysteries were written by a Frenchman who wrote more comments than facts and is terribly against both Astrology and Magic. As for Magic, we are expecting Mrs. Sybil Leek, President of the Witches Society soon. She can take care of herself.
It is very funny. I kept two diaries, one of scientific notes and one of everything else. For a small item of the former I was given a scholarship. Most of the latter has been summarily ignored but there is a new generation coming in and they accept factual material even from the most insignificant person. But I won’t go into that.
Heard some of your poetry on the air today. How are we to express ourselves? I don’t lay down the traffic laws, and maybe I don’t observe them either.
Last night took a friend out to meet the beautiful Kashmiri. Now a single “expert” has interviewed her since the fighting began! C’est la vie ! But she is Amy Woodford Finden’s songs in the flesh. Did you ever hear of Nilla Cramcook?
If you see Sr. Price you can tell him that a real Master of real Oriental Wisdom sends regards, whose names include
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
October 10, 1965
Rev. Howard Matson,
First Unitarian Church,
1187 Franklin St.,
San Francisco 94109
My dear Howard:
Ordinarily your letter of September 17 needed no answer and it was not my intention to follow up what might be awkward or controversial subjects. The last chapter of my purported auto-biography—all quite objective—begins, “Every ten years a Nobel Peace Price, every Five years another war.”
Two letters received respectively Friday and Saturday illustrate very clearly our two distinct behavior patterns. Lord Snow has called them, “the two cultures” and Count Korzybski, teacher of Don Hayakawa, “Science and Sanity.” But the General Semantic movement has run far from Science and in effect has allied itself socially with the very traditions it presumably opposes.
One can only conclude the world is schizophrenic when one’s contributions, no matter how insignificant, are accepted with fervor, and in the other culture, even if one has been eye-witness to some of the greatest dramas on earth, he is not permitted anything but some silly question. Indeed the last question put by this person to a panel of expert—and they were experts and not “experts”—was “Why is it we are always accentuating differences between Nations and never discussing ground work for harmony.
Early in the week I wrote a paper on “Dream Consciousness and International Misunderstandings,” anent our difficulties with Indonesia. It was requested at once by Psychologists and Anthropologists, and also by my instructor at California Extension. This sort of thing, concerning the real Indonesia is preciously what is not wanted by the press, the State Department and the controllers of avenues of communication, but at least one has the sense to discuss it only with those of scientific methodologies.
The letter received yesterday was a beautiful one from Dr. Claude Buss of the History Department of Stanford University. He had spoken at the World Affairs Council. During the luncheon preceding the talk most of the people at the table snubbed me because I said the official historian refused point black to take any newspaper articles and went himself to S. E. Asia to look at first source material. This is as true as it is rejected. The public is won and wooed by newspaper, “Time” and State Department announcements and not being under the scientific methodology, cannot wait for slow plodding method to reach reality—as against “realism.”
With such an audience I would not ask any questions but after the session directly named the top dramatis personae of real people who are playing leading roles in he affairs of S.E. Asians. “Why these are my closest associates and friends!” Of course they are. Reality is reality and all the “realism” of the world is not going to change it.
I once called on the leader of the “Protest” movement in Berkeley and asked him who his Vietnamese speaker would be. I might as well have asked in Vietnamese. Not only was this person whose memories have been requested turned down, but his man, who knows nothing of history went so far as to invite the former Prime Minister of British Guyana to come and speak on “Vietnam,” a man as Negro loving as Governor Wallace. And when serious Americans can consider inviting a South American to speak on Vietnam, or for that matter an Eskimo to speak on India or a Frenchmen to speak on Paraguay, you can see how much our schizophrenic behavior is leading us.
I am taking a friend—you have met him—who lived in S. E. Asia among the natives, to next World Affairs Council meeting on Vietnam.
It is this very schizophrenic behavior which has almost cast me in the role of a Columbus about the leave Spain for Frances. I have lived in both India and Pakistan. I have associated with the masses—which simply is not done. I have the same spiritual teacher as Hon. Ayub Khan and have practiced the “samadhi meditation” in the home of Hon. Dr. Radhakrishnan. I shall skip the details but wrote out a draft Peace Plan to stop the fighting. As most American know so little of Oriental psychologists and religions and history it is very difficult. It is only now, and not particularly much in California, that we are beginning to accept that graduates of Oxford and Cambridge and Heidelberg and Leiden are not the top sources of information about Asia. It is only now, and not that the Brundage people are selecting Chinese and Hindus to serve to help as guides on the forthcoming exhibition in Golden Gate Park.
We as a “realistic” nation have already decided that religion is the issue in Kashmir and is not an issue at all in Vietnam. We have decided that. And although I have been at conferences on Kashmir abroad and have spoken to several Kashmiris and have had friends make detailed in situ surveys, these are unanimously snubbed.
Jesus Christ taught: “whatsoever you do to the least of these my creatures, you do it into me.” Mohammed said, “Act as if you were in the presence of God and remember if you do not see him, verily he sees you.” Our whole system of internal justice in based on that, our whole lack of system in into national reactions is based on entirely different premises, or rather on no premise at all. Wilson gave the 14 points and Roosevelt the Four Freedoms but you can’t convince editors, and now mostly not the State Department either.
When Sri ~Surendra Ghose came to this city early in the year he upset the proceedings when he pointed his finger at met. “Why you are the man I came to San Francisco to meet. I came five thousand miles just to meet you!” This upset the proceedings. The same was even more so when her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul Pismai of Thailand came here. I was not on the program, but in the eternal verities, not to be confused with that blatant phrase “eternal verities” this lady and this person are very close, as if we were and have been brother and sister through the centuries. Indeed this person had this type of friendship in many lands.
When Art Hoppe heard about this he wrote, “My God, why aren’t you in diplomacy?” That is exactly why. Diplomacy is based on “realism” and science is based on reality.
Any how I was given a letter of introduction to Hon. Goldberg and have just received a favorable answer. Facts are facts and in science they come out; facts are facts and in politics we can suppress them to a point. Shibboleths like “Truth crushed to earth will rise again” may operate in the moral sphere. A pompous politician will say, “What we need is a moral and spiritual revolution” but what we need is nothing but an extension of the same judicial system upon which this country was founded, that witnesses and not opinion-makers are permitted to appear in court.
If no answer had been received, all that would be necessary is to send the Peace Proposal to stop the fighting between India and Pakistan to either the Ghana Assembly or to a certain non-aligned Nation which I know would accept it. Peace is not the result of moral dictums and phraseologies. We are crating a world of Alsace-Lorraine and there will be no stopping until we have heart-and human consideration.
The other night I told Mrs. Grady that I was working on a real Peace Proposal to stop the fighting between India and Pakistan. I met all her old associates abroad, and my history with these people has until recently been snubbed as if one were merely a social climber. As said above, I have practiced “samadhi meditation” with Dr. Radhakrishnan and share with Ayub Khan as spiritual teacher.
It is fortunate today that the honesty and morality of scientific research is gradually winding its way into realms of knowledge which heretofore were not always known as sciences. I am even a member of the Association for the Scientific Study of Religion, which is associated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Peace will come when we are objective, impersonal and clear and no amount of emotional dualism has ever accomplished that. We do not use emotional dualism in the chemical laboratory or in the hospital. Why should we continue to employ it in “peace” conferences?
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
October 12, 1965
The Temple of Understanding, Inc.
Green which, Conn.
My dear Mrs. Hollister:
I wish to thank you for you letter of the 5th. When we learn the real spiritual philosophy we shall know consciously that there are realms of body, mind and heart. Little children who really do not know the heart—they are adults in body and mind but not in heart—will no doubt seek look to get on a band-wagon and use it. That happened here with Princess Poon Diskul Pismai.
She selected as her representative a friend of mine, one of those “Ugly Americans” who has lived all over Asia and is rejected by our society and the press and the “experts,” even at a time when two wars are going on.
The predictions for “The Temple of Understanding” were given by my first spiritual teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan. I have seen the useless history of the Baha’is and the social drama of “The Banner of peace” of the Roerichs. The stories that have come to me from the few remaining disciples of Hazrat Inayat Khan all indicate that your project (or rather God’s project through you) can and must succeed.
No doubt there are two kinds of people: those who put their shoulders to the wheel and those who wish to ride the bad-wagon. The second are often useless parasites and one must accept you statements.
Some time ago this person sent a peace proposal to Princess Poon Diskul and Dr. Radhakrishnan jointly concerning S. E. Asia. Now he is on his own with a peace proposal which has been sent to and acknowledged by the office of Hon. Arthur Goldberg at the U.N. Before writing again it is very necessary to take precautions and work out principles if not details with the greatest consideration. Jesus Christ has said, “Whatsoever you do to the least of these, my brethren, you do it unto me.” Mohammed Said: “Act as if you were in the presence of Allah and remember, if you do not see Him, He sees you.”
The peace Program for South Asia can and must include some recognition of “The Temple of Understanding.” Stanly Lane-Pool, in writing the history of India, wrote on the extreme difference between the situation in the 18th century, Mahratta against Muslim, and that at the time of Akbar who made an abortive attempt at a “Temple of Understanding” at Fatehpur Sikri.
I am seating a copy of this to Julie Medlock. It is necessary to have peace. One would prefer to have one’s own government set forth real peace proposals based on the understanding of the human heart; if not, other governments will step forth and we really cannot afford the luxury of continued wars.
There is a vast difference between the phrase, “peace, and blessings” in the physical and mental world, and the heart-communication. This person has had the heart-communication with Asians at all levels, but Western people seldom recognize the arena of heart until they are tried through the crucible which I know is your history and this Sufi knows pretty well what is going on both in your heart and in your outer life.
In 1960 a delegation of Sufis had a peace proposal to prevent the spread of communism. This included a contact with his Holiness, the Pope. I was sent to Pakistan and must assume that one of my brothers went to Italy. I know where others went but as the world does not accept the reality of the Sufi Spiritual Brotherhood, there is little one can say, except that there are a lot of “unexplained” events which become quite clear when we pass from “realism” to reality.
This world has to have “The Temple of Understanding,” and it must pass from lips and thoughts into operation, and in such a way that the Temple will be at the same time a structure on the surface of the earth and a structure within man’s hearts. This is not a time to play games and yet people will play games.
If I were to send you copies of my poetry over a long period you would see that this same theme has been before me. Only now we face the realities of military outbreaks. I am praying to be taken serious in this land as I have been abroad, and if so much insist real consideration of “The Temple of Understating” as first and foremost among the methods to produce that the United Nations which physical and intellectual but not spiritual, has produced.
My love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Christi
772 Clementina St.,
October 16, 1965
My dear Sharab:
This letter is being written on the eve of another birthday which looks very much better than the last ones. Indeed I have to break socially with about everybody here because of the last two. There was a big celebration two years ago with a number of top spiritual leaders from Japan and when it was discovered it was my birthday we repaired to a private house so could address the group. The hostess turned it over to a man who portends to be a Buddhist leader—nobody else has accepted him, but he took over. The next year it was promised that they would make amends by giving me a real birthday party. At the last moment another “guest of honor” was invited and it was his party.
What is appalling and this is universal, is that these events made one see deeper into the principles of karma. Pir-o-Murshid once gave lessons in occultism by which one can see into the future. One has to be severely honest with oneself and to use the intuition. The rest is easy. But it is very, very rare that people are honest with themselves.
I think I wrote about the tow speeches of Hon. U Thant here and I know he would have to face the test. New India and Pakistan have been facing and fighting each other and among the battlefields are the very properties given to me for experimental purposes, an also the tomb of the saint (Bullah Shah) where I was to be given my reception. Bullah Shah was one of Pir-o-Murshid’s favorites.
There is a local editorials writer who is somewhat of a comic and he wrote that anybody who could mingle with peasants and Presidents should be in diplomacy and I replied that is exactly why I am not in diplomacy. There was not a single person in Foreign Service abroad that really knew the history of the country where he has stationed—a situation reversed here in San Francisco by the reception received from our top Orientalists.
Anyhow I took the request to a local Chinese friend and he gave me a letter of introduction to Arthur Goldberg. Here again there is a very strange situation that this person has been initiated into all the schools from one end of Asia to another and the rejections thereof—and one usually receives rejections form the “spiritual” people—makes the whole situation most ridiculous, which it is.
In the meanwhile relations with university professors are improving and improving to the degree now that my Sufi history was requested by one university and immediately accepted by another. So what Pir-o-Murshid told me is coming true and it is coming true despite all the refusals of Western peoples, including “Sufis” at every point.
There is nothing more evident today than the complete immobility of would-be leader to surrender. They do not know what it is. And I have not only seen this is India and Pakistan but a severe attack has been made by the followers of Ramana Maharshi on Sri Ramakrishna. I think I wrote you of the Indian fiasco at the gathering of religions at the UN here. Indians make bizarre claims and reject each other all over the lot. The Imam at Washington came out for the Brotherhood of man. He was an interloper.
One cannot make anybody accept what Pir-o-Murshid said about the Sufi Hierarchy. In Cairo I was approached by an emissary from the living Ktub. Everything he said has come true. They wanted me to carry the Message to South India and to American and somebody else went to see the Pope. The speech of the Pope at the UN and since was nothing but an extension of what was communicated to me. But in general Muslims—and most spiritual disciples—are the hardest people in the world to become receptive. They simply do not accept and this adds to karma. Or, as I have said, the lamb and lion may lie down together but the world is never going to let little children lead them; or is it?
The story branches out. The comedy of the visit of Princess Poon Diskul here and the strange meeting with all of her emissaries duplicates the meeting with the Sufi agent of the Ktub. There are real spiritual men in high places in this country. When Prof. Buss spoke on Vietnam I lost the whole audience and then went up to him and began naming. “Why those are my best friends.” “Of course they are and that is why I have kept silent.”
Instead we have the Doves who will not permit a Vietnamese to speak at their rallies, and the Hawks who want war. Indeed I met some were Vietnamese and the papers gave a horrible interview. But at lest the papers who are against the protests will interview the Vietnamese and those people is who shout “Vietnam for the Vietnamese” will have nothing to do with them. It is a repetition of the horrible situation here where those who shout loudest for integration with the Negroes have never, never permitted a Chinese to address them. Or in my private life the totally ridiculous situation of having an Englishman of very doubtful morals be the “expert” on Oriental “wisdom.”
My Vietnamese experiences came mostly second hand—but never further than second hand. Those of India and Pakistan first hand. And at least I have had a friendly acknowledgement from the U.S. Delegation at the UN. This was followed by a long letter detailing meetings with top people from the Orient where this person has upset meeting after another by being accepted by world leaders when nobody else was. Indeed at one gathering when the Hon. A Bokhari was alive, he fainted in my arms when I whispered some Sufi words into his ears. This man unfortunately for me, died suddenly soon after. But there was no trouble in talking with Zafrullah Khan when he was here.
Again the story is double on the purely cultural side many professors in our universities are now most cordial. I received a scholarship for my experiences in the botanical and horticultural fields. But if I did research in a country I must have met people there, and this is now being accepted by the professors, thank God.
The next step was to accept my eye-witness meetings with real Indian and Pakistanis. And the next step was to accept eye-witness meeting with Sufis. And at this writing, all these experience which have been rejected almost unanimously by our gradually disappearing European professors of Oriental Philosophy, and by the few remaining disciples of Pir-o-Murshid are not only being requested, but being detained on our campuses.
So at long last what Pir-o-Murshid told me personally is being accepted. Not only that, he told me the success would be among the intellectuals and not from his disciples. There can be no such thing as Sufism without God and all efforts to spread Sufism without God can and must fail.
The period is encouraging. I am now taking two courses in Anthropology. It is in one class that the Sufi background is asked. In another class we are dealing with the Mysteries of the Ancient Mediterranean. And beginning with Pir-o-Murshid’s first lectures which wore on Yogi Dances. In rapid succession have come to me “Dance of Universal Peace,” “Triumph of Rama on the recovery of Sita” and “Processional Dance in the Temple of Isis.” When one understands symbolism it follows in due course.
I shall not go further into personal history for the whole thing resolves itself into something very fundamental and very simple—in one sense. The Whole Peace Program—already accepted by Princess Poon Diskul and Dr. Radhakrishnan is nothing but the application if the Healing Service with its prayers for Peace and its acceptance of a Living Hierarchy.
This period will be noteworthy for the rejection of the Living Hierarchy by the descendents of Pir-o-Murshid, and still more so by the various “Avatars” of India who reject each other like poison. We want Peace without being in Unison with the Will-of-God. We want to function without Insight (Kashf) and in general we want. Mankind has substitute “Peace-with-Justice” for Peaces. Or “Peace and non-Resistance” for Peace. Peace can have no qualifications or quantifications. It stands alone.
On this coming birthday the body is stronger and more resilient; that causes dismay among critics. This is due in part to master over breath and knowing the science of the Elements and a lot of other things in the teachings. Devotionalism is fine but that is for the Angels. It is not for the sages. Angelic people are noble, wonderful highly moral and considerate but with no Insights. The rejection of the top Angelic character of this region by Mrs. Ruth Sasaki, the top American Bodhisattva, was followed almost immediately by her accepting a poor, insignificant lady who had no merit other than being a disciple of Nyogen Senzaki! We cannot elect the chosen of God and we think we can apply “democracy” to holy things.
All my relations with Mrs. Judith Hollister and her “Temple of Peace and Understanding” are the finest. And there is now in this country Mrs. Sybil Leek, the Chief Witch who is here on occult and other research and expects to come to San Francisco at the conclusion of her literary efforts. I have also received a most important letter from New Zealand following a very big program, “Project: Garden of Allah.”
My birthday check just arrived and it is far more than expected, which means new clothes and other things. Whatever happened in 1923 in conference is happening now in outer events. It has been long, slow and hard.
Pir-o-Murshid has said, “I will accept no rejection from the heavens.” The most terrible weapon is Patience. We take too lightly the seemingly elementary lessons on “Morals” and “Metaphysics.” Now one of the “old” mureeds has written for papers and those shall be forwarded. Only I am more concerned with the truth, let us say, of the Healing Service and the Prayers than of the papers. We can hear Voice if we listen and this is most important.
It is gradually coming out that one has the mastery of breath. This is, of course, not all of it. I feel a little awkward in doing heavy work, when I think of Paul. But whatever plans have been they will now require meditation. Whatever I told you in confidence will someday become known. We shall have to accept Hierarchy, we shall learn of the existence of other creatures at all levels of consciousness. And I think there is such to learn of the flying saucers.
The different between the metaphysician and mystic is evident. Metaphysicians can learn only to a point and do not know how to listen. A friend is going to lecture soon on Milarepa who kept his hands to his ears. There is great lesson in that. Some day one may convince a few persons of the reality of Saute Surmad.
Tuesday there will be on the Indian-Pakistan conflict. There will be a bombshell. He comes from the same village in Pakistan which was my first home there. There will be a second speaker later in the week just after my interview with the Indian Consul-General. This man is a devotee and he will accept my dances as above.
Almost the first man I met in New Delhi in 1956-just after being with Pir-o-Murshid Hazan Sani Nizami, was the Hon. Syed Mahmud who was joint Minister of External Affairs. He knew Pir-o-Murshid at Hyderabad. As boys they were in the same circle of Sufi misreads. He was also a close friend of our then Ambassador Henry Grady. I keep in to with Mrs. Grady although more by silent communication. We understand each other.
He whom the world holds is smaller than the world and he who holds the world is greater than the world.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Christi,
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
October 26, 1965
Rev. Cecil Gibbings
My dear Brother:
It had not been my intention to write, especially in a dualistic fashion. But a miracle took place in this City Sunday night which it may be well to report.
You will understand, Sir, that man may propose but God disposes. At the present time I am here involved in a law-suit and abroad the peoples of India and Pakistan are engaged in warfare which has completely upset earlier plans. But if we practice—I mean practice, not believe, everybody “believes”—They Will Be Done—one has to be ready to adjust to whatever happens and not desist in the Praise of God or the practice of the Presence of God. It also means that traveling will not be done at this time excepting in accord with some of the context of this letter.
This person does not indulge much in “dualistic prayer” but at the present time performs what Sufis call Mushahida and Buddhists Mahamudra Meditation. It is practically the same thing. It almost requires the abandonment of sleep and the internationalization and internalization of the heart. Al least that noble soul, Dr. Radhakrishnan, President of India understands it and the attunement of the heart was been accepted by him now, as it has been on previous occasions. Indeed one of the reasons for the fighting at the present time has been the rejection of the Peace Mission this person has sent, especially by the officials of a Nation which has been engaged in furnishing weapons to both sides.
And it is not a simple matter to out-argue Pakistanis that Allaho Akbar, God alone is great, and that UN’s and alliances and weapons have only a finite operative field. Besides, this person is not sure as to whom or who is right or wrong in the political field. He does know that the great powers of this world have not given an iota of consideration for the peoples who live in the high mountains of the Himalayas-Karakorum-Hindu Kush complex and he regrets that the peoples of all religious have rejected in toto that whatever ye do to the least of these My creatures ye do it unto Me.
Fortunately the people of Snow’s “other culture” do not think that way and have the utmost consideration for the smallest of physical particles, the smallest and rarest of minerals, the smallest and rarest of plants and animals and human beings. In I am the vine and ye are the branches thereof there no minorities or majorities. And if the wordily-wise have no consideration for the least, plagues and storms and earthquakes do.
Rev. Joseph miller of this City is a dear and life-long friend. Our difference has been that from my point of view he has been stuck in the angels and not in the divine consciousness. We have a number of people who are deva-souls and you cannot find a single fault in them, unless their seeming inability to produce real comfort. Solace and accomplishments in the time of trouble. At the critical points they become ineffective.
Somewhere along in life Rev. Joseph became a disciple of Dr. Evans-Wentz in Tibetan esotericism. The famous doctor has recently died, lamented by all those who have not received the Dharma-transmission and therefore neglect or reject Buddha’s last words, “After me the Dharma.” But our Brother has the Dharma or rather demonstrated it:
At the end of on excellent cooperative lecture with his wife, Gwendolyn, she went to the piano and Joseph chanted. But it was not the Angelic or Deva chant: He broke loose and demonstrated the Mahamudra, or the Logos in song, becoming what came out of his mouth.
This is an extreme rarely in the Western World and it is important at this moment to tell you because you are quoting liberally from “The Mysticism of Sound.” It is also important to tell you because our Brother came out afterwards that he and his wife are practicing Christian mystics. And in turn one says this because in the audience were several Buddhist initiates, who although Initiates, have not been able to demonstrate the Mahamudra, only lecture on it. And our Brother not only lectured but demonstrated.
This clarified to me why the Tibetans have not all the wisdom claimed by them or for them but that this Wisdom is here. In my manuscript I have written:
“In the beginning was the Dharmakaya,
and the Dharmakaya was with God and Dharmakaya was God,” etc.
To those who hove not the Divine Consciousness but words, on the one hand the so-called Buddhists deny the existence of God and on the other side the Christiana show ignorance of the Logos. But here was a man demonstrating and this demonstration is and was worth everything.
The next night, because of this, I was able, to denominate the Mahamudra in the dance class under a Yogini and we are taking this up further. This comes at a time when the universities (refer Snow’s the culture”) are requesting or demanding large sections of my personal experiences, mystical and otherwise, rejected so far by almost everybody and anybody. (This is not a sob story, I know both karmically and cosmically why).
There is no need to go into this further but I am taking your materials and sending them to my friend.
Love and blessing,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti,
772 Clementina St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 3, 1965
Hon. N. Hashid Ahmad,
Consul-General of Pakistan,
2606 Pacific Ave.,
San Francisco 15, Calif.
As-salaam aleikhum. It is only after long meditation that this letter is being written, during a period in which even sleep has been foregone in order to seek some “solution” for the problems that plague your country and plague the world. At this writing there is no way in which to make my countrymen either understand or accept that Allah or God is not a figment of imagination or an Infinite Ghost to whom to offer prayers or reality itself. And equally your countrymen will not accept that this person’s ryazat is to feed humanity. This rejection of the Living God on one side or the personal ryazat on the other makes progress in life more bizarre than difficult for without exception our scientists and agriculturalists accept this ryazat, and many of our important people who are technicians but not “experts” understand much more than vociferous persons.
In 1961 I was the only American at a big Thanksgiving party in Lahore who knew the history of the country and until recently I was about the only one excluded from conferences or tables outside those dealing entirely with scientific subjects. Yet I have been closeted with my “Uncle” Syed Mahmoud in New Delhi, and with Hon. Q. U. Shahab in ‘pindi. I was already over fifty years of age when independence was granted and when I have visited the respective countries of India and Pakistan lectured on spiritual subjects and attended conferences on food problems.
Even now I am in a funny position. Your countrymen keep demanding I do something in the political complex. This is not my ryazat. It is not only not my ryazat but I know very well the spiritual brother to whom this problem was assigned, so to speak. I shall only mention here that he is a Pathan, a close friend or President Ayub and I should no more think of interfering with his spiritual assignment that you would think of interfering with the affairs of the Departments of Finance or Water Problems. Besides this person can without preparation lecture equally on the Upanishads and Kashf-al-Mahjub. He is regarded with the highest esteem at Dargahs Data Sahib and Mian Mir. His first host in Pakistan was Dr. Aladdin A. Siddiqui at Punjab University, he has lectured to some eighty thousand persons in Pakistan and has friends all over India, especially among the Muslims. He has even been to Aligahr, etc.
In 1956 in Karachi he saw six lacks of homeless people and pledged himself to work for their alleviation. This satisfies neither Pakistanis who want something else of him nor Americans who are very slow to admit even his geography. But on my return in 1961 I was guest of the Americans at Multan, saw the military installations and took a vow of silence to the C.O. because I had been an ordnance specialist during the war, and rather astounded my hosts by lecturing my hosts on tasawwuf before a group of saints—I have the pictures and they stand as testimonies for those interested more in facts than their interpretations.
In 1956 I was the only outsider present at a conference on Kashmir, a conference not no secret as unreported for neither the Indian nor the Pakistanis accept the point of view stressed. In 1962 I did a “Gardner Murphy” (author of The Minds of Men) asking all the Kashmiris I met what they thought and wanted. This was really useless for a close American spiritual brother had already been to “occupied Kashmir” and the answers were the same. I have also long lived at Abbottabad and saw things from the other side.
I was also living in Abbottabad when there us plebiscite on and in Azar Kashmir. The fact that C.S. Monitor said it did not happen is the first of the objective differences between “realism” and realty. Once a newspaperman reports that is it, and no matter how the lives of people far away are affected, our “realism” has condemned and will continue to condemn large numbers of indigenous people to confusion, conflict and war. That is why my memoirs have been requested and even today I am uncertain about writing, “Eye-Not Witness.” But fortunately there are appointments coming up with local cameraman (Burton and Mailliard) and this week I expect to see Prof. Miller of San Francisco state, and along with him and Prof. Shover, present a program for Ambassador Goldberg.
One must say here that it is much easier to contact high dignitaries then get appointments with people close at hand. It was easy to converse with Zafrullah Khan. It was still easier with the late Hon. Mohammed Ali Bogra. This person had been rejected the local Urdu community due to the machinations of one N. This conniving person was not only accepted as leader, he easily played off people and group against each other and had the advantage of speaking in Urdu on one hand and being half Arab. When I came to New York one year I found him working for the Indian government! Yet it has been impossible to dislodge him, only now Imam Abdullah and the writer are good friends. Very few of your countrymen accept this explanation but if you find one Abdul Rahman on your records—he first sent me to Abbottabad and on my return was living there.
It was at Abbottabad I met X. who proclaimed he had been assigned the task of Kashmir by the Auliya. This is a point I cannot prove to non-believers, only today I share with President Ayub one Pir-o-Murshid, and am myself a Murshid in another Order founded by Sufi Barket Ali of Salarwala in the Lyallpur District. Among the followers of Sufi Sahib assigned to me has been one Mohammed Hakim how is a cousin of the Mir of Hunza.
With such and other backgrounds this person is seeking “solutions” and will first try his fellow countrymen. But it is with some indifference for the Sufis of Ceylon have a large press and would be interested in furthering the cause of Peace. And this is one example of accepting, at least or paper, the ides of Afro-Asian monitors during the period of dispute. Besides, that this person has access to the Accra Assembly, to some of the world’s top diplomats and finally the Arabs so he is not concerned with the local non-acceptance.
In fact steps are already on foot with and among the Arabs to intercede for the sake of peace.
I have heard recently the American, British, UN and Indian points of view. Not a word about humanity, not a sign that people are of any importance, and no one has mentioned the Dogras. None of the speakers, nor all together have a smattering of the knowledge I have about disputed regions. Right now one of the armed forces—and I don’t know which, is occupying the land assigned to me for an experimental farm. I have not found the slightest knowledge of the people of Kashmir and the fact that there was a political country of Kashmir long before there were the entities of India, Pakistan and the United States is one of those things that are not to be mentioned. People do not count and before Allah they do count. “Allah loveth His creatures more than a mother loveth her babes.”
All emphasis has been differences and differentiations. King Jelal-ed-din Abdin never existed because the hard fact and also the career of Akbar are contrary to what the dialecticians equally of India, Pakistan and the United States want. “Realism” seeks to destroy history and to ignore humanity.
But I am not asking you to alter your political position. I have been closeted with Hon. Zafrullah Khan. We discussed foreign policies and Islamics. I have worshipped equally with Ahmadias and Sunnis. I have given sermons to both and been accepted by each although basically I am, inshallah, among the Sufis and am perhaps the only American to be publicly acclaimed as a Sufi.
I was able, with Prof. Shover of San Francisco State, to explain in detail the part that Locusts played in preventing outbreaks at an earlier time. I was able, with Prof. Phillips of S.F. State, to explain the threats of the “Pushtuns” which check-mated Kurshid. I know all about Kurshid as about the actual plebiscite held in actual Azad Kashmir—I found the majority of people far more reasonable then Kurshid.
I am interested in surrendering to the Living Allah and to perform His Will which has to do with food problems. Only last week I called on Prof. Warren Schoonover of San Rafael but he is away. He is, perhaps, the greater authority on Salinity and at his behest I am now studying drainage problems. I have discussed the Indus Valley with Prof. Orr who now heads the Mekong River Survey. My next journey south will be to meet a man who has given his life to the problems of taming deserts. I do this out of my own small pocket, no help from anybody. I know the internal problems of Pakistan—water, salinity, crops, etc. I have conferred at length with the Plant Protection department at Berkeley and with Guy Atkinson concerning Nangal Dam. I have been to Warsak, etc. This is the work Allah has assigned me and not primarily politics.
My position is the common study of common problems and one can add to that. My fellow Sufis in Pakistan—I can name them if you wish—who have had modern educations are working toward the same goals. I have long been closeted with Fiaz-ud-din Nizami, my spiritual brother and town planner alike of New Delhi and Karachi.
One seeks some “solution” without compelling either country concerned to “1ose face.” On the purely personal side one has to witness the great hiatus between the noble philosophies of India and the ignoble actions of those pretending to represent those philosophies. (I refer mentally to the local and general California scheme.) One cannot meet these men as human beings but of the conference on Asia Studies this year at the Palace hotel even the top scholars of Asian philosophies accepted the solutions proposed by this person.
When this letter is completed I go to school to find the report on my own Sufis, “Vision and ceremony in Sufism.” It all happened but this is mentioned because the class deals mostly with “Guardian spirits” and it is affirmed in the paper that Mian Mir is my Guardian Spirit. This in more easily understandable in that I inherit, in a sense, the mantle of Dara Shikoh. I inherit in a much more material sense the mantle of Iqbal which I possess. Dr. Q. U. Shahab long ago accepted this and I have read poetry to audiences in this country, positively barred here, so must wait. My “Saladin” is a continuance of the methodology of Iqbal and my final work if Allah permits it will be “Rassoul Gita” an Islamic answer to “Bhagavad Gita.” Being a student alike of both faiths (refer Dara Shikoh), the inspiration flows easily when one has leisure time. It is based on Kalama and the theme is one long dissertation on Kalama as Universal Philosophy.
You will understand then I wish to be in class—where my words are accepted and respected—and not in a lecture hall where even the simplest facts of life are not so accepted and respected. I do not and have not accepted the AP-UP reports and have and a rough time of it. Then letters came from Lahore refuting all the nonsense accepted here and one can tell form the tone of the letters that they are true—I mean the facts, not the confusions.
This struggle is not a TV show and so far that is all I have seen and heard. The Indians are my friends, I love them. I have sat in meditation with president Radhakrishnan and have lived in ashrams and I have worshipped in khankahs and mosques. But to love does no means one should no correct. Only it requires more than finesse, and it requires a much greater knowledge of the psychologies and histories of people than one generally finds. At least Donald Wilbur, in writing the official book on “Pakistan” which is studied by the Peace Corps, accepted this person’s reports. When he criticized Sufism I gave him the names of twenty leading citizens of Pakistan. Someday this will be done here and then, inshallah, we shall have, as a lady in Connecticut now becoming famous has written, “Peace and understanding.”
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
P.S. Will telephone for an appointment.
P. O. Box 5983
San Francisco 1, Calif.
There is nothing more noble that “Blessed are the Peacemakers.” But what is a “Peacemaker?” If you carry on a campaign and do not achieve your ends, what is it?
I am at the moment putting in all time and effort to try to bring peace between Pakistan and India. Therefore it is impossible for me
1. Not to work in peace
2. To take part in any other peacemaking effort
While in many respects one sympathizes with what you are doing, or trying to do, there are also some sharp divisions:
“We are searching for new directions?” Is this so? Is this not part of our usual dialectical propaganda which divides the public into Doves and Hawks without giving proper consideration to the human beings who inhabit disputed territories?
I see in the leadership in these protests the very people who refused to invite Chinese at the seminars respectively on “Asia” and “China” held by the University of California last year. Nobody protested against the exclusion of Chinese speakers and the Hobson’s “unchoice” between a British communist and an American publisher of very doubtful veracity.
“We are searching for new directions?” Are you? If you are, I may even contribute, but are you, honestly! I know these points of view and undoubtedly there are others:
a. Doves b. Hawks c. Roger Hilssman d. Mekong River Survey e. Vietnamese Buddhists
I am most interested in e. I have met several Vietnamese. They all belong to the latter (e) group. Do we give them time in radio or TV? Even if we differ with their politics, do we consider their religion? Their point of view? Have you ever heard of a Vietnamese explaining his religion? Why do we insist that religion is the main problem of the Kashmir complex and not at all one of Vietnam? Where did we get this knowledge?
I am considering seriously a book: “Eye-Not Witness.” It is concerning the experiences of real Americans in real Asia and the rejections thereof by all dialecticians from the dishonest editor above to the Marxists. Against facts and information, a common front! I love people and want ideas to be based on human consideration first, last, always.
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 9, 1965
Editorial Communications, Inc.
555 Madison Ave.,
New York, N.Y. 10022
My dear friend:
Some time back I received a communication from you which I do not believe was answered. Today I am in considerable difficulties owing to complexes in the international situations, and more in that one is not believed, which becomes very awkward. For at the moment an army is occupying the lands assigned to me in Pakistan near the Indian border, for agricultural purposes and so far every interview follows the exact program of Lord Snow and his “two cultures.”
If I wish to get approval for a peace proposal, or a method to gain friendship for America in the Orient, all that is necessary is to go to some agriculturist or science or industry connected with food or engineering corporation closely or distantly related thereto. And if I wish to get a snub, all that is necessary to do is to go to some “peace”-organization,” some church, some philosophical group and especially those far-distant people called “metaphysicians.” There is hardly anywhere a break in this pattern.
It applies to other matters too. For again this year one has passed innumerable tests in Zen and Buddhism and it has been with extreme difficulty that any attention was paid thereto. Then, compelled to remain here I have enrolled in two courses in Horticulture and two in Anthropology. The behavior pattern in the first courses was agreeable as expected. But in the second case it has been extremely agreeable and not expected. Given a series of facts, events and persons, one can run down to logical conclusions in one direction and to personality reactions in the other.
As so much of our foreign policy and so much of our social behavior patterns are based on personalisms you can see what is happening while I am trying to get some peace proposals over. This was once tried rather lightly in the Near East where the Arabs both of the UAR and Saudi Arabia were willing to recognize Israel on the conditions I laid down. This was squelched and squelched good by some of our powerful “peace” organizations. The same is happening now only one does not need to heed them.
I have joined the Temple of Understanding of Mrs. Dickerman Hollister. But I can only give a negative report on the speeches of the religious at the Cow Palace here during the UN meetings. They are about as far out as you can expect, and simmer down to: “You accept my power structure and all will go well.” All has not gone well and it was easy to predict that.
What is annoying today therefore, are not the negative events in the private life, but the disparity in human reactions. Add to that that no Vietnamese are welcomed in any demonstrations or counter-demonstrations purporting to pertain to their country!
Samuel L. Lewis
November 12, 1965
My dear Harold:
In re: World Peace.
With the arrival of the magazine from Bangkok today and in view of some of its contents, this person is coming “all out” for what he considers World Peace which must not be confused with a phrase used by man called “World Peace” which is a conception and not an experience. Until man has some cosmic experience he cannot know what world peace is, and of course, this is reflected in the affairs of the day, that we do not have peace.
For many years the late Phra Sumangalo and this person were like confessors to each other. If Robert has been criticized he would have said: “Of course. I do not claim to have this perfection, I have never claimed perfection, I am walking down a road and I have to walk down that road and cannot change. That is my Dharma. If my critics stuck each to their Dharma everything might be better. But I do not absolve myself.” Only now one can see that Robert stuck to his Dharma and is now held in high regard and will be held in still higher regard “as the world turns.”
I know very well that both of us had roles in the cosmic drama, that each of us had to perfect those roles and that was our perfection, not purity of character demanded by so many people of so many other people. I can see today that he preferred his cosmic role to near perfection, which was not that of saint or savior, but was that of a sotopanna pursuing unerringly the course needed for the perfection and manifestation of Dharma, individually and universally.
Having seen tragedies to many of our co-workers plus actual initiations, this person was sent on the Fudo path which angers a lot of people who have no clear insight into Samma Dristhi and translate it to as “Right Views” which it is not, and could not mean and for which there is no justification. The perfection of Samma Dristhi comes in the Maha Mudra and I am not imposing it on anyone. Anyhow “my” Mahamudra Peace proposal for S. E. Asia has been accepted by the Big Three of living Buddhism and recently I was fortunate enough to experience it again at a Vajrayana Initiatory ceremony in which two of my dearest friends were given the Vajrayana teachings.
The great problem for these friends was their deliverance from the Deva-state into the Bodhisattvic State. This is also mentioned because in Ojai the Deva is highly regarded above all and Devas are welcomed while Bodhisattvas are judged and judged and must be judged by those deficient in Samma Dristhi.
Now the same sort of proposal is being made to stop the Indian-Pakistani conflict. That this was coming was easily foretold. All one has to do is to practice an-atta and rigidly watch karmic compensation. When the Hon. U Thant called for a “moral and spiritual revolution” I knew he was going into a miasma. When the general expects to subalterns to win and neglects his leadership to put the responsibility on them, he must surely sow and reap noxious karma.
Excusing a person is a vicious practice and expecting from others is a useless practice. The higher our authority, the greater our responsibility.
The next was what to me, was a totally uncalled attack on one of India’s greatest spiritual leaders by a leading disciple of another of India’s greatest spiritual leaders. In India people are no longer satisfied by Gurus or Swamis. Anybody that gives somebody else a little tingle, a little release on the first step to Joy (ananda) is ipso facto a Sadguru or a Prophet or an Avatar. India is a land of Pratekya Buddhas and claim or insinuate they are Bodhisattvas—and they most certainly are not Bodhisattvas excepting in one school where there is consideration for humanity. The rest are all “Me und Gott” schools, a term which is not used in derision but applies to etheric escapism which is confused with spiritual emancipation.
The Mahamudra outlook is necessarily an-atta, for one sees from a world-view and not from a personal-view. As soon as this is accomplished he brings down a storm of abuse with the accusation of supreme egotism. For those who have the World View or practice the Mahamudra are always accused; which is unimportant. What is important is, where are we going to get, have and hold the Peace.
WBF is making an effort to bring Buddhists together. It is not a very successful effort. Sages in spiritual development are ignored and loyalty is based on other considerations than spiritual awakening. Of course in contrast to the Hindu, Dharma Buddhism at its worst today is ideal, for there is some recognition of “otherness” and down grading of self-hood. But it is not yet enough to promote World Peace.
The Great Peace is an experience and the Great Peace is not the experience and because the Great Peace is not the experience we have the dominance of Samsara. But the Great Peace is not just peace, it is not an armistice. It demands the fulfilling, not the lessening of life. It is not the sacrifice of society for the extending of the cemetery. True, there is need for seclusion, silence and all the other accoutrements of Dharma. But instead of looking at each other’s faults and short comings, we have to see the Dharma at every point.
I do not wish to recommend the Saddharma which is the Lotus Sutra, although I accept this personally. This transcends the Dharma as such. But when one looks at a problem like the difficulties between India and Pakistan (as against the troubles in the Buddhist countries) one has to have the widest vision and greatest heart. Otherwise words confuse and mislead.
An army occupies the land assigned to me for agricultural purposes and I do not even know which army. All we think of are the differences, disagreements, divisions. What can work for harmony, for brotherhood, for political peace, does not produce the entertainment which we are craving or the excitement still more and getting it.
In a short while a Sufi teacher will enter the Deva-Lotus Land of Ojai Valley. It will be a new experience. He will attract a lot of people with charm, intellect and morality. Even if these are combined they do not equal spirituality. Many of the Deva-worshippers will then abandon their Animus-Archetype for him. You will be facing a new series of problems.
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 15, 1965
Beloved One of Allah:
As-salaam aleikhum. This in a sense is a diary entry and it is written under Kashf. The whole letter must be read last one conclude something is wrong in the world. For the period has been very trying, one has been robbed (not too seriously) and been ill. The illness has arisen because of the inability of friends and acquaintances to take seriously one’s burdens and duties. And if one can escape the “small” people who surround one there is a very clear light and even Guidance.
I must leave this region until there is some sort of peace-settlement. The meeting with the local Consul General was all above board and very beautiful. Your Murshid said. “I have not come to argue with you or make you agree. Indeed I must ask you to stick to your instructions and if I influence you to change we render our duties a disfavor. But I feel I must acquaint you with all points of view. Four have been presented; two, those of Pakistan and Sheikh Abdullah have not been presented. If I seem to be close to the letter it is chiefly to show that there are many points of view and not to object to yours. And until all points of view are presented we cannot possibly have a just peace.ᾀ?
There have been a number of rather hidden events in the private life which, when cleared, will do much to establish not only a settlement but one which will enable Pakistan and India to be much more friendly then in the past. Words are used ambiguously and the confusion between law, national law and international law stand as huge blocks before understanding. But beyond law there is humanity and the humanity points of view have not been presented at all.
The other night I was at a party and it was dominated by those from India. I had no objection to their favoring India but I did have objection for their turning their backs on history and geography and had the doubtful function of pointing out that their opinions, although just and noble from an ethical point of view, had nothing to do with facts. A few of them were convinced but your Murshid was not and is not a believer in communism. However the host of the evening came in and so strongly presented the Chinese point of view that those who favored India were silenced.
The evening had some strange events. The co-host was a man who had long been a personal enemy. When I left in 1956 with many enemies Allah said, “Let your enemies fight your enemies.” This happened and each of them lost some animosity fighting each other and being compelled to lose their social eminences. The son-in-law of this man came and asked for initiation into spiritual music. And later on one of his former disciples who is now very famous asked for instruction in Zikr. Indeed for the first time your Murshid was asked to perform Zikr and more has been requested and the request must be granted, inshallah. One hopes you see that the implanting of Kalama into the atmosphere here is more important than anything else and that, after it is planted, one feels Allah will grant the request to leave.
There is also something peculiar going on, that as soon as your Murshid takes on a father function there is a kind of success which does not appear when he takes on other functions. There will be some following up of this and other events.
The best thing that occurred in the meeting with the Consul-General was his willing to read a recent book on Shiraz by D. Arberry with a poem, the last line of which reads, “Only God I saw.” It is very hard to get people to understand the view of perpetual Zikr or perpetual Fikr. In this condition there are no friends, no enemies, but only the ladder of Light in one’s own ability or inability to tune in on it.
The great curse of contemporary India is that it is full of sages who claim that only God or Brahma exist and who have the strangest views of each other. There is no brotherhood there and my first instructions were to work for human brotherhood and then consideration. There is a mistake even among Sufis in making their love for Allah narrow and personal instead of all embracing. But many do not hold that view and when you go to Data Sahib you see all kinds of devotees in the same place. This only occurs in India during millahs and not otherwise.
The spider web has a wisdom that not only are all strands connected to the Center but to each other. In my report to the Consul-General I told him what has happened to the Pathans that today the majority of them are the most loyal of Pakistanis. The Brotherhood of Islam has proved more valid than a less open nationalism. The Chief Imam in Washington has come out for the Brotherhood of Man. The setting up an Islamic Brotherhood as against a Non-Islamic non-Brotherhood is not vouchsafed.
One Imam went into a church and found that 75% of those present would accept the Five Pillars but they could not accept this establishment of Muslims and non-Muslims. The Kalama repeater may be a Muslim but this does not mean that those who do not say Kalama are excluded from Jinnat. Now the mail has come and there are several letters to be written and in almost every case there is inability to understand surrender. One has to surrender to one’s teacher at every level; the layman must surrender to the policemen and the law; we surrender to traditions and conventions. We surrender at all points and yet we say: “I will surrender only to Allah.” Isa said, “How can you love Allah Whom you have not seen when you do not love your brother who you have seen?”
The two programs for peace and food are all embracing and this person surrenders always to Allah from Zikr, Fikr and Kashf. His instructions, whether from Allah, or from the Saints who have departed or from the Pirs and Sheikhs on earth, form a complete harmony.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad-Chisti
November 23, 1965
“The trouble with you, Sam, is that you were born here. If you were an Oriental you would have thousands of followers.” So said John, our host, the other night. John was an admirer of Nyogen Senzaki and Kathy, his wife, was the last god-child of Ella Young.
Last week I throw up the sponge and began a series of resignations and withdrawals from organizations and so-called friends. With a law-suit going on here, an army (I don’t know which) occupying the land assigned to me on the Indian-Pakistan border, with screeching letters to take sides in the public one has to go back to my local psychiatrist friend here, “Sam, it is not you who need therapy, it is the public.”
For the withdrawal would mean concentration on papers for the solution of the food problems of Asia and a peace plan to be submitted to the highest authorities. And in one sense it is almost like cowardice for my colleagues, who are professors in the universities, are going up against the same thing and all that saves them is their university degrees. I have not that luxury but I do have the pleasure of an increasing number of colleagues, all professors at one or more local universities.
At that moment I was invited to dinner and found myself in a group of closely knit people who have in common that they are spiritual seekers and also that they are international in their gastronomic enjoyments. It was agreed that we shall meet next, on December 4, at a Greek restaurant and that I would make the arrangements and also talk about Hugo and Nyogen Senzaki. They both love “The Wheel of Fire.”
From a professional angle I do not know what you might conclude. I have a lawyer assigned to me who specializes in Wills concerning the family estate. And when my matter was concluded he threw his problem at me. It is one of the most story-bookish clock-and-dagger suits over to be held in our Federal Courts and he was assigned the case. He threw it at me and fortunately I know what to do and have gone ahead. It could mean, if there is any sort of hearing, public or private that one goes on record now before the Federal authorities and once sworn in, one has automatic recognition. And it is tiresome for one has not been permitted to read in public letters from VIPs, which if given any consideration, would lead to a series of real conference or real peace proposals.
Another happy thing that happened was that Lloyd Morain and S.I. Hayakawa at this time sent me a joint invitation to join the G.S. people. I did and the first thing was to read a book review on a professor who is concentrating on exposing false news reports which lead to troubles. It was very favorably received, but of course, the press will continue the false reports and the false reports, not the basic facts, are the subject of our discussions—and our dissensions. For people will readily agree on the interpretation of facts and there is no way to stop dissent over the interpretation of falsehoods.
This was followed by events of equal importance in one’s career, that if there are events in the world of great importance which are kept from the public, there are persons involved and very often quite disgruntled persons. And one meets them as if by Grace and as they know what is going on, despite our press, despite our “official” reports, despite a maze of commentaries by Big People who simply were not and could not have been “there” one is at the cross-roads of supplying some peace programs which, if rejected, can easily be published abroad. Only the prolegomena have been accepted—if not one would not trouble to write.
All of us who were at the dinner Saturday night had been at the gathering for Witch Sybil Leek who has not returned but is in the eastern part of the country.
While this has been going on in two classes at the university the teachers have separately gone all out for reincarnation and spiritual training. It is a new world. The classes at the universities and the contacts are the happiest of one’s life. With the scientists it is easy—facts are facts. But the social studies are going in the same direction.
My “peace plan” will in large order be based on semantics and I see no reason to be small bout personalities. Lloyd and Don simply refused to recognize contacts with the big people of Asia and now they have changed. The contacts are there and are real.
Allen Ginsberg has begun to find that out. I have written and will write unless corrected, that the protestors are largely people who did not have loving fathers while the Hell’s Angels did not have loving mothers. When some psychiatrists correct me, I shall change the stance. We are taking our parental misbehaviors out on society.
Later I may invite Joan Wingate to the group, and will seek Ed Hunt soon anyhow. Only our next dinner plan is to learn Greek dancing as well as discuss Hugo and Senzaki.
November 27, 1965
My dear Gina:
Every now and then I go to Fields bookstore to pull some wise cracks out of the magician’s hat and then pay for them by buying books. Sometimes the book buys me as for instance, today The World Within. And, of course, out comes the criticism which is extremely Puckian and absolutely not according to Hoyle.
I have long discovered Lord Snow’s Two Cultures. Generally speaking I am accepted, and with an overdose from all scientists, technicians and quasi-scientists and rejected by all social philosophers and metaphysicians, i.e. until recently. Now comes the New Age and the New Age ain’t exactly what the people who predicted the new age said it would be. The New Age is not very kindly to fogies.
Stuck here by the cosmic “love” being demonstrated in various parts of the Orient I am spending a good deal of time at the universities, taking two courses in Horticulture, and two in Anthropology. Well, darling, this is the New Age. It was intuition and nothing but intuition and not a speck of logic that made me sign up for these courses in Anthropology at the Cal. Extension which is a sort of blessing between the University of California and San Francisco State College.
In the course on “Primitive Religion” Mrs. Aenni has long since come out for reincarnation and not a cough in a carload. The young people either want or accept it and the older ones have been disillusioned and rejected normalcy so they also reject it. Last week I was given the class and the subject was “Vision and Ritual in Sufism” and having the advantage of Vision which few have it was easy.
But it is another course on Classical Mysteries that is marvelous. Last week the subject was “Pythagoras” and I actually cried in class. You would have thought HFB was doing the teaching. Mrs. C. has long studied the mysteries and we had a wonderful time with the Egyptians and are going through the Greeks after rushing through the Levant. The next session will be on Orpheus. The teacher not only came out for Karma and Reincarnation as you are making, within the halls of ivy and they are accepted and acceptable. Now I am going to read a book, but from the standpoint of a class assignment. How do you like that?
Never had better time than in these college courses. Of course lots other things are going on keeping one busy all the time. Think I’ll carry The World Within to school. You haven’t a thing to say about it! Gavin gave a big party recently and Alan Watts and Allen Ginsberg were there. Now a lot of people accept when I tell them my memory of former lives. It is even behind the Peace Plans I am working on.
Love and a’ that and a’ that,
Samuel L. Lewis
S. A. M.
December 4, 1965
My dear Gina:
“When the gods arrive half-gods go.” This is in a sense autobiographical but it deals in every sense with karma and regimentation. I have taken your book to school and there is a totally different atmosphere there than among the metaphysical people with whom one was placed socially before. These people do not, cannot and will not learn, and they do, can and will lead others astray, for consciously or unconsciously they have the leadership complex and often the “conversation” complex which means, “come and join me.” It is never, “I shall come and join you.”
The scientific study of karma, religion and such subjects is now being considered mostly by graduate school at very serious levels and without any more Hobson’s choice between Puritanism and Cloud-ninism. No doubt the latter will persist and they certainly do in California. But one of their “truths” is that of personality and personalism which is the curse of the age.
Man has the faculty of Insight and all denials of it by whomsoever mean nothing. But there is some question whether man is professor of Insight or possessed by Insight. In any event my visit to the Berkeley campus was so successful at the higher levels that I had to leave after four such efforts. Only one will be related here.
There is now in the upper echalons the most serious studies of religion and mysticism. As I told the #1 man, why is it that Aldous Huxley who is in acquainted with mysticism always found an excuse not to see me while president Radhakrishnan who is a living mystic always found an excuse to see me? I explained that his was a question delineating the difference between the writers on religion and mysticism and the real mystics who have had experiences at all levels.
There are now a number of organizations investigating the higher faculties of man and while I have not mailed my first paper the carbon will be accepted at UC. This coming right after Lottie’s tip on UCLA. Again this is mentioned because there is much a difference between so many of our writings on the Orient and pseudo-“experts” who have never gone far into mysticism or spiritual liberation and those who have had the experiences. “Then you do not accept Arthur Koestler.” “David Kapleau has written a real book on real experiences on real Zen which utterly refutes Koestler.” This put them on record.
A couple of weeks back I gave notice I was withdrawing for society. Too many rejections all over. I sit in the chair once occupied by X who died of a broken heart, nothing would believe in his reports on Anna and Tonkin, since bifurcated into two “Vietnams.” We planned to get a petition signed by all the Prime Ministers of Asia in order to have either a press or State Department interview. This is no nonsense. He died of a broken heart. But now he is beginning to be memorialized, funds are being set aside, statues are planned. You don’t hear about him here. But he has already reincarnated in San Francisco.
His father is an Ugly American, more Ugly then me because he has a greater percentage of rejections. He has been a real Zen monk and a real Theravadin monk but he get the Insight-sigh to marry and his children are “some pumpkins.” I am giving him your book.
[?] American father was the last secretary and companion of X. [?] all over S.E. Asia and especially in Laos and Cambodia and has been rejected 100%—this is smartness.
Well, my resolution to withdraw was marred by an immediate invitation to a dinner by a younger set. At the dinner there came late a man and his wife. The wife was the last goddaughter of Ella Young and Huge Seelif. The husband was a friend and admirer of Nyogen Senzaki. In the end we planned another dinner—which is to take place tonight. Now I am in the midst of two groups of people and it changes the whole tenor of things. This group, or rather bunch who have in common interest in occult and mystical matters; and the people I meet at the universities. One may speak.
Generalities about reincarnation are not truths. Kabbalah teaches reincarnation and today the school at Safed is very active. And in my letter (elsewhere) on Moses and Buddha I have to call attention that in the very same magazine there is an article (very good) on Buber which contradicts the article on Moses and Buddha (very bad). It is the two cultures which Snow calls “scientific” and “humanist-literary” which creep up everywhere. The first is based on “what happened” and the second on “who is concerned.”
Sufis, though basically Muslims, belong to the “scientific” culture because with them it is what happened. I have even been given a big feast by real Sufis because of a recognition of former lives. This was a public event but not reported. It is one of those things which “cannot be.” It has even offended the “expert” on Sufism at UCLA and he has kept me out of certain conferences.
But this brings up immediately the subject of karma. I have talked with this “Ugly American” father as above how easy it is to foretell. All you have to do is to collect facts, be very honest and observant and watch the dynamics of events. It is not too different from experiments in Organic Chemistry. These are not based on Aristotelian philosophy—which omit some vital points. The logic of organic chemistry and still more the logic of events are relative or absolute but in either case do not fit in with Aristotelian logic.
I may reserve this for the return of Witch Sybil Leek who wishes to bring the scientists and occultists together. The door would be open but for the metaphysicians and personalists who crowd the field. So long as we adhere, and a lot of us will adhere—to who is concerned rather than with what is concerned we are stuck. It has taken a long time to change this in the South. It may take a longer time here.
The teaching of Karma and Reincarnation scientifically is more the brooming away of personalities than anything else. Lottie’s criticism of Rhein and Garrett and her being accepted by the universities are of one piece.
[?] here is put over it will be easy to communicate with the World Buddhist
Federation in Bangkok which has planned a research on reincarnation. But it can
hardly be on the Rhein-Garret basis who take their investigations to certain
fields of control. Fred’s regression method is in harmony with the UCLA
experiments but I do not know whether he is connected with them. So I am
sending him a copy so he can make the break.
Granted that everything you have written and surmised is true: we are little children compared with what I have encountered in others in Asia; and perhaps also with that I also with what I have encountered myself. With two countries demanding my autobiography I am now asked—thank God—to submit facets of experiences either by myself as subject or myself as subject or myself as observer. These are so different from the vast majority of lectures given on Asia in that they are backed by time, place, event and data in the same way scientists work and so it is the people I have met recently on three campuses all work that way. They want facts and not personalisms.
We are now finding a war in S.E. Asia and the impasse between India and Pakistan because personalisms are more important than facts. “Whatsoever you do to the least of these my creatures you do it also into me” is not part of religious truth, and is very basic in scientific truth. This was also the subject now of two or three conversations. The result has been some cordial invitations to the AAAS gathering which takes place shortly in Berkeley. I am already a member of the AAAS (Botany and Horticulture) but now the scientists are investigating “worlds unseen.”
I do not see any way clear to come South until late in January excepting for legal purposes (I have a heavy law-suit on hand). But the great change in outward acceptance as one moves more into what Snow calls the “scientific culture” from the “literary-humanist culture,” the more satisfaction there is.
I have also been invited to Livermore to meet the scientists there to discuss what they call metaphysics. There are just two probes—one being occultism and the other reincarnation, for there is no sense in discussing metaphysics apart from life.
My friend Ted Reich, who was very close to Hugo, Whitey and Senzaki has just returned and reports finding a Lady Bodhisattva in San Bernardino and also has some reports on the mysteries of the S.W. Indians. I may try to get hold of him for tonight too. And Vocha Fiske has returned and advised what my Zen Master, Roshi Sogen Asahina, is in the United States. I have had to prod the theosophist, that you find theosophy everywhere but in the T.S. The New Age is here, I meet the people more and more and more, but they will not be led by the “phonies” of another age. When the gods arrive, the half-gods go.
Love and blessings.
Samuel L. Lewis
772 Clementina St.,
San Francisco 3, Calif.
December 9, 1965
My dear Shasta:
How are you? I am going to assume that you were the party that telephoned recently. Only now the news is different. There is a vast gap between saying “Truth crushed to earth shall rise again” and having it happen. There is even a vaster gap between calling “Yoga is experiencing God” and have the direct life of superconsciousness. The whole world is encumbered by a mass of personalisms, super-personalities and ego-centricities and most of us are satisfied with that. We merely want to get rid of annoying personalities and substitute non-annoying ones.
When I get through with this letter I go to school. We are discussing “Primitive Religions.” We are discussing them in such a way that the students themselves must be able to explain. I have seen thousands of people attend Manly Hall lectures; I don’t know a hand-full that can explain what he said. But in our classes we have to explain what the teacher said or we have studied or learned. It is not enough to say that somebody else knows. Buddha said, ”Work out they salvation with diligence.”
I am now working on a theme of the agreement and differences between Buddha and Moses which somebody has used to try to explain the difference between the Prophet and the Mystic. Elsewhere I have written that there are lots of living mystics and there are some of the prophetic types. It is very easy to become of the prophetic type without becoming a prophet. All that is necessary is to observe the law of karma and be scrupulously honest. It is very simple. It is very easy and almost impossible. For as a society with all claims to democracy we make great differences between people.
Last night one announcer attacked the newspapers of 1941 for being so dishonest. I fail to see any great change in them, but we go on believing the press and woe unto him who differs. It is worse than annoying to meet somebody who says. “It is not so.” But we are caught in whole streams of accepting blindly what is not so. So we call Yoga, “Union with God” and one wonders what “union” means, and “God” means, and not being honest, we cannot explain. But if somebody really has the union with God and attempts to present it, he is rejected and shunned.
With the New age it is different. This New Age is upon us and those that predicted the New Age won’t accept it. It does away with personalities and personalisms. It wants facts and honesty.
There is a faculty of Guidance in all of us. The other day I was guided all over the campus of the University of California. There is nothing secret in it. Those who have not the Guidance try to say that when you have Guidance you keep quiet about it. But when you have Guidance you are free, so free others cannot understand it. Paul may have said that Christ raised people above Law but folk-ways make more laws, not less.
I said “If a man discovered a new planet and announced it, would he be the egotist or the one who rejected it.” The man who discovered it “was not an egotist.” “When Einstein said he could explain the Michelson-Morley experiment was he the egotist or the ones who rejected that.” “When a man declares he has had experiences in super-consciousness would he be the egotist or the ones who reject?” “The ones who do the rejecting.”
Now the top scientists of the country meet shortly in Berkeley those who have discovered new planets and new fruits and new chemicals will be invited and many will speak. And for the first time those who have had ventures into the super-consciousness have been invited and they are being encouraged to write.
Some months ago a scathing attack was made on Sri Ramakrishna by the followers of one of the many Messiahs of the day. India is full of Messiahs, Mahatmas, Sadgurus, Maharshis and it is notable how the followers turn on each other and often on the Teachers. And if anybody has real lifting of the veil, he is trounced, not accepted. So Sam wrote and said that a terrible calamity would happen to India unless there was repentance and retraction. This is distinctly laid down in the Scripture but we don’t study ancient scriptures. We select somebody else and accept whatever he says. (This can be the right method. I got it all from Roshi Sokei-an Sasaki but this interferes with other’s beliefs.) We don’t know what is in the Scriptures. We are enamored with the word “truth.”
But it has happened, exactly in accordance with the Scriptures and India is going through all kinds of calamities. If a few even partly awakened ones knew and practiced the Mahamudra Meditation it could not be. Arid if there are any rishis, they would have power over the rain, the light, the weather. It is so and this is Vedic teaching and beyond the Vedic teaching is the Upanishad teaching, Vedanta and Siddhanta and what do we know about them? The people in the religions, cults are not even curious. The young are.
In the colleges religion is limited to Ritual and Vision and everybody is trying to find the right Ritual for the Vision. We call these “exoteric” and “esoteric” but the calling is not the realization. Few have Vision. Vision can be of all levels and these are explained also in the Upanishads but who explains the Upanishads? This person was permitted to challenge the teacher of your teacher to debate on the Upanishads but the teacher of your teacher accepted that this one knows them.
Indeed the World Congress of Faiths has just thanked this one for solving a drawn out debate in the relative merit of Indian and Christian Mysticism. Knowing them one could do that. And this person also just received a letter from Mrs. Hollister whose pamphlet is enclosed for knowledge a grade higher than Understanding—which is also explained in and by the Upanishads. But who can explain the Upanishads and does? (There are some and they are called Sages, not egotists.) When we want that knowledge we can have it.
All over the world I can see the Ignorance and Knowledge side by side—the realization of awakening consciousness and the rejection of this awakening by others and the operations of Karma and Samsara. Words solve nothing but we like them. Shasta, in this new age, everybody will be encouraged to Vision. This is the hope of the world.
Samuel L. Lewis
December 19, 1965
Beloved One of Allah:
As-salaam aleikhum. While doing some typing today there came a sign to send you this paper from the Third Series of the Gathas (studies) of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
The position one finds oneself in is ironical for if this paper be true, and the interpretation be true, there are many who in the name of reason take most ridiculous positions about the nature of Allah and His relations to humankind.
A number of years age your Murshid had a strange form of illness. He stayed between sleep and wakefulness and all the time there were streams of visions even to the edge of their being nightmares. Nearly all these visions were symbolical, although there was also something like obsession.
In order to recover your Murshid had to concentrate on removing every thought of ill-will, malice, discontent and such faults. And when he was able to do that he recovered. It was also fortunate at the time his physician was also a psychiatrist and occultist with knowledge of such matters. One had to repeat “Allaho Akbar” day and night and also work for the “softening of the heart.”
No doubt there was something gained by such experience and now one sees it also in the affairs of Nations. Nations often defy Allah even in the midst of repeating prayers and devotions. And in this country the serious-minded have taken India to task before there has been so little rainfall and so much starvation. But if the people of Pakistan become too haughty, new also there has been tragedy in East Pakistan.
If there were conscious Walis these things could not happen. A Wali knows the laws of nature, how to work with the laws of nature and thus to perfect humankind but only if Allah wills. The Sufi believes that all power is of Allah and belongs to Allah and he does not play with such matters. If there is tragedy it must have arisen from the short-comings of mankind. This perm refuses to compromise concerning Rahmat.
Some of your countrymen do not believe your Murshid is a true Muslim and they have gone to ridiculous ends. For instances they quote Rumi but only in part. The assent confidante of your Murshid is a Mr. Mawlawi who is descended from Maulana Roum and who does not accept some of these partial interpretations of Pakistanis.
Now your Murshid has been seeking a way to peace and conciliation, inshallah. And there are several doors open. But while Americans and Indians and Pakistanis alike find reason to reject these proposals, it is evident that Allah is in favor of them. Allah does not always agree with human beings and often differs from Muslims also. Anyhow last week there was something like a miracle that one of the top Arab diplomats came to this city suddenly. When your Murshid reached him by telephone the Arab said he was in full accord with the peace proposals and said he would return to San Francisco as soon as possible to collaborate so we might formulate a real program for real peace.
Your Murshid is also in a strange position here socially. All his life he has been trying to reach those interested in theology and metaphysics with very little success. But now the top scientists of the country are to meet here shortly and they are considering religious experiences very seriously. Both in writing and in conferences there have been successful contacts. Some people have gone so far as to denounce religion entirely, to concentrate on the experience-of-divinity.
Both in his classes at the University and in these other contacts that has been evident and shortly he will start work on his second paper on Sufism. It is very hard to convey that Islamics in this country has been directed by sincere, informed and noble men who are quite devoid in piety and devotion. And there is some question among scientists whether devotion itself is far superior to any theology or philosophy of religion one may hold.
As soon as possible your Murshid will contact the Consul-General about making a contribution to the victims in East Pakistan. A letter has been sent to the so-called Islamic Society but they have never shown any courtesies to your Murshid, and in the past all but insulted certain visitors. One does not hold ill-will; one simply regards them as children in spirituality.
Sometimes I wish I had Bhai Sadiq’s address.
With the coming Christmas season your Murshid hopes he can reach a few people from the standpoint of interior contact. Saints, masters and even “saviours” may be quite near. And it is one thing to believe that Allah is closer than the neck-vein and another thing to be aware of this at all times.
Love and leasing,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
772 Clementina St.,
December 22, 1965
My dear Gavin:
I appreciate it very much that you feel this person can help your young friend. This person may have helped many people with one exception—that when respect has been shown the suggestions were practiced and everybody gained. When respect was not shown it was a waste of time.
The party on New Years Day inviting all old Duneites has the motto: “Occultists of the World Unite.” As we expect Dame Leek to return we are working to bringing the occultists (by which we mean occultists) and the scientists (by which we mean scientists) together.
There is one very favorable report to them—the real scientists are today studying real religion and real mysticism and real occultism. Lottie’s report covered certain phases of it. If one goes to the scientists now and says he remembers former lives or can telepath to distant places they accept the data and even check on it. Personalisms, personalities and social position have nothing to do with it.
I am gradually getting out from under old associates who are not friends, who will not accept that this parson has been to the real Orient, met real masters and saints and what not. And so I am making one New Years Resolution, that unless there is respect, cold, hard cash and plenty of it.
You respect those who demand cold hard cash for their wisdom-teachings. You do not show so much respect to those who have been willing to work through magnanimity. As you yourself place cold hard cash above magnanimity you cannot object to this person moving from the magnanimity crowd (which you do not respect) to the cold hard cash crowd (which you do respect). I wish your respect and therefore I must have coin of the realm for my time … unless, of course respect is forthcoming, and plenty of it.
Hope you have a wonderful honeymoon.
“Occultists of the World Unite.”
December 24, 1965
My dear Vocha:
One must thank you for your card and assumes that if you cannot write, at least you can read. One feels that the year is ending satisfactorily. Three invitations to dinners and each of them will provide opportunities for what the Buddhist Scriptures call the Jhanas. One of these reads: “Occult into of the World Unite.” Saw Ed Hunt for a moment yesterday and got him in as the invitation said to have any Unites come. So I wrote to John Wingate.
Have also written Gavin a sarcastic letter. I am always wanted when there is a severe problem, so for the first time demanded cash—or the one thing he will not give, respect. As he respects those who demand cash, I therefore demand cash—which I neither need nor want.
Then the scientists will be meeting, and I, think, by prearrangement I stay in the background (unless there is an opportunity to take some people to dinner). Among those on the roster are Dr. Chandrasekhar so I have phoned Mary who has been only dimly aware of what is happening.
Actually, and it is a mixture of ridiculous and near hilarity, I have bootlegged a paper: “Critique of the Methodology” in Plant Pathology Diagnosis.” This as the aftermath of the so-called discussions on “Silent Spring” wherein I was not permitted to take part and my questions were avoided.
The most ridiculous situation has arisen. Reston of the N.Y. Times had a full page in the local papers about the problems of Pakistan. He went to Karachi and visited “Dawn” which is very anti-Christian and almost as anti-American and that is that. The same day I read two other reports in C.S. Monitor, one from England and on from Europe contradicting Reston and each other. The most day I read the University of California report, a compilation coming from Ethiopia. This is news gathering and this is not sarcasm, this is exactly what occurs.
Two days later I went to Pakistan House to make a contribution for the relief of catastrophe in East Pakistan. I stayed to look at the papers. A single headline and I jumped up and came home. While the local papers were giving headlines to Monsignor (or is it Monseigneur), Reston, the Pakistan papers were giving headlines to the American Mission which had gone there, not mentioned locally at all. The Pakistanis, and this is the first time I have found this to be true, were praising an American survey.
It was headed by Senator Wayne Morse! I wrote him at once. This is our news-gathering and you can see how difficult it is to write history. I wrote Morse at once and have a copy for my own Congressman.
I think Bartlett can understand it. Great Britain is dammed if she does and damned if she does not. Sukarno is saying, “Yankee go home, but I don’t mean stay out of Africa. “So all the anti-imperialists.
But I am very serious. A top diplomat from a foreign land may return to collaborate on a real peace program for real India and real Pakistan.
Now I have taken up Hatha “Yoga.” It is not real “Yoga” excepting if one can give up the ego. It is egolessness that makes Yoga and not the exercises. The body is in fine fettle and one learns to do what one has not done. “Stop growing” but Alice would not listen.” “Lazarus Laughs” is truer than true. We are afraid of it.
I’ll let you know what the scientists are doing that may be of interest or worth recording. Of course there will be innumerable sections and one can attend only a few.
I hope you can share the Bliss-Ananda-Laughter. I am hoping to share it tonight. It may be the beginning of being my real self in company.
December 26, 1965
My dear Harriet:
The year endeth and endeth with hope. The scientists are meeting in Berkeley and we may even cross trails. The first day (Monday) will be spent with the groups studying religion from the scientific point of view and this is a new age. All the old shadowy myths about those with insight and wisdom keeping quiet while the noisy and often extremely ignorant cultists and metaphysicians go around beating drums and wavering banners with the words “Higher Truths” are coming to an end. It has been a necessary part of evolution.
Research into the occult, the super-conscious, the mystical may be scientific in the sense that it will be not egocentric but universal. Such things may not be “measurable” but then a lot of physiology and still more parapsychology is not measurable in the sense that chemical micro-diagnoses are measurable. But the personal, the egocentric and the blind faith days are going, if not gone.
The story came that you said Ted and I were and are palsy-walsy. Walsy yes, but neither one of us signs of palsy, praise be to Allah. Both and Tony were at a Christmas Eve party given by the Yogis, Baptistes. The young are seeking and even if they have not answers are seeking. The people in the thirties and forties are seeking—Animuses and Animas and think this is spiritual. The older people are trying to influence the young, as always, but the young have their own faculties.
Some time back Lottie Van Stahl came here. She can read auras and is employed by UCLA, Department of Parapsychology. She did not read mine. If she had, it would have upset the whole audience because the aura contains emanations of a person’s light showing character and development. Last night a young man read mine. It is interesting to note that his explanations were almost the same as Lottie’s and what he saw was what I felt he should be seeing if I were honest with myself. He also got completely my ability to change the colors in the aura by the knowledge of the Science of Elements. This knowledge has been pretty well denied by the cultists and metaphysicians—in this part of the world.
There was an article in “Science” recently on “Ethics and Science” and on the whole I find that the scientists are the most ethical of modern people. The religious base everything on shibboleths and maxims with no substance. The metaphysical people say the right things but apply them only personally. All God’s chillums got wings and the micro-analysis is considerate of “even the least of these, my creatures.” The theologian and cultist are not.
One does not know how far one can get with those whom one shall meet. By pre-arrangement I shall not push the ego in the fields of religion and mysticism on one hand, nor Plant Pathology on the other. But I might do something on Desert Agriculture, etc.
We could not help out discuss your Christmas Eve. The Baptistes have one cat, two dogs, 12 rabbits, some guinea pigs, one Capybara and 5 snakes. The latter (not the infant in the manger) were the center of attraction. Hence. The previous year the infant son was the babe-in-the-manager.
Next Sunday one goes to a dinner, “Occultists of the World Unite.” It should be an interesting venture. I notice that even those who think they are interested in Occultism never get beyond “Faerie” in A. F.’s sense. Thus the “many colored land” and the Great White Light are not reached. And if one has “divine wisdom” it is most difficult. We want everything in terms of something else, and mostly in terms of ego.
Missing Christmas Eve was my life-long night was Carlton Kendall. Rain. Missing last night was Connie. She had volunteered to work for a Christian Mission. We feel Connie is close to the deep end, and some blame her venture into what is called “Zen Buddhism” which is a power-structure church-movement not showing any signs of degrees of enlightenment or even wisdom. It has the tendency to foment even greater egotism and to destroy the very faculties which should grow in man.
But I am not going to worry any more over metaphysicians and cultists, still less over theologians. The world is as they have made it. Trying to work for peace is not a sinecure. What I feared would happen is now happening—emissaries of foreign powers are seeking me out. What stands in the way is the terrible, extremely subjective method of news reporting. Even the very successful U.N. mission of Asia received no remarks because it was headed by Senator Wayne Morse. I have been reading in the Asian press themselves. Now it is gradually getting out and what will happen henceforth I do not know.
May writes a paper on the heritage of Greek symbols by the Sufis, but will also check on James Bryse who was a disciple of HPB. All things thus come to synthetics, not always wordable in traditional terms.
Even though as a culture we are afraid of Love that is beyond our immediacy, this Love is the source and center of all power. Its manifestation impersonally or cosmically does not destroy its manifestation personally or otherwise, excepting in the sense that a great light seems to blot out smaller lights. We can still burn candles in a brilliantly lighted room.
Love and blessings for the New Year.
772 Clementina St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
December 30, 1965
My dear Oliver,
As the meetings of the AAAS draw to a close a sort of report may be in order. If one goes into details it is obvious that something like Project: Prometheus is necessary. The finest addresses I have ever heard were not followed by questions or discussions and I feel that some of the best contributions to science and general knowledge will go by the boards, that many great problems will remain unanswered because those who ask the questions will take no time to contact those who have the answers, and that with all its merits, one feels that knowledge of the moment is disjunctive and discontinuous and it need not be.
The story of my friend, Professor Paul Keim, illustrates a most unfortunate situation in our present day affairs. I visited a sector of some 3500 acres near Alexandria in Egypt where he had recovered the land from salinity, aridity and other problems, had established in agriculture, a new type of community based first on sanitation and hygiene and operating in such a way that older terms could not be applied. I feel at the moment—and he has left the country—that I am to be called upon to explain his efforts to the Research Survey Center on the campus of the University. The heads of this group were kindly to him whereas practically every sort of “social” science department on our near the campus had turned him down.
When I was in Pakistan and the problem of salinity arose and I tried to explain his work, one of the top research horticulturists turned to me and on me, “If you came to this country to insult us, you had better go home.” Last year the same problem arose at the conference on Food, at the University of California, San Francisco, with respect to Pakistan.
I wrote a long paper delineating all the work done by UC graduates in the field of Salinity, covering most aspects*. The paper was rejected, and nothing was done. Not only was the paper rejected but the pioneers who have solved various aspects of salinity have been removed from the scene and the largest report was buried—a copy was bootlegged to me.
*The final aspect has recently been solved in Florida. But given any aspect of salinity and I can point out where, when and why, and by whom it was solved right here in California. This has lead to a dichotomy, almost a schizophrenia.
After my last interview with Paul I called on the Research Survey and had a long interview whereupon I submitted a paper—later I learned it has been accepted. But in the meetings on Monday when I refused to ask any questions and spoke to one of the panel he asked why didn’t I ask him openly, that was the type of questions he was seeking. I told him that there were too many people around who consider me a self-seeker and a notoriety hunter. These are mostly heads of departments close to the [?] by the Research Survey Center.
From this point on one can divide the report into personal and impersonal. On the impersonal side I have heard the highest quality of reports, excellent in every way, and if we can apply the findings to the food problems of the world, there will be no food problems. Although there was no time for questions or discussion, I was able to obtain permission from some of the heads of the Departments of Agriculture to submit evaluations. Having traveled fairly far and wide I can see how these discoveries and advances can be applied. But we have still to arise out of Lord Snow’s “The Two Cultures” and so long as, as a Nation, we insist on winning by policies rather than by accomplishments, we are going to be stuck.
On the personal side the story is in two parts which may now be united. When I submitted a bare outline of a peace proposal between India and Pakistan, I informed the office of Ambassador Goldberg that there were four other big doors open and if any one should be used, we might have peace but it would not be coming through the good offices of the United States. When a copy was brought to my chief political contact here I met one of Julia’s close friends, and think I reported the incident. More recently a top diplomat of an “unaligned” Nation was here and told me he would return to collaborate with my peace plan. It is well worked out, based on study of history, religion, geography, agricultural problems and usage of a Gardner Murphy type of questionnaire. I am no longer concerned with any failures here.
Americans simply will not accept that I may be a personal friend of Dr. Radhakrishnan and very close to Prime Minister Ayub who is on the Board of the University of Islamabad. That is, those who fall under Lord Snow’s “The Other Culture.” With the scientists it has been and is very smooth sailing.
Yesterday I went to hear the lecture of Prof. Sripati Chandrasekhar, head of the Family Planning movement for the whole world. I asked him what he was here for and he said he was working on the problems of aridity for India. Now this is already in the “peace” proposal and has been accepted in principle by the professors of San Francisco State College who have been to Pakistan. (Historians and even social scientists who have been to Pakistan are “easy”; those who have not been are impossible.)
I told him I have a wealth of material. The * marked above covers the subject of Rhizopora, or Magroves which grow on the Florida Coast and whose merits are only being studied now. Problems of Salinity and Aridity in India have been the basis of many years’ research, even before I visited that land. So to my surprise Dr. Chandrasekhar asked for collaboration. This was enhanced when today I met several professors from the University of California, Riverside, where he is now stationed. But in each case they have not met and I shall make every effort to bring them together.
The second part of our discussion was on the peace possibilities between India and Pakistan, already outlined in the paper to San Francisco State. He accepted that at once and asked for further collaboration. But I am writing for a different reason also. I asked him if he knew Sri Surendra Ghose and he said they were very close friends.
Now the whole principle of World University seems to have been aborted and exploited. I have not heard from Arizona. I have heard from Christopher Hills whose efforts are about as universal as President Johnson’s outlooks (he has three at once so one is not critical). But those persons who have used your name and also “World University” seem to have gone out on all sorts of tangents. I am therefore going to ask, and I have already, Dr. Chandrasekhar, to get as clear a picture from Sri Surendra Ghose as possible and if there is really going to be a World University in New Delhi, we should be informed, etc.
So far as the Pakistan-Indian situation stands we understand each other and sometimes by methods which Americans either do not or will not understand. The American situation is scientifically untenable. I read four or five mutually contradictory reports on Pakistan published in various places, none by Pakistanis and none by Americans other than newsmen. When I picked up the “Pakistani Times” last week it gave a report so totally different and for afirst time I have read an American being praised by this publication. We have over-rated ourselves all over the world and when an American is admired, this is not published. There was no secret in the Pakistan press of the Morse Mission, but he is the last American that the press wishes to see praised.
Today I visited the Indian Consulate to show them Dr. Chandrasekhar’s book and again I found praise for Senator Morse but no mention of his colleagues, etc. Part of this is due to the antipathy with which we are held throughout the Orient for our stand in Vietnam. But if one tries to be objective, factual, “scientific” he is held to derision. I think I told you before I came very near writing a manuscript, “Eye-Not Witness.” It is far more biographical (or other) than autobiographical.
The two cultures are essentially those of the ancient “believers” and “knowers.” I told Dr. Chandrasekhar that I was ready to start to cooperate with him. When I came home there was a letter from the head of the Farm Bureau of India. He has long sent for me. I have a private lawsuit on and see no reason for staying or wishing to stay here after it is settled. I offered at the beginning the story of Paul Keim as an example of “Eye-Not Witness” which unfortunately is very typical. Long before knowing of Lord Snow I spoke with Dr. Bryan of the USIS that I believed my agricultural reports would be accepted; my other things are buried in memoirs which grow up in value as the time goes on.
But this is not a hard-luck letter. The Department of Agriculture in Washington is as aware of these efforts as the State Department and all its echelons chose to be unaware.
Finally today in listening to one of the papers and applying Cesar’s rigorous thinking a big boo-boo was evident. In the end that was the very purpose of the paper. This research scientist wrote this boo-boo up to show the absence of rigorous thinking in so many of our efforts, that we are struggling without taking all factors into consideration. It is for that reason the Integrative approach is needed.
Happy New Year,