January 6, 1969
My dear Shamcher:
There are certain things written in the ethers and what Hazrat Inayat Khan said of his son is coming true. On the hard side his coming was complicated by the relations with his wife on the one hand and his sister on the other. This is a terrific draw-back on one who has a world mission.
There were four long distance calls before Vilayat came, rather safely, but at the wrong hours. This played into my hands in all the problems being faced for there are some people who are trying to corner Vilayat (no objections from this end) but everything went “wrong”—wrong hours of arrival and then the bedroom reserved for him was suddenly occupied by the woman who had had it previously showing up suddenly also. And so we arranged for Vilayat to stay in my room at the Khankah if everything else failed. This played also into the hands of the Begum, Fatima. We had a fire and it is necessary to repaint and refurbish and we agree that any suggestions from Vilayat will be accepted. But he is pushing nothing and in that is a great deal of strength.
Our New Years Eve Party was the largest ever for this person. We had nothing but a complicated spiritual program with Mantric, Tantric, Yoga and Dervish dances and the Buddha-Darshan by this person. The last dance ended at 12 sharp as if it had been purposely planned. We had over 70 people in attendance. The Darshan is not easy in any case and for me the Buddha-Darshan the hardest of all.
We told a little about Vilayat but were not sure of his arrival. None of us know what happened but God is and there were easily 80 people here last night. It is fortunate that Ed Hunt is here no more for we used the basement which is very large and now I know it can hold a hundred, but we already have another place in mind.
There is absolute agreement between Vilayat and this person on what should be done. His Program for Los Angeles fits perfectly with “Sam’s plans” which I believe belong to the universe and New Age. On the whole it fits in with Paul Reps’ work—audience participation and no more of this damnable two-faced dualism called “Advaita” which it is not. We offer real yogas.
Sam had already started his disciples on the awakening of five centers which was fortunate because Vilayat spoke a little on it. But Vilayat does insist on there being a living Teacher. I should say his answers to questions were excellent from my point of view and they have been taped. I shall ask my secretary if he can get you copies, but of course, they will go to Suzanne in North Hollywood. The secretary, Mansur, plans to go and this fits in with my plans. But he is the one who owns the tape recorder and this should benefit everybody.
Tonight we go to hear Lois Robinson who was an associate of the late Dr. Blanche Baker, and we may go en masse, lots of us. Gavin, who was supposed to be around, is ill. He moves soon to Mendocino.
The chief theme of Vilayat was Joy and especially its relation to Upanishadic teachings. This comes at an excellent time. Sam has always been excluded from the elite “experts” on Oriental philosophy. A Guru is coming and his backers—have refused adamantly and absolutely from having anything to do with the “experts.“ One of the behavior patterns of these “experts” is that their teachers have all accepted Sam and most of their pupils rejected him. So now the financial backers of the Guru wish to do their own excluding. One who has plenty of money went to one of these “East-West” centers in very plain clothes and was given the brush-off! This is the “moral and spiritual behavior” pattern of the money-seekers. The insulted man has never forgiven them and now he is financially supporting a real Guru of the Sri Aurobindo school.
Next Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj arrives, one of the great real spiritual leaders of this real world. In the meanwhile so many interviews and we have to work to get the spiritual papers. I may try Bhankti again, for Vilayat is short on Secretarial help. So it goes.
But the New Age Yogas are evident, at the moment through the dance and maybe later through drama and other aspects of music.
I am refusing to meet Lama Govinda. If he can travel miles to meet Alan Watts, he can come a few blocks to see Sam Lewis. Vilayat travelled thousands of miles to come here, but then he does not have “humility.”???
Everything forebodes a wonderful year,
Love and blessings,
January 9, 1969
My dear Shamcher:
This is more my diary report than anything else. The Hindus have a prayer to give each day to God, and so use it and so be used. We have had a lot of “drama” which comes naturally. The biography of Ruth St. Denis arrived—no mention of Inayat Khan or for that matter of any vital spiritual contacts. She was associated with Christian-Science in the first part of the book. And if I say “disappointment” I find the author knew her no better than I did and I do not consider myself a proper person for any such effort. Indeed she gave Vilayat at least one session and told him about her love for and associations with his father—and one could add much more.
Then one came upon—which is “usual”—a fine book on Ibn l’Arabi and no sooner did one have the book when one received a surprise telephone call from Vilayat. Vilayat told me this book was one of the great inspirations of his life. He had read it in French and is happy to find it is in English. But I wrote the translator his blurb was unfair and untrue. He said very little is given of Sufism in English. And without even referring to Hazrat Inayat Khan I refer to the libraries in Cairo and Cleveland. To my surprise Vilayat did not know about Cleveland—even disciples there have not made much use of it.
He had to confirm the solid wall against real Sufism by Arberry & Co., and certain self-esteemed German “experts.” These have kept me personally out of conventions, along with the Jewish savants, who also control the East-West Center at Honolulu. And my fight—and I shall not give up—is for better knowledge of real Arab culture. I don’t give a hoop about politics, but we are manifestly unfair.
Vilayat came to one of our regular meetings, and there must have easily been over 60 persons there, perhaps some eighty. He was delighted, and is coming “officially” again next week. We have been able to get the same Hall. Indeed there is a fairly good report about us. Vilayat was amazed at our work in music and dancing. Sam introduced his “I am not going to talk. This would take time away from the visiting speaker. Besides I want to cry.”
Later I said, “Your sainted father would have given an arm or an eye for such a meeting: all young, enthusiastic, full of love, the New Age, which he has recognized.
While this was going on a missing notebook was found in the wrong place, and I am enclosing healing practices. We are wondering when here Atiya could mimeograph them although we have also begun to see if this can be done here. These came from Pir Dewwal Shereef, President of Islamabad University.
Vilayat has asked to give some of his family chants and songs next time. He did present a Dervish Zikr, and we shall do the “Whirling of the Spheres.” On a low level our meeting was like Shams-i-Tabriz and Jelal-ud-din Rumi. We have come to so many agreements—about his family; about his having the people in the 20’s and Sam—those in the 30’s this year. About The Temple of Understanding. About Fazal, etc. Also about the papers.
I have been asked to stay away from organizational meetings and with my overworked program this is a God-send. I need the time and have full trust in those involved. Our mutual relations—I mean between mureeds and mureeds are excellent. But we have to do more about dancing and I only have a single secretary. Still he has none although there is agreement on the training of another person.
It looks as if Mansur and Murshid will go to Geneva, but I am awaiting details. Vilayat and I have agreed fully on the program and he has (to me) a remarkably sane attitude concerning the Universal Worship, the Temple, etc. There is something in the sphere because of the art-revelations to Fatima (now a mother).
Being limited to one secretary is hard; having practically no time off is harder, but perhaps Allah wills it that way.
Love and blessings,
January 10, 1969
My dear Gavin,
After this letter is mailed we shall go up to the Ranch; whether any further information will given you depends chiefly upon whether certain persons at the Ranch wish to talk or be silent.
There is a vast difference between Whitmanians and the bard’s “In all men I see myself.” Whitmanians as a rule see God in themselves and in Whitman, but not in their immediate neighbor.
There is an analogy here. I have passed every examination in Indian philosophy given by a Hindu, and practically flunked in every examination in Indian philosophy given by a non-Hindu. The theme is the same. The followers of Sri Sankara see God in everybody, the others say it, and deny it in practice. This includes alike the non-Hindu experts on Indian philosophy and some of the people of the Ranch.
As to Indian philosophy my dear friend Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj will be arriving any day now. The Hindus here formed their own cultural organization where one is as welcome as he has not been by the experts. And it is on this point whether we can actually accept all peoples as representatives of divinity or not—in actuality, not in philosophy.
I warned the Ranch that as soon as they had a teacher from Morningstar they would be watched. Guilt or innocence would be unimportant—they would be watched. Add to that they have harbored a renegade Catholic nun, which is about the worst thing they could have done. It would not take a child to see that with two sets of enemies thus aroused regardless of any and all other factors there would be authorities around.
There are some people at the Ranch who talk about God-consciousness. They know no more about it than they know about flea-consciousness. If they did they would accept God in others which obviously is not the case.
We are now working on a very old manuscript of mine which foretells the coming of communes. There is no use going into arguments with flea-consciousness people who imagine they are God-conscious. Rather I am awaiting the promised guru. I am hoping he can straighten things out.
As to marijuana, as everybody is an authority on this subject but the scientists themselves, it is almost impossible to discuss this subject dispassionately. I did show Don articles by his scientist on the subject. They had reached no conclusion. A more recent article has not changed this. Anybody not a lab-scientist can be an expert, including Don Hayakawa.
Your book had just arrived at “Books in Review” in Los Angeles and so had not sold yet.
Emerson said, “In a botanist’s garden there are no weeds” and I guess I am even more a Botanist than a Chemist. Work with Plants all the time and they have different “sex habits.” Only no path is wrong.
No doubt St. Paul and some Tibetans are entirely against sex. Mohammed was entirely for sex so he got condemned. We have not even given him a hearing.
As for the “exotic” types they are as “exotic” as the rare earths or radio-active materials.
When it comes to mysticism it is different. The highest “trip” of the LSD people is about at par with the lowest of Sufism. The “trips” I have seen are far more involved than anything Leary had to offer. The largest expansion I have heard of from any and all involved in Psychedelics is alike a baby experience in mysticism. There is no comment here. I shall continue to argue for an examination of the Indian cosmogony and metaphysics. I have done this even in Lloyd’s home.
Americans think that everything they experience is better than everything of everybody.
My reception at the Center in Santa Barbara was very good but Linus Pauling was in bed. I have already acted for them and him. Fortunately after years some Americans respond—it is new and it is definite and it is based on experience, not ideas.
At the moment I am concerned, selfishly or not, with my memories, with efforts toward peace and with attention to the world food problem. This keeps me more than alive.
January 11, 1969
My dear Vocha:
Sam is answering your letter of the 5th under remarkable conditions. It shows what and how the generation gap is, but it is not remarkably different from Lord Snow’s The Two Cultures, that the one culture, the scientific, depends upon facts, evidence, references, and referents; and that the other, which he calls “humanist-literary” depends upon personalisms, emotional and especially what Korzybski calls S. Rs. And of course Semanticists, like all religionists, are self-permitted to break their own commandments.
The immediate cause for an emotional reaction is the receipt of a financial award for having done some good deeds, deeds done not with any idea of reward, but simply part of the general program. As Sam has put it, his efforts to become a Pied Piper have failed miserably—only the young show up! And it is like a Fairy Story, that a strange “virgin” appearing just before Christmas, we took her in and called her “Cinderella” and it seems she comes from excellent antecedents, enabling one to pay for all the debts he has taken upon himself, because of other young people. And the old will argue forever and editorialize and what not on the “generation gap” but few are able to be openly honest, straightforward and factual as the scientists.
For example the editorials in Science on such controversial subjects (which our G.S. people would not touch under any circumstances) such as flying saucers and marijuana, show to me remarkable level-headedness and they have reached what I would call very sane, logical and rigorous thinking conclusions, entirely in accord with Reiser and Keyser but entirely out of accord with all emotionalists no matter what they call themselves.
The number of young that are thinking this way is much higher than the number of their elders. What is worse, only departures from this high standard are publicized. No use repeating my eye-witness reports of incidents—it only leads to controversies. I do not believe that the Fourth Estate People know how to be honest and objective. But Sam has taken advantage of an opportunity to criticize the man who has accepted articles by Englishmen on “Zen Buddhism” and has ignored his paternal ancestors and kinsmen. Many Japanese are opposing him now and why not? He has never granted any serious consideration to anything coming out of Asia, nor have his colleagues or coworkers. But it is almost like “let the dead bury their dead.”
“The Oracle” came out today. It shows indirectly Sam playing the role of Pied Piper to the young—and all people over 40 snubbing hard facts and factual history, etc., for their private opinions, dialectics, and “existentialisms.” Copy has not come to my hands, but the financial returns are enabling my people to do things for Sam which were “unthinkable” and all the things that have been refused by societies of seniors are being asked of Sam—today only three colleagues asked for him!
This is apart from his own efforts in contacting the Indian Students who have now their own cultural organization without any Englishmen, Germans or Americans who received their degrees in “Oriental Philosophy” from them. Not only have they accepted Sam and invited him to a special gathering for their Independence Day, but Sam has some fresh material from India on this subject, which our “experts” do not have and some sound articles are going to be preferred to the emotional of experts applauded by mature audiences and leaving the cultures far apart. I was all ready to go to the Indian Consulate Monday, and now have a most cheerful program. But this means I cannot go to the Humanists merely because of lack of time. Maybe someday they will get curious and come to me.
The first real manuscript on real Zen-Chan Buddhism has been mailed and another shortly and more and more and more. Nyogen Senzaki’s “Circle” is now on the wall together with all kinds of credentials which anybody who has not studied the “Only in America” Oriental Philosophy or read ETC, may understand. As Russ says, “Do not let facts disturb the issues,” so I abandon the issues entirely.
In my special book of pasted materials, very old, there is the poem given to the teacher of the teacher of Shinryo Suzuki because of the passing of certain Zen tests by this person which this Roshi accepted but not his pupil’s pupil. This spoils the fame. Just as the teachers of the local chief “expert” on Asia regard me as their equal, and his graduate pupils regard me as their inferior. This is non-ego??????? As for Soen Nagakawa, the first notes from him are so contrary to anything ever accepted by the Wind-Bell or what has come from those who studied “Zen”???? under various Englishmen, Germans, and Americans, that it stands out far more than a sore-thumb. When I am gone, people are going to find one letter after another written by real Orientals to this person, but I have decided the show is not worthy of it. Yet the hard fact is that Sam wishes to dedicate Nyogen’s works to Soen Nagakawa and the Roshi wishes the opposite!
At this writing my colleague Pir Vilayat Khan is around L.A. and especially with Manly Hall and Judith Tyberg. He is deflating all the esoteric nonsense which the important people have to hush-hush on because they do not know. And he gives all the shows away and without charging huge sums. In India there are open debates—we do not have them here—and the loser is expected to become the disciple of the winner. Not a chance here! Imagine these Profs and berobed figures accepting instructions from Sam! Sam prefers the young and beautiful and is getting them—and how!
There are some complexities in the lives of those who visited Julie and I have to get more details. They love her but their promises to join her have struck snags.
As to Ruth St. Denis, la même chose. No use wasting time trying to convince people over 35. I am now teaching a good class following in her footsteps, and also on a larger scale to my public meetings, attended only by the young excepting one class of real Buddhists.
I have asked my secretary, who is now in L.A., to follow up her school.
I am most interested in anything you are doing or Walter Terry. Her picture is on my wall and her spirit, in a sense, is with me at all times. And my body is in such a shape that it is the best evidence there is. I do not understand it myself, but it is under such firm control excepting I can’t do ballet exercises so well, but have no doubt this could be regained.
When I made the first effort to get public lectures on real Oriental Philosophy—quite apart from the above—the answer was most favorable. In other words, sooner or later what is true, what is valid, what can be confirmed and supportable by facts, referents and life’s experiences will sooner or later win out.
No doubt this is an incomplete answer, but so much has happened in the last few hours—and all “to the leeward.”
January 17, 1969
Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design,
Utah & Mariposa Sts.,
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
My dear Rudolph and Peter,
An Esthetic Pilgrimage
The potentially popular Allen Ginsberg is always saying: “What we need are more Blakes and Whitmans. He gets the applause. This is always the way. The speaker gets the applause and the Blakes and Whitmans come and go, to be discovered never by the speakers who get the applause, but by generation later on, if ever.
Being a Whitman (perhaps) “In all men I see myself.” On this point Whitman and the Whitmannians differ in toto; Whitmannians do not see themselves in others. And the other day we saw ourselves in Quarterback Namath of the New York Jets who, having foresight, insight, and intuition, foretold the championship contest and was scorned before and criticized afterwards. But we, who have been trained in the use of the intuitive faculty, were well tuned in on him and had no trouble following the game. And we know that yet any person who has foresight, insight, and intuition will be damned as was Namath, called all kinds of names, etc.
It is fortunate one can turn from generations of those who gain prowess by praising others—of the past—who never recognize their contemporaries and live on borrowed fame. The young will have no more of that. They are accepting the Orientals and not the “Orientalists” and they want Whitmans and Blakes, not orators who praise the dead and snub the living.
My ersatz family here in Novato are artistically inclined and learning that the Lindstroms had moved to Sonoma we took off yesterday. We first called on myself in the form of Seth “silver” Wood. This proved to be a good choice for the Lindstroms missed the telephone publication and so are not listed. Seth told us how to find them. But there was something odd, that in both instances our friends are fixing up new studios and will be ready in about a month.
Seth is an old buddy from Marin County. He was immediately recognized by the young as a pre-Hippy and there was no time lost in mutual recognition and communication. We want the Whitmans and Blakes; we have had enough of the laudatory orators. We shall therefore come to Sonoma in about a month. The family and several of my very close disciples are artists or artisans with a slight emphasis on ceramics at the moment.
The visit to the Lindstroms also exemplifies the practicality of intuitive foresight—which are dialectics of the “New” left and “New” right, and of the old, and all dualists shun—for one of the disciples had been assigned to list the trees of the region with the hope of encouraging wood-carving—and this is exactly what Charles is doing. Communication in zero flat.
The “Sonoma Palace of Fine Arts” is at the head of a high valley road. There is a gully to the right with a stream, most lovely and musical at this time of the year. But the house itself dominates the formation. I suppose the basic rock would be called tufa, though I do not know enough geology. They did some blasting, but the “Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino” complex has much underlying volcanic formation which is so beneficial for wine-growing. Years ago I climbed all the hills of this district.
The Lindstrom home is to me like a Monsarrat or Art. It looked as if all dreams are coming true and I am simply stunned for everything attracted me and by everything I mean “everything”—rocks, scenery, garden, “Frank Lloyd Wright” architecture; the “union of the within and the without,” the use of wood, stone, ceramic materials, painting, etc. It was too much, and it must have stunned and attracted my family.
They are preparing for a Summer School and there is no reason why we cannot cooperate, for it would not take long to go from here (Novato). Two of the girls are registered for Ceramics at Marin College this Spring. There is no reason why they could not continue at the Lindstroms. This is only one field but it is the one in which we are emotionally and esthetically most concerned at the moment. The work done by my most favorite young women is in this field now.
I am not going to take time to detail anything but I can propose a visit by your forthcoming graduate class. We have two station wagons here which could seat, I guess 20 people easily, and could stand the expense of such a visit—and the class could take in Seth Wood en route.
But what I feel and feel very strongly is a sane reaction against some of the tendencies of the moment. Our old friend, Ed Hunt, is very bitter against temporary trends and especially against Picasso. I see nothing in the rich world of harmony of form or color or constructive intellectual or super intellectual themes or techniques in Picasso. He is simply the apotheosis of those who think they hunger for “excitement.” There are backgrounds of love, of harmony, of beauty, of wonder, of rhythm, of bliss, of longing and of hope. I saw all of them at the Lindstromatorium.
Charles and Miriam were very happy over this visit and send their love to you via this intermediary. I see such new hopes and feel also that the dream of Morris may come true, despite. We have already taken up the subject of wood-carving, furniture craft, etc. I think this was one of the most wonderful days of my life—sculpture, ceramics and the use of California native trees in woodcraft of all sorts. To be continued—I hope.
Samuel L. Lewis
January 27, 1969
Mr. Paul Reps
It is early Monday morning and no diary entry has been made for some time. Sam has gone all out in his “When the gods arrive, the half-gods go.” Specifically this reached a climax when Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj came here. Sam kept on telling people, “Do you want to meet a Man, a real Man?” And having opposed nearly all the “Orientalists” and many of the “gurus,” etc, this was not only a different stance but it has come out entirely satisfactory. Not a person but has said, “We have met a real man.”
The meeting at the University of California was in one sense a repetition of the re-meeting with Princess Poon Diskul, but the audience did not gawk. Many of them were my own people, many young students and the rest members of the staffs of Asian teachings at Berkeley. Everything was smooth and excellent. And his theme that we are gods and God-consciousness is not only possible but the very theme of life went on without compromise. He was firm, steady, honest, informed, and aware of both the inner and outer worlds. It was such a contrast to the parades of phonies and self-centered “experts.”
The aftermath was that a few more strangers were drawn here. It is not easy. To have to do everything at all times is not easy. And after the lecture, etc, it was incumbent to interview two persons on the theme, “Loving Father,” the hypothetical attribute of the “Christian”-God, which is apart from human experience excepting from the Freudian outlook.
It is time for man to exhibit those attributes which he ascribes to a Deity. I am teaching the Divine Epithets now through the dance. I had hoped to do it through sound and voice and this is still possible, but it is being done through the Dance and one does not care anymore whether one is accepted or not. The rise in mystical consciousness of those who participate is sufficient evidence. The Dance Class is entirely esoteric and we give out Kundalini and other Yoga practices. Hazrat Inayat Khan had them and a lot of other things—nothing has been lost. But there are public gatherings, too, and the increment of Joy (as opposed to euphoria is evident.)
We also dare to use Lord Buddha’s Yoga and not nonsense and his scriptures and no nonsense and no cult-Buddhism. It was so evident that the leaders (?) here have broken every single one of Lord Buddha’s prohibitions but murder, and I mean just that! Religion can cloak anything and everything and does.
It was necessary to interview an expectant mother and a psychotherapist after the meeting on the theme, “Loving Father” with quite satisfactory results. The girl wants Murshid to adopt her. The psychotherapist is a friend of my San Francisco secretary.
There is no time to write up the dances. Where is the secretarial help coming from? My esoteric secretary Otis Johnson, Mansur, is not only “going upstairs” with me, he has the economic problem. He has been on relief and the officials want him to take a well paying job so he is mostly spending his time in taking examinations and interviews. In the few hours we have together he is able to accompany me on spiritual journeys of a type none of the “experts” and “ladies” have accepted, but we don’t care anymore. We are going to be as objective and impersonal in mysticism and the inner sciences as we must be in the outer sciences.
Saturday the class in “Influences of Ancient Asian Religions on Contemporary Society” began. We are using Huston Smith’s book. Mansur has been very close to him. The teacher is the first one who has accepted reality! I am not talking nonsense. My friend, Bill Hathaway, translates Russian scientific articles into English. This makes him neither an “expert” on Slavic languages nor a scientist, but in the Oriental field that is exactly what happens.
The teacher, whom I believe is a Eurasian, is the first one who has given out objective Indian history. I say this after many years. Everybody has something to hide. There was a returned “Peace Corps” volunteer in the audience and her knowledge or rather her ignorance was appalling. No wonder we can’t sit at a Paris Peace conference. And this person is certainly in the god house; he has still to meet a Vietnamese with whom he could not have communication! This, not the Reds, is the enemy!
My Roshi, Dr. Seo Kyung Bo, wishes to return here and to get a teaching job in California. At least my relations with the Universities are better. There are too many degree mills giving out degrees in “Orientalia” and often these “graduates” are offered top jobs and “teach.” So there is jealousy and now I am cashing in, accepting the Indians “The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It works; I have been proffered paid lectures by people who always turned me down. My subject will be “Aquarian Oriental Philosophy.” The theme will attract the “old ladies” but the subject matter is simple: “Piscean Oriental Philosophy comes from Englishmen, and Europeans; Aquarian Oriental Philosophy comes from Asians.
In this it is necessary to encourage my British counterpart, F. Clive-Rose. He edits “Studies in Comparative Religion.” His colleagues are Titus-Burckhardt, F. Schuon, Marco Pallis, etc. These all believe that mysticism depends on human experience and not on books or studying with “important experts.” They are at war with Oxford, Cambridge, etc., and their counterparts here. I am arranging to get Clive-Ross and you in contact. One of the subjects involved is “Alchemy,” the “great” Karl Jung has done incalculable harm. As two of my students have come up, “Why Alchemy was a Sufic science.” Of course it not only was, but is, and Schuon and Burckhardt who are Sufis have been working on it, and also Pir Vilayat Khan. I do not know whether they have met but their explanations are in agreement and they are certainly nowhere in line with Jung. He was fascinated by fears and symbols, not the direct experiences.
There are few esoteric traditions of which some papers or material has not come here. Grand Master Seo says this person has received the Patriarch’s Buddhism transmission. He only confirms Yasutani and Soen. And I understand a friend-disciple of Kapleau is coming here. He will be most welcome. But the real Zen is too much. I cannot handle it either interiorly or exteriorly.
The beginning of the year found me a thousand dollars in debt. We had rescued a “Cinderella” and she proved to be a princess in disguise. That was liquidated and there are signs of receiving help, really, for the first time in my life other than a few “pour boires.” All the esoteric sciences such as that of Breath, Walk, Dance, Concentration, Contemplation, etc., have to be put in forms intelligible to the world of the day. Paul Brunton pointed the way but he did not operate as a guru.
I am addressing about a hundred young people every week but the signs are of breaking out. My colleague, Rev. Earl Blighton who went through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with me, or I with him, has also jumped from three to a hundred disciples in a very short time and has three centers, three outposts and cannot handle it. As the psychotherapist said, the young seek love and peace, and all their elders give them is “excitement.” The “quest for excitement” is the only quest today or is it?
Now I have six or more classes a week and many interviews and am supposed to do creative writing, get out manuscripts, etc. And in practice one has to see to all the household chores and details of meals and a lot of practical things. I also understand that at least two dance groups have become interested in what is being done here and one Sunday school.
Then there are problems like the weather. I do not know how much news you get. But you are not in L.A. now and they are suffering from destructive rainfall. Well, we wanted “excitement,” we got it. All things operate by Karma into the sphere and our thoughts create as Buddha (but not “Buddhism”) teaches.
The giving out of moral instruction by Dancing and Psychic Science is in some ways a departure. That is why I have to give so much time to Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings. In this and in a few other mostly unpublished Sufi manuscripts seem to be the keys to everything. Today it is necessary to start many new ventures. Advice is easy, suggestions are easy but I am not the universe. I have a little secretarial help, far less than is needed to attend to the wants of the growing number of disciples. But now the young believe in contradiction to their elders not believing; and sometimes for that very reason.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
January 31, 1969
My dear Vocha:
It is very early Friday morning. I shall be returning to San Francisco later today and will mail copies of this to Lloyd and sundries. It is really my diary entry, and, because of the events of the day, be will be interesting to see how much of this becomes objectively important. I have already written to Art Hoppe of the San Francisco Chronicle: “The peace plans of unimportant persons are to be ignored.”
Men glow across tables and this is “Green Table Diplomacy.” It never settled anything but we love it. And the hard, hard fact that this person has never had any troubles in communicating with Vietnamese is held against him—it has to be. Only now with two homes, the “misguided” young are beating their pathways to both doors and Monday is reserved by a graduate in neuro-psychotherapeutics. He has been irked because more attention has not been paid to him but as he has learned also about the whole passing parade of the words, “liberty,” “democracy,” “humanity,” and the politics of “peasant, shut up!” which have been in vogue, he is more sympathetic than ever. He has come many miles to meet Sam which is strange because people within a few miles “know better” and face exactly the same problems that have been faced for years. This is the current fame and must not be changed. All dialecticians and Snow’s The Other Culture insist on these problems and their solutions are simple: “Make me the dictator, take my plans.” All of them being in minorities, no plan is accepted. Turmoil must go on even if the world is on the brink.
There is one slight change in the parade of the young: that now with Don Hayakawa on the spot several teachers have approached Sam. This is, of course, entirely contrary to “General Semantics” and its infinitely varied no-logic, all problems to be decided by the importance of the persons involved and on no other basis whatsoever. You cannot warn Don but I am sending a copy to Lloyd—I doubt whether it will do any good. All dialecticians of whatever group agree on frozen ears and this solves (?) everything but for nobody.
The revolt at San Francisco State has been over-exaggerated in the news to promote false conflicts. Underneath is the factual situation that real freedom does not exist as much as loud-mouths say it does. And right or wrong there is now determined effort to get rid of Don and make him a scapegoat. And certainly with a man totally adverse to any and every form of Logic in charge, it has been easy to find how far his policies depart from his books.
It has resulted in Sam’s being invited both to San Francisco State (by non-involved students of course, those that don’t count) and also to present “New Age” Oriental Philosophy in the Haight-Ashbury District. By “New Age” Oriental Philosophy I mean simply the philosophies of Orientals, not of VIP PhDs, mostly Englishmen and Europeans and their American disciples who dominate the scene and become “experts.”
The first break came when Paul Reps boosted me before an editor. He asked for Sufi stories. I wrote that I was not an “expert” in writing anecdotes of ancients and reporting questionable translations of enigmatic situations but I could write real stories of living or recently living human beings, supported by geographical facts. For the first time the editor accepted. I have seen more fly-by-night publications all claiming and none wanting living facts of living personalities.
The recent visit of Swami Ranganathananda also boosted the stock. With nothing to lose, Sam went out on a limb. Of course he can’t compare with this “expert” and those who charm the audience and tell us far-out tales or give us inexplicable dialectics which pass for “Asian Philosophy.” The Swami made great impressions on the young wherever he went. We doubt if he moved those who “know better.” He made sharp distinctions between churches with their rituals and spiritual knowledge.
The heritage from Ruth St. Denis has gone up another step. I believe the Iranian Consul-General will accept our program. We had a nice meeting the other night at Nicol Smith’s lecture. And some day we shall attend some seminar on “Old Age” and watch to see what the “professors” will say when this person is tested as to vitality, etc.
All of this is preparatory to some real study on the need for Universal Logistics to take their place along with universal sciences. Everything today is “excitement” and only the soon to be forgotten essays of important people are to be discussed. The young will have no more of that. Saturday, for the first time I heard a professor, lecturing on Indian history, mention the name of its most important emperor. It simply is not done. We love ignorance and the entertainments of important people and this is Oriental history (?) as well as philosophy.
I have sent more money to Julie Medlock, for stamps. The number of cheerleaders and rooters she has is enormous. But they never do anything. In the meanwhile recovering a single article written in a strictly Reiserian manner years ago this is being copied and will be completed now. The time is ripe. I have no more time for any more a priori rejections by important persons. They have solved nothing.
The young want love, understanding and peace. Their elders will not permit that. They are often bored with sex which they take naturally, but not under the premises of their elders. Sam is becoming more and more a Father figure and of course the efforts to be a Pied Piper flop—only the young show up but more every week. This will break out soon. This will be mailed from San Francisco after one checks incoming letters.
435 Powell Street
San Francisco, Calif. 94102
February 1, 1969
My dear Fritzi:
A little event took place last night which makes me question the advisability of speaking before audiences of mature people at all:
There was a discussion going on at Gavin Arthur’s on the subject of “Saturn.” I am not an astrologer. I was initiated into esoteric occultism almost 50 years ago. The denial of this by non-initiates shows how little respect they have, either for karma or moral law. But, having been initiated into occultism, I was permitted to demonstrate how to correct defects arising from persons with afflicted Saturns. This is something I have wished to do for years, but mature people, who quite obviously never have had initiation, have denied this possibility. Seniors deny and juniors accept—this is a matter of simple elementary honesty and social decor.
There is no reason now not to give to the world a great deal of knowledge previously known as occult or esoteric.” I think in this matter it is for the initiate, not for the non-initiate to decide. The decision is to make public a good deal of previously restricted knowledge and wisdom. One can hardly do this before assemblages which deny one has such knowledge and wisdom. The question is merely: “Where shall one do this?”
I am now presenting a great deal of mystical and occult knowledge to the young on two levels: one for disciples, one for non-disciples. I am quite willing, and before God—and I mean God—not only able to do this, but I am doing it. I am willing to do it anywhere, including your presumably new center.
For me, this is a new age—an age in which honesty, integrity, and moral virtues are to the fore, will be to the fore. I am not the least bit interested in the rejections of non-initiates. I am absolutely sensitive to the cries of the hungry young. If places are offered for lecturing, they will be accepted, provided my actual backgrounds and history are accepted. Divine knowledge is not and has never been the property of legal corporations and unconfirmed individuals who have sufficient largesse or publicity.
My colleague, Pir Vilayat Khan, is now offering the public a compendium of knowledge, previously hush hushed. I am teaching occult sciences, some akin to astrology, to the eager and curious young. There is nothing in these that cannot be given to people of maturity, excepting their refusal to accept my actual backgrounds, and actual history in the actual world. I cannot demand that you accept this actual history, but it is upon this, more than anything else, that depends my appearance on any public platform.
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
February 1, 1969
Dr. Huston Smith
Department of Humanities
Mass. Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, Mass. 02139
My dear Huston:
This has been a very “exciting” period! The Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan has been here, crowding in my full program but not remaining long. Mansur (Otis) Johnson, however, went down to Los Angeles and not only taped his talks but has copies of others and I am sure he could provide you with this material.
Then came our good friend, Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj. One put all his cards on the table, praising him to the fore after so many instances of taking a stance of indifference, shallowness or downright criticism. This was not only done openly but scores of young people agreed that this is a man, a man of integrity and real spiritual development.
One answer was very typical: when asked about “transcendental meditation” he replied that all meditation is transcendental. He was unequivocal on his criticism of drugs and psychedelics as ways to his type of spiritual awakening. The mystical experience is so different from the psychedelic one. He was also clear on reincarnation, differing from too many well known “authorities” on Indian culture.
Hardly had he gone when Dr. Nottingham arrived. We are using your book in the class on the influence of the traditional religions of Asia on modern movements. Dr. Noronhad who had the two sessions on Hinduism is the first man I have ever heard giving Emperor Akbar any consideration. Our culture lives in the clouds, and keeps far away from the contributions of historical personages when their influences do not accord with the opinions of the people in charge. And while I have been slightly successful in getting our friends of The Temple of Understanding to recognize the work, and even the existence of Akbar, I am withdrawing from any more criticisms. Let the “experts” control the seminars; I am going to the young.
The conversation with Dr. Nottingham was entirely open and above board. While I have admired her from afar the admiration grew both with her address and then our subsequent conversation. She saw no reason to react against my real relations either with Swamiji above or Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon or many of the great spiritual leaders of the day in many lands.
This is causing me to stop trying to get into any more seminars or conferences. There are too many debating societies and too few of the leaders interested in the spiritual experience of living people—they want enigmas of the past, the more enigma and the further back the “better.”
Through the good-will of my friend, Mr. Paul Reps, I have at last found an editor who is willing to publish living tales of living Sufis. As a culture we do not want them. Sufis are excluded from conferences. I did succeed with The Temple of Understanding, and before God this success is passing on to the young. They want the living experiences in the transcendent as well as in the here now. We cannot remain objective in the sciences and subjective in other domains of men’s experiences. “The Meaning of God in Human Experience” is going to be out in the open.
The work with Dervish and Yoga dances proceeds. It will be known that Ruth St. Denis had a direct influence and there is now a “legend” going on in dance circles. The Orientalists (?) will be the last ones to accept the living experiences of living mystics unless we are jolted enough to want real peace.
I have never met a Vietnamese with whom there was not direct communication.
My own Roshi, Grand Master Seo Kyng Bo of Korea wishes to come out here. Now I am in somewhat better terms on both the Berkeley and Los-Angeles campuses of the University of California. Master Seo has published in Korea a goodly section of my memoirs. They are going to be altered a little because of the strange fact that there are power structures in certain faiths which I did not find but which are alleged by Koestler. Rump sitting does not constitute Enlightenment and although not a “Buddhist” we are practicing, and rather successfully, the Jhanas and other teachings of Tathagata.
But my main work is in Sufism. It is not only that we are excluded from conferences but by the very people who should be more circumspect. With the hatred between Pakistan and India, and between Arab and Israeli there should be some careful measures to bring these people together. The rejection of my own mission leads to Tashkent. Important people simply would not accept or believe. It is only people with universal consciousness, who are able to cross barriers.
Anyhow the young are coming to me more and more, and one teaches the real Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islamic mysticism. I enclose a speech of the late Mahatma Gandhi. You can be assured this sort of thing is almost never presented to the public by orators.
Fortunately I am beginning to get help. Otis (Mansur) joins in sending regards.
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
S. A. M.
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
February 12, 1969
Kanhagad Post Office,
Cannanore, South India
This is really a funny letter and it is written very early in the morning, long before daylight. Many copies are being made and some of the recipients are going to be shocked because it looks as if Sam has to go to law to bring a law-suit. And people will be shocked, but they will not help Sam in the way he wants it. It is fortunate that in Sam’s private Kurukshetra with Sri Krishna on his side battles are won. And there are many people who glub-glub Prajna but most reject it. Only to practice what is in the guidance is always a cause of shock to good people who are still attacked to their egos.
Sam has not had a day off this year and he does not know when he will have one. There are so many problems of so many people and the Mystical Experience when God said to Sam: “I make you spiritual teacher of the Hippies” is fast manifesting, and it is as Sam has been telling every-body, “Sam’s campaign to be a Pied Piper has failed miserably, only the young show up.” And they do every week more. Only Sam has practically no help and the more he succeeds the more suggestions he gets, not help but suggestions. So this is a very funny letter.
Playboy, a very well known off-color magazine has written about Sam and they say some things which are entirely untrue. They have written about him without his consent and they call him a “Sufi” which is all right. But the article has to do with the cults of California and the Sufis are not a California “cult.” The American people are ignorant of Sufism although the poetry of Rumi and Hafiz is getting more popular. The Persian (Iranian) Consulate accepts Sam but if he tried to lecture on Sufi Poetry it would be rejected. It is all very very funny.
Sam is now reading his Christ poetry—to the young, of course. Their elders always rejected it but mostly the churches and poets rejected it. Also those who presumably are interested in predictions. This poetry was written from a high state of consciousness and every single prediction in it came true. Some came true almost immediately and some it took a few years, but everything in it came true. And the class on Christian-mysticism which is private is growing in attendance every week. And now Sam is giving practices in Breathing and Meditation which are effective; under the Guru they are effective but the important people deny Sam is a Guru and as he does not want to be their Guru, he does not care.
Sam holds classes every single day and now in many places. The most important one is in the Haight-Ashbury District. Sam appeared before the Hippies and found not a few had spiritual experiences. They have been turned down. Sam knew this for this is a long career with many associates who foresaw this day, and now all but Gavin Arthur and one or two others are dead. But what we saw is now come to pass which provokes all the people who claim to be interested in predictions and prophecies. They cannot accept that the Heart-of-God can permeate the mind of man and they will not accept Prajna and Vijnana—but the young do and more more all the time.
The only good thing in Sam’s life is that three out of four people who make appointments don’t show up. If they did the whole of life would be taken with consultations and classes. But this is a sign.
Sam’s work with the dances is progressing, more and more dances, more and more interest. And now we shall have a whole group based on Om Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram! Sam sees this with the Inner Vision. Last week for the first time he presented the Dervish dances and then Hari Krishna! One of the disciples suggested a few changes and Sam said, “Yes, we need the cymbals.” So two went out and got cymbals! But this was a good suggestion.
Then Sam had a surprise visit from a Jewish Sunday school class. He felt he could explain Sufism to him (unlike their elders they listened) but he did not know whether he could explain Judaism, so he told them he loved some of the Chassids who are Jewish mystics. They are so concerned with politics, so little with God. And now a Christian seminary is sending for Sam. It is wonderful that there is an awakening toward the reality of the God-Experience.
So many go around claiming God-experience and when they ask Sam, he always says: “Never mind their claims. Show me their disciples.” And we hear stories of the rise and fall of this great personality and that but never a sign of any great disciple. So many churches and so many cults but only the young experience God, so we shall have a new age in which the God-people may be separate, in a certain sense from the Church people. This is coming, inshallah.
So Sam is ready for the Kurukshetra in the law-courts and this will shock the good people. They avoid Kurukshetra. But twice in the last year Sam was flooded with bills he could not pay and in each case in exactly ten days money came. Only now Sam feels he has Sri Krishna with him. He is going to compel the Americans by strange ways to accept the possibility of the God-experience and even more of the Love-experience—not thoughts, not emotions and not even Prema but the All-Embracing Love of Christ and Krishna, of Mohammed and Buddha as an actuality.
Well all this looks like bombast, but in the midst a disciple of Sam, twenty-five hundred miles away long distance in the middle of the day: “Sam! Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram! I have had It” the illumination!
This is worth all the criticisms and suggestions and comments and enables Sam to again resume his program of seven days, 12 hours a day. His chief assistant is away, ill, but the Inspiration is here, praise to Allah-God-Ram.
Love and pranam
Samuel L. Lewis
February 16, 1969
Saadia Khawar Khan
215 Fall Creek Drive
Ithaca, New York 14850
Beloved One of Allah:
As-salaam aleikhum. We may keep a phrase as a motto or we may weave it into our lives. Religion has failed because sacred words have been turned into mottoes often in self-defense or other-wise and have not become the measurements of our beings. And after writing this, will also write to the Muslim Students Association and send you a copy, though more may be said here.
Your Murshid is going to cancel some engagements. He has not had a day off this year and there is no possibility for this unless some engagements are cancelled. Advice is the easiest thing to give, but those who face life, face it to its fullness, performing their various duties to Allah, to mankind, and to themselves.
If it had not been for the instructions from Pir Sahib Sufi Barkat Ali this one could not have possibly held up. And there is no doubt that his instructions enable one to be a Pir, a Wali, and an Abdal. These are each tremendous functions, in which one plays a roll far transcendent to ordinary or even extraordinary human roles. The rise in the quantity of mureeds requires one kind of attention; the rise in the quality attested by reports means further instructions in Esotericism. In these last two weeks your Murshid has begun very simple instructions in Mushahida and also in Kashf-al-Mahjub. There are lessons or lectures every day and tremendous amounts of writing.
One has been working assiduously on the commentary on The Inner Life of Hazrat Inayat Khan. During this time one ceases at the human level and all the consciousness of Malakut becomes his. But also when one goes to the Khankah, one rises to the consciousness of Djabrut and brings out what looks like “revelations,” answers to some of the problems of the day, in particular those of the young.
One’s first talks in “Hippie-land” have been most successful. These young people are crying for love and guidance and getting—philosophies. Everybody has philosophies, advice, rules, codes. The fact that none of them may work does not disturb “leaders.” Between California and India the world is full of “Messiahs”—Dajjals. One has recently passed on, one whose disciples in the “name of God,” of course tried everything at one time to destroy your Murshid, appropriating all his writings and research and attacking his name—easy then for your Murshid had practically no friends. He had to begin life all over at 50. And one of the claims of these people was there had to be a living teacher on earth—now their leader is gone. Also another man of Indian birth, adulated by multitudes, has withdrawn causing rise and falls in property values, as well as upsetting the emotions of his adulators. Social California believes that almost everybody can be “God” but God Himself.
It is among the young, called “Hippies” that most Messiahs appear-and disappear. Now your Murshid is among them trying to present Love, Joy, and Peace as actualities. Instead of asking them to repent for sins, he is trying to bring out the perfections. This attracts no attention among the important people, the press, etc. But a publication called “Playboy” has written about your Murshid in an article called, “Cultsville,” U.S.A. There are four universal groups mentioned—Sufi, Vedanta, Zen, and Baha’i. We are placed alongside all kinds of strange movements and persons which arise chiefly here in California.
The article is not particularly scurrilous about your Murshid but the implications on Sufism mean that your Murshid may be going to court. The matter has already been placed in the hands of my attorney at law but no action will be taken without full consultation with colleagues. In the past, without exception, your Murshid has always lost when succumbing to advice and always won when doing the contrary.
Years ago your Murshid went out for a morning walk. When he was nearly home a great wolf-hound appeared in the way and would not let him proceed. There was no stick or stone available and to return the way one had come would mean being an hour late. But Allah, the All-Being and Praiseworthy, suddenly inspired your Murshid. He put his hands behind his back and growled tremendously at the hound-dog which fled. But your Murshid is sure some being or beings were standing by his side. Then he heard from the Heavens: By Peace You Shall Bring War and By War You Shall Bring Peace. Not only has this come from heaven but for years it was never followed: one did what the good people advised and always lost. Murshid was a thorough Gandhian and absolutely uselessly. It never came the way the good people wanted.
Once your Murshid was near the Mall in Lahore, surrounded by communists. They were offering all kinds of allurements and inducements. Murshid stood quiet and repeated endlessly within: “Allah! Allah! Allah! Murshid has won more victories by Allaho Akbar than all other means together and combined.
Years passed and it was necessary to bring one’s brother to court. Murshid did Allaho Akbar. Suddenly his brother changed his plans, the matter was settled satisfactorily out of court and now his brother is fighting for him. And it was and is necessary to stop silly ego-advice and even Gandhi, though he had Satyagraha which is Kemalic, and non-resistance which is Jemalic, overlooked; the Jelalic aspects of creation. So India, without the Jelal is also in turmoil.
Your Murshid has nothing to lose by fighting, excepting turning down the advice of “good” people. So now he has his brother fighting for him on the one hand; and the possibility of success with Playboy on the other. Besides Sufism is of no account in this country. One has failed in almost every attempt to get in public. Even a paper on “The Religion of India’s President” has been turned down.
Besides, what good is it to talk about Kashf. Putting it into operation is the great thing. It never fails. And these young people also admire strength and self-assurance. Murshid has been fighting against fear and has been very successful, alhamdu Lillah.
The next thing is the Dervish dancing. No doubt most of the “Muslims” one meets look down on it. They’re stuck with words and Rituals. Allah is far away. Islam means surrender to Allah and when one means that, one is expected to follow little details about ritual, and neglect the Bismillah one wonders what comes of it. We have a multitude of wars.
Right now too. A group of Jewish Sunday school children came to investigate Murshid who teaches that Allah is a matter of experience, that man can know God. One knew that their teachers would start trouble. All they are concerned with is Palestine and a lot of Muslims are more concerned with Palestine than with Allah. All over the world, wars and Muslims have not only the Pakistan-India trouble, but Palestine, Sudan, Nigeria, and other conflicts, besides the internal ones. Everything matters today but Allah.
So we do the dancing and repeat the Zikr. Then we use the Sifat-i-Allah. Then we bring in the psychic science by putting the arms in accord with the attribute involved. And yesterday we introduced the Saluk, the Moral Science by deep meditation on the quality involved so we could become vehicles of the Sifat-i-Allah, each one of us. All of this, of course is very “Un-Islamic.” But the question is whether Allah wishes it and your Murshid is a fanatic about doing the Will-Of-Allah and communicating this to others.
Not only has your Murshid been busy every day but burned his arm and had to go on as if nothing happened.
Now as to Pork. We eat little meat of any kind. My own physician has explained the harm from the kind of protein in it, and it does cause many ills, or rather factors in them. While the important people are accusing tobacco and cigarette smoking for Cancer, your Murshid has been asking, “Why not investigate coca-cola?” No, the important people have made up their minds, and cancer will continue and continue and continue.
No spiritual leader ever permitted pork. Even Buddha, whose scriptures are most certainly not studied and least of all by so-called “Buddhists” permitted only certain kinds of meat on certain occasions and also he prohibited pork. But the Chinese eat it and say strange things, too, in the name of Buddha.
Ghufrana. I am very pleased with this name and should be using it. For while a Murshid does not like to point out errors and since unless they are big and important, you have been more concerned with your possible short-comings than with the Glories of Allah. My own work, especially with Wazifas and their repetitions in the Dance is on the Glories of Allah, not the short-comings of mankind.
Hazrat Inayat Khan also left the keys to the Psychic Sciences. We use the Glorious Names, their imports, their magnetism (Baraka) and also now ingest them into human consciousness so the perfections of Allah can be part of human nature.
You have a degree in Psychology. Your Murshid has none. He has done very little psychological study. He is waiting now to see if a certain psychiatrist will return here. We have sex problems, all kinds—but no solutions. We have psychedelic problems, all kinds, but no solutions. Now many young are listening to your Murshid, decidedly over a hundred individuals each week and every promise of more. More and more invitations and also more and more work here. But at least a few helpers, not many, but some.
When one goes deep also all the phases of the life of Malakut and of Djabrut become objectively aware. One sees much of the whole person. One sees the sins of mankind and the forgiveness of Allah. One has used these in psychic movements with the Christian Lord’s Prayer. One has not yet come to “Ya Ghafur” for many repetitions of many Sifat take some time. And it is important to feel all this in the blood-stream and heart. On this point the Jews and Muslims are alike—they attribute all honorifics to God but do not make them part of the daily life.
Now as to Rehana. I have a very good friend whose name is Rehana-Tyabji. She comes from a celebrated Shia family. She gives out this fragrance. You do, too, but your Murshid has never mentioned this before. Our great Sufi Pir, Barkat Ali, is one of the wise men of the earth and no doubt one of the top Walis.
Your Murshid has also had to write to the leaders of The Temple of Understanding. They are trying to build in Washington where the people of all religions could worship in one edifice. One of the top officials is Dr. Nasr and I have made a copy of comments for him and will also now mention your name.
In the first meeting before the “Hippies” one was surprised to find a number of Iranians in the group. And one is also planning to do the Dervish Dances for the Iranian Consul-General. Your Murshid knows nothing of Iranian Politics and most politics seems merely demonstrations of latent emotions which could be better used in constructive efforts.
Here we are trying to put these constructive efforts into the arts. After innumerable rejections your Murshid has found a small group which listens to his poetry. They become transfixed. It is not surprising because your Murshid was transfixed when he wrote. And he is planning next to have published his Christ and other poetry. All the predictions come true, one is far, far above all the well-known prognosticators and some day, inshallah, when there is objective and impersonal investigations, this work will become famous. It came, so to speak, out of the Heart of the universe.
The Shias have asked whether Sufi Ahmed Murad thought Ali was as great or greater than Mohammed. He said, “Ali was always aware of Allah. Mohammed was aware of Allah and also of mankind always. Thus he was the Perfect Man.” They accepted this explanation.
My friend Hussein has not been successful in the book business. He went into it without consulting Murshid and also he withdrew without consulting Murshid.
The people at the Khankah were all raised as Jews, Christians, or without religion. They have all had the Divine Grace. We have no active Muslim group, just a mixture of ethical peoples whose parents were Muslims and they have a social engagement once a month with a few prayers. Also a Sunday school for children where those quite incapable of “teaching” instruct the young, mostly in formal matters—prayers, rituals, etc. They have no Qur’anic study and were originally organized by a Christian who expected them to pay him.
Now in the encouragement of the arts this includes dressmaking, etc. We now have a potential dress-maker, a young woman who has been in trouble and has come to Murshid for help. But she has gone to Hawaii for awhile and is expected back in May. Although Murshid appointed a committee to look into this matter, only a single girl has given measurements. These are all details which consume time and do not belong in the duties of a spiritual teacher.
I am glad you have gotten into the spirit of Americans. Now the time has come, as one sage has said, “I have come to destroy religion and bring God.” Actually he only brought his ego, but there is no question that religion is disintegration and all the more because it is a legend that religion has anything to do with morality. The purpose of religion is to get people to come to a particular church with a particular belief and particular ritual. I teach that Allah is closer than the neck-vein and thus try to make people aware of it, actually. Now some have the Divine Experience.
Stillwater must be almost 1500 miles from here. If you wish to come to this Coast via Oklahoma it can be easily done by bus and also by train. If by air, it will cost a little more depending on what airline is involved. But I know you would be most welcome at Stillwater. I suggest you’re looking at some maps of the United States.
Your Murshid now has a beard. He looks very different. The beard has made him become very popular; like a hierarch or patriarch.
The Murshid regards the disciples as part of himself. One says in publics “The difference between Sufism and other spiritual movements is that in Sufism, Murshid and Mureed are one.” Hazrat Inayat Khan put it also, “It is the mureeds who make the Murshid.” This one has been more fortunate than Hazrat Inayat Khan or Murshida Rabia Martin in having wonderful mureeds.
In May there will be a seminar here on mystical experiences, and for credit. Your Murshid is wonderful whether he will be permitted, inshallah, and it is very probable. This will change again the whole status of his position in the community.
We shall, of course, have a place in the Khankah for you, but we are also trying to expand the place although the question of money is a hope and also the question of work is a problem.
One has not written to Sufi Barkat Ali, and neither Dr. Durrani nor Major Sadiq has answered. So one assumes that one’s work must be in the United States. There is an agreement with one’s brother about the family estate—if we win now, and again presuming one outlives him. Then there would be money for traveling abroad unless help comes from the outside. The only important manuscript sent out was never returned so there is a promise here. But one simply does not have the secretarial help for all the potential projects. Only if certain mureeds are successful in their careers, the help may come.
Outside of the arm, the health has been excellent. The life is full of ventures every day and every night. There is hardly time for sleep and too much of interest to have even radio and television programs, much less any social and entertainment functions. One did hear a lecture on “Iran” two weeks back and will go to another one, “A Caravan from Calcutta to Marrakesh” this week. We do spiritual talks and when the weather is dry gardening, but it has been a very, very wet winter.
This is only a partial reply. And now one has to write otherwise and send you a copy.
All love and blessings.
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
February 17, 1969
My dear Vocha:
This is my diary entry. It appears now that things are going to get out—in the open. Last night I was presenting a lesson on the “Awakening of Faith in Mahayana.” I had to stop. This is one of the things that the General of Semantics has refused absolutely and unqualifiedly to accept from Sam Lewis, and in view of the position he now has, in the name of peace and honesty, this is going to get out. I shall have it copied and attached to this letter and carbons will be sent first to the ISGS office, to Art Hoppe of the Chronicle and also to Paul Reps.
No doubt the private affairs are putting me in a warlike mood. My brother wishes to bring suit against the Estate which is holding our funds and Sam nothing to lose by joining him. This happened before. Nothing in the whole life has ever been gained by accepting the namby-pamby advice of others and something has been gained every time. “Therefore fight, O Arjuna.”
This letter will either be copied or abstracted and sent to the Harvard School of the Study of Comparative Religions: to M.I.T. which has already accepted one paper which the “General” rejected and to the public. This comes in three fashions within the last few days:
a. My reappearance in the Haight-Ashbury District drew a good crowd despite an awful storm. “Stealing” from Paul Reps I am not giving out “esoteric” practices which are found in scriptures and printed books kept from the American public first by the European and English “experts” and now by their pupils who got degrees and “teach” Oriental philosophy. I think everything I am bringing out is found in printed scriptures, but hush-hush, they should not be shared????
b. Saturday morning the teacher, Dr. Nottingham of Long Island gave an absolutely objective picture of Vietnam. I do not know whether she lived there but she certainly stayed long in South-East Asia which immediately disqualifies her as an “expert.” When Sam said his paper on “Vietnamese Buddhism” has been rejected 31 times and added, that Americans are totally incapacitated to listen to Asians, the general tenor of the class was that they have become totally incapacitated to listen at all! I can’t argue with that. All you have to do is watch on TV the imbroglio between the Negro-non-Students and Don! Semantic Reactions All Over the Place, but generals are generals!
c. I have no intention to try to convince any “expert” on Oriental philosophy of the validity of “karma” but after my dancing class was dismissed I received a call from real Vietnamese to come to Monterey to speak on “Zen!” What Asians think does not jibe with the “establishment American” view. So I have to be prepared.
d. Last night I gave full scope to Lord Buddha’s system of Yoga and the young people (only young attend) absorbed it as mature persons do not, often cannot.
Friday I was haled because of the article in Playboy. The generals cannot deny this was made public. And there is a sort of apology toward the end that Sufis and Zennists and Vedantists do not belong in the same class as the California cults. What the public does not know is that Whiteman and Lewis did a lot of field research in this very form. It was rejected, of course, but some appeared in Whitney’s The Face of the Clam.
The rejection of my paper on “The Religion of the President of India” was not so important as that on Vietnamese Buddhism. And then I have a private war with Don’s friend, who is in charge of so-called “East-West” studies?? at the University of Hawaii. Of twelve men on the executive committee five are Jewish—and no Muslims, and Sufis being Muslims (they say so), we are excluded although there are more than twice as many disciples of Sufism than there are Jews of every kind, however defined, in the whole world.
We have now made contact with Phillip Kapleau and this will go on to M.I.T. and Harvard and I believe elsewhere, that the time has come to look at Asian cultures objectively even though we do not like them. And so I am awaiting the decision of my colleagues where a retraction will be asked of Playboy or they accept an article or otherwise. Sam has nothing to lose and he will no longer accept the namby-pamby negative advice which has brought him nothing. “Therefore fight, O Arjuna.”
I have now classes every day in the week but must cancel some occasionally, not a day off this year. I am in the midst of heavy creative writing too, have only a little secretarial help and have had to carry a tremendous load in this household owing to the hospitalization of David who now occupies Ed Hunt’s room. But David is now working.
I think I shall see that the section from “The Awakening of Faith” is properly Xeroxed, and sent out and everybody told that Don Hayakawa refused this, and that is going to start something. But of course, copy will go to Russ and there is ample time for warning. If this is “blackmailing” Etc., to accept a real article on real Asian philosophy, especially one which so anticipated A. Korzybski, let it be. Now I am off to my regular work.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Avenue
San Francisco, Calif.
March 2, 1969
Dr. Oliver L. Reiser,
Department of Philosophy,
University of Pittsburgh,
My dear Oliver:
Thank you for your note on back of “The Center of American Living” notice. I am particularly interested also in Dr. Bahm, and may write him.
Although a good deal of the news is in the letter to Vocha Fiske, copy enclosed, I must say, that not only am I “for” Cosmic Humanism but I am doing something about it. One receives so many editorials (generally by persons who do not recognize each other) in this regard. It is something more to act.
Yesterday in the class room, discussing “Confucianism” I said I did not understand the speaker for sometimes he was talking analytically, sometimes eclectically and sometimes synthetically. In the past such a remark has always been answered by an attack on the person! That day is over and I must say some effort will be made to get something published on the subject of a priori rejections versus scientific and cosmic outlooks. I still hope to find a “semanticist” who would dare to refute your philosophy, or would accept it from another source! But I believe the Humanists here, might. They do not indulge so much in blanket rejections and personalisms.
The teacher happens to be one of the leaders of the protesters on the Berkeley campus. He found Sam was arguing for the very point that he was demanding in another capacity. And it became clear to the class, the teacher very much assenting, that one could be entirely opposed to the social and political fabrics of “Confucianism” and still accept yang and yin, and even the five “elements.” Instead of being personal or angry (my universal experience with “semanticists”) he accepted the point in toto.
I did not tell him that attending a conference once I dared to challenge the Chinese on this point, horrifying the Americans, and in the absence of Americans being initiated into aspects of Confucian teaching which we can call “esoteric.” My initiator is a very prominent Chinese and his disciples recognize Sam, but as yet Americans, never!, excepting one also initiated! And it has been this a priori or otherwise rejecting people who have controlled too many of the positions of prominence.
Once being permitted to speak freely and without name-calling only harmony resulted, you can be sure.
The whole situation is also reacting against those pretended teachers of “Integration” who exclude willy-nilly whom they will. It will take a while to complete my missions on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, but once done, with several small editors behind me, one can come out in the open and I believe we shall see a new type of semantics, impersonally, cosmic and with ever broadening outlooks.
I believe an ever growing number of professors are now ready for Cosmic Humanism. My work in the fields of philosophy and the dance are based on principles which can be found exemplified in both electrical and biological phenomena. They fit in pretty well with your sub-heading (a).
The first step is no doubt to delineate terms. As the “generals” of semantics have not gone deep into mathematics, despite long pages in Science and Sanity they have continued to use words, the same words in various contexts, at different levels. I have two cousins who were and are mathematical whizzes and communication was so easy as one passed from the immediate to the “transcendental” to the transfinite. The “generals” absolutely refused to consider any paper from this outlook and in time I shall have to renew my friendship with Columbia to revive Keyser but for the main purpose of supporting “Cosmic Humanism.”
With doors opening, and outlets being provided I am sorry to see certain persons who should have permitted some material from this person to be accepted if not in print, then on the floor at meetings, will have to retract or even admit their insincerity. The terms “democracy” so much abused, does not mean permitting others the floor. In the paper today a professor tells of his efforts to speak at the meetings of various contending groups. He succeeded but with great difficulty. And all of them verbalizing “humanity,” “democracy” and “free-speech.”
As the young accept and as the possibility of increased remuneration appear, one becomes more and more optimistic. The world cannot remain half-free, half-dialectic (and egocentric.)
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, 94110
March 12, 1969
Dr. Oliver Reiser
Department of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Penn. 15213
My dear Oliver:
This in a sense is my diary entry. In the various enclosures you have sent, and in the various articles and brochures from several different sources, there is today a grand verbal trend toward cosmic humanism. I cannot say that all this trend is either hypocritical or superficial, but I have run into a very curious situation.
As matters stand the semantic movement is interested in you, and in your work insofar as you, Mr. Oliver Reiser, is connected with it. It is most unfortunate that at this writing almost any aspect of cosmic humanism arising independently, or because of the trends of the times, is as yet rejected, even rejected in toto from persons regarded as being of no importance.
My time is taken up almost entirely at my two residences, Novato and San Francisco, or on various college campuses. Unlike the news medium people, I do talk to students far from the scenes of melodrama; or rather I listen attentively to them. I am amazed at the numbers who stand for something very close to Cosmic Humanism. In fact, nearly all those who proclaim themselves as connected with The Third World Movement, have this stand. As a result of these interviews, I have become rather sympathetic to one of the bodies now in revolt.
There is no question but that the acting head of San Francisco State University has adamantly and absolutely refused to accept any cultural contributions of worth from the largest of the continents with the oldest of active civilizations. I have already sent you, I believe, a quotation from Buddhist literature. I now have ready copies of an article published by the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society on Buddhist Logic. The non-Aristotelian logics of Asia demand referents. This is one of the several differences between Asian and Greek thought. Yet in the name of non-Aristotelians, the present leaders have set absolute barriers from contributions from valid sources.
It is not only the students but the present professors of Asian studies that have turned in exact opposite direction from the “experts” of a few years back. I do not blame “ETC,” for the whole culture of the past 20 years has been based on blind acceptance of these “experts.”
It is very gratifying that all of the professors of all branches of Asian culture met on the several campuses in this vicinity have been most cordial. I am going to write as a term paper a thesis based on actual personal experiences drawn from my diaries. I consider these diaries as trustworthy as what is published coming from news-reporters. Here again I am drawing a scent from those now operating in capacities of instructors and deans. My next step will be to circulate the material on Buddhist logic, but I am compelled to advise the world, and I mean the world, that this material has been previously a priori rejected by those who consider themselves semanticists.
There is some ego-gratification that one’s total audiences have increased every single week of this year. In addition, there has been a gradual increment of financial returns. And in addition to that, requests for articles which I have not been able to fulfill, but with additional secretarial help should be fulfilling.
In other words, I am trying in every way to make Project Prometheus and Project Khrishna into objective realities. I think this can and will be done. I think humanism should be based on human beings and not on the subjectivities of self-privileged persons who have tried to control the word.
No doubt I am using new methods for reaching the young. My work in the dancing field has been most successful, and I next hope to start a form of choral singing which will integrate, and I mean integrate, methods in vogue in various centuries in the past in Europe, and at the present time in the near-east.
I do not think that otherwise there is a single negative report. I find that not a single so-called expert in this region in Asian studies is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (other than myself). Honesty, probity, sincerity and objectivity will always win though they may take a long time.
With kindest personal regards,
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, 94110
March 14, 1969
Pates Manor, Hatton Road,
Bedfont, Middlesex, England
My dear Friend:
There is a teaching, and it is probably found in most or all religions, that sooner or later we receive the reward or punishment for past acts. One could almost say here, “The stone that is rejected has become the cornerstone.” With the turn of the year, fortune has given a new outlook. While one did not do good for the sake of reward, nevertheless the teaching, that he who sticks to the end will receive the reward or punishment for his deeds manifests.
This year has seen a slow but constantly growing increase in audiences. Practically all of these are young people. They want the facts of experience and not the opinions of important people. Indeed, they are in revolt against it.
This outer change has been accompanied by a slow, but steady increase in income, and I now feel it incumbent to cooperate in any way possible, bearing in mind I am limited by lack of secretarial help.
In the class on “The Influence of Traditional Religions on Modern Political Reforms in Asia,” every one of the instructors has accepted contributions of experience. In this case it was our experience. But in general there is a type who loves to disdain whenever they are made uncomfortable. Youth is in revolt against this. My recent contacts with those of the teaching profession also show them to be in revolt.
The copy of a letter just written shows the shortcomings of the dialecticians. But I am much more concerned in getting basic teachings out than in wasting efforts on this type of personality. And one way of getting the teachings out would be to have copies of Studies in Comparative Religion in as many hands as possible. I have been a little lax in proper payments, but I intend to send you shortly a remittance so that one can ask you from time to time to send copies of your publications to various persons whom I think should receive Studies in Comparative Religion etc,.
At this writing there is not a cloud on the horizon—constant engagement, larger audiences, and growing excellent response on all sides, and I always feel, especially when reading Marco Pallis and F. Schuon that I am reading myself.
Love and Blessing and assure you of any type of cooperation you may desire.
Samuel L. Lewis
March 17, 1969
My dear Vocha:
Sam woke this morning like Alice at the end of “Wonderland” when it appearance that her erstwhile enemies were nothing but a pack of cards. This is my diary entry and copies are being sent to Russ, Bryn and the Reinhold’s. On the one hand one is being constantly criticized for sending carbons to people to save time and now one is receiving the more healthy but still impossible urgency to multi-graph his letters, articles and what not. Such has been the effect on at least two new contacts, men who are interested in world views, world logics and integration without the dubious vocabulary stealing by various prominent persons and movements.
Oliver Reiser stumbled me upon Archie Bahm of Albuquerque who has studied both American-American and Buddhist philosophies—I mean the real thing, not the passing but still prevalent egocentric dialectics by “So-and-so” which passes for cultures among the verbalists. The healthy possibility of combination of James, Emerson and Lord Buddha has already been at least started by him. No Hegel, no Marx, no Nietzsche, no “Existentialism” and no super verbalisms with the label “semantics.”
The week has made my life impossible. Having no time nor energy to consider a suit against Playboy circumspection has resulted in further compensation from the parental estate and if one looks at it and to it there are possibilities of still further financial success. The trouble is not enemies, but friends who simply are unable to see that each one has private matters to attend to and much may depend upon them. There is no leeway and a severe cold alone stopped unconscious impositions. I am still in the precarious condition of becoming comfortable or more than comfortable if only a few people would realize there is such a thing as a private life.
At the other extreme is the acquisition of a publication by friends and colleagues. Russ has just gotten in under the wire for within forty-eight hours the news came and everything, and I mean everything, snubbed, drubbed and smashed by the Generals is going to become public although one will do nothing for a month to given Russ and Etc. a chance. It is not even so much a question of morals, it is a question that one cannot carry on all fronts.
Then there is the peculiar situations with secretaries—loyal, devoted and helpful, they also have two obligations in life, to add to their earnings and to give full expression to their faculties. I was amazed to find my chief secretary telling me he could not give me so much time because of an opportunity which makes him in every way the successor to Whiteman and Lewis! Apparently the money is there, certainly the opportunity. And one cannot stand in his way. Things are jumping. The generation gap is simply because those who want to know what is going on, and those who are concerned with the names of the chief actors and do not care about the events. It is Lord Snow all over, and very much so.
Within a few hours after Russ called one received the news of great changes at Olompali Ranch, two miles away from my Novato home. It is an old historical place and was occupied by a group of far out people under one Don McCoy who put up a lot of money and just allowed things to happen, mostly parasitism and psychedelics, under the names of a commune. The parasitism and “drug” scene dominated but change of land ownership, accompanied by a strong effort on the part of those who want a commune to establish one almost throws the whole things is Sam’s hands.
Sam cannot work here without two colleagues Shamcher Bryn Beorse and Vilayat Khan, the real leader of the Sufism in the Western World, i.e. one whom the Sufis of the Orient accept. The size of the ranch, the possibilities, etc. while in full accord with my visions and fore-bodings, require a more objective person (or persons) to take over. I am amazed by the “spiritual” prowess of some of the young, who are like out of H. G. Wells, Sri Aurobindo and Bulwer-Litton, actually. I am further astounded by their physical and mental purity. The girl who is taking over is a Math Whiz, and one of the most beautiful blondes I have ever met. We do not have to telepath or commune of anything.
Yesterday some pictures were taken of the dancing class, and we shall send out a few. Some others will go around the Rand-McNally world which the non¬scientific community cannot understand, this being an objective world based on geography and humanity.
When Paul Reps is sober he not only sends in wisdom but sound facts. He is in the vicinity too and he really knows but is acting. Former events, and visits to classes brought at least one ovation, and not from the young either!
The next step will bring one out to the public. All that others have promised seems to be coming out of a “do-it-yourself” effort. But now the foot is down. Sam is going to let it be known that he will teach free in public but no drunkards and no four-letter words. You can’t have everything but there are always those who want to break up meetings. My precedent is Lord Buddha. Our horrible culture permits anything to pass for “Buddhism” but the actual methods and teachings of Lord Buddha. And my next letter will take this matter up.
Next weekend will be the mass birthday celebrations and I have had to look ahead carefully planning. Most important is that of Gavin Arthur. But Sam is no longer the door-mat or scapegoat. I do not know if severally or otherwise Don McCoy, Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Garry Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, etc., etc. will show up but they are going to see a Zennist really in operation, Fudo in person. I have played the coy or the Jain-Taoist too much and given way. The last time I appeared in public the place was over packed. The snearers are going to find out something. Already Alan Watts is in retreat.
The class at the extension ended in a high note—four instructors in a row, all basing their work on hard facts, human beings—geography, history and no dialectics and egocentricity. None of them European educated. One Hindu (Christian) and three Americans who have lived and studied in the Orient! Imagine that! The last one connected with the American University of Beirut. But already I have gone into operation. And ever since Sam discovered the non-membership in the Royal Asiatic Society of so many “experts” here, famous “only in America” for their knowledge? of the Orient, he is not stopping.
My next term will really lay the cards on the table and no more “liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up!”
Now Lottie is here and the move is on for Senzaki’s works. I need a secretary. My friend-colleague, Ted Reich is away, and with more demands on my time I do not know what to do next. At least two potential contracts for public lectures—all for the young, the respectable know better! We prefer war to facts and it was remarkable that both the teachers and class agreed on that! We do not want facts, we go out and urge others to die for our beliefs.
It would appear come of my predictions of other years will be published. You cannot get a Garret, a Rhine, a Cayce to do that! They all need money for “research.” Just another letter from the Center for Democratic studies at Santa Barbara. The steenth one, all the same: Prof. Schlitz von Hoffmeyer acknowledges your letter but he has been called away for two months and will not be able to answer until his return. Three months later one finds Prof. Schlitz von Hoffmeyer is no longer connected with the institution. All right call him Bishop Pike or Linus Pauling or anybody, all the same on and on and on.
At Gavin s party I hope to have my godson who is a Mulatto and god-daughter who is Jewish meet each other. They have both been wonderful and both are close to Gavin. Norman would like to be a professional astrologer—the interest in this has gone up. I have a disciple who is a numerologist and while I know nothing of this art he has been far more successful in predicting Sam’s future than anybody else.
He lives in Novato where I am having a growing following and do not know what to do. Last week I started a new type of spiritual singing. It is a blending of ancient antiphonies and symphonies, coming first from the early Christians but preserved by the non-existing Sufis, but in the same genre as the Beatle music. I think it as tape-recorded but by the time Vilayat Khan comes again some will be more perfected. We are doing the same in the dance. And as the disciples respect the Guru-Murshid, so are they growing. It is amazing. It is also in line with “angelic” music heard by me years ago.
It tried to get it accepted by Henry Cowell who took the first step and then reneged; and by Dane Rudhyar who rejected it but Malyar (wherever she is) accepted it. Now it is manifesting, and by the same methods as by which Mother Ruth St. Denis drew from the Akasha. Oh, it is real, it is here, it is now and it is effective.
Another thing that is effective is the exceeding good-will among the various disciple for each other. It is now like a huge, loving and happy family. I have never witnessed anything like it. The pictures yesterday were no doubt of the elite, the dancing class which is also a walking class, and very effective. We are fulfilling what others have written about.
Still there is the family situation and this can lead to some trip to the Orient to affect a better alliance with Julie Medlock. The talkie-talk people are marvelous and they all believe in “Jesus and me,” if you know what I mean. They never accept “others.” In the end they never help much. But I believe the day of verbalists is over, and to pun it, that the day of herbalists is here and there is more behind these words than on the surface.
Gurdjieff s teachers were all, I believe, “non-existing Sufis.”
I cannot mail copy of Playboy. It is expensive and time consuming. Details, not hard work have broken me and again this week. If you plan to come here toward and of April I shall make preparations. I cannot tell you whether we shall have accommodations here is San Francisco or not, but you may have other places to go to. I can tell you we shall have accommodation at Novato because the guest-room has been renovated and prepared.
I am sending copy of this to Fred and Corinne and would appreciate your seeing them. Also we sent copies of The rejected Avatar to Harry. You may communicate anything to him from this. Wish I could get down and maybe I shall but wait until my new schedule for April comes up. I am now relieved from most housework, etc. But this is Sunday and I have two big jobs coming up, and if possible will send up carbon of one, or may have it copied later. My devoted secretaries are overworked too.
Love and blessings,
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
April 1, 1969
Mr. Shamcher Bryn Beorse
Box 142, Keyport, Wash.
My dear Shamcher:
This is really my diary entry. I am sending copy to our good friend, Vocha Fiske (who may be here this month) and to Russ Joyner, an associate of Lloyd Morain and Don Hayakawa, who at least has been willing to have open ears.
The month ended with a slight manifestation of encouraging reports, i.e. the collections were larger. This hard American argument may touch some of the hearts of the VIP a priori rejection people who fight with each other and wish to be each his own Fuehrer in his particular kind of brain wishing which passes as culture. Important facts from unimportant people must be ignored.
This is reflected in the changing character of the audiences. Two new types: beautiful girls and engineers. The stories of the beautiful girls are all the same. They have lived in Asia with Asians and so their life-experiences are contrary to the opinions of “experts” and newsmen (who are also classified with “experts”) and they welcome us Ugly American. In fact it would be an easy matter now to have a giant “Ugly American” society restricted only to Americans who have lived in Asia, often worked or gone to university, etc. and are ipso facto non persona grata with society. Whether “establishment” or anti-”establishment.” The stories are all the same and they love Asian-Asians and they do not agree with opinions of important people.
The engineer type is interesting. I am now getting some older persons, men especially of deep minds who ask serious questions and are not satisfied with superficialities and brush-offs which are the offer of the day, or rather of the passing day. I have been rather surprised and of course gratified that either in private interviews or by the dances I am presenting, they have been won over in a sense. The a priori rejection people who represent “liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants, shut up” are going to face a new day with objectivity, experience and facts dominating the scene.
I had to rush off a paper on “Pakistan” due to personal knowledge, without waiting for a properly annotated essay which no doubt will come later. At least I have “ins” at universities elsewhere and now gradually locally. We have seen an influx of Asians and Americans who have lived and studied in Asia replacing the “great” Europeans and Americans and their pupils who have long dominated the scene. Those examination-wallahs often could not pass simple tests if given by Asian-Asians.
Another interview of an entirely different nature came with “Jack,” a young adventurer who wants to complete his education and teach “General Semantics.” I told him I am ready to lay all my Keyser and Peirce material before him (you get two sorts of rejections from Morain and Hayakawa—direct and a priori, never any consideration, but I am hoping for a more favorable interview with Russell Joyner soon). It may cost me hundreds of dollars but I am going to clear my name. I have visited Columbia before, etc., and now have too many “ins” with too many universities, and the integrative harmonization of some aspects of some Asian philosophies with our twentieth century developments may be valuable in facing, if not solving some problems.
Whitey and I foresaw that Science and Sanity would help solve many big problems. As the G.S. movement is almost entirely in the hands of superficial persons with a total incapacity for the “rigorous thinking” of Oliver Reiser, and a marvelous capacity for value-judging (absorbed by Korzybski). I am sitting on the fence now.
There have been some introductions from Lloyd’s teaching, Oliver Reiser, and especially those of his contacts who have had the audacity to live in Asia and study with Asia and therefore do not agree with the “experts” accepted alike by the “establishment” and so many verbal, superficial “anti-establishment” groups.
I am not going to list here big problems which I believe a real usage of real semantics, general or not, could help solve. Sam Lewis simply would not be permitted to present a paper or even a suggestion unless there is some relenting. “We” prefer problems and the only “solutions” are to call in a De Gaulle or get rid of an Ayub.
Sunday I go to a picnic of Asian-Asian students and unless there is a change in program I do not expect to meet a single “expert.” And the following Saturday the seminar at the University of California where I doubt that I shall be denied the floor, the usual here. But now the young love that; they dote on my stories of how Mr. Big, and Mr. Important, and European Professors of Oriental philosophy have denied me the floor and attacked my character. The world turns. At least I shall be heard.
We have some surprises for the Asian-Asian students but I’ll report later of the outcome. I am now in a quasi-dilemma of my secretaries getting outside jobs but this will add to my emoluments and things look very bright.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
April 7, 1969
Rev. J. Eugene Wagner
135 Ninth Ave.
San Francisco, Ca. 94118
While this is my autobiographical entry, copies are being made for Prof. Bahm of New Mexico, Alfred Bloom of Oregon, and our local colleague, Dr. Warwick.
Self-identity has become very difficult. Daniel Lomax, one of the secretaries, has long had a leonine appearance and has had both beard and hair trimmed. And this person, looking so long like an imp or leprechaun, now has the hair on both head had face long and looks at times almost like a holy man. Neither of us is reconciled to any self-identity. Both look strange to our selves. There is no need for any more egocentric anatta doctrine.
Last night was unusual, which in a sense is usual for this place. What we did will not satisfy a single cult or sect of any faith. There were strangers so we went back to the First Jhana, and these people were nearly all convinced that the First Jhana is effective. Later on we went to Zen Flesh, Zen Bones and this also was a successful maneuver.
The evening was divided between the Dharma of Swami Ram Dass and the discourse on Trikaya. One says that Nirmanakaya—Nir + Mana + Kaya, and not some apish transmission of “body of transformation” as handed down by those who have had no such experiences. What is a “body of transformation?” We might go beyond Paul Reps, “Ask a Potato” and ask an Amoeba; or actually go through the animal world, the actualities.
Refusals have come from the various Buddhist leaders about a really big Wesak Ceremony. Apparently each has his “thing” while advocating anatta of course. It looks now as if it will be an easy matter to have 200 or more persons to Novato. I shall take up the matters of and with Master Seo tomorrow.
Saturday I was brought, The Buddhist Revival in China. It is a long book and there is a danger of its very length being ipso facto effective. I have no general criticism of most of the statements. But apparently the author does not know Fleming, nor is Marco Pallis mentioned, and my present activities bring one very close to Pallis from whatever outlook one takes, or has.
My papers from Venerable Tai Hsu have been rejected by Tuttle. I shall not write this publisher directly but will later write to the Harvard Center—where I was greeted with both candor and respect. Dr. Alfred Bloom of Oregon has put up the matter of Xeroxing Tai Hsu and this is an order.
I am at the moment in an awkward position. There has been a constant increment of both attendance and financial income and yet I am in debt. It may require a complete housecleaning, I have refused to accept the tragic deaths of Inayat Khan, Robert Clifton and Dwight Goddard as an example and either will avoid a tragic death (some success here) or it will be of a different kind.
Holmes Welch has mentioned Master Tai Hsu and others. But he also has a picture of Dr. Trebitsch Lincoln and I have some knowledge—quite direct too, concerning the time when he was supposed to have “disappeared.” I should for the Harvard records give a detailed report, but the past—I think it is gone now—has had so many detailed reports of actualities which have been snubbed. I am, according to the principles of the original will of my father, to try to allocate part of the principle to a university and both from my own “will” and my brothers, in the field of real Oriental transmissions. What is more and strange, are the possibilities, which come close to probabilities, of increase in increment with the two hazards of parasites on the one hand and of egotists on the other refusing to accept not only personal reports, but actual data and literature which ought to be on record.
This Saturday there will be the seminar on “Cosmic Consciousness” at the University Extension. I am prepared to go and have at least one colleague. There will be the question whether we are going to depend on books or on human experience. It was all right to be told at Kamakura in 1956 that one was already two grades above Daisetz Suzuki. The whole subject of “grottoes” mentioned by L. Adams Beck and Sokei-an, complicated by the information. “Daisetz has never been here,” brings up this question of how far literary authorities will be accepted seriously above “those who have crossed to the other shore.” One is also problemized by “Diamond Sutra” because one does not affirm directly but one has to express and now get out into the open.
As I must write later to Harvard I shall not add to those remarks but will send copy. And we shall see that you get a chance to read The Buddhist Revival in China. The grape-vine substantiates Welch, so we shall see.
Samuel L. Lewis
April 19, 1969
My dear Vocha:
One is rushing this so you may have news and views before leaving the desert. As Shaw once said, he hoped some day he would be able to convince a banker of the truth of socialism but a banker’s clerk never. I am hoping to convince many of the truths of karma and moral law, but the pseudo-occultists and the self-appointed “experts” on Asia, never! And the same goes for many cults.
Yesterday, I was very angry. A brochure came from India, another “Avatar!” That is to be expected. But the brochure had been published at the expense of the secretary of the late Meher Baba! There are certain people who think they have all the answers and when they are proved to be partially wrong, they jump on other band-wagons and take over—they think!! And while the most outstanding is an English-man named Bennett there are so many of these.
Last night Gavin was in a fury and perhaps rightly. There is a pseudo-occult movement meeting just across the street from him and their very propinquity has been most disturbing as well as their almost de-human methods. But “experts” are “experts” and when Sam was trying to clear the atmosphere some years back the attacks were made on him from so many quarters. It has taken some time to clear the atmosphere.
One criticism came and perhaps right too that one has not been firm enough. In trying to promote love and harmony and beauty and avoid being a tyrant one has permitted people to do a lot of things. Then one found there was not leadership, no direction. How many times has one been appealed to, that a friend or a person was on his last legs, etc., etc., and the next thing that person or friend was giving a party or helping others out. One is still in debt and had to speak both publicly and privately that one was withdrawing help to others because the money was so being used or misused. It had a very sobering effect.
One’s very sternness has also been most beneficial. The income both from the estate and outside sources has gone up. One gets almost three times as much as when one was “poor relative” of Lloyd! And the signs are also that there may be income from writing. And each close associate is now on a “thing” and either earning more or finding an outlet for his or her own creative genius. In other words one encourages “selfishness” but no more vanity or going out and “doing good.”
Last Saturday there was another work party at the Khankah and so much was accomplished. We are ahead of schedule. And we have apparently the right to use the lot next door for crops. All my requests were effected and some people are finding out that when they object to Sam (or Murshid) then he is going to object to them.
At the Khankah in Fairfax the “old ladies” had not the slightest compunction of refusing all Samuel’s requests, but when outsiders made proposals, they were given most serious consideration! The result was no cohesion, and outsiders, seeing our lack of internal unity did not join. But no sooner that one insisted—and I mean insisted—on internal unity first, not only was it accomplished, but we are now slowly but definitely becoming a “model commune.”
The income from outside sources grows and the totality of audience also increases every week. Sam went from 6 disciples to 20; from 20 to 60, and the next goal was a hundred. I dared not go further without organizing and consulting both my attorneys and the Sufi Pir Vilayat Khan. Why even his presumed “International Meditation Center” wants us and I have told my second in command he may do anything for charges. He held meeting after meeting free and never more than seven people.
The story is out about spiritual dancing. We are having a May festival along with Wesak. At first the “Buddhists” refused, but I have given it out that they could have full charge of everything but we would furnish the food and audience. We are also putting up a May pole and hope to begin a counter-revolution to re-establish May Day without the consent of Marxists and politicians baby grand-daughters who today dominate. Gavin even wants four folk-festivals but so far it is Sam who does most of the work and provides everything. But with a growing number of lovely and loving followers.
At Corte Madera we had a double problem of having to move and finding a suitable place. But now two separate theological seminaries have offered facilities especially for spiritual dancing and for lectures. It is a crest. I am stalling first to enable my secretary to follow up Glory Roads career, which is his thing—vide karma above; and the coming of Pir Vilayat Khan in June. Oliver Reiser also would like to get into The Oracle. This has again been delayed but has accepted Reps, Bryn, and Sam!
Paul Reps has been here. He simply cannot understand that one needs three days’ notice for appointments. I am hoping to get a day off next week or at least half a day. He had a small audience and is now working for health foods. Like the Messiah-makers above he is constantly on new themes, and rather successful because he has the means.
You are entirely right about the “whole man.” It is not only that this is coming. We are holding room at the Khankah, and as there are now three cars coming from there during the week and our own cars are in good condition, this will be an easy matter.
As to your health. There is a growing number of young people seeking universal methods—if the systems in some lands do not work, try others. I am going to purchase some Tai Chi books because the basic walking and breathing principles are not so far from those I have encountered inductively and intuitively, not deductively. There are now books on acupuncture, etc. And a growing interest in herbals. The herbologies of different lands are different, and studies too segmentary.
From the Indian standpoint my work is of purusha, not prakrit; from breathing and spirit to matter and not the other way. But I do not argue the point and support all universal approaches.
I have written the Oriental Section at Harvard because there is a new and rather complete book on Chinese Buddhism. Tuttle turned me down. I may go slowly to Ferlinghetti here. But the “gods” evidently are on my side. Just as there is a seminar on mystical experience here and now, so there will be a course on poetry writing as influenced by Asian philosophy during the summer! I already have my things ready. The same applies elsewhere. The doors open.
Following the early Rudhyar. Not having room to dance I introduced chorales based on real Sufic methods and they worked out wonderfully. It may be necessary to get a speaker attachment here to use the tape recorder for I simply do not have secretarial help, nor time and new themes coming always. I am “up” in commentaries on Inayat Khan’s works, commentaries which will live on after me. And with more and more interviews necessary and the great difficulty of impressing others.
Indeed it has been an awful campaign to make people considerate and not mob me after meetings. I have recess after recess and no questions and no interviews and so I blasted and said it was most inconsiderate that they always wait until one was tired out. The result was a number of interviews and a growing realization that soon there may be a large following. Now men in their thirties are coming. Up to the age of thirty the number of men and women is about equal, but after that it is all men.
Next week we hope to join the Indian students officially. We are also arranging for Indian films.
Anyhow it is a matter of consternation that this person, this body and this throat keep on functioning. I do not always know how or why. But you are going to see a growing number of fine young men and beautiful girls, really.
Love and blessings,
April 20, 1969
O Reps San:
Although this is addressed to you it is really my diary entry. These entry are very important to the cosmos but not to man. Man who sees only the ego of others and does not yet comprehend the divine spirit which is the essence of every one of us. And the hard, hard fact which displeases egoists that both Ralph Waldo Emerson (you might include Thomas Jefferson) and Swami Ramdas kept detailed diaries will not, of course, move the egocentric who sees only the externals.
The seminar on mystical experiences proved to be successful in certain ways. In the first place more than twice the number of expected enrollees showed up. And in the second place there was none of the “only in America,” “Liberty, Democracy, Humanity and peasants shut up.” We had this in the seminar on “Is God Dead?” when God was not discussed. There was still a lot of discussion of existentialism and its leaders and I still do not comprehend this at all.
The class was divided. There was a scattering of “anatta-Buddhists,” people who believe in “Buddhism” have totally separate and separated views and do not talk to each other. There was a considerably larger number of pro-? Buddha people who decry churchianity and both this group and the uncommitted who together formed about a majority held that the churches are passé and what we needed is spiritual leadership. This is not the first class where the trend was toward Buddha but quite against “Buddhism.”
The upshot on this point was that the instructor, professor Needleman of San Francisco State (Dept. of Philosophy) wants to meet Rev. Dr. Warwick as early as possible so I am sending Neville a copy of this letter.
We are planning a Wesak celebration and I have no doubt we shall have a large attendance. The meeting will begin after lunch on the first Sunday in May. We have a May-pole. We shall have both mantric and ritual dances. I have choreographed the Sun-Dance, Moon-Dance, and Wheel-Dance. When we get off the air egocentricities they will discover the akasha or alayas (I don’t care what it is called but alaya is healthy for thought and akasha for breath). It is certain that Fatima, one of my two leading woman disciples has pierced this realm and has already pictured in art-form what the essential dance-patterns are.
Someday, no doubt, there will be an interest—and it is growing in Buddhism and a protest against the churches and rituals which can hide under religion and present tradition crap and call it something. But it is crap all the same and not a good replacement of Christian or Jewish crap.
The upshot is another climax. I have seen—and I don’t give two-pence ha’penny for the rejections of all the “occultists” and “seers”—the rise from the disciples to 20 to 60 and am now in the 100 disciple stage which would fulfill my work to the re-arrival of Pir Vilayat Khan.
The Fudo career which is not too popular with important people began tears ago in an initiation when living in Fairfax. Nobody understood it but it is true and you won’t like it but it is true, By Peace You Shall Bring Wax and By War You Shall Bring Peace. One was called to task in certain quarters and began to insist on Toward the One and the insistence has brought fruit. All the egocentric suggestions from people do not bring fruit and reliance on Allah brings fruit at every step.
I am to take a day off next week. This is a rarity. It is not yet 6 a.m. I am like the director of a gigantic psychiatric hospital. You may not be able to understand it, but a Sufi is one who sees from the view-point of another as well as of himself. It was necessary to call one group to account after another and I boldly insisted that there were to be no more requests for questions and interviews after meetings. This has been the bane and yet when Fudo came out I think it worked. True there were more interviews and questions than ever before.
Two things struck simultaneously. There is a seminary offered here for classes and dancing. And in Marin County Wednesday we open at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, the next town to Fairfax. It is just in time. There was no more room for dancing in Corte Madera.
But instead we have started chorales. It is another thing. When Dale Rudhyar was young he worked on music and brought out some wonderful things. When Samuel was young he was offered by heaven the gift of music and it was, of course, rejected. But now it is coming in many directions. With no room to dance we introduced a kind of choral combining elements of early Christian, Sufic, and folk-types plus the words of sacred phrases., which come directly, if you don’t like “God,” akasha-alaya. The effect was tremendous.
Now there has been lately a slow infiltration of men over 30 and yesterday the first inquiries of woman over 30. It will be necessary to open up Dervish dancing more and more. Thank God I have the places as well as the parks. There has been no time for anything but work, work, work all the time but different kinds of work.
But yesterday I broke out in fury. A brochure came from India from a purported Sufi. It came out for an avatar, a new one. This was bad enough. But who published the brochure for a new avatar? Why the cousin and secretary of the late H.B. and it had the declaration that this man was still in the flesh and had actually resurrected from the dead, ergo was the real Saguru! Coming from H.B’s chief associate! And I bet Lady Duce will get a copy if she has not already. So I have written, La Illaha El Il Allah.
More will be done. We expect a big Wesak day. The young are coming, those slightly older, the professors, and this person always working, working, working, but thank God, the income is also going up. Badly needed but coming.
Love and blessings
April 29, 1969
Dr. Oliver Reiser
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, 13, Pa.
My dear Oliver:
This is written under such circumstances that it is evidence there may be something in the universe like Emerson’s “Law of Compensation” and a legend is already arising because one has too long been a scapegoat and from that very background one is becoming more and more acceptable to the young.
Both following and general audiences are increasing; slowly it is true, but most definitely. And also with that, but for quite different reasons, the income. It is easily the highest in my life and it is chiefly a question of what is to be done with it.
New Mexico. Both my chief secretary, Mansur Otis Johnson and myself have to visit this State in May and June respectively. Our original plans did include a visit to the University but now I have been sent for to assist or associate with a new type of “commune” which is really integrative and spiritual however we define these terms. The impetus seems to have come from the followers of Lama Govinda Anagarika who was recently here but the policy is to be all-inclusive and not carefully selected operating under the verbiage of “universal,” “integrative,” etc. I have seen their brochure but not until after they sent for me, promising airfare to begin with.
I am not too happy over it. I liked the Sri Aurobindo approach with its hypothetical assumption that there was coming to this world a “generation” with higher faculties. I find multitudes of the young exactly as Sri Aurobindo predicted. But his so-called “disciples” in this country got into the Zitko fiasco instead of working with Julie, while pretending.
It is the young themselves who are doing the organizing, the “Coming Race” of Bulwer Lytton and H.G. Wells, and I believe, of Sri Aurobindo. They do not want politicians even if they are connected with the U.N. and they do want meditation and similar devices and disciplines in line with the general “spiritual” schools of both Asia and non-Asia. It is very startling and at a time when I am thoroughly swamped.
But to make it most “involved,” no sooner had one agreed to this when a similar summons came from Seattle, Wash., although in this case the persons involved may visit this city.
This has come at a time when your very suggestions are coming to manifestation on an already overcrowded calendar. My visit to the Berkeley campus was overwhelming. I found “cubby-hole” professors in the non-sciences doing exactly what the “cubby-hole” professors in the laboratory sciences are doing on the same or other campuses. My visit to the Alumni Association was short and beautiful but when I reached home it was like when I went to Reno—the Jack-Pot hit me!
Projects Prometheus: There is a book review in the latest issue of Science where this word has been used or appropriated by a physicist turned writer. He has been criticized on all fronts and one agrees. Dialectics and egocentricity have no part in real Science, no matter how the word is misappropriated.
Besides this there is every evidence, going over the last issues, that Meta-linguistics is becoming a Science and the dream of Alfred Korzybski is coming true but not because of those who were his immediate but non-laboratory followers.
When I came back from Berkeley there was a report on Plant Protection using all the devices and Prometheus approaches on which I worked for years. With all the “only in America” experts against me I had from the beginning the Entomology and Plant Protection Departments on the Berkeley campus with me or I with them and it is wonderful that the reports in Science comes from the very departments I have been in contact with and are using the very basis I had outlined to them on the “solution” of the World Food problems.
There have been many ambitious programs for Desert Reclamation and all ignoring the worlds of bugs and microorganisms. I have both literature and brochures and have sat with the top Entomologists of the Rand-McNally world (the term “real” means anything). I have presented the Project Prometheus Approach both under its name and otherwise and 90% of the scientists (lab workers) I have met accept it while 90% of the non-laboratory “experts” reject it.
I am therefore having one of my colleagues go over all the recent issues of “Science” to note or copy all items in accord with Project Prometheus on all fronts including Meta-linguistics.
Vocha Fiske is in this house now and we are also taking her to Novato where our “commune” is now rather successfully operating. We are going to have a big affair Sunday and I am inclined to believe as many as 200 people will come. All my meetings are being better attended, the doors are opening, and one has to be very much alive.
San Francisco State: It is remarkable that one is now on excellent terms with professors of Philosophy there and is involved in two separate projects with two of them. I don’t want to write more here. The day of acceptance or rejection by personality rather than knowledge is done for. People want knowledge, information, facts and when they have it even war may be stopped.
Samuel L. Lewis
May 8, 1969
My dear Shamcher:
It is a new age. The attendance of 150 people here last Sunday followed by the appearance of The Oracle means that one’s light, so to speak, will no longer be kept under a bushel. The only obstacle is the multiplicity of request on the part of those that do not have to work.
The Marin meeting last night had an audience of about 70 of whom 40 are mureeds. And to think this meeting took place only a little over a mile from the original Kaaba Allah in Fairfax. Very gradually the attendance, the publicity and the rest will get out. The San Francisco meetings though smaller are several and separate and to them may be added a class at San Francisco State College which is studying mystical experiences.
I left with them a copy of The Oracle and will soon give them my commentary on The Gospel of St. Thomas and will begin reading “Saladin” in public. This was directed and inspired by Hazrat Inayat Khan but the mystical experience is much higher, much higher. Be that as it may “Saladin” has refused to interest himself and it must go on, and it will go on with a note that this was the original intention.
There is an article in the paper today that a man has dedicated his property to God and the legal officials objected. He took out a coin, “In God We Trust.“ “That is the Fellow.” They were stuck. We both want God and do not.
There was a loss in the death of President Hussein who belonged to the same Tarika as Pir-o-Murshid. Old Prof. Lal whom you may know, played a big role at the obsequies. Vocha Fiske is around and she has been delighted and charmed by our programs and the character of the young people in both homes; and by the obvious love and joy at the celebration. Older people who “know better,” stay away.
There has been a rainfall of dance and choral inspirations and no secretary. Both my secretaries have at least part time jobs and although some people say they cannot pay dues and would like to work, they are not easy to reach. It is very trying.
I am concerned about the health of all of you. My beautiful San Francisco housekeeper, Gwen, told me she had healing powers. She was called to her mother’s deathbed but her mother did not die. Gwen prayed for four hours and saved a woman whom the physicians had given up.
The same evidences of spiritual development have manifested in several disciples and more and more because there are more and more disciples, more and more work, more and more interviews, and, of course more and more suggestions, Still we expect to surprise Vilayat.
Love and blessings,
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Ca. 94110
May 10, 1969
70, The Mall
Beloved One of Allah,
As salaam aleikhum. The work being done with the young increases all the time. My old acquaintances do not accept the world in which they live and there is now a “Generation Gap,” in which it is often said that the older people do not comprehend the younger. Nonsense. This is nothing but nufs. Millions go to visit Data Ganj Baksh but hardly a handful know about this teachings on nufs and practically nobody recognizes that Nufsaniat is the equivalent of Samsara. But everybody wants their own ego and millions of repetitions of La Illaha El Il Allah do not change this.
I do not remember his name but one of your sons became a very good friend and inshallah, when it is possible to return to Pakistan, I could keep him very busy. My outward circumstances are changing all the time and few older people want to recognize it, the inner circumstances are also changing all the time and fortunately many young people recognize it.
In 1962 I visited the tomb of Amir Khusrau with Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Sani Nizami and one of his brothers. The spirit of the Saint appeared to me and gave me the same robe which had been offered by Khwaja Khizr and Moineddin Chisti. He said: “I appoint you as successor to Mohammed Iqbal in the School of Jelal-ed-din Rumi.” When I came back to Pakistan Sufi Sahib gave that robe and I have it. And all the famous and infamous people, all the authorities who preach without identification with their own words cannot stop what is the Divine Will. It is in operation all the time and one is now seriously considering also giving up sleep.
The other day President Zukair Hossein died and I had to listen to dualistic and hypocritical important people speak about his. But the time has come; the hypocritical and important people are being found out and very gradually the name and prowess of Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti is wending its way into the universities exactly in accordance with the blessings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. His disciples and followers refused to accept; even the man who was present has refused to accept because they do not understand nufs.
A billion repetitions of “No partner hath He” and still humankind makes itself equal or superior. This person has refused adamantly to attend a “peace conference” of the local Muslims. There is no Peace but in Allah. Doctrines, dogmas, assertions are not Peace and the state of Nufs-Selima is practically unknown.
The attendance at my groups increases. Last Sun. one had 150 and the daily attendances grows, the number of meetings grow and one has to visit the universities more and more and more, and no help. My chief secretaries are now engaged in their own pursuits and Allah is manifesting more and more and more. Everybody has suggestions, it is laughable. If there is one thing I do not need it is suggestions, as you will see.
It is my mission before Allah to do in this part of the world what Moin-ed-din Chisti did in India. I do wear his robe though the physical counterpart came from Sufi Sahib. Today dances are pouring through me as poetry did before. The poetry was rejected but the story is coming out. People who go around proclaiming Love, Harmony, Democracy differ only in that they use these words. It is not necessary to depend on them. The rich and the famous who might have helped, on them there is no need to reliance, in Allah only is reliance.
Every time a group comes Allah bestows a blessing. The other night one had the disciples get up and do another dance—these dances are always coming. It is based on nothing but Bismillah Er-Rahman Er-Rahim. It is real, it is effective. It is based on knowledge of psychic and mystical law which pretenders and proclaimers do not know. These dances are pouring out of one. Soon the poetry will be recognized. There is a seminar on poetry writing soon as affected by Oriental Philosophy. I shall without question bring “Saladin,” the greatest of my efforts so far.
The story of “Saladin,” the outer story is a shame. The person to whom it is dedicated refused to look at it. He is rich, famous and very very lonely. He gets all his books published, he gets audiences everywhere, but they are audiences, they are not part of himself and he has deserted Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan for his own fame and glory and he will go down in history unless he comes to the gate of Tauba. I know all about his private life and have kept quiet and probably will continue to keep quiet but it is disgusting how so many pretended devotees defy Allah Knows All Things. They act as if otherwise. And I personally defy all so-called Muslims who do not accept “Act as if in the presence of Allah and remember, if you do not see him, verily he sees you.”
I do not even have free nights. Last night was taken up by two long interviews. The disciple, oldest from point of Bayat was here. He is going through two crucifixions. He is marvelous—physically, mentally, morally and spiritually strong. He has already had the Khalif’s Ryazat and next I shall arrange to have a robe made for him. I wished to institute him publicly in the presence of Pir Vilayat Khan but do not know Vilayat’s itinerary.
The people in Geneva and in Holland do not accept the Invocation of Hazrat Inayat Khan: Toward the One, The Perfection of Love, harmony and Beauty, The Only being, United With All the Illuminated Souls, Who Form the Embodiment of the Master the Spirit of Guidance. I understand they are instigating legal proceedings against both Vilayat and myself. Yesterday one of my disciples, given Bayat by Vilayat told me that Pir Vilayat knew exactly what was coming and he has taken all the legal precautions. We are preparing to send a caravan to him for mountain climbing. (Murshid’s mountain climbing is different—through makamat and ahmal.)
A whole hour was spent last night with a young lady getting material on “Alternates to Drugs in bringing Joy to the Young.” She took down huge portions of my personal history and all her questions were easily answered. They are no problem. There is just the refusal of important people to listen. Allah and Listening solve all problems, all, but important people cannot listen. This is nufs; it deadens their senses and mind. They cannot listen and so the world is disturbed.
Now I must tell you about the work of Abdal. I was initiated in this path by Ghaus-i-Azam and served him and through him, Allah and “all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance. It is a terrible undertaking and line of work. But one was recognized immediately in UAR which is a long story.
Now in Hadith there is a prediction: “In that day will the Sun rise in the West, and all men seeing, will believe.” The long interview last night coming after the blessings of more and more walks and dances based on the basic teachings of Islam, of Qur’an and Hadith, makes one recognize what one has always known. Akbar, the Khalif designate as above has long been trained in Tasawwuri Mohammed, the most difficult and deepest though simple of all nonsense. It is Jili’s Insaan-i-Kemal in action and practice and no nonsense.
While this is going on the Vietnam complex. I have a chair once occupied by Robert Clifton (Phra Sumangalo), my dearest and best friend for thirty-five years. He came into my rooms: “Samuel, We Do Not Have It!” Without batting an eye, “Robert, We Do Have It.” This a top Buddhist. This, one of the organizers of the World Buddhist Federation! Only some of the top Buddhists recognize more and I can tell you stories of the very top Buddhists only it would fill Muslims with pride and ego, excepting Sidi Al-Alawi who preaches Khatim al Mursaleen and recognize all the prophets of all faiths and all religions, ending and terminating in Mecca Shereef.
This theme is to be completed in Rassoul Gita which will live on after me and the generations of the future will look askance on the people of the day. But I am also teaching the Gospel of St. Thomas, the real words from Jesus Christ, more authentic than the Christian Bible and it repeats over and over again that the servants of God will be shunned and persecuted and no one knows it better than this person. People can malign, imprison, beat, but they do not take away the Divine Spirit.
There is a growing concern with the breakdown of all “moral” standards. We will teach the Adab but now with dance movements and the repetitions of the Sifat-i-Allah with the proper movements and posture. But the ease with which people, I mean the young, repeat not only Allah but Mohammed Rassoul Lillah puts so-called “Muslims” to shame. I have enough time with the Bismillah, Takbir and the Sifat-i-Allah to last more than a lifetime and in the young mureeds the Light and Love and Compassion and of each of the Sifat shines and so no special moral or other admonitions are needed. The Sifat prove themselves by affecting changes in character and action. The light of my young friends and followers is becoming more and more manifest.
There is a corporation in Geneva and there is another one in San Francisco called “Sufism Re-Oriented.” The last accepted Meher Baba who is gone and all of his predictions fell for naught. But too many human beings “forgive” every so-called “saint” for every sort of transgression and expect the little people to obey all the “traffic laws” of the universe, whereas Allah expects the proper behavior from the important people and forgives the little one.
The true transgression is non-verbal. How many know Um-Khitar? The new dance, Bismillah will live on and on and on. There are others. The Dervish dancing has been reported and published in The Oracle, a local paper. More is to come. As I have no secretaries now, just one helper, I cannot look after details.
All Love and Blessings,
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
May 16, 1969
Returning from Novato (The Garden of Inayat) I found letters from both Sherab and yourself so I write each, and to save time, send carbons, because to write all the details separately would take some time.
I have not heard details about Vilayat’s coming. It is necessary to prepare Mansur to go to New Mexico now and Samuel will probably follow in August. We are both doing work on communes and especially from the spiritual standpoint. My articles on this subject are being printed in The Oracle, 460 Magnolia, Larkspur, Marin Co., Calif. Many thoughtful people ask Murshid to do this errand or that and when you consider today the number of disciples and applicants plus the number of old friends, if one were to go on these errands this would take up all the time. There would be nothing left.
At the present one is working at a feverish pace on the Commentary on “Cosmic Language.” It has taken some time but now one receives from Hazrat Inayat Khan telepathically perhaps easier than one hears from people in the same room. This has taken discipline and concentration no doubt. But one of the disciples sees this. She is a real “Oracle,” a clairvoyant who sees and picks things up. She is not the only one.
My audiences easily involve a hundred persons now. The Marin meetings have 20-30 non-mureeds and the San Francisco meetings more than that. Then Samuel is working with San Francisco State College where there is a course on mystical experience. It was rather funny—they were discussing the Buddhist wisdom and I walked into the room. Everybody stopped cold. It was like a manifestation! And one is received now in the universities with dignity, good-will and even acclaim. This is a manifestation of what Inayat Khan wanted and the refusal of his immediate disciples (all camps) is stopping nothing. “Neither can I be broken nor God, but the one who would break me, he is broken.”
Jayanara Herz is with me. She is the chief backer of “The Garden of Inayat.” I mentioned the possibility of having you stay with us. This is the situation: There is a guest spare-room, possibly for two people. There are places to sleep in the lounge and office. There is room to keep cars overnight etc.
The complex is this: Nathan has a birthday on July 15 and we are planning a huge children’s party—of course your boys would be welcome, also the baby. Only ice-cream (by the tub) and peanut-butter and jelly (or substitutes) will be served. The bread will be made by Jayanara as above.
The boys are now big enough to attend the Dervish dances (at least). The Saturday afternoon class will be disbanded in June and may not be resumed until September (uncertain). We may be having special classes on the lawn in Novato during the summer.
While my big work is the Commentary on “Cosmic Language,” I am also engaged in writing on “Walk and Spiritual Dancing.” And as for Bob, we have a new type of Choral. While this comes in the first instance to Samuel, two disciples, Daniel and Krishna Das, are also “in” on the composing and arranging. We have a responsive “Om” which is winning hearts. And we are also having responsive choral singing. The housekeeper here, Gwen (now Zeinab) also trained for a professional career.
Mansur goes to New Mexico and on his return we arrange for the group to go to Colorado. I assume that Vilayat knows exactly what he is doing and why. Besides, one has too much to consider. Our Station Wagon is already filled and another car is getting ready and I understand filled. Fortunately my financial conditions are ever so much better, so one can stand behind the trip.
There are two “bugs.” The first is that some are regarding it as a joy-ride. Samuel thinks it is the real introduction of the New Age in what Vilayat calls “The International School of Meditation.” I personally believe he is entirely right and so does Bryn Beorse in the North. There are too many indicators.
But from the same source and from Pakistan comes the news of a campaign by the “International Headquarters” etc., to push Fazal and remove Vilayat. Legalities aside, Vilayat has with him both some of the extant Sufi Orders and the universities in general. I understand they will try to meet in San Francisco and that I shall be approached. It will be very interesting.
There are also dramas going on in Marin County where Vilayat proposed his “International School of Meditation.” As we are in the middle of them at this writing I do not want to add more.
Congratulations on your birthday. We are having a “House Party” next Tuesday night, the two households joining in a party for Fatima, the house-mother, and others will be present. We shall dine at Khyber Pass in Oakland, and the owner of which is a cousin to a Sufi Murshid whom I have met there. We expect a fine party. Other disciples will be with us. And when you all come here if possible we can go there again too.
There are scattered relatives of Sufis around. Thus the Persian Caravan in Berkeley where we buy things from time to time.
If you want copies of The Rejected Avatar, please write to Hassan Herz (Jayanara’s husband) at 910 Railroad Ave., Novato, 94947.
Next month there will be a course at the university on poetry writing as influenced by our study of Oriental philosophy. This is like a divine gift. I have a lot of poetry of the same or finer caliber, and one gets nothing but rejections. There is a class I am giving on the interpretation of “The Gospel of St. Thomas,” and over and over Jesus repeats that the elect are rejected. But the world does not accept that; they think they accept Jesus but hardly his teachings.
Look at the campaign by the State Board of Education: “Back to the Bible.” We have never had the Bible. We have had superficial extractions from it and of it, but the whole, that is beyond man’s capacity. And other religions are the same, the verbal call, the verbal call but never the realities.
Now I shall write Sherab and also send you a copy, to save time. One never has a day off and seldom even an evening. Thursday was spent going to Sacramento for my God-daughter. And we fortunately met a lady, half-Indian, half-Arab, who has a dress-shop. We are going out now to look over materials for garments.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Samuel L. Lewis
May 16, 1969
My dear Sharab:
Thank you for your letter of the 12th. I am sorry about Paul, but then most people, especially those who have not learned to breathe properly, get old and feeble. This can be forestalled but is not because our culture does not recognize the importance of breath. A lot of people think it is dangerous to monkey with the breath. A society which uses cocktails, heavy foods and now the young psychedelics, has nothing positive to offer. My hardest and best argument is the strange fact of vitality and vigor.
Now we want “excitement.” Not liberty, not humanity, not justice, but ”excitement.” Everybody wants “excitement” and everybody is getting “excitement.” Who teaches morals and what kind? Everybody leaves it to others. The mothers are more to blame than any other group; but instead we are idealizing and idolizing and even digitizing motherhood. And if you look at the unhappy people it is mostly that they have not loving mothers. As mothers have votes and older women purchasing power, we can and will do nothing until almost too late.
Actually it is not the mothers so much as the insistence of Individualism, which means the ego. And we are not going to correct it.
This is the only Nation in the world which wanted Gandhi and violence. We set the pattern when we had Prohibition and drink. The very people who got the name for being Gandhians also lead the violent people.
The Hippies are gaining in number and strength here. They dominate nearly all the campuses. They are not communists, far from it. It is the press that makes it appear so. The press also supports the violent efforts, chiefly of outsiders, to invade the campuses. Yes there are communists, and I ran into them yesterday at Davis. Just a lot of words, words, words, parroted around and no depth, no meaning—just emotion.
I speak at Haight-Ashbury today. My meetings are all well attended now, and good response. I have written to Bhakti, copy enclosed. I have no spare time, no free time although there is a slight possibility of going out tonight for dinner, a rare occurrence.
The Oracle is an ancient institution, mostly of women who were clairvoyant and could see into the future. None of this Cayce, Garrett, Jean Dixon nonsense—actual seeing into the future. “The Oracle” assumed that the Hippies and others could do this. The Cayce and Meher Baba warning predictions all flopped, but their followers go on to collect people and money. A real peering into the real future is shunned.
We use the Aphorisms of Pir-o-Murshid. We kept a bowl with them and after a “Toward the One” and ceremony draw answers to questions. They seem a little better than I Ching (which I do not know) or Chinese fortune cookies although these last work. Last time I was in a Chinese restaurant it camel “You will soon go on a long distant business trip.” I laughed. We came home and there was a special delivery letter summoning me to New Mexico. As Mansur, my esoteric esoteric, has been scheduled to go there, he will do that first and then Murshid Samuel later. Mansur will then return to lead the group to Colorado.
“The Oracle” is now under control of mureeds. The last issue had articles by Paul Reps, Shamcher Beorse, Mansur Johnson, and Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti with another article on Dervish Dancing and pictures. Also a marvelous cartoon mostly about this Murshid and his disciples. It is gradually spreading, but one does not know the outcome. This is a long story how we infiltrated into “free speech” (for themselves only) Timothy Leary and Alan Ginsberg.
The difficulty in reading the Sufi Literature is that the heavy articles are full of gems which pass unnoticed. I am now working on the commentary on “Cosmic Language.” Also on many other projects. God speaks to man and through man. When the world takes Khatum seriously it will be a new heaven and new earth. The young do, their elders do not.
We repeat the Sufi phrases both in dancing and walking, in chanting and praying, in esotericism and exotericism. It is a new age and new life.
We have a big place at Novato and both flowers and crops. Already have picked the Lettuce, Cabbages, Turnips, Radishes (of course), some Peas. Even our Olive which is a long-lasting tree, is in bud, surprisingly. And other trees which should be in bloom are not. Tomatoes coming along fine. Plenty of Roses. The Hawthorne tree wonderful; but the Lilac overlooked our attention; we did not realize we had one until it was in bloom.
Warmer in San Francisco than up-country, surprisingly.
Probably lots more news but important letters to write. Most important Vietnam again. I was appraised of Vietnam years before any fighting but this was not believed. Last week a beautiful letter from the general who was in command of our ground forces. It began, “Dear Samuel …” Isn’t that enough? I was one of the few Americans at the services for the President of India! Some day—and it is coming closer….
Love and Blessings,
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif.
May 26, 1969
My dear Oliver:
This is just to let you know that things are coming very well, but too many. It is impossible to proceed without keeping the integrative view to the forefront.
It has been necessary to write a very sharp letter to Pondicherry. These people are making the same mistakes as the Roerich Museum and other predecessors, proclaiming some cosmic philosophy and along with that championing trivia. I have seen it happening over and over again.
They have come out for Santa Claus and against the students on revolt on the campuses. The hard fact is that some of revolting students stand for the very things that the followers of Sri Aurobindo believe they want, but these followers can only picture themselves in the driver’s seats.
I am unable to keep up with campus commitments. To get out papers I have had to send a secretary to keep appointments. Vocha Fiske looked into my life and found that every single commitment was backed by honest and objective effort whether the commitments themselves were valid or not.
One of my young followers goes to Denver this week. He wants very much to get a Masters in G.S. I have hardly mentioned you to him but will follow this up as soon as possible.
The great difference—and it is called “generation gap” is simply that the young want to be honest and objective. Only every time a subversive move is made on a campus it is reported in details and when young, non-Marxists protest, it does not reach the press at all. I think all the young I have met want the Projects Krishna-Prometheus outlooks.
I shall soon be seeing my colleague, Pir Vilayat Khan and he may wish to cover some of the Eastern States occasionally. And if my god-daughter, who is at Cornell, returns there, I shall make every effort to visit a number of campuses before long. Everything going fine but almost too much for,
Samuel L. Lewis
May 27, 1969
My dear Vocha:
So much has been happening that there has been no time for a diary entry. I hope you arrived home well. How long are you going to stay? Mansur is now down in New Mexico and I am to follow in August, but you will probably be gone long before that.
This is a New Age. Older people whose lives are complexes of a priori rejections of others and efforts to attain name, fame, and money even at the loss of friendships and who certainly can take their loneliness with them and not their names, fames, and money are to me, today a sorry lot. Hayakawa is now attacking the elite on the campus for doing exactly what he has always been doing himself.
I understand The Oracle is selling big. There will be another issue out soon. The staff wants to establish their own print shop and once this happens all the things I have ever done which my a priori rejection “friends” snickered at will be out. Had a whole hour with another young editor the other day and he wants to list all the things that the “good people” reject. Primacy goes to “Vietnamese Buddhism.” It is so much more important to eat the right type of grass or see that your onions are fed with a special fertilizer than to be concerned with the lives and tortures of multitudes.
Now with a wonderful letter from our top general headed “My dear Samuel: …” all my good friends of yesteryear are going to squirm and squirm hard when the time comes. It is much more important to dot your t’s and cross your eyes and be “generals” in Semantics. Eyes means I’s and I’s means eyes. On top of that there are a number of new professors that are doing research in real “Buddhism.” In fact in this field alone Daniel and I are overwhelmed. It is all right for Mrs. McCandless or Paul Reps to use Nyogen Senzaki’s things—this is “goody” but for Sam Lewis, this is illegal, mayhem, plagiarism, and downright stealing. But what are the McCandless, Reps, Aikens and others going to do when we get these things out? Tai-San, Soyen, and Sam Lewis are doing Alphonse and Gaston acts. Our real Japanese real friends are concerned with getting things published and our self-made American “Zennists” never conceded that somebody else may be permitted to get into their games! And they are games.
The new Buddhist contacts alone keep Daniel and myself busy. And I have been asked by still other new editors to write on Sufism, a mystical philosophy held by millions upon millions of people who do not have votes in the U.S. so they don’t count. Vilayat wants some of us to go to Hollywood and it looks at the moment as if Moineddin, Gwen and Sam may do this. It may be a national or international meeting. Who cares? We don’t have money and prestige … yet.
There are some funny things going on. It was awkward to have an imbalance, too many girls in Marin; too many men here. But Allah knows best. What has happened is that without any diminution of girls, more and more men keep coming to our Marin meetings and several of them in their thirties. And what has happened in this house is that more and more girls have been coming, including one serious mature lady. And last night I had to reverse the whole program, based on the assumption of more men attending because in the first part of the evening the girls outnumbered the men 2 to 1. It balanced somewhat later. And I can close the season with a firm statement that the total in the audience have increased every single week this year.
In the meanwhile Mansur is down in New Mexico on a so far successful “Lewis and Whiteman” mission. Daniel has not only been successful on the Berkeley campus, but in his quite independent Vietnamese and Buddhist efforts. And he has smoked out Conze, quite an achievement in itself. But he has also been successful in both gardening and engineering.
Mel understands the investments he made which looked like total losses have become a question of how much he will gain. This is fine financially, but impossible from the management of office and secretarial work. But something strange is happening. Both the new secretary and at least one publisher wish to move to Novato. Of course The Gospel of St. Thomas says over and over that the one who is rejected becomes the corner stone and Sam has not the slightest doubt that his writings, his experiences and next his poetry will be accepted. The poetry venture starts next month, but one has begun reading Sufi poetry in public and more and more.
Our family party on the 20th was the highlight of a life. It was Fatima’s birthday, and 17 people with their ersatz grandfather. I have never seen such love and brotherhood anywhere and sometimes I weep when I look back and see what kind of material Hazrat Inayat Khan had to use. But I often wonder whether that may not be the last “family” party. It was held at Khyber Pass restaurant in Oakland, owned by a man who has many Sufi relatives. The staff was in wonderment of our chanting and singing, old spiritual phrases but chanted in manners new to them. This is exactly what Moineddin Chisti did centuries ago, attacked of course, and then successfully. And we are following in the same path.
Fortunately I received an A in one course without even a term paper, and as the professors involved are going to have a seminar on Vietnam, I shall attend the primary meeting; but I have neither time nor money. For there are other uses for money—we are putting books now in the U. C. libraries beginning with Papa Ramdas and this may include Senzaki despite our “very good friends” McCandless, Reps and Aiken & Co.
But I am not angry at all. I am weeping to see the loneliness that will follow. Nearly all my lectures contain some reference to karma and the refusal of people who think they are high in Orientalia to accept that whatsoever they sew, so also they reap. It is almost impossible to reach them. And repentance is the first and most important state in both Sufism and Hue Neng Zen, but not, of course, in the prelates and important persons. They don’t need repentance (their own authority, of course). And tragedies and sadness follow. There is no room for God in the self-centered.
Indeed this is true everywhere. The Islamic publications have nothing to say about Allah; plenty to say about how bad others are. The publications from Pondicherry are worse. They have outrightly condemned the student revolts because a very important diplomat, who was nowhere near, condemned them. This is our “spiritual justice” of the passing age. It is these young people who are nascent Sri Aurobindo’s. And it is these young people who are building the New Age. And sometimes this person becomes their Captain.
Love and Affection must be used in essays and on the platform but not in reality. It is dangerous. And when one gets close to these students in revolt and protesting, one finds most of them are products of well-to-do families (environment, of course) and back of them lots of money, too. Father Blighton and I figured if ages were reversed we would both be heirs to about a million dollars and both our movements are growing. And the sad cases do not come from poor homes but from loveless homes. The heart wants love and the society offers “environment” and some of our good friends, grass. But not heart, not love, not compassion.
These are exactly what is going into the dances and we are slowly distributing to far parts. And we shall demonstrate; we shall show and we shall produce exactly that revolution upon which Mother Ruth and Sam agreed.
Vilayat wishes to organize and I am at my wit’s end now because one cannot hold more than a hundred individuals close to one; look after their spiritual, psychological, and social needs, etc. And so one has to “institutionalize.” And my now scattered disciples also want the Dance and so far I have failed to obtain a proper secretary but must start all over. My senior friends have plenty of suggestions but direct help is a rare thing to get and I am not demanding it.
All this time I am doing what Inayat Khan wanted me to do. Make no excuses for not doing it. Over half through the commentary on “Cosmic Language.” Bryn Beorse marvels over my earlier commentaries. Wait until my poetry gets out. It is coming, inshallah.
The very fact is that the doors have been barred to Sufism in this country—Cantwell Smith, Gibbs, Von Gruen, Rom Landau, etc., etc., none of them Muslims—none of them Asians, none of them American born—all “experts.” And the President of India! One of my rejecters, after the President died, had the impudence to get up in public and give an oration. Fortunately there was present a leading Swami who knows the ropes and the Swami was talking to our good friend, Dr. Dala, who knows more than the ropes.
While this is going on we have a big flower and vegetable growing project at Novato and other things. We are all ready to show Vilayat the “Dancing of the Spheres.” We have it. And last night I showed how to express affection from the standpoint of the Subtle Body, in which proximity but not touch is used. And this will lead back again to Darshan or Tawajjeh, the use of the Glance. All of this is bringing more and more young people, or as Sam has been writing to Art Hoppe, “The plan to become a Pied Piper has failed miserably, only the young show up.” The young! Why one is attracting even sub-teen-agers while the oldest talk and orate and suggest. Because there are things written in the heavens and in the Akasha and Alaya and one is bringing them to manifestation.
This will be my last Sunday here for we shall transfer to Novato and have picnic suppers with dances. Vision is greater than mentality and Insight is better than thought. One has not had a single failure from this source.
Now my other God-daughter is coming, the Pakistani. My now local God-daughter is back from New York and is planning to help “Daddy-Murshid.” What a change from earlier situations. Even my brother has changed entirely and is getting ready to remake his final Will (he does that often) knowing once he goes Sam would be on easy financial street. But one is working as if it were otherwise anyhow and one has not failed here. This is a New Age, Vocha; and all that is wanted is honesty, objectivity, and integrity. I am not the least interested in what kind of social order we may have.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Loneliness is terrifying sadness.
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
June 2, 1969
The Temple of Understanding
1826 R. St.
Washington, D. C. 20009
Dear Peter and Friends:
Today we go to the University of California to place, in the libraries of the Departments of Far East Studies and also of Southeast Asia Studies, copies of The Encyclopedia of Buddhism that are available. To some people this will be a great gift; it is not actually a gift, it is a protest, a cosmic protest. It is a protest against the current attitudes that important people are important and not important people are not important; that excitement is the summa bonum of mankind, and that there are ways out which may be universal, impersonal and effective. But if there are ways out in which universal, impersonal, and effective means are used, and they succeed; it will not be because of any support from the various divisive, analytical and dialectical groups which keep humankind apart, each from the others.
Behind this presumable gift is a most tragic history and we are going to continue tragic histories so long as important people are important and unimportant people are unimportant. And this is where the so-called “religions” agree, in the principle, but with totally different selection of who are important and who are unimportant.
My heir is still a chair, a chair in which the late Phra Sumangalo sat (Dr. Robert Clifton) and told me about Vietnam. It has happened and there will be more Vietnams and more Vietnams and more Vietnams because important people are important and unimportant people are unimportant…. The climax came when a most beautiful letter was received from General Edward Lansdale, now retired and living in Arlington, Va. He was one of our top commanders. He was also one of my real heroes.
I am not here going into personal history excepting that I saw the termination of the World War II before it began. There is such a thing as Prajna, which is most wonderful when it is proclaimed by Dr. Radhakrishnan or the late Daisetz Suzuki, but it is not for little people, even with cosmic vision. Very slowly my poetry of cosmic vision (that which was not destroyed in a conflagration) is coming out.
This cosmic vision came from sitting before one Sokei-an Sasaki (a particularly unimportant person) from whom the Dharma transmission was received. The last person to attest to this has been Master Seo Kyung Bo, now being called “Bishop of Korea” who will be here shortly. But although one passed #1 in a competitive examination on Buddhism or Dharma before him, the important people are still important and the unimportant people are unimportant and the karma, the effect of this on the institutions of the past is that they are sooner or later going to pass away. The institutions will go and the teachings of Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, etc., will remain for they are eternal.
In passing tests before real Zen teachers—Sogen Asahina in Japan and Seo Kyung Bo here, remarkably they said the same words: Christ and Buddha Are One. Of course this is true but the religionists don’t want it that way, and the young do want it that way and we are going to see a sort of “revolution” in which consideration of human beings supplants a hypothetical “compassion” or “Karuna” which remains in oratory but not in daily life. That is over.
One need not go into the contents of The Encyclopedia of Buddhism. I can assure you—I repeat I can assure you—that the great majority of both institutions and persons recognized as “Buddhists” have only the vaguest connection therewith. Practically none of Lord Buddha’s teachings are offered in the most popular meeting houses of the important Buddhist groups. But the same is true for the religions of the day. It makes one agree here with the late Meher Baba who said, “I have come to abolish religion. I have come to abolish religion and bring God.”
I have no such intention, but whatever the teachers are, the first obstacle one meets, and there is no question that one’s very use of the word Dharma goes not too lightly with those who say Dharma, etc.
It has been remarkable—why should it be remarkable at all? That one has been given interviews by so many new professors on the campuses or through correspondence. This did not happen at all before. We are coming out of an era where Asiatica was taught (???) by important (?) graduates of British and European institutions. Some are still most important in this country and I can point with pride that all but one of them has given this person vetoes, a whole string of vetoes over the years. And what British and European professors of Asiatica have to do with the cultures and wisdoms of the Orient I have never been able to learn. Certainly they are not devotees either and when a non-American, non-Asian, non-devotee is paraded as an expert, we can only see the operation of moral laws to human dissatisfaction.
The new type of professor is honest, impersonal, scientific and objective. One meets more and more of them. In the field of Buddhism alone there is now a grand effort to bring actual teachings and not empty ritual and endless speculation by self-important people. Oh, that will continue, but it is fading. Youth Wants Truth.
In my next letter I shall send some extracts from the late L. Adams-Beck who reached the heights despite her biological backgrounds. One hears of many cases of spiritual awakening even among Western persons. But unless they lead in some particular direction (and so divide humanity) they are under stressed. E Pluribus Unum.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
cc- Senator Cooper
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
June 4, 1969
My dear Vocha:
I must thank you for your long letter of the 1st so carefully written in long-hand. I returned to Novato yesterday in the middle of a climax or two—one has to face these with equanimity and then one gets a worse climax. And, Mother Divine, I must accept what you have written as words of wisdom.
With all the love and apparent harmony around there are some fierce obstacles to face. We came here to establish a spiritual cooperative and then made an entity of the place—it is called The Garden of Inayat. But the name does not matter. To too many of the so-called “New Age” people the name of the commune is Santa Claus no matter what they call it, and Santa Claus (or God) is supposed to provide while others sit back. It is not only others that sit back, but there is a certain degree of “Baksheesh” on top of it.
I shall not detail but yesterday went out and applied for a paying job. On agreement it is delayed until September. One of my friends has been most successful in the metaphysical field. He was wealthy to begin with and has been entirely successful in all his enterprises either owing to his natural propensity of obtaining money, or his response to spiritual guidance. I had noticed in the past that his ego was constantly in the way of his accepting guidance and he was not only losing money but getting ill. Something in him must have snapped. And from one successful center he has four or five. And he needs speakers to attract the public, especially the New Age speakers. For he has the acumen to know that the 18-21-year olds can become customers for a long, long time, and a very large number of hippies come from well-to-do homes. Oh environment!!!
But last night I received a strange telephone call to join in with a Frontiers of Science seminar, only to find it was being preceded by an East-West colloquium in which only “experts” will be permitted to speak. Indeed the idea is exactly the opposite. They are looking for non-experts who may have ideas or knowledge.
The upshot of all this is the end even to free evenings, but perhaps we may have Opportunities Unlimited. That is why I send a copy of this to Oliver for what few intimations would mean opening up his teachings and philosophy, and this is only one aspect of life.
I am glad to know Bob Heinlein’s address, and I should be going to New Mexico as soon as summer school is over. As Mansur is traveling we shall have to wait. But a priori conclusions often lead to messes. Instead of going to desert reclamation projects he found himself in forest land—clearing communes!
I shall also be interested in his report on Prof. Bahm. I have purchased, and the temporary cost has set me back, three copies of The Encyclopedia of Buddhism available—and may write to Ceylon. Two copies to the University of California and there shall be occasion for me to sit in on a conference on S.E. Asia. I have already written my old friend and colleague, General Edward Lansdale. I think the whole trend of the present is toward greater objectivity and honesty. For one the dualistic dialecticians fight each other—it cannot be otherwise. Integration in its truest sense must win in the end.
Well, Moineddin and I are prepared to go to Hollywood soon anent legal organization. Already some obstacles have been struck as the secretary is going strictly by the letter while Vilayat Khan wrote me personally urging me to attend and it is at great sacrifice on an overcrowded schedule, I am going. But I am not going to stand anymore for nonsense.
On the other hand, Vilayat has or will inherit, large sums and it may be that he is doing this for his protection. He has stated he wishes to buy in this region and if he does I shall be involved. But while I may convince him—but not necessarily his followers—that his father wished me to bring East and West together through intellectual means, and I am certainly succeeding today, I shall no longer bow to egocentric metaphysicians any more. It has never worked out, and it is time for some egocentric metaphysicians to be shown their place.
Indeed one of the problems here was the courtesies to John Cage. This would not only be horrifying at any time but this man is so against everything in the brochure you gave me on sound, I really got mad. Henry Cowell refused to accept him at all, but when Henry went to New York he became forgotten here.
My colleague, Dr. Neville Warwick has returned from Japan. He visited the marker at the Zen Monastery commemorating Nyogen Senzaki. His Mountain Climbing group should be joining me here Sunday evenings. The whole compendium of Dances for Universal Peace is increasing. It is with great regret that important organizations (which ignore each other) have not replied to my inquiries and it is awkward because the young are responding.
To my amazement I have been told that Playboy printed my letter in regard to their remarks about me in the March issue. This was even more of a surprise than their having mentioned Sam Lewis in March. Sooner or later my work and personality must become known, and, of course this coming Saturday night meeting will produce a new front. I am stopping at this point in case David is successful in getting a copy.
Later. Yes, Playboy printed sections of my letter, but have me as a residence of Los Angeles! There were several protests from Appleton, Wisconsin. Well, we don’t need no Appletonians.
I shall have Phyllis Kramer’s poem typed and read. I have been writing Arthur Hoppe of the San Francisco “Chronicle” that one has been entirely successful with the Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Malays, Arabs, Persians, Indians, etc. It is only with the “Asians” that one has not been able to establish understanding. Well a stranger came in, who was Korean and we got along fine. We get along fine with all those people but not with “Asians” nor with the “Asian”-philosophy of “experts” who did not learn their philosophies from actual Asians.
Shall try to see Harry and Jack. Leaving here Thursday night or so, to S.F., then as fast as possible to Hollywood, to return Sunday night if possible.
You might try calling on the Sufi Movement in Geneva but more important if you can locate Frithjof Schuon, a remarkable character and one of the few Europeans who is both a real Sufi teacher and universal man.
I understand that an acquaintance has been promised a large sum to establish a New Age commune, as if it will come that way. What will hold the people together but money or cupidity. There is nothing “New” Age about that!
Fatima leaves Saturday and then Master Seo arrives at the same airport shortly after. I do need a rest and expect not only to go to New Mexico in August but also to Bryn Beorse after I return. There is an awful lot going on. Plan for Vietnam mailed, all term papers finished but one, but an ever growing parade of people coming to the mousetrap inventor’s door.
Your messages given to each and Fatima is delighted over beads.
Love and blessings,
June 6, 1969
My dear Shamcher:
Thanks for the letter of 3rd June. I am sorry I do not have Ann-Nicholes’ address. Yes, Vilayat will be there soon and also he would like me to contact the Cleveland group. I am not asking for reasons and accept his suggestions. This was the first break, but as one is far too occupied here one has been doing what Vilayat wants because it means that the ego is surrendering and not jabbering the word “surrender.”
Now there are no times off, not only every day but every night. But these are all opportunities. Tonight a special Buddhist meeting and tomorrow night “The Frontiers of Science.” I do not know what it means but I have been sent for. Then Sunday night the outdoor dancing begins at Novato and a fairly large crowd is expected.
The commentary on “Cosmic Language” has been completed and you will be sent a copy as soon as we have binders and envelopes. While this has been a tremendous undertaking, it is not only the work involved but the constant jumping up and down the scales of consciousness both within and without. Non-mystics will not understand but the young will.
One cannot help feeling how great Hazrat Inayat Khan was and how small those who have tried to put him in the shade. The last part was written in tremendous light making typing most difficult. The first part was dictated, excellent but slow. And even sleep is not constant, only in the broken sleep more dances come. The spirit of Ruth St. Denis came the other night and showed me the Dance of Bacchus. It follows what she did with Ted Shawn. Bacchus begins with six or so Maenads. But it differs from the Krishna dance. This also begins with girls only and Krishna makes love to them until he finds Radha. Then the girls go off and find partners. In this dance when Bacchus (Dionysus) finds his partner the girls go off but it is a propaganda move to help them convert men to the god
There is something going on here which I do not understand. Young and especially beautiful girls are attracted in absolute opposite contradiction to what took place early in life. Murshid is even afraid to admire a girl for the next thing she will be telling him she loves him. This love does not interfere with any relation with young men, but sometimes with relations with parents. And the theme “Love and Brotherhood” so dominates the dances that everyone realizes this is far from a lecher and far from certain “Gurus” who monopolize the young and beautiful girls. One is, au contraire, fulfilling the position of ersatz grandpère.
I shall let all matters concerned with papers go. There is barely time to turn around when Vilayat will come here for a short visit then fly to Hollywood. We are getting off in time to be with him there. Robert Fraley will be joining him in a short retreat and we have to be back.
We shall probably stop at Camarillo either en route or after Hollywood or both. We have invited these people to come to the Khankah. Vilayat arrives on the 2nd of July. That will be a Wednesday night. One already has a large class that night, fifty or more. The total audiences cover about a hundred persons, some more than once.
I understand The Oracle will be out next week, too. It is too early to foretell the effects. I now have no regular secretary but Mel (Wali Ali) is filling all the chinks possible. And he too, has no day off so I am sending him to Summer camp and training two girl secretaries.
One will be for the dancings, one of the next projects. One learned years ago how to derive these from the ethers and it only made enemies. Now one does it and the magnetism passes on so vividly and rapidly. These dances are real. Repeating the Names of God is real. The news has reached some parts of India. It will also be reaching the Indian students. And the universities.
One must report that the universities are now definitely on record against the phony profs of Oriental philosophy who so long dominated the scene. In return for this I am purchasing copies of The Encyclopedia of Buddhism as far as published, two for Berkeley and one for ourselves. One is meeting more and more real people.
I shall next share the works of Nyogen Senzaki with them—shades of Paul Reps, Robert Aitken, and Ruth McCandless who did that, for money, name and fame, and who look very cold on somebody else doing anything in the field. But those Zen Masters are so easy to fool! Yasutani, Tai-san and Soen Nakagawa are all for this person and have always been. And so also Huston Smith of M.I.T. who just sent a very nice letter. There are no people as egocentric as the “anatta Buddhists.”
All you have to do is read the World Buddhist Federation magazine, practically every article by name-and-fame and almost nothing on spiritual awakening. All the religions are the same. So we answer with the spiritual dances. Judaism and Christianity come soon. Allah is with one and the “selfless-humble-book-wallahs” are against one.
So I am getting ready for my poetry. So far the Rumi talks most satisfactory. And last week the Invocation of the Goddess Sarasvati. That ended the last discordant notes at the Khankah. Between the tremendous magnetism of cosmic sound and the commentary on “Cosmic Language” the family realizes who this person is, which is loving and most wonderful.
No, I have no copy of any articles of incorporation and am ready to work fully with Vilayat unless something else is shown.
All love and blessings,
June 17, 1969
Beloved One of God:
As-salaam aleikhum. Thus the most proper greeting and I am availing myself of the opportunity to get back to writing a diary entry to write be you and the letter should be long and newsy. Moineddin, Claire-Zeynab (our housekeeper) and Murshid returned from a few days in L.A., Pasadena and Santa Monica and we found your letter, and also the checks. We are going to have a new system—or a “system.” As my income is up all the contributions will now go into another fund and ultimately be properly banked. This is very easy to say, but almost impossible.
Pir Vilayat was here and we went south to join in a business meeting. There was nothing but cordiality, harmony and hope. Vilayat does favor Mansur and Daniel having official positions, and Moineddin will be vice-president and my proxy. Both he and Akbar shall be promoted when Vilayat returns on the end. But Daniel now has two outside jobs and Mansur one and we have not yet proper help. Melvin who is now Wali Ali leaves Thursday for Colorado to join Vilayat in his summer camp. Jemila, Shirin, and James are going and possibly Ruth (Parisa) and Barbara (Ayesha) too. And Barbara is supposed to be taking Daniel’s place excepting for the financial job. Both Vilayat and Murshid want him for that and I think he wants it also.
This leaves Murshid with an ever growing following and no office help! But this week another girl will be given Bayat to take up the work on Dancing and Walk. This is tremendous and I do not know how I shall do it, but it will come. There are many more dances. Last week we started the Bacchus dance, but this will have to be discontinued in the absence of Jemila. She is taking Mansur’s place in Colorado because he has a part-time job. And by this time Hassan is working for the New Age (formerly Sunset) Health Food Co. Thus there is no trouble about adequate finances but at least until the return of the folks from Colorado it is hit or miss.
I am glad you are learning about physical coldness. This problem has struck some of my dearest disciples. And the other day at Pasadena or rather La Crescenta we were hosted by a lady, recently divorced with a large family of beautiful children. We faced the same problem that Banefsha has; only this lady was older and more intelligent. So unconsciousness some disciples are “guinea pigs” or rather archetypes (a much better word) which enables Murshid to help strangers.
We went first to Camarillo where some spiritual colleagues live—five children and a whole orchard of Avocados (yum-yum). Then we called on Ramdas’s grandson in Hollywood and “then the fun began.” We went to so many places and generally ran into friends of Gwen (Zeynab) our housekeeper. It was just like a series of stories. We also met at least one Bengali musician and friends, etc., etc. His name is Alla Raka. In all places we danced our Subhan-Allah, Alhamdu Lillah, Allaho Akbar.
We did an awful lot of jumping. Now the story of “love” is out. I learned my name has been given over the air as a sort of mysterious San Francisco who is using a “love-cure” for Hippies. Anyhow one feels assured and more tender.
It is very difficult for me to handle a “love” problem of a non-Mureed. I did this with Ralph and was uncompromising on one point. Not only did Murshid win the point but began winning Ralph’s friendship which is something because he has not been very outgoing. It is certain that one is reaching deeper into other people.
Last Saturday night Murshid went to a discussion group and could have won all debates by pointing out the loneliness of those who were most argumentative. This would have been unfair. One would have won the debates and lost potential friends. But the point will be kept. The warm heart is not only not lonely but empathetic enough to grasp the points of view of others.
In a recent issue of Planet News, an interview is published. “I can explain Tantra Yoga in one sentence.“ “How?” “When a man loves a woman he treats her as a goddess; and when a woman loves a man she treats him as a god.” “We do that already.” ...That was a wonderful interview and we got along fine. I think you could treat Jack as a god, but he has to learn to treat you as a goddess … or else.
If you stay around you will be working with Linda, the new dance secretary, and also in the classes, both public and private. You will off-hand have three classes a week—Saturday which will be closed and esoteric while Shirin and James and Jemila are away; Wednesday night at San Anselmo and one night presumably Thursday, at the Khankah. When Jemila returns there may then be extra sessions.
Amin’s address is 112 Edison, Corte Madera. He has a much better house and we shall be there Saturday. But we also have three hours Sunday at Novato, for the public and this is besides the above so you will be with Murshid & Co. pretty often, inshallah. There is, however, a problem; former Susan Miller may be back with a husband, looking for another home. There is also a search for a sub-khankah. Murshid went to a real estate agent with an inquiry and two hours later Sol, a mureed, went with the same inquiry, and had two potential answers…. David says you could have his room and he could stay with friends. Anyhow this will be given further mention.
Later: There are other possibilities just discussed with David.
The morning (Wednesday) is wiser than the evening—and so! The work in life to be a spiritual teacher and a “loving father” has made one sometimes cynical and sarcastic with what passes for religion and morality. In the spiritual life one should become what one says. Inayat Khan definitely laid down that the teacher who says should regard the pupil that does as greater than himself. And Murshid has come out strongly for Vilayat who does, and the hard fact that he does is more important to me than whether he does what some consider “right” or “wrong.”
One may be serious or un-serious about it, but one of the greatest blessings that has come in this life has been the God-children. Khawar is trying to come here and has been rushing and finding her own family problems making it wise to go slow. But now she is needed because of the great interest in clothing and costumes and the pointing of all sorts of things in that direction, beginning with the proper costumes for the dancing—and this leaves a wide field open. Remarkably there is a great rapport with the men who are neither conservative nor cautious but whose “progressiveness” is in a line of harmony and attunement. And I also may bring Zeynab to Siddhartha ship today when I go into that district.
Nancy is beautiful. Sometimes Murshid is near crying. At the Board meeting, I said it was strange, and one had to take it that one had much finer disciples than Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan ever dreamed of obtaining, and Secretary Suzanne is especially fond of Mansur. Nancy is giving a delayed “Father’s Day” dinner on Thursday night. Jemila will not be there but we have her substitute, a refugee from the Olompali Ranch, and Melvin (Wali Ali), David, and Zeynab Gwen from here.
The two visits at Camarillo indicate closer report. Jelila (mother of five) wishes to give instructions and advice to expectant mothers (at least four) and this will include Nancy and Selima-Claire. The subject has reached a very high level and I look for loving response. Indeed expectant Fatima who will arrive in a few hours, may go south, as she wishes.
Nancy herself has been away, and some of her problems turned out to be mirages. But I think all of us are looking to this dinner with great spiritual anticipations. And we have all learned that love is a strong factor in the diet.
We shall have to have the exact dating of your arrival. Yes, there will be cars and perhaps at your service, but not haphazard.
Murshid gave the seven rhythms of the planets for Vilayat, etc.
By the time you get here many things may have changed so I do not wish to anticipate spiritual matters.
One of the next things to be considered is another spiritual commune and there are many possibilities. The Ranch has been having chaos about money and it persists with a strange absence of leadership.
The form of meditation which you describe may be a very true one. I went through such phases prior to the later ones where the Holy Spirit did descend, and has reached a high phase (comparatively) in the inspirations of the dance and ceremonials. And does not Khatum say, “Open Thou our hearts that we may hear Thy Voice which cometh constantly from within.”
Naseem comes more often with the other cats tone but does not always stay.
One is not surprised about Roberta.
The problem of Karen is one that is met often, but with the “inward inspirations it is most difficult to go into such matters excepting with mureeds. The mureeds are my family—and it is no longer a small one.
With all my love and anticipating your arrival.
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
June 28, 1969
Dr. Oliver Reiser
University of Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh, 13, Pa. 15213
My dear Oliver:
With the same first name as the inventor of the electrical telegraph, one finds a tremendous number of parallels in our personalities and histories although already I have lived much longer, and there is no sign of flagging, a hard fact disturbing to many critics. My program has had to be rearranged which may mean I shall call on Archie Bahm sooner than planned but will write to him first. For there is no question that we are faced with a multitude of problems which we cannot solve because of our refusal to face the egocentric predicament, as presented either by Lord Buddha or the New York Neo-realities. We are trying to solve problems and keep egos and the mere verbiage of anti-Aristotelianism while adhering to the assumed (unwarranted) of the existence of things and personalities, is placing our whole culture on trial. And as there is a growing multitude of egos with the platform, put me in charge and letting it go at that, one is tired of finding De Gaulles facing De Gaulles the world over, and the younger generations (despite “scientist” Margaret Mead) are disgusted and looking for other ways out.
My affairs have become exceedingly complicated. My brother may be dying, with the hard, hard fact (very important in our culture) that it will leave Sam Lewis in a position of some affluence and that he can then do things not on any other basis than that he will have the money to do them. There is nothing noble in it. And I am indeed enclosing copy of a letter which illustrates our present Aristotelian cultures based on the narrow acclamation of carefully selected personalities as the way to, and in, research. And there are few Curies to test all elements, or Einsteins to apply rigor to the problems faced.
Integration as yet does not have much change but the term has been appropriated, or misappropriated by a number of people, properly called “cultists” for various purposes, all mutually exclusive. And I am harassed in the time-processes not only with family matters but the sudden appearance here of friends from far-off places, including my illustrious (not here) God-daughter. And while she is here I am hoping to present to her materials to take back with her so that there can be some better East-West cultural exchange but so that we might face some real problems of real people on terms other than our own.
Pakistan and India were saved from famine by DDT. The mere fact that I have been an eye-witness means nothing to self-important people who have arguments to cover all situations. The hard fact that there are important Pakistanis (and other Asians) who wish cultural exchange in the psi-field moves neither the proponents of psi-research (who want to do all the leading) nor opponents, who simply do not believe in it. (Facts do not move certain types of mind.) But still more important has been the request that we need a revolution in the use of terms and words, and a number of inquiries which would, if we were really scientific and impersonal, mean a world semantic movement, have been ignored by some of our closest associates—and they want to be leaders!
One of my disciples is now studying Boolean Algebra. One of the big influences in my life came thus: I was moved by Cassius Keyser, partly in person and partly by studying his works, to move into collateral fields, and that time I was deeply in love with Algebra. (There may be something Freudian here for some of my relatives also seemed more in love with this sort of abstraction than with sex.) Independently I was studying Bertrand Russell and was moved by a number of his early works and thoughts which have long since disappeared from public attention. And the constant running into parallels prepared me for Science and Sanity for I had read at least 50% of the literature quoted and also have had the lie passed to me publicly and privately that this could be so. Nevertheless I am now retracing ground through others, as previously written and the day is over when egocentric personalities can control public discussions qua re their personal or social importance.
Soon I shall get into a serious public discussion due to The Art of Awareness by J. Samuel Bois on the one hand and the replies of Anatol Rapoport in the current issue of ETC. on the other. Rapoport is a marked example of a “General of Semantics”; highly moved by his ego and not moved by the logic or researches of persons with whom he is not in agreement.
And as the present logistics are failing to solve problems it is time to examine at least superficially the Nyaya and Dignana non-Aristotelian Logics. The Nyaya Logic has for its virtue the compulsory need of referents demanded also by A.K. but not by many of his disciples; and in this seems more in line with a presumably “scientific” logic. Diagnana goes further in assuming or proving that facts are independent of the personality of the observer—and it was just this by which Einstein was able to resolve the dilemma of the Michelson-Morley experiments. (I read these reports many times before I studied Einstein and hate to have to make this public, but the young are looking for honesty and leadership and they are going to get it.)
I shall continue to harp on the hard fact that the hopes of Luther Whiteman and I have been dashed—problems like that of the Mendel-Lysenko doctrines; the use of sprays for plant protection, including an examination of specifics; the resolution of Vietnam based on the persons and people involved rather than on ideas of foreigners; the so-called “generation gap”; the use or non-use of psychedelics (etc.); all these similar problems are ignored by the presumable disciples of Korzybski and personality cults have displaced potential universal research.
Now my position is getting better and better on the various campuses, and especially—at the moment, Harvard. And in and with Harvard the immense possibility of making better known real non-Aristotleian systems of logic and thought. I shall keep you informed.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Avenue
San Francisco, Calif.
July 7, 1969
My dear Vocha:
There was once the appearance of two stories, “His Day of Days” and “Kismet,” (which became famous) on the market almost simultaneously of revolutionary events in the life of an individual which changed his potentialities so much there was no time to breathe. And in this very active life the same happened yesterday.
Hassan showed me the advertisement of the book about Ruth St. Denis and it is about time that one ends for all these “liberty, democracy, humanity and peasants shut up” people who only extend to famous people privileges and deny at every opportunity the claims or events in the lives of the unimportant. They are always against Whitman’s “Pioneers! O Pioneers” and my life is becoming more and more curiously like that of Samuel Morse. With some light touches for on July 4 two infants were born, one who last name is Lewis, a girl, and other whose first name is Samuel, and of course, a boy. This is one of those things that the liberty, democracy, humanity, and peasants shut up people cannot stop. And I have never been opposed to family planning but it seems that all those opposed to it, being in the production line, are supporting the program of “General Semantics was General’s Semantics.”
For the next thing was the acceptance by an editor of this theme and he wants to publish it; only it is being held up by the above. For Jemila and Melvin have them written, and before I could get started we had two different long distance calls and Jemila is being prepared to go East and teach Sam “Lewis” or Murshid’s dances, derived from Ruth St. Denis (Amen) and making very uncomfortable the “Liberty, Democracy, Humanity, and Peasants shut up,” a priori rejection people.
One of Don’s most active enemies is most interested in these developments and wants to get out some hard, hard facts which a priori rejection people can’t stand—the next item is not historically important. Maybe, Paul Reps has sent back a lot of my letters unopened! Hurray! Now I can mention about his wives and humanity! But then important people can be that way.
I had to crowd in two hours distancing for the dances and three hours putting on a dance show. The same thing, the effort to become a Pied Piper has exposed my pretenses. Only the young show up and every single week more! I don’t know where they come from, but some of them are paying for my teaching which is very awkward for the a priori judgment people!
But the most important material was found here when I returned. You know next to having studied with Cassius Keyser, perhaps my worse sin is having been a professional spray operator. This absolutely, positively intakes me incompetent to say anything about Silent Spring.”
I have been writing Art Hoppe (who always answers) that I have gotten along fine with the Japanese, Chinese, Thais, Arabs, Hindus, etc., but not the “Asians.” I have never gotten along with the “Asians” that marvelous subjective invention of the people of Lord Snow’s literary-humanist group. (Lloyd and I differ terrifically but then peasants must not have ideas.) Well over all the world I have gotten along fine with the physicists, chemists, biologists, ecologists, entomologists, geologists etc, but never, “scientists” another of those marvelous creations of the literary-humanist clique, especially the press (excepting Art Hoppe). As I am not a “scientific” “Salt Water Conversion,” “Desert Agriculture” is out.
Nevertheless I can’t efface the ghost of Cassius Keyser. And between the time of The Manhood of Humanity and Science and Sanity I read everything of and about Boole and Peirce which can’t be because the a priori rejection boys say it could not be. But I have a close disciple studying Boole and what is worse he is one of the most active of Don’s critics. I should like to know what Don thinks about Boole but then he doesn’t have to think.
So I gave up trying to reach the editors and have been rewarded. I am getting so many fine letters from the University of California today. But the best is the letter and material concerning the logistics of the Silent Spring” and “DDT” controversies. They have declared my logistics entirely in line with their own and sent me some literature. I can bet a million to one if I ever sent this to ETC. under my name it would be rejected and I am letting Lloyd know this although it is barely, barely possible. “I call all you good people to witness I have promised Sam.” I have worked on and on with the Entomologists and Berkeley and have oodles of materials from foreign parts, but of course I am not a “scientists.” I just can’t be a scientist because the a priori rejection editors say that!
But in the middle of presumable gloating the phone rang, my brother again. He is either lying (which he has often done) or dying. His reports were most pessimistic and he realizes that his departure puts me in an upper bracket where I shall be able to accomplish everything I had ever hoped. Buying is not exactly a noble way but others have done that and this means I can get published—if nothing else than having secretaries to do the work, all my poetry and all my researches, etc.
I am sure more happened yesterday and I am trying to rush this off. Another letter had been planned because Jemila was to have gone to France. Also one or two of my disciples are somewhere in the South and may contact you before you leave. Everything happens and I guess I am reconciled to it.
It is not seven a.m. and already two visitors! Boy I want to get this off. But as a famous philosopher, said, “Don’t let facts disturb the issues.” My Day has already begun!
Both families join in sending love and blessings.
July 9, 1969
My dear Shamcher:
This is my diary entry. I think I have written about our fine meeting last week. It was certainly wonderful to have Israeli Jews, non-Israelis, people of mixed Jewish blood, Hindus and Muslims all joining in spiritual dancing in a Christian seminary. These things don’t hit the front or the back page, but they happen.
Thursday night I gave a talk from “The Way of Illumination,” saying that the story of the Spirit of Prophecy offered in a presumably symbolical form was nothing but the predictions of what would happen to the “Prophet’s son.” You don’t have to read between the lines to see that this has been the story of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. I am recommending this to all people and if I ever attend any more “Sufi” meetings, will offer an open challenge. For this seeming symbolic has become history.
Sunday we felt it imperative to begin work on the Dance choreography but had an awful time: long distance phone calls, both from Vilayat and the parents of Jemila Johnsen. Jemila is the wife of Secretary and now Naquib Mansur Johnson. She did well at Colorado and Vilayat wants her to bring the Spiritual dances east. But besides that there are other calls and I have been at my wit’s end trying to find time and often getting terribly tired—but health otherwise quite good.
There is not only enthusiasm for Pir Vilayat but at this writing I have three girls in or around the Los Angeles area. Whether they are attending his séances or meeting other needs I do not know but there is a remarkably growth in the feelings of love and brotherhood, something I do not think Hazrat Inayat Khan experienced. I had a terrible time—not always successful—in controlling tears during our initiatory ceremonies and the marvelous lecture that Pir Vilayat gave. No wonder there is wonderful enthusiasm in singing loud:
Pir Vilayat Zindabad! Pir Vilayat Zindabad,
Pir Vilayat Zindabad! Vilayat Inayat Khan!
And my open statement that we would begin at once to boost next year’s Summer camp is already out of both Vilayat’s and my hands. I expect we shall be sending a large caravan, inshallah, and I am hoping Daphne can join.
We are also going to adopt his choral methods and shall begin work on this almost immediately, especially when the dance materials are typed.
Paul Reps has now broken with me and it is just as well. He is attached to wealth, fame and loneliness and the latter is the only one of the three he can take to the next world. In this he is inferior to my brother who is feeling the loneliness so strong that he telephones here more and more. He is constantly ill but whether this means anything I do not know. Anyhow the rival Sufi camps are advertising that I have come into an inheritance.
If we can get the young to accept Pir Vilayat’s interpretations and practices of Concentration, Contemplation, and Meditation, “the world is ours.” But I had just begun the work on Concentration before he came and so anticipated him there. But the growing response and responsibility is very hard and very gradually a few are beginning to see this, which is wonderful.
“Truth in the end will win.” Of course the more duties the greater the possibilities of mistakes and shortcomings. I am therefore very slow to condemn the young, and their growing experiences in exhalation and joy are the signs of a better world.
Love and blessings,
S. A. M.
July 9, 1969
S. Bryn Beorse
Keyport, Wash 98445
My dear Shamcher: General Semantics vs. Generals’ Semantics
I am enclosing copy of a letter recently sent out. It is a curious part of my life that after having studied with Cassius Keyser and directed by him to get in touch with the then living Alfred Korzybski, that not a single contribution of mine has been accepted by the so-called “General Semantics” movement and this is due almost entirely to the egocentricity of the non-scientists who have complete control of ETCs. magazine and much of the G.S. organization.
I am not going into this egocentricity now excepting to say that one finds thinkers who follow in the footstep of Korzybski and that in general there has been and is complete accord with Vocha Fiske. She is now on her way to Switzerland and may contact both our colleagues and Frithjof Shuon. But of course there are no Sufis because important Western scholars say there are none. In fact there is going to be another conference here on Asia soon with the chief chairman, a follower of Karl Jung, who has written some of the most worthless books on Asia, who is decried by Asian scholars and alluded here. He is flanked by three Frenchman, one Italian, one German and an Irishman, all properly acclaimed to “explain” Asian philosophies!
While this is going on we have the great pseudo-debates on Cancer and “tobacco”; the use of sprays, etc., for plant protection and other subjects alluded to in the letter of which carbon is sent but hardly to Lloyd Morain who will certainly reject it, and I have no time for such nonsense.
Within a week I received two excellent letters from the University of California, one in regard to Asian-Asian Cultures (in contrast with the above), and the other in regard to my own research and logistics anent Spray-materials. Lloyd, who will get a copy of this, called me down in public for not accepting Silent Spring and the right of all big persons who cannot tell a “drug” from a “drug” to speak on this subject, but a poor workingman like me, even though a professional, has no business interfering with the arguments of important people.
While this is going on, one after another of the “experts” on psychedelics is accepting my viewpoint—though not my person—that there has not been a psychic or pseudo-psychic experience for which there is not a term in Sanskrit. When I said that it was false, now when Prof. Big says it, it is true and wonderful!
It is a dangerous thing to have pseudo-intellectuals take over a movement and one of them to be processed into becoming at least a President of a University, control over which he obtained by very questionable means. But of course the right” people can do anything and the “wrong” people cannot do anything at all.
As I am finding more and more responsive audiences I am making no attempt to get any articles accepted by the so-called Society for General Semantics and at the same time will make every effort to get some of the semantic viewpoints accepted abroad. Dr. Hayakawa did not answer a single inquiry sent to him from abroad by representatives of Asian institutions. But that is all right. “Generals” may do anything.
The recent articles of the AAAS anent Lysanko and the cordiality with which one is now being received in scientific circles in going to make a “nice” story, and some day it will be out.
Samuel L. Lewis
cc- Lloyd Morain
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
July 17, 1969
Dr. Oliver Reiser
c/o Department of Philosophy,
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15013
My dear Oliver,
There has been such a change in my life that I am writing because of the probabilities of my coming east in early September. My God-daughter is here. She first came to fame by winning an All-Asia Philosophical debate (I was not eligible—the paper was written by me). She is working for her PhD, and has already won some attention with her Pakistani clothing exhibit, and also because of her knowledge of Asian-Asian philosophies.
I shall continue to harp on this theme, I am not eligible even to attend some of the conferences in this country yet in the past two weeks have had conferences with two Sufi representatives, a Hindu Guru from South India, and a Swami Maharaj from Rishikesh. All this will fit well within “Project Krishna.” The stream of Asian-Asians who have granted interviews or actually sought me out is growing and growing and also the influences over the young who are quite open to objectivity, to facts and human experiences and who are turning away from the dominant egocentric dialectics by whatever name it is called.
Miss Saadia Khawar Khan, a professor of the Punjab University of Lahore, is now at Cornell and I shall plan to leave for Ithaca about September 10. I may (or may not) visit Cleveland and will come to Pittsburgh if you wish and also Philadelphia. Relations with universities in all parts of the country are becoming objective, cordial and cooperative.
I am now becoming a veritable Pied Piper and the more the older and “respectable” people spurn—I say to spurn means to spurn—the more the young are turning to me, keeping me constantly busy. Fortunately my financial affairs are in very good order and on the whole continually but slowly improving. The young want to hear what their “betters” a priori reject. This is a long story.
I am not going into that now. One after another the subjects rejected by our good friends, “The Generals of Semantics” are being accepted. A book review in Science corroborates my theme and outlook on the Mendel-Lysenko dispute with the need of an integrative outlook and someday my diaries will be properly extracted and show the shames of the a priori rejecters, no matter how important they may be in public limelight.
My Asian researches are now being accepted by the University of California and I am sure S.F. State will follow. Now I happen to have become an “angel” also, and may follow this up with Archie Bahm. Of course the conferences go on with the “experts,” nearly all of European birth and education; or with carefully selected persons who have no standing in real Asia. The universities are becoming aware of that now. It is only the literary-humanists who stick to the importance of individuals as a sign of prowess. And everywhere the teachings of Lord Snow are affirmed.
On the negative side the “General Semantics vs. Generals’ Semantics.” Some of the latest books take this stand and also affirm the super conscious outlook. Of course if I dared to breathe that I should have been taken to task, but no more. The day of personalisms dominating in the cultural field is never over even if one of the most guilty has been selected as president of an important college.
The University of California has accepted my paper on the logistics of the use of sprays, and supports the approach, based on earlier work. The literary-humanists who imagine they are semanticists and were never trained in rigor could not understand the difference in the logistics of the inorganic molecule, group-molecule, and the carbon complexes of the protein complexes. There is a different logistics culminating here in Embryology. One can converse with Entomologists, Ecologists and Biologists; that is easy. But with literary-humanists philosophers? All of this should lead to a Science-Sanity-Semantics with emphases on the parts of Korzybski’s works which have been ignored, in fact perhaps not studied at all. Rapoport’s last efforts; how superficial a man can be and yet be acclaimed.
But the big thing is what is going on at the University of Calif. The Promethean movement is out in the open. As soon as possible, I shall investigate in person or else correspond. Your whole efforts are now in the open and there will sooner or later to a real scientific acceptance of the psi-level, etc, etc. and the obscurantistic literary-humanists and newsman who presume to essay leadership will be held in its own light, or rather shadow. The latest is too large, too surprising and too much in the limelight on the Berkeley campus to give more than a mere mention here. The savants of the day hold quite different from the opinions of the literary-humanists who believe they are close to “science.” I hope they will wake up. We need logics and logistics and not judgments a priori or otherwise by personalisms and personalities.
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
August 23, 1969
W. D. Begg
Beloved One of Allah:
As-salaam aleikhum. It is with great joy and love that one responds now to your letter of 27th July. It is very hard to convince people, and Muslims are very backward in this, that La Illaha El Il Allah, “there is no power nor might save in Allah. The events of the past month have been fearfully active, but when one begins to make The Reality of Allah, then Allah not only walks to him but with him. This is demonstrable and has been demonstrated.
People are tired of views, intellects, lectures, sermons, and want the knowledge and wisdom in and for themselves. The term “Sufism” (tasawwuf) has been bandied about and in the West it means largely the views of some corporation-organized person or persons, generally university graduates, who do not have to have any inner awakening or Divine Wisdom at all. The legalities come first, then the intellectualities and any claim to mystical awakening has been regarded as proof that one does not have it.
Some time ago an American not educated in Europe or taught by graduates of English and European universities claimed enlightenment and gave his proofs. They were impregnable. He was, of course, ignored by the intellectuals, and corporation “mystics” but his fame is spreading and there is a new, very honest type of American professors of Oriental philosophies who accept the reports of those with mystical experiences and quite a few will accept an unsubstantiated claim as against the “manas-ahankara” nonsense which too often passes as “Oriental Philosophy.” The God-experience has nothing to do with intellectual prowess.
I have just returned from the State of New Mexico where not only was I sent for but the plans are to recall me and have me teach the Oriental philosophies based as they are, on direct mystical experiences, with or without book substantiations. The hearty welcome from somewhat more mature people was followed last night by a still more hearty welcome from actually mature Americans who are tired of sermons, lectures, and what not and demanded proofs and got them! No more pretense of mystical or esoteric prowess, but actual demonstrations and the communication of Love, human and divine; the performance of Akhlak Allah, the chanting of Zikr (with a single Indian mantram opened the hearts). This is a new age, of Love, of Vitality and objective honesty and the same morality in the lecture hall as in the science classroom—honest experience supported by impersonal logic and the ineffable conclusions La Illaha El Il Allah.
While this has been going on, my God-daughter and Khalifa, Miss Khawar Khan, has been living in my two homes, She is both a Haji and has had the most complicated and wonderful relations with the Chisti Order. She has been recognized by the top Pirs; she has been to Ajmir, and she has participated in efforts to demonstrate—and before Allah we do demonstrate Love and Joy and Peace and on nonsense-actualities. She, therefore, joins in both the greetings and support of my sending Zakat to and through you because this is part of our Divine Worship.
I am at the moment enclosing a check for Fifty ($50) Dollars, and ask that you make a contribution out of this of Rs. 100 to
Syed Tanveer Ahmed
Haji Nisar Manzil
One is rushing this in the hopes that it will arrive before the Urs. Both my God-daughter, Miss (Prof.) Saadia Khawar Khan and myself feel totally with you in Love, Joy, Peace, and Divinity.
In doing this one is serving Allah and not the implications and importuning of others. This person is now well in his seventies and this year will celebrate his fiftieth anniversary of the studies in tasawwuf. In 1922, one began jointly the studies in Bhagavad Gita And Kash-ul-Mahjub, and although both intellectuals and exoteric devotees will ignore Kashf and its Indian correspondence Prajna, this is the evidence of Allah and no nonsense; and demonstrable and no nonsense.
Soon the Muslim students will be meeting and discussing politics. And here we are getting the “kaffir-feringhis” to chant Allah and Zikrs and the inspirations coming from this person in song and dance so that a century from now the world will realize that “in that day will the Sun rise in the West, and all men seeing, will believe.”
One has not been prepared for the acceptance of Allah, but many intellectual and intelligence people know that the words “God,” “Deus,” etc., came from ordinary people and not from any Prophet or Messenger. Jesus Christ himself also said, “Allah.”
It is necessary to record and transcribe both the new chants (or the revisions of old ones) and the Dervish and spiritual dances which are being communicated more rapidly than one can handle. Not only was one successful last night with mature “kaffir-feringhis” but soon one must give a public demonstration here, demanded not by the so-called proponents of intellectual and “integration” but by the public itself and we shall be chanting Zikrs and Wazifas and Mantras, and applying them to, in and with dance patterns, which, by Divine Grace, electrify audiences. For as the great Saint of North Africa told people here (Sidi Abu Salem Al-Alawai) this person has the Baraka, demonstrated—not taught but demonstrated even by one’s American Khalifa!
I am, of course, profoundly interested both in your experiences and efforts; Sukr is demonstrated in our efforts here and thus the young come to appreciate the reality of Allah.
My next movements may take me north of here, inshallah. One cannot repeat too often that sooner or later the honesty in man will demand the direct experience in religion and mysticism as it does in science. Science demands honesty, integrity and human experience. Mysticism and divine knowledge demand even more honesty, integrity and human experience. My poem, “Saladin” written under the inspirations of fana-fi-Rassoul have brought the ecstasy to its readers and now the universities are gradually opening to hard facts as over and against the empty-nufs-ahankara-opinions of important people.
We just had a conference on “Oriental Philosophy” here headed by a German, flanked by three Frenchmen, an Italian, an Englishman, and two Asia Christians! There were cocktails before each session. No wonder the young are turning elsewhere; they can and will.
We all become gourmet cooks here too, and have delicious curries of our own. No one is permitted to remain at either home on an empty stomach, or even attend meetings until well fed—we see to that.
All things point to our working closer and closer together, inshallah. And you may hear from me soon again but now to get the money off before Urs.
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Samuel L. Lewis
910 Railroad Ave.
Novato, Calif. 94947
August 24, 1969
Dear Mother Divine:
It is so long since I have made a diary entry that this is it, and I am seizing the opportunity to record experiences. Also sending copies to Russ and Bryn to save time. I am still under the seven day week; having been high up in the Rockies, I can appreciate more your stay in Switzerland. We did not have green grass, but there was an unusual amount of rainfall. The change from 3 inches a year to 100 would be catastrophic in many parts. But northern New-Mexico is hardly populated at all. In this it reassembled lower California. But while I was there, there were only wildflower gardens and forest glades excepting the small portion now cultivated or used for buildings. I did have one amusing experience—caught a deluge in Santa Fe my; disciple who lives there happened along at a most appropriate time. Actually I liked Santa Fe very much, but was not so impressed by Taos, which may be my fault.
Dane Rudhyar was reported to have been living in that region but left on account of illness. Here in California by design and also at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico, we are using musical approaches quite in line with his doctrines. Some of my disciples are also studying Helmholz, and I think our new music is in line both with Dane Rudhyar and the present day communal philosophy. I also had the satisfaction of speaking on the group-approach both from the standpoint of Physics and Biology. Everything has gone along satisfactorily—of which more below.
You have given no particular forwarding address, so I am sending this to Saanan. I cannot say there is any disappointment because you are not going to Geneva. As to K. I believe he was also a product of Californianism as well as Mrs. Besant. There has been something in California that looks to the folk hero—or to a messiah rather than to solid spiritual-biological evolution. In fact, I have met so many people, transients, who have today an eclectic outlook combining the folk hero, the messiah, and their own more universal outlooks—definitely more universal than those of the past.
I met people who have been followers of K., more especially of Meher Baba, and occasionally of other separatists “gurus.” Almost unanimously they welcome integrationalism of any form—not that damnable egocentric adaptation of this word to cover up new or old separatist cults. Indeed I am having a war against such people and groups.
But the most dramatic and to me the most uncomfortably war is that against the “generals” of semantics. To be a hero one’s own account is edifying; but to be a hero because one has been abused and rejected by Don Hayakawa is neither comforting nor necessarily laudable. I think next to my positive mission this subject was more incessantly brought up than any other matter.
At the very first group meeting at Lama the speaker was reporting on the most dramatic outcomes of peregrinations of Don into other parts of the country, resulting in drama, if not to say bloodshed, and the rising indignation of both students and professors against a man whom they now consider most egocentric, despotic and intolerant.
I am reminded of the abuse I had to take at Harvard years ago when I tried to introduce General Semantics from a positive standpoint. When I confessed that already then the “Generals” had been rejecting all my efforts, the only answer I got was “What else do you expect from children. Those persons will never grow up.”
It was all the more outstanding because practically every effort of mine was accepted from the discussion of “the semantics of space” to improved mountain climbing. All my talks on all subjects: Asian-Asian philosophies, scientific logistics, and the use of music and dance to elevate the morality and consciousness of man were received and accepted with enthusiasm in the beginning and love in the end. And it is both awkward and edifying to have had in the audience even professors of Philosophy of Harvard University. This and later events naturally encourage the article “General Semantics vs. General’s Semantics.” Nevertheless the positive were a little stronger than the negative acceptance arising from the General’s a priori rejection of a host of papers. I think all of these papers except one have since been accepted by some college or university.
In one sense the visit to Lama Foundation was a natural sequel to Glory Roads. Unless there is a profound change in outlook and missions, I shall have the same relation to Mansur Johnson as Luther Whitman had to me, plus the most encouraging fact that the income is increasing and gives promise of increasing still further.
My brother is still confined to his home. He may live on indefinitely. He is reconciled to the fact that his passing will leave me a relatively wealthy man, even if nothing else happens—and plenty is happening.
I do not feel it is proper to write in details about the communes until I have fully discussed this matter with Mansur. It is possible that he will have articles published to which I can add some material or suggestions, and we shall take this up later.
There are two kinds of commune: spiritual-biological-group-unity-communities, and animal farms. They are both in the same locals in New Mexico as well as California. In general the constructive group is composed of university graduates and professors, some with PhD degrees. They have wide outlooks, and in a certain sense I can quote Whitman here, “In all men I see myself.”
The visit to New Mexico University was most satisfactory. The two professors of philosophy expressed a desire to visit Lama and keep in close cooperative touch. Lama has also invited Samuel to conduct a summer school next year and professors Schmidt and Bahm promise cooperation and attendance. It is remarkable how many professors who never heard of the word humility now wish to attend my sessions.
Archie Bahm of protégé of Oliver Reiser. He is an outstanding exponent of the integration of Western, Indian and Chinese cultures—the real things, not the empty words without content. In correspondence before and in meeting afterwards, I never had so much satisfaction, which is saying something for yours truly. So I intend to also present copy of The Encyclopedia of Buddhists to this institution. It is very encouraging to find human beings who are interested in the content of Buddhism and not on the writings of “Prof. Von Plotz,” and his dialectistic subjustivistic opinions which still hold forth in many directions.
My other God-daughter Miss Saadia Khawar Khan is still here from Lahore. Next to our morals and mores, there is nothing she has found more offensive than the American custom of having Englishmen (and occasionally Europeans) monopolized the imported teachings called Islamics but “only in America.” I am not defending Buddhism; I am not defending Islam. But the refusal, the stubborn adamant refusal to permit the accused criminal to sit in the box and present his own case is one of the reasons we have failed to win the heart of exotics.
The second villain but far below Don Hayakawa is Alan Watts. The difference is that today Alan is not taken seriously at all, and is looked upon as a blending of poseur, clown, and unfortunate Don Juan, more to be pitied than to be blamed. Of course, Alan was Zen Buddhism incarnate, until he indulged in psychedelics. Then automatically and instantly he became an outcast—or did he? This a priori rejectionism is going to come out in public soon, because Don is being totted for high office by presumably very unscrupulous politicians and social groups. But I believe he will be defeated and decidedly defeated, not because of his sins and shortcomings—not because of riots and bloodshed, not because he is despotic and autocratic, but because he is an atheist. In the end this very accusation will do him more harm than all his real or fancied demerits.
I found myself in several discussions on the logistics of science and at Lama as elsewhere real scientists feel quite offended at parlor scientists posing as their champions. At least one book was scanned wherein the author has cribbed from A.K. with no index, no appendix, etc. He has done this easily, because the generals have dropped so much of Science and Sanity. This is opening up the door in another direction. I do not want to take advantage of this without giving due consideration to a huge chunk of our culture which has been abandoned.
In general, my new philosophical and scientific friends accept my championship of James Peirce, Cassius Keyser, etc, as well as Emerson and Thoreau.
I had to return to give a pre-scheduled talk at Sunnyvale in Santa Clara County. I returned to be greeted by a score of more of most loving disciples at the airport. All but 1 or 2 in their
20’s. I had just left a score or more of young people, mostly in ages 25-35. At Sunnyvale I addressed a group considerably older in medium age, but with even warmer response! What is happening Vocha? What is happening Vocha when mature persons give this a priori rejected pretender an ovation? I talked both on Asian Oriental Philosophy and Organic gardening.
Just before I left I sent an article to “Organic Gardening” on the astoundingly success of your almost unplanned grounds here. If murder will out, so do squashes and tomatoes and perhaps today cabbages speak louder than kings, I as being approached by persons in various branches horticulture.
In the same general direction I have learned of a new grain of high protein discovered by the same principles I had already learned in Egypt. As was easily predictable every horticulturist I have ever met is enthusiastic about this formula, and every editor and philosopher has been very cool. Vide Lord Snow! Nay, Lord Snow Zindabade. It takes more than speech to refute The Two Cultures.
Well Mother Divine, I have been ambling and rambling. I have a program this afternoon and have to welcome a lot of people. I do not want to get too swell-headed, but you know how devoted I have been to certain causes, and it seems whether those causes were “right” or not they are triumphing.
I think all of us in both homes send you all love and devotion, and a letter from anywhere will be most joyously received. With all love and good wishes.
S. A. M.
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Ca.
September 2, 1969
Studies in Comparative Religion
Bates Manor, Bedfont,
Beloved One of Allah;
This letter is in a sense a diary entry and at the same time a review of what is happening and is bound to happen. In the generation just passed anyone was qualified to write on mysticism but a mystic and to even make a subtle claim was to bring down on one the anathemas of both society and the intellectuals. When Phillip Kapleau wrote Three Pillars of Zen I knew a new age had come, that the world would sooner or later have an impartial, objective view of mystics and mystical experiences as it has had to have with regard to scientific endeavors. In the sciences you look at the persons and then decide whether it is worth while going further.
A number of events have crowded together. I have written to an off-beat “New Age” publication called “Gandalf’s Garden” asking them to contact you. The last issue had a direct statement that there are no Sufis in the world, that they are an underground group who manifest on rare occasions. And why not? There is an active “Sufi” saying all kinds of things. He put all the Sufis in a corner of Afghanistan where practically nobody lives and where he has not been himself. And now he justifies his efforts by quoting a number of European “experts” on ???Sufism??? not one of whom has had any deep experience. And why not? This has been done, you know. Only a new age is arising and objectivity and honesty are gradually getting into the “world mind,” so to speak.
My God-daughter and Khalifa, Miss Saadia Khawar Khan is with me at this writing. She has been very close to Prof. Nasr with all the wonderful intellectual statements arising from so many sources, I find there is little scope for the Grace of Allah on one hand or the operation of Kashf on the other. I began the studies in Kashf-Al-Mahjub and Bhagavad Gita, simultaneously in 1922 and both books have influenced my life. When writers and philosophers doff their “humility”—whatever that be, and the world accepts the standards put forth by Phillip Kapleau, at least a person making a statement, not to say a claim, will be heard before he is confided to limbo.
The manifestation to this person of Khwaja Khizr in 1925 has been verified by at least two things—very, very hard, hard, hard facts which cannot be refuted: (a) Nearly 73, neither body nor mind show the usual signs of deterioration; (b) one has written cosmic poetry and it stands and will stand despite nearly universal rejection. And when one leaves this world this poetry will be accepted as manifestations of fana-fi-Rassoul; and when Allah wills, of fana-fi-lillah for the bases of a Rassoul Gita have already been written—laid aside—which shows that one has had the background in both Kashf-al-Mahjub and Bhagavad Gita—to say the very least. And the so-called “surrender to Allah” without human consideration will gradually vanish from high places.
There are certain “sins” for which there seems to be no forgiveness. (a) I never met an Imam until I was over 50 years of age. Of course I gave him abundant proof but he has long gone to Nigeria to live, (b) Both Khwaja Khizr and Khatim al Mursaleen appeared to me before any studies in Holy Qur’an and as this could not have been it could not have been.
But when Sidi Abu Salem Al-Alawi came here I was to produce testimonials—I did not even know his name, just told that a spiritual teacher was coming from North Africa. I took Martin Lings’ book with me, opened it to the right page and also wore my Dervish robe, given by Dervish and not by imaginary ghosts of Afghanistan or the underground. The Sidi lost the audience when he told them he would not establish a Khankah here because someone in the audience had the Baraka….
And having visited many times the shrine of Data Sahib and entered into communion with him, I am not in the least concerned with the rejections, of that and similar experiences of non-mystics. When the poem “Saladin” will be published (inshallah) it will show a world view from Khatim al Mursaleen, the last of actual Messengers of the Actual Allah and no concepts, subjects, etc. And I do not wish to pursue this point further. For the young are coming in slowly but steadily greater numbers and there is a humorous saying, “God is dead but Allah is Ya Hayy! Ya Haqq!
I have returned from New Mexico where a Summer School is being provided. There are more and more young Americans who seek spiritual perfection. The demise of the Parsi Meher Baba left a vacuum and people see a need for a universal approach to universals. I even had to give a “Mountain Climbing Yoga” practice which enabled people half and more than half my age to climb high in the Rocky Mountains but I assure you it was a Sufic not an Indian practice. And it worked. And some day we shall accept that Akhlak Allah works.
This person is now being called on to function more and more. He does not know how but there was a summon by an Arab neighbor who has seen all these young Americans calling out “Allah” and Zikr and Kalama and he was amazed. Muslim missionaries don’t work that way and I am a many-generation American.
Yet I see all the virtues in every one of your contributors both mystically and scientifically. For instance this Autumn I am taking a course on the Islamic Art of Asia and certainly am going to present Titus Burckhardt to the class. I shall have to get all the books you advertise if they have not been purchased already. It is not easy here. The “experts” on Indian culture omit all reference to Moghul Art and this has produced a split between the dialectical “experts” on Asia and the new type of professors who have both been to Asia and are under scientific influences. I have already established more cordial relationships with the University of California and San Francisco State College, and coming up, the University of New Mexico. But I do not have the proper secretarial help and my chief secretary has been undergoing most dramatic tests of life—connected with his initiation no doubt, but presenting trials.
An old friend of mine has been travelling in Switzerland and said she would try to contact F. Schuon. I have the greatest love and respect for him and for all your colleagues and for most of the articles, and where there is not substantial agreement, it is on minor matters, and this is of no import.
The first lesson taught here is Allah and also the last. The sins of Americans are not the sins of the Arabs “in times of ignorance” and have to be approached differently. There is more and more a tendency toward universality. The Dance of Universal Peace, first presented before the tomb of Salim Chisti at Fatehpur Sikri was fully blessed by my late “Fairy Godmother,” Miss Ruth St. Denis. It has expanded into all sorts of dances, beginning with Dervish Dances. And of course the “good Muslims” object to anything that their grandfathers did not know. And the first step was merely to integrate the efforts of the Rifai’s, Bedawis, Chistis, Mevlevis, etc. Then it expanded. But one does not expect the Orthodox to accept, “Say Allah and Allah thou shall become.” And it may just be that on the Day of Judgment Allah will forgive a “kaffir-feringhi” who accepts Hadith in practice before or on equal term with an Orthodox (of any faith) who does not.
While I see no reason to transgress the Hadith I do interpret them universally. In accord therewith (and this was early) I sought the wisdom of the Chinese (which “good” Muslims may ignore) and felt, although I as in a city of tremendous Chinese influence, looking at it from the stand point of Arabia, this would include investigation into Indian wisdom, Aurungzeb and Mahdoudi to the contrary. Besides all my morals are based on Rahmat and no nonsense, and no excuses, and it is operative, more operative than sermons and homilies and dialectics called “theology.”
Miss Khan as written to Dr. Nasr and I also and I have one tremendous advantage over him: I can see his point of view, do accept it, and do use it; and some day, inshallah, I hope he and your colleagues will at least appreciate what a lone man tries-or rather accept that it is possible for a human being to have the “cave-experience” of Rassoul Mohammed.
But there is a more universal view and I think it is reflected in all your efforts, that this universal view which is of God-Allah-Brahm both transcends particularities and yet sustains them. Having had the mathematical training before the mystical experience one can hold fairly firm. But the poets also support it. And one is now bringing Wordsworth, Whitman, Blake, and Mansfield into the arena of the Sufis.
I had this initiation and when the scholars stop the nonsense of seeing perfections and wonders only in the people of long age it will be told. Kapleau has started it and when the world will accept Sufi Kapleau one can tell and also be sustained both by Allah and by the impersonal, universal approach to “Truth.” And when one has obtained by Grace both the Divine Baraka and the Dharma-transmission, all the analytical criticisms do not mean much. It is so easy to quote Christ or Buddha but to fulfill their dictums is another matter. And it is possible before Allah this is being done here and more and more and more.
Before I went to New Mexico we had a conference here on “Oriental Philosophy—German chairman, three Frenchmen, one Italian, one Irishman, and two Asian Christians. No Muslims at all. And one in Honolulu, five out of the twelve leaders being of Jewish ancestry and no Muslims. This person was quite ineligible to attend!
But as the “Avatars” and “Messiahs” pass from the scene and this person lives on and presents aspects of the Divine Wisdom to those who are open-minded and open-hearted one can see the direction of the world. For God’s Will will be done, inshallah, and not a number of political, theological or philosophical efforts limited to different, very different groups of a selected few.
So the picture is optimistic. And I am glad to report that one group, one out of many, to whom “Dances of Universal Peace” were offered, has at least taken them into consideration. The others are all so busy with their “great work” which consists mostly of seeking subscriptions and financial help from others and not recognizing the prowess of others it is becoming a farce. Why one group of young Americans told me they were going to visit the shrines of all religions and return to start a Shangri-la in this country.
“We have the money, the land, and the prowess. And We will do and not see money, money, money from those we look down upon.” It is quite possible and I do know that within a short time, inshallah, I shall be sending many subscriptions.
With all love and blessings to all your colleagues.
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Samuel L. Lewis
cc- Cantwell Smith
cc- Temple of Understanding
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Ca.
September 9, 1969
Prof. Oliver L. Reiser
Dept. of Philosophy
Univ. of Pittsburgh
My dear Oliver:
There have been such radical changes in outlook and opportunities that it is very often necessary to pinch myself so to speak. The old day of personalisms, masquerading as knowledge is over. Not only was my Colorado trip quits successful, but since my return representatives of several institutions of learning have come to this house. There are also very serious movements on foot to have real international movements accepting the actual knowledge of actual Asia and America. Besides, the efforts to have American-American philosophies and Asian-Asian philosophies considered seriously are winning plaudits on all sides.
It is no longer a time for regret or to be concerned with dialectic movements of limited outlooks calling themselves churches, or cults, or humanist organizations, still bound by limitations operating on bases similar to those welcomed in previous generations wherein personalisms and personalities dominated. It is tragically laughable that all through the West there is now fear of dramatic social outbreaks where putative leaders of the semantic movement have roused almost inconceivable criticism and opposition. And along with that fears, justifiable or not.
Recent events lead me to plan a trip to Europe and perhaps the Near East next year. But in the meanwhile I am off on a vacation I hope with more new doors opening and more opportunities before one. Efforts to become a leader of the so-called hippie communities have now broken out in a mass demand for my personality, the demands consisting exclusively of young people. What will come of this I do not know, but we had a sort of preview this week in this district where one was received very well indeed and there are reasons to believe this sort of acceptance will continue and that the young people will be attracted by anyone offering them actualities, impersonal and objective fashions.
After my vacation I shall again be enrolling at the U. of California extension and perhaps elsewhere. I believe in time any campaign toward objective honesty and impersonality will be successful. This week my god-daughter returns to Cornell. So if I do go to Europe, it will be to stop on my return to this country and visit universities etc., feeling that we are today entering an age of integrational outlooks and objective psychologies and moralities. I have already been approached by several Indian savants seeking real cultural integration and not the private subjective corporationalisms under grand names. There can be no more Zitkos placing ego-personality above objective knowledge, science, and humanitarianism.
I am now involved in several movements all well within the scopes of Project Krishna and Project Prometheus—with excellent response in all directions.
Faithfully and cordially,
Samuel L. Lewis
Written on Hejirat Day, 1969
6904 Radford Ave.,
North Hollywood, Calif.
My dear Bibijan:
As-salaam aleikhum. After a long time God has vouchsafed a vacation, for even a young man cannot work seven days a week incessantly. I am here with Naquib Mansur Johnson and another disciple named Saul. We went up via Central Oregon and the Columbia River Highway which they had never seen before, and wished to arrived here on the nix anniversary of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s departure for the West. This has been so and this afternoon we shall have a meeting to celebrate the event.
I did not sign any papers before leaving for some very minor matters, chiefly over the naming of persons. It is of no importance and I am too concerned with other matters (about which more below) to quibble. But now I find myself confronted with documents and legal complications—which incidentally I readily welcome. For on return I shall celebrate my fiftieth anniversary into the Sufi Movement, though formal Bayat into the Order did not come until later. Nevertheless the mystical initiations preceded that period.
Just before leaving one lead about 150 young people in spiritual dances in a public place and about 200 gave one a most loving and joyous l’ envoi. It may be a sign, for just before leaving again there was a short illness—for five nights in a row one was awakened from sleep by emergencies, which were necessary but were too much for the body and ego. Nevertheless one was directed by God (one can say sarcastically that membership in the Sufi Movement does not hinder Divine experience!) and one is directed to attend the next sessions of The Temple Of Understanding. The last session was held in Calcutta and Vilayat was there, also two mureeds, but the next time one will go, inshallah, in person, attended by Mansur.
Almost immediately there was placed in my heads a brochure on the Sufi Order which was read with intense interest. One does not know whether or when there will be any legal sessions on it. If so one could go as Amicus Curiae, and there would be an immediate fracas over the almost universal rejection of Six Interviews With Hazrat Inayat Khan which took place in Beverly Hills with Paul Reps and Kismet Stem outside the door excepting on one occasion that Paul Reps was inside—he has long since ignored the instructions of Hazrat Inayat Khan but he cannot deny this meeting.
Kismet Stem was not at the last sessions during the life of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Than. His death confession was given to Pir-o-Murshid Hasan Nizami, and it was word for word the same as certain elements of Six Interviews. There were in attendance with Hazrat Inayat Khan the late Hasan Nizami; his sons whom I have met; his Indian Khalif now also gone; and a disciple of that Khalif, Shamseddin Ahmed who has long since taken Bayat from this person.
I myself was accepted as a full member of the Chisti Order in 1956; also of the “Four School”-Sufi Order and Nizami Chistis in the same year; in the Chisti-Sabri-Kadri Order in 1961; and in the Chisti-Kadri-Khizri Order in 1962. I was fully publicly ordained first as a “Sufi” then as a full Murshid in the former and as a Khalif in the latter. But as I was not put on the path of the “Murshid” by Hazrat Inayat Khan, this is only collateral material.
Therefore this must be approached from another point of view.
On the fifth page one reads in this brochure:
After Pir-o-Murshid’s passing away, the constitution of the Founder has been changed.
I can vouchsafe this is absolutely true in every respect. Not only that Hazrat Inayat Khan distinctly said the path of the Shifayat and that of Murshid were different and if one were one one could not be the other and in the case of Ali Khan this was absolutely flagrantly violated and any order claiming to be “spiritual” could not proceed. Also I am most happy that Vilayat has reincorporated into the constitution the matter of grades and degrees which are based on spiritual development and not on vote-changing and “Murshids” who had no sign of Divine Consciousness. We cannot both accept that God Alone Is and proceed on such basis.
Actually the brochure in my hands is two documents. The ordination and validation of Vilayat Khan as Pir in the Chisti Order is completely outside the jurisdiction of any and all corporations East or West, and as long as it is externally or internally confirmed by other Pirs and Murshids it stands, and this is exactly what has happened.
The next is the validation or non-validation of validators. This is very complex. What I am going to do, inshallah, is to attend the next session of The Temple of Understanding and place my spiritual credentials before an audience and then being recognized as Hazrat Inayat Khan wished, and not as various persons and corporations who have not had the inner initiations proclaim, the people of the West will have to under compulsion, regrettably but under compulsion and not under any surrender willing or unwilling accept the Six Interviews With Hazrat Inayat Khan.
These interviews do not affect the brochure of the position of Pir Vilayat, any more than they would affect any other spiritual line. But my work has been that of Buzurg and later changed and it is only hoped that the people in the West, as the young are now doing, will accept the evidence of divine wisdom and not of ego. It is partly a question of whether one shall be called on to act. Before God and no non-witness can have any effectiveness, I was made “Protector of the Message” and this has been confirmed by a multitude of Sufis of all schools. The testimony is collateral with regard to personalities; it is not collateral regarding the whole body of Sufi Orders (to many of which I belong) and the Hierarchy and today I expect to speak on Hierarchy and so stop at this point.
page 3, letter to Susanne D’Mitrieff
You will find included here a sample few pages from the brochure which has been put together up here and of which there are many copies. Also included you will find a sample of the work which has been done on the prayers Saum and Salat, showing the movements which may accompany these prayers.
With all love and blessing,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Samuel L. Lewis
September 15, 1969
This is written in Sitara’s home where we have a little time before visiting the peninsula. I am not yet ready to write Fazal. It may even be questionable whether this should be done without common consent or general need. As to writing to Vilayat, we shall either send him a carbon of this or a revision after our return.
I am considering the brochure backwards. If the last pages are considered, the subject is closed. Besides this, my God-daughter and Khalifa, Miss Khawar Khan, has also been validated by the top Chistis as Khalifa. This cements our relations in several directions. Added to that our work here with dancing—of which you got a slight glimpse; and chanting, of which you did not yet get any glimpse, are entirely in line with the modus operandi of Moin-ed-din Chisti himself. It is more than possible that we shall be performing historically a mission in the Western world comparable to that of the afford said saint at an earlier period.
There is to me, quite outside the brochure, a very serious point that has been omitted; that is to say whether the word Sufi has a significant meaning or is more or less a quasi-fictitious legal term. In his talk in San Francisco, Fazal denounced philosophically principles promulgated by Hazrat Inayat Khan in volumes 8, 9, and 10 of “The Sufi Message.” It is possible that he did this because Vilayat seems to have gone out the deep end of occultism.
I must call to your attention and to the attention of the world that the late Murshida Rabia Martin was Hazrat Inayat Khan’s very first disciple. She was already an advanced occult teacher in 1911. She was later offered the position as master in some of the traditional European occult orders. She refused this not at Hazrat Inayat Khan’s suggestion but at her own free will. At the time of the 1949 fire in Fairfax I held many of these occult teachings on file. They are gone now. In his efforts to bring East and West together at no time did Hazrat Inayat Khan criticize occultism, let alone Western occultism. In fact he had a class in occultism in England during world war. I do not have these papers although I do have some of the principles.
But it is not only in regard to occultism that Fazal has taken a position directly contrary and contradictory to that of his sainted grandfather, it is in many other respects. Every letter of his I have seen to whomsoever, repudiates the principles of instructions to teachers (Khalifs and Murshids) in the Sangithas, to say the least.
In the short time here, the point has been reached where one can be no longer disgusted or horrified. One realizes that in a selfish quest for ambition or fame the grandson seems ready to go to any end. Being over 21 years of age, there is no legal excuse that he has accepted the dominance of either selfish wealthy people in this land; or his grand-aunt; or anybody else in foreign parts.
My God-daughter, Miss Saadia Khawar Khan, is Khalifa in at least two branches of the Chistia Order. She is horrified at the loose and vulgar use of the word “Sufi” in the West. Strictly speaking, I suppose, the term can only be applied to those who have reached a certain degree of God-consciousness. This has been definitely re-included in the constitution offered by Vilayat. I am totally in accord with the principles in this constitution. If there is minor differences over verbiage, this can be straightened out later.
There are still some doors open. I understand Vilayat may be making a trip to India and such a trip would settle any omissions in these directions.
There is definitely one difference in the situation today from previous situations—I am stronger, better informed, better acquainted, and financially in a position to attend any legal hearing anywhere if this should be necessary. I don’t think this will be necessary.
I don’t think this will be necessary, because if we play our cards both at the forthcoming convention of The Temple of Understanding and in certain other controversial matters concerning contemporary Sufism, all these situation will be clarified. Saadia Khawar Khan has taken it into her own hands to clarify my positions in tasawwuf to Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who is regarded among the intellectuals as the world’s chief exponent of Sufi philosophies, to distinguish them from Sufi mysticism. Although Prof. Nasr has taken a dualistic position regarding my personality, I have taken a non-dualistic position in giving full cooperation to his colleagues the eminent Titus Burckhardt, Frithjof Schuon, Marco Pallis, and others. And if I am permitted, inshallah, to go ahead with The Temple of Understanding it will make our whole position clear covering the whole earth.
There are some minor elements here also—the very practice of “flesh and blood inheriting the kingdom of heaven” is anathema to most intellectuals? Teaching? Sufi philosophy in the schools. Those Professors whom I have been able to meet au face have reversed their positions, and I think we can carry this further anywhere and everywhere.
If I meet Fazal or any of his supporters anywhere, it is quite possible that they will receive a treatment they have never had in their whole lives. I have had to do this in open conventions; I have done this in open conventions what could not be done in closets, in secret panels and in closed meetings. In the light, the light manifests, though the darkness may comprehend it not.
On my return to San Francisco, I shall go over this more carefully for Vilayat and keep you and Atiya informed.
Love and blessings,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Samuel L. Lewis
September 27, 1969
Hon. Phillip Burton
House Office Building
Washington, D. C.
Now is the time for all good man to come to the aid of their congressman (again). What I am going to tell you is very true and of course, not-new. There are only two things that count, actually: $$$$’s and votes. The latter is increasing by leaps and bounds and the former is increasing.
I am now preparing to go to a conference of the leaders of the world’s religions which will take place in Istanbul. If the present schedule takes place. It is under the sponsorship of The Temple of Understanding which has its headquarters in Washington. I expect to go and present at least my “Dances of Universal Peace,” inspired by the late Miss Ruth St. Denis.
At the moment more attention is being paid to the Dervish Dances, and yesterday I gave a new class instruction in Golden Gate Park. Both the children and adults belong to what we call “hippie’s” who constitute a larger portion of rising new America, which is really old America being resuscitated. The thoughts of Emerson, Whitman, Dewey, the James family, etc. etc. are now affecting the young even if they have been excluded from the curricula of many colleges and universities—they are now coming back. I assure you.
And at night some of my own disciples went off to joint Rabbi Schlomo in this city who gives the Chassidic version of the same type of dances and I can assure you Rev. Schlomo and this person are the best of heart-friends, something newspaper men and high government officials (particularly in Foreign offices) cannot possibly understand.
In the afternoon I was invited as an “expert” on Asian religions and philosophies to attend a new class right on the campus of Proxy Halfbreed Moron who is not popular today in certain high circles. Many expect him to show up, for we real believers in real free speech will have no objection to him speaking, but he, so interested in directing the operation on a campus has a program so replete with appointments for lectures on other campuses throughout the Nation that he may not have time.
We are particularly interested in having him speak on his own religious ideas which I can assure you he will avoid for that will mean the death of his ambitions. His success depends on the first commandment of the delinquents: “Thou shall not be found out.”
Only a word from your office can deter the publication of “General Semantics vs. General’s Semantics.” While no names will be used the implications are very clear. Why in this house at this minute is the man who has sold psychedelics to Proxy Halfbreed’s son while he was going around sermonizing the dangerous “drugs.”
During the years friendships have been established not only with Rev. Schlomo, but with leaders of other faiths of the world, and the hard fact that people of differing faiths will join and speak their peace unhampered by any officials itself is an accomplishment. Why, we may even have to listen to a Vietnamese Buddhist, something “unheard of” in this sermonizing nation.
And if the voting age is lowered you are going to ride high. The young are much more serious even than a few years ago, and on top of that more numerous. The queen of Hearts could not stop Alice from growing and the editors and “law” will not be able to stop the young. And, of course, they do not want anymore war.
Samuel L. Lewis
My dear Gavin:
What does humility mean? Have you ever looked up the word? Figuratively humility means thou-ness.
In my experience of the last few years I have not met a scientist who shut the doors on person, ideas or discussion. Some of them have been the very greatest in their fields. My theory of Soil Pathology and its treatment has not received a single negative criticism and sooner or later I shall place it before my professor in Soil Chemistry. He is now one of the leading consultants in the whole world.
Humility means thou-ness. I could prove my knowledge of Zen to Zen masters, though generally this was evident without proof. One of them arrives this week. No evidence therefor was accepted by the Western people who have never had Zen training. As to the Zennists, one short demonstration was once necessary, just once.
Humility. Later I called the attention of Dr. Radhakrishnan that his translation of distinct Sanskrit terms into the English “space” was confusing because these Sanskrit terms had very different meanings, he wrote and thanked me and realized he had some short-comings. Dr. Radhakrishnan can do that. Humility.
Humility. Later I met Hindus who criticized Dr. Radhakrishnan on certain technical points, but he never claimed authority and his one claim which I cannot convey is on a different basis. As I once told Mrs. Ruth Fuller Sasaki, “I cannot tell you. There is no secret only I cannot tell, but I’ll give you a hint.” She accepted in toto; the humility-mongers would not even listen, much less accept.
Humility. Abdul Baha said: “People of the world you are as the branches of the tree and leaves of the branches.
Gavin, one moment you are a Whitmanian and the next moment you are so far from him, just like the Christians with Jesus Christ. We can only have humility when we become parts of one another. The Professor can teach tam twam asi all day long; he hasn’t the slightest inkling of his meaning. How come he was not invited to lecture in universities in Asia like I have been?
October 3, 1969
Beloved One of God:
Under inspiration one writes to let you know what is going on. A professor in this region gave a short talk on Sufism and he showed that he was well aware of what is going on, but I do not know the sources of his information. He said that there are about five distinct movements called “Sufi” but there is some question whether any of them are properly connected with the Sufi Orders of Asia. Nevertheless he left the door wide open and it is wide open.
Hazrat Inayat Khan appointed this person to be exoteric leader, to contact the intellectuals, the colleges and universities. This appointment which in no ways conflicts with the claims of anybody to leadership has nonetheless been ignored or denied by the various persons and organizations claiming to represent the Divine consciousness and making a mockery of the scriptures. The scriptures distinctly state we should regard the merits of others, and let them know our merits, and by regarding the merits of others, it is a proof we have merit.
Preparations are being made for “crusades” at three distinct levels. One is locally and that keeps us busy all the time. Now the telephone rings. The young people look to this one not because he is more wonderful than others, but because of the rejections that have been thrown at him—this very situation has made him a hero deservedly or not deservedly. And one will have to face the “music” now publicly and in the “halls of ivy” where he must face audiences of young who are sincere, presumably honest, quite unemotional to spiritual matters and want evidences. They do not a priori reject a person or attack his personality, but listen to him first. The elders do not, often cannot do that.
The funniest accusation has been that this person went to the Orient, met a lot of Masters and then ignored them all. It is very, very funny. Rarely had this been made public, but a “good Sufi,” of course, than one received a cable from his Sufi Pir and an airmail letter from his Zen Roshi. But to those whose careers are fault-finding these hard facts mean nothing. And one cannot help feeling very sorry because in the eternity all things are straightened out, and we realize that we are actually all parts of each other.
One holds up a little on the national scene. This war in Vietnam goes on because my dearest friend was ignored. He lived in Vietnam fifteen years, but was not only ignored but insulted. We are paying the price. I am “atoning” by purchasing copies of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism and distributing as well as I can afford to colleges and universities; and no doubt will including Lama. The news from Lama is excellent. They have met Nancy and she heard nothing but good news.
Some of the pictures of my God-daughter, Saadia, are ready and some are not. Her demonstration of Pakistani costumers must have gone over big for we have been invited back. But she is not poor and has offered to finance our international under-takings. The biggest of these is to fulfill the mission Jesus Christ gave me for the Holy Land.
A number of unfortunate women have stood in my path, denouncing me publicly and privately but now they can no longer do it. The same is true of those rara avis, the European “expert” on Oriental philosophy, honored but “only in America.” They are fast disappearing, praise to God. But these two types are at odds with each other, anyhow.
I was given the mission, twice, once by Zarathustra and once by Jesus Christ. There is no use being negative here. My Krishna poetry has been submitted to one professor and my Mohammed poetry (“Saladin”) to another, and no more a priori rejections by pompous European professors, or society ladies who essay to be spiritual teachers. I am willing to accept either criticism or praise but only after my things are looked at. The day when one can be a priori castigated is over.
It would appear, inshallah, that we shall be playing leading roles at the next parliament of religions. It will not be held in the United States although it will be dominated by Americans. Our country has not yet reached the point where we can accept a God who is equal-minded towards all and loves all. But this is true. And the blessings received from holy-men both in the seen and unseen stand out despite all kinds of hardships.
The family complex is over after over fifty years. It is marvelous how this has at long last worked out. If I outlive the others by this fact alone I shall be quite well to do—which is the merit among our senior citizens. But this greatly stimulates our plans to go abroad and speak before the leading spiritual teachers of all faiths, some of whom are already among my very best friends. A Sufi makes friends with all or is befriended by all.
In the meanwhile the birthday party plans go on, mostly for me, not by me. My work is with the dancing class and we are opening up again the “mysteries” etc., And I do not believe any longer any man or woman can stop this unless God be willing. Hazrat Inayat Khan said, “These things cannot exist together, God and nufs.” And perhaps they do not, but unfortunately many who aspired to leadership wish the leadership more than they wish Allah. But “leader is he who is leader of himself and ruler is he who is ruler of himself.”
With all love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
October 6, 1969
Mr. Arthur Hoppe,
c/o S.F. Chronicle
San Francisco, Calif.
My dear Art:
In the past two weeks I have received no less than six apologies from VIP organizations, all having in common the general formula: “With your money and our brains we can save the world.” No doubt this is sarcasm but unless you have money or fame or a solid backing, all the logic and knowledge is of no avail.
It is only that next year I may be one of the chief speakers in an international convocation—we could not possibly permit it here—yet where those that have had access to facts will be given some opportunity, along with VIP’s and others to express themselves. It will become a matter of history later on that I have been sent on a peace-feeler mission between India and Pakistan, to be berated by the Foreign Office and have the respective countries call in Kosygin. And that my “peace program” accepted by Arabs, Israelis and especially the UN functionaries who particularly admired it was smothered by our own State Department and the important? “peace?” organizations.
One of the groups that apologized was the Muslim Studies Association. I called them down on fourteen points and was amazed that not only did they answer but conceded many. This is because they do not follow the current “Christian-Jewish” ethic. One never gets replies from those who accept the “Christian-Jewish” ethic. Add although I have worked outside of politics, and would be in danger of martyrdom and no nonsense, if I called attention to the hard facts before Mrs. Goldie, that representatives of Zionism simply ignored Muslims and Arabs and now she is crying! This is the stuff that always gets money.
And before you get this the subject will be out. There was a meeting of putative Pied Pipers and they all acceded to this person who will be formally acknowledged shortly. “Young of the world, unite, you have nothing to lose.” I may speak on the free travel opportunities—they won’t have to go to Vietnam; they can choose between the Near East and the Nigeria-Biafra complex and other places where we sell war weapons and goods to both sides. The Greeks used to do that but they are involved at home.
I remember the last peace organization approached. They had twelve alternative “plans” for Vietnam: nine from Americans (of course); one from an Englishman (you can’t leave them out); one from Hon. U. Thant and one from a Vietnamese! Please send your contribution! (I forget the address).
The Humanists, who also do not seem to adhere properly to the “Christian-Jewish ethic” have already sent for me and let me speak on a subject where I had direct experience.
I do not feel proud of this. The dominant hypocrisy; the use of formulae, aphorisms, slogans, etc., is nothing but self-hypnosis. I don’t want the young to fight for me in the Near East or Nigeria, now that we may be withdrawing from Vietnam.
I am not particularly thrilled with retractions. We still do not permit lectures on the dominant religion of Vietnam—this being part of the current “Judeo-Christian ethic.”
I have seen very few Americans of African ancestry attending classes on the marvelous Archaeology and Anthropology of that continent until very recently. Good “Muslims” are not enrolled in the courses on Islamic and Arabic culture. And we still have English and Europeans (not Arabs) as instructors in this field! This is also apparently part of the “ethic.”
But it is not only the young who are calling for a Pied Piper. Many more senior people are with me—or I with them—in calling for the American-American philosophies of James, Dewey, Peirce, Thoreau, Emerson, etc. We do not need any Existentialisms or Dialectics and these, to me, are false gods. But false or not, more and more adults are interested in a revival of American-American culture.
“Pioneers! O Pioneers!”
Samuel L. Lewis
cc- Dr. Lloyd Luckmann
October 8, 1969
Om Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram!
Another copy of “The Vision” has arrived with its emphasis on chanting the Name and the Joy it brings. This involves two things—chanting and joy, and it seems that today everybody but the intellectuals can do this and the young want to do it.
For instance, Monday Night is Sufi night here and we were chanting the name “Allah.” We were also dancing and some young people were passing by and they began to mock us by calling out “Hare Krishna.” We invited and two joined but the rest went away on an errand. Then we all began to chant with vigor “Hare Krishna,” with vigor and love and devotion and the young people were so surprised they did not know what to do. They had never seen or hear anything like it. For we chant the Divine Names with love and devotion and not with long philosophical explanations that keep everybody in manas-ahankara.
Tonight there is to be a great gathering of young people here. They have invited all the spiritual leaders of the region to present their teachings. This does not usually happen. Usually some important intellectual speaks or there is what is called “integration” and it is very limited indeed, very limited. But the day of exclusive integration is over.
There was a preliminary meeting Sunday night and Sam was late. It seems that the representatives of Bhakti Vedanta and the Prema Yoga people said they would join Sam and do what he wanted. But there was also present a real disciple of Sri Aurobindo and he went even further. This was surprising because no representative (so-called) of Sri Aurobindo has ever acceded before to Sam’s spiritual prowess. He includes them, they exclude him, and are very much enmeshed in manas-ahankara.
Then last night Sam went to get the criticism on his “The Rejected Avatar” by the leading poet, writer, and critic of the region. And when Sam entered the room the gentleman came and sat at his feet. There was no criticism. It was found out that both the critics and the so-called “professors” of Oriental cultures had almost unanimously rejected it, and now they are being rejected themselves. The excluders are being excluded which is most unfortunate but that is the way the Moral Law operates.
The leader poets here had been drawn into Zen Buddhism by Dr. Alan Watts whom Papa has mentioned. But what has passed for “Zen” and maybe it is Zen, has no love, no compassion, no adoration, and little devotion. Now they have become devotees of Milarepa, the Tibetan Saint. And when Sam complained about the lack of Joy in modern poetry and the pessimism, this was accepted and there is now a movement both toward Joy and spirituality and only the old intellectual leaders do not accept it. It is a new day.
Sam does not know what will come tonight when he will be called on to lead the San Francisco youth toward God by chanting and dancing. But he will call to their attention The Temple of Understanding which is endeavoring to have all religions recognize the love, devotion, piety and morality which the others also have—have a “universal” religion but a recognition that each religion really has these universals and now it is time to recognize that.
Sam is getting ready to report on two great Sufi Emperors whom the schools, verbally dedicated to “integration,” not only ignore but positively reject, and in doing so turn their back on “God in History.” These were Suleiman the Magnificent in Turkey and Akbar in India. They brought together all kinds of people of different faiths, faces, and cultures and mankind is going to recognize them and will no longer stand for the by-passing of the Loved Ones of God who may have had a different faith, and especially those who were the real integrators in history. And strangely enough Sam is being strongly backed by a direct disciple of Sri Aurobindo who is in the vicinity.
All the efforts to bring about peace, not by self-praise, but by recognizing the good in others, are coming to the fore and the young will be following Sam, God willing, and not those who are self-selecting and limit Brahman to particular ones and to wild elephants, but not to simple human beings. All of us are the loved of God and all of us have Light and Life and Love in us.
Now Sam has before him the meetings of the young and then his coming birthday. And one professor has asked Sam, “Is there any spiritual leader whom I have met with whom you have not had the samadhic experience!” Well, it is quite true that Sam has had this experience with Jew and Christian, with Hindu and Buddhists and Sufis and perhaps many times. Seeing no difference, finding himself in the other and the other in himself. And this is also found among many American poets under the influence of Walt Whitman. And these art people are coming together. They are coming together without the intervention of verbal integrationists who want to lead and who themselves have never had such divine experience. The Brotherhood of Man is coming through Love. Every week more and more and more young Americans are singing and chanting with joy some Name of God.
Om! Sri Ram! Jai Ram! Jai Jai Ram!
Samuel L. Lewis
October 21, 1969
Beloved One of Allah:
As salaam aleikhum. One is very thankful for your solicitude but the main problem with Murshid has been and remains the quantity of work to be done, and all other problems are small. And almost everything else has been considered but this simple elementary fact.
An old friend has shown up and it is possible, inshallah, that he will take over. One now has, praise to Allah, sufficient funds to handle such emergencies. There are a number of young disciples and they say they love Murshid and would like to work for him, but they are so unsettled as to where they live and how they live. There have been both necessary and unnecessary moving about, and in this so much concern with the ego-self, it is a touchy problem but there could be worse ones.
There are now waiting lists for those aspiring to become disciples. We have to train Wali Ali and either Keith or Gregory (Nadi-ed-din) to open classes. And for this also clerical help. Moineddin has been doing more outside work and Mansur both inside and outside work. At least three women who have been helping have outside jobs, and Fatima is expecting a child any hour. We have, in this case, inshallah, found an applicant to whom Bayat was given last night to fill in a partial gap.
In the midst of this two days to birthday celebration. I suppose 40 to 50 showed up Saturday for the dancing class party. The prospect of young Americans saying “Allah!” and “Er-Rahman, Er-Rahim” and “Mohammedar Rassoul-lillah” may please Allah but it is not going to satisfy a lot of “Muslims.” They want all or nothing and thus smother Compassion and Mercy. And during this party I made it clear that Mohammed always saw that his guests were satisfied before he ate.
Saturday was a grand affair. Murshid had little to do with it excepting leading certain dances and also the birthday dance based on “Allah,” and “Ishk-Allah, Mahbood Lillah.” There must have been a hundred people. I laughingly said it was lucky all the disciples did not come. Akbar sent a beautiful letter from San Diego; he is extremely busy in a situation like yours.
The most beautiful things were the chanting led by Bill Mathieu. At that moment one of my several “Nancy’s” came, perhaps with God-daughter Nancy. She had just returned from Turkey and I asked her how the chanting would fit into that Turkey. She was amazed and delighted and said such chanting would do much to establish friendships and promote real understanding. But missing from the party was Catherine Fleming who also just came back from Turkey and should be here at the end of the week, inshallah.
Another thing that was amazing was the picture Fatima has done, not quite completed, but that with the chants set Murshid very “high.” But although from the conventional view on with years, one has never witnessed such love and brotherhood and this may be a sign of “The sun rising in the West,” inshallah.
While this was going on—something is always going one—the colleague of the Dajjal, Meher Baba. He presented himself as a Sufi and one of his representatives addressed the class at San Francisco State University. This person kept quiet all through. It would have been easy to demolish him and for what? To set up some other equally erroneous cult?
Anyhow Prof. Needleman said this Sufi could address the class this week. We have to bring Divine Love. It is curious that the speaker said Mohammed was an “Avatar.” Holy Qur’an says, “He begetteth not, neither is He begotten” and this is true for the Ultimate can have neither partners nor associates. The universe is not that way. But “Avatar” really means “Rassoul.” But you never hear any stories of magnificent deeds of mercy or compassion, and always with the denial of the efficacy of miracles, some miracles! This is the common practice.
As there are quite a few “Messiahs” and “avatars” going around it is very confusing. At least we have established the nexus of love and brotherhood. It was quite evident, Allah be praised.
Some of the pictures are ready, but Julie has had her own misfortunes.
One is still plagued by disciples moving or having to move and this prevents a solid organization being established. But inshallah, it will come.
Love and blessings from all of us,
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
410 Precita Ave.,
San Francisco, Calif.
November 1, 1969
Mr. John Stockwell,
Bay Area World Union Center
2901 Webster St.,
San Francisco, 94123
World Union: Real or Fictitious
Dear Mr. Stockwell:
Thank you for your card that either you or Mrs. Stockwell will be visiting The Family Dog. Too many people of foreign birth have come to this city and offered themselves to become “leaders” without any contacts with the people of the vicinity. I attended in a row six different celebrations of India’s Independence Day, all personneled by different parties, each of whom ignored all the others. This is the usual behavior pattern of the “leaders” and I do not see where we are going.
A World Union, indeed any world organization that is honest, would have on its governing board representatives of many nations, and perhaps not two of the same country. Now we are asked to accept a legal body practically representing or even misrepresenting a single country and they are to be our leaders. Indeed, I am not writing this on account of kindness, but rather to make a diary record to show the change from subjective pretense to objective honesty which is going on in our midst.
In 1931 I left New York City to return to this state having studied Japanese Zen with one Sokei-an Sasaki and for that which is beyond reason, found myself capable of interpreting the basic scriptures of all religions excepting Zarathustrianism. I do not belittle that faith, but I cannot see where a representative should be sitting on a World Union board which has so far excluded Islam for example and many new movements, any one of which may actually take over leadership.
The prowess of my knowledge—it should be called dharma-transmission—from Sokei-an Sasaki came in my first real test in Asian-Asian philosophy in 1945 when I was asked by the chief secretary of the first Indian embassy to give an essay on the Sufi Moinnedin Ibn‘l Arabi, and my paper read “The unity of Ibn l’Arabi and Shankaracharya.” The secretary warmly embraced me. You might think such a paper would have been welcomed at our intellectual institutions. Not at all. The various academies and organizations that offer the public courses in what they call Asian philosophies etc., would have nothing of it or anything of me, but the good old $$$$$.
I remember when I was permitted to speak at a conference on India in the city of Cleveland—there I was permitted to speak but never hear excepting at meetings arranged by the Indian Consulate himself. One of these intellectual experts interrupted my introduction by saying sarcastically “I suppose the next speaker will declare he has been in India and therefore wants to talk.” I answered, “Yes,
I have been in India.” “The next thing he will say is that he knows Dr. Radhakrishnan (who was then vice-president of India).” “Yes, I know Dr. Radhakrishnan.” Then the learned expert said, “I thought so,” and sat down. I don’t know what this proves, but I must advise that the day of leadership or mis-leadership by this type of person is over forever.
When I actually entered India last it was in January 1962 and everybody was preparing for the celebration of Independence Day. Appointments were almost impossible, yet I was immediately ushered into the presence of his then Excellency Dr. Radhakrishnan (and others of equal caliber). The details are in my diary. They have not been welcomed, indeed they have been refused by the so-called rival academies of Asian Studies, but they have been accepted by the University of California (several campuses) and Pittsburgh, and very slowly by other institutions that place objective data not only equal to but superior to subjective rhetoric dialectics.
I could write books on this subject and no doubt someday will. But I must call to your attention the world as it, is; this world with its absolute refusal to permit Vietnamese to speak on the culture or affairs of their own land while others argue interminably about what they really do not know. And the next thing is not to shun entirely the hard-hard fact that a growing number of young Americans today have delved far deeper into the recesses of consciousness than the professors and “experts” of the past generations can fathom.
For example, recently I met a group of young men who were devotees of Meher Baba. They had been to India and especially to Auroville. They said to me, “We have the money, the land, the knowledge, and the prowess. We are going to build our own Shangri-la. We are not going to send any money to India. We are going to do it ourselves.” I believe they are. I found them the most intelligent and forthright group of young people I have ever encountered—and I do encounter people. I do not solicit them; I encounter them.
It has now become notorious that the so-called rival schools in so-called Asian philosophy have perhaps nothing to offer us at all but “leadership.” And the New Age Americans don’t want that leadership. Lacking that marvelous (?) virtue of the past “humility,” I personally would be quite willing to join the above mentioned former followers of Meher Baba. I would even be willing to scratch dirt with and for them. I have done this many times. I have seen many holy men do this. I have never seen an “expert” do it.
The academies of Asian Studies so-called have refused adamantly and blindly any reference to Fatehpur Sikri, or for that matter the Taj. These places certainly were not built by ghosts. And any organization pretending to be a World Union or anything like that, that ignores the earlier efforts of the great Moghul Akbar, will have to face sooner or later the public accusation of fraud, and I mean just that. I went to one of these academies with some papers on what I considered the integration of Indian and non-Indian culture, and ran into a series of absolute blank refusals. I took one of them to the University of California in Berkeley, and they offered me a PhD degree, but I felt my work was in travelling and mingling with humanity. I am giving this as an example.
I later told this story to some of our more contemporary leaders in Asian Studies at our colleges and universities and they felt this was quite typical. And now you are asking the rest of us to accept leadership in a World Union by such a type of personality.
I have long aligned myself with Prof. Dr. Oliver Reiser of Pittsburgh. He has his Projects Prometheus and Krishna. The latter for meta-scientific and the former for scientific culture approached from the international point of view. The term international here is interpreted as in mathematics and not as in common jargon although they are not necessarily opposed. It was from this source and also from my inheritance (dharma transmission) of the late Miss Ruth St. Denis that the inspiration of Dances of Universal Peace came to me. I have offered them to several groups including the directors of the Auroville project; they gave been treated very slightly and lightly.
Unfortunately, as I see the World Union, it begins with God, goes to the supermental, and ends with political and social prowess without any consideration of the development of the human race as pictured by Aurobindo Ghose and H.G. Wells and Bulwer Lytton and others. Here the verbal internationalists and the processes of integration part company. The verbal internationalists will have nothing of the prowess of others. And if this is to be the platform on which a World Union is based there will be some sad repercussions later on. I don’t think you were told that instead of supporting Auroville these people came out with one of their own Shangri-las under a Dr. Zitko of Arizona. I don’t think it is possible to convert those who lecture on karma to accept karma as real and applicable to their own selves. So I shall not waste any time on it. But believing in the necessity for some kind of World Union, and accepting that it is going to come, I want to help. Only I believe that leader is he who is leader of himself and ruler is he who is ruler of himself.
Any effort to have any kind of World Union in this vicinity that does not accord members of the so-called black races absolute equality in fact, not on paper, is doomed. It may even be physically attacked by the blacks and will be ridiculed by the rising generation of Americans, many of whom I would say, have world outlooks today. And any effort to establish any World Union not led by people of universal outlooks will not only fail but as I have hinted may well bring an accusation of fraud. I don’t think you are that kind of a man. I think you are dominated by purer motives and my ideals. But ideals to become real must accept realities. It is most unfortunate that today as in ancient times there is a tendency to accept Brahm as being in the wild elephant but not in the peasant. Until it is accepted that Brahm is in all of us, and no nonsense about it, even the most wonderful conceptions will remain as they are, conceptions.
I shall be glad to introduce you to those who are in close touch with what is going on at both the San Francisco State College and the University of California (both campuses). There is intense interest in both world outlooks and world movements. In fact the doors are not closed even to the champions of door-closing. Toleration is given even to the most intolerant. I do not know that you understand what I am getting at, but you are here to promote a cause.
My case is also different in that I have already been asked to speak before a world gathering and it would appear I shall be permitted to speak. None of your immediate colleagues has ever permitted that. It is very sorrowful.
I also have before me a copy of Darshana International; some time ago I wrote them fully. They can expect social and financial cooperation. They do not shut the doors in other people’s faces and then proclaim World Union.
There is still another point of view, the Sufi point of view. This has been absolutely and irretrievably rejected by your immediate colleagues no matter what they say. The Sufi, like the follower of Shankara, sees God in all things and beings. But he also sees all beings, and I mean all beings—all beings—as the beloved ones of God. Therefore even the strongest statements here are not to be taken as any criticism of you personally. I believe you are thoroughly sincere, thoroughly devoted and steadfast. I think you are sincerely working for one of the most necessary accomplishments in history. If you could obtain the all-inclusive heart, you can and shall succeed no matter what is said here. But if you retain exclusiveness you must realize you will have to face the karma of such an outlook and behavior. May God help you to see the light and recognize the whole humanity as it actually is.
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
Ven. He Kwang
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
November 9, 1969
Dr. K.M.P. Mohamed Cassim
P.O. Box No. 11,
Beloved One of Allah:
Your circular of August 31st. Where and while I find myself in total accord with it and also with “The Message of Esoteric Philosophy” I am somewhat at a quandary concerning the enclosures.
I do not know why “Divya Vani” and “Values” were enclosed. I do not see the connection of either with your exaltation of meditation or your presentation of “Esoteric Philosophy.” Indeed I see nothing noble in “Values” at all. India is full of such publications and such verbal veneration to many various “gurus,” etc., and the only nobility I see in Nataraja Guru is that he is satisfied with the title of “guru” and does not propose that his ego is some kind of super-super-super-super of which India has many candidates, and also continues to have the same problems on and on and these “super-supers” show no indication of solving either those problems or the problems of other people. And I do not see why and how the proclamation of some holy man substantiates any defense of meditation which, as I understand it, is impersonal, yet exalted.
With regard to Meher Baba, I quote Ezra Pound: “For God, our God, is a gallant foe….”
This will satisfy neither the Baba devotees nor his many critics. But I do appreciate the words, the words, words, words—everybody has words—which appear on page 5 of the 25th January, 1968 issue: “I don’t want your money. What I want is your love and a clean heart which are beyond all the millions of rupees. Hypocrisy spoils Baba’s work. Purity of heart and the feeling of oneness with others is required while working for Me…. Have 100% honesty or keep your mouths shut.”
If anything like that had been maintained, I might have remained among Baba’s devotees. I was trained in Sufism, which many of his leading devotees deny, and in Sufism we learn how to see life from the standpoint of others and justify it before taking any dualistic stance. But his devotees do not see life from the standpoint of others and do not justify it, excepting a new group which is universal and which has no hostility and does not expect superior or even equal morality from others.
Neither can I assent to “The Sufism of Meher Baba” by a non-Sufi. I do not believe you have to become a Sufi devotee to become perfect. I find perfection in devotees of many paths—I am not talking junk-theory or emotions—my friends include many realized souls of many faiths and I can substantiate this with facts not emotions. But facts are not always considered valuable in this field and motions are. And that is why humanity remains divided, each with a particular type of emotion and particular hero.
This person differs from multitudes of devotees of all faiths in that he has read the sacred books of all faiths. He has read every Buddhist scripture available in English. And he accepts, but not dogmatically (devotee idealists have to be dogmatic), what is in Holy Qur’an: “He begetteth not, neither is He begotten.” But I also know Rassoul-Mohammed said: “Holy Qur’an was given in seven different dialects and each dialect has an inner and outer meaning.” This one accepts and thus is outside the pale of the Orthodox who hold that the passages of Holy Qur’an have one meaning and they must ignore great Sufis like Saint Junaid and Ghaus-i-Azam, Abdul Kadiri-Jilani.
Having had the real Sufi-Sufi training and disciplines, one sees the outlines of Tarikat, Marifat, and Hakikat but practicing Akhlak Allah one does not impose them and holds very strongly both to, “There is no compulsion in Islam” and “There is no compulsion in tasawwuf.“ Nor does one care for dogmatic devotees, each insisting and insisting, never assenting to the prowess of those on “other” paths.
I realize there are two outlooks, the self-awakening and the apparent dependence on others for awakening and I differ in that I hold both absolutely correct but not the only correct way to attainment and illumination.
In Sufism we have the inner sciences of Kalamat, nimaz, Zikr, Fikr, Shagal, Kasab, Amal, Murakkabah, Mushahida, Mujahida, and perhaps others in which I have not had instruction. I do not hold these are the only ways, nothing of the sort. But now by Grace and Help of Allah I have become a leader of the young toward and in spiritual awakening and realization in what true Sufis call hal and makam and no nonsense either.
We certainly practice meditation and thus rise above name and form by which I mean we rise above name-and-form and do not talk about any names and forms in this state. But this does bring expanding conscious recognition of life, love and light—not the words, but the essences, the realities and this is demonstrated in the everyday life with a constantly growing number of very loving disciples.
I accept your terms “Esoteric Philosophy” and “Super-consciousness.” I believe along with Jesus Christ, Walt Whitman, and Gautama Buddha that all mankind is essentially perfect but unaware of this perfection. “In all man I see myself” and “Whatsoever ye do to the least of these, my creatures, ye do it unto me.”
I cannot impose this upon the editors and contributors of either “Values” or “Divya Vani.” I believe of Allah: “Thy Light is in all forms,” “Allah is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth.” I do not impose this on others, and realize that others may not accept this either, but according to Rassoul Mohammed (on whom be peace): “Allah loves His creation more than a mother loves her offspring.”
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
November 12, 1969
The Temple of Understanding
Washington, D. C.
Dear Peter and friends:
I am so optimistic and cheerful this morning that a report is being made here. The last incident was the going to the meeting of Rabbi Schlomo from Jerusalem, the well known Chassid teacher. The “Philistine” without investigation of course, would assume that a Sufi and a Hebrew would be at odd points but the meeting was one of love and tenderness and Brotherhood on both sides. Not only that, when I came into that place, there were a number of my disciples there, both Jewish and none-Jewish.
I suppose someday the world will accept that Love is that greatest of forces, not necessarily in the paper formula, “love” not war” but in the highest senses of the term. And when I was asked to speak I told about The Temple of Understanding.
This took place right after a meeting of a poetry writing group which seems more concerned with spiritual and world problems and the difficulties of man than with the superficial or deep joyful outlooks. One has already placed in the hands of the teacher some of the poems dealing with world problems and this spiritual solution thereof from several points of view and one is working very slowly so as not to overwhelm the group and never does one push in the weight of age.
There is a growing optimism because of the events of the preceding days. A few years back when my affairs were very had, I become friends with a local clergyman who was in exactly the same situation. There are occasionally people who seem more anxious to tear down others than to build anything and he had been victimized or antagonized by none. I told him there would be prayers and we both must keep faith in God. Since that time he has come up stage by stage, step by step and has a large following of young people. The development is marked by records of stages and states in actual spiritual development and he is now expanding at a very tolerable rate. I conduct a class on esoteric interpretation of scriptures at his seminary. The whole outlook is today marvelous.
Copies of pamphlets of The Temple of Understanding are slowly being distributed at the colleges and elsewhere without being forward, and sooner or later one will be permitted to set forth the outlook in full.
But there was a surprise from the followers of Meher Baba, the recent claimant to being Avatar. I had once been among his followers and had what would be considered divine visitations with special directives in the direction in which you are working. Rightly or wrong I thought this was a divine and world mission.
Instead of reports and accomplishments being taken seriously, I was personally denounced publicly and privately and in such a way as to impede almost every goal in life. But God, in Whom I fervently believe, has said one should take every advantage of personal attacks to help overcome one’s own weaknesses. It is certain that there have been internal and external changes and today one has a large and growing following of young people.
Imagine one’s surprise and amazement to find that Meher Baba’s official publication came out for The Temple of Understanding and that he himself has denounced in no uncertain terms the very behaviorisms of those who have been publicly regarded as his chief representatives. It is so amazing and perhaps so marvelous I cannot help being overjoyed. What a spiritual leader gains by the denouncement of other persons is something I do not know. Certainly there are enough powerful “wicked” persons in the world.
I find that Meher Baba also seems to be accepting Jesus Christ “love ye one another.” This message did not become effective. The efforts of religions to bolster the ego-personality of their ideal and to neglect the actual teachings have lead, in this day finally, to a complete revolution against traditions. But these traditions have become encumbrances on the teachings. We can remove the encumbrances without in any way destroying long-ranged institution.
The class on Esoteric Christianity has been most successful and effective. The classes on “Dances of Universal Peace” have grown, and at this writing are growing so rapidly I may have to institutionalize them but should prefer until after the next conference is over. There are now three of us preparing to go to Istanbul, inshallah. And with a growing following and both public and private response, there is not now, praise to God, any financial burden.
The meeting with Schlomo was nothing but a repetition of the meetings with Asoke Fakir and Swami Maharaj Chitanada; and a parallel to the meetings with Her Serene Highness, Princess Poon Diskul and Swami Maharaj Ranganathananda. These are my best friends in the whole world outside of my Sufi teachers and colleagues (whose very existence has been unfortunately challenged).
Just before this writing also received copy of the Annals of the Royal Asiatic society with a splendid review on the work of our mutual colleague, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
Love and blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis
Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
S. A. M.
November 19, 1969
My dear Shamcher:
Actually this is my diary entry, because a record is supposed to be kept, but when one is under constant time restraint it becomes most difficult. But now we seem to have passed a certain climactic (but not critical point), and may have to expand into new dimensions.
It has always been a mystery to you, and also to me personally more than would appear, why I had to serve under women who do not seem to have had the qualifications of spiritual leaders. I was warned intuitively and visually but still adhered to the very end to the instructions of Pir-o-Murshid and did not break my vow though time and again I was forced to the point of death, literally and not merely figuratively.
The three women involved had been called “The Three Witches” in Hierarchy circles. They undoubtedly served the Hierarchy negatively while each presumed she was the favorite of the gods, so to speak, and actually acted that way, laying side all moral dicta, in the pursuit of power, fame, and authority, and two have left this world with their names practically effaced from historical records. The third is still with us in San Francisco.
The receipt from Sufis of another land of the writings of Meher Baba show that whatever he was, his immediacy have followed the paths of Orthodoxy: if you swear allegiance to a Teacher, that thereby absolves you from the practice of his moral instructions. This has been so in the past and is still true today and the trials of womanhood depend largely upon whether they can accept teachings impersonally and not personally. There is a lady Avatar (everybody is “Avatar”) in India called Anandamayee and many presume that because she is super-inflated that makes her a superwoman. Baba’s instructions and words are no doubt of a higher caliber but the Seventh Plane is Silence and any words or acts therefrom are automatically not Seventh Plane material.
Now we are planning to publish Meher Baba’s prayers and injunctions which are a condemnation of such followers by his own being. The acts—of his “leaders” show such blatant contradictions! But the Moral Teachings of Inayat Khan show how much we are indebted to our enemies for their criticisms compel us to improve ourselves, and dig deep down in our personality.
The present cycle began when my esoteric secretary, Mansur Johnson was suddenly subjected to a great trial and I knew at once it was his initiation. As Murshid and mureed are one, I had to go through the fires of purgatory with him. But in the Egyptian initiation of the fires, while real, do not touch or harm the person and I saw how Love, Wisdom, Majesty and Benevolence of Allah work.
It was during the War that when it was said that Hitler was going to call in psychic powers, I asked God what to do and He said: “Go upstairs !” I went upstairs and became an Abdul, which means changeling (compare stone-bdellium, root bed). Superficially abdal and abdallah look alike but have completely different connotations.
I am not going into that history which was rejected by the people of the West and accepted almost unanimously by Asian and Arab Sufis. But when Mansur came to his trial I was given the same instructions, to enter into a higher dimension. This instruction was, unlike the above, to do something on this plane we are planning to go to Istanbul in Turkey to the next conference of the great religions of the world under the auspices of The Temple of Understanding.
Vilayat is working closely with this group and in New York had the cooperation of at least two men whom I have considered my close colleagues—a Universalist and a Buddhist (of Jewish ancestry).
We have been getting out my materials which began in visions of 1928, enforced later by “visions” derived from the great Zen teacher, Sokei-an Sasaki, of New York. The records preserved, however, are only the poetic forms, all the diaries having been destroyed in the fire of 1949.
Nevertheless I am ready and the wonderful meetings in quick succession in San Francisco with the Jewish Rabbi Schlomo Jerusalem and the wonderful “Zen” teacher, Dr. An of Vietnam, were followed by a surprise visit from Srimati Ishwani, a teacher of Indian spiritual dances. She was not only enthralled but offered to teach what is the next step, the use of Mudras.
The Dances of Universal Peace are running a race between their rejections by “important” people and their expansions in quality, quantity and form. They have been accepted, however, by The Temple of Understanding and Vilayat. The rejection of the “world” organizations and the “integrative” (?) movements of the existence and work of the great Sufi Moghul, Emperor Akbar, has thrown into my hands the complete inheritance of the Moghuls. Accepted at Nizam-ud-din Auliya in New Delhi, it is next being accepted at Ajmir and at sundry points in Pakistan.
The next step is funny. Hazrat Inayat Khan spent some time with me in both 1923 and 1926 on the subject of the building of the Temple. The reports were rejected by all and sundry. They remain in the sphere. They have been picked up by disciples; it is really getting funny. There they are in the sphere and devotees, rejecting them, have failed.
A kiln for pottery, etc, is built here. There are no meetings. Each one looks into his own being and the pieces fit together—remarkably. I don’t know how many disciples are involved but always integration, harmony and beauty. The same principles but to a different end. And the outline has come for other projects—printing establishment, textile work, etc. But the advances in the printing work will be also to coordinate what Atiya is doing. We will not get ahead of her—we have to complete the kiln first anyhow. And we shall cooperate because that is in the sphere.
The next phase is very old. It was Luther Whiteman who put to me years ago the integration of occultists, religion and social problems using basic mathematical logic. It was done and forgotten. Years, later I wrote several papers, such as “The Garden of Inayat” etc, either fallen into the hands of Mrs. Duce or destroyed in the fire of 1949 with a single exception. This, the paper on “Introduction to Spiritual Brotherhood” was given as esoteric instruction to disciple Phillip Davenport.
He became editor of The Oracle and without consultation began publishing it. I took it as the sign that God wished it so. Now a surprise letter came from Boston asking to put on radio and even TV programs there. I shall be writing trying to coordinate our timing with the work of The Temple of Understanding and Lama Foundation in New Mexico, but I feel now the time has come.
The classes are expanding. It is fortunate I have been offered larger rooms or halls for meeting. The two dancing classes each have a larger enrollment than the single one before. And the meeting for the public on Sufism had the largest attendance since the fragmentation into centers—San Francisco, Corte Madera, and Novato. The total attendance at my meetings now definitely runs over a hundred a week.
The same is happening at the colleges. Last night Mansur and I at the same time in the same place individually had “break-throughs” indicating that many of these people may be coming to our meetings, beginning tonight. The individual involved include many who have been on the fringes of what they called “Zen Buddhism” but they did not make it. Anyhow there is now a new Buddhist teacher in San Francisco who is a friend of my friends and I hope to look into that soon.
You may remember when you asked me about “Khalif” and I indicated the prowess of Carl Moineddin Jablonski. This has been entirely successful because it came from the Sphere. Vilayat has approved of Mansur and Daniel here and I have seen also this corroborated so to speak, by God Himself, or at least by and through the sphere.
It is remarkable that Mansur, and by himself, has picked up exactly where Luther Whiteman left off and already Vocha know this. We can learn that God Alone exists, that the Sphere is—or the Alaya Vijnana to use the Buddhist term.
All classes, both those I teach and attend are making great progress. After Thanksgiving my class will join with students of the University of Calif. and San Francisco State College in a joint session concerning Mecca and we shall give some of our dances and chants. Also some of our costumes which are derived from the pictures shown in class. There is much more, but everything seems encouraging.
We are also campaigning: “Jesus Christ yes! Santa Claus, no!” The overtones of this strike at some pretended world movements (meaning they collect funds from everybody). But we wish to demonstrate it. Last night we had a family dinner. The Family has expanded to 16 and editor Phil Davenport and his assistant also came—three birthdays, including Secretary Mansur, Shirin, kiln director and Martha who now assists in house work. She is a university graduate of high honors, who has had nothing but sorrow and misfortune and has the most remarkable horoscope. I stop here simply because there are other duties. Nothing private.
Love and blessings,
S. A. M.
November 23, 1969
My dear Shamcher:
This is really a diary entry. In the class at San Francisco State College the other day, the professor called on Sam Lewis to explain the Alaya Vijnana doctrine. This is the first time, I believe, this has ever been done and one takes it as a sign of the end of obscurantism and “an-atta-ism” which have passed for “Oriental Philosophy.” At least the students are discussing doctrines and personalities openly and objectively. And all signs today point to the ending of the pretensions of personalities and cults to represent spiritual deliverance and world outlooks.
The immediate subject is Tibetan Buddhism. The class has studied a form of Zen Buddhism (represented by a single ego-personality), and Subud and Krishnamurti and Meher Baba. Next session, delayed a week, will be more on Tibetan Buddhism. I have mentioned the Seattle Center and Ekbal, but it takes a good deal of doing to upset the predominant psychosis of identifying universality and spirituality with a single individual, or with a small group with grandiose ideas—and of course, appeals for money and power.
I have not met the Tibetans here but casually. It is rather interesting that the Rimpoche has established himself in the East Bay where there have been perennial flares in the direction of Vajrayana, popularity but never a successful working organization—all ego-bound. But I have a feeling that today there are much sounder devotees. Anyhow I did defend the doctrines as against those presented previously and the time has come to put Universal Consciousness down before the sincere and discuss it—so to speak, etc. At least this person has done the Mahamudra Meditation, and can do it.
The school of Buddhism presented is that of Padma Sambhava and, of course, the shortcomings were not included. The greatest short-coming is the down-grading of other schools of Dharma. This is nothing but egotism and if it continues, it will fail because this is a new age, with less ego attachment and emotional fol-de-rol presented as universal.
The meetings in rapid succession of a Jewish Mystic, Vietnam “Zen” Master, and a teacher of Hindu spiritual dancing, point out that when one has a universal mission he can be turned down again and again and again by the “self-less,” self-appointed, “leaders,” who will surely fail though they make much noise. We shall have no more Roerich Museums.
One result of this session was that now I shall introduce the prostrations as part of our work. They can be very valuable, and indeed they did much to straighten out the body early in life. Recently I have shown calcium deposits and also this has resulted in the shrinking of the frame, so although a short man I have become shorter. There are no doubt both cures and preventions for everything but if we are concerned only with health other matters will be missed.
Yesterday one had in rapid succession a meeting with two Christian mystics and a visit to the new Zendo recently established here. There is a lady Roshi here, and on that also a story. The Tibetan class ended with a question of women in spiritual movements. In Zen one has seen in succession L. Adams Beck, Gertrude (?) Pratt Suzuki, and Ruth Fuller Sasaki, to say the least.
In the presentation of what is called “Buddhism” in this land “everything” seems to be important excepting cosmic experience. The dominant school of Soto teaches that mere sitting is enlightenment itself and the disciples, intrigued, believe that. But I have yet to receive any report locally of either “satori” or recognition of “others” as themselves. This stands in such contrast with the meeting with Roshi Yasutani. And yesterday I was able to report the second Sojiji visit at Tsurumi, between Yokohama and Tokyo. These two visits stand at the very acme of a long string of meetings with advanced personalities (or Bodhisattvas).
Kennett Roshi was, I understand, a disciple and friend of my life-long friend, Robert Clifton (Phra Sumangalo). The sad story of Vietnam (and its neighbors) told to me over a period of years shows the tragedy of our dualistic, dialectic, quasi-Aryan outlook which leaves no room for other cultures and peoples. The basic pains within the psyche envisioned an inner tragedy which can hardly be expressed in our dualistic terms. One had to watch and see the external tragedy and the gradual demise of Robert, heightened because I am considerably older than he. But because there is a Mahamudra meditation (which the Sufis call Mushahida) and: the Alaya Vijnana (opened, so to speak, for Sokei-an Sasaki) the worlds within and without go along together.
The atmosphere at the new Zendo—which is the only thing that really counts—is a manifestation, so to speak, of the Prajna Paramita Sutra. This is studied so individualistically and analytically that it has added to the veils over our culture. But the Ekayana, so to speak, is the Clear, Bright, Shining Light from which all manifestation comes, and to “see” and “feel” that with immediate impression really makes both words and silence comparatively useless. I more than welcome a non-ego Zendo here and only the complete absence of time prevents one from joining others more fully.
As soon as we returned there were materials from Vietnam and as we have already planned an open program we may plan a more official program to raise funds for the unfortunate Buddhists who are massacred by both sides. With colleague’s consent I may even have a large meeting on this point next month. It will be both climactic and dramatic. For with the calls to Istanbul and New England, I am filled up and the secretarial help is low—largely due to the acceptance of outside jobs, perfectly proper. But a new volunteer secretary will take over first the typing of Korean Zen and then one presumed Vietnamese Zen which will be shared, although intellectual and literary material is not absolutely needed.
The lesson on Vajrayana brought out the subject of the Bhumis. The Bhumis and Paramus (or Paramitas) of essential Buddhism are the same as the Urim and Thummim of the Bible and no doubt of the Hal and Makam of Sufism. For years one has been arguing there is a single Dharma which is not only reflected in the word “Ekayana” but which also appears in one of my epic poems based on the integrational and unifying outlooks.
Sooner or later these will come out. The same program has been made in the poetry class as in the philosophical class; first one is permitted to speak and to come out forthright, which is now official in scholastic circles because of Three Pillars of Zen but because also that is wanted.
While this has been going on, I think I told you we received some Meher Baba material. He has two universal prayers, and of course to his followers, these were the original and only universal prayers. This is funny because in the midst of one of my poems we found a copy of another universal prayer (by a Sufi, of course) of which my originals had been destroyed in 1949. This was sent immediately to The Temple of Understanding.
When we advised the Meher Baba people that we would print their prayer, the set up a howl saying a certain person in India had a copyright! If that is not self-defeating—you cannot repeat “God-words” without personal, private permission. Of course we shall. We have the copyright law on our side, and they do not do anything without exposing their whole movement! And, of course Meher Baba in his two prayers condemned every behavior pattern on the part of his disciples—not on the part of the world outside, but by his disciples!
The whole situation is very droll. I told you I have been invited to Boston. There they have also another Messiah and another “World Movement,” to say the least. And in class I was able to bring out the universal doctrine and the teacher said that this was exactly the Tibetan point of view in so far as he had learned it. “In all men I see myself” (W. Whitman).
This letter is written in the morning. If the Sunday and Monday meetings are anything like last week it will be necessary to face material problems seriously. The attendance has reached at least a plateau. It is necessary to train teachers in the dancing, and perhaps to open this house to more meetings. Disciples learn these dances quickly.
But the opening of the veils, so to speak, goes on and the constant meetings of others with “keen sight” shows we are going into a new age, and new dimension. The manifestation around this personality not only of love for the “guru” but of mutual love all around, inculcated in the dance, rituals and teachings is coming more and more to manifestation.
Of importance to Atiya and yourself. We have now a temporary structure for a print shop—all work done by the “family” and remarkable sudden assistance in the obtaining of materials. I do not know whether this will be available before the new year, but we may need some duplicators or copy machines also and our friend, Rev. Eugene Wagner, is in this business. My dream is to coordinate all this with The Oracle, about which more no doubt, at a later date.
Love and blessings,
S. A. M.
November 30, 1969
Mrs. Charlotte Brautlacht
P.O. Box 867
Bothwell, Wash. 98011
My dear Atiya:
This is really a diary entry. A copy is being sent to Bibijan in North Hollywood. She has been kind enough to send me copies of Pir Vilayat’s schedule. As matters stand we shall have to get a hall. We have not enough room in any of our ordinary meeting places. We may however be able to obtain room at the Seminary in San Anselmo where we meet every week; and unless there is a change in schedule there will be an ersatz audience at San Francisco State College, without doing anything at all. However, it will be a very very easy matter to do something, inshallah.
I do not have any days off any more and seldom even an hour, but this is a comedy rather than a tragedy, so do not weep.
We are rapidly completing our kiln at the Khankah. The cost of the electric and gas lines to the kiln will also be shared by Hassan Herz, a professional printer who has his equipment there. But Hassan is now working at the New Age Food Company, sellers of organics, etc., which is prospering so rapidly the owner is hardly able to control his own schedules. Incidentally, they are now selling Dolphin’s Eye Drops.
I have talked to Hassan about the proper co-ordination of our mutual efforts, especially as he is also interested in getting modern machine duplicating devices. He has agreed to coordinate with any program you institute.
On account of the Thanksgiving Holiday I had one day’s respite this week, but on this Sunday expect a very full dancing class. The latest inspiration has been to institute Dervish square dancing based on a combination of the elements of American squares while reciting suitable sacred phrases. It was started on Thursday with 8 people from the Khankah, and our treasurer Daniel Lomax who is a musician. It has already engendered much enthusiasm but this letter will be mailed before I can make out another report. However, I shall keep you informed so that Vilayat will know what we are doing.
I have also received a long paper from Ajmir in India on Dervish dancing which went from Turkey to Duban, South Africa, to Ajmir, to this place! It is possible that this may be published in The Oracle. I am also very busy getting out articles for The Oracle. And a lot more which will be reported later.
Love and Blessings,
Samuel L. Lewis (S.A.M.)
December 13, 1969
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Calif.
My dearest Vocha:
This may be a long letter. Some things you have written about have already been anticipated. Mansur and I have been to our travel agents in regard to the differentials between car travel and getting air tickets and a Hertz rent-a-car. Some of the rent-a-car deals are quite reasonable, and I guess I can afford a more luxurious trip now. Daniel may become my household manager as well as treasurer. The change from “leaning-in-lefty” to admirable position (helped by other matters as below).
No doubt it would be much easier to go through Books-in-Review in the off season. I have lots of things in mind which would require time. The poetry class ended on a high note and here again the calumnious attitude today to those who have been champions in a-priori-rejecting is evident. They are loathed and forgotten and what they did may not in the end be important. The same thing is generally true of other classes both at U. C. and “Hayakawa” State.
Carroll Parish is in the Administration Buildings UCLA on the second floor. I may have to write him some long letters later. We cross trails without meeting in Southeast Asia. This matter will not be settled until I go to Washington and meet retired General Edward Lansdale who is writing his autobiography. It will help mine because what I have been saying, Zola was an amateur in his “J’ accuse.” Have been writing Art Hoppe for years, “Kill them all! The Lord will know his own!” It is so easy and so provoking to really see into the future and it has nothing to do with any form of psychism, at least any I know. It requires an absolute honesty which few people have and even I do not particularly like or admire. It is the honesty of a football Referee or Umpire to being with—cold, stern, and exceedingly balanced and straightforward.
In the philosophy class I battled for H. G. Wells. At least I won the teacher. I think he was pretty good at predictability, his weakness—which he readily admitted—being his nationalism. While the class and the cults discuss Edgar Cayce, Sri Aurobindo, Meher Baba, Krishnamurti, etc., this person who has read Bulwer Lytton, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and the various Huxleys, preserves his Western culture while looking at the East.
At the same time I so easily won the discussion over Logic and Logistics, it was a huge joke. I was permitted to present the alternatives to Aristotle, permitted and supported by the instructor (Dr. Needleman). This was “impossible” because, because, because, because. But knocking the props from under does not present anything constructive and I am glad to have a brochure from Oliver Reiser.
Super-Aristotelianism. A mere glance at the art forms told me all. It stood out by itself. It stood in tremendous contrast with the sub-Euclidian art put out by the Aurobindo people and unfortunately supported by Julie Medlock. I have been as much inspired by this art, even at a glance, as I have been appalled by the sub-juvenile pop-art of Auroville.
In fact this material from Oliver has been a stimulating I must put it aside for other matters, some mentioned here.
One “reason” for my present balance of income is very awkward. I have simply stopped supporting causes. The groups wanting “Peace in Vietnam” have refused to accept either reports or documents and now with the entente with General Lansdale this is OK with me.
As to the Pakistan-India complex I think I can make the local contacts. The shameful necessity of India and Pakistan meeting with Russia at Tashkent may be repeated in the Near East. We simply will not and do not give accord to Asians as we do to the “Atlantic Pact” (super) powers, who are not “allied” in Vietnam.”
As to Palestine, this is another and tremendous matter. We may have in our midst soon a Sufi from Palestine but as Sufis do not exist according to our “culture” and as Muslims must be at war with Hindus and “Jews” (according to our “culture”), what has been going on in my private and public life did not happen because it could not have happened, and therefore….
One thing is sure. We are ordering several copies of the work on Ruth St. Denis. Not only that my work in the dance field (a priori rejected), of course, is not only drawing good groups here but has been spreading out in several directions. The idea of the world dancing or singing together may be atrocious to Vice-Presidents and commentator alike, and the way the “anti communists” stick to dialectics is one of the most atrocious and confusing elements in our culture. But then respectable are “les respectable” and especially in “democracies.” So the young are taking to music and dancing and only can expect more and more and more and more.
Getting a day off has become impossible so I have just stated that there will be no telephonic communications on Saturdays prior 5pm. Of course now that “school is out” there is some relief. Besides I have not only gotten help in the garden but also from fertilizer people, etc. And in general from the outside world.
We are having a plethora of birthdays from this day on till the end of the year. Our choral work is marvelous. I never give instructions but the instructor, unlike our friends who are friends of “science” has made a grand study of Helmholtz and is applying the teachings of Helmholtz and Dane Rudhyar and the effects are electrifying (except, of course to the older people who cannot see what is going on).
I am not doing any analyzing excepting in the astrological fields, with Gavin and his disciples. We just went over the Pike family charts. When man becomes impersonal Astrology will become a “science.” It is certainly more exact than Metrology and most of the study and stuff called “Psychology.” I am glad to see that G.S. can be presented without “generals. It is so badly needed and I am going to use it in my next venture this morning. It is really an application of General Semantics and Peace, but of course. “ETC” could never stand for that! Or could it?
410 Precita Ave.
San Francisco, Ca.
December 15, 1969
Peace on Earth; Universal Will.
Toward real cultural integration of real people and real real cultures in the objective world.
I am purposely omitting your name as several carbons are being made of this. You can get some idea of my diurnal life from the piling up of events and news that goes on in an individual’s career. Part of this is subtly concealed in the poem “The Rejected Avatar” which is based in part on my own rejections and in part on the actual historical records concerning the Negro, Sri Krishna, although he may not have been a Negro so much as one of the dark skinned peasants of India. And it was for centuries that he was not on the list of Avatars, but too many people having had spiritual realizations found out what is true in the inner world must have also a foundation in the outer world.
There are two entirely different kinds of international movements going on today, one being based on operations similar to, exactly corresponding to, or operationally parallel to the “integration” of Newton and Leibniz; the other being even more carefully selected than ordinary analysis. The vocabularies may be similar, but there the parallel ends. And the fact that this subject was not even brought up in my class is significant.
My last call was to H.G. Wells who in some ways was an integrationalist in the Western tradition. He certainly imbibed a good deal of Mathematical Philosophy, much more in practice then has that grand old man, Lord Russell who is a sort of scriptural character, announcing one set of values and living another. But Russell was not only a master of mathematical integration, he also applied it in Logic and Philosophy until his dialectical tendencies drowned this aspect of his life out.
Early in life I became a pupil, then a disciple of the late Prof. Cassius Keyser of Columbia who propagated “Integrational Philosophy” based on theorems drawn first from mathematics and then applied in Physics, but not in his day, in Psychology. He was a grand old man whom I last visited just before his death. I had noticed the parallels between him and Lord Russell, and my quondam collaborator, the late Luther Whiteman, asked if the same principles would be applied elsewhere. But Luther and I, though collaborators and partners (and I guess “brothers”) quite independently were struck by the wisdom of the Upanishads and became radical upholders of Schopenhauer and just as radical enemies of our private devil, Hegel, and all his works.
The General Semanticists have never forgiven me for this. Keyser was also the teacher and friend of the late Count Korzybski whose The Manhood of Humanity I had read and studied long, long before—and for this, no forgiveness.
But the real study of the real Upanishads and real sacred literature of real India brought one to realize that there were deep parallels between certain intellectual and psychological processes in man, whether of the East or West, and this landed me in the camp of the Sufis without retreating one inch from anything from real and historical India—without the careful anthological selections of the just passing generation.
On my sixtieth birthday I was given a special tea by Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj who was then stationed in New Delhi and also present were the then Vedantist Leaders of Bengal and with him Prof. S.C. Chatterji, then head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calcutta. Without waiting for an introduction Prof. Chatterji broke into a hostile diatribe against this land and its selection of Germans as the spokesman for their philosophy, Germans of high social and institutional repute and very, very high up in “Cultural Integration.” Swamiji said, “Why don’t you listen to him before you attacked him?” (Chatterji had attacked the long list of what I have called Epoops—there used to be a lot of then, a few still around; i.e. European Professors of Oriental Philosophy).
I turned to Chatterji and asked: “Which would you rather—hear the Flute-of-Krishna or have me discourse on the Chandogya Upanishad, right off, no preparation.” Swami said, “He means exactly what he says.” Professor Chatterji apologized before noted witnesses. But you could never have me present the Flute-of-Krishna nor discourse on the Chandogya or any other Upanishad before his pupil who “heads” “Cultural Integration” in these parts—not on your life, nor his! “Cultural Integration” has to be very selective indeed, and the more PhD degrees the better!!!!
In the course of my life I cross trailed one Julie Medlock, a remarkable Californian newspaper woman who had the gross audacity to be where historical events happened and although she has given more eye-witness reports than anybody I know her facts were not challenged; what was challenged was “What were you doing there.” Anyhow (a very long story) she has returned to Pondicherry and is one of the leaders in the Auroville movement.
Like most Americans Julie eschews anything that savors of Spengler, who applied mathematical philosophy to art and culture generally. And she has as colleagues those who put out very infantile one-dimensional or flat-land art as representing the new culture. And as we simply will not accept Spengler (while we absorb Marx and Hegel and even their vocabularies) she cannot and her colleagues cannot understand what Havelock Ellis gave us elsewhere in his now forgotten “The Dance of Life.”
This school for “Integrationalists” is more selective and censorious than almost any school I know of. They simply will not accept history. I am preparing to present material on great Sufi rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent and Moghul Akbar on a world scale—the “cultural integrationalists” will have nothing of that,—only they attack the personality. But we have already sent you some material from Dabistan, the first book on comparative religion written by Sufis at the Moghul Court and we can give you more. Indeed Dabistan is full of practices which the hush-hush “esotericists” of the day try to hide! The above is in contrast with the just received materials from Dr. Oliver Reiser of Pittsburgh University, professor emeritus of Philosophy, who independently came to the same or similar conclusions—mathematics and philosophy on the one hand; Vedanta, etc., on the other hand. And his projects show art based on the principles of Integration as used in Mathematics, very parallel and similar, showing an inclusiveness not found in the Auroville projects.
In the same mail as the material from Reiser, a manuscript was received from my colleague on a million fronts, Shamcher Bryn Beorse. Biographically Bryn is sui generis Julie Medlock but was less than a year apart in age. I consider those two persons the greatest “adventurers” of the day. I was surprised to have a good portion of a whole chapter dedicated to this ego with comparisons to the late Dag Hammarskjöld, quondam secretary of the U.N.! Well, I am not going to argue.
I have mentioned previously meeting Rahal who gave me almost verbatim the same criticisms as D. Chatterji concerning “Epoops.” But When I was in Kamakura, the interpreter-guide utterly floored me by sayings “you are already two grades in Zen above Daisetz Suzuki.” (I won’t write but can point out collaborating details in the late Adams Beck and in the Sokei-an writings of the “First Zen Institute of America”).
My position has been singly—and impossible (French pronunciation and interpretation). I have believed that to be a scientist you have to have some laboratory training and experience. And the same has held, so far as this ego is concerned for adventurers into the other worlds which all scriptures uphold and most religions ignore, not to say deny. I was trained from the beginning in Sufism to never discuss what you have not experienced, and the same standard and integrity used in discourse on the science is applied by me equally in the historical and mystical fields.
This last excludes me from many of the “integrational” moments who by-pass both history and mysticism whenever it serves their purpose. And I see them all going the way of the Roerich Museum in New York, the same strong organizations, collections of funds and fame and collapse, because for them it is not true, “The churches firm foundation is Jesus Christ, our Lord.” Sri Aurobindo claimed—and I accept—to be under the tutelage of Sri Krishna. But I do not see this in his disciples excepting, no doubt, Sri Dilip Kumar Roy who has his own quite successful land wonderful but unadvertised movement.
Knowing from experience the decent of Baraka in Sufism, and the Dharma-transmission in both Hinduism and Buddhism—based by documents on my walks, too—I no longer deplore exclusive, selective “integrational” movements but am glad they were not even programmed. They are not programmed at Berkeley either, excepting in an off-hand way. And the sound contributions which we have given and will continue to give from Dabistan and elsewhere will support our contention.
Almost all other Indian groups other than “Cultural Integration” accept the historicity and wonderful efforts of Emperor Akbar and also the existence (if nothing more) of his descendent Prince Dara Shikoh in whose footsteps I have been walking all my life.
The totality of all this comes in The Temple of Understanding: the inspiration not of a European PhD, but of a “common” American housewife! I notice that the late Meher Baba (but not his “good” followers) have accepted The Temple of Understanding and so does my friend-colleague, Bryn Beorse as above. This did not come out of India but of “Bethlehem-Ephrata-Greenwich, Connecticut. But having gone on their merry way of rejecting their own history the “cultural integrationists” cannot fully come clear here.
My “Dance of Universal Peace,” heritage from the late Ruth St. Denis, were first offered to the Sri Aurobindo movement but declined just as they declined my cosmic poetry, and for that matter any suggestion even of the historicity of Akbar. You need not be surprised that the majority of the Indian movements themselves are not so selective and analytical as the “cultural integrationalists.”
These dances, also “plagiarized” from the Israeli Rabbi Schlomo, have gotten out of hand—which is just what I want and feel the world needs. They are increasing in numbers and outlooks and have won the good-will of at least one Indian dancing teacher here who is not limited by “cultural integration.”
But the same source that has brought Sufi-Sam with Rev. Schlomo is promising the arrival here of a Sufi teacher who remained where he was in Palestine and so became a legal citizen of Israel. I understand he may be on his way here and if there is any sign of his coming we shall notify you immediately.
I shall keep on repeating the America Edna St. Vincent Millay’s:
“The world stands out on every side
Wider than the heart is wide.”
Not being “integrationalists” we have celebrated Chanukah with Jews, Ramadan with Muslims and soon Christmas Eve with Christians, with Indian mantrams thrown in.
My studies in Integration in Mathematics were followed by some in Biology and in several of the biological sciences, etc. And by deep practices alluded to in the Upanishads. But then this was also true of my “predecessor” the Moghul Prince Dara Shikoh so shunted by “cultural integrationalists.” Sri Aurobindo began with God, continued with Krishna and his legal but not spiritual ancestors end with the UN and mad-made efforts.
But the operations of the deep spiritual teachings of India go on unabated, uncontrolled by any of us and the whole world is coming together in what I have proclaimed, Youth of the world unite, you have nothing to lose.
No apology for braggadocios. I have danced publicly on hearing the name of Phillip Kapleau. We are going to be as objective in considering the “other world” as in considering this.
Samuel L. Lewis
December 28, 1969
My dear Shamcher:
While this is a diary notation, it is in a sense a continuation of the commentary on your manuscript.
You will find enclosed a copy of a letter written to a noted commentator who has been writing me beautiful letters. I feel very much that 1970 will be a real new year—too many signs of it. Anyhow, I shall enclose herein, or under separate cover, a copy of correspondence with a Sufi group in Ceylon—I shall have enclosed herein a copy of the material from them. I think this is important.
Vision and foresight predominate over ego considerations and samskaras. The innuendo in the letter to Art is that Pir Vilayat Khan by his own self, of his own self, without depending on any heritage or organization is making every effort toward making his mark in the objective world, and inshallah, he shall succeed. I do not know whether he wishes his plans public or not. That is his affair. But it is all part of the stream of life which Hazrat Inayat Khan called The Sphere.
In one sense I am making no plans for his coming as he has not signified whether he wishes public meetings, restricted meetings, or interviews, and I am planning therefore, for each of them. As I told you, he has opened his heart to me, and this is one of the greatest signs of greatness.
Each item in the letter to Art Hoppe no doubt needs comment, but with work to be done here and even the possibility of having to make secretarial changes, we have to by-pass that here. These changes are based on growth, development, opportunity, and outlooks of leading disciple. “Our immediate crisis will be on New Year’s Eve. The whole season has been based outwardly on parties and festivities; inwardly it is nothing but a break-through of divine light and love manifesting in and through humanity.
On Christmas Day my god-daughter Nancy gave a party and a stranger said, concerning my person, “Any man who can draw and be surrounded by such a bevy of beautiful young women, must surely be a real spiritual teacher.” Actually my young men far outnumber my young women, and I shall be giving Bayats between now and Vilayat’s coming.
There are too many items like seeds becoming growing plants to be discussed further.
Will all love and blessings to your family and to the disciples around Seattle.
I have been reading the papers and magazines and it is time that you and I ought to have a fight, contemporary style. Instead of training I must hire one doctor, one rub-down man, two stretcher-bearers and stretcher. This saves expenses, You don’t do anything at all but order a steak-dinner.
We go to the arena and spar. Then the caterer comes in and advises the steak is ready and you finish me, I go off on the stretcher and you go out and eat.
This seems the compendium of all the latest so-called fights even at the champion level. I think it is a good idea. “Nobody gets hurt much and financial arrangements are all concluded beforehand. The champion is still the champion and the doctor, rub-down men and stretcher-bearers are able to pay off their debts. The loser? What does it matter” He gets enough to make it worthwhile. Then he returns to his real profession: writer, disk-jockey, circus-barker, anything.
I have been going to Galaxy, a new restaurant, where I get all the shrimp and prawn dishes I want. This is very unkind, giving up curry and curry without taking steak or hamburger. During the week I shall prospect concerning Christmas, otherwise go there. Julie does not know whether she will remain at Lahore—she has two jobs coming up but we don’t know when, and the Pakistani boys, with one exception, don’t like Western food. The exception is a sure case of reincarnation. He looks like a South American, acts like a South American, eats like a South American and is very unhappy here. He has a thoroughly American and not Asian outlook on everything.
If all deals fall through I’ll probably take two architectural students out with me, or maybe even Patricia. I met her in Egypt at the Embassy and she followed me here. The Americans have put up a Christmas tree but I am inclined to believe fellow workers in diplomatic circles are not very close to each other.
I have to write to an old school-teacher, Edith Pence, because I find there was a big fight over Lowell High School and “we” won. After all “we” do have an Ambassador, Zellerbach. I should have sent in the life and career of Puck. I haven’t told you what Puck is up to next and I certainly would not tell my best friends—they might stop being my best friends. Anyhow I am still feeding the animals. I tried to befriend the crows and the dogs and chickens have chased me away, so I have something to be thankful for. There is some dispute as to who owns me, no cat being present. I met Julie’s cat a week before I met her. I was on the lawn at Faletti’s and the cat decided I belonged to him and you know protocol. Crows are not permitted on hotel premises.
Still no important mail from nobody nohow. So I don’t know what the world, or even my best friends think of me and my recent escapades. Have a good Christmas, pass the po’k chops, the turkey, the fillet mignon and the hash. I shall be receiving no mail between the 23rd and 26th, triple holiday here. After that I’ll let you know what happened if anything.
It’s cold in them thar hills,
[undated, first pages missing]
I am certainly not going to stick my neck out regarding Sister Mary. Like a lot other people of the day she has humility. That is absolutely paralysis of the ears and heart. You cannot reach such people by suggestions or warnings. God is in themselves, not in others!
The extreme difference between my position and that of most messiahs is that I am extremely concerned with the pains and sufferings of others. That is why I am in Novato now. I am not talking, I am doing.
The meeting of Vilayat at my house totally unannounced and unadvertised brought over 80 persons. Soon I may advertise and can easily now present Asian Asian philosophy. I haven’t the slightest idea whether I shall be called into the Ranch case either for the defense or as amicus-curiae. No damned expert on Oriental philosophy can prevent the latter. Divine wisdom involves love, compassion, insight, foresight, knowledge and experience—not panel authority by anti-popes. However, I shall listen, and despite the rigorous statements here I am quite willing to abide by the wished of those whom I love—that is those in whom I see God functioning.
Excitement is what Americans want; excitement is what they are getting. The result is confusion, ever-mounting confusion. No sir, not I sir.
I understand that Kimberly who now works for Ralph and Nancy may be moving to Mendocino soon. I’m asking her to look for you there. I shall continue to lead a double life, splitting the week, returning to San Francisco for the week-ends. Hoping you can move without any trouble and assuring you of our willingness to cooperate if necessary.
[undated, first pages missing]
I am sure Christianity will not rule the world became no self-respecting Christian is ever going to have. “The lion and the lamb shall lie down together and a little child shall lead then.” The little child is out, even in the Hollywood copy. Nobody is going to let the little child lead anything.
You should see me with the kids and when I want to do something with them, Mr. Self-respectable either comes and chases them away or breaks up the gathering in some other fashion. So no Muslim is going to let a little child lead either. Children should be seldom seen and never heard—that’s it, Christ or no Christ.
Julie questioned me and I told her I must have met at least eight masters, members of the Hierarchy in Pakistan. Even she saw a Sadhu at a saint tomb recently. What was he doing there? The result is that some of the most spiritual saints go around as mad. But are they mad? One came and tapped me for some money and when I pulled out 2 rupees, he saw a 10 rupees note and he wanted that; was he dumb? Unfortunately protocol forbade my giving it to him. I wrote that the State Department held that “There is no god but protocallah and protocalan is his prophet.” I don’t know if they have protocalan here but they certainly have protocallah.
I wanted the car this morning. I asked No. 2 man. This was a mistake. I should have asked No.1 man but he was not around. He came around and sent the chauffeur on an errand. There are four young men here and none of them does anything but as soon as I wanted the car he had to send the chauffeur. Then the young men decided suddenly that they wanted to ride with me and they argued and disputed. At the end of 45 minutes I got out of the car. Protocallah must go on. These follows never wanted the car until I needed it. So it took me 6 hours to go a 1 hour errand, connected with the main subject-matter of his letter. If I asked a servant to bring me something it takes 5 minutes. I hurt a lot of people’s feelings. But if I ask them, the same as with the car above. Not a cough in a carload, not a enough, not a carload either.
I wrote a subsidiary report to the Investment Commission’s findings and it was very wall admired and I am following it up. This is also against protocol, S.F. style. I am not supposed to know anything about such things. In 1932 I saw my father lose a fortune while I made predictions for my best friend, an investment broker and he cleaned up beautifully. He is still alive to testify to that.
I know I have gained a lot by coming here and the picture is not too clear yet. The predictions keep on getting better and better and better. I can hear my friends ask me to discount the futures at 10%. Those for Julie are jumping ahead at a vast rate. But when we read the horoscope of a close friend, it may be that some of these things are coming true.
So we shall see soon how far there is truth in the living occult, as against the speculative occult of “Celtic” and “Tibetan” transmissions which, to me are utterly devoid of humanity and warm love.
This is for Max and everybody.
Samuel L. Lewis
[undated, first pages missing]
Now Bryn is complaining to me—he has been-double-crossed. Of course he has. He studies Sufi philosophy and runs off to Yogis and gets no answer. He is given the chance to contact Asian nations or South American ones and goes to Europeans, and is left stranded. It is very sad—a great genius who does not know how to say “yes” to others. And I want you to have it on record.
The second reason is that I hope you will someday come to look into Oliver Reiser. At the present he is the epitome to some of us of American culture. I had a long session at the Philosophy Department, Columbia U. before leaving and we agreed that Reiser is in the forefront of the integration of Americana. The same is reflected at Harvard. The same can be seen in the very latest works on the history of American philosophy.
But Reiser does not stop here. He applies his philosophy to scientific research. At Lahore I met his biographer and I don’t think in my whole life I got along better with a woman, possible exception Vocha Fiske, and she has many of the same likes and dislikes as Vocha.
If Bryn comes this way or you can put a bug in his ear it would be to get him to visit Reiser. I am compelled to give up. I have spent dollars, time and effort to get him contacts and he runs away. This is hard because of our common Sufi heritage; it would not matter for others.
You will guess, by inference, I no longer care to waste time trying to get certain of my findings made known to the public. I have no time for rejections and rebuffs so am meeting as many scientific people as I can. I guess I have met about 50 since my return, and God knows how many abroad. I have not met a single one who asked me about my degrees. I can show you many PhDs abroad who know less of their specialties than I do, and are quite ineffective in applying findings to the benefit of humanity. the attention there is to knowledge and its applications.
With the three tremendous problems of food, water and population growth I cannot be drawn into small things. Bryn ought to be big, but he has to learn to say “yes.”