I am somewhat different in my approach: I do not initiate formally. If I should, you would be so high up the bishops in San Francisco would scream and holler. I did once initiate a girl into a certain grade because she asked for it. All kinds of havoc happened.
Formal initiations into fixed degrees are no more the thing. Do as I do, initiate silently in your heart, and find out if they understand. Then you never boast to any one you have a certain degree – nor do you grovel before one who says he has one.
When Inayat Khan left for India and his last year, he had reached the same concept that I now have. And one of his sons, Hidayat, a wonderful musician, agrees. Pir Vilayat feels as yet he has to be true to Inayat’s earlier methods with definite initiation stages. Nevertheless, in 1970 at a large meet in Los Angeles Pir Vilayat suddenly said, “We have with us here tonight the esoteric (inner) head of the Sufi Order, Shamcher, who now will address us.” I did address them though taken by surprize. Later I said, “That was nice of you to say, Pir Vilayat, but now please release me again from this strange and august position.” “I cannot, Shamcher, for it was not me who elevated you, it was my father.”
Who am I (or anyone) to “initiate” another person? Well, say the pious, it isn’t you but God who initiates him. Well, don’t you think God can do that without my help? I am sure he can. Personally I see no virtue or advantage in the ritual of initiation. But if you want it, take it.
Actually, whenever my glance strikes another human being, or a tree, a dog, it, she, he, is initiated by me and I by him, her, it, in a whole lot holier unity that any formal words or sign.
(from correspondence)


1 Comment

Filed under Shamcher, Sufi

One response to “Initiation

  1. Amidha

    When I read this, I at first wondered if I was the “girl” he initiated because she asked for it and all kinds of havoc resulted. I don’t think so, because I most definitely didn’t ask for it, unless he perceived something on the “inners” that I was unaware of! So that means Shamcher must have given at least two initiations!

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