12 October 1963
My dear Sam,
Your welcome letter came just as I was trying to find where Evelyn had hidden your former letter with your address. I was going to write you that your great success and following will be with other intellectuals than those with whom you now have battle, though the battle serves the purpose of attracting attention. I see from your letter that you received my message through the air as sufis should. Apart from that you have other messages for me which you have not written.
In some respects you are the greatest living sufi (and in other respects l am) but just for that reason it seems, as you say, unwise to adorn yourself with a title such as murshid, here in America, for it will repel more than it attracts. A few will see in you more than that and the more the less ostentatious you are — yet, in a society such as ours a certain ostentation is required to have working chance.
While I had lengthy correspondence with Indian government, now Portugal seems to become the first to try out Some of my special sea water conversion methods — and what irony! India will come to learn at the feet of Portuguese! Not directly and knowingly perhaps, but actually, technically. But is just a small part of my life as horticulture is with you.
Back to titles again: I agree with Vilayat when he does not call himself nor wishes any one else to call himself even Murshid, far less Pir-O-Murshid — in reverence to great Inayat Khan. When Ali Khan called himself Pir-O-Murshid that was between God and himself, and not my concern but I deeply prefer Vilayat’s words, although in some respects Vilayat is greater than his father or, should I say, more appropriate for delivering the message in the Western World — all of which was according to Inayat’s wishes.
Do not worry about how the established sufis will receive you or us. They have no duty to receive anybody nor do we have any duty or wish to be received. We live among us and act and take what reaction comes and often I have felt new and hitherto unheard of souls will carry the burden onwards. Even at an early stage many old sufis who had considered lnayat their personal pet, left in disgust when there was talk of a world message and a world teaching. Others left when Maheboob and Ali took over — for Vilayat (which was even better, the free and large side of the sufi movement) or for private practice as Van Tuyll, or for no more sufis at all.
I am going to Cleveland 25th, then on to New York. Tell me all about these centers. In New York I do not know a single remaining sufi any more. Are there any?
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