To SAM: Vilayat and Sufis

6 April 1963

My dear Sufi Ahmed Murat Sam,

So long have I waited writing to thank you for gorgeous dinner and inspiring session, in hopes that Vilayat would answer my letter about your plans for sufi center and to receive gathas (and not Githas). But we have an avowed agreement, Vilayat and I, that when he does not answer it is because he is in perfect agreement, and so he has really said that: Yes, by all means, and I am grateful that you, Sam, go ahead with a sufi group, under that name and I shall do my darndest to see you get the Gathas and Gathekas. And to be quite sure, I would also, in your case, write the Dutch center for distribution, Duchess Madame Audre de la Porte, 49 Hermelijn Laan, Hilversum, Holland. Tell her to send the bill (if any) to me.

Now let me moderate and speculate on Vilayat’s lack of answering letters. It isn’t total. Last fall he wrote me a long and hearty one. And I have no criticism whatever of his lack of writing, but try to explain it. 1) He is always busy with direct contact with mureeds and other people. 2) He often must go into retirement for reasons of health. 3) He is sole custodian, repairman etc. of his father’s house. 4) He is somewhat advanced in distant communication and can often, perhaps always, feel what his communicator is saying, feeling and so often tending to conclude that a letter is either not required, or, in any case, would be insufficient, or he waits until a solution has developed.

Vilayat, like yourself, is very well versed in historic as well as presently existing sufi activities, personalities and processes. No doubt you two are the best informed on this in the West, perhaps in the world. I trace in your exuberance over your spiritual and intellectual successes, a slight wonder, if not irritation, over the lack of response to your teachings and advice among the general public. One reason is the very name sufi, or islam, which, both, are identified in our encyclopedias as rather narrow religious idiocy (as if idiocy wasn’t always narrow!). Then there are the more enlightened who say, all that with Sam is very well, but what do I need other than God? And so they go into bull sessions of meditation and hear ticklings in the ears which they interpret as the eternal Oom, Aumm, the creative sound, the voice of God. And, they say, what can be higher than God? The sufis scramble somewhere near it, but I, Sophistambulus the Great, already have it! So you see, there are diversions on low and on rather high. But you will still have your pupils, who will teach you more that you teach them (As Hazrat lnayat put it).

Love and all the Heavens

(Click here for a random post from somewhere else in this blog.)


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Filed under Inayat Khan, Sam Lewis, Sufi

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