To SAM: Titles

9 Oct 66
My dear Sufi Ahmed Murad Sam,

As you well know, while you do rightly take upon yourself a title, my whole being and fate is the opposite: No title, no “degree” of any kind and your little jokes writing to people I have advanced claims were just such things as playful sufis play upon one another to make inroads in pride and things — but now we have to stop that, among other things because now, after 70 I am to go forth into the world, one of my great strengths being having absolutely no title or rank (something Hazrat Inayat respected and fostered) so I have to write to all to whom you have so written and laughingly call the joke. I know of Gavin and Vilayat. There also seems to be some friend of yours in Pakistan. Please give his name and address — or, if you prefer to write him yourself, you may better and more correctly explain — that it was a joke to tease me for my great reluctance against all sort of titles which and of which I have none. send me copies, please. Also you can write to Gavin and Vilayat if you please.

As you well know, all titles are fakes, in civil world as in religion, but even we who know sometimes play with them for a purpose or for fun. It has however been my fate to see and associate with titled persons in Sufism and similar groups who were so grotesque that any such title to me looks like a soiled robe. I know that Hazrat lnayat so regarded his Pir-o-Murshid title but nevertheless stuck with it with tremendous self-sacrifice. And that Vilayat has consistently has refused to bear any title is one of many many many proofs that he and he alone represents his father’s movement. He is also the only one who in dexterity and sensitivity of heart and mind reminds you of Hazrat Inayat. His so-called failures at certain meetings or lectures you talk about means of course nothing at all, nothing, nothing. Earthly success is nothing at all. Jesus was jailed and tortured.

So amid your many great and busy duties, attend to my defrocking as soon as convenient so my fate may be played. Thank you

Shamcher

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Filed under 1960-1970, 1961 - 1965, Inayat Khan, Sam Lewis, Sufi

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