To SAM: “We are all black bags.”

15 March 1967

My dear Sufi Achmed Murad Chisty Cheleby Samuel Lewis & Brother,

Among many other things, our communication of March 13 indicates you are willing to sacrifice yourself into serving the sufi movement in collaboration with Vilayat and the most humble and brutally proud undersigned and in this line any and all posts of confidence are open to you at your choice. The head of the Brotherhood? It is yours. The head of any other activity? It is yours. It is I who determine those things. Have I ever given the impression of not fully acknowledging and appreciating you? If so tell me when and where so that I may repent and strew ashes over my dinner jacket. (I have no dinner jacket but my suit may do.)

I was catapulted into my incongruous position without my knowledge and now has this enormous power which, also, I shall surrender to you if Vilayat so chooseth. Actually I was appointed by Allah, God, the Unfathomable at the age of 8 to revolutionize the religious temper of the world and I hoped to do it on my own terms, that is, God’s terms. I have temporarily lent a hand to the sufis because they are less errant than many other groups. They are not perfect, not one of them, not the greatest or smallest of their masters and I proposed to Hazrat Inayat we might drop the Sufi name. And one day, if no accident interferes, I shall again cut loose and set the world aflame. Posterity will dig up my past and all influences and say I was this and a that. Actually only God exists. The man in a black bag who attended the student meetings in Corvallis, Oregon had the right idea. The black robes of the Universal Worship is basically the same idea. We are all black bags, if we only knew. Therefore I am not as moved as I should be by all your negative experiences. What do you expect? What did friend Jesus expect? to be tortured to death. Well, he actually survived and was brought to India by yogis. He took in the entire yoga lore in addition to, previously, the sufi lore. Now he is a good teacher to those who tune in.
Love
Shamcher

[Written under a Sufi Movement letterhead.]

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3 Comments

Filed under 1960-1970, 1967, Inayat Khan, Sam Lewis, Shamcher, Sufi

3 responses to “To SAM: “We are all black bags.”

  1. Carol,

    Thanks for introducing me to a remarkable character. Until my friend Amidha directed me to your website I had never heard of Shamcher, not being familiar with anything about Sufism. He must have been a lot of fun to play with since from what I have read so far he seems full of fun.

    Best Wishes,

    Charlie Hopkins

    • Thanks Charlie, glad to see your work at your site too! 
      Not sure how you could say you weren’t familiar with Sufism, your poems say something different. You may not have known the name, but the heart is there in your work!!! Thanks for the contact!

      • Thank you for accepting me as one of your own. I did see a SDufi master one time when I was in my early 30’s. A whirling dervish from Turkey with a big musical group and devotees traveling with him. He looked like a pirate to me, a beautiful pirate!

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