To SAM: Murshid?

12-27-67
My dear Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisty,

Yes, the avatar business runs so parallel in our minds as so many other things. At the camp of the Dalai Lama in Mussoree in the Himalayas there was a picture of Meher Baba, and the Indian police man in charge of the Dalai Lama explained to me that a lady representing Meher Baba had put it up (the lady was not received by the Dalai Lama) and asked me if I felt anything because, he said, “one is supposed to feel it when one is near an Avatar” so, by a succession of short statements and answers we came very close and at last to the fact that “This age is not the age of Avatars.”

And so, dear Sam, with most things, we think and feel along kindred lines, so please do not ever jump into an antagonism for it is always due to either lack of clarity on my part or on yours. You wrote me under title “MURSHID”, for the second time and I have to wiggle out of any such accusation. You have all the right to use any title on yourself and I acknowledge them all with pleasure. But just as you usually call yourself Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisty, which is your proper name, inscribed in heaven — so I am called Shamcher and nothing else, and just as you usually do not call yourself Murshid so you must give me that Same right not to be called that or any other title.

No no, I did not say you were shaking the world, neither that I was “trying” or not trying. I am not trying anything. I am just shaking it for that is so written, and by shaking it, ripe plums , among other things, drop into your lap, and there are many other consequences. The one who shakes the world does not try or do anything of his own purpose. It was told me long ago and I forgot it — until it happens, but how does it happen? Of course I do not know. But don’t worry about that, just be respectful and never, never give me any title, just as I am respectful of you and give you only the titles you put in my mouth to use.

Incidentally, in your later letters there has been some indications that you know what a murshid is. Most people under this title do not know. This, again, does not matter. But remember that everything and everything that you do and think is clearly recorded and can be read, so do not write or talk about not being recognized. You are, by any and all who can read. The others matter no more than the silent rocks. Never try to disappoint me, for I know before you write — know truth, and all the spirits know you, whether in Asia or in Europe or America, in fact there is no Asia, Europe or America.

There is also something else about this age: It needs no howling and wailing as Mohammed and Rumi and many others did at another age. It does not become this age.

Shamcher

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

To SAM: “I am the youngest..”

12-5-67
My Dear Sufi Ahmed Chisty Samuel L. Lewis,

This just to thank you so much for sending me Sangithas and other documents. Some of the Sangithas confirmed what I already wrote to Headquarters after Musharaff Khan’s passing, which opens up new vistas for either good or worse Haag administration and liaison with sufis (Inayat’s disciples).

You are so absolutely right in pointing to God, Allah, Brahm, Ishwara, Dieu, Gott — rather than persons. Of course, not all are yet at that stage, but even so, it should be kept in mind, and heart, even at the initial stages and besides, all are really on all stages all the time though with a different emphasis. It is also quite true that “families” are unfortunately made to intrude between God and man but some, within these families show so much promise that you hide their faults even to your own sight because you see their great potentialities, and you foster them by stressing them instead of the temporary faults. Others, within same families, are so far astray that you don’t care to foster anything, you rather try to keep them off your mind.

Rumi, that great poet and mystic, quite often fell to unnecessary criticism and wailing over the state of the world and most prophets did. We, at this unique age, could rise above that and thus come even closer to GOD and Allah and dance around in this splendid atmosphere until we, also, become outlived as useful and give room for others. the young, as you say, which of course does not mean young in earthly years but in spirit, outlook. I am the youngest, almost too young. You come next.

Bless and blessings,

Shamcher

What you say about Idries Shah is interesting and true. I am greatly freshened by his keen outlook. He borders on the mystic but still has enough fire of the mind to be most interesting and slightly less mystical. Like all men he is true and a bit false, great and a bit small. Even most sufis are, except perhaps El Ghazali and, to some extent, Inayat Khan. They seem close to perfection. But even in the Sangithas traces of imperfection sneak in.
(No, the Cleveland mureeds did not evade Vilayat. They had not been told about him coming there, were most surprised and desperate hearing him over the TV, asked him a thousand questions by phone in order to identify him. Perhaps there was a mixup. He might have thought they knew.)

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

To SAM: Rejected?

31 October 1966

My dear Sam,

What is THIS!! You say some sufis have REJECTED you? Naughty and stupid. Send those rejecters to me. I will teach them never to reject anybody, certainly not a sufi, and certainly double not such a great sufi as you are.

But WHO, who, WHO have rejected you? Come to think of it I never heard of any do so. Your great energy and ability in acquiring untold sufi and other accomplishments are pretty generally recognized. But not all have eyes to see. Why bother about them?

You are sitting with Hazrat Inayat and others, along with many of us, and must know that you are accepted. That is enough.

But here in one of your letters you said a lot of things about pupils of Hazrat Inayat (of whom you happen to be one) and you said the same thing 6 times down one page. You said they had rejected lnayat Khan’s teachings. If this is so one would expect of such a sufi as you some details, helpful details, that would illustrate what you meant. This would fill the space better than repeating six times what was very vague and nevertheless insulting  and  inflammatory. I have pointed out to Vilayat and Musharaff Khan the most urgent of the things lnayat gave us and which we have not taken up, namely Children and youth education for that is the age at which foundations really may be laid — and the dynamic masonry against the present static masonry, which, by the way, was also originated with the sufis. Is this  what you are referring to? God bless you then.

(Allah never flings out accusations, never judges, to be Allah, rather than claim in him. See Allah in others, in all others, not merely in yourself and a few cronies.)

Understand well that there is no slightest wish or effort on my part to subtract an iota but rather to add to your stature and worth. And as my 16 year old is free to make me aware of obvious mistakes so I must be free with you and you with me so that when an accomplished sufi like you wastes your time, my time and the pupils’ time and even sanity by repeating six times vague accusations. I must remind you that the most useless of all  human efforts is to nail down other peoples’ present status by mentioning it, and even generally. Another awful thing is to try to “evaluate” a man, which also nails him down, not just to what he is NOW (and won’t be in two minutes) but even nails him down to what another human thinks he is now.

(And before Allah there are no titles, no degrees — but you know that.)

Musharaff is along with you on titles and many sufis, but with the surfacing of Inayat’s mission, which for the first time brings sufism to the masses, as a religion but better than any, titles in this typical section, represented by such as ViIayat and others, will be out. But that does not matter much. Inayat Khan never evaluated, never nailed anyone down. Of his mureeds, Vilayat, Baron Van Tuyll, you and I were among the few who could go East. None of us tried to “exclusivise” lnayat’s movement, on the very very contrary. Vilayat even embraced the yogis and others also. Baron Van Tuyll looked all over for connecting links. All said to him “We never heard of Hazrat lnayat.” Not so for Vilayat, you or me. Cheer up.

Shamcher

(We two can’t afford to be at loggerheads. Rumi sent his stubborn son to Shamstabriz, saying “S is 1000 times greater sufi than I. Learn from him.” “Just one thousand exactly” asks mocking son. “No, sorry, I should have said 1008.” Son lived in wild desert with S, who just nodded when told what Rumi has said. But when son’s desert time was up Shamstabriz said, “Go home to your father, Rumi, who is 1016 times greater sufi than I.” Such is the mathematics of the sufi. My concerns are mainly with people who are nothing. Not Sufi, not Christian, not anything.)

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

To SAM: fana-fi?

19 October 1965
My dear, dear Sufi Ahmed Murad

Evelyn always reads your letters and mostly enjoys them very much except your last two letters to me and one letter directly to her which seemed to be in answer to some letter I guess she must have written to you. You know her.

Now,, why were these three letters unenjoyable to her? Because, like Moses and Jesus and most pirs and Rumi and others, once in a while you forget God are yourself. And I was the reason this last time. My slip of word that Vilayat “alone” represented his father’s group was not meant in regard to the mass of pupils and especially not in regard to you. It was simply that as titular head he was chosen and anointed by his father (not as channel to us others. He is great by never claiming such channelship). Simply in the humble manner of organiser. In the same vein, Ali Khan and later rather innocently Musharaff Khan, usurped this position.

This does not mean that you may not be further advanced, at least in certain respects, but nobody in the whole world is going to know that except God and all wise men will leave this knowledge to God and not speak it, but to whoever it be revealed, it is revealed and that is more than sufficient.

The other thing that irked you was that, in order to counter your demand that any one being taught by you must have the traditional sufi attitude of a pupil to a master a la fanafisheik or at least fanafi rassoul, I had to humbly (no really I am not humble at all, see later) tell you it was really physiologically impossible for me (as for so many others) to take any other stand than Fana-fi-Alla or Fana-fi Lillah, which is not (all sufi lore to the contrary notwithstanding) a gradual and natural development entitling you to titles, but simply a matter of temperament. And one of the things I always say is that the scientist type, who can never adopt a fana-fi sheik or even a fanafi-rassoul attitude is not therefore excluded from Sufism or any other line of training, and the Fana-fi-Allah or Fana fi-Lillah stage is not at all a sign of Pir-o-Murshidship as you say, though of course a Pir-O-Murshid also is on that stage, but for a Murshid his teaching urge in the special sufi lore is the first condition, then a lot more….Also, dear Sam, never say a person is “not a Sufi”. Every person really is, and Hal and Makam are terms that, as you know changes not merely with different sufi schools, but for the same person as he grows or diminishes, and they are unsuitable for public use. But for me sufism is not so central as for you. You are a great specialist. I am an absolutely nothing, disappearing behind the mask of God, know nothing nothing at all, and as such have a great demand on me that should not be disturbed. I have no respect whatever for the world etc. I was with Temple of Understanding for so many years. Vilayat and I are both ashamed of not having achieved what it has.

Love
Shamcher

(I asked for Shamshuddin’s address, not Major Sadiq’s.)
(Maheboob Khan was indirectly appointed by Hazrat Inayat to rein(sic) for Vilayat until Vilayat would be of age. Nobody accepted Rabia Martin.)
(Abu Bakr Cheleby, 21st descendant from RUMI and head of the Mevlevis, whirling dervishes, is head and organiser but certainly not the most enlightened man of his order. Vilayat is far more than that for his order, but not, either, necessarily the most enlightened. The great thing with Vilayat is that he does not claim to be, in fact claims nothing.)

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

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

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

to SAM: Titles and Mysticism

4 October, 1966

My dear Sufi Ahmed Murad,

Thank you for that beautiful test! Every or almost so — teacher tests their man by saying or writing what should rightly upset him. Now as for me, I have lost the upset-met, but let me try to respond: All titles that can be expressed in words are shams, but by shams we learn and shams we shall have. I often had to laugh seeing how Hazrat Inayat, a great soul, shammed his Pir-O title and those of his four angels who had received the glorious title of Murshidas. I visited the Grand Murshid of the Mevlevis in Aleppo and saw a humble fellow in the court yard who of course had no title for he was a teacher. These call themselves by all names or no names.

The fanafi-lillah or Fana-fi-alla state is often held by people who have no claim to even interest in learning or teaching. George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln were all Fana-fi-Allahs though they may never have heard that word.

In the sufi communities there have been many teachers titled up to Pir-O-Murshid who were just for the local stage, and in that religious community (Qutubs) then others had a wider range, could accept anybody on this earth, at least, and others again, accepted and held pupils far beyond their own passing into the next world, and from there, accepted new pupils living here and led them successfully toward their goal. Now as for you, glory be that you are taking upon yourself the almost impossible yoke of teaching, constantly, accepted mureeds. Bravo. We need you desperately. As for me, no such path at all. I am the man in the desert. Whomever I meet he will receive my shelter and food for so long as he stays and when he returns, and my answers to his questions, differing as he develops. But essentially he and I walk alone, our different paths. Most people today can only act this way and it is a safe and quite good way.

Many happy years with great triumphs

Shamcher

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

To SAM: Sufi Organization

(Judith Hollister’s a “housewife?” Ha, she is the most sophisticated Madison Avenue expert and more than any of them! The sufis weren’t so trained. You, the oldest cherag (you are older than 1922, when another was init?) are the first to be blamed for not doing, then l. And Hollister temple does not even begin to look like lnayat’s plan, but it is much much better than nothing. All mureeds worked as hard as they could for the temple. When they did not succeed it was, first, your fault, next my fault.)

(You, Sam, are one of the most honest persons I know. Honesty is sufism. Whatever we seem to disagree on does not matter. Our discussions sharpen our wits.)

5 Nov 1966

My dear Pir-O-Murshid Sam,

Your recent letters indicate a blessed wish to serve the Hazrat Inayat’s movement and mureeds and I would very much like you to become — and will do what little I can to that effect — the National Representative for the Musharaff Khan group. I then could work with you, send all who wanted a personal living teacher to you, and together we could wed the two groups into one, as it should be.

If you wish I will write to Musharaff about this, except that he would probably act against any advice of mine. When he came here this spring he had great hopes from me, that I would join him and thus move Vilayat to join him. I said I had never left, neither had Vilayat but Vilayat’s views and position were due the same respect as his. This silenced him. I probably have no good with him any more. But if you would look up Munira Nawn in New York and her blessing (she is presently Musharaff’s National representative and dying) that may help. Nobody seems to know where Munira stays now — an institution of some kind. Please ask Sitara, at 318 SW 102 Str. Seattle. Or go to Musharaff in person or write him. I will write too if you wish. You might thus prevent those idiots from appointing Rosenberg, who may be ripe for it after 30 years of training. You may of course try Vilayat’s group. I have written Vilayat six months ago proposing that I be retired to give room for a younger soul (I was 70 then). He does not seem to wish to change, I was named Nat Rep without my knowledge, answered that I was not well suited but would stay until he found some better. You know I knew Vilayat since he was 10 , in 1925 and wrote Ali Khan in 1955 about Vilayat’s right to succession. Ali answered insolently so I went right to Geneva and told his to his face what he should have known. “I must be firm as a rock” answered Ali. “A rock does not spit” replied I. With such effort Vilayat’s wish to see me represent him in the USA was natural. But we have different, though similar views on hierarchy. He has not written me for years. We correspond more directly. I am angry with him for assuming that also others so correspond. He should write to others. He doesn’t.

Blessed are you that you are willing to take the yoke. I need your teaching too, but cannot see my way to go until something turns up.

Shamcher

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

To SAM: Sufis, Economics

28 Dec 66
My dear Sufi Ahmed Murad Cheleby Baker Sam Lewis,

Thank you very much for letter. Yes, I know Cecil Gibbings, he must be 84 by now and still going strong. He is first to be highly recommended for being a rector, a priest, a vicar in the English Church and a sufi, much appreciated and initiated in Murshid’s rank by Hazrat Inayat.

What I am now going to say must not be repeated: As with so many, these initiations and his strenuous life and fine intentions have gone to his head so he has found time to denounce and damn a lot of innocents such as both Maheboob, Ali Khan, Musharaff and Vilayat, who all, whatever they have done or not done, benefit nobody by becoming victims of damnations. Many apparent prophets have indulged in damnations. The best that can be said about it is that it is superfluous, a waste of sound, a waste of thought forms, a waste of breath. Also, he concocted on his own a sort of agenda for a “sufi order” in which Mrs. Duce’s Meher Baba outfit was the only USA sufi group worth mentioning in his view. I wrote him nicely and bleakly telling him about US Sufis without even mentioning Mrs. Duce or Meher Baba. We both know these two persons well, the dragon, and the dragon’s innocent victim. You should have seen me with Meher Baba! His four mighty bodyguards were ready to devour me. But Meher retained his composure. That is one thing at which he is good.

Yes, I am writing the White House regularly about Vietnam and Red China. Those who have the solution mostly say nothing. I talk for them, always beginning by praising the President and his utterings for they deserve praise. But here in the US we have the most exquisite men to do the job that needs be done — except that these men are not used. But I write again and again, more patient, more sweet each time, now pretending that some of these men may have been sent already (since they have disappeared from their homes) etc. etc. These are men who personally know the great figures — Mao tze Tung. Lin Piao, Liu Shao Chi, Ho Chih Minh. There is no communication, none whatever, except through already trusted friends — at this point. Officialdom is nonsense.

Social Credit–not a good name now. John F Kennedy was rising from ignorance to a good grasp of the main principles, until he uttered “The myth of the Federal Budget”. So true, but I asked Seymour Harris, his tutor and senior advisor to the Treasury if it wasn’t too blunt. “No no, just right! It had to be said.” US economists now are social crediters in the right sense as those Canadians (simple) in Alberta were years ago, but you do not now have to go to Canada to learn about what is now more developed here at home. Douglas, the creator of Social Credit was much of a Babbitt, too, fond of simple mathematical formulae which did not at all fit the complex economic structure (more advanced math may be used discernedly) and refused to go to Canada to see what was really then better than him, afraid he would be embarrassed. I still have a better overall view of economics of any country but less knowledge of details, than most. But if I am appointed anywhere I can collect, digest and use the details toward solution. It is a complicated instrument, not to be played with.

Shamcher

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

To SAM: Ali Khan, also Social Credit

What happened to Gavin? What happened to Gavin!
8 August 1966

My dear Sam S.A.M.

Yes, in my present financial condition I could finance three of the books you mention and I was planning to send a check along with this letter but more fair would be to just wait for your bill which may be slightly higher due
to taxes and postage etc. At first I had imagined you wished to sell me superfluous, used sufi books which I would have welcomed, but now we may achieve the Same by you loaning me the books you buy with my assistance when you have finished with them temporarily. At such time I could have them for two-three months, but we should agree first which books would be so disposed, since I already have a few.

Musharaff Khan, while here, laid open many movement points by statements to my wife or myself which have provided welcome opportunities for me to exchange letters with him about the Hazrat Inayat message in relation to the more ancient traditions of the East, Ali Khan and some of his idiosyncrasies, and Vilayat and his special mission, all of which must have caused considerable headache for good Musharaff but he had it coming and his answers have been rather desperate. Truth is, the senseless quarrels initiated by Ali Khan have kept highly important parts of Hazrat lnayat’s message frozen and unknown and now Musharaff, who is rather an innocent in these matters, has the beautiful but urgent chance of repairing Ali’s mistakes by embracing Vilayat — the best of their crew but not enough in himself. Well, we’ll see.

A new mureed here is Mr. Taylor recently of Alberta who confirmed my impression that Eberhart and Manning, Alberta Social Crediters, good, honest and astute men who had carried to great success, against tremendous odds, the weak but basically true id [sic] as of social credit. Douglas, its “inventor” and champion was not very clear or wise, and his “equations” were never accepted in Alberta, luckily, nor was he ever willing to go to Alberta and see the only practical application of his theories, though he was invited while I was in London with him.

Best of all, blessings granted and accepted

Shamcher Bryn Beorse

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

To SAM: Master is a Disciple’s Word

21 April 66

My dear SAM,

Thank you for letters. It is always interesting to read you and your worries. You know more about sufi history and status than most, and a lot of other movements. The consequence of such knowledge has often been, apart from the blessings — a great dependence on these scripts and persons. Even Rumi was liable. He also went into complaints, about the lack of peoples’ attention to his cries in the wilderness and such. All the pamphlets have had such weaknesses, though of different shades. Hazrat Inayat was one of the greatest, freest, to whom the title of Pir-O-Murshid was a deep understatement, simply funny.

You know that, however funny or entertaining criticism of others may be meant, and may seem, it always detracts from your spiritual affluence. Hazrat Inayat was often listening to complaint about his disciples — Fatha Engle and others. He smiled, distantly, patiently explained to the complainer that Fatha and others were chosen children of God, they “acted according to their nature”, what more could one expect? The same, of course, is true of Allan Watts and all your other detractors. Your up and fight-em is against Jesus advice “resist not evil.” It is that simple. But Jesus did not always live according to it.

An enlightened man is not really enlightened. The world is a funny, sometimes cruel play. Do you expect anything from or of the world? Don’t. Do you look up to special people? Look up to all, but not so that you blind yourself to the challenge that you (and I) must do better than all of them. “Master” is a disciple’s word. To us it does not exist.

You ask what is the connection between Vilayat and Musharaff. Do you want to know? You are asking the right person. I alone wrote to Ali Khan one year before Vilayat made his claim and broke — that it was up to him, Ali, to embrace Vilayat before this happened. Ali answered arrogantly, ignorantly, that “It is not for the mureeds to talk about Hazard lnayat’s family.” I then went to Geneva and faced Ali directly, told him a few things that impressed him, but the schism continued — as it must. But to really tell you the “connection” requires at least face-to-face talk with you. Not for writing. By all means continue your elegant acquisition of knowledge about religious and mystical men — but be not too impressed with any of them. Know that you and I can do better. Must do better. Be glad for what the world offers, but expect nothing.
Salam aleikum,

Shamcher

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