Tag Archives: Memories of Shamcher

Edmonton Declaration 1978

Concerning the Edmonton Sufis’ Declaration
By Carol Sill

During the split between the Order and SIRS, Shamcher sent me this Declaration, telling me it was from me, and that we were to send it out to all Sufis. He gave me the names and addresses of many I did not know, and then pushed this Declaration whenever and wherever possible. No one knew that he had written it, and even with me he insisted that I had done it. This is what it said:

We the undersigned Sufis of Edmonton, in the province of Alberta in Canada, reached the Sufi world through the message of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
We are a nucleus of the Brotherhood of all beings united in the ONLY BEING – humans, animals, plants, bacteria; all other beings, including the events appearing as bodies or objects on the earth, in the solar system, the galaxies – the entire universe.
We are members of the Sufi Order headed by Pir Vilayat Khan, and accept as equal members all of this order and respect the tenets of that order at all times. Pir Vilayat was the initiator of some of us. We equally are members of the Federation of Sufi Groups formed under the friendship-guidance of Hidayat Khan and all members of these groups are members with equal rights accepted by us. We equally are members of SIRS based in San Francisco and established by Murshid Samuel Lewis, now headed by Moineddin Jablonski, and all members of this organization are accepted equally with us.
We are members of and accept the members of each and every Sufi group in the world, every religious group, every group of any other character; every individual, of any type, human, animal, plant, mineral, or, in terms of modern physics – events. All these form the brotherhood in the fatherhood of God.
All titles, all ideas, all structures of any mind are respected and honored by us, though not held sacred. Only ONE is sacred: THE ONLY BEING.

( then it is signed by 17 of us – some who are still very much involved in the sufi effort.)

Comments on this decaration poured in to us, and to him. Here he comments on two responses:
“Thanks for mailing me the Declaration. Once you become a really sensitive Receiver of Vibrations, though, how do you filter out the “bad” and allow only the “good” to pass through?”
Shamcher: You accept all as they are, then let your own influence play. How long does that take? No matter.
“Your message put into declaration the feelings of “One single Brotherhood in the fatherhood of God” that we also feel.”
Shamcher: This is the answer for the individual sufi. Whatever or however this can be embodied in an organisation such as the Sufi Order depends of course on circumstances which only the official of that organisation can know.

I wish that I were finding the sense of more unity which you mentioned in your letter to friends, but I am still coming across many people who are either totally confused by the present situation or are vehemently taking sides. The confusion one can understand, but antagonistic side-taking is more difficult to deal with. Found a quote from “the Message” papers by Hazrat Inayat Khan that I felt worth sending to you. This particular section is entitled “Private Lecture for Mureeds and Friends” given in Brussels, December 17, 1923, notes taken by Madame Graeffe. “It is a great pity that religions, whether in the East or West, have their own creeds and Church. When it comes to brotherhood they say: ‘We have our brotherhood, you have yours’. Each thinks: they have their own brotherhood, But the way to look at it is as one brotherhood. Therefore the work of the Sufi Movement is not to create a Sufi Brotherhood. It is not a brotherhood, but a means to create a brotherhood, it is working for human brotherhood.”

30 January 1978

Dear ___,
Your quote from Inayat Khan in your letter of January 4 (which I received today) shows that your have found the sense of unity. Another and more exuberant expression of the same is the Edmonton Sufis’ declaration, which should be enough for any one to see and find the sense of unity.
Inayat Khan publicly dissociated himself from a “murshida” appointed, by himself, who had disturbed the sense of unity. Inayat Khan repeatedly told stories of how even Prophets had failed, as for example in his story about Kidr and Moses. So why do people look transfixed at “leaders” and forget to look at plain people like the ones from Edmonton?
Sam Lewis wrote me letters containing the most ridiculous accusations of sufis he had never seen. Yet, his heart was mostly good. Only when you look sternly at “leaders” do you see division, and you see division among others who also look sternly and expectantly at “leaders”. But “leaders” are not leaders in that sense. Before you have learned dependence on yourself alone and on whoever you find who represents unity, whether they are “leaders” or floor-sweepers, you can find no “unity”.

Love and devotion,

(Shamcher adds this comment: How lucky for all of us that the Edmonton group chose to talk rather than keep “silence” which is the advice of so many “mystics”. Or should Inayat Khan, Sam Lewis, and Jesus have kept silent rather than talking? Or, can you see gold where it appears? Hierarchies are games, which, rightly understood and used, have a purpose, but which most often are not rightly understood or used.)

Many of his letters dealt with this issue, using the Declaration of the Edmonton Sufis as a point of dialogue.

1 February 1978
Dear G.,
Thank you very much for your letter of 26 January. You are perfectly right in your characterization of the non-hierarchial attitude of the International Federation. In a sense I am the initiator of this organization. I realised these things from my 25 years. Today, at 81, I have seen how, not only philosophical-religious organizations but also whole nations, their “civil service”, their hierarchical working places, businesses, departments are destroyed by the hierarchial systems. You are right and you and I are ahead of most of the other members of this organizations.
It is essential, furthermore, that a close contact is maintained with those who have not yet discovered or realized this. This is where the Edmonton Sufis declaration beautifully and timely comes in. It does not break with anybody. It certainly does not accept any hierarchy but manages to keep their mouths shut on that particular issue in order to serve its very special purpose. Its message has cheered and enlightened people all across the sufi community. Their particular declaration was not issued by you or your federation. And perhaps could not be, at this time. It was issued by the Edmonton Sufis, for a purpose completely in accord with you spiritually, yet fulfilling another and as important function in its own way and manner. If you don’t see this yet, please do not answer yet, until you have meditated upon it in the light of Inayat Khan or, as he would say, in the light of God, for he was the most humble of prophets, who even wrote about Kidr, whom the prophet Moses tried to follow but Moses was not wise enough. So Inayat Khan even admitted that a prophet may be wrong. And he repeatedly corrected his own “murshidas” in front of all of us, one time Murshida Green, when she said something wrong to me, (I did not tell him, he knew.)
Of course, I would like to see a copy of your rules, as also the Edmonton group will, and since your organization now requires me to get that from the D. I shall ask them, even though I knew you before I knew the D., I know you better than I know the D., but they have humbly asked my forgiveness for throwing me out of their “Movement” after having had me conduct all their universal services every Sunday — by now, as you know, they have themselves left the “movement”.
Hidayat Khan and I are in deep communication with each other. If in the future you should again doubt my understanding of or loyalty to yours and his federation, please ask Hidayat.

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4-26-80 – Drawing of Shamcher

Daphne Dunn (Beorse), Shamcher’s daughter, did this drawing of him just before he passed on. (Although we posted this earlier in the archive, it wasn’t sized correctly, so here it is again.)

New Daphne Drawing

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Shamcher Memories by Sabira Scott

Sabira had been very close to Shamcher in the later years, when he lived in Berkeley. She was his assistant, secretary and close friend who took him to the beach every week for a run along the sand. One of these memories was posted earlier in this archive, but here are all of them, as she had written them and sent them to the Sufi Order publication, The Message.
Shamcher Memories by Sabira Scott

“He is a mast exquisite voice, a voice that all the world encompasses, voice of Brahma, voice of oceans…”(Buddhist scripture)

We were at a meeting. I heard someone say that Shamcher had died. I rushed frantically aver to where he was, and found him lying on a couch covered with a huge glass box. I pressed my head to the glass. He opened his bright, blue eyes — looked at me and smiled. He seemed to be saying, “There is no death, see, I am still here with you. Do I not smile and wink at you?”

He said, “To me a Sufi teacher is one that meets you where you are and understands your mind and may say very little or nothing at all, but he PROJECTS into you what you need to know, and often more, which you can resolve and bring into order through the months and years as they pass.”
Shamcher was young-in-heart — God was his playmate, his friend, his companion. Shamcher felt that he was nothing, that God was the whole universe — some people mouth La Illaha, Il Allah Hu — Shamcher lived it — there was no difference between God and Shamcher — between Shamcher and God.

Shamcher’s sister had a stroke. He asked me if I would drive him to Glendale to see her in the nursing home. When we arrived, Aasta was comatose — hooked up to various “life-saving” devices: (tubes in every orifice). Shamcher spoke endearingly to her in Norwegian, tenderly holding her face in his hands. She responded — but not on a physical basis–but I could “see” the communication flowing between them.
After we left the hospital, Shamcher said that he had seen the “Angel of Death.” He was silent for a while, and then started to sing the Zhikr. Instead of the usual way, however, he broke into: LA ILLA HA (ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha) ILLA ALLAH HU!…. ….we both broke into paroxysms of laughter and delight. It seemed as if we were celebrating her eventual release from pain. It was a never-to-be-forgotten moment of sheer bliss.

There are other wonderful stories:

Shamcher wrote letters to everyone: famous and infamous. He would never proof read these documents — saying to me, “If a man judges me by my mistakes, I don’t want to deal with him.”
One time he wrote a very important government VIP: “Communication is impissable with you.” Another time he said: “My diseased friend (meaning deceased); another time he wrote: “Your wife frizzy, (instead of Fritzy), and so forth…….
Every Saturday we would exchange letters; I would file his and he would read any that I had written. He shared almost everything with me — some letters were so beautiful I would cry while reading them. He always knew exactly what to say to each person to help them to grow — to answer a question they had to know — to bring peace to an aching heart.

One day, Shamcher decided to blow up a Pepperidge Farm cracker bag. When he couldn’t do it, his beautiful blue eyes sparkled and he laughed; he said, “You see, I am a complete failure!”

Each week (weather permitting) we would go to the local beach. There Shamcher would run up and down on the sand, dipping into the water to wet his legs. He found the water healing to his body. However, if his swim trunks got wet, he would slip into his raincoat and change them for a dry pair which he always brought along. He considered the ocean his “mother,” and would often talk about just going into it and never coming back — then would say, “But I still have work to do…I can’t do that.” We would eat on the beach: cheese, fruit, crackers, bread. He especially enjoyed reading the funny papers there. Much of the hours there would be spent silently — side-by-side, each into our own space/thoughts.

The first time I met Shamcher he walked into Hurkalya to attend a meeting, and all I could see were two very blue eyes coming in- no body– just two bright blue eyes!!

“My head is a receiving station” (When Shamcher wanted to remember something he would tap his head — and the idea/thought would pop out). “Optimism and pessimism are both wrong — there is no right or wrong. A man does what he does. “Reality is the most unrealistic thing there is.”

We were in Miami for an OTEC convention. We had borrowed my daughter’s car and were driving down the highway to pick up Mansur. I noticed the gas gauge said, “empty.” I tried not to panic and turned to Shamcher and said, “Think full, Shamcher, think full.” He said he would try. We approached a gas station; it was 6:45 am. An old man came shuffling out of the station and we asked him to please fill up the tank. He opened the gas tank, inserted the nozzle — and started yelling –“Lady, your tank is already full'” Sure enough the gas was spurting all over his legs and feet! He went rushing in to get a mop — we sat there in hysterics.

Again, we were driving; again we were almost out of gas, lost in Orinda, Ca. Shamcher got out of the car right in the middle of the highway and started waving his arms around. As a car came toward him he continued to signal it to stop. He wasn’t a bit afraid for his life — only wanted to get the car to stop. It did. And would you believe, they actually escorted us to the nearest gas station!

We often got lost while driving; we simply had a propensity for ending up somewhere else. One time, again while in Miami, we used a Jewish Synagogue as our direction point — only the problem was that it always seemed to have moved to another side of the street. So we would say, “Well, it isn’t that we are lost; it is that they keep moving the Synagogue”

This is kind of risque, but am sure Shamcher wouldn’t mind my sharing this day at the beach. We would go to the beach every Saturday so that Shamcher could experience the healing water on his legs. So one day I had gone for my usual run down the beach (we’d go separately so as not to leave our things unattended) — when I returned he met me halfway and said in much consternation, “While you were gone I had to pee, so I used the wall in back of us — and do you know what happened? Someone was taking pictures. Do you suppose the police will come to arrest me?” So I went along with it, and said,”Oh Shamcher, maybe it was the newspaper and they will have your picture on the front page: “Sufi Murshid caught at beach with his pants down–and he hadn’t even voted yet–famous engineer spends lazy day on the beach instead of voting – exposes himself in public.

We went to buy Shamcher some shoes. I said, “But Shamcher don’t you worry about wearing someone else’s shoes?” He said, “Oh no, I can change any vibrations instantly.” So he sat down on a stone step and then later a ‘crippled’ chair and tried on outrageous shoes: none really fit, but he said, “Don’t you know that shoes should always be too big?” We got one pair from one merchant and then went across the way to buy another from her sister. It was a joyous/wonderful experience. He, of course, charmed both shoe salesladies.

The Devil decided that nothing should be done, so he started the first committee.

A man tried to get into a party. They said, “Who do you think you are? The Mayor?” “Oh no, more than that.” “Well, the president, then?” “Oh no, “More than that!” “ Maybe the Pope?” “More than that!” “Oh you think you are God? Nothing is greater than That!” “Yes, nothing – nothing is greater than God, and that is what I am!”

Halima was desperately ill with leukemia. Shamcher went to see her. I said, “What a blessing that will be for her.” He said, “No, she will bless me, for she is so close to Heaven,”

Shamcher called me one morning; after five minutes the operator interrupted; he said, “Shut up!” and asked me to call him back. I tried but the line was busy — in a phone booth? How strange! When finally I got him, he said the operator kept insisting he owed five cents and he said he didn’t have five cents. “But you owe five cents,” she said — and kept saying it. He said, “Well, I am an old man and don’t keep extra five cents in my pocket,” he said. “You owe five cents.” “Well, I have 5 pennies.” “No, you can’t put pennies in!!!” Well, he did anyway — and when I called him back we laughed like two little kids — he said, “Well I probably ruined that phone for good!” What a sense of humor; how delicious he is!

“Sabira, Shiva never lived in a human body, you know! Some people have to have the symbol that he did live in a body, but those who know more than this know that God is all there is — He has many names.”

What if there wasn’t a Soul? Would I still be willing to die? And I answered, ‘yes,’ for it wouldn’t make any difference.” “But, of course, there really isn’t a Soul because the Soul and you are one — there isn’t any difference!”

One day Shamcher said, “Oh I have lost my sole!” I looked surprised, whereupon he looked down at his shoes from which a sole was missing.

“As far as fighting nuclear, there are SHOCK TROOPS and FUTURE BUILDERS. One climbs the fences; another works with the forces of darkness and building the future.”

“God is everything and in all things but unconcerned about any living thing — like a farmer. Do you think he Cares about every seed he plants? He tills the soil; waters, plants; digs weeds; harvests, but he cannot care for every single plant. This is God! God is my playmate. He is everywhere — you and God are the same –‘YOU’, and He is the SELF– the real you! That ‘YOU’ (the Soul) is the real one.”

In “wars,” there are the shock-troops and the empire builders. The shock-troops lay their lives on the line; the empire builders build the future in a different way. Some people should climb the nuclear station fences; Some should not–they cannot be sacrificed that way.

(from a letter to Prof. Merchant in India)
“My sister died and I am so glad for her. She worked hard and often suffered. When we make our loving bonds here on earth, I think our love should extend to their parting into their next and often more exciting world. We will see them there. We are going too. This is not “some act of fate.” lt is part of a scenario. She is taking a long journey–to us an unknown journey. There is no difference in her continued usefulness – and enjoyment. There is not as lively communication as before, but that is just temporary. I don’t see a stern ‘God’ distributing fates. We are all in this creation and distributing, we are all GOD or part of Him. We often act strange — to the despair of others who act more normally. To me there is not an all-powerful monster directing our lives. We are directing it ourselves, through known and unknown parts of us. It is only temporary that the unknown parts are unknown. I don’t pray to some stern God. I don’t see one. I see playmates and co-sufferers. We are all in this. We all created this world — and ourselves. You are ‘god’ and so am I.”

Shamcher discovered that if one would buy five shares of Exxon stock and send in a proposal to the stockholders’ meeting — that said proposal had to be presented to every stockholder for their proxy votes. After sending in said proposal which stated that Exxon should build and implement OTEC plants, he received two long distance calls from two Vice.Pres. of EXXON. Both asked him to withdraw his proposal. When he demurred, they sent out a team of “experts” to help him to change his mind. They even suggested that they could use legal means to “help” him to change his mind. He then wrote them that unless they continued to do research on OTEC, he would not withdraw the proposal.

“When I die, Sabira, I will not reincarnate. I will have become dissolved in the Universe.” (Jan. 26, 1980)

We used to laugh about Shamcher being able to change/influence the weather. ‘One time he said, “You know I can’ t really do anything, but when I ask God to do it, He says, ‘What do you mean, WE ARE THE SAME PERSON, AREN’T WE?”

“Some people came to see me before going to visit a famous Tibetan Lama. I said, ‘I’m glad you came to me first.'”

“Sabira, you don’t have a soul; YOU are Soul.” (3/8/80)

When Shamcher made out the papers willing his body to science he wrote in the space that said, ‘”How is your health?” “IMMACULATE,” In the space that said, “Race,” he wrote “WHAT IS THAT?”

He said to me, “Sabira, do you remember whom I was talking to the other day?” I said, “Was it a man or a woman?” He said, “I don’t know the difference anymore; they are all just people!!!”

Shamcher used to tell me that he had dreams of no bathrooms in Heaven. On the day of the Memorial, I was thinking of this, and a bird let go on my head. I looked up and said, “Hello, Shamcher.”

“Evil is necessary so God can know Himself. Evil is a counterforce to God or good; we do not know how to cooperate with the Divine purpose. Good and evil are just words and words are not a reality.”

When travelling to Los Gatos with a friend, Shamcher’s ride ran out of gas. Instead of “thinking full” as he had done in Florida, Shamcher concentrated on the cars directly in front of them in the queue. Due to this concentration, two cars got tired of waiting and left the line. When they finally got to the gas pumps, they were the last to receive gas for that entire day! Had he not concentrated, the other two cars would not have left the lineup.

This power of Shamcher’s was a gift of Grace–he could often influence people to do something they otherwise would never have done: ie: change their lives; move from the line of direction (see above); leave/start a job; change their concepts about some long-held idea. Shamcher never told you what to do; you just would find yourself doing it…and wondering how such a thing were possible.

Constant in Shamcher’s philosophy and advice was “Be a lamp unto yourself.” He did not believe that any person was a master to any other person; felt that even the prophets of old were worshipped instead of the people. He said, “We overestimate the founders of the religions; and underestimate the present people.” Shamcher did not believe in hierarchy – only in the hierarchy of people doing what they did best — and because people felt capable and whole around him, they did do their best – they would come forward to excel because he lit the fire within each of us and helped us to discover what was already there.

“Your body is the whole universe. You ARE THE WHOLE UNIVERSE. You expand and contract as the universe — absorb all of the qualities of the universe; absorb and counter any negativity. Become the eyes and ears of every sentient being–feel the compassion, the sorrow, the pain, the joy, the bereavement, the hope, the despair…. …”


The touch of my beloved’s lips between my brows
An instant of perfection spreading crown-upward.

The glance of my beloved’s eye piercing the inner chambers of my being.
The breath of my beloved united with mine.

The body of my beloved welded with mine-though he “knew” me not.
The sight of my beloved reflected in the clear glass of God’s vision.

To him I am beautiful!

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Death, Physics, Initiation

From An Interview with Shamcher Bryn Beorse

J=Jelaluddin Boru S=Shamcher

J: How about death?
S: That is another reason for the misunderstanding. Death is a different thing than we usually picture it. And death doesn’t come from a disease. A disease may come at the same time, and then people will say, “Oh, he died from cancer.” You can’t prevent death, and why should you want to? That is why healing groups make a great mistake when they say, “These people mustn’t die, we must heal them.” Cancer may be a hideous disease, but there is nothing hideous about death. It is merely a certain rhythm which says “now this form of life is out.”
Many people ask about Inayat Khan’s death. Well, there are many theories, but I see that he had simply lived out his life. He wasn’t physically exhausted or anything like that, in fact he was fresh enough to be able to go to India and live a comfortable last year there, but his life as a constant stimulator of people’s vibrations was finished. So he said as he went to India that he wanted no one to go with him. A couple of disciples disobeyed.

J: Had you intimations of his death before it came?
S: Well, one time he said to me, “Murshid has no more interest” and I had a feeling about it then, and another time when I told him that I was looking forward to meeting him the following summer he said, “From now on, Shamcher, we will meet in your intuition.”

J: Did you say once that he died of a broken heart?
S: No, I never said that, that was —– who said that.

J: Some say that he was poisoned.
S: These are all superstitions. He was very happy that last year, and when he died there was the scent of roses in the room.
J: What are your thoughts on your own death?
S: Oh, I was in it once, when I had my accident, and the doctors told my children that I was dead. And during that time I met my parents and everything was fine, but then I was insolent enough to come back.
That experience of death was a very pleasant thing. My mother and father spoke to me as if I had been there with them all the time. They weren’t surprised, and the whole thing felt like it was just a continuation of a conversation. Probably I had been there before and not remembered it. Or perhaps without being aware of it.
By the way, when you were speaking about the mystic sciences before, were you including the atomic theory and the Quantum theory? I would include these as well. Because when you have a light photon you can explain it mathematically as a wave, that is, you have a certain set of equations which describe it as a wave, but then simultaneously you have another set of equations that describe it as a particle, an entirely different set of equations. So the old physicists say, the ones still bound to the old form of cause and effect, that this is impossible, it can’t be two things. But the Quantum theory people say, “Yes, the two things seemingly opposite are two poles of the same reality…”
In a sense we can explain it like this. Imagine you have a circle. When you look at it from the end it looks like a straight line. So in this dimension it is just a line. But stand it up in the second dimension and it appears as the circle. Now, if you put it in the third dimension you may have a doughnut; cut a line through it, you have two circles, but actually these two circles are just another way of expressing the doughnut in the third dimension.
J: I am always very interested when we talk about the concept of opposites. Isn’t that how linguistics tries to explain language, as a system embodying a relationships of opposites?
S: Yes, language is built on the relationship of opposites, but not so much in Chinese or the other Oriental languages as our own.

J: I found that out a couple of years ago when I worked for a time as a Vietnamese interpreter, Those languages are so much more fluid and less suggestive of what we sometimes call the “subject-object dichotomy”…
A line from Hazrat Inayat Khan has just entered my head here. He says: “Everything is apprehended by its opposite, And that’s why God is so hard to apprehend because He has no opposites.”
S: That’s very good. That’s very true… It is we who are living in the opposites. Good or evil, dark or light…
J: What is enlightenment?
S: Oh, enlightenment, yes. Well, let us just say that enlightenment is something you are looking forward to, and when you reach it then you can begin looking forward to the next enlightenment.
You see, there is always more…
Even God himself gets better all the time! When you have begun to be enlightened you feel, “Yes, I have a lot more to learn, but now at least I am happy because there is no doubt anymore.” And in this state you can look at the mistakes you have made, and passed and know that they are fine, that they belong. So you are enlightened in the sense that your doubts aren’t giving you such trouble, and you are ready to begin learning a thousand things…

J: Enlightenment is the point at which you realize that you don’t know?! Ya! (chuckles)
J: There is something that happens like that in initiation, where you begin to “know that you don’t know” only it’s so sudden that it can be tremendously confusing. After I was initiated by Neaatma at that Canada camp, the same time that I met you, Shamcher, I entered a period of bewilderment in which I felt completely disconnected from my normal habits and routines. Like I am a writer, and I couldn’t get myself to sit down and write, except for brief intense bursts, for about four months!
Now I think that a lot of what was happening to me was that I was learning to communicate without words, what the sufis call “tawwajeh” or heart to heart, and in the midst of this lesson I couldn’t immerse myself in the same old ways of analyzing and describing everything…,
It’s not painful to me anymore. Probably because I am finally coming out of it. But what would you say to someone who is still going through it…?
S: You just have to wait, be in touch with the silences as we’ve talked about, and it will work itself out.

J: Is that all? Do you think it is bad to struggle against it?
S: Yes. That is useless, and will make the experience worse.

J: I wish I understood this more. The point where I stopped being angry with myself for being unable to transmit the images that I was being bombarded with through my pen, to just feeling wonderful about the deep change that was going on in my being.,.
S: You know, this is really wonderful for me to hear. I didn’t realize that the initiations being given by the present initiators could still do that… When I was initiated by Inayat, I hung around in Suresnes for six weeks and then–blam!

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Shamcher in LA, 1980

From Rabbi Ivan (Raqib) Ickovits:

Dear folks:

Interestingly, many years ago, i had the privilege of hosting Shamcher when he came to LA to speak with some folks at a Rand Offshoot in Marina Del Rey. I think it was in early 1980 or 1981. I was a working physicist at that time working either for Jet Prop Labs in Pasadena on a Mars lander, or at Hughes Aircraft in Culver City on some detailed F18 radar or deep space surveillance system. Shamcher stayed with Tajali and myself at our home in Brentwood and i escorted him to his meeting with the project managers at PRI or some other alphabet offshoot from Rand trying to provide them with enough data to make OTEC feasible for a prototype construction amd convince them to allocate Govt research funds to fund a small scale effort. I don’t know how successful he was with this, but the intensity, focus and dedication he threw into the effort was awesome.

Some years later when Tajali and i had one of our private dinners with Pir Vilayat and Mary in Europe, i remember they spoke of Shamcher in hushed tones as the esoteric head of the esoteric school for many

Going where the eagles fly,


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Shamcher Photo

Shamcher photo by Muhaima

Sitting at his office at the Richmond Field Station, Shamcher put his hand on his head just to add something more interesting to the photograph. (taken by Muhaima Startt)

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Memory of Shamcher

In honor of Murshid Shamcher Bryn Beorse I offer these stories of my interaction with this delightful man.

This relationship happened in the early 70’s in northern Seattle. I did not at this time know that Shamcher was a ‘Murshid’, only that he had at one time been a pupil of Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, who was the founder of the Sufi Order in the United States. Shamcher did not feel that titles or degrees of initiation were beneficial on the Path. He honored friendship, economics, and freedom.

There was an upcoming teacher named Atiya north of Seattle. He was coaching her and encouraging her to be a Sufi teacher and take on pupils. She objected on the basis that her level of initiation was too low. Immediately Shamcher conferred upon her the level of a “32nd” degree Sufi. (There’s only 12!)

He told me once that ‘Shamcher’ means ‘tongue of flame.’ Shamcher stunned me every now and again. I lived seven years in a wonderful commune called the “Growing Family” in Seattle just north of Lake Union. I began leading a Sufi group there and Shamcher came to my room upstairs for a visit. I had pictures all around the room of different spiritual teachers. He pointed to a picture of Sant Kirpal Singh and asked, “Who is this?” “Well,” I said, “his pupils consider him a perfect master.” “And do you think he’s a perfect master?”, he asked. “Well, I don’t have any idea what a perfect master is,” I replied. “That’s a good answer,” he responded.

One day a couple came to the house to look about. Later that evening, they revealed that they had sought out Shamcher as a former disciple of Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. He then said, “I’m flattered that you have come to see me, but there is a Sufi Perfect Master living in Seattle in a commune.” He directed them to the “Grey House” where I lived and they came to check me out. I laughed and assured them that I was fallible and this was Shamcher’s humor.

As I got to know him a little more, he allowed me to call him long distance collect and chat with him about spiritual matters. One evening, as we talked, he said something that so astounded me that I was speechless for about 30 seconds. He broke the silence by asking, “Confused?” “Yes,” I replied. “Wonderful, confusion is often a sign of spiritual progress.” “In that case,” I said, “I must indeed be a Perfect Master.” Shamcher paused and replied, “Merlyn, that’s a whole lot funnier than you think it is.”

He encouraged me to keep on and contributed money for our group expenses. He explained Wazifas occasionally, and answered my questions. Once I took the ferry across to Bremerton. He picked me up and we chatted at his house for a while. Then he said, “This is all very nice, but you must have had some questions you wanted to ask.” At this point I was a bit blissed out and replied, “I don’t remember them.” He excused himself from the room for a few minutes and on returning we engaged in a a delightful exchange. The he asked, “Does that answer your questions?” “Yes it does, thank you.” “I went in the next room,” he said, “and asked Murshid what your questions were.”

He was always supportive and kind. When Shamcher was retired at Bremerton, he moved to Berkeley, CA, and was known to chat with people on the street. One young woman he often engaged with was encouraged by him to run for President of the United States!

Bless you Shamcher, may the Beloved enrich you with His Peace and Blissful Sanctuary.

P.S. Shamcher related to me once, his interim in the Russian Revolution. He was well liked by the soldiers of the Red Guard and traveled with them on a train. He had no papers so they hid him from the officers. “In the barracks,” he said, “some of the men had their wives with them in their cots, and when they got it on, the others would applaud and shout encouragements.” He said the camaraderie was close.

==Malik Marvin Kruger

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