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)
DREAM OF SHAMCHER’S DEATH:
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?”
SHAMCHER EXPRESSED THE MANNER OF GOD (AKHLAK ALLAH) IN ALL THINGS.
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.
THE PEPPERIDGE FARM BAG
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.”
THE “THINK-FULL SHAMCHER” STORY
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.
OUT OF GAS AGAIN
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”
THE BEACH: ELECTION DAY
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.
TRIP TO THE FLEA MARKET:
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,”
THE STORY OF THE PHONE OPERATOR
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.
ON DEATH AND GOD
(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.”
THE EXXON CAPER
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)
WILLING OF THE BODY
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.”
ANOTHER GAS STORY
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.
BE A LAMP UNTO YOURSELF
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.
THE UNIVERSE: A MEDITATION
“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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