December 2, 1977

This letter offers an insight into fallout from The Declaration. Fatima delivered a message from Moineddin to Pir Vilayat. Pir Vilayat reacted by calling it a “cheap shot;” then in a private meeting with Moineddin, Pir Vilayat pressures Moineddin. Moineddin responds impeccably.


Garden of Inayat

December 2, 1977

Dear Mansur,

As-salaam Aleikhum!

Enclosed you will find the lead review of a book called Dispatches by one Michael Herr. [see thumbnail] I have seen scattered reviews, all of them positive and glowing, of this book. When I saw the author’s name I realized that Michael Herr attended the Writers Workshop at Iowa during 1964-65. This, as you will recall, marked the period of heavy pot and psychedelic usage for us. And in fact, I can recall several instances of getting stone with Herr, then going to Kenny’s to drink and joke about life.

I only send this on the chance you too might recall this fellow.

The organizational issue of Bismillah should be out in a week or two, inshallah. This seems to be a time when two strong brothers (metaphors for the Ruhaniat and the Sufi Order) are being guided to grow for awhile on their own merits, as it were. This is a normal and natural pattern in any scheme of life; and perhaps at some future date the means for a stronger reuniting of forces will present themselves. As I wrote earlier in the week, who knows what patterns will evolve after Pir Vilayat leaves the earth?

One fact seems fairly established: I have known Taj-Jemila for some seventeen years, and despite anything else we have always maintained feelings and patterns, even inner experiences, of harmony.

I did not attend the meeting Pir Vilayat called for all Bay Area mureeds to attend on November 6 after his seminar here. But Fatima [Moineddin’s wife] went with the strength and luminosity of a Moses, and incidentally carried a message to the assembly from me. It ran something like this: “The age of ego-leadership is coming to a close. We are entering an era where the group must become capable of determining spiritual direction. This can happen when we practice ‘love ye one another’ really, and go beyond the patterning of personality worship—which amounts to a separation on a par with locking God up in heaven.”

Anyhow, Fazl drove Pir Vilayat to the airport the morning after, and reported that Pir referred to my statement as a “cheap shot.” Of course, Pir is welcome to think anything he likes. But I can assure you, if my statement seemed to him to be a cheap shot, it ensued as an echo of Pir’s own remarks to me the morning before at Hurkalya.

Pir Vilayat asked me to join him and Taj in a short meditation, which I did. Then he proceeded to bolster himself, and fixed his gaze upon me and said: “You realize, don’t you, that you have violated the wish of the Hierarchy in splitting the Order? What do you have to say to this?” Naturally, I answered that that was his opinion, and certainly not my point of view. But I must tell you, Mansur, that Pir was bringing all the force at his command to bear upon me. Praise be to Allah, to have had a wild-card teacher like Murshid, whose testings of me and others were much more potent than any amount of ego-force directed from questionable sources.

Ones own view, and I believe that I am with Murshid in this, is that a Pir-O-Murshid has no such right to criticize and accuse his presumed junior on such a matter. In fact, if he is a real Pir he would take the pair of such separation into his own being and practice a healing of the breach until his own heart came into unity. To accuse others of a separation which he brought about, a separation which we did not want and agreed to only due to a strickened conscience, is most unbecoming.

I look upon my so-called cheap shot as sheerest projection.

Enough gas for one letter.

Love and blessings,