September 23, 1977

Garden of Inayat

September 23, 1977

My dear Mansur,

Beloved One of Allah, as-salaam aleikhum!

Thank you for what I feel to be the most beautiful letter you have ever written. [September 19, 1977] The sense of personal honesty has come across to me as clearest transmission. One could even regard your letter as evidence, proof and testament of your full reception of what Murshid had to give. Nor do I mean to propose that this reception has in any way come to completion; it has come to fullness—but as Mohammed’s life showed, there is always room for more.

Incidentally, this letter is being written from the Garden of Inayat office. I decided to drive up here today as a preparation for tomorrow night’s Jamiat Meeting—which promises to be perhaps the most important organizational gathering I shall have ever chaired. Sheikhs and leaders from every imaginable ‘school’ will be present, including Shamcher, Jalelah, Murshida Vera, and others. It will be very good if, inshallah, we can forge a workable and viable instrument for the further progress of the Divine Message in the fire of apparent schism and divorce.

I can well understand your dissatisfaction with Pir Vilayat’s general tendency to remain as if remote from his Sheikhs and leaders, and his concomitant and practically nonexistent encouragement to these same Sheikhs and leaders. Herein lies one of the chief reasons why Murshid remains such a living and present reality to us: he helped us, and no shilly-shally. Roles of extensivity or intensivity aside, there is no excuse for a commanding officer not to encourage, motivate, train, and otherwise support to the full of his chosen colleagues and representatives. One fears that Pir’s latest attempt (vide Declaration) to consolidate a free-flowing and functional leadership for his Order is really ‘too little, to late.’

Yesterday I read through the entirely of Murshid’s “Six Interviews with Hazrat Inayt Khan.” As much as anything crystallized into literature can be said to contain all the answers, this series of documents gives all the answers, especially during this time of organizational flux. On the other hand (and there is always an other hand) we must constantly bring the ‘letter’ of crystallized literature—no matter how perfect it may seem—into sync with the ever-resent and ever-improving ‘spirit’ of the author. Of course, this latter seems to be the sole course embarked upon by Pir Vilayat; the crystallized literature of his father would seem to be going by the boards.

In a few minutes my secretary (who is taking this letter in dictation) and I will go into the Khankah Chapel and perform Tassawuri Murshid to the best of our abilities. This is in hopes, inshallah, of channeling his wish for our future. After all, the S.I.R.S. has from the beginning been intended to serve as a suitable instrument for sowing the seeds of Murshid’s transmission into the world-garden.

One respects your feeling to not be an organization man, if indeed I read your letter correctly. I shall be most happy to keep you informed of all developments.

We received our first considerable rainfall last week. It came along with a proper windstorm that bent and blew the trees and leaves all over the place. Now we are experiencing the onset of another glorious Northern California Indian summer, about which I can only say: Gee, this weather puts me right back to Autumn, 1965. Why do I always feel a sense of rebirth in the fall?

All love and blessings,