Recorded at Lama Foundation in New Mexico, June 1970. Murshid talks about awe and devotion as spiritual obstacles.
The audio recording quality is muddy and distorted.
0:00—”Well, what can you do? Well, maybe I can do nothing, but it happens that I happen to have in my possession this passport. So, I came to this strange conclusion: that those people from whom he has gotten money deserve to have it taken from them…. And when the whole thing went over, I had people ship the money back, I earned the respect of the Maharishi and not the respect of the people I helped … the situation. He respected me because I was working for what I considered a moral standard, but those other people were not that type. Now, the result is that the Maharishi has, although I haven’t seen him, highest respect for me personally which I never asked from him, because I dealt with him dualistically on that plane. But then the question came up in the meeting at the University of California—What is transcendental meditation? The answer came—all meditation is transcendental. This is the answer, not, and the objection was from his point of view, not what the Maharishi was doing but anything but words. Now, the Maharishi was not doing any wrong in the world except in the implication of words, that you had a meditation that was transcendental … now this is an implication and it was never said this way. Now, we have in this world, I will give you the reverse side, an idea of awe, awesomeness toward a lot of people who have come from India. I am not going to speak about this for or against.”
2:00—Attitude in India towards Baghdadi Jews.
2:10—Attitude among the “outcastes, towards Christian missionaries … an awe to the strange, an awe to the unusual.”
2:30—“Certain types from India have used this awe to further their own selves, but it is also true that some from this side, other people have done the same thing going into other countries.”
3:20—The downgrading of Jesus Christ by this strange awesomeness to other things.
3:40—Murshid’s experience in Christian monasteries: The Franciscan Fathers and then the Benedictines.
4:10—“Because in going to Christian churches in India, I was so astounded by the wholesomeness and devotion of the people in those churches.”
4:45—Church in Bombay.
4:54—“We would not have had the Indian revival of learning which took place in the 19th century, came as a reaction on the part of the Hindus when they found out that the Jesuits were going to give the Upanishads to the Western World. So they got out quick, and began translating everything.”
5:30—“We have that capacity for awe and reverence, but we have a tendency to also see it in the stranger and not into the one close at hand.”
5:45—Murshid’s interaction with a Jesuit in a conference in Switzerland—covering devotion with intelligence.
6:58—“All the reverence and awe we have towards certain types of Hindus does not give us more knowledge which is in the Upanishads, of going through the grades, of increased ananda in our own selves. Then I would be dualistically wrong if I did not … that’s one of the reason I am going into this music and dancing, to increase the ananda, not the awe of another person, towards another person, but the ananda in your own self. And when that comes out, you begin to find this God within, and you do it through an experience.”
7:33—Question about Murshid’s forthrightness.
8:50—About endless poverty in Calcutta and Karachi: “Feed my sheep, feed my lambs has stood out as such a contrast … I was never the same … I just went mad … this tremendous poverty, contrasted, not just poverty, but contrasted with the most obvious wealth and ostentation … there’s no Jesus Christ to denounce the money-changers.”
10:40—In a debate with a Hindu—Murshid saw this body as the temple of God and the Hindu saw only the highest body as the temple of God.
11:40—Another question about “feeding people.”
11:55—“When you plant a single seed, spiritually, you are feeding the whole of humanity…. When you put up the smallest place of devotion … you are building the most magnificent temple of God. When you do the smallest thing, you are doing the greatest thing. But when you build an “awe” around it, it lures (?) people or makes them intoxicated, you are not doing it.”
14:30—Murshid’s respect for the Catholic church.
15:20—Catholic Church’s sanctifying of saints and Sufi’s method of building up tombs.
16:00—Patriarch of Zen—attuning to the teacher, becoming them actually (tasawwuri) and conscious realization (Tat Twam Asi) of that person.
17:18—“Now I make a show of it, which is sometimes accepted, that I am the reincarnation of Marpa, the teacher of Milarepa. And … I’ve got an awful lot of Marpa in me, not very much Milarepa. That is my Dharma in this world to behave in that way, but also is the response (?) of Dharma, to produce incipient Milarepas, and if I don’t produce them, I fall. And if I do, it becomes justified. So having a Marpa function, when I go in the other functions, I always (fall/fail/follow (?)); when I take the Marpa function, it is more and more successful.”
18:04—“In Japan, especially in esoteric Buddhism, they make a division between Fudo and Kwan Yin. Now Fudo is a fierce nasty bastard who beats everybody, and Kwan Yin is always love and gentility, but this is a mask over reality; because no one can be a complete Kwan Yin unless she has some Fudo quality; and no one can be a complete Fudo, or be anybody unless he has the greatest love and reverence for them.”
19:24—“I’m not a namby-pamby negative person”—talks about family legal issues with brother and change from Gandhi-ite to new approach.
20:30—“La Illaha El Il Allah—The extreme case and the phonetic case is: begin to recognize God more and more and don’t put too many gradients over you. You have the right to put only one person above you, and that is your guru. And not just other people because they put an awe there; and until they’ve opened you, then you become intoxicated by form; but when your guru gives you the directive.”
21:00—Murshid Sam’s spiritual journey: India.
22:00—Question about Tat Twam Asi.
23:14—I am the vine and ye are the branches thereof.
28:06—Murshid story about his return from Orient.
30:00—“Inayat Khan spent more time with Murshid Sam that other mureeds, and that aroused jealousy … and Murshid couldn’t function.”
31:00—“I reached that point where it was possible to sit down with people and by breathing with them, by looking at their eyes, or holding their hands, to feel not only their obvious pain but to feel the pain beyond that pain; and then do something about it. And I am very glad, because if you’ve got any awe about me, I’d go mad. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve dropped dishes in the kitchen, I’ve burned the rice, I didn’t … any more nights, and all of this would happen. And so, I’ve asked God not to be perfect, to function with all my faults.”
32:00—“I said: God, if you give me a just punishment for my sins, then that’s all I want, a just punishment. I don’t want forgiveness; I don’t want any magic…. And I asked God then: please don’t make me perfect if it establishes awe.”