March 23, 1977

Would a reader please tell me the identity of Shems, James, and Azim mentioned by Moineddin the the first paragraph of his March 23, 1977 letter, so I can fully identify them? “Stephen Gaskin’s people” refers to followers of the hippy leader Stephen Gaskin [b. February 16, 1935], who established The Farm in Tennessee. During the 60s Stephen Gaskin gave the Monday Night Class to overflow crowds at a venue like The Family Dog in San Francisco, if my memory is correct.

The John Johnson mentioned in the second to last paragraph refers to Mansur’s chief disciple, subsequently known as Himayat Inayati, who served for many years as Director of the Healing Order in the Sufi Order International. One of the reasons I could comfortably retire from teaching when I did was because of the accomplishments of John Johnson. Murshid made it clear to me that when a mureed received the intended  transmission from the teacher, that the teacher was free to leave the body, or in my case, to move on to other things.

The short newspaper article copied below was zeroxed in the original into a space left after Moineddin typed the letter.

The downplayed (by Moineddin) huge elephant in the room item in this letter is his announcement “my transplant operation is set for Tuesday morning, June 28.”

The sharing of newspaper articles, diplomatic speeches, and book reviews throughout this correspondence suggest how chummy Moineddin and Mansur were in these days.


March 23, 1977

Dear Mansur,

Beloved One of Allah, peace be with you!

Yesterday two guys from the scaffolding company came and set up their rig around Hurkalya. Jemila sent some money to have the house painted. Shems lost James, Surya and Azim to regular jobs, so he is now looking into hiring Stephen Gaskin’s people to help him. The scaffolding estimate was $800 so you can imagine how much metal surrounds our every view.

After a nice weekend of sunny weather for Pir’s seminar for Leaders here, today it is raining—a soft rain like I remember them in Bolinas, soft and constant.

Thought you would enjoy the following clipping from yesterday’s paper. I call this ‘duck diplomacy’ a kind of Sufism-in-reverse:

S.F. Examiner—Page 11

Tues., Mar. 22, 1977

Carter, Fukuda find things ducky

WASHINGTON—Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda calls Japanese foreign policy “duck diplomacy.” And President Carter says he knows why.

Explaining to American guests at his working White House dinner for Fukuda, Carter said: “That means that everything is calm on top, but you’re paddling like crazy underneath.”

I forget whether or not I mentioned to you that my transplant operation is set for Tuesday morning, June 28. Quite a few of my family members will be converging on the scene for that time; of course, my sister will also be in the hospital with me since she is the donor.

Pir Vilayat [Khan] had very nice things to say about John Johnson and the Florida groups. But as Murshid taught: “Any prowess on the part of a disciple is due to his teacher.”

No need to reply; I know you are busy and progably traveling too. Love and blessings to you and Ayesha, Nathan, Ananda, Qayoom and Kirpal Krishna.

As-salaam aleikhum,

Moineddin et al.