March 25, 1979--ready to die

This most poignant letter of Moineddin’s touched me deeply at the time. It touches me today.


March 25, 1979

Dearest Mansur,

Peace be with you…

It is happening Mansur. One’s whole life is passing before one’s eyes. The hand of ‘Izrail will not be stayed.

“On the return of ‘Izrail to heaven with the handful of earth, God said he would make him the angel of death. ‘Izrail represented that this would make him very hateful to men; but God said ‘Izrail would operate by disease and sickness…. Moreover, death is in reality a boon to the spiritual, and it is only fools who cry, ‘Would that this world might endure for ever, and that there were no such thing as death!’” (Masnavi)

Naturally, one would like and love to feel strong and healthy. I keep up my walking, and now that the weather is warming I am starting to go swimming again. But dialysis patients are afflicted with a number of side conditions that rob one of physical strength: anemia, progressive bone dystrophy, and fluctuations from one extreme to the other in the bodily and mental spheres. The bone dystrophy is perhaps the worst. I used to be able to play tennis for half an hour at a time (two years ago); now the lower bak is in such pain that a twenty-minute walk poops me completely. These are not complaints; they are facts in one’s life to date.

All indications inner and outer, all intuitions, have only reinforced the overall impression of impending transition from the life on earth. So I am only putting the house in order, and in these last years, or months, or hours, one’s whole attention is upon the growth to fullness morally and spiritually of those who must carry on the work which we feel it is our trust to realize.

If Allah chooses to reverse the present process fine. I am contenting myself with whatever happens. At the same time there is nothing of giving in; actually, I am doing everything possible to maintain the highest level of energy I can, and to maintain all the major concentrations, inshallah. Yesterday’s Darshan was the finest yet, and I have made plans to go to Lama in May, to the Northwest Sufi Camp in late summer, and to the Mendocino Camp in between. All of these schedulings require extra efforts to secure dialysis arrangements away from home, or to operate within severe time limits if I’m only gone for a weekend.

I don’t ask you to accept any of this. I only tell it to you so that you will have a picture of this one’s view at this time.

‘Many a hidden Mansur there is who, confiding in the soul of Love, abandoned the pulpit and mounted the scaffold.” (Masnavi)

More later, including Fatima’s companions’ names and addresses. She is back, alhamdulillah! All is well…

With love and blessings,