Introduction

An excerpt from the book’s Introduction, by Carol Sill:

Much of sufi teaching is deeply and universally based in a particular beautiful relationship between teacher and pupil. For the pupil, the presence of a friend or teacher catalyzes an experience which is at the heart of the sufi path, the awakening of the sleeping soul to realization. These letters form an intimate document of one such relationship.

Murshid Shamcher Beorse was just a name on a list when I began corresponding with him in 1974. I was immediately thrown into the mystical realms through our contact. He was insistent that he was not or never would be a “teacher”, very non-hierachial in approach. I exploded in his presence: the journey had begun! As this happened mainly through the mail and in the air, it is all documented here – in real time. Soon I was swept into the world of the sufis, meeting interesting people who were developed in extraordinary ways, all the while coming closer to understanding my self.

These letters speak of the extraordinary love between sufis – that love of God through one another. I trust that you can understand their mysticism – the winding paths of love, the realm of exquisite sentiment pushed past all limits. Rather than letting love narrow the universe to the points of two individuals, two individuals expand through love. Shamcher taught me to grow love wider than all creation, and to feed all in fierce expansive compassionate understanding.

Sharing these letters is both intensely personal and immensely impersonal. On the surface, they seem to chronicle a common enough love-story but they actually reveal an extraordinary tale: the seed of humanity’s development is hidden here. As the tree is contained in the seed, so the full flower of this understanding and its fruit are contained in these letters. The seeds are advice intended for my particular personality. For those who can see behind the personal individual advice, this is a universal story, another revelation of the unfolding of the soul to begin life’s work.

We corresponded weekly, sometimes daily, through years until Shamcher’s passing in 1980. Naturally, I kept and treasured all his letters to me, but what I didn’t know was that he kept all mine to him, and copies of every letter he sent out.

At one point in this correspondence relationship he mailed all my letters back to me, with copies of his own, asking me to put them into a book. I was overwhelmed, but as I put them together, the form of his teaching, my growth, our relationship and the universal love of the sufis took shape before my eyes.

This book is part of Shamcher’s legacy. He knew it at the time he told me to publish these letters. It exists not so much as my own story but more as a way of contact with him. His approach may be more relevant now than ever.