These indeed are the times that try men's souls. A mystic's view of the ups and downs of politics and the world in general is significantly different than the ordinary view. Hazrat Inayat Khan said the words that follow in "The Bowl of Saki" and Murshid Samuel Lewis wrote the commentary.
"Put your trust in God for support and see God's hidden hand working through all sources." Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary from Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti):
"For the Salik, or sincere traveler on the spiritual path, this trust should be a verity not a blind faith in chance, not an unfounded optimism, but a trust founded upon surety. There is a world of differences between such a view and fatalism. The Salik in order to see God's hidden hand must see, and not merely hope. Then through the awakening of the heart the Salik discerns the spiritual forces in every part of the Universe.
When I was a young man in a Reform Jewish synagogue in Mississippi we were studying the Seven Plagues in our confirmation class. Every time the Prophet Moses acting as God's representative to Pharaoh revealed a divine plague such as the water of the Nile turning to blood, Pharaoh would agree to let the Hebrew slaves go out into the wilderness to worship with Moses and Moses would cause the plague to end. Over and over this happened and each time the text would say "But God caused Pharaoh's heart to harden" and he changed his mind about letting the Hebrews go. I asked the Rabbi why did we say Pharaoh was the epitome of everything evil and Moses of everything good when the Biblical text said this. He couldn't answer my question, but the depth of the question continued to resonate with me and led to a mystical life.
The period of the 1930s, where I am presently writing was a time of great social upheaval and tremendous poverty. Murshid Sam was co-authoring the book "Glory Roads" at this time. It was a book about the new groups forming in California in the political spotlight. A few quotations will show how this all matches up with our present situation.
"In Los Angeles the boom of the 20's was now in a backwash. This city and county was to have the unenviable distinction of being called the "blackest spot" in the United States. The army of unemployed threatened the peace of the city, the stability of government itself. There was little relief, federal or state, Community chests were taxed to the utmost. Charitable institutions were down to their last dime. But there were no moratoriums on foreclosures; homes were being taken over by banks and mortgage companies in sickening numbers…the fear and the hopelessness of 1930 and 1932.
"To some of the local soothsayers the day of Armageddon had arrived. Groups and organizations, some worthy, some sinister, began to take form. The Silver Shirts were accused of carrying on military drills in the hills near San Diego; the Ku Kluxers rode; agitators, demagogues, socialists, communists, anti-semites, anti-Catholics became vocal. The wolves were in the wake of the famine. A great fermentation was beginning again in California. There were at least twenty known groups in San Francisco whose purpose was to lead the way out of depression…. No two groups agreed on anything fundamental.
Murshid Sam said to truly do what Hazrat Inayat Khan proposed was not to become a fatalist. Fatalism just accepts everything that happens with a sense it was fated to be that way so we should just accept it as it is.
On the contrary we need to look deep into the sway of life and find the One and Only Being's cosmic compassion, and manifest it in our own sphere of activity, which if you were Samuel Lewis would be universal. Difficulties lead to creative solutions and Murshid Sam was quite involved in much of this creative genesis during the depression era.
The moon is so very, very close to the Earth this time round that I think there may need to be another blog to come out on the subject of our times transposed with the life of Murshid Sam.
Love and Blessings,