Dear Friends,

On the occasion of this first full moon of the calendar year, this ongoing blog about Murshid Samuel Lewis’ life story as it comes alive in the biography I am writing. One of the things that has deeply helped this enormous enterprise are the remembrances from the many people in his life we were able to interview. Sheikha Vera Van Voris, later known as Murshida Vera, was a tremendous source. She knew him through all his years teaching at the Sufi School in Fairfax, and more.


For those not familiar with the term ‘madzub’ in brief it refers to a human being who has an immediate and intimate relationship with the God reality, and who often is absorbed in that realm and at the same time appears strange, incoherent, eccentric, but somehow deeply invested with power. In some cultures madzubs would be treated as sacred treasures, in others treated as if insane.

From her interview, here is an excerpt of Vera’s view of Samuel Lewis in this regard:

"I knew nothing about ‘madzub’, never heard of it. Then somebody gave me this book by Meher Baba—the great work he was doing with the madzubs. I read that, and I said, "Ho, Samuel’s been doing this for years! He’s madzub, and they don’t even recognize it in their own midst, but they’re going to India to adopt another one? He is going through the state of the avatar, and they didn’t even know it. When it hit me, it was the shock of my life, to realize that, yes, here is the state of the avatar.

And the rest of my life I never entered a room where Samuel was present without sitting before him, humbly. And I will, within spirit, to the end of my days; because he was so head and shoulders above anything that anybody has recognized. He was working for the humanity on the plane of the avatar; He had all these mad things, like feeding Asia. He was all about humanity--his personal, psychic, spiritual destiny was the work for the humanity, the whole world, not us, not me individually, not you, not any of us as a small group, but the humanity."

Love and Blessings,
Wali Ali