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You are a Process
Welcome to the latest issue of The Shamcher Bulletin, bringing you snippets from Shamcher’s writings that might help frame and context our experience of the world we live in today. Special greetings to new subscribers!
“I know nothing at all, except what is required of me”
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From an audio interview
Question: What does it mean for the Sufi to understand that nothing is valuable in his spiritual quest except the presence and the attainment of the presence, being one with God attainment of the presence?
Shamcher: Well, in a sense it's the same as the physicists say now, that there is no past or future: there is only present. It approaches the problem of time and space and the physicists don't have a final answer on it, but they know that the feeling of a running of time from the past to the present and to the future is not the real picture, it's a concept of a mind.
And the Sufis, like other mystics, have the same concept, except some of them go even further and they can see, they think, in a vision, the fourth dimension or this time-space continuum. And so, that is one reason why a Sufi may say there is only the present and everything that happens, happens now. Is it something else you mean?
Q. I really meant by presence I mean the feeling of God, not the intellectual understanding of God, but the presence in the sense of a being that you are, that you are becoming.
Q. But that was very good too.
S. It would be very good if it wasn't an answer.
Q. That's right. It would have been another question.
S.Yes. You know, in the chief practice of the Sufi, this is not my body, it's the temple of God, La ilaha il allah hu. This is not my mind, this is the thought of God. This is not my heart, this is the shrine of God.
That is affirming the ancient belief or conviction of the Sufis that this is what we are, the presence of God. And so they deny that which most people think of that this is my body. I am this body even. They deny that because they feel that that is not the case.
They see it as the presence of God. So this is the basic feeling of Sufis.
And it's also the basic feeling of all the physicists, they say, You are not really a person, you are a process. You are something. What is a process?
A process is something that goes on in the stream of things, in the stream of the universal activity. Everything in a modern physicist view is activity. There is no such thing as a dead body or a firm body or a material body. Everything is constant movement and they can't predict the individual movements they can only predict averages, statistics. They can say in this atom there is a probability that 50 million nuclei will move this way and 50 other million will move this way, but they can't point on one and say this one will move this way.
And so this explains why you are not really the person you think you are, you are a process of nature And this process is very important because it is part of this whole universe. Without that process, something would go wrong. So you are a very important being.
Everybody is, whatever they do, even if they are jobless, because it's a crime, of course, for society to keep people jobless, but even so, they are part of this.
Q. Once a person has attained this sense of presence, would you say that it doesn't really matter what they do, that everything is significant?
S. Yes, yes, everything is significant. And in a sense, everything is significant, even for persons who don't realize that.
Shamcher Projects a Double
from one of Atiya’s students:
Apparently Atiya and Shamcher were having a discussion about the ability to project a double.
Some time after that, Shamcher did project one to where Atiya was - at least his head, and Atiya grabbed and pulled on his hair, at which point the double disappeared.
The next time they met in person, Shamcher asked her why she pulled on his hair. Her response was, "I had to see if it was real." His response was, "Well - you didn't have to pull so hard!"
Yogis and Mystics
Shamcher’s novel, Fairy Tales are True, begins with a meeting of prominent scientists and thinkers of the day. Excerpts here discuss science fiction, the existence of Sages and their hiding, along with a short version of a well-known teaching tale.
“What particularly interests me about science fiction,” said Dr. Jacques in his melodious voice, “is that it has made acceptable to a large segment facts and feats long realized — not necessarily by aliens from other planets, but by hermits, sages, Yogis, Sufis and other simple geniuses here on earth. What Americans and Europeans would not believe of their own species, they readily accept when applied to interstellar beings.”
Sir James nodded. “I have often thought that our dreams of mastery of life and death, psychic powers, invulnerability and so forth, expressed in our science fiction may stem from memories of past achievements of our own race, or from half-conscious communications with adepts existing here on earth.”
Jane Weiner shook her head in consternation. “You amaze me. Edward suggested that our common ambition was to break into each other’s minds and I agreed. I came here with sufficient respect for you gentlemen to want to share your knowledge. But now, I’m not so sure. [… ]Sir James and Dr. Jacques both come out for the yogis and mystics – charlatans living off the credulity of uneducated people – phonies who have been debunked a thousand times over.”
Dr. Jacques looked at Jane as only a Frenchman can. “Our charming mathematician is right,” he said. “Yogis and mystics have been found wanting time and again and thousands more will fail the test. But there is one point to consider,” he paused for emphasis, “A counterfeit is, after all, made from a pattern.”
“Your point, of course, is that phony mystics prove that genuine ones exist,” said Jane. “But if they do, where do they keep themselves? Have you ever seen one?”
“Where would you keep yourself if you were one?” asked Dr. Jacques.
“Available,” said Jane passionately. “Available to the sick and needy, available to science, so that my faculties could be registered and investigated and repeated, if possible.”
“In that sense,” said Dr. Jacques, “I’d say that they are available. They are available to the sick and needy who do not need to see them in order to benefit. They are available to the people who are willing to give their whole lives to studying them and repeating their feats.
“But they are not available to lightweight scientists who thoughtlessly invade their intricate worlds with inadequate theories and instruments, leaving a trail of confusion. They are not available to the curious who would mob them, to the show people who would first exploit them and then destroy them or to the envious who would strangle them. For people with such talents, there is little choice but to hide.”
“Hide?” said Jane. “Where?”
“There are two ways of hiding,” replied Dr. Jacques. “A simple way and a subtle way. (A geographical way and a personal way.) Some of my friends have, in remote areas, stumbled onto hermits who can almost stop their hearts, who take no food, who communicate with friends without words. Near the Gangotri Glaciers, for example, in the upper Himalayas, beyond the shrines of Badrinath and Kedernath, in places untenable to any human needing food and shelter.”
“But why should they hide in such outrageous places?” asked Jane.
“Why not?” said Dr Jacques, shrugging. “If they communicate freely at any distance, they have no need of close company. If they do not eat, except for, perhaps, a pinch of crushed rock for mineral supply, they have no need for farm land. They have no craving or need for palaces or huts or any shelter at all.
“But a more subtle way to hide is in a crowd. Such people hide, not their bodies, but their powers. There is the story of an Indian peasant, for example, known to others in his village as a pious, humble, simple soul. He had a son with vision and ambition who went far away to Tibet and came home, after many years of study, a man of many talents.
“Among other things, he had learned how to walk on water. Proudly, he started to show his simple, ignorant father how he could walk across the foaming river which passed near the village. He was halfway across when the swirling water frightened him. He fell and would have drowned had not his father calmly walked out and picked him out of the water and carried him to shore.”
Dr Jacques looked around the group, smiling. “The young man was amazed. ‘Father!’ he exclaimed. ‘I did not know you could do that.’
“The old man replied, ‘My son, that is the difference between us. You know many things and I know nothing at all, except what is required of me.’”
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