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Old 04-23-2007, 04:03 PM
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Default The Letter that shook the Daheshist World.

Many moons ago (circa 1990 or thereabouts) I was entrusted to handle a very important project spearheaded by equally important individuals that (for all practical purposes) had always claimed were the leaders of Daheshism —in essence, Doctor Dahesh's successor(s).

I was even hired and the individuals who contacted me insisted that I would be paid, and thus an official client-architect relationship was born.

The key directive, and I quote, was:

"Mario, it is your responsibility to make sure we finish on time. You must make sure of it."


Things would eventually turn sour and none of my advice was accepted. When all my attempts to make my "client" see the light failed and after I practically spent a month trying to do so, and with the deadline fast approaching, I did the unthinkable: I sent my client an invoice for my time.

My client said: "what is this for?"

I explained.

My client then said: "I know your fees are very modest, and I can understand if you need me to pay you more. I am like your mother! If you need money, Just ask me for it and don't make up reasons that are not appropriate."

I told my client: "Yes you are like my mother, but you hired me to do a job and you are not listening to me. I have to do whatever I have to do to make you see that your actions are about to ruin your chances of finishing the project on time."

My client said: "I won't pay it. Our contract was for a fixed fee. You have to spend whatever time is necessary without charging extra."

My reply was: "Fine, then I am no longer your architect, and I will no longer accept future payments and all my work will be done for free."

The money was eventually paid and the project opened on time.
But the relationship became sour. Payments for material purchased in my name was delayed... vendors starting calling... Nothing I did (and which was "approved" before) was right... I was practically pushed over the edge and I eventually fired the client (since it was clear they wanted me out of the picture) but, not before this incident happened:

At one point, I wrote a letter to my client in which I respectfully suggested that it was wrong for them to consider themselves as monarchs and that Daheshism's foundation was democracy.

That letter was torn right in my face and in view of many other Daheshists, and I was accused of being materialistic and siding with "strangers."
against Daheshism.

My name was dragged in the mud. A father in Canada even forbade his daughter from playing guitar because I played guitar (therefore, playing guitar was "evil") and, oh, the piece de resistance: those same "strangers" I was accused of favoring were eventually trusted and invited for dinner, and hired to do more projects.

I wish I had that letter... So, no, this thread is not about my letter...

Fast forward to 10 years later.

A Daheshist brother living in Paris, France, received (as the legend goes) an invitation to submit thoughts and opinions that would further the cause of Daheshism. And so it was, that brother diligently took the time to draft a 16 -page proposal (in Arabic).

And so the letter was finshed and dated "January 20, 2000."

From what I hear, when that letter was read, the ground shook and yelling ... no... screaming was heard. Words such as...

"Who does HE think HE is?!" and "HOW dare HE tell US what WE should do?!" were expressed... You know, the usual rethoric of a supreme monarch.

In my hand, I hold a manilla envelope stamped with the date "September 20, 2000"

In it, a cover letter from a Daheshist (who shall remain anonymous).

"In the name of God and the Beloved Guiding Prophet

Dear Brother Mario,

This is a copy of the letter that brother _________ sent to sister __________ and I am sending it to you on the request of your brother _________ and I ask that this matter remains between us, as with former correspondence, that way things are not taken out of context.
I hope you are successful in your projects and your work, most of all DAHESHVILLE that I await eagerly through DAHESH.ORG

I apologize for not responding to your last letter through the internet because I became very busy as God has blessed us with a child and you know how time consuming that can be given that we have no outside help.

I wish you all the brotherly peace with the hope to read new things on the Internet (Dahesh.org)

And Take care

Your Brother

______________

Attached to the letter, lo and behold, THE proposal in question... Given its length and ... eloquence (which requires a great deal of time of translation) I thought I would pull out the key elements and paraphrase what that brother was saying. This letter is both important because it shows that Daheshists do NOT all think alike—the key to DEMOCRACY—and that dissent expressed in an eloquent, logical manner...is not a sin!

To be continued.

Last edited by Johnson; 04-23-2007 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:49 PM
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Default This Letter is addressed to ALL!

Well, I started out thinking I was going to paraphrase this letter—and good for me, since that means less work!... yay!... Until... I read the part where the author (who is now, officially, among my personal favorites!) said in writing that this letter is addressed to ALL the Daheshists.

Now, I know some of you will say:"Why show our dirty laundry?"
If that happens to be you, or you... or you hinding behing your monitor screen, thinking I can't see you ... ... look at your calendar... The clock is ticking my dear brother or dear sister... it is time for Daheshism to be organized—and no, for crying out loud, I am not gunning for the post! In fact, none of us, here, who founded Daheshville are. What we ARE doing (and proudly) and make sure we expose anyone who dares let personal ambition cloud their judgement. We are the "sentinels." We have trusted this and that group. We have "jumped to conclusions" (I'm throwing that in for those of you fans of "Office Space") and our conclusion is this: We're all idiots... if nothing is done NOW. But some of you may not even know the context... In fact, all you know is that ... Daheshism is not organized, that the Museum claims that Dahesh is just a philosopher... and that a member of Daheshville already received a threat via email from a white separatist who tried to pass himself off as a devout Daheshist and managed to sucker "Doctor Ghazi Brax" into believing that HE'S the ONE who is going to help Daheshism... Wow...

If martians landed today and look at all that, they would ask "how come, of all the individuals that Doctor Ghazi Brax could have selected to (supposedly) perform such a solemn act, he ended up selecting someone like THAT?

Well, we HAVE to start somewhere... And THAT letter (I just decided a minute ago, and you can express your discontent—please go ahead, but you have to register first, and Oh... if you are not happy with the service here at Daheshville, DOUBLE your MONEY BACK!... No wait... it's FREE!) is the ANTHEM of our CAUSE.

So, without further ado, I give you the first few lines from that historic letter that you were ALL supposed to read.


Dear Sister_________ May God Keep you,

Greetings and peace. I am writing you this here letter to ask some questions regarding the path of Daheshism.

We know from experience that some will say "Who is this ___________ to ask such questions of sister ____________ with regards to the Mission?" and my answer is that I don't have any special place in the big scheme of things, and that I am simply one of the Daheshists.
And if Man was riding with other folk on a boat, it is his right to ask where the boat is headed. Daheshism concerns all Daheshists, and it is only natural that a dialogue about such matters as the direction and outcome of a particular group of people would take place among members of that aforementioned particular group. And being that this dialogue is unfortunately non-existent, and being that—regretfully—there is there is no space, or representation, or occasion, or place or opportunity or instance for dialogue and discussion or consultation, I saw to it that I address you this letter given your place of responsibility. And this letter is directed to all the Daheshists, for Daheshism, as I said, concerns everyone equally.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:45 AM
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Here is what I translated next (eventually, I'll merge all these into one continuous letter)


"Anyone who follows the news about Daheshism since the passing of its founder until today, with the intention of coming up with a tally for this period (1984-2000), and by comparison with past periods from the history of Daheshism, and looking at the nature of Daheshism and its goals, what do they find?

They find that great accomplishments have risen after the death of passing of the Prophet. Among them, the formation of a publishing house which has printed elegant and classy an important portion from the Beloved Prophet's writings, and of which to date fifty books have been printed approximately. In addition, the institution of the Museum which carries the name of the Beloved Prophet. And there is the bookstore that sells the writings. And there is the magazine. And there is the participation in the book expositions. And there is the translation of some of the Daheshist titles into some foreign languages. And all of that you have done and are doing on your own. Only you and you alone carry the burden. The credit goes back to you and you alone.

However, these achievements, albeit important, do not constitute in of themselves the principal measure to appraise this stage.
Daheshism is defined first and foremost as a religious project and a communal movement and spiritual calling whose aim is to grow and spread. And in light of this aim, as well as its relationship with the past that is know—on the one hand—and the desired future—on the other—
the review of this aforementioned phase will be done. Upon examination of the existing data and taking into consideration the state of affairs and where things stand at the moment, the report will clearly show that Daheshism is undergoing a crisis and is at a crossroads and that the ship is taking a wrong and dangerous heading."

To be continued, INDEED! ... Wow!

Last edited by Daheshville; 04-24-2007 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

Now, I know some of you will say:"Why show our dirty laundry?"
If that happens to be you, or you... or you hinding behing your monitor screen, thinking I can't see you ... ... look at your calendar... The clock is ticking my dear brother or dear sister... it is time for Daheshism to be organized—and no, for crying out loud, I am not gunning for the post! In fact, none of us, here, who founded Daheshville are. What we ARE doing (and proudly) and make sure we expose anyone who dares let personal ambition cloud their judgement. We are the "sentinels." We have trusted this and that group. We have "jumped to conclusions" (I'm throwing that in for those of you fans of "Office Space") and our conclusion is this: We're all idiots... if nothing is done NOW. But some of you may not even know the context... In fact, all you know is that ... Daheshism is not organized, that the Museum claims that Dahesh is just a philosopher... and that a member of Daheshville already received a threat via email from a white separatist who tried to pass himself off as a devout Daheshist and managed to sucker "Doctor Ghazi Brax" into believing that HE'S the ONE who is going to help Daheshism... Wow...
Mario, thank you so much for what you are doing !

You are inspiring and stimulating each one of us … you are calling our Brothers and Sisters to unite themselves within faith and to express their love for our Beloved Guiding Prophet ... to embrace the Destiny of our faith which is their destiny …

I know you and I know your heart … Gandhi said "Truth is what the voice within tells you" and these words perfectly describe what you are doing and your commitment to The Daheshist Mission ... Thank you !

You are also questioning each one of us about the basis of a democratic organisation that would be necessary for The Daheshist Mission (and ... this letter you've so nicely begun to translate seemed to be from the same impulse ... )

Democracy respects fundamental elements such as liberty, equality, fraternity, reason, human experience, the prevalence of the rules of law, respect of natural rights, and the importance of each individual in social relationships …

In the Daheshist Mission everyone has a profound respect for Gandhi - who had a spiritual fluid from The Doctor - that’s why I would like to quote him when he wrote about Democracy …

Each one of us will certainly be inspired by these beautiful words … but if these are JUST wonderful words instead of being moral principles that would guide our actions ...


Gandhi said :

Democracy is NOT a state in which people act like sheep.

To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect, and their oneness. It is a great institution and, therefore, it is liable to be greatly abused. It necessarily means a conflict of will and ideas, involving sometimes a war . . . between different ideas.

Evolution of democracy is not possible if we are not prepared to hear the other side.

In true democracy every man and women is taught to think for himself or herself.

The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within.

The very essence of democracy is that every person represents all the varied interests which compose the nation.

My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest.

.

Last edited by Sandrine; 04-24-2007 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:58 PM
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To continue with some poignant and applicable quotes from Ghandi that I personally enjoy:

“Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected”

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

“What do I think of Western civilisation? I think it would be a very good idea.”
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:15 AM
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Default Letter continued...

Before I continue with the translation, I have to mention that I have not met the author of this letter, nor has he contacted us. In fact, I don't even know much about him except for his name (which I will NOT reveal without his permission/request)

I would like to also mention that there are no "villains" in this story. In fact, I don't even consider Darrick Evenson a bad person. Putting him aside (for later) and going back to this letter, I truly think each player in this saga acted in an honest manner... Their actions might have been blinded by passion, but the intentions were "honest."

In fact, today, the main characters involved in this story have faded from the spotlight, perhaps broken and disillusioned. We will never know.
And that is why these (perhaps) feeble attempts at jump starting Daheshist harmony (and dare I say, unity) are taking place. The Doctor was famous for asking the following question :" Did you do your duty?" and if you answered "yes" he would say "Then leave the rest to God."

There will come a time Daheshville might no longer be here, and we hope others come along and take the relay, for truth be told, when it comes to unifying the Dahehsists—no measure of effort is enough.

A word of caution, however, there are those programmed to follow their own instinct and feed their thirst for power. They will knock on your door pretending to be angels and that they are working for the greater good of Daheshism. They may even cite spiritual letters they got and how they were intrusted to spread Daheshism, or perhaps they will tell you "I had a dream..."

Whack them on the head and send them running to the devils they once alligned themselves with in order to complete their "mission."

Daheshism is Excalibur and whoever is going to assume its DEMOCRATIC leardership will be akin to King Arthur. He, or she must be noble at heart with selfless aims, and not opportunistic.

As I translate this letter, I am beginning to understand more and more who I might be comfortable voting for, once Daheshism officially organizes. God willing.

And now, back to this historic letter...


" Dear Sister ___________

What I am saying is not a criticism of you or of what you are achieving in terms of big works. God forbid! And as well as others who part of Daheshism have no doubt that your will and your concern—may it be day or night—is to persevere and to complete the Daheshist project. So I hope you that you listen to me and that you are not too quick to judge what I am saying. For it has nothing to do with arguing over preaching and the Will (of the Doctor) and the disagreements and what whatever rivalries and absurdities and the divisions among the Daheshists into opposing sects. For all such wickedness is the pastime of the liars. The Mission is far loftier and merits that we are diligent in examining matters and analyzing them and fix the problems that oppose us.

I would like to say that the policy that is followed, and the path that is taken, and the standing plan, since the fifteen years, have not been able to realize the desired goal. And man can believe that he is walking fast towards the East, then he finds himself at the end of the rainbow the farthest West.

Your attention is totally poured on two things that cannot be counted with others and they are: printing the Beloved Guiding Prophet's books and establishing the museum. And these are two important matters that you undertaking with great success. And with that, you are executing what the Beloved Prophet has asked you to do.

However, reducing Daheshism completely down to these two things, without taking into consideration the needs that have been generated due to the absence of the Prophet, and focusing your attention on only those two matters, is, in my opinion, a strategical error with dangerous consequences.

Dear Sister ____________

Assume you are social scientist or a reporter and that you have been following the news of the emerging (growing) religious movements, and that you were assigned the task of producing an investigative report about the Daheshist Calling being that it is, as we said, a religious project and a communal movement. First which will catch your attention in current Daheshism are two matters whose source are one.

The first matter is the lack of direction in Daheshism, and the total lack of any semblance of organization, and the lack of any structure or alliance of an organizational, social, solidaristic, or even symbolic in nature that binds the Daheshists together and makes them a community that is clearly identifiable and present, or a movement that is able to execute the goals defined by the founder of the religion.

The second matter is that Daheshism is not renewing, for it has lost its initial momentum, and it has no vision for the future or any known strategy or project or master plan or guided policy, neither for the present nor for the near or distant future."

To be continued...

Last edited by Sandrine; 04-25-2007 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Error of translation: we should read "fifteen years" where was written "twenty five years"
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post
Before I continue with the translation, I have to mention that I have not met the author of this letter, nor has he contacted us. In fact, I don't even know much about him except for his name (which I will NOT reveal without his permission/request)
I personally know this brother and I would like to say that he is a sweet man, very quiet and discreet, intellectually brilliant … highly educated and excellent in Arabic and French languages.

I remember him when he was coming quite everyday to visit The Doctor - who stayed and lived with us, in my parent's house near Paris for about one month - and he was often coming back to Paris (where he lived at that time) late at night by train, because our house was so small that it couldn't contain all our brothers and sisters who accompanied The Doctor … a very peaceful man …

I really don’t understand what could have been wrong in his letter … and if we take into consideration that he was asked to do so, to write a report about "The State of The Mission", to think about what should be done for the future … he was independant and free to write his comments and suggestions ... that's logical and democratic ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

I would like to also mention that there are no "vilains" in this story. In fact, I don't even consider Darrick Evenson a bad person. Putting him aside (for later) and going back to this letter, I truly think each player in this saga acted in an honest manner... Their actions might have been blinded by passion, but the intentions were "honest."

In fact, today, the main characters involved in this story have faded from the spotlight, perhaps broken and disillusioned. We will never know.
And that is why these (perhaps) feeble attempts at jump starting Daheshist harmony (and dare I say, unity) are taking place. The Doctor was famous for asking the following question :" Did you do your duty?" and if you answered "yes" he would say [I]"Then leave the rest to God."
I agree with you Mario and there is so much pain and suffering that could have been avoided, such illogical and non-excepted events ... or should I say expected events ... Our Beloved Prophet left us so lonely after his departure for his lofty Paradise ...

Each one of us has been torn in one way or another …

Last edited by Sandrine; 04-25-2007 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:48 AM
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I find the tone of his remarks as shared with us by Mario thus far to be very engaging...it certainly leaves me wanting to know more.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post
I would like to say that the policy that is followed, and the path that is taken, and the standing plan, since the twenty five years, have not been able to realize the desired goal. And man can believe that he is walking fast towards the East, then he finds himself at the end of the rainbow the farthest West.
I am interested to know about the reference to "the twenty five years". Is that a reference to a time period beginning with the death of Dr Dahesh or did that begin at some other time? Are there other details know about "a plan"?

Last edited by Loup Solitaire; 04-25-2007 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:41 PM
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Mario, thank you, thank you again for your tireless (although I KNOW you are tired!) research and translations to compile all this information.

This letter is both inspiring as well as saddening. It mentions the nearly 25 years that have passed since the Dr.'s passing and takes inventory of what has (outwardly anyway) happened to date. I too applaud the establishing of the Museum and the publishing of the Dr.'s books. I am not privy to the wishes of the Dr. of the how, the when or the what of the course of Daheshism. I never met Dr. Dahesh. Frankly, I am not privy to anything. All I have is what I feel in my heart and any 'facts' and 'details' I know, I only know them primarily because I have been blessed in my life of having
a true brother and friend in Mario...for nearly these same 25 years.

I have to imagine there is an overall 'plan' to things...certainly spiritually there is...there ALWAYS IS! But here on earth, in the day to day, relative to Daheshism and what is being done, and what should be done...I don't know. I think many have been kind of laying in waiting mode for things to become clearer.

Are WE the plan??? No... Are we a part of the plan??? Yes... I believe so...Daheshville, and the documentation and the discussions here I believe ARE part of the plan. The people that come here; the people that post publicly, privately; the hundreds that read this site every day; the thousands of downloads that people have made from this site over the 10 months Daheshville has been online...these are all part of the story of Daheshism.

There is a unification and renaissance of togetherness that can be harvested if just some sort of olive branch were extended through some means; there is so much inspired and devoted talent that is out there (and here!) that are asking questions that I have to imagine there are answers to. A framework needs to be formed...and we are trying to form it.

While it may have always been implied by the authors and contributors to this site, I formally offer this olive branch to all that read these lines. I do not want to see sects and different camps of Daheshism established from the very ground zero of Daheshism. (((There are many years ahead for future generations to mess things up on that front!)))

Last edited by Johnson; 04-25-2007 at 12:43 PM.
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