My Letter to President Obama

October 28, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Last year I wrote a Christmas letter to President Obama (which I sent to him along with a present).  I want to share it with you before the election. It is below:

December 14, 2011

Dear President Obama:

I want you to know, with all your burdens and responsibilities, that I feel toward you as if you were my own son, and that I am honored to have you as my President.

I and many millions more have your back :)

Your intelligence and generosity of heart, your kindness and strength of character, are a testament to the brave soul of your mother, and to your grandparents, and your lovely wife and daughters.

Times are very hard, I know, and the economy you inherited, though slowly improving, still weighs on you; yet we are a hundred times better off now, thanks to the social safety nets put in place by Democratic Presidents and Congresses of the past.

A friend who lived through the Great Depression wrote this:

Those who lived through the 1930s and early 1940s, capitalize the word Depression. You can hear the capital “D” when we speak of it.  Cushioned generations have no inkling of the reality of those years.  Men lost their pride, many for the rest of their lives; women’s dreams died in their wombs.  Life was grinding work and anxiety.  The Depression was far more than an economic downturn: it was a world without a bottom. Every day with food was Thanksgiving. We were to learn that war is noisy violence; we already knew the silent violence of poverty.

I know you will win re-election, and I predict easily and without doubt that you will be one of the very greatest sons of the American experience. I pray for your success, your health, and your safety each night. 

I can also sense in your beautifully written books that you are guided by a profound creative and spiritual nature, and the love and dedication to service that, by God’s grace, is the root of all such natures.

I am the eldest son of Jewish Holocaust survivors who came to America in 1948 seeking a better life for themselves and their children. Through the course of a long life working as a writer and editor, I have come to write a book. I have also been a Sufi dervish for nearly twenty years.

Such a story is as unique to America as your own, where, as you well know, all things are possible. In that spirit, please accept my novel, Master of the Jinn, as a humble gift from a very grateful American, in the hope that reading it will help ease the stress of your daily burdens.

Love and many blessings,

Irving Karchmar

Here is a scan of the card I received back:

Please VOTE!

Ya Haqq!


Author Interview and Book Giveaway :)

November 13, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Our Sister Saba of the Of Thoughts and Words blog, has graciously asked me to participate in an author interview about the writing of Master of the Jinn and the Sufi path.  Click HERE to read the interview, and be sure to enter your name and email in the contest at the end to win a FREE COPY of Master of the Jinn.

Ya Haqq!


Master of the Jinn – Two FIVE STAR Reviews!!

June 3, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In the last week, Master of the Jinn has received two Five Star reviews on Amazon.com. They are below. And you can check out all 19 reviews (and add one if you like) HERE.

Simply Fabulous by Ruth

This review is from: Master of The Jinn: A Sufi Novel (Paperback) Master of The Jinn is a wonderful Sufi tale of love and tolerance. Regardless of your faith or beliefs, Master of The Jinn will transport you to a fantastical world of adventure with a deeper message that will open your heart. Do not start this book late at night unless you are ready to read into the wee hours of the morning! I can only hope for a sequel….

Highly Recommended! by A Customer

This review is from: Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel (Kindle Edition) It is wonderful that Master of the Jinn has been translated into English. Offering a whirlwind ride back to the time of Solomon, the reader is taken on a mystical vision-quest in an effort to answer some of life’s most difficult questions.

Crossing the boundaries for all of the “people of the Book” with ease and with a great story line, Master of the Jinn points us clearly towards finding answers. A delightful read – - I highly recommend it!

Ya Haqq!

PS:  To read, excerpts of the first two chapters, reviews, and reader comments, click HERE.


English Book and Ebook of Master of the Jinn in Germany

April 25, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The English paperback and Ebook of Master of the Jinn is now being sold in Germany on the Amazon.de website.

To buy the English Master of the Jinn Paperback in Germany click HERE.

To buy the English Master of the Jinn Ebook in Germany, click HERE.

And of course, for the German translation, Meister der Jinn, click HERE.

Ya Haqq!


Master of the Jinn is a Google Ebook!

December 8, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Google Ebooks is finally a reality, and Master of the Jinn is now available from the Google Ebookstore for only $3.82, the lowest price yet :)  Click HERE to order or view a sample.

You can read Google eBooks on the Web, Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and supported eReaders.

Google EBooks are stored in the cloud, so there is no file to download if you want to read on your computer, phone or tablet. To read online using the web reader, simply click the read button on any free or purchased ebooks. Once you open your book using our mobile reader apps, your book will sync to your device and you can continue reading it online or offline.

Try the Google eBooks apps to start reading seamlessly on all your devices now. Your ebooks will be stored within your Google account, which allows you to save your page positions and sync across all the devices as you continue reading.

See full list of supported devices. Learn more about using multiple devices to read.

Please let me know if you try it, and how the book reads on Google :)

If you prefer the paperback version of Master of the Jinn, click HERE to read excerpts, reviews and comments.

Ya Haqq!


Master of the Jinn in India

October 13, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Mohammed Ali Vakil, a friend from the Sufi Comics blog, sent this photo of Master of the Jinn for sale in a bookstore in Bangalore, the third largest city in India :)

If you are in India and see Master of the Jinn for sale, please take a photo and send it to me at:  Irvingk1945 at gmail dot com.

I will post them on the Master of the Jinn Facebook group page :)

Ya Haqq!

PS:  You can also order the book in India directly from Hay House, the publisher, by clicking HERE.


Book Notes – Master of the Jinn

September 30, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

BOOK NOTES:

Master of the Jinn has been published in INDIA, in English, by Hay House/India :)  If you live in India, you can purchase a copy at your local bookseller, or online HERE.

Master of the Jinn will also be translated and published in Malayalam, the language of the Kerala State of India, early in 2011.

The Kindle Ebook of Master of the Jinn is now available in the UK, and can be downloaded HERE.

Master of the Jinn will be translated and published in Malaysia in late 2010/early 2011, and will be titled Tuan Jin.

Abu Pokeman, a fan of Master of the Jinn has revealed on his blog what the characters would look like if they were made of Lego. Very cute :) You can see them below:

Ya Haqq :)


Review of Meister der Jinn – the German Translation

September 26, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Here is an old review (June, 2009) a friend was kind enough to finally translate of Meister der Jinn, the German translation of Master of the Jinn, from the magazine Spirit Connection. To order the book, click HERE.

Sufism in the Form of a Novel

This Sufi novel leads the reader into the desert, in a sandstorm, which brings the hidden into the light, into a night out of the limits of time and into the city of the Jinn. The Jinn are, like humans and angels, creatures fashioned by God; they possess free will and their fortunes/destiny lie at the core of this story.

The external journey is at the same time an inner spiritual one. The adventure of a Master and his Dervishes (Sufi apprentices) is very vividly described, so that one can easily empathize with its images. The rhythm of the novel alternates between slow passages and intensive climactic moments, thus ensuring suspense. As in the novels of Paulo Coehlo, the characters, adventures and spiritual notions are kneaded into a mixture; one is so riveted by the events of the book that one wants to read the book very quickly to the end. Through the statements of the main character of the novel and the interspersed citations of Sufi Masters, the reader is brought closer to an understanding of Sufi Philosophy.  Not only is the Terminology of the Sufis explained in a glossary at the end of the book, but also short and concise elucidations are given in the text itself so that one does not always need to leaf back and forth through the pages of the book.

It is possible that some will feel that there is a lack of philosophical depth; however, that is not necessarily the purpose of a novel. In any case, emotionally sensitive people will not be shortchanged and will be able to be deeply touched. But then again, the end was too sweet for my personal taste with its Hollywood-type happy conclusion.

Readers who are easily stimulated into reflection will find in this book enough opportunities to do so, for example when the Master asks: “And do you also think that they do not know what you think of them now”?  If this had been the case in our own reality, how differently we would feel inwardly and how differently we would all live together outwardly.

In all, this is a felicitous book that presents a good change from the many spiritual “non-fiction books”.

- Alfred Groff

Ya Haqq!


New Master of the Jinn in Indonesia

April 25, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The fifth printing and new edition of Master of the Jinn in the Indonesian translation has been released, with a new cover :)

Also, for the first time, you can order the Indonesian translation both as a paperback and as an EBOOK in pdf format, directly from the publisher, as well as buy it at the bookstores.  Just email Mr. Salahuddien at this address:

bunda_laksmi@yahoo.com

Write Ebook or Paperback, in the subject line. and he will let you know  how to send payment. The Paperback costs Rp 39,999, or about $4.50 US, and the Ebook costs Rp 10,000  or about $1.00 US  :)

Ya Haqq!


Meditation on Death

April 9, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Because I could not stop for Death he kindly stopped for me. The carriage held but just Ourselves and Immortality.Emily Dickinson

In December of 1986, I was operated on to remove my pituitary gland and the small benign tumor within it that had resulted in Cushing’s Disease, and had caused a lengthy hospital stay in the beginning of that year. It was during that earlier hospital stay that I had the out-of-body experience I have written about in a previous post (which you can read here).

I remember the anesthesia being administered and being told to count backwards from one hundred. At about 96, I blinked my eyes, and when I opened them again an instant later, I was being wheeled back to my room. I asked the nurse, “When does it start?”  She answered, “It’s all over.”

Eight hours had passed in the blink of an eye. It could have been eight years, or eight million. The anesthesia blanked me out of existence so completely, that I wondered if death was like that:

An instant that lasts for eternity!

In the years since those two events, and as I approach my sixty-fifth birthday, death itself holds no fear for me, because just as in the Angel of Death excerpt from Master of the Jinn, I really do consider it a mercy from God.  But I cannot but wonder if one of those experiences holds the answer to the great mystery of what comes afterward.  Both possessed the immediacy of experiential truth, but can both be real? Is the instant of nothingness a precursor to awaking on a different plane of existence? Can it be that our spirit, or soul, or ka, or whatever your faith calls it, leaves the physical body at death and after an instant of blankness, joins, or rejoins, the Eternal Godhead?

Socrates asked the same question, concluding: “Death is one of two things…Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another.”

My late father-in-law believed the former. Once I asked him if he thought that we live on after death. He said, “Yes, in blood and memory.”  In other words, we live on in the bloodline passed to our children and grandchildren and down the generations. And in the memory they carry of us, until that is lost in time, when those that still remember us have also died.  He considered himself a realist.

And yet, the first law of thermodynamics, an expression of the principle of the conservation of energy, states that energy can be transformed (changed from one form to another), but cannot be created or destroyed.

Is that also true of the energy of consciousness, which is, after all, the only part of us that really would go on after the body dies? Or is it just our greater Self that goes on, our soul, which is that ineffable part of us that is always in touch with, and originally a part of, the Oneness of Divine Love? Inshallah, it is so.  I do not mind at all leaving the lesser self behind; the individual ego with its fears and jealousy and enmity and regrets. Let it die as the electro-chemical brain and body functions come to a stop.

I know that love goes on.  And after years on the Sufi path,  I have seen what can only be described as a glimpse of… something other.

There is some comfort in the belief that the body is nothing but a shell for the evolution of consciousness, “to evolve toward the Godhead,” as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French philosopher and Jesuit priest wrote in The Phenomenon of Man.

And, so as not to waste what God has given, I am also an organ donor; I prefer to leave all organs that are still of any use to help others, and the rest to be cremated.  I like the efficiency of the fire, taking up as little room at the end as I did at the beginning. And I like the idea of my ashes scattered to the winds of the world.

But does individual consciousness completely die? Or does the soul or greater Self have its own higher level of consciousness? My late Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, was asked this very question, and he said, “In the end, the drop becomes one with the Ocean, but it does not lose its wetness.”

There is hope in that statement. I have studied many religions and their beliefs of the afterlife, and in all honesty they sound mainly the same, a heavenly paradise where the individual self consciousness, and often the resurrected body, is kept intact and rewarded or punished for its life on earth in just measure to its deeds. But if the individual self stops at the end of life, the afterlife must be something else entirely. What that something else, that wetness is, is one of the eternal questions of living beings.  The ultimate mystery!

And that’s what I’m counting on :) All questions are inevitably useless. The answer will come soon enough!

No mythology and metaphor for me. I want the great mystery, all of it, no matter what it is—a billion years in the blink of an eye, or an infinite panorama as vast as the universe; and an endless sea of stars on which to sail.

Death is an angel with two faces; to us he turns a face of terror, blighting all things fair; the other burns with glory of the stars, and love is there.
- T. C. Williams

Alhamdulillah!

Ya Haqq!


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