Robin Woodsworth Carlsen met Imam Khomeini during his third visit to Iran since the Islamic Revolution.
Earlier he had written two books on Iran, the first, Crisis in Iran: A Microcosm of the Cosmic Play, after his visit following the capture of the US spy-den in Tehran by the Muslim students, and Seventeen Days in Tehran: Revolution, Evolution and Ignorance (1980) after his second visit.
His third book about revolutionary Iran, The Imam and His Revolution: A Journey into Heaven and Hell (1982) from which the following excerpt describing the impressions of his meeting with Imam Khomeini is taken, was written following his third journey to Iran in February 1982.
A philosopher and poet from Canada, he has written numerous books and essays, some of which are: Enigma of an Absolute: The Consciousness of Ludwig Wittengstein, The Wings of a Snow Man: Wallace Steven’s ‘Adagia’ With Commentary, The Discovery of Grace: An Aesthetic Justification for God’s Resistance to Himself, The Cosmology of Christ: Revelations of the Self According to the Gospel of St. John, The Intelligence of the Heart and Ceremonies of Innocence, the last two being collections of his letters and poems.
He has shown a remarkable perception-perhaps unique among Western writers and journalists-of the meaning of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the spirit that has been determining the course of its evolutionary ascent under the leadership of Imam Khomeini. Of course, the perception is conditioned by his own past spiritual development and training, as well his aesthetic outlook on history, but his account of experiences in Iran bears the unmistakable stamp of spiritual clarity and liberation, liberation from the idols of the cave and the marketplace.
The impressions that Imam Khomeini made upon this Canadian writer are by no means unique. In fact what he describes is the experience of thousands or perhaps millions of human beings who have had an opportunity to encounter the great charisma, charm, and faith emanated by an authentic disciple of Islam. Only that he has described it more eloquently than others and so well that this account represents an authentic historical document and testimony.
Let us add that what this witness describes is not merely an authentic account of an encounter with an Islamic spiritual leader; it is also an account of an encounter with the spirit that moues the people of Iran, the same spirit that was responsible for the people’s choice of this leader, the spirit that followed his commands and exhortations with singular devotion, the spirit that established the Islamic Republic in Iran and defends it against all kinds of satanic aggressions and plots, the spirit that chose Iran for starting its sacred work of reshaping the destiny of humanity and moves onwards.
It is the spirit which leaves no doubt in those who have encountered it that no terrestrial power or force can hinder its triumphant march, for it is the spirit of human salvation and liberation. Yet this heavenly spirit, so full of radiance and glory, is invisible to the inhabitants of the ‘hell, ‘ who are unable to see it with their eyes, but who feel its presence like a terror in their hearts. We congratulate Carlsen for possessing the purity of heart and the clarity of vision for being able to behold it so clearly and for being capable of describing it so vividly.
Title: Robin Woodsworth Carlsen’s Meeting with Imam Khomeini
Author(s): Woodsworth Carlsen
Published in: Al-Tawhid, Vol 7, No 4
Length: 28 pages