INTERVIEW WITH THE SHAH:
8th of March, 1947 from five thirty to seven thirty pm.
Translated by Matthew Evans-Cockle
Organized by Ernest Perron with an audience accorded, by Shah Muhammad to Emile Benveniste, Henry and Stella Corbin, the cultural consul Jean Camborde and his wife Juliette. Long conversation, of approximately two hours, during which the discussion covers such problems as the death of a civilization and the sterility of certain once fertile provinces. In relation to the subject, Shah Muhammad. evokes the tales of Nasir -e Khosraw.
Shah Muhammad:“The great damming projects, can they bring anything beyond a material well-being? I am struck by the indigence of these last centuries. Not a single thinker, not a single great poet. Why? Is it Islam which is responsible for this?”
The pressing need to form an elite. Allusion to the atom and the end of the world having now become a possibility.
Henry points out that the notion of the “end of the world” is a Mazdean concept: the disintegration of the world of Shadow and the definitive triumph of Light. More precisely, that the end of the world as cosmic accident provoked by a physical accident, a matter of laboratory technique, is no different from the problem posed to each one of us by the imminence of our own death. It is no more than an instance of multiplication. Zarathustra was the first to announce the transfiguration of the world to humanity. In such a case our death and our transfiguration are no longer a terminal catastrophe.
The problem of reincarnation is then taken up by Shah Muhammad, who, in a dreamy manner, humorously asks himself, what animal could well have reincarnated in his own person?
With regards to the Arabic civilization, Shah Muhammad questions Henry who tells of finding, in his rudimentary philosophical study of Arabic and Persian texts, the manner in which to realize his own philosophical vocation. Shah Muhalmmad with emotion, almost interrupts him wishing to evoke the happiness of he who fulfills his vocation, who accomplishes his destiny, for whom life is not empty…
Shah Muhammad continues: “up to the present we have only questioned the men. These women also have something to say.”
Juliette Camborde: “Oh, but we are of little account!”
Shah Muhammad. “Not at all. I think that women should play a more important role… Form an international women’s league… Follow and guide man’s education well beyond childhood and watch over him closely.”
First decoration at the palace of Golestan, one morning during Now-Zouz. Inaudible phrase. The Shabanou.