The library of the SOAS is a labyrinth, and I didn't even approach its centre. I tried to remain concentrated on the shelves 37 and 37a on the level B. Sufism, the complete collection, or about it. I still don't know nothing about Vienna and the final sort of my proposal concerning Eremos. But I try to advance just a little bit to have the ground cleared up for anything that might come. I didn't find nothing particular concerning Titus Burckhardt, except his books, of course, and some translations that might eventually be of a more limited circulation. But I manage to get clearer image of the Western invention of Sufism, since the 19th century till its exhaustion in a kind of global theosophy.
I must admit I wasn't fully conscious of the complex resonance of the word, specially in the British context. I'm much more of Germanic mind in this domain, taking the matter a part of erudite, exclusive, purely intellectually-historical context. Of course, I'd noticed and perused all those Colin Bark's editions of Rumi for every single day of the year. But I simply never attached any special importance to it, not to the point of thinking that this might change significantly the perception of my hyper-sophisticated, Germanly-philological matter. But there is obviously more than this, and I can't ignore it totally.
Curiously, even if I'd laboriously read through Doris Lessing's Shikasta (at least a half of it), trying in vain to fathom what this book is really about, it never crossed my mind there might be any connection with Sufism.
But there's been even more. A rather embarrassing element of the summer school in which I participated brought to my consciousness the existence of a kind of "minor Bengal", the Sufi Sylhet, considered, according to what I read in the Wikipedia, as a "spiritual capital" of Bangladesh. The region has a particular language, and even a particular alphabet derived from the Bengali script. The embarrassment comes from a very specific actions taken by two linguists/activists and self-proclaimed saviours of the Sylhetian. I saw them pitifully reducing their "native informant" to the function of an ostensible specimen, in a show that required urgent decolonization.
Or am I just overacting my recent endowment as the chairperson of our own Research Ethics commission at the University of Warsaw?