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Biographical Note

Bulent Rauf was born to an aristocratic background in 1911 in Istanbul. Initially, he was educated at home in a classical Ottoman manner, being taught Ottoman Turkish, Arabic and Persian besides English, French and German. He then continued his studies at Robert College in Istanbul. At the age of 17 he left Turkey to study English literature at Cornell and archaeology at Yale in the United States.

In 1945 he married his second cousin, Princess Faiza, sister of Farouk I, the last king of Egypt. They lived in Egypt until Nasser came to power in 1952, when they moved to Paris. After their divorce in the early sixties, he settled in England in 1966, and later married Angela Culme-Seymour.

In his later years, Bulent devoted himself to the works of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, the twelfth century Andalucian saint.

This led to the establishment of the Beshara School of Intensive Esoteric Education. Bulent became consultant to the Beshara School and wrote many papers elucidating the unity of existence for students on the courses, and translated into English several of the works of Ibn 'Arabi. His chief literary work was the complete rendering into English of Ibn 'Arabi's Fusûs al-Hikam, incorporating the Ottoman commentary attributed to Ismail Hakki Bursevi.

Of pivotal importance in Bulent's life was his work with Beshara and the bringing out of Beshara and all the education that Beshara implies and offers to people.

Beshara is direct invitation from the Reality to mankind, to a universal perspective in the light of the absolute unity of being. In this there can be no intermediary. The matter is between each person and their Reality directly. Bulent made it very clear that he was not a teacher and that there can be no teachers in Beshara - the only teacher is the Reality itself.

Bulent was a highly accomplished and respected cook and personally directed the kitchen at Chisholme house, sharing his love for the art of cooking.

His conviction that study of Ibn 'Arabi was of supreme global importance led to his accepting the position of President of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society in the mid seventies. He continued in this until his death at Chisholme House in 1987 where he is buried.

Meral Arim

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